Showing posts with label Burger. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Burger. Show all posts

Apr 7, 2014

NATURAL CHILD "Dancin' With Wolves" LP

     Let's talk a little bit about Country Rock.
     When I say country rock I don't mean the assembly line Wal-Mart shopping "Rockin' Country" bullshit that name checks Merle Haggard or Johnny Cash in the lyrics but has more in common with the Little River Band or Foreigner than any sense of country traditions much less rock AND roll that is all over commercial country radio these days either.
     I am talking something much more loose. Much more scraggly. Much more smelling like dirt, pollen, sweat and a fish fry. Something that maybe isn't dressed like a farmer but also isn't dudded up in embroidered jeans and a backwards designer baseball cap. Something can be rough and tumble when I wants to be or yearning when it feels like but I both cases sounds like it's for real and not gone through some market analysis flow chart to spell such feelings out to the lower common denominator. 
     Bands with folks that look more like the stoners that hang a beat up old Bondo buggy at the flea market or beach and not male models on their way Planet Fitness at the mall.
     Hailing from Nashville Natural Child are Country Rock. As we all know Nashville is the place where people go to get discovered to become country music stars but it also the place where the bullshit "Rockin' Country" assembly line works day and night to kill the sound that made people want to go there in the first place.
     While their previous releases entertained ideas such as "What if Neil Young's cocaine booger from The Last Waltz traveled back from '78 and wrote and recorded every album from Harvest to Zuma instead of Neil (and, of course Crazy Horse) himself" or "Waylon Jennings listening to Alex Chilton" there has been something that has had the listener thinking that the band was sincere about what they were doing. But, there was also an underlying smart ass nod and wink thing happening that may have had some thinking just how sincere. On Dancin' With Wolves, with the adding of a pedal steel and piano player into the official band line up, and the songs sounding, dare I say it, slightly more cultivated and composed-Natural Child show they've been dead level about it all along.
   The down home dose of laid back southern funky stuff of the album's opener, the "Out In The Country", the small late night jazz combo tinged "Bailando Con Lobos" and  the soulful Hammond organ that blurs the line between Saturday night and Sunday morning laden "I'm Gonna Try" sound as if they could've been plucked from a Capricorn Records jam session circa '73.
     Others like "Don't The Time Pass Quickly" where a hell raising hayseed takes a day off from kicking up some dust to roll around in the hay with his gal, the 3rd album era Velvet Underground sitting on the porch of the general store vibe of "Firewater Liquor" and "Saturday Night Blues" good time seeking a bits of rambunctious hick rockin'. The weed smoke gets thick down the backroads on "Country Hippie Blues" and shot glasses in honky tonk clink while people wonder once again if Hank would of done it this way for "Rounder."
http://naturalchildband.blogspot.com

Dec 29, 2013

Smashin'Transistors Fave Albums of 2013

I know there wasn't a whole lot of WRITING about records in this place again this year. I can put the blame on distractions, a major change on the domestic front and life in general getting in the way. I did LISTEN to bunches of music both new and old this past year though. After mulling over the tunes that passed through my ears in 2013 here's a list of the most enjoyed and often played albums at home, in my car and on my radio show for the year (in alphabetical order.)

-Dale


BAD NOIDS "Everything From Soup To Dessert" (Katorga Works) Ragin' and retardo, ugly and nasty. Old school sick kid hardcore. There's some toxic things still along the Lake Erie coastline!
Bad Noids on Facebook


BARDO POND "Peace On Venus" (Fire) Guitars that sound like electrical storms cutting through a dense damp fog while voices teeter between the ethereal bliss & indecorous pain. Flutes get pushed through whirling effects while the rhythm section thumps some swing into a sludge beat.
Bardo Pond on the web


BLIND SHAKE "Key to a False Door" (Castle Face) A musical head space where weirdly tuned silt punk goes out on dates with surf music to watch people go-go dance into a chasm of barbed wire and broken glass.
Blind Shake's website


CATHOLIC SPRAY "Earth Slime" (Born Bad) Freaky frogs doing  LSD fried and cheap beer sauteed post-whatever VU boot lickin' garage punk. Wig out while stomping daisies in a black light room.
Catholic Spray on Bandcamp



COUNTER INTUITS s/t aka "Sheets Of Hits" (Pyramid Scheme) A king of atonal rock woe, Ron House sets up camp around a tape machine with a prince of tin sheeting put to a belt grinder pop, Jared Phillips of Times New Viking. The results are like fetching a Swell Maps record out of a running garbage disposal with your bare hand. 
An interview with the Counter Intuits


MIKAL CRONIN "MCII" (Merge) Introspective singer-songwriter coyness, brash guitar fuzz freak outs and things like strings and woodwinds making appearances are all parts of the recipe here. The result is some of the most glimmering pop songs to sugarcoat ears this year.
Mikal Cronin on Bandcamp


The FEELING OF LOVE "Reward Your Grace" (Born Bad) Shoegazing gets tribal. Psychedelia gets stripped bare then chrome plated. Monochromatic drones intertwine themselves with technicolor swirls. Taste the strychnine rainbow.
Feeling of Love on Facebook


The GO "Fiesta" (Burger) If late 60's era Beach Boys moved to Michigan, spent all summer in a resort town riding bicycles, hanging out at the arcade, trying to find someone to buy them beer (or sell them doobies) and striking out when talking to chicks. Then spent cooped up in a Michigan winter to write songs about it
The Go on Bandcamp


The GOSPEL TRUTH "A Lonely Man Does Foolish Things" (12XU) In some universe a swamp country soul band detours into Birthday Party territory and play at the most surly pig roasts for miles around every weekend. If that universe doesn't exist yet-the Gospel Truth are at working on it.
The Gospel Truth on 12XU


The HUSSY "Pagan Hiss" (Southpaw) Heather singing like a girl group gone bad and bashing the drums like a ton of bricks. Bobby making tantrums of psych-punk noise on guitar and blurting things in a nasal tone. Their best record yet.
The Hussy on Bandcamp


HUMAN EYE "4: Into Unknown" (Goner) Laser guns get put into some mischievous hands after a space punk UFO crash lands into ruins and rustbelt rock-n-roll. Feel the ultraviolet slime ooze out of the speakers. 
Goner Records


MORDECAI "College Rock" (Richie) Mangled and out of sync trash rock/art punk that somehow locks into a groove of cohesive chaos. The most glorious and loudest wreck to come of out Butte, Montana since a six hour loop of Evel Knievel greatest wipe outs.
Mordecai on Tumblr


OBNOX "Corrupt Free Enterprise"(12XU) Read Smashin' Transistors review here.


OBLIVIANS "Desperation" (In The Red) Reunion albums by legendary bands are normally a big letdown. With tunes that go well at a backyard BBQ/Dance Party or cruising the streets looking for trouble and possibly a knife fight though Desperation isn't! Older, wiser but still packing plenty rock-n-roll firecrackers.
The Oblivians Facebook page.


OOGA BOOGAS s/t (Aarght!) This is like one of those "everything but the kitchen sink (for the lack of a better coin) "New Wave" fun party records of the mid 80's. Downstroked & elastic guitar rock-n-roll chuggers peppered with horn sections. Pub rock slathered in cheezy synths. Sing-a-long anthems with all of the above.
Ooga Boogas Bandcamp page 



PAMPERS s/t (In The Red) Blues punk (or at least a Scientists/Cramps/"Dial M" era Pussy Galore) gets spun like a top before being severely beaten by deviant art misanthropes swinging red hot tire irons. It's then set on fire and placed by some gas station pumps. The explosions are deafening.
Pampers page on Bandcamp


PSYCHIC ILLS "One Track Mind" (Sacred Bones) Chill out boogie for bikers? Spacemen 3 cruising in a brand new Cadillac through the a wildflower filled countryside? Music to burn a j while sitting under under a big shade tree at the beach? Yep, Something like that.
Psychic Ills place on the web


PURLING HISS "Water On Mars" (Drag City) Read Smashin' Transistors review here.


SATANIC ROCKERS "Fu Kung" (Alberts Basement) Read Smashin' Transistors review here.


WHITE FENCE "Cyclops Reap" (Castle Face) Syd-esque crumbling apart folkie rock gets a bunch of glitter dust tossed at it. Be the songs sound like acid country rock, glam pop played on household items or a heavily medicated Creation playing Byrds songs (or vise-verse) wiggly acoustic strums and big fuzz wails get their equal amounts of attention.
White Fence on Facebook

And with that-let's kick 2013 to the curb. On to 2014!

Aug 8, 2011

CONSPIRACY OF OWLS s/t LP

     At a first and somewhat casual listen I was thinking about counting how many records over the past couple years have been declared Pet Sounds for the modern age. After running out of fingers but before taking off my shoes to keep the tabulation straight I put the album on again. It made me realize that if I was going to start the review off on some kind of "You're not Brian Wilson" rant I would be off base and would look the fool (not that it would be the first time that's happened...but still). All Beach Boys references that can be made about this album would be from some of the things they made after that always touted holy grail of pop music. Y'know, like 20/20 and Sunflower. Even some people that consider themselves "big Beach Boys fans" those are albums that don't really ever come up much in conversation. It was a period when Brian Wilson's influence and musical vision on the band had become diminished due to his brain teetering on the edge of a cliff which left the others scrambling to keep something somewhat cohesive in the sound they had established with their fans. The problem with that though was pop music at the time was growing by leaps and bounds. The band did their best to stay loyal to their original sound while also attempting to keep up to minute. That's not to say those records didn't have their good moments but there were also a lot of things that just fell flat or were trying to hard.
     Taking a wild stab in the dark it sounds as if members of Detroit's Conspiracy Of Owls (which includes cats who've done time in the Go, Rocket 455 and Human Eye just to rattle off a small bit of their lineage) must all own copies of both albums (and at least a couple of them having copies of Wild Honey and Friends in their record collection) and have had them on their turntables on a regular basis.
     Making these comparisons aren't just because the Conspiracy Of Owls, dressed in cut off shorts, tank tops or unbuttoned shirts, hair that looks it needs to be washed with beards to match look like that era of the Beach Boys either. Two songs out of more than a few on the record that particularly show more than a nod to that wilderness period of the Wilson family and friends here are"Tower Of Diamonds" and "The New Me". The former, a song about the days of yore, except in this case not being about malt shops it's about things like when K-Mart was the main discount retail chain and they had a Frozen Coke machine always close to the front door, Sir Graves Ghastly was still on Saturday afternoon TV and video arcade we're located inside bowling alleys and roller rinks, has a cheerful about being melancholy Carl Wilson vibe. The latter about reawakening but without all that creepy Mike Love transcendental meditation hooey and his later rubbing shoulders with the Reagan's and money grab tricks.
     To say that the brain into only clicks into just Beach Boys deep cut referencing while to Conspiracy Of Owls, though it does loom large over the entire album, would be short selling it. For example, the record's lead off track, "Puzzle People" would not sound out of place on  Hawkwind's Quark, Strangeness and Charm while other tracks such as "Raving Mad" nods to Syd Barrett, mid-70's AM radio and "The Lesson" is a fine Flaming Lips from Soft Bulletin that the Flaming Lips didn't write.
     Going in to this record expecting some crazy, wild and loud "Detroit Rock" record based on the members lineage could bum out to downright pissing off some listeners but for those looking for well crafted, harmony laden and clever psych-pop-this record is one that will make them smile.
https://www.facebook.com/conspiracyofowls

Oct 12, 2010

MMOSS "i" cassette

With a sound that hits more on London's UFO club circa 1967 than probably what is usually coming out of whatever rock dives they haunt in their home base of modern day New Hampshire USA-Mmoss make psychedelic music that smears that fine line of where a "normal pop sensibility" ends and the "what are these hippies experimenting with" questions begin.
With the basic guitar, bass and drum foundation being adorned by the band members multi-instrument know how of flutes, organs, cellos, glockenspiels, dul-sitars and ship bells (to name just a handful listed in the tape cover's j-card) the songs & sounds here can range from sublime and scenic to downright peculiar and stormy.
While some songs like "Grown Down", "So Below" and "Hedge Creeper" lean towards a Britania meet the Byrds in Syd Barrett's garden there's also the tinkering with Krautrock/Drone Trip on tracks like "And I Do Set My Bow In The Clouds" and "Epistle To Shon" as well as speculating on what it would it would sound like Big Star 3rd came out in '66 and had a seriously influence on the Small Faces on things like "Kitty Sorrow".
For those that find themselves playing some of the modern psych bands like the Black Angels and Sleepy Sun will be doing themselves a favor if they were to check their father's basement or thrift store for a functioning cassette player (or hell, even the junkyard so you can have one in your car) and then score a copy of this tape.
http://burgerrecords.webs.com/

Jun 21, 2010

the PIZAZZ "Get Out Of My House" cassette

All bands out there who consider themselves "pure pop" should quiet down for a minute and take some notes from Detroit's Pizazz. They know that you don't need layers of pro-tooled trickery and piles of overdub frosting. Sure, all that stuff makes everything all glossy & sparkly and we all know how shiny objects can entertain the simplest of minds but if the basic ingredients aren't of high quality all the doo-dads and added fluff that mask what is lacking. There has to be solid SONGS or all that stuff is just a dog and pony show.
Recorded on what sounds an 80's Tascam cassette 4 track machine (tape hiss, guitars occasionally cracking up in treble regions, the bass gnawing the entire low-end for seconds at a time) by Bobby Harlow of the Go (who pulled off the same kind of almost perfect loud "pure pop" record a couple years back with Howl On The Haunted Beat You Ride) the twelve songs here are not any audiophiles dream but they don't need to be. It isn't one of those "Let's be deliberately lo-fi and pinned deep past the red line" affairs. The recording do have that "Let's set up in the bedroom/basement/family room" quality to them but it sounds like they made the best of attempts to get the top quality out of situation regardless. The hooks are catchy, the harmonies soar and the songs are solid.
Commingling (mostly) the Nuggets boxsets (the Euro and more recent L.A. one than US and San Fran ones to get a little more specific) and the Beach Boys with Britpop and the Byrds-the Pizazz serve up the Move baroque pop moves song like "Benjamin Woodruff" and "Plan B", provide the soundtrack for summer daydreaming on tracks like "Ocean Liner", "Jenny Says" and "Dolphin Patrol", make up a batch of backyard psych on "Living Like Animals" and get all loud sounding like the prime moments from Ride's first couple EP's on "Heartaches and Heart Attacks."
I have a feeling I could end up wearing out this cassette pretty fast. Anyone put this stuff out on vinyl? If not-someone should.
http://www.myspace.com/thepizazzcare

May 27, 2010

FEVER B "The Lonely Sailor Sessions" 12inch EP

Be it his time in the Fevers, the Sweet Faces, Donny Denim and whatever other projects he's been involved in Brian Hermosillo aka Fever B knows his way around a loud, blaring and catchy as a virus going 'round pop song.
Armed with a rickety but reliable 4-track and some melodies inspired from tunes the "Good Times! Great Oldies" stations don't play anymore because they've decided to make room for Huey Lewis & the News and Billy Joel to skinny tie bands who albums haunt the dollar bins to Chinn & Chapman songs kids of the 70's know by heart (even if they don't know who Chinn and Chapman are but just by the bands who recorded their songs) to the the lo-fi garage trash 7inch blasts of the 90's-"The Lonely Sailor Sessions" encompasses a summer sound of carnival rides, late nights outside, frozen Cherry Cokes and young love that can (and usually does) go awry.
Five songs that blare but don't screech. Everything is stripped to it's bare essentials, once again proving the point that you can layer things in tons of gloop and throw all the garnishes you want but unless the meat that is the base isn't grade A what's the point. The priority here are the hooks that grab a hold where after even just one listen a person finds oneself humming the chorus and wondering "What IS THAT song?" Fever B doesn't meet those priorities. He exceeds them! Mark this one down as one of Smashin' Transistors highly suggested records for summertime 2010.
http://burgerrecords.webs.com/