Kill Shaman Records in Oakland drops a record every now and then when they see fit. Their most recent, a collaborative 7″ single between two largely prolific artists, Dan Melchior (Dan Melchior und Das Menace, Lloyd Pack) and Russel Walker (Pheromoans, Bomber Jackets, Lloyd Pack). Continue reading “Dan Melchior & Russel Walker – Kill Shaman 7″”
Based in our lovely home in Philadelphia, HUMANSHAPES have just released a new digital EP. The songs were recorded at local hotspot the Golden Tea House, bringing to life a massively grungy and infectious sound. Continue reading “Humanshapes – s/t EP”
Hot Off the Press this week: Based in Oakland, California, MUSK drops their debut self-titled LP (Holy Mountain), Philly-based post-punks GUNK have their new debut LP (Square of Opposition), the SUBURBAN HOMES of the UK have a brand new 7″ EP (Market Square Recordings), and last but not least, a new third LP from Sydney-based noise-freaks YES I’M LEAVING (Homeless).
Musk – s/t LP:
Holy Mountain Records in Portland returns with a purpose, and that purpose is the crushing debut from Oakland psychedelic-punks Musk. From the label itself: “It’s been a while since we had a new release but this one landed in our laps and we couldn’t be happier letting the leash out a bit and having these guys jump up on you until you tell us you like them or we find out you hate animals.” Gee thanks! No seriously, thanks. We’re glad you’re back and this threatening new album is the perfect way to pick things up again. Holy Mountain drops Musk on September 16th, and it’s overflowing with this doom-laden psychedelic snarl. Captured by Chris Woodhouse, these songs are drenched by a foul-smelling air, led by the psychotic howling of frontman Rob Fletcher. Just please don’t sleep on this:
Gunk – Gradual Shove LP: Based right here in our backyard, Gunk has just put the finishing touches on their new debut LP. Gradual Shove comes released on both vinyl and cassette formats, by Square of Opposition and Ranch Records, respectively. The LPs are limited to 500 copies and the cassettes are already sold out, so you’re going to want to snag this pronto. “Ice Cream,” their new lead single, is a wonky mixture of angular pop and post-punk, driven by breathy vocals and jangly guitars, all whipped around by a mess of radio-static noise. Get listening below.
Suburban Homes – The Suburban Home 7″ EP: Suburban Homes deliver slacker-esque, 70’s flavored punk rock from Crawley, West Sussex in the UK. Their new 7″ was released by the Market Square Recordings imprint, which is also based in the UK. Three songs are loaded onto their new 7″ EP – they’re short but sweet, brimming with gritty but melodic guitars with a sharp-edged fuzz. Vocals come with a grumble, bellowed out with a lazy, spoken-word tone. The single comes limited to 300 copies in three different colored sleeves. Get one now.
Yes I’m Leaving – Slow Release LP: Homeless Records in Australia has been cleaning up with a slew of new records this year. They continue their run with Slow Release, the fourth album from these Sydney-based noise-punks. Their sound comes infused with a gaping black hole of aggression, evidenced by the explosive wave of energy that sucks us up whole in “One.” It’s a calculated mess of menacing guitar noise and swirling heat, pushing us to the brink with rugged vocals and a crushing sense of destruction. You can pre-order the LP from Homeless now – the first 100 copies come on smokey haze colored vinyl. Witness their wild sound this November when they tour the United States!
The SPIDER BAGS fourth full-length album, Frozen Letter, may have just nabbed the award for best psychedelic-garage rock summer jam of 2014 (if such a thing even exists in these troubled times). A concise-but-concentrated dose of riffage that channels the spirit of both classic and even punk rock with just the right dash of wooziness at times; it’s a record that channels the chaotic spirit of such seminal works as Alex Chilton’s Like Flies on Sherbert to these ears. Continue reading “Spider Bags – Frozen Letter”
One week has passed and I am positive there are still cosmic drones of power chords and the lowest of frequencies hovering over a small quarter in Ottawa, Canada’s humble capital city. The Ottawa Explosion Weekend is one of the punk communities most hidden gems of a festival that showcases all kinds of punk, garage and hints of metal and psych bands over five days. This particular Explosion was a spectacle of well-organized chaos, fantastic band rosters and the most friendly and positive vibe imaginable… I cannot express this with any combinations of words, “sorry!”, you will have to experience it for yourself to believe it.
The venues… the vibes
Art galleries have been a part of independent music since it’s infancy, in this instance the gallery is named Saw and it provided the perfect esthetic backdrop for the music, free-thinking and loose behaviors that were prevalent during these tuneful days. This was the home base for us through the weekend. where most of the music, merchandise tables and socializing was handled. There is an outdoor terrace with cobblestone, concrete and grassy knolls to sprawl out during the afternoon while you take in the music and some draft beer, this goes on into the early evening. When the night falls Club Saw opens up in the basement and bands take over the stage until 2am. The next closest venue is Mug Shots which is a pub based in a retired jailhouse building (it’s a hostel as well!). Mug Shots offered a pub styled venue as an enclosed, open-aired concrete courtyard. This was amazing for the reverb-y bands and added a very gritty and surreal atmosphere as it used to be a jail courtyard. There was also the local hotspot House of Targ, some record store performances at Vertigo Records as well as some other music friendly venues hosting acts during the weekend. Geographically this was easy to get a handle of and there was most everything you needed within walking distance including beer stores, restaurants, and coffee shops and of course some cool head shops to check out.
The first night of music was a perfect party situation; you could see the bands showing up, old friends exchanging pleasantries and overhear people talking about what’s to come of the next few days. This was pretty much the daily grind throughout the weekend, it evolved daily as the intensity was building and those early fumbling and chatting most likely developed into new friendships, or at the very least comfortable acquaintances for the weekend. Everyone involved was relaxed and at ease, even the organizers, the bar staff and security were very accommodating to us 300+ punks in various states of sobriety and social disorder. Pogo-ing, moshing, skankin’ and crowd surfing was all good, people generally were cool with it all and were helpful to their fellow miscreants who fell during the more tense sets where bands mutated their audiences into frenetic beings controlled only by impulse and rhythmic muscle twitches.
The overall roster was staggering; there is no way to cover all of the great music that was played. There were very little conflicts with genres or bands competing for audiences, most bands were well placed amongst their peers or were slipped in to other lineups, which only added to the dynamics for each night.
The heaviest hitters were The Marked Men, Nervosas, Vacation, White Wires, and of course the “surprise guests” Radioactivity who delivered a tight set with a monster sound. I have long seen a crowd react that way to a band with only a debut record out – the vocals were delivered perfectly and the masters of their craft executed the songs with fresh energy. The other above-mentioned acts all equally delivered their art with precision, energy and conviction. I consider myself privileged to have seen all of these bands live and loud and look forward to hearing more from all of them.
Some very notable mentions for this festival were the Abandos, Crusades, Famines, Feral Trash, Needles//Pins, Outta Controller and the Sonic Avenues. Judging on the crowd’s reaction to their performances and their songwriting, these bands certainly gained new fans from this event and have definitely made a strong impression on this writer. Some of these bands have fresh records out and I heard rumblings about new releases and label hopping from some others. Bruised Tongue Records line up featured some great acts – Dirt Cult, Hosehead Records and Let’s Pretend brought out the best of their rosters. Of course there was Dirtnap Records and all of it’s presence, represented proudly by being a long time supporter of this event and continuing to show interest in the scene.
The Ottawa explosion is an experience of it’s own flavor and is well worth a drive, flight, hike or whatever you need to do to get there. We drove 13 hours and paid 60$ to take in 5 nights of entertainment and socializing with like-minded individuals, where else does that happen? I am already dreaming up next year’s roster for myself… see you there! Check out the Ottawa Explosion Weekend site and the Ottawa Showbox for the visual perspective. Also, stay tuned here at the Styrofoam Drone for an interview from the Ottawa Explosion with VACATION coming soon.
Words by: D. Jonathan Lutes
It’s a sunny Sunday afternoon, it’s late May and I’m driving back from New Jersey with my wife and two-and-a-half year old daughter to our home state of Pennsylvania. We’re driving back from a christening. Were it twenty or so odd years ago, we might have been driving back from a GUIDED BY VOICES show, instead. My daughter fell asleep on the long ride home and I ask my wife if we can check out this tribute record. She acquiesces, we hit play and the memories come flooding back. Begin obligatory history lesson here… Continue reading “An Unmarketed Product – Guided By Voices Songs By Other People”
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