Thursday, June 21, 2018

Governess - S/T LP

Untitled

Radical Empathy / One Percent Press (2017)

I will admit, I've had this album sitting around for a a while, unsure of what exactly I wanted to say about it.  I find it kind of perplexing and it's difficult to articulate the things about it that don't quite land for me, but without insinuating that it's inherently bad.

The album was sent to me to listen to by the folks at One Percent Press.  It's an LP reissue of Governess' self titled album, originally only released on cassette.  For that reason along OPP and co releasing label Radical Empathy should be commend.  I'll always support liberating albums from tape hell.  That being said, this isn't really the sort of album that I would really ever listen to all that often.

The production on the entire record is very soft.  Instruments register in the background, sometimes seeming like they were recorded on a different plane, not quite in the studio and not quite of this dimension.  The vocals are otherworldly, giving a gentle but haunting vibe and they glide over the sparse drumming and even sparser guitar work.

If you are looking for something that's perhaps a bit more chill than your typical punk rock diet or if you are a bit more into soundscape type stuff or albums that make strong use of audio texture, this might be up your alley.  For me, it's just kind of pleasant background noise.  Not present enough to offend or delight.

Governess - S/T:

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Summerman - Fan CD

Untitled

Super Capsaicin (2018)

One of the best discoveries I made when I went to Japan last year was a band called Summerman.  Their last album Temperature Is... has been on a non stop loop ever since I picked it up.  It's just one of those perfect albums.  Now Summerman is back with their sophomore full length called Fan.  It's aptly named as I am a huge fan of these guys.

While I tend to favor the Japanese bands that slide a bit more easily into the Snuffy Smiles style of gruffer punk rock, Summerman wins me over with their sheer mastery of hooks and ability to build song structures.  Summerman has more in common with bands like Silver Scooter or Falls.  They construct their songs using delicate layers of jangly guitar lines coupled with a forceful rhythm section that keeps the energy level way up.  

There are three guitar players in this band and while the punk rock part of my brain sees that on paper and thinks it might be overkill, when my ears actually hear the complex, but supremely catchy melodies they create with this set up, it's hard to argue its effectiveness.  Let's not also forget to mention, they cover a Chester Copperpot song on this record, which is absolutely insane to me.  Their treatment of "No Wonder"is a revelation, giving the song a fuller sound and a different vibe while still maintaining the same levels of pure joy that the Chester version manages to convey.

I do wish this had come out on vinyl and I'm hopeful that one day it does get released in that format.  But no matter what format it could possibly come out on, there's no denying how great Fan is.  Summerman has put out a pretty stellar release and it's one of the albums I've been listening to the most this year.  Absolutely worth checking out.

Summerman - "White":

Summerman - "Super Health":

Summerman - "No Wonder" (This is a live version, not the one on the album but you'll get the general idea):


Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Lawsuit Models - Off The Pavement LP - White w/ Green Marble Vinyl

Untitled

Snappy Little Numbers (2018)

I've said in the past that Snappy Little Numbers has become one of those really trustworthy labels over the past few years.  It feels like nearly everything they put out is fine tuned to appeal directly to me.  Lawsuit Models is no exception to this.  It's another great album filled with big hooks and 90s style rock tunes.

The thing that immediately jumps out as a comparison point for Lawsuit Models is the band Pollen.  Especially the later, Wind Up records album Peach Tree.  While musically, they are somewhat similar, each having a knack for crunchy guitars and simple, but extremely catchy riffs, it's really the vocals of one of the singers that evoke the memories of Pollen.  There is a slight rasp, not to the extreme like a Frankie Stubbs, but one that evokes a warmth and a familiarity that allows the lyrics and melodies to really sink in.

There is another singer whose vocals lean towards a more straightforward punk rock delivery, but they're no less effective and these songs give the album a jolt and keeps things dynamic and interesting throughout.  If it isn't obvious, I really dig this record.  These guys may not be on your radar, but they really should be.  Particularly if you're one of the dozen or so people that picked up Pollen CDs out of the $2 used bins during the 90s.

Lawsuit Models - Off The Pavement:

Monday, June 18, 2018

Fifteen - Swain's First Bike Ride LP - Blue w/Yellow, White & Orange Splatter (/137)

Untitled

Dead Broke (2017, Reissue)

I probably mentioned when I reviewed the reissue of the first Fifteen 7" a few months ago that I have been embarrassingly unfamiliar with this band until very recently.  While I've been a huge Crimpshrine fan for as long as I can remember, for whatever reason, I never followed along with Fifteen during the bands initial run of records.  Luckily there's a bunch of reissues going on right now, making it easier to catch up.

While I was left pretty flat with the Liberation 7", Swain's First Bike Ride is much better and way more up my alley.  I hear a lot more of the scratchy guitar progressions along with Jeff Ott's distinctive rasp.  It's not as all over the place as the 7" was as the album has a more consistent and cohesive sound, fitting right in with the sort of thing going on at Lookout records in the late 80s and early 90s.  Where the 7" felt like a bunch of songs thrown together, this feels more like an album.

I still have a long way to go to catch up on Fifteen's discography.  I did pick up two more of their albums that were recently reissued and I'll be spending time with those and hopefully writing up a little something about them in the near future.

Fifteen - Swain's First Bike Ride:

Thursday, June 14, 2018

The Blues Brothers - Who's Making Love 7" (France)

Untitled

Atlantic (1981)

Here we are, talking about singles from the very last Blues Brothers full length album, Made In America.  As a whole, that album is one that I don't quite have the ties to like I have with Briefcase Full of Blues or the soundtrack to the movie.  I never had Made In America as a kid, it didn't get added to my collection until I was a teenager.  I'm not sure why, especially considering how much I loved the Blues Brothers at the time, but for whatever reason, I just never had it as a kid.

In the US, they did release "Who's Making Love" as a single, but it didn't come out with a picture sleeve domestically.  This week's entry is from France.  Artwork wise, they reuse the cover artwork from the Made in America LP, and just added some text about the songs on this 7".

"Who's Making Love" doesn't pop for me quite the same way that other Blues Brothers songs do, but that's not to say it isn't still a pretty rousing version of this song.  As usual the band is firing on all cylinders and Jake's vocals are fiery and on point.  The B side they chose for this is a little bizarre.  It's essentially an instrumental cover of the theme song to Perry Mason.  I say primarily instrumental because for some strange reason, Elwood kind of mumbles along with the melody, occasionally spitting out a word that can be understood.  It's totally fine in the context of the record as a brief interlude.  But as a focused on B side, it makes less sense to me.

The Blues Brothers - "Who's Making Love":

The Blues Brothers - "Perry Mason Theme":




Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Wolves of the Dry Ravine - Play With Matches (Near The Powder Keg) LP

Untitled

Stepdads (2018)

Wolves of the Dry Ravine have the dubious honor of being the record I review today because it's not currently packed away in a box somewhere.  This one showed up during my move, so I happen to have it handy.  The downside being that I haven't spent as much time with it as I typically like to before writing about something on this website, but luckily it's a really good album with short, catchy songs that sink in quickly.

Each song is built off of a wonderfully full, yet not super distorted guitar tone.  It has the right amount of fuzz, but mixed with just enough of the treble end of the spectrum to remain bright and shiny.  In general, each of the album's fifteen songs clock in at about the two and a half minute mark, but man this band can cram an awful lot of hooks into those two minutes.  

It sounds like something that would have fit right in if it had been released on Ptrash and in particular, there are times where it reminds me of Sedatives, though without the dark vibe.  This is most prevalent on songs like "Shut Down" and "Bow Down" where a little flourish of keyboard goes a long way.  Having never heard this band before, I wasn't sure what to expect, but this Wolves of the Dry Ravine album is a really strong debut effort.  Definitely worth checking out.

Wolves of the Dry Ravine - Play With Matches (Near The Powder Keg):

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Figgs - Low-Fi at Society High LP

Untitled

Imago (1994)

It took a day longer than I expected to get back online and ready to write about records again.  The new house is nice, but I'd be lying if I were to say it isn't pretty chaotic right now.  The bulk of my records are still packed up in boxes, so it's going to be a little tricky to get reviews done this week.  Luckily, I did receive one record in the mail during the move, and it's one I'm pretty darn familiar with.

I had first heard of The Figgs when I picked up a 7" of the song "Step Back, Let's Go Pop."  I think it was a promo single that I got for a dollar or something like that.  It made me pick up the album it came from, Low-Fi at Society High.  "Step Back" is the lead of track on the album and it really sets the stage for what is to come.  Loud, crunchy guitars, building chord progressions, tight and punchy drumming and strong and catchy vocal melodies.  While that sentence really exhausts my collection of adjectives, it really is the best way to sum up what a dynamic and easy to listen to pop rock band The Figgs are.

I've had this on CD forever, but it took a while to grab the LP at a decent price.  I've had my eye on it for a while and a reasonably priced copy finally showed up on Discogs and I decided it was time to finally add the vinyl version to the collection.

The Figgs have been going for ages and they have a bunch of records out that I'm just not as familiar with. Low-Fi and their 1996 follow up, Banda Macho are the only records of theirs that I ended up owning.  I probably should dig a bit deeper into their discography, but I've got a lot of other records to unpack first.

The Figgs - "Step Back, Let's Go Pop":

The Figgs - "Favorite Shirt":

Monday, June 4, 2018

Hold Please

Untitled

As I had mentioned in one of my posts last week, my wife and I are moving into our first house.  I thought that I might be able to prewrite a handful of reviews to keep things going this week, but it became clear very quickly that was not going to work out.  

All of my records are packed up.  All of my LPs are in the new house, though my computer and everything else is still in my apartment.  I'm going to just take a break this week, power through this move and hopefully be back at it on Monday.

I'll be taking stupid pictures and complaining on Twitter during the move, so feel free to follow me there if you can't imagine going a week without my terrible writing.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Sea Lilies - Soonest 12" EP

Untitled

Tired As A Chicken (2018)

Over the past fifteen years, few bands have delighted me in the way that Sick Sick Birds and Dead Mechanical have.  I love everything that each of those bands have created, so I was pretty devastated when they both broke up.  What I didn't expect was for members of each band to join forces in a new project together.  Lucas Carscadden and Matt Dorsey from Dead Mechanical have teamed up with Mike Hall from Sick Sick Birds to create an incredible EP that only makes me yearn to hear more.

Each of the band's six songs are flawless in their execution, bringing together the melodic pop mastery of SSB with the gritty, fast paced energy and dynamic guitar work of Dead Mechanical.  The thing that really strikes me is how much Sea Lilies really is a sum of their parts.  They've managed to take the very best parts of each of their former bands and merged them into something that lives up to all expectations and in certain ways surpasses their previous work.  

The only criticism I can possibly give is I wish it were longer and had double the amount of songs on it (they have an excellent demo that I would have loved to be included on this vinyl release).  This EP is hands down, easily one of the best things you will hear this year.  I flat out love it, I hope they sell a billion copies of it and I am anxiously awaiting their next release.  Hopefully that comes out real soon.  Go buy this.

Sea Lilies - Soonest EP:

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Triple Junk - Get Away 7"

Untitled

Blue My Mind (2018)

As a warning, my posts over the next few weeks are probably going to be a little sporadic.  I'm in the process of packing for a move.  If you are a regular visitor, you probably know that I tend to accumulate a lot of stuff.  Just packing up all of the records is going to be a Herculean task and I collect more than just records.  Also, it's difficult to take pictures of my records when they are in boxes.  I'm going to try to post this week, but next week is the big move, so I may not have anything new up on the site that week.  We'll see.

Anyway, cutting through the chaos of my life right now we have Triple Junk from Japan.  This 7" is four songs of exciting, treble heavy power pop that I just can't get enough of.  Guitar chords ring out and couple with a tight rhythm section that drives each song forward.  The way the songs are structured reminds me a little bit of the first Gentleman Jesse album, but with a crunchier pop punk influence creeping in.  It's undeniably catchy and I really dig this a lot.

Digging around online, I think that Triple Junk has another 7" and a demo CDR.  If they are even half as good as the songs on this 7", these are records I need to find.  So if anyone out there happens to see them, please let me know.

Triple Junk - "Get Away":

Thursday, May 24, 2018

The Blues Brothers - Jailhouse Rock 7" (Japan)

Untitled

Atlantic (1980)

This 7" ties pretty directly into the last Blues Brothers single I wrote about, primarily because it is the exact same single.  However, for the Japanese market they switched things up and made "Jailhouse Rock" the A side and "Theme From Rawhide" the B side.  To me, that actually makes a lot more sense and I'm surprised it wasn't the case for both versions.

The artwork on this Japanese version is a lot of fun.  The classic illustrated logo of the band is mixed in with jail cell bars over a bright yellow background.  They threw in a small picture of the photo from the soundtrack album cover just for good measure.  It's an interesting way of creating completely new and original artwork without using anything new.  Both images have been recycled from countless other releases, yet this 7" still stands out as truly unique.

This is actually the last of the Japanese Blues Brothers 7"s I have.  There's one more that I know of for "She Caught the Katy"/"Gimme Some Lovin'" that I haven't been able to track down yet, so if anyone ever sees that, please let me know.

The Blues Brothers - "Jailhouse Rock":

The Blues Brothers - "Theme From Rawhide":

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Unwelcome Guests - Anything You Want LP

Untitled

Dirt Cult (2017)

I couldn't tell you why it's taken me so long to write about this newest Unwelcome Guests album.  They're a band I've been listening to for a really long time and I have just about all of their records, but for whatever reason this album lingered in the to do pile for way too long.  I've been listening to it for a while and I can say conclusively that it's as good if not better than anything else they've ever released.  Which is to say it's quite good.

I've often tried to describe Unwelcome Guests by saying they seem to take the lead guitar dynamics of Dinosaur Jr. and mesh them into a rootsy, boozy Replacements style of songwriting.  It's never as chaotic or ear blistering as Dinosaur Jr., but it's certainly not straight up Replacements worship either as the energy of the lead guitar and punk rock song structure keep things lively and engaging.  

If I had to say any sort of generic descriptor, it would be that Unwelcome Guests are pitch perfect indie rock for today in the same way that Archers of Loaf were when they came out with Icky Mettle.  I don't think the records sound the same, but they both set themselves apart as standard bearers for the genre.  Needless to say, I dig this album quite a bit and I wish it hadn't taken me so long to write about it and say so.

Unwelcome Guests - Anything You Want:

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Rocket From The Crypt - Return To Monkey Island 7" - Picture Disc

Untitled

Self Released (2017)

Towards the end of last year the greatest band on the planet, Rocket From The Crypt, went on the UK tour.  They brought with them this two song 7" that was only available at those shows.  So far, that has held true.  This record hasn't been sold anywhere else and has become one of the harder to find releases in the Rocket catalog.  For whatever reason I figured they'd have some of these leftover and would sell them stateside, but that hasn't been the case yet.  Perhaps it's because of less Rocket shows with Hot Snakes taking the spotlight currently, but I do hope these are released to some more folks that desperately want them.

I'm lucky.  I had a friend pick me up a copy at one of the UK shows.  So, I'll take this opportunity to say thank you, and I highly encourage everyone to buy as many records from Drunken Sailor as possible.  Though that's a cheap plug, I do mean it and would say that even if the juice man hadn't picked this up for me.

On this 7" we have two brand spanking new Rocket FromThe Crypt songs.  The first is "Waiting for the Shoe to Fall."  It starts off with a simple guitar riff that reminds me a little bit of the Sultans, but the song just grows from there.  The hook on this thing is unreal.  I don't think the Speedo John gets nearly enough credit for how god damn catchy his songs can be.  The punk rock bonafides can never be questioned, but the dude can write a hook.  Once the chorus kicks in, the horns swell and stay involved for the duration of the song, elevating everything.  If this is a taste of what we could hear on a future rocket album, sign me up.

On the B side we have "Too Dangerous."  This one has some guitar work that at first, makes me thing about one of the shorter, more straightforward Night Marchers songs.  But like on the A side, once the horns hit and the chorus revs up, it is unmistakably Rocket From The Crypt.  Like "Waiting For The Shoe To Fall," "Too Dangerous" is a short powerful blast of Rocket energy in the verse and the sort of chorus that I can just imagine myself jumping up and down to surrounded by my Swami family.  If it's not obvious, I love both of these. 

It still feels surreal to have new Rocket From The Crypt songs.  Greedily I just wish we had more.  I love Hot Snakes and could not possible be more thrilled that they have a new record and are touring.  But if I'm being honest, Rocket From The Crypt is my favorite band in the whole wide world.  Once this batch of Hot Snakes shows wrap up, I really hope Rocket gets down to the task of a new album.  I can't think of anything more exciting than a possibility of a dozen or so new songs by the mighty RFTC.

Monday, May 21, 2018

The Miles Apart - Almost Light 7" - Blue Vinyl (/100)

Untitled

Green / Assurd (2017)

What a blast from the past it was to see a new release from Italy's The Miles Apart.  Forming from the ashes of the very wonderful Eversor, The Miles Apart put out a handful of albums and singles during the early 2000's.  This band was on my radar mostly due to being such a big Eversor fan, but also because they were one of those bands featured on a Snuffy Smile split 7".  When that happens, there's pretty much a one hundred percent chance I'm going to hear your band.

This 7" features three songs from The Miles Apart, their first new material in over ten years.  It doesn't sound like it's been that long at all as the band picks up right where they left off, turning in three songs of their melodic, bright and ultra catchy pop songs.  Their band name is also the name of a pretty spectacular Mega City Four song, and you can certainly hear the influences of not only MC4, but the entire early 90's scene they sprang from.   

Hints of Senseless Things creep up in "Lost In Nowadays" and you can hear some of the energy and guitar dynamics of early Snuff in "Almost Light."  I'm not sure what made The Miles Apart decide to get back together and release some new songs, but whatever the reason I hope they stick with it.  The songs on this 7" are exactly what I need to hear right now.  All three songs are flat out perfect.

The Miles Apart - Almost Light 7":

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Katamari Damacy - Original Video Game Soundtrack - 2xLP: Green & Purple Swirl / Red & White Swirl

Untitled

Mondo (2018)

I can't say that I am much of a gamer.  Sure, I played a lot of Colecovision and Nintendo when I was a kid, same as most folks.  I even kept up pretty well with Nintendo products up through the Game Cube, but after that I went through a period where I really didn't play much.  I did pick up an Xbox360 when I lived in Boston for a while, so that I could play online with some of my friends and try to keep in touch, but once I moved back to NJ I didn't really keep up with it.

There were a few games that really connected with me during those Xbox years.  The first Gears of War, both Portal games and Katamari Damacy.  The first Katamari game never came out for Xbox, I don't think, but my wife had a playstation and we picked up that game based on a recommendation from my friend Alan.  What a wacky game.  You push around a little ball and as smaller items get stuck to it, it becomes bigger in a snowball effect.  Then you can pick up bigger things as the size of your ball increases.  Sounds silly, but it was pretty addictive.   The best thing about the game was its incredible soundtrack.

This is the first release on vinyl of this soundtrack, full of insanely catchy J pop/rock hits.  Some songs are in English, some are in Japanese, but all of them are outstanding.  After listening to the opening theme, it's pretty impossible to not have "na na na na na na na na" stuck in your head for about a month.  It also makes the phrase"I want to wad you up into my life" sound way more romantic than it probably should.

I will say that as a general rule, I'm not a fan of the vinyl movie and game soundtrack boom that's happened over the past few years.  It seems like every weirdo horror movie and every obscure game is getting a vinyl pressing when I still can't even get Onehundredpercentfreak by Alligator Gun on vinyl.  Sure, I partake occasionally. After all, I was very excited to be able to pick up the soundtrack to the original Godzilla a few years back.  But for the most part, I think it's overdone and I can't fathom listening to those kinds of things very often.

Obviously I've made an exception for Katamari, the songs are just too good.  And Mondo has done an incredible job with this pressing.  The artwork looks amazing, the vinyl colors are sharp and it's just a really nice package.  I'm glad I grabbed this and I'm tempted to pick up the Portal soundtrack that they released, but past that, I just don't see what other video game soundtracks would be worth owning.  OK, maybe I'd buy a 7" with the RC Pro Am song on it.

"Katamari On the Rocks":
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMH49ieL4es

"Que Sera Sera":
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mv90uA0tmgc

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Burning Spring / Cuddlefish - Split 7"

Untitled

Debt Offensive (2017)

Debt Offensive sent me this split 7" of two bands I wasn't previously familiar with.  As I've said many times in the past, the split 7" is one of my absolute favorite ways to listen to music.  You get to hear from two bands that may or may not be similar, but have some sort of kinship.  Otherwise, why would they be on the split?  In this instance we have two bands that lean towards the melodic end of the punk rock spectrum.

The two Burning Spring songs are really impressive.  They have gruff, chunky guitar riffs that rattle around their songs, mixing in with the rhythm section and the slightly raspy, melodic vocals.  They've got a knack for dynamic starts and stops within the songs, particularly "Seven Years Bad Taste."  It's a really incredible song, catchy in all of the right places, but still with a rough around the edges feel that I find incredibly endearing.  I don't think these guys have anything else out, but these two songs make me eager to hear more.

Cuddlefish is a little bit tighter and a little bit slicker than Burning Spring, but they don't connect with me quite the same way.  Cuddlefish is leaning in a direction that reminds me of The Flatliners, particularly with the really scratchy, borderline screaming vocals.  It's not to say these songs aren't good, they are still pretty catchy and have really hooky choruses.  Their three songs aren't quite as captivating as the Burning Spring songs, but they are enjoyable with heaps of energy to spare.

Burning Spring / Cuddlefish - Split 7":

Thursday, May 10, 2018

The Blues Brothers - Theme From Rawhide 7" (Europe)

Untitled

Atlantic (1980)

When I started digging into information about Blues Brothers singles, this was definitely one of the more surprising discoveries I came across.  I didn't expect to find that "Rawhide" had ever been released as a single from the soundtrack album.  I could see it perhaps making an appearance as a B side, but not as an A side picture sleeve.  Yet here we are.

I've always loved this song, mostly because it gave Elwood a showcase; something I always wanted when I was a kid.  Elwood was my favorite and yeah, he drove the car in the movies, but he wasn't as in the forefront on record.  "Rawhide" was one of the rare instances where he took center stage, never mind that it was just a theme song to a TV show I had never seen.  The B side on this one is "Jailhouse Rock," which I'd really expect to be the A side.  That song will get its chance next time.

The artwork on this is interesting.  Again, they are pulling from the same batch of stock photos that keep turning up, though this time they've taken the Briefcase Full of Blues album cover, split it in half and then switched Jake and Elwood to the opposite side.  The film strip imagery cutting down the middle is a nice touch.  I don't mind the recycling of photos as much when they do something interesting with it.

The Blues Brothers - "Theme From Rawhide":

The Blues Brothers - "Jailhouse Rock":

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Gamla Pengar - Ingen Kan Allt - Men Alla Kan Dra åt Helvete 7"

Untitled

Gaphals (2016)

I was hipped to Gamla Pengar because Fredrik of the ever wonderful Chester Copperpot told me he started to play with them.  While Fredrik isn't on this recording (unless he recorded under a rockstar pseudonym that I'm unaware of), I can certainly see why this is a band that would make someone want to jump on board.  These guys are pretty great.

So the two comparisons that immediately jump to mind for me are Hot Snakes and Rocket From The Crypt.  Now, I realize that is some lofty praise and it sets expectations perhaps a bit too high, but sonically those are the bands that come to mind.  You have the furious downstroking and dark melodies of Hot Snakes, mixed in with an overtly catchy, party/singalong vibe that I can only compare to Rocket.

Vocally they are worlds different as the singer from Gamla Pengar has a more guttural growl as opposed to the smoother tones Reis is known for or the pained howl that has become Rick Froberg's hallmark.  Also, Gamla Pengar is singing in Swedish, so that's a difference as well (According to Google, the title of the 7" is something about everyone can go to hell).

All four of the songs on this 7" are a rocking good time. Loud and aggressive enough to leap to the forefront, but the songs are catchy enough to where you still find yourself nodding along and tapping a toe.  This is the most recent release that Gamla Pengar has put out, but Fredrik sent me a few more of their older records, so I'll write a bit about those as well in the next few weeks.  Go check these guys out, it's worth it.

Gamla Pengar - Ingen Kan Allt - Men Alla Kan Dra åt Helvete 7":

Monday, May 7, 2018

Bedford Falls - Send More Bees LP - Greenish Blue Vinyl

Untitled

Brassneck / Dead Broke / Boss Tuneage (2018)

Send More Bees is Bedford Falls' third album, but for whatever reason it's the first one of theirs that I've heard.  No matter how much I'd like to think I stay on top of things, at least within the genre of music I tend to like the most, bands like this still slip through the cracks.  I'm not entirely sure how I've missed Bedford Falls until now, but I'm happy to be correcting that problem at last.

Bedford Falls are playing a slow burning slice of the fuzzed out bliss of bands like Superchunk, but with a lower key take on the proceedings.  The bulk of the songs take mid tempo pace to allow the vocals melodies and lyrical imagery to really take hold.  Taking a more measured approach does give everything a bit more room to breathe and some of the songs flourish in this atmosphere.  

If there's a criticism, it's that the first batch of songs tend to somewhat blend together a bit, but it also makes the songs were Bedford Falls step on the gas, like "Reason To Believe" and "Defeat Artist" stand out more.  These songs take on a dynamic, Starmarket-like feel and the energy builds and the vocals have a focused urgency to them.  I do tend to prefer the faster ones at the end of the day and wish there were a few more over the course of the album.  Still, when Bedford Falls are on, they are really on and it's an album absolutely worth checking out.

Bedford Falls - Send More Bees:

Thursday, May 3, 2018

New Junk City / Hot Mass - Split 7" - Orange Vinyl

Untitled

All In Vinyl (2018)

I have to admit, it's been so long since I got a new split 7" from the All In Vinyl singles club, I forgot it was still going on.  When I first started seeing pictures of this record online I thought that they had started up a new year that I hadn't signed up for yet.  Then I realized that this was part of the club I had already subscribed to.  And there's still one more 7" to go.  Good times.

New Junk City is a band that I was blown away by from a 7" randomly sent to me to review in 2016.  I was so into that record, but they completely fell off of my radar again.  This split is a nice reminder that they're still out there.  The songs are somewhat ramshackle in construction, with everything sounding kind of loose, but at the same time loud and exciting.  The guitars are perfectly blown out and fuzzy and the vocals are raw, but still maintain solid melodies.  Both of their songs on this 7" are crunchy and catchy and great.  I want to hear more by these guys and I really need to pick up their first EP that I see on their Bandcamp page.

Hot Mass is another band I wrote about in 2016 when their phenomenal album Nervous Tensions came out. It seems inconceivable to me that was nearly two years ago, but those are the trappings of growing old I guess.  In those two years, it appears that Hot Mass have gotten even better than they were.  The first song on this split is a short, catchy blast of punk rock, but it's the second song "Flatman" that is a real world beater.  It's probably the best song they've released so far and it's just a perfect mix of jagged UK punk pop, with dynamic transitions and a most excellent breakdown towards the end.  Hot Mass still remind me of Rumspringer, but with that extra little bit of aggression that make them stand out.

This really is a hell of a split 7".  Highly, highly recommended.

New Junk City / Hot Mass - Split 7":

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Empty Heads - Ugly 7"

Untitled

Debt Offensive (2016)

Debt Offensive sent me this little gem from their back catalog along with the Supercrush 7" from the other day.  While the bands take completely different paths, both have a penchant for 90s style rock & roll and both are pretty darn great.

Where Supercrush is mining for pop gems, Empty Heads is their noisier stoner cousin.  All three songs on this 7" are sludgy, yet surprisingly catchy guitar rock numbers.  There's the sort of distortion you'd expect to hear on middle era Sebadoh records, but with choruses and hooks that remind of a mix between Seaweed and The Karl Hendricks trio.  Imagine that "Some Girls Like Cigarettes" came out on Sub Pop.

I think that this 7" is even better than the band's debut 7" I reviewed a few years ago.  I'm definitely curious to hear more, though it looks like the only other release they have out right now is a cassette.  I'll have to track that down so I can say bad things about the cassette format.  While this isn't the sort of thing one would typically think would immediately be my cup of tea, it's the hooks that will keep me coming back.

Empty Heads - Ugly 7":

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Record Store Day Haul #1: Superchunk - What A Time To Be Alive (Acoustic) 7" - Clear Vinyl

Untitled

Merge (2018)

This will be my first and only post about the 2018 version of Record Store Day.  I didn't even buy this at my local record store as they didn't have a copy of it by the time I had arrived.  I own this record thanks to the generosity of my friend Charles.  So, thank you Charles, I really appreciate it.  In a nutshell, Record Store Day pretty much sucks now.  What was once a fun event that I looked forward to every year has turned into something I have almost zero interest in.

It's not because of some ethical statement of major labels taking it over, or indies being pushed out.  I'm also really glad that there is something driving people to record stores for at least the one day of the year, so that's not a bad thing either.  To me, the bad thing is that almost all of the releases labels decide to put out pretty much universally suck.  This Superchunk 7" and a Rascals 4xLP that I decided was too expensive to buy were the only things I had any interest in whatsoever.

Even this 7" isn't particularly enthralling.  Of course I love Superchunk and of course I needed to buy this 7" no matter what was on it to keep my Superchunk 7" collection complete. But both are acoustic versions of songs from the latest Superchunk LP.  They're slower and played with an acoustic guitar, but there's nothing all that interesting going on.  A fun novelty, but nothing I would listen to that often.  Again, needed for completist purposes, but not something I would recommend if you don't care about that sort of thing.  I do care, so thanks again to Charles for picking this up for me.

Monday, April 30, 2018

falls - Wednesday CD EP

Untitled

Waterslide (2015)

I reviewed the excellent falls cassette EP a couple of weeks ago, but I also have the CD EP of theirs from 2015 that I hadn't had a chance to write about yet.  As you may remember, falls was one of the bands that played the Waterslide/PopKid show when I was in Tokyo last year.  They blew me out of the water at the show and they've continued to do so with their recorded output.

When I was talking about their cassette, I had mentioned how appropriate I thought it was that they were covering a Silver Scooter song due to the similarities between the two bands.  That comparison holds true for this EP as well.  Much like Silver Scooter, the band builds their songs off of tight, impactful drumming and impressive bass lines.  The rhythm section laying down this solid foundation allows for the band to create truly dynamic guitar work, transitioning from gentle plucking of the strings to fuzzy blasts of chords at the blink of an eye.

falls have found a way to harvest some of the sounds and intricacies of mid 90s bands like Boys Life, but they manage to keep everything catchy with the sort of hooks and choruses you expect from pop punk bands.  Really, the more I think about it the more I realize that they're just so much like Silver Scooter in so many ways.  A great band, writing great songs.  After these EPs, I'm definitely ready for falls to put out a full length.

falls - Wednesday:

Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Blues Brothers - Jailhouse Rock 7" (Netherlands)

Untitled

WEA (1980)

This is one of my favorite Blues Brothers 7"s.  This version of the "Jailhouse Rock" single comes from the Netherlands and has "Sweet Home Chicago" as the B side.  It has completely unique artwork and doesn't look anything like any of the other Blues Brothers singles I have.  Even though it's a little weird that the image is chopped off at the ankles, that oddness only makes me love it more.

Even the way I obtained it was somewhat strange.  A seller on Discogs in The Netherlands had it listed.  I tried to buy it from them directly and they wanted to charge an astronomical shipping fee.  I think it was close to $60.  For one 7".  Crazy.  Anyway I came up with a plan and with the help of the wonderful Scott from Brassneck, we had the 7" shipped to the UK and then it was sent over with some stuff from Brassneck (I buy records there, so should you*).  Scott told me the seller shipped this in a gigantic box, so oversized for one 7" that it was ridiculous.  

Anyway, it's really cool addition to the Blues Brothers collection and I thank Scott for helping me obtain it.

*Cheap, but heartfelt plug

The Blues Brothers - "Jailhouse Rock":

The Blues Brothers - "Sweet Home Chicago":

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Custody - S/T LP Blue w/ Black Swirl Vinyl (/300)

Untitled

Little Rocket (2018)

Custody are from Finland and hot damn what a great, great band they are.  So much so, that last year I put my money where my mouth was and helped release one of their 7"s.  While PopKid wasn't able to get involved with their debut full length, I can unquestionably say that: 1. It's great and 2. I really wish this was on PopKid.  It would have been a wonderful addition to our catalog.

Custody have a knack for melodic punk in ways that I have not seen in many years.  They have a 90s leaning style that often makes me think of Samiam in the way they craft their melodies and hooks.  But to get the full picture you need to add in a band like Starmarket in the way they are able to inject fierce energy and super dynamic guitar interplay.

Each of the album's ten songs just knock me over again and again.  They have an uncanny ability to craft their songs in a way that uses the verse as a launching pad for their killer choruses.  Custody also has incredible skill with constructing the instrumental portions of their songs, with perfectly placed bridges and honestly, some of the best song outros/conclusions that I've ever heard.

Custody's debut full length is so clearly one of the best albums to come out in 2018 so far.  I can't recommend it highly enough and I hope these guys keep cranking out records for many years.

Custody - S/T:
https://custody.bandcamp.com/album/custody

Monday, April 23, 2018

Supercrush - I've Been Around 7" - Orange Vinyl (/100)

Untitled

Debt Offensive (2018)

I am pretty damn excited that there is a new Supercrush 7".  Though the band's output is sporadic and has been limited to singles so far, they are quietly amassing a collection of some pretty incredible pop songs.  

Everything I loved about 90's era guitar pop bands like Poole, The Merrymakers or perhaps the very poppiest moments of the Lemonheads is captured in the two songs on this 7".  A side "I've Been Around" is the more brazenly catchy of the two with its perfectly executed harmonies and escalating guitar riffs.  I just can't get enough of that warm, California, Overwhelming Colorfast style of guitar tone the band has so expertly dialed in.

Things mellow out a bit on the B side "Brutal Honesty," but again the songwriting chops and big, big hooks are on full display once again.  I really love this band and I desperately want them to put out a full length album.  Don't get me wrong, I'l happily take as many 7"s as they're willing to release, but I feel like the band would really be able to take advantage of a the full length format and really deliver something special.  I hope that time comes sooner than later.  Again, just a fantastic band.

Supercrush - I've Been Around 7":

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):