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Still Single: Vol. 7, No. 6

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This week, Mosurock and his mates have updates on The Feeling of Love, Comet Gain, Bill Orcutt and many more.

Still Single: Vol. 7, No. 6

Absent Without Leave
’Neath the Tumbling Stars 12” EP

Pleasant, song-based light drone, guaranteed to trigger tears in about half of you. No real buildup here, just some really precious melodies repeated in a pristine environment of reverb and clear, sincere tones. It’s the product of one George Mastrokostas of Greece, who I hope to hear more from in the future – he’s got a handle on this sort of thing that is worth visiting and re-visiting. Beautiful embossed sleeve, hand-numbered out of 454 copies. (http://www.three-four.net)
(Doug Mosurock)

Blue Yo Speakers LP
(Sonic Lozenge)

MPC noise/lopsided beat strategies from Audiocrip, who hails from LA (cred listed on the one sheet), and now resides in Portland, weirding things out beyond G-funk and GTA into a mode of individual expression. Noisier and a bit more aggressive than expected, this still falls comfortably around the whole left coast electro-bizarro mentality. The smoke must really be that good out there, huh. Cool but not necessarily essential. Blue vinyl. (http://www.soniclozenge.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

“(I Feel Like) Laying Low” b/w “Dopamine Boomerang” 7”
(Licking River)

Lonerman (meaning alone + also a man) spiritual cramp with a guitar or three, and a wooden heart used to keep the beat. Said man sings on “Laying Low,” the stronger of the two tracks here, and the one with an actual skeleton of songwriting, off which these crossed-up, folk-chanting sounds amount to a good deal of passion. The flip is some tossed-off amp burn set to a djembe loop, you can forget it. Interesting sounds that might have you running for your Savage Republic records to find their probable inspiration. 300 copies. (http://lickingriver.wordpress.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Bad Banana
Cry About It 7” EP
(Puzzle Pieces)

Four wonderful pop songs here by an Alabama-via-Brooklyn group with a lot to offer in just being who they are, and being into what they do, on this record. Passionate bursts of tuneful, momentous bashing going on here, with insistent drums, satisfying riffs, and strong vocals. All four songs bristle with accomplishment, and make me look forward to what they’ve got going on next. What can I say, they remind me of my youth. (http://puzzlepiecesrecords.bigcartel.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Bad Drumlin Grass
“All Night Long” b/w “All Night Long (Edited)” 7”
(Milvia Son)

I’m sure the guys in Bad Drumlin Grass would love that their Sun City Girls fandom has been recognized by a kindred soul, but herein lies the tradeoff: this weird, weird musical act is better served on previous releases, but this 7” is being given away for free from the label presumably run by the band, so while this isn’t anyone’s best introduction to Bad Drumlin Grass, but it’s also the lowest risk for a tangible product since that free Wooden Shjips 10”. Bass, synth and drums perform low-level rambunctious troublemaking while a singer talks his way through a heavy acid trip (very likely) and holds you hostage for the duration of the song, or maybe the implication of its title. It’s like walking into the wrong apartment and seeing things that can’t be unseen. Naked women adorn the cover art. Free record right here, get your free record. (http://www.milviason.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Janina Angel Bath
Gypsy Woman LP/10”
(Prophase Music)

Right about now I expected the nth-string Grouper clones to surface, and Ms. Bath fills those sandals quite well. Hippie nonsense, extended raga drones and some terrible lyrics come together for a big folk-psych comedown, one which takes itself seriously to the point of silliness and derision. I hope to never listen to this again. Crazy colored vinyl in a gatefold sleeve. (http://prophasemusic.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Michael Beach
“A Horse” b/w “The Exhilarating Rise” 7”
(Spectacular Commodity/Twin Lakes)

Singery/songwritery dude backed only by guitar and drums. Laidback A-side “A Horse” reminds me a little of the Lapse, a band I wished was better than they really were. “The Exhilarating Rise” is better, building and tightening up to no release ala Bedhead, complete with a catchy melody. Something Richard Thompson might leave on the cutting room floor, but a curio nonetheless, and a song that actually lives up to its title. Not bad. Limited to 200 copies. (http://www.twinlakesrecords.com)
(Mike Pace)

Black Pus
Primordial Pus LP

Lightning Bolt’s Brian Chippendale returns with yet another solo effort, which at this point I’m starting to enjoy more than his main musical outlet. Where you can kinda tell where LB tracks might go at this point, the music of Black Pus has a much more surprising feel to it, and while Chippendale’s drumming will remind you of … well, his other band, the triggers set on these drums and the crazy effects they set off allows him to adjust his grind to be as coarse as possible, touching on the cornerstones of dub, tribalistic worship, and stormin’ metallic crunch. Core fans will not be disappointed, and the maximalist display of neck-breaking concussive percussives will be sure to upset your downstairs neighbors worse than that time you flooded the commode. (http://www.loadrecords.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

“Shadow” b/w “Nights & Days” 7”
(Sub Pop)

First of the second wave of the wave wave wave wave wavo waverz? Sure. Curious as to why Portland duo (a producer plays a third role) with a real estate profile in its bio, though. Is this single what you can do with a 6,000 square foot warehouse space, then? It’s cool, serviceable chillshoetrianglewavegaze, pushing down all the keys on the keyboard in order to evoke totalitarian moods on a banana republic budget, while trying to cram 10 years’ worth of musical expression (1985-1995) into three minutes of music. One would almost expect them to fail outright. Both sides are OK but I’ll bet they were a quick pickup to ride the eternal opening slot for Dum Dum Girls as Dee Dee eventually becomes famous. White vinyl. (http://www.subpop.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Sanders Bohlke
“Quiet Ye Voices” b/w “The Weight of Us” 7”
(Communicating Vessels)

What’s the first thing you’d associate with a name like Sanders Bohlke? Not “fun,” that’s for sure (more likely Verbena, the stalled Alabama major label band of which Bohlke was once a member). Two dour, melancholy tracks of infinite sadness that might appeal to guys who used to shop at Eddie Bauer, and Methodist girls who grew up with lakes in their backyards. The pseudo-portentousness of “The Weight of Us” is enough to sink a freighter full of Twilight fans as quickly as I can predict the by-the-numbers chord progression. Perhaps Mr. Bohlke should take a cue from that other famous Sanders (not Larry, but the Colonel) and get into the chicken game. People don’t need more music like this, people need to eat. (http://www.communicatingvessels.net)
(Mike Pace)

“Layman’s Terms” b/w “Nothing” 7”

Kind of what I expected, but I feel like I’ve heard enough of Eddy Current Suppression Ring at this point and that they can’t help but make the same record over and over anymore, which is why I’m not just happy but grateful for the existence of Brendan Suppression’s side project, Boomgates. This is their second single and it’s just as good as their first – again, no ground really being broken here, the Boomgates sound anchored on mid-period Superchunk and the dynamics of male/female lead vocals. “Layman’s Terms” has a wonderful, wandering bass line as its guitars snarl and chime, and is over before you know it. “Nothing” gets a bit more personal, a bit darker, but still maintains the shape of its container. Some people never stopped caring about indie pop sounds, their makes and models, and which ones sound best together. Hopefully a full-length is around the corner. (http://www.smartguyrecords.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Bridesmaid/Sun Splitter
split 7”
(Bastard Sloth)

“Bridesmaids” was a great movie! I laughed a lot and I felt something. Also I wish Tim Heidecker just made faces in the backgrounds of movies. There should be some sort of way to skin Netflix so you can just digitally add him into the film or TV show of your choice. Imagine “The Wire” with Tim Heidecker standing around. But we got a review to write here, between a bass-heavy tech sludge trio called Bridesmaid, and noise-doom outfit. Sun Splitter. Bridesmaid have zero guitars but two bass guitars, and what’s smart about them is that they don’t try to ignore the bass’s responsibility to rhythm. So these guys plow away at them, locked in with hard mid-tempo drumming, making good use of the space afforded them and creating a more memorable effort than most of its kind I’ve heard recently. It’s also memorable for its really muddy recording, and while I don’t need things to be sparkling like chrome, I could use for a cleaner production than Chrome, if you get me, Chromeo. Hey, how about that Microsoft Bing commercial where they want you to start a social network through the browser, and the woman says “I really love that new Chromeo song”? Sun Splitter are probably not gonna do that. Heavy guitar, machine-gunning noise and oscillations, set to a drum machine in sunset mode, nah, that’s not conducive to a social anything. This is feel-bad music designed to facilitate your killing spree. It also sounds really gnarly and muddy. Was that intentional? Weird. Anyway, here’s a record for you nihilists out there. (http://bastardsloth.blogspot.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Brute Heart
Lonely Hunter LP
(Soft Abuse)

Second album from this curious, arty Minneapolis postpunk-via-folk trio. Wonderful music: violin-led (and often plucked) tiptoes through politics and betrayal of the social contract. They are kindred spirits with another great band (Grass Widow), who pursue a similarly careful path and a highly specific sound. Much like Grass Widow, Brute Heart also uses the move to a slightly larger label to repeat the successes of their self-released first album Brass Beads, an issue that is only evident to people outside of the band/circle of friends who became aware of their music. Admittedly, a lot of bands do this, but there’s such a deliberate nature to Brute Heart’s music that those familiar with both records won’t be able to ignore it. Then again, how many of those people are out there? Great music from a very cool trio, likening (again) to the work of the Billotte sisters, particularly Mira (Quix*o*tic, White Magic). (http://www.softabuse.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Christmas Island/Meth Teeth
split 2x7”
(Sacred Bones)

Christmas Island gets up to a respectable, Feelies-esque strum storm on “Drawing Skulls,” while Meth Teeth rolls through a sleepy, Sebadoh-quality guitar pop number on “Don’t Come Home” and a melancholy bulldozer on “Control.” Since the first Christmas Island song here isn’t too great, at least in comparison to some of the duds sitting in the pile, I have nothing more to say about it. Honestly I would have put this out as a single 7”, but I don’t run Sacred Bonz. If I did, a lot of things would change. For starters, this set would have come with a tube of Krazy Glue for you to make a hard choice with. (http://www.sacredbonesrecords.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Circle Pit
“Sewercide” b/w “Roll With the Punches” 7”
(Sweet Rot/R.I.P. Society)

This is the first Circle Pit record I’m really feelin’ at all. “Sewercide” captures some of my favorite sounds in rock music (Steel Pole Bath Tub’s noirish monstrosities, and the blown-speaker authority of Royal Trux) and rolls them together into a filthy, relentless rocker that is immensely satisfying. “Roll With the Punches” runs that same noise-hog sound through the Gary Glitter rollerskate factory and comes out with another winner. This may be the only Circle Pit record as far as I’m concerned. (http://www.myspace.com/sweetrotrecords)
(Doug Mosurock)

Comet Gain
I Never Happened 7” EP
(What’s Your Rupture)

Comet Gain appeared in 1992, as American indie rock was becoming the most exciting non-hip-hop music is the Western world. (Stand aside, Riverdance fans). Ever since, this English act has been making mega-smart indie cutiepunk as well or better than anyone on this side of the pond – they are the Mekons without the country fetishism and with a background in riot boi Nineties-isms; C-86, Sarah Records, nth-gen tapes of Motown albums, the world’s biggest Orange Juice fandom – it’s all in there. The title track on this EP is a stunner, NZ campfire acoustic guitars, nostalgic synth-cloud and singer David Feck admitting his faults, blown saves and misfires. It’s the most ’93-college-DJ-flipping-through-the-Ajax-catalog song you will hear this year or next. Track 2 is a two part singalong goof (with a sax!) featuring Love is All hanging out on the A-side and Crystal Stilts on the flip. The closer is a throwaway cover of “Love Vigilantes,” which is funny, as the synths on “I Never Happened” are all the New Order tribute this spiffy little record needed. [Air kiss noise]. (http://whatsyourrupture.bigcartel.com)
(Joe Gross)

Holy City LP
(Exit Stencil)

This is not the Company from NYC, not that great country/roots/pop band that existed for long enough to release at least two albums, and whose impeccable songwriting will now be confused with this South Carolina outfit, desperately trying to get on the circuit. I’m biased and probably dislike this more than I should due to the name swipe; nomenclature clashes with bands should be avoided whenever possible, and those who’d like to follow that rule should know about enough other bands. This is a tinny bootleg GBV sounding thing but sounds incredibly arch and calculated, which is why they opened at least one show for Band of Horses, and had a previous record on Fat Possum. I hope nobody’s licking their chops for a big payday here because this is still too precious to make it through, but the band is squeezing out their last drops of blood for that golden machine. When the singer slipped into John Lennon mode I considered putting my head through the wall. Pink vinyl. 300 copies. Get your own name, band. (http://www.exitstencil.org)
(Doug Mosurock)

“Good Riddance” b/w “I Hate You” 7”
(Katorga Works)

Dudes from Natural Law and the Nomos slam to some chugging mid-tempo hatred. “Good Riddance” burns with the primary-colored precision of the Hives and the unbridled anger of the Cro-Mags until maybe 20 seconds out, when it bursts to the finish in a hardcore blaze. “I Hate You” has more of an even keel, and aside from the aggression of the vocals, sounded a lot like that Brain Handle 7” on Iron Lung – maybe not as grunge but on the same side of the room, metallic urges being met and punched out by punk. Cool shit brah. (http://katorgaworks.bigcartel.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Matt De Gennaro
Adversaria LP
(TU 134)

Some people fly under the radar by accident, some by design. Matt De Gennaro’s been making music since the 90s, and has collaborated with the likes Alastair Galbraith and Scott Tuma, but he makes even those homebodies look like gauche self-promoters. Which is both a shame and entirely a propos, because while this lovely record, like everything else I’ve heard him do, is well worth hearing, it probably wouldn’t sound like it did if it was made by a guy with a more boosterish frame of mind. De Gennaro lives in a 150 year-old, one-room schoolhouse in Michigan, where he studies ancient philosophy for fun and records music that defies easy dating to decade or century. “Streichzither and “Sweetbreads,” for example, are played on a viola da gamba, and each sounds like it could have been a hit before Shakespeare was born. Each bowed note rings out with a resonance that could doubtless be explained by tuning nerds, but who wants explanations when the music takes you back to a time when nothing smelled like gasoline? An acoustic guitar instrumental called “Jimmie Rodgers in Sierra Leone” uses backwards tape and frontwards harmonica to point in at least two directions not suggested by the title; follow its pointing vectors and you’ll be so dizzy, you’ll hug a tree for balance. Flying Saucer Attack might have raised the flag for rural psychedelia in England, but it flies in Michigan now. But the one that really gets me is “I Hear You J. Starck,” on which some wheezy keyboard (A clavioline? Harmonium?) on a slowed-down tape sounds a funeral hymn straight out of the Scottish highlands; a crackle in the background suggests that the pier has already been lit. 350 copies. (http://www.tu-134.de)
(Bill Meyer)

Diamond Catalog
Magnified Palette LP

After a while all the strange records that come to Still Single via Dusted can sometimes start to blend together, so I had to check myself when dropping the needle on this Diamond Catalog LP. Here we have a virtual ecosystem of electronics and field recordings woven together against insistent and occasionally dark drum programming, which veers from subdued 4/4 house to wound-up drum & bass. Not sure which direction these folks came at first, but it’s a winner, a best-of-both-worlds experiment that is far more successful than you might think. Bang on, planet Earth. (http://www.nnatapes.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Dow Jones and the Industrials
Let’s Go Steady 7” EP
(Family Vineyard)

Straight reissue of a corn belt post-punk classic. Two long, pensive, arty brooders, loaded with weird synths and strange, alluring, primary-source wavo tension, bookend the KBD barnburner “Can’t Stand the Midwest.” Record’s got a cool Pere Ubu style feel to it. Totally recommended, especially at this price. Full discography coming this year on Family Vineyard, but this is worth having on its own. (http://family-vineyard.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Drunk Elk
“Seneca’s Last Breath” b/w “I Want To Be Your Pet” 7”

Tasmanian group that’s mentioned in the same breath as The Native Cats, likely due to proximity. If I was going to name this band I’d call them This Kind of Self-Punishment. Torture, the austerity of New Zealand’s singer-songwriter elite bumped down to LiveJournal/”pleeease love meeeee” emotions. Can’t get behind this. (http://www.quemadarecords.blogspot.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

The Electrocutions
“Forgotten City” b/w “Days Like These” 7”

Five-piece, bright/alert, above-average pop-punk band that probably has been through their fair share of the classier late ’70s British punk and pogo, and some Fucked Up records too. Gruff vocals break it down about how cities die and outsourcing kills dreams. Kid Congo Powers is co-producer and might be responsible for the cleanliness in presentation of these two songs, and there’s kind of a power-pop lean to the songs, maybe more in their play mechanics than in its heart. You’ll get over it, I guess. (http://windianrecords.blogspot.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Eleven Twenty-Nine
s/t LP
(Northern Spy)

Guitar duo of Tom Carter (Charalambides) and Marc Orleans (NNCK, D. Charles Speer and the Helix) blast all the air out of the room with extended improvisations and occasional folk/bluegrass rambles. Most of the tracks here are electric, and you can’t blame them for wanting to tear the carpet off the floors with the kind of noisepocalypse they throw down here (especially “Leaf in a Whirlwind,” which sounds fitting given the skree that such a title accounts for). They touch on some Cooder-isms elsewhere (“Eyes on a Cabbage Head”) and the rest of the record is spent in astral conversation with the spirit of their fallen comrade Jack Rose. Extraordinary players smackin’ it down for a friend, no harm in that. Comes with digital download that includes two more tracks. (http://www.northern-spy.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Esben & the Witch
Chorea 12” EP

“Chorea” is the second or maybe third single from the E&TW album on Gothador, and it’s emblematic of the album as a whole – the mood is right there, but is so specific that it sometimes comes at the cost of stronger songwriting or danceable rhythms. This track comes closer than others by them (save “Warpath”) but needs a good remix to get it all out. Another LP track, “Eumenides,” gets worked over by Mogwai here, but it’s hard for them to save such doomy ambiance apart from slow, crunching Reznor-style drum beats in there. You’d think Mogwai could make things heavier. Things get more interesting and more abstract on the sidelong “Corridors Installation,” a truly mesmerizing piece of free-floating death chill, bass attacks, and racing drum machine. It’s their best track to date, and the group would be wise to ask themselves why before proceeding any further. (http://www.matadorrecords.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Everything Falls Apart
“Ghost” b/w “Brace Position” 7”
(EFA/One Percent Press)

Mid-tempo noisy punk from Buffalo that does absolutely nothing for me. Bellowing guy, unmemorable melodies, blah blah blah. On the A-side we “go down with the ship” and on the flip “this plane is going down.” Next time take a road trip, guys. “Brace Position” devolves into some decent cacophony after a rudimentary chord progression is repeated ad nauseum. According to the band’s handwritten on wide ruled paper press release, this is Everything Fall Apart’s fifth release in five years; take that as you will. (http://www.everythingfallsapart.org)
(Mike Pace)

Fat History Month
“Safe & Sound” b/w “Here Comes the Sun” 7”
(Bedroom Suck/Ex-Kids)

Boston-via-Philly duo of majestic, nautical indie rock meandering, who recorded these songs and let them sit for a while before being inexplicably released on the Bedroom Suck label from the vicinity of Brisbane, Australia. I lived through this whole sound once and wasn’t particularly excited about coming back to it, so there’s not much going on here to recommend unless you really miss opening-strength bands of the late ’90s, or being one of a handful of people at a Victory at Sea show. Silkscreened covers, no big deal (really). (http://bedroomsuckrecords.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

The Feeling of Love
Dissolve Me LP
(Kill Shaman)

Third full-length offering by this French trio who blew the doors off last year with OK Judge Revival. This new one, Dissolve Me, doesn’t attempt to push things in any more of a violent or spontaneous direction, and is the most smoothed out record the group has made to date. That’s alright; it doesn’t seem like they were trying to repeat themselves (admirable gesture) and their stabs at polishing up a Velvets-centric rock sound – think of this one as Loaded compared to the last one’s White Light/White Heat – and yes, I know that is not a fair or accurate representation, but I don’t care. Songs are a great deal more pop this time around, little to no bashing aggression but rather the sound of a group of people finding ways to be different and more accessible without boring one another. One thing the Feeling of Love did carry over from the last one are the hard, grinding, slow psychedelic numbers, and on the B side of Dissolve Me they take over this record and make sure your memories of it are ground into paste. I’ll give them points for trying something a little new, and if it’s not as successful as previous records, the path is still clear enough for them to follow back with hopefully yet another mutation of the form next go-round. (http://killshaman.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Four Eyes
Towards the End of Cosmic Loneliness… 7” EP
(Puzzle Pieces)

Four songs, with what I hope are eight healthy and functioning eyes (16 if you count the specs) behind ’em. Big riffs, big heart. Nothing new at all, but a very nice and refreshing spin on a Chapel Hill-minded indie rock band bashing it out. Very easy to love, unless you hate making mixtapes, or fun in general. (http://puzzlepiecesrecords.bigcartel.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Fungus Brains
Ron Pistos Real World LP

This ain’t Agnes DiPesto’s Real World, baby! Fungus Brains popped up around Melbourne in the early ’80s after the Sick Things broke up, and their ’83 debut LP they were a band that played simple, Stooge-like two-chord pummel with glorious, two-fisted release and a tense, dry sound for some uncertain times in cultural history. They have a singer in Geoff Marks who seems intensely influenced by Nick Cave, but this was still pretty early on for the Birthday Party in the scheme of things, so it’s kind of novel in that regard. There’s also both sax and trumpet – in every song – on this record, which I know takes some people out of the moment. But if you can get past that, you will find that this band had no problems whatsoever deploying power, a band able to sound mean as fuck, right beneath the tip of “piss-raw” dynamics, with room for weirdness on top. You can thank future Dirty Three guitarist Mick Turner for being one-half of this group’s two guitarists, and you should hope that this helps to release a few of the originals into the wild, which I would prefer. 650 copies on this, includes two bonus tracks from the same sessions. (http://www.loadrecords.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Gemini Wolf
Invisible Sand Dunes LP

Philly duo of indeterminate genre (their bio praises the group’s ability to perform in whatever seems to be the hottest mode at the moment, be it psychedelic rock or techno) rocks the triangles pretty hard on this eight-song LP, pushing the issue of all-night cabaret chill on side A, and a full-on frigid, minimalistic whisper of backwards notes and rudimentary dub riddims on side B. I’d have a bit of a hard time distinguishing them from other groups in a lineup, but there are some really nice, darkly meditative moments here, and on “Doppelganger Walk,” vocalist Mikronesia (you will refer to her partner as Pandar) channels Toni Halladay from Curve. Clear vinyl, clear sleeve, and if you don’t have enough records (or too many, at that), this is a good one to own. (http://www.earsnake.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

“Cave Kids” b/w “Eat Around the Bad Parts” 7”
(Black Bell)

New England indie rock action right here, sounding like a band that knows a bit about music and is trying to write songs that have the elements of ’90s and ’00s guitar-led strum without directly copying any of it. Alas, this leads to somewhat of a boring listen, songs that don’t really stand up, even with mild lo-fi arguments lifting at their skins. Versus was this boring of a band, too. (http://blackbellrecords.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

The Great Book of John
“Let Me Slide” b/w “On and On” 7”
(Communicating Vessels)

Another limp Communicating Vessels release with more packaging than necessary. These guys make the Starbucks label sound like Earache in its prime. This is moody, violin-y, supernatural super serious Radiohead-y stuff that sounds too mature for its own good. Lighten up John, why so glum, chum? Pick up a couple Randy Newman records, go watch “The Jerk” again, crack some jokes on stage, and make fun of yourself, because I’m finished making fun of you for now. This record, much like this review, sucks. (http://www.communicatingvessels.net)
(Mike Pace)

Happy Noose
s/t LP
(Dead End Social Club)

Nth stringer pop punk with a rootsy, smoky Dinosaur Jr. feel at points, and with the same sort of feeling in the vocals – non-descript, bored, anxious, less than relevant. Really hard to find much to say about these songs, particularly when they share a town with a band like Milk Music, who has saturated and supercharged this formula into their own thing. There’s no ownership or authority here, merely tenants who don’t get along with the landlord. Comes in the kind of sleeve that’ll ensure it stays in the used bin for a while. (http://deadendsocialclub.blogspot.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

High Tension Wires
Welcome New Machine LP

Third LP by this side project band of the Marked Men, Riverboat Gamblers and certainly some others. Do the detective work yourself, because this time it’s hardly worth mentioning: their first LP Send a Message was a flat-out rager, and their second Midnight Cashier featured at least one mind-blastingly simple, perfect pop song in “Old Enough to Be Home Alone.” Welcome New Machine kicks off with a little bit of “Rodney on the ROQ”-steeped wavo punk on “Get Weird,” but the rest of the record sounds like a band on autopilot, blasting through catchy-in-the-moment but utterly disposable pop-punk. Three albums is not a good look for a band with enough steam for maybe one great record and a single. If anyone wants a red vinyl edition, I’m down to trade. Pixelated cover art is not a good look. (http://www.dirtnaprecs.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

The Hood Internet & Kid Static
“Chi City” b/w “Tonight is Enough” 7”
(Two Thumbs Down)

Has there ever been a more appropriately named label than Two Thumbs Down Records? If Ebert ever hears this 7”, I’m sure he’d take to Twitter or his website and write some vitriolic screed (actually, Ebert doesn’t have time for shit like this). More interestingly, what would Siskel (R.I.P.) think of this? Knowing that Gene was not a hip-hop fan (just look up his review of Who’s the Man? on YouTube), he probably wouldn’t have dug it. Actually, A-side “Chi City” is pretty good; nice horn-laden melody, while some decent new-school MC raps his witty raps on top. B-side “Tonight is Enough” is a little more generic, but definitely would not get these guys booed off the stage at the Apollo, unless they were wearing Steve Harvey-style suits. Don’t forget to rub the tree trunk! (http://thehoodinternet.bandcamp.com)
(Mike Pace)

Holy Balm
“Hand Over Fire” b/w “Strange Water” 7”
(Hustle Muscle)

Australian kids run with the general blueprint laid down by homeland duo Fabulous Diamonds, but take things further out on a trippy, dazed, house music-oriented tangent. Unlike Fab D, whose dance inclinations I’ve seen take shape only in the live setting, Holy Balm puts it all out front, proudly brandishing a drum computer and wobbly, dueling synth phrasing beneath vocals which bob across the surface, four paths of hot confusion resolved beneath the 4/4 kick. Stunning, and I wish it were a 12” so these songs could really let themselves loose. Your new dancefloor weapon is somehow still in print. (http://hustlemuscle.bigcartel.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Huckleberry Friends
Vision 7” EP

Three women from Canada go through the motions of post-punk boredom. Three listless songs of low inspiration and foreign emotions, played with little to no conviction. Tedious and tired, they moan on and on through the most basic fragments of melody into a dead end. Hard to keep things going when the spirit of your music is standing in a corner and doesn’t know why. 200 copies, no export (please). (http://pleasencerecords.tumblr.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Hunters/Dead Wife
split 7” EP
(Swill Children)

Hunters = NYC band, prone to SY-esque fits of feedback/chaos, but are mostly some unmemorable, slightly tougher indie rock than what many are used to. Produced by James Iha and mixed by Nick Zinner, neither of whom could work any real magic on these. Two songs, both pretty trendy/boring, as is this label’s wont. Dead Wife = Montreal band, already issued one really dismal 7” and these three incompetent, barely perceptible tracks of lady-led basement thrash trash are not any better. For as loud as they scream and as hard as they hit the drums, their lack of attention to detail and meager songwriting chops undermine them at every turn. 0 for 2, comes in a printed bag. (http://swillchildren.org)
(Doug Mosurock)

Icon Gallery
s/t LP
(Dear Skull)

Long-awaited album by this Pittsburgh band, lodged between the ethics and dirty fringes of peace punk and a more driven, seasonal angst characterized by the Wipers. Chani Ferencz’s impassioned vocal delivery and wide range helps to set Icon Gallery leagues apart from their contemporaries – she’s like the Nancy Wilson of this time/place. Beautiful sleeve and classy, crisp production from the guy who did the Slices LP round off this one. Very much recommended. (http://www.myspace.com/dearskullrecords)
(Doug Mosurock)

Induced Labour
s/t 7” EP

For those who look forward to moments of agita, here’s some ungainly basement racket from Toronto, featuring a woman who delivers a ball-curdling crusty-screamo yell which tails off into a Rebby Sharp cackle, and the one OK person from Black Cat #13. Diarrhea bass plows through pounding drums and drowned out guitar (and maybe some electronics, but things are so muddily mixed that it’s hard to tell). Had you told me this was written and recorded in 1998, available exclusively through the pages of Bottlenekk Distribution, I would not be surprised in the slightest. I dare you to recall any of it once it’s over, but the record’s imagery, a representation of what it must look like to be suffocated by afterbirth, leaves all the memory these folks would probably like you to take away from this anyway. Silkscreened sleeve and insert, red vinyl. (http://pleasencerecords.tumblr.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

In Tall Buildings
“Warm Rock” b/w “The Way to a Monster’s Lair (Bedroom Version)” 7”

Solo recordings from some Chicago guy, redoing songs on earlier albums that nobody’s heard unless they know him. “Warm Rock” is pretty stunning, though, and warrants attention, the performer Erik Hall successfully wedging himself between two significant American songwriters – Will Oldham in his weariness, and Joel R.L. Phelps in his anxiety – and showing his hand at quick/dirty arrangements as well. Flip side ain’t nearly as successful, but if you are putting the music together for a pilot or maybe a season finale, I’m sure Hall will want to hear from you. ()
(Doug Mosurock)

Invisible Polytechnic
Perform In C by Terry Riley LP
(Junior Aspirin)

Large British ensemble scales the infinite peaks of Riley’s famed composition, carrying on the original’s sense of whimsical urgency and a polite yet curious air throughout both sides. Those expecting “new music ensemble”-type instrumentation and presence can breathe easily here, as Mark Pilkington and co. are not out to do more but present the exacting majesty of the piece in respectable terms, via a large chamber and choral ensemble. And in that sense, they win – indisputably. If you’ve never heard the piece, this and Riley’s original are good places to start, followed by the Styrenes’ version of it, and dead last, Acid Mothers Temple. (http://www.junioraspirin.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Culture Clubs 12” EP
(Lovers Rock)

Solo warped house and vinyl siding by Dusted scribe Daniel Martin-McCormick (Mi Ami, Sex Worker). “Culture Clubs” is a very chill, downtempo piece that wobbles and dips down low, DMM hitting the pitch bend for the entire track, to make you think something’s gone wrong with your turntable. But ride it out, and its gentle vibes will trail off away from you, bringing you back to Earth. “Eternally Yours” sinks in like a heated swimming pool, all luxuriously round tones and handclaps puddling at its base. Hieroglyphic Being’s remix of “Culture Clubs,” which closes this one out, is pretty mental, starting with fast rippin’ confusion and twisted samples that eventually slow down into something quite sublime. Bring your swimwear. 500 copies. (http://loversrockloversrock.wordpress.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

JJ & the Real Jerks
“The Future Is Now … (And It Stinks)” b/w “Honky” 7”
(Kung Pao Chicken Pickin’)

Band rocks along like Urge Overkill – no bullshit era, like their new record – but they don’t have their own Nash Kato. Sadly, no. No, no, no. No, this is some bullshit in line with, like, Gene Loves Jezebel, attempting to marry facets of metal to dumbed-down, singalong pop. Glow-in-the-dark vinyl, sounds really hissy. No me gusta. (http://www.myspace.com/jjandtherealjerks)
(Doug Mosurock)

Duquette Johnston and the Rebel Kings
“Roll Baby Roll” b/w “Rise Up Children” 7”
(Communicating Vessels)

Solid Lou Reed-meets-a-better-guitar-player-than-Lou Reed rip on the A-side, “Roll Baby Roll,” that it’s really, really good and ends almost too soon. That’s right Dookie, leave ’em wanting more! The flip, “Rise Up Children,” kicks in after an intro with a beautiful major chord wall of sound and it’s something to behold. I bet looooooser Arcade Fire fans would love this, but who gives a fudge? (Still haven’t actively listened to that band, and I never will; how’s that open-mindedness for ya?). Needlessly ornate packaging in the 4AD vein that doesn’t do these two meat n’ potatoes good time rockers justice. Czech it out! (http://www.communicatingvessels.net)
(Mike Pace)

Juju + Jordash
Release the Golem Part 1 12”
(Golf Channel)

First of four singles in a series (which will eventually include a DVD) from this Amsterdam duo, who somehow politicize dance music in a very deep and soulful way. Their press release, explaining the duo’s Israeli heritage and willingness to confront social issues, notes that these tracks come out of a rescoring of “Der Golem,” though the end result – small, hypnotic, chilled out phrases repeated on guitar, bass and keys, dutifully paced in the 5am wastes by intrepid drum machine. It’s a really gray day here, raining and humid and much colder than it’s been, so in this atmosphere, perhaps their music makes more impact. Either way, I’m coming back – “Chelm is Burning” is a very long, very satisfying track which leverages the difference between Crispy Ambulance/Section 25 bardo shuffle and the insistent energy of mid-80s Cabaret Voltaire and the centered presence of the Orb. “Chelm is Dubbing” adds some effects and synth passages to the root directory and takes a good thing out for a bit more of a walk. Well done, will be playing this out as soon as I can find a suitable mood. #’d 120 copies. (http://golfchannelrecordings.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Kommissar Hjuler und Mama Baer/Ninni Morgia & Sylvia Kastel
Two Couples split LP

You’ve gotta wonder what would be cooler: talking with the two couples that comprise both sides of the record, or listening to their music. In the case of guitarist Morgia, playing lightly off Silvia Kastel’s intense vocalizing and other treatments, it could go either way. And there’s never really a reason to listen to the broken, difficult sounds of Hjuler & Mama, even though they may have upwards of 600 releases out there. Think of all the things you can do with one side of a record if you knew you were never going to play that side again! (http://www.ultramarinerecords.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

“Speed of Tent” b/w “Spirit Animal” 7”
(Mammoth Cave)

Four guys from Edmonton put their best foot forward with this rockin’ single. “Speed of Tent” powers on between thundering drums and a relentless beat, and its bluesy counterpart, some really nice, aggressive stoned rock ’n’ roll. “Spirit Animal” jangles in the cave, building up a head of steam that proves to be incredibly heavy and dingy. I think I like Krang because it doesn’t sound like they were aiming to make hard psychedelic rock; it just ended up that way, and in doing so, any possible motives of pretense are voided out. Raw production keeps the punters at bay. Nice work. 300 numbered copies. (http://mammothcaverecording.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

La Ligne Claire
Cheri LP

A new-ish/no-ish French band plunks together unsteady junkshop/Dumpstered songs with a loose togetherness that can only come from practice, but an amateurish sensibility that says otherwise. My first instinct was Magik Markers territory, but the strictness of the drumming (played slowly, not an easy feat) and the consistency of themes within tell me otherwise: these two women and two men are in the process of writing their own musical language out of some fairly warped parts. No Wave to the core, but they’ve got better things to do than stand around trying to peel paint. Great effort that’ll appeal to a lot of you looking for something weird. (http://bruit-direct.org)
(Doug Mosurock)

Sterile 7” EP
(Jade Tree)

For many of you, this may be the first record on Jade Tree you’ve needed to own in some time. That’s fine, same here. Leather hails from Philadelphia and man, is this single somethin’. They have a singer that zeroes in on the best vocal nuances of JJ Cro-Mag, Chris Thomson AND Snake from Voivod, and the band behind him pulls a similar act, ricocheting across noise-rock, metal and tough-guy hardcore in a blinding fashion that, not long after, makes you realize that you haven’t heard another single band going at it in so many directions and winning in all of them for some time. Have absolutely no idea what they’d do on a full-length, but if it’s anything like this four-song EP, I gotta know. (http://www.jadetree.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Le Face/Dva Damas
split 7” EP
(Psychic Handshake)

Le Face: punk, as usual. Sounding pretty urgent against their internal discordance, this is a bumpy ride, and you’re in the bed of their truck. Heard some of their earlier work but this is quite memorable. Dva Damas does something politically interesting (put the guys on bass and drums, with the women up front) but burns it all on low-lit spookytime rumbling, like an X record on 16rpm. For Le Face fans, really. (http://www.myspace.com/psychichandshake)
(Doug Mosurock)

Andrew Liles
Monster Munch 7” EP

Composer Liles messes around with intense hand-drum rhythms (likely chopped up to produce the punishing effects they’ve got going on here) and circus organ to dangle you over the Dark Carnival by your nipples. Not too much fun, is it? The B-side ends up in some sort of adult-themed cabaret, with drum machine, sex breath, more of the broken rhythms, and enough innuendo to give a guy in a coma a hard-on. Recommended for fans of torture, because that’s what it is. Intense and distasteful poster sleeve, featuring cartoons of women deep-throating penis-eels. Red vinyl. (http://www.touretterecords.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Magnetic Stripper
Extended Play-R 7” EP

Self-proclaimed “VOX/ELECTRONIX (SYNTH DIY)” recorded over a two year span in San Francisco from one James Ellis, who has been at this music since its inception (his outfit Absolute Ceiling was active in Georgia in the early ’80s). One would predict that with such a depth of experience, and drive to continue in music for an unheard decade, that the artist might be able to develop a voice apart from the current generation of acolytes. One would be right, too – Ellis has had Magnetic Stripper as an active project since 1996, and his compositional stance and personal energy gives these four songs carry with them the sense of discovery, if not mastery, that led on the first waves of minimal synth, acid house, bleep techno, and other styles of music that relied on this technology to creep out in dividends. Ellis seems to have more interest in weird oscillator sounds than actual keyboardsmanship, but the exploratory vibes make for some really intense atmospheric pressure when it all gets going. Comes with a 1” badge, both sides end in locked grooves. Cool record! (http://www.a4suitcase.com/magnetic-stripper.html)
(Doug Mosurock)

Kawabata Makoto & Michishita Shinsuke
Maru Sankaku Shikaku LP
(Prophase Music)

Unholy racket at a very holy meeting between Acid Mothers Temple and LSD March kingpins, performed entirely on ancient acoustic string instruments. Two-sided affair: “Spiders Thread” stands in front of the yawning abyss with detuned drone and plectrum-chipping intensity, while “Rock of Fate” takes a more abstract but no less restive path. I call bullshit on the whole “acoustic only” thing as there is clearly a synthesizer mucking about on the latter. If you don’t care, have I got some Japanese improv for you. Green/white splatter vinyl. (http://prophasemusic.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

“Minority Rules” b/w “Hole” 7”
(Super Secret)

Two new ones from this long-standing Austin post-punk unit. Both tracks have the nervous energy of previous efforts, but this time the production is way too flat to coax any further excitement out of the songs. That’s why “Minority Rules,” with its lifeless, Wire-style bass runs and meandering rhythm, doesn’t work, and also why B-side “Hole” succeeds, a yowling, wall-scraping tribute to bands like Honor Role and the Wipers who pioneered punk and HC as a template to get difficult emotions across through those channels of music. 50/50 ain’t too bad sometimes. (http://www.supersecretrecords.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

2 7” EP
(Sorry State)

Found this one in the back of the box, long after I had intended to write a review. It’s never too late, though. Brawny Chicago hardcore (ex-Pedestrians, Civic Progress and Cardiac Arrest members) is on offer here, five songs of continuous, snarling, crustified rage, with accomplished musicianship that approximates the whole “automobile out of control” sound to a satisfying end. If they’re still playing Chaos in Tejas, I will be watching closely. (http://www.sorrystaterecords.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Maybe, Baby
Little Beerz 7” EP

“Over the Edge” style teen Stridex punk without the snotty vox. Think acne, not boogers. This is some Redd Kross-type shit – songs about homeroom, parties, girls, killing your best friend, farting (two people are credited with “fartwork” here), all sung by some shithead who might actually still be in high school. Good stuff that makes sense, and aurally sounds better than the legions of “no effort” bands just pushing “record.” Best liner note: “Bass donated by Wilson. It’s still in my room. Come get it!” (http://windianrecords.blogspot.com)
(Mike Pace)

The Mediums
Shiny Void Blues LP

I pulled this record out of its sleeve and barbeque sauce sprayed out the side like one of those dye packs that tellers throw in with the money they give to bank robbers. Reviews are canceled for the rest of the weekend. 23 out of 25 copies, let’s hope it stays that way. (email to pagan.surf@gmail.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Mental Powers
Homoh LP
(Badminton Bandit)

Four tough chunks of free guitar/reed-led improvisation and chord organ lean from this collective based in the outskirts of Perth. The looser tracks on side A like “Bodywash” are interchangeable with a lot of basement/laundry room practice sessions, but on side B’s “Hamneck” the group finds itself quite adept at percussive exactitude, and perform some redeeming start-stop moments; even if these are just a bunch of samplers going off, it’s a big step forward from anything else on board. The closer “Boogaknee” has more of this rinky-dink tin drummer stomp on display and it is mesmerizing to listen to. 150 copies, silkscreened sleeves. A lot of postage awaits whoever will purchase this for their own. (http://badmintonbandit.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

“Schoolyard (Club Mix)” b/w “Graveyard” 7”
(Katorga Works)

I really love this record. Merchandise continues to push for a grandeur in their sound that a lot of bands simply don’t have. Part of me wonders if it’s because I’m listening to guys from Cult Ritual playing something like the Pet Shop Boys, but I don’t care – “Schoolyard” retains the guitars and the Gucci for Unemployed Men vibe of their debut album and infuses it with decadence, through pulsing drum machines, breaded/battered noise atop simple, enraptured hooks, and a baggy PLUR feeling that’s hard to ignore. They’re at Britpop night at the club, and they brought their own song in “Schoolyard.” Flip it over and even the scraps are put to some killer reconstituted leftovers, a theme redone into beatless elegies, the sound of the night ending with a new party starting and the sun peeking up over the buildings and strip malls around you. Ascending from bathroom mirror crooning and layers of disintegrating pop, “Graveyard” eventually builds up into a fury of white noise, feedback and sonic violence, and feels remarkably true on such a presumptuous path. Excellent work all around, the work of people who have learned how to hammer through the wall of conceptual largesse and get to the heart of the music in their own language. I need the Record Store Day single if anyone is holding. (http://katorgaworks.bigcartel.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Mieze Katze
“Check Please” b/w “A Boy in Every Town” 7”

DIY/bedroom/basement duo hook-punk-as-genre, notable only because the singer is German and well, the Fatherland is simply not known for this sort of thing. “I have a boy in every town” sings Simone Huesler and yeah, hearing a gal who sings even a little like Nico warbling that is vaguely disconcerting, no matter how hand-made-knit-hat she tries to sound. Two songs that demand you nod your head, arms folded and clap very politely while checking your phone for a text from that person you wanna hook up with. You know the one. Ugly sleeve that screams “laid out on a Mac” does not help. (http://www.4-3records.com)
(Joe Gross)

A Short Collection of Short Songs 7” EP
(Animal Style Records)

Overly earnest boy/girl new-school mall emo-infused pop-punk that I’m sure would go over swell at “The Fest” or Hot Topic or wherever chubby beardos who are into this shit hang out these days. Make no mistake, this is watered down, radio-ready, most likely Xtian goofball stuff. Ironic song titles? Check (“The Real Hotel California”). Songs with cringe-worthy lyrics about being in a band/the midwest, sung without a trace of soul? Multiple. (Sample lyric: “remember when we made that drive/rest stop 75/that girl recognized me, it made me feel weird”). This stuff represents the worst drivksdgfgkjasue....ah shit, who am I kidding? I really like this. I’ve never actually heard Hot Water Music and think pop-punk reached its apex with Blink-182. Prove me wrong. Somewhere there’s a 14 year old kid who’s about to hear his new favorite band but doesn’t know it yet. Go for it, Mixtapes. (http://animalstyle.storenvy.com)
(Mike Pace)

Polio 7” EP
(20 Sided)

A scuzz-caked reverb-inflicted garage punk band from ’90s Ann Arbor; yes, those were the Monarchs. A French metal band which plays dinosaur-slow, epic songs; sure, that’s Monarch. So it looks like there’s no room for these bloodless Oakland jamokes to bore us with their re-re-re-re-retelling of some old indie rock 7”s they found at Amoeba. Stop playing music now before the lawsuits get too much to handle, guys, lawsuits which have everything, and yet, nothing to do with the need to change your band’s name. (http://www.20sidedrecords.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Annelies Monsere/Richard Youngs
split 10” EP

Monsere performs one composition on five different instruments, with different arrangements for each. It really keeps you in the song, called “Sand,” with its broken music box charms, and extends the melancholic flow across the whole side of this 10” without much effort. Would have loved to have heard all five instruments playing at the same time, but maybe that’s for another record. While not necessarily following in the footsteps of his pop album Beneath the Valley of the Ultrahits, Richard Youngs at least stays in song mode for “Be Brave, This World,” applying an arpeggiator to his guitar and causing it to pulse and skip out on the tone, giving things an electronic feel that isn’t really there but will ring familiar to anyone who’s spent time in the chill out room. Nice to hear Youngs stepping away from the ambient and noise projects and getting into something with melody for a change; he’s got little if anything left to prove at this point, and I hope he is following his heart with tracks like this. #’d edition of 521 copies. (http://www.three-four.net)
(Doug Mosurock)

Nine Fingered Thug
Bitter Ballads 7”
(Hollow Bunny)

Music from the Carolinas that dwells around the fringes of the “pigfuck” era, while attempting to make concessions away from it. There’s guitar, but it’s played through the clean channel, requiring the rest of the band – keys, bass, drums and some harsh Killdozer-style vocals – to carry the brunt of evil in their sound. It doesn’t totally work, but in another sense it totally does; there is little to complain about regarding their approach, but one wonders how much more of this Swans-lite pummel and misanthropy we really need out there. And check out this incredible Angelfire-style website: (http://www.hollowbunny.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

No Problem
Paranoid Times 7” EP
(Handsome Dan)

Canadians picking up the brash power-punk that Fucked Up has abandoned. They even have visual elements that recall Fucked Up’s logos. Pretty funny, but not that great to listen to if you have Fucked Up records within arm’s reach. (http://www.handsomedanrecords.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Oh Shit They’re Going To Kill Us
Cryptozoological Attack LP
(Dear Skull)

Pittsburgh area thrash return once again to the regional horror & sci fi convention and lay down six more extended blasts of fantasy-oriented monster tales. Proficient in both d-beat and galloping double kick metal, the guitarists seem to make some odd choices here and there, some of which work and some don’t. Overall the entire record is very throwbackish and in that sense, a good deal of fun for those who can pull out the stick and enjoy themselves a bit. Cool cover art, lots of endearing misspellings and grammatical flaws on the screened insert. (http://www.myspace.com/dearskullrecords)
(Doug Mosurock)

Bill Orcutt
“All Tongues” b/w “Tender Bottoms” 7”
“Tic Fit” b/w “Bored with the Moon” 7”

Four more sides of a carpenter sawing through your psyche. Bill Orcutt’s visceral threnodies alternate between barbed wire and lonesome lunar baying, maybe with a bit more separation between the styles than what was found on A New Way to Pay Old Debts. Here we sense skill turning into mastery, a language being refined after its creation. Orcutt still leaves the dried blood on the strings of that hotrodded Kay acoustic, and he walks right up and smacks you in the face on “Bored with the Moon” (listen, you’ll hear what I mean). Sold separately at live performances, Orcutt pressed up these two 7”s a few months back to coincide with some tour dates, in editions of 200 apiece. They’ll be for sale at live appearances until they are gone. You’ll know you got them there because his name is nowhere to be found on them. (http://palilalia.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Tell Your Folks I’m a Goner 7” EP
(Psychic Handshake)

Dirty like Vinnie’s boxers, Outdoorsmen know enough about “middle management” to address it, but do little else to convince you that they are ready to work. Dumb, rude, boorish songs with lots of filthy, caked-on noise and titles like “Stink Up the Bathroom.” It’s Termbo in 7” single form. Tell your folks I’m at Gonerfest. (http://www.myspace.com/psychichandshake)
(Doug Mosurock)

Overnight Lows
“Slit Wrist Rock ’n’ Roll” b/w “I’ll Be Everything” 7”

Good time/nighttime rockin’ from a long-running Mississippi garage band who’ve been held back from the world until recently. These are great songs, kinda out of control with the Ohio rock references – aside from the vocals, “Slit Wrist R&R” could be a Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments song. They make quick, fanatical work of Ed Nasty and the Dopeds’ KBD classic on the flip. Way 2 Go. (http://www.goner-records.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Pleasure Leftists
s/t 12” EP
(Fan Death)

Deathrock revivalists from Cleveland get it all right, even down to the compressed production of the decade’s output to which they so tenaciously cling. The band is strident and leans in a rock direction (doesn’t seem to be any synths here, probably for the best) in what could be construed as blatant Siouxsie worship. That’s fine. The vocals are feminine yet very deep-throated and oddly inflected; coupled with verbose tendencies, their singer sounds like Natasha from The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle, and may take some of you out of the moment. That said, the band has good energy and the sound is alluring, making this a must-hear for anyone of the Goth persuasion. (http://www.fandeathrecords.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Bern Porter & Mark Melnicove
Music for Children of All Ages Vol. 1 LP
(Turned Word)

The more you look for information on poet/scientist/corpse Bern Porter, the more you’ll find. Here’s a man who lived every corner of the 20th century, developing the practice of found poetry and enhancing the art through his own words (he was called Duchamp’s equal in the written word). He worked on the Manhattan Project, apparently knew Albert Einstein, published Henry Miller’s first US editions, and led a dual life in art and physics the likes of which one rarely sees anymore. Porter passed away in 2004, but the former Maine resident left behind a body of work which is still being exhumed – this recording of spoken word and random backgrounds being part of it, most of it made in the ’80s. Go straight to “The Last Acts of Saint Fuck You” for maximum lid-rippage. Not really for children. Paste-on sleeve, and a collection of Porter-esque “founds” within. (http://www.turnedword.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

“Angelbaby” b/w “Over-the-Counter Culture Jam” 7”
(Velocity of Sound)

More garage-borne nonsense – “Angelbaby” is “funky” and kicks the tires of an unfortunate Scott Bomar-meets-Black Keys sorta vehicle that I wouldn’t necessarily consider roadworthy. Flipside is an instrumental, formerly only available on iTunes. Who cares. Boring almost next-big-thing music from something that is far from next or big, and may not even be a thing. Three “colorways” of vinyl for this promotional tool. (http://www.velocityofsound.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

The Pupils
s/t LP
(Les Disques Steak)

French punk that’s dialed into ’76 Australia. The French were among the first to appreciate the Saints, right? Makes sense, especially here, with one of the most stripped down and direct records to come this way from over there in as long as I can remember. Great guitar tone, great presence of vocals, good hustle and aggression. The Pupils play less tribute than they do continuum, lean and angry rock music for thugs and those aspiring to thuggery. (http://disquessteak.bigcartel.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

The Rebel/The Bomber Jackets
split 7” EP
(Kill Shaman/Savoury Days)

The Rebel keeps you guessing – “SLC BTR” makes as if Ben Wallers has gone the chiptune route, while “BTR PHOTO” runs a farty synth loop against arcane, confusing repetition, a la the Fall, perhaps. The Bomber Jackets (identity unknown) fares about the same, with one muffled, barely there jazz-blues ballad called “Strange Sensation” (sounds like Ween, really) and one sorta aching heart electronic ballad, “Routemaster,” that makes me think there might be something to this. Maybe for someone else to find out, though. I gotta get through this box of records. (http://killshaman.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Red Mass
“Drink My Blood” b/w “Freak Show” 7”

Red Mass will not become a better band until they learn how to play against all the intentional weirdness in their music. “Drink My Blood” follows a corrective to this notion, and turns out to be their best song to date, a place where jittery guitar and punk-into-wavo notions work in favor of the goofy vocals and weird lyrics. They kinda sound like a Devo-esque band that would play on “The Young Ones” and that’s as fine as an endorsement that I could possibly provide. But they lose it again on “Freak Show,” the kind of Monster Mash sort of song you really hope a band won’t attempt, with the kind of lyrics that really make you wonder what the term “adulthood” really means. Shiveringly bad and somewhat good. Please stop making such corny music because there is a lot more out there than the ’50s and sci-fi. (http://www.hozacrecords.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

The Farewell Drugs LP
(Latino Buggerveil)

Psychedelic supersesh with a lot of Texan royalty – King Coffey, Bobby Baker (ST-37), Shawn David McMillen, Ralph White, Craig Stewart, and Matt Turner (Quttinirpaaq) make for a strong team where this sort of thing is concerned, that being one with an averse repulsion for the looming presence of fake psych and bands that are about as trippy as Radiohead. King’s signature caveman drumming styles tell you from the onset that this is going to be a heavy ride, and after some excoriating blastercise at the beginning, they cruise into a cover of Mink Deville’s “It’s So Easy” in such a way that recalls the Buttholes’ sense of mutant pride to a tee. These guys are all high-ranking mental travelers and have a sense of history that informs what they do, not how they do it, because they know that there is no “how” without the “what.” It shouldn’t be so hard for more bands to charge at it the way these guys do, but there aren’t a lot of takers, merely fakers. And while Rubble finds its way around several facets of the acid rock experience, they are strong enough not to cave in under the aesthetics. No dummies allowed. Sweet record. (http://www.therubble.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Complex Housing LP
(Friends of Friends)

Bay Area electro-funk guy Paul Salva effectively splits the difference between indigestible forms (FlyLo) and the easy-to-grip bass bin shakers of Maggotron. Complex Housing remains lively and bouncy throughout, despite the glitch frame its 14 tracks are laid against, and Salva’s good to us by never letting things get too slow/stoned to make the kind of thump he’s clearly in it for. Cool record, not much else to say, Purple vinyl, clear sleeve. (http://www.fofmusic.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Philip Schulze
Cause Unfold Proceed I, II, III, IV & V 2xLP/CD

Half-composed/half-improvised compositions rooted in musique concrete and total sonic immersion theories. Composer-performer Schulze seems interested in exposing himself – witness the blurry cheesecake shot on the inner sleeves, and the shirtless stare into an artificial horizon on the insert – and he pushes his machines into the cosmic orgy that one cannot have alone, with lots of revving, disorienting tones, pink/brown noise, clicks & pops, inspired (or so sayeth the artist’s statement provided) by folks like Sun Ra, Terre Thaemlitz and Maryanne Amacher. Schulze wins points by not leaning towards dark ambient tones or harsh noise elements; most everything is kept below the pain threshold, but there is a method here, and a busy one at that. Double vinyl and CD contain three identical compositions, with “III” exclusively on the CD and “V” only on the vinyl. Both are included with a gatefold sleeve, insert, obi strip and color photo of Schulze receiving his diploma. 500 copies. You’ll go nuts trying to figure this one out, and you might enjoy yourself, too. (http://www.philip-schulze.de)
(Doug Mosurock)

Screen Vinyl Image
“Siberian Eclipse” b/w “New Visions” 7”
(Fan Death)

Screen Vinyl Image is a DC-area duo that’d have you believe the nascent shoegaze/ethereal bug that bit so many in that town back in the ’90s is still raising the skin. Surely this single could have been conceived some 15+ years ago, a Bedazzled logo adorning the back of the sleeve, such is the tenor of their maudlin, somewhat discontented sound. It’s refreshing to hear a band more rooted in that chapter than in latter-day revivalism or dress-up, and that they don’t immediately go for supersquall jet engine noise/feedback, nor freezerburnt synth stiffness, is rather refreshing. “New Visions” in particular has a lot in common with the recent Merchandise and ( ) records out of Florida, insofar as there’s a beating heart within the song, and pop hooks contoured around it, rather than the preset feel given off by so many others. This single seemed to be a long time in the making (in the interim, the Fan Death guys coronated Screen Vinyl Image as “one of two good acts in DC”), and hopefully the band will be following it up with more, and soon. (http://www.fandeathrecords.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Scrotum Poles
Revelation 7” EP

Last year, when Dulc-i-tone released Auchmithie Forever, a collection of tape demos from Scottish DIY punk/pop/twee upstarts the Scrotum Poles, more than a few people were confused. After all, it takes two hundo in this day and age to own the band’s lone vinyl release (now reissued here), and instead of the almost-perfect single, we were treated to 20 odd blasts of even rougher sketches, evidence of a band barely anyone knew coming together. While historically accurate, it’s not as enduring a spin as one would hope, and moreover, it was missing the context that this record – a straight reissue of said EP – so graciously provides. Released in 1980, it stands alongside the TV Personalities (who they thank) and the Desperate Bicycles (who were mentioned in the same sentence of a Forced Exposure review that made me aware of both) as a prime slice of the efforts going on, and against it, in the UK at the time. Five songs, three “happy” and two “sad,” divided by side, all leave you wondering what would have happened if they were allowed to expand on and polish up these ideas ever so carefully, and not in a way evidenced by that demos LP. “Pick the Cat’s Eyes Out” is such a joyous little song, you’d half expect Stuart Little to start dancing around on your floor while it plays. Wonderful music, of a piece with what was going down in New Zealand as well (especially “Helicopter Honeymoon,” which one would suspect was a direct influence on The Clean, had this record made it around the world in time). Even the “Sad” side wins, with one morose crawler in “Why Don’t You Come Out Tonight” and a menacing furor in “Night Train.” 500 copies. (http://www.yakamashirecords.net)
(Doug Mosurock)

Serpent Throne
White Summer Black Winter LP
(Prophase Music)

Instrumental stoner rock with doom tendencies and screamin’ NWOBHM twin lead guitars. 60 seconds in I was getting’ vibed pretty hard: drummer has a nice, natural swing; bass player is better than he needs to be; personality lixx abounded. Then the next song started, and the one after that, and I realized this was as far as they were gonna take it, to a level of respectable competence but not of ingenuity. Rock solid in the genre trap though, and I know guys are looking for pure examples, so in that sense they’re a success. I hope they try to do more with it in the future. Blue/black marbled vinyl, heavy gauge gatefold sleeve. (http://prophasemusic.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Sheglank’d Shoulders
Skate Assassin 7” flexi
(Handsome Dan)

Authentic skate thrash on the resurfaced flexi-disc format. Why? Who cares? Was anyone really clamoring for the format to return? “Skate Assassin” chugs along with a less than fortunate “a-billy” feel, which somehow resolves itself. How? Focus, I guess – every song is about skating, ostensibly written by skaters, and adheres to the sport like surf music to, uh, surfing. Maybe it’s just how they do it in Calgary? “Skate Pit” (hah) is even better, and reminds me that skate thrash is, like, one of the few areas in punk rock that can benefit from a sense of humor, and have it come across without sounding forced. Great record, woke me right up. Comes with a download code in case your turntable can’t track flexis properly. (http://www.handsomedanrecords.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Three Feet Behind Glass/Instant Classic 12” EP

This is a band that had evaded me the time where their brand of destructive, sneering anti-development thpud might have been more my speed. The first few listens put me off, but I demanded the time and space to sit down with this one (probably because I paid a lot for it) and it’s starting to grow on me, but not all the way. A legend from Australia, this 12” compiles the first two Slugfuckers singles, released independently at the turn of the ’80s, and while the titular notion of “Cacophony” does make total sense in the scheme of the band’s purposefully weird, invasive stomp, the urge is too strong for these folks to not get really annoying really quickly, irritating the ears as proxy menace against the status quo. By the time you get to “Deaf Disco” the target is saturated, and I really have to wonder if people repeatedly make it all the way to the end of “Deaf Dub” without turning off their stereos in disgust. If you like the bands that decided to push form out of rock & roll, this is the one for you. Curiously, I also got my hands on their 1981 LP Transformational Salt, and I like some of the songs at the end way more than this one, which apparently goes against conventional wisdom. Big deal. It’s not for everyone. (http://www.myspace.com/canudriveahonda)
(Doug Mosurock)

Snake Oil
s/t LP
(Radium Dial)

Massachussets residents bonding sesh over their love of Fela/Afrorock comps and “Starsky & Hutch” TV series scores. This mystery dozen-member project has only a vague ans anonymous presence, with a record that tells us nothing except the band’s name and a website that does little more. Why all the suspense? Afraid we’ll find you, break into your houses and steal your Tortoise records? Gently-used leftovers from the mid-’90s – those of you who can ignore the three-second rule will surely be OK with ingesting something that’s been sitting on the floor for 15 years. Just eat around the dust and hair! (http://www.snakeoilsounds.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Socrates That Practiçes Music
Further Conclusions Against an Italian Version (Bat) LP
(Junior Aspirin)

Fey, diminutive-sounding men play through art-rock and neo-folk with an eccentric counterpoint to place themselves beyond the reach of all. Stabs at profundity that reach beyond the cabaret or the intentionally weird and find themselves in the orbit of the Jefferies brothers at a better time for us all. Shares some cover art elements with Breathing Fire, a band who sounds nothing like this. Socrates Drank the Conium they are not, either. But give this one time and it may surprise you, because of or possibly despite its proper, well-bred trimmings. (http://www.junioraspirin.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Soft Shoulder
People Problems 7”

The only thing Phoenix, Ariz. is good for is drying your wet towels in under five minutes post-shower, bath or swimming pool, certain structures of golf course, and as the ancestral home of the Sun City Girls. Other than that … well, it’s a goddamn nightmare. And I lived in Dallas for two years, so I know. These wonderful mopes hail from Tempe, which I pray to the baby Jesus is better than Phoenix. Judging from these two tracks of thunder-mud, it either is, or Soft Shoulder’s Brainbombsy urk is a reaction to their surroundings. Either way, don’t ever move, people, but feel free to play in my living room whenever you like. (http://www.gilgongorecords.com)
(Joe Gross)

Solid Attitude
Ghost Worthy 7” EP
(Rotted Tooth)

Young scumscrapers kick the walls of their rental van in a parking lot, laughing maniacally about the people they’re gonna frrrrreeeeeak out. Six songs from this Iowa floor-clearing band, rather focused when they want to be (there’s a good bit of menace in “Prison Water”), and a generally dirty, tousled sound just above punk, below garage and looking for its own cult of personality. Only 200 numbered copies, in a red-hued silkscreened sleeve. Pretty good starts. (http://www.myspace.com/496212530)
(Doug Mosurock)

Golden Era #267 LP
(Mongo Bongo/Top Ten Hits)

A song about Internet porn, followed by a tale of time travel where the narrator goes back to his birth to kill himself – Sopors at least put some of the remaining brain cells to good use on this new full-length, packed from one end to the other with magnetic power pop riffs, sloppy but endearing presentation, and sincerity ’til it hurts. Many will see this as a continuum of the Bay Area pop illogic, but scholars will find it more of an extroverted, West Coast response to the music of Home Blitz, and I wouldn’t be surprised if these folks played MP3s of Out of Phase until their hard drives died. All the same, it’s big, it’s loud, it’s lo-fi, and it’s compassionate-sounding, introspective without resorting to too much maudlin or unreasonable concepts. (http://mongobongotoptenhits.bigcartel.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

The Soupcans
Erotic Nightmare one-sided 12” EP

Blown out rock n roll snot/spit from some Toronto-area basement. Gets movin’ in a Pussy Galore sorta way but never really overcomes influences. Mostly sounds like a tantrum and you parents out there know what that’s like. No thankee. 200 copies, silkscreened sleeve. (http://pleasencerecords.tumblr.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Spastic Panthers/Teenage Rampage
split 7” EP
(Handsome Dan)

Eight, maybe nine songs by two bands that might as well be the same band; kinda silly hardcore for people who aren’t really into hardcore, the kind of people who get off on understanding the lyrics to a song like Spastic Panthers’ “Cocaine Werewolf” and think that it’s funny and shit as they drink another PBR, look for the shittiest drugs imaginable and try to get their pictures taken. No real value whatsoever in this sort of thing anymore, except maybe to sell Volcom apparel. (http://www.handsomedanrecords.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

The Smell of Rot LP
(Feeding Tube)

Among the microgenres of music that roll through here on vinyl, the “solo female/passing bedroom synth/darkwave/early industrial project” is a perennial favorite. Sports is this woman Clare Hubbard, who performs folk-psych under the name Caethua, but here places herself in the hands of the machine, like that part in “Superman III,” and foretells our grisly, time-extended demise from the burden of GMOs and household chemicals (“Genetics,”) ritualistic/fetishistic death scenarios (“Night Creature”), and other woes, including a gross and masterful cover of the Leather Nun’s “Slow Death.” Pretty unhinged and awesome, with excellent artwork from a grow operation. My soft spot has been touched and this one left a mark. Listening to her tell an audience – still in vocoded speech – that they shouldn’t laugh at her, that this is serious music, casts a most ominous message that focuses on the horror of our own demise rather than the allure; the triangle fell off of this act a long time ago, revealing the gangrene beneath. Grand, TG-style discomfort at a fraction of the cost/personnel. (http://www.feedingtuberecords.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Young Love 12” EP
(Cubic Pyramid)

Red-hot, blown out high speed scene blooz choogle, comparable to High Rise, out of this Portuguese ensemble. Heavy on the guitar and the feedback and the soloin’, and the rest of the band doesn’t back down either. Four instrumental rippers across one 12”, pressed at 45 for big impact. Sounded at first like this was gonna go on a path I’ve been down before, but even in the overplayed confines of instro psych, this band laid out a few surprises, particularly in the last track “Particle,” little more than a jam, but a tight one, with some truly colossal guitar action melting down its side. Hot hot hot. (http://www.myspace.com/sunflarefuzz)
(Doug Mosurock)

Timmy’s Organism
“Scum Revolution” b/w “When the Bottles Break” 7”

Timmy Vulgar tells you what you can do with your money on “Scum Rev” and goes acoustic on the flipside, losing his mind in the process. “When the Bottles Break” is the closest I’ve ever come to sympathizing with this member of Human Eye and Clone Defects, communing around Virgin Insanity territory in a cold and dirty house in the dead of winter. Two very different sides. Gimme more of the bent acoustic stuff apart from the heavy derp vibes of the garage thuggery this music is so clearly obsessed with. (http://www.hozacrecords.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Topless Mongos
Hey My My 7” EP
(Mammoth Cave)

Tin can recorded garage rock. More of it, more of the same. The days go on and on, this music never stops. I understand the importance of this music in a live setting – people need to sell beer – but it is really difficult to parse someone’s intentions from such a dingy little record like this. Can’t abide, Mammoth Cave, can’t abide. 300 copies. (http://mammothcaverecording.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

“Pale Trash” b/w “Earmarked” 7”

The crossover between music and the dramatic arts for denizens of Canada continues to bewilder me. In America, guys in garage bands sleep in practice spaces, get hit in the face at parties, and if they’re lucky they get a $500 check from Scion now and again. The luckiest of them all get to be the Black Keys, and those who are just less lucky enough get to be in the Black Lips. In Canada, the powers that be have decided to take these men and women and put them in front of a camera. Actor Slim Twig bangs away at the guitar in a manner that would surely end a promising career in local news, commercial acting and corporate sponsorship, but there you have it. Drummer Simone Tisshaw-Baril plays in lock with Twig, as the two of them have apparently been doing in such a manner for the past decade. Ten years out and this is the end result, two short songs, wobbling maniacally, no discernable hooks or melodies in sight. It’s assaultive and speaks to a shared dynamic that doesn’t necessarily get across to the crowd, or whatever’s left of it. Still, it’s the best of the records Pleasence sent in, and might be a good gateway into starring in your own straight-to-Netflix horror film. 200 copies. (http://pleasancerecords.tumblr.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

“Candy Walls” b/w “Trinity” 7”
(Sacred Bones)

Mopey yet somewhat memorable dark duo sounds within! Trust is a Canadian project that chases Leonard Cohen vibes on a fixed income, finding a boon from extruding easily-recognizable, catchy melodies out of atmospheres of dread, melodies that daintily lift the remainder of the track home by its fingertips. “Candy Walls” is a good example of that in action, and possibly a great song. “Trinity” … well, there’s B-sides, then there’s this. Here’s hoping for more of the “Candy Walls” quality tracks in the very near future. (http://www.sacredbonesrecords.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Fauna LP

Mostly instrumental Finnish folk-psych outfit drifts in and out of the bogs with warped, occasionally transcendent meditations/mutations on nature. Birds sing and their songs get bent by synths. Wordless vocals chant beneath the fray as dawn creeps up in the horizon, and all living creatures stop and reflect on the energy of the Earth beneath them, still pushing them to exist despite our attempts to kill it. It’s a slow cycle, every day could be our last. The animals aren’t thinking about that though – it’s up to us. These are the things I take away from this bizarre and mellifluous electroacoustic project. Silkscreened sleeve. (http://www.ikuisuus.net)
(Doug Mosurock)

Village of Spaces
Alchemy and Trust LP
(Turned Word/War On Records/Corleone/Don’t Trust the Ruin)

The ever-changing name of this group (Uke of Spaces Corners and the variants therein proceeded this record) gives chase to all but the folk faithful, which hopefully can stop soon, especially given the level at which they’re now performing – surely these people don’t want to evade notice when they make music this stirring. It’s country folk with an eye on the clouds, set to wander, but with the cosmos in full view, providing an endless depth to their sound and removing them from any traveler/bike punk hoi polloi. The austerity and wholesomeness of their sound is fairly stunning, even as danger lurks in the corners and fringes of their sound. Perfect for twilight saunters through the wheatfield idyll, on that night when you meet the fairies and decide never to return to your loved ones. Their best release to date. (http://www.turnedword.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Wax Idols
“All Too Human” b/w “Gooey Gooey (William Says)” 7”

Like a tougher Vivian Girls, SF’s Wax Idols hold close to a sound you probably recognize and maybe even enjoy. Reverbed out ’60s style pop is transfused with a hostility that belies the sweet melodies here with an intriguing instability that peeks in on the fine, if overlong “All Too Human,” then takes over on the smeared ball of confusion present at the core of “Gooey Gooey.” It’s about time that someone made such simple sentiments sound like they were barreling towards the bottom of a steep ravine in an American built sedan that failed its owner on one fateful day. Check your brake lines! (http://www.hozacrecords.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

The Whines
“Shootinhead” b/w “Straybird” 7”
(Mt. St. Mtn.)

What was so great about the Whines’ earlier records – a completely transparent window into the souls of those who made the music, which sounded ragged, worn, and triumphantly broken down – has hardened into something a lot more traditional and a bit less exciting here. Neither “Shootinhead” nor “Straybird” seem to know what to do with their inherent, rainy-day mope, and no amount of indifference or well-built melody seems to be able to heal over whatever burned these folks in the year or so since their Hell to Play LP. I saw them play live last night, and maybe it was the dickhead smoking a fucking cigar in the room while they were playing, but the anima I was hoping for was pretty much sucked out of their songs, three people far away from home, chain-smoking and banded together against the world. There was a time when you could see further in, but maybe they realized that’s for special people in your lives only. Curious to see where this goes next but it sounds like a wall has been hit. 300 copies. (http://www.mtstmtn.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

s/t 7” EP
(Negative Guest List)

Drug rock, right down to the syringe scars on the arm depicted on the front sleeve. Attempts a Royal Trux/Pink Reason sort of addict realness/coolness but misses by a lot, probably due to competent leans on the guitar underneath all those effects pedals. There’s a sad story behind this record (and it came all the way from Australia), but to use it to sell music is kind of creepy. I’m awaiting punishment from the Negative Guest List in their next issue but there isn’t much here to recommend. (http://negativeguestlist.blogspot.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

“Divination Bones” b/w “Adam Coils” 7” picture disk

Brittle, rusted, super-sharp filaments of drone fall from space as your skin hardens and flakes off in oxidized scales. This infection consumes our sensitive tissues, so no one in the vector can scream or even speak. This killer rain falls in piles on our desiccated Earth, and someone thought to record the sounds it makes as it rolls around on the ground right before they died. Put on your contamination suit and listen. 250 copies, beautiful picture disk and a handpainted sleeve. (http://www.dronerecords.de)
(Doug Mosurock)

Young Guv & the Scuzz
“Bedroom Eyes” b/w “Rumors” 7”

Ben Cook (Fucked Up, No Warning) continues his side project biz as the power popper Young Governor, and your tolerance of his music is going to hinge directly on your ability to enjoy every variation of starry-eyed, heartbroken/bankbroken rock crooner that the ’70s and early ’80s had to offer. “Bedroom Eyes” doesn’t even give you that, trading out a perfectly fine two-minute rager for a difficult coda that sounds like it fell out of a Constantines record. “Rumors” is a cover from TO band the Stiffs, and is pretty much embalmed by the band, who are only able to pay it the unadorned tribute it is worth. Absolutely terrible cover art, too. Looks like I probably talked my way out of getting that Pink Noise LP, huh. Bummer. 300 copies. (http://pleasencerecords.tumblr.com)
(Doug Mosurock)

Various Artists
Play That Beat Mr. Raja #1 LP

Maybe the most freewheeling Asia/Pacific film music comp to come out yet, for better or worse. French DJs and curators assembled this collection of songs from Tamil cinema of the ’80s and ’90s. Like almost all of these comps, we get to hear Western culture thrown back at us with regional zeal and anti-technology chintz, but in the case of these tracks, the composers are more than content to zip back into musical cinema history, throwing in big band/carnival elements and tongue-twister vocalese against dusty FM synths and swarms of deft strings. The relentless kick drum of Illaiyaraaja’s “Puthiya Ulagille (The Whole Day)” and the peppy descending chorus of his “Chittu Kuruvi (The Sparrow)” suggest a compositional integrity that surpasses the point A-to-point B genre fanaticism on a lot of these efforts – not to say that it’s bad, just that it’s somewhat of a narrow field, and Play That Beat has found a way to position itself well, through ear-pleasing oddity and farflung but wise sensibilities. (http://cartilage-records.bandcamp.com)
(Doug Mosurock)


Yours must be a single (or vinyl-only album) pressed on any size of vinyl. We will not review CD-R copies of a vinyl release – you need to send the vinyl itself, even if it includes a CD. We need the artifact here with original artwork, not some duplicate/digital copy. Only records released within the past six months will qualify for a review.

ANY genre of music is accepted for review. Do not be afraid.

Information on your pressing (quantity pressed, color vinyl, etc.) should be included if at all possible.

Submissions can be sent to:

Doug Mosurock
PO Box 3087
New York, NY 10185-3087

Records need to be shipped securely in sturdy mailing materials and marked FRAGILE because the post office will destroy them otherwise.

Keep sending in submissions, please!

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