Feb 27, 2007

HOME BLITZ “Apocalyptic Grades 2005 A.D." 7inch EP and "Stupid Street" 7inch

"It's like whoever was the cool clique of the shortbus riders decided to put a band together after hearing 70's AM radio!"

"Fuck 'Pet Sounds'! This is a grand vision but I don't think the band is even aware of it!"

"The Modern Lovers have some unacknowledged illegitimate kids!"

"I read that one Monkees bio. They imbibed as much as anyone else in their era. Maybe this is what they REALLY sounded like when they started playing their own instruments but before the producers "fixed" everything!"

"Sweet and Guided By Vocies made a record together?"

Everytime I listen to these two Home Blitz records I always hear something different. Everytime I play these two records I jot down something like the above statements. Savant-pop music where things stop because of a mind blank or a need for something the soothe the throat, changes get stumbled then everything falls into place at THAT particular moment (be it a twice as loud as the rest of the songs glam rock bridge, a heart hurting solo exactly when the moment calls for it and some handclaps to make it's points) though it still sounds like it's about to fall apart (and sometimes it does) but along the way the tape hiss and puttering melts away and songs you wanna sing along to everytime they come on start poking through the mud.

Feb 25, 2007

BLACK TIME "Message From the Control Tower" 7inch EP

The jury seems to be split on Black Time these days but I still sit on the pro side. Yeah, I may be a little partial because I put a record out by them but to me they're one of those absolute combinations of blasts-n-attitude that grabs ahold of my ear. Brit detachment, Gories stumbles into genius, getting bed spins while listening to the Creation on headphones, dress codes in school and still now in faceless & drab office buildings, scratchy old soul 45's, a hope of something shiny will be found while pulling out scraps in an rusty auto graveyard, visions of Jean Seberg lost in the moment of a basement after hours party when the dj throws on the Velvet's "I Heard Her Call My Name"...MOD BANG and DAMP DAY CLANG! If the "Dance Party" EP put off a side of the Black Time audience for being too effervescent-n-catchy (Hey, every record that Bancroft releases has a jukebox smash...that's what I try to convince my mind at least) this might drench their thirst. Scorched rhythm-n-blues patterns get invaded by foot long locusts let loose out of a box held by Johnny Morton and tensions builds as water from an overflowing sink the floor above starts dripping on the fuse box. It explodes...caught on film it becomes a centerpiece of scenes accented by a broken electric piano.

Feb 23, 2007

the BUSY SIGNALS "Can't Feel A Thing" 7inch

Punky pop? Poppy punk? Not pop-punk though...Powerpop doesn't do it justice (and I know how it burns Busy Signals guitar player Eric's biscuits seeing that comparison. Hey! At least I ain't dropping the "Did they take their name from the Exploding Hearts song?" thing that seems to be the ole reliable thing to do when talking about the band). Peppery Girl/Boy sing along's are just one of the sharp hooks the two songs have. The guitars snag you and the bottom end with hit ya either in the hips or head. Dirty yet vivid...Archaic yet stylish. Loud and quick and sticky in the brain. My complaint? The record is too damn short. Still though, when I put it on I'll play it a couple of times before I change the record. There was a 3 or so week period where this and their first single were only things that sounded good to me. Hey! Busy Signals! When are y'all gonna make an album?

Feb 21, 2007

JUNKPILE JIMMY "Alberhill" Double LP

"What?! ANOTHER ONE MAN BAND?! Throw it over there. Watch out for the dead cat that guy keeps swinging around though"...or so I thought. Every town has it's one man band these days. Some more unbridled than others, some with nicer voices, some just total loons...then there's the ones that are too outside even for the apparent outsiders to grasp. When the sun goes down THOSE will be the ones people will do archeology digs on.
I dunno what it was that tempted me to give this a chance. I've spent a lot of time giving my ear to one man band's and it's cool-n-all but the slew of them the past few years has given me a fill for the next decade. Could it have been that it arrived on my doorstep unsolicited & not having an inkling of what it was about (I get CD's like that on a regular basis but hardly ever LP's)? Google searches commenced before I even took it into the room where the record player awaits. Not much to be found there at the time (but things have the changed the past few months since I first got this). Could it have been that it was two records and a bunch of paper paraphernalia jammed into a plan white LP jacket with pasted on covers. When the music started it almost seemed like this wasn't on vinyl because it was a cool thing to do but because maybe not many CD players ever made it into his neck of the woods (It could happen...there can't be Walmart's and Best Buys within a 45 mile drive of everywhere in the continental US...can there?) cuz Sears stop sending out it's mail order catalogs though it did come along for enough years for an old Silvertone to fall into the guy's hands. A sheet pulled off an old tin roof propped up against a wood saw horse with a makeshift ball peen hammer bass pedal provides a splatter-crash beat. A shoebox guitar in the middle of a pile of scuzz getting manic wiggly. A caterwaul bawl raising cain on top of it all. Side one starts out as a one mic and tape looped dirt encrusted freak blues chicken coop social including "Boogie '06", a T. Rex "Buick MacKane" (one of a few Marc Bolan nods on this rec actually) meets Bukka White meets a cement mixer....then things start getting really, really weird. Recordings from 1998 to 2003, with bands ranging from the Celtic Frost, Charlie Feathers and Grandmaster Flash to Link Wray, Electric Wizard and King Tubby cited as influences in one of the pages included, creaky beatboxes battle with backwoods bottlenecked burst and suicide drones officiate over a breakfast of cornbread, heavy cream and sausage. Incidental sounds of shotguns, chickens, washing machines and powerdrills add to the ambiance. Whenever someone I haven't seen it a bit stops by and asks me to play 'em something that I think they need to hear-this has been one of my first choices. At times they may look a little disoriented when listening but always ask them to make them a copy. In most case I'd suggest a place where they could score one of their own but this collection had a run of 235. I don't wanna hoard the sounds going on here for just a privileged few. This is the sound of the people. Junkpile Jimmy is the most convincing "Modern day Hasil Adkins" we may ever hear. I sure hope to hell the guy isn't a stockbroker or some shit like that in real life.


Feb 19, 2007

THOMAS FUNCTION “The Insignificants” 7inch EP

One of the duties that is expected of writing these little opinions of rock-n-roll records is finding other band's to compare a band to. A lot of the time it's pretty easy. Other times not so quite. The core of this Alabama band were members of the Panic Buttons, one of the great lost teenage garage bands that sprouted toward at the tail end of the last golden age of punk rock (later 90's/early 00's). Their self-released 6 song EP will be a centerpiece on whatever the future holds for a KBD-like documentation of that era. Some wrote them off as just another Supercharger wannabe but they had hicktown reprobate view that wasn't faked...and it wasn't like Supercharger invented being a reject, watching B-movies or eating pizza. When that ran it's course they started reading stuff a little heavier than sci-fi dimestore tales as well as checking out darker music then formed Alabama Jihad, which found the original trio changing their weapons of choice, the band doubling in members-including double synth players on the front end. Some were quick to make observations that Lost Sounds records didn't leave some folks in Huntsville's turntables in the months. When I saw them live in my little town I learned songs they had sent out as a demo didn't do them justice. It did have a similar sinister southern goth vibe as the Lost Sounds but AJ were pushing it into a different direction and black metal wasn't anywhere close to it. Now under the magnifying glass is Thomas Function. It's, in a way, as those two extremes got introspective and shook hands. To throw out some reference-The Feelies "Crazy Rhythms", the first Cuts album, DMZ, the Seeds...Electric pianos float over the top of a martial beat and a yelping call of desperation one moment-the next soaking a flowerbox full of daisys in gasoline then tossing a lit cigarette at it. Chalk up another one for these guys for happening across something then delving into another weird space in their minds.

Feb 17, 2007


Lee Olson was the lead screamer in an early Mystery Girls line up. Unless you were hanging out in Green Bay, Wisconsin basements in the early naughts you probably haven't heard much of the band from that time. On one of the early demo's the band passed out I believe some Lee stuff is on it. Perhaps if Bancroft ever put's out the much talked about MG's band approved bootleg anthology LP they'll see the day. They were a much different band then majoring in Radio Birdman & Stooges covers. They were young and stupid. Now, more than a few years later Lee's in Madison and has got this thing going on. Somewhat older but still doing stupid rock-n-roll...which, of course is what a lot of my favorite rock-n-roll is. Think about it-can you imagine a world where all "rock music" was smart?!?! Nothing but bands like Rush & Tool? Uck! No thanks. Stompin' spiders in hard sole shoes and causing all kinds of public disturbances the Gut Reactions are dirt-fi for trash hounds who lament that old Rip Off records sound and are looking for something hair triggered and...you guessed it...stupid.

Feb 14, 2007

the BLACK and WHITES "Fucked Up Heart" 7inch EP

So who was it that killed powerpop (or at least made it a dirty word)? On second thought-scratch that-I'm sure the responses would be a mile long of who shall be taken to the gallows pole (would the hangman be wearing a skinny tie?) and who should be spared. The debate would probably go on for weeks if not months or years...I've only got so many minutes (not hours) in a day to think about such things. A band would be deemed kings by one would be trashed by another. There's the rare instances of great powerpop albums from start to end but IT IS a genre where it boils down to particular songs. Tunes like (keep in mind I'm just throwing out some off the cuff examples-this ain't no splitting of hairs) "Surrender", "Turning Japanese", "Good Girls Don't" & "Teenline" stand up on their own where if that was the only song the band the band recorded they still knocked that perfect formula (luckily for the bands I mentioned they wrote more than one great gem). Simple yet clever in both the words and the hook. The Beatles, Chuck Berry, bubblegum and stuff a bit more harder all put in the mixer-with a stellar batch of pink frosting coated (sorta like the stuff that goes on those Zoo cookies that grandma used to buy) toxicants. The Black and Whites are already ahead of the game. This single comes out like a pedal to the floor Cheap Trick with a well worn copy of the Ramones "Rocket To Russia" (or the Heartbreakers backing Tommy Roe or a Flaming Groovies/Romantics morph...Take your pick or make up some more of your own) in the cassette deck. Dilemma's with girls and the guitars solos turned up really loud!

Feb 10, 2007

JOHN WESLEY COLEMAN "Summer Of '79" 7inch EP

It's always the quiet ones ya gotta watch out for, huh? Wes is a man of, well maybe saying of few words is not 100% exactly the description I am thinking but his words are well chosen & soft spoken and add a bit to any conversation but he never has to overstate himself. He's the kind of guy who you find yourself standing around a late night fire with, enjoying some burgers on seared on a grill manned by a bandmate and talk about things like living and losing and fishing and rocking for hours while passing around a bottle of bourbon. As a member of the Golden Boys, he's quite the opposite of off stages impressions as he, closed eyes and wearing his heart on his sleeve bloody cuffs and all, shows he can croon a weeper about pickling your soul in alcohol is one way to ease the pain as well as he can scream through a tornado of chicken scratching feedback and bashing drums. On this solo undertaking he uses a little and makes a whole lotta commotion. Slippery sliding guitar moans, an organ liberated from a roller rink with it's floorboards dry rotted from spilled cherry Cokes and rat piss and tin can drums get in a free for all rumble of 70's glam pop and deepwoods trash bop on the "Summer of '79" with Wes chewing on the question 'Why ya be the Rolling Stones/Do you think that is rock-n-roll". Theme park tail chasing meets teen tragedy when the Wooo-Oo-Oo-Oo's come in. Next, "Work Today" comes crashing in sorta outta tune and off rhythm with a undulating Black Lips take a stab at a Byrds "8 Miles High" raga run wiggles in and out at proper moments.
The b-sides "Intro" it's as if the same organ that was acquired on "Summer Of 79" fell off the back of an old Dodge truck en route from a session on an 1940's radio soap opera to a storefront church with a congregation of wino's who don't really pay attention to the preaching Wesley's doing (but will hang out for the heated room and free cookies). He then sends them back out to the sidewalk though when he turns it up again and starts speaking in the rock-n-roll tongues of "Goodbye Little Queenie", a demon exorcising mash up of what side one offers up along with a little bit more hot sauce.


Feb 6, 2007


So are they a country band?" the chick at the vending machines asked when she saw this disc in my hand.
"Kinda..." I mumble as I think "Oh, great. Another one of those conversations."
"What do you mean kinda?" She halfway snaps/halfway flirts "Either they are country or they're not."

"Well...Country music encompasses quite a lot though doesn't it?"
"Is it good country?"
"What is 'good country'?"
"Garth Brooks is really good!"
And how am I suppose to respond to that? And was she serious? And what the hell is it that seems to invite total strangers to want to strike up conversations with me? Sort of dumbfounded I throw something out off the top of my head just to get the people to leave me alone "No, they aren't really country. They're more like a satanic death punk band and the message they have to say speaks directly to me." The conversation stopped there as she tried to get as far away from me as soon as possible.
My mom used two buy all those 2 record (or two 8 track tapes) sets the sold on TV back in the 70's. After allowing the 6 to 8 weeks for delivery I would eventually have some time standing in front of the huge faux Mahogany grain RCA console stereo and would start lifting the needle through Donna Fargo & Lynn Anderson (who, by the way, I thought was dead or at least MIA but I was at my folks house a week ago and my mom had a copy of a bluegrass album she recorded a year ago. I'll have to ask her if I can borrow it. I wonder how much coin Joe South still makes off "Rose Garden" these days. It's gotta be an alright paycheck...I believe I heard it in a pharmaceutical ad the other day) trying to find the rowdy rebel type of guys. Even if it was even ballady type song like Merle Haggard's "Sing Me Back Home" I knew it was a lot more tougher than the "Happiest Girl In The Whole USA" would ever be. I wonder if that's the same sorta thing the band was thinking when they chose their name. A sound shaped by dusty road, scarred knuckles, greasy hair and dirty blue jeans this Portland two piece, fronted by Silverking Patrick Foss, in some songs such as sound like a powerpop band taken to down to it's most spartan of set up's and at others a raw bluesy punk rock mess with that good whiskey burn (and maybe a little bit of the ghost of Del Shannon's hurting mood lingering around too). Not once does this band fall into a place where most people think of when they think country music nowadays. No Puff Daddy goes hillbilly, no Mariah Carey in a gingham dress and a body perm, no "Jimmy Buffet is pretty cool" nods...ALL OF WHICH THERE IS TOO MUCH OF GOING ON THESE DAYS (but I'm probably preaching to the choir here with all of that anyways). The country here is of the foot stompin', patting the pet Bluetick Coonhound on the head and drinking Jack and Lemonade out of an old pickle jar waiting for the sun to go down to go raise some real hell type of country that once it's cranked at a loud volume it becomes the same stuff that fueled plenty of many a bar fight, speeding tickets and parole violations. Pure Country Gold=Blistered Rock-n-Roll Combustion

Feb 2, 2007

SEXAPHONE "Fuck Your Space" 7inch EP

Here's somes extracurricular activities from Agent Matthew and Janie Too Bad of Black Time. You could consider this akin to "a girl group sound" as long as the girl groups you are thinking of are Kleenex (maybe a twist of irony in me mentioning that cuz Kleenex second single had a song titled "U" on their second single and this, Sexaphone's second single, has a song titled "Double U" on it) and other clangorous pop obliteration. A whole lotta loathing for the trad type of love song and a simple yet to the point diatribe concerning Myspace.
Yakisakana Records

Feb 1, 2007

RAZOR FIST "Razor Fist Force" CD

I'm not ashamed to admit that I dig my fair share of METAL. I was at that prime age during the whole "crossover" era and many a night was spent sitting underneath the Blue Water Bridge in friend's rust bucketed hand me down boat's of Detroit steel, passing pinners, GIQ's of Stroh's or pints of Kessler's or whatever the guy at the liquor store who let almost everybody underage but would always tell you "This time only" money would buy us (most of us were usually almost broke. It wasn't/isn't the most of prosperous towns) and alternating Motorhead... Dead Kennedys...Raven...Wire...Black Flag...Iron Maiden tapes in the cassette deck. When that wave of new underground metal starting hitting this town (no small thanks to the Mord and the show he hosted on the college station on Friday night's called "COLD STEEL-KICK ASS ROCK-N-ROLL!") we were ready for it. We were all at war with the Trans-Am driving, Bon Jovi listening jocks (Yep! Dudes listened to Bon Jovi. They'd use the excuse that the "chicks dig it" but why the hell would you see them crusing town by themselves and cranking 'Living On A Prayer' at loud volumes?) They had appropriated what they thought was metal...Ratt...Quiet Riot...Dokken...all the other hairspray homo's into fucking football games and class assemblies. Hearing things like Slayer...Venom...Exciter...Testament...Nuclear Assualt...Hirax was like lighting off a fuse of total rage inside. It wasn't shit about holding on to your dreams and finding a love of a lifetime. It was flipping the bird to cops...telling teachers & parents to step off...pointing fingers back at the hypocritical born agains. With a credo of "Sex, drugs, and metal it's all we need/chicks, dope, and hard music with speed/so if you're looking for a good time, give us a call/but just make sure you don't mind breaking the law", ACCEPT tour jerseys, a totally baked looking drummer (the guy has a bong on his t-shirt and sets fire to his drumsticks), the smell of Marlboro Red's and stale Miller High Life filling the air, a high ptiched scream to accent, some blazing scale runs not to mention the cover art itself reminsent of an old Metal Blade release (right down to the mile long thank you list) Razor Fist will answer the question of "whatever happened to TRUE AND REAL METAL? I WANT A POSER FREE ZONE AND ALL THIS SHIT THEY CALL METAL TODAY BLOWS" with a resounding "IT'S RIGHT FREAKING HERE!"