Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bible of the Devil
Freedom Metal
Cruz Del Sur

Bible of the Devil has spent four previous albums giving a tongue bath to that sweet spot between the legs of Thin Lizzy and Iron Maiden, finally resulting in a screaming orgasm called Freedom Metal. Relocating its sense of humor (it’s always great to hear a hard rock band that acknowledges the inherent silliness of its chosen milieu without becoming a smirking parody) and bearing down hard on its majestic hookriffs, B of the D rocks the holy fuck out of well-crafted cuts like Night Oath, Ol’ Girl and Womanize with a deadly combination of precision and abandon. The band really shows its mettle with the zero-to-60 majesty of Heat Feeler, which starts out as folk rock (!) before letting the power chords and harmony leads fly. This is the record Axl Rose and Zakk Wylde need to hear to relearn how to rock. You may think you own the night, but, as declared in this platter’s castle-pillaging opener Hijack the Night, Bible of the Devil is going to take it from you.

- Michael Toland
The Specimens
The Quick and the Deaf/Fast and Loose
Zodiac Killer

Is it just me, or is the fine country of Australia home to a hell of a lot of top shelf rock & rollers? The Saints, Radio Birdman, the Beasts of Bourbon and their many offshoots, the Chevelles, Feedtime, the Drones, Kim Salmon’s various projects, You Am I…the list goes on and fuckin’ on. Add the Specimens to the roster with this American introductory disk that combines the quartet’s two albums, plus an EP. Like an Aussie Joker Five Speed, the Specimens don’t fuck around – there’s no time wasted on anything but catchy fuzzbomb riffs, runaway train rhythms and spitting sneers. Loaded, Kiss On the Lips and Drama Queen run on the kind of angry/horny fuel powering young men around the world – it spills all over the floor on Burn City Burn, No Good and The Quick and the Deaf, so mind the matches. The disk ends with an Australian interview that teases the group’s forthcoming record Jazz Brutus, which sounds like it’s gonna be another corker. Bottle-smashing, firestarting, gang deb-fucking rock & roll.

- Michael Toland

Monday, December 29, 2008

Snakes/1-800-BAND
7" split
Slow Gold Zebra Records


This is fucking weird, man. I swear that I've never met any of the guys in Snakes. I've never even been to New York. But Fakeyed Heartscrew has somehow managed to perfectly capture one fucked-up night at a friend's cottage by the lake a few thousand summers ago. The beach at 3 a.m. Match-flare bonfires. Constellations seen through a lazy weed-haze. Rolling Stones cassettes played on an old battery-powered ghetto blaster. Mushroom-trip echoes and everything slightly out of sync. This song is nostalgia in vinyl. Dig it.
And on the flipside, a couple of songs from 1-800-BAND. Tropical Meds sounds like a lost Sticky Fingers recording, all brooding Jagger/Wurlitzer, while Good Intentions sounds like Nada Surf doing the Stones. Kinda groovy, especially if you're, you know, high. Puff puff pass.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Truckstop Lovechild
A Damn Good 33:52
Zodiac Killer

I can’t get no satisfaction/I can’t get no two girl action, complains Vincent Ferrari on Truckstop Lovechild’s second album. I hear ya, brother. TLSC does dirty rock & roll right, hitting the sweet spot betwixt punk and hard rock, spitting and snarling about everything and everybody in the world that’s done ‘em wrong (or right, if it’s alcohol and loose women) and just generally being ornery with the volume cranked. That the band does all this whilst bashing out real songs (complete with more than three chords and one riff apiece) like Long Ride Home, Jay Was Right and the self-explanatory F is For Fuck puts the cherry bomb on the bumcakes. A Damn Good 33:52 is truth in advertising at its best.

- Michael Toland

Super Sexy Boy 1986
Royal Peacocks
Zodiac Killer

Cheap Wine aside, I don’t usually think of Italy when I think of rock & roll. Super Sexy Boy 1986 is changing my mind, though. Despite a name that made me think the fivesome was a gimmicky 80s electro-revivalist fuck-up, the band instead injects 60s garage rock with a nuclear-powered vibe, spewing orgasmic energy everywhere. Which ain’t to say that it’s just a big clusterfuck of trashy guitar and cheesy organ minus point or purpose. Bed, Russhina Black Magic and The News are honest-to-Music Machine songs, not half-assed riffs amped up on speed and Red Bull in the hopes you won’t notice how little effort was made in the writing department. Singer Nicola’s got plenty of feral energy, but is hardly an incomprehensible bawler. A nice surprise, this.

- Michael Toland

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Rose Tattoo
Blood Brothers
Wacken/SPV

It’s easy to have mixed feelings about Rose Tattoo. On the one hand, it’s arguable they’ve never really put out a bonafide killer of an album – a few tunes, certainly (Rock N Roll Outlaw, Nice Boys, maybe Bad Boy For Love), but not any truly landmark full-lengths. But that can be to the Aussie titan’s advantage – the band is, 30 years after its inception, able to continue on without embarrassing itself by never having to live up to the high standards of its early career. The point being: Blood Brothers is a marble solid slab of street-level hard rock that easily satisfies those of us with a sweet tooth for this kinda thing, but it’s no timeless classic. The tunes are just memorable enough, the guitar work is decent, if not sterling (late slide wrangler Pete Wells is missed) and, frankly, the band doesn’t really have any dinstictive personality outside of Angry Anderson’s razor-edged howl. But if you’ve got a taste for butt-beating tracks like Black Eyed Bruiser, Man About Town and the almost ridiculously lascivious Lubricated, you won’t have any complaints.

- Michael Toland

Buzzcrusher
s/t
Zodiac Killer

A Texas take on the Confederacy of Scum metalpunk sound, Buzzcrusher blasts beer bongs and batters butts with brawny bashing that leaves bruises. This is some ugly shit circa the mid-1990s, when not too many Austin acts were feeling the fury – no wonder the quartet didn’t last long. This disk consists of its 1995/1996 recordings, including the infamous Pissed Again , Scoring Dope From Bikers, Muffler Burn and the band’s take on State Violence State Control by British punk legend Discharge (an important influence). Fourteen songs of good ol’ fashioned Lone Star rage in 26 minutes. Can’t beat that with a tire iron.

- Michael Toland

Monday, December 22, 2008

Another Saturday Night
Giants of Love/Sidewalkin'
7" single
Slow Gold Zebra Records


Yep, it's another Saturday night in NYC, and you're heading out to your favourite local bar, having finally managed to scrub the dirt out from beneath your fingernails. You shoot the shit with the bartender, Dale, who knows your preferred brand of beer without you having to tell him. You say hey to some friends playing pool in the corner, adjust your balls, take a long pull from the cold bottle, head over to the stage and nod your head in time to the Stones-by-way-of-Dolls garage rock the band is playing. It's another Saturday night, man, and the world is A-okay.

Brainerd
Animal Mother
Zodiac Killer

Brainerd is from Wisconsin, has a cover shot of a naked woman covered in some milky liquid and, in lieu of liner notes, pix of the members dead from various violent means. That says a lot right there, I suspect, but in case that’s not enough, there are crusty power riffers like The Legion (of Super Whores, that is), Jesus (the libretto of which is pretty much someone screaming his name over and over) and Deb Lee (a twisted sea shanty set to a stoner rock groove). There’s even a cover of the band’s homeslice Killdozer (“Ed Gein,” natch), though Brainerd is a lot more tuneful than those guys. It almost comes across as an art project, but the group is obviously a lot more interested in farts than art – nothing sounds pre-planned or too thought out. File under “unselfconscious slimy crunge” and wash your hands afterward.

- Michael Toland

The Torpedo Monkeys
Lunchtime With the Torpedo Monkeys
Zodiac Killer

Germany’s Torpedo Monkeys are a testament to the punk rock underground’s continued fascination with the Cramps. Lunchtime With is punk-injected ‘billy in the old-fashioned style, before the so-called “psychobilly” movement infected the genre with bad Misfits imitations. Lead howler Little Lance Link isn’t as gonzoid as Lux Interior (no one is, of course), but he’s got personality out the yin-yang, and the pack bangs away behind him with the right mixture of frenzy and panache. And any band that names songs “The Day They Melt My Face,” “Same Room, Different Teeth” and “Shim Sham Chimpanzee” has got somedamnthing goin’ on.

- Michael Toland

Sunday, December 21, 2008




Ah, to be young, bored and sexually frustrated. (As opposed to old and…never mind.) Like a lot of young ‘ns, Denver’s Nicotine Fits channel all those dead-end minimum wage jobs and hormonal aches into loud rock & roll. The seven tunes on Like the Curse burst with Detroit energy and Minneapolis hooks like pus from popped pimples, as singer Pete Sisson bitches about Teenage Wads and Girls Like Heroin to Me, how he’s Drinkin My Life Away, how he Just Can’t Control Her and especially about how he needs to Shake Me Some Action. I wouldn’t wish teenage boredom and blue balls on anybody, but if being unfulfilled keeps these boys’ musical madness peaking, I hope they never get laid.

- Michael Toland

Living Colour
Live August 19, 2005 – The Bowery Collection
MVD Audio

Part of a series of the CBGB OMFUG Masters series, featuring shows recorded at the now-defunct Bowery club, Live August 19, 2005 documents the reunited Living Colour revisiting and paying tribute to the then-endangered (and since closed) stage it often invaded in the 80s. Proceeds go the Hilly Kristal Foundation for Musicians and Artists (whatever that is). That in itself might be enough to make this worth spending your moolah on, but to say it helps to be a fan of the band is an understatement. The group is in fine form, having not lost a step during the breakup years – singer Corey Glover in particular sounds as powerful as he did in 1988. But if you’re not already into LC’s politically-charged riff metal, this performance is unlikely to appeal, especially given speed demon guitarist Vernon Reid’s tendency to s-t-r-e-t-c-h w-a-y o-u-t, whether the tune warrants it or not. (Sacred Ground didn’t really need to be 13 minutes long, did it?) But for those who do dig it, all the hits are here (Open Letter to a Landlord, Love Rears Its Ugly Head, Middle Man, Funny Vibe, Cult of Personality), plus songs that are either deep album cuts or filler, depending on your perspective. Everything is given fiery readings, with sound that’s equal to a good bootleg. If you still have fond memories of rocking out to Vivid and Time’s Up back in the late 80s, this will bring a smile to your face. If not, you probably oughta not bother, unless you’re a CBGB fanatic who wants anything connected to the legend or you want to support the cause.

- Michael Toland

Friday, December 19, 2008


The Sir Finks
(Tres Mexicanos) Del Sur De Texas
Get Hip

Funny how you can live in a town for nearly two decades, think you’re plugged into the music scene, and yet be completely unaware of a local band with a decade of stage and studio history under its belt. Corpus Christi-to-Austin transplants the Sir Finks were the River City’s premier surf guitar band for ages and somehow I missed them completely. (I guess I thought the surf music scene died when 3 Balls of Fire and Herman the German quit playing out more than once or twice a year.) On this compilation, the Finks (most often a trio, but sometimes a quartet or quintet) stay pretty goddamn faithful to the old tenets as set forth by the Challengers, the Lively Ones, the Ventures and other staples of the early 60s instrumental rock scene. Dick Dale and Davie Allan and the Arrows get namechecked in the liner notes, but to my ears the Finks have neither Dale’s aggression nor Allan’s menace. (Though there is one overtly Allan-like tune, a fuzz-bombed cover of These Boots Are Made For Walkin’.) This is the surf music that floats through the air as the sun sets on the beach, the surfboards lie flat on the sand and the swimsuit-clad pretty kids snuggle up around the fire to get ready to make out or screw or get killed by vampires or whatever. Not to my taste, but folks who miss the days of pre-Beatles surf music will dig the Sir Finks mightily.

- Michael Toland
Before I Hang
Mississippi
Zodiac Killer

Someday a documentary flick needs to be lensed called The Children of Antiseen. Mississippi’s Before I Hang certainly walk the talk of the sadly defunct Confederacy of Scum, what with all the furious punk metal riffery, drill sergeant serial killer barking and Libertarian rage. Tunes like Blow Up the World, Put U Out of My Misery and the inevitable (Kiss) My Southern Ass flip the bird with one hand and swing a baseball bat with the other. Upfront, meanwhile, keeps both hands on its throbbing erection and Freonhead invites some Steve McKay sax scree. The songs aren’t as political as Hammerlock’s, as offensive as Cocknoose’s or nearly as catchy as the godhead’s, but they still kick up the kind of righteous ruckus that leads to black eyes, bruised chins and broken noses. Keep the mace handy.

- Michael Toland
The Sleepwalkers
Baby Baby 7" single
Wrecked'Em Wreckords


So I was doing my hausfrau thing this afternoon, glass of wine in hand, wearing my frilly apron and stilettos, crushing garlic, getting a roast ready for when my man comes home from work, and, of course, listening to some records. This one, strangely. I like vinyl; it's pretty, and it smells good. But 45s are a pain in the ass when one is trying to get a roast in the oven. I need to hire someone to flip my records for me. I'll pay you ten cents a flip.
Anyway, this band from Oxford, Mississippi (not to be confused with the myriad other bands sharing the same name-if any of them hit the big time, the courts are going to be tied up for years) play some pretty good rock and roll. The A side, Down With Baby, initially reminded me of Primus, then of this British band called Sugar who had one decent song 13 years ago, and finally of The Replacements, and brought to mind my beer-soaked cover-band mosh-pit days of the 90s. The B side, V.C. Baby, is more traditionally sleaze-punk, and I liked it, too. Plus, I hear they put on a pretty good live show, so you should check them out. Oops! Look at the time! I gotta fill up my wine glass and put on some lipstick. Mmm, that roast is smelling divine...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Spotted today, by Paul, on Santa Monica Blvd.

I mean, who can argue with the guy?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Preacher's Kids
Is This Love?/Don't Talk To Me
7" single
Wrecked'Em Wreckords

(Yeah, I know, check out the tits. Sweet.) Speaking of sweet, this is one sweet slab of wax, brothers and sisters. If The Preacher's Kids' Mississippi brand of southern raunch 'n' roll doesn't convert you to the almighty church of Rawk, why, you ain't got no business browsing this here website, and I'd advise you all to mosey along now before the sinning starts in earnest. Wouldn't want to upset your delicate sensibilities, now, would we? If, however, you're already a member of the rock 'n' roll congregation, you'll wanna pick this record up, for both the Dolls-ian sleaze rock of Is This Love? and for the killer GG Allin-cover B-side. Can I get an amen, brothers and sisters??

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

CD reviews, December 16

The Atomic Bitchwax
4
Meteor City

The Atomic Bitchwax now have Bob Pantella on drums, making him the second Monster Magnet member (but first ex-Raging Slab member) to take a stab at TAB's boogie and bloozy ways after Ed Mundell kicked things off way back when TAB was a cosmic juggernaut of stormy jam n' roll. But Pantella's Magnetian presence hasn't brought that old Bitchwax sound back and the band picks up where they left off on 3 by hurdling headlong into complete prog-esque pop this time around. Sure, 4 includes TAB's signature cellar dwelling instrumentals, but on songs like "Revival" and "Daisy Chain" the band drones on like Big Elf and masters the melodies like The Wildhearts, respectively. They even decide to throw in some handclaps along the way, which might be a first for a stoner rock band, but manage to do it all without losing their ability to keep things equally weird and hazy. So, I guess this is what you'd call a goodtime acid trip, and honestly, when's the last time you had one of those?

-Jeff Warren

Early Man
Beware the Circling Fin
The End

Beware the Circling Fin is Early Man's latest 4-song EP and it totally fucking slays. It comes on so slick and quick it sounds like Satan spitting black bullets - opener "Sinking the Blade" is clearly Early Man's "Hit the Lights" - and the rest of it rolls on like laughter during a killing spree, the title track tearing at your soul like King Diamond, but without the ominous hoof beats and foggy carriage rides, of course. Pure primeval thrash, this one is.

- Jeff Warren

Bad Lieutenants
Born a Bad Seed
Teenage Heart

Fast n' thrashy hangover-rock from a buncha dudes who look like they're consistently late with the rent. Six songs, most of 'em about getting hassled - by cops, chicks, landlords - played with the kind of conviction you can only get from truly desperate characters.
PS: You've gotta appreciate a band willing to write a song about an obscure recent year, as the BL's have done with the Pistols-y 2006. Who even remembers 2006?

-Sleaze

The Jim Jones Revue
The Jim Jones Revue
Punk Rock Blues

I know this album was released back in September and I'm as surprised as you are that I didn't actually hear it sooner. And I don't mean put the needle to the wax myself hear it, I mean hear it as a sonic sensation tearing through the fabric of time and space that would reach my ears whenever anyone else played it. Shit, man, this buzzing beast of a debut from Jim Jones, the reverend of righteous rock himself of Thee Hypnotics and Black Moses fame, and his rabble rousing Revue is dirtier than Jerry Lee Lewis marrying his 13-year-old cousin, makes King Khan sound like a whiny peasant, and will force you to set your blue suede shoes on fire and bow down like Hendrix before its hellish consecration. Super savage, ultra bitchin', and easily the loudest, fuzziest, son-of-a-bitch rock n' roll record I've heard this year.

-Jeff Warren
The Fitt
Hawk Eyes/Scholar/Visions/M80/Gonna Get It Now/Killer
7" EP
Big Neck Records



Listening to this 6-song EP from Pittsburgh, PA's The Fitt is like listening to five 30-second machinegun bursts of unfocussed anger, followed by one actual song. (The last song, Killer, is actually pretty decent. There's some semblance of structure in the rage, which comes as a pleasant surprise. The rest of the record is just noise.) Blech.




Thursday, December 11, 2008


The Shirks
Dangerous/Young and Filthy/Get Out
7"
Big Neck Records


So enigmatic...Try as I might (and I tried very hard indeed), I couldn't find a single piece of information on this band. Their presence on Big Neck leads me to assume they are American, and a wee blurb I read somewhere suggests that they might possibly be from Washington, but that's all I got for ya, folks. (There exists a UK band with the same name, but they sound exactly like The Libertines, and Britpop/punk this record ain't.) What it is is a brash trifecta of blazin' So-Cal punk, all sneering Bators vocals and quickfire guitars backed by an irresistible jive beat. This girl digs it, man, and so should you.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Russ Meyer directed this music video.

And it's fuckin' awesome.

Kung Fu Killers
Now More Than Ever/I Want To Go
Raise High The Black Flag/Break Down The Walls
Hippies in Punk Clothing/Welcome To The Prison Planet
Get Used To It/Your Bullshit
Feel My Fists, Feel My Fury/Shock Xpress

set of 7” singles
Zodiac Killer Records

My first thought on receiving this vinyl quintet from Whippany, New Jersey’s Kung Fu Killers: five singles? Why not just release a full-length and save yourself some artwork? But the cartoon instrument-wielding rock ‘n’ roll ninja on the sleeves is pretty great, so, yeah, okay, I get it. (Incidentally, the band did release an LP, Fists of Fury, with the ten songs here and three covers. So if you want to play it in the car, buy the CD; if you feel like flipping a goddamn record after every song, buy the singles. It’s completely up to you. The singles do include stickers, though. And a patch! I doubt the CD comes with a patch. Again, your choice, bucko.)

But it’s not always about the free stuff that comes with the singles, is it? Sometimes it’s about the music…So what we have here are ten songs that sound like they are straight out of the early 80s hardcore punk scene. And if there was ever any doubt as to the band’s influences, you have to look no further than the lyrics to Raise High The Black Flag, which cleverly molds the names of every single one of them into a punk-politico manifesto (ie) “Raise high the Black Flag-Necros all over the world/While Bad Brains politicians-do their Circle Jerks/Give them a Christian Death-like Germs in the Void/It’s a Negative Approach-yes a Negative Trend.” Etcetera. (They do the same thing in Feel My Fists, Feel My Fury with kung fu movie titles. Brilliant lyricists, these guys.) So if you happen to be an angry, disaffected youth, you might want to give these records a spin. Or maybe borrow your dad’s copy of Damaged. Your choice, bucko.

- Holly Engel
CD reviews, Dec. 10

Adam West
ESP: Extra Sexual Perception
People Like You

If it sounds like the amps are buzzing much quieter in the rock universe these days it's probably because the thunder express has made its last stop and The Hellacopters and Adam West both got off and walked away into rock n' roll immortality. Oh, what? You didn't know that Adam West called it quits too? Well, they have, Jack, and even though they may not have the same mainstream cache as The 'Copters, believe me when I tell you that as a 16-year institution of American super powered surf n' garage rawk they were just as important as their Swedish friends and their decision to pack it in is no less significant. So, these DC fuzz mongers, who seamlessly sutured the sounds of the MC5 and The Misfits as if it was their born duty, turn on the afterburners one last time and leave us with ESP (and a slew of splits and singles, natch), a heavy, hot rod testament to bad fun and careless carousing. It's no surprise that Adam West have remained true until the very end, playing the part of ass-grabbin' heroes in a rock n' roll B-movie world filled with bikini babes and motorcycle ghouls to perfection.

-Jeff Warren

Dozer
Beyond Colossal
Small Stone

Ok, everyone is all excited because the skies over Canada's prairies were lit up last month by a screaming ball of fantastic green fire that barreled its way toward earth as if on a cosmic mission of doom. Now I know all these planetary scientists and professors of astronomy believe that the sonic blast was a meteor, but they still haven't been able to locate the crash site and find any pieces of the galactic object. I can explain that. You see, here's the thing...that whole deal there in the sky was kind of my fault because I played the new Dozer record. I realize it's been a hassle for everyone involved, but c'mon, you gotta admit it was totally awesome, right?

-Jeff Warren

RTX
JJ Got Live RaTX
Drag City

Another spackling of weird beard rock action from RTX, fronted by ultimate rock fox Jennifer Herrema, that' too cool for its own good and will make total sense to you if you like to spend your time in a neon-lit motel room sucking back cheap wine and prescription drug cocktails with a working girl who's wearing nothing but a fur coat and bruises. That is to say this album is quite sleazy and desperate and far gone and full of enough squealing and dealing to make your pants tight and your brain turn to tar. Let your freak flag fly, fuckers.

-Jeff Warren

Sunday, December 07, 2008

CD reviews, December 7

Eagles of Death Metal
Heart On
Downtown Recordings

Think of the Eagles of Death Metal as a vibrator. When running at full power they titillate and shoot you full of electricity. They may even make you wet, who knows. But on Heart On the batteries seem to be running low, and now the damn thing is just sputtering along, going in and out, and after struggling to find some sort of sustainable pleasure you just decide it'd be best to roll over and go to sleep.

- Jeff Warren

Supersuckers
Get it Together
Mid-Fi

I'm livin' in a place so far north that I've got caribou for neighbors. There are road signs that point to Alaska. It's as dark as a wolf's stomach by late afternoon. You drive a pick-up truck with monster truck tires or you don't drive at all. The air smells like diesel fuel and everyone around here says it's the smell of progress, but I was hoping for something a little fresher when I landed in such a remote location. Trust me when I tell you that no one ever really hopes to end up living in a place like this, but here I am. So when Get it Together dropped I snatched the dependable bitch up like a steel trap on a fox's leg just so I'd have something good and familiar in my life to remind me that everything will be okay. I don't know if an angry caribou will attack me on my walk to work tomorrow, but at this point I don't really care because the righteous, exact, blue collar cow punk of rock n' roll's greatest beer n' whiskers outfit always makes me feel like where I'm at is the best place of all, even if it's impaled on the end of a caribou antler.

- Jeff Warren

Guns N’ Rose
s
Chinese Democracy
Geffen

It should never take anyone 14 years and 14 million dollars to do anything. Unless it’s curing cancer or building a stairway to heaven, but otherwise it’s just really stupid and everyone has lost interest in the thing you started doing way back at day and dollar number one when it had the potential to mean something. Sure, it sounds damn good, but it’s supposed to, right? Sadly, though, it just doesn’t mean a whole hell of a lot now.

-Jeff Warren

Enslaved
Vertebrae
Indie Recordings

Coming from some gore-grinding, gut-wrenching, sheltered, blackened death metal monk's point of view, Enslaved's new album, Vertebrae may sound more like a lullaby than any of their past vocal-crushing, morgue-waking albums to date. But little did the insignificant dinky darklings know, that like most living creations, metal too, must SLEEP! Even Morpheus, the god of dreams and son of Hypnos, didn't stay awake for every last waking minute banging his head up on wall while gritting his teeth. So what, if Ivar Bjornson, Grutle Kellson, Herbrand, Cato, and Ice Dale rock us to fucking sleep? It proves their potential to keep us guessing with each record - which, by the record and for the record, is just another fucking record, so don't lose any sleep, if it's not the sound you were longing for. It could very well be their strategy to release another over-empowering, loud-mouth beast, and wake all unfaithful metal warlords from their slumber. The split second you give up hope, they'll come cruising down your crossroads with a new, fully equipped fanbase and street-team. Underneath their entrancing, cryptic strings, and with songs like "New Dawn" they're still the same leather-clad Norse with a new fierce perceptive of the dark heavens that will soon shroud our atmosphere of existence, with nothing left to do unti then, but get some sleep.

-Smutstrutter

Goblin Cock
Come With Me If You Want to Live
Robcore

First off, let me just say that even if this record was nothing but banjos and shrieks, I would have had to give them high marks on the audacious name alone. Not only does it conjure all manner of weird and warty images, but, if you think about it for a second, it works on two levels. As to the music nestled inside the nerdgasm packaging (the cover and CD insert poster was painted by noted Magic the Gathering artist Mike Sutfin), it's a prog-tinged throb of doomy metal, a sort of Yes-meets-Sabbath bashing-about that sounds deathly serious in tone, but obviously isn't, given the song titles: Beneath the Valley of the Island of Misfit Toys, Big Up Your Willies, We Got a Bleeder, etc. The brainchild of indie-rock semi-legend Rob Crow (Pinback, Heavy Vegetable), Come With Me will pleasantly massage the cerebral ears of Three and Perfect Circle fans, and crack-up the admittedly easy-to-amuse Queens of the Stoneage kids. Something for everyone then, assuming everyone reads comic books and does drugs. The upcoming Cock Across America tour should be suitably, um, balls-out.

-Sleaze

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Where's Pepsi?
Sometimes our writers go missing. It happens. Nobody's seen long-time Sleazegrinder scribe Pepsi Sheen for months, though, and we're getting sorta nervous.

Is he on a plane, with cocaine?
Is he on top of the world, looking down on creation?
Where can Pepsi be?
I tell you this, when nobody's heard from him for awhile, waifish rock chicks start emailing me looking for answers. That never happens when anybody else vanishes.
Drop a line if you spot him. I'd give you a description, but I haven't seen him in the flesh since 1993, so he might look different now. I don't think he wears full-length fur coats and velvet Huggy Bear hats anymore. Although he might.
Anyway, just in case he's gone for good, let us remember him with one of his classic tunes:

Pepsi Sheen & the Summer Favorites - Hula Girl

Next time: Where the fuck is Johnny Flash?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

New CD reviews, Dec 3rd.

The Bronx
The Bronx III
White Drugs

I know this dude who can't listen to The Bronx anymore because his ex-girlfriend is fucking the bass player. It totally sucks when chicks ruin rock n' roll for you, man, and I feel for him 'cause I've been there. But The Bronx is so much better than shitty ex-girlfriends. Hell, they're way better than great current girlfriends. Unless your current girlfriend is a tattooed Spanish astrophysicist who's always inviting her friends over so they can compare tits and bake you cookies. Actually, I still think The Bronx are way more awesome and I would choose them. However, they'll be releasing a mariachi album in the not-to-distant future, so play your cards right and maybe you can have it all.

- Jeff Warren

Dragonforce
Ultra Beatdown
Roadrunner/Spinefarm/Universal

I'm bored of videogame metal. I can't even be bothered to air guitar anymore either, because that stage is just getting way too crowded with poseurs. I'm not sure at what point epic gave way to irony, but here we are, a world full of guitars and nary a hero in sight. It's hard to blame a band for an uncontrollable cultural conscience, but if I punch another poseur somebody's bound to call the police, so...you know. I mean, I like you, Dragonforce. I just don't like the people who think they like you too.

- Jeff Warren

Santeria
Year of the Knife
Golarwash Labs & Records

Santeria is the greatest rock band in America. An America, mind you, that's more Mexican than McDonald's and more mystic and magical than muck and mire. I want to live in Santeria's America. I want to ride shotgun in the yellow ghost cab speeding down the dusty highways of truth and oblivion. And when I get to wherever it is I'm meant to be, I want to relax in an old rocking chair on a rickety porch and read Richard Brautigan. Then I want to die like the sun at dusk while the dobro plays my last song. You see, just when you thought all your dreams were dead, Santeria rises once again.

-Jeff Warren
CD Reviews, December 2-ish.
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Twisted Sister
Live At The Astoria
Wednesday 13
F**k It We'll Do It Live
DR2

Here we have two twofers in the shock-rocking beast categories up for a best in show for the old dogs and young wags. Panto dames without props Twisted Fucking Sister unleash a classic, absolute storming classic set of their rampantly ludicrous but almost incessantly astounding fist-pumping, muscle car melting metal mixed with teen-anthems which should see any deserters dusted off and dissassembled with honours. As vital and electric as they ever were, several references to past glories are still shocking pink and this is no ailing nostalgia trail but up there with Live After Death and quite possibly No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith no less. Just goes to show you can't stop rock'n'roll...and if you watch the awesome tapped-er than spinal tap concert then you'll see you still can't argue with wicked witch Dee Snider, nor bassist Mark 'Animal' Mendoza as he pounds his bass and the stage and scares splinters into your face and spine.

The sprightly Mr 13, meaaaanwhile, riddles you with a spattering of wondrously smart brain dead anthems (aptly including Not Another Teenage Anthem which obviously like so is n' stuff) dripping with mirth and comical malice plundered from the guts of all that was unholy and unwholesome about WASP and that Alice cat culled from the caskets containing Murderdolls, Frankenstein Drag Queens (I Love To Say Fuck, 197666), his take on Tom Petty's Running Down A Dream and monstrous slices from his current best so far SKELETONS (like such sore-gut gore-groovers From Here To The Hearse, Gimme Gimme Bloodshed, Put Your Death Mask On). Live as you want it whether you like it or not, there's no death throes in sight as he rattles your bones with a non-stop slurry of horror pop. Concert-wise he can't compete with the kook-show that is TS but can you imagine any howls of complaint from all his ever-willing sacrificial lambs?

-Stu Gibson

Thomas Function
Celebration!
Alive

As ever for us discerning minstrels and miscreants, Alive/Bomp/Natural Sound etc etc manage to bring straight to your swamp or station of the sloshed the best of many if not any a mordantly decaying genre. In this case it's twee, chirrupy garagey rockity pop pop that emerges as a truly joyful rampage and not the irritating twaddle it could so easily be, just like yer true love would give to you in fact, what with farping keys a plenty and the high-pitched nasal whine of singerist Joshua Macero. Fortunately, one soulful nerd be he, the sort of dejected twit that might pass your science project for you but would also quite possibly extract crystals out of the arse end of the ether for you afore stabbing you sternum-wards whilst you're fully conscious and devoid of Sudafed based bathtub-infused products. I mean, if you knew these people, or saw them in your hometown, you'd want to kill them in such cantankerous ways the CIA may well smelt new awards for you. Barrett-esque whimsy meets They Might Be Giants sucking on The Dead Milkmen's lovely pop-noused soul, all soused on The Murder City Devils' vociferous bar-tab and Jonathan Richman's splenetic sweetness leaves this well on the right side of endearing, sneering over the fences all the while, giving the finger then running off leaving you to pay the difference.

-Stu Gibson

The Sound Ex
Palomino
DR2

Rebranded from their previous incarnation as The Sound Explosion, these north-easterners (UK) perhaps unwittingly now resemble a band named for their 'we are on good terms honest' erstwhile other. With a cheat sheet name checking both Shellac and classic rawk yawners like Led Zep they may well float yer boat with a stylish mix of scabrous angular juddergrind and rousing, robust, chest-beating, hair-curling crusts of anthemage or, should anyone ever listen to my cynical splutterings, rather more prosaic collection of snore-arousing snooze sludge that for all it's post-music posturing is more just slightly post-The Music. Yuss, rather this than The Answer gearing up to unleash another opus of classic dithering, but the staccato-shackling arrangements appear to be striving too hard for a slight detour from their earnest soup of usual Brit-rock fodder that is disappointingly reminiscent of Paul Weller or Stereophonics listening to mid-nineties Therapy? and resulting in aimless jangle blurs that Feeder would save for the end of century box-set.

- Stu Gibson

Miss Treatment
Saturnal Return
Jungle

Featuring Kaisa, erstwhile frontvampette of The Patsy Walkers, the nattily named new Fins on the frock block take a genre-surfing fling through planetary rings, pickling innards with inklings of icy Siouxsie imperiousness, the intergalactic inventiveness of the first two Blondie albums and whatever detached cool The Cardigans curiously mustered for around seventeen seconds in '97 (enough to force the thought of Saffron Republica from your mind) for a quirky pop pageant of polka dot pole dances on an icebergian lattice work of sci-fi horror tinges like the creepy crawl of Panic Attack and lavishly rancorous romance of Crash. With an overall feel of unselfconscious kitsch mingling with the glacial glitz and grandeur associated with their native scenery such inflections laudably detour from telegraphed pock marks on rockabilly ribbon rails.

- Stu Gibson

Marshall Law
Razorhead
DR2

As metal lore set in stones and silly scales should dictate, no matter what what's her face from X-Ray Spex says, these mainstays of completely underground metal-tasia were never really shunted away, as dispiriting as their rides on shoddy support slot lighting rigs may undoubtedly have been at times. With their marvellously pun-fun name and with founder members Andy Pyke and Dave Martin at the helm they far surpass the eighties UK press' sidelining of them as mere would-be Priest usurpers, instead sending forth a maelstrom of scintillating sci-fi metal as epic as Maiden and Helloween and as siniciously malicious as many a Shaun Hutson novel of the time, enough to send Kai Hansen into convulsions. Hell, they may plummet heedlessly the depths of cliché with titles like Hell On Earth, Gods Of Deception, Necromancer, Devil's Anvil and Night Terror but they execute every last note with a knife-edge exquisite eagerness and a zeal and hunger that would shame the most proudly precise psychopath, no random slashings here. And no shame that you'll have a fair impression of the noise inside, though I'll slosh some brown ale in yer guts if this contains nay surprises. Result? - a rather wondrous feast for still crazily fervent fans famished for some classic metal gravel-crunching.

-Stu Gibson

Hate Gallery
Compassion Fatigue
Stonewall Noise Orchestra
Constants In An Ever Changing Universe
The Unit

Two sets of disparaging squall for the discerning from Scandinavian noise contortionists plying stoner seas and scabrous sludge. While never quite squaring up to their monstrous potential, neither are they constipated in the arts of colossal onslaught of the sort that float tankers, drift continents more than merely break icebergs, dredge canals on some other planets and perhaps even change weather patterns. Hate Gallery, a UK/Finn conglomerate certainly have space in the back for some surplus fuels to sump up their moniker and the curious promise their cutely cynical title points to, though Good Things Come To Those Who Hate is a meat-beating manifesto far less petulantly Marilyn Manson as you may be forgiven for assuming. Alas, their title, as so often, becomes some sort of epitaph or signifier for the overall impression as the possibilties for an aural piledriving pounding with riffs like raging appendages are expended like a mini-gun assault on sandbags composed of an entire desert. The S.N.O. on the other side of the abyss, plunge you into frequently thrilling sickly spillations of Sabbath / Zan Guerilla style vortices, swilling you round with hooks that stare you down into sink estates of sleeve-shorn splendour, riffs turning every turbine and industrial contraption in town and fermenting many a curious concoction into possible seizure stratospheres.

-Stu Gibson

Long Tall Texans
Saturnalia!
Cherry Red

Perhaps nowadays overshadowed by unsuspected powerhouses and long-unacknowledged lynchpins now uberlords like Demented Are Go, King Kurt, Frantic Flintstones and a bin-load full of infinitums, Brighton behemoths Long Tall Texans did in fact have a brief liaison with Radio One and even a short, if fruitless, skirmish with the nations staple The Breakfast Show way back when in the late 80's. Along with King Kurt they manned the turrets under the banner of boys out at the beach, picture postcard pissed on pitchers of cheap pils end of the psychobilly pier and surpassed the confines of that scene in a similar style. This further escapade in Cherry Red's laudable and loving 'Psychobilly Collectors Series' is a jolly little blighter and one well worth a (re)investigation, for it is a sloop deck sodden, soaking and scorched, scorched, I say, with an inventiveness largely missing from the spurious psycho slurry, especially as it was originally issued at the time when said scene split asunder into the more usual zombiecore furtive thrash-in-a-plastic-mac mucking about found in psychobilly common rooms in this day and age. Commercial, why sure, but replete with plenty of sonic curios for the musico's as well as chest rattling treasures like Bloody and No Tomorrow) rampantly reinforced with the inclusion of four extra tracks of unwholesome awopbopping, two of which may well be further takes of opening track and stink-curdling lurch Get Back Wetback but it all adds to the effect of the times eh? Talking of which, they were canny enough not to fall into the temptations of eighties production, thus cementing a quiet classic quite unlike the state after which they were named but one that could well cast a longer, taller shadow henceforth and forthwith.

- Stu Gibson

The Boys
The Punk Rock Anthology
Cherry Red

Reeto, ditch yer old damned Damned records with the dishwater, curl yer old Clash records into ashtrays and if you actually own Pistols records go flog yerself like a Formula 1 bosses whore and revel in these blotchy delights. If the whirling splurge of memory serves The Boys were about the first on the UK punk block to either get a deal or an album out or some such. That they signed to a notoriously shite label (NEMS) is now incidental - though it did garner the gem that is Do The Contract - cos this is as ceaselessly essential a parcel as you may want, from the first sniff of single swings to old demos (including Sad Souvenir that finally surfaced on the lost Crybaby's album What Kind Of Rock'n'Roll as a fitting Thunders' tribute), offcuts and bristlingly pristine classics like Classified Susie, Brickfield Nights (and for any old Dogs hounds, a little wallflower by the name of Heroine). Formed from the dregs of the fabled London SS, whence warbled Mick Jones and Tony James, by Matt Dangerfield and featuring Casino Steele of The Hollywood Brats - whence they rescued Tumble With Me and Sick On You, very very quickly - The Boys eschewed snide scene sermon-sneering and pointless political point-scoring for classy rock'n'roll of the short, sharp, shimmering style like the slurred scurvy scaring administrations of The Heartbreakers (note You Can't Hurt A Memory...) and Dave Edmunds, as well as also having the equally immaculately named John Plain, Kid Reid and Jack Black. Simply, inelegantly glorious.

-Stu Gibson

Black Diamond Heavies
A Touch Of Someone Else's Class
Alive

The return of the bromide n' bourbon boys brings their noxious, sulphurous suffusing of soul and blues suppurating from slabs of ozone-disintegrating organ and oil-drilling if not drinking rhythms to bear on second full-length outing and pushes their own already colossal choogle into the unruly realms of the utterly righteous, spitting any accusations of pastiche onto sidewalks like teeth from a drunk junkie's freshly bottled teeths. From opening skull-cleaving romparound rampage through Nutbush City Limits this wends all dramas and dread way out past all Wests n' red in Iggy's raw power eyes with a sound that sucks yer gravity and stews it out of thy solar plexus gargling the rancid germ of an idea that Cave and Sclavunos musta imbibed when they conceived Grinderman all the while. Veritable parking lots are to be said and pray tell it must be lo! for the grindfuck payload this pair pound out but the horns on Bidin' My Time and the lowdown lurch of Oh Sinnerman are dizzying spellbinders that shovel such self-deprecating titular concerns into the gravel-pit that James Legs voice is dribbling into - a coruscating, crack-paned rasp that could cripple Tom Waits' suspension at sniper distances to eddy and howl wolfishly around your gutsewers like a lascivious preacher scouting the parish desperate for a fetish to galvanise splenetic eruptions and judiciously save the poor sinners of congregations pleading to be secreted from Christ unatoned knows where. Inconclusive critical appraisal? Just fucking buy it and love it. This could feed thousands with a few defiled loves and the resultant loathings.

-Stu Gibson

The Spitfires
Aim Low
Yeah Right! Records

This is the fourth record from Vancouver-based band, The Spitfires, who gained some notoriety a few years back for getting thrown out of a Toronto club in the middle of a gig. That's rock and roll, baby. This album of blistering 70's-tinged hard rock songs, full of searing guitar solos, sizzling licks, and snarling vocals, is practically guaranteed to start a bar brawl, or at least a pretty intense living room air-guitar session. The title song, Aim Low, with its anti-establishment sentiment about, er, getting buggered by music industry-types ("aim low/shut up and lay down") would not be out of place on a Sons of Guns sleaze-comp, and The Day The Earth Died Screaming practically melted the plastic bits on my cd player. In case you missed the pattern in my adjectives, this record is hot, man. Hot.

- Holly Engel
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