New review of James Chance & The Contortions album “The Flesh is Weak”

New review of the James Chance and The Contortions album “The Flesh is Weak” via Glacially Musical which we will be co-releasing with True Groove Records on April 14:

Vinyl Review: “The Flesh Is Weak” by James Chance and the Contortions

The Flesh Is Weak

Here’s something about me that many folks who read these pages may not realize…

I’m a big fan of etymology.
After having seen about what seems like a hundred broadway shows now, there’s a phrase that always tends to stick out in my head, all that jazz.
(This might seem like it’s totally random, but get inside my head, read the thoughts and then come back out and tell me if it’s scatterbrained or totally ordered and logical.)
(HINT: It’s totally number two.)
Jazz…that’s something that was rebellious about 70 years before the Rolling Stones were rebellious about 50 years ago right? Well, rebellious music that’s been out rebelled normally doesn’t really resonate with me and both the Stones and Jazz seem like my grandfather’s music at this point.
James Chance

So, it’s difficult for me to really consider jazz as a current art form, much less an enjoyable one. Hopefully you don’t think too ill of me after having heard what I think about these two things.

James Chance and The Contortions remind me a bit of both the Rolling Stones and Glenn Miller. (I’m going with Glenn Miller because…well I have no idea why.)
As someone whose tastes include extraordinarily minimalist groups like The Black Diamond Heavies, EARLY Black Keys, etc, it’s hard to wrap my head around a band with about seventeen members.
Just from a logistical standpoint, the idea of a guitar/drummer combo seems lovely, because it’s just two guys you gotta get in the same room at one time, but how do you get all these people in a room at one time to rehearse, let alone compose?

No idea.

Somehow though, James Chance and The Contortions have seemed to make this sister wives band work. It’s still a little confusing how this project has ever gotten off of the ground, much less had their vinyl in my hands.
Logistics are hard, man.
Now, let’s give credit where credit is due, James Chance is not your typical (Name) and the (Blanks) frontman here. In this cacophony of sound, he not only leads the choir in voice, but also leads the band via public saxophone.
No really, not like what Jimi said about hearing public saxophones blowing, but speaking of guitars…

Tomas Doncker spits out some very nice Shaft style chord progressions. You know that chicka chicka wow wow sound that’s also used in those movies I’ve never watched….you know the type.

Throughout both sides of this record, there are about 4 really wonderful guitar solos featuring that most devilish of all effects pedals, the wah wah. In fact it would be hard to find any of the guitar work without the sexy, up and down movement of the crybaby.
Now,  that’s not to say the rest of the solos weren’t memorable, when in fact they were. Chance himself took a goodly number of saxophone solos. He makes Lisa Simpson look like an 8 year old girl when he gets his mojo workin’.
Robert Aaron reminds us all of what we really love about the Hammond Organ. Mac Gallehon’s trumpet and trombones up the sound as if Blue Lou himself were leading the horns.
Eric Klaastad’s funky baselines keep this whole ship a float, because every body else is off making hay besides him and drummer Richard Dworkin. The rhythm section is sturdy enough to build a house on.
Pure Drama
This album is what happens when the Blues Brothers host a reality TV show where they’re trying to decide between marrying The Rolling Stones, Glenn Miller, or Buster Poindexter. Pretty soon, I believe they’ll be handing out their next rose….
This is our third album under the Super Secret Records imprint that we’ve reviewed and every time the quality of the LP itself has been TOP NOTCH. This one isn’t 100% flat, there’s a tiny amount of warp, but you’ll only notice it with a level on the stylus.
Unlike the first two, this one isn’t a double album, so no gatefold. It’s a standard slipcover jacket. Like his brothers in this box, there was absolutely zero splitting. These records were packed down tight. Really, it would be hard to say enough nice things about the mailer here.

In 2016, True Groove Records released this one on CD and in 2017, Super Secret Records is giving it back to us on vinyl.

It’s hard to love this album, unless you’ve actually listened to it. The quality of the music is top notch along with the actual disc and jacket.

The Flesh Is Weak is a strange record, but it’s oh so satisfying. As for those of us who aren’t big fans of this genre of music, just get past the first track, and it’s all going to fall into place.

The first one…it’s really punk rock jazz which is a hard one to wrap your head around, but press on!

Release: 4/14/17
Genre: Punk Rock Jazz, but only after said Punk has aged out of punk proper.
Label: Super Secret Records/True Groove
Formats: LP/CD/Digital

Review of Evil Triplet’s debut double LP “Otherworld” on Glacially Musical

Here’s a nice review of Evil Triplet‘s “Otherworld” via Glacially Musical

Let’s get to it. eviL tripLets.

Hey, it was spelt that way on the van. I’m very observant! So, you ask them their name, and most likely they’ll say….there are some who call us…

eviL tripLets.

They are an unusual bunch. These albums usually come in the aforementioned two flavors. There are a couple of other flavors, but let’s just stick with the one flavor that we are tasting today. The music that I totally though I’d nailed, but didn’t even come close.

As eviL tripLets were featured on cvlt nation, it’s easy to assume they are seriously out there metal, and they are, sometimes. Other times, they’re cut from the same cloth as Iron Butterfly, except it’s the part of the cloth that’s awesome and not just a punchline….like you know…Iron Butterfly is.

Side A is straight up DOOM metal. It comes across easily as first generation doom metal, or proto-doom metal, but let’s not get bogged down in specific sub-genres.

Because if we really wanted get technical, they’re Blackened Proto-Desert Rock on Acid…which is a thing right?

Side two is where they depart from that idea and head off into a popper direction. Now, let’s think about where this review is going.

Let’s leave it at this, eviL tripLets are more than just a group of guys who aren’t sure about when and when not to capitalize letters. They’re a stripped down group of musical craftsmen who’re willing to take you on a musical journey through time and space itself.

If you can achieve an altered state of consciousness during the trip, (see the PUN!) all the better.

Super Secret Records has again delivered packaging that’s maintaining their high standard. Though there is no vinyl platter cover, we can deal. the discs are heavy. They feel as sturdy as 78’s would be if they didn’t shatter on the ground.

But these feel just that substantial. Even with 180 gram being a standard size, many of them don’t feel the same as others and some feel of an above average quality. The eviL tripLet discs should be counted among the latter.

Again there is a heavy duty gatefold cover, as it should be if there are two discs in the package. So far, there’ are only two in the library that break this rule, and when it’s The Coup, it’s pretty easy to forgive that.

These discs grooves are clearer than an muddied lake and an azure sky. Time will stand still for you.

Or you’ll be back on an alternate timeline.

Either way.

Release: Out Now
Genre: Doom Metal
Label: Super Secret Record
Formats: LP/Digital

Super Secret Records and Twistworthy Records Annual Showcase

poster by Jay Campbell

Super Secret Records & Twistworthy Records annual showcase at Beerland (711 Red River) on Wednesday, 15 March 2017

FREE, no wristband/badge/RSVP required, 21+ only

1:00 PM — Adam Busch [Austin]

1:45 PM — FAR OUT [Houston]

2:25 PM — Western Homes [Austin]

3:10 PM — ST 37 [Austin]

3:55 PM — Economy Island [Austin]

4:40 PM — The Ex-Optimists [College Station]

5:25 PM — Nameless Frames [Austin]

6:00 PM — PATIO show: Coma In Algiers [Austin]

8:00 PM — Unknown Relatives [Austin]

8:45 PM — Art Acevedo [Austin]

9:25 PM — John Wesley Coleman III [Austin]

10:10 PM — Bum Out [Austin]

10:55 PM — Poizon [Houston]

11:35 PM — Evil Triplet [Austin]

12:15 AM — Suspirians [Austin]

1:00 AM — Lung Letters [Austin]

Austin Cultural Exchange & Self Sabotage Present

poster by Kelsey Jenkinson

7:00 PM — Bob Hoffnar + Mike St. Clair
7:30 PM — Ralph White + Steve Marsh
8:00 PM — Horne + Holt
8:30 PM — More Eaze w/ Dane Rousay
9:00 PM — Ben Bennett [Philly]
9:30 PM — Self Sabotage Social Soiree*
10:00 PM — Adam Busch / Lisa Cameron / Ingebrigt Håker Flaten
10:30 PM — Caleb de Casper (with visuals by Chris Svoboda)

Tiny Book Collection presented by Jennifer Hecker (archivist;head of Town Talk Library) and Josh Ronsen (artist/musician)

at the Museum of Human Achievement (Springdale & Lyons, behind/adjacent to Canopy)

*Dyr Faser had to cancel due to snowstorm in New England

Transona Five album preview on Brooklyn Vegan

Transona Five’s self-titled legacy double LP comes out this week via our reissue imprint Sonic Surgery Records — you can hear it in its entirety on Brooklyn Veganhttp://www.brooklynvegan.com/90s-band-transona-fives-out-of-print-catalog-finds-rebirth-in-new-double-lp-compilation-listen

You can pre-order the album now on our online store at http://sonicsurgeryrecords.bigcartel.com/category/transona-five

Austin Chronicle feature on Evil Triplet & Steve Marsh

Evil Triplet‘s main man Steve Marsh gets the feature treatment  in the 10 February 2017 issue of the Austin Chronicle. He talks about the upcoming debut double LP OTHERWORLD that we are putting out and talks about Terminal Mind, one of Austin’s seminal punk bands (we will be reissuing remastered Terminal Mind tracks via Sonic Surgery), as well as his involvement with other bands and the Austin music scene. There is even mention of our future cassette release of Steve’s electronic music project Radarcave (coming out on Self Sabotage). Read all about it at http://www.austinchronicle.com/music/2017-02-10/austin-punk-pioneer-steve-marsh-climbs-the-star-ladder

Laktas, Marsh, and Volpi
(photo by John Anderson, Austin Chronicle)