Saturday, May 7, 2016

A Genius Is The One Most Like Himself


I had a thought of doing a "best live sets of 2015" recap earlier in the year, but like most things that idea quickly fell out of my head and I never picked it back up again. Definitely the best live band I saw last year was Uranium Club, back in November; I drove all the way to Providence just to see them (although Neutral Fixation II were on the bill, too, which made the trip worth it) and they were completely killer and their set was way tight, as any good band that's been on tour for a while tends to get. I mean, their songs are full of starts and stops and so forth and they didn't even bother really looking at each other or counting things off all that much, just starting each song or shifting through changes on-the-dot like it was the most natural thing in the world for anyone to do. Afterwards I asked them if it was actually The Minneapolis Uranium Club Band or just Uranium Club and they said "it can be whatever you want it to be", so that's cool. I think I'll start calling them Toto. Wait, that joke isn't even halfway funny. They also had some buttons and pencils for sale, and a weird hand-out about radiation poisoning, which I'm not sure where I put it so I think I lost mine. Anyway, their album (heavy Midwest legacy rock / Dow Jones & The Industrials damage) was originally self-released on a cassette and then Fashionable Idiots pressed it up as an LP and it sold out in like five months; I think it's be re-released overseas since, though. When I first bought the record last year I was so excited over it that I ripped it to my computer - which takes a couple of hours - because it didn't come with a download code, which was before I found out that you could get the whole thing as a free download on the Fashionable Idiots bandcamp. Duh. Also, the center labels on the record are faked, like a bootleg, and they dropped a card inside the jacket explaining that it was the pressing plant's fault but I'm pretty sure they just made that part up.



The Minneapolis Uranium Club Band -

"Rafter Man"

"Vanishing Point"


Also, someone at the show videotaped their set and you can watch the whole thing here, it's pretty great:









Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Eternal Nothingness Is Fine If You Happen To Be Dressed For It


My 99-cent tour through the Siltbreeze catalog rolls along with this Ashtabula 12", which from the outside looks like it could be an abstract noise record, but on the inside is actually loud, catchy indie rock à la Sebadoh, or Helikopter (Balt-o band that I posted about once), or even Siltbreeze alums Monkey 101 in a handful of ways. Side Two meanders a bit, otherwise I wouldn't dig this as much -- if it were more straightforward it would be disappointing -- although there's still some part of me that wonders why this rec is such an easy pick-up on Discogs, especially considering its prime Bardo Pond / Strapping Fieldhands pedigree. But, it worked out in my favor this time (unlike the Sam Esh + Hard Black Thing record, which I'll probably never listen to again), so far be it for me to complain.


Ashtabula -

"Nineteenpointsix"

"Way Too Fast"





Sunday, April 17, 2016

I Ain't Never Heard A Horse Sing A Song


I picked this tape up at a show that I was at the other day -- one of the bands at the show had it in their distro box -- and it's pretty rulin' noisy hardcore stuff, very Cult Maternal-ish, although the track that I'm going to post here is a dead-ringer for Hoax, ha ha. I can't say that there's anything here that breaks a whole lot of new ground, but I found myself listening to this tape (which came out last year on Perennial, home of lots of other neat stuff, like Vexx, Broken Water, etc) about ten times since I bought it and also the lyrics are pretty clever (read them), so I figured I'd share. There's a forthcoming Nasti LP on Iron Lung that's being mixed right now, according to the Iron Lung blogspot, although what type of idiot would have a blogspot in 2016, anyway.

Nasti -

"Nasti"



Sunday, March 27, 2016

Strictly Speaking I Believe I’ve Never Been Anywhere


Alternate "show edition" 7" for two shows that didn't happen.

Framtid -

"Visions of Onkalo"


Thursday, March 10, 2016

If Love Is Blind Then I Wish You Were Out Of Sight


This is something that I picked up on one of my first record-shopping trips into Boston after moving into the area last year - at a store on Mass. Ave that sold mostly old jazz sides, so I was somewhat psyched when I saw this peeking out at me from one of the bins, and not just because it's a great single but also because it was just a buck. Dynamic Truths were wunna Bob Schick's post-Honor Role bands (Honor Role = legendary), and this 7" was the only thing that they released, at least up until a retrospective CD that came out on Little Black Cloud about a half-decade ago (which I've actually never seen, tho I managed to swipe a couple mp3's from some blog way back when). Musically this sorta sounds like Honor Role re-imagining songs from the first Christian Death LP, and if that sounds lame to you then it's not, it's fuggin' top notch. I just pull these descriptions out of my ass, you realize that by now, right?



Dynamic Truths -

"You Take It All"

"Profit From Loss"

Friday, February 12, 2016

People Say Nothing Is Impossible But I Do Nothing Every Day


I've been on this thing lately where I try to buy every Siltbreeze LP that shows up on Discogs for $2.99 or less. I figure that it's worth the risk, and so far I've been almost close to 100% right. It took me a while to get around to listening to this Sapat album -- when you pay less than three bucks for something, it tends to sit in the back of the milk crate while you prioritize other more important things, like listening to that $25 Dick Diver record that you bought from Midheaven -- but now that I've listened to it a few times, I've pretty much fallen in love with it. Sounds kinda like if Can were an Xpressway band. Or, maybe now that I think about it, like a Siltbreeze band. Gee, I hope that Tom Lax doesn't see this because then he'll probably want to sue me.



Sapat -

"Lovely and Free"


Saturday, January 30, 2016

Watch Who You're Calling Space Garbage, Meteor Mouth


I didn't know "Lolita Nation" was being re-issued, like, next week, which shows me for not paying attention to "Black Friday"/"Record Store Day" re-issue labels and their ilk, I guess. Hence, my incentive to pull this out now and give it a listen. Stuff like this was way too college rock for me back when it first came out, but like John Brannon says, "Maybe I was too hardcore at the time to like some shit, but I can appreciate that shit retroactively." Definitely a weird pop album from one of the weirdest "pop" bands -- a bit too precious and indulgent at times, at other times like Alex Chilton singing "Sgt. Pepper's" after Doug Gillard and Matthew Sweet re-wrote all the songs. If that sounds like a good idea to you, then no doubt you should pick up the re-issue (just google "Black Friday Record Store Day Labels", I'm sure the list won't be too long).



Game Theory -

"Kenneth -- What's The Frequency?"/"Not Because You Can"

"Go Ahead, You're Dying To"/"Dripping With Looks"

"Chardonnay"

"Last Day That We're Young"

"The Waist and The Knees"


Sunday, January 24, 2016

I Ain't In A Slump, I Just Ain't Hitting


Of all the Boston Crew-type HC bands that went metal back in the '80s (which was pretty much all of 'em), I think that Jerry's Kids ended up making the best "post-XClaim!-era" record with "Kill Kill Kill", which in some ways has a sound that isn't all that separated from "Is This My World?" --- sure, some of the lyrics are dumber, and there's a bigger "metal" sound to the drums and guitars, but the songwriting in general tends to fall back onto straight hardcore thrash and a few of the songs on "Kill Kill Kill" wouldn't have sounded at all out of place if they'd been recorded back when "Is This My World"?" was being made. The F.U.'s, on the other hand, not only changed their name (to Straw Dogs) but changed their sound entirely, and "We Are Not Amused" is pretty much a straight-up commercial metal/hard rock record with barely a trace of punk to be found at all, other than Sox' vocals of course. It's not a great record all the way through -- the quality level really drops off after the top four or five songs -- but the guitars pack way more of a punch than any of the rock slough released by SSD or DYS (for instance), and it also has some of the best drumming I've ever heard on a hard rock record. I say that there's not much punk involved, but I suppose it takes a punk to take pot shots at all the phony "sign of the devil" Mötley Crüe crap and hit the target as dead-on as "Carnival In Hell" does. I'm not exactly sure what the slags against John Sex Bomb and the Anthrax Club on the thank you list/lyric sheet are all about, but I'm guessing it probably has something to do with a show that the F.U.'s tried to play at the old Stamford Anthrax years ago. At least, I think I read about it in a book somewhere.



Straw Dogs -

"Carnival In Hell"

"The Hunger"

"In Deep"

"Trigger Finger"



Sunday, January 17, 2016

I Don't Know Right From Wrong


I bought this as a present to myself for $2 because it's Peter Dayton, frontman for Boston monsters La Peste, being helped out by members of the Cars (Ric Ocasek, Elliot Easton and Greg Hawkes); I mean, there's no way that could not be great, right? If you've heard the studio tracks at the end of the La Peste collection that Matador put out a couple of decades ago (a couple of which Greg Hawkes also played on, if I remember correctly) then you kinda already know what to expect from this. If you haven't, then nod your head and just go with it. La Peste's "Skin Tight" gets re-made as a new-wave power-pop song and is the top of the class here; it probably would've made for a nifty KBD-styled 7" 45 had it been released with "Perfect Wave" -- somewhat of a surf instrumental -- on the flip. The other two songs on here aren't anything special, although the extra-flabby ballad "Stuck on The Same Refrain" is probably what set this 12" up as probably nothing more than a resume for a record deal. If you don't own any La Peste stuff then try to track down the "Better Off Dead" single, it was recently re-issued twice and thus is fairly easy to buy online.



Peter Dayton -

"Skintite"

"Perfect Wave"




Saturday, January 2, 2016

If You're Gonna Be An Artist You Gotta Draw The Line Somewhere

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One of the things that I find amusing about the legacy of Big Dipper is that they're now being portrayed -- or, at least, back when all the reissues were coming out -- as this sort of whimsical underground band that no one had ever heard of, when in fact they were a favorite band of a lot of people back in the '80s, myself included. I guess "unknown band" these days (post-internet) is shorthand for "the college sophomore intern at PopMatters never heard of them", which -- in this case -- makes me wonder what those people would think if they ever somehow stumbled upon an Embarrassment record. "Wait, there's a band that's even older than Big Dipper, with some of the same songs and even one of the same guys in it? That's it, I quit." Don't even think about the Volcano Suns, jesus.

I'm pretty sure that I saw Big Dipper at least a couple of times while they were still around, although the only time that I remember was at TT's in Boston, where Peter Prescott was in the audience, standing in the back of the room and glaring towards the stage with a "you stole my band" look on his face. Actually, Peter was there, but I could just be making the 'glaring' part up. Anyway, enough of me talking -- do you want to hear some songs from Big Dipper's third record, "Craps"? It's a fairly excellent album, if I say so myself. I think it was maybe the next one that was kind of bad.


Big Dipper -

"Ron Klaus Wrecked His House"

"The Insane Girl"

"Stardom Because"

"Hey! Mr. Lincoln"

"The Bells of Love"

(files have now been disabled)


Sunday, December 27, 2015

History Doesn't Repeat Itself, But It Rhymes


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Good band (membs. of Priests/Downtown Boys/Neonates/etc), catchy song. Those rhythms are like a punch in the gut, so tight. You could likely slot this under "stuff that sounds like '78-'81 DIY post-punk", but stuff this good doesn't need me throwing any more words at it, so I'll just exit stage right gracefully here. Probably the best new song I've heard this week.






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