Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Sperm Donor - Sleight Coincidence

Label: self released
Year: 2018

I'm a straight shooter, so I'm gonna level with you all; had this record not been sent to us by the band themselves, I would have never given it the time of day. That's just how shallow and stubborn I am. The band name is too juvenile to be taken seriously, and the cover art is some hand drawn...something or other, that gives no indication of what lies within (or worse, gives the wrong indication).
But here we are, together, reading about the new Sperm Donor album.
Because I was too quick to discount this based on my own prejudices (where have I heard that before?), we almost missed out on a legit noise rock ripper. I mean, how would I have known that the band who thought it prudent to name three out of the seven songs on this album as Rolling Stones songs, would come correct with a Hammerhead-ish blue collar bluster like this? Why would you expect me to believe on first glance that Sperm Donor have studied the Amphetamine Reptile playbook down to the letter, and deliver on a caveman-bass lurch-n-roll attack?
Stereotypes are a real time saver, you know?! I can only do what I can! Sue me.

Don't let my obduracy rub off on you (don't let my pubic lice rub off on you either)...don't sleep on the unfortunately named Sperm Donor. Trust me...I have great judgement!


Tight Bros From Way Back When - Lend You A Hand

Year: 2001
Label: Kill Rock Stars

I'm on the fence about these guys, as in, I'm not sure if I buy what they're selling. It's full-on arena rawk via glam punk, complete with dueling guitars and Bon Scott styled histrionics. It's well, executed, and these dudes have enough of a pedigree that I want to like this, but there's just something missing. Curiously, they started this band about the same time as a lot of other retro-rock outfits were touring the country, sooooo. You tell me. But like I said, check their bloodline: Karp, The Whip, Big Business, Melvins, Behead The Prophet, Han Shan, Mukilteo Fairies, and Brent's TV.

*Originally posted 08.31.08, re-up'd 03.20.18 (holy shit..I've been "blogging" for over ten years?!)


Melvins - Making Love Demos (Manchild 3)

Label: Bifocal Media
Year: 2007

Seems pretty certain that this record was previously posted on this blog, previously...at a previous time...but I looked and don't see it. So look at it now.

Originally recorded as 4-track demos back in 1987, these songs were committed to compact disc under the watchful eye and talented hands of artist/musician Brian Walsby as a companion to his third issue of Manchild zine.

It's raw and feral Melvins. It's the Matt Lukin era of Melvins. It's eight songs, four of which were never released anywhere else. So, that should pretty much be a case closed.


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Turin Horse - The Turin Horse

Label: Hell Comes Home
Year: 2018

Three songs, (two originals, one cover) recorded in Turin (saw that coming) by two guys, two years ago in 2016, finally seeing the light of day two months ago in 2018.
Maybe you already heard the aforementioned cover song on the Unsane tribute album, "Scattered, Covered, and Smothered" that came out last year? I did not. But generally I expect more from you, than you should expect from me. Aim low.
So what do these Italian Stallions (I mean, come on...you had to of known I was winding up on that) bring to the table?
Great question, glad you asked.
Were you ever a fan of the band Volt? Cause there's a lot of that band's overdriven manic muscle in Turin Horse. And have you listened to KEN Mode lately? Cause there's some of that band's bludgeoning scatter shot of bombardment. I would also like to inquire if you own any records by Great Falls? Cause that band's gut churning avalanche-rock can be heard in Turin Horse.

Only three songs, but hear me know and believe me later, the final track 'The Light That Failed' is all you need to listen to today (and possibly tomorrow...I don't know if you have any meetings scheduled or not, but I'll let you decide if your conference call is prepared for Turin Horse). Highly, highly recommended.


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Faking - Keystone Noise Series #1

Year: 2014
Label: Reptilian

Another scathing, overloaded, ass whipping of a 7". Not too far off what The Cloth were doing, but a little bit nastier and a little bit more beholden to some ghosts of Amphetamine Reptile past. Only two songs, but good lord, they pack a lot of vein popping vitriol in a brief seven and half minutes. The proverbial "all killer, no filler" approach to making music.
Essential listening. For real.


The Cloth - Keystone Noise Series #2

Year: 2013
Label: Reptilian

File under: No Mercy
The Cloth deliver these five songs with a sort of reckless, "fuck it" approach that leaves lots of blood and entrails on the battle axe they level their audience with. Messy and haphazard in the sense that these songs couldn't be polished even if they wanted them to be. They are too frantic and/or lumbering to be bothered with perfection. The point is obvious, and it's "get in the car or eat shit". Blown out and exhilarating.


Psychic Teens - Keystone Noise Series #3

Year: 2014
Label: Reptilian

Fuck it, right, let's go ahead and do 'em all.
Psychic Teens pull from the swampy gothic punk stomp that Rikk Agnew was so good at for a minute in Christian Death. It's got Gun Club, and T.S.O.L., and Birthday Party, and some good old fashioned punk power. Not unlike contemporaries Vincas or Wailin' Storms.
One song comes out of the crypt straight for your throat, and the second song slowly returns back to the fog from whence it came.


Fight Amp - Keystone Noise Series #4

Year: 2015
Label: Reptilian

Two quick jams, and unfortunately some of the last quick jams that Fight Amp imparted onto the lucky listeners of the world. Fight Amp was a great band who operated on the burlier end of the noise rock spectrum, combining sludgy aggression with some post hardcore grunge rocking and rolling. At a high volume and with scant few concerns about your well being.
If you're still smarting from Fight Amp's break-up, you should absolutely be getting weird with Plaque Marks, which has two members of the band. And are righteous in their own right.
If you're curious who numbers 1 through 3 are of the Keystone Noise Series, they are, in order, Faking (Philadelphia), The Cloth (also Philadelphia), and Psychic Teens (take a guess).


Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Easy Prey - Teeth

Label: self released
Year: 2018

No doubt both (maybe all three...fingers crossed?) of the Shiny Grey Monotone superfans will recognize Easy Prey as a band I thought I had discovered in 2017, only to rightfully discover that much like Christopher Columbus and his syphllis-ridden search for the Northern Passage, Easy Prey had already been discovered a year earlier. So, they were not allowed in the coveted Best Of 2017 (bet they are pretty crushed).
Well, holla atcha boy, it's 2018, Easy Prey have a bona fide 2018 release on the shelves, and we're STILL supposed to be celebrating that scourge of the Arawak peoples...Christopher "Can't Read A Map" ColumbASS?! Life is a fucked up roller coaster. We need a band like Easy Prey to come along and drop the hammer on us. We need the unrelenting truncheon strikes to the throat that Easy Prey traffic in.
The last record we (I...us) heard from the band was only two songs, and it belied their Austin roots in a very Johnboy kinda way. It was noise rock ridden hard into the red. On this record there's less of an Austin foundation and more of a Hydra Head circa 1998 foundation. Cable and Vent type hardcore damage that roars and indiscriminatly lashes out. The noise rock is still there in the staggering bass pulse, and bulging eye rhythms, but it's run through Matt Bayles' production, which establishes a baseline swarming heaviness and doesn't let up for the duration.
Appears this is on cassette for now, but hopefully a proper album release soon? Highly recommended.


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Bad Brains - Live - Wabash Hall, San Diego, CA - 10-11-85

Label; bootleg
Year: 1985

Pretty impressed that this audience-sourced bootleg does such a commendable job capturing (that you could) the whirlwind of blurred heat that was this era of Bad Brains. Certainly not "pristine" in terms of a recorded artifact, but, it's far better than it should be.
Did you (and I suppose technically, you still could) see Bad Brains? And if so, what was the general reaction when the band went from breakneck ass whipping into hackneyed reggae noodle? Mass exodus (pun intended) to the restrooms? Yeah. Were you ever lucky enough to catch the Bad Brains on a full irie mellow toke night? I was. So lucky. I count my blessings every time I think back on it. Either way, as per the deal, the set chronicled here gets a bit wonky in spots when the band take their foot off the gas and #blessup (historical footnote: I believe that marks the first ever hashtag in this blog's illustrious run. We've hit a new low). Soon-to-be-released 'I and I' jam "Hired Gun" takes some of the momentum out of the night, which they rescue, but then torpedo again with some extra Jah luv, but ultimately rescue again with also-soon-to-be-released 'I and I' stomper "Re-Ignition".
So, like every Bad Brains show ever, you roll the dice and cross your fingers that things go ok for at least 75% of the time, and on October 10th, 1985 in San Diego they seem to have.

*originally posted 04.25.17, reposted 02.20.18

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