Sunday, January 30, 2011

Elton Motello - Victim of Time [1978]

Alright, here's a nice little slab of glam-punk from the days when saxophones were more common in this type of music. Most notable for the song 'Jet Boy Jet Girl,' a song about the homosexual frustrations of the 15-year-old narrator. Based on the French tune 'Ça plane pour moi' but with new lyrics, 'Jet Boy' went on to be covered by a bunch of other bands. The Damned played it live pretty often. The rest of this album is some pretty damned good power-pop, with totally fun lyrics ('Artificial Insemination: Do the Sperm!') The title track shamelessly apes the Ramones' 'Hey ho let's go' (you call it a ripoff, I call it an homage), before playing for your ears some of the catchiest stuff you won't feel bad for liking. In my experience this album is fairly overlooked, so do yourself a favor and get it.

He gave me head

The Samples - Dead Hero 7" [1982]

I haven't got much to say about this one. What you've got here is some pretty basic, solid good UK punk. Songs about war and The Man and whatever ("Dead Hero," "Fire Another Round," "Suspicion," you get the gist). This is a quick one, so just download it already.

Get it

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Ex - Catch My Shoe [2010]

Here's the most recent from everyone's favorite Dutch improv-anarcho-post-punk-world collaborators the Ex. They've been called the Dutch answer to Crass, but the Fall might be closer to the mark (but without the associated dickishness). Maybe This Heat? Most all comparisons fail though, as the Ex is a pretty unique group. Some bands just get better with age and these guys are one of them. This album (their 25th, I think) is a jam, front to back. The opener, "Maybe I Was the Pilot," is different from the version released as a single earlier in 2010, with the new horn section. Really, the dissonant trumpet adds a lot to the sound of this album; it's well-executed and improves the urgency of the record. Katherina Bornefeld's propulsive drumming has a singular rhythm which is an absolute joy to watch live (see video below). And there's plenty of electric guitar free-kout stuff, like in "Bicycle Illusion." "Keep On Walking" is a triumphant anthem, totally accessible and inspiring. I can only think positive things about this band and this album. Highly recommended.

Buy the damn records
Why take a risk when you can take a vacation
Free music direct from the Ex
See them live, holy shit

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Outs - We Are the Outs [2011]

Here's something I've been listening to on repeat. New band, new recording. Hearing this, I'm doubly pissed I couldn't make their  first show last night. Anyway, this is some fantastic, fast punk with female vocals. Brilliant rage spanning six songs over seven minutes. Listen, you won't be disappointed.

1. Girlfriends
2. Get Creeped
3. Boy Scout
4. Just Can't Win
5. The Outs
6. Rebel Girl [Bikini Kill]


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Wire - Red Barked Tree [2010]

Wire has made some wonderful music and certainly gained acclaim for it. But most of the praise goes to the 'holy trinity' of Wire albums (you know which those are). When the eighties started up the band called it quits, but reformed in 1985. Here's an interesting anecdote courtesy of Wikipedia:

[Upon reforming] Wire announced that they'd perform none of their older material, hiring The Ex-Lion Tamers, (a Wire cover band named after a song title from Pink Flag), as their opening act. The Ex-Lion Tamers played Wire's older material; Wire played their new material.

Fast-forwarding to the present, here is the latest album from Wire. I like it, especially the opener 'Please Take' ("fuck off out of my face; you take up too much space"), and the aptly titled 'Two Minutes,' which is the closest you'll get to any Pink Flag-ish stuff. The title track is a great. Makes me want to go to the redwoods or Sequoia or something. But really, I don't think there's a bad song on the album. If you're familiar with and/or dig A Bell Is a Cup ... Until It Is Struck (1988) and Send (2003), this is probably for you. If not, you should check out those records anyway because they are fantastic.

Buy it straight from Wire
Wire tour dates

Friday, January 7, 2011

Nerve City - Nerve City: Recordings 2007-2008 [2010]

Somewhere in Virginia, the dude behind Nerve City sits and cranks out well-crafted pop/psych/country-folk tunes and then splashes them with reverb and other such guitar noise. It's home-recorded, and you can tell, but not in such a way that it's obnoxious; these songs speak for themselves. My favorites are probably 'Living Wage,' 'Junkyard,' and 'Mothers.' There's an uneasy sense of death about this record, and some songs, like 'Holy Ghost,' are just scary. I remember one time describing Nerve City to a friend as sounding like "a spaceman-cowboy playing guitar on the moon, in your TV." If that sounds at all appealing to you, then check out this record.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Tyvek - Nothing Fits [2010]

I don't know how much there is to say about this record. I love Tyvek and their loose, urban-decay-of-Detroit-informed noise. They sound like your friend's punk band and they're totally fun live. First song '4312' is about as catchy as you can start an album off, and the rest continues from there. The indignant title track is one highlight, and 'Pricks in a Car' is pretty brilliant also. I dunno, if you've heard Tyvek before, you already know what you think of them. If not, this is a good album to start with.

Is Tyvek coming to YOUR TOWN? tour dates
Buy 'Nothing Fits' [In the Red] on Goner

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Pissed Jeans - Hope For Men [2007]

This band is a work of jeanius. Slow- to mid-tempo hardcore with brilliantly dismal lyrics about the miserable and mundane, from dudes who know their shit. Everyone's favorite thing to mention about this band is how one of them works in an insurance firm or something, and Pissed Jeans' noise does sound pretty much like the impotent rage of the archetypal white-collar American who's aware of a better existence, yet can't quite get there. Highly recommended. The fellow who sold me this LP at Saki was lucky enough to have seen them live. They don't get out to play much, so FFS see them if you get the chance.

Buy Hope for Men on Sub Pop

DV8 - Learn to Say Goodbye b/w Guns on the Right 7" [1981]

Here's a quick post of early-eighties Chicago punk for ya. This is a really good 7" from a band who are admittedly little more than a footnote in the scene, itself often relegated as a footnote of the early punk sphere. DV8 consisted of vox/guitarist Lorin Klugman, drummer Eric Spicer, and Bob Hanchett on bass. Spicer provides the obligatory Naked Raygun connexion; he played with them from '84 to '92, playing on the records after All Rise, released in 1986. This is the band's only release, and they broke up in 1982.

But on to the actual songs. The A-side is the best Clash song the Clash never wrote, and the B-side is just as good. This is a single I find myself returning to often, because it's a fucking good record. If you've got $300 to blow, it shows up on eBay for about that amount every once in a while. Needless to say, it's long out of print.

Get it
DV8 on the Chicago Punk Database