And You Too: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 63
Disclaimer: Record reviews are a tricky business. It's one thing to enjoy music, but to, like, pick out what you like about it? That being said, if I review your thing and I didn't like something, don't feel too bad. My opinion doesn't matter all that much.
Choke Chains - Trace Amounts - Heel Turn Records - 8 songs - LP
Heel Turn forgot my press release for this one, so to find out the "current/past affiliations" for Choke Chains I had to turn to Discogs like some sort of commoner. So you've got Thomas Jackson Potter (Bantam Rooster), Lindsey Crappor (No Bails), Mark Millionaire (Chinese Millionaires), and bringing the Ohio connection (besides the fact that this is on Heel Turn), Chizz aka Chris Butler (no, not Chris Butler from The Waitresses, the one from Blank Schatz). I'm gonna have to admit here while these are all bands I know and have listened to at one point or another, I can't pretend that I'm that familiar with any of them. Not purposefully, I'm just not. So, if you want to hear how this compares to those current/past affiliations, I guess you can go read Termbo or something. I'll just do my best. Generally musically speaking, it's garage punk. Some tracks have a post-punk feel ("Richard Speck Lights Up The Room", "Don't Feel Feelings") and some of them almost get into 90s alt-rock territory (in a good way, though)("The Tender Type," "I Want You To Know"). "If That Ain't A Sin" could almost be a Gaunt song, but it's too slow. The title tracks a real banger as well, the vocals especially get really frenzied. A few different singers in the band (or one very versatile singer, I guess that's also possible) which I like. If we assume that the writer of the song is also the singer, that makes Thomas Jackson Potter the one with the real wild style and Chizz the lower, perhaps more ominous-sounding vocals. Lindsey Crappor takes the lead on "I Want You To Know," I believe (again, unless there's one very versatile singer). The record blows by real quick. Feels like less than 15 minutes. It very well could be, I forgot to bring my stopwatch. It somehow both feels like an appropriate length and leaves you wanting more. A decent quality. Oh, and props to the group for sticking the word "feckless" in there (I forget which song now-- "Last Time You Were Shameless," maybe?). An underused word, in my opinion. 3.8/5
Shit Blimp - Dollar Dog - Cultural - 2 songs - cassette, download
The third chapter in the Shit Blimp saga follows a demo tape (don't have it) and a 7" (also don't have it), plus a star-making appearance in the quite enjoyable "Enjoy Cleveland" film. Two decent hardcore songs on here. "Dollar Dog" has a nice crappy guitar solo and, according to their Bandcamp page, "Beat My Drum" features members of Cruelster on wind instruments. That's pretty cool. I'm not the biggest fan of the vocal style, but hey, whatever. Since I already mentioned "Enjoy Cleveland," I'll say that this somewhere around the Cruelster / Prison Moan part of the spectrum, if that means anything to you. I enjoyed this enough that I'd consider purchasing the 7", so I suppose that's a good thing, but I'm also a total collector scumbag so perhaps I was considering doing so anyway. Those who follow this column and recognize the label of this one will probably have a burning question, and let me answer that for you: yes, this tape is at a slower speed than it's supposed to be. I A/B'd the cassette and the digital version and indeed, they do not match up. And it's not my tape deck either, I made sure just in case. Last time I pointed this out to Cultural-in-chief (that one guy from the Roobydocks), I was informed that I was incorrect, which is pretty much what I assumed would happen. I'm pretty sure I'm not, but you should make your own call, I guess. Nice artwork from the great Nathan Ward on this, so you should buy a copy (and anything else Nathan does the art for) for that alone. Still, points docked for the speed issue. Sorry. 3.5/5
(find the band or the label for the tape, download at shitblimp.bandcamp.com)
Are you a local-ish band? Do you have a record out? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or send it directly to Observer headquarters: The Lakewood Observer, c/o Buzz Kompier, 14900 Detroit Avenue, Suite 205, Lakewood, OH 44107.