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
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: 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.