Oct 29, 2008

Tape hiss is a whisper from the pantheon

An interview with Fag Cop over at Smashin' Transistors main page. Give it a read here.

Oct 27, 2008

Founder's Centennial IPA

According to the Founder's website this Michigan made brew is benchmark brew amongst the US of A beer judges when it comes to IPA's. It's easy to understand why.
Unfiltered so a cloudy burnt orange in color even when held up to the light. A buttery toffee aroma accent the scents of grapefruity centennial hops, roasted malt and something that has this reporter thinking a dash of honey. A slight head dissipates pretty quickly, leaving a slight film at the top of the beer along with a decent amount of lacing.
A sweet yet tart hop zing is the first thing noticed in the taste. Very much citrus-like with a bunch of earthy notes. The malts follow it up with a caramel sweetness smoothing out some of the zesty bitterness with creamy qualities. Here's an IPA that ends with a dryness that is something almost wet and tart. I know that not make much sense but it's the only way I can think to describe it. The more than average ABV, 7.2% to be exact, isn't all that noticeable until it brings a nice warming effect in the finish. My love for IPA's is no secret and this, in my opinion, is one of the best ever. All in all-PERFECTION!
http://www.foundersbrewing.com

Oct 23, 2008

DAY CREEPER/NIGHT OF PLEASURE split 7inch EP

With band names that sound like a really seedy drive in double feature once again Columbus, Ohio brings more of that really odd rock loudness to the (turn) table.
Day Creeper's songs could be described as "pop" cuz it's pretty damn catchy in some of the more recent Jay Reatard kinda way and Hell, maybe even "new wave & nervy" in the same sorta way. That's not to say it sounds like some Jay Reatard knock off though. Day Creeper have their own kinda choppy and stomping damage going on. "And How" has Brit D.I.Y. tendencies stamped all over it while "My Blue Screen" touches on Devo pulling out a bit of 60's teen tragedy croon out of their hats and smothering it with total toxic organ whirrings. Both songs quick, curt and to the point but even if they lasted a little a longer it would most likely take a while for them to wear out their welcome.
In contrast to Day Creepers easy to get grabbed by hooks Night of Pleasure's "Spasm Chasm" shoves your ears in a metal trash can then pile on bags upon bags of sludge, scree, scuzz and disturbingly hypnotic repetition til yr almost suffocating and kick it all down a jagged rocky hill. When that ride finally grinds to a halt you ask if you can go again. They say no but then drag up behind a rattletrap called "Hipster Downgrade"-a clattering piece of wide open spaces guitar noise and junkyard percussion that ALMOST makes Psychedelic Horseshit sound like the Jefferson Starship in comparison.
http://www.myspace.com/daycreeper
http://www.myspace.com/nightofpleasure

Oct 21, 2008

RAGING DICKBRAIN/PRUNALOGSUSAN split 7inch EP

Keeping in the untraditional tradition of split singles by sick geek noise bands jamming as many "songs" as they can per side Wisconsin label Trigger On The Dutendoo is at it again with two band 7inch EP.
The Raging Dickbrain side claims to sport 31 "songs" and each one of them being a mutant piano piece, clattery drums and a voice that sounds like it's impersonating all Muppet monsters as once.
Prunalogsusan 13 "songs" lean more towards a busted up tape machine version of stoner-ambient hum that's way too unsettling to get stoned to OR to put on when ya want to chill out.
http://www.myspace.com/triggeronthedutendoo

Oct 20, 2008

DAVILA 666 s/t LP

Trying to think of a band that came from Puerto Rico and the only one I can recall without racking my brain too much is Puya. The only reason why I even recall them is because a record label rep that came into the record store I worked in at the time was really pushing them and one of the selling points that they were from Puerto Rico. Being in a Midwest tumbledown town stuff like that didn't matter...but the fact that they were on tour with on tour with Slip-FUCKING-knot though!
Damn! Dude!
The only thing that still rivals ICP t-shirts in this town almost a decade later from their height are Slipknot t-shirts!
That angle didn't seem to work out they way their label though either I guess. The last time I heard their name was when me and wife were at a flea market a year or so ago and she called out to me "Ever heard of this band? There's 20 promo copies of their CD in a box over here."
With that impression though Puerto Rico's Davila 666 as far as you can get from such drop tuned "everybody have a bad time and punch whoever you can" grunt. Half the of this six piece band (which include 3 guitar players and someone who's job is to shake a tambourine & maracas and to provide some back up vocals) look like wrestlers with the fashion influence of 50's bikers and the other half resembling scrawny kids that could be making noise in any garage/basement/youth hall anywhere in the world. This SOUNDS like it's all about having a good time but, just like most other average Americans, I can only guess if that's what the songs are about because I never bothered to learn much Spanish. The words I do know though and I can pick out of the lyrics it doesn't sound like they are inviting everyone to come and get bummed out with them. More like they're inviting you to come along to their party. Loud rock-n-roll guitars dominate the proceeding along with lots of scream/shout/praise/rejoice sing a-long gang chorus sounding at times the Black Lips if they dropped the jangle for a bit and went for getting James Williamson's guitar sound from "Raw Power." To switch up such straight to the hips knuckleballs every now and again they throw a curve by totally showing their love for Jesus & the Mary Chain. I mean spot on with the wide open blare, creaky whispering vocals and heavily reverberated tambourine.
http://www.myspace.com/davila666

Oct 19, 2008

Lagunita's We're Only In It For The Money Ale

This is what I believe to be the fourth in Lagunita's series of Frank Zappa dedicated ale's. Proceeding it was an American IPA under the name "Freak Out", an Imperial IPA called "Kill Ugly Radio", Brown Ale "Lumpy Gravy" and this, "We're Only In It For the Money", a Tripel.
Nice honey gold color with a good amount of sediment floating around. Not much of a head even experimenting with some different pours from the bomber and no lacing at all. Like the color there is a scent of honey along with prominent malt and some fruit cocktail thrown into the mix.
It's very much a Tripel in flavor. A little spicy but not the almost stinging and sweet bite that some other American takes on the style like Victory's Golden Monkey has. Peppery and banana flavors are the dominant first things in the taste, fruit & nut bread in the middle and a slight woodsy sweetness shaking hands with a hop kiss at the end. As it's warms a little some sour fruit characteristics of lemon and green apple start to come out a little bit as well. Firm bodied and other than a warming of the 8% abv as it goes down not much of a syrupy lingering too long ending that sometimes become a little too much with some Tripels.
Lagunita's is doing these in album release order with permission from the Zappa trust. That means next on the list is "Crusin' with Rueben & the Jets". Wonder what they have up their sleeve for that one.
http://www.lagunitas.com/

Oct 17, 2008

the PITY FUCKS "Why Right Now" 7inch EP

Half G.G. Allin dirtbag grunt punk and half 60's organ blared garage stomp get mashed together by this Portland based band. It's hard to decide whether it would be more to throw bottles and see maybe if ya can get some kinda riot (or at least a couple of fights) started or grab some girl and convince her to start dancing on tables with you kicking over drinks and ashtrays the whole time. This is the dirty medium between the two. Or who knows-maybe that girl ya thought would dance tosses the first bottle or throws the first fist.
http://www.myspace.com/thepityfucks

Oct 15, 2008

SWEET FACES "On Top Of That Girl" 7inch EP

Brian of the Fevers heads up this trio and like them the Sweet Faces deal up a tackle box fulla hooks in a power-popish vein. Unlike the Fevers though, who have a glossier sheen on their finished product, the 4 tunes here were recorded while gallivanting around Holland and have more of an stripped down immediateness to 'em.
Cool little descending guitar licks sandwiched between and or piled on top loud power chords, the occasional new wavy keyboard flourish here & there as well as choruses that nod to a billion catchy ones that have proceeded it. It's as if they took the sound from something like a Raspberries demo if Cheap Trick stole it from the Sweet's tour bus and that, my friend, is a good thing.
http://www.myspace.com/sweetfaces

Oct 13, 2008

BEAST with a GUN "Wicked Ways" 7inch

With all the sub-genre's of sub-genres today sometimes it's just kinda nice to hear just a garage rock single like the kinds that dotted the 90's musical landscape from time to time. Nothing challenging or trying to be "out there" but nothing to trad or playing dress up either. Just straight up, rowdy, not all that good lookin' and smelling like cheap ass booze rock-n-roll.
Hailing from the UK seaside resort town of Great Yarmouth Beast with a Gun fit the bill with this two songer. "Wicked Ways" is a one of those based around one of those trash twang riffs that Jack "Oblivian" Yarber comes up with topped with a gruff throated holler about a lady that is oh so good at doing her man wrong. "Uh Huh Honey" gives off a vibe of some Cramps fans kicking around "Shakin' All Over" as if it's a ragged but trusty soccer ball.
http://www.myspace.com/beastwithagun

Oct 12, 2008

Avery Karma Ale

According to the label spiel (Avery always has a speil about what each particular brew is about along the side of the label. Without 'em it just wouldn't be part of their charm) Karma is the union of a Farmhouse and a Pale. Big on the Belgium tip too it seems as well. Interesting idea. I like the concept of Farmhouse ales but just could not get into Avery's last foray into them with their Fifteenth Anniversary at all. Maybe pollinating such a style with the venerable pale might just work though. They only way to find out is to try it and see, right?
Dark orange in color with a cloudy clarity. The head is one of those great ones that Avery's always seen to have. About an inch deep, fluffy and thick that melts away at it's own pace leaving a hearty amount of lacing. Malt and yeasty are the main scents with slight notes of honey, pepper and green apple but none of them really jump out.
With the malt taking the lead in the taste the honeyish characteristics come out more in the flavor grabbing right on tight to it. As the beer warms touches of vanilla show up and there's a light hop and pepper qualities in the semi dry finish. As a whole a little more complexity would be cool but it has enough to make it interesting. Though this is a little lighter than most beers of a Belgium persuasion it still has decent body and goes down pretty easy.
http://www.averybrewing.com/

Oct 10, 2008

ZOLA JESUS "Souer Sewer" 7inch

When's the last time where you've heard a song for the first time and the words "haunting" quickly pop's into your head?
Part sounding like girl locked away in an ivory tower with nothing but a piano to keep her company and part unpleasant dreams that go with being kept in such a situation "Soeur Sewer", side one's tune from this latest single by Madison, Wisconsin based Zola Jesus, sends all kinds of chills up this writer's spine.
Some type of mechanical hum lays a rhythm beneath a hypnotic 3 note patterns where Ms. Zola lays a plenty of layers of white girl with a actual serious scorched soul type shouting & Siouxie-like banshee wails before it all teeters into a stinging pool of of electronic hiss.
Flip it over and you find eBay heroes like Blank Dogs and TV Ghost pining over the lady in the corner who they can't seem to catch the eye of because she's got it all figured out and can do a spooky & noisy erotic type thing while she sleepwalks than they can after a week studying Serge Gainsbourg albums.
http://www.myspace.com/zolajesus

Oct 7, 2008

the STRANGE BOYS "Woe Is Me and You" 7inch

"Woe Is Me and You" is the sound of the moments right before you rub the sleep out of your eyes. The band's slumberous psych-folk hazy daze before the cobwebs get shook lose from the noggin'. When singer Ryan opens his mouth his melancholy slacker croon & squeak sounds as if it's being awoken directly out of REM sleep. And what was he dreaming about? Something that everyone with everyday problems can deal with (especially in these problematic times). Are the dreams in color? Judging from a sound that corners Syd Barrett abstractness in a basement of dingy audio aesthetics it's only safe to guess if they do it switches between washed out tones and smeared vibrancy. Their take on the standard "Baby, Please Dont Go" is far from the standard rock workout that has been crammed down throats and ingrained in many of a mind thanks to the familiar takes by Them and the Amboy Dukes for the last 100 years with their woozy and somnambulistic rendition of it.
http://www.myspace.com/thestrangeboys

Oct 6, 2008

PERFECT FITS "Radio Transmitter" 7inch EP and PERFECT FITS/TWINKLE VAN WINKLE split 7inch EP

PunkPowerPop cooked it Southern style. The Perfect Fits feature Memphis mainstays Scott Rogers (Cool Jerks, Dutch Masters ) & Tommy Trouble (Final Solutions, Dranks) and bring Ramones overtones to the proceedings but that thing is kinda unavoidable when doing something out of this template. It's how ya make use of that template is what the important thing is and these guys use it pretty well. They know that slinging the guitars low and wearing Chuck Taylors are part of it but it's not the only thing, y'know.
Over the last couple of weeks "(My Heart's A) Radio Transmitter" has become the unofficial opening theme songs that starts off my Wednesday night radio show. It's tough yet catchy, shiny yet glossy and packed with equal amounts of sincerity and sarcasm. The last song to get dubbed my unofficial opening theme song was "Multiple Girls" by the Black & Whites which is a tune along the same lines soundwise as this. That might have something to do with a Oxford/Memphis connection though (more on that in a few). Side two's "Songs About Girls" is asks the musical question/makes the musical statement "We know the world is in the shitter and you're really pissed off. Why not lighten up for a bit and write about something that has made billions feel better for many a year." Nope, this is not the kinda song that makes you want to mope ya dope. Take that frown, turn it upside down and jump around.
Kicking off their side of the Contaminated Records split single with Twinkle Van Winkle is "Childish Ways" a twang-banger that hops on it's Sears Spirit of '76 edition Free Spirit (yep, sissy bar and all) and pedals down to the arcade to buy some kicks off a guy that looks a lot like Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick. ""All Cried Out" pulls out Merseybeat drama roots from of Davie Allan's garden then replants them in their own Memphis backyard.
No matter how much I like their two songs on the split though (and I do dig 'em quite a bit) the Possessor of one fine honey & gravel voice Twinkle Van Winkle and her predominately Oxford, Ms. based (see I told ya there was some kinda connection) band featuring the likes of a one Mr. Tyler Keith on lead guitar (and Scott of the Perfects Fits on bass too) steamroll right over 'em. A single guitar starts off the blare before everything else kicks into a deep south beach party (okay, maybe not an ocean or one of the Great Lakes but there large bodies enough bodies of water to throw one if ya look hard enough) groove that is "Ain't Wastin' Time". Though there may be hints of vulnerability in Miss Van Winkle's voice when she lays it down and tells ya she doesn't need to spend her time with someone that treats her wrong you can bet your boots that by that tough as nails command she has in her voice she means it. "Love You So Hard" is almost like a Blondie song from "Plastic Letters" but catchier...and, thanks to a looser production (dig the loud ass and brittle guitar solo) than ANY Blondie record had, much more immediate and real. I'm thinking one of the Twinkle songs is gonna become the next unofficial theme of my radio starting TOMORROW!
http://www.myspace.com/twinklevanwinkle1
http://www.myspace.com/theperfectfits

Oct 2, 2008

Dark Horse Scotty Karate Scotch Ale

Named after, approved by and endorsed by eccentric (to say the least) one man band Scotty Karate, Marshall, Michigan's brewers Dark Horse offer up their 9.25% abv take of the difficult to do correctly Scotch Ale style.
Pouring a very dark mahogany in color with all kinds of non-filtered sediment goodness floating around and a minimal head that's gone in seconds and lacing that is slight they're off to a good start to at least what yours truly looks for in this style. A sweet caramel & toffee scent are right up front. Yep! Big and malty! They are then complimented by some smokey and earthy undertones.
Whole lotta caramel flavor in the first sip with something like a dark roast coffee with a chocolate covered cherry soaking in it chaser right on directly behind it. There's a lot of fat end body in this brew so it coats as it goes down leaving a coffee/chocolate/cherry taste on the back of your mouth and a very warming sensation down the throat and through the body. Woo! Watch out though cuz a bit of a peppery alcohol bite snaps at you in it's finish. The sweet and bitter balances are full of all kinds of flavorful complexities. Yep! Another damn good brew from Dark Horse.
http://www.darkhorsebrewery.com/