Feb 23, 2018

CHARLIE REED "Love Hangover" 7inch


Chicago's Uh Bones may have packed it in a bit ago but their tattered and frayed jangle lives on with former member Luke Trible's new project Charlie Reed.

When I first played side one's "Love Hangover" I realized it was not a cover of the Diana Ross song. The second thing I learned is that Charlie Reed are not all about kicking up dust. It's a much more quiet affair here. Nylon stringed guitars move the rhythm of the song as it goes off into a baroque and blurry field of brightly colored flowers and dewy green grass. Something like Donovan song stripped down to simple basics and san all that silly affected hippie quavering thing he did with his voice or White Fence in their stoned & breezy lo-fi bedroom pop finery moments come to mind.


With it's folky fingerpicking pattern the flipside's "Just A Little" has a lightly but plesantly baked mood that's akin to some rays of sunlight poking its way through some rainclouds on an early autum day.
Feel the lilt from Randy Records

Feb 18, 2018

FATAL FIGURES You Are Monster LP


Former Blowtops Aaron and Tracy make up two parts of this trio. The garage punk/deep goth thing they had in that former life carries over here. It's even gorier than before.

Not simply because the vinyl is blood red and Rob Fletcher did a bad ass job on drawing guts and entrails for the cover either. Seriously, "Hand Of God" starts things off like the Birthday Party and TAD blacking out and then go off on a bathtub manufactured amphetamine enhanced kill spree.



There's a huge creepy small town terror thing that runs throughout the record. "Human Skin Lanterns" is the music that plays in a hearse which roams the back farm roads late at night, looking for lights on and movement because such things equal fresh blood.

There's also a weird dirt road vibe on "Skin Split." With its blood-curdling howl and a brain clobbering Hound Dog Taylor burning in hell boogie riff, it is one that's akin to being invited to a party that's down at the end of a dark path only to arrive and find out the bash's entertainment revolves around chainsaws, meathooks, a gurgling cauldron and an acidic swamp.



One of the important things about doing Gore-Punk, to me at least, is that the band makes nods subtle or obvious to the originators of the past of such sounds. For the later, Fatal Figures obviously have the Cramps running through their bloodstream and muscle tissues. With the former, I detect bits of Alice Cooper in the way they mangle 70's rock action on tracks like "Plastic Slivers"


For anyone that is planning on having a haunted house this coming October, don't fall back on the ol' reliable screams and creepiness of that Disney sound effects record. Play this instead and ensure that little kids will have nightmares for at least a few days longer and maybe even disturb a few of the for life.
Get bludgeoned with a blunt object at Blak Skul

Feb 15, 2018

STRAIGHT ARROWS "Out and Down" 7inch


I've heard the name of Australia's Straight Arrows mentioned quite a few times over the last decade or so. Somehow though, I have never actually consciously HEARD them til this recently released two songer on Spacecase Records.

There's a durability in the way some bands can have guitars wring and twist Byrdsian chimes into curious, different new shapes. "Out and Down" is one of those kinds of songs that does that thing. Wrap a blanket of fuzz around that mutated jangle, add a swing that's well adept in both stomp & way. Then dip it in a light & chilly mist of echo. Don't worry about it getting too icy though. The heat coming off of Owen Penglis' bratty bellow practically starts a fire.

If side one is a piece of hazy and wiggly psych punk that provides a ying, side two's ditty celebrating the idea of being a small business owner that still has to answer to a corporate office,"Franchisee" is a garage punk hop around that works as a quick and smart-alecky yang.

Get a shot of it at Spacecase Records

Feb 13, 2018

GEE TEE Death Race 7inch EP

Raised in a region where automobile manufacturing is what kept the economy running for decades there wasn't a day that went by where we didn't hear some Pall Mall huffin' grouch from the subdivision declare "All jobs will be taken over by robots. They won't want us on the assembly line anymore" between horseshoe pitches and swigs of Altes when I was growing up.

It was always said loud enough so us kids within an earshot could be scared of the future. We weren't though. The thought of working on robots always sounded much cooler than clanging away at bolting Ford Pintos together.

"You brats are not listening!" the old coots would bark. "First it's our jobs. Then it's our lives!" We would laugh it all off. Tilting an ear to Gee Tee though, I am starting to wonder if those fogies are getting the last laugh and grumbling "See. They're coming to eliminate you!"

Starting with the bouncy, almost strange kids show blurps and beeps of "Got No Head", you may think they're all whimsical and can get you think being decapitated will creep out people around you more than it will yourself. The blast of car crash guitars, spraying of punk rock snot and machinery gone awry stomp of "Death Races" follows it though, may not help you if you're squeamish about the sight of blood but spilled, dirty hydraulic oil may become a point of arousal.



Being that these cyborgs are Australian they have also have that off-balance jangle and skittish hooks that many from the country have done many a time through the eons hardwired into their punk rock informational processing as side two's "Fightin' Is Dumb" and "Z-Zero" can attest to.



A gazillion heartland rockers have claimed they'd never get out of wearing their blue collar alive. The cantankerous fossils that tried to strike fear in our hearts by complaining about machines destroying us called all them wussies too. Gee Tee is the kind of thing they would actually fear.
Get it at Neck Chop records

Jan 28, 2018

Smashin' Podsistors: 28 on the 28th

 
Our last edition of this thing ended with a song by the 28th Day. This edition is the 28th one. Also, this one is being posted on the 28th day of the month. I'm gonna remember to use the number the next time I play the Powerball.

Hear it here
 
What was played
Mott the Hoople - Sweet Angeline
Dale Beavers - Train Comin' Round The Bend
Sex Tide - I Was So Wrong
Fatal Figures - Skin Split
En Kernaghan Projekt Experience Banned 1997 - Loves Ack
The Hentchmen - Restart My Heart
Kuromi - Eyeliner
Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band - Hot Head
Headroom - How to Grow Evil Flowers
Tropical Trash - Your Place In The Chain
Magic Cigarettes - Getaway!
The Mark Vodka Group - Big Time Rocker
Corner Boys - Joke (Of The Neighbourhood)
Heavy Metal – Use Your Skull
Shitstorm - Nervous
Comet Gain - Fists in the Pocket
Sloan - 500 Up
City Yelps - We Like The Hours
Jackson Politik - Habit
The Fall - Jawbone And The Air-Rifle

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

Jan 23, 2018

BLOODY SHOW Let America Pay cassette


AMERICA EATS ITS YOUNG!

That's the first impression when holding the new Bloody Show cassette in my hand. From sleeve design which has to be an homage to the Funkadelic album of that name to the title of this thing itself, would be simple enough to think that. The sounds stuck to the magnetic tape here solidify those first impressions too. Not in so much that this is a freaky funk record (this is much more on the hard rockin' side of American proto-punk clobber that psychedelic booty shakin') but in a way that is a statement of how this nation is taken some way wrong turns again and a small group of creeps, assholes and full-on racists are steering the ship.

The Staccato punches that "Open Fire" throws convey the anger towards asshole cops and the revenge wished upon, while it's swirly grind is like the brain swimming from seeing red because of the much understood rage. A similar vibe fuels the grind on songs like "Trash" and "Red Penny." The former is like an aural version of bare skin wiping out at high speed and skidding yards down a gravel road. The latter a more slow-motion version of the same.



While most of the songs are caustic and deleterious to anyone with a positive attitude or viewing the world through rose-colored glasses, there's an almost rural Neil & Crazy Horse going on "Psychic Witch." I doubt though any braless, granny dress earth mama would appreciate the sentiment though. The sonic growl of it would be enough to make them hide under their pile of moldy and cat piss smelling David Crosby records.



"DUI" barreling drive has a great highway song thing going on but the circumstances that entail are just one of the reasons that the song probably won't appear on any road songs CD you'd pick up at a truck stop.


I've said it before and I'll say it again to every dimwit who made the claim "Well, one thing Trump will do is make punk rock good again." And that is "Fuck off." It's cats like Bloody Show's Jah Nada, who has more of a reason to be fed up than your coffee house philosophies and memes ever will. And he's been making punk rock for a good long time now.
Become part of the bloodshed over on Facebook

Jan 20, 2018

Smashin' Podsistors: Never Wanted To Be Part of the 27 Club


“You keep living like that you'll be lucky to see thirty.”

“Oh, you're all such squares. I'm gonna live to be a very old man!”

And so the conversation went with so many family members as a youth. When they come over to visit now they just ask me to turn the music down because it is too damn noisy and say they swear that I'll never grow up.

They're still all squares.

There's a few quiet moments in this, the 27th episode of the Smashin' Transistors show. You can still play all of it really loud though if you wish.

 Here it is:



What you'll hear:

Chris Bell - Get Away
Mountain Movers - Vision Television
The Telescopes - Silent Water
Parsnip - Nigella
First Base - This Guitar Of Mine
Lumpy And The Dumpers - Boling River
Electric Wizard - Necromania
Necessary Evils - Lost My Baby
Klazo - The Race
Laughing Hyenas - Hell's Kitchen
Wireheads - Protein Dealer
Color TV - Night After Night
Turn To Crime - Can't Love
Aquarian Blood - Funeral Moon
Tony Joe White - Whompt Out On You
The Proper Ornaments - Stereolab
Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble - Reflectors
Crescent - Willow Pattern
Jackson Politick - I Am A Raver
28th Day - Dead Sinner

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

Jan 15, 2018

Arcadia Ales Cereal Killer Barleywine


Damn! This winter has been a brutal one so far. Sure, I say that most winters but after two weeks of well below zero Fahrenheit temperatures and living in a drafty old house with a boiler that seems it can only handle keeping rooms comfortable if it is above 20°F (and that's being generous), the shiver aspect has been high and heavy both inside and out this season so far. I imagine the shock level is going to be a huge zap too when the home heating bills start to roll in over the next couple of months.

Warmth is key. Along with an electric blanket things, a bit bigger on the boozy end have helped in such pursuits. No, the booze part doesn't actually help keep a person warmer but helps in not caring that it is practically like Siberia outside in these parts right now.

I don't recall if Arcadia Ales Cereal Killer was the first "traditional" barleywine I ever had but my first taste of one of these was over a decade ago. I've never gotten around to writing about it though. Picking up a 4 pack of them a couple of weeks ago though, I've decided it was time to get around to doing just that.

Mahogany in color and a two finger head that holds on for a moderate amount of time, Cereal Killers looks the way an English barleywine does. Scents of dark fruits such as plum and cherry along with sweet malts, toffee and brown sugar are quickly noted. Hops not swatting the nose around here show this Battle Creek, MI brewery didn't set out to Americanize their take on the style and are paying tribute to the way they've been doing it in the UK for centuries too.

Dates, grapes, caramel and spices come right out on the initial sips. There's a bit of sweetness there too but nothing overly or aggressively candied or sugary. The 10% ABV brings some heat right behind that but that takes a step to the side too as a bit of cherry and vanilla bean arrives towards the finish. Medium bodied and smooth all the way through, it ends with a semi-tart and somewhat dry. Almost like Sauvignon but not as jammy and a bit boozier.

I don't know if this brew would actually lead me to commit homicide to a bowl of Malt-O-Meal, but it is the kind of thing that would be proper to drink before going out and rasslin' a giant. I feel warmer already.
Get your sips at Arcadia Ales dot com

Jan 14, 2018

COLOR TV "Paroxeteens" 7inch


You hear that? Sounds "POP", right? Pops and crackles. Lots of static too.

Perhaps wordplay on the anti-depressant sold under the brand name Paxil, the slashy "Paroxeteens" is an antsy buzz that's like a mosquito stuck in your ear. The singer bray verses and a "Whoa Oh! Oh! Oh!" kind of choruses in an anthemic and adenoidal tone. There's a guitar breakdown bit where surf waves crash up on some dayglo colored beach littered with broken glass. An underlying pop-punk thing seems to thread this together but it's off of any mood leveling drugs which make things a bit jumpier and maybe even slightly Buzzcocks-ish.



The flipside's "Night After Night" is more that ooey, gooey, chewy kinda thing but shifts into a higher and reckless gear, bringing to mind the Marked Men's streamlined sonic machine being lent to some Snowbelt rapscallions. It's all dented up and now the entire neighborhood reeks of exhaust fumes from them keeping the pedal pinned to the floor because the wanted to hear the revving sound for blocks around.


Get the prescription from Neck Chop records.

Jan 11, 2018

TIGER TOUCH "Rabbit Grab" 7inch


I don't recall the last time I've blurted out "Triple guitar rock action attack." I know it has been a long time but it was the thing I found myself chanting within a few seconds of this record from this Portland, Oregon's Tiger Touch spinning on my turntable.

Studying the flight records of Radio Birdman, can name a bad ass rockin' Blue Öyster Cult song for every occasion (but also that know "Don't Fear The Reaper" was strictly written to appeal to girls) and the real king of rock-n-roll was, is and always will be Chuck Berry, both songs here are the kind of jams that fueled many a "boys are out on the town and drinking every cheap beer in sight" rowdiness of days of yore. An era when vinyl was claimed dead but cats that shopped record stores hadn't gotten the news and were picking up the latest slabs of wax from Crypt, Estrus and Empty that were displayed on the shops walls. The era where the Supersuckers hadn't yet become a parody of themselves and also an era just right before Scandinavia really started infiltrating the dive bars, bonfires and basement parties of the USA with their Nordic overhaul and engine boring.

Yep, that wrinkle in time when "RAWK" would be yelled as expression of exuberance instead in a mocking tone directed at some goofball in a Motörhead t-shirt and a teenage dirtbag moustache who just six months before was trying to convince anyone who would listen that Jets To Brazil were the most important band in the world and were about to change rock history forever.

Tiger Touch are not set out to reinvent any wheels. They just want to burn rubber! People shouting "AWWWW YEAH!" while watching the smoke rise and breathing in the fumes.
Get rocked at Tiger Touch's Facebook page