Thursday, July 30, 2009

Newer blog, greater consistency

I am now co-contributor to a blog by the name of VIRULENT STAIN. With to brains at the helm, expect greater consistency of posts and, of course, more quality features. Thanks to everyone who had been reading this at one point or another. I might find my way back to this blog later on, but for now, be sure to check out VIRULENT STAIN (also re-read the Vast Majority entry that I have since re-posted).


Friday, April 24, 2009

Muslims - Parasites 7"

Most people who know me are aware of my fascination with the Wipers. Because of this I was initially pleased to note the somewhat recent trend of bands tastefully robbing Greg Sage blind by copying everything from his songwriting structure to his guitar tone to his vocal stylings. Inevitably, the old adage stating that "too much of anything is a bad thing" began to rear its ugly head. And while imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, it doesn't help you write better songs and its even worse when your immitation is downright bad. I could name specific instances, but let's not be negative. Rather, let's shine the spotlight on those bands who pull of a remarkably accurate job and also add enough novel elements that keep things, ultimately, interesting.

San Diego's The Muslims (currently known as The Soft Pack) were a great example of an interesting and pleasant amalgamation of sounds. The specific creative effort in question, the 2008 single 'Parasites' on I Hate Rock N Roll, is an infectiously catchy, simple slab of wax that digs itself into your brain and hangs on tight. And while that obvious Wipers vibe maintains throughout the 2 tracks, one cannot deny an obvious nod to The Clean as well. The A side is a midtempo gem that should act as the soundtrack to any early-evening car ride to anywhere USA. The B side didn't stay with me like the A side did, but compliments the initial track nicely. Overall a great single that only gets better with repeated listens.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Superchunk - Hit Self Destruct EP (1993)

This gem of an EP includes the catchy single 'Cadmium' along with an acoustic version of 'Throwing Things' and their rendition of the Verlaine's 'Lying In State'.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Dead Moon - Echoes Of The Past

The tale of Dead Moon is a story within a story. The band itself helped set the standard for bands of this region: the sly sense of humor, ethos, and raw energy that bands from the Pacific Northwest are reknown for. From 1987 til 2006, Fred Cole, his wife Toody Cole, and Andrew Loomis consistently churned out an amalgamation of punk, garage rock, and country music that was beyond reproach. Dead Moon is often discussed with great reverence by many, even if they aren't familiar with the band's bounty of material. Their reputation precedes them.

Within the tale of Dead Moon is that of Fred Cole. Fred began playing in bands at the age of 13, starting The Lords in 1964. By the age of 15, Cole was being touted as "the white Stevie Wonder". Cole started and played in a beavy of bands between 1964 and the conception of Dead Moon in 1987 including (to name a few): Deep Soul Cole, The Weeds, The Lollipop Shoppe, Zipper, King Bee, The Rats, The Desperate Edge, and The Western Front.

44 years. 44 years of playing in bands, touring and recording. It simply boggles the mind. I could only dream of such perseverence!

While Dead Moon eventually called it a day (fear not, as both Fred and Toody have since started a new project called Pierced Arrows), their legacy is an enduring one that will only grow and develop with time. It would be incredibly difficult to make any attempt to designate one specific record to encapsulate their genius. With that in mind, I have decided to share the band's self-compiled 'best of' collection (released by Sub Pop in 2006).

You can buy other available Dead Moon merchandise (including the DVD 'Unknown Passage') here.

Echoes Of the Past - Disc One:
Echoes Of the Past - Disc Two:

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Vast Majority - I Wanna Be A Number 7"

Vast Majority formed in 1979 after vocalist Scott Telles had been hyping his own fictional outfit called Shit Snotnose and the Scabsuckers. The band was eventually flyerbooked and decided to get together and write a few songs.

I Wanna Be A Number reflects this haste and lack of experience. To be truthful this record has some of the worst drumming and bass playing that comes to mind. And yet there is a quality to this record that keeps me coming back for more. The catchy vocal hooks perhaps? The melody that I keep humming 20 minutes after I listen to the song? Even I am unsure what brings me back each time.

After being featured in Killed By Death 8.5, this rough and tumble single now fetches for a pretty penny. Thankfully all you need to do is check out the link below for this punk rock gem.

J.F.A. - Blatant Localism EP

J.F.A. represent an embrace toward the innocence and strength of youth and the purity of a life before bills and 9 to 5 jobs get in the way. Founded in 1981, this foursome of skatepunks from Phoenix AZ played their first show opening for Black Flag. They very quickly generated not only a strong local and regional following (due to their geographic proximity to southern California) but also a strong national following due to their being consistently covered by Thrasher Magazine that would continue throughout the decade. Their songs focused on the toils of daily life, ageist marginalization, and the frustrations that arise from such generalizations.

Their debut EP, Blatant Localism, is a classic within most hardcore circles, with its surprisingly quality recording, lightning-quick pace, and catchy melodies. Check it out at the link below.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Dove - s/t

The band Floor was introduced to my circle of friends via their No Idea Records self-titled debut in 2002.

By this point, Floor had been around for a decade, only rising to a newfound level of national prominence shortly before the band's eventual demise around 2004. During Floor's final days, drummer Henry Wilson had started a new project, named Dove (Dove being the name of Floor's then unreleased full-length LP recorded in the mid-90's, eventually to be released in 2004 on No Idea Records). Additionally, Dove and Floor appeared together on a split 7" EP. Wilson provided guitars and vocals for this new project.

Shortly after the break up of Floor, however, Dove quickly came out with a self-titled (and self-released) LP. The record continues the general direction of Floor's self-titled LP, with similar tone, tempo, and vocal stylings. If I were more of a cynic, I would probably refer to this record as 'Floor-lite' but I do think the band is able to create a unique identity for itself via this record. The track 'Goes Without Saying' is a great example of this identity, with its galloping pace and sudden mid-song bust.

As best I can tell, this band disappeared somewhat shortly after the release of this record (their former website is now a site that sells Dove beauty products). At the very least we can enjoy these 14 tracks. Enjoy!