Rosy, Won't You Please Stay Home: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 109
Marty Brass - On The Grass - self-released - 6 songs - digital
Marty Brass: you might know him from Ma Holos, The Nico Missile, JuJu Shrine, Pig Flayer, and many other bands. If you read this column regularly, you might know that he shreds. "On The Grass" is his solo debut and while it has elements of some of those bands, it definitely is its own thing. I suppose what you'd call it would be lo-fi power pop-- catchy, guitar-driven pop rock songs with pretty poor recording quality. I'm not sure whether the fidelity was a stylistic choice or just a result of equipment constraints-- I'm a fan of a rawer production, but even I would've liked certain parts of this to be a little more clear-- but I suppose it does fit with the quarantined nature of this project. Some songs are slightly more mellow, like "Do Whatever We Want" and "Trip Up North," some have more of a garage rock feel, like "Morning Girls" and "Spaulding Street." "Ready To Pop" reminded me of a Parquet Courts song. If you liked that Joey Nix tape from last year (and I definitely did), this has that kind of vibe-- also, I think Joey himself plays drums on one of these songs, so there's a further connection. The weakest track here is "Clean Freak." I have nothing against an instrumental interlude, but this goes on for six minutes and, while it is sorta meditative in its way and there is a time and place for that kind of thing, it did not work for me stuck in the middle of the record like it is here. That said, the remaining five songs are all pretty good to really good. I hope this one comes out physically at some point (at least as a tape, come on) and I hope to hear more from Marty real soon. He shreds! 3.5/5
Spike Pit - Maniac Of Torment - Big Spike Says F**k You Records - 8 songs - LP, digital
I think just over a year since their debut LP "Animal Of Disrespect," local maniacs Spike Pit are back for more. Hey, what's with these "X of Y" titles? Do these guys think they're Breathilizör? While maybe lacking the standout tracks of the first LP, I think this one's a little more focused. They seem a little more mad here, and I mean mad as both insane and angry. There's some very funny lines in here, despite all the rage (I laugh every time I hear the word 'sublime' in "Bitch Stealer" and the way he says 'goddamn illiterate' on "Cool"-- and that's not even getting into the illustrations that accompany the lyrics), but don't mistake them for some kind of novelty: Spike Pit means business. The music is good maniacal hardcore and Ellis is well on his way to becoming one of the best hardcore frontmen in Cleveland right now and the band rips too. "Life Is Piss" isn't quite as great as the Roobydocks' "Life Is Joke," but it's still pretty anthemic ("Living day to day is so gay" is quite an opening line). "Laundry" might be the most relatable Spike Pit song yet (and who'd've thought these guys used dryer sheets? That's more civilized than I thought possible from them). Somehow they even making wetting da bed seem like a pretty cool idea on here (on the topic of that, Ellis addresses that he's 25 but feels like he's 9-- remember when MRR said he was in high school? Good times). You should know by now if you'll like this. I sure do! 3.5/5
Are you a local-ish band? Do you have a record out? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or send it directly to the Observer: PO Box 770203, Lakewood, OH 44107.