Tuesday, December 27, 2016

PHOTOS: White Mystery, Vietrahm, Electric Sheep - The Empty Bottle 12-26-16

The Empty Bottle offered up a rock n' roll cure to our collective holiday hangover on the night after Christmas.  The well-attended free Monday show was anchored by White Mystery who were joined by locals VIETRAHM and Electric Sheep.  I took a break from eating leftovers and showed up with camera in hand...


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

REVIEW: Dan Rico - Endless Love (Maximum Pelt)

Taken at face value Dan Rico's latest full-length Endless Love (released by local label Maximum Pelt), is difficult to categorize.  Rico, one of Chicago's busiest and most prolific rock n' roll warriors, is one of those artists that resists being pinned down or boxed in...currently he is 1/3 of Chicago's art rock outfit EGO, lead guitarist for power pop riff rockers MAMA, the frontman of Prince tribute band Purple Pain, a producer/engineer and now a solo artist in his own right.  Its not surprising that the sounds on Endless Love are a synthesis of a wide variety of influences.  His vocal style croons, but sometimes shrieks, the rhythm track is loose one moment and the next tight, the production quality ping pongs between bleeding reverberation and dry compression, one song is punctuated, the next fluid.  At times I hear The Raspberries, Buzzcocks, Doris Troy, Magic Sam and Prince.  Still the LP feels completely seamless and there is somehow an undeniable consistency to these seemingly disparate approaches to the point that one is left proclaiming Endless Love sounds wholeheartedly Rico.  But if the charm of its diversity of styles doesn't get you the songs will.  This record is chalk full of so many bangers you won't be able to resist dropping the needle on this baby for a hot minute.  Get it on wax here.

Monday, December 19, 2016

REVIEW: Shitstorm - From the Depths of Shangri​-​la (demos) (self-released)

Fans of Kansas City's LAZY or Chicago's The Sueves will appreciate the vibe St. Louis's Shitstorm are laying' down.  Previously released on Eat Tapes, Workerbee Records and Already Dead, Shitstorm play desperate, white-knuckle rock n' roll that shrieks and wails through a thick fog of reverberation,  chiming guitars and frantic rhythmic pulses.  They've got a very "Back From The Grave" sound.  Their latest, From the Depths of Shangri​-​la, fucking rips!  Get it here.

REVIEW: Who and The Fucks - 'Porous' digital EP (self-released)

The short description on their Bandcamp page reads "TULSA DUMPSTER SURF" which is a pretty succinct and accurate description of Who and The Fucks's sound.  Each track is bathed in spring reverb and analog rawness.  A lot of the songwriting has a heavy 90s influence- some tracks leaning towards early Hole or Nirvana.  Still others have a nouveu 60s feel- like The Mummies or even Brian Jonestown Massacre with their use of organ, noise-y passages, sound bites and ambient scuzz.  The lyrics are really great as well- every song is an honest snapshot of a certain aspect of being young and surrounded by rock n roll low-lifes...my kind of folks!  Get it here.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

PHOTOS: Dumpster Tapes Presents: Son of a Gun, mtvghosts, Laverne, Peach Fuzz

Chicago label Dumpster Tapes put on one more bash to close out this turmultuous year at Cole's Bar (one of my favorite venues located in the city's Logan Square neighborhood).  The bill featured local mainstays Son of Gun, mtvghosts, Laverne and Peach Fuzz.  WPOM was on hand to hang out, enjoy the siq tunes and snap a couple-two-tree photos.



Friday, December 16, 2016

HOT//COOL: Tucson Digital Desert Mix Tape

Amidst researching places to play/bands to play with in Tucson, AZ for an upcoming tour I found myself lost in a gigantic, prickly cactus patch of rad Tucson music.  I'll be honest, it caught me a little by surprise- when people talk about rock n' roll destinations or "hubs" in the US I rarely hear anyone mention Tucson.  What are the reasons for this?...is it cuz its so close to LA? have too many touring bands gotten pulled over on the Arizona interstate? am I total moron?  Who can say.  What I do know is that there are some seriously great bands down there putting out some pretty vital music.  So much music, in fact, that instead of writing a bunch of separate reviews (hahahahaha!!...too lazy) I've decided to just showcase them all in one post.

Without further ado, I humbly submit to you my Tucson Digital Desert Mix Tape...

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

REVIEW: Joseph Jaymes - 'Banned Vuren' (Savage Tactics)

This record came my way via a facebook message that sat in my inbox for months (like 100s of other great ones that I likely missed out on while I was taking a break from writing for WPOM).  Well I suppose this is one of my rewards for returning to the music blog game cuz this LP riiiips!!  Joseph Jaymes, out of Phoenix, drags his healthy Nirvana obsession into strange new realms combining dissonant 90s song structure with elements of minimalism, psychedelia, hard core punk and shoegaze.  The recording, captured in a mid-fi style, is peppered with voicemail recordings from friends, family, label owners and even a guitar repairman.  Banned Vuren takes you on a sonic odyssey of self exploration/implosion as the songs, wracked with regret, boredom, snark, cynicism and introspection blend seamlessly into one another, simultaneously arresting and releasing the listener over and over again until it abruptly ends.  Its an impressive release to say the least and I was hooked at every turn.  Get it here.

REVIEW: Black Magique - 'Sexercise' b/w 'Beverly Kills' cassingle (Werkstatt)

Black Magique absolutely nail that early 80s synth pop/darkwave sound!  This cassingle has got it all: airy synths, cheesy drum machines, echoing snares, goo-y bass tones, gothic lyrics and hooks galore!  Their analog approach to the recording wraps the whole package up in a deliciously lo-fi bow that is as decadent as it is dark (desert menu?).  Its also got an ironic, tongue-in-cheek-ness to it that makes it all the more charming.  This band is doing what they do very well indeed!!  Get it here.

REVIEW: B.D. - 'B.D. Demo 2016' cassette EP (self-released)

West coast hard core outfit B.D. (Bad Daddies) are ripping out some pretty "mature" punk music these days.  Haha... ok... admittedly, I have only just now come across this band so I don't want to come off as sounding too presumptuous, but at this point in their career they sound like a band that's finally broken down and admitted that there's more to life than just being "hard".  That's not to say that B.D. don't deliver the fast/loud goods on this cassette EP- the last two songs especially are true-to-form, punk-as-fuck bashers- however they also offer up a little nuance on this release which rounds out the tough bits nicely.  Just listen to the track "How Do You Like Your Coffee?" that's featured below.  Its definitely punk, but its got a melodic, 90s shoegaze twist to it that's very pleasing to the earballs.  Singer Camylle Reynolds also belts out each track with a controlled, semi-melodic yell akin to the Ian Mackaye style (which is personally my favorite type of hard core vocals).  Get it here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

REVIEW: GOOD VIBRATIONS FESTIVAL 2016 FAVS: Loteria, Nalgadas, Pleasers

Wow!! Its been a long, long time (about a year and a half) since my last review.  However, I recently returned from a long cross-country tour with two bands and nothing gets your rock n' roll batteries charged like driving all over the country and playing/partying with a bunch of blue ribbon, low class rock n' roll shitheads.  There are at least 20 bands I can think of off the top of my head that I met in my travels that deserve a review.  In this post I'm gonna focus on three bands that I heard at GOOD VIBRATIONS FEST in Austin, TX last month.

A little background on GOOD VIBRATIONS...This two day festival, put on by Austin's #1 rock n' roll rascal Ben Tipton (BURGER CITY ROCK N' ROLL), is in its third year and features some of the finest leather-clad musical delinquents from all over the country.  While headliners NOBUNNY, Mean Jeans and Reigning Sound would've given anyone a good reason to pack up and head to Austin the festival also featured a butt-load of other rad established and upcoming acts.  Well-known or not, nearly every band played something that sounded like glam, old metal, proto punk, power pop, country rock or all the above.  Good Vibrations Fest is for the people who pine for the days when denim, feathered hair and flairs were high-fashion, KISS still frightened worried midwestern parents, synthesizers weighed a shit ton and vans came off the assembly line with shag carpeting already installed.

One of bands that caught my eye was Loteria from Austin.  Their unpretentious, straight forward, "econo-jam" riff-rocking made me say "yeah this is what I want to listen to right now" (lemme just say that I'm pretty sure that was right after my first toot and way before my first bowl so I was ready to ride the lighting)...Its music that would sound even better if you were driving a 1974 AMC sports car down a desert highway in west Texas while you listened to it.  At times they sounded like hairy, suede-leather'd, southern rockers, at other times great american troubadours and still others three-chord garage punks.  In all honesty, they sounded the way my yankee brain believes a band from Texas ought to sound like and the drummer's cowboy hat and Texas flag rodeo shirt only reinforced this vague notion .  Their 2014 LP, Party Favors, gives you a pretty good idea of what they're about.  Can't wait to hear the new one.  Get it here.

While I had met two of their members, Leo and Pato, the week before while on the road in El Paso at The Monach, I hadn't actually heard Nalgadas until they took the stage on the first day of the fest at The Barracuda.  Nalgadas make guttural music for the maladjusted troglodyte that lurks in all of us.  Angular riffs swoop in, disorient you and push you back on your heals as the rhythm section delivers blow after blow until you finally fall backwards into your shallow, filthy rock n' roll grave.  Their music punishes as it pleases and then leaves you standing in front of a smoldering stage.  Just check out this track off their 2014 LP QUIUBO.  Get it here.

Matthew Melton's (Bare Wires, Warm Soda) new project, Pleasers, is pretty rad.  Fans of glam staples like Milk N' Cookies or Nick Gilder will be pleased with is unashamed nod to the form in Melton's signature style.  Filled out by aforementioned Tipton on bass and Julian Young on drums these three lover boys play rock n' roll like they've been living in a roller-rink biosphere for the last 40 years.  Fortunately they've emerged to serve us an unhealthy dose of saccharine teenage rebellion from a dangling, denim-upholstered coke spoon.  Dig in to their latest piping hot, self-titled digital single here.