Apr 21, 2018

Smashin’ Podsistorscast 32: The Winter Didn’t Want To End


It's a few weeks shy of May. The weather has been insisting it is still late February.

This episode sets a raging blaze of sonic heat.

What you'll hear
The Brides - Pushed Around
Silver Abuse - Idi Amin’s Tortoise
Carlton Melton - Electrified Sky
Gary Wrong Group - Heroin Beach Serpents Attack
The B-52's - 52 Girls (1978 7'' Version)
-words from the host-
LASSIE - Modern Vacation
En Attendant Ana - Time
Index - Fire Eyes
Warm Bodies - Love O' Clock
Cruz Somers - Sit & Stare
-words from the host-
Hank Wood & The Hammerheads - How'm I Supposed To Wake Up In The Morning
The Fabuletts - Can't Stay Away
Choke Chains - Galactic Overlord
The Resource Network - Albatross
Pram - Bewitched
-words from the host-
Clone Defects - Not as Good as Gold
The Total Rejection - Licking Furniture (You'll Find Me On The Left Side)
The Monsieurs - High School Star
The Drags - Not So Good Luck Charm
Dow Jones and the Industrials - Can't Stand The Midwest
-words from the host-

 You can also subscribe to the Smashin' Transistors show on Apple Podcasts, Podbean and Radio Mutation
 
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Apr 19, 2018

HANK WOOD and the HAMMERHEADS S/T LP


Before we even get started here can we all just come to the conclusion that Hank Wood and the Hammerheads are one of the greatest punk rock bands of the 21st century?

Wheezy blurts from what sounds like an organ that was moonlight requisitioned from the most obnoxious teen beat band on the block, guitars that seem to be an aural equivalent of bare skin sluing across battered on concrete and a voice that makes a person think of an angry dog with Tourette's, the band has made three frenetic full-lengths that that are of their own monster.

Are they some sort of mutated garage punk? It is old school hardcore getting mauled by woodland creatures with rabies? Is this some an art grunge prank that actually works? It's really up to the ear of the beholder of where they wanna lump the band as. The melancholy piano figures "I Can't Stay" may confound fans from any faction as it opens the album. Once the frustration rises to the top though, the fuse is lit and the first powderkeg of sound takes flight in an explosive lift off of twisted notes, all will yell in unison "YES! HAMMERHEADS!"


The cacophony that band makes has always seemed to be fueled by frustration and cemented in a disharmonic outlook of what surrounds them. Despondency looms and lingers has always loomed large in their bag of tricks as songs like "It's Lonely In This World All Alone" and "How'm I  Supposed To Wake Up In The Morning" can attest. While in other hands such titles would most likely stick the earholes into someplace like Morrissey land, the former here seems to have made a stop at a really weird disco to leave with space funk dust in its pockets. The latter decides to soundtrack goth go-go bar.




A particular rage has always been part of Hank Wood and the Hammerheads template and there's plenty of that with the wild explosions that are songs like "You Wanna Die" and "It Must Be Nice" to a point where if the album just went for doing something it for the rest of the record, it would still be something exiciting and would take ages to get sick of.



The thing is though amidst such internal fires also curveballs like thrown in such things like the almost bongriptastic "Love Is A Cold Wild Tile" and they way"Nothing But A Man" answers the question what happens if you lived on a diet of Wire's Pink Flag while practicing fracturing dance moves that will confound while continuing to pummel.

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It seems with a lot of great punk bands, hell even great rock-n-roll bands, is that once they get something that is a sound all of their own, it seems they then lock it tight and hermitically seal it. It eventually becomes a biproduct of stale air. There's enough cracks and wormholes with Hank Wood and the Hammerheads clatter that invites odd smells, strange mildews and weird bugs to come in and make it different each time.
Do your nailing at Toxic State records

Apr 6, 2018

The SKIDS Crooked Cop 7inch EP


The Skids are not a reformation of the Scottish punk band that was the guy from Big Country's first group. First off, the guy from Big Country been dead for a while (though Richard Jobson of the Skids did a reunion show under the name in 2010 with another guy who was in Big Country.) Secondly, these Skids are from Melbourne, Austraila.

Having not listened to the Scottish Skids in a thousand years, I had to look up one of their songs online to be reminded what they sounded like. These Oz Skids don't sound similar.

I think if you listen to these Skids with headphones on you will hear actual knuckles dragging beneath the grunts of the singer and the loads of mud the band dredges up.

With "Crooked Cop" as the first impression and the boozy lummox stomp tempo it's easy to think that the band is absolutely surly and doesn't like to have a good time (unless their idea of having a good time is giving everyone else the creeps) but if that was the case, they probably wouldn't cop a Chuck Berry lick like the do on "Alright With Me."
 
The thing is though, if you entered this band in a Chuck Berry lick copping contest the judges might say "Why do they sound so lunkheaded about the whole thing." I'd probably vote for them for that same reason though.
Spin out at Shipping Steel Records

Apr 1, 2018

Smashin' Podsistorscast 31: There will be ham sandwiches and coffee following the service...


Let Smashin' Transistors ruin Easter Dinner with the family for you. We've got sleaze, lust, blasphemy and a whole lot of other sins in static and noise. Some of it even goes POP! 

 
What you'll hear: 
Mary Jane Hooper - I've Got What You Need 
Krozer - Pink Stuff 
Thomas A Edison Electric Band - Name Of The Game 
Obnox - I Climbed A Mountain 
Cybotron - Cosmic Cars 
-words from your host- 
Caveman and Bam Bam - Starting A Dance Craze 
Isley Brothers - Keep On Doin' 
American Breakfast - Ice Cream 
Neo Neos - Give Me a Chance 
Dan Melchior - Another Oil Spill 
-words from your host- 
Hank Wood & The Hammerheads - It's Lonely In This World All Alone 
Lassie - Tiger In My Tank 
En Attendant Ana - In The End 
Supercrush - I've Been Around 
Bailter Space - Splat 
-words from your host- 
Rik and the Pigs - Rat's Behind 
Heavy Lids - T.V. States 
Control Test - Abuso 
Heavy Metal - Today Is The Day Before Tomorrow 
CH3 - Catholic Boy 
-words from your host-

 You can also subscribe to the Smashin' Transistors show on Apple Podcasts, Podbean and Radio Mutation

Mar 28, 2018

RIK and the PIGS A Child's Gator Mini LP


Some of the things that are missing from a lot of punk rock today is a sense of glitter and flash.

I'm not talking spangles and sparkles either. I'm talking that things like someone spraypainting themselves with a can of silver Rust-Oleum enamel for the sake of getting attention and then landing in the hospital in the morning due to the enamel clogging all their pores and causing some kind of blood poisoning. I'm talking a shiny sheen that comes from not only satin clothes but from intaking a lot of burgers & french fry grease and staying up so late from partying down that showering in the morning still hasn't entered the mind.

It's a glitz that has the opiated swagger of 1970's Iggy, the teenage cockiness of a video arcade hustler flim-flamming for coins by hawking pin doobies and the street knowledge of that one kid who always cuts class and chainsmokes Marlboro lights out in the woods behind the high school.

Maybe so many bands are lacking it is because Rik and the Pigs are hoarding it all that up for themselves. Sometimes dinging thoughts the Dead Boys if they all got their GED's, or the Jabbers if they washed their crotches at least every once in a while, A Child's Gator ruminates a world of shabby jeans and ringer tees, the drinking age being 18 years old (and all the cases of cheap beer that went with it) and whatever happened to real rock-n-roll.

While celebrating such things Rik celebrates himself for who he is and why he is so cool (and the band referencing a riff that reminds this reporter of Thin Lizzy's "Wild One") with"(Baby) I'm Electric" and extols the coolness of people he knows on "Donny Says". There's also a call out to this nation we all here live in too and a shooting of a wild surf that's happening in a gutter on a sketchy part of town.



There's even a moment here where the band throws back to themselves by updating "Don't Tell On Me" from the Total Punk single that came out in early '17. As it was, the song had the makings of a classic glam-punk jammer, so how could they improve on it? By giving it a heavier pair of boots to stomp with, a bigger guitar solo and a fresh sheen of snot.
 

A rockologist I know swears that with the phasing out of leaded gas, with it went a chemical that helped people strut the right of kinda slimy way. On this record though, it sounds as if Rik and the Pigs live downwind of a mountain full of Monte Carlos and Chevelles running their engines.
Get chomped at Total Punk

Mar 24, 2018

CCR HEADCLEANER Mission Control 7inch EP

CCR Headcleaner is BACK! Not that they may have gone away or anything but after digging what they dealt for a bit and then not feeling all too much of a buzz with that album they did for In The Red in 2016, I wasn't too sure whether I'd come back around again to check out their stash.

Whatever caused that record to fizzle like a sparkler instead of exploding like a brick of M-80's has been fixed here. "Mission Control" blasts straight off the earth like a rocket built from a million Harley Panhead motors and straight to into a black smoked galaxy. It lands on a planet inhabited by psychomotor stimulanted space critters who are building a race of Black Sabbath/Helios Creed supermonsters. Upon meeting the crew though, the planet bows to their feet for already achieving the plan.

Like Godzilla sleeping in a frozen underwater world who is then angrily awoken forced to come to the surface again, "Unified" starts like it is shaded with dark hues of blue and green before making a ruckus and turning the whole city a flaming red. It's a quiet, loud, quiet, loud thing but it doesn't sound like it was lifted from the Scorpions "No One Like You" or whatever Pixies song Nirvana got the idea from. It's more like they watched a chain of electrical grid burst a series of blinding light and took it from there.

On the flipside, "Ipso Facto Alcohol" it's like they're trying to figure out jazz math but decide it's just too brain-wracking. The result of a stumbly creepy crawl through the land of the Magic Band where they meet a creature feature movie host with a deep penchant for quaaludes.

By the time the record makes re-entry to this world with a sizzled sonic boom and the infinite echo of "Lobotomize The Cops" you brain and eardrums may have already been destroyed by an asteroid.

When this record arrived in my mailbox, the envelope was shrinkwrapped in plastic. The mailer had a bunch of wet stains all over it. I'd like to think that the band soaked it in marijuana tincture and it was not just a foul up from the USPS.
Get fried here

Mar 22, 2018

AMERICAN BREAKFAST Asscube 7inch EP


In the last decade or so, a lot of what's been passed off as "straight-up garage rock action" has been questionable to being downright discourteous to anyone who in the 1990's blasted the latest new releases from a decent record stores 7inch bin at full volume.

How many times over the past 10 years now have I've read some hype and expected to get wowed by hipshakin' coup de mâitre only to hear something timid and lacking guts? Quite a few. How many times have I said "More like feeble bedroom pop encased in digital reverb?" before banishing a band from my orbit? Just as many.

Chicago's American Breakfast isn't playing such a bait and switch games though. First off there's the way French-born Laure Ellie sings. It's part Ye-Ye girl about town sass and coo's, part greasy and rowdy Rhythm-n-Blues blaring. A sweet creme brulee chased with a shot of single barrel bourbon. The band is no slouch either giving a hot and bothered wallop that's made to be heard loud in dive bars (and not just over laptop speakers) to tried-n-true 3 chord rave-up sounds like "Asscube" and blues-punk oozing "Ice Cream."



Though American Breakfast have released a couple things before, this is their debut to vinyl. Seems like a minor wrong in the world has now be righted.
Smell the bacon frying at Randy Records

Mar 11, 2018

Smashin' Podsistors #30 aka XXX

Raised on skin flicks and backwoods hootch? Maybe. Hot cars and cold hearts? Possibly.



The key is in the ignition. It gets gripped then turned. The bumpy road trip starts. Out of our minds and into space. A bunch of stops will be made in Austraila along with some other. One in my hometown too. That last line is questionable because research of if the Lee Vi's were actually from Port Huron has hit plenty of dead ends.

What you'll hear
Syd Barrett - No Good Trying
The Stallion - Nobody's Home
Black Sandwich - Subscription Garb
Day Creeper- Secrets
Casual Burn - Decline
Thigh Master - Pity Run
The Mark Vodka Group - I Just Have To Get Her Off My Mind
Doug Mcdade & Purple People - I Wanna Do It.
TV Creeps - Is This Real?
Moonwalks - Plastic Eno
Psychlops Eyepatch - Sleeptalker
High Rise - Wipe Out
The Cobras - I Wanna Be Your Love
The Living Eyes - Horseplay
SCRAP BRAIN - Vindictive
Parsnip - Seeing Red
Charlie Reed - Love Hangover
Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble - The Woman With The Invisible Necklace
David Nance - I'm A Loser
The Lee Vi's - I Don't Know 

You can also subscribe to the Smashin' Transistors show on Apple Podcasts, Podbean and Radio Mutation


Mar 8, 2018

Ellison Brewery's Dawn Street Pale Ale

With IPA's being the big dog in the beer world, it's sibling, the standard pale ale, has been neglected and, in some circles, even shunned these days (for example, it was a sad day for us here at Smashin' Transistors when we heard that Founders was going to be no longer be making their dry hopped pale ale as it was one of our favorites and always paired finely with whatever was for dinner.)

Now, I'm not talking smack about IPA's or anything. I dig plenty myself but still, there's nothing like a solid and tasty pale ale. They're flavorful with citrus, pine and maybe even bread and honey nuances but not an overtly sticky hop bomb. They're crisp and refreshing but not some lightweight old guy beer either. And, as I already mentioned, a finely made will compliment but never overshadow any food it is served with.

It seems the grain and yeast thaumaturges at Lansing, Michigan's Ellison Brewery were thinking the same thing when they envisioned Dawn Street Pale Ale. Colored beaming tangerine in color and a sporting a dense and rocky head, we're already off to a great start when this brew is poured into a glass. Eyes closed and giving it a sniff, one may think they have a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice in their hand. Aroma of mango, peach, honey and toast made from homemade bread are noticeable on the nose too.

On first sip, there's a bit of caramel and sweetness. Then a variety of the aforementioned citrus comes into play. The other fruits follow that. The complexities of it all intermingle, giving each one a distinction but being subtle about it. Towards the end, it brings the toast and honey thing out that was noticed in the scent before closing with a slight bitter that then fades into a clean and dry flavor.

That beer booms with all kinds of character and is very memorable. It's not obtrusive about though s whether it's steak, chicken, fish or whatever you may choose for a main course at suppertime or just simply hanging out and knocking back a few brews, this one will not disappoint.
Taste a brighter shade of pale at Ellison Brewing and Spirits.

Mar 6, 2018

JACKSON POLITICK Paste Vol. 1 LP


If Andy Jordan wasn't the hardest working person in punk rock for 2017, he still must be pretty high on the list of people who were. Doing duties in The World, Razz, the Beatniks and, of course being Mr. Human of the Reptoids, it's most likely didn't leave many blanks in his appointment book last year. And probably those open dates ended up having the name Jackson Politik quickly penciled in.

The thread that runs through all the different projects he's involved in is an admiration for pockets of sounds of yore but with enough of a twist to make it their own. This is like that too but as where the other ones seemed to focus on one particular sound, be it synth punk, budget powerpop or what have you, here things are more like a compilation of many DIY 45's all recorded on the same 4-track tape machine.

Scummy punk rock comes in the form of the skittish & frenzied on the album's opener "Habit", how "Learning To Live With It" sounds like something like Swell Maps at their most wrung out, hungover and on the verge of veering off a cliff and the hyperactive drum machine and overall bugged out bounce that's "Sex & Pity."



"This Town" might get someone thinking power-pop at first but the robotic vocal throws the scent off that trail fairly quickly. It is picked back up though (along with an aroma of something like hot dogs at a carnival and strawberry Bubble Yum) with "Hooked On A Feeling (Arthur Lee Love Song)."


There's a big chiming C86 thing all over "I Get Carried Away" which this reporter can't really figure out whether it was deliberate or simply a happy accident of a barebones tape machine. The same sort of thought comes to mind a bit on in the black raincoat wearing but still not 100% goth yet not exactly sunny day either feeling of the album's closer "The Hours."



I've been diggin' many of the different projects Andy's been doing since first heard the Cuts debut single on, outta all labels, Lookout almost two decades ago. This Jackson Politik has become truly one of my favorite things that he has done.
Glue your ears at Neck Chop