Reviews

Carolyn Keddy

Eerie Family Eerie Family LP

ALEX CUERVO’s “Everybody Disappear” is one of my favorite songs of all time. Since I have listened to it innumerable times, it was odd to hear it starting off this album. Not that it is a surprise since CUERVO is in EERIE FAMILY along with Alyse Mervosh—both also of the HEX DISPENSERS. This version of the song is different from the original, but a great song is great in any incarnation. It’s moody and slow, but unlike the other songs on this LP has an upbeat lyrical tone. The label calls EERIE FAMILY “gloom pop” which sounds just about right. The music brings me back to the late ’80s when the English goth rock bands decided they wanted to be cowboys. It’s keyboards and drums with a sparse, expansive sound. The vocals are lethargic and sullen. Perfect for a rainy, chilly winter day spent brooding in the house. Great record.

Enchanters High Heel Roller Skates / Fire Truck 7″

Side A has a ’70s glammy, high-energy vibe. With a name like “High Heel Roller Skates” I would expect nothing less. I don’t know what a high heel roller skate actually looks like, but I imagine this is what one’s theme song would sound like. The B-side goes for a more ’70s butt rock sound. It is also high-energy and includes a prog-ish extended guitar solo. ENCHANTERS features Classy Craig of the LEATHER UPPERS so the retro style is in full swing. Fun record.

Pre-Cog in the Bunker Precog’s Dream EP

An internet search of the meaning of “pre-cog” brings up some differing things. Due to the cover art drawings of brains I am going to assume they’re going with the psychic meaning. However, the song titles “Athermic Man,” “On The Run” and the title track don’t give me much of a clue as to what they are predicting. PRE/COG IN THE BUNKER is a two-piece playing rudimentary garage punk. It is all jagged guitar strumming and pounded drums until “On the Run,” the VELVET UNDERGROUND-sounding rave up at the end of side B. The vocals are somewhat sinister in a hard rock-ish way. An interesting juxtaposition that will hopefully become more smoothly integrated in future releases.

The Toxenes Double Creature Feature LP

This is the LP version of both TOXENES’ releases: 2019’s Highway X CD and 2017’s Electric Shock cassette. TOXENES are a tough, sassy band of women from Minneapolis, MN. Eighteen songs of surfy garage punk with brazen, melodic vocals. It’s catchy, cool and fun.

Jivestreet Revival Jivestreet Revival LP

JIVESTREET REVIVAL sounds like some high school metal kids’ first band, or one of those pre-TESTORS Sonny Vincent groups. The record starts with a noise explosion. Everyone is off and not necessarily in the same direction. The singer sounds laid-back, but also bristling with attitude. There’s swagger and endless guitar noodling captured on some lo-fi recording equipment. It’s a bit too much, but also just enough. Only 100 copies. Don’t snooze.

Vacation Zen Quality Seed Crystal LP

This LP is a collection of songs recorded between 2016 and 2018. VACATION is from Cincinnati, and reminds me of a lot of the ’80s Ohio indie rock bands. The music is lo-fi and fuzzy. The vocals are distinctive and quirky, employing interesting phrasings. The songs are catchy, but not quite singable. Not that I won’t try. I also enjoy that if you go back to VACATION’s earliest recordings, they maintained a similar sound and style. It’s pretty cool.

El Pifco Meltdown / Bananas 7″

A super cool reissue of this Wollongong, Australia band’s one and only 7” from 1979. A group of beach punks inspired by the Lucas Heights Nuclear Facility as seen through the eyes of the Three Mile Island accident in 1979 write “Meltdown,” a catchy, punky love/lust song about nuclear fission. “Bananas” (originally the A-side) is a more odd, poppy punk song, but just as entertaining. The story of how the reissue came about is equally amusing, and fully explained in the insert. The folks responsible for the reissue are obsessed with songs about Three Mile Island. Before now I never knew I would be thankful for that. This is just great.

  • Reviewer Carolyn Keddy
  • Label Metallic Rainforest
  • Issue MRR #442 • March 2020

LASSIE Collected Cassettes LP

As the title says, this is two cassettes now enshrined on vinyl. The A-side is 2017’s Yes! Like the Dawg and the B-side is 2019’s Just A Couple of Dudes. LASSIE is having a great time blasting out songs like “Phonecalls On My Deathbed” and “Deposit Bottles.” The vocals remind me of DEVO while the music has a amateurish ‘60s feel. It’s silly and entertaining poppy garage rock that is also well played and catchy as heck. Just a plain old good time for band member and listener alike.

  • Reviewer Carolyn Keddy
  • Label Et Mon Cul C'est du Tofu? / Phantom
  • Issue MRR #442 • March 2020

The Shitdels Shape-Shi[f]t Faces LP

If I had heard the SHITDELS sight unseen, I would have assumed it was the latest John Dwyer record. It’s got all the stylings: jangly guitars, childlike keyboards, reverb-laden vocals and female backing vocals. The songs are noisy, with a catchy dance-y quality. The vocals are high-pitched, and they holler and whoop along the way. The music is peppy and poppy, yet distorted and dissonant. Fun stuff.

  • Reviewer Carolyn Keddy
  • Label What's For Breakfast?
  • Issue MRR #441 • February 2020

Crime San Francisco’s First and Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Band: Live 1978 2×7″/DVD

The basis for this DVD is live footage Larry Larson shot of CRIME at San Francisco punk club the Mabuhay Gardens on June 24, 1978. The CRIME fliers shown at the beginning of the film contradict that date stating “one night only June 4,” so maybe someone is confused. Larson shot the footage for a planned television project on San Francisco punk. His intro and outro for the segment bookend the film. The footage is great. It’s multi-camera, 16mm shots of the band in action, and also conveys the atmosphere of the club. Larson ran out of money and became ill, so he never finished it. He left the footage to Crime drummer Henry Rosenthal (a.k.a. Hank Rank), and it sat untouched until a few years ago when another filmmaker, Jon Bastian, convinced Rosenthal to let him edit it. The result is a 35-minute document of CRIME performing live, surrounded by the various patrons of the Mabuhay Gardens, and lorded over by the Mab’s booker and resident jokester Dirk Dirksen. Dirksen heckles the crowd while they pose for the camera. Seeing the people who attended punk shows in the ’70s is always good for a laugh. There are also brief interviews with the members of CRIME—Frankie Fix, Johnny Strike, Ron Ripper, and Hank Rank—along with some backstage antics. Bastian’s editing keeps things lively, and although I would have liked him to stay on the band for at least one entire song, I realize most people might find that boring, so things have to keep moving. Plus, the introductory promise of a riot never materializes. There is some extra footage shot by Carola Anderson, inexplicably throw in, of CRIME playing their infamous show at San Quentin. It is quick and distracts from the seedy, dark nightlife attitude of the rest of the film. (I am sure a lot of people know that Target Video shot the San Quentin show, too. There have been clips included on Target VHS tapes and DVDs. After seeing this I just have to say, it’s time for CRIME and Target Video to sort things out and finally release that performance. It would be an excellent complement to this collection.) Overall, the DVD is a fascinating capsule of the time. The film probably won’t attract many new fans to CRIME, but those who already are will enjoy this journey back to when it was happening. The double 7” is the soundtrack to the film—eleven songs total. Playing the DVD and 7”s back to back, I am surprised at the difference in sound quality. The records don’t sound as good. I assume that is the result of cramming three songs on one side of a 45 RPM 7” (two on the fourth side). But I guess that doesn’t matter. Everyone knows the draw here is the film.

  • Reviewer Carolyn Keddy
  • Label Superior Viaduct
  • Issue MRR #441 • February 2020

The Cavemen Night After Night LP

Traditionally, I would object to any band cleaning up their sound. I mostly prefer my records to sound like the live experience: distorted, messy, and lo-fi. Even though I love all the other CAVEMEN records, I have to admit I am glad they cleaned it up a bit for this one. Night After Night is filled with stronger songs and better melodies. The playing is top notch, and the vocals powerful and tough. The songs retain the attitude and tastelessness I expect. They’ve developed into a more thrash-y version of the DICTATORS and I like it.

Eyes and Flys Eyes and Flys / Fall Asleep with the TV On 7″

Debut record from this Buffalo, NY one-man band. The theme song is a distorted, stomping rocker. Repetitive, pained vocals lend a nice sound to the straightforward musical track. “Fall Asleep with the TV On” is a slow, droney tune with acoustic guitar and lulling vocals. It could easily put you to sleep, TV on or off. Cool stuff.

  • Reviewer Carolyn Keddy
  • Label self-released
  • Issue MRR #441 • February 2020

Leopardo Di Caprio LP

LEOPARDO is a one-man band from Switzerland that plays dreamy, atmospheric pop music. The songs stretch and breathe. They are sophisticated, then childlike. I like what Julie Bugnard said about him: “Mais Leopardo se différencie par son romantisme lo-fi si particulier et son garage trash et naïf.” (“LEOPARDO is differentiated by his so particular lo-fi romanticism and his trash and naïve garage.”) Naïve garage is a great phrase, and sums it up nicely.

  • Reviewer Carolyn Keddy
  • Label We Don't Make It
  • Issue MRR #441 • February 2020

The Wilful Boys Life Lessons LP

The WILFUL BOYS are a Brooklyn band fronted by an Australian. Their sound has a backwoods, deep-voiced, thundering sound. The music is heavy and plodding with a twinge of poppiness. The vocals are earnest and metronomic. The tunes thrash and shred and get a bit too noodle-y before going back to straightforward rock’n’roll. All that seemingly messiness sounds kind of nice with the lights turned down and your head on the floor.

Attic Ted Kafka Dreaming LP

More weird, wacky fun from this Texas band. It’s psychedelic carnival music. Sounding like Gibby Haynes singing along to the merry-go-round. It could easily get annoying if it wasn’t so amusing.

Extroverts You Gotta Lose EP

It probably wasn’t easy being the first punk band in any city, but I bet it would be even weirder to be the first one in Regina, Saskatchewan. The EXTROVERTS hold that title; the eight songs on this 7″ were recorded in 1979. Like all early punk groups, the EXTROVERTS’ music is catchy and poppy with rough edges and attitude. The recordings are lo-fi, but there is something there. Song titles like “Nobody Knows Nothing” and “Brain Damage” nicely sum up the angst involved. Comes with a booklet containing the band’s story, photos, and fliers. Cool stuff.

  • Reviewer Carolyn Keddy
  • Label Supreme Echo
  • Issue MRR #440 • January 2020

The Freeze Calling All Creatures LP

I never have high hopes for reformed hardcore bands, especially when it’s been this long. Unfortunately too much gets lost over time and somehow the band simply forgets what they were all about and why people liked them. That said, THE PROLETARIAT’s new music kills, so there’s always an anomaly. This LP has some moments. Cliff Hanger’s lyrics and delivery are bratty, goofy and paranoid. The music is upbeat, if a bit too busy. This isn’t THE FREEZE of my youth, but there is still some fun left in these aging punks.

Motormouth Mabel Knife Trash EP

Not to be confused with Motormouth Maybelle from Hairspray, this EP is three squealing, distortion filled songs. Rapid fire drums punctuating the wild guitar thrash. There is lots of angst and some pleading from the singer. It’s fast and furious and over before you even know what’s happened. So you flip it over and start again. At least that’s what I keep doing. Cool stuff.

Poizon N.W.O.P.H.M. LP

I was just asked what I was listening to and when I replied “Poizon” I got a sideways, raised eyebrow look. I guess that’s the fun of naming your band something this stupid. POIZON is from Houston, TX and features x-members of SUGAR SHACK, WEIRD PARTY, THE SECRET PROSTITUTES, FATAL FLYING GUILLOTINES, etc. The music is very ‘90s garage-y punk with a heavy bass sound, angular guitars and sing-songy vocals. It’s catchy and driving. Bands don’t seem to play this kind of stuff anymore. The inclusion of a cover of EASY CURE’s “I Want To Be Old” is nice in its execution as well as its sentiment. Well done. The rest of the record is great too.

Curleys Johnny EP

The label describes them as Gainesville cretins, and I think that’s about right. The kind of people who lurk in the dark corners of the club until it is their turn to play, and then disappear back into the shadows when they’re done. Thrashy and messy. PAGANS at 78 RPM with a brattier attitude. Six songs in about as many minutes. There’s no time for messing around. Cool.

Dana Glowing Auras and Black Money LP

Great album title. If UFOs are real (and I hope they are), I am sure those extraterrestrials would dig DANA’s latest album. The music pulsates in a manic, but subdued way, with swirly synths, otherworldly sounds, bashing guitars, and awesome vocals. Think BUTTHOLE SURFERS at their most rocking. It’s a noisy, skronking good time.

Matt Gimmick Detroit Renaissance ‘79 EP

Reissue of this Detroit band’s 1979 EP. MATT GIMMICK were STOOGES loving ’70s punks, so much so that no one would think twice if you told them this record was actually the STOOGES. MATT GIMMICK even went so far as to record two at-the-time unreleased STOOGES songs they learned from a cassette they made when they saw the STOOGES live. That’s ballsy and funny as hell. Their versions are much better sounding than the ones the STOOGES would eventually release, too.

Celebrity Handshake Death In Aisle Twelve LP

Could this be a spoken word LP from my favorite Maine panic rockers? It seems like it. Minimalist instrumental sounds punctuating the vocal storytelling. I lie on the couch with my eyes closed / letting the tales unfold. “I started being harassed by the future.” I’ll decipher the meaning one of these days. Until then I’ll just enjoy the yarns.

  • Reviewer Carolyn Keddy
  • Label Eastern Prawn
  • Issue MRR #438 • November 2019

The Hussy Looming CD

This is a fun poppy garage record. It’s got that modern fuzziness backed with bouncing drums, and some manic keyboard sounds occasionally appear. Heather Hussy has a clear, strong, powerful voice that makes you think she could easily replace one of the current Top 40 female singers if she was so inclined. I’d assume that would be a “no,” but I’m saying it anyway. Bobby
Hussy sings with JAY REATARD-type inflections. His voice is softer and more sing-songy, but the style gives a Reatard impression. The vocal duties are traded off on this LP, which keeps the whole thing sounding fresh.

Sleepover Club W​(​ph​)​oopsie! LP

This LP humorously starts off with the statement “I love Geddy Lee and Geddy Lee loves me.” Fortunately, the RUSH worship ends there. The songs are short blasts of musical fun. It’s lo-fi with attitude. Hi-fi with altitude. Bratty and goofy. A great listening experience.

Gino and the Goons Rip It Up LP

A reissue of the third and my personal favorite LP by these Florida garage punkers. This album is just so great: a non-stop rocking experience featuring amazing songs, performed perfectly, and delivered with the perfect amount of attitude. Any band, from any decade, undoubtedly wishes this was their album. “Outta Control” may be the best rock song of the 21st century. It’s so damn catchy. If you missed out on this the first time around, there is no longer any excuse not to own this. Fantastic.

  • Reviewer Carolyn Keddy
  • Label Black Gladiator / Slovenly
  • Issue MRR #438 • November 2019

Mark Sultan Filthy Rat / Heart Attack EP

Two songs of SULTAN’s unique garage rock croon. Poppy, peppy and romantic(ish), this is modern doo-wop with a punk rock tinge. Catchy and fun.

Boron Heist Ridin’ Rough CD-R

Overly aggro-sounding rock music. I wouldn’t know the band was from Charlottesville, NC if I wasn’t told. The singer does a macho sounding English accent reminiscent at times of Lemmy. The music is rudimentary. Ripping off the HEARTBREAKERS musically and lyrically on the first song “Shut Up & Go.” Back to the drawing board.

  • Reviewer Carolyn Keddy
  • Label Mystery School
  • Issue MRR #436 • September 2019

Golden Pelicans Grinding for Gruel LP

Another great album from these Florida boys. The vocals are a snarling grumble of fuming attitude. The music is a driving, metallic, distorted force of nature. The two collide in a propulsive discharge of some of the catchiest songs of the year. “Lady Radiation” is my fave with its (sort of) singalong lyrics and stomping beat. Great record.

Ladrones Ladrones LP

There aren’t many female-led bands doing the unhinged TY SEGALL garage thing these days. So it’s really nice to have this debut album from LADRONES. Vocalist Valeria Sánchez has a wild style with frantic yelps and elongated howls. The band plays frenzied, distorted garage punk. It sounds great. The best song, “La Pichaera,” sounds like it could be an outtake from the debut DAVILA 666 album. It’s so catchy and driving and makes you want to sing along. Excellent album.

The Slop The Slop LP

This started out like a record by a generic garage rock band, but after a few listens, it has started growing on me. I don’t want much from garage bands. Just a rockin’ beat and frantic vocals. The SLOP has both. The songs seem like you’ve heard them before, and you probably have. But they make up for it with a good sound.

Xenu and the Thetans Xenu and the Thetans LP

Brandon Welchez from CROCODILES and Johnny Otis Davila aka Dr. Papi, from DAVILA 666, joined forces in Mexico City to form XENU AND THE THETANS. It’s as if they had been held back by their previous musical endeavors and decided to play as fast as possible. Luckily, they are able to pull it off without sounding unhinged or disjointed. The drummer is pretty great. Excellent cover of the SAINTS’ “This Perfect Day,” sung in Spanish.

Model Zero Model Zero LP

Members of the SHEIKS (one of Jack Oblivian’s backing bands) and EX-CULT backed by one of MR. QUINTRON’s drum buddies from this Memphis supergroup. With a pedigree this cool, it would be hard to go wrong. MODEL ZERO does not disappoint. Theirs is a retro futuristic style with whirly synths and repetitive beats. The vocals are soulfully plaintive. Plus it’s got a wacky edge. Buy this.

  • Reviewer Carolyn Keddy
  • Label Slovenly / Black Gladiator
  • Issue MRR #436 • September 2019

The Antipatix Psychobilly Gone Bad EP

I guess “psychobilly gone bad” becomes garage rock moderne with its jangly guitars and laid back attitude. The pumping of the bass and snarling vocals are still present which makes it an interesting amalgam. This is the ANTIPATIX’s first record. Perhaps they will work out the kinks in their style and make something truly unpredictable. I look forward to it.

Bikes Bikes LP

Mellow and jamming are two words I never want associated with any music I listen to. Yet, they are the two that immediately pop into my head while listening to BIKES latest self-titled album. Still, I like it. It’s laid back and nonchalant, but rocking. It makes no sense. BIKES are garage rock moderne with no pretension and some catchy riffs. It’s a great album.

  • Reviewer Carolyn Keddy
  • Label Alien Snatch
  • Issue MRR #436 • September 2019

Brandy Clown Pain / Rent Quest 7"

The worst job I ever had was working for a balloon wholesale company. As a result, I don’t like clowns. A song called “Clown Pain,” whether or not about literal clowns, strikes a positive chord with me. “Thank you for my clown pain.” Of course, I can relate to “Rent Quest” as well. BRANDY’s music is dirty and throbbing and relentless. It leaves you anxiously on edge. The vocals are rough and pleading. The whole thing is perfect.

V/A Into The Outro: Swingin’ L.A. Sounds LP

This is an interesting compilation of L.A. bands. The genres include garage, surf, pop, metal(-ish), and there’s even a RAMONE (Richie). The LP flow is a bit disjointed, and some tunes are too slickly produced, but there is probably at least one song everyone will like. Some of the standout bands are KID FLAMINGO, the 7 AND 6, the NIGHT TIMES, the AZMATICS, the OSTEOBLASTS, the TURBULENT HEARTS and the SLOP.

Rotties End Of You CD

Angsty grrrl rock that is fun. The music is a harder edged metallic rock style, straightforward with no fluff. The vocalists harmonize in a ’60s girl group way. The songs joke about poseurs, haters, and gossip, and include a heavy cover of INXS. ROTTIES are rocking to get their frustrations out, and having a good time while doing it.

  • Reviewer Carolyn Keddy
  • Label Hardcore Mermaid Music
  • Issue MRR #433 • June 2019

Red Mass Kilrush Drive LP

This is RED MASS’ first LP, which seems strange since they have been releasing records since 2008. RED MASS is an eclectic group of musicians led by Choyce, formerly of LES SEXAREENOS, THE DAYLIGHT LOVERS, and many other bands. Their music is an amalgamation of post-punk and modern garage rock. It’s fuzzy with pointy edges. It slowly creeps to the edges of the room. The vocals are serious and intense, but subtle. The combination sounds really nice.

Stereo Creeps Suck LP

Classic example of do not judge an album by its cover. This one looks pretty gothy, maybe psychobilly-ish. However, the music on the disc is more of an indie rock nature. It’s sweeping and sincere, and the singer is schizophrenic. The record lists only one singer, yet he sounds like different singers from song to song. He reminds me of GUY PICCIOTTO, then DAVE GROHL, then D. BOON, and so on. I enjoy the experimentation, and encourage it.

The Sellwoods Two Stroke Smoke! 7"

Four tracks of bratty garage rock from Portland. Two original songs on the A-side, two covers on the B-side of good time, ’60s-inspired fun. Peppy songs with a bit of vocal whining that is emphasized by the organ sound.

V/A Our Voltage

This is a cool comp of modern garage rock bands. The bands are lo-fi, fuzzy, surfy, laidback, etc. Includes THE PRISTEENS, MR. AIRPLANE MAN, FREAK GENES, UK GOLD, DAMAGED BUG and more. The title is appropriate: Our Voltage is whatever feels right in the moment, and every band hits it perfectly. Even the covers of SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES’ “Christine” (THE MYRMIDONS) and BO DIDDLEY’s “Who Do You Love?” (ATOMIC SUPLEX) manage to sound fresh. Nice.

The Yolks Get Back / Vampire 7"

Two songs of jangly garage pop. “Get Back” is a peppy rager. “Vampire” is a drony ballad. The singing is flat in charming way. I like it.

The Whittingtons Human Beingz EP

Recorded in 2016, released in 2017, reaching Maximum Rocknroll in 2019, the ’90s band the WHITTINGTONS are back together or finally got off their asses to make some new music. It’s punk with a hard rock edge. Aggro, macho, and trashy, but catchy. If only they could resist the guitar solos. Regardless, I like it.

Powersolo Backstab / Nedtur 7"

The second TAV FALCO-sounding band I am reviewing this month. I understand it. He’s got a cool style. This one is from Denmark. Two songs of garage-y rock with a lo-fi dirty attitude. The A-side “Back Stab” utilizes “motherfucker” quite a bit. “Nedtur” is in Danish, so it could also be using that word for all I know. Even still, the songs are catchy and edgy. Interesting stuff.

My Favorite Martian Martian Chronicles, Los Angeles 1990’s CD

Way too poppy. The relentless upbeat beat is killing me. MY FAVORITE MARTIAN is Al Bloch’s post-CONCRETE BLONDE and WOOL band. The music is a blatant reminder of the ’90s when every band was trying to and thought they could “make it.” It’s slick, peppy, and anthemic, with little originality. That this band was from Los Angeles is probably no surprise. Not to mention their harder-edged cover of “Pablo Picasso” really misses the point of the original.

Liquor Store Scumbag / We Buy Gold 7"

Since I do study the record sleeve while listening to the music, I got a good laugh. © 2020, hahaha. Since it’s only 2019, I suppose that means this music is freely available all year for all your projects, films, and commercials. Go crazy. LIQUOR STORE have a laid back, decadent rock’n’roll vibe. The music is stretched out and catchy. The lyrics are not that brilliant: “Swimming with the fishes / Never wash the dishes,” from the A-side. The two songs go on a bit too long, but are still enjoyable.

Bloodshot Bill Come Get Your Love Right Now LP

The seventh album from this Montreal one-man-band guy. It sounds old-timey, with a country-ish ELVIS PRESLEY twang mixed with a TAV FALCO sound. The music is rough and raw and has a great sound. Catchy, fun, and sultry.

Balladmen Dear Old-Fashioned Rhythm LP

I find it a little disheartening that my last print reviews for MRR should start out this way. I know that over the years, I’ve been pigeonholed into the garage rock sphere, but I’ve been writing for this magazine for 29 years, and I can say to most: “I was a punk before you were a punk, punk.” This is roots rock music with an emotive singer who unfortunately reminds me of EDDIE VEDDER. It’s slick and well-played and Japanese and might come across better if I wasn’t feeling so nostalgic. But the heavy grunge vibe is just too much.

V/A Live Your Gimmick Deuce!!! LP

A compilation of four bands whose collective goal as described by the CD’s narrator is to “take back punk” from the people who impose the punk rules. Isn’t that supposed to be MRR? NEVER SAY DIE plays rockabilly-ish redneck rock. SUPERMEN are macho ANTISEEN types. THE RUNZ play anthemic hard rock. LONG LOST ENEMIES are poppy hardcore. Eh. Good luck.

Timmy Vulgar’s Genetic Armageddon Music from the Other Side of the Swamp LP

I’m afraid TIMMY VULGAR might be getting too stuck in his ways. I wouldn’t say this record is predictable, but I’ve come to expect his records to sound like this. VULGAR plays all the instruments on this LP, as well as singing in his distinctive, emotive style. The guitars are wailing, and the synths are soaring. The sounds are raw and futuristically primitive. “Suction Cup Hands” is my favorite song on the LP. It’s got a catchy guitar riff that combines nicely with the rhythm track and VULGAR’s rambling vocal. It’s pretty cool.

Science Man Science Man LP

Frantic, thrashy record by one-man band SCIENCE MAN. It’s got an industrial-sounding drum machine and noodling metal guitar licks. The vocals are distorted, screechy, and dramatic. It’s loud, wild and fun.

  • Reviewer Carolyn Keddy
  • Label Swimming Faith
  • Issue MRR #431 • April 2019

Revenend Beat-Man / Izobel Garcia Baile Bruja Muerto CD

IZOBEL GARCIA is such a nice collaborator for REVEREND BEAT-MAN. His vocal style is rough and gritty, and hers is sassy, tough, and feminine. They sound perfect together. The music is stripped down. It is simply guitar and drums with an occasional bit of organ. It’s primitive garage rock with a snarling attitude. Unfortunately, Garcia doesn’t sing on every song. She should. Especially on the cover of “Love Me Two Times.” That one needed her.

Ravi Shavi Blackout Deluxe LP

Third album from this Providence garage pop band. The music is jangly and upbeat, the songs are catchy and bright, and the vocals remind me of BBQ or KING KHAN: kind of crooning, with moments of vulnerability and desperation. It’s their best record yet.

Nowon Pop Destroyed Pop CD

High energy Japanese pop punk-ish alternative rock. It’s slick and well-played, but too by-the-books.

  • Reviewer Carolyn Keddy
  • Label Hardcore Kitchen
  • Issue MRR #431 • April 2019

Thee Irma & Louise Dry Bones LP

This record has such an ’80s feel. Back then, we’d simply call it college rock. It’s got a quirky musical style that is herky-jerky, filled with odd chords and time signatures, and there are elements of surf rock and post-punk. The singer has a serious but goofy vocal style, and the lyrics are thinkers such as “What Did The Deep Sea Say?” THEE IRMA & LOUISE probably would have been big in the ’80s. The insert states “This record is the companion piece to an experimental movie that you are free to shoot.” Hey, why not give it a shot? It’s on pretty, swirly lime sherbet vinyl, too.

Ape Rites Dolci LP

This Swiss band comes across as a straight-up pop punk band. The music is peppy and upbeat, and the singer has one of those high-pitched, slightly annoying sounding voices. Instead of some sappy, lovelorn lyrics, that voice sings tales of some twisted things. The song titles don’t reveal too much, so you’re caught by surprise by these offbeat words. Nice.

Spectre Out of Time EP

SPECTRE plays some surfy rockabilly. It’s reverby and noodly as goes with that territory, but too straightforward and restrained for me.

The Sadists CD

There are four catchy, early New York punk style songs on this CD. The singer has a bratty, whiny vocal style and the band is tight in a Young Loud and Snotty way. Yet, it’s not annoyingly retro.Great stuff. They just need a better name.

Th’ Losin Streaks This Band Will Self-Destruct in T-Minus LP

Has it really been fourteen years since the first TH’ LOSIN STREAKS LP? Well, that certainly is too long to wait for a second album. During those lost years they may have discovered a time machine and gone to London to play some gigs at the Railway Hotel. This Band Will Self- Destruct in T-Minus has a mod-y garage rock feeling reminding me of a more restrained, early period the WHO. The songs are catchy. The guitar playing is punchy and crisp. Great album.

Legionaires Disease Mass Hypnosis in the Air CD

A compilation of all the LEGIONAIRES DISEASE recordings: the eight-song 1978 studio recording that the “Rather See You Dead (Than With Wool On Your Head)” 7” would come from, the four-song 1985 studio recording, and a thirteen-song live set from 1980 at Hurrah’s in New York City. The tracks are rough and primitive, but with that compelling rawness of a punk band just having a great time. The CD booklet is really nice too. It starts out with an intro from U-Ron of REALLY RED describing LEGIONAIRES DISEASE’s singer Jerry Anomie getting released from jail, going to see the SEX PISTOLS in San Antonio, and then coming back to Houston inspired and starting the band. The booklet is filled with photos, fliers, interviews, and remembrances. It is really nice collection of this wild first wave punk band.

Gino and the Goons She Was Crushed EP

Another great record from GINO AND THE GOONS. I’m even
saying that with a skronking sax blasting in the first few seconds of “She Was Crushed.” Sax jokes aside, this EP contains four cool garage punk smashers. Catchy and fun danceable tunes for jumping around and spilling your beer. Oh yeah.

  • Reviewer Carolyn Keddy
  • Label Black Gladiator / Slovenly
  • Issue MRR #430 • March 2019

The Di Maggio Connection Rowdy CD

This is ’50s style rock’n’roll. It is well played and by the books. I’ll see you at the next sock hop.

Brain Eaters Bad Girls Motorcycle Gang from Tokyo 10″

A male rockabilly band from Paris posing as a Japanese girl gang and starting their 10” off with a song called “Lobo Loco.” There are some contradictions happening on this record. The music is straight ahead rockabilly. It’s well played and all that, but they need to figure out who they are.

Baby’s Blood Everybody Looks Like A Fucking Idiot EP

Four songs of nasty, bad attitude rock courtesy of DREW OWEN and his Finnish compatriots. I thought the quality of life was better there. Why so pissed off? It’s fast and furious sped-up thrashy garage punk. It’s ugly, mean, and even a bit funny. Right, “Sex Punk”?

Bad Mojos I Hope You OD CD

Judging this band by its cover and its label I was expecting a bluesy garage band. BAD MOJOS are poppy punk with buzzsaw guitars, and a vocalist that sounds like that guy from the SPITS. It’s high energy and every song is under two minutes.