May 30, 2008

the PLUTONES "Goin' To Memphis" 7inch EP

Weren't there a bunch of jokes going around a decade or so ago about the French space program? Maybe it was longer ago. I do remember working midnights and cashing my check at an old guy bar on Friday mornings around that time and always hearing an old crank or two shouting it out to whoever else was in the room at 7:45 AM. The French DID have a space program but their first mission the Plutones were behind the controls of the ship and deliberately ignored the moon and designed their route to crash the rocketship right in front of the place where the Oblivians recorded Soul Food. They tried to go sightseeing but their dripping burnt flesh from re-entry and radioactivity from he engine built to propel them past the ozone had people fleeing for safety. Those brave enough to hang around found their eardrums bleeding by the delayed sonic boom the band whipped out of their spacesuits and started running some instruments through it.

May 28, 2008

Arcadia HopMouth

Battle Creek based beer makers Arcadia seems to ride the middle of the road when it comes to Michigan's craft brewers. Either they make something that's a knock out or needs to go back to the drawing board.
Amber with a caramel tinge and somewhat cloudy in color. Small head but a ton of thick lacing on the glass. The floral hop scents with bright grapefruit and slight green apple notes jump right out of the glass-ya can smell it wafting through the air even before up to the nose to get a whiff.
Damn great balance in the taste. Huge citrus kisses upfront, a slight peppery bite and a sweet & toasty malt base. The carbonation is spot on. Not fizzy but bubbly none the less. It compliments the ingredients just right. The mouthfeel is a bit buttery & creamy but not as thick as some of the other double IPA's out there. The finish is all about a hop warmth and a vanilla like sweetness but you'd never guess that this has a 8% abv because the beer's big and crisp flavors cover it up.

May 27, 2008

RTFO BANDWAGON "New Jack" 7inch EP

The "Sister Ray/Sweet Jane" warm buzzed rhythm that launched a billion basement band's seems to be revered at several different levels on these three songs. It's hard to envision the Velvets playing on the back of a flatbed truck covered in thorny vines and and the weirdest of looking flowers out in the middle of an abandoned apple orchard. With Matt of Psychedelic Horseshit playing drums on this record the Columbus, Ohio virus of an off-time chug & off-key guitars blare into intertwining sheets of goosebumpy bliss is dripping enough to back up the brains but it's organic instead of chemical. The "I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing" Coca-Cola jingle singers hitching a ride with the Cherry Blossoms on a trip to the general store in town to pick up supplies are the spoonful of (raw) sugar helping that help whatever bitters go down easier.
Video for "Mother's Might"

May 25, 2008

BRYAN JOSEPH "Skeletons" 7inch EP

This guy sounds like he's really into Daniel Johnston and Beck and trying too hard to be as heartfelt, weird or clever as them. Doesn't sound like it's working too well. See you at the student commons.

May 23, 2008

the CHIMIKS "Cool In Down" 7inch

Vince of the Fatals new rock-n-roll combo. The concussion inducing tempo's him & his former associates specialized in is turned back a notch and the ear-drum ruining volume turned down just a little bit he hasn't turned into a sensitive singer/songwriter or anything like that. There ain't no denying that this is rock-n-roll.
"Cool In Down" is like those big balls of mud the Neccessary Evils would lob at heads as well as a tandem heavy panting to Stooges and Oblivians records while soaking in a warm bath of feedback. "She Sleeps Tonight" fools ya into thinking it's just gonna be a straight faced bit of Back From The Grave digging for it's first 10 seconds or so but all of a sudden it fly's over a cliff exploding with a fire bright spectacle of all noisemakers a-blazin'.

May 22, 2008

LILI Z "The Two Of Us" CD

It's been awhile since the No Talents & the Splash 4 broke up and Lili Zellar released her first solo record. It wasn't like she didn't keep herself busy through those years though. Since then her and partner Jacques "Jack" Amsellem have commandeered the Polly Magoo and Royal record label's and the electrotrashdancepunk band Volt.
A half hour of teeth rattling distorted guitar, beats programmed to shake bones and Lili's voice spanning from a coquettish purr to a solicitous shriek that kitchen sink's from all the above mentioned past and throws other cups of blood into the blender.
The title track and "So This Is Love" are torch songs gone amiss in a electrical storm while others like "That Guy (Is A Real Dream)", "Why" and "Candeggina Burns" being bubblegum punk wiggling all about with nervous tension and "Scale of Sensations", "Count" and "Piece Of Meat" retroburned and modern wired. It all end's with a piano piece. Loads for both the dive bar arcadians and drunk basement party dancers to indulge their needs with here.

May 21, 2008

Rogue Dead Guy Ale

One of the great things about the month of May other than the flowers blooming, the sun not being blocked by the clouds as much and the knowing that soon that Lake Huron will soon again be at a pleasant swimming temps (Well, in some people's world it already IS at the right degrees and when I was younger I was jumping by by the middle of April just to make a point. Those days are past for me though. Sorry, if the water temps ain't 68 degrees Fahrenheit or above it just ain't enjoyable and I don't have the desire to make that point anymore. Now, my kids on the other hand-they've been ready to jump in for the past few weeks now) for me are Maibocks. And one of the great things about Maibocks is Rogue's Dead Guy Ale.
Shiny copper with a bit of murk in color and a moderate head that hangs tight for a minute or two before vanishing. A very scrumptious malty, nutty and caramel aroma. A sweet and creamy toasty malt thing is the first thing noticed in the taste. Not too sweet though because a hop bitterness balances it out. Neither dominate the flavor but compliment each other in a nice complexity. The caramel nuances don't take away from the hop bite nor from the malt roast but add the the overall flavor. A great blend that leaves a slightly dry but mostly soothing feeling in the throat. As spring melts into summer there aren't many other Maibocks that can match the all around goodness that Rogue whips up with this one.

May 19, 2008

the PIZZAS "Bad Ass Youth" 7inch EP

The front cover artwork alone is a signifier that the record is probably gonna rock even before the needle gets dropped. A skeleton hand, snake, dinosaur head, cheap guitar and much, much more worked into the illustration. Shit, even if it didn't rock the sleeve exudes enough rock-a-tude where even of the tunes on the actually record didn't 100% rock it would still get a passing grade.
If the record came without it's totally rockin' sleeve though this record would still kill. Three loud pedal to the metal hit-n-run trash rock blasters that take a good look at the annoyance of high school type of cliques (dressing stupid but thinking it looks cool, mindless rebellion that feels so good and popularity) that knocks ya over the head with a snot encrusted hook bringing back memories of Rip Off Records heyday.

May 17, 2008


Pink Reason Kevin once described Trigger On The Dutendoo's Tim Triplett as a guy who's "searching the record crates of his mind for that long forgotten stoner jam that contains the heaviest groove in the universe." Since I don't know Mr. Double T. outside of some email correspondence if that is what he considers the untitled instrumental track that takes up the entire side of this one-sided 12inch but I'm guessing it's close to what he's on the look out for. Post-dope-prog as if the Lemmy incarnation of Hawkwind was just a trio of him, a guitar David Brock and Simon King (and though I doubt that these guys have a naked painted lady hanging around their jam session though but let's include Stacia for some visual diversion anyway) or something like if you were to say "Pink Floyd" to a Radiohead fan and they responded back with something glowing concerning the Syd era instead of engaging in a long and neandering conversation of the "Animals" album. Set a diving board up along the edge of a backyard pool sized bong and jump in. It's a cooling dip but just float along with it and let the brain wander.

May 16, 2008

BLACK MAGIC SIX "Evil Acupunction" CD

The White Stripes must've played Finland at least once by now. Did Bantam Rooster ever play there? The Black Keys are getting pretty big these days. Have they played there yet? Black Magic Six are from Finland but they aren't a six piece. A two piece band that punk rock's the blues and blues punk's out the rock.

May 15, 2008

Clipper City Heavy Seas/Small Craft Warning Über Pils

Didn't know anything about this Maryland brewery but the bravado it was putting out on it's label lured me into dropping a 10 dollar bill on a six pack and giving it a try. With most mainstream American beers being based off a pilsner profile the style get's a bum rap. None of them are even near the classic examples of the style such as Warstiener or such US perfects as Victory's Prima Pils (or in the "extreme beer" category Dofish Head's Golden Era) and those are my measuring stick now for all pilsners. This self-proclaims itself as an Über Pils because of it's double/imperial slant & 7 and a quarter percent abv.
Colorwise it's a bit more orange than any other pilsner I've seen. Looks more like malt liquor (first time mentioned) actually. The slight head vanished fast and a very thin lacing that leaves from the side of the glass seconds after each tip. It smells of fresh mowed lawn and sugary malt. It's a smell that takes me back to my younger years of buying malt liquor (there it is again) 40's because they were more bang for the buck. The thing is though that while there is one day every summer where I go and visit my old friend Mickey Big Mouth I wasn't planning on today being that day. Maybe it's because of the higher alcohol content but the taste reminds me of malt liquor (3rd reference now) too more than it does of a proper pilsner. Metallic and too sweet like a corn syrup quality. It tastes like everything was overcooked turning the entire presentation into a flavor lacking mush. There is a bit of a hop flavor in the finish but the beer lacks complexities and particular characters to get excited about it. Don't get me wrong though. I've been out underneath the sun most of the day tending to the garden, flowers and weeds and this did quell my thirst so the rest of the 6 pack will eventually get drank (a friend of mine says he might stop over and hang out for bit after he get's out of work so I'll pass a couple off on him) but I don't see myself picking this up again in the future.

May 14, 2008

CRETEENS "K-Way Bleu" 7inch EP

Four bursts of primate punk rock gruel in less than 6 minutes. The hammering that's endeared the Oblivans, Venom, Superhelicopter, Motorhead and the Fatals to plenty a dirty, smelly soul is the same poison that is running through these freakout's bloodstreams. Blast! Spit! Bash! Scream! Bleed! Rinse! Repeat!

May 13, 2008

PLEXI 3 "We Know Better" 7inch EP

To look into the future it's best to take a step back in the past. Plexi 3 have one eye on moderne sleekness and the other on the obtuse, flashy and unique over the top design of the past. Part girl-group drama & Midwest quirk, a bit of surly attitude yet all sparkly. Both of side one's tunes, Wendy's "We Know Better" and Ryan's "Stabbing Fantasies" (both with Wendy doing the main vocals), are like the most favorite tracks of any given Messthetics comp, trimmed away the excess fat then kicked it in the ass and ordered them run as fast as they can. Side two is a cover of the Radiators From Space's "Enemies" that keeps loyal to the original but doesn't at all attempt to be some kinda replica and succeeds on it's own.

May 9, 2008

RIC RHYTHM & the REVENGERS "Free Love Free Guns' 7inch EP

This is what happens when you mix a Pagans jones with a bunch of pills and wash it down with a beer you found at a piss warm beer found in the parking lot after a Woggles show. A dirty, degraded wozziness that keeps falling down in a gutter tempered with a get happy and groove all around and dance (though maybe not as much or a goofy as the Woggles dude does. He's one of a kind.) all night feeling permiates through this 4 songer. The recording is far from slick but it's not all trashed out lo-fi either. Don't let the cover that looks like something that would fit more on the front sleeve of some Crass wannabees from Alpena CD-R put you off either if ya think this might be your thing. These guys are from Nebraska and if they don't feature a member or two of Brimstone Howl it's most positive they've puked out in the same woods after a latenight kegger and corn roast.

May 8, 2008

Arbor Brewing Espresso Love Breakfast Stout

A medium pour produced a khaki colored head that looked thick but faded pretty fastly and left a minimal amout of lacing. Since it as a coffee beer it's an expected very dark brown but not quite black color. Coffee (though not a very roasted one-more like instant stuff really) in the smell along with a odd bittersweet scent that I can't quite pin and somewhat oily too. The better half said it smelled like someone tried to come up with a new coffee combination, found that vodka and espresso didn't quite gel the way they thought it would then left it in the cup it was mixed in to sit around for a couple of days. She's not a big fan of darker brews in the first place but will usually try a sip none the less. She passed on sampling this off scent alone.
The taste wasn't much better. I really was almost like someone tried to mix vodka with some espresso, didn't like the way it came out and left it on the table sitting for a couple of days. The vodka they used was one of those "fruit infused" ones too I'm guessing. There's a very weird sourness going on here that just doesn't work especially with the coffee thing going on. The aftertaste was all about (unappealing) bitterness with very little coffee or stoutness lingering around.
As I peruse some cooking recipes for dinner ideas for upcoming week I spot a use here and there where beer as one of the ingredients. That's good because I have 4 more in the fridge and have to use them for something because I can't imagine sitting down and enjoying another one for drinking.

May 7, 2008

the THINGS "Wild Psychotic Sounds" 12inch EP and "Tiger" 7in EP

Rock-n-roll out of Ireland but don't expect anyone to drop names like Thin Lizzy when discussing them. That is, unless they are being lazy and/or haven't really listen to the songs on these two slabs. I suppose one could mention something like the Undertones though but it would just be in passing. '67 gets in a tangle with '78 and invite a bit of glam rock to go along for the ride. Despite such genetics it may not be the cutest baby produced by such experiments but puts up enough of a fuss to get some people to pay attention to it. Heavy organ (some times sounding they were kidnapped from a drunken frat party and others picked up off the floor at a Procol Harem practice) wheeze along head to head with some 3 chord guitar grunt that takes it inspiration from not only from such obvious nods as the Sonics but the Cramps & Slade as well and a backbeat that could, for the lack of any other off the top of my head description, best be described as "Ramonesesque".

May 5, 2008


In the realm of minimal membered blooze-trash punk combos the Feeling Of Love are in a world of their own. The expected blown speaker fidelity that has become the bread and butter for such acts is a plenty here but instead of just sticking with the purist of tricks and hating on any audio effect used after 1964 the Feeling Of Love store such things in their stock of sonic arsenal 'cuz ya never know when they come in handy.
From oily slide guitar number that question why oh why are they making up yet another oily slide guitar numbers to drunk tomcats with junkshop guitars with their string action set way to high taking a stab at recreating electrosynth riffs on them to dizzy caveman spinning around in a circle til they're dizzy bits the usual box such bands chose to stand in is soaked by the rain and loose at the seams. It falls all apart leaving everything open and the Feeling Of Love can't resist such wanderlust. They roam far from the standard Buddy Holly or Jimmy Reed type hook and the end up in a lot of more interesting places because of it.
For every movie buff out there that envisions a remake they'd like to make of a Clint Eastwood spaghetti western-forget about hiring some junior Morricone to do the soundtrack and hire the Movie Star Junkies instead. Yeah, the name is a reason to shy from wanting to check them out cuz it does sound like a name that some Scandinavian ironic Guns-n-Rose tribute act would christen themselves but this Italian band has the proper reverberation and dusty haze that just seems natural. It's not all about that expansive twaaaang with them though. They ain't afraid to scream and yell not to mention turn everything up into a redlining hiss when it's called for either. If Jon Spencer and Matt Verta-Ray decided to do a third Heavy Trash record and heard the Movie Star Junkies during the planning stages of it both of them would delete the Sadies names from their phone list and be making international calls to Turin working on plans to get these guys into a New York City studio with 'em up.

May 2, 2008

BRIMSTONE HOWL "Tunnel Of Love" 7inch

Take some of the heavily influenced by amphetamines and R-n-B teenage rock-n-roll of the sixties, throw it in the backyard of some drunk on two bottles of homemade strawberry wine Gun Club fans, make them dance some bonified first & second wave strangeness and it might hit on the type of thing the Brimstone Howl are shooting for on these two songs.
Antsy in it's execution "Tunnel Of Love" starts off sounding like "Friday On My Mind" if the Fall covered it in '80 but giving off a slightly off key and strong southern gothic odor of desperation & swamp beat. It's all held together by a Brian Jones snakewalk guitar thread.
Things hit a little more trad of the recorded in a basement hit with black mold garage rock of "Crying Hard (Child of Perdition)". It's still quite lopsided and crooked though. Lots more dingy than flash. Way more loose than studied. Both pluses in this book.