Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Rosebuds & Utah! - The Rosebuds Vs. Utah! (Pidgeon English, 2002)

The Rosebuds & Utah!
The Rosebuds Vs. Utah! 7''
Pidgeon English

Rating: 7.5 poor kids out of 10

This was the very first release by local Triangle pop gems the Rosebuds; I have no idea where this figures in the release history of Utah!.  Both of the Rosebuds songs are also on their first full-length "The Rosebuds Make Out," but I still like having them on this clear orange vinyl.  "Back to Boston" is still one of their all-time best songs.  As for the Utah! half of the record, I've listened to this a number of times and I forget what they sound like every time. 

Kilowatthours - Lessons In Time Management 7'' (Temporary Residence Limited, 2000)

Lessons In Time Management 7''
Temporary Residence Limited


Rating: 6.5 pizza parties out of 10

I guess Kilowatthours changed their to Up The Empire somewhat recently, but since that's a stupid name I'm going to pretend it didn't happen.  This seven inch falls very much in line with the sort of melodic post rock that the band played on all of their full-lengths you probably didn't listen to.  In fact both of the songs here, "Kayla" and "Run Home," are featured on their first record "Strain of Positive Thinking."  So, yeah.  Decent songs though, regardless of format.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Dancer - My Car Drives Fast 7'' (Guitars and Bongos, 2013)

My Car Drives Fast 7''
Guitars and Bongos

Rating: 7 broken fractures out of 10

I get a fair amount of promo emails from labels and promoters, but I actually felt this one worth (poorly) writing about.  Something in the water in the Bay Area seems to have a lot of bands going down the glammy power pop route, and while I'm digging the movement I want to know where in the hell were these groups when I was still living there?  Dancer have some local pedigree (members of Apache, Gravys Drop, and others), but nothing they have done on the past measures up to the catchy goodness that are the three songs on this seven inch.  Definitely hoping for and looking forward to a full-length by these cats. 

Superchunk - Void 7'' (Merge, 2013)

Void 7''

Rating: 7.5 shots of tequila out of 10

This Superchunk wax was a limited edition Record Store Day release, on coke bottle clear.  The title track would later be featured on their fantastic album "I Hate Music," and the other side "Faith" is only found here.  Two great songs to be sure.  I'll just copy and paste Mac's words from the Merge website here as to why the record is what it is:

I was in high school when I first heard one of my favorite hardcore records, the split album on Dischord with the bands Faith and Void, two very different DC punk bands. It’s a favorite of a lot of people, I think. I love both sides but everyone always refers to it as “Faith/Void,” so I wanted to have a single called “Void/Faith” and set about to write those songs. Thematically the titles were already in the neighborhood of where Superchunk’s next album was going anyway. The cover is even an abstracted homage to art on the Void side of the original. Musically we aren’t like either of those bands, but that era influences a lot of what we do.

Fu Manchu - Pick-Up Summer 7'' (Elastic, 1992)

Fu Manchu
Pick-Up Summer 7''

Rating: 6.5 middle easterners out of 10

My good friend and roommate in college used to play the shit out of Fu Manchu - I was never a huge fan but they did a good job at the throwback seventies boogie rock thing.  This record is earlier than most of their material I'm familiar with, but it's not like they've ever changed their sound.  The run-out says everything you need to know about this band - side A reads "IF YOU AIN'T A VANNER...", and the other side says "... YOU AIN'T SHIT!!".

Kent 3 - Coin of the Realm 7'' (Empty, 1993)

Kent 3
Coin of the Realm 7''

Rating: 7 driven cars out of 10

I've mentioned Kent 3 before - very underrated proto punk/garage band that I didn't get into until way after their heyday.  They remind me of the A-Frames in all the best ways.  This record has four songs total, two each side, and not a stinker in the bunch. I don't have anything else to say about it really.  Quality rock music fuck yeah!

For the record there appears to be four member in Kent 3, at least on this release.  Math is hard!

The Whip - Freelance Liason 7'' (Wäntage USA, 2003)

The Whip
Freelance Liason 7''
Wäntage USA

Rating: 10 French newspapers out of 10

The Whip, what could have been.  Got to see them play once at a friend's warehouse in Oakland, bought this seven inch from the band, and then shortly thereafter drummer Scott Jernigan got killed in a boating accident.  The band was two-thirds of Karp (Scott & Jared Warren) plus Joe Preston, known for being in every damn band in the world from the Melvins to High on Fire to his own solo project Thrones.  Now that is a serious fucking pedigree for any group, and both the recorded material and live performance absolutely lived up to the expectations. The two songs here account for the band's entire recorded output, and both tracks are perfect.  There are live bootlegs to be found out there on the internets, and they're worth looking for.  RIP Scott, but he left a lot of great art behind. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Girls Against Boys - Super-Fire 7'' (Touch and Go, 1996)

Girls Against Boys
Super-Fire 7''
Touch and Go

Rating: 8 burned couches out of 10

Girls Against Boys were always one of those bands I felt like I should be more excited about than I was in actuality. And after I listened to this recently purchased bargain bin find, I feel like I need to go back and re-think the band's entire catalog, because this seven inch is great.  they have osrt of a sultry rock-n-roll sound ala Afghan Whigs, but without Greg Dulli's charisma.  I don't mean that as an insult, there just aren't many Greg Dullis in the world.  Both tracks are burners - title track "Super-Fire" can also be found as the album opener on "House of GVSB," but b-side "If Glamour Is Dead" appears to be exclusive to this release.   It may be time for a GVSB resurgence. 

Starz - So Young, So Bad 7'' (Capitol, 1978)

So Young, So Bad 7''

Rating: 10 lumber companies out of 10

I have friends who are just fucking nuts over Starz, and while I don't hold their level of enthusiasm generally I'm right with them on this song.  Such a big rock sound and so goddamn catchy, like overblown seventies stadium rock crossed with power pop.  I listen to this track pretty regularly and have the chorus stuck in my head more often than not.  The b-side is an instrumental track called "Coliseum Rock" and that is exactly what it sounds like.  I've listened to this b-side once or twice ever, it's inconsequential.  But the title track...perfection. 

Starlight Mints - Popsickle (See Thru Broadcasting, 2001)

Starlight Mints
Popsickle 7''
See Thru Broadcasting

Rating: 8 static controls out of 10

Starlight Mints were a very underrated pop band - I saw them live a few times and they were always great.  Two catchy songs here, and if I remember correctly the title track had a great video featuring puppets - the cover is from that I believe.  They had an Elephant 6 sort of thing going on when it was popular from bands all over to sound like that Athens collective, but the Mints might have been even better at it than most of the originators.  On clear green vinyl. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Bad Sports - Bras (Dirtnap, 2013)

Bad Sports

Rating: 7 rushed shooters out of 10

"Bras," the third record by Bad Sports, is more of the same brand of punk you've come to expect from the band.  Perhaps you no them as Nobunny's backing band, or maybe as the creators of one of the best songs of 2011, "Teenage Girls."  Honestly, this record is more of the same as you heard on their first two releases, and I'm not sure I have anything particularly of note to say other than it's an enjoyable recording.  None of the songs here are quite as good as "Teenage Girls," but it's still a nice collection of catchy Texas punk worth your effort.

Silkworm - Never Met A Man I Didn't Like 7'' (Matador, 1996)

Never Met A Man I Didn't Like 7''

Rating: 7.5 pans of gold out of 10

Silkworm seems to have had a bit a renaissance/resurgence lately.  Someone made a documentary about them and I've heard a bunch of folks talking about the band, probably more than I ever heard talking about them when they were active.  Anyways, here's what is going on - the title track is also on their record "Developer," a fine track that is pretty indicative of this band's version of rock music.  The highlight for me is the other side, a cover of "You Ain't Going Nowhere" which I always think of as a Byrds song even though Bob Dylan wrote it.  The Byrds recorded it first though, so they get at least some clain to it.  They also recorded it better than Dylan.  It's true. 

Erectus Monotone - Glider 7'' (Merge, 1992)

Erectus Monotone
Glider 7''

Rating: 7 open shitters out of 10

It feels like I've owned this Erectus Monotone single forever...I think I bought it at Poindexter's in Wilmington my freshman year of college, nearly two decades ago.  Two great nineties Triangle indie rock songs with just a hint of math rockiness.  I really don't have anything particularly enlightening to say about - grab a copy if you find one somewhere, it's worth a listen. 

Henry Fiat's Open Sore & Spider Babies - A La Italiana 7'' (Proud To Be Idiot, 2000)

Henry Fiat's Open Sore / Spider Babies
A La Italiana 7''
Proud To Be Idiot

Rating: 6 upset reviews out of 10

Two bands, five songs of punk hardcore, an Italian label, and a mostly good time.  Side A is Henry Fiat's Open Sore with three tracks that lean more to the hardcore side, and they are the better of the two bands IMO.  Spider Babies have two songs on side 2, have a hint of a party punk vibe, and are perfectly listenable but not crucial. 

Fuzz - Fuzz (In The Red, 2013)

In The Red

Rating: 8 credible witnesses out of 10

Given that this was on of my favorite records of the year in 2013, I was surprised I hadn't written one of my trademark shitty reviews of this self-titled Fuzz record yet. Has there ever been a more fitting name for a band?  The music is heavy and very, well, fuzzy.  In case you don't know this is yet another project from Ty Segall, and where the dude finds the time, energy or imagination to create so much music is completely beyond me.  Especially when it's good quality - hell, I could write a thousand terrible songs, but the dude seems to have struck musician's gold or was granted wishes from a genie or something.  In this band Segall plays drums and sings, and is joined by Charlie Mootheart and Roland Cosio to create this heavy rock bastard child that sounds like a mashup of James Gang and Black Sabbath.  It's a combination that really, really works.  And while not related to the album review, live they're just as good and highly recommended. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Crooked Fingers - Broken Man 7'' (Red Pig, 1999)

Crooked Fingers
Broken Man 7''
Red Pig

Rating: 9.5 Italian greyhounds out of 10

This was the first release by Eric Bachmann under the name Crooked Fingers that was released after the break-up of Archers of Loaf.  That was an incredibly sad time for me, but I soon came to love Crooked Fingers almost as much as the Archers. It was sorta tough at the time to see Bachmann take this rootsier route after the indie punk fervor of his past, but now these tunes feel like second nature to me.  "Broken Man," also found on the first Crooked Fingers record, is still one of the best songs Bachmann has ever recorded.  The other side, "Red Devil Dawn," is only found here despite him also putting out a full-length record by the same name.  Kind of odd, good song though.

The Wrong Words - What Went Wrong? 7'' (Trouble In Mind, 2010)

The Wrong Words
What Went Wrong? 7''
Trouble In Mind

Rating: 7.5 crap divisions out of 10

The Wrong Words might technically be "friend rock," but that doesn't exclude it from being good rock. Or more specifically, pop, and even more specifically power pop.  Not enough bands play this type of music any more, and even fewer play it well - but the Wrong Words are definitely on top of their game.  Neither the title track nor the other side "Tickin'" are on either of their full-length records, but both tracks are definitely worth hearing - very upbeat and catchy. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Seam - Granny 9X 7'' (Merge, 1991)

Granny 9X 7''

Rating: 9 shot plays out of 10

This Seam record was also released by City Slang out of Germany - I only mention this because their label is also on the sleeve, and I was initially confused as to which version I had.  The title track can also be found on the band's debut "Headsparks," marking the brief time they were a Chapel Hill band and Mac from Superchunk was their drummer.  Great song.  Even better though is the b-side: a cover of the Television Personalities' amazing track "Look Back in Anger," with Mac handling vocal duties.  This cover is only available on this record to my knowledge, and well worth tracking down.  

Friday, January 17, 2014

Jay Reatard - Hammer I Miss You 7'' (Goner, 2006)

Jay Reatard
Hammer I Miss You 7''

Rating: 10 jugs of moonshine out of 10

What can I say about Jay Reatard at this point that someone else hasn't already said?  A truly great talent, wrote a ton great songs, and left this planet too early.  The title track is one of my all-time favorites by him and gets stuck in my head quite often.  The first track on the other side, "It's So Useless," might be even better than the lead single to be honest.  And the final song, "All Wasted," is the weakest of the three, but still worthy.  I think I bought this at one of his shows when I was living in SF. 

Cobra Verde / Lotion - Split 7'' (Simple Solution, 1997)

Cobra Verde / Lotion
Split 7''
Simple Solution

Rating: 6.5 false impressions out of 10

Two Guided by Voices covers by two different bands.  Cobra Verde handles one of my favorites, "Striped White Jets," in a glammy, skeezy rocked out way.  Their version sounds like a song a serial killer would dance around to, and I like it.  Some of Cobra Verde would actually go on to join GBV at some point.  The other track, "Quality of Armor," is by the band Lotion who I know nothing about, but their version of this great song is pretty decent...such a catchy track.   

Capsize 7 - Cudge (Pig Zen Space, 1993)

Capsize 7
Cudge 7''
Pig Zen Space

Rating: 10 troubled towns out of 10

It's a shame this Capsize 7 record isn't on Discogs and is apparently not well known, because it was the best two songs this underrated band ever released, and one of my favorite seven inches I own.  These guys could often be found opening for the Archers of Loaf or headlining local smaller clubs - they were a terrific live act.  I've always been hard pressed to figure out who to compare them to - they definitely fit in to the local scene, but also had a heavier side occasionally...maybe imagine Jesus Lizard covering Slint paired with early nineties indie rock and you're getting close.  Side a, "Pressed," has this great smouldering build through the verses and explodes during the chorus.  The flip, "Scout," has a similar design in the quiet/loud/quiet dynamic, but it is my favorite of the two.  Back when I DJ'ed occasionally I used to play this record all the time, and would often get asked about them.  Not once did anyone ever know who they were...a shame really. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Small 23 - B Is for Bridge 7'' (Alias, 1995)

Small 23
B Is for Bridge 7''

Rating: 7.5 cat scratches out of 10

Another Small 23 record from my collection...I have a lot of these tiny wax pop platters. The title track is from their last record "Silver Gleaming Death Machine," one of the best songs off of that record.  The other side is exclusive to the record and called "Happy Days Are Here Again," and I have nothing of note to say about other than it's a good song. 

Secret Machines - Sad and Lonely 7'' (679 / Reprise, 2004)

Secret Machines
Sad and Lonely 7''
679 / Reprise

Rating: 7 girls nights out of 10

Secret Machines were an overproduced indie pop band that had a little buzz in the mid-oughts, but for some reason I never minded their overly tuned radio-friendly fare.  The title track is from their first record "Now Here Is Nowhere," and a pretty good damn song.  The b-side is a cover of Van Morrison's "Astral Weeks," and can also be found on the EP "The Road Leads Where It's Led."  It doesn't sound much like Morrison, that's for sure.  On white vinyl and apparently an import from the UK. 

The Catheters - No Escape EP (Beer City, 1997)

The Catheters
No Escape EP
Beer City

Rating: 5.5 bad phone calls out of 10

I honestly don't remember anything about the Catheters or how I even came to own this, but there it is. Five songs total of pretty ok but not great hardcore.  They went on to sign to Sub Pop and put out a few more releases before disbanding.  Not bad but not sure if I'll listen to it again until the next time I go through my box of seven inches. 

Vaadat Charigim - The World Is Well Lost (Anova / Burger, 2013)

Vaadat Charigim
The World Is Well Lost
Anova / Burger

Rating: 7.5 glue sticks out of 10

Vaadat Charigim - I don't know how to pronounce their name, I've got no idea what they are singing about, but I do know catchy songs when I hear them.  The band is from Israel (Tel Aviv specifically), and in Hebrew their name means "Exceptions Committee."  I'm not sure why you need to know this, but there's a piece of trivia for you.  The band is a straight-up throwback to classic showgaze - toss in any comparison you want, Ride or Slowdive or My Bloody Valentine or even Swervedriver, you can hear some of that here.  It doesn't feel like it's ripping those classic bands off as much as it sounds like an homage to them.  The songs are all instantly likeable, even though like the band's name, all of them are in Hebrew.  Sure, it makes it tougher to sing along with them in your car, but similar to other foreign-tongued bands like Dungen, Sigur Rós, or Håkan Hellström, I don't find that unfamiliarity with the language lessens my enthusiasm for the music.  Of course, tastes may vary, so check them out at the Bandcamp link above and see if it fits your ears. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Sparklehorse - Come On In 7'' (Slow River, 1998)

Come On In 7''
Slow River

Rating: special deliveries out of 10

I still kick myself for passing up seeing Sparklehorse the couple of times I had the chance.  Instead I just have to console myself by listening to his very, very sad music.  This record came out around the same time as his "Good Morning Spider" release, and both share the title track.  The b-side "Blind Rabbit Choir" appears to be exclusive to this slab, not even found on the odds-n-sods compilation "Chest Full of Dying Hawks."  So hunt this one down if you can, though I don't feel that actually needs to be said about any Sparklehorse releases. 

Mercury Birds - One Man Bandit 7'' (10' Industries, 1998)

Mercury Birds
One Man Bandit 7''
10' Industries

Rating: 9 jam jars out of 10

The lack of info on the Mercury Birds online is both sad and disturbing.  Especially given at least one of their members has gone on to be a party of the fairly popular Red Fang.  Hell, a google search for their album "Saxatar Cosmosis" returns absolutely nothing!  There is absolutely nothing about them on Discogs, even though I have two of their full lengths and this here seven inch to prove they once existed.  Long story short, they were a mid-to-late nineties band from Greensboro that played some weird hybrid of space rock and hard boogie but with plenty of indie pop hooks to keep you rapt.  This seven inch fully follows that formula, and it's awesome.  Hopefully at some point there is some sort of renaissance for the band, they deserve it.

Superchunk - White Screen 7'' (Merge, 2013)

White Screen 7''

Rating: former banks out of 10

This Superchunk seven inch was only available with deluxe editions of their latest record "I Hate Music."The title track is sort of an old school-style punk Superchunk song, very fast and upbeat and also featuring Merge artist Annie Hayden.  The other song is called "Abstract Flows" and it's a fitting title - an atmospheric track, no vocals, some bells and keys and what sounds like the musical equivalent of wind.  This isn't their best songs but as an add-on to their full-length I was buying anyway, why not?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Cheap Time - Exit Smiles (In The Red, 2013)

Cheap Time
Exit Smiles
In The Red

Rating: 8 code words out of 10

I think I had written off Cheap Time as just another Tennessee garage punk act, which is totally cool in my book, but there is a lot more going on here in "Exit Smiles."  I'm not sure if I was wrong about their earlier music or there was a significant change leading into this album, but I'm getting a really heavy seventies vibe off of this.  Definitely a lot of Bowie, Stiv Bators for sure, some T-Rex, and on a couple of songs, Television.  Apparently they really sound like the Saints, a band I've somehow managed not to know much about for reasons I'm not entirely clear on.  Hell, I should have known something wasn't typical here when I saw the length was over half an hour but there was only eight songs - any normal garage punk band would play eight songs in the span of fifteen minutes, twenty tops.  This record is going to reward multiple listens, I can already tell. 

Minor Threat - First Demo Tape 7'' (Dischord, 2003)

Minor Threat
First Demo Tape 7''

Rating: 10 progressive socialists out of 10

Any Minor Threat in any format is a good thing, and this purple vinyl slab is a really good thing.  Recorded in 1981, these eight songs (that eight songs with the record still at 45 speed mind you) are all familiar from their other releases but this is definitely one of those bands where I'm happy to get any and all versions of their songs. It's been more than 20 years and I can still listen to Minor Threat over and over.  Any Minor Threat.  All Minor Threat. 

Portastatic - Spying On The Spys 7'' (Merge, 1996)

Spying On The Spys 7''

Rating: 7 large gazebos out of 10

In case you don't know Portastatic is the solo endeavor of Mac McCaughan of Superchunk. Since Mac's voice is so distinctive, these songs end up just sounding like stripped down/acoustic/slightly off kilter Superchunk songs.  The title track is also available on the full-length "The Nature of Sap" that came out in 1997.  The other side has an exclusive track, "Do You Want To Buy a Bridge?", which is a pretty typical mid-tempo number that would fit in well with the rest of the pop music Portastatic was making in those days.  Nothing amazing, but good.  Actually, that's a pretty fair description of Portastatic as a whole. 

Jacuzzi Boys - I Fought a Crocodile 7'' (Rob's House, 2008)

Jacuzzi Boys
I Fought a Crocodile 7''
Rob's House

Rating: 7 cult visitations out of 10

Who knew garage punk bands could come out of Florida?  I guess Jacuzzi Boys prove anything is possible. I'm not their biggest fan in the world, but the title track of this wax is catchy as shit, maybe their best song.  Is it fitting that the best song from a Florida band is about crocodiles?  YES OBVIOUSLY.  The b-side "Blowin' Kisses" is fine but nothing special compared to the title track. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Les Savy Fav - Rodeo 7'' (Sub Pop, 1997)

Les Savy Fav
Rodeo 7''
Sub Pop

Rating: 9 tom turkeys out of 10

Two great tracks from one of my very favorite bands Les Savy Fav.  I remember when I first started listening to them I thought they sounded so much like Fugazi, but I've listened to the band so much I can't hear it anymore.  "rodeo" is perfectly great but the real treat is the b-side "Blackouts on Thursday," one of my all-time favorite Fav songs.  This version feels a little looser and thinner than the album version, but I really dig both.  I really need to get all these Fav seven inches. 

The Gris Gris - For the Season 7'' (Birdman, 2005)

The Gris Gris
For the Season 7''

Rating: 6 perfect matches out of 10

To pull straight from the entry for this record on Discogs: "Companion EP to "For The Season" full length featuring acoustic version of "Pick Up Your Raygun" and three exclusive tracks not available elsewhere."  I mean, that kind of sums it up.  Always dug the Gris Gris, especially live, but this isn't the greatest representation of them.  Not awful, just...yeah.  Live they had a great heavy, heady psyche sound, but this recording is almost whimsical. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Belle and Sebastian - The Third Eye Centre (Matador, 2013)

Belle and Sebastian
The Third Eye Centre

Rating: 8 marine parks out of 10

This is the second singles compilation from Belle and Sebastian, following 2005's "Push Barman to Open Old Wounds."  And by "singles" I mean all the songs that weren't on their regular full-length albums.  I love these collections, because not only does it make it easy on us fans who haven't kept up with the smaller releases, but it's a whole lot easier to listen to them as a long player rather than flipping seven inches over after every song.  Sure, it's not a cohesive "album" where each tracks plays nicely into the next, but it's still a great group of songs.  You get some interesting remixes ("I'm a Cuckoo," "Your Cover's Blown," etc.), some great tracks that totally should have been on their regular records ("Suicide Girl," "Your Secrets," "I Believe in Travelin' Light," etc.) and even some strange business (their attempt at second wave ska, "The Eighth Station Of The Cross Kebab House," and it's a decent effort).  This is a must for any fans, and good enough to stand on it's own for newcomers. 

The Spinto Band - Franco Prussian 7'' (Park the Van, 2008)

The Spinto Band
Franco Prussian 7''
Park the Van

Rating: 5 empty sleeves out of 10

I've never been particularly excited about the Spinto Band, and for some reason I think I grabbed this out of a box of free shit at our local record store Schoolkids.  Free is about the right price.  It's certainly not terrible, just very boring run-of-the-mill safe indie pop.  Doesn't appear either of these songs are on their albums though, so I'll probably just file it away in my collection and hope through some combination of black magic and dumb luck this band somehow gets popular and it's worth some money. 

Pat Benatar - Love is a Battlefield 7'' (Chrysalis, 1983)

Pat Benatar
Love is a Battlefield 7''

Rating: 9 deep pits out of 10

The most perfect Pat Benatar release IMO - both of her best songs in one spot.  The title track is a given, and if you don't know this song by now you've been living under a rock.  I find it still really holds up.  The flip is a live version of the vastly underrated "Hell Is for Children," probably her best song - and it's a great live recording.  I don't keep a lot of 45s from the eighties, but this one is worth holding onto. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Archers of Loaf - Vocal Shrapnel 7'' (Alias, 1996)

Archers of Loaf
Vocal Shrapnel 7''

Rating: 9 hatched eggs out of 10

Archers of Loaf are damn near perfection...I'm not sure what more I can say about them really.  I definitely remember buying this one when it came out as I tried to buy anything the Archers released in any format.  Side a is the fantastic title track, also found on "All the Nation's Airports."  The other side is "Density," which unlike most of their non-album tracks is not also on the "Speed of Cattle" compilation. It's a great, catchy song and a real shame it was never made more easily listenable. 

Wymyns Prysyn - Payday 7'' (Scavenger of Death, 2011)

Wymyns Prysyn
Payday 7''
Scavenger of Death

Rating: 6.5 lottery drawings out of 10

I knew the name - Wymyns Prysyn - but didn't know dick about them, and decided to buy this out of the bargain bin anyways.  Turns out they're from Atlanta (or somewhere in Georgia), have played with one of my favorite local bands Whatever Brains, and a couple of the members play (or at least played) with GG King.  And while this didn't cost much it's pretty good - the band is living somewhere at the intersection of punk and hardcore, not really fitting perfectly with either group.  The recording is not hi-fidelity, but somehow that works in their favor.  Worth a grab if you come across it. 

Evil Wiener / Spatula - Split 7'' (Stay Free, 1993)

Evil Wiener / Spatula
Split 7''
Stay Free

Rating: 7 double downs out of 10

Having recently seen Chuck Johnson live (former frontman of Spatula), that band has recently been on my mind; but I doubt I've thought about Evil Wiener in fifteen years. They hold the a-side and put forth a decent but fairly typical early nineties Chapel Hill indie rock song called "The Truth About Mary Poppins."  The better half is Spatula - this was when they were in their Pavement-inspired indie folk stage, and they deliver two catchy tracks "Break" and "Your Heart's Cold."  Later on they would get weirder and more ambient and influenced by world music and now Chuck is playing this delicate instrumental guitar folk, but this early version of Spatula was always my favorite. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Rock N Roll Adventure Kids - Hot Dog 7'' (Bachelor, 2007)

Rock N Roll Adventure Kids
Hot Dog 7''

Rating: 6 hand claws out of 10

In all my time in San Francisco I don't think I ever managed to see the Rock N Roll Adventure Kids live.  Which is odd because they played often, and often played with bands I loved. The title track is a super distorted garage stomper, the vocals pretty much completely unintelligible.  The flip is called "Panties in My Pocket,"and it's a little slower, a little more intelligible, and completely silly. These kids are probably a lot more fun live than recorded, they give off that vibe.  Some bands are just that way. 

Superchunk - Digging for Something 7'' (Merge, 2010)

Digging for Something 7''

Rating: 8.5 broken swords out of 10

I'm not one to talk out of school but that Superchunk is a pretty good band. Maybe my favorite band. certainly top 5.  Anyways, the title track is taken from their 2010 release "Majesty Shredding" - great song, but not worth seeking this record out since it's on that full-length.  But until they release their next singles compilation, this will be the only place to find the great b-side "February Punk," an upbeat track reminiscent of the early days of the band. On swirly purple vinyl.

Erectus Monotone - Vertigogo 7'' (Merge, 1990)

Erectus Monotone
Vertigogo 7''

Rating: 8 apple carts out of 10

Erectus Monotone was a staple of the Merge roster in the early days of the label.  In fact this is just the ninth release they put out - they're up around 500 these days! EM were from Raleigh and played catchy early-nineties indie pop, a jangly Husker Du with boy/girl vocal combos.  The title tracks is a scorcher from start to finish. In addition to the title songs there are two tracks on side b - "En Este Momente" and "Bakin' Bread," both fine endeavors.  These kids broke up before I moved to the Triangle, but a few years back they did a couple of reunion gigs and finally got to see them live - very enjoyable. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Skewbald - Skewbald 7'' (Dischord, 1991)

Skewbald 7''

Rating: 10 baked yard sticks out of 10

Skewbald aka Grand Union aka Skewbald / Grand Union was a very short-lived band that Ian MacKaye formed between Minor Threat and Fugazi with some other DC hardcore guys.  I still remember buying this via mailorder in high school solely because Ian was on it and I loved (and still very much love) anything he was involved with.  At one point bootlegs of these songs were thought to be unreleased Minor Threat songs, and that's because they sound exactly like Minor Threat songs.  Works for me.  Both tracks are untitled and on the first side of the clear vinyl - nothing but smooth plastic on the flip. 

Belle and Sebastian - Last Trip 7'' (Matador, 2010)

Belle and Sebastian
Last Trip 7''

Rating: 8.5 pleasing pizzas out of 10

This Belle and Sebastian seven inch came with the purchase of their album "Write About Love," though I recently grabbed it out of the bargain bin at Amoeba in LA. I'm an unabashed lover of this band so it should come as no surprise that I love both tracks here, both the title track and the flip side "Suicide Girl."  At the time these songs were exclusive to this seven inch, but the band has since released "Third Eye Centre," a collection of b-sides and other detritus.  You can grab this one pretty cheap though if that's your bag. 

Tokyo Electron - Will Put a Charge in You 7'' (Shattered, 2005)

Tokyo Electron
Will Put a Charge in You 7''

Rating: 6.5 high school drug dealers out of 10

Tokyo Electron were a punk band with a slight garage tinge I must have seen at the Stork Club in Oakland or maybe the Hemlock at some point in my years in California, otherwise I don't know how I ended up with this.  Not sure if they are around anymore or just barely hanging on, but they haven't released anything in a while.  They seemed to have some sort of connection to Jay Reatard, and it's entirely possible I saw them playing with him.  Anyways, good recording, good record, worth a listen.  Three songs total, none outstanding but no stinkers. The version I have is clear red vinyl, but they apparently released a bunch of different pressings in different colors of this. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Low - Canada 7'' (Rough Trade, 2002)

Canada 7''
Rough Trade

Rating: 10 busted casinos out of 10

My love of Low is unending, as is my love of Pink Floyd.  On this record, Low covers Pink Floyd's "Fearless" and it's just as amazing as my brain wanted it to be.  Not better than the original or anything, because that's not possible, but perfect in it's own way, and very much in the style of Low.  One of my favorite things.  

The title track is great too, but also found on the full-length "Trust" so not worth getting overly excited for.

Modest Mouse - Blue Cadet-3, Do You Connect? 7'' (K, 1994)

Modest Mouse
Blue Cadet-3, Do You Connect? 7''

Rating: 6.5 spinning dogs out of 10

Early Modest Mouse when they were at their weirdest.  This slab claims five songs but most of them are noise and none of them are the sort to get wrenched up over.  You can definitely hear the band they become though.  Too bad this isn't worth any money, they made a bazillion of them. 

Big Drill Car - No Worse For The Wear 7'' (Truk / Stab You in the Back, 1994)

Big Drill Car
No Worse For The Wear 7''
Truk / Stab You in the Back

Rating: 6 pie crumbs out of 10

I know Big Drill Car from skate videos of the early nineties, and listening to this instantly transports me back to those days, as that was probably the last time I listened to them.  The title track is in the classic punk-pop style of the era, a likeable track but nothing amazing.  The b-side is a cover of Bowie's "Black Country Rock," both an odd choice for the band and an odd rendition.  Can't say I care for it honestly. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Unwound - Negated 7'' (Troubleman Unlimited, 1994)

Negated 7''
Troubleman Unlimited

Rating: 7.5 piles of film out of 10

I've loved Unwound since a friend introduced me in college, and was stoked to find this on a recent trip to Amoeba while in LA for the holidays.  So while old, it's not an old record from my collection?  Does that matter?  It does not.  Both the title track and the flip "Said Serial" are very much in line with the earlier, noisier version of the band.  Both rip. 

Eagerly awaiting the Numero reissues of all of their full-lengths, they're stupid expensive on the secondary market.