Monday, January 29, 2018

Tar - Jackson

Label: Amphetamine Reptile
Year: 1991

Long ago posted here, but long ago disappeared. So it's back, for now.

Tightly wound dissonance that flirts with melody, but never really seals that particular deal. Too anti-social I would reckon. At their most accessible they took some of the Homestead Records type sounds, or a Bitch Magnet rock and (t)roll type sound, and give it a punchy speed walk that draws some subtle Fluid styled grungy post hardcore cues into the mix. All the while letting their Illinois roots show, with the damaged pulse of a rhythm section pushing and pulling away while twin aluminum guitars scratch out another swelling, angled, (sometimes slow)burner.

Essential noise.


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

765-HERO - Get Here And Stay

Label: Up
Year: 1998

If you can deliver well crafted, tuneful indie rock that has some darkness around the edges, and doesn't fall back on the crutches of "fey", "sassy", or "quaint", then I'm your target demographic. I mean, yeah, sure, I'm 100% Grade A American Beef(cake)...all man, but dang dudes, even Sears had a softer side at one point (before they filed for bankruptcy?). A man can get in touch with his feelings, right?
Or maybe it's just fun to be able to sing along sometimes.
Regardless, I'm a fan of this band's Built To Spill meets Castor meets Heatmiser slow burns, they "get me"...right in my big ole Sears sized heart (vagina). Try the song "Ottawa Dropout" if you need convincing, and don't believe my lady parts.


Burn - The Last Great Sea

Label: Revelation
Year: 2002

Is it true that these three songs were recorded as a demo for Roadrunner Records (and not Hawker Records?! Blasphemous!) just as the band were to splinter for the first time? Somebody should ask somebody.
Regardless, these three songs mark the final showing of the original lineup of Chaka, Gavin, Alan, and Alex. Chaka would pop back up in Orange 9mm, Gavin in Pry, Alan in Quicksand, and Alex…somewhere. Probably. I don’t know. Musically, Burn could manage to weave together bits and pieces from every corner of underground NY to forge an unmatched amalgam of traditional hardcore, disjointed noise rock, heavy rock and roll, groove driven metal(?), and far flung exotic flavors, but kept the whole thing tight as a drum. Still doing it now, as good as ever…mixing and matching different elements into a signature style, that is…they even made the highly coveted Shiny Grey Monotone ‘Best of 2017’…basically the highest honor in the game. Ask the same person you inquire about the Hawker Records thing to.

Glad Revelation got around to releasing these tracks 10 years after the fact, since apparently Roadrunner wasn’t biting (should of gone Haaaaaaaawkerrrrr).

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Sebadoh - Bakesale

Label: Sub Pop
Year: 1994

In a world of mixed bag Sebadoh records, ‘Bakesale’ has got to be the most consistent, the most accessible, and maybe, just maybe, the most bestest. The initial lo-fi ramblings of their first couple albums were trimmed down and amped up here, still damaged pop songs at heart, but now flirting with the grunge mania of the day, to great success. While I’m sure there were grumblings of “selling out” and whatnot at the time, Sebadoh was never in danger of becoming The Lemonheads or nothing. Too weird and too abrasive.
This was the final batch of songs to include the O.G. Sebadoh two piece, drummer Eric Gaffney only appears on four tracks here and was out of the band before the record’s release. Eric’s replacement in the band, Bob Fay, plays on a few songs, and ex-Rodan member Tara Jane O’Neill plays on a few. Bob Weston recorded the first batch of songs at Steve Albini’s house, and Tim O’Heir recorded the rest at Fort Apache in Boston.
Sometimes calming down is the best thing. Not always, but, you know what I mean.


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