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-

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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-

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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-

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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-

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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

Jul 18, 2018

PATIOS COUNSELORS Proper Release LP


The once hot breeding grounds for new and interesting forms of rock music are no more. Now all gentrified and surrounded by sky-high rents, such places that once were Petri dishes of culture clashes, weird and exciting approaches now often encourage the embracing of commodification or, with everything in the world available at the fingertips or just outside their door, they've become comfortable in a lassitude inducing bubble. A real world, with its sights, sounds, bumps, scrapes and bruises are all blunted and muted. The air starts to smell all the same all the time. It's stale air and it is all that is being breathed in and out.

Meanwhile, in places that are not on the tip of anyone's tongue, out of the ordinary sounds from the bored, the free-minded and the unequivocally esoteric collide. Occasionally the sorts pullulate, creating something with vaguely familiar angles and references contorted in a way that it gives the listening part of the brain something new to untangle.

The above is a perfect way to describe Charlotte, North Carolina's Patois Counselors. Though the city probably best known for it's Nascar track, drag strip and as headquarters for several large banking institutions, unless you happen to get lured into a conversation that revolves around K-Ci & JoJo or high fructose corn metal band Firehouse, it's unlikely a chat about the music of the city is going to continue into the wee hours of the night.

As wide as the gamut is between wrench crankers, high finance and 90's chart-toppers, the gamut is just as wide with this band.

Opening track "Disconnect Notice" and one of this writer's personal picks to click "Modern Station", find the austere drumbeats, whirling & spindly guitars and brusque lyrical delivery channeling things like the Fall and the Country Teasers.



Punk as art-funk appears in the guitar slashes and nervy rhythms of "Last Heat" and the other artsy-punk spazz outs reach the highest of levels "Repeat Offender."



While the variety is enough from those batch of songs to the next show that the band isn't just working in weirdly shaped to next, the rhythm box driven "Terrible Likeness" and the way "All Clean" sounds like it is something heard creeping through the floorboards from a dingy basement, grasp a dark mood fitting for a goth club that embraces real spiders crawling over skin than make-up and jewelry that gives an illusion of such things.


"Target Is Not Comrade" closes the album and leaves the listener wrapping their brain around an orchestra of squalls and a melody of a new wave song they swore they've heard often but can't place a when or a where. The buzz of it all will find many wanting to come back again to cop the strange high again.

Get analyzed at Ever/Never Records

Jul 14, 2018

Smashin' Podsistors 37: And all of the colors are black


The fish have been biting but adulting has kept me away from finding out for myself. Hell, I've only been to the beach twice this summer.


In episode 37 there are some Aussies contorting a mid 70's Adult Contemporary smash, the Buzzcocks,  a couple things that cop the Buzzcocks, punk-psych, space-punk, bong-gazers and oodles more.

 What You'll Hear:

Superhelicopter - Rock 'n 'roll Nightmare
Daytime Drugs - Space Station Blues
Compulsive Gamblers - Quit This Town
Carol Jones - Don't Destroy Me
The Lavender Flu - Leaking Past
-Your host speaks-
Slowcoaches - Found Down
Circle Jerks - Operation
Dead Meadow - Nobody Home
Patois Counselors - Terrible Likeness
Tang Soleil - Canadian Son (To Terry Jacks)
-Your host speaks-
Germ House - Crawl Into the Past
Outer Spacist - Gyrfalcon Flight
Rose Mercie - The End of Love
The Shifters - My Little Town
Country Teasers - Points of View
-Your host speaks-
Trash Knife - Locked Out
Liquids - Not Fun
Buzzcocks - Love Battery
Lassie - Zegway Cop
Elton Motello - Pogo Pogo
-Your host speaks-

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Jul 9, 2018

JEFFREY EVANS and ROSS JOHNSON "Caldonia" 7inch


When Baron Ross Johnson and Monsuier Jeffrey Evans hang out, it is anyone's guess as to what kind of devilry may happen. Bad jokes and tales of misspent youth are common and a spilled drink of some sort is not unexpected. It also usually leads to music being made.

Reverberating like they recorded this at the bottom of a handle of Dickel No. 8, the two bang away at two deep south folk standards, mangling something that has been heard done a billion ways into something ripped bare and bleeding. If you're familiar with the Original Panther Burns single that Spacecase released a few months back, this has the same stripped-down hanging out in a living room feel. The difference though is that the record Ross did with Tav sounds like a dapper afternoon. This is very late night and rumpled.

"Caldonia" gets battered and then left for dead in an auto salvage yard. Backward and blanging blues bite from Mr. Evans six strings as he howls, while Mr. Johnson taps and whacks a rhythm that paces a path only it knows. Sounding like he's using trash cans lids as cymbals, the metallic crash and rattle give the whole thing a before there was an Einstürzende Neubauten there were hillbillies.

"Cotton Fields" bursts out, gets all wobbly, breaks down and then falls into an oddly shaped pocket and then catches a countryside stride. The only thing missing was a choir of barroom angels to join in on the chorus.
Order a round at Spacecase Records

Jun 28, 2018

COUNTER INTUITS "Vietnamese Lighter" 7inch


If I was asked to pick my most favorite song off Counter Intuits last album, Monosyllabilly, I'd have a rough time narrowing it down to just one. I hope no one asks me which side of this new single by 'em is my favorite because I will have just as hard of a time choosing one over the other.

Comprised of Columbus, Ohio weird punk legend Ron House (Great Plains, Ego Summit and, of course, Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments) and Jared Phillips of semi-legendary no-fi debased pop noisesters Times New Viking, the duo has an aptness of creating something both melodic yet discomforting and simplistic yet puzzling.

Incorporating tones and clanks that may or may not be played on perversely tuned lutes and other corrupted ancient instruments, "Vietnamese Lighter" resembles a Far Eastern fever dream involving a tsunami. Some sounds swirl in unearthly patterns emitting things that might be observed as hi-brow by a particular crowd while others bash as out a buzz that's akin to primate preformed garage rock to keep everything in check. Standing in the eye of this storm is Ron, who in a creaky tone spins a tale about a nefarious river excursion.



Flipping the record takes the flipside analogy practically literally because "Edge" sounds practically straightforward and normal in comparison. Of course, in the world of the Counter Intuits, words like straightforward and normal are relative. To these ears, it sounds like a rock anthem.



A bashed to bits rock anthem found under a bunch of coil springs that are being eaten every second by midwest rust but a rock anthem none the less.
Get lit at Total Punk

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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