Showing posts with label Demo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Demo. Show all posts

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.

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Mar 18, 2017

HWY! Demo

     For ages now, weirdos and artsy types have warned, flirted or embraced the idea of a dystopian world.
     A world where vegetation has been taken over by slabs of cold granite and the only non-monochromatic colors is the flickering of neon advertising proceeded food and manufactured pleasure. A planet where anything that may sound pastoral is drowned out by a caustic symphony of turmoil. A planet where alienation and distrust is the only emotion that is recognized and love and joy have been made illegal and punishable by death.
     A world that was once thought to be only (partially) fictional though is the one HWY! sound as if they are completely already dwelling in. The rumbling bassline on "Minimal Head" that starts off their 4 song demo may trigger thoughts of an old hardcore band at first but when the coated in space gunk guitar blows the doors open to the running a gauntlet pummel of a rhythm and a voice that sounds like it is some kinda of extraterrestrial translator taking a shot at speaking English, things get really weird. A few quiet moments in the song trick the ears into thinking the lashing is over, but they're just eyes of the storm.
     The wiggles that "Scammers" and "Tony From Hawaii" are rooted in the resonating of gigantic spring coils the vibrate violently. Both have a 1960's thing buried in their dissonance, the former with space age spy music twisting through the outbursts; the latter sounding like a what proceeds a luau held in a garage. Sure, that pig is gonna get roasted and an apple put in its mouth eventually but it's gotta get killed and the blood and guts drained first. That's the part the sound revel in the most. The minute and a half burst that's "Jacob Ladder" is like a mash up of those two songs if it was recorded while having a head on crash with a semi in the middle of an electrical storm.

May 8, 2015

BENNY and the ROIDS 2015 Demo Cassette

     The School of  '77 English punk rock played through a USA sleaze filter. Sure, we've all head the claim. And, if you're into that kind of thing, have felt duped when a band that gets showered with such a distinction ends up just sounding like KISS without the explosions or Mötley Crüe's Theatre of Pain album but even crappier.
     Calling Los Angeles home, Benny and the Roids are in one of the epicenters where such a declared sound come from and, more often than not, wind up more like those latter examples. It seems they've made a note of such shenanigans though and chose to walk a path that's paved with rusted barbed wire and shattered beer bottles.
     Sporting four mid-tempo Humpers via Chuck Berry via the New York blast it's all about rumbly bass runs, guitars that sound distorted more likely because they are being cranked up high through a battered amp that could catch fire at any minute than any pedal that might be in use and a singer that sways between gruff slurring and a throaty bellow.
     Toss in some gang vocal choruses and keep all the songs around a minutes and you got a the fixins of sordid night out at your favorite dive bar to see a live band.
     No, these guys aren't tearing down any walls but also sound like you don't have to ask them twice to help kick some holes in some drywall.
Download the demo here or just give it a listen.

Mar 16, 2015

The BRAINSTEMS "Ego Death Demos"

Photo: Daniel Hofmeister
    Starting off with a chiming guitar and a rumbling bass, "Stallioning" gets the ears prepping for they think is going to be some kind of pep pill addled slacker rock. A minute of ascending like a bottle rocket busting through an ozone made of the dust from some Grifters records and Parquet Courts residue, the song then fires up the propulsion with a blast of open headers roar that only lets up for the occasional one, two snap of the drums and the anfractuous ring of a guitar lead.
     The swarms of feedback that invade the opening of "The ID" push it to a point to make where almost skin crawls. Right before everything is going to snap the song dives head first into a trash bin of Sci-Fi Budget Rock and strangled saxaphone dance numbers.
      Starting off with bass line that sounds like it was taken from third generation duped cassette recording of some old new wave band's demo things turn bloody on "Elevators and Escalators" fairly quickly. Two guitars snarl band saw sounds at each other that may stem from an argument about whether it's Sonics or Swell Maps records sound even better played at 78 rpm's.