Oct 15, 2017

OBNOX Niggative Approach LP


It probably took about ten minutes after Lamont Thomas landed the first 'Nox recording on folks ears before they started bandying the buzzwords SOUL & PUNK around.

The punk rock thing is a given. Lamont's background of being in brash and blaring 100% no bullshit rock-n-roll music bands goes back a couple decades now. Usual known for his way around a drumkit in those combos, him front and center on guitar, vox and mostly everything else at least occasionally in Obnox is a whole new kind of volume blasting monster. It's serrated and searing. It's the sound of jet engines being piped through a bong. It's heavy, it's hissy and it not also clobbers, it stings for days after making contact.

The soul end of comes from the street level words and blazed out attitude he always lays down on 'Nox records. It also comes from him being a guy that dissertate not only about the finest moments of many a 1990's garage punk band, but can also, for example, can extol about Art Blakey's finest moments or how Prince made music better for everyone for hours if the conversation calls for such a thing.

While this writer has had just as many first impressions of Obnox records as they've had releases now (and with eight LP's and nine singles under his belt in the past six years, there's been quite a few), this new one was instantly "It's like the Ohio Players getting dragged behind some really hardcore biker's hog." Another spot on description is one I saw on the web. My apologies to who said it because I can't find it right now to credit you for it but it was something to the effect of "It sounds like Curtis Mayfield but it's the sound of him committing suicide." It's funky but it isn't goofing around. It's got a groove but it has moves like the dancefloor is covered in broken glass and blood. It's the sound of America NOW! The sound that Trump tards don't want people to hear and the sound of the dolts who are going around saying "Punk Rock is gonna get better again now that Trump is president" probably won't hear because a) it's not going to have a big marketing budget or media buzz behind it selling it as some "revolutionary" and b) there's good punk rock coming out every day. If those folks knew THAT, they wouldn't even have made such a dumb statement in the first place.

The "soul" on this slab also is much bigger and perhaps even less obscured under the usual maelstrom of sonics that other Obnox offerings. Songs like "Carmen, I Love You" is practically a straight of love jam with the expected noise kept in tack and "Hardcore Matinee" is a love letter to the days of underage punk rocks told from someone who has a Roy Ayers Ubiquity track banging around in their brain.



The punk end of the game isn't neglected here though either. I mean, the record is kinds named in tribute after one of the unruliest and greatest American bands of all times (and even has the man John Brannon chiming in giving his blessing) and ear wax dislodgers like "Skywalker OG" attest to that.

If you're new to the Obnox game (which if you're a regular visitor to Smashin' Transistors I don't know if I should be more shocked than ashamed) Niggative Approach is a good place to start. For those already down but haven't grabbed this one yet, be ready for something a little more experimental (there are things here like "Afro Muffin" and "Audio Rot" that are in a Throbbing Gristle/Cabaret Voltaire region and million miles away from Garage Rock Land) and still have you brain smoked. Headphones optional but highly recommended.
Get it at 12XU

Sep 28, 2017

STATIC EYES The Thaw 7inch EP


There's plenty of pockets in the US of A where the Oblivians left a permanent scar on kids listening lobes. Parts of Wisconsin especially. A list of exactly who from the land of cows and beer that have especially marked for life could be rattled off but I'll leave that up for you readers to dig up and discover yourself.

I will give you one Wisco-combo currently has that kind of thing going on though. They would be Milwaukee via Madison's Static Eyes. The 'Blivs blare hangs huge in singer Lee Olsen's throat (you may remember him from trash rockin' terrors the Gut Reactions) when he screams and shouts and the band primitive rhythm pound and burnt to a crisp blues string bends.

It's not a straight up ape though as living in a snow belt makes the sound blistered from bitter north winds in the winter time rather than thickly humid summer nights of the south. It's that which this 3 song EP's title track and the cave dwelling of"Blood Moon" a chilly post-punk almost Swell Maps kind of warp and wobble that seems like it would shatter into a million shards if dropped to the ground. If and when that would happen, it probably wouldn't sound like breaking glass as much as it would a box of m-80's. 



Pick up the record at Kitschy Manitou. Find out more about Static Eyes at their Facebook thingy.

Sep 25, 2017

Smashin' Podsistors: Is It Because It's 24...Not 25?


Some whimsy. Some jangle, Some shambles. Some noise.



The Playlist
Game Theory - 24
The Peacers - Black Fences
Mountain Movers - Angels Don't Worry
Dion Lunadon - Howl
Neo Neos - Money Trash
Timmy's Organism - Eating Colors
The Kinks - She's Got Everything 
Nazis From Mars - Cosmic Break-Up
Prom Nite - Mail Order Baby
Aluminum Knot Eye - My Life As An Eel
Black Sandwich - Little $nailz
Ohmwrecker - Spaceship Rock!
Gary Wrong Group - Setting Fire To Your Loft
Mishima Strange - Instant Death
The Beauticians - Roommates
The Original Sins - Out Of My Mind
Burning Itch - Private Life
Erectors - BABY-Q
Stefan Christensen - Silent Deluge
Television Personalities - The Man Who Paints the Rainbows

Sep 17, 2017

NEO NEOS The Hammer Of Civilization 7inch EP

I feel like I got a severe case of whiplash after listening to this 4 song rager. Too arty and twisted to lump them into the New School of Old School Hardcore and maybe even too spazzed out and thrashy for some of the modern age synth punksters seem to be on every corner now, this outta Minneapolis clamorblabber inhabits some manic planet that inhabits the same sort of the creepy neighborhoods as the Coneheads (which, according to some internet tastemakers, they've gotten some joy out of trolling) and Lumpy & the Dumpers (Neo Neos commandant Connie Voltaire has even done his own take on their "classic" Huff My Sack.)

Their four songs on this record take that thing and make it even more agitated and jittery. All quick blasts of coniptions. Weird new wave gets smashed to bits and reassembled all wrong which makes it alright on "Puke Girl's Class" while something like "No Dancing" lives up to it's name as you probably the only kind of steps you can do it are some kind of whirling dervish that piss off some and really freak out the rest.




My ears are telling me that something happening on "Money Trash" involves something ripped off from Eddie Cochran's something else but really, is it robbery when you found in underneath a hairy pile of goo at a toxic waste dump site?



Get this sickness on record via It's Trash in Canada and other fine retails spots. Wallow even more into the Neo Neos disease at their Bandcamp page.

Sep 13, 2017

The BEAUTICIANS Summer Tour Tape

Photo by Dale Merrill
When my ears first landed on the Beauticians two song download, quite a few art-punk references came to mind. One that didn't though was "It's like Wire's Pink Flag...BUT IN SPACE!"

When I saw them live the first time a few weeks back that exact thing came to mind. But only for a minute or so though. The similarities were that the songs didn't feel the need over stay their welcome or use too many chords, making the experiences ping-pong between jarring, hypnotic and jittery. The band gave off a huge looming mood of detachment. The kind of detachment where if it wasn't for a couple wisecracks mumbled to the crowd you'd be totally convinced that the band, save for finding joy in the fact that they may be damaging some people's hearing, would rather be anywhere else than playing for a crowd. The "space" part of the impression came from the monophonic doot-doot-doots and blurts that hissed out of an old Korg.

Where most bands of that certain ilk though came off reserved on stage, with all straight faces, utilitarian look and mostly standing in place (it's all probably an English thing) is where thoughts those thoughts where kicked away. Cigarettes tucked behind a few ears, the bass player donning a shirt that looks like he raided from an uncle who wore it in his new wave band from the 1980's and some unhingedness that had a a few people jumping out of the way when the singer went into the crowd, writhing on the floor and eventually even UNDER the stage. It's more was like these guys spent really too much time studying Wire it was while navigating Michigan's streets of cracks and potholes in a rattly rust bucket in search of place to yell at the sky, it was less time than Wire did studying Dadaism.



Mechanical becomes maniacal on "Robot Creation." If it's intention was to bridge the some sort of Motor City past to a dystopian future is anyone's guess. The way the song skids and squeals though, the main concern should be not if but when it's going to go all out of control, fly into a million pieces and taking bystanders down with it.
Dig the Beauticians at their Facebook page

Sep 7, 2017

The New Existentialists "Elton John" 7inch EP


Growing up sorta in the middle of nowhere, Flying Nun bands were like getting audio pen pals from a place that was familiar yet so distant and mystifying. In the early 90's though, I'd had grown out of touch with the label's tangible dispatches so I can't really compare the differences and similarities between what New Existentialist George D. Henderson has going on here and what he was up to in his other combo the Puddle.

Sleepy eyed in tempo "Elton John" finds daydreams about listening to records and singing along in a wistful and maundering tone. Guitars sibilate a trademark NZ misshapen jangle that dates back to at least the Clean and while a synth emanates a blurting a wobbly mist.


The ghost of Syd and perhaps a specter of, say, the Television Personalities hangs over the band sound without intruding too much. Sure, there's a common whimsical melancholiness in the sort of psych-pop that no doubt stitches them all together, but the bouncing and squishy trip into the earth that's side two's "Mystery Of The Worm" has them loping down their own leafy path.
Snag it at Spacecase Records

Sep 4, 2017

Smashin' Podsistors #23: Where Did The Summer Go?


Wherever summer went, it sure went by fast. If I would have thought ahead, this might have been an end of summer theme.

It's not though...Get rattled, funky and groovy none the less!

The Playlist:

The Customs - Long Gone
Mark Cone - Scum Like 'Em
Howling Hex - No Good Reason
Leon Spencer - Where I'm Coming From
Obnox - Hardcore Matinee
The Shifters - A Believer
Clinic - Sunlight Bathes Our Home
The Beauticians - Robotic Creation
David Nance - Silver Wings
Magic Cigarettes - Rain Of Weed
USA/MEXICO - Yard Of The Month
Goatsnake - Easy Greasy
Sick Thoughts - When I Think About You
Tin Foil - Telephone Wire
The Satanic Togas - Redlight
Comet Gain - Tighten Up!
PROM NITE - Living For The Weekend
Skip Church - New Thing
The Compulsive Gamblers - Scaring Myself
Annie Philippe- On M'a Toujours Dit

Aug 17, 2017

WOOD CHICKENS Skunk Ape 7inch EP


I had to run a search on this here thing to see the last time (if ever) I've straight up used the term "cowpunk" to describe a sound. Seems I did about five or so years ago. I then had to think back even further to when was the last time I listened to stuff that others used the same term to describe a sound. Man, I think I was still in high school. Maybe I just starting college. Either way, it was a long time ago.

On this recorded and mixed by Bobby Hussy slab from Madison, Wisconsin trio Wood Chickens, it's cowpunk all the way. Part drunken bar jangle rock sing-along, perhaps one part even drunker sea shanty and a lot of parts goofy (because we all should know that "cowpunk" is a whole lotta goofy), the record's title track tells the legend of a down south swamp creature.



It doesn't take much to gather that these guys aren't afraid of corn pone (see my goofy comment above) and, especially after listening to side B's "Third Eye Blues", would probably have me asking them if we ever crossed paths "Do you guys ever think you listen to the Dead Milkmen way too much." Sandwiched between song one and three on this EP though is take on the American hayseed standard "Roll In My Sweet Baby's Arms."



Yeah, it's pretty dang goofy too but they seem sincere in some kind of cheap beer dripping from their pores way in how they do it.
Out now on Kitschy Manitou

Aug 15, 2017

SICK THOUGHTS Songs About People You Hate


There seemed to moment or two not so long ago where one might have wanted to consider making a spreadsheet to keep track of what musical things Drew Owen was working. Along with a few other names there has been DD Owen, Chicken Chain, Black Panties, LSDOGS and, of course, Sick Thoughts.

While all of them have hurled rancor and heaved malignity at the world of dolts that surround each and everyone, it's the Sick Thoughts name that has really been his calling card. Having relocated from the USA to Finland in the last year, it might be easy to assume that he has been able to free his mind of all the rabble and weariness that is going on in this country, but ire and disgust are very strong and burning emotions and they're obviously still flaming hot in his heart and his head.

Ever light a wasps nest on fire? They'll all come out and then right at you like a flying, buzzing and angry yellow jacketed stampede. Now imagine setting fire to a wasps nest the size of a minivan. And they all got guitars. It probably would sound a whole lot like the record's opening blast "I'm Going Nowhere & I Don't Care."



The Oblivians and Reatard thing that's always thrown around when talking the Sick Thoughts in general still looms large but there are quite a few times where something that's much more wound up sonically than the rickety fidelity of yore that seems quite noticable. The smashy trashy destruction that drives things like "I Do What I Wanna Do" and "When I Think About You" is more akin to driving a tank through a brick wall inspired by Motorhead and built with extremely black metalloids.



One thing that I think will never disappear in my lifetime are Ramones clones. Not bands that dig the Ramones, but those kinds of bands that think the only good bands that exist are the Ramones and the bands that sound like a convenience store version of them. They've been an ire of mind for a loooong time now. It seems even weird here in the 21st century that there are still ones popping up every day let alone me still having to take a jab at them. They should be subjected to "Need No One." It's bubblegum but it doesn't taste like strawberry Flavor Aid. Kerosene though? Yes, it does taste like that. If they refuse to chew, shove their head on the grinding that's "NFM."



In a feel bad summer situation this country has been put in, this is the feel good record about feeling bad platter for the entire bummer.
Get it at Neck Chop Records.

Aug 10, 2017

Smashin Podsistors 22: Worth A Deuce Times Two


"Get up and get your grandma outta here."

Ok. that I get that. The "he's worth a deuce' line not so much.

Luckily we don't have to figure out the cryptic lyrics of that 1974 chestnut here in episode 22. Instead, enjoy hayseed strolls and cracked sidewalk scrapes.

The Playlist
Gin Gillette - Train To Satanville
Craig Brown Band - Overthinking
Cherry Death - You And Me
Michael Nesmith - Keys to the Car
Black Lips - Lucid Nightmare
Beatniks-Broken Ear Obvious
The Fall - The Container Drivers
Schizos - Poundin' the Pud
Iggy Pop - Dog Food
School Damage - Try Something New
Obnox - Skywalker OG
Bardo Pond - Crossover
Feral Ohms - Teenage God Born To Die
Hairy Chapter - Looking For A Decent Freedom
The Fluid - Our Love Will Still Be There
Fetal Pink - The Happening
feedtime - Sister
Bad Boyfriends - Dirt Cheap
Rik & the Pigs - Don't Tell On Me
Alex Chilton - Like Flies On Sherbert