Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Blues Brothers - Rubber Biscuit 7"

Untitled

Atlantic (1978)

"Rubber Biscuit" was the first favorite song I ever had.  I have a book that my parents had gotten for me when I was four years old.  It's one of those books where the kid fills in the blanks about stuff they like.  What's your favorite color? What do you want to be when you grow up? That kind of thing.  In the section that says What is your favorite song?  My answer was "Bow Bow Bow."  That's what I first thought "Rubber Biscuit" was called at my youngest due to the chorus.

It was probably the fast pace and the gibberish lyrics that hooked me as a four year old, but there's still something pretty exciting about this song thirty seven years later.  The band has this irrepressible energy that just exudes through the song. The vocals, while still gibberish, have a melody to them despite their rapid fire delivery that always gets me nodding along.  I can't really explain it, there's just something magical about this song.

The B side on this 7" is "B Movie Box Car Blues."  This wasn't one of my favorites off of Briefcase Full of Blues as a kid, but that's somewhat misleading as I've always loved every single song off that record.  But what I can say is that "B Movie" has grown on me even more over the years.  It's slinky lead guitar riff, story telling vocals and the up tempo instrumental outro are all something to behold.  It's another perfect song in the Blues Brothers catalog.

Unfortunately this, my favorite Blues Brothers song, was never released in any country with a picture sleeve that I was able to find.  I really wish one had been made as it feels a little naked in the collection without one.  It's not alone, of course, and someday I hope it finds a more permanent home in the jukebox currently sitting in my garage that I'm not able to use right now.  

The Blues Brothers - "Rubber Biscuit":

The Blues Brothers - "B Movie Box Car Blues":

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Radiation Risks - Headless Horseman Flexi

Untitled

Feral Kid (2017)

This is the first time I've been sent a flexi to review since I started up this website.  Right away, that stood out.  Plus, while I can't say I like the artwork, it's definitely colorful and attention grabbing.

I reviewed another Radiation Risks 7" earlier in the year and while I do like the songs on this new flexi more than the older 7", I still can't go so far as to say I like this band.  But I don't dislike them.  It's complicated.  I like the music quite a bit.  It's fast and upbeat with jangly guitar, fun chord progressions and pretty decent hooks.  I find my head bobbing along when I listen to it and in particular I just love the guitar tone they achieved with this recording.  They should bottle that stuff.

By only hang up is that I'm not really partial to the singer.  Though, again, it's a big improvement from the last 7".  I still think the band as a whole would benefit from some more melody in the vocals and a less ferocious delivery.  This singer kind of feels like he's still trying to transition from a hardcore band into whatever Radiation Risks is turning into.  The progression is happening and change is obvious; these are much better songs.  But, i don't think that the band is there yet.  If they truly embraced the pop songs that they're writing, I think they could be great.

Radiation Risks - Headless Horseman Flexi:

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Golden Boys - Better Than Good Times LP - White Vinyl

Untitled

12XU (2017)

It's been five years since the last Golden Boys record.  While I did listen to Dirty Fingernails quite a bit when it first came out in 2012, I can't say it's been one that I've gone back too all that often over the last few years.  When I received an email alerting me that Better Than Good Times had been released, I hesitated for a moment, but decided to take the plunge and order it.  I'm still looking for that blow away album of 2017.  Better Than Good Times isn't it, but it's a pretty solid record and likely an improvement from Dirty Fingernails.

The Golden Boys play a somewhat rustic version of electric guitar rock and roll.  I wouldn't go so far as to say they lean country, but you can hear just a bit of twang and it tinges most of the songs on this record.  Luckily, the songs also have pretty good pop rock hooks that help move things along and keep the album interesting to me.

I think the album is most successful when the band picks up the pace like they do on "Lonely Girls" and the title track "Better Than Good Times."  This is where they start sounding like prime era Goodnight Loving to me, which is always a good thing.  When The Golden Boys slow things down. the songs are still pretty good, but they just don't reach the heights of the quicker ones.  Better Than Good Times is good times, but I'm not sure it's better than good times.  It's kind of the definition of a good, solid record.  A fun listen and one I recommend checking out, but it isn't the the record I'm looking for to take over my best of 2017 list.

The Golden Boys - Better Than Good Times:

Monday, December 4, 2017

Superchunk - Break The Glass 7" - Yellow Vinyl (/290)

Untitled

Merge (2017)

This is the second 7" Superchunk has released leading up to their new album scheduled for release in February.  Break The Glass was a limited 7" available in two versions, the first was on standard black vinyl, limited to 700 copies.  This one was $15.  The second version, and the one I decided to buy, is on yellow vinyl and was limited to 290 copies.  The yellow vinyl version was also autographed by all four members of the band and was sold for $30.

Now, both price tags are somewhat steep for a 7", but all proceeds from were being donated to Southern Poverty Law Center.  So, I was really just donating to a good cause and getting a limited 7" as a bonus.  I can't say that autographed records are anything that I care all that much about, but having the limited colored vinyl version is, so it didn't take that much thought to snag this version.

The A side of the 7" is "Break The Glass,."  It will also be on the upcoming full length.  All in all it's a great song.  It leans on the upper end of mid tempo with some high pitch lead guitar riffs over the trademark Superchunk fuzz.  The chorus actually drops the energy of the song a bit the first time it's rolled out, but this adds a really cool dynamic to the song.  Plus, things become very loud and triumphant when that chorus is used again towards the end.  

The B side is "Mad World," which according to the liner notes is a Corrosion of Conformity song. I don't know any Corrosion of Conformity songs and this Superchunk version isn't anything that would make me seek out their stuff.  It's louder than your usual Superchunk with gritty/screaming vocals and a pretty basic verse/chorus song structure.  I guess it's OK as a B side novelty, but it's not really the sort of thing I see going back to very often.  But, it is important to me to keep my Superchunk 7" collection complete and "Break The Glass" absolutely has me ready for the new Superchunk album next year.

Superchunk - Break The Glass 7":

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Peace Of Bread - 5 Songs CD

Untitled

Peace of Bread (2007)

Peace Of Bread is one of those bands that I just can't believe I missed out on.  They are so completely right up my alley, but I'm not sure I would have heard of them if it wasn't for the recommendation of Kazu from Waterslide records.  I think one of the main reasons I was unfamiliar with them is that they were primarily active during the mid 2000s.  A time where, for whatever reason, I just had a harder time keeping up with the Japanese music scene outside of Snuffy Smile releases.

Peace Of Bread, in many ways, feels like the natural progression of what Cigaretteman would have ended up sounding like had they kept going..  With the sort of fast and catchy guitar work that brings to mind some of my favorite Snuffy Smile bands like Snatcher or Blew, the five songs on this EP are just unbelievably great. Every single song is just perfect with the right amount of energy in the verse that builds into toe tapping choruses.  

The alternating male/female vocals create an incredible dynamic where each singer is able to grab the spotlight for their portion, but the true magic hits when they come together with perfect harmonies.  If you can't tell, I really love this EP.  It looks like Peace Of Bread put out quite a few CDs and EPs over the years they were active.  I hardly have any of them, but it looks like I'm going to have a lot of work ahead of me trying to hunt them all down.  Maybe Kazu can help!

I can't find any of these songs streaming online, but trust me, they're great.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Obleeks - S/T LP

Untitled

Good Land (2017)

Always on the hunt for new records, I stumbled across Obleeks when I read somewhere that Amos Pitsch of Tenement had produced this self titled LP.  I took a chance and it's a pretty solid success.  

The album starts out with two absolutely stellar songs: "After The Sunrise" and "Have You Thought About Me Lately?"  Even if the rest of the record was awful (it's not), this album would be worth picking up just for these two songs.  The band is playing shimmering, harmony drenched guitar pop.  The hooks are in all the right places and the backing vocals on the chorus of "Have You Thought About Me Lately?" are a thing of goddamn beauty.  They actually remind me a lot of the old SpinART band Poole, who I always thought were criminally underrated.

After that opening salvo, things do take a turn for the mellow as the rest of the album rolls on.  There's quite a few totally solid slow to mid-tempo songs that have nice arrangements and vocals.  They're not exactly setting the world on fire, but when you come across a track like "I'll Wait," it's hard not to get swept up in the song's carefree and breezy guitar chords.  It's a pretty strong record overall and a nice enjoyable listen.  I think that the album is pretty front loaded, but there rest of the album has some quality moments as well.

The Obleeks - S/T:

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Your Pest Band - Something Never Changes 7"

Untitled

Brassneck / Snuffy Smiles (2017)

It blows my mind how prolific Your Pest Band is.  It feels like they have a new release out constantly.  That's not a complaint mind you, the fact that I consistently am able to listen to new songs by these guys is the sort of problem anyone would be lucky to have.

As usual, this release shows off the diverse styles of Your Pest Band.  Opening track "Something Never Changes" is a mid tempo slice of jangly guitar and earnest vocals.  It some ways it actually reminds me of Tom Petty, but Your Pest Band keeps things rough around the edges. Great song.  Next up we have "Gas."  This is my favorite of the bunch with its fast, distorted guitars and old school Snuffy Smiles style pop punk hooks.  When Your Pest Band goes down this path, few are better.

Finally we have the nearly seven minute long "Gravity Force."  This is a song really testing the limits of what can fit on a 7", that's for sure.  It's slower and more deliberate than the other two songs, but no less potent.  I can't say that I tend to favor songs quite this long usually, but Your Pest Band manage to hold my attention better than most.

All three songs are definitely worth checking out and to mirror what Scott has said on the Brassneck website, this is actually a fantastic record to use as an introduction to the band.  With their massive discography, it can be intimidating to try to figure out where to jump in.  I recommend this 7", it gives you a sample pack of the sounds that Your Pest Band is best at.

Your Pest Band - Something Never Changes 7":

Monday, November 27, 2017

Wood Chickens - Countryside LP - Green Vinyl

Untitled

Big Neck (2017)

If we're judging books by their covers, I have to say I pretty much nailed this Wood Chickens album I was sent to review without ever hearing a note.  I mean, the band is called Wood Chickens, the album is called Countrycide and there's an animal skull and some cactuses on the cover.  Plus, I had reviewed a 7" by these guys a few months ago, so that probably helped a little bit as well.

It was somewhat comforting to put this record on and hear exactly what I was expecting.  Wood Chickens are playing a caffeine fueled take on country music.  But this isn't your modern day country ballads or even your dreary NPR alt-country nonsense.  Countryside is thirteen songs of shit-kicking, hillbilly rock and roll.  They remind me a bit of Southern Culture on the Skids, without the greaser vibe.  

A better touchstone is Slim Cessna's Auto Club as Wood Chickens have a similar feeling of authenticity.  I can't say I like this as much as Slim Cessna, but this LP is much better overall than the 7" I had previously reviewed.  I'm not sure Countrycide is in my wheelhouse enough for this to end up being a frequently played album, but it is a fun little excursion into something different.  Plus it would provide an excellent soundtrack if I ever felt the need to chase some moonshiners on dirt covered backroads.

Wood Chickens - Countrycide:

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Blues Brothers - Soul Man 7" (Japan)

Untitled

Atlantic (1978)

I'm going to put up this Blues Brothers 7" a day earlier than usual as this will be my last review of the week.  Tomorrow I'll be far too busy eating turkey to write another record review.  This record is the last Soul Man picture sleeve 7" that I have left.  There are a couple of other variants that I haven't tracked down yet, but we'll move on to other Blues Brothers 7"s in a couple of weeks.

This Japanese version is one of my favorites.  Yeah, they are just reusing the Briefcase Full Of Blues artwork again, but the addition of the Japanese text really make the artwork pop I think.  Especially with the white border that goes around it.

And interesting thing is that the artwork isn't a sleeve that you put the record in.  It's a single piece of paper that sits in front of the record, no pocket.  On the reverse is some basic info about the release plus the lyrics to "Soul Man," which I think is a pretty neat little bonus.

As usual, the B side is "Excusez Moi Mon Cherie."  To the best of my knowledge, there are four Japanese Blues Brothers 7"s.  I've tracked down three of them (reviews of the others will be coming over the next few weeks), but I do still need to find the Japanese "Gimme Some Lovin'" 7", so if you see it, let me know.

Blues Brothers - "Soul Man":

Blues Brothers - "Excusez Moi Mon Cherie":

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Sweet Knives - S/T LP - Gold Vinyl (/500)

Untitled

Big Neck (2017)

I was pretty excited to receive a pack of records from Big Neck to review.  The one that immediately jumped out at me was by Sweet Knives.  Something about the band name and the bright yellow artwork.  After reading a bit about them, it was interesting to learn that Sweet Knives spawned belatedly from the ashes of the Memphis based band Lost Sounds, familiar to some as one of the myriad of bands that Jay Reatard was in prior to his stint on Matador.  In fact, Sweet Knives are playing songs from the Lost Sounds catalog and are even named after a Lost Sounds song.

Where Lost Sounds were known for their dark synthy punk, Sweet Knives has brightened things up to wonderful results.  Sure, there's a little synth percolating here and there, but this is a guitar rock record through and through.  The album showcases the songwriting chops of Lost Sounds and really showcases a mastery of pop hooks that may not have been immediately recognizable when cluttered by some of the distorted synth chaos and Jay's manic vocals in Lost Sounds.  

Things are a bit more subdued with Sweet Knives and to my ears, it's a rousing success. With Alicja Trout handling the vocal duties the band is able to show a broader range of emotions and moods.  Songs like "Isolation-Deprivation" come close to sounding vulnerable when lighter vocals mix with the fuzzy guitar to craft one of the albums many highlights. 

I liked most of the bands Jay Reatard was involved in to some extent.  I can't say that Lost Sounds was my favorite band he was involved in as I tended to favor his poppier solo stuff.  Sweet Knives, however, is much more up my alley and was a really great surprise.  I recommend checking it out regardless of your feelings on Lost Sounds, these songs more than stand on their own.

Sweet Knives - S/T LP:

Monday, November 20, 2017

Skimmer / The Hum Hums - Split CD

Untitled

Fixing A Hole (2016)

This split CD pairs up one of my long time favorite UK punk rockers, Skimmer, with one of my more recent favorites from Japan, The Hum Hums.  It's a perfect match as both bands are attacking the same types of pop sounds, but they're approaching it from two different directions.

Skimmer has been kicking around since the 90's and all of these years later they are still churning our their brand of ragged pop punk.  The tunes are rough and powerful and the band has always been able to capture a real palpable energy with their fast buzzsaw guitars and high pitched vocals.  All three songs on their portion of the split are short, fast and insanely catchy.  It's comforting that all of these years later, you can still count on Skimmer to deliver the goods.

The Hum Hums take a different take.  Their sound is more of a mix of mid 90's Lookout records meets the Beach Boys.  It's a bit more melodic than Skimmer and boy oh boy can these guys crank out some incredible vocal harmonies.  The guitars are loud and crunchy and everything the band does is tight and precise, forgoing the rough around the edges approach and instead relying on their ability to write absolutely perfect pop tunes.

While they each have their own take on punk rock, both Skimmer and The Hum Hums are incredible.  They each take punk rock and cram in pop hooks and killer songwriting.  The only thing I wish was that this split EP was even longer, three songs by each band just isn't enough.

The Hum Hums - Split CD:



I couldn't find the Skimmer songs anywhere online.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Woolly Bushmen - Arduino LP - Gold Vinyl

Untitled

Pig Baby (2017)

I'll be honest, I was a little leery about this record because of the cover artwork.  While I am a big fan of wood panelling, I always get nervous when a band decides to put a big old picture of themselves on their record sleeve.  I have no real explaination why I don't like this, it's just one of those Larry David-esque rules I have for bands.  I'm sure there are plenty of people that don't understand it, just like I don't understand why some people say bands can't wear shorts on stage.  To each their own.

Anyway, the record itself is exactly the kind of record you'd expect a band called The Woolly Bushmen to make. This is a wonderful homage to the sort of rough and rugged rock and roll bluster of the 60's.  Lots of reverb on the guitars, a stomping rhythm section and a singer that alternates between melodic vocals and pained howls into the night.  I could do with a little less keyboard personally, but overall it's a fun, upbeat listen.

Pig Baby is becoming the go to label for this sort of rock and roll.  They're just not letting these vintage sounds die and that's admirable.  But, they really need to start tossing in some download codes with their records.  After all, we're in the future now.

The Woolly Bushman - "Something New":

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Ted Leo - The Hanged Man 2xLP

Untitled

Self Released (2017)

It's been quite a while since there was a new Ted Leo album out.  I was more than happy to contribute to his Kickstarter campaign to fund The Hanged Man.  In fact, I actually went in for the 7" box set version with the fourteen extra b-sides.  That hasn't arrived yet, but once it does, I'll write up that as well.  Point is, I'm a huge Ted Leo fan and have been ever since the day I heard the second Chisel album played in a New Jersey record store.  You can have your Bruce Springsteens and Bon Jovis.  For me, Ted Leo is the best musician to come out of New Jersey.

That's not to say that The Hanged Man would be a guaranteed smash hit with me.  When you have a musician like Ted Leo, there's always a chance he might explore his way out of me liking a song and that does happen a few times on this latest album.  That's mostly because this is a very diverse set of songs.  Right from the opening song "Moon Out Of Phase," Teddy's throwing curveballs.  The song starts of very slow, to the point where it's a little monotone.  But it seems to be gearing up to build into something frenzied, not unlike an older Chisel song "On Warmer Music."  Only problem is that big release never comes.  The song stays consistently slow and then just ends.

There's a few other songs like this, where the tempo never picks up and I'm left wanting more.  "William Weld In The 21st Century" is kind of as boring as the song title suggests, "The Nazarene" has a schlocky NPR vibe to it and "Gray Havens" is insanely slow until a completely off beat and very weird drum machine loop just drops in on top of the song.  For me, it doesn't work.

That being said, when Ted Leo is on and writing the sort of tunes that I tend to favor, there are few better.  "Used To Believe," "Run To The City," "Anthems Of None" and "You're Like Me" are all smash hits in the more traditional Ted Leo meets Elvis Costello mod pop style that is prevalent on the earlier Ted Leo records.  These songs are incredible and in some ways they shine even brighter when there are murkier moments during other portions of the album. 

While I can't say that The Hanged Man is likely to replace The Tyranny Of Distance as my favorite Ted Leo album, it's still very good as a whole.  There are parts that don't appeal directly to my sensibilities, but it's always obvious that like all great songwriters, Ted Leo has a story to tell.  This time out, there's a few more stories that require a slower pace to tell than usual.

Ted Leo - The Hanged Man:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfxdtCIA84E&list=PL1N_9O6op4yrlrGifqE1nHRyRbmmhQ-wJ

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Lillingtons - Stella Sapiente LP - Green w/ Splatter Vinyl

Untitled

Fat Wreck (2017)

I can't ever proclaim to be a Lillingtons super fan or anything like that.  I picked up their vinyl box set a few years ago and give those records the occasional spin.  Some are pretty good, others are just OK, but I think it's always good to see another take on the sort of poppy punk rock that I tend to favor.  I grabbed Stella Sapiente as soon as it was for sale as I knew that I'd want that limited colored vinyl.  But after listening to the record a few times, I'm not sure this is going to end up being much more than collection padding.

The Lillingtons have always flirted with a darker edge and some bleak storytelling in their past songs.  This is something they are embracing full force on Stella Sapiente.  The lyrics focus on darker themes littered with occult and religious iconography.  From a music side, there are times where Stella Sapiente sounds like a straight up 1980's goth album.  Heavy on The Cure.  Some may enjoy, but that scene was never for me.  I like to keep things moving and there are sections of the album that are just too slow and plodding.

I respect that The Lillingtons went out of their comfort zone for their reunion LP.  I'm always in favor of trying to keep things interesting, but when a band strays too far from their signature sound, inevitably they end up losing me.  Not sure where The Lillingtons go next, but where ever it is I hope there's more pop punk there.

The Lillingtons Stella Sapiente LP:


Monday, November 13, 2017

Shoplifters - Forgiver 7"

Untitled

PopKid / Brassneck / Waterslide / Bartolini / White Russian (2017)

This is the third entry in the I Buy Way Too Many Records Dot Com / PopKid Records conflict of interest posts.  Once again, I'm writing about a record that I love, but also that I'm releasing through PopKid records.  There is bound to be some bias, thought if I didn't love this record, it sure wouldn't be coming out on PopKid.  Needless to say, I think these are some pretty incredible songs.

Shoplifters are from Serbia and to be honest, I don't think I've ever heard a band from Serbia before.  I like to think I have my ear open to the whole world when it comes to finding excellent rock and roll music, but this is a country that hasn't been on my radar before.  I'm not sure that I would have heard of them if it wasn't for Kazu at Waterslide records who hipped me to their outstanding full length album Believe.  I reviewed that a few months ago and to summarize, it was incredible.

Fast forward a bit and Scott from Brassneck Records had mentioned that he was involved in putting out the new Shoplifters 7".  He sent over the songs and there was just no way that we could pass up having this record on PopKid as well.  It's everything I love about music.  Chances are, if you agree with my taste in music when it comes to the records I write about on this website, you'll probably like this Shoplifters 7".  Particularly if you are a fan of the mid 90's UK scene.

While I know it's not a comparison that will probably move a lot of records, what I hear most in these four new Shoplifters songs is an uncanny similarity to primo, early China Drum.  What's even more fascinating to me is that I was alerted by the band that they hadn't ever listened to China Drum until very recently when this similarity was mentioned to them.

The four songs on this 7" build off of the Snuff meets Big Drill Car sound of their last album, but they have managed to weave in tighter hooks and bigger melodies, calling to mind the aggressive, but still extremely poppy sound that defined early China Drum. Add in some wild guitar dynamics and vocals that remind me of the sort of thing Bob Mould has built his career on and you'll start to see the picture that Shoplifters are painting.  They're taking the influences of the 90's, but they're interpreting them in a way that's clearly their own.

Opener "High And Dry" sets the stage with with it's driving dark pop verse that lurches into a huge chorus with the sort of vocal harmonies that just drive me crazy.  But for me, the highlight of these songs is "Instant Forgiver."  With its driving rhythm, big hooks and supremely placed handclaps, I can't help but air drum along every time I hear it.  It's just such a killer song, and it's only one of the four.  I'm don't know what Shoplifters have planned next, but I sure want to hear it. I hope you do too.

Purchase the record from our webstore here: 

http://popkidrecords.bigcartel.com/product/popkid-7-s 

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 Brassneck Records 
Available in Japan from Waterslide Records
Available in the Netherlands from White Russian Records 
Available in Spain from Bartolini Records 

Custody - Blistered Soul 7":
https://popkid.bandcamp.com/album/shoplifters-forgiver-7

Thursday, November 9, 2017

The Blues Brothers - Soul Man 7" (France)

Untitled

Atlantic (1979)

I'm nearly through posting all of the different Soul Man 7"s I've collected, though I certainly have quite a few more Blues Brothers 7"s after Soul Man is completed.  This one is from France and as far as the artwork goes, it's probably one of the least interesting examples out there.

There's isn't much to differentiate it from the Briefcase Full of Blues artwork.  Same photo, it's not cropped or altered in any way.  They even use the same font for the words Blues Brothers on the cover.  The addition of the names of the A side and B side songs are the only real changes.  Even the back of the picture sleeve uses the same picture.  

Like pretty much all of the Soul Man 7"s, the B side is "Excusez Moi Mon Cheri."  If the goal is to collect all of the Blues Brothers picture sleeves, this one needs to be picked up.  If I'm ranking them, this one is kind of low on the list.

Blues Brothers - "Soul Man":

Blues Brothers - "Excusez Moi Mon Cherie":

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Iron Chic - You Can't Stay Here LP - Clear w/ Splatter (/800)

Untitled

Side One Dummy (2017)

I use Iron Chic as a reference point for other bands so often that I almost don't what to say now that I have to write about them.  You Can't Stay Here is the third Iron Chic full length.  While they've certainly come a long way since I bought their first demo tape because I thought they had a fun band name, there are aspects of the band that have remained consistent and reliable for the past ten years.

Iron Chic are better than most and building a song into a giant, shout along chorus.  If you go to a show of theirs, you will see a lot of people in black T shirts with their fists in the air shouting along.  In some ways it's a little predictable, but in others it's comfortingly familiar.  You could say the same thing about You Can't Stay Here.  It certainly sounds like Iron Chic.  The songs are all energetic and sung with a super intense passion.  The singalongs are just as catchy as they've ever been and it's easy to get caught up in the choruses.

That being said, the album doesn't have a ton of variety from song to song.  If I'm listening to this at work or while I'm doing something else, it has the tendency to fade into background music.  That's not to say it's bad, but sometimes the songs have a tough time standing out from each other.  Still, it's a very good record and one that I would always add to the collection.  If you like Iron Chic, you'll like this record.  If you don't, there's probably not going to be anything on here to change your mind.  Luckily, I like Iron Chic.

Iron Chic - You Can't Stay Here LP:

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Racquet Club - S/T LP - Red Vinyl (/400)

Untitled

Rise (2017)

I'm definitely seeing something of a late surge of great records as the year starts to wind down.  We had Remnants yesterday and today we have Racquet Club.  While you may not know the band name Racquet Club quite yet, you probably have heard of the main players in the band.  Blair Shehan (Knapsack, The Jealous Sound) and Sergie Loobkoff (Knapsack, Samiam) are back together and they've created a real beast of an album with Racquet Club's debut.

I actually think it sits somewhere in the middle of Knapsack and Jealous Sound.  The album doesn't quite hit the emotional heights of Knapsack.  There isn't as much heaven shattering screaming and it's generally a bit more low key.  That being said, it's miles better than Jealous Sound, delivering significantly more intensity and passion, particularly when it comes to the vocals.  While he doesn't yell quite as much as I would like, Blair does unleash those pipes from time to time when the song calls for it.

The album is consistently mid tempo for the bulk of the duration, but the band is still able to capture that lightning in a bottle energy. The songs are all tremendously constructed bringing together a knack for pop hooks, while keeping things serious and kind of bleak.  It's a really interesting balance and I'm not sure many bands would be able to pull it off.  If it's not clear from my ramblings, I really love this record.  It will certainly vying for the top spot in my album of the year list when I finally start putting that together. 

Racquet Club - S/T LP:

Monday, November 6, 2017

Remnants - True Places Never Are LP

Untitled

Tour Van / Different Kitchen / Emily (2017)

Looking for a record to fill out your top ten albums of the year? Look no further than True Places Never Are.  I picked this up after reading a positive review of it in Razorcake and I have been playing it on a nonstop loop ever since.  Remnants are one of the best discoveries I've made all year.  While as a whole, I have been thinking that 2017 has been a little lackluster for great albums, Remnants pretty much kills that argument with ten amazing songs.

The comparison that made me check this out was to Superchunk.  While I do hear the influence, particularly in the vocals, the band that they remind me of the most is that old 90's band Walker.  Just fantastically catchy, hook filled punk rock straight out of the RIYL Lookout records bin.  

Things start off slow with opener "Bummer."  It's the very definition of an opening album track; short and kind of slow - but bristling with energy just below the surface.   By the time the opening riff of "Less Irony" kicks in, the album just explodes to life and never looks back.  Incredible song after incredible song follow and I freaking love this record.

True Places Never Are is absolutely one of the best records I've heard all year.  I'd say easily top five, though I haven't started laying out this year's releases yet.  I think this could really end up under the radar for some, so don't miss out on it.  This truely is an incredible record.

Remnants - True Places Never Are LP:

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Nervous Twitch - That Weird Guy 7" - Yellow Vinyl

Untitled

Punk Fox (2017)

I hadn't heard anything from Punk Fox in a while, so I'm glad to see they're still at it.  Though I don't always like their records, I can certainly appreciate the desire to keep putting out the records you enjoy.  Even better is that this Punk Fox release is by Nervous Twitch, the one band of theirs that I tend to like the most.

While this is still a fun little 7", I can't say that it's been my favorite Nervous Twitch 7" to listen to.  I feel like they've turned the sneer way up in the mix this time.  The songs are still poppy and the guitars are still jangly, but the vocals are a bit more defiant than on prior records.  It's fine and I'm not even saying it as a complaint, I just tend to favor vocals that lean towards the melodic side a bit more.

Two of the three songs on this 7" will also appear on an upcoming full length that the band has coming out.  I'd be curious to see if the rest of the songs are similar in style to this new batch, or if they also still have some melodies hidden somewhere.

Nervous Twitch - "That Weird Guy":

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Stuntman - S/T LP

Untitled

Gravy Lane (2017, Reissue)

I'm not exactly sure why, but I was pretty surprised to see that the first Stuntman album was being released on vinyl for the first time this year.  Don't get me wrong, I was pleased as punch, but something told me this may not be as sought after a reissue for some.   Stuntman wasn't exactly a household name back in the mid 90's. 

I think the best chance most have for knowing these guys is from their split 7" with Knapsack that came out on Alias.  Some others may know them as being the other band that splintered off from Treepeople that wasn't Built To Spill.  Regardless, Stuntman certainly deserves more recognition than they receive and maybe this LP is the start of that.  It's difficult to not be impressed with this gem of an album.  From the blown out bass sound that lurches into the guitar blast of opener "Bleed" to the gentle, but kind of weird, acoustic fade out to album closer "Good Enough," this is an album that grabs your attention and never lets go.

This is a quintessential 1990's indie rock record.  I don't think it could have been made at any other time.  There's just something very comforting to me about the way the guitar is both intricate and somewhat sludgy at the same time, not to mention the scattershot rhythms and rough vocal yelps.  It's got an imaginative streak to it that seems missing from much of today's music.  Plus these guys have the chops to pull of the chaotic guitar solos that inevitably creep into a large chunk of the songs.

I wouldn't go so far as to call the first Stuntman record a forgotten masterpiece; but it's a great record and certainly one that deserves to be remembered more than I think it in.  Oh and this vinyl reissue was limited to 273 copies, so you may want to grab it before it's gone.

Stuntman - S/T:

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Cheap Wine - S/T LP - White Vinyl (/100)

Untitled

Drunken Sailor (2017)

As soon as I heard about this new band comprised of Jordy (Creeps, Crusades), Eric (Feral Trash) and Steve (Steve Adamyk Band), there wouldn't be a way you could have stopped me from buying it.  With a pedigree like that, you can easily set yourself up for disappointment by expecting too much.  Luckily, Cheap Whine delivers and then some.

You hear the term power pop thrown around a lot.  Often times it ends up being used on bands who are snotty garage bands missing the pop or bands that are severely laking in the power category.  Cheap Whine suffers none of this.  They songs are all blistering with the sort of energy that I go crazy for, but they never sacrifice the hooks or the wonderful poppy choruses.  In a lot of ways, they remind me of The Marked Men, but with cleaner vocals.

Just pop on any one of the album's myriad of hits.  Try out the full blown downstroke madness of "Fall" or "Kasumi."  Or the slightly more melodic, but equally powerful "A Little Change" or "Best Times."  The entire album is just a blast from start to finish.  Cheap Whine doesn't really sound like and of the members other bands, but they have a close enough vibe and are drawing from similar influences that it would seem like madness to like Steve Adamyk Band but not Cheap Whine.  Put simply; it's a hell of a record.

Cheap Whine - S/T:

Monday, October 30, 2017

Midnight Reruns - Spectator Sports LP

Untitled

Dusty Medical (2017)

This is another album I picked up based off of a review that was written about it in Razorcake.  The writer compared them to Tenement and that was enough to warrant a listen.  Also, since I knew of the label Dusty Medical from their prior releases of bands like Goodnight Loving and Midwestern Beat, I figured it would probably be a safe pickup.

Having listened to this album pretty nonstop since receiving it in the mail, I can confirm that Tenement is a very accurate comparison for Midnight Reruns.  Though Midnight Reruns certainly leans towards the mold of early, straightforward poppy Tenement with much more emphasis on hooks and catchy choruses than the intricate soundscapes that Tenement has been moving towards more recently.  

While Midnight Reruns doesn't have the sort of blistering Dinosaur Jr. style guitar solos, they absolutely know how to work with interesting riffs and super catchy vocal melodies.  In particular, "Hold Up The Mirror" is just a smash hit with a chorus that's been stuck in my head for weeks.  Even though two instrumentals, "Celebrity Lawyers" and "Concourse C,"is a bit much, they don't really slow down the album too badly.  At the end of the day, this is definitely an album worth checking out.

Midnight Reruns - Spectator Sports:

Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Blues Brothers - Soul Man 7" (Germany)

Untitled

Atlantic (1979)

Continuing through Blues Brothers picture sleeve 7"s, we come to the German version of Soul Man.  Like many others, the basic artwork for this is a modified version of the album art from the Briefcase Full of Blues full length.  This time it's cropped into a close up.  The back art is kind of weird as it isn't Blues Brothers related at all, it's just an ad for some other albums by artists like Rod Stewart and AC/DC.

As much as I wish each 7" had completely unique artwork, this particular version is probably my favorite that uses the Briefcase artwork as its base.  As far as the songs go, this 7" has the same B side as most of the others, "Excusez Moi Mon Cherie."  It's kind of funny to me that the one Blues Brothers song I didn't know about until I was an adult actually appeared on so many different releases.

I only have a few more Soul Man 7"s left, then it's on to some other songs.

Blues Brothers - "Soul Man":

Blues Brothers - "Excusez Moi Mon Cherie":

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Thirsty Chords - I Continue I... CD

Untitled

Shirafu (2009)

Sorry there wasn't a review yesterday.  I wasn't feeling well and needed to skip a day for some extra sleep.  Much better now though.  Thirsty Chords is one of these great Japanese punk rock bands that I somehow have been neglecting over the past few years.  To think, this record came out all the way back in 2009 and I've just heard of them this year.  Shame on me.  It was when I was looking up more information about the band Bows that I kept seeing Thirsty Chords mentioned and I figured I should probably check them out.

I Continue I... is the band's first album, but they've arrived fully formed and have put together the sort of debut that other bands would kill for.  Thirsty Chords are playing the sort of punchy and energetic punk rock that I expect to here from bands like Minority Blues band or others of that persuasion that would call Snuffy Smiles home.  The key for me are the strong, melodic vocals that have passion but don't dissolve into unnecessary screaming.

The guitar is fast paced and so dynamic it's hard to believe this is a three piece band.  Combine that with a drummer that's just killing his kit and piles of catchy hooks and you've got a band that's ticking all the boxes as far as what I'm looking for in punk rock.  Unfortunately, I can't find any of the songs from this album online, so you'll kind of have to take my word on how good it is.  If you go to YouTube and search for Thirsty Chords, it'll pull up some live footage.  I think that will be enough to show you what a great band this is.  And the album is even better than those live clips.






Monday, October 23, 2017

Rail - Luke & Lauraland 7"

Untitled

Red Dawg (1995)

Rail is one of those bands that has been existing in the background of my life for decades.  Every five years or so I stumble across another one of their records, spend some time trying to figure out if it's the correct Rail and then adding it to the collection.  This 7" was bought as part of a larger lot of older records I picked up on Discogs.  I think it was a dollar and that was a dollar well spent.

Things start off with the more melodic and, frankly, emo leaning "Reconsider."  It's a mellower start to the EP and kind of stands apart from the other three.  By the time we get to "Cheerleader on Prozak,"  you can start to see the bouncy, Superchunk style energy that Rail possess.  They have a knack for taking a truly rough and fuzzy recording and making it work to their favor.  It sounds like a time capsule of the mid 90's, when it seemed like every band that picked up a guitar had a hit up their sleeve.

On the B side, we have probably the highlight of the 7", "Tickin."  This is just a blast of hooks, catchy singalongs and buzzsaw chord progressions.  Just a great song. Finally we close out with the title track "Luke & Lauraland."  This one may be the most Superchunkian of all, with its lower key verse and giant anthemic chorus.  This is one of the better Rail 7"s I've picked up.  I think I only need one more of them at this point, but who knows.  I always seem to stumble across these guys when I least expect it.

Rail - Luke & Lauraland 7":

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Fifteen - Liberation 7" - Yellow Vinyl (/100)

Untitled

Dead Broke (2017, Reissue)

In the never ending quest for punk points and the desire to know everything, even the craziest of us often fall short.  I'm embarrassingly unfamiliar with Fifteen.  While I freely worship at the church of Crimpshrine, for one reason or another, I never picked up on Fifteen during those formative punk rock years when I was younger.  I think in the 90's there were certainly less resources to buy everything I may have wanted to check out, either from lack of availability or (much more likely) limited funds to chase everything down with.

So we come to 2017.  Dead Broke Records has started to rerelease some Fifteen records, starting out with a 7" and an EP.  I guess now is as good a time as any to jump in.  I have to say, while I enjoy this 7", it's not the sort of mind blowing revelation as when I rediscovered Seaweed in my mid thirties.  Not that the bands are occupying the same sort of sonic space or anything, but when I started listening to Seaweed I was so utterly knocked out with how fresh and powerful those records were.  With Fifteen, I'm not quite as wowed.

Frankly, all four songs on this 7" sound a little old and somewhat dated.  There's definitely a sound from the late 80's and early 90's that sort of stayed there.  That's not good or bad, it's just one of those things, sort of how it's impossible to not think Promise Ring records sound a hundred years old now (again, not that Promise Ring sounds anything like Fifteen either).  Anyway, in comparison to Crimpshrine, Fifteen take a much more subdued approach to everything.  In some ways, I feel that more emphasis is placed on the lyrics and this is certainly a band with something important to say.  Musically things are a bit sparse and I never completely feel the sort of fury and energy that I'd get from Crimpshrine.  And I get it, Fifteen is not Crimpshrine. Sometimes it's just hard to separate bands like this from each other.

I like the songs on this 7", I guess I just don't love them.  I've got an LP from Dead Broke that I'm going through as well.  While I'm absolutely not giving up on going through more Fifteen releases, I guess I was just expecting something a little louder.  Still, I'm glad that these records are more readily available to give a few other dinosaurs like me a chance to check out something we missed the first time around.

Fifteen - Liberation 7":

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

30 Amp Fuse - Wind Up CD

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Darla (1995)

While discussing Alligator Gun with some friends last night, I remarked that the one time I got to see them play, they were opening up for 30 Amp Fuse.  I've had the second 30 Amp Fuse album, Saturday Night At The Atomic Speedway, since before it had even come out.  I was sent a copy of it in advance when I was writing at my college newspaper in 1997.  I was immediately taken with it and sure played the heck out of it back then.  For whatever reason, I wasn't able to track down (or just didn't have the money for) the first 30 Amp Fuse record, Wind Up.  As a friend pruned his collection a few months ago, I took that opportunity to add this to the collection.

I've had the opening track on this album as a song on a 7" for decades.  "Sorry" still holds up every bit as good today and it's probably the highlight of this album.  However, this is an album full of some catchy, pop leaning punk rock songs.  You can hear similarities to other crunchy guitar bands of the era like Pollen (especially with the gruff vocals) or Overwhelming Colorfast (with their mastery of a catchy hook).  30 Amp Fuse isn't afraid to put their foot on the gas and blast things off a bit faster like the sugar fueled "St. Patty's Day" which just races through with a nonstop blast of roaring guitar.

A fun little tidbit is that John Davis (bass) and Don Coffey Jr. (drums), who would later become much more renown for their next band Superdrag, got their start on this 30 Amp Fuse record.  But this is really the show of guitarist and singer Mike Smithers and it's a pretty good show.  While poking around the internet a bit, I realized two things about 30 Amp Fuse.  The first is that it doesn't look like I have  Saturday Night At The Atomic Speedway on vinyl, so I'm going to need to correct that oversight.  The second is that 30 Amp Fuse had a third album in 1998 that I never even knew existed.  I'm going to have to take a look for that one as well.

30 Amp Fuse - "Sorry":

30 Amp Fuse - "St. Patty's Day":

30 Amp Fuse - "Everclear":

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Hum Hums - Teenage Loser CD

Untitled

Waterslide (2013)

As I've mentioned (probably to the point that you're sick of reading about it by now), the Waterslide/PopKid show in Tokyo was not only one of the highlights of my trip to Japan, but it was one of the best nights of my life.  Of the bands that played that show, the only band that I was very familiar with beforehand was The Hum Hums.  I had already had their fantastic second album Back To Front and was so happy to hear they were every bit as good live as they were on that record.

Since I didn't have their first album, I had to pick up Teenage Loser when I got home.  I've spent a lot of time with this one and I can say without question, it's also pretty damn great.  I think I can safely say that The Hums Hums probably have the best vocal harmonies in all of punk rock.  We're talking perfect Beach Boys style backing vocals that bring you into the song and get stuck in your head for days on end.  These vocals and the band's uncanny knack for bubblegum pop punk hooks really make The Hum Hums something special.

I think I like their second album a little bit better.  It's slightly more dynamic and you can tell that as songwriters they definitely grew from the first.  But Teenage Loser is no second fiddle album, it's a stellar collection of pop hits and I consider myself very lucky that I was able to see them play in Japan.  I hope I can see them again someday, but for now I'll just have to keep listening to their records nonstop.

The Hum Hums - Teenage Loser:

Monday, October 16, 2017

A Giant Dog - Toy LP - Red Vinyl

Untitled

Merge (2017)

Toy is the fourth record that A Giant Dog has released and it's the third one of theirs that I have picked up.  Each time I buy one of their albums I think that I should go back and pick up their debut, but for some reason, I just never seem to remember to do that.  Maybe this time I'll actually do it because for the third time in a row, I'm pretty bowled over by a record from this band.

A Giant Dog has this way of combining power pop and catchy hooks, a frantic Superchunk style energy, a little bit of a glammy swagger and the powerful lead vocals of Sabrina Ellis into an album that is so thoroughly fun and listenable it boggles the mind.  A lot of the individual elements of the band would work in just about any situation, but when they merge together, I don't think there are many that would be able to pull this off.  

Lyrics alone, saying something like "I wanna make you come if you can make me laugh" could just be the death of a band that was less confident and in control of their music.  This is an album made by a collection of people that know their band is hot shit, but are still unafraid to let you into their world and show a little vulnerability.  It's a hell of a record by a hell of a band.

A Giant Dog - Toy:

Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Blues Brothers - Soul Man 7" (Spain)

Untitled

Atlantic (1978)

So if you haven't figured it out yet, I've bought a bunch of Soul Man 7"s over the last few weeks.  There's more to come and I'm still not positive I have all of the different picture sleeves out there.  And this is only Soul Man.  I can absolutely say, I've been very surprised to realize just how many picture sleeve Blues Brothers 7"s are actually out there.

This particular one is from Spain.  Like many of the Blues Brothers 7"s from 1978, they are once again reusing the Briefcase Full of Blues album artwork for the single.  This time they've shifted the color scheme to a light green.  It stands out, but I'm continuously baffled at how little artwork seemed to be available back then.  That being said, I guess each individual country that released this probably didn't care if they were using the same art as a neighboring country.  I dig the subtle differences between each one, but how great would it have been if every single had completely different art?

Songs are the same as on the other versions: "Soul Man" and "Excusez Moi Mon Cherie."  The collection continues to grow.

Blues Brothers - "Soul Man":

Blues Brothers - "Excusez Moi Mon Cherie":

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Balloon Flights - Staten Island 12"

Untitled

No Tomorrow / Torreznetes / Rufus / KDF (2016)

I came across this band in the review section of Razorcake.  The reviewer there had name dropped Superchunk as well as RVIVR and that seemed like an interesting enough combination that I went in search of this band from Spain.  Once I found their Bandcamp page and gave this a listen, I was sold and immediately ordered.

I can't say that I hear any Superchunk in this record at all, if anything this strikes me as a slightly poppier version of the kind of sounds that the Welfare Problems era  Randy was putting out.  It has the same sort of intensity and vocals that I think are pretty similar as well.  However where Randy was all about attitude, Balloon Flights embrace pop hooks to a much greater degree.  Each verse builds to that big chorus were the songs all come to life.

This seven song 12" EP is a great introduction to the band.  The've got a few other EPs up on their Bandcamp page as well, but I definitely would be interested in a full length album from these guys.  Hopefully they're working on one right now.

Balloon Flights - Staten Island:

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Marvelous Mark - Buzzin' LP - Pink Vinyl (/100)

Untitled

Drunken Sailor (2017)

This Marvelous Mark album is comprised of some new songs as well as a bunch of tunes from prior EPs that have been added in to fill out the LP.  While I never quite seem to love Marvelous Mark songs quite as much as the songs he was cranking out in his prior band, Marvelous Darlings, there are some fantastic tunes on this album.

While Marvelous Darlings traded in big pop choruses and a healthy amount of swagger, Marvelous Mark dives deeper into pure pop bringing together a sound that's part 90's guitar pop bands like The Posies, but combined with the sort of upbeat fuzz you'll find in modern bands like Wavves.  Every one of the songs on Buzzin' is drenched in sugary melodies with hooks to match.  

I guess part of me doesn't love this album quite as much as I normally would since I've heard so many of the songs before, but if you only have Mark's last album Crushin', this is a pretty essential pick up.  Even if you have the singles, the new songs exclusive to this release are still great, so I can't really imagine passing on this record no matter what your existing collection looks like.

Marvelous Mark - Buzzin':

Monday, October 9, 2017

Plum - Realms of the Unreal CD

Untitled

Urban Sleep (2014)

The singer from Plum sent me this CD.  I had met him in Tokyp while he was playing with the new band he's in, 2 Sick Worry.  He gave me the Plum full length album at the show I saw 2 Sick Worry play and I reviewed that a few months ago.  He followed that up by sending me this CD version of Realms of the Unreal that was only released in Chile.  It has all four songs that are also on a cassette of the same name, but also includes a pile of extra tracks.

We start out a little scary with "Sickage," a song that's essentially a lot of angry screaming, which as you may know by now, really isn't my thing.  Luckily the album takes an immediate turn into the sort of high energy and catchy pop that I was hoping to hear.  Because of the vocals, I tend to compare Plum to fellow Japanese band Navel a bit, but there's something about Plum that sets them part.  I think it's a sweetness in the songs that just draws you in to the hooks and jangly guitar work.

Aside from "Sickage," every song on this release is a bouncy pop gem.  If you like fast, catchy, 90's style pop punk with high pitched vocals and tons of energy, it's definitely worth trying to track down.  I know that I'm really happy to be able to have this CD in my collection.  2 Sick Worry is starting to work on getting some music out into the world and I'm really excited to hear more from them.

Plum - Realms of the Unreal (There's only 1 song up on Bandcamp, but it's a good one):

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Stephen El Rey - Poor Born 7"

Untitled

Pig Baby (2017)

I'll admit it, I absolutely was prejudging this record based on the cover.  Even after all this time, I'm always a little weirded out by pictures of the band or artist on the cover of a record.  There's no rationale to this, I own an uncountable number of great records that feature some version of a band picture on the cover.  For whatever reason, that doesn't stop me from wrestling with some Larry David-esque rule I have in my head that bands shouldn't do that.

Anyway, I'm happy to report that my initial trepidations about Stephen El Rey were washed away once I actually listened to this 7".  I'll say this much, it's a varied 7" showcasing a lot of different things over 3 songs.  Opener "Poor Born" is a messy garage-y stomper, with reverb soaked vocals that jump in and out of the song like a pumped up Jon Spencer.  While not my favorite song of the three, it's an energetic intro and I'm always in favor of that.

When we move on to "Buried Under The Future," there's an immediate shift to a slower, surf tinged instrumental.  A start comparison to the song before, but a nice break in the middle of the record.  Things close out with "Drunk Again."  This time, El Rey slows things down even more and enters that sort of low voice crooner territory that Dan Sartain once inhabited so perfectly.  Now, the song does build into something bordering on a jumbled freak out at the end, but it manages to have a sort of charm that I find endearing.  

In my opinion, this is one of those 7"s where each song is better than the rest.  I can't say I'm completely sold on Stephen El Rey, but I would certainly be curious to see what he's able to do over the course of a full album.

Stephen El Rey - Poor Born 7":

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Reverse - Chasing Ghosts CD

Untitled

SP Records (2011)

I couldn't possibly explain why it took so long for me to finally buy this CD.  I love Reverse.  They had a string of 7"s that came out on Damaged Goods in the mid 90's that are among my favorite 7"s in my collection.  Not quite as remembered as some of the other titans of the UK scene of the time, this Stoke-on-Trent band was one that I've always wanted to hear more from.  I vividly remember trying to convince Dave, the trombone player from Snuff, to give me the Reverse shirt he had when Snuff toured America one time.  He wouldn't part with it (though he did end up giving me a really excellent Letherface 'Mackem Bastards' shirt, so nothing but good feelings towards Dave).

A little bit prior to this CD, SP records had released a CD of Reverse singles as well as some previously unheard songs they had amassed. The fact that they had another seventeen songs hanging around after that release kind of boggles my mind.  Why didn't any of these come out back then?  I will say this, while there are some truly fantastic songs on this record, they don't quite live up to my favorite songs from the 7"s.  I'm sure that has a lot to do with the fact that I've been listening to the 7" ones for about twenty years while I haven't lived with the songs on this CD for anywhere near as long.  

Still, there's something about songs like "Denial," when the band is just tearing through their chorus with tons of vocal harmonies and energy to spare.  Some of the slower songs on this CD don't grab me the same way, but Reverse still has a way of drawing me in with their gravely vocals and unabashed pop hooks.  I can't really explain why they've been lost to history, but both this CD and the singles comp, Glance Sideways, are overlooked gems that deserve more attention than they get.

Reverse - Chasing Ghosts (4 songs sampler):

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers - Damn The Torpedoes 2xLP

Untitled

Backstreet/Geffen (2010, Reissue)

This isn't a review and this isn't a record that I've bought recently.  This is just a reminder that Damn The Torpedoes is a hell of a record and Tom Petty will be incredibly missed.  Above is the 2xLP reissue from 2000.  It's amazing.  There are still many Tom Petty albums on my list of records to pick up, but this one will always be my favorite.

Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers - "Refugee":

Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers - "Don't Do Me Like That":