Showing posts with label Neck Chop. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Neck Chop. Show all posts

Aug 14, 2018

LYSOL "Teenage Trance" 7inch


After a quick dalliance with the name L.I., Portland trenchant operatives scoff the risk of any cease & desist being landed on them and revert back to the name Lysol. Like the name brand of disinfectants they've chosen as their name, both rid germs away but the band does it with a heaping amount of scalding clangor instead of pernicious compounds.

Residing in an asteroid belt that's located between the triangular orbits of elastic punk, wooly garage rock and gangly hardcore, the sound is often dizzying and usually bumptious.

Akin to some proto-punk chugger shook up like a bottle of soda pop and then put on a sketchy looking carnival thrill ride, "Teenage Trance" makes a huge sticky mess when the cap is popped as it sprays, spit and spurts deliriously from front to back and side to side with wiry guitar clangs and a stuttering jackhammer rhythm.


"Chemical Reaction" isn't any calmer as it rattles and weaves with something that had me thinking "Hmmm, do I hear a surf chord there" as it started. It only took a second for that thought to be dashed when they were then answered with "Yeah, if cavepeople surfed on waves of fire."

Get cleansed at Neck Chop 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.

Jun 15, 2018

KID CHROME "I've Had It" 7inch EP


Kid Chrome is the alter-ego of Pacific Northwest punk rock band Lysol member Chad. Like Lysol, Kid Chrome play a loud and nasty brand of punk rock. At times, Lysol smear lines between early hardcore, artsy punk and rock-n-roll. Kid Chrome is more just about the straight up rock-n-roll thing though.

When I say that I don't mean that it is done in some fake swagger/look at my tattoos and watch me pretend to drink a whole 5th of bourbon kind of way. I mean more in the way like in the 70's when rock-n-roll was left for dead by most who then chose to listen to ELP or James Taylor. I'm talking more about the fiends scattered around the planet who cranked up their Stooges, MC5 and New York Dolls albums at full blast and then begat bands like the Pagans and the Dead Boys.

Now, I know there are bands out there claiming they are doing that right now, but plenty of them come off sounding and looking like the fake swagger thing I already mentioned.  Kid Chrome are not guilty of such things.

Guitars sound like their braying at the moon on "I've Had It." The lonely and desperate howl of them makes perfect sense when Chad starts hooting and hollering sounding somewhere between a wolfchild fathered by Lux Interior and an elementary school-aged Jay Reatard locked in his room with only a Mr. Microphone and a case of Jolt Cola to keep him company.


While that blast of lo-fi mind losing proves to be quite savage, a wall of noise grows to more obnoxious and bad-tempered heights when the record is flipped over. The ode to a budget brand of cigarettes, "Pall Mall 100s", is like being stuck in a hurricane of black lunged amplifier abuse and "Don't Walk" makes sure that you follow the orders it's commanding with a violently jerking and sloshing which makes it hard for anyone within an earshot to keep proper balance.

Get electroplated at Neck Chop Records.

May 6, 2018

STIFF LOVE Trouble 7inch EP

No matter how many time my folks claim it's (still) just a phase and no matter how many time starchy business associates and random squares give me a puzzled or concerned look when I reply to the question of "what kind of music do you like" I'm still probably gonna get goosebumps for the thrill for hearing some punk rock til the day slide my body into the crematorium.

Not just any punk rock though as what has come with all the years is the knack of saying "Nah, I'm not believing it. This is bullshit."

Olympia, Washington's Stiff Love are not bullshit. Fronted by Xtine of Lysol, this record sounds unhinged and set to explode after immediately after the first wiggly and wild guitar chord of "Walk In The Dark" is bashed out.


Thoughts of Redd Kross at their teenage snottiest and, because of the town they live in will probably become mandatory rock blog crits to namedrop 'em, the most feral Bikini Kill songs the world never heard both come to mind as the four songs make the stereo speakers foam at the mouth like something rabid. The thing is though with tracks like "Up In Your Room" there's a mischevious bounce to rage that gives them a bit of a garage rock swagger.


Granted, the garage is probably gonna go into ablaze with the kind of fires the band is setting so do your best to get out of the building with this record before the place turns to a pile of ashes.
Get cocked at Neck Chop Records

Mar 6, 2018

JACKSON POLITICK Paste Vol. 1 LP


If Andy Jordan wasn't the hardest working person in punk rock for 2017, he still must be pretty high on the list of people who were. Doing duties in The World, Razz, the Beatniks and, of course being Mr. Human of the Reptoids, it's most likely didn't leave many blanks in his appointment book last year. And probably those open dates ended up having the name Jackson Politik quickly penciled in.

The thread that runs through all the different projects he's involved in is an admiration for pockets of sounds of yore but with enough of a twist to make it their own. This is like that too but as where the other ones seemed to focus on one particular sound, be it synth punk, budget powerpop or what have you, here things are more like a compilation of many DIY 45's all recorded on the same 4-track tape machine.

Scummy punk rock comes in the form of the skittish & frenzied on the album's opener "Habit", how "Learning To Live With It" sounds like something like Swell Maps at their most wrung out, hungover and on the verge of veering off a cliff and the hyperactive drum machine and overall bugged out bounce that's "Sex & Pity."



"This Town" might get someone thinking power-pop at first but the robotic vocal throws the scent off that trail fairly quickly. It is picked back up though (along with an aroma of something like hot dogs at a carnival and strawberry Bubble Yum) with "Hooked On A Feeling (Arthur Lee Love Song)."


There's a big chiming C86 thing all over "I Get Carried Away" which this reporter can't really figure out whether it was deliberate or simply a happy accident of a barebones tape machine. The same sort of thought comes to mind a bit on in the black raincoat wearing but still not 100% goth yet not exactly sunny day either feeling of the album's closer "The Hours."



I've been diggin' many of the different projects Andy's been doing since first heard the Cuts debut single on, outta all labels, Lookout almost two decades ago. This Jackson Politik has become truly one of my favorite things that he has done.
Glue your ears at Neck Chop

Feb 13, 2018

GEE TEE Death Race 7inch EP

Raised in a region where automobile manufacturing is what kept the economy running for decades there wasn't a day that went by where we didn't hear some Pall Mall huffin' grouch from the subdivision declare "All jobs will be taken over by robots. They won't want us on the assembly line anymore" between horseshoe pitches and swigs of Altes when I was growing up.

It was always said loud enough so us kids within an earshot could be scared of the future. We weren't though. The thought of working on robots always sounded much cooler than clanging away at bolting Ford Pintos together.

"You brats are not listening!" the old coots would bark. "First it's our jobs. Then it's our lives!" We would laugh it all off. Tilting an ear to Gee Tee though, I am starting to wonder if those fogies are getting the last laugh and grumbling "See. They're coming to eliminate you!"

Starting with the bouncy, almost strange kids show blurps and beeps of "Got No Head", you may think they're all whimsical and can get you think being decapitated will creep out people around you more than it will yourself. The blast of car crash guitars, spraying of punk rock snot and machinery gone awry stomp of "Death Races" follows it though, may not help you if you're squeamish about the sight of blood but spilled, dirty hydraulic oil may become a point of arousal.



Being that these cyborgs are Australian they have also have that off-balance jangle and skittish hooks that many from the country have done many a time through the eons hardwired into their punk rock informational processing as side two's "Fightin' Is Dumb" and "Z-Zero" can attest to.



A gazillion heartland rockers have claimed they'd never get out of wearing their blue collar alive. The cantankerous fossils that tried to strike fear in our hearts by complaining about machines destroying us called all them wussies too. Gee Tee is the kind of thing they would actually fear.
Get it at Neck Chop records

Jan 14, 2018

COLOR TV "Paroxeteens" 7inch


You hear that? Sounds "POP", right? Pops and crackles. Lots of static too.

Perhaps wordplay on the anti-depressant sold under the brand name Paxil, the slashy "Paroxeteens" is an antsy buzz that's like a mosquito stuck in your ear. The singer bray verses and a "Whoa Oh! Oh! Oh!" kind of choruses in an anthemic and adenoidal tone. There's a guitar breakdown bit where surf waves crash up on some dayglo colored beach littered with broken glass. An underlying pop-punk thing seems to thread this together but it's off of any mood leveling drugs which make things a bit jumpier and maybe even slightly Buzzcocks-ish.



The flipside's "Night After Night" is more that ooey, gooey, chewy kinda thing but shifts into a higher and reckless gear, bringing to mind the Marked Men's streamlined sonic machine being lent to some Snowbelt rapscallions. It's all dented up and now the entire neighborhood reeks of exhaust fumes from them keeping the pedal pinned to the floor because the wanted to hear the revving sound for blocks around.


Get the prescription from Neck Chop records.

Aug 15, 2017

SICK THOUGHTS Songs About People You Hate


There seemed to moment or two not so long ago where one might have wanted to consider making a spreadsheet to keep track of what musical things Drew Owen was working. Along with a few other names there has been DD Owen, Chicken Chain, Black Panties, LSDOGS and, of course, Sick Thoughts.

While all of them have hurled rancor and heaved malignity at the world of dolts that surround each and everyone, it's the Sick Thoughts name that has really been his calling card. Having relocated from the USA to Finland in the last year, it might be easy to assume that he has been able to free his mind of all the rabble and weariness that is going on in this country, but ire and disgust are very strong and burning emotions and they're obviously still flaming hot in his heart and his head.

Ever light a wasps nest on fire? They'll all come out and then right at you like a flying, buzzing and angry yellow jacketed stampede. Now imagine setting fire to a wasps nest the size of a minivan. And they all got guitars. It probably would sound a whole lot like the record's opening blast "I'm Going Nowhere & I Don't Care."



The Oblivians and Reatard thing that's always thrown around when talking the Sick Thoughts in general still looms large but there are quite a few times where something that's much more wound up sonically than the rickety fidelity of yore that seems quite noticable. The smashy trashy destruction that drives things like "I Do What I Wanna Do" and "When I Think About You" is more akin to driving a tank through a brick wall inspired by Motorhead and built with extremely black metalloids.



One thing that I think will never disappear in my lifetime are Ramones clones. Not bands that dig the Ramones, but those kinds of bands that think the only good bands that exist are the Ramones and the bands that sound like a convenience store version of them. They've been an ire of mind for a loooong time now. It seems even weird here in the 21st century that there are still ones popping up every day let alone me still having to take a jab at them. They should be subjected to "Need No One." It's bubblegum but it doesn't taste like strawberry Flavor Aid. Kerosene though? Yes, it does taste like that. If they refuse to chew, shove their head on the grinding that's "NFM."



In a feel bad summer situation this country has been put in, this is the feel good record about feeling bad platter for the entire bummer.
Get it at Neck Chop Records.

May 30, 2017

MACHO BOYS S/T LP


Three cats live in my house. A big calico called Clementine (but we all call her Puff) who doesn't really have time for humans as well as most other things in the world, The Ripperpotamus, a furry beast of a Norwegian forest cat who, if was a human, would most likely drive a customized van with something like a wolf wizard standing on top of a mountain made of medical marijuana and lighting a bong with a bolt of lightning as the mural on the side and a polydactyl tuxedo named Von Von that showed up in my garage a couple years ago as a kitten and has never left.

All three of them react to music in some form or another, but it's the tuxedo that seems to express it the most excitement for this, the debut album from Portland punk rockers Macho Boys. Seriously! I was playing records the other day and she was in a rare (for her) deep sleep on the windowsill. She was dead to the world and paying no mind to what music was playing. Then I dropped the needle on this. Her ears perked at the opening cymbal crashes of "Victim To Blame" and by the time singer Tekiah Elzey opened her throat up of to yowl over the breakneck din of grinding guitars and bass avalanches, the cat was zipping across the room at blinding speed.

Up the stairs then down them. Through the main floor of the house, down to the basement and back up again. She was practically bouncing off the walls. When she stopped it wasn't to wonder if a song like "Cockroach" was a metaphor for creepy humans or if it was about the actual insect, was I bummed out at "Dinosaur" because it might be ripping on oldsters and was the year I graduated high school, "The Class Of '84" as punk rock as the as movie a song on this album get it's title from (it wasn't, really...there were only just a couple of us actually), whether Madonna would have an opinion on a sequel of "Papa Don't Preach" which features a bloodstained buzzsaw, if "Slam" was a cover of the Onyx song (it's not by the way), or if pigs do sweat, does it smell like pork rinds. Nope, the only time she did stop was between each song and then she'd be a black & white blur blazing through the house.

The more I watched her the more I started thinking "Maybe she does understand every single thing that is going on here." I mean, when their ode to WWF Legend Stone Cold Steve Austin came on she started doing dives off the top of the couch and onto the floor like she was doing some cat version of the Stunner.

Get it at Neck Chop Records

May 5, 2017

SCHIZOS Fuck Iggy Pop 7inch EP

I dunno, man. Saying "Fuck Iggy Pop" in these parts could be fighting words. Michigan folks take their Michigan stuff seriously and are very protective of it. That being said though, I can understand the sentiment. I mean, can you imaging hearing ABOUT Iggy and his legend but not actually hearing of his music and then one day someone plays you something like  Party or Brick by Brick? You'd probably be bummed out or pissed off and thinking "this is the guy who invented punk rock? Man, maybe punk rock is pretty lame."

As a synth and real drum duo though maybe these guys just hate guitars and/or dudes that THINK they can play and sound like Ron Asheton or James Williamson but in reality will never pull it off. Whatever the case is, their agitated about something.

An electro-throb from the keys and a martial drums cracks provide cold and alienated core for a incensed rant of getting no love action on opener "Pounding The Pud." Clocking in at just over two minutes it's the 2nd longest song on the record. That doesn't mean the bursts of antagonism are slight of the other songs here though. The repetitive bop-bash-bop-bash on "Dog Meat" isn't some kind of hypnotic dance beat but will be unnerving for anyone who "just wants to groove" and the so exiguous it makes whatever people are calling minimal synth wave sound like the E Street Band in comparison that is "Cop Problem" is not going to be adopted by law enforcement any time soon (unless it's to be song to bash in some heads with a night stick, that is.)

You would think by using a record title as a way to talk smack about a punk rock legend that these Alabama mutants are trying to thumb their nose at history. When take the always full on loud and disturbed "I'm Not A Sicko..." by the Oblivians (which is the 2nd longest song on the record but being one second more than "Pud") and strip it down to a bare bones diatribe and make the Urinals "I'm A Bug" sound like maggots crawling into your eyes though, it's obvious their brains are coated in the kind of scuzz that could only cause stuff like this being ever being made.
Get it at Neck Chop Records

Apr 19, 2017

RACE CAR B.Y.O.G.K. 7inch EP

My grandparents had a 1970's Lowrey organ at their house. You know the kind I am taking about. One of those one's with the “Super Genie” rhythm box on it. My brother, sister and I would always bug my grandma to let us play it. Eventually she'd give in to our pleading under the condition that "don't turn it up to loud and bother you grandpa. He's doing paperwork and book keeping in the other room and doesn't not want to be distracted."

As soon as grandma would leave the room to go out to the garage, or yard or neighbors though, up would go the volume. Next to be cranked up on it would be the tempo on whatever built in drum pattern was playing at that moment. Eventually, my grandpa would come into the room cussing and sternly state in an agitated voice "That thing is NOT made to rattle brains!"

It doesn't sound as if Race Car are using a Super Genie for their beats but they are using a drum machine and it definitely sounds like they have it on some setting to rattle brains that would totally piss my grandpa off. Actually, everything on this 4 song slab sounds like it's on some brain rattle setting.

The turbulent blusters of "911! Dang Wolf" and "I.S.S. Is For Me" evoke the adolescent tantrums of the Reatards with the vocals drenched in echo and trashed out punk rock guitar blasts. The jarring stops and starts on the two take them out of the garage and into some mechanical lab where the robots have turned on their human programmers and are tearing them apart limb by limb on the former and the latter taking on the role of an aural pile driver.

The records other two tracks are as spazzed out but aren't all sweet and mellow either. "Government Funded Terror Lunch" has a raspy bark which commands the song to chug into, save for some synth bloops and sizzles acting as mercury lights of sound, a disturbing darkness. Also, if you're thinking that Go-Kart Rock could be a close cousin of the Surf & Drag sounds of yore, such a thing is not going to be found on "I Just Want A Go Kart." Unless knocking on a cave door only to find something resembling the Urochromes dragging a Stooges record through a broken glass covered floor is some kind of family reunion.

Did I mention that if you spell this names backwards, it's the same as you spell it forward? I may have forgot. My brain has been rattled.
Get it at Neck Chop Records

Mar 3, 2017

WARM BODIES Domo 7inch EP

     How does something give the impression that it is tight and locked in as it can be also seem like it could explode and have parts fly off into a zillion direction at any given second?
     Perhaps that is a question that KCMO's Warm Bodies could answer. On the surface, the band puts down a churlish and opaque vibe that flys a classic Midwest punk rock flag high. From there though they jump off the flagpole and down into a pool filled with virulent things.
     "Turn Me Into Gel" and "My Face Fell Off" hyperspazz out on Devo moves but with a whole lot more rock out lead guitar licks and a heavy hand on the echo knob for the vocals. There are moments where both songs may get ya thinking of a femme vox'd Catholic Boys, but with less brutal jerks to the spine and neck but just a many throttles to the head.
     When the band slows the temple down, things aren't any calmer in the least. "At The Laundromat" start out like a buzz blast crawl of a Stooges song lumbering through deep space but once it hits the spin cycle an incensed agitation is noted all over the neighborhood. The weaving and spindly sounds on songs like "The Psychic Connection" may also bring out a slight thought of Public Image Limited's (Jah) wobbling at first but then the band takes another turn down some bumpy road where only they know they're headed. 
Neck Chop Records

Feb 8, 2017

LOST SYSTEM No Meaning No Culture 7inch EP

     Dystopian. It seems I've been using that word in conversation more than ever before recently. It's not like the world has ever been a perfect place but after the presidential election, the word is being used much more often by many people.
     It also seems to be the right kind of word to describe what is going on in the grooves of this record from Grand Rapids, Michigan band Lost System.
     Sure, the goth'd-out synth blurts and oh so spooooky post punk vocals may seem a bit rote on the "should we dance to this in a basement adorned with stuff from the Halloween store closeout bin or just slowly bleed to death" of the record's opener "Medical Study" and the Eurotrashy tinged "False Companion" but things get a bit darker and creepier too.
     "Future Shock" reeks of disenchantment. It lays out on a cold slab of electronic throbs and illuminates the petulance under a harsh buzz while "Lost System" resembles something from Scott Walker's Scott 2 maneuvering a flowery meadow riddled with landmines.
Neck Chop Records

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