Monday, November 30, 2015

Beach Party - Broken Machine LP


Sex Sheet (2015)

A few weeks ago I had reviewed another Sex Sheet record by a band called Hungry Tiger.  At the time I called it potentially the best unsolicited record I was ever sent to review.  One of the records that is its main competition came in the same package from the same label.  Sex Sheet also sent this Beach Party record and it's also on the short list of greatest records anyone has ever sent me for review.

There are a lot of beach bands these days: Beach Slang, Beach House, those pesky Beach Boys.  For future bands, I think the word beach is pretty well used up at this point.  That being said, Beach Party is worth every bit as much of the attention that those other bands have been receiving.  Beach Party is playing a 90's leaning indie rock that owes something of a debt to the lead guitar shredding of bands like Dinosaur Jr.  I wouldn't say that Beach Party sounds much like Dinosaur Jr. overall, it's mainly the lead guitar riffing.  

The band leans more towards the poppier side of things reminding me at times of Superchunk, but certainly occupying the same space that melodic bands like Overwhelming Colorfast did. The two singers layer on some great harmonies in the always catchy choruses and elevate each vocal melody.  Songs like "Hardwick," "Nightmares" and "Carelessly Undefined" really drive the point home and are some of the highlights of the album.

Beach Party was not on my radar at all.  If I hadn't been sent this record to review, I'm not sure I would have ever found it on my own and that would have been a real shame.  It's one of the better records of the year so don't miss out.

Beach Party - Broken Machine LP:

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Pleasers - Reject Teen 7" - Yellow Vinyl (/100)


Southpaw (2015)

This will conclude my three day run of Matthew Melton related 7"s released on Southpaw records.  I have saved the best for last as this Pleasers 7" is miles better than the other two.  That being said, I don't completely understand why Melton formed another band that for all intents and purposes sound pretty much exactly like Warm Soda.  If Warm Soda broke up, I could understand, but I'm a bit confused as to why he needs two bands that sound like this (and a solo record that only strays slightly from the formula).

I'm not going to get too worked up about it as both songs on this 7" are quite good.  A-side "Reject Teen" spins a yarn about not fitting in during high school and some of the hijinks gotten into.  It's a bit goofy, lyrically, but the song is saved by a super catchy vocal melody and some good lead guitar work.  The thing that most reminds me of Warn Soda is the same type of click track style drumming and what ever they do while recording to make the snare drum sound like it was plucked from a 1986 Boogie Down Productions album.

On the flip is "Judy."  It's slightly lower key in nature, but just as easily stuck in your head.  The highlight being the way the pre-chorus gradually builds into the simple but ultra catchy hook.  Of the two songs I probably prefer "Judy," but both are excellent and could easily work their way on to a Warm Soda full length and fit right in.  Of the three 7"s I've reviewed this week, this one is the one I most recommend picking up.

That's going to wrap up this week as tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  I'll be back on Monday, but don't forget that PopKid records is having a black Friday sale at  Help me clear out some of these old records and make room for a new LP coming in 2016.

The Pleasers - Reject Teen 7":

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Matthew Melton - Too Many Hearts Lack Lovers 7" - Red Vinyl (/100)


Southpaw (2015)

As I had mentioned yesterday, I was a little disappointed with the newest Warm Soda 7".  After knocking it out of the park with their full length earlier this year, I felt that the 7" was OK, but not anywhere near as good.  Today, we have Matthew Melton of Warm Soda's solo 7".  This is also following up a solo LP that I enjoyed quite a bit, but just like the Warm Soda 7" from yesterday, these two new songs are something of a let down.

I'm not sure what exactly is going on with these new Melton tunes, they feel so weirdly produced and so very, very 1980's.  The recording has this swirling ambience that gives the songs an odd dream-like feeling.  I don't really like either of these two songs.  "Too Many Hearts Lack Lovers" covers Melton's often revisited topic of heartbreak.  Typically, he wraps those discussions in a power pop coating that makes everything seem optimistic despite the breaking of the heart.  This time, the song is just a major league bummer.  I have about as much hope for the situation as I do after listening to "Sweet Dreams" by the Eurythmics.  Which is to say no hope at all.

On the B-side "Was It A Song" isn't quite as much of a downer, but it's kind of a throwaway song.  It's a simple mid tempo song with a clockwork drum pattern and is just sort of there.  I wouldn't say it's bad, but it's just not the sort of thing that really grabs your attention.  

It's kind of odd writing such a critical review of something Matthew Melton is involved in.  He's done so much that I really love including releasing one of my very favorite albums of the year with Warm Soda.  Unfortunately this 7" just doesn't work for me.  Hopefully it's more of a blip on the radar than a sign of things to come.

Matthew Melton - "Too Many Hearts Lack Lovers":

Monday, November 23, 2015

Warm Soda - Renegade Mode 7" - Blue Vinyl (/100)


Southpaw (2015)

I think I'm going to knock out the 3 new Matthew Melton related 7"s that I recently picked up from Southpaw records.  I'll start up with the Warm Soda one.  I was relieved to have been able to pick up a copy on the limited to 100 blue vinyl.  My understanding is those sold out pretty quick.  While I'm not sure either song is as good as anything from the most recent Warm Soda full length, it's still a fun little 7".

"Renegade Mode" is upbeat with a little dash of synthy keyboard lead.  It's not the octave rock party that that their full length Symbolic Dream was, but it still keeps the music catchy and the vocals breathy.  The song was originally available on a split cassette that the band sold on a tour, so it's nice to have the tune committed to wax.

On the B-side we have a completely new song, "No Place To Fall."  I can't say I'm as big of a fan of this one.  It's built primarily on low key drums and bass, with a smattering of guitar accenting here and there in the verse.  The chorus sounds much fuller than the skeletal verse, but in general this feels very much like the kind of song that would have come out in the 80's.  It's not really my thing as I prefer when Melton & co keep things fast and loose.

Oh, in other news and if you care at all, I just posted a news update about PopKid records on the PopKid website.  So give it a look if you can.  Or don't if you can't.  Your call: 

Warm Soda - "Renegade Mode":

Friday, November 20, 2015

Your Pest Band - Never Fall You Again 7" - Test Pressing (/10)


Brassneck (2015)

I'm not going to write about the music again, you can read yesterday's review of this same 7" for that.  When I purchased the regular version of this record, I also won a copy of the test pressing.  I was pretty psyched, I never really win anything, so that was neat.  Brassneck made a special sleeve and they're hand numbered out of ten copies.

Pretty neat.

Your Pest Band - Never Fall You Again 7":

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Your Pest Band - Never Fall You Again 7"


Brassneck (2015)

I've been a huge fan of the Snuffy Smile(s) record label for decades at this point.  They've released records by some of my very favorite bands of all time.  But of all the bands to spring from that fertile scene in Japan, I have never seen one as prolific as Your Pest Band.  These guys put out so many records it's actually difficult to keep up at times.  In addition to the sheer number of records they release, the myriad of different styles they manage to incorporate into their songs is kind of nuts.

This wonderful 7" on Brassneck records is a great example of Your Pest Band in a nutshell.  The record starts off with "Never Fall You Again," a slower paced song with liberal use of a keyboard melody that accentuates the earnest vocals.  On the surface it may seem like an odd song for Your Pest Band, but the way it's recorded and the sounds they are able to capture makes it fit right in with their prior work.

We then move on to "Escape" which is much more of a traditional upbeat and catchy punk rock ripper.  When Your Pest Band unleashes a song like this, they do it better than almost any band I can think of.  There's a certain strain of punk rock that Japanese bands have perfected and this is a shining example of that.  The 7" closes with "You Fit."  With its bouncy rhythm section and shining acoustic guitar, it almost has something of a Tom Petty sound to it.  It's impressive the way the band can put out a 7" with three absolutely different songs, but yet they all manage to compliment each other and all sound unquestionably like Your Pest Band.

Your Pest Band - Never Fall You Again 7":

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Archers Of Loaf - Curse Of The Loaf 2xLP


ARRA Music (2015)

Let's stick with another 90s band this week, and one of my absolute favorites, Archers Of Loaf.  Curse Of The Loaf is a live album recorded over 2 days at Cat's Cradle in 2011.  At the best of times I don't love live albums.  Some of my favorite bands have them, Rocket From The Crypt, Snuff, Letherface and more, and they don't come up in rotation all that frequently.  It was more of a need to keep my collection complete that I purchased this Archers record.  I will admit, I'm pretty surprised by how great it is.

First off, the song selection is stellar.  There's only one song from that turd of a record White Trash Heroes and only a couple from the somewhat disappointing All The Nations Airports.  Everything else is solid gold taken from the high point in the band's existence, their first two albums and their Vs. The Greatest Of All Time EP.  The recording quality is quite amazing.  The vocals are crisp and clear, but they're not unusually loud sitting on top of the music the way a lot of live albums can go.  The band sounds big and powerful and still tight after all that time apart.

Even when they played the one song that I actively don't like, "Dead Red Eyes," within the context of the show, surrounded by all of these other amazing songs it doesn't even sound so bad.  I think I would have saved it for a deeper cut rather than plop it down as track number three, but still, it's the most I've ever enjoyed that song.

Usually when I have a live album from a band I listen to it once, maybe twice and file it away into the collection.  I've already listened to Curse Of The Loaf way more times than I typically would.  It's a testament to just how good the recording is and also how great this slice of songs from their catalog is.  It sounds like one of the best shows you could have gone to, although since the songs were culled from 2 days, I'm not entirely sure which day each song was recorded or what the actual set list from either looked like.  Still, it's a hell of a live record.

Oh, it comes with a live DVD as well, but I haven't actually watched that yet.

Archers Of Loaf - Curse Of The Loaf 2xLP:

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Jawbox - S/T LP


Dischord /DeSoto (2015, Reissue)

Since I was already in the reissue state of mind with yesterday's Built To Spill LP, I figured I would keep that going today with the new reissue of the final Jawbox album.  The big difference between yesterday and today is that with Built To Spill, I was writing about an album that I had 20 years of history with and had listened to hundreds of times.  Jawbox, on the other hand, is a band I completely missed out on the first time around and have only started picking up their records over the past couple of years.

The good news about getting into Jawbox right now is that most of their albums have recently been reissued.  This S/T final album of theirs was the last one I needed.  I'll still be on the hunt for some 7"s, as I want to complete the collection, but I do have all of their full lengths on vinyl now.  I'm not sure what the perception of this record was when it originally had been released.  I don't remember it being as big of a deal as some of their prior albums, but again, I couldn't say I was paying very close attention back then.  

What I can say is that this is a pretty stellar record.  The one thing I didn't know back in the 90's and the thing that I still don't think Jawbox gets enough credit for is how catchy some of their songs can be.  Even though their music is complex, with lots of interesting shifts and chord progressions, they manage to sneak in some of the catchiest hooks into their choruses.  All you need to do is look to songs like "His Only Trade," "Excandescent" or "Mirrorful."  While decidedly more complex than your run of the mill poppy punk song, you can argue that they're every bit as catchy the moment the chorus blasts off.  It's a remarkable show of songwriting talent and it's really what keeps me coming back to these records.

Hopefully you were paying more attention than me and already know how great Jawbox is, but if not, you can grab just about all of their records on the cheap now.  Too me, they seem like the sort of albums that should be n everyone's collection.

Jawbox - "Mirrorful":

Jawbox - "Excandescent":

Monday, November 16, 2015

Built To Spill - There's Nothing Wrong With Love LP - Yellow Vinyl


Up/Sub Pop (2015, Reissue)

I first discovered Built To Spill, probably sometime in 1995.  At the recommendation of a friend, I picked up the "So And So, So And So From Wherever, Wherever" 7" from a used bin.  I was pretty floored with how great it was and that continues to be one of my favorite Built To Spill songs all these years later.  Very soon after that, I grabbed a copy of this record.  I am one of the lucky ones who has been sitting on an original pressing of There's Nothing Wrong With Love for about 20 years.  Because of that, I'm probably not quite as excited about this reissue as a lot of folks are, but I still decided to pick up a copy and at least I can compare it to the original pressing here.

So as far as the pressing itself goes, I think it sounds great.  It's every but as warm and inviting as my original copy.  The treble leaning guitars shimmer just as brightly and the low end of the bass is as full as it has ever sounded.  Unlike the recent Leatherface reissues where I could notice a real difference between the original and new pressings, There's Nothing Wrong With Love sounds just as good as the original.  From a sound standpoint, there's no reason to not grab this pressing and be pretty content.

Musically, this album is just wonderful.  Though I think Built To Spill eventually topped this when they released Keep It Like A Secret, There's Nothing Wrong With Love still stands as my second favorite of their records.  The songs are not as complex as some of the extended jams they would go on to release later in time, but there is something so perfect about the simplicity and honesty of this album.  The songs are all supremely catchy and with surefire classics like "Car," "Big Dipper" and "In The Morning," some of Doug Martsch's very best work is collected here.

If you've been one of the many waiting so long for this reissue, there's no reason to be on the fence.  It is absolutely worth picking up and is really an essential part of any good indie rocker's record collection.

Built To Spill - "Car":

Built To Spill - "In The Morning":

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Butterscotch Cathedral - S/T LP - Orange Vinyl


Trouble In Mind (2015)

This Butterscotch Cathedral record is one that I had been looking forward to ever since I first heard about it.  I was admittedly late to the party when it came to The Resonars, but I really enjoyed the soaring British Invasion style harmonies.  Once I heard that Matt Rendon had another band and was putting out this album, I waited in anticipation and then ordered a copy the day it went on sale.

After spending some time with Butterscotch Cathedral, I have mixed feelings.  I'm not sure how to describe it other than I don't think it's bad, but I don't really enjoy listening to it. Many of the things that I like about The Resonars are here.  Huge vocal harmonies mix in to predominantly upbeat and catchy songs.  There's some nice guitar work and a rhythm section that can really get your head nodding from time to time.  At the end of the day, I think these positives get lost in the meandering psychedelic aspects of the album.

First off, this record is essentially three songs.  Side A is one song.  Though that song is then split up into seven sections.  On side B you have one song called "Loud Heavy Sun" and then a second song called "Lisa's Dream."  "Lisa's Dream," however, is then broken up into nine parts.  I'm not entirely sure why the album is arranged like that, but whatever, that's not a deal breaker. What does drag the album down for me is the way the band sinks into these overblown and self indulgent moments of oohing and ahhing complete with swirling noise and over the top guitar solos.  

We've got some machine gun sound effects here and little dream sequences there.  Looking for a call back to an earlier moment?  Yep, it's got those too.  While I can't say that the songs themselves are bad, I think the album is a little gimmicky and gets bogged down in extra noise that detract from the songs rather than enhance them.  I've ended somewhat bummed out by the record.  I wanted to like it more than I do but it looks like I'll just wait for the next Resonars album.

The Butterscotch Cathedral - Side A:

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Yolks - Don't Cry Anymore 7"


Randy / Bachelor (2015)

When I came across the first Yolks record, I became an instant fan of the band.  That record was so catchy and just so much fun it would have been pretty difficult to not get caught up in its infectious grooves.  On the second Yolks album, Kings of Awesome, the band changed things up a little bit.  They took a somewhat mellower approach overall with mixed results, for me at least.  I liked it sure enough, but it didn't grab me like their first LP.

This newest Yolks 7" is kind of a like a microcosm of those feelings.  The A-side reminds me of a lot of the songs on Kings Of Awesome.  Built over a gently strummed, distortion free guitar, "Don't Cry Anymore" is a showcase for the softer, Everly Brothers influenced sounds The Yolks have been tinkering with.  Tightly woven vocal harmonies put a bow on this package and while it's a perfectly good song, it's difficult to get too excited about.  The best way I can sum it up is that I just think it's a nice song to listen to, but not an attention grabber.

However on the B-side we have "I Wanna Be Dumb."  This one is very much a throwback to the first Yolks album.  Loud, fuzzy and brash; this is the version of the Yolks that I like the best.  Just a bunch of dudes pounding out downstrokes, but keeping everything nice and melodic.  I'll never say I dislike the A-side, but songs like "I Wanna Be Dumb" are what keep me coming back for more Yolks records.

The Yolks - Don't Cry Anymore 7"

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Clearance - Rapid Rewards LP


Tall Pat / Unsatisfied (2015)

It's possible that you've read my lament about how 2015 has been a year of quite a few good records. Some of them have been very good, but what I think 2015 has been lacking so far is drop dead great records.  The instant album of the year contenders.  It may have taken until November to get there, but please everyone welcome Clearance.  They have not only created a great record, but as it stands right now, I'm calling it and saying this is the best record of 2015 so far.  There's only a month and a half left in the year, but it's going to take a hell of a record to knock Clearance out of my top spot.

A recurring theme for me is that I tend to favor bands that have a 90's leaning sound.  I think that the music you listen to in those formative late high school/early college years becomes your base and there's always a part of you looking for sounds that excite you in the same way.  Clearance has that in spades.  Not only does this record knock me off my socks now, I'm positive they would have been just as much of a heavy hitter in 1995 as well.

Clearance is playing the sort of warm, jangly indie rock that I adore.  Vocally they're very reminiscent of Pavement with a talking sort of delivery and obtuse lyrics.  On the music side, while you can get hints of Pavement there as well, I tend to think that Clearance pulls together a slightly tighter sound.  It's more deliberate, not as ramshackle and doesn't drift out into weirdo noise freak-outs as Pavement was wont to do.  Rapid Rewards is thirteen songs of glorious mid tempo pop.  I dare you to listen to the churning rhythm of "You've Been Pre-Approved" or the bright, cherry guitar part making up the bridge of "Rather Not Bother" or the fuzzy background squall of "Swiftboating (Onto The Reels)" and not be blown away.

I had very nice things to say about both of Clearance's prior 7"s.  Those were some great songs and are absolutely worth picking up.  But man, Rapid Rewards is light years ahead of those records and is without a doubt the best record I have listened to all year.  See you in December for the Absolute Best Records of 2015 list.  I'm saving a spot for Clearance right at the very top.

Clearance - Rapid Rewards LP:

Monday, November 9, 2015

Wooden Waves - Wilder Dreams LP


One Percent Press (2015)

If you send me a full length LP, it's a guaranteed review out of me.  Though honestly, if you send me most anything I'll eventually review it.  (Though the dude in Buffalo that sent me 13 cassettes is probably going to have to wait a little bit for those.)  When I received this Wooden Waves album in the mail, I had high hopes.  The artwork made it look like the sort of playful indie rock record that I enjoy.  Low and behold, I do enjoy it.

Playful indie rock is a reasonably good description for Wooden Waves, but I can't help but feel it sounds somewhat dismissive of the band's songwriting chops.  These are not throwaway novelty songs.  Wooden Waves has gathered a very stong set of songs rooted in a sort of jumpy, 90's indie rock sound.  Perhaps a more upbeat Silver Scooter with some early Jejune style of back and forth vocals?  Maybe a slightly less fuzzy version of Tugboat Annie?  Regardless of what touchstones you want to use, fact is, this is a pretty great record.

One of my absolute favorite things about doing this dumb little website is discovering a new band thanks to someone else getting in touch with me.  So thanks One Percent Press, you've made a new fan for Wooden Waves.  Hopefully I can do the same for someone else reading this.

Wooden Waves - Wilder Drerams LP:

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Dickie Hammond - 1965 - 2015

Dickie Hammond
Photo by @AlanRappa

I've been sitting with the news that Dickie Hammond died for a few days now.  I've posted about it briefly on Twitter and I also re-tweeted a few little articles about it, but in general it's been something that I've just been thinking about a lot.  Considering I've never met him, it's amazing the profound influence he's had on my life.  I only had the pleasure of seeing him play with Leatherface one time and for reasons I'm not sure of, I didn't say hello to him.

Leatherface has been one of my top tier favorite bands since I first heard them.  I admittedly got into them kind of backwards and perhaps a bit later than some other folks.  I am pretty sure the first time I had heard them was in 1995 or 1996 when I purchased the Do The Right Thing CD single at Flipside records in New Jersey.  I had really gotten into the band Broccoli and was told that Leatherface would be right up my alley as they were sort of the grandfathers of that sound.

Ever since that moment I have simply been obsessed.  I tracked down every record of theirs I could find, including a great many of them on a trip to England in 1997 that consisted almost exclusively of trips to record shops.  I paid $110 for a copy of Mush on Vinyl in the earlier days of eBay (Outbidding Billy of Dillinger Four it turned out).  I flew to England to see Leatherface, Snuff and Wat Tyler play a show to memorialize Andy Crighton.  

Leatherface stayed at my apartment when I was in college for a night after a show in New York City. This and the Andy gig were both Dickie-less versions of the band, but rest assured, Dickie was always there in spirit as the band raced through so many of the genuine classics that he helped craft.  

Listening to Leatherface not only made me love that band, but it really shaped the way I looked at music and specifically punk rock.  While the sounds that poured out of their records were fierce and blistering with energy, they had humanity in them.  Soul, if you will.  These were not a bunch of angry punks shouting, these were artists crafting magnificent and beautiful songs.  To this day, if I read a review comparing any band to Leatherface, I always go and take a listen.  I've discovered so many bands this way and the number of bands I listen to that were influenced by Leatherface is almost impossible to count.

I also don't want to pigeonhole him with Leatherface.  I have records by HDQ, Doctor Bison, The Jones and Stokoe that all benefit from this man's mastery of the guitar.  Everything he touched turned to gold, but Leatherface is always the one that spoke to me the most.

Dickie Hammond is one of the greatest guitar players I have ever heard.  The world is a sadder place without him.  I feel so awful for the people that actually knew him, were friends with him and shared stories with him.  Their loss eclipses mine by a mile.  What I can say is it's depressing to think that I will never hear any new sounds emanating from his guitar.  It's a real bummer, but I take solace in how much joy this man has brought me over the years.  How many perfect records he was a part of.  How he set me down a path that would help me discover so many bands and meet so many people that I consider friends.  I didn't know him and he didn't know me, but despite that, I will never forget Dickie Hammond.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Dirty Few / Rootbeer And Mermentau - Set 'Em Free Split 7" - Gray Vinyl (/300)


Snappy Little Numbers (2015)

Snappy Little Numbers has quietly become one of my favorite labels over the past few years.  With little fanfare they've steadily built the sort of catalog that showcases newer, incredible bands.  They always manage to turn me on to some new sounds and every time I get a package in the mail from them there is much rejoicing.

First up in their new batch of releases is a split 7" with two bands: Dirty Few and Rootbeer And Mermentau.  Starting up with Dirty Few, the guitar sequel in the first seconds of "Yo Loco" instantly took me back to the opening moments of The Figgs song "Favorite Shirt."  From there, the band settles in to a more of a stomping garage sound that reminds me a lot of Welfare Problems era Randy.  Both songs on their side of the split are catchy and energetic.  I've never heard of these guys before, but it's a solid first showing.

On the flip side is Rootbeer And Mermentau.  Now, as a big fan of the beverage root beer, I was hopeful that the band would do justice to their namesake.  While taking a somewhat similar tact as Dirty Few, Rootbeer And Mermentau leans more towards a fast paced, lo fi sound.  At times they remind me of the more heated moments of Boyracer.  Again, both songs are pretty good, but with a gun to my head, I probably prefer the Dirty Few side of the record.

It's always worth giving a Snappy Little Numbers release a spin.  I'm rarely disappointed and always end up with some new bands to listen.  Oh and if Mr. Snappy is reading, any new Hooper music in the future? The world is waiting for more of that greatness.

Dirty Few / Rootbeer And Mermentau - Set 'Em Free Split 7":

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Son Of A Gun - No Bread LP - Mixed Vinyl


Tall Pat (2014)

I'm still marching my way through the Tall Pat records that I picked up while in Chicago to see Drive Like Jehu.  While I had known that I fell somewhat behind on things, I didn't realize it had gotten so bad that I hadn't bought albums that had come out in 2014.  Well, shame on me because that's when this Son of Gun LP was released.

I couldn't tell you why I was denying myself this album.  Son Of A Gun are another in a line of great bands playing that Tall Pat Sound .  Son Of A Gun just tear through the album's twelve tracks, leaving a pile of hooks and energy to spare in their wake.  You're going to get the catchy choruses that keep me coming back to the table, but the songs all have that slight grimy haze to them that keeps things crunchy and honest.  

When No Bread is firing on all cylinders, the band takes the very best moments of 60's garage trash, but filters it through a modern lens, never sounding like a rehash of something from the past.  It's an impressive balancing act and one I can't see many bands being able to pull off like this.  If you can't tell, I really dig these guys.  If you like your rock leaning on the garage side, but you still want catchy songs and a strict avoidance of psych-rock trappings; Son Of A Gun is absolutely worth checking out. 

Son Of A Gun - No Bread LP:

Monday, November 2, 2015

Jawbox - My Scrapbook Of Fatal Accidents 2xLP - Purple Vinyl (/400)


Arctic Rodeo (2015, Reissue)

Long time readers of my website know that the two bands I most regret not listening to in the 90's are Seaweed and Jawbox.  I've gotten into both way after the fact and had to do some digging to get those records into my collection.  Seaweed was tough, but I've been pretty lucky to have been presented with quite a few Jawbox reissues to make their quest a little easier.  I was especially excited to see that Arctic Rodeo was involved in this 2xLP as they did such great work with their Burning Airlines reissues.

That high water mark for quality is still being met with this Jawbox reissue.  The artwork is printed on thick, sturdy cardstock.  There's not one, but two hefty booklets with pictures, discography information and what looks to be a list of every single show the band ever played.  I'm pretty blown away by everything before even listening to it.

Musically, it just annoys me that I wasn't able to appreciate this band when they were around.  The way they are able to craft serious, powerful songs, but still cram in deceptively catchy hooks and melodies is something that so few bands are able to do.  This album compiles a slew of 7" and compilation tracks, a Peel session and a few live nuggets.  It's a pretty essential add on to the other Jawbox full lengths.

At an hour and twenty minutes, it is a bit long to get through in one sitting.  I've always thought forty-five minutes was a pretty ideal album length, though I certainly understand the desire to present as complete a package as possible and wouldn't dream of cutting anything from this set.  You'll just need to block off a bit more time to listen to it.