Monday, February 12, 2018

20 17 was a bloodbath here's my year end list culled from the pages of MRR

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Layla Gibbon top 2017 records!
What’s the cliché, writing about music is like dancing about art?! There were so many records I flipped out over during this terrible desolate brutal year, I had a list of twenty LPs to whittle down! And that was just the LPs! So many options! I am gonna make a list in the future that includes non MRR reviewable sounds from 2017 too but here are my rants and raves:

TOP RECORDS:
Late entry! Notified about this band’s existence by current Australian correspondent Grace Ambrose and mind was immediately blown apart by its true UKDIY meets mod perfection, I was psychically forced into mailordering immediately upon first listen! Four women from Melbourne who visually seem to have walked out of a teen girl mag circa 1965 making music that brings to mind to most blissful shambolic C-86’d out mod sounds of the TELEVISION PERSONALITIES, but also watching the movie Daisies. Playful subversion that sounds at once wry, charming and acerbic, a garage pop dream pie.

UKDIY directional shamble meets ice cool LA 1978 punk dreams, Candice has the voice to communicate to all other worlds what punk is and then there is that perfect guitar sound, like listening to "Ghost on the Highway" on 45… I only like drums that sound either murderous or collapsing and this is both at once. Oh the allure of PATSY, what a dream, what a group. If you only want to listen to KLEENEX and RED CROSS at this juncture of the end of the world, if you want to hear the sound of sneering delight, of true joyous insurrection this 12” is the eloquent yet snotty answer to all your problems. The way “Society Ape” switches to “Nazi’s Are So Plain” is the stuff dreams are made of. An actual perfect 12” and an easy contender for record of the year. Hardcore.

Someone I know was complaining about all the bands that are current but simulating sounds of cool female directed art punk bands circa 1981, and as my eyes rolled to the back of my head I thought of the past 17 years watching historically accurate reenactment all dude HC bands play the same idea night after night in show spaces across America… Finally! There is an avalanche of genius wild nervous damage sound for all kindsa girls that have ELECTRIC EELS and MALARIA! problems. This does sound like something from one of those Subnormal Girls comps, but that is what I want out of life. I want frantic / nervous energy, collapsing keyboards and sputtering rhythms and cool female vocals over the end of the world Ballardian creep sound. This LP is a breath of air, of ideas and charisma and cool…

NOTS put out three 45s and a live LP in 2017… All were killer of course, but something about this one really set it above the rest, it’s a truly great 45. The A-side is so sick, chopped up antagonistic dada KBD perfection, repetition of the words “Cruel Friend” making the sound even more unrecognizable delirious and frantic! Then the fucking B-Side! With its strange creepy crawly feeling, sort of Dario Argento No Wave art school girls out for blood and fear… That keyboard sound, it’s for female protagonists that can control insects with their minds, truly otherwordly! An image reverse xerox of the times we are stuck in.

I have no idea how I even found this, it didn’t get sent into MRR, but is so exactly my idea of a good time… Girls in the Garage dream snot, imagine the first BANGS 45 if they made an album with Bomp! and avoided the whole major label hair ballad move… Conjure up in your mind the sickest yet sweetest girl group sound through the thick haze of bedroom psyche.  Bubblegum for modernists.

Like listening to DIE KREUZEN backwards, simultaneous no wave buildings collapse hardcore that’s like getting pummeled by the ocean and reading the S.CU.M. Manifesto all at once, fave Bay Area ragers since PIG DNA. Girl geniuses hate cops…

I don’t really know what the deal is with this record, as far as I can tell it was a tape from 2012 that got made into a record this year and the band is from Poland… I am truly grateful a copy made it into the MRR compound, as it is wild and cool and cantankerous and hard to get out of your brain once you’ve heard the strange shapes it presents. It sort of reminds me of a Polish version of VENOM P STINGER?! But it’s way less swaggering than that and more in the direction of a less contained RONDOS or something between those two bands that I am unable to put into words or make sense of?! It’s fucking wild art Eastern European punk and it rules.

Truly great! Title track is a bashed out mix tape must have that fans of music will
clutch to their very beings… Rest of this now classic 45 follows suite with Montana dissonant reality strike on MIKE REP bands, COUNTRY TEASERS, certain eras of the EMBARRASSMENT, VU shambled guitars, direct vocalizations, this is another milestone for your collection. How much art can you take? Only this kind.

I couldn’t decide between this or PALBERTA or BENT or PIERRE ET BASTIEN or GAUCHE but this one won out! Australian music dominates the dreamscape. This sounds like a band that could have played with the MARINE GIRLS featuring people from PARSNIP and AUSMUTEANTS I think?! The keyboards are perfect YOUNG MARBLE GIANTS sound, the male/female vocals are dreamy and this was one of those things where you hear the badcamp and immediately hunt out a US distributor, truly timeless sounds for anorak wearing nostalgists of a certain type…

Coolest Bay Area group with the power to convert an entire disinterested room into wild believers. Watching them play is like riding a time machine back to an era of ESSENTIAL LOGIC, MODETTES and DELTA 5 45s, when punks got taken by the possibilities of dub and ska and funk, while retaining the taut stripped down sensibilities of the DIY ideal… Amber is just a Warhol superstar front person, if Ken Loach was the Warhol?! Cuz she’s real. Real cool. Her voice will make you wanna start fifty nine bands. The way Elyse and Amber interact as the rhythm section and band vocalists is just so fresh, off beat but united in cool and snarl. Andy Human’s guitar has a “Guns of Brixton” devastation affect that will make you wanna dance furiously, ths isn’t a Hellcat records Clash tribute act I promise, it’s like the coolest otherworldly take on things that I love with a millions ideas and references plus the tunes to back it all up. Watch out for the Alexa and Stanley Sax attack…Music for post punk girls and louche rakes that takes down the mediocre reality of the consume or be consumed culture we are doomed to die inside, lofi scratched up punk genius. 

RUNNER UPS:
BENT – EP/ PALBERTA – LP / HEAVY METAL – 2 LP/ LEBENDEN TOTEN – “Static!” 12” / GAUCHE – LP / THE COWBOY – LP / / TERRY – LP / PIERRE ET BASTIEN – LP / PROM NITE – LP / ANDY HUMAN EP / SAYLAVEES EP/ POLICE CONTROL EP / JANITOR SCUM LP / FLESH WORLD – LP / RANK/XEROX – 12” /  SACRED PAWS – LP / / MR WRONG – 12” /RAYS –LP / RAKTA EP


TOP TAPES/DEMOS:
BLANK STATEMENTS, LITHICS, AQUARIUM, TABLE SUGAR, NEON, STIFF LOVE, WARM BODIES, JUDY AND THE JERKS, DOUBLEMINT GUN

Reissues
Y-PANTS LP /NON-BAND LP/ COMET GAIN LPs/ DENDÖ MARIONETTE-LP / NEON – “Neon / Nazi Schatzi” 45/ WRETCHED LP /PIECE WAR 12” / LOOK BLUE GO PURPLE 2xLP / NURSE – LP/ TRUMMERFRAUEN LP/ MORBID OPERA LP

Sunday, August 27, 2017

musical obsessions circa March 29th 2017 reposted here in August

current top ten / in the face of the end of the world I have mostly been listening to doomed yet tranquil sounds 1) anxious color compilation LP on Mississippi (thanks cissie for letting me know about it, right up my street doomed home made falling apart psychedelic disruption)
2)dolly mixture-whistling in the dark (this is the best! like an outtake from the second The Cake LP, psyche-pastoral beauty with an underlying horror in the lyrics)
3)the cake-firefly (esp the youtube upload with mary woronov horror footage!
also brenda holloway land of a thousand boys
and toni basil breakaway
(i need someone to reissue the breakaway 45 right now!) and felt pictorial jackson review only on headphones as I don;t have any felt records (if anyone wants to send me their first 45 I need one) 4) cate le bon-aside from growing old from her new 12", so good/is it true a new drinks record is coming out?!
5) john cale paris 1919-everytime I hear this it's like listening to it for the first time and I can't figure out what it is
6)can-I want more (and more and more)
7)slumber party CDR covers up. I mailordered this from their website sometime in the early 00s and just pulled it out to listen again-it's so rad, covers of VU and the shaggs and the bangles.I can't find it anywhere online but maybe bc it's cover versions/was self released it was never MP3d. Also the Alicia BB song on some KRS comp which I found trying to figure out if she still makes music, it's so good, called best friend. You can download it from the KRS bandcamp
8)morning glory LP-amazing girl group from the 60s that only made a test press that got shelved bc of some mob intervention, it's so dreamy. the first song is not super killer but the rest is so good, not sure if it is online anywhere but you can listen to snippets on Josiah Steinbrick's instagram (he put it out) https://themorningglory.bandcamp.com/releases https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jS13wZZUMlo
9) THE COURTNEYS LP! So excited to see them next month/gonna lose my mind
10) Yanti Bersaudara. I am not sure how I discovered them, but I am obsessed. someone needs to reissue the first few records!! Indonesian 60s beat girl group dreamscape https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZ6yUfGgVaA also las timidas tape!!! this is the best thing in the history of tapes. I wish it was happening in front of me right now (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNE2Xc1hAUI) top guilty pleasure: the song queens by la sera 
top relentless pleasure: veronica falls/all works
top new discovery: PHEW from japan

things to look forward to: look blue go purple double LP reissue on flying nun! finally those that are not punisher collector dudes can own this music on vinyl! new sneaks LP although I have heard it is the same thing on both sides, this seems kind of annoying and also kind of amazing, like an old cassingle. THE WORLD LP! someone transmit this to my sensors asap. beatniks 45/rays LP speaking of alexacore. La Luz LP?! I listen to the song "it's alive" every day, perfect devastating sound, ice cool delivery, coolest lyrical concepts. new Angie LP! any non australian distribution? hopefully. the last one I found a super beat up copy for a buck at Amoeba misfiled under abba new NOTS!!!! i heard they recorded an experimental masterwork for future use new heavy metal record (http://staticshockmusik.com/catalog/product_info.php…) anyone heard it? Neon: new devastating bay area force made up of female pro skaters who are going to end the patriarchy and government new fleshworld taiwan housing project LP new talya cooper core there must be more new things to look forward to. I want to hear new Christina billotte sounds. I heard her band While recorded something, but who knows. also casual dots triple LP. and permanent waves. new tobi vail sounds speaking of which my group's recording is coming out at some point soon. GIRLSPERM I am planning on making a desolate bedroom end of the world recording at somepoint in 2017 I have about 150 dollars of music in my bandcamp cart yet to check out will I ever make a move and do it/sorry I work retail/broke reality/ but I gotta get the new pierre et bastien LP and marauder flexi/tape (the swiss/american waver group not the thrashers) I am on a ton of annoying PR lists none of which mention music I care about, just weird blogrocker boredom for festival goers. I listen to a ton of killer sounds at MRR at all times and will make a radio show soon of my fave records of 2017so far maybe

punk records I have been playing a lot as of recent times that came out in 2017 I think

LITHICS WENDY KRAMER TAPE

louie louie LP
NOTS 45/liveLP/45 I DONT WANNA INDOOR TOILET
(someone put this on a record-who does CD only releases in 2017?!) LEBENDEN TOTEN – “Static!” 12” Pierre et bastien LP, liquids LP, black abba, UV-TV-LP,TAIWAN HOUSING PROJECT – “Veblen Death Mask” LP,MIDNIGHT MINES-LP, MIDNITE SNAXX-LP,Police control 45, gg king 45, TERRY LP A FEW RANDOM REISSUES NEON – “Neon / Nazi Schatzi”/LOOK BLUE GO PURPLE/MORBID OPERA/NURSE LP on paco.gov/PIECE WAR – “Apathy” LP/ Y-Pants/Отдел Самоискоренения

Sunday, July 23, 2017

YEAR END TOP TEN 2016 late posting!

I realized I forgot to post this! My MRR year end top ten from last year

As always it’s hard to summarize a year of listening with only ten records, there are so many LPs, cassettes, bandcamps and 45s that have gotten me through the dogshit reality that is our current epoch, here are my most listened to releases selected to represent 2016. 1)CCTV-all cassettes
Radical art punk music, incisive lyrics to think about, sick riffs to dance to, makes you wanna do something with your tired self. Plus a truly great live band.
2)LITHICS – “Borrowed Floors” LP
The “Too Many Creeps” / SU TISSUE combo of my dreams, front person summons so many dreamy feminist art performative pasts while maintaining a total deadpan style that is to die for, the best dollar store 99 Records dreamscape of the decade.
3)HEAVY METAL – LP
The  song“Television Addict” as a guidebook and life coach.
4)TERRY – “8 Girls” EP
Not only a near perfect SWELLMAPS-ian pop song, a slicing incursion into the “radical” reality of the neoliberal “lean in” female politician reality in our click bait epoch…
5)THE WORLD EP& Flexi
I am putting these even tho the flexi sounds like garbage (the recordings are incredible-why on earth would they waste em on a flexi?!?! Disposable times we live in) I love this band, their recordings don’t quite match up to the live experience yet, but I love living in an era that I can go see a local group who evoke the MODETTES and maybe even the BODYSNATCHERS.
6) GARY WRONG GROUP “Away in Heathen Darkness” 12”
Mutant soundscapes for aggrieved lovers of nothing. I heard this once and instantly sent off for it and it hasn’t left my “new arrivals” pile since. Incendiary BOBBY SOXX vocals over disintegrating synth disgust.
7)JJ DOLL
This record sounds like it was made in between confidence and nervousness in a way that creates a killer punk feeling, both stuck and free, with a desperate vocal delivery that feels right for this fucked up reality.
8)IN SCHOOL EP / GOOD THROB EP
I am putting these on the same line because they are both life transformative groups that seem to be shifting because of band members moving to other locations… The first IN SCHOOL EP didn’t quite capture the total fuck you totality of watching them play for this psycho fan, and this does and it’s so perfect and sick. Each song is total insurrection, furious vengeance and the true transgressive sound of a feminist hardcore. GOOD THROB is simply one of the best ever, just the combination/chemical reaction of band members, the HONEY BANE meets NEGATIVE APPROACHness. All of their records have been perfect and this is no different.
9) NOTS “Cold Line/TVOD” 45
I like the shaky paranoid feeling that this 45 perpetrates, and while I entirely love both NOTS LPS I think that they are a true 45 band in that they wring every possibility out of the format and this record is total demonstration of that fact. Feels like the last tube home after the end of the world.
10) COUNTER INTUITS “Monosyllaby” LP
Ron House for prez.

Runners up: NOTS LP, TERRY LP, COUTEAU LATEX 45, PELUQUERÍA CANINA LP, ON ON ON EP, SACRED PAWS 45, NACHTHEXEN EP, PATSY 45, WALL EP, REPTOIDES EP, THEOREME LP, CC DUST, VIOLENCE CREEPS, TYVEK LP, ANXIETY LP.
Cassettes: WARM BODIES, TOUGH CUSTOMER, OBJECTS, SPIDER AND THE WEBS
Reissues: SP CAOS-EP, 3D-EP, SHAGGS-EP, ANGRY ANGLES-LP, STICKMEN WITH RAYGUNS-LPs, GI AND THE IDIOTS, TOMMY JAY – LP, V/A-SUBNORMAL GIRLS LP, JUNGLE NAUSEA , COMET GAIN, LANDLORDS

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Layla Gibbon MRR Top Ten of MRR-able records in 2015

The Powers That Be have changed the rules so we aren’t allowed to expound on the records we consumed and were consumed by in the traditional longwinded MRR manner, so if you want to read my full 2015 musical rollercoaster ride (ten LPs! Ten 45s! more than ten cassettes! Ten reissues! you must wait a bit... Also I present to you the “Records that were released in the weird purgatory that is the End of the Year and so missed full consideration for last year’s list AND this year’s list” zone right here in this intro… 2014 slipped thru the cracks: THE INTENDED “Huguenot/The Alchemist” 45, WITCHING WAVES –“Fear of Falling Down” LP… both of which were amongst my most listened to discs of 2015. Anyway here is a tiny slice of the records I was couldn’t stop flippin out to in 2015, perhaps one of the worst years in human memory?!

CCTV – Quiet EP Favorite disc of 2015! Nervous furtive fraught invocations of the indignities of modern life, anxiety and paranoia, everything sounds like it was recorded on a boombox at the wrong speed adding to the strange feeling of otherworldliness, like walking through a dead mall full of fake plants and broken ideas. It’s perfectly retro, really sounds like a recently excavated secret basement from the 1979 New Wave/punk collision, but it’s from now, and is fresh yet eternal. SU TISSUE dreamscape. SACRED PAWS – Six Songs 12” Perfect record! It’s so energizing and uplifting, total power with an untouchable dreamy/introspective feeling that leaves me reeling. This is post-punk insurrection, like what I imagined SLITS sounded like when I found out that NENEH CHERRY was in a later incarnation of the group…Freedom! Everything Rachel Aggs does is 100% and this is no exception. Her guitar style borrows from the coolest early ’80s London post-punk adventure girls and the most transcendent African Highlife and with the addition of her former GOLDEN GRRLS bandmate Eilidh there’s an added extra layer of melancholic beauty to these uplifting numbers. Listened to this an insane amount of times, truly a great LP. PATSY – Tuley Tude High/Paradise 45 I think PATSY features Nathan and Candice from MYSTIC INANE (who put out two of the best 45s this year!) and this demonstrates that you should just buy everything they do. Killer killer killer! If Dez Cadena was a girl and new dimensions in modern rehashes of previous ideas of punk was a possibility. AQUARIAN BLOOD – Savage Mind EP Total destruction! Like ANGRY ANGLES discovered FATHER YOD and PCP and combined all these things into an insane wall of destruction and woe! I think this band is expansive and features many participants but the driving force being former members of NOTS and a current member of EX-CULT should make your blood pressure rise suitably if you have any sense. LIME CRUSH – Graveyard EP Singer sounds like she should be in KLEENEX, music is somewhere between the more garagey HUGGY BEAR stuff and the PHANTOM PREGNANCIES and this 7” is a non stop killer lurching punk attack! SNEAKS – Gymnastics LP Further evidence the DC scene has experienced major / incendiary rejuvenation in the past couple years… Incredible CHANDRA / 99 Records configuration that I just can’t stop listening to. VIAL – You’re Not Safe EP Krista is an incredible and iconic front person, with a remarkable voice, like if DINAH CANCER was a tough HC girl?! I’ve seen em cover LAST RITES’ “Chunks” but they’ve also get compared to FLIPPER and the BAGS! I think of them as a hardcore band but have gotten in arguments with people about it, perhaps because women are never truly “hardcore” according to the general punk populace?! I have no idea how anyone could listen to this and not think that it’s a hardcore record though. The guitar is burly in a classic Touch n Go manner, the lyrics are smart and to the point, and interrogate gentrification and gender constructs as well as total alienation/anxiety. I love this band, and this 45 is killer. BLACK TIME – Aerial Gobs of Love LP All hail BLACK TIME, architects of the brutal and arcane…Transporting the listener to the collapsing concrete shopping centers of London, in which girls and boys as informed as much by the Medway Sound as the Situationist ideal hack out a new / old existence in the ashes of commerce. What other group could summon thoughts of HUGGY BEAR, SWELL MAPS, early Michigan garage sounds, Musique Concrète, girls in bootleg Mary Quant / Bridget Riley get ups reading Sheila Delaney’s teenage works…BLACK TIME is the way and the truth. The sound of irate bedroom masterworks—when Lemmy Caution shouts he’s got no expectations you can feel that tool Jagger’s smug sprawl of expectations slowly eating away at the earth… Janey Too-bad’s voice on the title track makes me wanna grab a Silvertone and join the WHAT FOUR (or the MOD 4). Anyway this is a piercing, shambling, devastating view into two years of bedroom recordings by London’s only garage band  MIDNITE SNAXX – Don’t Wake Me Up/ Shades 45 Never really paid attention to these punkers, I remember their ealier records being sort of more power pop/Bomp! girlsound, which is cool, but not always what I want. Then this sick 45 appeared and I realized I needed to shape the fuck up. Insane KBD/Girls in the Garage hybrid sounds for furious modernists! Kill or be killed. SHITFUCKS – Det Är Ditt Fel EP I described this to a friend as “the Swedish ABORTED with an insane possessed lady who could be in KLEENEX or RUTTO singing” and if that isn’t want you want out of life then I can’t help you.

Runners up: MYSTIC INANE – both 45s, DRINKS – LP / PIERRE & BASTIEN LP / NOTS – 45 /TERRY – EP/ ANGIE LP /LA MISMA LP / VEXX – EP / /CONEHEADS LP / VIAL – EP / VIOLENCE CREEPS flexi+EP / BLACK ABBA – 45 / LA MISMA LP / SHOPPING – LP

CASSETTES/DEMOS: BLACK ABBA, G.L.O.S.S., MOZART, THE WORLD, AQUARIAN BLOOD, SUSAN, UROCHROMES, FREAK, VERTIGO, JJ DOLL, BIG BLEACH, PENNYCRESS, GENDERDOG, NAIL CLUB, 100%, RAYS, SBSM, GAUCHE.

 REISSUES INDEX-45/BIKINI KILL-Revolution Girl Style Now-LP / PINK SECTION – LP / INFLATABLE BOY CLAMS 2xEP / STICK MEN WITH RAY GUNS – LP / PLASTIX – Ich Bin Modern! LP / TOŽIBABE – Dežuje EP / SCHUND – EP / SOBERANÍA PERSONAL – Benditos Sean Muñecos Que Pegan LP / BROKEN TALENT – Rules No One LP / BILLY SYNTH / DEPARTMENTSTORE SANTAS – LP / MERCENÁRIAS – Demo 1983 EP / THE ELECTRONIC HOLE - The Electronic Hole / COUNTRY TEASERS – Empire Strikes Back LP

THINGS TO LOOK FORWARD TO IN 2016: COURTNEYS LP, SPIDER AND THE WEBS LP, WITCHING WAVES LP, IN SCHOOL EP, VEXX, MOZART 45, HYSTERICS discog LP, JJ DOLL triple LP, PIECE WAR 12”, THE WORLD EP (former members of Pang and Penny Machine! Plus Andy Human, coolest new local group!) also the punks demand more Patsy, more Black Abba, more SBSM, more Nots, more ONJ and more CCTV. Along with more Low Life and Constant Mongrel, more Total Control too. As the wise sage Tomata Du Plenty once inferred: if I can’t have what I want / I don’t want anything.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

better late than never: this human's TOP TEN OF 2014 as published in MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL MARCH 2015 issue

I had a big crisis as to whether I should pick my ten most listened to records, or do the usual endless write up of ten EPs and LPs, then spent an epic amount of time freaking out about what to include / what to write about it, all totally fascinating contextual information I am sure. Punk rock is an endless vacation. Writing about music is turgid and wretched. I put a few things that woulda made my YETT last year if MRR had gotten them before 2013 ended, and in that spirit I am going to mention the GG KING LP and the WITCHING WAVES LP which are reviewed in this issue, both technically came out in December, thusly missing the mark for full 2014 consideration / total and complete jamage throughout 2014, and thus will be entered into consideration for 2015 assuming we are not post-nuclear sewage by this time next year. I am also a terrible replicant human that recycled some of my record reviews from the magazine into this list format rather than coming up with more fascinating insights into aural technologies in the face of my useless and incapacitating woes. Alright!
LONG PLAYERS:
NOTS – “We Are Nots” LP (Goner) After two perfect 45s of URINALS/KLEENEX insurrection a nation of rabid fans wondered how a full length was gonna transform our lives… Continuing onwards into the fluxus continuum with added nihilistic keyboards, it’s a new future for rule breakers and drool makers everywhere. I think when I reviewed this I said it was like watching Daisies with ELECTRIC EELS as the soundtrack. In short the recordings of my dreams. If I can’t have what I want, I don’t want anything…
GOOD THROB – “Fuck Off!” LP Was there a better record summing up this shoddy mindless existence in our blissful neo-liberal end times? Aggressive and antagonistic, idealistic / nihilistic, pinning up the microaggressions of the modern female experience to the inside of yr eyelids like no other group. Like a musical version of Laura Oldfield Ford’s incredible Savage Messiah fanzine, walking through the brutalist wreckage of post-Thatcher Britain littered with plastic bags and casual violence and somehow transforming it into a cut up punk masterpiece… I’ve said it before but any group that can somehow bring to mind NO TREND if they were on Crass Records with a front person that has the charisma and power of fucking “Girl on the Run” meets JOHN BRANNON gets to be the kings of punk.
TOTAL CONTROL – “Typical System” LP (Iron Lung / Aaarght / La Vida Es Un Mus) I found this an impossible record to write about, I agonized over my pathetic five line review for this very rag and in the spirit of that feeling I am going to replicate a couple lines from said review here: “’The Sound of Fear in the Western World,’ Vintage Violence, Berlin ENO / motorik collisions with late era BLITZ. This is a fucking classic, like reading Phillip K Dick on a commuter train in end times capitalist reality, it feels nostalgic and current at the same time. Forever prescient, ironic, but also true enough that it stays with you through these tiresome times.For many reading this Typical System is not going to be "punk" enough, whatever that means, but I can't stop listening to it. It feels both personal and subversive, romantic and dispassionate.”
FLESH WORLD – 12” (La Vida Es Un Mus) I think technically this came out in 2013, but its December release date meant we didn’t get it until 2014 so it gets included! Urgent declarations of post-punk abandon from my current favorite San Francisco liberation force. Propulsive dark excursions which have an early Factory Records appeal, and are lit up by Jess’ voice, which flits from a PYLON like yelp to a perfect C86 SHOP ASSISTANTS lullaby… This record is so incredible, atmospheric and danceable, doomed and eternal. Soundtrack to the devolution of San Francisco.
VEXX – LP (Grazer / M’Ladys) Best Oly band since WEIRD TV… Watching the singer perform is otherworldly, like some new Alice Bag / Isadora Duncan formation… Every aspect of VEXX is exactly right, like if the PATTI SMITH GROUP were on Dangerhouse, so tough and transcendent. That wild psyche/punk guitar sending shards of light direct from speakers into brains, and then there’s the fucking rhythm section! Most incredible current punk drummer!? Cannot wait for the next installation of action and light…
EAST LINK – LP (In the Red) The repetition and totality of sound employed by EASTLINK make all their records perfect for daily commutes, a 59 guitar orchestra with only one riff played eternally until the entire world mutates into a singular beat with dollar store CHROME guitar solos spurting out onto your fellow commuters when necessary for survival.
LOW LIFE – “Dogging” LP (RIP Society) Debased ruminations on decay, lust, inaction over alternately deflated / thuggish post-punk dereliction. The lyrics are almost like a cartoon, a Clockwork Orange / High Rise take on the lives behind the headlines, what the “we’re all going to the dogs” hand-wringing net-curtain twitchers think the maggot filled streets of modern life are teeming with… In musical form.
WATERY LOVE – “Decorative Feeding” LP (In the Red) Further explorations into the impossibilities of Skull Music. VENOM P STINGER and SPIKE IN VAIN if they listened to BREAKDOWN in the metaphorical blender of a literally very useless writer. Why do skulls fall in love.
RAKTA – LP (Dama Da Noite / Nada Nada Discos / 540) Another thing that technically came out in December 2013 that we didn’t review until 2014 so… in it goes! Almost everything anyone has written about RAKTA would make them seem to be something I would avoid; deathrock, tribal polyrhythms and yet… This record is so cool—it looks and sounds incredible, and watching this band destroy SF was one of the highlights of the year. In his MRR review of this record Ray Suburbia references Maya Deren, psychedelica and girl driven deathrock incantations and I wholeheartedly concur. Layers upon layers build up to create a totality of sound, where most post-punk advocates investigate the sparseness of the genre, RAKTA veers away from that, creating an airless space out of dissonance and a complete wash of sound, wild vocals over doomed and danceable auralscapes. So sick!
EX-CULT – “Midnight Passenger” LP (Goner) A stark attack, reflecting lean cruel times; a paranoid, skulking sound with a total speed-for-blood road movie feel; lyrics read like a dime store novel circa 1965, a noir-ish effect enhanced by their economical use of words, desolate landscapes and plummeting human experiences adding to the feel. The music is claustrophobic, with dense layers of guitars and rhythm creating a back to mono punk savagery. Relentless and swaggering, putting the punk back in the garage, this is a taut, high tension sound that mines from fifty different punk ideals.
RUNNERS UP: HUMAN ABFALL – “Tanztee Von Unten” LP (Sounds of Subterrania) / IVY – LP (self-released) / TERCER MUNDO – LP (Cintes Pepe) / LUMPY AND THE DUMPERS – “Collection” LP (Erste Theke Tonträger) / BUCK BILOXI AND THE FUCKS – “Culture Demanufacturer” LP (Total Punk) / NUN – LP (Aarght) / JUANITA Y LOS FEOS –LP (La Vida Es Un Mus) / SHOPPING – “Consumer Complaints” LP (Milk) FARANG – 12” / TRASH KIT – “Confidence” LP (What’s Your Rupture) / PRIESTS – LP (Don Giovanni)
EPs and 45s:
PANG – “Young Professionals” EP (Grazer) I heard a rumor this record wasn’t going to come out, as PANG broke up as all the good ones are wont to do… but the universe prevailed, the fans recoiled in horror and here it is, blowin’ apart society as we know it. Or rather my brains and internal organs were reordered. I have waxed eternal about the genius sounds created by this group enough in these pages, but it’s all true, their genius is eternal, and must be expounded upon! Picture MAGAZINE as all female group, ENO obsessed art school types crafting perfect nerve-y pop at the snap of a finger. Or maybe picture four maniac WIRE fans destroying all art and culture in one 45. This is better than GIRLS AT OUR BEST!
NOTS-Fix/Modern 45 (Goner) Further dada-punk destruction outta Memphis, NOTS will ruin you. More gassed in the garage than the first 45 but if you want total kicks, total action, a record that signifies that now is the time, or rather what now is next, then play this on repeat until it all falls into place! Fervent and furious.
SHEER MAG – “What You Want” EP (Wilsons RC) How to write about a record that is indefinably great, that sounds like good classic rock, but is also scrappy and real like a basement punk band?! It’s low down, mean and eternal, street smart, wild, desperate and assured… And what a voice! I keep thinking this is a power pop record, but not power pop in that vile Power Pearls wimpy milk shit manner, it’s tough city street stomp, “All I do is sit and cry / Living in the city and I don’t know why.” Capturing the dirty summer in the city feeling; couldn’t be anywhere but here, oh but I gotta leave right now or I’m gonna lose it. “Hard Loving” and “What You Want” are the scene stealers for me. Low fidelity end of the summer sounds for troublemakers and broken hearts everywhere. Gimme more.
MYSTIC INANE – “Deep Creep” EP This features at least one ex-NECRO HIPPIE going off in a fried hardcore SACCHARINE TRUST vs. SPIKE IN VAIN wormhole, total tripper maniac sound! Both songs on the A-Side will have you doin’ the creepy crawl round your room in an uncontrollable fashion, so classic and venomous and sick! Candice’s guitar sound brings to mind so many of the greats, eerie and nihilistic and true, formed in a cave somewhere beneath the CRUCIFUCKS and RUDIMENTARY PENI. The vocalist has a death sneer like JACK BREWER meets MARK E. SMITH and even KEITH MORRIS... The rhythm section is tireless and doomed, and fuck, this record is great! The B-side is like slowed down syrupy NEOS.
RAKTA – “Tudo Que É Sólido/Serpente” 45 (Dama da Noite / Nada Nada Discos / La Vida Es Um Mus / 540) Continuing their penchant for creative expansion, avoiding cliché and aiming for the hypnotic over the predictable path… Transcendental, almost MALARIA! like sickness!
GIORGIO MURDERER – “Primitive World” EP (Goner) Post-apocalyptic synth-infused basement punk anthems for dislocated garbage brains, this sounds like it was recorded in 1983 by a maniac-minded miscreant with only dollar store synthesizers and garage sale guitars. All of the songs are insanely catchy and malevolent, and last approximately a minute each. Perfect! What more could you want? Nihilistic Oscar the Grouch destruction sounds. There’s even a spoken word number for all you beatniks…
PIECE WAR – “Apathy” 10” (Epic Sweep) This is a frustrating one to write about because it came out in an edition of 30 lathe cut only, I mean thirty! C’mon! And guess who didn’t manage to get one. I have heard a US label is attempting a reissue so there is hope! Doomed New Zealand punk that I can’t stop listening to, reminds me of GUN OUTFIT and the WIPERS, powerful and sincere, stark and beautiful. So fucking great.
PIG DNA – “Control You Fucker” EP (Night Rider) Apart from being the Bay Area’s only living punk band, PIG DNA have taken it upon themselves to destroy the concepts of punk, noize, music, the internet, good art, bad art, insects, the patriarchy, the government and whatever else you got. Total incendiary sounds, formed in the furious underbelly of noize not music, but this grouping of humans has personality. They swiftly dispense of the problem many practicing this style of music suffer from, that of being a boring clone. The drumming is a manic cloud of fury and enchantment that the rest of the band build upon eloquently and destructively, feedback adding to the totality of experience rather than just being another weak signifier. The artwork and lyrics are further evidence that what is happening here should be studied, expounded upon and used to prevent boredom and settling for second best. The lyrics to the song “Fly” say it better than anything my puny mind could come up with “Oh / You like that shit / Don’t You? / Bad Taste / Shit liker.” I need a PIG DNA t-shirt, mouth guard, breast plate, bubble gum card set, flick knife etc etc Watching them play is the coolest, but if you are not able to do that right now, buy this record instead and shut yourself in a windowless room and play it over and over and over. Nothing is real. America’s only punk band, with the only record that came out in 2014.
PRIMETIME – “Tied Down” EP (La Vida Es Un Mus) If you feel unsure just listen to the title track over and over again and then it will all make sense. Sounds like they could have supported the SLITS but so much cooler and more hilarious than the DELTA 5 or AU PAIRS ever were.
DESTRUYE Y HUYE – “Oscura Sociedad” EP (Verdugo Discos) I was so psyched on this when I got it for review I immediately sent off for a copy of my own. Super sick rudimentary ULTIMO RESORTE style ragers from LA, the insert/lyric sheet poster looks like something that woulda come out with an LA punk band circa 1982, eternal and classic ruckus.
RUNNERS UP: PURA MANIA – both EPS (CVR)/ HYSTERICS – “Can I Live” EP (M’Ladys) / IN SCHOOL – “Praxis of Hate” EP (Kill Test) / BIG ZIT – “Electric Zit Vol. 1” EP (Not Normal) / OOZE – “Big Angry” EP (Not Normal) / LA MISMA– “Arete” EP (Toxic State) / DOWNTOWN BOYS – 45 (Sister Polygon) / LAS VENAS – EP / LUMPY AND THE DUMPERS 45 / FRAU – “Punk Is My Boyfriend” EP (Static Shock) / UNA BÈSTIA INCONTROLABLE- “Nou Món” 45 (Iron Lung)
So many reissues punk is a nostalgic parade: ELECTRIC EELS – all items!/ OWEN MAERCKS “Teenage Sex Therapist” LP / BIKINI KILL – “Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah” LP / SLANT 6 – “Soda Pop*Rip Off” LP / SIN 34 – “Do You Feel Safe?” / BOBBY SOXX – 45 /MICHAEL PSYCHO – LP / C.O.M.A – LP/ AUTISTIC BEHAVIOR – LP / CODE BMUS-12″ / CURTIS SEALS / CHRISTIAN D’ORBIT-split 45 / CRIME – “Murder By Guitar” LP / THE SHIVVERS-LP / PLASTIX – “Konsumier Mich” EP / X_X – “Sticky Fingers” LP / DISHRAGS – LP / AMADOTS – LP/ SHOES THIS HIGH – LP / CRISIS 2xLP / REMAREMA – 45 / NEO PUNKZ 45x2 / HUMAN ERROR – LP
KILLER TAPES Coneheads / Penny Machine / Family Outing / Vial / Nandas / The Stops / Cool Bands comp esp CCTV trax / Hagface / Timmy Vulgar /Wet Drag / Slender

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Mid Year Report

I have pretty much ceased writing for MRR in the columns dept, this is partially bc of a brutal case of writer's block I am currently afflicted with (tho I still review records every month so if you are totally desperate to read my sordid opinions you can read them in black and white newsprint...) I am thinking about turning some of the older columns into a zine/book, not sure if I will, but am actually working on a fanzine too... with interviews!

This is a list I made last month of my mid year JAM REPORT/most of the things you can click on and listen/I was gonna write reports on each release but I lost the will to live after embedding half of  the stupid bandcamps etc I made this list in July, and am adding the following to it: new Life Stinks 45 on total punk,I forgot the other stuff I was going to add (see section on losing will to live).If you click on the band name most will lead to you a bandcamp/listening opportunity. other wise use your intuition

SHORT PLAY

pang-young professionals EP (perfect post eno post punk sounds, like magazine was all girls, dreamiest record of the year... great tragedy they broke up! all in new bands already tho...)
nots-fix/modern 45 (Kleenex meets the Urinals in Memphis? in short another perfect 45 followin on from the perfection of their last. Can't wait for the LP)

la misma-EP on toxic state (think this is sold out but distros probs still have it)

in school-Praxis-EP
hysterics-EP
multiple man-Body Double/Surface Roads 45
coolies-punk is bread-EP
southern comfort (tho I preferred their 45 from last year)
black lagoon-oxygen EP
video
red red krovvy
lumpy
courtneys-lost boys
wanuy
personnel
dark beach
oily boys


LONG PLAYERS
watery love
east link
vexx
low life
total control
farang
good throb
Nun
apathy-war peace
rakta (2013? but Timmy has reissued it)
flesh world (also dec 2013?)
MOB
ex cult
lowest form
brain f≠
Juanita y los feos
Priests

reissues
electric eels 45
x_x LP
dishrags LP
autistic behavior LP
amadots LP
shoes this high 45
c.o.m.a LP
stigmathe 45
simply saucer 45
shivvers LP
crisis 2xLP
remarema 45
neo punkz 45s
human error LP
mary monday 45
alerta roja LP
christian d'orbit/curtis seals 45
Xerox LP

bands i wanna hear more of:
VIAL (LA)
mansion (SF/OAK)
CCTV (Northern indiana scene is insane)
family outing (lond)
witching waves (london)
nandas (NY)
Big Zit (NI)
Sheer Mag
While (rumored new band with Christina Bilotte?!)
Spider and the Webs

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

bazooka smooth

Skinned Teen in the Rough Trade Records basement 
hey I have some stock copies (sealed!) of my teenage band's LP for sale on my discogs page...
some dude wrote about us for the onion (PS that is not the band on our LP cover, our proper cover got rejected by the record label so we took a photo of a bunch of our friends hanging out in a grave yard)
someone wrote a wikipedia about it all too for some reason? how many more inane things can I put here? hmmm I am sure some other dudes have written about skinned teen? oh wait here is a thing I wrote for the BK website about skinned teen forming directly as a result of huggy bear/Bikini kill

Friday, February 21, 2014

2013 rocknroll (sung to the tune of GG's 1980s rocknroll) YEAR END TOP TEN TYME

Layla Gibbon

As always there were things I listened to relentlessly that didn’t make this list because of company policy (ie no records that were released by an indie but distributed by a major label conglomerate or you know, music that falls outside of the Maximum Rocknroll realm for musical reasons etc) and as always it is really hard to sum up a year of sound using words and… 

LPS
From the insane cover art to the sounds on the vinyl this is insidious genius; scrape your eyes out blood thirsty raw punk that hasn’t left my listening pile since I got it. Fucking sick sounds and the definition of punk, Violetta’s voice marking the end of time in musical format. If you dug the song she sang on the last RATAS DEL VATICANOS LP grab this ASAP!

Goofy charming CLEAN tribute record by three women who write the most ridiculous ("You're a big big dog on a small small blanket" BEST!) yet heartfelt lyrics over music that makes me feel the same way I do after listening to LOOK BLUE GO PURPLE’s “Cactus Cat.” Sound of the summer, and of skating with your friends, aimless and fearless.

Their demo tape was one of the best of the decade for me, I was nervous about the LP, because you know, recording studios and vinyl can’t help but make things more professional and tidy… But the LP rules, sick HC by an all female group that brings to mind the song “Explode” by VOID, a rare and noble feat. They rule and this record demonstrates that fact.

Oakland’s only band. Protection against being the only women on the last train home. Will make you want to start a band with the meanest and coolest girls in town. Like LYDIA LUNCH formed a hardcore band, but is this HC? It is the most. You know that SLITS song “So Tough?” This is the answer to that question.

Yet another soundtrack to the end of the world: creative destruction, brutalist realism and a response to our endtimes capitalist degradation in musical form; doesn’t feel like a lecture, feels like an invitation to the apocalypse.

Songs about making fanzines and mixtapes, but also about spitting on the pope, the disdainful vocals espousing ideas we can all get behind. UKDIY style like the best post DESPERATE BICYCLES sounds, stuck in a stormy English seaside town making dreary yet dreamy sounds reflecting our dreams both crushed and hopeful… This was a tape but now it’s an LP. Get it or regret it!

Somewhere between the dirge/Xpressway that seems to have infected all Australian music of interest as of recent times and the UKDIY spiel of the first LP. A good place to be stuck.

Sparse reflections on a certain reality, sort of somewhere between YOUNG MARBLE GIANTS and the RAINCOATS with some added early EMBARRASMENT maybe? It’s got the sound of radical feminist punk of the ’70s, smart art school girls making nervous deconstructed punk music for other nervous girls ready to deconstruct society / punk etc.

Droning monotone yowl that sounds ideal on good headphones when it feels like there’s no solution; like a slow motion ROYAL TRUX playing early CHROME, downers and doubt.

POTTY MOUTH combine the melancholic BRATMOBILE songs with the force of early DINOSAUR JR, Homestead Records rather than K Records ya know? CRAZY BAND sound like suburban car park boredom, basement bands, underage cheap beer, in short skate for fun or not at all. Somewhere between JFA and XRAY SPEX. I couldn’t pick between these two acts.

GUN OUTFIT / HOAX / FLOOR ABOVE / AUSMUTEANTS / SHOPPING / RUBY PINS / SCRAPER / HARD SKIN / LAS OTRAS / LIFE STINKS / BAD NOIDS / WIRE
  

EP
All the ingredients for my ideal 45; KLEENEX girls with a super slight garage lean… Really tough without being a pose, really cool without being a put on. A tough balance to catch, but the band I am most excited to hear more 45s from on this list… Vicious / rambunctious: NOTS has the formula down. Cyclotron-core.

My most listened to record. Another close to perfect 45 for 2013. I am not a huge proponent of the post-punk tinged darkwave / deathrock revival that the punk hordes are creating and consuming, but this record somewhat exists in that context, but it’s miles away from the trite revivalists. Watching PLEASURE LEFTISTS play was transformational. Sound of industrial landscapes in ruin, with more post-Thatcher’s Britain dissolute aftermath of punk than deathrock, like NEW ORDER’s first 45 not CHRISTIAN DEATH. Haley is an amazing front person, sort of IAN CURTIS frantic style in terms of visuals and vocals… Her voice is so cool, like the woman from PYLON meets the aforementioned JOY DIVISION vocalist, hints of chanson too, so insane and rad. I could imagine this band playing with MALARIA! or at the Hacienda. Cleveland.

The EASTLINK 45s that came out last year were from a 2012 tape… Great trebled out synth / guitar thug punk, like a JG Ballard book in 45 form. Metal machine music. Sense of humor / sense of style and further evidence that Australians are making the best sounds; can’t fucking wait for the LP on In the Red this year.

Like MEKONS meets CRISIS. The guitar line is like a bullet, wired and insurgent, the vocalist intones of public transit crowds complaining about a Trans person’s suicide fucking up their commute; the inconvenience and brutality of every day life / griping humanity in a perfect under three minute punk number. Made by ex-members of bands you might have records by, and more demonstration that London is the place right now for punkers…

Intellectual lunks, reminiscent of ancient times Cleveland / Detroit, but from current day San Francisco. San Francisco’s only? The sound of too much drugs / fast food / nihilistic literature / TV; clumps along like a Quaalude and makes for the ideal 45.

Watching this band play was revelatory / incendiary. Liberation and fuck you all in one. Like JOHN BRANNON was a woman and NO TREND was a hardcore band from London. So sick.

This singer of this band has a similar languid vocal tone to Justine from ELASTICA, and the music makes me think of all the bands that formed after hearing ROXY MUSIC, mixed with UV RACE / TOTAL CONTROL and some sorta Messthetics radness. I got so obsessed with this I made someone send me their unreleased tracks (they broke up! Such a bummer), and now I hear those songs are coming out on a 45 and they are playing one more show. Seriously, so cool. Like my birthday everyday.

Savage PUSSY GALORE deconstruction from Australia, girl is out for blood and it’s as brutal as the first BABES IN TOYLAND record but with no grunge, just fuck you punk in a more gassed in the garage rumble with TEENAGE JESUS or something. Sick as hell.

The best FLATMATES / SHOP ASSISTANTS / BUBBLEGUM YELL update from a band that’s usually operating under very different color schemes. The singer’s voice is so cool, makes me wish this band always sounded like this…

Perfect punk/pop for mod rockers, somewhere between the GOBETWEENS and SUBWAY SECT… Brighton alleyways and Crystal Palace leylines.

Also: KANTUTA / VIDEO / MANATEES / SECTOR ZERO / CAGED ANIMAL / MANE / BRILLIANT COLORS FLEXI / CHEMICAL PEEL / VARIX / REPLICA / LUMPY AND THE DUMPERS

TAPES
FRAU / LAS TIMIDAS / FAMILY OUTING / TOTAL TRASH / FAILED MUTATION / IN SCHOOL / SHIRTLESS THUGS / PRIESTS / HAG FACE / KIERNAN PARADISE / LA LUZ

REISSUES
KAOS - Betonska Djeca LP
DIVISION FOUR-1983 Demo Cassette-12
BONA DRAG-LP
PETER GUTTERIDGE 2xLP
THE GRABBIES-Live-EP
EGO SUMMIT-The Room Isn’t Big Enough-LP
FOTTUTISSIMA PELLICCERIA ELSA-LP
SATAN PANONSKI-Hard Blood Shock-LP
THE KICK-LP & 45
NEOBOYS-2xLP
VENOM P STINGER-all



CORPORATE ROCKERS NOT IN THE MAGAZINE VERSION: BODY//HEAD / HIS ELECTRO BLUE VOICE/ VERONICA FALLS / ICEAGE / LA LUZ / BLEACHED / GOLDEN GRRRLS