Dec 26, 2018

U-NIX Nuke Portland 12inch EP

As I grow older and move a little slower (sounds like a corny country song, huh?) I find that sound as motivational fuel has become much more effective.

As a youngster, pretty much anything with a snappy tempo could fire me up for facing any day. Now being (as my chillun' call me when I am outside of earshot) grizzled, I need something with a bit more higher octane to help me blast off into another day of earning my paycheck.

Lately, the thing that I've been blasting a full volume before heading out the door each morning is this debut slab from Portland's U-Nix.

A whirlwind of raging hardcore blasts off every face within the reach of this record. Meant to be played at 45, some may find themselves doublechecking playing at that speed due to how berserk of a sound scene this slab rips at some moments. I, for one, thought I had the speed cranked to 78 even. Thing is though, my turntable doesn't offer that option. Slowing it down to 33 was interesting though as it then sounded like a sounder of swine way irritated that supper had still had not been served.

That is really here nor there though, right?

It's a sound galvanized by the lacerating guitar slashes from John formerly of NASA Space Universe. The record first drill its way up from some molten and enraged place in deep earth with "Landlord." Once it surfaces, the rhythm section rolls through like a tornado, battering everything it is path while a bedlamite orates acerbity for most things that surround it.

Consider it just a little prep test though, because it's followed by the longest track on the record. Sure, "Society's Victim II" still only clocks in at a minute and a half, but it's a minute and a half of dizzying jolts with an intricacy that causes just as many jaws dropping in awe as it does making people wanting to bash into each other.

You'll be glad that such prep was done too as the relentless fits of convulsions from a possessed surf riff on "Hobby" and the neck-snapping stops that happen on "Punitive" are not for an abecedarian sort.

It's a twisted and discomforting record and perhaps even framing it as a hardcore record is lazy. For instance, there's a way tracks like "Liberal Hardcore" are sharp needle jabs into the psyche and make basking in disorientation a most enjoyable way to spend fleeting moments.

Get the doses of radiation at Feel It records

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-

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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