The Blankz White Baby/Sissy Glue 7” Slope Records Street: 07.13 The Blankz = Devo + The Epoxies + The Spits
Born in 2017, The Blankz are a vibrant electrical current of pogo-inducing madness. Together, they are Tommy Blank (vox), Jaime Blank (guitar), Andy Blank (bass), Johnny Blank (drums) and Nikkie Blank (synthesizer), who also fronts The Darts. They are from Phoenix, Arizona, and like their state, they are hot but not bothered. Their debut record, the White Baby/Sissy Glue record, is a lethal combination of orgasmic weirdo pop infused with the sensibilities of raucous punk rock.
The Speedways Just Another Regular Summer Gods Candy Records Released: 05.27.2018
The Speedways’ Just Another Regular Summer provides the new essential anthems for teenage inspired kicks and heartaches. Easily taking nods from a nostalgic 77-ear of punky-power pop sound, The Speedways capture the styles that made The Boys or The Outcasts definitive. It’s a record that boasts dreamy power pop brilliance for the modern age. This is an album that professes sounds that are unique and excellent. To say anything less would be blasphemy.
This album was composed by Mathew Julian with the addition of Dec Burns on the drums. Just Another Regular Summer captures the nostalgic essence of Joey Ramone’s longing vocals by twisting it with an attitude worthy of the Exploding Hearts and infusing it with the hopeless romantic nature of Protex and the Speedies. The tracks on Just Another Regular Summer are performed with a kind of painful restraint but maintains a cool and passionate feeling. This is especially evident with the track “Reunion In The Rain.”
This is the perfect music to inspire feelings of being soaked in heartbreak, while forever being possessed by the powerful spell that first begged one to fall in love. Each track on this album is golden and there is no filler. However, my favorite songs are “Seen Better Days” and “One Kiss Can Lead To Another.” “Seen Better Days” is a groovy jangly pop tune with an infectious chorus. “One Kiss Can Lead To Another” is the song for lovers and is sung from the perspective of one shyly longing for romance.
If I had to nominate an album that was meant to be heard this summer, then it is most certainly Just Another Regular Summer. Through masterful lyricism and composition, Julian shows excellence in creating melodies that inspire the vivid imagery serenading the complexity of love that is lost. Rumor has it this is a one album wonder. If it is, lovers of power pop will be hard pressed to find tunes like these ever again. Don’t miss out on this gem and grab a copy of Just Another Regular Summer where ever it may be available. This is the diamond in the rough and it pleads to be heard.
Once a month, Piper Down echoes with rock n’ roll music that defined the 1950’s and early 1960’s. The event behind the music is called Salt Lake Rockabilly Presents. It is a themed club night with live bands and both digital and vinyl DJ’s spinning original Rockabilly, Doo Wop, R&B, Hillbilly, Western Swing and more. It is hosted by Paul “Woody” Woodmansey and Jon Grippe. Woodmansey collaborative partnership with Grippe began shortly after moving to Utah from England. “Jon was one of the first Rockabilly people I met here in Salt Lake and he had been putting on shows over the past decade or so.” Woodmansey says, “He had contacts with the owner of Piper Down and we decided that it would be a good place to start a regular night for Rockabilly music.”
Los YaYaz Right to Left (Shane Kiel, Aaron Wilkison, Mariano Wilson and Micheal Flecha.
Los Yayaz Born Dead Self-Released
Los YaYaz have blazed through the Salt Lake City music scene by combining the wild and primitive style of Los Yetis and Los Saicos with the intensity of The Sonics. This new record maintains their iconic blended style with all the trappings of repressed teenage angst and longing desperation. Their delivery is raw and if I didn’t know better I would have sworn Born Dead was some long lost garage-punk- unknown. Historically, Los YaYaz perform both in English and Spanish. Born Dead, however, has all tracks recorded in English. This album was recorded live, and is only available on cassette or via their bandcamp.
Born Dead contains covers of well-known tracks like The Sonics “The Hustler” and Bo Diddley’s “I’m a Man.” Listening to these covers it’s clear that the Los Yayaz have done their homework and almost own each song as their own. The the cover of The Bel-Aires “Ya Ha Be Be,” really shows of Los YaYaz their musical tightness. It comes across as a more comfortable tune to cover as it appears that they are having a blast recording this track.
Out of all the covers on Born Dead, “All Black & Hairy” is easily my favorite. This track captures the haunting nature of Screaming Lord Sutch with the moody yet dirty nature of rock n’ roll found six feet deep. Joining Los YaYaz on the organ for “All Black & Hairy” is producer Dennis Fuller (also of The Boys Ranch).
The real magic on Born Dead is the original Los YaYaz material. Largely written by vocalist Mariano Wilson,songs such as “Just a Little Bit” and “Sad and Blue” stay true to 1960’s garage rock form by betraying the familiar teenage garage punk themes of snotty adolescent defiance and love. With “Sad and Blue” the Los YaYaz boast a real moody groover. In a way it almost reminds me of the recently unearthed Sites N’ Sounds “The Night Is So Dark.” The difference between the two is a discernible roughness that will inspire listeners to sway and stomp their way to the grave.
The only departure of from the garage rock sound is with Aaron’s Wilkinson’s’“Nerd Basher.” While definitely influenced by a more aggressive late 1966 garage rock sound, this track falls more in line with the attitude of 1970’s punk with the jet-fuel aggression of The MC5.
Overall, Los YaYaz bring a much needed revived sense of passion into garage rock. It’s clear that with Born Dead that they have refined their sound. Furthermore, these guys know their roots and have yet to cease bringing back a bordering untamed nature. Their use of covers are fine here and there, and they do them justice, but Los YaYaz demonstrates the knack for solid material with their own songs. Looking forward, I hope to hear more Los YaYaz originals—maybe even a return to some Spanish sung tunes.
It would be a tragedy if Born Dead is lost to unknown pages of history, so do yourself a favor and pick up their tape. Los YaYaz’s Born Dead demonstrates that rock n’ roll is here to stay and it’ll never die. Born Dead is a must own for anyone who boasts a love for garage rock. Pick it up.
The Cavemen Nuke Earth Slovenly Records Released 18.04.2018
Sinful and nihilistic, The Cavemen’s Nuke Earth does nothing short of leave its listener as a drooling, reverbed drenched mess. Fans of The Cavemen will be comforted to know that their legendary barbarity remains intact. This record is a 25 minute thrill ride that invokes the untamed nature of Guitar Wolf and the brutality of the Dwarves. Much like their other records, The Cavemen do not disappoint by embodying an unapologetic assault on all that is vanilla and bland in the music world.
On April 22nd, Switzerland’s infamous Reverend Beat-Man will be playing the Garage on Beck with Nicole Izobel Garcia. They are touring the United States to support their new album Baile Bruja Muerto, released on Beat-Man’s label Voodoo Rhythm Records. The two will take their stage dressed as a reverend (Beat-Man) and a nun (Garcia). Not a reverend in the traditional sense, Beat-Man says, “Reverend comes from the German word Revereieren .That means I tell you a story, and I thought that’s pretty cool.” Much of their act is about presenting a striking image and a unique sound— aka Blues-Trash, a term coined by Beat-Man. It’s musical style that mixes the haunting sensations of garage-like-blues with surreal folk music. Garica says, “our voices are so yin and yang, but we are both very dark in our music and performance. If you got to know us you’ll see we are similar because we both have this dark side but are also quite angelic.”
THE REVOX TALK ABOUT HER / SICK OF YOU Voodoo Rhythm Records Street: 12.09.2016 The Revox = The Sevens + The Dynamites + The Rippers + The Monsters
Screaming from the frozen utopic wastelands of Switzerland come The Revox. According to Voodoo Rhythm Records legend The Revox were recently resurrected from their ice-cold graves in the Swiss mountains to annihilate planet Earth with fuzz-guitar-driven rock n’ roll. With a sound like theirs, I’d be hard-pressed to believe otherwise. This band embodies the devastating yet hedonistic power of the untamed nature of garage rock n’ roll. Their sound is unbridled and crushingly raw. Within this release are sounds that bring up a passion for 1960s garage rock but with the shocking energy of punk rock.
KING KHAN MURDERBURGERS Khannibalism / Ernest Jenning Record Co. Street: 10.13 King Khan = Bob Dylan + King Khan and the Shrines + King Khan and the BBQ Show +The Space Shits
It is not a surprise that another album made by the legendary King Khan is superb. He makes music with an exceeding degree of excellence. His music boasts brilliant hooks and his lyricism is on point with cultural critiques. Khan, furthermore, never fails to capture an early Dylan recipe for an overall provocative sound—with an obvious note that Khan’s style is wholly electric. His structures are vivid and strikingly alive. He could sing about love gone lost or the raptures of narcissism and, in my mind, there would be a pretty and detailed picture showing it all.
CULT OF THE PSYCHIC FETUS SELF-TITLED Killjoy Records Street: 04.01.17 Cult Of The Psychic Fetus= The Cramps + Bobby “Boris” Pickett + The Moontrekkers
This little beauty of an EP comes straight from the crypts of the undead. Admittedly, I was skeptical of how much I would enjoy this record. I mean, with a name like Cult of the Psychic Fetus, I thought it would be silly, but as with many great records, one will likely find something cool if the album art is on point. So, take it from me that the art for this EP is solid, and so is the record.
This self-titled is a gothabilly gem that mixes the attitude of The Cramps-like rock n’ roll with monster mash tendencies. Sure, the themes of the dead and undead may be predictable, but Cult of the Psychic Fetus are a tight group with a tight sound. These guys really know how to play their rock n’ roll. It touches on the smoothness of the 1960s with the edginess of a band haunting the depths of the garage.