I got this tape in the mail on Friday and it made for a great start to the weekend. I had zero knowledge of who these guys were and had never heard them before so I had fun digging around “the google”, while listening to this metal rawness. The tape was packaged like it came straight out of the 1980’s and a hesher handled it from start to finish and dropped it off to the post office on his way to the mall (to score weed).
Upon the first listen I could hear some demo styled Possessed from like 1984 or something. Straight up noisy and raw blackened metal that sounded kind of like Chuck from Death had come back from the grave to help them record it in a ’85 sorta way (you know… on a boom box).
Upon the second listen I could hear black metal in the bands sound, but that comes straight from the vox. Not much can be determined about songs, and the titles etc… this is done pretty mysteriously. I love the solos that basically hover over the entire recording, and after some digging I found out it was Shaun from Annihilation Time, Gordon Solie, Wetbrain, Midnight, etc. was partially to blame for this nastiness. The rest of these guys are lifers from Life’s Halt, Annihilation Time, Holier Than Thou?, California Love, Letcherous Gaze, Yarrow etc. Again, after scouring the inter web I found the bands bandcamp, and can honestly say the band sound totally different than on the cassette tape I got in the mail. First off, the vox are way to loud for my tastes on their bandcamp and everything sounds cleaner there. The tape is/was done 100% how it should be done. It sounds so old, real, and raw that it seriously leaves me wondering how they accomplished this feat. I was tape trading in the early 80s and this tape could have fooled me. Do yourself a favor and figure out how to score the actual tape… don’t listen to the digital until after you listen to the tape mix. Email addy on the tape is Denimyeti83@yahoo.com. Otherwise try to contact them on their bandcamp. (NW)
The more I listen to Kebab Disco the more I think it’s a brilliant record, and one that will stand the test of time. The Neutrals (members from Airfix Kits, Terry Malts, Giant Haystacks, Magic Bullets, Razz, and Cocktails) play angular and jangly post punk drawing influences from the usual suspects and deftly manage to not be a knock off fan band. There’s a huge pop element in their sound that elevates them high above the crowd in a genre that can be too po’ faced, and ridiculously dour at times. This pop side emphasizes the herky jerky rhythms, and those herky jerky rhythms emphasize the pop side. I’m in the moment of absorbing these songs as I type up this review. You know how it is. You’re trying to do two things at once, but one is more interesting and appealing than the other. In this instance, it’s the music, and I’m listening while at the same time searching for the combination of words to convince you that this is a record you need run out and get. But songs like “Food Court”, “Swiss”, and “Half Knife” come on and I’m knocked prone because these are great songs, and I prefer to be in the moment listening and wishing it could go on for a couple minutes longer. The rhythm section is the balm to the jagged guitar, but what really stands out for me are the lyrics. Twelve short stories with clever turn of phrase, introspective without being self absorbed, at times nostalgic without being defeated. This album is somewhat of a concept album in the sense that these songs are Allan MacNaughton (vocals, guitar) relaying autobiographical stories about his youth in Scotland to his move to San Francisco on the mid 1990s, reflecting on the changes that come with time and age. The one constant theme is looking for one’s place in the world, whether it’s finding yourself among the structures and codes of youth culture, to the changes a city undergoes to be somewhat unrecognizable in comparison to its more interesting past. There’s an anger and resentment here, but these songs do not descend into the void of despair and defeat. Despite it all there’s this sense of the need to keep on going and carving out one’s niche no matter what else is happening around you.
If I were to keep a list of “the best of 2019” records without a doubt Kebab Disco would make that list, perhaps at the top. Many an evening has been spent listening to this over and over and over, and the songs have run through my minds in the following mornings. You will fully understand when you get this. Go on. (MA)
Excellent follow up to their debut LP, First World Record, which rocked me on my heels with their post punk style akin to Family Fodder. The World are a bit of a “super group”, consisting of members from Andy Human and The Reptoids, Beatniks, and Blues Lawyer. They have combined their creative super powers to make one of the best bands going these days. I predict that in twenty years a younger generation will be looking to The World discography for sound inspiration. I also predict that if you skip on getting this today you will live in crippling regret until you right the wrong. Just imagine being out somewhere, say a party with friends, and you hear a song that comes over the stereo, or hi-fi, as the millennials like to say, a song so good that all conversations stop until the song ends, like “Jackson 5” for instance, with it’s shuffling beat and vocals that are otherworldly. You cannot deny the saxophone that takes it next level. You know you’re hearing one of the best songs you’ve heard in a long while. One of your friends in the know (the only kind of friends one should have, really) informs you that its The World, and song is on the second side of their Reddish mini LP, or 12” EP in record collector parlance. Regret hits you like a brick as your mind hurtles back to 2019, and you recall having had the chance to attain this much wanted record for a fair and decent price, but in your youthful foolishness you passed on it and opted to get the latest generic Exploited clone band, the kind of band, that in five years tops, you will forget having ever existed in the first place. “Last Rhodesian” chops it up with a primitive beat that never grows old. The delivery is frantic until it calms towards the end before one last fit. There’s also the to the point “You’re Going Down,” which burrows into your brain, deeper and deeper, until it becomes part of your genetic make up. “Kill Your Landlord” comes on smooth with it’s dub stylings, and the vocals channel Ari Up at times, and just like that, it’s all over.
I’m pretty out of touch with what has been happening in the DIY hardcore/punk scene for a few years now. I can tell you this though..this shit is straight up fucking refreshingly awesome. Total C.O.C. Animosity worship vox happening here…It’s blatant, and great! Who doesn’t love Mike Dean 80s era Corrosion Of Conformity?
I mean almost everything about this record is godly, and almost perfect (I’ll get into the almost perfect part later).
The musicianship on this is stellar, and you can tell when dropping the needle onto the wax that these folks are vets. The drums don’t stop pounding, this dude is able to do it all. Heavy toms, fast beats, slow beats all caught on a totally raw but pro recording. It almost makes me wish I lived in Oakland to take some drum lessons from this hero (I said almost). The song writing is ferociously brilliant. I love the short little melodic Discharge guitar leads that are thrown in. This record flys by and is almost over as soon as it starts.
It is hard to imagine that this can be pulled off live due to the fact that they are a three piece, and the guitarist sings. Thats always a tough one to do. Again though, these folks are vets, and they are probably pulling it off.
I mentioned “almost perfect” at the beginning of this review. Well the almost for me is the band name… It has had me standoffish about whether this could be good from the moment I heard of them. Guess what? After three listens now, I’m starting to warm up to the name a little. I’d love to know the origin of it or what it really means to the people involved. Not a band shirt I could wear to pick up my daughter from school. I guess thats the point though, right?
I’m not going to get into all the ex bands that this group have on their resume. The music speaks for itself and really doesn’t need that hype. Just go buy this and support the people involved in making this happen. (NW)