Wednesday, September 12, 2018

September Reviews

Back To Basics – Shaded Eyes 7” (Secret Mission)
If you have been paying attention to Secret Mission over the years, you would know they are all about Japanese punk. Recently, they’ve re-issued both Firestarter LP’s and now have given Back to Basics their first exposure to the U.S.. Back To Basics, featuring members of Louder and First Alert, has been around for over a decade, but only releasing Japanese releases. Shaded Eyes leans more to First Alert than to Louder. Back To Basics is punk with rough pop edges. “Shaded Eyes” is the punker of the two songs on this release while “Not Different” showcases more of the bands poppier side.  – Ed Stuart

Chain Whip – Chain Whip 7” (Dirt Cult/Neon Taste)
Chain Whip is members of Corner Boys, Fashionism and Nervous Talk playing like early D.O.A.. What? No, that wasn’t a misprint. Originally, Canada’s Chain Whip released Christmas Demo last year, which contains three of the songs on this self-titled 7”. The opener “Self Destruct” is no frills hardcore, but the band shines more on songs like “Overstimulated World” and “6 Day Weekend” where they find their Circle Jerks/D.O.A. roots and play harder punk that relies more on ’77 than hardcore. – Ed Stuart

Character Actor – S/T 7” (Dirt Cult)
Character Actor is Jeff from The Ergs! and Brian from Night Birds playing upbeat Lookout style pop-punk. The genesis for this Character Actor is both Jeff and Brian had become fathers in a recently short span of time and both of their bands were on a temporary hiatus. In the meantime, Character Actor was born and this 7” is the result. Four songs in as many minutes that could have fit at home on Lookout’s roster before the label imploded. – Ed Stuart

Dark Thoughts – At Work LP (Drunken Sailor)
Ramones mania meets Spits with a touch of Marked Men and Queers. At Work, is the follow up to 2016’s well received S/T LP. Honestly, Dark Thoughts hasn’t changed that much, but either did the Ramones and they have legions of fans. These Philly punks know where their bread is buttered and don’t stray far from it. Dark Thoughts play short songs with minimal chords and catchy hooks, which is always a good recipe. – Ed Stuart

Dfactor – Nostalgia For Now LP (Self-Release)
The one man Anthemic Pop Wonder or better known nowadays as Dfactor is back with Nostalgia for Now. Most recently, Dfactor Dave has led the Action Jets from Phoenix and he might be the one of the only of the power-poppers in the state. Nostalgia For Now is where Dave plays all the instruments and pulls from all his influences. These influences range from The Kinks, Guided By Voices, ‘60’s garage and ‘70’s American rock n’ roll to create a more personal vision.  – Ed Stuart

Mad Caddies – Punk Rocksteady LP (Fat Wreck)
This is definitely one of the more accurate LP titles you’ll ever read. Mad Caddies take Fat Mike’s handpicked 12 covers and remake them as if they had originally written them. Punk Rocksteady features covers/re-workings of Bad Religion, NOFX, Against Me!, Descendents, Misfits, Operation Ivy and Propaghandi songs. Mad Caddies play the songs with more of a ‘90’s ska sound than their original predecessors, which makes sense they have been around 20 years now. Mad Caddies have shown with careful rearranging any song has another version hidden inside. – Ed Stuart

Outer Spacist – Illness Is A Creepin’ On A Come-Up LP (Heel Turn)
Outer Spacist is writing the lo-fi soundtrack to the alien abduction. These Columbus, Ohio band plays psychedelic space proto-punk. Illness is A Creepin’ On A Come-Up pulls from ‘70’s proto-punk like Pere Ubu, Captain Beefheart, Electric Eels and ‘60’s psych like 13th Floor Elevators. – Ed Stuart

The Ringleaders – Bi-Coastal Blasphemy LP (Hound Gawd)
Larry from Candy Snatchers and Born Loose has a new ‘90’s influenced punk rock n’ roll mayhem outfit. If you are familiar with Larry’s previous bands, Ringleaders will not be a surprise at all. Larry enlists members of Death By Stereo, Hollywood Hate and Hellbenders. The Ringleaders remind me more of early Humpers, New Bomb Turks and Electric Frankenstein on Bi-coastal Blasphemy. – Ed Stuart

Aaron Troyer – Lone Offender LP (Self Release)
Ex-Day Creeper and current Outer Spacist member, Aaron Troyer has released his solo LP, Lone Offender. Troyer, in his solo career, focuses on ‘70’s rock n’ roll in the melodic Stooges/Velvet Underground/Television style. Troyer, on Lone Offender, you’ll notice he doesn’t strive for volume, but melody on tracks like “Store” to get his point across. Sometimes being in a band can be a collaborative experience and sometimes it can be pigeonholing to live and die by a recognized sound. Now Troyer can spread his solo wings to show what he can do when he is on his own.  – Ed Stuart

Various Artists – Wassup Rocker Radio Presents: Sick Sounds Digital (Self-Release)
Wassup Rocker Radio a radio station run by Alex Kish out of Ohio that plays bands like Crazy Squeeze, Criminal Kids, Faz Waltz, Devious Ones, Gino and The Goons and much, much more. Alex and Wassup picked thirty-two songs for this compilation and made it a free download for your ears. For fans of ’77, power-pop, punk, and garage from all over the globe are covered are available for free. So, if the bands I mentioned are ones you listen, go ahead download it. – Ed Stuart


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