Monday, June 30, 2014

Chestnut Road / Panic Attack - Split 7" - Blue Vinyl


Snuffy Smiles / Speedowax / Rad Girlfriend / You Look Like Shit / Sick Scene (2014)

This record s a coming together of so many great things that have been important to me over the years.  It's a new Snuffy Smiles release, one of my all time favorite labels.  It's a new Speedowax release, a great label and run by a fellow I've known since the 90's.  It' also co-released by Rad Girlfriend, one of the best new American labels going.

Chestnut Road is one of the bands on here, and you can't possibly have missed my never ending stream of praise for them. Then the other band in Panic Attack; a band that's new to me, but one that I've been trying to catch up on and have been quite impressed with so far.  Finally, it's all tied together by the fact that both bands cover a Broccoli song on the record.  It's almost like this was put out just for me.

All fours songs on this 7" are incredible.  The Chestnut Road original is just another example of why I've become obsessed with this band from France (to the point where I nearly accosted a guy I saw at a Steve Adamyk Band show that was wearing a Chestnut Road shirt). "Clocks Ticking" is just a perfectly constructed song that takes me right back to that mid 90's UK punk scene that I'm just so god damned nostalgic about. Their Broccoli cover they chose was "Fido" and while I don't know that any band will ever do Broccoli songs as good as Broccoli, their take on it is still pretty stellar. When these guys put out their next record, can someone please tell me how I can get the PopKid logo on it?

Panic Attack turn in the best song of theirs that I've heard so far and all it does is make me want to hear more from them.  "Recluse (is a euphemism)" is so dynamic, with gravely vocals that still manage to be incredibly melodic.  Another gigantic leap forward for this band from Quebec.  They chose the Broccoli song "Lean" for their side of the record and give a real impassioned take on the song.  I hope this band is working on a full length, because I'll be buying it on day 1.

Hey, I could listen to a whole album full of Broccoli covers (which is being put together here: if you want to get involved), so this 7" is one of those records that just makes me happy by existing.  The fact that the music on it is great as well is just another bonus.

Chestnut Road / Panic Attack - Split 7":

Friday, June 27, 2014

Panic Attack - Empty Malls & Parking Lots 7" - Green Vinyl


Big Wheel / Guerilla / Pouzza (2012)

As I wrote about yesterday, once I found out that Panic Attack was doing a split 7" with Chestnut Road, I immediately went out and bought all of their other records.  Sure it was only two 7"s, but I wanted to study up on the band before their new split came out.  The songs from yesterday's record were just fantastic and I had high hopes for the 5 songs on their debut 7".

Empty Malls & Parking Lots came out back in 2012 and as mentioned, it was Panic Attack's first release.  In many ways it kind of sounds like a band's first record.  There's a few moments of greatness, some real potential, but also moments where things fall a little flat.  I'd have to say that in general the songs are a bit more simplistic than their two on the Jeffrey Lost Control split, but there are moments where the band comes off as something special.

The first two tracks, "No Seriously: Fuck Off" and "Wasting Time" both clock in under less than a minute.  They're fast, a little snotty and over before you know it.  Neither are bad, but neither really go anywhere.  It's not until the band gets into their longer tracks "Pictures" and "Black Cat" that they really shine.  Both slow the tempo down a bit and give Panic Attack room to breathe and really take their songs up a notch.  They display far more dynamics than the shorter songs on this 7" and they are much more representative of the type of music they were able to churn out on their second 7".

Still, even at only two records in, I'm extremely impressed with these Quebec based punk rockers.  Next up is their split with Chestnut Road and since one of their songs on that is going to be a Broccoli cover, I can't even imagine how I could possibly not love it.

Panic Attack - Empty Malls & Parking Lots 7":

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Jeffrey Lost Control / Panic Attack - Split 7" - Green Cover (/50)


Sick Scene / Big Wheel (2013)

I did something very 90's when I decided to buy this record.  Anyone who reads this website, even infrequently, is surely aware of my love for the band Chestnut Road.  They are one of the absolute best bands going and I buy everything they release.  Well, their next record coming out soon is a split 7" with a band called Panic Attack.  On that 7", both bands are going to cover a Broccoli song, so right then I knew I had to go buy some Panic Attack records immediately.  

We'll start off with the band Jeffrey Lost Control first.  Their first song, "Falling Down" wasn't really blowing me away.  It's got good gruff vocals and some well placed "Ohhhs" in the background, but the drumming isn't for me.  Over the years I've just never been able to get into songs with that non-stop, 100 miles an hour galloping drum beat.  After this song, I figured I could just write off the band as pretty good.  But then they hit me with "Under The Gun."  This is a great song.  The tempo is taken down just a notch and the song is 1000 times better as a result.  Great guitar interplay.  They end up reminding me a lot of bands like Manifesto Jukebox or I Excuse.  I would absolutely like to hear more songs like this from the band.

Then we get to Panic Attack, the reason I bought the 7".  They definitely lived up to the hype I created for them. Their first song "Who Read Holden Caufield" is just super energetic with driving drums and dynamic guitar.  The singer has raspy vocals, but still manages to be melodic.  The songs are catchy with sing along choruses, but not at all saccharine pop. Track two, "I Can Work It Out" is just as great.  It has the same punchy energy of the first song and reminds me a lot of Broccoli actually.  Then, right in the middle of the song we get a bass driven breakdown complete with a movie quote sample a la Jawbreaker.  Very cool stuff.

I bought this 7" just looking to study up on one band, but I managed to find two that I'm going to have to pay attention to going forward.  Even when they're not on the record, Chestnut Road is still getting great music to my turntable.

Jeffrey Lost Control / Panic Attack - Split 7":

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Masked Intruder - M.I. LP - Purple Vinyl


Fat Wreck (2014)

Sometimes there's a really fine line between being average and being great.  On the surface, Masked Intruder doesn't appear to be doing anything all that special or inventive.  It's reasonably basic 3-chord, Ramones-esque pop punk.  But they have managed to craft their songs to really stand out from the pack.

Sure, they have their mask gimmick and though I've not seen them play live, I've heard it's a really fun show.  What really sets Masked Intruder apart from their peers is their attention to detail when recording these songs.  M.I. is perfectly produced.  The guitars sound huge, the drums are powerful, the lead vocals are perfectly balanced in the mix; but the key to Masked Intruder are the backing vocals.  This band utilizes backing harmonies better than probably any other current rock band.  They're on practically every song and elevate each one to be something special.

There's quite a few hits here.  From the fighting against the man (but losing) anthem "I Fought The Law" to blazing lead guitar driven "Crime Spree" to the somewhat lower key album closer "Locked Up And Lonely" Masked Intruder are firing on all cylinders.  In some ways it's a better album than their debut.  There's no annoying shouty songs like "Stick Em Up," but I was more blown away by the first album when I originally heard it.  I wouldn't say M.I. is disappointing in the least, I guess now I just expect great things from this band.  Thankfully, they usually deliver.

Masked Intruder - "I Fought The Law":

Masked Intruder - "Crime Spree":

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Destroyer / King Kahn & The Shrines - Split 7" - Purple Vinyl


Merge (2014)

For their April release, Merge went back to the split 7" format after a brief one month departure.  The two bands they brought together were Destroyer and King Kahn & The Shrines.

I was particularly excited about Destroyer.  I was a big fan of their earlier releases, particularly Streethawk: A Seduction.  But as the years went on, Destroyer got a bit weirder and I haven't really been keeping tabs on them as much.  I figured that being able to check out a recent song might show me if they are worth giving another shot.  Well, after this entry into the singles club, I think I've made the right choice paying them no mind as of late.  As the title may suggest, "Te Recuerdo Amanda" is completely in Spanish.  While that's not really a deal breaker, the fact that the song is slow, quiet, boring and kind of goes nowhere is.  It just seems like such a throwaway.

King Khan & The Shrines, on the other hand, really brought their A game to the record. Even though it's a Saints cover, the King Kahn version of "Know Your Product" blasts out of the gate with a huge horn section, organ and driving bass.  It's a real rhythm and blues review that pays homage to the original, but is a pretty spectacular stand along track for King Khan.  It's part Rocket From The Crypt, part Blues Brothers and part soundtrack to a car chase.  As bad as the Destroyer side is, the King Khan & The Shrines side more than makes up for it.  I've been lukewarm about King Khan records in the past, maybe it's time to give him another chance if his take on this song is anything to go by.

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Clientele - Falling Asleep 7" - Blue Vinyl


Merge (2014)

This record is the March edition of the Merge records Or Thousands Of Prizes singles club.  Unlike the first 2 volumes, this isn't a split 7".  For March they decided to let Clientele have both sides.  Off all of the bands that have participated thus far, I'm not sure why Clientele earned their own 7".  If it was me, I would have given that to Superchunk.

Not that Clientele is bad.  They're not at all, but they are a little forgettable.  The A-side, "Falling Asleep," isn't one of those songs that you can't figure out why they called it that.  It's pretty mellow and honestly a little boring. Dreamy vocals with a slight layer of cloudy distortion over hippy-esque 60's music.  It reminds me of Donovan a bit actually, but with less energy.

On the flip side is "Orpheus Avenue."  It's also slow paced built over a layer of gently plucked acoustic guitar.  In some ways it reminds me of Sea Change era Beck, but with none of the gravitas or importance that Beck can muster out of a song like this.  I wouldn't say either song was bad or not worth a listen, but at the end of the day both are a bit boring and I honestly can't see myself getting the itch to listen to it again.

Clientele - "Falling Asleep":

Friday, June 20, 2014

Survival Knife - Loose Power LP


Glacial Pace (2014)

This is one of those records that I couldn't have been more ready for.  With Numero Group reissuing the Unwound catalog recently, I've been in that mindset for some rough around the edges 90's style indie rock.  Well, Justin Trosper and Brandy Sandero, both formerly of Unwound, answered the call and have released an absolute beast of an LP.

Survival Knife takes the very best parts of Unwound and combines them with the sort of pop sensibilities and catchy choruses that few people probably thought was possible considering the principal players involved.  I've heard several friends compare aspects of Survival Knife to Hot Snakes, and while I agree that they do both have similar tones, Survival Knife is not a non-stop downstroke explosion like Hot Snakes.  Survival Knife keeps things slightly cleaner, a bit less aggressive and, on more than a few instances. really takes advantage of some long, sprawling songs the way Unwound used to.  

Eight minute plus tracks like "Cut The Quick" give Survival Knife the sort of canvas that allows them to meander a bit and explore some intricate but compelling guitar work.  Yet the band is equally adept at blasting out a fast paced, in your face three and a half minute blasts like album opener "Divine Mob" or the stellar "Fell Runner."  No matter the direction Survival Knife goes, the results are impressive.

Loose Power is absolutely one of the best 2 or 3 records to come out in 2014 so far.  It's pretty much perfect.  I'll even go so far as to say it's even better than most of Unwound's catalog.  That's how fantastic I think this album is.  If you were on the fence about checking this out, you are really missing out on something truly great.

Survival Knife - "Fell Runner":

Survival Knife - "Divine Mob":

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Space Wolves - The First Year Cassette


UT Records (2014)

I was excited to get this tape in the mail.  And that's not a sentence you'll see me type all that often.  But, I was already familiar with Space Wolves having received and really enjoyed their last cassette IV.  This particular cassette compiles the first four Space Wolves tapes into one release.

The band is great.  They play a jangle-y, treble heavy guitar style of pop.  They seem to draw a great deal of influence from the late 50's and early 60's as their songs have a refreshing simplicity and charm that you just don't hear that often anymore.  However, the band manages to take these influences and filter them through a modern garage-pop sensibility that makes Space Wolves stand out from the crowd.

The one thing I will say is while the convenience of having all of these songs in one place is handy and economical (this tape is only 4 bucks from the labels webstore), there's just too much to listen to in one sitting.  There are FIFTY songs on this cassette. Even though many are quite brief, this is just far too much to digest in one go through.  That's not a shot at Space Wolves specifically as I would be stumped to think of any band that I want to listen to that much of all at once.  If you tackle this in segments, it's a great couple of listens.

UT Records Bandcamp (All 4 Space Wolves tapes are up there to stream and download for free):

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Blind Shake - Get Youth 7" (/260)


Depression House (2014)

I'm very happy I was paying attention to The Blind Shake lately.  Had I not been, it's very possible this 7" could have slipped through the cracks.  Limited to only 260 copies and put out by a label in Italy, it would have been very easy to miss out on this record.  Luckily, Slovenly Record got a few US distro copies and I was able to grab one and avoid the crazy overseas shipping charges that have become so common in buying records.

If I look at this record, and the band as a whole, analytically there's really no reason I should like them as much as I do.  The Blind Shake is extremely noisy with sneering blown out vocals.  I can't really say there's much in the way of hooks, but what the band has in bucketfuls is crazy energy.  The Blind Shake blows through their songs at a breakneck pace with their foot on the floor.  

"Get Youth" has a repetitious driving guitar riff and a nonstop barrage of drumming.  The yelping vocals shouting "get youth" in the chorus brings the madness together briefly, but then the band goes right back into some more feedback mongering.  

I actually like the B-side "Brickhouse Burro" even more as it has a lot in common with the songs on the band's last full length Key To A False Door. The song is primarily built on a crushingly fast guitar riff that allows the band to just rip through the majority of the song.  But then half way through, everything just drops out and you are left with a slow moment where the song is nothing but single notes are plucked from the guitar.  It's a momentary pause as The Blind Shake immediately pick things back up and tear through the end.

The Blind Shake - "Get Youth":

The Blind Shake - "Brickhouse Burro":

Monday, June 16, 2014

Dan Sartain - Dudesblood LP


One Little Indian (2014)

Strange things have been going on with Dan Sartain records over the years.  After several borderlain perfect albums, he started shaking things up.  While he was a crooning southern greaser with an acoustic guitar and a penchant  for cobras for quite a few records; his last album, Too Tough To Live took things in an altogether different direction.  On that album his love for The Ramones and other older, darker shades of punk rock came into the forefront. While it was a fantastic record, it did leave me wanting some songs like his earlier work.

Dudesblood is kind of the best and worst of both worlds.  Each individual song is actually great.  There's a few fast catchy punk rock songs like "Dudesblood" "Smash The Tesco" and "Love Is Suicide."  There's also instances when Dan slows things down like on "Pass This On," "Marfa Lights" and "You Gotta Get Mad To Get Things Done." While every one of these songs are outstanding as stand alone tracks, the album as a whole suffers a bit as it doesn't really have a cohesive direction and jumps all over the map style-wise.  It's not bad and in the grand scheme of things it's not really that big a deal, but it is a bit jarring the first few times you listen to the record.

I enjoy pretty much every Dan Sartain song released into the world.  I like his slow acoustic based records.  I like his loud punk rock records.  He's one of those songwriters that I really trust, always knowing that whatever direction he's taking his music in; there's a pretty good chance I'm going to love it no matter what.

Dan Sartain - Dudesblood:

Friday, June 13, 2014

Songs For Snakes - Year Of The Snake LP - White w/ Blue Splatter Vinyl (/300)


Self Released (2014)

Before I say anything about the music, would you look at this record? It's beautiful.  I can't remember the last time a band or label got their colored vinyl to so perfectly match the artwork like this.  It's stunning.  Kudos to the band for taking the step to put out their new record on vinyl.  Equally stunning is the music on this album, it's like the band is making music just for me.

While trying to make it not sound like an insult, to me Songs For Snakes  is old man punk.  I complain often how I'm getting older and the things that I liked when I was younger (which coincidentally tend to be the things I like now too) tend to be out of style or not in vogue.  Music was especially like that for a while.  Over the past few years there has been a real renaissance of bands that take their cues from 90's bands and the result has been a lot more music that I'm interested in.  Songs For Snakes are right at the top of the pile as far as these bands go; they're just one of the best.

You can tell that the guys in Songs For Snakes are older punks too.  These aren't some kids playing an old style of music, these are old punks that are just playing the kind of music that's authentic to them.  You can't listen to this record and not hear the Jawbreaker influence.  But while most bands who like Jawbreaker spin off into a weird emo tribute, Songs For Snakes keep it louder, rougher and much more in common with Unfun era Jawbreaker, but still manage to pack ultra catchy hooks into every song.

The production is great, the songs are phenomenal and frankly I'm shocked that this band isn't way more famous than they are.  They also emailed me personally just to let me know they had a new record that came out so I could go buy it.  See? They know that I'm getting old and forgetful.  In a world full of wacky technology and stupid kids, sometimes it's just nice to be old, cranky and happy about it.

Songs For Snakes - Year Of The Snake:

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Sebadoh - Gimme Indie Rock 7" - Gray Vinyl


Homestead (1991)

Oh Sebadoh, how I've tried to understand you over the years.  For the most part I've been successful, there's an awful lot of Sebadoh that I like, but there's just so much out there and I have to admit quite a bit of it goes way over my head.  In high school my buddy Joe had this 7".  I never picked it up, but I did put the song "Gimme Indie Rock" on one of my mix tapes that got a good amount of play back then.  When I saw a used copy of this pop up at Green Noise records while I was already placing an order, I decided to pick it up.

So the title track is as great and as fun as it ever was.  Slow, then fast, funny lyrics and the chorus of just shouting "Gimme Indie Rock" at the top of their lungs.  It's a gimmicky song for sure, but one that still makes me smile all these years later.  There are, however, 4 more tracks on this 7".  I have zero memory of these so each was like listening to a brand new Sebadoh song to me.  The other song on the A-side is "Ride The Darkness.  It's another electric, reasonably upbeat song that I think is pretty good.

The B-sides are where things get wacky and I don't mean that in a bad way.  This is where Sebadoh goes all sad bastard acoustic 4-track.  3 songs; "Red Riding Good," "New King" and "Calling Yog Soggot."  I've always liked the weirdo Sebadoh acoustic songs more than their rock songs and while I wouldn't say these three are better than the A-side, they feel a bit more comfortable to me.  All in all, it's a fun 7" and I'm trying to figure out why I waited over 20 years to pick up a copy.

Sebadoh - "Gimme Indie Rock":

Sebadoh - "Ride The Dark Wave":

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Dan Sartain - Pass This On 7"


One Little Indian (2014)

I felt like it has been an awful long time between when this 7" was announced and when I finally got to buy it.  Preorders - feh.  Anyway, It's always exciting when new Dan Sartain records are out as he is one of the best things going these days.  One Little Indian has always been a little wacky with his releases.  They seem to put out a ton of 7"s for him, but they almost always end up being just tracks from the album.

This one's about half and half.  "Pass This On" is a track off of the new Dan Sartain album Dudesblood.  It's a cover song by a band called The Knife, but I can't say I'm familiar with the original.  What I can say is it's one of the best songs on the new album.  Slow and dark, with Dan crooning the vocals.  While I do enjoy Dan's punk rock songs, I'll always have a soft spot for his softer side.

The B-side is a Roy Rogers cover called "Dust."  This was originally on the digital only He Touched Me, released as a benefit for The Travis Jackson Memorial Fund.  It is nice to have at least one of the songs from that excellent EP on vinyl and I can't say I'd mind it if they ended up releasing all of them as B-sides if that's what it takes.  There's a lot of Dan Sartain 7"s out in the world.  They're all worth picking up in my opinion.

Dan Sartain - "Pass This On":

Dan Sartain - "Dust":

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Mikal Cronin - MCII LP


Merge (2013)

I have a couple of people to thank for this record.  First is whoever put that amazing Mikal Cronin song on their split 7" with Superchunk that came out as part of the Merge Singles Club.  2nd is my buddy @chris_whitehead, who assured me that giving this record a chance was the smart thing to do.  Honestly I had all but written Mikal Cronin off as one of those things friends liked but I just didn't get.  MCII has completely changed my opinion on that.

This record is so great.  So great.  The pop that this man conjures is unbelievable. From the opening seconds of "Weight," I'm hooked.  That's it, there's no way this record doesn't end up in my collection.  While I felt the first Mikal Cronin record was spotty at best and full of the sort of psych overlays that do nothing for me; MCII is as unashamedly pop as you could make a record.  What I hear more than anything else is similarities to an older favorite band of mine, The Mull Historical Societ; particularly on the song "Shout It Out." With it's wistful verse and freaking gigantic chorus, it's the kind of song you listen to wishing you could have somehow written it.  It's just too perfect.

The only times the record loses me at all are on 2 songs.  I find "See It My Way" sticks out on the record like a sore thumbs with its screaming guitar solo and high pitched chorus.  "Piano Mantra" also doesn't really do anything for me as a stand alone song, however it does make sense in the form of an album closer, so I don't really have any beef with that.  Those two minor criticisms aside, I think this is simply a fantastic record.  One I really regret waiting so long to give a chance to.

Mikal Cronin - "Weight":

Mikal Cronin - "Shout It Out":

Monday, June 9, 2014

Banner Pilot - Souvenir LP - Brown Vinyl


Fat Wreck (2014)

I've been following Banner Pilot's output for quite some time, ever since their first full length Resignation Day.  Over the years I've watched them get more and more popular as they've ended up on bigger labels and garnered more fans .  Oddly though on this, their fourth album Souvenir, I'm starting to lose a little bit of interest.  

Not all of my interest in the band, mind you.  I'm still a sucker for their anthemic choruses and tightly focused guitar riffs, but 4 records in I just can't shake the feeling that I've heard this all before.  Now, let's be clear.  I am not one of those guys that wants bands to grow and change into a beautiful butterfly throughout their career.  I'm perfectly fine with a band finding something that works and sticking with it.  I think the difference with this Banner Pilot record is that rather than seeming like new songs under the same umbrella, a lot of it just feels like retreads.

That being said, if you aren't as familiar with the band, this is as good a record as any to start with.  If you like your punk rock catchy, but serious, and you tend to go down that No Idea/Dillinger Four rabbit hole; fewer bands do it better.  At the end of the day I guess I just wish they'd shake things up a bit.  Even though I don't like it when bands change, sometimes you need to do a little tinkering to keep things fresh.

Banner Pilot - "Modern Shakes":

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The No Marks / DeadCuts - Split 7" - Blue w/ Silver (/143)


Speedowax (2013)

Speedowax is one of those labels that put out so many good records.  Now, they probably put out a few too many hardcore leaning records for my personal taste, but when they're in the mindset for pop, they stand head and shoulders above most labels.  Case in point is the fantastic split 7".

The No Marks are the main reason I picked up this record.  They're playing the kind of glorious melodic UK punk that ruled the mid to late 90's as far as I'm concerned.  They have the raspy vocals and seriousness of bands like Broccoli, but they kind of keep things a little poppier.  If anything, the 2 songs here remind me most of the sort of thing Broccoli was doing on their Chestnut Road 7".  There are fewer compliments higher than that coming from me I assure you, so it would be best if you bought this 7" immediately.

And as a bonus, you get 2 songs from DeadCuts.  Fronted by Mark Keds, formerly of Senseless Things, DeadCuts also pays homage to a UK scene, but they take it perhaps a decade further back than The No Marks.  To me, DeadCuts are just a flat out great rock band.  With heavy effect laden lead guitar way up in front, and slightly echo-y vocals that ebb and flow with the progression of the song, DeadCuts are playing a style of music that I haven't really heard anyone championing in forever.  Even though its roots are old, hearing new music like this is such a breath of fresh air.  Between the 2 bands, this is a can't miss 7".

DeadCuts - "Caution Exorcists":

No Marks - "Renville Road" / "Coming Around":

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Doo Rag - Chuncked And Muddled LP (/500)


Dependability (1995)

There's always a pretty great feeling when you get to remove a long time item off of your wants list.  It's even better when you get to remove one of the big ones.  This Doo Rag LP was a top 5 item on my list and it's just wonderful to finally have this record in the collection.

I've had the CD version of this forever.  I even have the wacky limited CD version that comes in a box and has a gigantic Doo Rag patch, but the vinyl version had always eluded me.  Sure, I paid a healthy amount for this one, but I have seen it sell for substantially more in the past.  The price was right to finally take the plunge.

For the uninitiated, Doo Rag was one of the wackiest bands to kick around during the mid 90's.  They played with Beck, the played with Ween, frankly they played with an awful lot of great bands.  The drummer, Thermos Malling didn't play a drum set, rather he banged on cardboard boxes and garbage can lids.  The singer & guitarist was Bob Log III, a man with a wicked slide guitar and some pretty unusual methods for distorting his vocals.

Though I never thought Chuncked And Muddled was as amazing as the band's 2nd album, What We Do, this album still has some great songs.  If anything, where the band really made strides between this album and What We Do was in the production department as Chuncked And Muddle does sound a bit thin and tinny.  Still, it's a great record and one that I couldn't be more excited about finally owning.

Rather than just link you to a few songs on this record, here's Doo Rag live.  This is where you'll really understand their greatness:

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Sanhose - Cicada CD


Recess (2009)

A few weeks ago I wrote about a 7" on Snuffy Smiles by a band called Sanhose.  I'd never heard of them before, but discovered that in addition to the 7", they had a full length out as well.  It was surprisingly easy to find as it was put out by Recess in Japan.  The US Recess website also stocked a copy.  Now, it's always a bummer having to buy a CD instead of vinyl, but I will say that when you listen to a lot of Japanese punk rockers, you get used to it.  Almost all full lengths seem to come out on CD with only a few exceptions on vinyl.

Now, I will say I was probably a little disappointed in this album by Sanhose.  It's not quite as good as the 7".  But that 7" was nearly flawless, so I imagine it would be tough to live up to it.  Also the band had about another 5 years of getting better between these releases, so I do get it.  That's also not to say this is a bad record, it's pretty good overall and has a handful of moments that really shine.

Like the 7", the bulk of the songs on here are fast melodic punk rock that could fit in on Snuffy Smiles.  The band really excels when they keep things poppier and take the tempo down just a bit, as they do on songs like "Pigeons" and "Your Stars."  To me, the band is less successful when it's got the pedal to the floor, playing at breakneck speed and just shouting along the vocals.  On Cicada, you can see the foundation of what is becoming a great band.  Since I already know how good Sanhose got by the time they released the Parada 7", I'm really eager to see where they go next.