Posts Tagged ‘Garage Punk’

Andy Human & The Reptoids

Oakland squirm punks Andy Human & The Reptoids are back with another long player and it’s charging through the hallways ripping down your Duran Duran posters and spray-painting DEVO all over the walls. Human (nee Jordan) has been mining the nerd curdle of the ‘80s for some time now, though Psychic Sidekick might be his most complete vision yet. While they’re a bit more constrained than similar t-zone dropouts like Ausmuteants, Timmy Vulgar, or Hierophants – the band doesn’t scrape the glue-soaked freak centers as often as others – they still know how to inject a good dose of plastic shrapnel into their brand of punk. When they’re at their best they’re echoing high quality discomfort warriors like Twinkeyz and Simply Saucer for next gen of back row miscreants and the new LP rounds up quite a lot of their best.

Guitars thrash, a haze of ionospheric synth static rains down, and Jordan’s nasal vocal puncture is exactly what’s called for to keep the insomniac punks running ‘til dawn. This time ‘round they run their tongues over ten tales railing against mind melt of mundanity like it’s a mission statement. The band liquifies the banal cabal surrounding them in their heat vision hooks – jittering and hopping through tracks with freakish glee. If you’ve been stuck and stranded, at loss for a dose of quasar chaos to get you through the day, then I’d heartily recommend at least one daily dose of Reptoids in yer life.




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The Coathangers – “F The NRA”

The new Coathangers is shaping up to be one of their best and most biting. With the latest single from the album, the band touches on the current national epidemic of gun violence in the most direct way possible – with a middle finger to the very lobby that props the system despite an avalanche of evidence that our cultural hangup on weaponry is a tipping point in need of legislation. The band knocks this out with an ’80s punk spirit, looking every bit the resurrection of Bad Brains/D.O.A./Circle Jerks inflammatory imagery scrawled over a cut n’ paste collection of cartoonish gunslinger tropes. In the wake of the SOTU, if you’re in the need for another wave to fan the flame of action, let this one waft over you today.



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Midnite Snaxxx – “Let Me Do What I Want”

Since their 2017 record, Chew On This, Oakland’s Midnite Snaxxx have been spitting singles in fits and starts, but the short forms remain their forte. No disrespect to the full length lovers, but the band’s whiplash spirt is best captured between two sides of short attention span snotty punk built for sunshine hijinx. The A-side, “Let Me Do What I Want,” is a denim-vested world beater that’s not content to take no for an answer and isn’t afraid to lob the first volley in food fight fisticuffs. The song might as well stand as a credo for the California combo – loud, fast and brash – it’s a femme punk fuck you to the ruling class, or at the very least, a middle finger to the store manager on the way out of the sliding doors.

They swap to swooning on the flip side, with a tale of love lost that’s captured by only a handful of pictures left to remember the good times. Both halves serve as shades on the band’s West Coast garage punk that feels perfect as a soundtrack to Mod Podge a vision board of your ideal John Waters future. Here’s hoping the band continues their crusade to add up 7”s of plastic pogo punk for the disenchanted and heartbroken.



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GØGGS – “Pre Strike Sweep”

Whew, lotta news today and all of it good. Adding to a busy year with a solo record and collaboration with White Fence already under his belt, the inexhaustible Ty Segall jumps to sideman with GØGGS. The band’s sophomore LP for In The Red comes prefaced with a caustic blast of volume-shredded punk. Frontman Chris Shaw (of Ex-Cult) brings the heat, same as the band’s debut, but this time there’s more than just roadburn riffs. Augmented with some spaced synths, this one comes on like Hawkwind gone hardcore and its a brutal slap to the collective jaw. The full LP drops in September and if its half as full of crushed glass and airplane glue as this track, then we’re all in for a treat.


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Salt Lick – “Dirty Dream”

Another ripper out of the Permanent Records camp this week. Coming on like an MC5 fever dream, this b-side from Salt Lick’s debut 7” shakes the window panes until they beg for mercy. See-sawing on a monster riff, the track is muddied and murky but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t knock the wind out of you. Salt Lick rounds up members from the Permanent staff, but its more than just a bit of nepotism here – it seems that those curating the power of pummel can also deliver it just as well. This is scuzzy, crusted, exhaust huffing garage rock with no spit shine in sight. The band lets loose with the new single on Wednesday and precedes it with a hometown release show in LA, so if you’re West Coast centered you can experience the brutal beatdown in person.



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Flying Hair

Just when you thought that the depths of sludge-metal/trash punk in L.A. had all been plumbed, along comes Flying Hair with their sophomore slab of ooze. The band counts founding Zig Zags member Bobby Martin among the ranks and he’s carved out a true totem of reverberating slime along with the rest of this quartet from the bottom-feeder acid mines of Los Angeles’ pre-dawn C.H.U.D. army. The band is hitting on some similar notes to Timmy’s Organism, Fuzz and Jay Reatard, but slicing though those touchstones with a note of dread and doom that feels like they’ve been spending too much time huffing the glue off of dumpstered copies of Afflicted Man and Blue Cheer.

There’s a speed freak, wide-eyed quality to the record that feels like the whole thing is flying on three days, no sleep and by turns Night Fight stares through listeners with a red-eyed menace. I’ve got a soft spot for the kind of prog-punk that feels like it prays at the b-movie altar, dredging up sonic monsters straight of the Troma Films library. This thing is predatorial, haggard, and ready to blow. It’s so thick with smoke it’s almost easy to miss the licks, but that’s half the fun. Too band the wax was pressed in a teasingly small quantity, but no matter what medium you’re using to spread the bile from this feeder, its bound to gum up the works in the best way.



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Los Tones

Syndney four-piece Los Tones lay down a twang-slung vision of garage rock as filtered through the ghosts of The Blues Magoos, The Electric Prunes and The Monks, but hewing closest to the cracked world view of The Seeds. On a more contemporary note they share common ground with Night Beats and fellow Aussies The Murlochs but that’s all just to get you in the right longitude of where the band is coming from. They’re running the fuzz high and hectic, and binging on surf vibes sanded into a rough-cut leather lacquer. Every track on What Happened feels like it would benefit handily from a psychedelic oil light show and at least a pint of Wild Turkey and best of all, the band feels like they’re having a hell of a good time.

It goes without saying these days that garage swagger has seen generation after generation embrace the twin tone irreverence of a sneer and a throaty howl, but that’s not to say that it can’t still hit just as hard. You’ve been down these roads before but that’s discounting how much fun is to be had with Los Tones on the speakers and tomorrow’s consequences far out of mind. I will always have a soft spot for the kind of garage record that keeps a glint of mischief in it’s eye. So, that said, feel free to crawl into last night ‘s clothes and grab Zombie (in requisite Tiki cup) and get things up to full torque for this album. Los Tones seem like they’re more interested in keeping the vibes toasted than worrying if you feel like it’s all been done before. It’s being done right and that’s all that matters.




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Mac Blackout Band

Mac Blackout (aka Marc McKenzie) has been a fixture here for a while, running a vein through Chicago’s garage rock underground for a good solid clip at this point. As leader of RSTB faves Mickey, McKenzie will always have a soft spot in my heart for creating one of the last ten years’ most fun power pop records. As the Mac Blackout Band though, the pop side has melted away a bit and the full on garage-punk assault is in total swing with just a whiff of metal floating on the air. Burning Alive is a raw nerve of pent up aggression and full bore rock shot out of the barrel wild and loose. The album is practically shaking with beads of sweat, tumbling and scuffing its way through the speakers looking to get into a fight as soon as possible.

The record blasts out of the start with the fiery anthem “Rise Up” and that pretty much sets the tone for the record to come. Once Blackout has you on your feet and ready for a rumble he just stokes the blaze of fight burning in your core and lets the furious riffs and tornado of toms do the rest. The album isn’t remapping the garage rock landscape, but as I’ve said countless times, that’s not always the point. It’s a fun record that’s unhinged at its best, bringing to mind fellow Midwestern legends Timmy’s Organism. At its worst, its still a damn fun ride, that begs for volume, lowered windows and blank stares from the passersby.




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Hair – Hair

More fuzzed goodness from Chicago. Heavy vibes and psych fallout are wafting our way from the windy city trio Hair, coming forth via 7″ on Tall Pat records. The single wraps up three tracks that bash deep into territory that should be familiar to fans of Ty Segall, Wand, Mind Meld, Orb and others finding solace between the proto metal double kick, grunge-punk hammer headlock and psychedelic ripple riot that we all love so well. Sure, its territory that’s been carved out and covered, but as I’ll always be the first to admit, if you’re doing it right, then I’m not going to bust any balls nagging that someone laid the road first. Hair are slowly but steadily melting the paint in any room playing this single. In fact its hard to pick out a standout here, its a triple-A rocker that’s perking plenty of interest as to where they’re headed next (they have but one other, lone Bowie tribute up on their Bandcamp). Hopefully they’ll stretch things out to a proper long player and let the pavement crack under its weight. For now, these three are more than enough to tide me over.




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The Wead – “By The Whey”

So this one tows the line between re-released and the singles section, but small format is small format so here we are. Slovenly got their hands on these tracks by stroke of luck, hooked up by Cheater Slicks member Tom Shannon who met a member of The Wead during his stint as a clerk in Columbus, OH’s Used Kids Records. The double track of teen punk angst was given a sound upgrade and new garage punk snarl resulting in a double shot of snotty riffage that the world was sorely missing out on. The a-side is a rollicking bit of 60’s garage that spits and swings wild, but still has plenty of sweet vocals chiming before that solo tears the whole mess down. The band gets jangled and jostled on the flip, a strummer that pounds just as heard as the wilder seeming a-side. These kinds of finds are becoming fewer and further between, but knowing this kind of gem is still out there waiting makes it seem well worth flipping through countless reams of garage comps and rarities collections. Though maybe you just need to wait until life walks in and hands you an acetate across the counter.

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