Jun 27, 2009


About a year ago this time (give or take a month or so) both these band's sounds started making the rounds outside of the select few in their town's and who decided to put their first singles out. The underground was all hot-headed about the Black Lips overexposure which actually accounted to little in the straight world. Both these bands hit that crest and they held the hipsters on the fence if such a thing could be liked anymore. Suspicions understandable by maybe just a bit too much cynical. Shit, I don't think even a couple of the Smith Westerns kids weren't even born until after Nirvana's Nevermind came out so it's hard to believe it was the new bandwagon sound for them to jump on.
Both bands have a certain BFTG slightly outta tune/off tempo jangle/slur. Not too sure when exactly the songs were recorded but on the Smith Westerns side it's a safe bet a little bit (but just a little bit) before they hit the Ice Cream Sundae Punk stride that they're showing off their recently released debut album (Which rules by the way. Review coming soon....but with the massive behind Smashin Transistors is that could be months. Instead of waiting go out and buy it now!!!). The song, "Tonight" is a glob of 60's jangle psych drowning in a pool of reverb that would make the Jesus & Mary Chain jealous and singing that would make even the most glam of 70's rock singers blush.
Dead Ghosts side is cut from the same cloth as far as the jangle & reverb is concerned but overall leaning more towards to the kinda thing the Oh Sees have hit paydirt with. Both tunes are quite solid and stretching their wings a bit and starting to get away from the Black Lips Jr. thing that has been pinned on them in the past.

Jun 20, 2009

King's Cherry Ale

Wasn't too sure if I was really in the mood for a fruit beer at the moment but the Great Lake State is considered the cherry growing capital of the world so a Michigan made beer (by a brewery I'm not familiar with) using cherries is worth giving a shot.
Cloudy copper color & a inch or so fluffy head that dissipated in a patchy manner. The aroma reminded me of something between a pale wheat, Laffy Taffy and a Labatt's Blue. The cherry scent is not very strong at first whiff but seems to appear more as it sits though it never comes to the forefront
The initial sip gave off grainy and malty flavor with the cherry taste hanging around the edges. Like the scent the fruit flavor is noticed more as it is sipped but never overstated. Hell, compared to a lot of fruit beers I've tried it's actually almost understated. "Almost" meaning they could perhaps amp it up a little bit more you can taste it none the less. There's a good amount of carbonation to this brew giving it a sparkling and somewhat clean finish with a mix of malt and (slight) cherry in the aftertaste. Nothing too complex but not bad at all.

Jun 17, 2009


If you lived in a place the is the butt of cultural wasteland you might be a little irritated by what people expect from first impressions. Ya don't want to come off like some strip mall raised and McDonald Happy Meal toy entertained mook. Ya wanna show you have, y'know, actual taste or something.
Tampa, Fla based Ghost Hospital probably wrestle this dilemma every day. While some bands today are happy with using, say, the same template the Black Lips based their sound off of (and nothing else) this band sound like they can't resist crossing wire of something like that hoping they'll either start a fire or blow a fuse.
The standard Nu-Garage thing gets spliced together with somewhat out whack folk rock and cracks a couple of really clever one liners over a din of squelch and feedback. "D+" plays into all three quite a bit with a little bit reverb which then leads into something that fans the hippie music Stephen Malkmus has been making for quite a bit might bop their head to. Y'know, it's happy trip. It then gives way to a torrential downpour of feedback throwing the mellow buzz into burning pit of static before sauntering back to bip-de-bop where the journey started. The flip's "Religious Bias In Nursery Rhymes" gives off a sound such as a crackly distant college radio of the 80's where the dj are stoned and like to experiment with playing Replacements and Jesus & Mary Chain demos loud and at the same time .

Jun 15, 2009

OUTRAGEOUS CHERRY "Universal Malcontents" LP

Yeah, yeah. We all know Brian Wilson didn't have it all that easy. We're not talking the aspects of his over the top father, his decay of hearing and Dr. Landry prescribing his descent into metal illness either. There's 1000's of printed pages and gigabytes of webspace dedicated to people talking about how Pet Sounds touched their lives and how they hope to attain such plateaus. Then they go a pro-tool the fuck out of it on their computer generated recording program to achieve it.
"Hey dude. Check it out! Doesn't it feel just like 'God Only Knows'?"
"Umm, No, not really?"
"What? Do you know how many hours it took for me to find the right digital effects to make my voice and that string section setting on my Casio to make it sound that orchestrated?"
Whatever man. You sat in your room on a Saturday afternoon and moved a mouse around. You didn't deal with tape, a hired string section wondering where the hell you were coming from or Van Dyke Parks sporting a some goofy mustache and fedora nodding at you like he knows what you're getting at but secretly thinking "What the hell did I get myself into and how can I explain it to my bosses at the record label". Then not to mention dealing with a couple of moody brothers (thanks to a complete nutjob dad) and whatever clown antics Mike Love had up his sleeve (Yes, I read the damage control Mike Love has been doing in the press the last year or so. I have a hard time buying it too but will cut him so slack because ya kinda have to. After all he co-wrote songs like "Do It Again"). Those guys baked really great cakes. A lot of these "tributes" to 'em today or more like microwaved brownies when they think adding some sparkles & sprinkles on top makes it the same kinda thing.
Outrageous Cherry understand what went through to make records like Pet Sounds. They also understand where Marc Bolan, the Velvet Underground, the Bay City Rollers and Cheap Trick were coming from too.
With songs such as rubbery new wave surrounded by T. Rex built walls of sound "Recognize Her", "It's Not Rock & Roll (But I like It)" & "This Song's For Everyone" Velvet Underground churn with a hard candy coating sing-a-longs, The Banana Splits getting dropped off in a burnt & decaying Detroit neighborhood blaster "Get Out While You Can" and the Eric Carmen discovers buzz & drone "Outsider" Outrageous Cherry, unlike some other bands that are trying to trick people in thinking they're the as closest a person will ever get to the epic & sometimes strange pop music of yore, pay homage but manage to not suffer from a identity crisis. They've been around long enough (15 years or so now) not to worry about such things and this is one the best records they've made.