Monday, April 20, 2009

The Single Life - A Ripple Record Round Up - Seven Inches of Fun

Welcome to another installment of another of my favorite columns here on the Ripple Effect, The Seven Inches of Fun. We're blessed here to receive a great assortment of vinyl submissions, usually in the form of the delectable seven inch single. What a damn fine format. I've become such a fan of the seven inch that I've been buying em by the bucketload over on ebay, filling the coffers with blasts of 7" fun from the sixties on up to the present for future columns. But today, we're dealing only with new stuff, three glorious tidbits of 7" juiciness that our esteemed postman Sal humped on through the Ripple office doors. Now, when Sal brings in the vinyl, both Pope and I leap to attention. Here's a little secret for you, vinyl always shoots right up onto the top of the stack we have to review here at the Ripple. So without further ado, here's this month's offering of vinyl happiness.

The Omens - Look Away b/w Gonna Be Alright

It was back in January, that I started this column by plugging in my new turntable and being blown clear through the double pane windows by the concussion wave of fuzzed out garage rock exploding off the Omens single Make it Last b/w Won't be Ashamed. Well damn, if they haven't gone and done it again! What we got here are two pure on charging nitro-fueled bursts of classic garage rock. These guys share the same area code of all the classic bands you can name, The Seeds, the Sonics, the Standells. Go on, name more, you'll find it all here. Melodies that don't quit you until long after the song's over, organs swirling around the beat like an incoming tide, fuzzed out Rickenbacker guitars, lost 1960 backing vocal "Ah ha's," and a lead voice that carries the whole thing as effortlessly as a helium balloon taking flight. Oh yeah, and let's don't' forget that propulsive drum beat and crashing cymbal engine that propels this baby with the best of them.

Imagine Jan and Dean locked in a garage with a Sonics record collection for eight years, having to play their hearts out to get fed and you'll get the feeling of "Look Away," an absolute delicious gem of melodic retro-sixties garage pop. "Gonna Be Alright," is that same band after being told that despite the promise, they weren't gonna get out. Now they're pissed, snotty, and ready to eat their own instruments. A hyper adrenaline blast of nasty-fuzzed guitars flame under the lyrics "I'm so sick and tired of waiting for you." Glorious in it's punk energy and unbridled attack. Another true gem from a band that seems to have more of em than the local jewelry store. If you're a garage rock fan, don't miss out. The Omens got it going on!

Dwarves/Royce Cracker

Most Ripple readers won't need an introduction to the Dwarves, the legendary punk cretins have been plowing their sleaze-infested hardcore punk road since the eighties, hooking up with legendary labels like SubPop and Epitaph. Now, one of the unabashed master labels of garage trash punk, Zodiac Killer Records has the Dwarves and unleashes this 5 song EP of mental drug-induced brain damage on us with nary a snicker of regret. Known for 15 minute stage shows, legendary drug use, and live stage show sex antics, the last Dwarves album showed their disheveled, deviant punk game expanding to include such guests as Nick Oliveri and Dexter Holland and some hip hop/rap added into their dime back of smack tricks. This single picks up where that left off and is recommended primarily for those demented individuals who get the Dwarves joke. So, what do we get with this latest offering? A clusterfuck mocking tribute to the madness and insanity of all things methamphetamine

Side One starts with a pure metal/punk outburst "Speed Demon Live UK 1995,"downtuned heavy metallic guitars, bass low enough to be subsonic and a spoken/sung word introductory passage that paints a portrait of a drug city better than any you've heard since Jim Carroll. When the punk picks up, you suddenly remember how fucking good The Dwarves are when they got their game on. "Tweak," changes gears as suddenly as "Speed City," was raging. The punk is gone, replaced by DJ Marz spinning the discs, Blag stream-of-conscious, bordering on insanity, rapping over a looping bass heavy beat, a song of pure drug-induced paranoia and any other unstable mental state you can name that comes courtesy of that deadly powder. Side two picks up where side one ended, Rex Everything taking the mic and the beats in some barely discernible mountain of madness, dropping right into the urban throbbing angst-punk of "Meth Stop Calling." The carnival neo-rap of "Who Put the Methamphetamine in Mr. Everything," rounds us off with a surprise circus atmosphere melody that will stick in your head like chewed gum stuck to the bottom of your shoe. I've read some negative reviews of this disc, but in truth, it's brilliant in it's freaked out madness. Oh yeah, colored vinyl, a nifty Dwarves sticker, and limited pressing to 1000 round out the package. Don't miss out!

The Candy Snatchers - Doin' Time b/w Dead Wrong

Also on the Zodiac Killer Records label, we get this gorgeous (blue vinyl with white splotches) burst of garage punk terror from the legendary Candy Snatchers. What may be one of the last releases from these speed punk legends after the untimely death of Matthew Odietus, this slab is also offered in limited quantities and from what I understand, they're going fast. And they should be. The Candy Snatchers always specialized in a grimy, barely contained in the garage assault of low-fi punk and rudimentary playing at it's absolute best. Mixing a bizarre Cramps-esque quality to their sound, they sound almost like the unholy marriage of the Misfits and New Bomb Turks colliding heads over a feeding trough.

Two tracks here find the gang plowing a trashcan rockabilly vibe into their cacophony. "Doin' Time," revs and rages like some speed freak Eddie Cochrane outtake complete with gorgeously ragged backing vocals and a guitar solo that could shatter glass. The boys seemed to have matured a bit since their early broken bottles and blood letting days, turning all that raging fire of energy into the song writing process and put out probably one of their most melodic, yet still rollicking performances. "Dead Wrong," follows suit, slithering along on the back of a solid rockabilly guitar riff and the manic clashing of tin cans, er, I mean drums. Dig that crazy harmonica solo rampaging through the middle! Another snotty burst of whiskey induced punkabilly to stand with the best of em. Truly a beautiful package, and as I said, available only in limited numbers. So if these are your sounds of destruction, jump into the fire. You won't regret it.

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