Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Harvey Milk Pleaser

Sometimes a record is so good, it brings a smile to your face. Not just a grin, but a full on, I am about to piss my pants laughing euphoria. The kind of joy that makes you want to drive fast and air drum as you blow through red lights. Pleaser is one of those records. Somewhere in the late 80s/early 90s, US post punk and pre indie rock heavy hitters like Bitch Magnet and Dino Jr hinted at the brilliance of classic rock bombast. Rapeman coverred ZZ Top and connected the dots between US rock groove brilliance and anglo post punk angst, and Jesus Lizard launched a thousand Travis Bean toting hopefuls in their wake.
Harvey Milk just soaked it all up and spat it back out like a mouth full of warm Pabst. By the time they put this out they were renowned (at least in Boston) as purveyors of some super slow damaged sludge. Epic, heavy, harsh, and glacial. Totally demented. This was pre Sleep, pre Sunn, pre whatever. In that framework rather than slow dooowwwwwnnnnn even further, they dropped this jaw dropping party starter. Echos of all your older brother's record collection can be heard as they blow through 9 tracks of power anthems. Think AC/DC not Slint "US Force", "Get it up and Get it on", "Shame", and on and on.
I am sure there are some tongues in some cheeks on the lyrics(which are delivered in a muffled Mule'ish style), but this is not shtick or retro-goof. It kills it.
If you missed it on Reproductive Records, you can thank Relapse for reissuing the entire Harvey Milk catalog which you have already bought to enjoy the extensive bonus tracks.
The bonus live on the radio disc is a nice walk down memory lane to late nights upstairs at the Middle East and long drunk walks home after too many Newcastles-followed by too early walks to work and barely hanging on listening to Breakfast of Champions and Late Risers Club.
You can't be blamed for being too young to have seen this band when they were around or missing the first run of CDs, but you can definitely be blamed for being too stupid to get these reissues now that hey have been served up on a silver platter.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Bone Awl Not for our Feet LP

Klaxon reissue of a NWN Productions release. This is the third record of theirs I've reviewed so I must like them. Primitive and pounding US Black Metal. 9 songs from back in 2004.
Production on this is a little less over the top than previously reviewed records. Vocals are more clear and probably the most traditional black metal thing about the band. They are relentless and at times it definitely has a crusty Swedish feel to it. Just driving. This is the sound of getting run over or thrown down a flight of stairs set to music.
These guys have their graphics and imagery pegged. It is not straightforward, but distinctive none the less. Their style is sure to be imitated and jacked. Reminds me of Born Against but not for any musical reason.
If you missed it the first time be sure to grab it now and check their site for more cruical crushing noise

Gospel Sounds Judah Live LP Brockton Gospel!

Did some serious South Coast digging on vacation and found this one in New Bedford. Straight out of Brockton comes the Gospel Sounds who drop the Judah Live LP. 11 tracks on Judah Records manufactured by the Fleetwood Custom Recording Company in Revere MA (BMC5163). The back up vocals that end the first song hint at a potential for some R&B fireworks, but it is not to be. They mine a gospel groove somewhere between country rock and Three Dog Night. The killer back up vocals reappear on "I found Jesus" and it's like the Chi-lites or Tavares are hiding in the background, but the Jesus'd out honky front man is scaring them away
All songs are credited to Patty,Jimmy,Doug,Chico,David, and Richie.. A group effort. This won't be turning up on Soul Gospel Three anytime soon, but is still a decent soft rocking gospel effort(why that matters I don't know) Mainly of local interest. If it only had one drum break or slightly fuzzed out guitar part......

Monday, August 6, 2007

Thrift Shop bum outs

Digging through bins of records in backwater thrift shops would probably be classified as an annoyance by most, but for record geeks it is a way of life. Nothing is better than sweating your ass off on hot summer day in the back of some thrift shop usually bent over or digging under racks looking at records.
There are however a few annoying aspects about this.
1.Company. There is nothing worse than some random joker getting in your way while you are trying to speed read through a couple boxes of records. It is bad when they are ahead of you. I generally go and look at books or just bum out waiting, but nothing is worse than when they see you digging around and like a zombie moth stumble over to get in the way. What are you looking for? Even worse is the dude that wants to strike up a conversation about whatever he collects... No talking when looking for records! I don't care about WW2 German radios. Go away.
2.Competition. You pull into the parking lot and see a car with some cool bumperstickers-trouble. Or you walk in and some dork that looks like he should be roadieing for TV on the Radio is digging through the records already. You don't have company, you have competition. 2 gold miners cannot work the same river. An even bigger bumout is when you have traveled. The final insult is if/when you see what records they have or worse, if you know them, and they come over and tell you and gloat. Ouch.
3.Empty Jackets. Last week, I grabbed a Unity 2 picture sleeve 12" only to discover it was empty. Damn. Shirlee could have been my girlee if the damn record was still there. Come on, you remember the Unity 2?? Stop sleeping.
4.Bait and Switch. Wrong record in the sleeve. This happened for the 1st time to me last week as well and was extremely painful. I was totally amped to listen to Paul Mauriat's LP "the soul of" which is basically some French dude covering Stax and Motown classics. Good or bad, that was going to be a record to remember. I was crushed when the sounds of the Baptist Choir's "Odes to America" started coming out the speakers. What kind of evil fiend would do this????

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Dave Lewis plays Herb Alpert LP

I can't imagine that Dave Lewis looks back fondly on this photo shoot...or doing a record of Herb Alpert covers. Recorded in 66, can you imagine this in 68 or 69? Not likely. What a difference a few years can make. Both the cover and concept were so absurd, I felt no shame slapping down my 50 cents for this. He might have been from Seattle, but there is not hint of Wheedle's Groove on this lp. At least the tracks are all short. 12 total on Jerden. Guitar player stands out more than Dave whose Hammond sound is pretty weak. "The Lonely Bull" stands out as an above average track with a little heart put into it. Both "taste of honey" and "love potion #9" run between competent and corny in an enjoyable fashion.