Jul 19, 2019

Film Photo Friday No. 7: Cosmic Light Shapes

A monochromic shot of Eugene of Cosmic Light Shapes dealing out swirling psychedelic pop at the SchwonkSoundStead in Port Huron.

Shot on a Holga 120N using Kodak T-Max 400.

Smashin' Transistors gladly accepts tips!

Jul 17, 2019

MUSCLEGOOSE A Hot Dog Made of Us 7inch EP

MUSCLEGOOSE. Sounds like the name of a Top Fuel dragster. Or at least something a hesher neighbor would have airbrushed and pinstriped across the back of the spoiler of a Mustang Mach 1 he's been in the process of restoring for the last decade.

This Fayetteville, Arkansas band aren't either but they do burn hot and flammable enough to make either of the above engines combust. Straight off the record comes out swinging in a blind rage with "Diaper Daddy Day Care." Vicious and quick, it pretty much sets the mood for what is going to be an 80's pre-tough guy/pre-fat & bald guy with a goatee hardcore dustup for the rest of this 7inch slab.

Whether it is imagining a march on DC with a long lost and lamented soda as the leader (or at least the caffeinated catalyst that would/could/should inspire such a thing) on "Mr PiBB Goes to Washington" or the way "Are You Ain't Ever Scared Of The Dark" wings aural rocks, mud and poo at passerby's, the pummeling hardly ever lets up.

The only time it really does is the first 30 seconds of the record's longest song, the 2 and a half minute "ABBA & Elvis Costello Meet Ben Stein's Mummy." It starts out fooling listeners into thinking it might be a sludgy psych-punk trip but then explodes into a thousand pieces too.

Get it with mustard at Also Tapered records
Smashin' Transistors gladly accepts tips!

Jul 12, 2019

Film Photo Friday No. 6: Light Station No 1

"What is there to see? What is there to do?"
"Have you ever seen the lighthouse?"

Yeah, that is a common conversation with people that visit my hometown. I've even seen it in altered states of reality.

A multiple exposure shot on a Lomography DianaMini using Kodak Gold 200 35mm film.

Smashin' Transistors gladly accepts tips!

Jul 11, 2019

NO BAILS No Baios cassette

Photo by Dale Merrill
Did Michigan's dilettantes of wah-wah'd pizza party thud turn prog? It's been a few years since they last released anything so who knows, right. Perhaps they've been woodshedding or something brah.

Spotting a nine plus minute track on their latest cassette, No Baios may cause such alarm. Knowing the jokers these Michiganders can be though, a deeper investigation into such a matter needs to be conducted.

The subject in question is "Subbasement Rock." It's highly like that guys who have been sitting around studying things like the space between the notes of Rush's 2112 for decades ARE NOT going to be adding the song, a stream of consciousness featuring screeches, crashes, thumps, attempts to communicate with space aliens and, well, sub-basement jam traipses to their listening agenda any time soon.

If this tape just consisted of things such as that, Bails fans would be left scratching their heads at the very least and likely swearing off Jeno's pizza rolls too. There is very little for them to fret though. "Doin' Fine" top drawer/lo-fi Cosmic Psychos/Dwarves crud.

The song about skateboarding (as there should always be one on any No Bails release) here, "We Sk8", is gunky enough where an entire bottle of Bactine wouldn't stave off the infection from the road rash it sonically resembles. Then there's "No Thankyou Bite" which is the band getting all arty about hardcore.

Put a few extra bratwursts on the charcoal grill, stick this on the boombox and watch the neighbors give you glares of disdain.
Pop ollies over at  No Bails facebook

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Jul 8, 2019

CURLEYS s/t 7inch EP

It's no secret that the state of Florida has a reputation for having some, let's say, colorful and interesting residents. But is the whole "Florida Man" thing is an unfair stereotype? Are there really shirtless/toothless knuckledraggers and poorly tattooed and sun sagged cuckoo birds on every corner?

If trying to prove such as the above is something sets out to do, this debut single from Gainesville's Curleys will not be of results they desire. Crammed with six songs on a 7inch slab, each track is a conniption of its own wig-outness.

Inflamed with a guitar line that sounds as if it laser guided by mutants, the record's opener "Johnny" will get some listeners thinking "Is this some kind of  art trip or should I call the authorities for the sake of everyone's safety."

Slamming right into the record's next blast, "Lid's Loose", won't soothe any of those doubts either. Its choppy cadence bites hard and jagged and also resembles a tantrum inspired chant someone might stomp about to while braiding the wicks of thirty M-80's all together before sticking them into a coffee can and striking a match.

There's no letting up on side two of the record, "Bragging" launches like a nitro powered train departing berserk station. It's as if there is not really any intention of reaching a destination but throwing lots sparks off grinding rails and causing random decapitations of anything that gets in the way is. Just a couple minutes and few songs later, annihilation is complete with "Goro" splatting like a blood filled insect against a speeding semi truck's windshield.

Get tased at Total Punk

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Jul 5, 2019

Film Photo Friday No. 5: Orange's Yellow

This guy was lingering around our neighborhood for a few weeks. We could not take him in (we have three already and have plans in gear to move out of the state in the not too distant future. Finding a place to rent having three cats will probably be tricky enough. I imagine four would be a deal breaker for most landlords) but he was obviously someone's pet at one time. He was a super nice dude who loved to be sociable so we made sure to put food and water out for him on the porch and kept used to being around some friendly humans.

We did not see him for a couple of days so we figured he moved on. Then he showed back up and was roughed up and injured. We were not in a situation to help a stray out ourselves so I made a few calls to people who could. A rescue lady pulled some strings to get him into the county funded shelter even though they were full. She told me the shelter was now a no-kill and he would receive the best care available.

He is now better and up for adoption at the shelter. He will make someone an awesome friend.

A double exposure shot on a Lomography LaSardina using LomographyXpro 200 35mm film.

Smashin' Transistors gladly accepts tips!

Jul 1, 2019

Mixclouder of the Month: The Village Subway

Starting a new thing here on Smashin' Transistors where we spotlight on a show on Mixcloud that we dig a lot. If you are not familiar with Mixcloud it's an online music streaming service that allows for the listening and distribution of radio shows, DJ mixes and podcasts. There are tons of people producing content and uploading it daily on to the site. Actual humans putting sets of music together instead of computerized systems or algorithms. What a concept, right?

For our first voyage into doing this, we shine a light on the Village Subway.

Hosted by David Schwentker, the Village Subway originates live on Monday nights from 8-9pm on Raleigh, North Carolina's online station littleraleighradio.org

Encompassing a vast variety of loud, wild and twitchy sounds, Dave describes his musical selections as Underground Rock. There hasn't been an episode of the show yet where I haven't gotten turned on to something really good that I haven't heard before.

Jun 30, 2019

Smashin' Podsistors 52: Crawl right through your mind

Summertime and the, ummm, grass is longer. The snakes are more active because of it. Be sure to have a hammer and a jackknife handy at all times.

What you'll hear:
Squirrel Bait – Sun God
Protruders – Tax 101
Nots – Built Environment
Franky Shampoo and the City Creatures - Talk To Me
Major Stars – Out In The Light
-words from your host-
Straight Arrows - 21st Century
Lassie – Go West
Prince – Manic Monday
M.A.Z.E. - Human Brain
Eric Nervous and the Beta Blockers – Nailed To The Wall
-words from your host-
Aborted Tortoise – 20 XX
The Zits – Can't Get Smart
Primitiv Parts – bad vibes
Ice Baths – Auster
Salem 66 – Across The Sea
-words from your host-
Pinch Points – Spelt Out
Petite League – New York Girls
The Lice – So Bourgeois
Rose City Band – Fear Song
Radio Birdman - Snake
-words from your host-

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Jun 28, 2019

Film Photo Friday No. 4: Cenotaphs of the Big Three No. 1

I took my recently scored 1956 Zorki 2C rangefinder with a Jupiter 8 lens out for test run recently.

Zorki's are often called the poor man's or commie Leica (especially when paired with the Jupiter glass. The Russians took their optics very seriously.)

Using expired Astrum film from Ukraine, I went and shot some snaps American built classics.

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Jun 21, 2019

Film Photo Friday No. 3: Sunhouse

Sunhouse bassist (and my son) Lucas thumpin' the Thunderbroom at Slum Nation in Port Huron.

Slum Nation was a recent and very needed local DIY venue space in Downtown Port Huron for original bands to play. It has already been kiboshed due to ordinances and squares.

Shot on a Holga 120N with an AmozonBasics Electronic Flash using Kodak TMax 400 120 film.

I caught the picture taking bug as a young child in the mid 70s when my grandmother handed me a Kodak 126 Instamatic. In high school and college in the mid to late 1980s, I learned a lot about the art of photography and how everything works when it comes to using film. When digital photography gear became somewhat affordable in the early 00s, I made the leap. Eventually, it caused me to forget a lot that I learned. It also made me less discerning of what to shoot and when. 

A couple years ago, I started using film again. Cameras that are fully manual and antiquated I like using to get my skills back to where they were and are a blast to use. "Toy cameras" with plastic lenses are fun as well. And I also cannot forget to mention the slew of cheap former Soviet Union shooters in have in my collection. It has taken me back to observing and composing  instead of just willy nilly shooting randomly at whatever. 

I hope you enjoy the photos I will be sharing as much I do taking them.

If you'd like to help me out in the costs involved  (cuz film and development does cost a bit and my extra cash to spend on such is limited after my real life bills are paid), you can "buy me a cup of coffee" at my Ko-Fi page.


Jun 20, 2019

TOEHEADS Basement demo

There was a point in time where if you heard something describe as garage rock, you had a general idea of what it would most likely sound like. Over the years though, the size of that umbrella and what is underneath has grown quite larger. There's stuff out there, for example, that basically some quasi singer/songwriter folk stuff that doesn't really swing or move that is being called garage rock these days. A lot of times seems to boil down to some tape hiss in the final product. I believe that is what some people wittier than myself have called the Burger Record effect.

Unruly. Unhinged. Greasy hair and zits. A snarl and a stomp. Bedraggled. That's what I think should be expected when throwing the term around. Not a musical version of LARPing either where it's playing some traditionalist/purist role where everything past a particular year over 5 decades ago is scoffed either. Having it armed with some punk rock explosives is the way to knock people off their feet as far as I'm concerned.

With everything pushed into an absolutely blown out red, Michigan's Toeheads deliver on those expectations. Three chords all rattled and covered with muck while howling at anything that moves is the band's modus operandi and, as distortion bomb that's "Floating Dust", the greasy fingers zig-zagging of "Grad" and how "Mr. Fish" violently hammers out a beat, make such procedures victorious.

The band could crank out such short mud-caked knuckle dragger after knuckle dragger to please those of the shortest attention spans but they also well aware that even subhumans can't survive constantly on the same kind of dirt alone. "Going Steady" boards the jangle train loaded with gasoline and is headed towards a gigantic fireball while "Windows (Brain Fry)" and "Laser Cannon" are like doing a hangover crawl toward more of a dog that bit ya.

Find out more about what creeps in the cellar at their Facebook page.

Smashin' Transistors gladly accepts tips!

Jun 17, 2019

Smashin' Podsistors 51: A Chattahoochee Reference

Though I like to think I am reasonably well-read, sometimes my brain will go off in some direction where I think something that is probably a well-worn colloquialism (or a line from a David Lynch film) is actually just a lyric from some cheesy pop country song of the 1990s.

What you'll hear: 
Cigaretz - Scared Of Girls 
Toeheads – Grad 
Registators – Panic Action 
Smart Hearts – You Beat Me To It 
Rose City Band – Fog Of Love 
-words from your host- 
 Kool 100s – Bogus Journey 
American Gorilla – Forsaken All Others 
Richard Vain – Castles 
Gun Club- Thunderhead 
Jack Oblivian – Scarla 
-words from your host- 
Protruders – No Stone 
Big Quiet – Pull The Thread 
The Fall – Wings 
Urochromes – Trapped On Planet 
Isolation Party – Disassociator 
-words from your host- 
Wolfmanhattan Project – Silver Sun 
Fabulous Fairies - Telephone 
Bikini Gorge – Cat In The Flat 
Georgia Asphault - Burn Again 
13th Floor Elevators - Dust
-words from your host- 

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Get even more Smashin' Transistors action at 

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Jun 14, 2019

Film Photo Friday No. 2: Embalm the ashes of the past and rise anew

The metal sculptures that dotted the parkway riverwalk in this town are now gone and have been replaced with different ones. One wonders where this Phoenix now is in the sun.

Shot on a Lomography Diana Mini using Kodak Gold 200 35mm film.

No post effects or filters applied. What you see is what the camera captured. Nothing more or nothing less.
Smashin' Transistors gladly accepts tips!

Jun 13, 2019

ISOLATION PARTY Fiberoptic Holiday LP

Often sounding like a small town take on '78 era punk rock that's packed with bright lights/big city notions, London, Ontario's Isolation Party are way less divisive about having a good time than their name may suggest. With an earnest heart on the sleeve yearning, a knack for colossal guitar hooks and a generally rambunctious execution, the band propels itself through quite a gamut of rock-n-roll.

Some songs here, like the record's opening salvo "Dark Matter" and "Pointing Finger" channel an antsy Pub Rock kind of thing but in a way where it blasts about as if it was influenced by punk rock instead of vice versa and the beer sweat it gives off reeks of a two-four of Boxer Ice than it does of ciders and bitters.

The ragged and comfortable feeling of faded flannel that dates back to the days before the Replacements were signed to a major label, the taste of orange bubblegum and the rush from breaking bottles on a busy street seem all present on songs like heads down chug of "Dislocator" and "Fine Lines."

Adding more twists to the above, the same thing goes with "Mr. Telephone" if you factor in some jumpy garage punk into the concoction.

Make that double for the record's title track with its infectious guitar riff and jagged bounce that drive "Sleeves" along but stir a large helping of Buzzcocksian cynical winks to the brew.

Get less confined at No Front Teeth records

Smashin' Transistors gladly accepts tips!

Jun 7, 2019

Film Photo Friday No. 1: The Harrington Inn Port Huron

Some locals like to tell a tale that this building was the last place Jimmy Hoffa was seen alive. It wasn't.

This building does have a share of history though. US president Harry Truman spent part of his honeymoon here.

By the time the 1970s rolled around, the place fell on rough times and was primarily a flophouse by the time the 1980s rolled around.  It was eventually refurbished and turned into a retirement apartment complex. That closed a couple years back now. It was recently purchased by a developer and is getting a new life again, this time as a boutique hotel. Pretty cool to see it come full circle.

Shot on a Lomography Diana F+ using  Kodak Ektar100 120 film.

No post effects or filters applied. What you see is what the camera captured. Nothing more or nothing less.

I caught the picture taking bug as a young child in the mid 70s when my grandmother handed me a Kodak 126 Instamatic. In high school and college in the mid to late 1980s, I learned a lot about the art of photography and how everything works when it comes to using film. When digital photography gear became somewhat affordable in the early 00s, I made the leap. Eventually, it caused me to forget a lot that I learned. It also made me less discerning of what to shoot and when. 

A couple years ago, I started using film again. Cameras that are fully manual and antiquated I like using to get my skills back to where they were and are a blast to use. "Toy cameras" with plastic lenses are fun as well. And I also cannot forget to mention the slew of cheap former Soviet Union shooters in have in my collection. It has taken me back to observing and composing  instead of just willy nilly shooting randomly at whatever. 

I hope you enjoy the photos I will be sharing as much I do taking them.

If you'd like to help me out in the costs involved  (cuz film and development does cost a bit and my extra cash to spend on such is limited after my real life bills are paid), you can "buy me a cup of coffee" at my Ko-Fi page.


Jun 5, 2019

BRUISED Arrow of Disease 7inch

Since 2007 Chicago based Randy Records has released slabs ranging from ringing folk jangle, gooey psych-pop and totally smoked filled dive bar white boy Rhythm-n-Blues. All of them had a healthy dose of punk attitude, but not many of them would I consider, y'know, punk rock.

That is until this, the 25th release from the label. Blurrrzztin' and blitzin', the debut single from Bruised. Battered and pulsing, "Arrow of Disease" throbs like Devo on a spaceship trip where they've hired a drunken Spits to be the crew. The spaceship in question is made of tin and is held together but some sort of glowing sludge. It's a brain rattling quest to a destination of circuitry.

If the song a blast to outer galaxies the flip, "Psychic Stain", is a rough reentry to this atmosphere. It's a quick and blunt blast of jerky hardcore that scrapes across concrete in a ferocious manner.

Get a contusion at Randy Records

Jun 1, 2019

D9 Brown Sugar Brown Cow

"Big brown cow out in her big grass field/chewing on her cud cuz that's her deal."

When my kids were young, I had a song I'd sing to them with such words. Set to the tune of the Stones "Brown Sugar", of course. When I first saw this Mocha Brown from North Carolina brewery D9, it was the first thing that came to mind. Brown Sugar. Brown Cow. Oh, for sure it was something I'd have to give some sips to.

Dark in color but semi-transparent with ruby highlight, a soft pour brought out a smidgen of a head that quickly dissipated. Its scents were rich with that of sweet caramel, molasses, vanilla and hint of coffee. None of them dominate in the aroma scene here but all are fairly represented.

A sweetness of vanilla and chocolate are right up front when taking the couple of tastes. As it breathes a bit, coffee and caramel notes become more pronounced. The finish is slighty sweet but not overtly sugary.

The beer never becomes thick and syrupy which gives it an interesting slant when compared to a lot of other brews done in this sorta style. It's lightness and reasonable amount of carbonation make it a bit more sessionable than some other sweet and burly brown ales I've tried in some recent times.
Mooove it on over to www.d9brewing.com

May 19, 2019

Smashin’ Podsistorscast 50: The Golden One

The 50th episode of Smashin' Transistors! That makes us gold, right?

What you'll hear:

The Beaubeins
– Times Passed
Hash Redactor – Open Invites To The Caves
Red Mass – Show Me The Money
Lassie – Deposit Bottles
The Shifters – John Doe's Collegue
-words from your host-
The That's Thats – More
Wolfmanhattan Project – Now Now Now
Crosscut Sores – Dead Hit
The Staches – Fake Stomach Ache
Public Interest – Passing Glances
-words from your host-
Science Man – Love Potent
TAD – High On The Hog
Hello Hooray – Cherries Light The Way
Clinic- Flying Fish
Jack Oblivian – Good Time Bad Girl
-words from your host-
Toeheads – Going Steady
Isolation Party – Sleeves
Andy Human & the Reptoids – You Like Your Job
The Dandelion – Message From The Fire
The Rationals – Leaving Here
-words from your host-

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

Get even more Smashin' Transistors action at 

If you'd like to help me out in the costs involved in doing the podcast, you can always "buy me a cup of coffee" at my Ko-Fi page.

May 16, 2019

CELEBRITY HANDSHAKE Political Future 7inch EP

"Is this a musical equivalent of chewing on aluminum foil?"

It's a question that I've been asked about some of my musical choices occasionally for ages now. Often I answer "Yes. Some get electrified by such things. Perhaps I am one of them."

If the music then didn't make them want to get away from me after their failed attempt at a sick burn, my reply of how I get joy out some sorts of such sounds usually does.

If it was a Celebrity Handshake record spinning though, I doubt those types of folks would even bother to complain to me about such things. Probably because they would have already bolted out the door.

With an embankment of guitar bawl behind him, head Handshaker Aaron Haines launches into an unhinged and raw throated invocation that seems to want to disguise itself as an announcement from a civic minded person on "Political Future." In past times, hearing such a disturbed sounding rant would tank one's prospects in any sort of public office but, given the world we're currently in and the clowns that are in charge, its almost as if voting from is far from the worst idea a person could have.

It's the kind of song that makes the two other tracks on this record, "Hit Me Where It Hurts" and the featured recently on a Smashin' Transistors podcast "It Takes All Kinds Of Bones", sound downright normal. That is if you think drinking a gallon of gasoline to extol the virtues of rock-n-roll while sitting inside a beat up old station wagon that's about to get compacted by a car crusher is any sort of normal.

Get sweaty palms at Eastern Prawn.

May 9, 2019


This record should come with a crash helmet. A super reinforced one at that because this record dishes out quite a pummeling of concussion causing beats and inner ear agitating six string fry.

Raw and relentless, bandying about a term such as Industrial to describe Science Man (a one-man project helmed by a former consort of Buffalo, NY's Radiation Risks) might evoke impressions that don't fit this record. It's not disco-metal made for a cavernous nightclub where a third generation VHS copy of The Hunger is projected on a wall. This affair is much more anguished and frantic. Songs like "Love Potent" and "Weaponizer" attest such points.

Another thing that has me searching for a much better descriptor than the one I've already mentioned is that the use of guitar here are not just some compendious blasts designed/fiddled to make aggressive poses to. Here they slobber, door, bark and slither.

"Layouts" is anchored by the trusty punk rock downstroke while the rest of the song gets itself into a tizzled rant, the cocky swagger that lubes the gears of "Beat Of Your Heart" is pork fat and "Virus" is like a case of boogie disease that's spread by scorpion stings.

Get your erudition at Swimming Faith Records

May 1, 2019

The COWBOYS The Bottom Of A Rotten Flower LP

Some albums win you over immediately. There are also that take a bit of absorbing before their goodness is fully realized. Then those rare birds that have both going on. They knock you over on their first spin and each and every one after that, more and more they become even better.

The latest LP from Indiana's Cowboys, The Bottom Of A Rotten Flower, is one of those kinds of records to me.

The candy-coated roar of songs like the album's opener "Open Sores" with its bop in Day-Glo beat, the clomp-clomp-clomp stomp of "The Second Shortcoming Of Christ" and how the anthemic chords of "Pie In My Eye" gets fist pumping in a celebration of triumphs of the forlorn are all akin to something like the Buzzcocks and Cheap Trick coiling around each other. They then form a pop serpent which strikes an infectious bite onto all that are curious.

Unlike vocals that are the dead poet obsessed bray of the former or often almost falsetto bluster of the latter though, singer Keith Harman delivers them in a way that is one part hayseed, one part hustler and a whole lots of heart.

If the band had stuck with this formula of cleverly crafted and concise songs (most of them run around no more than the two minute mark here), it would be a record full of charmers but its when they branch out from that proven winner formula where this record shines even brighter.

The vintage jangle and mood of "Take My Flower And Run" is like a Buddy Holly song chromed for the jet age (minus any of the trying too hard posing presented by so many 50's cosplayers), "Female Behavior Book" could very well be something from the Kinks Face To Face catapulted into the right now and the swirly new wave organs on "Some Things Never Change" should be playing on carousels at all fairs across the USA this summer.

Counterbalance it with flat out rockers like "Red-headed Girlfriend" and you may understand why I am already declaring this one of the definite best in a year that is still young.
  Get pollinated at Feel It Records

Apr 25, 2019

The GEROS "Freak Out" 7inch

Without a warning of any sort (and I'm talking not even the ol' mainstay "1, 2, 3, 4!" or a simile of a countdown), Osaka's Geros latest wastes not even a second of spreading some punk rock contamination. Vaccinations and rubber gloves would even keep those listening safe because coming in contact with it make immediately burst like a nasty blister and the vaporize from the scorch.

Often compared to KBD stalwarts and other punk legends, the Geros take such slobbering and toxic gunk, slash it to bits and chews it up. Instead of down their hatch it goes though, they spit it back out as giant, glowing fireballs.

Like a Teengenerate spun tighter than thought imaginable or Guitar Wolf dousing themselves in nitroglycerine "Freak Out" does more than just it's title suggest. It coils and it strikes. And not just once but repeatedly. 

Twist your brain at Episode Sound

Apr 23, 2019

Smashin' Podsistors 49: It's got ten-foot wheels and all that stuff

"I got a truck that'll mess you up."

'Round here, those words aren't said much. The looks flashed from people in such trucks say it without even uttering a word. The Kid Rock CD they have blasting out the truck while giving such a stare is used as some sort of punctuation of the point.

What you'll hear:
Paul McCartney - Eat At Home
Spiritualized – Here It Comes (The Road) Let's Go
Rubber Room – Chemical Imbalance
Writhing Squares – Bloodborne Hate and Black Book Mass
Functional Blackouts – Looking Good On The Way Down
-words from your host-
The Cowboys – Some Things Never Change
Altered Images – Forgotten
Gil Bronx Orchestra – Haunted House
Richard Vain- Punks Inbred
Mumzees – Initial Decay
-words from your host-
The Stools - Don't Need Nothing
The Higher State – Ten Clear Petals
Long Hots – Nickel and Dime
Eleventh Dream Day – Teenage Pin Queen
Public Interests – Flies In The Cemetary
-words from your host-
Abjects – The Storm
Hash Redactor - Bad Advice
Pussy Galore – Kill Yourself
Steve Treatment – Hooked On A Trend
-words from your host-

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

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Smashin' Transistors gladly accepts tips!

Apr 16, 2019

THE YOLKS Get Back 7inch

Chicago's Yolks have always been ace purveyors of oldfangled hopped-up white boy R&B with a serious croon shaking hands with a jittery powerpop. Always clever, often sweaty and sometimes bittersweet, there have been dance moves abounds on every record they've done. The fast ones making hips shake or having them do something a bit more slinky on the more smoldery ones, but "Get Back" could even get someone to do a pogo (or whatever the kids, if they even really dance these days, call it.)

It's not that the song is more feverish than past ones as such a thing is common for the band and there has always been a punk-ish approach to how they go about playing but this one's got a bit more of a one-two punch of neanderthal rhythm than usual. The tune's general downbeat cadence and the laser beam keyboard zings may have something to do with that too.

The back side's "Vampire" slows things down a bit. The harmonies are like the Kinks singing a woozy ballad while a guitar sounds like it is jangling about in a walk-in cooler that's stocked full of brightly colored fizzy drinks.

Get it served sunnyside up at Randy Records

Apr 4, 2019


It was about a decade and a half ago when Junkpile Jimmy's first record, the double LP Alberhill, landed on the turntable here at Smashin' Transistors. It seemed to come out of nowhere. And in more ways than one.

Hailing from an unincorporated farming community about 60 miles southeast of Los Angeles and playing a form of found sound and mutant/junkyard band blues that made a band such as Doo Rag sound something like some local dad rockers calling themselves a blues band and slogging away at "Mustang Sally" or whatever.

Percussion clattering and crashing, Jimmy's hoots and hollerings like a man possessed by demented spirits and slide guitar so greasy and scorched, one would swear it was a rib bone just pulled out of fire was what he was using to get such a sound. The blues has often been called devil's music. The record did nothing to dispell such thoughts but it did do quite a bit to confirm them.

Now, here we are fifteen years later and a new Junkpile Jimmy record has reared its head. Well, it's not actually "new" as the music was apparently recorded sometime after the first album years ago. The Devil's Music analogy still works though but it's a different kind than it was before. The previous one was of the Ol' Scratch and a bottle of hooch kind of scamp sort.

Such things may seem that way with how the album's opener "Existential Dread" first gurgles then swells from beneath the dirt. Once it is totally above the earth though, the devil that torments these proceedings, as the cover of the record itself does more than merely hint at, is much more of the full-on satanic soul gorging sort.

Such things become blatantly obvious as the record spins. Most hints of blues leans of the first record are blackened to a charred crisp and any thoughts of some sort of delta here are more akin to the River Styx.

"Shed Blood Total" voyages down such a path, one that is fiery and frightening and plays games with your head. There's a moment in it where one might think the storm has past and it's time to surf but it's then realized that was simply a moment in the eye of the storm when the fire starts to rain down again. The dervish whirl of "Priest Of Set" just fans the flames higher and any fleeting moment of false calm up that may have happened up until that point are completely gone when "Moldering Hatred" takes joy in stripping off skin in a most painful of aural ways.

It's not that the record is a non-stop rumble & bawl blaring from some scorched speakers in an Abbadon dungeon though. "Dragon's Breath" is quite the rock-n-roll holler standing atop of some sludgy mountain and "End Of The Empire" feels like some Deep Purple jam cranked up loud in a car right before it crashes into a wall.

Get possessed here.

Mar 24, 2019

Smashin' Podsistors 48: Green

The calendar is full of rumors. The Vernal Equinox corroborates.

What you'll hear.

Can - I'm So Green
Cameo - Alligator Woman
Obnox - Find My Way
Celebrity Handshake - It Takes All Kinds of Bones
Murderer - Tomorrow The World Is Yours
-words from your host-
Red Mass - Crooked
DANA - Cupid
Cold Feet - Buried in a Hole
Primitiv Parts - Internet
Ice Baths - Replacer
-words from your host-
Writhing Squares - Steely Eyed Missile Man
Martha and the Muffins - Paint by Number Heart
Straight Arrows - Headache
The Cowboys - Wet Behind the Eyes
-words from your host-
Midnight Mines - Innocent Sorcerers
Low Life - Rave Slave
Wingtip Sloat - Gizzard Jett
The Yolks - Get Back
Let's Active - In Between
-words from your host-

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Mar 19, 2019


When it comes to attaching musical electrodes to the skull to administer the most proper of brain frying, Detroit's Tim Lampinen know where to place them across the temporal lines.

In most situations, he is usually abetted by other bent habitues anxious for a space trip but here he's all on his own. The result is still an excursion through galaxies squishy and green. Any keen observer of the music he's made up til now has probably noticed the trace amounts of space/krautrock that pumps through the musical veins but here it is the hemoglobin that provides the oxygen to all the vital tissues.

When dropping the "K" rock word though, the first thing that comes to mind to most hip to it is the motorik beat, right? Such a beat does exist on this record but often, like on songs such as wobbly "Chemical Imbalance", how "Suction Cup Hand" sounds like it is oozing from the floorboards of some cosmic biker clubhouse and the way "Fall Of Man" psychically jackhammers at the frontal lobe, if it is modeled after a heartbeat as Klaus Dinger is credited to saying at least once while scoffing the much-used pigeonhole of a term, it is modeled after an antsy and irregular one. It can definitely cause dizziness.

From many previous moments of records that Tim has been apart of expecting ladles of space puss to be generously served is completely understandable. And such things are delivered (with possibly some globs of early Cabaret Voltaire singles for flavor accents) on with "Walk On Glass."

It's the things not expected though like how "I'm Just Your Punk!" blares out like the most epic of pop songs through a million blown speakers, how "Burrito Job" resembles the Young Marble Giants on a really creepy carnival ride and weirdo underneath swamp water funk swirlings of "Catching Frogs" that make this record shine like some neon Canopus.

 Taste the fungus at Total Punk

Mar 8, 2019


A feeling of motion sickness. One that comes from moving at different and always temperamental paces.

Fried Egg's latest is hardcore punk that causes a wooziness but it's not strictly from a velocity that has been the historically first impression many associate with such a tag.  Often, things here, like the way "Transient" moves like a spider walking across your face and how "Grown Fat" undulates, are a   slither that's choreographed by anxiety and refusing for the medication to take hold.

Often times on this record as the tension gets wound tighter and tighter, what seems as knuckle-dragging lumbering at first gets punctuated by unexpected and blinding blows. Other times, like with the immediate and fiery rocket blasts of "Confidence" and "Apraxia" things just get straight to the point.

Being completely lock into wiry grooves the band makes nods to punk rock forebearers (be it intentionally or subliminally) on tracks like "Why Bother" and "Fatalist" but they're in a way that they succeed far beyond something than merely emulating precious and silly nostalgia.

Make it sunny side DOWN at Feel It Records