Mar 30, 2007


Whenever I get a CD from a Swedish band the first thing I always think is "If there's a press sheet that comes along with this-how many sentences will it take for the MC5 to be mentioned." It seems that it's very rare that the MC5 ISN'T mentioned in a Swedish band's press sheet. I think the Hellacopters might have made up some type of "Do's and Don'ts" brochure and "dropping the MC5's name as an influence is mandatory whether you sound anything like them or not" and sent it out to every band in the Scandinavian countries as "how to" instructions. In the info page I got along with this disc the MC5 are mentioned the 3rd sentence in. The lead off track, "Olivia", the band seems to be carrying influences more along the lines of the Alarm and other populists college rock bands of mid 80's (as well as a bit of that 70's ROCK hangover a lot of those type of bands were trying to set themselves apart from). Other songs sound like something that FM rock stations would latch on to like Jet to fill their "garage rock" quota. Hell, one tune here reminds me of a mash up between Candlebox, the Waterboys and some silly song they play 12 times a day on the modern country station. Nope, not really hearing anything that reminds me of the MC5 but in someways that might be a good thing cuz a lot of bands that do drop the name end up being nothing more than 3rd rate cock rock bands. This is much more "mature" than all that...Still ain't doing much for me though either way.

Mar 26, 2007

BOSTON CHINKS "Coltrane" 7inch EP

I know I am not the first one to point this out and I probably won't be the last but this band is not from Boston nor are they Chinese (didn't Dave Kendall always deliver some spiel about the "Utah Saints aren't from Utah. They're actually from the UK" and then go on about Kate Bush's voice being sampled in the song on "MTV's 120 Minutes" for something like two months straight? Yeah, that's the first time Dave Kendall OR the Utah Saints have been mentioned in these pages. Hopefully the last. Man, if I had made a nickel off every used copy of their CD I saw pass through while working at a record store...Oh wait a minute. In a roundabout way I did)...Chinese eyed maybe. Everyday ya can hear a newish band from anywhere around the world that is trying to tap into the source that Gonerworld landmarks like the Oblivians, the Reatards and King Louie whetted their thirst at but these guys being from Memphis get it straight from the well. I'm gonna throw the Neckbones name on the grill too cuz, even though they never did a record for the Goner label, the rock-n-roll worlds of Oxford Miss and Memphis have collided and mingled for a long while now. Throats treated with bourbon's medicinal purposes, hook or two on each song that has that prefect balance of forehead sweating & blood pressure raising pepper whack and citrus peel lip smacking taaang that the finest of a sauce you can use in 3 of the basic food groups; pork, beef and chicken!!! Like REAL bar-b-que made over a REAL bar-b-que fire (chunks of charcoal or hunks of wood or a mixture of both...not that natural gas or propane fire weekenders, suburbanites, old folks and other general squares consider grilling) there's usually some hot spots. Pieces here-n-there may be a bit crispy-n-crunchy because of it but once you sink your teeth in the greasy goodness is what you might taste.

Mar 24, 2007

HELL ON EARTH "Hell Never Lets Go pt. 1" 7inch EP

UGLY! UGLY! UGLY! This is the stuff that later spawned both Pink Reason AND Razorfist? Where they like 12 or something when they had this band? Completely shitty recording like all the sickest death and grind metal from ten years ago sounded. 15 songs from 1997 on one little record. The screams make my blood curdle which is another thing all the sickest death and grind does to me. This makes me almost want to get in the pit like the bad old days. Almost because all those Nu Metal dinks thrash like rabid retards. I don't have time for that bullshit anymore. I will play his again and throw my couch around though.

Mar 23, 2007

the ATLANTIC MANOR "All The Best Girls Have Winter Hearts" CDEP

"Lo-Fi and Heartfelt" is the this band's call to arms. Such an adage conjures up different thoughts for different people. Some people might be expecting an Oblivians roar. Other's are probably thinking freak-folk. Neil & Crazy Horse's "Everybody Knows" get's hi-jacked by Radiohead in a very sparce mood but dragging along a special guest, the foggy synth off of Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here", for the ride is the impression I am getting in the over 4 minute interlude that the opening track "Desperation" starts with. A somber and southern voice (think Ronnie Van Zandt after a couple bottles of cough syrup learning some Roky Erickson songs...or maybe Green On Red's Dan Stuart in a waking dream) tells tales of depression, wind, rain and bloodstains. When a female voice harmonizes on "Sadder Than You Seem" the clouds lift a little and on the closer "Open Arms" it gives off the impression that maybe everyday isn't so bleak after all in a Galaxie 500 feedback-n-jangle kinda way.

Mar 20, 2007

GENTLEMAN JESSE "I Don't Wanna Know" 7inch EP

I have this theory that if it snows within the week surrounding St. Patrick's Day it's a sign of encouragement spring in Michigan is just around the corner. If the groundhog predict's an early spring AND the snowfall happens it's usually definite. Yesterday morning there was snow on the ground. It was pretty much gone by sundown last night. I'm thinking it's on the right track. When a record like this is on the turntable it doesn't matter if the theory is wrong cuz it's sounds reminds me that not everyday will be drag and dreary cuz months like May through September aren't all that far away even if there is melancholy still hanging in the air. It's got the sparkle that all the good powerish & punkish pop needs to have and moxie that a whole bunch of it (both "back then" as well as now) lacks. The song "I Don't Wanna Know" reminds me of something like the Television Personalities "Look Back In Anger", bits of the good things from the Chords "So Far Away" album and a couple of the early Stiff records 45's ran through a filter invented by Eric Carmen and Wally Bryson when they were writing their best songs.
Actually looking at the 3 songs as a whole I think something like Badfinger without the suicide curses getting discovered by Greg Shaw instead of Paul McCartney. With the Rickenbackers and Fenders jangles and blaaangs intertwining and the harmonies knocking me over it reminds me of the family room where parties used to happen at that really cute but kinda skanky girls house when her parents were out of town. She once told me the she REALLY DID walk in on her parents making out on the couch while playing her older brother's KISS records right before she played a cassette with Cheap Trick's "Surrender" on it. I was afraid of her big brother but she dabbed on a fresh coat of lipgloss and I was in love in the end of the next school year...Yeah, then came High school. That's a whole different story.

Mar 19, 2007

ROT SHIT "The Worst Kids Ever" 7inch EP

Ahh. To be young and carefree...or in Rot Shit's case dumb and careless. REALLY DUMB! And careless is an understatement. 6 songs jammed on each side of this single hardly none of them over really scratching over a minute and some of them closer to the 30 second mark. Obnoxious garbage punk with the intent of pissing everyone off and never being invited back to play again. I'm a firm believer that all 15 year old kids who claim themselves "punk rock" should listen to nothing but the Angry Samoans "Back To Samoa" and the first 3 KBD comps for at least a month. I dunno if such an idea was laid on these Pittburgh monkeys but if it did it took a more fucked up turn than even I would've anticipated. Boy-n-Girl (at least I think it's boy-n-girl but it's just that their voices haven't changed yet) vox trade offs about getting a boner, hate, beer, hot dogs & being horny, crappy distortion pedals set to the frying carp in muddy gasoline setting and a cover of a Loli and the Chones song to start the whole thing off. Watch the bottles and chairs fly.

Mar 18, 2007

HUMAN EYE "Spiders and their Kin" 7inch

When listening to Human Eye it's not uncommon to feel like you are the cable that connects from the out of sync strobe lights, tinfoil skulls, oscillating veins, raw meat sculptures, freaky sea creatures & radioactive insects that inhabit Timmy Vulgar's brain to the fifteen or so mismatched and salvaged from trash day treasure hunt speakers sound the band scatters about. Side one of the Cass 45 "Spiders and their Kin" starts as a stadium blues-rock for people that don't give really give a shit about stadium blues-rock lumber, stumble across gurgling fluorescent green pond on Hawkwind's property and decide to take a swim. The flip's "Desperate Hands" hears it screaming for help as eyes melt and skin bubbles but doesn't offer help instead conjuring up some static rain by playing a copy of Amon Duul II's "Wolf City" that they pilfered from a mad, mad, mad scientists house.

Mar 17, 2007

RED RED RED "Mind Destroyer" LP

Mind destroyer! Paranoia! Thought debaser! Gasoline with a lit match chaser! Brain bashing! Sounds of cars smashing!
Unfair fights involving guitar strings and grenades!
Detroit city...everyone knows she ain't so pretty...Red Red Red! Alert! Alert! Alert! Panic attacks! Lightning cracks! Deciding between laser smacks or using a rusty knife to give skin a hack!
Everyday someone set's it on fire! More toxic than a pit full of smoldering tires!
Hiss! Piss! Fall into a burn pit of static abyss!
Get the action!
Shove a screwdriver in your eardrum! If yr gonna slouch do it with attitude! Otherwise ya just look dumb! rhymes with marijuana! Spit! Shit! Kick! It ain't about being slick! Jab at it hard with a sharp stick! It's about the moment! The heat...even if the drummer blows the beat! Basements...potholes...holey jeans...schoolyard mescaline! Twirled all dizzy! Smacked around! Pagans records played double speed! Playing Electric Eels records at 78 speed! Taking a machete to them cuz it's what some noise addicts need!
Red Red Red! Is that tripled gunpowdered buckshot flying out out the speakers and a need for stitches in the head?
Explosions! Implosions! Confusion! Lemmy and Keith share blood transfusions!

Mar 15, 2007

A little more self promotion

It's been a busy week of art exhibits, shift changes, yard work and basketball games. I haven't had much time to spend with any records. Over the weekend probably. Until then here's a couple of words about the Moonlight over at Tremble Under the Boom Lights

Mar 11, 2007

the ALMIGHTY HANDCLAPS "Make You Mine" 7inch EP

I looked at the return address on the package and thought "This might be interesting." The name was sorta goofy and Iowa, though not a state most people would think of when the think of fertile rock-n-roll breeding grounds, has been responsible for raising some talented-n-noisy musicmakers on it's soil through the years. It's one of those places that most bands wouldn't ever think of setting foot in but those who do usually have some type of story when they leave. The thing is though that the stories can ran anywhere from "They're are starving for a wild time and they go nuts" to "Weird but not in a cool way" tales. It meant this record could go anyway. The package sat on my dining room table for a couple of days before I had a chance to tear the cardboard and cellophane apart and have a chance to check out the record inside.
It wasn't off to a good start once I looked at the sleeve. It reminded me of the days when Electric Frankenstein was releasing 4 records a month on any label that offered and not really giving a shit what the cover looked liked. Yeah, I can understand swiping an image from an old EC comic for whatever reason but not a whole freakin' panel. Then on the back they thank EVERYBODY down to the pressing plant that stamped the record for 'em. Why don't they thank the company that manufactured the tape they recorded this on or the gas station (and hell, the cashier that took their money for the petrol) they filled up at to get to a gig while they're at it?
So far that's two snob epitome points against them...but I give them a half point back for the blue vinyl and the rubberstamped labels. I almost kneejerk into giving 'em another half point back again when "Full Time" kicks off this 4 songer. Thoughts of a much coy and less refined Demolition Dollrods if they had a reconfiguration heavy on the fuzz bass, organ cheese and twice as much bathroom echo. I'm still not ready yet when the songs end. I gotta hear what else they have going on. Thoughts of Supercharger keeping watch over a special ed detention hall start mingling with the previous impressions. By the time "Make You Mine" in all it's double deckered static caps off this platter the band is no longer in point debt. If I wasn't such a stickler for aesthetics I wouldn't take all the minor details like a totally goofy and obvious record sleeve into account and the band would be ahead of the game but in the end they break even. They ain't reinventing the wheel and they haven't stumbled across anything a 1000 before them haven't already but it sure sounds like they're having a lot of hate caked fun. If/when they put out more stuff I won't hesistate throwing it on the stereo but do hope the cover looks like more than an afterthought. Holy shit! It's been a long while since I let a record cover irk me this much. I'm glad I gave the record a spin though.

Mar 10, 2007

HOWIE and the HOTKNIVES "Want It" 7inch

The type of people that, when they break up with someone, don't get all depressed and bring all their friend's down in the process but instead throw a party are an interesting batch. They sure know how to throw a party too. The booze..the food...the women...the band...all setting the "there's plenty of fish on the sea and I got a pretty good net" mood right where it should be. It's been quite a long while since I attended such an affair. There's still plenty of good food out there, booze is still aplenty, sometimes the girls find something better to do but will show up eventually. I'm guessing it's the bands out there that are being the wet blanket. All serious, introspective and bumming everyone out. Someone out there break up with someone and CELEBRATE! You need to call Howie and the Hotknives to supply the sounds when you do it too. A sordid gallimaufry of "Back From The Grave" crud, a clump of the Modern Lovers leaping before looking dishevelment, a tad or two of Flamin' Groovies buffoonery, some Crampsish gutter pilfering and more than a overflowing ladle dripping full of mid-90's greasy 7inch trash rock gravy exaltation. Howie bangs out chords, blangs some solos, petitions & boasts lackadaisically about finding some action while the lasses that make up the Hotknives provide a 1-4-5 melee and chime in with some off-key-n-catty yet oh so fitting Shirelles "shoop-wop" bent harmonies after a bottle of two of budget vodka.

Mar 8, 2007

Moonlight over Hamtramck

The Moonlight, the band in I'm with Joe & Nick of the Dirtys and Mr. Jim Jones on bass are playing the Holbrook Cafe tonight as part of the Beehive Record Co. showcase for the Hamtramck Blowout. Also on the bill are the Chrome Spiders (Tommy Potter's new band), Timmy Vulgar doing his solo thing and Cuckold. I could describe the band's but Victim Of Time did a cool little bit on the gig so let's turn it over to them.

Mar 6, 2007

the BABY SHAKES "Stuck On Blue" 7inch

I wonder if John Felice and Nikki Corvette ever have a younger generation of rockers showing up on their front porch steps saying "You're my long lost parent." If so, I'm betting these three ladies (and one guy-him being Dave Rahn of Carbonas fame) have knocked on both their doors. My favorite girl-group powerpop band that Travis Ramin didn't have a hand with in a few years the Baby Shakes "Stuck On Blue" is the crazy child of "All Kindsa Girls" and "Backseat Love" starting to get messed up on a bottle of gin and dressed up in pink leather and black Chucks. Both sides prove to be hits in a perfect world with "Boy's Talk" Go-Go's (who I will always defend as one of the greatest pop bands EVER) first album stripped of all it's gloss and doubled the blare especially with it's harmonies and a breakdown that reminds me a bit of "This Town." Someone get Nick Lowe out of that funk he's been in for the past 20 years or so and put him in the studio with this gals pronto!!!

Mar 3, 2007

v/a "Not Psycho Enough" (A Cosmic Psycho tribute series) Vol. 2 and 3 7inch EP's

I had the chance to see the Cosmic Psychos when they toured the US with the Lazy Cowgirls in '95 (or was it '96? A lot of those dates are foggy or blurred these days...I didn't keep a day to day diary and even if I did I would've misplaced it a long time ago anyways) which brought them to the Old Miami in Detroit. Sitting at a table with a pitcher of beer in front of him was Ross bass player and voice of the one of the last bands that could wear the crown "The Thunder From Down Under"
"I'm nursing me stomach tonight" he tells me after I start making some small talk and going for the obvious Aussie's drink a lot of beer angle.
"The cheap vodka in the states has been making a wreck of it" he says as me and some friends offer to buy a him a round and ask him if he'd be cool with doing an interview for the zine we were doing at the time.
"Make mine a bourbon and,wut the 'ell, let's do it."
"Aren't you nursing your stomach?"
"From the vodka I am."
For the next hour or so we talk about driving bulldozers, cattle farming, eating every part of the cow from it's brain and tongue to it's tail and the balls of bulls, meat pies, White Castle, women of the world...y'know, stuff ya can talk with, like an album they released was titled, a bloke you can trust.
On Volume 2 of Norway's Dull City Record's tribute to them kangaroo boxers Finland's Lothar add a bit sci-fi keyboards to the already burly "Supervixen" starting side one and France's Jerry's Spider Gang take "Can't Come In" as the side's 2nd song and do late Psychos guitarist Robbie Watts proud by piling on even more wah-wah than he was known for. Somewhere out there it's possible he's raising his bottle to 'em to. Both bands on side two, Finland's Spank My Jones ("Crazy Woman") and England's the Dry Retch ("Rain On You") take the Motor City Rock influence the Psychos never denied and run in different directions with it.
Volume 3 goes to the place where the noise it's nodding to started with an all Oz edition. Hell Crab City start it out with a pretty loyal redo of "Pub" (big fat solo and everything) the Meatbeaters inject a overflowing shot of Motorhead juice into "Back In Town", "David Lee Roth" gets a knuckle dragging makeover by Interstater and Gazoonga Attack make a grinder with a less rough life burned Wendy O. Williams on vox out of "Come On Cunt."

Mar 2, 2007

KILLER'S KISS "Abused" 7inch

Whoah? Killer's Kiss get all frat rock surf stomp on "Abused"? With a swirling organ maybe at first but then it turns into something like getting into a fight while on a couple of microdots inside a county fair funhouse. Ron Asheton's the one taking tickets and when he comes in it's not to break up the altercation but to swing his guitar at your head. In the same respects the flipside's "Mondo Jobless" may remind some of a mellow and moth-eaten tunnel of love ride when it starts out but then becomes a wall of fire designed by Mudhoney.
Killer's Kiss interview

Mar 1, 2007

the RETAINERS "Lose It" CD-R

A limited edition (mine is #13 of 25) CD-R of their recent P. Trash 7inch. Cold, cold towns can sure produce short fused powder kegs and that is just what this Minneapolis band sounds like. The ep's four tracks explode in all their echo'd out and shouting vox, razor wielding riffs and Chuck Berry/Jack Yarber/Bob Stinson mutant conglomeration with a gun pointed to it's head and told "play this solo with all your heart cuz your life may depend on it" glory. The four "bonus" tracks don't pussyfoot around at all either sounding like the Catholic Boys digging up the grave of the Brides then sharing a gigantic pile of backwoods meth.