I often view compilation records in the same way I view most festivals – too often, you need to wade through so much flotsam to enjoy the treasure. When the tracks on the compilation in question are culled from the roster of a label like Brooklyn-based Wharf Cat, however, they are well worth the effort.
Happily then, Wharf Cat recently announced the April 20 release of a compilation benefitting the ACLU ($30 from every $32 double-LP sold will go to the organization) — an ever-worthy cause, and no more so in these times of heightened, and increasingly naked, race baiting and attacks on civil rights under those tired dog whistles of ‘law and order’ and ‘national security’. Or, as the label puts it, the “ongoing assault on the Constitution”.
The bands on offer include tgh favorites like The Men, Snakehole, Profligate, Trust Punks (represented by Joe’s new band, Cheerleader – can’t wait to hear that one) and Psychic Blood, as well as a host of other notable acts. Wharf Cat has shared two tracks to whet your appetite (check them out, below): the freewheeling ruminations of “Too Sensitive” by Dollar Band (featuring members of Gun Outfit) and the glistening psych-wave of “Hourglass”, courtesy of Alice Glass.
The Men are back with a new album “Devil Music”, due November 11 and self-released by the band. The first taste comes in the form of “Lion’s Den”, a storming new track that sounds very much like to a return to the messier, gnarlier scuzz rock/punk of their debut and away from the ‘classic rock’ tuneage of their last couple. To these ears, it’s more than welcome.
“Lion’s Den” opens with a whirling eddy of guitars, bass, drums and skronking sax riff that wouldn’t be out of place on an album by The Stooges, The MC5 or Electric Eels. Vocalist Nick Chiericozzi screams himself hoarse lamenting how he ended up in the titular abode.
“Devil Music” is available for digital pre-order here – let your fingers do the buying. According a quote from their Bandcamp page, recording the album was a way to “give [the band] something enjoyable to listen to, …not just another record to get reviewed [Ed. – oops], …to participate in some sort of endless, winless game”. We’re liking it so far – hopefully, they are, too.
Looking forward to hearing the rest of the record and to seeing The Men live again soon. In the meantime, get the latest on their site, and check out a great write-up and interview with Chiericozzi by the good folks over at Noisey.