Showing posts with label Texas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Texas. Show all posts

Nov 27, 2011

CRUDDY "Negative World"

    As people get older their musical tastes, like most other things, tend to get set in their ways. I have one particular friend who is a prime example of that but perhaps not in the usual way.
      Y'see, with him, it seems that he is flipping out a little bit that he is not getting any younger. He's always listened to a wide variety of music but over the last couple years or so he's worried that if he gets caught listening to something that could be considered mellow or toe-tapping catchy he's gonna called out on it and sent to pasture.
     Whenever he stops by my house to hang out in my basement he wants me to play him the latest and most "punk" rock thing I've listened to lately. Usually, what I land on him is "way not punk rock enough" and then talks about the days of when we "listened to Black Flag and Crass and smashed stuff" (I listened to lots of Black Flag...Crass-not so much, and I only smashed stuff on a very rare occasion. He feels the need to romanticize it all though I guess. Maybe he was off smashing stuff and listening to Crass when he wasn't hanging out with the rest of us). There are those rare occasions with him now though that I'll put something on that makes him act a fool, knock over his drink (usually breaking the glass on the basement floor) and waking up my wife and kids who are two flights up by turning the stereo up as loud as it will go when I turn my head for a second.
     Big on Black Flag disgust for almost everything, Germs glorious ineptitude and Urinals minimalistic jitter skronk this Texas trio's slab of two minute or less rusty steak knife stabs sound as if they're about to fly off the rails but at the last minute grabs on tight and scream bloody murder. Strangulated vocals that sounds like it eats pieces of roll insulation for breakfast, guitars that buzz like a hornets nest at times, slither like agitated snakes at others and drums that play straight on and simple bash & thrash beat. It's all right up and in your face and doesn't give itself or you a chance to ever catch your breath. Along with their own blasts of rage they give the Suicide Commandos "Burn It Down" a well deserved roughing up too.
     This IS HARDCORE! Y'know, like the old "I'm a reject and I don't need your stupid world" hardcore before all the meathead jocks and palm muting metal dudes starting coming around and stinking up everything.
     Since the first time I listened to this album a couple weeks back I have thought about calling him up, inviting him over and watch him loose his mind. First though I think I should probably move everything breakable out of the room (and out of his sight) because I believe it will make really want to smash some stuff. I mean, I don't want to deny the guy going through his 2nd childhood or anything but I'd rather have him smash his own stuff and, besides, I'm the one that is going to end up having to sweep broken glass of the floor when he send his drink tumbling to the floor anyway.
     He wanted punk rock. This punk rock is going to kick him in the face. If it doesn't-I'm gonna call his "I just want to be punk rock again" thing just bullshit talk.

Nov 26, 2011

FUNGI GIRLS "Some Easy Magic" LP

     In nature, fungi is used as a reference to mosses, molds and mushrooms. They thrive off moisture and a lot of times develop in darker hours of the day.
     Describing the overall sound of this album by this Texas combo description phrases like music for dusk and words earthy, grassy and wet come to mind so their chosen band name seems apropo.
     Wrapped in reverb, bathed in full moonlight and swaddled in a misty early morning haze the Fungi Girls, who aren't even of age to drive a car without a parent or legal guardian in the vehicle in most states, sound like old souls with young hearts that have the brightest color of red table wine pumping through their veins.
     Sad eyed shoegazing gets battered and washed ashore by fractured surf music ripples on songs like "Honey Face". "Hevrole" and "All Night Blues".
     Worshipping of clever and cannabis enhanced 80's "college rock" bands like the Feelies and Rain Parade is given the once over twice before rinsed in algae clouded water, put through the ringer and set out to dry in the sunshine on the album's basement-psych title track, "Doldrums" jangle boogie and the pretty flowers growing in the middle of landfill feeling of "Lucie".
     "Velvet Days" pricks the ears like the Cramps living in a snow capped mountain village instead of dwelling in that neighborhood of Hell where all the best jukeboxes and cocktail lounges are and sunshine pop shines on a swamp on the album's closer "Little Miss Flora".
      Music for both early morning wake up motivation and late evening cemetery walking.

Nov 22, 2011

CRISIS HOTLINES "(Don't Wanna Go To) No Jail" 7inch EP

     Austin, Texas has given the world some pretty bad ass music through the years. When a group of those bad ass music makers form a gang things get even more bad ass.
     Crisis Hotlines are a prime example of that.
     With members of Love Collector and the Horribly Wrong (who weren't an Austin band but a member or two ended up down there and formed totally rockin' Lost Controls) this band sure does know how to whip up a racket.
     The dumb fun and sick kicks of KBD punk and leaning heavily against the walls that bands like the Dicks and the Ramones kicked holes in-this grimy wax sliver takes punk rock back to a place that should be remembered by the kids today but instead is passed over the eyeliner and bottled water endorsements the offer up for playing the Warped tour.
      Four tracks of quick, to the point, REAL punk rock with oafish, pissed off singing, lots of razor blade guitar sounds but no time for frills like solos and middle eights. Listen to this and be prepared to get kicked out of all the popular kids parties. 

Sep 9, 2011

WOMEN IN PRISON "Strange Waves" 7inch EP

     I was at the mall earlier today. It was not by choice but I needed something and in this two cow city where the downtown shopping district is pretty much knick knack & trinket shops, a handful of eateries/drinkeries and empty storefronts I had no other choice.
     As we all know the mall is a good place to people to watch. It's also a good place to find something to vent about.
     "YOU KIDS NOT PUNK ROCK AT ALL! YOU ARE ALL BOUGHT AND SOLD! YOU ARE ALL BRING LIED TO! THE PERSON THAT SOLD YOU THAT DEAD KENNEDYS T-SHIRT AT HOT TOPIC DOES NOT GIVE A SHIT ABOUT YOU! HELL, THE DEAD KENNEDYS DON'T EVEN GIVE A SHIT ABOUT YOU! THEY JUST WANT THE MONEY YOUR PARENTS ARE LETTING YOU SPEND!" and so on goes through my mind on a regular basis on the rare times I set foot in the place seeing all "the kids" walking around like zombies with their tattoos (how rebellious and individualistic are they anymore when insurance salesmen sport full sleeves of ink and grandma's have tramp stamps? You aren't bikers, rock stars or longshoremen. You live in a Pulte built home on a cul-de-sac.), piercings that make the dude from Skid Row's lip to nose chain thing look less like a jackass and filling their faces with Taco Bell (which apparently is more "punk rock" than Hot Dog On A Stick, the Flaming Wok or Burger King judging judging by the fat asses wearing Anarchy t-shirts standing in line, asking for extra sour cream and the largest cup for Mountain Dew Baja Blast available "and we get free refills, right?" Free refills are punk! Long live anarchy!).
     Listening to this Women In Prison single I like to believe that whenever band members have to go to the mall though they are armed with butcher knives and flamethrowers with the intention of doing much more than just thinking vitriol and venting to themselves. And, yeah, they do sport tattoos (a lot of them as a matter of fact) but they're bona fide dirtbags not just weekend rebels.
     The sound is that of jackhammer to a cesspool this Austin based band take the template of things like '81 era Black Flag and splatter it like brains all over the windshield in a car crash with the falling into a vat of battery acid search and destroy punk rock of Chicago's Functional Blackouts. The latter makes sense though as Women In Prison are fronted one time FB's snarly throatman Brian Nervous (now operating under the name of John Bondage). All three tracks here pummel the ears to a pulp with chainsaw violence punk rock that are glazed with echo that doesn't sound like it's some studio trickery as it does like it was recorded in a cave filled with bat shit and coyote carcasses.

Jun 22, 2011

OBN IIIs "Running On Fumes" 7inch EP

     There are some records that are made to be played loud. Then there are records that need to be played SUPER FREAKIN' LOUD!
     There are also records that are punk rock and then there are those that are Punk "Fucking'" Rock.
     The thing is though that a record that is made to be played SUPER FREAKIN' LOUD will always live up to such a declaration. Records considered Punk "Fucking" Rock have tend to have some problems though when it still comes to living up to that claim times later. There's many times where records dubbed that sound, well, kinda like a yoke some years down the road (if they weren't donned with the title as one to begin with).
     These Austin, Texas gruel mixers have no problem with the former and have no problem with the later either. If this is punk rock of any sort it's the best kind. You know the kind. The bottles flying/girls crying barroom rock-n-roll kind.
     Stones swagger. Stooges sickness. Dolls decadence. Dead Boys drunk and disorderly. It's all balled up and thrown into a pot of chicken grease and bad attitude juice here and boiled on high til the entire town smells of it. This isn't the not the macho, thrust the chest out so the can see this is a VINTAGE AC/DC t-shirt, Leather booted on the monitor for the 8th guitar solo in the last 5 minutes RAWK or Heavy Metal Fonzies stuff that you couldn't throw a Les Paul copy without hitting ten of them that overran the landscape a decade or so ago. Four juicy cuts of meat eating, stinking of beer sweat, slob celebrating ROCK-N-ROLL. Play this record SUPER FREAKIN' LOUD and be prepared to have it kick your ass all over the place.

Jun 11, 2010


You can call James Arthur lots of things: Triumph motorcycle aficionado, D'Lana's old man, A Texan who can drink some large amount of bourbon etc. One thing a person would never expect to call the one time member of the Fireworks/Necessary Evils/A Feast Of Snakes/Golden Boys though is "Space Rock Music Maker".
Recorded in "shacks in Texas" over 2009 with James playing almost every instrument on it (he credited with bass, guit, drums, organs, bongos) with a few guests like Golden Boys Nathan providing organ on a couple songs, Bruce Saltmarsh of '68 Comeback fame supplying some drum bits and Bantam Rooster's Tom Potter doing a guitar bit, you could pin this as something like a Hillbilly Hawkwind or Krautrock wearing some mud caked bluejeans.
With that all said don't be expecting this record to set you off floating aimlessly into a warm and squishy galaxy at an instant. To leave the planet is always a loud, dirty and lots of fire and fuel vapor situation such as the Mr. Potter on the burns from bacon grease splattered lead guitar trash blues stomp opener, "The Cougar", the JAMC marinated in hot pepper jelly then raked over the coals of "Black Cop" and the walking blues surfer sound excursion that blows into tiny sharp shards of "Strong Back" prove.
When the music does elevate itself past towards outerspace it isn't a floating above the clouds soundtrack by Tangerine Dream type of snooze either. It's a fight against static storms that set the mechanical parts all awry such as the distortion, unearthy pitch shifting & delay noises and space rocks hurled against the side of the rocketship sounds that "The Gurgler" and "My God #4" and 1970's era Cabaret Voltaire robots wired wrong clanging of "Black Angus" are riddled with. On the other hand though tracks like "Crows" WOULD border on the line of ethereal if there wasn't an obvious menacing under current to them.

May 15, 2010

the TUNNELS "No Love" 7inch

To use the much hackneyed cliche "Everything's bigger in Texas". Even when it comes Methaqualone comforted fuzzy pop like the Austin's Tunnels do. It's just the way things are done in the Lone Star State.
Even when it comes copping feels from the Velvet Underground. Most bands of the last 20 years or so doing that thing are three or four piece bands. The Tunnels have five in their line up.
"No Love" sports the same sleepy and bloodshot eye'd dreamstate jangle that Galaxie 500 mined from Grandpa Lou and his cronies. Unlike Galaxie 500, who always sounded like they to shy to crack a smile and, if forced, would greet you with a cold, clammy and not too firm handshake, this songs embraces you with a big hug of mellow hazy smoke and organ bits that fill the emptiness the former had like a warm fuzzy sweater.
Pulling you in deeper to the vibe is "Pretty Thing", which twists Spacemen 3's Velvets twisting into something taught at the church of Roky. It's not in a hurry to reach it's destination but the route it takes is quite scenic with it's washes of color.