The Milwaukees has bestowed us a gift. The band has recently offered a 7-song EP, titled The Vasectomies, for FREE to anyone willing to sign up to their mailing list. Hardly what I would call a bad deal!
The Vasectomies EP
The seven songs are ones they have deemed a collection of b-sides and near misses from their prior releases. I think most bands would be very pleased to have so many strong songs in their circular file.
If you are not familiar with the Milwaukees, they have been around the block. This is a seasoned group of veterans with five full length releases under their belt spanning the last 17 years. As they have aged, their sound has become more honed and listener-friendly. This is not to say that their songs are weak. They are lean, tight, and well-crafted. While all members shine in their respective roles, Dylan (lead singer) has a voice that will get into your ears. It’s hard to miss his mixture of angst and emotion in his delivery.
The EP starts with the demolishing Rock and Roll Part 3 (Gary Glitter laid claim to parts 1 and 2). Part anthem, part sinister riff rock, this is such a great lead off track. Jeff Nordstedt’s tasty guitar playing really shines.
Tracks 2 and 4, One Night Stand and Record Deal, are solid rockers. One Night Stand has a twinge of Tom Petty in there. The chorus is really catchy and the bridge has a little bit of that great Rocket From the Crypt feel. Record Deal is a cautionary tale on the industry, with another super strong chorus.
Tracks 3 and 5, Won’t Let You Down and Story of Our Love are solid ballads. They are sweet without being saccharin. Dylan’s voice makes these songs work well.
The last tracks, Jersey Style and Wasted Uptown, leave you ready for more. Jersey Style has a killer verse riff that reminds me, believe it or not, of a really good old Kiss song. Then they bring in the chorus. Damn! Another great chorus! Wasted Uptown has some great lyrics, reminiscent of something I would expect to hear from Bruce Springsteen. Love the line “Irish boys….should be polishing the marble under their feet”.
So, if you haven’t heard anything from the Milwaukees, their music is easy enough to find. Google them! All their releases are on Spotify. They’re on Facebook. On their site, Milwaukees.com, you can find the link to sign up on their mailing list and get the Vasectomies EP. Go check them out September, 9th at the Ringside in Caldwell. They put on one hell of a show.
The Brooklyn-based trio, TheMad Doctors, are going to beat the hell out of your ear holes with their latest release, No Waves, Just Sharks. The 10-song release is soaked in fuzz, with the springs from their reverb getting stretched straight.
I asked Greg, the drummer, how he would describe his sound. He described it as “Dudes who hang out in caves and arcades on the boardwalk with Motorhead t-shirts”. I completely agree. The Doctors have the trashy surf riffs of Link Wray on a very bad day. However, to say that they are a surf-punk band wouldn’t do them justice. These tracks truly bring the meat! Their sound conjures up images of Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath) and Lemmy (Motorhead) unleashing their own impressions of Dick Dale through alcohol-imbued glasses.
The Mad Doctors stick with the surf theme, much the way that Man or Astro-Man sticks with outer space. Some of the tunes start with kitschy vignettes. The songs may start with surfy riffs or snazzy chords. However, once the tunes get going, there’s blood on the beach. The tunes are blistering riff storms, with solid changes, great twists and turns. Top that off with a perfectly distorted, gritty vocal delivery. Everything fits very nicely.
While all the songs are great, my faves are:
The Ballad of Jort Dad: I love the intro. They give you fair warning right from the start of what you are getting into. The riffs and time changes are deliciously fierce. Shit Hawks At Blood Beach: Very cool groovy tune with the great Matt Witte on vox. A nice, surprising departure from Coach n Commando. Dial M (for Sultry): It’s as if the MC5 went sideways. I know that doesn’t make much sense. When you hear it, then you’ll know. Sooooo good!
The Mad Doctors
While the release is great, I can only imagine what they are like on stage. I envision a pummeling like no other. If you haven’t seen the Mad Doctors, you will get a chance very soon. They are playing RoughTrade in Brooklyn on September12th with A Giant Dog and Simon Doom.
Go to The Mad Doctors Bandcamp page and check it out!
ALBUM REVIEW: Benjamin High’s Green Arrows record Matters is pure like salt. The music and lyrics can melt the ice off young and old hearts in it’s simplicity, confidence and cadent delivery. Ben was a regular young man. He played video games, listened and wrote music with his friends. His pal Joe D’Agostino even tattooed a simple note on his right wrist “1,2.3” which is a song on this incredible record to remind him of those halcyon days. See Ben even had a stint in a early version of Joe’s band Cymbals Eat Guitars and if you’ve ever seen CEG play. You know that Joe plays with a vengeance as if his guitar owed him something. But this story is about Ben’s recorded zest for life which is apparent in this New Jersey Freehold’s kids music. He wears his low-fi 4 track culture on his sleeve with influences in all the right places and I’m sure nothing could have prepared him for his exit. At times this record rings a lot like uncle tupelo while it echoes working man themes and it rings it’s simple refrains freeness alla Guided by Voices & EELs. One thing is certain though, his soul has been here/there and everywhere before and with that in mind the music is free from pretense and pure like golden indie honey.
Untitled MP3 shows Green Arrows Pavement influence pretty nicely. Super catchy indie song. Like a teenage dream so buy it!
His music legacy on Matters is documented here clearly and in his honor his family and friends have created an organization dedicated to helping young musicians like Ben called The Project Matters because it really actually fucking matters. There is no label perse but a youth movement. TPM organization hopes to support other musicians like him to sheppard them into pursuing their passion for music by helping them with a show or just good advise.
I like bands that are born out of boredom the right way vs lost emo kids pretending to be wolves. The Enthusiasts are proud suburbanites brought-up the right way by annoying their neighbors making rockn’roll even gilfy grandmas could admit to liking. We encourage you to help them in their quest to keep their amps fuzzed out, cigarettes lit and their city dreams by getting yerself their IN THE CITY debut 7″ from infirmary phonographic. So what if I’m giving you one of tracks here. it’s much cooler way to impress the girls by spinning the wax. Both sides are great. We particularly like the spaced out jam at the end of My Two Worlds. The A side is about.. well going to the city. Enjoy.
The strict state of rock is always trying to re-invent the storyline where the county lines have been defined for quite some time. To get your six string on and give it something new is as hard as making new octave chords out of the three that exist. The first three tracks on this record totally sound like the timber of Springsteen and music of some Southern Californian band holed up in the same apartment for a few years. The advantage for new bands is there are so many recent tenets who have come before in literature or Music who are the hometown mayors and pioneers as Bruce is to Asbury, as alliteration is to Tom Robbins and well punk is to the power chord. The good news is there are plenty of people to borrow from and bads news it just hard to be truly original. When you boil it down; the references are easy to hear if your record collection goes deep down to the marrow. Making the twists and turns your own from the scene around you is the trick and this is what they seem to do. The 59 Sound by The Gaslight Anthem is transparent and derivative for somebody like me but brand new for the next generation of music lovers. For execution style and in the singing at audience dept they deliver on just about the same plain as classic rock of The Hold Steady and best that Jersey has to offer these days. Real stuff exists in these lyrics and only gets into trouble from my pov when they try to be too accessible and take the first exit off the turnpike. They don’t break too many rock rules too much; borrowing from pop-culture but hey who am I to complain. I keep playing the record and listening so they are doing their job right. I am not bored and enjoy catching the bits and pieces of other songs I like so all is good here fellers. Fallon’s band rocks. 3+ thumbs up. Check them out on Emusic | Download The Backseat | The ’59 Sound
Other great New Jersey Bands you should be aware of: Aviso’Hara – Sonic youth and flaming lips inspired – Last.fm | Emusic Boss Jim Gettys – Big rock alla Nirvana and Green Day but snazzier – Zoommoozik Eastern Anchors – Trail of dead with Hum peppered inside – Last.fm The Slow Wire – Pixies mixed with some GBV goes along way – Last.Fm
Damn the Admirals, Britsh Sea Power was my bewildered discovery on emusic this month. The secret service folks on the other side of the pond have known for years. This band has got all the qualities I enjoy from the past bands like Echo and The Bunnymen, The Wedding Present and yikes Blur. Their new Album asks the question Do You Like Rock Music? Which really is your basic marketing ploy, no frills promise from my pov, and they deliver without blinking. No illusions there. They are the real deal. They are dynamic like Echo, fast like Gedger, and are able to put their rock on like Blur could. Stand out tracks are “Atom” and “No Lucifer” which complete what seems to be their third full length album after a whole slew of 7″s and cd eps. I am thankful there is no Cheeky hit perse but I will probably take that comment back. I’ll have to dig for that but in the meantime what makes this record awesome is their walls of sound that are like acid based dreams. The kind of music drug that has no hang-over and fuzzy like the flaming lips. I dig it gentlemen. No contest. Welcome to the club and don’t forget to let me know when your visa clears. We will spin on the show soon. Thanks, -djs
i love sarcasm but not till I actually heard LA based band [download freeze mp3 I ROCK CLEVELAND‘s blog] QUI now featuring David Yow on drunking prog yapping did this review in the Village Voice restraining the lizard By Shaun McCormack makes any fuckin’ sense. Harmonies dude? Come-on retard they were yanking your chain. They are rockin’ tonight at the Mercury and in mid-tour (SEE MAP ABOVE). So if your expecting a bunch up twisty COWs inspired syn-capated guitar and big narly BUTHOLE SURFER style drums go check’em out. The church of the sub-yow makes no promises for old 73 year old punk ex-jesus lizard singer’s nakedness. QUI‘s track Freeze kicks butt eventhough their myspace page is practically unviewable in ie7 but whatever. And now for old video of THEfuckingJesusLizard at CB’s
Here is an Artist in full, making an ernest record that lost all that polish, and if he had to go in his twilight years this is a nice way to step out. He layers and steps up the production in all the right places catching up with the best alternative tricks but then again, whom taught whom? As force of habit I don’t read press releases, I may glance at the top level of an AMG review in some cases but in this case I just gave it a listen as I am NO where near the type of would buy something mainstream like this. Pretending i don’t know who the Beatles are would totally silly but ignoring this summer release even more preposterous. Hard to do but this record has some of the things we don’t like to admit we like about the 70’s. The bass playing is awesome on “See your sunshine” in a very lenny kravitz sort of way so easy to feel the connection of a roots sound that has come back for McCartney. Guys in his years would sound like Bacherach(spelln’?), but not in his case. The kick-off track almost sounds like bloc party with it’s minimalist and fair play with acoustic instruments. Tasty bits of smooth prog rear their head from time to time but extremely solid surprise to find this on Emusic! So try and avoid picking it up at Starbucks if you can help it eventhough we all know they have the 30-40-50-60 something’s number. This will open a whole new world for you kids. Thanks. Find tracks on The Hype Machine | Paul McCartney on Mog
Hi Folks, It has been awhile do to new baby on board for me. Needless to my days have been turing into night and night into day where I’ve found some great new bands.
From Matador you should check Turn the Lights out by The Ponys if you dig guitar pedals, a little echo and a nod to yet another a new Chicago sound, that is as much garage sounding as it is about the blues. They smashing pumpkins like without being affraid of volume knob.
Spells by The Comas, has been on infinite repeat. The lead off track “Red Microphones” is a college hit like when you heard the Pixies and you’ve gone to heaven. They give a nod to doom bands of the 80’s like The Cure/echo/smiths and manage to be smooth like Keef Richards 70’s era Let it Bleed. If you are completist like yours truly, you will pick-up the previous release called Conductor which is just as genious.
Live Glen Hansard and The Frames kick ass soft loud and everything in between. They probably can be considered world ambassadors because they tour so much, and maybe even to a fault. Dance the Devil and for the birds were such strong albums that I felt a little disappointed with burn the maps when it went full on song alternative, and I thought of a letter I should send Glen that he should stay home for a little while to re-tool and investigate what motivates him best. The problem was he would never get it unless I handed it to him directly at show. The Cost is evidence of this maturation, perhaps a metaphor for the artistic sacrifice of being a touring musician. It does seem to look back musically at the over all tones and subtle difference that made his band such a personable experience in the first place; like the type of feeling you get when you run into a friend you have not seen in awhile. These familiar faces are the stand-out tracks, “People get ready” which reaches radiohead heights while still keeping that back porch feel, might be a little self concious but with his Irish charm they can get away with anything, “True” is dance the devil redux which is all good for me as it has the dynamics that will probably be a show stopper and “Falling Slowly” raises a nod back to their pub days. Check them out for cheap on emusic and use your extra bucks for a pint.