lundi 4 mars 2019

Turning Round on the Turntable : Parsnip, the Shifters, Les Teckels, LTD

Here come some reviews of vinyl ep/Lps I have been fond of for a few weeks... Cheers !

PARSNIP - Feeling Small - ANTI FADE Records - 2018

Is really Geelong, a city located near Melbourne, Australia, the New Center of the Universe for garage music? That's what the guys running Anti Fade Records x seem to think and I'm not far to share the idea... They have been releasing so many killing records from terrific bands since 2011 : The Living Eyes x(Garage Punk), The Frowning Clouds (60's Garage, just try this masterpiece x), Ausmuteants (Synth. Punk), Straight Arrows (Garage punk), Useless Eaters (Post Punk), Wet Blankets (Old School Hardcore) for the most well-known. A build-up that perfectly followed all that Aussie mid 00's garage/punk wave (Eddy Current Suppression RingUV RaceTotal ControlOoga Boogas...).

Their new protege seems to be this all-girls band : Parsnip x.The 4 girls released awesome, refreshing tunes flirting with Flower Pop and Girls in the Garage-like sound : mid-tempo beats on the drums, onward catchy bass lines, hanging-in-the-head guitar and synthesizer's riffs, covered by a mid 20's almost innocent singing and cheerful voice, pervasive choirs. 
The label released their Health first 4-songs 7inches back in 2017 (with the wonderful Kinks-like Seing Red on the B-side) and this 2-tracks 7inches late in 2018. 

The first song of this ep, Feeling Small, has a Sugar/Flower Pop flavour. The B-side, Winter, is a powered-up Revival-Mod track that could easily figure on a Detour compilation. Last but not least, the beautiful art-cover with bugs, butterflies, flowers and leaves brings a love idea that matches the music.

The girls are also involved in other Melbourne's bands : School Damage (Synth. Punk/Pop), Chook Race (classy Pop) and Hierophant (PostPunk).


Future Folklore Record x, a French uprising label based near Lyon (they started with a Dead Brothers Lp compilation in 2015), released this maxi vinyl-ep featuring two Aussies bands : Parsnip x, again, and The Shifters x. By the way, Mickey Young (Eddy Current) brought his touch on the mastering.

Three tunes are laying on the Parsnip side : two Flower Pop tunes that sweat love and cheerfulness (Counterfeit Dailybreader), and a catchy Garage/Mods one (Hip Blister). Whaou, I like this band and hope they will keep on going with that kind of candour and delight !

The Shifters is an other hits' machine that provides a sound at the crossroad of Post Punk, Folk Rock and Psychedelic sound : strongly frontward side-drums, heady Doors' sounding-like organ riffs, jumpy bass line, hypnotic guitar play and a punctuated but nonchalant voice. The voice could remind of the one of Alex Cuervo getting high... This band is a tremendous discovery for me this year (thanx to the Bitume Rugueux crew for the hint!).

3 vinyl singles and 2 vinyl Lps were released over the last 3 years. The first album, The Shifters - initially a LP tape, was re-released by Future Folklore Records last year and the 2nd,Have a Cunning Plan by the Chicago Trouble In Mind x label in 2018 too - the Cococoma's crew being always on the top in the lookout of classy bands.

We have on The Shifters' side 3 different songs that show the whole musical range of the band : a nervous Monks'-like one, Photo Op, my favourite of the side that clearly depicts the sound I love in this band, a haunting, psyche one, Conscript, and the last one, Righteous Harmonious Fist, is a minimalistic, rawness track.

The Shifters are touring France (the mainland) and England in March. Catch them if you can ! 

LES TECKELS - Ze Peel Poil Session - EUTHANASIE RECORDS - 2018

That's enough, as they used to sing... Fed up with the previous hippies' reviews ? Welcome to the Oi world of the « funtastic » French band LesTeckels x (RIP, 1997 - 2002). 

I discovered this band on the NoCo/Adrénaline Records compilation PogOiting With the Froggs in 1997, and, having been eagerly looking forwards to some more, I clearly remember the day I bought the maxi-Lp Ouah ouah Music For Working Class in the Vicious Circle shop in Toulouse. A keystone in my punk life for many reasons !
First, for their killing Rock'n'Oi songs, pretty similar to the ones of my beloved US Templars and British Hard Skin used to play at that time. Les Teckels had that Cockney Rejects' sound I wanted to hear in a French band !
For their enthusiasm and fun side (fancy dressing, plays on words and funny jokes, hilarious shows and a lot of derision about the skinhead/Oi movement). A pretty rare thing in that scene where all improper comments still ended up in fights...
Finally, they widely opened my young-adult narrow-minded musical tastes to a new world : the bands in which Fabrice, Iwan, Manu and Marc were or were going to be involved (The No-Talents, Steve & the Jerks, Les Terribles, Anteenagers MC, Opération S, The Four Slicks, Frustration, Old Cunts, the Born Bad shop crew, the self-called Happy Family). The immediate consequence : a gate of unlimited universes of 60's, garage, synth/post/cold Punk music had just been opened in front of me... Links to the interview Ben from Une Vie Pour Rien did 20 years ago x.
3 awesome vinyl ep followed after that. A few years went by before I had the chance to see them live (Club Danois in Paris, Le Tigre in Reims for their last gig). They didn't released any album during their 5 years' lifetime whereas they had the material for it...

Les Troubadours du Chaos x finally put it out in 2012 and LTDC's mate, David 1904 re-released the LP last year on his Euthanasie Records x label. David is an expert in French punk/rock, he wrote La discography du Rock français x, a hue directory listing all the French rock vinyl released between 1976 and 2000. The New Bible ! His label also re-released many mid-80's French Oi/punk bands (Chaos Rec...).
This album is quite similar to the songs they had released before. Mid-tempo rock'n'Oi tracks, fast punk/Oi tunes, and always that Fabrice's specific Cockney voice. The front cover offers something like 500 names of the bands that suit the musical path of the 4 guys, the back cover is full of schoolboyish jokes, and there's inside the last issue of their former fanzine Les Chasseurs de Blaireaux, full of great pictures (years go by, sadly...), gigs' tickets and funny stories. A must-have !


Let's end up this review with a little re-immersion in the fabulous world of The Spits and King Khan. Two major bands or perfomers from the 2000's garage/punk scene...

The Spits x, from Seattle, used to play an energic synth-punk with perfectly addictive anthems and tunes just as The Ramones could have done. They performed impressive shows. A compulsory band in my musical journey and personal life since I met my girlfriend (and future mother of my children) during their 2006 tour shows... 
King Khan x was another amazing Canadian/Berliner stage performer, whether he sang as a soul crooner in the brass band King Khan & His Shrines x or on more garage/punk bands with his mate Mark Sultan//BBQ (The Spaceshits, the fabulous The King Khan & BBQ show xThe CiaoculosThe Almighty Defenders (with The Black Lips)).

All these people used to release most of their albums on In The Red Records x, a major LA. label around since this 90's revival garage explosion (The GoriesThe ObliviansThe DirtbombsCheater Slicks...). So, that's not a surprise the label was on the spot for the release of this collaborative LP.

We've got here 8 diverse tracks, bringing eclecticism in this album x.
ABC's (In old Berlin) and New Stains have clearly a Spits' signature, in the direct continuation of their collaborative maxi-LP with King Khan Müde Und Einsam (Spits covers on a German version, released in 2012 on Red Lounge Rec x ). Gesichter Der Jesus Liebe is a cool Post Punk song in German that sounds like the Spits' side project Spider x (Hozac Records). Play safe is my favourite one : a beautiful new wave track with King Khan's daughter, Saba Lou x, on the amazing vocals. This one sounds a bit like Blank Dogs x or more recently Armure x... By the way, Saba Lou seems to be at the root of the album, a girl singer to follow... Broken Heart is a weird new wave tune with distorted voices, Half a Dick  and Ethereal Venereal Girl two pretty classical nervous lo-fi punk/garage. The last one, Danse (Don't Jump), is an électro/hip-hop song - not my cup of tea...

LTD will be playing on Reunion island in March for the Rock à la Buse x festival. The line-up has changed since the release of this album (a question of distance between Berlin and Seattle?). King khan sings now with the back-up of The Magnetix x from Bordeaux and Fredovitch (keyboarder in King Khan & His Shrines and ex-boss of the famous La Mécanique Ondulatoire). They seem to have added some songs of The Black Jaspers x to their musical repertoire. Tell you that in a fortnight after having discovered them live.

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