hahahaha I once did a review on a release by The Killers that consisted solely of the letters "hahahaha" written over and over about a thousand times, and I'm fighting back the urge to do the same with this review, but I'm not gonna, because I actually got something to say about it - go figure, right? Right!
First off, billing this compilation as featuring "Vegas' Hottest New Upcoming Bands' is a bit of a stretch, ain't it? I mean, most of the bands on here have been around since like forever, 10+ years or more, I mean, at what point are you not "upcoming" anymore? LOL If you've been around for, oh, I dunno, say 2 years or so, then you're not really "upcoming", now are you? No you are not. Buttholes. So if you dredge away the sad old regurgitated fat music that is made up of what the older Local bands are offering on here and are in no way shape or form "upcoming" or even the "hottest" when you get right down to it, you're left with a trio of bands that are worth mentioning on this compilation. Beer Pressure have been around a couple of years, putting out split releases and gigging with the wrong type of bands, so you probably haven't heard of them, but they turn in a pretty rocking tune on here called No Peace Of Mind that sounds like every Lower Class Brats song you've ever heard. Drinking Water, a great band from the Eastside of Vegas I believe, have a song called Breathe EZ which is very whiny vocals Fat Wreck Chords like but not bad, and then there's Anti-Vision, a band who is carrying the hopes and dreams of the all ages scene here in Vegas on their skinny young backs, and their song Wolfmann In Amerika is pretty funny rocking stuff that reminded me of Government Issue for some reason. I assume the song is about Cody, right? hahahaha Cool stuff. This compilation could have easily been a 7", which would of been a cooler thing to do with this music, than some vehicle for a graveyard label looking for another excuse to push it's tired old acts on an unsuspecting young bands supporters. Maybe the next installment of Desert Rats With Baseball Bats can contain more good unsigned Local bands instead of boring old acts already signed to the label. Maybe.
Oh Debbie Harry <3 Blondie will always hold a near and dear spot in my heart because of Ms. Harry's part in my formative masturbatory teenage years, and plus the bands early stuff musically was pretty good as well. ;) I last saw Blondie live a few years ago, and they were OK, older and better so the saying goes, I mean, I'm a fan - sue me, so when I got offered the opportunity to review their latest release, Pollinator, well, I immediately clicked on the link to get the EPK and dove right into it earnestly. Right off the bat the emphasis seems to be on collaborations - like almost every song on here is a collaboration of sorts or a cover of a song with the original artist guest appearing on the cover of Blondie's version of their song... weird. The Joan Jett featured song Doom Or Destiny kicks off the album, but unless she's playing the kaliope carnival keyboards that are all over the song, I don't hear her, because the guitar is buried in the mix, and if she's singing I can't hear her one bit. Oh well. I assume she's playing the lead then? I dunno. The next song Long Time is the best thing on here, with the wistful, melodic, haunting vocals being among some of the best stuff Debbie Harry has ever sang, and the music is fantastic as well, like some sort of lost track off of Parallel Lines or something, great stuff. The rest of the music on this album is a hodgepodge of styles and mixes of mash ups between Blondie and various contributors and collaborators, including Johnny Marr of The Smiths, who's My Monster tune is covered by Blondie, and it isn't half bad. The rest of the stuff is hit or miss, some of it sounding like bad 90's Disco, some of it sounding Japanese Pop like, New Wave like, whatever. The one thing you can say about Blondie is that they never stop trying, and they're always pushing boundaries, dancing precariously on the precipice between Sell Out Popularity and Underground Street Cred, and on this Pollinator album, they do an excellent job juggling the 2 equally. Cool artwork too! ;)
Produced by BMG. Pollinator is available directly from the band, along with a bunch of other cool album swag, by clicking here. Also available on iTunes (click here), Amazon (click here), Spotify (click here) and other places online where bands try overtly hard to remain popular and in the public's eye.
Remember all that hoopla about The Dickies and the WARPed Tour and how Leonard the lead singer dealt with some asshole heckler and it went all viral for some reason, with the band getting called out as misogynistic and sexist and predatory - you remember that? Yeah, it caused quite the stir in the ol' Punk Rock community a few weeks ago, both positive and negative, and this compilation is kind-of the result of all that BS. It was put together by the group Bands Take A Stand, an organization that the person heckling The Dickies is a not only a representative of, but her band, War On Women, of course, have a track on this compilation. Yeah... make of that what you will!! ha ha ha Steeped in PC overkill, the 20 bands on this digital only comp have come together to show their support for Safer Scenes, a group of PC crybaby police who's patrol area are corporate alternative music festivals apparently. Whatever. To tell you that every band on this sickening compilation sucks the high hard one would be redundant. The band Flatsound, the only band to have 2 tracks on this comp for some reason, perfectly epitomize the musical sound on this release; boring, droning on musical banality with whisper sung vocals by some effeminate sounding person that may or may not be neutered or spayed. It's pathetic and formulaic. Every song starts off slow, quiet, whispers of vocals and musical ineptitude boring you and then BAM! the audio kicks in and everything swells and gets beautiful and pretty and you "feel it". Phooey. This comp could be the soundtrack to The OC TV series, that's how non-threatening cracker-lite this sounds. Lemme take that back - a few bands on here try to break out of the musical mediocrity that makes up this compilation - Dollar Signs with their catchy Ska/Punk tune, Sharptooth with their Mudvayne sounding Nu-Metal song, and War On Women with their ferocious Punk assault on incest victims that could be a long lost Nausea track, but other than that? This is a huge waste of time, much like it is a huge waste of time trying to impose your thoughts and beliefs to others at a Punk Rock gig. Bleh.
This digital-only album is available on a Bandcamp page only, and you can click here to check it out if you're interested. "Like" Bands Take A Stand on Facebook by clicking here. Support Safer Scenes by giving them all your money by clicking here.
The Bob's Burgers Music Album is a work of love and sheer genius. There's a saying in the cartoon world (coined by the creators of South Park) that says 'The Simpsons did it!', implying that everything that can be done with a cartoon series, has been done by the characters and the creators of The Simpsons, and, of course, when it comes to music from the cartoon series genre, they're right, but this release, which comes in an amazing 3 LP condiment colored vinyl box set (ketchup red, relish green, mustard yellow) is chock full of goodies - a hardbound songbook with all the lyrics, stickers, collectors cards, posters, a patch, and a bonus 7" with the "Bob's Buskers" songs on them, and on that aspect alone it blows away anything The Simpsons have released, EVER, but the best part where this Bob's Burgers Music Album excels and succeeds where The Simpsons failed, is that they used the actual songs from the episodes on here, no matter how short or long, and not some BS where the cast members are singing blues standards or are trying to rap in character, nope! All 107 songs on here are from the first 6 seasons of the cult cartoon show, although the "Bob's Buskers" versions of the songs are weird hipster remixes that sound like shit, but whatev. My absolute favorite song on here is Bad Stuff Happens In The Bathroom. It's been stuck in my head and in constant rotation ever since I got this damn thing, but other standout tracks on here include Butt Phone, I've Got A Yum Yum, Happy Crappy Place, 99 Red Balloons, Don't You Love Cotton Candy (sung to the tune of Don't You Forget About Me by Simple Minds), Fun! Fun! Fun! Fun!, One Way Or Another, If You Love Something (Set It On Fire), I Wanna Hear Your Secrets, Wing Man, Just What I Needed, Bad Girls, We Won The Talent Show (which is a complete rip on AC/DC's Beating Around The Bush), and the almost obligatory I Want Some Burgers And Fries. And again, what a bang up job Sub Pop Records did with this release - Kudos!! Holy jeeze is it great. Every cartoon series that does musical releases, Hell, anybody that is thinking about doing a box set release should really give a gander towards The Bob's Burgers Music Album. This thing is seriously a work of friggin' art. Seek out at any cost.
Available on all formats from the genius' at Sub Pop Records by clicking here. Also available wherever music is digitally sold as the commodity that it is (iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, etc.). "Like" Bob's Burgers on Facebook by clicking here. Follow them on Instagram by clicking here.)
The flogging of a dead horse continues unabated, with one of the latest victims being Link Wray, and this repackaging of a rehashed release is pretty disgusting. The innovative, groundbreaking guitarist, who passed away in 2005, is credited with inventing the power chord, distortion on guitars, Heavy Metal, Punk, Thrash, you name it. Pete Townshend once said he wouldn't of picked up a guitar if it wasn't for Link Wray, who besides being an innovative guitarist, he was also a gifted songwriter who wrote the epic songs Rumble, Jack The Ripper, Rawhide, Apache, the list goes on and on. His recorded output is the stuff of Legend. From the 50's to the end of his life he was always a killer live performer, and his reputation and legacy was built on that fact. He's on the ballot to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame this year, which is a travesty considering he isn't even in it but Madonna is? Yeah right. Fuck the RARHOF. Anywhos, this release is nothing more but an unashamed repackaging of something that originally came out in the 90's I believe, with all the stage talk and between song banter cut out in order to squeeze in more songs that weren't on the original release and that probably should of stayed unreleased for various audio glitches and problems throughout their performances. Meh. I guess it wouldn't be that bad if you didn't already have this release, in it's original unedited form, because the audio quality on this release is killer, pro soundboard recording made during Link Wray's 1996 UK tour, and Mr. Wray is just killing it on every song played, and it wouldn't be that bad if the family was getting some of the dosh made from this, but I'm almost positive they're not, again, which is sad. Buyer beware on this release. Look for the original release - it's much better.
Shamelessly released by Not Now Music, and you can grab it from their website by clicking here. Also available from Amazon by clicking here. NOT available on iTunes in any way, shape or form...
I had a great conversation with Pitt the other day on Facebook. He has a record he's shopping around trying to get interest in, and he asked me to listen to the songs and give him my opinion on them all, and so I did. A few days later I went back to re-read it for some reason, and it reminded me of the old early Flipside music reviews, where Al and X-8 and Pooch would sit around drinking beers and listening to records, and they would have a little tape recorder capturing their conversation, and then somebody (probably Hudley) would just transcribe what was being said by everyone, and that was the review on the record. This little conversation reminded me of that, and so I did the same, basically copying it verbatim and editing it together for a better read and posting it up here. Part Interview, part Music Review, here's a little read of a conversation Pitt and I had about his band Residuels new forthcoming album - enjoy!! :-)
GE 138: So what is this stuff? New shit?
Pitt: Yep. Full length.
GE 138: On vinyl?
Pitt: When someone puts it out. I'm shopping it now.
GE 138: Nice.
Pitt: This is the pretty thing I made to send to labels.
GE 138: It is pretty pretty. Man this opening song (Watch You Drown) is terrible. Too slow. An opening song should be catchy, grab you by the throat, suck you in type of shit. I'm bored and wanna snort heroin listening to this first song.
Pitt: Plz snort heroin.
GE 138: My Dr. says I can't. I already asked.
Pitt: I know you hate the 60's song. haha
GE 138: Oh, of course I do - with a passion! LOL Burn... now THERE'S an opening song. Didn't you guys play this @The Dive??
GE 138: I memmer
GE 138: hahaha Enough... good song. It's catchy.
GE 138: Who writes all this shit? Is it The Pitt Experience here or what?
Pitt: Me. haha Yea.
GE 138: Those other chowderheads contribute nothing?? LOL
Pitt: The first song (Watch You Drown). haha That we wrote together.
GE 138: Figures.
Pitt: Kyle write his bass lines, but I demoed this song without them - they just add their flavour.
GE 138: Yeah, they're good players, just seems funny they'd be content to just play.
GE 138: hahahahaha #lazy Girls & Boys... ya know, ya tweek a riff just enough to disguise the obviousness of where you nicked it from, and it works great - kudos Sir! hahahaha
Pitt: What is ripped from? haha
GE 138: I dunno... hahaha I'm wracking my brain trying to figure it out!
Pitt: haha I learned awhile ago to steal.. I spent so much time trying not to - what was I thinking??
GE 138: hahahahahha You fool!! Something something borrow, great ones steal... blah blah I Want Out... great song!
Pitt: Thanks - I Want Out is a fave for sure.
GE 138: Yeah, it sounds good too - I'm assuming you're behind the board mixing it all?
Pitt: We did it all in my basement.
GE 138: Yeah, it really sounds good. Must be nice to have a basement!
Pitt: Mostly live to 1/4 inch tape.
GE 138: Tape... that explains it.
Pitt: Transferred to digital to mix. The drums is only 3 mics - overhead kick snare.
GE 138: Well, it sounds like it too, but whatevs.
Pitt: Next recording we're trying one mic positioned in the center of the set.
GE 138: hahahaha taking it back old school style.
GE 138: Record it onto a wax cylinder.
Pitt: haha waxed anus.
GE 138: Mmmmmmmm... wax with a side of anus. A girls hairy anus. Because girls with hairy anus' is just so, so wrong.
Pitt: Hank's anus??
GE 138: Hank from Turbonegro? Or Hank The In-The-Dark-Change-Counter?
Pitt: DARK BANKER
GE 138: Man, what were you guys smoking towards the end of that Too Much song? lol
GE 138: What the Hell... lol
Pitt: haha - "time to flip the record"
GE 138: hahahaha nice. I'd slap you in the nuts for this Don't Go (To London) song, but it sounds like you don't have them anymore, ya froot... lol. This song is gheyness squared.
Pitt: It's basically a Buzzcocks song - and I just made it sound weird haaha
GE 138: Yeah, I like Pete Shelley's solo stuff too.
Pitt: haha it's my favourite on here. haha
GE 138: Oh eff... that's terrible. Anyway... another cool song. That bass riff yours or his?
Pitt: Both. I gave him the overall vibe.
GE 138: It's cool.
Pitt: Its funny because we write basslines pretty similarly.
GE 138: What? Is he a guitarist too?
Pitt: He is, but we both learn bass listening to his Dad.
GE 138: hahaha Really? Who's his Dad?
Pitt: Steve Garvey. Buzzcocks.
GE 138: hahahaha That's funny, because I was gonna say that that riff was more "Buzzcock-ish" than the other song was... LOL It's in his blood! He's a mutant! LOL
Pitt: We call Anyway "the Green Day song" haha.
GE 138: hahahahahahahaha It is!! You can change the title to this next song You Ain't Right to Gilbert's Favorite Song.
Pitt: Nice! Tried to sound like The Saints - ended up sounding more like early Motörhead.
GE 138: hahahahaha you cheeky bastard! I totally caught The Saints vibe on that one! And I listened to the first 10 seconds of (the next song) I Got Mine before skipping it.
GE 138: What's wrong with you? LOL
Pitt: That's just me having fun.
GE 138: Wearing overalls and a cowboy hat I hope? Needs some "yippie kyyyyyy yaaays" and shit.
GE 138: Stay... great way to end the album.
Pitt: Thanks! it gets crazy.
GE 138: I'm listening to it, yeah.
Pitt: Bit of a freak out. Mike did that whole start stop thing completely unplanned. We were like wtf haha We looked at him like "you mother..."
GE 138: hahahaha well it worked! Great album my friend. Fantastic.
GE 138: You're welcome.
Pitt: That first song is weird.. but it kinda works best at the top.
GE 138: It stinks.
Pitt: I'll let a label arrange the tracklist however the hell they want.
GE 138: hahahaha true that!
Pitt: I'm too close to it.
GE 138: It's your baby... haha
I've always had a soft spot for Body Count. I'm not really sure why. Maybe it's the sound of Ice-T's voice, or maybe it's the hard hitting brutal Metal sound the band plays, which is more seeped in Old School sounding Metal stuff like Black Sabbath mixed with Slayer than whatever current band is claiming they're Metal nowadays. This 7th album from Body Count has an opening track with Dave Mustaine from Megadeth carrying on in the beginning about martial law and people being shot and all that crap, which is kind of exactly what Ice-T did with Jello Biafra on the Shut Up, Be Happy song they did years ago on The Iceberg album, which is kind of exactly what Anthrax just did on their Fight 'Em 'Til You Can't song on the Worship Music album. Meh. After all that, it's a pretty much predictable angry social commentary criminal braggadocio raps shouted over Metal riffs ride through Death (Bloodlust), the dark and the gloom of a sick mind (Here I Go Again), the almost obligatory at this point gang life song (This Is Why We Ride), the song about Police violence (No Lives Matter), the thrash and burn song (Walk With Me), and the Rap / Metal hybrid song, which is pretty much every other song on here... hahaha And just for shits and giggles, they throw in a Slayer song, albeit played backwards (Raining Blood / Postmortem), which is probably the most Metal thing a band can do, to play a Metal song backwards... LOL It's not as good as the collaboration Ice-T did with Slayer for the Judgement Night soundtrack, but it's a decent listen. Ice-T's long time partner in crime Ernie C. may be one of the sickest Metal guitarist ever to be, with a back catalog of riffs and solos attesting to that fact, and his work on all these songs is stellar. He gets a great tone and he's not a noodler... LOL Him and whoever is in Body Count this year do an excellent job playing on all these songs, especially the drummer, what a monster. Holy shit that guy is good! There's guest appearances from the guys in Lamb Of God and Soulfly on some songs, but I dunno, it's hardly noticeable. The sound on here is killer, and you pretty much know what you're gonna get from a Body Count album, for better or for worse, but yeah, new Body Count album... it's angry, it's hard hitting, and it's pretty fucking good. Dig it.
Brought to you by Century Media, and you can buy the new album directly from them by clicking here. The colored vinyl is almost sold out, so move fast if that's your thing. You can also buy it directly from BC themselves on their website by clicking here. It's also available on iTunes (click here), Amazon (click here) Spotify (click here), etc. etc. "Like" Body Count on Facebook by clicking here. Follow the band on Instagram by clicking here.
hahahhahahha When did Justin Sane turn into Rob Tyner from the MC5? LOL Addressing the crowd as "Brothers and Sisters" now? Really??? Oh man. Well, at least he doesn't think he's the reincarnation of Joe Strummer anymore. Boy, was THAT phase of his career annoying! hahaha Anywho, this supposed first official live release from Anti-Flag (I guess they're forgetting that trendy horrible shitty sounding Live Acoustic At 11th Street Records release they did a few years back) is called Live Volume One and it's a pretty good listen. Nice to hear the material sounding all high tech boomtastic and stereoriffic and all that. Recorded over a 3 night run at Hollywood's legendary Troubadour club, the 13 songs on this release represents almost every aspect of Anti-Flag's musical career. Of course, I'm particular to the earlier stuff like Drink Drank Punk, Born To Die, You'd Do The Same, Their System Doesn't Work For You, and Die For Your Government, but later day tunes like Fabled World and Brandenburg Gate, the songs they're still trying to pass off as a good, and other later day songs like The Press Corpse and You Are Fired, are well represented on this release. Thankfully they edited out most of the political posturing that goes on in between songs, because that Justin Sane sure does like to hear himself talk... ha ha ha Some people say live albums are a cash in, and maybe they're right, I dunno, but I personally like live albums, and this one, for what it's worth, is pretty good. Anti-Flag, when they're not jumping around like drunken kangaroos on speed, are a great band live, and this release does a good job capturing them in their element.
Available everywhere that Punk music is marketed and sold as the disposable commodity that it is. Available directly from the Anti-Flag Bandcamp page by clicking here.
hahahahahahaha If there was ever a shittier choice of an opening song for a Punk Rock compilation, I have never heard it in all my miserable years on this wretched planet. Opening tracks of albums are supposed to grab you, reel you in, make you want to listen to the rest of the album to see what it offers. The first track on this latest compilation from Squidhat Records called Squidhat '77 is so embarrassing, so hackneyed, so ham handedly shitty, that I almost took the needle off the record and flung it against the wall, never to be played again, but cooler heads prevailed, and after suffering through The Heiz, who I guess are considered a Vegas band now, I finally got to the song I wanted to hear - The Civilians doing Thin Lizzy's Bad Reputation, and it sounded great - easily one of the best songs on this crappy compilation comprised of "Local" Las Vegas bands doing songs from the year 1977 for some reason or another. Nostalgia Sells. There are some incredibly amazeballz versions of songs from that year on here though, like The Psyatics version of Pigs by Pink Floyd. "Ha, ha, charade you are." Mind blowingly great. Been stuck in my head for days now. Same goes for New Cold War's version of The Chain by Fleetwood Mac. Holy Shit! is that a great version of that song - probably the best song on here. Easily. They did a better job with a Fleetwood Mac song than Judas Priest did, that's for sure!! Frank & Deans do a great job with ELO's Turn To Stone, and Unfair Fight do the most incredible cover version of Joy Division's Warsaw I've ever heard, although technically that song wasn't recorded until 1978, but what do I know, huh? LOL The Dirty Panties do a good version of the Talking Head's Psycho Killer, and The Civilians & Friends close out this double LP with a 1 take, non-rehearsed, spontaneous version of The Clash's 1977, which was only Trueland and I with 'The Wizard' John Brown on bass and Dirk Vermin doing vocals with a shitty faux British accent for some reason. Whatever. Everything else on here is just sad, uncomfortable, shameful cookie cutter versions of songs done better by the bands that originally did them in the first place. Ugh. Even the beautiful gold colored vinyl, gatefold cover, excellent artwork and packaging couldn't save this double LP release, which would of probably worked better as a 10" EP or double 45 release, which also would of been in line with the '77 theme. Oh well. As with most Squidhat Records compilations, this one is more 'miss' than 'hit', but it's worth the price of admission for the handful of songs on this compilation that are actually listenable. Seek out at your own risk.
Available from every band on this compilation at every gig they play. Just go up and ask them! This release is also available on beautiful gold colored vinyl and on a digital format directly from the Squidhat Records Bandcamp page, which you can go to by clicking here. Support Local Music... blah blah blah blah blah blah blah...
First off, Kudos! for being something different and outside of the norm of the usual "Punk Rock" crap that I get in the mail around here! ha ha ha Not exactly my cup of bone broth, but an interesting release nonetheless. I love the cover of this album. Reminds me of the Groovie Goolies 70's cartoon series. And the band's name is great too - Dr. Phobic & The Phobic-Tones. Bit wordy, but it works for me. Second off, again, Kudos! for having the balls to name your album after a Cage The Elephant album! LOL Now that's some chutzpah right there! ha ha Although they share a album title, the 2 bands couldn't be any further apart musically if you tried. Cage The Elephant is lame wimpy ass chick rock and Dr. Phobic & The Phobic-Tones are, well... Instrumental Horror Surf Rock? Sure, I'll go with that. I believe this project is an offshoot of sorts from the ol' Monster Zero band of yore, but I could be mistaken about that, and the first I ever heard of Dr. Phobic & The Phobic-Tones is when they appeared on that shitty Prince tribute compilation on Squidhat Records that came out awhile ago, but I won't hold that against them. ;) This is a pretty good release. There's some super catchy Surf Rock Punk Rock Spooky tunes on here - Tetraphobia, Metathesiophobia, Pithecophobia, just to name a few, I never bothered to look up what any of the titles mean, because I'm lazy, and it all got boring to me after a bit listening to it all. I think the songs would be sooooo much better with words, because the musicianship on display here is impressive - the Dick Dale inspired guitar work alone makes this worth seeking out, and the rhythm section isn't anything to sneeze at either, but with the huge revival right now in the whole Surf Rock sound (Thanks Ty Segall! lol), this release feels like a missed opportunity. It's too good not to be listened to by everyone, but as some Surf Rock Horror Punk Instrumental musical project, I think it's just gonna be dismissed or ignored or classified as background music, which is a shame, because it's really fucking good and deserves to be a bit more than just that. Phooey.
I assume that this is available from Dr. Phobic & The Phobic-Tones when they play gigs, but I don't know that they do that very often. This release is available directly from the band themselves, including digitally, on the Dr. Phobic & The Phobic-Tones Bandcamp page which you can go to by clicking here, and it's also available on iTunes (click here) CD Baby (click here), Spotify (click here), etc. etc. etc. "Like" the band on Facebook by clicking here.
Gig Review:Misfits / Alkaline Trio / FEAR @MGM Grand Garden Arena
Idle Gossip updated
Pictures: Doulos @Angel City Cafe
Music Review:Desert Rats With Baseball Bats, Volume 3
Music Review:Blondie - Pollinator
Pictures:Manic Hispanic @Silver Saddle Saloon (Repost)
Pictures:Dinah Cancer & The Grave Robbers @Double Clown Saloon (Repost)
Gig Calendar updated
Conflict @ Ft. Cheyenne (Repost)
Punk Rock Summer Comp
Sparks / Les Sewing Sisters @The El Rey Theater