Friday, February 26, 2021

REVIEW: yipee! - 'S/T II' casette (self-released)

This 4-song tape sounds like it's still 1993, you're still watching Mtv, they still play videos by bands like Dinosaur Jr. and Pavement and Bill Clinton is still mostly known for playing the saxophone.  By the end of the last song my shirt had turned flannel and there were huge holes in my Guess jeans. yipee! fully commits to the bit.  Even the cover art looks like it was someone's last day at the CD Baby design department.  For all I know the Branch Davidians are still running amok in Waco, Billy Crystal is still hosting the Oscars and Donald Trump is just a guy who sucks at Casino management.  And ya know what, sonny boy? That's the way I likes it!  Now get the hell off my lawn!  Get it here.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

OLD SHIT - The Skabbs S/T vinyl (Jackpot Records)

Nevermind the British punk, here's The Skabbs!  Holy fuck!  Jackpot Records have resurrected some truly classic first-wave mania from Lawndale, California.  Seering riffs, brass-knuckles-to-the-dome vocals over stabbing, frantic rhythms that will have you shakin yo ass.  But watch yo self!  The Skabbs are long gone so they're not gonna be held legally liable when, in an epileptic fit, you toss yourself headlong off the balcony of your third story walk-up and impale yourself on a rod iron fence.  And remember kids: "SPRAY PAINT SMELLS GOOD."  Get it here.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

REVIEW: Aaron Troyer - 'Trappings Of A Golden Myth' (No Coast)

I'm catching huge nostalgia vibes from Aaron Troyer's latest cassette release. Dire Straits? 80s Bob Dylan? A little Neil Young? This Columbus, OH native combines great folk rock songwriting with textures you might hear on a Traveling Wilburys LP.  It's not a style you hear too often these days, but maybe the music world is finally ready for some boomer adult contemporary throwbacks.  If this album doesn't remind you driving in a station wagon eating Arby's curly fries on a road trip with your dad then you sir are no red-blooded American.  Get it here.

Monday, February 22, 2021

REVIEW: The Dirts - 'The Dirts' cassette (HELVETE'S KITCHEN RECORDS)

Remember that part in 'Airheads' where Joe Mantegna tells his radio listeners to "press your heads against the speakers and blow your brains out"?  Or something to that effect?  Well Joey Montanaro is telling you turn on Sweden's The Dirts and do the same thing.  There is an art to the punk cassette tape release- it's a primitive troglodytian art, but an art nonetheless.  The basic recipe is as follows: 1)guitars over drums, 2)blow out vocals, 3) mix well.  Oh and I almost need to write some good songs.  This tape is delicious.  Get it here.

REVIEW: Mirage - 'Telepathic Radio' cassette (Terrorist Rock Corporation)

Ever woke up in the middle of the night after falling asleep to an Adam Curtis documentary?  Well this is the music you would hear in your dreams if you did.

Here's a quote taken from the bandcamp page: "He made these recordings on a Tascam 4-track while living in 29 palms, CA in 2020 and was informed in part by a near death experience in the grand canyon, traveling through the lesser seen parts of the desert by minibike, and building and skating a miniramp in his backyard during the recording process. When I asked him if I could release it he said, 'it's all crap.'"

 Get it here.


Friday, February 19, 2021

OLD SHIT - Nervebreakers - 'Politics' & 'I Wanna Kill You' 7"s (Get Hip)

Get Hip Recordings just unleashed two stellar 7"s by 70s Dallas power pop punkers Nervebreakers.  The band started out doing Ramones and Sex Pistols covers and their sound could be said to fall somewhere in between the two.  To me they're like a midwest version of Richard Hell and The Voidoids. I know Dallas isn't technically a "midwest" town but these guys have that low budget, who-even-gives-a-fuck-about-our-band sound that generally emanates from Illinois or Ohio.  The production quality of the recordings are perfect- murky, fuzzy, analog guitars that let the live-take-sm57-punk-croonings poke through in just the right way.  The songs don't take themselves too seriously either with titles like the bouncy "My Girlfriend Is A Rock" and the Sheena-esque "They Were Doin The Pogo".  But that don't mean they all ain't chock-full-o-catchy-ass-toe-tappin-hooks. Who knows? Maybe some bored teens from Kankakee will decide to start a Nervebreakers cover band.  The audience at the local VFW would be none the wiser.  Get it here and here.

Sonny & The Sunsets - 'Hairdressers From Heaven' vinyl/cassette/cd (Rocks In Your Head Records)

It's been a while since I checked in on Sunny and The Sunsets.  I purchased their 2012 release 'Longtime Companion' ages ago.  Per usual my music fan laziness has me kicking myself.  I'm way late on this one too, but their latest 'Hairdressers From Heaven' is nothing short of brilliant.  Just the opening track alone- the 'Skylarking'-esque "A Bigger Picture"- is worth the price of admission.  Sonny's modus operandi is variety and this LP is no different. It rambles and meanders through endless styles and genres over the album's nine succinctly arranged and produced tracks in his signature quirky, self-styled manner.  Get it here.

REVIEW: Justus Proffit - 'Return 2 Zero' cassette (self-released)

The cover of this release features a person with their back to camera fiddling with a small multi-track recorder in a bedroom.  Naturally, I was intrigued so I hit 'play'.  'Return 2 Zero' has all those tape warbles, murky vocals and self-styled arrangements we've all come to expect from great bedroom pop, but it delivers on the songs as well.  Elliott Smith vibes abound (possibly a dash of Ty Segall?) on this 5-track EP that never pulls the same sonic trick twice.  Overall it's super solid and well worth a listen.  Get it here.

REVIEW: Carinae - Carinae vinyl/cassette/cd (1388303 Records DK2)

In the, hmm...let's call it, post-Tame Impala world there's no shortage of bands exploring the textural and sonic boundaries of pop music and redefining what it means to be a "psych band".  By-in-large I'm here for it, but sometimes the simple art of writing a good song can get lost in a sea of lush, drippy, mind-melting production.  Enter Carinae.  Hailing from Hadley, Massachusetts these psychedelic sonic warriors deliver all the stratospheric exploration you need to get your next acid trip where it needs to be, but offer up some really great song craft while they're at it.  Think Dugen if they veered a little closer to 'A Wizard, A True Star'.  For my money one of the better purveyors of the new psych.  Get it here.