Friday, October 31, 2014

French Kicks - One Time Bells CD

When I heard a song from this CD on my local Independent alternative station it just sort of clicked. It did take a few listens to really get the gist of it, but man, this shit is pretty happening. Think Guided By Voices... Yeah, something that some readers around these parts might not really get persay, but really, Guided By Voices have written some great songs and still, with the release of each new CD or whatever, still amaze me on how they can continue to write listenable music, STILL.... Well, French Kicks, in their so far short time around, are what I would feel, just as good song writers. You have some real powerful songs on here. Whereas this might not be a CD to drink a 12 pack to or smoke a bong load or whatever, more like one you would drink slow-gin fizzes to....One Time Bells has some real strong points for songs like "1985", "When You Heard You", "Trying Whining", and "Close to Modern". Basically, I'm a sucker for a well-written song. Strong arrangements... Everything is where it should be.... I hear more Les Savy Fav in this band than in Enon. Personally, this CD far out does Young Lawyer, my first French Kicks exposure... French Kicks are not as moving as The Strokes in the delivery of their songs, but they are more adventuresome in alot of ways. For you more loose conventionalist Neoteric fans out there, check this out it does have something to offer....

Kevin Donahue of Pariahs/Flesh and The Devils - Interview

                                                                                                                                                                                                            INTRODUCTION; The man really needs no introduction.If you have lived in Cincinnati for the past 18 years and have had even a passing interest in music then you have heard of THE PARIAHS. The following is an interview conducted with founder and lead singer of THE PARIAHS Kevin Donahue. I sat down with him on October 21, 2014 in his apartment on Jefferson Avenue in the Clifton neighborhood of Cincinnati, Ohio.


Interview and pictures by O.R. Bond (BOLD) with assistance and transcribe help from  Andrea W. Answers by Kevin Donahue


(Kevin was diagnosed with lung cancer about two years ago and has already outlived his doctors projection of longevity!!!)                        

It's fluctuating but I'm hanging in there!!!                                                                                   

HOW MANY YEARS HAVE THE PARIAHS BEEN AROUND?                                  
The first inception of the pariahs was in 1996 and I can't say it"s been a continuous thing.There were some down years.Times where I was locked up, times I wasn't doing it cause there wasn't any players available,but its been on and off since 1996.                                                                                 


In all fairness, I gotta say I owe anybody who did anything for this project.Anybody who has been in a band knows that there is going to be some friction. It's almost impossible to avoid. There was something to be said for every line up. In my humble opinion, even at our most anept, I thought "I would listen to that."That's not me bragging,that's a fact!!!                                                                                 


It's difficult to say.The current one is really good.I get a lot of real favorable comments about the line up with Chris Surface and Mike Weinel in the late 90's.We practiced our asses off!!!It was like being in the Marines.                                                                                                                             

THAT WAS MY FAVORITE LINE UP!!! (one of them).                                                  

There was times when we doing shows at Sudsy's and I'd be loaded to the gills.We knew the songs so well I could be thinking about my finances for the month.It was like we could go on auto-pilot and do that stuff.We were well rehearsed. Then on the other hand there is something to be said for not taking it seriously. You don't want to get too obsessed when the bottom line is just having some fun.        


The first one was the first line up. It's kind of confusing because the original guitarist was a guy named Steve O'neil. He was replaced by Mike Weinel.So the line up on that was a guy named Chris Martin, Zarlene on drums, Donough Cullen on guitar and Steve O'neil. I remember our first show was at Sudsy's on a Friday the 13th.(f13) in December of 96. I had a tempature of 102 that night and i could barely talk let alone sing. I couldn't talk for a week after our first show.Mike Wendel joined after the third show and that was the original line up.                                                                                                    


"I must be mad" was the later outfit. The one with Chris Surface,Weinel and a drummer who was a friend of our later drummer Kirk but I cant remember his name.He really understood the dynamics of drumming, he didn't hog it up!!! Because in a band like that if one guy starts show boating and hot doggin', he fucks it up for everyone else.                                                                                                 


Without any doubt, opening for Dead Moon. I was giddy like a child. They were one of my idols. Fred Cole was sitting there grinning from ear to ear when we played!!!I had always heard that he could be a grump and he was very particular in the music he liked. So for him to dig us was very honorable!!!It was sad because I had to work the next morning so I wasn't able to stay and watch them play. His wife Toodie gave me a card for their record label/music store.He wanted to record us but two things happened. One, I lost that card. And two, I went to prison!!!                                                          

WHAT WAS THE MOST AWKWARD GIG YOU EVER DID?                                        

In a recent line up, Weinel was playing with us and we had a running joke. When a gig felt uncomfortable, I would get a kick out of Mike lookin at me and saying: "maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all!!!"We were playing a family block party in Newport K.Y. in 2013. They had one of those rubber room houses that kids play in and it was pretty family oriented. The neighbors had laid out covered dishes, that type of thing. The band before us had all these little girls out dancing to their music and when we took the stage those same girls became scared and ran away!!!                                                       

GIVE ME YOUR TOP FIVE ROCKERS OF ALL TIME.                                               

There wouldn't have been a Pariahs without The Cramps!!!That's where I got the idea to do this type of music.The Cramps had their own way of learning a cover, they would unlearn them!!! That's where we got the approach of doing covers in our own style thus making the songs our own!!!So I owe a lot to Lux and The Cramps.                                                                                                                   

NUMBER TWO?                                                                                                            

Well I cant go on without saying something about Roky Erickson!!!                                           


It was in the 70's in the University of Dayton' s ghetto.The original Nuggets record couldn't be found in the Midwest at that time.The east coast kids had access to music we couldn't get our hands on.Before Nuggets was on Sire records it was on a cereal box. That is what the graphics were.So I'd say sometime in 1976. Bare in mind I was already familiar with most of those songs from my childhood. I knew The Electric Prunes. I knew The Chocolate Watchband. Nuggets had a major impact on me!!!I felt like I didn't have to apologize for being an intelligent kid from the suburbs. So much of punk up to that point was: "look at me I'm brainless". The punks would prove their moxy by bashing their heads against a wall!!!                                                                                                                                                   

NUMBER THREE?                                                                                               

Keith Richards. He's just an iconic figure. He's got his r&b thing down!!!                                   

WHAT ABOUT MONO MAN?(OF THE LYRES)                                                           

 He's definitely top ten material!!!                                                                                               

NUMBER FOUR?                                                                                                          

Arthur Lee. If they ever invent time travel , I'd give my eye tooth to see one of those shows on the Sunset Strip back then. I mean you had Jagger,Richards and Sal Mineo all waiting in line to see Love!!!It was sad he ended up a virtual unknown though he did have a cult following.                               


If I heard any of that it really didn't stick out.My favorite band as a child was The Beatles. I remember being four years old and seeing them on Ed Sullivan like everyone else did. It was a huge media event and it blew me away!!! It wasn't hype , they were actually good musicians. I think George Harrison is one of the great guitarists!!! I never dug Paul McCartneys solo stuff but he was a great bass player. John Lennon was very smart and Ringo Starr kept a really good beat.I can't just say one person, just The Beatles!!!                                                                                                                                




The Customs!!!The Aubenaires!!!There was a band called El Kabong.They were named after a Warner Brothers cartoon that was similar to QuickDrawMcGraw. In the 80's not too many people knew about garage around here.It was kind of like a secret society. I have to mention Doc and The Pods. They were a jangly Paisley Underground sounding band.                                                                

WHAT ABOUT THE SLOBS?                                                                                       

The Slobs were cool. I used to go see their shows all the time.                                                  

WHAT ABOUT BILLY CATFISH?                                                                                

He's very cool!!! A lot of people have never seen me drunk. Every rumour about me from the 80"s is true!!! I was probably worse than the story you heard!!! There were alot of shows that I was at in just physical presence. I have to name The Nicklesons!!! It was one of Doug Milburns bands. They reminded me alot of the great DMZ. A perfect blend of 60's and 70's punk!!!It was reved up garage. I almost call myself a protege of Dougs!!! He really inspired me.                                                               

FAVORITE CINCINNATI VENUE?                                                                               

Many people didn't like it but I always loved Top Cats!!! I thought Bobby(r.i.p) and Vicki were wonderful people. They used to open up the back patio in the middle of winter so The Pariahs could smoke pot!!! It was hard to get people to come down the street from Sudsy's. But I loved Top Cats.I loved the room and definitely loved the management!!!                                                                              


Well it's dirty laundry time!!! Let's put it this way, I was arrested on felony drug charges. This was during the Carter Presidencey and it was lenient times.I was a first time offender and they gave me treatment in leiu of conviction. So I had an uncle who lived here in Cincinnati and he was high up in the Catholic archdiocese(sp?). He agreed to take a supervisory role in my probation. So that's how I ended up here, it was a legal reason...and downtown was totally different back then.I mean the punks hung out on fountain square during the day but at night it was mostly me and my black friends smoking and selling pot!!!We were downtown rats!!! I was young and it was so much fun back then.                                     

Well there are three guys named Kevin in the band!!! Hennesey, Apgar and me Donahue. Also in the band is Sean Morrissey and Stace Keeney. It's probably the only band in rock-n-roll history where the singer was recruited in an oncology unit!!! I was asked to join the band and I had tubes in my lungs,tubes down my throat, etc.and these guys come and ask me to be in their band!!! I was really honored!!! I think Sean and Stace wrote some really good music. The only problem was I wasn't familiar with the lyrics and one of the effects of my chemo is I've lost alot of my short term memory. We managed to pull off a show at MOTR where I had to read the lyrics off of cue cards but nobody noticed!!! What was very symbolic was as I was coming out of chemo, Stacey was coming out of the maternity ward after having his first child!!! So it was like one fading and one starting life!!!I love that band. I just wish the record would have done better.(Flesh and The Devils 45rpm record is available at local record stores and was issued on Granada Records/I suggest getting a copy as it's very groovy!!!)      

WE DID TIME IN THE SAME PRISON(NOBLE CORRECTIONAL FACILITY).CAN YOU GIVE ME A PRISON STORY?                                                                       

We were sitting in the dayroom one time.This was when I was just hitting my stride.Coming into the joint, I was a little nervous. I'd never been to prison before.Once i got my footing I knew I could handle it!!!It was a matter of knowing how to act. Anyways, there was this guy who really had it in for me.He was a real punk. I thought he was jealous because I had a lot of friends and he wasn"t that popular. So one time we are all in the day room, about 25 guys, and he says:"hey Donahue, how come you ain't got no tattoos? Are you scared?" I looked at him and said:" You know I always considered myself to be a non-conformist!!!" Everyone in the room was laughing at his ass saying:"Hell na Donahue you a raw piece!!" That guy didn't even know what conformist meant!!! He vaguely knew he'd been put down. My last week there I spent all my time next to my bunk because I watched a buddy of mine get punched in the yard ,get cuffed and almost got taken to the hole.That was a reality check, they could of kept him past his out date!!! But I made it through without having anything stolen from me or having a single fight!!!! There is a code in the joint, the old school factor. Nobody really fucked with me because I was older. I didn't have to fight to live like a lot of young bucks in there.  

I'm going to sound like a total hypocrite or like the mean dad like"do as I say not as I do" but, I say stay the fuck away from drugs!!!Waste of time and money!!!                                                            

YOU ONCE TOLD ME THAT DOING COCAINE WAS LIKE DRINKING A POT OF COFFEE AND SETTING YOUR MONEY ON FIRE!!! WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ELEVATORS SONG?                                                                                                                         

A tie between "slip inside this house" and "levitation"                                                                  

ANY REGRETS?MUSICALLY WITH THE PARIAHS?                                                  

Yea you brought up my drug issues and I think I put some people through some unnecessary stuff.I could be a snide bitch!!!Especially when I was high I could be very abrasive.The hours getting late for me and if I ever hurt anyone I humbly apologize.As I stated before I owe a great deal to anyone who was ever part of The Pariahs.                                                                                                         


STEVE ONEIL : UNIQUE                                                                                                                  
CHRIS MARTIN: DEDICATED                                                                                                         
MIKE WEINEL: BRILLIANT                                                                                                             
JEFF HOFFMAN: SKILLED                                                                                                               
SCOTT HAGGERTEY: SKILLED!!!                                                                                                   
THE GOOCH(BRIAN MANN): HARD                                                                                              
ZARLENE: FUN                                                                                                                                 
KIRK: DEDICATED                                                                                                                          
ANDY JODY: PERCUSSIONIST SUPREME                                                                                      
Photo: Granado Records
Flesh and The Devils 7" Still Available.


JERRY WELLS: FLUID                                                                                                                     
BILL WEBBER: ROCK-N-ROLL                                                                                                       
TOM JORN: BRILLIANT                                                                                                                   
MIKE STOKS: HARD                                                                                                                        
CHRIS SURFACE: GOOD                                                                                                                  
JOHN BLACKBURN: FLUID                                                                                                            
KEVIN DONAHUE?: SINCERE!!!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 


THANK YOU!!!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            


ADDENDUM by Chris Surface
"Brian Williamson played drums with us on "I Must Be Mad", filling in for Kirk who had somehow broken his arm at the time we were set to record. Also, Dan Leonard served as drummer for a brief spell as well. Again, loved the interview! Thanks!"

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Erase Errata - Other Animals CD

So. I go out to my car this morning. Well, it wasn’t really morning in the societal definition of the word ‘morning’, but it wasn’t to long after I woke up. It was MY morning.... I had to unload my equipment from my new vehicle, Darth Vader, my 2002 Black Cavalier with Low-pro tires. I had a "show" last night where after Zero Crag played two guys wanted to use our equipment for an impromptu performance. One of the guys had drank so much beer before we played that he had passed out for our whole set except two songs. The other guy was just a run of the mill fuck. They asked me and I told them no. I didn't care if one could play "Welcome to the Jungle" with his teeth or not, or if the other guy was the best drummer in the world, which he in fact said to me.... I figured if the one was such a good drummer, he would have been playing somewhere instead of asking to play someone else’s drums and the other guy.... I don't care what he can play with his teeth on guitar. Get a fucking life! I actually had to raise my voice to keep them away from the equipment then when they had the audacity to tell me I was a mean and salty person I simply told them I didn’t give a fuck what they thought. Then the teeth guy told me he could fucking kick my ass and kill me in six months and to take that to the bank.

"I’ll take that to the bank of I Don't Give A Fuck," I told him, "...and make a deposit." Ah... well, anyway, this morning I went out to my car to get this CD and unload equipment. I found a fucking HUGE cicada camping out on my Trace Elliot SMC712 amp. Cicadas! This isn't their year by far, but none the less it was there. I unloaded what I could so as not to provoke an attack and went into my yard and got a big fucking stick. I tried to "shoo" it out of my car but eventually, it climbed aboard the stick. I brought the stick with the bug outside my car and tried to smash it on the ground. He quickly took to flight as the stick broke in half as I hit the ground. The fucking thing was so big that you could actually hear it fly away. I threw the part of the stick still in my hand at it as it flew away. I got surprisingly close to the fucking thing. As the stick whizzed by it, its flight path got a little disturbed but the bug quickly recovered and escaped.

Both instances have occurred since purchasing this CD. I blame Erase Errata. There's a strange aura surrounding this CD. Its music weaves pockets of debauchery. This is quite honestly one of the best CDs I have got in a while. Fucking amazing. Joe Domino has been ranting about this band for a while now, and with good reason! Musically, they remind me of The Raincoats, but really sound closer to what Liliput/Kleenex have done. Remember post-punk soldiers Au Pair? That too...that's more obscure, but just as important.

Erase Errata do no wrong on this CD; no wrong at all. They play as titans of Neoteric energy. Each song is a treat. There's even two "un-Songs" on this CD... Moments of sonic action not really adhering to any real theme... It's weird because I'm getting into this whole "un-song" thing too. I just call it "Sonic-art". Erase Errata look at what they are doing as not JUST music, it's a way. It's a representation. It's a catalogue of emotion and moments. It's sonic-art! I fucking love it!!!

You got "Fault List"... "Tongue Tied".... "Other Animals are #1"...and "Marathon" which really shows you how this Neoteric Punk/Wave thing is done. Erase Errata are OUT THERE!!!! They know no boundaries and make no distinction. They are truly original meaning that they are looking as to what they are doing as what they want. Jerky. Flashpoint. Cracking foundations. I see this band leading a charge of sonic art revolution. I see this band making a difference to all who listen. I see this band as one of the most influential bands to come out of 2002. Other Animals is a belief. It's a forecast. It's a prophecy and today, I think I just fought the first battle.

Flying insects. True enemies. Monkey men are loose! Monkey men are loose!!!! It's Big Boute not Big Booty!!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Enon - High Society CD

I guess I just really want a new Les Savy Fav LP. You see, I read somewhere that this band brought some reviewer somewhere to mind of Les Savy Fav so I decided to check them out. Whereas this CD is pretty cool, it has yet to really grab me. I mean, FUCK! There some good songs on this... Like "Pleasure and Privilege" is pretty Les Savy Fav like... The first song, "Old Dominion" is Queens of The Stone Age like, so that's pretty cool too. There's a wide range of variety on this CD that just sort of doesn’t really make me feel too well. I mean, I'm one of those people who really get into music. It's NOT JUST music, it's fucking emotion to me. This CD is a rollercoaster ride from one end of the spectrum to the other with very little warning of gradual-ness. It almost sounds as if this is a band whose sound is in transition and in High Society's case, it caught the band right in the middle from something to something else. I have been reassured from other people I have been talking to about this CD that their other stuff is way better. I have yet to check that out or not, but man, all I have is time. I suppose... I mean, I don't feel like I'm going to die anytime soon, but fuck man, you never know.... I hope I gave you a starting point for this band if you have yet to hear them. If you have your eye on something else that your pretty sure is going to get you off pretty good, stick with that. If you are looking to reach out and grab hold of something... If you feel like taking a risk. Try this out. Like I said, I'm still waiting to reach a familiarity with this CD where I'm like, "Yeah, it's THAT song!" Tread carefully... Coral snakes are everywhere and they aren't that big. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Donovan Stokes - Were at War and Your Not Paying Attention CD

This is the story of Brian Deneke as told by news clippings and testimonials with bass feedback and improvisational pieces in the background. Yeah, many of you have heard of this case, it was all over the news when it happened, but this CD sort of gives a whole new twist on the whole story. I mean to hear actual voices say such stupid shit about someone and their actions... It's fucking disturbing. "His car slipped on Ice just at the same moment Brian slipped on some Ice so the car ran over him." Fuck man, the Brian Deneke case is one of those things that people should never be allowed to forget. This CD doesn’t have too much to offer musically, but it's still a good listen. I would like to see other CDs done with other worthy events, like maybe something a little more lighthearted like the James Traficant case. I mean, yeah, it's maybe not a serious as someone killing someone else and then getting probation, but none the less, I hope projects like this become more and more popular. Spreading the REAL news, especially through alternative sources like this is all good in my book of government terrorist checkpoints.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Digital Block- Installment Seven. Part 4 of 4

i i i i
Basic soccer plays and the basic principals of the Nazi Blitzkrieg used to invade Poland (amoungst other European countries) is very similar. Goose-step all the way to semi-finals!!!

Also fun: When listening to NFL game announcers and such put in mind that they arent talking about football, but are generals talking about plans to invade Iraq. "What we have to do Terry is get behind the defense and penetrate into the enemies endzone and score some touchdowns. Were going to start the game in the air but will eventually bring it to the ground somewhere after halftime."

Im close to finishing Sewer Gas and Electric by Matt Ruff. An inspiring book. You see it, I highly recomend it. I also squuzed in a showing of One Hour Photo with Robin Williams. Great fucking movie. Also highly recomended. Velcro Shoes!!!!

I care about the deinitions of words because I want to be understood when I write and talk. George Custer is alive and well in a trailer park he owns in Central Florida called "The Big Little Big Horn Trailer and RV Park". He passes his days still wearing his Calvary Saber that he has become adept at opening cans of BBQ Vienna Sausages with.

Wipers = Box Set

I went over the Wipers sound in a past review of Over the Edge in the past, so refer to that if you want. I think I may have even stated something about that being their first Record. I didn’t know that for a fact, but it sounded as if it was a debut because it was damn good. Well, after getting this box set, which I must add clocked in under $30 (a great deal for three CDs), I discover that Over The Edge was the Wipers THIRD release! Before that, were two equally great full lengths!!

You know, maybe this isn’t the place to say something like this but I wish I was dead. Oh wait, that’s not it. The Wipers Greg Sage is beginning to be seen by me as the punk rock Jimi Hendrix. He just has this certain style and his guitar talks in an unknown language to my ears. I like to put The Wipers on to further inspire me after eating Chinese buffet at Super China over on Colrain Avenue by Big K-Mart. The Wipers are even now reminding me of Kansas Titans, The Embarrassment. Especially their first ever recorded, and never released "Born with a Curse".

This box set gathers the three original full lengths, including the Alien Boy EP, six never released songs, and outtakes galore, all with liner notes by Wipers front-man, Greg Sage!!! This set is amazing, a must have! When I first seen it, it was a no-brainer. The Wipers are true pioneers and these songs prove it. Save your money, sell some of your shitty garage punk CDs, and put some music in your head that deserves to be there: The Wipers!!! 

Slowjets - Good Morning Stars CD

Really, it’s not the fact that I drank some sort of French stuff that’s one or so steps down from Absinthe that leads me to drive around Cincinnati collecting pictures of cellular phone towers then putting them in a zine. I swore, that night when I discovered I could get three of the fuckers in one photo, I swore, when I wrote this review I wasn’t going to mention anything about Morphius Records releasing a terrible UK Subs/National Razor split CD. I mean, didn’t 

I take them off the probation list?

Yeah. I did. Glad I didn’t go there....

The Slowjets! FUCK YEAH!!!! THE SLOWJETS!!!! Damn, this is a great band. They have some greatness that I must come out and mention right away: STRONG (as Vietcong) songwriting!!!! The songs on ‘…Stars’ are catchy, melodic and razor sharp. Hitting, like the promo said, like a mix of Guided By Voices (Robert Pollard) and Wire (leaning more towards the Voices though). The Slowjets really bring to mind a past review and band from my local city: Del Toro. (Note to Morphius record executives: Send agents here now.). The Slowjets remind me of Del Toro. Actually, it’s all sort of making sense. After all, Guided By Voices are from my area. Liking bands like this is bred into me or something...

‘Good Morning, Stars’ is not the punk blarer that some might be looking for. It’s neither garage rock. You know, all those kids you see at shows with backpacks? Well, this is their type of band. Indie-pop, even though that brings to mind some sorts of wimpiness that I think the Jets don’t warrant. Yes, it’s Neoteric Punk/Wave. In other words, you put on a song like "Heartbreak for the Socialites" and bam, I’m pulling a switchblade out on someone!!! One day, I will be a producer and I will get hold of a band like this and really do some damage.

Some keeper tracks include: "To The Lighthouse", "Elephant Traps", "Instant Loser" and the aforementioned "Heartbreak...." and last but never leased: "Slipping out from Snares".

"I’ve seen moons, I’ve seen an age of sadness and caught fools in arrays of camouflage"


This is a good release. Nice to listen to when drinking foreign liquors. Neon Indeed!!!! 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Thee Shams - You Got It

Thee Shams. Riding on the anticipation of their second full length CD, Thee Shams pull this single out of nowhere, holding us over till the full length. Fans of good ol’ fashioned whisky bottle, pill swilling, rock and/or roll take note: Two songs here of QUALITY. Of RESPECT. Of HONOR. Making the decadent gods of grime and dust, the dirt in unseen places smile and wink.

"You Got It" represents classic Shams if you ask me. Classic for a band that has not really been around enough in some eyes to be classic, but that’s how I call it. Thee Shams are about statement of the obvious. No bullshit here. The bottom line of the bare essentials. Thee Shams. "You Got It" BECAUSE YOU DO! Not BECAUSE YOU MIGHT. BECAUSE YOU DO!

The B side. Here you got "Your Lovin’ Man"... This song tells the story of Thee Shams formation. In a backwoods bar is where Thee Shams met; they met as boys. They felt good if for no other reason than they were sitting as equals, and not even being legal age meant nothing! Teenagers in a place of men, as equals! Driving on Route 6, they picked a place at random. If they entered and were denied service due to age restrictions, they would move onward to the next stop. Luckily enough, it took only one stop. Lucky fuckers. They ordered drinks, not being asked to show their ID’s, and were served time and time again. It was sometime around 1:00 A.M. when they were approached. Her name was… Well she went by "Sweet May" is what she told them. Sweet May, a lady of the night. Sweet May might not have been winning any beauty pageants or anything but she had been spying on the boys all night and knew what she had to do. She knew they were "under age". She knew they were "under experienced". But one by one, Sweet May took them to a room above the bar for a lil’ roll. She placed them under her one by one. As legend goes, she said the same thing to each of them as she made them a man. Exactly what was said in that room as manhood reared its head or relentlessness is a well-kept secret to Thee Shams and only Thee Shams. Then, as it goes, the next day Thee Shams had their first practice under the guise of hangovers and morning Vicodin binges. "Your Lovin’ Man" is about that night, when Thee Shams started out as boys, but then became men first, a band second and third, titans.

Subsequently, every year, on the anniversary of that night, Thee Shams venture back to that very same drinking hole. They play for the crowd. They play for all those who can’t play no more. They play for the flame to remain bright. They play to honor their venture from boys to men. They play for Sweet May who watches and dances the night away.

You like Rock and/or roll? Get on board you motherfuckers. Thee Shams have it. "Touch Indeed". Stated.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Rotten Apples - Real Tuff [Durable Plastic] CD

Durable Plastic starts off sounding like a double-ought version of The Jim Carroll band, but by the fourth titan-like song, "Heart Candy", it all hits me! The Rotten Apples are what The Donnas want to be, but since they got locked into a ‘thing’, they will never be what The Rotten Apples are on this disc. Imagine Joan Jett, if she would spend a day or so fondling The Knack and then sit down to write some songs. It would be good shit. The Rotten Apples are the same good shit. This is what Josie and The Pussycats SHOULD have sounded like. The Rotten Apples are garage enough for all you greasy-haired smokin’ mothers, and new wave enough for all you sockless shoe wearing bright-solid-color-shirt pieces of shit.

Yeah, its an all female band singing a little bit much about relationships, that as a producer, I would have alleviated about 90% of; all references to those boys and failed relationships would be replaced with talk of dinosaurs and suicide! In fact, I might be onto something. You see, I should create a set of dice, my SHAWN ABNOXIOUS SONG MODIFIERS that have subjects where numbers usually appear on dice, that all bands who sing about all the usual boring things like relationships, World Trade Centers, and cars, could roll and determine what their old boring song lyrics will be changed to.

Example (not actual Rotten Apple lyrics either):

"I miss what we had"

Grab the SUICIDE suffix dice and give it a roll.

The line then becomes:
"I miss huffing gas"

Roll the EXTINCT CREATURE modifier:
"I miss the triceratops"

Yeah, that could definitely work!!!! Really though, The Rotten Apples don’t need any of my help. These gals know where it’s at all right. It’s everything I want in The Loudmouths, but the Loudmouths were too fast. They lacked something... it’s new wave. The Rotten Apples have honored the reach of new wave without throwing a synth out there every song. It’s possible for guitars to be played LIKE synths. I would like to say I’m even coming close myself. The Rotten Apples HAVE IT THOUGH!!!!! Modern New Wave Guitar: See The Rotten Apples!

Let this CD be the inspiration for a new corps. This is quite honestly the best thing Empty has put out since the Motards. They should drop half the bands that they release and focus on bands like this.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Kill the Hippies = 11 Covers + 20 Bonus Tracks CD

You should need no introduction to this band by now. The best of the best! Neoteric Elite!!!! A treat indeed!!!! I like to refer to this CD-R as "Kill the Hippies: Cover and Smother". I wish the cover art consisted of bound KTH members tied to chairs and draped with albums by bands they covered....I been wanting a release like this from this band. What you, the common listener, don’t know is that there is a plethora of unreleased or hard to find Kill the Hippies songs out there, UN-USED!!! The first feature of this CD-R is like the factory title sez: eleven covers. Me? I mean FUCK! I’m not the biggest fans of covers but that’s because I am not a good musician myself. I’m so bad that I can’t play other people’s music, I can just play my own. Bands like Kill the Hippies are FULL of phenomenal musicians, so figuring out cover songs is no big deal for them. Hell, they even take it one point further, and add a certain flavor to other people’s songs. The covers feature the line-up with Tic Toc Tyler, from the same line-up on the Shit Covered Hits EP. The Covered include Velvet Underground, Blondie, Small Faces, VKTMS, Blur, Adverts, Thor(!), Joan Jett, David Bowie, Dictators, Mott the Hoople, and later-on Devo. The second half of the CD is a hodge-podge of unreleased, hard to find, and some live tracks from every possible KTH line-up except one: the line-up featuring Kenny On-Broadway’s drumming from the Will Not Overstimulate EP era. Kill the Hippies have had a long and in-depth past where they even had another singer besides Morte, and PP Envy who also played guitars. The original material even goes back as far as 1995 up to the present with two songs from the latest ‘Metrognome’ line-up, which is the real treat!!! There are some real treats in the original material....Some real hard hitters like "Pussy Hot Cock Crazy", "Price Gun", "Heat Reduction Oven", "Electric Meat" (damn, sounds like something Eater would or should have played), an older track with past singer/guitarist Kenneth Picklesheimer doing the main vocals called "Blast Back with a Bomb", and more. I mean, FUCK! This CD-R is a MUST HAVE. I don’t think KTH are selling this for much, but do something for ol’ Shawn Abnoxious, will ya? Send KTH $6 for this. That should cover it....It’s well worth it. HOMEMADE!!!! Cracker-Barrel Style!!!! You need this. You life is uncompleted. Buy this or die.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Drones - Here Come the Lies CD

You’re dying. I’m dying. The Drones are dying. Slowly. We all are going to shake hands with the reaper soon enough. The difference is The Drones are documenting their downward spiral with music and word. Rhyme and reason. This band hails from Australia. Melbourne to be exact. Australia is somewhere I haven’t heard much about lately. Fascinating place to me though. Anytime I see something about Australia or New Zealand on TV I watch it. I’m a big fan of past Oz acts like The Chosen Few, Cosmic Psychos, Thought Criminals, and shit. Well, The Drones do not disappoint. Fusing blues and rockabilly into something that sounds like The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion mixed with The Cramps. The Drones attack with a non-diluted venom and have the hard lives to prove it. Reading their bio is like reading a group’s last chance, it’s either this (The Drones), or death and depravity. Hell, maybe even all three. The Drones are mean. The Drones are poetic dissidence! The Drones are upfront. The Drones are the raw human emotion of THE END. This is the kind of band that I would like to shake a case of beer with and make a suicide pact. You die, I die, we all die.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

New Creatures - Media Brainwash CD

Smog Veil is stepping out of its own self-set parameters for this one! The New Creatures hail from the Dayton, Ohio area. Dayton is only a hop and a skip from where I live near Cincinnati, Ohio. My local cable provider gives me BOTH Cincinnati news and channels schemes, as well as those for Dayton. Dayton is an exceptional place. 

New Creatures - Media BrainwashIt’s odd to the tenth power. I can’t really go into it all in full-length, but just this past week here, United States Marines have held their second of three exercises training them for urban combat. These exercises are held in close proximity to populations in abandoned buildings like old schools, old factories, and such, but while the newscasters will film the happenings from afar, there’s normal everyday traffic whizzing by on the roads and train tracks like nothing’s happening. There seems to be a whole feeling of pride on the newscaster’s faces when they talk about the Marines. I’m not sure that the marines choosing Dayton to do a thing like this is a compliment. I figure that in order to train for urban combat in a ‘third world’ country like Iraq (or whatever the kids are calling it these days) you have to find a like battleground. The United States Marines found one in Dayton!!!! You see? All these exercises left me looking at Dayton as an oil-bearing mid-east country. Dayton-Arabia!!! Well, it’s shit like this which molds people and their books and their poems and, believe it or not, their bands!!! The New Creatures are products of Dayton, Ohio and it shows. This CD is teeming with mid-western desperation. Early 80’s killed by death hardcore punk style! Balls to the walls!!!! The recording tech might have promised them Marshall Stacks to record with but it’s working with what you got that gives bands like The New Creatures an edge. Truly neoteric!!! The New Creatures remind me a lot of Toxic Reasons, but are closer to another band that I hold dear to my heart, Unnatural Axe! Media Brainwash has that same sort of dark and ominous dischordian angst that The Axe have on "They Saved Hitler’s Brain". Horror-punk!!! In fact, Media Brainwash sorta plays like a second LP by Toxic Reasons more so than Toxic Reasons’ second LP or a long lost Unnatural Axe release!!! There are a couple really intense winner tracks that I have to point out. One is the sing-a-long "Social Structures", the next is the title track "Media Brainwash", and last but not least is "Tension". Tight tracks!!! Tight indeed! I’m glad I got this CD. It’s good; worth the price I would say, for CDs nowadays.... In all my adventures (and believe me you, I have had some adventures in Dayton!) I never even heard of The New Creatures. This CD was eye opening and a treat to hear. I’m awaiting more. FEED ME. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Crimson Sweet - Livin’ in Strut CD

Crimson Sweet | Livin' In StrutHere it is. Quite possibly one of the best bands I have ever witnessed. Their full-length at last!!!! My life has meaning.

Livin’ in Strut!!!! Indeed! Strut indeed!!!!

I’m really excited about this release. Strut has been just under a year in the making and it was well worth it. On Strut you have a Crimson Sweet that is DIFFERENT, but not too far removed from what they started out with oh so long ago. Strut in my opinion represents a FINE TUNED Crimson Sweet. The car ran FINE before, but now it’s beating everything on the street. Get it?

Strut plays like a live Crimson Sweet set, but in all its FINE TUNED glory still fails to capture the Sweet live.... That’s not a bad thing either. I mean, FUCK! This is a studio release. The studio is a place for venturing. The first thing you will notice about Strut is the quality! I mean, it sounds AMAZING. Added extract too. Piano here. There. Guitar effects. Right-on-the-money backing vocals. I never thought any past recordings were questionable or anything, but they have still out done themselves. Strut represents a comfortableness. It’s like Crimson Sweet have finally reached a point where they talk in each others minds. It’s like this time, when they set about to record Strut, they knew what they had to do and they done it!
Completion. Ultimateness.

Ultimateness indeed!!!!

The CD starts off like their live set, with a cover. "Hello New York". Well, I was told this is a cover. I never have heard the original, but really, Crimson Sweet make it their own. Another sign of a good, (no, dare I say?) GREAT band (dont believe me? See Blister Pop by The Embarrassment)!!! After its end you are treated to three new back to back songs, "Shandon Celebrity", "Still Glistening" and yet one more atom bomb of a song, "Airport Novel". On these songs I was taken back. Crimson Sweet truly are Neoteric Titans, with a sound bigger than life and a melody stronger than the toughest metal... Crimson Sweet are the epitome of The Neoteric Punk/Wave for no other reason than they consume my every ounce of attention. I see no wrong. I see no mistake. I see nothing that I would change. This is a rare quality. Crimson Sweet are a rare band. There’s a lot of buzz about NYC right now. The Strokes. Interpol. Those bands are good. I really like both, but you know what? The combined force of both is nothing compared to Crimson Sweet’s hit points.

Next up are newly recorded versions of "So Electric" and "No Hot On Cold". Both of these songs were released as Crimson Sweet’s latest single from their own fledgling label, Slow Gold Zebra. Apparently on their last tour this single sold like fucking ambrosia. They dropped about 200 copies while on tour. They were looking at a possible repress by time they returned from that tour, and I’m only guessing because I don’t stay in constant communication with this band; I figure they have better things to waste their time talking to a hayseed like me. But I would dare to say that it didn’t see a repress after all. I don’t know that for a fact, but I am making an educated guess. Duly noted though: I don’t consider myself educated, and my past has led me to believe I am not smart at all... I bet the decision to re-record these songs made that single a collectors item. The new version of "So Electric" has a slower tempo but the production quality, which brings out that piano I mentioned earlier, is pretty damn great sounding. It really rounds out the song and gives it some extra touch. The new version of "No Hot On Cold" introduces you to how the song should really sound. Don’t get the wrong impression, "No Hot On Cold" was really a hard hitter on the single, but it was still B side material. On Strut, "No Hot On Cold" is hotter sounding. More decadent. More angular. Most importantly, it’s more sonic-aerosol, leaving you gasping for more.

Then.... two unreleased songs. "White Heat" and "California Split". Two songs that I believe really capture Crimson Sweet at their best. "White Heat" is a slower, more melodic tune. Despite the lack of a lyric sheet, Rooster Booster really bends your mind when she sings "Twin suns...". Hot damn!!!! Twin suns INDEED! I dream of a place where there are twin suns. This song, coupled with "California Split", is the zenith of modern emotions. It lends a soundtrack to this dull and gray world we all live in. It captures with music what it means to go one step past where you been. Onward. Something like this isn’t an easy thing to do. Recognizing what’s around you is one thing. Writing its soundtrack is another.

The next two songs are re-recorded versions of previously released material. Some of you might think this is some sort of trick because if you are like me, you own these songs on other releases. Your not being tricked though, your being treated! You see, what Crimson Sweet are giving us is something rare. They just aren’t PLAYING AT US with their releases and at their live performances. They are PLAYING WITH US! We are alongside of them! We are with them! We all walk single file, holding hands behind them. What they feel, we feel. After listening to Strut I told the On/On Switch Commanders that they should feel lucky a band like Crimson Sweet even deals with them. I consider myself lucky to know such great people myself.... Anyway, the versions of "I Want to Live" and "Queen City VA" are fiery as one might have imagined, hitting you with the force of a mile wide asteroid. The impact leaves no crater, only the shaken truths of sonic misconceptions. What THEY have been doing has been drastically set off course.

With Crimson Sweet we will take it back! Crimson Sweet are my Neoteric Virus.

Last song. Something different for The Sweet: an instrumental. Now a lot of you will know that I’m not a big fan of instrumentals. But sometimes bands can do them right. It’s how a band looks at their instrumentals really. "Sad Walk at Knifepoint" isn’t a song, it’s sonic-art!!!! It’s inspiring. Capturing. It sets about imagery in my head. Gives me thoughts. Gives me feelings. Once again Crimson Sweet impress. Levels, hours. Days, eons past where they left you, Crimson Sweet take you farther.

Fans of Wipers take note. Livin in Strut plays like Greg Sage himself produced this release....
Crimson Sweet. What’s left to say? I can’t even answer that. I feel honored to them for making me feel like we really are in this shit together. Good things for Crimson Sweet, because they deserve it. I look to the future and what it holds with Crimson Sweet touring in support of this CD and I get a little bit mad. Where Crimson Sweet are going, where they could go; it’s miles away from where I am. It’s not like they are going straight to MTV or anything, but I see them in places around people that haven’t been in the trenches with them, like most of us have. I hate to say this, but it’s humanity here: I feel as though some people don’t deserve Crimson Sweet. I wish I could set myself up as some sort of tester to hand out applications for Crimson Sweet fan base APPROVAL or something, but you know and I know that this is totally wrong on MANY different levels. Something like that isn’t what it’s all about. Crimson Sweet are just not my band. They are not anyone’s band. But in some ways, they can be EVERYONE’S band.

Just not anyone, or EVERYONE, deserve this band. But, if anyone can really CHANGE the shape of THINGS to come and that have been, it’s Crimson Sweet. Take Neoteric Punk/Wave and go far. Behind enemy lines. Clandestine insurrections. There they go.... I don’t want to call it a suicide mission, but I do wish I was dead.