Thursday, July 31, 2008


A few months ago Detailed Twang published a couple round-ups of 2008’s prime movers, bands that we feel are the ones moving sub-underground & raw, weird or tuneful rock music in new directions. I guess I was pretty proud that I had 10 different examples I could call up. Now I’ve got five more. This stuff is out there & readily available if you consult the right sources, and there are all manner of gatekeepers who do the real hard work for me. I’m not scouring record stores nor online catalogs quite the way I used to, but if you follow my five-point program for aggressive music discovery, you’ll be able to dig up, download, or purchase the greatest songs of the day in a matter of minutes.

Step 1: Download DJ Rick’s “Art For Spastics” show every week. This is a treasure trove of the best noisy, strange & very limited edition rock and roll out there right now. I swear the guy buys or gets sent every 45, CD-R and tape that matters. His tastes branch a bit further out from noise, so some pop & a little garage punk leaks in as well. It’s all good.
Step 2: Buy the Z-GUN print fanzine.
Step 3: Read Tom Lax’s SILTBLOG.
Step 4: Read the POPULATION DOUG blog.
Step 5: Listen to some of the shows on WFMU and KFJC online.

No need to trawl MySpace for music, just follow this program and you too will discover gems from RTFO BANDWAGON, MI AMI, ELECTRIC BUNNIES, METH TEETH and the ESTROGEN HIGHS like I was able to (all of whom were found through one of the mechanisms discussed presently). Who are these mystery children of the oughts? RTFO BANDWAGON are a fairly recent band from Columbus, OH, and their “New Jack” 45 and “Flagships” LP are a great, home-porch hybrid of muted garage skiffle and family-band folk music. The song “New Jack” is pretty much my favorite song of the summer thusfar. San Franciscans MI AMI have brought the wide-groove, big-ass 12” single back from its 1980s deathbed, and their screaming, syncopated debut harkens back to afro-punk warlords of the Lower East Side from around the same era. I totally dig it – but make sure you leave the light on.

The ESTROGEN HIGHS are the living definition of “unassuming”, but try to keep their simple, buzzing teenage 60s trans-punk tune “She Don’t Bother” out of your head this evening. This is the second blast straight outta New Haven from these guys; see what you can do to find one. METH TEETH? Ewww. These Portland, OR titans have impressed many a man with their debut EP on Sweet Rot records, including the man sitting at my computer this very second. It’s a strange and dissonant fog of low-fidelity noise and turns wrongly taken. It feels so right, don’t you agree? Finally, mining a very similar slipshod vein as the aforementioned Estrogen Highs are Miami’s ELECTRIC BUNNIES, sporting the sort of band name so awful it’s either clueless or highly ironic. An incredibly raw, catchy and infectious tune from a band that sounds like they’re about 17 years old. Love it. I guess 2008 is a good year like all those other good years.

Play or Download RTFO BANDWAGON – “New Jack” (from 45)
Play or Download MI AMI – “African Rhythms” (from 12”)
Play or Download ESTROGEN HIGHS – “She Don’t Bother” (from 45)
Play or Download METH TEETH – “Bus Ride” (from 7"EP)
Play or Download ELECTRIC BUNNIES – “Chewing Gum” (from 45)


mdm said...

So Electric Bunnies is the awful band name? Wow.

Brushback said...

Well, you've scooped me on Estrogen Highs; I've seen 'em a couple of times, and their two singles are pretty easy to find around here (Redscroll Records), but they've never really caught my full interest.

Everyone else seems to love 'em, though, including the local "alternative" weekly paper, which has given them a couple of big plugs.

Kevin said...

as part of an ongoing discussion unrelated to this post, I just saw a flyer for what may be the worst band name in history:

Feces Pieces

Anonymous said...

i'm sure that NO ONE agrees with kevin
(just kidding)

anywho, i downloaded one of those radio sessions, and while the show started with some weaker tunes, it progressed into some decent live performances (Friendly Neighbors, Meth Teeth, & Le Face) and some pretty good 45s, but where it really kicked in was when the guest bands chose records from dj rick's collection. FUCKING MINDBLOWING STUFF! He had the Neon Boys ep, the Bobby Soxx record, Cramp (the german power pop band), and THE MAD just to name a few.
highly recommend his shows

Anonymous said...

How is playing the Neon Boys, Bobby Soxx, and the Mad considered "mindblowing"? Great bands and records, but that's average taste for any radio DJ whose show sometimes falls in the KBD realm. The best thing about Art for Spastics are those fantastic out-there "obscurities" that your average KBD/garage/noise neanderthal (myself included) don't know a thing about and it's what puts Rick ahead of the pack.

As for this post, Mi Ami is hitting the spot, but Meth Teeth is incredibly underwhelming. I'm scratching my head as to what all the fuss is about them.

And Jay, how about some love for Pink Reason? Easily one of the most refreshing bands in recent memory. The first EP ("Throw It Away") is as perfect as a record gets these days and the Siltbreeze LP and "By A Thread" EP on Tricknee Records are winners as well.

Jay H. said...

I'm not feelin' it with Pink Reason. I have heard all the records mentioned and it's just pretty boring to my ears, but I recognize that to be a minority opinion.

Anonymous said...

Fair enough.

Anonymous said...

I feel better about missing out on some of these records. Snoozers.

Pink Reason did like two good records (1st 7" and LP) and now that guy ain't even trying anymore. Last two 7s weren't very interesting.

Eric O said...

Meth teeth are the shit. weird finger picking / s barret vocals / pop sensibility hiding behind reverb.

i'd say the sic alps are better, but they're better than everyone.