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.