Mar 29, 2009

TEENAGE LOVERS "Number One" 7inch

The topic of teenage love has been part of the pop music idiom since there's been a pop music idiom. Most of those songs though have been written by people a long time gone from high school by the time they penned them. Sure, such songs can take one back to their days but they usually end up being candy coated and the times looked back upon with rose colored glasses. They then find some youngsters to get into a recording studio and direct them how they want the song too sound because after all who really knows what a teenager likes, thinks and feel than someone well past their teenage years, right?
It's all smart business sense. Kids and the minivan mom's that drive 'em to the mall want something polished. Something that seems like their very own private soundtrack that they share will millions of others and wont offend grandma when she comes around for Sunday dinner. Parental units don't want to hear about about primal urges, desperation and frustration coming out of youngsters mouth's when they're asked how their doing. They want to hear something that makes them say "Oh, that's so sweet" so the cycle of old guys (with who knows how many pervert intentions) directing teen pop product continues.
What's the alternative to it? The new power pop doing business under the name Emo? Are the screaming bits are some veiled tribute to Peter Brady's part in "Time To Change" then? Come on! Not everyone who has trouble with remembering the combination to their hall locker can be swallowing that....can they? Honestly, how many of those guys with their mugs posted all over the walls of Hot Topics and in the pages of Alternative Press (who, by the way with so many print publications folding, surprised me that they were still even around) are still in their teenage years. Do the kids realize that old folks are telling them to turn it down not because it's too loud but because it stinks? Where are the kids full of uproar, raging hormones, uncontrollable boners and unrequited lust? You know...Both the rock AND THE roll?
Teenage Lovers is Smith Westerns guitar brat Max answering such questions. Gangly and awkward the girls turn their noses up him and pass him by. It's puts a burning sensation inside him that only the right girl (or even just a piece of ass) can soothe.
Wit the feeling of Wreckless Eric going a 10 miles a minute "Number One" has spelled it out to a young lass he's trying to court as the tune goes fizz-pop's itself loud & mutated new wave territory guys like Jay Reatard have been traipsing though. Just when you think the tale of summer romance will have a happy ending, the chick dumps him and he's back at school feeling all alone and pent up again. "I Wanna Be Your Boy" turns up both the wanting and the distortion resembling something I wished more bands sounded like in high school but instead getting stuck with Duran Duran. Imagine GG & the Jabbers in sparkly outfits.

Mar 28, 2009

LOT LIZARDS "Nightmare Creep" 7inch EP

With a Black Time association (nom de plume's Lemmy Caution recording/producing and Red Exposure contributing some spy organ lines) and being put out by the Yakisakana record label-A loud and riotous affair of Mod-punk poses thrown askew and finding the rump moving beat buried deep in some of the most unlikely of songs from the Fall is expected from the Lot Lizards and expectations are not let down.
"Nightmare Creep" kicks off the record with both something quite nightmarelike as well as creepy. Back-n-forth/up & down keyboard blasts blurt over a trash can drum beat, BFTG guitar fuzz and alienated bad attitude looking for a good time vocals. Following it is "Lot Lizards" which isn't so much of a theme song for the band but all call to arms of night dwellers looking for discordance, guts and blood instead of make-up, machines and roofies when out searching afterhours joints to haunt. Side two's "Liquor Store" culminates the entire feeling of late night drunkenness in a place where Pussy Galore man the turntables and crank the B-52's Wild Planet album and Times New Viking singles into constant redlinned raptures.

Mar 20, 2009

the PINK NOISE "Gold Night" 7inch

Their Myspace page claims they're psychedelic. Now, some bands like to jokers with the genre selections given to to them. The Pink Noise's second choice is "other" and they don't bother to pick a third. No Crunk. No Acousmatic. No Melodramatic Popular Song. None of that nonsense. Just Psychedelic and Other.
It isn't that Grateful Dead noodling in a meadow for 16 hours psychedelic. It isn't white corduroys, paisley shirts wrap around shade banging a tambourine and singing about tangerine clouds and purple oceans psychedelic either. This is where the other comes in. It's the psychedelic of bored teenagers scoring rangy microdots from a beat up Chevy Nova driving dude who can hardly grow moustache for a few buck a pop then going back to lock themselves in the basement with Suicide, Devo and Silver Apples records and wait to see what happens.
"Gold Dust" takes a 50's bop and runs it through a bank of wires & circuits, buzzing and blurting all with electric hiss and synthetic blurt.
While it's being Jukebox Baby's little sister with ADD "Prince Charlies Revenge" ungulates with Throbbing Gristle unsettling throb,vibrates with broken up beats borrowed from Prince's 1999 album and takes them both lurching in a vapor lit fog.

Mar 18, 2009

Rogue Brutal Bitter

A "Brutal Bitter"? It's been a while since your humble reporter here has sipped on an ESB but something put me in the mood for one. While at the beer store none of the others ones to choose from were really striking my fancy. When I saw this Rogue on the shelf declaring something that might make it stand differently than the rest of the pack I made my choice.
Cloudy gold in color with a fair amount of sediment floating around. Head was there and gone but still left a fair amount of lacing around the glass. The description on the side of the bottle talks about a "stupendous hop aroma" but really all that I'm detecting is a lot of malt up front and a slight citrus like hop scent in the distance. The hops seem to jump out much more in the taste though but not until after sweet malt introduction. The odd thing is that this is a bitter (and supposedly a "brutal" one at that) but there's almost a mix orange and mint gumdrop flavorings going on. Not as obnoxiously sweet and gooey as a gumdrop or anything but for some reason there's something about the way of the sweetness of this has me thinking that. As it goes down the throat the hop taste shows up a little more along with some peppery undertones but not really all that bitter and far from brutal. Can't really say that this is the biggest winner I've tried from the Rogue stable but it's not bad. I guess I was just expecting a bit more "brutal" or at least something with a little more "oomph."

Mar 16, 2009

OUTER SPACIST "The Mind Is As Outer Space" 7inch

From a distant galaxy where the only sounds from this solar system from this solar system have reached are the Stooges, the bounced echo of the Syd Barrett Pink Floyd's UFO Club gigs, some Sonics singles and for some odd reason more Electric Eels tunes than even heard on this planet come the Outer Spacist.
Coming from a place called Saltair and crash landing in Columbus, Ohio the two songs here are a racket of way out synthesizer whhhrrrrllll, burnt down garage punk uuuuugggh and snot mouthed grrreee-unnnnnt. People would flee but since the band is from outer space they got that outworld mind control thing that hypnotizes anyone that walks within the soundwaves.

Mar 14, 2009

BLACK PANDA "Shake Me" 7inch EP

The book on mentally mangled sounding punk rock and it's even more mentally mangled sounding singers is has been pretty damned dogeared. There's a world of clowns out there thinking their grunt & groan, howl & yowl, slur & slobber is gonna resurrect Darby Crash's ghost and it'll tell then what to do next.
Then there's Yoshi in down in Austin, Texas. It sounds as if he has some of Darby's polyps in a jar and gargles with them. Or maybe's it that Turbo Button that Japanese rock-n-rollers have. They push it and everything gets put way over the top. Then he takes shots of hot sauce to temper it. Growling, gurgling, slurring, scowling. The band spewing out a '78 punk thing dragged through the motor oil sludge of later Black Flag. Everything slathered in sickness and reeking of sour humidity.

Mar 12, 2009

the BUZZARDS "Shiver" 7inch EP

Since the intermingling of band members in the Detroit Rock scene is so common place it doesn't take much for some to throw out the word SUPERGROUP when talking about about the line up of every other band in the city. No big deal really. Folks share a lot of common ground so why not make some kinda noise together ya know? Problem is though when citing supergroups for every....umm, I know there's gotta be a couple that are actually worth citing there's too many Asia's, Damn Yankees and The Firm's that come along to taint the positives of such projects.
Featuring Mary of the Detroit Cobras, Joe of the Dirtys and the hot rockin' Paterra sister Leslie & Nancy (and later Nick Lloyd of Dirtys and Seger's Liberation Army as a 5th member for live gigs) the Buzzards are a rock-n-roll supergroup in a good way.
"The Shiver" is a shaker about imbiding too much and remembering very little from the night before which should be blasting out of go-go bars and strip clubs from here to Estonia (expect that is if you're in Estonia then it should be jamming from there to Brazil). A slinky guitar lick pilfered (but credited too as well) from James Österberg snakes it's way over the high test exhaust fumes of low rent parties and a the fancy aromas of one step away from jet set. Both sets clap their hands and stamp their feet. By the time Joe shouts "Awww Right!" if they haven't already figured out the party has started they will know by then. "Desperate Baby" is a smoked basement where the dj the Saints Stranded and totally hyper scratchy 60's country soul sides through a speaker that's hardly holding on handling it. This slab ends with a dipped in Detroit tarnish take on the Mouse and the Traps raver "Beg Borrow and Steal."
A supergroup you can dance too? You got it!

Mar 10, 2009

Stone 08.08.08 Vertical Epic Ale

From what I gather Stone brews this Belgium styled strong ale once a year (one month and one day apart from each other) hence the 08 etc numbering in the name. Once the batch is gone it's gone until the next year. I've had this one down in the cellar for a bit now and it was good as night as any to crack it open and give it whirl.
Translucent honey blonde in color with a good amount of carbonation. An almost two finger head holds on strong eventually fading a leaving thick lacing down the sides of the glass. The scent is pretty much what you'd expect from a Belgium ale. Banana, black pepper and a creamy malt base holding it all together. The taste is right along the same lines. A contention I have with a portion of American made Belgium ales is that it seems they get a little out of hand with the spices. Sometimes the the point where it seems they want all the attention and that the brew itself is an afterthought. This keeps that all in check. The requisite Belgium yeast spiciness is right where it should be but it's doesn't seem like somebody was there throwing nutmeg and cinnamon in it over and over again to give it "it's own thing" and that's cool. As it adjusts to the glass and room temperature it hints of green apple and clove rise a bit to the surface. The finish is medium smooth leaving a slight banana tinge down the throat. If it wasn't for a warming effect as it it goes down it would be hard to believe that this is pushing 9% abv.
Stone knows what they're doing when it comes to making good beer and this is no exception.

Mar 8, 2009

SPIRIT PHOTOGRAPHY "Time Is Racing" 7inch

If there's ever a vote to name a band who's picked a name that fits their sound in the last few years expect a lot of ballads cast for Spirit Photography. Creepy, haunting and maybe looks down some people's noses for "believing such hokum." Let's not forget though as Roky Erickson put it "If you have ghosts-you have everything."
A drum machine thumps like unexplained noises coming from an abandoned mansion's stairsteps starts off "Time Is Racing" while a tangled guitar blares like a howling wind. Or is that JUST the howling wind? After all, it could be a ghost and you refuse to believe it. Then a voice reminiscent of Ian Curtis warns that time doesn't slow for anyone. Wait! Ian Curtis has been dead for years. Maybe his ghost is speaking through Spirit Photography though.
"Into the Heart Of" looms like a dark, cold and wet cloud hanging over a procession. Not a wedding procession of course but a funeral. Dressed in black and oh so somber. No, not something a lot of people would consider feel good music though quite fitting for those that like to walk through cemetery's late on foggy nights to ponder their thoughts.

Mar 6, 2009


With this being a split single who's artwork is one side of this record all dayglo colors & band members with making slightly goofy faces and the others all grays, blacks and a seriously looking guy in a ruffly shirt, long black hair and holding on to a dog I wondered if I was in store from some tribute of some 80's new wave factions. Y'know like one side might sound something like JoBoxers and the other a Fields Of Nephilim thing.
The Passionistas are the band with the dayglo artwork. Makes sense as the first two songs on their side "Writers Block" and "Ashley Simpson" are snappy and bubblegumish but somewhat off centered. They don't worry if they go outta key either. As a matter of fact they prefer it. The last track on their side "France" it's like Burt Bacharach knocking back a medicinal cocktail while listening to a Black Lips record.
Hard Place (the "serious" looking side) actually aren't all that dark. They have a Sparks whimsy to 'em. The thing is though it's like when working in a record store (at least in the early 90's) and you get into a conversation with an older customer and find out he's a Sparks fan. He says to you "Oh, if you like Sparks I'll make you a mix tape of some other groups you should check out." A week or so later a tape gets handed to you and there's all this sub prog stuff on it loaded with a lot of way to clever & technical keyboard flourishs on almost every song which makes it all just to hard to get into. That happens on both of the songs that Hard Place offer up here.

Mar 4, 2009

the SWEET SIXTEENS "She Said Alright" 7inch EP

This is the now sound that all the teen's are going nuts too. The thing is though that it's a thrift store now sound and it's the teens of Mars that are bugging out to it.
"Sixteens Theme" blast off to the stars where DEVO uses the Nuggets boxset as a template but then a South City-like budget rock sound of yore comes and gum's up the works. Wobbly samples, b-movie space organ, snot nosed singing sounding like it's recorded in the middle of party where the snack bowls are filled with Shock Tarts. "She Said Alright" jumps all around in a Chuck Berry damaged Ramones working at the carnival where they found an organ player who only knows how to play thing on the BLARE setting.
The other side's "When The Sun Comes Up" is a much different change of pace from the other two blasts of outerspace RAH! RAH! RAH! Tick tocking rhythm, light strummed and hardly distorted guitar. The lyrics could actually be introspective but I doubt it because it drips with smart ass-isms. Young Marble Giants without Alison Stratton recorded an unreleased single for Rip-Off? Nah, maybe not that much but don't be surprised if the Sweet Sixteens actually toyed with the thought.

Mar 2, 2009

Founders Dirty Bastard Ale

Most of you loyal readers have been around here long enough where I think I can be a little candid with you. I'll admit that there have been times in the past where consuming too many beers perhaps made me want to fight. Y'know...The whole young and stupid thing. I'm sure I'm not the only one here who's been through it but let me ask you this. How many beers has anyone once here had where it's telling you it can whip your ass just by reading the label? I'm informed here that this brew "ain't fer the wee lad. And if it's too strong fer yer silk wearin', poodle walkin' arse. then it's back to the loch with you, nessie."
Nope, this stuff ain't messing around.
Murky reddish brown in color with nary a head to speak after a few seconds save for a thin layer that crowds around the edges of the glass. Butterscotch and smokey caramel are the main aromas. Smells all rich and inviting-not something that seems to want to beat ya up.
The flavor on this brew is HUGE! Big smokey malts are the first thing to great you as they take on the caramel and butterscotch characteristics that we're first detected in the scent. The brew itself is quite full bodied but with just the right amount of carbonation. The more you sip the more the flavors deepen. Hey, what do you expect from a brew made from 10 different malts though? I'm nibbling on a slice of Gouda here & there between sips and the two are a perfect compliment to each other.
As the brew warms up it's hop profile brings out a whole 'nother level of complexities. It seems the finish is where the surly Scotchman on the label gets all his fire because though the over 8% abv is very well hidden it's not all all hard to go through a few of these, stand up and go "Whoa." A deceivingly delicious mellow sipper that will whip you ass in the end if you aren't careful.