Apr 28, 2015

May 15th: Mud City Manglers, No Bails, the Failures and Dale Beavers at Port Huron's Roche Bar

Flyer design by Smashin' Transistors
     Pittsburgh’s Mud City Manglers first made a name for themselves in the late 90's with a fistful of snarling punk rock 7inch singles and their album "Heart Full Of Hate." Running full bore and high on leaded gasoline, the trio eventually crashed into a fiery mess a few years later.
     Down but not out, main Mangler Ted Tarka eventually crawled from the wreckage and, along with the band's original drummer Brian, started to build a bigger, stronger and even more bad ass version of the combo. Grappling the stealth and swift of attacks of Metal Matt on guitar and Metal Mary on bass into the gang the band is now even more of a force to be reckoned with than ever before.
     If Kalamazoo's No Bails were a pizza instead of a band they wouldn't promise you a 30 minute or less delivery guarantee. What they would be able to deliver is that it would be loaded with fat helpings of greasy toppings. If the Cosmic Psychos had kids that they abandoned at a Chuck E. Cheese to learn how to fend for themselves, No Bails would be the one's who would show them how to turn the ball pit into a wrestling ring of televised on WTBS in the 1980s proportions.
     Plenty of people in the Port Huron bars can yammer on and on about what is punk rock is and isn't. Al of the Failures is the one to tell them to shut up. Or, once him and his band hit the stage, they shut them up with a street level blare of three chord rock-n-roll detonations.
     Not just anyone can be a Midnight Mayor. It's a whole 'nother set of rules than what it is for the one who's at city hall for the day. A midnight mayor isn't elected. Hell, a midnight mayor is even appointed. A midnight mayor is someone who declares themselves the one in charge and everyone else has to deal with it. Dale Beavers is Port Huron's Midnight Mayor.
Find out more at the Facebook event page. 

Apr 17, 2015

Smashin' Radio Transistors for April 16th 2015

     Last night a few friend's outside of WSGR's broadcast range posted on my Facebook page about how they wish they could stream my show. I wish they could too.
     I will save you the commentary on how the administration powers that be seem to have such a thing happening on constant delay and how I am still recording the occasional show from a radio at home and then uploading them static and all here from time to time. Give a listen to what it sounded like live last night.

Apr 8, 2015

OBNOX "Boogalou Reed" LP and Blaxxx "For No Apparent Reason" 12inch EP

Obnox photo by Dale Merrill
     "So how ya doing?"
     That was a questioned posed at the party at the Smashin' Transistors commorancy to Obnox's Lamont "Bim" Thomas following the gig they played here in town last summer concerning the rave reviews the band's records had been getting.
     "You mean am I getting rich?" Lamont laughed then added "I'm just trying to get as much music out there as I can before I die."
     With a couple decades of making music with a bunch of different combos under his belt such as the Bassholes and the Puffy Areolas one may figure he's already achieved leaving an indelible mark on the punk rock scene but with him being in the drivers seat with Obnox he's making sure of it.
     Like the two full lengths that have preceded it, Boogalou Reed, the first of three 'Nox albums planned for 2015 (and who knows how many EP's and singles along the way) is bursting at the seams with tumult but also again manages to cover different ground instead throwing rocks through windows of the same places over and over again.
     Rolling in like a venomous sludge, the album opens with "Wonder Weed." The song's (credited to Stevie Wonder but unknown to this writer where it has appeared on any of his records) caterpillar that weighs a ton guitar crawl and cosmic organ that obscure Bim's voice in the mix act as an roller ascending effect for the album. Slowly leading the head to the top of a peak and building anticipation for slamming on the g-forces and whatever unexpected twist and turn that are to follow.
      Equipped with a super rock riff that's made air guitar thrashing and beat swings jazz cat showing every hardcore rat-ta-tat-tat drummer what's up those g-forces first kick in on the next track "Cynthia Piper At The Gates Of Dawn." Fifties rock gets spun in to a dizzying three chord blur on the celebration of Saturday Night (and perhaps jab at the squares that don't "get" what Obnox is getting at) "Too Punk Shakur."
     While the album is full of plaster cracking action like hesher rockin' and name droppin' Johnny Cash & Jimi Hendrix jam "Slaughter Culture", the warp speed space truckin' with no seat belts on rides of "Marinol", "I Climbed A Mountain" and "Protopipe", the fist in the air ode to the ones with good taste on the decks "All Hail the DJ" and a cover of CSN&Y's "Ohio" who's torrential downpour of guitar noise conveys a sense of unrest and disorientation that Neil Young was probably attempting to get across but them damn hippies he was working with were just to mellow, the album is not all about getting the feeling of plummeting into the earth at 90 miles per hour.
     The album's title track takes trip-hop on a whole trip with a washes of feedback and reverb, a tumbling rhythm that has a bass drum and snare that thumps at the temples and Bim singing like he's kicked back on a big red velvet couch. Along the same lines is the shoegazing if pasty Brits had better hip-hop beats "Empire." The centerpiece of the tracks that have that sorta vibe going on though is "Situation". Intergalactic funk finds a cloud (consisting of sativa smoke, of course) to float on while wiggly guitars squiggle groovy squawks that would have Ernie Isley nodding in approval and a  psychotropic beat reverberates the room.  

     While down Texas way to play at 2014's SXSW, Lamont found a diversion to keep his needing to make up a new song mid occupied when not playing on stage. Making contact with OBN III's Tom Triplett and Orville Neeley, the trio went ended up in Neeley's practice spot where there was a "four-track up and gear in place, not to mention a gang of joints and a bottle of Wild Turkey."
     With Lamont behind the kit and a mic in his face and Tom and Orville armed with guitars to split skulls open, the trio crank out four massive blocks of pinned in the red noise. Opening track "Blaxxx" rumbles and roars in a way to make sure everything is on its way to be reduced to rubble and "Cut 'Em Down" sounds like Blue Cheer and Funkadelic dueling each other in a garage disposal. Side two starts with Lamont giving a quick sermon about the bullshit music business before the band fires up sonic bulldozers to slowly plow such bullshit. "Get A Hold Of Your Life" serves up finishing moves that makes the Stooges Metallica KO sound like Frampton's Comes Alive in the best, most funked out punk rock way possible.
12xu.net

Apr 4, 2015

Dogfish Head Saison du BUFF Ale

     Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.
     No, I am not making mental notes of what I have to add to the homemade spaghetti sauce I have stewing on to stove. Nor am I reciting some lyrics to one of the Simon & Garfunkel songs that hippie chicks involved in community theater know all the words to even today.
     Dogfish Head's collab with the Stone and Victory Brewing companies, Saison du BUFF Ale, contains those very four spices though.
      Slightly clouded ash blonde in color and a soft pour into a tulip glass brings that brings out very little head (though a little cap does form as the brew sits and breathes which, in turn, leaves a good but of lacing going on.)
     Of the four things that are the bragging point of what they've included in this, the sage is the most prominent on the nose. Scents of peach, lemon, white pepper, fresh mowed grass and honey are also duly noted in the aroma. A bit different aroma that that of a usual saison as their normally a lot more funky and musty smelling, this has a cleaner, crisper redolence to it.
     Feeling very light in the mouth a blast of lemon tartness is very pronounced in the front followed by a Belgian yeast and fresh baked bread sweetness. The parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme come out in the middle in floral and herbal flavors but they intermingle together in a nice blend so not one of them dominates the taste. They add a different character than what is usually expected in a beer of this style. Definitely an interesting twist on it  Things finish with a mix of crisp citrus tartness, grainy yeast sweetness and  earthy spices. A bit of pepper hangs on in the aftertaste for a little bit but then fades into something clean.
www.dogfish.com

Apr 2, 2015

CCR HEADCLEANER "Cokesmoker" 12inch EP

     Always with the intent of driving a drill bit in to the temporal lobe, this go 'round for San Francisco's deviling's of dumpster diving psychedelia they take one for making one inch dowel holes and aim it right at the third eye.
     Taking up the entire A-side of of this 12inch EP is the 11+ minute "Cokesmoker." The song rolls in like bad weather. Squalls of biker rock wah-wah guitar glissade over a coarse rhythmic throb while voices, sometimes resembling a bad drug Nick Gilder and at others a smashed mumble, intone ominous thoughts. Feedback piles up building a thick wall of psychedelic caterwaul that is not a a bunch of swirly colors but a bright, blinding white light that guides the spaceship which starts starts honing in for a place to land toward the tail end of the song.
     On the flip,  "Out Of Design" pumps like the beat of the heart mic'd and run through a bit of gain. Sounds resembling snippets of bluesy guitar twang and ghostly voices promenade to the tension. "Dark Afternoon" gurgles and blurts like things left on the Silver Apples cutting room floor being reassembled randomly.The weird trip ends where it started with a reprise of side one's maelstrom.
     No need to warn anyone about not operating this under heavy equipment as it IS the heavy equipment.
ccrheadclnr.tumblr.com