Thursday, October 3, 2019

Music To Purge the (Post) Summer Blues

Autogramm – Bad Day b/w Quiero Estar Sedado (Jarama 45RPM)
WOW, if you haven’t heard this band yet this is a really good place to start.  This Vancouver trio plays really catchy, synth steered power pop.  The first song “Bad Day” (which I assume is an original) possesses a pandemic level of catchiness.  Yeah its keyboard heavy but it’s not cold or distant.  You can still feel the tune’s warmth and pounding pulse.  The B-Side is a Spanish version of The Ramones “I Wanna Be Sedated” and it’s brilliant AND by no means a “throwaway.”  Not a lot of bands can cover a Ramones song and A) do something different with it and B) still retain the songs essence.  Autogramm manage to do both!  Bravo boys! - JC

Baby Shakes – Cause a Scene LP (Lil Chewy)
This is the New York quartet’s 4th LP and I’m happy to report the band hasn’t lost a spark since their last full length, 2017’s outstanding Turn It Up LP.  In case you are unfamiliar with this band, Baby Shakes play a high octane, high kick to the throat style of 60’s girl group structured songs mixed with Ramones machine gun tempos.  The songs pop out of your speakers like short fused firecrackers and hijack your brain, causing involuntary dancing.  Baby Shakes have a knack for writing short, fun, timeless and extremely catchy rock n roll songs.  The way you wish more bands would write these days. They fit well on the shelf right next to bands like Nikki and The Corvettes, Supersnazz, and Pale Lips.  - JC

Brandy – Clown Pain 7” (Total Punk)
Two more planet smashers coming at you with fists flying fast and furious form the Total Punk camp.  This time from New York’s Brandy. While these two songs have the Total Punk mark of grime, grit and brawn, the thing that separates Brandy from the bunch is these two songs have killer guitar grooves. So instead of you getting bludgeoned to death, it’s more like a smooth fixed blade knife being driven through your ear canal over and over. So there’s still about the same amount of blood to clean up afterward, just no skull pieces to put back together. This is my first time hearing this band and apparently there’s a 12” out there the band released last year.  I’m on the hunt!  - JC

Control Freaks – She’s The Bomb LP (Slovenly)
Control Freaks is the latest in a string of bands singer/bass player/songwriter Greg Lowery has been behind. The first being the mighty Supercharger, then the fantastic Rip-Offs, then the so-so Zodiac Killers.  Greg’s MO has been fast, bouncy, lo-fi rock n roll and he sneaks in a healthy dose of scorn and hostility through the back.  The Control Freaks are a great band, the songs are tight and they hit their mark nearly every time. I’m digging this record quite a bit, I like it better than their first one. To make a long story short, Control Freaks – better than Zodiac Killers, not as good as The Rip-Offs.  But to be fair, few bands are.  And I’m not even going to compare it to Supercharger because those motherfuckers remain untouchable.   - JC

Curleys -  S/T 7” (Total Punk)
This is the debut 7” from these Gainesville ghouls.   Six songs of pure drunkin’ rage. Total Punk describes them as “wimpy era Queers on speed” and that’s a pretty fair assessment.  The guitars are set to frenzied levels, the bass and drums thunder away trying to keep up and the singer just ferociously swings and stumbles around at anything that moves, hoping to eventually make contact with your face. Curleys are fast, loud and mean – everything a real punk band is supposed to be.  It’s supposed to make you feel threatened, uneasy and pretty much invoke your “fight or flight” response when you hear it.  If you want to feel safe and included, go listen go reggae.  - JC

Dany Laj and The Looks - Everything New is New Again LP (Yeah Right!)
Just as a disclaimer, The Looks are one of my favorite bands. That being said I’m not by any means an apologist of my favorite stuff. When a band, writer, or filmmaker I like comes out with something new I almost hold it to a higher standard than if I wasn’t familiar with any of their previous work.  Everything New is New Again not only passed the test, they stomped a heel through it.  This record contains 8 songs of exquisite, hyper melodic, power pop rock n roll.  If you’re into bands like The dB’s, Buffalo Tom, The Plimsouls, and The Replacements, then you’re going to adore this band and particularly this record as much as I do.  The songs “Annie” and “My Head” are instant classics in the genre.  - JC

Dots – S/T LP (Dirt Cult)
We’ve had an influx of “dark post punk” here at the Audio Ammunition underwater volcano stronghold these past few months.  Among them are Dots, They’re from Oakland and boasts members of such stellar acts as Midnite Snaxxx and FM Knives.  What sets Dots apart from the rest of their ilk is their heavy use of psychedelic effects in their music, such as echo-y voice effects and wispy keys. This gives the songs here a haunting, disorienting feeling to them.  It’s like going on the “It’s a Small World” ride at Disneyland, feeling LSD effects while listening to Blatz or Jack Acid at high volume. You’ve been warned! - JC

Foster Care – El Abuso LP – (Total Punk)
This is the New York based outfit’s 3rd LP I believe. They’ve been releasing long players every 3 to 4 years since 2012.  Foster Care plays primitive, rapid fire bazooka blasts of pure, uncut PUNK ROCK.  The tunes are shrouded in gloom, static and are recorded pretty bottom heavy. Giving you the sensation that you’re in a dimly lit cave, running for your life as its walls and ceiling are collapsing right at your heels.  Can you escape your impending doom? Are you fast enough to outrun Foster Care?  The answer is no you’re not. So give up, submit and let the darkness overtake you.  It only hurts at the beginning.  - JC

The Hussy - Looming LP (Dirtnap)
Dirtnap has switched gears since moving to WI.  Gone it seems are the days of putting out all the new wave-y punk bands like The Epoxies, The Briefs and the New Town Animals. Dirtnap has been putting out a lot of WI area bands lately, you’ve gotta respect them getting behind their local scene.  The Hussy has been around a long time. This being their 5th LP? (not counting live and splits).  This band is an explosive can of trick snakes on every song on this record.  Sometimes you get girl group garage stuff, sometime you get full throttle synth buzzing psyche-punk, but whatever it is you get rest assured it is played with a lot of gusto and charisma.  You can say a lot about The Hussy but boring isn’t EVER one of them.  Great record! - JC

Jordan Jones – S/T LP (Spaghetty Town/Beluga)
Holy smokes I’m floored!  I’m not sure how I can possible say anything about this record and do it justice.  Best I can bring myself to say once I catch my breath and regain my composure is that LA's Jordan Jones plays immaculate Power Pop with a sturdy rock n roll foundation.  Closest thing it reminds me of is the early Stiv Bators solo stuff, like when he covered “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” Much like ol’ Stiv, Jones has cherry picked all the right influences to make one Goliath of a record.  I can hear melodies from pretty much every decade of pop music like Zombies, Raspberries, Twilley etc. but they’re hard to pin point.  Jones has mixed it up enough and made his own unparalleled modern masterpiece.  EASILY one of my favorite records of the year!  - JC

Killer Hearts – S/T EP (Spaghetty Town Records)
These Houston maniacs play leather wrapped, beer soaked, smoke filled rock n roll.  It’s fast, mean, and dirty - just the way the rock n roll gods intended.  Just one listen to the four songs on this record and I’ll guarantee you’re going to drive faster, drink harder and fight meaner.  It’s simply science, you can’t argue with it!  Killer Hearts dive head first into the hot rock n roll shit pot and instantly start stirring it up.  They list Thin Lizzy, AC/DC, Electric Frankenstein and Candy Snatchers as influences.  And with song titles like “Midnight Lucifer” and “Killed by Volume” you know what you’re in for. So brace yourselves and hold on to something load bearing!   - JC

Knowso – Like a Buzz 7” (Total Punk)
This is the Cleveland band’s second release (not counting their Demo cassette) since 2017’s Look At The Chart EP.  The two songs on here are muddier and murkier but the band’s unique and uncomplicated approach to breaking your brittle bones remains.  It’s funny how you hear some bands do aggression with so much arduous song writing and technical instrumentation.  What for!?! Then a band comes along like Knowso and does so much more with less.  This band is as uncomplicated as a sledgehammer and does their job just as effectively.  - JC

Los Pepes – Positive Negative LP (Wanda / Adrenaline Fix)
This London punk band plays loud, unapologetic melodic punk with a stout rock n roll heart.  When I listen to this band I immediately think Ramones, DMZ, Real Kids, Saints type of stuff.  Yeah they’re that good, no exaggerations here believe me.  From the absolute earth scorching opening song “Still Belong To Me” until the stylus runs out of groove and cries out for more, this record is a lit bundle of dynamite.  I’ll be willing to wager Los Pepes put on a killer live show too, hopefully I’ll find out someday. The band is currently on tour supporting this LP but only in Europe.  Come to the states guys!  You will be welcomed with open arms.  - JC

Fleshies – Introducing The Fleshies LP (Dirt Cult)
Fleshies are a pretty cool contemporary sounding hardcore punk band from the East Bay.  Apparently they’ve been around for 20 some years now, so the album title is a bit of irony for those in the know. Which sadly I wasn’t I’m sorry to say, this is my first time hearing them.  From what I gather though this new LP of theirs is a “return to form” type of deal.  Not all the songs conform to the starched hardcore uniform.  Some like the tune “Hold Me Up” has a Dinosaur Jr. feel and the songs “Stone Mason” and “Like A Pillow” give me a Monsula or Crimpshrine type vibe. Good, scrappy melodic hardcore.  I’m glad there are bands still out there playing music like this.   - JC     

Negative Space – Cruelty LP (Drunken Sailor)
This UK band plays grim, hard hitting post punk.  The music gets echo-y and frantically desperate at times and at other times it slows down but still powerful enough to carve out massive amounts of flesh.  The bass lines really stand out to me on this record, they’re like a cold stone floor on which the weight of the rest of the instrumentation can rest soundly on. The drums pound relentlessly and provide a sort of pulsating beacon you can dimly see at the end of the dark tunnel.  Meanwhile the guitars and vocals fly right past your head like arrows being shot at you in the dark, sometimes ricocheting.  Tie a rope around your waist before listening to this one.  You may not find your way back on your own if you don’t. - JC

No Negative – The Last Offices LP (Drunken Sailor)
This is one heavy duty record, 7 songs of relentless, shadowy psyche-punk done right up to the edge of sanity.  No Negative sound like a punk rock fever dream.  The music is dense, dark and brooding.  The sounds emitting from this record give me the same feelings as what I picture goes through the mind of someone seriously plotting a revenge murder.  You can actually feel the air get heavier, the lights dimming, and hope fleeing the instant the record starts playing. This is the Canadian noise monger’s second LP. I may go seek their first one out if my fractured psyche can ever recover from this one.  - JC

Ramona – Deals Deals Deals LP (Red Scare)
This Philly three piece plays bouncy pop punk cut with indie rock sensibilities.  This is the band’s debut LP and is pretty solid.  I like that the band seems to have a sense of humor about themselves.  They’re lyrics are about not wanting to fall in love and generally just feeling inadequate, ill prepared and ill equipped for life. They’re currently on tour with Masked Intruder where bands like Direct Hit, The Bombpops and Young Rochelles are also playing various dates.  Ramona fit in well with that crowd.  If you’re into bands like that you’ll fall pretty hard for Ramona.  - JC

Sore Points – Not Alright EP (Slovenly)
Sore Points play exactly what I hear in my head when I hear the term “garage punk.”  That term has been thrown around to describe pretty much anything that has low production and any sort of decent tempo. But to me it has a distinct sound and Vancouver’s Sore Points have tapped it and are drinking bathing in the well.  This EP contains 4 quick, fuzz wrapped, high energy tunes that’ll make your knees buckle.  The band lists Cocksparrer, The Damned, Blitz, Motorhead and The Ramones as influences.  I can certainly hear all of that in here.  Sore Point’s sound is masterfully curated menagerie of punk rock.  I can’t believe I missed their LP they put out last year!  A mistake I intend to correct here shortly.  - JC

The Sweet Things – In Borrowed Shoes, On Borrowed Time LP (Spaghetty Town)
FINALLY an LP by NYC’s The Sweet Things and it’s everything I dreamed it would be.  These guys play loud, top shelf, blooze kissed rock n roll. These guys walk the walk, no posturing here.  This band has got the licks down like the back of their bruised hands.  The Sweet Things sound like The Jonses and Hanoi Rocks at their brightest moments.  The more you listen to this record, the more you realize each song is better than the previous one.  If you miss the heyday of the Sunset Strip and demand debauchery back in your rock n roll, then look no further, you’ve arrived. So sit back and kick your boots off.  I’ve waited patiently for a band like this to come around again and my patience has been rewarded handsomely.  - JC

TV Crime – Metal Town (Alien Snatch)
After two stunning EP’s Nottingham’s TV Crime release an absolutely volcanic debut LP.  This long player contains exactly the same explosive elements that made their last two 7”’s so great, only we get more of it.  Which is exactly what I wanted from TV Crime. These guys play an incomparable blend of power pop and hard hitting guitar pub rock.  To get an idea of what this band sounds like, think bands like Thin Lizzy, Rockpyle, Eddie and The Hot Rods with some early Elvis Costello peppered in at ultra high energy levels.  I could try and go through this record and pick out some song highlights to tell you about, but I’m not sure I can since every tune on here is a keeper.   I highly recommend this record, it’s one of my favorites of the year. - JC

Tandoori Knights - Temple of Boom EP (Slovenly)
This here little record contains two tracks of the most seductive sounds from South Asia you’ll ever want to hear. Tandoori Knights is King Kahn and Bloodshot Bill rollicking in Indian style hooks and blending these two songs with a garage stomp spice you never knew would taste so good.  This is the duo’s first record since 2011’s I Hear Someone Cry 7”.  Yeah the songs are kinda batty and campy but Kahn and Bill serve it up on a garage rock silver platter, giving them enough backbone to take it a bit more seriously than just a Martin and Lewis type bit.  Especially the B-Side called “Tandoori Dolly.”  Pretty fun and essential if you’re a fan of these guys - JC

Velveteen Rabbit – S/T LP (Hozac)
This LP is Velveteen Rabbit’s first full length and quite frankly I haven’t heard such an ambitious debut in a really long time.  The band kicks the doors open and struts in with maximum chutzpah right from the start.  The band describes themselves as “hypno-boogie” and that’s pretty spot on. These guys straddle the lines between bands like Roxy Music, T-Rex, Kinks, Lou Reed, and Bowie but effortlessly construct their own sound out of those solid building materials.  The songs here have so much heart and tenderness in the melodies you’d think it was a lost gem from that era.  But those melodies are laid on a sturdy groundwork of guitar hooks that allows them to launch and swirl around the atmosphere.   – JC 

HI! First and foremost we'd like to thank you so very much for visiting our blog!  We greatly appreciate it.

If you like what you've read, we'd like to ask if you'd please give us a like on Facebook (, follow us on Twitter (@AAmmunition) or simply just tell your friends about us. 

If you like our monthly podcast (yes, we now do a podcast!) please give us a review, rating or hit the subscribe button! That way you'll be sure never to miss an episode. We're on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify etc. 

Again, thank you so much!  - The Audio Ammunition Staff


No comments:

Post a Comment