Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Cuts - Heart Attack EP

The Cuts Heart Attack EP (Lookout, 1999)

This debut by Oakland band The Cuts has the distinction of being:

1. One of the singles least worthy of being common Bay Area dollar bin fodder,

2. At the time, the best record Lookout put out in quite a while,

3. One of the best seven inches that Lookout released,

4. Probably the last good record that graced the Lookout label,

5. The precursor to two fine albums,

6. A look at Andy Freeze's pre-Time Flys rock & roll noise,

7. A reminder of why this band is much missed.

Here are two of three cuts. Find the single, 'cuz all the songs are killers.
--Scott S.

Heart Attack
Lady Killer

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Fox Force 5 - If It Feels Good EP

Fox Force 5 If It Feels Good EP (One Million Dollar Records, 1996)

If ska had a tough time in the 90s, then its sister subculture, the Mods, enjoyed an equally barren run in that particular decade. It was never easier to find the gear to get the look down pat, and this perhaps watered down the inherently elitist drive behind the whole enterprise; if yer gonna dress in a three-piece suit every show and play rock-based music in 1996, then you might as well make some fucking dough in a dopey ska band playing to 1000 kids per night in the process. Eh. There were some good mod-influenced bands (The Strike come immediately to mind, perhaps the Odd Numbers...), but in general it was a one-way road to boredom. Our friends here in the thoroughly "blech"-monikered Fox Force 5 have nothing, and I mean nothing, going for them. They've got the trad 90s Mod look, their song titles reveal zilch depth and they sport the ultimate handicap: they're fucking Krauts. And yet, they pull it off, at least on the two tracks we've ripped off their debut EP.

There's a sort of
Prae-Kraut Pandemonium consciousness evident, especially in that first track, "Pocadot Top Girl" with its muttered vocal style playing off the femme faux-soul belter, (one Matha K.). The Mod trip was to be smart, not formulaic, and there is definite evidence of intelligence, uh, evident on this EP. In fact, this group got an LP out a year or so later that had loads of sharp smart-ass lyrics based in a sound that leaned increasingly away from straight-up Mod derivitives and more towards a garage-modern rock smersh that almost felt like a reaction to Britpop bands like Blur and Supergrass. Not bad, and even Shane White in MRR felt so at the time as well. We'll leave the LP for some other time (riiiight) and stick with this nifty Mod-Pop-Garage EP for the nonce. -Ryan W.

Pokadot Top Girl
The One I Get

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Deche Dans Face - Germon et Fils EP

Deche Dans Face Germon et Fils 7" (Sub Pop, 1996)

Deche Dans Face second American release is in the unique position of being on a super high profile label, still available in dollar bins across the country, and largely unheard. I've plopped this gem into plenty of record fiends hands, people who've told me they've seen it around but never heard it. The only two reasons I can think of is that prior to Germon et Fils, Deche Dans Face had released two seven inches, one on a French label and one on an obscure US label - neither with very good distribution in the US. Second is that, by the time this came out, the Sub Pop name was so linked to grunge that garage punkers ignored their output. Add the two and you get a great piece of primitive garage pummeling that you should have no problem finding. Here you get one originaly a wicked pounder which reminds me of fellow Frenchies Crash Normal and a rowdy, racketty cover of Willie Dixon. No sampled here is a very worth-a-listen take on the Oblivions' "Jim Cole."

Merry Dickmass
I Just Want to Make Love to You

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Hearts Paid To Lie

Some Hearts Paid To Lie 2 x 45 (Wiiija, 1993)

Last Z Gun magazine reference, promise; in the latest issue is an article that attempts to sift through the psychic garbage that surrounds the "riot grrl" movement's actual musical output, up to roughly the end of 1995. It was determined after many hours of sequestered listening that one of the bands that comes off best in 2009 is an outfit that has already had some run on this blog: Skinned Teen. In the spirit of further exposure, here are a couple more tracks from their oeuvre, from a double 7" comp on London's WIIJA label.
Intelligent brat attack with ideal production and some ideas in the riffs dept. We've also included a Pussycat Trash song, one of the better tracks from their occasionally spotty vinylizations. Linus on here are kinda "eh", and Comet Gain don't need any exposure, they gots lots 'o fans alreddy. The Sound of '93! -Ryan W.

Pussycat Trash - Un Soul Less
Skinned Teen - Secrets
Skinned Teen - Swimsuit Blonde

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Hot Corn Girls - Hot Rod Corn Girl

The Hot Corn Girls Hot Rod Corn Girls EP (Singles Going Everywhere, 1994)

"Then there were the hot corn girls, pre-Civil War New York’s twisted, virgin-whore fantasy. These were teenage girls, always barefoot, wearing trademark, calico shawls, and selling ears of fresh-roasted corn—and sometimes themselves. They sang plucky little verses at the passing men who pitied them, and wanted to protect them—or to buy them..." so writes Kevin Baker. Our Hot Corn Girls were also a New York City product, but one about 150 years advanced. Their plucky little verses are nonsense and what they are selling only they know. Members also did time in The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black, Murphy's Law, and the Chimpanzees. The band was fronted by Bob Limp who might or might not be related to this Bob Limp (worth looking at either way). After this seven, they did an album called Look at My Bum. -SS

Hot Rod Corn Girls
Maggot Fiesta

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Inhalants - Kolchak, the Night Stalker

The Inhalants
Kolchak, the Night Stalker 45 (Bag of Hammers, 1994)

So solly for delay, we took a detour into the realm of the actual print zine. See, they were these paper rags that predated this whole "blog" phenom...oh, never mind. I won't let a little thing like a new issue of Z-Gun overshadow the swellness of this Inhalants 45, on (yet again) the Bag of Hammers label. Their Misanthrope debut single on the Unclean label held a lot of promise that was more than fulfilled on this double A-sided monster. For a "garage" band (they have to be "garage", look at that cliched-on-date-of-release sleeve), they sure seem to be channeling a fair bitta Urinals or Vast Majority influence via their treble uber alles schema. Just another great rockin' 45 out of Texas.

The Inhalants got a full length out on Estrus a couple of years after this that, while aok, really doesn't come close to the debut or this, their high water mark. Another saving grace is that this is one of the easiest 45s on the BOH label to dig out, outside of the Refuzers. -Ryan W.

Kolchak, the Night Stalker

Middle Ages

Monday, December 01, 2008

Howardian / Nikki Light Brigade

Howardian / Nikki Light Brigade split 7" (Red Cloud, 1995)

Hey there, It's been a while. You're lookin' good. Yeah, I know, should have kept in touch, but you know how it is. Things. Stuff. But, you don't wanna hear about that. How you doing? How's ummmm Rob? Oh, you aren't seeing each other? Me? Things. Stuff. Ha ha! No, nothing going on. Who are the kids? They're a friend's. Just watching them for the afternoon, but I will be free later. Their names? This is Howardian. He's a little retarded. Doesn't play well with others and has a hard time with volume control. The older one is Nikki. She doesn't talk much. In fact, I don't think she's said a word all day. In one of those "woe is me" phases. But they are alright. Actually they are pretty good. So what are you doing later? Have any dinner plans? How about you and me go to the warf, get something to eat, and you know.... -SS

Howardian - Deluxeness
Howardian - Imperial Criminals
Nikki Light Brigade - Good to go/Pull the Trigger

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Disasternauts - Backbone

Disasternauts Backbone 45 (self-released, 1998)

Mystery meat time folks, it's the Disasternauts 45! No label, no sleeve, only that Portland, OR address. And two great, no, fucking definitive late 90s punkeroos that are a mashup up everything that appeals out of the Devil Dogs/New Bomb Turks/open-collar vest school of "wide stance" garage rock. I know a little about the genesis of this thing: Portland roots, played around town in the 97-98 date range, didn't tour anywhere, had a planned sleeve but never got around to it, record never distributed beyond one-on-one handoffs and a now-defunct OR-based online mailorder. Beyond that scant whispering, only the songs serve as the band's headstone, which is as it should be. Beee-hold... -Ryan W.

My Dad's the Heat

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Jalla Jalla - Minnesota Plates

Jalla Jalla Minnesota Plates 45 (Hiljaiset Levyt, 1991)

Ahhhh if the first sounds that came to mind when hearing the words "pop punk" were as spot on as Jalla Jalla's "Minnesota Plates," the 90s sub-genre would be spared the ridicule it deserves for bands like Squirtgun, 15, and the Riverdales. To be fair, you can probably throw Finland's Jalla Jalla on that list, because other than this gem of a song, I haven't heard anything else that justifies their decade long existence. No big deal. Plenty of bands have lasted for longer with nothing good to show. At least these Finns have one stellar song. --Scott S.

Minnesota Plates

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Moorat Fingers - Hurt My Brain

Moorat Fingers
Hurt My Brain 45 (Into the Vortex, 1998)

Wow, look at the time! Is it really July alreddy? Sorry about the pause, but we are refreshed, and we'll be back on a regular schedule again now. Promises, promises. Here's a good one to jump back into the fray with, Germany's Moorat Fingers.

Now, Europe in general took a back seat to the USA and Japan for most of the 90s when it came to great garage/punk-type records; with isolated exceptions (the records we put up, 'natch) the Euros always came off studied and a tad too precious. Beautifully printed sleeves, vinyl heavier than a Norseman's axe, spare-no-expense production; all for naught. Considering their huge population and documented "healthy" history of totally debased perversity, and the fact that they even invented the hamburger, at least in the apocryphal sense,
Germany had without doubt the worst batting average of any EU nation. In spite of all their perceived advantages, their basement-level punk records pretty much stank. Here is one exception, the full-steam ahead Moorat Fingers, who run through the 3 songs on this, their debut platter, with "not a brain cell to spare". The other two tracks are pretty much the same song as the one we've selected for extraction, so let's not dull the blade. And this isn't even their high water mark, that 45 is going to be saved for a future unveiling.

The Moorat Fingers are still around, well, there's someone alive enough to keep their website active, anyway. They were good enough that an American label, Big Neck, even got them inhouse for a 45 some years after this; unfortunately not their best moment. Try this on instead. -Ryan W.

Hurt My Brain

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