Friday, March 14, 2014

The Blind Shake - Key To A False Door

Label: Castle Face
Year: 2013

Wait, hold're telling me that there are STILL bands making NEW music?! AFTER 1997?!
Whoa. Nuts.
Case in point, there's this band The Blind Shake, who are actually a functioning, contemporary, rock and roll group. Now. They are doing this stuff right now. So weird. And to add to the weirdness, this band decided to go the ole tried and true two-guitar-no-bass route. That ole chestnut again. Granted, one guitar is baritone, so it's lower end, know. Works though. Works out real fine.
Take some primitive garage rock attack, filter it through the skewed psych pop sensibilities of a John Cale, then run that sound past the guys in Vaz, and you might end up with a sound similar. It can go straight for the toe-tapping melody of catchy fun time jam, or they can wrestle that melody to the ground and force a gallon of NyQuil into it's throat to watch it writhe into a slow motion drone, or it can be an ice melting blast of feedback scree that launches that very same melody into the wall in the back of the room at 1000 mph.
Highly recommended


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Alarms & Controls - Reanimus Cataract / Kirtland's Warbler 7"

Label: Dischord / Mud Memory
Year: 2012

Here's the debut from this band, that almost wasn't, but thankfully is, and hopefully will continue to be.
Two of the three members have had long and storied pasts in bands that you and your cool friends have heard of, or maybe you guys even saw them in some small basement somewhere "before they had a record out"...that's how cool you and your friends are. Did you see Crownhate Ruin, Circus Lupus, 1.6 Band, Monorchid, Antimony, The Sorts, or Canyon? Maybe you're ahead of the curve.
If not, don't fret, it's just music, it's not some exclusive're welcome to enter at any time.
I would encourage entry here if you're a fan of the circuitous post hardcore styling's of mid to late 90's era Dischord Records, the kind of music that borrows from the Minutemen's jazz damage, and marries it to Rites Of Spring's cathartic urgency, with an overall sheen of arty pop bounce. If that seems like a good time to you, and there's no reason to think otherwise, then you should do yourself the favor of investigating Alarms & Controls.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Hungry Ghost - Hungry Ghost

Label: Self Released
Year: 2012

"ex-Unwound" is going to go pretty far in my home as far as potential descriptors to get me interested. It could be argued that Unwound were the greatest band of the 90' could make that case. You'd get into a fight with a whole cadre of nerds and know-it-alls who would be talking about Fugazi and stuff, but there's a legitimate case to be made.
So, with Unwound having been merely a power trio (technically a quintet if you factor the second drummer, and the second guitarist), you have had merely three personalities to latch onto post-Unwound in hopes of hearing some of "that old magic" again. You'll never hear "that old magic" by the way, and the band members will be the first ones to tell you as such, but you can hear those flashes of brilliance that take you back to the drum tight mania that coalesced into the Unwound sound. Survival Knife is giving you some. Flora v. Fauna gave(?) you some. And Hungry Ghost give you some too.
Hungry Ghost gives it to you in an grooving, windows down, blues damaged, post-hardcore car ride baking under the last hours of a summer sun. It's a 70's vibe in the same way that Black Mountain or The Duke Spirit saunter through the 1970s via the Dischord Records catalog of the early 90s.


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Nirvana - Live - 05-14-90 - Lincoln Nebraska, Duffy's Tavern

Label: Bootleg
Year: 1990

1990 was a big touring year for Nirvana, and there are lots of shows from that run of shows posted (lots of them here [this actual one apparently...oops, just noticed that. oh well, the link was dead anyway]), and there's little variation in the set lists from show to show, but the constant touring has tightened up the band and honed their sound. For "seat-of-your-pants" type songs, they manage to play them with astonishing precision.
Also of note, Kris Novoselic introducing "Dive" as song that will appear on their new album coming out soon, which would have been Nevermind, of which "Dive" was not apart of. Not that exciting, just sayin'. They do play Nevermind songs in the set, along with some songs that were on 7"s and compilations, but it's a Bleach-heavy selection. Fine by me.
Technical notes:
The live set is supposed to end with the song "Blew", but it's cut off. Sorry. After the set, there's a collection of demo recordings that...well, I don't have a clue where they came from. They seem to be unrelated in terms of when and where they were recorded, but I couldn't tell you. This was a cd in a bindle of cds marked only as "Nirvana - Live 05.14.90", and I'm not even sure where I got it, but I've had it since 2000 or so, most likely downloaded from some Napster-ish site around that time.
Anyway, it's that band Nirvana, the one your grandparent's like, so, take a chance.

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