Tag Archives: slovenly recordings

Check Out the Self-Titled Debut from Minneapolis’ Green/Blue

[Photo by Matthew Jenkins (taken from Green/Blue Facebook page)]

Green/Blue, S-T (Slovenly)

A new band of old hands, Minneapolis (Janet voice)-based Green/Blue present a jagged kind of garage-pop on their self-titled debut. Initially a recording project featuring the guitar/vocal stylings of Jim Blaha (of The Blind Shake) – whose solo basement musings formed the bases for the album’s eleven tracks – and Annie Sparrows (of The Soviettes), the group is now a quartet, having added Danny Henry (drums, also of The Soviettes) and Hideo Takahashi (bass, of The Birthday Suits).

The album is a hodgepodge of familiar sounding styles, blended into something very immediate.  According to a press release, the tracks on Green/Blue were born partially from Blaha’s “newfound love of lo-fi pop jangle” (namechecking The Chills), but Green/Blue’s handling of the sound feels similar to the way The Misfits approached late-night 50’s croon or The Jesus and Mary Chain worked with girl-group, surf and other 60’s pop.  There’s certainly sugary tones to be found here, the band exhibiting a deft touch for catchy melodies – but the ear candy is often chased with cough syrup, Blaha’s whispery vocals and he and Sparrows’ dual scuzzed up axe attack providing more than a hint of menace to the romance alluded to in many of the lyrics.  Highlights ‘Proto Caves’ and ‘Way Down’ throw off a kind of haunted nostalgia, the former sounding like a roughneck Everly Brothers demo in spots – a leather-clad sock hop leading to a fogged up rear window.  It’s great how the band are able to infuse so much energy into the boogie chug of ‘That Face’, while the JAMC pyres blaze bright on the brilliant ‘Find a New World’.  Qué bella. 

Green/Blue is out now, courtesy of Slovenly Recordings.  The band also have really rad shirt designs (see here), so hopefully if we’re ever allowed out of our houses again and Green/Blue tour, I’ll snatch one up.

Highlights include:  ‘That Face’; ‘Proto Caves’; ‘At a Loss’; ‘Way Down’

Web: fbook label bandcamp insta


Album Review: Choke Chains, S/T

Choke Chains, S/T (Slovenly Recordings/Black Gladiator, 1/29/16)

Full throttle, stridently miscreant rock and/or roll from Michigan’s Choke Chains.  Hints of proto-punk standard bearers The Stooges and Electric Eels, garage idols The Sonics and newer bands like Rocket From the Crypt can be heard throughout (perhaps unsurprising, given the band features alumni of bands like The Dirtbombs and Bantam Rooster), but the band makes room for their own, individual spin.

The groove-centered, r&b swagger on display is infectious, though the music feels more in the ‘punk’ vein than straight garage.  There are some cool production touches, too – the heavy, loose-stringed bass sound is great (particularly on “Let’s Try Suicide”), and the sax stylings on the understated “Rock, Paper, Rapist” are a welcome addition to the sound.  In case you hadn’t already surmised, the band like to play with tongues firmly implanted in cheek – other titles include “Cracked Dracula”, “Moisture Detective” and “Safe Word”.

Eruditely-monikered lead singer Thomas Jackson Potter’s vocals are heavily muffled on many tracks, painting an image of the band bashing away in a supposedly “abandoned”, makeshift practice space, while Potter screams for recognition (vengeance?) from an underground bunker – or maybe that’s just me…  Other tracks lift the veil a bit, with “Random Number Generator” even featuring a hint of – !!!- falsetto.  Throughout, Potter displays charisma to match the band’s assured playing.

The album is out now through the excellent Slovenly Recordings (via their Black Gladiator imprint).  Get to know the band on fbook and on their bandcamp page. While you’re at it, check out the meaty (sorry) vid for “Safe Word”, below, and catch them at their upcoming March 26 gig at the UFO Factory in Detroit, if you’re able – here’s hoping for a tour!

Highlights include: “She Collects Calendars”; “Safe Word”, “Rock Paper Rapist”.