Peter Quinn , Raili Haimila, Antony West, Christian Sturgis, Gillian Quinn, and Sam Belgan Hopkins ( former members include: Scott Braid and Jeff McGrath) — Drop-Out Soul from Baltimore USA. Sometimes described as descendants of Can, John Cale, Mission of Burma, the Fall, Pere Ubu, Rain Coats because of their stripped-down agit-prop pop sensibility. Where Gospel Store Front is a poetic manifesto of love songs and defiant resistance, Replica Watches is a journey into more melodic and existential depths.
Lo ModA's minimal art school dropout sound is a confident and laudably new idea derived from a myriad of 90s era Baltimore Dischord-ish projects, including Candy Machine and Fascist Fascist. Cool bands, both, but with Lo ModA's (sic, sorta) debut album, Gospel Store Front, we meet a band that's grown away from any very easily identified genre roots and created a very natural sound that they own outright. It's a slinky, mean, great album.
Of course with a name that translates to "The Fashion," it's hard not to receive some of the invention (wide use of strings, subtle percussion and stripped down production) as more (mere) aesthetic polemic. But they're very direct and catchy and they earnestly address our culture in a way that ties them to their dissident punk roots and rescues the album from being too precious.
It's been receiving a fair amount of airplay here at WFMU recently. They've agreed to let us share a few tracks from Gospel Store Front and they send word that they're putting out a new album soon.
After Omar passed away, I was looking for another reason to keep my Baltimore obsession going. Enter Lo Moda. Helmed by Peter Quinn (who also does the extremely awesome Creative Capitalism), Lo Moda plays music that - and forgive me because I know this is Grade-E-music-writer-speak, but it’s true in this case - defies easy categorization. Take this track, for example: the tribal-esque drums (don’t let that description discourage you…I mean it in a good way) and the sinister, impish strings make this track cinematic in scope, far from a traditional indie rock song, and impossibly catchy. I don’t know for sure what the song is about, but I found it especially poigniant this morning as I was listening to it on my iPod, and I took my cell phone out of my pocket, which caused my digital camera to fall out, and I was then standing on the corner holding three gizmo gadgets. Hmm. Also, Gospel Store Front? Great album title. Cop it.
Two Way Monologues There's something very inspiring about the fact that a band like LO MOdA (or "Low Moda" depending on how you find it the nicest) even exists. And the most surprising thing about them is how little known they seem to be when I see how many plays they have on last.fm; if you don't know that site, you are maybe not geeky enough....
Wayside music review I was turned onto this Baltimore band by Simon, who said "well, they're kind of The Ex of Baltimore", and that's a pretty good 8 word description! I also hear elements of the best of The Fall and Egon Bundy-era Plastic People of the Universe in them too. I thought this very small edition full length album, packaged in a cute, home-assembled package, had a lot to offer and bought some to let everyone else reading this have a chance to hear them too! They are a six piece consisting of viola, two guitars (one doubles on bass), keyboards, drums/trumpet and vocals. If you like this sound, I think you will be quite charmed by this.
Readjunk review that we like. Artsy and largely repetitive, with an ever-present drone of strings and organ, but the songs maintain a sense of melody, rationale and balance. It reminds me a bit of some of John Cale's poppy-yet-cyclic art-tunes, only without his half-mad and world-weary vocals. Decent for what it is. Side note: Band includes members of Candy Machine and INK.
itunes review we like. Baltimore's indie music/art scene is exploding and this album is Exhibit A as to why. Refers to krautrock, NoWave, and Nigerian afrofunk in equal measure, yet retains a sound all its own. Oh, and once the words sink in, the album is political without crossing the line into folk/hippie nonsense. This is postsecular music and i can't wait for the next one.. what's in the water in Baltimore, anyway?
Razorcake under LO MODA:
Gospel Storefront: CD
Gospel Storefront manages to resuscitate a fresh take on psychedelic rock with viola hooks, slow handclaps, and the mantra-lyrics. Deadpan vocals spew, “New York is eating its tail” and “your beat is too complicated” out of front man Peter Quinn. It sounds like a disfigured, mutant Jonathan Richman is being backed by pretty girls singing backup and pounding their instruments in perfect, simple rhythms. It isn’t party music and it isn’t fun, but the malevolent, dry delivery of Gospel Storefront is pretty amazing. –Comrade Bree (Creative Capitalism)
Sam Belgan Hopkins, Raili Haimila, Gillian Quinn, Peter Quinn, Christian Sturgis, and Antony West ( used to include former members: Scott Braid and Jeff McGrath) — Drop-Out Soul from Baltimore USA. Sometimes described as descendants of Can, John Cale, Mission of Burma, the Fall, Pere Ubu, Rain Coats because of their stripped-down agit-prop pop sensibility. Where Gospel Store Front is a poetic manifesto of love songs and defiant resistance, Replica Watches is a journey into more melodic and existential depths. Lo Moda photo taken during release of Replica Watches 2008/2009
Histrionics: Post art school Candy Machine (skene, east west, dischord/desoto) members Peter Quinn and Lyle Kissack were playing music with Craig Bowen and Nat Rabb (san serac) in a band called INK on Monitor Records when they decided to call it quits with an unreleased cd waiting to come out. Over the next year, Peter Quinn approached some friends/musicians around town [Baltimore] with some music he had been developing in his studio (computer) with the intention of creating a new group. The music stayed in line with the streamline quality of INK but the new collaboration would create a new richer and lush sound that would take on a life and tension of its own. With the orchestration of Raili Haimila (Calgary) on viola, Gillian Stewart Quinn (Scotland) on keyboards, jeff McGrath (Baltimore) of Thank You on bass, Christian Sturgis (Baltimore) of Fascist Fascist on guitar, and Scott Braid (Baltimore) on percussion and trumpet, Lo Moda became a complex woven mesh of intricate patterns and hooks driven by a group of varied experience and tastes. Within the first year, Lo Moda would show to be very prolific and went into the studio to record two cds. They first recorded an honest and warm recording with Adam Cooke in their living room for a release that, due to scheduling, fell behind the manufacturing date of the second recording, Gospel Store Front, which they recorded with J Robbins in Baltimore. With plans to release the living room recording entitled "Once Upon a Time We Dreamt in the Land of Prosperity," they started writing Replica Watches. During the writing process, Antony West joined to write a new batch of songs for Replica Watches on bass.