Record of the Week: EASTLINK LP

7 05 2014

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Fittingly named after a suburban toll road in their native Melbourne, EASTLINK eloquently reconfigures the repetitive driving-on-the-Autobahn feel of, say, NEU! 75 until it suits the local atmosphere. Starting with a riff—insidious, relentless and intelligently thuggish, so classically Orstralian—the all guitar sound swaggers and swings like a pub emptying out after last call. On first listen VENOM P STINGER attempting the motorik beat came to mind, but this is not a “if you like this you’ll love that” type of sound, and I feel like I am beating my hands against the keyboard in an ape like fashion attempting to articulate the pleasures and pains of this disc! The tape that preceded this LP was one of my most listened to things of the past year, soundtracking my banal endless existence walking home after another night shift in retail-land, through desolate skyscrapers and emptied out streets. This record took me a bit longer to warm to, I think because it’s not quite as relentless/claustrophobic/total; there’s some space and even, uh, space rock on certain tracks. The lyrics are fragmented and political, questioning in a thoughtful perceptive style that seems so much more authentic than another prepackaged slice of anarcho pie. The fact that seemingly every person in a decent/exciting band in Australia is in fifty other equally decent/exciting bands is quite humbling. EASTLINK features people from TOTAL CONTROL, UV RACE, LAKES and probably thirty other bands, and they are fucking great. Another genius group sounding the death knell of the neoliberal dream.
(In the Red)

May 7th, 2014 by Layla


Record of the Week: SUICIDAS No Nos Mata la Muerte EP

17 04 2014

Suicidas_EPShit, this is great! SUICIDAS comes from Spain and plays straightforward punk with tons of melody and female/male vocals that could be described as “soaring.” Well thought out, tight, perfect and anthemic… They sound as if they’re taking some cues from THE BRAT and some certain Scandinavian contemporaries, but they’re really making their own mark here and forging their own path. I wouldn’t expect anything less from members of RUIDOSA, BELGRADO and DESTINO FINAL. Yes, you want this.
(No Nostalgia Records)

April 17th, 2014 by Greg


Record of the Week: THE SECRET PROSTITUTES Welcome to Punk… Viva la Evolucion… We Can Do Whatever We Want LP

10 04 2014

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Okay, so THE SECRET PROSTITUTES are from Texas and sing in English, Spanish, what seems to be either Swedish or Norwegian, but mostly in Indonesian. Oh, and they cover a song in Italian. And the record is from Finland. +2 points. They play tightly wound rock ’n’ roll that has one foot in punk, one foot in garage and is pissing on the line in between. +2 points. They prefer to stylize their band name with SS lightning bolts. –2 points (one for each). “Galaxie” is an amazing, weird pop song that comes out of nowhere and breaks up the record perfectly. +1 point. They seem to have a fascination with Communism (they cover CCCP FEDELI ALLA LINEA, and have a song “Partai Komunis Indonesia”— which roughly translates to “Communist Party Indonesia”—and another titled “Kalashnikov” with a Cold War sample). No points given/taken away. When I saw them live (just after first hearing this record) the guitarist was wearing a G.G. ALLIN shirt (–1) and the bassist was wearing a SPACEMEN 3 shirt (+1). So let’s see… a total score of… who fucking cares! Who actually keeps score in punk anyway?! This is a totally ripping record with some really fucking cool vocals.
(Bad Hair Life Records)

April 10th, 2014 by Fred


Record of the Week: ROSS JOHNSON AND JEFFREY EVANS Vanity Session LP

15 03 2014

RossJohnson_EvansLemme fill you hobos in on some key facts before we tackle the platter at hand. ROSS JOHNSON, former co-conspirator of famed goons like TAV FALCO and ALEX CHILTON, has littered a slew of legendary records with his simplistic, drunken poetics and semicompetent drumming. JEFFREY EVANS’ legend looms large in the record collections of a great many beefy American rockers, having fronted the criminally underappreciated units known as GIBSON BROS and 68 COMEBACK, specializing in rock ’n’ roll injected with truth serum and scholarly smarts. These guys rate really goddamn high in my book, so I’m on board and beer number three before even dropping the tone arm.

Vanity Session, their aptly named dream-team debut, is the product of a year’s worth of late nights spent serenading town drunks around Memphis, Tennessee. The vibe is pure barroom, only with this royal duo holding court, chatting your ear off, leering at ladies in younger demographics and obliterating rock ’n’ roll to its most basic and deviant levels. Johnson’s bop is next-level genius shit here, no joke. It’s impossible to pull a specific quote or drunken riff to single out because the flow is so goddamn perfect that you never want it to end. Think you’ve heard all that could ever be done with a standard such as “Girl Watcher?” Think again! Ridiculous! Evans keeps things firmly grounded musically, which ain’t an easy task considering the substances rumored to be afloat during the sessions (ARTHER LEE’s weed?!). Add the capable backing of TEARJERKERS and REIGNING SOUND personnel, not to mention genius producer Jim Dickinson steering the ship (his turn fronting the boys for “I’ve Had It” is jaw-dropping!!!) and you have an absolute can’t-miss record, the sort that is all too rare in this day and age. It’s already become the soundtrack to my stay-home weeknight drunks… those kinda nights where you rationalize drinking toward blindness because your day off is only X hours away.

Vanity Session simply spills over with charm, sounding lecherous, intelligent and highly rockin’ all at once. It’s real rock ’n’ roll music, and it’s been too long since you last heard it.
(Spacecase Records)

March 15th, 2014 by Mitch


Record of the Week: JAILBIRD Y “UMS” EP

25 02 2014

JAILBIRD_Y_EPEvery once in a while, maybe like three times in the past five years or something, I get a record for review where I spend the whole time staring at the record player, wide eyed and jaw dropped. This is so amazing I think I’m having a panic attack. It starts out in this total jazz drugs chaos that’s some kind of space between mutant disco and noise and everything is happening at once. It almost sounds like three or four amazing songs just layered on top of each other. The vocals manage to have input from rage growls, soft singing and bratty chants all at the same time. JAILBIRD Y‘s instrumentation keeps as close is it can to some kind of CONTORTIONS freak disco funk while being the cleanest chaos I’ve heard in a while. The second track switches over to some harsh drone out of nowhere but it all makes perfect sense. Like being at a nuts party where everyone’s talking and then you go outside and it’s just silence and moonlight. This is so genius. The second side pales in comparison but I kind of feel like almost anything would, it dives back into the freak disco funk arena but then has these weird melodic parts that verge into, like, RITES OF SPRING or something and I’m kind of like, “What the fuck are you doing?” but it’s still killer. Also, there is this hilarious chill acoustic guitar riff at the very end, I’m pretty sure I laughed out loud. My mind is blown, my mind is blown. (Love Over Voltage Records)

—Marissa Magic

February 25th, 2014 by MRR