Aug 27, 2018

CHRISTOPHER ALAN DURHAM Slow Drain 7inch


I am not familiar with Christopher Alan Durham's previous bands Roachclip, The Bibs or Church Shuttle. Because of that, I am also not sure in which "Downriver" Michigan community (there are 18 of them) he committed these two songs on to a Tascam 4-track in so I can't compare how it measures to them.

Having spent a fair amount of time in Wyandotte, the 5th largest downriver town population wise best known for the steel mills that provided the early American auto industry with the metal to build cars (the 2nd largest in population Downriver community is Lincoln Park. It's best known as the place where the MC5 first got in fights with each other at a malt shop parking lot and then formed a band) the past half-decade or so due to family connections though, and the apparitional spaces where it sounds like this record dwells, I am thinking I need to become more acquainted with both.

Specters of Skip Spence's Oar, Pink Reason's Cleaning The Mirror, Daniel Johnston's songs from the A Texas Trip cassette and the most clattering and skittish of NZ bands loom heavy here.

On "Day and Age" and it's b-side "For Many Years" fragile guitar strums somewhat inattentively provide an anchor for Durham's slumberous drawl. Odd intonations from an organ and harmonium along with the occasional crack of a drum flit and float through the proceedings sounding ghostly and distant. It's the kind of record to play in the wee hours when in an introspective mood or a want for late night paranoia.
Get haunted at Spacecase

Aug 26, 2018

OUTER SPACIST Illness Is A Creepin' On A Come-Up LP


I'm sure most of the readers here are familiar with the story about Lemmy getting kicked out of Hawkwind. The story goes that after he got caught for having speed on him at the Windsor/Detroit border in 1975 "the most cosmic band in the world" gave him the boot because he was busted for the "wrong kind of drugs."

One part astral chug and another part all peach fuzz/dirtbag mustached saunter, Columbus, Ohio's Outer Spacist sound as if they're bangin' round town in a rusted eaten '73 Ford Ranchero on a hunt for such drugs.

Tough luck scoring the exotic and antediluvian analgesics, the band concoct a rocket fuel made from impure elements they've gathered to set their ride into space. It's a denotative propellant guaranteed to cause lift-off but it's not going to guarantee smooth rides into zoned out galaxies. It's a messy voyage led by an inebriated captain and an aberrant crew who only function properly when gravity isn't holding them down.

On songs like "Peripheral Visions" and "Gyrfalcon Flight" it makes for a trip that sound like a Spacemen 3 backing a non-absolutely asshole and totally partying down Ted Nugent at times.



Get your ticket to trip at Heel Turn records.

Aug 18, 2018

Smashin' Podsistors 39: Hot rods pre-cleaned real fine nicotine


With August humidity comes agitation. To cool it means oscillations. The whirring can be hypnotic. It can also be an irritant.


What you'll hear:
Crash Course In Science - Kitchen Motors
Midnight Mines - Stations
Pram - Ladder to the Moon
Counter Intuits - Vietnamese Lighter
Musical Linn Twins - Rockin' Out The Blues
-words from your host-
Cruelster - Why Did They Do That to Me Back Then
Marc Riley With The Creepers - Teacher Travel
Parsnip - It Couldn't Be True
Jefferson Airplane - 3/5 of a Mile in 10 Seconds
The Love-Birds - Kiss and Tell
-words from your host-
Caveman & Bam Bam - Let's Start A Fire
Cement Shoes - Fruity Funhouse
Lysol -Teenage Trance
Obnox - Broke Socialite
Ragtime Frank - Shake 'Em
-words from your host-
Donkey Bugs - Men in High Heels
Section 25 - It Don't Get
Arndales - Half Thrash
ADULT. - Irregular Pleasure
Chrome - The Monitors
-words from your host-

You can also subscribe to the Smashin' Transistors show on 
Apple PodcastsPodbean and Radio Mutation

Get more Smashin' Transistors action at FacebookTumblrTwitter and Instagram

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.

Swim with the fish at Feel It records

Aug 14, 2018

LYSOL "Teenage Trance" 7inch


After a quick dalliance with the name L.I., Portland trenchant operatives scoff the risk of any cease & desist being landed on them and revert back to the name Lysol. Like the name brand of disinfectants they've chosen as their name, both rid germs away but the band does it with a heaping amount of scalding clangor instead of pernicious compounds.

Residing in an asteroid belt that's located between the triangular orbits of elastic punk, wooly garage rock and gangly hardcore, the sound is often dizzying and usually bumptious.

Akin to some proto-punk chugger shook up like a bottle of soda pop and then put on a sketchy looking carnival thrill ride, "Teenage Trance" makes a huge sticky mess when the cap is popped as it sprays, spit and spurts deliriously from front to back and side to side with wiry guitar clangs and a stuttering jackhammer rhythm.


"Chemical Reaction" isn't any calmer as it rattles and weaves with something that had me thinking "Hmmm, do I hear a surf chord there" as it started. It only took a second for that thought to be dashed when they were then answered with "Yeah, if cavepeople surfed on waves of fire."

Get cleansed at Neck Chop Records

Aug 8, 2018

Off Color Brewing's SPOTS


While visiting Chicago a few weeks back I ended up wondering to myself "What exactly is a Tiki Weiss?"

It was not a question I've asked myself before. There I was, perusing the beer shelves looking for some things not available in my parts to bring back home. With me was a list of Illinois breweries I found interesting and are not distributed to SE Michigan. Off Color was one of the names on the top of my list. I had a small sampling of some of their wares before and was curious to try some more. I must also note that my better half also enjoyed their brews not just for their flavor but for the fact they put mice, cats both big & small and other critters into their artwork and design.

I forgot to mention that the weather during the visit was like baking in humidity city. Nothing burly and brown, nor overly sticky hop oil armaments were striking the fancy.

"Hmmm. Tiki." I thought. "Tangy tropicals. Weiss? Light and lively. This may be the thing if summer keeps up like this."

Lemon in color with a muted haze and topped with a plump head that fades fairly fast, the tiki tinges rise up to the nose through a wheat grain and pils malt foundation. It's got some zip in the smell for sure.

What is essentially a Berliner Weissbier brewed with passionfruit and grapefruit peels, Spots tiki decree really comes through in the flavor.  The passionfruit takes front and center on the tastebuds initially with a zing. The grapefruit peel adds a cool funky accent to it. Through the middle, there are flourishes of melon, peaches and pineapple. The finish brings orange creamsicle notes intermingled with a mildly astringent linger.

We brought a four pack back with us. Over the past few weeks, they have all been drunk. There's still (hopefully) good six to eight weeks of summer weather. I won't be able to get to back to Chicago until at least the autumn so I'll have to get through it without any more of these. I'll be sure to be looking for what Off Color has done with whatever the season is in mind on that visit too.
Count the Leopards at Off Color Brewing

Aug 6, 2018

LIQUIDS Hot Liqs' Revenge LP


Upon the first couple listens of the album the thoughts of starting off this review by saying something like "cementing their scuffed up shoes in a place right between the most tattered and weirdest ends of early Midwest hardcore and the scorched pop of the Buzzcocks Another Music in a Different Kitchen, Indiana's Liquids...."

After a couple more listens I still felt my impressions of the record felt spot on to myself except for the "cemented" and the "place right between" part. Fronted by the Coneheads Mat Williams, it's more like the two aforementioned styles are not as much as an inspiration for the band's sound in as such things are simply instilled into their DNA.

Sure, the nasal wail in Mat voice does have an undeniable way of making people think Peter Shelly on especially on songs like "Wanna Throw Up (When I See Your Face)", "Talking On The Telephone",  and "Not Fun" but its a different kind of heat that is going on behind that voice.


It's not the warm blanket of rapid fuzz of ancient punk rock. It's much more prickly and itchy. Scratching at it is just gonna make it more raw and irritated which is probably the whole intent.

A same sort of attitude holds with the more "hardcore" leaning lobs of racket like the recording needle buried in the red burst of "Life Is Pain Idiot",  how "11 AM" sounds like it was deep fried in napalm and the grunt/stomp/grunt "Burnt Down Completely."




They're all blasts of pent of rage, but save for the later (which may even be a mocking ode to the tank top wearing, goatee sporting and fat "tough" guys who turned the sound into something to be heard in a gym rather than while riding a skateboard) have just as much in common with the Oblivians or the Gories than, say (for the sake of dropping an Indiana band in this review as a reference point), the Zero Boys.

With twenty songs on this record, it covers quite the trashy ends of the punk rock spectrum be it bashed up garage gunk or catchy hooks that use a contempt and an ire for squares as a catalyst. Hell, the record even kicks the shit of a Nick Lowe song. I like to think if he's heard the Liquids take on "Heart Of The City" he said "I never thought about it before but that's what the song needed."

Get aqueous at Neck Chop records.

Jul 31, 2018

Smashin' Podsistorscast 38: And life keeps getting stranger every day


It's high summer here in the land of Smashin' Transistors. Much to do. Sometimes too much.

Somehow though, episode 38 managed to get done in a somewhat timely fashion.


Set your ears upon the following:

Zounds - Can't Cheat Karma 
Shark Toys - Confusion 
Ma Holos - Celebrity Boots
The Three O'Clock - I Go Wild 
En Attendant Ana - (Not) So Hard 
-words from your host-
The Resource Network - Psychographics
Psychlops Eyepatch - Melting Flowers 
Cavern Of Anti-Matter - Feed Me Magnetic Rain 
New Order - Procession
Rose Mercie - Spring and Fall 
-words from your host-
The Liquids - Talking On The Phone
The Mistreaters - How Much for the Women? 
Howlin' Wolf - Who's Been Talkin'
John Wesley Coleman - Breaking Up Crazy
School Damage - Scump Damage 2 
-words from your host-
Outer Spacist - Push 
Dumb Vision - The Fall 
Water Trash - Guess 
The Lavender Flu - Like A Summer Thursday 
The Yankee Dollar - City Sidewalks 
-words from your host-

You can also subscribe to the Smashin' Transistors show on 
Apple PodcastsPodbean and Radio Mutation

Get more Smashin' Transistors action at FacebookTumblrTwitter and Instagram

Jul 29, 2018

TRASH KNIFE/DUMB VISION split 7inch EP


For longtime soldiers in the vinyl trenches and especially those that were there during the subterranean boom punk rock 7inch releases of the 1990's, the split single can be a contentious topic.

Most of such hubbub about them though seems to be just vinyl dorky nitpicking. One reason though that does seem to be legit is how diametrically opposed the band on one side can be to another musically. I'm all for variety and diversity but I know a few split singles taking up space on my shelves where one side has something making the record worth keeping around but the other causes me much chagrin to even acknowledge.

That is not the case with this split between Philadelphia's Trash Knife and Dumb Vision outta Madison, Wisconsin. Both bands have an affection for making it all raw and bloody.

The former makes a beastly racket that's like cramming the Avengers song in an M-80 tube shell and making a fuse out of a Jay Reatard spazz fit to detonate it. Hardcore in a sense that it's insolated and antagonizing but would rather go smash up beer bottles on a street corner than go lift weights.

The latter is a bit more poppy but also absolutely boozy and sloppy in the frayed flannel Midwest punk rock-n-roll kinda way. They're most likely the ones who knocked back the beer bottles contents before handing them over to Trash Knife to break.

Both bands crank out three tracks on their chunk of 7inch plastic. Neither waste a second on noodling or getting frilly. The light turns green and they both floor it.
Get Trashed at Kitschy Spirit

Jul 18, 2018

PATIOS COUNSELORS Proper Release LP


The once hot breeding grounds for new and interesting forms of rock music are no more. Now all gentrified and surrounded by sky-high rents, such places that once were Petri dishes of culture clashes, weird and exciting approaches now often encourage the embracing of commodification or, with everything in the world available at the fingertips or just outside their door, they've become comfortable in a lassitude inducing bubble. A real world, with its sights, sounds, bumps, scrapes and bruises are all blunted and muted. The air starts to smell all the same all the time. It's stale air and it is all that is being breathed in and out.

Meanwhile, in places that are not on the tip of anyone's tongue, out of the ordinary sounds from the bored, the free-minded and the unequivocally esoteric collide. Occasionally the sorts pullulate, creating something with vaguely familiar angles and references contorted in a way that it gives the listening part of the brain something new to untangle.

The above is a perfect way to describe Charlotte, North Carolina's Patois Counselors. Though the city probably best known for it's Nascar track, drag strip and as headquarters for several large banking institutions, unless you happen to get lured into a conversation that revolves around K-Ci & JoJo or high fructose corn metal band Firehouse, it's unlikely a chat about the music of the city is going to continue into the wee hours of the night.

As wide as the gamut is between wrench crankers, high finance and 90's chart-toppers, the gamut is just as wide with this band.

Opening track "Disconnect Notice" and one of this writer's personal picks to click "Modern Station", find the austere drumbeats, whirling & spindly guitars and brusque lyrical delivery channeling things like the Fall and the Country Teasers.



Punk as art-funk appears in the guitar slashes and nervy rhythms of "Last Heat" and the other artsy-punk spazz outs reach the highest of levels "Repeat Offender."



While the variety is enough from those batch of songs to the next show that the band isn't just working in weirdly shaped to next, the rhythm box driven "Terrible Likeness" and the way "All Clean" sounds like it is something heard creeping through the floorboards from a dingy basement, grasp a dark mood fitting for a goth club that embraces real spiders crawling over skin than make-up and jewelry that gives an illusion of such things.


"Target Is Not Comrade" closes the album and leaves the listener wrapping their brain around an orchestra of squalls and a melody of a new wave song they swore they've heard often but can't place a when or a where. The buzz of it all will find many wanting to come back again to cop the strange high again.

Get analyzed at Ever/Never Records