Back in the days of my of my youth, which were occasionally spent washing my buddy’s dad’s Chevy Malibu in exchange for 12-packs of Coors Light, that same dad would survey the work while dispensing random nuggets of wisdom such as this (upon learning that his son had his sights set on a redhead): “You know what they say, red on the head, fire in the hole!”
Well, it’s not exactly what my buddy’s dad meant, but the ginger-haired, sister-brother duo, White Mystery, have a fire burning with napalm intensity down in their rock & roll hole on their sophomore lp, Blood & Venom. Sister Alex White is a wild-banshee woman, screaming and shredding her way through party mantras and non-sequitur self-mythologizing as brother Frances White bashes away like Animal on acid. File this one under “tough, raw and relentless”–or maybe “sounds fuckin’ awesome from the tape deck of a Chevy Malibu while shotgunning cans of Coors Light”. At any rate, if you want some garage rock that burns with a punk rock fervor, gets its hooks in you with a power-pop melodic sensibility, and flails with a simultaneous irreverence towards and love for its most obvious antecedents as it makes its own rattled-cage way through the world, you’ll want to file this somewhere in your collection.
Blood & Venom is out now and ready to rock. Check it out here.
Back in the fall of 2010, los grillos happened upon Brooklyn garage rockers Gross Relations and was immediately taken with the band’s particular brand of battered pop on its debut single Fuzzy Timelines. Now from Gross Relations comes the new single, Blame the Records b/w Don’t Beat On Me, which features a catchy couple of tunes that continue to embrace the elements that define the band’s overall sound–crunchy guitars and a deadpan vocal laid over a backdrop of bouyant keys–and deliver a solid one-two melodic punch. And though the key elements remain the same, there’s enough variance in song style and delivery to suggest cohesion without rendundancy, leaving los grillos looking forward to the lp that might spring for this well of singles.
Blame the Records is available for free downloand now at the Gross Relations bandcamp page. Check it out here.
The band plans to release two new songs every two weeks over the next little while, so keep an eye out for more in the coming weeks.
Laid-back layers-down of a 60/70s sound, The Donkeys, have returned with their second lp for the Dead Oceans label, and it’s an open road, windows down, road trip of an album worthy of its whimsical cover art. The mellow, hippie vibe of the band’s previous efforts is fully intact, but the songs on Born With Stripes also bring out a sort of 80s/90s pop romanticism to help create an infectious, unhurried little affair that is just as happy to pass the pipe with The Band as it is with The Pernice Brothers (whose Thom Monahan mixed the album), not to mention contemporaries such as Dr. Dog and M. Ward.
All in all, this album is perfect for the backslope of a sweaty summer day spent drinking cheap lager in a rusty lawn chair and hanging out with your dog. Or maybe a dirty old yard cat that’s missing half an ear.
Born With Stripes is available now via Dead Oceans. Check it out here.
The album is currently streaming in its entirety at Spinner.com. Listen here.
One sound that hasn’t as yet been much a part of the 90s revival is the so-dubbed alt-country sound that came on strong in the 90s thanks in no small part to the punk rock lovin’ country boys of Uncle Tupelo. Well, Slang Chickens are here to put a wonderfully welcome stop to that with a knack for punk-influenced roots rock that Spot, owner and operator/whiskey guru of Trailer Space, Austin’s finest record store and home to all things good and right, rock ‘n’ roll and otherwise, described as a cross between Sixteen Horsepower and Pavement. Sounds about right to me–Slang Chickens rock some seriously infectious slacker americana with a punk attitude. Dig it!
Hey mope-rockers, welcome to your new favorite sad song for sad times. Cass McCombs, on his latest, Wit’s End, carries on in a grand, soulful tradition of examining loneliness and sorrow in song. But where such endeavors can often come off as a bit too self-indulgent on the artist’s part to offer the listener any real reason to listen, McCombs’ music reaches deeper and achieves something more universal.