Cheveu / Crash Normal – Split 7″ Preorder

Cheveu and Crash Normal

Rococo records has this single up for pre-order now! Both of these bands are from France, and both of them are really awesome. First 100 takers get theirs in special blue vinyl, and if you are anything like me, you feel special having one of 100 of something.  Listen to Crash Normal (the song on this split, “Plastic Bar” is rad) and Cheveau if you haven’t already.

The Yolks – Wandering 7″

Wandering
a1: Wandering
a2: Don’t Blame Me
b1: Mob City Hustle (instrumental)

Label: Bachelor Records
Buy: Rocket Reducer
Listen: Myspace

This is the second single from Chicago’s The Yolks, who are gaining some momentum after they broke onto the scene with their self-released single “Introducing…” last year (which they sold out almost all on their own; Criminal IQ repressed it, and you can also get it at Rocket Reducer – HIGHLY recommended). This single isn’t far off stylistically, maintaining their Nuggets inspired early 60’s garage sound that just works so nicely, though the recording here seems a lot less lo-fi than the first single.

“Wandering” continues establishing the greatness of this band, sounding kind of like a Buddy Holly single (complete with “bom bom bom” backups). Absolutely essential.

Cheap Time – “Handyman” 7″

Cheap Time

a: Handyman
b: Wildlife

Label: Douchemaster Records
Buy: Douchemaster
Listen: Myspace

Immediate reaction to this record was: love “Handyman,” was annoyed by “Wildlife.” Somewhere along the line, the chorus for “Wildlife” got stuck in my head, and like a born again xtian, I see the light – “Wildlife” has become kind of an addiction. Everytime I hear it, it is like getting my fix. So fucking good. “Handyman” is still rad, but a little more traditional, whereas “Wildlife” takes Cheap Time to a new level. Absolutely essential.

Across the Pond – ROUNDUP!

Courteeners

The Courteeners – Not Nineteen Forever  7″

a: Not Nineteen Forever
b: If It Wasn’t For Me
Label: Polydor
Buy: Norman Records
Listen: Myspace
Song heard: Not Nineteen Forever
Converted Price: $6.41
Worth it?: Fuck no.

You know that band The Killers? They need to be stopped, their influence spreading like cancer. This band sounds like a cross between The Killers and Snow Patrol, and as a result, I was about to turn this shit off, but the geniuses behind the band/label decided only to post a “sample” of the song on their MySpace. Lucky me!

Cheeky Cheeky

Cheeky Cheeky and the Nosebleeds – Slow Kids 7″

a1. Slow Kids
a2. Slow Kids SPA Remix
b1. Fascinating
b2. Slow Kids (The Shoes remix)

Label: Tired And Lonesome Records
Buy: Norman Records
Listen: Myspace
Song heard: Slow Kids, Fascinating
Converted Price: $10.97
Worth it?: Not quite a “fuck no,” but not a yes either

“Slow Hands” lifts some hooks from that one Libertines song that was any good (“Can’t Stand Me Now”), and so you will be into this if you are a Libertines superfan (ahem). Actually, this song sucks, and so do the Libertines. “Fascinating” is a little better, but I would rather listen to Wire, which this is very reminiscent of. For $10, no way.

Shearing Pinx – Haruspex 7″ Pre-order

Shearing Pinx

You can still pre-order the Shearing Pinx – Haruspex 7″.  The first 50 of these are a special hand-screened design, and there are still a few these left (what is wrong with you people – Get on this!). Pre-order the 7″ on the Divorce site now (they are shipping in a couple of weeks). I am super excited for this release and I would be surprised if it doesn’t end up in my top singles of the year (given how much I like the other Shearing Pinx recordings).

The Laureates – S/T 7″

The Laureates

a1: I Want to Miss You
a2: Witching Boots
b1: Hello, Hello
b2: The Warm Son

Label: Funambulist Recording Company
Buy: From the Band
Listen: Mp3’s from the single

Weird how I listened to this, and was going to write a review that said (among other things) “Interpol produced by Phil Spector.” Then, doing some background research into the band, I discover that Seven Inches (Everyday) said essentially the exact same thing.

The Laureates remind me when Uncle Bob took GBV down the hi-fi route, having pulled everything he could out of his basement recordings. As you may recall, many GBV loyalists rebelled against the slickness; if you go back to “Do the Collapse” eight years later, the songs hold up (though, what you need from that era is the Hold on Hope ep, which is the best hi-fi thing Bob ever released).

That is to say, this single is about the songs, the hooks and the production. For a band of this genre, this sounds slick as snails, and these guys fall all over themselves to pile hook after hook into every song.

Black Bug – “I Don’t Like You” 7″

Black Bug
a: I Don’t Like You
b: You a Grave

Label: AVANT! / Disordered
Listen: Myspace
Buy: FDH Records  / Rocket Reducer

Parts of me really like how fucked this Black Bug stuff sounds- it has your classic synth-on-destruction settings, with some serious distorted female vocalist losing her shit. Other parts of me are kind of turned off by the atonal-ness of this, which sometimes is a plus for me, and sometimes isn’t. Who is to say. It is hard to pinpoint where that line is, and to their credit Black Bug walk the atonality like a tightrope. I find myself being drawn in after spending time on their Myspace page with all of their songs – and I think this band has some serious potential, having many songs up right now that I like more than what is on this single (listen to “Life is a Whore” or “Billy Montana” for a good example).

Limited to 250 copies on clear vinyl – which is a pretty short run, and I think the potential for this band in the future makes this a “must.” The Black Bug aren’t going to go down easy – this is as challenging as punk gets.

Dead Luke Reservation and Pre-Order!

Sacred Bones LOGO

I first wrote about this back in February, and the time has come:

Sacred Bones is currently taking reservations for the Dead Luke box set. As far as I can tell, the reservations were announced this afternoon (and are already half reserved). 100 reservations are being accepted, and you just email caleb@sacredbonesrecords.com with the heading DEAD LUKE BOX. When the second Dead Luke single comes out, you will get an email with payment information (that is – you aren’t paying now, only placing a set on hold). The set will include both Sacred Bones singles, a cd-r with two or three unreleased songs, inserts and other bits. This will be in edition of 100. Box cover art by Ilth (www.myspace.com/iwishihadablackcock).

You can also pre-order the first of the two Dead Luke singles, and the new Nice Face single:

Dead Luke
a: I Want You
b: Waste Of Spaces

Nice Face

100 copies of gold wax, with alternate cover color scheme.
a:Thing In My Head
b:Hidden Automatic

ORDERING INFO

USA
one 7″ – $7.00 ppd
two 7″ – $12.50 ppd
three 7″ – $18.00 ppd

CANADA/MEX
one 7″ – $7.75 ppd
two 7″ – $13.25 ppd
three 7″ – $18.75 ppd

EUROPE/rest of WORLD
one 7″ – $10.00 ppd
two 7″ – $15.50 ppd
three 7″ – $21.00 ppd

Paypal to: caleb AT sacredbonesrecords. com

Wizzard Sleeve – “Mommy’s Little Baby” 7″

a: Mommy’s Little Baby
b: Pterodactyl Meltdown

HoZac Records
Buy: Fusetronsound
Listen: Myspace

Wizzard Sleeve +Mommy’s Little Baby

This has been sitting at the bottom of my “to listen to” pile for like two months now, and I am kicking myself now for ignoring it for so long. Very weird that this band doesn’t have more hype going for it, as this single is tops. Came out (and sold out) late 2007,  it was too late for it to get any “top 7″ of the year” hype, and given the avalanche of amazing records that has come out in the last few months, it possibly got lost in that as well.

Which is too bad, because Wizzard Sleeve are really fucking good at what they do.  To fall back on an ultra-recent comparison, they have some of the same elements (especialy vocally) as Blank Dogs, but also there is a heavy Chrome influence there as well. Whatever the comparisons, and however it fits into what is going on right now, Wizzard Sleeve sond fairly singular, with both songs filled with compelling ideas and innovations. This is best case scenario – especially “Pterodactyl Meltdown” – which in a fucked up world could become a contender for “Jock Jams” (picture an arena of hockey fans doing the “ooooOOOOOooooo” part). Totally mind-blowing release.

The Pleasure Kills – Smash Up the Radio 7″

a: Smash up the Radio
b: Over and Over

Buy: Polypore Records
Listen: Myspace
The

This is pop music at its finest. The two songs on The Pleasure Kills debut single are both pure of heart, getting stuck in your brain whilst pretending not to notice that popular music long ago turned its back on the simple (but well constructed), pop song. The Pleasure Kills have been subject to some well deserved blogging buzz over this single – and listening now I can see why – the direct approach that these songs take is a refreshing alternative to the crowded and muddled music of the current American underground. In fact – I think that is why this single works so well; these songs are like splashing your face with cold water. A definite must.

The Electric Bunnies – singles

Eskimo 7″
a1: Eskimo
a2: Eat Worms
b: Counting Sheep
electric Bunnies Eskimo

Chewing Gum 7″
a1: Chewing Gum
a2: Love Radiation
b1: Super Flourexcent Hippo Flashback
b2: The Stranger
Electric Bunnies

Buy: Florida’s Dying
Listen: Myspace

Both of these singles have been entrenched on my stereo more or less all afternoon. I kind of think I am in love with this band, but you know how I worry about saying those things after one date. Yet, whenever “Chewing Gums” comes on, I get that “tingly” feeling. Sometimes you just know, ok?

Anyone reading this blog knows that my weak spot is describing music. I don’t think I am the only one with that problem, so I don’t feel too badly about it. I am good at saying shit like “my new obsession” and “favourite singles I have heard since ____.” All warranted here. Every song on these two singles are fucking essential, and Electric Bunnies are exactly the kind of band I can get behind – experimental, lo-fi with keeping one foot planted firmly into pop music. Makes a strange beast at times (“The Stranger” which you need to hear), but also makes it all come together in really exciting ways. Add the Electric Bunnies to my “buy everything from” list.

The World’s Lousy With Ideas Volume 3 7″

a1: The Suspicions – Baby Talk (Listen)
a2: Wax Museums – Disco Ball (Listen)
b1: Romance Novels – It’s All Lies (Listen)
b2: No Bunny – Hippy Witch (Listen)

Label: Almost Ready Records
Buy: Bistro Distro
World’s Lousy With Ideas Volume 3

This is the third volume in Almost Ready’s “The World’s Lousy With Ideas” series of 7″ comps. To note: volume 3 came out a few months before volume 2 (which was released simultaneously with volume 4: confused yet?), and is already sold out (possibly out of print?). Again, act quickly before they are gone (still listed at the awesome Bistro Distro though, but I couldn’t see it anywhere else).

This series is really fantastic thus far, and is the perfect document of what is happening in the underground music scene right now. I may have said that in my Vol 1 review from Monday, but I am too lazy to check.

The Suspicions  start this off with a song called “Baby Talk,” which on my first few spins didn’t do much for me (specifically the background vocals at the chorus). Yet, the whole thing just ends up being so irresistible that I feel like I’ve settled my problems with it. I like this enough to look into the back-catalog.  Catchy as fuck.

Wax Museums offer “Disco Ball,” and compared to the other Wax Museums stuff I have, this is a relatively weak effort. Mostly the chorus again, which attempts to be catchy but walks the line a little too closely on the “annoying” side of the fence. Love this band, but not this song.

Next is Romance Novels with “It’s All Lies,” who steal the chord progression from “Blitzkrieg Bop,” and try to disguise it in the lo-fi recording quality. Yet, however obvious it is, this song ends up catching fire, and the “It’s all lies” refrain is particularly delightful. My favourite song of the album.

Finally, Nobunny do “Hippy Witch,” which lasts for a minute (and because of the lock groove, will keep going until you turn off the record player “a witch /a witch /a witch /a witch”). This song is rad, especially the seconds long freakout near the end.

Across the Pond: The Manhattan Love Suicides – Clusterfuck 7″

a1: Clusterfuck
a2: Detroit Deisel
b1: Burning Wire
b2: Heat and Panic

Label: Squirrel Records (UK)
Buy: Norman Records
Listen: Myspace
Manhattan Love Suicides Clusterfuck

Song listened to: “Heat and Panic””
Converted Price: $9.54
Worth it?: Undecided, so probably no.
The song that I listened to – “Heat and Panic” is actually pretty good. Sounds a lot like My Bloody Valentine (meets White Light/White Heat era Velvet Underground).  Lots of screeching guitar jabs, and that driving VU inspired bass/drum combo. Nice and lo-fi sounding.  Singing, at times, reminds me of that 80’s novelty xmas song by The Waitresses “Christmas Wrapping.” That will be a good thing or a bad thing.

HoZac Records Pre-Order

Hozac

Bold Ones – Open Your Mouth 7″ EP (listen)

Plexi 3 – Know Better 7″ EP (listen)

Headache City – Teenage Grease 7″ EP (listen)

This triad of awesomeness is now available for pre-order from HoZac records. You might even get in on the “Gold” versions of these records if you act now. Cryptically, this means a “limited magnetic sheet” Bold Ones 7″, a “hand screened sleeve” for the Headache City 7″ and “I don’t know” for the Plexi 3 7″. I’ll cover each of these when they come in, I just figured there were a few of you not on the HoZac mailing list who might be into this.

Also: why aren’t you on the HoZac mailing list?

____________________________________________________________

PAYPAL account is : todd (at) horizontalaction.com (indicate which records you want)
USA
one 7″ – $6.00 ppd (*NOTE : just 1 copy of Bold Ones record = $6.50)
two 7″ – $10.75 ppd
three 7″ – $14.00 ppd
four 7″ – $17.50 ppd
five 7″ – $21.00 ppd
six 7″ – $23.99 ppd

CANADA/MEX/South America
one 7″ – $6.95 ppd (*NOTE : just 1 copy of Bold Ones record = $7.50)
two 7″ – $12.75 ppd
three 7″ – $16.75 ppd
four 7″ – $20.25 ppd
five 7″ – $23.25 ppd
six 7″ – $26.25 ppd

EUROPE/rest of WORLD
one 7″ – $9.95 ppd (*NOTE : just 1 copy of Bold Ones record = $10.75)
two 7″ – $15.50 ppd
three 7″ – $20.95 ppd
four 7″ – $25.50 ppd
five 7″ – $29.25 ppd
six 7″ – $33.50 ppd

The World is Lousy With Ideas Volume 1 7″

a1: Home Blitz – Thin Ice (listen)
a2: Boys Club – Gotta Get Right (listen)
b1: Nothing People – Its Not Your Speakers (listen)

Out of Print (though it looks like Goner might have some copies).The World’s Lousy With Ideas Vol 1

I will be covering this series this week (assuming I get volume 2 and 4 in the mail), but don’t wait for me; time to start tracking these down as soon as possible, because the first two (vol 1 and 3) are out of print already. As a document to what is happening right now in the underground, these comps are unparalleled. Also, each volume has numerous sleeve variations (the one I got has some weird alien/lesbian porn scene).

Home Blitz’s “Thin Ice” is an early punk rock styled number, with punk styled punk guitar solo’s falling all over themselves for short bursts of punk filled mayhem. Lo-fi as fuck, punk as fuck; _________ as fuck.

Boys Club’s “Gotta Get Right” is so lo-fi that it is barely there, but as with all of the lofi greats have shown, production means nothing when the songs are there. This is pop music for the deranged.

Nothing People’s “Its Not Your Speakers” actually turns out to be my favourite NP song yet, though maybe that has more to do with this song sounding like a more-lo-fi early Jesus and Mary Chain, with the repeating drum machine, the swirling electronix and the “couldn’t give a fuck” vocal delivery. This song is so fucking good.

TV Ghost – Atomic Rain 7″ (reissue)

a: Atomic Rain
b: Bird Flu
Listen at Myspace
Purchase (soon) from Die Stassi

TV Ghost Atomic Rain 7″

Here is another increasingly popular 7″ that sold out shortly after its release, making it very hard to come by, save for eBay (which I have been unsuccessfully bidding on and losing time and time again – I am tired of these auctions going $30+ for singles that aren’t even a year old). Making things worse, I got a copy of the 12″ that Die Stassi released last month, and now I am even more excited about this band. When this one is reissued next week, don’t sleep on it. Also, make sure you pick up the (limited) LP from Die Stassi while you are at it,as it comes with my highest recommendation.

I am running out of ways to talk about bands like TV Ghost. Music like this this does a really good job of avoiding easy comparison (forcing people to come up with long lists of “Sounds like” and “possibly influenced by”). With TV Ghost, this is an even bigger problem, with the whole thing being rooted in sounding like a million different things at once. I can’t remember where I read it now, but someone mentioned bands like TV Ghost being the first generation of music lovers with unlimited access to music via things like SoulSeek and Torrent sites, and I have to wholeheartedly agree with that. More than that, the songs are great – mostly skewing to the weird and outsider-y type songs. I am really excited to hear more from this group.

Nothing People – Army of Ideal b/w What A Waste 7″

a: Army of Ideal
b: What a Waste
Listen at Myspace
Purchase from BistroDistro
Nothing People - Army of Ideal b/w What A Waste 7″

This came out late last year on the increasingly popular/collectible Hozac Records, and has been on my heavy rotation pile since I got it. Part of the new outsider punk scene that is happening right now (Blank Dogs, Daily Void et al.), Nothing People are at the forefront. Yet, unlike some bands in this genre, Nothing People are unique while retaining a highly listenable sound at the same time. Especially “Army of Ideal,” which is my favorite Nothing People song, driven by a no-wave/post punk  guitar hook.  Check it out. r

Across the Pond: 2 Hot 2 Sweat – Your Space or Mine 7″

I am going to make this a regular Wednesday feature from now on, whereby I take a look at some hot vinyl singles being sold exclusively in the UK, and deciding whether or not it is worth it to pay to ship one to North America, factoring the shipping cost and the exchange rate. Often, I will be unable to hear the full single, and will go on the songs that I can hear to help me decide weather I can take the financial hit. This is par for the course anyways – often deciding to pick up or ignore a 7″ based on limited information (one or two songs at maximum).

2 Hot 2 Sweat

Listen at Myspace
Purchase from Norman Records
2hot2sweat

Song listened to: a-side “Your Space or Mine”
Converted Price: $9.60
Worth it?: No

This came to my attention from it being the Norman Records “Single of the Week,” but I have to wonder about those crazy brits sometimes. Another reviewer has suggested that the b-side is actually better of the two, but I am not getting behind this a-side at all. Musically this is pretty standard punk-tinged indie rock (at times reminding me a little of Le Tigre), and musical aspect of this is ok, if nothing special. It is the vocals/lyrics that just don’t sit well with me, especially the chorus which I just flat out find to be really annoying. I also dislike the cover art. And the band name.

New Blank Dogs – Daggerman 7″ out now (+The Pizzas 7″)

Blank Dogs Daggerman

Out now on Daggerman Records is this new 7″ from SevenTenTwelve favourite Blank Dogs. Feels like I’ve been waiting for this one for an eternity, though apparently there was a holdup with the sleeves being printed. More lofi weirdness for your collection, and I would expect this single to be gone pretty quickly. 500 press with the first 100 in red vinyl, which is already almost sold out. Still waiting on the full length on Troubleman…

a1: Freezing Lights
a2: Message One
a3: Sight Under
b1: Freezing Styles
b2: Message Two
Blank Dogs Mirrored Cassette

Got my Blank Dogs Mirrored Lights cassette in the mail the other day, which just might be my favourite set of songs (seriously), specifically the song “Freezing Styles,” which is currently my favourite Blank Dogs song. Reminds me of Joy Division sung by an alien. So good.  What is awesome is that you can download mp3’s of every single Blank Dog’s release so far (including the Daggerman release above) at the Blank Dogs Blog (where Mr. Blank Dogs uploads obscure shit from his private stas Just scroll all the way to the bottom. Also, if you need to have this cassette in your collection (150 made, most of those went to the Blank Box that already sold out last year), there is one on Ebay (not mine).

The Pizzas 7″ Daggerman

Also out on Daggerman Records is this new 7″ from The Pizzas, a band I otherwise unfamiliar with, though I have been spending a lot of time at their MySpace lately. Punk rock that often reminds me The Descendants (perhaps only when they do their subtle melody shifts), but with some more hardcore influences thrown in to give it more of a rough edge . Either way, I am stoked on this, and you should be too. 500 press with the first 100 on orange vinyl

Why not order the new Dan Melchior Und Das Menace – Christmas for the Crows LP from Daggerman while you are at it?

USA
one 7″ – $6.00 ppd
two 7″ – $10.75 ppd
three 7″ – $14.00 ppd
four 7″ – $17.50 ppd
five 7″ – $21.00 ppd
six 7″ – $23.99 ppd

CANADA/MEX/South America
one 7″ – $6.95 ppd
two 7″ – $12.75 ppd
three 7″ – $16.75 ppd
four 7″ – $20.25 ppd
five 7″ – $23.25 ppd
six 7″ – $26.25 ppd

EUROPE/rest of WORLD
one 7″ – $9.25 ppd
two 7″ – $14.50 ppd
three 7″ – $19.95 ppd
four 7″ – $24.50 ppd
five 7″ – $28.25 ppd
six 7″ – $32.50 ppd

Paypal to daggermanrec@yahoo.com

Dan Melchior Und Das Menace LP – $12.00 plus $2.00 shipping USA, $5.00 Canada/Mexico, $7.00 Europe/World

Box Elders – Hole in My Head 7″

a1: Hole in My Head
a2: One Foot In Front of the Other
b1: 2012
b2: S&M Party (Redd Kross)

Purchase and Listen at Box Elders’ Myspace

Box Elders 7″

With a band like the Box Elders, the only thing I can reall talk about is the quality of the songs. Forget the authenticity, forget how nicely this has been recording and forget how great the sleeve it is (hand silk screened no less). Forget all of that, and go to the Myspace page and listen to “Hole in My Head.”

Lets talk about how good that song is for a second. I can guarantee that you will be unable to find a (new) song today that will treat your ears as well. The song is just so right.  In the continual act of seeking out obscure records and weird bands, we forget about the most important part of it all – the songs.

Three originals (the amazing “Hole in My Head,” the privative proto-punk stylings of “One Foot in Front of the Other,” and the driving “2012”) are paired with a wonderful Redd Kross cover (“S&M Party”), done in a way that it feels at home with the original numbers. I know that I say this often (mostly when it is true), but I think this is one to track down. There are so many bands attempting to do this sound, and so few of them get it this right. This sounds like something that John Peel would have liked, and if he was still alive, I can imagine that he would have added this 7″ to his box of favourite records.