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!
To be honest I’m looking for motivation to get back into the 4 strings thinking. Besides literally trying to find the bandwidth to do it right with Eastern Anchors. I’m not sure why you’d need more inspiration than bands like Girls Against Boys for inspiration in particular when there is awesome tone, tube amps and distortion pedals are at play on every song. GvsB were a innovator in this spectrum of rock, however there are a crap load of other bass players who’s bass licks are just as stellar.
U.S. 80’s-90’s MP3 from Bend Sinister (1986) The bass playing on any of The Fall’s songs is just always so solid and straight forward it becomes innovative on it’s own mainly because who-ever is playing is try to stay ahead of the crazy amount of songs on any given album Gang of Four were also master of making the drumming just as important as the melody with bass making it work perfectly showing who is in control of the rythem section. Not Great Men MP3 by Gang of Four from Entertainment (1979)
Wartime A experimental project that features bass with sorts of effects and use of the “Phaser” is Wartime which was Rollins and Andrew Weiss making some funk w/ Sim Cain going nuts on the roto toms. Then again any song that Andrew played on I thought was awesome and big like on 1,000 Times Blind MP3 from Rollins Band’sLifetime record (1999). He breaks it down into a swinging bass distorted inferno on Lonely MP3 as another example.
Bassface by David Wm. Sims from Jesus Lizard
The Art of Self-Defense MP3 by Jesus Lizard – really any freaking song is an example of killer bass playing but the magic really happens when you have the whole band working hard like this and doing it fucking fast. Almost inconsequential what the singer is doing although you better keep your eye on David Yow because he might grab your private parts. As he and David Wm. Sims are going to be touring with Scratch Acid later this fall. She Said MP3 by Scratch Acid.
Lets consider this part 1 of some of the alternative players. I’m drawing a blank besides like John Paul Jones and particular songs it’s obvious I’ll need to revisit this short list. Please leave a note in the comments. What’s a good drummer gonna do if you can’t give the bass player some credit for making it happen.
Here’s a mish-mosh of some recent musical treats from the deep within the RS inbox for your listening pleasure.
Nothing Here Worth Staying For by JJ & The Rogues‘s EP Stare Down from Fort Worth Texas is somewhere in-between Elvis Costello my aim is true and a Monkees lunchbox with a rock-n-roll McCartney shake. Hold the Lennon in this Wilco salad as I say they seriously have lots of influences that come across in the right ways. Oh and did we mention this release is free like air? Yup get some »
And It Come And Goes MP3 by Lightsout from their self titled single. These Britishy sounding guys are based out of The Gowanus in Brooklyn and sound in the erie vain of early British Sea Power and The Wedding Present guitar style on this track. Somewhere there is a hi-watt amp on fire from their last gig as this guitar music bounces. Check them out »
Whitewash MP3 by MYTY KONKEROR from their 8 song record I miss the future. Mostly instrumental power psyche rock on this release with electricity driven guitars. Certainly nice to hear bands getting away from the vapid sticatto haircut rock. The singer when he pipes in sounds like lou barlow which is a very good thing. Bringing back the drug rock via twin lakes records. Get Some »
Cover Girl (Acoustic Demo) Live MP3 by Saints of Valory is a tune from their new Neon Eyes EP by this Austin Texas band which is a mix of live and studio tracks. Simply though I saved the best for last. These guys are going to be huge. Remove the pretension of things I personally hate about music and add a real rock singer with a band who has their shit down and they become elevated and almost saintly. Yup I said it. Shoot me. Doesn’t matter if it’s recorded or performed live they pull this pop-off effortlessly. No laptop magic just tunes that swirl in your ears with a touch of U2esque charm without the politics or spiderman antics and if some of the bad 80’s pop were hip it woulda sounded like SOV. Dig it »
Fang Island three guitars and sometimes a microphone
Welcome to the laziest type of music post you’ll ever get out of the RS blog. Here’s three great songs by three equally progressive prog rock guitar bands.
Punk IS Dead! MP3 by Gondliers from their EP2 get it here. It’s amazing what you can do with some speed, chops and a octave pedal these days. There should be more music in the works from these Somerville Massholes as they just added a singer. Making them a trio. So looking forward to the next release! Medallion MP3 by Yukon. This Baltimore band has something new in the works which features the virtuoso guitar work of this 20 year old kid named Sam who was taught by this brooklynite dude named Ben Greenburg. This track is very DC hit liquor era shudder to think sort of sound. Great shit. Gets crazier here. Welcome Wagon MP3 by Fang Island from their debut. This vocalless three guitar Brooklyn metal slaughter is pretty uplifting. In fact lots of churchy like keyboard parts and vocals on other tracks like “The Illinois”. I dunno pitchfork likes them but you decide.
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