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

Untitled

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":

Monday, October 2, 2017

Light FM - Let The Death Toll Rise 7"

Untitled

Pig Baby (2017)

I think I've said in the past, but 80's synth sounds turn me off of records faster than almost anything.  So I'll brace you for that right now as the second that "Let The Death Toll Rise" started playing, they were fighting an uphill battle with me.  As the song progressed, my initial distain did subside a bit, but not to the point where Light FM would be a band that I would listen to very often.  I suppose if you like this sort of thing, this 7" would be fine.  Problem is, I don't like this sort of thing.

To me, Light FM is aptly named as both songs are pretty slow and to me, a little boring.  There's just nothing all that engaging about this band.  They go through the motions, moving the song to its next logical chord change, but there's never anything surprising or something that makes you sit up and take notice.  B side "Body Bag" isn't really that much different from the A side except that it's even slower and doesn't have any handclaps. 

As a rule, I can't stand 80's sounding pop music.  It just turns me off so quickly it would make your head spin.  When bands mine that time period for sounds now, it's just baffling to me.  To each their own, but this one isn't for me.

Light FM - "Let The Death Toll Rise":


Light FM - "Body Bag":

Thursday, September 28, 2017

The Blues Brothers - Soul Man 7" (Netherlands)

Untitled

Atlantic (1978)

Of all of the Soul Man 7"s I've picked up recently, I think this one might be my favorite.  It was released in the Netherlands and utilizes the band's logo as the sleeve, rather than just recycling the Briefcase Full of Blue artwork (don't worry, that art makes an appearance on the back of the sleeve).

I kind of find it fascinating that considering how big The Blues Brothers were, there's so few pictures of them used on their record sleeves.  Still, this one is bold and really stands out from the pack.  The songs are the same "Soul Man" / "Excuse Moi Mon Cherie" split as are on most of the Soul Man 7"s from this era.

It's a cool add to the collection.  I've picked up a lot of these Blues Brothers picture sleeves and I'm going to try to keep to a schedule of posting about one every other Thursday.

Blues Brothers - "Soul Man":

Blues Brothers - "Excusez Moi Mon Cherie":

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Bows - Burn Out Wrong Suspirations CD

Untitled

Trace Of The Youth (2016)

I don't know what it is exactly that makes Japanese punk rock so much better to my ears than the kinds of punk being manufactured by the rest of the world.  That's not to say that Japan has the monopoly on great music, but there's just something about the bands over there that elevates up to a higher level than most others.

Bows is a great example of this.  On the surface, they're playing melodic punk rock with odes to Leatherface.  But when you really listen to it, it's immediately apparent how much higher their balloon soars compared to others with the same influences.  Bows are able to mix together the intensity of a band like I Excuse while channelling in the hooks and rampant catchiness of bands like J Church.  The crossbreed they've created is a super energetic band fueled in equal parts by a barely controlled energy and the ability to hide a catchy tune in all of the guitar carnage.

It's amazing to me that after all of these years I'm still able to find new bands that just blow me away with their take on the kind of music that I love.  I've only been to Japan once, but an album like this makes me feel whatever the equivalent is of being homesick for a place that you don't live.

Bows - Burn Out Wrong Suspirations:

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Main Source - Breaking Atoms LP + 7" - Clear w/ Orange Vinyl

Untitled

Vinyl Me, Please (2017, Reissue)

Guilty as charged.  I actually signed up for a month of the Vinyl Me, Please service in order to get this pressing of the Main Source's 1992 masterpiece, Breaking Atoms.  I'm super leery of all of these weird vinyl curation services that have popped up over the years.  They all seem like scams to me; and not the good kind of scam like Columbia House where I can get ten LPs for a penny and then never buy anything.  

Vinyl Me, Please at least allows the option of signing up for one month so you can get the specific wacky pressing that they are offering.  Sure it was a bit more expensive than if I had subscribed for a longer duration, but then I would have been stuck with a bunch of crap records that I didn't want.  This Main Source pressing is exclusive to the subscription, though I do not know how many copies ended up being pressed.  It has super slick packaging, the vinyl itself looks great and it comes with some extra art prints and liner notes.  Not to mention the bonus 7" that has a remix of "Peace Is Not The Word To Play" and the previously unreleased (excluding bootlegs) song "How My Man Went Down In The Game."

The main album itself is one of those golden age hip hop classics.  Put it up next to Tribe Called Quest, Pharcyde, Souls Of Mischief, Del or any of the other greats of that peak early 90's time and Main Source holds up to them all.  Innovative beats, complex lyrics with great delivery; it has everything you could possibly want out of a record.  If only there were records this good still being made in the world of hip hop.  I'm sure there's something out there I'm missing.  Send some recommendations.

Main Source - "Snake Eyes":

Main Source - "Lookin' Out The Front Door":

Monday, September 25, 2017

Lost Balloons - Liquor Store 7" - White Vinyl

Untitled

Wild Honey (2017)

I'm not sure if you want to call this a follow up or a companion piece to last week's Radioactivity review, but this Lost Balloons single was released at roughly the same time by the same label.  I also bought them together and both bands feature Jeff Burke, so they're intertwined in some way for sure.  Lost Balloons is Burke's collaboration with Yusuke Okada, who most know from Suspicious Beasts but I'll always know him from being in Blotto, one of my favorite Snuffy Smiles bands.

The two songs on this Lost Balloons 7" showcase two very different styles that the band is working within.  A side "Liquor Store" is a fast, lo fi blast of fuzzy guitar pop.  It's a style most closely linked to Jeff Burke's other bands.  Frankly it's a great song, big and powerful - though clocking in under a minute and a half, I can't help but wish it went on a bit longer.

On the B side we have "Dirty Sandy."  This one plays more to Yusuke Okada's strengths.  It's got that sort of boozy psych feel that you'll find here and there on Suspicious Beasts' records.  I can't say I like it as much as the A side.  Even on Suspicious Beasts albums, I tend to favor the songs that are a bit faster and louder than this one.  I'd say this 7" is more for completists.  The A side is really short and the B side isn't anything to write home about.  There's no way I wasn't going to buy it, but you may want to check the songs out before you dive into those import shipping fees.

Lost Balloons - Liquor Store 7":

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Browntrout - Long Good-Night LP

Untitled

Mostoff (2013)

To me, this record kind of represents my failure in keeping up with Japanese punk rock over the last few years.  I had gotten the first Browntrout album, Stepping With Fuzzy Ideas, right when it came out (though that didn't stop me from mistakenly ordering a 2nd copy of it recently - don't worry, I found it a good home).  Then, I never really heard anything more from Browntrout.  Apparently I missed the fact that they put out a single or two and an entire full length album.  On vinyl no less.

Happily, I'm correcting my ignorance and filling in some holes on incredible records that I missed out on.  Long Good-Night absolutely fits the bill when I say incredible.  This is a band that has a knack for packing tons of energy into each song.  The vocals remind me a lot of the band Blew (although I hear just a bit of early Husking Bee in there too), especially the way they pop in all of the choruses.  Musically, I think Browntrout is sort of like a louder, faster version of early Your Pest Band.  Back when they were only hinting at a 60's influence but were still very much a fast rock band.

Browntrout takes those 60's vibes, but keeps everything churning along, cramming in more hooks and more dynamic guitar until the album is practically bursting at the seems.  If you can't tell, I love this damn record.  I can't believe I was four years late in picking it up.  Don't wait another moment longer than necessary to add to your collection to.

Browntrout - Long Good-Night:

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Radioactivity - Infected 7" - White Vinyl

Untitled

Wild Honey (2017)

I picked up this import Radioactivity 7" along with a Lost Balloons one that'll be reviewing in the next few weeks.  The postage was expensive, but man are these Radioactivity songs worth it.  I feel like if you told Jeff Burke of Radioactivity/Lost Balloons/Marked Men/etc that he wrote the best pop punk songs in the world right now, he may not appreciate that description as some folks take offense to the term pop punk.  But for me it's totally true, there's really no one doing it better.

Burke has a unique way of mixing his strained vocal melodies with wild chord progressions that always veer off somewhere unexpected, but amazing.  He writes fuzzed out pop songs differently than the rest of the world, elevating the form while still keeping things fast, catchy and exciting.  If you wanted to argue that Jeff Burke writes the best hooks in all of music, that's an argument I would definitely take under consideration.

These two new songs are as good as anything Radioactivity has previously released.   "Infected" is a quick blast of dark lyrics and escalating chords.  It's just so damn catchy that it should be in every jukebox in the world.  "Sleep" has a similar tempo, but the way the vocals are delivered makes it seem just a bit slower than the A side.  It's still a smash hit and both of these songs have me eagerly awaiting the next Radioactivity full length.

Radioactivity - Infected 7":

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead - Source Tags & Codes 2xLP - Blue Vinyl

Untitled

Interscope (2017, Reissue)

Source Tags & Codes is one of those albums that I just love.  There's something epic, perhaps even pretentious about it, but that doesn't stop it from being a forceful piece of music that really just hits me.  When I had read that they were reissuing it as a double LP with a few extra tracks, it seemed like a no brainer to pick up.  Having received it, I wish I would have done a bit more research.

My main issue is the fact that pretty much all of the newly added tracks are just instrumental interludes tacked on to the existing album.  I guess I was expecting real songs, but that's on me for not looking into what the new songs were before ordering it.  I felt a little rushed as the blue vinyl had quickly sold out at one store so I was already on my back up.  That's another thing, you'd hardly know this blue vinyl was actually blue without holding it up to the light.

Had I not already had an original pressing of this album already, this is a must purchase.  It's just simply a wonderful and dynamic record filled with passionately played songs and just the right mix of rage and pop.  If you already have the first pressing, there's nothing on this that really warrants picking up a second copy.

And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead - Source Tags & Codes:

Monday, September 18, 2017

Short Straw Fate - For the Heroes in My Record Rack CD

Untitled

Fixing A Hole (2017)

I'm going to give a little marketing tip for any bands that specifically want to target me.  If you name your band after a song by Broccoli, that's a one hundred percent guarantee that I will listen to your album.  Now, if your band happens to be as flat out amazing as Short Straw Fate is, you can safely assume that I'm going to be listening to your album all the damn time.

Not only are Short Straw Fate named after a Broccoli song, but they happen to be named after one of my favorite Broccoli songs.  They also very obviously take influences from Broccoli as well as many other bands that I know and love.  Whether they are drawing from the octaves and melodic punk of the 1990's UK scene like Hooton 3 Car and Reverse or the fast paced, breakneck hooks of their own world of Japanese punk rock pioneered by bands like Snatcher or Blew, Short Straw Fate just delivers perfect hit after perfect hit on their debut album.

Now, I will say that I'm not as into the two really short and fast hardcore songs.  They sound a little jokey to me, and I would have happily replaced them with another smash pop hit.  That minor criticism aside, For the Heroes in My Record Rack is hands down one of the very best records I've heard all year.  It's could be the best punk rock album I've listened to in 2017.  If you are going to tailor make a band that combines all the best elements of bands I want to listen to, you're not going to get much better than Short Straw Fate. I love this record.

Short Straw Fate - For the Heroes in My Record Rack:

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Blues Brothers - Soul Man 7" (US Picture Sleeve Version)

Untitled

Atlantic (1978)

I woke up late today, so in order to do a quick review, I've jumped another Blues Brothers 7" to the front of the line.  Otherwise I would have had to skip today's post.  This is another version of the Soul Man 7".  There are more Soul Man variants than any other Blues Brothers release, but this is your tried and true, basic US edition that came out in 1978.

Most of the various Soul man releases use some version of the Briefcase Full Of Blues artwork and this is no exception.  In fact, it simply is the Briefcase art, just with a white border around it.

On the B side we once again have "Excusez Moi Mon Cherie," the lone exclusive B side in the Blues Brothers discography.  There's nothing special about this particular version of the Soul Man 7", but it is the cornerstone that you need to build off of when you're collecting their singles.

Blues Brothers - "Soul Man":

Blues Brothers - "Excusez Moi Mon Cherie":

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Sleeping Aides And Razorblades - Save The Right Thing 7"

Untitled

KiliKiliVilla (2017)

Before I went to Japan, I hadn't ever heard of the label KiliKiliVilla.  Since that time, I've found that they may be one of the best labels out there.  Everything I've heard from them has been knock-your-socks-off great and this 7" by The Sleeping Aides And Razorblades is no exception.

Every song on this 7" is big on hooks and even bigger on melodies.  Sleeping Aides And Razorblades share some similarities with label mates Not Wonk, particularly in the vocals.  The guitar tones have that hint of reverb on them that sounds otherworldly, though it's never to the point where you'd ever mistake them for a surf band.  They combine this swirling, dreamy guitar with an upbeat power pop sound that I just love.

This was a 7" that was recommended to me by a friend. I wasn't familiar with this band prior to that.  A quick review of discogs shows me that this is a band that has been going for a while now and has quite a few other records.  Looks like I've got some shopping to do...

The Sleeping Aides And Razorblades - Save The Right Thing 7":

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Jetpilot / Cinnabar - Split CD

Untitled

Urban Sleep Discs (2009)

If there's one thing I love, it's being sent records to review by Japanese record labels.  For whatever reason, they always seem to know just what I need to listen to.  Call it common ground or say that I'm easy to pigeonhole, they seem to put out the best stuff.  Even when the bands in question aren't Japanese, as is the case with this split CD.

Both Jetpilot and Cinnabar hail from Sweden.  That's another country that I have a real soft spot for.  So many great bands have come from there.  I had reviewed another Jetpilot EP a few months ago.  I dug that one and I like their contributions to this split just as much.  Throughout the five songs, they pull off the sort of crunchy pop that should make any Sugar fan sit up and take notice.  The highlight of the bunch is "This House."  It's just a masterclass in crunchy guitar power.

Cinnabar isn't really too dissimilar from Jetpilot.  While it is a cop out to say that they sound the same, they definitely seem to draw from similar inspirations.  This is really the sort of pop core I love.  There is big, dynamic guitar work on the fast songs, squalling out with a chaotic, but still melodic sound.  "A Modern Taste" may be the best song on this entire EP and provides the sort of loud, crushing hooks that remind me quite a bit of Starmarket.  Cinnabar is also very capable when it comes to the more restrained, slower songs as evident by "Blue Movie." For me, the best slow songs always build to a noisy chorus and this one does that nicely. 

Unfortunately I can't find these songs streaming online anywhere, but trust me, they're all pretty great.