Monday, January 17, 2022

The Things - Live at Temple Bar, Centre Dublin, May 24, 2004 Cassette


Big Neck (2021)

Working my way through the pile of live tapes that Big Neck sent over.  Today we have The Things and a show recorded back in 2004.  The Things are another band that I'm not really familiar with but it makes me wonder how that band name was still available in the early 2000s.  On Discogs, they are The Things (2), so I guess they had a somewhat early claim to the name if nothing else.

Sound quality-wise, this tape isn't anywhere near as clear as last week's Ar-Kaics one.  This is a bit more rough and ready, sounding like it might have just been someone in the crowd with a recorder.  It's not bad or unlistenable, but it does kind of cement my feeling that hearing a band via a live album as your first exposure to them isn't really ideal.

I do like it though.  There's a creepy organ going on and the general sound of the band is very similar to one of the great Canadian bands of the new millennium, Sedatives.  The Things are a little bit more in debt to a garage rock sound that Sedatives, but both are chasing hooks in a Wipers sort of way.  

The Things -  Live at Temple Bar, Centre Dublin, May 24, 2004:

Friday, January 14, 2022

Godzilla - From Godzilla: The Showa Era Soundtracks, 1954-1975 Box Set

Godzilla - From Godzilla: The Showa Era Soundtracks, 1954-1975 Box Set

Waxwork (2021)

When I reviewed the Weird Al box set I wrote an individual post about each record, rather than try to summarize the whole set at once.  That seemed to work out for me OK, so I'm going to try that same method when writing about this fabulous Godzilla box set.  I'm going to tackle each soundtrack on Fridays for the next many weeks.  If you come to this site to read about rock and roll, you're probably going to be cranky for a bit.  Apologies for that.

This box set contains the soundtrack score for each of the fifteen Showa era Godzilla movies.  This is the original run of films that spanned 1954 to 1975.  For me, these are great films and total staples of my childhood.  I was thrilled when this box set was announced and couldn't be happier with what Waxwork pulled off.

In addition to each of the LPs with killer art, there's a Godzilla slipmat, a twelve by twelve art print and this killer box.  The fist album in this set is, of course, the soundtrack for the original Godzilla from 1954.  

I actually did have a vinyl version of this specific soundtrack already as it was released by Death Waltz a few years ago.  While the track listing is worded slightly different, it's pretty much the same.  This Waxwork version sounds incredible and is presented in mono, as it should be.  This score is excellent with the highlight for me always being the main title theme.  Even as a kid, I found this particular melody so weirdly empowering and it always got me pumped up.

That first movie is also an all time classic.  I didn't get to see the original Japanese version until I was in my twenties.  When I was a kid, the US version was something I had on VHS and enjoyed, but didn't watch as much as some of the others.  As an older fellow, I learned to really appreciate the beauty and powerful message of the original Japanese movie.  I highly recommend seeking that out if you've never had a chance to see it. 

Godzilla - "Main Title Theme":

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

The Coup - Genocide & Juice LP

The Coup - Genocide & Juice LP

Armabillion (2021, Reissue)

Every Wednesday, in honor of Ed Lover Dance Day from Yo! MTV Raps, I take a break from rock and roll to write a little bit about hip hop. In the late 80s and early 90s hip hop ruled my musical life. During this often called 'Golden Era' I discovered so much incredible music. As I am slowly replacing the CDs I've had for twenty-five plus years with vinyl copies, I'm going to talk about some albums that had a really important impact on me during some very formative years.

The Coup is one of the many golden era bands that I discovered way after the fact.  I got really into their debut record Kill My Landlord and had been looking for a copy of their 1994 follow up, Genocide & Juice.  When it was originally released on Wild Pitch, there was only a white sleeve, censored/promo version pressed.  While not ideal, I was keeping an eye out for a copy, but even a sub par version of that often sold for collector prices that I wasn't really willing to pay.

Then, last year, Armabillion records pressed the full, uncensored album on 180 gram vinyl.  Unfortunately, it was limited to 275 copies and sold out super quick.  I found out about it a couple of hours after the preorder went up and it was already gone.  So, long story short, I did end up having to pay aftermarket prices and probably overpaid for this.  But, at least it's a great sounding, uncut version.

The record itself is equally as great as The Coup's debut.  Really strong beats and production that I believe was also augmented with live instrumentation giving the album a full, bass heavy sound.  The lyrics are left of center and are often focused on economic and social issues.  Much like their debut, the lyrics never come across as preachy or condescending.  It's delivered in a matter of fact manner, while still working within the context of a song that's designed to keep your head nodding.  It reminds me a lot of what KRS-One and Boogie Down Productions were doing.  Not that the groups really sound alike, but their method of blending information and entertainment are equally successful.

Monday, January 10, 2022

The Ar-Kaics - Live In The Shit Cassette


Big Neck (2021)

I'm going to start the new year off by trying to blast through a pile of tapes that have built up over here.  Big Neck records sent over a bunch of tapes featuring live sets by several bands.  I think I have eighth of them in total, so we'll start with this one by the Ar-Kaics.

I'm not familiar with the Ar-Kaics and I'm always a bit leery of hearing a band for the first time via a live album as live albums aren't usually my thing on the best of occasions.  That being said I was pleasantly surprised by how clear the recording is on this tape and how good the band sounds.  There's a bit more "oh yeah!" hollering going on than I typically would engage in if I were at a show.  But the Ar-Kaics have a stomping garage sound that makes me understand the desire to do some rock and roll shouting.

The set list is nine songs long and clocks in a bit under a half an hour, but there's no wasted moments here.  The band barrels from one song to the next, tighter than a very tight thing.  After listening to this tape, I'm pretty curious about what the band's studio records sound like.  I may need to take a moment on their Bandcamp page to poke around a bit.

The Ar-Kaics - Live In The Shit:

Friday, January 7, 2022

The Drolls - That Puget Sound LP - Blue Vinyl

The Drolls - That Puget Sound LP - Blue Vinyl

Snappy Little Numbers (2022)

Merry New Year.  When I start writing about records each January, it’s rare that I’m not playing catch up on records from the prior year or discussing records I got for Christmas.  We’ll get to those, but amazingly enough, the first write up of 2022 is about a record that’s coming out in 2022. Today in fact. It’s The Drolls.

I have to start by pointing out that Denny and Josh were in Sicko and Julie was in Chinchilla.  Sicko is one of my all time favorite bands, which makes Denny one of my all time favorite songwriters. Now, several decades after the last Sicko album, we get a full length album from The Drolls. No surprise…it’s excellent.

While I wouldn’t The Drolls sound exactly like the Denny Sicko songs, I can't imagine anyone not liking this if they did like Sicko.  If these songs came out on a theoretical fifth Sicko album a couple of years after You Are Not The Boss of Me, I don't think I would have batted an eyelash.  These really feel like the direction Denny was already starting to go on that last Sicko album.  It's kind of a stupid thing to say, but all I really want to get across is that these sound like Denny songs.  Maybe a little bit more melodic, although the pace is still very upbeat and fun. Oddly enough, the slowest thing on this album is probably a redone version of an old Sicko song (“Rehashed: Rehashed”).

Everything on here is just great.  From the second that the opening ripper "Getting Old" takes off, through the chunky guitar riffs of "Worse Things" to what is probably my personal favorite, "Bad Ear."  And oh yes, I am for sure giving extra points for the reference to the title of one of my top three Sicko songs.  2021 wasn't the best for music though there was a late blast of great records that saved the year.  If this Drolls record is a sign of what's to come in 2022, this is going to be a hell of a year for new music.  Had it come out in 2021, there's a good chance That Puget Sound would have topped my album list last year.  Here's to 2022.

The Drolls - That Puget Sound: