Monday, July 22, 2013

TURBO LOVERS


 
 
Turbo Lovers frontman B.J. Lisko wears many hats. Okay, it’s usually just the one, but I’m being metaphorical here. What I mean is that he does a lot of stuff out there in Youngstown, Ohio: he is the current Editor-in-Chief of the Youngstown Pulse, he talked about hat-tricks and right hooks and flagrant fouls as sports editor of The Salem News for a while, he appears occasionally on a really great podcast called Movies About Girls (shameless plug), he reviews records for you right here on Sleazegrinder (another shameless plug), and, most importantly for you, sleazy reader, rocks his hat off in a slew of bands, most recently the Turbo Lovers.

(As an aside, I must confess to not knowing a goddamn thing about Youngstown, Ohio, so I used the magic of the internet to do a little research. The most interesting thing I found was this headline from a link on the town’s official website: “Youngstown's improbable comeback attracting attention and creating jobs.” So things are looking up for Detroit's baby brother, which is kind of too bad, since turmoil and toil generally beget kick-ass rock and roll.)

Speaking of kick-ass rock and roll, Hopelessly Addicted, the fifth full-length Turbo Lovers record, sounds like it crawled, spitting and snarling, straight out of the aforementioned turmoil and toil: nine songs about bad luck, booze, heartache, and the lamentable state of rock 'n' roll, backed by turbo-charged riffs, solid beats, and B.J.’s straining punk rock vocals. Two standouts for me are “No Chance in Hell,” which, unexpectedly, is a strangely hopeful cymbal-crashing, cowbell-clocking ode to keeping on, man, because that’s all any of us can do, and “All I’ve Got,” a sweet love song with a verse full of na-na-na’s (nonsense words will win me over every time). There’s definitely a fighting spirit in these Lovers.
 
You can check ‘em out live at a scuzzy bar if you ever accidentally find yourself waiting on a car part in Youngstown. Tell B.J. that Holly sent you and maybe he’ll tip his hat at you and buy you a beer. I also recommend that you buy a CD or download it on iTunes or whatever it is you do to listen to good music these days. Riot on, and stay sleazy.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

BASTRAD

BASTRAD

Live Review: Fibbers, York (UK)


Bastrad, now there’s a cool name for a band.  Looking for something to do on a Friday night, my wife and I saw ‘em listed on the gig guide and the description also sounded pretty good.  Further investigation revealed that a) they are a local band, hailing from York, b) they’ve previously opened for a host of rock legends such as LA Guns and The Quireboys, c) tonight was the band’s launch gig for their new opus magnus ‘Riff Propelled Grenade’.

Clad in various classic rock t-shirts (Whitesnake, etc) the band begin proceedings with few audience teasing bars of Survivor’s ‘Eye of The Tiger’, a confident start that grabs the crowd’s attention.   Based upon the next couple of songs though, it was apparent that Bastrad’s original material leans towards the more metallic end of the rock spectrum.  The technical ability was good although some stronger hooks would have made an even greater first impression.

Something that impressed me about Bastrad was that they kept momentum between numbers.  Their talking drummer did a good job of interacting with the crowd whilst the guitarists and frontman tuned up between songs.  This avoided the awkward silences between numbers that happens at some local shows.  In fact the energy levels were kept high throughout and the crowd were suitably entertained.

Around halfway into the set Bastrad introduce the title track from their new EP, ‘Riff Propelled Grenade’ (great title!) and it was at this point when they really hit their stride.  Taking everything into account, the song in particular seems to define their sound (dynamic riffing, guitar hero solo-ing, and several mega-tons of untamed rock power).

For the remainder of the set, Bastrad were joined by guest vocalist Zakk (formerly of York sleaze rockers ‘Kid Ego’, currently fronting York clown-rockers ‘A Jokers Rage’).  The audience respond with a huge roar of approval and the set closes on a high. 

All in all a triumphant home town show for Bastrad and a great showcase for their new EP.  Check them out at https://www.facebook.com/bastradmusic


~ Alex Eruptor

Monday, July 01, 2013

The Ex-Bombers "The Tightwire


Cavetone Records
facebook.com/The Ex-Bombers
Analog is a lost art form. In an age of technological everything, instant gratification and an over-saturated musical markets, Charleston, Illinois duo The Ex-Bombers have said the hell with all of it. The 8-string bass and drum combo of Keri Cousins and Scott Walus is a mono (!) experience done strictly for the love of their craft. You can only get this on vinyl, and honestly, after listening to their "31-minute narrative" you wouldn't want it any other way. 
The record grooves with a sultry jazz swing like something out of a Tarantino flick. It's mood music at its finest — a true experience which requires dedicated listening. The way it used to be, you know? Back when record stores still existed, and people cared about the physical product. 
A top notch record and package. — B.J. Lisko

Flash Metal Suicide: Eddie Money


"I wanna go back, and do it all over, but I can't go back I know. — Eddie Money

Eddie Money lay motionless following a near lethal combination of vodka, cocaine and barbiturates. The year was 1981. As Money lay in a twilight state in the hospital, nurses administering dialysis and trying to get the singer's legs again functioning, "Baby Hold On To Me" came on the radio. 
"The nurses were singing it to me," Money said via phone from Los Angeles. "It was like these actors in green masks were singing my song. It was something out of the movies."
It took Money a year to recover and ultimately walk again, but once he returned he scored his biggest commercial success with 1982's "No Control," featuring the mega-hits "Shakin'" and "Think I'm in Love." He hit the stratosphere in 1986 with his duet with Ronnie Spector, "Take Me Home Tonight" and "I Wanna Go Back."
But it was never all instant successes for the New York native. 
"I went to UC Berkley in San Francisco and I would play all the disco bars with all the big shoes, and pants and all that other shit," he said. "I learned a lot of disco is incorporated in rock 'n' roll. I learned how to write then, and on the weekends I'd go back to playing the rock 'n' roll."
Money was a shrewd thinker from the start, bridging the gap between college radio and top 40. 
"I was the king of college radio," he said. "A lot of the critics were very smart, though. The records I would make were very storytelling and deep with heavy guitars. Then I'd have a track like 'Baby Hold On To Me' and it sounded nothing like the rest of the record. They figured I wasn't being a hundred percent. They'd say 'He always has a couple candy ass songs on his records.' Poppy songs. But I played both sides of the fence. I did it in San Francisco, and when I would go make a record I would decide to do the same thing."
The move has worked wonders for the singer/songwriter who has managed to straddle both commercial success with rock 'n' roll respect. 
He's also done it without drugs or alcohol since 2001. 
"People used to ask me how did you OD? — I said it was free," Money now says with a laugh. "I tell everybody I quit drinking and everybody is happy. Everybody but me," he joked again. "But even before I got sober, whenever I worked I never drank beforehand. I did my shows straight. I used to drink too much after, and smoke too many cigarettes, but I never stuck a needle in my arm. I never did percocets or vicodins. I did blow like everybody else did in the 80s. Nothing Huey Lewis wouldn't do."
Money's sense of humor runs deep. He's quick to tell a joke between nearly every question he's asked, and although he takes his performances and music still very seriously, a Bronx charm and candid honesty separates Money from many performers who emerged superstars from the decade of decadence. 
Case in point, Money's ability to laugh at himself in an absolutely huge Geico advertising campaign. The spot features a family at the fictitious Eddie Money Travel Agency looking to book a vacation for four, while Money sings the chorus of "Two Tickets To Paradise" a-cappella. 
Although everybody seemingly loved the commercial and it gave Money the sort of credibility with practically all audiences ranging from new age hipsters to grandmothers, the experience turned out a little rocky for the singer. Mostly because his wife was supposed to be in the bit and the producers left her performance on the editing room floor. 
"Originally when I did it, it was a tape deck a little old lady was pushing the button on, and I'd sing along with the tape deck," Money said. "And this lady was a famous broadway actress, but I had to turn around and fire her and get my wife in the commercial. She gave me the dirtiest look! So anyways, it takes my wife like five hours to get ready to do this fucking commercial, and they used the last one I did which she wasn't even in. When people ask her what she thinks of it, she says 'He sounds pitchy!' She was so pissed." 
Despite newfound success on the small screen, Money's passion is still very much in writing and performing. He's currently working on material for a new album, and his summer tour will jet set him across the United States. 
"It's the same thing now performing as it was for me back then (in the 80s),"  Money said. "I have a lot of great fans, and the music takes everybody back to a certain place and time. Guys used to tell me, 'Man I got so much pussy when your songs came on back in the day.' But I don't need to hear any of that. I'm just very, very happy to hear that they love the show. I can still sing the songs like I used to, and we got us a great band." 
Visit eddiemoney.com for more information.  

Extra:
The Eddie Money/Ronnie Spector collaboration
"'Take Me Home Tonight' was such a bubblegum song, if I didn't get Ronnie Spector on it I would've never done it," Money said. "I called her up and I heard a bunch of clinking and clanking. She was doing the fucking dishes. So I told her to put the fucking dishes down and said we have a song called 'Take Me Home Tonight' that has a double chorus and we want her on it. It turned out great. But Phil Spector, who was in jail, he made sure she couldn't do it in concert. Can you imagine that? Not being able to do one of your biggest hits in concert? That's what a fucking prick he is. Phil Spector, controlling from the fucking death house!" — B.J. Lisko (article originally appeared in Youngstown Pulse Magazine, June 2013). 
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