Local Album Reviews & Interviews at the Pitch

[caption id="attachment_18942" align="aligncenter" width="540"]The Uncouth / photo by Samantha Levi The Uncouth / photo by Samantha Levi[/caption]
The past few months have yielded some especially strong local releases. The psychedelic rock of Lawrence Psychic Heat, AY-MusiK’s positive hip-hop, the Uncouth’s throwback oi — there’s something new for just about any taste. And five of the acts behind the best such recordings are playing in the area over the next week. Here’s what they have to say.
Read all the reviews and interviews at the Pitch. Published 8/30/16

Red Kate, “When the Troubles Come” LP

cover - red kateIt might be a sign of my age that I want to call Red Kate cowpunk. Maybe it's the slightly country, down-home feel to the sound of the band. It could be the fact that they use the bass work to really propel everything along, along the lines of your backyard jug band, working it with a washtub and a broomstick. It could also be my music nerdery popping out and tying in both the basswork of Brad Huhmann and his time in Truck Stop Love. Whatever you want to call the music on When the Troubles Come, it's a distinctly working-class set of ideals, ethos, and sound. It took me a few times through the album before I could figure out exactly who lead vocalist L. Ron Drunkard's delivery reminded me of. It hit me the other morning: he's carrying on in the grand tradition of the late Commander PP Urino of Cocknoose. Granted, the anger's a little different. Whereas Cocknoose was fueled by Pabst Blue Ribbon and a healthy chip on their collective shoulder, Red Kate's anger is powered more by righteous indignation at the injustices being committed on the populace. You only have to listen to "Hypnotized" to get that:
"I won't pledge allegiance to the flag or company There's no way in hell you're gonna pacify me"
However, it's not all union rallying and spirit of the working man here. Red Kate's not the Dropkick Murphys -- they have a sense of fun. "Pink Sweater" and "Flirty Hips" both pay tribute to male form and/or unrequited love.
If this is going to be the first full-length on Replay Records, it needs to look like something special, and that is indeed the case. The artwork on the sleeve alone is worth tracking this down on LP. Kansas City's La Cucaracha Press did an insane job on the jackets, making it look like vintage leftist propaganda.

Radkey / Bloodbirds at the Taproom, 1/31/13

St. Joseph's Radkey came to the Eighth Street Taproom in Lawrence last night, and a small group of hardy rock fans braved bitterly cold temperatures to catch the trio of young brothers in the bar's basement. The boys were shooting a music video for "Is He All Right?", meaning the Taproom's concert nook was lit better than I've ever seen it. In addition to some pro cameras on hand, audience members were encouraged to shoot with camera, phones, or whatever they had. I was really, really hoping to see a Super 8, but no such luck. As always, the boys turned out a tight set. Their tunes are speeding up a bit, and they've been really rocking that whole punk rock vibe as of late. I'm hoping for a raucous performance when they come back to town on Friday, March 1. They're playing the Replay that night to celebrate the release of their "Spirals" 7-inch on Replay Records. [gallery ids="16200,16201,16202,16203,16204,16205"]
I've been trying to see Bloodbirds, featuring Brooke and Mike Tuley of Ad Astra Per Aspera and Ad Astra Arkestra, ever since they formed over a year ago. Every track I've heard from this bunch of psych-punks rocked my socks, and it certainly helps that anything Mike's been in (Short Bus Kids, Ad Astra ... even the Madd Scientists) has been worth catching or hearing. Really, though, this is a band to not only hear, but watch. Mike moves around, dancing with his guitar to the grooves laid down by bassist Anna, who stands with her back to the audience, except on the rare instances she harmonizes on vocals. It's drummer Brooke who lays down the most interesting visuals. Her timing is metronomic, but she adjusts instantly to any of the changes presented by her husband Mike. Watching her play is hypnotic. Their set closer was a cover of Spaceman 3's "Walking With Jesus" that blew my goddamned mind. It was droning, hypnotic wonderfulness, and when I asked Mike about it afterward, he said they'd only learned it the week previous, and had only planned on playing it if they got drunk enough. I'm certainly glad they did. Bloodbirds' Psychic Surgery LP is available from Bandcamp right now, or you can wait until April and pick it up on LP. [gallery ids="16206,16207,16208,16209,16210,16211"]

Mouthbreathers & Rooftop Vigilantes at the Replay – military friendly colleges

Rooftop VigilantesIf there were any bands which could be said to epitomize the sound of the Replay Lounge and its attendant label, Replay Records, it would have to be the two which took the stage there on Friday night, December 28. This was the kickoff for a short tour featuring Mouthbreathers and Rooftop Viglantes, and the two garage-punk acts represented our military friendly colleges and town rather well on a cold winter night. I said it on Twitter that night, and I'll say it again: the Replay Lounge is perhaps most exciting and fun on nights like this during winter break. The majority of the college kids head home for the holidays, and the bar feels like old home week. Despite the fact that the town offers military friendly colleges, one can never be quite certain as to who might walk in the door next. I saw folks in from both San Diego and Russia. There were even people from Kaplan University there. It lent the entire night a feeling of being at a party, not a bar. Both bands could've easily pointed out half the people in the crowd by name. This familiarity gave the show looseness and made the whole thing fun. This wasn't a performance -- these bands were playing music for their friends. Rooftop took the stage first, playing as a trio, minus keyboardist Hannah Hyde. They knocked out songs like they were nothing, effortlessly rocking things with Zach and Oscar harmonizing on nearly every song. Had they one more guitar, it would've been like the Beatles on dexedrine: amped-up blasts of catchy pop every two and a half minutes. Mouthbreathers are less pop, and more punch. Their songs take time to build, rather than launching into energetic flailing upon their start. Take "Die Alone," their most recent single for Replay Records: it creeps along for the majority of its length, only to explode in the closing moments. It's "Everybody's Down" or "Books About Miles Davis" taken to an illogical extreme. Yet even during the slow build, the song thuds into you, over and over. It's a herky-jerky, Devo approach to garage rock, and it makes them so much more entertaining. Both bands have releases coming out in the next year -- as Zach joked during Rooftop's set, one of their numbers was from "one of our many unreleased albums. A 14-song LP, release date permanently tentative" -- with a Mouthbreathers LP soon, as well a single on Slovenly. [gallery link="file" ids="15765,15766,15767,15768,15769,15770,15771"]

Prozac Lawsuit

cover-mannequin-men-replayChicago's Mannequin Men Prozac Lawsuit, have a split 7-inch coming August 30 with Lawrence's Rooftop Vigilantes. Two great garage-pop acts on one piece of vinyl, Prozac Lawsuit uk, 10mg Prozac Lawsuit, courtesy Replay Records. It makes me a very happy person to see that a couple of my favorite riotous acts teaming up for a release, Prozac Lawsuit mexico. Prozac Lawsuit us, While the Rooftop tracks have yet to show up anywhere, the Mannequin Men side has been on their Soundcloud for a while now -- actually, Prozac Lawsuit usa, the second cut, "Dark Cemetary," has been up as a b-side since February.


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What Does Amoxicillin Rash Look Like

cover-cheap-beerThe debut release from Replay Records is the compilation Cheap Beer What Does Amoxicillin Rash Look Like, . Comprised of local acts from the Lawrence and Kansas City area, this is a primer for anyone wondering what's worth checking out in Kansas. While acts like Mouthbreathers and Dark Ages have seen releases earlier this year on In the Red and Sorry State, What Does Amoxicillin Rash Look Like mexico, respectively, others such as Fag Cop and Rooftop Vigilantes are probably only known to those who troll the TermBo forums.

Hopefully, though, those four bands will hopefully draw some attention to Der Todesking's angular post-punk or Spook Light's garage rockabilly, What Does Amoxicillin Rash Look Like uk, allowing the lesser-known bands to make an impression outside the Midwest.

The recording quality on all of these tracks is pretty lo-fi, save a couple exceptions, What Does Amoxicillin Rash Look Like craiglist, but it's received a stellar mastering job. Paul Gold takes the work of basement studios and makes it sound great, What Does Amoxicillin Rash Look Like. Bonus: the liner notes are screen-printed (as is most of artists Leslie Kay's work) on a PBR box. This also comes with a download card, saving you the trouble of hooking up your turntable and recording this off. You'll want to take a listen to this somewhere away from your stereo, 200mg What Does Amoxicillin Rash Look Like, and often.

For more info on how the compilation came to be, check out my feature, 750mg What Does Amoxicillin Rash Look Like, "Cheap Beer at the Replay Lounge," in last week's Pitch.

MP3: the Spook Lights, "Summertime Confidential".

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