Thursday, July 31, 2014
I love singles from bands I’ve never heard of before that out of nowhere force me to reconsider a bunch of genres and what things should go together on the shelves. I organize loosely by genre and era which means it’s constantly changing. I had a post punk section with The Wire and The Clean then along comes Traps PS who take a sort of warped blues and manage to cram those references into this stuff. Now how am I supposed to find the thread from Blind Lemon Jefferson to The Embarrassment?
"Leaders and Greeters" starts with an alternating snare kick double time beat and a distortion echo vocal yelling between post punk guitar jabs in some kind of hybrid of blues and chunky garage. The bass takes on the melody here and it's an angular Buzzcocks ride until the guitar turns on a blended solo and jangles into the next verse. Something southwestern about them like a reverb western tumbleweed sound. Weird. "Back Station" hits that Gang of Four guitar bursts with a Cramps, John Spencer style yelp hyperactive vocal and slows down for the lyric it happened so fast with an attitude like a Dirty Beaches blown out blues.
B-Side's "Ritual Gifts" is insisting on a banging snare but the focus is on these post punk guitars they manage to twist into sounding blues. A bizarre, crazy combination of references. The tone is perfect and vocally they have layers of understated talking delivery and yelling in the background, throwing in a measure of jazz towards the end. Don’t be mistaken they absolutely know what they're doing. "Surprises" has no effects this time in the drum loop with a hundred elements. One metallic guitar note into the sunset. There's a simplicity to their stuff that I completely appreciate but even more its this blues style post punk that I'm still wrapping my head around. Great weird rhythm and Television could be informing this one. As much as they almost invented this weird hybrid they don't stick exactly to the formula either. Little things continue to change. I think the tough part is going to be figuring out who to play with or god forbid trying to explain this to someone. Luckily you can just listen yourself.
Get it from Papermade Records.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Life is insane. I'm listening to Gary Numan’s first record from his first band Tubeway Army, thanks to Halt and Catch Fire, which is not only bringing back crazy early computer memories but has a really incredible weekly soundtrack. Not the usual stuff you always hear from the ’80s really smart, interesting choices. Literally just got it in the mail and sat down to check out this A-Side from Giorgio Murderer and it turns out this is a side project from Buck Biloxi (of the fucks) but it’s sounding eerily like a lot of that area right between post punk and new wave.
"Primitive World" starts with a stick count off into fast as hell jangly, scraping guitars from a neon laser grid universe. It’s a dark future, but not the one with the terminators and all kinds of advanced technology but one where all that’s left are broken casios and guitars with no strings and barely a way to capture them on cassette. I also can't help but think of Destruction Unit and Jay's side project electronic stuff. I love the vision of the future that’s scrappy and full of contradictions like this. It's fun not too serious but isn't 1984 either. I guess it is in it's own way foreboding way. I also appreciate Buck would be messing with stuff so completely out of his wheel house, the exact opposite of the Fucks. Really great, only heard this one sound cloud track but you can also watch this video my friend Tim shot for a Buck and Giorgio split while your at it.
Get this from Goner Records.
CASEY LIKES THE FUCKS
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
I really like the dudes on the cover of Cozy’s “Kiss Me Dummy” these fisted riffs and over the top Dictators snotty punk vocal you can barely understand cuts through the chunky bubblegum garage rock thats taking place and with that cover this thing should be flying off the shelves. Kiss me dummy? Perfect lyrics. New York Dolls taken to this ridiculous place that comes back around and becomes punk again because it's so insane. Handclaps and KICK DRUM. Ooooo's mirror the sustained chord strikes. Real party rock that’s silly and just fun, like an extreme Jeff Novak, a little glam distorted buttery solo and back onto the handclaps kick stomp that they smartly make go on forever. Who wouldn't like this kind of drunken mess attitude and most of all vests. Guys, I'm impressed. I also like that it's important they all touch each other on the cover, well thought out.
B-Side’s “Show and Tell" opens on that lonely kick and a vocal ‘ba ba ba’ melody that he just made up. Big chords in that crunchy '70s overdrive nailing this Saturday night sound, especially the vocals. “I’ll show you mine / you show me yours” definitely talking about getting naked. I always admired those bands that can get away with songs like this, not just get away with but take the most ridiculous thing that should be impossible to take seriously and then they sell it so hard that you have to have a good time. They go into a show knowing they have to win you over. They don't walk in thinking the audience is lucky to have gotten a ticket. They’re glad to play for you and want to make sure you love it...and your little sister is going to hang this sleeve on the wall and agonize over who's cuter.
Get it from Secret Mission Records
Monday, July 28, 2014
Brand new band out of Paris, Cheap Riot, can’t find much on these guys except a Facebook and those French classes in high school aren’t helping much. I know this is their first single and that Requiem Pour Un Twister have put out cool stuff in the past so I’m in. Now I’m looking up Croque Madame Records which I’m guessing is the French equivalent to Burger Records?
A-Side’s “Part Time Vacancy" has a nice sparkly jangle from a picked electric with a heavy tempo snare and high range vocal from a rehearsal room sound. The vocals pile right over this thing. The snare has trouble keeping time in the changes with the right amount of looseness like The Beets and their nerdy laid back sound. Even when they start to get rough in the chorus they’re likable guys that keep going back to that 4/4 steady rock. Still all guitars, no denying that, in 360 degree garage treble sound. Real pop that starts to degrade in metallic reverb and turn into part time lover and part time punk.
O”n B-Side’s Man of That Kind" the vocals go solo hoarse and take over the mic, just stepping up to this garage layered sound. Just saw the trailer for that Belle and Sebastian musical coming out that I'm actually excited to see and all I can picture is the lead in that delivering this vocal. Somehow it has that Scottish ‘50s garage soul reverb heavy stuff. He's earnest, cracking vocally, but the high harmony makes this sound like that pop punk stuff. They get into the honest sonics from 40 years ago that Shannon and the Hunx have been fracking.
Get it from Croque Madame - or Requiem Pour Un Twister.
Friday, July 25, 2014
I’m just writing to say you’ve gone and done it again. This single from The Memories is damn impressive. I can't just chalk this up to luck anymore, now I realize you know exactly what you’re doing. When I win the lottery (this is a legal and binding statement I am making of my own free will) Randy you tell me what you need. What dollar amount you want to expand your operation with full lengths, box sets, subscription series, presses. I love everything you've put out and it’s no accident. I would hate to see finances hold you and your motherfucking records back in any way.
On this laid back jam, “American Summer" they can't even be bothered to hit that snare with real effort, the sunglasses are on and shirts off. The chorus is noodle filled guitars and this has me reaching for Nodzzz, the band mind you, and their cut off jeans in the kiddie swimming pool diving into the six inches of sonic glue. This is that scene in the coming of age movie where the lead jumps off the diving board and drifts to the bottom of the pool in slow motion. That sad and beautiful pause. The rhythm takes a turn at the end but its nothing you can't handle. "Creamsicle" has a scuzzy bass line and those vocals get smeared across the top like a knife full of junkyard-fi. Sounds like an Ariel Pink rhythm with a Real Estate vibe, the best kind of home recorded stuff, goofy but in that intimate place - like a creamsicle which is DEFINITELY a metaphor they make no secret about that. "Dream About You" could be a lost Art Museums track, the heavy, cheap and off rhythm gated snare with a sitar stringed instrument singing about a party in LA. Just like those guys to make this somber light pop about something mundane and do it with the craziest flying colors. This kind of pop that doesn't try and ends up the absolute best stuff. Literally the audio equivalent of a inflatable easy chair with a cup holder full of booze.
On B-Side’s "High You Can't Buy" the jangle has some Natural Child leanings and they get right into handclaps and heavy reverb in that glamy garage way. A Little bit of synth or they warped these guitars right into the '80s along with this warbly solo. This must be their experimental side. Cheap Time covering the Drive soundtrack. "Natural Beauty" has an acoustic? They can officially do anything. Such a wussy song, their high falsetto and tapped percussion won't wake the neighbors. Matthew Melton should talk to these guys about opening for him. It’s all here, weird experimental recording process and sick tight pop garage stuff about the dumbest things that will make everyone jealous. “Wake and Bake (at Wakefield's)" sounds like a great coffee shop. The reverb clicks hitting the pickups and shiny glittering metallic acoustic strings. How can they get up early enough? A '50s burnout sock hop track, I love that combination with the whispering "don't you wanna wanna?” It's one thing to sound apathetic and young, but this is sincere as hell and killing it. They have to be old enough to know better. It's all pizza and video games but if you don’t do it like you mean it - we'll find out.
Get it from Randy Records.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
I've always looked to Kids Like You and Me in Boston to keep up with what's going on up there. Historically Boston has always seemed to foster a unique scene with bands like Mission Of Burma, The Pixies and Sebadoh and recently I’ve even put out records from locals Soccer Mom and Fat History Month. The two on this split, Nice Guys and Miami Doritos are both out of Allston and share garage-y noise and chaos on this one from your Boston area authorities, KLYAM.
On the insert it says ‘turn up the heat and roll a joint, that's the secret recipe’ on Nice Guys’ “Jamaican Vacation”. A high electric melody pierces through the lousy haze while this other guitar joins with it's own heavy distortion’s rough edges and blunt as hell. This blows in swinging all over, crazy and totally blind, arms flailing. The entire band needs a mic to counter the heavy jagged changes of riffs and slow, deliberate growls and cymbal bashing, noise is driving this. Guitars and drums, no bass allowed. The track creeps faster and faster towards an inevitable collapse. Ragged and spent. "Medical Envy" throws open the dank on huge windmill riffs and a delayed echo reverb wrapping chords around metallic hits from the drum section again. This psych arrangement is interrupted by a bashing count off and I think the lyrics are jealous of someone that can buy medical marijuana. Don't worry buddy I think there's an amendment coming and we can end up like Idiocracy. This is even more aggressive than the other track but that high melody is back and I mean high from second hand smoke. Snotty and blown out vocals, the guitars both wade through heavy sludge rock broken up by string breaking bendy solo's. The verse melody further devolves and the chorus becomes more insistent. It all ends in feedback and the power going out. Nothing left to chance.
Miami Doritos "Price 2 Pay" I think those two words go together perfectly and so does this wiry low end hum that threatens to turn to feedback, wrangled by some unknown assailant. It slowly gets banged into submission and the tonal quality on this side is like Psychedelic Horseshit and the guitar burps drown out these already peaking vocals. Riffs bleed together in a lone low end southern metal freakout. Sort of bluesy but terrifying in how little it actually gives you to hold on to. What weird cabin in the woods did this come out of? For “Rush Hour/Piss Take" the bleeding amps and the snare actually break through the crunch and hiss and buried vocals try to hold things together. It breaks for a second and they hold onto sustain like some kind of punk tightrope, how they even hear each other in this sort of Cramps punk voodoo sound is a mystery. Muddy and loud, I wonder if this is a live recording or are they this insane when settling down for a studio session?
The insert of this thing will keep you busy for days. This 8 x 10 xerox was painstakingly doodled in study hall for weeks. Every character is represented.
Get this from Klyam Records in Fluorescent Lime or mixed color.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
My friend Tim called me one night to tell me about Life Stinks. I ordered the full length from SS Records. There’s scuzzy pop garage about smoking weed and playing video games and then there’s the darker more sinister side in Life Stinks. Sounding like walking in on an underground biker party, it’s trashy, loose and dirty lie Buck Biloxi or the Mayyors - RIP.
A-Side's "Portraits" opens on feedback and that empty room sound, its as raw as anything you could have dug up at the salvation army on a hand labeled cassette. Banging away at a tambourine snare bash beat, the guitars are banished to the back of this, Chad (from the outdoorsmen) on vocals always with a sneering attitude, feeling like a dark chant to the heavens. He’s not complaining just letting the universe know he's still down here and won't be pushed around. A brutish force cutting in scythe paths not a wussy surgical knife. Cut things down quick and get this thing cleared out. A punk psych in its hypnotic beat and background shredding hiss guitars. This guy actually has things to say and they aren't just fucking around being drunken jerks making noise. Loose but not sloppy. Angry not stupid.
Just listened to the sound cloud not sure what’s on the B-Side but I like these guys a lot.
Get it from Total Punk Records. Colors? Packaging? These guys don't need it.