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.