Discovering Erik Gage's spectacular DIY tape label Gnar Tapes and his shred-happy band White Fang was a serious highlight from my time in Portland. These days though, you don't need to live in Oregon to take in hits of Gage's enthusiastically lo-fi bong-soaked pop music. His newest project, The Memories—comprised of fellow White Fanger Kyle Handley and members of Portland's Boom!—just put out its self-titled debut bicoastally with vinyl from Underwater Peoples and its tape counterpart on Burger Records. Like a copy of a copy of an old beaten up cassette that you have to wind back to life with a pencil, The Memories' music has a real warm, inviting, and lived in quality to it. And don't let the feedback or rawness of the recordings fool you—that's just a little bit of dress-up and misdirection—these guys write simple pop music with the instincts of true pop classicists (see "Silly Little Picture"). Only two songs on the LP break the two-minute mark, so don't be surprised if you find yourself playing honey-sweet gems like "Higher" over and over again.
Nab the vinyl or the tape.
The Memories - "Higher" (from The Memories)
Erik Gage - "Little Brother" (from Inner Cosmic)
White Fang - "Not Listening" (from Grateful To Shred)