Tag Archives: Rock n’ Roll

JET ROCK N’ ROLL: BLAST OFF WITH GUITAR WOLF

Photo courtesy of Guitar Wolf

At the age of 20, I was introduced to Guitar Wolf via their 2000 rock n’ roll zombie b-movie, Wild Zero. A year later, in 2011, I failed to catch them in Salt Lake City at the Urban Lounge. Luckily, I soon moved to the UK and saw them perform in Brighton, England, with The Ricky C Quartet in support. In that intimate venue, I was sold on Guitar Wolf. The show was an inspiring experience. These guys clearly lived and breathed everything that is rock n’ roll: It wasn’t an act or some shallow novelty— for these guys it was a lifestyle. They played dressed in their signature motorcycle jackets and lit the room up with an untamable fury. Since then, getting their records has been a priority, and watching Wild Zero, a yearly tradition.

For the soon to be initiated Guitar Wolf are the true—and perhaps among the last—embodiments of the hopeless romanticism that powers rock n’ roll. They blasted out of Nagasaki and onto the Japanese garage rock scene in 1987, around the same time as The 5,6,7,8’s and Teengenerate. They are a mix of the Ramones speed-like-intensity fused with the rockabilly nature of Link Wray, but with a defiantly Killed By Death punk attitude. Since forming, Guitar Wolf have released 14 studio albums, their most recent T-Rex from a Tiny Space Yojouhan in 2016. Throughout, their style has remained consistent. Their sound is nothing short of “Jet Rock n’ Roll’—a term they invented. It’s wild, raw and must be heard devastatingly loud.

2017 is Guitar Wolf’s 30th anniversary. They will be touring the States and landing in Salt Lake City on July 3 at Urban Lounge. Before we bear witness to their awesome fury, frontman Seiji talks rock n’ roll in Japan, their recent album, the “Shimane Ajet Festival” and Fabian Huebner’s new film, An Electric Fairytale, in which Seiji stars.

Dig the full interview with Seiji of Guitar Wolf published by SLUG Magazine!!

The Masonics: Obermann Rides Again

The Masonics
Obermann Rides Again
Dirty Water Records
February 24, 2017

With Obermann Rides Again, it’s clear that The Masonics are experts in love, loss and yearning. This is a formula that has proven the test of time, and pop rock n’ roll song approved. Like others before, The Masonics invoke a style of rhythm and beat served with excellence.

Dig the full album review published at Heatwave Magazine.com

 

Fashionism — Subculture Suicide 7”

Fashionism Subculture Suicide 7” Dirt Cult Records Released: June 23, 2016

Fashionism
Subculture Suicide 7”
Dirt Cult Records
Released: June 23, 2016

Three singles in and Fashionism are still flawlessly knocking out catchy rock n’ roll anthems. Their style evokes a strong longing of nostalgia toward rock n’ rolls golden years while energizing their listener with highly addictive punk infused power pop. It’s a sound that twists the infectious nature of late 1970’s punky power pop with the hit making sensibilities of bubblegum glam rock.

The new single, Subculture Suicide 7” brilliantly continues on this trend by pumping out three songs of provocative high energy wrapped within a volatile twist. Fashionism jolts their listeners to remember when music was a dangerous thing that provoked passions and instilled a razor blade edged code to live by. The title track “Subculture Suicide” ” is easily for the forgotten subcultural romantics who have yet to succumb to the allures of a music inspired lifestyle threatened and rebranded as a cheap commodity. It’s a relevant track and will have any eager listener shaking all about.

“Stop Drop and Rock n’ Roll” stands out as the defiant track  celebrating the gs  relevantly upbeat and will have you shaking all about.  It’s a track perfectlory of all things that shake, shimmy and jive. It’s a song that is riddled with an electric feel of a powerful poppy nature and is easily addicting to the ears. Played loud and often this will have you uncontrollably bopping about.

“Nun of That” is ridiculously and sensationally fun. Provided that you willfully to surrender to feelings of sinful joy inspired by radical chemical imbalance of a ritalin addled mind, then this 1 min and 34 second song is for you. Pogo away.

The Subculture Suicide 7″  is further demonstration of Fashionism’s awesome ability to deliver some stirring hook filled tunes. Each track comes across as lyrically inspiring and has a sound that one can move and groove to.  Only thing missing in this discography is an LP. For now though, one will have to be happily content with dropping the needle on the Subculture Suicide 7”. So, don’t waste any more time and be sure to dig this.
—Nick Kuzmack

For more Fashionism, check out their bandcamp: https://fashionism.bandcamp.com/album/subculture-suicide-7

Check out their first single from Hosehead Records

COEDS – THRILL ME!

COEDS THRILL ME! New Granada Records Street: 09.02 Coeds = La Sera + Seratones

COEDS
THRILL ME!
New Granada Records
Street: 09.02
Coeds = La Sera + Seratones

Coeds hail from Savannah, Georgia, and are a part of a line that celebrates the vibrancy of rock groups that have made the state a hot spot for all things rocking and rolling. Over the last 15 years, we have seen top Atlanta bands like The Booze, The Coathangers and Black Lips define a sound that reinstills a much-needed cool and rebellious spirit into a new generation of hip and spiteful youth. Then, there are Coeds. Initially, Coeds inspire an appeal for a positive rock n’ roll sound that should serve only to excite. Certainly, they have a sound that flaunts some angst here, but it is wrapped in overwhelmingly good vibes and an intoxicating indie feel.

Read the full album review published @ SLUG Magazine!!

THE MONSTERS – THE JUNGLE NOISE RECORDINGS

THE MONSTERS
THE JUNGLE NOISE RECORDINGS
Voodoo Rhythm Records
Street: 04.08
The Monsters = The Sonics + The Jackets

From the gritty streets of Bern, Switzerland, comes the raw and primitive recordings of The Monsters. Fronted by Beat Zeller, aka Reverend Beat Man—owner of Voodoo Rhythm Records—the band formed in 1986 and made a name for themselves as a wild garage rock–meets–rockabilly outfit. They toured Europe and presented themselves as a force to be reckoned with. The Jungle Noise Recordings was originally recorded in 1994 and was the first album that saw The Monsters use an electric bass rather than an upright. The album was recorded at home instead of a studio so that the record could better boast the raw elements of The Monsters’ sound. It was originally released as 10” record via the underground German label Jungle Noise. After The Jungle Noise Recordings came out, The Monsters conducted a lengthy tour that saw them established in the Europe’s rock n’ roll scene. Giving this compilation a thorough listen some 20ish years later, I can see why.

Dig the full album review published @ SLUG Magazine!!

The Electric Pencils – Self Titled (One Man Movement)

Band: The Electric Pencils
Album: Self-Titled
Label: One Man Movement
Released: February 2016

 

Well, I’m going to just come out and say it, after checking out The Electric Pencils self-titled release I’m a fan. This record boasts solid rock n roll that has a nostalgic sort of indie twist that is quite charming and disarmingly delightful. It’s simple, catchy with a wonderful sharpness that defines their sound.

Dig the full album review published @ Heatwave Magazine!!

SHANNON & THE CLAMS: SHAKE RATTLE & ROLL


On March 30, the Oakland rock n’ roll trio Shannon and the Clams are going to rip through Salt Lake City by taking over the Urban Lounge with Gazebos and local garage-punkers Breakers. If curious fans are feeling impatient for a taste of the raw rock n’ roll sound that defines Shannon and the Clams, they can get a preview of what is sure to be a brilliant show by dropping the needle on the trio’s new record, Gone by the Dawn. It’s a perfect album that narrates the longing of heartache while still being something one can groove to.

Dig the full article on Shannon and The Clams @ SLUG Magazine!

Fuzzy Vox – No Landing PLan

Artist: Fuzzy Vox
Album: No Landing Plan
Self-Released
Released: Feb 28, 2016

No Landing Plan ought to have a disclaimer that warns listeners of the involuntary volatile spasms that follow from listening to the infectious nature of this upbeat poppy garage rock ‘n’ roll. Fuzzy Vox manages to capture a sound that reflects something that borders on rock ‘n’ roll music that is not overplayed.

Dig the full album review published @ Heatwave Magazine!!

The Ethel Floon

The Ethel Floon
Self-Titled
Self-Released
Street: November 19, 2015

If one could produce an offspring that had the attitude of a fresh out of the garage like punk stance with the rhythm of some funky blues you would probably come across The Ethel Floon. Their self-titled album is a charmingly catchy listen that maintains a certain level of youthful angst while showing off an appreciation for an older style that is ageless and charismatic. It’s a sound that is haunting and borders on the realms of bluesy psychedelia with an edgy rock n’ roll touch—kind of like what one could get from a Jimmy Hendrix album minus the overt sex driven aggression and burning guitars. After giving this a few spins, I would hope to find The Ethel Floon playing in a dark smoke-filled bar to a jiving audience while knocking out numbers like “I’m Leavin” and “Better Bidder,” and “A Preacher Out Of Time.” No doubt witnessing such a performance would inspire silly romantic notions and an infectious case of grooving about. However, since I’m stuck here in the states, I’ll settle for dimming the lights and raising the volume in hopes of attracting the creatures of the night to dig these tunes.

Check out their tracks on The Ethel Floon’s Bandcamp and Soundcloud!

Beware! Here comes the Brain Bagz

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Left to right (Max Wilson, Kristen Maloney, Mikey Blackhurst, Elisar Soueidi)

If one has not paid witness to the fury that is Brain Bagz, they are most certainly missing out. Their style blends a mix of influences and dare say, goes beyond the boundaries of any generic label. Brain Bagz consist of Mikey Blackhurst, Kristen Maloney, Elisar Soueidi and Max Wislon. They formed in early 2015 out of the ashes of garage punk band, Swamp Ravens—a band that Maloney and Blackhurst had started a couple years prior. Swamp Ravens played various Salt Lake clubs and could regularly be seen at Diabolical Records. Though they played host to many different lineups and they were always a presence to be considered— and it was a surprise to many when they finally folded. “{Swamp Ravens} just fizzled out,” says Blackhurst. “It was kind of unfocused.” Maloney adds, “…We went through so many band members…every time we get a new member, we would write all the songs—in my opinion it got better every time—and finally after the last breakup we had Jared Soper and Courtney Holman in the band. I loved the set up, we made some great music—they’re good musicians—but once they were out of the band we were like ‘k this project this project’s done.’ ”

The absence of Swamp Ravens was a notable loss in the Salt Lake music scene, however Blackhurst and Maloney were determined to start something new and fresh. In perhaps perfect timing for the Quintron and Miss Pussycat gig on June 03,2015, Brain Bagz had come out of the woodwork with a new line up and sound. Brain Bagz’s boasted a diverse inspiration that varied from rockabilly, blues, weird punk and even modern culture. “Everyone in this band listens to different stuff,” says Blackhurst. “We’re all familiar with blues, soul, funk and jazz.” With such a wide and deep appreciation for music and culture it can be rather difficult to pin them down to a genre. But that’s not a concern for Brain Bagz as they do not feel the need to be limited and that is something that shows through their music and even defines their reason for playing.

For Brain Bagz, their motive for playing is based purely on the need to make music rather than make money. Maloney says, “I’d say with Brain Bagz, we’ve had people who really care about it, whereas with Swamp Ravens we had some people who kinda care.” Brain Bagz has been subject to some line-up changes, though, not as drastic as with Swamp Ravens. Since the Quintron and Miss Pussycat show, Brain Bagz lost their drummer and synth player—a departure it is stressed that was on good terms—but in the switch up, gained the talents of Soueidi and Wilson. Speaking of their new members Blackurst says, “Now we have people that are fucking into it, who fucking care about it.” Brain Bagz current line-up act very much like a family. “I like that we pick people over they’re musical abilities. We knew Elisar could play guitar, could play bass, she was a fantastic musician {who} didn’t know shit about drums when she joined the band, and we’re like we don’t care. We know you can play and we’re not a real technical band,” says Maloney. “We just want to play rock n’ roll.”

Maloney and Blackhurst’s appreciation for all things rock n’roll is a passion that translates into all aspects of life. It is a love that has found them attending Goner Fest in Memphis, Tennessee two years in a row and somehow they have managed to survive with their livers intact. With certain excitement Maloney says,“It’s overwhelming in the best way possible, because you’re watching the best bands from 1AM to 4 AM and you’re at the bar the whole time.” This pilgrimage to Goner Fest has also contributed to an already budding awakening toward a more global rock n’ roll community. This more global outlook is felt to be largely lost in Salt Lake City. The reason according to Maloney is largely due to bands skipping over Salt Lake in favor of the touring the west coast with the result being the loss of said bands cultural influence on the local scene— however, according to Maloney that too is beginning to change. Brain Bagz cite Diabolical Records as the place that has greatly contributed to expanding and diversifying Salt Lake’s music scene and it is a shop/venue that Brain Bagz has played often.

It is at Diabolical that the members of Brain Bagz have been able to connect with the music community, both local and worldwide. With the emergence of a flourishing scene and with their experiences at Goner Fest,both Maloney and Blackhurst are inspired to take their music to new heights. Maloney speaking of her inspiration says, “Seeing these bands, meeting these bands, like we need to get our shit together. We need to get back on top of it…and to get out of Salt Lake.” Riding this wave of enthusiasm, Brain Bagz have hit the Salt Lake circuit hard in the last couple of months. They have played with the likes of GO!Zilla, Cool Ghouls, Rich Girlz,Salt Lake Spitfires, Blood Purge, Handiecapitalist and Lysol (Seattle). Their ambition is, however, set higher and they are set to bust out of Salt Lake City in March/April of 2016 for a west coast tour. If you’re smart you’ll check them out as they plan to infect:

March 26th Boise TBA,
March 27th Seattle TBA,
March 28th Portland @ The Know,
March 29th Sacramento TBA,
March 30th SF @ Hemlock Tavern,
March 31st Oak TBA,
April 1st LA @ Nela’s,
April 2nd LA @ Permanent Records,
3rd Las Vegas @ TBA

Dig Brain Bagz’s Bandcamp and their Facebook page for all things Brain Bagz!!