The last batch of singles from Windian Records’ founder, Travis Jackson

windian singles Getting a big package of singles in the mail is always exciting, especially when you're not expecting them. It's bittersweet to open the box and realize that these are the last singles overseen by the late Windian Records' head honcho, Travis Jackson. Jackson died unexpectedly earlier this year when hit by car as he worked on a road construction crew. Looking at the note, which was right on top of the stack of singles when I opened the package, I basically burst into tears. Now, I don't claim to have known Jackson very well, but he'd been helpful with providing some promo stuff for review and play on the podcast, and every interaction I had with him was kind and excited and full of life. It's strange to think that a man who I never met in person would be missed so much, but Jackson's verve for music and excitement for what he was doing with Windian was infectious, and you wanted him to succeed. Eric Brady will continue the label on, and the music looks to be coming strong. cover - mrs magicianOut of this stack of singles, there's not a one that didn't grab me in one way or another. Top of the list has to be Mrs Magician's "Friday Night" b/w "Crosses" single. It was part of the second Windian Single Series, and it's a masterful piece of reverb-drenched surfy power pop. It sounds like summer. Comparisons to the likes of Dum Dum Girls and New Pornographers are inevitable. However, who cares? Because both of those bands are wonderful. I want to put "Friday Night" on a mix CD in my truck and drive around listening to it while drinking lemonade at 2 o'clock in the morning. The flip, "Crosses," ups the surf angle, and jangles its way through three minutes of the catchiest anti-established religion cut you've ever heard. "Crosses" twangs and harmonizes everywhere you'd want a song to do so, and works in girl-group (by way of dudes) "sha-la," "woo-hoo," and every other onomatopoeic vocal affectation in the book. [embed]https://soundcloud.com/windian-records/mrs-magician-friday-night[/embed] cover - the ettes cryWhile not reinventing their sound with every new release, the Ettes manage to tweak it just enough to sound fresh and interesting. The last thing I'd heard from them was the gothic country of "Teeth," and it was a full switch from their second album, Look At Life Again Soon, which featured the frantic stomper "Crown of Age." I just never know what to expect from the trio, other than it'll be fucking good. The a-side cut's a little more loose and hazy than we've heard from the Ettes before, and it's fucking great. "Girl I'll Never Be" is darker and more ominous than the a-side, with the bass distorted to the point of almost breaking. It pulses, while the guitar cuts right through in counterpoint. The Ettes spin it around in a whirl of declination, going down into a dark hole of contradictory shouts. [embed]https://soundcloud.com/windian-records/the-ettes-cry-on-my-shoulder[/embed] cover - ar-kaicsThe Ar-Kaics are previewing their forthcoming Windian LP (although neither of these tracks on on it), with these two primitive bangers. Snotty vocals, simple pounding drums, and basic churned-out guitars suddenly give way on "Why Should I?" to a surprisingly catchy chorus, replete with an equally-catchy guitar line. "Slave to Her Lies" is a little less poppy, sounding like a dark mirror image of the Turtles' "Happy Together." It's almost as if the relationship in the Turtles song has long since gone sour, for reasons of infidelity and distrust. It stomps along, nearly dirge-like, punctuated by shouted "SLAVE!"s, for its entirety. Dark, dirty, dirgy, and damned good. [embed]https://soundcloud.com/windian-records/ar-kaics-why-should-i[/embed] cover - killer beesThis bit of Dictators worship from D.C.'s Killer Bees, Buzz'n the Town, has a lot in common with most punk songs about television. Be it "TV Party" or "Television Addict," the songs have a glee about them, even as they denigrate that about which they sing. The kick drum hits with a flat thud, pegging out the meters, and lending a strange metronomic effect to an otherwise propulsive cut. The guitars rip along, and you know this was a pogo cut in its day. [embed]https://soundcloud.com/windian-records/killer-bees-tv-violence[/embed] The flip's very much in the same vein, chooglin' along like an amped-up southern r&b act, but manages to throw in some nice stop-and-start "I like it! I love it!" breaks, as well as a solid guitar solo for the bridge. Wish the ending "rock & roll hangover" bits could've been more harmony or more shouted, rather than some half-assed middle ground, though. cover - penetrators shopping bagIs there a bad Penetrators recording? I mean, I know they all sound like crap -- seriously, for all of the Mummies' claims, the Penetrators are the real kings of budget rock -- but the band's songs always manage to have something about them. "Shopping Bag" is nasal, and the attempt at a guitar solo is almost laughable, but damned if this tinny piece of schlock isn't going to worm its way into your head almost immediately. [embed]https://soundcloud.com/windian-records/the-penetrators-shopping-bag[/embed] "Everybody Needs Lovin'" might've been recorded in a closet by mentally deranged individuals, but it's still danceable in its own weird way. The guitar solo succeeds more on this side, but Syracuse's finest fascinate in spite of possible displays of technical proficiency. It's mainly due to a spoken word intro and outro that makes no sense, but sounds cool, like an avant-garde take on the Blues Brothers' version of "Someone to Love." All of the singles are available for purchase from the Windian Records store.

Oral Tetracycline

cover-penetrators-gottaThe reissue of the Penetrators Oral Tetracycline, ' "Gotta Have Her," backed with "Baby, Dontcha Tell Me" on Windian Records, is as perfect a reissue as you could ask for. I love the fact that reissues no longer try for redone art, or changing things up to differentiate them from the original, other than an additional logo from the reissuing label. This is essentially what you would've gotten from this garage rock duo in 1976.

It's rough, Oral Tetracycline australia, dirty, and owes more than a little to the likes of ... oh, let's just say any band featured on Nuggets. It's cheap shorthand, to be sure, but the drumming is straight off a Sonics record, and the slightly off-key, but enthusiastic vocals could be from anyone from Shadows of Knight to the Trashmen, Oral Tetracycline. The titular a-side's pretty good, but the b-side has a snotty edge that really makes this worth picking up.

GOTTA HAVE HER-THE PENETRATORS [1976] by WINDIAN RECORDS

cover-mondo-rayAlso out now on Windian is Mondo Ray's "Hypnotized, 500mg Oral Tetracycline," backed with "Nothing." This is a cleaner, less raucous single than the Penetrators' release. It's a very angular, chiming kind of garage - sort of like what frequently makes its way onto In the Red these days. It blasts through your stereo so quickly that you'll find yourself repeatedly flipping the single, Oral Tetracycline overseas, desperate for more of their music.

It's a big sound from a trio, with the guitars ringing like there was a chorus of them. The rhythm's a little down in the mix, with David da Cruz's riffs the clear focus of the title track. As with the Penetrators' single, the b-side outshines the a-side, 30mg Oral Tetracycline, if only because it showcases all three members far more equitably as it alternates a piercing, throbbing, pulsing rhythm with high harmonies and big riffs.

MONDO RAY-HYPNOTIZED by WINDIAN RECORDS

Both releases can be had from Windian's online storefront for the low, low price of $5 each, 250mg Oral Tetracycline, along with a cavalcade of quality garage and punk from Rock Star Journalist faves the Shirks and Personal & the Pizzas, amongst a slew of acts new and old.

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