July 17, 2008

New Releases: July 18th

Filed under: Music — cabinet @ 11:29 pm

The Wiggins: Feed the Ghost 7″
Dull Knife
The Wiggins is a one man band operation. Fucked up blues kinda stuff. This is Dull Knife’s 3rd record, and The Wiggins’ first. pick it up at these fine distros: rocketreducer.com, goner-records.com, and probably bistrodistro.com and floridasdying.com once they get back to usual operation.

The Anals: Commando of Love 7″
Sweet Rot
This duo’s first and only record, out on Sweet Rot Records of Vancouver, Canada, due to half of the band’s death sometime last year. They are/were from France and played a brand of rock n roll not too far away from the sounds of the Feeling of Love, which you may or may not have heard by now. Pick it up from Sweet Rot, or other fine distros.

Love Tan 7″
Sweet Rot
They were the Pyraminds but switched up the name before their debut arrived, also on Sweet Rot. 6 songs packed onto seven inches of vinyl. Weirdo punk not unlike Factums, with whom they share members.

Dutchess & The Duke: She’s the Dutchess and He’s the Duke
Hardly Art
The D&D channel mid-60’s folk rock on this slab, out on Hardly Art, a subsidiary or something of Sub Pop. The two tracks from the severely out of print 2007 single show up here for any who missed out.

Jay Reatard: Matador Singles Series
Jay has made the leap to Matador, his first releases being 6 7″‘s, coming out once per month, culminating in a compilation LP sometime this fall. There have been four titles released so far, the latest being a split with Deerhunter, each band takes a side to cover a song of the other. Jay does Flourescent Grey, Deerhunter does Oh, Its Such a Shame. Sold out from the label directly, but they will show up in distros soon and are in stores across the U.S. now. Good luck trying to find the proceeding singles, probably a good idea just to wait for the LP now.

Gentleman Jesse and His Men
Douchemaster Records
The culmination of three 7″‘s, two of which were splits, Jesse brings it all together for an LP. The man you already know and love from the Carbonas. The cover looks like some kind of homage to Elvis Costello’s My Aim Is True. Get it now before its gone.

Jasper TX: Black Sheep
Black Sheep is Swedish experimental musician Dag Rosenqvist’s second release of 2008. Don’t expect any Tim Hardin covers, though: This is a slow, dark album full of those atmospheric whirls and pops that people love to describe through abstract metaphors.

MV+EE with The Golden Road: Astral Bleachers/Big Moment
Ecastatic Peace!
A collection of live material from one of our favorite groups of guitar loving hippies. Since, you know, there’s not enough new material being put out by Matt Valentine and Erika Elder.

Sic Alps: U.S. EZ
San Francisco based Mike Donovan and Matt Hartman (Coachwhips alum, for those who’ll be sold by such a pedigree) play some sloppy psychedelic garage rock on their latest album as Sic Alps. If you’re down for a set of hazy, lo-fi songs, Siltbreeze has the goods.

Wire: Object 47
Pink Flag
Rightfully legendary, Wire continues to make music that is uniquely theirs. Fans of the group will undoubtedly want to listen to Object 47; newcomers, prepare to work your way back here after indulging in the rest of this band’s work.

April 6, 2008

CPC Gangbangs – Mutilation Nation

Filed under: Hype,Music — RustyJames @ 4:41 pm

[Swami Records; 2007]

Ladies and gents get out your moustaches and join the Mutilation Nation.

Mention Canadian cultural exports and you’ll probably get a list of no-hopers like Michael Ondaatje, Leonard Cohen and Atom Egoyan. One of Canada’s greatest under-acknowledged cultural exports is the movie Fubar, directed by Michael Dowse. Fubar examines, in fake-documentary style, the mysteries and vagaries of “headbanger” culture, following the exploits of two banger lifers Terry (Dave Lawrence) and Dean (Paul Spence), as they talk about life, get bombed, go camping, battle cancer and just generally giv’er.

Fubar was filmed in and around Calgary, Alberta, stronghold of banger culture and the place where I grew up. In the late ‘90s and into the ‘00s, a local rock dive called the Night Gallery would host a two night bash every May long weekend called “Moustache Rock”, featuring local bands performing the heavy hits of the ‘70s and ‘80s with proceeds going to charity. If there’s one current band infused with the spirit of Moustache Rock, it’s CPC Gangbangs, a band which features… Paul Spence.

You see how I tied all that together?

CPC Gangbangs are a throttling Montreal four piece anchored by the dual guitar attack of Spence and lead singer Roy “Choyce” Vucino. “Dual guitars”, you say? Why that sounds like metal. Straight up it does, and CPC Gangbangs owe much to the sweaty dudes of the ‘70s in bands like UFO and Judas Priest. If riffology is a course at rock school, the CPCs are on the Dean’s List. Make no mistake though, this isn’t your coked-out stepdad’s metal, CPC Gangbangs are a PUNK band you knobs, with enough shuck-and-stage-dive attitude to outlast any of the piss-poor “talent” that gets ashamedly labeled rock & roll these days.

Mutilation Nation, the band’s debut full length after a slough of singles, lays it on the line. Opener “Jeff Starship” proves this band has the balls to ease into their all-out assault, laying down a comfortable groove that merely suggests the night terrors ahead. Immediately following is “Teenage Crimwave”, asserting that they mean business, going straight to the heart of the rebellion-crazed teenage audience. Never let it be said that these dudes aren’t firmly fixed on the punk rock kill zone.

The band also explores a certain Cronenberg-ian body horror throughout the album, culminating in one of the album’s most blistering tracks, “Mechanical Man”, an apocalyptic horror-fest of mutually-assured destruction. These songs are played with such ferocity as to make the inside of your eyeballs sweat.

One taste of Mutilation Nation is like the sweet tang of blood on your lips. The CPCs play killer, wild-eyed rock & roll, living after midnight and breaking the law. This is a band well on their way to unstoppable, outlining their simple statement-of purpose on “I Want it All,” a merciless attack from a band intent on destroying every weak-willed wanker from here to Japan. “What Love Is” evokes the MC5, while “Suicide Ride” sounds like the Lazy Cowgirls at their peak. This is monstrous, uncompromising hell-raising rock & roll, spitting teeth, menace and bourbon. Woe be to the unbelievers.

April 4, 2008

The Fall – The Wonderful And Frightening World of The Fall

Filed under: Hype,Music — tha rhythm tha rebel @ 8:05 pm

[Beggars Banquet; 1984]

The Wonderful And Frightening World of The Fall is a somewhat hidden gem. Sandwiched between Perverted By Language and This Nation’s Saving Grace, two of The Fall’s most popular 80s releases, you could almost be forgiven for not hearing it given the albums it follows and precedes. It was to be the first of many releases with Beggars Banquet, a substantially larger label than they had been with before. This, along with the relatively new addition to the group of American post-punk popster Brix Smith, had an affect on the music. Songs became shorter, production became clearer and one or two tracks (notably C.R.E.E.P.) actually make great pop songs. Released in 1984 with different tracklistings on LP and cassette and re-issued in 1988 on CD with all the tracks from both the previous releases, Wonderful And Frightening isn’t exactly your average Fall album, but then again, what is?

As is common with Fall albums, the opener is a real stunner. “Lay of The Land” begins with dirty distorted guitar and Mark E. Smith mumbling something in a deep voice and then BLAM the rockabilly kicks in and everything is just screaming along with a bass riff like no other. In fact, one of the best things about this album is the bass. Whether it’s plodding along in “Bug Day” or completely driving the song in “Slang King” it’s always prominent. Another Fall trademark is the reference to artists that have influenced and inspired MES. Like “Sing! Harpy” from Extricate, “Elves” is another straight rip off of a Stooges song and makes a welcome addition to the heaving catalogue of Fall covers and quotations.

One of Wonderful and Frightening’s strongest points is it’s variety. Everything from lazy, twinkly tunes (“Disney’s Dream Debased”) to hex-esque rockers (“2 x 4”) is present. But one thing is constant, Brix’s influence can be heard throughout. It’s often understated how much affect Brix had over The Fall’s sound in the mid-80s but without her backing vocals (she could actually sing unlike anyone else previously in The Fall) and pop sensibilites The Fall may have just produced lack lustre attempts at duplicating their earlier classics. Having said that, the usual MES magic is evidently present. Catchy vocal hooks and typically absurd lyrics that seem to really make sense, rather than just mess your head up and appear weird for weird’s sake like so many others. Although not quite as dark and bludgeoning as his more famous works the quality is still there and really hits through in the epic closer “No Bulbs”.

Whilst Wonderful And Frightening might not quite shine as brightly as Grotesque or Hex Enduction Hour it certainly fits right in with the long line of fantastic Fall albums in the 80s and even makes for a great album on its own. There aren’t many greater examples of post-punk purity than The Fall’s work and this album fits that description like a velvet glove.

March 26, 2008

The Outsiders – C.Q.

Filed under: Music — myarmy @ 10:32 pm

[Pseudonym Records; 1968]

If the lead singer’s name, Wally Tax, and the genre “Nederpop” doesn’t already make you want to pick up an album by The Outsiders let me take the time to persuade you to do so, specifically their sophomore effort C.Q.

In 1968 Dutch band The Outsiders recorded the follow up to their live self-titled debut. Rather than fitting neatly into the psychedelic pop mould created by their British and American counterparts, they experimented with a number of distinctive sounds and textures in order to produce one of the most unique and overlooked sixties psychedelic rock and roll albums.

The Outsiders push their rhythm section hard during their rock and roll numbers which create a driving beat, bound to catch the attention of any hip shaker. The aggressive rhythms and dark vocals show hints of punk rock well before the term even existed. Tracks like “Misfit” with its rolling bass and the chord bashing of “The Man On The Dune” are sure to satisfy your primal amplifier-fueled urges.

The most experimental aspect of this album comes in the form of delving into noise. Tracks such as “C.Q.” are sprawling waves of distortion supported by moments of field recordings and psychedelia. It is used most effectively in “Doctor” as just as we start to move along to the infectious guitar lines, the song drops out and is replaced by an ugly mess of eerie sounds. Eventually we return to some crunching distortion and that guitar line, which we are now twice as happy to hear.

Though The Outsiders aren’t without a softer side. Despite being known for their rollicking, raucous live performances they demonstrate their ability to write a simple pop tune or ballad. Heart-felt subjects such as the loss of a parent or love, are touched on from different perspectives as the beautiful melody of “You’re Everything On Earth” makes me want to cry over a long lost love I’ve never even had. Whereas the upbeat “Daddy Died On Saturday” chooses to joyously celebrate life, rather than dwell in death.

In the event that you get a sudden hankerin’ for a folk/blues tune at some point throughout the album, don’t worry, The Outsiders have got you covered. “Happyville” surely contains one the most enjoyable harmonica hooks ever put on wax and “Do You Feel Alright”, the closer of the bonus tracks edition, brings the album to a catchy, reverberated conclusion, one that does indeed, make me feel alright.

As much as everyone loves a name drop or two, I’d rather not make one, firstly because I don’t want to detract from the originality in this album that I enjoy so much, and well I wouldn’t be able to think of one anyway. This album has something for everyone, and not only that but it does that something well, and that’s exciting.

March 13, 2008

Short Reviews Volume 1

Filed under: Hype,Music — ed the portal @ 10:54 pm

[Times New Viking – Present the Paisley Reich – Siltbreeze; 2007]

Times New Viking is probably most comparable to a car accident. Innocence and stupidity buried under grinding distortion and fuzz. Songs about drugs and sex and dead john lennons; infectious choruses belted over a horrendous pop cacophony. In other words, perfection. The synths squeal, the guitars shout and roar, the drums… barely audible. But it works. That’s the insane thing, right? I see people whining about the noise, “simply too noisy!”, but there are rewards for those who seek them. This LP is over in about 20 minutes, one side of vinyl, so you might miss it the first time. But don’t worry, just listen again. And again. And again. There isn’t a band around right now I enjoy more than Times New Viking, and they’ve got 3 LP’s worth of ear-drum destroying greatness. The best thing would be to just buy all three and listen over and over. Maybe grab those out of print singles that are going for fortunes on ebay. Plus they’re on matador and pitchfork loves them, if that doesn’t sway you I don’t know what will. -Cab

[Strange Boys – Nothing EP – Dusty Medical; 2007]

The Strange Boys are my saviors. They just write some tunes that I can shake too, just a little bit of groovin. Some white boys doin the blues. Sounds like same ol’ same ol’ right? Wrong. Ever heard the black lips? No? Well imagine this band but with cleaner vox and Vice written all over them. But Cab, why do you hate the Black Lips? I don’t hate them, they just ain’t got nothin on the Strange Boys. The jerky rhythms and slippery bass mesh perfectly with the cool innocence brought by guitar and vocals man Ryan Sambol. My favorite song on this ep has got to be ‘Happily in Disbelief”, the second song on the A. A simple 12 bar blues but perfect in the delivery. Ryan belts out something about something being “better than any savior.” Course it is, I’ll believe anything this guy says. I don’t think there’s a 7″ i’ve listened to more than this. I will happily fork over hell of dough for some more strangeness when and if another record becomes available. -Cab

[Estrogen Highs – She Don’t Bother EP – Milk ‘n Herpes; 2008]

I liked last year’s debut single by these kids from New Haven, Connecticut enough to order up the new EP as soon as it was available. After listening to it ten straight times, I’d recommend that everyone reading this immediately contact your favorite distributor and have a copy sent your way. The two A-sides sound so nice together; I’m really glad they got stuck on the same side of the record so all I have to do is press one button to hear them again. Each song pulls off a neat little combination of catchy melody, stomping beat, and slightly abrasive vocals that makes me want to just listen to it over and over and over. Keep an eye on the Estrogen Highs, cuz they’re gonna get known (and when they do, I reserve the rights to the name Testosterone Lows for my shitty tribute band). -Ed the Portal

[Jay Reatard – Hammer I Miss You 7″ – Goner; 2006]

Recently Jay Reatard has been crowned official prince of the lo-fi garage thing going on and perhaps rightfully so. In the past two short years he’s released his debut album Blood Visions along with a very impressive string of 7″ singles. You could be forgiven for thinking that he is in fact the second coming of jesus, but that might be going a bit too far. Hammer I Miss You was Jay Reatard’s first solo single way back in 2006. The title track kicks things off in great Reatard fashion, a rocking number with a chorus that will stick in your brain for days. But the fun doesn’t end there, oh no. The next track, It’s So Useless, is a song so catchy, so infectious that the only way to capture its brilliant essence was to hide it away on the B-side. If you’ve ever wondered exactly why Reatard is so popular, look no further. It’s through songs like this that have made him the darling of pitchfork. It just makes you wanna jump around and sing along except you can’t quite make out the lyrics with the screaming delivery. Bringing up the rear is Wasted. Another typical Reatard song with a bit more bite and tenacity than the previous two which brings the whole rockin’ thing to a close. Out of all of the Reatard singles this is my favourite. Three fantastic songs in 7 minutes, what more could you ask for? -HP

[Sonic Chicken 4 – Sonic Chicken 4 – In The Red; 2007]

I knew absolutely nothing about this band prior to buying the record. I only bought it because I had money to spare and was already ordering some other records from ITR. But man, holy shit am I happy that I did. Hailing from Perpignan, France, these guys and gals fired 12 fucking ballistic missiles of noisy garage-pop songs about sex, booze and women across the Atlantic right into my undefended ears. The first time I put this album on, I had just gotten in my car (the LP came with a free CD) to embark on the three hour drive back to Chicago the day after Christmas. I just let the album repeat over and over and over. I couldn’t stop listening. I’m still rockin’ this album at least once a week because the songs are so damn catchy they just never get old. Go buy it! – Ed the Portal

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