Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Stampeders - Wild Eyes

One time I was in a small town in Canada for work, listening to the classic rock station in the car, and this song came on. I couldn't believe that I'd never heard it before, but i think a Canadian friend also told me that Canadian radio stations were required to play a certain amount of Canadian artists in their programming. Probably explains why I also heard Saga's "Tonight We're On The Loose" a comical amount of times while being there as well. Not that I'm complaining, that's a jam too. Just funny to hear it piped over the speakers at some kind of production plant multiple times in a day, when it's criminally never played on US classic rock stations.

But anyway, The Stampeders. I guess they were a little overlooked in most of the world, even to the neighboring United States. Although they did have a big hit that some might remember, "Sweet City Woman." That song is nothing like this one though. "Wild Eyes" is a boogie rock stomper with some cool violin (?) accompaniment that sounds like a carryover from the disco days.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Reverse - Seven Inches

I first heard these guys from their split with the excellent Exit Condition. I was on a manic hunt for all the Exit Condition stuff at one point (and of course Boss Tuneage went and re-released everything) and wasn't really expecting "some other band on their split" to be that good, but they were. While Exit Condition were a little more on the melodic hardcore side, Reverse were poppier, sounding similar to bands like Mega City 4, China Drum, Hooton 3 Car and Senseless Things. And like those bands, they had a slightly bigger, slicker sound that was almost less like punk and more like straight up catchy rock.

I eventually tracked down all their 7"s, but I was stoked to find out that they were releasing a compilation of all their 7"s and demos. That release, called Glance Sideways - The Complete Reverse, is well worth your money, with 23 tracks that should have seen a wide release when they were recorded. As a fan of English melodic punk, that release was an unearthed treasure and I can still listen to the whole CD without getting bored or skipping tracks.

In 2011, SP Records out of Japan also released another CD from Reverse called Chasing Ghosts. I believe it was supposed to be released as an album in the 90's, but never saw the light of day. At 17 songs, it's also quite worth it. You can pick them both up via Interpunk in the U.S., or listen to tracks here on bandcamp.

So what I've put together here is their actual released output, only 4 7"s and a compilation track, taken from the Glance Sideways CD. The song "Clawfoot" is from the Snuffy Smiles compilation The Best Punk Rock In England, Son, which also featured bands like China Drum, Exit Condition, Pope (featuring Frankie Stubbs), Rugrat (ex Leatherface members), Guns N Wankers (ex Snuff) and Your Mum (ex Snuff). Quite a righteous compilation. Oddly, the Reverse song isn't available on either of the CDs I mentioned, so this (or the out of print compilation CD) is the only place you can get it. I've also included one other song from the Glance Sideways CD, "Jaded," because it's sooo good. My favorite song by them and one of their few (their only?) songs to feature some awesome Hammond keyboard a la Visions Of Change or Snuff.

Sample these songs and pick up the CDs if you don't have them.

Exit Condition split 7" (Vitamin Z, 1993)
   01) Not That Bad
   02) Bird Of Prey
VA - The Best Punk Rock In England, Son (Snuffy Smiles, 1994)
   03) Clawfoot
Stem The Slide 7" (Damaged Goods, 1995)
   04) Stem The Slide
   05) Filter
Lock 7"  (Damaged Goods, 1995)
   06) Lock
   07) Wrong For Me
Stagnant 7" (Damaged Goods, 1996)
   08) Stagnant
   09) Fuelled
Glance Sidways - The Complete Reverse (Damaged Goods / SP, 2009)
   10) Jaded

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Bang Your Head Against The Stage

Cool article/interview on Noisey about the beginnings of Bay Area Thrash with some unearthed photos from a dude who was there partying with and taking pictures of bands like Metallica, Exodus, Testament, Slayer, etc. The photos have been compiled into a book called Murder In The Front Row.

I would have loved to have lived there during the grittier years of thrash, hardcore and 48 Hours. Even the funk metal years would have been awesome! But I still miss it.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Check Out: Nervosas

It's hard to keep track of the hundreds of blog messages I receive each week. (Wait, I mean day. Yeah, day.) But when someone turns me on to their own awesome band, it stands out amidst the thousands of other messages I receive in a day.

I'm surprised I'd never heard Nervosas before. They seem to be part of the newer crop of Wipers influenced dark punk, and one of the better ones at that. Think bands like the Observers/Red Dons, the Estranged, Arctic Flowers or Night Birds mixed with old So Cal punk like the Adolescents and with a touch of old skate rock. And maybe due to their Ohio origins, I hear a little old Devo in their sound as well. The male singer (the female guitarist provides some vocals and backup) reminds me of a mix between Ian Curtis and Mark Mothersbaugh at times. Oddly enough, I'm listening to them as I write this and just after I typed that last sentence, there was a lyric that mentioned a "controllable urge" in the song "Poison Ivy." Spooky.

So far they have 3 releases available on their bandcamp page, and they just released a new 3xLP with even faster and more manic versions of some of their old songs apparently.

A nice discovery from the millions of messages I get each day hour.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Holy crap! New (old) Bl'ast!

I've never been a fan of the "Black Flag" sounding Black Flag. I like their early stuff, but the short shorts Rollins/noodly Ginn stuff never really did it for me. Loose Nut was actually the first thing I got from them, and I tried to like it before thinking it was totally boring and giving up on them for years.

Bl'ast! was another story. They did Black Flag better than Black Flag. Maybe it helped that they had a song on 120 Minutes talking about shredding (surfing/skating, same thing). But they were way more aggressive. And you can see that by the longevity of singer Clifford. He's since been in Spaceboy, Gargantula and currently Dusted Angel, showing the same ferocity live. Even after years of singing about weed, he's anything but laid back in a live setting.

While we're on the subject, Mankind Records was supposed to release the M.A.D. demo (pre Bl'ast!) a while ago, but they're notoriously slow. Here's hoping that still sees the light of day at some point.

More info on this upcoming Bl'ast! release here.