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":