Diamond Dogs, About the Hardest Nut to Crack (Wild Kingdom Records)
I don’t get too many rootsy honky-tonk-punk records in here, but point of order, they’re always welcome. Formed way back in 1991, this Swedish rock group attempts to revive the soul of borderline Stiv Bators/New York Dolls-style pre-punk, not the least melodic thing you’ve ever heard, but certainly awash in attitude. “Blight The Life” is all that and more in the form of purebred bluegrass punkabilly, and by that I mean of the purest original Hank Williams Sr. sort, the type of mayhemic cowpunch-rock that evokes an odd combination of barns and chickens and imminent danger from carelessly flung slam-dancers; similarly, “Wring It Out” is a hilariously anachronistic cross between the Stones and Black Crowes, which isn’t to imply that there’s anything wrong with it. If you need a legitimacy check, the band’s OG posturing earned them a brief moment of fame on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball in 1993 when one of their tunes somehow snuck into the show. A
The Nervous Eaters, “Kelly’s Sixteen” (Wicked Cool Records)
I didn’t hate this band all that much back when I was even younger than you are today, when idiotic soul-sucking working-class assembly-line jobs were depressingly plentiful (you unemployed kids living in your moms’ basements really need to count your blessings) and WBCN was the Boston radio station to listen to if you wanted people to think you were cool. This local-to-Boston band was a one-hit local-radio wonder (unless I’m missing something) whose big single, “Loretta,” was produced by Ric Ocasek of The Cars in the early ’80s; the tune was, like most Boston rock was in that halcyon era, ’50s-tinged, mildly punkish and sublimely tuneless, but there were a lot worse bands to “experience” at the Rathskellar and whatnot, and so the Eaters made their mark, not that anything ever came of it. And so, yadda yadda, here’s a new single by them, a corporate-punk-speed snoozer that sounds somewhat Gang Of Four-ish and Buzzcocks-ish at first, and then, right when you think a giant-ass hook-fadeout is coming, it just flops and expires. Nothing changes, folks, remember that. C
- Yay, Oct. 13 is a Friday the Thirteenth, I’m sure all the new albums coming out that day will jibe with the occasion in a manner most apropos! But first things first, fam, wait till I tell you about my visit to Manchvegas’ new rock club, Angel City Music Hall, the other week! It takes a lot to get me out of my trash-pile, um, I mean my ultra-modern, totally organized office, but when my PR friends the Brenners in New York City told me that Crowbar was coming to play their crazy sludge-metal tuneage right here in da city, I was like “I’m your huckleberry!” So I contacted a couple of bros to go see them, like our local rock ’n’ roll mastermind Otto Kinzel of Dust Prophet and friend of the Hippo Dan Szczesny, but they made up excuses, so I went by myself. The band was deafeningly loud, which was nice, and the lady who runs the place calls people “Hon,” which is also nice.
- OK, I don’t know if you people remember that techno soundsystem called Justice, and how they named one of their albums “†” (you know, like, “cross”) just to be a pain to everyone who had to write an article about them and hunt down that particular ASCII character. If you do, you also remember that they tried to make the super-noisy Ed Banger sound happen, which it did for little while, but — oh for pete’s sake, I’m going totally off-track, whatever, there’s a band that started up around the same time as “†”, called †††, a darkwave/dream-pop/witch-house project often referred to as Crosses by journos who hate hunting for ASCII characters, and guess who’s in it, that’s right, it’s Deftones singer Chino Moreno and his buddy Shaun Lopez, from the band Far! I’m sure you’ve heard about them if you’re a ‘Tones-head, amirite, but this is news to me, so in order to catch up to all you hippies I’m going to go listen to a single from their new album, Goodnight, God Bless, I Love U, Delete, called “Invisible Hand.” So it starts off with some sort of glitchy-ish techno beat, and then the Deftones guy suddenly starts jumping up and down all hip-hop style, yelling and ranting about something, and then there’s a barrage of angry Death Grips-inspired haunted-house-metal. I don’t really hear anything compelling going on here, but feel free to pretend to find something redeemable about it.
- Oh no, come on, not another Canadian indie band, I’m really not in the mood! OK, it’s Metric, so there’s an outside chance that this might be salvageable, even though the singer is involved with Broken Social Scene, I don’t really know right now. The band’s new album, Formentera II, features the single “Who Would You Be For Me,” a sort of ’90s cowboy-goth-tinged chill-pop jam that’s not unlistenable, it’s OK.
- We’ll wrap up the week with Australian/South African singing man Troye Sivan, who portrayed young Wolverine in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. OK, so Something To Give Each Other, his new full-length, includes the single “Rush,” a house-chilldown whose video features Sivan smoking weed out of a banana and singing gently through his Auto-Tune. Yay, Auto-Tune, what would we do with it!
If you’re in a local band, now’s a great time to let me know about your EP, your single, whatever’s on your mind. Let me know how you’re holding yourself together without being able to play shows or jam with your homies. Send a recipe for keema matar. Message me on Twitter (@esaeger) or Facebook (eric.saeger.9).