RENE CHAMBERS – KREMLIN BATS

Plastic Response Records Listen / Buy Tape

Boston’s very own Rene Chambers has a debut record to show the world. Kremlin Bats is an 11 song digestif, fruitful and satisfying. Enrolled part-time, at least, in the Mickey Bliss school of rock and roll with R. Stevie Moore as adjunct professor, Rene Chambers (Rene as in a nominal combination of the just retired Bruins national anthem guy Rene Rancourt and Herb Chambers) produces a mostly one man show of late night synth-obsessed observations. Midnight hours, neon signs, okay that’s just two examples. But the barely removed Chambers with his slightly British affectation offers us dark, but danceable new-new wave nuggets. The ultra crisp production makes for a luxurious listen, possibly ushering in a new kind of Vegas lounge performer right here in Boston.

Summer Flashbacks

The following are excellent songs to listen to this summer. They aren’t new or old.

Saralee – “Take What You Can Carry” – What might be the greatest Boston basement band of the early 2010s? Saralee is in the running, without any doubt. Stoned haze, half drunk High Lifes, and pungent mildew perfectly communicated with as little as drums, guitar, and vocals. Sara and Lee. I think I’ve called Saralee “memory music” and I wonder if anyone disagrees? This particular song is the most exemplary of my past descriptions. Sorry if you didn’t get a chance to see them in the old days, but not too sorry because you can close your eyes, too.

Wakes – “Widows” – Timmy hit a sweet spot of dynamite “bedroom pop” before that label became more associated with industry plants! A label in the UK was wise enough to release the Feral Youth LP. I’ve thought this album, this song, was like audio mumblecore. Emo, but not the shitty, whiny stuff. Anxious, superstitious, you know, your average 20/(now?) 30-something laments.

Rene Chambers – “Kathy Cross” – A local anthem has emerged! Like the two previous songs, this one is cloudy and introspective. The tale of Kathy Cross is familiar. She’s runnin away to upstate NY from the city. After a day, the guy is getting kind of worried because she hasn’t returned his calls. It turns out that her getaway was a legit vacation, not some existential escape from academia as he might have suspected. “She just wants to be somebody.” Always count on Rene Chambers (now an active band in the Boston area) for intelligent rock ‘n roll commentary/comedy on the young and confused.

Band of the Week: The Glue

The Glue is no longer underground! In fact the New England based group is proudly our new Band of the Week.

Maybe you were at the KLYAM show they played on November 17 or perhaps you caught ’em a week later at the Newton Underground Pop Arts and Performance Showcase. Maybe not. The Glue said that they are a one/two-times a year band, but we’re hoping that is surely not the case.

One of the more unique outfits I have caught in the past year or so, The Glue is made up of Lily (keyboard/vocals), her dad Mike (cello), Lena (bass/vocals), and Martha (keyboard/vocals). Their sets brought to mind the short, sweet, cozy unpredictability of a band like The Beets, although with a whole different set of instrumentation and performance character. The Glue were in a perfect comfort zone without a PA as Lily emerges from behind her keyboard and shouts about Ten Mile Creek. This anything-is-possible, plus classical tinged cello improvisations, nature is encouraging and liberating. Just what we all need!

Check out The Glue on YouTube:

“Pie song”
“Ten Mile Creek”
“Field of Diamonds” (Johnny Cash)
“Cut Your Bangs” (Radiator Hospital) 

Band Recommendation: American Whip Appeal

It’s been a quick minute since we have continued the tradition of band recommendations and actually, it’s been a quick minute since we have written anything of any kind on this very site. Just honesty right there. And a perfect segue for a talk on American Whip Appeal.

There’s a lot that can be said about this group from Boston. A lot of history. But for most of you folks out there in the world, this might be your first taste of the American Whip Appeal crew. The band is relatively new or old, whatever. All I know is I first saw em play a circa Thanksgiving rip roaring, Nattie Ice drinking, house show set. Gee whiz almost one year ago. That was Dylany, loose and probably more country.

Recordings have emerged. In fact, Stop & Freak is the group’s first full length effort, available right now digitally through Bandcamp. It’s been over a month and dare I might suggest I accumulate multiple daily listens? I will. I am a full on, out in the open, appreciator of these cool, boppin tunes. Listening I get this feeling of camaraderie among the group and an intimacy (not sure if they are the same thing). This is what it is like for me to listen to my favorite groups. From the performance – just last week opening a show at Deep Thoughts – to the ragged sound of the recordings, this is “what’s up”.

I was almost going to name this article, respectfully, Anti Country. American Whip Appeal and I hadn’t one drink in my system that night. I’m not talking out of my ass here. James Coarse (vocals/guitar), Hannah Barbarian (bass), and Buck Palace (drums/guitar) are doing their own realest rock, bizarre in content and presentation, and groovy and fun. That’s where the anti-comes in; Coarse is ,probably unknowingly, flashing some Adam Green showmanship and comedy. He’s been in the game probably just as long – approximately since the infant years. But at the same time THIS IS SOME SERIOUS STUFF. BUT IT’S NOT. Ah I don’t care, I like singing along and not knowing what I’m saying because that experience, or hyperbolic version of a semblance of some actual-ish events. Story telling and totally pleasant, awesome, etc – musical accompaniment from all directions. This is what I want out of it all. Thanks American Whip Appeal.

And that brings up a good point – we put together a show that is happening real soon in fact – THIS UPCOMING MONDAY AUGUST 21 at ZuZu in Cambridge. 10 PM. featuring American Whip Appeal, The Maje, a gentleman whose music I have positively diatribed in a similar fashion as above for a half decade or so – his band Love Strangers, and of course, the royalty of noise pop immediacy, Earthquake Party. Great starting point for all!

Check Out Cody P’s new “Hapless Podcast”

Our bud Cody – who you may know from the excellent local rock ‘n roll groups Future Spa and Tiki Twins or maybe from those funky, memorable flyers he has kindly designed over the years – has started his own podcast up and IT IS ACE. It is called The Hapless Podcast , currently streaming on Soundcloud.

For one, I love learning about new music, old music, any kind of rock ‘n roll that twists and turns, is noisy and harsh, etc, etc. I can’t say I ever had heard of the first two bands that he played on the show, but this is the thrill of having an awesome curator. Showing the appreciators some things. That’s right!

Ryan Major and the Love Strangers

a2425173628_16

It has a nice ring to it. One of our favorite local musicians – Ryan Major (you may have seen him singing and slinging guitar for our beloved Barbazons (RIP)) is fronting his own group these days and they are called the Love Strangers. Dude knows his history of rock ‘n roll and pens catchy numbers. The Love Strangers feature familiar players such as Travis Hagan (drums), Rob Sutherland (bass/vocals, and Scott Jones (guitar). They recorded with Caufield Schnug (Minidresses) and the result is this fun AF debut Strange Lovers. Mister Major, who I often visually liken to Lee Hazelwood and Jared Swilley, has taken a deeper dive into the world of country, more so than ever before. There were hints like ‘Two Whiskeys’ from the last Barbs album, but this EP goes further into that realm. What a realm.

I plug the cellie into some nice speakers, blast this, pick up an instrument or go behind the kit, and I’m off. Possibly the hallmark of a pop song is being able to joyfully anticipate what is to come. I feel that listening to this and for that, let me reiterate these are all remarkably well written and performed. There is plenty of grit and for lack of a better word, sleaze. Boozy, sing-a-long, is this Boston or North Carolina? Johnny Thunders. Speaking of which, there are plenty of clippityclank solos and reverby axe hijinx, in case you are wondering.

If I can choose anyone to deliver mythical rock ‘n roll odes to the road, women, and beer, I am choosin Ryan Major and the Love Strangers. Cheers.

 

My Favorites Albums From 2014

I’m going to do my best to just stick to full length albums. Here we go in  ABC order..

Thrills Tour
Atlantic Thrills – Atlantic Thrills (Almost Ready) – I’ve been a life long fan of music, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I became enamored with local music. Atlantic Thrills was one of the first bands I gravitated towards and it’s not hard to see why. They capture the punk slime sound we crave better than anyone else in New England and that is fully on display on this long awaited debut LP. Besides the music itself and the commaraderie that comes with it, one of the other great things about seeing a favorite band over and over again is becoming accustomed to their signature songs, so when you finally hear their album it sounds like a greatest hits collection – trust me I mean that in the best way possible. For what it’s worth, the alphabet just happens to work this way, but I’m glad this album is up here first because it is indeed my favorite album of the year. #1. I will say Free Pizza’s Boston, MA is a close second though, but we’ll get there when we get there. Top Song: “Lie To Me”

Aus
Ausmuteants – Ausmuteants (AARGHT) – Yes, I’m aware this is an album from 2013, but I first heard it in 2014, so I said fuck it why not just slap it on there. This will happen at least one more time. Top Song: “Tinnitus”. LISTEN:
 http://ausmuteants.bandcamp.com/album/amusements

Ausm
Ausmuteants – Order Of Operation (Goner/AARGHT) –  I just couldn’t get enough of these Aussies. This is just fun, funny garage pop with some vicious keyboards. It sounds like an 80s new wave band that got mixed up in the garage punk scene. You’ll be singing along to these gems all year. In addition to the kickass music, as with the first record, subject matter always slays me. Just listen to “Publicity Stunts.” Top Song: “Freedom Of Information” http://ausmuteants.bandcamp.com/


Fat Creeps – Must Be Nice (Sophomore Lounge/Gnar Tapes) – Your favorite Creeps are at it again and they’re heavier than ever on their debut full-length LP. I’m naturally biased, so the EP will always be my #1, but this is a solid follow up that won’t disappoint FC fans.  Top Song: “Daydreaming” http://fatcreeps.bandcamp.com/album/must-be-nice

Free Pizzaaa
Free Pizza – Boston, MA (BUFU/Feeding Tube) –The title track says it all. This was/is a local anthem for Boston, specifically the Boston underground music scene. I’d never thought I could embrace any notion of civic pride, but this song actually did it for me and it’s always a pleasure hearing it live. Sad to say these slices recently waved good bye to us for their hometown of Miami :(. At least,  we have the music and the memories. Top Song: “Boston, MA” http://freepizzarocks.bandcamp.com/

Gymshorts
Gymshorts – No Backsies (Self-Released) -This was my kick you in the balls, lay back and smoke, chug a 40 in the alley way, fuck you dad album of 2014. Yes, yes eat all of their gymshirts. Fill those little bellies. Top Song: “HEY PARENTS!”  http://gymshorts.bandcamp.com/

NAP
Juan Wauters – N.A.P. North American Poetry (Captured Tracks) – Let me hip you to something, this kewl kat known as Juan Wauters, you may have seen/heard/spiritually merged with the man before in his previous happening, Jackson Heights, Queens, NY’s #1 The Beets. If you doug (ehhhhhhhhhh) The Beets, then you’ll love Juan solo, you’re wack if you don’t. Dude channels The Beatles, Piero, and Los Mockers – the last two are groups Juan hipped me to. It’s like soft, serene Ramones too, if you’re still not convinced. Gotta rep Queens, even though I’ve only been there three or four times. Top Song: “Sanity” http://juanwauters.com/

The Lemons
The Lemons – Hello, We’re The Lemons (Burger/Gnar Tapes/Tripp Tapes) – Holy shit, definitely one of my new favorite bands. It’s hard to not be happy when you hear/see The Lemons. You’re submerged in this little, Lemons world that’s all gooey and yummy it’s like a Cheerios commercial from 40-50 years ago. There’s no bad feelings. SHORT SHORT songs about lemon limes, candy girls, jelly beans, ice cream, kool aid, Chubby Checker! Picture The Archies, The Monkees, The Partridge Family, I think. Perhaps the sweeter more innocent version of their Gnar brethren, The Memories. It’s all that and it’s super sweet and super short. A little injection of sugary pop. It’s so quick you want it to keep going, but it leaves as quick as it came. It’s that fast high, that five second orgasm, that day you discovered you had five bucks left in your pocket. When life hands you lemons, eat em’ up, eat all the sweets up and get those cavities, it’s worth it.
Believe the hype! Top Song: “My Candy Girl” http://thelemons.bandcamp.com/

Littlefoot
Littlefoot – Night Of The Living Dreams (BUFU) –  2014 was the first time I saw or even heard of Littlefoot. I can remember it like it was just last year. I remember seeing them open the Atlantic Thrills album release show and screaming to Glen HEY! they have that sound I love, it’s like Earth Angel and shit! All of those odes to golden oldies are heavily on display here, Erica is on top of it, she’s done her homework and the extra credit assignment. Surf on some dreamy pop waves with this album. Top Song: “Worrydoll” http://littlefootlittlefoot.bandcamp.com/

Marty
The Marty Kings – XVII (Self-Released) – Yeah, yeah, yeah, this isn’t from 2014. I told you this would come up again and I’m a man of my word. Well, I first heard this thang just this October and it’s too fucking fantastic for me not include it. I was cruising around with those sweet ass Nice Guys and I thunk what the funk is this? It’s so bubblegummy and poppy, but in that raw, off kilterish way I always luv. Those boys informed me that this was the mastmerind Andy Macbain, the man behind Tunnel Of Love and another band you’ll be seeing on here very shortly… Top Song: “Little Arthur”  http://themonsieurs.bandcamp.com/album/xvii

Memories hot
The Memories – Hot Afternoon (Burger/Gnar Tapes) – I had/have a huge boner for last year’s Love Is The Law and it’s lasted longer than four hours. Here we are again in 2014 and the vibes are still groovin’. It’s the same spirit, a bit funkier and even more laid back. If Love’ was the 60s, then Hot is the 70s. Do it up. Top Song: “Dad’s Not Home” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aE_vAq1wRO4

The Monsieurs LP
The Monsieurs – The Monsieurs (Black Gladiator/Slovenly) –  This is pure, primal rock ‘n’ roll slime with a splash of punk and a pinch of pop. Real pop, bubblegummy in your tummy fun. Innocence… well not so innocent. It’s fun to be bad and this is about as badass as it gets. Various Boston garage legends here maintain their reputation and lurk the streets of beantown to fight again and again and again. Top Song: “Kari Ann”  http://slovenly.bandcamp.com/album/the-monsieurs

NOTS
NOTS – We Are NOTS (Goner) – You can never go wrong with Goner. Some kids way back said Memphis was dead, but damn it sure as hell is alive on this record. NOTS is straight up no holds barred fun with violent keyboards to add fuel to the fire. It’s one of those bestial sounds that makes me climb on top of the refrigerator and hop off like I’m five years old again, much to the chagrin of the folks downstairs. TOP SONG: “Insect Eyes” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Yvjewj28wU

The_Orwells_-_Disgraceland
The Orwells – Disgraceland (Atlantic/Canvasback) – I’ve heard a lot of talk about this being too clean and commercial in comparison to their previous LP Remember When. Fair, but honestly it’s not that much cleaner and as far as I’m concerned The Orwells have always been mershy, radio friendly in a way, in a FABULOUS way. These feel like radio songs. Hit songs. One after another (some definitely stronger than others). Even when these dudes were fourteen and trying to sound like Black Lips and Back From the Grave comps, they still sounded rather accessible. You could see what they were going for and how they completely drove past it. That isn’t to say I think they’re better than the Lips or whoever, it’s just that even when they were a garage band they didn’t really sound like one. Whatever it is, they hit it right and they have the songs, the talent, and the live show to back it up. TOP SONG: “Blood Bubbles” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g87QQ4RX_KU

Ty man
Ty Segall – Manipulator (Drag City) – Ty again, big surprise buddy! Yes, Ty is back on my year end lists. There are no surprises here, there shouldn’t be. We rep the shit we love all year long and admittedly most of them fall under similar genres, hail from the same regions, and appear on the the same or similar labels. I’m okay with that, while I always love expanding there is such little time on this planet I intend to spend it with the music I love. As much as I dug Ty’s all acoustic effort in last year’s Sleeper, I’m really happy to see the dude rocking out once again. This is his longest monstrosity to date and while it’s not the same fuzz of early Segall, he maintains his true flavor and destroys. TOP SONG: “Feel” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4VA-b5ORxI

Now hold up, before y’all pack up your shit and leave, I must give a massive shout out to all of the KLYAM Records releases we love and are insanely proud to have put out in 2014. More cumming in 2015….

KLYAM-002: Nice Guys/Miami Doritos Splifft 7″
Nice Guys cover
http://niceguys666.bandcamp.com/album/splifft-7

KLYAM-003: Back Pages Singles 13 TAPE
BackPagesSingles13
http://klyam.bigcartel.com/product/back-pages-singles-13

KLYAM-004: The Electric Street Queens – Live From Your Dreams, We’re The Electric Street Queens TAPE
ESQ-COVER
http://electricstreetqueens.bandcamp.com/

All releases available here: http://klyam.bigcartel.com/, at the the following Boston area record stores: Deep Thoughts in Jamaica Plain, Weirdo Records in Cambridge, and Armageddon Records in Cambridge, and at all KLYAM Presents shows.

That’s all folks!