Released from the vaults over twenty years since being laid down, this “lost” album from noise-tinged swamp rockers the Knoxville Girls. A supergroup if there ever was one, featuring a disparate bunch of players with backgrounds ranging from the Cramps, Bad Seeds, Sonic Youth and Boss Hog.
During their tenure the Sonic’s Rendezvous Band only released one 7” in the shape and form of “City Slang” that supposedly had the song in stereo on one side and mono on the other although the general consensuses are, they are identical. If you were not lucky enough to have the aforementioned 7” the only other source was the badly recorded Bootleg album “Strikes Like Lightening” that surfaced in the 1980s. That was until the late 90’s when soundboard live records started to surface and were officially released. The latest is the vinyl 12” “No Sleep Till Ypsilanti” that was recorded at the Huron Inn, Ypsilanti MI 10th April 1976 and released on the Spanish label Bang!
“No Sleep Till Ypsilanti” is an interesting release because it’s only the band’s 2nd set. They would go on to play a total of three that evening. Apart from the opening number of “Grand River Soul” which was collectively written by the band the others are either covers; Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone”, Ray Charles’ “I Believe To My Soul” and “Part-Time Love” by Clay Hammond or were written by Scot Morgan giving it a more soul and blues feel with only “Mystically Yours” and “Electrophonic Tonic” hinting at the onslaught of guitars that is synonymous with the band. Morgan’s vocals sound like he’s spent far too long at a Dive Bar in the French Quarter of New Orleans; supremely laidback. It’s clear that this is an early gig with the band finding their feet with original bassist WR Cooke, who sadly passed away in 2015, still on four-string duties. The LP is limited to only 500 copies and to be honest, is really for completists as the whole three set concert is readily officially available elsewhere. However, having said that I’m hoping that Bang! records will, in the fullness of time, be releasing set 1 and 3 as standalone albums.
Author: Armitage Smith
Recorded in Seattle in 1999, this monster record is now being reissued on vinyl remastered by Jack Endino.
As soon as the opening track of ‘Electric Children’ begins, you realize that The Monkeywrench have gotten much tighter in their second album, since their debut eight years before.
The production also seems rawer, possibly due to the fact that the band moved from Conrad Uno to veteran Seattle producer Jack Endino, who also engineered the first releases from bassist Steve Turner and vocalist Mark Arm‘s other band, Mudhoney.
Also contributing to the rawness of the record is the absence of Arm’s trademark piano and organ. This enhances the energy, causing you to notice a more frantic, electrified side of the band.
As on the debut album, Clean as a Broke-Dick Dog (1992), several genres of music are given equal time, including the country of “Thirteen Nights” and “The Empty Place“, the rockabilly of “The Weasel’s In The Barn“, the Eastern modal quality of “Around Again“, and the noise rock of the closing number, “In the days of the Five“.
The Monkeywrench have grown in their ability to craft a song, and the result is a masterpiece.
The band that features – Mark Arm (Mudhoney, Bloodloss) / Steve Turner (Mudhoney) / Tim Kerr (Big Boys) / Tom Price (Gas Huffer, U-Men) / Martin Bland (Bloodloss, Lubricated Goat)
Influenced by the likes of Bored! Radio Birdman, Sonic’s Rendezvous Band, The Hellacopters as well as the MC5, Stooges and Motorhead this impressive list alone was more than enough to pique my interest and have me blasting out ‘94/20’, the all new eleven tracker from Spanish garage punks Señor No.
Having never heard of Señor No before and then discovering that not only do they sing in their native Basque tongue but also that the ‘94/20’ album title refers to the fact that this year is the band’s 26 year in the business only added to the intrigue.
Thankfully ‘94/20’ more than lives up to the mystery and PR hype and in fact just like albums I’ve raved about in the past by the likes of City Saints and Trust what really sets Señor No apart is the fact that the songs are being sung in the band’s native language as it actually adds to the band’s incredible sonic melting pot. And boy what an intoxicating mix it is too. Yes, there are elements of all of the aforementioned bands that could be pulled from the tracks on offer here but for me it is the bark and sneer of singer Xabi Garre (a veteran of the local Basque rock scene) that really hammers home the band’s message. Even if I do have to refer to the English track listing on the band’s Facebook page to really get a grip of the self-styled Bukowski style street poetry the singer specialises in – this doesn’t spoil this musical rocket ride one iota. In many ways this curiously reminds me of what a Basque Tyla fronting the MC5 singing songs about the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle might sound like, and one thing’s for sure, it will definitely require more than my usual “dos cervezas por favor” level of Spanish for me to fully understand.
So, with this in mind let me introduce you to Señor No’s ‘94/20’, an album chock full of musical twists and turns and yes, more than just a hint of mystery thanks to Xabi’s vocal stylings. With the band’s mission behind the record being to re-record and reimage songs from throughout their career to date.
Kicking off with ‘La Ruta Interior’ (The Interior Route) this is perhaps the nearest Señor No comes to the sonic jams of their Detroit heroes and the guitar interplay between Jorge Colldan and Joseba Baleztena at times really does bring to mind Smith and Kramer. For me its when the band really go for the throat like on ‘Déjate’ (Leave It) that they really click and here you can clearly pick out the Motorhead influence albeit with a little Poison Idea thrown in for good measure too.
Señor No are anything but a one trick punk rock piñata though, just take one listen to ‘Perra’ (Dog) where the guitar breakdown really will have you punching the air in celebration or the kooky time signature of ‘Meando En La Niebla’ (Piss In The Fog) that gives the track a real feelgood swig from the bottle kind of swing, all driven along by bassist Fumai and drummer Fosy who put in a superb shift throughout.
Bristling with energy and sounding like the very heartbeat of Basque punk rock ‘n’ roll ‘94/20’ should have by now seen Señor No tearing up and down the highways and byways of Europe in support of the record, that day I’m sure will eventually come, but in the meantime you can order your copy via the link below. Glorious stuff!
Before I start this review I have a confession to make, I’m a bit of a fan of the Fuzztones, Lysergic Emanations has been played to death as have virtually every other LP in their back catalogue, and my excitement levels went through the roof when this baby landed in my inbox, especially with the accompanying record company Blurb.
“The Real Sound of “In Heat“: the disclaimer on the album states, “NOT produced by Shel Talmy” (The Who, Kinks). The original version of the album “In Heat” as it was intended to sound.”
For the uninitiated, THE FUZZTONES have been around for over 30 years, call them under-ground, call them psychedelic? Call them the band that brought Garage Rock back into fashion. Though originally from New York City, they were massively embraced by Europe, where the fuzzed out retro vibe really hits home. Now remember when In Heat first came out it was back in 1989 at the peak of the garage revival, when bands like the Chesterfield Kings, Lyres and Cynics were all the rage.
So here we go polished up, fuzzed out re-mastered and everything you could want from a modern day masterpiece, as this now sounds. What hits you straight away is how fresh it now sounds, and on first listen there are things that jump out for example “What you don’t know” comes from that classic Lords of the New Church Blueprint, before it takes off and moves into a huge guitar laden climax.
As I’m pulling thoughts together, smiling to myself, influences start to come to mind, Chocolate Watch Band, 13TH Floor Elevators, Strawberry Alarm clock from the psychedelic sixties, early 70’s, but blend them into a Stooges led Iggy, add in a definite punk rock and roll attitude “ala” the Cramps and you end up with the classic “In Heat”, worth buying the LP for this track alone!!! I mean any tracks with the opening lyric “I’m a big bad wolf, can’t you here me howl?’ how much more rock and roll could you be.
This LP deserves a place in every ones collection!! the swamp boogie, New Orleans sound of “Nine months later” with it’s nod to the bubblegum pop of the 60’s chorus is a real thing of beauty. While “You must be a witch” is just garage rock perfection, the organ tempered down sitting properly within the song. I suppose this LP keeps drawing me into Cramps style comparisons, if you’re a fan of one then the other will definitely appeal. I could go on talking through the other tracks, but if you’ve read this far, this LP is definitely for you, what an LP, re-mastered, up to date, vibrant and in your face, now lets get them back into the UK preferably with the resurgent Hypnotics on the same bill, what a double header that would be, Happy days.
But ‘Raw Heat’ Here
Author: Nev Brooks
Australia has always had the chops and churned out the most excellent quality bands dishing out quality records. Many didn’t always get the respect they deserved or Maybe not respect but certainly the attention they deserved. Asteroid B-612 (I know not the most memorable name but hey give it a chance) and their garage classic ‘Not Meant For This World’ is deffo one of those that has gone under the radar on a wider stage. Fuelled by the genes of the Stooges and other garage rock legends their DNA spilled onto the grooves of this record and the fuzzed-out classic like opener ‘Destination Blue’ with its unhinged saxophone howling and wailing out of control is a beautiful thing and is like the distant overseas cousin of ‘Funhouse’. But the Stooged up homage doesn’t end there (obviously).
Recorded back in ’96 in Sydney Johnny Casino (going by the name John A. Spittles its Detroit baby but from the baking hot sun of the Southern Hemisphere. Sonically its spot on and the playing is a wonderful thing. The title track is like music from a parallel Hip Priest world and that’s a huge compliment. They were clearly cut from the same cloth.
First time out it was available far and wide on Cd but this is another press on vinyl but again it’s limited to 500 copies. So plenty of opportunities to pick up on this one second time around.
‘True Romance’ has a more pop melody and edge and draws on influences like The Who. But it’s back in the saddle for a romp across ‘Emotional Tattoo’ which preceded the likes of The Hellacopters who had to be influenced by this super shitty sounding blast. ‘Thanks For Nothin’ is like Motorhead grooving on the Dead Boys ‘Ain’t It Fun’ or the Dead Boys Chillin’ on ‘Capricorn’ either way it’s a great tune.
I guess the real beauty of this release its the fact that someone has taken the time to remaster it and bring it kicking and screaming into the 21st Century ready or not and it doesn’t sound dated or out of step, christ, it could have been recorded last week. weather the band are holding back and relaxing or kicking out as on ‘Farewell To The Cosmic Commander’ the songwriting is exceptional and they’ve really captured the vibe. It’s energetic, the songs are tight but loose if you know what I mean (if you love ‘Funhouse’ Or The Stooges and ‘Super-shitty To The Max’ then you’ll know.
To finish this bad boy off they get their boogie on and turn in ‘Where Has All The Fun Gone’ which is a daft question really with all due respect because listening to this is answering their own question all the fun is right here right now just pick up a copy before these are all gone as well. Excellent!
Author: Dom Daley
Other related references on BANG! Records:
- ASTEROID B-612 “Always Got Something To Lose” b/w “Murder City Revolution”, 7” single.
- LOS DINGOS “13 crook road” E.P. 7” single (featuring Johnny Casino alongside Kent Steedman from The Celibate Rifles and Gorka Munster from La Secta)
‘Take It Out On You’ is 1990 Bored! E.P. Which has now, On this release been expanded by adding a bombastic and brutal take on ‘Iron Man’ to complete these sessions from that year; it features Tim Hemensley on both Bass and Vocals. Australias best exponents of loud over the top Rock and Roll!
Its dark – mysterious – dirty; Detroit dripping Australian Rock and Roll at its absolute finest. Perfectly marrying that Stooges fuzzed-out – Fucked up reckless Rock and Roll with some of Australia’s finest like Birdman and a clear understanding of punk rock and at the sharp end of the Grunge explosion along with the likes of Mudhoney they get all that Detroit influence.
From the opening ‘Conquest’ you certainly get the impression of a band who’ve left the tape rolling inside a studio with no windows or air-con and a band who are just playing harder and harder.
It’s a killer collection of full of wild riffage and attitude soaked vocals. ‘Mr 10 Percent’ is everything you wan tit to be. Purposeful, angry yet just being under control and even when the solo takes off it never sounds like they’ve lost control.
‘Sweet Charity’ is pure ‘Funtime’ era Stooges with its stretched out jam vibe and seven minutes of sonic excellence as it assaults your senses on several fronts. Its a heaving angry jam and played loud is a Godsend of Garage punk Rock. the title track, however, has a handle on a more rock n Roll Misfits kinda vibe rather than being just punks they take the Garage Rock route.
There isn’t a huge body of work behind the band but there is a history of quality and Bang Releasing this on the back of 2016 ‘Piggyback’ compilation is a pretty decent place for you to start if you’re new to Bored!
Side two of this album starts off with my favourite track on offer here ‘Final solution’ has a huge throbbing bass chug and sort of mashes up some Jon Spenser Blues Explosion with some of that Detroit Action Rock n Roll and absolutely own it. I love the chorus and the laid back tempo and groove of the song is exceptional. ‘Motherfuckin’ Motherfucker’ is like Iggy fronting Motorhead and as far as attitude goes what are you expecting considering the song’s title? All killer and no filler is about the best place to start.
‘Iron Man’ is heavier (if that’s possible) imagine if Sabbath were a punk band weened on VU and the MC5 rather than UK psychedelia. It does, however, sound like a whole world of fun and I’d imagine more than a couple of stubbies were downed in the making of this racket and when the tempo changes someone is certainly channeling their inner Kramer meets Iommi and that’s always a cool place to be.
If you like loud guitars and songs with a great sound in the Garage Punk hard rockin’ style than fill yer boots you’ll love this bad boy.
Author: Dom Daley
Detroit High Energy rock at its purest essence!!!! Niagara (DESTROY ALL MONSTERS) & Ron Asheton (THE STOOGES) among other great Detroit musicians recorded this killer album back in 1996.
And now it is finally reissued on vinyl with 2 added tracks to the original vinyl release, remastered in order to get its purest sound, and new artwork courtesy of Mrs. Niagara Detroit and Mr. Colonel Galaxy.
And guess what…. This is an extension of Destroy All Monsters with absolutely killer guitars in line with The Stooges´ “Funhouse” with the unique stamp and signature of Mr. Ron Asheton.
10 classic shots which need to be in your record collection right by The Stooges, Destroy All Monsters, MC5, Sonic´s Rendezvous Band, Radio Birdman, The New Christs, Bored!
I can’t vouch for how improved the sonic assault is compared to the original because I never owned the original slab of wax and digital is a whole different ball game especially if your listening on a PC but I can vouch that it’s not muddy in fact it’s positively bright in the mix department Niagras voice is as seductive and sinister as ever and has a dark quality that sounds dangerous and then you throw Ashetons guitar soloing into the mix and you have a potent force to be reckoned with. Just listen to ‘Heaven Can Wait’ in the dark and loud and you’ll get the point. I love Ron’s guitar work on ‘Bang’ he’s really Rockin it out and the absence of any low end makes for interesting listening.
I love the boredom and fuck you attitude of ‘Good Morning, Headache’ and ‘The Last Great Ride’ is epic and the perfect way to end this collaboration and the guitar work gives me goosebumps with the solos absolutely killing it. with only 500 copies of this pressed it won’t be long before this becomes rare as hen’s teeth so time is of the essence and you can’t say you haven’t been warned. Get it!
Buy Dark Carnival Here
Every now and again, you drop an album in whatever format into your system and it just stops you dead when you hit the play button!!! Welcome to Hugo Race because it just stopped me dead in my tracks. The raw blues of Dirt Road that unmistakable world, weary drawl, so dominant in my collection, (Don’t forget Hugo Race spent time as one of the Bad Seeds) this LP has it all. Worth noting; that Hugo Race also wrote the screenplay to “Ghosts of the Civil Dead”.
As you drop out of the opener, your pulled into “Saw the Lights” This track bleeds for you, that almost Southern drawl, picked acoustica, really sets up the lyrics to tell a story.
Next up we have the sort of cover version that I love, stripped back, given a new very different lease of life, what am I talking about? “John the Revelator” from Depeche Mode, but the T Bone Burnett influenced guitar work takes it to a whole new dimension, at times, sparse and intense you can almost feel the Bad Seeds breathing life into it, talk about a sonic soundscape. . Before you know it you’ve drifted through “Eyesight to the blind”, “Three Forks “ one of me personal faves on the LP, evoking Tom Waits at times, at others bringing forward its own identity. Before your hit with the next up “Certified fool” evoking Nick Cave at his most intense from her to eternity times, remember Race played on this stunner!! You can feel the music breathe, as it twists and crawl its way into your conscious.
There really is no let up, this is one of those late nite LP’s when your alone, sat sipping whisky drifting with the music, allowing the imagery evoked to come forward. You almost have to draw breath at this point you’ve become so immersed in the sound, but the reality is there is no let up, the second half of the LP is equally as strong as the first, no filler present, tracks like “Pray for sleep”, “Memnon Days” and “White Scorpion”, all hit the mark before you come to the LP closer “Earls Murder” really nails the feel of the whole album, what a soundscape.
When as you do I looked into Hugo Races background, knowing him only from the Nick Cave links, what I found absolutely stunned me from leaving Nick Cave and the bad seeds after playing on From Her to Eternity, Kicking against the Pricks, Tender Prey and Murder Ballads, before forming The Wreckery (You should really dig this stuff up, I did), to the releases with Hugo Race and the True Spirit, to his Solo releases of which this is one, to the Dirt Music releases, Sepiatone releases, into Hugo Race & Fatalists and beyond, what I found was a Multi Instrumentalist with a huge back catalogue waiting to be explored by yours truly. If you pick up one re-issue this year make it this one.
Author: Nev Brooks