Dec 17, 2018

Smashin' Podsistors 44: You're my aural stimulator


How do we end the year Smashin' Transistors fake radio show style? Episode 44 might be it but don't hold me to it until 11:59 pm on December 31st, ok?


What you'll hear:
A Certain Ratio - All Night Party
A Moms - Modern Noise 
Rhys Bloodjoy - Reflections Of A Girl 
Neo Neos - It's Just That Easy 
-words from your host-
The Resource Network - Fix my Hair 
Brandy - Horse Chorus 
The Shifters - Straight Lines
Metropak - Run Run Run 
the Cult of Lip - Dream 
-words from your host-
U-Nix - Nerve 
Obnox - Wake And Quake
Indian Jewelry - Lost My Sight 
School Damage - Meeting Halfway 
Spiritualized - The Morning After 
-words from your host-
Ten High - Skin Crawlers 
The Unholy Two - Zero Tolerance
Dome - Say Again 
Sadie - Skull Rock 
Pete Shelley - Telephone Operator 
-words from your host-

You can also subscribe to the Smashin' Transistors show on 
Apple PodcastsPodbeanRadio Mutation and Spotify.

Get more Smashin' Transistors action at FacebookTumblrTwitter and Instagram

Dec 13, 2018

JACKSON POLITICK "Psycho-mania" 7inch

Do we need to discuss Andy Jordan's CV again? I'm sure most readers of Smashin' Transistors are at least familiar at least a couple of the things he's been involved with musically over the past decades. If you're not though, poking around here and a few other sites of similar taste and flavor makes for a fun game of connecting the dots.

This is the 2nd release (that I know of) that Andy has released under the sobriquet of Jackson Politick. The first, an LP titled Paste Vol 1, was like an excursion through a record collection of lively and multifarious selections. Even with only two songs on this slab, the same sort of experience is delivered.

With synth and electronical gurgles ala Eno's time in Roxy Music and space rock detouring into a land of playful new wave moves, "Psycho-mania" has a glitter bounce that would most likely make Phil Calvert bend an ear towards it and shout "Yes! Punk rockers adore rocketships" to any outer galaxy traveler around him during his time commandeering Quark, Strangeness and Charm model Hawkwind through neon glared celestial belts.



On the flip, "Well-adjusted Australians" is a bit more organic and earthly. Guitar strums twinkle like tiny lights on the water while a tiny machine taps out a pitter-patter beat. Along with Andy singing in a sleepy-eyed tone, things swirled together like a looking through the Television Personalities kaleidoscope after it's been smeared with petroleum jelly.

Get blotted at Market Square Records

Dec 6, 2018

CELEBRITY HANDSHAKE "That's Showbiz, Baby" 7inch


"This makes the Oblivians sounds like Rush!"

I'm positive I've blurted that out more than a few occasions through the years but one time I know for sure that I did was the first time a record from Portland, Maine's Jumpin' Beans and the Moustaches was rotating on my turntable.

It wasn't just a random blurt either. To use the term "blown out" about it was an understatement. The dry rotted garage punk irascibility and raw, drunken hollerin' that it discharged made what it was being compared to sound downright elegant.

If a compatriot with more "serious" taste in music was ever at my digs and started calling what I was listening to as being inept or dimwitted I would say "Oh, yeah. You think?" Then I would put on a Jumpin' Beans record. It would make them head straight for the door.

Maladroit minds that mastered those fracases have much to do with what is going on with Celebrity Handshake.

To call the rubbed raw guitar sound that anchors "That's Showbiz, Baby" a boogie riff would be misleading. A boogie barf perhaps is fitting. It's sick, it's smells, it oozes and it gonna leave a big stain behind. The beats behind does all it can to keep up and be heard while voice possessed by the Lord, the Devil, Howlin' Wolf and the fine art of swallowing razor blades serves up a verbal lashing that leaves everything mutilated.



On  "Television Lips" it like they've spaced from a moldy basement by stowing away on a rusted rocketship. One could describe the clatter of this of the slab "space punk" and bandy around the names of legends such as Chrome but Celebrity Handshake seem more inclined to use dirt from Brewers Phillips as an inspiration for a hook than crediting it all to a trip to Morrocco.

Get sweaty palms at Eastern Prawn

Nov 30, 2018

TERRESTRIALS s/t 12inch EP

You know that really sketchy oil change stop out by the edge of the city limits? Did you know after the place closes every evening the dudes that work there chew a couple microdots and pick up musical instruments they have hidden behind the old plastic gallon milk jugs filled used motor oil?

As of a result of a battered boombox that blasts a radio station which leans heavy on some kinda Alice Cooper/Foghat and associated doob rollin' ilk, they think they're all about the same hard rock action by once the scleener fry starts its'a sizzlin', a grimy garage boogie boards a psych-ships towards a galaxy of fuschia colored streets and sapphire shaded cheeseburgers.

Ascension is quick. Judging from the gospel-tinged organ that thrust the record's opener, "Aman Düde", into the atmosphere it is launching off from some sort of place of weird worship. The title of the song alone evokes images of kaleidoscopic flashes on one blurry, gnarled hand and a ratty teenage mustache on the other.

From there the record swirls through leaded gasoline fueled space journeys of Z-movie alien abductions, laser beam zaps and wigged out punk rock squirming. The record doesn't end with them returning to earth either because the final track, "Moonblade", sounds like they convinced a hillbilly bar on some other celestial body that they're the party band that planet has been waiting for.

Taste your departure ticket at Heel Turn

Nov 19, 2018

Smashin' Podsistors 43: Building blocks of proteins

Many across the nation will be in a serious tryptophan coma on Thursday. Like every year, I hope to be out of mine come Sunday though for Grep Cup viewing. 
What you'll hear on episode 43
Blacktop - Blazing Streets
The Unholy Two - Moscow Doomsday Cloud
Movietone - Mono Valley
Roxy Music - Editions of You
Mauvais Genre - Pour Toi
-words from your host-
Leon Gardner - Farm Song
Jon Spencer - Hornet
Suburban Homes - Magazine
Remember Sports - Up From Below
Gino and the Goons - Early Retirement
-words from your host-
Timmy's Organism - Wall Of Grey
Celebrity Handshake - Television Lips
O. Rex - Califawnia Girls
Crescent - Lightbulbs In The Trees
Missing Pages - Long Way Down
-words from your host-
U-Nix - Liberal Hardcore
Johnny Notebook and the Blue Screens - Go Bust
Urochromes - I'm Gonna Confront Ya
Pinch Points - Jelly Brain
The Prats - Disco Pope
-words from your host-

You can also subscribe to the Smashin' Transistors show on 
Apple PodcastsPodbean and Radio Mutation


Get more Smashin' Transistors action at FacebookTumblrTwitter and Instagram

Nov 12, 2018

Ellison Tiramisu Stout


Winter. It's hard for this writer to find reasons to get all excited about it anymore. One I can find though is stouts. Their roasted flavors provide some sort of psychological warmth for what will seem like endless days of monochrome views from here on into the spring.

That warming effect is pretty much instantaneous from opening the can of this offering from Lansing, Michigan brewery Ellison. Dark roasted coffee and chocolate rise from the glass immediately like welcoming you from coming in from the cold. Notes of sweet dark fruits and caramel add slight but rich details to the aroma.

While the coffee, cocoa flavors (along with a hint of smoke) are also the star of the show flavorwise, it's also where those aforementioned little details get to work some tasty magic. More than a smidgen of vanilla cream makes it place known too, really giving this stout a legit claim to tiramisu flavor. It's sweet but not syrupy. Bold but not burly. The finish is slightly sweet with enough coffee bitter to keep any sugary, weird candy flavor effect away.

I made a note that I am going to stick on my fridge. It's a list to remind me what stouts I should be sure to keep on hand once the snow starts blowing all around (and, from what I read today, that very well may start tonight.) This is one of the beers that is on it.
Pour yourself a cup at www.ellisonbrewing.com

Nov 10, 2018

MISSING PAGES "Long Way Down" 7inch


When first glancing at the cover of the Missing Pages 7inch, something about its design had me thinking of a large percentage of "Euro-garage" singles that came out in late 90's and early 00's. Many of them had a certain look to them.

Another similarity about a lot of those kinda records had to them was that the bands had the best intentions but there was always an element lacking in their rocking which kept them in the "Ehh, they're okay I guess. They mean well" pile.

Missing Pages are not from anywhere in Europe. They're from Austin, TX. Comprised of members of Sweet Talk, Church Shoes and others, they're set into other time shifts.

1985. Reagan's in for a 2nd term. It's dark times in America. Let's say it's a cold winter college town USA city. Darker music, mostly of an English flavor in the early forms of post-punk, made its mark on some bands that played the bar with the local favorite budget beer lighted sign outside.

1985. Sounds about right. Bobby Knight threw a chair and fucking New Coke. The country was slowly starting to get out of a recession it was in but unemployment were high all over the western world.

R.E.M. released an album they recorded in England. New Order released their last decent album. The Jesus and Mary Chain's Psychocandy, Bad Moon Rising by Sonic Youth and The Fall's This Nation's Saving Grace (to name a just few) came out that year too. Rhythm sections could be heads down pounding but also sway. Guitars made a sparkly roar....or a spindly spider crawl. The highest rung of the artistic bar was brooding with hooks.

David Lee Roth also left Van Halen in 1985. That was sure sign the good times were going to go dim.

My favorite year of music in my life time? Not quite but it is in my top seven or so. These are the types of things I hear on "Long Way Down." A rock solid bottom, a hook and melody that rings classic but wrinkled into a odd pattern. A catchy glide to get caught in a thunderstorm with. There's a tinge of "art" that plays on a subtle level here where the more it is absorbed, the way a standard rock band line-up can intertwine sound takes on a colorful weave.



Somewhere between my first impression and the prattle above was, of course, my second impression.

"It like the first two Psychedelic Furs re-envisioned by the Marked Men" I proclaimed (to one of my cats who was in the room.) I said it even louder when side two's "Highlighter Piss" started blaring outta the speakers.That makes more sense once it's realized that Jeff Burke mixed this candy coated chainsaw.


This record will not end up in the earlier mentioned "meant well" pile. It will stay in my listening to quite a bit stack for a good spell though.
Get found at 12XU

Nov 4, 2018

Smashin' Podsistors 42: Sizzled


Sizzle. They say ya gotta sell it. Hard sell tactics are not a strong point for yours truly. I can guarantee that there's plenty of sizzling soundwise on this latest episode of Smashin' Transistors.

Bathe in the hiss!


What you'll hear:
Fly Ashtray - The Man Who Stayed In Bed All Day 
Mountain Movers - My Eyes Are Always Heavy 
Obnox - Enter The Hater 
J.C. Heavy - Do What You Like 
Beauticians - Mouse or Man 
words from your host
David Nance Group - 110 Blues 
Monokultur - Äckel 
Rocket 808 - Digital Billboards 
Little Walter Trio - Bad Actin' Woman 
Water Trash - Fine
words from your host 
The Pink Noise - House Of Cards 
The Randoms - ABCD 
Jon Spencer - Wilderness 
Brandy - Throw Out My Kitchen 
words from your host
Mary Bell - Be a mom 
Lysol - Chemical Reaction
Terrestrials - Teenage Waistband
Latex Bride - Puppet Head 
Cows - Mine
words from your host

You can also subscribe to the Smashin' Transistors show on 
Apple PodcastsPodbean and Radio Mutation


Get more Smashin' Transistors action at FacebookTumblrTwitter and Instagram

Oct 29, 2018

BLOODBAGS Sinister Deeds 7inch


The smearing of vital fluids that New Zealand's Bloodbags do all over this glob of wax is not for the chicken-livered.

Burly and brusque, slashes of jagged guitars flail and flash like a craggy blade in front of  broken down drums that sound like their being beaten with the firewood logs on "Elder Statesmen." Thoughts of Wire's Pink Flag come to mind but there is more of a feeling of having your head held down in an old metal barrel full of tiger milk. The howl of desperation in Andrew Tolley's voice does not sound like it is going to break into a dissertation of Barnett Newman's work or something of the sort either.

The ride that's "Dark Room Dick" is one on a rigid suspension, down some rocky roads that the ilk of the Honeymoon Killers and the Scientists trudged across using only the distant sound of war drums and the scent of death in the air as road maps.
Get transfused at Spacecase

Oct 12, 2018

ROCKET 808 "Digital Billboards" 7inch


When it comes to rock-n-roll John Schooley has an old soul. It's been obvious since his barely outta high school hayseed punk band the Revelators bolted from the bucking chute in the late 90's.

It's continued with each musical thing he's been part of too. Just straight up back road hollerin', stripped raw blues burnin', punk rockin' bang-n-twang. No post-punk math assignments. No mustache pondering indie rock. No digital do-dads used as crutches to soil up the sound.

His latest project is named in tribute to what is contestability the first rock-n-roll song recorded. More servings of that fine cooking he whips up right?

Well, he's now using a drum machine!!! Before you go clutching for your pearls and beckoning for the smelling salts, it's a drum machine that sounds like it was snatched out of some Silvertone electric organ that had been sitting neglected in the corner of an old folks home for a few decades now.

With it setting a beat that's as slinky as it is cheezy,  a guitar rings and roars in hillbilly from hell handlin' a hollow body style. Strings bend and blare in reverb drench but never stray into shred territory like some of the surf and rockabilly assholes of the past couple of decades stray into much too often.


While "Digital Billboards" is like sauntering through the sleaziest part of town where neon reflects in pools of spilled whiskey on the sidewalks, "Mystery Train" takes the well worn Junior Parker song down into the sewers below in search of the slimiest echo.

Blast off at 12XU

Oct 8, 2018

VIOLENCE CREEPS Nephew Melting 7inch


It is often said that it is better to go out with a bang than a whimper. In August of this year Oakland, CA's Violence Creeps played their final show and this single is their adieu to the world.

They didn't go out with a whimper. And calling this single a bang is not the right choice of words either. A torpid avalanche of bright and searing toxic sludge that engulfs everything in its path seems more apt here.

As often before, the band echoes a sludgy Flipper dirge but the occasional flourishes of melody and the random sounding bursts of avant-ism along with singer Amber's hoarse scorn of a voice, the sound resembles an ambush from all sides than it does getting run over by the slowest moving steamroller in the world.

They also didn't decide to play nice for a final salvo either. "Nephew Melting" calls out scene vampires with stupid mustaches and the privileged poser douches they do shots of Fernet with, pulling no punches in pointing out their backstabbing ways. Either that or it's about mini-MAGAt and 70's rock cosplayer Matthew Melton. Same difference.


The handclaps that start "Ford Go Bikes" had me waiting for an eroded version of Rolls Royce's "Car Wash" to kick in for a sec. Instead, it's something that one might declare having hints of Siouxie-core (if such a thing exists.) Lurching jangle, goth'd out reverberation and riddled with contempt. In its sights here is gentrification and the entitled class that is ripping the soul out parts of town and replacing it with some sort of free-range plastic accouterments.

Get broiled at Total Punk

Oct 2, 2018

Smashin' Podsistors 41: Like an emotional complex


Autumn makes hints of its arrival but never says exactly when. It may a subtle entrance. It can also crash down brazenly.


What you'll hear in this October installment:

The Necros - Peer Pressure
Pious Faults - Field
Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band - Petrified Forest
Ruby Karinto - Chikotan
P-Model - Art Mania
-words from the host-
Brandy - Life Jail
Gen Pop - Din
Stereolab - Revox
George Brigman - I've Got to Know
Terrestrials - Rings
-words from the host-
School Damage - Isn't Easy
The Uniques - You Ain't Tuff
HONG! - Maruk
Purling Hiss - Passenger Queen
Violence Creeps - Ford Go Bikes
-words from the host-
Warmest Winter - We Should Go Out Tonight
Hawkwind - Lost Johnny
Siouxie and the Banshees - Jigsaw Feeling
Mope Grooves - Here Comes Another One
Television Personalities - The Glittering Prizes
-words from the host-

You can also subscribe to the Smashin' Transistors show on 
Apple PodcastsPodbean and Radio Mutation

Get more Smashin' Transistors action at FacebookTumblrTwitter and Instagram

Oct 1, 2018

STIFF LOVE "Attitudes" 7inch

The Stiff Love single from earlier this year was one of those kinds of records that was axiomatic in its pursuit of real punk rock. This go 'round things are even a bit more raucous.

A rowdy piece 60's teenage rage immersed punk, "Attitudes" rattles quite wiggly. It's greasy clobbering that serves up that just a simple beat. Teeth gnashed and claws out it rips and tears things to bloody raw bits.


The flip, "Out Of Control" is like something from a budget beach movie. Like Z-grade one shot under a full moon at midnight. It howls at the moon in vivid Cramps amp'd gore.

 Adjust your mien at Feel It

Sep 26, 2018

Oddside Ale's Laughing Clown Malt Liquor

Old English 800, Magnum, Colt 45, King Cobra, Schlitz, O'Keefe's Extra Old Stock, Crazy Horse, St. Ides and Mickey's. Especially Mickey's. I drank my share of malt liquor in my misspent youth.

The name of the game was maximum buzzage on a budget. Flavor was not a huge factor in that game at all. All of them had a skunk essence to them in the way that they tasted (and smelled), finding the skunk essence that seemed the most palatable to inexperienced taste buds was as far as any of my friends or I went when it came to that aspect of them.

Over the past few years, I've spotted a craft brewery here and there offering a malt liquor. Every time I've seen one at a market I've grinned but, now being a "mature adult with an experienced palate" (or at least that's what I tell myself), I wasn't too sure if I could, or should, dip my tongue into such a style again.

"What the hell. Go for it" I told myself as I reached for Odd Side's Laughing Clown and brought it up to the counter. I mean, if for nothing else, they are one of my most favorite home state beer makers and each purchase of their stuff I buy puts some dough back into several different sections of the Michigan economy.

A semi-hard pour brings out a finger sized rocky head on this orangish yellow brew. It holds on for a few before melting into some a few clouds as a cap through the rest of the glass. Lacing is light and spotty.

The aforementioned familiar "skunk" scent that comes with the standard 40oz offerings of malt liquor is here but it is faint as aromas of freshly baked bread, sliced green apples, ground black pepper and brown sugar take the spotlight. "Hmmm. A cheap date but cultured and refined one too" was the thought that came to mind.

Such a thought is a good way to describe the flavor too. The skunk is one similar to that of Mickey's (and to some extent Heineken for those who may know what I'm talking about) but it's around the edges and not the dominant thing here. Instead, biscuit-like grains, lemon peel and a malty sweetness are the main event. There's a bit of malt and grain brawn throughout the beer along with a hint of corn adjuncts that I suppose need to be there to remind you that, after all, this is a malt liquor. It finishes dry and earthy with grassy and slightly bitter hop notes but nothing too sticky.

Laughing Clown may not be for the coulrophobic nor is it probably named in tribute to the band Ed Kuepper formed after he left the Saints, but I could find myself crushing a few cans of this quicker than I could get through a $2.69 GIQ these days.

Sep 19, 2018

PREDATOR No Face 7inch

Photo via Creative Loafing

The martial and callous slug of the drumbeats along guitars sounding like a hoarse rasp cranked through a speaker that can't quite handle the volume "No Face" had me thinking Big Black at first.

As it kept convulsing and hammering though, it was more like if Big Black were covered in wasps and someone has decided the best way to get rid of them is to used gasoline and a match.

Instead of a slow pummel that has a sheen of chrome and characteristic for sheets of metal scraping against each other, things here are covered in snot. That doesn't mean it flays wild and randomly though as it does lock in and focus and its target, making a robot tainted by Devo explosion of punk rock scorch.


"White" is delivered at a more moderate tempo but that doesn't mean things are calm and collected. There's a paranoia that hangs heavy which appears being all twitchy and distracted yet still stabs meticulously and hard.
Get stalked at Total Punk

Sep 8, 2018

Smashin' Podsistors 40: There are tins. There was pork. There are legs. There are sharks...


Staring out into the lake may cause hallucinations. A sure sign that's happening when you understand the voltaic incantations.


What you'll hear:
The Pop Group - Words Disobey Me
Obnox - Captain Blackeye
Roy Montgomery with Liz Harris- Landfall
The Lavender Flu - Dream Cleaner
The Deltrons - Tonya
-Dale talks-
Mudhoney - Paranoid Core
The Fatback Band - Wicky Wacky
Donkey Bugs - The Example
Pious Faults - Longevity
Giant Sand - Black Venetian Blinds
-Dale talks-
Spiritualized - On the Sunshine
Primo - Ticking off a List
Teenage Fanclub - Critical Mass
Seance Sisters - Rabid Moon
Boyracer - Denatured
-Dale talks-
Daytime Drugs - Beethoven Was A Bore
Mope Grooves - Last Seen
Flasher - Who’s Got Time?
Brian Eno - Third Uncle
Jerry Reed - Guitar Man
-Dale talks-

You can also subscribe to the Smashin' Transistors show on 
Apple PodcastsPodbean and Radio Mutation

Get more Smashin' Transistors action at FacebookTumblrTwitter and Instagram

Sep 7, 2018

EN ATTENDANT ANA Lost and Found LP


Seesawing betwixt bashful etherealness and a shambling pop bluster, it's hard not to be smitten by Paris, France's En Attendant Ana.

On their debut album, 2016's Songs From The Cave, the overall sound was an endearing set of lo-fi melodies. Here it's more of the same but with a brighter production gives things a bit more of a  sumptuous ring yet still keeps many of the frayed edges intact.

Following a swirling chug of guitars aided and abetted by a torrential storm of drum crashes and electrical hissing of the aptly titled opener "Intro," the band bounces directly into a sparkling pool of jagged C86 bliss that's floating on a dose of mid 60's Mod sunshine glare with "Not So Hard."



The accentuation of trumpets on the song adds something regal and hauntingly baroque on the song as it does on a smattering of other tracks too.

While the overall vibe of the record will probably get first reactions such as The Vaselines due to main singers Margaux somewhat similar (but often more soaring) voice to Francis McKee and the vocal trade-offs she does with the band's guitarist on songs like the venom wrapped in a pastry sound of "Why Is Your Body So Hard To Carry" but even if they have the recipe for that sound in front of them, they're adding their own things to cook in with it.



Things that give the impressions of being simple jangly garage-pop songs when they start, such as reverb squiggled "Night", the jittery chiming that launches off "The Violence Inside" and how the album's closer "I Don't Even Know Your Name" sounds like a child PROPERLY reared on the Velvet Underground and Stereolab all swell into their own kind of waves of majestic sonic drenching by the time the are through.





Find your way at Trouble In Mind

Sep 5, 2018

PIOUS FAULTS Old Thread LP


At another location where I do a nightly music column (which is usually short and quick as far as me pontificating compared to here), I recently said that Brisbane's Australia's Pious Faults take "punk rock's hardcore form and strip it down to the rawest minimum."

While as a lure to get some to lend the band and ear it's a quick impression posing as a fair assessment but there's more to this record than just speed and rage. Any thrashing about becomes paroxysmal movements immediately once "Cope" starts things. The convulsively twitching dynamism of it and tracks like "Field" sets a tone for the addled expedition the rest of the record brings.



Tinges of late period Black Flag (I'm talking 'round 85/86. Not whatever that thing was called that Ginn put together to tour with a few years) seem to seep in on "Worship The Surface I" and "Not Me." The difference is that the jagged guitar lines and tempo of the former seems they may have more of Beefheart/Birthday Party thing on kicking holes in the brain than whatever Sonny Sharrock lick Ginn thought was a good idea to do a squishy wet noodle jazz metal emulation of over and over again while the latter takes a back to the garage basics swing, kicking the speed back up instead of making it another mud trawl.


Not stuck to one piece of pavement and not just blazing as fast as they can in a straight line, the weaving and bouncing on this record is like getting hits of fresh air courtesy of a kick in the chest.
Question your virtue at Feel It Records

Aug 27, 2018

CHRISTOPHER ALAN DURHAM Slow Drain 7inch


I am not familiar with Christopher Alan Durham's previous bands Roachclip, The Bibs or Church Shuttle. Because of that, I am also not sure in which "Downriver" Michigan community (there are 18 of them) he committed these two songs on to a Tascam 4-track in so I can't compare how it measures to them.

Having spent a fair amount of time in Wyandotte, the 5th largest downriver town population wise best known for the steel mills that provided the early American auto industry with the metal to build cars (the 2nd largest in population Downriver community is Lincoln Park. It's best known as the place where the MC5 first got in fights with each other at a malt shop parking lot and then formed a band) the past half-decade or so due to family connections though, and the apparitional spaces where it sounds like this record dwells, I am thinking I need to become more acquainted with both.

Specters of Skip Spence's Oar, Pink Reason's Cleaning The Mirror, Daniel Johnston's songs from the A Texas Trip cassette and the most clattering and skittish of NZ bands loom heavy here.

On "Day and Age" and it's b-side "For Many Years" fragile guitar strums somewhat inattentively provide an anchor for Durham's slumberous drawl. Odd intonations from an organ and harmonium along with the occasional crack of a drum flit and float through the proceedings sounding ghostly and distant. It's the kind of record to play in the wee hours when in an introspective mood or a want for late night paranoia.
Get haunted at Spacecase

Aug 26, 2018

OUTER SPACIST Illness Is A Creepin' On A Come-Up LP


I'm sure most of the readers here are familiar with the story about Lemmy getting kicked out of Hawkwind. The story goes that after he got caught for having speed on him at the Windsor/Detroit border in 1975 "the most cosmic band in the world" gave him the boot because he was busted for the "wrong kind of drugs."

One part astral chug and another part all peach fuzz/dirtbag mustached saunter, Columbus, Ohio's Outer Spacist sound as if they're bangin' round town in a rusted eaten '73 Ford Ranchero on a hunt for such drugs.

Tough luck scoring the exotic and antediluvian analgesics, the band concoct a rocket fuel made from impure elements they've gathered to set their ride into space. It's a denotative propellant guaranteed to cause lift-off but it's not going to guarantee smooth rides into zoned out galaxies. It's a messy voyage led by an inebriated captain and an aberrant crew who only function properly when gravity isn't holding them down.

On songs like "Peripheral Visions" and "Gyrfalcon Flight" it makes for a trip that sound like a Spacemen 3 backing a non-absolutely asshole and totally partying down Ted Nugent at times.



Get your ticket to trip at Heel Turn records.

Aug 18, 2018

Smashin' Podsistors 39: Hot rods pre-cleaned real fine nicotine


With August humidity comes agitation. To cool it means oscillations. The whirring can be hypnotic. It can also be an irritant.


What you'll hear:
Crash Course In Science - Kitchen Motors
Midnight Mines - Stations
Pram - Ladder to the Moon
Counter Intuits - Vietnamese Lighter
Musical Linn Twins - Rockin' Out The Blues
-words from your host-
Cruelster - Why Did They Do That to Me Back Then
Marc Riley With The Creepers - Teacher Travel
Parsnip - It Couldn't Be True
Jefferson Airplane - 3/5 of a Mile in 10 Seconds
The Love-Birds - Kiss and Tell
-words from your host-
Caveman & Bam Bam - Let's Start A Fire
Cement Shoes - Fruity Funhouse
Lysol -Teenage Trance
Obnox - Broke Socialite
Ragtime Frank - Shake 'Em
-words from your host-
Donkey Bugs - Men in High Heels
Section 25 - It Don't Get
Arndales - Half Thrash
ADULT. - Irregular Pleasure
Chrome - The Monitors
-words from your host-

You can also subscribe to the Smashin' Transistors show on 
Apple PodcastsPodbean and Radio Mutation

Get more Smashin' Transistors action at FacebookTumblrTwitter and Instagram

Aug 17, 2018

CEMENT SHOES A Peace Product of the USA 7inch


I don't know if there's some sort of pipeline that runs between upstate New York and the Virginia coast. If there is though, it is something miasmic flowing through. The band Brown Sugar were from the former and Fried Egg the latter. Both sounded as if they led first era hardcore down some knurled path of their own but both also then went and showed it where the LSD trees grow.

A dizzying thrash of velocity that wobbled as much as it stomped all slathered in a sonic sort of feedback, both managed to create something absorbing from what is often hackneyed and cliche. Malcontents from both groups co-conspire as Cement Shoes.

Sounding like an MC5 or Stooges riff whittled down a jagged shiv after a night of biting nails and dodging tweakers, "Fruity Funhouse" is all tangled like someone threw mile long strands of wet seaweed into the pit. A mist of green slime hangs in the air.



"I Saw The Devil Again (Last Night)" presses the pedal to the metal. A bit of speed metal perhaps but mostly in an elongated trip where the Dwarves Blood, Guts and Pussy oozes puss over some dark and forgotten Randy Holden riff while a landscape of a burning city passes by in a blur outside the window.

Swim with the fish at Feel It records

Aug 14, 2018

LYSOL "Teenage Trance" 7inch


After a quick dalliance with the name L.I., Portland trenchant operatives scoff the risk of any cease & desist being landed on them and revert back to the name Lysol. Like the name brand of disinfectants they've chosen as their name, both rid germs away but the band does it with a heaping amount of scalding clangor instead of pernicious compounds.

Residing in an asteroid belt that's located between the triangular orbits of elastic punk, wooly garage rock and gangly hardcore, the sound is often dizzying and usually bumptious.

Akin to some proto-punk chugger shook up like a bottle of soda pop and then put on a sketchy looking carnival thrill ride, "Teenage Trance" makes a huge sticky mess when the cap is popped as it sprays, spit and spurts deliriously from front to back and side to side with wiry guitar clangs and a stuttering jackhammer rhythm.


"Chemical Reaction" isn't any calmer as it rattles and weaves with something that had me thinking "Hmmm, do I hear a surf chord there" as it started. It only took a second for that thought to be dashed when they were then answered with "Yeah, if cavepeople surfed on waves of fire."

Get cleansed at Neck Chop Records

Aug 8, 2018

Off Color Brewing's SPOTS


While visiting Chicago a few weeks back I ended up wondering to myself "What exactly is a Tiki Weiss?"

It was not a question I've asked myself before. There I was, perusing the beer shelves looking for some things not available in my parts to bring back home. With me was a list of Illinois breweries I found interesting and are not distributed to SE Michigan. Off Color was one of the names on the top of my list. I had a small sampling of some of their wares before and was curious to try some more. I must also note that my better half also enjoyed their brews not just for their flavor but for the fact they put mice, cats both big & small and other critters into their artwork and design.

I forgot to mention that the weather during the visit was like baking in humidity city. Nothing burly and brown, nor overly sticky hop oil armaments were striking the fancy.

"Hmmm. Tiki." I thought. "Tangy tropicals. Weiss? Light and lively. This may be the thing if summer keeps up like this."

Lemon in color with a muted haze and topped with a plump head that fades fairly fast, the tiki tinges rise up to the nose through a wheat grain and pils malt foundation. It's got some zip in the smell for sure.

What is essentially a Berliner Weissbier brewed with passionfruit and grapefruit peels, Spots tiki decree really comes through in the flavor.  The passionfruit takes front and center on the tastebuds initially with a zing. The grapefruit peel adds a cool funky accent to it. Through the middle, there are flourishes of melon, peaches and pineapple. The finish brings orange creamsicle notes intermingled with a mildly astringent linger.

We brought a four pack back with us. Over the past few weeks, they have all been drunk. There's still (hopefully) good six to eight weeks of summer weather. I won't be able to get to back to Chicago until at least the autumn so I'll have to get through it without any more of these. I'll be sure to be looking for what Off Color has done with whatever the season is in mind on that visit too.
Count the Leopards at Off Color Brewing

Aug 6, 2018

LIQUIDS Hot Liqs' Revenge LP


Upon the first couple listens of the album the thoughts of starting off this review by saying something like "cementing their scuffed up shoes in a place right between the most tattered and weirdest ends of early Midwest hardcore and the scorched pop of the Buzzcocks Another Music in a Different Kitchen, Indiana's Liquids...."

After a couple more listens I still felt my impressions of the record felt spot on to myself except for the "cemented" and the "place right between" part. Fronted by the Coneheads Mat Williams, it's more like the two aforementioned styles are not as much as an inspiration for the band's sound in as such things are simply instilled into their DNA.

Sure, the nasal wail in Mat voice does have an undeniable way of making people think Peter Shelly on especially on songs like "Wanna Throw Up (When I See Your Face)", "Talking On The Telephone",  and "Not Fun" but its a different kind of heat that is going on behind that voice.


It's not the warm blanket of rapid fuzz of ancient punk rock. It's much more prickly and itchy. Scratching at it is just gonna make it more raw and irritated which is probably the whole intent.

A same sort of attitude holds with the more "hardcore" leaning lobs of racket like the recording needle buried in the red burst of "Life Is Pain Idiot",  how "11 AM" sounds like it was deep fried in napalm and the grunt/stomp/grunt "Burnt Down Completely."




They're all blasts of pent of rage, but save for the later (which may even be a mocking ode to the tank top wearing, goatee sporting and fat "tough" guys who turned the sound into something to be heard in a gym rather than while riding a skateboard) have just as much in common with the Oblivians or the Gories than, say (for the sake of dropping an Indiana band in this review as a reference point), the Zero Boys.

With twenty songs on this record, it covers quite the trashy ends of the punk rock spectrum be it bashed up garage gunk or catchy hooks that use a contempt and an ire for squares as a catalyst. Hell, the record even kicks the shit of a Nick Lowe song. I like to think if he's heard the Liquids take on "Heart Of The City" he said "I never thought about it before but that's what the song needed."

Get aqueous at Neck Chop records.

Jul 31, 2018

Smashin' Podsistorscast 38: And life keeps getting stranger every day


It's high summer here in the land of Smashin' Transistors. Much to do. Sometimes too much.

Somehow though, episode 38 managed to get done in a somewhat timely fashion.


Set your ears upon the following:

Zounds - Can't Cheat Karma 
Shark Toys - Confusion 
Ma Holos - Celebrity Boots
The Three O'Clock - I Go Wild 
En Attendant Ana - (Not) So Hard 
-words from your host-
The Resource Network - Psychographics
Psychlops Eyepatch - Melting Flowers 
Cavern Of Anti-Matter - Feed Me Magnetic Rain 
New Order - Procession
Rose Mercie - Spring and Fall 
-words from your host-
The Liquids - Talking On The Phone
The Mistreaters - How Much for the Women? 
Howlin' Wolf - Who's Been Talkin'
John Wesley Coleman - Breaking Up Crazy
School Damage - Scump Damage 2 
-words from your host-
Outer Spacist - Push 
Dumb Vision - The Fall 
Water Trash - Guess 
The Lavender Flu - Like A Summer Thursday 
The Yankee Dollar - City Sidewalks 
-words from your host-

You can also subscribe to the Smashin' Transistors show on 
Apple PodcastsPodbean and Radio Mutation

Get more Smashin' Transistors action at FacebookTumblrTwitter and Instagram

Jul 29, 2018

TRASH KNIFE/DUMB VISION split 7inch EP


For longtime soldiers in the vinyl trenches and especially those that were there during the subterranean boom punk rock 7inch releases of the 1990's, the split single can be a contentious topic.

Most of such hubbub about them though seems to be just vinyl dorky nitpicking. One reason though that does seem to be legit is how diametrically opposed the band on one side can be to another musically. I'm all for variety and diversity but I know a few split singles taking up space on my shelves where one side has something making the record worth keeping around but the other causes me much chagrin to even acknowledge.

That is not the case with this split between Philadelphia's Trash Knife and Dumb Vision outta Madison, Wisconsin. Both bands have an affection for making it all raw and bloody.

The former makes a beastly racket that's like cramming the Avengers song in an M-80 tube shell and making a fuse out of a Jay Reatard spazz fit to detonate it. Hardcore in a sense that it's insolated and antagonizing but would rather go smash up beer bottles on a street corner than go lift weights.

The latter is a bit more poppy but also absolutely boozy and sloppy in the frayed flannel Midwest punk rock-n-roll kinda way. They're most likely the ones who knocked back the beer bottles contents before handing them over to Trash Knife to break.

Both bands crank out three tracks on their chunk of 7inch plastic. Neither waste a second on noodling or getting frilly. The light turns green and they both floor it.
Get Trashed at Kitschy Spirit