Sep 17, 2017

NEO NEOS The Hammer Of Civilization 7inch EP

I feel like I got a severe case of whiplash after listening to this 4 song rager. Too arty and twisted to lump them into the New School of Old School Hardcore and maybe even too spazzed out and thrashy for some of the modern age synth punksters seem to be on every corner now, this outta Minneapolis clamorblabber inhabits some manic planet that inhabits the same sort of the creepy neighborhoods as the Coneheads (which, according to some internet tastemakers, they've gotten some joy out of trolling) and Lumpy & the Dumpers (Neo Neos commandant Connie Voltaire has even done his own take on their "classic" Huff My Sack.)

Their four songs on this record take that thing and make it even more agitated and jittery. All quick blasts of coniptions. Weird new wave gets smashed to bits and reassembled all wrong which makes it alright on "Puke Girl's Class" while something like "No Dancing" lives up to it's name as you probably the only kind of steps you can do it are some kind of whirling dervish that piss off some and really freak out the rest.




My ears are telling me that something happening on "Money Trash" involves something ripped off from Eddie Cochran's something else but really, is it robbery when you found in underneath a hairy pile of goo at a toxic waste dump site?



Get this sickness on record via It's Trash in Canada and other fine retails spots. Wallow even more into the Neo Neos disease at their Bandcamp page.

Sep 13, 2017

The BEAUTICIANS Summer Tour Tape

Photo by Dale Merrill
When my ears first landed on the Beauticians two song download, quite a few art-punk references came to mind. One that didn't though was "It's like Wire's Pink Flag...BUT IN SPACE!"

When I saw them live the first time a few weeks back that exact thing came to mind. But only for a minute or so though. The similarities were that the songs didn't feel the need over stay their welcome or use too many chords, making the experiences ping-pong between jarring, hypnotic and jittery. The band gave off a huge looming mood of detachment. The kind of detachment where if it wasn't for a couple wisecracks mumbled to the crowd you'd be totally convinced that the band, save for finding joy in the fact that they may be damaging some people's hearing, would rather be anywhere else than playing for a crowd. The "space" part of the impression came from the monophonic doot-doot-doots and blurts that hissed out of an old Korg.

Where most bands of that certain ilk though came off reserved on stage, with all straight faces, utilitarian look and mostly standing in place (it's all probably an English thing) is where thoughts those thoughts where kicked away. Cigarettes tucked behind a few ears, the bass player donning a shirt that looks like he raided from an uncle who wore it in his new wave band from the 1980's and some unhingedness that had a a few people jumping out of the way when the singer went into the crowd, writhing on the floor and eventually even UNDER the stage. It's more was like these guys spent really too much time studying Wire it was while navigating Michigan's streets of cracks and potholes in a rattly rust bucket in search of place to yell at the sky, it was less time than Wire did studying Dadaism.



Mechanical becomes maniacal on "Robot Creation." If it's intention was to bridge the some sort of Motor City past to a dystopian future is anyone's guess. The way the song skids and squeals though, the main concern should be not if but when it's going to go all out of control, fly into a million pieces and taking bystanders down with it.
Dig the Beauticians at their Facebook page

Sep 7, 2017

The New Existentialists "Elton John" 7inch EP


Growing up sorta in the middle of nowhere, Flying Nun bands were like getting audio pen pals from a place that was familiar yet so distant and mystifying. In the early 90's though, I'd had grown out of touch with the label's tangible dispatches so I can't really compare the differences and similarities between what New Existentialist George D. Henderson has going on here and what he was up to in his other combo the Puddle.

Sleepy eyed in tempo "Elton John" finds daydreams about listening to records and singing along in a wistful and maundering tone. Guitars sibilate a trademark NZ misshapen jangle that dates back to at least the Clean and while a synth emanates a blurting a wobbly mist.


The ghost of Syd and perhaps a specter of, say, the Television Personalities hangs over the band sound without intruding too much. Sure, there's a common whimsical melancholiness in the sort of psych-pop that no doubt stitches them all together, but the bouncing and squishy trip into the earth that's side two's "Mystery Of The Worm" has them loping down their own leafy path.
Snag it at Spacecase Records

Sep 4, 2017

Smashin' Podsistors #23: Where Did The Summer Go?


Wherever summer went, it sure went by fast. If I would have thought ahead, this might have been an end of summer theme.

It's not though...Get rattled, funky and groovy none the less!

The Playlist:

The Customs - Long Gone
Mark Cone - Scum Like 'Em
Howling Hex - No Good Reason
Leon Spencer - Where I'm Coming From
Obnox - Hardcore Matinee
The Shifters - A Believer
Clinic - Sunlight Bathes Our Home
The Beauticians - Robotic Creation
David Nance - Silver Wings
Magic Cigarettes - Rain Of Weed
USA/MEXICO - Yard Of The Month
Goatsnake - Easy Greasy
Sick Thoughts - When I Think About You
Tin Foil - Telephone Wire
The Satanic Togas - Redlight
Comet Gain - Tighten Up!
PROM NITE - Living For The Weekend
Skip Church - New Thing
The Compulsive Gamblers - Scaring Myself
Annie Philippe- On M'a Toujours Dit

Aug 17, 2017

WOOD CHICKENS Skunk Ape 7inch EP


I had to run a search on this here thing to see the last time (if ever) I've straight up used the term "cowpunk" to describe a sound. Seems I did about five or so years ago. I then had to think back even further to when was the last time I listened to stuff that others used the same term to describe a sound. Man, I think I was still in high school. Maybe I just starting college. Either way, it was a long time ago.

On this recorded and mixed by Bobby Hussy slab from Madison, Wisconsin trio Wood Chickens, it's cowpunk all the way. Part drunken bar jangle rock sing-along, perhaps one part even drunker sea shanty and a lot of parts goofy (because we all should know that "cowpunk" is a whole lotta goofy), the record's title track tells the legend of a down south swamp creature.



It doesn't take much to gather that these guys aren't afraid of corn pone (see my goofy comment above) and, especially after listening to side B's "Third Eye Blues", would probably have me asking them if we ever crossed paths "Do you guys ever think you listen to the Dead Milkmen way too much." Sandwiched between song one and three on this EP though is take on the American hayseed standard "Roll In My Sweet Baby's Arms."



Yeah, it's pretty dang goofy too but they seem sincere in some kind of cheap beer dripping from their pores way in how they do it.
Out now on Kitschy Manitou

Aug 15, 2017

SICK THOUGHTS Songs About People You Hate


There seemed to moment or two not so long ago where one might have wanted to consider making a spreadsheet to keep track of what musical things Drew Owen was working. Along with a few other names there has been DD Owen, Chicken Chain, Black Panties, LSDOGS and, of course, Sick Thoughts.

While all of them have hurled rancor and heaved malignity at the world of dolts that surround each and everyone, it's the Sick Thoughts name that has really been his calling card. Having relocated from the USA to Finland in the last year, it might be easy to assume that he has been able to free his mind of all the rabble and weariness that is going on in this country, but ire and disgust are very strong and burning emotions and they're obviously still flaming hot in his heart and his head.

Ever light a wasps nest on fire? They'll all come out and then right at you like a flying, buzzing and angry yellow jacketed stampede. Now imagine setting fire to a wasps nest the size of a minivan. And they all got guitars. It probably would sound a whole lot like the record's opening blast "I'm Going Nowhere & I Don't Care."



The Oblivians and Reatard thing that's always thrown around when talking the Sick Thoughts in general still looms large but there are quite a few times where something that's much more wound up sonically than the rickety fidelity of yore that seems quite noticable. The smashy trashy destruction that drives things like "I Do What I Wanna Do" and "When I Think About You" is more akin to driving a tank through a brick wall inspired by Motorhead and built with extremely black metalloids.



One thing that I think will never disappear in my lifetime are Ramones clones. Not bands that dig the Ramones, but those kinds of bands that think the only good bands that exist are the Ramones and the bands that sound like a convenience store version of them. They've been an ire of mind for a loooong time now. It seems even weird here in the 21st century that there are still ones popping up every day let alone me still having to take a jab at them. They should be subjected to "Need No One." It's bubblegum but it doesn't taste like strawberry Flavor Aid. Kerosene though? Yes, it does taste like that. If they refuse to chew, shove their head on the grinding that's "NFM."



In a feel bad summer situation this country has been put in, this is the feel good record about feeling bad platter for the entire bummer.
Get it at Neck Chop Records.

Aug 10, 2017

Smashin Podsistors 22: Worth A Deuce Times Two


"Get up and get your grandma outta here."

Ok. that I get that. The "he's worth a deuce' line not so much.

Luckily we don't have to figure out the cryptic lyrics of that 1974 chestnut here in episode 22. Instead, enjoy hayseed strolls and cracked sidewalk scrapes.

The Playlist
Gin Gillette - Train To Satanville
Craig Brown Band - Overthinking
Cherry Death - You And Me
Michael Nesmith - Keys to the Car
Black Lips - Lucid Nightmare
Beatniks-Broken Ear Obvious
The Fall - The Container Drivers
Schizos - Poundin' the Pud
Iggy Pop - Dog Food
School Damage - Try Something New
Obnox - Skywalker OG
Bardo Pond - Crossover
Feral Ohms - Teenage God Born To Die
Hairy Chapter - Looking For A Decent Freedom
The Fluid - Our Love Will Still Be There
Fetal Pink - The Happening
feedtime - Sister
Bad Boyfriends - Dirt Cheap
Rik & the Pigs - Don't Tell On Me
Alex Chilton - Like Flies On Sherbert

Aug 8, 2017

The Shifters "A Believer" 7inch


When throwing around references to the Fall to describe a current band, a rock-journo/music fan must do so very sparringly. There's many reasons behind it but it's mostly because some use it to describe anything that sounds a bit agitated or off balance. The other main reason is because some band will mention their into the Fall, which garners attention from dorks like yours truly only to usually be, to some extent or another, disappointed with expectations. It seems especially that when a band is consciously trying to sound like the Fall is where they (perhaps pun intended) faulter the most.

It doesn't seem that Melbourne, Austraila's Shifters are trying to consciously sound like the Fall. Because of that, this record, like their first single from a couple years back "Creggan Shops", succeeds in bending the ear and even brain patterns in a same sort of way.

"A Believer" opens with a fidgety martial drum beat that's followed by anfractuous guitar notes and a keyboard churn that form a spindly musical web that part a straight up pop song and another part lo-fi fretfulness. Thoughts of the Feelies in their rural moments and the (also often mentioned when talking about this band) contorted jangle of the Clean come to mind.



On every song I've heard by the Shifters so far it seems that when singer Miles Jansen opens his mouth he sounds like he's teetering between woebegone moodswings and memories of sunny days. It sets the band in a dark yet whimsical scene often, making the listener wonder if their jubilant or if there's some inner turmoil that their trying to hide with a smirk.



"Contrast Of Form" is a perfect example of such a thing. The handclaps make things seem that it everything's gonna be alright but there's something underlying, perhaps it's a Syd Barrett solo albums slant that I'm feeling in the song that give me that impression.

The Shifters will perhaps remind those who are listening to a thing they've heard before here and there. Some really good things as a matter of fact. They're really good at it too. And no, they really don't remind me of the Fall.
(Market Square Records)

Jul 25, 2017

FERAL OHMS s/t LP


The first two Comets On Fire records were psych punk brain burners. As they progressed though, the freakouts calmed down and they sounded more like they were taking long walks in woods and looking at fireflies. When Comets main dude Ethan Miller formed his next band, Howlin' Rain it to my ears that things were gonna be even a bit more backwater in the aural zone.


Feral Ohms are Ethan's new thing. This harkens back to those early Comets On Fire records. As an power trio things are absolutely and straightfoward. The electrified howl of feedback that fries the eardrum when the needle drops on "Love Damage" is a warning that their ready attack and ravage.

The jams are kicked much more efficiently than what they could turn out to be in other Ethan projects too. None of them clock over three and half minutes. There ain't much time to noodle off on six string soliloquies in hopes they reach planets far away when you have a mission on earth. They want to come in, blow the place up and get out to get more on!



It's all done at a super high volume too because the vinyl is mastered loud in the correct way (and is made to be spun at 45rpms), something that seems to be a bit of a lost art. That high crank level makes things much more maximized and manic. Ya got things like "Living Junkyard" and "Value On The Street" giving the On Parole Motorhead an overhaul. That stuff was hammering but still had a hypnotic haze all over it but lacked a blast in the production to truly rocket it off. Here, that type of sound is nitro-charged and leaving a mile long trail of flames behind it.


I don't know if "Super Ape" is some sort of subliminal suggestion that everyone needs to listen to more Scratch and  the Upsetters records because it's too dang hard to hear over the type of blare King Kong's biker cousin would turn up to rally his troop on the Congo mountainside to get rowdy.



It's also really hard to decipher in Ethan's bellow whether "Teenage God Born To Die" is a cautionary tale, a fact of life or a command the band wishes more people would heed. I do feel that if you had a time machine and dropped a tape of the songs into the right people's El Camino's and Torino's, there would be lots of danger on the highway.



Since the cursed never seem to rest, this record keeps a relentless taste for splatter all the way through the end. It whips sticks of dynamite into a swamp of grunge 'til the most onery and festering scuzz is cackling with approval on "Early Man."

Ending the record with a tune titled "The Glow" may give hippies wishful thoughts that its gonna be a "mellow out final jam, maaan", but it more about spewing some type of toxic audio goo that'll make a person glow green like the would in Sci-Fi comics.

Yes, through and through,it sounds like an atom bomb being drop in a building that houses a marijuana grow operation.
Get the album here.

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