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.