Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Astro Zombies / Sound Bite House

Astro Zombies / Sound Bite House Split 7" (Poe/Rotten Roll, 1993)

What I know about the Astro Zombies is what I got from Billy Syndrome's Slutfish Records website. The Zombies were from Brooklyn and lasted from 1991 to 1994. They put out 3 records, comped on a CD by Slutfish in 2002.

Billy writes "All hell would brake loose whenever the zombie mobile rolled into town to some unsuspecting dive. The Astro Zombies would book themselves to play "music" at bars in the middle of nowhere and then show up and wreak the place. First DJ Drunken Pat would turn on the blender he had sitting on his turn table and make this toxic mixed drink called the astro zombie which was offered to those who dared at the front of the stage. It was so strong you'd turn into a zombie. People would be stumbling mindlessly when the bass player, Jim Beam would start blowing himself up with firecrackers and hurl garbage bags of bloody meat at people in the audience. Usually the club owners would freak out at the out of control mayhem that resulted. They'd usually turn the power off midset but by then it was too late. Half the people had already left, The Astro Zombies made a mess and would never play that bar again. It was back in the zombie mobile and off to another unsuspecting town."
(For more on the Astro Zombies and the zombie mobile, check out the Slutfish site.)

The "Hey maaaaaaannnnnnn!" undercurrent and Syndrome's detailed history, leads me to think that this was one of old Billy boy's 8 zillion bands.

Here is a cut from the Astro Zombies split 7" with Sound Bite House. Enjoy some great sludgy psychedelic garage punk. --Scott S.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

King Kong - Bring It On

King Kong Bring It On 7" (Trash Flow, 1990)

Boy, how about those dumpy vocals? Sounds like he's reading the lyrics out of a spiral-bound notebook with his other hand jammed into the coat pocket of his dirty warmup jacket. Casual is the word, this guy is definitely not trying to 'sell' anyone that's he's reached his internal boiling point, and yet the unforced nature of the vocals is what makes this 7" by Chicago early 90s mini-institution King Kong work. There's alot to be said for the occasional heavy-lidded who-gives-a-fuck respite from 100-mph skin shredding gogogogogogogogogo; all scream and no soul made hardcore a metal-dominated wasteland for over 15 years running. This record reminds me strongly of the recorded ouevre of the Bay Area's quasi-legendary David Nudelman, who creeped out many an audience in a variety of fantastic psych-garage-punk bands like the Wild Breed, Three Stoned Men and the Resineaters. It also sorta reminds me of this mega-hyped 60s Swiss garage band the Sevens, who also sound like they are signing/playing under duress. So, it works as a good punker platter on that level, eh?

King Kong have other records out, they even graduated to the Drag City label at one point, but none of the subsequent releases have the basement vibe that this EP's got. Carpet sample-core. -Ryan W.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Coastersride - s/t

Coastersride s/t 7" (Savage, 1997)

First off, sorry for the delay (though why we are apologizing for givingyou free shit "not on time" is beyond me). Our Magic MP3 Making Machine has been making strange sounds lately. Kicking it doesn't do shit. Neither does shaking it. We'll figure out something.

Remember back in the late 70s when you picked up any record that looked new wave or punk? Of course you don't. But you do remember buying those same singles in a used bin some time in the 1990s. When you got home, sweaty in anticipation, your hands shaking, you place the new score on the turntable, drop the needle and...and...discover that The Doll 7" that had such a cool sleeve sucks hard. Thus the cliche "Don't judge a record by its cover" gains meaning.

The same lesson is applicable to records that have shitty covers. Take today's fodder. If I saw this Coasterride 7" sitting in a record bin circa 1997, I wouldn't have picked it up. A guitar and the band's name does not beckon me to buy. Add to the lesson don't judge a band by its name. Coasterride? My god, are these guys foriegn? In fact, they are.

Coasterride were a mid to late 90s punk band from, you guessed it, Japan. This Teengenerate insipired kerrrang is their only single, released on Sweden's Savage Records label. Enjoy. --Scott S.

Friday, May 12, 2006

The Knotts - s/t

The Knotts s/t 7" (Star Time, 1998)

Now here's a great little mystery band, the Knotts from Arizona. I don't remember these guys ever touring, and I would need to dig through a pile of yellowing back issues of MRR to see if they ever got the review treatment, because that would be the only mag that would have covered this gang. The sound is pure mid-90s Rip Off Records style all the way, or as if a tunnel were opened from Tucson to Madison WI to allow for the morning band commute. It's a four track EP and all are in the same vein as the two tracks here, snot caked with snot. The productiion leaves something to be desired but snot uber alles.

These Knotts did another 45, I think both were in editions of 200 (how 2006 of them) on the equally mysterious but quality-conscious Star Time Records label. Since both 45s have mix-n-match covers it's hard to tell. The label also produced the magnifique Cheapshots 7" (and their cassette-only mini-LP) around the same time, although they are probably best 'remembered' for releasing the Resonars records. The label has a website thusly: http://www.startimerecordsaz.com/. I can't get it to work, though. -Ryan W.

Monday, May 08, 2006

The Yips - 1000% Fox

The Yips 1000% Fox 7" (Silt Breeze, 1995)

If anyone wants to fight over the claim that Silt Breeze was one of the best labels of the 1990s, come'ere and put on some gloves. I'll bop you til you are punch drunk. Ol Tom Lax there in Philly Town had (has) quite an ear. One of my favorite records he put out is the debut by this Columbus two piece. Containing alumni from Mike Rep & the Quotas, these two made two albums after this single, both being a bit "indie." But this little gem is a rockin' punker with a drugged out guitar. Some of you on the tight ass train might argue the punkatude of this, but you're just looking for another fight. If so come on! I'm a shortie with a chip on my shoulder. I'll fight you again. -Scott S.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Night Kings - Brainwashed

The Night Kings Brainwashed 7" (Dope/Bad Trip, 1993)

We were gonna get around to these guys sooner or later; it's Rob Vazquez's 90s garage rock titans the Night Kings. The earlier incarnation of this NW band went by the name Nights & Days through the mid-late 80s, and every last one of that band's 45s is fantastic, high-energy garage punk whose only contemporary competition came from the Gories. With the name change came not a whit of difference in the quality, the Night Kings still rooled while others drooled. Well, they probably spent some time in a stupor all their own... These two cuts here are quite representative of the best that early 90s garage has to offer you, the listener. It was a split release between Rob's Dope label and Bad Trip, which was supposed to release another Night Kings record but never did.

If you like this, you need to track down what must be the most underrated garage rock full length of the 90s, the Night Kings 'Increasing Our High' LP (vinyl only) on Super Electro. It's pretty much the unconscious (?) template for alot of the bloozy-punk stuff that's been pouring out of Europe for the last five years, with only isolated instances of them matching its power (Lightning Beat-Man for one). A tape of that lp has made the Trip to LA and back several times for this correspondent and still sounds great blasting loud in the darkness with the windows down at 80mph. The Night Kings have a few other 45s (their In the Red 7" is especially keeno and not hard to findo) and some comp appearances, while Rob continues to put out good records in newer bands on a mostly one-off basis. The most recent of these was the Right On 7" on France's Royal Records, def worth a ducat or two. -Ryan W.

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