Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Chandeli'ers - Breaker LP - Blue Vinyl (/100)

Untitled

Dead Broke / Dirt Cult (2016)

There are few labels that I trust more than Dirt Cult and Dead Broke.  When they unite their super powers on a single release, you can be pretty sure it's something special.  Chandeli'ers are following up a 12" EP with their first full length and it's a pretty solid offering.

Chandeli'ers may be a somewhat difficult name to have to type multiple times over the course of a review, but their music is the exact opposite.  Breaker is a collection of easy to listen to power pop hits, perfect for gatherings around a pitcher of iced tea in the backyard.  To me, their most kindred spirit is probably the band Nude Beach.  But Chandeli'ers are more liberal with their accompanying instrumentation, expertly introducing keyboards and brass into their songs.  In many ways they remind me of The Ballantynes in this regard.

Another place Chandeli'ers excel is with harmonies.  The alternating boy/girl vocals are great, but when they join up to sing together, that is when the magic really happens.  If you dig a good power pop record, Breaker is definitely worth giving a listen.

Chandeli'ers - Breaker:

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Jason Martin - Power Animal System Methods LP

Untitled

Peter Walker (2016)

Every so often someone will send me a record to review and when I open it up, I'm just not sure what to make of it.  That was definitely my reaction when I received this Jason Martin LP.  Maybe I'm guilty of judging records by their cover from time to time, but when you present me with a dog in a power suit, I'm going to be grasping at what to expect.  The only thing I figured was that the record would probably be weird.

It doesn't disappoint in that regard.  Power Animal System Methods is definitely weird, but not really in a bad way.  It's assembled in a ramshackle sort of way that reminds me of the carefree indie rock days of the 90's.  Maybe Silver Jews meets Ween?  There's certainly some pretty decent pop songs on the album like "Wolf People" and "My Blank Pages."  Though there's also quite a few off kilter wacky songs with odd time signatures and kooky noises in the background.

It's not a bad record at all and at times it's pretty good for the sort of thiNG that Jason Martin seems to be going for.  I can't imagine it is something I would listen to all that often, but you certainly can't say it's boring.

Jason Martin - Power Animal System Methods:

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Heavy Times - Black Sunglasses 7"

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HoZac (2016)

After I wasn't really feeling the last 7" that Heavy Times released on Randy records, I decided to be a bit more judicious next time they had a record available to purchase.  I intended to try it out before blindly leaping into the next release as it is obvious the band is in the midst of a direction change.  However, since HoZac decided to send me a copy of this new 7" for review, they kind of made the decision for me, so here we go.

Starting off, you kind of feel like this band has been taken over by robots to some extent.  Opening track "Black Sunglasses," like much of their last 7", is single focused in its new wave, pseudo electronic delivery.  In particular, the vocals are completely monotone and devoid of emotion.  It seems intentional, but I kind of miss the chaos of their earlier records.  "City Lights" kind of follows the same path, pretty robotic and not really my thing.

Expecting more of the same, I flipped over to the B side but found a nice surprise waiting for me instead.  "Bad Brother" is very much a rocker, with catchy guitar riffs and the sort of camouflaged pop that I've always loved from Heavy Times. The good times continue with the final entry "Choked Up."  This is also a great song that's the most upbeat and hooky of the bunch.  There's some really cool dueling guitar interplay and the vocals are by far the most melodic.

All in all, this 7" is kind of a mixed bag.  I don't really dig either A side song very much, but the B side is back to back hits.  It's an interesting mix and I'm curious to see which direction Heavy Times heads in next.

Heavy Times - "Black Sunglasses":

Heavy Times - "Choked Up":

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Boilerman - Feel Ways About Stuff LP

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86'd / All In Vinyl / Sad Punk / Waterslide (2016)

I've been lucky enough to have some familiarity with Boilerman prior to this album, though that's 100% because of this website and kind folks providing me with their records.  I'm appreciative of it, because I don't really think I would have given Boilerman much attention if left to my own devices.

Here's the thing with Boilerman, they're a really catchy band masquerading as a hardcore band.  If you casually jump through the songs on this record, you're mostly just going to hear loud, fast guitars and a singer with strep throat shouting incoherently.  However, if you really spend some time listening to everything you'll see the way the riffs are laid out and how the hooks are packed in just below the chaos.  They always remind me a little bit of the sort of things you'd find on Lookout during their early, more adventurous days.

I always feel like Boilerman is right on the cusp of being the sort of band that's right up my alley.  If they could just put the hooks a little closer to the surface, we'd be in business.  Still, Feel Ways About Stuff is definitely worth checking out, particular if you're more into hardcore-ish stuff than I am.

Boilerman - Feel Ways About Stuff:

Monday, July 18, 2016

V/A - Strength In Weakness LP - Black / Clear Split Color Vinyl

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Lame-O (2015)

I don't buy nearly as many compilations as I did when I was younger.  I actually picked this one up quite some time ago, but have just been dragging my feet on reviewing it.  I had mostly bought it for the at the time unreleased Beach Slang song, Although I was also already familiar with Hurry and Spraynard.  Also, I should note that this is a benefit compilation and all proceeds from this album are going to United Cerebral Palsy.

Spraynard start things up with another one of their passionate, Iron Chic style punk rock offerings. "Haulin' Oats" is every bit as good as anything else they've released, so this is definitely not a throwaway.   Next up is The Weaks.  I've not heard of them before, but they really surprised me with their offering. "Call Me Away" is big and crunchy like the best kind of failed 1990's major label band.  Reminds me a bit of Fig Dish.  I really dig this song.  Modern Baseball fills out the last song on the A side.  This is a band I have heard of before, but never really listened to anything of theirs.  I'm not sure this song will be one to change my mind as it's kind of slow and boring.

Side B doesn't start off on the best foot.  "Old Joe" by a band called Marietta is pretty dull and unremarkable, just plodding along. Things pick up with "Shake It Off" a fantastic song by Hurry, though it is also on their most recent full length album as well.  Still a highlight for sure.  Finishing up is a fully acoustic version of the Beach Slag song "Too Late To Die Young."  It's really not too dissimilar from the version that ended up on their full length, though there's lots of extra static on the vocals on this compilation version.  It is a good song, but it's not really all that necessary if you have the Beach Slang album.

Still, this is a good little compilation for a great cause.  More than anything The Weaks song really blew me away, I'm going to have to look into those guys a bit more.

V/A - Strength in Weakness


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Broccoli - Home LP - Black Vinyl & Clear Vinyl (/100)

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Drunken Sailor (2016, Reissue)

It is somewhat rare that I get to write about the records that have been most important to me over the years. Occasionally there will be a reissue or a wacky variant of some Rocket From The Crypt record that I have hunted down, but the records that are most important to me are usually ones that have been in my collection for many, many years. Home by Broccoli is one of these records. It is one of the best records I have ever heard in my entire life. You know those people that like to make those 'Desert Island Disc' lists where they talk about the records they couldn't live without. If I was so inclined to make a silly list like that, it would absolutely, one hundred percent have Home on it. This is one of my five favorite records of all time and I think you could make the argument that they may be one of the most overlooked bands that has ever been.

Sure, I will admit that's a lot of hyperbole for an opening paragraph, but I need you to understand how fundamentally important this record is for me. I started listening to Leatherface because of Broccoli, not the other way around like most folks. Granted, it wasn't this particular album that pushed me towards Leatherface, but Broccoli was already an influential band to me before they release Home in 1998. In 1997 my friend Alan and I went to England for a trip of record shopping and band watching. In addition to picking up a ton of Leatherface and Mega City Four records, we got to see some amazing bands like Chopper, Skimmer, Crocodile God and Starmarket. The other band we got to see was a pre-Home Broccoli opening up for Metroschifter in Leeds. Twenty years on, my memory of this show isn't quite as sharp as I would like, but considering the bomb that Broccoli dropped the following year with Home, I'm so grateful I had that chance to see them play, if only once.

Home is a once in a lifetime sort of record. Sure, you can hit on some easy to digest touchstones like that they are a melodic punk band with leanings towards raspy vocals and an obvious fondness for Leatherface. But is there anything I can write that can truly convey the hugeness of the hook in the song "Chestnut Road?" It's a hook so powerful a band from France named themselves after the song. Can I make you understand the way it makes me feel when that the guitar distortion kicks in right before the chorus of "I Am A Robot?" Are there even words in the English language that can describe how much I just fucking love every single second of "R.S.V.P.?" We're only though the 4th track on this beast of an album and already I feel like my vocabulary is painfully inadequate to try to make you understand just how important this record is to me.

Home has been out of print for years. The label that originally put it out, Rugger Bugger, called it a day many moons ago. Broccoli broke up not too long after this record came out. This is the record that should have made Broccoli one of the most loved and respected bands in the world, but for whatever reason it just didn't pan out that way. Drunken Sailor should be commended for stepping up and bringing this record back to the world.

Home should quite simply be a mandatory addition to anyone's record collection that even remotely likes this sort of punk rock. Yeah, they're better than Jawbreaker and every bit as good as Leatherface. I'll say it and you will never convince me otherwise. Broccoli has also announced that they are getting back together for a tour of Japan. I don't know if that will ever lead anywhere,. I don't know if we'll ever get more shows or another record, but it gives me just a bit of hope that perhaps others will have a chance to experience what Broccoli did for me 20 some odd years ago. Go buy this record right now and if you happen to have their two demo tapes or a Broccoli T-shirt, please email me and sell them to me.

Broccoli - Home:
https://drunkensailorrecords.bandcamp.com/album/home

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Eddie Mooney And The Grave - I Bought Three Eggs 7"

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Still Unbeatable (2014, Reissue)

I've been getting way more records than usual sent to me to review lately.  Granted, that just means a trickle instead of a drip, but It's been a nice way to pad out the lean summer months.  It's especially great when I like the record that's sent to me.

I will be the first to admit that I'm painfully out of touch with the late 70's/early 80's power pop scene.  I know there's all sorts of interesting bands with obscuro one-off singles that people covet like crazy.  I have plenty of records to buy without diving headfirst into that, but if something is just dropped in my lap, I'm more than happy to take a listen.  This 7" is a reissue of 1978 7" that, according to the liner notes, was released right as the label died so very few actually made it into the world.

Well, I'm pretty please that Still Unbeatable records decided to rerelease this one as both of these songs are fun slices of power pop perfection.  Rapidly strummed, jangly guitar mixes with minimal, but cutting lead guitar and super catchy vocals.  I probably prefer "I Bought Three Eggs" of the two, but "Zombie" is no slouch either.  

I really dig this 7" and it's funny to think how unlikely it is that I would have ever heard these songs if it wasn't sent to me to review. I guess that's a reason to encourage folks to keep sending in records.  This one is great, go buy it right away.

Eddie Mooney And The Grave - I Bought Three Eggs 7":

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Basketball Shorts - Hot And Ready LP - Clear w/ Blue Vinyl

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Fleeting Youth (2016)

This record is a perplexing one to write about.  On the surface it's a fast, fun and catchy record, so my natural inclination is to like it.  But when I really sit and listen to it, as opposed to just having it play in the background, there are things that I don't like that really start to stand out.

To start, these guys really sound like The Marked Men.  I mean they REALLY sound like The Marked Men.  Considering that I bought this album based on the fact that they were compared to The Marked Men, I'm not sure if I'm allowed to be annoyed that I think they sound too much like The Marked Men, but it's a bit excessive over the course of this album.  A few of the songs have a little bit of a Mean Jeans lean to them, but as a whole these guys really deliver the sound comparison that's been advertised.

The other thing that doesn't work for me is the lyrics.  I'm not really a big lyrics guy.  I usually only notice them when they are either really great or really bad.  I'm not sure if Basketball Shorts qualify as being really bad, but they're silly enough that I take notice, and not really in a good way.  Whether it's ""With knife in hand, I'll make you understand" or "When you don't scream out my name, it's such a shame" or the entire songs written about Home Alone or Lt. Dan from Forrest Gump, it's all just a bit much for me at times.

But again, I'm torn because there are some genuine toe tappers on this LP.  Even while writing this review, I had the album playing in the background and when I'm not over examining it, I catch myself nodding along to the big hooks and crunchy guitars.  Maybe this is one of those records that will grow on my the more I play it.  Maybe I'll end up being extra annoyed after a while.  I't hard to tell right now, but I can say that I this record is absolutely worth giving a play on Bandcamp. Maybe you won't mind the few things on the record that are bugging me.

Basketball Shorts - Hot And Ready:


Monday, July 11, 2016

Plow United - Three LP - Red & Beige Vinyl (/500)

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It's Alive (2016)

Plow United return with another album called Three.  It's a relief to see that 2013's Marching Band wasn't a one and done after the band returned from a decade plus long hibernation.  I'm not sure if Three is quite as great as Marching Band was, but it is still a pretty fantastic record.

Three starts off with "We Should Take Time," a brief, punky intro with a fifty thousand mile per hour drum beat.  That sort of drumming isn't usually my favorite thing in the world and it made me a tad nervous the first time I put the record on, but those fears were immediately quashed by the very next song "Break The Barrier."  This is where Plow really shines.  They slowed down the tempo just a bit, inserted a catchy guitar riff and alternate back and forth between palm muted chugging and that sparkling riff.

As we move through the album, Plow unleashes some spectacular tunes.  "Everything," "Trust" and "The Writing on the Wall" are as strong as anything in the band's back catalog.  There are a few quick songs that are so short they kind of whiz by before they really sink in including the blink and you'll miss it "Hello Vertigo" and the criminally too brief "Radio."  

Overall though, this is a logical, strong follow up to Marching Band.  I've been listening to Plow United for a lot of years.  The fact that they've released two albums that are pretty different from the records they put out during their first run, but still manage to be equally enthralling is testament to their greatness.

Plow United - Three:

Thursday, July 7, 2016

New Junk City / Rebot (Re)pair - Split 7"

Untitled

Night Animal (2016)

One of the interesting things about the recent uptick in records being sent to me to review is that it is exposing me to new bands that aren't on my radar.  Granted, that's not always for the best as there certainly some stinkers that get sent my way.  That being said, the few good ones that manage to sneak through are more than enough reward to sift through sthe sewage.

Case in point is New Junk City from this 7".  I don't really have any idea where these guys came from (OK, their Bandcamp page says they are from Atlanta, but you know what I mean).  I kind of can't fathom that I would have stumbled across this 7" on my own.  Not for any particular reason, I'm just not really sure where it would have popped up for me given my fairly narrow use of the internet.  Anyway, these two New Junk City songs are great.  On "Everything Good," lightly distorted guitar riffs in the verse give way to a chorus that crashes through the song.  The vocals are forceful, but not screamed and most of all it's supremely catchy.  "Wasting" may even be better with its bouncy chord progressions.  It's the best kind of punked up pop, without falling into the trappings of generic pop punk.

Robot (Re)pair doesn't quite hit the same kind of highs that New Junk City hits.  The recording of these three songs is a little flat, which probably doesn't help things.  The first two songs are both about a minute long and they feel like throwaways.  By the third song, "Weird World," they slow things down a bit and take their time.  The results are better and it's a reasonably catchy song, though I liked it more before I read the lyric sheet.  None of the three songs are bad, but they are completely overshadowed by how great these New Junk City songs are.

New Junk City / Rebot (Re)pair - Split 7":

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Satellite Go - Kate 7"

Untitled

33 Forever (2016)

When 33 Forever sent me the new Plow United single a few weeks ago, they also included this 7" by Satellite Go.  I hadn't heard of these guys previously, but this is a pretty good little record.

Throughout the four songs on this 7", Satellite Go craft a quartet of melodic punk rock songs that have a bit of a rootsy side to them.  There are moments where they remind me of bands like Dan Padilla, Nude Beach and Suspicious Beasts.  Vocally, I can also see similarities to the slower moments of Plow United.

The first three songs in particular are great, mixing in the right amount of catchiness in the choruses and earnestness in the vocals.  I'm not as big of a fan of the last song, "Blackout."  The vocals kind of go off the rails toward the end of the song.  But the other three are top notch and really make me interested to hear more from this band.  This is worth picking up if you're into any of the other bands I mentioned.

Satellite Go - Kate 7"

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Hooper / Spells - Split Cassingle

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Snappy Little Numbers (2016)

Credit again to Snappy Little Fingers, both for bringing back the wacky cassingle artwork of my youth and for sending over a copy of this tape to review.  I was pretty excited to pop this guy in when I opened it up.  After all, I'm a pretty huge Hooper fan and I've enjoys some of Spells prior work as well.

As far as the Hooper side goes, I have to admit I'm a little disappointed.  They start off with a cover of Marissa Nadler's "Diamond Heart."  It's alright, but is really lacking the energy and hooks that have made Hooper one of my favorites.  But again, it's a cover, so you can only do so much.  I had much higher hopes for the second song on their side of the split, "My Friend The Beast."  Best I can tell, this isn't a cover song, but it really doesn't sound much like the Hooper I've come to know and love.  The tempo is slow and deliberate and aside from a few high spots towards the end, the song just feels kind of thin.  Not at all what I was expecting from these guys.

For their side, Spells sticks to the tried and true.  "Starch Ideas" is the best kind of upbeat chord progression pop.  Through in a nice hooky chorus and some nice backing vocals and you've got a really solid song.  For their second song, they provide "A Failure's Wake."  The title makes me wonder.  Do they mean a wake for a failure, like the failure died or do them mean the wake of a failure, like the wake that a boat causes.  Either option provides some interesting thoughts.  Like "Starch Ideas," this is another bouncy, catchy song.  I really didn't expect the Spells side of this tape to be the one that I liked the most, but there you have it.

This is an interesting little split.  I'm especially curious to see where Hooper goes next.  Is this a new direction or just an anomaly?

Hooper / Spells - Split Cassingle:

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Notches - Huge 7"

Untitled

Young Modern / Hip Kid / Cat Dead Details Later (2015)

Young Modern sent me this Notches 7" to review along with the band's recent full length (that review will be coming soon).  This was another in a series of bands I didn't know about that knocked my socks off when I gave them a whirl.

We'll start with the one criticism I have first and that's that the recording quality isn't quite up to how great the songs are.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not a fan of slick, overproduced sounding rock & roll and I appreciate a little hiss and grime in a recording.  Unfortunately for the songs on this 7" the recording makes things, particularly the vocals, seem a little flat.  The good news is that these four songs are all so good, they cut through any production issues.

I can't speak for the band and say what their influences are, but they certainly seem to be taking cues from some bands from the 90's that I enjoy.  Superchunk is the easiest comparison to make, but to me I really hear elements of bands like Buford or Corduroy.  For a modern comparison, they make me feel the same way that bands like Hooper and Rumspringer do and that's some pretty great company.

It's a great introduction to the band especially as a primer for the full length.  I'll be reviewing it shortly, but as a spoiler I have no qualms at all with the recording quality on that one.

Notches - Huge 7":
https://notchesnh.bandcamp.com/album/huge-7

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Dan Padilla / Prince - Split 7" - Blue Vinyl (/100)

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Dead Broke (2016)

I finally got around to picking up a copy of this split 7".  I delayed a bit longer than I normally would, so I was relieved that I was still able to grab the blue vinyl that was limited to 100 copies.

Dan Padilla is a band that's been kicking around for quite a few years and I've reviewed several of their releases over the years on this website.  The two songs on this 7", perhaps two of the last songs the band will ever release, are on par with anything they've put out in the past.  I really dig both of them.  Dan Padilla has always been a band that takes a slight rootsy approach to their punk rock.  You can hear echoes of a Tom Petty vibe buried in their songs, but they still put forth the sort of energy and passion that you'd expect from a Leatherface.

I still don't know what to make of the band Prince.  Well, I should clarify that, I've absolutely loved ever song I've heard from them so far, but I don't really know a ton about them.  I did a little creative googling (you probably wouldn't be surprised to find out they are difficult to search for these days) and it looks like they're going to start working on a full length soon.  I'm pretty excited about that as their contribution to this split is just stellar.  Fast and catchy with lots of hooks, just the way I like.  Counting down the days to that full length.

Dan Padilla / Prince - Split 7":

Monday, June 27, 2016

Charlie Continental - Time Cassingle

Untitled 

Snappy Little Numbers (2016)

While I say pretty consistently that I really do not like all of the cassettes that get released these days, I will freely admit that this Charlie Continental one is pretty neat.  They went all out and did the old cardboard cassingle packaging.  It reminds me of buying the Cypress Hill "Phuncky Feel One/How I Could Just Kill A Man" cassingle back in '91.

Anyway, Charlie Continental doesn't sound much like Cypress Hill, but you could argue that he has a similar nasal delivery style like B-Real does.  If anything it reminds me a bit of Nobunny and bands of that ilk.  The two songs on this cassette are quick, one minute long poppy blasts.  Both of them sort of sound like TV show theme songs, which is funny, because after I thought that I looked on the Snappy Little Fingers website and found that the A-side of this tape, "Quit Wastin' My Time" is actually the theme song of a TV show on TruTV called "Those Who Can't."  I have never seen it or even heard of it, but I guess I was right in thinking these songs sound like theme songs.

I like both of the Charlie Continental songs well enough, but I really have a hard time getting all that excited about one minute long songs.  They come and go before you know it and while both are good, neither are spectacular to the point where it doesn't matter that they are so short.  They just seem like catchy little jingles more than anything else.  If Charlie Continental has some longer songs to release in the future, I would be curious to see where they could take everything with just a little more time.

Charlie Continental - Time Cassingle:
https://snappylittlenumbers.bandcamp.com/album/time

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Winter Bear - Jump In The Fire 7"

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Hozac (2013)

A little bit ago I got a package in the mail from Hozac, which was interesting as I hadn't placed an order with them recently.  Imagine my surprise to find out they had sent me a stack or records to review.  It wasn't the most recent batch of releases they've put out, but a cross section of records that they've released over a last few years.  I'm certainly game for that, so the first I'll tackle is Winter Bear.

Something that struck me as kind of funny is that as soon as I saw this record, I had an idea of what I thought it would sound like already in my head, and it turns out I was exactly right.  I don't think that is because I'm some sort of savant or anything, but I think it speaks more to how Winter Bear just has an aesthetic down for all aspects of their music, including the artwork. I dig the artwork and I dig the two songs.

I feel like eventually someone is going to hunt me down and beat me in the head for continually comparing bands to Baby Shakes, but I really feel that they are my touchstone for the sort of high energy, 60's throwback, female fronted bands that I tend to enjoy the most.  Winter Bear has this in spades from the lightly fuzzed out guitar, upbeat rhythm section and the well placed "shoo-wah-wah" in the A-side "Jump in the Fire." B-side "Should I Leave" is just as strong.  It has a slightly more jangly guitar sound, but captures the same sort of magic in the vocals.

This record came out back in 2013, and it looks like Winter Bear only put out one other 7" since then.  I'll probably pick that up at some point as this record is so good.  I'm not sure if Winter Bear is still kicking around, but I hope they are, this is pretty great stuff.

Winter Bear - Jump In The Fire 7":

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Cut Worms - Don't Want to Say Good-bye 7"

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Randy (2016)

I was pretty pleased when Randy records had sent me a pack of records to review a few weeks ago.  Even though I ended up not really liking the Heavy Times 7" they put out, this Cut Worms 7" has really won me over.

I hadn't heard of Cut Worms previously, but as soon as I put this record on, I was immediately taken back to being a kid when my dad was listening to the Everly Brothers.  In particular the moment that stands out is when my dad was listening to "Cathy's Clown" over and over again trying to learn the bass and all of the lyrics (he was in a cover band with my uncle and a few of their friends).  As a result of this, I developed an early and long lasting appreciation for the Everly Brothers and that song especially.

Cut Worms fits right into that same mold.  With gentle instrumentation as the backing, the main focus is on the vocals and the tremendous multi part harmonies coming out of both songs on this 7".  The recording fidelity isn't lo-fi or hi-fi, but it's kind of old-fi and sounds like a pristine relic from another time.  While I'm not sure this is the sort of 7" I could see myself listening to repeatedly, I do enjoy it quite a bit and would definitely check out future records that Cut Worms release.

Cut Worms - Don't Want to Say Good-bye 7":

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Hurry - Guided Meditation LP - Swamp Green Vinyl (/100)

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Lame-O (2016)

I had picked up Hurry's last record from 2014 called Everything/Nothing.  It was a solid record that I enjoyed, though it never really entered the discussion for best albums of that year or anything.  It was just a good listen for a change of pace.  Fast forward to 2016 and the band has released their next album, this time on Lame-O records.  Suddenly, Hurry is a band that is definitely standing out from the pack.

I've always been a sucker for shimmering, breezy guitar pop.  Throw on a Posies or a Beezewax record and I'm a happy guy.  Find me one of the more upbeat Pernice Brothers songs and I'm pretty content.  These are the feelings that Hurry is channeling over the course of Guided Meditation.  I wouldn't say it's the perfect summer record or use one of those cliche's as there is an underlying strain of melancholy that hangs on each song.  The harmonies are spectacular and really get stuck in your head, but they seem more rooted and less like throwaway melodies as they have a certain level of gravity that you don't hear too often.

Maybe I'm the sort of person that does like a little more fire in my music and I probably lean towards bands playing faster in general, but there's something to be said about a band's ability to create an album this strong.  All in all, this is a big step up for Hurry.  With Guided Meditation they've crafted a pretty close to perfect pop record.  

Hurry - Guided Meditation:



Monday, June 20, 2016

Tenement - Bruised Music Vol. 2 LP - Coke Bottle Clear Vinyl (/225)

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Toxic Pop / Grave Mistake (2015) 

I have been writing about Tenement for quite some time on this site.  I was lucky enough to stumble across them pretty early and have watched in amazement as they have taken on a life of their own over the years.  Bruised Music Vol. 2 is the second singles compilation the band has released highlighting some of their songs that originally came out on various 7"s.  

Granted, I have all of these 7"s, so there's only a couple of songs that I hadn't heard previously, but it blows my mind how well they all fit together in a full length album format.  Much like Tenement's last proper full length, Predatory Headlights, Bruised Music Vol. 2 runs the gamut of Tenement's styles; from hugely recorded, catchy pop punk songs to lo fi, treble heavy numbers to a few of those weird soundscape-y songs that aren't exactly my favorite thing the band does.  It is a remarkably diverse set of songs that for reasons I really can't explain coalesce into this perfectly formed body of music.  You'd think they planned this all along.

I'll always be partial to to the catchier Tenement songs like "Taking Everything," Paper Airplanes" and "Your Life or Mine," after all I did first hear about these guys on the Pop Punk Message Board.  Tenement isn't a one trick pony, though.  I think most have realized over the past few years that this is a pretty special band with many tricks up their sleeve.  I'll keep buying their records to see what's next.

Tenement - Bruised Music Vol. 2:


Thursday, June 16, 2016

California - S/T LP - Dark Blue Swirl Vinyl

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Blackball (2016)

I stumbled across California when I saw this record was touting that it featured members of Green Day and Jawbreaker.  That was enough to get me to take a look at it, though I certainly can't say I was surprised to find out it meant the old drummer from Jawbreaker, Adam Pfahler, and Jason White, best known as that other guitar player who isn't Billie Joe in Green Day and Pinhead Gunpowder.  

That last sentence may sound derisive, but even though these two may not have the name value of some of their bandmates, they are integral parts of some really tight, white hot bands, so my expectations were still pretty high.  California is just a picture perfect example of a good record.  That's what it is; it's good.  It's not great, but there are some pretty good songs on it.  There are some records that just blow you away with their greatness that make you just want to ball up your fists, scream into the air and tell everyone you know that they must own this record.  I can't see California ever making anyone feel that kind of passion.

But again, it's a completely solid album full of mid-tempo, reasonably catchy tunes that feature serviceable melodies and some pretty interesting guitar riffs.   It's not aggressive enough to really be considered punk, but it is loud enough where I wouldn't dismiss it as pure indie.  It kind of reminds me of old 90's bands like Ridel High or to a lesser extent, Ultimate Fakebook.  Two other bands that just have a lot of good songs (with Ultimate Fakebook having a handful of truly great ones).

I'm sure this review isn't really inspiring anyone to run out and grab this record, but at the end of the day I do think it is worth picking up.  Not everything in this world is off the charts great.  There's room for some records that are just a good pleasant listen, and California fits this bill to a T.

California - S/T:

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Pink Wine / Outtacontroller - Split 7" - Clear Vinyl

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Young Modern (2015)

When Young Modern sent this record to me, I was actually kind of surprised I didn't already have it.  I'm not sure if I just didn't know it was released or if I knew about it at some point and never got around to ordering a copy.  Regardless, I'm very excited to add it to the collection.

We'll start up with Pink Wine.  The first song on their side is "Wasted Breath."  It's catchy in the right places with tinny, distorted guitar riffs and vocals that straddle the divide between snotty and melodic.  It actually seems like the sort of band that would be pretty comfortable on Hozac.  Their second song is a cover of Outtacontroller's "Put It On High."  That is my favorite Outtacontroller song, so I am predisposed to already love that song.  Pink Wine does a completely fine version.  It's not too dissimilar from the original, but since I love the original, that's ok by me.

Outtacontroller is the band I'm most excited about on the spit.  I'm already a huge fan and I really feel like this is a band that doesn't get the attention they rightly deserve.  They are just as amazing as any band playing catchy punk rock with big hooks and fuzzed out vocals.  Their first song is "I Gave Up On Weezer" and it's as excellent as that song title would have you believe.  It's certainly a topic I can relate to, but it's not just a gimmick song.  It is as much of a toe tapper as anything else in the band's catalog.  

The second song is "Cold Sweats."  It's a Pink Wine cover, though I wasn't familiar with original prior to hunting around for it on the Pink Wine Bandcamp page.  It's a pretty faithful interpretation and a solid song.  Compared side by side, I actually prefer the original by Pink Wine, but I dig the Outtacontroller version as well.  I've always liked the idea of bands covering each other on split 7"s and this record is another example of why I tend to think it's a fun thing to do.

Pink Wine / Outtacontroller - Split 7"

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Shiner - Starless LP - White & Blue Vinyl (/1000)

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Self Released (2015, Reissue)

Thirteen years ago today, my wife and I started dating.  Though I supposed it is possible I might have ended up stumbling across Shiner on my own, it's probably safe to say that the only reason I know about these guys are because they are my wife's favorite.  It's a good thing too as it would be pretty annoying to have missed out on such a great band.

I will admit that I have not delved deeply into the band's entire catalog.  I am mostly jumping in to each record as they get released on vinyl for the first time.  I have spent many, many years with the Shiner album The Egg, so that is the main point of comparison I can use for Starless.  

In many ways, Starless could be considered the superior album, at least from my point of view.  I think that the songs are a little poppier in general.  The pace is also a littler faster across the board.   Both of these traits are the kinds of things I look for in a great album.  There's not a bad song on the record and the way the band blends their deep guitar growl with melodic vocals floating over top is a trait kind of unique to them.  

A lot of people compare Shiner to bands like Jawbox, and I certainly see that as a good starting point.  Jawbox tends to sound a bit angrier than Shiner and I feel that Shiner is the kind of band that will take a few more chances with their songs.  This leads to some interesting experimentation, but not going overboard to where this sounds like experimental music.  This is rock, make no bones about it.

At the end of the day, I probably like The Egg a bit more.  That has a lot to do with how much longer I've been listening to that album and some pretty fond memories attached to it.  Starless is just as strong of a record and as I said earlier, even exceeds The Egg at times.  Shiner is a sorely overlooked band that absolutely deserves more attention.  I can only thank my wife for having such excellent taste in music and showing me the way.

Shiner - Starless:

Monday, June 13, 2016

Heavy Times - Dancer 7"

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Randy (2016)

I was very appreciative to get a copy of the new Heavy Times 7" sent to me for review.  Another one of those cool instances where someone sends me a record by a band that I already like.  If you've read past reviews, you've seen that I consider Heavy Times an unlikely favorit, but what I always am drawn towards is the pop song hidden beneath their fuzz.

I can't possibly tell you what happened to Heavy Times on this 7".  They sound like a completely different band and not in a good way at all.  The 7" starts out with "Dancer," a bummer of a song that's further marred by unnecessary synth and a silly monotone vocal delivery.  What happened to the fuzz? What happened to the frantic guitar and the recorded in a cave howling?  Next up is "Midnight Highway" which sounds more like the Minibosses meets Warm Soda.  Again, not in a good way.  It's sterile in all the wrong ways and at the root of things it's just not a song that I think is particularly great.

The B side is better, but not a lot better. "Coptic Rot" is at least a little dirty and noisy, but again there's nothing catchy or deceptively catchy about the song.  It's kind of repetitious and plodding, not really going anywhere.  The best song on the record is the last one, "Edge of the Night."  But even being the best of this bunch isn't much.  It's still an unnaturally slow song and the vocals are, again, totally monotone and lacking any kind of urgency.  It's got a decently catchy lead guitar part worked through, but it would still probably be the low point on any other Heavy Times release.

As I said at the beginning, I have no idea what happened to these guys.  Maybe up too late at night watching Tron before this was recorded?  Hopefully this is a one time excursion for the band getting some weird songs out of their system, but if Heavy Times comes around with a new full length, I'm going to have to check out a few songs before I bling buy it.

Heavy Times - Dancer 7":


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Mrs. Magician - Bermuda LP - Green Vinyl

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Swami (2016)

I have been waiting for this record for a very, very long time.  My expectations were set so unrealistically high, it would not have been difficult for Mrs. Magician to let me down with Bermuda.  Despite the fact that they were trying to follow up my favorite record of the past ten years, Mrs. Magician still knocked it out of the park and delivered an instant classic of a second album.

Sure, if pressed I'll say that I don't like this album as much as I like their prior, Strange Heaven.  But I also don't like Scream Dracula Scream as much as I like Circa: Now.  That doesn't mean Scream isn't a ridiculously amazing record, it just means Circa is one of those transcendent classics.  I feel similarly with the two Mrs. Magician albums.  I can't fathom a time in the future where I won't think Strange Heaven is one of the best album's I have ever heard in my entire life, but Bermuda is so, so great in its own right.

The album starts out with the blazing surfed up lead guitar of "Phantoms."  It immediately draws you in and gets you ready for the ride ahead.  After that it's just hit after hit of dark pop perfection.  One of the things I love about Mrs. Magician is how incredible the lyrics are and their ability to paint a picture in my head.  This ability is on display again on Bermuda.  Just fire up my favorite song on the album, "Tear Drops."  "Life sucks/Tough shit/You wanna get real/get used to it/whoa-whoa-oh-oh."  And then that sets the stage for the biggest hook on the album and maybe one of the most powerful choruses in the band's entire catalog.

To list off all of the great songs on this album you would essentially just have to reprint the tracklist.  I will give special mention to the closing three songs on the album as they are so unbelievably good it just makes me angry the album is over.  Let's also point out another batch of killer lyrics on "No More Tears."  "Gonna set my, my alarm clock/just to tell my boss to fuck off." Goddamn that's great stuff and Bermuda is just packed to the gills with genius like this.

Hands down, far and away, this is the best record I have heard so far in 2016.  I cannot possibly recommend it highly enough.  While I absolutely think Bermuda was worth the four year wait since Strange Heaven, these guys better not take that long again for album number three.  Also, don't break up again.  I'll freak out.  Lastly, I just saw Mrs. Magician this past weekend when they came through town.  They were beyond description and you are a fool if you don't see them if they play by you.  Go buy this record now.

Mrs. Magician - Bermuda:

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Outtacontroller - Television Zombie LP - Test Pressing w/ Alternate Cover

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P Trash / Young Modern / Southpaw (2015)

I've been doing this silly website for a long time now.  It has always been a way for me to catalog all of the records I buy and also stay in the habit of writing about music.  Not that I consider myself especially gifted when it comes to writing.  My vocabulary may not be the biggest, but I try my best to get the point across.  

Anything else that's come as a result of this site has been a bonus.  The occasion thank you from someone who bought a record because I said I liked it, the dude who sent me a Rocket From The Crypt slipmat for my record player and of course the smattering of free records I'm sent so that I will review them on this site.  Sure, some of them have been awful, but quite a few have been pretty darn good and I'm appreciative of them all.  

Then you have someone like Dan from Young Modern records.  He sends me a pretty big pack of some killer records from his label (reviews of those coming over the next few weeks) and on top of that, just to be a swell guy, he sends this Outtacontroller record to me to add to my collection.  I'm not sure he even expected me to write about it, but the jokes on you Dan!

This is a test pressing of last year's phenomenal Television Zombie LP.  You can go here to read my full review from last December.  In a nutshell, it's a beast of a record full of hooky, fuzzed out pop songs that should appeal to anyone that is into bands like The Marked Men, Steve Adamyk Band, Sonic Avenues or early Something Fierce.  Just a great, great album.  This version has the alternate P Trash screened artwork.  I used to buy a lot of P Trash exclusives, but them being in Germany and the crazy postage increases over the last few years kind of made that a much more limited occurrence.  Getting this version is a real treat.  

On top of that the actual piece of vinyl that is in here is one of the test pressings of the record.  I will admit that I'm not really a super big test pressing collector.  I mostly just have all of the PopKid ones and a few other random ones here and there, but it was really cool for Dan to send it over as I can't imagine there are more than ten or so of them on the planet.

So, this isn't really much of a review, it's mostly just telling you all about a new record I got to add to my collection and the story behind it.  Ultimately, that's what I always want this website to be about.  The day it turns into a straight ahead review factory is the day I'll lose interest in doing it.  Anyway, thanks to Dan for sending this record along.  It's a keeper!

Outtacontroller - Television Zombie LP:

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Greys - Outer Heaven LP - White Vinyl

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Carpark (2016)

Outer Heaven is another one of those records that, on the surface, probably doesn't seem like it would appeal to me as much as it does.  I'm not even completely sure why I decided to take a chance on it.  Surely because of some reviews I read, but at the same point I do not know the defining characteristic that pushed me over the edge.

Regardless of the reason, I am glad I picked this up.  While it isn't an obvious choice or a slam dunk that I think everyone would like it, there are enough interesting moments on Outer Heaven to keep me coming back.  Buried in the chaotic guitar and occasional shouting are some pretty compelling pop songs.  The album starts off with the melodic and somewhat somber "Cruelty," but it's not really an indication of what is to come.  It almost seems there to put you off guard.  For me, the album really kicks off with "No Star."  It has a building verse with see saw vocals that explodes into a noisy, screaming, but somehow still quite catchy chorus.

The rest of the album follows suit, which an odd dichotomy between quite tender moments and full on freak outs.  In many ways it reminds me a lot of a mish mash of And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, Silver Scooter and Tenement.  Greys is probably not the kind of band that you'll just hear and think that you should pick up a record by them.  But after a few listens everything they are doing starts to make more and more sense.  Outer Heavens has ended up as an album that I have really gotten some milage out of this year.  Absolutely worth checking out if you're in the mood for something a little different.

Greys - Outer Heaven:

Monday, June 6, 2016

Sun Of A Gun - Co-Pay 7"

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Lo-Fi Supply (2016)

This was sent to me to review along with a couple of releases from Randy records (more on those coming soon).  It's always neat to me to get a record sent to me here and there from bands and labels that I already enjoy. I really dug Son of a Gun's LP on Tall Pat records and this 7" has four more songs from this Chicago based band.

If there is one thing Chicago seems to have a pretty decent supply of, it's great bands.  Not sure what is in the water, but if you like your rock sounding a little fuzzy, but with big hooks, Chicago is a town you may want to check out.  Especially if Son of a Gun is playing a show.  These guys harness the bygone era of trashy rock and roll, yet they always manage to sound fresh and exciting where other bands could easily fall in the trappings of being a glorified tribute band.

The four songs on this 7" are are natural progression from their last LP, with the two songs on the A side, "Co-Pay" and "All My Love" being a particular stand outs.  Maybe I don't love the slower, but still quite fuzzy, "Do No Right" as much as the rest, but in general this is a fun little 7".  Certainly worth picking up if you liked the album.

Son Of A Gun - Co-Pay 7" (Only two of the four songs are streaming right now for some reason) :

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Advlts - Black Bile 7"

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Toxic Pop (2016)

I wonder what band really started the thing where they replace the "u" in their name with a "v."  I feel like I've been seeing it a lot over the past few years and it always strikes me as weird.  That being said, I try not to judge bands too harshly on their name.  After all, I do own 4 Goober Patrol albums.

Advlts have managed to cram six songs onto this 7" with the longest one coming in at a tidy one minute and thirty-three seconds.  Usually when I see times like that, I tend to go running for the hills assuming it's going to be a hyper fast, shouting mess.  Amazingly, Advlts aren't like that at all.  The songs are short and I'd even go as far as to say they have a pretty quick tempo, but from there everything defies expectations.  

The guitars have quite a bit of restraint on them, eschewing crazy fuzzed chaos for a warmer, slightly jangly tone.  The vocals are urgent, but never screamed and maintain a level of melody that many bands trying this sort of thing would find difficult to pull off.  These songs mostly remind me of the sort of thing you'd find on a random 7" put out by Lookout in the late 80's or really early 90's.  I won't go so far as to say I love this and expect to play it constantly, but I did end up liking it quite a bit more than I expected.

Advults - Black Bile 7":

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Audacity - Hyper Vessels LP - Green Vinyl (/500)

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Suicide Squeeze (2016)

Audacity's last album from 2013, Butter Knife, was one of those perfect storm records for me.  I had dug the band's prior album, but was totally blown away by Butter Knife and it was easily one of my favorite records of that year.  Fast forward through an excruciating three year wait and Audacity finally delivers the follow up, Hyper Vessels.

In some ways, this record is a bit of a disappointment for me.  I was hoping for more breezy pop perfection like the band was showing on Butter Knife.  Instead, this is much more similar to Audacity's 2012 album, Mellow Cruisers.  It's heavier on the garage sneer than it is on the big hooks.  That's certainly not to say there aren't catchy songs on this album.  Opening track "Counting The Days" will immediately dispel that notion, but in general things are a little faster and the vocals are a little snottier.

If anything, this kind of sounds like it would have been the perfect follow up to Mellow Cruisers.  If Hyper Vessels had been released right after Mellow Cruisers and then Butter Knife came after, it would seem like a logical progression.  Instead, Audacity feels like they're taking a slight step backwards.  Again, not that this isn't a good record, in fact it's a really good record, I'm just a little surprised with the direction Audacity took.

Audacity - Hyper Vessels:


Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Plow United - Everything 7"

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33 Forever (2016)

I was pretty psyched to open up a package that was addressed to this website and find that it contained the new Plow United 7".  I've said it before, but I'll repeat it again: I always am appreciative of an label that sends me something to review, but if you send me a record by a band I already like that's worth some bonus points.  

I've been listening to Plow United for twenty some odd years at this point and they still manage to the create these anthems that make me want to ball up my fist and shout along.  "Everything" is a perfect example of this and is also going to be on the band's upcoming full length.  The verse builds off of rapid fire vocals describing different ideologies and beliefs until the chorus kicks in to explain that "I've been everything."  With this being Plow United, be sure that the chorus is delivered in the catchiest  and most triumphant way possible.  

Exclusive to this 7" is the B side "'39."  It's a Queen cover from the Night At The Opera album, though you may not pick up on that listening to Plow's version.  Clocking in at an economical one minute and fifty-three seconds, Plow turns this into a fast paced, slightly country tinged interpretation.  If I have one complaint, it's that it seems to fly by too quick, but both songs do a great job of whetting my appetite for the new Plow United full length.  Expect a review of that in the next few weeks as well.

Plow United - Everything 7":

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Holiday Weekend - Buy PopKid Stuff!

It's a long holiday weekend coming up here in the US, so I'm going to get an early start.  Reviews will be back on Tuesday, but in the meantime, don't forget to pick up the new records on PopKid - Custody & Chestnut Road:
Custody - Blistered Soul 7"

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Purchase the record from our webstore here: 


Stream both songs and buy the digital version on our Bandcamp page here: 




Chestnut Road - LPII

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In North America, you can buy the full length vinyl LP from PopKid records at:
http://popkidrecords.bigcartel.com/product/chestnut-road-lpii-orange-vinyl

If you're not into records and just want MP3s, the PopKid Bandcamp page can assist:
https://popkid.bandcamp.com/album/chestnut-road-lp-ii

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Color Animal / Magic Mint - Split 7" - White Vinyl

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Hail Atlantis (2016)

This split 7" was one that I received to review and I was immediately taken with the artwork.  It may not really look like much in the picture, but the quality of the sleeve is outstanding.  It's printed on really thick card stock and all of the images and text have a raised, embossed feeling to them.  Pretty top notch.

The bands themselves don't impress as much as the art does.  First up is Color Animal.  They contribute two indie pop songs that are OK.  The problem with both is they sound like they are building to a big catchy hook that never actually arrives.  I think you should only be allowed to repeat a guitar riff a limited number of times before you are required by law to hit that hook.  Again, both songs are OK, but it would have only taken a catchy chorus to make them stand out.

On the flip side is Magic Mint.  They suffer from a similar malady; the chorus just never seems to arrive.  It's significantly less poppy that the Color Animal songs, leaning on a repetitive, dreamlike vibe and washed out vocals.  It's not as good as Color Animal as once you get a little too far out there with your atmospheric sounds, you will inevitably lose my attention.  But again, the artwork is pretty great.

 Color Animal / Magic Mint - Split 7":

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Unwound - Peel Sessions LP

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Numero Group (2016)

Normally I would have written this up immediately following the last Unwound box set as this was a bonus add on you could order when purchasing the set directly from Numero Group.  It's out of order because on Friday I wrote up the new Custody 7" on PopKid (Still for sale, go buy!) and yesterday I just forgot.  Today I remembered, so here it goes.

Considering this was the add on for the last box set, Empire, this could have ended up being Peel Sessions for only the later songs in the career of the band.  Lucky (for me anyway since I don't really like the last two albums all that much), there is a bit of variety on this album.  Well at least as much variety as you can get when there's only 3 songs played.

It starts off with a pretty cool version of "Hexenszene" from New Plastic Ideas.  The bass is a little low, but the guitar antics are right up front and sound great.  There's a nice little noisy freak out at the end and it's a good version of the song. Next up is "Side Effects Of Being Tired."  It's probably one of the best, if not the best song from Challenge For A Civilized Society.  A little faster and noisier than the vast majority of that album.

Last up is "Kantina/Were, are and Was or Is."  The original version of "Kantina" was from Fake Train and even back then clocked in at a hefty four plus minutes.  This Peel Session version is creeping up on fifteen minutes long with a long instrumental section/jam tacked on to the end.  It's an interesting listen, but I prefer the album version.

This may very well mark the last time I write about Unwound on this site.  I've done all four box sets, I've done all four bonus LPs and I even did all of their individual 7"s as I picked those up a couple of years ago.  I suppose there is always the chance I may grab the original pressing of their LPs, but I'm thinking that's somewhat unlikely.  Still, a great band for the most part.  I just hope we get another Survival Knife record soon.

Unwound - Peel Sessions:

Monday, May 23, 2016

Mrs. Magician - Eyes All Over Town 7" (Import) - Yellow Vinyl & Black Vinyl

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La Castanya (2016)

I reviewed the US version of this 7" on Swami a few days ago, but there is another version of this single release by La Castanya in Spain.  In addition to a different color scheme for the artwork and the fact that it's available on yellow vinyl, this 7" is sporting a completely different B side than the American version.

That B side what I'll focus on for the purpose of this review.  "Do You Wanna Walk Around In The Dark" has a slightly odd 80's sound to it.  It's the sort of song you could probably imagine in the context of a John Hughes movie when the main characters are having a heart to heart moment and are realizing they've been right for each other all along.  Despite my general dislike of most 80's music, Do You Wanna Walk Around In The Dark" doesn't bug me as much as I would think it could if you were just telling me about it.

Luckily, Mrs. Magician picked one of the only decent 80's vibes to be influenced by as the "Don't Fear The Reaper" guitar tone keeps the song rooted and prevents it from drifting into cheesy novelty territory.  I certainly prefer when Mrs. Magician is blasting out louder, fuzzier surf tinged pop songs, but "Do You Wanna Walk Around In The Dark" is a fun little B side.  If Mrs. Magician made a whole record like this, I'm not sure I'd be on board, but it's totally fine as a one off.

Mrs. Magician - Do You Wanna Walk Around In The Dark":

Friday, May 20, 2016

Custody - Blistered Soul 7" - Red, Blue or Yellow Vinyl

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PopKid / Waterslide / Different Kitchen / Shield / Keep it a Secret (2016)

This will be my second conflict of interest post this year as I am writing about another record that I'm releasing on PopKid records, the label I do with my buddy Alan.  I never really expected that we would be releasing another record so soon after putting out Chestnut Road a couple of months ago.  That had been the first PopKid record in twelve years.  I think you have to go back to 1999 to find the last year that PopKid had put out two releases in the same year.

The thing about is we just couldn't not put this record out.  I had written a few nice things about the first Custody 7" on this website.  It was a great record then and it's still in my frequent rotation.  The guys in Custody got in touch to see if PopKid wanted to be the American label for their next 7".  We were flattered, but weren't sure we really should fire up another record so soon after the last.  All it took was a few listens to these songs and we were hooked.  We HAD to release this 7".

The A side "Blistered Soul" kicks things off with its palm muted Samiam inspired verse that chugs along as it builds towards the chorus.  When that chorus hits, the hook just explodes into life with a vocal melody that gets lodged in my head for days on end.  The guitar work roars along side the vocals with a rich, full sound that kills me every time.  Perhaps a result of the bang up mastering job done by Mass Giorgini at Sonic Iguana?  I'm sure he didn't hurt things!

For me personally, the B side "Whatever We Decide" takes the cake on this 7".  I can say with no hyperbole whatsoever that this is one of my favorite songs I've heard all year.  When the chorus of this song kicks in, you're treated with some of the most dynamic guitar work this side of Starmarket.  The way the band is able to weave these guitar leads through the vaguely Iron Chic style passionate vocals is just amazing to me.  Sure, I may have bias because this record is coming out on my label, but the reason it is is because we just love these two songs.

I hope that Custody keeps cranking out hits forever.  I consider us very lucky to be able to be a part of this release and I can only hope that we will be able to do more with them in the future.  Surely a full length will be needed at some point, right?

Purchase the record from our webstore here: 


Stream both songs and buy the digital version on our Bandcamp page here: 


PopKid is the lucky label releasing this record in North America.  If you are from another land, there may be a label close by that is co-releasing this great 7" with us:

Available in North America from PopKid Records 
Available in the UK from Different Kitchen Records 
Available in the Netherlands from Shield Recordings 
Available in Germany from Keep it a Secret Records 
Available in Japan from Waterslide Records

Custody - Blistered Soul 7":
https://popkid.bandcamp.com/album/custody-blistered-soul