Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Paperhead - Pictures Of Her Demise 7" - Purple Vinyl

Trouble In Mind (2012)

I have made it my goal to have a complete collection of all of the 7"s that Trouble In Mind releases on colored vinyl. I've kept up so far, but there was 1 hole in my collection, this Paperhead 7". I think I must have just gotten confused by the picture sleeve when it came out. Since all of the other TIM singles were released in their custom paper sleeves, I thought this was a reissue or something, so I didn't grab it when it came out. Once I figured out what I missed, I was reluctant to try to buy it online thinking I'd end up with black vinyl.

Luckily when I was in Chicago, I found this copy on purple vinyl at Permanent Records, so my collection is complete. For now. The record itself is ok. The psych revival thing isn't my favorite musical movement going on right now. Both songs on this record sound like hippie era Beatles songs, but the ones that weren't quite as catchy. The haze laden vocals do sound straight out of the 60's, but it just seems like a novelty thing to me. Not bad, and one of the better psych releases I've heard lately, but just not my scene.

The Paperhead - Pictures Of Her Demise:

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Impossibles - Return LP

Time Bomb (2000)

The late 1990s / early 2000s produced a handful of slick, but fun guitar pop bands. I'm thinking of The Stereo's first album, the 2nd Ultimate Fakebook record and I will lump Return by The Impossibles in that mix. Though not nearly as consistent of a record from start to end, the highs on Return are really high. The record starts off with "Enter/Return" which is likely the best song the band ever wrote. With it's descending guitar riff verse and gigantic sing along chorus, it really showcases what the band is capable of.

There are other good songs throughout the album, and certainly nothing on this record is bad, but it's probably just a tier lower than the aforementioned Stereo or Ultimate Fakebook releases.

I've had the CD since 2000 , but I have been keeping an eye out for the vinyl at a good price. Iit seemed every time I saw it for sale it went in the $50 range. I finally came across one on eBay much cheaper because the seller had listed it as another band, but the picture showed this record. Quite happy to have picked this up for less than half what I usually see it for. There are rumblings that the band may re-release this record at some point, but I'm kind of impatient when it comes to records.

The Impossibles - Enter/Return:

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Survival Knife - Divine Mob 7" - Gold Vinyl (/100)

Kill Rock Stars (2013)

It's pretty interesting to see members of Unwound with a new project right as their back catalog is in the process of being reissued. It provides an extra excuse to listen to them side by side and really see how things have changed. This is the 2nd Survival Knife 7", the first having come out on Sub Pop a few months ago. The first 100 of these were on gold vinyl direct from Kill Rock Stars.

The 2 songs have to be judged separately in my opinion. the title track "Divine Mob" is just fantastic. Loud, fast-ish, with lots of 90's sounding guitar leads, Justin Trosper's distinct vocals and even a well placed pick slide for good measure. Everything I want to hear from this band.

The B-side, "Snakebit," doesn't strike me the same way. From it's plodding Neon Genesis Evangelion "Angles Attack" guitar riff (now that's a nerdy music comparison for you) to the fact that Justin's not even singing the song, it's the first rack I've heard form this band that I didn't immediately love. I feel like it could work being a one-off within the context of a full album, but as a 50/50 showcase with "Divine Mob," it just pales in comparison.

Still, the A-side is so good I would recommend picking this 7" up without hesitation.

Survival Knife - Divine Mob:

Monday, October 28, 2013

eBay - 10/28/13

I'm selling some records on eBay to fund buying some more records. Some of these I bought and didn't like, some were freebies thrown in when I ordered something else, some are records I have more than 1 copy of, some of them, honestly, I have no idea how they ended up in my collection. There's some legitimate good records in this list, and there's some crap too. But what I can say is none of the records on this list were sent to me to review, I have scruples people! But please check out the list and bid on some stuff. It'll help me buy more records to write about here. Everything starts at 99 cents. Thanks!

Nude Beach - What Can You Do 7"

Other Music (2013)

2 new songs by Nude Beach following up their 2012 full length. II was one of my favorite records from last year and this 7" is another example of why I like this band so much. Nude Beach follows in the footsteps of classic rock bands like Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, but manage to add in enough of their own contemporary indie/punk references to not sound sound like some cheesy cover band your dad would go see.

The A Side builds off of a choppy start/stop guitar riff and layers on noodling lead guitar with strong vocals way up front in the mix. The verse builds into an anthem of a chorus which segues into the obligatory zippy guitar solo during the instrumental break down. A standard song formula, but when it's pulled off flawlessly, there's nothing better. B Side, "I'm Giving Up" takes down the energy a bit but still retains the hooks that makes Nude Beach great.

This is a worthy 7" to pick up if you're looking to give the band a chance, but I still recommend their 2nd album II if you're ready to jump in with both feet.

Nude Beach - What Can You Do:

Friday, October 25, 2013

Broccoli / Pinto - Split 7" - 3 Cover Variations

Speedowax (2013)

Rich from Speedowax Records is absolutely going to drive me to the nut house one of these days. Don't get me wrong, he's a great guy that I've known forever and his label puts out some stellar releases, but all of these variants...geez! At this point, I'm half convinced he keeps making Broccoli variants just to see if I keep buying every version. Well, he's right, I will keep buying every version because Broccoli is one of my absolute, all time favorite bands.

This split originally came out a while ago, and for those of you keeping track these are the 5th, 6th & 7th versions of the record now in my collection. The 2 Broccoli songs are every bit as good now as the first day I heard them, in their Leatherface-but-smoother style. Always thought Pinto was OK too, but they're unfortunately way overshadowed by Broccoli. I really encourage everyone to buy as many Broccoli albums as they can. Their 2nd full length called Home is one of my top 5 albums of all time.

Broccoli - The Tens:

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pretty Girls Make Graves - Speakers Push The Air 7"

Dim Mak (2002)

Another cheapo used bin find in Chicago. This is me actually re-buying a 7" that I used to have. Pretty Girls Make Graves put out 3 albums, a 12" and a few 7"s. In all that clatter they have exactly 2 songs that I like, 1 of which I think is borderline great; "Speakers Push The Air." So for me, it was worth picking up this 7" again to have that 1 song.

The reason I sold my original copy of this record was because I had it as part of a pretty limited 3x7" set that came in a nice screened box set. It really was cool looking, but it was also limited to 140 copies, so back when I was still scraping together a living in the music industry I ended up selling it for $150. It was just way too much money to turn down to keep 2 songs I liked (coincidentally the 2nd song is also on this 7"; "If You Hate Your Friends, You're Not Alone").

While $150 was too much to turn down to part with it; $3 is a perfectly acceptable amount to pay to put the song back in my collection.

Pretty Girls Make Graves - Speakers Push The Air:

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Rail - Rolling Little Joe 7"

Front Porch (1994)

I found this record digging through used bins in Chicago and decided to take a chance on it. I bought it in the hopes that it was the same Rail that did a split 7" with the band Wisher on Snuffy Smiles records many moons ago. Unfortunately, this seems to be a different band, but fortunately it's still a pretty good little 7".

Rolling Little Joe came out in 1994 and as soon as these 3 songs start playing, it just reeks of the 90's. I mean that in the best possible way, the 90's were a pretty spectacular time to be a punk leaning band with pop hooks and Rail falls right into that category. The songs tend to be mid tempo with big guitars and really strong vocals. While I couldn't find any from this record online to stream, I did find out a bit more about this band. Looks like they have at least 2 more 7"s and I'll probably grab them if I ever see them floating around.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Mrs Magician - B Sides LP - Murky Clear Vinyl

Thrill Me (2013)

I''ve made it no secret that Strange Heaven by Mrs. Magician was my absolute favorite record of last year and I've gone so far as to say it's probably the best record I've heard in the past 5 years or so. I have played it so many times, and each time, I love it just a bit more. While the band is working on their new full length, they decided to clear house of some old tunes and put out this B Sides LP.

The name is a bit misleading, I think, but not in a bad way. There's really only 2 songs on this record that were ever released before. "Fool's Paradise" from a picture disc 7" and "Dispicable Things" from their tour split with The Night Marchers. Everything else on this record is previously unreleased (well, I suppose some may be on compilations that I don't have or know about).

From what I gather several songs from here were songs that were originally intended for Mrs. Magician's debut full length Pity Party Animal. That record was eventually scrapped and Strange Heaven came out in its place, but the songs on B Sides show a glimpse of what may have been.

In general, the songs on this LP are not quite as polished as what's on Strange Heaven; you can tell the Swami sheen isn't as bright and noticeable. But this band writes some simply amazing songs. "Tabloids" is a mid paced ode to a falling socialite. "Get Bent" ups the speed and has one of the band's trademark bouncy choruses and "I Hate Tour" spins the tale of a bummer of a trip to El Paso. You are not going to find better lyrics than you will on a Mrs. Magician record. It's just that perfect balance of self deprecating wit and wisdom.

Once again, Mrs. Magician have put out an essential album. It's not as quite good as Strange Heaven, so few things out there could be, but it's a fantastic record in its own right and absolutely one worth grabbing.

Mrs Magician - B Sides LP:

Monday, October 21, 2013

Obits - Bed & Bugs - Orange Vinyl

Sub Pop (2013)

From the first moments of lead track "Taste The Difff," I can tell that I'm going to be pleased with this newest Obits record. While I really enjoyed their first record, their 2nd, Moody Standard & Poor, didn't hold up as well for me. Though that album certainly had its moments, I couldn't help feeling that something was missing. I think what it was is the sort of energy that the band manages to channel on Bed & Bugs.

The guitars are a bit louder, the drumming is more aggressive and Rick Froberg's vocals have once again become the driving force for the majority of the songs. Rick's back to a little good old fashion yelling on several songs and you can really hear the passion in his voice. Sure, I'm not as into the track "Besetchet," a cover from the Ethiopiques series, and yes, "Machines" grinds the album to a screeching halt, but the vast majority of this record is a fast paced, reverb soaked delight.

I've been following this band since one of their early shows was bootlegged and shared over at the Swami message board. I was on board for I Blame You. I enjoyed Moody Standard & Poor, though I didn't love it. Bed & Bugs is easily the band's best record and most consistent collection of songs to date. It's definitely worth checking out, even if you've been lukewarm on any of their previous work.

Obits - Bed & Bugs:

Friday, October 18, 2013

Submarine Races - Talking Loud 7"

Shit Sandwich (2006)

This was another 7" recommended to me by @swamipat during our trip record shopping in Chicago. I trust his taste and the artwork looked good, so I snapped it up. Plus it as only $2 used, so not much of a risk really. The minimal risk paid off big though.

This is a really fun little 7". Submarine Races craft shimmering summertime songs that are tinged slightly in reverb. The tracks on here are driven by bouncy guitar riffs and catchy leads. The borderline 60's surfy vocals are the perfect pairing with the music. It's just a glorious record to put on as summer is fading away so you can try to hold on to the season just a bit more.

Submarine Races has a couple of LPs out in addition to Talking Loud and if they are as good as this 7", I need to put them on my shopping list. Anyone have a recommendation on which full length to start with?

Cant find any of these songs streaming anywhere, sorry.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Dead Mechanical - OK Night LP - Blue Vinyl (/100)

Toxic Pop (2013)

I reviewed the Insub Fest Test Pressing Early Bird Fun Time version of this record back in July (, but now that I have received the full art, limited to 100 blue vinyl version, well, I have to say a few words about it as well. Before I go any further, somehow Toxic Pop still has a handful of the blue vinyl version for sale on their website. I cannot fathom how, but they do. You really, really should go buy it right away:

Now, about this record. Though I did gush quite a bit about OK Night in my initial review, the past few months have only strengthened how I feel about Dead Mechanical. I will say it again, as far as punk rock bands go, they are probably just about the best there is out there right now. They play a raspy vocal, urgent punk rock with nods to Jawbreaker & Leatherface, but they don't (and I cannot stress this enough) sound like another carbon copy No Idea band (not that there's anything wrong with those No Idea bands).

Dead Mechanical have elevated the form and weave powerful lyrics into their dynamic guitar driven rock. Anyone who knows me knows that John Reis & Rocket From the Crypt related bands have pretty much been my favorite thing for the last 20 years or so. This Dead Mechanical record is so good, it's really looking like it could push the Night Marchers out of my #1 record of the year spot. Now that is high praise from me.

Dead Mechanical - OK Night LP:

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Steve Adamyk Band / Dauntless Elite - Split 7" - Green Vinyl(/100) & Brown Vinyl (/200)

All In Vinyl (2013)

For me this was the main event of the 2013 All In Vinyl single series, new songs by The Steve Adamyk Band. But, let's start off with Dauntless Elite. A band that has been kicking around for a good many years at this point, I first came across them through a Snuffy Smiles split 7" a while ago, but never really followed up on them. Their songs on this 7" are quite good really. Catchy, with unique guitar play. This is a band i really need to hear more of.

As far as the Steve Adamyk Band side goes, it's just 2 more hit songs from one of the best bands currently playing. Idles Hands-esque punchy guitar riffs into big choruses. Another great showing, though I do have one comment to make. I'm not sure if it is a result of the recording or of the actual pressing of the record, but these too songs seem to really lean on the treble side of the spectrum. You can't really hear the bass at all and everything sounds a bit tinny. Nothing that will spoil the great tunes, but it's the first time I've ever had anything remotely critical to say about this band.

The Steve Adamyk Band / Dauntless Elite - Split 7"

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Chestnut Road / New Alaska - Split 7" - Red Vinyl (/50)

Speedowax / Brassneck (2013)

As soon as I saw that I could buy more Chestnut Road songs, I was ordering this 7" as fast as I humanly could. 2 new songs by a band responsible for one of the absolute best records of the year. These 2 are just as incredible as anything on their full length, with strong influence by some of my very favorite bands. I've said before, if you ever even remotely liked bands like Broccoli, Hooton 3 Car or Leatherface; Chestnut Road is a must listen.

Honestly, this could have been a split with anyone and I would have bought it, so I went in to New Alaska without any expectations. Their songs are loud and kind of dissonant. The singer is certainly shouting a lot, but never screaming or making things unpleasant to my gentle ears. I don't know that they are a band I would listen too all that often, but honestly, they're much better than I expected them to be, especially since their songs were really just extra stuff on a Chestnut Road 7" in my mind.

My copy is numbered out of 50, bought direct from Speedowax. I'm not really sure what the variant breakdown is to be honest, but no matter which version you end up with, this (and the Chestnut road full length from earlier in the year) is a record worth grabbing.

Chestnut Road / New Alaska - Split 7":

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Capitalist Kids / Tight Bros - Split 7" - Yellow Vinyl (/100)

Toxic Pop (2013)

First off, I want to thank everyone that got in touch with me to say something nice after I burned my hand last week. It's very appreciated. I'm healing up nicely, though I can't say that typing is my favorite thing to do at the moment as my right index finger is still giving me some issues. As such, I'll be keeping this review kind of short.

And honestly, there's really not much to say about this 7" other than if you don't buy it, you're a fool. The Capitalist Kids are just about the best straight up, MTX style pop punk band going these days and their songs on this record are another dose of their fantastic songwriting. Some of the best lyrics going along side of some of the best choruses you'll hear.

The Tight Bros side is equally great, though they lean more towards a buzzsaw Marked Men style of rock. The harmonies that this band manages to squeeze into songs this fast is a real talent, and if you don't already have their S/T album that came out earlier this year, then you are missing out on one of the best. I've yet to hear anything from this band that I don't love.

The Capitalist Kids / Tight Bros - Split 7":

Monday, October 7, 2013

A Delay

I went ahead and got a 2nd degree burn on my entire right hand last night. Will be wrapped up like this for a week. Not really going to be able to type any reviews until the mummy hand is gone. Sorry.

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Blind Shake - Garbage On Glue 7"

Sweet Rot (2013)

I am notoriously stubborn about people recommending bands to me. That might be surprising considering the sheer amount of music I buy. How do I hear this stuff if people aren't telling me to check it out? Well, I'm much more likely to go listen to a record if I read somewhere that it's good than if someone specifically tells me they think I'd like it. My gut instinct is to always tell them that I think they're probably wrong. I can't explain it, I think I'm just stubborn and a jerk when it comes to music.

I will say that there's a handful of people I know on this internet affectionately dubbed as Team Swami. There are folks in this group whose taste I do trust and when @swamipat took me record shopping in Chicago, we exchanged a few recommendations. One of the records he suggested I pick up was this Blind Shake 7". I liked the cover art, so I went for it. I'm glad I did as I really dig it.

The Blind Shake are a heavy, driving guitar band. They rely on repetitive riffs and echo laden vocal shouts to fuel these songs. That might not sound like a compliment, but trust me, it is. The Blind Shake channel this ever growing momentum into their songs. It constantly feels like the band is building to a big catchy chorus that they intentionally won't let you have and it gives the songs a really unique energy. It kind of makes me feel like I do when I'm watching the closing moments of an auction on eBay. All that building anticipation.

I probably wouldn't recommend too many other bands try this tactic, but the Blind Shake pull it off masterfully. The moment this 7" was through spinning I was already buying the band's recent full length on Castle Face. Thanks Pat!

The Blind Shake - Garbage On Glue 7":

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Tenement / Screaming Females - Split 7" - Orange Vinyl (/100)

Recess Records (2013)

Tenement has been on a real 7" kick of late. Lots of new records from them, which is always a good thing if you ask me. The song on their side of this split, "Wouldn't Let You Go," is a real gem and one of the best from this last batch of 7"s they've released. The verse builds on top of a bass heavy, borderline sludgy guitar the launches into a gigantic hooky chorus. Aside from the odd droning noise that goes on for too long at the end of the song, this is Tenement at their best.

Screaming Females are a band that I just don't understand. People love them. I mean seriously, I know people that just LOVE this band, but they don't do anything for me. I'm often puzzled by things like this and I wonder what I'm missing that so many others get. To me, the song on this split is just a slow tempo track, with kind of drone-y guitar. The female fronted vocals are warbley and kind of remind me of a cross between Sleater-Kinney and something you'd hear playing in a haunted house.

I'm having a bad run of being able to find songs streaming online this week and it continues with this record. I'm kind of surprised given the bands and label involved, but I can't find anywhere to link to these songs. Sorry!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Walker - Ifyourepunkrockimsingle 7" - Green Vinyl (/106)

Harmless (1999)

While I was at Reckless Records in Chicago, I was doing what I always do at record stores; dig through the used 7"s. I stumbled across this Walker 7". I've had this record forever, but the cover of mine was done in blue ink. So I inspected a bit closer and found that this also was on green vinyl. Now I wasn't sure of the details of this version, but I knew it wasn't the one I already had so to the checkout counter I went.

Doing some more research online, if is to be believed, this was a limited 2nd pressing of the single that was released in 1999. It seems that they only made 106 copies available on green vinyl and it also came with a pin (which mine also has). That's pretty limited, so I'm more than pleased with my $5 purchase.

As far as the music on this 7", I just loved Walker back in the 90's. I never really thought they got the respect or notoriety they deserved. In particular their only full length, Actually Being Lonely Isn't All That Bad, is just a beast of a record. Very much a band of the 90's, Walker plays the best kind of pop punk. I liken them to other greats of the era like Zoinks!, but they do have a more Midwestern feel to them. 3 songs here, 2 originals, 1 cover, all gold (err, green).

Unsurprisingly, I couldn't find any of the songs online anywhere, but if you see any version of this record, it's well worth adding to your collection.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

V/A - Red Scare Across America Tour 7"

Red Scare (2013)

I was a little nervous when this 7" was announced. It was said to be a tour only record and has an exclusive Masked Intruder song on it. I knew I wouldn't be able to get to one of the shows and I was fearful considering how much other Masked Intruder records have been selling for on eBay and what not. Luckily, some went on sale through Interpunk, so I was able to grab a copy there. Perhaps Interpunk sold more than I guessed as this is the one Masked Intruder record that I have't really seen anyone going crazy for yet.

The song that Masked Intruder contributes is more of their typically great pop punk. They (along with The Capitalist Kids) are just about the best straight up pop punk band going these days. Hooks and choruses like you wouldn't believe, definitely the highlight of the 7". Elway is a bit more generic, they play towards the gruffer end of the pop punk spectrum, but nothing really stands out about this song. Lastly Sam Russo contributes a pretty boring acoustic song. Probably trying to sound like early Against Me, but doesn't really pull it off.

The art is nothing special. Just a stamped paper sleeve, but the Masked intruder song is so good, it is absolutely worth the price of admission on its own. Unfortunately, I'm not able to find these songs streaming anywhere.