Jun 14, 2019

Film Photo Friday No. 2: Embalm the ashes of the past and rise anew

The metal sculptures that dotted the parkway riverwalk in this town are now gone and have been replaced with different ones. One wonders where this Phoenix now is in the sun.

Shot on a Lomography Diana Mini using Kodak Gold 200 35mm film.


No post effects or filters applied. What you see is what the camera captured. Nothing more or nothing less.
Smashin' Transistors gladly accepts tips!

Jun 13, 2019

ISOLATION PARTY Fiberoptic Holiday LP


Often sounding like a small town take on '78 era punk rock that's packed with bright lights/big city notions, London, Ontario's Isolation Party are way less divisive about having a good time than their name may suggest. With an earnest heart on the sleeve yearning, a knack for colossal guitar hooks and a generally rambunctious execution, the band propels itself through quite a gamut of rock-n-roll.

Some songs here, like the record's opening salvo "Dark Matter" and "Pointing Finger" channel an antsy Pub Rock kind of thing but in a way where it blasts about as if it was influenced by punk rock instead of vice versa and the beer sweat it gives off reeks of a two-four of Boxer Ice than it does of ciders and bitters.



The ragged and comfortable feeling of faded flannel that dates back to the days before the Replacements were signed to a major label, the taste of orange bubblegum and the rush from breaking bottles on a busy street seem all present on songs like heads down chug of "Dislocator" and "Fine Lines."



Adding more twists to the above, the same thing goes with "Mr. Telephone" if you factor in some jumpy garage punk into the concoction.

Make that double for the record's title track with its infectious guitar riff and jagged bounce that drive "Sleeves" along but stir a large helping of Buzzcocksian cynical winks to the brew.

Get less confined at No Front Teeth records

Smashin' Transistors gladly accepts tips!

Jun 7, 2019

Film Photo Friday No. 1: The Harrington Inn Port Huron


Some locals like to tell a tale that this building was the last place Jimmy Hoffa was seen alive. It wasn't.

This building does have a share of history though. US president Harry Truman spent part of his honeymoon here.

By the time the 1970s rolled around, the place fell on rough times and was primarily a flophouse by the time the 1980s rolled around.  It was eventually refurbished and turned into a retirement apartment complex. That closed a couple years back now. It was recently purchased by a developer and is getting a new life again, this time as a boutique hotel. Pretty cool to see it come full circle.

Shot on a Lomography Diana F+ using  Kodak Ektar100 120 film.

No post effects or filters applied. What you see is what the camera captured. Nothing more or nothing less.

I caught the picture taking bug as a young child in the mid 70s when my grandmother handed me a Kodak 126 Instamatic. In high school and college in the mid to late 1980s, I learned a lot about the art of photography and how everything works when it comes to using film. When digital photography gear became somewhat affordable in the early 00s, I made the leap. Eventually, it caused me to forget a lot that I learned. It also made me less discerning of what to shoot and when. 

A couple years ago, I started using film again. Cameras that are fully manual and antiquated I like using to get my skills back to where they were and are a blast to use. "Toy cameras" with plastic lenses are fun as well. And I also cannot forget to mention the slew of cheap former Soviet Union shooters in have in my collection. It has taken me back to observing and composing  instead of just willy nilly shooting randomly at whatever. 

I hope you enjoy the photos I will be sharing as much I do taking them.

If you'd like to help me out in the costs involved  (cuz film and development does cost a bit and my extra cash to spend on such is limited after my real life bills are paid), you can "buy me a cup of coffee" at my Ko-Fi page.

-Dale

Jun 5, 2019

BRUISED Arrow of Disease 7inch

Since 2007 Chicago based Randy Records has released slabs ranging from ringing folk jangle, gooey psych-pop and totally smoked filled dive bar white boy Rhythm-n-Blues. All of them had a healthy dose of punk attitude, but not many of them would I consider, y'know, punk rock.

That is until this, the 25th release from the label. Blurrrzztin' and blitzin', the debut single from Bruised. Battered and pulsing, "Arrow of Disease" throbs like Devo on a spaceship trip where they've hired a drunken Spits to be the crew. The spaceship in question is made of tin and is held together but some sort of glowing sludge. It's a brain rattling quest to a destination of circuitry.


If the song a blast to outer galaxies the flip, "Psychic Stain", is a rough reentry to this atmosphere. It's a quick and blunt blast of jerky hardcore that scrapes across concrete in a ferocious manner.

Get a contusion at Randy Records

Jun 1, 2019

D9 Brown Sugar Brown Cow


"Big brown cow out in her big grass field/chewing on her cud cuz that's her deal."

When my kids were young, I had a song I'd sing to them with such words. Set to the tune of the Stones "Brown Sugar", of course. When I first saw this Mocha Brown from North Carolina brewery D9, it was the first thing that came to mind. Brown Sugar. Brown Cow. Oh, for sure it was something I'd have to give some sips to.

Dark in color but semi-transparent with ruby highlight, a soft pour brought out a smidgen of a head that quickly dissipated. Its scents were rich with that of sweet caramel, molasses, vanilla and hint of coffee. None of them dominate in the aroma scene here but all are fairly represented.

A sweetness of vanilla and chocolate are right up front when taking the couple of tastes. As it breathes a bit, coffee and caramel notes become more pronounced. The finish is slighty sweet but not overtly sugary.

The beer never becomes thick and syrupy which gives it an interesting slant when compared to a lot of other brews done in this sorta style. It's lightness and reasonable amount of carbonation make it a bit more sessionable than some other sweet and burly brown ales I've tried in some recent times.
Mooove it on over to www.d9brewing.com

May 19, 2019

Smashin’ Podsistorscast 50: The Golden One


The 50th episode of Smashin' Transistors! That makes us gold, right?


What you'll hear:

The Beaubeins
– Times Passed
Hash Redactor – Open Invites To The Caves
Red Mass – Show Me The Money
Lassie – Deposit Bottles
The Shifters – John Doe's Collegue
-words from your host-
The That's Thats – More
Wolfmanhattan Project – Now Now Now
Crosscut Sores – Dead Hit
The Staches – Fake Stomach Ache
Public Interest – Passing Glances
-words from your host-
Science Man – Love Potent
TAD – High On The Hog
Hello Hooray – Cherries Light The Way
Clinic- Flying Fish
Jack Oblivian – Good Time Bad Girl
-words from your host-
Toeheads – Going Steady
Isolation Party – Sleeves
Andy Human & the Reptoids – You Like Your Job
The Dandelion – Message From The Fire
The Rationals – Leaving Here
-words from your host-

You can also subscribe to the Smashin' Transistors show on
Apple PodcastsPodbeanRadio Mutation and Spotify.

Get even more Smashin' Transistors action at 

If you'd like to help me out in the costs involved in doing the podcast, you can always "buy me a cup of coffee" at my Ko-Fi page.

May 16, 2019

CELEBRITY HANDSHAKE Political Future 7inch EP


"Is this a musical equivalent of chewing on aluminum foil?"

It's a question that I've been asked about some of my musical choices occasionally for ages now. Often I answer "Yes. Some get electrified by such things. Perhaps I am one of them."

If the music then didn't make them want to get away from me after their failed attempt at a sick burn, my reply of how I get joy out some sorts of such sounds usually does.

If it was a Celebrity Handshake record spinning though, I doubt those types of folks would even bother to complain to me about such things. Probably because they would have already bolted out the door.

With an embankment of guitar bawl behind him, head Handshaker Aaron Haines launches into an unhinged and raw throated invocation that seems to want to disguise itself as an announcement from a civic minded person on "Political Future." In past times, hearing such a disturbed sounding rant would tank one's prospects in any sort of public office but, given the world we're currently in and the clowns that are in charge, its almost as if voting from is far from the worst idea a person could have.


It's the kind of song that makes the two other tracks on this record, "Hit Me Where It Hurts" and the featured recently on a Smashin' Transistors podcast "It Takes All Kinds Of Bones", sound downright normal. That is if you think drinking a gallon of gasoline to extol the virtues of rock-n-roll while sitting inside a beat up old station wagon that's about to get compacted by a car crusher is any sort of normal.

Get sweaty palms at Eastern Prawn.

May 9, 2019

SCIENCE MAN s/t LP

This record should come with a crash helmet. A super reinforced one at that because this record dishes out quite a pummeling of concussion causing beats and inner ear agitating six string fry.

Raw and relentless, bandying about a term such as Industrial to describe Science Man (a one-man project helmed by a former consort of Buffalo, NY's Radiation Risks) might evoke impressions that don't fit this record. It's not disco-metal made for a cavernous nightclub where a third generation VHS copy of The Hunger is projected on a wall. This affair is much more anguished and frantic. Songs like "Love Potent" and "Weaponizer" attest such points.


Another thing that has me searching for a much better descriptor than the one I've already mentioned is that the use of guitar here are not just some compendious blasts designed/fiddled to make aggressive poses to. Here they slobber, door, bark and slither.

"Layouts" is anchored by the trusty punk rock downstroke while the rest of the song gets itself into a tizzled rant, the cocky swagger that lubes the gears of "Beat Of Your Heart" is pork fat and "Virus" is like a case of boogie disease that's spread by scorpion stings.

Get your erudition at Swimming Faith Records

May 1, 2019

The COWBOYS The Bottom Of A Rotten Flower LP


Some albums win you over immediately. There are also that take a bit of absorbing before their goodness is fully realized. Then those rare birds that have both going on. They knock you over on their first spin and each and every one after that, more and more they become even better.

The latest LP from Indiana's Cowboys, The Bottom Of A Rotten Flower, is one of those kinds of records to me.

The candy-coated roar of songs like the album's opener "Open Sores" with its bop in Day-Glo beat, the clomp-clomp-clomp stomp of "The Second Shortcoming Of Christ" and how the anthemic chords of "Pie In My Eye" gets fist pumping in a celebration of triumphs of the forlorn are all akin to something like the Buzzcocks and Cheap Trick coiling around each other. They then form a pop serpent which strikes an infectious bite onto all that are curious.

Unlike vocals that are the dead poet obsessed bray of the former or often almost falsetto bluster of the latter though, singer Keith Harman delivers them in a way that is one part hayseed, one part hustler and a whole lots of heart.





If the band had stuck with this formula of cleverly crafted and concise songs (most of them run around no more than the two minute mark here), it would be a record full of charmers but its when they branch out from that proven winner formula where this record shines even brighter.

The vintage jangle and mood of "Take My Flower And Run" is like a Buddy Holly song chromed for the jet age (minus any of the trying too hard posing presented by so many 50's cosplayers), "Female Behavior Book" could very well be something from the Kinks Face To Face catapulted into the right now and the swirly new wave organs on "Some Things Never Change" should be playing on carousels at all fairs across the USA this summer.



Counterbalance it with flat out rockers like "Red-headed Girlfriend" and you may understand why I am already declaring this one of the definite best in a year that is still young.
  Get pollinated at Feel It Records

Apr 25, 2019

The GEROS "Freak Out" 7inch

Without a warning of any sort (and I'm talking not even the ol' mainstay "1, 2, 3, 4!" or a simile of a countdown), Osaka's Geros latest wastes not even a second of spreading some punk rock contamination. Vaccinations and rubber gloves would even keep those listening safe because coming in contact with it make immediately burst like a nasty blister and the vaporize from the scorch.

Often compared to KBD stalwarts and other punk legends, the Geros take such slobbering and toxic gunk, slash it to bits and chews it up. Instead of down their hatch it goes though, they spit it back out as giant, glowing fireballs.

Like a Teengenerate spun tighter than thought imaginable or Guitar Wolf dousing themselves in nitroglycerine "Freak Out" does more than just it's title suggest. It coils and it strikes. And not just once but repeatedly. 

Twist your brain at Episode Sound