WT RADIO is back, fuckers!!! Not dead yet. Today we’ve got a highly international mix – opening with the classic fake punk of Ramon Pipin’s ODEURS, then moving to the frozen north with Swedish (best) punk from BfT and MORALENS VAKTARE. Great American garage tunes – quickies from Cheap Time and Unnatural Helpers, as well as a cut from recent favorites VINCAS. Also on there are trips to England with DOWNLINERS SECT and POLAND, with a closing track from Brygada Kryzys(one of the best punk LPs ever ever ever). Listen in wonder!
This record comes to us courtesy of the man himself, formerly of the BARE WIRES and the Zygoteens. It’s made of 5 tracks of catchy, jangly powerpop. It’s all really reminiscent of our previous favorites IMPO & THE TENTS – but with the punk end of things dialed down ever so slightly. Things kick off with “Groovy Intuitions,” which feature the big guitars and tinny, punchy drums I love ever so much. Mr. Widener keeps things moving right along with the title track, which is no less catchy, but certainly more efficient, at only about a minute-thirty. Overall, it reminds me of GENTLEMAN JESSE, but a little more exciting, a little more active, and certainly a little more fun.
If Side-A housed the hooky pop-nuggets, Side-B holds the more brittle, jagged numbers. “Enemy Dreams” keeps up with the same pacing, but is more aggressive, more on-edge – ditto for “Slime Walker.” These tunes aren’t quite as memorable as the other side’s, but there are great moments – the yelp and keyboard on “Slime Walker” are fucking awesome. “Groovy Intuitions” may be my favorite here, but they’d all be equally amazing in a live setting. Realistically – no track here is ‘weak’; there’s good ones and better ones. As a whole, this EP offers a lot of things that I really love in music – tunefulness, energy, and economy – Widener doesn’t waste a second of runtime, and this record won’t waste yours.
LISTEN: “Enemy Dreams” on Soundcloud
BUY: Fuzz City Records
This blog has covered BASS DRUM OF DEATH before, so we were excited to hear that there’s fresh sounds coming from the camp in the form of the Unwed Teenage Mothers, a new project from BDoD drummer Collin Sneed. Overall, the sound is similar – the vocals are coated in the same lo-fi slime as those on “GB City,” but this puts a toe on the brake pedal and ramps up the hooks. Opening track “If You Think You’re Lonely Now” is a mid-tempo tune which really, is barely garage punk at all – it’s more jangley pop-rock with a grandiose, sweeping feel, which I don’t have anything against categorically, but this track is a little lacking in the cojones department, and isn’t really catchy enough to make me forget about that.
Following this is a little bouncy ditty called “FFI,” which is less expansive than the first track, but is also a little less memorable, save for the stop-start chorus. It’s over before you even realize it, but fortunately it goes right into single “Why Does It Have To Be Tonight,” a driving number which is basically a poppier BDoD tune, but it’s not a bad thing at all – in fact, it’s probably my favorite track on here. Closer “Vein” is a mid-tempo tune which really, is barely garage punk at all – a tambo-lead beat and a fucking great bassline supporting a vocal melody(!!!). It recalls BRIAN JONESTOWN MASSACRE in its lazy, bluesy lope, but still bears the punk edge of its creators’ other band – yeah, it’s really, really good.
Overall, despite a lackluster start, this 7″ is fairly impressive. There’s 4 tracks here, each in fairly distinct styles – a real achievement for a band I had somewhat pegged as one-trick ponies. Put plainly, this record is worth your money – just maybe start with tracks 3 and 4.
BUY: Speakertree Records
Ghost Hospital play psych-influenced lo-fi garage. Though the easy comparison to make is the BLACK LIPS, there’s some sublter, weirder vibes at work. Combining trebley guitars and shitcan vocals the album feels made for a hot summer blunt marathon. It’s highly comparable to the HELLSHOVEL LP in tone and feel, but where that LP capitalized on shimmery, tweaked-out acid vibes and nailed them to catchy tunes, this LP lacks a little in the songwriting department. Side-A is dominated by hazy, sunny numbers, most of which recall (ugh) WAVVES. The tunes are simple, which isn’t a problem in itself – some of the best songs ever written are one riff and 2 verses at most – but in the case of this LP, the tunes just don’t seem to change much – they’ll cruise on the same couple bars, looped for the runtime. With the exception of tracks like “Sitting Duck” or closer “C+,” a lot of the tunes slide by without making much impression at all…which is a problem, given that the two tunes both show up 3 tracks from the end. This band shows potential, though – “Hard to Say” makes me think they’ve got some melodies in them, and the effects in “Salad Shjooter” and the sound effects hidden throughout the record make me think there’s some genuine good psych-ey things yet to come. This could be a really good EP, perhaps, but the tunes just aren’t all there for an album.
LISTEN/DOWNLOAD: Ghost Hospital Bandcamp
JOEY GHOSTLY is the amp-murdering frontman for NYC trio THE ENTHUSIASTS, who are tearing shit up with their brand of 70’s inspired in-the-red rock and roll. After a 7″ last year which has been extremely well received (“Sinkin/Risin b/w Joanne”), they’ve finished their new LP, which is pretty fucking great. Joey took time to drop these 10 bangers on us; “it’s just shit I’ve been into lately,” he explains. “Actually its a good playlist to bump in the car on the way to a show…with the exception of the neil young track cuz that 1 is mad slow and depressing” – we’re inclined to agree. Get your ears bloodied at the link below, and check THE ENTHUSIASTS ON FACEBOOK
1. Timmy’s Organism – ‘MONSTER WALK’ One of my favorite tracks off the new Timmy’s Organism LP. Surprise surprise, Timmy’s still got it. duh.
2. Apache – ‘THE REAL SHIT’ A real gem from Apaches underrated debut – Boomtown Gems. An anthem that makes us bummy dropouts and jobless weirdos look cooler than the college grads. “you wanna be a scientist, suckin on your mommy’s tits” …need I say more?
3. Mujeres – ‘BLOOD MERIDIAN’ Good fast sloppy Barcelona garage rock. For fans of Davila 666, Los Vigilantes, or for anyone who has a soul.
4. Jay Reatard – ‘MAN OF STEEL’ R.I.P. Jay. Total genius and huge influence on me, blah blah blah. One of the first Reatard tracks I’d heard was an old demo of this song. I love both versions. You don’t know how badly I wanna hear the rejected version of Watch Me Fall.
5. Blondie – ‘YOUTH NABBED AS SNIPER’ I’m just now getting into Blondie. I never thought the Lost Sounds were influenced by Blondie till I heard this track. RIPPER.
6. Midnite Snaxxx – ‘GUYS LIKE THAT’ Catchy hooky sugary girl punk. As fun as the first Donnas album. These bitches can write hooks for days.
7. Baby Jean – ‘DANCE IF YOU WANNA’ Like i said – this is for anyone that has a soul.
8. Human Eye – ‘THE MOVIE WAS REAL’ The Movie Was Real!!!!! From Timmy’s best album ever and modern psych classic They Came From The Sky.
9. Neil Young – ‘MOTION PICTURES’ Another song about movies. Recently I was talking with a friend about whether this song was happy or sad. I’m still not sure. All I know is that slide guitar kills me.
10. Ty Segall Band – ‘WAVE GOODBYE’ Sam from the Nubians showed me this one and I was surprised how much I dug it. This is one of the only Ty Segall songs I really like. Heavy as fuck. Good job, Ty. Maybe theres more up yer sleeve than I thought…
This 12 song LP is based primarily on the notion that even if brevity’s not the soul of wit, it may be the soul of songwriting…despite the title. The band was meant to be, according to frontman Davey Hart, ‘an experiment in rapid, unfiltered songwriting…indulging my deep love for 70’s power pop, punk, and new wave.’ It’s a fairly spot on characterization – the songs here are pretty short, but they’re not simple – the shortness is very much in the vein of the UNNATURAL HELPERS, who actually sound kind of similar. Christmas Brides’ rapid songwriting translates into short little nuggets that sometimes work and sometimes don’t – though tracks like “Ge Rm Ans” have a goofy charm, tracks like “He Thinks I’m Experimental Gay” get stuck in the mud, repeating the title, or stuttered chunks of the title ad nauseam, or just rely on lyrical clunkers like “your pussy commands me like a noose” (yeah, really).
Despite some woeful turns of phrase, the record has some pretty good moments – the best moments are when the BUZZCOCKS influence shines through – tight, polished numbers that can shift rhythm or riff on a dime…see “New Hit Mekanik” or the closer “I Know What Girls Don’t Like.” Even if it’s all a little silly, I can appreciate a band that doesn’t take itself too seriously – between the awesome cover art, and the toss-off Doors-copping intro for the sake of a pun, the LP manages to win me over. I could criticize it for scattershot songwriting, but that just seems to be the nature of the beast – there’s enough good moments here for me to keep this one in the collection.
LISTEN/BUY: Sophomore Lounge Records
I really do love bands that are able to straddle a fine genre line well. Honeycomb Bones are a UK duo who seem equally influenced by BLACK REBEL MOTORCYCLE CLUB as they do the 2-step-dub-house-laptop-bass-step-wave that England has coming out the ears right now – spiraling psych guitar lines crossed with crisp, snapping drums. It’s an interesting mix – similar to THE KILLS, but more developed, less slinky. If use of a drum machine was all that HB had going for them, though, there’d be a lot less to say. Fortunately, the Bones also bring some good tunes to the party. Opener “Catherine Wheel” features a slow, dirty guitar line, with nimble drum programming that keeps the thing moving along – it gives the impression of a steam train that takes a while to start up, but is impossible to stop once it’s got going.
It’s hard to know what exactly is going on sometimes, the vocals are buried in the mix and some reverb, and the guitars are huge sounding, but this record takes a few listens to get a feel for. There’s not really a bad track on here, but it’s not easy to find a hook. Fortunately, there’s enough cool rhythmic work – especially on 3rd track “Penny Black” – to keep you coming back. I won’t be getting rid of this any time soon, though, and I look forward to whatever else is coming.
LISTEN: MEDIAFIRE (courtesy of the band)