Oct 16, 2015

PHYLUMS "Phylum Phyloid" LP

     People could toss around the alt-county blah blah blah Americana blah blah blah Roots Music blah blah blah a billion times when taking about Wisconsin's Phylums but I still don't think they'd ever be convince them to wear such a thing as a badge. The same thing would happen if you were to drop the garage rock dime on them too.
     Comprised of guys that were in the Goodnight Loving, Holy Shit and Head On Electric, three bands that we're all very different from each other sound and approach wise, the music takes you on trip through the heartland. Yes, there will be rolling hills and probably diary cows and pretty girls but this is more than a Sunday drive to go get breakfast at some place off the beaten path. The ride may end up a little bumpy though as is also the heartland of hangovers, stupid days, working weekends to pay the bills and the many ghosts that haunt the rustbelt.
     Along with Byrds-esque sparkling in a rainstorm guitar jangle running a thread through most of the songs is here is the voice of Andy Kavanaugh. He's always had that knack from sounding wide eyed and cynical at the time same time. Like chasing a honey slide with a slug of with a bottle of middle shelf bourbon, there's a sweet earthiness to it that is equally soothing but has a bite. With the jittery exuberance put forth by the band, Phylums simply straight up music rooted in the vast and varied history of rock-n-roll.
     Starting things off with a amalgamation of the 50s, hyperactivity and brittle fuzz, "Can't Get Through" tells the tale of getting turned away at the Canadian border while trying to cross through at Detroit and then more than touches on the trails and tribulations of being unknown band on tour. Then it lyrically takes turns into a take of the messed up state of things in general. In a lot of bands hands the dour could hang over like dark clouds. The ragged harmonies and an overall "well we can't do much about it, might as well laugh about" delivery here gives the listener the feeling that's more like sitting around having a beer with friends and listening to them getting wound up while telling a story about a day nothing at all went right.
     Traces of surf music wash across along the dirt on the psych speckled love song "Bottle Of Wine", the lonely soul psychedelic noir of "Route 66" and on the solo dropped right between the folk rock standing on a trash punk foundation that's the words of warning (because it is true you can’t let your guard down when you're living on the...) on "Crummy Side Of Town."
     That reverby wetness and concrete crunch also does one of its finest balancing acts on the entire record during the tremulous cadence that stomps directly underneaths the mossy "I Gotta Know." Bubblegummy organ swirl add a syrupy and woozy feeling to morning after a long night out tale of "Cold Coffee" while another story of weighing the option of a night on town, "Go Home", feels celebratory on the thoughts of staying in.
     With no lack of melody packed choruses and hooks abounds that are simple enough to get toddlers singing along (the Bow-Bow-Bow-Bow on the high strung "Time Capsule" for instance) but still appealing to so called grown ups , don't be surprised if you find all the songs on this record worming into your ear. That goes twice if your like a sense of dark humor with a side of down home cooking.
https://dirtnaprecords.bandcamp.com/album/phylums-phylum-phyloid     

Oct 11, 2015

Smashin Podistors: The ST5 "Jam Out The Kicks"

    
     The Smashin' Podsistorscast is now five deep. Have new things from sorts such as Obnox, Uranium Club, Protomartyr, Sewers, OBN IIIs and Screature sear your ear drums. We pulled some goodies off the back shelves from Wire, Bettye LaVette, the Feelies and Huggy Bear to reminisce about as well. And, as usual, plenty of clattering and blaring in between.

Oct 3, 2015

CENTURY PALM "White Light" and "Valley Cyan" 7inch

photo by Rico Moran
     With members of bands such as Dirty Beaches, the Ketamines and Tough Age among the ranks it is safe to assume that Toronto's Century Palm take on, for the sake of using an all-encompassing word, pop music is going to be a bit skewered.
     Taking two songs that first appeared on a cassette EP last year, "White Light" and "New Creation", as their first sounds to commit to having etched in polyvinyl chloride, serves well as the bands calling card.  The former, rooted by a rhythmic charge of guitar chords and layered vocals that give it a bit on anthemic qualities to it, is a zippy bit of post new wave. "Post" in a way where some, say CMJ chart darlings for instance, decide that emulating the Heaven 17 and A Flock Of Seagulls or whatever record they found at some ridiculous mark up (y'know be cause vinyl is back so those 3 dollar standards are now 10 dollar "scores") is actually a good idea to permanently erase rock and roll from pop music all together once and for all, Century Palm do their best to be faithful to the future of the past while separating the wheat from the chaff. That isn't to say that they band is doing some "rock the fuck out thing" as there is quite a bit of an art tempered happening going on here but even in that aspect there is a sway and vibe here that is missing from a large chunk of the things that are trying to mine the same territory that being pushed in the going for adds hype sheets that flood college radio programmers mail box each week.
     The latter delves a little deeper into the atmosphere with spacey and gurgling synth notes and treated guitars hooks that touch on early era Ultravox and mid period Wire but in more of inspirational way that a direct copy.
     "Valley Cyan" gels the elements of above together and, along guitars that relay between Spaghetti western meets Joe Meek heavily reverb and electrified stabs and swirly, cosmic keyboard lines, finds the band locating a dreamscape to call their own. This also makes the the b-side, "Accept", sound like it could be from a different band all together with a gothic fog rolling in after dark sound and sax honks that sound like they were needed after a long weird night of talking about free jazz and Roxy Music albums.
www.centurypalm.com

Sep 26, 2015

Smashin' Podsistors: The 4th Form


     Since this is the 4th show we could've dedicated it to strictly four on the floor beats. That would've gotten really tedious though. Dig new things for your ears from Heaters, Century Palm, Sex Snobs and Nun. Let things from the past like Thomas Leer and Robert Rental, Cows, No Trend and Ultravox worm their way into your lobe. Of course, all kinds of gruel, gunk and goodies tossed about too.

Sep 23, 2015

Bonnie Brisker "So Much Lovin' (Deep Inside Me)"


     Like with a lot of the 60s Detroit soul records that didn’t make a dent nationally (but may have gotten some play in the Northern Soul Scene in the UK) there’s not a lot of info on who Bonnie Brisker is or if this was the only record she did. Heck, with this record even the year it was released is kinda fuzzy but judging from the catalog number it’s safe to assume it is early ‘67 (the previous catalog number, MC 002, was a “I’m Going Christmas Shopping/Santa Goofed” by Horace Williams and Choker Campbell & His Magic City Orchestra was released in December of ‘66.) 
     What is known about Bonnie is that she was the sister of Detroit saxophonist Miller Brisker who toured and played with Aretha Franklin, most notably on her Aretha In Paris album, as well as the arranger of “I’ll Be On My Way” by Bob & Fred which appeared on Big Mack, another Detroit label of the era.
     Though both sides of this record have a nice live and loud sound with some rough edges intact the a-side, “Someone Really Loves You (Guess Who)”, tends to lean a little more towards some kinda sophisticated Mary Wells territory. This b-side though gets much looser. The bass line brings everything to a boil, getting the band to lock into a total proto-funk groove and Bonnie lets everyone listening know what she has and what she needs.

Sep 18, 2015

SNOOTY GARBAGEMEN s/t LP

     As if being a string bender for the OBN IIIs and one of the noise bringers on the Blaxxx project wasn't already enough to satiate Texan Tom Triplett's need for loud rock-n-roll action, he also fronts up purveyors of bad attitude sounds, the Snooty Garbagemen, too.
     Unlike the shake your hips while punching you in the gut Stones/Dolls boogie slime happenings of the former or the barbed wire wrapped distortodelic funk of the latter; this gang is much more elemental with its intentions. A power trio in a most primal sense, the songs here are locked in to swift and constant rhythm pummeling, all on a conquest for the constant taste of red meat and letting most of the human race they can fuck right off.
     After introducing themselves with a flurry of psych blues slime guitar racket and the bass & drums determined to cause destruction on the instrumental "Sad Sack" the band then pushes the listener into a garage. Not one of those new sparkly garages that it seems chirpy, smiling kids with a penchant for digital reverb want people to think they bob their heads in unison all day these days but a dingy, dirty one where a bare lightbulb hangs to lights your way so you don't get tetanus from backing into some random rusty piece of oil soaked, soot coated jagged metal scattered all over the place.
     When Tom's virulent voice one ups Johnny Paycheck stupid job sentiments by ten on the Motorhead/Tad infected "I Quit" it's obvious he's had enough and doesn't know but still doesn't care how he'll pay his bills. Most likely though he and the band would just find more time to be shit kicking punk rock down the street like they do on songs like the thunderous "I Can't Find My Keys", dancing on graves to the spazzed out beat of "Apart At The Seams", trying different sized drill bits on heshers eardrums like they do on "Heavy Metal Brains" or bumming out hippies acid trips the way "Answer Your Phone" has the power to do.
     Yeah, the Snooty Garbagemen can scoff your trash. They have no need for it. They're doing just fine building a fetid, obnoxious heap of their own.
http://12xu.net

Sep 12, 2015

Smashin' Podsistors: Do They Really Come In Threes?


     Falling into to autumn all of a sudden with old noise from Public Image Limited, the Necros, Bantam Rooster, Cosmic Psychos and th' Faith Healers. New sounds from Dan Melchior's Broke Review, Raw Pony, Buck Biloxi and the Fucks, Flying Saucer Attack and Andy Human & the Reptoids. Other various bits of dissonance and melody tossed in for good measure too.

Sep 10, 2015

RAW PONY "Bo Diddley" 7inch

Photo by Danielle Petrosa
     Brandishing stripped to a primeval root drumbeats, guitars that whirr like shards of a beer bottle in a garbage disposal and a bass sound that's akin to a mudslide plowing down whatever is in it's way, Columbus Ohio's Raw Pony put a lot of emphasis on the RAW.
     What's starts out as a cover/homage to the song that Bo Diddley named after himself on the a-side quickly turns into something even ol' Bo couldn't have fathomed when he was trying to appeal to the young folks in the crowd that where coming to see him in the 90s by doing some cheesy, disco synth heavy rap about just saying no to drugs and yes to challenging Saddam Hussein to a fistfight. The case here is more like the Gories recounting very intense bouts of night terrors while kicking their way out of a tin shed full of hungry and feral cats in heat.
     "Shattered" (not the Rolling Stones or Exploding Hearts song) ups the cavewoman stomp by covering girl group melodies in sludge then trying sticks of dynamite to them. Light the fuse, run and then stand back to watch it splatter.
www.facebook.com/rawponyoh

Sep 5, 2015

Hideout Brewing's Batch 700: Imperial Gunman

     For many years I was serious about overhopped beers. I was all about the pine, the citrus, the weed, the bitters, the burn and so on but it was getting to a point with me where it some beers didn't even care about complexities or any other flavors. It seemed a quite a few brewers were in a contest to top each other on who could capture the flavor of spending a week having to eat yourself out of meadow and have that taste stick around for days, maybe even weeks, in the back of your mouth.
     It got ridiculous so started to keep away from the style, shifting my palate to other ones. Not because I was scared. It was simply because the antics of it all got stupid. It was gonna take something that cared something about more than being just hop juice to get me to try an IPA I hadn't before. Over the summer, Grand Rapids brewery Hideout had bottles of some of their wares (somewhat) showing up in my (somewhat) part of the state. Perusing the shelf I saw that this IPA promised heavy malting ALONG with a generous helping of hops. On the label it promised that the hop lover what they wanted but also something a bit more well balanced.
     "Hmmmm, a brewery that is making an IPA that remembers malt is still supposed to be tasted in the profile AND they're pointing out that there's more to it than just a hop explosion?" I thought to myself. "You're coming home with me."
     Pouring a musty, cloudy chestnut brown in color with a dense head that melts fairly quickly, leaving patchy lacing behind, there's a very earthy look to this beer. Smells of chocolate malt, candied fruits, dates, pecans along with lemongrass tinged hops stand out firmly on the nose, working in harmony instead of one of them feeling the need to push its way to the front.
     On first sip a slightly bitter than usual traditional barley wine comes to mind. Bakers chocolate, roasted coffee and dried figs serve as a backbone and the basic stricture that can be tasted all the way through the beer. The Amarillo and Zythos hops take steps into the limelight take solos that pay nods to black pepper, candied yams, orange peel and vanilla beans.
     The finish has a bit of bitter zing that hangs around the sides and the back of the mouth while the throat feels a bit of a warming rye whiskey and cocoa thing happening.
     With some new brewery popping up every day in this state its hard to keep track and even come close to trying everything. Hideout has been around for over a decade but just started bottling stuff the last year or so. They're a pretty small operation so their beers can be hard to find but things like Imperial Gunman along with some of the other beers they've been doing make them worth seeking out.
www.hideoutbrewing.com

Sep 3, 2015

Hot Love Returns to Port Huron's Roche Bar

     Back in April Ohio’s Hot Love came up to Port Huron and showed the city how to shimmy. Resembling a Kasenetz and Katz creation escaping the bubblegum factory and setting up camp in a junk yard filled with old stock car parts, their sound is groovy, gooey and raucous.
     The Legendary Assholes are a local supergroup of sorts. With members of the Hunting Lodge, Shame Exposure, the Feck, Skin Chiken and Forced Anger among their ranks they form a union of that have seen and heard it all and now just simply want to play loud and rock out.
     Ever heard of a prairie oyster? It’s a hangover cure made with a raw egg, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, pepper and gin. That’s what Screen Names tastes like, with a dash of sugar added. Punk for kids with feelings.
     This may be the last show I am setting up in Port Huron for awhile due to some other things I want to start working and concentrate on as well as a multiple of other reason. Come on out for the hurrah! More details over on those Facebook event thingies.