Tuesday, January 5, 2016

New Digs, RIP Lemmy, RIP Joey Catt and did we mention we moved?!

Did we happen to mention that Spiral Scratch has, once again, relocated?  After a brief hiatus, we are settled into our spot right next door to Allentown Music and sandwhiched between Joe and the old HOTH location...or just the old Mondo Video Space.  Its 1109 Elmwood and parking can be a challenge (we recommend avoiding the meters and park on Forest either in the public lot or on the street.        

Moving can be like starting over...unforeseen expenses, getting reset with distributors and most of all...letting YOU know where the hell we are.  Thanks to supporters like Buffalo Rising, THE PUBLIC...the written word is still effective.  We sincerely thank them for their support and interest.

Its another new beginning and we will do our best to get that elusive record in for you...or it may already be here.  You never know what just dropped in the Incoming Used Bin.  We'll try to let you know through our facebook, instagram and twitter accounts--so check out those updates.  We promise not to send them too often and be annoying.  Just the basics.

Normally this would be the spot for incoming reviews and descriptions...that was until Monday 28 December 2015 when the world was informed Motorhead founder Lemmy Kilmister had passed, succumbing to an aggressive cancer.  He was 70. 
This surprisingly took my breath away as Lemmy seemed immortal. What will the world be without Lemmy.   Motorhead were heavy and gutteral--and hard not to like....whether loud rock and roll (don't call 'em a metal band!) was your thing or not.  Motorhead brought everyone together, not unlike the Ramones did.  Lemmy felt a sort of connection (whose vocal stylings were often attempted) to the punks who also adored him and Motorhead.
' Lemmy asserted that he generally felt more kinship with punks than with metalheads; he even played with the Damned for a handful of gigs when they had no regular bassist.'   But there is no denying the influence he had on metal, though. Motorhead head ushered in the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (sometimes not metal at all) while influencing bands lie Metallica who would become major acts.
  Perhaps the best spot for a band to be in.   RIP Lemmy.
some high points of 2015:
RADIOACTIVITY - SILENT KILL  This was an easy one...the second perfect batch of hooky-punk effortlessly presented by Jeff Burke along with Mark Ryan (both ex-Marked Men and ex-Reds) along with some Bad Sports, these songs are a continuation of Jeff's stint in Japan with the Novice.  Jeff moves back to Tejas and  a new lineup ushers in a new band name.
Burke has an unmistakable style and delivery.  A great live show, to boot--you really cant go wrong with either of their lp's (this, the follow-up to a self-titled crusher.
Not too heavy (except on the hooks), this is catchy pop-punk done the right way.

Ex-Cult have been around for a few years now, based out of NYC, they could pass for a west coast garagey rock-punk outfit, which they display on this smoking 5 song ep (possibly recorded a few years ago between their 2 lp's).  Their appeal could cross boundaries.  So don't hold the NYC tag against them, this record will still sound great another year from who knows when.  The title track is particularly grimy, full of guitars and half-barked vocals.  Released on John Dwyer's (thee Oh-Sees) label, Castle Face--Ex-Cult has put out on stuff on Memphis "can't miss label", Goner Records.

A familiar name before he began churning out solo albums, Cronin's been working alongside and with Ty Segall as Segall's bassist.  Yet Cronin was a force in the Moonhearts and the few slower numbers gave way to III solid solo lp's...mostly of well crafted pop song's.  The band passed through Buffalo and really delivered a fantastic set, sending me back to the album for a few weeks.   Cronin and his solo output lean towards indie/college rock more than the other projects he's involved in proving that he is prolific and versatile, even if every song isn't crucial, the good ones make it a winner.

the FUZZ - II
Yes, Ty Segall plays drums and sings in the Fuzz, but the real fuzziness of the Fuzz comes from Charlie Moothart on guitar and the addition of Chad Ubovich (MEATBODIES).  As fate would happen, this follow up to the very fuzzed out Blue Cheer worship of the first lp gives way for a more evil and creepy sound on this double long player.
Given the room to move, the band took a more collaborative approach to writing and composition producing a different and darker record than their first, though no less interesting. 

The album that established Steve Albini and BIG BLACK "real dealers", arguably their finest work (though "Songs About..." is nearly its equal, but a definite second place) as they progressed into one of the greatest and most important bands of the 80's.
Touch & Go Records was a far different label in those days, housing such twisted (and great) acts like Butthole Surfers, Killdozer and other grimy, sludgy and otherwise twisted bands who didnt play within hardcores strict parameters.  Big Black played a huge part in that and ATOMIZER is the reason why.  Back in print with mp3 code after years.

Honorable mention goes out to the unreal REALLY RED series which includes their entire recorded output on the 3 seperate lp's.  First lp, "Teaching You The Fear" (underground masterwork), the second lp, all the singles and comp tracks with a few live ones tossed in for good measure.  Another musical injustice was the obscurity of one hardcore punks tightest, most adventurous outfits (i blame the Texas factor) as they flirted with post-punk as they grew, unfortunately disbanding in 1984. "no regrets".  Essential punk rock.
PLEASURE LEFTISTS "The Woods of Heaven" is a post-punk powerhouse out of Cleveland that deserve much more exposure.  A petite female who comes to life onstage as a killer band backs her odd manerisms and monster of a voice.  The band are Clevo vets of varying genres who nail the sound just right--witch great songs to back it up.

I suppose there will be a second part to this, with more 2015 highs and lows....hopefully with more local releases discussed.

7:14 p.m.

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