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

Jun 22, 2016

Old Tomorrow Monty's Golden Rye Ale

       Named after and collaborated with gold medal winning skeleton racer Jon Montgomery, Toronto brewery Old Tomorrow puts their own Canadian stamp on the aging beer with whiskey components game here.  
     This aged in Alberta rye whiskey oak brew has it own distinctions from the first sniff to the final sip. Freshly split wood vanilla and caramel take the lead roles in the aroma. The color is that of sun on the horizon topped buy a slightly bubbly head which, despite its smallness, hangs on tight for quite awhile.
     The brew itself is overall creamy in texture but not thick. A sweet malt is in the forefront but then it falls away to give first some vanilla and then some honey butter on toast some room stretch out. Giving it a chance to breathe caramel and butterscotch start stepping up more and more. It ends with more than a hint of Canadian whiskey, citrus peel and pepper.
     Interesting balances and character all around for this one. Even with the decent amount complexities this beer has it could still be the star of a somewhat sessionable day or after mowing the lawn. I don't know if I'd suggest quaffing it straight from pitcher and walking around the way Monty enjoyed a beer after his Olympic triumphs in 2010 though.

Jun 17, 2016

CUT WORMS "Don't Want To Say Good-bye" 7inch

     The blurb included with this record mentions that side one's "Don't Want To Say Good-bye" will remind people of the Everly Brothers. Having that still instilled into since probably the day I was born (the folks dug 'em bunches) and being a sucker for that sound when done right (to my ears at least) I prepared to listen intently.
     Masterminded by Max Clarke, he the one time guitar player for Chicago band the Sueves, the Cut Worms pull off the sound consummately. Close harmonies swell over an elegant sibilation of steel stringed guitars. The clean and lightly echo'd recording sounds authentic. Not so much as a direct cop but as something this has been going through their bloodstream since day one too which makes it feel more like sincere love for a long gone era of innocence rather than making people suspicious that there is some irony trip at hard or they songs are just playing dress up.
     Where the Everly Brothers inspired a lot of future folkies at the time to eventually go off on their own paths of soul bearing, side two's "Like Going Sideways" starts its journey seeming like an introspective ballad around a campfire which then meets its destination cleaning out stems and seeds at Gene Clark kitchen table with a heart yearning for more.
randyrecords.bigcartel.com

Jun 9, 2016

CITY YELPS Half Hour LP

     Leeds, England's City Yelps cassette of a couple years back, Cheap Psych, got a lot of play around the Smashin' Transistors social gatherings. When I sat down to absorb their band new record a lot of the similar impressions I gushed about that tape came to mind here. Swell Maps....double cheeseburgers...blokes who can discuss things of bookish matters (after all, Leeds has the 4th largest student population in the UK) as well as which budget lager will hurt the least the next morning and their favorite garage punk 45's. All delivered, I may add, in a northern brogue where I have to ask them to repeat it or wonder if I need a translator.
     There was a vibe on the cassette of a few friends getting together in cramped space and having a go at celebrating the sound often lost & forgotten about indie singles from the early part of the eighties. If it was all shot on film it would been composed of square format stills in faded, fuzzy black and white with streaks of glare. For this album though, the scenes set are more cinematic and wide screen.
     While the usage of colors of sound on ...Half Hour are more vivid than its predecessor the band hasn't gone day-glo or anything. Sure, there's more clarity but, as the opener "Shut Up" can attest, there's still plenty bashed up blurriness.
     Some songs, such as the disheveled clarions of  "We Like The Hours" & "Music For Adverts" and the sleet storm splatter that's all over "Music & Movements", sound like cantankerous giants chewing on copies of C-86 that were found in a compost pile behind Mark E. Smith's (Brix era) place.
     Now, I know as soon as someone throws out a C-86 reference a lot jump for joy as far as jangly and shambling pop tinged post punk goes but for others is sends up a red flag that things may just turn to milk and water. Shaun's barrel chested yowl across the songs and the way "Making Noise" throws icy daggers, the night terror space(man) trip on "The Corn" and "Now" resembles being knocked down and then covered in an avalanche assure their much more bold than that by looking things straight in the eyes instead of staring at their feet.
Find the City Yelps on Facebook     

May 31, 2016

Smashin' Podsistorscast: Sweet 16


     Away we go with our 16th episode of 20 songs. Dig some brand new things from Kid Congo Powers & the Pink Monkey Birds, Space Raft, Honey Radar, City Yelps, Spray Paint, K9 Sniffies, Sunwatchers, The Cowboys and Doctor Nod.
     We also dug out some noise of different sorts of the past from Einst├╝rzende Neubauten, The Fatals, Tubeway Army, The Thomas Function, The Fall and the Undertones.
     And a few other sounds too.

May 26, 2016

The Devotions "Same Old Sweet Lovin'"

     Ran by  Robert Eaton and Benjamin Knight (who, along with Fred Bridges, also comprised the soul trio Brothers Of Soul as well as a songwriting team that had something to do with around 50 singles that came out Detroit in the 60s and 70s) and based out of a storefront on Hamilton St in Detroit (well, Highland Park actually. They both share a zip code) the Tri-Tone label only released 2 singles.
     The first of them was The Devotions “Same Old Sweet Lovin’.” Recorded and released in 1966, the record might possibly being gunning for the same formula a lot of the Detroit labels were going trying to grab a piece of that Motown pie, but the frills free production and obviously not charm school trained voices of Ragina Wood, Rosemary Green and Bobby Hemmitt give this this record a raw street level soul thing that sounds something more akin to a female version of what the Parliaments were doing in the city around the same time than any of the seriously buffed and polished records from the House Of Gordy.

May 21, 2016

BLOODY SHOW Root Nerve 12inch EP

     Ohio's Bloody Show kingpin Jah Nada has a lot on his mind. With Laura of Raw Pony bashing the tubs and Sex Tide's Chris hard rockin' sick licks as reinforcements to his gut rumbling bass thumps, he doesn't hesitate letting people what he's thinking.
     Opening with "American Pimp" the record drops a lumbering bomb of thudding scuzz and rock-n-roll flash. Given the song title, anyone expecting some hustler jivin' to kick in on the mic are gonna be taken aback cuz Jah belts like a voice of annihilation here. While the listener is still fazed from that detonation, they get hit with a one-two clobber of the high powered Detroit proto-punk of "Magic Negro" (think The MC5 and Death playing at the same time while the most agitated soul shouter on the planet calls bullshit on several points of view) and the incensed "bell hooks", which gives a take most wont bother to discuss in some feminist theory course. Side one closes out with some Ohio punk rock history by giving Pere Ubu's "Non-Alignment Pact" a furious clobbering.
     The rumbling that kicks off side two's "Back On The Track" rolls into town like bikers fed on fuzz, swamp water and street fights. The enraged boogie "When I'm High"  is like some kinda 70's Ted Nugent party/fightin' jolt blasting out of a muscle car if Ted was a million percent less douchebag, stopped towing the Nancy Reagan line and listened to more Eddie Hazel and less whatever makes him going around claiming he's from a long spiritual line of bluesmen. The mood gets foreboding on "Fuckaround" with it's metallic tinged downcast goth chords and stoned disposition providing an icy pillar to make an inconsolable rap and bellow from.
www.heelturnrecords.com