Thursday, June 30, 2016

Notches - Huge 7"


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":

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

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


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


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:

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Winter Bear - Jump In The Fire 7"


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"


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)


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)


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


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


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)


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"


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


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


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


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"


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"


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)


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"


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"


Purchase the record from our webstore here: 

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

Chestnut Road - LPII


In North America, you can buy the full length vinyl LP from PopKid records at:

If you're not into records and just want MP3s, the PopKid Bandcamp page can assist:

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

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


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


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


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


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":

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Unwound - Empire 4xLP Box Set


Numero Group (2015)

When you look any the quality of this box set and when you look at the amazing job that Numero Group has done for their entire Unwound reissue series, it's difficult to start writing a bad review of this release.  It's not that Numero Group did anything wrong, but it has a lot to do with the fact that I just don't like the Unwound records in this box set.

Empire wraps up Unwound's career with their last two albums, Challenge For A Civilized Society and Leaves Turn Inside you.  When Challenge came out, I really wasn't paying much attention to Unwound anymore.  I can't even say for sure that I had even listened to it prior to getting this box set.  I was actually excited about maybe hearing something new from a band that I had just neglected a bit towards the end.  Unfortunately, this is a record that doesn't hold up.  It seems like it just meanders without purpose, never really kicking in with the sort of ferocity the band had been known for.

Leaves Turn Inside you, on the other hand, definitely seems to have a direction over the course of its two LPs.  It just seems that the direction they chose was to make a record full of long slow songs that I don't like.  I remember when this one came out and I remember coworkers listening to it when I worked in the music biz.  I thought it was a boring record then and I still think it's pretty boring now.   The third LP of singles, B sides and demos doesn't really inspire either.  I guess since it is from the same era as the two LPs, I shouldn't really have expected it to be much different.  

Presentation-wise, Numero Group knocked this one out of the park just like all the prior sets.  The art work is phenomenal and the booklet that they have included is just as well written and engrossing as the previous volumes.  It just really comes down to a band that decided to make a few slow records that I don't like.  I'm glad to have the set to round out the collection.  But I'm more glad to have the prior box sets so I can listen to Unwound when they still had teeth.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Beatles - Stereo LP Leftovers


Capitol (2012)

As I had mentioned yesterday, the only things that The Beatles In Mono box set didn't contain were the albums that were only released in stereo.  For whatever reason, you have to buy those separately.  As far as full lengths go, that meant only having to pick up Let It Be and Abbey Road.

Maybe I'm in the minority, but neither of these two rank all that high on my list of favorite Beatles albums.  The issues that plagued Let It Be during its recording are pretty well documented and I think the general consensus is that those issues bled through to the quality of the album, so my feelings are probably echoed by some.  However, I definitely seem to lack company regarding my opinion of Abbey Road.

Many view it as the exclamation point of their career; that one last stab at greatness from a a band that will likely never be equaled.  I think it's OK.  There are a handful of songs that you could even say are pretty great, but if you set it up next to virtually ever other album in their catalog, I'll likely favor that other album (sans Let It Be).

The weirdest thing about the In Mono box set is that its singles collection, Mono Masters, doesn't contain two songs that the Stereo Past Masters release does: "The Ballad Of John and Yoko" and "Old Brown Shoe."  It seems ludicrous that they left off two songs just because they are in stereo.  Do they really expect you to buy the entire other Past Masters LP for these songs?  Seems silly, so I just picked up the old 7" release and now my collection of Beatles songs is complete.  At least until you start looking at those Anthology or Live at the BBC albums.  I haven't gone down that dark road just yet...

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Beatles - In Mono Box Set


 Capital (2014)

Since I reviewed the Monkees box set to wrap up my Record Store Day reviews, I figured I would try to get some of these other box sets that I have written up.  I have been sitting on this Beatles In Mono set for over a year after picking it up as a part of a very nice sale.  Even attempting to review Beatles records with all of these years of hindsight is a daunting thought and I don't feel like I could ever really do any of these albums justice.  Trying to describe records that are all such insane classics is borderline ridiculous, so I will mostly stick to writing about the box set itself.

And as far as the box set itself goes, I can't think of a better presentation than they came up with for this guy.  Each album is presented in its original mono version on 180g vinyl.  Each album's original artwork is faithfully recreated to the most absurdly small detail it's crazy.  The box itself is a hefty, sturdy and elegant in its design.  They even had the foresight of leaving extra room for the two Beatles albums not included in this set.

Though that is my one beef with this.  I had to buy Let It Be and Abbey Road separate because these two records were never released in mono.  I guess if you go with the theory that they're already in the Beatles In Stereo box set and why put them in the Mono set as well, that almost makes sense.  But are  people really buying both of these sets?  I would figure most would purchase one or the other.  Regardless, at least they left room in the box to add them.  Also included is a nice hardcover book that is a fascinating read with lots of good recording information and other historical tidbits.

The records themselves all sound amazing.  Off the charts amazing.  In ways that I can't even describe.  This is some of the nicest sounding vinyl I own and all of these songs just jump out of the speakers in ways I've never heard before.  All of the records, except for Magical Mystery Tour, are the UK versions with the UK track listings and I really feel like this set should just be issued to you if you have a record player and you listen to guitar focused rock music.  It should just be mandatory.

I grew up listening to The Beatles.  They were my dad's favorite band and were pretty high on my mom's list as well.  They also happened to write some pretty incredible songs.  This box set is absolutely the best way possible to listen to these iconic records.  Even if you don't want to shell out the money for this entire set, at least go buy the mono version of Rubber Soul.  It's pretty much one of the most perfect albums ever written.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Record Store Day Haul #6: The Monkees - Classic Album Collection 10 LP Box Set


Rhino (2016)

Amazingly, this is the one Record Store Day release I was actually able to buy at my local record store.  At least there was one I didn't have to mailorder.

When I was a kid they used to rerun the old Monkees TV show on Nickelodeon.  I loved watching that show and I really dug the music as well.  I had More of The Monkees and Then & Now: The Best of the Monkees on LP and I had their dreadful-in-retrospect 1987 comeback album Pool It on cassette.  I've always kept some version of a greatest hits album of theirs handy.  When it was announced that all of their 60's and 70's albums were being released on vinyl for Record Store Day, this was definitely one I wanted to pick up.  Given the amount of albums in this set (10 LPs), the price was surprisingly reasonable as far as these things go.

It's kind of impossible to write a succienct review of 10 Monkees records in the confines of this one review, so I'll try to summarize as best as I can.  The Monkees hits are still hits no matter how you slice it. Also, the first few albums are pretty strong top to bottom.  From Meet The Monkees through Pieces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones LTD these are just flat out good records.  The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees and Head both have their moments, but for me, this is where the cracks start showing as many of the deep album cuts aren't quite as strong as their prior work.

By the time we get to their 1969 album Instant Replay, we're starting to get into a real freefall as far as song quality goes.  Sure, the Michael Nesmith, country tinged ones stay consistently strong for the most part, but, in particular, the Davey Jones songs really start to tank.  They quickly become gaudy show tunes in the worst possible way.  The Monkees Present is saved from total irrelevance by the outstanding Michael Nesmith song "Listen To The Band," and by the time the album Changes hits, there's just nothing left in the Monkees soul.

Lastly, this set comes with a tenth bonus LP containing some singles and B sides that aren't on any of the other albums.  It's a strong little collection and ends up being a better album than many of the later era Monkees records that were released as full lengths.  The Record Store Day pressing of this box set is pretty great.  Each album is on a different color vinyl and the sound quality is nice and perfectly serviceable.  I probably would have preferred the mono versions of the early albums, but for a band like The Monkees, that's a minor gripe.

It is nice to have all of these classing albums in one place in my collection.  There are a ton of Monkees songs that I love, but I guess I wasn't as familiar with their entire catalog as I would have thought.  There's some pretty awful stuff mixed in here, but those hits will always be hits for me.

That actually wraps up my Record Store Day purchases for the year.  It was a pretty quiet year as far as releases that I was actually interested.  If not for the Swami releases, it would have been a real down year.  I hope that the Record Store Day folks get their head back in the game next year.  It's gone from a cool little event I looked forward to every year to a day filled with many releases that seem to only exist for me to mock.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Record Store Day Haul #5: V/A - Hardcore Matinee - Clear Vinyl


Swami (2016)

By now you're probably noticing a trend here, but I'll continue it again in case you haven't read any of the prior write ups I've done on my Record Store Day hauls.  My local store didn't carry the Hardcore Matinee compilation, so once again I was forced to look elsewhere and like with the other Swami RSD releases, I was able to nab this from Interpunk.  So, thanks for that Interpunk, you came through big time this year.

Hardcore Matinee is a throwback to the days of compilation albums that cram tons of bands and variety into a blender and serve it up to you, the listener.  Being of the appropriate age myself, I can't even tell you how many compilations I bought back in the 90s.  It was essentially one of the main ways I discovered new bands.  You find a comp that has a band or two on it you already like, and then you go through the rest looking for new sounds.  It's actually how I discovered Rocket From The Crypt oddly enough.  Swami John Reis has compiled a bunch of bands from his hometown of San Diego, CA and the results are pretty striking.

It starts off with a one-two punch of The Schizophonics and Octagrape, both are bands that I was familiar with, but hadn't really heard all that much by.  While neither song ends up being a true highlight on this stacked compilation, they are both good enough to warrant looking into both bands a little more closely in the future.  

There's some bands already familiar to me who expectedly knock it out of the park.  Pinback, The Heartaches and Mrs. Magician are all at the very top of the best songs on this record and by listening to each it is clear that they were not turning in leftovers for this compilation.  Every one of those songs could have easily ended up on an album or 7".

Of newer bands (or at least newer to me bands), Teenage Burritos and The Soaks really stand out.  In particular, The Soaks stake a real claim at possibly having the best song on the entire compilation.  I already have a demo tape by these guys, but I really hope to hear more from them very soon.  

Next we'll talk about the two John Reis bands on this record.  Chronologically, the first one is the first new Hot Snakes song since they started playing together again.  It's as fantastic as you would hope and instantly makes it obvious this is a band that has lost none of their fire over the years.  If anything it's interesting how much it seems to call on Rick's time with Obits.  Closing out the album is The Sultans.  Despite having been out of action for so long, they are the band battling with The Soaks for my favorite song on the record.  Their inclusion "Hardcore Matinee" is something of a theme song for the entire record.  It showcases all of the incredible chord changes, warm, jangly guitar and catchiness that The Sultans displayed on their last album.  I want new records by all of John's band, but part of me would like to hear some more from The Sultans the most.

There are a few bands that don't get to me quite as much.  The Gary Wilson song strikes me as being a little goofy and I'll never be into the kind of noisy hollering that bands like Death Eyes, Ghetto Blaster and WHA bring to the table.  But as a whole this is an incredibly enjoyable compilation packed with old favorites and new hit songs.  It brings me right back to the 90s, digging through compilation albums, looking for gold.

Octagrape - Rabalais:

The Soaks - "Boyfriend":

The Sultans - "Hardcore Matinee":

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Record Store Day Haul #4: Superchunk - Tossing Seeds LP


Merge (2016, Reissue)

You may be noticing a trend here, but this is yet another album I was not able to procure from my local record store on Record Store Day.  While the prior three where not carried at all in any capacity, this one is on me.  As there were so few items on my list that my store was carrying, I didn't bother lining up during the wee hours of dawn.  I went later in the day, so I missed my shot of picking up this Superchunk reissue in person.

I was fine with that honestly.  The original pressings of this aren't really that much on Discogs, I've had the CD release of this for ages not to mention the fact that I have all of the 7"s that make up this compilation from when I decided to fill the gaps in me singles collection a few years ago.  On the Sunday after RSD, this popped up online in the leftover stock posted by 1-2-3-4-Go records.  At $20, it was pretty reasonably priced for a Record Store Day full length, so I decided to grab it.

I'm glad I did, it's been remastered and pressed on 180 gram vinyl, so it does sound about as good as I could imagine these twenty five plus year old songs could sound.  This record does have some of my favorite early Superchunk songs like "The Breadman," "Fishing" and the perennial hit "Slack Motherfucker."  It's always been a great little compilation of singles and I'm happy to have it in the collection, especially as it was priced fairly and required virtually no effort to pick up.

Superchunk - "Slack Motherfucker":

Superchunk - "The Breadman":

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Record Store Day Haul #3: Metz & Swami John Reis - Let It Rust 7" - Green Vinyl


Swami (2016)

This was another 7" not carried by my record store for Record Store Day, but luckily Interpunk came through gain with this one.  As I'm sure you can imagine, this was a record very high on my priorities list because as soon as you add John Reis to anything, it becomes a mandatory addition to my record collection.

The funny thing is, when you add John Reis to anything it also becomes an amazing record.  I've tried to give Metz a chance in the past and while I wouldn't say they are bad, in general they're not my cup of tea.  I've always found them just a bit too noisy.  However, once you add John Reis to the mix, he can't help but bring a catchiness and a bit of a melodic undertone to whatever he is involved in.  His addition instantly makes this 7" something I could listen to every day.

The A side is "Let It Rust."  It's built off of a fast changing, repeating guitar riff that wouldn't be out of place on some of the noisier moments of Reis' back catalog.  But what really drives this song home is the back and forth vocals of the chorus that really bring together the chaos of the verse.  I'd also be remiss to not mention the breakdown towards the end of the song that cements this as a top notch hit.

B side "Caught Up" seems like it could very easily fit on any Night Marchers record.  With its lighting quick guitar licks and abrupt changes in tempo, this song is dynamic to the point of almost being ridiculous.  Reis has always been one of my favorite guitar players in rock and roll.  I'll present this song as a definitive example of why.  It's just an incredible song.

I'm not sure what the future holds for the Metz and Swami John Reis working together, but I really hope they reconvene for a full length like John did with The Blind Shake.  At this point, I'm fine with you adding John to just about any band.  Whatever it takes to get me more records.

Metz & Sami John Reis - "Caught Up":

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Record Store Day Haul #2: Mrs. Magician - Eyes All Over Town 7"


Swami (2016)

When this Mrs. Magician 7" was announced for Record Store Day, it instantly became the record I was most concerned about tracking down.  If you've been reading this website for any length of time, you're probably aware that Mrs. Magician put out just about my favorite record of the last ten years with Strange Heaven.  I couldn't even possibly count the number of times I've listened to that.  The fact that they are finally following it up with a new full length in a few weeks is such great news.  I preordered that one a while ago and now I'm just waiting.

In the mean time, Mrs' Magician released this 7" for Record Store Day.  This was another record that my local stores just weren't carrying for whatever reason.  Luckily, the website Interpunk was selling it online and had advertised it as a preorder a few weeks earlier.  I wasn't positive it would actually show up, but I decided to take a chance anyway and order this along with the other Swami Record Store Day items.  When I finally got that shipping notification I was very relieved that I wouldn't have to go crazy trying to track this thing down.

The A side "Eyes All Over Town" will be on the next full length.  I'm purposefully trying to avoid listening to any of the preview songs of the record until I can just sit down and listen to the whole thing.  I'll write this song up when I review the full length, though I've put a link to the song below if you want to check it out.  The B side "I'm Glad You're Dead" is exclusive to this 7".  It's another hit for Mrs. Magician.  The production of the guitars is slightly cleaner than on past releases, but it only heightens the greatness of their start stop riffs and breezy surf tinged rhythms.  The vocals have a nice little layer of fuzz on them and the band has not lost any of their dark wit and humor.

It's been way too long since the last Mrs. Magician album.  If this 7" is anything to go by, I'm probably going to be pretty happy with the next album.  It's only two weeks away.  I hope it goes quick.

Mrs. Magician - "Eyes All Over Town":

Monday, May 9, 2016

Record Store Day Haul #1: The Thermals - Hey You 7"

Saddle Creek (2016)

Every year it seems like Record Store Day has fewer records to offer me.  It's gone from a neat little thing where there were a bunch of cool records to buy, to something that leans way to heavy on reissues for my own personal taste.  Sure, there were a few really cool records this year.  The number of cool records nearly doubled by the Swami releases that came out this year.  But as a whole, I can't think of a Record Store Day I had been less excited about.  Hopefully they right the ship next year.

This 7" that The Thermals have released wasn't one I was able to find at my local store, but my buddy Charles was nice enough to pick me up a copy.  I've been a big fan of The Thermals for quite some time, so I needed this record to keep my collection up to date.  In all honesty though, I'll probably never listen to it again.

The A Side is "Hey You." which is also on their most recent album.  It's a solid little song, but since it is on the full length, it's kind of unnecessary to listen to this side of the 7".  The real draw is supposed to be the exclusive B side.  The first ever cover song that The Thermals have released: "White Rabbit."

Maybe it's because I hate the original song.  Maybe it's because an old coworker thought this was her jam at karaoke.  Maybe it's because The Thermals don't take their cover anywhere interesting.  Whatever the reason, this side of the record may hold the dubious distinction of being the first Thermals song I actively dislike.  They have others in the past that maybe I didn't like as much as some of their hits, but this cover is flat out bad.  Unless you are like me and would feel a hole in your heart if there was a hole in your Thermals collection, this really isn't worth picking up.

The Thermals - "White Rabbit":