This Week in the Mercury


Monday, August 19, 2013

Music Monday! Grails, Quasi, Plankton Wat & More

Posted by Ned Lannamann on Mon, Aug 19, 2013 at 4:55 PM


Grails, the instrumental polyglot band that traffics in intensity rather than any specific genre—and are Portland's most underrated band, perhaps?—are releasing Black Tar Prophecies Vols. 4, 5 & 6 on Temporary Residence on October 1 via CD and 2-LP set. It collects the last two volumes of their esoteric Black Tar Prophecies series; Vol. 4 is a limited 12-inch that came out in 2010,Vol. 5 is their portion of a 2012 split release between Grails and Pharaoh Overlord, and Vol. 6 contains three previously unreleased tracks. Here's the slow-scorched, elemental "Self-Hypnosis" from Vol. 4, and Grails is also hitting the road next month, although no hometown dates are currently scheduled.
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Quasi premiered another new tune from their forthcoming Mole City double album, which comes out October 1. Here's "See You on Mars," a squelchy little pop song that makes interstellar travel sound fun and boppy, with a detour on a slow boat to China. Of the song, Quasi's Sam Coomes says, "Rock 'n' roll may be on its last legs on Earth, but it's taking off on Mars. Meanwhile, people are still seriously rocking in the forgotten corners of Earth, in secret.” Quasi will be rocking, not in secret, on their upcoming tour which returns home to Portland on November 23.
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Here's a tune from Plankton Wat's upcoming album, called Drifter's Temple and comes out September 17 on Thrill Jockey. It's Dewey Mahood's first Plankton Wat effort since leaving Eternal Tapestry, and judging from this track, "Empire Mines," it'll contain a pastoral element in its layered instrumental compositions, which Mahood recorded to four-track. Plankton Wat will tour Europe for the album's release, returning home to play Valentine's on October 10.

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After Grails and Plankton Wat, there's yet more instrumental music for your Music Monday. Portland-area band Lord has released their third EP, titled III, and it's five tracks of loud, vaguely mathy progressive rock. III finds Lord using sharper edges than some of their previous work, as their slow-burning has been turned up to high flame on tracks like "Artaud" and "Continuity V." Check the whole thing out over on Bandcamp.
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We'll end today with a less-than-a-minute preview of Red Fang's "Doen," which comes from their Whales and Leeches album, due out October 15. Longtime fans will not be shocked by this snippet, as it does not see the band reinventing their galvanizing, metal-tinged hard-rock song in favor of dulcet, pillow-feather folk or whirring, glitchy electronica. There is no rap breakdown, nor is there a guest appearance by Robin Thicke; what we can hear of the song would probably not work very well in a footstomp-handclap television commercial. No, it is Red Fang, and it burns like magma.

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