Sunday, April 29, 2012

Government Warning-No Way Out EP (2006)

Nothing new today, just a great 7" of barebones, confrontational hardcore by Richmond, Virginia's much-missed Government Warning.

This was their first release, and it's still my favorite: six tracks of fast, angry hardcore. GW spearheaded the No Way! Records scene, which specialized/es in straight-ahead hardcore a la early Dischord. GW was the best, though: the guitarist manages to toss in throw-away surf riffs throughout these songs, Kenny belts 'em out like a maniac, and the rhythm section is rock solid.

My favorite songs are "Ghost Town," with its manic Adolescents-style riffing, and "Self Destruct," one of my favorite anthems for aborting .40s of malt liquor as a young'un.

I saw these guys on the "No Moderation" tour in Chicago at Albion House years ago, and they slayed. Everyone went nuts for their cover of "No Way" and some Minor Threat song-"Filler," I think, or maybe "Stand Up." I guess they got int trouble with the MRR scene police a few years ago for off color remarks. Whatever. They were a good band, and I miss 'em.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Fuck CISPA/SOPA part...3?

This is yet another petition against CISPA and SOPA, the bills before the United States Congress to essentially cripple any and all forms of media sharing online.

Obama said he'll veto it, but as everyone knows, the next time Barack Obama stands strong on a promise he's made will also be the first time.

I said it before, I'll say it again: if you download music or movies, or watch them online, you're a fool not to sign this.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Piresian Beach-Alle Falle EP (2012)

Piresian Beach spirals further into the psychedelic ether on "Alle Falle," the follow up to the 2011 LP "Fuck Yr Mind." Zsofia and co. have been refining their sound for awhile (well, Zsofia has, anyway-I think the band is new 'uns), and moving away from rambam garage rock pummeling. "Alle Falle" is the most coherent Piresian Beach release, from the fucked up, seance-induced(?) cover to the freaked out guitar layering.

"Easter" is built around a fairly straightforward strummed acoustic guitar and drumbeat, with Zsofia intoning about, ah, Easter (I think). "Play Today" deploys tightly controlled guitar squall over a stuttering drum beat, and marks the true beginning of the EP. "People Know Nothing" almost drifts into raga territory, although I think the only instrument is a heavily pedal-addled guitar. The eponymous track, "Alle Falle," deploys guttural, sleazy guitar pulse under a rickety kick drum and echoing sound effects. "Keine Falle" is my favorite track:urgently strummed acoustic and whining electric guitar frame Zsofia's sultry moan, which is essentially another instrument.

As any Drug Punk reader probably knows, garage has been experiencing a renaissance in the last few years. Piresian Beach is part of this, but with each release Zsofia moves further away from straigthtoforward, 4-4 time rock 'n' roll, and the results are more interesting with each release. Perfect tunes for summer sun 'n' fun.

Download "Alle Falle" here.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Sharpeye - Beyond the Realm of Reason LP (2012)

Haunting and hypnotic guitarscapes conjure some true thematic magic all up Beyond the Realm of Reason, a truly outstanding and, in my experience, instantly addicting debut LP from San Francisco guitarsman Sharpeye. This is the name covering the solo guitar recordings and performances of Max Gardner, who also constitutes one-third of SF post-pastoral psych trio Metacomet.

Beyond follows on two live recordings which have excited fans of catatonically chill sonic psychedelia for the past several months. As the first full-on studio effort to come from the Sharpeye project, this record is a remarkable one. The sparse, warm and roomy recording allows Gardner's droning and looping guitar themes to shine forth in full. In this wordless, smooth sonic space, the atmospheric melodies evoke a sort of paralyzing grandiosity, drama bordering on the Baroque. Yet this is a simpler and harder kind of grandeur, it is the grandiosity of the barely-populated desert landscape, not the ornamentation of pre-modern opulence. This is music that is all about conjuring otherworldly atmospherice experiences from a language of sound that is at once unique and endlessly referential. It executes this task masterfully.

Everything else you need to know is up on the Bandcamp. Enjoy.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Rock 'n' Roll Cannibals-Blood and Pomade LP (2012)

Before I get to the review proper, let me say a few things about rockabilly.

First of all, greasers are badasses and there's a part of me that will always admire them. Second, this subculture is now pushing seventy, so I can safely say that we can expect nothing new from a rockabilly band. Third of all, that psychobilly craze of the early '00s was fucking stupid (anyone remember the Necromantix? That's too bad).

Anyway, Charlottesville, Virginia's Rock 'n' Roll Cannibals are at the top of the heap as far as current rockabilly goes. I never really got into psychobilly (Cramps excepted), so I'm happy that the Cannibals keep it pretty traditional on their first outing.  Scratchy, twangy guitar and dirt-simple drumming anchor the singerr, who can really belt it out, clearly shooting for Carl Perkins or Screamin' Jay Hawkins. Listening closely, you can learn a lot from the lyrics: these lessons include the best recipe for cooking babies with (parmesan cheese and spaghetti are good, apparently). "That voodoo" is probably the best song, instrumentally, although the opener gives it a run for its money.

I have to be in a very specific mood to listen to rockabilly. This mood comes upon me about twice a year, so I can't say I'll be listening to the Cannibals much, but when I do have said mood, they'll be on the turntable.

Listen to it here. Brought to you by Mellow Riot.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Dictaphone-Let's Not LP (2012)

People often equate depression with self-destructive and/or suicidal behavior. This is erroneous. The truly gut-wrenching thing about depression is that, becalmed in a sea of melancholy, one loses the energy to do anything, even/especially self-destructive death revelry. One

Enter Tours, France's The Dictaphone. Whereas the Brainbombs play depressed noise that musters up the energy to go on a killing spree, the Dictaphone is mired in an apathetic nightmare whose main feature is a grinding, softly shrieking monotony. Like a rainy day of the mind that never goes away, it just chugs on, in circles.

Most of the songs, especially the opener, "Modern S," and my personal favorite, "Fake dancing," are built around massively, numbingly, intentionally repetitive bass and drum spiralling. It's like someone tried to put together a dance beat with a drum machine and metronome, and went out for a drink, leaving the equipment on and the tape running. Then some drunk wandered in and started burbling something pseudo-lingual over the resulting repetition. Oh, "Safe substitute" is the bee's knees, as well. Imagine that opening drum beat of "All Tomorrow's Parties", but it never really goes anywhere-it just keeps plodding along, sort of like the voices in yr head.

This is fantastic music for staring at grey walls, laying in bed thinking of reasons not to start the day, and for sitting on the sidewalk curb, bombed out of your mind on Klonopin. It's real fuckin' good.

Listen to "Let's Not" here. This is brought to you courtesy of Cocktail Pueblo Records. The Dictaphone shares at least one member with the Jagwar Pirates, by the way.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Guest mixtape: Kent State

So Nick from Kent State sent me this mix about two months ago and, industrious young man that I am, it took me that long to get around to spinning it.

If you're into fuzzy '90s grunge/shoegaze/blahblahblah, yer gunna dig this. I vaguely remember seeing a lot of these bands in my local record store's bins back in the late '90s. Highlights include My Vitriol's cover of the Wipers' "Wait a Minute," the GBV tracks, and Kent State's Nirvana cover (f you can't figure out which one that is, I can't help you).

Check it out here, and download it here.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Apology/explanation to those of you awaiting reviews of your material

Musicians/record label people/etc.:

So there's quite a backup of music to review in my inbox, some of it dating back to early January. I apologize for taking so long, but all of it will get reviewed eventually. I'm a full-time graduate student and teacher, so Drug Punk is a sideline gig. Your stuff will be up eventually.

-chief Drug Punk

Monday, April 9, 2012

Fagettes-Vols. 1 & 2 CS (2012)

 "tried to stand, all I could do was lean/tried to speak, all I could do was scream"-Fagettes, "Mystery Pills"

This is one of the best garage albums (collecting the Fagettes' first two releases ) I've heard this year, maybe the best. The Fagettes know their musical history, writes tight songs, and have a sense of wit all too rare with most rock bands at all times, but especially now (irony ain't wit-Best Coast, take a note).

 Like many garage bands, The Fagettes deal in simple songs about boys and girls and love and fun. But not so simple, not so fun, actually; enter "Catholic riffraff and the Allston Amazon." Lightly strummed guitar and a massive, 60s big beat drum sound accompany this touching tale of young lesbian love. The song also showcases the dual male-female vocals that do a lot to flesh out the song structures. Farfisa/church organ interlude and all, this is sorta the garage pop, ex-/anti-Catholic version of Bikini Kill's "Rebel Grrrl" .

"Mystery Pills" is an amusing tale of pill-poppin' fun on the run, with a shuffle beat and tastefully terse harmonica riff riff built around guitar haze. Lyrically, it's pretty much how I spent a lot of the past week: so fucked up and downed out that I couldn't even talk, let alone to the pretty girl across the room.

"When I'm with You," the second song on side B, is so close to ripping off Jesus & Mary Chain's "Just Like Honey," I swear I thought it was a cover, the first few listens. A shimmering, warm wash of summer guitar opens the song, with the drums duelling with tambourines and dual harmonies. Unlike "Just like Honey," however, and despite its jaunty tone, this is a tale of bitterness: Iggy summed up the feeling pretty well in "Tiny Girls": "well the day begins/you don't wanna live/'cause you can't believe/in the one you're with...."

"I wanna feel good" really revels in sleaze.  Stomping, tight beats and a fluid, menacing bass line set the tone, and that tone is that of all the nights you've concluded by ending up in some stranger's bed, whose name you can't remember in the cold grey dawn of morning. The song doesn't end, it drifts off into howling guitar hurricane land. "You're destroying me:" more guitar- and drums-driven stomp. Lyrically, it's pretty much a summary of most of last year for me, which year I spent a lot of drunk in Roman gutters, recovering from a knife to the heart.

This review is way too long, but this is also one of the best records I've heard recently. The Fagettes are good musicians with a deft sense of subtle humor, and deserve a long discussion of their songs.

Buy the tape from Stimulation Addict Records or alternatively, get the songs via their original releases, from the Fagettes themselves, here.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Petition against U.S. internet crackdown

Hi everyone,

No music today (tomorrow and/or Saturday). Instead, I want to call yr attention to (yet another) bill before the U.S. Senate that would make it a felony to stream media on the internet.

If you download music, use youtube, or otherwise do anything remotely connected to the internet and music, I demand that you sign this thing (especially if you're a US citizen):

And this one, too!:


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Seven Minutes of Decay-Newly Industrialized EP (2012)

It's a bit too close to spring for me to be spinning this piece of minimalist brutality on the reg, but come autumn, I think that it'll be getting heavy rotation[on iTunes].

Part of what is, as far as I can tell, a collective going by Ratordog, Seven Minutes of Decency goes in for ultra low-fi, squalling noise. It's a violent re-working of Pere Ubu's classic "Sentimental Journey", with the aid of 30 years' worth of advances in music technology. Screeching feedback, crumbling pottery, smashed glass, someone fingerbanging a windchime: I hear all these noises and a helluva lot more in the fourteen tracks, none of which clock in at over 59 seconds (let alone one minute!).

If this week is looking to be as hellish for you as the winter of 2011-12 was for me, then this is right up your alley. For terminal misanthropes and music-haters everywhere.

Get it here.

Each Other-Taking Trips EP (2012)

Montreal's Each Other, like their clear predecessors Women, defy easy categorization, and it took me a few listens to navigate my way around this, Prison Art's re-release of their debut cassette. My overwhelming impression is that this is the result of weathering savage Montreal winters by creating something as idiosyncratically sunny as possible.

Clanging, ramshackle drums; off-note after off-note; off-kilter, slightly high-pitched vocals; and tinny, discretionary guitar: these are the main ingredients in Each Other's sound. The opening chords of "Looking Lapsed" set you up for some sort of folky misery, but lazy-day-at-the-beach pop is where the EP goes.

"Freak Heat" is the best track on "Taking Trips:" mewled vocals, chimey maraccas [sic?], and a boppy guitar riff yield to crunching sheet metal[?] beats and the result is sorta like the goofy grin and warm feeling you get after dropping a Klonopin or two.

I mentioned Women above, but the main influence I hear is the Unicorns, especially their first album, "Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone?" The same free-form approach to post-punk is evident all over "Taking Trips," along with the intentionally ramshackle song construction. A lot of this EP is too cutesy for my tastes, but that's a matter of preference. For young lovers everywhere.

Download it here. Buy the real deal HERE.