Archive for August, 2013
Here’s an update from Speakertree Records, a debut 45 for these Richmond boys and girls. The Ar-Kaics is a three piece garagepunk outfit and this is about as great as first singles come. With a sound that wouldn’t have surprised anyone if the 60s-style centre labels had read Crypt Records. Just like Die Ersten Menschen’s LP from a couple of years ago, this is not an excerise in recreating old production values with vintage equipment, but a way of channeling an ethos. “She Does Those Things to Me” is an a-side oozing with simplistic attitude. It doesn’t really matter that there’s no bass guitar, but perhaps their parents can invest in one now that the kids have proven their worth.
And one for your calendars, Speakertree have announced the release of our main man Adam Widener’s debut LP later this autumn. Vesuvio Nights is the title and you can read what they have to say themselves over here.
Here’s an album that actually came out late last year. I’d lost track of Mexico garage group Las Vinylators after their 45 on Groovie Records, and it turns out their first LP Agente Naranja was released by tiny label Grabaxiones Alicia during 2012. It deserves a mention since it’s by far the best the recordings done by a female group since The Felines, and add to that that it seems impossible to find in online shops. The album features 11 fantastic cuts, replete with fuzz bass guitar, Vox organ and inspired original compositions. “Autocinema Zombie” being perhaps the best of those, even rivaling Os Haxixins’ output (and maybe, maybe inspiried by Mexican hereos Kaleidoscope’s classic “Hang Out”?). Among the covers you’ll find a version of one the Watchband’s top 4 tunes, “Don’t Need Your Lovin'”, re-titled No “Necesito Tu Amor” here. The Monks and The Human Beinz also get a new spin, and I only wish they’d recorded their take on Las Chics too. In 2012 the group also released a collaboration with Bob Urh (of The Ultra 5), in the shape of an EP called UltraPsychoVinylization!
Hozac hit us hard, not only with the recently reviewed Winter Bear single, but a couple of brilliant LPs. Heavy Times will probably count as veterans now they’ve added a third album to their discography, but judging by Fix It Alone they keep honing their skills. Almost to the effect that the record sounds more like a collection of hooks instead of songs, most of them barely passing the 1½ minute mark. It definitely the most catchy album for ages from an American garage/punk band, ranging from breakneck speed rampages like “Future Creeps” to an acoustic ditty like “Give Up” to dark singalongs like “Ouija Board”. At this point no one can deny that Heavy Times have grafted themselves a unique and instantly recogniseable sound. How long can they keep going?
Shocked Minds is a brand new group from Atlanta formed by two ex-Carbonas members and a guy from Games. If those are not clues enough, you’ll find that we talking about a classic ’77 punk / powerpop sound here, albeit slightly more polished than the Carbonas and Beat Beat Beat. But still with just as much punch and melody. Check out the video for “Face to Face” above, but also the last and definitely the best track “You Want Me to Stay”. Anyone who digs Dead Boys or Bad Sports shouldn’t miss this record.