The Weakends – S/T LP

pochok1-1

Label/Buy: Rob’s House
Listen: Myspace

First things first, bad news. The Weakends are from France. Uhh, no, that’s not the bad news. The bad news is that I thought these guys were from North America. Along with my last post, where I admitted that I thought Le Face was from France, it spells it out quite clearly that I need to learn the difference between bands from North America and bands from France. Is there some rule? A formula perhaps? Help me out.

Anyway, the Weakends plays the kind of blues-inspired rock’n’roll that everyone should be tired of by now. God knows I am. This time around, it works because they don’t take themselves too seriously – inserting a garage number like “Arty Party” that breaks up the momentum and clearly does not belong is a pretty ballsy move. It works also because these guys aren’t trying to be Blues Hammer. It’s like this: I get the feeling that these guys aren’t trying so much to ape their influences as so much as just play what they know and have fun while doing so. It’s a feeling that I don’t often get with this type of music.

When you’re in a band like the Weakends and you’re having fun playing your music, more often than not, it translates to what you release. When you’re in a band and you’re concerned with authenticity rather than just playing what you know, more often than not, it’ll probably be a chore for anyone and everyone to listen to.

Thankfully, the Weakends sound like they’re having fun.

New Release Round Up

So many things of note that have just been released, are imminent or that I had missed that a nice little round-up is in order. Who knows, maybe you’ll order something!

HoZac “Hookup Klub” 7″ Single Club: I wasn’t going to write about this for some reason, but then I was reading Seven Inches about how Jason missed the pre-order call, and I figured there were a few more of you who might have missed the very exciting news.

Essentially, HoZac has one of the best tracklists around. I just “completed” my collection with the addition of the Spider 7″ (HoZac 002), and I can say that I listen to every record on a regular basis, save for the White Savage 7″ and the Subtle Turnhips 7″ (though, I think Thomas from The Wicked Awesomes spoiled that one after a show we played with them, and a small group of us stayed up all night drinking and listening to records, and he went on an hour-long tyrade about how much he hated that record).

You’re going to get 10 records in this club in three seperate mailings, a bunch of stuff that no-one has heard of yet, including: Teeth (a collaboration between Blank Dogs and Spider!!!), Dum Dum Girls (who also have a 12″ coming on Blank Dogs new record label Captured Tracks), TeePee (the cassette on Jerkwave is fucking great). Also, a new Box Elders 7″ (finally), and a band I’ve been recently turned on to – White Mystery. The rest – Idle Times, Woven Bones, Art Thieves, Flight, Mother of Tears – I don’t know too much about, but I trust HoZac to do me right. Limited to 500 records each.

__________________________


Vaticano “Mocosos Pateticos LP”

Out on the great Siltbreeze label, this has been best described as “The Mexican Spits”, and that certainly sounds accurate to me. Sloppy, lofi garage punk, sung in Spanish. Limited to 700.

________________

Dull Knife Records has announced the Dull Knife Songwriter Series which should be available in the next six weeks. The initial entries will be from Richard Youngs and Dan Melchior, with each 7″ in a hand-numbered edition of 300. They also have the RTFO Bandwagon LP coming soon!

________________

Death …For the Whole World to See LP

This re-issue (recorded originally in 1974) has me v. excited. Drag City has pre-orders up now.

________________________

Eat Skull have a new split 7″ with Gaglions. Gonna set you back $7.08 Paypal  yakamashirecords@yahoo.com

________________________

Le Face – Isolation LP

db-79

Label/Buy: Dead Beat
Listen: Myspace

The description of Le Face’s full-length debut on Dead Beat Records’ website mentions the Urinals more than once. I don’t really hear it. Those Urinals are way more melodic than these guys are capable of.

Not like I’m saying it’s a negative point for Le Face.

What I hear is a toned-down, less dense version of labelmates the Daily Void. Or maybe, at times, a less poppy, more thrashy version of the Intelligence. These guys stand on their own though. Great, thrashed-up garage punk.

And I totally thought these guys were French because of their name and the vocalist’s delivery. Turns out they’re from LA.

Suppositories – Moments of Square Violence LP


Label/Buy: Going Gaga Records
Listen: Myspace

Wire’s Pink Flag has been picked apart and reinterpreted in so many ways by so many different bands, and yet hearing the debut debut from Ottowa’s Suppositories made me realize how much potential there is in riffing off of the slower, sludgier songs on that album – “Reuters” and “Pink Flag” especially. Take a deliberate, driving chord progression, and repeat until song has reached its logical conclusion. Moments of Square Violence is full of songs that use this style, and the result is a collection of claustrophobic songs that just build and build without having to rely on getting heavy or loud or overly complicated.  These are short, simple and devastatingly effective songs. Moments of Square Violence definitely benefits from great production, and because it is vinyl only (45 RPM 12″, nice!), the songs have some time to grow on you.

France Has The Bomb – Invisible Angle 7″

l_8f130beb3d9f4099a298af8f83b78992

A. Invisible Angle
B. Grim Trigger 

Label: HoZac
Listen: Myspace
Buy: Rocket Reducer

France Has The Bomb’s new 7″ is now out on Horizontal Action, along with a new Nobunny 7″ and the new Nice Face, which I covered last week. For this entry, I was about to cover the new Nobunny as well to complete the new trio of HoZacs but fuck it, I bet copies of that will be sold regardless.

Remember a couple of years back when it seemed like every other band had a RIYL that included Gang of Four? Thing is, 5% of that illustrious group actually sounded like GO4. The other 95%? You can thank lazy journalists. Fortunately, we have a band like France Has The Bomb that shows that GO4 comparisons don’t have to be the touch of death.

The A-side contains “Invisible Angle”, a track that has a heavy, post-punk sound. It sits right on the fence between tight and sloppy so that it somehow fits really well into the current garage rock scene, wherever it may be or you want to call it. The B-side, “Grim Trigger”, slows things down a wee bit. The term “college rock” immediately comes to mind, for better or worse, and it’s reminiscent of a billion bands of the past and present but, like the A-side, it’s a well-crafted track so I won’t complain.

Radiohead 12″ Single Reissues

Capitol Records recently reissued Radiohead’s back-catalog on vinyl, and because they love money, they are doing more reissuing in the form of twelve “limited edition” 12″ singles on vinyl.

The reissues include the rare Drill EP (Radiohead’s first release), but because they are a major label and fuck everything up, all the covers are of the actual size of the original 5″ CD singles printed as a sticker on the special branded 12″ sleeves and look shitty.

The included singles are Drill, Creep, My Iron Lung, Just, Fake Plastic Trees, High and Dry, Street Spirit [fade out], Paranoid Android, Karma Police, No Surprises, Pyramid Song, There There and 2+2=5.

Insound is doing pre-orders, though they aren’t going to be released until almost May. With shipping, this is going to set you back around $150-160.

Stinks in here.

The Hunches – Exit Dreams LP

61rr1hi8evl_ss500_

Label: In The Red
Listen: Myspace (no songs are up but maybe keep checking back…?)
Buy: Midheaven

After the longest wait, The Hunches have finally put out their anticipated third and final LP, Exit Dreams. Not content to leave us with their effort from 2004, Hobo Sunrise, this Portland band has decided to go out with a fuzzed-out bang. Like most bands of their ilk, they are most effective at a maxed-out tempo. Tracks like “Ate My Wheel” and “Pinwheel Spins” are some of the best music they’ve released (and barring a comeback, that they will ever release). Although the record drags a bit when they decide to drag (“Not Invented”), there are more than enough highlights here to make Exit Dreams a solid final LP from one of the best bands so far this century.

The White Wires – Girly Girly Girly LP

photo

Label: Going Gaga
Buy: (from the label)
Listen: Myspace

Former Calgarian (and Cryptomaniac) Ian Manhire moved to Ottawa in 2007, breaking the hearts of local garage punk lovers in the process. As it turns out, Ian has been one busy guy, starting up his own vinyl-only record label Going Gaga Records, starting up an Ottawa based festival (Gaga Fest), and playing in two great bands (that I know of), The Sedatives and this band, The White Wires. Whereas the Sedatives happily picked up where The Cryptomaniacs left off (see their 7” on P Trash), The White Wires are an entirely different tangent of the garage scene, at times playing the innocent brand of early Rock ‘N Roll (non-wimpy Roy Orbison, Eddie Cochrine, pre-Pet Sounds Beach Boys) as employed by underground favourites Nobunny, The Romance Novels and Eric and the Happy Thoughts. “Girly Girly Girly” is an album filled with stick in your brain songs, indelible pop-hooks, and enough variety to hold your interest throughout – this is about as good as it gets. This LP is limited to 325 hand-screened copies, so act fast.

Nice Face – Exterminator 7″

exterminator-7

Label/Buy: HoZac
Listen: Myspace

One of the best artists whom I regrettably slept on last year would have to be Brooklyn’s Nice Face. Really, I’d now consider the Thing in My Head 7″ to be one of my favorites of 2008.

Although comparisons to Seven Ten Twelve regular Blank Dogs are flung about often when this particular one-man bedroom project is talked about, Nice Face’s sound is more punk-oriented than the former’s depresso synth pop sound. His new HoZac 7″ continues along the same path as the aforementioned 7″ and his Can I Fuck It? cassette tape on Jerkwave. The title track on the A-side is more lo-fi punk goodness across a crusty drum beat. However, the B-side, “FUBAR Over You”, gives me more of a power-pop vibe than the title track, odd considering the title track is catchier than the B-side. Maybe it’s his vocals, which kinda sound British to these ears. Either way, this is more great stuff from Nice Face. Admittedly, it doesn’t make as much of an impact as his prior releases but still, it should whet your appetite for more material from him.

Bonus points for that sexy cover art though.

Ty Segall – Skin 7″

skin

a1. Skin
a2. Booksmarts
b1. Ms. White
b2. …And Then Judy Walked In

Label: Goodbye Boozy
Purchase: Florida’s Dying

Listen: Myspace

Ty Seagall (also of Traditional Fools and Party Fowl) was busy in 2008, with two singles, two cassettes and a fine LP (out on Thee Oh Sees Castle Face label). This 7″ came out of Italy’s Goodbye Boozy label, and is fairly limited at 300 copies, which is far too low for a single of this quality. What you get here is four songs in the same primitive vein as Thee OhSees, with perhaps more of a psychedelic feel to them. Now that I’ve satiated myself with Thee OhSees catalogue over the last year, Ty Seagall is really hitting the spot. It is possible that I couldn’t recommend this one enough.

Love Tan – Miscellaneous Night Feelings LP

30-lovetan

Label/Buy: Kill Shaman
Listen: Myspace

Up next in my never-ending “recent LPs you may have missed” series is Love Tan’s Miscellaneous Night Feelings LP. Maybe because of the late October/November release date, I didn’t see this on many year-end lists. Admittedly, this didn’t come to my attention until recently either, so maybe we’re all at fault here.

Previously known as Pyramids, this duo (one half, Matthew Ford, is in Factums and was at one time a member of The Intelligence) released a 7″ on Sweet Rot prior to this most recent LP. For some, the Factums and Intelligence connections may be more than enough to sell you on this record but personally, they cancel each other out. The Intelligence may be one of my favorite bands of the past few years (I like them even more than the A Frames, sue me) but Factums’ post-Alien Native output has more or less scared me away from this band.

The thing that’s great about Love Tan is that you get the best of both worlds. They sound like The Intelligence on downers some of the time while the Factums’ more abstract tendencies come into play at times as well. No song on Miscellaneous Night Feelings exemplifies what these two guys are capable more than “Dissolve”. The first 40 seconds sounds like the guys farting with their instruments. Then, the barely-intelligible vocals (natch) kick in, lending some structure to the song, a structure that slowly emerges as the song progresses. Check the song out on their Myspace page.

Then order the record.

The Singles Club Report

This fall, I broke my bank account by signing up for two different singles clubs from two different labels: the skewing towards mainstream-alt Sub Pop Singles Club and the “limited to 250” Columbus Discount Recordings Singles Club. I’ve recieved five from each club so far, so I figured it would be a good time to assess what has come.

Sub Pop Singles Club 3.0

Received So Far:

ommikamiko

unnatural1blackmountain

bluescontrol

OM
a: Gebel Barkal
b: (Version)

Mika Miko
a: Sex Jazz (Extended)
b: Bastard in Love

Unnatural Helpers
a1: Dirty, Drunk and Comical
a2: Connecting
b1: Break that Horse
b2: Easy Way

Black Mountain
a: Lucy Brown
b: Shelter

Blues Control
a: Snow Day
b: Paul’s Winter Solstice

Of this batch, I like the Unnatural Helpers single the most and OM single the least. Unnatural Helpers play a Mudhoney-eque brand of sludge, but are also at home on a bill with current bands like Hank IV or Eddy Current Suppression Ring – definitely the most “Sub Pop” sounding record of this batch. Mika Miko‘s “Sex Jazz” is awesome, but I really dislike their reworking of the classic Black Flag song “Bastard in Love”.  One the Black Mountain single, “Lucy Brown” is as good of a Black Mountain song that I have heard, though I’ve always been more of a Pink Mountaintops as far as Stephen McBean is concerned. Actually, “Shelter” is pretty good too – decent single overall, but nothing too exciting. The Blues Control single contains post-rock instrumentals with the reverb turned up with songs about Winter (fitting for the December issue date), probably my second favourite of this batch, though that isn’t saying a lot.

I haven’t received any of the singles that convinced me to sign up for the club, and there hasn’t been anything that I have been too excited about thus far, so I give the first five Sub Pop Singles Club 3.0 singles a cumulative grade of B-.

Columbus Discount Recordings Singles Club Year One

Received So Far:

pinkreasoneljesus

harrisburg_termbosandwitch

uh2-cdrscy1

Pink Reason
a: 3:16
b: Sweet Sinister

El Jesus De Magico
a: Unclean Ghost
b: Pirate Utopia

The Harrisburg Players
a1: Tommy Jay “No Place”
a2: The General “I Did It”
b1: Nudge Squidfish “Jess”
b2: T.A. Lafferty “Take it to the Father”

Sandwich
a: Assisted Living
aa: I’ve Had a Few

The Unholy Two
a: Altamont 1969
b: Beirut 1983″

This is more like it – right out of the gate with the Pink Reason single, I knew I was in for something great – amazing liner notes, excellent selections from the Pink Reason‘s archives, bubblegum pink vinyl – yes. “Sweet Sinister” is (for me) up there with my favourite Pink Reason songs. El Jesus De Magico‘s single came next – featuring a hand silk-screened covers (and glow-in-the-dark paint?). This single features one of my favourite songs of 2k8, “Unclean Ghosts”, a slow build with a burbling analogue synth that snakes throughout the song, this single spent a great deal of time on the turntable.

The first surprise came in the form of the third single, “The Harrisburg Players Vol. 1“, a four song compilation of songs recorded “somewhere between 1798 and yesterday”, which makes absolute sense because it is otherwise impossible to hear any certain era (other than “post-1970’s”). I’m no scholar of the Ohio music scene, other than my previous obsession with all thing Robert Pollard/Guided by Voices (and the bands associated in various ways). Seems Mike Rep had his own lo-fi cabal doing something in a similar vein (throwaway songs recorded in a grungy basement on bargain-store recording equipment). Everything here is gold, and is making me want to start tracking down more music from all involved (aka: mission accomplished). What a treat! Sandwich was another pleasant surprise, a Ron House fronted “supergroup”, this single contains two awesome psychadelic rock songs that have warranted repeat listens sincel. I just got the Unholy Two single (featuring Tom Shannon of Cheater Slicks) and Will Foster of Guinea Worms), and haven’t much to say other than it is a sludgy affair that will take some more listening.
Singles Clubs are mysterious things – they cost a lot of money up-front, and often yield weak results (see last years “Bored Fortress” collection, which left me wanting). The first five singles in Columbus Discount Recording’s singles club have been an exception to the rule – a few bands I knew already mixed in with a few pleasant surprises, lots of great songs, innovative packaging, a tight schedule – Columbus Discount Recording’s singles club gets a solid A.

Siltbreeze Roundup: Hank IV, Der TPK, The Love Is So Fast

Hank IV – Refuge in Genre

h4iv

Teenage Pankerkorps (Der TPK) – Games for Slaves

tpk

The Love Is So Fast – S/T

sb118

Label: Siltbreeze (uh huh)
Listen: Myspace (go to their top friends section for links to Hank IV and Der TPK’s myspace sites; as for The Love Is So Fast, go to Los Llamarada’s myspace linked below and imagine a sloppier version of them)
Buy: Midheaven

Hank IV’s second LP (and Siltbreeze debut), Refuge in Genre, is perhaps the most accessible record to have come out on said label thus far, at least since their comeback. Full of the kind of no-frills garage punk that everyone needs once in awhile, even if they’re really into Roxy Music’s Avalon, like I am right now. I initially heard Mission of Burma when I popped this onto the player but now, it’s etched its own place in my listening pile. Probably my most listened to of the three. I’d love to sing along to “Feeding Me Back” if I ever see these guys live.

Der TPK’s (Teenage Pankerkorps) new record, Games for Slaves, sounds pretty sinister. The vocalist, Bunker Wolf, sings in this German drawl that just doesn’t bring to mind rainbows and puppies, you know? It doesn’t help that these songs are pretty dirgey. If you’re not in the right mood, then this record can get to you in the worst way possible. Still, give it a chance on a less than sunny day, and listen in.

The Love Is So Fast is Danyhell and Estrella from Los Llamarada’s side project. Yeah, reactions to this one are quite varied but I’m with this duo. Sure, most of the songs sound like incomplete ideas but really, this was recorded live in one take. Give them a break. There are more winning moments on this than I’d expect from an improvised bedroom project. Either way, the question is, are a handful of moments enough to recommend paying LP price for five songs? I’ll let you decide.

Wild About Jenkem 7″ Comp

2650805166_c9c5a9e0ac_m

Buy: Killer Diller Records

A collection of 10 songs by 10 bands you either know and love (or will soon know and love), all writing songs about jenkem. Everything is a minute-long or so. A-side is the “fast” side, while the songs on the b-side are a bit slower. I can’t recommend this enough. I wrote out something for every song on this, in the time it took the song to play out.

Live Fast Die: I Need You (Leroy): Deserving of its own single.
Nice Face: JuJu for Jenkem: Best Nice Face song ever? Holy shit.
Coconut Coolouts: Luke MPende Says… (Pt. 1):  Love this one as much as the first two, goooood.
Back C.C.’s: Jenkem Stankem: This is the first song I’ve heard from this band, and now I’m tracking every
Party Cannon:Fucked Up: “Get Fucked UP! Get Fucked UP! Get Fucked UP!”, which pretty much sums up this song.
Gaye Blades: My Shit Belongs to Pee: Let’s slow it down a little? Indeed.
Nick Storella: Bottle & Balloon: Also have to  find more from this guy.
Wizzard Sleeve: Children of Manda: I imagine that if you were spending your day getting ripped on Jenkem, this song is what it would feel like. Disorienting, slow, fucking scary.
Clean Teens : It’s In the Bag: Song lyrics right from the wikipedia page, done in the style of Jerry Lee Lewis. Rad.
Forks&Knives&Spoons:Ballad of Leroy Jenkems: 1 minute of bluesy nonsense. The only thing I don’t love.

This comp is about as solid as comps go in my book.