Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Kingsbury Manx - Been Passed Over 7'' (All City, 2000)

The Kingsbury Manx
Been Passed Over 7''
All City

Rating: 7 organ sisters out of 10

The Kingsbury Manx have long been a favorite, so I was excited to find this in the sale box at Amoeba some years back.  I think this seven inch is the first thing they released, even pre-dating their excellent self-titled album that I can't listen to enough.  Both of these songs (the title track and "Down with Circumstance") are very much in line with that early material - dreamy pop music that sounds vintage and new at the same time, somehow.  Both tracks appear to be unique to this record, at least at first glance. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Picasso Trigger - Valentine 7'' (Jettison, 1993)

Picasso Trigger
Valentine 7''

Rating: 7.5 European marquees out of 10

At a time when most of what was coming out of the Triangle was pretty straight-forward indie rock, Picasso Trigger came on the scene full of piss and vinegar sounding like King Gordon-fronted sonic youth on a punk rock binge.  The title track is also on their great debut album "Fire in the Hole," something I'm almost positive I owned on cassette even though it's not listed on Discogs.  The B-side is equally worthy of attention, a strong jam named "Calling God."  Pretty sure if this band came out today it would be hot shit with the kids. 

The Cardigans / Matt Pond & Beth Wawerna - Split 7'' (Devil in the Woods, 2004)

The Cardigans / Matt Pond & Beth Wawerna
Split 7''
Devil in the Woods

Rating: 6.5 mean kids out of 10

Another Devil in the Woods split - I don't know if I had a subscription to this or my friend that worked for them gave them to me, but I have a lot more of these records than I remembered.  Side A is a live version of "No Sleep" from Dansk radio, whatever that is, by the Cardigans.  Good song but not on the same level as their early, sweet pop from the mid-nineties.  The regular version is on their record "Long Gone Before Daylight," which I know from the internet because I never listened to this album.  The other side is a collaboration between Matt Pond and Beth Wawerna called "Devil in the Water."  I have no idea who Beth is, but she adds some female vocals to what would otherwise be a run-of-the-mill Matt Pond indie folk dirge. 

Trouser Mafia - Indie Don't Get Laid 7'' (Hella Rad, 2002)

Trouser Mafia
Indie Don't Get Laid 7''
Hella Rad

Rating: one hundred million friend points

I'm so deep in involvement with all the parties who had a hand in putting this out I couldn't possible review this nonsense in an unbiased way.  It is a ridiculous record from start to finish.  Side A is "Indie Don't Get Laid" by Ajax Green (then of Granfaloon Bus, now of the Wrong Words), a song he wrote for a Matador Records contest to get free Belle & Sebastian tickets, a band he doesn't even like.  He won.  Side B I have less back story about, other than it is Jason Smith (of the Mothballs) along with the band Dealership making fun of indie pop fans.  I think both songs would be very catchy and enjoyable even to people who aren't friends with these goofs, but who knows.  I certainly love it.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Gris Gris - Mary #38 7'' (Birdman, 2004)

The Gris Gris
Mary #38 7''

Rating: 6.5 distant skies out of 10

More prototypical psych rock from the Bay Area's Gris Gris, the modern founders of the movement that brought so much attention to that area via Wooden Shjips, one of Ty Segall's thousand projects, and numerous other acts.  The title track on side A is real solid, and also available on their self-titled debut album that came out the same year.  For my money the other side "Baby You're Mine Now," despite having a title like a pre-war blues song, is mediocre at best.  

Fuzz / CCR Headcleaner - LAMC #10 7'' (Famous Class, 2014)

Fuzz / CCR Headcleaner
LAMC #10 7''
Famous Class

Rating: 7.5 green bananas out of 10

Famous Class has been killing it with this recent split seven inch collectionFuzz takes the A-side with a scorchin' rocker called "Till the End of the Day," an instant favorite that begs to be listened to over and over - boogie sludge at it's finest.  On the other side you have CCR Headcleaner, who make a nice pairing with Fuzz in that they sound like if you took a cassette of Fuzz and microwaved it before trying to play it.  Their track "Free the Freeks" comes off like it is being performed in a pool of molasses, or as if you can never get the record on the correct speed.  For some reason this kinda sorta works though, it's like something Pavement would have released when they first started out if they also had aspirations of being butt rockers. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Fuzz - Sunderberry Dream 7'' (In the Red, 2013)

Sunderberry Dream 7''
In the Red

Rating: 7.5 soggy fries out of 10

Fuzz, Ty Segall, yada yada yada...y'all know the back story of this band.  The title track here is great and all but the real story is the B-side, a cover of the King Crimson song "21st Century Schizoid Man."  Holy shit this track just burned my eardrums from the inside out!  It's pummellingly sludgy and heavy in all the right ways, like a hammer to the head of a compulsive drunkard you find in a dark alley.  Did I say too much?  I've honestly never paid any attention to King Crimson, thinking they were just one of those prog bands that the weird smelly guys who enjoy role playing games like, but this has me rethinking not only my stance on that band but life as a whole. I really don't want to go to any special stores to buy dice with more than six sides. 

Palace Songs - Horses 7'' (Drag City, 1994)

Palace Songs
Horses 7''
Drag City

Rating: 6 black masks out of 10

Back before Will Oldham was Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, he was multiple variations on the name Palace - in this case, Palace Songs.  Musically this is very much in line with his other releases as Palace, very delicate and quiet twangy folk, it feels as if you could break these songs in half.  But of course you can't do that, because music doesn't exist in a physical form and if you try to break the air coming from your speakers in half you'll just look like a moron.  Side A here, the title track, is a Mekons cover, and the B side is a track called "Stable Will" that I believe to be an original.

BeatlesS - Lil' Man 7'' (Jettison / Wifflefist, 1993)

Lil' Man 7''
Jettison / Wifflefist

Rating: 5 kid messes out of 10

I have absolutely no idea how to describe BeatlesS...they were a local band at the very start of my college career in the Triangle, and neither then nor now did I have a clue what to say about them.  There's some industrial influence in there, and early electronic influences before that genre became what it is today, and...shit, I don't know.  Just know the credits list a broom, shop vac, and something called a "cattle-a-sound" as part of their instrument stable.This shit is so weird I have no idea if it's good or awful, but I know I sure as hell don't understand what is going on.  So it gets a rating right in the middle and I'm moving on, confuses as always. 

Kpants - Love 7'' (Grinning Idiot, 1995)

Love 7''
Grinning Idiot

Rating: 6 small stoves out of 10

Sometimes you buy a record because you love a band or a particular song, and other times you buy a record because the band named themselves after a "Get a Life" reference that in high school you and a friend wanted to use as the name of a clothing company...such is the case with this release by Kpants.  And as far as super random bands go, this isn't terrible - the title track is a fairly catchy poppy punk song, and the B-side is a cover of the Modern Lovers' "Hospital."  Sort of a weird cover, but at least they picked a good song.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

M.O.T.O. - Places We Used To Go 7'' (Rockville, 1992)

Places We Used To Go 7''

Rating: 7 rusty rocks out of 10

Another slab of M.O.T.O. jangly garage pop gems, this time on marbled Pepto Bismol pink.  Not Paul Caporino's greatest work, but all three songs - the title track, "Love Back," and "Skeletons Need Their Sleep" - are strong offerings, "B" level work for this pop hook mastermind.  More people reallt should listen to this band - start with "Kill MOTO" and work your way from there.  They've released a near-GBV level of music.  

Hurl - Positronic Ray 7'' (DeSoto, 1993)

Positronic Ray 7''

Rating: 7.5 indebted fathers out of 10

Another great Hurl seven inch of their mathy post punk or whatever the hell you want to call it.  The title track is great but the B-side "Radishes" is the standout gem here.  That song can also be found on the excellent debut album by the band "A Place Called Today."  In another ten years or so look for Numero Group or someone of that ilk to do a retrospective on these guys and re-release all their albums. 

5ive Style - She's Humanoid 7'' (Sub Pop, 1997)

5ive Style
She's Humanoid 7''
Sub Pop

Rating: 5.5 sword balls out of 10

I listened to the shit out of the self-titled 5ive Style album back in college, though it's been years since I gave it a spin.  I remember them being a funky version of the instrumental band Tortoise, so I was really thrown off when the title track had vocals.  It's entirely possible they had occasional song with vocals then, but my brain has totally forgotten about it.  Not sure I like them with singing, to be honest.  Music still sounds good though.  The B-side is a cover of Brian Eno's "Burning Airlines Give You So Much More," whic is adequate but just makes me want to listen to the original. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Golden Millennium - Golden Millennium 7'' (Peek-A-Boo, 1999)

Golden Millennium
Golden Millennium 7''

Rating: 6 black castles out of 10

This Golden Millennium record was the results of a one-off supergroup formed around the fact that a couple of dudes bought gold fleck Les Pauls at the same time and felt they should play some glam rock.  Everyone in the band has some sort of pedigree, but the biggest name is Britt Daniel of Spoon.  I'm sure everyone involved had a lot of fun doing this, and it was probably fun to see live, but the recording is no more than a hair above average.  They play two originals and two covers of glam classics - T-Rex's "20th Century Boy" and Bowie's "Suffragette City."

Supergrass / Ikara Colt / Apostle of Hustle - Split 7'' (Devil in the Woods, 2005)

Supergrass / Ikara Colt / Apostle of Hustle
Split 7''
Devil in the Woods

Rating: 6.5 thief codes out of 10

The draw on this seven inch split between three bands is the first track, a live version of the great "Mansize Rooster" by Supergrass.  One of their very best songs, and it's a good recording, though they do that thing I hate when I see bands live - have the crowd sing parts of the songs for them.  I'm paying to hear the band do the singing, not these dumb dipshits around me!

One the B side, Ikara Colt is totally ripping off the Fall, but you could pick worse bands to rip off, and they don't do an awful job at it.  Apostle of Hustle is...honestly, I don' have anything to say about them - boring jangly Canadian indie rock.  I guess they have some connection to Broken Social Scene.  It's not awful or anything, just meh.