NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2005

 

BeatBeatBeat - BEATBEATBEAT (Douche Master Records - 7")

Yet another great new band out of Atlanta and actually including members of The Carbonas and The Frantic and with this debut 7” they are already on the same level as aforementioned bands. Really snotty '77 style 3 chord punkrock with lot’s of hooks and tempo changes and a bucketful of teenage fury. The whole thing rips from start to finish but “Savage Girl” is my favourite on here. Keep ‘em comin’, as this is a very promising band indeed. *sAm*

 

BIG MAMA THORNTON in Europe (Arhoolie Records 2005 – midprice CD)

This is the kind of CD you would probably ignore at the record shop because it looks like another predictable & boring blues album but I am here to change your verdict because ‘In Europe’ is one of this year’s most exciting blues (re-)releases! Like the title says, it was recorded live in the studio on October 20, 1965, at Wessex Studio in London, England. The line-up is spectacular : Buddy Guy on guitar, Fred Below on drums, Eddie Boyd on piano or organ, Jimmy Lee Robinson on bass and Walter ‘Shakey’ Horton on harmonica. The European tour was made possible by Horst Lippmann who along with his partner Fritz Rau, had been producing the annual American Folk Blues Festival for the previous three years and Arhoolie founder Chris Stratchwitz who accompanied the musicians even brought along his favorite Mississippi blues stylist Mississippi Fred McDowell! The CD kicks off with a terrific version of BB Kings’ “Sweet Little Angel” and from then on, it’s one highlight after the other. The second song for example, is a mighty soulful R&B gem simply called “The Place” while song number three is an amazing rendition of Willie Dixon’s “Little Red Rooster”. Throughout the whole CD, Big Mama sounds like the ultimate female blues shouter : raw sounding but very soulful. An amazing voice, pouring every ounce of emotion into each song. I could go on and on with superlatives, but I won’t. This CD features 16 gems that should be heard to be believed! For the afficionados, the CD ends with a 15 minute interview with Big Mama Thornton. Five star stuff that should be played very loud! Ahhh… the blues!!! *luKe*

 

Boogie/You don’t love me/I don’t mind/Please – BLACK JOE LEWIS & COOL BREEZE (Shake Your Ass Records 2005 - 7”)

Black Joe Lewis, a young Afro-American, is in fine company on what I think is his first 7”. Cool Breeze exists of Walter Daniels on harmonica (side A) & sax (side B), Ed Miles on drums (South Filthy) and Darren Sluyter on bass. I once saw Sluyter with his band The Weary Boys and was very impressed by their ultra fast bluegrass & genuine hillbilly looks. Those guys were no act, they breathe hillbilly! I am less impressed however by Black Joe Lewis who is described on the back cover as a great rhythm and blues singer. Unfortunately, calling him a one-dimensional R&B shouter would be more appropriate. To make things worse, all 4 songs are rather mediocre and the playing is too sloppy to be exciting. I like my R&B rather tight, guys! An entry through the backdoor. *luKe*

 

Born To Be A Man/Hippys - THE BLACK LIPS (Varmint Records - 7")

You know ‘em, you love ‘em, you just can’t get enough of ‘em. Atlanta’s favourite drunk’n’skinny stagepissing uber-womanizers The Black Lips return, after a couple of 7”s with old material, with two brand new songs. Here they take on a different angle to their usual racket, as it seems to have some sort of folkrock touch to it, making it all sound even more 60’s-ish then usual. Not that it’s a bad thing, it’s in fact very good, really the type of songs you want to hear when you’re driving your car around and you’re bored to death with your dad’s CCR tapes. Apart from the fact that they’re in their usual great shape, “Born to be a Man” also features their buddy King Khan on guitar. Djeez, I just can’t wait for that new full length! *sAm*

 

Tronic Blanc - BLACK SUNDAY (Dirtnap Records - LP)

This is Alicja Trout’s new solo project with songs that didn’t fit any of her other bands. The fact that these songs weren’t played before however doesn’t mean that it strays a lot from her usual “sound”. Although this is a pretty varied album, the overall sound does tend more towards the dark synth stuff of The Lost Sounds/Nervous Patterns than towards The River City Tanlines/Mouse Rocket angle of her repertoire. If you’re a fan (like me) I guess you will really like this. *sAm*

 

Live Box Set 1991-2001 - THE BUNNY BRAINS (Freaks End Future 2005 - 3CDR)

I’m a sucker for the Bunny Brains. I’m addicted to their awful junk noise. Their music is the ultimate soundtrack to my miserable life. I’m just kidding. My life isn’t miserable at all. Especially not at this very moment when the Bunny Brains’ lofi guitar noise messes up my head. This collection from a small Belgian label called ‘Freaks end Future’ has some cool artwork and exists of 3 live CDR’s. The first disc lasts a mere 30 minutes and was recorded at the Rotunda club in Philadelphia. It features one long take of outrageous guitar mayhem : nofi noise for the sake of noise. The last 7 minutes are reserved for tape hiss. Nothing else. I am unable to decipher where the second CDR was recorded and to be honest, I couldn’t care less.. The poor sound fits the music perfectly : garbage rock doesn’t need high-fidelity after all! The first part is pyschedelica supreme : the band creates a hypnotic groove with loads of guitars and special effects. As I said, the track is poorly recorded but satisfactory when played in mono. On the second part you get to hear a 25 minutes recording of a French operetta. I suppose this has absolutely nothing to do with the Bunny Brains but it is kinda funny to listen to a French musical comedy on a Bunny Brains CD. Just don’t ask yourself too many questions and simply try to enjoy what you get to hear : it works! Disc 3 is a 70 minutes cut-and-paste collection of various shows recorded live at Wingdall, NY between 1995 and 1997. The first part is great : pretty brief songs full of guitars, noise & a sax on the loose. Awrightee!! It’s the sound of The Fabulous Freak Brothers going loco and the ambience is great. “Thank you. That was “Car Crash”, a song we wrote several minutes ago.” You are forced to believe them. The second part is very badly recorded. Oh well, this is a rather cheap CDR-collection and I can live with the poor sound because at least it gives a decent impression of a Bunny Brains live show : far-out covers of “I Wanna Be Your Dog” etc. Track 8 is typical BB nonsense : a radio show where some guy (a Bunny Brain?) is allowed to tell a clean joke on air but gets the hosts upset by the absurd & raunchy titles of the jokes he wants to tell the listeners. A good laugh! The rest is more addictive noise rock mayhem. Maybe one day I’ll visit a shrink and ask for an explanation why I love this garbage lofi mess so much. *luKe*

 

CATHOLIC BOYS : Hurt to Hate (Bancroft - 7") + Actin’ Stupid (No Fuckin’ Chance Records - 7")

After their smashing 'Psychic Voodoo Mind Control' album these Wisconsin fellas return with two more 7”s of their spazzed out, hooky over the top fast discordant 3-chord punkrawk’n’roll like it can only be made in dairy land. Both these releases continue in the same way as their album, which is just fine by me, but some people might get kind of a 'same old, same old' feeling out of this. I like “Hurt to Hate” best, but if you’re a fan I would go for “Actin’ Stupid” as well. The song “Frigid 5” appears on both singles, which is pretty stuuuupid indeed. *sAm*

 

Why Baby Why – CHILI COLD BLOOD (Shake Your Ass Records 2005 - 7”)

The people at Italy's ‘Shake Your Ass Records’ like their blues raw & dirty and CHILI COLD BLOOD from Austin, Texas is an excellent showpiece for the label. This trio of dirty & hard-driving bluespunks sounds like a mix between The Black Keys & The Immortal Lee County Killers and make their blues rip & roll ‘till the very end of the trip. In the middle of “Why Baby Why” it looks like they’re going to smash into a wall at 150 Mph but just in time, they get on the right track again and race to the finish. Impressive! A perfect appetizer for the official re-release of their hard-to-find debut album ‘Rock N Roll Motherfucker Redux’ on the same label. *luKe*

 

THE DISSIMILARS - Jimmy’s Room (Out Of Order Records - 7") + Landmine (Plastic Idol Records - 7")

Talkin’ about some pissed off two-chord punk! The Dissimilars appear to be a bunch of pillbopping boozehounds from San Diego who will chase away the few friends you still have, ruin your haircut, squeeze that frigid girlfriend of yours in the tits and ram a bottle of warm Jägermeister down your throat. They somehow also manage to produce some seriously raw and fucked up garagepunk mayhem like we’ve become used from bands like The Reatards/Motards/Persuaders. I think as a release “Jimmy’s Room” stands out, but “Landmine” is the best song. If all this still makes sense to you, you should hunt down both these releases immediately. *sAm*

 

Tutti Frutti - DRAGIBUS (Autobus Records - LP)

Ok this is probably the first time a children’s record is reviewed on this site but what the heck, I love this stuff. Dragibus is a band from France that specialises in making music for your little brats that you too can actually enjoy and that could save you from many afternoons listening to the smurfs or the teletubbies. But also for a non-reproducing loser like myself there’s a lot of good stuff on this. Dragibus consists of mainly three people: chanteuse Lore, who sings in a little girl’s voice and two dudes with the illustrious names Mister Penguin and Franco-Rythmo who use electric guitar, bass, guitar-keyboard, drums, toys and noises to make a very varied album as it contains anything from wild birthday party crashers like “Orazio Il Cane Dello Spazio” or “Pigmy Pig” to bedtime lullabies like “Kirin” or “Namida Kara Ashita E”. They sing in different languages, from French to Japanese (?) and the uptempo songs are actually more energetic than some of the punk stuff I’ve been hearing these days. One of the highlights of the album for all you rock’n’roll types will probably be their cover of “Human Fly” by The Cramps. For many of you this will sound too childish (then again, the target audience of the band is about 7 years old) but hey, if you can’t go crazy on a song like “Mashed Potatoes” anymore, you’ve probably grown up or whatever. Me, I just wrecked my couch. *sAm*

 

Bleeding For You - THE HORRIBLY WRONG (Subway Star Records 7")

Damn this rock’n’roll! You turn your head for five minutes and yet another threesome is there to kick you in the ass and stab you in the neck. These guys are from Bloomington and I had never ever heard of them before, but what a surprise! Really raw garage trashpunk and already ranking high in my annual 'snottiest band' competition. Buy! Buy! Buy! *sAm*

 

The Humans - THE HUMANS (Ken Rock Records 2005 - 7")

Another band from our always up and active crazy Swede Martin Savage. This is a two man band and I think it blows away his previous projects like The Locomotions and the Tokyo Knives (and I love all those bands) as this disc sure is one heck of a raging fucker. There are actually two songs on here, as the other two are actually an intro and a jingle (“Jingle Bells”, of all jingles!). But those two songs will leave you jumping around, crawling on the floor and playing air-guitar all afternoon. I think you could state The Blacks as the best reference here as to somehow describe how this sounds. This is limited to 153 copies, so get this as soon as you can! Don’t miss out! *sAm*

 

Killer’s Kiss - KILLER'S KISS (No Fuckin’ Chance Records - LP)

The first full length by these Californians on Nanne Tepper’s new label No Fuckin’ Chance Records. And with this release it hits bull’s-eye with the first shot. I was in high anticipation for this after their first single, which was a true gem when it comes to psychedelica fused garage/ bluespunk/ rock’n’roll stuff. Although they really have their 'own' sound it reminds me mostly of the Cheater Slicks and other 90’s Crypt stuff. It also has that muddy sound of bands like The Mystery Girls or The Demon’s Claws, but better. This contains some really killer tracks like “Backslide” or their cover of “Lightning Bar Blues”, going for that moody, moanin’, not coping with life kinda desperate sentiment I sooo adore. The garage/bluespunk thing is dominant, but I also hear hints of bands like The Lamps or The Blowtops. The way they use their organ is also very good as it never gets too much into the foreground (compared to a lot of other bands these days) yet really adds power to the songs. Great stuff! *sAm*

 

Chinese Crawfish - KING LOUIE ONE MAN BAND (Goner Records - LP)

Finally a new album by my favourite one man band: Persuaders/Kajun SS frontman King Louie Bankston (although both BBQ and Jeffrey Novak are running on a close second). It’s a bit slowed down compared to his previous stuff, with more blues and country thrown in and more storytelling kind of songs. On the other hand his songwriting seems to have improved and there’s still enough angry cowbell and harmonica filled furious stompers to go around with. Cool surprise was a great cover of “Get Down On It” by Kool And The Gang. My other favourites here are “Walking With The Light” and “I’m 13 And Too Ugly To Live” that is quiet autobiographical: “'cause every date just doesn’t matter, and every night I’m getting shattered, you wanna know what she said, she said I’m a pusshead, yeah!”. True lowlife poetry from Louisiana’s forgotten son! *sAm*

 

Bluegrass at the Roots : 1961 - THE LILLY BROTHERS & DON STOVER (Smithsonian Folkways - CD)

I’m almost dozing off myself on this drowsy Friday afternoon, so if you're afraid your co-workers will find you snoring before you've even reached the end of this review, stop right here. You need a break, pal. Go outside for a minute, catch some fresh air, and if you’re lucky enough to have a record store near the place where you work, go look for this cd, because it's a must-buy. That’s all you need to know for now. At this company, sleeping at your desk, and the drooling, nervous twitches, unintelligible babble and grunts that go with it, are hardly ever met with great enthusiasm (unless you’ve prepared a PowerPoint presentation to back it up), but fortunately, there’s no policy against writing reviews of bluegrass reissues during office hours, although various sources – mostly found around water coolers and coffee machines – have confirmed that “they’re working on one”. This means we’re facing a tight deadline here, so let’s skip the other great events of 1961 and hurry on to the record. If you’ve never heard of it, that’s okay, but the sleeve should look familiar to anyone who was paying attention in the mid-nineties (20! Miles! Othar! Turner!). The music I hope to discuss some other time, because I really don't want to miss my train home. "Have a nice weekend, everyone!" *tOm*

(first half of the album is Monroes style mandolin/guitar brother duets, the other batch of songs is a full-band bluegrass blast with Don Stover on banjo, and it's all great, great, great - man, I’ll have to run…)

 

New Orleans Born – THE ORIGINAL THREE (Shake Your Ass Records 2005 - 7”)

There has been some involvement in this by Alicja Trout and Jay Reatard (in better times I suppose) so you kinda know what to expect : swampy & addictive garage punk that’ll rock your socks off. This Memphis-based combo from New Orleans features Ian from The Black Lips and makes me curious about their upcoming debut album on Empty Records. A goodie! *luKe*

 

I’ve Been Wrong - PURPLE WIZARD (Show And Tell Records - 7")

Pretty good but not really outstanding girlpop/60’s inspired garagerock’n’roll here by two ladies, namely ex-Prissteens Leslie Day and Lora Lindsay. It’s not as bad as your average 6987th Donnas clone poppunk band but it’s no Mr. Airplane Man either. “I’ve been wrong” is an amusing Hollies cover and well the b-side “I’m not angry” isn’t bad either. I’m not gonna spin this a zillion times, but it’s enjoyable nonetheless. *sAm*

 

Italians Who Just Saw Rocky - SEXY PRISON (Nascar Records - LP)

Euhhmm..., right, I don’t really know how to describe this or what to compare this to, but Sexy Prison is yet another band that fusions electronic beats with powerchords. Now, we have seen this stuff before with bands like Atari Teenage Riot or Volt, but Sexy Prison have a yet much more discordant approach to it. Really weird and over top songs with titles like “Zima On Your Tits” or “Escape From Dude Mountain” that mix punk noise obnoxiousness to the digital backframe. Mind you, this isn’t 'wave', it’s punky but barely punk, you can hardly really dance to it, it’s noisy but not for the sake of noise. Maybe fans of Arab On Radar or The Locust could find a thrill in this but beyond that I really have no orientation point with this band and that’s maybe why I keep playing this time and again. Just get it and see for yourself, I bet you don’t own a lot of records quiet like this. *sAm*

 

Raving Mad - SHADY LADY (Rave Up Records - LP)

After their 'America’s lost punkrock nuggets' Italian reissue label Rave Up have now come up with a new series called 'American high energy 70’s rock’n’roll' and the first band to be featured is Shady Lady, who are supposed somewhat of a milestone, as they claim to be America’s first glamrock band (make-up, transvestite clothing) and to have inspired The New York Dolls. This was originally recorded in 1970 and is pretty straightforward rock’n’roll not unlike T Rex or something but pretty goddamn good, especially if you compare it to some of the other stuff that was popular in those days. I also think it’s cool how a band who you think would suck because of the recordsleeve or the way they look(ed) turns out to be this great discovery! I had the same experience with Zolar X. A must for every true fan of 70’s rock’n’roll and it’s a shame there are no liner notes or more background information on this, as that would have been swell, I guess. *sAm*

 

World War III - THE SHIT DOGS (Rave Up Records - LP)

Another reissue by Rave Up Records of yet another American punkrock 'legend', and this time it’s The Shit Dogs who are pulled out of some damp basement or dusty attic. Now usually this reissue business is a metaphor for shitty live recordings or a demo tape that got badly damaged in the guitar player’s car stereo, but I’m telling you, this isn’t a stinker. The Shit Dogs were from Louisiana and existed in the years of our Lord 1980-83, playing some pretty goddamn fine goofy punk’n’roll not unlike The Penetrators, The Gizmos or The Foreign Objects. They had it all : the tunes, the long hair, the excessive bodymass and the bandname nobody could possibly ever like. So should you really spend your money on this crap? Hell yeah!!! *sAm*

 

Don’t Quit - THE SHOP FRONTS (Rapid Pulse Records - 7")

One of the best things out of New York lately was the DC Snipers/Shop Fronts split 7” so I was pretty enthused when I got hold of this first single by the big apple’s greatest newcomers, The Shop Fronts. Really cool KBD-era punk stuff with boy/girl vocal continuing in the same vein as the split, only a bit better. We get treated with 3 songs on this, including an impressive cover of “Frustration” by The Outcasts (although you can’t go very wrong with that one). What more can I say? When is that full-length coming?! *sAm*

 

This Time – THIS DAMN TOWN (Shake Your Ass Records 2005 - 7”)

Alex Cuervo (Blacktop, A Feast of Snakes, The Now Time Delegation) never seems to disappoint his fans and the first 7” by his new outfit is another winner. The songs are great, the singing is very good, the music is awesome : a perfect debut! This Damn Town sounds like the missing link between Ben Vaughn and The Beasts of Bourbon and I really hope a full-length is in the making. Classy messieurs et madame! *luKe*

 

Television Rules - TOT ROCKET AND THE TWINS (Rave Up Records - LP)

Tot Rocket And The Twins were formed in New York in 1979 and this is a reissue of their entire recorded repertoire (12 songs). They seem to have been inspired by bands like The Real Kids and The Heartbreakers but there’s definably also the British influence of bands like The Undertones and mostly (in my opinion) The Clash. They played long yet energetic punksongs with a real urban feeling that…yadahyadahyadah…I would just pick this up if I were you. It’s no Testors, Epicycle, Trend or Controllers, but at least it’s a good rock’n’roll band from a great rock’n’roll era. Ignore the silly bandname and give this a shot. *sAm*

 

MISS ALEX WHITE & THE RED ORCHESTRA (In The Red - LP)

After her efforts as a two man band with Chris Playboy and with the Hot Machines, here’s finally a full album by Chicago’s most fiercesome redhead, Miss Alex White. Apparently she now has a new band called Miss Alex White And The Red Orchestra with herself on guitar and singing and two guys called Edward (drums) and Wesley (guitar). It’s still the same sound as her previous projects, VU/Modern Lovers inspired fierce garage rock’n’roll stuff with great Patti Smith alike vocals. But I must say that although it’s similar material, it’s not as good as the Hot Machines, whose contribution to the “maybe Chicago” compilation I really liked. Apart from that the songs still sound melancholic but really rockin’n’screamin’ at the same time. Some of you will not like this, as she does have a very “typical” voice, but heck, I like it, which probably means I’m gay. *sAm*

 

GORILLA ANGREB/LOKUM (Hjernespind Records - split 7")

I had heard a lot of rumours and read a lot of good stuff about this Danish band called Gorilla Angreb, so when Incognito got this split 7” in I didn’t hesitate to order up. And damn, this shit smokes! Really fast’n’furious straightforward punk stuff with (Danish) girl vocals not unlike The Tyrades but less on the artpunk/wavey and more on the hardcore/trashy. Too bad it’s only one song, as this really leaves me longing for more, but the one song on here already justifies the purchase of this single. The other side contains two songs by this band Lokum who play creepy KBD-ish punk that is good but not as great as Gorilla Angreb. Oh yeah, the 'theme' of the 7” appears to be Leatherface, the chainsaw wielding maniac from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. *sAm*

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