Jan 30, 2009

Rogue Yellow Snow IPA

The other day I heard my 9 year old say "Watch out where the huskies go and don't you eat that yellow snow."
Surprised, because Frank Zappa is not something that gets played in our household very often and radio (save for the occasional spin on our local college radio station) has put him in the forgotten file I quizzically questioned "When were you listening to that song?"
"What song" he asked "My friend's grandpa always says it."
This conversation took place while I perusing the beer aisle and he was already done checking out the soda pop selection (because what's a good beer store if they don't have a good soda pop selection to go with it). He was pointing out this bottle of Rogue to me. "Dad, beer is gross anyway so who would ever drink something like that? It's probably made with dog pee" then repeated "GROSS!" to drive his point home.
When we got home the first thing he bellowed to his brother and mother "Dad bought a beer that I think is made with dog whiz! GROSS!"
So when I poured it made a big production out of it. "It doesn't look like dog pee but still..." he said before he fled the room shouting "GROSS" again as he left the kitchen and ran through the house. Rusty orange in color with a rocky two finger head from a normal pour out of this bomber. It takes a little time for it to fade down then leaves a decent cap and a good amount of thick lacing. The scent is split between warm yeasty breads and lemony hops characters.
A bitter bite of the hops is much more pronounced in the flavor. Surprising actually because they didn't seem so pronounced when giving it a whiff but that's cool with me because I prefer my IPA to have that smack. The hops here though have an odd smack which is usually no problem but the pine and lemon bitters give way to something a little too soapy tasting and boy do they ever stick to the sides & back of the mouth and down the throat. It reminds me something of a Dark Horse IPA but missing something that makes them so good and interesting. The malts get pretty lost in the proceedings because of it because of that lost of balance. The beer itself though has a nice medium body and carbonated just right which is something that Rogue always deserves kudos for. It's not as scary as drinking actual yellow snow but even as HUGE fan of big & bold IPA's there's something a little off putting here that'll probably keep me from reaching for it again.
http://www.rogue.com/

Jan 27, 2009

the TEENERS "Gold" 7inch EP

Smashed up & jagged bloody wounds for a rusty can punk rock from some part of Austin, Texas where all the yards are overgrown with weeds and not only they don't even care about Willie Nelson and Stevie Ray Vaughan but have no idea they even exist.
It's all about putting the distortion to a fiery phlegm position and burning down a couple garages when punk rock was built. Sick, dirty and unwashed for who knows how long. For comparing to a local legends sake the Motards come to mind but that's if the Motards where disturbingly obsessed with the Germs and were big shots in the town's meth trade.
http://www.myspace.com/theteeners

Jan 26, 2009

FUCK KNIGHTS "Kristina" 7inch EP

Hmmm. Judging from their name I'm guessing they sound like Hall & Oates, right? Or maybe Captain & Tenille. Some laid back but rockin' jams to sit back in the La-Z-Boy a zone out to after work?
So imagine my surprise when I put the record on. There was no groovy sax and there's no way Ted Templeman had anything to do with the production of this record cuz the Fuck Knights aren't laid back at all! Dirtbag garage punk in the now classic 90's sense of the word.
Hyperactive and bouncing all around blaring three chord banging with the singer spending most of his time in the red line trash that pays homage to the 60's but doesn't care to sit around and play dress up because it's been proven that jumping in a time machine is corny. They just wanna play loud, probably get drunk and maybe get laid (or get arrested trying). Nope, They aren't coming close to re-inventing any wheels but then again I had a conversation today with someone who was telling that the most innovative band EVER was Tool. I listen half a Tool song once. I would've listen to the whole thing but I already wasted 10 minutes for something to happen with it then realized I could listen to record like this 3 times in a row in the same amount of time instead.
http://www.myspace.com/fuckknights

Jan 23, 2009

Anna VS Cancer


One of the cutest kids in the world has cancer and her family could use your help.

For the past five years, Zac Ives has been an unwavering supporter of the Memphis music community through his work as the co-owner of the Goner Records label and store.
Now, the Memphis music community is coming out to support him.
A benefit concert -- featuring Harlan T. Bobo, Jack Oblivian & the Tearjerkers and John Paul Keith and the One Four Fives -- will be Jan. 29 at the Hi-Tone Café in Midtown. A related online charity auction begins Monday. Proceeds from the events will go to the Ives family as 4-year-old Anna continues her long fight against cancer.
Last weekend, the Ives family -- Zac, his wife, Amy, and baby son, Aron -- decamped to Boston to allow Anna to get a specialized radiation treatment at the Francis H. Burr Proton Therapy Center at Massachusetts General Hospital.
It's just the latest chapter in a two-year roller-coaster fight Anna has waged against cancer. In February 2007, then-2-year-old Anna was diagnosed with a brain tumor on her frontal lobe, close to a major vein. The tumor, 3 centimeters in diameter, was a meningioma, which is generally a benign tumor found in women ages 40 to 70.

To read more of Anna's story go here and here.
Check out the auctions (there's a lot of cool stuff) here and help Anna and her family out.

Jan 18, 2009

Founders Double Trouble IPA and Arcadia Hop Rocket

Ahhh yes. It's the dead of winter here in Michigan and the last couple of years that meant it was time to get kept warm with hopped up Hop Juice that is the 10% abv called Bell's Hop Slam. Things might be a little different this year though now that a couple of other Michigan craft breweries have stepped up to the plate reintroducing their cold season time DIPA's to a select batch of beer drinkers around the country for the season.

Founders Double Trouble
Quite sunrise orange and clear in color. An off white half inch head disappears quite quicly but does leave a patchy cap and a good amount spotty lacing. The aroma is very crisp & bright. Very floral with a sharp spike of pineapple along with some other tropical fruits, deep woods up north air and a whiff or two of some sticky green Mary Jane.
The pungent and earthy hop bomb that this is tickles the tongue at first but it's just a little foreplay cuz then it give the whole mouth a kick of citrus brightness. Notes of honey & malt then step up to smooth everything over. The complexities are great and interesting to the end with the finish of leaving both a spicy & lemony and slight eucalyptus hot bite and a sweet malt tinges down the back of the throat.
Ranking in at 86 IBU's and pushing the 10% abv this isn't something that you could stand around and knock back six in a session. Hell, After a few standing up straight would probably be problem. Though the alcohol content is very nicely hidden it does sneak up so sip contently but wisely and enjoy it's nuances and different characteristics it takes on as it slowly adjusts to the room temperature. A pleasant, warm and mellow buzz on this cold, cold winter night.
http://www.foundersbrewing.com

Arcadia Hop Rocket
Yep, a hop rocket! Does that mean this is it fuel? Could very well be. A sharp reddish orange in color with an average size cream colored head that goes away fairly quickly but leaves a substantial bit of lacing. An acrid snap of citrus tang jumps out at first sniff. That, along with a bite of alcohol edge, get's a softened by honey & caramel malt characteristics.
A grapefruitish hop sting hits the tastebuds first and burst in the mouth. Then, like with what happened in the aromas, a sweet honey butter flavor smooths overs the bite and hides the +9% abv pretty good. It's finishes with a mango sweetness & lemon tartness that sticks around for a little along with something just little bit peppery too. Interesting contrasts and medium carbonation make for this to be a little easier of drinker than a lot of the hop bombs out there. Based on drinkability alone this could easily be a sessionable but it will decieve you though cuz after a couple you can feel the punch it packs.
It seems that with Arcadia some of their brew are just "meh" while other things hit a home run. Hop Rocket knocks it out of the park.
http://www.arcadiabrewingcompany.com/

Jan 16, 2009

the RANTOULS "Chug A Lug" 7inch EP

Take the Ohio Express knack for the feel good head bopping a-bop-a-bop and apply it to the Redd Kross aesthetic. Yeah, It's nothing earth shattering new. After all Redd Kross already did it on albums like "Third Eye" but I'm talking about when they were still known as Red Cross and where singing about the things that discontented but still want to party teenagers sing about.
Clap your hands together and sing along to an infectious beat that's not played but studio cats who look nothing like the cartoon caricatures but by 3 shaggy but dapper looking thrift shoppin' smart alecks that would never be let in a fancy studio. Just barely Mid-fi sounds with plenty of nasally crooning singing and soaking wet reverb guitar lines. The kind of band you'd hope to hear at a beach party where everyone is broke but they managed to afford the spike the Kool Aid with some vodka and scored enough bottle rockets so no one goes empty handed.
http://www.myspace.com/therantouls

Jan 14, 2009

the LINDSAY "Dragged Out" CD

Columbus Ohio’s the Lindsay tried to do something a bit different from the prog rock norm, they mixed actual melodies and lyrics one could almost sing along to with distortion, fuzz and out-of-tuneness. The idea wasn’t bad, and the result…well, I’d have probably liked it better if I were a stoner.
I once saw Broken Social Scene. It wasn’t a bad show, in fact I enjoyed it a lot. At least, the first two hours of it. But around the two-and-a-half hour point, I literally fell asleep. It was just too much. It all started to sound like one long never-ending self-indulgent song that would never be kind merciful enough to end.
And that’s where the Lindsay go wrong with their release “Dragged Out.” Not by being bad, but by being too self indulgent. If someone had yanked the plug on their amps 20 seconds sooner each song would be a lot tighter. I like fuzz, I like distortion, I like some experimental trippiness now and then. It certainly beats the hell out of self-love guitar solos. But there’s a point where it either needs to A. go in another direction, B. end, or C. become tedious. Unfortunately, the Lindsay selected option C. It’s still enjoyable, listenable stuff, good enough to make them worth seeing should they ever be in my approximate geographic area. But self-indulgent, and it shows more and more as the cd progresses. While still finding them good, by the end of the seventh song - with three more to go - they reminded me of Broken Social Scene…because I just wanted it to end.
www.myspace.com/thelindsay
Danko Ramone types plenty more words on his own site, www.BusterGetMyPills.com

Jan 13, 2009

the WAX MUSEUMS s/t LP

From impressions noted in recent occasions there seems to be some kinda backlash started by some concerning these Texas jitter-punkmeister's. People here and there getting a little bent out of shape because it sounds as if the 2 minute geek punk tunes the Wax Museums do were written in about the same amount of time. Find something about everyday things that fuck with you/piss you off/waste your time to rant about over panicky 3 chord (if yr lucky) bursts of noise. It's punk rock mission that plenty of malcontents such as the Angry Samoans, Electric Eels and the Circle Jerks (which seem to be the main reaction's people give me when I play 'em the band for the first time...And, yeah, you can hear elements of all of them in the Wax Museums) set on and set down. Obnoxious and perhaps a little more than juvenile and & emotion blaring out. Sure, the band isn't going to involve you in deep thought with their lyrics and songs structures. After all they're called the Wax Museums and not the Brain Surgeons or the Rocket Scientists or something like that. Have you ever been to a Wax Museum? It's not like any of them are sacred halls of intellectualism loaded with brain candy. They're just something dumb and maybe fun that might ellicit an "ohh" or "ahh" out of you. Just like what the band are shooting for. You want some kind of artsy brain in your music? I'm sure there's a used record store somewhere within a not too far driving distance that has some Talking Heads albums for a couple of bucks each. I'll sit hear and wait for you to get back. I'll be listening to this album the entire time too.
http://www.myspace.com/thewaxmuseums

Jan 10, 2009

Southern Tier Hoppe (Imperial Extra Pale Ale)

Everyone's got their preferences & tastes but there's a really split opinions on what Southern Tier brews. Some get all excited with everything they make and seems there's just as many who completely rail them. Being that this is, save for a couple of sips of something different they make at a party one evening, the first Southern Tier I have tried I'm wondering if it's gonna be a Heaven or Hell situation with no middle ground.
Pours light and clear orange in color. Watching a lot of bubble rise to the surface after it's poured the head grows to about a fluffy half inch head then slowly melts away again leaving a healthy amount of lacing. The aromas are sorta muted but traces of honey, citrusy hops and caramel like malt characteristics can be found.
The hops are much, much more up front in the flavor. Very much grapefruit and pine notes hit the tongue and wake everything up on the tongue and down the throat. The first few sips there was a little too much of a spiky metallic jab in the back end. As it's adjusts a little more to the room temperature though it seems to mellow out and the honey sweetness come a little more to the front somewhat balancing out some of bite and hiding away some the 10% abv kick that we're way noticeable through the first third of this medium bodied and higher carbonated brew.
It wasn't quite Heaven but it's not close to Hell either. I'll try some other Southern Tier stuff down the road.
http://www.southerntierbrewing.com/

Jan 9, 2009

DINOSAUR and the MISSING LINK "After the Fashion" 7inch EP

Though I was in elementary school when punk rock's first wave hit and was more concerned with what the Fonz, the Six Dollar Man and the Incredible Hulk were up to than whatever the next hip music trend was-if someone were to play me this record way make when I would KNOW it was punk rock. Hell, even the first time I heard the Ramones and the Sex Pistols a couple of years later I thought they were cool loud rock-n-roll but they sounded just like that. Cool loud rock-n-roll. It didn't seem as special ed class reject and falling to pieces as I had played it out and imagined in my head after gathering what I could glean from Cream and Circus magazine at the time (and though Creem magazine could pin it totally spot on most of the time-it can't be a secret of how inept Circus could be unless they were reprinting Styx and Foriegner press releases by that time. Hell, even Hit Parader's "New Wave" special issues were better than them). Granted, I still fell in love with the stuff which most likely set me down the path I chose to follow but y'know it was loud rock-n-roll and I couldn't understand why people we so pissed off about it at the time. Of course in hindsight it's obvious that the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac were to blame for such attitudes.
Now to say that the kind of thing that Dinosaur and the Missing Link are doing is what I was imagining may be a little bit of a stretch because I have ingested boatloads of weird and nasty sounds through my ears for many a year but not that much of one. Think 154 era Wire if they were a duo who knew less chords but played them much more choppy along with waaay serious adenoidal afflictions and a handful of Ritalin. A flailing spastic orgy of something from the arty side of punk rock's fence that rolls around on broken glass showing that their not master's degree candidates just having some kinda intellectual lark. Those who aren't sent fleeing from the confrontational spazz outs here probably still end up with blood on their clothes and bruises on their psyche.
http://www.myspace.com/dinosaurandthemissinglink

Jan 8, 2009

WITCHDOKTORS "$3 Hooker" CD

This is a hard cd to review. And it’s hard to review because it doesn’t suck, yet it really offers nothing new at all either. If you’re looking for the shovel of ground breaking music, this release from the Witchdoktors most certainly is not it. But, at the same time, that by no means indicates it’s bad in the slightest.
Hell no, it’s mighty friggin enjoyable.
Picture the Ramones, the Clash, Green Day and the Reverend Horton Heat all going to the same batshit crazy orgy. Aside from any sex they have with each other, everyone in attendance has sex with one medium-hot-in-a-failed-actress-kind-of-way girl, that we’ll call “Heather”. This is not a real girl mind you, this is a wholly-fictional girl named Heather. In any case, she wanted to live on the edge and do the whole night without condoms and she ends up pregnant with quintuplets, and one dies shortly after it’s third birthday. Similar to the origins of The Partridge Family, the four remaining children go on to form a pretty cool, old-school sounding punk band with a rockabilly streak and a random surf riff. And a lead singer that sounds like a young Joe Strummer using the voice of a Mescaleros-era Joe Strummer. Before he died, that is.
If that orgy actually had happened, and Heather got pregnant, then the band that sprung from that litter is London, U.K’s The Witchdoktors. They sound exactly like Heather’s bastard punkabilly children would having been concocted by that mix of fluids. It’s clear where they came from, it’s clear they wouldn’t be here if those bands hadn’t ridden Heather bloody like the $3.00 hooker she is. Except they’re not really siblings, I don’t think. I never bothered to look into it.
Speaking of a $3 Hooker, that’s the name of the CD. They named it after Heather, the completely fictional woman mentioned above. It won’t strike you as original, even if your greatest exposure to music comes from playing Guitar Hero. It will strike you as really friggin fun. The kinda fun that makes you buy their CD so that you can drunkenly take some leftover fun home with you after accidentally catching them playing a show somewhere.
Danko Ramone spews all kinda stuff at his own blog, www.BusterGetMyPills.com

Jan 6, 2009

the REBEL "Northern Rocks Bear Weird Vegetable" LP

How old does one have to be before they can be considered a curmudgeon? Most every definition that I looked up mentions something about being grumpy or surly or crusty and usually mention it being an old man. But how old? That's the question that needs to be answered when listening to the tunes that Ben Wallers writes. It just didn't start since he starting making tunes under the Rebel moniker either because he's been at least grumpy and surly since at least '95 when the band he fronted at the time, the Country Teasers (who are pretty much his backup band on this record anyway), released their first single on Crypt. He was about 24 years old at the time. That puts him around the age of 37 now. Dunno man, a curmudgeon always seems to describe ornery, crotchety old coot in their 60's or older doesn't it? Well, except for the Fall's Mark E. Smith that is, because he's only in his 50's but the word could be used to describe him for 30 some years now.
The sounds Wallers has been a part of making have been compared to those of old man Smith's a lot over the past decade. Cantankerous. Lumbering. Alienating. Take your pick of the many colorful adjectives to describe and any of them will fit. Two string guitar drones, jungle beat glazed in cough syrup, flanged out and space age noises, 80's Europop getting run over by a calliope equipped steamroller all being lead by free verse vocals sometimes resembling a younger but still croaky Burroughs (William S. not Edgar Rice), Metal Box Lydon if his career never went any farther than singing along to a jukebox in a pub frequented the most unconvincing of drag queens and old miners and that always congested kid that rides the bus who says stuff that bogues out/pisses off the cheerleaders and the jocks. Syd Barrett and Waylon Jennings pool their drugs together and go on a lost weekend songwriting binge perhaps? Then things get really, really weird.
http://www.sacredbonesrecords.com/

Jan 3, 2009

ANOTHER SATURDAY NIGHT "Giants Of Love" 7inch




How's that song go? Another Saturday night and I ain't got nobody? It sounds like this band have David Johansen's first solo album to keep them company (that and a box of wine) and they play it all night long. "Sidewalkin'" (the song on side two) ISN'T a JAMC cover. Maybe it's because a song like that wouldn't fit to well next to "Frenchette" and "Funky But Chic". It's just a theory.
http://www.myspace.com/anothersaturdaynightnyc

Jan 1, 2009

the GOTHIEFS "Hongkong Rocks" 7inch

If there ever was a band that wallowed in worldwide obscurity but found itself having a cult success in an odd little town a million miles away with absolutely no connection to the band it had to be the shine that Port Huron, Michigan took to Germany's Superhelicopter. The band packed in a few years back now but you can still hear their tunes blasting out at the right kind of parties in the town and from time to time still even over it's radio waves. It had been assumed that they all died of aneurysms because how long could a band live sounding like a Lemmy on the biggest meth binge of his life take a chainsaw to the Oblivians stomp without their heads eventually exploding?
Obviously longer than anyone expected cuz Superhelicopter's chief mutilator Nils has broke out of whatever institution for the criminally insane he was locked up in and has now unleashed the Gothiefs out on an unsuspecting public. Two songs where a blood splattered wall of feedback gets holes kicked into it with more feedback and throat shredding screams. Take a couple of the sickest Brainbombs records, play 'em at double their speed, run 'em through a 200 watt amp with all the gain tuned up, soaked them in gasoline and the most archaic ideas of what caveman garage punk is (whatever it even really is these days) and you have something akin to what is going on here. No one is left for dead because that would be good meat going to waste. Skinned alive is more like it.
http://www.myspace.com/thegothiefs