KFJC 89.7FM

Music Reviews

Rogers Sisters, the – “Les Fantaisies Sont Bien ” – [Troubleman Unlimited]

Thurston Hunger   9/22/2005   7-inch, A Library

Well this petit nombre was un hit fantastique back when they
sung in Uh-merican. It gets French kissed this time around
(although their still screaming in English). That same great
riff, the saxamoan swirl…the talky bits (albeit coated in
francaise sauce…).

On the flip, “45 Prayers” (like its Angli-kin also found on
the most recent “Three Fingers”), is served for strangers
in strange lands, this time Miyuki Furtado Japanslates
the number…though it retains its heavy breathing beat
texture as well.

The Rogers Sisters were born on turntables, (Daddy owned
a record store) long may they spin… I sure look forward
to their next record…

Haiku Review:
Fantasies are nice
Nicer still through french kissed lips
Foreign exchange fun

Iso 68 – “Reihenhausmusik 3 ” – [Haus Musik]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   7-inch, A Library

I *think* this is the third in the Reihenhausmusik
series, which label leader Wolfgang Petters
launched to focus on unsigned bands. Iso 68
is either a synthetic oil or maybe even a metal
screw (which might be more appropro) here Iso 68
are Thomas Goebbel and Florian Zimmer, and this
is some gorgeous “lab rock.” I like the suspense
of this (especially at 33), and they even work in
some acoustic guitar. Nice and dark and evolving.

Microphones, the – “Bass Drum Dream ” – [Up Records]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   7-inch, A Library

The Microphones consist of Phil Elvrum and..well..
..no one else. He kicks up some pretty scrappy pop
(lot’s o dynamics) here, he’s also involved in
projects D+, the Polar Bears and the damn fine
Old Time Relijun, if I may evangelize for ’em.
A-side “Bass Drum Dream…then the storm”
Lot’s of starts and stops and changes in
this single (and the flip side too!). The
storm is the sound of microphone getting blown
away.
B-side “Where It’s Hotter (Parts 1, 2, 3)”
Again like a snake spliced out of segments
from other snakes, this keeps your attention in
a very lo-fi, rattling guitar and splotchy drums
way. Elvrum’s voice has a nice nervous quality,
a splendid 7″

Rebound Volume I I I [coll] – [Secretly Canadian]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   7-inch, A Library

Six-shooter e.p. 5 parts pop, one part beats
1) swearing at motorists – sounding nearly as
good as the band they did sound for.
See track 3 below. NOTE : false ending.
2) Marmoset – geeky with a faint hint of dub?
3) Guided By Voices – from the vaults straight
to the top of the charts. Why isn’t GbV
bigger than the Who. Why? InstAnthem.
4) To Rococo Rot – For me this sounds like
the sound bed for a Devo cover of Gloria
5) Bill Ding – A lanky number with acoustic
guitar harmonics for the self-doubter in
us all. Too bad Bill Ding collapsed.
6) Hood – More rain-streaked bleak too-weak-
-to-speak sad pop. A gem, complete with
the sound of the singer’s girlfriend’s
train pulling away as she leaves him
All ready for plenty of plays

8PDAN – ” ” – [None]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   7-inch, A Library

Extremely promising angst-pop out of Ontatio,
Canada. Polvo pulverizing mathy rock meets dizzy
Don Caballero stampedes. Music with lots of
corners. Standard r’n’r recipe (bass/guitars/drums)
well-above standard results. Jeering vox on “Low
Brow” and “Birthday or Boy Girl.” The two “Hello
Boys” have a nightmarish robot-betrays man feel.
Lot’s of full-bore half-step stop n’ start action.
This is etch-a-sketch twitch and flex music.

Los Hermanos – “Resurrection ” – [Underground Resistance]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   7-inch, A Library

Gerald Mitchell delivers the brotherly beats here with a nice
aquatic Submerge’d subway rider on “Resurrection.” All clean
curved corners and rail-riding rhythm. 808 claps slaps your
neck in and out of joint. On the flip side “Freedom Dancer”
jumps immediately in your face with a four-quarter pounder.
Brilliant fleck-flings of piano add the to manic movement,
and some sort of “Who do you love(?’)” voodoo sample is
summoned on top. As this is just the 7″, the sweat barely
breaks theoretically on all you mental dancers right when
the slow fade on percussion knocks you out of your ruby
slide slippers back into your sleepy socks. Still the
battle of the bounce has been won, who said Resistance is
futile….

Business Lady – “Skull Bashing ” – [Pacific Rock]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   7-inch, A Library

San Diego four piece, delivers rock solid chunks of chugga
chugga churning music. Vocals gang up on choruses, guitar
effects slang-tune in parts…drums percolate like all
night coffee. “He’s Pissing” has a nice sort of sway to
it…along with some guttural groaning and light blitz
electronis. “Medublah Sedublah” seems to have a seizure
ready to happen, with an indirect Twin Peak reference
perhaps. Again the drums…looks like no sleep for Paul.
“Space for Face” let’s the drummer catnap in parts and
cascades guitar pick-sweeps of the neck over a sorta
Gang of Four bass. The Lady is allll Business.

Birds, the – “Let’s Do the Velvets ” – [Important Records]

Thurston Hunger   9/4/2005   7-inch, A Library

You can take the girl out of the Acid Mother, but you cannot
take the acid out of the girl. Cotton Casino teams up with
Per Gisle Galaen to overdose beautifully on the Velvet
Underground. Listening to “Femme Fatale” one can almost
lealize that Nico actually wanted to sing with a Japanese
accent. The song starts out as wedding dirge march, but
towards the end disto-guitar ripples the skies. Meanwhile
“Here She Comes Now” turns into an early morning mantra
trying to seduce the sun up. Acoustic guitar spirals, oozy
vox and Helge Sten’s patented Deathprod sonic wrapping help
to plant this one deep within your cranium. With backwards
guitar serving like a hook on foxtail to make sure it this
song gets snared there. Very promising advance to the Birds
full-length first-flight! An Important record indeed!
-Thurston Hunger #37

Close, The/Rosebuds [coll] – [Goodnight]

mitch   8/16/2005   7-inch, A Library

Raleigh, NC core duo Ivan Howard (vocals, guitar) and
Kelly Crisp (keyboards, vocals) front THE ROSEBUDS
(fast & furious on ???We???ve Had Enough???), a act
currently on US tour with TEENAGE FANCLUB. It is
Howard???s touch-of-helium voice & Crisp???s frenetic use of
keyboard coloration that punch their all-original songs
through to Funland; fellow progenitors THE CLOSE (as
in proximity) began in Auburn AL ten years ago, since
relocating to Atlanta and recording several releases for
. Equally hard hitting but more tactile &
austere, front man Brooks Meeks embraces anthems,
analog keyboards (as played by Theresa Marie Fedor),
and lyrical sincerity. Two fine Southeast indie rock tracks
exclusive to new label run by Nathan Jones & Keith
Vogelsong (THE BLUE HOUR).
MITCH August 2005

Smith, Slim/Aggrovator [coll] – [Abraham Records]

Rococo   7/5/2005   7-inch, Reggae

The history of reggae music was written on 7″ singles and here’s another slab of musical history courtesy of Slim Smith & The Aggrovators. Smith was one of the leading rocksteady vocalists, a one-time member of vocal harmony group The Techniques and later his own group, The Uniques. “My Conversation” is one of his most famous records and was recorded with The Uniques, although the record label gives credit to him alone. It’s a superlative rocksteady track, with sweet falsetto vocals that owe much to 60’s American soul groups like The Impressions or Smokey Robinson & The Miracles. On the B-side you have an instrumental version from The Aggrovators, slightly dubbed out but not as radical as the dubs King Tubby would start turning out a few years later.

Prince Far I – “Bedward the Flying Preacher ” – [Sound Boy]

Rococo   7/5/2005   7-inch, Reggae

Originally released in 1983 on the album STAGGERING HEIGHTS by Singers & Players, this Adrian Sherwood/On-U Sound production still packs a punch 20 years later. Prince Far I, aka the “Voice of Thunder,” narrates the tale of Alexander Bedward, a turn-of-the-century Baptist preacher and founder of Bedwardism, one of the precursors to the Rastafari faith. It seems poor ol’ Bedward thought he could ascend to heaven by jumping off of a building. Unfortunately, he only flew in one direction, and that was down. Backing up Far I’s tale are members of the On-U house band circa 1983: Eek-a-Roo on drums, Lizard on bass, Crucial Tony on guitar, Flash on saxophone, and Bubblers on piano. The spatial separation and dynamics of the mix are practically jaw-dropping…but that was standard operating procedure for On-U back in the day. The B-side features a previously-unreleased (and somewhat milder) dub version of the track. Released on the Sound Boy label, a new spinoff from On-U Sound which promises a full slate of new and classic releases in vinyl format. Plenty more to come!

I-Roy – “Welding ” – [Disco Rockers]

Rococo   7/5/2005   7-inch, Reggae

More classic reggae on 7-inch. This mega-hit from 1975 starts off with deejay toaster I-Roy being woken from his sound slumber by a young girl in need of some “welding.” I don’t think I need to tell you where he keeps his tool. Recorded by Jo Jo Hookim at his Channel One studios, this record practically defined the Channel One sound and spawned scores of imitations. On the B-side you get the instrumental version, sans I-Roy but highlighting the crack rhythm section of Sly & Robbie. Five stars.

Fireballs of Freedom “Exorcism in the Key of You” 45 rpm [Wantage]

Thurston Hunger   5/16/2005   7-inch, A Library

Rock ‘n’ roll with its heart in the right place, smack dab
in the middle of its inflamed liver. Each song kinda climbs
up little ladders of riffs, with retro dirtbag guitar work
and those damn ninth chords. Kah-runchy. Very, very blarey,
and you can taste the amp hum on the “Exorcism.” Vocals are
that kind of pent-up soul screaming, with RNR-101 emphatics.
On the flip side a couple of covers, more party flavor…
kicking you square in the beer nuts. This time with cheeze
organ nacho baking on a copy of the Barkay’s “Copy Cat.”
Finally to top things off, Hendrix’s “Ain’t No Tellin'”
gets flamebroiled by these Oregon accumulators.
Shot-callin’ and fireballin’

KARP – “KARP” [Up Records]

jack soil   3/6/2005   7-inch, A Library, Format

Power Scare trio outta Olympia, Washington, where “it’s the water” translates in
to some serious rock. Heavy, rhythmic, angry, combative sounds emanate from both
sides of the white vinyl UP Records supplies. Supposedly creating sensory overload
when taken live; this 7″ caputures the vibe well. Wounds that won’t heal are the
result of Side A, and Side B applies sandpaper to those same festering, oozing sores. Unmerciful,crushing, massive release.

Xiu Xiu vs Bunkbed – split 33 rpm [Turn Records]

Thurston Hunger   3/5/2005   7-inch, A Library, Format

Xiu Xiu’s Jaime Stewart sings from a pulsating amnion of
keyboards, rippled acoustic guitar and a slow-motion marimba.
Gutter-gasping “It’s over” in an intimate tale of immolation.
A piercing light shines through towards the end but the grey
overcast nature of the song is what resonates and remains with
you. That and the fact the composer of the song is no longer
around, Bunkbed’s Keith Krate died in September 2002.

The tragedy of that death is driven home on the other side,
a Bunkbed song that sounds like a ballon tied to a hundred
synth strings. Another sort of womb warping to this track,
but Krate’s sugary harmonies float above the liquid sound this
time. Too pretty to stay aloft?

Each song invokes the power of dream in words and hopefully
beyond. Between the countless “It’s over” refrains, Stewart
also sings, “It never ends.” Whether that refers to the dream,
or the pain, only Krate knows now.

Sexy Prison “Bury My Heart at Vladistovok” 33 rpm [toneVENDOR]

Thurston Hunger   2/13/2005   7-inch, A Library, Format

While some will prefer the B-side to this single sided 7″,
the boys cooped up in Sacremento’s “Sexy Prison” probably
wouldn’t mind. Them boys would be vocalist John Pritchard and
de-bassist Robert Pickle, together they may have given birth
to the recently added “Babyhead” comp. Gotta love reproductive
technology these days. Pritchard’s reverby singing is like a
woman with too much mascara, you kinda wonder what it would
look/sound like without it…but you can’t stop staring at it
nonetheless. The second track has a sample at the root that
might be “Funky Cole Medina” or something, it gets briefly
excavated for a spell along with four bars of a Tiki calypso.
These two numbers are as subtle as a drag racing commercial,
fervent with left-over machines from the disco age rebuilt
with illegal parts and maximum squelch. The lyrics are so
warped, I thought they were singing about Boz Scaggs at one
time. Even if they weren’t this is still tremendous.

Selfish Cunt “Britain is Shit” 45 rpm [Horseglue]

Thurston Hunger   2/13/2005   7-inch, A Library, Format

Possibly the best of use of a cheap drum machine ever. It
fires a machine gun stacatto attack during “Britain is Shit.”
It then has a series of spasms on “Fuck the Poor” that keep
that track off balance. Vocals are more leery on the latter,
which also has a tiny little pachinko synthesizer buried
somewhere in the grooves. “Britain is Shit’s” pressure-cooked
vocals are stringier, longer notes sung lifting up at the
end of each phrase, as if grabbed on the ears by an unstable
constable. Plus when everything drops out, that damned drum
machine gets a chance to just jackhammer away. Selfish Cunt
contains shouter Martin Tomlinson and beater Patrick Constable
within it. Working out of East London, these lads know there
subject matter, even though one of ’em is evidently and old
New Zealot. Both sides dirty as their titles.

Scholastic Deth “Killed by School” 33 rpm [625 Thrashcore]

Thurston Hunger   2/13/2005   7-inch, A Library, Format

Razor sharp, whiplash rock from the now-defunct Scholastic
Deth rockers…though one of the band members evidently still
runs 625 Thrashcore. Songs hit escape velocity pretty quickly,
often leaving with dual feedback whines. But tracks jump on
quickly…so be prepared for life after a Deth track. It’s
just as well, the energy on one side alone can light up the
Central Valley. Songs come out swinging, and occasionally may
end up cold-cocking a friend or themselves. Speaking of
friends…the frenzy here connects back to Spazz per the 625
web site as well as to Capitalist Casualties. More often the
blows land where they are intended, and as all four of the
band are UC grads, it’s nice that they bite the hand that
fed Enron and other dodgy investment schemes. There may be
cursing in the lyric sheets, but sadly people who would be
offended by that, wouldn’t take the effort to stop and listen
to this rock solid 7″. Advanced degrees of ire via their
Evelyn Wood speed thrash edumacation. Repeat multiple times
for multiple credit. Core requirement.

Deerhoof s/t

outlier   2/9/2005   7-inch, A Library

Se Piagi Se Ridi- Perfect for the next wake party you may be planning. Maybe like a Caroliner pop excursion if it existed. Funeral organ, banjo (?) and drums accompany this eulogy for the pop song. Childlike vocal wanderings call you to the netherworld where pop icons are smothered with makeup buff pads. Slightly disconnected and ethereal but luring nonetheless. A rather mature sound in an unusual space from a quite unusual band. Strawberry Banana- that lost backtrack to the Abba song that Bjorn farted around with for years but never found the right lyrics for- another stake in the false heart of pop music, the jokes on those who thought Deerhoof could never make it as a pop band.
3w: Caroliner on Prozac
– Outlier

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