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(RSF)


2013 IS DEAD

Another year over, plop-dropped straight into the shitter. Good? Bad? Mostly indifferent. The wife & I lost a cat friend, but added another defective pup to our ever growing crit-pile. I got a car. Car got stolen. Car returned, only without a stereo and smelling of stale smokes n’ burrito farts. Grandmother passed (that sucked). Krokidil hit the US (that scares me). Blockbuster shuttered its doors (there is a God). Yet this globe of gas and crust continues to rotate forth, no matter how much bullshit we shovel upon it…
For what seemed to be a lackluster calendar in the review zone, a ton of stuff crept up over the last quarter. Total Punk and Homeless Records ruled the decks, release after release. When their lesser titles still ranked a four outta’ five stars, you know they killed it. I bought everything. I kept everything. On the re-issue tip Superior Viaduct unleashed the floodgates of the obscuro-unxepecto and avant-punkdom. They also managed the unfathomable; getting me to sell the original of something to upgrade with a reissue. True tales of collector scum destruction.
Enough with the rambling. Time to dig in.




LPS & 12”s

For starters, True Sons of Thunder went and fucked everything up with “Stop & Smell Your Face” on Little Big Chief. What horrible events went down during this recording session? They must’ve sacrificed a pygmy goat to get that unholy amp belch. Banjitar? Gloriously retarded. I had to be peppermint schnapps drunk just to attempt a review of the damned thing. Possibly the best music/non-music/music since the Satanic Rockers unleashed “Fu Kung” (on Albert’s Basement/Black Petal/Sunshine & Grease) a couple months prior. Aussie booger eaters left out in the bone zone. See the above TSOT sound and strip away eighteen or so guitar tracks, pump it full of morphine and let the platter slow drip off into a Slicing Grandpa /Butthole Surfers dunderville. Ooey-gluey.

Timmy Vulgar always makes my A-list and Human Eye’s fourth LP - “Into the Unknown” - continues to add to his Termbo MVP legacy. Everything I’ve come to expect, yet always a little different than before. Less metallic fuzzbuzz than the Eye’s previous effort and not as much of a glamstain imprint like the recent Timmy’s Organism, yet still burying the listener in avalanches of soloing scree and proglodyte epic-ness. Those aren’t even words. That’s how good it is. Hits my psych-spot in the soft guts, head on. Goner pressed it up, FYI.

Pop. 1280 continued their descent thru the cyber-gutters of NYC with “Imps of Perversion” on Sacred Bones, upping their industrial pig fuckery more than ever before. I still think they should get His Electro Blue Voice to join ‘em for a tour of the states; then we could press up a few Atavistic live VHS tapes in commemoration. Hawt n’ hostile times out in Alphabet City (or Greenpoint. Whatever…).

All roads lead south, as we drag knuckle deep into ‘Stralia squalor. Cuntz guided us along our personal walkabout with not one, but two LPs of thug-throb and Grong Grong fever: “Aloha” and “Solid Mates”. Both on Homeless. A strange mixture of Aberrant style noiserock, Fall inspired vitriol sneer and that Total Control synth drone. Live shows in the Bay flat out killed it. BEST. More Aussie damage from the top half of ‘13 was chucked about by Exhaustion. Their “Future Eaters” album on Aarght! is a junque-damaged, nod-n-topple slurry for fans of The Bird Blobs, Degreaser, coke fueled dick binges and Negative Guest Lists. It creeps on ya’ real swell.

Gary Wrong went and became a full time band with “Knights of Misery”, and it paid off big time. This Total Punk outing delivered buckets full of spookshow goon and sideshow tunes for the weirdo losers around these boards. People who picked up that Satanic Rockers LP or are still collecting Garbage Pail Kids into their forties should be pleased as punch. Can’t get enough Gary? Try out the “Tarantisimo Summit Vol.3: Solitary Mutants Series II” wreckord on Bat Shit. Mr. Wrong gets it right, along with some other sick minded individuals. A thematic collection of terror tracks, flowing between lost in space instrumentals, ambient ghost trails and the death marches of a thousand defective beta tape transfers. One of the best structured and sequenced compilations I’ve heard in a long, long time. Follow Wrong and dudes from Human Eye, Curtains, and E.T. Habit down the rabbit hole.

Life Stinks self-titled LP on S-S Records. What else is there to add? Evidently two saxophones and a sixteen minute Velvet Undergound “inspired” tune about a school shooting. YES. A record so good, SF should just give up. A band so fueled by hatred, they shoved one of their own releases off of this silly “Best Of” list like a lockerroom bully. (The Total Punk 7”. You still need it.) Life Stinks. Carve into your arm or forehead.

Last but not least, the band with the second dumbest name in recent times (Lögnhalsmottagningen wins), Rajayttajat let Deadbeat press up their self-titled debut and it emulates everything good about R&R mayhem that the hogwash museum in Cleveland tends to forget about. Rajayttajat plays it too fast, through insect instrumentation and possibly backwards or tossed off drunkenly at some stranger’s bachelor party. Gross, dumb and frantic. They’ve put out another LP already that sounds even better from the early reviews, but I have yet to scrape up whatever foreign currency I need to pick it up.

Other notable shit that hangs out near the hi-fi (not wi-fi):

Bassholes “Boogieman Stew” (Columbus Discount) / His Electro Blue Voice “Ruthless Sperm” (Sub Pop) / Sewers “Hoisted” and Gentleman “Demo” (Homeless) / Big Black Cloud “Black Friday” (Eolian Empire) / Native Cats “Dallas” (Ride the Snake / RIP Society) / David Rata “Hallucigenia” (Bat Shit) / Rizzati & De Gemini “House by the Cemetery: Original Soundtrack” (Death Waltz)




SINGLES

You want small ones? The following titles most definitely did not suck this year.

Lumpy & the Dumpers delivered a craptastic snot rocket called “Sex Pit” on Muckracker. A Crazy Spirit styled fuck-all of hyperventilating psycho-punk that should blast the garage-ier Hank Wood fanboys with a face full of jizz. Evil demon beast; grueling in a good way.

Yi continues to press up micro-editions of songs every chance their pocket change allows. Their self-released “Punk Memories” EP has them sounding less and less like pop-punk filtered thru no wave weirdness, and heading straight into the gorilla bludgeoning turf of Lamps and other such artistes. Oh yeah, and they dig thrash metal and space trucking too. Not for the weak of heart. If you see them live, DUCK. Speaking of violent outsiders, Solid Attitude’s “Dash-Ex” on Sweet Rot doesn’t get a lot of love around these parts, but it should. Live they truly scared the hell out of me. Their stand up drummer proves you can put your all into it; as I honestly thought he was gonna’ achieve lift off and shoot through the roof. Now front that action with a vocalist who pretty much knocked some poor sap unconscious, and it was worth every moment I spent cowering behind a barstool. Not since Tunnel of Love have I felt such intensity in a tiny package. This lil’ sniggle takes their recordings up a notch with some heavy duty freak expansion. SAXOPHONE. Liked it all beforehand and I’m loving your new sound, Marvin Berry…

Wild Child really roped me in with their self titled EP on Deranged. A proper debut full of crisp and scathing punk spasms, that somehow manages to vibe even skuzzier than their fidelity challenged demos. Raw as fuck, stripped to an almost acoustic hardcore. Sharp and stabbing like the fastest Outdoorsmen tunes or the best Feederz moments. Buy it soon.

Lastly, I gotta’ give it ALL up to Total Punk. Every platter Rich put out this year is worthy of this (or any) list, but I had to trim it down to just one. Bits of Shit’s “Meat Thump” takes that cake. A stellar band and shining here on their US wax debut. I’d probably tie it with the Matador singles club record, had I actually joined the Matador singles club. BALLS. (Feel free to send me one, mm’kay?) So when you’re ready to throw away your next paycheck on Totino’s Pizza Rolls© and rubber cement, fill some shelving cracks with the Totes Punx roster instead.

Others 7”es of note, if I hadn’t gotten lazy and stopped at five:

TOTAL PUNKOIDS: (Life Stinks / Gino & the Goons / Buck Biloxi / Golden Pelicans / Video etc.) / His Electro Blue Voice “White Wall” (Bat Shit) / Sector Zero "Guitar Attack" (Goner) / Manatees “Destruktor” (Tic Tac Totally)




REISSUES:

“Well, it’s a lot easier to release dead artists than the live ones”
– Some stupid fucktard I used to work with, shoving his foot down his throat in a national publication.

Point taken.

Superior Viaduct leads the pack, wearing a gold medal for their efforts this year. Devo’s “Hardcore Vol. 1 & Vol. 2" LPs, The Sleepers “Seventh World” 7” and the amaze-balls Destry Hampton & the Wolves from Hell EP were the ones that destroyed my mind and dented my checkbook. A proud pappa, nonetheless. There was much more served up by these Bay Area archivist in the past twelve months, all worthy of your time and cash. (Hands up: Who all bought the Urinals singles as well as the “Negative Capability” 2xLP on In The Red? Yeah, me too…NERDS.)

Australia got its overdue returns as well with the much needed Cosmic Psychos reissues on Goner and Aarght!. The “Go the Hack” LP and “Down on the Farm” 12” meant the most to me since I didn’t have ‘em already. Sounds/looks/tastes great. If that wasn’t enough full-churn and hog throttle, probably the best bit of down under digging since the feedtime boxset appeared in the shops would be Venom P Stinger’s “Meet My Friend Venom” LP and the “Walking About” 7” on Drag City. So incredibly glad to have them in my home. Hopefully we’ll get the rest of the Fungus Brains output and maybe some legit Sick Things stuff, while we’re on a roll. Homeless even provided The Stabs with a much needed boost to international fame by releasing sharp looking LPs of their lost (and mythical, if you’re stateside) CD output. Both “Dirt” and “Dead Wood” are class acts, worthy of this vinyl treatment.

Since I’ve been drooling about Homeless again, I might as well flog the dying horse and continue to stroke Total Punk as well. Thank you for getting Ned Hayden (for a fleeting moment) to agree on allowing a few 100 copies of The Action Swingers “Miserable Life” 7” to exist. A great day for self-loathers and serial killers everywhere. Long gone now; swept away. Perhaps ask around the downtown Greyhound terminal? There might be one crumpled up by the nearest ashtray...

Timmy of Chaos in Tejas fame took time off from gigantor show bookings to help bring forth a much needed oddity: “The Room Isn’t Big Enough” by Ego Summit (on 540 Records/Old Age No Age). Never gonna’ complain about more Ohioans getting shoved into my crates.

Numero Group took a strange journey down to the bottom of the garage, metal and punk barrel and came up for air clutching some relatively unknown sorta’ monsters. The one that spoke to me the most was Wicked Lester’s “You Are Doomed”. A double single pack of Midwestern hesh, straight out of a Judas Priest parking lot and named after an early Kiss moniker. Any band aping the Van Halen logo should never be this good, but Wicked Lester is. Recorded in 1983 but sounds so goddamn 1972, it’s absurd. Great, great and great. Failed metal turned proto-punk by total accident.

And rounding out the herd is something so important, that it made my list even though I already own two other versions. Hell, it even made it to the top of my wedding cake. Record Store Day (gack) brought the legit repress of one half of thee greatest hate slice ever produced: Pussy Galore’s “Groovy Hate Fuck” 12” on the resurrected Shove label. I actually teared a bit seeing all the folks clutching this, lined up on the busiest day of my retail year. Imagine all those people on that spring afternoon, getting home and cracking this fucker open. Two thousand virgin ears all hearing “Cunt Tease” and “You Look Like a Jew” for the very first time. Sigh. America can be beautiful.

Runner-ups:

MX-80 Sound “Hard Attack” LP (Superior Viaduct) / Sainte Anthony’s Fyre “s/t” LP (Rockadrome) / Flaming Lips “2nd Demo Tape” 7” (Lovely Sorts of Death) / Mayhem “Deathcrush” 12” (Back On Black) / Rock Bottom & the Spy’s “Rich Girl” 7” (?!)



DVD

Oh right. I supposedly watch movies an’ shit. Sometimes I forget. Just because I can’t be bothered to write a proper video column anymore doesn’t mean I haven’t seen any films. I actually went to the theater more this year than probably in the last four years all together. Not a surprise, but most of the movies were re-releases and fan circuit offerings (MS. 45 looked real good last week). That said; it’s been a pretty weak time for home viewing. I rarely purchased or saw much that wasn’t a rerun TV show. I’m three seasons behind on The Walking Dead for chrissakes! (And almost six for How I met Your Mother…TRUTH.) But I did buy a handful of discs that struck a chord.

The Jay Reatard: Better Than Something DVD/LP/Book on Factory 25 was a class act. It made me laugh, cry and generally miss my twenties (and thirties). We all could complain that there wasn’t enough early footage, sure…but I dare you not to get choked up when they talk to Jay’s little sister. Devastating. The included live LP was much than expected, though the companion zine/book coulda’ looked or read like an old issue of Horizontal Action and not a fuckin’ copy of Raygun. Small gripes aside, a good have for the entertainment center. Eric O better have gotten his copy…

After nearly two decades of gripping a seventh generation bootleg of Black Devil Doll From Hell, I now own a glorious legitimate third generation looking DVD! Rejoice. The gods of garbage (Massacre Video) answered many prayers with Chester Turner’s Tales From the Quadead Zone and Black Devil Doll From Hell double disc boxset. Quadead was every bit as awful as I hoped. I feel my life has been enriched in ways that are hard to describe. No need trying to adjust the tracking. It’s as good as it’ll ever get.

Another crazy offering well past its due was the Severin release of The House on Straw Hill (AKA: Expose). Available in a limited Blu-ray, double DVD and VHS set; it wasn’t very hard to pull the trigger on the announcement day. Great enough on its own, this sickie became a must have when it got the special treatment. How could I pass up the VHS clamshell that mimicked its original nasty release and the added bonus of Ban the Sadist Videos (a great documentary on the eighties UK video scare)? It also doesn’t hurt that this uncut print has Linda Hayden jerking off three times in the first reel alone. A victory for all involved…

If there truly was a Best DVD Of 2013 award to hand out, it’d go to director Nicolas Refn. Nope - not for his films - but for his fandom and financial backing to get Andy Milligan’s lost art piece Nightbirds out of a musty Oregon closet and onto a gorgeous PAL UK set. Long assumed to be completely lost but now available via The British Film Institute and Flipside DVD. No shit. A day I never thought I’d see and I’m sure Mike Hunchback and John Waters also did some interpretative dance of joy when it arrived in their mail bins. Here’s to hopes that more of the Milligan archive will be getting this deserved respect. Here’s to the dreams I have for a Refn produced, Jimmy McDonough penned documentary or Biopic on the main man Milligan himself. Make it so.

Because of how formative it was to my youth, Criterion’s Repo Man double disc set brought on miles of my smiles. The pride I felt on the films initial release, leaving the Belford Drive-in seated in my dad’s rusty yet matching‘64 Malibu, rushed over me once more. We even joked about spray painting the clunker with glow in the dark Krylon and driving back night after night. Good times.

Topping the disc list off is something so mammoth I’m gonna’ have to scrap my car out for the funds it’ll take to buy it. You can keep your Breaking Bad seasons. You can even shove the complete series run of Dark Shadows straight down your urethra. THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE: Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman: The Complete Series in a 36 disc set. !?!? Shout factory has dropped the entire 125 hours into the laps of the shows eagerly waiting, rabid fanbase. The holy grail of Norman Lear’s 70’s weirdness, Mary Hartman made little sense to me as a wee tyke during its initial run…but now...whoa. This is some dark, dark SOV live comedy. Laugh at mid-life crisis and infidelity. Chuckle with flashing perverts and their kidnapping tales. Smile while seeing the electrocuted child evangelists and death by an aluminum Christmas tree. All that and the sheen of a waxy floor build up. As a bonus there are also ten episodes of the spin off, Fernwood Tonight. Now whose wife can I sell into third world slavery to purchase this epic box?

Runner-ups:

Corrupted 2xDVD (Grindhouse): Woulda’ made the above list had they put the excised gore scenes back into the film instead of letting them languish in the extras…boooo / Blood & Lace VOD DVD (Amazon): A great deal to be had. Looks awesome. If only it didn’t have that stupid “3 star” IMDB rating emblazoned upon its sleeve…dumb. / Newer stuff like Killer Joe and Only God Forgives also floated my boat.



That’s all I got.
Go buy or rent local.
Fucking turn off your iPhones.
Goodnite.
(RSF)


Back to 2013 Main


To see lists from years past check the Termbo archives.



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