Thursday, April 19, 2018

Nervous Tick and the Zipper Lips - S/T Cassette

Untitled

More Power Tapes (2017)

I'm trying to get through these cassettes, but it's becoming something of a slog as a lot of them just aren't very good. Nervous Tick and the Zipper Lips are one of those bands that fit in that category.  Their band name isn't good and the 6 songs on this tape also aren't very good.

Now I will say that it's somewhat impressive that every instrument on this album is played by the same guy.  Though you could also make the jack of all trades/master of none argument.  Everything sounds rough.  The recording quality is lo fi and it's really just a demo.  I get that, but it ends up sounding like any one of a thousand high school punk rock bands that play three shows at house parties and then go off to college and/or working at K mart.  I'm sure it's fun for them, but let's be honest.  No one wants to listen to that.

The last song "Scib Dobbin'" is probably the best as it at least makes an attempt to be catchy, but it's also pretty silly.  I don't really have much else to say about this.  I just don't like it.  It's mostly a lot of yelling over basic screechy guitar and the occasional keyboard.

Nervous Tick and the Zipper Lips - S/T Cassette:
https://morepowertapes.bandcamp.com/album/nervous-tick-and-the-zipper-lips-2

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

V/A - A Tribute To Broccoli - R.S.V.P.

Untitled

Fixing A Hole (2018)

If there is a band that deserves a tribute album, in my eyes, it's Broccoli.  In addition to being one of my favorite bands of all time, I also think they are wildly overlooked and under appreciated considering their phenomenal output.  While they were only a band for a short while, they amassed a pile of singles, a pair of albums and some of the best songs I've ever heard.

This double CD tribute album is boasting thirty eight bands, all providing their take on a classic Broccoli track.  Bands from all over the world take part, but Broccoli's influence seems to have been felt most keenly in the UK and Japan.  It would take a long time to point out every cool band and every cool cover, but I'll try to quickly go over a few.

Hyalin does a great version of "Constance." The Corpse's take on "Chestnut Road," a song always in contention for my favorite Broccoli song, is faithful, but still manages to tread new ground. The Hum Hums do a version of "I Am A Robot" that is pretty spectacular.  Though another band doing the same song, Honcho Tiros, is probably the most interesting take on a Broccoli song as they really put their own stamp on it and transform it into something completely new.  I do wish the vocals were just a little louder in the mix, but it is still a highlight of the compilation.

Egotrunk do the song "Short Straw Fate," The No Marks tackle "R.S.V.P." and Bows turn in "Constance."  The band Chestnut Road (named after a Broccoli song) don't cover the song their band is named after, they do "Fido."  The band Short Straw Fate (also named after a Broccoli song) don't cover the song "Short Straw Fate," they do a great version of "Jamaica Street."  And the funniest one to me is Water Closet's cover of "Da-a-a-ance," which isn't even a Broccoli song.  That one was a Lambrettas song that Broccoli covered on a 7". A band covering a band covering a band, but it's still a solid version of the song.

Now, I have to say that you really should own the original Broccoli albums these songs came from.  Their second LP Home is probably the best place to start.  But I think that this tribute compilation could be an interesting way to discover these songs, particularly if you're already familiar with some of the incredible bands that took part in this project.  There's no place online to stream the entire compilation that I can find, trust me.  It's definitely worth a listen.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Accident - Platinum Summer Cassette

Untitled

More Power Tapes (2017)

I've been trying to get caught up on the backlog of tapes I have hanging around to review.  I've probably mentioned before that it's hard to get motivated to go through these as I just have no real connection with cassettes.  Sure I had some Weird Al tapes when I was a kid and I did buy the occasional Eric B and Rakim cassingle during my teenage years, but I would so much rather listen to a record or even a CD.  The tape thing just bums me out, despite the fact that I realize it's a way for smaller bands to cheaply get their music out there.  But really, could cassettes possibly be cheaper than CD-rs at this point?

Anyway, that little diatribe kind of segues into this Accident cassette.  Listening to it, it's very clear that this isn't the sort of thing that really warrants a vinyl release.  It's low budget punk rock with vocals recorded in a way that you can barely hear them.  The songs just kind of plod along with the screechy treble of the guitar drowning out some dude that sounds like his singing in a different room from the one the microphone is actually in.

All six of these songs are one dimensional and not the sort of thing I would ever listen to.  Maybe if I was still in high school, but even then I didn't like any of the local bands playing the town VFW halls.

Accident - Platinum Summer:
https://morepowertapes.bandcamp.com/album/platinum-summer

Monday, April 16, 2018

Songs For Snakes - Crystal Vapour Figure LP

Untitled

Timid Crusher (2018)

Crystal Vapour Figure is the third full length album I've reviewed by Songs For Snakes.  Every time I listen to them, I can't help but wonder why they aren't a bit more well known that they seem to be.  This is a band playing the kind of killer, working class, melodic punk rock that you'd think would really resonate with a certain section of older punks, namely the ones that worship at the alters of Jawbreaker and Leatherface.

Now, that's not to say that Songs for Snakes are a carbon copy of either of those bands.  If anything, Jawbreaker and Leatherface are touchstones and influences on the sound of Songs For Snakes.  The Snakes take things their own direction, really owning the melodic side of the punk rock section.  They build their guitar riffs creating music that shows energy, while keeping the vocals somewhat vulnerable, yet still teeming with bitterness and rage.  It's a unique balancing act and one of the things that really sets Songs For Snakes apart from the sort of thing you'd hear on No Idea.

Frankly, Songs For Snakes are probably one of the more under appreciated bands out there.  Every record they've put out is great and they seem to get better every time they release a new one.  Crystal Vapour Figure is their best so far and is really worth checking out if you're not familiar with the band.  I want them to sell enough records to keep putting out new ones for a long, long time.

Songs For Snakes - Crystal Vapour Figure:

Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Blues Brothers - Jailhouse Rock 7" (France)

Untitled

Atlantic (1980)

This version of the Jailhouse Rock 7" comes from France.  The B side is "Sweet Home Chicago," though I personally feel like "Chicago" should be the A side and "Jailhouse Rock" should be the B side.  It's semantics really, I could play whichever side I wanted to first.  Both are great songs, but to me, "Sweet Home Chicago" feels like a Blues Brothers song and "Jailhouse Rock" feels like a cover.  I know all of the Blues Brothers songs are covers, but I guess it's mostly about when I first heard the song.

The artwork on this picture sleeve is pretty cool.  It's a still from the Palace Hotel Ballroom scene at the end of the movie and is one of the few 7"s out there that isn't recycling a picture from another release.  I especially like that you can see a bit of Cropper and Duck Dunn in the background. The nerve center of a great rhythm and blues band. Good stuff.

The Blues Brothers - "Jailhouse Rock":

The Blues Brothers - "Sweet Home Chicago":

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

falls - S/T Cassette

Untitled

Too Smell (2017)

When I went to Japan last year I got to see one punk rock show.  Four great bands played that show and one of those bands was falls.  I have two records by them so far, a five song CD and this five song cassette.  I'm going to start up with the cassette, but I've been listening to both quite a bit.

This tape starts out with two cover songs.  The first is "Dot Dash" by Wire and the second is an epic cover of one of my all time favorite songs, "Pumpkin Eyes" by Silver Scooter.  falls really do an incredible job with "Pumpkin Eyes," managing to stay true to the song's melancholy vibe but adding in just enough new flair to call it their own.

On the B side, there's three of falls' original songs and this is where they really shine.  They're crafting songs that some might say lean towards the emo side of things, but all three songs are so deeply rooted in guitar pop that they never lose sight of the hook. They've intertwined dynamic guitar leads with a tight rhythm section, resulting in songs that have room to experiment, but are rooted in their service to them main structure of the song.  In a lot of ways, falls remind my of Silver Scooter at the height of their power, so the "Pumpkin Eyes" cover is particularly appropriate.

Let's be honest, this is just a great tape.  I wish it was a CD or a 10" instead of being a tape, but I'll take what I can get when the songs are this good.  I'm pretty lucky I got to see them play, I hope I get to again one day.

falls - "Pumpkin Eyes":

falls - "City Of Hercules" (this live version is all I could find online):

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Big Bleach - Riffin' With Biff Cassette

Untitled

More Power Tapes (2016)

Riffin' With Biff is another tape I've had kicking around for way too long.  More Power Tapes unloaded a pretty big pile of cassettes on me and it just turned into this never ending pile that started looking more like work than fun.  I am trying to get through them.

Big Bleach isn't really for me.  It's fast for the most part, but isn't really ever poppy enough to hold my interest.  Throughout the cassette's four songs, there are times when it sounds like the music is being played at high speed, but the vocals still sound normal. Even though this tape is only a year or so old, there's something about it that feels kind of old.  Like it's a demo from the 80s that was dug up and put out today, with no context for the time it was actually recorded.  I guess that's a convoluted way of saying it sounds kind of dated.

Big Bleach - Riffin' With Biff:
https://morepowertapes.bandcamp.com/album/riffin-with-biff-2

Monday, April 9, 2018

Aaron & The Burrs - A Burr For All Seasons Cassette

Untitled

More Power Tapes (2016)

I've fallen way behind on cassette releases.  This is likely because I don't like cassettes, even when I like the music that is on them.  Case in point, Aaron & The Burrs.

Aaron & The Burrs are playing really pleasant instrumental surf music.  It's light and breezy with nods to the softer side of the Ventures and is just a damn fun listen.  There's little to no distortion and the upbeat and sunny guitar riffs betray the somewhat darker artwork the cassette is sporting.

I probably should have taken advantage of the free download link on the More Power Tapes Bandcamp page sooner, that does make things a little easier.  So apologies for taking so long to say something about this tape, but what I have to say is positive.  I really like this album and I highly recommend it for your next BBQ or beach excursion.

Aaron & The Burrs - A Burr For All Seasons:

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Sleepasaurus - It's All Written Down And I Still Don't Feel Any Better LP

Untitled

Motherbox / Creep (1996)

About four thousand years ago I bought a split 7" between the bands Buford and Sleepasaurus.  I'll be honest, I was there for the Buford songs and never really paid much attention to the Sleepasaurus side for whatever reason.  I don't know how Sleepasaurus came back on my radar, but I decided to pick up their album off of discogs.  I picked this up quite a while ago actually, but hadn't gotten around to reviewing it yet.

So this is pop punk.  Awesome, 1990s, bouncy pop punk.  They remind me of Zoinks more than any other band, though I think Zoinks were a bit more melodic and Sleepasaurus is a bit more aggressive.  It really couldn't sound more quintessentially 90s and for the life of me, I can't figure out how they weren't one of my favorite bands twenty years ago.  They're so right up my alley and were even somewhat local being from NY, not to mention this was released on Creep.  I can't fathom they didn't play some shows with Plow United that I either missed or somehow have no memory of.

I'm really glad I went back and gave these guys another shot and now I think I'm going to need to start hunting down their various other non-Buford-split releases.

Sleepasaurus - "Little Fonzie":

Sleepasaurus - "She Already Has A Boyfriend":

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Protectors / Egotrunk - Split CD

Untitled

Fixing A Hole (2013)

First of all, thanks to Kei for sending me a copy of this CD.  He had noticed that I reviewed another Egotrunk release a few weeks back and I had mentioned I was looking for more of their records.  Now that I have this split, it looks like there's just a mini LP called 19 that I need to hunt down.

The split starts off with a band called Protectors.  Unbeknownst to me (but knownst to others I'm sure), Protectors features Chris Charlton.  He was in one of my favorite mid 90s UK bands, Chopper.  I didn't realize he'd been releasing records with this band.  A quick google search tells me they put out a bunch of records that I knew nothing about.  I feel about a hundred years old and helplessly out of touch.  

Anyway, the two Protectors songs on this are quite good.  They don't sound much like Chopper, but instead take a less fuzzy approach to indie rock songwriting while still hanging on to those mid 90s hooks that I like so much.  The vocals are soaring and have an optimistic feel to them.  I like this a lot and need to find some of their other releases.

Egotrunk are from Japan and man do I love these two songs.  Tight, powerful blasts of 90s style pop punk with super dynamic guitar work.  "9.5" starts things off with relentless drumming and a catchy as hell riff.  What a great damn song. "Season 31 and Change" has those stutter stops with palm muted guitar in the verse and that just only makes chorus catchier and more impactful when it hits. The songs seem a bit more energetic and rougher around the edges than the ones on the EP I have, but I'm OK with that and think these are just as good, maybe even better.  Only one more record to find, if you see it, let me know. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Beachheads - S/T LP

Untitled

Fysisk Format (2017)

I have to thank my friend Jonas for recommending this Beachheads record to me.  I feel like I've really lost touch with the bands coming out in places like Sweden and Norway and it was really nice to have some help in discovering this incredible album. Once upon a time, I was really plugged in to the noisy pop of that region, but as time has gone by it seems like I'm not able to keep up with things over there.

Beachheads hail from Norway and are playing the exact sort of Scandinavian guitar pop music that drives me crazy.  A little bit of a less crunchy Wannadies mixed in with the supreme pop melodies of the Merrymakers with a little bit of Beezewax thrown in for good measure.  Every song on this album is crammed full of the sort of hooks that get stuck in your head for the rest of your life.  It's really a perfect pop album.

It looks like this debut full length is the only Beachheads album currently out.  There's a two song single up on their Bandcamp page, but it doesn't look like it was released on a physical format, I think it was digital only.  Regardless, Beachheads are a band I plan on playing close attention to going forward and I hope this is the first of many great records.  If nothing else, hopefully Jonas will let me know if they put out another album.

Beachheads - S/T LP:
https://beachheads.bandcamp.com/album/beachheads-2

Monday, April 2, 2018

Roy Orbison - The Ultimate Collection 2xLP

Untitled

Monument / Legacy / Roy's Boys (2016)

A couple of months ago I was flipping through the stations on TV and I stumbled across a Roy Orbison concert on PBS.  It was filmed in black & white even though it was from the 80s and featured Roy along with some other musicians playing Roy's hits. On board were an impossibly young Elvis Costello and Bruce Springsteen.  Needless to say it was a pretty captivating watch and it got me thinking that I didn't have any Roy Orbison records in my collection despite being pretty familiar with a huge swath of his work.

I didn't think I wanted to go crazy and track down every Orbison release, so I was hopeful to find a serviceable greatest hits collection.  This double LP is way more than serviceable and compiles pretty much every Roy hit that I was looking for and even tacks on a couple of Traveling Wilburys songs for good measure.  From "Oh, Pretty Woman" to " Drove All Night" to "You Got It" (and those are just the first three songs on the album) all of Roy's most popular songs seem to be present or at least the ones I'm most familiar with.  I really wish Electric Light Orchestra would have a hits record this comprehensive as they have too many LPs to hunt down.

Sound quality is great and I really have no criticisms at all about this record.  There was a gap in my record collection and The Ultimate Collection stepped in a filled the gap.  I couldn't ask for more.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

The Blues Brothers - Everybody Needs Somebody To Love 7" (UK)

Untitled

Atlantic (1980)

Up next in my bi-weekly Blues Brothers 7" review we have the UK version of the Everybody Needs Somebody To Love 7".  This time out the B side is "Jailhouse Rock," which makes sense to me and is a solid B side choice since it's actually a song that The Blues Brothers sing.

This 7" is sporting some of my favorite picture sleeve artwork featured on any Blues Brothers 7".  It appears to be a picture from the same photo session that yielded the movie one sheet poster, but it's a different picture.  Plus, the Bluesmobile is in the shot.  That's a big bonus for me as I think that the car is one of the most important characters in the movie.  I also like the way they used the logo at the top, sort of like a heading or way to file the 7" at the record store.  Good design choices.

Unfortunately, as you can see from the picture, my copy is pretty beat up.  I'm kind of going with the mentality that this is just a place holder for now until I can find a better condition copy.  But as this seems to be one of the scarcer Blues Brothers 7"s out there, it made sense to me to pick one up now.  Hopefully I'll come across another one at some point.

The Blues Brothers - "Everybody Needs Somebody To Love":

The Blues Brothers - "Jailhouse Rock":

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Hurry - Every Little Thought LP - Red/Yellow/Blue Tri-Color Mix Vinyl (/300)

Untitled

Lame-O (2018)

This will be the third Hurry record that I've reviewed over the years.  They are a band that I always like picking up something by and I tend to listen to said record pretty passionately for a few months.  Then it seems to drift into the background and I don't go back to it as often.  This isn't something exclusive to Hurry, simply due to the sheer amount of records I tend to buy, there are a lot of things that I listen to often at first and then less often as the years go buy.  

On Every Little Thought, my initial thought is that Hurry may have broken that streak with this record.  It's a pretty damn great record that, right now anyway, feels like it will have some staying power.  Hurry straddles the line between the the glorious 90s pop of The Posies and the more subdued stylings of the Pernice Brothers.  I tend to favor the songs that lean towards the rocking Posies side of the spectrum like "Read Between The Lines" or "Jamie."

Top to bottom this is Hurry's best record.  It's consistently enjoyable all the way through and even the slower songs that I don't like quite as much as the faster ones are all pretty good.  I think Every Little Thought will sound even better when it gets a bit warmer outside.  This feel like the kind of record that would really be a great listen when you're driving around at night with the windows rolled down.  

Hurry - Every Little Thought:

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

60' Whales - Hyper Speed 7"

Untitled

Anti New Waves / Chapel Hill (2016)

This 7" was another record that I got while I was in Japan.  I remember being surprised that it was on Anti New Waves as I wasn't sure that the label was still going at that point.  I guess they are and it's a good thing to as this 60' Whales 7" is great.

It very much reminds me of Cigaretteman.  Maybe not in how it sounds like the older Cigaretteman songs that I love, but the four 60' Whales songs on this 7" paint a picture of what I kind of think Cigaretteman would have sounded like if they didn't break up back in the 90s.  The songs are upbeat and melodic with alternating boy/girl harmonies in the vocals.  The two singers couldn't have more dissimilar voices, yet they really compliment each other and make this 7" something special.

I couldn't find this 7" available to stream anywhere online, but I did find a teaser video of a couple of excerpts from these songs.  You don't get the full effect for sure, but I think it's all you'll need to hear to get a vibe for how great this record is.  From what I'm able to look up, this 7" is the only thing that the band has released aside from a demo.  Hopefully there's more to come.

60' Whales - Hyper Speed 7" (Trailer):

Monday, March 26, 2018

Saturday Night Karaoke / Felix! (The Band) - Yes Band Photo Vol. 1 - Split CD

Untitled

Waterslide (2017)

Once again playing homage to the 7" artwork that Mutant Pop used to use, Waterslide records has put out a split CD with two bands that would have fit right in on MP back in the day.  I do think it's a little odd that the bands alternate songs back and forth on the split.  I guess I'm just more used to each band's songs on a split being clustered together.  It doesn't really matter as even though each band are undeniably playing pop punk, you can tell the difference between the two instantly.

Saturday Night Karaoke are from Indonesia and they really have perfected the sort of bubblegum pop punk that takes its influences from basic Ramones-y chord progressions and simple, sing song melodies.  It's pure pop music, the sort you would have definitely heard on Mutant Pop and kind of reminds me of older bands like Groovie Ghoulies (without the sci fi) or The Riverdales.

The other half of the songs are from Felix! (The Band). I'm more familiar with these guys having written about their full length a little ways back.  They're even better on this outing as their Zoinks! style songs have gotten more dynamic and exciting since their last album.  The energy that the band captures in their two minute blasts is something special and their harmonies are approaching Hum Hums level sophistication.   Great bands, great songs, great split.

Saturday Night Karaoke / Felix! (The Band) - Yes Band Photo Vol. 1 - Split CD:

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Hot Snakes - Jericho Sirens - Black Vinyl

Untitled

Sub Pop (2018)

It still seems a little surreal that there is a new Hot Snakes record to write about.  After all it has been 14 years since Audit In Progress came out.  When Hot Snakes and Rocket From The Crypt both wrapped up in the mid 2000s, I accepted it and found closure.  John Reis moved on to the Night Marchers and I was excited about the next chapter of rock and roll greatness.

Then the reunions started.  Rocket, Jehu and Hot Snakes.  Suddenly I was gripped with a longing for new music by one of those bands and thankfully Hot Snakes has stepped up to the plate and delivered.  I don't know what I was expecting from them exactly, but damn if it isn't fucking perfect.  Everything I've always loved about Hot Snakes is on display and they've somehow managed to get better in some regards and grumpier in others.

The album starts out with "I Need A Doctor."  I actually heard this one at a show late last year, so I knew it was going to be something special.  But even that didn't prepare me for how powerful it ended up being in recorded form.  Rick's howl is coupled with the rest of the band beating their instruments into submission to create something deathly potent.  I think just listening to it cured a few ailments I was experiencing.

"Candid Cameras" and "Why Don't It Sink In" are next up and at first they didn't grab me right away.  But the more I listen to them, the more they sink in and just fit in perfectly in the flow of the album.  If I dissected the rest of the record track by track, we'd be hear all day, so know that every song is incredible.  Highlights are "Six Wave Hold Down," "Death Of A Sportsman" and my favorite track of the bunch, "Death Camp Fantasy."  "Death Camp" is probably the closest thing on the album to being a poppy song, but more than anything it's a thunderous display of downstroke guitar riffage.  The chord progression on the verse is unexpected, but works so damn perfect it makes me want to smack someone.

I really can't fathom a record coming out this year that is better than this.  If it happens, well that's a hell of a record so I look forward to that.  It doesn't make sense tto me that anyone wouldn't buy this record, but just in case you were on the fence, rest assured it's as great as anything the band has ever released.  Do it.

Hot Snakes - Jericho Sirens:
https://hotsnakes.bandcamp.com/album/jericho-sirens

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Hot Snakes - Audit In Progress - Pink Vinyl

Untitled

Sub Pop (2017, Reissue)

The very first time I heard Audit In Progress, I was actually in bed recovering from a surgery.  The record was sent to me in advance of the release date because I was helping out with the radio promotion.  I just remember lying there and being blown away by the absolute ferocity of the first five tracks.  Hot Snakes have obviously always been a loud and aggressive band, but this sounded crazy to me.  The addition of Mario on drums really ratcheted things up a bit and from "Braintrust" to "Think About Carbs" there isn't a second to catch your breath.

From there, things cool off a bit and the title track is a crushing, medium tempo number that again is one of my top ever Hot Snakes tracks.  That being said when side B kicks off with "Hatchet Job," right there you are listening to my very favorite Hot Snakes song of all time.  The way Rick's jangly leads play off of John's pounding downstrokes is just magical. I love that goddamn song.

The rest of side B is also excellent closing with the somewhat incongruent "Plenty For All."  It's poppy and upbeat in a way that's not super common for a Hot Snakes song, but at the same time is a perfect way to wrap up the album and really couldn't have been pulled off by any other band.

This Sub Pop reissue doesn't sound too dissimilar from the original version to my ears.  It's on pink vinyl, though I do understand why it's not on red vinyl since the original pressing on Swami was on that color.  Like with the other reissues, it doesn't make sense to me that you wouldn't already have this if you're reading my dumb website, but if you don't you should go buy it right now.  I'll wait.

Hot Snakes - Audit In Progress:
https://hotsnakes.bandcamp.com/album/audit-in-progress

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Hot Snakes - Suicide Invoice LP - Yellow Vinyl

Untitled
Sub Pop (2017, Reissue)

Suicide Invoice is the second Hot Snakes album and is always fighting a battle with Automatic Midnight as my favorite Hot Snakes release.  Usually Auto wins, but it's neck and neck.  The thing that I remember most about the first time I heard Suicide Invoice was that there was a snippet of the intro riff of "I Hate The Kids" that was posted up on the Swami records website prior to the album coming out.  It was a loop of just the intro part and it never went into the whole song.

So, the first few times I listened to the CD I skipped the first song and went right to "Gar Forgets His Insulin" (which is just one of the jewels of the Hot Snakes catalog...what a song).  If probably wasn't until the 3rd or 4th time I played it that I just let the album start at the very beginning and realized there was a whole song there. Just one of those weird quirks.

This entire album is pretty jaw droppingly amazing.  "XOX," "LAX," "Paperwork," these are insanely great songs showcasing a band cohesion that wasn't quite there yet on Automatic Midnight (for the obvious reason that the band wasn't completely put together for that album).  Having all four members contribute elevates the game of these songs and they just churn out hit after hit.

Of all of the Sub Pop reissues, this is the one that sounds like it gained the most in the reissue process.  Everything sounds a little crisper, without sacrificing any of the original version's energy.  Like with Automatic Midnight, the vocals are a little more upfront and clear and the bass sounds warmer, though it's more noticeable this time.  It sounds great, but it always sounded pretty great.  Still the tweaks are a positive.  And Sub Pop put the first batch out on yellow vinyl.  Matches the artwork and looks great.  I don't know why you wouldn't have this record already, but it seems like an obvious pick up to me.

Hot Snakes - Suicide Invoice:
https://hotsnakes.bandcamp.com/album/suicide-invoice

Monday, March 19, 2018

Hot Snakes - Automatic Midnight LP - Orange Vinyl

Untitled

Sub Pop (2017, Reissue)

My goal this week is to review each of the Hot Snakes albums.  The three reissues that Sub Pop put out and then their new album, Jericho Sirens, on Thursday.  Just a warning, there is some real life stuff that may interfere with this schedule as this is kind of a crazy week, but I'm going to try to adhere to this plan.  We'll see.

Automatic Midnight was the first Hot Snakes album and it came out all the way back in 2000.  It doesn't seem like that should be as long ago as it actually it is, but as they say, time flies.  I remember very specifically how much I loved this record from the second I heard it.  What I don't remember is how I first heard of this coming out.  I assume it must have been one of the versions of the Swami board, but man was I excited to hear Rick and John working together again.  After all, it had been forever since Drive Like Jehu broke up.  Actually it had only been six years, but back then that seemed like a significantly longer amount of time than it does now.

To this day, this is still my favorite Hot Snakes record overall.  The one-two blast of "If Credit's What Matters, I'll Take Credit" and "Automatic Midnight" are among the best album openers out there.  But I also really like the diversity.  Things get a little slower and hypnotic on "Salton City" only to have the energy build right back up into "10th Planet" and one of my favorite songs of all time "Light Up The Stars."  The intro of which is just a perfect little slice of riffage.

Top to bottom, Automatic Midnight is a ridiculously record.  Though this new Sub Pop release is remastered, I don't hear a huge difference in the sound.  The bass is a bit more pronounced and the vocals are slightly clearer in the mix, but I don't think there was much need for tweaking this masterpiece.  It's pretty much perfect, though I wonder why they didn't go for white vinyl on the reissue.

Hot Snakes - Automatic Midnight:

Thursday, March 15, 2018

The Blues Brothers - Everybody Needs Somebody To Love 7" (Belgium)

Untitled

Atlantic (1980)

This Blues Brothers 7" is from Belgium and it's one of the more interesting picture sleeve 7"s that was released.  It contains two songs from the Blues Brothers movie soundtrack, "Everybody Needs Somebody To Love" and Jailhouse Rock."  Both of which are great, of course.

Where things get interesting is the artwork.  At first glance, it seems like brand new, unique artwork (a rarity for Blues Brothers 7"s).  But in actuality, the two images are from the same picture used as the cover for the Made In America full length.  It seems odd to me that a picture from a record that came out after the soundtrack would be used as the image for a single that is from the actual soundtrack.  All I can think of is this single just came out after Made In America was released for some reason.

Regardless of the reason, I still think it's pretty cool as I always tend to favor the Blues Brothers singles that at least make an attempt at having interesting artwork.

The Blues Brothers - "Everybody Needs Somebody To Love":

The Blues Brothers - "Jailhouse Rock":

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Ruler - Tiger 7"

Untitled

Secret Mission (2018)

Ruler is a new band featuring Fink.  You may already know Fink as he was in Teengenerate.  I, of course, know Teengenerate first from their split 7" with Bum.  That 7" has some of my favorite artwork ever.  Good tunes as well.

Back to Ruler.  They are playing the kind of fast buzzsaw punk rock that Fink has always made his calling card.  Equal parts timeless and stuck in the 70s, "Tiger" hits all the marks you'd expect of this kind of song.  Savage riffs and howling vocals that peak to a singalong chorus.  

"Gimme Some Noise" starts off with a lead guitar riff that sounds like the theme music to The Munsters, but quickly starts chugging along.  Everything builds until it hits the chorus, complete with 50s style callbacks.  Both songs are totally fine and I'd even go so far as to say pretty good, but neither song is anything that new or particularly exciting.  Still, there's something to be said for nice, consistent punk rock.

Ruler - Tiger 7":

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Bum - Wanna Smash Sensation CD (Japanese Version)

Untitled

1 + 2 (1993)

Back in January I was lucky enough to go to Seattle for the Pop Punk Festival that Ean from Sicko put together.  It was a great time with a lot of cool bands playing.  For me, no highlight was higher than finally getting to see Bum play live after over 20 years of waiting.  They were the number one band on my list of bands that I'd never seen live and that show was everything I could have hoped for and more.  Their setlist contained nearly all of Wanna Smash Sensation, which is one of my favorite records of all time.  They also had a few copies of this Japanese version of the CD with two bonus tracks for sale.  As a crazy completist, of course I had to buy a copy.

I'm not kidding when I say this is one of my favorite all time albums, handily in my top ten desert island whatever you want to call it.  It's pretty much a flawless record and trying to dissect each song would be quite the task, likely leading to a review a bit longer than a normal person would want to read.  It's the epitome of the early nineties, fired up poppy punk record.  Hooks galore, incredible vocals and a songwriting duo unrivaled in my generation.

From the opening blast of Debbiespeak, to the singalong anthem of "Wedding Day" to the horn tinged pop of "Bent of Being Bent" to the absolute perfection of "I Hardly Breathe" to the party anthem of "I'm Not One," Wanna Smash Sensation has all of your bases covered.  These songs are part of my life's soundtrack and I love every single one of them more than I could really articulate in a brief review like this.  I didn't even mention how incredible songs like "Mallory," "Instant Kool Ayd" or "a Promise Is A Promise" are.  Just look at the track listing and randomly pick a song, you could make an argument that it's the best song on the record.  They are all that good.

This Japanese version differs from my other copies in that it contains two bonus tracks.  The first is "Lift Up Your Hood" a DMZ cover that was also available on the Bum split 7" with the Smugglers.  The second is a cover of the Misfits song "Bullet." This one I had in my collection from its appearance as a B side on the "Debbiespeak" 7".  So, while neither were new songs to me, this CD was still one that had to be in the collection.  After all I am a sucker for an Obi strip.

In all seriousness, you should own this record in any version that you are able to find.  I cannot say enough good things about it and I really don't think you can really understand how much I love it just from this silly review.  It's perfect.  A flat out perfect album.  Go find one.

Bum - Wanna Smash Sensation:

Monday, March 12, 2018

Superchunk - What A Time To Be Alive LP - Pink In Clear Vinyl

Untitled

Merge (2018)

Superchunk is a band that I can count on.  The world may throw curveballs at me, but Mac & Co. are there to provide a fuzzy soundtrack.  On their eleventh album, they're a little grumpy about the situation in the world, but they have something that will help out just a little - Loud Music.

I find myself comparing the album to their other two most recent albums, Majesty Shredding and I Hate Music.  Partly because I tend to think of this three album run as Superchunk mach 3 and also because I find them sonically similar.  Majesty Shredding is probably the best of the three with big, loud songs with tons and tons of hooks.  I Hate Music was equally catchy, but had a bit more of a somber mood and they took their foot off the gas just a bit.

What A Time To Be Alive is right in the middle.  Both in sound and also if I were to rank which are my favorites.  There are some tremendous songs on here like the title track "What I Time To Be Alive," the bouncy "Break The Glass" and my absolute favorite of the bunch "Reagan Youth."  You'll read a lot about this album and it's political statement.  While you can certainly hear the frustration with current events, it's never overtly preachy or dour.  Superchunk is loud and maybe they're a bit pissed off, but they never lose their optimism and they never lose their ability to write a damn fine pop song.

Superchunk - What A Time To Be Alive:

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Spells - Big Boring Meeting 7"

Untitled

Snappy Little Numbers (2018)

I was pretty excited about a new Spells 7" coming in the mail.  They've been a really consistent band the last few years and I've dug everything they've released so far.  This new 7" is no exception and boy did they cram as much stuff as they possibly could on to this guy.

On the A side we have two songs, "Deceiver" and "I Wanna Know."  I've described Spells as something of a party band that I think has a Rocket From The Crypt-esque vibe to them and I still feel that way.  That's not to say I think their music sounds super similar, but they have the same sort of attitude and can churn out some garage-y hits.  In particular "I Wanna Know" with its snake charmer lead guitar riff is one of the top songs in this batch.

On the B side, Spells cram in four short brief songs.  I don't think any of them live up to the heights set up on the A side, but I've got to say "She Wants To Die Before I Do" is damn catchy.  I kind of wish they explored that one a little more instead of cutting out at the one minute mark.  I still think Spells sound like they'd be a hell of a lot of fun live, someone let me know if they hit the East Coast.

Spells - Big Boring Meeting 7":

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Rocket From The Crypt - Live From Camp X-Ray LP - White w/ Black Splatter

Untitled

Vagrant (2016, Reissue)

This version of Live From Camp X-Ray is the last of the newer Vagrant reissues to write about.  Like most of the others, it's a splatter vinyl variant.  I will say that even though these colors don't really go with the color scheme of the artwork particularly well, I do like the way this looks more than a lot of the others.  It's one of the more simple and classy looking splatters that I've seen.

Music is just as good as always, so there's not really a ton more to say, particularly after the yarn I spun about this album last week.  So enjoy the picture and but the record if you don't already own five copies of it.

Rocket From The Crypt - "I'm Not Invisible":

Rocket From The Crypt - "Too Many Balls":

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Boys Order - Do The Wildcat LP

Untitled

Secret Mission (2017)

This Boys Order LP was sent to me to review by Secret Mission records.  It's one of a few records they sent over, all by Japanese bands that I had never heard of.  I'm fairly tuned in to some of the great Japanese bands out there, but this package was a bit of a slap to the face and a reminder that I'm always going to be painfully unaware of what's really going on over there.  I'll try my best to keep up.

Boys Order are playing a hyperactive strain of punky power pop with quick tempos, manic drumming and a penchant for playing lots of high bass notes. It's undeniably catchy and a pretty fun listen.  Whether it's the buzzsaw pace and killer chorus of "Midnight Triangle" or the the straight up pop punk of "Blue Blue Red," Boys Order have their share of hits on Do The Wildcat.  The vocals are definitely going to leave an impression, they're very up front in the mix and I think you'll probably love them or hate them.  For me it depends on the song, but for the most part I think everything comes together pretty well.

There are a handful of songs that slow things down just a little bit on here like "Out Of Sight Out Of Mind" and those are probably less successful than the rest of the album.  But they are few and far between.  The bulk of the album is sugar fueled, dynamic punk rock that I'm pretty glad I had the opportunity to check out.

Boys Order - Do The Wildcat:

Monday, March 5, 2018

Hooper - No Monument LP

Untitled

Snappy Little Number (2018)

No Monument is the long awaited follow up to Hooper's 2013 masterpiece, How To Become A Ghost.   Five years is a long wait between albums and it's pretty obvious that the band has emerged from this break somewhat different than how they went into it.  Where How To Become A Ghost reveled in the 90s pop stylings of bands like Fig Dish and Tugboat Annie, No Monument takes a different path for most of the album.

No Monument is more indebted to different sounds of the 90s this time out, with a very post punk sound that expands the band's songwriting chops, but dampens the hooks a bit.  The opening one-two punch of "Red Shift (and the Irish Goodbye)" and "The Method" is a pretty good indication that things have changed since the last time we were hanging with Mr. Hooper.  Slower paced, with shifting rhythms and pained vocals, these two songs definitely grabbed my attention and alerted me that Hooper has altered the plan.

It's not all doom and gloom however.  Even though the first two songs aren't exactly my favorites, from the third track on, this is still a pretty excellent Hooper album.  "Unfinished Basements" and "Tides" are more in line with what I was expecting from Hooper, crunchy guitars, energetic song building and hooks that payoff that build.  When these guys are on, they are on.  Other highlights include the pop nugget "Spit Down A Well" and the more expansive, but no less catchy "Redacted."  Any song where the band plays things more straightforward and the tempo is a bit faster tend to be the ones that get my attention.

No Monument is still a strong, solid record.  There are moments that I don't like as much as others, but Hooper is still a band worth paying attention to and checking out if you're not already familiar with them.  Also, I apologize for that obviously terrible hanging with Mr. Hooper joke earlier in the review.

Hooper - No Monument:

Thursday, March 1, 2018

The Blues Brothers - Everybody Needs Somebody To Love 7" (Europe)

Untitled

Atlantic (1980)

This version of the Everybody Needs Somebody To Love 7" also comes from Europe, though this time there's a different B side.  Like with the last version I reviewed that had "Think" by Aretha Franklin as the B side, this one also has someone other than the Blues Brothers on the flip.  "Minnie The Moocher" by Cab Calloway makes an appearance here and while I do love the song, it still seems weird to me not to treat this more like a split 7".

Sure, the Blues Brothers band is Cab's backing band on this excellent version of "Minnie," but I think Cab deserve his name on the marquee a bit more prominently.  It's impossible for me to listen to "Minnie The Moocher" and not picture the movie scene where Jake & Elwood are sneaking around outside of the Palace Hotel Ballroom in time with the horn section.  It's just a classic moment in my very favorite movie.

As I've said before, the soundtrack version of "Everybody Needs Somebody To Love" has never been my favorite version of the song because of the backing vocals mixed in that aren't in the actual movie.  Oh another interesting thing, this vinyl itself on my copy has been dinked.  Dinking is the process where someone makes a big hole in a 7" that was pressed with a small hole.  Typically done so it can be used in a jukebox.  If I ever am able to get my jukebox out of the garage and into somewhere that's usable, I'll probably be doing a bit of dinking here and there.  Plus it's just fun to say.  Dink.

The Blues Brothers - "Everybody Needs Somebody To Love":

Cab Calloway - "Minnie The Moocher":


Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Rocket From The Crypt - Live From Camp X-Ray LP - Clear w/ Orange & Black Splatter

Untitled

Vagrant (2017, Reissue)

Rocket From The Crypt is my favorite band.  All I know about writing about their records is to gush about how much I love them.  Live From Camp X-Ray is another record of theirs that I love.  It's short, but it's a powerful blast of rock and roll straight into my soul.  It also has a special place in my heart as it I was involved in promoting it to college radio in a past life.

I also promoted Group Sounds to radio when that came out, but I was a new member of the radio team at that time.  While my Rocket tattoo was certainly used as a bargaining chip to help my company get on that record, I didn't have any contact with Vagrant and didn't have much to do with it on that side of the promotion world. (It's a weird thing, different promotion companies had to seek out record labels and convince them we were the best team to promote their record.  It was an interesting part of the job).  But I pushed Group Sounds as hard as I could to the radio stations I dealt with. My favorite part was convincing stations that they had to play it the week of my birthday that year.  I got a lot of extra spins that week. What a bizarre job.

By the time Live From Camp X-Ray was coming out, I had moved up the ladder and had many more labels that I was in charge of communicating with.  The moment I heard a whisper about this new Rocket record, I was immediately on the phone with Vagrant trying to make sure we could be involved.  There is no one who would have promoted this record to radio harder than I would, surely they would see that pretty quickly.  For whatever reason, the dude that worked at Vagrant that was in charge of the promotion and hiring of indie promoters for radio was being difficult.  I'm not sure if he was trying to get me to jump through hoops or maybe he just didn't like me, but he cat and moused me for weeks and weeks and just wouldn't give me any information or commit to anything.

Around this time John Reis came to town to play a show.  I actually can't remember for sure if it was a Rocket or Hot Snakes show (I could probably look it up and figure it out, but I need to finish this up), but it was definitely at the Bowery Ballroom.  I searched him out (I had started talking to him recently so that my company could help promote the Swami records releases) to just get his ear about wanting to do the Rocket record.  John was his usual super awesome self and said he'd put a word in.  I consider myself truly lucky to have been able to work with him in any capacity and to have at least a tiny part in helping out some of my favorite records of all time.  

I went back to work the next day and did my weekly follow up call with the Vagrant dude and he reacted really negatively towards the fact that I had spoken to John and accused me of going over his head.  I couldn't tell if he was joking or not but it was all very odd.  Fast forward a few more weeks and I got a call from a different guy at Vagrant.  He said the first guy was no longer with the company, the new guy (who I had actually known from other places) was taking over the promotion side for a bit and that my company was officially hired on Live From Camp X-Ray effective immediately.

He gave me everything I needed and sent over an advance of the record and I've been listening to it constantly ever since.  We had a nice little run with Live From Camp X-Ray and I consider it a highlight of my radio promo career.  We made a photo copy of my Rocket tattoo and mailed it out along with the CD and the bio sheet when we sent the album out to stations.  It was good times.

This newer repress is on clear vinyl with some black and orange splatter.  It looks pretty good for a splatter, though that's not my favorite vinyl type.  I would have gone with a black and orange split color, personally, but as always, I'm glad to add to the ever growing and apartment consuming Rocket From The Crypt record collection. Long live the dead.

Rocket From The Crypt - "I'm Not Invisible":

Rocket From The Crypt - "Too Many Balls":

Monday, February 26, 2018

Shiner - The Egg LP - Green Vinyl (/150)

Untitled

BCore (2018, Reissue)

This is the second time that The Egg has been reissued and is also the second time I've written about it here on this site. You may (or may not) remember that Shiner is my wife's favorite band.  I dig them too, but the only reason I know about them is because of her.  While my wife isn't really a record collector, we've decided that it is important to have all of the Shiner records in the collection.  We're up for some variants as well.

This variant came out in Spain on BCore discs.  The music is the same as the US version, featuring sprawling, but surprisingly catchy rock that is similar in scope to what Jawbox is known for.  BCore decided the change things up with the artwork, opting for greens where there used to be oranges.  I think it looks good, though it is somewhat jarring having seen everything in orange for so long.  Still, I always say that I'm in favor of substantial artwork changes when something gets rereleased.  I like being able to tell it apart from the original.

In addition to the artwork change, 150 copies were also pressed on green vinyl.  Shiner sold a handful of them directly here in the US, but they sold out in a blink of an eye with no real warning that they had gone up on sale.  Luckily, BCore still had copies available, so we imported this one from Spain.  It wasn't the first time and certainly won't be the last time I pay some extra postage for a variant. Records like this need to be in the collection.

Shiner - The Truth About Cows:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmdVYpkjaPo

Shiner - Play Dead:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyKnEwyf5RE

Shiner - Pills:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACKE7M2bj4A

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Songs For Snakes / If It Kills You - Split 7" - Honey Mustard Vinyl

Untitled

Self Released (2017)

Yep, they are calling it 'honey mustard vinyl.'  That's great and it actually looks like that color, so even better.  This split 7" features a band I've become quite familiar with over the years coupled with a band I'd not heard of previously.

This is the third time I've written about Songs For Snakes and their melodic punk by old punks for old punks.  Combine the aggressiveness of Bivouac era Jawbreaker with huge guitar tones that remind me a lot of Fig Dish and mix that potent cocktail with gravely vocals.  If that sounds like exactly the sort of thing you'd expect me to listen to, you're correct.  Very much my cup of tea.  They also have a new full length out, so I'll be writing up that soon as well.

On the flip side is If It Kills you.  I haven't listened to them before playing their song on this 7", and while I can't say I like them as much as Songs For Snakes, it sure compliments them with their own very 90s sounding song.  If It Kills You, to me, is harkening back to a slightly noisier strain of 90s punk rock.  A little bit of the more chaotic moments of Seaweed mixed in with some of the poppier aspects of the AmRep catalog.  The vocals have that static-y telephone effect on them, kind of how Rocket From The Crypt used it in "The Paste That You Love," though not quite as blown out as Rocket.

I say all the time how the split 7" is one of my favorite ways to listen to music.  There's something kind of timeless about the experience to me and I wish they were more common today than they are.

Songs For Snakes / If It Kills You - Split 7":

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Rocket From The Crypt - Group Sounds LP - Yellow Vinyl

Untitled

Vagrant (2016, Reissue)

This is the last of the Vagrant 20th anniversary reissues of Group Sounds.  It's on solid, translucent yellow vinyl.  I suppose it's the least interesting of the three newer reissues, though I will admit that yellow is my favorite color so I have a bit of a soft spot for it.

Considering that the others were wackier splatter variants, I'm not sure how this relatively tame third one ended up coming out.  The color doesn't really tie into the artwork particularly well.  You could make an argument that the cobra is yellow, but that's kind of stretching it and the cobra certainly isn't the same color as the LP itself.  

It could just be one of those unsolvable mysteries, but if there's a Rocket From The Crypt variant out there, it needs a loving home in my collection.  All three of these reissues have that loving home now.  I'll write up the two Live From Camp X-Ray reissues next.

Rocket From The Crypt - Group Sounds:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6lTOyJ0taau3r39jaedwqgMTAlHG4z1o

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Makes No Sense / Suffering From A Case - Split CD

Untitled

Suburbia Works (2007)

This split CD features two Japanese bands, Make No Sense and Suffering From A Case.  It came back all the way in 2007 so it's another one that I've been missing out on for quite some time.  Luckily I have it now.

Makes No Sense immediately reminds me of Cradle To Grave, especially in their first song "Chunk of Contradictions."  The way the band effortless changes tempos going from ten thousand miles an hour in the verse to a steady backbeat of a catchy chorus is pretty remarkable.  Though I actually prefer their second song on the disc, "(Not For Me To Decide) Your Choice."  The tempo is a bit more consistent throughout the song and it just delivers the sort of scraggly, high energy Japanese pop punk that I know and love.  It looks like these guys have a couple of other split CDs out and now I need to find them as well.

Suffering From A Case is a band I'm more familiar with.  Actually, it's funny as I ended up with three copies of their other EP on Waterslide.  I picked up a copy back when it came out.  Then while I was in Japan I ended up buying another copy of it.  Finally, I ended up with a third copy as someone from a distro tossed it in with a Brown Trout album I bought.  I found loving homes for the extras, don't worry.  So for the two Suffering From A Case songs on this split they deliver excellent, Dillinger Four style melodic punk.  Energy, flashy breakdowns, bashing octaves and shouting their hearts out.  Excellent stuff and I recommend picking up their EP as well if you don't already have it and I didn't give you a copy.


Monday, February 19, 2018

First Base - Not That Bad LP - Blue Vinyl (/100)

Untitled

Drunken Sailor (2017)

Not Thad Bad came out towards the end of 2017.  I also dragged my feet on picking it up/listening to it/reviewing it for a bit, so I didn't get it written up before the year ended.  It's kind of a shame as this is one of those records that really should have been represented on my end of the year list and pretty high at that.  The way that the band rolls together their vintage guitar tones and power pop sensibilities, First Base has a hit on their hands.

I actually got a little confused as I had thought I already owned band's first album, but doing a little bit of digging in the 'F' section and it turns out I don't, I only have a 7" of theirs that came out on La-Ti-Da.  That missing LP seems like a pretty big omission to me, especially if their first one is anywhere near as good as this new record.  I can be hit or miss on straight up power pop at the best of times, but First Base do a great job of keeping up the energy to go along with their bouncy hooks.  

The killer vocal harmonies certainly have a lot to do with how great all of the songs are as well, and it reminds me a lot of The Hum Hums maybe mixed with Gentleman Jesse or the Barreracudas first album.  There is so much on this record for the garage power poppers to love, but there's also a lot here for the pop punkers out there as well.  A damn fine album.

First Base - Not That Bad:

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Blues Brothers - Everybody Needs Somebody To Love 7" (Europe)

Untitled

Atlantic (1980)

This version of the Everybody Needs Some Body To Love 7", according to Discogs, is the European version of the single.  I'm not really sure how that differs from the version of this single I posted two weeks ago which was released in Germany (I had mistakenly listed that one as having been from France initially, but have corrected that review).  The last time I checked, Germany was in Europe, so I just don't know why these two different versions exist.  Probably some 80s distribution model that doesn't make sense anymore.

The songs are the same, as the B side for this 7" is Think by Aretha Franklin again.  The only real difference is the font of the song titles on the front of the sleeve, a completely redesigned back of the sleeve and the red/green split design of the label itself.  There's just something about that red and green Atlantic label that I just love.  

The Blues Brothers - "Everybody Needs Somebody To Love":

Aretha Franklin - "Think":

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Rocket From The Crypt - Group Sounds LP - Clear w/ Black & Yellow Splatter Vinyl

Untitled

Vagrant (2016)

This is the second of three Group Sounds reissues that my wife got me for Christmas.  I'm pretty fortunate that she doesn't mind stoking the fire of this collection that has rapidly taken over most rooms in our place.  All I can say is that I'm a lucky, lucky guy.

I like this variant better than the one from last week.  Though splatter vinyl isn't my favorite of vinyl colors, at least this one takes some colors from the actual artwork to use.  I'm not entirely sure why last week's had blue splatter.  Sure there's a bit of blue on the insert, but it just seemed a bit out of place.  Though let's be honest, the best variant of this LP was the record store day variant on white vinyl with yellow splatter from a few years ago.  That one made the most sense anyway.

No matter how you slice it, that doesn't change the fact that this is one of the all time best Rocket records.  Maybe most people don't need so many copies of the same record, but I for whatever reason, I do.  I have one more version of this album that I'll post next week, then it's on to Live From Camp X-Ray.

Rocket From The Crypt - Group Sounds:

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Corner Boys - Just Don't Care 7"

Untitled

Drunken Sailor (2017)

Drunken Sailor is a label that always intrigues me.  They have this funny way of splitting their time between UK style melodic punk rock and poppier garage punk.  I don't find this weird, after all I'm a fan of both styles (country and western), but for whatever reason seeing some of the records they release side by side just makes me chuckle. 

Corner Boys hail from Vancouver and if the three songs on this 7" are any indication, they really love 70's style power pop.  Just Don't Care serves up three songs that sound right out of that era with the jangly guitar and bouncy bass lines.  The songs churn out catchy hooks with singalong choruses that will sound right at home next to whatever forgotten band Hozac trots out for their next reissue.  

The vocals are really up front in the mix on these three songs and the singer does have a somewhat nasally, slightly accented vocal style that you have to be ready for.  It's probably not going to be everyone's cup of tea and the vocals are so in the forefront that it might be a dealbreaker for some.  Luckily not for me as I really dig the three songs on this 7".  They're poppy and catchy and there's no screaming.  What's not to like?

Corner Boys - Just Don't Care 7":

Monday, February 12, 2018

Her Spectacles / Skimmer / Piece of Bread - All The Time In The World - 3 Way Split CD

Untitled

Waterslide (2009)

This CD is nearly ten years old now and that really blows my mind.  Another gem that I managed to overlook for far too long, this three way split compiles one band from the UK (Skimmer) with two from Japan (Her Spectacles and Piece of Bread).  All three bands are great and every song that each contributes is among their best.

Starting with Her Spectacles, they dish out three songs of melodic punk rock in the vein of of some of my very favorite bands like Three Minute Movie.  In particular, the choppy guitar riffs of "Deception" really make the song stand out as one of my favorites that I've heard from these guys.  As I had mentioned last time I reviewed something by them, there doesn't seem to be much that was released, but I definitely need to track down everything that was.

Next up we have three songs from Skimmer.  The thing I love about Skimmer is they're just so damn consistent.  You could play a Skimmer song from 1993 and one from 2020 and you're never going to confuse them with any other band.  Their version of sugar fueled Mega City Four style UK punk rock is among my very favorite sounds in the world and the fact that they are still churning out songs like this all these years later just makes me smile.

Lastly we have Peace of Bread, a band I have become somewhat obsessed with over the last year or so.  They combine punchy and melodic guitar riffs with complimentary boy/girl vocals in a way I haven't seen since the glory days of Cigaretteman.  Ever single song I have heard by them is an absolute smash hit and "Signal of the Start" may be the best one I've heard so far.  They are another band that I'm desperately trying to find as many records by as possible, so if you see any, let me know.

Her Spectacles / Skimmer / Piece of Bread - All The Time In The World - 3 Way Split: