Tuesday, December 19, 2017


Herb Jeffries (name misspelled on the cover), Devil Is a Woman (Golden Tone, 1957)
No, I'm pretty certain the so-called devil woman who inspired the conception and delivery of this red-hot piece of trash was not actually a woman, but a group of men, who, were there any justice, never enjoyed the company of women (or licked their boots) again.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Devil and Robert Johnson

Sic him, hellhound! Robert Johnson reincarnated.
I wonder if this asshole made a deal with the devil, too. Judging from his astonishing travesty of recorded music, this Robert Johnson probably blew the stop sign at the fabled crossroads and kept right on trucking to Squaresville or whatever shithole flea-market stage would have him. Or maybe this is thee Robert Johnson—reincarnated and forever doomed to haunt the junk store record bin with his goofy-ass smile, regrettable haircut, and dumbshit Chuck Berry-style pose. Maybe, just maybe, you shouldn’t fuck around with the devil. 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Moldy Oldies: Ransacking My Archives

Camaro Hair: Rye Coalition's 2003 magnum opus
I just unearthed a pile of record reviews I had written for the metal magazine Revolver back in the early 2000s. You know the magazine, the one whose covers regularly depict a motley crew of metal marauders scowling menacingly at you from the grocery aisle. It's all pretty silly. But who am I to judge? I actually wrote for the magazine for a few minutes, thanks to my old friend and colleague Nina, who was an editor there and who kindly gave me an opportunity to earn a few bucks writing reviews (and by few bucks, I mean a few; the pay was meager). As for my reviews, they're pretty short and they generally survey forgettable records by equally forgettable and now forgotten bands. 

So here are a couple of them, starting with Jersey Girls from Rye Coalition, a band that previous to this record, I had actually liked. They made some wonderful noisy post-hardcore in the 1990s, even teaming up with the almighty Karp for a split EP, before going full butt rock for the 21st century. I guess Dave Grohl produced one of their final recordings. Never heard it; can't say I was interested after subjecting my ears to Jersey Girls

The second review covers an album by the New Zealand neo-garage rock band D4. Who, you ask? Yeah, I don't remember either. 

Rye Coalition Jersey Girls (Tiger Style CD-EP) Two Stars
Modern, retro-minded bands typically celebrate and revisit banner rock years like 1977 or 1967, but not, say, 1981. Until now. On its new EP, New York’s Rye Coalition erects a rousing, albeit cheeky, tribute to the year of feathered mullets, combs in back pockets, and white Pony high-tops. From the CD’s cover art—an airbrushed mural of a cherry-red Camaro caressed by a bikini-clad vixen—to the sleazy anthems that bookend it, “Jersey Girls” is Rye Coalition’s campaign to put the cock back into rock. Some songs show Rye Coalition toying with a volatile mixture AC/DC and Jesus Lizard, but mostly this EP serves as a tribute to guilty pleasures and self-parody. –Joe Ehrbar

The D4 6Twenty (Flying Nun/Infectious) Two Stars
Were it not for the Swedish Invasion or America’s so-called rock revival, the D4 wouldn’t arouse much interest outside the dingy bars of its native New Zealand. But garage rock is this week’s flavor, and as such second-rate bands like the D4 are getting first-rate hype. To be fair, the D4 is a solid combo; its live show as intoxicating as a 12-pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon. And while the quartet’s 6Twenty wields righteous rumblers in the lusty “Ladies Man” and the barn-storming “Invader Ace,” too often it sounds derivative and cliché. Stacked next to albums by the Hives or White Stripe, 6Twenty lacks the spark, charisma, imagination, or even balls to get the job done. Is it any wonder the album’s fifth track is titled “Running on Empty”? –Joe Ehrbar

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Fantasies of a Country Clown

File under Comedy/Fantasy: Miserable Moe Bandy's 1979 vinyl turd, It's a Cheating Situation.

Sorry, Moe, but you're dreaming. That said, I doubt your sister (or right hand) will mind.

Monday, January 2, 2017

For the Birds (and Goodwill Bins): Cock Robin

At the height of the 1980s cock rock phenomenon emerged cocks of a different feather, the inimitable, though short-lived synth-pop sensation COCK ROBIN. Owing nothing to the sausage fest sounds of Hollywood's Sunset Strip, this American band had to cross the Atlantic to achieve cock stardom. And achieve it they did, if only for a boner's duration.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Wretched Records and Crappy Covers: Both Sides of the Covenant Four

And the Grammy for Most Laughable Use of a Picnic Tablecloth on an Album Cover goes to...