Monday, December 31, 2012

I'm Fucked Up And I'm Cool

I was reading something about this record in the archives of Smashin' Transistors this morning, and I was like, 'man, I should post that record.' "Summer of '79" is the kind of song that 7"-ers were made for: a fucking hit, instead of just a couple of songs put together just to have something out. And "Summer of '79" is a goddamn hit, especially when the Beach Boys-type "oooo-weee-oooo"'s kick in. "Goodbye Little Queenie" (on the flip) is a solid jam in itself, but the vinyl on this pops like a motherfucker and so I'm passing that one by.

John Wesley Coleman -

"Summer of '79"

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Here, We Found Your Stupid Bike

I'm glad there's finally a vinyl label in CT being run someone who's actually in a decent band and knows how to do things right, actually this isn't the only label in CT that's doing that, I just felt like being a dick and saying it. Fins is one or two guys from Open Star Clusters' mersh attempt I think, but I don't really know because I can't recognize any of the guys in the photo, they all look like they've freshened up for their new jobs starting tomorrow at Barnes and Noble or something. Open Star Clusters were unstructured and noisy as fuck, and Fins are fairly noisy too, but in that AmRep sort of way with tuff rock moves and some slight melodies and stuff, so if you've been pining for more bands that sound like they could be on Wäntage -- or Landlords crossed with Gaunt maybe -- then this is your deal.

This might not be one of those Australian bands that are made up of people who are also in other bands, although you can use Google and explore that yourself, in which case you'll find out that "Big Time" was a (sometimes-okay) mostly-shitty record label back in the '80s, known for bands like The Pastels and the Go-Betweens. And fucken Love & Rockets. Not that Bitch Prefect has any passing familiarity with any of those bands, actually they're more in league with stuff like Dick Diver and The Twerps, especially The Twerps. There's songs on here like "Sunday" and "Bad Decisions" that are so good you'd swear The Clean had written them already. There's a kind of word-association essay printed on the insert, it doesn't really pass as a lyric sheet but it's not a thank-you list, either. Sorta like how this is almost a review, but not really.

My familiarity with the local noise scene is somewhat limited, although I've seen Colorguard a couple of times and also Bella Reese (i.e. Chris Point of Weak Flesh), so I won't pretend like I know what I'm talking about here. What can be pretty fascinating about noise stuff when I'm standing there watching it, is that I don't know how repeatable any of it is, so it seems like once the 5-or-10-minute set is done, that's it, you'll never hear it again. Colorguard is Kryssi (who also plays in Mountain Movers and had some stuff on the last Estrogen Highs LP), and what I like about Colorguard's pieces is that there's something she does that sounds like sandpaper being scraped across sheet metal, and also she uses samples that sound like old 78's being played at weird speeds and stuff. I don't hear any of that here, but I could just have the tape on the wrong side. Weak Flesh doesn't have any of the porno soundbites that Chris' Bella Reese project had (hence the name change?), but it's still a pretty intense listen anyway. By the way, the tracks are called "Needle Wrecker" and "Rubber Baptism", in case you're still looking for your next TurdBlow log-on name or something.

I don't even actually own this record, I bought the mp3's on Amazon a couple weeks ago because I just got a new Kindle and I wanted something decent to listen to on it. So hopefully On The Rag or whichever lab' put this thing out got their 40 cents per track out of the deal, or whatever. "Wayne County Roads" seems to be the 'hit', the kind of song that you could play in front of a David Bowie fan or a Spoon person and they'd think it's sorta neat before saying "the fuck's the deal with that guy trying to sing?", though if you want real singing you can go listen to a Maroon 5 record or something (I presume that guy from Maroon 5 can sing because he's on the only reality show that doesn't have Dave Navarro on it). I've been seeing on a bunch of 'semi-important' review sites now where reviewers are complaning about the 'flat' singing on Tyvek and Estrogen Highs records, which odds-are means the writer's history with underground rock doesn't go back very far -- I mean, when you grow up listening to the Screamers or Electric Eels or scattered Dangerhouse stuff like Eyes or something, it doesn't bother you that the guy doesn't know how to carry a tune or anything, you figure that it just makes things more interesting that way. Anyway, this isn't as blown-out as "Nothing Fits" -- it's probably closer in sound and style to "Fast Metabolism" -- and there's a handful of songs that I'm skipping over already, but if you asked me to name a better American band than Tyvek for the past 5 years or so I'd probably tell you to move along with your stupid face and go bother someone else. This isn't the first Tyvek record to have only two good songs on it, except the other ones all happen to be singles.

There's a bunch of bands up in Canada now who sound like this, sorta hard, sorta punk, sorta grunge, sorta shoe-gazey all at once -- bands like Bloodhouse and Crystal Swells and Fist City and Bad Vibrations and Nü Sensae -- only Ruined Fortune are from Australia, so they're fucking with your formula a bit I guess. I think this 7" is great, it's like a total sock to the face, especially "Hope Diamond" which is the flip. Plus it's on R.I.P. Society so it should be easy to find, like that Royal Headache LP that everyone seems to think came out in 2012.

Rational Animals have been messing with the Black Flag '84/'85 recipe for a while now, only with a sense of humor about it, so you can actually rock out while listening them instead of feeling like disembowling yourself or whatever. I know that Zach has taken hits for how simple his lyrics are, but the way he puts the lines together is pretty clever sometimes, plus everyone in the band plays like a motherfucker. If you thought "Bock Rock Parade" was essential (and it kinda is) then do whatever you can to track down these last two 7"-ers, because they take what they were doing on the LP and fine-tune the stomp ratio so that it smacks your ass even harder. I prefer the Cowabunga 7" over the one on Katorga Works, because the b-side holds up a bit better, but they're both pretty much worth the five bucks or whatever a stupid 7" costs these days. I think "Eating My Words" might be an older song that they've only gotten around to recording now, not sure, but it stomps as good as anything on "Physical Graffiti" which might be overstating things a bit (plus I don't really like Led Zeppelin anyway) but what the hell, I'm not trying to impress anybody.

Jeremy Porter first caught my ear as the frontman of SlugBug back in the '90s, and then more recently in the Replacements-ish OffRamps, and now with this even-more-Replacements-ish solo 7". He doesn't quite have the growl to pull off a mover like "Night on The Town" the way I think it could be done, but that's fine, it's good nonetheless, as is the flip (which isn't a ballad as you might expect but a Pontiac Brothers-styled rocker). The song that I like best on the 7" isn't even on the 7" itself: a cracking good cover of the Jimmy Webb chestnut "Galveston" done almost Yo La Tengo style, which comes as an extra track with the free download. Kinda funny to think that Glen Campbell used to have a show on TV when I was a kid, with all his drugs and fucked-up-ness and all, but then again I'm older than most of you except for Malcolm maybe.

Gremlins U.K. is actually Spent (ex-Closet Fairies/Maine Coons/etc) and aren't from England at all, which makes the band name seem less stupider (BECAUSE IT'S A JOKE, GET IT?), although they mis-spelled "Don't Give Em Enoug Rope" on the back sleeve so we're probably back to it being stupid again. I kinda think a couple of the songs here sound a lot like Lurve, except that no one knows who Lurve is so when I tried to describe them to somebody I said "Lurve sound like Estrogen Highs if Estrogen Highs were trying to get signed", but then again Spent isn't trying to get signed to anything, he's just doing whatever the fuck he wants. And he hasn't fucked up yet. Buy this, it's got song titles like "Hey Mongo" and "You Live in a Park", and "Ham Fisted Love" sounds like the Obits crossed with the Kinks, plus it's on the same label that gave us Teenage Softies and that great Nervosas 7". Scum stats: why give a shit

The two best sets I saw this past year were Bloody Gears up at The Flywheel and Cleansing Wave at The Whitney House, and this was after seeing Cleansing Wave two other times where they didn't exactly knock me out, but that third time was a total shit-kicker. Cleansing Wave released a ripper of a demo almost two years ago which set the expectations pretty high, and now finally this 7" comes out and it's every bit as fucking nuts as you'd want it to be: loud as hell and all over the place, like d-beat crust stuff mixed with Japanese noise worshipping shit. The packaging is pretty heavy, too -- thick green vinyl, a separate fold-out poster besides the picture sleeve, and a kinda cool-looking lyric sheet printed on cardstock (don't mind me, the Poison Idea-shirt-dude just cracks me up).

I don't know if the lead track, "Work In The Morning", is a kiss-off or what ("I know I called you up, but you talk such nonsense; don't you know I've got work in the morning?"), but at a minute-thirty-three it's pretty funny, like, "I said what I wanted to say and now I'm out". Most of the rest of the LP is like that, too -- saying what you mean to say using as little as possible, although "spare" doesn't totally describe this record ("Dirty Flowers" is pretty noisy, after all, and then it cuts off when it's right in the middle of something which is fucking great). I like this record a lot and I'm not sure why, though I keep coming back to listen to it again and again; maybe because it's people talking about real stuff that's probably happened to them, and not just some guys in dress shirts and wool ties up on stage at The Space trying to write songs because they think that's what you'd like to hear. This probably gets the award for my no-bullshit record of the year, in which case the band's name is almost perfect.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

It Hasn't Been Easy Staying In My Rut

I haven't been around the old burg as much as I used to be, so going to a show at The Whitney House felt like an old shoe, that is if the old shoe was a show that always started an hour late and sometimes the first band would kinda suck, but then some cool people would show up anyway. Iron Hand are back to being active again after what seemed to be about a 6-month hiatus -- now that they've added a new bass player (Dennis from Loach, Zone, etc) -- and they seem to be playing their songs a lot faster now, too, although maybe it's just me. You can now go to the Iron Hand bandcamp page and download their two 7"-ers from a year or two ago (, if you find yourself needing some catching up to do. I haven't seen Consumption in about 6 months also, and now with the second guitar they sound even more like Oiltanker than they used to, although I guess that's to be expected. Both bands played killer sets and everyone seemed to be getting into it, no-one brought any merch with them, and I had time to go to the 7-11 and get a coffee before the really good stuff started, which means the night went kinda alright. Just figured I'd mention it.

Consumption -

"The Collapse"

Iron Hand -

"Usurper Divine"

Monday, December 24, 2012

Hate Us Or Love Us We Don't Give A Fuck

When a copy of this crawled its way into Redscroll a while ago I quickly snagged it, even though the sound quality is pretty iffy (bootleg-quality live tracks from '77), because I'd rather have a shitty-sounding Crime record than a good-sounding record by one of those bands that you like, Title Fight or whatever. Besides, it was through a cruddy-sounding live tape (of "She's a Cadaver") that I first discovered the Pagans, back in '84 or whenever, so don't be afraid to pass those shitty tapes around, you never know when some good might come out of it. This was originally a bootleg called "Terminal Boredom" which Planet Pimp then 'officially' re-issued, so that more people could own the same crappy-sounding Crime record I guess.

Crime -

"Dillinger's Brain"

"Terminal Boredom"

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012

You May Get All The Ladies But I Got My Shit Together

I was jamming to Dis-'s "Historically Troubled Third Album" all week on my way back and forth from work, which reminded me that I had a Dis- 7" back home that I could post, even though it's really not that great. Dis- rule though, they're definitely at the top of the list of "bands I like that were obviously influenced by Slint", although Chris Fuller was a big Tubeway Army fan too, which you can probably tell. If you can't, don't worry about it.

Dis- -


"Cage Me Safely"

Saturday, December 15, 2012

I Can Think Of Other Things To Do

NRBQ have recorded some stuff with as much busted-down cred and who-gives-a-wang as anything LX ever did, although to most people they're the old-timers outfit with only one original member that shows up to play the county fair and Toad's Place every year, and that's true too. At their peak, which "At Yankee Stadium" most likely is, NRBQ was stacked with three ace songwriters, with Tom Ardolino always trailing a half-step behind the beat Charlie Watts-style as literally one of the greatest, most understated drummers of all time. "I Want You Bad" and "Ridin' In My Car" both rank alongside "September Gurls" as some of my favorite pop/rock songs ever, although in an odd twist "Ridin' In My Car" (their non-hit single from 3 years earlier) was appended to the first pressing of "At Yankee Stadium" by the record label for whatever reason and didn't appear on any subsequent pressings. "Get Rhythm" is a Johnny Cash cover, by the way, and it smokes like just about everything else on this album. The indirect joke behind the album's title (besides the main visual gag) is that it isn't a live album and it wasn't recorded at Yankee Stadium either, one of those guess-you-had-to-be-there type references (see: Foghat, Peter Frampton, Blue Öyster Cult, Black Oak Arkansas, Ted Nugent, etc etc) which, as anyone can tell you, is always the best kind of humor.


"Green Lights"

"I Want You Bad"

"Get Rhythm"

"It Comes To Me Naturally"

"Ridin' In My Car"

Sunday, December 9, 2012

It's So Big It's Fluorescent

I'm not sure how many of you have gotten around to checking out Willimantic Records yet, but it's worth paying a visit; that's where I found this extra copy of M.O.T.O.'s "Hammeroid!", at least, to replace my old scuffed-up copy, as well as a couple of other long-out-of-print Tulpa items... which only makes sense, since Tulpa was Joe's label (Joe's the guy who runs the record store now). M.O.T.O.'s first three vinyl releases were all on Tulpa, if I remember correctly, and while you can find the songs from all three of them on the "Single File" CD, I felt like posting "It's So Big It's Fluorescent" anyway, because it's one of my all-time favorite Masters of The Obvious tracks, for obvious reasons -- it's catchy as hell, and every time I listen to it, it cracks me up.

M.O.T.O. -

"It's So Big It's Fluorescent"

Saturday, December 8, 2012

I Like Where That Landed

A couple of weeks ago, or whenever it was, was the WristLikeThis "casette release party" in New London, which was kicked off by a bunch of us just basically standing around on Golden Street, listening to the tape song-by-song as it blasted out of a pickup truck with all the doors open. Eventually an old lady walked up (with her husband) and told us "I'd rather put a fucking bullet in my brain than listen to this stuff." I KNOW, RIGHT?!! And she actually said "fucking"! Old people these days, they got no manners.

WristLikeThis also played later on, and had copies of their debut tape for sale for five bucks along with some old-ass Walkmans that you could buy for five bucks also, just to piss off the naysayers. First, though, Powerblessings (one word you doinks) plowed through their own set, which featured a few new songs plus one kinda slow one which is sort of a set-killer but I can tell that it's gonna sound pretty decent on the record. They've kinda been needing something to mix up the tempos, anyway. The singer (Jon) offered a free copy of their 7" EP to anyone who'd take their pants off and then stand there with their shoes back on, to which Matt Potter promptly obliged, although he didn't really need to cuz he said he already owns the record. The other punchline is that he takes his pants off like that at every show, so he was gonna do it anyway. That's what I've heard, at least.

Other lies/less-interesting tidbits involve waiting outside the mens room for like ten minutes, wondering 'what guy takes ten minutes to use the frigging mens room', only to have two girls finally walk out. Matt Gouette was standing right there, you could ask him.

Powerblessings, "Go To Hell"

WristLikeThis!, "CLEEN"