Our favorite Ottowans (is that the right nomenclature?), The White Wires have a new track available entitled “All Night Long” from their upcoming album WWIII, which is being heralded as a pop masterpiece and will be relesed on Dirtnap Records on July 31, 2012.
Check it out! http://www.dirtnaprecs.com/AllNightLong.mp3
King Khan and the Shrines – “Bite My Tongue” – Bruise Cruise 7″ – You might remember this one from the Shrines Fall 2010 tour. Maybe not. Either way the studio version has just arrived and it’s a nice segue back into some of that real rock’n’soulin KK+Shrines flavor that the KK Experience lacked! LISTEN
Baby Chuck – “Whatever Is Happening” – This is the band of the same named guitarist/songwriter in Orwells. “Whatever” is a rugged rock and roll’r with some slick guitar riffs that bring to mind the Smiff West, and a harmonica solo to finish things off! If you love The Orwells, you’ll be a Baby Chuck fan. Or something’s wrong. LISTEN/WATCH VIDEO, BandCamp
Mind Spiders – “Wait For Us” – Meltdown (Dirtnap) – Mind Spiders put out a really good S/T album last year. It had the supreme “Don’t Let Her Go” on it. This one is addictive from the start. Has that sort of instant garage pop charm that Reatard had down pat.
Life Partner – “King Nothing” – Dogs (Sophomore Lounge) – Dang, how had I missed out on Life Partner. I love the production on this one. The droney vocals and that real upfront drum set really make you PAY ATTENTION. Plus, it’s pretty short, so you can just go back and replay it. LISTEN/WEBSITE
Band: High Tension Wires Release: 3/2011 Label: Dirtnap Records
1. “Get Weird” – A 2. “Incorporeal – B+ 3. “Backbone” – A 4. “Temporary Gods” – A- 5. “Subprime Love” – B+ 6. “Lose Your Grip” – A- 7. “Lose Face” – A 8. “The Universal People’s Church” – A- 9. “Handicapped Hearts” – A 10. “Dirt, Fist, Feet” – B+ 11. “I’m Too Square You’re Too Round” – A- 12. “The Secret of the Hydrogen Bomb” – B+
Comments: From the opening bass line and drum beat of “Get Weird”, you might mistake High Tension Wires for a major dance-punk band. The song is noisy, but quite groovy at that. Same goes for “Backbone,” which basks in power-pop greatness. The verses got that damn infectious drum beat and the chorus and break, of course, are the two-tier icing on the cake. High Tension Wires are definitely one of the more catchy garage/punkers out there and I think part of this stems from the short length/no bullshit tunes. Guitar solos don’t overstay their welcome and uncomplicated instrumentation dominates. Recommended!
Band: Something Fierce Release: 4/2011 Label: Dirtnap Records
1. “Don’t Be So Cruel” – B+ 2. “What We Need Now” – A- 3. “Future Punks” – B+ 4. “Afghani Sands” – A- 5. “Before You Raised the Gun” – A- 6. “When You Hurt” – A- 7. “Ghosts of Industry” – A- 8. “Aliens Two” – A 9. “Bad Choice” – A- 10. “On the Backroads” – A 11. “Dying Young These Days”- A 12. “Empty Screens” – A [LINK TO LISTEN]
Comments: Something FIERCE do what they do well. They play music. Music that I’ll describe as mid-range punk rock with many an eccentrically catchy melody. Nothing real heavy, nothing real wimpy. Weird comparison time: the vocals are sometimes (and I say this because the music is quite different) comparable to that of MGMT vocalist Andrew VanWyngarden. In other words, they stand out…for more so than the typical punk singer! The tunes often take on different shapes with “Afghani Sands,” for instance, in the mold of Mission of Burma era post-punk, “Ghosts of Industry” as a combo of modsters The Jam and power-pop/punk greats Exploding Hearts, and “When You Hurt” in the mold of ’70s pop-rock. The whole album is amassed with very satisfying tunes, but things really start picking up on the B side. I would say things are pretty more straight killa no filla and often this is how I enjoy my rock ‘n’ roll. Side note: Dirtnap has been on a tear lately with awesome releases!
1. “Go!” – A-
2. “Don’t Let Her Go” – A
3. “Mind Spiders Theme” – B
4. “Read Your Mind” – B-
5. “Going Away Tonight” – A
6. “No Romance” – A-
7. “No. 3” – A-
8. “One Step Ahead” – A
9. “Slippin’ and Slidin” – A-
10. “Your Soul” – B-
11. “Neurotic Gold” – A-
12. “Close the Door” – B-
Comments: From the start, I could tell ya know, this is going to be a very enjoyable record. Heard The Marked Men for the first time or so a few months ago and they stuck out. This is the new band of guitarist/singer Mark Ryan. First song on Mind Spiders “Go!” sounds real revivalist, real nice to me, though Dusted said it was the “least pop-oriented rocker.” I have to respectably disagree. “Don’t Let Her Go” has a Jay Reatard vibe, especially in the vocals and the non-intrusive hella catchy synthahsizer. I got the same feeling for “Going Away Tonight.” These songs are the best. Ryan and crew probably influenced Reatard a ton, so I don’t mean to make it sound like they are taking anything from him…not at all. The instrumentation/recording is very precise and nice. “One Step Ahead” is pretty much pure hooky rock and roll. The guitar work should be noted. The bass line and the overall eccentricity of “Neurotic Gold” makes it a tune to remember. Some of the slower, less immediate tunes are still solid tracks, but the Mind Spiders are at their best at their heaviest.
Band: White Wires Release: 11/10 Label: Dirtnap Records
1. “Let’s Go To The Beach” – A
2. “Roxanne” – A+
3. “Did You Forget My Name?” – A 4. “I Can Tell” – A-
5. “Just Wanna Be” – A
6. “Be True To Your School” – A 7. “Popularity” – A
8. “Hands” – A 9. “Are You Mad? – B+ 10. “Outta My Mind” – A
11. “Summer Girl” – A 12. “Bye Bye Baby” – B+
Comments: Power-pop — like music of all genres — has a tendency to tell tales of romantic failings, hopes, and dreams. It rarely forms substance over being popular or “true to your school,” but on this record it does. “Let’s Go The Beach” is packed from start to finish with hooks and a story-line of “running away” to California. The hooks and catchy parts outweigh their less interesting counterparts on WWII and this is precisely why this is a great album. The drums and chorus during “Roxanne” bring us back to simpler times when just an easy melody and a few chords were needed for greatness. The intensity and punch, at least from listening to the first two tracks, is similar to that of Atlanta pop group Gentleman Jesse and His Men. All these songs clock under three minutes, but this doesn’t inhibit memorable moments. There is a mixture of pure hitters (“Hands,” “Summer Girl,” “Popularity,” notably) and slower, more melodic tunes (“Outta My Mind,” the instrumental closer “Bye Bye Baby”), but this variation isn’t too dramatic. In other words, what’s thrown at us is very likable music. Despite this coming out pretty late in the year, it sticks and will have appeal lasting into the foreseeable future.
Band: Mind Spiders Release: 2010 Label: Dirtnap Records
1. “Worlds Destroyed” – A 2. “Time Sucker” – A 3. “Ripped” – A 4. “Dirty Secrets” – A
Comment: The second I played this, I realized these guys have something special going on. It’s hard to describe, but they have “it,” a word that I’ve used to describe only a handful of garage/punk releases this year. I’d equate it with the first time I listened to Hippies [“Someday Soon”] or King of the Beach [“King of the Beach”]. Don’t get me wrong, having “it” can be a mere one song thing. This record is more than that. “Worlds Destroyed” is an in-your-face pop attack whereas “Time Sucker” is a more leveled adventure, really bringing to mind a mellowed version of the great No Age tune “Brain Burner.” Compare: “Go away. Leave me here. I’m better without you” to “I couldn’t make him made he’s useless and alone.” Okay, I’m maybe stretching it, but check it out for yourself. Flipping to the other side…”Ripped” has that beginning drum pattern that has “Friendly Ghost” written all over it, but I’m sure other songs have started out the same way in the history of music. This one might be this record’s most traditionally “power-pop” number. “Dirty Secrets” — if I’m still doing the comparison-to-bigger-acts kind of deal — earns Thee Oh Sees recognition. Nice drumming.