Tapes reviews of tapes I buy or get sent.

Send cassettes for review to: Flat 16 Raddon Tower, Dalston Square, London E8 3GN.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Kid Romance - Thriller / Killer (Captured Tracks)

I can't really avoid talking about the recording on this tape, which is so poor, probably the poorest of any release i own, that i never find myself listening to it. I know a song is judged on the song itself, but if i cant hear it then its pretty pointless. The second track 'Glitter & Ash' i think is a poppy rock n roll punk track but fuck knows if thats what it really is? I would hate to write off this band because of this tape, but i know 1 mic practice room recordings can be alot better than this release. Sorry Kid Romance, the tracks on the 7" that this tape came with were not much better either. I'll listen up again when they buy a 4 track or a good dictaphone.


Kid Romance - Thriller (Captured Tracks)

  1. Fuck Punx
  2. Glitter + Ash
  3. Blood Worms
  4. Fuck Sharks
  5. Psychic Tele
  6. Crazies
  7. No Freedom
  8. Darlin
  9. Shadow
  10. I Use Electricity
  11. No NO NO NO NO NO
  12. Telepathy
  13. Piss Cop
  14. Phantom Track
  15. Hail Satan!

Golden Grrrls - S/T Tape (Self Released)

I will tell you immediately that I'm biased on this tape as i have released the 2nd Golden Grrrls cassette which was a split with Boredom Boys (Merida from La La Vasquez & Andy from Teen Sheikhs,)so i will get straight into why you should track down this self released gem. The tape itself is an overdubbed Rita Macneil tape, so even if i hadnt liked it, i could've turned it over for some crooning from the rotund Canadian singer songwriter. The artwork itself lies on the esoteric side with 3 panels of strange artwork and a total absence of track titles or information, leaving the music just to speak for itself.

Starting with a short track of heavily effected guitar, the first proper track starts with a some distorted drums, a cutting organ line and tinny guitar line with some fuzz ridden vocals that bring on a robbie pastels for kids who dig blown out production. Its upbeat and not as doomy as some of the blank dogs stuff, but would definately fit in with some of the acts Captured Tracks have released.

The next 2 tracks keep a simlar pace with tom heavy drums and post-punk styled single note guitar lines before a breakdown comes with some awesome droney noises thatloop around like some eastern influenced repetitive mantra. I like it when a band purposefully or by total accident plans the ebb and flow of a release regardless of format so the pace and styles of the whole product is right, not just the individual tracks, and especially as the tape format doesnt allow for the skipping and jumping of tracks that most of us are used to, this choice is being made for you.

The final tracks get a bit sunnier in disposition and one in particular i reckon would sound great if cut to the '1979' Smashing Pumpkins video? Maybe thats just me? Anyway, this is 6-8 tracks of noisey indie from this Glasgow band which i hope someone has the sense to put out a vinyl release soon.

Write the band and see if they have any left for sale here:

Golden Grrrls @ Glasgow Social Centre 18.12.09 from Winning Sperm Party on Vimeo.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Personal & The Pizzas - Raw Pie (Burger Records)

It's funny how much the cover of this tape tells you about the music contained on this tape. Firstly, these guys love pizza enough to write songs about it, include it in the band name and on the front cover. They also love The Stooges and take influence from them and The Ramones equally. The are either really funny or totally ridiculous, again probably in equal measures!

The tape kicks of with the man himself, Personal, introducing himself and the first track, which he does inbetween many of the tracks, and even going so far as to explain that he can read on the track 'I Can Read'. No hidden meanings in these tracks! As they have stated themselves on their myspace page, 'ONE RAMONES RIFF + ONE STOOGES RIFF + REALLY DUMB WORDS' which is a good enough distillation of this singles compilation.

Straight from the first song on this tape, The Pizzas let you know that they can shred, with the guitarist shredding like James Williams did on 'Search & Destroy'and then they can drop down to a more mid paced tune, like 'I Want You Around' or any number of slower Ramones numbers. I hate the fact that most of this review is mentioning the 2 influences they self reference, but i would find it hard to describe it in any other way? New Jersey surburban dumb punk made by the tall elder brother in Everybody Loves Raymond inbetween mouthfulls of meatballs??

Recommended for pizza parties, sleepovers and short drives.

Personal & The Pizzas - Raw Pie (Burger Records)

  1. I Don't Wanna Be No Personal Pizza
  2. I Dont Feel So Happy Now No More
  3. I Can Read
  4. I Aint Takin You Out
  5. Brass Knuckles
  6. Nobody Makes My Girl Cry But Me
  7. Knuckles #02
  8. Pizza Army
  9. Tearjerker
  10. Never Find Me
  11. 7.99 For Love
  12. Pepperoni Eyes
  13. Dont You Go in That Ground
  14. Toss That Pie

Shannon & The Clams - I Wanna Go Home (Burger Records)

As this tape has very rarely left my tapedeck since it arrived, i can see this easily being one of those bands i will obsess over, and probably buy the vinyl from 1-2-3-4 Go! records so i wont get upset when i wear out this tape. Shannon & The Clams start off with an amazing Girls in The Garage esque song called 'Troublemaker' which has this haunting backing vocal track with an upbeat motown soul beat with Shannons amazing vocals driving the track forwards. As much as i'm a big fab of non-musical musicians and the punk/lo-fi/garage aesthethic of any one can do it and find that this approach presents much better music, it is nice to really hear a voice this amazing. I'm sure that comparisons to Beth Ditto will be made if Shannon & The Clams keep making records, which is unfair and obvious in the strong, soulful female voice in a punk band sense but relative in the fact that it made my spine tingle like it did the first time i heard 'Movement' by Gossip.

Not all the songs are straight up garage, with some nice 1950's slowdance feelers that have that dreamy sound our boy L. from Spectrals is hitting right now, with as much Phil Spector and 60's soul as Nuggets/Pebbles comps.

I really enjoy the vocal interplay between Shannon and the male gutarist, both being able to wail over each other succesfully. As a bonus to this tape, they have included the 4 songs from the 'Hunk Hunt' 7" which i'm made up about, missing out on it as it was stupid expensive to buy over here in the UK. I can't stress enough how you must buy this tape or the LP and how this band need to play London!

Shannon & The Clams - I Wanna Go Home (Burger Records)

  1. Troublemaker
  2. The Warlock In The Woods
  3. You Can Come Over
  4. Surrounded By Ghosts
  5. Cry Aye Aye Aye
  6. Take It Back
  7. Scuffle With The Clams
  8. Blast Me To Bermuda
  9. Cat Party
  10. Waiting For You
  11. When You're On
  12. I Wanna Go Home
  13. Blood
  14. Hunk Hunt
  15. Would You Love Me If I Was Dead
  16. Heartbreak

Ty Segall & Mikal Cronin - 'Reverse Shark Attack'

I was a big fan of the noisey as hell 'Pop Song' 7" these two productive chaps put out last year on Goodbye Boozy Records with its distorto-garage punk and sci-fi guitar lines, so i'm glad they are back with a full album, nicely put onto tape by what is fast becoming my favourite tape label, Burger Records.

Starting with the stomp and swagger of 'I Wear Black', you can tell this won't be a subtle record like some of Ty's solo stuff. The vocals seem a bit lower and dirtier with a hint of Lux Interior to them, and although for people like me who love anything these guys have done before like Charlie & The Moonhearts, Epsilons, Traditional Fools, Party Fowl etc this is forging a slightly different path and i wouldn't immediately judge this album against previous efforts. There is a fair amount of delay and noise effects, and i think some nicely overdriven organ/keys too which gives it a little bit of spacey feel, often coming in over the straight up four-to-the-floor sections to make the whole record an interesting listen.

There is also a cover of Pink Floyd's 'Tale Up Thy Stethoscope and Walk' which they have managed to make their own, as it nestles with the other tracks nicely. I don't know the original at all, but i'm going to presume its a Syd Barret era tune from before the prog took over the psych??

At the end of the Album is the a 10 min long freak out of a title track, starting out as a pretty psychedelic and effect driven tune with vibrating vox that starts out not as aggressive as the previous songs on this tape, which then drifts into an acoustic guitar passage with only the reverb drenched vocals remaining before the drums ride back in and the main hook is repeated on the guitars. It starts to freak out more and more with shrill brass coming in as the songs starts to climax before a stuttering sonic meltdown that finally segues into a Dick Dale surf riff that keeps on building and building building before a sharp clattering stop, bringing to an end this tape in a triumphant way.

As these two dudes seem to kick out an endless amount of records, i'm hoping there will be more from this awesome duo that builds on this album of aggressive psych, garage and punk.

Ty Segall & Mikal Cronin - Reverse Shark Attack (Burger Records)

  1. I Wear Black
  2. Drop Dead Baby
  3. High School
  4. Ramona
  5. Doctor Doctor
  6. Bikini Babes
  7. Take Up Thy Stethoscope And Walk
  8. Reverse Shark Attack

Ty Segall & Mikal Cronin "I Wear Black" from Claire Marie Films on Vimeo.