Saturday, 28 February 2009

Janitor Joe - Singles

Since I've been writing about Minneapolis bands lately I figured I'd just keep going with it and post some more Janitor Joe.  This link contains their first (pre-AmRep) 7", their picture disc (two of the best songs they've ever put out) and a "Tour Only" single.  I also included the previous unreleased track on the B-side of Boyfriend 7".  I left out the A-side because it's the exact same song that was on Big Metal Birds album.  Why Kristen Pfaff would leave this amazing band for Hole is beyond me.

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Vaz - Hey One Cell/No Leaf Clover (1998)

I know I just posted some Vaz not long ago.  But since I just wrote about Paul Sanders follow-up record to Hammerhead I figured I'd post the follow-up record of the other two guys while I'm at it.  This is Vaz's first single and I think it's the best thing they've done.  As I've said before I feel they've gone a little downhill since.  But just a "little" that is...

more RAM (1997)

So I said I'd post this EP once I got around to ripping vinyl back when I posted the Fly Republic record.  So here it is.  This is Paul Sanders brief follow-up band to Hammerhead and also features Janitor Joe drummer Matt Entsminger.  The 7" was released on a super small record label called Meat Records out of Hammerhead's hometown of Fargo, ND.  From what little info I could find on this label it seems like they just released a small handful of records and that was it.  Being a one time resident of Fargo I plan on writing about the music scene up there a little more in a future post.  So after listening to this last night for the first time in many years I gotta say it's a pretty kick-ass record.  It seems like the recording and the band itself was just a quicky thing that was done for fun and was probably never meant to be much more than that.  The recording is really raw and I doubt much time was put into it at all.  I'm not sure what the pressing was because it doesn't say on it's homemade silk-screened sleeve but my guess is that not many were produced.  So I hope everyone enjoys this as it really makes me realize that they just don't make them like they used to.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Scumbait #1 (1989)

So I've finally taken the time to hook up my turntable to my computer so I can rip vinyl to MP3's.  It's something I've been meaning to do forever and I haven't gotten around to it till now mostly out of sheer laziness.  I'm going to start with my 45's because I rarely listen to them anymore also out of my laziness to have to dig for one just to listen to one song.  But luckily for all the lazy people in the world we have MP3's.  Granted they sound like shit but because of the convenience that MP3's allow I will be revisiting some old singles that have been collecting dust for years now.  So expect more in the weeks to come as I will be ripping a bunch for myself anyways.  I thought I'd start with the Treehouse Records compilation Scumbait Volume 1 which was kind of the labels equivalent to AmRep's Dope, Guns... series.  In fact two of Treehouses bands (Cows and Unsane) would move on to Amphetamine Reptile shortly after this release.  And really a third in a way considering Bastards members would go on to form Janitor Joe and Casus Belli for AmRep as well.  The two Minneapolis (now defunct) labels seemed to have a rivalry against each other back in the day.  The fourth band on this comp is the Pagans doing a live cover of The Who's "Can't Explain."  The Bastards song is maybe the best song they've ever recorded and the Cows song (Danny Is A Faggot) is fulfilling a old request from a while back.  This record had a pressing of 999 copies.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Gnu - Milimetry Ticha (2002)

Another band from Czech Republic that's also on Silver Rocket Records.  Pretty much the same description as Lyssa (see below) but maybe not quite as noisy.

Lyssa - Amoral (2005)

Noise rock band from the Czech Republic.  For fans of anything AmRep, Discord or old T&G.  Released on a small label from Prague called Silver Rocket Records.  I found a interesting interview with the guys that run that label here.  Sounds like an up-and-coming label to keep an eye on.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Scorn - Vae Solis (1992)

I wrote about Justin Broadrick's lesser known projects a while ago but forgot all about Scorn's first record.  He's had so damn many bands it's easy to overlook one or two.  Scorn has Justin reuniting with his ex-Napalm Death bandmates Mick Harris and Nik Bullen.  Broadrick played guitar on Vae Solis only and Harris would continue with the band and produced several more albums after his departure.  Scorn is really Harris' band but I have to mention Broadrick because the album is much more along the lines of Godflesh than it is Napalm Death.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Jeff Mueller - Fold And Perish (1999)

So it's a nice sunny day, it's Friday and I'm in a overall good mood so I though I'd post something a little lighter and more relaxed for a change.  Fold And Parish is the one and so far only solo record by Jeff Mueller of Rodan, June Of 44 and The Shipping News.  It's simple acoustic recording could be best described as June Of 44 "Unplugged."  It came out the same year as JO44's disappointing Anahata which was the only JO44 album that I didn't like.  So this album kind of made up for that letdown a little.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Red Expendables - S/T (1997)

The Red Expendables came to be as a result of Cop Shoot Cop's front man leaving the band in mid-recording of what would have been their follow-up to Release.  Tod Ashley quit and the rest of band decided to finish the album without him.  Some of Tod's already recorded bass tracks remained in the finished album actually.  Cop's other bassplayer Jack Natz filled in and sang all of the songs instead.  I guess you could say the album sounds a lot like the Cop Shoot Cop songs that Natz has sang in the past.  He would usually sing a song or two on most of their albums. 

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

The Narrows - Alligator (2004)

The Narrows are from Bellingham, Washington and have some similarities to whole Sub Pop grunge scene that the Northwest is known for but are a little different.  They have the slowcore depressing vibe of bands like Low, Codiene or Bedhead but it has a little more of a sludgy weight to it.  Maybe like a mix between those bands and Tad.  Alligator is a compilation of their first two releases.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Toner Low - II (2008)

One of the better stoner rock albums I've heard in a while.  It's nothing that hasn't been done a hundred times before but it's got a nice sludgy groove to it nonetheless.  For fans of Sleep or Kyuss.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Seawhores - Opus Magnanimous (2007)

I grew up in Minneapolis and lived there most of my life.  I just loved the music scene there.  Aside from the obvious bands like Husker Du or the Replacements there was also The Bastards, TVBC, Rifle Sport, Babes In Toyland, Cows, Halo Of Flies, Hammerhead, Guzzard, Janitor Joe and a bunch of other great bands that to me was just as good or better than anything coming out of NYC or Seattle at the time.  Most of our readers are already familiar with Amphetamine Reptile Records but there were some other small Minneapolis labels like Treehouse Records and Reflex Records that were putting out good records as well.  I moved away about 15 years ago and haven't really heard a whole lot from Minneapolis that has excited me much since then.  I moved to Chicago and was just kind of engulfed in the music going on there at that time and have been a little detached from the Minneapolis scene ever since.  Which brings me to Seawhores.  They take a lot of what I like about the aforementioned noise rock bands of the 90's but don't really take themselves all that seriously either.  Opus Magnanimous is one song that, as the album title suggests, has this epic structure to it.  Much like Tusk's The Resisting Dreamer (see below) it's broken up into different movements.  Starting with a xylophone (or maybe it's a toy piano, I'm not sure) then rock to drone and back again.  So Seawhores have piqued my interest in Minneapolis again.  Does anyone have recommendations for any other current bands from Minneapolis?

Friday, 13 February 2009


Regraped is a band that I've recently discovered and I'm amazed that I've never heard of before.  They've been broken up for over a decade and I'm hearing their music for the first time just recently.  All I can say is that it's a shame that this band has remained so obscure.  Regraped are from Raleigh, NC and play dual bass like Cop Shoot Cop or Dianogah but they don't sound anything like those bands.  They're more along the lines of maybe Enemymine which also has two bass players where one is played more like a guitar a lot of the time.  And like Enemymine they have more aggression than the typical Math Rock band which seems to be the genre they get most lumped into from what I've read online.  This link contains some self-released cassettes, compilation tracks and split records including one with another great band from Raleigh called Shiny Beast which I'll probably write about some other time.  Thanks to Gus at The Dust Bowl for introducing me to this band and check out his blog because the guy has great taste in music. 

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Tusk - The Resisting Dreamer (2007)

I never really cared for Tusks earlier releases.  I'm just not much of fan of the Black Metal/Grind thing they had going on in their early records.  So much to my surprise The Resisting Dreamer really went in a different direction.  The riffing is still there it's just less metal and more of a thicker psychedelic feel to it.  I don't know, maybe that's not the best description.  I'm having a hard time describing it exactly but it's a little bit of a lot of things I guess.  Tusk is most known as a side project of Pelican with 3/4 of the band in Tusk.  The funny thing is is that Pelican was initially a side project of Tusk instead of the other way around.  This time they recorded without their original vocalist and brought in Evan Patterson of Young Widows and Toby Driver of Kayo Dot.  It's four songs are actually just one song when listened to as a whole.  I guess you could say it's divided into four movements.  I'm really interested to see what they do next.  Considering Pelican seems to be constantly on tour it could be a while.

Monday, 9 February 2009

Vaz - The Lie That Matches The Furniture (2005)

Vaz features Paul Erickson and Jeff Mooridian of Hammerhead.  Are they as good as Hammerhead?  Absolutely not.  But it's as close as we're going to get to it.  Actually it's not bad if you just put Into The Vortex out of your mind and look at it without the comparisons completely.  

Friday, 6 February 2009

Pinebender - Working Nine To Wolf (2006)

Pinebender do the whole Chicago math-rock thing but at a slower sludgier pace.

Bellini - Small Stones (2005)

More Uzeda was requested a while back but I've decided to refrain from posting any Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records at this point.  They never seem to stay active for very long and if they feel that their bands need no more exposure or praise by blogs like ours I will oblige and no longer post records by their label.  Although I don't entirely agree I want to respect the label's wishes.  They've put out some of my favorite records of all time and I own "physical" copies of maybe half the label's catalog including all of Uzeda's releases.  So for those of you looking for Uzeda's music can purchase their MP3's at the Itunes music store or head on down to your local record store.  What I will post is Bellini which features Uzeda's Agostino Tilotta and Giovanna Cacciola.  If you like Uzeda there's no reason you shouldn't like this.  I honestly can't tell much of a difference between the two bands.  The original line-up featured Don Caballero's Damon Che who is one of my favorite drummers of all time but from what I hear is major douche-bag and difficult to deal with as a fellow bandmate.  Having never met the guy, I say this purely based on what I've heard and read.  According to Wikipedia he left the band in the middle of a show and bailed out on the band mid-tour.  They replaced him with Girls Against Boys drummer Alexis Fleisig and to be honest I actually prefer the album they recorded with him (Small Stones) over the one they did with Che (Snowing Sun).  After the return of Uzeda with their fantastic album Stella, I kind of thought that that was it for Bellini but according to their Myspace page  they are still very much active and have a new album in the works.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

New Brutalism - 2001-2003: Turbo Record/A Record Of American Fury/+2 (2005) (By Request)

Here's another record by New Brutalism.  These guys are from Knoxville, TN and make their own aluminum guitars.  It's a collection of a two of their EP's and a couple of unreleased tracks.  Like I said before this is for fans of Shellac.  In fact this was recorded by Shellac's Bob Weston.  Thanks to Hooky for the high praise.  I was starting think I was doing all of this for nothing.