Posts Tagged ‘Pub Rock’

Amy Hill on Pink Flamingos – We Never Close

Amy Hill has been a regular around here, having been RSTB faves Terry, Primo!, and Constant Mongrel. She’s got another record on the way with Al Montfort as the hard to pin down Sleeper & Snake. The band’s sounds are rooted in synth pop, but they incorporate a clash of jangles, muffled and delirious horns for a haunted edge to their songwriting. Its a post-punk record in the truest sense, feeling through the disparate waters for sounds that might compliment each other and just as often, shake the listener off balance. I’d talked with Amy after the last Primo! record, which was a fave but fates aligned for her to be able to contribute a pick to the Hidden Gems series this time around. Figuring with all the influences in her collective work some post-punk treasure might arise, but I love that this column always keeps me on my toes. Check out Amy’s pick — the Kiwi pub rock curio from The Pink Flamingos below.

Continue Reading
0 Comments

Amyl and the Sniffers

Following a cache of explosive EPs, Melbourne’s Amyl and the Sniffers roll into their debut proper with an air of expectation. Their sound’s rooted in the ballistic punch of punk that rolled out of ’77, dragging the ghosts of pub rock with it. The LP, despite bringing in name brand production (Ross Orton) the band doesn’t really mess with the formula they scratched in dirt of their early days. Out of the gate the eponymous LP is as focused and damaging as a bat to the ribcage. Amy Taylor continues to be one of the most engaging vocalists to flock to the punk mantle in years. Her rapid fire snarl levels any listener who might underestimate her. She’s just as apt to wrestle double entendres as tell you to go fuck yourself and she does it with exuberance, not anger. Taylor’s screaming, scratching, and slashing, but she’s smiling the whole time, laughing and throwing a beer at anyone who dares step on her stage.

The band locks their horns into a particular vintage of punk that began melting into the plastic pool that would mold ‘80s metal a few years later – powerful, precise, but not afraid to bust out a solo or two as well. Thrashing through a petulant preen that begs comparisons to The Damned, U.K. Subs, The Saints, and even early Guns ’n Roses, the band’s lineage is built on degenerate delight. Amyl and the Sniffers embrace their dirtbag status, they flaunt it and if you can’t handle it, or look down on them they’ve got a more than a few ways to tell you where you can stuff it.

The Sniffers always seems like their ready to incite action. There’s not a violence to their sound, rather the band just seem like they want to embody the chaos, the inertia, and the catharsis that plagues youth. In every chord a restless tension reverberates. In every vocal that Taylor spits theres’ a poke in the eye to see where the provocation will land her. This might make them sound like bratty kids, but the spirt of ’76/’77 was full of the kind of twitchy fuckers who’d just tumbled past voting age and were ready to get a visceral reaction. As debuts go this one’s got pretty much all it needs, and it cements Amyl and The Sniffers as the latest bearers of the ol’ Punk’s Not Dead jolt up the bucket that music needs now and again.


Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Amyl and the Sniffers – “Monsoon Rock”

After a host of EPs, singles and compilations of those EPs, Amyl and the Sniffers are embarking on their debut LP for Flightless Records. The band, whose raucous punk spirit elevates the dual rock prongs of punk and pub to a the kind of snotty, deviant level that brought us The Saints, Dead Boys, and The Weirdos. Monsoon Rock blows the sound out in all directions. It’s bigger than ever, churning the rock n’ roll stew to a whirlpool of leather n’ sweat. Amy Taylor’s vocals are as acidic as ever – sneered, seared and spit out in fits of vocal venom. It’s pretty much everything you could want from an Amyl and the Sniffers track. The accompanying video is, however, absurd. Nothing says hectic punk fury like hand puppets. That’s what I always say. Pretty fun nonetheless. Check the clip out and keep perked for the album on May 24th.

Support the artist. Buy it HERE

0 Comments

State Champion

State Champion have been carving their initials in the bar wood for a few records now and this time around the gouge is getting hard to ignore. I’ll admit I’m guilty of not giving the Louisville band enough credit, credence, or most importantly enough time on the speakers. There are a lot of bands battling for the haggard and hangdog void left behind by The Mats, Uncle Tupelo and Camper Van Beethoven, but few are actually able to capture the effortless ease of any of those record shelf regulars. Ryan Davis belts like the best bar band basement chuggers inhabiting your average college town’s VFW circuit, but elevates himself out of the depression dens with his indefatigable wit and an ear for raw melancholy that’s enviable.

The magic of State Champion is they’re wading through an alt-country ramble that’s been picked clean before but making it work like few of their peers. Davis is without a doubt a big part of that. Much like fellow perennial underdogs James Jackson Toth, Ned Collette or Joseph Childress, he’s one of this generation’s great songwriters, sketching out a vision of the American Midwest that’s self-aware, unpretentious and biting. Full of crumpled last cigarette vignettes and bar rag blues, Send Flowers is without a doubt the best vision of their quarter-draft night aesthetic. While the band’s last couple of records wore down the threads on their flannel resolve, this one breaks through the disguise to reveal State Champion as more than just top-billed Louisville royalty.

Its not simply a vehicle for Davis though. While the touchstones of alt-country and bar rock aren’t revolutionary, the band backing him up are nailing the sound with a subtle grace. There are soft touch slide guitar runs that practically weep, fiddle that dances slowly in the corners, and an uncluttered strum that knows just when to step out of the way. There’s something beautiful in a record that lets the listener crumple in its wake. Send Flowers is that friend that will buy a few rounds when that relationship that stretched past the point of breaking finally does you in. It lifts you up with a few great stories and leaves you to think in the cold, numb embrace of the parking lot’s void staring up at the stars – afterward you’re better, even if you’re not better off.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Power – “Slimy’s Chains”

Aussie punks Power get down to the nut of it on “Slimy’s Chains,” a hard-knuckled pumper that begs comparisons to the proto punk knock of ’76-’77, harnessing hard rock’s slip towards leaner territory. The band built up a reputation in their homeland as ferocoius live bashers and they’d harnessed at least a portion of that sweat and energy here. The set snuck out at the tail of ’16 in Australia but finds its way Stateside via In The Red next month. Plenty of pockets still pushing out quality rockers from Oz and Power feel like they’ve got a tap into the divine boogie beast.



Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments