Tuesday, April 29, 2014

NEW 7"s PART 1 OF 4

APACHE - CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE 7" (Grazer)
Hailing from San Francisco "Civil Disobedience is Apache's latest releases after two full albums for Burger Records. This four-piece bashs out a snotty, bruising mixture of late 70s  killed by death punk and mid 70s proto-punk. The lead track is an absolute fist-pumper based on punchy drums, killer guitar riffs, a super catchy chorus, great melodies and lines stolen by The Circle Jerks ("wild in the strees, we're running wild in the streets"). This ripper is nothing but a instant punk classic and one of the gnarliest examples of modern day punk done right. Apache slow things down on the flipside. "Motorcyyle Madness" sounds like a testament to the origin sound of blues-rock, but of course the a-side remains the highlight of this top notch 7" release. (Listen to it here)  

AQUA NEBULA OSCILLATOR - OM NA MIO / FREAK OUT 7" (Who Can You Trust?)
Aqua Nebula Oscillator are a Paris based psychedelich rock collective headed by David Sphaèr'os. This 7" features two so far unreleased songs taken from different sessions recorded in 2004 and 2009. With a constant wash of fuzz-laden and trance-inducing guitar riffage, primal beats, filthy bass lines, spacey organ based soundscapes, eerily vocals and mesmerizing killer groove the recordings move freely across different styles and eras of late 60s and early 70s rock music. Aqua Nebula Oscillator are influenced by the muddy sounds of early proto metal, the weird grooves of psychedelic-rock and the experimental approach of British progressive-rock. Opener “Om Na Mio” is an extented six minute trip that comes with a hypnotizing organ melody and ravaging psyched-out guitars. The b-side unfolds with a guitar-driven instrumental that displays a even darker psychedelic mood. Great! (Listen to it here)

BALCANES - PLATAFORMA / AUTOPISTA 7" (Discos Humeantes)
This is the vinyl debut from Leon, Spain's noise monster Balcanes. Their music sounds like a dark and menacing product of ugly noise-rock, heavy doom and bleak industrial. With drums on heavy repeat, manic echo-vocals, droning bass lines and skillfully arranged guitar destruction they create a unique blend of filthy, down-tuned and heavy music. There are moments of sleazy psychedelics buried under their mush of devastating noise. "Plataforma" is a more punchy song with a crushing killer groove. "Autopista" on the flipside is a heavy distorted soundscape made with an urgent looseness and a right instinct for improvisations. Balcanes take cues from the uglier moments of Slint and Dead C as well as newer bands like Drunkdriver and Cuntz. Highly recommended! (Listen to it here)

THE CHIEFS - SPEED ROCK 7" (Bachelor)
Bachelor Records had the great idea to start a 7" series that covers old recordings from the past. Following a reissue of The Monsters' debut single the second archive release features a totally unknown group from the earliest days of Austrian punk. The Chiefs were formed in 1977 in Strasshof, a village in the middle of nowhere. After five rehearsals and one gig the band called it quits and it's members moved on to form Sprays, Plastix, Westblock, and Standard Oil. During a practice they recorded twelve tracks on a tape. Three of them were mastered and cleaned up from the orginal tape in order to put them on this nice 7". Of course the recording quality is super raw and it's almost impossible to hear the lyrics, but under the lo-fi mush you'll discover primal blasts of wild proto-punk. Musically The Chiefs pay tribute to their garage and rock heroes of the 60s and 70s while keeping the music punchier, straighter and simplier. Don't miss this forgotten Austrian protopunk classic! (Listen to it here

DATA CONTROL - S/T 7" (Signaler Fran Ovan)
Data Control from Sweden feature members of Thurneman and Negative Lifestyle. On their debut 7" they hold nothing back as they rip through six songs in under six minutes. The songs are short and straight forward, but at the same time this three-piece matures them into super varied and complex blasts. The recordings are filled with plenty of different ideas, unexpected changes and it's own unique identity. The result is an honest sound that takes you back through some decades of punk music without complacent revivalism. Strong influences from "Zen Arcade" era Hüsker Dü, Willful Neglect's early midwest hardcore and melodic undertones are all apparent in Data Control's sound, blending together nicely for a new take on classic 80s US hardcore and post-punk. (Listen to it here

FUZZ / CCR HEADCLEANER - SPLIT 7" (Famous Class) 
This is already the tenth part of the "Less Artists More Condos" split 7" series released by Famlus Class Records. 100% of the digital proceeds go to the Ariel Panero Memorial Fund at VH1 Save the Music - a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring instrumental music education in America's public schools. The idea is to include one better-known and one lesser-known artist, which is handpicked by the A-side group. In this case San Franciscos's hard-rockers Fuzz have selected their local indie-rockers CCR Headcleaner. Following their brilliant debut full lenght Fuzz transform The Kinks classic "Till The End Of The Day" into a wild and gritty proto-metal anthem. Most cover-versions are boring, but this one's really well done because Fuzz don't forget to add their own special note. After their highly recommended 7" on Ceasar's Cuts CCR Headcleaner continue to bury the 80s and 90s rock of Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth and SST under layers of stoned, burning guitar noise. "Free The Freeks" is a slow stomping tune that's driven by repetive structures and a freaky outsider vibe. If you dig Perennial releases of the last years, you will also be digging this. (Listen to it here

HAPPY TIMES - GROSS REGISTRABLE TONNAGE 7" (Swashbuckling Hobo)
Happy Times are deeply impressed by the movie "Das Boot" and the submarine warfare of the nazi marine during the Second World War. They present themself as the reincarnation of the crew of the U47 and use military terms like "Kapitänleutnant" or "Oberleutnant" in their names. On the backcover they've even printed the words "Happy Times Über Alles". What's the point of that? Nazi Germany really isn't funny at all! Musically there is nothing wrong with Happy Times. With a focus on wild and dirty rock'n'roll they sound like a pleasent break from the new wave of Aussie bands. This Melbourne based group recalls the guitar-driven brand of punk'n'roll, that Australia has been best know for during the mid and late 80s. Bands like Cosmic Psychos, Bored! and God come to mind while listening to this very nice four track 7". (Listen to it here)  

THE INSTIGATION - NO WAY OUT 7" (self-released)
Following their selftitled debut single from 2012 The Instigation are back with a brand new 7". This international four-piece with members based in Tokyo, Kobe, London and Shanghai continues to pay homage to the earliest days of US American hardcore while adding 90s Teengenerate style garage-punk sensibilities and addictive killer hooks. Each song is an unrelenting blend of groovy melodic riffs, skillfully used guitar-solos, pounding drums and a savage vocal delivery. With a simple, no frills approach "No Way Out" is very close to the original raw and wild energy of bands like Black Flag, Teen Idles and Angry Samoans. You get three short and fast originals plus a very well done cover version of Reagan Youth's "Degenerated". (Listen to it here)  

KLAUS JOHANN GROBE - TRAUMHAFT 7" (Trouble In Mind) 
In addition to Klaus Johann Grobe's "Im Sinne der Zeit" debut full-length Chicago based label Trouble In Mind delivers this reissue of the group's second 7" originally released last year on Sunstone Records in a limited edition of 300 copies. "Traumhaft" and "Nicht zu stoppen" impressively demonstrate this Swiss duo's class and originality. With an arsenal of different influences ranging from post-punk, krautrock, wave, jazz and funk Klaus Johann Grobe create a truely unique brand of music. They fuse melchanolic yet spacy organ/synth sounds with propelling bass lines, heavy grooving rhythms and bombastic pop precision. The distinctive vocal delivery has a truely lasting impact and the German lyrics are all super smart and upfront. Don't miss this double a-side 7"! (Listen to it here)  

THE LAD MAGS - TRICK / YOU STOLE MY MIND 7" (self-released)
THE LAD MAGS - LOVER / YOU DON'T LOVE ME 7" (self-released)
The Lad Mags are a five-piece based in Edmonton, Canada. Over the last year they put out three smashing 7"s of which two are included here. Their music pleases any and all who appreciate an infectious mix of primitive garage-rock, polished Motown soul melodies and haunting psychedelia. With galopping drum beats, spooky droning organs, killer guitars riffs and sugar sweet, double-voiced harmonies they write incredibly catchy 60s inspired pop anthems. Both 7"s are double a-side singles filled with simplistic and inescapable songs that swim around in your head and don’t let go. The Lad Mags knock out vintage music with a modern appeal, that should be mentioned in the same breath as The Girls At Dawn, Vivian Girl and The Babies. (Listen to it here

Thursday, April 17, 2014

NEW LPs PART 5 OF 5

31Ø8 - S/T LP (Trouble In Mind)
31Ø8 is the moniker of London based artist Tyler Zypreska. His new seltitled album offers music that's incessantly catchy and a little goofy. With a vocal style somewhere between speaking and rock-singing, a synth-heavy sound, minimal drum computer beats and strong pop-oriented songwriting skills he creates a sort of feel-good album that accompanies your ears into summer. 31Ø8 takes the best parts of 80s synth-pop and 90s electronic music and mixes them with the catchiest sense of melody. The songs find a perfect balance between incredibly sweet harmonies and plenty of drive and spunk. With the help of a lush, fully developed and well-crafted sound and a smart instrumentation 31Ø8 creates pop-music that goes deeper than anything comparable. (Listen to it here)

BIRDS OF PASSAGE - THIS KINDLY SLUMBER LP (Denovali)
This is the third album by Birds of Passage which is the alter ego of New Zealand based artist Alicia Merz. Her music occupies a sphere of mournful, heart-rending melodies, repetetive drones and intense atmospheres. Haunting, fraught with tension and driven by it's gloomy mood the album fuses influences ranging from folk to pop, industrial and ambient electronic music. The songs are carried by intelligent, poetic lyrics and ethereal, fragile vocals that show a certain similarity to Beth Gibbons of Portishead. With a lack of beats and a minimal approach "This Kindly Slumber" creates a lulling dreaminess that sounds as surreal as the mourning hours after a long night. Think of a much better version of Zola Jesus. Very nice! (Listen to it here)

GRAVEL SAMWIDGE- HOME BRAND LP (unreleased)
Brisbane's Gravel Samwidge have recently put out their 12" vinyl debut on Swashbuckling Hobo and they have more finished songs that are just waiting to be released. The band plans to put a record including the "Home Brand" session along with three more tracks to make it a full LP. Gravel Samwidge's music sounds similar to the new wave of Aussie noise-punk, but with the difference that they have been playing this style since the early 90s. Recent bands like Psy Ants, Cunts, Gentlemen and Whores all came later. "Home Brand" consists of six tracks that are all done with Gravel Samwidge's brandmark style based on discordant squeaking guitars, throbbing basslines, repetitive groove and deadpan vocals. In contrast to their previous "Medicinal Requirments" 12" the recordings sound a little less noisy with some more post-punk finesse. Add Flipper’s nihilism, early 90s Touch & Go style noise-rock and a healthy dose of weird avant-rock and you will get a rough idea how brilliant this product sounds like. I keep my fingers crossed, that Gravel Samwidge will find someone who puts out this killer LP. (Listen to it here)

KLAUS JOHANN GROBE - IM SINNE DER ZEIT LP (Trouble In Mind)
Whether it's The Liminanas from France, 31Ø8 from England, or Vermillion Sands from Italy, the Chicago-based label Trouble In Mind is frequently putting out exciting rock'n'roll music from all over Europe. The latest is the debut full lenght from Klaus Johann Grobe. This Swiss duo has developed a unique brand of music based on heavy grooving drum beats and a brilliant organ/ synths playing that fuses a multitude of textures and styles. The album continually pushes forward, sometimes with motorik beats and cosmic undertones, sometimes with a driving post-punk thump, sometimes with a jazzy looseness or sometimes with dancable funky rhythms. With it's many layers "Im Sinn der Zeit" drives through warm, earthbound sounds, lulled by dreamy undertones and offset by ice-cool vocals and smart, high quality lyrics. Klaus Johann Grobe is on of the most exciting Swiss underground groups since a long time and this LP is nothing but a true masterpiece! (Listen to it here)

THE MONOCHROME SET- SUPER PLASTIC CITY LP (Unwucht)
The Monochrome Set from London were one of Britain's most influential early post-punk groups. They formed early in 1978 and released records for such famous labels like Cherry Red, Rough Trade and Dindisc. In 1985 they broke up for the first time. In 1990 they reformed and went into hiatus again eight years later. In 2008 they did a one-time reunion gig because of the band's 30th anniversary. Since three years The Monochrome Set are active again in a line-up that includes three original members along with a new drummer. "Super Plastic City" orginally came out last year as a CD on the band's own Disqo Bleu label. Now Unwucht has put out a vinyl version in a limited pressing of 350 copies. With an straight and smart instrumentation the album manages to channel the spirit of their early records, but at the same time the band avoids to simpy copy themselves. Instead, this is the sound of a group that aged gracefully. On every track, Bid's distinctive vocals urgently belt out fantastic lyrics over clean, up-tempo guitars and sprawling bass lines. Pairing instantly catchy melodies with a addictive post-punk groove, "Super Plastic City" finds a way to be both a fresh and typical The Monochrome Set album. (Listen to it here)

SONIC CHICKEN 4 - S/T LP (Bachelor/ Dusty Medical)
From 2004 until 2009 this French group from Perpignan toured the USA twice and did singles and a full LP on such exquisite labels like In The Red, Robs House and Trouble In Mind. In a Spanish castle in Valencia they recorded songs for a second album in late 2008. The album was produced by King Khan and was supposed to be released the same year on In The Red, but the band broke up and it took more than five years until Bachelor and Dusty Medical finally put these songs on a piece of vinyl. The LP features twelve blasts of infectious, guitar-driven punk that combines the catchiness of 60s beat with classic "Back From The Grave" influences through a 90s garage filter while maintaining a raw and primitive vibe. So if you wanna be rapt away by some heavy stomping beats, flashy fuzz effects, noisy guitar freak-outs and tons of great melodies you’re doin’ it right here. Sonic Chicken 4 play wild and soulful garage music in the way it was meant to be. (Listen to it here)

THE TRAGEDY WE LIVE IN - LIVE FAST, LIVE FAST, LIVE FAST LP (unreleased)
The second full lenght by Belgium's post-rockers The Tragedy We Live sounds more aggressive than ever before including straight on hardcore blasts like "The Mountain" or "Healing". This trio is one of the few post-rock acts, that isn't caught up in their own genre boundaries. The record album spans a wide range of different moods, textures and styles. It features modern heavy instrumental music leading from a post-rock influenced delay driven guitar work to heavy sludge, drum-driven hardcore and montonic doom-rock. It's impressive how the songs ebb and flow with a compounded quantity of detail and decay. The whole recordings are delivered with intensity, an extremely varied musical performance and a dense, gloomy mood. The band is still looking for labels who are interested to put out a vinyl version of "Live Fast, Live Fast, Live Fast". If you can help, get in touch with the band! This album has deserved it! (Listen to it here)

WILD EYES S.F. - GET INTO IT LP (Who Can You Trust?)
In addition to Hot Lunch here's the next bay area rock group that put out a truly outstanding LP on Who Can You Trust?. Wild Eyes S.F. include a member of Floating Goat and the rhythm section of The Saviours. On their vinyl debut this San Francisco based four-piece offers loud and dirty hard-rock blasts rarely heard in this climate of nostalgia and authenticity. The album is laden with sleazy riffs, psychedlic guitar leads, pounding beats and an addictive killer groove. Everything's delivered with a raw unpolished production propelling the band through seven fantastic tunes. Janiece Gonzalez soulful and incredibly powerful vocal harmonies are another main highlight. "Get Into It" is deeply rooted in the tradition of the golden age of American rock and proto-metal. There are obvious similarities to bands like Blue Cheer, Sir Lord Baltimore, Dust and MC5, but at the same time Wild Eyes S.F. don't forget to add their own unmistakable note. A total banger! (Listen to it here)

VA - VOODOO RHYTHM VOLUME 4 LP (Voodoo Rhythm)
Switzerland's Voodoo Rhythm is one of the best and most important European garage labels and this nice LP gives you an overview of their activities over recent years. The words on the backcover does a good job of describing what you can expect here: "Wild out of control garage punk, nasty karma ruining blues trash, cajun rockabilly texmes hobo folk stomp blues and pure traaaasshhhhh". The Future Primtives deliver a brilliant mixture of 60s garage and 70s punk, that's very simular to Jay Reatard. Die Zorros crank out a dirty basic blues cut. If I didn't know it any better, I would think The Juke Joint Pints had recorded their traditional blues back in the early 50s. Britain's one-man-band Hank Haint give you a brilliant garage stomper. The Monsters are Switzerland's most famous garage group with a sound that's very close to Thee Headcoats. Roy And The Devil's Motorcycle recall the kind of folk music Bob Dylan was best known for in his early years. Back Lee And Drunkfoot merge classic American folk and country influences. Next up The Pussywarmers  fuse 1920s Jazz with weird Eastern European gypsy influences. Heart Attack Alley are heavily influenced by classic R&B music. Mama Rosin & Hipbone Slim & The Kneetremblers offer a happy and dancable folk stomper. Delaney Davidson plays wild blasting rockabilly. If you are looking for dirty, rough and original blues music, you can't go wrong with The Goon Mat & Lord Benardo. Last but not least Menic complete this brilliant compilation with a nice and peaceful country song.  (Listen to it here)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

NEW LPs PART 4 OF 5

DEAD GHOSTS - CAN'T GET NO LP (Bachelor)
After a first highly acclaimed LP on Floridas Dying and numerous 7" releases Vancouver's Dead Ghosts are back with a brand new album. With a focus on 60s guitar instrumentation, brilliant melodies and catchy-as-hell choruses, coupled with brash, vintage lo-fi recording methods and songwriting that’s so far above their genre, this four-piece knocks out great and simple songs that swim around in your head and don’t let go. "Can't Get No" is filled with thundering blasts of fuzzy guitars, pounding rhythms and galopping beats, each more intense than the last. Dead Ghost's musical foundation is built from the sound of 60s garage, while adding elements ranging from from psych to folk and raw rock'n'roll. If you dig Jacuzzi Boys, Black Lips, King Khan & the Shrines and Demon's Claws you will also be digging this. (Listen to it here)

DOOMSISTERS – S/T LP (Dingleberry/ Crustatombe/ Deviance/ Tanker/ No Way Asso/ EveryDayHate/ L'asso Domi/ Dream Come True/ Unlogical Feeling/ Witch Bukkake)
Following their split 10" with Whoresnation Doomsisters from Vosges in the east of France are back with a full album, that sounds even more heavy and uncompromising than everything before. The band consists of drums, guitar and vocals only, but they succeed to create a full, intense and driving sound. You get twelve pulverising, straight to the point assaults based on blasting drum beats, thrashing guitars and manic screamed vocals. With influences ranging from slow crushing sludge to filthy crust-hardcore, 90s Slap-A-Ham style power-violence and lightening fast old school grind in the tradition of Napalm Death Dooomsisters have mastered extreme music in it's raw essence. This auditory massacre has everything that decent high speed hardcore needs: good music and a message. (Listen to it here)

HÄSHCUT - PLEASE DO IT YOURSELF LP (Dingleberry/ Sieve&Sand/ Mexican Cut/ Emergence/ Guru Disques) 
Häshcut put their album title's request into practice and create an independet interpretation of modern hardcore. Even if they use well-proven influences the record sounds like a welcome break from the usual hardcore landscape. Mixing the dark brutality of His Hero Is Gone with 90s stoner-rock, dirty sludge, atmospheric post-rock and the ferocity of Black Sabbath Häshcut never forget to push the boundaries of their music. Driven by a very well-done modern production Häshcut's create a brutal and powerful sound. Things are based on intensely passionate vocals that are as varied as the whole musical performance. Allongside all the effects and brilliant guitar-leads Häshcut also appreciate the pleasing effect of simple driving riffs. Special attention needs to be paid to the fantastic looking artwork. (Listen to it here)

HOT LUNCH - S/T LP (Who Can You Trust?)
With influences ranging across the whole span from the late 60s to the mid 70s Hot Lunch from San Francisco create vibrant blasts of hard guitar rock on a high level of variety. Their musical spectrum ranges from the classic riffary of Led Zeppelin to the willd high energy rock'n'roll of MC5, the addictive groove of blues rock and the airiness of psychedelic and progressive rock. Yout get a tasteful fusion of fat ripping and slicing guitars, tasty sharp lead breaks, urgent riffs, powerful vocals, driving drums and grunting bass lines. Hot Lunch write great songs played with real passion and rounded off with an authentic, raw and vintage production. They succeed not to loose their own identity whilst creating music with so many different styles and moods. If you are looking for gritty and dirty rock in the way it was meant to be, you really can't go wrong with this record. (Listen to it here)

JACK AND BEARED FISHERMEN - MINOR NOISE LP (Dingleberry/ Impure Muzik/ PPS Prod/ Slow Death/ A Monster Tears/ Vouhvoue) 
In the past years Dingleberry Records has become something like the German foreign representative of the French D.I.Y. hardcore scene and Jack And The Bearded Fishermen are probably one of the label's brightest stars. Hailing from Besançon in the west of the country this four-piece plays modern, rocking mid-tempo hardcore that fuses the catchy harmonies of Torche with the discordant groove of These Arms Are Snakes and Drive Like Jehu while adding a slight affinity to 90s indie and stoner-rock. With harmonized, soaring vocals, a driving rhythm section and massive riffs the songs are both increbly catchy and powerful. “Minor Noise” offers ten varied songs, that not simply reproduce predefined schemes, but also add a fresh note and don't forget to rock heavily. The album is very well produced with a modern, bombastic sound. Highly recommended! (Listen to it here)

PROTOMARTYR - UNDER COLOR OF OFFICIAL RIGHT LP (Hardly Art)
Following their 2012 LP "No Passion All Technique" on Urinal Cake Records Detroit's post-punks Protomartyr are back with a brandnew album. With an icy UK wave-punk vibe in the tradition of Joy Division and Killing Joke they create gloomy songs that get interrupted by scratchy indie-pop harmonies and a savagely primtive punk spirit. Protmartyr capture it all so well: messy yet melodic guitars, echoing riffs, unconventional beats and pounding bass lines are all drenched in a chracteristically deep vocal veneer. The smart, personal lyrics are another main highlight. "Under Color Of Offical Right" executes a rare and striking balance between a tough and moody sound. Its derives it's power from a modern, transparent production. Compared to Protomartyr's previous releases it offers a few more hints to the sound of modern indie groups like Wild Nothing or Beach Fossils. Don't miss this brilliant album. (Listen to it here)
 
PUEBLO PEOPLE- SENTIERO DI GUERRA LP (Solo)
Italy has been home to quite a few great bands in recent years and this vinyl debut by Pueblo People is no exception. "Sentiero Di Guerra" offers three extented and massive sonic trips through the psychedelic rock universe. The recordings pair long spacy flourishes of distinctive guitar leads with explosive freak outs, carefully arranged airy vocal harmonies and gooving rhythms on heavy repeat. With a mix of Crazy Horse-esque guitar-work and a heavy Velvet Underground-drenched dark mood Pueblo People create a hypnotic haze that's powerful and radiant at the same time. The epic songs are all done with opulent instrumentation and incredibly textured songwriting styles sounding like a dive into deep psychedelic waters with an attraction that's impossible to resist. (Listen to it here)

PYPY - PAGAN DAY LP (Slovenly)
PYPY are an allstar group consisting of members from Red Mass, Duchess Says and CPC Gangbangs. They have emerged as the most varied and nihilistic of the underground acts of Montreal's huge current psych and garage scene. Their first LP offers a broad range of different influences. From the second the metronomic drum beats fade in on the first song, a resilient groove awakes your senses and entices you into PYPY's universe of spacy guitar leads, noisy freakouts and thunderous bass rhythms. They use the proven sound of 60s garage, 70s psych, proto-punk and classic 80s no wave to update it with plenty of creativity. Vocalist Annie-Claude Deschênes' harmonic yet beastly vocals give the songs a refreshing and unmistakable note. "Pagan Day" stands out for both it's song construction and it's depth of influences. PYPY unique style drives this band into their very own realm of psychedelic art-punk. (Listen to it here)

RED MONKEY - HOW WE LEARNED TO LIVE LIKE A BOMB LP (Our Voltage)
After their former band Avocado Baby broke up Slampt Records founder Pete and Rachel started Red Monkey in 1997. The band released three full albums and singles for labels like Kill Rock Stars, Slampt and Troubleman Unlimited until they finally broke up in 2005. "How We Learned To Live Like A Bomb" features 18 tracks taken from their 7"s and split 7"s with Submission Hold and Erase Errata. Red Monkey have been very close to the  ideals, dynamics and feminist attitude of classic K Records and Kill Rock Stars releases. The lyrcis fuse political issues with the creative and positive power of the 90s riot grrl movement. Red Monkey' fuse the classic sound of their British post-punk forefathers Gang Of Four with 90s indie-rock influences and deliver it with a fresh and modernized style. This LP is filled with super structured postpunk based on an urgent groove, highly charismatic mixed gender vocals, unconventional beats and well-dosed noisy oubursts. Don't miss this brilliant collection! (Listen to it here)

TALVIHORROS- EATEN ALIVE LP (Denovali) 
"Eaten Alive" is the fifth album by Scotland's Ben Chatwin under his Talvihorros moniker. The record has been inspired by a meeting with Fluid Radio owner Daniel Crossley. On a weekend they wandered around East London to share stories and memories about drug addiction and life problems conected to their former home. This experience results in a record that is characterized by it's depressing, yet hopeful and always intense mood. It contains instrumental, ambient music made with a mix of noisy atmospherics and wirling harmonic textures, dreamy melodies, warm analogue electronics, melancholic acoustic guitars and intense, gripping structures. In addition to Talvihorros' previous works "Eaten Alive" captures a experimental approach, that has always been present, but at the same time this LP finds it's elements coming together in a straighter, more cohesive style than ever before.(Listen to it here)

Monday, April 7, 2014

CAN CAN HEADS Interview

Can Can Heads is a long running experimental punk group from Kauhajoki, Finland that has been around for more than twenty years. Instead of copying current trends and hypes they do their own thing in an uncompromising and radical way. Janne Mäki-Turja (drums) answered my questions.

What’s the origin of your name? What does it represent?
There's a town called Kankaanpää some 81 km from Kauhajoki (CCH's HQ city) where Raine used to go to art school in the 90's. Our name is a kind of wordplay that our original bassist Harri came up with. You know, Kan Kaan Pää… "pää" meaning head, or the end of something; literally Kankaapää means "the end of fabric", so: Can Can Heads. 

You’re active since 1993. What’s the difference between playing in a punk band in 1993 and 2014 and what’s the difference concerning the whole punk scene? 
I see no huge difference. Of course nowadays it's easier to get your music across, but at the same time it's harder to get your music really HEARD, with hundreds of bands struggling for attention. Can Can Heads has always avoided media attention. This has not been a conscious decision, but an unavoidable result of playing the kind of music that we play. 

When people ask you about what kind of music you play, what do you say? How do you explain it? 
I used to say it's kinda close to punk but with some jazz and experimental influences, but nowadays I just say "Ramones meets Albert Ayler". Arttu Tolonen came up with a good one too: "violent music with a gentle heart". That’s pretty accurate, because, although at times our music can be quite depressing or heavy on the ears, we try to maintain a certain level of joyfulness in it.

After being in a band since more than 20 years, is it hard to write new material?  
No, on the contrary. Let's say we are practising for a gig. Now, any sane band would just play the setlist and be content with it, but for us it's always hard to get to the bottom of the planned setlist because we usually end up "jamming" with new riffs and rhythms that spring to our minds during or between songs. It seems we always have lots of new songs we need to arrange.

Why are your live shows so rare? Have you plans for touring outside Finland? 
We have families, work, other activities and 3/5 of the band live far away in Helsinki, so it's usually a pain the ass to arrange dates that could fit everyone's schedule. Also, it' not a secret that audiences for this kind of music in Finland are not exactly plentiful. We've been talking about playing UK next fall, but nothing's confirmed yet.

Are there any bands you identify with? 
Of course I identify with any band that struggles to get heard, doing their own thing. There are way too bands to mention, really, but let me just mention a few bands that I myself indentify really strongly with: This Heat, pre-major label Butthole Surfers, Thinking Fellers Union Local 282, Run On, The Dead C., Laddio Bolocko, Contortions, Dog Faced Hermans, Stretchheads … You know I could go on for days.  Maybe I left out some of the more obvious ones. The other Janne in our band told me to say that he's really into Flipper.

Your band’s front man Mikko doesn’t sing for most oft he time...  
He's too busy dancing his ass off! I guess many of our songs are so filled with stuff that there’s no room for singing. I'd like to hear more singing but for a band who usually practises as a duo (gtr  & drums) because other members live in Helsinki, its difficult to arrange.

Do you play in other bands or are you involved in any other „scene activities“? 
Well, right at the moment at the moment Tomi plays with Weepikes, who reactivated a couple years back. They used to be on Bad Vugum, too. Janne M has Mohel and Gunk and he also co-runs the Verdura record label. He and Mikko have also been involved in various theatre/performance art things. Raine runs the Kissankusi label and organizes jazz-related gigs. I've been publishing Mutiny!, a marginal music fanzine since 1987. Me and Raine also used to be the rhythm section of semilegendary hardcore band Valse Triste during most of the 90's and 00's, but we quit a few years back.


Why did it take so long until you’ve put out your first vinyl album?  
Supply vs. demand? Maybe Raine, the guardian of our enormous tape archive wants to shine some light on this? Oh, he doesn’t. I guess the position of the stars was right, to put it simply.

What’s going on with Finnish underground music right now? Which bands are worth to check out? 
Mohel, Taco Bells, Black Motor, Horst Quartet, Räjäyttäjät, Kylmä Sota, Selfish, Perikato, Backlash, Hero Dishonest, Radiopuhelimet, Sur-Rur, Moderni Elämä, Spoonshiners, Fate vs. Free Willy, Maailmanloppu, Pekko Käppi, Sokea Piste, Silent Scream, Aortaorta, Troutmen, Vene, Throat, Hebosagil, Cosmo Jones Beat Machine, Melmac, Pöllöt, Have You Seen The Jane Fonda Aerobic VHS?, Death By Snoo-Snoo, Muscle Kings Of Mexico, Hopeajärvi, Tii Nakujalka, Panssarijuna... You want me to go on?

What do you prefer: Poko Records or Propaganda Records? (Classic Finnish punk or hardcore?) 
Wow, that's a hard question. Both label started great, with essential records in punk/hardcore categories, but then something happened. Propaganda started their shady deals with Rock-O-Rama, the white power label, and generally began treating their bands like shit. I'm sure Poko was more fair in their business practises, but then again, they released a lot of Suomi-rock garbage with an unforgettable line of horrible cover art. In the end, I'd choose Poko cos they released Ääretön Joulu EP by Terveet Kädet, the best FInnish hardcore piece of wax ever, and they took the risk of releasing albums by Sielun Veljet, a brave choice if there ever was one.

What’s next for the band? 
More gigs, more records, more insane amounts of Vita Nova. And more silence from the Finnish media.