AUDIO: Le Butcherettes’ “Shave The Pride

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A Raw Youth is the forthcoming Ipecac album from Le Butcherettes, to be released at the dawn of autumn on September 18th. The band consists of vocalist Teri Gender Bender (from the Gender Bender family), drummist Chris Common and bassist Jamie Aaron Aux and together, they’re ready to blast your face with a vengeance.

VIDEO: White Reaper’s “Cool”

The epitome of cool can be desribed in a number of ways but for the band known as White Reaper, this is what they are describing as “Cool”, and it’s a whale of a song complete with a garage rock feel and masks. It may sound confusing but sometimes music videos can be that way, and White Reaper make it that way because it’s fun. You’ll find more fun on their self-titled debut EP, released last week on Polyvinyl Records.


REVIEW: Hunters’ self-titled album

 photo Hunters_cover_zpse31dd933.jpg One of the things that Hunters has going for them is the alternating male/family vocals, in that some songs will have heading it, other times Isabel Almeida will take it on. When they sing together or alternate within the same song, it creates a nice balance, a bit of teamwork between the group and that unity is celebrated throughout their 10-track self-titled album. What also works is how hook-ridden their songs are, whether it is contained within something hard and aggressive or something with nice pop touches. I hope they’ll continue with what they’re doing, but I also hope they’re not afraid to tinker with the formula in the future, just to throw people off every now and then, as Hunters come off like the kind of band who would do this without a problem.

REVIEW: Big Black Cloud’s “Black Friday”

 photo BigBlackCloud_cover_zps6a36e300.jpg Black Friday (Eolian Empire) is an album that represents a nice chunk of what the Portland music scene is doing today, or at least representing the diversity of the scene that continues to grow, filtered through a trio named Big Black Cloud. What this two-man, one-woman band do is just churn up the power and go full on with how they play and sing to create something that feels suffocating, yet done with clear distinction. “Terror Of Cosmic Loneliness” is an awesome instrumental where you’re able to hear what they’re about with relying on the possible meaning of the song, while a track like “Bomb My Brain” could lead some to immediately making a list of comparisons. Part of it sounds like angst-y, itchy ass rock, playing off-key on purpose but taking on the Sun Ra philosophy that there are no wrong keys, they keep that fierce energy going and work it through. Speaking of jazz, when a trumpet opens “Barbaric, Mystical, Bored”, it may sound like something is out of place, but it fits in, as if it’s a call to arms. It may be a distant relative of Portland’s rich-but-sometimes-forgotten jazz music scene, or it’s there merely to be an addition to the heaviness of what Big Black Cloud creates, but everything has its place, and there’s a place for everything. Big Black Cloud are now looking for places to fill those voids. A song like the title track could bring up a number of comparisons: the minimalism of Pink Floyd’s “Interstellar Overdrive”, the raunch of Alice Donut, the force of the punch of this band and that band but after all of the easy comparisons one could make, the force of the punch here comes from Big Black Cloud.

REVIEW: Fantastic Disaster’s self-titled debut EP

 photo FantasticDisaster_cover_zps296faf5b.jpg Looking at the cover, it looks like a man who is caught up with a lot of different things, wanting to take on a number of tasks, including raising/watching a child, and is unsure of what will happen next. There are truths to this illustration, as the disaster that you see in cartoon form is a fantastic one, thus the name Fantastic Disaster, a music project from the mind of one Robert Wagner. Over the last four years, Portland, Oregon residents have known him as a podcaster, internet broadcaster, and writer, among other things. I’ll be honest, there have been times where I wondered if some of those musical interludes he’d play from time to time were his creations, including the commercial for the bail bonds people in Vancouver, Washington who would tell listeners to watch out when bending for the soap. Maybe it wasn’t him but it doesn’t matter. Wagner has been quiet since the winter of 2013, all while dropping hints of a music project to come, and now it’s here for everyone to hear.

Fantastic Disaster is a 5-song EP featuring a healthy amount of Wagner’s musical influences, and he does play everything on it and on top of that, he sings. I’ve heard his voice countless times in his podcasts and while he had occasionally dropped references of melody to his voice, it was different hearing him in this context but it sounds great. Upon first listen, I was hearing him play in a hard rock/heavy metal fashion, ripping out some nice riffs and showing his capabilities. When the EP reached song #2, “Unamerican”, I start hearing a few punk references, and thus showing a true rock’n’roll spirit. That holds true in the balls out “I Got Angry, I Went Bald”, which starts in a furious fashion and I can imagine him in a one-piece black jumpsuit with a lightning bolt on his guitar strap, as he reflects on certain moments in his life, leading to the reaffirmation that the over anxious pre-teen/teenage kid is now an older man.

Up until the last song, the EP has a celebratory “fuck you” attitude to everything, including himself, although “I Got Angry, I Went Bald” starts to look at things from a different perspective. With “Slow It Down”, the lyrics take on a more supportive role towards a woman who seems to be in a rush to drink and party, as the response to it is to take it easy and not take for granted what exists today, for it will not be there tomorrow.

On the vocal side, I hear elements of everyone from Mike Ness of Social Distortion to Dave Mustaine of Megadeth, and even Pat DiNizio (The Smithereens), Dan Baird (Georgia Satellites), and… dare I say it, Ted Nugent. Nugent has never shied away from that wicked howl, and Wagner will get into a similar primal urgency to get his point across, and it suits the songs very well. From the outside, and to get into a bit of vinyl-speak here, these five songs would seem perfect on a 7″ EP one would buy at a record store for about $5. The tracks are direct and to the point, no time for dramatics, he goes into the storyline and out in less than three minutes, then runs towards the next story that’s already on its way. Fantastic Disaster may or may not be about a life-so-far that is currently in a bit of chaotic calm, but it could be another outlet of Wagner’s for him to say “this is me, wounds and all, accept it or move out of the way.”

(You can purchase Fantastic Disaster from iTunes, or through the Amazon link below.)

VIDEO: Pony Time’s “Go Find Your Own”

The title track to Pony Time’s new EP (my review of which can be read by clicking here) has been turned into a very decent video, one that is under two minutes. You may ask “what will I learn from this featurette?” I will answer by saying “find out for yourself”.

SOME STUFFS: Summer Cannibals ready to be worn with new album

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With a name like Summer Canibals, you may think they are a band that would look quite beastly, like the guys from Impetigo or Cannibal Corpse. As you can see, that is not the case. This Portland rock combo will be releasing their debut album on August 6th, No Makeup (New Moss), and their sound is a mix blend of rock with a huge chunk of garage, punk, and a bit of that distortion and amplified buzz that your favorite bands are known for including in their music. You can expect for them to enhance that in a live setting. The band are:
Jessica Boudreaux (vocals/guitars)
Marc Swart (guitars)
Valerie Brodgen (drums)
Lynnae Gryffin (bass)

Summer Cannibals have a number of shows coming up that are close to home, but will be doing a west coast tour when the album is released. Check them out if you are in or heading to the Pacific Northwest:
June 9… Portland, OR (Rontoms) {free show} *
June 14… Portland, OR (Backspace) {PDX Pop Now compilation release)
June 22… Portland, OR (The Know) @
June 29… Portland, OR (Star Theater) !
July 5… Seattle, WA (The Rendezvous)
July 6… Portland, OR (Doug Fir) $
August 1… Portland, OR (Mississippi Studios) (“No Makeup” album release show)

* w/ Chastity Belt
@ w/ Bloodbirds
! w/ And And And, Wooden Indian Burial Ground, Grandparents
$ w/ Bear And Moose, The Lower 48

REVIEW: Pony Time’s “Go Find Your Own”

Pony Time photo PonyTime_cover_zps19969b80.jpg If the evil entity known as grunge had mutated into something else, I say it would lie in the hands of the Seattle duo Pony Time.

With an album a few seconds over the length limit of an EP, Go Find Your Own definitely has the sound of music played by two people, in this case Stacy Peck and Luke Beetham. Beethham’s vocals resides on the thin line between swagger and flamboyant, and the rock is so raw and rugged, someone might think it was ripped off from The Stooges. It is not, but it definitely has the mean punch of pop with aggressive pop power, as if each song was ready made for the charts if more people in the world were rockers. None of the songs go over three minutes, so it seems this group has an agenda to get into their songs and leave without dwelling in its sensitivity or irritability. Don’t expect a lot of carefully crafted metaphors either, a song like “First Thing In the Morning, You and Me (Hard and Heavy)” states what it has to say: wake up, clean your room, get out of the house, go somewhere, and hope you return back home by the evening. Maybe go to the store and buy some food, because you’re out of cereal or snacks. That’s it. Next song is on its way.

I like what they do because it’s just there, out in the world and in your face, loud and fucked up. That’s very Seattle, but it’s also some damn good music made by two people who simply want to play and sing until their set list reaches the bottom. Rock on.

REVIEW: OFF!’s self-titled album

OFF! have released their brand new self-titled album (Vice), and if more albums were like this, kids would explode on sonic contact. No joke.

16 songs are on this album, clocking in at a mere 15:44. The longest song on this is 1:36, shortest going at 0:46, yet because of how powerful and fast they are done, it feels like an awesome and energetic blur. What I mean to say is, these guys go in and out of their songs without care. They could easily build up, deliver a mean guitar solo, branch off into another world, come back for another powerful chorus, but why bother? It reminds me of music by New Bomb Turks, Dwarves, Dehumanizers and The Derelicts, and perhaps because of that garage-style twang they occasionally touch on, early Supersuckers. In the end, you might hear elements of The Clash and The Buzzcocks too, as the vocals are quite nice (in a punk setting) without being sloppy or extravagant (the production on this album is quite nice too.) This is very much the power of rock’n’roll at its ballsy best, complete with odors of unknown origin. Fuck shit up.

VIDEO: OFF!’s “Wiped Out”

The first few images in the new OFF! are completely unreleated to one another, and perhaps that’s why I like it. Music video of the year? Well, maybe not but I like it because it seems a bit random but the music fits the fast pace of things you see. Now listen.

  • The band will be doing a few new shows in May before heading out on a bigger tour for the summer months, as they head to Europe before returning to the United States.. Some of the shows will team them up with Refused:

    May 8… Los Angeles, CA – Whiskey a Go Go
    May 11… San Francisco, CA – Slim’s
    May 14… San Diego, CA – The Casbah
    May 15… San Diego, CA – Che Cafe
    May 29… New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom
    June 2… Barcelona, SP – Primavera Sound Festival
    June 4… Segrate, IT – Circolo Magnolia
    June 5… Zurich, CH – Dynamo
    June 7… Eindhoven, NL – Area 51 Skatepark
    June 8… Leisnig, GER – Sucks’n’Summer
    June 9… Munster, GER – Vainstream
    June 10… Cologne, GER – Underground
    June 12… Hamburg, GER – Hafenklang
    June 13… Copenhagen, DK – Pumpehuset
    June 14… Stockholm, SWE – Slussen
    June 16… Seinäjoki, SF – Provinssirock
    June 18… Brighton, UK – Haunt
    June 20… London, UK – Garage
    June 21… Glasgow, UK – King Tut’s
    June 22… Newcastle, UK – Academy 2
    June 23… Leeds, UK – Brudenell Social Club
    June 25… Manchester, UK – Sound Control
    June 26… Nottingham, UK – Rock City Basement
    July 15… Atlanta, GA – Masquerade Music Park *
    July 16… Silver Spring, MD – The Fillmore *
    July 18… Brooklyn, NY – Williamsburg Summer Garden *
    July 19… Philadelphia, PA – Penn’s Landing (Riot Fest) *
    July 20… Boston, MA – House of Blues *
    July 21… Montreal, Quebec – Metropolis *
    July 22… Toronto, Ontario – The Sound Academy *
    July 23… Toronto, Ontario – The Sound Academy *
    July 25… Royal Oak, MI – Royal Oak Music Theater *
    July 26… Chicago, IL – Congress Theatre *

    * with Refused

    Their forthcoming album will be self-titled, and will be released on May 8th. Vinyl will be made for it, and British/European fans are able to order it from Banquet Records, but as if this writing, there are less than 90 copies available so if you want it, get it now.