Thursday, September 19, 2013

EAR PLUGS IV: Beating the Dead Horse; The Ramones are Dead.

olde ty-me
The horse struggles to breathe with every shallow breath having a slim chance of being its last effort. Waiting... Waiting... Wait... ing... As much as you would personally hate to say it, or do it- or watch it. He raises the pistol. He is going for the quick way. Such a waste of an important bullet, but none-the-less faster and more effective. Quicker. More humane.

C.J. its all up to you now.
Placing the pistols shaft into the horses ear, it would be an easier entry into the animals brain. Sometimes, the bullet gets lodged in the skull, or at the last minute the animal jerks its head, struggling for life when the animal itself knows each moment is measured and time is closing... To ensure the small bullets killing potential, the barrel was shoved as far into the horses ear... The animal whined and moved a bit. Fighting to live for every moment of life left.


It was over.

Welcome back to THWART and another installment of Ear Plugs. Starting off... I have four LP's from DEAD BEAT RECORDS... Back in the day, Dead Beat was a standard. Years later, its even more important. Nowadays Dead Beat Records + Mailorder is the Incognito Records of today. Excellent selection. Good prices. Great quality... I thought at one time I was too jaded to ever really like to hunt and find great bands. Was there any great bands left to be found, listened to and watch out for? Yes to all of those. First up is CURTAINS! True i did listen to the first side on 45 and most of the second side too until I discovered that its not a 12"EP, its a good ol' fashioned 45rpm LP. Deep in The Night City lands hard, precise jabs with effects driven sometimes creepily minimal goth-punk delivering a mix of mostly Bauhaus and Chrome type punk but backed with the vocalist from Pylon. At other select times I can hear touches of A Certain Ratio ie Curtains' "Gamma Cicada", The Fall with "Fire Party" and its Night City B-Side significant other "The Mollusk" who bring to mind Small Parts era No Means No too. Fans of Lost Sounds and/or Subtonix, this is your new favorite band. Your welcome. 

Next up is FIST CITY which I assume is named after the Loretta Lynn song (YOU LOOK IT UP) bring to mind a mixture of the riot grrl sounds of the mid-late 90's as if Bratmobile and Heavens to Betsy tried to play songs exactly like Sleeter Kinny and not only failed beautifully but ended up sounding like a mix of a fem heavy Rites of Spring. On Hunting You you have lo-fi K Records punk that has the styling of not only those grrrl bands, but a bit of The Cleans trademark bounce behind them. At times the vocals are mudded together with some heavy reverb and delay that is annoying (at times) but its not a big negative point. In the early millennials, this is the sort of band and the sort of record that would be spinning when you showed up with a 12 pack of Strohs and a Chevy Cavalier back seat full of amps for band practice and before the 12 pack gets cracked your asking "Who in the fuck is this?" How do I know? Been there. Done that! This LP rocks and that is that. Worth your attention. 

LE FACE attack with the twangy clean guitars, anxiety turned into raw sound and energy yielding a strong fresh sound. They say "fuck" in EVERY song... Hits like a new  line-up of KBD sweethearts The Child Molesters and Chicago's Mentally Ill. Totally brilliant in every way. A while back I reviewed THE SICK THRILLS (Columbus, OH) LP-EP and yeah, the sound did suffer a bit but you could look past it to see fucking brilliance. Well, Le Face tap into that same brilliance with a better mix. Yeah, I heard this band has links to Le Shok... I could just as easily research that and tell you but I'm not. The links, which do exist even though I don't know exactly where are not important. No, the mention of a connection to Le Shok should be enough to perk up your ears. it was enough for me to perk mine up! Yeah, I'm a real fucking sucker... But this time, it paid off. 

When I see a description of a band, and PVC are noted... Im there. Thats was the case with MODERN PETS   whose latest release Sorry Thanks still has that new record smell. Whereas the whole PVC thing isnt really that solid in my own viewpoints, Listens of this LP in conjunction with Tidewaters THE GREAT DISMAL SWAMIS made me fall in love with garage-punk all over again. And yes, that's a GOOD thing. Almost instantly I hear some Spits shining through as the needle hits the records, almost simultaneously a light bulb goes out. One of those kinda light-bulbs that they don't make anymore, a classic light bulb. Having that sharp monotone singing style  bouncing with the ripping guitar that The Spits have sort of claimed as their own... Well, them and A FRAMES , Thank god I have the certainty of garage-punk still in my life to smother all the bad times. This time around, as with Modern Pets,  there's more tools and better tools to record these bands. I can only wonder how THE MOTARDS first record would have sounded like nowadays... Too bad what happened to those guys. Not that i really know what happened and/or een if it was bad, I just assumed it, with it being relative didnt work out. So, anyway, I have been writing this EAR PLUGS for quite sometime now.. Just yesterday I got another slew f Dead Beat Records and preliminary listens are strong. If its been a while since you check Dead Beat out, then please do so now. Top/Prime stuff. A name that will undoubtedly be showing up more on Thwart. 

Speaking of THE SPITS, I have decided  whilst listening to another title-less LP on IN THE RED RECORDS that this band is The Ramones of contemporary punk. Their sound is consistently good in every category available. One day, in the mid-late 90's there seemed to be a time when high levels  of guilt swept through scenes worldwide acknowledging The Ramones and their their true worth. So bands set about a stream of emulated Ramones Tribute albums to show and declare loyalty. I never really got that. I felt it was too much of a bandwagon to jump on. Yeah, it was nice effort and all but verily much so a gimmick. It was a nice, unneeded effort, but bands in the coming years will look at The Spits the same way and will ultimately fail to emulate this band, their records or attitude. I don't even know if this is the latest LP. That's not important... 

What is important is that I'm gonna get to right the wrong of missing The Spits last Cincinnati show! On October 17th at Mayday join me in righting that wrong. I don't want you to have that guilt/Burden that I never thought would be relinquished from my grasp. Hell, I may even slam-dance.. 

Please note: The Ramones are dead. No empire last forever. Beard-nod

At first I was MEGA pissed that I bought the FANFARLO Rooms Full of Light (LP version) because it included a digital download of the songs... To my disbelief, when I opened the LP to rotate it, lo' and behold, the digital download had EXPIRED! AAAAaGGGHHHH! I 'voiced' my disgust to Fanfarlo via Twitter hoping for an 'Amos to the Rescue' moment but alas, I was the sucker with this one. Well played music industry, well played. Initial listens were not strong. I have seen oodles of this bands videos on you tube and honestly, almost everyone of them are better than any recording on this record... or so I thought, initially... But I came round quickly finding these songs invading my mind and making me hum-a -long with them as they played. Although, i will say their follow-up, Reservoir hit harder and faster. Still, a great, amazing band I recommend from my softer, more whispered side

A copy of Plastic Ono Band by JOHN LENNON arrived from a secret admirer? Honestly, Ive never been ultra impressed with the Beatles stuff or much less their solo offerings. This CD gave me a greater understanding. Quickly, one by one the infection sank in and I 'got it'. "Well Well Well"... "Working Class Hero" shit yeah. Fuck the Beatles (still, for now) but these songs are timeless. I have always dug Yoko Ono... my views changed when I found out she was involved with Ted Turners Georgia Guidestone Project (Were all entitled to a stubborn mistake or two or three) but recently I publicly forgave her for that. 

Preliminary listens to THE WALKMEN's latest effort Heaven are strong. Basically, early on I became entrapped with their sound. If Roy Orbison was a young dude, this would be what he sounded like. Album for album, The Walkmen have released much better material than everyone darlings The Strokes, Kings of Leon and Interpol combined. Yeah, I'm a fucking sucker for this shit whatever you wanna call it. Is Heaven the same ol same ol from The Walkmen? Maybe bit with slight production differences... This seems to me to be a 'top of the hill' record. They fought their fight, won their battles and need something new to prove. Complacency is a great, but terrible spot to be in. This could quite honestly be a final Walkmen album... I'm sure there's pressures for solo carreers and such.. Im sirry, Paul Banks solo is just Interpol. No use for it... But anyhow, this is a great listen, ANOTHER great album by The Walkmen... if you like that sort of thing. Heaven is worth at least a mention even if it sounds more like a confession. 

To much adeiu, By reccomendations of Gunther 8544 and Joe from SHAKE IT RECORDS I was luckily enpough re-introduced to THE BATS and picked up a compilation of their singles totled Completely Bats at Shake It Records. Bouncy NZ post-punk THE CLEAN sound like demos to The Bats and with good reason (so figure it out yourself) and yes, Im sure Shake It Records can get in more copies. Please let the official record be known that I now possess both ICEAGE Lp's New Brigade and You're Nothing. So everything is OK. I see this band as the modern equivelant of The Germs, I have said it before, I will say it again. This is one of those bands that you love or you despise. Im sure they know that... These LPs are worth the lyric book that comes with them that could pass of for a poetry chapbook or zine. Awesome. Until next time, keep plugging your ears with music, bullets or your fingers. Whichever comes first.

The ears have already been getting plugged for installment #5 as this installment comes to a close... More Dead Beat arrivals have me buzzed and who knows what else may come my way. until next time, later.

I Miss This Band
The Great Dismal Swamis

"You cant be what you were.. There's no movement in a bad mouth"