Thursday, September 18, 2008

Rein Sanction - Mariposa

It's almost impossible to find reviews or articles about Rein Sanction that don't mention Dinosaur Jr. and guitarist J. Mascis. After listening to Mariposa, the Jacksonville, Florida band's third LP (second on Sub Pop and released in 1992), I understand the connection. Each band has a distinctive guitar sound that carries the music. But other than that, I'm not hearing much in the way of similarity between the two bands. A lot of Dino Jr. songs had melodies and hooks while Rein Sanction's stuff relies more on mood and atmosphere.

It's difficult to come up with a good description of the band's sound. For an idea, check out this review from Aquarius Records. Whoever wrote it goes pretty overboard with the language, but I'm willing to chalk it up to one too many bong hits and not some music writing douchebaggery. Maybe smoking a few bowls is the best way to listen to Mariposa. The first time through, none of the songs jumped out as instantly memorable. It's the kind of record (and the type of band) that grows on you after repeated listens.

The band released its two Sub Pop albums (Broc's Cabin and Mariposa) in 1991 and 1992 after grunge had blown up. I'm sure the records came and went unnoticed since they didn't have much in common with the bands that were getting all the hype. Since then, they put out another record in the mid-90's and a 7" in 2006.

Check out two songs from Mariposa:

Loaded Decision

Hell Day

Go here to buy the CD from Sub Pop.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Shark Pants - Porno Snakehead

Do a Google search for Shark Pants and you'll find links to sites where you can buy children's pajama pants with sharks on them. You'll also find this crazy trio from Tucson, Arizona. I'm not sure what it is about living in the Southwest that causes bands to sound like Nuggets-era garage rock on a psychotic meth-binge, but that's what you've got here. Shark Pants remind me of an even more wacked out Scared of Chaka (a great band from New Mexico who broke up in 2002 but have reunited for some shows this year), which is a very good thing.

The songs on the band's 2004 record, Porno Snakehead, explode out of the speakers (or the iPod or whatever) and grab you by the throat. 9 songs in 16 minutes...a quick shot of adrenaline and an assault on the senses and boom, it's done. I imagine they must put on one hell of a live show. Since this first record came out, they've put out another one called Automatic Pinner on Underground Government, a Japanese label. Hopefully, they'll put out more stuff on Recess (who put out this one) or another U.S. label in the future.

Here are a couple songs from Porno Snakehead for your listening enjoyment:



Go here to purchase Porno Snakehead on LP or CD. The LP has three extra songs.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Headache City - Headache City

Headache City are a Chicago band (2003-present) and this is their self-titled first full-length from 2006 on Shit Sandwich Records. They have ex-members of the Motards and the White+Outs, which means you can expect some fuzzy garage punk in their sound. But the band add something different to the mix in the form of poppy melodies and new wave keyboards. Reviewers are all over the map on this band, comparing them to everyone from the Knack, the Modern Lovers, The Fall and the Flying Nun bands from New Zealand.

I was excited to find this for $1.99. I'd heard how good it was when the record first came out and I'd been meaning to track it down but forgot. I've listened to it several times and I'm kind of torn. At first, the keyboards and the singer's way of annunciating stuff really bothered me. The more I listen to it, the more it's grown on me. Repeated listens have me thinking it's punchier and darker than I thought. Still, it's the kind of record I have to be in the right mood to enjoy.

Check out these songs:

Wax Pedigree


You can purchase the album on LP or CD here.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Slant 6 - Soda Pop * Rip Off

Slant 6 were a DC-area all-female band from circa 1992-1995. A semi-interesting fact about the band: they took their name from an in-line six cylinder engine produced by Dodge for Chrysler in the 60s and 70s. The trio (Christina Billotte, Myra Power & Marge Marshall) put out a couple singles and two albums during their three years together. Both long-players came out on Dischord Records.

Soda Pop * Rip Off is their first album. It's a good record and one I used to have on vinyl but ending up selling for some reason (maybe because I'm an idiot). If you troll the web seeking comparisons for the band's sound, you'll come up with descriptors like punk and riot-grrl and names like Sleater-Kinney, Wire and Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders fronting the Wipers. I'll let you decide. Here are a couple songs:

Time Expired (link expired)

Invisible Footsteps (link expired)

Buy Soda Pop * Rip off here.

What Is This?

During 8 years of living in San Francisco, I was obsessed with the bargain bins at Amoeba Music. Once every couple weeks, I would spend an hour or two combing through them. These bins (talking specifically about the SF one, although the Berkeley and LA ones aren't too shabby) have shitload of CDs priced from $1-5. For every three you buy, you get the lowest-priced one for free. So...if you're willing to spend a couple hours getting your hands filthy flipping through dirty, dusty cases and jacking up your back squatting to pick through bins close to the ground, you can walk away with some good stuff at a very cheap price.

With so many people either buying music through downloads and using the internet to find things for free, I've started wondering if stores like Amoeba will eventually go the way of the dinosaur. On a trip back to SF this past weekend, the store didn't seem to be in any trouble. The place was packed and everyone was headed to the registers with armloads of CDs, records, DVDs, etc. I guess plenty of us still enjoy collecting stuff.

I spent my usual 2 hours digging for buried treasure and came up with 8 CDs that ended up costing me a grand total of $13 and change. You can't beat that. Unfortunately, one of my current goals is to get rid of things and live a simpler, clutter-free life. It's hard to do that when you add 8 CDs to almost full racks holding several hundred (many of which I haven't given a full listen).

That brings me to the purpose of this blog. I figure I need some kind of structure in place to get me to plow through all these CDs and then move them along via Lala, eBay, or a local record store. So why not do a music blog with a half-assed descriptions and a sample mp3? I can get shit done and maybe one or two people will get turned on to something they like.