Friday, October 25, 2019

Record Reviews: Now Sounds for Cool Ghouls

Booji Boys – Tube Reducer (Drunken Sailor)
Nova Scotia’s Booji Boys return with a brand new effort. This is the band’s third LP and from what I hear it’s a “return to form” type of deal here.  I can’t really comment on that since this is my first time hearing this band.  I believe my comrade in arms Ed has reviewed their previous releases.  These guy’s sound is quite unique though.  The singer sound like he’s singing though a bullhorn, the drummer sounds like he’s drumming on crystal chandeliers at times and tin foil at others.  The melodies woven into the songs soar and the choruses grab you like a bear hug, all of which is moving at break neck speeds.  Cool record, especially if you’re looking for something different.  – JC 

Bothers – S/T LP (Dirt Cult)
Whoa yeah!  These guys don’t mess around! Bothers goes straight for the jugular the moment the stylus drops!  From the first second of the opening song called “Loose Teeth”, you’re jabbed in the eyes with sharp, jagged guitar riffs. Next comes the vocals that sound like a starved caged animal left out in the heat.  These guys don’t want your money, your attention or admiration.  They want your soul, pure, tortured or otherwise, it matters not.  Bothers play punk rock n’ roll so sinister and uncompromising to say it’s “dark” would be an understatement.  This music is the total absence of light, dreams, and decency. You’ve been warned.  – JC    

Bruised – Arrow of Disease 7” (Randy)
This Chicago band plays really trebly, tinny post punk that walks ominously on the shadowy side of the street. Bruised play their music hard, mean and unrelenting. The first tune and title track has a mechanical flatness and repetitiveness to the guitars and vocals. Giving the machines an anthem in which to rise up and destroy the meat bags that are ruining this planet.  At this point, we’d all probably be better off if they did. The B-Side is another throat cutter titled “Psychic Stain” which is quicker and more piercing to human perception.   – JC

CIVIC – Selling Sucking Blackmail Bribes 7” (Total Punk/ANTI FADE)
Australia’s premier rock n roll maniacs wash ashore state side with a two banger filled with their unique brand of raw, menacing, thunderous tunes.  Try to imagine if Lemmy fronted Radio Birdman and you can kind of picture what these Aussies are concocting down under.  Both of these tunes have guitars ramming down your throat, drums so menacing you’d swear an invading Mongolian army is marching up the street,  and a singer that sounds like he’s actually trying to fight everyone in the room. Another remarkable release from Total Punk.  These savages apparently have two more 7”’s on Anti Fade that came out last year.  Someone grab my bowie knife, I’m on the hunt! – JC    

DFactor Pop – Tonight is What We Do EP (Self-Released)
DFactor Pop have been doing time in the hot Phoenix desert for a good long while now. Here in the Valley of the Sun when it comes to power pop, they’re the undisputed, title holding champs.  In a land where metal, drab noise, and shitty tough guy jock punk reign supreme, it’s nice to hear back to basics, melodic rock n roll. The A-Side and title track of this record is a Cheap Trick/Badfinger type guitar heavy pop tune. The B-Side is a cover of The Dave Clark Five’s (one of my all-time favorite bands) classic “Catch Us If You Can.”   – JC

Disco Junk – Underage Punk EP (Hozac)
This Australian trio are running around with their buzz saw guitars over their heads with little regard for life and if you’re going to play real punk rock, that’s the way it’s gotta be.  The four songs on here are fast, loud, scattered and sound like they could have been a lost Killed by Death treasure from back in ’78! The vocals are set to maximum snottiness and the drummer sounds like he’s beating on drums made of taut flesh.  Make no mistake, the guys in Disco Junk may be young but they have an unquenchable blood lust.  They’re rude, offensive and don’t care what you think.  Wow is that refreshing!  - JC

Fast Eddy -Toofer One 7” (Spaghetty Town/Boulevard Tash)
This is the debut EP from these Denver deviants.  What you’re getting here is three tunes made of gin, gravel and glitter.  Fast Eddy punches out awesome glam rock n’ roll done up dirty. These songs have a style that is so timeless, it feels like putting on your warn in denim jacket on the first day of autumn.  If you want to get a better idea of what Fast Eddy is about, think Real Kids guitars and hooks with New York Dolls snarl and stomp.  Spaghetty Town keeps rolling out the blue ribbon hogs, will there ever be an end to the parade of hits?  I sincerely hope not! - JC


Hand & Leg – Lust in Peace LP (Slovenly)
This Athenian doom duo come lurking back from the shadows with their second LP on Slovenly Recordings. From the opening song on the record you can just feel the darkness seeping into the room from underneath the door.  The thick guitar static coats your flesh until you’re left gasping for air while the drone style drums make the walls close in around you.  Hand & Leg take the flesh of Post Punk and early Gothic Rock, shred it to bloody ribbons on the floor then attempt to reconstruct it by wrapping themselves back in it.  The sound you then hear as a result is claustrophobic, macabre yet magnetic.  - JC

Harrington Saints – 1000 Pounds of Oi! LP (Pirate Press)
This bay area band had been around for over 10 years now but sadly this is my first time rearing them.  This is the group’s 3rd LP and have a pretty impressive arsenal of 7”’s. These guys play melodic Oi!/Street Punk that to me, immediately recalls bands like Oxymoron or Lower Class Brats. The music hits hard and kind of carries itself like a barroom bruiser, but the band doesn’t shy away from using melody as their most trusted weapon in the scrap.  But if melody is the first thing they draw, their sharp political lyrics is the bat on the broad side of your face you don’t see coming.  Fantastic record, haven’t heard anything like this done this well in a long time.  – JC

Honeychain – Go Away 7” (Jarama 45RPM)
This is my first time hearing L.A.’s Honeychain.  I have heard the name before but never was able to find any of their records and really sit down and absorb them until now.  This band has been around since 2013 and released an LP a couple of years ago on the fantastic Screaming Apple label from Germany.  That right there should be enough for you to give Honeychain a taste.  This EP contains 2 songs of charming, scrappy, power pop with a cunning punk edge.  Honeychain has got sharp hooks and swing them fast and wide.  They have some great videos for both of these songs on their YouTube channel I recommend.  A-Side is an original, B-Side is a cover of Material Issue’s “Goin’ Through Your Purse.”   - JC

The Jackets – Queen of The Pill LP (Voodoo Rhythm)
YES! This Swiss trio plays beetle boot stomping, tambourine shaking, rocket fueled 1960’s style psychedelic garage rock n’ roll.  Forget the tabs, this is straight to the ear drops auditory LSD.  The Jackets remind me a lot of now defunct local Phoenix band The Love Me Nots (which I absolutely adored) and that morphed into The Darts.  The Jackets present to you 10 songs of Jefferson Airplane meet The Kinks at a Velvet Underground show at Warhol’s Factory.  This album is remarkably produced, catching Jackie Brutsche’s arresting vocals, fuzz soaked guitars and a rhythm section that’s at ease or ready for a fight at a moment’s notice.  Fantastic record, highly recommended!  - JC 

Los Pepes – Automatic 7” (Wanda)
Christmas comes early this year! Not only were we given a brand spanking new LP from London’s Los Pepes earlier this year, but now Wanda records has brought forth into the world a new Los Pepes 7” too!  This little plastic disk houses four explosive melodic punk tunes, 3 of which are exclusive to this record. But these tunes aren’t cutting room floor scraps from their LP, OH NO!  The song “Here Comes The Darkness” is one of the best Pepes tunes I’ve ever heard. And the B-Side includes a killer cover of The Kids classic “This is Rock n’ Roll.”  You can’t miss with that tune!  Los Pepes and Wanda Records do it again with another fantastic release!  - JC

MUSK – Animal Husbandry 7” (Total Punk)
Musk emit densely packed, noisy punk from out of their essence. The A-Side and title track is a jolly little ditty which features a bass that sounds like it’s strung with galvanized towing cable. As soon as the guitar and voice kick in, you’d swear it’s actually someone trying to ice skate on sheet metal.  The B-Side is a track called “The Floor” which EASILY could have been featured in Disney’s Marry Poppins remake.  Kidding aside, it’s pretty much the same as what you get on the A-Side except there’s a bit more guitar grooving and tambourine.  I never knew I’d ever get to hear the sound of a person being drawn and quartered but I think I just did.  - JC 

Pink Guitars – Hand EP (Self-Released)
Straight forward punk rock from Buffalo New York.  If you like your punk quick, sweaty and pummeling I suggest you look up these lads and this here EP which is I believe their debut effort.  Sometimes you just can’t describe certain bands other than just “punk.”  Nothing wrong with that at all.  Sometimes it’s better just not to mess with a formula that’s been tried and true. The only thing I think is odd about this whole set up is the band’s name. Pink Guitars, with a name like that I was expecting power pop or new wave of some sort.  – JC

Petty Larcenists – Stolen Chords and Lifted Riffs LP (Rad Girlfriend) 
First off, kudos on the record title, clever. This Minneapolis quartet plays catchy, high energy pop punk with a working class, beer in the beard feel.  Petty Larcenists remind me a lot of bands like Nothington, Iron Chic and Dear Landlord. The guitars are loud, drums are heavy and the vocals are gruff yet melodic.  Listening to this record reminds me of being out in the woods in your favorite flannel next to a fire.  They sing about being on life’s last thread, lost loves, and the glory of yesterday.  Solid record from what I believe is the band’s debut. - JC

Real Tears – Hay Fever  LP (Alien Snatch)
This Swedish punk pop band release their fiery second LP.  If you have never heard this band, they play high strung, high energy punk rock using pop guitar riffs.  To get a sense of what Real Tears sound like, take your copy of the Undertones’ first LP and play in at 45RPM.  The Real Tears have a charisma that’s all their own though.  Some of these guys used to be in Impo & The Tents which were a phenomenal band and the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree when it comes to Real Tears.  Great band with extraordinary songwriting. I can’t think of one reason you shouldn’t go out right now and buy this record.  If your local record store doesn’t have any, shame them until they get it in.  They’ll thank you for it later.  – JC 

Small Crush – S/T LP (Asian Man)
This is the Oakland based band’s debut LP.  The music on here is really laid back, Sunday afternoon in the hammock type of tunes.  The kind of music you want when you’re sitting on the front porch, feet up and favorite drink in hand. Small Crush balance on the beam between jangle pop, shoe gaze and dream pop.  If you’re not careful, you’ll find yourself swaying involuntarily to their infectious, melancholy melodies.  The really crazy part of this whole thing is that apparently all of the members are still in high school!  That fact really doesn’t matter much though because these songs sound like they’re played by seasoned souls.  – JC    

Scrap Brain – A Journey Into Madness LP (Drunken Sailor/Thrilling Living)
London/Oxford punks play raggedy anarcho/squat house style punk. It reminds me of something that could have been on Crass Records or Kill Rock Stars back in their respective heydays.  Guitars are set to shrill levels and the drums sound like they’re beating on wet cardboard boxes.  Scrap Brain aren’t a heap of mud or a sloppy mess though, chaotic yes.  But the songs have an anthemic quality to them that doesn’t allow you to effortlessly dismiss them into their pigeonhole. This is mostly due to the vocals that have a similar commanding quality to the Avenger’s Penelope Houston.  The band describes themselves as “a dissonant take on Flipper.”  I won’t argue with that. – JC 

Warp Lines – Human Fresh (Dirt Cult)
Pretty cool debut from this Portland trio.  The songs are tight and well written. The record has a sense of cynicism and urgency probably due to the guitars wound tight and having quick angular riffs that zig when you think they’re going to zag.  With songs titles like “Nothing is Working Out” and “Hell is Great” you kinda know what I mean when I talk about their cynicism.  But there are also some pretty melodic nuggets in here too, see the song “Measured.” If you’re into bands like Sonic Avenues, Low Culture and Steve Adamyk Band (and I’m not sure why you wouldn’t be!) you’re going to dig Warp Lines quite a bit. - JC 


Weird Numbers – Minotaur Dreams EP (Dirt Cult)
This band consists of members of Manic, The Girls, and Tourist.  These guys play melodic rock n roll with a sense of humor.  To understand a little more of what I’m eluding to, go watch their bizarre yet strangely inspiring video on YouTube for the title track. It’s about a Minotaur that life’s kicked around a bit, yet he chooses not to let it get him down.  Fun stuff!  Weird Numbers isn’t Power Pop and it’s not punk really. It is however tight, melodic and highly entertaining rock n roll.  The band describes themselves as a “summertime fun project.”  So will we ever see any more Weird Numbers?  Only time and a heap of good fortune will tell.   – JC


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