Jun 21, 2018

Smashin' Podsistors 36: SPACE FORCE!!!



The term “Space Force” popped up in the news again a bit this week. All I keep picturing is some lame comic book published by Harvey or Charlton Comics. Either that or one of those comic books some kid down the block gave you and the story ends up having a "Come visit our Sunday School and get saved" message.

A better ending would be where the villain is a brand named squatter and he gets hurled towards the sun. Sure, the universe will smell really gross for a little while after he is burnt to nothing but ash. Then though we can clean up and move forward again.


What you'll hear:
Electric Eels -Cyclotron
Germ House - Bedroom Walls
The Eyes - I'm Rowed Out
The Sueves  - Drifting
Raspberries - Tonight
-words from your host-
School Damage - Scump Damage 3
Josef K - The Angle
Chronophage - 13th Ward
Solex - Peppy Solex
Jon Spencer - Do The Trash Can
-words from you host- 
Private Sector - Survival (Is Killing Me)
Johnny Tyler - Devil's Slate
Construction Paper - Edge of the Sidewalk
Kid Chrome - Pall Mall 100's
-words from your host-
En Attendant Ana - This Could Be
Dead Meadow - I'm so Glad
Shark Toys - Maze
Gino and the Goons - Watch You Shine
The Cramps - Mystery Plane
-words from your host-  

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Jun 15, 2018

KID CHROME "I've Had It" 7inch EP


Kid Chrome is the alter-ego of Pacific Northwest punk rock band Lysol member Chad. Like Lysol, Kid Chrome play a loud and nasty brand of punk rock. At times, Lysol smear lines between early hardcore, artsy punk and rock-n-roll. Kid Chrome is more just about the straight up rock-n-roll thing though.

When I say that I don't mean that it is done in some fake swagger/look at my tattoos and watch me pretend to drink a whole 5th of bourbon kind of way. I mean more in the way like in the 70's when rock-n-roll was left for dead by most who then chose to listen to ELP or James Taylor. I'm talking more about the fiends scattered around the planet who cranked up their Stooges, MC5 and New York Dolls albums at full blast and then begat bands like the Pagans and the Dead Boys.

Now, I know there are bands out there claiming they are doing that right now, but plenty of them come off sounding and looking like the fake swagger thing I already mentioned.  Kid Chrome are not guilty of such things.

Guitars sound like their braying at the moon on "I've Had It." The lonely and desperate howl of them makes perfect sense when Chad starts hooting and hollering sounding somewhere between a wolfchild fathered by Lux Interior and an elementary school-aged Jay Reatard locked in his room with only a Mr. Microphone and a case of Jolt Cola to keep him company.


While that blast of lo-fi mind losing proves to be quite savage, a wall of noise grows to more obnoxious and bad-tempered heights when the record is flipped over. The ode to a budget brand of cigarettes, "Pall Mall 100s", is like being stuck in a hurricane of black lunged amplifier abuse and "Don't Walk" makes sure that you follow the orders it's commanding with a violently jerking and sloshing which makes it hard for anyone within an earshot to keep proper balance.

Get electroplated at Neck Chop Records.

Jun 11, 2018

The TOTAL REJECTION Wrapping Yourself In Silver Foil Won't Save You From The Blast LP


We here at Smashin' Transistors like a lot of hiss in our Psychedelia. Something a bit fried where there's a sizzling and seared sound coming over the speakers. When it gets kicked around and becomes battered with a bit of pop-art abuse.

We also dig our space rock much more when it has covered in cosmic debris. Y'know, when wub-wub-wub pulsations are bewitching and narcotic and not simply a practice of hebetude.

We also don't mind things that some would call out at as shoegazey or compare to the Jesus & Mary Chain's Honey's Dead album as long as they've got blasts and some grind and not just sound like piles and piles of itchy blankets. Bonus points if it's a bit lo-fi but make the best of it out a need of necessity and not sounding like it was recorded on a low budget for some sake of gimmickry.

It seems if we were to get into a discussion of such things with Bristol, England's Total Rejection,  an eye to eye agreement would be made on all the above.

Since the third point here applies to most of their album Wrapping Yourself In Silver Foil Won't Save You From The Blast, let's address the first two and then some.

While the Who made the claim of maximizing R&B, they also became a bit too much long winded and pompous by the time 1968 blew themselves into a direction they didn't seem to be too much on the year before. Freakbeat was long gone. Opera was way in.

The "pop-art" the Total Rejection seems to fancy is more along the lines of John's Children and the Creation in that respect. The album's opener, "The Legendary Orgasm (Everything In My Mind Is Groovy" is a not so subtle nod to the former in both title but as well as attitude. "Did You Fall Out The Window" is a sweaty three chord bouncer which laughs at mishaps of others and brings a burnt to a crisp attitude that may encourage even more reckless behavior. "Bending Spoons" serves up a similar bit of scorched brain rock but stewed even more in some kinda soul music rock-n-roll stew. Both of which are colored with the fluorescent splatters of the latter.




While such tracks show the band earthbound and rolling around in the dirt, when engines engage to leave the planet, the route to across the stars is mapped through clouds of space dust, which the band gladly inhales and exhales for particular exultations. Planets, where cavemen work on training space insects to send Krautrock morse code messages to distant lands, are discovered on "Licking Furniture (You'll Find Me On The Left)" and "Vampire Cat (Itches.)"


When the Total Rejection land their lunar module they know it is not a solid soil. It's a spongy surface like the one "Party Seven" seems to be built. It's wobbly and a bit dizzying but staggering around in the buzz that comes from it.

Get defected at Raving Pop Blast

Jun 3, 2018

Smashin' Podsistors 35: They measure the beat to understand the situation


Did pop music's king have has Kool Aid dosed with psychedelic compounds for the purposes of animated film when he was a child?

What happens when a son discusses proto-punk history with his dad?


Are those questions answered? That is for all of us to surmise. Let your eardrums chew on the sounds of episode 35 of the Smashin' Transistors podcast and gather for yourself what they concluded.

What you'll hear:
Nikki Sudden - Channel Steamer
    Iceage - Pain Killer
    Patois Counselors - The Modern Station
    Times New Viking - New Times, New Hope
    T-Model Ford - Can't Be Touched
    -words from your host-
    Gen Pop - No Identify
    Set-Top Box - Company Time
    Wooden Shjips - Red Line
    Vertigo - Smoked
    Glass Traps - Super Protected
    -words from your host-
    Outer Spacist - Peripheral Visions
    The Total Rejection - Party Seven
    Füxa - Our Lips Are Sealed
    Jackson 5 - I'll Bet You
    The Mystery Girls - Quit Your Flying Around
   -words from your host-
    Red Mass - Rat Race
    Gallery Night - Young Love Doesn't Last
    Sonic's Rendezvous Band - City Slang
    Pineapple RnR - Rain Cage
    Spacemen 3 - I Love You
-words from your host- 

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May 22, 2018

Smashin' Podsistors 34: It's A Bob Seger Free Weekend!


This weekend is Memorial Day Weekend in the US of A. In the state of Michigan, it marks the unofficial start of summer. "A Bob Seger free weekend" is probably against the law to declare in this state on such a weekend (or any weekend for that fact.)

I bet right now there are weird uncles, creepy dads and dirty grandfathers making some ultimate 3 day weekend Bob Seger mix to celebrate with while they scorch hot dogs and then serve them on a paper plate with the American flag printed on them.

I will hopefully avoid such situations this weekend. Oh. and don't waste your time or mine commenting stuff like "but the System ruled, dude." Yeah, I know they did. I grew up here and have heard Bob everyday of my life so I am well aware of that. Just for one day though, it would be nice to not hear any Silver Bullet Band anywhere, y'know?

In other words, you will not hear anything from the Seeg' in this episode of Smashin' Transistors. It could be worse. Y'know, like an ALL Kid Rock weekend.


What you will hear:
Jerry Cole & His Spacemen - Deep Surf 
Deadbeat Beat - Bar Talk
Todd Rundgren - Couldn't I Just Tell You 
The Lice - He's the Chair 
Subsonics - You Got Eyes 
-words from the host-
En Attendant Ana - Night 
Carlton Melton - Way Back When 
Bad Habit - The Garden 
The Sueves - The Button 
Razorbumps - Workin' Bees
 -words from the host-
Wire - Map Ref 41 N 93 W 
Iceage - The Day The Music Dies 
Silver Apples - I Have Known Love 
Hookups - Go Find It 
Gen Pop - Din
-words from the host-
Gasoline - I Just Low 
Jessie Fortune - Too Many Cooks 
Patois Counselors - Last Heat 
The Hecks - In The Dirt 
The Mo-Dettes  - White Mice
-words from the host- 

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May 19, 2018

GALLERY NIGHT "I Want To Die Here" 7inch EP


It's been a spell since we've heard some noise for ex Baseball Furies and Tyrades popinjay Jimmy Hollywood. Judging from what's going on with this latest combo, Gallery Night, it sounds as all that noise was kept pent up and poked with sticks until it was fully determined that it was all about to ignite from becoming such a caustic and volatile mixture. 

Harkening to a heavy sound that trashed a few eardrums late 80's/early 90's (We're talking the AmRep thing here. Not Grunge.), thick, oily smoke seems to rise from the needle when the swirly pummel and negative demeanor of "I Want To Die Here" vibrates through the needle.



Pungent swamp gas seeps through every crack and crevice of "Young Love Doesn't Last." It flails in a disturbed contortion, giving the creeps to all that have witnessed it. Visions of the Scientists launching bombs in Unsane's direction come to mind. Just around the corner are Surgery and Vertigo drolling over a magazine with pictures of up north hunting adventures in it.



Disoriented with a head feeling it is feeling the effects of huffing bleach in search of some new kind of buzz, "Cruel Youth Story" is Gallery Night saying they want to take you for a ride. They aren't asking though, they are telling as they set the into a really rusted roller coaster car. Riddled with exposed jagged metal edges, it's then noticed there is no way to be strapped in as the chain drag ascends twisted rails. It's going to plummet hard and fast. The jerks, jumps and jostles of the ride has left most bloody, bruise and battered. For the rest, the fate was even worse.

Attend the viewing at Big Neck Records

May 16, 2018

RED MASS Rat Race 7inch EP

When Montreal's Red Mass first established themselves around a decade ago, I would most likely mention how the band was the brainchild of Roy V aka Choyce who was in bands such as Les Sexareenos, Daylight Lovers and the CPC Gangbangs. I would've then perhaps shared a story (the could be told on the record) of one of the adventures or experiences I had when hanging out with said bands.

I can't really do that now though. Details have faded a bit through the years. Particular points would seem almost like a lifetime ago. Such seems appropriate though as Red Mass sound doesn't really resemble the 'Reenos violent frat party riot, the Lovers red meat eatin' &a rye whiskey sippin' garage sound or the absolute RAWK action Gangbangs often kicked out (which also earn them the distinction of being one of the best live bands of their time.) Where those bands tended to bang something out from primordial instincts, in a lot of cases Red Mass is exceedingly more cerebral as well as bewitching in the way they approach particular dark corners of music.

Acting as a collective with the intentions of keeping things constantly fluid, it makes little sense to cite and compare one Red Mass record to another as, other than Roy and vocalist Hanna L Is Dead, who appears on the recordings from one occasion to another tend to be completely different. This makes each release have a common thread that runs through all of them but also has them sounding new and different than what has been heard by them before each time.

Traces agit-funk slithers its way through the choppy fuzz that drives the title track, making the listener wonder if any dancing to it should be some kind of snakelike twist or something a bit more spastic.


While that track is something that might fill the floor at a dance party I'd considered attending the other two would bum out any chemically enhanced groove ninnies (which plenty of them need to have happen to them anyway.) Erick Bradshaw of Cyanide Tooth/Maximum Ernst lends his dulcet tones and always sunny disposition to the jittery art punk of "Today I Die" while Xflanx of Brutal Knights and Dead Wife's RJ Smith sound like they're strangling each other over a gnarl of fervent hardcore on "Aggressive Tendencies."


Request guidance at It's Trash records.

May 8, 2018

Smashin’ Podsistorscast 33: Like An Old Rolling Rock Bottle



No glass line tanks here but in episode "33" we do tender premium noise for your enjoyment as a tribute to your good taste.




What you'll hear: 

 Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Don't Cry No Tears 
Hue Blanc's Joyless Ones - Bloody Nights at the Hotel Bar 
The Total Rejection - Vampire Cats (Itches) 
Flaming Lips - Kim's Watermelon Gun 
Speeding Motorcycle - Like Forever 
 -words from your host- 
Perverts Again - Get You Out Of College 
Cavern Of Anti-Matter - Make Out Fade Out 
Paint Thinner - Glistening Dots 
Flying Saucer Attack - A Silent Tide 
Yves Bernard - Dérapage Ethylique 
-words from your host- 
The Sueves - Never Been to the Beach 
The White Wires - In My Bed 
Honey Cone - Stick-Up 
Gino and the Goons - Glory Days Gone 
The Roamin' Togas - Bar The Door 
-words from your host-
Iceage - Take It All 
The Psychedelic Furs - Flowers 
ISS - Soft Youth 
Stiff Love - Up In Your Room 
Red Cross - Annette's Got The Hits 
-words from your host-

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May 6, 2018

STIFF LOVE Trouble 7inch EP

No matter how many time my folks claim it's (still) just a phase and no matter how many time starchy business associates and random squares give me a puzzled or concerned look when I reply to the question of "what kind of music do you like" I'm still probably gonna get goosebumps for the thrill for hearing some punk rock til the day slide my body into the crematorium.

Not just any punk rock though as what has come with all the years is the knack of saying "Nah, I'm not believing it. This is bullshit."

Olympia, Washington's Stiff Love are not bullshit. Fronted by Xtine of Lysol, this record sounds unhinged and set to explode after immediately after the first wiggly and wild guitar chord of "Walk In The Dark" is bashed out.


Thoughts of Redd Kross at their teenage snottiest and, because of the town they live in will probably become mandatory rock blog crits to namedrop 'em, the most feral Bikini Kill songs the world never heard both come to mind as the four songs make the stereo speakers foam at the mouth like something rabid. The thing is though with tracks like "Up In Your Room" there's a mischevious bounce to rage that gives them a bit of a garage rock swagger.


Granted, the garage is probably gonna go into ablaze with the kind of fires the band is setting so do your best to get out of the building with this record before the place turns to a pile of ashes.
Get cocked at Neck Chop Records

May 2, 2018

3 Floyds Space Station Middle Finger American Pale Ale


Recently a friend sent me a text after returning from a road trip. It said "Just got back from a road trip. Picked you up a souvenir while passing through Munster, Indiana." I wonder what it might he might've of gotten to give me. A copy of the NWI Times? A t-shirt that says Calumet Shoreline on it?

No and No. You say Munster, Indiana to any good beer loving denizen on the planet and there's only one thing that comes to mind.

That is, of course, 3 Floyd brewery. In the land where Smashin' Transistors sit, their beers are not at all distributed. Because of that, the chance of getting to taste one is pretty uncommon. It's always a special day when they can be. I hadn't had the Space Station Middle Finger before so away we go.

Bright orange and slightly hazing in color, a soft pour produced a slight head the stuck around as a light cap for a while. Tart and tropical were big on the aroma agenda. Grapefruit, pineapple and mango all came to the forefront when giving it a sniff. Back those up were wafts of white pepper, honey and pine.

The grapefruit is pretty huge in the flavor department too. Not a tongue piercer or anything but definitely bringing a bit of a pucker up front. Melon, pineapple, mango and apricot notes hang around the middle bringing something a little sweet and slightly musky. As the beer breaths, characteristics of honey and freshly baked biscuits come to the fore. The neat complexities close out with some dashes of ground pepper and lemongrass. The finish is crisp and slightly astringent but not sticky.

If you're an aficionado of beers with a bit of a juicy fruit profiles or dig some hop bite in your brew but are a bit burnt out on some of the ones out there now where the hops bomb everything in sight decimating nuances like, y'know malts and grains, this is one to seek out and enjoy.
Flip the bird and sip the brew at 3 Floyds

Apr 24, 2018

LASSIE "YES! LIKE THE DAWG" cassette


New Wave. Not in a some platitudinous "planning a theme party" big hair/funny sunglasses/talkin' Valley Girl kind out of way. I'm talking truly bonified oddballs. Too freaky for the crowd that took theater class and boisterous and funny for the kids that always hung out in the art room. They may not be hip with the coolest and newest music out there, but everything they were into was a bit strange and usually listened to at a ridiculously loud volume.

That's the impression that Leipzig Germany's Lassie gives off. Party music that changes whatever the shindig's theme was just by them showing up. Hell, it not even fair to call it a shindig until these kooks show up. It was merely a gathering of windbags and imposters.

Straight off the band bums out the shiny, happy people with "Phone Calls On My Deathbed" by showing an affinity for leaving DEVO LP's out in the sun all day and then reenacting what it sounds like when it's put back on the turntable and played at 45 speed.


Once that jerkin' and jarrin' has cleared those squares off that dancefloor and, hell, out of the house in fact, it's time for Lassie to thumb their noses at them even more.

"Modern Vacation", which pokes jibes of the goofy ass kids who somehow become influencers on social media, is like a Sparks songs without operatic show tune bits with much more noisy mood swings and Segway references.

Yes, you heard that right. Segway references. They also wrote a song about the mall cop who rides around on one and whose job is to stop everyone's fun. Most likely he's not a fan of Métal Urbain or the Monkees so he won't appreciate the ode they penned for him.


"Tiger In My Tank" probably won't do much to improve gas mileage or performance of a set of wheels, but it's 1950's boppin' dropped into a fluorescent future that sci-fi writers have promised (yet still haven't really quite delivered on...yet) was probably written for a car chase set either on Mars or the most hyperactive animation series for the kids subsisting mostly on sugary snacks set yet.


I dunno about your neighborhood but mine could sure use a combo of loons like Lassie. I would then know that if I saw a flyer for a new wave dance party happening around town, it just wouldn't be some boor playing Howard Jones mp3's off his laptop.
Fetch it at the Bandcamp page.

Apr 21, 2018

Smashin’ Podsistorscast 32: The Winter Didn’t Want To End


It's a few weeks shy of May. The weather has been insisting it is still late February.

This episode sets a raging blaze of sonic heat.

What you'll hear:

The Brides - Pushed Around
Silver Abuse - Idi Amin’s Tortoise
Carlton Melton - Electrified Sky
Gary Wrong Group - Heroin Beach Serpents Attack
The B-52's - 52 Girls (1978 7'' Version)
-words from the host-
LASSIE - Modern Vacation
En Attendant Ana - Time
Index - Fire Eyes
Warm Bodies - Love O' Clock
Cruz Somers - Sit & Stare
-words from the host-
Hank Wood &The Hammerheads - How'm I Supposed To Wake Up In The Morning
The Fabuletts - Can't Stay Away
Choke Chains - Galactic Overlord
The Resource Network - Albatross
Pram - Bewitched
-words from the host-
Clone Defects - Not as Good as Gold
The Total Rejection - Licking Furniture (You'll Find Me On The Left Side)
The Monsieurs - High School Star
The Drags - Not So Good Luck Charm
Dow Jones and the Industrials - Can't Stand The Midwest
-words from the host-

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Apr 19, 2018

HANK WOOD and the HAMMERHEADS S/T LP


Before we even get started here can we all just come to the conclusion that Hank Wood and the Hammerheads are one of the greatest punk rock bands of the 21st century?

Wheezy blurts from what sounds like an organ that was moonlight requisitioned from the most obnoxious teen beat band on the block, guitars that seem to be an aural equivalent of bare skin sluing across battered on concrete and a voice that makes a person think of an angry dog with Tourette's, the band has made three frenetic full-lengths that that are of their own monster.

Are they some sort of mutated garage punk? It is old school hardcore getting mauled by woodland creatures with rabies? Is this some an art grunge prank that actually works? It's really up to the ear of the beholder of where they wanna lump the band as. The melancholy piano figures "I Can't Stay" may confound fans from any faction as it opens the album. Once the frustration rises to the top though, the fuse is lit and the first powderkeg of sound takes flight in an explosive lift off of twisted notes, all will yell in unison "YES! HAMMERHEADS!"


The cacophony that band makes has always seemed to be fueled by frustration and cemented in a disharmonic outlook of what surrounds them. Despondency looms and lingers has always loomed large in their bag of tricks as songs like "It's Lonely In This World All Alone" and "How'm I  Supposed To Wake Up In The Morning" can attest. While in other hands such titles would most likely stick the earholes into someplace like Morrissey land, the former here seems to have made a stop at a really weird disco to leave with space funk dust in its pockets. The latter decides to soundtrack goth go-go bar.




A particular rage has always been part of Hank Wood and the Hammerheads template and there's plenty of that with the wild explosions that are songs like "You Wanna Die" and "It Must Be Nice" to a point where if the album just went for doing something it for the rest of the record, it would still be something exiciting and would take ages to get sick of.



The thing is though amidst such internal fires also curveballs like thrown in such things like the almost bongriptastic "Love Is A Cold Wild Tile" and they way"Nothing But A Man" answers the question what happens if you lived on a diet of Wire's Pink Flag while practicing fracturing dance moves that will confound while continuing to pummel.

.
It seems with a lot of great punk bands, hell even great rock-n-roll bands, is that once they get something that is a sound all of their own, it seems they then lock it tight and hermitically seal it. It eventually becomes a biproduct of stale air. There's enough cracks and wormholes with Hank Wood and the Hammerheads clatter that invites odd smells, strange mildews and weird bugs to come in and make it different each time.
Do your nailing at Toxic State records

Apr 6, 2018

The SKIDS Crooked Cop 7inch EP


The Skids are not a reformation of the Scottish punk band that was the guy from Big Country's first group. First off, the guy from Big Country been dead for a while (though Richard Jobson of the Skids did a reunion show under the name in 2010 with another guy who was in Big Country.) Secondly, these Skids are from Melbourne, Austraila.

Having not listened to the Scottish Skids in a thousand years, I had to look up one of their songs online to be reminded what they sounded like. These Oz Skids don't sound similar.

I think if you listen to these Skids with headphones on you will hear actual knuckles dragging beneath the grunts of the singer and the loads of mud the band dredges up.

With "Crooked Cop" as the first impression and the boozy lummox stomp tempo it's easy to think that the band is absolutely surly and doesn't like to have a good time (unless their idea of having a good time is giving everyone else the creeps) but if that was the case, they probably wouldn't cop a Chuck Berry lick like the do on "Alright With Me."
 
The thing is though, if you entered this band in a Chuck Berry lick copping contest the judges might say "Why do they sound so lunkheaded about the whole thing." I'd probably vote for them for that same reason though.
Spin out at Shipping Steel Records

Apr 1, 2018

Smashin' Podsistorscast 31: There will be ham sandwiches and coffee following the service...


Let Smashin' Transistors ruin Easter Dinner with the family for you. We've got sleaze, lust, blasphemy and a whole lot of other sins in static and noise. Some of it even goes POP! 

 
What you'll hear: 
Mary Jane Hooper - I've Got What You Need 
Krozer - Pink Stuff 
Thomas A Edison Electric Band - Name Of The Game 
Obnox - I Climbed A Mountain 
Cybotron - Cosmic Cars 
-words from your host- 
Caveman and Bam Bam - Starting A Dance Craze 
Isley Brothers - Keep On Doin' 
American Breakfast - Ice Cream 
Neo Neos - Give Me a Chance 
Dan Melchior - Another Oil Spill 
-words from your host- 
Hank Wood & The Hammerheads - It's Lonely In This World All Alone 
Lassie - Tiger In My Tank 
En Attendant Ana - In The End 
Supercrush - I've Been Around 
Bailter Space - Splat 
-words from your host- 
Rik and the Pigs - Rat's Behind 
Heavy Lids - T.V. States 
Control Test - Abuso 
Heavy Metal - Today Is The Day Before Tomorrow 
CH3 - Catholic Boy 
-words from your host-

 You can also subscribe to the Smashin' Transistors show on Apple Podcasts, Podbean and Radio Mutation

Mar 28, 2018

RIK and the PIGS A Child's Gator Mini LP


Some of the things that are missing from a lot of punk rock today is a sense of glitter and flash.

I'm not talking spangles and sparkles either. I'm talking that things like someone spraypainting themselves with a can of silver Rust-Oleum enamel for the sake of getting attention and then landing in the hospital in the morning due to the enamel clogging all their pores and causing some kind of blood poisoning. I'm talking a shiny sheen that comes from not only satin clothes but from intaking a lot of burgers & french fry grease and staying up so late from partying down that showering in the morning still hasn't entered the mind.

It's a glitz that has the opiated swagger of 1970's Iggy, the teenage cockiness of a video arcade hustler flim-flamming for coins by hawking pin doobies and the street knowledge of that one kid who always cuts class and chainsmokes Marlboro lights out in the woods behind the high school.

Maybe so many bands are lacking it is because Rik and the Pigs are hoarding it all that up for themselves. Sometimes dinging thoughts the Dead Boys if they all got their GED's, or the Jabbers if they washed their crotches at least every once in a while, A Child's Gator ruminates a world of shabby jeans and ringer tees, the drinking age being 18 years old (and all the cases of cheap beer that went with it) and whatever happened to real rock-n-roll.

While celebrating such things Rik celebrates himself for who he is and why he is so cool (and the band referencing a riff that reminds this reporter of Thin Lizzy's "Wild One") with"(Baby) I'm Electric" and extols the coolness of people he knows on "Donny Says". There's also a call out to this nation we all here live in too and a shooting of a wild surf that's happening in a gutter on a sketchy part of town.



There's even a moment here where the band throws back to themselves by updating "Don't Tell On Me" from the Total Punk single that came out in early '17. As it was, the song had the makings of a classic glam-punk jammer, so how could they improve on it? By giving it a heavier pair of boots to stomp with, a bigger guitar solo and a fresh sheen of snot.
 

A rockologist I know swears that with the phasing out of leaded gas, with it went a chemical that helped people strut the right of kinda slimy way. On this record though, it sounds as if Rik and the Pigs live downwind of a mountain full of Monte Carlos and Chevelles running their engines.
Get chomped at Total Punk

Mar 24, 2018

CCR HEADCLEANER Mission Control 7inch EP

CCR Headcleaner is BACK! Not that they may have gone away or anything but after digging what they dealt for a bit and then not feeling all too much of a buzz with that album they did for In The Red in 2016, I wasn't too sure whether I'd come back around again to check out their stash.

Whatever caused that record to fizzle like a sparkler instead of exploding like a brick of M-80's has been fixed here. "Mission Control" blasts straight off the earth like a rocket built from a million Harley Panhead motors and straight to into a black smoked galaxy. It lands on a planet inhabited by psychomotor stimulanted space critters who are building a race of Black Sabbath/Helios Creed supermonsters. Upon meeting the crew though, the planet bows to their feet for already achieving the plan.

Like Godzilla sleeping in a frozen underwater world who is then angrily awoken forced to come to the surface again, "Unified" starts like it is shaded with dark hues of blue and green before making a ruckus and turning the whole city a flaming red. It's a quiet, loud, quiet, loud thing but it doesn't sound like it was lifted from the Scorpions "No One Like You" or whatever Pixies song Nirvana got the idea from. It's more like they watched a chain of electrical grid burst a series of blinding light and took it from there.

On the flipside, "Ipso Facto Alcohol" it's like they're trying to figure out jazz math but decide it's just too brain-wracking. The result of a stumbly creepy crawl through the land of the Magic Band where they meet a creature feature movie host with a deep penchant for quaaludes.

By the time the record makes re-entry to this world with a sizzled sonic boom and the infinite echo of "Lobotomize The Cops" you brain and eardrums may have already been destroyed by an asteroid.

When this record arrived in my mailbox, the envelope was shrinkwrapped in plastic. The mailer had a bunch of wet stains all over it. I'd like to think that the band soaked it in marijuana tincture and it was not just a foul up from the USPS.
Get fried here

Mar 22, 2018

AMERICAN BREAKFAST Asscube 7inch EP


In the last decade or so, a lot of what's been passed off as "straight-up garage rock action" has been questionable to being downright discourteous to anyone who in the 1990's blasted the latest new releases from a decent record stores 7inch bin at full volume.

How many times over the past 10 years now have I've read some hype and expected to get wowed by hipshakin' coup de mâitre only to hear something timid and lacking guts? Quite a few. How many times have I said "More like feeble bedroom pop encased in digital reverb?" before banishing a band from my orbit? Just as many.

Chicago's American Breakfast isn't playing such a bait and switch games though. First off there's the way French-born Laure Ellie sings. It's part Ye-Ye girl about town sass and coo's, part greasy and rowdy Rhythm-n-Blues blaring. A sweet creme brulee chased with a shot of single barrel bourbon. The band is no slouch either giving a hot and bothered wallop that's made to be heard loud in dive bars (and not just over laptop speakers) to tried-n-true 3 chord rave-up sounds like "Asscube" and blues-punk oozing "Ice Cream."



Though American Breakfast have released a couple things before, this is their debut to vinyl. Seems like a minor wrong in the world has now be righted.
Smell the bacon frying at Randy Records

Mar 11, 2018

Smashin' Podsistors #30 aka XXX

Raised on skin flicks and backwoods hootch? Maybe. Hot cars and cold hearts? Possibly.



The key is in the ignition. It gets gripped then turned. The bumpy road trip starts. Out of our minds and into space. A bunch of stops will be made in Austraila along with some other. One in my hometown too. That last line is questionable because research of if the Lee Vi's were actually from Port Huron has hit plenty of dead ends.

What you'll hear
Syd Barrett - No Good Trying
The Stallion - Nobody's Home
Black Sandwich - Subscription Garb
Day Creeper- Secrets
Casual Burn - Decline
Thigh Master - Pity Run
The Mark Vodka Group - I Just Have To Get Her Off My Mind
Doug Mcdade & Purple People - I Wanna Do It.
TV Creeps - Is This Real?
Moonwalks - Plastic Eno
Psychlops Eyepatch - Sleeptalker
High Rise - Wipe Out
The Cobras - I Wanna Be Your Love
The Living Eyes - Horseplay
SCRAP BRAIN - Vindictive
Parsnip - Seeing Red
Charlie Reed - Love Hangover
Laetitia Sadier Source Ensemble - The Woman With The Invisible Necklace
David Nance - I'm A Loser
The Lee Vi's - I Don't Know 

You can also subscribe to the Smashin' Transistors show on Apple Podcasts, Podbean and Radio Mutation


Mar 8, 2018

Ellison Brewery's Dawn Street Pale Ale

With IPA's being the big dog in the beer world, it's sibling, the standard pale ale, has been neglected and, in some circles, even shunned these days (for example, it was a sad day for us here at Smashin' Transistors when we heard that Founders was going to be no longer be making their dry hopped pale ale as it was one of our favorites and always paired finely with whatever was for dinner.)

Now, I'm not talking smack about IPA's or anything. I dig plenty myself but still, there's nothing like a solid and tasty pale ale. They're flavorful with citrus, pine and maybe even bread and honey nuances but not an overtly sticky hop bomb. They're crisp and refreshing but not some lightweight old guy beer either. And, as I already mentioned, a finely made will compliment but never overshadow any food it is served with.

It seems the grain and yeast thaumaturges at Lansing, Michigan's Ellison Brewery were thinking the same thing when they envisioned Dawn Street Pale Ale. Colored beaming tangerine in color and a sporting a dense and rocky head, we're already off to a great start when this brew is poured into a glass. Eyes closed and giving it a sniff, one may think they have a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice in their hand. Aroma of mango, peach, honey and toast made from homemade bread are noticeable on the nose too.

On first sip, there's a bit of caramel and sweetness. Then a variety of the aforementioned citrus comes into play. The other fruits follow that. The complexities of it all intermingle, giving each one a distinction but being subtle about it. Towards the end, it brings the toast and honey thing out that was noticed in the scent before closing with a slight bitter that then fades into a clean and dry flavor.

That beer booms with all kinds of character and is very memorable. It's not obtrusive about though s whether it's steak, chicken, fish or whatever you may choose for a main course at suppertime or just simply hanging out and knocking back a few brews, this one will not disappoint.
Taste a brighter shade of pale at Ellison Brewing and Spirits.

Mar 6, 2018

JACKSON POLITICK Paste Vol. 1 LP


If Andy Jordan wasn't the hardest working person in punk rock for 2017, he still must be pretty high on the list of people who were. Doing duties in The World, Razz, the Beatniks and, of course being Mr. Human of the Reptoids, it's most likely didn't leave many blanks in his appointment book last year. And probably those open dates ended up having the name Jackson Politik quickly penciled in.

The thread that runs through all the different projects he's involved in is an admiration for pockets of sounds of yore but with enough of a twist to make it their own. This is like that too but as where the other ones seemed to focus on one particular sound, be it synth punk, budget powerpop or what have you, here things are more like a compilation of many DIY 45's all recorded on the same 4-track tape machine.

Scummy punk rock comes in the form of the skittish & frenzied on the album's opener "Habit", how "Learning To Live With It" sounds like something like Swell Maps at their most wrung out, hungover and on the verge of veering off a cliff and the hyperactive drum machine and overall bugged out bounce that's "Sex & Pity."



"This Town" might get someone thinking power-pop at first but the robotic vocal throws the scent off that trail fairly quickly. It is picked back up though (along with an aroma of something like hot dogs at a carnival and strawberry Bubble Yum) with "Hooked On A Feeling (Arthur Lee Love Song)."


There's a big chiming C86 thing all over "I Get Carried Away" which this reporter can't really figure out whether it was deliberate or simply a happy accident of a barebones tape machine. The same sort of thought comes to mind a bit on in the black raincoat wearing but still not 100% goth yet not exactly sunny day either feeling of the album's closer "The Hours."



I've been diggin' many of the different projects Andy's been doing since first heard the Cuts debut single on, outta all labels, Lookout almost two decades ago. This Jackson Politik has become truly one of my favorite things that he has done.
Glue your ears at Neck Chop

Feb 26, 2018

Doug Mcdade And Purple People "I Wanna Do It"

I suppose some of the kids today would call this an American stab at Junk Shop Glam. To my ears though, it’s horny midwest teenage pre-punk slobber.

From what I could glean from minimal sources is that Doug Mcdade formed this band to do a cover of Sheb Wooley’s “The Purple People Eater” while attending in Wausau, Wisconsin in the early 1970′s. I don’t know if their cover of the song is anywhere in existence but they apparently kept the name and in 1973, recorded and released this razor blade wrapped in bubblegum.

I got hip to the song when the Fevers covered it on the 1998 4 song 7inch EP they did for Tina “Boom Boom” Lucchesi’s label Lipstick Records called Show. They heard the song via the original Bobby Comstock version from 1963.

Doug’s still in the entertainment business. Nowadays, he's in the acting and directing side of the game.

Feb 25, 2018

Smashin' Podsistors: 29 (and holding)

I've never lied about my age.
I was referred to as being a proto-Gen X'r recently.
I dunno, man. That might even stick.


 You can also subscribe to the Smashin' Transistors show on Apple Podcasts, Podbean and Radio Mutation


What you'll hear:
Margie Singleton - Jesus Is My Pusher
Golden Boys - Rotary Phone
Tin Foil - Tomorrow Again
Beachwood Sparks - Sister Rose
Bad Habit - Foggy Eyes
Fernando & The Teenage Narcs - Heavy Metal Narcs
Rik & the Pigs - (Baby I'm) Electric
Thin Lizzy - Bad Reputation
The Monsieurs - I Will Run
The Number Ones - Long Way To Go
Electric Orchids - Strange Men Call Me Sweetheart
The Liminanas feat. Anton Newcombe - Istanbul Is Sleepy
The Futurians - Abandon Base
Wet Hair - Dear Danae
The Dole - New Wave Love
The Hentchmen - Flash Flood
The Living Eyes - International Fashion
Heavy Lids - Creep Creep
Straight Arrows - Out & Down
The Move - Flowers in the Rain

Feb 23, 2018

CHARLIE REED "Love Hangover" 7inch


Chicago's Uh Bones may have packed it in a bit ago but their tattered and frayed jangle lives on with former member Luke Trible's new project Charlie Reed.

When I first played side one's "Love Hangover" I realized it was not a cover of the Diana Ross song. The second thing I learned is that Charlie Reed are not all about kicking up dust. It's a much more quiet affair here. Nylon stringed guitars move the rhythm of the song as it goes off into a baroque and blurry field of brightly colored flowers and dewy green grass. Something like Donovan song stripped down to simple basics and san all that silly affected hippie quavering thing he did with his voice or White Fence in their stoned & breezy lo-fi bedroom pop finery moments come to mind.


With it's folky fingerpicking pattern the flipside's "Just A Little" has a lightly but plesantly baked mood that's akin to some rays of sunlight poking its way through some rainclouds on an early autum day.
Feel the lilt from Randy Records

Feb 18, 2018

FATAL FIGURES You Are Monster LP


Former Blowtops Aaron and Tracy make up two parts of this trio. The garage punk/deep goth thing they had in that former life carries over here. It's even gorier than before.

Not simply because the vinyl is blood red and Rob Fletcher did a bad ass job on drawing guts and entrails for the cover either. Seriously, "Hand Of God" starts things off like the Birthday Party and TAD blacking out and then go off on a bathtub manufactured amphetamine enhanced kill spree.



There's a huge creepy small town terror thing that runs throughout the record. "Human Skin Lanterns" is the music that plays in a hearse which roams the back farm roads late at night, looking for lights on and movement because such things equal fresh blood.

There's also a weird dirt road vibe on "Skin Split." With its blood-curdling howl and a brain clobbering Hound Dog Taylor burning in hell boogie riff, it is one that's akin to being invited to a party that's down at the end of a dark path only to arrive and find out the bash's entertainment revolves around chainsaws, meathooks, a gurgling cauldron and an acidic swamp.



One of the important things about doing Gore-Punk, to me at least, is that the band makes nods subtle or obvious to the originators of the past of such sounds. For the later, Fatal Figures obviously have the Cramps running through their bloodstream and muscle tissues. With the former, I detect bits of Alice Cooper in the way they mangle 70's rock action on tracks like "Plastic Slivers"


For anyone that is planning on having a haunted house this coming October, don't fall back on the ol' reliable screams and creepiness of that Disney sound effects record. Play this instead and ensure that little kids will have nightmares for at least a few days longer and maybe even disturb a few of the for life.
Get bludgeoned with a blunt object at Blak Skul

Feb 15, 2018

STRAIGHT ARROWS "Out and Down" 7inch


I've heard the name of Australia's Straight Arrows mentioned quite a few times over the last decade or so. Somehow though, I have never actually consciously HEARD them til this recently released two songer on Spacecase Records.

There's a durability in the way some bands can have guitars wring and twist Byrdsian chimes into curious, different new shapes. "Out and Down" is one of those kinds of songs that does that thing. Wrap a blanket of fuzz around that mutated jangle, add a swing that's well adept in both stomp & way. Then dip it in a light & chilly mist of echo. Don't worry about it getting too icy though. The heat coming off of Owen Penglis' bratty bellow practically starts a fire.

If side one is a piece of hazy and wiggly psych punk that provides a ying, side two's ditty celebrating the idea of being a small business owner that still has to answer to a corporate office,"Franchisee" is a garage punk hop around that works as a quick and smart-alecky yang.

Get a shot of it at Spacecase Records