Saturday, December 28, 2013

Hints, Rumours and Allegations

So, my hobby is leading me into fabrication. That is- I've assembled some parts, and I'm thinking about making an effects pedal- specifically a distortion pedal- and I  already have the MXR distortion + and the OS-2, and the Fuzz pedal- so why a new one? Well, partially because I can, but partially because I want something that can fill some "in-between" spaces- I want one pedal that can go from sludgey overdrive ( as opposed to crisp overdrive) to a scooped-mid crunchy distortion- as opposed to total war fuzz. Basically, with the three I've got, I can cover 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, and 10- so I want one pedal to cover 3, 5, and 7. Since this will be a one-off I can publicly say what I'm doing- I'm taking Marshall's old Shredmaster circuits, and substituting a diode and a capcitor to make it resemble a mix between a shredmaster and a Boss SD-1, then  tweaking until I end up with a differently voiced Marshall Guv'Nor GV2.
So, Max, you say, why bother telling me about it? Well, I'm asking if there's any interest in seeing and/or hearing the results? I'm still debating if it's horribly self indulgent to post this kind of crap, or if folks actually have any interest in gear, like this...

Friday, December 27, 2013

Pat Todd & the Rank Outsiders

I've been a fan of Pat Todd since the 1980's. For your Thunderesque glammy, trashy rocknroll needs, his old band the Lazy Cowgirls have you covered. But, he likes Country, and he loves Punk, and he enjoys glamrock, so his new-ish band The Rank Outsiders occupy a space somewhere around The Supersuckers to The Replacements, and a Stones cover band . What I am saying is that this is about as traditional Rocknroll as there can be. Sure, I like lot of stuff more. But, I still have a place in my heart for the type of Rock music that fully embraces tradition- even though I know there are no surprises, here. This would've been considered hopelessly out of date even in 1985- that's a quarter century ago-But, I still have a soft spot for that honkytonk country-fried 3 chord rock. Stuff that cannot escape the shadow of the Rolling Stones. So, I'm not suggesting you rush right out and buy a copy of 14th & Nowhere, but I'm trying to catch up here- I have been listening to this on and off since about September. So, it's not earth shattering, but it is good for what it is.

At Devil Dirt Plan B

At Devil Dirt have blown my mind. Let's start with the basics- this is a band from Chile who combine Beatlesque Red Kross sElf styled harmonies with bottom heavy sludgey pools of instrumentation, and the lyrics are directly politically directed against the current state of Chilean affairs. Already, you're at a loss, right? It's only gonna get more psycho- The vocal harmonies mix Doom Metal screams with full bore 3 part harmonies of sweetly sung melodic vocal hooks, and the instruments are just as likely to feature a bass so fuzzed out is sounds like a runaway mining truck randomly throwing dynamite as they are a thirteen minute ambient keyboard soundtrack to a history lesson entirely in Spanish news reports from several decades back. Or a keys and acoustic dirge out.
But, back to the sludge- I don't say this often, but there's stuff on here that's heavier than the Melvins meeting early Torche. I know you don't believe me, but it's like a stoner rock version of Kowloon Walled City, in terms of the music- i.e  the Molasses flood of 1919 in terms of music. But, the song structures are halfway between Kyuss and Trouble, as opposed to KWC's angled avalanches.
I mentioned Torche, and that's probably as close an analogy I can generate: Sweet  pop harmonies, on a sick fudge layer of luded-out stoned blooze rock, with an unhealthy fascination with pure noise.
But, the lyrics are lucid tales from Pinochet's Chile.  Yes. My mind just fried out typing that. Ye gads.
 I heartily suggest you get this.  This is the state of underground transnational Stoner sludge psychotronic mayhem. At Devil Dirt? Yes, please!

In Which I catch up to Whores

I try to keep up. I don't always make it, but I try. So, I don't feel too bad that I blew off Whores until seeing them pop up in a few end-of-year lists. Well, I've heard the "Clean" Ep, and it's really good. A Sabbathy Noise rock record, it's got plenty of Am Rep bite, but retains enough classic rock songwriting that it could be compared to a grunge record. I don't know if I'd call it one of the year's best, but a good Ep, sure.... It's like  Helmet meets KARP or Laughing Hyenas. Good, but not something I'd wave the flag for...