THE SINGLES SCENE III

Once again, we present – indie going
steady time! Guarantee: all sales are vinyl.


BY TIM HINELY

 

Come on, admit
it, you missed me! It’s ok, you know why? Because I missed you too. The singles
were piling up and my legions of fans were getting antsy. Since the last time
you heard from me I moved a few states over (Oregon to Colorado) and got a new
(old ) job and all of that jazz about “you can keep your iPods”  and all, well I got one (an iPod) for my
birthday (2 months ago…now I just need to take it out of the package). When we
landed in our new digs what do you think was the first thing I plugged in?
Well, ok, so the toaster was first – but my turntable was 2nd. Damn
right it was. We love words like “wax,” “single,” “colored vinyl,” “picture
sleeve,” etc. around here. You should too.

 

***

 

RATING: 7 (out
of 10)

Graham Repulski

“My Color is
Red” plus 3

(Big School
Records) www.grahamrepulski.bandcamp.com

It seems like
every time I check my po box I get sent a new record by these guys. OK, so I’m
exaggerating a bit, but not much. These N.J. lo-fi heathens just keep cranking
out the GBV-inspired tunes. These 4 songs vary in length (shortest, “My New
Reputation” is 0:48 while the longest, “Mommy’s Dreaming” is 2:58) but the
quality continues. On beautiful red vinyl (numbered too, I got #47 out of 200).

 

7

G. Green

“Funny
Insurance” b/w “Sounds Famous”

(12XU)  www.12xu.net

This Sacramento, CA
duo of Andrew Henderson on guitars/bass/keys/vocals and Liz Liles on
drums/vocals bring the noise. No, I mean really. Side A, “Funny Insurance” ends way too soon while the flip, “Sounds Famous” had
a guitar hook that I was hoping they’d beat into the ground and they did! They
know what the fans want and they deliver.

 

5

Gavin Guss

“Riga in the Fall” b/w Place in France”

(Fin Records) www.finrecords.com

Remember the
sensitive songwriter in Animal House whose guitar that Bluto destroys, well
Gavin Guss is not that guy but he could be if he tweaked his approach just a
bit. Thankfully on the a-side he aped Matthew Sweet (or that’s what it sounded
like to me) while the flip was a reworking of a children’s tune (“All the girls
in France
forget to wear underpants” or however it goes). 
The Fin Records label is off and running. Clear vinyl.

 

 

8

Bob Irwin and the Pluto Walkers

“Joker’s Wild”
b/w “The Throwaway Age”

(Spinout
Records) www.spinoutmusic.com

This label might
be a spinoff of the mighty Sundazed label (the one that Bob Irwin owns).  I love the retro-looking cover and the songs
fit that mold as well (all are terrific). The a-side, “Joker’s Wild” is an
obscure Ventures’ cover while the flip while “The Throwaway Age” is a laid-back
original with some nifty guitar work. A big-hole 45 and well-worth your
hard-earned scratch.

 

9

Obnox

Masonic Reducer
EP

(12XU) www.12xu.net

This band is the
work of one man, perhaps one very pissed off man, Lamont Thomas. The cover art
reminded me of an old Big Black 7″ and the title is a classic that even Stiv
Bators (RIP) would approve of. The songs tear, grind and rip and basically
destroy everything in its path. My pick to click is the thundering “Home.”  How do I know it passed the litmus test?
Because my wife came out of the other room while this was on and barked “What
the hell is that?!”

 

8

The Proctors

“All the Books” b/w “Morning Light”

(Shelflife) www.shelflife.com

This gorgeous
British pop band had some released on the defunct Sunday label and then
vanished (just like the label did)… but not for good. They reappear here on Shelflife
with two classic tunes. The a-side is slow and dreamy while the flip revved the
engine up a bit and cranked the jangle-o-meter to 10! Nice.

 

8

The Shirley Maclaines

Want You To Go
EP

(Bachelor)  www.bachelorrecords.com

I’m not sure
where these 5 gals hail from but wherever it is, I wanna move there. Now
If it seems like they have a bit of a Ramones fixation, well, they
probably do (one of the gals in the band is wearing a Ramones t-shirt on the
cover shot).  They hit that sweet spot
right where garage rock and pop-punk smile, then hold hands and finally do you
know what.  It says right on the back
cover, “No rights reserved, although the Shirleys still reserve the right to
kick your ass!”

 

9

Small Reactions

“Nerve Pop” + 2

(Magic Marker) www.magicmarkerrecords.com

I don’t know a
thing about this band but hey, it’s on the Magic Marker label, a sure sign of
quality. All three of these songs are good but “Nerve Pop” kicks all kinds of
butt in its quest to hit the top of pop mountain while the two songs on the
flip, “Teaser Trailer” and “Sudden Walks” are both nearly as good. The shade of
green that this vinyl is on is awesome. Buy two cos’ you’re gonna wear one copy
out.

 

5

Thee Makeout Party

“Jungle Cruise”
b/w “Bittersweet Bubblegum”

(Bachelor) www.bachelorrecords.com

I think this is
the same Bay Area bunch who had a full-length out on Teenacide Records a few
years back.  I don’t remember disliking
the vocals this much on the full-length, but they are kind of annoying. The
songs make up for it as the a-side motors away with guitars on reverb while the
flip was altogether poppier with plenty of jangle. I’ll bet live they’re a
hoot.

 

8

The Walkabouts

“My Diviner” b/w
“Neu Death Valley”

(Fin) www.finrecords.com

Wow, I don’t
know if this terrific Seattle
band from days of yore just returned to action or never went away, but
regardless, it’s great to have them back. The a-side, “My Diviner” is nearly 6
minutes of dusty gorgeousness while “Neu Death Valley” was a dreamy, spacey
instrumental. On lovely clear vinyl and 1000 pressed. Welcome back!

 

***

 

 Tim “45 Adapter”
Hinely publishes the Denver-based Dagger zine. Visit him on the web at the
Dagger website.

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