In my office right now I'm looking at more than 1,000 pieces of 7" vinyl. Some I know, like The Stranglers or The Angels, but most are entirely random. Couldn't recite a name for ya if I wanted to. See, near me is a cool record store that has a stock of nearly 10,000 45's. There are huge bins of them, haphazardly placed for the price of 50 cents each. Tons upon tons of random punk, garage, hardcore, indy. Maybe some rare metal, some mainstream. Lots of oldies. All for 50 cents.
I dig the 7". Particularly the D.I.Y., small-label released garage punk ones. They're just so much fun. 7 minutes of hyper-burst enthusiasm by a band doing it for the love. I dig the "barely there" cover art. The self-made lettering. The random inserts.
So, after grabbing a slice of pizza and walking past the street vendors and dreadlocked beggars, I've made it a habit of popping in and grabbing a handful of vinyl. Or an armful. Usually, I'll pick out 50 of em, drop off the $25 and head home. After a while, those 50 add up and now I'm swamped.
So this is what I plan to do. I'm going to invite you, waveriders, to dig through my amassed smorgasbord of 7" vinyl with me. Every so often, I'm gonna grab about 5-7 randomly, put em on and write about what I hear. We'll decide together if the 7" platter playing is a keeper or a tosser. Class or crap. So rather than only writing about the ones I like, this time we're gonna review em all. Warts and blemishes alike. Just so you know, not all were bought for 50 cents, so when I pull out a Motorhead or Buzzcocks 7" don't go thinking I got the find of the year.
Should be fun. You may come across a band or track that totally turns you on. You may read about a few stinkers. I'll finally be able to clear out some space. . .
Cause I got another $25 burning a hole in my pocket and more 7" vinyl to buy.
So without further ado . . .
Now the Dogs I had heard of, probably in the pages of Classic Rock, but I'd never heard em. Totally depraved hair/glam metal from late-'80's England. I'm cool with that. Not much of a fan of hair metal, but I like sleaze and a band that is as famous for their debauchery as their music is alright in my book. So what's it like? "How Come it Never Rains" is slower than I'd expected with a stronger country-flair to the guitar intro. Over all, it's a pretty limp-wristed powerballad in the Poison vein. So far not impressed. "Sometimes" also kinda limps along at a mid-tempo beat. Really, I expected much more Guns n Roses than this. But the song picks up around the chorus and the guitars get bigger. And I like the vocals, much better than Poison or Motley Crue. Closing track, "Last Bandit" is the best one here, with the most interesting arrangement, some tighter guitar work, and a nice opening scream. More like the Bang Tango school of darker glam.
Verdict: Softer than I expected, not as sleazy or rocking, but for 50 cents, it's a keeper.
Took me almost 20 minutes to figure out the band name on this one. But the band is Get Killed and to the best of my research this is one of two 7" platters they produced, the other being a split with The Body. Despite being nearly impenetrable for me to figure out the band name, the packaging is way cool. A split cover that reveals the pink vinyl. There's also a totally unnecessary inserted lyric sheet --like I need to read what they're screaming about. DIY of the highest order. On the platter are 7 songs (33 RPM) of maniacal screaming hardcore punk. Guitars are played, but chords are really a grasp at reality. Drums are beaten as if they owed the mob money. I'm sure there's a bass there, somewhere, but the band will probably deny it. Each song is 100 mph random punk screeching, undecipherable from each other. Violent, thrashing hard core fury. Listening to this too many times in row could probably give you a venereal disease or something worse like brain rot.
Verdict: Definite keeper. Too randomly cool to toss.
Don't know if this was a RSD exclusive or not but it got pulled out of the discount bin at Amoeba Records in LA. Says "part 2 of a 2 part set on limited edition clear vinyl." As cool as that may sound it's not enough for me. I'd heard Air Traffic were an up and coming cool UK band, but what I got here is completely wrong-directed Keane-esque whining without the melody or virtuosity. Derivative and pedestrian. And to make it worse, the hole was cut too small so it squeaks on my turntable and gets stuck often. Makes my decision even easier.
BR I had heard of and pretty much anything that comes from Big Neck Records will get my attention. I remember when I got a copy of Seger Liberation Army, which had some members of BR. Great garage stuff. And here BR doesn't disappoint. "Mexican Leather" is a breakneck garage assault with gasoline-gargled vocals and a killer guitar tone. Fuzzy but still crunchy. "Summer in Hamtramack" may be even cooler with it's slowed-down, too-cool-beat vibe. Half spoken, half sung beat poetry vocals hang over a simple but damn cool repeating guitar line. Fill the club with cigarettes and some funny smoke. Don your beret, grab a girl in a tight mini-skirt and dig in for the ride.