Jun 22, 2017

ERIK NERVOUS "Ice Cream" 7inch

Oh, it's summer. That means it's a time or two to have some sweetened and flavored frozen dairy product drip down your arm, all over your shirt and mess up your car interior. Maybe even have it flop onto ground so an army of ants can be fed.

Ahh, such nostalgia even thinking about it, right. That might explain to total retro sensation that's all over "Ice Cream." A chintzy toy synth sound that probably sounds as like it is way more inspired by the music on any given ColecoVision game than anything else loops a minimal jump for Erik to whoop agitatedly. I remember as a kid I used to get annoyed to downright crabby when my scoop of Superman would all over my hand making them all sticky and weird feeling. I also may have thought once or twice about stabbing my obnoxious cousin with the cone to even some score. Thing is though, I said anything out loud about it let alone acting on it. At the least, Erik does the former here.

The stabbing isn't over there though. Starting out sounding gothy then flipping head first into some kind of puddle of muck where both Art Attacks and Jay Reatard puked in, "Children Stabbing Things" isn't gonna leave ya scratching your head and wondering if it's all metaphorical.
Out on Total Punk

Jun 19, 2017

BAD BOYFRIENDS "Cut In Line" 7inch

Bad Boyfriends
Photo courtesy of Sam Kool 100s
The way this single by Little Rock, Arkansas combo's Bad Boyfriends starts off reminds me the way me and my friends would insure (in our minds at least) that a Wiz-z-zer top would reach maximum destruction speed. Or maybe it's like yanking the cord of up an beat up and rattly lawnmower to get it firing. Either way, both require a few good, hard rips and then things get all revved up.

Yes, revved up indeed is how to describe "Cut In Line." The blang-blang-blang of the intro gains inertia then jitters itself into some road apple whippin' budget rock. The lawnmower analogy goes out the window though because a) the song is over in about a minute (no lawn is ever mowed that quick) and b) these guys would probably just set fire to the grass than having to tend to it anyway.

Ending in a sweat drenched echo of bang and the declaration of "GODDAMN!" this one sided single wastes nary a second to keep the rockin' rollin'. "Dirt Cheap" lives up to it's name. All spun up, it beats the shit out of the '77 punk rock thang. Instead of dressed in leopard print creepers and dayglo hair though, it's clad in goat pissed stained boots and mud caked denim.
Grab it at Goodbye Boozy

May 30, 2017

MACHO BOYS S/T LP


Three cats live in my house. A big calico called Clementine (but we all call her Puff) who doesn't really have time for humans as well as most other things in the world, The Ripperpotamus, a furry beast of a Norwegian forest cat who, if was a human, would most likely drive a customized van with something like a wolf wizard standing on top of a mountain made of medical marijuana and lighting a bong with a bolt of lightning as the mural on the side and a polydactyl tuxedo named Von Von that showed up in my garage a couple years ago as a kitten and has never left.

All three of them react to music in some form or another, but it's the tuxedo that seems to express it the most excitement for this, the debut album from Portland punk rockers Macho Boys. Seriously! I was playing records the other day and she was in a rare (for her) deep sleep on the windowsill. She was dead to the world and paying no mind to what music was playing. Then I dropped the needle on this. Her ears perked at the opening cymbal crashes of "Victim To Blame" and by the time singer Tekiah Elzey opened her throat up of to yowl over the breakneck din of grinding guitars and bass avalanches, the cat was zipping across the room at blinding speed.

Up the stairs then down them. Through the main floor of the house, down to the basement and back up again. She was practically bouncing off the walls. When she stopped it wasn't to wonder if a song like "Cockroach" was a metaphor for creepy humans or if it was about the actual insect, was I bummed out at "Dinosaur" because it might be ripping on oldsters and was the year I graduated high school, "The Class Of '84" as punk rock as the as movie a song on this album get it's title from (it wasn't, really...there were only just a couple of us actually), whether Madonna would have an opinion on a sequel of "Papa Don't Preach" which features a bloodstained buzzsaw, if "Slam" was a cover of the Onyx song (it's not by the way), or if pigs do sweat, does it smell like pork rinds. Nope, the only time she did stop was between each song and then she'd be a black & white blur blazing through the house.

The more I watched her the more I started thinking "Maybe she does understand every single thing that is going on here." I mean, when their ode to WWF Legend Stone Cold Steve Austin came on she started doing dives off the top of the couch and onto the floor like she was doing some cat version of the Stunner.

Get it at Neck Chop Records

May 29, 2017

Smashin' Podsistorscast #21: No Need For Fake ID


Yes. The Smashin' Transistors fake radio show/podcast has turned 21. And, no, we're not gonna buy for you.
 

The Playlist:

The Immortal Lee County Killers - Sometimes The Devil Sneaks Inside My Head 
feedtime - Thought 
HIBUSHIBIRE - Trepanation Breakdown 
Race Car - Government Funded Terror Lunch 
Boss Hog - Black Eyes 
Endless Boogie - Back In 74 
Black Sabbath - Rock and Roll Doctor 
The Gun Club - Like Calling Up Thunder 
Cherry Death - Do You Change Your Mind 
Sloan - 500 Up 
Macho Boys - Cockroach 
Dog See Ghosts - I Live In The Basement 
Slimy Member - Oceanic Feeling 
Wire - From the Nursery 
Xetas - The Future 
Gary Wrong Group - Destroy You 
Annie Anxiety - Third Gear Kills 
Skull Cult - mirror 
Messrs - Slop Meat 
Butthole Surfers - Human Cannonball

May 23, 2017

June 10th: Vinyl By Th' Slice

Spinnin' records and eatin' pizza. Two great things that go great together, right? That's exactly what Franck and yours truly will be doing a short drive up the lake on Saturday, June 10th.

The Water Tower Sports Pub in Lexington was voted one of the Top Ten pizza joints in the entire state of Michigan by the readers of M-Live. You take that fact, add in that they have one of the most awesome selections of only Michigan made beers on tap in the state and a deck where you can not also pitch some bags of Cornhole but also sit back, relax and breathe in the scent of Lake Huron which is just a few hundred yards away, you've got a perfect summer evening.

Come on out and hear us provide the ooey and gooey and hot and spicy soundtrack for the evening.  More deets at this Facebook thingy

May 12, 2017

BORZOI Surrender The Farm 7inch EP

In a conversation I had with a friend recently we were thinking about which AmRep band we had each seen the most. For me, it was (the) Cows. I was then asked if remembered any of the bands they played with. I couldn't recall. Hell, I can't even recall any of the other things that happened on those evenings other than seeing the band. A Cows live show was like watching a gang of the criminally insane compose the soundtrack the Z-grade hayseed horror film where they do really messed up things in really weird smelling basement that is constantly playing in their heads.  It was always disturbing and mesmerizing. I think they did something to fry any other memories of the night out of the spectator's brains.

I have not seen ATX's Borzoi live so I cannot confirm if they have such powers on stage but on this record, they seem to have grazed through a same sort of hazardous waste meadow because they sound a similarly unsound. Thick bass slugs straight in the gut while guitar strings wrap around the throat. The drums, noticing the grasping and struggling, assist by kicking it all down the side of a mountain.

The EP's title track thrashes like a deadly barn stampede. Chickens get trampled. Goats bleed to death. At a little over a minute long though it's just a warning bell of the audio carnage ahead. The bandsaw on metal grating guitars on "Feeding The Pig-Dog" first create discomfort and tension. Just when you think it's about to drive you to the brink of mental capacities will never return, a jet engine hurricane of feedback blows through, with shards of glass and rusty nails flying around and stabbing everything in their path.

Don't think that just because they have a song called "Desert Rose" that it's going to be a pleasant and pretty picture either. It's more like some sub-human stomp that's like between something off the first Mordecai album and the noise that rings through a pile driver operator's head when deep into his work. "Millipede" is an apropos title as it is like a billion insect feet scattering over the psyche. Those insect feet aren't bare either. They're all wearing old metallic golf spikes.
Get it at 12xu.bigcartel.com

May 10, 2017

OLD NATION M43 N.E. IPA

Y'know, every time I've declared that I will not drink any IPA for a particular set period of time, it always gets cut short because something will come along the pique my interest and I think "Awww, man. I gotta taste some of that."

The latest thing in the beer geek world is the "haaaaze, man." I haven't done much research where this latest unfiltered IPA trend started (apparently the Northeast as all of them carry an NE identifier on them) and this one from Williamston, Michigan beermaker Old Nation is is the first one that I've had a chance to try.

Having not tried a N.E IPA, the color and aroma of this alone would be enough to understand why some of the brewers that are making them have been taking a juice angle in their description and naming of them. This one looks like orange juice and even after a few sniffs, it still smells just like citrus smoothie. Enough so as where you could tell people it is grapefruit juice and they'd believe you.

Such things really hold over in the flavor too. The combination of hops here bring a clementine sweetness right out in the front. That's followed by a tangy juicy orange and mango tang then a grapefruit bite toward the end. The oats and the wheat in the malting process give it an earthy grain sweet pillow for the usually brazen mix of Amarillo, Citra and Simcoe hops to kick back on, making every sip of this interesting and complex without anything becoming overbearing. It's a hop bomb for sure (and at 6.8% not shabby in the ABV department either) but as where most just simply explode everywhere and wreck palates simply because they can, this is one is quite stealth in its target.

I've had plenty a beer with tropical notes or fruit infused but none of them have been as lush in flavor or a fluffy in mouthfeel as this one has. I asked myself several times if I was really even really drinking a beer. I then decided this is maybe the kind of tasty brew they not only do up in the Northeast but maybe also on fun beer planets galaxies away.
oldnationbrewing.com

May 5, 2017

SCHIZOS Fuck Iggy Pop 7inch EP

I dunno, man. Saying "Fuck Iggy Pop" in these parts could be fighting words. Michigan folks take their Michigan stuff seriously and are very protective of it. That being said though, I can understand the sentiment. I mean, can you imaging hearing ABOUT Iggy and his legend but not actually hearing of his music and then one day someone plays you something like  Party or Brick by Brick? You'd probably be bummed out or pissed off and thinking "this is the guy who invented punk rock? Man, maybe punk rock is pretty lame."

As a synth and real drum duo though maybe these guys just hate guitars and/or dudes that THINK they can play and sound like Ron Asheton or James Williamson but in reality will never pull it off. Whatever the case is, their agitated about something.

An electro-throb from the keys and a martial drums cracks provide cold and alienated core for a incensed rant of getting no love action on opener "Pounding The Pud." Clocking in at just over two minutes it's the 2nd longest song on the record. That doesn't mean the bursts of antagonism are slight of the other songs here though. The repetitive bop-bash-bop-bash on "Dog Meat" isn't some kind of hypnotic dance beat but will be unnerving for anyone who "just wants to groove" and the so exiguous it makes whatever people are calling minimal synth wave sound like the E Street Band in comparison that is "Cop Problem" is not going to be adopted by law enforcement any time soon (unless it's to be song to bash in some heads with a night stick, that is.)

You would think by using a record title as a way to talk smack about a punk rock legend that these Alabama mutants are trying to thumb their nose at history. When take the always full on loud and disturbed "I'm Not A Sicko..." by the Oblivians (which is the 2nd longest song on the record but being one second more than "Pud") and strip it down to a bare bones diatribe and make the Urinals "I'm A Bug" sound like maggots crawling into your eyes though, it's obvious their brains are coated in the kind of scuzz that could only cause stuff like this being ever being made.
Get it at Neck Chop Records

May 1, 2017

PLAYBOY Celebration 12inch EP

Bonifide freaks and scumbags have always been a part of any type of music but especially punk rock. So have people simply pretending to be freaks and scumbags. I dunno which side of the fence Montreal's Playboy actually stand on, but my ears are telling me whichever it is, they're at least waist deep in something disturbed and decomposing.

Flipper's "Sex Bomb" or the Stooges Funhouse album (if it was left in the back window of a car for a few hours on a sweltering summer day, that is) because of the strangled horn squalls that blurt and squeal all over this record but even with that taken into consideration, these merchants of noisomeness are leaving their own particular trail of slime behind them as the slither down their path.

The aforementioned combos used saxophones for setting the mood of sonic strangulation. It's all clarinets here, man. It goes beyond that simple bit of trivia (or nitpicking if you prefer.) Whereas, in the Stooges case at least, it was some kinda Coltrane/Coleman/Sanders/Ayler adulation trip that a particular type of college town boho would brandish for a freak out. I'm not even really sure if these guys, who came from a background of hardcore bands, have ever listened to Ascension, Karma and/or Spiritual Unity. Even if they have though, that's not how their freak out's go anyway. The noise the horns make may not burn a whole through your forehead so your third eye can finally see, but they can soundtrack nightmares or provide a neon illuminate a seedy side street adventure.

When the electrical wobble denotes the ignition switch has been flipped on "The Traffic" it's a wild guess if you are being blasted toward the stars or quickly submerging fathoms deep. The rubber mallet beat of a bassline churns a queasy rhythm over crashes and bump while you get ranted at by someone who has bigger issues than road rage. The same type of thing fuels "The Weather", a song that makes me leary of having any stranger wanting to engage in conversation with me about what the current temperature is because I have a feeling the talk will end up being beyond disturbed in a matter of moments.

If you are claustrophobic, listening to "Inside", which I played on my radio show last week and lead some to call and ask if I was attempting to do a Roxy Music/Revolting Cocks mash up, will not help you with your condition and may even make you fear spaces that are event tight while "Outside" has you questioning once again if you're losing oxygen because you're out of the ozone or underwater.
Get it at Negative Jazz

Apr 19, 2017

RACE CAR B.Y.O.G.K. 7inch EP

My grandparents had a 1970's Lowrey organ at their house. You know the kind I am taking about. One of those one's with the “Super Genie” rhythm box on it. My brother, sister and I would always bug my grandma to let us play it. Eventually she'd give in to our pleading under the condition that "don't turn it up to loud and bother you grandpa. He's doing paperwork and book keeping in the other room and doesn't not want to be distracted."

As soon as grandma would leave the room to go out to the garage, or yard or neighbors though, up would go the volume. Next to be cranked up on it would be the tempo on whatever built in drum pattern was playing at that moment. Eventually, my grandpa would come into the room cussing and sternly state in an agitated voice "That thing is NOT made to rattle brains!"

It doesn't sound as if Race Car are using a Super Genie for their beats but they are using a drum machine and it definitely sounds like they have it on some setting to rattle brains that would totally piss my grandpa off. Actually, everything on this 4 song slab sounds like it's on some brain rattle setting.

The turbulent blusters of "911! Dang Wolf" and "I.S.S. Is For Me" evoke the adolescent tantrums of the Reatards with the vocals drenched in echo and trashed out punk rock guitar blasts. The jarring stops and starts on the two take them out of the garage and into some mechanical lab where the robots have turned on their human programmers and are tearing them apart limb by limb on the former and the latter taking on the role of an aural pile driver.

The records other two tracks are as spazzed out but aren't all sweet and mellow either. "Government Funded Terror Lunch" has a raspy bark which commands the song to chug into, save for some synth bloops and sizzles acting as mercury lights of sound, a disturbing darkness. Also, if you're thinking that Go-Kart Rock could be a close cousin of the Surf & Drag sounds of yore, such a thing is not going to be found on "I Just Want A Go Kart." Unless knocking on a cave door only to find something resembling the Urochromes dragging a Stooges record through a broken glass covered floor is some kind of family reunion.

Did I mention that if you spell this names backwards, it's the same as you spell it forward? I may have forgot. My brain has been rattled.
Get it at Neck Chop Records