Sunday, September 23, 2012

Half Japanese (1997) Bone Head (Alternative Tentacles Recs.)

Jad is well known for playing an untuned electric guitar. After 30 years, he still does not play in any traditional manner; in the documentary Half Japanese: The Band That Would Be King he states that "the only chord I know is the one that connects the guitar to the amp."
Their lyrics often deal with monsters and the supernatural (especially as influenced by campy "creature feature" and scifi movies), in addition to more conventional themes, such as young love. They have stated that all their songs are either "love songs or monster songs."
The band played and recorded as a duo until the early '80s when they began incorporating additional members into the group: Mark Jickling (guitar and vocals) and brothers Ricky and John Dreyfuss (drums and saxophone). Since that time, dozens of musicians have come and gone under the Half Japanese banner, including Howard Wuelfing, Don Fleming, Jay Spiegel, and many, many others. Jad is the only member who has been with Half Japanese from the beginning. David Fair eventually left the band in the early 1980s to focus on his family. He has continued to make guest appearances with the band from time to time.
The next line-up of Half Japanese came together in the late 1980s, proving to be a long-lasting and stable unit recording several albums and touring frequently throughout the U.S., Europe and Japan. This incarnation featured guitarist/multi-instrumentalist John Sluggett (also a longtime member of Moe Tucker's band), multi-instrumentalist Jason Willett, and drummer Gilles Reider. Since then, the group has worked with Moe Tucker from The Velvet Underground, who produced and performed on Fire In the Sky (1992), Fred Frith, and John Zorn, among others.
Fans of Half Japanese include Penn Jillette, who helped the band release some of their albums on his label, 50 Skidillion Watts, and Kurt Cobain, who had them open for Nirvana on the group's 1993 tour. According to reports, Cobain was wearing a Half Japanese t-shirt when he died.
The band's history and influence are chronicled in the 1993 documentary Half Japanese: The Band That Would Be King by Jeff Feuerzeig. The band was chosen by Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel to perform at the All Tomorrow's Parties festival that he curated in March 2012 in Minehead.

tracks
1.monkey hand
2.a night like this
3.sometimes
4.zombye eye
5.song of joy
6.oww
7.do it
8.he walks among us
9.diamonds and...
10.kiss me like a frog
11.rhumba
12.intergalactic aliens
13.celebration
14.c'mon baby
15.somehow i knew
16.now i know
17.brand new sky
18.shoul i?
19.song of joy
20.futuristic lovers
21.movin' on up

home-page:http://www.alternativetentacles.com/bandinfo.php?band=halfjapanese
Links:
(PJ)
(MF)
senha/pass: hha
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Guns N'Wankers (1994) Guns N'Wankers (Fat Wreck Chords Recs.)

Guns 'N' Wankers were a punk rock band, formed by ex-members of British punk band Snuff, and British rock band The Wildhearts in the early 1990s. The band consisted of Duncan Redmonds (vocals, guitar), Patrice Walters (drums, vocals) and Joolz Dean (bass guitar, vocals). The three formed the band on the same day Snuff played their farewell gig (now reformed) at the Kilburn National, and Walters was released of duty with The Wildhearts. On the off chance, Duncan gave Walters a call after seeing him play in a band called The Milk Monitors a few years before. In turn, Walters called his old mate Joolz Dean and the line-up was complete.

tracks
1.blah blah blah
2.skin deep
3.nervous
4.blown away
5.help
6.sunstroke
7.suprise
8.raise your glass

home-page:http://damagedgoods.co.uk/band/?c=Guns-n-Wankers
Links:
(PJ)
(MF)
senha/pass: hha
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The Thumbs (2001) Last Match (Adeline Recs.)

The Thumbs pour themselves into this record, devoting all their faculties to pulling off their intense, visceral three-man punk. Hailing from Baltimore, The Thumbs posit themselves into a dirty and crud-filled wedge between pop-punk and Oi!, with enough amplified passions to cover multiple subgenres. One thing that's interesting is that The Thumbs are a good example of how hardcore survived and thrived two decades after its initial appearance in the very early Reagan era. While track titles such as "Where's the Battle Cry," with their forefathers of yesteryear, Last Match demonstrates how punk rock at the street level has evolved through multiple evolutionary stages from what it was. by Jeremy Salmon
tracks
1.bruno batta
2.businessman patriot
3.candy killed the kid
4.high powered lens
5.reciprocity is not for me
6.yellow metal
7.where's the battle cry?
8.no water
9.a year to the day
10.give the people what they want
11.oh no politico!
12.money or mud

home-page: n/a
Links:
(PJ)
(MF)
senha/pass: hha
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The Bollweevils (1995) Heavyweight (Dr. Strange Recs.)

Heavyweight is tangible leap forward for hardcore punkers the Bollweevils, displaying a more complex and nuance-ridden approach than the group's debut, Stick Your Neck Out. (The intervening album, History of the Bollweevils, Pt. 1, was a compilation of previously released tracks.) the Bollweevils still burn through each track in a high-speed thrashed-out frenzy, but this time there are some bolts of melody ripping through the tracks, and the buzzing guitars seem a whole lot more nimble and varied than on the group's debut. This is particularly evident on highlights such as "20 Something" and "Fence Sitters." The album also features a blistering throwdown on Bad Brains' "Pay to Cum." This is a highly appealing (though breathlessly energetic) album, particularly when measured against the soundalike tracks on the group's debut. by Erik Hage

tracks
1.twentysomething
2.fence sitter
3.last laugh
4.eye to eye
5.who's to blame
6.final straw
7.utopia
8.hate
9.chronic
10.bulletman
11.major problems
12.pay to cum
13.(extended banter)

home-page:http://www.myspace.com/bollweevils
Links:
(PJ)
(MF)
senha/pass: hha
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Pavement (1997) Shady Lane (Matador Recs.)

The Shady Lane EP combines all the tracks from the two-part British single for "Shady Lane," which is presented here in a slightly faster, slightly shorter edited version. While the remaining four songs aren't essential, they're fun for collectors. "Slowly Typed" is a shambling, countrified piss-take on Brighten the Corners' "Type Slowly," "Wanna Mess You Around" is dynamic, noisy, one-and-a-half minute punk, "Cherry Area" is by-the-books Pavement with a great intro, and "No Tan Lines," with its faux-bossa nova beat and bitchy lyrics, is the best of the bunch. The EP is hardly necessary -- each song is essentially a throwaway, and none of them are nearly as good as "Give it a Day" or "Gangsters and Pranksters" from the previous EP, Pacific Trim -- but it has a lighthearted sense of humor that was missing from Brighten the Corners, which makes it of interest to diehard fans. by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

tracks
1.shady lane
2.slowly typed
3.cherry area
4.wanna mess you around
5.no tan lines

home-page: http://www.matadorrecords.com/pavement/
Links:
 (Pj)
(MF)
senha/pass: hha
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The Thumbs (1998) Make America Strong (Soda Jerk Recs.)

tracks
1.plan fast, act slow
2.bombsight gabriel
3.proposition
4.looking for the cure
5.blacklisted
6.chrissy snow
7.luddites and websites
8.my rods and cones
9.fall at your feet
10.history
11.lance boil
12.john stabb pants

home-page
:n/a
Links:
(PJ)
(MF)
senha/pass: hha
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Horace Pinker (1994) Power Tools (Earwax Recs.)

Horace Pinker is an American punk rock band formed in 1991 in Tempe, Arizona and currently based in Chicago, Illinois. They play an energetic, melodic form of pop-punk, filled with catchy hooks and political lyrics, and are staunch supporters of independent music. Horace Pinker has played in more than 19 countries all over the world from Europe to Brazil to Australia, and continues to play punk rock clubs, halls, and basements for an all-ages crowd. They have played some of the biggest festivals on the European circuit, including the Dynamo Open Air in the Netherlands, Popkomm in Germany and Belgium’s Groezrock. 
Although some are quick to point out that they never achieved commercial success over the years or sell-out tours like so many of their peers, HP continues to defy the trends and release records with thoughtful lyrics and powerful music that cannot be pinned down to a simple category or genre.

tracks
1.first everything
2.punker than g.b.h.
3.sixty-seven cents
4.bryan's song
5.sucker
6.rescue me
7.bottom line
8.no thoughts
9.switch
10.can't change the world
11.six east
12.power tools
13.vinyl seats
14.our lips are sealed

home-page:http://www.horacepinker.com/
Links:
(PJ)
(MF)
senha/pass: hha
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Pavement (1996) Pacific Trim (Matador Recs.)

Recorded on short notice and released to coincide with an Australian tour, Pacific Trim isn't much more than a stopgap EP, but Pavement shine in such small pleasures. The Silver Jews, Stephen Malkmus' second band, pulled out of a Memphis recording session, and instead of wasting the studio time, Malkmus hauled Pavement in and recorded four songs. One song, "I Love Perth," only showed up on an Australian 7" -- the rest were on the EP. "Give It a Day" is a casual gem, with a nice, winding melody, while "Gangsters and Pranksters" is a nice, jokey throwaway. In fact, Pacific Trim isn't much more than a throwaway, but it is an extremely enjoyable one. by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

tracks
1.give it a day
2.gangsters & pranksters
3.saganaw

home-page: http://www.matadorrecords.com/pavement/
Links:
(MF)
senha/pass: hha
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Hot Water Music (1998) Fuel For the Hate Game (No Idea Recs.)

The second, and arguably best release from Gainsville's Hot Water Music, is this driving LP that opens with five of the best tracks the band has ever recorded. Swinging, complicated basslines and the throaty vocal screams of singers Chuck Ragan and Chris Wollard punctuate pummeling tracks like the opening "220 Years" and the fantastic "Trademark." The crunching dual guitars never let up, and the drumming is strikingly hard and original, only adding to the overall power of the record. Fuel for the Hate Game is raw and unrelenting, but it is also a refreshing release of energy, and an infectious one at that. This is the record that saw the band rise to the top of the hardcore/punk scene, and, years after its release, it is still as deserving of credit as it ever was. The tail end of the album starts to drag off a bit, a slight move downhill that some might say continued on ever since this record, but it doesn't take away from the unyielding rock that makes up the majority of the 11 tracks included. Many have copied but none have really achieved the urgency and integrity of this record, making Fuel for the Hate Game a truly standout recording. ~ Peter J. D'Angelotracks
1.220 years
2.turnstile
3.blackjaw
4.trademark
5.freightliner
6.sleeping fan
7.facing and backing
8.rock singer
9.north and about
10.difference engine
11.drunken third

home-page: http://hotwatermusic.com/
Links:
(PJ)
(MF)
senha/pass: hha
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999 (1984) 13th Floor Madness (Line Recs.)


With four powerful punk-pop albums to their credit, 999 decided to go in a different direction with their fifth release, alienating many of their fans and critics in the process. Adding more varied rhythms and slowing everything down to nearly a crawl, the boys don't fall flat on their face, but their experiments are not entirely successful either. "Use Your Imagination" seems the closest thing to a classic 999 track, albeit a lot lighter than usual. "Lookin' Like You Do" has a reggae beat and a nice hook, but seems a bit empty. Other tracks follow the same path, taking in a bit of light soul/funk ("It's What You've Got," "13th Floor Madness"), '80s pop ("Good to See You," "Don't Want You Back") and exotic ska ("Arabesque"). Instead of the songs being based around the same 999 formula of old, there's a definite groove-based style of songwriting this time around, which doesn't quite translate to vinyl although bootleg live recordings of these songs show that the band added the necessary extra meat in a live setting. Though not a terrible album, 999 lost a lot of momentum with this release and it took a few years for them to recover. ~ Steve "Spaz" Schnee

tracks
1.use your imagination
2.lookin' like you do
3.book of love
4.it's what you've got
5.don't want you back
6.13th floor madness
7.good to see you
8.arabesque
9.custer's last stand
10.hang it all
11.night shift
12.how can i tell you
13.how the west was won
14.13th floor madness (long version)

Links:
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Pavement (1995) Father to a Sister Thought (Matador Recs.)


Pavement's Father to a Sister of Thought single contains the somewhat underwhelming title track, taken from the band's Wowee Zowee album, and two B-sides of differing quality. "Father to a Sister of Thought" isn't Pavement's finest hour; it's a lazy-sounding song played mostly on what sounds like a slide guitar or a guitar put through a sound-effects processor set on country. Truth be told, it works better as a single than it does on Wowee Zowee, since it's a somewhat traditional song showing Pavement in their slow, psychedelic mode, and the album contains such a broad range of styles. One of the reasons Wowee Zowee was so charming was because it displayed all of the bands influences up against each other with no breather for a listener. Had most of the tracks been released as singles, like "Father to a Sister of Thought" here, the merit of individual songs would be more apparent. "Kris Kraft" is the more interesting of the two B-sides. It's a bubbly, exuberant good time, seeing Pavement in full-bounce mode; diehard fans know that's when the band shines brightest. The song sees Stephen Malkmus singing about beach clubs, tacky surfer clothes, and other sea imagery. by Tim DiGravina

tracks
1.father to a sister of thought
2.kris kraft
3.mussle rock (is a horse in transition)

Links:
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Agent Orange (2000) Greatest & Latest/This That -N-The Other Thing (Cleopatra Recs.)


As much as I love Agent Orange, I'm not sure I understand this release. The new, opening "It's All a Blur" is welcome, just the sort of surf/mod punk-pop they've done so well for so long, in a genre they created and have had to themselves for 20 years. Ditto the cover of the Weirdos' punk cruncher "Message From the Underworld" they've been covering live for a few years, and another fine original, the floor-tom-thumping "What's the Combination?" Bully! But we've been waiting for a new studio LP -- which would only be their fourth in all that time -- since 1996's Virtually Indestructible, and these three songs could have been the building blocks towards that. Instead, the other 10 songs are rerecordings of songs off those earlier records, the definition of pointless.
Of course, it's pointless, but not worthless. It's a different lineup now, with the great Mike Palm backed by Sam Bolle on bass and Steve Latanation on drums. And so it's interesting and fun to hear new, speeded-up-tempo slam-throughs of  "Say It Isn't True," "Tearing Me Apart," "I Kill Spies," and their certified classics "Bloodstains" (the Offspring admitted they stole this for the blockbuster "Come Out and Play") and "Everything Turns Grey." But the original versions are all better, if not horribly so, so you're left wishing they'd used that studio time to record Palm's new material, whatever he's composed in four years of solid touring, instead.
Get this for sure, though, if you already have the others, or if you absolutely can't find them. It's like a studio-quality version of their live sets, and Palm singing great material is always an enormous pleasure. (13428 Maxella Ave. #251, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292; info@agentorange.net) ~ Jack Rabid

tracks
1.it's all a blur
2.say it isn't true
3.breakdown
4.wouldn't last a day
5.everything turns grey
6.message from the underworld
7.eldorado
8.tearing me apart
9.cry for help in a world gone mad
10.i kill spies
11.bloodstains
12.what's the combination?
13.bite the hand that feeds (instro)

Links:
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The Groovie Ghoulies (1997) Re-Animation Festival (Lookout Recs.)


The scratchy opening chords of "Tunnel of Love," the first number on the Groovie Ghoulies' 1997 album Re-Animation Festival, build momentum as the verses repeat, climbing like a rickety wooden roller coaster until the song explodes into its downward race, an ecstatic rock romance about a special, spooky love. The tempo on the next songs doesn't let up, nor does the romance, making this album the perfect soundtrack for a party when that special someone you've got a zombie crush on is in attendance. "That's That," contains a classic Ghoulies line for wooing: "I need you like zombies need brains." And if that crush doesn't work out, even after you've plied your beloved with the sounds of the Groovie Ghoulies, the album will look after your heartache with its closing cover songs. Daniel Johnston's tale of devotion, "To Go Home," and Wilson Pickett's tale of woe, "If You Need Me," will leave you crying in your mug of beer -- or in Ghoulies fashion -- crying in your bowl of brains. The drums -- honors are done by ex-Screeching Weasel and Riverdales drummer Dan Panic -- and guitar have an insistent up-tempo pop-punk attitude, but the influences of garage rock and blues rear up throughout the album, especially on Roach's guitar solos. "Graceland" pays tribute to Elvis Presley with ghoulish humor, opening with a rendition of Elvis' call to action, "Hold it fellows, that don't move me, let's get real gone," from his song "Milkcow Blues Boogie." The bassline flirts along under a rambunctious romp, while telling of a voodoo ceremony to make the King get up and shake it once more. Kepi's voice has attained greater attitude on this album, and he throws in plenty of vocal flourishes like Mick Jagger on a sugar high. This record is a good introduction to what the Groovie Ghoulies know best -- simple, well-written songs with an infectious buoyant energy, and a flawless instinct for great cover songs. ~ Sarah Tomlinson

tracks
1.tunnel of love
2.graveyard girlfriend
3.that's that
4.school is out
5.chupacabra
6.zombie crush
7.graceland
8.maze effect
9.evading the greys
10.satisfy me
11.to go home
12.if you nedd me

Links:
senha/pass: hha
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7 Year Bitch (1994) Viva Zapata (C/Z Recs.)


Despite the tragic loss of guitarist Stefanie Sargent, Viva Zapata! represents a musical leap forward for 7 Year Bitch, finding the group's attack cleaner, with a stronger sense of groove. Just as importantly, more of the songs here employ actual hooks, including "Hip Like Junk," and a cover of Jim Carroll's "It's Too Late," and the near-ballad "Damn Good and Well." But the album's most powerful moment comes with "M.I.A.," an alternately sad and angry tribute to band inspiration and slain Gits leader Mia Zapata. Contrary to what some punk purists might assume, 7 Year Bitch hasn't lost an ounce of passion on Viva Zapata!; they've just learned how to channel it better. by Steve Huey

tracks
1.scratch
2.hip like junk
3.m.i.a.
4.derailed
5.cats meow
6.rock a bye
7.it's too late
8.damn good and well
9.kiss my ass goodbye
10.icy blue
11.get lit

Links:
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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Pavement (1992) Trigger Cut (Matador Recs.)


Trigger Cut is a short, amazing look back into Pavement's early days. Collecting "Trigger Cut" from the band's elliptical, genius album Slanted and Enchanted and two aggressive, moody B-sides, the single shines like a beacon out of the indie underground. It signaled that Pavement could further expand the cool, artsy sound they first displayed on Slanted and Enchanted and the earlier, assorted releases that would eventually be collected on Westing (By Musket and Sextant). "Trigger Cut" is quite charming, sounding like a sunny outtake from Television's Marquee Moon. The production certainly isn't as lo-fi as Pavement's 7" days, but the pop sheen of Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain is nowhere to be found. The B-sides are similarly raw, and surprisingly somewhat angry. "Sue Me Jack" comes off like an attack against heaven knows what; Stephen Malkmus sounds quite irate as he sings about being "on the left" and screams about fighting. Squalls of guitar feedback and/or warped sound effects take as firm a stance in the mix as a tense lead guitar, which rings atmospherically like a bass. by Tim DiGravina

tracks
1.trigger cut
2.sue me jack
3.so stark (you're a skyscraper)

Links:
senha/pass: hha
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