Jun 29, 2013

Tang Soliel "Mirror Maze" 7inch

     What do members of band's that had records on the In The Red label do when their groups call it a day? Well, if it's Matt of the Mystery Girls and the Demon's Claws Ysael (along with a couple Romanian malcontents and occasional contributions of another In The Red alumni, Greg from the Strange Boys) it's put a new combo together.
     A boozy, backwoods pace that is equally some twisted folk rock jangle, a day at the beach pop music and absolutely frayed around the edges garage rock thing that both the 'Girls and 'Claws did so well when they were nailing live is what it's about here.
     Sounding a bit like later period Byrds with not all the facial hair and a less dour disposition meets the Velvet Underground's 3rd album wrapped in flannel (not because they are waiting for grunge to return but are simply hayseeds) and barefoot, "Mirror Maze" is like an ice cream cone on a hot day. Cool and creamy but all sticky as it melts all over your hand. Boozy back up vocals and few seconds of sax blurt dropped in as a solo toward the end complete the slacking off on a summer day feeling.
     The flipside's "Beth's PA" features the sax making Canadian goose honks at the start along with dripping wet with moisture guitar licks snake in and out over a foundation of what sounds like a stoned country rock band standing on the verge of doing a freakbeat rave up.
     Kevin from Dusty Medical Records mentioned to me that he has already put this on a couple mixtapes then noting he doesn't ever really even make mixtapes anymore. I still do from time to time (and if you want to count the radio show I do I guess technically I make one every week) and both of these songs are going to go on all of them throughout this upcoming July and August.

Jun 26, 2013

July 27th: The Mud City Manglers Crank It Up at Port Huron's Roche Bar

     Saturday, July 27th at the Roche Bar! It's Pittsburgh's beer swilling, Marshall amp cranking, motorbike revving, cussing and swearing purveyors of bad ass rockin' The Mud City Manglers will be crawling from the gutter and rockin' the murky river banks of downtown Port Huron!
      Along for the noisy ride are the Failures which is Al and Sal of local bad attitude and butt kicking rockers Smackmadam's new band.
      Detroit's Axe Ripper will be coming up to tear the city down too.
      Maybe even some punk rock records spun between sets by yours truly and whoever else I can get to drop a needle on some records.
Yeah, Yeah! Here's a Facebook Event Page too.

Jun 20, 2013


     Back in my 1980's high school days I could not stand Deep Purple. Maybe it was because the grits, with their teenage teeth already ravaged Mountain Dew and Marlboro Lights world get excited one of their songs would come on in shop class, yell "It's Blackmore, bro!" and then crank the crappy classroom stereo up to where even if I thought the tune was good it ended up just be a mass of "BLLLUUURRRPPPP!!!" instead of banshee wails and bong as an echo chamber organs.
     As the time went on, and while looking for different (musical) kicks and working in record stores eventually my paths with "THE PURP, maaaan!" would cross again. Punk rock had gotten slower, what people ended up calling Grunge started bubbling to the surface and there were always a few copies of In Rock, Fireball and Machine Head in the dollar bin. After spending a weekend with them I realized, that for of all Blackmore's mystical and then blatant AOR bullcrap he was always pulling off in the 80's with Rainbow, those three albums kicked all kinds of ass with it's lunk-headed lyrics and blown out boogie.
     It sounds as if these San Fransisco dudes have spent their time listening to that holy triad of Deep Purple records too along with massive doses of the necessary Black Sabbath (because you can't actually do any bong rattling rockin' without it no matter how many ice cubes you have in it without spending many a toasted afternoon Masters Of Reality and Paranoid cranking out), Iggy and the Stooges Raw Power, Ace Frehley's  KISS solo album, Thin Lizzy here and there and other things skateboard rats listened to while gobbling down a handful of White Crosses and Yellow Jackets before punk rock came along.
     Tracks like "Handy Denny", "Killer Smile" and "Tragedy Prevention" are hard driving/Head out to the highway jams full of fuzz bass, distorto butt shaking/hair flipping guitar licks, and a drummer that knows how to pound the kit yet still swing all topped with a brown weed toking bellow.
     It's not all drinking warm beer and watching some California sunset though a windshield of a muscle car affair though as "Lady Of The Lake" and "Gold Lyre" brings out the darker side of late period psychedelia and "Ripped At The Seams" finds that sweet spot between proto-doom and Black Flag's Loose Nut. http://whocanyoutrustrec.wordpress.com/

Jun 13, 2013

SWEET TALK "Pickup Lines" LP

     Whenever I put on a record that has a bit of a "fizzy pop" thing to it and particular friends are hanging out they will make some comment about me playing some "pussy getting music" and then scoff. Then I get all analytical of if things that can get tagged power-pop or whatever people want to call it ever succeeded for many at landing a bunch of tail.
     Sure, most of those bands were singing about girls, cruising around town looking for girls, wanting to walk in the park or go to the amusement park with girls and wanting to talk to the girl that works behind the counter at the record shop or convenience store but are too shy. It seemed for the most part it was not music that was guaranteed to get young, horny guys into some nubile lasses tight jeans as much as it was about how much they wish they could.
     There were others though, such as Cheap Trick, who could take the bright, big and glittery sound of power chord hooks, pen words about unsavory things and wrap them into a melody that kids on the junior high school bus could sing along to (well, on the bus I rode we did at least. And a good chunk of years before "The Flame" and Elvis covers.)
     Then I discovered punk rock (or at least what I thought was punk rock) and a lot of the skinny ties and poofy hair sugary coatings gave way for something a bit more bitter, hot and not wrapped in plastic as far as my musical tastebuds were concerned.
     With members ranging from speedy hook merchants Mind Spiders along with cats of more raw weirdo punk combos such as the Wiccans and VIDEO, Austin's Sweet Talk should come with a label bragging that this record contains no high fructose corn syrup.
     Anchored by dual loud guitars throwing down sheets of chords this record roars even on the tinniest of transistors speakers. More in it's bag of trick than jubilant power (pop) chords-the six strings also careen, chop and bob at the right moments. Solos are hit-n-run affairs here. Quick & to the point then straight back the churning the motor. Vocals are an earnest cocky whine that when it sneers and yearns is sincere and not just for a video shoot.
      The records opening shot, "Put You Right Back", starts off like something Thin Lizzy with no exposure to Irish folk chords and not a chance being declared  the next Van Morrison or Springsteen, then builds into the kind of rock songs the alleged alternative rock stations should play for the boys who want to turn it up loud and play air guitar too while the girls shake their hair loose. Sadly it wont happen because it would make some of them realize that 30 Seconds To Mars kinda suck and it would also cut in the amount of time those stations can play the Lumineers and "classics" like "Enter Sandman" by Metallica before another 20 minute non interrupted block of commercials. 
      A early 70's glam boogie under the carnival ride lights rubbing itself all over later in the same decade small town America worshippers of the Buzzcocks feeling is all songs like "Find You", "No Vacancies", "Live To Die" and the title track.
     Tunes like "Stop In Line" and "Who Are You" would be anthems in a more perfect world and not just because they sound really BIG. Also, "Danger" shows that when poppy rock boys get some action they have just as much swagger as David Lee Roth claimed to have cornered the market on.
     Though this record came out in mid spring this year-it is gonna find a lot of time being blasted out of my car speakers this summer.

Jun 6, 2013

Cental City Red Racer IPA

     At one time Canadian brew was a right of passage for any young beer swiller who grew tired of of swiping whatever cheap stuff friends would pool their cash on or following in the footsteps of whatever they saw their folks drinking. It was always thought be stronger, better and more wicked. And, at the time compared to whatever swill we were usually downing around a bonfire or at the beach.
     One time I was talking to a guy who was in Johnny Paycheck's band (the last tour before he croaked...and I am not talking about the way he sang. Johnny Paycheck sounded like a frog more often than not that night and that was even when he's would ask the audience to sing the chorus) and he was telling me a story about the time he was touring with Jerry Reed. He told me a story that Jerry had his tour bus equipped with special secret compartments for when he toured the Great White North so he could smuggle things back across the border when the shows were over.
     What was Jerry sneaking back?
     Not illegal drugs.
     Not back bacon.
     Yep, that's right. He was smuggling back CANADIAN BEER! (And I must add that the cat who was telling me the story noted, with a big laugh, that Jerry did "stay well drunk the whole dang way!")
     As we have all learned the last couple of decades or so, Canadian macrobeers (or their foreign counterparts like Beck's, Heineken and St. Pauli Girl) were not the end all of brews. It also makes one wonder if Jerry ever had a chance to check out many craft beers before he died and, if he did, still insisted the Canadian ones are the best, which one would be his favorite? And would have found a way to run a pipeline of it to his house. Maybe if would've even been this brew out of Surrey, British Columbia. I would like to think he would dig the can design if nothing else.
     Very nice and clear dark copper in color. The eggshell white head is moderate and fades quickly but a good dusting of chunky white lace sticks to the side of the glass all we way down. The aromas are big and bright green smelling. Pine, a just squeezed lime and perhaps a bit of that BC bud come to mind while giving it a whiff. None of them come out punching hard on the nose but do give off a nice tease as to what the flavor may entail.
     First sip is a mix of the strong sub-tropical fruit notes of Citra hops that gives it a bit of bitterness which is then tempered by a malt sweetness that gives off and honey & maple flavor in the mix. A nice balance of simple complexities to start off with. The medium carbonation serves as a buffer in the middle giving the taste buds a little break before a sharp bite of citrus and grassiness start to appear toward the finish. There is a bit of stickiness in the end but is subtle and smoothed out by a carmel malt sweetness compared to the aggressiveness of a lot of hop bombs out there that find a home in my glass from time to time.
     All in all this is really great take on a traditional British IPA meeting it's more flavorful and complex west coast cousin.