Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Splotch - Two Million Fuckheads

Splotch Two Million Fuckheads 7" (Menlo Park, 1999)

This is the second of two records by New York City band Splotch (the first a 1996 LP called Have Another Tantrum, which is featured at Crud Crud). Like other Menlo Park bands, Splotch specializes in really noisy art punk/no wave that is so simple and lo fi that it borders on garage punk - or, to my ears, blurs the line between the sub-sub-genres. 'taint much more to add. --Scott S

Monday, February 19, 2007

Demolition Doll Rods - s/t

Demolition Doll Rods s/t 7" (Past It/Womb, 1994)

The Demolition Doll Rods are hardly an unknown quantity, being the vehicle for Dan Kroha immediately following the implosion of his previous gig, the Gories. I was at their first show in San Francisco at Tom Guido's Purple Onion, a rather sparsely attended black tie (leather) affair with Tim Yohannon up front slapping his leg along to their set-closing brace of Velvet Underground covers. Their sound was skeletal to the point of starvation, Kroha's femme duds were charming, the two chicks were bouncy in all the best ways. Rock 'n Roll. This EP captures the feeling of that show perfectly, a great way to start Act II of a garage-rock career. Take that F. Scott Fitzgerald, you sourpuss, there are Second Acts in America.

The Doll Rods have continued for a long time, wow, look at the time, they are still rockin' it although I have to confess I haven't seen them in years. Charm has a limited shelf life with a grizzled consumer like me, and their first full length didn't do me like this EP did so I moved on to, I dunno, the Rock 'n Roll Adventure Kids. This EP appeared as a split release on the Past It/Womb labels, who were separately responsible for bringing the world the Icky Boyfriends and Monoshock. And the Demolition Doll Rods. That makes them a better bet to get into the indie rock HOF than Junk or Beer City or... -Ryan W.

Monday, February 12, 2007

The Fells - I Don't Need You

The Fells I Don't Need You 7" (Bag of Hammers, 1995)

I'm sitting here trying to do the impossible: Find the best 7" by The Fells. Impossible because The Fells were one of the best 7" bands of the 90s. To my ears, they were just as good at turning out quality Sevens as Teengenerate, The Mummies, New Bomb Turks, or Rob Vasquez. I've got six of the nine they released right here and all of them are great. I've got their 10" and LP in the stacks and love both. (And I read on Grunnen Rocks that there is a split and NINE comp appearances! Argh!)

Fuck it, I am gonna go with their Bag of Hammers 7". Not only is it one of The Fells best, it also is in my top five favorite Bag of Hammers 7". Here you hear all the things that make these Arizonaians great: The Angry Samoans influence, the garage punk fuzz, the squirrelly guitar, the great songwriting, and the smart compactness that makes punk rock.

And it is not like these guys are going away. I mean as far as I know the Fells will never die and even if they did die, the Fell dudes are in quality bands such as The Radio Reelers, The Knockout Pills, and The Frustrations. --Scott S

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Sexton Ming - Beastly Magnet

Sexton Ming Beastly Magnet (Little Teddy, 1997)

Sexton Ming's career has been shaded by a strange resistance to his charms outside the UK, even though I find his stuff to be far more palatable than Patrick Fitzgerald, to name one stiff working roughly the same artistic plane. I think people consider him a sort of sidekick to Billy Childish, a rascally perverted Igor to Mr. Childish's wild-eyed Dr. Frankie. And he's got all those spoken word, sorry, poetry, records to make the energy drink punkers rip the needle off. But there are tons of flat-out rockin' moments in the Ming discography, starting with his late 80s records in bands like the Mindreaders and Auntie Vegetable (mostly on the Hangman label) up to his cracker-jack garage rock LP Endless Discipline backed by the Diamond Gussets from 1993. All that shite is the shite.

Okay, here's an example on the Little Teddy label, two tracks from a four song EP. Great perverse lyrics, basic almost psych-garage riffage, a wavering bashing beat. And they are totally distinctive, whaddya know. Anyone working the garage-rock angle that can bring off sounding totally unique without stretching the form beyond recognition is doing something. You have my permission to skip his spoken word stuff, fine, live in a dull little bus station if you like, but his rockin' stuff is as good as anything out of the UK in the 90s. The keeper of the Vivian Stanshall flame, if you will. -Ryan W.

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