BEN LYON: 2006

I think my computer is dying. It sounds like a rusty old 60’s Mack truck, bound for the scrap yard, gut trying to make one last haul. I hope it makes it through this list. I can’t believe it’s this time of year yet again. I didn’t really prepare….not that I ever have….and why would it matter, I can’t write anyhow. Listen to me, I sound like a broken fucking record (no pun intended). So for the third time, here goes nothing...

Favorite New LP’s...I can’t cop out this year and say I didn’t buy too many...everyone that saw me lugging around a huge stack every day of the Blackout (RIP) knows that ain’t the truth...Here’s some of my favorites...

Time Flys “Fly” - While I didn’t really dig ‘em too much at the Blackout (but what do I know, I was mostly drinking in the next room), their record cuts through the cheese like a samurai sword. Oblivians meets New York Dolls. I didn’t come up with that comparison, but I think it’s apt. Trashy proto-punk like your dad used to listen too. (Birdman, 2005!)

Carbonas S/T - What can I say about these guys without flogging a dead horse. Awesome band, great record, hooks galore, nuff said. I really really like the album art on this one by the way.(Raw Deluxe)

Tunnel Of Love “What up freaks! This is Tunnel of Love from Brookline Massachusetts. We are going to blow your pussies out!” - What a great band! People went on and on about the Fatals the last couple of years...about how Lo-fi, trashy, primal, and raw they are/were, but in my opinion, Tunnel Of Love blows them outta the water at least twice over. This record is so fast, loud, and without apology, that I think it just might be my favorite for the year…not to mention the powerhouse these guys are live. And what other band could pull off well-worn covers like “Hey Joe” and “Paint It Black” and still remain interesting?(ECA Records, 2005!)

Black Lips “Let It Bloom” - Holy shit, what a great band. I really don’t think there’s too many on this page unaware of this band’s greatness, and my words won’t do them justice. I’ve been a fan of these guys since the moment I heard their first single, and I don’t foresee being let down by them any time in the near future. “Dirty Hands” is, along with another song on another album on this list, “our song” to my girlfriend and I.(In the Red, 2005 again, dammit Ben!)

Haunted George “Panther Howl” - Picked this up at the Blackout. Love the splattered green and black vinyl. Love the classic horror movie album cover-a-la The Sadist. Love the tunes contained within. This is music I listen too alone at 4 am when I'm too drunk to walk upstairs to go to bed, and I'm convinced that the world is out to get me, and I feel like I might die tomorrow and I don’t care, and ghosts swirl around my head laughing at me. This is the record Hasil Adkins would have made if he spent too much time alone in the desert instead of too much time alone in the Appalachian Mountains. Haunting, and depraved soundtrack for a serial killer.(Hook or Crook)

Live Fast Die “Bandanna Thrash Record” - I love this record. Total pre-shit-eating GG, killed by bedroom recording madness. This album contains the other “our song” in my relationship...”Weapons”. My girlfriend and I listen to this song in the car A LOT. Always singing along...even though we’re not quit sure what the first line is. We sing “Got my finger up my butt, got my back against the wall”, though I know that’s not it. Plus, you gotta love a song with the lazy line “Blah blah, somethin’” This record also spawned the retardedly catchy “Amputated”, "Camero Shit The Bed” and the ode to technology “Fat Guy With An Ipod”.(DeadBeat)

The King Khan and BBQ Show “What’s For Dinner?” - It’s not as good as their first record, but then again, almost nothing is. More Chuck Berry worship, and doo wop, and Spaceshits-esque trashers here. Plus a Circle Jerks cover! You prolly already know if this is your thing. High point, the straight 50’s doo-wop of “Why Don’t You Lie?”.(In the Red)

Throbbin’ Urges S/T - Well, two years ago on my list, I wished for this record, and now it’s here, and I’m thrilled. Score one for the local guys! Classic Midwest 70’s style punk! It’s hard to pick a favorite song here...they’re all great, and if you like rocknroll, you’ll probably think so too.(DeadBeat)

The Nazis From Mars “Space Pebbles” - This is a concept EP. These European techno-punkers bang, bash zap and skronk through six spaced-out covers of ‘60’s garage rock classics. My favorites are their monotone-vocaled take on the Sonics’ classic “Strychnine”, and their jangley version of Larry and The Blue Notes’ “Night Of The Phantom”. The 8th grade stoner art on front cover is great too. The back looks like something off one of those “Now!” compilations they sell on TV.(Ken Rock, 2005 again, what the fuck Ben.....)

Functional Blackouts “The Severed Tongue Speaks For Everyone” - First, the album art on this thing is fucking amazing. In a world that still largely uses the black and white Xeroxed cheap thrown together look (not that there is anything wrong with that, I’m guilty myself), this sleeve comes at you in full color. I wonder how many National Geographics and X-acto blades they went through making this. And now to the music...This record takes the weird, artful moments on the first record, and cranks it up to near-Human Eye levels. When I listen to the Functional Blackouts, I think I can actually hear the world ending. Those who feared that the major line-up changes in the band would jeopardize their ferocity, song craft, or the very existence of the band it’s self, need not worry. If anything, it’s made their bite harder, and their attack deadly accurate.(Criminal IQ)

Honorable Mentions... Frantic Attaque, Marked Men, Mind Controls.

And now on to the 7”s...I dunno if all these actually came out in '06, and I’m pretty sure a couple of them didn’t, especially a lot of the stuff I bought during the Blackout. These are the 7"s that made 2006 for me.

Magnetix “Time After Time” – More great stuff from France. Great live!(Profet/Sentenza)

Red Red Red “Disconnected” – Ryan from the Piranhas helms one motherfucker of a band. In the alley of stuff like the Catholic Boys. 2 of the 3 members of this band are from my home town, and that makes me proud. Great live!(Perpetrator)

Sneaky Pinks “I Can’t Wait” – Deadly catchy and at least as stupid as the Spits! Ode to underage girls on the a side, three more hits of equal greatness on the flip. 18 years is a long long time. Retarded live!(Rubber Vomit....2005)

Cheveu “Dog” – Trio meets garage rock, but not like when the Oblivians covered Trio. Weirdo French art delinquents. Truly mind blowing live, and nice guys to boot!(Ss)

Black Lips “Party At Rob’s House” – “Oh Katrina” may be one of the only good things to come from the flood that crushed New Orleans. Really catchy stuff here, from my favorite current band. Their cover of “Five & Ten” ain’t no slouch either, and the version here of “Sea Of Blasphemy” is better than on Let It Bloom, and that’s saying a hell of a lot! Will kill you live, as shown here, and will soon have yet another record to prove it! Go see ‘em while they’re at the top of their game!(Rob's House)

Tyvek “Mary Ellen Claims” - The Urinals is a lazy comparison, but it totally fits, so fuck it. I have yet to see this band, which is sad, ‘cuz I share the same state with these guys. Looking forward to many more records.(X! Recordings)

Tunnel Of Love “Ghetto Child” – I love this band. Like I said before, these guys remind me of the stuff that’s going on in France these days...Fatals, Creteens, stuff like that. The winner on this four song slap is “Bitch Better Have My Rock N Roll”, which I think is one of the better song titles to come along this year. Live these guys will, if you’re like me, blow your mind. Fantastic “stage” show (as far as I know, they never play on the stage, but rather in middle of the room on the floor. Drummer jumps around like a monkey killing the kit, while the caped guitarist and singer prowl the room looking for folks to playfully fuck with. Live show of the year, no contest...and I finally saw the Oblivians this year.(Profet)

Busy Signals “Can’t Feel A Thing” – Well, it’s as good as the first single, and, well, along with the Carbonas and the Marked Men, are bringing the bouncy poppyness back to punk in a big way. I’ve seen these guys and a girl twice, and both times they left me with a smile on my face. I can’t wait for ‘em to put out a full length!(Shit Sandwich)

Rat Traps/Lamps split – I’m gonna miss the Rat Traps. I saw ‘em three times, and every time was memorable. Great snotty no-frills punk rock, just like grandma used to make. The Lamps give us their cover of the Oblivians’ “Big Black Hole”, and it’s one raw, overblown bastard, I must say. Never seen the Lamps live, but would like to, and the Rat Traps are dead dead dead.(Yakisakana)

Hunches “Leper Parade” - I really love this song. I dunno what it is, but it sticks in my head like broken q-tip. I’ve only seen these guys once, and after Tunnel Of Love opened for ‘em, the show might as well be over, but hey, at least they make consistently great records.(Dusty Medical)

Honorable Mentions include...the new Feelers...Fuck it, the new Feelers is in the top too, it’s a Top 11. It’s easily their best work yet, and I don’t know how I overlooked it. So yeah, the mighty Feelers! Back to the HM’s...Tennessee Tearjerkers' “Chills And Fever” and “Dirty Nails” 7"s were both pretty choice. Galactic Inmate’s “Belt Buckle Of Power” was pretty good in my opinion, and not in many others, just ask those at the Blackout. CoCoComas on Shit Sandwich gets my vote for best 7” cover art, along with Monitors for “Cunt Fusion”, and the Tyrades/Le Jonathon Reilly split. All had great music contained within as well. The Dan Melchoir Und Das Menace debut on the BugHouse label was pretty bees knees too.

2006 was above all; a year of used records though. I played a lot of catch up, and found a lot of thrift shop gems. Cryin’ Out Louds, Brentwoods, Guitar Wolf, Reverend Gatemouth Moore, 1910 Fruitgum Company, “All Skrewed Up”, F-word. My favorite was a still-sealed copy of the Cadets LP from the 50’s with “Stranded In The Jungle” and “Love Bandit” for $4.

Throbbin’ Urges and Sneaky Pinks also put out really great cassette-only releases this year!

Live shows. Getting to open for Human Eye was cool. Finally Seeing the Oblivians (something I had hoped for for years) finally came true...and with Quintron on keys no less! I was front and center, and enjoyed every second of it. Dutch Masters were great and should put out more stuff. The Cheveu/KKBBQ show was a real great time. Black Lips were great for the 4th time I’ve seen ‘em. Functional Blackouts played a show at Kraftbrau in Kalamazoo, MI, that seemed to go along perfectly with the tree-snapping, earth moving, near-tornado storm that was going on outside. Tunnel Of Love topped everything though.

Records I’m waiting for or wish would happen...I’m stoked for this live Black Lips record coming out on Vice. I’m bummed I missed out on the Volt/Spider recs, but I hope they get repressed...same with the Fe Fi Fo Fums LP. I still hope X-offender makes a record. Same with Mark Budd One Man Band. My own band has a record coming out (my first in over 8 years of being in bands), so 2007 is already looking to be a great year. Until next time...

~Ben Lyon
Chief Engineer of Art Faggotry

Contact Ben: hotbeefinjectionrocks-at-hotmail.com
Check out Ben's band The Burning Hatreds here.
Check out some of Ben's artwork via the TB Archives or go here.