Monday, June 27, 2011

I Don't Even Like You All That Much

My three favorite punk bands (meaning pre-1980) are probably Crime, Pagans, and the Australian X, so I'm gonna go ahead and write this up anyway, even though the copy I have is all beat to shit. It didn't bother me as much when I bought it, because I got it for practically nothing, but now that I'm trying to post it for the blog I'm wishing that I had a better copy.

Anyway, this is the first re-issue of the Australian X's "Aspirations" LP, which is really one of the best records ever made. The rips I made aren't worth downloading, but I'll post them as listen-only samples anyway, so you can at least check out what are two of my favorite parts on the record: the fake spit at the beginning of "Dipstick", which is so ridiculous that it almost makes me laugh every time I hear it, and the absolutely murderous way that the drums and bass kick-start the beginning of "Present". (Don't bother listening to the rest of the files, it's not worth it.) The drums and bass on this record sound so bad-ass, it's friggin' unbelievable.

If you haven't heard this record before, then you should hunt it down right away. You can hear the whole thing here, on the ever-loving Biannual Haircut (you should also grab X's "Home is Where The Floor Is" EP while you're there, it's almost as excellent), and then besides a couple of CD re-issues-- one of them on AmRep-- there's also the newest vinyl re-issue of "X-Aspiriations" which came out last year, if you can find it and feel like dropping 25 bucks on it.

X (Australia) -

Friday, June 24, 2011

Life Flows Through The Death Of Me

I was expecting The Men to split my head wide open last night, but it never happened. "Leave Home" is a great record, the Nerves cover is great, so on and so forth, but if I didn't already know who they were and didn't like all of their records already, my impulse reaction to them last night would've been "well, these guys sorta blow." Okay, I liked a few of their songs, especially the last one which they said was new and had a great bass-driven melody for part of it, but overall there was too much finesse going on when they should've been cracking skulls. I really think their drummer should've been slamming the hell out of something most of the time, but instead he kept fussing with his crummy cymbals too much. Their set in general was way too quiet, and it couldn't have been the room because when IceAge played they were loud as hell. I dunno, maybe I just didn't get it.

Medication sounded a lot more like themselves than they had just a few nights earlier at Elm Bar, though Mikey didn't seem to think so because every so often he'd randomly shout one of the words into the mic so that it came out all fucked up and distorted. I thought their set was pretty good, and so did some other people ("Hey, you guys are pretty good. Where you from?"). Most of the crowd that had just packed the room for The Men went outside while Medication were playing, which was a crappy move on their end, though it's a safe bet that it was all the noobs who had never been to a Popeye's show before this one because of their pronounced fear of standing next to all the dirty "noise kids" (like the scene is made better by fake punk bands that sound like Papa Roach and put their records out on Paper + Plastick).

I really thought I'd end up being annoyed by IceAge, but their set was actually pretty good. I mean, they're safely nestled in that in-between spot where there's a whole list of bands earning far less hype that are way better than them, but then they're also not nearly as bad as the backlash wants you believe. I'll admit right now that it's kinda dumb to hate a band just because of the kind of people that like them, although for about a million bands it remains pretty attractive. "New Brigade" still sounds fairly atrocious to me, and it's become obvious that everyone's afraid to review it objectively and instead are feeling like they have to come up with reasons to prove how much they actually like it (how come none of these same guys are lining up to review Rank/Xerox?). Live, though, IceAge were satisfyingly aggressive, almost spectacularly over the top at times, and there were even some bass-heavy parts that borrowed a bit from "My War" that I actually really liked. Still, let's be honest; saying that you "saw IceAge in 2011" won't ever be like saying you saw Black Flag-- more like saying you saw Squirrel Bait in 1986, to name another easily-hyped band whose sound was too obviously made up of parts of other bands, and whom everyone ended up being too embarassed to admit they'd ever liked barely two years after they'd broken up. I can already see that in another 5 years there will be a whole slew of "former members of IceAge" records that'll sound miserably like Cold Cave or some boring shit like that, you can bet the house on it.

The Men -

"Walking Out On Love"

Medication -


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

You Gotta Sleep Sometime And That's When I'll Set The Fire

A split of two Australian bands (actually one's not-so-Australian, that's just a lame joke) doing Halo of Flies covers... neither one can touch the original, but Vertigo does way better than their miserable Crime cover, at least... Cosmic Psychos rule in general, I wish I owned more of their records.

Vertigo -

"You Get Nothing"

Cosmic Psychos -

"Garbage Rock"

Monday, June 20, 2011

I Just Shot My Stylist

I thought the Elm Bar (the old Rudy's in New Haven) sounded like shit Saturday night, but then I was told that it was just me, so I guess I'm wrong. Whatever it was, the sound was way too loud and brittle most of the time, which didn't help me get into Ferocious Fucking Teeth all that much. I like their recorded stuff a lot-- by the way, their new 7", "Hounds", is pretty ace, plus it comes with a nifty booklet-- but their set on Saturday was like 5 lbs of sardines in a 2 lb bag. I dunno, maybe I just need to see them in a bigger room that has a better mic set-up, like Daniel St.-- where they just played the other week-- or Toad's, though maybe that's not it either. Ferocious Fucking Teeth rocked, they were nuts, but I think I was just in a grouchy mood. I'll wait to see them again, hopefully in a place where the two drum kits (and the rest of the band) can set up in a way so that they resonate a little better.

I made the mistake once of not buying a whole bunch of used Nerve City records that was in the bins for dirt cheap at Redscroll one day when I was there; they were all gone by the next time I went back, and I'd been mildly regretting it ever since. Nerve City were already playing when I walked through the door on Saturday, and at first I wasn't even sure it was them, since everything was being played with a rock beat and most the reverb was gone... though all the tattoos sorta tipped me off, but I still had to ask somebody. The couple of Nerve City records that I'd heard before (thanks, internet) didn't really prep me for how "regular rock-n-roll"-sounding Nerve City would be on stage, although I guess that's the same sorta thing that Medication does when Mikey plays out live. Anyway, Nerve City were definitely alright, plus afterwards I bought up all the records that the guy had with him, so now at least that's out of the way.

Medication went on last, and were way loud; it might seem funny to say it, but they sounded huge, like a Detroit version of themselves or something. It was pretty awesome to hear them that way, though again maybe the rest of the people in the room didn't think it was as loud as I did. After a while I started to get antsy, so I stuck around long enough for them to play "Neighbors" plus one more song after that, and then I left to go get a Chipwich.

Nerve City -


Ferocious Fucking Teeth -

"Handsome Creeper"

Medication -

"This Town"

Saturday, June 18, 2011

We Don't Buy Your Sympathy

Brain Killer -

"What's Your Excuse?"

Curmudgeon -


Big Eyes -

"Your Lies"