Monday, December 16, 2013

The Single Life - 7" of Fun; featuring The Bootlegs, Helms Alee & Ladder Devils, The Dangits & Perdition, Knucklehead and Street Dogs

 The Bootlegs - All In

The Bootlegs are a 4 piece rock band from Toronto but you may be forgiven for thinking they hail from the sunshine state of California with their latest single “All In”.  Living in the UK where it pretty much always rains, “All In” was a perfect slice of sunshine for a dreary Autumn day.

A laid back groovy bassline provides the perfect backdrop for a song guaranteed to bring a smile to your face with bright riffs reminiscent of a more mellow Weezer.  The Weezer theme continues vocally as there is a definite hint of Rivers Cuomo.  This is the only song I’ve heard by the band and if this single is anything to go by, I’m definitely keen to hear more.  Could we have the next Black Keys in our midst?

Band Website

--Rock Fairy

Helms Alee/Ladder Devils Split 7" 

I got big respect for Brutal Panda.  I love subscription series stuff, and while this isn't necessarily a subscription, it's the next best thing.  In 2013,  Brutal Panda Records started a 7″ split series and this is the second installment.  Feauturing brand new tracks from Tacoma, WA rockers HELMS ALEE and Philadelphia noisey grunge rockers LADDER DEVILS.  The 7″ features artwork from Nat Damm (Torche, The Jesus Lizard, Akimbo) and was released on September 10th.

As with any split, you never know quite what you're gonna get.  The Ladder Devils side works better for me than the Helms Alee, since it brings in more melody and structure than the miasma of dissonance that Helms Alee specialize in.  But both sides are a welcome addition to any fan of fuzzed out heavy rock. 

The first 7″ in the series was a repress of the long sold-out Black Tusk / Fight Amp split featuring artwork from Baroness’s John Baizley while the remaining 7″s will feature brand new and exclusive tracks from Kowloon Walled City, Whores, Rabbits and Batillus.

The Dangits/Perdition 7" Split

While we're on the topic of splits, Texan punkers the Dangits and Perdition team up to unleash this chugging 4 song assault of straight ahead, raving street punk--and damn does it tear it up!  The Dangits start it off with two blistering numbers of turbocharged punk rock. Not hardcore, just intense and flying, hints of garage thread through the blitz, and straight ahead rock n roll.  This is my kinda thing!

Perdition follow up on their side without missing a step.  A bit more Replacements-esque, with hints of Americana roots under their fury--and a tiny nod of emo-- Perdition take no prisoners either.  Two quality sides of modern punk.

Knucklehead - Cold Civil War b/w Riots and Tears

Punk seems to be the order of the day, so let's keep it going with this double slice of Oi! rebellion from Knucklehead, courtesey of Pirates Press Records.  Pirates Press has a huge reputation for pressing vinyl (and is where all Ripple Music vinyl is pressed) but the cats also run their own record label and specialize in street punk.  Not surprising when you learn that the company was founded by Eric Mueller who has a long association with Cock Sparrer, one of the first ever Oi! bands.  Pirates features bands like NOFX, Rancid, Cock Sparrer, and Ripple Favorites, the Street Dogs on it's roster, so it's no surprise that Knucklehead fit right into that mix.

Two sides of fervent, fist-raised Oi! punk with singalong chorus, gang chants and revolutionary lyrics.  Music to my ears.  Check em out.

Street Dogs - Crooked Drunken Sons b/w We all Fall Apart & I Got Drunk

Street Dogs?   Did someone mention Street Dogs?  Damn, it's amazing how good these guys are.  I liked the Knucklehead well enough, a nice slice of Oi!, but then hearing Street Dogs do their thing is taking it to a whole 'nother level.  Touches like the tin whistle that graces "Crooked Drunken Sons" is just some of the charm. Mainly, it's just fiercely good songwriting with a nose-thumbing of defiance.  "Crooked Drunken Sons" is a masterpiece of Celtic-inspired Oi!, fast and ferocious without ever becoming noisy.  Simply classic!

Flipside doesn't let up at all, with a killer cover of Uncle Tupelo's "I Got Drunk" and the anthemic, driving "We All Fall Apart."   Street Dogs, as always, delivers.  Crank this one loud!


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