Thursday, July 28, 2011

Backwoods Payback - Momantha

Backwoods Payback
Small Stone

Backwoods Payback is part of the post-Clutch contingent of heavy rockers. Not that the Pennsylvania quartet sounds just like Maryland’s finest, mind you. But, like Neil Fallon and the boys, BP has a shot of punk rock energy running through its 70s stoner riffs, as if the band is more used to slamdancing than head-nodding. (Unsurprising, given leader Mike Cummings’ hardcore background.) Most of Momantha choogles and burns, as Cummings howls over roiling guitar riffs and blasting rhythms – cf. Parting Words and Flight Pony. But the group also takes time for the scorched-earth sludge of Timegrinder and the surprisingly melodic anthem Poncho, just to prove it’s no one-note symphony. As with most bands of this stripe, the record sounds at times as if some power is being kept in reserve, ready to be unleashed on some unsuspecting club audience. But Momantha is still a satisfying chunk of molten rock.

- Michael Toland

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Jacobites - 7"

Nikki Sudden & Dave Kusworth: Jacobites
The Otter Song + Apartment to Compartment 7”

Crediting this 45 to the Jacobites is a bit misleading; while it does feature Nikki Sudden and Dave Kusworth, it’s on separate tunes. No surprise, of course, given that the British rock ne’er-do-wells could renew their collaboration only through the means of necromancy. But new music from either dude is a rare and precious thing these days, so I feel churlish complaining – especially since both tunes rock. The Otter Song (a working title, never to be changed now) was recorded in 2003 with fellow traveler Joey Skidmore and has that awesome Bob Dylan-fronting-the-Rolling Stones groove of which Sudden had become a master in his final years. Fans of his late-period masterpieces Treasure Island and The Truth Doesn’t Matter will seriously dig it.

Kusworth, for his part, collaborates with Spanish likeminders Los Tupper (on whose most recent record he plays) on Apartment to Compartment, a tune that comes from the repertoire of Dave’s pre-Jacobites band the Ragdolls. Accompanied by a simpatico horn section, Kusworth also taps into the Stones’ long-lost mojo for a catchy killer. Band and mentor sound so good together it makes me hope they work together again the next time Kusworth feels like cutting an album. Sudden may be dead, but in the hands of he and his old pal Kusworth, rock & roll sure as hell ain’t.

- Michael Toland

Gentleman's Pistols - At Her Majesty's Pleasure

Gentleman’s Pistols
At Her Majesty’s Pleasure
Rise Above

British singer/guitarist James Atkinson apparently couldn’t decide which era of his homeland’s heavy rock he liked better – the earthy, shaggy thud of 70s arena rawk or the majestic, wild-eyed zoom of 80s NWOBHM. So Gentleman’s Pistols does both at the same time. At Her Majesty’s Pleasure, the band’s second slab, mixes galloping rhythms and Atkinson’s soaring riffs with earthbound crunch and bluesy solos courtesy Firebird/Carcass axedude Bill Steer. Atkinson’s larynx inhabits a space between growl and wail, giving his vocals both melody and power. Imagine Diamond Head and Foghat sharing a table and the tab and you’re nearly there. Fist-pumpers like Feed Me to the Lions, Comfortably Crazy and Your Majesty kick the roof open, while Lethal Woman and Midnight Crawler stomp confidently and deliberately across the exposed landscape. The most breathless moment comes two-thirds through, when the blazing trio of The Ravisher, Sherman Tank and Peeping Tom barrel through the walls, blast through your ribcage and leave bruised body parts and satiated smiles in their wake. If a through Pistol-whippin’ is what you crave, then you’ll happily place yourself At Her Majesty’s Pleasure.

- Michael Toland

Friday, July 15, 2011

Le Pecheur - Holy Mountain

Don't know too much about these maniacs. They may or may not be French/Satanists/geniuses, but regardless, I dig where this is going. It's like an homage to Jean Rollin by high school dopers with St Vitus backpatches. Wild. If you're in the band, drop me a line. Let's get crazy.

PS You can download their EP's on Bandcamp.

Le p├ęcheur - Holy mountain from Les images agricoles on Vimeo.

- Ken McIntyre

PS: Anybody with PC skills want to help me switch the domain over to this site? Lemme know. Also, eventually, if I can find some volunteers to help out, I'll port all the Sleazegrinder 2001-2010 stuff over here, including the hundreds of Flash Metal Suicides. I'm just too busy with Movies About Girls these days to do it myself.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

The Lord Street Sound - Behind the Dumb

The Lord Street Sound
Behind the Dumb
Off the Hip

Insomuch as there’s a big name at all in this Australian side project, it’s Johnny Casino, the singer/songwriter/guitarist/producer who led the great but doomed Asteroid B-612 in the 90s and has carved out an equally cool Steve Earle-meets-MC5 path on his own in the new millennium. With the Lord Street Sound he turns over the lyrics and vocals to one Rodney Todd, AKA Rodney Agar of the Mess Makers, for whatever that’s worth in the Northern hemisphere. On Behind the Dumb, Todd’s droning, processed blare punches through the soul-fueled garage grooves like a nail through particle board, but it’s not an unpleasant dissonance. Quite the contrary – his negative charisma rides grungy pop tunes like Blood From a Stone, The Daily Routine and Solitude Surf like a cowboy on a stallion, barreling down the prairie with bad intent. In other words, rock & roll.

- Michael Toland
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