Feb 26, 2019

VANITY Evening Reception LP


With a front cover looking like the outside of a death metal high school kid's notebook after the art class hippie got ahold of it, along with being on a label that is known for releasing hardcore punk records, I figured (without hearing any of the bands previous releases) that I may have a general impression of what this record may sound like just by at such artwork.

My impressions were way off. There are some things musically, if expressed as inspiration but not blatant cops, that'll always grab my ear and garner my full attention. Exile Stones, Neil with Crazy Horse, The Feelies Good Earth, Slay Tracks Pavement and Redd Kross at their pop glammy loudest are more than just a few of them.

This record from New York's Vanity rings all those bells at times. Often, several at the same time. The glitter splattered boogie and bending string blues swagger on "If You Must" and the way "Gimme Hyperbole" does a chugging downtown strut, reek of the bourbon soaked and chemical enhanced spirits of '72 era Keef but in a way as if it was all dropped in the middle of some early 90's DIY space where slacker jitteriness and tape hiss are imperative tools to communicate to one another.


Not finding the just city vibes rewarding enough, other songs here take on a ride out to the country. There's a rural bohemianism that's akin to lighting one up and watching the sunrise in a dewy field while stereo speakers that were placed in the windows blast in the short distance feeling on "Glad To Not." A same sort of mood is found on "World Gets Smaller" but much more stripped down.



To use a shopworn rock crit line, this record is packed with as many hooks as a well-stocked tackle box. If some of the tunes above don't attest to such things, and if the rockin' that pops and fizzes of songs "It's That Way For A Reason" and "You Can't Have Both" don't grab ya and make ya sway in some sorta way, I dunno what can be done for ya.

Check the look in the mirror at Beach Impediment

Feb 18, 2019

QLOWSKI Pure As Fear 7inch EP

Since I've gotten this record I've wondered how to pronounce the band's name. Is it Quelowski? Kwalowski? Kowalski? It seems no matter which way I say it sounds like I am talking about a maker of kielbasa that's based out of Hamtramck, Michigan.

Qlowski are not from Hamtramck though. They're originally from a rural part of Italy and now reside in London, England. And if asked to describe their sound, Polish sausage is not what comes to mind. What does though is that old Charles Atlas comic book ad. Except in this case, it's a twee band that transforms into a HE-MAN!

F'r instance, the jangle that shambles all over "Taking Control" and "Golden Boy" may seem all coy and a slight bit blurry, but it's played with a stamp of intrepidity. Keyboard lines and swells are abundant on both songs, setting scenes for icy celebrations.



The band doesn't just stick to such a sound that was signature to some of their obvious influences either. "Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder" has much of the songs before its oxygen flowing through it but there's also this Slits-ish and early West Coast new wave thing that binds it into a piece of its own particularness.

Get unadultered at Maple Death Records

Feb 11, 2019

Smashin' Podsistors 46: The Longest Short Month of the Year

Every winter I swear it's the most schizophrenic one we've had weather wise ever. This year it truly seems to be the case. And February is hardly half over and it seems longer than its ever been too. A permanent change of scenery is on our to-do list indeed

Servings of sound help daily travels through the expanse of grey though.

What you'll hear on this episode:



Bohemian Vendetta - Like Stoned
Timmy Vulgar's Genetic Armageddon - Suction Cup Hands 
Pram - Bewitched 
Mope Grooves - Moving Dot 
Qlowski - Golden Boy
-words from the host-
Heavy Metal – Gasmask Factory
Murderer - Juicy Fruit Dream
Flying Saucer Attack - Make Me Dream 
Tim Presley's White Fence - Neighborhood Light
Long Hots - Die Die Die
-words from the host-
Obnox - Off Ya Ass 
Cold Cream - First They Came 
Beyond The Implode - Midnight Adventures
Parsnip - Winter
-words from the host-
Graveblocker - Get Hit 
Chronophage - Dance to Guitar 
Vanity - You Can't Have Both 
Kathy Heidiman - Sleep A Million Years
-words from the host-

You can also subscribe to the Smashin' Transistors show on 
Apple PodcastsPodbeanRadio Mutation and Spotify.

Get more Smashin' Transistors action at FacebookTumblrTwitter and Instagram

Feb 4, 2019

HEAVY METAL Too Oz 4 I.t. 7inch EP

Up until now, Berlin's Heavy Metal have only served up their contorted and snotty explication of punk rock on full 12inch platters. Each of those records was like boarding an enclosed roller coaster. There are thrills inside but what sort will not be known until strapped in. The jolts and lashing movements are unpredictable and often manic. Then, before you even realized the length of the ride, it is over and it's time to hop back on and go for a spin again.

On their last album, 2017's LP3 aka The Nietzschean Supermen Of Dustbin Rock they made the claim that they were too sick for Total Punk. It seems that Total Punk took that as a challenge and did something to show the band what sick was (what they did I don't know. Given that the label is based in Florida and all know the stock jokes that go with being from there do any of us really want to know anyway) and got this tiny slab of audio pathosis in return for it.

"Underground Agent" opens the record by immediately shoving the listener down on the ground and then wildly whirling above them in a dance that's partially a pogo but seemingly more an addled tantrum. It's a sound that is stripped down to DIY basics but even with a simplicity of so few parts, it manages to be quite the entanglement. "Overtime" ups the leaping about ante' with a well oiled robotic drumbeat, gurgling basslines and a frenzied tirade for the working man.



If you've ever had a weird dream involving neon paint parties inside an active factory that operates on the fuels of doom, the outrĂ© new wave of "Gasmask Factory II" provides sullen adore as the soundtrack. "Schweinebastard" finishes off those left standing by equipping a matriarchal garage rock stomp with overjuiced laser guns and then splattering it with chimpanzee blood.

Catch the illness at Total Punk

Jan 26, 2019

VANILLA POPPERS "I Like Your Band" 7inch

After spending a few years in a notch of the USA's Rust Belt, Vanilla Poppers hazan headed back to her home in Melbourne, Australia. Then, most of the band pulled up their Cleveland stakes and followed her there.

The change of hemisphere hasn't simmer downed furor they dish out. In fact, it much more heaping. Opening with a statement such as "Get Away From Me" may seem like a blur at first its sentiment is obvious. There's no time for niceties. It's time to slash and smash.



The hardcore splatter that served as the backbone seems a bit more curved and wiggly than on their previous records. Those durable rock riffs that have been pumped into brains since the dawn of AOR and implanted themselves deep into the some of the blasts in the bands past are given a harsher lashing too.

The former is the the way "A Stranger" festers itself into a instant frenzy. The latter it's the blown up boogie licks on "I Like Your Band." They shine like the chrome of some stoner dad's '73 Ranchero there.

Get clobbered at Feel It records

Jan 23, 2019

Kuhnhenn DRIPA Double Rice IPA

How many times in the place now have I declared that I've grown completely done with IPA's only to go ahead and then say "Well, ok, maybe I am but this one is pretty unique/amazing/etc and after it, I am done with the style?"

Probably about a billion, right? Spoiler alert here is gonna be that this will make that a billion and one.

After observing that it pours a rich and hazy golden color with a firm head that leaves a good amount of lacing in its tracks of each sip, the first thing noticed are the aromas this brew gives off. Bright floral notes, a lot of citrus zing and, when given a deeper whiff, is that stewed apples I am thinking.

The hop profile comes on strong at first on the sipping side. It is one of a slightly different character though, bold but not as blustery. Mellow orange and lime nuances rather than sticky pine oil or grapefruit stings. A slight dent of dankness hangs so lightly as it is kept calm by slight touches of caramel, honey and cheesecake. There also seems to be some sake flirting going on here, which is probably the rice coming into play. The finish of this medium bodied brew is peppery and bright.

The 9.5% abv is quite mighty though it is highly disguised underneath all the interesting balancing of flavors going on. I can attest that these sneak up on ya.
Marvel the monocot at Kuhnhenn Brewing Co

Jan 21, 2019

RUBBER BLANKET "New Garbage Truck" 7inch


Comprised of Lars Finberg (A-Frames/Intelligence) and Jun Ohnuki & Brad Eberhard of Wounded Lion, Rubber Blanket isn't just the punchline to a sick burn that's best served at summer camp. It's also something that makes for waggish reverberations.

There's an ingenuous sense of wonder for the day to day mundane going on lyrically on this. Over a Warm Jets-ish Eno kinda thing that sounds like its sense of balance is corrupted and a melody of just a few notes, "New Garbage Truck" bounces about in an odd way while giving a detailed account of the newest trash hauler being spotted in the neighborhood.

It's flip, "Pedestrian Walkway", is about, the faces and things you see when while afoot in the city. A spartan synthy stroll which accompanies it helps keep thoughts chipper even if the crowd around is vexatious.
Go for a stroll at Spacecase Records

Jan 16, 2019

DIMESACK Says God Says Fuck You LP

With an album title likely copped from the Electric Eels and a pissed off & stoned attitude that makes a t-shirt design like Pantera's fist and pot leaf motif seem like it is instead covered with fluffy bunnies, I'm pretty sure I would want to be standing too close to creepy rubber masked man Mr. Sack when his temper starts to flare.


Though he's only assisted by a drummer, it often sounds like a group of cavemen here, hell-bent on bloodshed and constantly thirsty for the taste of gasoline. Beats hammer the deep into the cranium with stealthy psychic pneumatics while guitar strings turn to razorwire, flaying flesh and tangling up intestines.

The very fine line between the differences of the bad spirits that infest the souls of frazzled blues-punk devils and those of highly satanic metalists becomes even more blurred. This record is like a clock sticking midnight and then the two signed a most malevolent of pacts. Many gawked it from a distance. They did not live to see the morning.
Get cursed at Blak Skul

Jan 12, 2019

Smashin' Podsistors 45: You say ya wanna resolution...


Did you make any resolutions for the new year? Mine is to try to never act like Veruca Salt. There's an attention loving blob in this country who acts that way enough for an entire planet already.

What you'll hear: 

Lotti Golden - Get Together (With Yourself) 
Natural Man & the Flamin' Hot Band - Song About Your City 
Gargoyle Sox - Pink Little Playhouse 
Young Skulls - We're Gone 
Public Enemy - You're Gonna Get Yours 
-words from your host- 
Bad Sports - Living With Secrets 
The Mark Vodka Group - Shadow Of Your Former Self 
Priors - At Your Leisure 
Wire - Once Is Enough 
Donkey Bugs - Three Times Fast 
-words from your host- 
Hecks - The Thaw 
No Age - Soft Collar Fad 
Schizos - I'm Not a Sicko There's a Plate in My Head 
Royal Trux - White Stuff 
Rats - Turtle Dove 
-words from your host- 
 Jackson Politick - Psycho-mania 
 Ten High - Ursula 
 Cheater Slicks - Another Stab 
Junkpile Jimmy - Priest of Set 
 Halo of Flies - Headburn 
-words from your host-

You can also subscribe to the Smashin' Transistors show on 
Apple PodcastsPodbeanRadio Mutation and Spotify.

Get more Smashin' Transistors action at FacebookTumblrTwitter and Instagram

Jan 9, 2019

TROPICAL TRASH/BRUTAL BIRTHDAY split 7inch


Finding words to describe the heaviness that Tropical Trash dish out can be a bit challenging. It's a burly sort of heavy that is adept at thick mud lumbering but also can pivot into flashes of constant swiftness with the blink of an eye. It's a heaviness that often has a metallic and glaring sheen to it but it's also something much more cosmic along with being quite venomous.

It's sensical to pin the punk tag onto the band for their attitude and approach and the sound is not punk in a way Sluggo Smith used the word. It's menacing and disturbing. It's also got a freakin' groove too which gives their songs different shades from each other rather than the same paint by numbers thing over and over.

For this go-round, Tropical Trash's side, "Last Night Straight", is like a hulking piece of earth moving machinery. One that has been covered in moss that got its hydration from spilled bong water. It's spongy and earthy at the surface but deeper in, its relentlessness covers quite a wide berth.



Being that at least one member of Italy's Brutal Birthday is from the cabal of guitar feedback habitues known as Hallelujah!, I expected a bit of loud volume worship and a ton of splatter and I was not let down. Swampy and unhinged, "Facts" buzzes and stings like its inside the most psychotic of hornet nests and gives off a feeling similar to being beaten with a chain and then crawling across a public restroom floor that Grong Grong once spilled an execrable concoction of a cocktail on.

Get you alliteration on at Maple Death