Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Indian Wars Interview & Show # 454

Indian Wars first released their If You Want Me EP in 2010 on Bachelor Records. The EP reflected a gritty Garage Rock influence drawing influences from bands such as Jacuzzi boys and Demon Claws, however there were underlying Roots Rock influences on tracks such as “Just Can’t Get Along With You” and “Carol Anne”. This Vancouver, BC band consists of brothers Dave and John McMartin, Dave on guitar and John drums, Brad Felotick on vocals/bass and Fraser With on guitar. Craig Pettman was added on keys/slide guitar during the recording process of the bands debut full length album Walk Around The Park.

Released in April 2011 Walk Around The Park brought in an interesting array of influences such as The Band, George Jones and Dead Ghosts (another Vancouver Garage Punk band). The combination proved for a an interesting blend of Garage Rock and Country with tracks such as “Old Hotel”, “20,000 Cans”, “Bullfrog”, “Won’t Do A Thing”, their influences are diverse and at times hybridic. Lyrically and musically the album conjures up images and stories that are reminiscent of songs once heard by artists such as Johnny Cash and Neil Young, with a dash of Garage Rock and Punk mentality for good measure. This album further developed Indian Wars Folk-like story telling abilities in their songs which are told vividly amongst their brand of Roots Rock and Garage musical arrangements.

Following a tour in which the band supported their 2011 release Walk Around The Park, Indian Wars convened in the late night hours in The Hive studio in Burnaby, BC to record a ten track follow up. The album was recorded in a live setting with very few overdubs to capture the band in their element, the result is the album entitled Song From The North. On this release the band once again flexes their Country, Folk, Garage/Punk sounds, you can hear the bands deep American Roots influence in the grooves of each track on Songs From The North. You can hear the influence of Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Lynyrd Skynyrd, CCR among the other sounds they bring to the table, as a whole Songs From The North has several interesting moments for even the casual listener. The album starts off with “There And Back Again” a quick countrified Garage track complete with harmonica and Brad Felotick’s rich vocal style. The song also features reflective Folk-like lyrics such as “Watch the leaves fall from the trees/Dance around to the wind/Rolling round and around/There and back again” which brings up images reminiscent of ones that made us love Indian Wars so much on Walk Around The Park, “Mississippi” is a haunting song, “Denny” attacks listeners with its Garage/Punk rhythms as we learn the cautionary tale of a burnout. Other stand out tracks include “Windshield Wiper Blues”, “Wastin’ Time” and “Who Needs A Girl Like You” which reflects a Bob Dylan circa 1965 sound.

There is a line in the second song on Songs From The North “Sweetheart of the North”, “Sweetheart these songs about the South are sung for you/They are sung from a Northerner's point of view/It's so hard to see beyond this old garage”. On this album Indian Wars show that they are more than capable of seeing beyond the old garage that dons the albums back cover. The wooden duck decoy on the albums front cover proves to be rather fitting to Indian Wars. While duck decoys are still being made, they are now made from plastic and no longer crafted and carved from wood as they were for centuries. Indian Wars music still harnesses the vintage and unique sounds of the musical influences that the band draws from, they do not align themselves with the mainstream mould of the plastic duck decoy bands of today found in the mainstream. As we move further into the digital age, Indian Wars prove that music crafted from real musicians playing together is still the best form of Rock and Roll music.

Listen to the interview I did on today's program with Dave McMartin of the band Indian Wars here:

The Play List:

1. The Migs – Fuzzy Sun
2. Allah Las – Catamaran
3. Dead Ghosts – Roky Said
4. High Drops – Street Girl
5. Generation X – Valley of the Dolls
6. The Modernettes – Confidential
7. Indian Wars - There And Back Again


8. Indian Wars – Mississippi
9. Indian Wars – Denny
10. Painted Ship – Little White Lies
11. The Bell Peppers – Hokey Cokey
12. The Teardrops - Meet The Teardrops
13. The Plot To Blow Up The Eiffel Tower - Saviours & Suckers
14. The Pointed Sticks - New Ways
15. Pink Mountaintops - Can You Do That Dance?
16. The Velvet Underground – Guess I’m Falling In Love (Instrumental)
17. The Velvet Underground – I’m Set Free
18. Tiki Tones – Sneaky Tiki
19. Link Wray – Hang On
20. Ty Segall & Mikal Cronin – Drop Dead Baby

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for April 30. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Thee Oh Sees Floating Coffin & Show # 453

San Francisco’s Thee Oh Sees released what is considered their seven full length album, Floating Coffin on April 16th, 2013. Thee Oh Sees have a very prolific past stemming from front man John Dwyer, some reviews stating Floating Coffin is the bands twelfth studio output when including the rare and early releases in the bands history. Since about 2008 to the present Thee Oh Sees have been bringing their prolific brand of Punk, Psychedelic and Garage sounds to us releasing at least one album a year since then. Prior to that the band had roots in Folk and other related sub genres. For this release the band adopts a heavier sound, while lyrically the band seems to venture into the darker land of fantasy, with song titles such as “I Come From The Mountain”, Minotaur”, and “Maze Fancier” it’s not hard to see that development.

Floating Coffin starts off with the song “I Come From The Mountain”, a song that attacks with the jangly Garage rhythms, stop and start riffs and falsetto vocal duality from John Dwyer and Brigid Dawson. With lyrics like “I come from the mountain/I return again” Dwyer starts off the album with a duality lyrically and musically, one relating to the picture that he paints with this album and two with the return of another album by Thee Oh Sees that’s just as strong, if not stronger than their previous releases. “Toe Cutter – Thumb Buster” follows as the second track, with its sludgy, fuzzy goodness, it hits with a new kind of heaviness, something this album explores. The title track “Floating Coffin” is a raving, super fast episode sounding like a new kind of madness, before the echo and reverb filled guitar/keys come in.

“No Spell” exemplifies more space and dynamics, giving the album a good variety and change of pace after the first three tracks, “Maze Fancier” has dual guitar parts not unlike some elements of early Thin Lizzy while the bass and drums throb with scratchy Garage rhythms. “Tunnel Time” has catchy choruses, fuzzed out Garage guitars and elements of sounds found on 2011’s Carrion Crawler/The Dream release, while the last track on the album “Minotaur” ends the album on a different note. “Minotaur” is a sombre Psychedelic song with rich cello parts and Pop elements, however the song comes off in a delicate gritty fashion. With lyrics like “Men get sick at their work/Each and everyday/There ain’t no cure but to stay/ Stay home today/Go to the beach instead”, the song hits home with something many people can relate to, but also reminds us of some of the bands earlier work in some respects.

With Floating Coffin the band may have gotten heavier musically, but they also show off a dynamism which lyrically can bring us back to elements of the bands earlier Folk based work. Musically the album mixes in elements of Carrion Crawler/The Dream even drawing some comparisons to sounds on 2008's The Master's Bedroom Is Worth Spending A Night In. It also adds more of a jam element extending the songs and bringing more Psychedelic and Pop elements. With so many releases coming out, it would be easy for someone to say that this album sounds just like the others that Thee Oh Sees have been releasing, it is similar in some respects, but it also shows a new development in the bands dynamic. The band builds on their already established sounds while still sounding fresh. The title of the album may be Floating Coffin, but with this release Thee Oh Sees show that the end for this prolific band is not near, it’s not even close.

This Week's Play List:

1. Pow Wows – First World Rag
2. The Auras – Top Notch Surfer Girl
3. Deep Space Cowboys – Dreaming In Space
4. The Vaselines – Roaster
5. Hooded Fang - Ode To Subterrania
6. Ramones - Judy Is A Punk
7. Ramones - Chainsaw
8. The Strokes – Welcome To Japan
9. Fire Engines – Discord
10. The Smiths – Rusholine Ruffians (John Peel Session August 1984)
11. Jay Sad – Good Health
12. Fruit Tones – Coconut Shy
13. Pink Teens – Flying Colors All The Way
14. The Cinch – Get Up & Get Out
15. Teenage Head with Marky Ramone – Full Time Fool
16. Forgotten Rebels – It Won’t Be Long
17. Subway Sect – Don’t Split It (John Peel Session 1977)
18. The Prefects – Escort Girls
19. The Troggs – Your Love
20. Black Angels – War On Holiday
21. Young Rival – Black Popcorn
22. Thee Oh Sees – I Come From The Mountain
23. Thee Oh Sees – Tunnel Time

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for April 23. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Mudhoney's Vanishing Point & Show # 452

Mudhoney released Vanishing Point their ninth full length album on April 4th, 2013 via Sub Pop Records. The band has come a long way from 1988’s Superfuzz Bigmuff, however this new album builds on some of the bands earlier sounds and influences, while at the same time bringing in elements of 2008’s The Lucky Ones and their 2000 era sound, featuring more Stooges based freak out instrumentation. Lyrically, vocalist Mark Arm sharply hones his lyrics in a humorous, wit filled style, the kind that Mudhoney fans have come to love. Vanishing Point attacks the mainstream stereotypical rock star image, over rated popular champagne and douchebags. On the musical side the band reveals sounds that remind us of 60s Garage, Psychedelic Garage and just loud distorted Rock and Roll.

“Slipping Away” starts off with a drum solo and bass riff, before Mudhoney’s distorted Garage guitars come in. Mark Arm expels lyrics such as “I try to hold you, but you’re like sand / Slipping through these broken hands” playing into the albums artwork which also seems to reference a cult classic B-Movie, but more on that later. The song ends in a Psych Rock rave up, bringing up echoes of Ron Asheton and 60’s Psychedelia. “I Like It Small”, the lead off single for this album is also one of the strongest and fitting songs to Mudhoney’s discography. This track is reminiscent of older songs in the bands catalog minus the overloading distortion, making it sound musically like a Garage/Nugget track influenced by The Stooges and 80s Punk. With lyrics like “And when I orgy I cap it at twelve/Anymore than that I get overwhelmed” and “I’m not on some grandiose trip/I’m fine with little sips” this song lyrically attacks as mentioned, the stereotypical rock star image, by proclaiming they like it small, Mudhoney is addressing their minimalist motto, doing music their own way, not doing anything that is considered the norm. “What We Do Is Neutral” is a slow driving song, sounding like a song from 2002's Since We’ve Become Translucent, while “Chardonnay” burns through in less than two minutes following with razor sharp 70s Punk riffs, as lyrically Arm attacks the drink of the same name, considered a mainstream popular drink of choice to the famous with his witty and tongue-in-cheek lyrics. “The Final Course” is a slow riff filled song with disturbing lyrics that tell a tale involving issues of murder, cannibalism and out of body experiences, in classic lyrical Mudhoney offensive style.

“I Don’t Remember You” pokes fun at memory loss and grocery stores as it musically pulls influences from The Sonics, “The Song of Joy” musically seems to conjure up sounds not unlike “Need” and “If I Think” from 88’s Superfuzz Bigmuff, while adding their 2002-2008 Psych Garage element, finally the album ends with the track “Douchebag Parade”. This final track on the album eats at good looking, richer people that fall into that category we all know as “Douchbag” with its caustic, sharp witted lyrics and driving bass, drums and spacious lead guitar lines from Steve Turner. Mudhoney celbrates 25 years of being a band with this album, their label Sub Pop does as well. While both Sub Pop and Mudhoney have gone through their own troubles and turmoil’s over the last 25 years, they have persevered in their own way. Both the label and band have evolved to something that people can still indentify with and still love.

Now back to the title and album cover. The album cover is a photo that was taken by Emily Rieman of the ruins in Apamea, Syria, Arm revealed in an interview with Exclaim! He also said that the title was influenced by this photo referencing a movie where everything goes off into the distance, what many believe is the 70s’ B-Movie Vanishing Point. But this is an interesting point to leave you with when considering this album and Mudhoney as a whole. Like the end of the film Vanishing Point, many believe that Mudhoney had hit a wall in the 90s when signing to a major label, yet Mudhoney has risen from the so called ashes of their past evolving into something different and familiar at the same time. With Vanishing Point Mudhoney shows us that they still have the ability to sound like the Mudhoney that we used to love, but at the same time sound fresh and unspoiled.


Another thing I would like to mention, last weekend at CJAM FM’s annual Jammy Awards I received a Lifetime Achievement award for my work with Revolution Rock and within the station and its community becoming the youngest programmer to do so. I initially started Revolution Rock in June of 2004, where it aired in the late night hours broadcasting from CJAM FM’s airwaves. The show started off dealing specifically with 70s Punk/New Wave, but over the years grew to incorporate other genres such as 60s Garage, Surf, Alternative, Indie and a variety of other associated genres, still remaining despite the genre in the attitude, realm and spirit of 70s Punk. In 2006, I started this blog. Its purpose was to have weekly posts which would profile a different band every week and also to host the play list and download links to the corresponding program for people to discover. This was before the term social media and facebook really started to affect the internet in a large way, this site too has grown to include exclusive interviews and content at times. I would like to thank CJAM FM, its staff and volunteers and anyone who has ever paid any interest in my show or website. While at first I didn’t think I had been at CJAM that long, nine years is a long time, a lifetime to some. Thanks CJAM!

This week's play list:

1. Paul Revere & The Raiders – Steppin’ Out
2. Chit Chat – Jelly
3. Tom Waits - Chicago
4. Captain Beefheart - Ella Guru
5. Syd Barrett - Octopus
6. Colleen Green – Only You
7. Japandroids - Fire's Highway
8. Mudhoney - I Like It Small
9. Mudhoney - Chardonnay
10. Johnny Cash – Remember The Alamo
11. Cellos – Feeding Through The Breathing Tube
12. Iceage - You're Nothing
13. Mission of Burma - New Nail
14. Big Black - Jordan Minesota
16. Sloan - Emergency 911
17. Deja Voodoo – Gotta Have Money
18. The Revolvers – Apocalypse Surfin’
19. Suuns - 20/20
20. Unicorns - I Was Born A Unicorn
21. Shotgun Jimmie - 3012
22. Simply Saucer - Instant Pleasure
23. Wreckless Eric - A Pop Song
24. The Gruesomes – The Deal

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for April 16. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

The Black Angels Go Indigo & Show # 451

Austin, Texas Psych Garage Rock band The Black Angels released their fourth full length album Indigo Meadow on April 2nd, 2013. On this album the band shows us their heavier Psychedelic side, adding more organ and Pop hooks, all mixed up in a sun baked Texas style haze. Many critics have claimed that this album isn’t really different from their previous releases, but this album slowly builds on the Psychedelic sounds of Phosphene Dream adding a new type of heaviness that some may classify as Grunge influenced, while at the same time reverting to catchy Garage Nuggets styled hooks.

“Indigo Meadow” opens the album, with its fuzzy bass, dissonant guitar parts and heavy pounding drum beats, as vocalist Alex Maas executes the lyrics “Always Indigo” in a Syd Barrett fashion, “Evil Things” comes in next which emphasizes the Grunge styled influenced that was mentioned earlier, but with enough of a Psychedelic edge to keep the listener hooked. This is one of the tracks in which critics have claimed is lacking in the lyrical department, however it is a song like songs the band has been writing for years as they strike an apocalyptic chord with their catchy choruses, Doors styled organ and lumbering fuzzy riffs. “Don’t Play With Guns” has been attracting ever since it was released as a pre-cursor preview to Indigo Meadow. The song moves along with its Horror movie organ stabs, swirling Psychedelic guitar supplied by Christian Bland, heavy distortion and a catchy chorus. Contrary to some beliefs this song, while it seems to be written based on the recent tragic mass shootings in Aurora, Colorado, it was written a year before this occurrence. However this song reveals a poignancy that any listener can identify with as it tells the story of Josephine. This was best described by vocalist Alex Maas on http://www.theblackangels.com/info:

“In ‘Don’t Play With Guns’ the antagonist is a female who has the power of persuasion over a man,” he continues. “Substitute the female antagonist with a Nation, substitute the manipulated man with yourself. Heed the warning: Don’t Play With Guns.”

Other highlights on this album include the slow, organ fuelled Psychedelic trip of “Holland”, The Nuggets-era Doors influenced “The Day”, “You’re Mine” is a catchy fuzzy Zombies/60s Garage Nugget-era induced track and one of the Poppiest tracks found on this album, as “I Hear Colors (Chromaesthesia)” drips with acid induced images and backwards sounding effects, building on sounds found on 2008’s Directions To See A Ghost. The album also addresses several political themed messages, not counting “Don’t Play With Guns”, on songs such as “War On Holiday” and “Broken Soldiers”. “War On Holiday” looms musically as lyrics such as “We’re wounding and dying/making no change” and “I found one of us/wounded yet fine/It’s sad how I found/We sleepwalking around” filter into the listeners mind, while “Broken Soldier” attacks with hypnotizing guitar/organ riffs. “Broken Soldier” features lyrics such as “It’s hard to kill when you don’t know whose side you’re on” and “Will you be the same when this is over/You’ll never be the same when this is over”, these lyrics coupled with the lyrics found on “War On Holiday” tap into the social subconsciousness that we are all thinking about regarding war, yet projecting the dark, yet realistic realities that these situations result in.

Indigo Meadow ends with the track “Black Isn’t Black” a song which hints that perhaps despite all this apocalypse-themed imagery that there is a glimmer of hope, ending the album in slow creepy intense, yet somewhat positive note. This is backed up when we hear the lyrics “Before I met you/Blackness everywhere” and “Girl when I see you/I think the world’s OK”. Overall, Indigo Meadow may have similarities to previous releases from the bands past, but it also gleams with its super production supplied by John Congleton (Explosions In The Sky, David Byrne & St. Vincent) emphasizing the growing development and journey that the band is to and has taken. While it may not be that obvious to some, Indigo Meadow blooms and burns slowly with profound insights, incandescent thoughts and Psychedelic goodness.

This Week's Play List:

1. Thee Oh Sees – Toe Cutter Thumb Buster
2. Brazilian Money – Slowly Soaking Up Some Rays On A Sofa
3. The Fabulous St. Knicholas Cage – Bloody Beach Blanket
4. Future of The Left - Stand By Your Manatee
5. Anagram - Favourite Place
6. PIssed Jeans - Cafeteria Food
7. Woodsman Orphan – One Year
8. Velvet Underground - I Found A Reason
9. Deerhunter - Memory Boy
10. Husker Du – Girl Who Lives On Heaven Hill
11. Orphan Choir – New Rituals
12. The Action – Downtown Boy
13. The Demics – The Grey And The Black
14. Ramones – She's The One
15. X-Ray Spex - Germ Free Adolescents
16. Gang of Four – Ether (Live The Second Chance, Ann Arbor, MI 1981)
17. Sam Coffey & The Iron Lungs – Do Ya Feel It Too?
18. Doldrums - Sunrise
19. Patti Smith Group - Distant Fingers
20. Sleater-Kinney - Dig Me Out
21. Black Angels – Indigo Meadow
22. Black Angels - Evil Things
23. Black Angels – The Day

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for April 9. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

50/50 ... The Strokes Comedown Machine & Show # 450

On March 26th, 2013, The Strokes released their fifth full length album Comedown Machine. Critics have been fast to jump on The Strokes hate wagon ever since 2003’s misunderstood Room On Fire, an album in which The Strokes first began to flirt with their 80’s influences and move forward beyond the Garage sounds of Is This It? This album is no different. Comedown Machine picks up from where 2011’s Angles started, also mixing in elements of Julian Cassablancas’ 2009 album Phrazes For The Young. The album starts off with the 80’s funkified rhythms of “Tap Out” as lyrics such as “Decide my past/Define my life/Don’t ask questions cause I don’t know why” come in, it brings the albums beginning into a different sounding, yet poignant lyrical context.

“All The Time” comes in next with its traditional Strokes Rock dynamics sounding like a song exhumed from the bands past, while a song like “One Way Trigger” is drastically different. With tropical sounding synthesizers ala 80s band A-ha "One Way Trigger" ventures in to an almost Electronica territory, a sound that is pushed throughout various moments of this album. “Welcome To Japan” is a song that has familiar classic Strokes song structures with their new sense of Angles-addled 80s dynamics and lyrics “Didn’t really know this/what kind of asshole drives a lotus” we are reminded of the deadpan humorous lyrics that made us first fall in love with The Strokes. “50/50” is a glorious Rock and Roll Strokes moment, one of the strongest tracks on Comedown Machine with lyrics “I will say/I will say/Don’t Judge me”, which couldn’t be more relevant to this album as a whole. Other interesting tracks of note are “80s Comedown Machine” a slow, synth almost Dub influenced track, “Chances’, “Happy Ending” sounding like a song from Room On Fire meets First Impressions of Earth, and the ending track “Call It Fate, Call It Karma”. This track is a song like “Ask Me Anything” on 2006’s First Impressions of Earth, in the context of it being so different with the overall songs found on the album. It is a slow tropical Jazz Pop track as the opening lyrics “Close the door/Not all the way” haunt us in Casablancas’ crooning, yet falsetto style.

Comedown Machine was recorded at Electric Lady Land Studios in New York, with the full band working together as opposed to 2011’s Angles in which singer Julian Casablancas deliberately removed himself from being present at the sessions. This album also marks the final album in the bands contract with RCA, causing some fans and critics to speculate in conjunction with the lyrical subject matter that this is the end of The Strokes. The band has also not scheduled any touring in support of this album as of yet, and there has been no press from the band members themselves. But some light was shed on this subject in a recent post on twitter by guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. in the tweet, Hammond was commenting on the artwork inside the album which features silhouettes of each band member, his tweet commented on the bands cycle with RCA and as a band in general stating: “The Strokes as a band cycle? Or just The Strokes on RCA cycle?” Obviously the RCA cycle”

Whether or not The Strokes will continue to make records time will tell, but it hasn’t been the first time a band has left their label and continued on in some other fashion. As a whole Comedown Machine sounds like a mixing of Room On Fire with Phrazes For The Young, using Angles as a starting point. Love it or hate it, Comedown Machine is a creative, yet fresh take on the bands old once heralded and established sound mixed with their new sense of 80’s obsessionism. While the title of the album may be Comedown Machine, that title is reserved for the ones that place The Strokes under a harsh lens. For all others Comedown Machine is in a completely different category or status, being a machine all of its own.

This week's play list:

1. David Bowie – Dirty Boys
2. The Strangers – Nice N’ Sleazy
3. Pete Shelley – In Love With Somebody Else
4. Lumina – I’ll Be With You
5. The Hoa Hoa’s - Falling In Love Is For Young People
6. Blackpool – Standing Over There
7. The Kingsmen – Haunted Castle Party
8. The Uprisers – Let Me Take You Down
9. The Cheap Speakers – Window
10. Ghostkeeper – Horse Chief! War Thief!
11. 100 Mile House – Last Call
12. The Men – The Brass
13. Guided By Voices -Little Whirl
14. The Wipers – Up Front
15. X – Nausea
16. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - We No Who U R
17. Vic Godard & The Subway Sect – Rock and Roll Even (A Different Story)
18. Elvis Costello & The Attractions – Party Girl
19. The Jam – In The Crowd
20. TEENANGER – The Ballad of Robert McNamarra
21. Pow Wows – Shock Corridor
22. The Strokes – 50/50

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for April 2. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.