miércoles, 26 de noviembre de 2008

The Jesus Lizard - Head/Pure (1992)

The place to start for those new to the Jesus Lizard, this two-fer collects on one CD the first EP release (Pure) and first LP release (Head) of the notorious '90s noise rock band. It does a fine job of completing the picture of the band's early work. Source [AMG]

The Jesus Lizard - Bloody Mary

Track Listing
1. One Evening
2. S.D.B.J.
3. My Own Urine
4. If You Had Lips
5. 7 Vs. 8
6. Pastoral
7. Waxeater
8. Good Thing
9. Tight 'n Shiny
10. Killer McHann
11. Blockbuster
12. Bloody Mary
13. Rabid Pigs
14. Starlet
15. Happy Bunny Goes Fluff-Fluff Along


viernes, 21 de noviembre de 2008

Hammerhead - Duh, The Big City (1996)

Hammerhead's final release opens with the propulsive, Chrome-like "Earth (I Won't Miss)." The song is as loud and fast as anything the Midwestern trio had ever done before, but with a more pronounced psych/prog rock edge -- as befits its sci-fi-sounding title -- and prefigures the rest of Duh, the Big City, which is crisper and yet more experimental than previous recordings. The lineup had also changed since their last full-length, with Craig Klaus taking the place of guitarist Paul Sanders, who left to form his own band. If for some strange reason you should find yourself falling asleep while listening to this rocking little record -- a highly unlikely occurrence -- crazed instrumental "Mr. Bizmuth," which teeters on the edge of Metal Machine Music-style unlistenability, will surely wake you right up (all your friends and neighbors, too). Oddly enough, it isn't the last track (or even a bonus track), but is followed by the considerably more melodic title track, "Duh, the Big City," which closes the book on the brief but compelling story of Hammerhead. Paul Erickson and Jeff Mooridian Jr. would next materialize in the two-man noise unit Vaz. [AMG]

Hammerhead - Tuffskins

Track Listing
1. Earth (I Won't Miss)
2. Meandrethal
3. New York?...Alone?
4. Mission: Illogical
5. I Don't Know...Texas
6. Victoria
7. Monkey Mountain
8. Zenith Factory
9. Mune
10. Mr. Bizmuth
11. Duh, The Big City


domingo, 16 de noviembre de 2008

Flying Saucer Attack - Further (1995)

Thanks to its release on Drag City and an increasingly higher profile (and rabid fan base), Further turned out to be FSA's breakthrough, at least in cult terms. Even Rolling Stone reviewed the album (amusingly pairing it with a modern Pink Floyd live release), but Further was anything but a corporate sellout. Rather, the twosome achieved a new balance of delicacy and power, heightened in noticeable part by Pearce's increasingly assertive singing. His vocal approach of extended sigh as singing hadn't changed, but his words had a new clarity and crisper delivery, with fine results. Otherwise, FSA stayed the same general course musically, but again the arrangements provide the difference, with the unplugged folk side of Pearce's music now firmly taking the fore on songs like the extended, multipart "For Silence," often with gentle reverb or extra studio effects that make the songs all that much more intriguing. It's not quite Bert Jantsch or John Fahey redux, but there's a definite sonic connection there that's well worth the hearing. Other highlights are the clear acoustic notes cutting through the hum and drone of the majestic "In the Light of Time" or the buried waves of electric guitar in counterpoint to the gentle picking on "Come and Close My Eyes" -- the latter accompanied at the end with what sounds like a typewriter, without sounding jarring or out of place. No compromises were aimed at radio-friendly unit shifters -- opening track "Rainstorm Blues," a roaring feedback squall ascending and descending in volume, got further accompaniment from hard-to-place crumbles and squeals, Brook's growling bass work setting the mood even stranger. Brook herself gets a lovely moment of vocal glory on "Still Point," her voice even more soft and restrained than Pearce's, rising through a striking squall of sound and, once again, upfront acoustic guitar. Source: [AMG]

Track Listing
1. Rainstorm Blues
2. In the Light of Time
3. Come and Close My Eyes
4. For Silence
5. Still Point
6. Here Am I
7. To the Shore
8. She Is the Daylight


martes, 11 de noviembre de 2008

The Presidents Of The United States Of America - The Presidents Of The United States Of America (1995)

In the time-honored tradition of the Dickies, the punk-pop of the Presidents of the United States of America is brief, hooky, and dumb -- it's novelty punk. Granted, that approach can occasionally produce a couple of naggingly catchy songs -- particularly their breakthrough hit, "Lump" -- but it basically results in a series of smug, self-satisfied songs that are neither funny nor catchy. Like the Dickies, the Presidents of the United States of America aren't much more than one-hit wonders. Source: [AMG]

The Presidents Of The United States Of America - Lump

Track Listing
1. Kitty
2. Feather Pluckn
3. Lump
4. Stranger
5. Boll Weevil
6. Peaches
7. Dune Buggy
8. We Are Not Going to Make It
9. Kick out the Jams
10. Body
11. Back Porch
12. Candy
13. Naked and Famous


lunes, 3 de noviembre de 2008

Seam - Are You Driving Me Crazy? (1995)

Seam had never had the most stable lineup, but Sooyoung Park and Lexi Mitchell had maintained a partnership, personal and otherwise, from the Bitch Magnet days. That all changed after the excellent The Problem With Me, and the end result was the band's most fraught album yet, with Park working with a wholly new band and conveying more than a few desperate and frustrated sentiments in the music and lyrics. Starting the album with "Berlitz," using the reference to language guides as a metaphor for failures to communicate and their repercussions, was as much as a sign as any. That said, Park's general goal at balancing sudden intensity with restraint and quiet beauty remained intact, and at times, such as "Haole Redux," succeeded spectacularly. The new members -- guitarist Reg Shrader, bassist William Shin, and drummer Chris Manfrin -- all do a pretty fine job at replacing their counterparts from The Problem With Me, something further helped by the reappearance of Brad Wood as producer. Still, there is a change and maybe even a lack -- Shin in particular, though still spot on, misses the gentle melodicism that Mitchell had provided, and as a result the dramatic melancholia of the past feels a bit more abrupt at points. For the first time as well, Park creates notably long songs, four out of ten running over five minutes and resulting in the longest Seam album yet. It's a comparative lack of economy more than anything else -- this isn't Rick Wakeman-era Yes, thank heavens -- but moments like the extended soloing on "Port of Charleston" make the album just not quite as special as the preceding ones, a drawing out when the group could formerly pack beautifully compact punches. Credit should be given to guest performer Julie Liu, though, whose various vocal and musical contributions are fine, understated touches. Source: [AMG]

Seam - Berlitz

Track Listing

1. Berlitz
2. Hey Latasha
3. Port of Charleston
4. Rainy Season
5. Two Is Enough
6. Haole Redux
7. Tuff Luck
8. Broken Bones
9. Sometimes I Forget
10. Petty Thievery