Monday, December 23, 2013

REVIEW: Poncutation - 27 Club LP (Bonsound)

Québec's Poncutation have a tough, raw, heavy approach to hooky garage pop.  The guitar is huge, the vocals howl, arrangements explode into psychedelic feedback loops, the drums pound away precisely yet primitively, each track reaches out of the speakers and pounds your skull with a short, really good shit.  Make you inner rock n' roll caveman happy and pick up this record.  Get it here.

REVIEW: Mr. Elevator & The Brain Hotel - Nico & Her Psychedelic Subconscious (Burger)

If you think you can win this guy over with a Nico reference in the title of your record you are...completely right, my freaky friend.  Well it takes a little more than that to impress me, but these guys back up their album title's mind-altering claims with the fucking goods.  They take their keyboard-driven, hard-psych-freakbeat sounds (the organ has a frickin' wah pedal on the opening track, for christ's sake!) very seriously and they sound good doing it.  The record is expertly arranged, recorded and executed.  Mr. Elevator & The Brain Hotel combine an undeniably vintage tone with a more hi-fi approach to the overall production.  The results are far-out, man.  Just roll a fatty, sit back in your favorite chair, spark that bitch up and melt into recesses of your consciousness.  Get it here.

REVIEW: Froth - Patterns LP (Lolipop!)

L.A.'s Froth are putting their own spin on the 60s-garage-psych-surf-r&b genre.  And like some other modern outfits that have taken on this classic format (The Spyrals, Uh Bones, Allah Las) Froth is doing a good job of taking a slightly different tact.  Like the aforementioned, this band boils things down to their core elements and rearranges those elements in a modern framework.  Its a formula that I rarely tire of though - I have a strong affinity for 60s groups in general...lets put it this way....I have more 45s in my living room then I have dollars in my savings account (that's actually quite sad and depressing).  But as long as bands are adding something different to this time-honored format I say, "THE MORE THE MERRIER!"  Get it here.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

REVIEW: Thee Dang Dangs - For The People full-length cassette (self-released, Grabbing Clouds)

Here's some more jangly psych-surf music for you kids.  Denver's Thee Dang Dangs definitely have their finger on the current underground garage pulse.  Their space echo-ridden tracks skip along the surface with ease yet hint at a dark murky world beneath.  The next time they're in Chicago they should play with our boys NE-HI...that would be a snappy pairing.  After all, they are on one of Chi-towns newest cassette labels- Grabbing Clouds (which is due to release Slushy's latest LP in a few months).  To be honest, I haven't heard too much out of Colorado that isn't bluegrass or jam band music...are Thee Dang Dangs just one in a silent army of denim-wielding, vintage-gear-crushing, cassette-tape-slinging punkers? or do they walk alone, ever vigilant, a solitary face in a sea of hippies?  Only time and a slight amount of effort on my part will tell.  Get it here.

Friday, December 20, 2013


The holidays are upon us and that can mean only one thing for a feeble blog like ours...ITS YEAR-END LIST TIME, BABY!  I'm not a huge fan of numbering things or saying what's "better" or what's "worse" so I've decided to present my picks in no particular order.  Truth be told we haven't even been around for a year ourselves so it hardly seems like we're qualified to decide what was this year's best (we only started in February), but those of you who read our reviews regularly know that our lack of knowledge and/or wisdom has never stopped us from posing as experts in the past.

As you're perusing our selections you might notice how many Chicago bands/labels are represented.  And you're probably like, "Duh...this blog is Chicago-based so of course their gonna support their buddies..."  Sure I know a lot of these folks and I know them because I live here, but the reason I bring it up is because I happen to think Chicago has one of the best if not THE best rock/punk/garage/DIY scenes in the world right now (Brooklyn, Portland, Fullerton, Austin, Melbourne, Glasgow and Seattle be damned!!!!)  Y'all better recognize!

OK...I need to shut's our list...

Fuzz - This Time I Got A Reason / Fuzz's Fourth Dream 7" (Trouble In Mind)

Tweens - Be Mean Demo (self-released)

Twin Peaks - Sunken (Manic Static)

Real Numbers - Only Two Can Play EP (Three Dimensional)

Slushy - All The Rad Dudes (Manic Static)

Solid Attitude - BB Gun Picnic LP (Rotted Tooth)

The Raw Nerves - Sunburn EP (1:12 Records)

Magic Ian - I'm Having A Problem cassette (Manic Static, Maximum Pelt)

Son Of A Gun / The Morons Split 7" (Lo-Fi Supply) 

Laughing Leaves - Everyday 7" EP (self-released, Why Pick On Me?)

The Future Primitives - Songs We Taught Ourselves (Casbah)

Native America - Bad Weed / But Still Weed casette EP (self-released)

Primitive Hearts - High and Tight LP (FDH Records, Resurrection Records, P. Trash Records)

Earring - Nunn Ones cassette (Manic Static)

Vacation Club - Daydream b/w Forest Babe 7" (Randy)

Wayward Ones - Catherine St. Demos (self-released)

Epicycle - You're Not Gonna Get It LP comp (Hozac) 

The Lemons - Hello, We're The Lemons (Tripp Tapes) 

Make-Overs - Surfbored b/w Will It Ever Change (Hozac)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

REVIEW: Bad Coyotes - Sex Punk Demos (self-released)

Yowza! Yowza! Yowza!  Step right up ladies and gentleman and feel the fucking noise.  Oakland's Bad Coyotes rip it up loud, fast and fuzzy.  This release has all the hallmarks of an awesome punk release...frantic energy, rough-yet-warm sounding recordings, danceable rhythms and hooks by the truckful.   While I can't say with any certainty that these guys are good live this recording definitely makes it sound like they are (their drummer is a goddamn maniac!).  Either way I'm definitely gonna catch them if they find their way over to Chicago and dance my muthafucking ass off (or huck beer cans at the stage...or both)  Get it here.

REVIEW: A.D. Skinner - A.D. Skinner? (self-released)

Melbourne hardcore punks, A.D. Skinner, keep it simple and play to the strengths of the genre...more fuzz, less thrash, monotone vox, not guttural screams, homemade sounding, not overproduced bro-core, loud, not hideous.  If you prefer your h.c. the way I just described it you'll probably dig these dudes, but if you're trying to piss off your mom you can definitely find something more menacing than this.  This band reminds me of why I really need to just buy a plane ticket to Australia and see all the great bands there.  Get it here.