Apr 29, 2011

Dan Melchior. Bitterness, Spite, Rage and Scorn.

0 Blurts

Like some rare, unexpectedly righteous blues rock platter dug out of a garage sale, Bitterness, Spite, Rage and Scorn is an homage, an elation, a junkyard cathedral to the Savage Chord. Its grooves were carved by hand with a pair of rusty knives.

With a voice like a smashed window and a devotion to pile-driving minimalism, Dan Melchior plays fuzzed out swamp rock (swamped out fuzz rock? rocked out swamp fuzz?) like John Lee Hooker and Mark E. Smith’s love child. He has a long pedigree with Holly Golightly and Billy Childish, so you know what you’re getting into.


Apr 15, 2011

Cave Weddings. Bring Your Love / Let’s Drive.

0 Blurts

Eric La Grange is in too many bands for me to keep track of. I know about Eric & The Happy Thoughts and The Romance Novels, and….okay, three. I guess he has three bands. But I am here today to tell you about The Cave Weddings and this one perfect single—exquisite, impeccable guitar pop in the mold of countless 60’s summer bands. Bring Your Love (tart and tight like The Archies, only without sucking) kicks off like a racehorse with a driving, perfectly chosen guitar line and drums galloping like a hormone rush. Let’s Drive is as jangly and rollicking as Buddy Holly’s jalopy. It’s all there: tambourine rhythms, sparkling, clearly drawn melodies, harmonized “ba-ba-ba’s”, and occasional bouts of frothy, frenetic, shredding guitar. I wanna lick it and see what it tastes like.

Cave Weddings

Apr 12, 2011

Boomgates. Bright Idea / Cameo.

0 Blurts

Eddy Current Suppression Ring put on the best punk show I’ve ever seen. And I don’t mean punk as a style of music, but whatever it was about the original incarnation, whatever DIY exuberance, whatever magic connection it had to its audience, a true you/me/us, Eddie Current has it in spades. It was jaw dropping. There were maybe only twenty or so of us in the club, but they performed like their life depended on it.

Lead singer Brendan Suppression was a nervous bundle of energy who seemed to find his peace while performing, despite the fact that he was stalking back and forth on the stage like a slightly less manic Cornholio. It was the release of being truly yourself, even if that self is a bit twitchy and tightly wound. During instrumental portions he would lean wearily on his bandmates and hold his mic to their chests, like some sort of autistic attempt to plug directly in to their heartbeats, which seemed profoundly sweet. Towards the end of the show, after climbing all over the stage and merchandise table, he cautiously staggered into the audience while the band strummed and thumped and riffed furiously as if they could conjure up a secular rock n’ roll rapture right then and there. Drenched in sweat, Brendan repeated his mic gesture, touching each of us in turn as a sort of punk rock communion, sharing with us their energy and adding the sound of our bodies to their mix. A fan held a cold can of beer to the back of his neck to cool him off, and then it was over.

I’ve loved and thrived off music for ages, but that night was an epiphany. Fuck the hippies, this was the real thing. In that moment I felt like we all—all of us in the club, everybody on stage—loved one another; like we’d all just shared a communal vision of something rare and astonishing and perfect and beautiful. No church revival could ever compare.

Boomgates is (so far) a one off featuring Brendan and friends (Trial Kennedy, Teen Archer, The Twerps, Dick Diver), and it has a definite ECSR vibe, but softened by the addition of Stephanie Hughes’ dulcet voice. It’s a looser, poppier affair that just wants to hang out with you and settle comfortably onto your heart. The summery Bright Idea trundles along on a strolling, rubbery bass that falls somewhere between a relaxed ECSR and the Go-Betweens, and the interplay of Brandon’s vocals and Steph’s backing whoah-o-ohs make me think of old C-86 tunes or Slumberland releases. The guitars are still nice and trashy, though. B-side, Cameo, lets Steph take lead on the vocals before Brendan comes in with an homage to Lou Reed’s talking songs, only with an Australian accent and having to do with relating some weird dream he had. It alternates between the story and the sharply jangly chorus where they all erupt, singing “you’re just a cameo in my dreams”.

In short, they are expectedly awesome, and “for your information, this is all you need to know”.

P.S.: They have a new single coming out on April 18th on Smart Guy Records.


Apr 1, 2011

The Snivelling Shits. I Can't Come.

1 Blurt

I feel like I should just be able to point out that these guys named themselves The Snivelling Shits and that their signature song spends six minutes detailing all the many ways in which their lead singer can’t achieve an orgasm, and leave it at that. But that would mean leaving out mention of Crossraods, wherein they take the piss out of Lou Reed by turning Waiting for the Man into a Bowie-esque vamp about impatiently waiting for their favorite British soap opera to start. Or bludgeon the French language to death. Or lament their inability to become samurai, question god’s gender and daily grooming rituals, and write a song for The Damned.

Anyway, as Maximumrocknroll once said, this album is "essential for music lovers and music haters alike". Formed as a bit of a lark in 1977 by music journalists Giovanni Dadamo and Dave Fudger (Zig Zag, Sounds, and The Face), they recorded Terminal Stupid (backed with the aforementioned I Can’t Come) and sent it anonymously to their rivals at NME, who made it single of the week. With a lineup rounded out by members of Eddie & the Hotrods and eventually legendary producer Steve Lillywhite, the Shits recorded a total of nine songs that, through utter devotion to being as magnificently stupid as possible, manage to be as good as or better than most of the bands they were supposedly mocking.

If you can dig a viciously unholy smash-up of the Velvets, The Damned, Bowie, and the Sex Pistols, then this is a criminally forgotten classic of punk-as-fuck snots who couldn’t even take themselves seriously (thank god).