RECORD REVIEWS SUMMER 2009
Key: (RFA: Richard Fucking Adventure)(LB: Lance Boyle)(AR: Acapulco Rodriguez)(EEK: Erick Elrick)(BG: Brandon Gaffney)(DH: Dave Hyde)(RK: Rich Kroneiss)(TO: Tm Onita)(SB: Young Steve)(RSF: Rob Vertigo) (A.: Alessandro)
The Aggravation "Pressure" 7" EP
The Aggravation sound a bit like the French version of The Regulations (or The Vicious). Rote recitation of US punk sounds, maybe mixing some post-punk into the formula. If you thought The Regulations were sort of fake (and I still love those singles, they fucking ripped regardless of their backstory), then these guys sound ten time moreso. Mid-tempo energy-draining songs that lack any sort of creative hook or excitement. I understand English might be their second language, but writing songs called "Pressure" or "Contolled" isn't the way to go. French punk is cool, try sounding like Gasoline or Soggy instead of being the umpteenth band aping Redd Kross and The Wipers. Still better than The Hatepinks, however....(RK)
(P.Trash Records // www.ptrashrecords.com)
Charles Albright "I'm On Drugs" 7"
Repress of a single that supposedly came out earlier in the year in an edition of 100, that I got nary a whiff of. Albright is apparently a Sacto-scene fixture and has been active for over a decade, which is entirely possible. He was also in the Pizzas. And sounds a lot like Matt K. Shrugg. Go figure. "I'm On Drugs" crawls right off the vinyl and comes stumbling through your living room with its impressively over-driven bass, barreling drums, ray-gun guitar solo and zen-like titular mantra. Fulfills the three P's very well: proto, psych, punk. On "I'm A Fine Young Man...", "Charles" ditches the hard drugs and gets hopped up on goofballs or cheap beer or something rock'n'rolly. A standard grade garage gasser. I'd prefer he go back to the hard drugs, which he does for "I Wanna Hold You", a monolithic bass throbber with freak-out guitar splattered all over it. Best cut of the bunch, a real heavy heavy monster sound. Program repeats on the B-Side, making me wish there was more. I left this feeling hungry. The last song is real-deal hairy rock, but it doesn't in itself a meal make. Scum stats: 400 copies.(RK)
(S-S Records // www.s-srecords.com)
The Anals “Total Anal” LP
One shit spattered platter of subhuman noise. The Anals are probably the most pickled of the freaks in that French glue-wave. The Normals, Feeling of Love, Volt, etc…now this lil’ bastard finally gets to pop up. The tracks on here go down smooth as Drano in a newborn. Anti-music for the plaster chip-eaters (you know who you are). Think Primitive Calculators or AH Kraken with half the band mixed out. Sometimes it can be danceable in an early Mute catalog or D.A.F. record (which gets name-checked in the press release) kinda’ way, but then there’s this guitar damage working against it that’ll have you falling over if you ever tried. Violent and chaotic no-wave and early industrio-filth. Metal Urbain if they really got punk’d. Repetitive and grinding. As abrasive as the Bud Dwyer incident…can’t look away. Gross. This years Rusted Shut “Hot Sex” for the like-minded haters out there. Are these guys still a band? Aren’t some of them dead? Sad. Like to have seen this live…would probably go down like the Cheveu-style seizure I witnessed a year or so ago. A nice way to clear my sinuses from all the over-hyped bubblegum faggots and denim demons that get high-praise up in these parts. 500 pressed. (RSF)
(Permanent Records // www.permanentrecordschicago.com)
Andrew Anderson “Proto Idiot” LP
Alright, the technology’s there...this doesn’t mean everyone and their mother has to snatch up the drumsticks for the first time, whine over some little punk licks and put out an LP of their Mono 4-track bangers. This shizz is way too by-the-numbers for anyone working a day job. If you’re on food stamps and sit around drinking Natty Ice all day like I wish I did, you’ve got a good time slot for this LP right hurr. Otherwise, just extract the unique vulnerabilities and ever-present sense of envelope-pushing hopelessness from the more bare bones KBD rockers and add a yearning for the amount of pussy Jay Reatard can get. Badabing. Andy Anderson. This release should have been a 7” that went like this… A1: “I Don’t Like You,” A2: “All I Do Is Cry,” B1: “You Said,” B2: “Do It.” Woulda’ dug that. (BG)
(Slovenly Recordings // www.slovenly.com)
The Atoms "Format" 7"
San Diego space-age pop-punk. The songs really aren't all that bad, but The Atoms are a total striped-shirt and novelty-shades band though. Perhaps a more palatable Epoxies with a fella singing instead of some neo-New Wave hag. Vocals sound great and are well-delivered, the songs aren't totally cliche, and I actually don't mind the synths on this. They sound more concerned with being punk than some sort of New Wave revivalists, which is good. If I were into this type of band (say, if I lived in Portland or Seattle or ran Dirtnap Records), I might even say this was pretty gosh darn good. But since I'm not, I gotta say these kids look and sound like a bunch of fruitcakes.(RK)
(P.Trash Records // www.ptrashrecords.com)
(Sweet Tooth Records // www/sweettoothrecords.com)
Beware of the Knight "Cool For the Time Bean" and "Third Canker From the Rock" CD
In this racket, or this very narrow vein we’ve found ourselves aligned with, you cross paths will a lot of lily-white fuckers crying the crazy wolf. It’s nothing new. Neuroses, perversions, and other abnormalities of the mind are hilarious, or at very least not an absolute snooze fest. Conflict is what delivers us from the painfully mundane. “Hey do you want to come over to my house and listen to the songs that I recorded about mowing my lawn and dancing with my father again?” No way, stupid! We want to hear more songs about all of us white dudes wrestling with the rift of our collective existence. Songs that touch upon how hard it is to live in an oppressive world where our own bodies serve as the stifling prison camps of our tender souls. The first two songs on 'Cool For the Time Bean' lose me but “Rock Root Beer” comes along and picks things up with the addition of a little melodic melancholia to this low-fi mess. What we have is a seemingly bored kook (or handful of kooks) creating simple dirges that are often forgettable but sometimes worthy of pinches on the cheek (see “Nighty Night”). 'Third Canker From the Rock' gets thumbs up for liner note illustrations, but Beware of the Knight doesn’t fare well with much more of the same on this compact disc. 'Third Canker...' consists of songs that bounce between soft-garage thumpers with snotty vocals (“Yep”), to weak, effect-riddled psych drones with a certain spoken “oh I can’t believe that drink and think do rhyme” man-child delivery that kind of makes me want to murder (“Space Sores”). This second offering gives us more simple songs with childlike rhymes about mental instability, and Daniel Johnston just chugged his fifth three-liter of Mountain Dew of the day somewhere in the U.S.A.(TO)
(Self-released // myspace.com/bewareofthekinght)
Blade of The Ripper s/t LP
I will forever maintain my loyalty to The Hookers, in particular their early line-up, up through the 'Satan's Highway' LP (the best record ever released on Scooch Pooch Records, which is quite a distinction...) and the Outlaw's incredibly under-rated solo LP on Sack-o-Shit. I even still enjoy the later, more thrashy material as well, although not as much. The big problem with their ultra-metal days was that they never really committed to being a total joke or to being totally serious. They were obviously lampooning metal and then at some point I think they decided they were actually trying to write "serious" metal songs, which just resulted in more yuks. There's a fine line between real thrash metal and jokey thrash-punk. Blade of the Ripper, Adam "Rock'n'Roll Outlaw" Neal's latest outift, definitely serve us some serious metal with none of the punk or humor of The Hookers, and it has its ups and downs. The band is certainly tight, at times recalling some 'Master of Puppets' late-Eighties Bay Area-style thrash, and I think they get into a little latter-day Southern Metal COC territory even. Very competently played, even if it's a little generic. The problem that remains is I think Adam's still backpedalling on whether he is taking the piss on the genre or not. And should any thrash band really be taken seriously anyway? Adam can still belt out the vocals, but after listening to him wailing on "Let's Get High" or "Rock'n'Roll Motherfucker" so many times, I can't totally take him singing Danzig-esque songs like "Possessed by The Night" or "Unholy Night" in the way they should be taken. Not like it matters though, it's still a decent LP and it does have a nice low-budget vibe to it. For fans of latter-day Hookers, Three Inches of Blood or Razorfist. One of the really cool things about this record (aside from the cover art) is its weird Australian gatefold sleeve design, where the record slips into a pocket on the inner portion, while the sleeve itself is printed on both sides. Sort of a budget unipak gatefold, that I think more people might like to use if they saw it.(RK)
(International Trash // myspace.com/internationaltrash)
Bobpopkillers "Yeah!" 7"
Man, another record from an ex-Fatals guy (Vince), this time paired with a fella from Quebec. It sounds like you think it does. Garage-blues duo redux, "Rocker In Wasted" rides the slow train to nowhere. Absolutely unremarkable blooze rehash. "Jagermeister! Yeah!" on the flip is something I'm sure I've yelled a couple times in my life, and it's obviously the superior tune here by default. A little bit of a rowdy drunken stomp that I can certainly appreciate, but it's nothing anyone's going to remember in the morning. It probably took these two five minutes to write this one. Disposable trash. They're no Meatards.(RK)
(Les Disques Steak // myspace.com/disquessteak)
Born Liars “Ragged Island” LP
Born Liars “Go Back One Day” EP
If you follow the string of Kinks-influenced garage rock n’ roll (pretty prominent in the likes of “Don’t Tell Me, I Know” and “Spare Change”), annexing more American bar-rock tinges and better chops at purveying these high-octane sounds through the ages, at the beginning of said string’ll be Houston’s Born Liars, uncontested. A bit too refined, by-the-numbers sounding punk rock to me, but it sounds like that’s what they’re going for… not opting for a less conventional strand breathing life into the scene with idiosyncratic extremities. Like clockwork though, when it’s done well it definitely hits the spot (“How It Gets At Night”). Sounds to some degree like Dead Moon. Polishing up and forwarding along the more traditional, less marginal aspects is a necessary evil in this business I guess. (BG)
(Cutthroat Records // myspace.com/cutthroatrecs)
Boron & The Grebes "You're A Horrible Person" 7"
Semi-difficult and murkily recorded noise-rock from Soriano-ville, USA. "You're A Horrible Person" is semi-good, abundant with thrift-store electronic sounds, poorly enunciated vox and trebly guitar scrabble all riding a $1.50 drumbeat into the ground. Its hazy rhythm makes it somewhat enjoyable, but just not something you're committed to 100%. Side B is noise-rock amateur hour, the sort of thing cassette or CD-R demos were made for. Disinterested vox, out-of-time drums (live this time), annoying synth. Total time waster for everyone involved, myself included. Their sending me and old sock and a half-eaten bag of jerky didn't really make me like them any more or less. The wolverine themed artwork was enjoyable though. (RK)
(self-released // myspace.com/boronandthegrebes)
Kevin Boyer "Something’s Gonna Come Up" 7"
These are older recordings by Tyvek member Kevin, which thankfully have surfaced here instead of disappearing in a Michigan closet. There are some nice tunes hidden behind this wall of glorious guitar—and I’m sure I’ll take the time to find and appreciate them someday but right now I just want to crank this up and dig the twang. All three tracks are primo basement rock, recorded and mixed LOUD. The solos kick in on the A-side with just a bit more volume and distortion than in the verse and should be enough to wake the nation from its synth-wave induced slumber. Add in some outstanding artwork and this one’s a nice package all around. (DH)
(WYR // www.whatsyourrupture.com)
Brilliant Colors "Highly Evolved" 7”
Ah, the much anticipated follow up to Brilliant Colors’ great — and now out of print —four song EP that was released back when snow still covered the ground. This one has just a pair of tracks, and less tunes means a bit less opportunity for diversity in their sound than before. So, this is more focused, I suppose, but complements the other nicely. My money here is with the flipside, “Takes So Little,” which is aggressive and guitar driven without overpowering Jess’s vocals. Rumor has it that an album is in the works and I’m sure these gals can do wonders with the format. (DH)
(Captured Tracks // capturedtracks.blogspot.com)
Br'er "I'm A Kid Again" 7"
The amount of time put into the packaging on these records is mind-boggling. Individually hand-written inserts and hand painted and drawn sleeves (and label) with cut out windows with a layer of vellum underneath and another layer of images behind that. It's real arts-and-crafty, these people probably spend a lot of time at JoAnn Fabrics or wherever my Mom goes to buy her yarn. The music, not surprisingly, sounds like the soundtrack to a really gayed-up Peter Pan. Total Renaissance Fair(y) vibes. If you want to talk about weird music, I can only imagine what these cats are like...A horrifyingly bad record.(RK)
(Edible Onion // myspace.com/edibleonion)
Bulemics "Burn Baby Burn" 7"
I like The Bulemics more than most. The shining stars of the Junk Records roster, which isn't exactly a high point for a band's resume, but I think they made some really great punk rock records. They've become an active unit again, due to what I'm assuming is a big European fanbase, with some touring in the works and this new single on Italy's shit-rock clearing house Scarey Records. Seems like it might just be Gerry Atric and a bunch of new ringers (Rusty Trombone on guitar? Was he in the early line-up? Or was that Haywood Jablowme? And where the fuck is Gabe Bulemic?), and of course this is a bit removed from the classic Bulemics junk I loved. More muscular rawking instead of just straight sleazy trash-rock. Sounds like latter-day Dwarves maybe. If the "Can't Keep It Down" EP was their "Blood Guts and Pussy", that makes this record their "How To Win Friends and Influence People". Or something like that. You know what I mean. I could've really done without the fucking Crue cover though. Scum stats: "Strictly limited to 500 units."(RK)
(Scarey Records // www.scsareyrecords.com)
Cacaw “Get A Brain” 12” EP
This and the FNU Ronnies arrived today. Quite a month for the one sided silk-screened clear vinyl 12”. Never thought I’d say that…never thought I’d be buying ass loads of cassette tapes again ‘neither. I’ll be...
Let’s get to the music that lies within the purty package. Remember Coughs? The sheet metal banging Load Records noise unit (R.I.P)? I dug them; one of the few over the recent years' roster. Harry Pussy leanings can be good on a rhythm-and-fuck tribe such as these. Well some of the members ended up here. Split vocal duties between the Coughs gals: One set on the metal/Unsane mode and one on Olympia goes to (Lydia) Lunch. Chi-town dual bass damage that brings the Fort Thunder sound crashing closely into Silverfish territory. Remember the Dolly Parton record? That’s a good'un. Only this is less smart and smacking with even more brutal thuggery. Kinda’ vibes like the repetitive Burmese slow jamz. Relentless in its delivery. There’s a pretty good riot going on. Actually glad this is an EP, starting to feel a panic attack coming on. Evil dirge is best used in small doses. Some guy here was in a band called Slut Barf? Fucking Amazing. These kids aughta’ date Drunkdriver whilst screwing Unholy 2 on the side. Filthy whores. 300 hundred made all fancy-like. Comes with a CD version.(RSF)
(Permanent Records // www.permanentrecordschicago.com)
Cafeteria Dance Fever "Heck On Earth" LP
When I first glanced at this record I was prepared for the worst. From intentionally crude dragon/hydra cover to “comical” song titles everything about it screamed retarded, or at best juvenile, which is what Cafeteria Dance Fever seems to be going for. The back cover is a compilation of what looks like someone’s distracted high school comic doodles, which are actually pretty funny.Musically this isn’t half bad. A self-proclaimed “snot-pop” combo Cafeteria Dance Fever make short oddball pop-punk songs that are far off of their rocker and far from predictable. I would be more into this if it weren’t so intentionally goofed out. Absurdity is a reaction to reality, but the absurd loses its edge much quicker than the real. Who knows, maybe “Zombie Roller Derby of the Disembodied Afros” just might be your new wacky anti-war song? Do you think a band’s funny aesthetic a hindrance? At least they don’t sing songs about farting.(TO)
(Hovercraft // www.hovercraftpdx.com)
The Cave Weddings "Bring Your Love" 7"
More Crickets-esque Fifties recidivism, and I have to say this one really won me over. "Bring Your Love" is a total hit. Rolling drums, simple guitar line with an even simpler rhythm chord, perfectly delivered vox (and back-ups) and cymbal crashes. I'm truly enamored. I love that they're from Troy, NY too. I've been to Troy. There's nothing there! Perfect Upstate NY/Hudson Valley picturesque living. I picture these kid's days consisting of going to a Valley Cats afternoon game, maybe drinking some beers while fishing off a bridge and then heading to the garage for Cave Weddings practice. Maybe playing a gig at the bowling alley on weekends. Idyllic. The B-Side is just as loveable. "Let's Drive". It's about driving around with nothing else to do. Cruising. Maybe parking for some heavy petting. Gotta love it. Really nicely recorded too, drums sound great and the mix is nice'n'clear, but they still manage to evoke that old sound. This record will make you enjoy life more, I swear. Buy multiples. Oh yeah, this is Eric of the Happy Thoughts thing...Scum stats: 200 on Hozac Gold, awesome looking and very fitting sleeve design on the special edition. Regular sleeve is just OK.(RK)
(Hozac Records // www.hozacrecords.com)
Church of the Red Museum "The Bitter End" 7"
Oof. This is what some would call a "adult" rock record, meaning it brings to mind Tom Waits with a full "rock" band behind him or something. Seriously steamy vibes here, like they should be gigging in some future speakeasy wearing goggles and playing guitars with exposed gears on them and shit. Lots of grown-up instumentation (horns, string section),I think the B-Side is actually a swing tune. Singer sounds like a muppet version of Dr. John at times. Emits some smokey jazz and blues aromas and is actually rather dark. Well put together and shit, but fuck, I'm not even old enough to feel comfortable listening to this, and I'm older than most of you bedwetters reading this. This is what happens when you name your band after an X-Files episode. If you want something a little bit scary (but not like seriously Lynchian-creepy) for your next steampunk LARP-ing session, pick this up. 300 copies.(RK)
(Nice Life Records // www.niceliferecords.com)
Cloak/Dagger "Surf Song" 7"
This 7” is a catchy and fuzzed out little fucker. When I think Jade Tree I think Lifetime or some other emotionally heavy-handed, melodic, sing along style mess. Although not devoid of melody (think 'Land Speed Record' Husker Du), and sing along moments this is a pleasant surprise. Side A gives us “Surf Song” which is neither a surf song nor anything remotely celebratory. Cloak/Dagger isn’t having a good time here and are found miles away from the beach. Side B gives us “Concentration Camps”, which although forgettable as a song at least contributes to the record’s juxtaposition of a black and white world through song titles.(TO)
(Jade Tree // www.jadetree.com)
Concentration Summer Camps "You Hate..." EP
If the Big Boys weren't actually really good at their instruments and were Spanish they might sound a bit like this (which is what the Spanish one-sheet description is getting at I think...). The singer's bellow is a little reminiscent of Biscuit, they have some sloppy skate punk going on with offbeat garage breaks instead of the funk moves, guitarist tries some Kerr slash-n-burn and comes out pedestrian but at least it sounds like he's shredding his fingers trying. They list their only influences as Eskorbuto, Big Boys and Satan, and I'm glad they've foscused their energies on just three influences. I can clearly see what they are going for, and they are succeeding at it. Spanish kids playing American-sounding hardcore-punk and actually investing some of their own ideas into it, I can dig it. Three tracks, two of which are just OK, but "Siempre Adelante" has me wanting to jump out of this chair and start a record room mosh with the dogs. Ah, fuck it...(RK)
(Discos Humeantes // myspace.com/discoshumeantesrecords)
CPC Gangbangs “Kill Yourself for Rock & Roll” 7”
“Kill Yourself…” starts out with a nod to all those 70’s pre-punk weed heads, drugged out in echo with a slow build and strong guitar damage a la Clone Defects. Retro yes, but not of the hand clap “tam-boring” shtick variety that permeates the fucking West Coast. Dueling vocals play off each other and fight for the forefront…Serves up nicely between the new Vee Dee psych-leanings and some downer Cheater Slicks pile ups. Awesome in its own way. On the flip, “Big City Blues”, you can feel their Canuck roots shining through. Garage rawk when it was ok to still call it that. Serious Diddley groover with mean harp blowin’ going on. The maniacal Choyce voice is one of the best out there and he’s sounding more unhinged than usual. Kinda’ makes me miss those bygone days of ‘97. Sympathy & Crypt were laying down power house platters like this and ruling the roost for a while. These guys could really tear it up and will be (better be) missed. It does scares me a tad when my wife points out the mistakes in the drug use how-to sleeve illustration, but hey...you don’t want the young'uns to blow their first high. Right? A Great epitaph for this underrated band. Bring on the Red Mass! (RSF)
(Dusty Medical // www.dustymedical.com)
Crash Normal "Finger Shower" 10"
I quite enjoyed the first few Crash Normal singles (the debut 7", the Royal EP, the Splash Four split...) but became less and less enthused from the 'Heavy Listening' LP onward. This 10" is the Crash Normal record I've liked the most since those early seven inches. They kick off the A-Side sounding like they're interestingly ripping off an A-Frames tune, and then give you a one-two punch of a song that sounds a hell of a lot like (a more amped and French) Country Teasers ("Bikinies Invaiders") and an actual Country Teasers cover ("Hairy Wine 2") with a really convincing Ben Wallers impression. Their best performance on record in years. B-Side gets more digital, but starts with a lot of promise. The cleverly named "Chrome Cramps" makes you think about the reference without being too obvious and "Stand in the Queue" reminds me of deconstructed Brit-pop (The Fall vs. Pulp or some shit...). They close out with two tracks on the more synthetic side of things, which just really make me want to listen to this A-Side of this again. A solid release from a French band that has to be running on fifteen years of existence now. They lasted through the garage-punk years, the blues-trash boom and even Glue Wave, and have really changed very little throughout. For that I think they deserve some accolades as well. Scum stats: 600 copies, two different sleeves.(RK)
(Rijapov Records // myspace.com/rijapovrecords)
Cultural Amnesia “Enormous Savages Enlarged” CD
CD reissue of the fine import compilation released a while back, beefed up with five new (as of 2004) tracks to make you bite. I got friends and workmates who talked highly of them, but I could never throw large chunks of change out for the Vinyl on Demand sets like the fat cats. Cultural Amnesia have a history steeped in DIY cassette culture and family ties to Coil and Psychic TV, so you get a idea of where their coming from if yer in this biz. Cabaret Voltaire or Tuxedomoon electronics mixed with Gang of Four guitar stabs and even some Bauhausian Goth channeling that lost Sheffield sound. This collection is less abrasive and experimental than I imagined, more skewed pop or post-clank punk. Tracks would feel at home nestled on a Fast Product 12”. Also, there’s some softer non-punk textures and Pop Group agitation in the grooves. Songs are compiled from the '80-'83 seasons, so all the references I throw around were contemporaries. These folks aren’t hack throwbacks. I usually fear reunions put to tape, but the five tunes from this decade, though different animals, still hold their own. Less synth here and there and upped production quality. The rock moments even feel like The Ex or early Mekons, only less political and more of a snide hit against consumerism. Repetitive Fall stabs of UK art-rock by older guys who are allowed to do it…and do it quite well. This is quite good. Goddamn Germany and its import vinyl prices. I’d buy these records in a heartbeat if domestic. Shit economy… (RSF)
(Klang Galerie // www.klanggalerie.com)
Customers "Howling At The Moon" 7"
Thin-sounding punky-poppy stuff from the post-Carbonas break-up Atlanta scene. And this record does feature ex-members of the 'bonas and Beat Beat Beat (and the Heartattacks? Weren't they Swedish?), but it appears it's the guys who weren't writing the good songs in those bands. "Monster on the Loose" fits in the Beat Beat Beat mold, but without any of the swagger, and the vocals are rather odd. The guy has a wheezy/breathy sort of slurry delivery that makes it sound all skinny and wimpy. Title cut is even wimpier musically, which matches the guy's voice better, but that's not really a good thing. They do a song called "She's Heroin" to close. She's Heroin. That's all I'm gonna say about that. Rob's House has a strange habit of releasing some monstrously good records (Demon's Claws, Personal, Jacuzzi Boys, Weakends, etc...) and then bookending them with a local stinker or two, like this or that Selmanaires 7". Hey, it's their money... Scum stats: 600 on black.(RK)
(Rob's House Records // www.robshouserecords.com)
D-Clone "Drop a Noise Bomb" EP
There never was a more appropriately titled band or record. So, no surprises here; five tracks of noisy, raucous Japanese dis-clone hardcore that are true to the genre. The artwork says a lot (Discharge font, illustration that updates themes from AZ Conflict, Neon Christ, Anti-Cimex, etc); take one look at it and you’ll know which side of the fence you’re on. I’m not sure that this rates with the best but you could (and too many have; see: MySpace) do a whole lot worse. If the artwork looks appealing then this is worth picking up for some new familiar sounds.(DH)
(Damaging Noise Record // try www.feralward.com)
Davila 666 "Primero Muerta" 7"
Lo-fi pop-psych from the isle of Puerto Rico. I wasn't really a huge fan of the LP. It was kind of like that Sonic Chicken 4 record...if the band wasn't from another country and didn't have a really bad name, there wouldn't be too much to talk about music-wise for me. I know that's an unpopular opinion, but I can only be honest. "Sabes Que Quiero" ("You Know What I Want"?) on the B-Side is the more interesting turn as it has some quirky horn flourishes and a sort of innocent and almost baroque flower-hippie feel. "Primero Muerta" ("First They Died"?) has a more grim vibe, brushed drums, sad bass and guitar, mournful harmonies. A real heart-wrencher. I've always had a disconnect with foreign-language bands. The music has to be really good for me to get over it. In this case, it's not. They're certainly no Brujeria. Now that was a Spanish-langauge band! (Or Mexican-language band.....whatever.) Scum stats: Hozac Gold of 200 pieces mateys!(RK)
(Hozac Records // www.hozacrecords.com)
Davila 666 "Pingorocha..." 7"
More low-key mellowed-out good-guy garage vibes from Puerto Rico's finest and perhaps only garage band for all I know. Title cut (no idea what it's about, something and the rock diva...) is all flowers and harmonies and mild garage pop. It's okay and all. This would be a lot cooler if you were listening to it somewhere in the Caribbean drunk at three in the afternoon. Flipside of "Casi Las 3" sounds a little Beatles-esque, would make for a good jingle for a Puerto Rican orange juice company or something. "Me Va Muy Mal" finally pushes the tempo a little for an almost (but not really) punky little pop number. These guys sound real nice. Nice garage. From Puerto Rico. Mild is a good descriptive. Obviously everyone likes this band more than me. I don't think they're bad or anything, but it just doesn't sound too special to me either. What can ya do? Scum stats: 100 on black with a trace of white, 1000 total.(RK)
(Douchemaster Records // www.douchemasterrecords.com)
Dead Ghosts "Bad Vibes" 7"
Third (and-a-half) single from Vancouver's Dead Ghosts, western Canada's garage-rock equivalent of a Montreal band. "Bad Vibes" is a jangly-garage winner with a young and melancholy Black Lips feel. Very personable, listened to it three times right off the bat. B-Side ("May Day") could be a '...Forest Spirits...' out-take, for real. They got the vocals, trebly recording and Sixties Shutdown punk-vibes down pat. They sound more like the Black Lips than the Black Lips do right now. And I mean that in a way complimentary to Dead Ghosts.(RK)
(Yakisakana Records // myspace.com/thedeadghosts - I have no idea where the Yakisakana website is anymore)
Dean Dirg "Four Successive Blasts" LP
Compilation of Dean Dirg's four singles/splits on 45rpm LP. It's difficult to discuss Dean Dirg without mentioning Henry Fiat's Open Sore, because they basically do the same thing as HFOS, just not as proficiently or as humorously. And with German accents instead of Swedish. And ironically enough, Dean Dirg's best tracks are from the HFOS split. Mean-spirited yet goofy hardcore-punk (I think the Dirg put more emphasis on the HC part than HFOS) songs about violence, hating things, being bored and such. Twenty tracks of speed and hoarse yelling. This is decent stuff for youngsters still padding their listening habits out with B-Grade hardcore, but I think most of us realize there's nothing to really report here. 'Mondo Blotto' is probably HFOS' worst record, and it still smokes this stuff.(RK)
(P.Trash Records // www.ptrashrecords.com)
Digital Leather "Power Surge" 7"
You wanna talk about Melchior, Segall and Thee Oh Sees releasing a lot of fucking records, how about Digital Leather? This is like their fifteenth record this year. And he rehashes old material for half of these too! "Power Surge" is the new one. Depeche Mode, Human League, laid-back goth cuts to dance by yourself in front of a mirror to. You could definitely convince someone this was recorded in 1985 in a blind test. "Shattered Reflections" is the flip and the recycled tune, I swear this was on one of those CDs he was self-releasing back in the days before a half-dozen labels thought a Digital Leather LP would make for a good release. You might recognize it from Jay Jay covering it on the Terror Visions LP. Did he just say "I'm a sailor pissing blood"? The slowed-down synth-bass line and primitive digi-drums sound real macho while he waxes obtuse about sex and shit and then we break into synth solos and whispered choruses. As much shit as I give this guy, he is good at recreating dark Eighties synth-pop and layering his own creepy sexual deviant/drug user vibes onto it. I already own about a half-dozen too many Digital Leather records, but I like to think there's an army of repressed goths (and Europeans) out there who are drooling for his new releases. Scum stats: 100 on color, 400 on black.(RK)
(FDH Records // www.fdhmusic.com)
Discreet Doll Band "Disposable Dolls" EP
Terrible band name and terrible looking sleeve. Two strikes. But fuck if "Talking In My Sleep" isn't a fucking dick-knocker of a sleaze-punk cut, vintage Nineties-style, wah-wah pedal to the metal all they way. Sounds totally drunk, but anthemically so, guitar playing is definitely of the smokin' variety, vox fit the junk perfectly. Shane White would probably love this. "Cardshark" has some serious sneer and the guitar playing makes the song better than it actually is. On the B-Side they drift towards totally generic territory though, and as hard as the guitar player tries, he can't totally save this side. He does a good job on "Get Up Get Down" though. I was rooting for him. Last track reminds me of the LaDonnas or some other band I vaguely remember existing. A surprisingly good record overall. It's good to hear there are still punks in Hollywood too.(RK)
(Rich Bitch Records // myspace.com/iwannabearichbitch)
Druid Perfume "Goat Skin Glue" 7"
A-Side is a totally Zappa-fied version on "Goat Skin Glue", far different from the album version. We're talking bongos and falsetto vox and such, making it sound like a real demented piece from a children's show gone to seed. WEIRD. "Began As A Piece of Mold" is the lengthier tune on the flip and is as skronky as anything on the LP, maybe even better than the lesser cuts on said album. Real cool and sort of a weird-groover. This one ends with "Panting In Heat" a short little free-jazzrock freakout. Skronk it up. Real squishy looking sleeve art too.(RK)
(Italy Records // www.italyrecordsdetroit.com)
Earthmen and Strangers s/t LP
First record we've heard from Ryan Wong in a spell and it sounds refreshingly new and different from his previous groups. None of the viscera of Destruction unit is evident. Little of the dirty garage of Tokyo Electron either. Honestly, it's like his stab at a 'Blood Visions', but perhaps even a more likeable record than that. Certainly has a slick and pop-infused feel to it and draws from hooky post-'79 UK punk and powerpop. He's filed off the rough edges, started singing instead of screaming (and is that a little fake British accent there?) and made a fairly accessible album for people who might not be familiar with his backstory (and something those who are should be comfortable with as well). It's certainly packed with more hooks than I was expecting and some of this might be even be stronger material than what Jay's producing these days. Quite a few stand-out cuts, the desperately catchy and frantic opener ("Naked To The Stars"), punked-up indie rocker "Bartender", the very British "Turn the Page", the New Wave-ish "Deceitful Lines", the abruptly hooky "Wake the Dead" and even a good and straight redo of Angry Angles' "You Fell In" (he also "covers" pal Shawn "Digital Leather" Foree as well, sort of a recurring motif amongst these friends). It even closes strong with the driving "Desert Snow". A surprising record from a reinvented or possibly reinvigorated artist, who has shown in the past he's every bit of the songwriter Jay Reatard is and furthers that rep with this well-crafted and subtly engaging effort. I think the plainly painted artwork on this (by Ryan himself) when compared to Jay's album sleeves speaks of the difference between the two of them as performers. Nothing disparaging to either, but it's obvious who wants the attention more. Anyway, this is a worth hearing, seek it out...Scum stats: 500 copy first press, with 100 on color.(RK)
(FDH Records // www.fdhmusic.com)
Ex Norwegian "Dance Trance Pants" 7"
Is this the new side project from rogue members of the Wiggles? What, is that ugly Indian dude sick of having his vocals drowned out on the mixing board? The title track “Dance Trance Pants” sounds like a kid’s song, and that should be kidz, and there should be a backwards letter in the spelling but Word wouldn’t allow it. “Dance Trance Pants” could be filler between cartoons on the Disney Channel, with its plodding bass line and beyond light to vaguely inspirational lyrical content “you gotta dance dance dance on a motor car, you got a chance chance chance no matter who you arrrrreeee!” No one above the age of ten should think this is a good idea.I’ve never wanted to dance less in my life, fuck you, Ex Norwegian, thanks a lot. Now on to side B, the flip is switched to light FM rock with “Don’t Bother”, which gives us some soaring guitar solos and...ah fuck this, what am I doing with my life?(TO)
(Dying Van Gogh // www.dyingvangogh.com)
Exiles from Clowntown "Fast One" 7"
Mysterious 7" from the wilds of Australia, Exiles are a loose trio who get together and play once in a while and these recordings are culled from a mammoth two hour jam/improv session while they all happened to be in the same town together earlier in the year. If I'm deciphering the tracks/sides properly from the limited info on the record, "Fast One" is exceptional for this type of free-roaming stuff. Running on an ominous bassline, the guitar jangles its way around the rhythm section and takes off an a couple adventures of its own. Sort of tough sounding in a burly and wordless Aussie way, this is no mere free jazz skronk improv shite. The flip is more drone, reminiscent of a Sonic Youth sound check with someone ad-libbing lyrics over it. Not something that's my cup very often, but as always, the Aussies do it right. The A-Side is really something special. I imagine a lot of people following the F.Nun/Xpressway/Siltbreeze trail would get a chubby from hearing this, and maybe even Aberrant/Black Eye fans like myself as well. And upon further investigation, this label seems ready to release the lost 100 copies of the post-feedtime Three Toed Sloth LP, an unheralded piece of early-Nineties Aussie rock that almost ended up on Aberrant but was self-released by the band instead. I imagine that got your attention...Scum stats: 100 copies with hand hole-punched sleeves and stamped labels.(RK)
(Great Dividing // www.greatdividing.com)
First Base "I've Got A Girl" 7"
I couldn't be more stoked for the debut of First Base on the vinyl format. That cassingle from last year was pretty special as are all the other tracks I've managed to collect from other dubious sources. There's a good bunch of bands doing this type of lo-key/lo-fi Fifties-esque innocent rock'n'roll, but for me, First Base just sticks out of the pack. Something so odd sounding regarding the recording, not AM Radio fidelity like Romance Novels or something, but a weird compressed type of sound, like he played the songs live into the mic on his laptop or something. Not pro tools shit, but like the most ultra lo-fi way you could possibly use a computer in an organic and seemingly analog way. I'm rambling, I know nothing about recording or what the real process is behind this guy's music (and I'm hoping I'm correct in assuming it's just one gent), I just know that I love it. "I've Got A Girl" is all guitar strum, vocal harmony (with himself?) and a tambourine. No drums! Mind shattering in it's simplicity, execution and neat-o guitar solo. "Nobody Makes My Girl Cry But Me" has some programmed drums/handclaps (I think that's what it is) and a reedy synth-line (again, I'm supposing) and more innocent guitar strum and vox. I've been accused of having no heart and being a pop-music hater but all my heavy metal hesher upbringing melts away as soon as I hear this stuff and I want to find a girl to play this stuff for and drink milkshakes and eat hamburgers and go to the drive-in. You are an absolute jerk if you can't get into this record. The First Base cassingle is available again as well, I suggest you buy both.(RK)
(Pizza Party Records // www.pizzapartyrecords.com)
Al Foul "4 Tracks" EP
"The Only One Man Band From Mammoth Arizona", that's Al Foul's tagline, a rockabilly cat that's been at it for over twenty years. Side A of this is Al with couple of different outfits (The Bongo Billy Band and with The French Sideman), playing weird-a-billy, traditional sounding songs with strange subject matter: being in love with a peepshow girl ("Dropping Quarters for Jane") and using being hit by a flying saucer as an allegory for love, accompanied by bongos, stand-up bass, steel guitar, etc...Fairly pedestrian stuff. B-Side is Al all by his lonesome, playing his "stomparine" and guitar. One original and a cover of Lonnie "King of Skiffle" Donegan's "Stewball", the best cut here. Like I said, really traditional stuff, a strange departure for a label that released Meatards and Tyvek singles. But then again, Europeans appreciate traditional American music more than Americans do anyway. So maybe it does make some sense.(RK)
(Les Disques Steak // myspace.com/disquessteak)
Flight "Flowers" 7"
Knock-out weird-pop single from Sweet Rot, via Flight, a band I know nothing about from Mississippi. Hard to describe really, all I can think of is mid-Eighties Rough Trade/Creation style stuff. "Flowers" is built on a solid beat/drone, almost opressive in it's cadence, which they manage to turn poppy on the chorus with an odd synth hook that barely sounds like a synth. Disarmingly forceful and powerfully catchy. "Johnny's Mixed Up" is slightly lighter fare, some spacey guitar riffing that washes all over you. Fuzzy vocals talk about the South while the music is straight UK. A creative little anomaly. Both sides of this are killer, and I've been listening to it six times a day easily for the past week. Awesome hazy summer day jams for all you jerks. Who can tell me which Italian zombie movie the sleeve is taken from?(RK)
(Sweet Rot Records // myspace.com/sweetrotrecords)
Flying Over "Are You A Punk?" EP
I've reviewed Flying Over records before. One of that breed of French band that still act as if it's still 1998 and Rip off Records was still releasing singles and The Swindlers were still a hot French import. Boy/girl vox, sounding like a lesser Spolied Brats or Spastics or something. It's played competently. Punk-by-the-numbers. Well, the B-Side is pretty rank. What more can I say? I still own my Swindlers and TV Killers records. Which means I don't really need to own any Flying Over records I guess.(RK)
(Adrenalyn Records // www.adrenalynrecords.com)
Flying Trichecos s/t EP
Hubble Bubbly KBD retardation put through a strainer of the most short-circuited Clevo hardcore stalwarts and fronted by the mighty Anus of Out With A Bang whose always topical lyrics really reach their peak here, methinks. One song is about masturbation while the other three are about blow, bestowing on the listener such poignant glimpses into what Dick Meltzer would call the sounds of Dionysian excess given mental retards had sex. When chic primal turns into my-nerves-are-shot primal. Swazied walruses and nude coked up babes. I saw these guys in Pittsburgh and they cleared the room in three and a half songs, it was perfect. (BG)
(Non-Commercial/Proud To Be Idiot/Distort // www.culthardcore.org/distort)
Francis Harold & The Holograms "Who Said These Were Happy Times" LP
Debut long-player from crazy/mysterious West Coast punk shredders. A lot of ink has been spilled labelling these goons as pretenders or fakes or copycats, and that's all fine and dandy. I could really care less who they're obviously borrowing from or who they're friends with or not. Inconsequential. I like their record sleeves. The tunes are usually OK too. I wasn't too impressed with their first single, but that limited to 100 one actually had a good song on it and I think the HozAc 7" is their high water mark. The LP is a mixed bag, but generally good, and a must-have for those of you into today's modern scuzz-scene. This thing starts off strong, I think the opening blow-out of "Intro/Nightmare" and "Glitter Girls" sets the bar real high, "Chain 10" works for me but "Black Boots..." is pretty lame, like they just needed some noise to jam a "creepy" lyrical concept into. The B-Side gets pretty thin, gallons of reverb don't really help when the riffs and shredding are just sub-par. It sounds good in general, meaning they get the guitar and vox sounding right, but that doesn't mean much when there's no song to go along with it. The extended dirge of "Did You Hear" has a good concept behind it, but lacks the necessary behemoth riff or heavy duty rhythm section to carry it. I'm still with these guys and their masks, but I think they should stick to the singles. The first three songs of this would've made a great EP. The rest is just filler. Scum stats: 600 copies, red and gold vinyl variants and some tour editions with different covers. (RK)
(Square Wave // myspace.com/squarewaverecordss)
Francis Harold & The Holograms "Mirror of Fear" 7"
"Mirror of Fear" is a stupid and redundant slug of a punk song held-up by mounds of echo and a completely hammy vocal performance. I ldo like it. It sounds like a bunch of booger-slinging dumbasses taking the piss on a Pissed Jeans tune or something. Completely bereft of any substance and absolutely fun to listen to while you stare at their ridiculous (in a good way) sleeve art, which looks like members of The Mentors and Dog Police got together with the creepy looking guy from the Huns and killed some man-pig thing from a Terry Gilliam movie. Maybe Time Bandits or some shit. Ri-fucking-diculous. And just when you start wondering if the A-Side has a locked groove at the end the song just cuts out abruptly. Nice. "Retreat" on the flip gets fucking aggro on pussies and whips up a real maelstrom of echoed-out stop-start bad-vibing with a nice bass hook. Great single! Scum stats: 200 on Hozac gold with porno bitch style sleeve that is cool and all, but you really need the regular edition sleeve to fully grasp the "concept" here. I'd buy 'em both just to be safe.(RK)
(Hozac Records // www.hozacrecords.com)
Guilt Lust s/t LP
Steamrolling five-piece hardcore outfit outta’ Western Mass. Sounds a bit like Black SS or… dare I use the Lord’s name in vain?... a layman’s Fucked Up, though without as blatant a youth crew stench meeting dumb fuckin’ Oi! music (that’s what F.U. sound like, am I wrong?) but straightforward without all the pseudo-psycho-babble and mystical obfuscation we all know and love, right? In its place are some off-putting melodies drifting into that realm of hardcore that’s disowned its p-u-n-k roots. Yeah, I don’t blame the label duder for throwing this our way in hopes of lightening his stockpile of this coupla’-year-old release in light of Fucked Up going platinum, because this is along those lines. They even do my absolute favorite Love song some rough-hewn frontier justice in “A House is Not a Motel”. Good call, boys. (BG)
(Fun With Smack Records // xmunginx-at-hotmail.com)
Guinea Worms "Lost and Found" 7"
After years of waiting and CD-Rs (and one lonely 7") and being one of the best bands no one has ever heard of, the Guinea Worms are finally getting the vinyl releases they deserve thanks in part I imagine to the recent rise of other (less good) Columbus bands. So at least something good has come out of Times New Viking's rise to fame. Zing! "Lost and Found" is the kind of Fall-like turn that got people referring to them as a Midwestern Country Teasers. Slightly off-kilter beat, effective and minimal synth bleats, deadpan vocals. Great song. "Jeans and Heels" on the flip is more of the same, with a heavier vibe, a DIY-pop-like break and a triumphant ending. As much as I enjoyed "Box of Records", this is the Guinea Worms I've been waiting for a long time to hear emanating from slabs of black wax. Now if they could just start playing some fucking shows outside of Columbus, I'd be all set...Scum stats: 500 copies on black.(RK)
(Savage Records // www.savagemagazine.com)
Haunted George "The Buzzards Ate His Flesh" 7"
First Haunted George recording released with Jimmy Hole on second guitar. Sounds like a great idea to me! "Buzzards..." is a creepy-crawler that barely moves, but just kind of swirls and buzzes in a slightly forward motion. George's vox seem to emanating from a hellmouth of some sort with a sickening echo-delay. This is what Black Sabbath would sound like if they were two guys from some ghost town in Death Valley instead of the factories of Birmingham. Superb. "The Tomb" kicks it out a little bit, reminiscent of some of the work these two did in a nasty little outfit I loved called the Necessary Evils. If you don't remember them, then you're no friend of mine. Straight-up sick sounding guitar effects. One of, if not the best, of Haunted George's singles, the extra guitar actually does punch-up/creep-out things a fair bit, and this really reminded I should listen to my HG records more often. Upcoming LP on the In the Red! Scum stats: 500 copies, 100 on green.(RK)
(Savage Records // www.savagemagazine.com)
Homostupids "The Hawk" 7"
This is what happens when random European labels give comedians like the Homostupids carte blanche on a 7" release. Stunning Grade-Z artwork, one-and-half-minutes of fantastic music from America's greatest band on the A-Side ("The Hawk", which will also appear on 'The Load' LP, should that record ever happen to be released), and a loopy practical joke on the B-Side. A necessary release? Well, I'd feel bad if I didn't own one. As the sleeve states: "This is a very special music record." I can't argue with that. Scum stats: 100 copies, various colors of silkscreened sleeves, I guess most of these were available only as part of a box set the label did (with Brainbombs(!), Poppets(doing Brainbombs covers), and Black Bug singles included), leaving the rest of the world out in the cold. The web tells me they are now accepting applications for Box Set Volume Two. Calling all suckers...(RK)
(Burning Hell Records // myspace.com/burninghellrecords)
The Humans "Pop" 7"
Garagey stuff from this latest Rich Bitch offering, they cover the 5678s and have enough energy and gumption, but it's just pretty unremarkable at the end of the day. I tried a few times, but continually came up empty-handed when trying to find something interesting here.(RK)
(Rich Bitch Records // myspace.com/iwannabearichbitch)
The Hussy "Winter Daze" EP
Madison, WI two-piece guy-girl bang-it-out style stuff. To get the cliched reviewer description right out of the way, let's say this sounds like a dirtier and more rockin' Touch-Me-Nots or something. They manage to keep things lively by actually writing some good songs and not falling into the blues-influenced pit most outfits of this make-up descend into. It's legit rock'n'roll all the way through, with a nice garage/Fifties streak and a couple packets of sugar-pop, a lot of well-done harmonizing and switching up the vocals (and I think I heard some cha-cha-cha-ing in there somewhere...real cute), pretty clean guitar sounds, solid drumming (for a chick! Zing!) and a well recorded/mastered single (this thing is pretty damn loud!). They add a guest bass player for the last cut and really tear the place up. Not bad for a genre/style that (unjustifiably, I know) doesn't seem that exciting anymore. Very likeable, I'm thinking odds are good they're the best band in Madison and I bet they're real sweet kids judging from the letter they sent along. So, nice kids + ok record = I won't rag on 'em. Scum stats: 520 hand-numbered copies with silkscreened sleeves. (RK)
(A Fistful of Records // www.afistfulofrecords.nl)
Hygiene "TV Girl +2" 7”
This is actually a repressing of an exceedingly rare vinyl version (I need it!) of a demo that was reviewed here a couple of months ago—but, it’s a nice record and I’d hate for it to completely slide under the radar. Hygiene are from the UK, something that is apparent on the record both in their musical nods and lyrical themes (and something that sets them apart from, say, Tyvek who are traveling a similar road but whose humor and references are always very American). In three tracks, they put together a straight-laced and well executed punk number, and a pair of more adventurous tunes that refract from the same palate. And although there are, as Richie mentioned in his review, moments that bring to mind TVPs, this isn’t a UK-DIY reenactment as the band does not ignore the last 25 years and even mixes in a couple of moments that approach hardcore.(DH)
(Dire Records // www.direrecords.com)
Icon Gallery "Retribution" 7"
Pittsburgh's Icon Gallery play a hybrid of punk and metal with a really proficient and tough female frontwoman who actually sings, giving the songs an almost NWOBHM feel. Good riffs are readily available here, and after listening to this a few times I flirted with ideas that had the Plasmatics just been starting now (and had more talent) this is what they would've aspired to sound like (and of course they would've fallen well short). Forget all that though, Icon Gallery skillfully pull from the heaviest bits of punk and the more melodic side of metal and combine them into likeable and tough sounding tunes. Chani's singing is what really sets them apart, but the band pull their end of the bargain as well. Not totally metal, but metal enough that if you don't dig the dark arts, you probably won't dig this. Scum stats: 300 copies. This is their cassette demo on vinyl plus one new track.(RK)
(Dear Skull Records // myspace.com/dearskullrecords)
Idle Times "Get Your Feet off the Ground" 7"
I was a little coming around to this one, but "Get Your Feet off The Ground" is one hell of a neo-psych jammer, from the opening reverb-loaded guitar ring (that on a mixtape always makes me think a Clockcleaner song is starting) but then delves into a tight little groove of muffled drums, rubber-band bass, nonchalant vocals, one trebly guitar and another guitar(?) that gives the song its presence, sounding like a wah pedal running on such maximum reverb-overdrive it's otherworldly. A real freak-out and a song I can't listen to enough these days. Which makes it even worse that the flipside is total limp-dick neo-folk. A tale of two sides my friends, but the A-Side is such a beast I still recommend a purchase. Just don't flip it over. Ex-Tall Birds.(RK)
(Woodsist // www.fuckittapes.com/woodsist.htm)
Judgement "Just Be…" 7”
Recorded with a later and somewhat less divine lineup than that of “Process” and “No Reason Why” and released only on CD, Judgement’s final release may have been unjustly forgotten or dismissed in favor of the group’s earlier catalog. At least, it was by me, and I owe a debt of gratitude to the fine fellow at Prank for giving this a second life. “Just Be…” is a different animal than those early singles, but Zigyaku is still as effective here as any of his contemporaries at working inventive melodies and solos into full-charge-ahead hardcore. This was released to coincide with a single US show and was issued in both the US and Japan. (DH)
(Prank // www.prankrecords.com)
The Keys "The Years Are Made of Seconds" CD
I’m assuming the picture of the wide-eyed, frolicking child on the cover of this compact disc is a member of The Keys and I am correct. The lone child on the cover is Boris Paillard, who is the writing and driving force behind The Keys. With this regressive, cutesy twist on narcissism it was a surprise to find that Boris didn’t also play accordion, violin, fretless bass, percussion, flutes, and do the choral parts on this recording himself. He only sings, and plays guitar, harmonica and saxophone on these songs. You call that talent? He probably doesn’t even play them at the same time. The opening song “A Storm Inside This Breeze” is a curious (ska) and poignant (folk) hybrid that laments the world’s lack of polite children, “Now kids all forget to say please”. Isn’t that nice! This album is a self-proclaimed “family album” recorded in a cozy living room in the “Southern France countryside” with friends and family filling in to make Boris’ dream compositions a reality. Take note folk-ska-rock troubadours: the real shit comes from comfort and privilege, not lack and loss. Don’t be shy! Let them know.(TO)
(self-released // myspace.com/sirobandthekeys)
Kilslug "Live At Church 2007" LP
Shit, what an unexpected treat. Kilslug, one of the few bands who were running in the same bracket as Drunks With Guns, and surely should be mentioned as much as DWG (or even Flipper) when it comes to comparitive name-drops for recent (and older) bands of the "punishing" ilk (your Pissed Jeans and even your Jesus Lizards). You should really own all their records (the 'Necktie Party' and 'Warlocks, Witches...' EPs and the 'Answer the Call' LP) if you think you're a tough guy. So, how wise was it to release the first live show of a reunited band who hadn't played a show in almost twenty years? Surprisingly smart, let's say. Almost all original line-up (vox from the legendary Larry Lifeless, also of Upsideown Cross and more, OG guitar and drums, with a stand-in for now deceased original bassist Cheez and an extra guitar player being the only two "new" guys) playing some classics. "Into A Hole", "Autopsy Performing", "Witches, Warlocks and Demons", plus a bunch of other vintage material ("Crying in the Church", "March of the Skeletons", etc.) for a whopping eight tracks full of heavy bad-vibed sludge and doom. Sound quality is great, LL sounds suitably scummy and deranged. You probably could've played cuts off this for me blind and I wouldn't known if they were from 2007 or 1987. If you don't know this band yet, this would be a comfortable place to begin before you do some digging and spend some change on their original records, which are in dire need of reissue now that we're talking about it. Scum stats: limited to 300 copies with spray-painted sleeves.(RK)
(Limited Appeal // myspace.com/limitedappealrecords)
Kvaern s/t EP
Firstly, congrats to whoever in the band got their wife and daughter to pose for the cover. Kvaern are hardcore punkers from Denmark who are trashy and sort of HFOS/Dean Dirg-y, meaning it's funny/mean punk hardcore, not real-deal blazing 'core. I dig the pretty lo-fi recording here, dude has got a few riffs up his sleeve, vox are pretty gutsy. They sing a few in English, a few in Danish, and I think the cuts in their native tongue are preferable. A six-pack of tunes here that probably weigh in at around five minutes or so. I didn't hate it. If they were playing a basement show on a weeknight I would probably go see them if I didn't have to drive more than fifteen minutes and there was a local band on the bill I liked, lets put it that way. 300 copies. That cover photo.(RK)
(Rabalder Records // myspace.com/rabalderrecords)
Las Nurses "Apples & Hatreds" 7"
I was into Las Nurses' first seven-inch, and this one ain't too shabby either. Dark and angular post-punk herky-jerk, in line with NKK and TMIBH(the good records) a bit. Tense guitars, projectile bass lines carrying the tunes, locked-down drumming, a singer who keeps it under control. One song per side, when they lock it in on "So Tired" it's pretty impressive and powerful. If it was an American band making this racket, they would have eight singles out already on various labels and be living in Brooklyn somewhere. As it is, it's just pleasing to know they're there in Spain doing their thing, oblivious to the fickle whims of the American Garage-Punk Sub-Underground, and just releasing records on a homegrown label and maybe playing with some cool bands that come through now and then. That's what it's all about, man.(RK)
(Discos Humeantes // myspace.com/discoshumeantesrecords)
Liquid Limbs "Orquid" LP/CD
Liquid Limbs’ sound is reminiscent of a handful of varying bands that I am familiar with but am no a means an expert on or necessarily a fan of. This record sounds like a mixed bag of bands that friends have recommended to me over the years. It is almost as if in not taking the suggestions seriously I now come face to face with a record made up of the combination of someone’s old favorite from high school, someone’s guilty pleasure, and another’s unabashed allegiance to all things quiet/loud/melodic. The songs on 'Orquid' range from the atmospheric, modern rock ballads of Failure to the throwback stoner rock of The Sword. Liquid Limbs has a quiet/loud, soft/hard formula that isn’t always formulaic or predictable. Most of these songs possess a satisfying cathartic quality (“Hollow Me Out”) but lose me lyrically, which can be quite a hindrance since these vocals are such an upfront and integral part of the shit-hammer’s dropping. This stoic lyrical delivery leaves no room for humor, but with lines like “I’d be a sad grand canyon if we never met again/I’m like a little bitty baby within a full grown man/A giddy little baby disguised by a crying man/Suffering from sadness”, you’d better be certain that someone is laughing at you, even if you aren’t. Questionable lyrics aside, the band still has a chance at making it on modern rock radio, which is where Liquid Limbs sound like they are aiming to hang their hats. See you guys on 99.7fm:The Boner!(TO)
(Sound Study Recordings // www.soundstudyrecordings.com)
Long Legged Woman "Nobody Knows This Is Nowhere" LP
The Neil Young reference at play here only slighty tips Long Legged Woman's hand when throwing this on to the turntable for the first time. It's fucking grunge if I've ever heard it. But an updated sort of version of it, not in the gross flannel shirts and thermal underwear sense. It's certainly a good record, and a record that sounds extremely Nineties somehow as well. I think they make it a point to come off as Southern (from Athens, GA originally, home of some real rockers, hardy har....), and I can understand the ground-into-the-dirt aspect and woodsy-hardiness there. They've also relocated to the Bay Area recently, and I can see them attempting to inhabit some spaces Comets on Fire inhabit as well. The record's most engaging quality is how unrelenting it is. Even its few mellow moments manage to not sound quiet at all. The drummer just never stops. Constant crashing, surrounded by a flood of guitar and bass, recorded in low fidelity but sounding thick. Reminiscent of a less strange Steel Pole Bathtub more than a little bit (and some of their Nineties B-team contemporaries), or at least they could've been their labelmates on the latter day Boner roster. A-Side pounds your mind, but I think the real treasures are found on Side B, namely the jarringly intense "Yours Is A Mine" and the shakily depressing "I Have A Scheme". I listened to a lot of shitty records and bands in the Nineties, and even liked some of them, but this record reminds me of the good ones. Hand-made/screened/painted sleeves on plain cardstock, and I'm assuming this is limited somehow. Good shit.(RK)
(Pollen Season // www.pollenseason.net)
Lot Lizards s/t 10"
Lot Lizards graduate three inches to a ten-inch platter this time around after releasing a couple of fair-to-middlin' singles. Right from the opener, they sound better than previous outings. In this instance, better means they sound like a not-so innovative Black Time on the first few cuts. And that's not bad. There's some Gun Club in there, some Cramps, some Johnny Spencer (PG and JSBX eras), maybe some Jackknife too. "Mums Fight" and "Ruby Boots" are both keepers, where they finally bring to fruition an interesting reinvention (or recycling) of the marriage of punk and blues via some out-of-tune UK DIY steps which I think they've been trying for on the last few records. "Do YOu Wanna Dance With Me?" slams the door on the A-Side with authority. B-Side sprawls and wanders a little more, "Dead Girls" moves into agit-punk waters and "Dysfunctional Agenda" is rife with dark guitar growl. The most impressive work I've heard from GG and Meg yet. And I say they sound like Black Time in a good way, really. I prefer this to the whiny hipster-punk of UK bands like Pens and Male Bonding.(RK)
(Yakisakana // I have no idea where the Yakisakana website is anymore)
Lover! "Worthless" 7"
Quick, who has released more records, Blank Dogs or Lover?* Sorry, you took too long....but not too long for Rich Crook to release another little 7" here, this time on the exotic P.Trash Records label. The things I like best about this record: the harmonies on "Worthless", the guitar hook (and one-note solo) on "Little tramp", the pretty cool front cover, the even cooler back cover with a close-up of Rich's pictures-of-Elvis guitar. The thing I like least about this record: there's so many I get confused as to which one to play and they all just end up lost in the shuffle. Is that even a bad thing? Standard quality high treble Southern-pop, this one seems a little dirtier than usual. If you've dug Lover! so far, this will certainly make you dig the band a little deeper. Scum stats: 600 total, 100 with a special edition 'Promise Ring' sleeve.(RK)
(P.Trash Records // www.ptrashrecords.com)
* For those scoring at home (or even if you're alone), the answer is Digital Leather.
Manic Attracts "Shut It!" 7"
Ronan at Yakisakana has apparently tired of releasing records by every band in Montreal and has changed locales to Vancouver, BC of late. Manic Attracts are two Dead Ghosts plus one other dude, and don't tread all that far the sound of their other outfit. "Shut It!" is a lo-fi garage-punk fracas with echoed-out vox and a good hook. Referencing mid-Nineties garage a bit and more uptempo punk than the Dead Ghosts Black Lipsian approach. B-Side ("Teenage Teenage") goes back to the formula though, kinda cribbing a guitar part from a Lips tune, but it has a nice out-of-time feel to it. I like the recording on this one too, nice bass sound. Really, not too much different from the Yakisakana Dead Ghosts single, they convincingly emulate a band I enjoyed quite a bit (and whether or not they are consciously doing or not, the resemblance is unmistakable), so I'm cool with this. If the Black Lips won't make records that sound like this anymore, I guess this is the next best thing. Oh wait...Manic Attracts are apparently broken up now. Dead Ghosts are just as good though! (RK)
(Yakisakana Records // myspace.com/themanicattracts - I have no idea where the Yakisakana website is anymore)
The Manikins "I Want My Baby Dead" 7"
While not watching this band play at Totally Wired fest I had a conversation with someone about how Swedes have an uncanny knack for perfectly emulating a style of music, in this case powerpop-cum-pop-punk (or in the Hellacopters case Southern Rock and/or Detroit rock jamming, or Martin Savage's chameleon-like ability to ape any sub-genre of garage, even a good percentage of Swedish metal...), but also being mostly incapable of investing it with any of the heart, passion or originality that gave that style of music its distinct place in the musical spectrum aside from a well thought out high energy live show and wearing the right costumes. So, of course this record is well played and crafted but also seems (to me, at least) bereft of the necessary character to sound like anything other than rote mimicry. A-Side is pilfered from their latest LP, B-Side is an outtake from the LP sessions. Scum stats: 100 on color, 400 on black.(RK)
(FDH Records // www.fdhmusic.com)
Mano de Mono "Humans" 7"
New Wave pop from Madrid. Quirky synth moves, pretty slick sounding, most lyrics are in English. There are hundreds of American and UK records from the Eighties that sound like this that I have no desire to ever hear again, so it's harshing my mellow a bit that this what some kids in Spain are grooving to in 2009. Here's one for all you Athletico Spizz 80 fans out there. The sleeve art looked really promising though...(RK)
(Discos Humeantes // myspace.com/discoshumeantesrecords)
Maths Balance Volumes “Lower Forms” LP
A Seriously homespun LP from these Nowhere-ville, Minnesotans. Web searches pull up very little ‘cept they got a lot of CDr and cassettes releases out in the new weird underground. Shades of Very Friendly Gristle-isms and warped tape comes across strong on the opener, but leads into a more organic acoustic strummer. Using White Noise, lost U.S.A. 4-tracks, or 50ft’s Cauldron as a launching pad, but getting more ghostly in the cassette hiss and industrial grind within. The woman who sings on a few tracks brings on a Bardo Pond vibe to me, but the music is more subdued and covered in layers of home recorded filth. Fits in with the Crimson WaveTM movement that 'XXperiments' dealt with. Soundscapes follow that live in murk and analog loops. Lots of rolling tides and shipwrecked sounds. The male voices come in tongues and have been chemically treated into slurs. Some string arrangements swell towards the end to drive the seasick overboard. Drone, but not in that heavy rocker-that-just-got-hip way. True rural folk horror. Pretty creepy stuff. I’m keeping it. (RSF)
(self-released // www.mathsbalancevolumes.tripod.com)
R.Stevie Moore "U.R. True + 3" EP
Honestly, I don't know as much as I should about R.Stevie. I've dabbled, but always figured I'd catch up with him later. I think of him as a member of the Jad Fair/Daniel Johnston/etc... pantheon of avant-pop dudes who recorded a shit load of outsider music on his own terms. It seems odd and cool that this is released on Felony Fidelity, who have basically just released smaller local garagepunk bands so far. "UR True" is quirky New Wave with falsetto vocals, "How Many Moore" is sort of playful punk rock with growly vocals. The flip-side offers a couple of weird-pop songs with varying vocal treatments and instrumentation as well. Touchstones run rampant from Zappa to Gary Wilson to The Residents to Barrett/Floyd....I could go on. I would imagine R.Stevie fans will be happy, but I believe these recordings are culled from his past releases...if this is meant as an intro for dopes like me, job well done. I'm intrigued.(RK)
(Felony Fidelity // www.felonyfidelity.com)
Mother's Children "Dance To The Rock'n'Roll Band" 7"
True single from this Ottawa glam-pop outfit. I'm torn as to whether Mother's Children is a cool name or not. I think I like it. "Dance to the..." is definitely a choice A-Side. Total handclap glam with some good and sticky guitar hooks, simple yet emotive lyrics, bell-bottom drumming, a little bit of platform shoe swagger. A song that's probably been written a million times, but they still do it quite a bit of justice. As good as some Apache material, but sans the doobage. Sadly, they flop on the B-Side, which just sounds like bad (Canadian) power-pop. Shame. If they could've pulled a killer flipside off I was ready to drop a Thundermug reference on them, but I'm putting that one back in the holster. Shit! Still, I can't deny that A-Side is really choice.(RK)
(Going Gaga Records // myspace.com/goinggagarecords)
NASA Space Universe s/t 7" EP
Dark and dirty weird-guy hardcore-punk. Tough sound, definitely taking tips from HC (velocity, vox, metal overtones) but with some more savvy song-building than the typical 1-2-3-4-Go! pitmashers. A bit more complex, not unlike latter-day AmRep sounds (make the dude from Today is the Day sing for Chokebore and you might have something like this...). Spacey electronic squiggles and the zonked-out lyrics and artwork definitely give them some character. As a debut, it's a little rough, maybe a little more concerned with power/speed than craft/quality, but the last song on this thing ("Apache Blood Overdrive"?) is a killer and hopefully a harbinger of better material to come where they continue to stretch out and get weird and interesting. Nice looking drawn sleeve art and cryptic insert-collage and lack of any song title information anywhere puts one foot squarely in the Mysterious Guy Hardcore scene, but I'd call this more punkrock than anything to do with that "genre".(RK)
(Gradual Limbo // myspace.com/nasaspace666)
Naw Dude s/t 7"
We saw a lot of bands at Totally Wired fest, and a lot of them were better than Naw Dude, but I don't think we talked about one band more than we did Naw Dude. Their live show was nothing memorable, but it was the Naw Dude shirts, song titles like "Shark Mummy" and "Red Dawn II", 7" sleeves screened on Lone Star beer twelve-packs, the fact that they drove from Austin to supposedly play one show at Roboto and just the sheer hilarious genius of their name that had us fascinated all weekend. I respect and admire them for some reason. And quite honestly, their record is kinda kick ass. Brutal Texas thrash-core mastered loud-and-proud by the legendary Jack Control that maintains ridiculous song titles/lyrics such as the aforementioned cuts, and others like "Golf Pro" and "Shitstained Glass" without getting into wacky-thrash territory. Sadly, it does not contain "Violent Pizza" though. Hopefully they're saving that for the next EP. I'm kinda glad I own this. Aesthetically, it's garbage, but amazingly so. The screened cover (two colors, purple and sea green?!) looks to be of someone sacrificing a baby to a two-headed Aztec skull god, the single is one-sided with the flip containing a screened image of Alfred Hitchcock surrounded by the Naw Dude logo and some sloganeering, there's a cool insert/mini-poster of zombies, sea serpents and sharks...just shitty looking in the best possible way. I guess these guys are ex-Army of Jesus, but I wouldn't be bragging about that...this is a million times better than that snooze-core outfit. I don't know, maybe I'm getting a bigger kick out of this than most, but if I was you I'd buy it if you see it, especially if you're into whatever sub-genre of hardcore this is called. They are as good as their name, for what that's worth.(RK)
(Depleted Resource // myspace.com/nawdude)
No Talk "Confusion" 7"
Fourth single from Houston's leatherpunk gods. Haven't heard too much chatter about these creeps, probably because each of their singles have been pressed in editions of 150 or less and they probably haven't played a show outside of Texas. I own them all, and highly recommend doing a little legwork to snatch them up while you can. That is, if you enjoy riffs and punk. Some of the best band photos in recent memory adorn the sleeves of their singles, and this one is no different. Growled vox, muscular three-piece heavy punk rock with metal fringes, simple and stupid songs, reminds me a bit of early Antiseen without the theatrics. No-frills, no bullshit, just hard ass rocking. Recommended. Scum stats: 150 copies on Going Underground in the US, another 150 on Spild Af Vinyl in Europe.(RK)
(Going Underground // contaminators.blogspot.com)
Bobby Nobbit "Cage Fight" 7"
Bobby Nobbit is from OC and this is the first I've heard of him and his band of sidemen, apparently called Tablefruit. I have to admit, it's pretty ripping punk rock. Dirty, tough, a little bit weird. Reminds of the energy of the very early Hookers or the best the Confederacy of Scum had to offer. Plenty of balls is what I'm saying, but not cartoony either. "Cage Fight" is total madness. Sick even. "Way I See It" hits that downward spiral just like the Dwarves used to. I was thinking they'd go and suck it up on the B-Side, but "Animal Child" is god damn blazing and poetic and "Rocket Hits Plane" ends it on a slighty odd note, maybe sucking some Clone Defects gas into their tanks for this one. A mighty damn fine punk rock record here. Genius sleeve art too, sort of the porno version of a Timmy Vulgar painting/collage.(RK)
(Rich Bitch Records // myspace.com/iwannabearichbitch)
Personal & The Pizzas "Brass Knuckles" 7"
I was not at all convinced that stuff this scticky was ever going to be any good, but I'm happy to say my apprehension was for naught. "Brass Knuckles" is Personal's mightiest effort to date. A real tough tune that reaches heights only the Spits have aspired to in recent times and a legacy I'm sure Johnny, Joey and Dee Dee are happy to have bequeathed. You get the slow-fi garage version on the A-Side and the punked-out version on the flip. The meat in the sandwich is a cover of First Base's "Nobody Makes My Girl Cry But Me" that gets totally Dictator-ed up. A great fucking record that's more fun than any Hunx 7". Scum stats: a Bubbledumb release, so who knows...(RK)
(Bubbledumb Records // good luck)
The Perverts "I Saw It All" 7"
Whoever the genius writing the blurbs on the Goner Records site is beat me to this one, but Ty Segall is giving Dan Melchior some serious competition in the race to see who can be the first guy to release 20 records this year. The Perverts are a three piece "punk" band, but there really isn't so much punk here as there is just six tracks of reverbed-to-hell garage. The label's promise that this will "melt your face" is promotional hyperbole at it's finest. This thing could barely melt a crayon. It's not bad, and the A-Side has a couple of decent ones ("Nerves" and "I Saw It All") but it isn't all that remarkable either. If you want to hear a garage band with Ty in it tear shit up I suggest buying a Traditional Fools record instead. Scum stats: 100 on white, 400 on black.(RK)
(HBSP-2X Records // hbsp-2x.com)
Pillow Talk "Down Town Unga Wunga" 7"
Probably the most annoying record I've heard all year and then some. Insufferable. I would say "The worst record I've heard...", but that might imply it has some sort of musical merit. Thank god this wan't part of the CDR Singles Club. 500 copies pressed of this? Really? Ack.(RK)
(Columbus Discount // www.columbusdiscountrecords.com)
The Pine Hill Haints "To Win or Lose" LP/CD
Only in America! 'To Win or Lose' is a melting pot of rousing folk-punk, old time country, reggae, and flairs of calypso. An amalgam like this could be a real a train wreck in lesser hands, and although this is certainly not a cup of tea for yours truly, I am willing to say the Pine Hill Haints make it happen with no quirks or affectations. According to the photo included in the press release The Pine Hill Haints look like a relatively straight laced quintet who don’t dress up like Industrial Revolution era chimney sweeps to let you know that they are “traveling” musicians. The dreaded and all too easy cowboy lyric fodder appears (“The Ranger’s Command”), but I suppose that in constructing songs out of the ghosts of America the archetypical free fucks of the old West can be difficult to overlook. The Pine Hill Haints shine on tracks like “Bordello Blackwidow” where an undeniable croon reminds us that the funeral hasn’t quite started yet.(RK)
(K Records // krecs.com)
The Pink Fits "De Ja Blues" CD
Handclaps, harmonicas, and heartbreak, The Pink Fits bring thirteen songs of straightforward, blues soaked garage. Or bar rock, a more adult arena where punk goes to die, which is by no means always a bad thing. “Got Nothing On” comes off as a tamer Radio Birdman that a less jaded human being could do the twist to. If I wasn’t such an awkward human The Pink Fits would get my beer to rise skyward with the anthems “Hey You”, “Lex in B”, and “I’m on the Red”. Overall this whole affair is a little subdued for my taste, it seems kind of stuck in the middle between balls out rock and cringe worthy white dude blues. The Pink Fits shine on the closer “Like Holly Would”, slowing things down to a much appreciated country crawl where the lapsteel and the harmonica push us towards regretful realizations of the day gone by.(TO)
(Off the Hip // www.offthehip.com.au)
The Pope “Live Aids” 7”
A sort of tribal plink-plink Afrobeat intro leads things off, and goes on forever, defeating its intro purpose. Way too late, it cuts loose into some bursts of Lightning Bolt variety noise rock. Flip and repeat (the short blasts of noise rock, not the intro). Hell, if it was 2001 and Load Records had pressed it, I’d be stoked, see ‘em live and even buy a shirt. These days I’ll just file it away and forget it. It’s not bad for what it is, but I’d seen the Bolt and Godheadsilo rule my face moons ago and I don’t really need it if it ain’t bring something else to the plate. Sorry. The colored vinyl is wicked tho’! (RSF)
(Yosada Records // www.yosada.com)
Mike Rep "Donovan’s Brain (Pts. I and II)" 7”
I remain in awe of the Columbus Discount Records singles club. The label has not only assembled a roster of new releases to die for, but they’ve done some digging and have been able to unearth some seriously great archival material. There has always been a heavy dose of cassette-culture in the city, so there’s plenty to choose from and the selection thus far has been well-rounded and extraordinary. Actually, I’m not sure that “Donovan’s Brain,” which is spread across both sides of this record, has ever been released in any form, though it’s older than a third grader (“Ballad of Jim Croce,” which completes the B-side here, was plucked from an Old Age/No Age cassette). A classic sounding Rep/Jay collaboration, this sounds as though the boys could have spewed it out in any era as they’ve been strumming these psychedelic pop Nuggets since before the capital N back there meant anything.(DH)
(Columbus Discount Records // www.columbusdiscountrecords.com)
Rock'n'Roll Adventure Kids "Hillbilly Psychosis" LP
I've always thought of the RNRAK as the true heirs to the Mike Lucas Bay Area Goofy Budget Rock throne with their total balls-out approach on record (and live I iamgine). It's absolutely unbridled energy and enthusiasm with little if any care given as to whether they sound or look stupid. It's all about having fun and being funny at any cost, self-respect and fanbase be damned. They'll play fucking hillbilly music if they want to! The songs here a really nothing new, but they're played with such energy and carelessness it's impossible not to go along for the ride. The cover "Wildman" as if the Haze had written it, "Birdy" and "Elvis Carborator Blues"(sic) are full throttle garage-a-billy with practically total nonsense for lyrics. "Panties in My Pocket" is the moonshine-swilling stomp they promise and then they hit you with Hank's "Ramblin' Man" which sounds just like fucking Demon's Claws. The flip brings the fun right back. "Fried Chicken" is total hillbilly Ramones shit. "Chuck Taylor Shakedown" = country-fried shake. I think their cover of "She Said" sums things up nicely, via its nod to Hasil, who is obviously their muse, and to the sick garbage can aesthetic of Lux and The Cramps, who truly epitomized having fun while pillaging of the sounds of the past. Then the Kids leave the smart way and close with their hit, "Hotdog". Not liking this record would have me seriously questioning your humanity. And the cover are is actually quite disturbing upon detailed inspection.(RK)
(Soul Not Style // try Bachelor Records)
Rocket Reducers s/t 12" EP
Punk rawk from the metropolis of Welland, ON (home of the Welland Canal!), a Canadian 'burg where I've actually spent a bit of time. Surprised these kids haven't played Buffalo (or maybe they have and I'm out of touch). I'm always more lenient on bands from small towns, as I always like it when something punk-inspired is going on in out-of-the-way places. Rocket Reducers definitely play that turbo-charged brand of punk lovingly referred to as Punk RaWk (emphasis on the W) inspired by Nineties heroes such as the New Bomb Turks and Dwarves and then beat into the ground by Junk Records and most bands interviewed in Hit List magazine. RR's do a good job of it though, the guitar player has all the right moves, catchy tunes/choruses, snotty singer. I've really enjoyed this record for what it is, which is catchy punk rock'n'roll. Seven cuts = six blazers ("Sauce Wagon" is the real-deal) and one slower rock number that's executed well. Small town rockin' like this is OK with me, recorded good and loud, great packaging too. If this record came out in 1995, people would've been swooning. In 2009, I'm just glad they're not playing shitty pop-punk or fucking crust or some shit. Next time I hit the ballet in Fort Erie, I'm looking these guys up... Scum stats: 300 black, 100 orange, 100 purple. (RK)
(self-released // myspace.com/rocketreducers)
Rusted Shut "Dead" LP/CD
Many modern American bands attempt to reference the Brainbombs on their adult punk records, but try as they might, not even the best of them can really, truly invoke the unwholesome energy the Swedes bring to their compositions. With one exception, that being Houston's Rusted Shut. Rusted Shut are no apers of the Stooge-ian riffs and cold-blooded attack of The Brainbombs, but are more like brothers-in-arms, hatched of the same brain processes and sickness. Where Brainbombs are the average-looking gentleman working bank jobs by day and trolling for hookers to take into the woods by night, Rusted Shut are the dirty junkies spewing filth and fluids over trash-bin lives at all times. The difficult sounds that emanate from this, the band's third long-player in twenty-four years of existence, evoke shit-strewn alleys and minds and the band making these noises seem fairly pissed that you've strode into their turf for a listen. Life is hard and harrowing and Rusted Shut are more than happy to remind us of this. This is not a bunch of mid-Twenties ex-hardcore jocks reliving the AmRep sound, or even seasoned vets who know the value of a good array of effects pedals. This is the sound of living in a hell on earth, where drugs aren't cool, they're necessary and harmful, and where violence is inherent. Ten tracks worth. "Home" is the warm-up and the only somewhat tangible moment of clarity before the next nine tracks whip you through a reality no one needs to know, but that needs to be seen. They can certainly riff, but they do it with a power that doesn't really hit you over the head...it's more like abrasively and scrapingly heavy. A whirlwind of sandpapered sounds assaulting you with negative vibes. You'll come out on the other end of this a changed person.(RK)
(Load Records // www.loadrecords.com)
Saucy Jacks "Blown Like A Kiss" 7"
Ex-Mothballs, Harold Ray Live in Concert and other Bay Area garage goofsters here making with the maximum R'N'B type of early Who/Stones pretty boy beat-rocking. "Blown Like A Kiss" is a litte too pretty for me. The flipside is the mod-pop gem here though, semi-tough with a strong guitar lead and hook that wouldn't get them kicked out of the Cavern Club. If you're deep into the cuter side of the garage spectrum, this might be for you. I'm sure they look handsome in their matching suits. (RK)
(Chocolate Covered Records // www.chocolatecoveredrecords.com)
Ty Segall "Universal Momma" 7"
I'm infected with Ty Segall-mania as much as the rest of the hype-machine, but his recent flurry of releases should leave anyone wondering what to grip and what to pass up. I think this would be one of the less essential releases. "Universal Momma" is certainly textbook Segall stuff, but it's just that. Nothing more than his usual, which isn't bad, but it seems to be lacking in the catchiness department. "86'd" seems to be the more memorable cut in the long term, a homestyle garage song with a bit of soul. Not a bad record by any means, but perhaps just an average one from a very talented kid who might be spreading his material a little thin right now. I know I say this a lot, but it's OK to tell labels "No Thanks" once in a while. Scum stats: 500 copies on black.(RK)
(True Panther // www.truepanther.com)
Ty Segall "Cents" 7"
Three-song teaser for the eagery anticipated 'Lemons' LP due soon on Goner. "Cents" delivers on it's A-Side potential, a simple yet catchy slower-tempo garage head-nodder with a subtle almost-Ramonesy riff on the breakdown part. Well done mellower stuff that pairs well with the faster B-Side material. "No No" is nervous garage-punk and "Standing at the Station" keeps up the punky stuff one-man-band style with plenty of f-bombs and whoops. The kid is undeniably talented and it's particularly evident when he comes at you with three songs all in a seemingly different style yet maintaining his own sound overall. A good single to tide fans over until the LP. Sleeve has more colors on it than the past twelve Goner singles combined. Scum stats: first 100(?) on clear vinyl, Goner always leaves ya guessin'.(RK)
(Goner Records // www.goner-records.com)
The Shackles "Broken Arm" 7"
"Broken Arm" is pure indie-pop made up of a mellow rhythm bolstered by a not-unpleasant synth line and subtle guitar hook, which builds to the inevitable gettin'-wild(er) conclusion/crescendo. A very in-vogue sound these days it seems. You'd expect something a little goofier with a Coconut Coolouts connection, but they play it pretty straight. "Funeral Shroud" exhibits a little more singy-songy style, sticks the synth in the back seat, shows off some light-hearted nah-nah-nahs and a fall-apart-into-rave-it-up ending. Exhibits some pretty good form but the only thing giving me second thoughts is that the tunes aren't particularly exciting, but I guess some measure of aloofness seems to be required when participating in this genre. As usual, top grade textured sleeves from Sweet Rot, and no colored vinyl version because they keeps it real.(RK)
(Sweet Rot Records // myspace.com/sweetrotrecords)
Shannon and The Clams "Hunk Hunt" EP
I love the sleeve art of this record. But I'm split on the tunes in the grooves. The opener is terrible whitebread surf-garage generica with Shannon on vox. Seriously, maybe these kids aren't old enough to remember that turds like this didn't float ten years ago and they certainly aren't rising to the top now. I was seriously worried after this song. "Would You Love Me If I Was Dead?" reverts to Spector-ish slow-dance mode, and I'm a little less disheartened, but not convinced. "Hunk Hunt" opens the B-Side and is a decent punk-hopper with a surf lick. A potentially memorable cut. "Heart Break" goes back to slow dance mode...I dunno. Shannon really belts on this one, but I feel like I'm listening to some bad album SFTRI released ten years ago (Short Fuses? Miss Georgia Peach? Something like that...). Innocent enough and perhaps creative in that there aren't many bands that sound like this these days. But there's also a reason not many bands sound like this these days. Sorry to be so disparaging. I'm sure there are many people out there into "cute" garage that will dig this, so it shouldn't be a problem moving 300 copies with a decent looking sleeve such as this.(RK)
(Weird Hug Records // www.weirdhugrecords.com)
The Shirks "DC Is Doomed" 7"
Second single from DC outfit featuring ex-Problematics frontman Alec Budd. The Shirks play music as if The Problematics never broke up, a slightly more melodic take on the 'Rip off Sound', punk blasts from the Nineties sounding just as punk in 2009. Zero bullshit/imagery/posing. Not even a Myspace profile for these dudes. Commendable. "DC Is Doomed" sounds a little street-punky. "Long Time" and "China" are straight outta the Problematics playbook. Nothing as good as "The Kids All Suck", but what can you do...at least DC has a decent punk band these days. I'd recommend the getting the Big Neck single first if you want a taste of The Shirks. But they at least tried a little harder with the artwork on this one.(RK)
(self-released // available via www.dischord.com)
Sista Sekunden "Sista for Svarslinjen" 7" EP
Melodic Swedish posi-core. Holy crap. Lots of tempo switches for heaving petting...sorry, I mean heavy pitting, sing-alongs, inspirational Swedish lyrics. I guess these guys are very popular with shirtless and sweaty tattooed guys in Sweden. That's cool. They offer explanations for each song that seem to offer up some life lesson such as "They laughed at Louis Armstrong when he said he was gonna walk on the moon." OK. I'd stick with Fy Fan or Nitad or even Masshysteri if you need a taste of current Swedish-core. Or perhaps listen to some Youth of Today LPs if you need to do some soul-searching...(RK)
(P.Trash Records // www.ptrashrecords.com)
(Instigate Records // www.instigaterecords.com)
Skipper "Cold Pizza'n'Pop" EP
If you're looking for chewy pop-rock'n'roll, you can't ask for a better outlet than a Fever (and an ex-Retardo even) with a couple of cute girls in tow. "Hangin' With The Telephone" and its "Sitting on my couch/with my guitar/I'm so lazy" lyric line and sentiment is perfect and a beautiful version on the old waiting-for-the-telephone-to-ring song template. Pop perfection. The remaining three cuts all offer well done run-throughs of girls, relationships, breaking-up, etc. songs, ending on the high note of "'Til She Comes Around" and it's girl-group flair. I'm tough to impress when it comes to lightweight fare such as this, but "...Telephone" is the real deal and a shoo-in for Bubblegum Motherfuckers Volume 3,081 or something. The rest is filler as far as I'm concerned. I wish this record didn't look so shitty though, the pics are so washed-out and pixelated you can barely tell that's the Mogan David and His Savage Young Winos LP on the floor...(RK)
(Chocolate Covered Records // www.chocolatecoveredrecords.com)
Smegma “Live 2004” CD
As old as Christ himself, Smegma is the noise freak elders that sit in the throne room along side The Residents and Destroy All Monsters for weathering their marathon careers. Shifting form and sound from one release to the next, but always being genuinely Smegma. I’ve seen these fogeys three times up North and have only owned two releases by them...both given to me by friends. Lame, I know. That being said I was at one of the shows on this disc and I remember thinking, wow, all the other noise artists should just pack it in. Kids get up on the stage and twiddle their knobs a bit, rub broken mics on each other, etc…and then this ragtag collective of borderline Section 8s from a time before they were born set up…and put them in their place…every fucking time. This CD is a document of the 2004 West Coast tour and shows the band channeling Link Wray guitar passages thru the space dust and gas fumes. The first tracks in SF feature Steve “Stooge” Mackay (or should I say Liquorball these days?) on Sax. The orchestrated pieces ping-pong from Sun Ra damage, 60’s instro-noir soloing, and NOLA death dirge seamlessly, peppering it with tape loops, ephemeral recordings, and broken radio transmissions when need be. My only beef is: Do you really need Jello Biafra to introduce you? Does that guy even help records sales anymore? Yeah, politicians are evil, I get it. Remember to hit fast forward on the remote and get to the goods...
Second part is recorded in Oakland, LA and Seattle and has more robot twiddle and theremin squiggle than above. D.A.M. had their hands deep in this primordial pudding back in the pre-Ashton days. Their film collage scores are comparable to what goes on here. Surf guitar and Sixties songbook snippets sprout up again throughout the mix getting me giddy for a 'Third Reich & Roll' outing. Other older-outers appear like Chaotica/Exotica staple Tom Recchion and Josh Mong to slug it out in the mix. The sound is prolly from a beefed up crowd recording (or stage side is a better term) but nothing is lost in the hallucinogenic schmear. Pretty great live document overall for a band that proves, along with Dead Moon, that Oregon grandparents have a healthier scene than yours. (RSF)
(Resipiscent // www.resipiscent.com)
Snake Flower 2 “Renegade Daydream” LP
The Natural Born Killers aesthetic is damn appropriate for a sonic throwback to when the Stooges were pulling from the Stones, and when the Cramps were taking cues from the Stooges...fried lizard and desert fried minds. This is solidly staked out somewhere in that lineage. Maybe a more visceral or sex-driven Dead Moon. Seems the problem is that it ain’t only not as dislodged and dirtied as the Cramps or of course the Stooges, but even the Stones – a very mainstream rock and roll music band… Ya dig? And swooning brushstrokes of reverberation and minimal, zoned out drums sometimes don’t save the whole thing from sounding not so dissimilar to the Whyte Strypes! Yuck! But I guess I should seek out another release by these chaps considering everybody’s crying rivers over this being such a sleeper of an LP, but I’m digging it. Flows like an LP should too. Anyone on the nuts of what Fresh & Onlys and other such lush rockers with only the highest veneration for songmanship are doing, albeit tolerant of a rougher-hewn rendition with more recognizable steez and less fairy dust, should like this. I mean, just listen to the orgasmic chorus of “Flight of the Navigator,” and the ‘60s-prom danceability of “Not This Time,” y’know? Do you people not have souls or something? Great shit. (BG)
(Tic Tac Totally // www.tictactotally.com)
The Snazzy Boys s/t CD
On their debut compact disc, Italy’s Snazzy Boys are running around like a bunch of idiots. Literally. Included in the trendy, designer liner notes are two shots of the Boys. The first is a picture of each member framed by a mock film reel, a glamour shot where Zampa, Bukki, Mafe, and Brown mug and blow kisses at the camera. The second shot captures the Boys in action, running, mouths agape toward the camera. From what the Snazzy Boys are running, we can’t be sure. I speculate that the Boys aren’t running from anything at all, and in all actuality they are running to your wives, pizzas, daughters, and lasagnas. Alright, maybe not, but the song “Punk Rock Girl” is a testament to the Boys’ lascivious nature. I tried to not let the pictures of these goofs sway my opinion of this and it didn’t. We get some three chord punk rock that doesn’t contain any “whoa whoa” or “hey hey” choruses, but wouldn’t be out of contention for a slot on the Warped Tour. This style of smiling, snotty pop punk made me uncomfortable when I was fifteen years old, and isn’t about to make me start horsing around now. I am a grown ass man and when I see four other grown ass men wearing white novelty shades and playing bright and cheerful punk songs about “Rockin’ in the Streets” and “Forgotten Rebels” it makes me want to go to work in a mine and never clock out. No one should be allowed to have this much fun.(TO)
(No Front Teeth Records // www.nofrontteeth.net)
Sneakers “Children Into People” 7” EP
Side project of Cave dudes. I caught Cave a few weeks back and even though their prog fueled Deep Purp goes Kraut leanings were pretty cool to hear, man...the fan base sucked dick. Buncha’ dirthead Burningman rejects with singed tees from fire dancing. Half dead Ketamine ravers rocking side-pony dreads and acid washed paint stained jeans swingin’ their arms like half-assed robotic fly swatters. Only, ONLY, Jaime Easter is allowed to get a pass on this look in my book of law. Couldn’t cut the scene and split. I drove home all pissy and what’s waiting in my review bag? Sneakers. Said side project of Cave. Balls. Welp, I cleaned the slate. Waited a few days and wash the woodland stink from my hair. Let’s do this...
Not sure if the speed is right. Strike one. I assume it’s 33 since there are six songs on it and pray to the review gods. It is. “The Daze” is Wire-style punk stuck on repeat in Cave/Can jam-isms. Catchy and not as overly beardly as I expected. By the time “Chick Freaked Out” ends, I find the songs a warm welcome after some of the shit I listened to today. Third track “Crap UC” is my fave. Reminds me of the Urinals and I don’t know why. Repetitive and primal drum whack perhaps? I wish No Age sounded like this...I’d have given them a chance. Second side kinda’ angles it up a bit with “Deep Busch” & “I Am Disease”. Like if Love Tan sobered up and stood straight. High and tinny vocals are soaring far away from the 4-track mic so not to harsh the vibe. “Nudes” completes the side. Kinda’ peppy and not as punky, but I love ‘em just the same. A swift & pleasant surprise. No patchouli stains on these jeans. (RSF)
(Permanent Records // www.permanentrecordschicago.com)
Sonny and the Sunsets "Love and Death" 7"
An odd and mellow record that exudes maximum posi-vibes. At first, I was feeling that this record is waaay too wimpy for me to be listening to. But then I spent a little time with it. I read the book that came with it (by Sonny himself) and listened to it a few times over the weeks. It's a very friendly piece of vinyl. It tries to win you over in it's own little way. Charming, dare I say? "Death Cream" is bizarro beach-pop that sort of shuffles along dragging some slight touches of piano while the breeze carries some backing harmonies on by. "Strange Love" hails directly from a Fifties high school dance where some kid is anxiously asking a poodle-skirted and saddle-shoed teen girl for a slow dance. Reverby and packed with harmonies and a little xylophone(?) too. I can't say I'm totally in love with this record, but I can say I've given it a ton of chances and I want to keep giving it more. I like it, but I don't think I "like" like it yet. We're just friends, no attachments. We'll see what happens. For fans of Killdozer and The Meatmen. I kid. Scum stats: 300 copies only, with booklet and pin, art by Chris "Awesome Vistas" Johanson. (RK)
(Soft Abuse // www.softabuse.com)
Spider Bags “Hey Delinquents” 7”
Mr. Werewolf of LiveFastDie notoriety manning the board for half of this country tunage outing he seems to have a sweet tooth for, as observed on a few LFD releases. And when I say country, it’s not so much country in the collapsed vein of GG or that of the Country Teasers… a tad less obtuse, more built in. Cows and pastures litter the periphery of this one instead of junkies and London Times headlines. That’s to say it sounds more like a rudimentary country outfit playing some hastily thrown together punk bangers than punkers playing redneck to the best of their ability. “Hey Delinquents” is somewhat of an underdog anthem, even in composition. Short and sweet – an ode to letting the freak flag fly. “Professionals” is a ballad of hopeful outcasts in the same vein – melancholic with nicely accentuating brushes of harmonica and Casio, like the dead end the Busch-can toking cover model and his driver will hit in accord with aspirations as they’re burning out. Good ideas floating around what could bloom nicely if given the treatment of an LP (gotta check it out now), or maybe just songs that are a bit longer. (BG)
(Daggerman Records // www.daggermanrecords.com)
State Poison s/t EP
I’d like to say that the giant Care Bear on the back of the sleeve — this is Chaos Non Musica Bear by the looks of the logo on her tummy — has a chemistry beaker tucked in hand, but I can’t say for sure that’s what it is. onetheless, that may well give you an idea of what’s at stake on this EP, in which the French teach an American the virtues of excessiveness. Like the image described above (is it a jug of wine? Laundry detergent? What is she holding?), this one is about going as over the top as sustainable, maybe a little further. Rumbling drums roll every which way without much regard to the noise-core played alongside, or perhaps they are in time perfectly; it’s hard to say for sure which screech is being played by the band and which is echoing off the walls of the cave they recorded inside. (DH)
(self released /// statepoison.blogspot.com)
Static Static “Psychic Eyes” LP
Tasty re-ish of the barely issued first press last year. A sci-fi hodgepodge between cosmic industrial and late lamented synth punx. Lots of people are riding this rocket as of late, but God bless the Static Static brigade for mixing it up and not just sounding like Screamers or Suicide clones. I remember hearing an early Wax Trax throb in their short players, but the new shit is amped up with Spacemen 3 fuzz and a Stooge-oid nut squeeze, not all concrete bleak in their delivery. Knuckle dragging ‘77 colliding with a smarter breed of alien alternative. The singer sometimes sounds like The Wild Bunch/Electric Six guy…I don’t mean that to be awful ‘neither. Might be in his histrionics, but less hammy or self winking. Think a masculine Volt less bent on death disco with a heart of rock n’ roll (still beatin’). Why do you guys let me keep writing? Thanks for the records! (RSF)
(Tic Tac Totally // www.tictactotally.com)
Stolen Hearts "Heart Collector" 7"
More post-Carbonas Atlanta action, this time it's Greg (aka GG King) playing guitar with a trio of foxes (and one other dude) for some gal-group action mixed-up with some powerpop. "Heart Collector" is a nostalgic Fifties/early Sixties jukebox selection, Ronettes/Crystals style. Flip to "Fire", which is pop-rock where the twist is it's a hot girl singing about wanting to light some guy on fire, followed by a cover of The Sponsors' "In And Out", which is my favorite song on this platter. If you're into leopard-print girl-band rock, this one's for you. I give points for not being too overly cute with the delivery and the simple yet effective playing. A pretty classy record for this sub-genre. Scum stats: 100 on white, 1000 total pressed. Wow. 1000 of these. That seems like a lot...(RK)
(Douchemaster Records // www.douchemasterrecords.com)
Stupid Party s/t LP
Stupid Party paint a real nice pitcha’ for us: A practice space as sweaty as any xHAWDCOREx meatheads’...a pile of records as diverse as any hoarder geekbag...the occasional pogo-party with the finest looking 16-year-old streetpunk grrrls this end of the Mason-Dixon...curtains smelling of incense-covered cheeba as any Dead head...Big Apple metal-hipster drug parties...these guys are on to something. Sometimes the vocal desperation rubs me the wrong way – a tad contrived… redeemed with that perfectly raw, explosive, intimate yet distant lo-fi blowjob of a recording more often than not though. “Sludged” transports ya to some stoner-rock Shangri La. Sounds like fuckin’ Flower Travellin' Band until their more typical Pissed Jeansies damage punk kicks in. Melodic and maybe even pop-punk pasts seem to emanate from a few cuts (“Binz” & “Closer” & “Grind”), but, fuck, (buttfuck), you’re lying if you say the end of “N.M.A.” won’t have that furniture nicely stacked in your bedroom ready for the jump off reeeaaaal quick. Flip ‘er over and you’ve got just as good a side – I mean, “No Hell” coulda’ been the song in my skate part given this was middle school. And tell me the extended notes in “Baby” ain’t the sassiest shit you ever did hear. Another LP that’s all over the fuckin’ place in the best way possible. (BG)
(Freedom School Records // www.freedomschoolrecords.com)
Sun God "(S)pain" 7"
Melodic hard-rock from Cleveland featuring ex-Nine Shocks Terror guitar slinger Kevin (and the current line-up of which has Dale from Homostupids on drums, in my opinion one of the most underappreciated drummers out there). "(S)Pain" is rife with guitar leads and recalls maybe the really early Kyuss days, but with more of a predeliction for pop melody. Not super heavy, but still definitley rock. B-Side gets a bit more emotional, I'm thinking sped-up indie-rock with some weight to it. Husker Du mixed with Screaming Trees or something. It's not a sound you hear done a lot these days, bordeline maninstream, tightly played and peppered with hooks. Not at all what you're expecting, and you can't help but get into it somewhat. From what I've been told (and heard live) the band has evolved past the recordings here, so this may not be an accurate reflection of their current sound, but I found it an interesting exercise in technically savvy guitar-centric rock. Mature stuff that proves you can do things with Flying V's other than smash them over people's heads.(RK)
(Pizza Pants Records // myspace.com/sungodcleveland)
Suppositories “Moments of Square Violence” LP
Minimal guitar-driven punk dirges that trot along the straight ‘n narrow, most songs with a single central note or slight riff that grooves through the song, bass and rhetorically constipated prose extrapolating in what comes off sounding like a band that sends you to the bar or out for a smoke live. Not much songmanship to speak of. “Wires” is an appealing cut, with its country-leaning harmonization and galloping train-kept-a-rollin’ drums. Moonshine and speed. Girls and cars. Pervish post-hardcore done by guys who drink and have pictures of Poison Ivy in their rooms. “Pink Vee” wins the creepy lyrics award with mention of sucking some lucky lady’s “pink jellybean,” right before a fabulous Casio tangent. (BG)
(Going Gaga Records // myspace.com/goinggagarecords)
Teenage Love "No Excuses" CD
Apparently Teenage Love’s glory days took place in the mid-Eighties. Opening for national acts (Dead Kennedys, Suicidal Tendencies), and freaking out the local Nashville squares with overtop the live performances, Teenage Love gave it a go but didn’t make it much further than the borders of Tennessee. Some twenty years later Teenage Love decides to reunite and record 'No Excuses', a ten-song mix of old and new material that fits together smoothly because there is no change from what was and what is. Both musically and lyrically, Teenage Love comes off as a tamer GG Allin and the Murder Junkies and a straight up dumber Stooges. Songs like “Redneck”, “Dirty Side of Town”, “Muffbuster” and “Life of Booze” are all supposed to be shocking but come off as quaint, boring, and or just plain retarded. “Redneck” gets nods for sounding like “Bite It You Scum” and for the singer telling us where he is from and where his favorite bar is, but you can’t get a rise out of world that is already bloated with alcoholics and self-deprecating hillbillies.(TO)
(1969 Recordings // www.teenagelove13.com)
The Teeners “Gold” EP
Vile, deprived pigfuck trash that stinks of Reatarded wails of being Not Fucked Enough with as much reverence for fidelity and repulsion at their circumstantial Boredom as the Last Sons of Krypton. Not quite as good as said bands though. What strikes me as funny is that some “garage” bands kicking it into high gear these days are doing hardcore better than most hardcore bands out there. Or at least more interestingly. This is a fine example, just like Red Red Red is. But then again I’m not sure what people are looking for in hardcore beyond snotty, repulsive high-octane booger-eating and offensive dipstick antics had by ramshackle outfits too impatient for a slower breed of punk rock ‘n roll – which is what the Teeners prove themselves to be so eloquently here. There’s some sort of yearning for meaning and simultaneous ambiguity regarding just what the fuck hardcore bands mean these days, and I just don’t get it. Sorry to hijack your review for the sake of venting, boys and girl...it’s a good thing. “Tweeners” would have been a funnier moniker though. (BG)
(Super Secret Records // www.supersecretrecords.com)
Unknown Instructors “Funland” CD
Fragmented jousts of sonically eclectic riff raff backing poetic masturbation that nobody I’m proudly acquainted with will pretend they understand or have some exalted respect for on the merit of artistic integrity/expression/bumfuck. I guess this is what happens when Raymond Pettibon and David Thomas grow up and get “worldly” or sumfin’. “Those Were The Days” is salsatic rhythmic jazz and undulating feedback with Beefheart-esque spiels laid atop (and in the vein of Gout Mask Blumplicka, not even the Cap’s good shit – “Frownland” is covered shortly thereafter). “Later That Night” is David Thomas singing his trademarked congestion through a cardboard paper towel tube while that dummy showing off his jumbled jazz plucks at Guitar Center plays in background. “Afternoon Spent At The Bar, Sunny” is as dramatic as any Imam beckoning a call to arms against the Western world. “No Chirping” is a 10-minute instrumental (don’t listen to it without some type of substance flowing through ya!)… All in all it’s the rhythm section propping up cleanly propelled ambient soundscapes pulling more from Mariachi and free jazz than the damaged post-hardcore and terroristic anti-art pursuits of these veterans’ pasts. Cultured like dairy, but coming off more so cheesy like doodles than a creamy and nutritious yogurt parfait. I’m drunk. (BG)
(Smog Veil Records // www.facemop.com)
V/A arob/soottb split 7"
Confusing Australian split single. "They Sent Me Into Space Today" is a collaboration between these two guys, which is basically a slow-march drum track with various trip-out effects all over it, but subtly so. Back-masked Barrett-like vocal whispers, low-key synth drones and whirs, really does sound outer-spacey. B-Side is just arob, called "Cicada Birds + Gtr", and this one is a bit more difficult. I'm no avant-garde specialist, so this just sounds like someone holding down one note on a keyboard, while bird calls play and a cicada makes noises through an effects pedal for a few minutes. All you arty types might understand this one better than me, I didn't think it was bad for whatever it is. Scum stats: 100 hand-stenciled and stamped copies.(RK)
(Great Dividing // www.greatdividing.com)
V/A Beast With A Gun/Slim Limbs split 7"
Split 7" of garage action from Old Blighty. Slim Limbs do rote Oblivians-style blues-stomp on "Waffle Box" and a nice South-of-the-(US)Border organ-grinder with horns via "Queen of the Mist" which could be the backing track to some bandtios riding into a desert sunset. Beast With A Gun deal in stereotypical blues-rock. "King Kong Motherfucker" is your usual boast song. "You Aint Got the Blues" is your usual wild-n-crazy rave-up. Meh. Slim Limbs "Queen of the Mist" is the only cut worth remembering here, and it's a vague recollection at best.(RK)
(Murder Slim Records // myspace.com/murderslimrecords)
V/A Bipolar Bear/Watusi Zombie split 7”
Bipolar Bear sounds less like a Dischord band and more like a post-rock outfit fronted by John Dwyer this time out. Swirling guitar in that Arab on Radar vein. Two songs that are short, short, short and sweet. Angular and bordering on NW Intelligent. Almost too easy to digest. Doesn’t leave much of a lasting aftertaste like the Yosada 12” did.
Watusi Zombie throw out a mid-tempo garage riff and slop-popcore tempo changes like a half baked and liquor fueled Birthday Suits, early Seagull Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her or something equally as Japanese-y. Simple and clean soloing at the mid-point just to show the kid can play, but they like to get messy as the five minute mark closes in. Nothing super special and a tad long for what it is...eh. Fun to watch I bet, but this document is strictly for friends and label completists. Sorry.(RSF)
(Kill Shaman // www.killshaman.com)
V/A Charlie & The Moonhearts/Teen Anger split LP
Charlie & The Moonhearts. I remember hearing them on Myspace and mailordering their tape what seems like years ago, and I was very excited about them releasing actual records and now that they're in the midst of a release binge I couldn't be more pleased. Six tracks of their fantastic and messy surf-garage. "I Hate You" is a beast of blown-out bass and bad-ass guitar/vox. "Charlie Moon(Style Tycoon)" is top notch budget-surf. They then get punk (the nifty "Animals"), goofy (the not-so nifty "Walla Walla") and drop a real mean ass-tearing beach-punk number called "Cagemouth". Listening to them do "Tequila" is not as fun as watching Pee Wee's Big Adventue, but that's the only really big mis-step here, but I kinda like that they were either dumb or smart-assed enough to cover it. I think these tracks originally appeared on the 'Thunderbeast' cassette, which I just realized I don't own for some reason. Nicely recorded by next-big-thing Ty Segall. Toronto's Teen Anger have five tracks from their 'Banned from the Beaver' cassette on the flip. I seem to like these tracks more on vinyl, as if that makes any sense. They remind me of a punker Scat Rag Boosters or Demon's Claws. "Brain Hiccup" and "Minimum Wage" are both keepers and the other tunes are only a couple steps behind. I'm not a huge fan of split releases, but at least this is 12" in size and gives more return on your buck.(RK)
(Telephone Explosion // www.telephoneexplosion.com)
V/A Daily Void/The O-Voids split 7”
If you haven’t heard Daily Void, they realize in sound the act of working in a pencil factory under the guise of sadistic overseers and it sounds sort of like the A-Frames possessed by the spirit of hokey macabre displayed on Rudimentary Peni’s “Cacophony” album. Weird herky-jerk mechanical boogie a la Crass type punk that people can dance to like robots maybe? Good live band. I think their first offering “D.G.W. #2” is released elsewhere, but this sounds like a rougher, slower demo version or something, documenting them working the kinks out of the track perhaps. Second track – “Untitled #1” – is some brush work displaying their sonic components of lazer sounds and cacophonous, evil sounding guitar wienering and shit. The O Voids’ side is a bit more conventional punk musics throwing brooding drives in with dynamic post-punk stop-starts sliding into the realm of British discord. Daily Void wins by a shnoz. (BG)
(“Don’t Hit Record!” Records // myspace.com/dhrrecords)
V/A Doctor Scientist/Octagon Control split 7"
Two unfortunately named bands team up for a split single. Doctor Scientist play budget synth-punk that actually gets a little bit metal for a minute, prompting me to think if synth-metal as a genre exists, but then chasing that thought from my head by continuing on for three more tracks of schticky goofball synth jackoffery. I think I had an Octagon Control demo or tape at some point, but the fact I really don't remember doesn't bode well. They offer up a more droney take on the synth-punk idiom, and as unfunny a title as "Davey Crotchitch" is, it does make for a far more interesting few minutes than Doctor S. Creepy keyboards and some actual drumming help their cause a lot more, singer is utilizing the look-at-me-I'm-crazy method. Actually, they sound similar to, but far from as good as, a band like Le Shok. "Heds R Guna Roll" is the title. Werd dudez.(RK)
(FDH Records // www.fdhmusic.com)
V/A Fresh Cuts & Cigarette Burns comp 7"
Guess what? Compilation singles are back in vogue! Thanks, World's Lousy?! Criminal IQ's entry into the V/A sweepstakes blows its wad early with the best cut first, a new FNU Ronnies jammer called "Ain't No Place". Trebly troglodytian sci-fi punk rock. They could've used this cut for the punk rock episode of Dr. Who. Daleks attack and shit. Great. Sick Jump! are band #2, and actually play some good and shitty hardcore punk. "Fuck Kids" basically falls all over itself, guitar/drums/vox attack similar to Shoot It Up, but not near the SIU level of genius. Still decent though, shitty bandname aside. Kent, Ohio's greatest rock band Kill the Hippies close out side A with "No Control But Dance Control", a standard example of their nerdy punk rock. As good as many other KTH songs, a band I enjoy more in theory than on record most of the time. No idea who The Curtains are or where they are from, but they start Side B off with the post-punk stylings of "Hidden Agenda". Prominent bassline, phased-out guitar, effected vox, paranoid vibes. Not bad. White Load, a band whose tapes I'm very fond of, contribute "Nothing is Funny", an abrasive couple of minutes of Killed by Death meets Killed By Hardcore. I like the cut of their jib. Cleveland's disaster squad, Flying Trichecos, close out the disc with "Recidivist". Firstly, I'm amazed the word recidivist is in the any of the Trichecos' vocabulary. Secondly, this song is better than any of the cuts on their debut single. A choppy and angry pulsator of punkitude. What the fuck does that even mean? I dunno. But the Trichecos may be one of the few true punk bands left roaming the country's dive bars and basements in this day and age. Overall, a nice little snapshot of the current slate of bands that exist where hardcore and punk collide, with a couple curves thrown in (KTH and Curtains). And any new FNU Ronnies material is must-have in my book. Scum stats: 50 test press copies with photocopied sleeves, full-scale release coming shortly.(RK)
(Criminal IQ // www.criminaliq.com)
V/A Grouper/Pumice split 7"
I was confused as to the speed on the Grouper side. At 45 it sounded like the background music they played in church when we used to have to do the Stations of the Cross in grammar school. At 33 it merely sounds like the soundtrack to the mellower moments of an Animal Planet documentary on whales. On the Pumice side I experienced a similar speed dilemma and settled on 33. It sounds like improv acoustic guitar-slash-drone with muffled bullhorn vox that reminds me of a lot of the stuff that confused me about Xpressway tapes when I was a youngster. Music made by artists for artists.(RK)
(Soft Abuse // www.softabuse.com)
V/A The Hussy/Sleeping in the Aviary split 7"
The Hussy side is pretty damn good! No shit! "One Time" is teeth-baring and mean, tempered by the guy-girl vox, but the guitar slinging is really commendable and it's a shithouse stomper. "I Got Soul" sounds like a vintage Statics cut (pared down by a member of course) and "Snakes" maybe ventures into half-assed Drags turf (sans the bombast). An unexpectedly good side worth of Nineties-inflected two-piece garage. I like the nastier approach The Hussy take on this record than I do the poppier stuff on their 7". While that stuff wasn't bad, it sounds a little blander after listening to them kick out the jams on this. The Sleeping in the Aviary side just flat-out sucks, which is a shame and exactly what I expected. That's the ultimate sin of split 7"es kids! Be careful before you decide to make a pact with Satan and do one, because if the other band shits the bed, you've only got half a good record (that is, if you keep up your end of the bargain). Which is a tough position to be in. Because half of a good record is a tough sell. Let's just say this is a one-sided Hussy single, and on those merits, I think it's fantastic. I guess the good news about this is that you never have to worry about flipping this one over.(RK)
(Science of Sound // myspace.com/thehussyknowsall)
V/A "I'd Buy That For A Dollar Volume One" 7"
UFO Dictator steps into the compilation ring with Volume One of their own possibly recurring series. I must say they do begin fashionably. Everyone wants more Black Orphan and "Parasitic Mind" gives the people what they want. Spits-y for sure (I recognize that synth!), but it has a muscular and murky bottom-end rumble that carries the song whilst the monotone vox, half-assed guitar noodling and one-finger synth moves float lovingly atop the wave. Menthols complete the A-Side and "R is for Russia" might be the best Menthols cut I've heard yet. Hearty breadbasket rock-punk with a hefty groove to fall into. Not as outwardly goofy as much of their other material. Burl. B-Side hits us with a couple of unknowns. Legendary Wings are some homegrown Kalamazoo talent taking their name from a vintage video game that bring a nice mid-tempo rocker to the comp, sort of reminiscent of latter day AmRep coulda-beens like Guzzard perhaps. Very likeable. Los Steaks from Spain close up the shop with a fairly unexciting mid-tempo synth-garage cut. It's Ok though. Three winners out of four is good enough to get the Good Housekeeping seal of approval around here. Scum stats: 400 total, 100 Special Editions with different sleeve art and color (yellow), green vinyl and the usual UFO Dictator trading card, which is always a nice touch.(RK)
(UFO Dictator // www.ufodictator.com)
V/A "Killed By Trash Vol. 2" LP
Second volume of KBD covers by modern bands from P.Trash. The first volume was okay, had a few standouts, a few duds, lots of marginal stuff, the usual for a comp like this. Volume Two is about the same. The main attractions: Livefastdie doing an evil robot version of "I'm Gonna Punch You in the Face" with a simply ethereal guitar solo, Brutal Knights (who I usually don't like) do a killer "Rather See You Dead", CPC Gangbangs contribute a great "LA Sleaze" take, Sudden Walks covering The Stiphnoyds is more than Ok with me, and the big surprise is some band called Bud White from Germany who do Vicious Visions' "I Beat You" justice and then some. And to make this thing's eBay value skyrocket, Fucked Up appear covering "Job", and it's actually really good. Other serviceable cuts from Cheap Thrills (Queers), Cola Freaks (Helen Keller), Retainers (Riot 303) and Fashion Fashion & The Image Boys covering Florida's own U-Boats. Worst cuts = Rad Kids totally gay up Revenge 88, some crappy German band tries to cover Bobby Soxx and obviously fail miserably, Original Three do a boring "I Rock I Ran", a bad Wipers cover from some silly band and other generic pap from bands you don't need to know about. Twenty cuts total, at least half are pretty cool though. I have a soft spot for cover songs, so I get more kicks out of this than some of you might though. I like this concept though, enjoyed this volume, and wouldn't mind hearing a Volume 3...(RK)
(P.Trash Records // www.ptrashrecords.com)
V/A Mama Rosin vs. Hell's Kitchen split 7"
Both bands cover "Baby Please Don't Go" as part of the "Geneva Bayou Connection". From the swamps of Switzerland! This would fit right in on Beatman's Voodoo Rhythm label. Europeans loving Americana more than Americans and all. Mama Rosin do a muddy take with some squeezebox and more hillbilly vibes. Hell's Kitchen do a super-slow creeping version with some durty jazz influence. Or is it zydeco? Anyway, I think Hell's Kitchen win this battle as I can see their version being more likely to appear during a montage on an HBO series. Really well done package though, screenprinting on both sides that matches up with the design on the labels that shows through the big-holed sleeve. 400 copies.(RK)
(Rijapov Records // myspace.com/rijapovrecords)
V/A Movie Star Junkies and Vermillion Sands 7"
From what Gigi tells me, this was originally supposed to be a split of MSJ and VS covering each other's tunes, but then just morphed into the two bands becoming one and turning into another un-named band. Kind of a cool concept really, more split singles where the bands combine forces please! Two songs from the group included here, Anna (VS) sings on both, accompanied with different male vox on each. "Slow Dance" is slow (duh), sort of a swampy/creepy torch song that could've be in an episode of True Blood or something (and I mean that in a good way), with steel guitar, electric piano and Wurlitzer action, Southern Gothic via Italy. "I Love You More As Dead" sounds like an Eye-tye Nick cave and the Bad Seeds...murder ballad and all that. Well executed stuff and if you've been into either band so far, this is a cool little piece of vinyl with a creepy cover. (RK)
(Rijapov Records // myspace.com/rij012)
V/A Thee Oh Sees/Ty Segall split 7"
No matter how stoked I am on both of these bands right now, this record is not worth buying for even the most rabid fan. I suggest conning one of your friends into purchasing a copy, listening to it at their house so you can hear what these two sound like covering each other's songs once (it sounds pretty much like you'd expect, no surprises or anything) and then forget about it. With releases coming out of their asses for both of these acts, obviously the quality is going to slip somewhere, and records like this are perfect candidates for such missteps. Obviously this was more fun for the bands than it's going to be for any listeners. Clear vinyl on Dwyer's Castle Face imprint, limited to 1,000 I believe.(RK)
(Castle Face // myspace.com/castlefacerecords)
V/A Pink Reason /Electric Bunnies split 7”
PR writes about the poppiest track in its discography with “Hey Girl”. Kinda’ has an early Sebadoh/Barlow feel to it but the chiming guitar sounds hearken back the Eighties UK Shoegaze days. Kevin finds himself a happy place. Strained and shattered still, but happier I guess. Second track, “Watching You Fall”, is more like the PR we all know and soak in. Crunchy 4-track sounds filled with jangle-goth textures. Still upbeat, if you compare it to the likes of the Siltbreeze LP. It might be safe to take the band of suicide watch.
Electric Bunnies do the damage in an off kilter bit called “Colorful Teardrops” with back masked rhythms and keys. Ralph Records and Co. are ringing true in these ears. Clowning On Bitches: Page One?...these guys are still on it. The second track (Rest your head…) sounds like a totally different band. A song riding the post punk airflow thru a jet turbine, leaving it spat to the ground in jagged flailing chunks. Guitars left chewin’ the aluminum foil from their bubblegum days. Shreds. Maximum slop that tears through verses at a Terrible Twos velocity, only to let cough meds calm the chorus into a sticky reverb haze. I don’t know what that meant either…I’m on a lunch break writing this. Sorry. It’s a solid record. Get. (RSF)
(Die Stasi // myspace.com/diestasi)
V/A Ty Segall and Mikal Cronin "Pop Song" 7"
Our boy Ty teams up with young Mr. Cronin from Charlie & The Moonhearts for this pretty sweet little EP. "Pop Song" is great, sounds like a couple of wired kids staying up late and writing a hell of a song while watching movies on HBO and sneaking cigarettes in the garage and screaming out the grocery list of candies they devoured during their sugar binge. Brimming with exuberance and un-ritalined energy. The B-Side keeps delivering with a suite of three little nuggets, "So I Went To The Beach" (ripped off garage-blaster with great drumming I'm thinking Ty came up with), "Melody" which is built on this awesome molasses bass line (it sounds like they're turning a tuning knob or something) and handclaps and tambourine while they yammer over it and then dial in a guitar freak-out. They end with the pisspot noise of "Kit Carson", which is kind of a bummer, but the other two parts of this side are neat to hear. A lot Goodbye Boozy releases are culled from barrel-bottom scrapings of recording sessions, and I'm sure this was a fuck-off project done in a day or afternoon or something, but I enjoy its intimately hyperactive and impromptu feel.(RK)
(Goodbye Boozy // myspace.com/goodbyeboozyrecords)
VCR "Code C" 7"
I'm so happy this record is finally out, whether it has a sleeve or not (supposedly the band has the sleeves but are currently too defunct/drunk to get it together). Naked or not, this record smokes. The Vice City Rockers were a bunch of kids who I thought (and still think) were going tobe the saviors of garage-punk once they put out a few records. All of you witnessed the genius of songs like "Christmas Calculator" on their split with Livefastdie. They sent me a demo called 'Rocket To Prussia' two summers ago and I listened to it every day for months. In a drunken stupor I managed to convince myself that "Strictly Business" was one of the greatest songs of these modern times. And when I woke up hungover the next morning, I still believed it. I don't think VCR maybe had hopes as high for themselves as I did for them. I guess they all moved on, their brilliant moments recorded for posterity, thank the Lord. You can say what you want about their post-Black Lips garage-punk moves, but these kids invested their songs with the real piss and heart that those guys had when they recorded their first single. Absolutely vital sounding. Catchy, rocking, seemingly effortless and balls-out drunk and high, the type of shit that comes from a bunch of kids who hang out together while skipping school and drinking only the cheapest of malt liquor and listening to the finest of records. The songs? "Code C" is a total rocker that slips from paranoiac to lucid from chorus to verse motored by bass throb and smashed-to-shit drums. And it's only the second best cut. "Strictly Business" is so catchy, so punk, I seem to remember the lyrics being about their Korean pot dealer or something ("He spells his name K-W-O..."). There's a demo version of this track that is even more sick, if that's possible. "Gamblin' Man" is the roller, up-tempo whoop-ass New Jersey country rock. This shit is real. Vice City Rockers, you are my heroes. Come back. The rest of you should buy this record as soon as humanly possible.(RK)
(Die Slaughterhaus Records // www.dieslaughterhausrecords.com)
Welcome Home Walker s/t 7"
The term man-rape gets thrown around a lot these days, but this 7” is as easy a target as a kid-toucher at Attica. Two crisp sounding Strokes styled clunkers that just make me want to do somethin’ to a motherfucker. At least one of the three cuties on the cover probably had a cool Rock and Roll Dad who hipped ‘em to the Stones, the Beatles, Kinks, etc. Rock and Roll Dad probably had his own band back in the day and is cool with allowing the boys to jam in the garage on weekends. "How do you think I met your Mother?" "Oh, come on Dad! Not in the front of the guys!" "Oh, I know son, I’m just messing with you. But seriously, I got something you guys should check out. Have fun guys, and don’t be up too late." "What’s this? Mothers of Invention? Dude, Walker, your Dad rules." If any of them were my sons I’d be happy that they were making music, but I imagine it would become increasingly difficult to keep quiet my real feelings. For every mediocre musical endeavor would rub my nose in the fact that my weiner son was an apt musician but far from being punk as shit like his old man.(TO)
(Gone Home Records // myspace.com/gonehomerecords)
Wet Dreams "Here Come..." EP
I've actually been waiting patiently for the Wet Dreams 7" to finally come out, if only to have "Circuit Breaker" on vinyl. Sublime girl-group sounds gone slighty synthy and psychy. The band probably recorded this stuff five or more years ago, before they became better known for their other bands (Alix from Lids/Angry Angles/Golden Triangle, Bradford Cox of Deerhunter, and the girl with the great voice from Georgiana Starlington). I'm sure Wet Dreams never really got too much done and these recordings might not have been in intended as an actual release at the time (there are a few flubs and what sound like tape/source problems readily apparent), but the A-Side shows glimpses of a talented group of young kids fucking around and actually coming up with some good songs. "Teenage Dream" and its "Louie Louie" swipe is the other moment of interest here. On the flip side they do a jumpy (and generic) rock'n'roll number called "Crybaby" and finish with "The Outskirts" which is a bad piece of disco-punk from Cox, but perhaps an inkling of the Deerhunter to come. "Circuit Breaker" though, a great tune which will land a prime spot on Bloodstains Across ATL when the time comes for such a thing.(RK)
(Die Slaughterhaus // wwww.dieslaughterhausrecords.com)
The Whines s/t 7"
"Insane OK" is total lo-fi Velvet Underground worship from Portland with off-key female vocals and a familiar echoed-out and haunting recording process. Lush sounding in a crappy way, which I can appreciate. "Starving Dog Art" is bratty indie-punk which makes ties to Eat Skull not at all surprising. Flipping sides. "Indian Homewrecker" stays closer to VU-land, vox get a little huskier, things sidle up a little closer to the shoegaze. "Lines Between Us" delivers the same with a surprisingly harmonious hook. I can get behind most of this record, it might get a little lazy sounding for a minute or two, but "Insane OK" is an absolute delight. More interesting than many Columbus/Siltbreeze acts they're sure to be lumped in with. 300 copies, and I believe it's been repressed.(RK)
(Just For the Hell Of It Records // myspace.com/thewhines)
The White Wires "Girly Girly Girly" LP
When wading through innumerable layers of artificial reverb and mysterious rattling white noise whilst giving whoever’s manning the mouse the benefit of the doubt in their inability to give a simple riff precedence over that coveted perfect ambiance in the stratum of bedroom-produced no-budget cheetos-on-the-geetar-strings ____-gaze (you fill in the blank, I don’t keep track) becomes as disgustingly commonplace as it has, it’s great that there’s some bands stepping back and laughing just like any sensible human would if not for the gradual maturation of said phenomenon. Is that one-man synthtacular insect-vox shit you’re listening to really punk? Eh? I have my doubts. White Wires ain’t exactly my ideal sort of band, but it sounds like they’re by far the torch-bearers of flipping that masturbating-to-ambiguity rationale on its head while succeeding at it, and for that I salute them. Some of their song titles (“Girly Girly Girly,” “Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah,” “Ha Ha Holiday”) may indicate their priorities in blatantly pop-infused ‘60s-garage-meets-‘90s-budget-rock, and their plastic shades n’ Converses definitely don’t dig ‘em out of that ditch, but God damn do they know how to write a catchy song. And they don’t bog it down with anything unnecessary, which I think is the key. Completely pop-infused numbers that have this great jangle to them – just the right amount of bass, treble and assertive drumming in the production, birthing some of the most infectious head waggers of recent memory. I guess I’m patting their backs a tad harder than I should be, but it’s fucking refreshing to see such reverence for songwriting in an age of aura being atop the pedestal. Good songs, good sound, good record. (BG)
(Going Gaga Records // myspace.com/goinggagarecords)
Whores of War s/t 7"
Dead-end hardcore record from Redwood, CA. The hook being that it's a mostly female band (three out of four members), including a chick singing, who is one of the more ferocious ladies I've heard belt out the vox without just screaming. Decent guitar tone and riffs, totally bleak vibes, four songs, one about VagisilTM. In the end, pretty generic sounding, but the vulgarity and crudeness keep me from looking away immediately. That VagisilTM song is actually pretty good. Scum stats: 300 copies.(RK)
(self-released // myspace.com/whoresofwar)
Wolfden "Coconut" 7"
Creative semi-novelty record from Dan of Vee Dee and a couple of his pals. "Coconut" is some Parrothead-parody shit ("....drinkin' a pina colada from a skull..."...actually it also contains the gem-like turn of phrase "My skeleton is gelatin..."). Beachy-sounding, but in an absurdist sort of pop-rock way. "Frozen Claws" revisits the same beat/music as "Coconut" but instead the lyrics are about the travails of losing a frozen claw and there's a guitar solo. I think this would be good music to smoke cheebah by. On the backside, "Hell Ride" is a bizarro instrumental that's rather clever and "I Like Lobster (I Like the Claws)" closes with what I think could be a nice parody of a Melvins song done up garage style. A really unique record. I've listened to it a bunch of times. Help our pal Pat out over at Rocket Reducer and buy a copy during his goin-outta-bizness sale. Scum stats: 300 hand-numbered copies.(RK)
(Rocket Reducer // www.rocketreducer.com)
Woven Bones "Your Sorcery" 7"
"You Sorcery" is a pretty damn tough tune, Southern shoegaze-psych, equal parts Elevators and JAMC maybe. The next generation of Texas psych? It's a fucking mover, that's all I know. "Howlin Woof" is the first time I think they sound absolutely Texan. Dark mesquite-smoked desert vibes, night-time sneers, shotgun shack wah-guitar, creeping around the outskirts of the campfire flames. Their most impressive platter to date (and their HozAc 7" is a real snooze, I know...), let's hope Sub Pop doesn't get to 'em before they get that LP out on HozAc! Highly recommended, even if you didn't dig their other single(s). Sweet Rot = on a tear! (RK)
(Sweet Rot Records // myspace.com/sweetrotrecords)
To read past reviews go here.