Friday, April 30, 2010

Anything That You're Missing You Don't Need

Million Sellers released two jaw-droppingly brilliant 7"-ers back in the mid-90's to relative worldwide disinterest (you can revisit them here and here), but now Kels Koch is back on vinyl again over a decade later with another 4-song EP, released earlier this year on BamaLama. This one rocks a bit harder that the first two, meaning a lot more of the Eddie Cochran comes through while making the Chilton/Westerberg comparisons a little less apt, but you can still picture this as something Chilton might've come up with after "Flies on Sherbert" had he not almost immediately taken a hard right turn to kitschville.

Of course, owning any Million Sellers record is fairly recommended, which you can attempt in this case either through the web site, or for a mere 4 bucks direct. I've also ripped a couple of tracks for you to sample by clicking on the links found below (they're not downloadable files this time, just listen-only).

Million Sellers -

(these files are listen-only)

"Fickle-Hearted Lover"

"I Can't Help It"

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Kicked In The Teeth Again

You'd have no problem finding over-21 Gearhead punk in the northwest quarter of the U.S. back in the '90s-- bands like Zeke, The Fluid, Meices, The Humpers, Gas Huffer, and so forth-- and you can add The Fumes to that list, too... bands that weren't catchy enough to be The Queers or Boris the Sprinkler, or grimy enough to be The Rip-Offs or Teengenerate, but were sorta right in the middle there... anyway, I like clear vinyl, I like AC/DC covers (even when they're not really all that good), so I like this record.

The Fumes -

(these files are now listen-only)


"Eastside Story"

"Kicked in the Teeth"

click for enlarged view

Saturday, April 24, 2010

You Don't Look So Good

I've changed my mind on Stubb a couple of times; I never really thought that this EP or their track on the "Capsule One" 7-inch was all that great, but the one live set I caught of theirs (at the New Milford Teen Center) was prime stuff, and their track on "Destroy All Mediocrity" is probably my favorite song on the whole compilation. Adjusted for hindsight, I would say that on the list of '90s Danbury bands, Stubb would fall under "the good".

I kinda wish now that I had taken some pictures of Stubb the one time I saw them, but I'd only brought one roll of film with me and I wanted to save it for Creature Did. There are a couple of reasons why that show is still stuck in my memory, though-- one being, there was another band that played early on the bill that night called Death Penis, and during one of Creature Did's songs, Kevin started playing a chugga-chugga guitar riff and chanting "death... penis... death... penis...", which is either really dumb or a fairly caustic sing-along, depending upon how grown up you are. Also, I had just gotten my copy of Boris the Sprinkler's "Saucer to Saturn" CD in the mail from Norb that afternoon, and I played the hell out of it on my way to and from the show, which is maybe why I didn't remember to stop and buy film.

I can't decide if any one of the tracks on this EP is any better than the others (although "Jackie-O" is pretty goofy as an almost KBD-style number-- "Jackie-O, you're dead!"), so I'm gonna post all three of them and leave it up to you guys to decide. Supposedly there's a completed Stubb album laying around somewhere (Sean Sheriden recorded that one also), but I've never seen it or heard any of it.

Stubb -

(these files are now listen-only)

"The End"


"I'm Sorry"

Friday, April 23, 2010

Shrivel Up And Die

As a testament to random record buying, I've somehow ended up owning two singles by the Heretics when I don't even really like them. Well, "Lesbian Grudge Match" (the b-side to their '88 single) is okay, but somewhere in between that single and this one the Heretics found a way to re-invent themselves as AntiSeen with an even worse singer. The best thing I can say about this single is that it's loud enough and it "rocks" in all the obvious places, not to mention it's over 20 years old. You gotta look at it as a historic artifact, man! Everything from the '80s was just better! Even shitty Savage Circle EPs!

This is also the second cover of "Mississippi Queen" that I've posted so far (Couch Flambeau had the other one), although on this one the Heretics kinda ruin it by smearing the riff all together and compound the problem with one of the weirdest drum tracks I've ever heard. P.S. This isn't the ugliest sleeve in my collection, it just looks like it. P.P.S. Bullfrog sound effects! I forgot to mention the bullfrog sound effects!

Heretics -

(these files are now listen-only)

"Shrivel Up and Die"

"Mississippi Queen"

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I'm Forced To Forget How To Give

During my '80s "youth crew" days the original XClaim! bands were practically like gods (little g) to me, though SSD and DYS quickly proved with their post-XClaim! output that they didn't know their way around a rock n roll riff at all. Not true with the F.U.'s/Straw Dogs and Jerry's Kids, luckily, and even though the Jerry's Kids re-union LP ("Kill Kill Kill") is referred to as "speed metal" all the time-- as if they were C.O.C. or The Accüsed or something-- it's still pretty much a hardcore punk record. Sure, the drumming's not the same and it's a bit slowed down from the hyper-thrash found on "Is This My World?", as you might expect, but it's still way more hardcore than a lot of the other shit from the same era that other people try to pass off as hardcore (Gang Green's "Another Wasted Night", for instance). Plus, the riffs on "Kill Kill Kill" are given every chance to do their work, which is a great thing, and overall it sounds exactly like the record you'd expect Jerry's Kids to make at that point in their career, instead of the abomination that became "How We Rock" or whatever.

Jerry's Kids are also the only original XClaim! band that I got to see live, at CBGB's after their re-union in 1987. I can't recall too much about the show, or even who else was on the bill (maybe Verbal Assault? Government Issue?), but I know they were more than good enough. I remember at one point during a slow part to one of their songs (perhaps "Spymaster", which is a La Peste cover, or "Satan's Toy"), Bob and Rick held their guitars like oars and started paddling them in unison to whatever riff was being played, which was some pretty funny shit.

I've ripped both sides of my copy of the "Spymaster" single here-- even though neither song is anything exclusive or rare -- only because this single actually came in 3 different versions with 3 different b-sides, pretty much all of which can be found on "Kill Kill Kill". Flip a couple of bucks Curtis' way, and you can even own a copy of "Kill Kill Kill" or "Is This My World?" on a shitty cassette for $1.99!

By the way, a little name clarification: despite what everybody thinks when they first look at the back of this record, "Jack Clark" isn't the same Jack Clark who played for the SF Giants and the Boston Red Sox.

Jerry's Kids -

(these files are now listen-only)


"Need Some"

Friday, April 16, 2010

I Feel Like I'm Flat On My Back Again

No decent record collection could've made it through the 90's unscathed without a few New Bomb Turks singles, so here's one of the better ones-- though really, they were all pretty good, it wasn't until they jumped to Epitaph that shit started to go downhill... anyway, "Summer Romance" is one of my favorite New Bomb Turks cover attempts (behind "Just Head" and "Mr. Suit" and "Ejection" and okay, well whatever), and "I'm Weak" is one of their solid mid-tempo stompers-- y'know, like "Taller Order" or "The Anal Swipe"-- and I like those ones, too.

New Bomb Turks -

(these files are now listen-only)

"I'm Weak"

"Summer Romance"

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Thinking In The Grime

I would have a hard time explaining my affinity for G'nu Fuz (a band that I've yet to see live, by the way). Their songs aren't the type of rocking that my ears typically go for, and if G'nu Fuz didn't automatically earn a second look just by the sake of being a local band I probably would've shrugged them off as being too much like the kind of music my parents used to listen to while they were getting stoned. Still, their output has been uniformly excellent, with a genuine craft to their musicianship that even a knothead like me can appreciate, and Joe Roberto has a crystal-clear voice that matches up well with the material. And while I know that's not the kind of write-up that's going to motivate too many people into checking these songs out, fuckit, you're not exactly impressing me, either.

"Sleepytown"/"Rise Before the Fall" was G'nu Fuz' first-ever record, as much as I can tell, and it's probably a factor of pressing 7-minute songs onto 7" of plastic which quiets the sound a lot and brings up every pop and crackle in the vinyl, but these rips are fairly crunchy. Just sit a little bit further away from the speakers, I guess.

G'nu Fuz -

(these files are now listen-only)


"Rise Before the Fall"

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I'm Out Of Control And I Can't Do Anything

Pussy Galore came about in 2005 when a bunch of unknown musicians from some low-level indie bands-- Neil Hagerty of Weird War, Julia Cafritz of Free Kitten, and occasionally Bob Bert of International Shades-- got together with Jon Spencer (ex-roadie for Crowbar Massage) in an attempt to milk whatever current lo-fi/garage/noise trends they could find for all they were worth. The results borrowed heavily from just about everybody: the no-bass, all-guitar attack of bands like the Cheater Slicks, the crudity of bands like the Brainbombs, and various other artists such as Black Snakes, Peach of Immortality, Whitehouse, Bassholes, Trent Reznor, Rot Shit, Ministry, No Trend, probably Raging Slab even. The band immediately found itself in hot water due to their controversial subject matter, most notably the song "You Look Like a Jew", which was clearly directed at Ian MacKaye ("see the sick smoke rising from Dischord house... it's a second prison!") and the overlords of the hardcore scene in general ("Tim Yohannon says 'we cannot accept this ad'.... FUUUUUCK!"). Despite all of this, the self-released "Groovy Hate Fuck" EP stands without question as the greatest record of all time.

Pussy Galore -

(these files are now listen-only)

"You Look Like a Jew"

"Cunt Tease"

"Dead Meat"


Since I half-assed my way through this post by swiping all the writing from someone else's web site, as an added bonus I'll include a .zip file of some live tracks from Pussy Galore's show at the Anthrax Club in Norwalk, CT back in 1987. The recording was made by Scott Munroe, and you can read some of our witty comments about that night (I was at the show, too) over here. Only about half of the show is included in the file; if you want the whole thing, you can chummy up to Scott and maybe make a trade with him.

Pussy Galore Anthrax July 31

Saturday, April 10, 2010

This Could Go On Forever And Things Wouldn't Get Any Better

Some people around here might know Joe Maddalena for his current stint in The Mountain Movers, and then there's his other band, Crooked Hook, but long before any of that Joe was blazing a trail as an international indie pop superstar (believe me, I heard the rumors) with his 90's bedroom pop project, Names For Pebbles. Names For Pebbles at one point also included erstwhile 76% Uncertain drummer Bill Knapp, though I have no idea what Bill has been up to lately, or even where one could go to look up something like that.

Names For Pebbles derived from the supposedly miles and miles of tapes that Joe recorded by himself throughout the 90's, leading up to a handful of releases and compilation tracks as well as a scant few live performances. I managed to see Name For Pebbles once and get my hands on several recordings, as evidenced by the photo (taken at Brass City Records in 1997) and write-up from Brushback, seen below. Wow, what a hilarious, insightful fanzine that must've been. Too bad you missed it, right?

In the meantime, check out "All Day Reverie", which was released in Japan in '96 and is an important piece of CT twee-pop history, to be sure. Gee, this might even earn me my very own writing gig for or CT Indie, who knows. Can't be any worse than the last guy, Mr. Heirloom Tomatoes or whomever the fuck he was.

Names For Pebbles -

(these files are now listen-only)

"Names For Pebbles Theme"


"Every Cloudy Rainbow"

Friday, April 9, 2010

I've Gone Outta Style

I know there's better rips of this tape out there-- not to mention last year's re-issue from the same label that puts out shitty Yeasayer records-- but I'm going to post it anyway because I own it and I feel like listening to it again. I bought this at Brass City Records in '84/'85, back when it first came out, and I think the main reason why I still have it when most of the vinyl I bought in those same two years is long gone is because stores generally aren't interested in letting you trade in old tapes, so unlike the records it made more sense just to keep it.

Not that this isn't a great tape, of course; in fact, there weren't too many other releases I owned back then that screamed "punk rock" better than this one. The Zero Boys were one of the first U.S. hardcore/punk bands to have really solid, meaty-sounding recordings, so while a lot of the other better-known bands at the time were putting out records that sounded relatively tame (I'm dumbfounded that there are people who claim to like Circle Jerks "Wild In The Streets" and the first Fear LP), the Zero Boys were practically made to be blasted out of a set of car speakers with the windows down. I used to carry a bag of tapes with me whenever I'd take the train to New York or Boston to see shows, and one day in particular I was riding through Boston in Al Quint's car with a punk rock friend of his who was from Europe but wanted to hear something American (since I guess U.S. punk rock was pretty scarce where he was from), so we put my copy of "History Of" in the cassette player and cranked it up. Nothing sounded more like good ol' American punk rock to me.

Throughout the late '70s/very early '80s it wasn't unusual for bands to start out playing slower early in their careers and then begin to veer towards faster tempos (after '81 or '82) once hardcore started to catch on, which is kinda funny since it's sorta the reverse of what bands do now. You can hear Zero Boys doing the same thing on this tape; some of the songs on the second side are pratically full-bore thrash, but it's still their chunky mid-tempo stuff that I think kicks ass the most. Another thing that's kinda funny in a reverse sort of way is the tape's packaging-- the address of the record label was rubber-stamped onto the sleeve, with the title hand-written on the spine in ballpoint pen, and the cassette labels were hand-colored using crayola markers on both sides-- which was probably a low-budget necessity at the time, but nowadays would be considered ultra-rare and limited edition, of course.

Zero Boys -

(these files are now listen-only)

"Blood's Good"

"Drive In"

"I Need Inergy"

"Dingy Bars Suck"

"Outta Style"

"Trying Harder"

click for enlarged view

Monday, April 5, 2010

Mistakes Still Keep Us Locked In Our Place

Some bands have bad mood shows where you just want to leave the room, while some bands are just bad, period. The Estrogen Highs show at the Fucking Discovery Zone last Friday was neither, though it was definitely pharmaceutically damaged sloppy enough to be different from any other Estrogen Highs set I've seen so far this lifetime, which was a positive in this case. All's fair in the name of rök, you know, so if you sometimes want your bands to end up on the edge of the drop-off and tryin' thangs, then you probably would've had fun on this night, too. Plus I got to hear the Marshall Tucker cover that the guy at the last show was shouting about (turns out it was a Flipper cover at the last show, too, which I never would've known anyway. How 'bout a friggin' Decry cover next time, for chrissakes?).

Heading down to New Haven on my way to the show, the band that I was interested in seeing the most was Big Eyes, which is Kate from Cheeky's new power-rock outfit with the Cheap Trick-sportin' band name. Well, the band still needs a little bit of work, or some added oomph-- though it could've just been equipment problems-- but the songs are definitely there, and you only have to listen to the first couple of power chords of the first track on the demo to figure that out. If the Fastbacks' more straight-rocking stuff ever interested you at all (specifically, the two covers at the end of "New Mansions In Sound"-- "Space Station No. 5" and "Girl's Eye"-- are what's playing into my head right now), then you'll want to get squared away on Big Eyes fairly quickly.

The surprise of the night, though, were Kicking Spit (a couple of guys from Seasick), who I hadn't really heard before. You know how Awesome Color try doing Dinosaur Jr.-type hard rock/psych stuff, only they suck? Kicking Spit nail that sound completely, with a little bit of Das Damen and the guitar sound/tempos from the Moving Targets demo mixed in, adding some Kreator-type guitar parts along the way. Sometimes this type of stuff all starts to sound the same after a while, but Kicking Spit's too-short set was a total rush ("deep cuts, man, deep cuts"), and I would definitely see them again, if only to sort out all the stuff that I missed the first time.

Also, this time, instead of going to Pizza Haven before the show, I walked a little bit further and went to Pizza House. Same initals, much better.

Big Eyes -

"I Prefer To Be Alone"

Estrogen Highs -


Kicking Spit -

"Nothing Left"

(all of these files are now listen-only)