Aug 14, 2018

LYSOL "Teenage Trance" 7inch


After a quick dalliance with the name L.I., Portland trenchant operatives scoff the risk of any cease & desist being landed on them and revert back to the name Lysol. Like the name brand of disinfectants they've chosen as their name, both rid germs away but the band does it with a heaping amount of scalding clangor instead of pernicious compounds.

Residing in an asteroid belt that's located between the triangular orbits of elastic punk, wooly garage rock and gangly hardcore, the sound is often dizzying and usually bumptious.

Akin to some proto-punk chugger shook up like a bottle of soda pop and then put on a sketchy looking carnival thrill ride, "Teenage Trance" makes a huge sticky mess when the cap is popped as it sprays, spit and spurts deliriously from front to back and side to side with wiry guitar clangs and a stuttering jackhammer rhythm.


"Chemical Reaction" isn't any calmer as it rattles and weaves with something that had me thinking "Hmmm, do I hear a surf chord there" as it started. It only took a second for that thought to be dashed when they were then answered with "Yeah, if cavepeople surfed on waves of fire."

Get cleansed at Neck Chop Records

Aug 8, 2018

Off Color Brewing's SPOTS


While visiting Chicago a few weeks back I ended up wondering to myself "What exactly is a Tiki Weiss?"

It was not a question I've asked myself before. There I was, perusing the beer shelves looking for some things not available in my parts to bring back home. With me was a list of Illinois breweries I found interesting and are not distributed to SE Michigan. Off Color was one of the names on the top of my list. I had a small sampling of some of their wares before and was curious to try some more. I must also note that my better half also enjoyed their brews not just for their flavor but for the fact they put mice, cats both big & small and other critters into their artwork and design.

I forgot to mention that the weather during the visit was like baking in humidity city. Nothing burly and brown, nor overly sticky hop oil armaments were striking the fancy.

"Hmmm. Tiki." I thought. "Tangy tropicals. Weiss? Light and lively. This may be the thing if summer keeps up like this."

Lemon in color with a muted haze and topped with a plump head that fades fairly fast, the tiki tinges rise up to the nose through a wheat grain and pils malt foundation. It's got some zip in the smell for sure.

What is essentially a Berliner Weissbier brewed with passionfruit and grapefruit peels, Spots tiki decree really comes through in the flavor.  The passionfruit takes front and center on the tastebuds initially with a zing. The grapefruit peel adds a cool funky accent to it. Through the middle, there are flourishes of melon, peaches and pineapple. The finish brings orange creamsicle notes intermingled with a mildly astringent linger.

We brought a four pack back with us. Over the past few weeks, they have all been drunk. There's still (hopefully) good six to eight weeks of summer weather. I won't be able to get to back to Chicago until at least the autumn so I'll have to get through it without any more of these. I'll be sure to be looking for what Off Color has done with whatever the season is in mind on that visit too.
Count the Leopards at Off Color Brewing

Aug 6, 2018

LIQUIDS Hot Liqs' Revenge LP


Upon the first couple listens of the album the thoughts of starting off this review by saying something like "cementing their scuffed up shoes in a place right between the most tattered and weirdest ends of early Midwest hardcore and the scorched pop of the Buzzcocks Another Music in a Different Kitchen, Indiana's Liquids...."

After a couple more listens I still felt my impressions of the record felt spot on to myself except for the "cemented" and the "place right between" part. Fronted by the Coneheads Mat Williams, it's more like the two aforementioned styles are not as much as an inspiration for the band's sound in as such things are simply instilled into their DNA.

Sure, the nasal wail in Mat voice does have an undeniable way of making people think Peter Shelly on especially on songs like "Wanna Throw Up (When I See Your Face)", "Talking On The Telephone",  and "Not Fun" but its a different kind of heat that is going on behind that voice.


It's not the warm blanket of rapid fuzz of ancient punk rock. It's much more prickly and itchy. Scratching at it is just gonna make it more raw and irritated which is probably the whole intent.

A same sort of attitude holds with the more "hardcore" leaning lobs of racket like the recording needle buried in the red burst of "Life Is Pain Idiot",  how "11 AM" sounds like it was deep fried in napalm and the grunt/stomp/grunt "Burnt Down Completely."




They're all blasts of pent of rage, but save for the later (which may even be a mocking ode to the tank top wearing, goatee sporting and fat "tough" guys who turned the sound into something to be heard in a gym rather than while riding a skateboard) have just as much in common with the Oblivians or the Gories than, say (for the sake of dropping an Indiana band in this review as a reference point), the Zero Boys.

With twenty songs on this record, it covers quite the trashy ends of the punk rock spectrum be it bashed up garage gunk or catchy hooks that use a contempt and an ire for squares as a catalyst. Hell, the record even kicks the shit of a Nick Lowe song. I like to think if he's heard the Liquids take on "Heart Of The City" he said "I never thought about it before but that's what the song needed."

Get aqueous at Neck Chop records.

Jul 31, 2018

Smashin' Podsistorscast 38: And life keeps getting stranger every day


It's high summer here in the land of Smashin' Transistors. Much to do. Sometimes too much.

Somehow though, episode 38 managed to get done in a somewhat timely fashion.


Set your ears upon the following:

Zounds - Can't Cheat Karma 
Shark Toys - Confusion 
Ma Holos - Celebrity Boots
The Three O'Clock - I Go Wild 
En Attendant Ana - (Not) So Hard 
-words from your host-
The Resource Network - Psychographics
Psychlops Eyepatch - Melting Flowers 
Cavern Of Anti-Matter - Feed Me Magnetic Rain 
New Order - Procession
Rose Mercie - Spring and Fall 
-words from your host-
The Liquids - Talking On The Phone
The Mistreaters - How Much for the Women? 
Howlin' Wolf - Who's Been Talkin'
John Wesley Coleman - Breaking Up Crazy
School Damage - Scump Damage 2 
-words from your host-
Outer Spacist - Push 
Dumb Vision - The Fall 
Water Trash - Guess 
The Lavender Flu - Like A Summer Thursday 
The Yankee Dollar - City Sidewalks 
-words from your host-

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Jul 29, 2018

TRASH KNIFE/DUMB VISION split 7inch EP


For longtime soldiers in the vinyl trenches and especially those that were there during the subterranean boom punk rock 7inch releases of the 1990's, the split single can be a contentious topic.

Most of such hubbub about them though seems to be just vinyl dorky nitpicking. One reason though that does seem to be legit is how diametrically opposed the band on one side can be to another musically. I'm all for variety and diversity but I know a few split singles taking up space on my shelves where one side has something making the record worth keeping around but the other causes me much chagrin to even acknowledge.

That is not the case with this split between Philadelphia's Trash Knife and Dumb Vision outta Madison, Wisconsin. Both bands have an affection for making it all raw and bloody.

The former makes a beastly racket that's like cramming the Avengers song in an M-80 tube shell and making a fuse out of a Jay Reatard spazz fit to detonate it. Hardcore in a sense that it's insolated and antagonizing but would rather go smash up beer bottles on a street corner than go lift weights.

The latter is a bit more poppy but also absolutely boozy and sloppy in the frayed flannel Midwest punk rock-n-roll kinda way. They're most likely the ones who knocked back the beer bottles contents before handing them over to Trash Knife to break.

Both bands crank out three tracks on their chunk of 7inch plastic. Neither waste a second on noodling or getting frilly. The light turns green and they both floor it.
Get Trashed at Kitschy Spirit

Jul 18, 2018

PATIOS COUNSELORS Proper Release LP


The once hot breeding grounds for new and interesting forms of rock music are no more. Now all gentrified and surrounded by sky-high rents, such places that once were Petri dishes of culture clashes, weird and exciting approaches now often encourage the embracing of commodification or, with everything in the world available at the fingertips or just outside their door, they've become comfortable in a lassitude inducing bubble. A real world, with its sights, sounds, bumps, scrapes and bruises are all blunted and muted. The air starts to smell all the same all the time. It's stale air and it is all that is being breathed in and out.

Meanwhile, in places that are not on the tip of anyone's tongue, out of the ordinary sounds from the bored, the free-minded and the unequivocally esoteric collide. Occasionally the sorts pullulate, creating something with vaguely familiar angles and references contorted in a way that it gives the listening part of the brain something new to untangle.

The above is a perfect way to describe Charlotte, North Carolina's Patois Counselors. Though the city probably best known for it's Nascar track, drag strip and as headquarters for several large banking institutions, unless you happen to get lured into a conversation that revolves around K-Ci & JoJo or high fructose corn metal band Firehouse, it's unlikely a chat about the music of the city is going to continue into the wee hours of the night.

As wide as the gamut is between wrench crankers, high finance and 90's chart-toppers, the gamut is just as wide with this band.

Opening track "Disconnect Notice" and one of this writer's personal picks to click "Modern Station", find the austere drumbeats, whirling & spindly guitars and brusque lyrical delivery channeling things like the Fall and the Country Teasers.



Punk as art-funk appears in the guitar slashes and nervy rhythms of "Last Heat" and the other artsy-punk spazz outs reach the highest of levels "Repeat Offender."



While the variety is enough from those batch of songs to the next show that the band isn't just working in weirdly shaped to next, the rhythm box driven "Terrible Likeness" and the way "All Clean" sounds like it is something heard creeping through the floorboards from a dingy basement, grasp a dark mood fitting for a goth club that embraces real spiders crawling over skin than make-up and jewelry that gives an illusion of such things.


"Target Is Not Comrade" closes the album and leaves the listener wrapping their brain around an orchestra of squalls and a melody of a new wave song they swore they've heard often but can't place a when or a where. The buzz of it all will find many wanting to come back again to cop the strange high again.

Get analyzed at Ever/Never Records

Jul 14, 2018

Smashin' Podsistors 37: And all of the colors are black


The fish have been biting but adulting has kept me away from finding out for myself. Hell, I've only been to the beach twice this summer.


In episode 37 there are some Aussies contorting a mid 70's Adult Contemporary smash, the Buzzcocks,  a couple things that cop the Buzzcocks, punk-psych, space-punk, bong-gazers and oodles more.

 What You'll Hear:

Superhelicopter - Rock 'n 'roll Nightmare
Daytime Drugs - Space Station Blues
Compulsive Gamblers - Quit This Town
Carol Jones - Don't Destroy Me
The Lavender Flu - Leaking Past
-Your host speaks-
Slowcoaches - Found Down
Circle Jerks - Operation
Dead Meadow - Nobody Home
Patois Counselors - Terrible Likeness
Tang Soleil - Canadian Son (To Terry Jacks)
-Your host speaks-
Germ House - Crawl Into the Past
Outer Spacist - Gyrfalcon Flight
Rose Mercie - The End of Love
The Shifters - My Little Town
Country Teasers - Points of View
-Your host speaks-
Trash Knife - Locked Out
Liquids - Not Fun
Buzzcocks - Love Battery
Lassie - Zegway Cop
Elton Motello - Pogo Pogo
-Your host speaks-

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Jul 9, 2018

JEFFREY EVANS and ROSS JOHNSON "Caldonia" 7inch


When Baron Ross Johnson and Monsuier Jeffrey Evans hang out, it is anyone's guess as to what kind of devilry may happen. Bad jokes and tales of misspent youth are common and a spilled drink of some sort is not unexpected. It also usually leads to music being made.

Reverberating like they recorded this at the bottom of a handle of Dickel No. 8, the two bang away at two deep south folk standards, mangling something that has been heard done a billion ways into something ripped bare and bleeding. If you're familiar with the Original Panther Burns single that Spacecase released a few months back, this has the same stripped-down hanging out in a living room feel. The difference though is that the record Ross did with Tav sounds like a dapper afternoon. This is very late night and rumpled.

"Caldonia" gets battered and then left for dead in an auto salvage yard. Backward and blanging blues bite from Mr. Evans six strings as he howls, while Mr. Johnson taps and whacks a rhythm that paces a path only it knows. Sounding like he's using trash cans lids as cymbals, the metallic crash and rattle give the whole thing a before there was an Einst├╝rzende Neubauten there were hillbillies.

"Cotton Fields" bursts out, gets all wobbly, breaks down and then falls into an oddly shaped pocket and then catches a countryside stride. The only thing missing was a choir of barroom angels to join in on the chorus.
Order a round at Spacecase Records

Jun 28, 2018

COUNTER INTUITS "Vietnamese Lighter" 7inch


If I was asked to pick my most favorite song off Counter Intuits last album, Monosyllabilly, I'd have a rough time narrowing it down to just one. I hope no one asks me which side of this new single by 'em is my favorite because I will have just as hard of a time choosing one over the other.

Comprised of Columbus, Ohio weird punk legend Ron House (Great Plains, Ego Summit and, of course, Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments) and Jared Phillips of semi-legendary no-fi debased pop noisesters Times New Viking, the duo has an aptness of creating something both melodic yet discomforting and simplistic yet puzzling.

Incorporating tones and clanks that may or may not be played on perversely tuned lutes and other corrupted ancient instruments, "Vietnamese Lighter" resembles a Far Eastern fever dream involving a tsunami. Some sounds swirl in unearthly patterns emitting things that might be observed as hi-brow by a particular crowd while others bash as out a buzz that's akin to primate preformed garage rock to keep everything in check. Standing in the eye of this storm is Ron, who in a creaky tone spins a tale about a nefarious river excursion.



Flipping the record takes the flipside analogy practically literally because "Edge" sounds practically straightforward and normal in comparison. Of course, in the world of the Counter Intuits, words like straightforward and normal are relative. To these ears, it sounds like a rock anthem.



A bashed to bits rock anthem found under a bunch of coil springs that are being eaten every second by midwest rust but a rock anthem none the less.
Get lit at Total Punk

Jun 21, 2018

Smashin' Podsistors 36: SPACE FORCE!!!



The term “Space Force” popped up in the news again a bit this week. All I keep picturing is some lame comic book published by Harvey or Charlton Comics. Either that or one of those comic books some kid down the block gave you and the story ends up having a "Come visit our Sunday School and get saved" message.

A better ending would be where the villain is a brand named squatter and he gets hurled towards the sun. Sure, the universe will smell really gross for a little while after he is burnt to nothing but ash. Then though we can clean up and move forward again.


What you'll hear:
Electric Eels -Cyclotron
Germ House - Bedroom Walls
The Eyes - I'm Rowed Out
The Sueves  - Drifting
Raspberries - Tonight
-words from your host-
School Damage - Scump Damage 3
Josef K - The Angle
Chronophage - 13th Ward
Solex - Peppy Solex
Jon Spencer - Do The Trash Can
-words from you host- 
Private Sector - Survival (Is Killing Me)
Johnny Tyler - Devil's Slate
Construction Paper - Edge of the Sidewalk
Kid Chrome - Pall Mall 100's
-words from your host-
En Attendant Ana - This Could Be
Dead Meadow - I'm so Glad
Shark Toys - Maze
Gino and the Goons - Watch You Shine
The Cramps - Mystery Plane
-words from your host-  

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