THEE ELDER GODS • Kill ’em All

the THEE ELDER GODS – Kill ‘EM All LP
17 songs in all!


Do any of you remember the 1990 movie Night Breed wherein a bunch of misfit friendly monsters are living underground, terrified of humans, until one day they boil over and take a stand against us…the dreadful standard humans? There was more junk going on than that, but at the core of it is how I feel about the Thee Elder Gods. The Thee Elder Gods are nice monsters trying to coexist, but folks just keep pushing them until blamo!! And the wreckage they leave in their wake is beautiful, unsettling, and compelling.

Lyrically and musically they hit the 80s classic HC but with nods to Th’Inbred, NOMEANSNO, Rhythm Pigs, and even a little bit of Schlong. It’s easy to follow along with the lyric insert and then a surprise musical uppercut just floors you. Starting off the LP with the song “Don’t Have a Cow”, “Senators in Love”, “I Am Satan”, into “Well-Heeled Baron” sets the pace for a truly one- of-a-kind experience. The lyrics are frightening and poignantly filled with a palpable and beautifully and sometimes misguided rage. Most of the time you’ll hear a band shout out some vague angry shit like “I’m broken and I’ll take you to the crusher” or some junk like that. However, when the Thee Elder Gods belt out “I got so mad when they remade Ghostbusters, that I went outside and burned down a cop car” you can really feel it. Eloquently putting a face to something that actually is irksome (like remaking a classic) vs someone yelling some vacuous junk like “my anger is a cancer to destroy your rules”. Take into consideration that we’re all trapped in this very peculiar time, an album like this swoops in and carries the precise amount of first human “thump thump” thinking and acting without consequence eg. “there are two reasons to go out after dark, first reason is to make the neighbor’s dog bark, the second reason is to turn into shark and eat up all the girlies selling hand jobs in the park”. Follow that up with “You might never be Lee Harvey Oswald but can still be someone’s hero” from the song “1981” and that gives you a reasoned sense of where they land on issues. “Well-Heeled Baron” starts right in with the gut kick of “A circumcised and well heeled baron, had it sweeter than a blowjob from the ice-cream man’s mother” and then the song takes a dark(er) turn. I won’t even get into the lyrics for “Octopus Hands” because I don’t want to give anything more away.

This album is the most unabashed, yet unpretentious, and the quintessential grey skied Middle West record I’ve heard since maybe Negative Approach’s “Tied Down” and an essential addition to everyone’s plastic stacks. This is going to be one of those records that in 20+ years you are going to say you had….but, in truth, you didn’t because you slept on it because you weren’t comfortable stepping outside your box.  Look, give it a shot.  If you get it, play it, hate it, shelve it for 5 year and try again, and do that 4 times and if it still hasn’t connected with you then in 20+ years you’ll be able to sell it for a ton of cash to someone much more musically evolved than you. (JD)


Contact them through Bandcamp if you’d like a physical copy of the LP
Contact them here for a hard copy of the actual vinyl!


Download from their bandcamp
Thee Elder Gods – Kill “Em All, Side A
Thee Elder Gods – Kill ‘Em All, Side B

___________________________________________________________

Justin Dratson: JD Nate Wilson: NW Matt Average: MA

LMI • Excess Subconscious LP

LMI – Excess Subconscious LP
9 songs
Handstand Records


This is LMI’s third LP (first two were CD only, but whatever) and I feel that this band is at a very intriguing point in the ark of where the band started and where they are now. This is a style of hard-core that has a crossover metal tinge with some surprisingly great upbeat hooks and LMI do a very good job of it. I feel as though they’re at a point where if they stay exactly where they are, with the slightly muddy production, great bass playing and dual vocals that they will add fans. However, if they decide to overextend themselves and get a little more technical and add clarity to the production, they might collapse from rising start to black hole. Lyrically, it’s the sort of angry poems that a kid would write in high school and the delivery is dependable. Here’s where I struggle, it’s a great record, there’s no doubt about that. However, compared to some of the other Handstand Records releases I’ve heard, and combined with the overall latest batch of stuff that I reviewed, there’s nothing about it that stands out. This is a very good record to put on while you’re doing stuff and it will definitely keep your heart rate up and moving through the day. If you’re trying to get your 10,000 steps in or you have to prep for a dinner party and you just need your chopping skills amped up a bit, then this is the record for you. Conversely, if you’re looking to sit down with something and read along and feel like you’re part of the experience, this doesn’t quite have me connected in that way. Some of the guitar lines are melodic and catchy for the style of music and for a power trio, it’s uniquely complex. Let me be clear, I’m not an expert on this but I do know what I like, and I think a very simple thing that could connect me to this are the lyrics. I like to sit down and read along with the record and with the vagueness of some of these, it’s hard for me to really find an attachment to the band. Musically, I think that they are great and if the singers could just maybe consider adding something personal about themselves, their day, or to be more precise, identify a theme of a song whether, specifically what you don’t like, what you do like, the way a tree looks in winter, a crush on Jessica Rabbit…I dunno. It’s that the constant anger and sorrow pushed off in vague ways with the standard adjectives isn’t quite grabbing me like it usually something like this would. I felt that somewhere along the way there wasn’t really that suffering and anger they are trying to express but moreover they are trying to stay within the sonic guardrails of the music is that they are making. Again, this is a great musically thoughtful record but could it have been more moving and captivating as an instrumental record for me, maybe. I like words and I appreciate when lyrics are authentic even if they are silly or hurtful or uncomfortable.

I do recommend you check this band out and decide for yourself. The musicianship is terrific and it’s entirely possible that I’m being overly critical considering I am well aware that overall lyrics in hardcore have become uninteresting and less evocative. (JD)

Pick up the LMI – Excess Subconscious, LP here!

________________________________________________________________________

Justin Dratson: JD Nate Wilson: NW Matt Average: MA

KISSED BY AN ANIMAL • self-titled LP

KISSED BY AN ANIMAL – Kissed By An Animal LP

Handstand Records


The gatefold cover, the printed inner sleeve, the download code card and the he creamy yellow of the vinyl are all visually stunning. I feel like this record should have come with a set of game pieces, rules and directions to uncover the mysteries held within the elaborate artwork. I was so distracted with the gatefold that I didn’t look closely at this record and put it on at 33. I was so struck by the opening guitar that I had to sit down. My first thought was that their opening song was a cover of “Mercy Seat” by Ultra Vivid Scene. What a way to start a record, with an obscure
cover of one of the best Shoegaze songs ever written and with both bands being from NYC, it made perfect sense. However, as the song played on I realized that it was similar to “Mercy Seat” but the song was their own. No matter, I still liked it. It was around the last song on side A, “Animal” that I started to think that the singer was dragging a bit and there could be two reasons for this: 1. The dude drank a bottle of Robitussin and it’s starting to kick in. or 2. I have this on the wrong speed. Sure enough I looked at the spinning 12 inch record and saw a bright red 45 spinning at 33.


Restarting from the beginning this record now has a completely different feel and it’s catchy as hell. Imagine taking all the great Shoegaze songs and speeding them up to a Buzzcocks velocity and whamo! you’ve got Kissed by an Animal. Now that these songs are at the proper speed and have the hooks hitting in time doesn’t mean that it’s all sunshine and flowers. There is a subtle sorrow and darkness to a few of these tunes, a longing and lamented mistakes vibe, yet playful at the same time, as if to reassure the listener that mistakes are ok and keep making them. There was a label called Plan-it-X Records in the mid-90s (a little research shows that they are still a label…well what do you know … ¯_(ツ)_/¯ ) that filled out their catalogue with
bands that parallel the sound of Kissed By An Animal. However, where the difference lies is that, well, let’s say a bunch of Planet X bands found a pot of gold, they would return it to the leprechaun and ask him if he wanted to join them in a meadow to play kickball. I get the feeling that if Kissed By An Animal found that same pot of gold they would ring the doorbell, leave it on the porch of the leprechaun, watch and giggle from the bushes as he realized that all of his lost
gold had been peed and farted on. This is another Killer release from Handstand Records and if you mix up the speeds, like I did, you get two records for the price of one! (JD)


Kissed By An Animal pretty gatefold link

___________________________________________________________________

Justin Dratson: JD Nate Wilson: NW Matt Average: MA

DRILLING FOR BLASTING • Fingers Are the Best LP

Drilling for Blasting – Fingers Are the Best Eyes LP
This record knocked my socks off. I’ve been a fan of Doug Ward since, I guess, 1986 when I heard the song “Bella Lugosi’s Not Dead (You Are)” on a mix tape from my cousin. After hearing that, I couldn’t find flaws with anything he’s touched and that includes a collaboration with Ben Weasel, from the band Screeching Weasel. The times I saw 8-Bark left me staggered but let’s get to the band at hand, Drilling for Blasting. 

There is a recurrent problem with people who stay in a music community for a long period oftime. A.) Staying relevant. B.) Keeping the same level of torment and fury that you had in your teens and have it be authentic and compelling. Drilling for Blasting manages to do that with a message and delivery that hits with each note and syllable. Doug’s guitar is at times, very direct (what you’ve come to expect from a punk veteran) however, at other times, there is a blues influence that jolts in, adding to the angst and anger of the lyrics. For me, what gives this superiority over peers and the general quagmire of music these days is the drumming of Kammy Lee. Her drumming has me on the edge of my seat. There’s a mountain of weighted tension waiting for things to fall in line but she’s staggering her rhythms, adding punch precisely where it’s needed and not backing down. She lets off the gas enough to let you know she’s in control of this ride. The song “Run Out” has my favorite drummer rock trick of all time and that’s the sound of clicking wood on metal. Then this bass line that’s seems to be from outer space drops in (although they have no bass player, like The Doors). Lyrically it’s encapsulating everything I’m feeling right now in these peculiar times; sarcastic, dumfounded, hollow, unsteady, bored, busy, anger, confused, etc. There are a few more surprises on this but I want you to enjoy your own discovery. I’m floored by this record. Please go buy all the copies.  (JD)


Drilling for Blasting link to MP3s and where you can get a beautiful smokey blue vinyl copy

___________________________________________________________________

Justin Dratson: JD   Nate Wilson: NW   Matt Average: MA

AN UNEASY PEACE • self-titled

AN UNEASY PEACE • self titled 7″ EP

Dirt Cult Records

An Uneasy Peace

I was taken aback when I heard Lance’s voice on the An Uneasy Peace E.P. Have you ever found a note, or heard a message from someone that you were certain you’d never hear from again? It was strangely both transportive and comforting, while being haunting and sorrowful. An Uneasy Peace is a project of Lance Hahn’s that was aimed at being a hardcore band. Musically it is standard, catchy, SOCAL style HC. But it’s really a Lance record and if you’re reading this then I’m certain you already know what I mean. Lance had a way of turning anything he did into a very definable “Lance Hahn” entity by way of distinct guitar style, lyric phrasing, and voice. I don’t remember where I was when I’d heard that Lance Hahn had died. I remember it was 2007 and maybe Fall. We’d been pen pals from the later years of Cringer through the birth of the internet and onto electronic mail. The last time I’d seen him was outside of Brownies in Hoboken, NJ and I hassled him about records he owed me. It was the first time someone I knew, with a connection to the underground community that I really respected their song writing and art and who was a friend to everyone, had died. I’m happy that this has found its way from an idea to its vinyl home, the way I’m certain it was originally intended. (JD)

___________________________________________________________________

Justin Dratson: JD   Nate Wilson: NW   Matt Average: MA

 

YOUTH ATTACK bundle

YOUTH ATTACK bundle

I first met Marc McCoy when he was working in a hut outside of a TGI Fridays punching holes in coed spring breakers’ punch cards. He ate a lot of steamed vegetables. I think that was around 1999 and he’s since then, as far as I know, he’s continued to put out music/media artsy projects as well as continued to eat bland steamed foods.

Below is a run down of my thoughts on his most recent releases:

Snarling Hate EP

SNARLING HATE • How To Kill EP

This has a nice little head-bobbing groove to it. The first tune, “Takeover”, is a call to arms of sorts to our under appreciated sanitation workers. The chorus repeatedly shouting, “Keep the Streets Clean” over a hooky little melody, I think, proudly reinforces how we tend to overlook some of our truest heroes. The second number, “Asphyxia”, starts with a straightforward bass intro to set the tone. The song quickly turns to reflect the seasonal allergies that many of us tend to go through this time of year. The lyrics “I need, scratch till I bleed” and “the bloom, build yourself up” is clearly about the struggle of man’s imprisonment by pollen, well done and very thoughtful. The title of the E.P., How To Kill, at first seems misleading since it isn’t so much as a manual on how to kill something, but rather an example of how to do something well. As the kids say, “you killed it” meaning you’ve done a terrific job at this thing you’ve tried.

Mangled State EP

MANGLED STATE • Stigma EP

The first thing I noticed was that this record is smaller than other ones. I think this one is around 6 inches versus the standard 7 inches. Really, not even kidding. I bet you’re wondering if the smaller size affects the play? Let’s find out together. There are 5 songs on this little thing and are all straightforward, powerful and aggressive hardcore. It is the no frills quality that I dig about this but what about their lyrics? Let’s dive in. “Stigma” lyrics start off with “believe in your own shit”, so I like the message but not the potty mouth. Song 2, “Scowl”, lyrics kick off with “take back my life, ripped to fucking shreds”. Hmm, there’s that potty mouth again. Let’s look at the song “Price You Pay”, track 3, “Call yourself a man, conceited, self serving fuck”. Well we almost made it through without the gutter words. “Cast Cut”, on the B side has no potty words. However, the final song “Façade” does. In the end, this is a raging 5 song, 6 inch, record that any fan of straightforward, unabashed hardcore will definitely love. Just be warned though, if your mom hears it, she might wash your mouth out with soap.

Arts EP

ARTS • Graveside Summoning EP

Wow, this is spooky. The very first line of the very first song, “Daemonomie”, is “I am in the grip of evil”. Heavy. However, it takes a boyish and sparkling look into the world of fantasy like the Tale of King Arthur. The packaging in remarkable and if you look at the picture I’ve included, I think that the inside of this envelope is Marc McCoy himself doing some cosplay as the Wizard of Greenpoint. This record has equal parts fiery swords, dark and damp chambers, a thing with scales and eyes, celestial crypts and more. I’d say that this Arts release is a very uplifting record that skips down a little boys dream journal. Sure, there is some scary ass metal-death-creepy-dark-core (MDCDC) but it is creative in a way that doesn’t come off as goofy as some of this style often does.

Life Support EP

LIFE SUPPORT • Die Like A Man EP

First off, this is an incredible looking triple gatefold package filled with artwork of wizards and metaphysical healing crystal imagery. However, Life Support band couldn’t be further away from chakra energy points or what your aura color says about your study habits. This is a tornado of sound and hostility and even has a few slow down “mosh- able” parts. This isn’t going to be an awakening for anyone but is most certainly worth checking out and spinning a few times a year. I just wish I knew what they were so angry about.

Combat Force EP

COMBAT FORCE • Never Stray EP

The cover drawing is of a helmeted knight with sword and shield. I have no idea what to expect but I’m enjoying the TSR arc to this batch of Youth Attack releases. I drop the needle and was hit with a the sound of a fun-time-in-a-bar-crowd that breaks cleanly into a catchy guitar rock-n-roll riff with the memorable and sing-able repeating chorus of “never stray, this is the way.” This record has a thuggish and almost pub-rock/Oi feel to it. Don’t get me wrong. This is, as these all are, a hardcore record. This is a bit more mid tempo and even has a “whoa whoa” part in a song. I thought that with the cover that this would be more about slaying dragons and love potions and a path to become a master of beasts. The song “Breached” touches upon an epic battle on a great field. The final song on the 6 song EP weighs heavily and sits clearly on their feelings about people that prey on children and I’m right there with them. If you’re curious as to the direction they’re leaning on that song, the answer is in the title, “Give ‘em the Chair”. This is a great record.

Well, that’s it for this plop of Youth Attack stuffs. (JD)

___________________________________________________________________

Justin Dratson: JD   Nate Wilson: NW   Matt Average: MA

 

LOST SYSTEM • Let Behind LP

LOST SYSTEM • Let Behind LP

Neck Chop Records

Lost System

Lost System was born from a band called Black Monuments (3 tapes and a 7″). When their bozo bass player decided to hitchhike to Portland, OR, they picked up with a new bassist and moved forward with a different name and sound. After that I’d thought that dark synth wave died for a while. I think it got too far away from its truer roots and became some junk that, like most things I enjoy, was eventually coopted by fashion and art school students. To be honest, I could be making all of this up. I really don’t know a lot about Dark Wave at all. It’s not disjointed like post-punk, and it doesn’t talk extensively about Dracula and spirits therefore avoids the “Goth” moniker.  

A year ago, No Bails (the band I’m in) played with Lost System and Trampoline Team in a Grand Rapids, MI basement. Having 3 different sounding bands on the same show made for a terrific night. I remember standing next to my pal Justin Farrar and us both entranced by Lost System. I got a bad feeling from their synth guy. He played terrifically and his dark wave keyboard playing was on point dark wavy keyboard playing, but something about him seemed unctuous and made me feel uneasy and annoyed. Maybe he had a mustache and was looking for people to look at his mustache. Also, I could be remembering a totally different person. I could have also just been hoping to see Matt Maier (Black Monuments, Legendary Wings) as the keyboard operator and not ready for a new face. Nevertheless, this new guy brought the glum aural ambience needed to make this a memorable night. 

But it’s not just the keyboards that make this LP work. I’ve always been a fan or Lost System’s drummer, Michael Housman, because of his simple, concussive, driving style. Housman knows how to hold back and precisely when to change into a dynamic that makes me sit a little straighter, and focus a bit. I’ve skipped back through parts of these songs because I had thought I heard the drums do something, but I had to make sure. Guess what. They do something. It’s almost like he’s playing for a single person in the room that’s in on a personal joke. Jesus, it sounds like I have a crush on the guy and I don’t at all. I just like his drumming. While all of this is going on the bass rumbles just beneath the surface almost like watching a storm front slowly move in across Lake Michigan. Adam’s bass playing is instinctively and lead with his heat as the metronome and I don’t mean that in an artistic way. I mean that his steady, pensive, rhythmic addition might be what holds this entire thing together. Oh yeah, this LP might have changed my mind on my third most hated thing behind jazz and modern country, and that would be saxophone. I pretty much hated the saxophone, but it’s used in such a sincere and stylistic way that it complements the songs. When I read that saxophone was on this LP I pictured it ruining things the same way that it’s done for the Cure and countless other good bands songs. Not in this case though. The saxophone added a coat to make this LP more complex and layered. Though, for me, the glue that binds this together is Michael McFarlane’s lyrics and delivery. The lyrics characteristically mirror life in the Middle West in a way that can only compare to the way Joy Division mirrored their working class, cloud covered factory town. To be clear, I’m not comparing them to Joy Division in sound but moreover in authenticity. McFarlane’s lyrics hit to the center of the Rust Belt wherein they pull together a longing, aggravation, concession, despair, hope, introspection, biting humor, and a look at tomorrow. 

In the end, I’m almost never surprised by music but this did make me take notice and really listen to all of the musicians separately and then again altogether. But where most of these bands fall short for me in the way that most LPs have 3 good songs and the rest could have been split up or dumped altogether this holds interest throughout and any one of these songs could have been a single.  My hope is that anyone reading this is in a personal financial place and willing to take a chance on this LP. 

I’ve known Michael for a chunk of years.  We are the kind of friends that always say we should hang out more, but we never do. My good pal Curtis and me went over to Michael’s apartment a couple times and spent the evenings popping jokes and drinking Four Roses booze. I hope that that will happen again sometime but until then I have this record and the text exchange of me asking if the Lost System synthesizer person ever had a mustache. (JD)

___________________________________________________________________

Justin Dratson: JD   Nate Wilson: NW   Matt Average: MA

Top 10s of 2019

Bad Transfer header
BAD TRANSFER movies and music

You know you can always count on Bad Transfer to be timely. Set your broken clock to it, and it will be right twice a day, guaranteed! Here it is April 2020, and we are now bringing you our (well, two of us) top ten best of 2019 lists. Dig in, make comments, and write some comments to us as well. We’re lonely, and in need of cyber companionship.

Justin Dratson:

In order for me to move to Brooklyn, NY in 1998 I needed to get rid of a ton of stuff to be able to pack my life into a Ford Econoline van. The van was named Tom. Some of those things I gave away, some I threw away, and some I sold. Of all things that I regret getting rid of none are bigger than dumping nearly all of my cassettes. Over the past few years I’ve been trying to find some of the things I tossed out as well as keep up with the new, great things that are coming out. Home recording is killing the music industry, thankfully! Without further ado, here are 10 tapes that I picked up in 2019 but not necessarily from 2019.

1. Flush Productions Comps – 1986-1990 (ish)
If I was a third grade teacher I imagine this might happen:
Billy Boogerface – Mr. Dratson do you like Flush Productions tapes?
Me – Billy, I love Flush Productions tapes!
All the Children – Why don’t you marry them?
(Then the children burst into giant laughs)
Me – Shut up you little fuckers! You can’t tell me how to live or what to love. Keep your grubby shit stained hands of my body and my Flush tapes and go eat some dog shit you little space taking disappointments.
Ok, maybe not exactly like that but somewhere in that ballpark. I had them all, or at least the 18 I knew about. The tapes started coming out around 1986, during the height of the “send well concealed cash or money order to…” era and, to me, captured a perfect slice of underground music going on at the time. Many of the bands on those tapes became some of my favorites. For example; Christ on a Crutch, Dissent, Sewer Trout, Pink Lincolns, Corrupted Morals, Humidifier, No Fraud and many more. For full transparency, this number 1 encapsulates 13 tapes. I poked around and found a guy that was in one of the bands and he was happy to rehome them. I’m currently hunting for 1,2, 5,6 and 9. If anyone is holding these or can make copies please let me know!
2. Neutrals – 2016-17 (cass) 2019 LP
I can’t remember how I stumbled on to these. I’m certain it was some dumb late night internet dive that led me to Bandcamp, wherein I clicked a track and thought that the duder’s voice reminded me of the duder from Giant Haystacks. These tapes are fuggin’ terrific but here’s what’s even better, these were combined onto and LP and released as an LP on Emotional Response records in 2019 and reviewed here by our very own Matt Average. Also, guess what. It is the dude from Giant Haystacks.
 3. Natterers – Toxic Care ep. 2017
This came out a while ago, 2017, but I didn’t open it and listen to it until 2019 and I completely missed out. I should be slapped on the mouth. This is great UK/anarcho/HC but what catapults this to the next level is the singer’s voice. Her speech is clear, crippling, distinct and the driving force that tips this over the edge from average to incredible. I’m such s jerk for waiting 2 years to play this tape.
4. Devoid of Faith discography – 2018
I’ve heard their guitar player can be a real jerk sometimes. There is even a rumor that he was a stage manager for Ryan Reynolds and Tara Reid and they got pissed off at him because he wouldn’t let them snort coke off his ass. Whatever, I don’t judge. There isn’t much to say about this that you probably don’t already know. This cassette captures some of the most frenetic, intense, impenetrable wall of sound of one of the HC essential band of mid 90s HC. They definitely carved a path for many others to follow. Although I have bunches of this stuff on vinyl it is nice to have it all right here so I don’t have to keep getting up and flipping over plastic. 25 or so tracks and a rad fold out poster with lyrics and the whole shebang. The only thing to remember is, at all costs, avoid the guitar player.
5. Under Attack – 2019
I picked this up after reading the scorching review here on Bad Transfer.
6. Newcleus –  Jam On Revenge, 1984
I’ve loved the song “Jam on It” since I heard it in 1984. I still love it today. Sometimes me and my friend Curt will play the song and sing all the words. I found this tape for $1 in Columbus, OH. I’m hoping that by the end of 2020 that our band No Bails will learn this and play it out at least once.
7. Mystery Girl – 2018
I Love Kissing/Shattered Dreams. If I’m remembering correctly, my pal Nate knows these Albany, NY dudes and he told me that he thought I’d like it.  He was right. It sounds like it came from the 80s mod revival/power pop era. Think Pointed Sticks and Exploding Hearts and you’d be hitting the target pretty dead on. They have a couple vinyl eps too.  Maybe I’ll get around to reviewing those at some point.Buy Mystery Girl – I Love Kissing here

These last three are from Michigan, my home.

8. No Bails – No Baios. 2019
I know it’s not the usual to talk about your own band on a review blog but fug it! I’m in this band and I think this thing we did is pretty darned OK. I was going to post a review from another site but maybe I’ll just send a tape to one of the guys on this blog and they can tear it apart. We made 3 different covers.
9. Anarchy – Oblivion & Ecstasy. 1992
There was an amazing and horrible band from Tawas City, Michigan named Afterbirth. There has been a ton written about Afterbirth however not many know about Anarchy. You see, Anarchy is the same band as Afterbirth but they started to get “better” at their instruments and decided to try and make it as a band. The music sounds sort of like if the Dictators were super drunk and out of tune and had drunk baby quadruplets with the band Kiss and then made those drunk love babies be in a band and play for their supper before they were locked back under the stairs. I couldn’t find any Anarchy songs but I have linked the Afterbirth EP. Please use the “Show More” on the link.
10. The Sinatras – 1990
I was walking through a local record store and from 20 feet away the words “THE SINATRAS” caught my eye. The Sinatras were West Michigan’s answer to Hüsker Dü, the Replacements, Twin/Tone etc. They’d been around since 1985 and even put out a record 5 years ago. This came out a few years before their Imaginary Singles Collection tape they put out in 1992, to which I’ll mention that they cover a Latin Dogs tune on that tape. All I could find on the internet was a song off the Imaginary Singles Collection that was written in 1985 and originally recorded in 1987 by Paul Mahern of the Zero Boys at the same session as the songs that made it on this. So at least you get an idea of what they were about. There is an earlier tape called Tater Tots that I’m desperately searching for as well.

That’s it. Send me things to have an opinion about and maybe you’ll get on my 2020 list.

Matt Average:

Top 10 of what I experienced in 2019.

  1. Aero Horrorthon: I remember reading about the Horrorthon in the LA Weekly when it first started happening, but for some reason didn’t go until the 9th year, and last year was the 14th one. Why I waited so long? I have no excuse. However, I’m fully committed to going to these as long as they have them, and I hope that is for years to come. Old horror films all night long with strange skits and trailers in between. A recent fond memory is watching Anthropophagus with Devon, and his response during the scene where George Eastman takes the baby out of the pregnant woman and begins to eat it, “Brutal.” I imagine Devon likes how the waitress at the vegan bakery across from the Aero thought I had an attitude problem last year when we stopped for breakfast after Horrorthon let out. “Do you have a problem?” she sternly asked with a glare. My favorite night of the year.

2. The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue at Beyond Fest : Most people go to Beyond Fest for the newest genre films, I go for whatever Cinematic Void programs. The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue is one of the big highlights for me of 2019. Fully restored. See it by all means.

3. Godzilla movies at the Vista : Summer mornings watching Godzilla movies on the big screen is good living. Devon and I met up many a Sunday morning to see things like Godzilla v Hedorah, Destroy All Monsters, Mothra v Godzilla, and others. There was also a Godzilla marathon at the Egyptian back in May as well. Great times they were.

4.The New York Ripper at the Egyptian: One of Fulci’s last great films. Kind of strange to say something as sleazy as The New York Ripper is great, but it is. A movie you will never forget.

5. Pink Flamingos at the Aero: It’s one thing to watch Pink Flamingos at home, it’s an entirely different experience in a movie theater at midnight. See it in a theater if you ever get the opportunity.

6. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood at the New Beverly: The New Beverly is the place to see this movie. So the screen’s small, however, they try to make the experience more immersive with the BOSS radio broadcasts playing over the house PA before the film starts, trailers and ads before the movie are from the time the movie is set in, and there’s also set pieces in the lobby. The movie is pretty good as well. I would love to see movies, or books, expanding on the story of Cliff Booth.

7. The Tom Atkins triple feature and Q&A at the Beyond Fest: Outside of the Cinematic Void programming at the recent Beyond Fest, this was the other high point. Three movies: Halloween III, The Fog, and Night of the Creeps. Then there’s the interview with Tom Atkins afterwards. Dom Atkins also made an appearance. A truly historic moment in genre cinema history.

8. Dolemite is My Name: I expected to hate this movie. However, I have rediscovered that Eddie Murphy is great, and it was time Rudy Ray Moore was given some much needed attention. Hopefully when the quarantine is lifted we can get to paying visits to the last remaining sites where his movies were filmed.

9. Phantasm, Three O’Clock High, and 10 to Midnight at the Aero: This triple feature celebrated three years of Cinematic Void. Don Coscarelli was also there signing his book. Phantasm is one of my all time favorite films, and I see it every chance I get. It’s that good. Then you add in Three O’Clock High, and Charles Bronson in 10 to Midnight (featuring the men’s room at the Aero!), you can’t go wrong.

10. Repo Man at the Egyptian: I may have missed out on the Severin secret movie marathon in the Speilberg, but I was able to see Repo Man and a great Q&A with Alex Cox instead.

THE ELDER GODS • A P.O. Box Bomb and a Fire Hat 10″ EP

THE ELDER GODS • A P.O. Box Bomb and a Fire Hat 10″ EP

The Elder Gods

In short, the Elder Gods are pure id.

What in the world is this? Oh, it’s from Kalamazoo Michigan. Now it makes sense.
Kalamazoo was/is home to such bands as Violent Apathy, Thought Industry, Phil A. She-ohh & the Wet T-Shirt Contest, No Bails, etc. The Elder Gods fit perfectly into that family tree of the city’s underground musical heritage.

Of the six songs on here, two of them are covers (Circle Jerks “Red Tape & DOA “The
Prisoner”). Two of their originals (“It’s Good For You” and “1981”) are straight forward early 80s style punk hardcore whereas the other two (“I Am Satan” and “You Should Gnaw Your Own Neck Off”) lean more toward Th’Inbred or almost NOMEANSNO’s faster songs. The best part is that these six songs clock in at under 10 minutes total so you don’t even have time to get bored before one is over and another begins. The song “1981” sounds like it is from 1981 and fits perfectly onto any of the Master Tapes or Charred Remains comp(s). Also, the last line of the song leaves you on a positive message to never quit trying to do your best, “You might never be Lee Harvey Oswald but you can still be someone’s hero”. Keep this in mind, just because they do a couple classic 80s punk covers this band is not a retro rehash of the glorified good old days. I think it is pretty clear that they have a sound that reminds me of that time because it’s honest and they wouldn’t be able to do anything differently. In short, the Elder Gods are pure id.

They have a facebook presence but their band link shoots you somewhere creepy so if you want to pick up this 10inch you have to hit them up on Discogs. I think there are only 3 or 4 left, so act quickly. https://www.discogs.com/seller/zenandpinyin/profile

(JD)

___________________________________________________________________

Justin Dratson: JD   Nate Wilson: NW   Matt Average: MA

CASUAL BURN • Mean Things 12″ EP

CASUAL BURN • Mean Thing 12″ EP, 9 songs

Handstand Records

Casual Burn
I was pretty stoked to get this Casual Burn 12inch. The cover alone was intriguing to me because it reminds me so much of the cover of the “Smashed Hits” comp of singles by Red Lorry Yellow Lorry. I thought that if this record heads down the same path as Red Lorry Yellow Lorry’s early singles then I am in for a treat. Besides, other than Lost System, I haven’t heard a good goth band in a while. I put this 12 inch on and it’s not a treat. Look, it’s actually really good but I’m having a difficult time wrapping my head around it. If it weren’t for the distinct vocals of Monet Maloof, I would think that this was a compilation of bands or a compilation of all the bands that she’s been in. If you are a fan of Goner Records, Neck Chop Records, and some Emotional Response Records then this is definitely your tea bag. Sonically I’d say they sound mostly like they are influenced by the bands on those labels and Brain F≠ (Brain Flannel). In more detail, it’s a mix of garage and angular post punk. The vocals are hollowed and coated in reverb and there are some kinda hardcore parts, too. I can totally see why folks would love this but I just don’t have the ear for it today. What will most likely happen is that I’ll go to a friends house and they will be playing this EP. An exchange like this will happen:
Me – Wow, this is cool. What is it?
Friend – The Casual Burn 12″. I got it because of your succinct and honest review. I really like the way you did your best to not tie any emotion or disinterest in the music to the record and still managed to frame it in a way that made me want to find out more.
Me – I should dig this out again. I was probably having an off day.
Friend – Fair.
Check out more here.
https://handstandrecords.com/store/items/casual-burn-mean-thing-12-inch-lp/

(JD)

___________________________________________________________________

Justin Dratson: JD   Nate Wilson: NW   Matt Average: MA