Thursday, July 10, 2014


Atlantic Thrills – A Day at The Beach 7” (Almost Ready Records)
According to the bands bio, this Providence, RI band can play anything from full blown nuclear mushroom cloud garage punk to fun in the sun drenched surf ditties; let this record stand as exhibit “A” as evidence to why the above statement is 100% truthful. The A side, “A Day at The Beach” is the perfect soundtrack to a warm day on the sand, dancing, frolicking about and even playing volleyball with an oversized beach ball.  The B Side, “Hold Your Tongue,” is a 1960’s garage Rock N’ Roll stomp-o-rama similar to The Monk’s song “Complication.” Atlantic Thrills effortlessly deliver the goods . . . and then some! – Jay Castro

1-800-BAND – Diver Blue 12” EP (Almost Ready Records)
When I was growing up in the 1980’s, these are the type of songs I would hear anytime the radio was turned on. Now, I realize writing statements like this date me and possibly rears the ugly head of a “My generation is better than your generation” article, but it is a little sad that to find the songs that 1-800-BAND writes are ones that have to be searched for. Diver Blue is full of a mix of American Power Pop (think early Tom Petty and The Beat) mixed with ‘80’s pop that nestles it’s way into your head like an earwig. Memorable and catchy choruses mixed with earnest vocals with a splash of Dwight Tilley thrown in. – Ed Stuart

Ausmuteants – Amusements LP (Goner Records)
Dusty Australian synth-punk band of apocalyptic doomsayers Ausmutants bring us songs pieced together with duct tape, scrap metal and ultra melodic hooks all wrapped in shell casings of bleakness and urgency.  Ausmutants immediately remind me of contemporary bands like Miscalculations and Sex Crime with hints of bands from the way back machine like Screamers. This long player delivers songs that are short, sharp, and dark.  Ausmutants aren’t a carbon copy of the above-mentioned bands make no mistake about that. They push and shove their way right to the top of their game and stand side by side next to the genera’s best. – Jay Castro

Liquor Store – In The Garden LP (Almost Ready Records)
Years ago, Canadian Club whisky ran an ad campaign entitled “Damn Right Your Dad Drank It.” The ads featured a series of vintage pictures of young versions of “dads” pictured with women other than their wives, hanging out with friends, and proclaiming the virtues of having a van. Where am I going with this? Liquor Store seems like the kids of these vintage “dads” and upon finding “dad’s” long hidden record collection and old photos were so influenced that they decided to start a band. Liquor Store plays a mix of garage and classic rock, which upon first thought you might think wouldn’t work, but on In The Garden it does. Liquor Store plays the kind of rock that is heavy on guitar chops and falls somewhere between MC5 “Kick out the Jams” and Credence Clearwater Revival influenced southern Rock by way of New Jersey.  – Ed Stuart

The Reigning Sound – Live at Goner Records LP (Goner Records)
This record was recorded June 26th, 2005 and was originally available only as a limited edition CD, until now that is! If any of you aren’t familiar with The Reigning Sound, I have but one question: WHY NOT? Greg and the boys deliver some brilliantly melodic, well-crafted punk Rock N’ Roll tunes that ooze warmth, charm and style that is nearly unsurpassed by any of their contemporaries. This record is as good a place to start listening to this band as any. The sound quality is excellent plus you get a sample of the oomph that Reigning Sound brings to the stage. In the land of Rock N’ Roll, The Reigning Sound is giants among men. – Jay Castro

Ex-Cult – Midnight Passenger LP (Goner Records)
Ex-Cult live in a world where punk and post-punk meet. Midnight Passenger is an arguable equivalent to Wipers, Mission of Burma and X (Australia not Los Angeles). Razorblade guitars with an art-damaged, noise punk urgency set against a bubbling punk cauldron on some songs while others are a full of 1960’s psychedelic mood and atmosphere.  – Ed Stuart

Hard Girls – A Thousand Surfaces LP (Asian Man Records)
The San Jose, CA power trio’s second album has songs that are tightly packed with their unique brand of melodic, intelligent ferocity. To me, the qualities I hear in this band are similar to the ones I love in bands like Jawbreaker, J Church and Superchunk. A swirling blurred force of guitars and drums whisking quickly and violently around you with honest vocals that serve as the anchor to keep everything from getting too out of control.  On the band’s Facebook profile they list “havin’ fun” and “gettin’ over depression” as some of their interests. Thankfully we have bands like Hard Girls that makes those things easier for the rest of us to get through! – Jay Castro

Ricky C Quartet – I Miss You b/w Feed The Crocodiles 7” (Wanda Records)
With a LP coming out this summer, I’m wondering if I Miss You b/w Feed The Crocodiles is a teaser single to hold us over until the summer. If it is, then I will patiently wait. This single is a ripping two songer that finds Ricky C Quartet (or RCQ) playing a mix of Saints, The Kids and 1960’s proto-punk. “I Miss You” has an intro that seems to be a missing part to a Mick Jones sung Clash song that doubles as both influence and homage. Solid release! – Ed Stuart

Stalins of Sound – Tank Tracks LP (Slovenly Recordings)
Stalins of Sound hurl dark and damaged punk rock that rides a black sound tidal wave of synthesizers and anxiety. The name of the band and the cover photo of the record, that shows a tank on a busy freeway mowing down motorists, pretty much sums up their music. These San Diego residents deliver the soundtrack to the harsh reality of when (not if) the machines finally take over and humanity’s days are numbered. The human race resists their extinction agenda however, and a rag tag crew of cold, calculating militant types band together and fight back. The Stalins of Sound are geared up for the first strike against the enemy stronghold. – Jay Castro

Hobocop – Half Man Half Cop LP (Slovenly Recordings)
From what I could gather from various sources was that Hobocop was a two-person band from Oakland around 2010, but are no more. The ex-Hobocop members are Cody, currently is in Shannon and The Clams and King Lollipop, and Owen, who moved to New York City to pursue an animation job. While this is nothing like what Cody does in either of his current bands, Hobocop are a mix of fuzzy, dirty, bedroom and/or basement recordings that have the 4-track spirit of Sebodah while playing a lo-lo-fi 1960’s garage punk. – Ed Stuart

Wavelengths – S/T LP (Rubber Brother Records)
Wavelengths summon up the fun, lighthearted spirits of the 1960’s and manage to funnel them into your speakers and into your uptight cranium. Enjoyable tunes of loose psychedelic, kick back lounge and garage splatter about. I am certain this record has been specifically written to raise your good time mood to a near uncontrollable level. Never taking themselves too seriously, which is a good thing with song titles like “Take It Sleazy,” and at the same time deliver some straight rock right outta the garage with songs like “I Don’t Wanna.” Wavelengths keep the rock rollicking throughout the album’s duration. – Jay Castro

Wolvves – Go Demon or Go Home (Rubber Brother Records)
Wolvves is one-part lo-fi garage rock, one-part Spits, one-part rap and one-part psychedelic. If you learn anything from Go Demon or Go Home, it’s that these guys like smokin’ weed and preferably all day if you let them. Much like Fidlar, New Swears and a host of other bands, that have tapped the teenage party lyrical vibe, Wolvves is covering similar ground but what they do is mix it up musically by shifting garage-punk, rap verses and psych to arguably become another soundtrack for a growing number of kids. - Ed Stuart

Los Puchos – S/T Cassette EP (Rubber Brother Records)
Jordan of Petty Things along with his brother formed the heart of this now defunct Tempe, AZ band. “Puchos” is what the Argentineans refer to as cigarettes, in case anyone is wondering. This cassette reels out some easy going summer lazy tunes that remind me what it would be like to take the mule ride down the Grand Canyon: fun, moving, spiritual, but by no means in any hurry. In my opinion, the standout tracks are “Victoria” which blends what the Puchos do best plus add some garage rock stomp and strut. The other being “Joanne” which reminds me of something Van Morrison could have written.  When all is said and done, Los Puchos graced us with an absolutely solid release, a shame that the band called it a day. – Jay Castro

Playboy Manbaby – Bummeritaville LP (Rubber Brother Records)
Punk? Ska? Funk? No wave? Yes, yes, yes and yes. Playboy Manbaby is like James White and The Contortions fronted by an art-damaged/hardcore raspy vocal singer. Just like The Contortions, Playboy Manbaby is always seeking to strike the balance of when to turn on the punk and when to break it down to funk and on Bummeritaville the band does this exceptionally well. No wave punk-funk with a horn, which brings to mind the New York No Wave scene and the arguably underappreciated Go Go Go Airheart. – Ed Stuart

Durban Poison – Thunderwolf Cassette (Shake! Records)
The Thunderwolf is a mythological creature that seems to exist in different cultures. To the Japanese, the creature is a white wolf wrapped in blue lightening and is said to be pretty calm and harmless except when there is a thunderstorm then it becomes agitated and leaps all around in trees and rooftops scorching all it touches. This same reaction also comes from listening to Durban Poison brand of high-octane music. The Victoria B.C band of ladies and gentlemen shoot bolts of melodic, aggressive punk Rock N’ Roll out of their fingertips that causes one’s soul to stir. Like the Thunderwolf creature this cassette will leave scorch marks on your tape player no matter what the weather condition. – Jay Castro

Bad Doctors – Burning City LP (FDH Records/P. Trash Records)
For all the kids who were born too late for the 1980’s (another thing to blame on your parents), but are totally enamored by the decade, Bad Doctors is a band to claim as your own. Bad Doctors has a steady list of classic influences like New Order, Fascination Street era The Cure, Depeche Mode and later Devo to create a musical tapestry that has everything you would associate with these bands. Pop melodies set against moody rhythms with vocals reminiscent of Ian Curtis. Synth-punk-new wave, when done wrong, can sound like a bad cliché, but on Burning City, Bad Doctors are doing it just right. – Ed Stuart

Primitive Hearts – High and Tight LP, (Resurrection Records/FDH Records/P-Trash Records) & S/T 7” EP (Resurrection Records/No Rules! Records)
These records came out last year but they just recently arrived at the drawbridge of the Audio Ammunition secret mountain castle/fortress. We played them (a lot) and loved ‘em so we want to share the experience with you, our friends. Just because they came out a year ago doesn’t make them any less relevant by any means. Primitive Hearts play a kind of pop punk/power pop hybrid that not a lot of bands have been able to pull off: The Yum Yums, The Basement Brats, and The Parasites are just a few that come to mind at the moment. They sing about loves won and lost, the good times of yesterday and the ones that are yet to be had. Primitive hearts are the band you put on when your best lady stomped on your heart and when you’re getting psyched for the big Saturday night. – Jay Castro

Hector’s Pets – Pet-O-Feelia LP (Oops Baby Records)
Hector’s Pets takes a lot of cues from Too Tough To Die-era Ramones, Dictators, Chuck Berry riffs, Thin Lizzy-esque vocals and Beach Boys harmonies to make a guitar driven Rock N’ Roll, Dirtbombs influenced LP with enough pop for the power-popper in you. Pet-O-Feelia has tongue firmly planted in cheek, as if the title wasn’t indication enough, songs like “Station Wagon” and “Teenacher” are catchy reminder of how early ‘70’s Punk N’ Roll could be tough and fun just like Hector’s Pets. – Ed Stuart

Cat Party – A Thousand Shades of Gray 7” EP (Resurrection Records)
This band is a current band from California, but sounds like they came from England in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s marching with the likes of The Cure, Echo and The Bunnymen and Joy Division. Although they share a dark romanticism with the above-mentioned bands, Cat Party put a bit more velocity behind it. Unlike a lot of bands that share the same influences, when you listen to Cat Party their music doesn’t just make you want to listen to the originals, their music makes you want to listen to more Cat Party: melodic, melancholy with just a hint of late 1970’s punk bubbling beneath the surface to keep things moving. Me being a huge fan of this type of music (yes, I’m a lover not a fighter) I cry brilliance! – Jay Castro

Snookys – Steroids 7” (Self-release)
Garage-punk from Italy that would fit right at home with anything Rip Off had ever put out. “Steriods” has a riff that is as mean as anything from The Infections catalog. On Steroids, Snookys have given the world three ripping songs of short, raw, energetic punk rock that mixes 70’s Australian punk (think Fun Things “Savage”) with late 90’s garage (Infections). – Ed Stuart

Honey Badgers – Buena Park LP (Resurrection Records)
California’s Honey Badgers bring forth a brand of catchy, fun, ferocious, Billy Childish influenced garage Rock N’ Roll to us in matching black suits and skinny ties. This album is a bi-polar rollercoaster ride of emotion; from playful little ditties like the song “Funky C” to full swing garage mayhem demonstrated in the songs “Bumstick” and “Bone Zone” where you can almost feel the lead singer screaming at you two inches away from your face. The band does employ keyboards, and it is utilized in some songs way more than in others, but it doesn’t by any means take away from the 1960’s garage kick that this record was meant to be an homage to. I think the forefathers would be proud. – Jay Castro

Lunch – Quinn Touched The Sun LP (Resurrection Records)
On Quinn Touched The Sun, Lunch has added the ingredients of Gun Club, Wipers, Minutemen, No Wave and garage rock to its noisy punk rock stew. Lunch, like many other new bands, has been baptized at the church of garage punk rock, but they do not just stop there. Songs like “Monochrome Lust” have taken Gun Club’s punkabilly and taken it to new directions while “Frill and Lace” and “Teen Guitar” can not hide Lunch’s love of pop melodies employed in much the same way as Wipers did.  – Ed Stuart

The Shrills – Melt Down LP, Pink Hotel Cassette EP, Ghoul Kids Cassette EP (Resurrection Records)
The Shrills fire away cannon blasts of lo-fi, trashy Rock N’ Roll chaos with slathers of 1950’s rockabilly and doo-wop incased in bombshells of 1960’s garage pandemonium.  Imagine if Flat Duo Jets and Supercharger came together in a remote part of the universe like some sort of unstoppable Rock N’ Roll Voltron robot but instead of a sword is armed with a keyboard. Now it heads towards earth on a strict mission to rid the world of all that is dull and tedious in contemporary music. This gives you some idea of what I’m trying to keep from exploding my speakers for the last few days. All three of these releases contain the same high proof mixture with little to no let up! – Jay Castro 

The Rich Hands – Out Of My Head LP (Fountain Records/Burger Records)
Out of My Head could be the bubblegum soundtrack for this generation of lovelorn kids looking for first dates and the perils of dating with a lack of funds. The Rich Hands mix Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry three-chords and a riff simplicity with ‘60’s bubblegum pop and ’70 American power-pop with outsider cool to make some highly catchy power-pop Rock N’ Roll. “So Fine” sounds like something Teenage Head would have written while “Teenager” is the soundtrack of late night car races where trying to impress your girl might end by driving off a cliff. – Ed Stuart

V/A – No Rules! No Fun Compilation LP (No Rules Records)
Holy Smokes, this is one of the best comp records I’ve heard from beginning to end in a really long time. It’s as if they had Audio Ammunition in mind when the fab folks over at No Rules concocted it. The fun starts off with Oakland’s Top Ten and their cover of The Real Kids “Hit You Hard” sung with female vocals, which adds a new twist to an already killer song. The record keeps up the pace with some of my already favorites like Youthbitch, Primitive Hearts, Mean Jeans, and Chemicals just to name a few. Bands I discovered on here that I now love are Piss Test, Huff Stuff, and Perfect Look. If you’re a fan of fun pop punk that’s high on the melodic side and bursting with energy, then you owe it to yourself to get this record NOW! – Jay Castro 

Dime Runner – Race To Nowhere LP – (Resurrection Records)
Orange County has a very storied history of punk and has produced many seminal bands from its two area codes, Adolescents, Social Distortion and The Stitches to name just a few. Dime Runner takes a more punk Rock N’ Roll approach to their OC sound much like The Pushers did and other Hostage released bands have done. Race To Nowhere (which came out late 2012/early 2013) is full of razor sharp guitar and the county’s trademark snotty vocals. Dime Runner, while they may not reside behind the Orange Curtain, certainly has the trademarks of the county’s best punk bands. – Ed Stuart

The Shanghais – Pretty Mean 7” (No Rules Records)
The parade of fantastic releases just keeps coming from the lads at No Rules Records this time with this EP by these Oakland, California girls (and boy) The Shanghai’s! What we got here is (and I wanna add that’s it’s not nearly enough) some cat claw catchy, pop punk with thick buzz saw guitars and furious drum bashing accompanied by melodic female vocals and on occasion some doo wop-y backing vocals. The production on the record is just minimal enough to give the songs that edge and abrasion that music of this sort needs yet isn’t so lo-fi that it blocks the melodies from beaming through. I look forward to living in a world with a band like The Shanghai’s walking amongst us and making music. – Jay Castro 

Bad Coyotes – Time for Sex Positions 7”  – (Resurrection Records)
Self billed as “Oakland rock n roll sex punks,” Bad Coyotes play a Rip Offs/Infections style of high-energy budget rock with a guitar sound that sounds like a chainsaw cutting through sludge at an early The Kids pace. “Rat Breeders” keep up that intensity while adding traces of Walk Among Us Misfits into the mix. Time for Sex Positions is mixed high into the red for maximum energy and minimal clarity. Greg Lowery would be proud!  – Ed Stuart

Sex Scheme – S/T 7” EP (Puppet Combo Records)
Brooklyn, New York’s Sex Scheme scruffily thrust at you some brutally blown out, lo-fi, broken blues, with harmonica and all. Supposedly the band spent 60 dollars recording this record. Not that it matters; hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent to produce absolute rubbish. When playing this record however, be warned that the humidity level of the room suddenly rises to the levels that are unmatched by the southern states of the union in the middle of the summer months, the room you’re in suddenly has dirty maroon shag carpeting and the paintings on the wall turn into velvet renditions of what they once were. Turned up, sleazy out, and fuming all around: this is the order of the day for the band Sex Scheme and they execute this order quite well. – Jay Castro

No comments:

Post a Comment