Sep 27, 2008

the LASH OUTS s/t CD

O shit! I just accidentally knock my drink all over the chick sitting next to me. Good thing she just laughed it off. After all, it is wet t-shirt night tonight so we're allowed to get loaded, tell some jokes, bitch about or day and totally act like hayseeds (not to forget checking out some cans). Stomp, yell, puke and scream. The Lash Outs been there done that. Sounds like they wouldn't have it any other way either. Hillbilly punks that wear a little makeup maybe! They should be the band playing instead of that fat ass old local bar legend supergroup that were the musical entertainment tonight.

Sep 26, 2008

QUAN & the CHINESE TAKEOUTS "Crazy Pills" 7inch

One of these days the state of California will have to pick a place to erect a statue in tribute to the Lazy Cowgirls. Or if not the the entire band at least to Pat Todd and Dee Dee Weekday. It would have to be the state that does it though cuz it's highly likely any of the bands they influenced in the post-post "Real Rock-n-Roll like the Rolling Stones" world don't have the cash to get it together themselves. It's not their fault or anything. It's just that they're out of step with what the majority of the straight world thinks is rock-n-roll. Hell, it's most likely some out there that actually think Michael J. Fox invented rock-n-roll because of what they saw in the "Back To The Future". It's a sad state of affairs but what can one do?
Unfortunately, not much so ya learn to deal with it, turn up the amps and pretend that those type of jerks don't even exist. Fed on a diet heavy on substances like New York Dolls slime, Sunset Strip sleaze and some of that white boy soul the Lyres would flirt with on more than just an occasion L.A.'s Quan & the Chinese Takeouts take their call of rock-n-roll duty very seriously. Dive bars all over the world could be shakin' to these two tunes if it was for that group of ironic jokesters that loaded 10 bucks into the jukebox so they could hear a bunch of Neil Diamond and Stevie Nicks songs. Eventually someone get's pissed, unplugs the jukebox and then waits for a fight. Of course the hipsters who thought the slew of bad songs were funny don't say a word and slip out the backdoor before things get hairy for 'em. That's then this band's cue to tune up, count off and get those in search of an actual good time to break more than a sweat.

Sep 24, 2008

Dogfish Head Golden Era Imperial Pilsner

"WHOAH!" is what I say after my first sip. Pilsner's are a beer standard and for the most part Americanized pilsners are, at the most, just average in flavor. At the least they are, as friend of mine says "Uck! They taste like cheap perfume." Some of the biggest selling beers in North America are based off the Czech pilsner example but have been adapted to the taste of the general marketplace. For example Labatt Blue is a pilsner. It even says so on the label. Crisp, dry and in the most cases for the big breweries a lot of corn, rice and a bit watery. Y'know how it is. One of those standard tastes we all probably remember when we first we trying beer back in those days when it wasn't about flavor and quality but quantity and catching a cheap buzz. Dogfish Head NEVER does anything standard though and their pilsner is no exception to the rule.
Originally called Golden Shower (the name change was a smart idea on their part. I know I've lost how many times I've heard someone like a grumpy old uncle refer to the swill he was quaffing as "Horse piss" then down another can) the color isn't really gold as it is a robust orange. Bubbles race up to the inch tall and slow fading head. A strong grain and honey scent to the nose along with a light slap of alcohol (but at 9% abv-how could there NOT be?).
A very sticky and sweet malt taste up front. It's followed by a honey-like soothingness then some crisp and dry hops show up at the end to rock the scales a little bit with a smack of (good) bitterness. Would I reach for this as my pilsner of choice when such a mood strikes? No, that's Victory's Prima. That's American ingenuity with an age old recipe and hits the bullseye. Besides, this is a bit more pricey and over the top in the booze department for casual drinking but if a special occasion called for a special pilsner this is one to go for.

Sep 22, 2008

PINK REASON "3:16" 7inch

This is the first in the series of Columbus Discount Records singles club. 250 copies on bubblegum pink vinyl. Inner sleeve liner notes written by Pink Kevin giving a little history behind the songs and why he chose them for this record (and if you've ever read/heard any of his stories you know it's a doozy).
Both songs date back to the band's inception. "3:16" is something that starts out crawling like a slug then someone gets out a salt shaker to see what happens. Eventually, the meander turn into a slashing fit. Knives and blood gets drawn. It ends up being a really messed up scene so everything gets set on fire to destroy the evidence. In one of the other sorta recent reviews we've done for a Pink Reason record it here it was mention that one particular tune was the closest they've come to working a "garage rock riff". Well, with "Sweet Sinister" (named after a substance that has kept many a contributor to the Pink Reason mission up for more days than they'd care to count) ya get the closest to a "blues rock riff" that they've attempted. Given the date the song was originally conceived and the company that was being kept at the time-having the Mystery Girls as cronies in chemical indulgence probably holds a larger influence than whatever White Stripes record was on people's lips at the time.

Sep 19, 2008

MISS CHAIN & the BROKEN HEELS "Boys and Girls" 7inch EP

Yeah, summer's over but a month ago to the day we were in the prime of it and to make things ever better us here at Smashin' Transistors were spending it with Miss Chain & the Broken Heels as they played 3 shows in the area. Such bright, sunshiny and dance along with sounds. If their single from early in the year was a little coy & unstated in it's production to some ears this one's a bit more forward and confident. Stepped up in the tracks used department and the Broken Heels more cohesive as a band unit these two songs will charm the socks off you in a way only Italians can.
"Boys and Girls" like all the good things of a summer break away somewhere when you're 15 where it's all about chatting up and fooling around as much as you can cuz you may never see the person again done in a Girl Group meets power-pop style before all the frills get added. Y'know dirty fingernails, sneaking cigarettes when the parents won't catch you, not minding your manners and a really cool guitar solo in the middle. "My Gang" invites you into the kinda of trouble Nikki & the Corvettes would've gotten into if they would've taken a trip to Nashville to hang out with Carlene Carter.
Some pics from the Broken Heels stay in Michigan's thumb

Sep 18, 2008

the EEGOS "If You Ain't Shakin'" 7inch EP

Pogo dancing. Yeah, it's gotta be one of the top 5 punk rock cliches that even great-grandmothers know but boy, when you're a kid, it was an ultimate thing to do. According to my intermediate aged son it still pisses off jocks and teachers. Portland Oregon's Eegos have made a total pogo around the room record here. It's seems a little unfair to whip out Heartbreakers, Buzzcocks and Damned or hell any general '77 reference because so many bands ape that sound so poorly these days it could almost be taken as an insult.
If you ain't shakin' you must be fakin' and these guys don't need ya around. There's a complete snot bag in the sewer rock-n-roll swagger that all those other bozo's try really hard to pretend they have. These four songs of broken beer bottles all over the stage sleaze rock it ain't trying. It their way of life. Betcha it pisses the squares off too. Squares don't like dancing and this makes ya wanna dance around like a fool.

Sep 17, 2008

North Coast Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout

Normally I hold off until the official start of winter according to the calendar before I start sipping on stouts but with the weather being all gray, wet and gloomy over the past weekend (which it was when I sipped on this and wrote down some notes) it was a good time as any to jump the gun and bask in such a thickness.
Boy, oh boy! This is dark one. Almost black in color and just a sliver of light getting through. Half inch head that faded fairly quick but leaving slight cap when done and some spotty lacing that lasted all the way through the glass. A creamy, malty chocolate aroma with a touch of something that reminded me of hazelnuts and liquorice on the nose. The complex and pleasing scent alone had a very warming effect and made looking forward to the taste even more..and damn what a taste it is! A huge & flavorful dark roasted coffee taste up front followed by a tasty warm malt flavor. The finish is an interesting contrast in the complexities with a dry, hoppy bitterness and the liquorice nuances coming out. As it warms a bit in the glass even more of these little details come out making this a great one to sip on as the days get colder and the wind howls louder.
Though the brew itself has a bit more of a carbonation texture than in other stouts I usually go for, which makes it a little less "oily" feeling I guess, there is still a nice creamy and full body to it. One might have a hard time believing that the abv in this is over 9% because it's hard detectable in the taste but now on to my second I'm starting to feel a little buzz coming on. Such a great night cap.

Sep 15, 2008

the STAAGS! "Adult Brigade" 7inch EP

Usually when some band claims to be hardcore and/or thrash these days I'm usually a little apprehensive when it comes to giving them a listen. The reason is because it's usually just drop D tuned mook rock without any guitar solos.
"See, it has no guitar solos" it's then explained to me that that's what makes it hardcore and not metal. Pfft. It's the moments like that where I swear that actual old guys are right and the kids today don't know shit.
I know there's at least one guy in the Staags! that grew up in hardcore's golden era of the mid 80's and even though he looks like he belongs in a band that opens for Ekoostik Hookah it seems that his pent up rage he harbors in the straight world is a lot of the inspiration and one of the driving forces of this 6 songs done almost in as many minutes slab.
The cover sleeve features a massacre in the workplace motif and there's an insert explaining what a project manager does. I had a CD-R copy of this record for a few months before it was officially released and used to crank it loud when I sitting in my little workplace cubicle on the weekends (and I had to work every weekend because a) I was the low man on the totem pole and b) I was the only one not related to the boss) and no one would bother me. They wouldn't even poke their nose in because I think they were afraid I might snap and didn't want to be on the receiving end of it. Whether it was totally identifying with "Forfeited My Youth" and "Dissatisfied", knowing exactly what they are getting at with the sentiments of "Get Off My Lawn" or snickering at "Bat Shit Crazy" (cuz I know the person who was the inspiration behind it...and she asked me "Is it a nice song?") I would waste my mindless day babysitting telephones and fax machines while mapping out the ultimate skatepark, looking forward to the beer I had chilling in my fridge that was waiting for me when I could clock out and go home and thinking "Man, this is the kinda stuff Pig Champion would rock out when he still weighed under 300 lbs." You know, real hardcore....with fucked up guitar solos and everything!!!

Sep 13, 2008

HARLEM "Free Drugs" LP

In Texas they do things differently than the rest of the western world. I don't know if it's the weather, the food, the water or whatever but there's always a bit of a twist to anything they do that could only come from the state. All of the tunes on this Austin, Tx combo's debut album has a stoned (natch) ramshackle jangle that might get "the kids in the know" to say something like "it's just like the Black Lips" but let's not forget that a lot of those type of dorks also say "It's just like Bob Dylan" when they hear some lame ass stuff like Bon Iver (and the only reason why they're even dropping a Dylan reference is because some tin ear with a thesaurus and a useless degree in something like philosophy who write for Pitchfork said it first).
That's not to say that Harlem aren't trying to hide the influences hanging off their sleeve or anything though. It's obvious in the way the chug & chime on some of the songs that their water has been spiked with a good dose of the Velvet Underground doing bong rips instead of junk shots on songs which is not something all that uncommon of course but it's then tempered with as good amount of Roky-like psychosis (you can especially hear it in the screams-which also may remind some a bit of Dan Kroha's singing in the Gories from time to time as well...and maybe even....GASP! A touch here and there of the Pixies), elements of baroque pop and and a dollop here and there of folkish whimsy.
The general framework of the tunes ARE of the "garage rock" persuasion but things are tweaked and twisted a bit where there are a lot of different dimensions to the songs which make the entire album interesting & clever than something just typical and shopworn.

Sep 12, 2008

LEPER PRINT "Coma" 7inch EP

Meth Teeth dude Kyle goes it alone for this 3 song slab of bedroom-Fi sickness. A tangled and twisted mess of lung cookie slathered Electric Eels worship that dabbles in thoughts of whether or not getting guitars to sound like air raid sirens filled with used motor oil and micing a drum to make it sound like a crack of lightning right over the room one sleeps in is a recipe for success or and invite to get locked away. Either way it still doesn't stop his plans from renting a cherry picker then dropping that sound down into a 10 foot high and 20 yards thick spot of thorny vines and poison oak just to see what happens.

Sep 11, 2008

the MAHONIES "Hey We Got Coneys. It's Great! Let's Dig In" 7inch EP

In a conversation I had with the Fabulous Andy G some years back I learned that Michigan's translation of what a Coney Dog is something different that what it means to a life long NYC resident as himself. Y'see, over there it's a hot dog with some sour kraut on top. Here in Great Lake state it's a hot dog but it's top is smothered with chili, onions and mustard. The onions and mustard are optional but in Michigan if it doesn't have the chili it's just a regular hot dog...and sour kraut? What the hell? That's something you simmer in a big pot with some polish sausage or bratwurst. On a hot dog though? Not all common in these parts.
The Mahonies are from Michigan are not of a common style either. They're the types that would put a Detroit Coney Dog with the works (chili, onions, mustard AND cheese be it a slice of American, grated cheddar or a scoop of that orange liquid that 7-11 has to put on the top of nacho's) along with sour kraut in a blender, tape the sound it makes and then write a song about doing it.
Be it the Half Japanese spazz shakes hands with the Cramps blues, a special needs class playing their own version alienated kid hardcore, drinking til they get sick on Flipper grind then puking up Mr. California's blood or being two kids that got beat up a bit in junior high til they learned they could make people laugh by doing something just simply messed up the Mahonies are at it. Eight quick and stupid globs of noise that will probably show up in a government study of what is wrong with the youth of today.

Sep 10, 2008

Arbor Sacred Cow IPA

Whoah! Someone at this Ypsi, Michigan based brewery really loves to kick up the carbonation! The softest pour (I learned with my first go round with an Arbor Brewing beer that ya gotta watch it) caused a huge explosion of foam in the glass. Like 4 ounces of beer and the rest a head flowing out an all over the place. It's a bit out of hand don't ya think? Waiting about 5 minutes for it to subside somewhat it does leave quite a bit of lacing. Not a thick one or anything but a bunch of spotting and a cap that is all about retention.
Hazy and dark orange in color with some unfiltered particles dancing around. Mild and earthy on the nose with a light scent of hops and malt. Surprised that with all the out of control fizz upon pouring that the brew itself has nice, creamy body. It's not some thick beer or anything but far from thin. Right in the middle. Spicy and dry in the taste with a tinge of sour apple and dried orange peels. Not really a whole lot of the grapefruity like burn that I usually prefer in my IPA's though but it's not bad. Kinda reminds me of and IPA leaning towards trying to be a Belgium ale the more I think of it but not quite that either. It's a weird one. Would I suggest this to someone who is not familiar with IPA's and wants to try one that is of amazing top shelf quality? Nah, it's got something a little odd about it but it's worth a try if ya spot it on a racks at your friendly neighborhood beer merchant but no need to go out of your way to seek it out if not.

Sep 9, 2008

the WAX MUSEUMS "Magnet" 7inch EP

There's two different songs called "Magnet" on this record. "Magnet Part II", a choppy brain basher that is equal parts Devo and Messthetics comps as it is gnarled retard punk fills side one. With it's stabbings of herky jerky stop start tempos, bug stuck in your ear guitar buzz and the garbled electronic & electrical buzz that finishes the track I was almost expecting a lock grove at the end that would've drove me to irritation or insanity before I would get around to picking up the tone arm and putting it to an end but, alas, no avail (at least this time). Side two's "Magnet Part I" is a variation of the same riff with different words, more brittle and straight forward "punk rock" than the massive compressed echo of the other side. A bit shorter too but the weird noise trick at the end still makes an appearance. "Disintegrated" ends the record sounding something like Wire if they grew up in Mall arcade and had an 8 year old kid doing messed up guitar fills over top.

Sep 5, 2008

JACK OF HEARTS "San Francisco" 7inch

Piero Go-Go Player and Creteen Benji join up with a couple of other fauteurs de troubles to form a new gang that are shooting for being cowboys but trapped in a world where drenching everything in a vat of cheap wine and LSD is as common as breathing.
On the a-side's "San Francisco" it's something like as if Lee Hazelwood took control of the Fatals. He had them trade up a little bit (and just a very little bit) of their eardrum destroying volume for some dusty fringed buckskin jacket wearing panache and more than a glob of dirty spring reverb. The flip's "Ponytail" rides off blurry eyed into in a gold tequila hued sunset.

Sep 2, 2008


In these parts a party bus usually equals some mustache'd lunkheads and their ditzy-n-bitchy female counterparts crammed into a 16 passenger van with some cases of Corona Light in a cooler and Nickelback on the speakers heading down to a ballgame or a local cheesy cover band borrowing their brother-in-law's camper van and offering anyone who cares a free ride so they can can have a crowd at some Battle of the Bands type thing a county or two later. Needless to say because of this I usually pass on anything that involves those two words together. However if someone offered me a ride from Disneyland to the Windy City on the party bus this record celebrates I would actually stand in line to score a boarding ticket.
Orlando Fla.'s Slippery Slopes set the rules of the road right off that bat by informing everyone in a Supercharger getting a nasty sunburn manner that they don't need no nerds bringing the party down so step off if you were thinking about bringing one along (and that goes doubly if your a girl who has a dork of a boyfriend that wants to along). The tune is titled, what else but, "No Nerds". Their second song on this slab, "Bikini Beach", attacks more serious matters of burning your feet on the hot sand while dragging along a cooler of Coors because you have to. Why? Because it's bikini season again! Jeez! Why else?
Flip it over and we reach our destination of Chicago with Johnny & the Limelites. Sure, Chicago is known as the Windy City and all that but they have some Lake Michigan coastline to take full advantage of in the warm months. These guys take that advantage to the fullest extent with "Summer Of Fun" copping a bits from "Land Of Thousand Dances" if it was done originally by a special ed class along with a drunk garage punk pound & an strangled guitar solo that praises all things great like barbeques, doing cannonballs into a swimming pool and opening windows up all the way. If you don't wanna join in with the call & response it's obviously you're a Captain Bringdown that would be no fun to take a roadtrip with. Sure, in some parts of the world summer is coming to a close but this can keep that particular party spirit going on even into the winter months.