May 23, 2017

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 of them 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 by 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