Dec 28, 2010

STEP DADS "Deja Vu" 7inch EP

Bad attitudes and totally obnoxious. They're both ingredients that should be included in all punk rock recipes. Some try to skimp on them though (which means they're not really punk rock at all) but not this band. It sounds like they even had a little extra so made a big mess in the kitchen. The band itself is based in the catchy buzzsaw punk rock-n-roll vein (Sex Pistols, The Zeros etc) which is all fine and dandy but it wasn't enough for them. Cue gravel throated ill-tempered belter railing off about power sluts and the Grim Reaper here. Crank the distortion to make his sandpaper grunt even more blown out and pile on an amount of ridiculous echo and it cooks something to break teeth on.
Deep South USA white trash cousins of German beer bottle breakers the Moorat Fingers or Bathory pounding some nails into power pop? Well, that's for you do decide.

Dec 26, 2010

Sunday Sonance For January 2011

Well, The speculations that the first Sunday of every Month gig Franck and myself have been doing for close to two years now at the Raven Cafe were going to come to an end ending up being just rumors. Join us the night after New Years Day for eats, drinks and, of course, tunes.
More info at

Dec 22, 2010

Brother David's Triple Abbey Style Ale

From the solar powered Northern California beer maker Anderson Valley Brewing Company come this series of "Big Beers". They are the people behind one of the best Oatmeal stout's on the planet (Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout to be exact) so I was anxious to give one of them a taste. As luck would have I was visiting one of my usual beer cellar haunts and the man behind the counter said "Dale, I have a gift for you."
"Free Beer? Yes!" It must've been my lucky day it seemed.
A slight bit darker than some Tripel Abbey ales I've seen and drank in the past. It's almost brown in it's shade even when held up to the light. The head was modest and faded out fairly quickly but a good bit of lacing all the way down. Notes of caramel apples along with a big blast of alcohol show up in the scent. There are the banana, spices and hint of honey thing in the flavor that are common for the style but they seem to get bossed around by too much of a grainy malt. As it warms the malts do step away somewhat but what seems to be left is something slightly lacking as far as a complexity as well as a little thin as far as the body is concerned too. One thing I did find interesting is that though the alcohol comes on quite strong in the scent it is hidden very well in the taste til you get almost to the very end. "Almost" because there is a hotness that comes out right at the tail that will bite you if you're not ready for it.
Since this was gifted to me I can't really complain much about it but considering some of the goodness AVBC can serve up I was somewhat disappointed.

Dec 16, 2010

BRAINCAR "Rock-n-Roll Bologna" 7inch EP

WHAT A BUNCH OF BALONEY! No, I'm serious. The front cover come with a piece of bologna with the words ROCK-N-ROLL cut into it in a zip lock bag glued to the cover. And, well since we're always way behind here when it comes around to giving records to be reviewed a listen that piece lunchmeat has taken on looking like a science experiment of lunchmeat grease and mold.
"Lunchmeat grease and mold". I kinda like that because it fits the sounds that is going down on this record. Five slimey and sick tardcore dirt-fi punk tracks that are over almost as soon as they start. Reference points as far as classics are concerned for this reviewer would be Drunks With Guns and Flipper while comparisons of more modern things are along the lines of The Mahonies and Holy Shit. This is not a record to have in your collection that will gain you friends. Just like serving up a rancid piece of balogna wouldn't either. But if you want to bogue out or annoy people out-show them the sleeve to this (especially if it's taken on it's particular life of microcosms as the copy I have sitting here) and play it loud and often.

Dec 13, 2010

Moylan's White Christmas Spiced Winter Lager

Ahhh, the Christmas season. A time for peace on earth. good will toward man, stressing out, being depressed and dealing with hustle and bustle to the point where you want to burn down everything within a couple miles of the shopping epicenters of the area you live by. It's also a time to give a try to a seasonal ale or two that maybe you haven't before. Moylan's just started being available in these parts I live in and since I have tried a couple of other things they brew that I found pretty decent I figured it was worth giving a shot.
Gold with reddish highlights in color and somewhat bubbly with a modest but fluffy head that leaves a snowdrift like lace behind. The nose is predominantly lager yeasts and malt along with bit of hay. There some are spice characteristics to it but with the variety of ones used (orange zest, mace, cinnamon, coriander and white pepper) none stand out from the others-they all blur into each other.
The spices, primarily the coriander and some dints of the orange spice up front and some slight pepper taste in the finish, do come out in the flavor but as in the scent none of them really stand out. The spices seem like they were added an afterthought than something infused to compliment the flavors. It's not bad (especially compared to some stinkers in the Christmas/Winter ale style that have hit my tastebuds in the past) but it just lacks that "something special".

Dec 10, 2010


This band's bed of damaged pop is sturdy which is a good thing because when they invite odd bedfellows of sonic attraction to romp, jump and roll around-it would probably collapse elsewise. "Working On Something" opens the album up sounding like You're Living Me All Over Me era Dinosaur Jr posing as a Buzzcocks tribute band. An instant hit for those who appreciate instant hits because of their whir-n-fire and not because of some overblown recording techniques. From there tracks like "Here Those Bells" and "Prison Mind" pick an under the influence of low budget opiate high fights with the last couple of Black Lips albums, swim through a swamp of cough syrup and Roxy Music's For Your Pleasure on "When You Wish", mix glass chips with Strawberry Bubblicious for "There You Go", get beat up and thrown out of country bar because some dickwipe in a Kid Rock t-shirt told them they weren't really country and to which they replied "Neither is that shit you listen to" on "I'm Gone" and bum out peace and love hippies the way Hawkwind did (and surely would again if the tape machine they were recording on sounded like it was being held together by electrical tape while the record knob was kept in it's position by the cardboard flap from a crush proof pack of cigarettes) with "I Don't Believe You/X-Tina". "Hey Little Girl" also takes notes from those kinda space rock and motoriks then pulls it out behind the garage to have their way with it.

Dec 6, 2010

the TOUCH ME NOTS "Keep Talking Like That" 7inch

Some people say "Don't mess with success". Ya know if something works say with the formula and don't tweak it. Damn, that can get boring though. Doing the same thing over and over no matter how good you are at it and all that. Sometimes you gotta shake it up and change things around here and there. After all, variety is the spice of life, right?
For the last half decade or so Andrew and Kelly put out a solid collection of singles, 10 inches and LPs of 1950's tinged, hayseed steeped and garage tainted rock-n-roll. Stripped down to the essentials of voice, guitar and drums worked well for them but they still couldn't resist throwing the occasional curveball at the listener like, say, taking a stab at a Broadway show tune for instance. This go round they supplement the bottom end with the addition of Clark from Killer's Kiss on bass and Greg Ashley putting down some bits organ as well as doing the knob twiddling and it really adds something to their spartan but splendid sound. Both "Keep Talking Like That" and "Hard To Forget" have a certain small town rootsy feeling to them that the band had flirted with in the past and completely score this time around. Country-rock (but not in an Eagles or fake affected nasal twang college crowd/trust fund thing that seems to be on eight out of every ten "alt/country" released someone tries to push as the "real deal" way) songs about love's fire coming close to going out but there's still some glowing red embers. Reminds me of being a kid and listening to the radio in my dad's car. Back then they'd play Waylon Jennings and the Bay City Rollers right after each other. Not that I am hearing that when I listen to this but there is a certain dust filled room meets a shiny soda pop machine vibe...And that's always good to me. COUNTRY-ROCK SINGLE OF THE YEAR!
Classic Bar
An ages old interview Smashin' Transistors did with the Touch Me Nots
Andrew's Food Blog

Dec 1, 2010

WHEELS ON FIRE "Liar, Liar" CD and "Cherry Bomb" 7inch EP

I'm taking a wild guess here but it's more than likely these Athens, Ohio boys and girl sound is the product of a couple "weird/cool" uncles that played them a bunch of records growing up. The older of the two uncles played them things from the early Stiff Records roster and telling them "None of these bands would've amounted to nothing if it wasn't for Nick Lowe AND THAT GOES DOUBLY FOR ELVIS COSTELLO!"
The younger uncle was all about 90's garage punk. He regaled them with stories about how many times he saw the New Bomb Turks and so on, but the band he drilled into their head was the Oblivians simply for the reason "Beneath the scum there's some classic pop song moves there. One day the rest of the world will figure that fact out."
It seemed to make an impression on the band especially in the both Nick Lowe and the Oblivians took standard "rock" foundations, in former's case country music and 60's radio pop and the latter with primal blues and teenage garage gunk, and they've manage to meld all of it into the tunes that rock all over both these releases. A snappy backbeat and sticky organ provide the foundation for the two guitars to switch between bashin', janglin' and throwin' out hooks that dig into your back and pull you up & move you around while Jack O'Yarberesque vox of the brothers Chaney sing/shout tales of young lust and all the things go with it.
The album, Liar, Liar, is jammed full of loud pop gems like the beach ball bouncy "Bad Lie" and "Losin'", bubblegum found in a box of dirt sounds of "Looking At You" and "Sarah" and the Modern Lovers tinged "Stick Around" and "I Wanna Know." The single on Kind Turkey is more of the same but a just little bit more scruffy with some soul music infection and some doo-wop nods thrown in for good measure.