Merry Christmas from Sunken Treasure

Bob Duffy over at Sunken Treasure Records has opened the vaults and through the end of the year is GIVING AWAY digital copies of ALL the releases he’s put on his little record label. Duffy also runs, a site I regularly contribute to (and the site where Atomic Ned first debuted), and this collection of music represents some of his favorite Columbus based bands. Whenever somebody is giving away something FOR FREE I recommend you check it out, but I’ll go so far as saying that it’s worth downloading every one of these CDs while you’ve got the opportunity, each is special in it’s own way.

Miranda Sound – The flagship of the Sunken Treasure label, the band has released their final two CDs on Duffy’s label before breaking up this past summer. It was a terrible loss for the Columbus music community but methinks we haven’t seen the last of this fearsome foursome.

RIYL: Jawbox, The Dismemberment Plan, Sunny Day Real Estate, The Wrens, Nada Surf

DOWNLOAD: Western Reserve
DOWNLOAD: Miranda Sound

The Evil Queens – Here’s what I had to say about this release when Sunken Treasure dropped it in May 2007:

Let’s not get stupid and start making flippant comments like “the best blend of metal, punk, and grunge since Nirvana’s Nevermind – or at least since Alta May’s We As in Us“, but I’ll be damned if there is a hybrid album containing these different elements that I’ve enjoyed listening to more than the latest from perennial “these guys deserve a big record deal” Columbus stalwarts The Evil Queens. Wow, that was a long and slightly inaccurate sentence as the Queens do have a deal in place for this album with Sunken Treasure. On more recent releases, singer Jacob Sundermeyer has had a bit more control over his voice than previous efforts which were basically screamfests though he certainly hasn’t become a “smooth” vocalist – there is definitely some grit and grime in his vocals. Some of the chugga-chugga guitars (”Means to an End”, “Fight Song”) remind me of Monster Magnet and maybe even an in-tune Mudhoney who always seemed to be on the verge of being great but never quite could cross that line. There’s also an undeniable link between these Queens and another band of Queens (of the Stone Age variety), particularly on the title track and “Into the Drink”. If you’re looking for the one that’s going to truly blow your socks off (the one you should download from Napster if you’re not willing to buy the whole thing), it’s “Ditchdigger Blues”, with some buried soulful keyboard playing and fucked up guitar work by Sundermeyer and Mike Eckhardt (could this be a leftover from Sundermeyer’s now-buried, never released jackshit, side project, The Killionaires?). This CD might not change your life the way Nevermind did, but if you’ve got a long summer of drinking PBR tallboys to cool yourself off from the blazing summer sun ahead of you, this is the album you’ll want to … no … NEED to … own.

RIYL: Queens of the Stone Age, Kyuss, Mudhoney, Murder Your Darlings, Nirvana, Fu Manchu

DOWNLOAD: Lovesong Werewolves

Megan Palmer – The polar opposite of The Evil Queens (which shows the diversity of the Sunken Treasure label), Megan Palmer spent the early part of her musical career playing violin in various bands. It’s only been within the last few years that she decided to put something out on her own (with a bevy of guest musicians paying her back for all the contributions she’s made to their music). While I don’t have the numbers in front of me, I suspect this is the biggest seller in the Sunken Treasure catalog.

RIYL: Norah Jones, Victoria Williams, Tim Easton

DOWNLOAD: Take You Away + bonus EP

Eric Metronome – I was a fan first, a friend afterwards. Eric led the hip-before-their time Tiara, a band that forever seemed to be on the cusp of really making it big (band members have gone on to other projects like Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s and Brainbow). All along, Eric was going the lo-fi route and recording songs on his own under the Eric Metronome moniker. I think he’s got something like 74 CDs worth of music that he’s recorded and/or handed out over the years (okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration but it’s probably close), his most recent being the Sunken Treasure release You Should Be Happy which I called the missing link between Death Cab for Cutie and Elliott Smith in an interview I did with Eric.

RIYL: Death Cab for Cutie, Elliott Smith, John Vanderslice, Hayden, The Mountain Goats

DOWNLOAD: You Should Be Happy

The Celebrity Pilots – Chris Sheehan is an amazing pop songwriter and always manages to surround himself with top-notch talent. Somehow, he’s involved in the whole Guided By Voice family tree though I’ve never quite been sure where he fits in (he might be a cousin once removed or something as he’s collaborated with ex-GBV member Doug Gillard on a few occasions). “Lemons from Lemonade” is one of the greatest melancholic pop songs you’ll ever stumble across – it’s got a Zombies meets Beatles meets ELO feel.

RIYL: The Zombies, The Byrds, The Smiths, Guided By Voices, Apples in Stereo

DOWNLOAD: Beneath the Pavement, A Beach!

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