Showing posts with label Virginia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Virginia. Show all posts

Oct 19, 2019

SLUMP Flashbacks from Black Dust Country LP

In the most recent Smashin' Transistors podcast I make a mention about coming home from work, putting a record on, turning it up loud and stepping out to my yard for a moment which led to my old biker neighbor walking over to me and wanting to strike up a conversation with me about the dangers of really hard drugs.

Now, my neighbor strikes up conversations with me semi often. They're usually about how he loves Bud Light in a bottle, how much higher he can lift his truck up and still keep it street legal and how the area's classic rock station needs to play Montrose's "Bad Motor Scooter" more often (and I gotta say I agree with that at least.) I think what inspired him to strike up this particular conversation though was because of the record he could hear seeping out the windows of my house. That record was Flashbacks from Black Dust Country, the debut LP from Richmond, Virginia's Slump.

The universe which modern "psych-punk" resides is can be a tricky one to navigate. For every combo that does the aural brain warp splendidly and twisted there's way many more that seem to be simulating a freak trip that they've got from 2nd hand tales instead of though personal experience, making the voyage a bit of a yawn. Such is not the case with this record though.

The immediate oscillations of the album's opening track, "No Utopia", is appropriately titled for these times as it's whirling is not of some floating and easy-going sort. There's more like zaps from a taser gun and as the song swells, the voltage increases, rendering body parts to go rigid or to flail in jerky and disturbing manners.


Beneath layers of echo, the vocals become another element of the auditory occurrences, but the sentiment burns bright like a fireball on "Desire Death Drifter" and the mood as obvious as a rust drill bit plunging at a methodologically crawl into the forehead like "Sensory Cocoon."


Because of the cosmic wanderings from gurgling Moogs, some driving, downstroked guitars and a thread of sinisterness that runs through every sound here, bandying around Hawkwind's name does pop up but Slump do not sound the types that would be all into having a crowd of hirsute stoners covered in body paint and doing some noodly, interpretive dance surrounding them. If the album's closer, the seven plus minute "Trip Sitter" gives a vibe that they'd rather douse them all in gasoline, throw a match and watch it all turn to ash while jettisoning themselves away from this planet.

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Jul 22, 2019

CEMENT SHOES Too LP


Last year, Richmond, Va.'s Cement Shoes bestowed their debut 7inch on the punk rock world. For many, it was quite a rager. It was probably a headscratcher to many too. Incorrigible hardcore circa say 1983 walks into a circa the same year high school autoshop class where some greasy long hairs are debating the magic of Bondo and how rippin' some Foghat song sounds blasting over the Kraco speakers they just mounted in the trunk of their '76 Cutlass.

Being a high school student of that particular time and space, the story would have, no matter how much I would root for them, would have not ended well for the punk rockers. Hell, the legends would probably still be lingering about greasy, dirty first flying and the sound of 100 pair of tan Dingo boots stomping and kicking to this day.

On this, the band's debut LP, like that single, such did not happen though. Instead, they joined together to form a maniacal force of early frenzied hardcore, guttural black metal growls and wrathful boogie.

The count off of the record's opener, "Unite The Right In Hell", may give the listener a sense of  Ramones-ish familiarity. That stops right as the "4" is shouted as a barrage of descending guitar chords drill through the skull and then down through earth to it's molten burning core, leaving the subject matter at hand where they belong for eternity rather propping up and hiding behind a bullshit image of Jesus that many a person have molded into a reflection of their true rotten selves here on earth.


While a similar thread (and sentiment) runs through songs such as how "Satanic Soul Picnic" inexorably tempo jackhammers but give space to a bong rippin' guitar solo and the absolute dervish that's "How It Is", no human can't survive on smashing and crashing alone. The diet here also consists of meat grinder funk stabs with "Mine Mine Mine" and, in the case of "Falling Man", resembling biker rock constantly battling a severe case of night terrors.

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Aug 17, 2018

CEMENT SHOES A Peace Product of the USA 7inch


I don't know if there's some sort of pipeline that runs between upstate New York and the Virginia coast. If there is though, it is something miasmic flowing through. The band Brown Sugar were from the former and Fried Egg the latter. Both sounded as if they led first era hardcore down some knurled path of their own but both also then went and showed it where the LSD trees grow.

A dizzying thrash of velocity that wobbled as much as it stomped all slathered in a sonic sort of feedback, both managed to create something absorbing from what is often hackneyed and cliche. Malcontents from both groups co-conspire as Cement Shoes.

Sounding like an MC5 or Stooges riff whittled down a jagged shiv after a night of biting nails and dodging tweakers, "Fruity Funhouse" is all tangled like someone threw mile long strands of wet seaweed into the pit. A mist of green slime hangs in the air.



"I Saw The Devil Again (Last Night)" presses the pedal to the metal. A bit of speed metal perhaps but mostly in an elongated trip where the Dwarves Blood, Guts and Pussy oozes puss over some dark and forgotten Randy Holden riff while a landscape of a burning city passes by in a blur outside the window.

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Sep 14, 2016

FRIED EGG Delirium 7inch EP

     Calling Virginia band Fried Egg straight up traditional USHC is a target anyone who has heard this new record or their debut flexi single from last year can hit.
     The thing is though is that such a target is a little off the mark when it comes to being the complete bullseye. Sure, it's got chunka-grrrrr/dentist drill guitar riffs and a raw throated bellower ranting on the mic but that's just the jump off point for the band to dive into things a bit more askew and scorch the pages of rule book rote. A bare knuckled rock-n-roll blast jettisons "Mixed Feelings" a land of whirling rage while "Second Fiddle" lumbers like the Meatmen with less winking nods to to heavy metal stunts and bigger love for the sound of broken glass in a garbage disposal.
    After those three minutes are done the band is ready hit an opus point with the b-side.  Clocking in a time almost as long as the first two songs combined, "Eggshells" runs through a gauntlet made circular saws and sticks of dynamite, flipping the bird and hacking mucus all the way through.
negativejazz.bigcartel.com

Feb 17, 2015

The AR-KAICS s/t LP

     Playing straight up traditional garage rock can be a slippery slope. In many cases questions get raised about if the band is delving into it from a purist stand point of sincerity or are they just playing dress up because they really enjoy costume parties.
     With the former it can get a nerdy if they are all just gear geeks that play at mid volume (because they can't turn it up too loud as it may fry out their oh so precious vintage amps) and think music died in 1967 (even if the members of said band weren't even alive yet.)
     The latter is akin to Halloween. It's fun to dress up but, unless someone is terminally goth or community theater actor weirdo, the novelty can wear thin pretty quick if mostly they got going for them is wacky schtick.
     Judging from their photos, the Ar-kaics dress in a classic style that always looks contemporary. They know that basic black and Levi jackets never goes out of style. Musically, the band floats around the party doing its best to keep both the freshly pressed shirt Nuggets crowd and the rumpled and ragged Back From the Grave fiends happy.
     Fuzz box frenzied tunes like album's opening salvo, "She Does Those Things To Me", the early period Black Lips caveman stomp of "Can't Keep Waiting" and "Sick & Tired" and the wiggly chugging of "Givin' Up", "No Good" and "Why Should I" fill a mud bog with grimy old wheel bearing grease that satiates the appetite of those hungry for dirt. For those who feed off the melancholy trips the slashing "Movin' On", the dirgy blues that vibrates off "Slave To Her Lies" and the slow crawl that's the albums closer "Cut Me Down" should be enough to flood black hearts with tears.
     It's tricky to take a definitive era of sound from about 50 years ago and stay loyal to it without making it sound too hokey but the Ar-Kaics kick up attitude and put enough sincere energy into it to pull it off pretty darn good.
www.windianrecords.com