A man walks into a digital singles bar… the bartender says, “Hey, why the long face?” To which he replies, “There’s no point to my stylus anymore…”
BY TIM HINELY
Now wait a minute…. yeah, so I’m a little late here but don’t pin this one on me. I’ve got an editor here you know. Not saying it’s his fault either but…… ok, fine. I’ll take some accountability. [Drop and give me 10 now, Hinely! – Drill Sgt. Ed.] The floor of the house is filled with empty pizza boxes, half-drank cans of Mountain Dew and so many newspapers that I can’t even see across the room. They tried to have an intervention but it didn’t work. They tried to get me on Hoarders but it didn’t work. They did everything in their power to get me to write another singles review column except ASK ME. When they simply asked, nicely, I complied. See, I’m not a bad guy, a little preoccupied but nice.
Bunnygrunt/ The Winchester (split single)
The Worst of Both Worlds EP (7 out of 10 stars)
(Pancake Productions) www.pancakeproductions.net
St. Louis institution Bunnygrunt (Matt, Karen and Eric Von Damage) are still at it, thankfully and still blasting out sugar-coated pop nuggets that any band would be proud t call their own. The flip features a band called The Winchester who spout off with not one but two songs. “Minus One Plus” and “30 Seconds to Bars” show me one thing, if these guys ever show up in Denver I’m going.
Girls, Be Serious (7)
(Saint Marie Records) www.saintmarierecords.com
Regular readers of this column (all 4 of you) will remember I reviewed a previous Elika 7” last time (same young girl on the cover though this time she’s making a weird face) and yes, the vinyl is still the thickest I’ve ever felt (oooh baby). “Your Secrets” on the a-side is the best song of their yet, all slow and dreamy (think Trembling Blue Stars) while flip “Truest Heart” is nearly as good. Smoove.
“True to Life” b/w “Man in Black” (8)
(Crooked Beat) www.crookedbeat.com
Based in the nation’s capitol and with Triangle (N.C.) roots, Insurgence plays old school punk with the kind of vim ‘n’ vigor long associated with the punk scenes of those two locales. Indeed, bassist Bill Daly’s lead vocal on the blazing “True to Life” has the type of rabble-rousing anthemism (“Get it out/ Stir it up/ Shout it out now!”) that we’re sorely missing these days (the Occupy movement could’ve used an adrenalin shot of Insurgence). Meanwhile, “Man in Black” marries a rebel-rock message to a twangy riff and a cowpunk thump; you’d be hard pressed not to put your pogo boots on and get to scootin’ when this tune cues up. Available on both black and super-limited yellow vinyl, wax fans. (—Fred Mills)
“Runaround” b/w “With My Heart” and “Asleep” (9)
Oh man, I wasn’t sure if this UK band was gonna top their debut 7” from last year (at least I think it was their debut) but this one is even better. Two blissfully fizzed-out songs in the vein of the Shop Assistants. “Runaround” is my fave with that great drum sound that only UK indie bands can seemingly get while side b, “With My Heart” sprints to the finish line and “Asleep” tucks it in. G’night. On beee-yooo-teee-ful red vinyl!
Butt/ Gogolplexia (split single)
Ass Sick Creeps (6)
(Pancake Productions) www.pancakeproductions.net
Whoah…..that’s all I have to say, whoah. This 7” is apparently a tribute to Denton, TX band Fishboy. Each band here wrote a song about the other. Butt consists of a drummer named Amy Frogpockets and bass by Drunk Uncle Doug (there’s other members too) and their “Ass Disaster” stumbles out of the gate and vomits all over the floor (got a mop?). Gogolplexia offers up a tune called “Butt Release” and the bands members, all two of them, start and stop songs are roughly the same time. I’m not saying I didn’t like this, it just may not have been the best thing to play after my pork chops tonight.
The Great Dismal Swamis
“Surfin’ with the Swamis” +3 (8)
(Fandango Records) www.fandangorecs.com
Dunno jack about this band but hey, I can read so it states the band hails from Norfolk, VA (the label is outta Washington, DC) and the band was previously known as the Hydeouts. I’ve heard things described as frat rock before but most of it’s lame but if I was younger and going to frat parties this is the kinda stuff I’d wanna hear. All dirty guitar, choppy organ, trashy rhythm section and a vocal straight outta of the rubber room! Best song title: “Whiskey Twitch.”
The Luxembourg Signal
Distant Drive EP (8)
Ok, so anytime I hear that Bety Arzy (aka Beth Aberdeen aka Beth from Trembling Blue Stars) is involved in a new project I stand up and take notice (same with Pam Berry). This is Beth along with a few compadres from Aberdeen and Fonda (another terrific L.A. pop combo) offering up two soaring pop tunes. “Distant Drive” is near pop perfection (Ginny’s simple yet effective keyboards make it) while the flip, “Wishing Pool” (Broiler Rom Session) is more rockin’ and direct. Man, I cannot wait for the full-length. Huzzah!
“Black Garden” b/w “Ancient Trees” (8)
(A Wicked Company) www.awickedcompany.tumblr.com
A Wicked Company is batting .1000 so far (better n’ Rod Carew, Tony Gwynn, Ted Williams…hell, anyone) and this Wisconsin bunch get a hit here, at least a triple. “Black Garden” blasts out some dizzying effects that made me fall outta my chair, hit the ground, bounce back up and not miss a key while doing this review. “Ancient Trees” was a bit more traditional, that is if you consider Caroliner Rainbow Milkqueen traditional. There’s only 500 of these so git your ass to Hot Topic and pick one up!
My Baby and Me EP (8)
(The Stones Records) www.thestonesrecords.com
I like how on this band’s Facebook page they describe what they do as doo wop /dreamsauce. Hey, they have a sense of humor and yeah, I’d call this doo-woppy. I’m guessing that the band is from L.A., but who knows as the label website is Japanese and I couldn’t read a damn thing on it. “All songs written and performed by Karys Rhea”, so there you go. The songs are bouncy and fun, a bit like The School or even Camera Obscura (when they’re in a good mood). If I like it you’ll like it, trust me.
“Blue Haired Lady” b/w “Spaced” (6)
Chicago trio who do a blend of, what else, polka music and rawk. Go to their webpage and they’ll try and sell you something (they got a ton of merch). These two songs kick out the jams brothers and sister. The band obviously has a real sense of humor (love the artwork on this 7” ) and I’ll bet they’re a scream live. Can one of my Chicago underlings check ‘em out on stage and report back to Blurt? Please? (side note- big hole 45s rule).
Graham Day & the Forefathers
“Love Me Lies” b/w “30-60-90” (6)
(State/Sandgate Sound) www.staterecs.com
This garage-shocking power trio comprises gents who’ve served time in The Prisoners, the Prime Movers, the Solarflares, the James Taylor Quartet and Billy Childish’s Buff Medways, so with that kind of collective resume you’d be right in presuming some jams will be kicked out. “Love Me Lies” revisits an old Prisoners tune in glorious metal hues lined with careening riffs and wah-wah squiggles. Even better is the organ/guitar powered hi-octane R&B instro flip hailing from the pen of one Willie Mitchell (who originally wrote it for the Get Carter soundtrack). (—Fred Mills)
When Nalda Became Punk
Indiepop or Whatever! EP (9)
Yessss!!! New music from WNBP and not a moment too soon. I was going through withdrawals. I loved their full-length from last year and was jonesing for more and this Spanish bunch, led by Elena Sestelo, came through in the clutch. Not much has changed, they’re still whipping out indie pop nuggets at an alarming rate (my kinda band). “Song for Carrie Mathison” is very good but the title track is incredible! All squealy guitar and melody. On the flip “Daylight Savings Time” get the nod from me of the two and again, if you love the supple sounds of bands like Helen Love or Heavenly then you’ll want this in your collection.
Tim “45 Adapter” Hinely spins backwards when he reviews Australian records, but don’t let that throw you off balance. Check out his most excellent rock mag Dagger at www.daggerzine as well as his 7th installment of The Singles Scene (here at BLURT) and the 6th installment (right here) and the 5th (here).