Jan 16, 2019

DIMESACK Says God Says Fuck You LP

With an album title likely copped from the Electric Eels and a pissed off & stoned attitude that makes a t-shirt design like Pantera's fist and pot leaf motif seem like it is instead covered with fluffy bunnies, I'm pretty sure I would want to be standing too close to creepy rubber masked man Mr. Sack when his temper starts to flare.


Though he's only assisted by a drummer, it often sounds like a group of cavemen here, hell-bent on bloodshed and constantly thirsty for the taste of gasoline. Beats hammer the deep into the cranium with stealthy psychic pneumatics while guitar strings turn to razorwire, flaying flesh and tangling up intestines.

The very fine line between the differences of the bad spirits that infest the souls of frazzled blues-punk devils and those of highly satanic metalists becomes even more blurred. This record is like a clock sticking midnight and then the two signed a most malevolent of pacts. Many gawked it from a distance. They did not live to see the morning.
Get cursed at Blak Skul

Jan 12, 2019

Smashin' Podsistors 45: You say ya wanna resolution...


Did you make any resolutions for the new year? Mine is to try to never act like Veruca Salt. There's an attention loving blob in this country who acts that way enough for an entire planet already.

What you'll hear: 

Lotti Golden - Get Together (With Yourself) 
Natural Man & the Flamin' Hot Band - Song About Your City 
Gargoyle Sox - Pink Little Playhouse 
Young Skulls - We're Gone 
Public Enemy - You're Gonna Get Yours 
-words from your host- 
Bad Sports - Living With Secrets 
The Mark Vodka Group - Shadow Of Your Former Self 
Priors - At Your Leisure 
Wire - Once Is Enough 
Donkey Bugs - Three Times Fast 
-words from your host- 
Hecks - The Thaw 
No Age - Soft Collar Fad 
Schizos - I'm Not a Sicko There's a Plate in My Head 
Royal Trux - White Stuff 
Rats - Turtle Dove 
-words from your host- 
 Jackson Politick - Psycho-mania 
 Ten High - Ursula 
 Cheater Slicks - Another Stab 
Junkpile Jimmy - Priest of Set 
 Halo of Flies - Headburn 
-words from your host-

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Jan 9, 2019

TROPICAL TRASH/BRUTAL BIRTHDAY split 7inch


Finding words to describe the heaviness that Tropical Trash dish out can be a bit challenging. It's a burly sort of heavy that is adept at thick mud lumbering but also can pivot into flashes of constant swiftness with the blink of an eye. It's a heaviness that often has a metallic and glaring sheen to it but it's also something much more cosmic along with being quite venomous.

It's sensical to pin the punk tag onto the band for their attitude and approach and the sound is not punk in a way Sluggo Smith used the word. It's menacing and disturbing. It's also got a freakin' groove too which gives their songs different shades from each other rather than the same paint by numbers thing over and over.

For this go-round, Tropical Trash's side, "Last Night Straight", is like a hulking piece of earth moving machinery. One that has been covered in moss that got its hydration from spilled bong water. It's spongy and earthy at the surface but deeper in, its relentlessness covers quite a wide berth.



Being that at least one member of Italy's Brutal Birthday is from the cabal of guitar feedback habitues known as Hallelujah!, I expected a bit of loud volume worship and a ton of splatter and I was not let down. Swampy and unhinged, "Facts" buzzes and stings like its inside the most psychotic of hornet nests and gives off a feeling similar to being beaten with a chain and then crawling across a public restroom floor that Grong Grong once spilled an execrable concoction of a cocktail on.

Get you alliteration on at Maple Death

Dec 26, 2018

U-NIX Nuke Portland 12inch EP

As I grow older and move a little slower (sounds like a corny country song, huh?) I find that sound as motivational fuel has become much more effective.

As a youngster, pretty much anything with a snappy tempo could fire me up for facing any day. Now being (as my chillun' call me when I am outside of earshot) grizzled, I need something with a bit more higher octane to help me blast off into another day of earning my paycheck.

Lately, the thing that I've been blasting a full volume before heading out the door each morning is this debut slab from Portland's U-Nix.

A whirlwind of raging hardcore blasts off every face within the reach of this record. Meant to be played at 45, some may find themselves doublechecking playing at that speed due to how berserk of a sound scene this slab rips at some moments. I, for one, thought I had the speed cranked to 78 even. Thing is though, my turntable doesn't offer that option. Slowing it down to 33 was interesting though as it then sounded like a sounder of swine way irritated that supper had still had not been served.

That is really here nor there though, right?

It's a sound galvanized by the lacerating guitar slashes from John formerly of NASA Space Universe. The record first drill its way up from some molten and enraged place in deep earth with "Landlord." Once it surfaces, the rhythm section rolls through like a tornado, battering everything it is path while a bedlamite orates acerbity for most things that surround it.



Consider it just a little prep test though, because it's followed by the longest track on the record. Sure, "Society's Victim II" still only clocks in at a minute and a half, but it's a minute and a half of dizzying jolts with an intricacy that causes just as many jaws dropping in awe as it does making people wanting to bash into each other.



You'll be glad that such prep was done too as the relentless fits of convulsions from a possessed surf riff on "Hobby" and the neck-snapping stops that happen on "Punitive" are not for an abecedarian sort.



It's a twisted and discomforting record and perhaps even framing it as a hardcore record is lazy. For instance, there's a way tracks like "Liberal Hardcore" are sharp needle jabs into the psyche and make basking in disorientation a most enjoyable way to spend fleeting moments.

Get the doses of radiation at Feel It records

Dec 17, 2018

Smashin' Podsistors 44: You're my aural stimulator


How do we end the year Smashin' Transistors fake radio show style? Episode 44 might be it but don't hold me to it until 11:59 pm on December 31st, ok?


What you'll hear:
A Certain Ratio - All Night Party
A Moms - Modern Noise 
Rhys Bloodjoy - Reflections Of A Girl 
Neo Neos - It's Just That Easy 
-words from your host-
The Resource Network - Fix my Hair 
Brandy - Horse Chorus 
The Shifters - Straight Lines
Metropak - Run Run Run 
the Cult of Lip - Dream 
-words from your host-
U-Nix - Nerve 
Obnox - Wake And Quake
Indian Jewelry - Lost My Sight 
School Damage - Meeting Halfway 
Spiritualized - The Morning After 
-words from your host-
Ten High - Skin Crawlers 
The Unholy Two - Zero Tolerance
Dome - Say Again 
Sadie - Skull Rock 
Pete Shelley - Telephone Operator 
-words from your host-

You can also subscribe to the Smashin' Transistors show on 
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Dec 13, 2018

JACKSON POLITICK "Psycho-mania" 7inch

Do we need to discuss Andy Jordan's CV again? I'm sure most readers of Smashin' Transistors are at least familiar at least a couple of the things he's been involved with musically over the past decades. If you're not though, poking around here and a few other sites of similar taste and flavor makes for a fun game of connecting the dots.

This is the 2nd release (that I know of) that Andy has released under the sobriquet of Jackson Politick. The first, an LP titled Paste Vol 1, was like an excursion through a record collection of lively and multifarious selections. Even with only two songs on this slab, the same sort of experience is delivered.

With synth and electronical gurgles ala Eno's time in Roxy Music and space rock detouring into a land of playful new wave moves, "Psycho-mania" has a glitter bounce that would most likely make Phil Calvert bend an ear towards it and shout "Yes! Punk rockers adore rocketships" to any outer galaxy traveler around him during his time commandeering Quark, Strangeness and Charm model Hawkwind through neon glared celestial belts.



On the flip, "Well-adjusted Australians" is a bit more organic and earthly. Guitar strums twinkle like tiny lights on the water while a tiny machine taps out a pitter-patter beat. Along with Andy singing in a sleepy-eyed tone, things swirled together like a looking through the Television Personalities kaleidoscope after it's been smeared with petroleum jelly.

Get blotted at Market Square Records

Dec 6, 2018

CELEBRITY HANDSHAKE "That's Showbiz, Baby" 7inch


"This makes the Oblivians sounds like Rush!"

I'm positive I've blurted that out more than a few occasions through the years but one time I know for sure that I did was the first time a record from Portland, Maine's Jumpin' Beans and the Moustaches was rotating on my turntable.

It wasn't just a random blurt either. To use the term "blown out" about it was an understatement. The dry rotted garage punk irascibility and raw, drunken hollerin' that it discharged made what it was being compared to sound downright elegant.

If a compatriot with more "serious" taste in music was ever at my digs and started calling what I was listening to as being inept or dimwitted I would say "Oh, yeah. You think?" Then I would put on a Jumpin' Beans record. It would make them head straight for the door.

Maladroit minds that mastered those fracases have much to do with what is going on with Celebrity Handshake.

To call the rubbed raw guitar sound that anchors "That's Showbiz, Baby" a boogie riff would be misleading. A boogie barf perhaps is fitting. It's sick, it's smells, it oozes and it gonna leave a big stain behind. The beats behind does all it can to keep up and be heard while voice possessed by the Lord, the Devil, Howlin' Wolf and the fine art of swallowing razor blades serves up a verbal lashing that leaves everything mutilated.



On  "Television Lips" it like they've spaced from a moldy basement by stowing away on a rusted rocketship. One could describe the clatter of this of the slab "space punk" and bandy around the names of legends such as Chrome but Celebrity Handshake seem more inclined to use dirt from Brewers Phillips as an inspiration for a hook than crediting it all to a trip to Morrocco.

Get sweaty palms at Eastern Prawn

Nov 30, 2018

TERRESTRIALS s/t 12inch EP

You know that really sketchy oil change stop out by the edge of the city limits? Did you know after the place closes every evening the dudes that work there chew a couple microdots and pick up musical instruments they have hidden behind the old plastic gallon milk jugs filled used motor oil?

As of a result of a battered boombox that blasts a radio station which leans heavy on some kinda Alice Cooper/Foghat and associated doob rollin' ilk, they think they're all about the same hard rock action by once the scleener fry starts its'a sizzlin', a grimy garage boogie boards a psych-ships towards a galaxy of fuschia colored streets and sapphire shaded cheeseburgers.

Ascension is quick. Judging from the gospel-tinged organ that thrust the record's opener, "Aman Düde", into the atmosphere it is launching off from some sort of place of weird worship. The title of the song alone evokes images of kaleidoscopic flashes on one blurry, gnarled hand and a ratty teenage mustache on the other.

From there the record swirls through leaded gasoline fueled space journeys of Z-movie alien abductions, laser beam zaps and wigged out punk rock squirming. The record doesn't end with them returning to earth either because the final track, "Moonblade", sounds like they convinced a hillbilly bar on some other celestial body that they're the party band that planet has been waiting for.

Taste your departure ticket at Heel Turn

Nov 19, 2018

Smashin' Podsistors 43: Building blocks of proteins

Many across the nation will be in a serious tryptophan coma on Thursday. Like every year, I hope to be out of mine come Sunday though for Grep Cup viewing. 
What you'll hear on episode 43
Blacktop - Blazing Streets
The Unholy Two - Moscow Doomsday Cloud
Movietone - Mono Valley
Roxy Music - Editions of You
Mauvais Genre - Pour Toi
-words from your host-
Leon Gardner - Farm Song
Jon Spencer - Hornet
Suburban Homes - Magazine
Remember Sports - Up From Below
Gino and the Goons - Early Retirement
-words from your host-
Timmy's Organism - Wall Of Grey
Celebrity Handshake - Television Lips
O. Rex - Califawnia Girls
Crescent - Lightbulbs In The Trees
Missing Pages - Long Way Down
-words from your host-
U-Nix - Liberal Hardcore
Johnny Notebook and the Blue Screens - Go Bust
Urochromes - I'm Gonna Confront Ya
Pinch Points - Jelly Brain
The Prats - Disco Pope
-words from your host-

You can also subscribe to the Smashin' Transistors show on 
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Nov 12, 2018

Ellison Tiramisu Stout


Winter. It's hard for this writer to find reasons to get all excited about it anymore. One I can find though is stouts. Their roasted flavors provide some sort of psychological warmth for what will seem like endless days of monochrome views from here on into the spring.

That warming effect is pretty much instantaneous from opening the can of this offering from Lansing, Michigan brewery Ellison. Dark roasted coffee and chocolate rise from the glass immediately like welcoming you from coming in from the cold. Notes of sweet dark fruits and caramel add slight but rich details to the aroma.

While the coffee, cocoa flavors (along with a hint of smoke) are also the star of the show flavorwise, it's also where those aforementioned little details get to work some tasty magic. More than a smidgen of vanilla cream makes it place known too, really giving this stout a legit claim to tiramisu flavor. It's sweet but not syrupy. Bold but not burly. The finish is slightly sweet with enough coffee bitter to keep any sugary, weird candy flavor effect away.

I made a note that I am going to stick on my fridge. It's a list to remind me what stouts I should be sure to keep on hand once the snow starts blowing all around (and, from what I read today, that very well may start tonight.) This is one of the beers that is on it.
Pour yourself a cup at www.ellisonbrewing.com