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

Oct 24, 2017

ANDY HUMAN & THE REPTOIDS Kill The Comma 7inch


Andy Human is one of those kinds of guys where you almost need to keep a spreadsheet on to track the projects he has going on. I mean, right at this very moment, it seems that he has three active bands; the World, Beatniks and of course the one that carries his name. All three bands stand under a punk rock umbrella but each of those umbrellas is a different shape and color.

This latest offering from him and his Reptoids, "Kill The Comma" is an umbrella bent all out of shape. And it's colors are monochromatic at the base but splattered and splayed with dayglo slime green freshly opened wound red. A tempo that is all bent out of shape and everything around squiggles into some kind of funky sleazed agit-punk thang that can cause snapped vertebrates if danced too rapaciously to.


Speaking of dancing, I don't know if there's any place to find all the proper steps to "Do The Mole" or, if as a dance craze, it will even catch on but with its snarly sax, rattly one note piano bwaaank and proto-punk guitar grind, it could very well become a sensation in dingy taverns with stellar jukeboxes and seediest cast of regulars any given town always tries to disown.

Get your mitts on a copy over at Emotional Response.

Oct 15, 2017

OBNOX Niggative Approach LP


It probably took about ten minutes after Lamont Thomas landed the first 'Nox recording on folks ears before they started bandying the buzzwords SOUL & PUNK around.

The punk rock thing is a given. Lamont's background of being in brash and blaring 100% no bullshit rock-n-roll music bands goes back a couple decades now. Usual known for his way around a drumkit in those combos, him front and center on guitar, vox and mostly everything else at least occasionally in Obnox is a whole new kind of volume blasting monster. It's serrated and searing. It's the sound of jet engines being piped through a bong. It's heavy, it's hissy and it not also clobbers, it stings for days after making contact.

The soul end of comes from the street level words and blazed out attitude he always lays down on 'Nox records. It also comes from him being a guy that dissertate not only about the finest moments of many a 1990's garage punk band, but can also, for example, can extol about Art Blakey's finest moments or how Prince made music better for everyone for hours if the conversation calls for such a thing.

While this writer has had just as many first impressions of Obnox records as they've had releases now (and with eight LP's and nine singles under his belt in the past six years, there's been quite a few), this new one was instantly "It's like the Ohio Players getting dragged behind some really hardcore biker's hog." Another spot on description is one I saw on the web. My apologies to who said it because I can't find it right now to credit you for it but it was something to the effect of "It sounds like Curtis Mayfield but it's the sound of him committing suicide." It's funky but it isn't goofing around. It's got a groove but it has moves like the dancefloor is covered in broken glass and blood. It's the sound of America NOW! The sound that Trump tards don't want people to hear and the sound of the dolts who are going around saying "Punk Rock is gonna get better again now that Trump is president" probably won't hear because a) it's not going to have a big marketing budget or media buzz behind it selling it as some "revolutionary" and b) there's good punk rock coming out every day. If those folks knew THAT, they wouldn't even have made such a dumb statement in the first place.

The "soul" on this slab also is much bigger and perhaps even less obscured under the usual maelstrom of sonics that other Obnox offerings. Songs like "Carmen, I Love You" is practically a straight of love jam with the expected noise kept in tack and "Hardcore Matinee" is a love letter to the days of underage punk rocks told from someone who has a Roy Ayers Ubiquity track banging around in their brain.



The punk end of the game isn't neglected here though either. I mean, the record is kinds named in tribute after one of the unruliest and greatest American bands of all times (and even has the man John Brannon chiming in giving his blessing) and ear wax dislodgers like "Skywalker OG" attest to that.

If you're new to the Obnox game (which if you're a regular visitor to Smashin' Transistors I don't know if I should be more shocked than ashamed) Niggative Approach is a good place to start. For those already down but haven't grabbed this one yet, be ready for something a little more experimental (there are things here like "Afro Muffin" and "Audio Rot" that are in a Throbbing Gristle/Cabaret Voltaire region and million miles away from Garage Rock Land) and still have you brain smoked. Headphones optional but highly recommended.
Get it at 12XU

Sep 28, 2017

STATIC EYES The Thaw 7inch EP


There's plenty of pockets in the US of A where the Oblivians left a permanent scar on kids listening lobes. Parts of Wisconsin especially. A list of exactly who from the land of cows and beer that have especially marked for life could be rattled off but I'll leave that up for you readers to dig up and discover yourself.

I will give you one Wisco-combo currently has that kind of thing going on though. They would be Milwaukee via Madison's Static Eyes. The 'Blivs blare hangs huge in singer Lee Olsen's throat (you may remember him from trash rockin' terrors the Gut Reactions) when he screams and shouts and the band primitive rhythm pound and burnt to a crisp blues string bends.

It's not a straight up ape though as living in a snow belt makes the sound blistered from bitter north winds in the winter time rather than thickly humid summer nights of the south. It's that which this 3 song EP's title track and the cave dwelling of"Blood Moon" a chilly post-punk almost Swell Maps kind of warp and wobble that seems like it would shatter into a million shards if dropped to the ground. If and when that would happen, it probably wouldn't sound like breaking glass as much as it would a box of m-80's. 



Pick up the record at Kitschy Manitou. Find out more about Static Eyes at their Facebook thingy.

Sep 25, 2017

Smashin' Podsistors: Is It Because It's 24...Not 25?


Some whimsy. Some jangle, Some shambles. Some noise.



The Playlist
Game Theory - 24
The Peacers - Black Fences
Mountain Movers - Angels Don't Worry
Dion Lunadon - Howl
Neo Neos - Money Trash
Timmy's Organism - Eating Colors
The Kinks - She's Got Everything 
Nazis From Mars - Cosmic Break-Up
Prom Nite - Mail Order Baby
Aluminum Knot Eye - My Life As An Eel
Black Sandwich - Little $nailz
Ohmwrecker - Spaceship Rock!
Gary Wrong Group - Setting Fire To Your Loft
Mishima Strange - Instant Death
The Beauticians - Roommates
The Original Sins - Out Of My Mind
Burning Itch - Private Life
Erectors - BABY-Q
Stefan Christensen - Silent Deluge
Television Personalities - The Man Who Paints the Rainbows

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