Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Husker Du: What's Going On

While I wait to get my hands on a copy of this, thought I'd write a short blog post to share my excitement about it. Andrew Earles, one part of the brilliant Earles and Jensen has written his first book on Husker Du. You can get a taster of it here and get copies here. Earles' blog, where you can view his other writing projects, also mentions he's on WFMU today!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Zoltars 'The Zoltars'

Sundae Records has treated us all to one more release before 2010 draws to a close. Ending the year on a high note The Zoltar's new self titled 7" is a humdinger. The single was recorded at The Neckbeard Ranch, Dikes of Holland's studio with Chris Anton at the helm and mastering by Aaron Schroeder. The Zoltar's type of garage pop makes them Austin's answer to bands like Fresh & Onlys and Ty Segall. But it you think this means you've heard it all before, think again. Charismatic, heady guitar melodies, jangly rhythms come through an overlay of haze juxtaposed with a lovable cockiness in the idle/laid back tone in the vocals which begs for repeated listens. Before you know it you'll be catching yourself singing 'It's the batcay-ay-ay-ay-ave'! The trio's new single comes with a download and you can listen to it here!

Also available a split tape with Cowabunga Babes on Kill/Hurt

Also available a live tape on Voice Academy Records

Saturday, December 18, 2010

RIP Shiny Beast

This short post is simply due to feeling like there isn't anything that can be typed here that hasn't already been said. Captain Beefheart, I love your music, sleep well magic music maker.

Short eulogy from The Guardian

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Black Mamba Beat VS Wake Up Dead

New cassette tape from London based South Africans Black Mamba Beat is a split featuring new project Wake Up Dead. Black Mamba Beat have so far released material on European labels Clan Destine and Jeet Kune and now have aptly found a new home across the pond at Kind Turkey Records to debut Wake Up Dead songs. The quartet's current line up features members of Black Time, Atari, Live Fast Die, Black Mamba Beat, Snakes and Music, The Splinters and The Jazz June, AKA: Koala, Lemmy Caution, Mr. Stix and Mouse.

Side A: Black Mamba Beat! Full of rubbery bass, bashing rhythms and one male torpid voice accompanied by barking yelps and shouts. Abrasiveness from some of the vocals is balanced out nicely from simple and heady guitar melodies, especially on track 'Don't Care Show Me'. 'Hibernating' and 'Note From the Moat' break up this side well by including some piano arrangements and take things to a slower darker place. Side A finishes on a high note and somewhat echos how it started with a Cramps-esque style guitar intro.

Side B: Wake Up Dead. Still in the Punk Rock vein but colder, darker, I can't help feel like opening track 'Zombie Love' wouldn't sound totally out of place on a Misfits album. The out of tune guitar parts in 'Hospital' are curiously pleasant making this track a high light. Like Side A the recording fittingly has that made in a basement, bedroom feel to it eschewing any glitz or 'studio magic'. The bands' blog Shabeen Scene teases that they have just gone into More or Less Mono Studios to record some more songs. I hope this tape is a taste of things to come.

This tape is limited to 100 copies - first 25 are hand-painted and includes an insert! Black Mamba Beat VS Wake Up Dead is Kind Turkey Records first release and their website says there are less than 15 copies of this left - exclusively available globally, as in everywhere, as in right now!

Monday, December 13, 2010

10 of '10

It's that time of year where everyone is making their Top 10 lists, so if you'll indulge me, I made one too...

Nobunny - First Blood, Goner
Tyvek - Nothing Fits, In The Red
Wounded Lion - S/T, In The Red
Dikes of Holland - S/T, Sundae Records
Black Mamba Beat - S/T, Jeet Kune
Cheap Time - Fantastic Explanations (and Similar Situations), In The Red
Ty Segal - Melted, Goner
Sun City Girls - Funeral Mariachi, Abduction
Ex Humans - Ex Humans, Rob's House
The Fall - Your Future Our Clutter, Domino
The Young, Voyagers of Legend, Mexican Summer

Ron House - Blind Boy in the Backseat, Columbus Discount
Sibylle Baier - Colour Green, Orange Twin
Witch - Lazy Bones!!, Shadocks Music
Blank Realm - Heartless Ark, Not Not Fun
Carl Simmons - Honeysuckle Tendrals, Sacred Bones
Flying Nun Reissues!
Fucking Flying Aheads - Swiss Cheese Back, De Stijl
Hasil Adkins - White Light/White Meat, Norton
Gibson Bros - Build a Raft, Columbus Discount
Abner Jay - Folk Song Stylist, Mississippi
Something Is Wrong - Vintage Recordings From East Africa, Honest Jons

Nerve City - Sleepwalker, Sleepwalker EP
Puppy Hearts - When Kingdom Come, Yeti 9 compilation
Teenage Panzerkorps - Turn Your Lights Out, Yeti 9 compilation
Mannequin Men - Hobby Girl, Hozac 7"
Grass Widows - 11 of Diamonds, Past Times
Sibylle Baier - Tonight, Colour Green
Carl Simmons - Scotty Guffy Sings, Honeysuckle Tendrals
Rayon Beach - Wave Pool Ether, Memory Teeth EP
Eddy Current Suppression Ring - Second Guessing, Rush to Relax
Flight - My Business, Flight 10"
Magik Markers - White Map Laid With White Inks On White Walls, Tour Split 12" w/Sic Alps

The Fall - Electric Ballroom
The Dead C - The Garage
Quintron & Miss Pussycat - The Dome
Magik Markers - Union Pool
The Ex - The Dome
Sic Alps - Bardens Boudouir
The Swans & James Blackshaw - Koko
Eat Skull - XOYO
Raionbashi & Kutzkelina - Lowest Form of Music Festival
The Rita - The Grovsenor

Friday, December 3, 2010

Dikes of Holland 'Dikes of Holland'

Exciting new bands have been erupting from Austin's bedrooms, basements and bars solidly for quite some time now. Earlier in the year this was celebrated on Matador's 'Casual Victim Pile Austin 2010' compilation. This garage rock treasure trove has seen many of the then unsigned bands snapped up and gone on to release their first albums. This is how I was introduced to the Dikes of Holland. (Track 'Little City Girl' featured on said compilation and isn't on this new record.)

Just last month Sundae Records released Dikes of Hollands' debut self titled LP, with art work by Jeff Swanson. Recorded by John Paul Bohon at the band's home studio, The Neck Beard Ranch, it sure does sounds like these guys rolled up, plugged in and belted the 11 songs out. In its energy the record brings the Carbonas stuff to mind. Make no mistake though, 'Dikes of Holland' is a solid party garage rock piece. The quintet amalgamates that familiar jangly sound that can be heard in contemporary acts, (Harlem are a one of my favourites for that) and 80s garage rock revival. Spewing catchy-as-hell hooks and unrelenting clobbering rhythms Dikes of Holland morphs 30 minutes of your time into a pummeling party. One for the Christmas list.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tyvek 'Nothing Fits'

Looking around the ICA's bookshop recently I stumbled on some short essays by John Berger, the first of which was on Van Gogh. Berger wrote about the inspiration Van Gogh found in everyday objects, people and scenes. He made art out of the mundane and environment that surrounded him. This got me thinking about Detroit's Tyvek. Even down to prosaically naming the group after a polyethylene fiber, it's these banal details of normal life that Tyvek take their queues from.

The new line up of the band, now a quartet must have discovered Wire in their formative years and channel that pummeling fury from 'Pink Flag' into second full length 'Nothing Fits', which even tears open with a blistering '4-3-1-2'! Full of feedback and distortion, 'Nothing Fits' should not be confused with lo-fi. Tyvek extracts the charged hostility from their first record and distills it into a concise 30 minute punk record.

Following a slew of flawless 7"s and debut LP there may be some who are apprehensive about 'Nothing Fits', can it be as good as their first? Is it possible to do a song I love even more than 'Honda' or 'Frustration Rock'?! When something is this good you don't need to question it, when you hear it, those speculations will be forgotten. Tyvek have gone and outdone themselves. These 12 new songs break down the boring and frustrating parts of the daily grind into brilliant 1:18 punk bursts. Don't over think it, you'll be sorry for not buying this record. In with a bullet one of my favorite releases of the year.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Doozer 'Great Explorers'

Originally released here in the UK on Pickled Eggs Records, (Le Bleu, Daniel Johnston)
Cambridge's The Doozer has found a new home across the pond aptly at Siltbreeze following an introduction to the label from Matt Valentine (Tower Recordings). The one man act has already earned accolades from Byron Coley and Thurston Moore for second album 'Great Explorers'. The Doozer has drawn many comparisons to Syd Barrett, and sure it totally makes sense, for me though the first artists that came to mind were Tommy Jay and Ron House. But you get the idea nevertheless. His loner psyched out folk is completely hypnotic, full of drum machines accompanied with assuaging vocals and seamlessly incorporates spoken word passages throughout the songs. 'Great Explorers' is an outsider artist psych folk gem. Limited to a 500 pressing with download.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Just before 6th album 'Males' hit the streets in August Intelligence launched a new project 'Puberty' and announced on Facebook that 'We Are Recording'! The Seattle based outfit are; Lars Finberg (ex A Frames, Intelligence), Susanna Welbourne (Intelligence), Drew Church, Curtis James, Dave Hernandez, Ryan Leyva and Mike Jawarski. So far, demos are available to hear on Facebook where they pledge their own genre of 'Sewer Pop'. There's an undeniable creepy underbelly to Puberty. Trance like, unaffected boy/girl vocals delivered in eerie two part harmonies are consistent through the 4 songs. 'Invitations' in all of it's slinky glory is a stand out track for sure, while 'Haunt My Trash' kinda reminds me of TV Ghost a little. Remembering, these are still demos of material it's going to be awesome to hear the finished product, as new band Puberty is hitting all the right spots - for this blogger anyway...

Friday, November 5, 2010

Super Wild Horses 'Fifteen'

Super Wild Horses is the latest band budding from the garages, basements and bedrooms of Australia's humming music scene. Their debut full length 'Fifteen' is out on 'Aarght!' in Australia, and HoZac for everywhere else. Amy Franz and Hayley Mckee make up the girl duo both playing keyboards, guitar and drums. The girls have already toured with the likes of Jon Spencer, The Drones and Eddy Current Suppression Ring. Mikey Young of ECSR also recorded their first (sold out) EP and went on to work on 'Fifteen' as well. 'Fifteen' is full of playful two part harmonies, minimalistic post punk wrapped up with 90s a pop feel to it. The Breeders, Black Tambourine both come to mind, but some of their songs wouldn't sound out of place on a Wetdog record either. These 12 new killer songs show just what these girls are capable of while being fun and unassuming at the same time, which makes the record that much more endearing.

Read full review of Fifteen - Super Wild Horses on Boomkat.com ©

Monday, October 25, 2010

Black Mamba Beat

Ever since killer 'Work That Skirt/Black Mamba Beat' split tape made its way around stereos in 2008, it's the height of understatement to say I was excited for this debut full length. And here it is! Courtesy of Jeektune Records the self titled first album from Black Mamba Beat is here! Celebrating it's release recently at Ryans' Bar, the London based South African band boasts none other than Mr Stix of the mighty Black Time as one of its members. Sure, it's fair to say if you like Black Time you'll dig Black Mamba Beat, but don't be surprised to find differences between the two. Scratchy guitars and lofi recordings are consistent with Black Time stuff, but, Black Mamba Beat is dominated by male vocals and takes post-punk in a pop-py direction. Featuring 'Where Was I?' and 'Indigo Skatecamp' from the the cassette plus ten new head bashing songs, Chief Sosati (guitar, vocals), Space Rat (Bass, vocals) and Rosie Skinz (drums) are some of UK's DIY finest. It seems few and far between with the sheer volume of records that get put out every day now, that you get excited before something comes out, save up money and go get it right on the release date - like we used to right? Black Mamba Beat is one of those bands that created that for me, may be they will for you too, I don't know...

"BLACK MAMBA(Dendroaspis polylepis) is an elapid snake and is one of Africa's most dangerous snakes. It has been known to arrive at parties and inject patrons with its venomous beer bite which causes people to headbang or shake a tail feather, the "fuck it, let's have fun" ingredient in the venom eradicates all pretense and pose. Ingredients of said venom include obsession with Minutemen econo ethics, Beat Happenin' beats, CCR and Mat's flannel. “We walk like the lion!! We got the BEAT!”"

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Cheap Time 'Fanstastic Explanations (And Similar Situations'

The wait is over! 'Fantastic Explanations (And Similar Situations)', follow up to 2008's universally loved debut from Cheap Time is out on In The Red. In the 10 or so years Jeffrey Novak has been releasing material, his song writing style has unfolded from his first project Jeffrey Novak's One Man Band, to teeth shattering Rat Traps stuff, to ritzy self released 'After the Ball'. The slew of Cheap Time's first singles on Douchemaster and Sweet Rot saw all of this rolled into one with sneaky references to Big Star, Milk 'n' Cookies and Redd Kross. Mixing 70s rock with contemporary garage punk using power pop to facilitate their inspiration, Cheap Time creates an irresistible glittering modern kind of glam-punk-watchimacallits. It's become something of internet fodder that original engineer Mike McHugh suffered a breakdown and chucked the band out of the studio at gunpoint during the recording of 'Fantastic Explanations'. The tapes were retrieved and then finished by Earle Mankey (ex Sparks). I'm a believer that the mistakes and screw ups can play just as (if not more than) an important part in art being made - and in this case, not that I like reading that people were held at gunpoint mind, Mankey has helped make one hell of a record. Highlights 'Down the Tube' and 'I'd Rather Be Alone'. This record is available exclusively in this stratosphere, as in world wide, as in right now!

Read full review of Fantastic Explanations (and Similar Situations) - Cheap Time on Boomkat.com ©

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Rayon Beach 'Memory Teeth'

Can't stop, won't stop HoZac Records does it again. Already boasting a release from Austin's illustrious music scene Woven Bones, Rayon Beach is the newest edition originating in the southern state to the Hozac cannon. 'Memory Teeth' is another example of how the label has an uncanny knack of sniffing out garage rock gems. Six adrenaline pumped face melting songs mixes Swell Maps, Pink Floyd and track 'Wave Pool Ether' wouldn't sound out of place on a Spacemen 3 record. 'Memory Teeth's' exotic-garage-psychedelica is totally worth your time. 550 of 1st pressing. Hozac please, do it again, and again and again!!!

Read full review of Memory Teeth - Rayon Beach on Boomkat.com ©

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Nobunny 'First Blood'

I mean to employ no sort of hyperbole when I say that this is easily one of my favorite albums of the year, and it's only been spinning at home, in the car and on my iPod too, for merely a week. Nobunny wraps up decades worth of musical history into two, three minute garage pop songs. The fact Nobunny's influences are unabashedly laid bare makes everything feel less precious and more fun. 'First Blood' pays homage to acts like Chuck Berry, Hasil Adkins and Buddy Holly while standing out entirely on its own. What separates this new album from his first is introducing slower tracks like 'Breathe'. Ever since it was brought up that it kinda sounds like a New Pornographers song, I can't seem to shake it outta my head because they kinda have a point. These incredibly tight pop songs' accessibility is proving to serve Nobunny well as his relentless touring is reaching newer audiences.

'First Blood' touches on personal subject matter in some songs, but here it's not all about being serious but keeping your chin up and having a good time. The party stompers are aplenty like 'Live It Up', 'Do The (Fuck Yourself)' and a new version of the 'Motorhead With Me' 7" is on here too. Piano parts are still a key to the songs, especially on 'Never Been Kissed' that brings you right back to the 50's. The album winds down with a low rubbery bass 'I Was On (The Bozo Show)'. It merges the kind of free ring circus experienced at his (amazing!) live shows to record and before you know it, you're wondering where that 25 minutes disappeared to and you go back for more. Nobunny loves you? WE LOVE YOU NOBUNNEEEE!

Read full review of First Blood - Nobunny on Boomkat.com ©

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Grass Widow 'Pass Times'

They had me with their cover of Urinals 'Black Hole'.

The all girl three piece from San Francisco have an album and EP (Make a Mess and Captured Tracks respectively) already under their belts. 'Past Time' released on the renowned Kill Rock Stars label is their sophomore offering. Astral harmonies and frenetic drums instantly bring Young Marble Giants to mind. Grass Widows aren't challenging that in any way, rather bringing new blood to a type of music that has seen quite a resurgence lately. There's so much going on in the album repeated listens means you'll continuously find new things to love about this 25 minute stunner.

Read full review of Past Time - Grass Widow on Boomkat.com ©

Wounded Lion 'Wounded Lion'

This year saw the release of LA based Wounded Lion's self title debut. Formed in 2005 Wounded Lion is; Brad Eberhard (vocals, guitar, drums), Jun Ohnuki (bass, drums, organ, percussion), Monty Buckles (drums, guitar), Raffi Kalenderian (vocals, percussion, bass), Shant Kalenderian (guitar, bass, vocals). The group made up of painters, film makers and graphic designers somehow found time between other musical projects Lamps, Intelligence, Sic Alps and the Rebel to bring us a slew of releases on SS Records, Gilgongo and In The Red.

Wound Lion's line up of multi-media, multi-instrumentalist artists may read kinda like there's potential for the music to get bogged down with too many cooks in the kitchen, but any sense of complication does end there. The band delivers simple, unconcerned, playful songs. Clocking in at 35 minutes, the record is built on no frills garage pop hooks which are repetitive but alter slightly from track to track breaking up the album. And sure, if you're looking for it you'll hear the Lamp and Intelligence connections. But don't be surprised if it's not that obvious - and that's meant in the best possible way. The lyrics sound like they've been filtered down from lots of ideas, through a sieve and what we're left with is a simplified idea in the form of a word or two - like word collages. There are parts where William S. Burroughs 'Naked Lunch' seems relevant to the record. Again, the ideas seem like they may have come from a complicated place but, the goal is simplicity and with that each listen of this album is more and more rewarding as the possibilities of interpretation are endless.

Read full review of Wounded Lion - Wounded Lion on Boomkat.com ©

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Kitchen's Floor 'Loneliness Is a Dirty Mattress'

Because you'd hate to miss out on a great underground Australian record, Kitchen's Floor is the latest installment of the Gilded Gutter blog.

'Loneliness is a Dirty Mattress' is the first full length after a debut EP, from the three piece based in Brisbane on R.I.P Society. Right off the back of the success of his previous band Look!Pond Matthew Kennedy fronts Kitchen's Floor, with Julia Norris (Gutters) on drums and Glen Schenau (Carl Marx) on base. Choleric boy/girl vocals and repetitive musical arrangements recorded with a tin-y quality - in a The Fall meets Black Time meets Naked on the Vague way.

This was one of those records where you know, it was bought having never heard it or of the band. Now, it has been played nonstop in my house since it arrived at my door courtesy of Volcanic Tongue. It's a noisy record and your neighbors probably won't like you blasting it in your room - but you know you've got a good'en when some bangs on your wall to turn it off right?!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Sibyle Baier 'Colour Green'

First album from Germany's unsung folk gem Sibylle Baier has now been reissued thanks to the efforts of a few people close to the singer/actress.

A road trip with a friend in the 70s traveling through the Alps inspired Baier to write her first song 'Remember the Day'. Songs compiled from recordings she made at home between 1970-1973 on a reel to reel device became album 'Colour Green'. Since completing the recording Sibylle Baier has appeared in Wim Wenders' 1973 film Alice in the Cities, and her music featured in Umarmungen und andere Sachen in 1975. However, raising a family became her priority so she gave up music and acting, moved to America concentrating on motherhood. It was her son Robby who got a copy into the hands of J Mascis in 2004, who then sent it on to Orange Twin records. Until it's released in 2006 only her circle of friends and family had heard 'Colour Green'.

Ethereal, from start to finish the album is warm, melancholy and resonates. She tends to be compared to Vashti Bunyan and yeah, they're both folk musicians who achieved success a little after the fact. Jumping forward a bit, Chan Marshall fans may enjoy this record. Baier has a unique voice in her own right though and simply comparing her to someone else isn't doing her justice. The songs are eloquent and sung in a captivating, lamenting tone. The most charming thing about the record is its humbleness and the unassuming nature of the artist.

Today, the official website for Baier set up by her son, seems like she shy's away from the accolades the album has earned her. But, the site also teases that a second album is on the way.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

U.S Girls 'Go Grey'

Megan Remy (aka U.S Girls) is back with 2nd album 'Go Grey' on Siltbreeze.

Remy translates her muses; R&B and British 60s pop, into oblique New Wave with a pop flair. Sure, sometimes it seems like a natural progression to clean up the recording on a follow up record when time and resources maybe on the artists' side. However, Remy embraces the stark noise so don't be surprised to find songs even more abrasive than before. Vocals remain a prominent role in 'Go Grey' and nihilism fiends won't be disappointed as this new record is equally as morose as her first. Stand out tracks lined up back to back on the album; 'Red Ford Radio', 'Sleeping on Glass' and 'I don't have a mind of my own'.

U.S Girls first album 'Introducing U.S Girls' was recorded in Portland 2008, where another album was also being released; Grouper's career defining third record 'Dragging a Dead Deer Up a Hill'. These two records arguably helped propel contemporary solo female artists in today's music underworld. Thinking about the success of Sacred Bone's Zola Jesus, it's fair to say a niche had started with U.S Girls and Grouper to allow artists like Nika Roza to grow. All three have definitively unmatched voices but tied together with their unique interpretations of isolation. I will be spending the rest of my summer scouring the internet for new blood in female soloists, there's more right? Tell me there's more...

Monday, June 28, 2010

She 'Outta Reach'

Sacramento 60s girl group's material archived on Causeway Records.

The first side is under the name 'She'. Side B is from material 'The Hairem' - the earlier version of the band. 'Outta Reach' is limited to 550 copies with different colour paste on covers.

Primitive garage punk, with slinky songs that ooze attitude. Think The Fabulous Stains, Shocking Blue, The Shangri-Las.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Dead Luke 'American Haircut'


From tortured Troggs 'I Want You' cover to warped synthesized rendition of 'Jump Jack Flash' Dead Luke's songs have always packed a wallop. Intensity is what Dead Luke does and it's still intact, but don't be surprised if there's less of the in-yer-face synth action, and more mellowed out psych jams on new album 'American Haircut' on Florida's Dying.

Loner blues songs are delivered with a middle-eastern-mantra quality to them. And sure, you could say this sounds like it has a little Sun City Girl influence in it especially on 'Dream pt. 3' and 'Acid Forest', and what's wrong with that?!

The album oozes with moodiness and nihilism and while it may be argued this isn't a summer record, I actually find it quite perfect - this is coming from a person who is miserable in the heat mind...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Zulu Stomp!!

New Garage Rock compilation is out on No Smoke hot off the heels of the mind blowing Ngozi Family '45,000 Volts' reissue.

The same label previously released two Garage Rock compilations 'Cazumbi', covering bands from a variety of regions of Africa. 'Zulu Stomp!!' Exclusively celebrates South Africa with mid sixties, psyched out, garage rock stompers. The western influence on the songs is palpable in both language and experimentation with guitars.

It's been a fetish to get as many garage rock compilations as possible around these parts. Just when it seemed the bottom of the barrel had been scrapped No Smoke true to form, come out with another knock out release. Yes, it's probably more than you'd normally spend on an LP, Yes, it will sell out and Yes, it's totally worth your time.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Woven Bones 'In and Out and Back Again'

In little over a year Austin's Woven Bones have delivered a celebrated 4 singles, one 12" and earned a spot on Matador's 2010'Casual Victim Pile' compilation. So, the anticipation for a full length these seething garage rock releases inexorably led to is warranted, but not all the surprising.

'In and Out and Back Again' has just come out on HoZac. The LP is super consistent in itself and compared to their other releases. Their signature heartbeat-throbbing rhythms, mixed with Andrew Burrs unaffected vocals makes the album for a heavy, catatonic listen. Sure, they've tweaked a few things here and there. Overall, 'In and Out and Back Again' is indicative to songs heard on the 'Minus Touch' EP. Clocking in at around 35 minutes, this record was tailor made for an evening at home with some time to kill.

Read full review of In and Out and Back Again - Woven Bones on Boomkat.com ©

Friday, June 4, 2010

Ty Segall 'Melted'

Ty Segall hasn't wasted anytime since his last release. A lot has been said about Segall's one man band set up and age. From the get go, the records have warranted the hype and third album 'Melted' is no exception.

Signature Ty Segall stompers are mixed in with slow tempo tracks as he explores new songwriting. Clean guitars (electric and acoustic) are balanced through layers of fuzz bringing the influence of 60s garage together with today's DIY aesthetic. Ty invites pals mike donovan (Sic Alps), eric bauer, tim hellman, jigmae baer, emily rose, John Dwyer (Thee Oh Sees) and charlie moonheart to the party and overall produces more fully realized pop songs.

Read full review of Melted - Ty Segall on Boomkat.com ©

Yussuf Jerusalem 'Heart Full of Sorrow'

By the sounds of things, from a recent interview on Terminal Boredom Florida's Dying could never have anticipated the demand/success of this LP. Now, it looks like it may go into it's third pressing soon.

A Heart Full of Sorrow is an impressive debut from French musician Yussuf Jerusalem. 500 copies were initially pressed (white cover with black ink) and unsurprisingly sold out. The second pressing (white with black ink), is now gone too.

The aptly moody, prophetic black and silver sleeve makes Heart Full of Sorrow look like a metal record. Gripping opening track "Gilles De Rais" is just that. Abrasive, ear-piercing guitar screeches, pummeling drums and evil howling vocals are immediately arresting, reminiscent of a black metal album.

To say the following song is a dramatic change of pace is an understatement. It's like being picked up by the scruff of the neck then being thrown across a room and liking where you end up. "A Heart Full of Sorrow" is a weird Lo-Fi Folk song that sets the tone for the rest of the record.

Melodies as catchy as hell are shrouded with fuzz, reverbs and echoes creating lonely cave-like dwellings. This record oozes eeriness from every pore.

Pigeon-holing Yussuf Jerusalem as Lo-Fi, Indie or Metal is too facile. There are influences of Folk and 60s Garage woven into A Heart Full of Sorrow that give it depth and magic. Standout tracks include "We Ain't Coming Back" and "With You in Mind."

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Mirrors 'Something That Would Never Do'

Cleveland's Mirrors got the reissue treatment last year and one of their only 7"s has just been reissued! Something That Would Never Do is like a 'greatest hits' of songs recorded between '74 and '75. The elusive and solitary release (until now) 'Shirley' 45 on Hearthan (Pere Ubu's label) is also featured. Band members include Jim Jones (Easter Monkeys and Pere Ubu), Craig (Rocket from the Tombs and Styrenes), Paul Marotta (Styrenes) and founder Jamie Klimek. This essential collection of songs released on Velvet Times is packed with psychedelic-velvet-underground-pop-influenced-effortlessly-cool-jams...phew! With all the DIY/Lo-Fi/Thing-a-ma-jig bands popping up everywhere this reissue couldn't arrive at a more perfect time. There are only 800 available worldwide.

Just reissued 7" 'Shirley' can be found here:

Friday, May 28, 2010

Abner Jay

Can't stop won't stop Mississippi Records has reissued a second Abner Jay LP.

Solo musician Abner Jay played outsider blues songs through the 1920s until the 1990s. Self described as; "the last great Southern black minstrel show" he first got a taste for music when his grandfather, Louis W Jay who was born a slave, passed down a six string banjo to him. Jay was taught an enormous repertoire of songs which he would continue to play throughout his career. He toured ingeniously with a portable home that folded out into a stage.

His unusual and unique heartfelt blues/folk songs about politics, relationships, war, religion struck a chord with music lovers, collectors and critics alike.

Jay's records were originally released on his own label 'Brandie' (named after his wife). Following his death in 1993 original LP's on 'Brandie' would go for upwards of $100 a pop. Today, first pressings are even more rare than ever before.

To make his work freely available again, Subliminal Sounds were the first to reissue material on 'One Man Band' at a modest price. Then, last year Mississippi began contributing to archiving Jay's work as well at a cost that won't equal the sum of third world debt.

Oh and did I mention this is the second reissue on Mississippi? 'True Story of Abner Jay' is just as good as the recent 'The Original Folk Style of Abner Jay'. Always a sharp shooter; bleak, soulful hymns are delivered with the deepest sincerity and brilliant comical anecdotes. First track 'Depression' is accompanied with what sounds like a full band, fuller than the version on the previous LP 'I'm So Depressed'.

Abner Jay in his own words: 'World's Champion Cotton Picker and Pea Picker, World's Fastest Tobacco Crapper, World's Greatest Jaw Bone Player, World's Fastest Mule Skinner... THE WORLD'S WORSE BUSINESS MAN'.

Read full review of Folk Song Stylist - Abner Jay on Boomkat.com ©

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Kim Gordon 'Noise Painting's'

Kim Gordon's recent show at the McWhinnie Gallery NYC archived noise paintings, books, music memoriablia and poetry.

The images dealt with typography primarily. Gordon allows paint to be paint. Bleeding the medium on to the canvas creates letters that are not stylized. The shapes of the characters are undefined, the contours unbalanced, leaving nothing but possibility and a threat of disquiet.

The final pieces and inspiration behind them were all on display to look through. The paintings were strong pieces of work in their own right, and didn't necessarily need explaining. However, the show included the audience in the creative thought process; an intimate insight into the work a typical exhibition would not normally avow.

Masses of books by Philip K Dick were on show as well as cassette tapes and art catalogs, one most notably from Christopher Wool. The connection between Wool's work and Gordon's is palpable, the artist uninhibitedly referenced her muse, confident that her own voice will come through.

The show left me satisfied and hungry at the same time. Gaining knowledge to the inner workings of Gordon's finished pieces was fulfilling, the insight allowed me to take away more information and more questions then when I entered. 'Noise Paintings' also seemed like an opportunity for Gordon to reflect presently on where she stands creatively. Could this be a (for the lack of a better expression) pit stop where she's evaluating and recollecting thoughts before moving forward? I don't know, but that's what resonated with me after leaving the show.

Nerve City

New 6 track EP is unmistakably the work of Brooklyn's Sacred Bones. While the label has established itself for exploring all things dark and mysterious, you've heard nothing yet.

Nerve City is one guy based in Richmond Virginia/Florida. What sets 'Sleepwalker' aside from other releases on Sacred Bones is the pop elements in the songs. Sure, you can find pop at it's fullest dramatic expression on a Zola Jesus record, there's even quirky elements of pop in the Carl Simmons reissue.

'Sleepwalker's' jangly lo-fi bedroom rock stands out because of the regal folk quality to it. The EP is a far cry from previous releases by Nerve City. Material on Severed Hand, Kill Shaman, HoZac, and Sweet Rot (all now pretty much gone) were a lot more abrasive sounding more like Daily Void.

True to form the packaging is immaculate with a gorgeous screen print, making it feel even more compulsory to add to the collection.


John Savage: Secret Public

Collages, encapsulating British Punk aesthetic with music, politics and humor rolled into one made from the man how wrote 'England's Dreaming' and 'Teenage'. The show adhered to the spirit of DIY not only in the exhibition but the handmade prints and catalogs on offer too.

Here's the thing, the state of the art world presently is: bloated. Earlier this month Picasso's 'Nude, Green Leaves and Bust' was sold for $104.6 million at Christie's NY. This set a new world record for the most expensive piece of art work sold at an auction. The message sent out here is the art world is out of your reach, 104.6 million dollars out of your reach to be exact.

I LOVED the fact I could go to the John Savage show 'The Secret Public' (Boo-Hooray Gallery c/o Steven Kasher Gallery NY) where prints and limited edition catalogs (signed and unsigned varied price respectively) were on offer. Also, the work had two dimensions. It was aesthetically pleasing for people who prefer to take art on face value. The work was also thought provoking for those looking for it. Either way, whichever category you fit in - there was something for you to enjoy.

The point I'm trying to make is; the show was accessible to everyone. It didn't exclude a single person. If you wanted a piece of art work to take home you had the option without having to consider harvesting a kidney. It sent a clear and essential message art isn't just about how much money you can throw at a piece of work, or that formal education is required to appreciate it.

In short, this show is everything I admire in an exhibition and artist, my only grumble is that it closed much too soon!

Article from Dazed Digital with interview from John Savage:

Young Governor

Oh man, Ben Cook is one of those musicians where I love every record he puts out. Between exploring hardcore, folk and psych rock with Fucked Up and indie a la DIY with The Bitters, Young Governor is a side project he has had brewing since the beginning of 2009. Follow up to debut single "Virginia Creeper," easily one of my favorite 7"s of the year, is an EP Hidden Love on Parts Unknown.

Young Governor is a bit like a hybrid of Home Blitz and Jay Reatard if it were to be pigeon holed. Recently, there have been a lot of reviews for records citing bands like this and referencing punk/pop/DIY and you may be thinking this is no different. Let me tell you it is different! The six pummeling tracks on Hidden Love, fuses punk and pop together in a completely unique way. Rapid guitar and drum parts accompanied with melodic vocals are executed in a do-it-yourself aesthetic, creating an infectious and hyperactive EP.

He has two new singles out 'Cindy's Going to Save Me' and 'Bedtime Stories' showing a change of pace from this 'Hidden Love' EP.


Animals and Men

How much does this compilation RULE? Messthetics, true to form have released another essential and always epic collection.

Newest installment of the Messthetics series is from a DIY/Post Punk group based in Somerset, England. Revel in the Static, culled from Animals + Men demos and singles from '79 to '83 is compiled by renowned archivist Chuck Warner, who runs the Messthetics label.

The recordings on Revel in the Static are clear with the signature DIY guitar fuzz genius, unaffected female DIY vocals accompanied by minimal abrasive instruments. Highlights; "Man with the Steel Toe Shoes," "Don't Misbehave in the New Age" and "We Are Machines."

Revel in the Static is made for fans of Black Time.

This time last year, Animals + Men first got the reissue treatment from Mississippi on the Never Bought, Never Sold Singles from 79/83 LP. More recently, a six song 12" EP was released on Convulsive records.

Check out tracks here!

Read full review of Never Bought Never Sold - ANIMALS + MEN on Boomkat.com ©


I'm no doctor, but it seems that people have Zamrock FEVER lately!

Underground Zambian five-piece Witch originally released psych-rock gem, Lazy Bones!! on a small local label in 1975. A treasure trove of ‘Zamrock’ (Zambia + Rock = Zamrock!) was unearthed by collectors at the time after been turned on to Nigerian Afro Beat by Fela Kuti. Normal Records, with the permission of the soul surviving member of Witch, Emmanuel Jagari Chanda have given this record the reissue treatment.

This lo-fi blues album mixes punk/garage/wah wah guitars with African rhythms and it just hits the spot, you know? That album you can throw on, no matter what mood you're in, and it just fits. Fans of BLO, Ofege, the Nigeria Special compilations and Chrissy Zebby will not be disappointed here; it's even better than those records! Stand out tracks are; "'Strange Dream," "Tooth Fairy" and "Off Ma Boot's."

Included here are the liner notes on the back of the album I enjoyed them so much I thought you might too:

"If you're feeling depressed, low, disturbed, irritable, out-of-sorts, sad, frustrated or wildly demented, then folks, we suggest you seek out a quiet place, indulge in some soothing meditation and cut away that headache by listening to this inspirational album (we've even included a copy of our lyrics to assist those who have difficulty in understanding the messages we transmit, in the hope that this will help them dig the LP in total). We would also like to extend our thanks to all those who have supported us in the past - we wish you well, brothers and sisters. To those of you who have been unkind and deliberately troublesome, we suggest you go jump in the lake specially featured for you on our cover. In closing, a special tribute to our collaborator Shaddick Bwalya for his tremendous contribution to this album."


Wet Dog 'Frauhaus'

London based trio follow up their 2008 debut on Angular (Long Blondes, These New Puritans) with sophomore album Frauhaus. Wetdog have brought their DIY synth/new wave pop aptly across the pond and found a home at Brooklyn's Captured Tracks. Playful and full of attitude, Frauhaus's post-punk authenticity has the potential to seduce its audience into believing the recording has come straight from 1977. Rivka Gillieron, Sarah Datblygu and Billy Easter deliver atonal harmonies and angular, spiky guitars. Lead singer Rivka's choleric vocals recall bands like Au Pairs, and Animals & Men. Post-punk and DIY are genres that have both been saturated lately with a revival, but Wetdog aren’t trying to be innovators; they’re new blood having some fun. Stand out tracks are "Tidy up Your Bedroom" and "Womens' Final."

The girls have also released a video for the track "Lower Leg" taken from the same album. Concept, filmed and directed by Wetdog, edited by Margarita Louca.



A Frames most recent LP Black Forest on Sub Pop made the band new favorites for noise rock, and also helped secure a release of their new project on the same label. Climax Golden Twins have released a wealth of records over the past 17 years which has well established the duo in the experimental music realm. Three parts of AF and two parts CGT join together and do not disappoint with this unexpected, but not all that surprising supergroup AFCGT.

Pushing aside hype surrounding their previous work whether it was due to a short amount of studio time, or just seeing where the music will take them (I prefer to think it's the latter), avoids running things through a fine tooth comb, and just delivers the jams.

Ten minute triumph "Two Legged Dog" makes me think, if "Apocalypse Now" could be put in to one song it would be this. Endlessness, despair, paranoia are all wrapped up in this epic song. The guitars resonate; psychedelic riffs and sludgy noise off each other as the drums just keep marching unrelentingly on.

"Nacht" has this Moroccan swagger to it. This is the only song with vocals which mumble incoherently recalling the sort of abstraction found on a Swans or Sun City Girls record.

Check out songs here!

Hole Class

Part Times New Viking, part Eat Skull make fuzzy pop songs together. Don't overthink this; it's a fantastic record to listen to over and over again. Songs are really simple even down to the titles – "Socks and Shoes" and "Horsies." Hole Class has this dark underbelly to it that is balanced by sweet pop-style melodies and innocence in the simplicity in execution of the record. "True Temper" and "Place like All" even have sing-a-long qualities to them. This is definitely a record that keeps giving on every listen.

Check out songs here!

Magik Markers/Sic Alps 12"

Somebody pinch me. I couldn't believe my luck when I found this, Magik Markers and Sic Alps on one 12".

The A side is written by gritty noise poppers Sic Alps, with help from Ty Segall and Lars Finberg (Intelligence). The stand out thing for me is abrasive noise in the first track. "Guxxe Bathe Ballade" is filtered out gradually through their three songs here. "The Greatest" which closes side A, by comparison to "Guxxe Bathe Ballade" is softer and clearer while the abrasiveness disappears, melodies surface coming through stronger. You might hear this too, I don't know.

B side features shredding drone makers Magik Markers, whose most recent full length on Drag City Balf Quarry is hands down my number one album of 2009. Elisa Ambrogio's reverb-ed vocals howl through psychedelic guitars and hypnotic bass parts on opening song "The Diamond Guitar of Tico Feo." "White Map Laid with White Ink" is a total jam and Pete Nolan's phenomenal drumming seems completely effortless here. Side B closes with Kraut Rock-esque "Tighten One and Loosen the Other."

I believe the first pressing of the EP (pink) was limited to 600 copies and is now sold out. You can still find the second pressing (blue) around though.