BONER JAMZ 2014

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

I’m not gonna pretend like I am alone in the slightest for this, but I’m really bad with/great at linking albums to time periods. I can’t listen to “Original Prankster” without flashing back to the day I downloaded it on Napster, which happened to be Super Bowl Sunday 2001. If I hear an Ozma song and it’s not super warm and/or rainy out, it feels weird to me and I’m not as into it.

Accordingly, I, and I’m certain many of you, try to limit my new music to the less shitty months of the year (which, living in Michigan, is about two of them) so I can link them mentally to doing fun stuff and enjoying the weather and not hunkering down and hating life. This year’s harvest was especially bountiful, so I’ve decided to share them with you in the hopes of providing enlightenment – complete with legally grey clips where applicable!

 

Bob Mould – Beauty and Ruin

Talking to me about music for more than ten minutes will reveal how much I goddamn love Bob Mould. I can’t even say I like all of Bob Mould due to the complicated relationship I have with Husker Du (and he has too many goddamned solo albums of really inconsistent quality/style), but the Bob Mould I like is Duke of New York A#1 on my list. Every Sugar album is completely unstoppable, and he’s written more good stuff outside of Sugar than bad. His last two albums, Beauty and Ruin and The Descent are very much Sugar-esq (not Sugar-y, that’s not quite accurate) power pop without feeling like he just wants his new band to sound like his old band. I’m constantly impressed by both his desire to not totally give up on electric instruments like a lot of other dudes in punk bands do later in life (I will never enjoy Chuck Ragan’s solo albums and there isn’t a thing you can do to make me), and how his new stuff doesn’t have that Green Day-esq tone of “ugh you guys I’m kinda over having, like, a cool guitar sound – do you think anyone will notice?”.  This one also has the bonus of being purchased during my trip to Milwaukee, which quickly established itself as basically my favorite town ever, so now every time I hear Bob Mould I can still taste the Spotted Cow.

I’m gonna throw in two Bob Mould songs here. The first one, “The War”, is probably most indicative of his stuff if you don’t know him: emotional guitar line, lyrics that indicate feelings without being either too vague or too on-the-nose, really clear production, and it gets both loud and quiet! The second one here, “I Don’t Know You Anymore”, was the lead single off this album and is my favorite Weezer song from the Green Album. NOTE: Weezer was not involved with this song.

He looks more like Bill Murray every year. I’ve never seen them in the same place.

The Holy Mess – Cande Ru Las Degas/Comfort in the Discord

I’m about to cheat on this one; Comfort in the Discord is the Holy Mess album that came out this year, but I just found out about them in like May so I spent a lot of time listening to their previous release, 2012’s Cande Ru Las Degas (helpfully translated by Google as “Candy Ru Las Degas”) to get prepared for it.

The Holy Mess exist in a pretty nebulous place among punk bands; they dress like the US Bombs would if they got along better with their parents but they remember to have melody and meaningful lyrics. It’s really easy to compare various band’s lyrics with Bukowski but this is maybe the only group I can think of that gets close; tales of maybe not wanting to go home but not being sure where else to go, details of the various pain medications they’re taking not played for sympathy but for simple fact, and they don’t mind displaying an emotion other than “violent indignation” (and they’d perhaps be pretty disappointed in you for expressing violence and violence alone). It doesn’t hurt that they don’t constantly rely on d-beats like a crutch, have more than two speeds altogether, and even the harder tracks are all jammed up with melody. Sure, they look like Rancid, but they’re a better Rancid from a parallel universe where Lars does all the singing and half their songs aren’t about how hard it is to be a punk in the Bay Area who rides the bus all the time and wears nothing other than studded denim.

Ready for the SADDEST SONG of the past decade (at least)?

I’ll be right here when you pull yourself back together. I won’t judge.

Beach Slang – Who Would Ever Want Anything So Broken?

Alright, so if you really wanna make a music nerd either salivate or go blind with rage, compare a new band to Jawbreaker, The Replacements, or both. So many people strive so hard to be both that the terms are nearly meaningless; nobody actually sounds like Jawbreaker in any ways that truly matter, and there’s enough “drunk assholes who like classic rock” that to compare them to The Replacements these days is a polite indicator of substance abuse issues and overly long, sloppily played Pearl Jam solos instead of anything with any depth or heart like The Replacements actually showed off. If I had to concede any band being compared to The Replacements, it would probably be The Hold Steady, even if Craig Finn’s lyrics are maybe a bit too proud of themselves (and oddly delivered) to really nail it.

And yet…here’s Beach Slang, and they sound exactly like both without sounding like either. Beach Slang just came out with their first EP earlier this year and have a new one on the way soon, and so far the five tracks they’ve released to the public are solid gold. Lyrics that perfectly sum up what it’s like to be young, aimless, and maybe just in search of a good time or at least someone to talk to – just like The Replacements. Fast punk guitars churning underneath angular but hummable lead lines while feedback and noise flies everywhere, and the vocalist sounds like he’s maybe a few miles away from the rest of it – just like Jawbreaker.

Every song on this EP conjures up a ton of emotions at once – sweetly balancing nostalgia with exuberance, they’re the kind of songs you’d want a movie director playing underneath the most important parts of your life (or at least over the credits, as “Punk or Lust” belongs at the end of something somewhere). The production is perfect, you’ll be humming the melodies almost immediately, and it has James Snyder from Weston! You know, the guys that did “Retarded”?

There’s only four songs on their EP; I’m gonna give you two but you don’t have any goddamned excuse to not go listen to the other two. Even if I’d not bought a single other new album all year, I could have contented myself with Beach Slang. I probably still can.

EXTRA BONUS SONG!

You’re not allowed to leave until you listen to “Retarded”. This is not a request.

SCREW YOU GUYS THIS SONG IS AMAZING.

Advertisements

One comment on “BONER JAMZ 2014

  1. […] and isn’t that sort of weird? Shit, Bob Mould’s entire album was about that and you know how I felt about it. But a big part of Pinkerton‘s appeal is the naked emotional content. How many of you have […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: