Friday, January 30, 2009


RUTTO’s “Ei Paluuta” 7”EP is a wild, borderline-inept, off the rails Finnish pseudo-hardcore record from 1983. I'm really floored by it. It's just a massive wallop of sound, featuring a high-pitched Greg Ginn-like feedback whine that preludes every track, and a pummeling, fuzz-heavy guitar that brings almost as much steady intensity as Ginn did to tracks like "Police Story" or "I've Heard It Before". The female vocalist has this vessel-bursting vocal scrape that sounds like she's attempting to spit up all 5-6 vowels at once -- then again, perhaps that's just the Finnish language for ya. She's a real hoarse shouter nonetheless, and her amateur take on "singing" is in line with the rest of the DIY pleasures to be found on Rutto's debut.

Each of the 5 tracks buzz at a steady mid/high-tempo pace and don't vary for 7/8ths of the track, yet all sort of fall to pieces at the end and stop, rev up again, and finally collapse into chaos. Fans of SOLGER, TEDDY & THE FRAT GIRLS and the ‘Flag themselves will be impressed. Get it on your dorky want list ASAP – or download it here instead!

Play or Download Rutto – “Ma Vihaan”

Download RUTTO – “Ma Vihaan”
Download RUTTO – “T-H-E”
Download RUTTO – “Ei Paluuta”
Download RUTTO – “Hei Soltilas”
Download RUTTO – “Sa Et Haluu”

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


(Note: this is a re-post that originally went up on 6/30/08, and disappeared when I changed file-hosting providers)

Working the scene of low-talent, high-reward garage punk ear-melters in the late 90s was an East Los Angeles trio named LOLI & THE CHONES. Loli was the band’s rubenesque drummer & sometime singer; the Chones were the two snotty fellas who played guitar and bass. All were Latino, from a neighborhood called Boyle Heights. If any of them were more than 18 years old when I encountered them first around 1995, I’d be very surprised. They definitely slotted into that “young, fast & dumb” thing that was popular at the time, and which Rip Off Records, their eventual label, made their stock in trade. In fact this band ended up being dumber than the rest, with lots of lyrics about how the band hated you, or didn’t like you, and that sort of monkeyshines. I found their live shows sort of a test in patience – drawn to the music, repelled by the lyrics and between-song banter.

I settled on their awesome debut 7”EP on Repent Records as my LOLI & THE CHONES keepsake. Once you download it, you’ll understand why. It gets even better once you get to side B – do yourself a favor and listen to “Nazi Death Camp” and “Summer of Love” first, then go to the A-side. I remember when I bought this along with an armload of 45s, I didn’t know anything much about it, but when I put it on at home I had that feeling record dorks get when they’ve just discovered something totally stunning that no one else knows about (yet). Infectious, raw, in-the-goddamn-red stupidity, just the way you like it.

Play Loli & The Chones - "Yeah"

Download LOLI & THE CHONES – “Yeah” (Side A, Track 1)
Download LOLI & THE CHONES - "Everybody Hates Me" (Side A, Track 2)
Download LOLI & THE CHONES – “Nazi Death Camp” (Side B, Track 1)
Download LOLI & THE CHONES – “Summer of Love” (Side B, Track 2)

Monday, January 26, 2009


Man, the THOMAS JEFFERSON SLAVE APARTMENTS were the inept bar band of my dreams circa 1991-94 or so, the sort of band that I wished I’d stumbled upon blindly in the course of my drinking adventures, maybe in a dark bar with a ballgame on in the corner and $1 draft beers. Totally brash, loud, sloppy and a little strange as well, their first few records are as good as anything coursing through the American sub-underground in the 1990s. The band was wacked-out enough to be (moderately) embraced by both the garage rock contingent and the sort of folks buying Siltbreeze Records at the time, as their strangeness and total low-fidelity, bash-it-out grind appealed mightily to both camps. The early 45s, at least the first split 45 they did with the MONSTER TRUCK 5 and their own debut 4-song EP “Career Interruption Code”, were such refreshing slabs of snot that were enhanced, not reduced, by singer Ron House’s atonal, whining, upper-register vocals. I loved ‘em, and I still do.

That first split EP arrived in my mailbox in 1991 and of course I’d never heard of them, but I had heard of GREAT PLAINS, House’s former band in the 80s. That crew never made much of an impression on me, but in subsequent years I’ve warmed to them a bit. But it was on from the first few seconds of “Bottle Island”, the first of two songs on the Slave Apartments side of the record. I’m pleased as punch to be presenting it to you today. The fact that the Monster Truck 5 side was pretty ace too only added to the allure of this thing – we’ll get to those songs another day.

Play Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments – “Bottle Island”

Download THOMAS JEFFERSON SLAVE APARTMENTS – “Bottle Island” (Side A, Track 1)
Download THOMAS JEFFERSON SLAVE APARTMENTS – “Unholy Trophy” (Side A, Track 2)

Friday, January 23, 2009


It’s been all man-rock, all the time the past month or two here at Detailed Twang: Union Carbide Productions, f’in BLACK FLAG, Mean Red Spiders, Electric Eels – all that. I’ve got a “feminine” side too, you know. Back in the early 1980s I was a big softie for harder-edged British alt-pop, particularly anything with massive hooks or more importantly, a female singer. One song that’s always stuck with me is THE DOLLY MIXTURE’s “Everything and More” from 1982, which is just an incredible bells-chiming, hooks-soaring, chorus-congealing sugar rush of a song. The song was a total staple of the KFJC, the local college radio station that taught me pretty much everything I know as a teenager back in the early 80s. It’s hard not to be completely taken with “Everything and More”, and much as I love a lot of the DOLLY MIXTURE’s other material, they never even came close to topping this one. I think the only song of its era and of its ilk that I’ll consider to be superior to this one is THE MO-DETTES’ “White Mice”, but that’s a discussion and an mp3 post for another day.

Play The Dolly Mixture – “Everything and More”

Download THE DOLLY MIXTURE – “Everything and More” (A-side of 1982 single)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I'd like to pay tribute this afternoon to one of the most over-the-top, raw, animalistic rock and roll LPs of all time, the godhead 1987 monster "In The Air Tonight" from Sweden's UNION CARBIDE PRODUCTIONS. You know that band Soundtrack Of Our Lives that got so much ink a few years back? The one whose music you actually heard, & then dismissed in your best 12-year-old girl voice: "whatever"? Turns out that two of those guys were in the mighty UCP, & at one point had three UCP alumni among their ranks. None other than Rolling Stone had this description of UCP in a TSOOL puff piece: "Union Carbide Productions were Sweden's majestic combined answer to the Stooges, Black Flag and the early freaked-out Pink Floyd, a Next Big Thing doomed by missed opportunities and inner turmoil".

That's a good enough description as any, but what they're not telling you is what a quantum leap in quality it is traveling backward through the band's history until you get to their incredible debut. "In The Air Tonight" is one of those legendary records with a rep that keeps growing. When it came out it was a bolt from the blue for those of us who'd never found a Swedish band to dig (I hadn't heard the amazing late 70s punk from Sweden yet), and it was hailed in pretty much all corners who dared to listen. Even Lydia Lunch weighed in with a typically hyperbolic, all-caps review in Forced Exposure that had all the right adjectives: heavy, killer, bloody, blistering, raw, and of course, "over-indulgent fuck inspiring". Whatever.

From Mikael Funke's history of the band on UCP's website: "Here were five guys from Gothenburg who dressed either as slobs or in suits, wore their hair long and uncombed or shaven to the skin. The music was loud, vibrant and - unlike most bands - full of groove and energy. UCP fused the Detroit Sound of The Stooges and MC5 with the weirdness of The Fugs and Captain Beefheart. They let the Stones, Doors and other great sixties acts shine through their songs long before Primal Scream. UCP was the band that did everything right in the wrong time"

This record was also given the full worship in UGLY THINGS magazine #16 in 1998, a perplexing turn for the paisley and romulan scenes, but minor complaints notwithstanding, one that spoke volumes of editor Mike Stax's commitment to high-quality, high-decibel rock and roll. You read this reminiscing about the band now, and it appears that everyone seems to think if it had only been 1994 instead of 1987 these guys would have been huge. I don't think so -- we're talking about defiantly non-commercial heavy punk rock, with sprawling textures, sandpaper vocals and what sounds like fifty guitars roaring at once. The closing 10-minute "Down On The Beach" recalls Husker Du's "Reocurring Dreams" with Steve Mackay's maniac sax on "LA Blues" -- not a recipe for Nirvana-style success, but a fantastic listen for the rest of us. My personal take is that their quality plummeted precipitously on the next two records (both were just okay, even though one had a song called -- gasp -- "San Francisco Boogie"), and by the time of the 90s hit I'd really stopped paying attention.

I thought you might want to hear a couple of songs from their debut in case everything I just wrote is news to you, which is exactly what I’m hoping, then you get to be wholly blown away in the next few seconds….

Play Union Carbide Productions – “Ring My Bell”

Download UNION CARBIDE PRODUCTIONS – “Financial Declaration”

Friday, January 16, 2009


(Note: this is a re-post of some files and a post I did on this site last year).

If you were an ardent fanzine reader in the late 80s and early 90s, particularly certain ‘zines like Forced Exposure, Your Flesh, and Superdope, you probably heard a lot about CLAW HAMMER. For those of us who salivated every time they released a 45 or LP, they were, at least from about 1989-1993 or so, the band of the hour. Here’s what I wrote about them myself a few years ago on Agony Shorthand:

CLAW HAMMER first came up through the Los Angeles micro-clubs, playing low on bills with punk & garage acts like THE LAZY COWGIRLS and their ilk, they were sort of a mystery act that took a while to get one’s head around. Were these guys approximating the MC5 playing for Deadheads? CAPTAIN BEEFHEART & THE MAGIC BAND playing acid-laced punk rock? Hampton Grease Band & Roxy Music freaks playing whatever the hell they wanted to play, and playing it really, really loud? Yeah, that one. It took me a couple shows to get the cut of their jib, but in due time they replaced the Cowgirls as “my favorite band”, and from about 1989 to 1993 or so they stayed in the proverbial catbird seat.

I started my fanzine Superdope in 1990 and task #1 was to interview and glorify Claw Hammer, so I commandeered the band in their van in an alley at San Francisco’s most unsafe club ever, the 6th Street Rendezvous, and told ‘em I was their biggest fan and would they like to do an interview with me & be friends. They “made the cover” of my edition-of-400, hugely uninfluential magazine, and we did in fact become pals after that. In 1993 I was even their road manager/driver/drinking partner/merch dork on a 40-date North American tour......I remember that Eddie Flowers, creator/owner of the
SLIPPY TOWN empire and then a sometimes-writer for Forced Exposure, did a piece on the early, early Claw Hammer for said magazine truly before even Los Angeles had woken up to the band (one could legitimately argue that LA never really did). Though I don’t have the article in front of me, Flowers saw the sonic connections that these guys were channeling, and how they funneled them into a sound that really hadn’t been heard before.

Claw Hammer, for lack of a better word, were a “greasy” band (not just because of the Grease Band!), in that they played a relatively conventional brand of loud rock and roll that just bled and oozed raw grease and slippery counter-dynamics. When Jon Wahl and Chris Bagarozzi played guitar together, I swear to god at times it was like what everyone said Tom Verlaine & Richard Lloyd were supposed to have sounded like live – unpredictable bits of chaos, pure unbridled energy and extremely amplified sound, but never “showy” nor “flashy”. Just jaw-dropping, that’s all. These guys loved 70s rock – not just the cool stuff that everyone liked back then like The Velvets and the MC5 and the Patti Smith Group – but acts that have only in retrospect achieved complete critical consensus like the aforementioned Roxy Music, early Eno, Big Star, solo Syd Barrett and even (gasp) Steely Dan. They ingested it, turned it out and filtered it through their own experiences as teenage punks (Jon was in an Orange Country hardcore band wholly inspired by the MIDDLE CLASS called The Idle Rich) to create a rich stew of swingin’ punk rock boogie. That spirit was what Flowers captured in his article & what got the world to stand up and take notice – that and their first crop of singles, all of which were incredible.....”

What perhaps got lost in the shuffle here were their very first recordings, two songs that got put out by Trigon Records on a compilation of LA bands called “GIMME THE KEYS”. These two songs demonstrate what a powerhouse these guys were, and show where their heads were at early on, the first time I saw them live in ’88. I’d go mano-a-mano with anyone who wants to exclude these guys from a list of 20 best bands of the past two decades, Top 5 if you’re only talkin’ live shows. See what you think by following the links here and downloading this pair.

Play Claw Hammer "Self Destruct"

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Quite likely, this is the single best originally unreleased punk record of the 70s, a set of grotesquely, insanely over-the-top recordings that sat in a sad sack somewhere until the blink-and-you-missed-'em label Buster Bulb rescued them from oblivion in 1990. Greg Prevost and Andy Babiuk, who went on to form the mediocre Rochester-based 60s rehash band THE CHESTERFIELD KINGS, were two Iggy fiends who upped the dose on even Iggy's most wild-eyed, peanut-butter-smearing, razor-blade-wielding theatrics and created this howling vortex of blister and bile.

First, they put out a legit 45 as the DISTORTED LEVELS in 1978, called "Hey Mister / Red Swirls". We posted it here, but the links to the songs have been taken down. Don't worry, I'll get 'em up there again. "Hey Mister" is a crazed glam-influenced pumper, with screams so beyond the pale that it actually ignites paper when played at "11". The B-side is a series of preposterous grunts and shrieks that makes no sense whatsoever, and is barely listenable. All in all, a nice debut.

They switched the name to MEAN RED SPIDERS later that year, and took the sound even further on this 4-song set of recordings. It features "Rejected At The High School Dance", "I've Got VD", "Diabolical" and, my favorite, "Kick Your Ass Across The USA". Every track appears to be addressed to a female, and these jousters are comfortable bragging about punching, kicking and shamelessly defiling the female(s) in question. In the flip-the-bird world of 1978 punk rock, even that was one toke over the line. The guitar is James Williamson on extreme hyperdrive, and is mixed well past the point of bleeding. For a couple of Stooges fanatics, these guys really took that latter-day, "I Got A Right" template and did something fantastic with it.

Play Mean Red Spiders - "Kick Your Ass Across the USA"

Download MEAN RED SPIDERS - "Rejected At The High School Dance"
Download MEAN RED SPIDERS - "Diabolical"
Download MEAN RED SPIDERS - "Kick Your Ass Across The USA"
Download MEAN RED SPIDERS - "I've Got VD"

Monday, January 12, 2009


This is a full bootleg CD that came out surreptitiously after much hubbub about THE MUMMIES' aborted album for Crypt Records, one that was engineered and/or produced by Mike Mariconda of the Raunch Hands. Seems no one in the band was particularly happy with the lack of raunch on this one, and if you saw The Mummies back then you'd know why. Hell, the band even sounded low-fidelity and cheap-ass even in concert, with a remarkably tinny farfisa organ, fuzz guitar and primitive amps, most of which were being knocked over at any given time as the band careened around in their exceptionally filthy mummy outfits playing patent-perfect garage punk of 60s vintage. Stupid outfits aside, they were a stone gas at the time (1989-92 or so).

On vinyl they just don't really do it much for me. There are a few songs here and there, but I can't get too worked up about this version of their first LP because I don't dig the "real" one that much either. This one has a bunch of tracks that never made it to vinyl in any case, and the bootleg CD tacks on an entire live show from New Jersey one new year's eve many moons ago. The set closes with the band doing their own a capella dis of Mariconda live on WFMU for his production sins. What with the recent Mummies reunion and all, I thought you might wanna hear this thing.

Download THE MUMMIES - "F*ck The Mummies" bootleg CD (this is a .zip file)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


(Note: this is a re-post of a piece that I did on 4/6/2007. The files were taken down by my previous hosting provider, so I'm righting the wrong now...)

It didn’t seem fair to anyone, let alone me, to sit on the debut 1988 7”EP from Rob Vasquez’ NIGHTS AND DAYS when it was well within my power to put it up here for your listening pleasure, and when the kids have been clamorin’ for it. Oh, and it’s one of the great records of the 80s to boot, and an all-time second-wave-of-garage-punk landmark. One critic who shall not be named had this to say: "....Big, loud, stomping basement rock that approximates a runaway boulder hooked up to a set of clanking chains. Their sorta-cover of Beefheart's "Diddy Wah Diddy" could almost be no-wave inspired, and the frantic chords played on this sound like they're shooting sparks. Rob Vasquez was and remains a singular talent who deserves to be handsomely paid for his genius, and lionized & feted the world over....”.

I could not have said it better myself! I bought mine on a whim because they were from Seattle and had a Sub Pop connection – which in 1988 was a mark of quality, or so I reckoned at the time – and have until now yet to look back. 600 made, released on REGAL SELECT records to a handful of record dorks in ’88, and now ready for you to download and celebrate with your pals all weekend long.

Play The Nights And Days - "Garbage Can"

Monday, January 05, 2009


A record that’s been criminally under-heard and that remains way, way out of print is a posthumous collection called "Reunion" from THE GIRLS. They were a Boston group mucking around the edges of that city’s punk scene around 1976-79, but who had far more in common with the weird noise and avant-futurisms of kindred souls PERE UBU and THE RESIDENTS. They epitomize the free-thinking boundary pushing that a sub-section of the early American punks quickly made their own into after letting punk fuel the internal fire. Where The Girls differed from the aforementioned is the general lack of art-damaged abrasiveness in their music – though there are squiggly oscillations and heaps of guitar and Allen Ravenstein-worthy synth feedback all over their songs, it’s tempered with a real 4/4 rock and roll structure that keeps a solid beat moving throughout.

Pere Ubu’s Hearthan Records imprint actually put out The Girls’ first 45, “Jeffrey I Hear You / The Elephant Man”, the only non-Cleveland thing the label ever thought worthy of bothering with. There’s also traces of MODERN LOVERS playfulness in tracks like “Pedestrian Walk”, which bounces like a Gidget beach party number played in the MIT quad after science class. The rockers that have been my favorites since I first heard this record are “Methodist Church” and “Keep It Simple” – fast, short, sharp shocks of spazz guitar and very busy keyboards shorting out the mixing board in short order.

Singer David Hild often affected this sort of “demented clown” persona in his vocals and lyrics, which conjures up images of a depressed sad sack pouring his scribblings out of notebooks & onto stages with not a care in the world how it’ll be received. True or not, it’s how great art is often made, very similar in feel to the early HALF JAPANESE in that pleasing who-in-god’s-name-are-these-guys-&-where-did-they-come-from way. You probably won’t mistake the Girls’ “Reunion” LP for great art from a higher strata, but as a lost artifact that’s worthy of serious crate digging – well, I hope you don’t have to for long.

Play The Girls - "Keep It Simple"

Download THE GIRLS - "Keep It Simple"
Download THE GIRLS - "Methodist Church"

Friday, January 02, 2009


The “alternate version” is the modern hook to get you to buy a CD that you don’t need because you already have the LP (granted, no one’s buying CD’s anymore, so even that statement is about two years out of date). The alternate version might be the take that nearly made the cut for the LP or 45, but was shuffled to the side for a better take – or was, for whatever reason, considered ill-suited for the band’s purposes. Maybe it was too noisy. Maybe someone missed a beat. Maybe someone’s voice cracked. Who knows. Sometimes these alternate versions end up trumping the ones you’re familiar with – or by offering a different feel to a song you’ve heard a bazillion times, ends up being your new “favorite” version. Such is the case with the three crackers I’m posting for you today.

The first is an alternate take on “Hot Wire My Heart” by CRIME. This could have been their first 45 in 1976, but was trumped by the version you know & love. It made its appearance on the “San Francisco’s Still Doomed” reissue LP/CD in 2004. It’s amazing. It doesn’t sound like “Ricky Tractor” missed his drum intro this time. The second example is from THE MISFITS“Static Age” posthumous LP/CD, which is far and away the finest thing they ever did, and one of the great punk rock records of all time. This version of “Spinal Remains” did not make it onto the box set version of “Static Age”, but when the lost LP was reissued on its own, there it was. It hands-down blows away the version that was on the 1980s posthumous collection “Legacy of Brutality”. That’s what I think, anyway.

Finally, we have “Thirsty and Miserable” from BLACK FLAG from the infamous Licorice Pizza 45. It was bootlegged recently on “Freak Flag” records. When Black Flag was weighed down in court over the not-yet-released “Damaged” LP, they illicitly leaked this thing out in small quantities. Of course it totally rips – it’s the five-piece lineup with Dez Cadena on guitar. Jesus. People I know who saw this version of the band are still yammering about how great it was. If I could go back in time……seriously. Gotta be in my Top 5 bands I wish I’d seen. Enjoy ‘em all – and happy new year to ya.

Play Crime “Hot Wire My Heart (alternate version)”

Download CRIME – “Hot Wire My Heart (alternate version)”
Download THE MISFITS – “Spinal Remains (alternate version)”
Download BLACK FLAG – “Thirsty and Miserable” (Licorice Pizza 45 version)”