Showing posts with label Randy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Randy. Show all posts

Jun 5, 2019

BRUISED Arrow of Disease 7inch

Since 2007 Chicago based Randy Records has released slabs ranging from ringing folk jangle, gooey psych-pop and totally smoked filled dive bar white boy Rhythm-n-Blues. All of them had a healthy dose of punk attitude, but not many of them would I consider, y'know, punk rock.

That is until this, the 25th release from the label. Blurrrzztin' and blitzin', the debut single from Bruised. Battered and pulsing, "Arrow of Disease" throbs like Devo on a spaceship trip where they've hired a drunken Spits to be the crew. The spaceship in question is made of tin and is held together but some sort of glowing sludge. It's a brain rattling quest to a destination of circuitry.


If the song a blast to outer galaxies the flip, "Psychic Stain", is a rough reentry to this atmosphere. It's a quick and blunt blast of jerky hardcore that scrapes across concrete in a ferocious manner.

Get a contusion at Randy Records

Apr 16, 2019

THE YOLKS Get Back 7inch

Chicago's Yolks have always been ace purveyors of oldfangled hopped-up white boy R&B with a serious croon shaking hands with a jittery powerpop. Always clever, often sweaty and sometimes bittersweet, there have been dance moves abounds on every record they've done. The fast ones making hips shake or having them do something a bit more slinky on the more smoldery ones, but "Get Back" could even get someone to do a pogo (or whatever the kids, if they even really dance these days, call it.)

It's not that the song is more feverish than past ones as such a thing is common for the band and there has always been a punk-ish approach to how they go about playing but this one's got a bit more of a one-two punch of neanderthal rhythm than usual. The tune's general downbeat cadence and the laser beam keyboard zings may have something to do with that too.



The back side's "Vampire" slows things down a bit. The harmonies are like the Kinks singing a woozy ballad while a guitar sounds like it is jangling about in a walk-in cooler that's stocked full of brightly colored fizzy drinks.

Get it served sunnyside up at Randy Records

Mar 22, 2018

AMERICAN BREAKFAST Asscube 7inch EP


In the last decade or so, a lot of what's been passed off as "straight-up garage rock action" has been questionable to being downright discourteous to anyone who in the 1990's blasted the latest new releases from a decent record stores 7inch bin at full volume.

How many times over the past 10 years now have I've read some hype and expected to get wowed by hipshakin' coup de mâitre only to hear something timid and lacking guts? Quite a few. How many times have I said "More like feeble bedroom pop encased in digital reverb?" before banishing a band from my orbit? Just as many.

Chicago's American Breakfast isn't playing such a bait and switch games though. First off there's the way French-born Laure Ellie sings. It's part Ye-Ye girl about town sass and coo's, part greasy and rowdy Rhythm-n-Blues blaring. A sweet creme brulee chased with a shot of single barrel bourbon. The band is no slouch either giving a hot and bothered wallop that's made to be heard loud in dive bars (and not just over laptop speakers) to tried-n-true 3 chord rave-up sounds like "Asscube" and blues-punk oozing "Ice Cream."



Though American Breakfast have released a couple things before, this is their debut to vinyl. Seems like a minor wrong in the world has now be righted.
Smell the bacon frying at Randy Records

Feb 23, 2018

CHARLIE REED "Love Hangover" 7inch


Chicago's Uh Bones may have packed it in a bit ago but their tattered and frayed jangle lives on with former member Luke Trible's new project Charlie Reed.

When I first played side one's "Love Hangover" I realized it was not a cover of the Diana Ross song. The second thing I learned is that Charlie Reed are not all about kicking up dust. It's a much more quiet affair here. Nylon stringed guitars move the rhythm of the song as it goes off into a baroque and blurry field of brightly colored flowers and dewy green grass. Something like Donovan song stripped down to simple basics and san all that silly affected hippie quavering thing he did with his voice or White Fence in their stoned & breezy lo-fi bedroom pop finery moments come to mind.


With it's folky fingerpicking pattern the flipside's "Just A Little" has a lightly but plesantly baked mood that's akin to some rays of sunlight poking its way through some rainclouds on an early autum day.
Feel the lilt from Randy Records

Nov 8, 2017

SKIP CHURCH Out Of Tune, In Touch With The Devil LP


Declaring yourself "America's #1 Saturday Night Band" is a pretty tall order and quite a bold claim. Any group that goes around telling people that needs to have all vibes that are expected from such a proclamation. Ya gotta be able to make people groove. It's gotta have a bunch of real soul feeling along with the rock and (especially the) roll. It's gotta make people shake off the work week grime and work up a party time sweat. It's gotta be something that makes people forget about their bills, their responsibilities and worries. It's gotta be all about having a good time.

Right off the bat, Chicago's Skip Church (the band who is making the claim) have got such things down with their name. If you're out boogying your butt off on a Saturday night, the last thing that is probably on your mind is dragging out of bed, putting on the hard and overshined shoes and having a sermon about the wages of sin recited to you the next morning.

These cats sound is made from amped up 1960's Rhythm & Blues and the 1980's brand of garage pop stock. Not deliberately lo-fi nor glossed up, this record hits right where a record of its sort should. The excitable "Hard To Meet Ya", "Then We Kissed" with its New York Dolls plundering girl group moves again and punk rock fuzzbomb that's "Smells Bad" are prime examples of how the band feel that the particular night of the week should sound.



Perhaps not everyone's idea of a good time on a Saturday night isn't three chord eternal teenage blasters though. I mean, a Saturday night can encompass many different mood and adventures, right? The band does have weepers like "Not The Boy", a soundtrack for a fight in hayseed bar with "Bad Anyways" and the small town hazed tinged psych that's all over "The Weather."



Since Skip Church dwell a train ride about seven hours away, I cannot confirm personally whether Saturday night is truly their kingdom. I do know that the next time I'mma Urbs In Horto though, I'd to see them and find out.
Dig Skip Church on Facebook

Jun 17, 2016

CUT WORMS "Don't Want To Say Good-bye" 7inch

     The blurb included with this record mentions that side one's "Don't Want To Say Good-bye" will remind people of the Everly Brothers. Having that still instilled into since probably the day I was born (the folks dug 'em bunches) and being a sucker for that sound when done right (to my ears at least) I prepared to listen intently.
     Masterminded by Max Clarke, he the one time guitar player for Chicago band the Sueves, the Cut Worms pull off the sound consummately. Close harmonies swell over an elegant sibilation of steel stringed guitars. The clean and lightly echo'd recording sounds authentic. Not so much as a direct cop but as something this has been going through their bloodstream since day one too which makes it feel more like sincere love for a long gone era of innocence rather than making people suspicious that there is some irony trip at hard or they songs are just playing dress up.
     Where the Everly Brothers inspired a lot of future folkies at the time to eventually go off on their own paths of soul bearing, side two's "Like Going Sideways" starts its journey seeming like an introspective ballad around a campfire which then meets its destination cleaning out stems and seeds at Gene Clark kitchen table with a heart yearning for more.
randyrecords.bigcartel.com

May 11, 2016

HEAVY TIMES "Dancer" 7inch EP

     Chicago's Heavy Times have never played light music. There's always been a cloudy sky and saturnine perspective even when they're playing a bash it about punk rock numbers. It's been three years since they last released a record. Is everything bright and shiny with them now? Well, maybe but, then again, maybe not.
     The band has had an occasional new wave hue to them on previous endeavors and on this one it is practically glaring. Synth washes and a tinny computer drum lure you into a seedy neon lit mutant disco planet on "Dancer." A throaty new wave android repeatedly recites diminutive recollections of movement while a guitar line that slid itself off one of  the Ultravox record before Jon Foxx left coats a sheen of frost of the toxic sort throughout. It is followed by "Midnight Highway" which mines the same territory but also with a manner of skittish twitches, somnolent bloops and glassy 6 string flash that smears a thin and chipped line between where techno-pop ends and synth rock begins. Both cuts would sound fitting in some nightclub in a cellar when strobe lights are set to a medium pulse and plebeians reach for cobwebs as a groovy dance move.
     Then, on the b-side, the ceiling comes crashing down. "Coptic Rot" hits a pressure point that the band is known to reach. Kicking off with a drum roll that may get you thinking you're about to hear a surf song things instantaneously break into a nervous rhythm. The vocals now a bit more hoarse and ranting compared to the "getting my best Gary Numan on" of the a-side and fidgety guitars up the antsy ante. The record's final track, "Edge of The Night", reverts back to the early 80's thing. The opening reminds me of the Go-Gos "Our Lips Are Sealed" slowed down to opiate induced pace. Then a flange pedal gets treated passive aggressively and things start to sound like the ending credits of a John Hughes movie. Well, a John Hughes film if he became smitten with the Cinema of Transgression, that is.
http://randyrecords.bigcartel.com

Nov 20, 2015

The YOLKS "Don't Cry Anymore" 7inch

      Y'know, any time a Yolks record gets put on the turntable a party is gonna start. If the party is already in effect, putting one of their records on turns the party up a north. Even as garage pop soul thrash-abouters these Chicagoland cats are though there is another side to the story. Y'know, like the types of things Smokey Robinson was talking about on "Tears Of A Clown" and "Tracks Of My Tears."
     Unlike the them doing the crying though, the a-side here, "Don't Cry Anymore", asks you to wipe away your own tears. A bit different than usual Yolks fare, the band sounds like their in a bit of a introspective mood. Things are slightly folky here but with a dust riddled Rhythm and Blues bounce that wont have the ears wanting to nob out like it would while listening to some snoozy assed Bon Iver track or something. The slightly stoned harmonies sound as like they were recorded straight into the same mic with little adornment other than room echo. The voices amalgamate in a way that resembles the Everly Brothers after a weed dealer just left their living room.
     After showing that hardly seen "softer" side of  the band they flip the switch of the dimly lit and mellow room mood to get up because it's time to get down mode. Throwing it back to the reckless party vibe that had a feeling being all sweaty and greasy from dancing to the bustling groove and eating fried chicken at the same time that their earliest records had stamped and stained all over them, "I Wanna Be Dumb" rids the room of any Captain Bringdowner's and fills the floor with a party vibe.

Dec 29, 2014

Smashin' Transistors Fave Albums of 2014

     Another year, another list. Never definitive but still throwing the hate in the ring for the sake of opinion. Some I got around to write about. Others I didn't. None the less here's the 20 albums, listed in alphabetical order, that seemed to be listened to and enjoyed the most around Smashin' Transistors Ground Zero in 2014.  
-Dale


The Achtungs Full Of Hate (Going Underground) Take standout tracks from the European band KBD/Bloodstains comps and put the blender on puree. Record it all (including the sound the blender makes.)
goingunderground.storenvy.com

Apache Dropout Heavy Window (Magnetic South) Read Smashin' Transistors review here.

Brain Flannel Empty Set (Grave Mistake) Read Smashin' Transistors review here.

DeGreaser Rougher Squalor (Ever/Never) Towering and dissonant psych. Not the flowers and sunshine psych but the kind that dwells in the darkest parts of the mind.
degreaser1.bandcamp.com

Gino and the Goons Shake It (Slovenly) Read Smashin' Transistors review here.

Good Throb Fuck Off (Sabermetric) Soaked in venom and full of disdain.The sound of smashing the Poison Girls albums to bits and then reassembling it's jagged shards back together in a choppy (non) fashion.
goodthrob.tumblr.com

The Gotobeds Poor People Are Revolting (12XU) Read Smashin' Transistors review here.

Honey Radar Chain Smoking On Easter (Third Uncle) Syd Barrett's ghost, Flying Saucer Attack's melancholy and Television Personalities whimsy leave magnetic tape dust all over the recording heads of this battered bit of 4-track know how.
honeyradar.com

Iceage Plowing Into The Field Of Love (Matador) J.G. Ballard writes a romance novel with the Bad Seeds The First Born Is Dead and a lot of heavy breathing in mind as an aural soundtrack. Then Gun Club steal the manuscript under the cover of night.
iceagecopenhagen.eu
Martyr Privates s/t (Fire) Read Smashin' Transistors review here.

Meatbodies s/t (In The Red) Psychedelic pop that has one foot wiggling it's toes in the sand a sunny day at the beach and the other doing kicking at neon glowing brain monsters.
www.facebook.com/Meatbodies

Mordecai Neil's Generator (TestosterTunes) The disarrayed clatter that made the messes on Mordecai's first two albums has been swept into neat piles here. The fidelity is still blown and the music still ramshackle but the concept of obvious melodies now more digestible.
paperhose.tumblr.com

Musk s/t (Holy Mountain) Read Smashin' Transistors review here.

No Bails Epyx Shredder (Pelican Pow Wow) Michigan scientists conducted a test on the effects a diet of 80s basic cable, food from greasy college town eateries, cases of Keystone Light and Cosmic Psychos records would have on a person. This album is their findings.
No Bails on Facebook

Obnox Louder Space (12XU) Read Smashin' Transistors review here.

PYPY Pagan Day (Slovenly) Read Smashin' Transistors review here.

Space Raft s/t (Dusty Medical) Read Smashin' Transistors review here.

The Sugar Stems Only Come Out At Night (Dirtnap) Read Smashin' Transistors review here.

Vacation Club Heaven Is Too High (Magnetic South) Read Smashin' Transistors review here.

The Yolks Kings Of Awesome (Randy) Read Smashin' Transistors review here.

Nov 2, 2014

The YOLKS "Kings Of Awesome" LP

     My girl and I wanted to go out on Halloween. We checked the options around town and it seemed the entire city was overrun by EDM laptop jockeys (with turntable strictly for show) or a couple of bands who have been covering the same Scorpions and Foreigner songs since they graduated high school in the 80's. And no, they don't do them ironically either. We quickly discovered that finding a rock-n-roll party where we could dance and act the fools to something get down groovy were dashed.
    In a way I blame myself for nothing worth venturing out for. I knew I should've put some kind of show together to combat the invasion of soulessness.
     Since I don't have a time machine, hiring the B-52s circa '79 was not an option. I do have a phone though so I should've been placing calls to Chicago and telling whoever answered phone at Yolks central "PEOPLE WANT TO DANCE AND YOU'RE THE ONLY HOPE!"
     Sounding like a 60's frat rock band after making it with some black chicks, the Yolks have been bringing the party (on record at least) since 2007. On their latest LP, Kings Of Awesome, the party is in the basement. The floors are already sticky from a few spilled beer and the walls are the damp from condensation even before the band plugs in. With a heartfelt croon, some science fiction reverb on the guitar and keyboard line that sounds like something from a Velvet Underground song filtered through a Friday night fish fry "There She Goes" kicks the scene into a high gear. Then, with the Television "Prove It"/1950's tinged "I Want Your Number", they take the party for a romantic walk to get some chili dogs.
     After the innuendo that's so transparent I dunno why I am even referring it an innuendo of the bacon grease blistered and having nothing to do with Freddie King or Bruce Springsteen song "I'm Going Down", the streetwise Sweet Jane feeling of  "True Love" and the smoochy acoustic touches of "Best Friend" the tubes powering the volume are burning hot. Just in time for the organ to take the spotlight and blare on the possibly weed baked soul-jazz blasted instro "Bud Heavy", taking "What'd I Say" back to a sweaty jukejoint where it always sounds best making it's 5 minute length seem half as much. It could go on twice as long as it does too cuz the room would keep shakin' their asses to it.
     The crowd is drenched in sweat but far from spent. Calling out for one more the band treats the request with the fuzzed out & funky "Stewed Tomatoes."
     Gonna tie a string around my finger to remind myself to find out what these cats are up to next Halloween.
randyrecords.bigcartel.com

Mar 2, 2014

The YOLKS "Two Dollars Out The Door" 7inch

     The Yolks shambled pop rockin' sound is something akin of Nick Lowe's Jesus Of Cool being pushed down a mountain of beer cans with a singer who sounds like he is constantly battling a deep down turmoil of whether to be a wise cracking suburban troublemaker or a velvet fogged philanderer.
     That means, around the Smashin' Transistors digs at least, their few and far between records have always been welcomed on the turntable and calling up friends to come over for a house party follows.
    This, their latest release (and the first thing by 'em to make it to vinyl since their full length LP in 2009), is no exception.
     The a-side's hyped up on sugar and rollin' in the dirt "Two Dollars Out The Door" not only gets a house party started with it's hooky bashing and smart ass Doo Wop chorus and harmonies-the mentioning of BBQing of Polish sausage and trying to talk to girls (some of who are Polish too) a backyard party that takes over the entire block could most likely ensue.
     A take on Willie Dixon's via Sir Bo Diddley "Oh, Pretty Thing" stays loyal to the tempo, beat and harmonica blaring of the original but like any backyard party that winds watching the sun rising the next day it's all bloodshot and staggering and doesn't know how to explain to the cops when they show up why all the neighbors lawn furniture ended up in the swimming pool and their pets on the roof of the garage.
http://randyrecords.blogspot.com

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

Apr 6, 2013

DEAD GHOSTS "I Sleep Alone" 7inch

     A few years ago it seemed that most major metropolitan areas have had their own Junior Black Lips. Whether it was intentional or not to cop that sound; stealing beer, puking in the bushes and doing some shambling latchkey kid take on the Pebbles and Back From The Grave canon and sounding like the way the B'Lips seem to become de rigueur. In Vancouver, BC the job has been that of Dead Ghosts.
     In the more recent past the band has started to cut their own path out of that sound, but these recordings date back 4 and 5 years ago. It sounds as if back in those days a copy of We Did Not Know the Forest Spirit Made the Flowers Grow was ever very far from their stereo (and most likely wasn't).
     Drenched is glassy reverb, guitar jangle swimming in cough syrup and nasally singing that sounds agitated from be just woken up are the main calling cards here.
     "I Sleep Alone" (recorded summer 2009) sounds like it some folks trying to get a gig in some total small town dive country & western bar. On of those dive country bars where Happy Hour starts at the 7am opening time so all the old guys who were out fishing hours earlier and the 3rd shifters just getting out of work can go get sloshed before sleeping a good part of the afternoon away. The selections of import beer consists of Labatt Blue and maybe Guinness but no one ever drinks them because they cost an extra 50 cents. It's the only place in town the band hasn't played so they haven't been unplugged and shown the door yet. It may be the band's attempt to work up something that will make the folks think of Porter Wagoner (or some "Damn punk rock kids" trying to sound like the Stones trying to sound like Porter Wagoner but on rattier equipment and way low rent stimulants) but the slurry slide guitar lines just gets those old cranks scowling. When the messed up organ solo towards the end of the song starts the coots yell at them "You are stoned on something beyond bourbon. You are on them hippie drugs" before showing them shotguns and the door.
      Flip it over and "Spot A Trend" (from 2008) is all frantic fuzz fueled by unhealthy living and, well, whatever songs the Black Lips taught them how to play. Trashed out live to tape recording that sounds like everything is about to fall apart. Drink too much, bang into people and wait to get thrown out of another party.
http://randyrecords.blogspot.com/