LIST OF MUSIC DISCOVERED, LIVED THROUGH AND ENLIGHTENED BY IN 2009 (a few weeks late)
Chief Sosati's fav's:
THE GOLDEN BOYS
It’s always great when a band you already love goes and blows your mind again. I first saw these Boys in Columbus, Ohio, where they played to 5 locals, The Spider Bags and Black Time, and still they rocked it, rocked it like The Boss at Yankee Stadium. After their performance I purchased as much merch as possible, 3 cd’s and a t-shirt (alligator with a ghetto Golden Boys chain ???). Fast forward to October '09 and I was looking forward to them playing Budget Rock.......
But would my own hype get in the way of them putting on another stellar performance?
Was it a one off??......
The answer a resounding FUCK NO!!!!!!!!!
For starters, the key board player had a cymbal on a drum stick, which he would bash when the heavy bits kicked in and this was on the 1st song! It was like the garage equivalent of the “Glory Days” video, just dudes rocking out and drinking beer. After the show I purchased their new LP, which is out on Daggerman called 'Thee Electric Wolfman' and it didn’t leave the turntable for at least 2 weeks. Other notable albums of their's I own include 'Scorpion Stomp #2' (Perpetrator) and 'Goodbye Country' (Hook Or Crook Records). If you like getting drunk, rockin', Friday night's and Sunday blues, you need to listen to The Golden Boys.
I ain't seen these guys in VICE yet but I do know they fucking rule! Without hearing the music all you have have to know is Loosh Vibrato’s summation of his role in rock n roll:
"I am the Rock n Roll monster and I roam around France picking people up and saying, 'hey you! it's Rock n Roll or nothing!!!'
The rock n roll monster and his partner in rock, Aggie Sonora, are complete GODzillas on stage. Loosh will try play through as many amps the venue can provide, while Aggie provides the back beat his fucked up fuzz guitar licks need. In order to sum up their sound and swagger, I would say it’s a good mix of The Gories' primitive rock and all delivered with continental flair coming from a French rock n roll monster raised on comic books and rock.
Their latest album 'Positively Negative' fucking rules with stand out tracks including the awesome acoustic and fuzz creation on "Mort Clinique", the riotous building opener "Living In A Box" which goes from quiet, single guitar chanting to wall-to-wall guitar, floor tom/snare blast, straight forward rocker motorcycle rhythm driver "HA-TNT" and finished with awesome keyboard swirling, instrumental, psychedelia of "Nonsense”. Why ain't this group big? why arn't they wearing branded sunglasses and neon scarves? I think they're more content in Bordeaux, creating this awesome sound with as many amps possible to as many or as little.
Another band, cool as fuck live, moshin' in the tube on the way to work, great album. I got to see the progression of these LA mofo’s, from playing the small Bardens Boudoir, where they beat the telephone mic, scratched guitars and mashed up the place, anything with a pulse and some pints inside them were rocking, slam dancing and popping to the messed up sounds.
The second time I saw them they were supporting the Black Lips at The Electric Ballroom, where although on a big stage with big sound (kick drums, vocals), I got to see more of the awesome dynamic between the two front girl singers and tight as fuck rhythms lead by the awesome bass player. This gave me hope in front woman, for way too long now in London it has just been the case of "outrageous" Dalstonites screaming into a mic on the floor in the painful enema receiving position. Not so with the Mika Miko girls, they got sass and the only thing to do with arses in their performance is your's shakin' to the shit they create and spit.
As for the new/final/swansong album, "We Be XUXA", what a fucking masterpiece!! You know it’s great when you gotta stop yourself from listening in case you kill the chunes, but some, cannot be killed. Like a sonic version of The Highlander, unless you get your head chopped off you cannot kill these chunes. I personally like it cause I hear some of my favourite bands in there. 'Blues Not Speed' has got a Germs and X thing going on 'Turkey Sandwich' and 'Totion' evokes the party fun vibes reminiscent in B-52’s, The Go-Go’s and jerky rhythms of Teenage Jesus And The Jerks as well as The Slits. Special mention goes to the track 'Beat The Rush', where the opening vocal...
Gets me every time, so much so that, yes I have rewinded and played again at a higher volume. I know most reviews have mentions about the scene LA has created and all the contemporaries that have emerged and the relevance this bears to it all, but the influences I hear and the way it makes me forget about the shit day job and looming London weather they could have created this in Tasmania or Timbuktu I would still be impressed.
THE BOX ELDERS
Fresh from their fine performances at Brighton, Bardens and Ryan’s in Stoke Newington and I still got the songs in my head. I love that after seeing The Box Elders I bought the record and the songs and production didn’t disappoint. I can relive the gigs whenever I'm near the turntable and have some beers from the offie. Stand out tracks includes the sweet as fuck 'Stay' which stays in your head upon hearing it at the gig and get's better when you hear it on record with the female backing vox. 'Atlantis' is another great chune with it's building organ swell intro and tempo that changes from laid back to bouncing in a minute. The clincher in nearly all Box Elders' songs are the harmonies, after hearing the album it was great to see them live again and how the vocal harmonies of Clayton and Jeremiah played off one another (this sounds like an incredibly pretentious spin mag, pitchfork, NME description but you gotta see to hear and see). A lot of people will give this the whole 60's moniker but I just see it as really catchy awesome music.
Ty Segall/Traditional Fools
I group these two together because they pretty much part of the same ilk and both incarnations have blown me away. The Traditional Fools are still making weekly rotations on the turntable after I received it last February. I was immediately hooked by the Billy Childish cover (I don’t want to hear the original so as not to tarnish this gem from my sonic memory), this was followed by the skate trick named 'Layback', which is handy listening before a skate sesh. The other track which stood out for me is the Redd Kross cover 'Kill Someone You Hate', with it's harsh speaker bleeding vocals and great guitar and bass breaks where it's getting whammy barred or some crazy shit. After digging these tracks I started to get into the fist pumping chant inducing 'Defender' as well as the 'Be My Baby intro' and 60's surf rocker of 'Party At My House', but after all that awesomeness the track that I think is the best and the one I think paved the way for the more Ty Segall-ish stuff is 'Get Off My Back!!!', I'm going to spare the cool sound metaphors and just say it pops into my head all the time, either the rhythm or the lyrics or both. I have Ty Segall's self-titled album (Castle Face) as well as the split with Black Time. The self-titled one immediately barbs you with 'The Drag' and once you got that ditty out of your head there’s more to follow 'Who Are You?' is an eerie, creepy cool ballad with that one man band drum beat but fuck it sounds so perfect. 'Dating' again has that one man high-hat/kick drum thing again but it fits so fucking well and forms a great bass to the straight jabbing guitar and lyrics "Suzy sez she wants to go out with you .......". The split I feel is a bit more lo-fi but man, the thing that shines through for me is the fucking rock solid drumming, I'm sure it's Ty's drumming cause when I've seen him drumming I always thought he had a Mitch Mitchell style and this rings true on this snare rolls and beats pumping. I also love the really psychedelic guitar that runs in and out of this and weird slap reverb vocals in this current reverb soaked musical climate, this gives me hope that the age old vocal technique sounds awesome. Stand out tracks include the drum snare rolling beat don’t stop of 'In Love' and the great psyche guitar chiming and Mitch mother fuckin' Mitchell banging of 'Swag'. As if I hadn’t banged on about him enough he was kind enough to give our dumb little tape label a track, so big up to him for making good music and being a cool dude, big ups to Dave the skinniest, biggest drinker in SF and Andrew the only good skater and bass saviour for Black Time on our last tour.
Space Rat's 2 cents worth:
THE SHITTY LIMITS
These dudes just straight out fucken shread. I guess as much as we all like to list genres and stereotype bands, I feel in 2009 my eyes opened a bit more to life, and by life I mean what I experience everyday blasting noise into my skull or trying to remember the night before after getting too wasted watching bands. That was exactly how I first got exposed to the Limits, after a drunken rager at the 1st Big Take Over (amazing all ages/DIY, punk and hardcore shows for a good cause), I know these guys have been putting out 45's for a few years now and with their debut LP 'Beware The Limits', you can feel the insane passion for garage punk, hardcore punk and punk rock alike on all the releases. For me, their sound is super nostalgic of my youth, growing up skateboarding at the beach after school, trying to survive on whatever punk rock tapes we could get our hands on and shared as buddies, sound and comparison wise I'd say definitely reminiscent of MINOR THREAT and DESCENDENTS, all with a distinctly British snottiness. One of the best fucken live bands in the UK today, which says alot as there's not that many left, utter energy and speed. Their entire catalogue is downloadable for free but buy the shit, it's cheap enough if you have any kind of job at all, even part-time, you punk.... also check out their just as relevant and notable 'side-project'/members of band, THE SCEPTRES, awesomely catchy, grrrl pop bliss, led by Bryony who puts on the Big Take Over shows
Human Hair is a nice, interesting, little outfit from Nottingham by Henry from the better known pop-punkers LOVVERS. Now these fellas excrete summin in music that, personally, I thought had died a rancid death a decade ago. Total 90's US style, spazzy post-punk. Their 4 track 45 released on Brighton label, SEX IS DISGUSTING, is fulled with entertainingly twisted, sarcastic and humorous lyrics of wandering the streets hungover and feeling like the only freak somewhere where you wish everyone would combust into flames while eating cake and laughing, I think? Good use of instrument swapping by 2nd guitarist, key board player/drummer and the bass guitar player and front man, Jack, conjures up the fruitful, poetic exorcism. Anyways, Henry is mos def onto something here, the other dudes in the band have other bands and he has Lovvers but I heard it thru the grapevine that they are back and by fuck I hope so.
BLOODY KNEES (R.I.P.)
These dudes killed it the few times I saw them, they have sadly split up now but I have faith in new incarnations too. Live they bust out this ferociously funked up scratchy, dischordant indie-punk, akin to maybe UNWOUND, MONORCHID, NATION OF ULYSSES and CAP 'N JAZZ, with only 1 guitarist, a super hyper, flamboyant vocalist and a drummer with tight beats. They released a tape on their own label, MILK, which I haven't got, yet (if there are any left?), I still recommend checking them out.
Other stand out live shows were:
Trash Kit - London afrobeat sisters, the best raw talent I have witnessed in a long time, funk and groove and DIY hearts, get the soon to be release debut album on Upset The Rhythm, it comes with temporary tats!
SUSPECT PARTS/Clorox Girls - pure powerpop perfection, Beach Boys meets Ramones meets Wipers
OXBOW - there is no way to describe this band but the fact you have to experience it to believe/understand I think, I thought I did until I saw them, like 1800 blues fused with disturbing, horror movie soundscapes and Zeppelin riffs, scary
NoBunny - at a seaside town on an island in the mediterranean, the soundtrack to prickly pea bowls, the poppiest lo-fi pop-punk rock on earth
Obits - ex-drive like jehu/hot snakes, my main man rick fork, rockin' riddem 'n' blooz riffs with post-punk tendencies, like Mission Of Burma jamming with The Kinks
Most listened to albums:
(hardly any of these were released in '09, but they made my year)
THESE ARMS ARE SNAKES 'Tailswallower & Dove' - these guys have provided my post-hardcore, post-At The Drive-In fix for many years now, which was to be their last album (as they too have called it quits), is a modern art punk classic. Hailing from the Great Pacific North West, TAAS are the sonic equivalent of a David Lynch film. They will sadly be missed, but again hopefully more projects just as firesome evolve.
YOUNG WIDOWS 'Old Wounds' / BRAIN BANGER 'Yellow Belly' - midwest American punk rock titans, YW+BB alike, rawkous, infectious noise rock that should make The Jesus Lizard and Shellac proud. Dual vocal attack and intricate guitar, bass and drum synchronicity, and tons of distortion that warps into psychotic echo chambers in your mind.
Butthole Surfers - 'Rembrandt Pussyhorse' + 'Independent Worm Saloon'
CIRCUS LUPUS/THE MONORCHID/SKULL KONTROL
Screeching Weasel - back catalogue
The Jesus Lizard - " "
Pissed Jeans - " "
Pinhead Gunpowder - " "
Fatal Flying Guilloteens - 3 albums,
This Moment In Black History - 'Midwesterncuttalistick'
El Grupo Nuevo de Omar Rodríguez-López - 'Cryptomnesia'
BLACK TIME - 'DOUBLE NEGATIVE' / WAKE UP DEAD - 'DO DRUGS' ep (coz I'm bias)