Jan 30, 2007

the TOUCH ME NOTS "Hey, Television" 7inch EP


Since time was not really on my side when it came to managing things over at Smashin' Transistors proper in 2006 I wasn't able to declare this one of my favorite records of the year. I hope this is a case of better late than never. Boy/girl dyamic duo outta Oakland, California that get folks yelling out sacred names like the Flat Duo Jets, the Spaceshits & Charlie Feathers in comparison. Andrew can sure bend those strings and wail with the best of em. Kelly knows how to kick the can all the way home in a rhythm that makes ya wanna bop & sway all the way back to the place called home. The a-side may start off as the last chance for a slow dance from some old black-n-white flick that even the cable stations don't show anymore with croon that shrugs off sadness and and doesn't worry about a cloudy day because "BA DA DA DA DA DUM!!! I SAY HEY TELEVISION!!!!!!" When everything else let's ya down there always that cathrode ray that'll embrace ya in it's warmth. I don't wanna pickle. Fuck, I'll even watch something about a father & son bitching about building some fancy motor-sickle....Especially when I can turn the sound on the set down and let the minor chord bang-n-twang bashfest that leads into the greatest morph of a solo that takes from "Talk Dirty To Me", a couple of Chilton-ish licks and Dexter Romweber downing a gallon of coffee. Andrew whoops, hollers, and shouts his cherishing of his Zenith tubes, transistors & wires in a voice like some long gone in the dirt rock-n-rollers with a wild hair stuck in their craw making the flaming dice tattoo crews practicing their best Rev. Horton Heat impersonators obsolete (Yeah, just when I think those types of buffoons have finally figured it out that it's time to hang it out ANOTHER couple of them seep out of some knotty pine woodwork. To hell with those Mr. Dressups. 3/4's of them are so into it but don't even know who the Burnette Brothers are let alone their first names) . THIS AIN'T NO BULLSHIT ROCK-A-BILLY APING!!! THIS IS ROCK-N-ROLL!!!! Unadultered! Not watered down! No pretention. Just dive straight into it. Yep! That's the kind of tune "Hey, Television" is. Flipping this piece of plastic on it's other side ain't no let down either. Hell, I've heard some say they even dig it more. "Fucked Up Big Time" is a stumblin' home type of stroller about blowing it once last time that rivals anything on the most recent King Khan & BBQ Show album and the record's capper, "Celebrity Roast", is like a mash up of the Coasters meets a drunken power-pop band then stripped down to some raw essentials the crammed inside a sardine can. This record was done in a print run of 300 so is probably already a bitch to get yr hands on a copy but keep you eyes peeled for the 10inch that Yakisakana put out in the last month or so.
http://www.myspace.com/thetouchmenots

Touch Me Nots interview

Jan 28, 2007

the HIPSHAKES "Not Oblivians" 7inch

That same type of cheapo paper sleeve familiar to anyone who is has bought a Goner 45 in the past. The same type of rub off letter type setting. Two songs that have the exact titles of the songs made famous by the band the record is claiming NOT to be. Nope, it's not the Oblivians at all...Ladies and Gentlemen, Please welcome the Hipshakes." A trio of Sheffield, England (a place where off the top of my head has given the world the Human League, Def Leppard, Cabaret Voltaire and Joe Cocker but this is from a completely different neighborhood.) youngsters who bang out bombed out Maxi-primitived R-n-B stumble. Didn't George Orwell call Sheffield the ugliest town in the new world? Now I'm wondering what their neighborhood DOES looks like. Judging the sounds I'm hearing on this record my guess it's trashy and the smell of fried food permeates the air. Yeah, you can hear an Oblivians influence threaded but there's also a lot of the same things that rattled the minds of fellow Englishmen the Real Losers and Black Time (which I'm sure I listened to their share of Oblivians records too but y'know what I'm getting at). "Big Black Hole" is a bunch of teenage (literally-these guys were like 16 or something when they laid this stuff to tape) desperation cured by breaking stuff, screamin'/whinin' like a tomcat and jumpin' around to the monkey beat, "Never Enough", oddly enough, reminds me of something the Injections "Prison Walls" but it doesn't sound like the song at all either. I guess it's the simpleness/retardedness/shout alongness of it. Way more wild guitar action and floor tom thump-a-bump on the Hipshakes song though.

Jan 25, 2007

PSYCHEDELIC HORSESHIT "Who Let The Dogs Out" 7inch EP

I dig some psychedelia but find a lot of it bullshit too. Mellotrons and so on have their time in place but a lot of stuff from the 60's seemed to want to smother their musical interpretation of the LSD experience in pillowcases of daffodil pedals pine about the sunlight shining in some girl's hair. Who knows, maybe all those band's were part of a government ploy to get all the kid's to try acid so the Man could continue with their mind control experiments. I gotta be something like that cuz any band that explored the dark side of "the trips" weren't welcomed with the open arms as that as the marmalade troops. Think about it-the Stones "Satanic Majesties Request" was a bomb of a seller and said lacked vision compared to some dorky ditties like "Green Tambourine" or whatever. The sinister takes didn't help bring sheep's to the slaughter I'm assuming so they were shuffled off to hardly visited corner as far as pop culture representation was concerned. Guys in high school used to try to tell how trippy the Doors could be but I think I recalled reading somewhere that Jim Morrison gave up LSD early in the game because it he kept having bad trips. Maybe it was all planned. Let's not forget that the Doors were considered creepy (when all they really were was a couple of jazzbo's with a drunk goth college drop-out on the microphone) and they could've done damage to the peace and love campaign. Then there's those total mind altered addled brained experiments like the first two Stooges albums and Skip Spence's "Oar" that didn't/couldn't capture an audience other than the most complete of freak and reject types. Like a gurlgle-n-screech comet through outerspace colliding with meteors made out of Modern Lovers fragments and scorching planets that have been newly forming from pieces of Chrome-Psychedelic Horseshit live up to there name in one way but smack it around in many others. About as high-tech as a tent made out of a cardboard box turned out and burning up Half Japanese like bedroom punk freak out. Underneath what sounds like tattled sheds of aluminum and a dentist drilling into your psyche there's a poptones or two that may end up stuck to your cranium.
http://www.myspace.com/psychedelichorseshit
Psychedelic Horseshit Interview

Jan 22, 2007

the MIGHTY GO GO PLAYERS "Play, Lose & Die" 10inch

Moody and brooding then it jumps up and shout Farfisa fueled outbreaks. Piero Fatal doesn't tickle the ivories-he bashes them with his fist, he spills beer on them, he uses it as a pedestal, he uses it to hold him up. It get's knocked all around. This is a way heavy smoke filled room psych grime on top and a echo'd out as the earth will allow bottom end. Drop some acid and drop your pants!
http://www.myspace.com/themightygogoplayers

Jan 19, 2007

NECROPOLIS "The Hackled Ruff & Shoulder Mane" LP

Even if I hadn't listen to this record I would know that the Fall have contorted at least one person in this band's brain because they have a song called "Stalking Mark E Smith Around NYC" and THAT was enough for me to give this a spin. And yes, there is a definite Fall thing going on as well as a lot of other twisted 'before all the rules were written' berserk-out "punk" stuff along with later freaks like the Butthole Surfers and mixing in some of that "maybe the nerds and weirdos DO know how to have a wilder party than the jocks" goofiness of the B-52's. It doesn't sound like the band is trying to be this messed up or that meticulous-It's more like it comes natural for them.

Jan 16, 2007

HOLY SHIT "Jazz Phase" 7inch EP

More ugly and gashed up spazzcore from these dairyland miscreations. If this is their jazz phase as the record's title states it's more of a free jazz out-sound squall freekout that maybe not even Miles, Ornette and Sun Ra all hanging out together could've imagined than some Van Morrison record of the 90's, the new Diane Krall or any given Steely Dan record bullshit I get subjected to whenever I decide to check out Jazz night at my hometown brew pub. Slithery dirges erupt in to unhallowed panic attacks. Take something like, oh...let's say the Neos and throw it in a bucket of old anti-freeze then twist it and drink what is wrung out (I suggest a kerosene chaser). Disorientation and staggering are to be expected. If conditions persist for more than length of the record, flip it over and play it again.

Jan 15, 2007

the MONITORS "Electric Knife" & "Cunt Fusion" 7inch EP's

Nervy, nasally and at times almost atonal and tetering on annoying. "Future punk" (as in some b-movie made in the 50's predicitng what 'popular music' would sound like in the 21st century) that's probably not exactly what someone may expect from former Kill-a-Watts Ryan & Mecha and Wendy of the Lookers. Not a guitar was hurt in these recordings (but a bass-that's a whole different story) though some old keyboards may have been beaten and kicked.

Jan 14, 2007

the BEAVERS "...Are Back" 7inch EP


Is this the same Beavers that had a split single with Gaunt over ten years ago? I don't have that record handy at the moment to compare what the band sounds like to this one but both Beavers where from the Netherlands and a couple of the guys in the pic look like they've been out there rockin' for a good long while and, after all, the rec is titled "Are Back" so I think it's safe to assume that they are. Drop the needle on "I'm On No One's Side" though and it doesn't sound like it's just some older dudes resting on their laurels. A swirly organ sounds like it's sharing the same desecrated amp with the guitar. Bop-shoo-wop butting heads with the Mummies and the Spits and completely covered in hiss.

Jan 13, 2007

the REATARDS "Not Fucked Enough" CD


Here's another Reatards "odd and sods" collection. Some earlier versions of stuff that ended up on "Grown Up Wrong", some screaming into a cheap tape machine tunes, some rowdy glass breakers and some songs heard for the first time. A lot of Jay and crew's throwaways are better than alot of other band's proper releases.
http://www.emptyrecords.com

Jan 11, 2007

the MAHARAJAS "Weekend Sparks" 7inch EP

I've been burnt out on traditional "garage rock" for quite a while now. Eh...organs...songs about a car....I dunno, I love the stuff that I've heard for a good chunk of my life but when a current band comes out and tries to pretend it's 1967 just a little too much I usually just wave it past. "But Dale, that stuff was so raw...and so punk!!!" And yeah, in 1967 it was but a lot of stuff has passed under the bridge since then. It ain't '67 anymore and when I see/hear a band trying to hard to pretend it is all I can think is "Oh, c'mon. You haven't been frozen in time. I can tell because you're to spot on and studied." It doesn't have those band's bringing any original experience into it...It's just some people on stage trying to retell someone else's story. I'm sure everyone here knows how wrong a story that someone heard about someone else with details missing or misconstrued. This should have entitled this record maybe one play on the trusty NuMark then lost somewhere in the rows and stacks of 45's I have laying around my digs. You see, the Maharajas have the story all wrong but in this case it is a good thing. They're not trying to tell the straight story. They don't own anything made of white cordouroy (or if they do it's more likely to be dingy that blinding). A decent amount of fuzztone used but not OVERused, a whole lotta nod's to white boy soul ala Scott Morgan (who's latest white boy soul project the Solution went over pretty swell in Sweden, the place [Stockholm to be exact] the MAHARAJAS call home) and enough maniacal moments keep it from getting a brush off. Even Tony from the Bill Bondsmen has good things to say about these guys and he can smell bullshit from a mile away. They get my endorsement over a bunch of Little Steven's Underground Garage band darlings.
http://http://www.myspace.com/themaharajas

Jan 10, 2007

SONIC CHICKEN 4 "Don't Let Me Down" 7inch

Ever since hearing their song on the 'Love Killed My Brain" comp I have been anticpating hearing some other stuff by the Sonic Chicken 4. No luck finding their first single cuz it was long out of print by that time so I had to wait until I got my hands on this, their 3rd, to land my ears on some more music by 'em. This sorta threw me for a loop the first time I spun it. The LKMB track had a Velvet Underground buzzy pop noise thing going on. This is a lot more jumpin' up & down Rhythm-n-Blues regenerated and degenerated the way the French (especially this particular part of France too. The Fatals and the Mighty Go Go Players come from the same area) find themselves doing it these days.

Jan 9, 2007

TERRIOR BUTE "Return To The Astro Castle" CD


It's been easy to be skeptical of "synth-punk" bands because they've been popping up like weeds again. It seems that one out of every four people that played some kind of garage-trash-punk-whatever band a year or so ago have been trading in their stringed instruments for a cheap ass Casio or digging an old Roland keyboard out of their uncle's basement and trying to act weird, post modern and more often than not totally ironic. With two synths (well, one's actually a keytar) and a real live drummer this Wisconsin group gives off a totally REAL sound of teenaged alienation that sounds like it's was weaned on cassette recordings of late night programming from the CBC in the 80's, the midwest pissed offness of Dow Jones & the Industrials and an attention span that has them switching between any Piranhas record and the Human League's "Dare". It's not like they're AV club hall of famer comic book store beardo weirdos though. Terrior Bute may very likley be nerds but are a lot more "rock-n-roll" then a 1000 of those types combined. A lot of these "New Wave of New Wave" bands either go for the herky-jerky rollercoaster ride or floating on bumpy air cruise but seem to forget about the swing. With Terrior Bute the swing is the first thing they bring.

Jan 7, 2007

the AVERSIONS "Black Alibi" 7inch EP


Upping the action a few notches since their album a couple of years back (which was no slouch either) Quebec City's Aversions should be entitled to get a gold star from anyone who digs REAL PUNK ROCK and not that bullshit that bozo's in every city are trying to pass off as the real deal these day. Some punchy and driving stuff from a place where Bad Religion were a nothing more than a bug gut specks on the windshield, D.O.A. never made those crummy records from the 80's-n-beyond and the more straight up rock-n-roll KBD type bands as well as Motorhead are revered the way the rest of the world tack up Led Zep and Nirvana posters to their wall.
http://www.myspace.com/theaversions

Jan 5, 2007

MISS 45 CDEP

Scruffy wrinkled white dress shirt and a unbuttoned vest rock-n-roll outta Sweden. Obviously Stones rooted, very New York Dolls lovin', blatant Real Kids studying and noticeably Devil Dogs listening type of stuff that's tailor made for those who celebrate Johnny Thunder's birthday with a big memorial hurrah with some greasy cheeseburgers and whatever chemicals can be scored down on that one particular shady street corner.
http://www.myspace.com/miss45

Jan 3, 2007

TERRIBLE TWOS "Plunder Ball" 7inch


So THIS is what's going in Detroit underground rock these days? Cool. A lot different than that last 'Detroit Sound' people got excited about 5 or so years ago. If you were to compare this to any Detroit band I would think it would be the Dogs (the ones of 'Slash Your Face' fame) than any of the ones that have had something out on Sympathy the past decade. Scrungy and disconnected from what is proper the Terrible Twos meld spasmodic bursts like the Catholic Boys with the head injury program of the Jesus Lizard then take it over to a house where Pere Ubu once lived and leave it in the rain gutter for a couple of months.