Thursday, September 29, 2011

23 Skidoo-Ethics EP (1980)

When I was in high school, some of my friends were in a ska band called 23 Skidoo. I would call them bad, but for me, "ska"is another word for "awful."

Calling themselves "23 Skidoo" got them a heaping mouthful of rebuke from my friend and co-worker at the record store I was employed at. 17-year old ska kids that they were, they had no idea what he was talking about and went on with their Mountain Dew chugging. 

This is that. 23 Skidoo's first release is a classic example of UK post-punk's genre-bending. The first tune goes by in a blur of crisp drumming and scratchy guitar, while "Another Baby's Dream" is a decent take on dub, although it lacks the looming menace of, say, The Congos (23 Skidoo were English, after all). Not too shabby for a band that usually gets shuffled behind A Certain Ratio, Throbbing Gristle, et. al. in the post-punk roster.

We've got no reason to panic.... Apparently, you can buy an original on EBay, if you're so inclined.

Alone & Forsaken, vol. I: scuzzfuck

Shit's been hitting the fan lately at Drug Punk HQ, so this one is short. At some point soon I'll be posting the second volume in what might be an ongoing series of "Alone and Forsaken" mixes.

The dancehall's nearly empty now....

1. Aerosols-You're Wrong
2. Mau-Maus-Just Another Day
3. Cro-Mags-Hard Times
4. Amebix-Winter
5. Pigeon Religion-Dead Boss
6. Crazy Spirit-This World is not my Home
7. Adolescents-No Way
8. Ramones-Now I wanna Sniff some Glue
9. The Observers-Expiration
10. The Gits-Another Shot of Whiskey
11. Shoppers-I'm So Loveable
12. Dead Moon-My Escape
13. The Cracks-I Want Out
14. Negative Approach-Nothing
15. Jawbreaker-Kiss the Bottle

I'm so nice, I'm even including that shitty picture from one of Rome's sleazepit streets!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Oldwyoming.-When Debord met Salinger[...] EP (2011)

Last November, I drove from Chicago to Portland, via Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, and Idaho. It was fucking terrifying. Proud Chicago native and city boy that I am, I had no clue how vast Amurikuh is. Wyoming by itself is so fucking big and empty that I developed a weird sense of reverse claustrophobia after the first day. The middle of the USA was not meant for human habitation, and Wyoming frowns on intruders.

It makes sense this project features that state prominently. It's perfect music for a long road trip: the kind where you're driving for so long, you don't notice how much the landscape's changed 'til you get out to take a piss. The three soundscapes drift in and out of focus, sort of like Eno's ambient work, but this is as American as illiteracy: I can only see this kind of drone coming from the desolation and isolation of the U.S. heartland.

..I do get bored. Contact oldwyoming via Last.Fm for more info. He takes some good pictures, peeps his tumblr page, too.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Show review: Grass Widow, Pink Reason, The Raincoats (9.21)

Instead of musical piracy, I bring you a review of a show I'll be kicking myself years from now for not attending, which happened last week in the D, brought to you by the guy who does Monogamy (he took that blurry picture of Pink Reason, too):

There are very few shows that I can think of where, after describing the line-up, someone asks, "All in one show?" Certainly [this] is applicable to a bill consisting of Swimsuit, Grass Widow, Pink Reason, and THE Raincoats. Needless to say, any one of these bands could hold a show on their own merit.

First up was Swimsuit, who just recently released an LP of what they described as "ten perfect songs". That statement is correct. They played essentially the style of music you would expect from a band named Swimsuit, and it rules. Next up was Grass Widow. They were excellent. There's really not a lot to say about Grass Widow--in the best way. It's kind of like when you pick up an atlas. It says "atlas", you open it up, see some excellent/intricate/catchy maps, enjoy it, and head out on your way.

There is a paragraph break here for no real reason. Or maybe it's because Pink Reason were such a stark contrast to the bop of the prior two bands. This lineup was star-studded. Mr. Matt Horseshit on guitar, Rich Horseshit on drums, Someone I Didn't Recognize From Another Band But Had A Powerful Grasp Of The Concept Of "Grooving" on bass, and Kev Failure himself on guitar and vocals. Literally half of all Drug Punk posts are about Pink Reason, so you should know that this was enjoyable. They played 4/6 songs from Shit In The Garden, sprinkling in some old hits as well and even a free-form jam. They closed with "The Song With No Name". Good times.

Finally, the Raincoats took the stage. They are old now. We are all aware of this. They look like the people who migrate about this time of year to my tourist town and buy coffee without tipping. But, and this is where they depart from that mould, the wisdom of age has enhanced them. The together parts are far more together, the sloppy parts are even sloppier. There was some kind of noisemaking device used. Everything fell apart together at the same time then resumed at the same time and fell apart and resumed and then it was over and I walked out smiling.

Soft Drinks-Pop Stars in Their Pyjamas EP (1981)

Lots of people think that "anarchopunk" always and everywhere has consisted of a bunch of black-clad idiots twisting stupid noise out of their instruments, while just barely avoiding alcohol poisoning.
       A lot of people forget, however, the weirdo end of the early '80s anarchopunk scene. Rudimentary Peni spearheaded the "we're into reading Bakunin but also getting destroyed on acid and vodka" end of the Crass scene, and this 2-song 7" is a product of RP's drummer and a few other freaks who happened to know Nick Blinko.
The only thing I can really compare this to is Sleeping Dogs: retarded, synthesizer-based music somewhere between ranting synthwave and electronic punk. Dig it or not, it's certainly an oddball gem.

So erotic..... Check EBay for this, but I'm guessing there's like 200 copies worldwide. If you wanna know more about Rudimentary Peni, check this out.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Urban Blight-Total War 7" EP (2010)

Like many people, I didn't trust this band initially. Parroting not only the name, but also the logo of Urban Waste? Sheer hubris, thought I. I started re-considering around when they dropped that DJ single-lookin' EP.

Several years on, and I've changed my tune considerable. UB shreds. Blasting the standard mid-'80s US hardcore stylings, the production really sets this EP apart. Y'know that ugly vibe you get listening to a mixtape whose songs were recorded with the "recording level" knob flipped to the red zone? The whole thing sounds like that. It almost gets to noise rock levels at times. The overall impression is a harshness unusual in hardcore these days. Oh, and it has the best throw away chorus I've heard in years: "Total war/total war/total war/1, 2, 3, 4!' Iggy, eat yer heart out...

Total war. Buy it here.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Purling Hiss-Lounge Lizards EP

This is almost as lo-fi as the Bad Banana demo, putting it high in the running for lowest-fi rock record of the incipient decade. Most of these songs sound like Mike Pollize (Birds of Maya, Holy Mountain) recorded direct into a boombox. Nevertheless, under the mud, this is a tasty treat indeed.

The downed-out dirge "Voices" opens Lounge Lizards, and it's classic scuzz rock: squalling, sludgy riff, minimal drumming, bombed out vox...what more can ya ask for? "The Hoodoo" almost gets up enough energy to classify as boogie, with Pollize crooning about meeting down the favoritest track, though, is "Been Teased," with a big bad guitar riff straight outta a lost Dead Boys demo. The last two tracks just sorta slog along, and sound like half-finished ideas, but overall this is a sweet debut.

Get into it.  I stole this from the Tiny Grooves blog, which you should check out. Then, grab the physical vinyl over at Mexican Summer Rex while it's still available! Permanent Records  recently released an LP by dood, grab that, too. See the Purling Hiss page for tours, releases, et. al. Where's my beer?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

"In the flat field I do get bored:" a(nother) mixtape

Yes dear readers, I present you with another installment in my semi-occasional  mixtape series. By "semi-occasional," I mean, "whenever I'm too tired, busy, or lazy to post something new." Smarties that you are, you'll see the threads connecting these tunes right quick.

Enjoy!...or not.

1. Maria Minerva-A Little Lonely
2. Blank Dogs-Northern Islands
3. Brigade Internationale-Remember my Death
4. Gil Scott-Heron-Me and the Devil (Robert Johnson original)
5. Led Er Est-Drosophilia Melanogaster
6. Martial Canterel-Nightfall in Camp
7. Chromagain-Satisfied
8. Xeno and Oaklander-Cold Forever
9. Carol-Breakdown
10. Pretty Poison-No Tears
11. The Cure-The Love Cats
12. The Middle Class-A Skeleton at the Feast
13. Waskerley Way-Pombo Pombo Pombo
14. HTRK-She's Seventeen
15. Keep Shelly in Athens-Fokionos Negri Street
16. Clive Tanaka y Su Orquestra-Lonely for the High Scrapers
17. Koralleven-Shine On

Monday, September 19, 2011

Acid Kicks-Life Dreams 7" EP (2011)

This blog isn't exactly famous for hosting texture-heavy music. I'll usually side with a sledgehammer over a rapier for good times. So this three-tune EP by Philly's Acid Kicks threw me for a curve: the production's amazing, and the music actually expands and contracts, although the structures are basically PR-level simple.

Acid Kicks specialize in carving out grooves so heavy, they might be chiseled out of the Mines of Moria. While the three bass guitars respectively sculpt, reinforce, and clobber home the ambience, the drums set up a kraut rock-style beat that wends and winds through space. The breezy trumpets that pop in and out of each track reinforce the heavily-drugged, magic carpet ride feel of the tunes.

       I'd like to see the Kicks live, as I can't tell how much of this EP's sound is due to the stellar production, or the band itself. Either way, this is some heavy, blissfully zonked out stuff, and I look forward to more of it.

Check it out on Band Camp. The 7" is well worth purchasing, as the cover is gorgeous: on a par with Do Make Say Think, aesthetically. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Artimus Pyle-Fucked from Birth Lp (2004)

The later the night grows, the darker the sounds. Cicadas, drunken lovers, Artimus Pyle....
...I only saw these dudes once, at the Subterranean in Chicago. They played with Bloody Minded and Dropdead. My favorite moments of that show were:
1) [non-musically:] Being stuck in the pit behind some asshole whose bag had "Straight Edge" and "Fuck Marlboro" patches, but who bummed a cigarette off me, post-show.
2) [Musically]:
2a) Bloody Minded's brutal assault on all those idiot hardcore kids' tender, fragile ears.
3a) Artimus Pyle's unrelenting, brooding deluge of heavy, growling hardcore.  If the atrocities of Abu-Ghraib had a voice, it would be this LP.

Relax/have a drink! Prank did a second pressing of the LP, BUY IT!  Jensen, the drummer, went on to form Iron Lung. Robert's now in No Statik, among many other projects.

*I can't remember what year this was released. I'm saying 2004 because this band really sums up the Bush years for me: brutal, grinding, and dark as the night. *

*EDIT, 9.9.12: Reup is HERE. *

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Peligro Social-No Religion LP (2006)

I've been up on Adderal for two days! Typing up medieval court records! They're fucking boring! In fact, they put me to sleep! That's why I'm on Adderal!

So I put on this record! Sometimes Peligro Social rips off The Clash!
Now I have a fucking fever, and I can't sleep! Shit's gettin' crucial! Time has stopped but time keeps speeding up! Between the drum beats and the guitar riffs of Peligro Social, dunno if it's '77 or '82!
I don't understand what PS is singing about! But I think that I agree!

Fuck religion! Fuck a future! Download this album, then buy the LP from No Options Records! Email the dude who runs it, and he'll sort out the details! Good night!

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Smoking Popes-Get FIred LP (1993)

I don't expect anyone outside of Chicago and under the age of 30 to know who the Smoking Popes are. Standbys of the early-'90s Chicago pop punk scene (Screeching Weasel, Bollweevils, etc.), the Popes' work has aged better than their contemporaries, especially this, their debut LP.

   Melding saccharine vocal phrasing, so-obvious-they're-retarded-riffs, and a charmingly discreet rhythm section, Smoking Popes eschewed the high-pitched whining that afflicts almost all post-Buzzcocks pop punk. Instead of sneering at everything like their major booster, Ben Weasel, the Popes sang songs about love and being lazy twentysomethings.
     Look at the cover of Get Fired, and you get a pretty good idea of who the Popes were and what they were up to: four normal schlubs playing basic rock 'n' roll. No pretenses, no irony, no bullshit. They also wrote one of the all-time greatest slacker anthems, "Not That Kind of Girlfriend." The chorus says it all: "I don't wannt fall in love/'til I'm thirty-five...."

"And you're not helping..." Buy the LP direct from the band, here. They're playing a few dates in the upper Midwest in October, check 'em out if ya get a chance!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Eskorbuto/RiP-Zona Especial Norte split LP (1985)

Another Spanish[/Basque] '80s punk classic, well-known but neglected by most Yankee punx. Eskorbuto ("Scurvy") was, by all accounts, one of the most notorious Basque/Spanish punk bands-numerous arrests, a violently confrontational attitude, and death-by-heroin for two of the three original members...uplifting stuff.

Eskorbuto bashes out 8 tracks of snide, mid-tempo punk. It's quite similar to the sound that crystallized on their classic LP, Anti-Todo ("Anti-everything"). Altogether they're one of my favorite '80s bands, and they sorta give you a sense of Billy Bao's historical context.

I can't find much, not reading Spanish, about RiP. But their 4 tracks blaze by in a rush of clipped drumming and ripping guitar that's close to Never Again-era Discharge, without slavishly imitating their English brethren.

Mierda! Mierda! Munster Records released a sick re-issue of this split a few years ago, with extra tracks and a 'zine. BUY THE FUCKER!

*EDIT, 10.31.12: Reup'd the file. Download HERE. *

Ultimo Resorte-Cementerio Caliente EP (1982)

Ultimo Resorte needs no introduction for Spanish/Catalan punks, I'm guessing-they bridged first-wave Spanish punk with hardcore in Barcelona. Around New Year's I was talking to a Latino punk from NYC, though, and when I mentioned liking Ultimo Resorte he did a double-take and looked at me weird-"I didn't know white people knew about Ultimo Resorte!"

So, my fellow crackers, here ya go. This EP has a unique sound, especially in the guitar. It's really dirty and guttural, and on "Violencia" the guitarist uses a distortion effect that sounds terrifying. Yet the band always maintains some sort of harmony under the grime: "Johnny Mofeta" even has a wicked, sinuous bass line. The whole thing sounds trashy, mean, and urgent, just like punk should. 
 Oh, and the singer, Silvia, was hanging out with and photographed Sid & Nancy in 1979. It resulted in a fistfight between her and Nancy...big surprise, huh?

Llama la muerte.... La Vida es un Mus Records put out an excellent discography that you'd be a fool not to purchase. There's an excellent English-language bio of the band on Kill from the Heart.

*EDIT, 3.6.13: Reup'd the file. AQUI!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Horrible Houses-Dead Cattle Volcano LP (2011)

By way of an introduction:
Hey, you know gun for the ps2? where you start in montana, hunting elk with kris kristofferson, and end up in new mexico? it's like when your bathroom isn't there in the morning. i think you should not listen to my band. same mail day after day, shower after shower before taking a bath, we're like that.

Er, exactly. The first few times I listened to this, I hated it. It actually offended me. Figuring that music capable of offendng me must have something goin' for it, I persisted. It's fuckin' good! 

Y'see, I woke up with a skullcrusher of a hangover on Sunday, still drunk at 3 pm, and blasted this all afternoon. Horrible Houses didn't cure my hangover, in fact the relentless cymbals-guitar combo made it worse. But it did make for a pretty good soundtrack to an afternoon spent laying on the couch with a pillow over my eyes, hiding from reality!

The last two tracks are the best. The opening guitar lick for "Haunted RIvers Family Tapes" sounds like a lost John Fahey riff gone electric, and the drumming is almost, dare I say it, fluid. "A Whore's Lament" seems to be just that, a folksee account of, well, a whore set to a jangly riddim. If your idea of a hangover cure is blasting one-tone garage fuzz, you'll dig Horrible Houses.

Today you're gonna be sick/so sick... Or, if downloading a zip file is unbearable, check out the Horrible Houses' Soundcloud page!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

No Thanks fanzine, issue 7

I'm very happy to announce that issue 7 of Mike Thrashberg's zine, "No Thanks" (formerly "No Thanks//Fuck Everything") is now available c/o Drug Punk. No Thanks, along with DX's Distort, is probably my favorite current English-language 'zine.

This issue features a lengthy interview with Lebenden Toten; an Antisect retrospective; a re-print of the final Los Crudos interview; and a whole lotta other sweet shit.

We're also distro'ing past issues, including my personal fave, issue 3, featuring an interview with Dan from Distort fanzine, and interviews with The Brat and Deskonocidos.

Those in the US, send $3 to me at:
Joe Figliulo
PO Box 12740
Santa Barbara, CA

Peeps abroad-the shipping cost varies by country, so email me and I'll get back to you w/how much it costs.

Lebenden Toten-Near Dark LP (2009) [or, Winter in America]

 *Edit, 12.23.12: Reup'd the file. Get it here. *

"Of course there is hope, all the hope in the world. Except not for us."-Kafka, ca. 1923

"it comes late at night/without warning/it's near's near dark"-Lebenden Toten, "Near Dark," 2009

So a decade ago the CIA engineered simultaneous attacks on "civilian" targets, and ~3,000 people died. Who gives a fuck. This is nowhere close to the ~500,000 children whose deaths the U.S.A. directly enabled via medical and food sanctions on Iraq from 1991 to ~2001.
  But I do give a fuck, if only because I have to live under the  consequences of this post-modern Reichstag fire. While things have become inestimably worse for Afghans and Iraqis, conditions in the USA since 9/11/01 have become unbearable, too. The gutting of what small welfare state existed in this country, pre-Ronald Reagan. The beginning and continuance of 2 full-scale (Afghanistan, Iraq) and many small-scale (Pakistan drones, Phillipines "counter-insurgency," the bin-Laden assassination) wars, the rise of a violently nihilistic, extreme-right wing party, the ascent of a corporate oligarchy. The knee-jerk, violent hatred of non-white immigrants. The planned assault on public education and the Supreme Court.
It's not that the U.S.A. was a great country before 9/11/01. But since all of my teenage-to-adult-life has been spent under the sign of the Twin Towers, this has become my frame of reference.

   So I bring you Lebenden Toten's Near Dark LP. Eleven years ago, I would have said that the ideas this LP expresses were conspiracy theories: a military-corporate dictatorship of the U.S.A.; the presidential elections as a reality TV show. All of this, a joke in 2000, is reality now. Personally, like Adorno, I still sometimes feel "...shame that there is oxygen to breathe in hell." But mostly I just don't care anymore.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

"This ain't no party/this ain't no disco": Serious music for serious times mixtape

So we all know what tomorrow is, right? You got it, kiddies! The 38th anniversary of the U.S. government-backed coup that overthrew Chile's democratically-elected Salvador Allende! Yeah!

To celebrate the eve of such a gloriously awful occasion, I offer thee this mixtape. Turn off the lights, turn up the volume, and sulk while meditating on the evils of real politik and Henry Kissinger's many crimes.
Or just turn it up and getcha Saturday night drink on. Whatever.

I know it don't thrill ya....

Track Listing:
Cro-Mags-World Peace (demo version)
Dead Boys-Sonic Reducer
Negative Approach-Lead Song
 Circle Jerks-Live fast, die young
Artificial Peace-Wasteland
Svart Framtid-Religios [sic] Terror
Rational Animals-Perception Becomes Reality
Smoking Popes-Let's Hear it for Love
Nohopekids-The Lone Surfer pt. 2
Triptides-Beneath the Sun
The Brian Jonestown Massacre-Malela
Broken Water-Dead Light
Dinosaur Jr.-In a Jar
Neon Piss-Golden State Advantage
Elvis Costello-Welcome to the Working Week
The Clash-Protex Blue
The Cure-Killing an Arab
The Proletariat-Marketplace

Friday, September 9, 2011

Thee Source ov Fawnation-This is Psydust CS (2011)

I started listening to noise music several years ago, when the numbing ritual that is hardcore punk began to grow stale. Initially thrilled by the sheer brutality of Chicago acts like Bloody Minded and their ilk, the premise quickly wore thin. Turns out that people pressing buttons to produce a horrid racket isn't much more interesting than 1-2-3-4 punk idiocy.

Thus Thee Source ov Fawnation, Olympia's newest, meanest shitpsych extravaganza. Unlike most of the drooler drone I was nodding out to ca. 2007, Brian and Pearson weave electronic pulse-level beats, oddly soothing vocal tracks, and short, sharp bursts of white noise to create something approaching what Popol Vuh might sound like if they were starting out now, in our post-techno, post-power electronics times. It sounds retarded in print, but somehow works quite well. Hell, I've been blasting it for an hour straight, sober the whole time!

Get into it. For a larger view of the truly excellent cover art, click here. West Coast folk, take note! This is limited to 35 copies they'll be selling on their upcoming tour, the dates of which are:
09.14.11 House Show | Boise, ID  
09.15.11 House Show | Salt Lake City, UT   
09.16.11 TBA | Las Vegas, NV  
09.17.11 The Castle | Los Angeles, CA
Summer Fun Time Society & DUM DUM present...
+ Luna is Honey, KILLKILLKILL, Jung Hollywood, WMX, Pulse Out, The Flytraps, Tleilaxu Music Machine

09.18.11 White Lotus Collective | Long Beach, CA  
09.20.11 TBA | Los Angeles, CA  
09.21.11 Lot 1 | Los Angeles, CA
The Spread presents...

09.24.11 Zool | Oakland, CA
Record Label Records Fest
+ Wisp, Terminal 11, Xanopticon, Scuzi, Kush Arora, William S. Braintree, DJ John Yoo

09.25.11 House Show | Portland, OR

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


Mediafire isn't working for me today, so, as a consolation prize, here are a few flyers I drudged up from my files. If you want better resolution pictures/bigger files, check out my shitty photography page here. As soon as mediafire starts workin', I'll have some marvelous shit to getcha mouth waterin', trust me.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Pink Reason-Borrowed Time 7" (2008)

If you're familiar with this blog, Pink Reason needs no introduction. Kevin Debroux's output over the last ten years or so has stood the test of time, and remains of consistently high quality. People bitch about how it took him so long to follow up Cleaning the Mirror, but given the toxic sludge of shitty indie releases clogging the internet and record bins, is it really grounds for complaint, especially when the follow up was as good as Shit in the Garden was?*

This 7" blazes past in 3:25. "Borrowed Time" is a scorcher: a blown out, amped up guitar riff and Debroux's signature drawl. "We'd call for help/but we ain't got a dime..." Amen, brother. "Scared Shitless" lacks the first track's drive. Shambling along, guided by a washed out drum beat, "Shitless" is a bit closer to Debroux's previous tunes, as he intones the mournful chorus-"paranoia, my only friend." But overall, this, along with "Desperate Living," is a lot faster and noisier than previous and subsequent PR.

Rock the fuck out. This is, of course, long out of print. If you haven't purchased the Shit in the Garden LP, though, BUY IT!-contact the band here.

*Despite the shite title.
 *EDIT, 9.15.12: I reup'd the file. Download Borrowed Time HERE. *

Sunday, September 4, 2011

"Let Us Now Praise Famous Death Dwarves:" a mixtape

Woohoo! Another weekend, another few trillion brain cells zapped. I spent last night gettin' blackout drunk to the sweet sounds of Boxes and Branes. No serious injuries this time (last time in Olympia, the drummer from Weird TV beamed my buddy in the chin with a full beer can...ouch!), just a crippling hangover that I made this mix while suffering through. Enjoy!

Let it blurt!

1. The World/Inferno Friendship Society-Zen & the art of Breaking everything in this room
2. Weird TV-Sufrir
3. 86 Mentality-86 Mentality
4. Amstetten Bedroom Punk-Mesekeksz
5. Running-Right Lane Leaning
6. Lebenden Toten-Near Dark
7. Crazy Spirit-The Burning Churches
8. Raw Nerve-Downer (Nirvana cover)
9. The Observers-Lead Pill
10. Natural Child-Hard Workin’ Man
11. Purling Hiss-The Hoodoo
12. The Brian Jonestown Massacre-Not if you were the last Dandy on Earth
13. Guided by Voices-Watch me Jumpstart
14. No Joy-You Girls Smoke Cigarettes?
15. Shoppers-Hit Me Harder
16. Warsaw-Novelty
17. Οra Mηδeν-Aφιερωςη
18. Middle Class-The Call
19. Tam-French Made Simple
20. Girls at Our Best-Politics

Friday, September 2, 2011

Siekiera-Nowa Aleksandria

One of my ex-girlfriends used to regale me with tales her mother told her about growing up outside Krakow during the 1970s. According to her, the major event of the year was on Christmas, when a truckload of oranges would be delivered to the village, one orange per person. The rest of the year it was mostly black bread and various, delicacies....

Anyways, Zsofia [I can't type Magyar characters on this keyboard] from Piresian Beach described this to me as "panel house music." She's absolutely right-this is a slab of bleak, driving, utterly mechanized despair from behind the Iron Curtain. The Killing Joke influence is pretty clear, but Siekiera can't be reduced to a Factory Records clone for the Iron Curtain;  on some of these tracks, they come closer to the Soviet-era punk I've heard.

It's Labor Day weekend here in the States, so why don'tcha celebrate the dignity of labor with this slab 'o' wax from a time and place where the workers, theoretically, were in the driver's seat?

Further all the time. There's rumors of a re-issue, but I haven't been able to track it down online. Check this out for a thorough band bio in English.

*EDIT, 9.9.12: Reup'd the file, download HERe.
*Edit, 1.21.14: Reup'd the file again, download HERE !* 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Grass Widow-Past Time LP (2010)

You know it's time to get out of the game (music criticism, that is) when, confronted with a new band, all you can do is list previous bands they sound like. Few recent bands are as open to this sort of stupidity as Grass Widow; virtually every review I've ever read of them starts or concludes by intoning one of the legion British post-punk bands we all know and love.

Fuck all that. Sure you can line up the possible influences, but origin does not determine outcome, as they taught me so long ago in undergrad, and it's a massive disservice to this band to just say "blahblahSlitsblahblahNeoBoysblahblahBikiniKillblah." Me, I'm too hungover to bother with saying anything intelligent.
I will say this, though: it's one of the most democratic albums I've ever heard, in the best possible way. No one-bass, guitar, drums, voice-leads, and the interplay between the various components sounds better with every GW release. The layered, constantly shifting focus of each song means that you'll never hear the same thing twice.

Check it out. The LP is still available from Kill Rock Stars, and comes with a digital download code, obviating the need for my own link. GW also just dropped a new EP, available here. They're playing with the Raincoats in Chicago on the 19th, in Detroit with the 'coats and Pink Reason a few days after. Peeps 'em.