Monday, August 24, 2015

The Make-Up - R U A Believer 7'' (K, 1995)

The Make-Up
R U A Believer 7''

Rating: 6.5 fired hats out of 10

I love all things Make-Up, and while this isn't their strongest release it's still worth having.  The title track is a jammer, and also available on their singles comp "I Want Some."  To be fair, Ian Svenonius could read the ingredients off of a Shake-n-Bake box, set it to a funky beat, and I'd shill for it.  The B-side title is listed as "Version," but in actuality it's a Dub Narcotic remix of the title track.  Maybe not necessary, but certainly a sign of the era this record is from. 

The Ends - New Rome 7'' (Dirtnap, 2003)

The Ends
New Rome 7''

Rating: 6 sandpaper fingerprints out of 10

The Ends put out a catchy, decent punk record called "Concrete Disappointment" years ago on Dirtnap, but I haven't thought about them in probably decade.  Came across this seven inch used at Amoeba and bought it on a whim, because why the hell not.  Turns out both tracks on this slab (the title track and the b-side "Saw It Comin") are both on that previously mentioned album, so this release is more or less superfluous.  Still, decent tracks and it didn't cost much so whatevs. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Golden Boys - Got Time 7'' (Sold Sex Lovie Doll, 2005)

Golden Boys
Got Time 7''
Sold Sex Lovie Doll

Rating: 6.5 hard-working matrices out of 10

I couple of good-but-unremarkable garage stompers from the Golden Boys, the garage punk kings of Texas.  This is out of Italy I guess, and the sleeve appears to be photocopied, but the wax is good so no big whoop.  I like these cats but recorded was never their strong suit - seeing them live is the way to go, because they put on a scorcher of a show.  The songs are decent though, and if you came across this like I did in a bargain bin it's worth a nab.  

Let's not discuss that label name though.  Oof. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Mikal Cronin - MCIII (Merge, 2015)

Mikal Cronin

Rating: 7.5 hemorrhagic pails out of 10

Can something be slightly disappointing and totally great at the same time?  Because that's how I feel about this most recent Mikal Cronin record, "MCIII."  By most measures it's an ambitious, big pop album...the only problem is he released one of the best pop albums of the past decade in 2013 with "MCII."  While I instantly loved this new one, it's just not quite as good as it's predecessor, and it's difficult not to compare.  "MCIII" is still better than almost everything else of it's ilk though.  There isn't a 1-2 punch as strong as "MCII" openers "Weight" and "Shout It Out," but this new record does have a shitload more instrumentation and what appears to be a six-part pop opera or something of that nature.  Make no mistake I'm going to listen to this a lot...but probably not as much as the other one.

Thomas Function - The Insignificants 7'' (Tic Tac Totally, 2006)

Thomas Function
The Insignificants 7''
Tic Tac Totally

Rating: 7 Chicago clutches out of 10

At first I thought this was a split between Thomas Function and "The Insignificants," but it turns out that is just the name of the song on side A.  There are three songs total ("Blue & Green" and "Conspiracy of Praise" make up side B), and they all walk a fine line between garage rock and art punk.  I've always liked this band, and have never thought they got due credit, but the flip side of that is I managed to pick up this record for 50 cents so it's not all bad.  "Blue & Green" is my top choice, sounding like the Lapse trying to cut a demo for Goner Records. 

Flock of Dimes - (This Is Why) I Can't Wear White 7'' (Frenchkiss, 2012)

Flock of Dimes
(This Is Why) I Can't Wear White 7''

Rating: 8 devilish talons out of 10

I love all things Jenn Wasner, from her work with her main band Wye Oak to this solo offshoot called Flock of Dimes.  I was particularly stoked to be digging through the Amoeba bargain bins on a recent trip to SF and snagged a copy of her/their first seven inch (I'm never sure how to refer to bands that only have one member...).  Given what a commanding performer she is regardless of band name, it would be hard not to make Wye Oak comparisons here, although this music is a little more upbeat/electronic/almost dancey compared to her parent act.  The vocals still sound like Wasner though so those comparisons are going to be there no matter what.  Both tracks, the title song and the b-side "15" are excellent and worth seeking out.  So far she's only released three seven inches so hopefully a full-length record will make an appearance at some point in the near future. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Run the Jewels - Bust No Moves EP (Mass Appeal, 2015)

Run the Jewels
Bust No Moves EP
Mass Appeal

Rating: 8 house scourers out of 10

Yes, this Run the Jewels EP was released months ago for Record Store Day, but I never get to anything on time.  Big surprise - this collection of songs fuckin' kills; this duo can seemingly do no wrong right now.  "Pew Pew Pew," featuring DJ Qbert, is as strong as anything they've ever released, equal parts new shit and a throwback to hiphop of the late eighties/early's time for scratching to come back!  Title track "Bust No Moves" sounds like lyrical syrup, just drippy, especially the chorus from Cuz.  "Blockbuster Night Part 2" is likely the predecessor to part one from "Run the Jewels 2" only lyrically, because it doesn't actually sound anything like it.  Possibly the most interesting track is "Love Again (Akinyele Back)," which is exactly like the same song from the last full-length, until the final verse when Gangsta Boo flips it up and talks about oral stimulation from the female point of view.  Yeah, it's been done before, but it's done real damn well here.  

This vinyl is already getting expensive, so grab one if you see it.  Otherwise, cop the tracks online.