The Outsiders: Vol. 17

Not all of Stereogum’s favorite sounds conform to what folks expect us to cover. In this space, resident Bananafish fetishist Brandon Stosuy focuses on bands, albums, singles, and villages in Sweden that may otherwise pass by unnoticed. This installment’s virtual milk crate contains Bird Tree, Hair Police, and Hush Arbors.

Despite a bunch of CD-Rs, cassettes, and vinyl-only releases, The Certainty Of Swarms is being marketed as Hair Police’s “official” follow up to 2005’s Constantly Terrified. Who knows how these things get decided. The Lexington, Kentucky/Ypsilanti, Michigan trio’s morphed and imploded since the days of Blow Out Your Blood and Obedience Cuts (which I maybe over-dramatically reviewed as a harbinger of noise’s crossover into the mainstream a few years ago) and beyond. Since those earlier times, frontman and Gods Of Tundra head Mike Connelly’s replaced Aaron Dilloway in Wolf Eyes. His cohorts Trevor Tremaine and Robert Betty have collaborated more with Burning Stare Core. Everyone’s solo projects (Failing Lights, Three-Legged Race, etc.) have continued. All that, and the band’s more abstract, industrial, and blackened than when they reminded me of Jack Black fronting Harry Pussy (in a good way) at the debut No Fun Festival. They’ve kept getting better and better, which is why “Mangled Earth” lives up to its name.


[Photo of Hair Police at No Fun ’08 by Seth Tisue via Flickr]

Hair Police – “Mangled Earth” (MP3)

The Certainty Of Swarms is out today via No Fun. You can also snoop around the band’s website.

If you’re familiar with Six Organs Of Admittance, Hush Arbors, aka Keith Wood plus Leon Dufficy, will remind you of Chasny’s work, no doubt. Woods has been recording under this moniker for a decade, about as long as Chasny’s been doing Six Organs, but this forthcoming self-titled Ecstatic Peace! collection’s his highest profile release to date. It opens with two-minutes of guitar fuzz soloing (some minimal raga percussion) before moving into “Follow Closely” and the rest of the late-’68s ambiance, moody psych-folk hymnals, and fragile vocal hypnotics. Hush Arbor do have their own vibe, but it’s fitting Chasny plays guest lead guitar on the following.

Hush Arbors – “Follow Closely” (MP3)

That’s one of the new one’s more “upbeat” moments. You can hear more at MySpace and Hush Arbors’ website (check out “Mr. Bones,” dedicated to John Berryman) and at Ecstatic Peace!. As you might note from what you’ve heard, he generally has a devotional sound. Same goes for another relative “old-timer,” Town & Country’s Ben Vida and his “solo” project, Bird Show. He’s about to release his untitled followup to 2006’s sophomore release, Lightning Ghost.

Bird Show – “Green Vines” (MP3)

This track features guest vocals from Robert AA Lowe. The super productive and super great Greg Davis plays a big part throughout, as do Adam Vida, Lowe, and Michael Zerang. It’s fun doing instrumental laundry lists, so here goes:

Ben Vida: Hammond XB-2, microKorg, Moog Voyager, Gibson SG, Berinbau, Shona Mbira, Slit Drum, Pan Pipes, Shakers, Vietnamese Jaw Harp, Tambourines, Ride Cymbal, Congas, Wood Flute, Ring Modulator, Elephant Bells, Violin, Qraqeb, Zither, Voice, Ten String Harp, Frame Drum, Finger Cymbals, Triangle.

The untitled album’s out 9/1 on Kranky.