Another wonderful 7″ on Hozac Records. Where do they keep digging up these bands? They’ve found Mylelin Sheaths in Alberta, Canada it seems. And this 4 song EP is everything I love about noisy guitar bands. All 4 songs are full to bursting with pop songs that career along with gay abandon. This is uplifting pop-punk of the highest order. Lead song ‘Do the Mental Twist’ is delivers and exhilarating rush of pop. Try and imagine ‘Never Understand’ being mugged by power-pop-punk. Yes, it’s that good. ‘I Don’t Wanna Have An Operation’ is what happens when the spirit of the Ramones is channelled via a lo-fi distortion drenched production.
The flip side Drugstore/Pharmacy doesn’t let the band down. A little less immediate on first listens – it’s still better than 99% of the stuff you are likely to stumble across at the moment. This is the sound of young love and teenage kicks and cheap cider and happy smiling faces. I want more of this stuff! And luckily the band have another 7″ out now on Bachelor Records.
I luckily managed to snag one of the first 200 copies on Gold vinyl – which comes in a different sleeve (pictured) to what is currently available on the Hozac website. Get ordering.
Wizzard Sleeve have just released their debut LP ‘Make The World Go Away’. The band are from Alabama in the United States. This could explain the swampy feel that permeates throughout the LP. ‘Make The World Go Away’ is a dark trawl through rock’n'roll and doom laden psychedelia. Some might call that the place where ‘Goth Rock’ kicked in during the early 80s. And that’s not a bad reference point. As this LP is chock full of riffs and some rather gloomy, yet grand songs.
As always with records that are heavy on the guitar – the louder I push the volume the better LP starts to sound. Songs like ‘Pterodactyl Meltdown’ have suitably daft gurgling noises punctuating the swampy guitars to take the edge of the overtly doomy sound. Space rockers like Hawkwind and early Black Sabbath are probably another touching point for the band and it’s hard to get ‘Silver Machine’ out of my head the more I play this record. I don’t think they’ve got a song as good as that one on this record, but it sure seems to be some sort of launch pad for the sound that the band are rather good at making. This is out now on Hozac Records.
I first came across The Girls At Dawn 6 months ago when I stumbled on their My Space page when I said that they sounded like a “girl group pop that has been mugged by the spirit of punk”. Fast forward to the present day and their recently released debut single on Hozac Records and the best cuts from their My Space now make up this single. Two songs. ‘Never Enough’ is the aformentioned girl group blueprint with fuzzy lazy guitars all over it. It’s also rather good. Flip the 7″ over and you get ‘Every Night’ which is essential more of the same – possibly too similar to the A side for it’s own good – but either way – it’s another top tune. The Girls At Dawn were a secret pleasure – but with this release and leadsong soon to be featured on a Rough Trade Shops Indiepop 09 compilation – I am sure this band are soon to be caught up in a Vivian Girls or The Pains of Being Pure At Heart style hype frenzy! Get this 7″ on Hozac to say you were there first. Or, more importantly if you like 7″ singles that are pop gold.
The band also have future releases planned on Captured Tracks and Tic Tac Totally.
Another day, another slice of American garage rock’n'roll. Yet another 7″ record on the increasingly amazing Hozac Records.
The Cave Weddings are a three piece from Albany, New York. But they could be from any town, any time. Especially a dead beat back water town circa 1966. This is a worthy successor to the 60′s sounds brought back into vogue by compilations like nuggets and pebbles. The Cave Weddings provided some driving guitar action on this two track 7″ single. ‘Bring Your Love’ kicks off proceedings and it’s a rollicking ride through 1960′s garage rock sound. The ‘B’ side ‘Let’s Drive’ keeps the 60′s vibe intact – but it hints at a 50′s rock’n'roll heart beating somewhere deep within The Cave Weddings.
Davilla 666 are the latest band to drop a Hozac 7″. This one arrived with the last batch of releases from the label I received. It’s another fine record. The band hail from Puerto Rico and sing in Spanish. But that really isn’t an issue here. Sure, I have no clue what either of these songs are about but with just the music you just know this is good time guitar pop.
Davilla 666 combine 60′s garage sounds with a poppier edge. This is a big brash and bright pop single. The B side ‘Sabes Que Quiero’ sounds naggingly like a lost 60′s classic – with a feel that seems to encompass the bubblegum pop of Ohio Express with a wonky garage band sound whilst being sung in the aforementioned Spanish. I love it. It’s perfect music for hot summer days.
The A side ain’t bad either with it’s lolloping guitar sound and lazy delivery marking it out as fine song that’s touched by a hint of surf guitar. Beautiful. This 7″ is out now on Hozac Records.
Another new release on Hozac Records. This time it’s back to the more familiar 7″ single. The band are called Francis Harold and the Holograms. They hail from Bisbee, Arizona in the United States. This is another ferocious slice of punked up garage rock’n'roll. Lead song ‘Mirror of Fear’ is all about sub Stooges riffage and vocals that sound like they’re being hollered hoarsely in a dark dank cave - my only minor gripe being the song isn’t quite catchy enough to make the single stand out from the slew of garage rock singles that have been coming out lately. The B side is more of the same really, with less stooges riffage but plenty of that cave style hollering on the vocals.
Francis Harold and the Holograms are the sort of band that were designed to blow the cobwebs away. The single does just that – it’s not the strongest release on Hozac – but it’s certainly worth a few spins on your turntable.
The Smith Westerns (a trio from Chicago) have just released theur self titled debut record. It’s been released initially on vinyl, with CD and downloads to follow. It’s the first LP that I have bought on the Hozac Records (it might be the labels first LP release…. but I can’t find a comprehensive discography to check).
The Smith Westerns make a ragged, glam tinged, rawkus rock’n'roll that owes a small debt to the likes of Johnny Thunders and Marc Bolan as well as a host of other less celebrated garage punks. The trick that the band have pulled off for this record is managing to distill their influences into a finely tuned mess of guitars, fuzz, stomp and swagger. I could highlight every song as a potential LP stand out song! But I’ll pick a couple of early favourites for that dubious honour. ‘Dreams’ is a full throttle rock n roll blast of a song that sets the tone from the off – energetic fuzzy guitars, thundering drums and a killer tune. Elsewhere ‘Girl In Love’ envokes the glam rock swagger of a lo-fi T Rex.
This is a cracking little record. Buy.
The Smith Westerns are a band from Chicago. I recently picked up their 2008 3 track 7″ single which came out on Hozac Records. The 7″ features three top notch lo-fi recordings. The bands sound is a enthralling mix of lo-fi punk and garage rock. First song ‘Irukandji’ sets the scene with a sub ramones strut through garage land punk sounds. ‘Crabman’ is more of a swampy garage rock affair with the frayed vocals screeching through the 60′s inspired garage tunage. Flipping over to the ‘B’ side – ‘Spiritus Sanctus’ starts slightly more restrained. Even then the band manage to harness a raw punk sound before the stomp of the chorus kicks in. This is fuel for my fire. The louder you play the record the better the reward.
The band have an LP recorded which is due out towards the end of May/early June. Again, it’s going to be released on Hozac. I have high hopes for this record. There is something about the sound that The Smith Westerns make that gives me a little tingle.
Having recently stumbled upon HoZac Records I thought it was time to give the label a mention on the blog. Based in Chicago in the US – they’ve been releasing 7″ singles since the end of 2006. In just over 2 years they have racked up an impressive 26 single releases – each seems to come in a variety of editions, be it Gold or different sleeve or different coloured vinyl. My introduction to the label was via Dum Dum Girls as she has just released a limited single on their 2009 HoZac Hookup Klub! a 7″ singles club. The club is for 10 limited 45′s by: DUM DUM GIRLS, IDLE TIMES, WOVEN BONES, ART THIEVES, WHITE MYSTERY, MOTHER OF TEARS, FLIGHT, TEEPEE, BOX ELDERS and TEETH. After listening to a couple of the bands I took the plunge and hooked up for the singles club. The first three recently arrived.
The sound that label goes for in a big way seems to be lo-fi garage rock. This is music that satisifies your soul. The first record of the three I played was the Dum Dum Girls 7″. The ‘A’ side is called ‘Longhair’ and it’s fine record that sounds like it was recorded in a an echo rich room – not disimilar to the Knight School release we have recently put out. After listening to more records on the label – it seems the Dum Dum Girls are probably the least representative of their overall sound – the ethos is DIY all the way with a more garage rock n roll sound being the favourite flavour. Next up was the 7″ by Idle Times. The ‘A’ side is called ‘Million Miles Away’ and it’s a lo-fi rock’n'roll record with a beautiful guitar sound. Possibly recalling The Gories, possibly not. It certainly works the louder you play the record. The flip side is ‘Whatever Works For You’ and it’s a slower affair – but again the sound is enhanced by increased volume. The final record of the three from the Singles club is probably my favourite of the three. It’s by Woven Bones and both songs ‘With You Alone’ and ‘Sitting Sick’ are gorgeous sub stooges rock’n'roll. They sound immense and this is just the sort of sound I have been craving lately – it’s undeniably lo-fi. But it rocks. And it rocks in a way that is hard to do in 2009. It sounds brash, fresh and exciting whilst obviously paying a debt to the past.
I’ve since started to buy any available records I can find that the label has released. I think I’ve got the HoZac Records bug. Sadly this Hook-Up club is completely sold out at the moment. I believe label intend to issue all the songs from the club on CD (LP?) – in the future. Even more sadly – some of their early 7″ singles seem to be sold out. The hunt begins.
Link: HoZac Records