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

1 Comment »

  1. Dearest Cab,

    The entire quote to The Strange Boys’ “Happy in Disbelief” is “Listening to records is better than any savior”

    that line does dig deep into you somehow.


    Comment by Ronnie — May 13, 2008 @ 2:31 pm

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