Wednesday, November 27, 2013

ИO​​/​​​/​​​/​​sé - Beach Bathroom Bingo 7" - Blue Vinyl (/100)

1859 / Different Kitchen (2013)

Since I wrote about the ИO​​/​​​/​​​/​​sé full length yesterday, I figured I'd keep it going and take a picture of their brand new 7" as well. Seeing people talk about this 7" is actually what made me hunt down the full length. Luckily, I wasn't a year late to this one and was able to secure a copy of the limited to 100 copies blue vinyl version.

Musucally, this 7" picks up right where the LP left off; fast downstroke heavy songs with amazing hooks. I mentioned Wipers, The Marked Men & Leatherface yesterday and those comparisons all hold true, though this time out I also heard some more vocal similarities to some of the shoutier Plow United songs. Any way you want to compare it, this is one hell of a 7" and it should be picked up right away.

ИO​​/​​​/​​​/​​sé - Beach Bathroom Bingo 7":

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

ИO​/​/​/​sé - S/T LP - Test Pressing (/10)

Rotten To The Core / Challenge The Throne (2012)

Every year I miss at least one amazing record. No matter how many records I buy, no matter how carefully I try to pay attention to what is going on, I always miss something incredible. 2012 was the year I missed ИO​/​/​/​sé. I'm lucky I figured it out and have this fantastic record in my collection, but the bigger problem is that I missed the colored vinyl version. No excuses, I just blew it. I've made up for it slightly by being able to pick up a copy of the test pressing on Discogs for a really cheap price, but I don't collect test pressings. In fact I'll trade this to someone for the regular colored vinyl version if anyone out there wants to make a deal.

As for the record itself, it's just perfect. Loud, fast, full of hooks. It's like The Marked Men meets The Wipers meets Leatherface. Start to finish, it's just a hurricane of a record and I only wish I could have been listening to it for a whole year as opposed to just the last month. The regular pressing is still out there and I give my highest possible recommendation. This would have been a top 5 record last year, had I been smart enough to buy it right away. Again, help me find the colored vinyl version!

ИO​/​/​/​sé - S/T:

Monday, November 25, 2013

People's Temple - Brand New Thing 7" - Purple Vinyl (/500)

Trouble In Mind (2013)

I wasn't expecting too much going into this 7" as I wasn't really the biggest fan of the People's Temple full length that came out on HoZac earlier in the year. I was mostly picking up this 7" to keep my Trouble in Mind singles collection complete. While certainly not a record I see myself going back to over and over again, I ended up liking the songs more than I anticipated.

In particular the A-side, "Brand New Thing," builds a gentle vocal melody over the strumming of acoustic guitars. Not ground shattering, but it's a nice simple song that doesn't fall into any of the cheesy psych cliches that so many bands are doing these days. While I wouldn't call it a must buy or anything, it's a nice little record to just kick back and relax to.

People's Temple - Brand New Thing:

Friday, November 22, 2013

Maniac - Dim Sum 7" - White Vinyl (/150)

La-Ti-Da (2013)

This 7" is the latest from the La-Ti-Da singles club from 2013. While the label doesn't really get the press or notoriety of some of the other singles clubs out there, I really can't think of one that puts out a never ending stream of stellar records like La-Ti-Da. Sure, you can buy the records individually as well, but let's be honest, how do you not sign up for the subscription and get the limited colored vinyl?

Maniac is another hit for La-Ti-Da. The A-side, "Dim Sum," builds shorts bursts of drawled vocals over a Rocket-From-The-Crypt-On-A-Rope-esque guitar riff. The B-side "Pepe" slows things down just a bit, but really shines with a lead guitar driven singalong anthem. This isn't a band I was familiar with prior to receiving this 7" and I don't know that I would have heard of them or bought it otherwise, but that's the joy in subscribing to a singles series like this. I love being surprised with great music.

Maniac - Dim Sum 7":

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Radioactivity - Back To Me 7" - Yellow Vinyl (/100)

Alien Snatch (2013)

Since I spent all that time raving about the new Radioactivity full length yesterday, I figured I may as well just keep that theme going and write about the accompanying 7" that came out on Germany's Alien Snatch records. Like the full length, there was a limited version on yellow vinyl, in this case limited to 100 copies and only available via mailorder direct from Alien Snatch. It's hard to tell if they're still available from the label, but if you are interested, I'd hit them up quick.

On the record we have 2 songs, one a repeat from the full length. The 2 new songs would fit in perfectly on the album. Fast, catchy, all the cliche words I use over and over to describe the records I truly love. Even though buying records from Germany can result in paying more for this 7" than you pay for the actual full length due to the postage costs, it's just so worth it even to get 2 more songs. I will, without question, continue to buy everything this band puts out.

Radioactivity - Back to Me:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Radioactivity - S/T LP - Black Vinyl & Yellow Vinyl (/300)

Dirtnap (2013)

Yesterday I wrote about Mind Spiders, Mark Ryan from The Marked Men's current band. Today, it's time for Radioactivity. Radioactivity is the brainchild of the other primary singer from The Marked Men; Jeff Burke. While Mind Spiders have carved out a path distinct from The Marked Men's prior work, Radioactivity embraces, expands and sometimes even improves on The Marked Men's legacy.

Much like the Lennon/McCartney debates of yore, there have always been those that have discussed the Ryan/Burke dynamic. Both incredible song writers, responsible for one of the best bands of the last decade. But everyone has their slight preferences. I've always been a Burke guy. Not that Mark Ryan hasn't contributed flawless songs to The Marked Men catalog, it's just that Jeff's have always hit home with me just a bit more. Having an entire album full of these songs is like a dream come true.

This record sounds like a greatest hits album. It combines the best aspects of The Marked Men with the best aspects of Jeff's other band The Potential Johns and still manages to create moments that surprise you with their greatness. Song after song of insane hooks, fuzzy, but melodic vocals and driving guitar with riff changes that you don't see coming, but always work perfectly.

Flat out, this album is simply awesome. 2013 has been an incredible year for music and I've gone on and on about how this record has been one of the best and that record has been one of the best. Well, this is instant top 5 of the year. Realistically it's top 3 and a strong case could be made for the best album of the year. Any other year it probably could be, but 2013 was just unusually packed with great, great records.

Radioactivity - S/T:

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Mind Spiders - Inhumanistic - Red Vinyl (/300)

Dirtnap (2013)

This is the 3rd Mind Spiders album in the last 3 years, and without question is the best one to date. More straightforward than the others, it really showcases Mark Ryan's strength as a songwriter and how he's updated his sound to keep this project different from The Marked Men. Now, that being said, I will likely compare everything this man does to his work in The Marked Men and that comparison will always probably favor his old band just due to my person taste in music. I understand why Mark would want to strike out and create a band that stands alone and Inhumanistic is about as complete of a success you could achieve doing this.

This iteration of Mind Spiders will appeal to Jay Reatard fans, as you can hear similarities to what Jay was doing in 2008 when the Matador singles were being released. While the songs all have strong hooks, they're kept a little subdued, almost mechanical, and that creates a an interesting vibe throughout.

If you've been lukewarm about Mind Spiders in the past, this record is absolutely worth giving another chance and if you've been a fan previously, Inhumanistic will stand as their crowning achievement thus far. Some of the weirder rambling of the past have been jettisoned in favor of a lean, straight shooting album. Hopefully in 2014, it'll be 4 straight years of Mind Spiders records.

Mind Spiders - Inhumanistic:

Monday, November 18, 2013

Obits - Refund (Live) - 7"

Obits - Refund (Live) - 7" by Tim PopKid
Obits - Refund (Live) - 7", a photo by Tim PopKid on Flickr.

Sub Pop (2013)

This 7" came with the last Obits album bed & Bugs when you pre-ordered direct from Sub Pop. I think it also came with the record and some indie stores too. I like that Sub Pop has really embraced the colored vinyl + bonus stuff when you pre-order. I like buying my records direct from the label the releases them, so it's just more of an incentive to do that.

This 7" is a nice little freebie, but it's nothing special. Live versions of previously released Obits songs. Nothing to write home bout and nothing that I'll probably listen to all that much, but a perfectly acceptable free bonus. If nothing else, it beats the hell out of that crummy free 7" that came with the last Superchunk record, that's for sure.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Wynona Riders - Some Enchanted Evening 7"

Lookout (1992)

Wynona Rides were a band that I didn't listen to much when they were kicking around the first time. Though I saw their records everywhere, particularly this 7", I was just never motivated to add them to the collection. When I was in Chicago, this popped up in a used bin and I figured it was time to give them another chance. I've ended up being wrong about an awful lot of other 90's bands.

Listening to this record, I can certainly appreciate it more now than I did then. It has that quintessential 90's punk rock sound in the way it was recorded. This songs are tight, reasonably catchy and 20 years later, it's a real breath of fresh air. On the other hand, I can see why it didn't grab me back in the 90's. The singer gets a bit shouty here and there. The songs in general are not packed full of the sugary hooks that so many of the other Lookout bands that I liked at the time had. Though certainly not depressing or evil sounding in any way; the songs are a bit darker than some of their peers.

All in all, it's a pretty decent record. I'm glad I gave the band another chance and I'll probably pick up their lone full length if I ever see a good deal on it.

Wynona Riders - Childhood Game:

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Jacco Gardner - End Of August - Green Vinyl (/500)

Trouble In Mind (2013)

This is the 2nd single that Trouble In Mind has released from Jacco Gardner. While it's certainly not my favorite kind of music out there, I can say that it is infinitely more listenable than his previous offering. Jacco is playing really laid back, ornate psych-pop, but has toned things down a little, to his benefit.

"End of August" seems like it could have been written by a more subdued Donovan who decided to tinker around with some more vocal effects. The B-side "Notus" is an instrumental that while not a spectacular showcase for Jacco's musicianship; is still a reasonably interesting wander. It's actually a very good pair with the "End of August" A-side as it too kind of conveys a gradual change-of-seasons kind of tone.

Not my favorite Trouble In Mind record, but better than I thought it would be based on how I felt about his prior 7".

Jacco Gardner - End Of August:

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

No Knife - Seven Inches 7"

No Knife - Seven Inches 7" by Tim PopKid
No Knife - Seven Inches 7", a photo by Tim PopKid on Flickr.

Goldenrod (1994)

This was actually sent to me by someone that reads this website. He noticed that this record is on my want list (which you can see by clicking on the link over on the left hand side of the page). For reasons I'll never understand, he just sent me the record for free! I highly encourage others to follow in this trend and send me records on my want list for free.
Thanks Todd, you're the best!

No Knife is another one of those great 90's San Diego bands. The records that were being pumped out of that city back then are some of my very favorite. No Knife's Drunk On The Moon was especially great. The A-side of this 7", "Habits," is also on that album, though I'm pretty sure the B-side "Oh I..." is exclusive to this release.

Both are prime examples of No Knife's really unique songwriting. They both have so many riffs and changes crammed into each song, It's crazy to think of a few guys sitting down to write songs like this. While so many parts can make some songs by other bands sound confused or muddled; No Knife are simply masterful at weaving together all of the parts into tight and cohesive songs. You really should pick up all of their full lengths if you don't already have them.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Terry Malts - Nobody Realizes This Is Nowhere - Cream Vinyl

Slumberland (2013)

I first heard of Terry Malts due to the Windian 7" Box Set that came out last year. Terry Malts were not the reason I bought the set, but they were the surprise of the bunch, the band I'd never heard of before, but the one that impressed me the most. When I saw their new album was coming out on Slumberland, I jumped on the pre-order to make sure I got the limited color vinyl. I can't find pressing info for it anywhere, but it does appear to be sold out at this point.

What Terry Malts do best is they manage to keep a fuzzy garage aesthetic without going overboard. You can here the grit and honesty of the recording, but it's not used to cover up anything. The band's upbeat blown out guitar mixed with the Madness-esque, baritone vocals give Terry Malts a very unique identity. In a world filled with cartoon character, high pitched nasal vocals, this is a band that stands out.

The record isn't perfect, and to be honest I find the song "They're Feeding" completely irritating with it's non stop repetitive two-word chorus. But as a whole, Nobody Realizes This Is Nowhere provides way more highs than lows and is a definitely a record worth picking up if you like your garage with a dash of pop, but still rough around the edges.

Terry Malts - I Was Not There:

Friday, November 8, 2013

Wide Angles - Boxcutter 7"

Wide Angles - Boxcutter 7" by Tim PopKid
Wide Angles - Boxcutter 7", a photo by Tim PopKid on Flickr.

No Breaks (2011)

Buying records like I do is sure to result in the occasional brain fart. This 7" is a prime example of that. I didn't realize that I hadn't bought it. I know that sounds ridiculous, but somewhere in the back of my head I thought I picked this up back when it came out in 2011. It's a logical assumption considering how much I liked the band's first 7". When I was in Chicago, I picked up the Wide Angles split 7" with The Brokedowns (review coming soon) and that's when I realized this wasn't in my collection already.

Wide Angles is a phenomenal band. Their full length from last year is still in heavy rotation for me. The combine gruff, but melodic vocals with dynamic guitar work and good old fashion Midwest punk rock. The songs on here are every bit as good as their full length and if you value my opinion on music at all, every Wide Angles record should be in your collection.

Sadly, that won't be a particularly tough thing to do as when I was searching to make sure of the year this 7" was released, I discovered Wide Angles has broken up. Truly sad. Looks like 2 of the folks are already in a new band called Closed Mouths. I really hope they carry on the greatness they started with Wide Angles.

Wide Angles - Boxcutter 7"

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Morgan Delt - Barbarian Kings 7" - Purple Vinyl (/500)

Trouble In Mind (2013)

Another pick up from the folks over at Trouble In Mind records. It's probably well known that it is my intention to buy every one of their singles on colored vinyl. I've had a good run of it so far; though I can't say I end up liking every release that they put out. I tend to lean towards the garage and power pop bands they work with, but Morgan Delt isn't part of that crew.

Morgan Delt is playing a low key, laid back dreamy form of psychedelic rock that's just completely lost on me. I can appreciate the bands that have that Sgt. Pepper's era psych vibe to them with tons of harmonies and wacky instruments going on in the background, but Morgan Delt simply isn't that interesting. The vocals are monotone and washed out. The songs themselves are so slow. It feels like music that would be played in a movie when one of the characters is having a weird dream.

Though I love the label and their 7" singles; Barbarian Kings is not a record I would buy if I wasn't trying to keep the collection complete.

Morgan Delt - Barbarian Kings 7"

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Red Dons - Notes On The Underground 7"

Grave Mistake (2013)

Now typically, I really would have gone straight to the label and ordered the new Red Dons 7" direct from them so I could have picked up the limited colored vinyl version. But I was already ordering from Green Noise records and needed to come up with 4 more dollars to qualify for free shipping. This 7" was just sitting there, begging me to buy it. So I did. Perhaps a bit of me as a variant hunter died today, but I think that's probably overstating things a little.

The 7" itself is fantastic, as one would expect from Red Dons. They are one of the most consistent bands I've known these last few years, churning out their distinct dark, downstroke heavy punk rock. You can probably liken them to The Wipers or The Estranged or maybe Hot Snakes a little, but Red Dons have an edge when it comes to writing hooks over all of these bands.

It's been quite a while since Red Dons had a new full length, and though they've had some great 7"s, I'm certainly ready for a new LP. Hopefully the band is working on one right now. I'll definitely go out of my way to get the wacky variant of that when it comes out.

Red Dons - Notes On The Underground 7":

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Kent State - The Wrong Side Of History LP - Blue Vinyl (/100)

Debt Offensive (2013)

I don't get many records sent to me to review, and I understand why. This site is pretty much just meant to give me an outlet to talk about all of the records I buy. Naturally, I wish more labels sent me free records, especially when I'm unable to grab some thing I really want due to budgetary restrictions, but that's not why I do this. I do get the occasional record for review. Typically 7"s and I always get excited that a like minded soul sent me something. It's very rare to get an LP so, when this Kent State record showed up, I was even more amped.

This LP collects a few out of print Kent State cassette only releases. This is something I applaud, let's get those cassettes on vinyl. The band is playing psyched out rock songs that at times, really shine, but at times get lost in the swirling wavy production. There's a thick pile of fuzz on top of all the vocals and there are a few songs where the band lets things get a little too out of hand for my taste; with guitar solo led tangents into even more distortion.

The songs that are a bit more straightforward are the ones that stand out to me like "Disconnected" and "Crashing Satellites." I can't help but feel if the band toned down the effects just a bit, there would be some truly great songs on this record.

But honestly, that's more my burden. Even though the psych revival isn't really my thing, I know a ton of folks that love this stuff and it's definitely one of the better psych leaning records I've heard. If nothing else, the band has a passion and an energy that really takes over this album. A lot of bands sound like they're just going through the motions, Kent State doesn't fall into this. The Wrong Side Of History feels like a great deal of thought and care went into crafting every sound on the record.

Kent State - The Wrong Side Of History:

Friday, November 1, 2013

Space Wolves - IV Cassette

Space Wolves - IV Cassette by Tim PopKid
Space Wolves - IV Cassette, a photo by Tim PopKid on Flickr.

UT Records (2013)

Yes, to start, I wish this was an LP and not a cassette. That out of the way? Good, because I love this little cassette. It was sent to me to review for this website and as it stands right now, is probably the best thing I've been sent to date. It's an album full of high pitched guitar and great harmonies.

Space Wolves have something of a 60's throwback vibe to them, and you can tell they're kindred spirits with the garage rock enthusiasts out there. But rather than burying their songs in fuzz and frantic drumming, Space Wolves slow things down just a tad, keep the recording crystal clear and as a result their songs simply shine. Sure it's November now, but this is a perfect springtime record.

Other than the fact that this is a tape, the one other thing that jumps out is quite a few of the songs on this tape fade out, rather than just end. I always thought that sounded a little weird. My friend Alan used to ask if we are supposed to assume that the band is just getting smaller? Always thought that was funny. Lastly, for a band releasing albums on cassette, it's totally weird that they have a song dedicated to how much they hate 10" records because they get lost in their LP collection. Ditch the cassette format and then you can complain all you want!

Space Wolves - IV: