Saturday, December 20, 2014

REVIEW: Mr. Gold - Little King Trashmouth (self-released)

In 2007 a lawsuit was filed against Rock Hill, South Carolina to put a stop to its rural landfill. (Wikipedia)  I'm happy to report that in 2014 Rock Hill can still lay claim to epic trash.  Little King Trashmouth, the latest self-released EP from garage-punkers Mr. Gold, is a testament to the art of rock n' roll garbage.  Its loose, its fast, its trash-fucking-tastic.  The guitar tones really rip on this record echoing the reckless approach of early Ron Asheton and compliment the band's give-no-fucks vocal delivery perfectly.  In short, this is another one for the rock n' roll trash heap (coming from us that's a huge compliment).  Get it here.

REVIEW: Fuck Knights - "Court Date" b/w "Two Kings" (H-Records)

I caught Fuck Knights's set a couple weeks ago opening for Flesh Panthers at Cole's Bar and was impressed by their energy, sound and attitude.  To be completely honest, I was sort of surprised the audience didn't get more into it.  Okay...maybe that's cuz it was mid-show and everyone may not have been drunk enough yet, but I still wish this band would've received a little more love from the typically rambunctious Chicago crowd...whatevs I still had fun.  As for band's recorded output I can only say that I was not surprised that it was be as good as it is.  Every bit of what I witnessed on stage translates to the records via clipping channels, amusing studio chatter and even Sonics-esque saxophone.  This 7" single is fucking delightful in all regards.  And hey...Chicago's own Mac Blackout did the cover art.  Get it here.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

OLD SHIT: Joy Division - An Ideal For Living EP (Enigma)

I've been wanting to write something about this record for some time now.  It is of great interest to me for a few reasons: 1) Its the group's debut record as "Joy Division" 2) it's fucking reeeeally good and 3) When I first heard it I couldn't believe it was Joy Division.  I've always enjoyed the band's later post-punk work.  They are of course one of the pioneers of the sound that emerged after the first wave of punk bands with their unique brand of angular-disengaged-melancholic-alienation-rock that became a template for countless numbers of groups that followed them and made them the demi-gods of the gloomy and disenfranchised youth of the world.  What I never knew, however, was how much this band fucking rocked in their early inception.  Many of you are probably like, "uh...duh, man."  Call me dumb, but at first hearing this completely floored me and framed the band in a different light in my mind.  Every track on this EP is nothing short of brilliant.  Its as raw and powerful as anything else that came out of that period and while its not the sound that they are rightly famous for its definitely my favorite of the bands work.  Remove all breakable objects from the room, turn up your hi-fi and loose your mind to this punk masterpiece!

REVIEW: Original Artyfacts - Lovely digital EP (self-released)

Here's some bubbly, surfy, party garage-pop from Buenos Aires.  Original Artyfacts (who borrow their namesake from the famous Nuggets compilation) are right in line with many of the American purveyors of the garage genre, but, not surprisingly, lean towards a sixties aesthetic in sound and song structure complete with melodious vocals, middle eights, twanging guitars and hand-clapping rhythms.  The opening track has an especially Beatles-esque feel.  These three songs present a very well-formed-albeit-familiar concept and the songwriting is strong and "cheeky" in all the right ways.  Nice work, lads!  Get it here.

MUSIC VIDEO: Skategang - 'Peplum' from Freya Police LP (Requiem Pour Un Twister, Gone With The Weed)

One of the latest arrivals to the WPOM? inbox is a delightfully lo-fi video from Paris toughies, Skategang.  This track is just one of the great tunes offered up on the band's upcoming LP due out on one of our favorite French labels, Requiem Pour Un Twister (and Gone With The Weed as well).  "Peplum" is full throttle, tuneful rock n' roll that demonstrates punk energy with elements of glam and power pop that give it a sugary-sweet hook-ability.  The video is pretty hilarious as well.  Get the LP here or here.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

REVIEW: Monster Compilation Vol. 1 (Dumpster Tapes)

The much anticipated upcoming compilation from Chicago's Dumpster Tapes will feature 25 bands from Chicago's garage-punk scene and from the sounds of what they've leaked so far on their bandcamp page its shaping up to be a truly "monster" comp indeed.  Take it from someone who knows Chicago...this tape will showcase nearly all of the heavy-hitters of the city's ever-growing-ever-incestuous underground rock n' roll scene...many of which we've released on our label as well: Son of a Gun, Slushy, Spike and the Sweet Spots, Thee Yolks, Uh Bones, American Breakfast, Hollow Mountain, The Bingers, The Liqs, The Rubs, Gross Pointe, Flesh Panthers, The Morons, MAMA, Swimsuit Addition, Thunders, The Muzzlers, Mac Blackout, The Sueves, Jollys, Strawberry Jacuzzi, Blizzard Babies, Bleach Party, SPACE WASTE and Paul Cherry.

Don't miss your chance to pick up this landmark compilation.  It's due to be released in late December/early January.  Get it here.

REVIEW: Games - 'Little Elise' b/w 'About Me' (Hozac)

If you think that covering a Dovers song will get you an automatic review on WPOM? than you can go ahead and congratulate yourself on knowing exactly what the fuck you're talking about.  Especially if its as good as this!  "About Me" is the B-side to NYC's Games latest on Hozac Records.  Both sides deliver power pop that sounds straight out of the first wave era.  Think Milk n' Cookies, Shoes or more recently Bare Wires.  I can't get enough of this record.  Wowza!  Get it here.

NEW VIDEO: Evil Waves - Tejas Sleeper

As their name and the imagery in this stock-footage-laden video would suggest, Evil Waves play some pretty wicked surf music.  And by "surf" I mean in the original sense of the word...  Influences of Link Wray and the other godfathers of the genre can be heard on this track.  Its pretty gnarly stuff.  Clean the sand out of your vagina and pick up their latest EP here.

p.s.  These dudes are new to Chicago so if you're in a band and you dig this stuff get in touch with the band and help them get one some sick bills.  Dude's name is Eric...

Thursday, November 20, 2014

REVIEW: Jensen Serf Company - Triple Freaks A Beach 12" (self-released)

One of our favorite Florida bands, Jensen Serf Company, have self-released this sweet collection of their early recordings.  And I'm not gonna lie...its pretty impressive.  Each track bleeds green with driving fuzz combining surf, garage and punk styles as per the fashion of the time.  This band apparently has a great depth of material cuz there aren't many chinks in the proverbial rock n' roll armor here.  And the recordings are mixed and mastered impeccably.  The only down side is that its $17, but I think its well worth it and you can rest easy knowing that every penny of it goes directly to the band through their bigcartel page.  Get it here.

REVIEW: Hot & Cold / skip skip ben ben - split 7" (Gary)

After another long hiatus WPOM? is back [pause for audience response]...I figured it would be appropriate to start up again with a local release and whaddya know?..Gary Records has another fantastic international split 7" to fit the bill.  The A-side kicks off with some trashy cheese from Toronto/Bejing outfit Hot & Cold.  Complete with keyboard drums, wonky tone bending and lackadaisical vocals these two tracks are catchy-yet-purposefully-understated.  The B-side is a sparse, echo-laden offering from Taipei's skip skip ben ben.  A small female voice pierces the murky aural landscape of these two tracks like the cricket from "A Cricket In Times Square" (yes I did).  The last track is particularly haunting and will surely tug on your heart strings with its elegant frailty.  Get both sides here.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

PHOTOS: Victim Of Time presents...Chicago Label Showcase & Record Fair 2014 (Victim of Time, Hozac)

VoT Fest 2014 featured a tremendous line-up of sweaty-ass Chicago rock n roll bands that culminated with a wild reunion set by local-legends Mickey.  The two-day event saw enough drinking, dancing, fighting, apparent drug-use and general merriment to be labeled a "success".  Thanks again to Victim of Time, Hozac Records and Bottom Lounge for putting it on.  Peep the pics [by Joe Montanaro] below...

for more pics visit our fb page.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

REVIEW: New York - 20 Minutes From Here digital EP (Dead Broke Rekerds)

Damn.  This is so far up my alley I can taste it.  It's power pop, its punk, its lo-fi, its ballsy, it gives no fucks...New York, true to their name, have got the early-proto punk sound...I'm hearing the influence of The Nerves, The Real Kids, The Ramones, etc.  Also sort of true to their name they're from Long Island.  The cover is incredible as well.  I don't have anything clever to say right now...this band just fucking rules.  Out on Dead Broke Rekerds.  Get it here.

REVIEW: Modernos - #1 digital EP (self-released)

Part power-pop, part shoe-gaze, part indie rock, part cali-summer-fun-music...Modernos out of Lisbon, Portugal have a sound that is sometimes sensitive, sometimes tough, undeniably catchy and usually pretty fun.  The sparse three-piece arrangements lurch forward and then suddenly burst forth from their sonic wave curls and coast all the way to Rock-a-way Beach.  While the overall approach is different their melodic/harmonic sensibility sometimes reminds me of Dungen.  Tre gnar, boys.  Get it here.

REVIEW: NEWBORNS - Party-Rock Boys digital EP (self-relesed)

Fuck LMFAO! THIS is the kind of party-rockin' I want.  Ya know...the sort that will burn you alive with canister full of gasoline and a lit cigarette?  NEWBORNS out of Savannah, GA play a brand of rock n' roll that's Jon-Spencer-Blues-Explosion-meets-The-Cramps only with more scuzz.  They're two-piece setup produces wailing blues riffs, howling group vocals, surfy echo and troglodyte rhythms.  Its basically a rock n' roll beer can chucked straight at your better duck when they show up!  Get it here.

Friday, August 8, 2014

REVIEW: Twin Peaks - "Flavor" music video (self-released)

"Flavor", the latest single/video from local basement-party-rockers Twin Peaks, hardly needs the WPOM? bump (no...that isn't a real thing) as it was debuted on Vice Magazine's online music channel Noisey, but these dudes are DIY Chicago boys through and through so I gotta say something about it (plus this song rules).  As the imagery in the video would suggest this is a song-of-the-summer-romper-of-a-track.  T.P. seem to have a knack for delivering recordings that are slick yet still retain an edgy youthfulness.  Which makes sense cuz I don't think anyone in the band is 21 yet (sorry if I'm wrong on that fact, boys).  That's also probably why they command such a loyal fan base of teenagers/post-teens that are more than willing to literally bloody themselves every time these dudes play (I actually had to patch up a young lady at their last appearance at Animal Kingdom after she slipped and fell on a broken beer bottle).  Okay, okay...enough of my babbling...go ahead and dive right in.  Get T.P.'s Wild Onion LP here.

REVIEW: Nancy Acid - Psychopomp digital single (self-released)

Amsterdam's Nancy Acid have just released a seriously killer track on their bandcamp.  Its a driving psych-garage track layered with acoustic instruments, tribal drums, echoing guitars and lackadaisical vocals.  Think Thee Oh Sees if they recorded in a shack in the mountains and invited post-metal-breakdown Syd Barrett to join them.  Its a ramshackle, mind-altering mess of a track...that just plain kicks ass.  The cover art rules too!  Get it here.

Monday, July 7, 2014

REVIEW: Sunshine Girls - Country Club EP (self-released)

From what I can tell from listening to this record and the description on the bandcamp page Sunshine Girls appears to be a recording collaboration between these two guys named Eli and Jacob.  The entire EP is recorded very well; each track is given its own interesting sonic landscape to exist in as vocal harmonies, strange loops, vintage and chiming leads flutter in and out as the arrangements require.  You could hardly tell that they overdubbed these parts themselves (as I'm assuming they did).  Its pop music served up ala noise-dream-shoe-gaze...know what I mean?  I'd be lying if I said that these guys didn't remind me more than a little of my old band Rainbow Gun Show (Hozac).  Decided for yourself.  Get it here.

REVIEW: DiburNagua - Mixtape #16 (self-released)

Just stumbled across this great mixtape on bandcamp.  In fact, Tel Aviv's DiburNagua has put out tons of these things and they're all super sweet.  Each one is delightfully eclectic and combine tracks from all ages and all genres, but generally centers around hip hop and punk.  DiburNagua's got the magic touch for tying it all together.  Evidence of a true crate digger at work.  Get them all here (for free).

Monday, June 30, 2014

REVIEW: No Aloha - S/T EP (self-released)

Oh my!  I'm really digging this lovelorn power pop garage out of Montreal.  No Aloha bring three chords and the truth like nobody's business.  Well...maybe a few more than three.  There's some bridges in there too, I think.  The lyrics are heart-on-sleave, but in a very endearing way. Like The Exploding Hearts or the best of The Black Lips.  Group vocals shout out songs about the confusion of being young and in love and the subsequent doing of drugs and eating of pizza to get over it.  Their lyrics read like a transcript  of a conversation between buddies- you know those times when you be all like "fuck that bitch...just focus on the band now man!" (or if you feminists prefer "fuck that asshole" or whatever you ladies tell each other to help a friend get over it).  The structure and melodies of the songs are simple, but just what you want from this type of music. Certainly the style is right in step with the modern garage sound, but these guys score extremely high on the likeability scale.  Don't worry dudes...there's plenty of fish in the rock n roll least you sound like you're having a good time figuring it all out. Get it here.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

REVIEW: Black Planet - Female Hysteria digital EP (self-released)

Do like noisy, squeely fuzz pop?  And songs that are tough yet full of hooks?  And lo-fi production?  And guitar riffs that tread a little on the dark side?  And album covers featuring close-ups of girls wearing white cotton panties?  Then you oughta get into Black Planet from Cincinnati cuz they have all those things.  This EP is cool...its the perfect combo of three-dimensional noise, angst and shout-able songs.  Plus its recorded and mixed by Jerri Tween (of Tweens...duh).  Get it here.

Monday, June 9, 2014

REVIEW: Hello Killu - S/T EP (Artishock)

The all-female Estonian duo, Hello Killu have their shtick down.  They make the two-person rock n' roll minimalist approach their own with their bass-drums instrumentation, spot-on harmonies, tasteful use of noise, avante garde poety and, if I may, babely Estonian accents.  I'm guessing they would somewhat resent that last observation, but I'm leaving it in this review anyway.  Who cares about the accents though...these ladies play fierce, art punk that uses as few brushstrokes as possible to paint a musical picture that oozes with immediacy and confidence.  The EP is also expertly recorded.  The production value has an Electrical-Audio-esque feel to it.  Simply put, this record is brilliant in its simplicity, execution and artistic vision.  Look out for these grrrls!  They're killin it!  Get it here.

REVIEW: The Lemons / Teen Runnings split 7" (Gary)

When I told her that was was working on a review for this new split 7" co-owner of Gary Records and all-around crazy lady Robyn Chang said, "don't hate it."  You can rest easy, Ms. Chang...I don't hate it.  I mean, hating a record featuring Chicago's The Lemons and Tokyo's Teen Runnings would be like hating popsicles and flower girls at weddings.  I suppose if you only like no-holds-barred rock n' roll face-melting fury then you probably would hate this, but you probably hate popsicles and flower girls at weddings too.  If that is the case it would be advisable that you put on a black t-shirt, smoke a Marlboro red and get a tattoo instead of listening to this record.  If you are more in touch with your inner-flower girl then it is advisable that you cough up $4 and let the sunshine in.  Get it here.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

REVIEW: Sex Scheme - S/T 7" EP (Puppet Combo)

What would drugs and rock n' roll be without sex?...punishing, painful, depraved sex.  Brooklyn's Sex Scheme wallow in their own sexual depravity via desperate and brutal garage punk minimalism.  Even a quick glance at the cover and the track titles should let you know what you're in for.  This release is like a fistful of rock n' roll up your ass.  Don't only hurts for a second, but then it gets really good.  "Eat It" here.

Friday, June 6, 2014

REVIEW: Nones - Midwestern Family Values (Hozac)

Hozac's latest batch of wax is stupendous!  Amongst all of this stupendousness is a debut LP from Chicago's Nones.  I don't have much context for categorizing a record like this, but it combines elements of noise and experimentalism paired with superb instrumental execution and rock poeticism.  True to the LP's title the lyrics traverse a trashy, American low-life universe with blunt, raw, often awkward realism.  Not a lot of records are made this way harkens back to the golden era of Captain Beefheart with its rock-meets-outsider-art aesthetic.  I dunno...just listen to it.  Get it here.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

REVIEW: The Mirandas - Teenage Cancer digital single (self-released)

Here's a nice n' trashy garage rock screamer for ya kids.  The Mirandas are from Mount Prospect, IL which is suburb of Chicago (Wayne: "Excellent").  I've seen their name on some bills around town but haven't had the chance to check 'em out yet.  I heard this track on a tape compilation put out by the good folks at Animal Kingdom for their "Tuff & Rumble" series- a compilation of all-local bands.  This tune immediately stuck out to me.  Its a pretty straight-forward four-chord jam, but the blood-curdling screams of the lead vocalist really make it special.  Hope these dudes are still a band so I can check 'em out sometime.  Get it here.

Friday, May 30, 2014

REVIEW: Cretin Stompers - Looking Forward to Being Attacked LP (Hozac)

One of Hozac's latest is a debut LP from the geographically vague Cretin Stompers.  Sometimes precious, sometimes tough, these guys have a knack for delivery dreamy noise pop that is tuneful as it is strange.  Armed with a colorful pallet of fuzz and employing a quirky array of recording techniques (pitch shifted vocals, analog synths, trashy, lo-fi vocals, etc) this band delivers an extremely satisfying, unique rock n roll punch.  In summation: you should let the Stompers punch you with their rawk cuz it hurts so good.  Get it here.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

REVIEW: Straight Arrows - Make Up Your Mind b/w Two Timer 7" single (Agitated)

Sydney's Straight Arrows are at it again with a smokin' two-sider out on Agitated Records.  Like so many of their garage punk countrymen the Arrows have a knack for delivering the raw, unadorned, hook-laden goods and this latest 7" is a testament to their uncanny ability at doing just that.  Side A is a driving, strummy number with a sing-along chorus.  The flip side features a sweet cover of a tune by The Tempos (don't one else has heard of them either).  Keep an eye out for their LP due to be released next month.  Get [both records] here.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

REVIEW: LiveFastDie - Hit Stains (Almost Ready)

Almost Ready Records has been killin' it lately and their latest release, a full-length discography of NYC punk legends LiveFastDie, is no exception.  If you're not hip to this band yet you probably should be...that is if you dig blown-out, nihilistic punk rock music you can scream along to.  LFD is so much more than just 'tude and scuzz though; behind their wall of sonic ugliness lies melodic, hook-filled tunes that have/had broad appeal.  Almost Ready's website even claims: "It's a well-known fact that LIVEFASTDIE almost single-handedly kept punk rock alive in post-Y2K New York City."  I have no authority to justify this lofty statement, but it would seem to make a lot of sense.  This band is everything you want from a punk band...nothing more, nothing less.  Get it here.

REVIEW: Baston - Alamo 7" single (Croque Macadam)

Are you rocking an asymmetrical haircut?  Hate the jocks at your school?  Bored out of your mind?  At least now you've got something to listen to.  France's Baston are ridin' the [new] new wave all the way to cool town.  Get on!  Get it here.

REVIEW: Mystery Date - You and Your Sister 7" EP (Piñata)

Here's some tuff pop for you goons.  Actually, Mystery Date reminds me of my buddies Real Numbers which makes sense cuz they're both part of the same thriving Minneapolis garage rock scene.  This record is fun and melodic yet still oozes classic rock n' roll badassness.  Punk rockers gotta fall in love sometimes too, ya know.  "Strong men also cry...strong men also cry." -The Big Lebowski.  Get it here.

Monday, May 5, 2014

REVIEW: Mountain Bike - Early Recordings full-length cassette (Howlin' Banana)

Belgium's Mountain Bike have just released a collection of their early recordings (hence the title) on the French label Howlin' Banana.  Each track holds the correct ratio of trash treatment to hummable listen-ability...complete with overdriven, verby vocals, lots of "room sound" and few overdubs or studio frills.  The songs are striaght-forward, well-put together and with just the right amount of quirkiness to make them interesting.  Like dat surf-punk-garage-jangle-pop sound?  Den u gonna dig dis.  Get it here.

Friday, May 2, 2014

OLD SHIT: The Nerves - One Way Ticket (Alive Naturalsound)

The Nerves are definitely one of those bands that, despite the countless nods they've received from punk celebs, critics and hardcore power pop nerds, have remained relatively unknown and under-appreciated to the general public.  Its really not all that surprising considering the band only released one 4-song EP (1976, BOMP! Records) during their brief tenure as a band, but upon taking a closer look at the band's body of recorded work (released and unreleased) you start realizing that The Nerves were probably THEE best power pop band that ever existed.  And what's really interesting about this band is that every member of the group was a gifted songwriter.  See now... I always thought it was just Peter Case and Paul Collins who wrote all the songs- which would make sense because those were the two that founded their own successful groups afterwards (The Plimsouls and The Beat, respectively).  But this is not true...their guitarist, Jack Lee, penned some of the bands most memorable tunes including 'Paper Dolls', 'Hanging on the Telephone' and 'Stand Back and Take a Good Look'.  One Way Ticket, the band's first non-bootleg LP ever released, is an attempt to give The Nerves their due by showcasing not only their "hits", but also a good number of live recordings and demos as well.  The result is nothing short of breathtaking.  Nearly every single track on this LP is 100% pure power pop gold!  Get it here.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

REVIEW: Landlines - Loserly cassette EP (Grabbing Clouds)

Every so often you hear a band that possesses the perfect ratio of DIY ruggedness to pop accessibility.  Unfortunately, its these sorts of bands that often jump the shark and upset this delicate balance in search of the green pastures of "audience-broadening".  Oftentimes this results in recordings that are too produced and over-thought...the music loses the raw, immediate, quirky elements that attracted you to the band in the first place.  Its an all-too-familiar story, am I right?  Portland's Landlines sound like they're right at that precipice and I hope- not only for their sake but for the sake of their potential devoted DIY fanbase- that they decide not to make the leap just yet.  Their latest, Loserly, is a near perfect EP.  The overall sound is eclectic yet focused, punk yet pop, nonchalant yet heartfelt and its all sewn together with a great home made production sound.  They're music surges forward over minimal changes flanked by chiming guitars, natural-sounding drums and lackadaisical vocals.  The song-writing is on point too...Malkmus level shit.  Its early 90s style filtered through a lo-fi modern garage approach.  Highly recommended!!  Get it here.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

REVIEW: The Monsieurs - Falun Gong (Remix) 12" (Macchio, Black Gladiator, Slovenly Recordings)

Can't get enough of this dude!  If its Andy MacBain's goal to be anointed the new king of trash pop he better polish his crown off soon cuz when this full-length drops so too with the proverbial panties of countless numbers of scuzz heads.  The Monsieurs play unashamedly classic, full-throttle rock n' roll (think Nobunny, Bare Wires) and they does so with and impressive level of mastery/giving-no-fucksery that really hits the spot.  Bubblegum hooks, mind-melting guitar tone, cute girl back up vocals, I mean...c' there more to life than that?  Get it here.

Friday, April 25, 2014

REVIEW: Wishgift - Pretty Jenny/Cream Acres 7" EP (self-released)

Guess where I was last night, gang?  Surprise!  Wally's World!!  (I'm gonna have to start giving those dudes some rent money...geez).  Anywho...caught the tail end of a great show.  Chicago's Wishgift closed out the evening with an extremely impressive and instrumentally superb set.  This band's sound is definitely not the typical WPOM? fare, but it stuck with me enough that the first thing I did today was wake up and type this review (ok...real talk...I actually sent like 7 dick pics out to random cell numbers first, but right after THAT I sat down at my computer).  Their sound is very difficult to classify.  If I were to try I would say "progcore".  Their riffs are wicked, their modalities obtuse, their time-signatures awkward, their breaks stop on a dime and they don't seem to be afraid to weave any sort of musical passage or nuance into any given song at any given moment.  The results are thrilling, delightful and bone-crushing all at once.  If Fugazi listened to nothing but King Crimson for like a year straight they would probably sound a lot like these dudes.  Catch them next time you see them on a bill...they're brutal and a ton-a-fun.  So is this 7".  Get it here.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

REVIEW: Andy California! - The Amazing Andy California! Live at the Bedroom (Macchio)

6 parts Delta Blues and 4 parts Hasil Atkins, Andy California! (aka Andy MacBain - Tunnel of Love, The Monsieurs) gives us the scuzz, snarl and soul we crave.  The entire release is just guitar and vocals.  Every, note and lyric crunches under the heavy weight of distortion and spring reverb as Andy delivers American folk blues with hardly any semblance of modern fusion.  This record is refreshingly straight up and too the point.  Get it here.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

REVIEW: Sick Hyenas S/T cassette (Dumpster Tapes)

After over 2 months Why Pick On Me? is back on the review wagon and we've found the perfect reason to do so.  Chicago's Dumpster Tapes is due to release a full-length from Hamburg's Sick Hyenas.  Its their first U.S. release to date and from the sounds of it they're gonna fit right in here.  In fact I would have never been able to tell these guys were German if it didn't say so on their bandcamp page.  This band brings the sort of trashy, surfy, verb'd out swag that American denim punks will never tire off.  No bass, two guitars, drums and country-twanged vocals fill the band's musical space artfully with no-frills arrangements and a tasteful application of pedal effects and timbre.  Sure...they're following the Black Lipsian formula, but they're doing it extremely well.  In short: deez Hyenas iz sick, son.  Get it (on May 1st) here.

Monday, March 3, 2014

REVIEW: Running - Vaguely Ethnic LP (Castle Face)

Somewhere between some proto-punk raw power and some post-punk experimental noise lies Running's latest, Vaguely Ethnic.  This LP howls, thrashes and squeals like an an old locomotive moving at top speed...its exhilarating and terrifying all at once.  The production is grainy- vocals echo, the guitars buzz and crackle and the backline surges forward with every beat.  This is an album that will appeal to people with more esoteric, experimental tastes and to folks who like straight-up, 3-chord rock n' roll.  Castle Face gets it.  You will too.  Get it here.

REVIEW: Wimps - Party at The Wrong Time 7" EP (Help Yourself)

Our favorite bouncy, bubbly, conniption-fit-throwing, party-pop-punk outfit, Wimps, are at it again.  Their latest on Help Yourself Records offers up 4 fast and loose tracks about partying and rock n' roll.  The subject matter is straight forward and delivered with matter-of-fact transparency with a dash of tongue-in-cheekiness.  Its music for pounding beers, popping pills and pogo-ing your ass off.  Get it here.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

REVIEW: Radar Eyes - Community 7" (Requiem Pour Un Twister)

The latest from Chicago scene vets Radar Eyes is a double-sider if ever there was one.  Anthony Cozzi and his band of lonely pranksters keep raising the bar for themselves and Community ratchets it up yet another notch.  Shout-able hooks, intertwining guitar leads, driving rhythms, vintage synths and impeccable stripped-down recording techniques are all hallmarks of this disc.  If you close your eyes while listening to it you might swear you were back in 1986 at some cool underground new wave party in New York or Berlin surrounded by swaying teenagers with too much hairspray and too little ambition.  Upon opening your eyes you'd realize that its 2014 and this band rules.  Q: Seriously, is Chicago really killing it this hard right now? A: Yup.  Get it here.

NEW VIDEO: Angel Olsen - Hi-Five (Jagjaguwar)

Angel Olsen is a name I've been hearing a lot lately so I finally decided to check in on what all the fuss was about.  Upon viewing her latest music video for the track "Hi-Five" I've come to the conclusion that fuss is well warranted.  Olsen's sound brings together so many fantastic elements and wraps them all up in a universally-appealing bow that harkens back to some timeless age that the modern world has long forgotten, but which also maybe never existed.  "Hi-Five" combines elements of psych, country, southern rock and pop while Olsen's laid back twang sits nicely over the top with an appropriate amount of fuzziness.  The use of texture and arrangement in this recording might be its most impressive attribute.  Its an excellent marriage of lo-fi and hi-fi techniques that give the recording depth and character.  I don't mean this in a bad way at all, but this is music that I could listen to in the car with my mom and we'd both enjoy it.  The video itself features Olsen alone on a dark set filled with various pop art props.  Get her latest LP, Burn Your Fire For No Witness, out on Jagjaguwar Records here.

REVIEW: Melkbelly - "Newed Snow" b/w "Theme From Blar III" digital single (Public House)

I got a chance to check out this sweet thrashy, noisy Chicago band last week at Wally's World.  I'm pleased to report that their records are just-as-if-not-more kick ass than they are live (which is pretty kick ass).  Melkbelly is fronted by Miranda Stokes whose voice pierces through the band's dense wall of fuzz like the edge of a samurai sword and she does it with considerable control and, for lack of a better word, charm...babely, red-headed charm.  Mark my words, you are gonna hear more about this band in the future.  Yet another feather for your cap, Chicago.  Get it here.

REVIEW: Wild Apes - S/T EP 7" (self-released)

Wild Apes (Portugal) really have their shit together.  This EP is a tastefully executed, "radio-ready", offering of hummable garage pop.  The production value is impressive (especially for a self-release) and the songs are superb.  I would definitely describe this as a "post-Strokes" record.  And while there are definitely some similarities between the two bands- in the song structure, arrangements and production value- the vocals are considerably different (I like this dude's voice way more than Julian Casablancas) and Wild Apes enlist far more fuzz tone and isn't that the primary ingredient for making cool rock n' roll records?  The answer is "yes".  Get it here.

REVIEW: Food Court - She's Away (Radio Edit) digital download (self-released)

One of our favorite Aussie groups, Food Court, have just made one of the tracks off their last EP, Smile At Your Shoes, available for free download.  They've shortened the track for some sort of strange broadcast format called "radio".  If I remember correctly people used to listen to these devices called radios because they used to play music that you actually might want to hear.  For the sake of nostalgia maybe one of the broadcast centers (commonly referred to as "stations") will pull their heads out of their asses and play something cool again.  Like this track.  Get it here.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

REVIEW: Today's Hits - Sex Boys 7" EP (Randy Records)

by Steve Wichelecki

The 10 seconds or so of buzzing guitar fuzz beginning the "Sex Boys" 7" lets you know this is not going to be the usual Today's Hits release. This monotone distortion then suddenly bursts forth into a gritty pop symphony of tight-as-can-be drums, a guitar quavering with tremolo and a bass line holding it all together. Yes, this is Today's Hits recorded with the live-band lineup, something that, if you live in Chicago, you know has been a long time coming. If you're reading this, you already know the Today's Hits story and the prolific James Swanberg, so I won't repeat that here. "Sex Boys" is the vinyl debut for the Chicago outfit on Randy Records, a four-song offering with Swanberg on bass and vocals and Chicago rock veterans Kenny Alden and Andy Martin on guitar and drums, respectively. For this release, the group decided to record four of its more chill songs, with themes ranging from the poignant to the romantic. It was said that Swanberg's writing style is pop haiku; while I agree, I like to think of it as songwriting al la Dee Dee Ramone: Make your point, don't fuck around, end the song. The songs on this record are superb, and the cherry on top of this banana split is the incredibly vintage-sounding production. It sounds lo-fi but not shitty, giving the record a great old-fashioned garage rock vibe.  Get it here.

REVIEW: Tweens - "Forever" track leak (French Kiss)

We're on the edge of our seats awaiting the debut 12" from Cincinati's Tweens on French Kiss Records in April.  Our appetite for trash pop destruction has been somewhat satiated by the few tracks that the label has leaked.  The latest is a romantic, ballsy, epic number titled "Forever" and its pure magic.  Bridget's voice embodies the pensive emotion of a young person reading the book of love for the first time and trying to make sense of its twisted and convoluted plot line.  For my buck its one of the best female voices in rock n' roll today (Shannon of Shannon and the Clams would be high on that list too).  Peyton and Jerri pulsate together like a couple of dudes that have played in bands together their whole lives which makes sense cuz that's what they've done (check out their band Vacation....their shit is cool).  Overall this track is like an updated version of a Bangles or Go-Go's record.  Its 100% pure garage pop gold.  Can't wait to hear the rest of the album!  Get it (on April 8) here.

REVIEW: Gnar FM 2: Gnar Tapes Compilation #4 cassette (Gnar Tapes)

Gnar Tapes has always been great, but their recent decision to put out Hello, We're The Lemons by our hometown buddies, The Lemons, really solidified their place in this bloggers heart.  They've followed up that release with an eclectic comp: Gnar FM 2.  Not only does this tape feature our boys The Lemons and Todays Hits, but it also features a cavalcade of awesome bands, both old and new, including: Pretty Things, Fungi Girls, The Memories, R. Stevie Moore and much moore.  Get it here.

Friday, January 24, 2014

REVIEW: Holy Wave - Relax (Reverberation Appreciation Society)

I haven't been able to hear the whole album yet, but the song "Star Stamp" on the latest LP by Holy Wave on Reverb Appreciation Society (Austin Psych Fest's record label) explores the big and beautiful side of modern psych.  Organs meander, guitars jangle, bass and drums plod away while the vocals echo throughout the track's murky space.  Its the kind of song that makes me want to put on a tailored suit, Beatle boots and over-sized sunglasses, let my hair fall over my face and dance with myself.  Get it here.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

DOUBLE WPOM? RELEASE: Why Pick On Me? Mixtape Vol. 2 + Son of a Gun - Take EP

WPOM? - 006 - Why Pick On Me? Mixtape Vol. 2

Oh yeah!  That's right!  We got two brand spankin' new tapes for you bruisers and we're thoroughly stoked!!!  First up we have our latest compilation...Why Pick On Me? Mixtape Vol. 2.  Touting an international line-up of some of the baddest DIY bands around, its a no-brainer (as in it will completely melt your brain).  The tape features tracks from The Yolks (Chicago), The Raw Nerves (New Zealand), ScotDrakula (Australia), Primitive Hearts (Oakland), Slushy (Chicago), Native America (New Orleans), 2 Ton Bug (NYC), Los Cripis (Argentina), Catholic Spray (France), The Sueves (Chicago), The Bingers (Chicago), Vaguess (CA), The Sulphur Lights (Australia), Make Overs (South Africa). Get it here.

WPOM? - 007 - Son of a Gun - Take EP

We're proud to offer up yet another release by one of our favorite Chicago bands....Son of a Gun!  The first tape we put out was basically just Garrett playing and recording everything (which was freakin' sweet), but this latest EP is cool cuz it features a full band with Sammy and Chris helping out on the rhythm section.  These tunes are ferocious and damn catchy so you better snatch one up before this limited edition sells out.  Get it here.