Sunday, December 30, 2012

Bedwettin' Bad Boys "Bite My Tongue"

Crawlspace have unveiled the first track from upcoming Bedwettin' Bad Boys LP 'Ready For Boredom'.  "Bite My Tongue" plays outside the margins of melody heavy power pop and time-honoured indie sounds.  This teaser is unbelievably infectious and sets hopes very high that 'Ready For Boredom' is going to get 2013 started off right.  

Copies in Australia from R.I.P Society
Copies in America from Easter Bilby Distro

It's also worth noting Raw Prawn have their highly anticipated first single out on the same day, you can find copies in the links above.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Freakapuss/Sic Alps split 7"

New split single out on Drag City features Freakapuss (Zarjaz formerly of Tronics) and Sic Alps.  Freakapuss designs a cosmic opus about golden elephants, crazy experiments and jeweled rock pools in track "Here Today Here Tomorrow".   This side of the single plays out feel good rock 'n' roll guitar alongside bongos, with cerebral teasing lyrics adding a psychedelic twist to the track.  Elements from the verse are depicted in Unica Zurn-esque drawings on an eye grabbing sleeve, a fitting image for Freakapuss' first vinyl release.  Regarding the reverse side Sic Alps offer up "New Trawgs III" featuring sun-kissed guitars, hand percussion and strung out vocals.  "New Trawgs III" follows on nicely from "Here Today Here Tomorrow" in its rock swagger and stripped down approach.  The cohesiveness of this release shows Freakapuss and Sic Alps a perfect pairing for a split single, well worth grabbing a copy.

UK copies here
US copies here

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Toy Love 'Live At The Gluepot'

In December of 1978 Chris Knox, Mike Dooley and Alec Bathgate of Dunedin legends The Enemy formed a new band, they recruited Jane Walker and Paul Kean into the fold and Toy Love was born. The five-piece hit the ground running and played their first gig in January 1979 at Zwines, Auckland. At this debut gig Toy Love showcased material that drew from The Enemy’s punk rock roots whilst introducing indie and pop elements into their songs.  

Toy Love began recording just a month later, all the while persevering with performing; their first tour kicked off in April at The Gladstone Hotel, Paul recalls; ““full house” at the Gladstone Hotel where fans climbed in windows, ensuring it became standing room only.” 

In July debut single ‘Rebel/Squeeze’ was recorded with Glyn Tucker at Mandrill Studios and got released later that summer.  Chris’s lyrics were consistently provoking throughout Toy Love's material,  “Rebel was a protest song of sorts while - like Squeeze - admitting that the author of the tirade was pretty similar to the object of his scorn”.  The songs focused on girls, boys, lust and frustration, "and the more literary stuff that tried to inhabit another's skull", Chris says about anthemic tune “Pull Down The Shades” which has now been covered by the likes of Jay Reatard and Sharp Balloons

The band continued to tour.  Their shows became so well loved that at one show in Cook Hotel underage kids lined up deck chairs by open windows of the venue just to catch their set.  In November Toy Love crafted demos at Mascot Studios with Tucker at the helm, these 14 tracks would become ‘Cuts’.  At this time Toy Love signed to Deluxe Records based in Sydney, Australia. 

The troupe played more shows, in January 1980 they performed to 40,000 people at Sweetwaters Festival opening for Elvis Costello and the Attractions.  Hot off the heels of that show Toy Love returned to Mandrill Studio and made second single for Deluxe “Don’t Ask Me/Sheep, with Tucker joined this time by Todd Hunter.

Touring continued, and in March Toy Love played a farewell gig in New Zealand just before moving to Australia.  The show was at Windsor Castle, Jane remembers; "Chris walking out across the tables at the Windsor with a long mike lead and a deranged fan trying to strangle him with it, The farewell gig at the Windsor before going to Sydney where we invited all the bands we knew to get up and play a song. Mike the skeleton suit man gave us all a bottle of tequila each and Chris gave himself a radical haircut on stage."  Mike’s account of the show; “Some memorable gigs include those at The Windsor Castle (on one occasion fans were swinging from the light fittings while at the farewell gig we gave the door take back across the bar - it’s surprising how quickly a whole bar-full of people can become inebriated)".

(photo from bands myspace)
Almost as soon as they’d moved to Australia Toy Love took to the stage, Jane observed varying reactions, "The mixed look of horror/wonderment on the faces of our (new) management company when we played our first gig in Sydney, not to mention punters and press. They’d only heard recordings and I don’t think were prepared for the live assault with all its black humour." Australia was a challenge for the band although they had a core loyal following Toy Love went largely under-appreciated.   Chris noted, "Toy Love set about conquering New Zealand by 1979 before being washed up 18 months later in a sea of indifference in Sydney, Australia."

In June 1980 Toy Love recorded a full length album at Studio 301 for EMI Records.  The challenge was to capture the raw energy they forged on stage on to record, it’s now largely written about how the album did not turn out as planned. Jane recounts, “Now here’s the rub - translating the energy and madness of our live performances when in the studio was a huge challenge. Of all the studio recording that we did, the LP sessions were easily the hardest -the pressure was on. Recorded at EMI studios in Sydney during downtime (towards midnight onwards), we had a two week break from gigging to get the album down. There was a brief respite (which included more gigs!) before going back to mix it. I don’t really know what happened between mixing and the cutting to vinyl but somehow the arse had dropped out of the whole thing. I cried when I heard the test pressing." 

In an interview Mike Dooley, Jane Walker and Alec Bathgate gave after receiving the Herald Legacy Award recently they spoke about only having the option of signing to a major at the time.   They went on to say how a few years after they broke up independent labels started to flourish and if the group had had backing of someone who understood the aesthetic, Toy Love may have been a different sort of band.

Over the summer they continued to play shows, 27 more if you're still counting!  Their third single “Bride of Frankenstein” hit the shelves in New Zealand, a song that Chris confesses was the most challenging to write, "the rhythm was weird and the syllabic count was high. I've still got two complete sets of lyrics that didn't make the grade, third time lucky - and going back to my long held adoration of ancient horror films".

In August Toy Love did their final New Zealand tour to promote their album, their very last show was Septemeber 10th at Mainstreet and shortly afterwards quietly disbanded.  In 18 months they played nearly 500 shows, released an album and 3 singles.
In the aftermath Chris and Alec began formed Tall Dwarfs.  Mike played guitar in The Dri Horrors, and returned to drumming for a tour with The Snapper.  Jane moved around doing sound-mixing, playing shows with Static, Gridlock and The Purple Gang.  Paul moved to Christchurch and did soundmixing mostly for bands on Flying Nun, then became bassist for The Bats in 1983.  Toy Love’s legacy was revived by Flying Nun in April of 2005 with the release of 'Cuts' putting the band back on the map where they belong.
Goner Records have released this live album made in September 1980 at The Gluepot in Ponsonby, Auckland just before the band broke up. It's fitting this album has been released as Toy Love's live performances are an instrinsic element in the make up of their songs and they've strived to capture this on record since the beginning. Doug Hood Toy Love’s soundman, recorded the show and Steve McGough of Stebbings in New Zealand has mastered the tracks.

This new album is a snapshot of the mayhem and brilliance of Toy Love’s live shows.  Personal highlights for me are "Don't Catch Fire" and "Sheep" for the urgency, chaos and joy that comes out of those recordings.  For those of us who weren’t there it’s a great glimpse of what Toy Love’s world must have been like on stage at that time.  I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how bands can put their heart and soul into something and might feel like there's nothing to show for their efforts sometimes.  But this is a great example of how it does matter to try – call me hopelessly optimistic but you can see right here with this record one day people may care and it matters to give it a shot.

You can find copies here 
Research Sources : Toy Love's Website plus interviews found online, all hyper-linked above

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Blank Realm 'Go Easy'

Australian quartet Blank Realm have returned with a new full length called 'Go Easy' (Bedroom Suck/Siltbreeze).  This new album follows up 2010's well loved 'Heartless Ark' (Not Not Fun) which was a bleak, improvisational piece recorded in a barn on the fringes of Brisbane suburbia.  In contrast 'Go Easy' delivers rich, bright sounds with a more high-fidelity approach drawing from a spectrum of genres explored through Blank Realm's tilt for noise.  At the crux of the songs are guitar, synths, drums, bass accompanied by girl and boy vocals against sheets of distortion.  Opener "Acting Strange" surges with guitar fuzz in full force alongside delay heavy vocals -- with things cooling off right after with curiously serene number "Cleaning Up My Mess", featuring otherworldly keys that continue to breeze through the album.  Standout track "Pendulum Swing" features oscillating beats at the core steadily gathering momentum through swells of distortion from swirling guitars before brilliantly collapsing.  This album pursues rock, pop and punk coloured by the experimentalism of psychedelia.  Blank Realm's ability to transforming sounds we know and love into something fresh and exhilarating attests that, they are one of the most compelling bands around today.

Blank Realm Facebook

Friday, December 7, 2012

Picks of 2012

Here are my highlights from 2012.   Things aren't quite over yet for this year, some really great records have come out lately that ended up on here and will be following up with a few posts on those soon - but for now just wanted to share with you some my personal favourites from the last 12 months...

1.  Slug Guts 'Playin' In Time With The Deadbeat' (Sacred Bones)
1.  Goat 'World Music' (Rocket Recordings)
1.  The Pheromoans 'Does This Guy Stack Up' (Upset The Rhythm) 
1.  Madscene 'Blip' (Siltbreeze)    
1.  The Men Open Your Heart' (Sacred Bones)   
1.  Blank Realm 'Go Easy' (Bedroom Suck/Siltbreeze)
1.  Toy Love 'Live At The Gluepot (Goner) 
1.  Cheater Slicks 'Reality Is A Grape' (Columbus Discount)
1.  Ex-Cult 'Ex-Cult' (Goner)
1.  Ty Segall 'Twins' (Drag City) 
1.  Tyvek 'On Triple Beams' (In The Red)

Gene Clark 'One In A Hundred/She's The Kind Of Girl' (Sundazed)
Mikal Cronin 'Tide' (Goner)
Nobunny 'Maximum Rock 'n' Roll EP' (Goner)
Pink Reason 'Ache For You' (Savage Quality Recordings)
Total Control 'Scene From A Marriage' (Sub Pop)

Sibylle Baier 'Colour Green' (Orange Twin)
feedtime 'Aberrant Years' (Sub Pop)
Lee Hazlewood 'The LHI Years: Singles, Nudes & Backsides' (Light In The Attic)
'Time To Go The Southern Psychedelic Moment: 1981-1986' (Flying Nun)
Tronics 'Love Backed By Force'

(with some snaps I took at the gigs)

Yussuf Jerusalem - L'inattendu, Paris 11th February

 Goat - The Lexington 19th October

Black Time - The Others 29th June

Country Teasers - Power Lunches 26th January

Ty Segall - The Dome 2nd August

King Tuff - Shacklewell Arms 11th September

Mikal Cronin - Shacklewell Arms 11th June

Hunx & His Punx - Birthdays 14th May 

Excepter - Cafe Oto 24th July

Places To Eat
Marina Bar Curry House - Finchley
Honest Burger - Brixton
Blackbird Cafe - East Dulwich
Kati Roll - Soho
Scoop Ice-cream
Falafel cart on North End Road, Fulham Market
Amersham Kebab House, Buckinghamshire
Boothes Corner, Stoke Newington
Honest Burger, Brixton Market

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Sonic Youth 'Smart Bar Chicago 1985'

Goofin' records has unearthed one, if not the, earliest known live recording of Sonic Youth.  Predominantly, the tracks are from 'Bad Moon Rising' and these live versions wonderfully capture the improvisational quality of the band adding a new dimension to studio recordings we've come to know so well.  Raucous guitars, savage vocals, forthright drums alongside audience banter drifting in and out of focus create a great sense of chaos throughout the album. Two 4-track recordings were made at Chicago's Smart Bar in 1985.  The first by Rich Menning from Atomic Records, who only realized he'd accidentally left the tape deck on pause half way through the first song, the second recording was by Aadam Jacobs - this live album is an amalgamation of both tapes.  Personal favourites on here are 'Death Valley '69', 'Brother James' and 'The Burning Spear'.  Like so many other people out there I'm my sure Sonic Youth are one of my favourite bands, and for me 'Smart Bar Chicago 1985' isn't just a great document of the band for fans, it's also a great live album.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Talk Normal 'Sunshine'

Talk Normal have returned with new full length 'Sunshine' on Joyful Noise.  The jarring and brash approach that made 'Sugarland' a stand out album in 2009 remains at the core, but also introduces a few lush and bright sounds into the mix.  From start to finish the album brims with tension from militant beats, siren guitars, chanting vocals and intermittent hissing effects, best shown on title track "Sunshine".  It's this fierce approach that fittingly expresses their despondent point of view.  Another highlight is "Shot This Time" featuring unhinged vocals apace with rattled rhythms and contorted, grinding guitars driving distortion to its limits.  Talk Normal are a band staying true to their New York No Wave roots whilst forging their own distinct presence in this league.  This is a great follow up album and noise-fiends - if you haven't had a chance to check their stuff out yet well worth your time.  There's limited pink vinyl, cassette, double LP and CD versions available that you can get from them on Talk Normals website.

Talk Normal Facebook Twitter Website

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Kitchen's Floor 'Bitter Defeat/Down'

New single 'Bitter Defeat/Down' by Australia's Kitchen's Floor has just come out on Negative Guestlist Records.  The initial versions of 'Bitter Defeat' and 'Down' were recorded back in February, however the untimely passing of NGR founder Brendon Annesley motivated alternate versions of both tracks sounding like a sort of cathartic exercise.  These new songs are fittingly even more bleak than past material utilizing sparse acoustic guitars, morose keys and minimal rhythms accompanied by ruminative echo-heavy vocals. A new video filmed by the band is up for 'Bitter Defeat', the third music video filmed in Matt Kennedy's home, a building that dates back a century and has hosted DIY shows for local acts.  Copies are available over at Negative Guestlist Bandcamp - download comes with an extra song too.

Kitchen's Floor Bandcamp Facebook

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Pink Reason 'Ache For You'

Nearly ten years in and Pink Reason has two stellar records and a slew of singles under his belt - all on some great labels like Columbus Discount, Florida's Dying, Almost Ready and Siltbreeze. From earlier recordings like 'Clean The Mirror' to new single 'Ache For You' one can see ideas and songwriting evolve whilst the grit, the dirt, the damage remain at the crux of songs that shoot from the side lines.

'Ache For You' is a savage love song featuring a cacophony razor guitars, howling vocals and fierce rhythms. Recorded by Adam Smith the single has a raspy quality to it, during a time when the word 'lofi' gets batted around so frequently - Kevin De Broux's songs give credence to the term that has almost lost meaning recently. Rooted in Punk and Rock these new songs continue De Broux's search for finding beauty in the squalid, further shown on B Side 'Darken Daze'. Taking in the whole catalogue it's plain to see focus on quality not quantity and with 'Ache For You' showing Pink Reason going from strength to strength, I would happily wait another year for a single like this.

Available through Savage Quality Recordings
Hear 'Ache For You' on Savage Quality Recordings Bandcamp
Pink Reason Facebook 

Also out recently is a Negative Guestlist Jukebox Single:

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Total Control 'Scene From A Marriage'

Australian six piece Total Control released their debut just over a year ago and it instantly became a favourite with music nerds and freaks alike.  'Henge Beat' (Iron Lung) was followed up by a split with Thee Oh Sees (Castle Face), and as I've been listening to these songs just as much now as 12 months ago it's hard to hold back from talking up their new single.  'Scene From A Marriage' (Sub Pop) has the brooding tone and all the gusto you would expect from Total Control, but don't be surprised to hear a few new ideas thrown into the mix.  Secured at the core of 'Scene From A Marriage' are raw acoustic guitars gradually fleshed out by electric guitars layered over the top.  Wrong-footed beats propel the track alongside tidal "aaa" vocals amplifying a sense of anxiety, further shown by Daniel Stewart despondently repeating "...and it keeps on ringing".  Flipping over is 'Contract', showing the band's penchant for electronics utilizing a drum machine and keyboards to reinvent 'Scene From A Marriage', resulting with reverb drenched vocals and lighter synthesized melodies.  This single attests that Total Control continue to side-step being defined, it's a conundrum I'm thoroughly enjoying and pretty sure I'm not the only one either.  Grab this single while you can, or regret missing out later...

UK find copies here
US find copies here

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

King Tuff : Interview!

(photo taken at Shacklewell Arms, September 12th - more snaps of the gig are in Show Pictures #8 on the right)

It's a real pleasure to bring an interview with King Tuff, we cover his recent European tour, ice-cream and his new self title record (out now on Sub Pop).

King Tuff! Let’s start with how your recent European Tour went - any particularly memorable shows/people/places?

It was good. But I really wish I had gotten to go to Spain.  My favorite thing was the ice cream in Belgium.  Otherworldly.

I read there’s a guy called Magic Jake in the line up – is it true? Is he really magic?!

He's magic in his own special way.  He doesn't know any spells tho.  Not that kind of magic.  More like a perverted magic.

What’s your definition of magic?

Life. Love. Music. Nature. All that good hippy shit. 

What kind of songs did you all listening to in the van while on the road?

Lots of tapes from burger records, Rihanna, and coast to coast in the late night hours.

Who else was on the road with you?

The band has been changing all year.  Right now I got Magic Jake on bass, Garett Goddard on drums, and Craig Brown on guitar. 

Do you prefer playing shows or recording?

Both are exciting and both can be a drag.  I love both.  I'm missing recording right now cuz I've been on the road so much.  I love writing and creating so if I had to choose I'd probably go with that.

It says in the liner notes of your new album that you and Luke Thomas (brother?) made the artwork. I love the individual sketches of the songs. I was wondering if drawing influences your songwriting and visa versa – does one springboard the other?

Sometimes but it's more like all my notebooks are full of lyrics and drawings dancing together. Sometimes I write lyrics as if it's a painting.  When I flip thru my notebook I like it to look good.

Do you have anyone you look up to for drawing and painting?

Definitely my brother. He's my favorite artist. 

What are some of your favourite record covers?

Anything simple, bold, and powerful. I also like a lot of those really shitty old reggae record covers. The printing is so bad but it makes it look so good. Things look and sound too perfect nowadays because of computers. We're missing out on the imperfections. 

I read that you recorded 'Was Dead' solo, and for the new record you had more people involved - do you enjoy the technical aspect of making a record, recording, mixing, mastering etc...?

I love acting as my own producer.  But I also like working with different people to see what comes out.  And I get really pissed off when I get tangled up in all the wires and machines u hafta use.

Writing music vs lyrics - which do you find trickier?

It depends which comes first. If the music comes first it's really hard to write lyrics to the music unless something I've already written just fits. I tend to write lyrics first.

My favourite song on the new album is “Baby Just Break”, is there a track you're most attached to on that album?

I like swamp of love because I've never had a song like that before and I like the arc of the arrangement. 

“Alone and Stoned” video just started to air, want to ask what’s weirdest thing you saw in those bedrooms?!

Everyone cleaned their rooms before we shot them which is exactly what I DIDN'T want them to do. Who knows what they hid!

With a sound rooted in rock ‘n’ roll I was wondering what was the first rock 'n' roll record that made an impression on you?

I'd have to say anything by the Beatles.  I can't ever remember hearing any of those songs for the first time.  It's like u already know them before u hear them.  That's the kinda songs I aim to write.  Like you've heard it before but at the same time u can't think of anything it sounds like. 

When did you have that 'I can do that moment' and start writing your own songs?

The second I picked up a guitar.  I never learned covers.  I just always wrote my own songs.

I also read about Ollie the Bactrian camel – for real?! Is there a camel in Vermont on Route 7– have you seen him7?!

I believe I have seen that camel! Vermont has all kindsa humps in it. 

Where do you want to take your work in King Tuff from here?

I'm just going to keep writing songs and try to connect with people. I wanna write American rock n roll anthems.  Stadium shit.  But the stadium is full of people with missing teeth, unibrows, big noses, bald spots, dirty jeans, long fingernails, etc.

“I’m full of dust and guitars” – Syd Barrett, if you were sliced in half what would be inside?

Rainbow Italian ice, cute girls, a demons finger, and a wad of big league chew.

King Tuff has a brand new website here, you find him on Facebook and Twitter too.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Roseanne Barrr 'Repulsion'

Coming out soon will be Roseanne Barrr's debut album 'Repulsion' on Primitive Sounds/Tuff Enuff. Patrick and Sophie make up the duet who are based in London. Over the past few years they've brought their grimy punk to backrooms of pubs, DIY spaces and basements all over the UK, sharing the stage with other fine local acts like Satellites of Love, Woolf and Bitches. To my ears at least they share an affinity to No Wave and you can link bits and pieces to bands like Magik Markers and Talk Normal. Roseanne Barrr utilize spoken word, screaming, bass and drums to tell elegies focused on sex and criminality. 'Repulsion' opens with "Desert", a cacophony of deranged horns, quaking bass, tribal drums and monodic dueling vocals unraveling from spoken word to shrill hollers. As the album unfolds it cools off with catatonic tracks like "Nothing to Show Here", pairing off sedated vocals with lethargic bass thrums sounding every bit as raw and damaged as the more raucous numbers. "Feed Me" is a personal favourite, and I always look forward to hearing this one when they play a show, I think it has something to do with the boy/girl yips and yelps biting at each other. Roseanne Barrr are one of kind round these parts, and after a run of tapes it's great to have their work available on a defined record, 'Repulsion' shows that London is a great place to get creepy.

Roseanne Barrr Facebook Bandcamp Tumblr

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Men 'Open Your Heart'

Been meaning to write this review for quite some time and with out trying to sound cheesy I've been enjoying listening to this record so much the urge to put a few words down about it hasn't surfaced until now. It's been everywhere with me, car, iPod, at home - really just can't get enough of it.

'Open Your Heart' is The Men's third album, second for Sacred Bones, comprised of songs that tightens things up whilst paying homage to every corner of rock music. The velocity of guitars echo levels you might expect from Dinosaur Jr and as the album develops The Men continue to wear influences stretching from rock to punk and folk on their sleeve. These familiar sounds thread through the record act as an anchor, allowing guitar, bass and drum parts to reveal elaborate bursts of re-imagined rock.

The record launches with "Turn It Around", an exhilarating track featuring layered guitars, palpitating bass and breakneck beats. Throughout 'Open Your Heart' The Men curiously place vocals in unexpected places, best shown on "Oscillation". At the core this track is built on one riff that evolves into brilliant patterns of entangled guitars, before vocalists Perro/Chiericozzi conclude "Please take the stand, I just have a couple of things that I'd like to ask". Highlight is "Please Don't Go Away", a track tinged with pathos through urgent rhapsodic guitars and the use of poignant boy/girl vocals. 'Open Your Heart' embodies everything there is to love about rock music and there's good cause why so many people have raved about it this year. If you haven't had a chance to check it out yet, this record is a great reason to pay a visit to your favourite record store.

The Men Blog Sacred Bones

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Goat : Tour

Goat - soon they'll be in London, and it's going to be wild, just check out the clip below!  Three dates in the UK starting at London's Lexington in Kings Cross on October 19th. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

"Someday All the Adults Will Die!" : Exhibition at The Hayward

Original copies of fanzines, punk 45s, gig posters, collages, flyers and more are on show at a new exhibition centered around Punk Graphics dating from 1971-1984 at London's Hayward Gallery.  Art work includes pieces by Linder Sterling, Raymond Pettibon, Gary Panter and Jon Savage -- who also curated the show with Johan Kugelberg.  Amazing for any and all Punk lovers - and it's free, on until the beginning of November - really worth the trip!

More details on the exhibition are here

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Sewers 'Tour Cassette 1'

A band name after my own heart.  Australia's Sewers began as a duo for their 2008 demo CD and are currently four piece; Shan Corrigan, Alex Griffin, Joshua Watson and Daniel Decsi.   'Tour Cassette 1' is the follow up to the demo material, recorded by Josh Watson in Woodland on their home turf, Brisbane.  Nine songs are said to have been made and five of those you'll find on this tape with a full length album rumored to be in the works for this year.  Sure, Sewers share an affinity with feedtime, Lubricated Goat and King Snake Roost but they bring new blood, and guts, to a well loved genre.  Bottom feeder lifestyles are described with cacophonous guitars, insubordinate-snotty vocals and forthright rhythms sounded out through swampy distortion.  "Grease My Chain" brilliantly depicts the tone of these five songs through its genuine sense of apathy. "Sinkhole/Bitches' Fuck Off" takes on a Country Teasers track that doesn't challenge what has come before but gives a nod to influences on their songwriting, and to my ears at least captures the same air of frustration as the original.  The troupe began selling this self released tape at shows which are limited to 50 copies but are now available to order through Vacant Valley as well.  It's also worth mentioning their track "Lineage" (not on this tape) also appeared on Negative Guest List compilation 'Wings Over Gabba' - if there was ever a stronger seal of approval I'd like to hear it...

Sunday, September 16, 2012

White Wires 'Crazy'

There's no stopping Total Punk Records!  The label seems to be churning out releases at a head-spinning rate and I'm yet to hear one that I haven't enjoyed.  One of the more recent offerings was a brand new single by Ontario's White Wires called 'Crazy', a feel good pop-uh-rific garage number that Total Punk Record's described as "summertime punk" - welp, it's September and I guess the season is almost over, but playing this White Wires 45 feels like one final stand - summer, hell no, you're NOT going without a fight.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Cheater Slicks: Interview

25 years on and Cheater Slicks are going strong, really excited to be able to offer an interview with Dana from the band where we chat about their new live records, scooby doo and a frat house that covers guests in cow shit...

Cheater Slicks! Dana! I wanted to start these questions by asking about your 25th year anniversary show in July - how was it?

It never happened because I was sick but I'm fine now and we're playing live again.

How did the 'Our Food Is Chaos' release with Almost Ready Records come about?

Harry Howes wanted to release it because it was the first album we recorded but it never came out. We also had Allen Paulino of the Real Kids on bass then so that was another point of interest.

Columbus Discount have put out a second LP of songs made from some shows in Columbus, how important to you was it to have your songs available to hear live on record?

Being able to do everything over in the studio makes it hard to capture the raw feel of a live show and we wanted people to hear what we really sound like.

What's been the most memorable show you've ever played?

Tricky question because the best shows I can't even remember the next day. I'm gonna say the Earl in Atlanta two nights ago. We played with Gentleman Jesse who were really good and everyone treated us great and we got blitzed.

Do you like touring?

I love it, good or bad, it's always an excellent adventure. It gets harder when you get older and have financial/familial obligations and don't want to sleep on floors anymore but we try to get out there as much as we can.

Best and worst place you've ever stayed on tour?

The best was a chicken coop in Groningen, Netherlands. The worst was a frat house in Oregon where we woke up covered in cow shit.

Brothers in bands have a strong history of some pretty incredible music - The Stooges, Sun City Girls, The Kinks, Creedence Clearwater Revival.... working with Tom and Dave do you think there's anything special about siblings writing music together?

AcDc, Red Cross, Meat Puppets, the list goes on and on. I guess there must be something to it but I have no idea what beyond them being less likely to break up since they've always been stuck with each other. I guess they have a jump on the telepathic communication musicians develop between each other.

When I think about music from America first thing that comes to mind is rock 'n' roll, Ike Turner, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly and even going further back to bluesy folks like Charlie Patton and Robert Johnson - do you think this spirit of rock 'n' roll is around in the US today?

No. Those guys are all dead or dying and I can't think of anyone doing anything new in traditional rock and roll or blues. I see lots of young bands rocking out but it's so hard to keep a band together these days that few get the chance to develop their thing fully.

I read some of you are artists/painters - what/if any were the first visual artists that made an impression on you?

Dave's really the visual artist in the band, Tom and I dabble a bit. To venture a guess, I'd say Big Daddy Roth, EC comics, Mad magazine, that kind of stuff.

To me Cheater Slicks from the outside seem like a band that have a very specific concept and sort of create your own world to exist in. I think I can hear 60's garage-rock sounds in what you do, this genre has seen a resurgence over the last few years - what do you make of these shifts in 'music scenes'? Do you even pay attention to them?

We pay attention but it doesn't influence what we do. Garage rock was definitely our jumping-off point but wimps from the West Coast judged us to be insufficiently reverent so we got louder and harder. We never seem to be on trend but whether we're ahead of things or behind, who knows?

The area in and around Boston has churned out some great bands - Dinosaur Jr, Mission Of Burma... I guess all the way from the UK and not being there at the time I can romanticize it a bit, did you enjoy what was going on musically in Boston when you were living there?

Nope. Not a bit. The feeling was mutual. We were dying on the vine until we got a record out and people elsewhere discovered it.

I read that the 5 main characters in Scooby Doo are supposed to represent 5 colleges based around Boston, Scooby - UMass Amherst, Daphne - Mount Holyoke College, Velma - Smith College, Fred - Amherst College and Shaggy - Hampshire College. Have you heard about this - is it true?

I haven't heard about this, I can only tell you our first gig was at Hampshire College and it was pretty shaggy.

The band moved to Columbus, Ohio - do you think your song writing would have been different had you been based there all along instead of Boston?

Probably. The desperation of living in Boston and the wall of indifference we were up against must have come out in our music.

What are you most proud of so far being in Cheater Slicks?

I'm proud that after 25 years our music is more extreme rather than less.

What's up next for the band? Any releases we should watch out for?

We have a new studio album coming out real soon called Reality is a Grape on Columbus Discount Records. And Almost Ready is almost ready to re-release our first album On Your Knees.

"I'm full of dust and guitars" - Syd Barrett, if you were sliced open what would be inside?

Not sure but I would recommend smoking it!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Vvhile 'Vvhile Is Vanity'

Andrija Spicanovic and Stevan Cirovic (of Jaibo! and Cut Self Not) make up Belgrade duo VVhile. Drawing from their punk and math rock roots the pair throw pop and shoegaze into the mix to make four hazy off kilter numbers making up their first offering 'VVhile Is Vanity' (Macedonian Records/Twintoe). Personal favourite on here is "Marriage Riots" sounding out cacophonous guitars, amphetamine beats and confrontational vocals. This 7" EP comes in a pressing of 200, 100 each in black and white vinyl - this makes me really curious what else is happenin' in Serbia...

Check out more on their Bandcamp here:

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Gueule Ouverte "Gardez La Monnaie"

Nicholas Murer of Drosofile (SDZ 7" with Will Foster Guinea Worms) has started a new label Stochastic Releases. His new band Gueule Ouverte based in France have a new EP out accompanied with a video. "Gardez La Monnaie" features discordant punk playing out crunchy guitars, pounding beats, guttural vocals stirring up a frenzied attack on daily doldrums. This is a great modern day No Wave song.

You can find copies here

Sunday, August 26, 2012

White Hex 'Heat'

White Hex are Tara Green and Jimi Kritzler (Slug Guts), who together offer up debut 12" 'Heat' on Italian imprint Avant! Records. The pair traveled to Egypt in July 2011 from their home in Australia to form ideas for new songs, that winter they arrived in Berlin where 'Heat' was recorded live and mixed by Olle Holmberg. Green and Kritzler forge an opus of dirgeful love songs through their self-styled "Tropical Goth" approach, set in a wasteland of bewitching vocals and fevered guitars. Cold minimal beats lay a base allowing guitars to roam freely playing out allegorical hooks alongside Green's crestfallen voice - best shown on track "Waves". These six bleak odes to lust flux between freezing and boiling point making for a really compelling listen.

White Hex Facebook Bandcamp
Find copies at Avant Records

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Goat: Interview!

Introducing Sweden's Goat, I got the chance to catch up with one of the members in the collective to find out more on the mysterious outfit and their new album 'World Music'.

I've tried researching the band but you seem to have sprung from nowhere, almost quite literally! So let’s start with some introductions – who are you and what do you play?

Who we are and what we do is of no importance. Goat is not a fixed band or lineup in the conventional sense. We give you our music I think that this is more than enough.

Have you been in or currently in any other bands?


For those of us who haven’t been tell us a bit about Korpolombolo…

Korpilombolo is a central and integrated part of our past and present. Not so much as a physical place anymore but rather a spiritual sanctuary that binds us all together. Preparations are made for the final travel.

‘World Music’ incorporates many music styles can you talk us through where you draw your sounds from?

As you can probably hear it´s the sound of the universe. The recording was totally effortless which means there was simply not a lot of thinking involved in the process.

A spontaneous composition.

Like the Pink fairies sing you should just " do it! "

Some of the songs are very old children´s jingles from our village that have simply been remade while others are snippets and/or parts of longer recordings/ jams and/ or rituals. This form of Goat, the now existing one, is by no means the only version of this band. My ancestors were members of what we can call " earlier versions " of Goat. To answer the last part of your question, everything I experience influences my approach to music.

From the music I hear , the people I meet, the birds song, the food I eat to the indescribable vastness that is the human mind/ experience & nature, that is all an influence for me.

Did you anticipate that ‘World Music’ would receive the warm reception that it has? What do you make of all the reviews and excitement around the record?

No we did not have any expectations what so ever. We were asked to record an album and so we did. Apparently a lot of people seem to like what we have done at the moment and this is great news for us and we are thankful for it but these things tend to be blown out of proportion and also change very rapidly in our modern society.

So we do not make too much out of it. Our wellbeing does not depend on Goat being successful or not. There will always be new bands & records people will rave about. We will just continue doing what we do if it is recorded or not, if it´s raved about or not.

I love track “Run To Your Mama” can you tell me more about that song?

I would not know what to tell you. I´m glad you like the song so I will try not to spoil the fun for you by talking it to pieces. All I can say is that it´s an updated version of a very old lullaby.

Where was the album recorded? What is your recording set up?

The album was recorded in Parkeringshuset studio where we have a 16 track tape recorder and the possibility to record what we do when we feel like it. The album is all Goat´s work no other people were involved except than for the mastering part.

Our recording setup would be that whoever is attending that particular gathering gets to record if we feel there is need for recording.

Most of the time we just get together and play for our own sake. We meditate in the mirage of sound.

How did you come to work with your label Rocket Recordings?

Chris saw one of the videos our friend had made and then, after quite a struggle I think, got hold of one of us and explained he wanted to release a 7".

I had just moved back to Sweden and was of course very happy for this request. RR is in my opinion one of the best record labels around for interesting new music these days.

We are very grateful and fortunate beings for having this opportunity at our hands.

Who designed the artwork for the record?

That is totally Chris on RRs work. Beautiful stuff.

What are some of your favourite record covers?

Black Sabbaths 1st, Brainticket´s 1st, Ash Ra Tempels 1st + most importantly both the cover of the 7" and the video for Lionel richies song " Hello ".

Who makes your music videos? They’re wild! 'Goatman' is so awesome!

Actually they were made by a friend. Thank you

Do you prefer playing or recording?

I prefer both actually. There is a kind of magic to both aspects.

What’s the most memorable show you’ve played?

I could not tell you. Every time the Goat gathers his people it´s a great joy for me.

What’s the most memorable show you’ve attended?

I would say Slayer -95

What do you want to achieve in Goat?

Nothing really I just want to have a nice time with friends and relatives and record, rehearse and rejoice basically.

You’re coming to the UK soon I'm really looking forward to it! Can you fill us in on your upcoming shows?

Thank you. I don´t know what to say really Goat will come over and do a couple of shows, hopefully people will enjoy it I know the Goat will. Souls will be reaped.

The live version of the band will by no means include all members that would not be possible.

I for example will not go on tour since I´m not allowed to leave the country due to reasons I can not get into here. I will be at the temple. There are also other ones. It does not matter really.

What music are you listening to at the moment? Any new bands you wanna rave about?

Right now I´m listening to the sound of the nature outside where I live. I can hear the Ravens calling and the sound of thunder and a heavy rain falling. Perfection.

A lot of great contemporary bands like: Eternal tapestry, Magic Lantern, Rite, High wolf, Portal to mention a few.

Any other projects or things coming up with Goat you'd like to let us know about?

Not really no.

What's the future for Goat?

I think it´s quite safe to say that no one knows for sure. Whatever happens we will continue to do what we have always done and gather and sing praise in the name of the Goat.

"I'm full of dust and guitars" - Syd Barrett, if you were cracked open what would be inside?

Haha great answer. In my case just a lot of blood and guts I guess.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Goat 'World Music'

They've come out of nowhere, no really. Goat originate from a village located on the fringes of Sweden's backwoods called Korpolombolo, a settlement that legend has it, was introduced to the worship and practice of Voodoo by a traveling witch doctor and her disciples years ago. Inhabiting the remote area going undisturbed for centuries whilst honing their craft this community were eventually discovered by the Church and ostracized. Traces of Korpolombolo's dark history are said to still be found in the now pleasant village and are a source of inspiration for Goat's debut album 'World Music'(Rocket Recordings) which has struck like a bolt from the blue.

The clan offer up nine genre bending songs that result in something refreshing, entrancing and exuberant. 'World Music' weaves spoken word, tribal rhythms, saxophones, keys, otherworldly guitars and female vocals together testing the limits of psychedelia. From opener "Diarabi" revealing guitars shaded with a penchant for middle-eastern sounds to "Goathead", comprised of heavy rock juxtaposed by tranquil folk arrangements, each track introduces its own sonic muse and head-scratcher moments. "Run To Your Mama" is front runner for personal highlight featuring hypnotic beats, vocals full of gusto and ballistic guitars weighed out by xylophones, this isn't just a favourite from the album but for me, a great modern-day rock song. "Let It Bleed" lends pop, dance and indie elements to the record and has received a video release which is set in 1970s urban New York - you can check it out below! If you told me a few weeks ago I was going to find an amazing new record from Korpolombolo the first in a line of questions would've been "from where?!", but Goat are surely going to put Sweden on the map this year for 'World Music'. It's the last place I was expecting to find trailblazing rock but here it is, Goat's music for the world.

Goat's Blog

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Slices 'Still Cruising'

Iron Lung (Kim Phuc, Total Control) offer up new album from Slices 'Still Cruising'. Mike Kasunic (Tusk Lord)/Bass, Mike Ovens/Drums, John Kasunic/Guitar and Greg Kamerdze/Vocals make up the four piece who are now on their second record. These ten songs clocking in at just over twenty minutes are a maelstrom of hardcore numbers fraught with pummeling beats, antagonistic vocals and fierce guitars summoning bouts of stir-crazed punk rock. In amongst the carnage there are curious interjections of quieted instrumental sections like on "Forever Cruising/Hurt On The Job" acting as a pallet cleanser before the stampede continues. Personal highlight is "Class Time", a riotous air punching track with swarming guitars, palpitating rhythms and howling vocals. 'Still Cruising' is the perfect soundtrack to stave off daily doldrums, another great hardcore record from Pittsburgh.
You can find copies here

Friday, August 3, 2012

Slug Guts 'Scum' : Official Video

Another new video, this time by Slug Guts for track 'Scum' taken from new album 'Playin' In Time With The Deadbeat' on Sacred Bones. I mean to employ no sort of hyperbole when I say this is a front runner for favourite record of the year...savage, scuzzy and stunning.

Find Copies here Slug Guts Facebook

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Surgeons 'Whip Them Lord'

Surgeons are a group from Los Angeles who some may recognize from Le Face. The troupe have just released their debut single 'Whip Them Lord' offering up squalid punk blackened with toxic fuzz, grinding guitars and confrontational vocals. Both sides are solid spin-grabbing tracks loaded with menace and angst executed with a rough, raw recording quality. Out now on Florida imprint Total Punk who by the sounds of things have a lot more on the way for this year, great band, great label.

Check out tracks right here:

Available through Florida's Dying

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Strange Hands 'Dead Flowers'

Since their inception in 2008 French three piece Strange Hands have been honing their sound and now offer up debut album 'Dead Flowers' on Shit Music For Shit People. Originally from Bordeaux the group are made up of Lucas (Le Pecheur), Melvyn and Victor, who together utilize twelve string guitars, organs and drums to assemble their bursts garage-pop-freakouts. Vivid saccharine melodies thread through the twelve songs on the album which pays homage to 60's psychedelia whilst giving it a modern twist. 'Dead Flowers' plays out radiant keys, runaway rhythms and joyfully charged guitars that drift in and out of swampy distortion all recorded with a high-fidelity approach. This is wonderfully captured in "Smell", a raucous number delivered by primal chugging guitars, amphetamine beats and a heady-rush of fuzz. Mesmerizing 'Anxious Pictures' is another personal favourite chiming out swaggering guitars, jangly rhythms and fevered vocals. 'Dead Flowers' has been a perfect antidote to an otherwise bleak summer we've experienced in London this year - a great debut by 60's psych-pop lovers, for 60's psych-pop lovers.

Strange Hands Facebook Bandcamp

Find copies here

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Slug Guts 'Playin' in Time With the Deadbeat'

Slug Guts have delved deeper into the abyss and somehow have achieved twelve songs even more damaged than 2010's 'Howlin' Gang'. Returning with their third album, second for Sacred Bones, the pack draw from tragedies the band have dealt with over the last year facing jail, death, psychiatric units, trials at court and rehab so it's no wonder 'Playing in Time With the Deadbeat' is their most turbulent work yet. Their new album plays out acute feelings of very Australian ennui utilizing discordant melodies tarred with gritty beats and tumultuous vocals, with all the moxie of post-punk that you might find in bands like feedtime touched by the cold sounds of industrialism.

Opener 'Scum' throws you into the pit with James Dalgliesh's belligerent vocals sounding like he's boiling nails deep in his throat apace with menacing guitars, frenetic sax and crashing rhythms. Amongst the stormy dissonance on 'Playing in Time With the Deadbeat' are infectious, bright hooks that secure a core grounding reverb and distortion. This is brilliantly shown on "Moving Heat", with a mirage of dueling licks from spooked guitars played alongside an unhinged sax wafting through forthright beats. "Stranglin' You Too", which also featured as a single for Hozac is another highlight with sanguine tinged melodies and rubbery bass. "...and I'll stay here" Dalgliesh's despairing voice calls out and gets lost in layers of reverberations, it's this sense of climbing-up-the-walls that best sums up tracks on 'Playing in Time With the Deadbeat'. Slug Guts new album is an oeuvre of frustration, dejection and turmoil, it's their pure and honest approach that makes this album hard to stop listening to.

Out on July 24th - find copies through Sacred Bones

Slug Guts on Facebook