|Sonny Vincent - 'Cyanide Consommé' (Big Neck Records)|
I'm on it and will shout from the rooftops once more: Sonny fucking Vincent has a new record out and you should buy it because it's a killer release crammed full of fourteen noisey, punk rock attitude, rock and rolla, motherfucking songs! Now thats 'Cyanide Consommé' pretty much in a nut shell!
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Madison garage-punk outfit Fire Retarded‘s debut full-length, ‘Scroggz Manor,’ crams a lot more melody, swing, and space into the thwacking frenzy the band has cultivated at its shows and on last year’s ‘High Horse’ EP. (Previously, they’ve teased the album online with “Meat Stairs” and “Nothing Said.”) The relatively new band still centers around guitarist Tyler Fassnacht’s raw, often screamed vocals and drummer Alex Ross’ direct, shambling rhythms. The addition of Hussy member Bobby Hussy on second guitar (full disclosure: Bobby and I work together a bit at MadCity Music Exchange), who also recorded the album, helps to flesh out the approach here, including new versions of two songs from the EP. The album’s closing track, “Overrated Kayak,” is a much bigger surprise, running longer than five minutes to the band’s usual two-minutes-ish, and slowing down for a bit of jangly, sweetly sad power-pop. But for now, I wanted to focus on what the band does with the one minute and 45 seconds of “Brain Burger,” cramming a catchy vocal melody into the verses even as Fassnacht and Hussy’s guitars cultivate a deceptively unstable, messy feel before tightening up for a prodding, shouted chorus. Stream the song above.
A band who seem intent on trying to be this year’s Old Firm Casuals when it comes to most mentions in The Uber Rock Singles Club are garage punk rock leg-ends The X- Rays. Seemingly not content with just releasing a mighty fine split 7" with The Hip Priests. Gary X-Ray and his bunch of reformed punk rock reprobates return via Big Neck Records with a 3 track pink vinyl 7 " all of their own. 'Jameson Shot' kicks things off in fine form too all squealing guitars and overdriven vocals, this is supershitty punk rock to the max make no mistake.
'Drinking For My Baby' (I’m noticing a them here are you?) on the B side continues the frenzied attack bringing to mind Gary's days spent fronting those Hip Hop Priests. Whilst 'Retaliate Now' the final track here actually has guitarist G-Man conjuring up images of Wayne Kramer at times proving to be a welcome distraction to the usual nonstop chaos the guys conjure up. The X-Rays are back with a bang with this 7", but make sure you get your copy before it’s too late.
Rich got around to opening some of the Big Neck Swag we sent him and reviewed a couple items. Here is the Fatal Figures Review:
Fatal Figures “Caterwaul” LP
Late Nineties Buffalo was actually a pretty happening spot in the garage scene, believe it or not. We were home to one of the best labels (Big Neck Records), the preeminent music fest of the day (Rust Belt Revolt), great record stores (Home of Hits and New World Records), great venues (and bookers) that made it easy for touring bands to stop (Sanctuary, Mohawk and others) and some of the finest bands of the era, the Blowtops being one of them. A dozen or so years later, all of those venues and stores are closed, Bart and Big Neck (along with the fest) were run out of town and relocated to Virginia and all the bands from that era have either left the city or broken up. (I should note we had another great run a couple of years ago, but that’s another story…). The Blowtops persevered through it all, closing up shop some five years ago after European and US tours, four or five full lengths and at least a dozen singles.
I remember when John Spencer Blues Explosion seemed to lead the way into something I didn’t know existed: the blown out, garage-soul, joke blues. Up until that point the blues was very serious, sad business from Robert Johnson and to combine it with wrestling ring ostentatiousness, distorted grooves and James Brown soul felt completely new. Hollywood, out of Baltimore, MD feel like an extension of that moment when you realize you don’t have to be in a band that’s trying so hard to be cool or serious or political…if you like to get drunk and listen to loud music while being a jackass, then you should do that. Just be your god damn self, that’s what’s going to work in the end. Hollywood are a bunch of jokers, blasting scuzzy distortion all over the stage and if you stop for half a second to listen to their lyrics then they’ll have you pissing your pants.