Showing posts with label Bachelor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bachelor. Show all posts

Feb 16, 2017

MISS CHAIN & the BROKEN HEELS Uh Uh 7inch

     If there's such a thing as Spaghetti Twang, the band that would get a lot of the credit for making it happen would be Miss Chain & the Broken Heels.
     To pinpoint when exactly these Italians mastered such a sound I am not sure of but when on their first visit to the US years ago, I like to think I played a little part in sparking it. It was summertime and I hosted the band for a few days. I was going through one of my occasional Waylon Jennings phases so anytime one of them was in my car or my kitchen they heard him often. I also booked them into a pole barn out in the woods and a fishing pond for a gig and a barbecue party. They seemed right at home and didn't want to leave.
     Now, this is not to say that the band has gone country be it "Alt" or "Bro" or anything but the sparkly and bright jangle they've always had has tilted ear to something a bit more rustic and rootsy more than a lot of bands that are pegged by most as simply a garage pop group.
     Broken Heels guitar player Silva pulls a crisp, ringing and reverby tone out of his six string that's akin to something like the Buckaroos Don Rich showing the kids how he'd play early Peter Buck riffs on "Uh Uh." Astrid's voice is like sweet cream and bourbon as it lands somewhere between a honky-tonk bar angel and a 60's girl lead. Behind them, the brothers Barcella swing the beat at a vigorous gallop.
      Things get a little moodier on "Standing The Night" in a way where you can feel some heartache and loneliness like on any good 1950's weeper but there also a sense that when dawn arrives, the sun may shine again.
Bachelor Records

Jul 8, 2014

SPACE RAFT s/t LP

     Space Raft does not need a laser light show. Sure, it would be cool if they had some. People could feel like they were floating in a galaxy while the band played on. The thing is though these guy don't need special effects to get the songs across.
     Fronted by Jordan B. Davis, who first arrived on the rock-n-roll scene in the early 00's as the guitar player of the Green Bay, Wisconsin band the Mystery Girls. Combining the roar of 60's proto-punk bands such as the MC5, the Stooges and Radio Birdman with the prime bloozy grooves of the Rolling Stones and giving it all a exuberant garage rock kick, the Mystery Girls released three albums and a handful of 7inch singles (including one on yours truly's label Bancroft Records) before packing in it. Jordan then spent some time in Montreal, learning French and mastering the art of poutine making before returning back to the land where the truly, actually, really happy cows live (Take THAT, California!) and forming this combo.
     Like the Mystery Girls, Space Raft do look to the past to make a sound for today. Where the former though was mining a '65-68 teenage howlin' with a tinge of weed and a drop or two of LSD, the latter borrows a bit from the end of the 60's to the mid 70's sound-wise without sounding like some band that's entire knowledge of classic rock is just the bullshit 200 songs that classic rock radio seems to think are the only ones that ever existed.
      Driven by choppy chords, the opener "Never Enough", along with swaying side to side descending grooves of "We Are Not Alone", the bittersweetness of "Evening Glow" and the driving down the highway with the windows down sparkle of "Rescue Mission" bask in a glow of Big Star fishing at night on a river on the moon (or something akin to hits an alternate universe where ABBA and the Carpenters didn't dominate the AM radio airwaves of the world but Todd Rundgren, up until "A Wizard, a True Star" at least, is a household name and Wally Bryson gets name checked much more often than Eric Carmen when discussing the Raspberries) while still being firmly placed in the now.
     The above description is fitting for all the songs on the album in their overall approach. Scratching the surface though things like Traffic sans the dudes wearing kaftans lounging around on lumpy hemp rope macrame hammocks and the long ass jazzbo jam session sections runs a thread through electric piano accented "Waves Of Frustration" organ ooze and George Harrison's All Things Must Past parred down to one solid album and the Nag Champa aroma being replaced with the smells of a backyard barbeque on "Venus In Transit." The band even tosses in a bit of a Madchaster psychedelic dance party for good measure on "Anything Is Possible"
     If I said this hasn't been the album I've been playing when heading to the beach this summer I'd be lying. Speaking of summer, Space Raft, along with Beset By Creatures Of The Deep, Silent Drape Runners and Lucas Merrill will be closing out the summer with a show on Friday, August 29th at the Roche Bar in Port Huron.
www.dustymedical.com

Nov 7, 2012

the FLIP-TOPS "Are Still A Band" LP

     It's been ten years since Portland, Oregon's Flip-Tops released a full length album. Sure, there were a handful of singles that came out between long players but when this album landed in my hands I thought the same thing the album title states-"These guys are still around?"
     Their decade ago debut was released on Rip Off records and it had all the things expected from a band on that label. A simple loud recording with straight ahead and head down tempos, snotty singing and guitar that spit, slobbered and sounded like a bee stuck in your ear but had an underlying penchant for a catchy hook that made the ass move (or fists fly) no matter they sneered and sounded like they had a thirst for only blood and free booze. A record here and there on the label may have added other flavors (maybe bacon grease and sugar instead of beef tallow perhaps) in the ingredients but that was always the base recipe for what was served up.
     The Flip-Tops know the fixins' well and still bake a loud, snotty cake.
     Knocking on the door of the class of '78 punk, who weren't afraid to admit that they liked a catchy guitar hook (which those came before them had as well but found the buzzsaw roar more about pissing off people that would go on for hours about the amazingness of Steve "The Hippie Crypt Keeper" Howe and the so called blues of Eric Clapton more than it was something to hum along too) were less concerned about the world as a whole and proving that one may be viewed a misfit but had read intellectual tomes, the Flip-Tops left the place with a box full of battered tricks.
     Why sing about the woes of the world when there's things going down in the neighborhood like loose girls, shitty bosses and shitty customers at a shitty paying job and cheeseburgers to eat.
     Why use big words that the listener has to look up in the dictionary when superhero comic books concerns like radiation clicks in the mind of every brat standing by the magazine rack at the 7-11.
     It's been mused over that Rock-n-Roll can change the world but it doesn't really. It simply provides the soundtrack for a changing world. I mean, the MC5 sang about revolution but at the end of the day it was learned all they really wanted was to own some muscle cars and bang some chicks. The Flip-Tops don't give a fuck about making the world a better place or declaring a call to arms. All they want to do is have a good time. Spinning this record does just that.
http://www.bachelorrecords.com

Jul 29, 2012

thee MAKEOUT PARTY "Jungle Cruise" 7inch

     "We set out to make a ridiculous, pretty pop record" is what thee Makeout Party bassist Lee Noise told me about their first album Play Pretend.
     And they succeeded. Attempts to make a 2nd album though did not work out much though. While the former was adorned with lots of glitter, the latter was put together in a garage putting a bit of gritty dust in the brightly flavored bubble gum snap the band had been known for.
     Disagreements in the direction the songs should go and the usual band strife led to a unfinished halt of the recordings and what was left got shelved unmastered, unmixed and unadorned. Well, until these two tracks surfaced on Austrian label Bachelor after Makeout Party dude Dan decided the world should be able to give them listen in all their semi undressed glory. This even extends to the cover art of the record itself which is a black-n-white drawing with a box of crayons included with it so the listener and DIY the artwork in their own color choices.
      Written about the Disney Adventureland ride "Jungle Cruise" (where Makeout Dan worked at for a bit) is like a song from Beach Party movie minus the production trappings to appeal to those from the age of six to sixty. It's all about the pure fun of the cheesy attraction though sounds a bit woozy in parts. Perhaps from being a little seasick from the ride maybe?
     The flip's "Bittersweet Bubblegum" is about the struggles of writing a song that will get all the kids to sing along. Anyone who has been in such a situation knows that doing such a thing is not as easy as it looks and has probably driven people to the madhouse laboring over it. Sounding like a frustrated Phil Seymour attempting to show a way boozy Big Star the song they are gonna play at the talent show later the same day.
     I have read that other tracks from these session are floating around on cassette as well as the internet. I have not located them yet but if these two songs are anything to go on I will be seeking them out.
http://www.bachelorrecords.com