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Los Pepes – Postive Negative

Los Pepes

Positive Negative

Spaghetty Town Records

Released: 03/26/2019

Los Pepes boast an impressive lineup. They are Ben Primier (Vocals, Guitar), Gui Rujao (guitar, vocals), Seisuke Nakagawa (Bass, Vocals), Kris Kowalski (Drums) with Adam Smith of Newtown Neurotics (performing live Bass.) Their new album “Positive Negative” is a brilliant record. It’s grooves are filled with sonic splitting power pop infused with rapid punk rock.

This record celebrates the natural union between the invigorating sounds of sounds of punk and speedy power pop. Los Pepes style reflects a familiar fury that is akin to bands like The Briefs or Sharp Objects.   It also invokes nostalgia for high voltage punk for lovers of The Boys, Motorhead or even Miscalculations.

 Positive Negative lives up to the legend of Los Pepes rambunctious nature. This record is filled with hit after hit. Positive Negative is music that captivates with an awe inspiring delivery. When the needle drops on the this record, the result is to immediately succumb to sudden spasmastic shakes and shivers.

 Such spasms result to jumping about as if being electrified back into the land of the living— like a rabid pogoing madman.  No doubt this is a certain result if the right amount of electrified intensity is induced due to high velocity punk rock ,and a maybe few ales. 

This is evident in the first track “Still Belong To Me.” It’s fast and wild and professes a desperate need to kick in the T.V in kind of sound. “Still Belong To Me” wastes no time in simple pleasantries. Rather it’s a tune that blasts the listen clear into the next week. It’s solid opening track.

Personally, my favorite track on Positive Negative is “We Need It.” This is the kind of tune that starts with a strong build up and wallops off with a packing punch. Think of it as cousin to Sharp Objects “Misspent Youth,” but less snotty and a bit tighter. Other tracks in this vein are “Think Back” and “Your Justice.”  Some other honorable mentions for immediate consideration include “Let Me Tell You Something” and “Frustration.”

 Not acquiring this album would not only be a mistake, but a betrayal of crucial judgment.  This record ought to be put on your turntable and blasted from start to finish with the help of some liquid courage inducing vibrancy.  If not for you, then do it for the neighbor’s sake.  To do anything less may deprive those in close proximity of a vital headache, or inspiration. After all, we need something wild and electric like Los Pepes “Positive Negative” for our bleeding ears and soul.  

Jordan Jones – “Self-Titled”

Jordan Jones

“Self-Titled”

Spaghetty Town Records

Released 08/02/2019

Jordan Jone’s debut release is a power pop masterpiece.  Within this records grooves are sounds begging, if not demanding to be heard. It’s the kind of music that flawlessly delivers a certain calm and charming sound sound that blends a kind of nostalgic sense for early 2000’s style of power pop rock n’ roll. This is due to Jones’ unique style that invokes The Booze twisting with the power pop delivery of the Biters, but channeling the romanticism of The Speedways

This invocation of power pop is clearly demonstrated in the opening track “Wrote You A Song For Me.” It’s a harmonious track that blends notions of hopeless romantic notions of youthful yearnings. It’s the tune that perfectly welcomes in the the records listener and keep them hooked.

Digging deeper into this record Jones reveals music that meant to tug at one’s heart strings.  This is the case with tracks like “My Somebody,” or the mellow “How to Be” and “Be My Baby.” These are familiar themes that largely characterize this album. That being said, Jones’ isn’t redundant in his delivery, and manages to leave a sound that lingers on.

My personal favorite track is “Rumours Girls.” It’s a tune that starts out with a punch and doesn’t quite get bogged down about being a hopeless romantic. Instead it takes a shot at rock ‘ n roll scenesters  emphasis on blind nostalgic romanticism for the culture of the 1970’s. This is pointed out when Jones sings about the folly of needing to look a certain way to fit in.

While the song   pokes at the material imagery, there is some betraying a sense of self-deprecation when Jones sings of his own appreciation for the retro style. Overall, it shows Jone’s ability to move beyond the trappings of romantic power pop with the touchings of social awareness.

This all being said, Jordan Jones is record is certainly near the top of the list of vital contemporary artists to be heard.  For me this record blends the subdued groovyness that gives power pop it’s rock n’ roll zesty flavor. It is a sounds boasting brilliance with a composition meant to be nothing less that welcoming to the ears.  

Furthermore, It would be amiss not to suggest that Jones debut album is among those who help inspire a much needed revival for power pop for this day and age. Other contemporaries in that realm are Fashionism’sSmash Singles LP” and The Speedways “Another Regular Summer.” To be sure though, Jordan Jones has something more attune to 70’s power pop rock n’ roll than it’s angsty punker sounding cousins.

That doesn’t mean it’s any less worth hearing, though. So, be sure to go out to your local record shop and pick this up. Jordan Jones is a diamond in the rough and truly deserves to be heard.

Art Against Doom: Creative Activism in the Face of Climate Change

By Abigail Bowé

If you’ve ever taken a course in the Carolyn and Kem Gardner Commons, perhaps you’ve seen a large installation — up on the second floor — of a quote from pop artist Andy Warhol printed along a wall of frozen clocks. It reads, “They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” Obstacles such as racism, ableism, sexism, homophobia and other prejudices are not as severe today as they once were only because of those who fought to improve the world in the first place. The future is nothing but potential until those living in the present claim it. One team of artists and activists in Salt Lake City are doing just that. They’ve banded together to tackle one of the most divisive and pressing problems of our era — the issue of climate change — through the upcoming grassroots exhibit “Art Against Doom.”

Read the full article published by The Daily Utah Chronicle!

Art Against Doom: Using a Visual Medium to Inform us of Climate Change


By Eric U. Norris [eubass5@gmail.com]

Some of you may have noticed, but we’ve been living with an anvil-like chandelier looming over us by a thread that we either refer to as “climate change,” “global warming” or “the impending doom of life on earth as we know it!” Whether you choose to ignore it or not, it is there, and people like Nicholas Kuzmack and Kady Newland are attempting to inform everybody of the current and future effects of climate change through the first in what will be a series of art events under the moniker Art Against Doom……

Read the full article published by @ SLUG Magazine!!

The Jackets: Queen of the Pill


The Jackets
Queen of the Pill
Voodoo Rhythm Records
June 14, 2019

At long last The Jackets have released their fourth album, Queen of the Pill. It’s a brilliant record that shows off the logical evolution of the sound that made Way Out and Shadow of Sound great.

Queen of the Pill boasts the raw snarl of the fuzzed out garage-punk found in Way Out and combines it with Shadow of Sound’s refined freakbeat influenced garage-psych style. However, what sets Queen of the Pill apart from the previous records is The Stooges-esque proto-punk attitude twisting with elements of King Khan & The BBQ Show’s style, which should come as no surprise since King Khan was involved in this record’s production.

Check Out the full album review published by Heatwave Magazine!!

The Woolly Bushmen- In Shambles

The Woolly Bushmen
In Shambles
Pig Baby Records
Street: 05.10.2019

The Woolly Bushmen’s sophomore album is a worthy successor to their first record Ardinu. Not only that, but this album could very much stand on it’s own.  In Shambles carries on with The Woolly Bushmen’s signature blues-meets-garage style, but with the distinctive fiery sermonizing  sounds of passion driven rock n’ roll.  It’s varying styles not only entice, but instill a kind of wanderlust for vintage rock n’ roll with a indie influenced bluesy twist.

For this reason, this record  can only be heard properly in a vinyl format. This is because as the needle drops into it’s grooves a certain holy light is brought to life as orchestral sounds emanate through one’s speakers.  The first track “What Your Doing To Me” grabs a hold of it’s listener and installs a sense of wild romantic abandonment. This notion is alive and well in the tracks “Paid,” and “Goin Out West.” All of which boast ‘50’s rock n’ roll simplicity with blues-driven grit. With this one could think of a  mix of the energy found in The Black Lips infused within the spirit of Little Richard and Willie “Mae” Thornton.

“Let It Be Known” blasts  radical fuzz-doused sounds invoking a nod toward Reverend Beatman. It’s a song that immediately holds one’s attention. The theme is calling out someone in a social setting and if I were on the receiving end, the hairs on my neck be at attention. This track is easily my favorite for it’s 1960’s fuzz-garage overtones and wild nature. Plus, it’s got elements of teenage-punk angst, but with a certain modern flair.

Other tracks that share these sensibilities include “Dense” and “I Pushed You.” They are bouncy tunes to bop to.  The main difference is with “Dense” which has a discernable orchestral flair thanks to the church-like organ. “Dense” is their magnum opus. It’s a track celebrating the vocal depth of Sheldon Herschfeld and tight composition of the band as a whole.

“Weeping Eyes” is quite the departure from the previous tracks. It’s a low tempo ballad and it shows some range for the Woolly Bushmen. Another similar tune is “Fire Tonight.” This one is a R&B ballad with definable depth.  It’s a track that highlights the story of a homeless man and his struggles to survive.  This track particularly shows off The Woolly Bushmen’s ability to create provocative mood that backs up Herschfeld impressive vocals.

In Shambles was recorded in Los Angles by Josiah Mazzaschi and in Orlando, Florida at Complete Shambles Recording Laboratory with Simon Palombi.  Overall, this record emphasizes The Woolly Bushmen’s ability to blend different styles and genres with a unique brilliance.

Those who dug their first record will find familiarity with this album. In Shambles has a ballads, fuzz garage and of course rock n’ roll.  In Shambles also shows of the emotive range of Herschfeld, which combined with the tightness of the band, hits close to perfection.  This is a record for lovers of  infectious vintage sounds and for those looking for something delightfully new. The Woolly Bushmen knock it out of the park again. Congrats lads. Now go buy this record.

Pale Lips— After Dark

Pale Lips have finally released their sophomore album After Dark. This is a record boasting the infectious nature of power pop while sprinkling heavy doses of bubble gum sensibilities. Those not familiar with Pale Lips will find a kind of familiarity in their style with their previous work. They brilliantly capture the vibrant, playful essence that defined The Baby Shakes, but with the rock n’ roll, switchblade sister elements that invigorated Nikki and The Corvettes or even The Donnas— just not with the same spit and vinegar.  They also evoke a sugar and spice that invokes a slight nod toward Peach Kelly Pop.

After Dark is an overall a fun listen that is akin to a sugar rush emboldened by cotton candy dreams and poppy overtones. It’s a record that suggests that Pale Lips are an act to catch live. They are no doubt playful and tight. This is best characterized by the opening track “Some Sort Of Rock n’Roll” It’s a solid banger that combines rock n’ roll themes with power poppy blends of punky defiance .

The next track “I’m A Witch” is a personal favorite because it shows off the magic Pale Lips are capable of. This track is catchy and fun, but with noticeable spunk.  It’s a kind of tune that makes one bop up and down, and hooks on with the introduction of a cackling scream and pounding drums.   Not to mention, this track has some riffs that over an obvious nod to The Sonics classic “The Witch.”

“You’re A Doll” blends Pale Lips pop-tastic nature in with themes that seek to subvert. This tune is one to fall in love with while bopping about. It’s a track that has the familiar sugary elements but with lyrical content that makes a jab at the wankery of narcissistic consumerism.  Above all though, it’s fun and bouncy tune.

“The Old Ghost Don’t Lie” shows a bit of the depth that Pale Lips are capable of. It’s a smooth tune that invokes the doo wop sound of La Luz, but with a killer power poppy drive. Plus, it’s got some soul and feeling in it that isn’t reliant on a upbeat catch.

“Cosmic Love” another that holds this characteristics. While it’s a another song about love, it’s soothing sound doesn’t pound away needlessly. Instead it’s a tune that shows off how Pale Lips are with a sound bordering on something to make one sway instead of bash about in fits. Rather, it’s the track for the hopeless romantic of the tender heart of a rock n’ roll soul.

On the B-Side “The Kids” places on the emphasis on idea of youthful fun and lustful abandonment. The same notion can be found in “Johnny” or Doo-Wop Showaddywaddy.” Overall the After Dark presents it’s listeners with infectious tunes that embody the playful essence of the rock n’ roll ethos in a fully snarky matter that is worthy of Switchblade Sisters styleism mixed in with something delightfully cheeky.  For best effect, place this this record on the turntable during a soda pop sugar rush. As you bounce from wall to wall in giddy excitement, you’ll be glad you did.

Down South Spaghetty Accident

Down South Spaghetty Accident
Various Artists
Spaghetty Town Records 
Street: 2019

If one wasn’t already familiar with today’s more interesting punk and rock n’ roll acts then they soon will be. The 14-track Down South Spaghetty Accident compilation proves that rock n’ roll lives and breathes with unabated vibrancy. It includes numerous groups like the Dirty Fences, Mama, Dinos Boys, BBQT, Criminal Kids and many more.


From start to finish Down South Spaghetty Accident does not disappoint. It’s a record with no fillers and only gems.  That being said, my top tracks on the Down South Spagetty Accident include those recorded by Dirty Fences, BBQT and Criminal Kids

Dirty Fences have never shied away from knocking out a sound that mixes garage with power pop sensibilities. Those not aware of these lads should start with their hit “Judy (Don’t Go)” from Full Tramp. After digesting that, check out their new track “M.O.N.E.Y.” True to form, this is ditty captures Dirty Fences bouncy and harmonious poppy nature.  Admittingly though “M.O.N.E.Y” is not as raw as some of their previous material.  

My favorite track on this comp is BBQT’s “Savage 512.” This track is easily my favorite recording of theirs. It’s modern glam rock meant for the trash rockers of this decadent decade.  BBQT has got all attitude that inspires a nod toward Suzi Quatro infusing with a Runaways grab you by the crotch glam-punk savagery. If “Savage 512.” doesn’t make you flail about with wild abandonment, then all hope may be lost to you.

Mama’s “Sugar Burn” also follows in the glam vein. It’s a heavy hitter that reminds me a bit of Bay City Rollers or even Sensations “Black Eyed Woman.” “Sugar Burn” has a vintage style appeal. It’s  the kind of track that could have been found on a Glamstains compilation. Luckily for today’s listeners it’s on Down South Spaghetty Accident.

Dinos Boys stay true to their sound with “Ready When You Are” with unbridled punk intensity. It’s got snot and an attitude worthy of the Dead Boys or The MC5. To be sure, with this number punk rock remains alive and well.

Criminal Kids deliver quite the diamond in the rough with “Run From The Police.” Their cover of “Run From The Police” is worthy of being listened to alongside the original by Gangster.  Criminal Kids style have got a defiant punk stance mixed with the hi-voltage intensity of early 1970’s glam. In comparison, Gangster’s original is a bit more bouncy with late 1970’s punk and rock sensibilities.  The original will always have a special place in my heart. However, Criminal Kids knock out their version with sheer brilliance.

It’s a wonder that such an explosion of sound could be housed in a single LP.  This compilation emphases music that ought to germinate the ear and is a must have for any degenerates collection. It’s a record that ought to be played until your record players needle wears thin or until the local authorities pinch you for being a menace to society.  So be sure to listen with impunity.

Ex Hex – It’s Real


Ex Hex
It’s Real
Merge
Street: 03.22
Ex Hex = Heart + Joan Jett and The Black Hearts

Good lord, it feels as though it’s been ages since Ex Hex released their debut album, Rips in 2014. It’s safe to say that record was nothing short of a marvel that carved out a niche in the vastness of contemporary music. Not only did Rips blend familiarity with freshness, but it was composed with the nitty and delightfully catchy gritty elements of glam infused rock n’ roll. Listening to it, I could hear an album that almost begged for the nostalgia of Suzi Quatro or Bonnie St. Claire. Now, four years later, Ex Hex deliver something entirely different with It’s Real.

Read the full album review published by SLUG Magazine!

Utah’s newest radio station KUAA

Brad Wheeler, photo by Mike Jones

Don’t Touch That Dial!

KUAA and Brad Wheeler Groove a Mix of World Music

Tune your radio dial to 99.9 FM, and if you are within range, you will hear the unique sounds emanating from Utah’s newest radio station, KUAA.

Founded by Derek Dryer and now headed by (Bad) Brad Wheeler, this non-profit station broadcasts a diverse mix of multicultural and bilingual music spanning genres and styles. Originally, KUAA (the Utah’s newest radio station) broadcasted from within a closet at the Arts Alliance building on 663 West and 100 South. In late 2017, Dryer wanted to really establish KUAA and brought in Wheeler shortly after he departed from KRCL. Initially, Wheeler was hesitant about getting involved and says, “I wasn’t really sure if his audience would embrace me.”

However, Wheeler offered to take over for 72 hours to see if he could make the station live up to Dryer’s expectation. After Wheeler programmed a multilingual mix for KUAA, the station began attracting attention. “I don’t really feel like I did it so much — I feel like the music did it on its own,” Wheeler says.

Check out the full article, published at Utah Stories.com!