Apr 5, 2017

TROPICAL TRASH Decisions Empty Nest 7inch EP

Akin to putting a human brain in a pressure cooker along with the first couple Killing Joke and Black Sabbath album and a big handful of trucker crank, Tropical Trash's debut album from a couple years back, UFO Rot, was an intense entanglement of sound.

On this one, the band has brought in Obnox's Lamont Thomas on some sonic reinforcements and everything is pushed to the limits. The tension builds instantly as the music hits on something like Krautrock for the criminally insane. Noise flies around like red hot daggers being thrown from a ball pitching machine. All thought and emotion other than the most primal are sandblasted raw by the time "Early Wish" rears its beastly head on side one.

Though it may seem like the top is about ready to blow clean off right then and there, it hasn't. It's when the record is flipped and the severe and raw beating that "Exit Dust" gives, sounding like what I wish "the kids meant when they say "post-hardcore" instead of the super pro-tooled, palm mute metal, constipated cry baby bullshit Alternative Press recycles cashes checks to rewrite press releases about, and the blood covered and thrashing violently "Trouble Shot" where the whole damn thing bursts and there's shrapnel flying all over the room.
www.sophomorelounge.com

Apr 3, 2017

MAKE-OVERS Try Me LP

Word on the street is that the Try Me album is the 11th record released by South African duo Make-Overs in the past 6 or so years. This album is my first time hearing them though so their whole thing is all brand new to me. Going into this simply expecting just the standard two piece garage rock thing happening song after song is a bit of miscalculation

More often than The Make-Overs are coming up with ways of knocking down a garage in full on destruction modes than they are considering ways to rock out in it.

They find some type of napalm spray gun that has feedtime engraved on it to burn the place down on tracks like "What Could Go Wrong" ,"Obviously" and "Get Lost." They drop a ton of molten metal (equal parts Proto and Death) on with things such as the title track, "It's Makes A Lot of Sense" and "In Hate (With You)."

While those was are pretty effective of decimating any preconceived notions, they're not the only ways the band has to reduce the place to pile of ruins surrounded by a toxic cloud of dust. There's things here that can also rumble it to the ground with some tribal drumbeats that border on brutal beatings and gale force punches of guitar feedback with "Take Out" and "Termite."

If your lucky though, maybe they'll just lay down that witch doctor hex they've been mastering. You'll only know for sure if you hear something like "Don't Call Us" or "Not As Advertised" off in the distance and getting closer. By then though, it'll be to late. You'll have already been disembowel and bubbling in a cauldron for tonight's stew.
www.heelturnrecords.com

Apr 1, 2017

Smashin' Podsistorscast hits 19

At 19, you can legally drink in Canada. I don't live in Canada but I really can see it from my house. And yes, on my 19th birthday I did go there and drink beer legally.

As usual, Things get obnoxious, pastoral, lunkheaded and grooving here!

The Playlist
 The Viletones - Just for You 
Life Stinks - Hanging From The Ceiling 
Chica King Kong - Complejos 
Bantam Rooster - Miss Luxury 
 Loop - Straight to Your Heart 
Phantom Head - Terror and Tourture 
FNU Clone - Ghost Baby, Ghost 
Adult. - Human Wreck 
Heavy Metal - Communication Or Surprise
Dale Beavers - Tramp 
Midnight Mines - Artificial Light 
The Liminanas - Dahlia Rouge 
Thomas Leer - International 
Erik Nervous - People Falling Over 
Sunny Day Rain - La Vuelta 
John Wesley Coleman III - Exotic Tambourine 
Boss Hog - Shh Shh Shh 
Playboy - Inside 
Yups - Buddaflie 
Blue Oyster Cult - Dominance and Submission

Mar 27, 2017

Oddside Ale's Grandpa's Apple Pie

     Over the past few years Grand Haven, Michigan brewery has gone from a curiosity to me to one of my most favorite Mitten State beer makers ever. For instance, their Citra Pale Ale is one of the most perfect of the kind ever and every other thing they've done that I've tried from their regular rotation stuff like Bean Flicker and so on have been great too.
     With that being said, it's no surprise that their specialty, occasional and seasonal brews rock my socks in quite away too. Their sour series has been way top notch and everything that they've barrel aged has been done way more that awesome too.
     Their Granny's Apple Pie rolls out about once or twice a year and it is one that always makes it way to our fridge and onto our taste buds every time. It's one of those beers where a person says "It really does taste like apple pie" without exaggeration or hyperbole.
     What was missing from it? Nothing. Along comes grandpa though with an idea on how to turn it up a notch anyway. By taking the recipe and letting it sit a while in a rum barrel let me tell ya, Hoo-Boy! Does it ever get a kick in the behind.
     Pouring a little darker amber in color that Granny's is the first sign that this is going to be a little more about being a bit more rustic and burly. The head is minimal so there's no waiting around for that frilly stuff to go away before the sipping starts.
     The aroma is like hanging out at the apple orchard and heading straight to where they make the cider so you can breathe in the air. The tart, the tang and the cinnamon that's sprinkled over the doughnuts that are being baked just around the corner are all represented.
     All these are represented just as much in the flavor too. Cider forward for sure, but the spices do just what they're supposed to do without too much or too little of any of them. The barrel aging brings out an oaky & vanilla rum soaked thing, giving it a richness and taking a kick to another level.
     The milk sugars become more pronounced in the end, which gives the finish something like have a little dollop of ice cream. And what goes better with apple pie than that right?
     A lot of people will tell you that the best way to have apple pie is freshly warm from the oven. Beer is best served at a cooler temperature but don't worry, a few sips of this and you'll feel warm all over.
www.oddsideales.com   

Mar 18, 2017

HWY! Demo

     For ages now, weirdos and artsy types have warned, flirted or embraced the idea of a dystopian world.
     A world where vegetation has been taken over by slabs of cold granite and the only non-monochromatic colors is the flickering of neon advertising proceeded food and manufactured pleasure. A planet where anything that may sound pastoral is drowned out by a caustic symphony of turmoil. A planet where alienation and distrust is the only emotion that is recognized and love and joy have been made illegal and punishable by death.
     A world that was once thought to be only (partially) fictional though is the one HWY! sound as if they are completely already dwelling in. The rumbling bassline on "Minimal Head" that starts off their 4 song demo may trigger thoughts of an old hardcore band at first but when the coated in space gunk guitar blows the doors open to the running a gauntlet pummel of a rhythm and a voice that sounds like it is some kinda of extraterrestrial translator taking a shot at speaking English, things get really weird. A few quiet moments in the song trick the ears into thinking the lashing is over, but they're just eyes of the storm.
     The wiggles that "Scammers" and "Tony From Hawaii" are rooted in the resonating of gigantic spring coils the vibrate violently. Both have a 1960's thing buried in their dissonance, the former with space age spy music twisting through the outbursts; the latter sounding like a what proceeds a luau held in a garage. Sure, that pig is gonna get roasted and an apple put in its mouth eventually but it's gotta get killed and the blood and guts drained first. That's the part the sound revel in the most. The minute and a half burst that's "Jacob Ladder" is like a mash up of those two songs if it was recorded while having a head on crash with a semi in the middle of an electrical storm.
hwyone.bandcamp.com

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 16, 2017

MISS CHAIN & the BROKEN HEELS Uh Uh 7inch

     If there's such a thing as Spaghetti Twang, the band that would get a lot of the credit for making it happen would be Miss Chain & the Broken Heels.
     To pinpoint when exactly these Italians mastered such a sound I am not sure of but when on their first visit to the US years ago, I like to think I played a little part in sparking it. It was summertime and I hosted the band for a few days. I was going through one of my occasional Waylon Jennings phases so anytime one of them was in my car or my kitchen they heard him often. I also booked them into a pole barn out in the woods and a fishing pond for a gig and a barbecue party. They seemed right at home and didn't want to leave.
     Now, this is not to say that the band has gone country be it "Alt" or "Bro" or anything but the sparkly and bright jangle they've always had has tilted ear to something a bit more rustic and rootsy more than a lot of bands that are pegged by most as simply a garage pop group.
     Broken Heels guitar player Silva pulls a crisp, ringing and reverby tone out of his six string that's akin to something like the Buckaroos Don Rich showing the kids how he'd play early Peter Buck riffs on "Uh Uh." Astrid's voice is like sweet cream and bourbon as it lands somewhere between a honky-tonk bar angel and a 60's girl lead. Behind them, the brothers Barcella swing the beat at a vigorous gallop.
      Things get a little moodier on "Standing The Night" in a way where you can feel some heartache and loneliness like on any good 1950's weeper but there also a sense that when dawn arrives, the sun may shine again.
Bachelor Records

Feb 9, 2017

German Hobo Malt Liquor (Dark Horse Brewing Co. & Old Nation Brewing Co. Collaboration)

     In my younger days, I drank more than my share of malt liquor. It was a budget thing. It definitely wasn't at all about classy or fancy. It was cheap and it did the trick I was looking for pretty quickly. Sure, my palate is (hopefully) much more refined these days but even to this day I'll drink a Mickey's Big Mouth in the summer simply for old times sake.
     While perusing the beer shelves at a favorite local joint the other day, I landed my eyes on German Hobo. I chuckled for a second after noticing it said malt liquor on the label. Picking it up to give a closer look I noticed that it was a collaboration brew between two of my favorite Michigan beer makers, Dark Horse Brewing and Old Nation.
     Needless to say, I had to take some home with me.
     Right from pouring it was obvious that this wasn't some attempt to recreate some schwag to be drank from a paper bag. The color was a lot more persimmon than straw yellow and the smell all about caramel, honey, marmalade and toast and not a dive bar bathroom. The soft pour brought out a moderately dense head that melted away fairly quickly with some spotty lacing following.
     In the flavor department there's a malty sweetness right on top. There's a molasses and popcorn thing going that gets me totally thinking of Cracker Jack at first. Following along that there's notes of pepper, honey and orange peel. A tartness starts to open up as it breathes which then gets me thinking of a caramel dipped green apple.
     It finishes semi-dry and though there's a dint of booze in the flavor, one wouldn't think this brew is inching up on a 12% abv until a slight buzz kicks in after only one can.
     No, this is not a "slam that bottle down quickly because as it warms it's gonna taste more like dog wizz with each sip" malt liquor. This is much more richer and way less tasting like fermented corn syrup. That and a 16 oz can of this packs a larger boozy wallop as an entire 40 oz bottle of  the average bought at a gas station malt liquor too.
Old Nation Brewing
Dark Horse  Brewing   

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

Feb 2, 2017

THE HOT LZ's Aggravate My Mind LP

      Johnny Thunders spawned a lot of illegitimate rock-n-roll offspring. That's not a problem in as much as itself though as is how many of those kids don't do a Johnny kinda thing right. I'm not talking about being a junkie or the rats nest of hair that made even the Ronettes says "DAMN!" kinda thing. I mean more like how a bunch of them wanna rock but forget about the roll. When that happens the listener is more often than not being handed something that ends up being warmed over Mötley Crüe with less groove and more plod or suburban pop-punkers disguised in some historical reenactor get ups.
     Going back to at least his days as the six string slinger in the Halfways in the late 90's, The Hot LZ's Mark Death has known that without the roll you cannot really rock. He makes sure that the rest of the band knows it, learns it and lives it too.
     Another thing that is lost on a lot bands that proudly show off their 180g color vinyl reissues of Dead Boys/Iggy & the Stooges to anyone that will look is that pussy and booze are part of the diet but it's hate that provides the rocket fuel energy for rollicking propulsion. 
     Aggravate My Mind is not short on hate songs. As the rhythm section thumps and swings and the guitars blaaang and blare, Mark sneers contempt for those who way overstay their welcome on "Don't Wanna See You", disgust for those around him when he's just trying to have a beer on "Moron Magnet", ill will for those who think they're superior on "Baby You Ain't Shit", general animosity for living on "I Can't Seem To Die" and "Murder In My Heart" and...well, you get the point by now I'm sure.
      "So, does the dude hate everything?" you may be asking. Well, I've seen pictures of the chickens Mark has roaming around his yard. He does seem to dig them so at least not every living being in the world pisses him off. For you though, turn this record up and let the spite blast so the neighbors can hear. They'll probably be too worried that you'll go ballistic on them and stab them in the eye if they asked you to turn it down.
The Hot LZ's on Facebook