Monthly Archives: August 2015

Experiential Review: Girl Band, Paul

It’s hot; really, effing hot.  Sweat runs in rivulets down your back, sides, forehead; the back of your thighs.  The dank, still air of late summer envelopes you; a shroud, creating the sweat-stained outline of your human form in the soft pleather chair.

Outside, the urban thrum of car horns, jack hammers, sirens.  Closer in, a soft whisper comes from a box fan sat in the window on the opposite side of the room, it’s scant breeze causing barely a ripple in the heavy air.  Yet, this sound holds promise: the promise of moving air, however stale, however ripe with heat and the tang of perspiration and garbage, however leaden with asphalt and exhaust.

You inch closer.  Visions of trade winds; relief.  The fan’s soft purr becomes a drone, then a whirr; a building crescendo.  The once faint breeze now feels like a wind tunnel, buffeting your face as you lean in, closer…the sound now sending vibrations through your skull.  You smile, eyes closed, at the first patter of sweat beads on spinning blades.  The cacophonous wind – you let it wash over you, let it draw you ever closer, like a cartoon character floating on waves of aroma from a freshly cooked chicken.

The song is “Paul”.  The band is fave and pride of Ireland (ok, we think they should be proud), Girl Band.  Taken from forthcoming, debut full length “Holding Hands With Jamie”, out September 25 on Rough Trade (available for pre-order here in the US and on Rough Trade’s UK webshop).  The video is above, and is fantastic.  If you haven’t (and why not?), check out Girl Band on Facebook or their website.

Track(s) Review(s): The Ukiah Drag, “Open Room In Hell”, “Criminal Authority”

The Ukiah Drag, “Open Room In Hell”, “Criminal Authority” (Wharf Cat Records)

Two new tracks from The Ukiah Drag, the band’s first since last year’s excellent In the Reaper’s Quarters LP.

The first, “Open Room In Hell”, is swirling, vertiginous, reminiscent of early Butthole Surfers.  The titular chamber – a “monument of filth” where “every cocksucker’s mouth has been sewn shut” and third eyes are stabbed; where the narrator “lays [his] head”, “sick” and wanting you to die – is described in lurid detail, making the track a kind of aural Hieronymus Bosch hellscape.  Perhaps the room’s for let, and this is a kind of Craig’s List or Airbnb listing for the fallen – any takers?

The second, “Criminal Authority” swings with a Cramps-like, malevolent strut. The lyrics depict someone condemning with rising, crazed indignation, the “evil ways” of an unnamed other (or maybe the ‘man in the mirror’?) and the way they “play”.  Vocalist ZZ Ramirez rails and moans, and the swampy, acid trip production and use of distorted synth and organ gives the feel of a particularly off-putting tent revival, or the unsettling feel of hearing your unhinged neighbor rant, rave and break shit upstairs.

Both tracks will appear on The Ukiah Drag’s upcoming EP, fittingly entitled Crypt Cruiser, due September 4 on Wharf Cat Records. We can’t wait.

Check out The Ukiah Drag on Facebook and Soundcloud.

Album Review: SROS Lords, Rule


SROS Lords, Rule (Earyummy Records, 05/12/2015)

Debut long player from SROS Lords, a “reborn” (as of 2013, Alleluia!) garage/wave/punk trio from Motown.  We here at HQ received our copy directly from drummer, Jamie Cherry.  Thanks, man!

The band (named, according to this 2014 interview, in honor of the studio in Detroit, from whence they record) play loud, fast, twitchy music drawing as much to older punk, new wave and hardcore bands like Electric Eeels, The Ramones, The Misfits, Die Kreuzen and Devo, as well garage vets like The Gories, as it is to the more recent work of Jay Reatard (RIP), and faves Nots and Ausmuteants.

Churning, buzzsaw guitars trade shots with whipcrack drumbeats, accompanied by droney synth and the fuzzed out vocals of singer Morgan, the album whizzing by at break neck speed (“epic” tune “Erica”, the longest, boasts a 2:24 run time).  The energy on display across the album’s 13 tracks is both palpable and infectious; like going to an amusement park with a kid with ADD who wants to go on all the rides, simultaneously.

The group’s description of itself as “slimernetik” punk makes no sense and perfect sense – it feels like a kind of “back to the future” evocation of a time when punk kids and early punk/new wavers saw themselves as “alien” and made music designed for people who felt the same way, eff everyone else.  There’s a whiff of late nights in basements, gaming and gorging on B-movie horror, scifi and reruns – (“Dragonflex” sounds like a bizarro reworking of the theme from “Gilligan’s Island”).

“Music to make soylent green to” could work, too.  Equally, a great soundtrack to an afternoon doing lines of Cheetos dust and spazzing out on peach Faygo.  It’s your life, man; we don’t judge.

Rule is out, like, NOW on Earyummy and is available on iTunes. Check out SROS Lords on Facebook, tumblr and enjoy the seizure-inducing graphics on their website.

Highlights include: “Erica”, “Sniper”, “Dragonflex”, “Baby Centipede”.