On "Ode To Subterrania," Hooded Fang unleashes the pleasure of jamming in a basement where you can rip as loudly as possible and flail around because no one is watching. Its driving rhythms encourage lots of bopping and its punkish new-wave turnarounds will please the garage rock freaks.
Straight from a dusty Detroit basement… it's Rich Ristagno! "What Is A Man" is prime reissue material – so head-scratchingly weird and lo-fi for its 1981 recording, but now it fits perfectly alongside contemporary weirdos like Sam Flax. Yep, Ristagno mixes funk, leather and a sour view of the early Reagan era to delirious results and the good folks at Drag City have finally impaled his What Would It Be Like To Be Rich right in your brain's gutter. Go get dirty.
For their fifth LP, Deerhunter is at the point where they could clean it up, turn up the hooks and get ready for those festival and arena paydays. Fortunately, they do pretty much the exact opposite on Monomania. It's basically the punkest thing I've heard all year – all scuzzy garage monsters with gnarled melodies, dead-of-night mania and enough disregard for 'major album' production that it becomes an aesthetic unto itself. From the Neil Young basement stomp of "Pensicola" to the bleary jangle of "The Missing," the album covers lots of ground while remaining snug in an overarching attitude that's the beautiful equivalent of a spit to the face.
On "Send Them Away," Melbourne five-piece Beaches go on the attack with an army of swirling, trebly guitars and a healthy post-punk attitude. Similar to acts like the jangly Twerps, there's a sense of sun-baked melody backed with the sort of scuzzy, thrashing production that makes me want to listen to this on a dusty cassette in my old Volvo.
Spend all winter crippled by shyness and introversion. Then the sun comes out and you brim with (irrational) confidence. On "I Wanna Dance (But I Don't Know How)," NYC rockers SKATERS provide your theme song to letting loose and embracing fear. It's straight-up, bleeding-heart American rock with snotty vocals, dirty clothes, a brash attitude and more than enough pop to score a pool party scene without starting a fight. It's also the A-side to the band's new 7-inch – out now.
"Monomania" seems like the moment where Deerhunter, clearly one of the best bands of the era at this point, enters their '90s Sonic Youth phase where things become crunchier, scuzzier and every move is a grand comment on rock spectacle. They unveiled this one on the Jimmy Fallon program last night, and it was one of the more subversive and exciting late night performances in recent memory – all 4:30am gore and rotting rock 'n' roll. Highest recommendation.
Besides possessing a band name referencing the kindest sideshow freak of all-time, Schlitzie seems like another great addition to Burger Records' nasally garage rock universe. On "I'm Sick," it's like their practice space got hot-boxed with helium as the group whirls through sugary, ultra-trebly pop-punk with both recklessness and resolute precision.
Psychedelic, industrial and garage rock merge into an alien form on the spacey "Dark Corners" by Sonny & The Sunsets. "I can't wait to find my little place in your weird world," sings lead singer Sonny Smith, which is about as appropriate as it gets for this one. Hear more on Antenna To The Afterworld – the Cali band's new one coming in June.
Age Waves, an LP of ultra-warped industrial West Coast pop by Sam Flax, came out last year on Burger Records, but not nearly enough people know its joys yet. That'll change soon as he hits the road with classicist rock darlings Foxygen, but Friday is the perfect time to take a kaleidoscopic viewpoint towards your life. Ideal for fans of Ariel Pink and Chrome.
"They were very chill times," writes King Tuff about the era in which he wrote Was Dead, which is being reissued by Burger Records on April 30. "Sun Medallion" is a scuzzy garage freakier that shows-off Tuff's superior way with a melody no matter how lo-fi and sloppy the recording process might get. "It’s an expression of my infinitely teenage heart and soul," he continues, and that's a wonderful thing.