ALBUM REVIEW: You would have to be a real asshole to not like Michael Fiore’s acoustic solo record. Now if I was walking by in hurry down Santa Monica Boulevard and I saw some kid playing guitar with his case open; you and me both would probably keep walking. He might even keep walking but by that fat fucking chance my ears would be listening to the right refrain or verse. I would stop for at least a complete tune. I did this a couple years ago when he sent me his band’s debut full length by Criminal Hygiene and I then decided I needed to re-arrange my record collection. I still enjoy their record today and have turned on lots of friends to their music. I’ve passed them this joint and again I pass this one to you guys. To all four Review Stalker blog fans who care about song writing in the raw. Just a dude and his guitar singing bits, maybe throw-offs that might be too Westerbergian for even criminial hygiene. Either way this is good song writing all the way throguh. Let me also point out I hate most singer song writers guys but came to terms that we are all this on guy corner in the end. He has a thankless job because he has the song maker bug. He’ll keep pluging away and in this batch there are jems. So enjoy and throw a $7 spot his way and grab a beer and enjoy.
Don’t be shy facehooker, give this a like because your mom might like this too.
Under a freeway, under the dank bar-matt, under some rock-n-z-roll plaque, is a band with their name etched on the bathroom wall who are willing to put in the man hours it takes to keep a bar open for you; in the good faith they will blast out a good cover or two, while mixing their set with this new material of theirs. Here’s three new ones from the Criminal Hygine dudes from Los Angeles. Still a little Westerbergy on it’s edges. Ruffing out a finer version of their rocknroll with some of the schlitz beer instincts of Sorry Ma’ along with a sabbath-esque guitar riff on the cut “Sold in the City”. The lead track “Withdrawn” is a drinker bar ballad with discernible chorus part amongst the story telling verses. “Bye Bye” is probably the most straight forward song they’ve released to date. The bass leads in this dancy dance number. I don’t know maybe working to appeal to the yipsters? They do a lot of residency gigs, drop kicking one fan out of the bar or in and it seems to be working for them. This is a much “tighter” band. The material runs the risk of being too clean, dare i say more mature, maybe, but I’d still have to card them. Respect to the live at the barn release they put up. Check them out live. These crackers fight for playing gigs between delivering pizza and their non-olympian skating. Order it on 7″ vinyl via Cultist Records here.
GO SEE THEM PLAY WEST COAST:
2/6: Santa Cruz – MetaVinyl w/ Cigarette Bums
2/7: San Francisco – Milk Bar w/ Cigarette Bums
2/14: Los Angeles – Origami Vinyl
2/21: Los Angeles – Bootleg Theater w/ Tropical Popsicle
3/8- 3/17: Austin – SXSW
3/20: Santa Ana – The Observatory w/ The Orwells and Twin Peaks (all ages shows)
3/21: San Diego – Che Cafe w/ The Orwells and Twin Peaks (all ages shows)
3/22: Los Angeles – The Troubadour w/ The Orwells and Twin Peaks (all ages shows)
3/23: San Francisco – Slims w/ The Orwells and Twin Peaks (all ages shows)
3/25: Seattle – Neumos w/ The Orwells and Twin Peaks (all ages shows)
3/26: Portland – Star Theater w/ The Orwells and Twin Peaks (all ages shows)
3/28: Santa Cruz – TBA
3/29: Santa Barbara – TBA
Debut full length Review: Criminal hygiene rearrange your record collection
DOWNLOADS: ( if you dig these you’ll like them)
Fireside – Headacher MP3
Grander – 88 Cubic Meters MP3
It’s funny if you strictly go by what I’ve listened to the most this year The top 20 are mostly old bands that have been around for more than 10 plus years. My go to bands. Then again you have to consider on top of me living in a bubble there is a lot of crap out there that never get enough spins to show-up. We’ll try to give you play by play and list the top five here as scrobbled via desktop and now mobile. No Car plays or vinyl were accounted for Same old story but here are the release highlights of the best music of 2013.
THE REPLACEMENTS – SONGS FOR SLIM
01. I listened to The Replacements 178 times in the past 12 months. Obsessive maybe. Mostly probably due to the fact they played a couple shows over the summer. We’re always hopeful for a chance to see Paul and Tommy play together in New York but that is not happening yet. So we went back and listened to a bootleg Live at Maxwells that Captain’s Dead Posted. So for all intent and purposes this was our most popular band this year. In that mix was SLIM Benefit. Not sure it got as many plays but Westerberg can do no wrong. [BUY LP VERSION]
MY BLOODY VALENTINE – M V P
02. Next up with 168 plays is My Bloody Valentine. And you know what? We didn’t even get a chance to listen to their new one that much except for a few passes on the youtubes at first so these plays don’t even count that! it’s dreamy and Kevin Shields still makes music his band can barely perform live. Nice follow-up a couple eons later to loveless. You can’t go wrong with this album because he’s a master in the studio. Pricey though but kind of thing a audiophiles should invest in the vinyl version for bragging rights. [BUY MVP LP CD]
THE NIGHT MARCHERS – ALLEZ ALLEZ
03. On the other end of the rock guitar is old reliable JOhn Reis. He’s always going to use volume and atidude from the first note. If you love Hot Snakes and or Rocket From the Crypt. Then new Night Marchers album fits right in the middle of those two bands. Smack dab in fact. We’re leaning towards this over Obits because of his knack for a better hook in this round. This shit just rocks start with “Roll On”. [BUY NIGHT MARCHERS LP]
THE SADIES – INTERNAL SOUNDS
04. The brothers Dallas and Travis Good from The Sadies combine some of the best things from Country, Surf and Alternative jams. This is a super solid album. Earlier in the year we had a chance to catch them at Mercury Lounge when this record came out. They were amazing live band. Everything awesome you would expect from above genre influences. They are now influencers of taken something old and refashioning it into songs all their own.
[ BUY MUSIC BY THE SADIES]
05) CRIMINAL HYGENE – CRMNL HYGNE LP
Ok first off. This has gotten many more plays than Last.fm account would let you believe. Because we 1st streamed their shit on bandcamp.com. We dig this band’s style. We gushed when first listened back in January. So get with the program if you call yourself a indie rocker at all or forever please just kill the term. This is one of the genres only hopes. Because that keyboard and computer bullshit you listen to all the time sucks a big harry homeless person’s ass(no offense to homeless people). Anyway, if you ever heard the tune “go” by the replacements then you might dig the single of theirs called “rearrange me”. There is a feeling on every track for even the most jaded of mother fuckers. Sometimes a little out of tune but it’s ok this is only rock-n-roll.
[ BUY CRIMINAL HYGENE ]
When I listen to things that i come in via the internets or that I pick-up myself in the store i look for a few things in a band’s music. Firstly does its sound rings authentic in a way that I’ll want to come back to it or does it just fall flat? Secondly does it have a freaking hit or a stand-out track. If there are no instant tunes it’s a looser but if I am in another room and come running back to my desk wondering what that song was I flag it with some random number of stars in iTunes — depending if I am feeling generous – nobody sees this so it’s just for my amusement because seriously I won’t remember a week from then until I look back in my listening history. Thirdly does the album carry a mood and sound all the way through or at least until the 5-6th track am I still listening and am I wanting more? If a record can do any combo of these things then we’re pleased around here. Totally know there are things we didn’t get or heard so this is just a slice of good music that was put out there this year and presented itself to the RS blog. So keep on sending it. We promise if you promise to bring you more in 2013. The last 1/4 was mostly a let down in 2012 but we won’t let that get us down.
12. Speedy Ortiz – Sports EP – One of our most stalked independent artist is the gal singer from Speedy Ortiz Sadie Dupuis. If you mixed the voice of Tanya Donelly from throwing muses with almost any respectable 90’s noise outfit each song would be finely represented on the Sports EP. Finely dissonant guitar chords chopped up on melodic vocals is this. We happen to know she is a record geek all the way through and it comes across as she brings her bandmates with her to a leve we can understand. So in a way the output is expected and not a missed hit really. Start with “Silver Spring” then visit the rest. You’ll be a fan like we are. We like them better than Screaming Females. [ BUY IT ]
11. Bob Mould – Silver Age – Just a solid record that was missing from current rock landscape of crap bands who think they know how to rock. This guy is the master.
10. Nude Beach – II It’s a little old school poptopia in a Elvis Costello meets joe jackson kind of way but this makes it very neat. Seriously mostly classic sounding love songs that sound like they were produced by Nick Lowe in the 70’s so if that is your thing. Check them out. We like it.
09. Diamond Rugs – Diamond Rugs – Call it a super group or whatever. This is just a good record. Maybe it’s a one-off band I don’t care. “Gimme Beer”, “Be God”, “Country Mile” and “I took note” are really good songs.
08. Nada Surf – The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy Super solid indie pop release from the guy who could make the phonebook sound like magic. Single “When I Was Young” is classic Mathew Caws.
07. Tame Impala – Lonerism – Fuck this is great. Equal parts beatles and stones if they just did psychedelic music. Ok sort of lazy comparison but it you like spacey music that is mixed in a peculiar way then try a track or two. It gets a little formulesque at times but it’s unique. So high high praises for this music.
06. Torche – Harmonicraft Its pure rock. A little down tuned with a unique metal sound. No gimmicks other than being great. Melody leads instead of a blatant chorus at times. In your face at other times fast prog. It’s awesome and nobody gets it. If anything their album artwork is awesome. So….
05. METZ – METZ – Holy noise! Yes, i was confused I thought bands stopped making records like this but suspect we’ll see more musicians revolt against a clean discernable sound. this record rocks all the way through. Whilst no hits perse it will make you question what you like about bands that are just loud but no identity in their guitar work.
04. Jason Lytle – Dept. Of Disappearance – Mr. Lytle formerly of grandaddy is the dr. of psycho depressing music made for soundtracks. Every note is perfectly spun for a backdrop in a western taking place on a concrete highway littered with broken down cars. A modern odyssey and backdrop to real mayan end of days.
03. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – Meat and Bone – Back to basics is this JSBX record. Actually I don’t think they ever do anything else. No disco era for them. it’s either massive guitar swagger or bust. You can’t go wrong with picking this up and just blasting through your boombox. In fact if you don’t do that please stop reading my blog. Start with “Bag of bones” and “boot cut” then do it. Just do it.
02. King Tuff – King Tuff – Hey here is indie record on subpop that is not afraid to be a psych rock band with melodies and cheeky song titles. Might be a little poserish but it’s gridy and fun in a more nasal bon scott kind of way. Stand out tracks “Unusual world” which is this light rock ditty akin to psychedelic furs, “Alone & Stoned” and of course lead-off guitar hit “Anthem. If somebody every titles a song like that and it’s not ripper stomper – shoot them.
Criminal Hygiene – Beneath the Flame (Live @ Down and Out) from CRMNL HYGNE on Vimeo.
01. criminal hygiene – CRMNL HYGNE LP This is a LA Band that needs to get the fuck out of dodge and over to the east coast. It’s our number one pick because it reminds us of the good ole-days of slanted and enchanted meets Sorry ma forgot to take out trash. Most of you will hate it for which reasons I won’t be able to help you because this record is not polished but shines because of it’s basic elements of song like fIREHOSE were forever loveable . The music stands-out all on it’s own. [ BUY IT ] The standout tracks are “Alan, I’m in Love”, “Immortal eighteens”, “blak water” and “get an education”
The Best of 2011
Criminal hygiene rearrange your record collection
Lucky 13 Best Albums of 2010 – Part II
Speedy Ortiz is Hipsterer than you
I don’t know shit about this band called CRYMNL HYGNE but they have enough variety in their songs to satisfy most pavement fans, brit punk and the Swell Maps with one firm kick to the balls. I don’t know how I do it but somehow this stuff finds me this way. Which is really is the soul purpose of this blog to make me turn on my bar stool. There have been dry spells at times then suddenly a few random hits and I’m in cheap beer heaven. Mangod I hope there is such a thing? I would post every song of their’s if I could but you’ll just have to go listen for yourself on their bandcamp page like I did and drop them some dough. It’s raw at times like sorry ma forgot to take out the trash the suddenly they show-off with a guitar melody or two. Yeah this full length is that fun and raw. This is everything a college drop-out rock experience should sound like. Anyway, thank these fine folks over at www.smallsmilerecords.com collective who can spells better than us for sure.
DOWNLOAD: rearrange me MP3 by Criminal Hygiene
Sounds like this junk:
Blood Free [Live] MP3 By Gang of Four
Within Your Reach MP3 by The Replacements from Puttin’ on the Ritz Bootleg 7.27.87
Whatever Happens Next… MP3 by Swell Maps from Jane from Occupied Europe