Monday, December 3, 2012

The Single Life - 7 inches of Fun

Hosoi Bros - Snorlokk

The Hosoi Bros blew me away earlier this year with their tasty slab of 7"vinyl, "Wine Witch" (reviewed here).  So much so, that I immediately asked the crazy lads to contribute to our free compilation album, The Ripple Effect Presents: Volume One - Head Music.  (go check it out, it's still free.)  I was immediately caught up in their trashy brand of post-NWOBHM madness and chunky humor.  Still, the question remained, could they do it again?   As "Snorlokk" the side A of this limited-to-300 hand-numbered 7" spins on my turntable, the answer is "hell freaking yes!"

Still as irrelevant and madcap as ever, Hosoi Bros bring it on thrashy and punky, still with that backbone of NWOBHM riffing.  I don't know what "Snorlokk"is about. Probably another addition to the band's growing pantheon of mythical characters like the Wine Witch.  But I don't care.  All I know is that it's a blitzkrieg assault to my frontal lobe of good, smashing fun.  B-side "Amberlamps" builds upon the impressive riffing with an even heavier, infused-with-hardcore, attack of metal that just refuses to take itself too seriously.  In the end, what the Hosoi Bros are about is great metallic riffing and good fun.  Isn't that what you want?

Another great addition to the bands growing discography.  Available at their bandcamp.  Get one before it's too late.

Revilers - Stand or Fall

Revilers may just be my favorite band on the crushing Patac Label of punk, hardcore and ugly metal.  I like my punk dirty and Oi! With big crushing riffs and gang choruses and brass knuckles and stomping boots.  That's what Revilers brings to the table.  Coming from Boston, home of some of the best American Oi!, like the Streetdogs, it's no surprise that Side One of this sounds like a bastard offspring of UK Subs or any other Godfather of classic Oi!  Darkened, minor key punk with a dabble of melody and gargled vocals gruffs.  It chugs along as if the entire bar were readying for a fist fight with two tracks, "Stand or Fall" and "Tried and True."  Both are just classic slabs of Oi!. 

Side Two picks up the snot and anger as the band finds a more hardcore romp through "Running Out,""State of Fear," and "Road Rage." 

Five tracks of spittle punk for only $4 from Patac.  Well worth the time for Oi! fans like me.

Spiders - Weekend Nights

Crusher Records first crossed my radar with the amazing second album by Dead Man.  An album that just keeps getting better and better with time.  Since then, I've gone on to explore their entire roster of retro-week-fried bands and have never been disappointed.  Spiders is the latest Crusher release to cross my path and damn if it wasn't one worth waiting for.  Featuring riffs directly trasported from the fuzzy end of 70's metal/beginning of NWOBHM, Spiders crawl out of this 7" with a purpose, full of venom and ready to bite.   Coming from their forth-coming album, Flash Point, "Weekend Nights" the band weighs in full force with a pummeling assault of shredding guitars, spanking grooves and dangerous riffs.  Singer Ann-Sofie Hoyles comes on like a pissed off Ann Wilson as the band simply takes flight behind her.  A classic 70's rock fest if there ever was one. 

Side B features a cover of Swedish garage heroes The Strollers song, "Lies" and is exclusive to this bite-sized vinyl pizza.  Fuzzed out and rollicking, "Lies" digs a bit more into the lost days of 60's fuzz with killer results.  Another great one from Crusher.

Restorations - A/B EP

Tiny Engines has never failed to impress as an indy label of post-emo punk since they came onto the scene.  I may be wrong, but I believe the really cool Tiger's Jaw 7" may have been their first release (at least it's the first I saw).  Since then, they've turned out one beautifully packaged, artfully created 7" after another, with a couple of full lengths to boot.  On their ever-growing roster of punk, without a doubt, my favorite band is Restorations.  The Tiny Engines guys are good enough to drop most of their releases into Postman Sal's bag for Ripple review (and many --not all -- have been reviewed) but none get me as excited as that new Restorations release dropping onto my desk.

The A/B EP does nothing to change that.  Two tracks of epic, midwestern-gothic punk.  Watching (er . . .listening) to these guys develop over the years has been a joy, and A/B is by far their most mature songwriting yet.  Jon Loudon's earnest, anthemic howl seems to be the natural successor to the great lost Call front man, Michael Been.  And while there's not a lot of musical similarity here, The Call is a great reference point, because way back 30 years ago, they made albums of conviction and protest and rousing honesty.  Restorations has picked up that mantle, added some ingenious, interweavng guitar lines, a solid rhythm section, and Loudon's smoky vocals to create a massive, massive sound.  Not so much punk in structure as in attitude, the key word for Restorations music is; power.

I can't classify the band and I can't qualify their music.  It resonates somewhere deep with in me.  It's hypnotic when it chooses, anthemic when it wants, and rebellious all the time.  It's like the Replacements but 20 years later after they expanded their sound and set out to create something lasting.

It's Restorations, and I'm ready for more.

State Lines - S/T EP

Coming from New York, State Lines are one of the up and coming, young punk bands trying to lay crown to the open throne and stake out their claim on the post-hardcore, post-emo landscape.  This self-titled Ep is the followup up to their album Hoffman Manor, and finds the lads picking up the pace of their screachy pop-punk and pushing hard against the boundaries between emo and indie rock.

Scratchy, youthful vocals wail over a generally tight rhythm section and a wall of guitar as the twin vocals bleed into four songs full of pensive harmonies and meticulous craft. “Plenty Of Time” is my favorite here, ridng more of an indie-rock approach until the  abrupt tempo change kicks in near the end driving the song into a more traditional punk vein  There's bits of The Replacements here (isn't there always, as well as Green Day in the melodic approach to the songs) but also a lot of Alkaline Trio and Braid or Saves the Day.

Another Tiny Engines release we know we can expect quality.  The vinyl is blue, the packaging nice with lyrics, and the EP is certain to please fans of melodic punk, post hardcore/emo and indie rock.


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