Review: House of the Rising Fuzz – Boston Rock & Roll Comp (2015)


This is Boston’s House of the Rising Fuzz compilation. Who, what, when, where, and why. Well let’s see, read on! It’s a physical artifact, a tangible, audible documentary. It’s a beauty and it’s so mid-2010s, underground garage and punk and noise and dirty pop. A full effort coordinated by the inspiring bands on here and also 456 Records, Primordial Sounds, Theives Grotto, Boston Hassle, and Ben Semeta. It took a while to get here, but honestly is there a better time than now? Just days away (August 6th through 8th) is the Boston Fuzzstival – curated by the one and only Jason Treft’s Illegally Blind – and featuring most of the bands included on this compilation. Both the Fuzzstival and the release of House of the Rising Fuzz are dream come true events not only for the people directly taking part, but those slimers, those fanatics, like us, like You and Me, who can’t get enough of that F word.

From my perspective, I’ve seen all of these bands perform – some maybe just a couple of time, others a dozen or more – and a few (Barbazons, Nice Guys, and Miami Doritos) we are grateful to have released records and tapes for on our own label. We share a similar fondness for rock ‘n roll music that’s nicely being built up through the abovementioned proponents of underground culture here in Boston. There’s no reason why House of the Rising Fuzz can’t be our Casual Victim Pile. For those unfamiliar, that was a compilation of Austin TX rock ‘n roll bands released in 2010 by Boston area native Gerard Cosloy and his Matador Records. Where that album definitely had more innate spotlight given Austin’s reputation for live music and the big independent label distribution, House of the Rising Fuzz is a decentralized group effort that is very indicative of the spirit and community vibes in Boston. It’s one of those situations where the people that are fortunate to live here or tour through here can literally feel this energy, however, the larger, national music media sources don’t cover our bands anywhere near as much as groups from San Francisco, Los Angeles, or Memphis.

I can say for certain that House of the Rising Fuzz captures all the bands at their highest moments. I agree with Ben in his interview with Allston Pudding where he’s like for every band it’s “their best song yet”. In fact, his band Black Beach’s contribution “Kreep” is in the early lead for my favorite thing on this compilation. It is crunchy, punchy, slippery – an exhilarating blender of spacey garage punk tropes and odes. Bless its soul. I could get real nerdy and boring with descriptions and stuff, but the main thing I note is that I can toss this thing on and be like oh yeah That’s New Highway Hymnal. “Isolation” yup – I recognize Hadden’s vocals, Amelia’s bass, and Travis’ drumming style. They groovy. With The Monsieurs
“Shadow,” there’s also no mistaking. Except, they work over there in the blown out bubblegum punk department. There’s a reason why that group is universally revered around these parts. They make ya crazy with their memorable ramble and stampeding swagger.

The bands that I am least familiar with – Midriffs and Dinoczar – do a helluva job saying HI THERE… Midriffs offering “White Washed” is the longest journey at 5 minutes and 37 seconds, but one would be damned to call this a psych slowburner. It’s more comparable to what we know and love from NHH and The Televibes, the ole penchant for intoxicating instrumental freakouts. And speaking of which, the North Shore’s own Televibes “DMT” takes this style to every ticklish cavity of what has been revealed to us as psychedelic rock and roll music. Dinoczar might be the sludgiest and rawest talent on the compilation – their “Cream” unlocks the doors to the Slaughterhouse, if ya catch my drift.

It’d be a shame for me to not mention Miami Doritos and Nice Guys together. Subconscious and literal promotion and testimony to the greatness of their Splifft 7″ aside – they’ve lived together, toured together, and what not. I’ll tell you briefly the sonic difference. Miami Doritos is a guitar and drums duo but they make for a brutally concise, maximalist use of that nice fuzz, that nice noise. It’s intimidating, lovely on “Cut the Rope”. Now as for the “Chips” boys, the four Nice Guys. Their contribution is the previously UNreleased “Chips in the Moonlight” (though, if you’re keeping track – and you should be – they released an EP with this name. If you’ve never heard Nice Guys, you might want to start with this tune and work forwards, backwards, etc. At the heart, these fellas write catchy riffs. Also at the heart, they breakaway from these winner choruses and verses to what amounts to best-in-class dueling guitar breakdowns like in “Chips.”

This leaves us with Barbazons and Creaturos. Both have been around for some time now (Barbazons since 2010, formerly as Fagettes, and Creaturos since 2011) causing a racket but mainly making a name for themselves because they perform lush garage pop. Who am I to say, but if I’m trying to show someone whose only experience with Fuzz is the police what’s up, I might first direct them to Barbazons “Jake” which is surely many bits chaotic, but it is sunny and breezy and shiny. If they respond positively and I know they will, I’ll send them over to Creaturos “Bleeding Like A Stone,” which plays out as a psyched up slap to the best of good times ‘classic’ rock. I believe I’ve always felt this way with Creaturos and it is a compliment owed to their distinct playing.

Listen to these bands, support them at shows, book them. It might sound cheesy and everyone says it about everything, but seriously this is special. It’s super fun and rewarding for those who know and love these bands and the same for those who might be all ‘why should I care about Boston rock & roll in the year 2015’? I hope this reaches far beyond a local scope — it would not be nice for the thousands of appreciators of this kind of music to miss hearing this compilation!

Night One Boston En Masse Thursday September 18!

Illegally Blind is at it again, putting on Boston En Masse, four days of live music at Church, which is near Fenway Park. Each night offers something a little different (check out the FB event page for a listing of bands) and it is TOMORROW NIGHT, Thursday September 18, that we are most excited to share with you all!

Presented in association with local underground music advocates BUFU Records, Boston Hassle, Fast Apple, a couple KLYAM splifft singlers – Nice Guys and Miami Doritos – are in on the action along with Ben Katzman’s DeGreaser, Boogie Boy Metal Mouth, and The Monsieurs.

Nice Guys are just about a month fresh off the release of their most recent tape, L.A.P.D. Since forming in 2012, they’ve toured the East Coast a couple of times, played at Hassle, BUFU, and Starlab Fests, shared billings with garage slammers like FIDLAR and Ex-Cult, and released their first 7″, a split with Miami Doritos on our KLYAM Records label, earlier this year. Noisy punk chaos with a tendency for instrumental explosions, break-downs, and the like. We really dig this stuff and enthusiasts all over town and beyond are takin’ note, too!

Miami Doritos are like family with Nice Guys – if you haven’t noticed already – they share a home, a member, a television set, stuff like that. They also have a tape, that before mentioned 7″, a couple tours, and tons of sweet local shows in their name. They just a duo, though, and create quite a racket amongst themselves. Their noise is crunchy, their underbelly is tastily (not tastefully) poppy. Come on down.

Ben Katzman’s Degreaser is the latest and just maybe greatest band from Katzman. Dude’s all about chilling mad hard, rokin out, and Shredding, so let’s see you in action, broooooo!!! The band’s first album Degreaser was released digitally a brief time ago and it is a cok rok love affair. Gritty, positively recalling early rock ‘n roll along the way, charming surely. Right now all I can do is picture their queezy punk pop energy, soon I will see it in the flesh!!

Boogie Boy Metal Mouth‘s hip-hop in the punk spirit holds ya hostage, at least that’s the feeling I’ve gotten from their live performances. I’m not sure what else to feel – they’re the only hip-hop group I have seen or remembered seeing. Lotta movement and interaction at the Wilder Zangcraft that time. It’s still sinking in. What they are doing is not like much I’ve seen in the Boston underground; credit their unique set-up and experimental leanings.

Headlining this En Masse shabang are The Monsieurs, who have roots in the garage underworld that date much further than my time. At any rate and at any inclination, they are maybe the most straight ahead, hook filled, no seaweed, punk trio playing local stages and non-stages. Gather together the funnest rock ‘n roll of the past 60 years or, if you’re more myopic, the gunk punk greats of the past 20, and that’s just about Monsieurs style. Ya heard it before but now it’s right in front you, in fine fashion, uttering shit in one ear, while the other’s being damaged by thick loud amps. In good fun, though.

Miami Doritos Make Playlist For BDC Wire

Doritos B
Miami Doritos and friends. Photo from BDC Wire

Take a gander at this BDC Wire article on KLYAM’s own Miami Doritos: http://bdcwire.com/list/allston-punks-miami-doritos-gives-playlist-of-songs-kind-of-about-miami/. The Doritos have cooked up a playlist featuring the likes of The Gories, Free Pizza, Skimask, and more. Hot damn.

Silly bastards, pick up the Miami Doritos splifft 7″ with fellow Allston ruffians Nice Guys available here through KLYAM Records: http://klyam.bigcartel.com/product/nice-guys-miami-doritos-splifft-7

Review: Miami Doritos, Dylan Ewen, Tacocat @ The Womb (3/30/14)

Taco
Bands: Tacocat, Dylan Ewen/Teenage Springsteen, Miami Doritos, Dylan Ewen & The Sulk Scouts
Date: Sunday, March 30, 2014
Venue: The Womb (Allston, MA)

Dylan Ewen & The Sulk Scouts – The Sulk Scouts is just one of the many faces of Dylan Ewen. Dylan’s music is often in your face and snarky, but the Sulk Scouts are a bit of a departure. This project stays consistent with Dylan’s sense of humor, but in a light and playful manner. They even have a song called “Handcuffs” about light bondage.

As with my prior Sulk Scouts experiences, the highlight of the show is when the band performs a cover of Girls’ “Lust For Life.” It’s such a dreamy, nostalgic piece of music and honestly it sounds better here than anywhere else, and I heard Girls themselves perform ‘Lust’ twice. The female Sulk Scouts harmonize so well, it’s insane. Totally making out music. Totally.

Another highlight for me is D. Ewen classic “Korean Girlfriend.” That’s the money maker right there. It’s all about the ca$h flow and having a good time. Much more the latter. In any spot, preferably a basement such as this womb here, Dylan Ewen & The Sulk Scouts is a hot band to catch live. http://dylanewen.com/

Miami Doritos – A grimy Allston basement is the perfect place to see Miami Doritos. Up close and personal until it’s uncomfortable, no way! I’ve written about these Doreets several times now, so yeah they’re a two piece (vocals/guitar/drums) and I have a thing for two pieces and so on. Not to mention the fact that this two piece is on my own record label. YEAHH BUDDY!

We almost didn’t have our little Miami Doritos dessert tonight, for drummer Alex has been feeling under the weather this evening. Thankfully, this dorito is a trooper and he powers through a slimy, sweaty set without a hint of error.

This set is chock full of classic Doreets material, like vh1 classic, except not at all. “Price 2 Pay,” “Rush Hour/Piss Take,” “Bike Cops,” “Ice Age Cream,” and more. These are all funny songs, but it’s not a joke. Do you fucking hear anyone laughing, HUH??? Didn’t think so. No jokes. No bullshit. That’s what is great about this kind of music. In fact, most bands that play in basements around this scene. There’s no careerism, at least not overtly. The music isn’t being made to advance a career or some other horrible political motivation. No babies being kissed. I don’t know what goes on in Kurt’s and Alex’s minds, but I am sure there is a constant riot going on.

Get yer greedy little paws all over this masterpiece of modern art: http://klyam.bigcartel.com/product/nice-guys-miami-doritos-splifft-7

Dylan Ewen/Teenage Springsteen – Dylan Ewen is back with an impromptu performance under the Teenage Springsteen pseudonym. He is also accompanied by a drummer, a dude from the band Designer. Right on. The pair flash through a batch of fast and feisty numbers including a half assed cover of Violent Femmes’ “Blister in the Sun.” Check out Springsteen here: http://dylanewen.bandcamp.com/ It’s a lot cooler than the other Springsteen, there I said it.

Tacocat – I can’t say I know all too much about Seattle’s Tacocat, but I am intrigued.  It looks as though a lot of heads flock out to see these Tacocats. And indeed they eat it up and start dancing/moshing. They’re definitely a lively band and they have a strong sense of lighthearted garage mixed with gritty girl group vibes. Picture Colleen Green as a full band and not just CG with a backing band, but imagine if she was a full band entity. I also feel a lot of 90s rock in them like The Breeders. Lastly, local faves Silkies roll through my psyche, especially with the girl group vibes and definitely in the vocals. I’m going to check out Tacocat more now. Ride that crimson wave over and over again. http://tacocat.bandcamp.com/

 

NICE GUYS/MIAMI DORITOS – SPLIFFT 7″ [KLYAM-002]!

Nice 7

In 1956, Elvis Presley shook his hips on national TV. Later in 1956, Elvis Presley shook his hips AGAIN, being shot from the waist up. Then for a long time nothing happened… Until now. We bring you the Nice Guys/Miami Doritos Splifft 7″ out on KLYAM Records on March 3rd and at the Nice Guys/Miami Doritos tour kick off show and subsequent shows on February 28th. For far too long, rock ‘n’ roll has been neutered, packaged, sold, resold, twittered, tweeted, repeated, and cheated again and again. I for one have had enough. This Splifft here is a grenade in your sweaty hands. Use it wisely.

Four fresh, gahridgerawk cutz to terrify the neighbors. Shambling, scuzzy noise. BLASTS!

Nice Guys :
1) Jamaican Vacation
2) Medical Envy

Miami Doritos:
1) Price 2 Pay
2) Rush Hour/Piss Take

————————————

NICE GUYS / MIAMI DORITOS TOUR DATES

February 28th – Boston @ THIEVES GROTTO
March 1st – Syracuse, NY @ HOUSE SHOW
March 3rd – Detroit, MI @ BLACK LODGE
March 4th – Chicago, IL @ WALLY’S WORLD
March 5th – St. Louis, MO @ PLUSH
March 6th – Memphis, TN @ LAMPLIGHTER
March 8th – SOMEWHERE IN KENTUCKY~!
March 9th – Asheville, NC
March 10 – Chapel Hill, NC @ NIGHTLIGHT
MAR 12 – Arlington, VA @ CD CELLAR
MAR 13 – Baltimore, MD @ HOLY FRIJOLES
MAR 14 – Philadelphia, PA @ THE NUTHOUSE
MAR 17 – Cambridge, MA @ CHARLIES KITCHEN

————————————————

And whaddya know there is a new music video from the Doritos themselves. Check it out below.

Review: Miami Doritos, Dylan Ewen, Zebu, Fat Creeps @ JP Drive In

Two Piece
Bands: Miami Doritos, Dylan Ewen, Zebu, Fat Creeps
Date: Friday, August 16, 2013
Venue: JP Drive In

Miami Doritos – I don’t see any Miami or any Doritos, I feel like rioting, I feel like inflicting pain upon each and every one of youuuuu KLYAM readers.  Just kidding mom, I love you.

The Miami Doritos are best appreciated in a basement setting such as this JP Drive In, though I am completely full of shit because I have only seen them in basements, so I have no means of comparison anyway. I guess I just like the intimate feel, which is what typically makes two pieces special to begin with, and tonight the Doritos are kicking off this whole two piece hootenanny.

The Doritos are rough and crunchy, but not difficult to swallow, they go down rather smoothly with a watery beer and a broken heart. In terms of comparisons, well I know I say this often when I see two pieces, but they remind me of KLYAM favorite No Age, mostly in the instrumentation and odd pop sensibility.

I suppose I should also mention that the Doritos consists of Kurt (Thigh Masters) on vocals and guitar and Alex (Nice Guys) on vocals and drums, they are good dudes and if you haven’t checked out those bands then I don’t know what else to say, you better get on that shit brah. And while you’re at it, quit being a pussy and listen to Miami Doritos here: http://miamidoritos.bandcamp.com/album/scoop-dreams
And hey, also watch this vid of them at Allston DIY Fest: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-GJFO_5VrY

Dylan Ewen –  Dylan Ewen, yeah you know Dylan Ewen, in a way you may just be Dylan Ewen. Every teenager and twenty something is – and maybe even some of you thirty somethings. Dylan likes to write songs about bitches and booties and sadness, all topics that have been covered a gazillion times in pop music long before any of us were even twinkles in our daddy’s eyes. Yet, with his brand of garage spunk Dylan brings back a bucket of fresh water from the old stereotypical rock & roll well.

Dylan sings/screams and rages on guitar while a fellow named Chris sings along and brutishly slams the drums behind him. Together they smash through a fuzzy set of Dylan Ewen tunes including “Lead Me On,” (watch the crazy music video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xl-jSFP_6DY&feature=youtu.be). It’s a catchy little number that will stay with you forever like herpes. I myself was drunkenly singing this song the other night and didn’t realize it until a friend pointed it out,  it’s that powerful. The dudes also unleash a sick ass cover of one of my favorite Ramones songs, “The KKK Took My Baby Away.”

If I may slide down a slippery slopey rant for a few lines, if you would be so inclined… Dylan Ewen is like if Blink 182 sounded garagey and not like pop punk shit. It’s like all of his songs are about things that suck, but they are all fun and happy at the same time. Content wise it’s all frustration and disappointment . And that’s exactly why I dig the joy that comes out of my speakers when I listen to his bandcamp. That’s my argument against all the sad bands that sing about jerking off alone at night – or something else “dark and mysterious,” I don’t know I don’t pay attention. After a while, if I get bored I just make up my own plot. Those bands seem to be not having as much fun and make sad, sad songs. You can still make songs about sad stuff and still have fun, and having fun can be the focal point of the performance. You picking up what I’m putting down? Dylan Ewen does that like a true rock ‘n’ roller. Listen to all of his songs about youth and sex and such: http://dylanewen.bandcamp.com/

ZEBU – So, I saw these two dudes before at their Fat Creeps Split 12″ Release show at the Discovery Zone a few months back and this performance is not too dissimilar.  The pair, which consists of Ted Lee (vocals/drums) and Steve D’Agostino (vocals/guitar), put on a fairly entertaining show that really makes use of the small, intimate basement space tonight. At one point, Steve playfully waltzes through the crowd and pops a squat on a conveniently open chair in the middle of the room. He sits back and relaxes as if the song has to wait for him. It’s antics like this that makes me think a Zebu show in an above ground venue would be comparatively dull or at least lose some of its charm. Either way, their oddball take on pop music (?) is strong enough to endure in any setting.

Zebu also recently toured in Europe, which appears to be a rare feat for most artists of their underground nature. So, kudos to them. Here watch a clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0OHC6Zmt1g
http://zebu.bandcamp.com/

Fat Creeps –  A few years from now when I am an old man, about 27, I will be standing alone at a show, nursing a Narragansett and trying to relieve myself of an ailing hangover, when some young scrawny, pimple faced lad, about 16, will approach me and ask “what were the early Fat Creeps shows like?” to which I will respond, “fuck off, get me another beer junior. Let’s go find your sister.” Fortunately, I am still young and only 70% bitter, so I will enjoy these last few years before the remaining 30% takes over.

Fat Creeps or should I say Fat Dweebz as they are calling themselves tonight round out this two piece shabang. Gracie strums the guitar and sings while Mariam takes care of the drums and sings as well. I’ve never seen them as a duo and I may never again, but it’s pretty cool, a different take on their usual three piece sound. I miss regular drummer Jim Leonard, but Gracie and Mariam do a fine job with some of the Creeps originals as well some sick covers; I swear they play The Vaselines’ “Monsterpussy,” but I haven’t confirmed this.

Both women are decked out in some eye catching spandex suits, it look likes they are competing in American Gladiators or WWF (fuck WWE, it’s still WWF to me).

Check out their tunage here: http://fatcreeps.bandcamp.com/

And while you’re at it, order their 10″ (VINYL) EP from our very own KLYAM Records! http://klyam.bigcartel.com/

Review: Snow Wite, Secret Lover, Fat Creeps, Miami Doritos @ A Basement

JULY_2013PAULWELLER 003

Bands: Snow Wite, Secret Lover, Fat Creeps, Miami Doritos
Venue: A Basement In Boston
Date: Friday, July 26, 2013

I think arriving to shows early is a very great thing. I’ve always felt this way. Going to a stranger’s basement to see a rock ‘n roll show early is even better. In that time between when the first band comes on, you can get to indulge yourself in talking to other attendees and the bands, and drink your own beers. This particular show didn’t kick off ’til much later than planned, but when domes came down the stairs, they came in bunches.

I was really excited to hear Miami Doritos, being a fan of previous performances of ThighMasters and Nice Guys…other bands of Kurt and Alex, respectively. Kurt belted out these tunes and Alex crushed drums. I remember being immediately impressed by the jams. It was like seeing the full Ty Segall Band drive forth with brief tantalizing punk tunes. These songs were really catchy – at least to ears that can readily identify hooks underneath loud loud noise. Like other fascinating duos, Miami Doritos made the most out of just a little. For local garage punk, I’d stick these dudes right up there in the ranks. I got a tape of theirs that is bound to be reviewed on this very site soon.

The KLYAM obsessed/debut KLYAM Records signees Fat Creeps played second. I haven’t reviewed them in a while as that has been the forte of Chris, rock ‘n roll’s youngest dirty old man. According To Jim. The 24th time (seeing them live) is the charm. Not to say the other 23 weren’t the charm, oh you bet they were. My eyes had not previously witnessed the Creeps in a true basement setting, Starlab not included. Seeing them at a rate now three times that of the Black Lips – an incredible feat given our steadfast devotion to those dudes – I sort of know what to expect of a Fat Creeps performance. Yet not really. There’s Gracie switching between her three guitars, by all means something we take for granted given the outrageously amazing sonics which I call tasty swells that are procured throughout the set. So you know, tonight brought all the classics of old (like on the EP), several new-ish jams that deserve their own acclaim, and a cover – ‘Sex Beat’ by The Gun Club, which brought back old memories of last summer when I heard the Creeps play it for the first time. I really dug seeing the Creeps in this setting, the unmanned PA system doing its job just as nice as any old sound guy.

Secret Lover gathers their instruments. This Worcester band is one that I’ve seen before. And I’ve listened to them after the fact as well. I can’t help but chuckle to myself as I’m standing inches away from the singer who is making rounds in and around the invisible stage. I say they’re like the Barbaras or Ariel Pink instrumentally with a spooky, Disney Rock n Roller Coaster vocalist. I’m blown away compared to the first time I saw them. I’ll take more time out of my daily regiment to recall this truly bizarre group. Even bizarre doesn’t seem like the right word, it’s just that in this day and age, rock ‘n roll combinations of Secret Lover esque proportions are rare. Maybe the closest modern comparison could be Screaming Females, if only in the singing department.

Last up is the headliner from LA. This is Snow Wite. The logistics of this band, the members more specifically, include three members of Secret Lover as backing musicians to vocalist and guitarist, Andy. Snow Wite’s an interesting character for sure. There’s a legion of what I presume are genuine fans from a distant past (one year, tops) standing at the front, gushing over Andy for the duration of the set. These folks are having what appears to be the time of their lives. On the other side of me is Chris, who is not impressed one bit by Snow Wite. My stance on this issue is sorta like how I was standing: middling. I saw all the music videos before this show and I had some suspicions. It seems too intense to be purely pretentious or jokestery so I didn’t make any superficial judgments (as I try not to). The music itself, for the most part, is a blend of late ’90s mainstream pop rock and classic guitar rock psychedelia. Don’t count me in as a meaningful fan of either of those, but I did appreciate some of Snow Wite, particularly his flashy guitar work.