Pyongyang, self-titled EP (independent)
A request for additional information via email unfortunately fell on deaf ears, so there isn’t much intel I can relay to you concerning this mysterious new local outfit, but based on the six songs that comprise their first Bandcamp extended play, Pyongyang are nevertheless a band worth surveying.
The opening guitar notes on “Aesthetical Camouflage” blatantly affirm their affinity for the shortly lived dancepunk craze of the early aughts, and it’s a vibe that never lets up. They refer to it as “dystopic funk,” although their sound is considerably more upbeat and nerdy than such a name might suggest: the riffs are jangly, the hi-hats are consistent and the internal groove is undeniable. There are also a fair bit of psychedelic touches throughout, from the echoing vocals near the end of EP highlight “Prison Love” to the dub-y intro on “Get Up.”
Dancepunk may have been killed off before its time (the term has even been excised from most people’s lexicons), so despite not bringing anything particularly new to the genre, to merely have a rock band emphasize propulsive rhythms and nervous energy once again feels refreshing. Pyongyang are a work in progress though: the disaffected vocals are hit-or-miss and some of the songs don’t necessarily build up as one would hope.
Pyongyang perform as part of Pop Montreal at Club Lambi on Thursday, Sept. 20, 11:45 p.m.
Majical Cloudz, “Turns Turns Turns”
If you only know local Devon Welsh for his collaboration with Grimes on her last album, prepare to be blown away. Who knew he could deliver a heart-wrenching ballad?
Turns Turns Turns by Majical Cloudz
Mykki Blanco “Wavvy”
Rappers are in the business of trying to look intimidating, but credit to New Yorker Mykki Blanco for being able to maintain his street cred while dressing in drag. His shocking attire is only about the fifth most surprising thing you’ll see in “Wavvy.” The rapid fire raps are impressive, but it’s Brenmar’s beat that steals the show.