Jun 19, 2017

BAD BOYFRIENDS "Cut In Line" 7inch

Bad Boyfriends
Photo courtesy of Sam Kool 100s
The way this single by Little Rock, Arkansas combo's Bad Boyfriends starts off reminds me the way me and my friends would insure (in our minds at least) that a Wiz-z-zer top would reach maximum destruction speed. Or maybe it's like yanking the cord of up an beat up and rattly lawnmower to get it firing. Either way, both require a few good, hard rips and then things get all revved up.

Yes, revved up indeed is how to describe "Cut In Line." The blang-blang-blang of the intro gains inertia then jitters itself into some road apple whippin' budget rock. The lawnmower analogy goes out the window though because a) the song is over in about a minute (no lawn is ever mowed that quick) and b) these guys would probably just set fire to the grass than having to tend to it anyway.

Ending in a sweat drenched echo of bang and the declaration of "GODDAMN!" this one sided single wastes nary a second to keep the rockin' rollin'. "Dirt Cheap" lives up to it's name. All spun up, it beats the shit out of the '77 punk rock thang. Instead of dressed in leopard print creepers and dayglo hair though, it's clad in goat pissed stained boots and mud caked denim.
Grab it at Goodbye Boozy

May 30, 2017

MACHO BOYS S/T LP


Three cats live in my house. A big calico called Clementine (but we all call her Puff) who doesn't really have time for humans as well as most other things in the world, The Ripperpotamus, a furry beast of a Norwegian forest cat who, if was a human, would most likely drive a customized van with something like a wolf wizard standing on top of a mountain made of medical marijuana and lighting a bong with a bolt of lightning as the mural on the side and a polydactyl tuxedo named Von Von that showed up in my garage a couple years ago as a kitten and has never left.

All three of them react to music in some form or another, but it's the tuxedo that seems to express it the most excitement for this, the debut album from Portland punk rockers Macho Boys. Seriously! I was playing records the other day and she was in a rare (for her) deep sleep on the windowsill. She was dead to the world and paying no mind to what music was playing. Then I dropped the needle on this. Her ears perked at the opening cymbal crashes of "Victim To Blame" and by the time singer Tekiah Elzey opened her throat up of to yowl over the breakneck din of grinding guitars and bass avalanches, the cat was zipping across the room at blinding speed.

Up the stairs then down them. Through the main floor of the house, down to the basement and back up again. She was practically bouncing off the walls. When she stopped it wasn't to wonder if a song like "Cockroach" was a metaphor for creepy humans or if it was about the actual insect, was I bummed out at "Dinosaur" because it might be ripping on oldsters and was the year I graduated high school, "The Class Of '84" as punk rock as the as movie a song on this album get it's title from (it wasn't, really...there were only just a couple of us actually), whether Madonna would have an opinion on a sequel of "Papa Don't Preach" which features a bloodstained buzzsaw, if "Slam" was a cover of the Onyx song (it's not by the way), or if pigs do sweat, does it smell like pork rinds. Nope, the only time she did stop was between each song and then she'd be a black & white blur blazing through the house.

The more I watched her the more I started thinking "Maybe she does understand every single thing that is going on here." I mean, when their ode to WWF Legend Stone Cold Steve Austin came on she started doing dives off the top of the couch and onto the floor like she was doing some cat version of the Stunner.

Get it at Neck Chop Records

May 29, 2017

Smashin' Podsistorscast #21: No Need For Fake ID


Yes. The Smashin' Transistors fake radio show/podcast has turned 21. And, no, we're not gonna buy for you.
 

The Playlist:

The Immortal Lee County Killers - Sometimes The Devil Sneaks Inside My Head 
feedtime - Thought 
HIBUSHIBIRE - Trepanation Breakdown 
Race Car - Government Funded Terror Lunch 
Boss Hog - Black Eyes 
Endless Boogie - Back In 74 
Black Sabbath - Rock and Roll Doctor 
The Gun Club - Like Calling Up Thunder 
Cherry Death - Do You Change Your Mind 
Sloan - 500 Up 
Macho Boys - Cockroach 
Dog See Ghosts - I Live In The Basement 
Slimy Member - Oceanic Feeling 
Wire - From the Nursery 
Xetas - The Future 
Gary Wrong Group - Destroy You 
Annie Anxiety - Third Gear Kills 
Skull Cult - mirror 
Messrs - Slop Meat 
Butthole Surfers - Human Cannonball

May 23, 2017

June 10th: Vinyl By Th' Slice

Spinnin' records and eatin' pizza. Two great things that go great together, right? That's exactly what Franck and yours truly will be doing a short drive up the lake on Saturday, June 10th.

The Water Tower Sports Pub in Lexington was voted one of the Top Ten pizza joints in the entire state of Michigan by the readers of M-Live. You take that fact, add in that they have one of the most awesome selections of only Michigan made beers on tap in the state and a deck where you can not also pitch some bags of Cornhole but also sit back, relax and breathe in the scent of Lake Huron which is just a few hundred yards away, you've got a perfect summer evening.

Come on out and hear us provide the ooey and gooey and hot and spicy soundtrack for the evening.  More deets at this Facebook thingy

May 12, 2017

BORZOI Surrender The Farm 7inch EP

In a conversation I had with a friend recently we were thinking about which AmRep band we had each seen the most. For me, it was (the) Cows. I was then asked if remembered any of the bands they played with. I couldn't recall. Hell, I can't even recall any of the other things that happened on those evenings other than seeing the band. A Cows live show was like watching a gang of the criminally insane compose the soundtrack the Z-grade hayseed horror film where they do really messed up things in really weird smelling basement that is constantly playing in their heads.  It was always disturbing and mesmerizing. I think they did something to fry any other memories of the night out of the spectator's brains.

I have not seen ATX's Borzoi live so I cannot confirm if they have such powers on stage but on this record, they seem to have grazed through a same sort of hazardous waste meadow because they sound a similarly unsound. Thick bass slugs straight in the gut while guitar strings wrap around the throat. The drums, noticing the grasping and struggling, assist by kicking it all down the side of a mountain.

The EP's title track thrashes like a deadly barn stampede. Chickens get trampled. Goats bleed to death. At a little over a minute long though it's just a warning bell of the audio carnage ahead. The bandsaw on metal grating guitars on "Feeding The Pig-Dog" first create discomfort and tension. Just when you think it's about to drive you to the brink of mental capacities will never return, a jet engine hurricane of feedback blows through, with shards of glass and rusty nails flying around and stabbing everything in their path.

Don't think that just because they have a song called "Desert Rose" that it's going to be a pleasant and pretty picture either. It's more like some sub-human stomp that's like between something off the first Mordecai album and the noise that rings through a pile driver operator's head when deep into his work. "Millipede" is an apropos title as it is like a billion insect feet scattering over the psyche. Those insect feet aren't bare either. They're all wearing old metallic golf spikes.
Get it at 12xu.bigcartel.com

May 10, 2017

OLD NATION M43 N.E. IPA

Y'know, every time I've declared that I will not drink any IPA for a particular set period of time, it always gets cut short because something will come along the pique my interest and I think "Awww, man. I gotta taste some of that."

The latest thing in the beer geek world is the "haaaaze, man." I haven't done much research where this latest unfiltered IPA trend started (apparently the Northeast as all of them carry an NE identifier on them) and this one from Williamston, Michigan beermaker Old Nation is is the first one that I've had a chance to try.

Having not tried a N.E IPA, the color and aroma of this alone would be enough to understand why some of the brewers that are making them have been taking a juice angle in their description and naming of them. This one looks like orange juice and even after a few sniffs, it still smells just like citrus smoothie. Enough so as where you could tell people it is grapefruit juice and they'd believe you.

Such things really hold over in the flavor too. The combination of hops here bring a clementine sweetness right out in the front. That's followed by a tangy juicy orange and mango tang then a grapefruit bite toward the end. The oats and the wheat in the malting process give it an earthy grain sweet pillow for the usually brazen mix of Amarillo, Citra and Simcoe hops to kick back on, making every sip of this interesting and complex without anything becoming overbearing. It's a hop bomb for sure (and at 6.8% not shabby in the ABV department either) but as where most just simply explode everywhere and wreck palates simply because they can, this is one is quite stealth in its target.

I've had plenty a beer with tropical notes or fruit infused but none of them have been as lush in flavor or a fluffy in mouthfeel as this one has. I asked myself several times if I was really even really drinking a beer. I then decided this is maybe the kind of tasty brew they not only do up in the Northeast but maybe also on fun beer planets galaxies away.
oldnationbrewing.com

May 5, 2017

SCHIZOS Fuck Iggy Pop 7inch EP

I dunno, man. Saying "Fuck Iggy Pop" in these parts could be fighting words. Michigan folks take their Michigan stuff seriously and are very protective of it. That being said though, I can understand the sentiment. I mean, can you imaging hearing ABOUT Iggy and his legend but not actually hearing of his music and then one day someone plays you something like  Party or Brick by Brick? You'd probably be bummed out or pissed off and thinking "this is the guy who invented punk rock? Man, maybe punk rock is pretty lame."

As a synth and real drum duo though maybe these guys just hate guitars and/or dudes that THINK they can play and sound like Ron Asheton or James Williamson but in reality will never pull it off. Whatever the case is, their agitated about something.

An electro-throb from the keys and a martial drums cracks provide cold and alienated core for a incensed rant of getting no love action on opener "Pounding The Pud." Clocking in at just over two minutes it's the 2nd longest song on the record. That doesn't mean the bursts of antagonism are slight of the other songs here though. The repetitive bop-bash-bop-bash on "Dog Meat" isn't some kind of hypnotic dance beat but will be unnerving for anyone who "just wants to groove" and the so exiguous it makes whatever people are calling minimal synth wave sound like the E Street Band in comparison that is "Cop Problem" is not going to be adopted by law enforcement any time soon (unless it's to be song to bash in some heads with a night stick, that is.)

You would think by using a record title as a way to talk smack about a punk rock legend that these Alabama mutants are trying to thumb their nose at history. When take the always full on loud and disturbed "I'm Not A Sicko..." by the Oblivians (which is the 2nd longest song on the record but being one second more than "Pud") and strip it down to a bare bones diatribe and make the Urinals "I'm A Bug" sound like maggots crawling into your eyes though, it's obvious their brains are coated in the kind of scuzz that could only cause stuff like this being ever being made.
Get it at Neck Chop Records

May 1, 2017

PLAYBOY Celebration 12inch EP

Bonifide freaks and scumbags have always been a part of any type of music but especially punk rock. So have people simply pretending to be freaks and scumbags. I dunno which side of the fence Montreal's Playboy actually stand on, but my ears are telling me whichever it is, they're at least waist deep in something disturbed and decomposing.

Flipper's "Sex Bomb" or the Stooges Funhouse album (if it was left in the back window of a car for a few hours on a sweltering summer day, that is) because of the strangled horn squalls that blurt and squeal all over this record but even with that taken into consideration, these merchants of noisomeness are leaving their own particular trail of slime behind them as the slither down their path.

The aforementioned combos used saxophones for setting the mood of sonic strangulation. It's all clarinets here, man. It goes beyond that simple bit of trivia (or nitpicking if you prefer.) Whereas, in the Stooges case at least, it was some kinda Coltrane/Coleman/Sanders/Ayler adulation trip that a particular type of college town boho would brandish for a freak out. I'm not even really sure if these guys, who came from a background of hardcore bands, have ever listened to Ascension, Karma and/or Spiritual Unity. Even if they have though, that's not how their freak out's go anyway. The noise the horns make may not burn a whole through your forehead so your third eye can finally see, but they can soundtrack nightmares or provide a neon illuminate a seedy side street adventure.

When the electrical wobble denotes the ignition switch has been flipped on "The Traffic" it's a wild guess if you are being blasted toward the stars or quickly submerging fathoms deep. The rubber mallet beat of a bassline churns a queasy rhythm over crashes and bump while you get ranted at by someone who has bigger issues than road rage. The same type of thing fuels "The Weather", a song that makes me leary of having any stranger wanting to engage in conversation with me about what the current temperature is because I have a feeling the talk will end up being beyond disturbed in a matter of moments.

If you are claustrophobic, listening to "Inside", which I played on my radio show last week and lead some to call and ask if I was attempting to do a Roxy Music/Revolting Cocks mash up, will not help you with your condition and may even make you fear spaces that are event tight while "Outside" has you questioning once again if you're losing oxygen because you're out of the ozone or underwater.
Get it at Negative Jazz

Apr 19, 2017

RACE CAR B.Y.O.G.K. 7inch EP

My grandparents had a 1970's Lowrey organ at their house. You know the kind I am taking about. One of those one's with the “Super Genie” rhythm box on it. My brother, sister and I would always bug my grandma to let us play it. Eventually she'd give in to our pleading under the condition that "don't turn it up to loud and bother you grandpa. He's doing paperwork and book keeping in the other room and doesn't not want to be distracted."

As soon as grandma would leave the room to go out to the garage, or yard or neighbors though, up would go the volume. Next to be cranked up on it would be the tempo on whatever built in drum pattern was playing at that moment. Eventually, my grandpa would come into the room cussing and sternly state in an agitated voice "That thing is NOT made to rattle brains!"

It doesn't sound as if Race Car are using a Super Genie for their beats but they are using a drum machine and it definitely sounds like they have it on some setting to rattle brains that would totally piss my grandpa off. Actually, everything on this 4 song slab sounds like it's on some brain rattle setting.

The turbulent blusters of "911! Dang Wolf" and "I.S.S. Is For Me" evoke the adolescent tantrums of the Reatards with the vocals drenched in echo and trashed out punk rock guitar blasts. The jarring stops and starts on the two take them out of the garage and into some mechanical lab where the robots have turned on their human programmers and are tearing them apart limb by limb on the former and the latter taking on the role of an aural pile driver.

The records other two tracks are as spazzed out but aren't all sweet and mellow either. "Government Funded Terror Lunch" has a raspy bark which commands the song to chug into, save for some synth bloops and sizzles acting as mercury lights of sound, a disturbing darkness. Also, if you're thinking that Go-Kart Rock could be a close cousin of the Surf & Drag sounds of yore, such a thing is not going to be found on "I Just Want A Go Kart." Unless knocking on a cave door only to find something resembling the Urochromes dragging a Stooges record through a broken glass covered floor is some kind of family reunion.

Did I mention that if you spell this names backwards, it's the same as you spell it forward? I may have forgot. My brain has been rattled.
Get it at Neck Chop Records

Apr 16, 2017

Smashin' Podsistors: Episode XX

We don't play any songs by the XX in this episode nor are we one X away from a dirty movie rating. It is our 20th edition of this thing.

Cheers to twenty more?!

The playlist: 

Soft Machine - Why Are We Sleeping 
Bardo Pond - My Eyes Out 
Pure Muscle - I'm A Star, Baby 
The Feelies - Gone, Gone, Gone 
Jim Nesbitt - A Tiger In My Tank 
HWY! - Jacob's Ladder 
Tropical Trash - Exit Dust 
Royal Trux - Hot And Cold Skulls 
Wicked Witch - X Rated 
Human Eye - Chew Raw Meat 
Sida - Javel 
Angel - Dye Hair (Never Feel Real) 
Thigh Master - Treehouse A.P. 
The Embarrassment - Celebrity Art Party 
Turquoise Feeling - External Oblique 
Aquarian Blood - Get Wet 
feedtime - Keep Goin 
David Nance - Pure Evil 
Mary Bell - Waste 
Alice Cooper - Livin'

Apr 14, 2017

JAMES ARTHUR'S MANHUNT "Staring At The Sun" 7inch

When James Arthur's album of last year, Digital Clubbing, came out I was pretty dang excited to hear it. As a fan of the type of noise James has made since first hearing the Fireworks back in the mid-90's and dug everything he has been a part of since, along fact that it had been over five years since anything, you could even go as far as saying I was chomping at the bit for new music from him. And when my ears landed on the record, they were not disappointed in the least.

Then I started thinking "Is the world going to have to wait ANOTHER five years to hear more new stuff from him?" As of this moment with the release of this new single though, that seems to not be the case.

Under the knob twiddling of Stuart Sikes, who's CV includes working as the engineer on albums ranging from Loretta Lynn, The Polyphonic Spree and the Promise Ring to the Reigning Sound, the Sword and Cat Power,  James and his Manhunters blast their sonic power to higher highs and crank out two unobvious covers.

On one side, there's the Angry Samoans "Staring At The Sun." Originally appearing on an album that confused to flat out pissed punk rockers when it came out for sounding, well...a bit more "mature" than the ones before it, STP Not LSD, the song was the psychedelic jam on that record. With guitar twang specializing in slasher flick splatter, a rhythm section adept in beat downs, creepy echo'd vocals and notions of riding a rocket straight into the middle of the huge flaming orange ball, it's downright disturbing take of the song that may even get me to bust out the original and reassess my opinion on it. I mean, it's been at least 25 years since I last listened to it.

The flip finds a take on "Cherry Red" by the Groundhogs. Always a bunch more weird, off and interesting on their approach than their Brit blues rock peers of their time, covering a Groundhogs song actually makes sense for James, even if most wouldn't ever think about it else wise. Things get even more mutated on this version. Something like Hawkwind getting grounded up and mixed in with some masa flour and then fried in ZZ Top grease.
Get it at www.spacecaserecords.com

Apr 12, 2017

THIGH MASTER BBC 7inch

It's only been in the last month or so that I've been hipped to Australian band Thigh Master and their 2016 album Early Times. Ever since though the record has been a constant not only at Smashin' Transistors headquarters as well as my radio show, but everywhere else I roam.This brand new single on 12XU will now be joining on such travels too.

With Byrdsian guitar jangle transmogrified into something less hippie folk rock but a lot more aberrant, vocals that manage to sound lackadaisical and exuberant at the same time and bass & drum pair that can bash their way both loudly or discreet if the moment calls for it, thought of Flying Nun bands come to mind pretty much immediately. While I think the band would not be likely to deny such a comparison, they also aren't simply just doing some paint by numbers with sound here either.

Side one's "BBC" follows a path that a band like the Clean cut but the chiming of the six strings snakes it's way through leafy brambles often, then returns back with a pounce. There's a sense of frowning at the heavy weather hanging overhead in singer Matthew Ford's voice but it also seems as if he see's a break in clouds and sunshine ahead but, for now, he's just going to keep that all to himself.

Whereas that song strolls zig zaggedly through some dew misted greenery, the flip's "Park Road Clinical"  lunges through a late night/early morning walk down a grey strip of concrete while being guided by the twinkling of colored lights off in the distance.
Get it at 12xu.bigcartel.com

Apr 5, 2017

TROPICAL TRASH Decisions Empty Nest 7inch EP

Akin to putting a human brain in a pressure cooker along with the first couple Killing Joke and Black Sabbath album and a big handful of trucker crank, Tropical Trash's debut album from a couple years back, UFO Rot, was an intense entanglement of sound.

On this one, the band has brought in Obnox's Lamont Thomas on some sonic reinforcements and everything is pushed to the limits. The tension builds instantly as the music hits on something like Krautrock for the criminally insane. Noise flies around like red hot daggers being thrown from a ball pitching machine. All thought and emotion other than the most primal are sandblasted raw by the time "Early Wish" rears its beastly head on side one.

Though it may seem like the top is about ready to blow clean off right then and there, it hasn't. It's when the record is flipped and the severe and raw beating that "Exit Dust" gives, sounding like what I wish "the kids meant when they say "post-hardcore" instead of the super pro-tooled, palm mute metal, constipated cry baby bullshit Alternative Press recycles cashes checks to rewrite press releases about, and the blood covered and thrashing violently "Trouble Shot" where the whole damn thing bursts and there's shrapnel flying all over the room.
www.sophomorelounge.com

Apr 3, 2017

MAKE-OVERS Try Me LP

Word on the street is that the Try Me album is the 11th record released by South African duo Make-Overs in the past 6 or so years. This album is my first time hearing them though so their whole thing is all brand new to me. Going into this simply expecting just the standard two piece garage rock thing happening song after song is a bit of miscalculation

More often than The Make-Overs are coming up with ways of knocking down a garage in full on destruction modes than they are considering ways to rock out in it.

They find some type of napalm spray gun that has feedtime engraved on it to burn the place down on tracks like "What Could Go Wrong" ,"Obviously" and "Get Lost." They drop a ton of molten metal (equal parts Proto and Death) on with things such as the title track, "It's Makes A Lot of Sense" and "In Hate (With You)."

While those was are pretty effective of decimating any preconceived notions, they're not the only ways the band has to reduce the place to pile of ruins surrounded by a toxic cloud of dust. There's things here that can also rumble it to the ground with some tribal drumbeats that border on brutal beatings and gale force punches of guitar feedback with "Take Out" and "Termite."

If your lucky though, maybe they'll just lay down that witch doctor hex they've been mastering. You'll only know for sure if you hear something like "Don't Call Us" or "Not As Advertised" off in the distance and getting closer. By then though, it'll be to late. You'll have already been disembowel and bubbling in a cauldron for tonight's stew.
www.heelturnrecords.com

Apr 1, 2017

Smashin' Podsistorscast hits 19

At 19, you can legally drink in Canada. I don't live in Canada but I really can see it from my house. And yes, on my 19th birthday I did go there and drink beer legally.

As usual, Things get obnoxious, pastoral, lunkheaded and grooving here!

The Playlist
 The Viletones - Just for You 
Life Stinks - Hanging From The Ceiling 
Chica King Kong - Complejos 
Bantam Rooster - Miss Luxury 
 Loop - Straight to Your Heart 
Phantom Head - Terror and Tourture 
FNU Clone - Ghost Baby, Ghost 
Adult. - Human Wreck 
Heavy Metal - Communication Or Surprise
Dale Beavers - Tramp 
Midnight Mines - Artificial Light 
The Liminanas - Dahlia Rouge 
Thomas Leer - International 
Erik Nervous - People Falling Over 
Sunny Day Rain - La Vuelta 
John Wesley Coleman III - Exotic Tambourine 
Boss Hog - Shh Shh Shh 
Playboy - Inside 
Yups - Buddaflie 
Blue Oyster Cult - Dominance and Submission

Mar 27, 2017

Oddside Ale's Grandpa's Apple Pie

     Over the past few years Grand Haven, Michigan brewery has gone from a curiosity to me to one of my most favorite Mitten State beer makers ever. For instance, their Citra Pale Ale is one of the most perfect of the kind ever and every other thing they've done that I've tried from their regular rotation stuff like Bean Flicker and so on have been great too.
     With that being said, it's no surprise that their specialty, occasional and seasonal brews rock my socks in quite away too. Their sour series has been way top notch and everything that they've barrel aged has been done way more that awesome too.
     Their Granny's Apple Pie rolls out about once or twice a year and it is one that always makes it way to our fridge and onto our taste buds every time. It's one of those beers where a person says "It really does taste like apple pie" without exaggeration or hyperbole.
     What was missing from it? Nothing. Along comes grandpa though with an idea on how to turn it up a notch anyway. By taking the recipe and letting it sit a while in a rum barrel let me tell ya, Hoo-Boy! Does it ever get a kick in the behind.
     Pouring a little darker amber in color that Granny's is the first sign that this is going to be a little more about being a bit more rustic and burly. The head is minimal so there's no waiting around for that frilly stuff to go away before the sipping starts.
     The aroma is like hanging out at the apple orchard and heading straight to where they make the cider so you can breathe in the air. The tart, the tang and the cinnamon that's sprinkled over the doughnuts that are being baked just around the corner are all represented.
     All these are represented just as much in the flavor too. Cider forward for sure, but the spices do just what they're supposed to do without too much or too little of any of them. The barrel aging brings out an oaky & vanilla rum soaked thing, giving it a richness and taking a kick to another level.
     The milk sugars become more pronounced in the end, which gives the finish something like have a little dollop of ice cream. And what goes better with apple pie than that right?
     A lot of people will tell you that the best way to have apple pie is freshly warm from the oven. Beer is best served at a cooler temperature but don't worry, a few sips of this and you'll feel warm all over.
www.oddsideales.com   

Mar 18, 2017

HWY! Demo

     For ages now, weirdos and artsy types have warned, flirted or embraced the idea of a dystopian world.
     A world where vegetation has been taken over by slabs of cold granite and the only non-monochromatic colors is the flickering of neon advertising proceeded food and manufactured pleasure. A planet where anything that may sound pastoral is drowned out by a caustic symphony of turmoil. A planet where alienation and distrust is the only emotion that is recognized and love and joy have been made illegal and punishable by death.
     A world that was once thought to be only (partially) fictional though is the one HWY! sound as if they are completely already dwelling in. The rumbling bassline on "Minimal Head" that starts off their 4 song demo may trigger thoughts of an old hardcore band at first but when the coated in space gunk guitar blows the doors open to the running a gauntlet pummel of a rhythm and a voice that sounds like it is some kinda of extraterrestrial translator taking a shot at speaking English, things get really weird. A few quiet moments in the song trick the ears into thinking the lashing is over, but they're just eyes of the storm.
     The wiggles that "Scammers" and "Tony From Hawaii" are rooted in the resonating of gigantic spring coils the vibrate violently. Both have a 1960's thing buried in their dissonance, the former with space age spy music twisting through the outbursts; the latter sounding like a what proceeds a luau held in a garage. Sure, that pig is gonna get roasted and an apple put in its mouth eventually but it's gotta get killed and the blood and guts drained first. That's the part the sound revel in the most. The minute and a half burst that's "Jacob Ladder" is like a mash up of those two songs if it was recorded while having a head on crash with a semi in the middle of an electrical storm.
hwyone.bandcamp.com

Mar 3, 2017

WARM BODIES Domo 7inch EP

     How does something give the impression that it is tight and locked in as it can be also seem like it could explode and have parts fly off into a zillion direction at any given second?
     Perhaps that is a question that KCMO's Warm Bodies could answer. On the surface, the band puts down a churlish and opaque vibe that flys a classic Midwest punk rock flag high. From there though they jump off the flagpole and down into a pool filled with virulent things.
     "Turn Me Into Gel" and "My Face Fell Off" hyperspazz out on Devo moves but with a whole lot more rock out lead guitar licks and a heavy hand on the echo knob for the vocals. There are moments where both songs may get ya thinking of a femme vox'd Catholic Boys, but with less brutal jerks to the spine and neck but just a many throttles to the head.
     When the band slows the temple down, things aren't any calmer in the least. "At The Laundromat" start out like a buzz blast crawl of a Stooges song lumbering through deep space but once it hits the spin cycle an incensed agitation is noted all over the neighborhood. The weaving and spindly sounds on songs like "The Psychic Connection" may also bring out a slight thought of Public Image Limited's (Jah) wobbling at first but then the band takes another turn down some bumpy road where only they know they're headed. 
Neck Chop Records

Feb 16, 2017

MISS CHAIN & the BROKEN HEELS Uh Uh 7inch

     If there's such a thing as Spaghetti Twang, the band that would get a lot of the credit for making it happen would be Miss Chain & the Broken Heels.
     To pinpoint when exactly these Italians mastered such a sound I am not sure of but when on their first visit to the US years ago, I like to think I played a little part in sparking it. It was summertime and I hosted the band for a few days. I was going through one of my occasional Waylon Jennings phases so anytime one of them was in my car or my kitchen they heard him often. I also booked them into a pole barn out in the woods and a fishing pond for a gig and a barbecue party. They seemed right at home and didn't want to leave.
     Now, this is not to say that the band has gone country be it "Alt" or "Bro" or anything but the sparkly and bright jangle they've always had has tilted ear to something a bit more rustic and rootsy more than a lot of bands that are pegged by most as simply a garage pop group.
     Broken Heels guitar player Silva pulls a crisp, ringing and reverby tone out of his six string that's akin to something like the Buckaroos Don Rich showing the kids how he'd play early Peter Buck riffs on "Uh Uh." Astrid's voice is like sweet cream and bourbon as it lands somewhere between a honky-tonk bar angel and a 60's girl lead. Behind them, the brothers Barcella swing the beat at a vigorous gallop.
      Things get a little moodier on "Standing The Night" in a way where you can feel some heartache and loneliness like on any good 1950's weeper but there also a sense that when dawn arrives, the sun may shine again.
Bachelor Records

Feb 9, 2017

German Hobo Malt Liquor (Dark Horse Brewing Co. & Old Nation Brewing Co. Collaboration)

     In my younger days, I drank more than my share of malt liquor. It was a budget thing. It definitely wasn't at all about classy or fancy. It was cheap and it did the trick I was looking for pretty quickly. Sure, my palate is (hopefully) much more refined these days but even to this day I'll drink a Mickey's Big Mouth in the summer simply for old times sake.
     While perusing the beer shelves at a favorite local joint the other day, I landed my eyes on German Hobo. I chuckled for a second after noticing it said malt liquor on the label. Picking it up to give a closer look I noticed that it was a collaboration brew between two of my favorite Michigan beer makers, Dark Horse Brewing and Old Nation.
     Needless to say, I had to take some home with me.
     Right from pouring it was obvious that this wasn't some attempt to recreate some schwag to be drank from a paper bag. The color was a lot more persimmon than straw yellow and the smell all about caramel, honey, marmalade and toast and not a dive bar bathroom. The soft pour brought out a moderately dense head that melted away fairly quickly with some spotty lacing following.
     In the flavor department there's a malty sweetness right on top. There's a molasses and popcorn thing going that gets me totally thinking of Cracker Jack at first. Following along that there's notes of pepper, honey and orange peel. A tartness starts to open up as it breathes which then gets me thinking of a caramel dipped green apple.
     It finishes semi-dry and though there's a dint of booze in the flavor, one wouldn't think this brew is inching up on a 12% abv until a slight buzz kicks in after only one can.
     No, this is not a "slam that bottle down quickly because as it warms it's gonna taste more like dog wizz with each sip" malt liquor. This is much more richer and way less tasting like fermented corn syrup. That and a 16 oz can of this packs a larger boozy wallop as an entire 40 oz bottle of  the average bought at a gas station malt liquor too.
Old Nation Brewing
Dark Horse  Brewing   

Feb 8, 2017

LOST SYSTEM No Meaning No Culture 7inch EP

     Dystopian. It seems I've been using that word in conversation more than ever before recently. It's not like the world has ever been a perfect place but after the presidential election, the word is being used much more often by many people.
     It also seems to be the right kind of word to describe what is going on in the grooves of this record from Grand Rapids, Michigan band Lost System.
     Sure, the goth'd-out synth blurts and oh so spooooky post punk vocals may seem a bit rote on the "should we dance to this in a basement adorned with stuff from the Halloween store closeout bin or just slowly bleed to death" of the record's opener "Medical Study" and the Eurotrashy tinged "False Companion" but things get a bit darker and creepier too.
     "Future Shock" reeks of disenchantment. It lays out on a cold slab of electronic throbs and illuminates the petulance under a harsh buzz while "Lost System" resembles something from Scott Walker's Scott 2 maneuvering a flowery meadow riddled with landmines.
Neck Chop Records

Feb 2, 2017

THE HOT LZ's Aggravate My Mind LP

      Johnny Thunders spawned a lot of illegitimate rock-n-roll offspring. That's not a problem in as much as itself though as is how many of those kids don't do a Johnny kinda thing right. I'm not talking about being a junkie or the rats nest of hair that made even the Ronettes says "DAMN!" kinda thing. I mean more like how a bunch of them wanna rock but forget about the roll. When that happens the listener is more often than not being handed something that ends up being warmed over Mötley Crüe with less groove and more plod or suburban pop-punkers disguised in some historical reenactor get ups.
     Going back to at least his days as the six string slinger in the Halfways in the late 90's, The Hot LZ's Mark Death has known that without the roll you cannot really rock. He makes sure that the rest of the band knows it, learns it and lives it too.
     Another thing that is lost on a lot bands that proudly show off their 180g color vinyl reissues of Dead Boys/Iggy & the Stooges to anyone that will look is that pussy and booze are part of the diet but it's hate that provides the rocket fuel energy for rollicking propulsion. 
     Aggravate My Mind is not short on hate songs. As the rhythm section thumps and swings and the guitars blaaang and blare, Mark sneers contempt for those who way overstay their welcome on "Don't Wanna See You", disgust for those around him when he's just trying to have a beer on "Moron Magnet", ill will for those who think they're superior on "Baby You Ain't Shit", general animosity for living on "I Can't Seem To Die" and "Murder In My Heart" and...well, you get the point by now I'm sure.
      "So, does the dude hate everything?" you may be asking. Well, I've seen pictures of the chickens Mark has roaming around his yard. He does seem to dig them so at least not every living being in the world pisses him off. For you though, turn this record up and let the spite blast so the neighbors can hear. They'll probably be too worried that you'll go ballistic on them and stab them in the eye if they asked you to turn it down.
The Hot LZ's on Facebook
    

Jan 27, 2017

ERIK NERVOUS Teen Distortion Art Junk Music 7inch

     It seems that most of the punk rock teenagers today are afraid to get all weird. Who knows what they're afraid of. Maybe it's because punk rock is so normal now that teenagers can have conversations with their grandparents about the time they Clash open for the Who at the local Enormousdome or hearing their mom telling the story about how she met their dad while doing keg stands out in the parking lot before Lollapalooza or something and they think they'll never be as cool.
     Luckily, not all "the kids" are falling for it. One of them that's not is Erik Nervous. Taking cue's from the NWI "scene" that begat the sorts such as the Coneheads, the name of the game is channeling all his teenager awkwardness, angst and uncontrollable fidgeting into short spastic bursts of uproariousness.
     Armed with a guitar that sounds like a shoebox with drums to match, some cheesy synths here and there and a caffeinated bellow of alienation, Erik plays all the instruments here, flailing away at them and capturing it all on a Tascam 424 mk.II that had probably been sitting in some closet for years.
     Some songs, like the record's opener "Nervous Child" and "Dollar Store Holiday", are a way worked tizzy similar to that to these ears resemble something a bit like the first couple of Tyvek singles but with more abandon and have me actually wondering if the needle is going to fly off the record at any second from all the jerky movements the music is making. That and I swear that one of my cat's thought that something grabby and pinchy was going to jump out of the speakers when "I'm A Brick" came on because he hightailed it out of the room like a flash within seconds of it starting.
     There's also moments on the record though where something...ummm...poppy oozes into the situation too. The wiggly synth's that do their large and in charge part to make "People Falling Over" vibrate would land at the top of any local new wave chart of any town town Erik would call home and the record's closer, "New Potatoes", would get a few people suspended for a few days for doing the pogo at a high school dance.
Neck Chop Records  

Jan 25, 2017

MANATEEES Superman Dam Fool LP

     It has not been confirmed that Memphis Tn.'s Manateees bathe in Sasquatch's blood. Nor is their substantiated that they brush their teeth with gasoline either. None the less, both stories are quite believable.
     One huge glop of bare-bones punk rock wallop and equal parts cement mixer rattle, unadulterated detestation and a sense of humor that's as dark as some slimy stuff found at the bottom of a very polluted river, the 'Teees big cheese Abe (he of bands such as the Oscars, True Sounds of Thunder and Lover!) with the assistance Keith on bass and Charms of Nots fame on the skins for these recordings, knocked out enough songs in the first few years of the band's existence to have 5 different 7inches come out on 5 different labels.
     Superman Dam Fool, which is named after some graffiti that was scrawled on a brick wall on Poplar Avenue in Memphis, comps those early records up into one tidy LP collection. Tidy only in the fact only that instead of having to dig out those different slabs to get the fix, they're all together on one piece. Aside from that, and a little fixing in the mastering department to keep the aural detonations at a constant eardrum scouring level, it's about things like summonings demonic beasts, taking matters into their own hands while possibly dealing with delirium tremens and hitting the nail on the head on what goes through our feline friends brains when they're awake. It's slimy and it's sludgy. It gets a thrill from creating a maelstrom and watching the aftermath it caused.
Blak Skul Records

Jan 19, 2017

Smashin' Transistors Classic Interview: Hue Blanc's Joyless Ones

(Editors note: It's been a quite awhile since Hue Blanc's Joyless Ones have played in these parts. They're coming around to play the SchwonkSoundStead in Port Huron March 23rd though. This interview dates a even couple years before that. It originally appeared on the original Smashin' Transistors site way back then. 2006, I believe. That site is loooong gone but I did manage to exhume the interview thanks to some crafty tech moves.) 

There ain't much excitement living in a small town. There's comes a point in time where what one does to kill the boredom even becomes boring. You can only tip cows, set fire to ice fishing shanty's, drink budget booze and make prank phone calls for so long til a new kind of kick is needed. Algoma Wisconsin's Casey Buhr found himself in such a prediciment after the band he was in, the Tears, called it a day. What could he do to keep every minute of every day from dragging so much? Well, he get's ahold of fellow Algomians Gus (both of whom were in the Strong Come Ons together), Ted (the three of them were 3/4 of the Knockers) and a math teacher named Josh. With two guitar players and two drummers they formed Hue Blanc's Joyless Ones.
-Interview by Dale

Hue Blanc's Joyless Ones. Interview by Dale
Describe the last time you were (physically or metaphorically) kicked in the teeth.

Ted: Well, Dale, and I address you as such because I know you well mentally and spiritually. I’ve never been K.I.T.T. physically, as I’ve never met a man with the salt. The realm of the metaphorical, though is a very different place: Last week this girl that I totally dig showed Casey her tits. I’m still considering whether I should kill myself. Leaning towards not.

Casey: Recently, on the edge of a flake out there was a crisis moment. Contemplating life tends to metaphorically, in a figurative way literally kick me in the teeth.

Josh: I got stabbed in the neck with a toothpick last week amidst drunken roughhousing. I looked down at my hand and saw half a toothpick and wondered where the other half went…turns out, it was sticking out of my Adam’s apple

Gus: The ride home From the Nathaniel Mayer show.

After getting kicked in the teeth did you feel you lost or won?

J: I lost, but it was worth it for the sake of the story

T: I lost big, my friend.

G: I lost.

C: Though I consider the outcome a draw I understand it is impossible to win. That is the point: existential crisis becomes existential reaffirmation, and with this re-realization there was no flake out and this is why any of this or anything else matters. No bullshit.

When's the last time you shoplifted?

T: Last week Tuesday - a packet of powered beef gravy mix.

C: Stealing fishing lures at the local Hardware Hank. I was fourteen or older.

G: Stealing from Work doesn't count; so I'm gonna say last year, a pair of shorts.

J: Ok, the Mobil doesn't count, ‘cause Gus runs it. I stole some Whisker Lickens’ cat treats a couple weeks ago at Wal-Mart.

Cowbells. I heard Hue Blanc's drummers stole theirs from actual cows.

T: Preposterous to explore the impetus behind an ultimately, wholly false rumor.

J: That’s bullshit. We took the whole fucking cow.

G: Yeah, Cows are stupid.

What role of importance does John Cougar Mellencamp play in Midwest rock-n-roll?

T: For my part he really doesn't play any role at all.

G: Absolutely none.

J: The Bono of the Midwest. Inspiration for bands to give a little back and help out the farmers. Should have stayed Johnny Cougar. If he is such an average joe, what’s with all the name changes?

C: There was an ill-fated (never transcribed nor delivered) interview conducted by Mr. Kellner (Trickknee records mogul) where, I pontificate on the virtues of Mellencamp, it’s much too long and pure to recreate here. In short his importance as far as Midwest rock and roll is concerned: "very little overall" but to me personally, being from the Midwest and playing some semblance of rock-n-roll "very little" but as far as me waxing nostalgic, very essential. Car rides, contemporary radio playing he, and others like J Geils and the like. My formative years. Five or Six years old. It was the early/mid eighties. It was Northeast WI. I played pots and pans on the linoleum of my parent’s kitchen and was immensely pleased with my existence. How things have changed. My mother tried to coax me into saying the word "shit", by asking me what he said in "Play Guitar," or whatever the song is called, the "forget about all that macho shit, and learn how to play guitar" line. It was all repercussion free, and I didn’t do it. That was the beginning of prolonged regret. How things are still much the same.

The story is that you all grew up together in Algoma, Wi. Is that true?

T: Not really.

C: Not exactly. The truth is youthful exuberance, and nescient twatery prevented what Hue Blanc obviously created. He found himself redeeming something in us all.

J: Not really. I moved away from the ‘gomes at a young age, only to gravitate back in time to catch the grunge wave

G:Yeah, Josh used to be one of those Door co. country boys though, he's lucky he met us.

Describe the average Friday night of a 14 year old Algoma dude.

G: I don't know, walking around looking for twelve year old girls, or shooting hoops at the club. I think that's what I was doing when I was fourteen. That and Robotussin.

T: There is no average 14 year old Algoma dude.  The inbred history of this isolated town has mandated a perpetual caste of bubbling freaks who react to puberty, naturally, like it’s an atom bomb.

C: Drive circles around his heart and the heart of other fourteen year old boys whom wish to only have seventeen year old girls to chase. They claim to need you but in the end you’re left alone with people who are much more stylish than you.

J: Drink Robotussin. Walk around. Yell things. Go to bed at 11. Take booze from liquor cabinet. Replace stolen booze with water. Sneak out of house. Meet up with friends at the park. Combine stolen booze in Amoco cup. Walk around. Break stuff. Sneak back into house.

So what does nightlife in Algoma consist of for someone older than 14?

C: Thirty below zero wind chill, perceived danger, facial hair, ego, the ability to make lists of things, especially my jovial, flaming demeanor

T: Death, rape, Warren Zevon, cancer, etc

G:Usually parties at my house or hanging out in taverns. Occasionally Casey will do something to amuse us all, he's great if you don't let him sleep for a few days.

J:  Us- Booze, bowls, and broads.  Them- Some douche in a ski-doo jacket trying to slime his way into the drawers of a chain-smoking mother of two in acid washed jeans.

Which Algoma rock-n-roller owns the most flannel? Are they proud of this fact?

C: Whoever it is they are most definitely proud of it. Mostly for it’s functionality.

T: It’s probably someone I’m not familiar with. Is nickg still considered an Algoma rocker?

G: Probably nickg (Strong Come Ons, the Catholic Boys, the Tears), is he still an Algoma rocker? If not I would say Adam Przybylski, wait is he still a rocker?

J:  Probably Nickg. I used to have a ton. Nye on ten years ago, that shit was at a premium around here- but then grunge died and it all went back to Goodwill. Now the only flannel in my house is my sheets, because I’m so fucking domesticated.

The weather was pretty freakin' brutal cold today. How does one heat up an old minivan on such midwest winter mornings?

T: One sets it on fire

G: Bodyheat, space heaters, masturbation, tangerines? I don't know ask Casey.

J: Love

C: Climb in through the passenger door, crawl across and get settled in to the driver’s seat. Insert key into ignition. Turn key. Turn on heat. Drive and chatter for a while. Warmth is more of a problem for backseat passengers. Opening more than one door from the inside is also difficult. Adding windshield washer fluid, checking oil and anything else "under the hood" can be difficult on the crisp January mornings or on tepid July evenings. But isn’t it all beautiful. Did you see the sky today? Blue in the purest sense. You’d really have to be me.

Will Gus ever be the mayor of Algoma?

C: Yes, but with strings attached. Scandal, backroom dealings, puppet regime, and inevitably the most ridiculous felony conviction imaginable.

T: No. Explain why???

G: Probably not. I'm pretty fucking lazy. Besides I'm sure that job doesn't pay enough for it not to be a fucking huge waste of time. And who would want to do anything for the fuckwads that live here anyway.

J: It’s possible- We did elect Wayne Schmidt, who may be a bigger soak than Gus. Why? Because he will be our puppet, a wholesome face to appease the masses whilst we conspire and construct the secession manifesto. Although, Gus may have too many skeletons…

Tell me a story about a Culvers dining experience?

C: It was in Ripon, WI birthplace of the Republican party and home of Ripon Good Cookies. It was my only time, and wasn’t remarkable enough to recall what I had.

T: Again, a poorly worded question - so here’s this - Justin Obrecht is a young entrepreneur who is buying up Culvers franchises in the greater Chicago area like hot cakes and he is free with his money when it comes to helping out a friend, and he saw HBJO once and professed to like us very much indeed!

G: I know the dude who runs the whole Culvers operation. He's a super-rich douche bag, rich though.

J:  Not a fan, Krohl’s had the butter burger perfected long before they laid claim to it but I do know a guy who knows this other guy that owns Culvers and he saw some dude get killed by a bouncer in New Orleans on new years eve, although I suppose you can’t swing a dead frat guy without hitting a homicidal bouncer in those parts.

If Algoma was to erect a statue of Nickg what pose would you like to see him in.

J: Sitting on a step with elbows on knees and head hanging low, kinda like Ian in that Minor Threat picture, but not cause he’s pissed off at the kids for slam dancing, more like he just took a hit of crack and is about to puke.

T: Contemplative

C: I would imagine Algoma to erect a large hologram that would show three positions of nickg: Vacant stare with hand down pants on balls... Confused walking, inhaling own scent (which is quite pleasant, like rosemary and a meadowlark’s calling)... "Atlas-esque nickg" He tends to control the weight of my world, and hold the freight of the rest. It’s nickg, I’m doing my best not to hate and get a plaster replication of his penis and hold him for the rest of days.

G: Jacking off next to our statue of Greg Cartwright.

So who's YOUR favorite Oblivian?

C: A slight edge to Eric. Given his lineage. In ill-guided minds he is a rock and roll prince. Jack and Greg are tied at a real close second, being a near negligible distance removed from the number one slot. No one gets hurt feelings.

T: I refuse to answer this question on the grounds that the Oblivians are a band great enough to steal songs from.

G: I don't know. Dumb question.

J:  Whichever one is singing at the time though, if I had to pick one to hang out with, it would be Jack, ‘cause he’s the funkiest of the three, although Eric has the BBQ lowdown, so he would be good have around too. Greg would intimidate me too much.

Out of the 4-who's the best power trio-Grand Funk Railroad, Rush, the Oblivians or Cream.

G:I don't think you can consider the Oblivians a power trio, so I guess Cream, because they are not GFR or Rush. I fucking hate Rush.

T: I’m not sure whether all these bands should be considered "power trios" but God knows I’ sure as damn hell like the Oblivians. Because they are (were)... fucking great?

C: I hadn't realized Rush was a power trio. Don’t they have keys? Isn’t a power trio Guitar, Bass, Drums? Grand Funk Railroad "Hey dudes, let’s get it on" and why not? They are truly an American band.

J: Is this a trick question? Doesn’t power trio connote having a bass? In that case, Cream. Because they were fuckin’ heavy.

Favorite Nazareth song?

J: "Hair of the Dog," by default, ‘cause I only know two, and "Love Hurts" is a total pussy song.

C: If you were asking favorite Meatmen song, right now I’d say "Crapper’s Delight"

G: "Whiskey Drinkin’ Woman"

What's your opinion on spandex clad rockers?

G:They remind me of wrestlers, you know like Brutis the Barber. Death and Taxes should wear spandex.

T: I suppose it would vary from one S.C.R. to the next.

C: Depends. And I say, if you’re far away, even if you’re working it, Mellencamp never wore spandex.

J: An extension of 70’s glam rock, but not nearly as fabulous. Good eye candy for dudes who like to look at other dudes dressed like bar sluts.

Ever notice how some spandex clad rockers do really acrobatic moves on stage? Any moves you are thinking about working into the stage show?

G: I'm not an acrobat, I play drums.

C: Saunter, mince,  sprawl, squeeze, shake and shiver.  Each one alone and then all together.  When we get together...

J: Finding a way to get behind the drum sets can be acrobatic at times

Midget porn star Lil' Napoleon is Algoma's greatest contribution to the Nation's (and maybe the world's) culture...Do Hue Blanc have such lofty aspirations?

T: I see now that you’re a truly perceptive cat. And let me just tell you this. Once when I was an adolescent and partaking in an afternoon at the "big park" I started to clown a local retarded kid who was shooting baskets. Lil’ Napoleon, who at that time fulfilled a supervisory role at the Algoma Parks and Recreation Dept wheeled a basketball at me that hit me hard in the ass. I then felt fast the sting of shame for clowning this retard for personal fame in front of my lousy friends, and it was a lesson that has stuck with me ever since. So before we quick to make light of this fat-cocked midget from parts barely known, let us first consider that his little soul may bare instincts more human than all our self-important art-rock crap could even begin to hint at.

C: Do you mean "Does Hue Blanc have such lofty aspirations?" or "Do the Joyless Ones have such lofty aspirations?" and if it is indeed the latter are you asking about the collective aspirations of the Joyless Ones or the individual wanting of the Joyless Ones? No rebuttal eh? Hue Blanc has legal issues to attend to. Other than that he has nothing but lofty aspirations, and we are doing his bidding. As far as collectively, the Joyless Ones hope to please Hue Blanc in ANY and ALL ways possible. That’s all we need. Individually I’d be glad to take a close second to Craiggy when it comes to contributions from Algoma to the World. I plan to dabble in Pornography be it writing, directing, performing, whatever is required of me. I have ideas, just not the ambition or connections. Especially not the ambition.

G: You can't top that. Craig is three and a half feet of pure fucking legend.

J: I don’t think our aspirations extend much beyond having something to do while drinking every Tuesday night…I think I speak for everyone by saying that not having to carry the stand bag ever again would fucking rule.

Find out about all the HBJO current happenings at their Facebook page

Jan 17, 2017

T-TOPS Face Of Depression 7inch EP

     You'd figure with the band's name and the cover of this 7inch featuring a Trans Am with a T-Top roof, that you might be getting some tank top wearing, porn star mustache sporting, pin doobie rolling, burning rubber down mainstreet and cranking up the Foghat 8-track loud band here.
     That's not the case though.
     If these Pittsburgh agitators are cruising in anything on city streets, it's an assault vehicle. Something lumbering and impenetrable. Something doesn't stop at traffic lights and something the cops can't shoot the tires out on. It rolls over top of anything that might get in it's way and, as the title track can attest, basks in the sound of crushing metal and broken glass.
     Heavy on an AmRep tip, anything that ever once resembled a brown weed boogie on "Dead Magician" has been boiled in lead and then anodized. If you scratch at the surface of the record's closer, "Pig Of Hell", til it is raw, you may find something bordering on straight up, old school metal but by then the infection will have already started to set in, making everything all black and oozing with pus.
T-Tops on Facebook

Jan 14, 2017

Smashin' Podsistorcast: It Took a Long Time to Turn 18

       The Smashin' Transistors fake radio show has returned! The exile was first imposed by a dying machine. Then it came a bit by choice to reconnect with the real world.
     Hear the latest from the Sueves, David Nance, the Kool 100s, the Bad Noids, Rik & the Pigs, Midnight Mines, Jeff McDonald, Writhing Squares and the Hot LZs.
     Dig it as we blow the dust off records from the Pastels, Green On Red, the Tall Dwarfs and the Godz.
     Revel in the sound of that and much more!

Jan 10, 2017

SUBURBAN HOMES ...Are Bored 12inch EP

     Anyone blow off not checking out Suburban Homes yet because their band name choice had you thinking about the Descendents and, well, something paying homage to it just didn't seem like it would move ya? I can claim ALMOST to being guilty of such a thing. I eventually came to my senses.
     What was it that brought me around? First off, this record (as well as one before it) were released on Total Punk records. Secondly, I started seeing Swell Maps comparisons being bandied around
     The latter probably just thrown because the band had a song called "Television Spies" (not "Helicopter Spies" but close) on their previous record and there's an overt bit of Brit provincial DIY weirdness going on. The sound here leans, hell, dives splat face first into the begrimed puddles of the Desperate Bicycles at some points and, at others, ransacks the Homosexuals comportment for agitational motivation but perhaps not for melody.
    Whether addressing the doldrums of  lame neighborhood mundanity by employing fidgety guitars and antagonistic disposition  on "Small Town Boredom" and "Cul-De-Sac" , questioning the illusion of romance in the modern consumer age with the help of a blared out jangle on "Barbie & Ken" or doing an deciding to do an stomp as hard as an art punk can on first world problems like "I-Phone Suicide", the band gathers up shatters and pieces them together.
     The Suburban Homes are making soundtracks for the death of the mall and not whatever the last of the mall punks are scrambling to keep alive.
Total Punk Records