Some bands just seem like they were made for Incognito. Duo Divergente is one of those bands. Let me just lay it out for you. This is a garage-rock duo from Spain. If you’ve read this blog at all, you know how big a sucker I am for both Spanish bands and rock n roll duos. This one doesn’t disappoint.
One thing is readily apparent as soon as you press play on this band’s Bandcamp page. This band has a real retro sound. In fact, “Chico Jot Down” sounds a lot like French girl groups of the 60s. I’m not sure how this band dresses (aside from this one photo), but when I hear this song, I imagine the two members dressed in mod black-and-white outfits.
“La Serrana” is pure primitive goodness. The guitar and drums are simple and raw, but what really brings this one to Trashy Town is the sustained “AAAAAAAAAAAH” in the backing vocals. Play this for people without giving any information about the song, and I bet they won’t guess it was recorded in 2013.
Duo Divergente only has two songs on its Bandcamp site, but those two songs whet the appetite for more. I can’t wait to hear what this band does next, and I think I’ll like it just as much as this small sample.
Welcome, loyal reader, to another edition of Trashy Tuesday. In case you’re just joining us, this is our weekly celebration of the loud, lo-fi, and raucous. This band from Buena Park, California, delivers all three of those ingredients in spades. But don’t just take my word for it. Listen to “Funky C” – especially the chorus. I’d love to see this song performed live because I’m sure it would get people jumping into each other.
The funny thing about this band is that while the guitar is raw and loud, it’s pretty clean too. It stands in pretty good contrast to the raw quality of the vocals. This band has a way of making every song into a free-spirited romp. “Bumstick” is a song that captures the energy and sound of 60s garage rock. For a real curveball, listen to “Meat Mountain.” This song sounds like what would happen if you hired the garage band down the street to play at your hoedown. And hey, if you live in the kind of neighborhood that has hoedowns, why don’t you invite your humble narrator? I’ll even see if I can score some moonshine for the occasion.
If you’re a regular here for Trashy Tuesday, I think Honey Badgers fits real nicely into your collection. It’s garage, it’s a little psychedelic. It’s a party for your ears. If you want to wait for the vinyl, the album will be available from Resurrection Records in November. If you want to get the album now, you can score the MP3s on Bandcamp for the low price of $7…or about the same as a good breakfast burrito.
The Frights: Raucous surf music from San Diego
They say good things come to those who wait, but in reality good things come to those who go looking for them. Take The Frights for example. I encountered this band while searching for garage-punk bands on Bandcamp. I would say the payoff was pretty immediate.
“Rip and Dip” is everything you Trashy Tuesday fans want in a song. It’s LOUD, raw, and short with a dash of surf added for good measure. One of the best things I can say about this song is that it sounds like the guys had a cab waiting outside when they recorded it. It has that kind of urgency and energy about it. There’s that, and there’s the fact that you can tell they didn’t do dozens of takes of this song. They got in there, knocked it out, and finished.
“Wow, OK, Cool” is a song that really gets my attention. This is trashy surf at its finest. It has a rumbling, psychedelic surf sound, and the vocals sound like they were recorded in a basement with a microphone wrapped in duct tape. (No, that’s not a criticism.) And the drums in this song are about as raucous as you’ll hear anywhere.
If you’re a fan of surf music with an edge to it, be sure to check out The Frights. The band has two EPs available for your listening pleasure on Bandcamp.
AGGRO: Crannk the volume to Ludicrous
I didn’t go searching for a band from Japan to feature for Trashy Tuesday, but I sure found one. Not that it’s really surprising. There have been some great trashy rock n roll bands from Japan, and AGGRO seems like another one.
Let’s just run down the checklist, shall we? Raucous guitars? Check. Furious rhythms? Check. Shouted vocals? Check. Loads of energy? Check. Yup, it certainly seems like this band has everything a great garage punk band needs. And if you want an example of the furious rhythms, check out “Go Bang.” The way the drummer attacks his kit in this song, it seems impossible that he would have energy left after playing it.
Oh, and I forgot one thing in the checklist. Short songs. The longest song on this album is 2:53. That’s not surprising either. They put so much energy into each song, it’s hard to imagine these guys playing a five-minute epic.
But, as always, don’t just take my word for it. Give this album a listen. Just make sure you turn up the volume setting to “ludicrous” and blast it out the windows to all your neighbors. No, that’s not cursing. That’s your neighbors thanking you for enlightening them about AGGRO.
New Swears – trashy songs about drinking. Need I say more?
Bandcamp may have its limitations (a recommendations feature would be real nice), but the truth is you you can enter a search term on Bandcamp and get some really good results. For instance, when I was looking for bands to feature on Trashy Tuesday, I entered the term garage punk. One of the results of that search was this album by New Swears.
Before even getting into the music, I saw this description of the band.
Imagine Mean Jeans partying with the Black Lips. Jangly garage punk from these Ottawa party animals. The perfect soundtrack to getting drunk and jumping off the roof of a two story house into the shallow end and having to be carted off to the emergency room for a couple broken bones. Stream the whole record (which has already been released on tape on Bruised Tongue Records).
Obviously, I don’t recommend getting drunk and jumping off a roof, but still I wish more bands put that kind of effort into their descriptions. The album begins with “Jon’s Coke.” This song is the very definition of trashy. It has loud, trashy guitar, vocals that sound like they were recorded with duct tape wrapped around the microphone, and an overall sound like it was recorded in a basement. And if you think that one is trashy, check out “Cerveza.” This is a minute and fourteen seconds of pure mad energy and volume. An interesting challenge on this song: see if you can finish a beer before the end of the song.
“Liquor Store” is another amazing song. The best way to describe this song is to say that it is an explosion of sound…especially about two minutes in. It is just a fury of guitars, bass, and drums played at irresponsibly loud volumes.
If you’ve been looking for a new garage punk band, check out New Swears. It will fit right in alongside all the other raucous rock n roll in your collection.
Frankeneinstein: two songs to whet your appetite for more
At first glance, the name seems like an egregious spelling error. There are too many Es and Is. But then if you’re anything like me, you get it and it makes you chuckle. Frankly, I wonder how this has not previously been used as the name of a band or an album.
It’s not just the play on words that makes this perfect for Incognito HQ. This is perfect for Trashy Tuesday. Just listen to that guitar. It’s raucous and has just the right amount of fuzz to give it that trashy sound. Of course, the rumbling bass and the drums are pretty solid too. If ever there were a song to get you in the mood for drinkin’ and fightin’, it’s “Black Eye Friday” (a perfect title for a song that gets you in the mood to fight.
“Stunts” is a song that takes me back to my college days. It reminds me a lot of a Columbus band called Dogrocket. (And wouldn’t you know it? A video of Dogrocket is available on YouTube. Click the link to check it out.)
This is real simple. If you like raucous rock and roll that’s just a little bit dirty, then score this 2-song set from Fuzzkill Records (@fuzzkillrecords).
Hillstomp: bucket and slide blues
Last week on Twitter, I solicited your recommendations for an artist to feature for Trashy Tuesday. Audio Gasoline gave me a list of artists to feature. One of them was Hillstomp. Now, it’s amazing that I haven’t featured this band already considering I really dig the music and I used to write Blue Monday features. Think of this post as righting another wrong.
Granted, this band is a little bit different than most of the bands I feature for Trashy Tuesday. Usually the artists featured on Tuesday are garage-punk bands that have perfected that trashy garage rock sound. Hillstomp is a blues duo from Portland. Listening to this band is one thing. Seeing it is quite another. The drummer plays a kit made of paint buckets, roast pans, and other assorted bric-a-brac (just keep that in mind when you hear the sound the guy gets from this setup). The guitarist likes to wrap his microphone with duct tape to give it that rough and raw sound.
Now to give you a little more about this band, I saw Hillstomp several years ago at a now-defunct venue and stuck up a conversation with Henry (guitar, vocals). He told me that John (drums) “sounds like a five-year-old” if you put him on a standard drum kit. He also went on to tell me that sound guys have shuddered in horror at the drum kit only to realize that the makeshift kit often gets the best sound of the night. So I invite you, loyal reader, to embrace the wonderfully trashy blues sound of Hillstomp.
You know that feeling you get when you’re at your local record shop digging through the crates and you come across a find that you can’t believe? You look around for the hidden cameras and you wonder how no one has snatched up this record before you got there. No cameras. It’s true. That record is in the crate just waiting for you to rescue it and take it home. Finding The Penetrators on Bandcamp felt a lot like that, particularly since the album is called Kings of Basement Rock (Slovenly, 2013).
I don’t need to tell you, loyal reader, that basement rock is something that will always go over well with me. And this album whose songs were recorded between 1976 and 1984 doesn’t disappoint. This album is full of great garage classics like “Baby Dontcha Tell Me.” I’m not going to lie to you. If you want to set out to write a great garage rock tune, this is a great one to emulate. It has trashy guitars, a fuzzy bass line, and a brilliant rhythm pounded out by the drummer. And you know something? It’s not even my favorite track on the album. That designation belongs to “Rock n Roll Face.” This song declares, “If I’m trash, I don’t care.” Well, good. That’s what makes this band perfect for Trashy Tuesday. And just think about that title. A rock n roll face is a great thing. If you’ve ever taken in any live music, you’ve seen plenty of rock n roll faces. That’s part of what makes live music great.
There is one other song that really hooked me: “Life Stinks.” I’m not saying I agree with that sentiment. I’m of the mind that any day on the correct side of the grass is a good one. That being said, this song is a candidate for Take ‘Er Easy Thursday with lyrics like this:
Work in the factory, destroying your head
Push all the buttons and you’re half-dead.
Unfortunately, this describes the work situation for far too many people. Even if you don’t work in the factory, it’s easy to feel like work is destroying your head.
If you like 60s-style garage rock, do yourself a favor and get this album. It’s lo-fi, loud, and T-R-A-S-H-Y. I guarantee you won’t find a lot of garage albums better than this one.
In case you’re just joining us, one thing we like to do here at Incognito HQ is to reward bands that reach out to us. Recently, I received a message from Jacques Le Coque, so I checked out the link the band sent me. And guess what. Well, you probably already guessed that I realized this band from Stamford, Connecticut, is perfect for Trashy Tuesday.
The easy description for this band is to say that it is loud and fast. A more colorful way to put it is to say that this band is not afraid to blister your eardrums with some raucous rock n roll. If you asked me to compare this band to another band, I’d have to say that this band reminds me of The Neckbones. Both bands take an almost reckless approach to tempo and volume and both bands believe in songs that are just about two minutes long.
If the band hasn’t already grabbed your attention before you get to “Sidewalk” (although that is nearly inconceivable), this one ought to be enough to reel you in. This is garage rock with a twist of funk. It reminds me a bit of a Columbus band called Royal Crescent Mob. The intro features some wicked guitar work, but there is also a solo that will make you want to learn guitar just so you can play like this.
“Sidewalk” is followed by “Grow Up.” This is a ridiculously catchy song that reminds me of Ramones not only in sound, but also in theme. Like many rockers before him, vocalist Pete Mazza sings about not wanting to grow up. And who can blame him? The next time I hear a kid say that he can’t wait to pay bills and sit in a beige cubicle every day will be the first time. Besides, if you can play loud and fast rock n roll, why would you want to grow up? Do yourself a favor and get this band’s self-titled album. It is proof positive that irresponsibly loud rock n roll has not gone out of style.
Freddie and the Filos is a band I came across randomly when it showed up in my Facebook news feed. It didn’t take long to realize this band is a perfect fit for Trashy Tuesday. The band’s self-titled album begins with “Blue Eyes.” The best way I can think to describe this song is that this is what would happen if a doo-wop group collaborated with a garage rock band. The vocals are pure doo-wop and everything else (including the fuzzy guitar) is pure garage rock goodness. And if it’s guitar you’re looking for, check out “Dance Girl Dance.” This song features a serious guitar solo.
The self-titled album is amazing. It’s just one great song after another that will have you dancing and singing. It’s soulful. It’s trashy. More than anything, this album is fun. It brings to mind not only classic doo-wop, but also The Cramps. Yes, I compared this band to The Cramps – sacrilege to a lot of fans of garage rock – but that’s, like, my opinion, man. The only problem with this album is that it’s too short. These 10 songs left me wanting a lot more from this band.
Oh, and if you like the self-titled album (and why wouldn’t you?), the band recently released a cover of “Lonesome Town.” Let me tell you something, loyal reader. This ain’t the Ricky Nelson version. This is loud and fast with some excellent oohs and aahs in the backing vocals. I’ll just come out and say it. If you don’t like this song – check that, if you don’t like this band – you just don’t like music.