Bluff City Ruckus
Roman/Columbia (CK 87033)
Produced by Greg Cartwright and the Porch Ghouls
Executive producer: Joe Perry
Debut (and apparently only) long player from this Florida/Memphis outfit, garage blues and back-porch electric Memphis stomp, letting the Tennessee hillbilly come through without sounding like rockabilly. Unlike their previous EP of mostly covers, all these songs are credited to band members.
It’s not a great album, just a good one, noteworthy 21st Century garage, produced by Greg Cartwright (Oblivions, Reigning Sound), released on Joe Perry’s Roman label . (The Aerosmith / Reigning Sound connection!)
LINK TO SELLERS:
Second set from Downtown Boys…and girls…full-on no-holds-barred political punk…with horns…and energy to spare…”bi bilingual political dance sax party from Providence.”
LINKS TO SELLERS:
This California outfit has managed to keep their oddball signature stew in tact while offering enough spice and variety to the recipe to keep it interesting.
Growlers. Hot Tropics. 2010. Everloving Records. Second set from this California beach-goth band…surf garage hillbilly rhythm and blues…exotica Polynesian waves washing up on campfire meeting of cowboys, the Cramps, Hank Williams, Beefheart, Link Wray, Love and the Doors…more acoustic and less frantic than most California bands in a somewhat similar mode…more for driving through the desert or sitting around the bonfire than dancing the boogaloo at the dancehall…noteworthy 21st century garage.
Gilded Pleasures. 2013. Everloving Records. This catches the beach-goth band in transition between the more raw sound of previous releases and the more polished sound of Chinese Fountain, the waves of surf, Asian and Polynesian washing over their cowboy hillbilly campfire. This is a good place to start.
Chinese Fountain. 2014. Everloving Records. This California pull their signature sound into a tighter ball of yarn for a more clear-eyed pop version of their beach-goth garage rock, here an 80s influence showing, likely keeping most of their fans, losing a few and likely picking up some new ones who found the early work a bit too raw.
Natural Child Records and Tapes NCRT001
Ride Your Heart
Dead Oceans Records (DOC082)
Produced by Rob Barbato
Debut long player from this LA outfit, the band described at this point as sisters Jennifer and Jessica Calvin, all songs and most of the playing credited to the pair.
The sound clearly has a California feel, mixing many styles from the past: the garage, surf, and dreamy girl group of the sixties, the power pop and lots of Blondie of the 70s, the sonic of punk and the 90s mixed with a bit of the girl-group revival and pop rock of the 80s, even a bit of exotica (and maybe the hillbilly) of the 50s–for example Jessica adding lap steel to the Bo Diddley beat on “Guy Like You.”
For fans of sonic pop music, this debut set is worth a listen.