New: Mystery Date + Petty Things + Pop Zeus + Honey Bucket + Slim Wray

Today’s edition of new shit is brought to you by the letter Gnar Tapes (and Real Numbers’ side projects/ unruly riff rock)

Mystery Date-You And Your Sister 7″

Mystery Date is like the best version of The Replacements, somewhere between ‘Let It Be’ and ‘Tim’. It’s punk rock, but it’s got a loud, brash pop spirit to it that makes young girls’ hearts melt, and boys swoon with jealousy. Only a 7″, it’s a real shame that this thing isn’t longer. Like, say it was four albums worth of material, I still don’t think I’d get sick of it. Because reality is a cruel bitch, intent on ruining my life, this 7″ will have to do for now. In that, it provides an immediacy, the fact remaining that you only have approximately nine minutes to shake your ass as much as you can, you fat tub of lard. Move those man-boobs up and down to the guitar solos, pulverise your oversized rump to the pop-punk legacy that’s still alive and well, and before you know it, you’ll be looking like Glenn Danzig.

Petty Things-Year of the Dog

I posted about Arizona’s Petty Things a while back, with their ‘Bored’ single blowing the fuck off my expectations, mind, and causing a singeing to my genital area that hasn’t been since Shatner fucked that green chick.

Anyway, the band are back with a full length. It includes the aforementioned ball-bustingly good ‘Bored’, as well as 9 (or 10, if you got the Bonus Track Version, or BTV in industry speak) equally rip-snortin’ tracks. They’re loud and slightly obnoxious, creating songs that’ll hardly stand the test of time. But then again, how many songs from this period of time are going to be introduced to the historical paradigm? If you want my opinion, songs that deal with the most present of tenses are usually the best kinds of songs to listen to. Irreverent songs are conscious of being probably irrelevant, and so they exude an energy and charisma that most ‘serious’ bands lack. Fuck metaphors and symbolism when you can create a damn catchy riff and curl some tape hiss together into a two minute time capsule. Guaranteed, you’re more likely to enjoy yourself wrecking the ‘Year of the Dog’ cassette than your 52nd repeated listen of whatever the fuck Morrissey spouted recently. Petty Things = the most amount of love I can give to a band from the same state that named their basketball team after a fictional bird. HA! Preposterous.

Pop Zeus-Tell Me So EP

Pop Zeus is exactly that-a godlike pop concoction lifted from the beaches of a VHS trailer for tourist attractions in Honolulu. It’s a whimsical, laid back, and ultimately chilling journey of pop’s highest order. Think of Youth Lagoon making out with a soft-focus Beach House. It’s not nearly as well-mastered as the previously mentioned bands, but it’s got a hell of a lot more character and quiet vibrancy, and there’s no self-rioghteousnes associated with the people that like Pop Zeus. Basically, the people that like Pop Zeus like good pop music, which is precisely what Pop Zeus makes.

Honey Bucket-Futon

When I saw the name Honey Bucket, I immediately thought of my favourite Melvins song, and smashed four dozen Rise Against CD’s in my impatience whilst I waited for their Bandcamp to load. At first, I was disappointed that they sounded nothing like Melvins, because it meant I wasn’t right about something, and now I had to pick up a bunch of broken CD cases from the floor. It’s weird how much you miss hearing bands that obviously really like Guided By Voices until you hear one again. Honey Bucket are one such band. They’re a funky little indie rock band from Portland, and their music is quiet but super fun. There’s catchy guitar lines buried in ‘Futon’, much like that small stash of weed you forgot about in your back draw. And much like that small stash of weed, you’re fucking stoked when you find it, swimming in a whirlwind of surprised excitement and frantic imaginings of how much you’re going to utilise your new possession in the near future. In both cases, the material will be exploited for severe pleasure. At the very least, I’ve got something good to listen to whilst I chuck out those shitty Rise Against albums.

 

Slim Wray-I Gotta Girl (With a List Of Needs)

Easily the best thing about this song is the ruckus-raising riff. It’s the kind of thing that would blow the panties offf even the most conservative, punch-in-the-face-warranting douchebag. It’s loud and full-throttle, like a Fast and Furious move and unashamedly so. It reminds me of bands like The Fumes or early White Stripes, where the blues were married to a noisiness that purely fucking rocked.

 

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New: Thigh Master + Shaking Hell + Petty Things + Dum Dum Girls + Diveliner

So many tunes, so little time. What a shitty, cliched introduction. Fuck it, we’ll do it live.

 

Thigh Master-Goon Punch

Thigh Master are from Brisbane, so you know they’re tough as fucking nails. All is pretty much confirmed when you’ve got a song entitled ‘Goon Punch’, an all too common experience had by every teenage boy soon after sculling four litres of pure demon piss. Musically, Thigh Master are awesome. They sound like a strung-out, tired-of-your-shit Archers of Loaf, hidden behind a couple of layers of badass fuzz.

If you’re free on the 25th of January, make sure you head out to The Clarence Hotel, because Thigh Master are going to play ‘Goon Punch’ and a bunch of other sick tracks. Ruined Fortune (!), Beef Jerk and Video Ezy play support.

 

Shaking Hell-I’m Not Your Friend

Remember that Frenzal Rhomb track ‘You Are Not My Friend’? Well this song from Melbourn’es Shaking Hell is nothing like that. Its way more furious, and it burrows into your brain within a millisecond of the first chords erupting. It’s a friendly sort of evil, like South Park’s version of Satan, and you can’t help but let ‘I’m Not Your Friend’ invade your blood stream, forcing every fibre of your body into a dangerous state of punk overload. Shaking Hell are a band that demand to be moshed to, and who the fuck are you to deny them of that?

Shaking Hell are playing what is guaranteed to be one of the best shows of the year at Blackwire Records on January 18th, with Yes, I’m Leaving (!), Narrows Lands (!) and Palmer Grasp. If that sort of lineup doesn’t make you sopping in the loin areas, you’re fucked mate.

 

Petty Things-Bored

This is a song by a band from Arizona. Cool. The songs about a bunch of kids who are walkin’ down the street and kill a dude for shits and giggles, because they were bored. Now we’re talking!

‘Bored’ reminds me of those fuzz bands that popped up around California around the time Wavves first started getting popular. There’s a definite slacker/punk vibe to these guys. Like, they want to rebel against their parents and go to that White Fang show….but there’s a bong just out of arms reach, and that is definitely the more pressing issue here. Hey, we’ve all been there. Now, go get this fucking song, because it’s rad.

 

Dum Dum Girls-Rimbaud Eyes

Although the first single off the new Dum Dum Girls was pretty meh, but this new one is way more to my liking. It’s so 80’s, you’d think that the Dum Dum Girls was a culmination of the Psychedelic Furs and Debbie Harry. Seriously, the icy waves of New Wave are so prominent here, you’d think that the Dum Dum Girls’ record collections were solely made up of New York synth artists and The Bangles’ ‘Walk Like An Egyptian’ 12″ single. If Lou Reed were still around right now, I feel that he’d be obsessed with this song, and that’s enough for me.

 

Diveliner-Vìda

Wanna listen to King Krule, but scared that you’re friends will all yell at you for jumping on the hipster bandwagon? All you have to do is listen to Diveliner, the most perfect replication of King Krule’s nu-jazz to date. The song ‘Vìda’ is pure perfection, a slow-moving sex-jam that rolls around the brain like a caramel sundae drizzled in Beyonce’s perfume. Its so goddamn smooth, it’d put an event of Drake songs as sung by Ray Charles to shame. Everything about this song is near perfect, from the glossy guitar strokes, to the computer blips and saxophone love-making horns. Layer that underneath one of the soon-to-be-declared ‘best voices of 2014’ and its a recipe for success.

 

Album Review: White Fang-Steady Truckin’ For the Summer

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You wanna know a band that’s as real as the $treet$? Motha. Fuckin. White Fang. Yeah, this band is fucking crazy. This is a band that’ll sell it’s granma’s cooch hairs for a crack rock, and not think twice about it. This band makes Heisenberg look like their little bitch. White Fang will sink it’s proverbial teeth into your neck and drag you to a secluded clearing in the Portland woods and feast on your still living carcass. Why? Because White Fang are badass. (Editor’s Note: White Fang do not condone cannibalism, they just want to let you know that their music has a badass mind of its own).

You’d be able to listen to this album anywhere, but I feel like there’s a few choice scenarios in which this music would be best appreciated. Scenario One: Smoking meth with Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, and then flipping on ‘Wanna Ride’ on your old tape deck, because you really wanna impress the dudes from Breaking Bad with a kickass tune. Scenario Two: Talking to Hunx and his Punx, arguing about how he is the only good bubblegum-punker right now and then flopping out ‘Bad Boys’. Scenario Three: Going to a Who concert, and when they bust out ‘Baba O’Riley’, stick in your earphones and play ‘Loud Ones’ instead, because it’s got a better keyboard riff. Scenario Four: Koala wrestling to ‘Great Weekend’. Scenario Five: Surfing a tsunami of blood with Freddie from Nightmare on Elm Street, because that’s the only thing that’s gorily awesome enough to match the guitar squall of ‘Go See California’. Scenario Six: Time travelling back to the 80’s and becoming the musical director of Hawaii Five-O, and making the them song to that show ‘I Want A Party’. Scenario Seven: Jay Reatard comes back from the dead, wakes you up and wants you to play a song for him, and so you obviously pick ‘FTW’ by White Fang. Scenario Eight: Reflecting on your bummer-ass life, and needing a song to reflect your melancholy mood, but you’ve listened to The Smashing Pumpkins too many times recently, and your Cure CD is in the car, so you put on ‘Tomorrow’.

Oh, look at that. We went through the whole album, and picked out plausible, everyday situations the average White Fang fan finds themselves in, and matched a track from the new album to each situation. Wasn’t that incredibly convenient? Although none of those situations will ever realistically occur for you, don’t let that dissuade you from listening to this album, Like I said before, you can enjoy that shit anywhere. Yep, ‘Steady Truckin’ For the Summer’ is pretty fucking great all round, even if you don’t have access to Hunx and His Punx or a Hawaii Five-O time machine. So, instead of wasting your valuable time trying to build an inplausible machine/stalking Hunx, go buy the cassette, or download the album here, and use the power of imagination to visualise hanging out with the late great Jay Reatard.

White Fang rulz!

Album Review: Free Weed-Beer On the Drugs/Free

You can probably go ahead and assume that this isn’t the sort of music that will have Avril Lavigne fans gouging each others eyes out to get a copy of. Although you can always wish for the sweet moment of faux-punk fans in inevitable slaughter, it’s probably better for your mental health to put the eye pus to the sideline and focus on this sweet double album from Free Weed.

Free Weed as a title speaks for itself. It’s the solo ‘junk-pop’ project from Eric Gage. This is a pothead who rules more than the average pothead, in that he not only creates badass lo-fi neo-pysch but also runs the always excellent Gnar Tapes (Gnar stands for Gnarly!). If you had even a shred of literary intuition, you would assume that Free Weed make wacked out and awesome music. Let’s take a look shall we?

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The EP/LP thing (I really don’t know what to call it) ‘Beer On the Drugs’ is an aimless amble through an acid trip gone right. Fuzzed out and cheap sounding instruments echo in the greatest amateur way, proving that you don’t have to sound good, to sound good. ‘Sci-Fi’ warbles on a 70’s vibe, crashlanding a UFO in a paddock, but instead of butt-prodding a backwards farmer, jams out and smokes a little hemp. ‘Friend of the Guitar’ melds sonic take-offs, ‘do-doo’s’ and a little jangle, and ‘Heating Bills’ is a hazy, THC-infused noise throwback of Bill and Ted approved proportions. However, for all these short and sweet tracks, Free Weed sounds best on ‘Beer on the Drugs’ when Gage extends and calms his sound, such as on the closers ‘Caprica’ and ‘High Zak Pt. 3’. The former is a synth exploration of the Triassic period, and the latter is an acoustic chill-fest.

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‘Free’ is the next LP thing from Free Weed that I think you should pay attention to. This was released in 2012, a whole year after ‘Beer on the Drugs’, and a description of Free Weed’s sound having matured could kinda be slipped in there, I guess, if you were half an hour into a bag of mushrooms. No, in all seriousness, ‘Free’ is definitely the best thing to come from Gage’s stoned stupor of magnificence. The songs on here are pure stoner-pop genius, slack guitar reverberating in happy-go-lucky, hippie child exuberance, with elements of 70’s hard rock popping up throughout. As far as mind-expanding, short-as-a-tripping-midget songs go, there really isn’t a substitute for tracks like ‘In Doors’, ‘Slo-Fi’, and ‘Pimp Reaper’.

I really do mean it when I say that this weird collection of tunes is more than a haphazard collection of stoner brilliance. No, these songs have cohesiveness and grit to them. Initially, they might breeze by like any other hookah-inspired idea, but these albums are full of little gems. In fact, these songs are so good, they make me want to avoid the obvious joke of calling Free Weed en-GAGE-ing (amirite!). Slobbered out, and cool as all fuck, Free Weed makes tunes that expand beyond stoner munchables, and gratify the true search for pop-manship. If that’s a word. I don’t know, I just know that Free Weed is great.

You can pick up this sweet as bison-balls album at Metal Postcard’s Bandcamp. YAY FOR CONVENIENCE!

Album Review: LOVE COP-2 True/2 Real

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LOVE COP is a ‘band’ compromised of the individuals Duffy Rongiiland and Phil Salina. They’re a weird as fuck band from Portland. And they’re uniqueness doesn’t stop at the All Caps band name (#ruthlezz) or the fact they release their music on cassettes. Nah, this music extends past normal garage tendency and wanders right smack bang into the middle of what-the-fuck-am-I-listening-to-this-is-better-than-liquid-nitrogen-puppies territory. Yeah, LOVE COP make music that is better than puppies made from liquid nitrogen. Make from that what you will, if that doesn’t intrigue you in the least, you’re a ___________ (insert derogatory name that kids are calling their parents nowadays).

LOVE COP change shape like an ADHD game of Tetris, morphing and bouncing, mellowing and hyper-extending, doing whatever the fuck they want to do whenever the fuck they want to do it. Each song is solidly in a realm of it’s own, but LOVE COP manage to make each track flow right into the next one like nothing is out of the ordinary, and that YOU are the one that’s fucked up, not them. Woah, man. Trippy.

Look at the downer Soft Moon meets No Age of ‘Hologram Pt. II’, Donkey Kong barrels of synth rumbling down a sparse terrain of doom garage. Then compare that shit to opener ‘True Believer’, a track with a super happy bounce riff that recalls Dum Dum Girls or Smith Westerns. Then watch in wonder as everything shape shifts the gaping and Beelzebub love-making sounds of ‘2 True 4 U’. It’s a horrifying thing that would make HTRK shit their pants. But don’t freak out to bad, the acid trip comes to a sprightly regain on ‘So Long‘ a longing lovers track that makes the Grease soundtrack look totally uninspired in conjunction.

I’m only touching the tip of the iceberg here. ‘2 True/2 Real’ is constantly mutating and gucky thing that takes the listener on an emotional journey you probably haven’t experienced since you tried to sync The Wizard of Oz with Dark Side of the Moon. Speaking of Dorothy, to sum up this album, all I can say is that we’re not in Kansas anymore. No, where in the mind of Calvin Johnson during Beat Happening’s experimental period. And it’s sweeter than scoring free drugs off Amanda Bynes.

‘2 True/2 Real’ is out right now on Burger Records and Gnar Tapes. You probably already know my feelings on Burger Records (to summarise: downright scary amounts of unsafe love) but Gnar Tapes, a relatively new label for me, has proved to be damn awesome in its own right. You can grab it for $7 digitally on LOVE COP’s Bandcamp here, or get the cassette like the retro purist you know you are, on Burger Records and Gnar Tapes. Considering LOVE COP are a Portland-based cassette band, I wouldn’t hold out too much hope for a tour in Australia. But it would be great to see this band live. Start a social media petition to get them down here, or something. I don’t know. Be pro-active.