Aug 23, 2016

MUSK Musk 2: The Second Scumming

Photo by Corey Arnold
      There's the blues. There's also blues-rock, blues-rawk, blues-punk and, of course, the blooze. Then there's something that is much more sinister, foreboding and scary as hell. Something that may have the blues as a steady part of their diet but like water, it is just the base ingredient. Bands like the Birthday Party, the Laughing Hyenas and Chrome Cranks huffed and guzzled such concoctions in the past and California's Musk have figured out the formula for themselves too.
     After what sounds like a circus being run of out town and over a cliff by spaceships on opener "The Hidden Cost" a murder spree starts with "Wet Brain." Full of serrated guitars alternate between recklessly sawing away at tendons or blowing up a dam full of blood while a man possessed howls something that sounds somewhere between Lux Interior screaming for dear life and a snake charming preacher drunk on a serpents venom, the song is where all kinds of creepy dreams begin.
     Fuzz coated and mildew laden freak fest like "Raw Night" and the drunks fist flying boogie of "Hip Pain" come barreling out like a runaway train loaded with a raw sewage payload, smashing everything in its path. Meanwhile, a panicky "Catch And Release" kicks rockabilly music in the head with a work boot and tangles your worthless soul into a slimy and sticky web of spidery guitar lines.
     When it seems the band might play it a bit straight things are still messed up. "Weathervane" may remind some ears of Neil Young and Crazy Horse but after a minute or so in it's more like them being tied together at the ankles and then dragged alive behind the hearse that Neil wrote "Long May You Run" about. When they do a take on the Paul Anka song "Crazy Love" it sounds more like a murderer making a non remorseful but disturbing confession and their version of The Savages "The World Ain't Round (It's Square)" takes the teenage snot and rage of the 1960's original and drops into the even more brutal and bitter modern world.
     The first Musk album blew my head off. For this second go round they have decided to stomp on the grey matter and kick the bloody parts all over the walls and window.
12xu.net

Aug 18, 2016

JOHN WESLEY COLEMAN III Greatest Hits LP

     I dunno how many times I have told myself that I am gonna sit down a write a song everyday. Sure, it sounds good and impressive but it never happens. Coming up with a song everyday is not very easy.
     That is, it seems, unless you are John Wesley Coleman III. Releasing solo records as well as his playing a major role in the band the Golden Boys, Wes can pen a good a tune at a decent clip. His latest, titled Greatest Hits is not a collection of previously released songs. It could possibly be the greatest hits of the mountain of songs he most likely created fairly recently.
     On the cover of the record, Wes stand on the bow of an abandoned boat left in a field. He's dressed like a yachtsman on his way to fancy dinner party. In one pocket a flask and a dime bag in the other most likely. In some ways that conveys the moods of the record. It may be time to show some maturity and responsibility (after all, he's a dad now) but there's always going to be some scruff and rabble that comes with it.
     Actually, still quite a bit of scruff and rabble as the slightly cheesey/kinda sleazy riffed opener "Bong Song" displays. The song juxtaposes a brightly chromed and hi-performance Camaro Rock chug with drunken handclaps and a ratty buzz that sounds like it's about to get completely engulfed in corrosion. A similar sanguine unkeptness is all over the south of the border meets 70's horn driven pop "Portlandia" and "Miranda," who's rumbling bass line is straight out of punk rock song but a woozy sax and whirling organ make it seem like a carnival setting circa 2nd album Springsteen if he drank less milkshakes and smoked more weed.


     When things take on a folkier strain such "Tea and Sandwiches" and the practically lilting but darkly lit "Pick Up Your Phone" they're still frayed around the edges. Actual dirt and dust flying around where it would probably enough to send Lumineers fan back into the hiding in the corner of a coffee house and discuss the way people were dressed in the "Come On Eileen" video.
     Throw in a country weeper that feels absolutely sincere and real as should be while also sounding equally cracked in the head like "Falling Outta Love" and some downright introspective crooning about yard work called "Lawnmower Man" and you have a whole new slew of songs to pick from if and when an actual JWC retrospective does ever come out.
johnwesleycoleman.com

Aug 15, 2016

It's Gonna Be a Tower of Sound on August 27th in Lexington

     Summer is starting to wind down but the parties are still hot. No better time than to have one up in Sanilac county. Great food, a whole lot of taps of fine Michigan beer, an evening August breeze coming in off of Lake Huron and Franck & yours truly spinning blasts from the past and messages of the future for your dining, drinking and dancing pleasure.
     Come up and groove the evening away just a little south of Lexington on August 27. It's Vinyl Night at the Water Tower Sports Pub!

Aug 11, 2016

THE WORLD Managerial Material 7inch EP

     In my high school days I didn't ever really get bummed when someone referred to me as a New Waver. There was less contempt and punches in the face for such compared to the attitudes toward anyone who claimed they were a punk rocker. If the music was a bit enjoyably strange or  weird you could just call it new wave too instead of waiting for the rare cool zines to trickle in and telling what genre to consider it. It you could dance to it was a bonus.
     I know for sure that Oakland, California's The World get things like post-avant-punk-funk thrown at the but it this was 30 years ago, they would've been a new wave favorite of mine.
    Sounding like a tug of war between downtown skronk-meisters who show contempt of everything for the sake of art and suburban raised mutants who dream of hearing a song their wrote echoing off the walls of the local roller rink, the four songs here are sublimely odd. The record's lead off, "Managerial Material",  does a fidget wiggle out of the speakers and immediately entertains as well as confounds. The dual sax players, one that sounds like it has a penchant for fog horns and steam whistles and the other seemingly addled but still intent on making some "good time" music, a like a parade marching band wandering off it whatever direction they chose.
     What keeps those horns from wanted off a cliff is, is the tight and twisted band that engulfs the sound around them. F'instance, the blurts "It Takes 2" may sound like radioactive dosed goose calls but it's the A Certain Ratio type of exposed electrical wire zap groove from them that provides a thud-n-sway for the singer bark and coo and make the listener wonder whether Su Tissue and Ari Up haunt her dreams every night.
     That and you can dance to it!
www.upsettherhythm.co.uk

Jul 28, 2016

WHIPPER Shit Love 7inch EP

     Like with what it seems with many Australian bands nowadays, Whipper are made up from some dudes from other bands (this time it's Cuntz, Bits of Shit and a couple others) forming yet another bad ass unit.
     Motor City via Melbourne street sleaze strut and Telecaster splattering garage rock/proto-punk riffin' get things off on the right foot and straight into in a dangerous place to be on "Shit Love." Oozing the Aussie swagger of Hoss and Powder Monkeys but sounding like their own thing, the swamp thick bass driven "White Glove" is a bloody lunged raver of a tractor trailer careening recklessly through mountain roads proportions. By the time the pummeling "Chase The Rainbow" declares "Drop Out Of High School" it's like being surrounded by an crowd of angle dusted bikers leaving you no other choice than to do exactly that.
aarghtrecords.bigcartel.com

Jul 26, 2016

NUMBSKULL ACTION Action & Reaction Cassette

 
     Numbskull Action are from Woking, Surrey. There's only two things I know about the place. One is that it was the first place the Martians decided to land in The War Of The Worlds. The other is that is where the Jam were from.
     For the latter, the comparisons stop after citing that both are trios with a penchant for songs of the 60's. The former though it is like they were beamed down to earth by waves emanating from Planet X. They were sent, if not to cause mayhem and panic, to at least destroy and annoy.
     Recorded live on a 4 track, the lo-fi crud licks the goo that oozes out of a corroded trashcan that sits in Supercharger's back alley on lunkheaded smashers like "Bad Advice (It's Not Nice)" and "I Don't Know Your Name". "It's Alright (If You Wanna Fight)" could probably send Billy Childish searching for earplugs while shouting "This is too loud and way ridiculous."
    When the band takes a break from desecrating Chuck Berry's grave (even though he's not dead yet) by mangling primitive rock-n-roll chugs and using a third chord only begrudgingly, their cutting bubblegum with buzzsaws with "Nothing Lost" and fashioning them into shivs or, like on "4 On 1" and "TV Commercial", writing some barking answer songs to a world that didn't know Oblivians needed any.
     Needless to say, this has lately become the soundtrack in the beat up, rust bucket of a van that I drive ONLY to work and back. Send these guys some money because I don't think they can hold down job because they're keeping busy with bathing in cheap beer and irritating the neighbors.
noteenrecords.blogspot.co.uk

Jul 19, 2016

HONEY Love Is Hard LP


      When hearing the names Psychic Ills and Amen Dunes, I usually think of laid back cats who listen to the third Velvet Underground record as church service and always wondering how high it takes to get Spacemen 3 high. Y'know, something shaggy for sure and a with a laid back sway most definitely.
     Opening track "Monk" (see above) quickly throws such assumption out of the window though. A battering thwack of sound, the song is quite akin to an agitated Volcano Suns crammed into a barbed wire lined pen and being poked at with sharp sticks. Next thing you know they've broke free, cranked up "Taking A Ride", stolen your car and seeing how well the suspension holds up as they aim straight into some molten pit. That kind of hair whippin' rock action/bad scene celebrating permeates like the skunkiest of bud on the record's closer "White City" too but instead of a kicked in the face boogie it's a freaky metallic moldering.
     For anyone out there awaiting another wave of RAWK bands Love Is Hard may be, thankfully to these ears, a bit askew. While a song like "White Noise" may have a fist pumpin' foundation and an orgy of wah-wah happening, it sounds like they'd be more inclined to kick holes in the monitors than they would be putting a foot on top of them and striking a pose so people can check out their crotch. Also, when the band takes off into a space trip like on "Born" and "Comes Down", the re-entry back to this atmosphere is rough and fiery.
http://thebandhoney.blogspot.com

Jul 14, 2016

Port Huron's Getting Bloody and Raw in August

Smashin' Transistors is freakin' pleased to announce an evening of thrills and chills on Saturday, August 13th at Port Huron's SchwonkSoundStead.

Photo by Maddie McGarvey

Heavily bowled over by the hot wired and high energy sounds of Detroit, Ohio's Bloody Show rumble like the MC5 and rattle like Death. Chrome plated rock licks and punk rock patina is all over the sound of this trio and already broke again right after payday belting of bassist Jah Nada really has something to say.


 Read our take on Bloody Show's EP Root Nerve.

To say that Raw Pony sound feral would be an understatement. Feral animals just have claws and teeth to attack with. These Ohio ladies have guitars and volume and sound like they listened to Gories records played on razor wire instead a stylus! Some consider the band's sound garage rock but they're more like a building engulfed in flames.
    


Read our take on Raw Pony's 7inch "Bo Diddley."

Though Screen Names are from the local area they sound like they were raised on the corner of Minor Threat and My Bloody Valentine. Hot off the heels of a gig that they'll have played earlier in the day at Brobecue, they'll set the night off with aural M-80's.


Though this show is "free" don't be a skinflint. Toss some bucks into the collection plate and buy some of the band's stuff when you get there.

Check the events page at ye ol' book of face for the latest developments.

Jul 2, 2016

Smashin' Podsistors: There's Sure A Lot Of Songs About Being Seventeen

     For this17th episode of the Smashin' Transistors fake radio/pretend mixtape we didn't play any of them. Instead, dig new sounds from CCR Headcleaner, Bloody Show, Lumpy & the Dumpers, Honey, the Wireheads, Mountains and Rainbows, In School, 75 Dollar Bill, Zig Zags, Useless Eaters and more.
     Hear some goodies from awhile ago like the Dwarves, T Rex, Flying Saucer Attack, The Triumphs and the Exploding Hearts too.
     Along with a few other tasty treats!

Jun 27, 2016

IN SCHOOL Cement Fucker 7inch EP

     Ever wonder what it sounds like inside of a nest of yellow jackets when you take a chainsaw to it? Especially if the wasps living it are of the irritable sort (which they usually are) and return the attack in their own particular unrelenting way. They like to lay down a barrage of pain and are especially evil because they can sting more than once.
     This newest thing from NYC's In School is that sound. Hardcore that's subhuman and ooze crawling, it's basic instinct to swarm and assault. The bass rattle that opens "Bloodlust" blurps like it is about that to start a fire but it doesn't send out a warning that it's all about to burst in skin melting flames. The record's title track follows it and channels Rudimentary Peni gutting eels in the back of a garbage truck.
     Things to not let up on side two either. "You're Not That Dumb" metallic shrill is like a hundred rusty steak knifes hacking away at a steel girder with the determination of a violently obsessed surgeon and "Awakening" is grossly stained shard of a revelation that was not brought out to the surface to ease any worried minds.
thrillingliving.com