Showing posts with label Columbus Discount. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Columbus Discount. Show all posts

Jan 31, 2013

CHEATER SLICKS "Reality Is A Grape" LP

     When first started telling pals and associates that there was a new Cheater Slicks album coming out a lot of them shrugged and wondered what the hell I was even talking about. Others said "Fuck Yeah" or "It's about time."
     I will leave the shruggers be. If they don't know/don't care about the Cheater Slicks it's their loss. I  am not going to go out of my way to explain the ugly awesomeness of  the band to them. This album was super-rare the day it came out due to the LP pressing run being only 500. It was luck that I was able to get an ACTUAL copy of in my hands because they went fast. The shruggers don't deserve such things.
     With "It's about time" folks it's like "C'mon, man. Are you for real?"
     Sure, it has been a few years (2007) since the band release a full NEW album of "proper songs" (Not to discount 2009's Bats In The Trees in any way as it was quite the ear drum basher but it seemed to be more of a concept album of freeform freakout jams) but it's not like the Slicks are spring chickens or anything.
     Most bands in the frame of age would have packed it in (and one of them would probably put together a blooze or classic rock cover band that plays in bars on the weekends to help pay child support of some shit.) Making their own kind of gnarled, sick Rock-n-Roll noise is in the Cheater Slicks blood but they aren't going to simply crank out a record every year just to make the market happy and they ain't gonna pack in the van for 6 weeks to just sleep on peoples floors at the end of the night. For fans of the bands the record every few years and the slight chance of them playing close by is a rare, cherished even. Basically, as you get older and have learned anything useful-Quality over quantity reigns anyway.
     One thing that has always stood out about the Cheater Slicks sound is for being a very treble friendly band (two guitars, drums and no bass player) is how, as a trio, the mud thick feeling and absolutely disturbed vibe they give off.
     Sounding like something off Iggy & the Stooges Raw Power encased in ice and being chipped away at by an undertaker with a hatchet in his hand the albums title track kicks off manners with an obvious chilling effect. Shards fly stabbing the eardrums while a frigid blast dries, cracks and peels the skin.
     In the hands of a lot of bands the two or three chords would sound like can rock out and all that but in the world of the Cheater Slicks those same chords sound like the guitars are fighting for their lives under stranglehold grips.
     When it comes to cheating songs they are usually some kind of cry in your beer kind of thing. In the case of "Love Ordeal" it sounds more like rage swinging sledgehammers at gnarled guitar strings that some woe tale. "
     Hold On To Your Soul" gives good advice ("If you never want to grow old") but there is something way sinister sounding bubbling to the top.
     If you've ever wondered what Hawkwind would have sounded like if Lemmy was never kicked out of the band but he in turned kicked all the hippies out of the group and then buried the amps in a landfill for a month before making a return for the studio "Half Past High" may very well be the answer.
     Beauty is in the eye of the beholder but looking past the ragged blaring of the noise that surrounds "Current Reflection" there is something quite pretty laying beneath.
     Most bands don't last into a third decade of making music. Most of those that do usually end up giving diminishing returns, sound like they are phoning it in with hopes of getting another paycheck or embarrass themselves trying to stay modern losing touch with what made them so great in the first place. The Cheater Slicks are one of those rare bands that not only still GOT IT but are making even better records than they did in the past while staying loyal to what people dug about them in the first place.
http://cheaterslicks.tumblr.com

Mar 5, 2011

Smashin' Transistors Fave 20 Albums of 2010

Yep. This is waaay late but, hey, life gets in the way sometimes. Because of the distractions, diversions and duties 2010 laid down on me I was not able to give a chunk of the albums listed here a "proper review" posted up even though I listened to them quite a bit. For those I jotted down some scattershot thoughts. For those I did actually manage to get something posted about in the year that just passed-follow the link the revisit the review. Now without further ado and ranked in alphabetical order here's THE 20 albums (and five honorable mentions) from 2010 that stuck to Smashin' Transistors ear holes the most.
















BESNARD LAKES - ....Are The Roaring Night (Jagjaguwar) Lushly orchestrated but not bombastic. Brooding but not alienating. The sound of angels singing above crashing waves or a unforgiving thunderstorm on a otherwise pleasant summer day.
http://thebesnardlakes.com/

















BEST COAST - Crazy For You (Mexican Summer) Loud and (even the quieter songs) swimming in echo girl voiced mid-fi pop that brings some sunshine into the otherwise long dark shadow that's been cast since the post Vivian Girls sweepstakes.
http://bestycoasty.blogspot.com/
















the BLACK ANGELS - Phosphene Dream (Blue Horizon Ventures) Though their previous album's of Roky E and Spaceman 3 worship were find and dandy for what they are-this Austin, Tx band has really hit their stride this go round. A rollercaster ride of reverberation, days in the park and spooky dark corners.
http://www.theblackangels.com/
















BLACK MOUNTAIN - Wilderness Heart (Jagjauwar) Smashin' Transistors review of it here.
















ISOBEL CAMPBELL and MARK LANEGAN - Hawk (V2) Lee and Nancy...Serge and Jane...Johnny and June. They've all been bandied around when talking about Campbell's heavy sweet cream coo meets Lanegan's parched whiskey and mud croon. With tracks ranging from dirtroad folk blues and country tinged jangle rockers to 70's style slinky and string laden RnB love jams all the descriptors fit but that's not to say these two don't have their own thing on.
http://www.isobelcampbell.com/
















JOHN WESLEY COLEMAN - Bad Lady Goes To Jail (Goner) This is the 2nd solo album from Golden Boy Wes and for those who like their reckless and weird Americana will find this just the right thing when they want it but a bit louder, looser, stripped down and loud. The album reeks of booze, weed and sweat dripping all over the tape machine it was recorded on.
http://johnwesleycoleman.blogspot.com/
















the GOODNIGHT LOVING - The Goodnight Loving Super Club (Dirtnap) To call this Wisconsin combo's sound Alt-Country seems a little short sighted. It's not like their trying to ape some "Imagine Merle Haggard fronting AC/DC" thing or sing with a nasally down south I grew up on a farm twang when they actually lived at at the end of a cul de sac in a prefabbed subdivision. Country Rock is not on the mark either because some might think they sound like the Eagles. To call them a true blue American rock band in the tradition of CCR, the Byrds, the Replacements and Big Star might work though. GnL has had a great track record so far and this is one of their best yet.
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Goodnight-Loving/84398543385
My label, Bancroft put out a record by the Goodnight Loving a couple years ago. I still have a scant few copies of it. If you'd like to purchase one let me know.

















GRINDERMAN - 2 (ANTI) Most dudes hitting their mid life crisis stage usually go out and buy a hot rod or some shit to compensate. Nick Cave doesn't need all that though. With Grinderman as his time away from being Mr. Bad Seed he gets all the fulfillment he needs. Crotch stuffed raunch rock gets tweaked and mutilated into a bloodied stomp, crawl and creep with Nick the Strippers tells stories from seedy hotel rooms and brothels located between churches and graveyards.
http://www.grinderman.com/

















GUINEA WORMS - Sorcererers of Madness (Columbus Discount) People have been calling Dick Clark the world's oldest teenager for something like two hundred and forty eight years now. Is there anyone in the running for the world's oldest drunk poet college sophomore? And so-is it Guinea Worms main dude Will Foster? Lots of libido, lots of leering, lots of inappropriate pick up lines, lots of intellectual references fueled by lack of sleep and the last beer in the fridge backed by hippie blues one minute, difficult jazz punk the next and some stadium sized hip-hop damaged heavy pettin' garage punk sing-a-longs thrown in for good measure.
http://www.myspace.com/guineaworms


















IDLE TIMES - Idle Times (Hozac) Smashin' Transistors review of it here.
















JAILL - That's How We Burn (Sub Pop) A Wisconsin supergroup if you know their background or current associations but we're here to talk about THIS album. Like how some college rock bands of the 80's took a 60's feeling and sound but brought it into the now while still staying faithful to the feeling and spirit Jaill is talking their cue from those college rock bands. Not lo-fi but also not overadorned jangle and harmony from guys who can stay up til the beer and pop is all gone BUT also do smart things like read books and talk philosophies. Not to be confused with the band from Halifax, Nova Scotia that were on Sub Pop in the early 90's called Jale.
http://www.subpop.com/artists/jaill



















JOE KILE - Southern Beauty Queen (Eastern Watts) Smashin' Transistors review here.


















the MENTHOLS - Michigan Works (UFO Dictator) Smashin' Transistors review of it here.


















SCOUT NIBLETT - The Calcination Of Scout Niblett (Drag City) The much bandied descriptions of Scout's music is "the illegitimate daughter of Kurt Cobain and PJ Harvey". Though it's a lazy/easy description her songs are sparse, her guitar can be all quiet then perforate an eardrum with sick feedback and her voice goes from a cracked whisper to heartbreaking wail-it's somewhat accurate. The princess of the New Weird Blues.
http://www.myspace.com/scoutniblett

















OVERNIGHT LOWS - City Of Rotten Eyes (Goner) This is one of those punk rock-n-roll albums that flies fast out of the gate with hyperactive energy and it's 12 songs in 22 minutes don't let up til the record finishes to a dead stop. Think the Marked Men raised on a steady diet of catfish or a less nerdy and much more pissed off Wax Museums and you be coming close to getting an idea on what these Jackson, Ms. rabble rousers are putting down.
http://www.myspace.com/theovernightlows

















the PLEASURE KILLS - Bring Me A Match (Polypore) It's like the guitar player from the Rezillos never left to hang out with the Human League, Blondie decided to speed things up after Eat To The Beat instead of trying to appeal to suburban moms or the members of the Go-Gos never discovered high limit credit cards, young republican courters and heroin. Bubblegum smacking dancefloor filling new wave party rock. Seeing their full on energy live show seals the deal cuz the band plays hard and Lydia can really belt them out.
http://www.myspace.com/thepleasurekills

















the SUGAR STEMS - The Sweet Sounds of...(Dusty Medical) Another Wisconsin band who's lineage and "Featuring members of..." thing I could go on about for days but know I already have done that somewhere else in public as well as the internet so no need for that now. Glossy and sparkling bright rooted in 60's girl groups and 70's power pop and guitar solos that nod to both James Burton and Rick Neilsen at the same time.
http://www.dustymedical.com/
Betsy and Stef Sugar Stem are also in the Flips. My label, Bancroft, put out a record by them awhile back. If interested in picking up a copy drop me a line.

















SUPER WILD HORSES - Fifteen (Hozac) Smashin' Transistors review of it here.


















WHEELS ON FIRE - Liar, Liar (Alien Snatch) Smashin' Transistors of it here.

















WHITE WIRES - II (Dirtnap) During the height of the whole pop-punk explosion I wonder if the Ramones ever weighed in on their take on it and if they did were they pissed about it. I imagine Johnny was but, then again, judging from the End Of The Century doc when wasn't Johnny pissed or miffed at something. I would hope though that they'd tell all those bands to realized what the Ramones reference points were and look for those as inspiration instead of, well, just aping the Ramones (and, for the most part, not doing it all that well). It's practically impossible to doubt that Ottawa, Ontario's White Wires haven't listened to the brudders from Forest Hills albums but for them it's a jumping off point instead of having their (Converse High Top) shoes cemented in the foundation. Ramshakled but right catchy buzzsaw rock-n-roll songs that nod to good times/great oldies and the 90's garage punk and have you humming the hooks right after the first time you hear them. Their first album was a charm and this follow up is even better. This ain't pop punk. Punk pop perhaps?
http://www.dirtnaprecs.com/

Honorable mentions: Ty Segall Melted, Sleepy Sun Fever, Superchunk Shredding Majesty, Tyvek Nothing Fits and the Vaselines Sex With An X.

Feb 26, 2010

the BASSHOLES " ...and without a name (Archive Series Vol. 7) " LP

When (and if) the book is wrote on the BluesPunk masters of the late 20th century & beyond Bassholes main man better have a whole chapter dedicated to him. Since the mid 80's, when he first started making a ruckus with the Gibson Brothers, he has been making a mark and leaving a stain. Though the last few years one of his other projects, the somewhat psych & artier (there's clarinets & keyboards in the songs for the devil's sake) end of cowtown stomp skronk of Wooden Tit, has been what his kept it name out there for the (actual) record buying public when the moon is right it's time for him to fill a jelly jar full of ice with corn liquor and wail them stories of desperation, depression and general pissed-offness.
If my count is correct this is their 12 album (and I didn't bother to count all the singles) and is one their most unhinged (even by Howland's usual bent brain standards) & unruly records ever.
"Little Boy Blues" kickstarts the album with the rattling of some spring reverb, followed by a drumroll which cues a maelstrom of blown out guitar splatter and some harmonica that sounds as if it was soaked in a can of gasoline all night. "Mother Goosed" follows it with something along the same pattern but sans harmonica and it's it place a voodoo beat that's sounds like it was recorded in the middle of a huge cavern. For contrast the tune after it, "(I Like) Smoke & Lightning", has a feeling of being in the bottom of a well as blood drips down from the light above.
Things quickly get back to the brain bashing and ear searing with the Cramps fighting to be heard of the sound of a jet engine turbine on "The Way I Came" while the tension building instrumental "Swannanoa River" is so epic it fades out on side one only to be continued on side two. A very smashed up version of Iggy Pop's "New Values" is next done in a way even Mr Osterberg wouldn't even have dreamed up in his most narco influenced dreams. "(Don't You) Look At Me" is the closest thing to a number most old white guys with thousands of dollars of guitar equipment would consider "the rockin' blues" but the twisted reverb and pure disgust towards such people and things that is conveyed what send them clamoring for shelter under the nearest Clapton gatefold seed they could find (and hopefully no pot seeds or shake weed found in it because then they'd have to explain to their children about the life they led before they joined the church of Ronald Reagan). The cover of Tommy Jay's (who also makes an appearance on the track beating on a tom tom) "Tough Luck, Roy" would keep them under their hiding too. In the end though all the audio violence finds peace with itself with the almost pretty guitar only figure "Funerarium"
It's been quite some time since Bassholes records have found them in close proximity to my turntable. This one has been close to it since the day it arrived in the mail. Their back catalog is now quickly following suit. Thanks to Columbus Discount Records for reminding us all what we've been forgetting and what our grimy souls crave.
http://columbusdiscountrecords.com/

Jan 24, 2010

EL JESUS de MAGICO "Klip Aught" 7inch EP

Last year El Jesus de Magico released the album "Scalping the Guru"-a twisted and hissy smash up of Krautrock slumming in punk's garage, prog rock gone feral and atmospheric ambiance shattered by tension. As where most band's attempting type of thing these days may come off pretentious and alienating the album had a living, breathing warmth to it. Because of this found it's way not only to my turntable plenty of times but also on the night's where I'd Sunday night dj at a coffee house where a majority of the crowd wanted to make people think they were studying but we actually riding out the tail end of their buzz for the weekdays started again. Drag was though by the time them folks shook themselves from whatever stimulant or depressant haze they were in to amble up to the turntables and ask "What is this you're playing?" the album was out of print (or as they say in the vinyl goof biz "OOP").
This single is fairly a fairly limited pressing too but if someone needed a fix similar to the one's found on the album they should act fast before it's gone too.
"Klip Aught" is based around a searing vibrating buzz as the song builds on it's own tension turning inward on itself until it spills it guts with a crying blare of guitar epicness at the end akin to something like the Hunches and Galaxie 500 at the same time explaining Hawkwind to someone.
The b-side's "Papa Sapa" and "Rapey Guys 2" have the same vibe mentioned above going on with the former taking on a nightmarish and echo'd out drone & bash and the later speeding things up fast jettisoning it into the stratosphere.
http://www.columbusdiscountrecords.com/