Jan 20, 2018

Smashin' Transistors: 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

Jan 3, 2018

KLAZO Embarrassed Of Living LP

Photo by Henry Bruening III
The Greek word for scream is klazo. There's also a tic disorder called Klazomania. A person with klazomania will compulsively shout, grunt or cuss. Not much is known about the disorder but it has been linked to people who have suffered carbon monoxide poisoning or heavy alcohol abuse. It is usually brought on when the person is agitated.

London, Ontario's Klazo must have sat in a garage with some ratty car idling and a case of Laker Ice at their feet at least a few times for inspiration of the blown-out bluster that barks loud all over this spun at 45 rpm 12inch slab.

Did it make them all agitated too? Yes. Indeed it does. "The Race" could be placed in lowest of budgeted biker flicks which has a lot of scenes where gravel is kicked high and hard from the tires and into peoples faces. "Guided By Lasers" makes the curious want to stand and watch the band explode into a zillion bits with the hopes of grabbing some damaged grey matter with their bare hands.



Since these grousers do a cover of the Nubs "Job" it makes it easy for anyone with an opinion to start tossing around the KBD kind of punk rock comparisons but that thing runs deep here. If there isn't the sound of bottles breaking all over the place on tracks like "Give Me Eyes" it's because the phlegm coated and severely dented microphones on this shit-fi almost Black Metal kind of production simply didn't manage to pick them up. The sound prescription bottles stolen from grandma's house being emptied aren't heard either but "Germ Brain" and "Med-Functions" either but it would probably be no one's surprise if such cocktails were served while the tape was rolling either.


Get it from It's Trash records!

Dec 18, 2017

Smashin' Podsistorscast #26: Haunted...Haughty...Wiggly...Weedy

Neck snappin' snares, tube driven wiggles, horns haunted & haughty, jangle weedy and ramblin', machines whirlin' and brain cell torching hiss. It's time for another episode of Smashin' Transistors!


Here's What You'll Hear:
True West
- Steps to The Door
Seance Sisters - Hammer of Witches
Honey Radar - Please Call Me Frogman
The Sulks - Ain't Life Funny
ISS - It's A Chore
Strip Kings - Slow Panic
Chain & the Gang - Rome Wasn't Burned in a Day
Archie Shepp  - Mama Too Tight
23 Skidoo - Vegas El Bandito
gSp - Life Eraser
Bloody Show - Open Fire
Krypto-Narcs - Plastic Bag
Red Transistor - Not Bite
En Kernaghan Projekt Experience Banned 1997 - Things Are Constantly Changing 
Tracy Lee Summer - You Are Gone
Dion Lunadon - Reduction Agent
Obnox - I Hate Everything
Prom Nite - No Motivation
The Golden Boys - So Cowboy
Jimmy Minor - Satan's Chauffeur

You can also find the Smashin' Podsistorscast's on Podbean, iTunes and Radio Mutation

Dec 2, 2017

THE ORIGINAL PANTHER BURNS "Rock Me" 7inch


What started as a performance art thing to confuse and confound the Memphis intelligentsia and uptights alike in 1979, Panther Burns have been around for close to four decades now. Over all that time, the people in the band back Tav Falco have changed many times as has the music, slithering through a gamut of weirdo rockabilly and the swampiest of rock to eventually stabs at the great American songbook and straight up tango music.

If one wants to hear something close as they can to something that sounds like the ORIGINAL Panther Burns lineup that's happening in the right here/right now, most would probably not expect to hear it would be from two of cats from that original trio (the third being LX who of course has been gone from this world since 2000) but here we are.

Recorded in one day, this is sound of two old souls hanging out in a laidback setting and laying it down unadorned and pure. The Baron Ross Johnson's work on the traps is lackadaisically sublime as it has ever been, keeping time in a loose manner and always putting booms and crashes where many might not think they belong but they definately do when he does it. Tav's guitar work sounds like the south. Swamps and hills. Humidity and pig fat. It all comes out in the snakey blues string work and his croon is just as blurry eyed and velvelty as his devotees dug it for decades.
Get it from Spacecase Records.

Nov 30, 2017

Smashin' Podsistorscast 25: Polishing Silver


Episode Twenty five of this fake radio show slash mix tape! That entitles this thing to some silver right?

Here's what you'll hear. 

The Plastic Cloud - Face Behind The Sun 
Psychic Ills - Might Take A While 
Obnox - Woe Is Me 
Kid Koala - 2 Bit Blues 
The Stallion - In the Flesh 
The Choir - It's Cold Outside 
Razz - I Wont Fade 
Teevee Fuzz - Jamboree 
The Vaselines - Poison Pen 
Belly Jelly - On Your Own 
The Golden Boys - Lonely Girls 
Cheap Trick - Baby Loves To Rock 
Bloody Show - Psychic Witch 
Lumpy And The Dumpers - Hair On The Inside 
Stone Garden - Oceans Inside Me 
Klazo - Restrictions 
The Seculars - Calm You Down 
Little Richard - Ooh my soul 
The Chrome Cranks - Desperate Friends 
AC/DC - Riff Raff

Nov 8, 2017

SKIP CHURCH Out Of Tune, In Touch With The Devil LP


Declaring yourself "America's #1 Saturday Night Band" is a pretty tall order and quite a bold claim. Any group that goes around telling people that needs to have all vibes that are expected from such a proclamation. Ya gotta be able to make people groove. It's gotta have a bunch of real soul feeling along with the rock and (especially the) roll. It's gotta make people shake off the work week grime and work up a party time sweat. It's gotta be something that makes people forget about their bills, their responsibilities and worries. It's gotta be all about having a good time.

Right off the bat, Chicago's Skip Church (the band who is making the claim) have got such things down with their name. If you're out boogying your butt off on a Saturday night, the last thing that is probably on your mind is dragging out of bed, putting on the hard and overshined shoes and having a sermon about the wages of sin recited to you the next morning.

These cats sound is made from amped up 1960's Rhythm & Blues and the 1980's brand of garage pop stock. Not deliberately lo-fi nor glossed up, this record hits right where a record of its sort should. The excitable "Hard To Meet Ya", "Then We Kissed" with its New York Dolls plundering girl group moves again and punk rock fuzzbomb that's "Smells Bad" are prime examples of how the band feel that the particular night of the week should sound.



Perhaps not everyone's idea of a good time on a Saturday night isn't three chord eternal teenage blasters though. I mean, a Saturday night can encompass many different mood and adventures, right? The band does have weepers like "Not The Boy", a soundtrack for a fight in hayseed bar with "Bad Anyways" and the small town hazed tinged psych that's all over "The Weather."



Since Skip Church dwell a train ride about seven hours away, I cannot confirm personally whether Saturday night is truly their kingdom. I do know that the next time I'mma Urbs In Horto though, I'd to see them and find out.
Dig Skip Church on Facebook

Oct 29, 2017

Southern Tier's Rum Barrel Aged PumKing Imperial Ale


A couple years back the lady and I attempted to try every pumpkin ale that was available on the shelves at our favorite local beermongers. A lot were "meh!" and a handful were pretty good. One of the ones that left a memorable tasty impression was Southern Tier imperial ale PumKing.

While out shopping for a few pumpkin ales to have this year, we spotted this one the shelf. "Look, honey" I said as my eyes lit up. "It's not just PumKing. It's a rum barrel aged PumKing." I think I even did a little happy dance when I took it up to the counter to cash out.

Pouring a translucent burnt orange in color and a very minimal head it looks like the autumn season. Aromas of nutmeg, cinnamon, and pumpkin were right up front and backed with oak and a slight hint of rum.

The rum becomes more pronounced in the flavor. On first sip, a sugar cane sweetness, some oak smoke and a smidge of alcohol hotness from the barrel aging sit front and center. Surrounding that is allspice, nutmeg and a buttery crust. Giving it a little more time to breathe, these flavors intermingle a bit more, giving space for some more pumpkin to come out in this medium bottle brew. A warming effect that comes over from the taste and smell stays consistent all the way through. Finishing slightly dry but with a rum and pumpkin sweetness is an interesting twist as it lingers for a bit but isn't ever too obtrusive.

We have drank way fewer pumpkin ales this year than we have in the past and the only one that we have sipped more than one of this year has been this particular brew. If we were to find another bottle somewhere, we'd most likely buy it and savor it for a third time too.
www.stbcbeer.com