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Top Tens from MRR #389 • October 2015

By popular demand, we present our reviewers' Top Tens from the current issue of Maximum Rocknroll! Here are ...

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Threat by Example. An interview with Martin Sprouse by Martin Sorrondeguy.

This originally ran in MRR #291/Aug ’07. The 25th Anniversary Issue which you can order ...

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Monday Photo Blog: Andre Torrez at Gonerfest

For this week's Monday Photo Blog  we have a  glimpse into Andre Torrez's vision of ...

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Photo by Blaire Newhard

MRR Radio #1473 • 10/4/15

On this week's MRR Radio, Greg takes you on a chaotic journey through his mind...and ...

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“New Blood” is our weekly feature spotlighting new bands from around the world! See below for info ...

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Record of the Week: Negative Scanner

September 23rd, 2015 by


The brilliant promise of that first NEGATIVE SCANNER single was the way it oscillated between moody, off-kilter rhythmic trance and classic “Moon Over Marin”-style hookiness, and I guess they could have gone either way with their full-length. It seems like they mostly stuck with the latter, which was the one disappointment in my first go-around with this record. Maybe I’m just more rhythmically inclined, so don’t let my personal temperament steer you away. If anyone ever tells you that Chicago is a zero-tracks kind of town (everyone’s an expert since Martin moved away from the MRR compound), you can tune them in to “Would You Rather” (it’s incredible) or “Ivy League Asshole” after you name-check the EFFIGIES. Something about the way the guitarists play here is really forcing me to make my first WIPERS comparison in my career as an MRR reviewer (I was hoping to make it at least ten issues before this happened). Specifically it reminds of that eerie Youth of America-era open-chord type of sound, an under-tapped vein of inspiration. The beginning of “Forget It” has this incessant chime that gets cut through by an underlying guitar line that sounds like a cello or something. The winding and cresting surf guitar riff that opens up “Saturday Night and Sunday Morning” is just sick; it’s raw, it’s classic. One thing really ties it together here: Rebecca Valeriano-Flores is an utterly devastating lyricist with a powerfully understated delivery, a tuff singer. All you other so-called songsmiths out there: step it up. More and more uncanny details come up as I spend more time with these songs. This one is either a winter record dropped in the wrong time of year or a summer record for that point late at night in a hot city when you realize you can’t stand it outside any longer. Backed. (Eli Wald)

(Trouble in Mind)

Record of the Week: Nervosas

September 9th, 2015 by

Oh my fucking god, I wish this record had a lyric sheet! NERVOSAS returns with the always-dreaded second LP and manages to not blow it. You can chalk this success up to solid songwriting, over the top musicianship from every member and a truckload of energy in every song. They do that dark punk / chorus pedal / WIPERS-influenced thing super well…but don’t call it goth! They manage to make every song interesting and memorable. I’ve always thought that this band was excellent live, but left something to be desired when it came to their recordings, but this LP has me changing my tune. If you’re feeling fatigued from the current onslaught of dark punk that might as well be lumped in with JOY DIVISION and wanna just get back to losing your mind to sick ass punk bands, you’ll wanna track down this LP. No weak moments. All tracks. Plus, their drummer used to play in GAUNT sometimes and he’s probably one of the best drummers in punk today. (Greg Harvester)

Record of the Week: Basement Benders

September 1st, 2015 by

BASEMENT BENDERS – “Native Tongues” EP
Sometimes when you hear that a handful of your favorite music-makers are joining hands and starting a new band it turns into exactly what you wanted to hear and it’s fucking fantastic. Sometimes, as we all know, it’s embarrassing and unspeakably bad. This record is great! Sorry for the scare. This has members of SEXY, HIDDEN SPOTS, THIS BIKE IS A PIPE BOMB, TULSA, FUTURE VIRGINS and (as you probably guessed) about a thousand other amazing bands from Chattanooga and Asheville. For the abundant haters of region rock around here, I think this is a good spot to try to get your head out of your ass. For the lovers of the genre, well, you probably ordered this EP long ago. I heard about this band and I checked out the demo on that little internet thing that everyone is doing. To be honest, I just didn’t get the hype. I thought maybe I was biased and maybe butt-hurt and bitter, but these re-workings are really fucking great. Angry, pretty, rough, tight, and well thought-out. The first song might be my favorite song I’ve ever heard Ashley play, and I already thought he was embarrassingly good. Get it! (DZ)
(Drunken Sailor)

Record of the Week: C.C.T.V

August 25th, 2015 by

C.C.T.V – “Quiet” EP
The coolest record of the year so far at least to these ears, total nervous frantic post-punk created in the furtive fertile NW Indiana scenery…The songs are tightly wound fraught invocations of the indignities of modern life, anxiety and paranoia, everything sounds like it was recorded on a boombox at the wrong speed adding to the strange feeling of otherworldliness, like walking through a dead mall full of fake plants and broken ideas. It’s perfectly retro, really sounds like a recently excavated secret basement from the 1979 New Wave/punk collision, but it’s from now, and is fresh yet eternal. The sputtering drums and stumbling bass with that sick dollar store guitar sound, while the coolest vocalist lists her demands and concerns. It’s just so fuckin rad, like SU TISSUE fronting DEVO at their most hardcore…I think it sold out, but a repress is on the way. (Layla Gibbon)

Record of the Week: Andy Human and the Reptoids

August 18th, 2015 by

“Reptoid Rock Revenge” is the motto on the collage/lyric sheet. How and by whom were they slighted? The answers may be in Fortean Times rather than these pages. I, however, can tell you that so much of what makes this record great could have gone terribly in lesser hands: saxophones, synthesizers, rhyming “insides” with “intestines”. It all comes together in the hands of ANDY HUMAN, rocker and composer. Some tracks toe the line of Boogaloo palatability, but there’s an attention to detail and careful application of sheer noise all over here, the watermark of a dedicated stylist. The production here is polished enough to let the static and atonal saxophone-wailing stand out. High fidelity recording works to a band’s favor for once. Then again I seriously think the internet-using public would flip out if this was recorded on a Tascam 414 and if everyone in the band was 5-10 years younger. Perhaps the world will appreciate this record after all, though we know too well how cruel America’s tastes and ultimate fate can be. But seek out “I Got Soul” if you need a sample; rarely since Rock’n’Roll Animal have punk desperation and glam virtuosity come together in such a frothy eruption. I’d buy seven copies of this record if I could afford it, but I can’t. Anyway, this record is one of the two most assertive statements on having no money in the city to come in this month. Some react to late capitalism in urban America by withdrawing; some stick around to try their hand at outplaying, outsmarting, and outlasting the suddenly very late night. Hand them the keys to the studio. (Eli Wald)