Underground Communique (2013)
Winepress is a band that I first heard of due to another band covering a Winepress song. A wonderful old band from the 90's called Walker covered Winepress' 'Revenge Of The Nerds' on their split 7" with a band called Back of Dave. That led me to Winepress, a band that only put out a handful of 7"s, but managed to churn out quite the little pile of awesome songs.
This is a band that is absolutely a product of their time. Fast, fun midwest pop punk. Good hooks, good lyrics, the whole package. This collection compiles all of their songs onto 1 LP, though this same compilation did come out on CD back in 2001.
The version that I have is a limited to 100 copies record release version sold at a recent reunion performance the band played. The leftovers were sold on the Underground Communique website. Amazingly, I just checked and it looks like they still have some left if you're in the market for a copy. I don't think any other version of this LP exists at this time, though I imagine it is likely it will get a full pressing from the label at some point.
Winepress - The Complete Recordings (Full album stream):
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Underground Communique (2013)
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
One of the most enduring childhood memories that I have is my fascination with the Muppets. I always watched the show when it was on, I loved the movies and I simply adored this soundtrack. I had it as a kid and quite simply wore it out. I remember it so vividly that I can tell you the spots where my original copy skipped. 'Rainbow Connection,' 'Movin Right Along' and my absolute favorite 'Can You Picture That' just jumped out of my speakers and really helped show me how important music was at a very, very young age.
I picked up this new copy in the botched trade I mentioned when writing about the George Harrison album Cloud 9 a few weeks ago. In fact, this was the record whose condition led me to call off the trade and just buy the records outright. While certainly not unlistenable, there are quite a few scuff marks on the vinyl and they really come through when the songs hit their crescendos, resulting in staticy fuzzed out moments.
For the price I paid, not a deal breaker, but I would certainly prefer to pick up a fresher copy at some point. It's a classic record for me and that red & green Atlantic label on the vinyl just makes me smile.
The Muppets - Can You Picture That:
The Muppets - Movin' Right Along:
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
It's no secret to the world that I am one of the biggest fans that John 'Speedo' Reis could have created. From Rocket From The Crypt to Drive Like Jehu to The Sultans to Hot Snakes, I've been with him every step of the way. His bands never disappoint, his albums always become soundtracks to a specific time frame for me. With The Night Marchers, things haven't changed a bit.
After a 5 year layoff, Night Marchers hit with their 2nd full length Allez Allez. An album that builds off of the foundations of all his previous bands but still manages to be fresh and exciting. From the dueling guitar interplay of 'Tropical Depression' to the straight up pop of 'Pain' to the fascinatingly horn-tinged-Rocket-From-The-Crypt-esque 'Big In Germany,' this man knows how to write a song. 'All Hits" as it were.
I'd have to say this is even better than the band's debut, See You In Magic. It's one of the best things you could possibly pick up right now and a surefire album of the year contender (though honestly, very few others are really going to be able to vie for the top spot).
The one thing that I will say that I find odd is that the track order between the CD and LP is different. On the CD, 'Fisting The Fanbase' closes the album. On the LP, that song is the last on Side A. I'm sure it was rearranged on the LP for timing issues, but I have to say, for me that song is the natural album closer. It just kind of sums up the energy of the entire album and beats you in the face with it for 5 minutes. After which, the only thing left to do is start that record all over again...
Night Marchers - All Hits:
Night Marchers - (Wasting Time In) Javalinaville:
Night Marchers - Fisting The Fanbase (Live):
Monday, February 25, 2013
Side One Dummy (2013)
It was a crazy scene back in the 90's. If there was a band and that band made music with guitars, there was a better than average chance that at some point, some label would want to release their records. Provided they were any good or had even a small following. Superdrag ended up on Elektra. They managed to give the label a hit single with the song Sucked Out and the 90's rolled on. I remember this sort of thing well, but you sure don't really see it anymore.
Regretfully Yours is such a strong debut record. The band plays glossy, but punchy guitar pop that really stood out back in 1996. They're not too dissimilar from the kind of pop that Fountains Of Wayne were championing, but Superdrag had a bit more oomph and were a rougher around the edges, which was a-OK by me.
This record never came out on vinyl when originally released. Side One Dummy steps up to the plate all these years later and did a great job. They pressed the record on 180g vinyl and everything sounds quite nice.
I also need to take a moment to commend the Side One Dummy mailorder folks. When I received my copy there was a gigantic scratch that cut through the last 2 songs on the album. I took a picture, emailed the label and the next day they sent me an email apologizing and sent me the tracking number for a new copy that was already on its way to me. The 2nd copy was perfect and I just wanted to say thank you to them again. I'm hopeful to be able to give them more money when they release the next few Superdrag records on vinyl as well.
Superdrag - Sucked Out:
Superdrag - What If You Don't Fly:
Friday, February 22, 2013
First 7" by The Yolks who put out one of my Favorite LPs of 2009. I hope they put together another album someday as I really dig these guys. The first 7" is similar to the LP as it is full on ramshackle pop songs with a retro vibe and fidelity challenged production. Much like the LP it just sounds like it's bursting with energy, a quality more bands probably wish they could capture on their recordings.
I'm not entirely positive what version of this 7" that I have, but I suspect it's a fairly recent repress. It's numbered #14/100 and the label on the record itself is hand drawn with shiny silver ink. Regardless of the version, I'm pleased to finally add this 7" to the stacks. And again, Yolks folks, put out another record, OK?
The Yolks - Introducing The Yolks:
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Something Fierce / Occult Detective Club - Split 10" - Red Vinyl (/200), a photo by Tim PopKid on Flickr.
My wife said something about me recently that really stuck out. I know exactly how she meant it and I know it wasn't meant as a slight. She said "Tim doesn't like change." And she's right, for the stuff I like, I don't want things to change. I don't like that someone else is running the show Community. I don't like that cereal boxes only have enough cereal for about 3 bowls now. I don't like how someone having an MP3 of a record has replaced actually buying them. I don't like that you can't buy a big square car anymore. I'm old and set in my ways for a lot of things.
That brings me to Something Fierce. I recognize that the songs on this 10" are very good. I mean that, these are killer songs. Catchy as all hell. Melodies for days. If this record came out and everything was exactly the same and just had a different band name on it, I'd love it. My problem is Something Fierce changed. Many would argue they got better. I would never say they got worse. I just missed the loud crunchy noisy assault of their record There Are No Answers. That's the Something Fierce I want, and I know I can't have them back. I'm just being selfish.
Occult Detective Club, however, does satisfy my need for loud. They play brash punk rock full of hooks, piss & vinegar. I have an older record of theirs that was really good, but the songs on this 10" blow away everything on that album. I can't wait to hear more from these guys. I know they have a new 7" out on Dirtcult that I need to pick up next time I order from them.
Something Fierce / Occult Detective Club - Split:
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Big Eyes / Mean Jeans - Split 7" - Red Vinyl (/200), a photo by Tim PopKid on Flickr.
Split 7" by a band I'm familiar with and one, not so much. Mean Jeans have been slowly winning me over these past few years with their Ramonesy, at time nonsensical, pop punk. They turn in one of the best songs I've heard from them on this 7", I Miss Outer Space. A sugared up blast of sing along choruses and lyrics about having an alien heart and missing a black hole . The 2nd song, Since You Left, is a Big Eyes cover and it's another burner, though I'm admittedly not familiar with the original, so I can't make a fair comparison between the two.
Big Eyes is a female fronted punk band, who are definitely taking cues from 90's bands like The Muffs, but who don't really tie it all together for me. At least on the 2 songs on this 7". They're not bad and if you miss some of those old 90's bands, this might be more up your alley than mine. As usual for Dirtnap, the 1st 200 are on colored vinyl, and you know I have to keep up on my Dirtnap releases. Just about the best label going these days.
Big Eyes Side:
Mean Jeans Side:
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Warm Soda - S/T LP - Translucent Blue w/ Rainbow Splatter Vinyl (/250), a photo by Tim PopKid on Flickr.
Castle Face (2013)
A band recommended to me by my fellow brethren in Speedo's Army, Warm Soda couldn't actually be farther from the tried and true sonic assault of a Rocket From The Crypt or Hot Snakes. Warm Soda is a band that specializes in building choruses, slick guitar and breathy vocals.
Too be completely honest, if these songs weren't as good as they are (and they are really, really good) the production on the vocals would probably drive me insane. It's an echo-y, breathy effect that really could not possibly work for anyone else, but on this album, it does actually work. Carried on the pure strength of the songwriting, Warm Soda's debut is easily one of the best records I've heard in 2013, and let's give credit where it's due, 2013 has been a beast of a year so far and we're only in mid February.
The colored vinyl option was limited to 250 copies and was only sold on the Castle Face Records website. From what I gather it has already sold out, but it's one of the prettier splatter's I've seen.
Warm Soda - Waiting For Your Call:
Monday, February 18, 2013
Mother's Children - See The Other Guy 7" - Clear Vinyl, Alternate Cover (/100), a photo by Tim PopKid on Flickr.
I've been meaning to get around to this 7" for quite a while now and I couldn't even give a good reason as to why it's taken so long. Mother's Children put out a 7" in 2009, one of my favorite records of 2010, a killer 12" EP in 2011 and this 7" in 2012. I'm hopeful that we'll see another LP this year as the band just consistently releases such great, great songs.
To compare Mother's Children to another band, I almost always put them in the same category as someone else that garner's heavy play around here; Marvelous Darlings. They both have a glammy edge to their power pop and both write some of the catchiest hooks you're going to find. The record you see above is the Ptrash Club Version, on clear vinyl with different artwork from the regular release. I think I actually prefer the art to the normal version, but there's just something that makes it impossible for me not to have the more rare of the two. It's a sickness.
Mother's Children - See the Other Guy 7":
Friday, February 15, 2013
Windian Records Subscription Series #1 7" Box Set (/200), a photo by Tim PopKid on Flickr.
It was only a couple of days ago that I expressed my love of 7" singles series, and here is another example of a label doing it perfectly. In addition to being able to subscribe to a 7" series featuring for sure 2 bands that I love (Barreracudas & Heavy Times), getting to hear 3 other bands I wasn't particularly familiar with and a very affordable price; this series also came as a fancy box set with a big booklet and a pin. The art of the whole set is fantastic and I absolutely love the zigzag sleeves of the individual records.
Music-wise, I knew going in that Barreracudas and Heavy Times were great bands, and neither disappoint, delivering stellar songs for their 7"s. Of the 3 new bands I think the one I liked the least was Static Eyes. Though certainly not bad by any stretch of the imagination; the vocals are a little scuzzier & shouty than I typically prefer. Suns of Guns serve up swampy, lead guitar driven stomp-punk songs that sound like they could derail at any possible second. And I mean that in the best possible way.
The big winner here for me is the last band, Terry Malts. A band I had never even heard of before, but a band that really impressed me with their contributions. Fast and catchy punk with a singer that reminds me a bit of a less bass-y Calvin Johnson. Just a great set of records and Windian is even nicer than a lot of labels and if you want to buy just individual records, they'll let you do that too. But do yourself a favor and pick up the box set, amazingly it looks like they actually still have some left in their store.
Windian Records Subscription Series #1 7" Box Set:
Thursday, February 14, 2013
This is the 2nd Peach Kelli Pop album, following up on her debut that came out on Going Gaga a couple years ago. This time out she's on Burger Records who have a limited version on blue vinyl, limited to 300 copies.
Peach Kelli Pop plays an uptempo, breezy pop that, in the hands of someone less skilled, would not typically be my cup of tea. She manages to take elements of bands like Cub and mesh them with hints of The White Wires (a band Allie is also a part of) to create a fun, 60's style party. More than anything, when I listen to this record it really reminds me of the band The Shitbirds, and boy were they great. Maybe Peach Kelli Pop will write some songs about Ren & Stimpy on her next album too...
Peach Kelli Pop - Dreamphone:
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Jack White - Live At Third Man Records 2xLP - Blue/Black Split Color Vinyl, a photo by Tim PopKid on Flickr.
As with yesterday's 7", this live 2xLP was a part of the Third Man Vault series, and was the reason I signed up. At the best of times I'm not a huge fan of live albums, so why did I buy this? To be truthful, I was primarily sold on the lenticular cover. Lenticular things are like those old cracker jack prizes, where if you look at the image from one angle, you see something, but if you look at it from another angle, the image changes. This album cover has 2 different images of Jack White that go back and forth as you adjust how you're holding the cover. I tried to take a picture right in the middle of the 2 images, but not sure I really captured it well.
As for the record, it's pretty good. Solid live recording, White plays solo tracks, White Stripes songs and covers. It's a fun show and he's obviously having a good time playing. He plays in front of 2 different backing bands, the Peacocks on sides 1 and 2 and the Buzzards on 3 and 4. Frankly, I can't really tell the difference. Though I don't imagine this will get tons of heavy play from me in the future, it is a really good live show and the packaging is just off the charts cool.
Jack White - Dead Leaves & The Dirty Ground:
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Jack White - Freedom At 21 Demo 7" - Blunderblue Vinyl, a photo by Tim PopKid on Flickr.
First off, let me get this out of the way right off the bat; the label is referring to this color as blunderblue, not me. It looks like light blue to me. Anyway, this 7" comes from Third Man Records Vault series, where you have to sign up in advance and you get a handful of records. As I am far from a Jack White superfan, I had never joined for a vault package before, but the 2xLP Live album (which I'll be posting tomorrow) was enough to make me give it a whirl. Also in this package was this 7" of demos from Jack White's latest album.
Frankly, it's a waste of wax. 3 really short acoustic demos of partial songs. I suppose diehards would appreciate the glimpse into the Jack White songwriting process. Me, I listened to it and thought "when they hell am I ever going to listen to half songs again?" I'm sure I could stick this on eBay and do pretty well with it, but I do want to keep my vault set all together. Can't find these demos streaming anywhere online, but again, you're not missing anything.
Monday, February 11, 2013
I was such a huge fan of the band Zoinks. When Zac left that band, it was indeed a sad day. They managed to sputter through a lackluster LP without him, but the writing was on the wall. Zac briefly appeared in the band Crushstory, but his full on return came with Big In Japan. When this record came out I was just completely disappointed with it. Not only did I not pick up the vinyl, but the CD I got for free didn't even survive one of my prunings many years ago. When the Vinyl Junkie distro closed up and they had their mega-sale, this was one of the records on the list and for $4, I decided to give it another shot.
What a difference a decade makes. This album is so much better than I remember it being. Sure, it's missing some of the punch and speed that made Zoinks so great, but in slowing down the tempo a bit the lyrics and melodies really stand out. As I was going through the album, I just kept wondering why I didn't like this when it first came out. Sure there's a couple of stinkers, but literally a couple; 2 bad songs on the whole record. I am so glad I gave this album another shot. I guess you can't call it a throwback when it's already 12 years old, but it certainly took me back.
Big In Japan - Dig That Stupid Sound:
Friday, February 8, 2013
Timeshares / Dividers - Split 7" - Red Vinyl (/100), a photo by Tim PopKid on Flickr.
I am an absolute sucker for 7" singles series. I just love the idea of fronting a bunch of money and then being surprised to get something fun in the mail every so often. I'm currently enrolled in several and almost always welcome the opportunity to join more. All In Vinyl demonstrates one of the big reasons I like this sort of thing. This is the 3rd year in a row I've subscribed to their series. You can buy these 7"s on their own, but if you are one of the 100 subscribers to the whole set you get an exclusive vinyl color. Later on in the year, The Steve Adamyk Band is putting out a 7" in this club, so there was no way I wasn't going to subscribe.
The 2 bands on this 7" are both new to me. Though I've heard of Timeshares I'd never actually heard any of their songs. I really enjoyed their contributions, mixing gruff but melodic vocals to Tom Petty inspired guitar riffs. I felt a kinship between them and bands like Nude Beach or Unwelcome Guests; it's really good.
Dividers are a band I'd never heard of before and although the songs are good, playing a somewhat shouty punk rock that reminds me of Iron Chic. I can't say that they are the sort of songs that I'd go back to over and over again, but both of these bands highlight why I love 7" clubs. I never would have bought this record on its own, but now I've been introduced to 2 really good bands all because I wanted a variant 7" of a band coming down the road.
Timeshares - Split 7":
Dividers - Split 7"
Thursday, February 7, 2013
While I was a pretty big fan of the recent Heavy Times full length Jacker; I'm pretty floored by how great this 7" is. I was certainly expecting it to be good, but I was not prepared for just how darn catchy these 3 songs are. This 7" really highlights Heavy Times' abilities to craft a perfect 2-3 minute long pop song.
Lead guitar riffs hold down the melody complimented by a sturdy rhythm section driving the songs along. If this is the direction the band is heading, I am A-OK with that. As always HoZac presses the first 200 copies of their records on gold vinyl, so you know that I need to get in on that first pressing.
Heavy Times - I'm Single:
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Dark Horse (1987)
Never let it be said that I also don't appreciate the classics. Growing up I dove into 60's rock and Stax and all manner of wonderful tunes. Of course I love the Beatles, I feel like most people do. I watched a fascinating documentary about George Harrison on HBO a year or so ago. What a great man. He's got a lot of pretty fantastic records, but my favorite was always Cloud 9. It probably has a lot to do with the fact that in 1987 I was 11 years old; old enough to know that this record came out. It's part of my childhood as I heard it often at my dad's house. I think it had staying power with me because of the Jeff Lynne production. I do love ELO.
Anyway, although this CD has been in my collection for a while, I got this record as part of a trade gone awry. The records that were traded to me weren't in the condition I was expecting (we've got some pretty roughed up corners on this LP and some scratches on some of the other ones I received), but I ended up working out a deal with the other guy and just paid him for the records rather than send them back. Worked out well for everyone.
George Harrison - When We Was Fab:
George Harrison - Devil's Radio:
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Of all the bands from the 90's that decided to get back together, I really never thought one of them would have been Plow United. Having cut my teeth on punk rock shows in NJ during the 90's, I couldn't even tell you how many times I saw Plow United playing with other bands. They always put on an amazing show and very specifically, I just remember being in awe of how fast the drummer played. I always thought of them as a local phenomenon and when they split I was bummed. I didn't really know there was demand for them to get back together, but I'm glad to be wrong.
The Act Like it 7" contains the first new Plow songs in ages. They're starting the run up to a brand new Plow United full length that should be coming out soon I imagine. Now the songs, how do they compare to the old gems? These 2 are quite good. The band sounds older, to be sure, but I don't know that you can call them more 'mature' as a lot of bands get labeled as they get older. These sound like Plow songs to me. Maybe not quite as fast, maybe the production is a bit fuller. Act Like It, in particular, has a really strong and catchy hook.
Long time fans may be looking for something to complain about as these songs are not carbon copies of the bands earlier work, but if you enjoyed Plow United 15 years ago, I'd be really surprised if you couldn't enjoy these songs as well. I, for one, can't wait for the full length to come out.
Plow United - Act Like It:
Monday, February 4, 2013
Low Culture may have been the first great record of 2013, but not too far behind was the newest from Shy Mirrors, timeline wise, the 2nd great record of 2013. Shy Mirrors play a fuzzed out style of Superchunk-esque pop. I'm not sure what recording changes the band has made since their last album, but the songs sound fuller this time out. The increased low end gives the band a more fleshed out feeling and really gives the album a more dynamic and cohesive sound. The way Shy Mirrors just barrel through the tracks on their newest effort Negative Collector is just something to see. Channeling the energy of some of my favorite pop bands of the 90's with amazingly catchy choruses, this is a band that should far exceed the popularity of this limited to 150 copies record.
Big School records has pressed 150 copies, provided screened, hand numbered artwork (I'm number 13 if you're curious) and sealed everything up in a picture disc sleeve. Though I typically frown on LP artwork with no visible spine, there's something really nice about the construction paper aesthetic this artwork has. Again, super limited so if your interested in this record; best grab it quick.
Shy Mirrors - Negative Collector (Full Album Stream):
Friday, February 1, 2013
Honest Dons (1999)
Another pickup from the Vinyl Junkie going out of business sale. I believe I paid $4 for this record and it was brand new, still sealed. The music on the record isn't new for me, as I've had this on CD since the day it came out, but just never got around to picking up the LP of it.
Dog Piss was a vehicle for Jools from Guns N Wankers to release music into the world. On many of the songs on this record he was also joined by Duncan from Snuff/Guns N Wankers. No matter what you think of the band name or the artwork; don't let that prejudice you against this album. If you are even the slightest fan of Snuff, Guns N Wankers or really any of the 90's UK punk scene, I'd be pretty shocked if you didn't like this record as well.
Dogpiss - Red Eye:
Dogpiss - The Smoking Song: