Aug 17, 2017

WOOD CHICKENS Skunk Ape 7inch EP


I had to run a search on this here thing to see the last time (if ever) I've straight up used the term "cowpunk" to describe a sound. Seems I did about five or so years ago. I then had to think back even further to when was the last time I listened to stuff that others used the same term to describe a sound. Man, I think I was still in high school. Maybe I just starting college. Either way, it was a long time ago.

On this recorded and mixed by Bobby Hussy slab from Madison, Wisconsin trio Wood Chickens, it's cowpunk all the way. Part drunken bar jangle rock sing-along, perhaps one part even drunker sea shanty and a lot of parts goofy (because we all should know that "cowpunk" is a whole lotta goofy), the record's title track tells the legend of a down south swamp creature.



It doesn't take much to gather that these guys aren't afraid of corn pone (see my goofy comment above) and, especially after listening to side B's "Third Eye Blues", would probably have me asking them if we ever crossed paths "Do you guys ever think you listen to the Dead Milkmen way too much." Sandwiched between song one and three on this EP though is take on the American hayseed standard "Roll In My Sweet Baby's Arms."



Yeah, it's pretty dang goofy too but they seem sincere in some kind of cheap beer dripping from their pores way in how they do it.
Out now on Kitschy Manitou

Aug 15, 2017

SICK THOUGHTS Songs About People You Hate


There seemed to moment or two not so long ago where one might have wanted to consider making a spreadsheet to keep track of what musical things Drew Owen was working. Along with a few other names there has been DD Owen, Chicken Chain, Black Panties, LSDOGS and, of course, Sick Thoughts.

While all of them have hurled rancor and heaved malignity at the world of dolts that surround each and everyone, it's the Sick Thoughts name that has really been his calling card. Having relocated from the USA to Finland in the last year, it might be easy to assume that he has been able to free his mind of all the rabble and weariness that is going on in this country, but ire and disgust are very strong and burning emotions and they're obviously still flaming hot in his heart and his head.

Ever light a wasps nest on fire? They'll all come out and then right at you like a flying, buzzing and angry yellow jacketed stampede. Now imagine setting fire to a wasps nest the size of a minivan. And they all got guitars. It probably would sound a whole lot like the record's opening blast "I'm Going Nowhere & I Don't Care."



The Oblivians and Reatard thing that's always thrown around when talking the Sick Thoughts in general still looms large but there are quite a few times where something that's much more wound up sonically than the rickety fidelity of yore that seems quite noticable. The smashy trashy destruction that drives things like "I Do What I Wanna Do" and "When I Think About You" is more akin to driving a tank through a brick wall inspired by Motorhead and built with extremely black metalloids.



One thing that I think will never disappear in my lifetime are Ramones clones. Not bands that dig the Ramones, but those kinds of bands that think the only good bands that exist are the Ramones and the bands that sound like a convenience store version of them. They've been an ire of mind for a loooong time now. It seems even weird here in the 21st century that there are still ones popping up every day let alone me still having to take a jab at them. They should be subjected to "Need No One." It's bubblegum but it doesn't taste like strawberry Flavor Aid. Kerosene though? Yes, it does taste like that. If they refuse to chew, shove their head on the grinding that's "NFM."



In a feel bad summer situation this country has been put in, this is the feel good record about feeling bad platter for the entire bummer.
Get it at Neck Chop Records.

Aug 10, 2017

Smashin Podsistors 22: Worth A Deuce Times Two


"Get up and get your grandma outta here."

Ok. that I get that. The "he's worth a deuce' line not so much.

Luckily we don't have to figure out the cryptic lyrics of that 1974 chestnut here in episode 22. Instead, enjoy hayseed strolls and cracked sidewalk scrapes.

The Playlist
Gin Gillette - Train To Satanville
Craig Brown Band - Overthinking
Cherry Death - You And Me
Michael Nesmith - Keys to the Car
Black Lips - Lucid Nightmare
Beatniks-Broken Ear Obvious
The Fall - The Container Drivers
Schizos - Poundin' the Pud
Iggy Pop - Dog Food
School Damage - Try Something New
Obnox - Skywalker OG
Bardo Pond - Crossover
Feral Ohms - Teenage God Born To Die
Hairy Chapter - Looking For A Decent Freedom
The Fluid - Our Love Will Still Be There
Fetal Pink - The Happening
feedtime - Sister
Bad Boyfriends - Dirt Cheap
Rik & the Pigs - Don't Tell On Me
Alex Chilton - Like Flies On Sherbert

Aug 8, 2017

The Shifters "A Believer" 7inch


When throwing around references to the Fall to describe a current band, a rock-journo/music fan must do so very sparringly. There's many reasons behind it but it's mostly because some use it to describe anything that sounds a bit agitated or off balance. The other main reason is because some band will mention their into the Fall, which garners attention from dorks like yours truly only to usually be, to some extent or another, disappointed with expectations. It seems especially that when a band is consciously trying to sound like the Fall is where they (perhaps pun intended) faulter the most.

It doesn't seem that Melbourne, Austraila's Shifters are trying to consciously sound like the Fall. Because of that, this record, like their first single from a couple years back "Creggan Shops", succeeds in bending the ear and even brain patterns in a same sort of way.

"A Believer" opens with a fidgety martial drum beat that's followed by anfractuous guitar notes and a keyboard churn that form a spindly musical web that part a straight up pop song and another part lo-fi fretfulness. Thoughts of the Feelies in their rural moments and the (also often mentioned when talking about this band) contorted jangle of the Clean come to mind.



On every song I've heard by the Shifters so far it seems that when singer Miles Jansen opens his mouth he sounds like he's teetering between woebegone moodswings and memories of sunny days. It sets the band in a dark yet whimsical scene often, making the listener wonder if their jubilant or if there's some inner turmoil that their trying to hide with a smirk.



"Contrast Of Form" is a perfect example of such a thing. The handclaps make things seem that it everything's gonna be alright but there's something underlying, perhaps it's a Syd Barrett solo albums slant that I'm feeling in the song that give me that impression.

The Shifters will perhaps remind those who are listening to a thing they've heard before here and there. Some really good things as a matter of fact. They're really good at it too. And no, they really don't remind me of the Fall.
(Market Square Records)