Showing posts with label Indiana. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Indiana. Show all posts

Dec 12, 2019

LOUSY SUE First EP

Blaring outta Indiana, Lousy Sue is a new combo featuring Jim Kuczkowski aka The Kooch. If you're not familiar with the name but were into blown out rock-n-roll records 90's/early 00' (especially those on the Rip Off label) you may be familiar with some of his work. He was the dude who set up the mics and twiddle the knobs for full length from the Infections, The Problematics and the Marked Men. He was also the guy who recorded my favorite singles from the Mighty John Waynes and the Kill-A-Watts as well.

After a few seconds of stonerish rock fuzz, the drums count off  "Katy Perrys", it becomes obvious this trio executes the same sort of wild and cranked up high as records he worked on.


The level of rowdiness doesn't wane throughout the rest of the EP and the playful obnoxiousness, especially when Jim and drummer Angie trade off vocals on tracks like "Ferma Jean" (which is about someone likes to get really obnoxious and outta control) and the in a tizzy beat that makes "Halfwit" bounce, is something that seems to be missing from a bunch of a bunch bands plying the so called garage punk trade in these days.


Not only that, they knock a faithful but amped up take of one of my favorite songs from when I was a little kid, Tom T. Hall's "Sneaky Snake" right out of the park and probably into some swimming pool filled with bottom shelf whiskey that anyone who isn't square would not have to be asked twice to dive right into.

Roll in the dirt at the Lousy Sue's Facebook page

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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

Aug 6, 2018

LIQUIDS Hot Liqs' Revenge LP


Upon the first couple listens of the album the thoughts of starting off this review by saying something like "cementing their scuffed up shoes in a place right between the most tattered and weirdest ends of early Midwest hardcore and the scorched pop of the Buzzcocks Another Music in a Different Kitchen, Indiana's Liquids...."

After a couple more listens I still felt my impressions of the record felt spot on to myself except for the "cemented" and the "place right between" part. Fronted by the Coneheads Mat Williams, it's more like the two aforementioned styles are not as much as an inspiration for the band's sound in as such things are simply instilled into their DNA.

Sure, the nasal wail in Mat voice does have an undeniable way of making people think Peter Shelly on especially on songs like "Wanna Throw Up (When I See Your Face)", "Talking On The Telephone",  and "Not Fun" but its a different kind of heat that is going on behind that voice.


It's not the warm blanket of rapid fuzz of ancient punk rock. It's much more prickly and itchy. Scratching at it is just gonna make it more raw and irritated which is probably the whole intent.

A same sort of attitude holds with the more "hardcore" leaning lobs of racket like the recording needle buried in the red burst of "Life Is Pain Idiot",  how "11 AM" sounds like it was deep fried in napalm and the grunt/stomp/grunt "Burnt Down Completely."




They're all blasts of pent of rage, but save for the later (which may even be a mocking ode to the tank top wearing, goatee sporting and fat "tough" guys who turned the sound into something to be heard in a gym rather than while riding a skateboard) have just as much in common with the Oblivians or the Gories than, say (for the sake of dropping an Indiana band in this review as a reference point), the Zero Boys.

With twenty songs on this record, it covers quite the trashy ends of the punk rock spectrum be it bashed up garage gunk or catchy hooks that use a contempt and an ire for squares as a catalyst. Hell, the record even kicks the shit of a Nick Lowe song. I like to think if he's heard the Liquids take on "Heart Of The City" he said "I never thought about it before but that's what the song needed."

Get aqueous at Neck Chop records.

May 2, 2018

3 Floyds Space Station Middle Finger American Pale Ale


Recently a friend sent me a text after returning from a road trip. It said "Just got back from a road trip. Picked you up a souvenir while passing through Munster, Indiana." I wonder what it might he might've of gotten to give me. A copy of the NWI Times? A t-shirt that says Calumet Shoreline on it?

No and No. You say Munster, Indiana to any good beer loving denizen on the planet and there's only one thing that comes to mind.

That is, of course, 3 Floyd brewery. In the land where Smashin' Transistors sit, their beers are not at all distributed. Because of that, the chance of getting to taste one is pretty uncommon. It's always a special day when they can be. I hadn't had the Space Station Middle Finger before so away we go.

Bright orange and slightly hazing in color, a soft pour produced a slight head the stuck around as a light cap for a while. Tart and tropical were big on the aroma agenda. Grapefruit, pineapple and mango all came to the forefront when giving it a sniff. Back those up were wafts of white pepper, honey and pine.

The grapefruit is pretty huge in the flavor department too. Not a tongue piercer or anything but definitely bringing a bit of a pucker up front. Melon, pineapple, mango and apricot notes hang around the middle bringing something a little sweet and slightly musky. As the beer breaths, characteristics of honey and freshly baked biscuits come to the fore. The neat complexities close out with some dashes of ground pepper and lemongrass. The finish is crisp and slightly astringent but not sticky.

If you're an aficionado of beers with a bit of a juicy fruit profiles or dig some hop bite in your brew but are a bit burnt out on some of the ones out there now where the hops bomb everything in sight decimating nuances like, y'know malts and grains, this is one to seek out and enjoy.
Flip the bird and sip the brew at 3 Floyds

Jun 22, 2017

ERIK NERVOUS "Ice Cream" 7inch

Oh, it's summer. That means it's a time or two to have some sweetened and flavored frozen dairy product drip down your arm, all over your shirt and mess up your car interior. Maybe even have it flop onto ground so an army of ants can be fed.

Ahh, such nostalgia even thinking about it, right. That might explain to total retro sensation that's all over "Ice Cream." A chintzy toy synth sound that probably sounds as like it is way more inspired by the music on any given ColecoVision game than anything else loops a minimal jump for Erik to whoop agitatedly. I remember as a kid I used to get annoyed to downright crabby when my scoop of Superman would all over my hand making them all sticky and weird feeling. I also may have thought once or twice about stabbing my obnoxious cousin with the cone to even some score. Thing is though, I said anything out loud about it let alone acting on it. At the least, Erik does the former here.

The stabbing isn't over there though. Starting out sounding gothy then flipping head first into some kind of puddle of muck where both Art Attacks and Jay Reatard puked in, "Children Stabbing Things" isn't gonna leave ya scratching your head and wondering if it's all metaphorical.
Out on Total Punk

Jan 27, 2017

ERIK NERVOUS Teen Distortion Art Junk Music 7inch

     It seems that most of the punk rock teenagers today are afraid to get all weird. Who knows what they're afraid of. Maybe it's because punk rock is so normal now that teenagers can have conversations with their grandparents about the time they Clash open for the Who at the local Enormousdome or hearing their mom telling the story about how she met their dad while doing keg stands out in the parking lot before Lollapalooza or something and they think they'll never be as cool.
     Luckily, not all "the kids" are falling for it. One of them that's not is Erik Nervous. Taking cue's from the NWI "scene" that begat the sorts such as the Coneheads, the name of the game is channeling all his teenager awkwardness, angst and uncontrollable fidgeting into short spastic bursts of uproariousness.
     Armed with a guitar that sounds like a shoebox with drums to match, some cheesy synths here and there and a caffeinated bellow of alienation, Erik plays all the instruments here, flailing away at them and capturing it all on a Tascam 424 mk.II that had probably been sitting in some closet for years.
     Some songs, like the record's opener "Nervous Child" and "Dollar Store Holiday", are a way worked tizzy similar to that to these ears resemble something a bit like the first couple of Tyvek singles but with more abandon and have me actually wondering if the needle is going to fly off the record at any second from all the jerky movements the music is making. That and I swear that one of my cat's thought that something grabby and pinchy was going to jump out of the speakers when "I'm A Brick" came on because he hightailed it out of the room like a flash within seconds of it starting.
     There's also moments on the record though where something...ummm...poppy oozes into the situation too. The wiggly synth's that do their large and in charge part to make "People Falling Over" vibrate would land at the top of any local new wave chart of any town town Erik would call home and the record's closer, "New Potatoes", would get a few people suspended for a few days for doing the pogo at a high school dance.
Neck Chop Records  

Aug 14, 2015

MR. CLIT & the PINK CIGARETTES "Wet Willy" 10inch

     If this Indianapolis combo had a job picking up people's trash they would not go around telling people they were sanitation engineers. They would proudly claim, in their best boozed up horror movie host tone, that they are GARBAGE (WO) MEN!
     Gurgling over with psychosis and sticky glops of camp, the bashin' about on some punk rock blues in tracks like "Be Home Before Dark" with it's hissing back up vocals seeming more like catty taunts, the spun way too tight boogie that's "Too Cute" and the reverberated head stomp that "Popping Bubbles" puts down resemble the Oblivians after spending a week hanging out with Japanese noise rock bands.
     At other times, such as squeeze box flourished chewy bop bouncer "What's Inside Your Lunchbox", the way the guitar on "Toy Gun" swirls like a thrash riff swimming in a birthday cake flavored vodka stupor and the B52s if they dug proto-metal more than surf music vibe on "Life's A Drag Queen", it's something like they're an AmRep band sustaining on a diet of cotton candy.
      Probably knowing all too well what goes on at the sideshow after the carnival closes for the evening, Mr. Clit & the Pink Cigarettes make a filth coated cacophony that has rats thinking twice before they go sniffing around the sewer these sounds spill into.   
     Wet-Willy is going to spend at least a good few months in my "GET DRUNK AND PLAY LOUD" pile.
https://mrclitandthepinkcigarettes.bandcamp.com

Jun 27, 2015

Thee TSUNAMIS "Saturday Night Sweetheart"

     Sounding like a band John Waters called on Herschell Gordon Lewis to find for an upcoming film is no small feat. Sure, a combo here and there could fit such a role in the past in in the now it could be a little tricky.
     With a tough black leather exterior and heart of chewy gooey bubblegum it as if Bloomington Indiana's Thee Tsunamis were born to play the part though. Taking a girls gone bad in the garage form and giving it enough twists and turns to keep the trip interesting rather than stopping at all the same burger stands those before them pulled the car into.
     Whipping a big scuzzy ball of fuzz as introduction, lead off track "Female Trouble" is punk rock attitude, a grungy bounce and flirts with you while shoving a knife in your gut. This bad egg disposition holds its place like a beehive 'do plastered with two cans of Aqua Net on songs like the motors missing mufflers rev up at surf beach "Drag", the frat organ blurted and serpentine guitar wiggled "Skip Tracer", the Everly Brothers date daughters of the devil on "Dummy", "Shakee Jake" hopped on on Bo Diddley buzz and strychnine laced candy apple that's "Trash Talk." The already spiked fruit punch also get laced with something a bit more mind melting on"Kill Kill Kill" and the Cramps via labelmates Apache Dropout distorted roar of the album's title track
     With all this stompin' going on though even the most brassy need to let their guard down once in awhile and they don't hesitate to let the waterworks flow on "Crybaby."
www.magneticsouthrecordings.org

Dec 27, 2014

The CONEHEADS "Canadian Cone" Cassette

     For years we've been hearing the words of warning about how technology will eventually decimate all human life. It's probably not gonna play out the way movies portray it where machines go on a killing spree though.
     What is gonna happen is most likely already happening. Phones that are way too smart. Cars that drive themselves. Hamburger being grown in a lab. EDM becoming the latest trend in country music. Never a need to think ever again. The machines have won. They're not going to destroy us with mechanical claws, balls of fire and gigantic meat grinding teeth. They'll just feed us synthetic thoughts til we're all "that kind" of Wal-Mart shoppers.
     There are hacks that came be done. Something that fools the machines into not figuring out that there are some short circuits. Indiana's Coneheads may know the code.
   Tightly wound bass blurt runs, squiggly guitar chopping and automatic rifle fire drums spit out reports of weirdos from Nowhere, America such as Dow Jones and the Industrials and Devo. A nasally voice robotically translates the data alien English. The information comes in at a ridiculously speed. Blink and you'll miss "Big City Baby" and "1982" f'r instance. Songs such as "Violence" and "I Used To Be A Cheesepuff" break the one minute point rival the Urinals in getting their disturbed point across in such a quick sliver of time. Not to mention that usually any band that covers a Talking Heads song will send me heading in another direction just to get away, the take on "Psycho Killer" here is as if the Tubeway Army got a hold of it (and 10 cups of coffee to to get the mood right.)
    Practicing curtness addled with a hyperactivity that may lead things to self destruct, these rumored to be still high school kids have cracks in their video screens. What leaks through those cracks is poison to most but serves as fuel for the Coneheads.
The Conehead releases are very hard to locate but you can cop a download of the Canadian Cone tape here

Oct 11, 2014

APACHE DROPOUT "Heavy Window" LP

     The sound of being moonstruck on a very humid night.  Over the course of three albums in the past three years, a few singles during that same period of time and a cassette from 2008) it's statement that Indiana's Apache Dropout could put on their business card and no one would even bother to question it.
     While their records vibrate with a wiggly racket of wolf call yelps, dingy fuzz guitar and a ramshackle rhythm section that likes to stomp and kick as much as it can but will also lay low and sneak up on it's prey when needed, Apache Dropout have a sound that nods the Cramps soaked in echo psychotics and the blood drenched swampiness of the Scientists, yet has become distinctively their own.
     "Sitting Around" starts the record off sounding something akin to a deranged hillbilly sitting in the passenger seat of a badly beaten pick up truck and chanting and ranting things while turning the ignition. It growls, it grinds, it spews the smell of old burnt oil. Once running the pedal is kept to the floor to hear the rotted out header pipes make a rumbled roar.
     Sounding something like getting the bed spins while waiting for a 36 hour LSD trip to wear off while people in the other room watch b-movies and play surf records at a distorted levels the album's woozy title track is next, piling up the grit and grime higher.
     Though all the songs here cram the recording tape with enough fuzz to make even a forest full of cottonwood trees during the late spring shedding season stand back and say "DAMN!", it's not all just distorto-caveman stomp going on.
     "Movie Magic" and "Crystal Ball" respectively elbow candy coated psychedelia and blue collar new wave into the nervy rattle-shakin', "Little Georgie" and "Radio Double Agent" sound like they're booming out of dive bar jukeboxes on Mars, blasted on some blown out speakers "Detective" could get dropped between a Cheap Trick and Slade song and most people would be none the wiser and the album's closer, "Space Age", takes the sound of a 50s teenage ballad and gives it a sense of pent up desperation that those oldies they heard on an uncle's console stereo when they were kids could only hint at.
www.magneticsouthrecordings.org

Sep 11, 2014

VACATION CLUB "Heaven Is Too High" LP

     Sun kissed and misted with with something tipsy, Indiana's Vacation Club have been tooling flower bright pink and phlegm green colored bit of disturbed jangle for a few years now. The singles they've had released have given off the ol' angel on one shoulder/the devil on the other vibe resulting in a sound that fed the ears with something that felt like a confectionery fluff.
     It seems all airy, light and sweet. Then the burning sensation and blistering sets in.
      On this, the band's first long player, as soon as teeth sink into a sounding like something on Budda Records circa '68 going on a fuzz binge candy coated outer shell the fortified with splinted glass oozy filling starts seeping into the saliva glands and then bloodstream.
    Backed up by splattery guitars that blast off from an echo chamber of dampness where a ne'er do well rhythm section hold down a fort, Vacation Club's Samuel James vocals resemble, depending on the song, something like childlike stupefaction and snotty teenage degeneration.
     While the sound here is working within the framework of juvenile delinquent garage rock of nearly five decades ago with the lips smacking bubblegum sound of a few years later factored in, Vacation Club bring a bit of Midwest/Corn Belt out of stepness that sets itself away from a recent crop of drowning in reverb bands who sound like spent a week listening to the Jesus and Mary Chain and the Black Lips then sent a demo to Burger Records. A martian robot march makes the album's opener "Gas Station" and "In My Eyes" guitar sludge landslide sound something akin to Wire's Pink Flag on a steady diet of chili fries, "Hound" and "Chip Taylor Nightmare" ring of King Tuff's first album if heard coming through a sewer pipe. Along with that, the songs that would sound like high school desperation bloooze stompers in the hands of a lot of other bands, like "Pyramid Culture", "Oh, Patty" and "Rats As Rats" wring out twisted melodies that make one wonder if the Jolly Rancher they've been sucking on has been laced with something illicit.
www.magneticsouthrecordings.org 

Jan 10, 2014

VACATION CLUB "Daydream" 7inch

     When it comes to what us Michiganders call pop (you may call it soda, or, if down south "Cokes" no matter what the flavor or brand is) my tastebuds don't like it too fluffy.
     There's gotta be something something sour and gives it that particular pucker. Something that is more than just a whole bunch of frosting to cover up that the base & bulk is just another usual glob of high fructose corn syrup.
     "Daydream", a-side of Indianapolis, Indiana's Vacation Club latest single, is like lemon pop. It's crystalline and fizzy but tartness that is like real lemon instead of made in a lab and pure cane sugar for that proper hyper buzz.
     Then things get interesting. Like fresh scrubbed faces get dosed on reverb and other undisclosed things that make 'em feel all wiggly and wander down backstreets kind of interesting.
     A floor tom favoring jungle garage thump anchors boozy harmony heavy vocals while blurred guitars with a love for the solos on the Velvet Underground's "What Goes On" splatter rings of stickiness everywhere else.
     For the flip "Forest Babe" it's Saturday morning cartoons gets a snotty punkin' 'tude on. Like a wad of bubblegum on the sidewalk on a hot summer day-it's florescent & gooey and a gritty and full of insects. It ends up being in the same whimsy places some of thee Oh Sees and the Black Lips tunes go but finds it distorted view to get there. 
http://randyrecords.blogspot.com

Dec 2, 2011

VACATION CLUB "Gettin' Man" 7inch EP

     Another High School year was coming to an end. I had plans of going to away for the summer as a Counselor In Training at a Y-Camp up north but plans fell through.
     I just wanted to get out of town. I had my lifeguard certificate but didn't want to work at any of the local beaches or pools because all the female lifeguards in town were all stuck up and seemed kinda dumb and the guy ones all looked like Ted  McGinley and fancied themselves as being David Lee Roth types (but without the charm or jokes).
     A girl that I fancied suggest I apply to this "vacation club" her family frequented a couple counties up the coastline.
     "They've got a pool, an in-land lake, tennis courts, horses and a place to live all summer. I know they need a lifeguard this summer. My dad's on the board of directors. Let me talk to him."
      Seemed like a deal to me. A week later there I was. Little did I know until the second day there that it's was some kind of Jesus Vacation Club. Not just any regular Jesus vacation either. It was one of those weird and creepy Baptist Jesus Vacation Clubs!      
     Glossolalia abounds (and this outside of it going on at the three church service we were expected to attend everyday) and guys in the bunk house trying to initiate circle jerks. 
     I decided I was no longer smitten with that girl and maybe working in my town for the summer wasn't such a bad idea so I snuck out the third night and started to hitchhike my way back down home. It was only around 100 miles. Took my just a day to get back home. My parents friends rang for weeks after with messages for me saying Jesus loves me.
     Whenever I hear any reference to a vacation club ever since it, needless to say, doesn't bring up the best of memories. My hands were sorta trembling when I put this platter on the turntable. I mean, what if it was those crazy Jesus and they found me after all these years and this was just some clever trap?
     "Gettin' Man" is a suburban teen jangle blowout/hillbilly footstomper with squeaky/nasally soul shouting vocals that lands the song somewhere between the Black Lips at their flowery punkest and/or the Strange Boys smoking weed and getting lost in a cornfield. The flip kicks it out with the hyperactive "Feeling Bad" oiled all up in blasty treble and blown out low end. It is followed by the drink in my hand/toes in the sand/lemonade spiked with something glass in my hand/Nothing to do but daydream all day long, man feeling of "Beach Flowers".

     I sure hope this isn't some creepy trap put together by those creepy Jesus vacation camp freaks of you're cuz if they keep doing records they may find me wanting to find out how well the once smitten with girl has aged.
http://vacationclubforboys.tumblr.com/

Aug 7, 2011

APACHE DROPOUT s/t LP

     Album of the year?
     Is it too early to declare such things?
     So far, it's been a pretty decent year for releases. A lot of things have found themselves on my turntable and in my portable Mp3 playing device when I'm in the car, riding the bike, mowing the lawn, going for a walk, hanging out the beach and so on. Then there are those that find themselves staying there for a much longer time.
     This Indiana trio, who took their name from the classic Edgar Broughton band song, and feature a former member of soul punks John Wilkes Booze (who's song "Whiskey and Pills" is still a standard I whip out on dj nights), have released a debut album that definitely falls into the later category.
     It's a sound of after being cooped up in a humid, claustrophobic cinder block box finally getting out and ready to do a swamp shimmy and hoot & holler. Why are their clothes all bloodstained in the morning though? The don't know and everyone that watch what went down would rather pretend they didn't see what happened.
     Part murder blues finds a back woods baptism, part post Oblivians/Gories slobbering over the bible that the Velvet Underground wrote bonk and all pressure cooker ready to burst tension.
     Sounding like the Good Earth era Feelies battling the Cheater Slicks in a loser the leave town match that ends in static-the album's opener, "I'm So Glad", throws the ears into a world of nervy, dripping in cold sweat sound that works for both shaking the hip or drowning sorrows in poison. Carnival organ accentuates a train chug on the, in a more perfect world, angst anthem "Teenager" and the super-agitated Cramps throwing the distortion into the deep red line of "Nothing In My Hand."
     Legendary records label proprietors and obscure record collector/even more obscure music historians get named checked too. The former with the acid boogie of "Sam Phillips Rising", the latter with a the caffeinated rooster rhythm of "God Bless You Johan Kugelberg".     
     I could go on about each and every track extolling it's execution and at moments sounding CCR covered in used motor oil while practicing fuzz-fest voodoo or some other attempt at rock-crit lit wit but I'd rather just listen to the record again and again as much as I have been these past few months.
Album of the year? So far I am thinking so.
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Apache-Dropout/124872621463