Sneaks – “New Taste”


Sneaks is from Washington, DC. She plays bass, and with a drum machine concocts 90 second ditties of hooky lo-fi pop numbers. Boutique label, Danger Records, from France, recently put out a record of her initial demo tape, with six new tracks titled Gymnastics. For fans of truly minimalistic non-fuzz post-punk.

Sneaks Music Page

Golden Pelicans – “Oldest Ride, Longest Line”

a2015927305_10Golden Pelicans are:

Erik, the lead singer whose gravel-voice sounds like he swallowed a cement truck

Rich, the drummer, who is relentless and precise, and the backbone of the propulsive driving rhythms

Sammy, who hits the bass notes like a flurry of punches

and Scott, whose guitar licks are the equivalent of turbulence at sea during hurricane season.

“Oldest Ride, Longest Line” is their second LP, and they have evolved into their tightest, more complex incarnation yet. Their first self-titled album, and their singles, flaunted their innate ability to create garage punk anthems, with a party hard rock edge (“Hard Head”, “New Jersey”). This time around, they elevated their contribution to Smithsonian standards, and created a document of American excellency in music.

Their sound has expanded, allowing for a feeling of epic proportions stadium-status rock. Whereas, Sammy’s basslines were faster and playful before,  they now subtly enter songs just enough to trigger the necessary amount of tremors. You don’t quite hear him, as much as you feel him.

On the other hand, Scott, is in a spiritual trance, launching into riffs that give visions of barren landscapes and mountains. “Hog Tied Down” followed by “Eaten Alive” sizzle with urgency. He plays like his guitar is on fire, while the house is on fire, but he can’t stop it.

But their crowning achievement this time around, is Erik’s storytelling ability. Forget Tom Waits, forget Elvis Costello, forget any other so-called writer/performers. Erik is new blood, and the tales he spins are pure pulp. Half of the songs are about convicts, or escaped convicts (“Wild Child & The Blue Blazers”, “Hog Tied Down”). The other half are about characters who carry residual rage, because of their fucked up living circumstances (“Black Mold”, “Last Street Fighter”). “Maggots” is uncomfortably precise in its description of rotting from the inside.

“Knuckle Dragger” is a tale about the prehistoric birth of a human being, as an universal event of inevitable damage and destruction.

Not only does this album sound very good, with insidious melodies slithering in and out of the songs, and a steady dedicated rumble making everything tremble, it also tells awesome stories of criminals, outlaws, convicts, and other American types from the other side of the tracks.

Order from the band in MP3 format: “Oldest Ride, Longest Line”

Buy the 12″ vinyl record when it is repressed: Florida’s Dying Record Store

View the lyrics: 20150718_153237

Black Panties – “Everyone”

This is sick. Some of that fast punk degenerate flavor. Also a love song. Black Panties is one guy who plays all the instruments and then overlays them on his 4-track. It sounds like you want to play it loud on repeat to offend everybody, but if they paid closer attention they’d realize you are actually serenading them.

To his benefit, he is affiliated with the Lumpy And The Dumpers and the Spotted Race label, which is a label run by these kids from St. Louis who are enjoying good visibility because of the quality of their sound, image, and merchandise. Slimey and gooey hardcore with horror and gore streaks. Gross humour, but also disturbing. Metallic screech trash teen flavor.

Numb Bats – Bees and Trees EP (2015)

a3511699618_10Teenage malaise is forever, or so it seems, in the beautiful new EP by Arizona grunge pop band, Numb Bats. This new release shows their sonic evolution, blending for the first time, the two opposite currents that have characterized their music since their beginning.

While Gentle Horror (2014) represented a selection of darker-themed songs, leaving the more playful tunes for their cassette release on Sun Lips Records and their bandcamp page, Bees and Trees (2015) is a playful mix of both, executed with intent and finesse.

For example, “Dog Poncho” begins with ethereal vocal harmonies over a low-end angular rhythm reminiscing of an early Pere Ubu jam, then morphs to a full-blown California rock stomper.

In fact, many songs here seem to be constructed in divided parts. Opener “Runnin'” (recalling Pharcyde’s Spanish guitar on a similarly-named track) has an outro which sounds like an improvised extension of the initial rhythm. Their mix of pop, rock, grunge, and surf is quite unique, with experimental vocal phrasings, somewhere between punk and doo wop stylings.

“Rainbow” is the straight-ahead pop hit, sweet enough to appear seductive but later hits you with something like real pain, with what has to be the best lyrical couplet representative of angst and malaise: “In a long time / I will feel better” sung with conflicted emotion.

“U R A WINNER” shows their true experimental ambitions. The vocals are Lydia Lunch No-Wave, all sinister-like, followed with a change-up into straight pop for the chorus. This virtuosity seems so effortless, I wish I could move to Arizona and witness one of their jam sessions on a regular basis.

There you have it, a collection of Numb Bats’ more freeform experiments. Full of their trademark gang vocal harmonies, throbbing bass buzz tones, and liberating shouts, but contained in a psychedelic Arizonean desert theater show. Sip on this cactus juice…

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