Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Ramones - "It's Alive - Audio Fidelity Limited Edition" (Warner Bros, 2009)

Yay! This is the morning (OK, noon...) of a great night out with my old pals. Not much time for all of us even though we are living in the same city. Blame the fuckin' situation down here for that... Anyway. Our day jobs kept us me and JP as well very busy all past week. Probably this will happen and the one is starting over tomorrow. Keep an eye in here cause more things are about come from the WAX side of this site. You know what is the thing with the place is called Greece the last thousands years? SUN! Right this moment I'm sitting in my balcony having my one son of the two putting out of his mothers plants all the mold (the other one's a lazy dog, sleeping with no worries in the big fat shade!) and yours truly is trying to write something for the next post. Which is in much relation with the sun, and the summer. What really amazes me the most about Jean Philippe it's the almost unrealistic timing we share! I was about to post something by da brudders and found this on my mailbox this morning by my pal:

"Off-topic: audiophile punk-rock, what the fuck?
I already confessed my deadly sin: no Ramones records in my collection until recently. But I think I'm forgiven: since I purchased "It's Alive", I gave it so many spins it's almost like I played it once every week for 2 decades. And you know (you must know) what I did next: try & finding a better sounding copy. I don't buy so-called audiophile records. They just sound baaaad to my ears, with virtually no high frequencies. I usually stick to original copies or old reissues. Recent remastered crap isn't my cup of tea either (makes my ears bleed). And I usually stay away from records with "180g" sticker, and yet I bought the one shown below. It was mastered by audiophile guru Steve Hoffman. I usually care more about who's actually playing than who's touching knobs in the studio, but all the Hoffman-mastered records I have (Bo Diddley, Buddy Holly, Doors) sound really good (better than originals), I mean exactly like I enjoy rock music: bold but not harsh, sweet but not dry, blablabla (and all the audiophile shit talk you can think of). Anyway, his version of "It's Alive" is really good. I'm listening to "Teenage Lobotomy" now: it feels like my head is actually IN the drums. Kick-ass sound, really! My neighbor will hate me. The CD version sounds like what you can hear when you play music directly trough a mobile phone. OK, enough audiophile shit, 1,2,3,4"

I told you before mate, you REALLY have it, haha! So, this is the official twin bro of another Ramones goodie i posted some time ago. I'm not 100% on what my my good friend wrote (a Japanese vinyl pressing i own just kills!) but as always he has a good point here! Don't know who this Steve Hoffman mister is, but for sure he did an exceptional job to one of the best LIVE albums ever pressed. The kicking-ass masterpiece of the Ramones, recorded on New Year's eve 1977 with the 28 already classics by the three milestone first Ramones LPs ("Ramones", "Leave Home", "Rocket To Russia"), with no pause and hyper-speed delivery!

Have a nice week all!


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Radio Birdman - "Ritualism" (Crying Sun Records, 1996)

We Greeks always had a special admiration/bond for all things Aussie, especially in Rock & Roll. As I documented countless times before in here, we‘re not much (I mean arithmetically) listening to these sounds, but we‘re 100% into it. To give you an example in the midst of REM craze, Madchester rave and pre-grunge days, the Sunnyboys and the Lime Spiders were household names in every cool bar of the city. And this city had many of them. The Dubrovniks were able to pack a 1000 persons club easily, and every time you dragged yourself to some record shop asking for these names, the ‘old’ ones were telling you to ‘go find the Saints and the Birdman’! Not bad, right?  And if the Saints records' due mostly to the French New Rose label were ‘easier’ to be found, Birdman’s was a HELL of hunting and a very good reason to let these bastards rip you off! I still remember my feelings contrast from the showcase to the cashier when I first saw ‘Radios Appear’ overseas version over hanged… Anyway, it took me some years to gather finally all Radio Birdman releases but the first was this!
Yep, the ‘re-union’ live CD can carry still a special place in my heart. I’m pretty sure that for about two months this small disc rarely got out of the machine. Forget here all these greedy old men trying to mess up with their past. The performances of the songs are at least revitalizing and this time with all the weight been thrown to the roll element of their punk, which for me is an A plus! The production was recorded completely live and with no overdubs. They picked on the best material of their catalogue (yes the Birdman had shitty songs too, don’t try hide it, ‘Man with the Golden Helmet’ is probably one of the worst songs I‘ve ever heard!) electrifying themselves, their instruments and the all the people heard this! Radio Birdman for me it's a brother band to the Dictators. A punk rock gang that never been scared to mark out their love for hard rock (‘Radios Appear’ for example comes from a Blue Oyster Cult song lyric just like their name from a Stooges!). It’s impossible to describe Birdman’s importance with a few words.  I’m fortunate enough catch ‘em playing and to this day I’m wearing proudly the baseball hat with their cool logo on it! Up there with the Stooges and the MC5, the better examples of what is high energy rock & roll!

Official Site           Myspace             Facebook

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Cramps - "My Daddy Drives A U.F.O. - The Lux-urious And Elegant Unease Of The Cramps Bootlegs Vol.1, The Live Tapes" (WAXCD 005)

Things worked faster this time! Ok, it’s all up to my buddy’s Cramps related snugness but I have to admit, Jean Philippe showed me the way! In less than a month, tracks picked up, rips were made and cd covers blow-by-blow designed for (what else?) the next WAX ‘release’ and as you can see this thing’s planned for at least two volumes! The idea came to my head when I was preparing the Pub Rock volume and proposed my comrade to think of a Cramps boot volume as a next step. I mean, with such a vault, it’s a crime to not touch our hands on and pitch on the cream of the crap, don’t you think? And this is by a good 99%, a JPStooges sound cared project. My correlation focalized/minimized in some kind of ‘spiritual’ guidance about the way covers should look or how this project might be called or how this could or should be build, virtual not the things a rock & roll fan might be interested in. And I’m so gee-whiz for the end result!
So, the WAX team jointly decided to split this ghoulish idea in two parts. The ‘studio’ material and the ‘live tapes’. And we thought it’s better to start from the hoodoo stage rituals the Cramps got through 'round the world during their heyday (I know we are all fans, but we must admit that from the late 80s – maybe earlier, our monsters have started to transform their selves from voodoo idols to cartoons)! Detailed, carefully placed and with the 'semi-pro, my ass!' artwork approach of the WAX twins, this is the first volume of the Cramps tumulus raped material.  What we had in mind was to create something Lux might have been proud of! We know this is a rather childish urge (i can't even think to write my childish thoughts on the most venomous female ever brandished a Gretsch...) , but the Legion of the Cramped lives no matter how many years Rockin' Bones gazette is out of print. And for one time at least we cheat the cheaters (aka bootleggers) in their own game, ha! Are we the baddest motherfuckers or what?! So as usual, NO bootlegging on WAX CDs. Share and dance freely. 
Stay sick, more to come!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Boys - "The Very Best Of The Boys, The Punk Collectors Series" (Anagram, 1999)

Hi there! You know, I’m not a person who likes compilations with stupid titles like ‘the very best of’ / ‘greatest hits’ etc. And actually, from the (very) first days of this blog I’ve never propose to you a comp in that vein. You have to got the albums, always, and in the case of the Boys, you have to buy them ALL! Saying this, I’m sure I haven’t catch in my life more than 20 perhaps ‘best of’ for both, records and CDs. And a good 90% was purchased as a starter or as replacement to the bands normal releases (I’ve told you before, Greece’s not a cool place for this kind of music). And it’s a damn hard thing to find a ‘best of’ to represent any band’s or artist’s resume in the best possible way. Well, this one belongs to the scarce of the matter!
The Boys are my ‘weakness’ (I’m not sure this expression translates in English exactly what I want to say, which is actually that the Boys won the higher places of my favorite punk rock/power pop groups easily). Definitely had the sound I want to hear to cheer my mood! The frenetic poppy punk blasts of their first steps and the more ‘mature’ punky pop of their later (in the way looks ‘old’ some 18yo lad to the eyes of a 15!) was hand-fitted to me. The fact that never ‘did it’ commercially is a home truth and of course a high injustice to their side but for me, no less than a happy situation… I know it sounds bad and don’t get me wrong but when I was in my teens, my selfish existence demanded to go find ‘things’ that none of my friends would have known or like first! And still 18 years later, the Boys are for me the best punk/power pop/rock n’ roll band of their time in the eastern side of the Atlantic (to the other of course were some four leather jacket and sneakers wearing lads, under a Paul McCartney surname).
The Boys greatness has many chapters and had offer to rock & roll much more than a casual fan may believe. Exceptional hooky fun dynamites and at least three equal if not legendary bands that predated or continued Boys legacy, all unfortunately with the same underestimated destiny. The Hollywood Brats, The Yobs and The Crybabys through the years trail won the more suspicious of the fans but somehow remain with something more of a cult following… Hopefully for all three aforementioned groups will talk in a future piece.
And what we get here? The singles (ALL classics, no 'You better Move On' tho'); in chronological order and a rollercoaster drive from the early unripe punk rock with pop refrains transiting song to song in a full pop crew with punky and edgy dynamics! From the quite Ramone-ish sugar harsh attacks (‘Sick of You’, ‘I Don’t Care’), through Phil Spectorian song morphology some years before da brudders in fact (‘Brickfield Nights’), to an almost Chris Bell lost gem (‘Independent Girl’ – Am I the only one finding similarities with ‘I am the Cosmos’?), the Boys arsenal of well crafted power pop songs is attacking your stereo’s speakers unashamedly and with unconditionally swaggering charm! 

Buy The Boys amazing Captain Oi! reissues here!

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Skeptics "Spider Baby" EP out now on Chickpea Records!

It’s always cool when you get back home from the job (especially on a tough day) and a new package’s waiting for you patiently there, to open it and blow up your home stereo.
This kid’s probably the next Billy Childish! He got SO much talent (fuck, I just used the wrong word for a garage punk review…) and in so many fields that makes my self sure about the snotty sulfurous Childish comment. I know Johnny or Cherry Boy or Bart from his first steps, when I and my mates were printing a fanzine. I got to know him through a social network, when I was still using these shit in order to wind up interviews. He bombed me with tons of cool stuff! His bands (the Pneumonias, the Wild Zeros), his A5 DIY photocopied kbd-smelling Frantic City zine and of course with some 7inch TNTs from the same named label, all his! You can say that this kid knows his rock & roll and definitely breathe through it… We lost contact since then (the last time we spoke, had as a cause the Mean Things CD release through my friends Peris and John, Lost In Tyme Records) but til then nada. He relocated from France to Belgium; I got married and my two little cavemen that came after while left me with not much time for finding old friends...  I’m in a caution this period of re-striking my old punk rock records. This drove me back to his zines and then to an email. Fuck the Mummies, digital age has obviously certain goodies. The Pneumonias and the Mean Things have not much time these days, the Wild Zeros are no more (FUCK, the best garage punk outfit in the DMZ spirits the last ten years, no kidding!) but the Skeptics are still here! A band which at first consisted by him only and started as a killing time ‘project’ has by now a full line up an’ a new kick ass cave punk EP out there through Chickpea Records. Did I have to tell you how good it is? Well I found til the moment these lines been written no reviews ‘round the net but if I had to bet my money, I would have say this: There’s no way this cavernous thing to be liked by many, so called ‘punk’ zines (sites included)! It’s too dirty, too haunting and too spooky for a generation of ‘fans’ suppose the Black Keys as ‘garage’! Thanks to Tim Warren’s sick personality, there’s a whole new generation of Stone Age men carrying the torch of ‘Back from the Grave’ institution. This one’s here probably the coolest! 

You can hear the Skeptics scream, here!

The Skeptics Facebook page

Frantic City Records (Official site's link on 'Find Your Poison' window, below) 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Scott Morgan Needs Your Help!

Bad news travels fast? I mean it’s not THAT bad hopefully, but anytime I hear something for some serious illness or something similar I feel I’m getting something like a knot down my throat… The other day my good friend Colin Bryce (the man behind Mohair Sweets/Black Aces/Drivin' Wheel) informed me for a benefit show about Scott Morgan. I wrote many times here how much RESPECT I have for the MAN! Fuck, a much underrated singer and even more guitarist. I never figured out why the Faces never continued with Scott in Rod’s place! They could have been the ONLY band that had the three of the best white “black” throats in rock & roll. And I really don’t know how this ‘rights owning system’ works, but the harsh realities of a legend like Scott Morgan needing benefit shows for the expenses, makes me ANGRY! The least I can do is to ‘promote’ this show…
You all know as well my repulsion for bloggers asking for donations… I’m not going to expand on this… It’s the only time I’ll ask or better; beg for your hard earned money… I’m copying here a part of Colin’s email for every one of us to understand the situation on health system in the West ‘civilized’ world…

The cost of medical care in the US can be astronomical if you don't belong to a health plan and of course a great many US citizens (musicians included) do not have coverage. Hospital bills in the US can completely bankrupt a person.
Please visit Scott's homepage to find out more and to donate

You can do your duty here:

As far for the specific event (click poster to enlarge for details), Colin informed me that the show (obviously) will have “number of things the Rationals played, some Detroit stuff that Scott influenced and was a part of and of course a whole heap of his music over the sound system.I wish pal I was there! You can tape the show of course and let me later ‘boot’ it, haha! The Drivin' Wheel are kick ass tough R&B band (exactly the way we like our Pub Rock here at WTS HQ), fun has a warranty stamp and your money will go to a definitely good cause!

You can view the Drivin' Wheel in action on youtube here:
I’m sure you all know who Scott Morgan is but it’s always a blast checking related stuff by him:

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Cannibals - "The Submarine Song/Paralytic Confusion" (HIT together with Bucketful Of Brains Magazine, 1984)

Morning lads! More trash by our favorite Cannibal here at White Trash Soul headquarters! Possibly a rarity (I'm not sure though, cause every time i write something for something 'rare', record collectors hit on me on how much this may cost or how many slices pressed, so i really don't know!). As a big fan of Mike Spenser's 'work' you 're getting me unlearnt this time...! I mean, i knew the existence of the single but i never saw it or heard it before. But i don't feel bad cause there's virtually NOTHING on the net for this, anywhere! Not on the Count Bishops sites, nor on record collectors'... And we are offering this thanks to JP who wormed it out perhaps from a trash pail! It doesn't really matter though cause what we are talking about here is rock & roll, and on these two sides is plenty and raucous! As you read on the title, this 45 rpm came out with some Bucketful of Brains issue back in 1984 but that's too a mystery! Whatever, if anyone of you guys and gals knows more, we're here to put our pince-nez and teach us a lesson.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Kids - "The Kids" (Philips, 1978)

For fans of punk rock this band and this album is a well known classic of the 77 period, maybe the more intimate in Europe leave outside of course the UK. Often bootlegged during the 80s and the 90s, was bought by me no less than 3 times! The Kids formed by three teenage savages sometime between 1975 and 1976. The word ‘teenage’ for punk or garage bands are often used but merely corresponds in reality. Not here sir, cause the Kids had at the time an age line that started from 13y.o. and ended to 16! I believe that the ‘Killed By Death’ compilations (the Nuggets of punk in a way) spread rapidly Kids’ reputation globally and today relish a legendary status, but just like their heroes (mine’s too!) Eddie & the Hot Rods, the tough R&B roots was the key element that gave their punky sound the roll it needed and that’s why still punk rock bands pick on their songs. Actually three cover Kids tunes was the reason why I had to chase their albums many years ago. I remember I've bought from eBay some Zeros singles and the guy who sold me those sent me as well a tape as a 'present'. It included many things I had (then) to discover such as Fun Things, the Nervous Eaters or the Pagans and it was mixed with ‘modern’ bands including also my favorite 90s punks, the ferocious Japs Teengenerate, executing no less than three Kids songs! The funny thing’s that I own all Kids records now and almost all from Teengenerate but I’m still missing that special one that made look for the Kids in the first place! Anyone sells it? Btw, the good guy behind the cool All I Want blog, have posted the aforementioned ‘chase’ and I suppose it’s a good companion to this post’s offer! 

* Buy official re-issue of the first 2 albums here 
* Official site