Sunday, February 26, 2012

Johnny Throttle - Maximun Rock N' Roll, No Shit!

They come from London and it's the best punk rock your ears damaged to, for a long time! I had to be more careful with this... You know, Tim Warren doesn't stamp his Crypt cool logo easily. Actually i can't remember what was the last Crypt release in general, before Johnny Throttle's 45.  So, we owe these punks some favor for rejuvenating Tim's interest! And i can't really remember what was the last '77 style punk' LP/CD i bought and when?
I read also that these guys won their medals already in the underground punk scene through their past bands (The Parkinsons, Menace, Shakin' Nasties, Stains, Jackoffs, etc) but i had no idea. Damn, new targets to spend my money to... Their full length debut on Dirty Water rips just by looking at the cover. A classic punk pose in the Ramones/Heartbreakers tradition and it's getting even worse inside. From the grooves pops up the most energetic three chord blast since the Wretched Ones "Going Down the Bar" and "Hey Old Man" 7inches or any of the hubbub the Electric Frankenstein produced! Street punk but with more roll in their punk than rock and with more balls! And if you believe that the Pistols or the Clash in their prime are the key influences you 're WRONG! Imagine Slaughter and the Dogs, the Users, the Kids (from Belgium of course, check out the AMAZING cover of "Job in the City"!!!) with a fair amount of Dead Boys guitar crunch and an Eddie & the Hot Rods over-drive and again you're not even close yet! Not bullshitting you guys, I'm telling you, Maximum Rock & Roll! Have a blast preview with these Stukas in here and go buy their shit! 

 "Job in the City"


"Lost Sputnik"

"Stukas Uber Shoreditch"

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

MC5 - "Kick Out The Jams - Japanese Pressing" (Elektra, 1969)

The boulder! The moment rock & roll lost its virginity and punk's seed was planted. The storm and the hurricane, that no one ever even came close. The raw power several years before ‘Raw Power”. The black instincts by white people. The left-wing anarchism, in a country and a period flushed of the diverse powers. The rock n’ soul in its first and purest incarnation. A band that had the nuts to make a debut on stage, where wrinkle and lacking of balls are easily shown if you don't carry 'em making you overnight a laughingstock. The ones that first pressed in vinyl and gate-fold, the word every pseudo-thug wanker today spits with his record's company prompt: MOTHERFUCKER! I dig Lester Bang’s provocative writing style, and I’m sure he’s only ambition was that; to raise namely assertions but his review for this on Rolling Stone (the worst music press ever?) was in full function with the magazine’s ethos…CRAP! The words “ridiculous”, “overbearing” and “pretentious” perhaps had a ground for the remaining re-union band under that moniker (not name…), but upon the release of this such confrontation is at least malign… And don’t get fooled again, such overpowering energy vomit not even the Who’s “Live at Leeds” had! The very meaning of the term “high energy”.
Quite simply, the BEST EVER LIVE long play, a moment captured for the sake of a humanity that had the testes to resist, to think and to act. An album that refuses to be played uneventfully. We know you own it, you should if you don’t already… Here in a Jap pressing with all its dynamics blown of the grooves! Brother and sisters, the M-C-FIVE! 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

R.I.P. Michael Davis (5 June 1943 - 17 February 2012)

By the time this poor world understands clearly who was who and with who as individuals must deal with, this doomed planet will probably walk his last steps. For days all media jerks ‘round the globe making tributes to Whitney Houston and really makes no wonder to me that legendary MC5’s bassist Michael Davis departure left inconsiderate the majority of our fellowmen… And it’s totally understandable cause from the time IQ tests discovered; the results make happy every dark government around the earth. And I’m not expecting WTS visitors to know who M. Davis was, today and from a sad post. I haven’t replied yet even to my partner’s JP late night email for the sad news. If I had to pick from the two Detroit monsters I’m totally for the MC5. “Kick out the Jams” was for sure in the first ten records I bought. What the MC5 had that Stooges hadn’t was the radical political act and musically speaking, that they got SOUL! Iggy’s comrades had a minimal, almost industrial sound. The 5 proved that rock & roll was not only music to dance by. They wore proudly their black influences, they declared war (and of course have lost…) against everything unethical. I tried some years ago to interview Michael Davis for our fanzine. His wife was manager of the Lords of Altamont and after this, attempted to sneak and speak to him. I didn’t succeed. If my memory serves me well, his wife politely tried to tell me that he wasn’t cool for interviews. At least I tried… No hard feelings for this of course. My faith on the remaining bunch of “5” staggered for a while with the re-union touring (I haven’t regret to this day that I didn’t go see them when they came to Greece) and the Levi’s commercial… This wasn’t for the MC5 and I still believe if Rob Tyner was alive would have killed them. And probably he would be right. In addition we’re talking about the “dope, guns & fucking in the streets” band here, not Aerosmith. He was also jailed in the 70s for narcotics just like Brother Wayne Kramer and to me except for the Destroy All Monsters project with Ron Asheton, all his other activities are just information. Hopefully during the next days along with Jean Philippe, we‘re gonna drive back to MC5, grub into our vaults with the hope to rediscover and offer you something peculiar. Our sincere sympathizing to Michael’s wife and kids. 

1313 Mockingbird Lane - "Triskaidekaphobia" (Midnight Records, 1993)

If I remember correctly, the first garage band I ever heard was 1313 Mockingbird Lane. Not the Fuzztones, not the Chesterfield Kings or any other of the 'big' names by the rebirth 80s era. Strange, right?  I do remember also that first read about the whole 'garage punk' revivalism and then came to like it for their sounds, and that’s because of the band pictures I was seeing in fanzines and magazines (for some strange reason, Greece’s kind of mainstream 'rock' press had a good coverage to many garage bands at the time!). Yep, sometimes image is everything! I was full on punk. Not the 90s punk... OK, some of it maybe, but I had a passionate relation with the '77 movement and its bands. So, everything had a 'punk' synthetic, was a target for the little prick here. For another and even stranger reason, a classmate of the 'not so cool' stockyard (that’s not an impression of mine, as I recall the ‘neat chicks’ was ranking him that way - btw I'm still proud and obdurate by the way treated them, all these bitches deserved every little insult and mockery...), had a TDK C-60 from his cousin with most (if not all...) of the "Triskaidekaphobia" plus a good shot of "Have Hearse Will Travel" toons on the side B . So, he handed me the tape, because it had "no signs of heavy metal" and “it was badly played music” and wished me luck ironically... Thanks pal! I still owe you and it’s a pity we lost contact (you know, I hate re-unions and I detest Facebook!) cause in a way your power metal strains (what?), had opened me a whole new and exciting scene that in any way I HAD TO DISCOVER!  Anyway, every time I was coming to Athens with my parents to visit grandma, a quick hike with specific chases (cause my dad was boring to death from my record stores enticements) was taking place. In one of those hunting saunters, grabbed two of the Lane’s singles but by then, nada! Of course all other band’s singles through the years appeared in front of me but with salty prices as an accessory… Sorry, not enough money to spend. Thanks to some same minded bloggers, I got lucky and had at least the chance to hear them. And I really wonder why doesn't start yet a 80s garage re-issue tsunami? There are SO MANY things remaining in unavailability...!
Anyway, from a band with SUCH A COOL name, an anti-Beatles song in their canon, a former Link Wray drummer, a huge Flamin’ Groovies admiration, some more cool influences by side (instead for the 'standard' garage trademarks their 'comrades' did, here they pick on Freddy Cannon, Johnny Kidd and of course the Groovies!), a Greek superstitious title for the bad luck day of Friday the 13th, and some damn well tones of fuzz, screams and haunting organ, you really don’t expect more... Am I right?!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Various Artists - "Lend Us A Quid, The Tanked-Up, Dressed Down, Dirty-Ass R&B Side of Pub Rock!" (WAXCD 004)

Hi there! When I was in my teens, one of my dream jobs was to be an archivist on record companies in the likes of the British Ace. Actually I’m still dreaming of this quite a lot... You know, dreams are for free! Anyway, I was fascinated by the thing totally. I mean, you’re getting paid to search the vaults of legendary 
labels like Stax, Modern or Meteor, to write the liners, to interview long forgotten heroes and to gather a compilation for the listening pleasure of a majority that has obviously an upper IQ level and of course great taste! And this was the driving force for starting the whole WAX CDs compilations. The addition of JP makes many matters easier, BUT I tell you guys that this persuasion’s not an easy shit to do. You’re setting yourself higher standards every time and you’re coming to a point that you feel imprisoned on your own ‘fun’ idea. OK, I made it look quite weepy but what I’m trying to say is that when you get positive reactions from other people for your ‘work’, it is obvious and happens almost subconsciously to want to make it even better next time and all of a sudden this photo’s not so good, this track doesn’t fit well, and when you’re come finally to an end, you realize that you have already spent on this two or three months! But it’s still a fun thing to do and I wish this was my every day routine! As you can see, this time we have picked on Pub Rock. Be careful though, we didn’t want to make just ‘another’ gathering of well known songs. And we wanted also this stable to have a ‘concept’. And the concept here is the “Dirty R&B” side of the idiom. That means no Brinsleys, no Ace, and no Bees Make Honey. Nothing against these bands of course, Brinsleys in fact are one of my favorite combos of the era but this shit here’s about raw uncompromised energy! I wanted the punk forefathers, the ones that teach the Pistols and their generation who Music Machine was and where this evil force called rock & roll was born or/and by whom?! 
In my mind the best rock & roll combo came outta UK (in all periods of time!), hands down are Johnny Kidd and the Pirates. Way cool than many before or since! No wonder these guys were a huge influence on our subject. Mick Green patented the sound made Wilko a hero and their song was the reason why the Feelgoods christened themselves this way. I tried to stick to a ‘heavy’ R&B beat for all selections here and I tried as well to link past with the then present and future. Downliners Sect was no new to the game of course, but seeing their kids succeeding in their own game, jumped up the wagon and released at least one killer LP (they did the same with punk as FU2, but that’s another story waiting to be told). Lemmy and co. was no less than a kick ass pub band in their prime, and along with 'their gals' created a mayhem picking on Johnny Kidd’s classic “Please Don’t Touch”. MC5’s front man Rob Tyner left an interesting (at least) single with the Hot Rods backing him up, and the more garage approach of the movement with The Inmates and The Cannibals (driving force was and still is Mike Spenser of the MKI Count Bishops) who introduced the Nuggets to a generation of punks that wanted to re-establish rock & roll but not in the traditional way. I included also the Little Roosters (WHATTA NAME!) and the nuclear blast in the form of a song named “I Need a Witness (produced by Joe Strummer), a song the Cock Sparrer (!) made widely familiar, the Hammersmith Gorillas savage take on the Kinks (Gaaaaaaallll you really got me gowin!), here from the original single and not from the RAW records re-press that had mastering/sounding problems plus the Bob Seger Chuck Berry homage by none other than Terry Gibson of the Sect! The Untouchables Wilko produced single as far as I know is quite a rarity already, and Dr. Feelgood’s live hyper speed take on Jerry Lee just rips! There’s an interesting little story behind every track here and why chose it but we will need more time to put into shape a thing thats already late a bit… So, hope you enjoy it and try find all these bands if you already haven’t. And keep in mind that Pub Rock was the true but unfashionable movement that REALLY saved rock & roll’s ass! RESPECT!
PS: "Lend Us A Quid" was the ironic pin my idol Steve Marriott used to wear during his pub rock days. Many of the fans still believe this was the sad end. I'm not one of those! I wish anytime soon, some better sounding tapes from the ones already exist to surface in public... 

As usual no bootlegging on WAX CDs. Share and dance freely!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Cramps - "Songs The Lord Taught Us - Alternate Mix, French Release" (Illegal Records, 1980)

We’re gonna bury you guys in Cramps rarities over the next days (OK, maybe months, it depends on our spare time…). The start waxed the day before with the Cramps mega rare single and since this blog have a Cramps PhD holder, Jean Philippe, we’re gonna share whatever we think our ‘vaults’ (actually JP’s, myself stayed to the official releases with a few exceptions) hide and deserves exposition. And boy this never heard by me either. I’m just the guy learned it a few hours before of you! And some hours before me, Jean Philippe just had bought it (are we a straightforward blog or what?!). So let’s begin: On the minor exceptions I was talking about some lines above, was the well known bootleg “Songs the Lord Might Have Taught Us”. If my tired memory serves me right, “Might Have Taught Us” was unofficially released by two at least different bootleggers. The one I own for sure has a 'polite' sound, at least for the Cramps standards. Audible of course, in a way clear, but weak. Hearing it for the first time made me think that our beloved monsters did no wrong with these recordings keeping them off many people’s ears, even if these ears belonged to their fans (I’m one so I believe I can talk from the fans point of view, right?). All the following listenings made my meditation even stronger. And I know a lot of people who faith that these recordings were in fact demos, maybe in their anxiety to defend their/our heroes. My impression after only one shot of this, is that these are the alternate mixes of the band's classic debut all Cramps fans looking for. Exactly what my buddy JP told me, he's the Cramps-torian and I’m not the one to contradict this. What’s for sure this record here's a totally unique item in the Cramps rapidly growing official/unofficial discography. For a better readout of this semi-official release (?), wise what my partner mailed me:
“More Cramps shit? You may have heard about the very rare (50 copies) promo version of "Songs the Lord Taught Us" LP, which contains alternate mixes and with “Drug Train” instead of “TV Set”. I don't have it (and probably never will, as it's a several thousands Euros piece of plastic), but it was bootlegged several years ago as "Songs the Lord Might Have Taught Us". I have the bootleg but I couldn't enjoy it as the sound is very, very thin. It doesn't sound bad, but it doesn't sound right (it's in mono and doesn't have balls). BUT, I found (just today!) the alternate mix of the rare promo on a French -official- pressing of “Songs The Lord Taught Us" LP. It's a very basic mix, with less echo on Lux’s vocals, and in most cases, drums have much more "presence". The version of “TV Set” (which is not on the promo LP nor on the bootleg) is not only a different mix, it's an alternate take, and a pretty good one. I loooooooove it. Here it is, without the bootleg shitty sound!" We believe you don't need more, right?

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Cramps - "Human Fly / Domino" (Vengeance, 7" - 1978)

Days and years are going by much quicker than you might think. It’s already three years since Lux Interior; the Bad Elvis left this world for another. I’m not saying dead cause I’d like to remember him always as a zombie! My favorite, the coolest and the dirtiest! A primordial swamp hillbilly punk who came to this world to remember us poor sinners how rock & roll was a force of nature and not just music to dance by. I always put the Cramps in the punk movement and not in the psychobilly area. They were PUNKS! In the true-est sense of this word. And they got further than more acolytes did. They didn’t just got back to the basics, they denude it, had with it WILD SEX, discharged it from his recent years guilts and make it again DANGEROUS! Well, this is a VERY HARD TO FIND item of the Cramps discography. And a very expensive as well if you can find it in a mint copy. It came out from their own label (I think…) Vengeance, and has a DIFFERENT somehow dirtier mix of “Human Fly” than the one most most of us know from “Off the Bone”. Producer here's too Alex Chilton, but still this looks like a nonidentical version of the well known song. Don't know, if someone of you guys and gals know some more, shine a light. As my partner JP said, “You can hear Lux singing very close to the mic and the sound quality is better!”
Bizzz, bizz, bzzzzzzzzz!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Ministry of Justice in Greece, Hacked by Anonymous!

Anonymous, the well known internet activist group, hacked the website of the Greek Government’s Justice of  Ministry this Friday morning, posting a video and a text calling for the government “To stop ACTA [Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement] in Greece” within a fortnight.
If this was not done, the message from Anonymous proceeds, “We will do Cyberwarfare by defacing 300 sites and all the media and websites”!!!
The hacking occurred around 5.20am and the Anonymous version was still online at around 9am, when it was taken down by the Ministry’s ‘administrators’ (haha)!
The funny thing’s that Police tweeted that its cybercrime unit is ‘following the electronic traces left by the hackers"!
The cool video all Greeks this morning witnessed shows a man in a Guy Fawkes mask reading the below statement. I mean, it was early in the morning, I was preparing myself to go to work, I hadn’t yet wet my lips with some coffee and suddenly I was not just seeing ‘V for Vendetta’, I was living in it!
We are living in times where History’s writing some SERIOUS pages everyday for the entire world and not only for Greece… I’m anxious, scared and at the same time excited and full of hope…  We'll see in a few weeks...

Full Text:

Greetings Greece. We are Anonymous.

What is going on in your country is unacceptable. You were chosen by your people to act on behalf of them and express their wishes, but you have derogatorily failed. You have killed the most sacred element your country had and that is democracy. Democracy was given birth in your country but you have now killed it. What an irony! Your own people hate you and you stare at them doing nothing to prevent that. You have joined the IMF against your people's acquiescence. You have so introduced a new dictatorship upon your people's shoulders and allowed the bankers and the monarchs of the EU to enslave them both economically and politically. They pay their government's mistakes heavily and you made foreign people hate them for something they are not responsible for. What a shame! Police is taking advantage of its powers and attacks people who demonstrate in order for justice to be done. They demonstrate against you but you do not want their voices to be heard. You deprive them from their right of freedom of expression and of their right to live. Your arbitrary actions must be punished. By signing the ACTA bill you are going to deprive your people from further freedom and you are pushing them one step towards oppression. You ignored our warnings and now WE ARE IN CHARGE!

We are Anonymous
We are Legion
We do not forgive
We do not forget
You should have Expected us!

People should not be afraid of their governments.
It's governments that should be afraid of their people.

The Video: 

Pics from the hacked website:

Dr. Feelgood - "Malpractice - Italian Pressing" (United Artists, 1976)

One of the coolest (does exist such word?) ever ‘bad habits’ that I witnessed so far, it's the one my faithful partner JP has! He spends almost uncalculated his money on buying... the same record (in both formats) and MANY times! And I suspect this happens with just one purpose on his mind… To find the best sounding pressing or mastering! I admire you mate! Lucky me of course, cause as all record collectors use to do, I do have on my vault some of my fave discs in three or four different mixes but that's it! I prefer to throw my (everyday less and less...) money off my pocket for different things! So, the other day sent me this email:
 Dr Feelgood Malpractice: you probably heard it a million times before (and I won't blame you for that), both the CD and the UK LP versions sound loud & clear, but the Italian pressing I ripped  yesterday sounds (almost) like a different mix (for some reason), with thundering bass & drums. Surely Feelgood is great for Brilleaux & Wilko, but the rest of the team is kicking some serious ass too, and this is very nicely highlighted on this version. I'm enjoying it even more [damn it, the pounding on "Going Back Home" is so good], so I needed to share it with you!”
 And guess what? For one more time he was 100% right! God bless you man! Next move was to add this bona-fide rip to my i-pod and in the next morning on my way to the job, I touched the play button anxious to hear on my own to what my friend raved so much about the previous night… BOOM-BAM-BOOM! If some of you guys and gals out there is a sound engineer, please explain to me WHY THIS HAPPENS?  I mean, I know this brilliant record upside down from my teens, and this is a CLEARLY better sounding shit! Anyway, I believe I don’t have to tell much (or add…) about the Feelgoods or this record especially that you haven’t read already probably somewhere else, but this is definitely the best garage record of the 70s! Cause for me Dr. Feelgood were actually a garage outfit. Tight as hell, rhythmic like an uzi in a paroxysm mode, more confident in comparison with their debut and with a perfect position between cover toons and the Wilko penned originals! From my house to the place I work it’s about an hour distance, and even if it was early morning, i had a strong will to attend the hearing with some bourbon (the first J. Geils Band record I played right next, made things even worse).  OK, for one more time I'm bubbling up so much saying actually nothing. I'll put a dot here. Listen to this even if you have it. You'll understand why immediately!