As the weeks pass like months and the months pass by like years, the rush of material to consume can be too much for the average dingaling such as myself. By this point, Joe Exotic might as well be Casey Kasem and Fiona Apple has probably already lost out on album of the year to an armless COVID victim who sings through their armpit. Nevertheless, I would like to show my blatant disregard for how quickly things change in our world today by sharing this list of items that have got me through the past week or so. Since this list will most likely be irrelevant by the time you read it, it finally helps that my writing is so easily forgettable.
Truth Cult - Off Fire (Pop Wig, 2020)
The demo from this D.C group consisting of members of Give, Big Mouth, Joe Biden, and a couple of other bands a man of my age shouldn’t know about was a highly potent swig of Swiz-rock-city-jams. On their full-length, I still find it tough to shake the Swiz comparisons due to Paris Roberts’ voice being such a dead ringer for Shawn Brown, but it’s strikingly obvious they are not attempting to put on some lame-ass revival show and they show this by actually interjecting something of their own into the proceedings. I know...a real out-there concept in the present day! But there’s no denying their locale is in their sound with a lot of choppy Fugazi bounce and plenty of emphasis on the big chords learned by Bob Andrews that were fed through the hands of Hampton, Bald, Baker and many more. Also, the build-up in the middle of “Hell Baby” has provided me with some of the finest head rushes I’ve experienced since the last time I got up off the couch too quickly.
Brian Baker Plays His Favorite Riffs (Gear Factor, 2020)
I do not want to be friendly with anyone who wouldn’t get a kick out of witnessing Brian Baker play “Beating Around The Bush” or “Just Got Paid” in his basement. It’s pure entertainment!
Out of all the craphole podcasts that have sprung up in these “uncertain times”, I am so, so thankful for the creation of Bastard Radio. The three kings of tasteless riffing in one zoom meeting? What greatness have I done to deserve such a thing?
Insight - “Take It Back” (Mission Two Entertainment, 2020)
When this youth crew band from Salt Lake City reunited a few years back to play their old tunes while looking like Skynyrd roadies, I found it pretty amusing. But now they have this new song floating around that sounds just as choice as anything off their classic Standing Strong seven-inch and I’m sitting here eating my custom-made Better Way snapback hat. A thumbs-up situation!
Maufrais - Luxury of Complaint (Sound Grotesca, 2020)
When merely turning on the news and watching our wide-jawed governor give out his recipe for gabagool balls and call it a press conference isn’t dreary enough for me, I listen to this Austin bands’ demo tape in the digital format. They pull off the tough task of being angular yet gloomy much like Angst did on their debut twelve-inch; just minus the slap bass and the goofy song about that guy that didn’t really go to the moon.
Subvert - The Madness Must End! (Hippycore, 1988)
I do not know why this Seattle band popped into my head the other day, but I’m sure glad I kept this slab-o. They always sounded more like Chaos UK or Disorder than the few other proto-crust/D-Beat bands in America at the time and I always appreciated that. Now, here I am writing a sentence about that on a Saturday night over thirty years since first hearing this album. I was promised a shorter life!