I loved Talbot Adams‘ single that came out on Douchemaster almost three years ago. It was an understated affair that had elements of Guided by Voices and Simon and Garfunkel. After the break-up up his garage rock/power pop band the Black and Whites, Adams decided to go completely solo, writing and recording everything himself. He also dialed down the volume and sweat a little and recorded a set of acoustic based psychedelic pop.
Space Case records has just released two more fruits of Adam’s solo effort that acts as kind of a travel log. The A-side Red Diamonds finds the singer traveling across Canada and reminiscing about secret spots he’s come across in the great white north. Not Even Europe goes to the old world rhyming the sights in verse as he attempts to forget a bad relationship. His phrasing and slightly English singing accent brings to mind the Moles’ Richard Davies. No doubt, this is classic pop on par with some of the greats.
If you are not the record buying type you can get an entire album of Talbot Adams’ songs called Weekend that contains both songs from his new single, a couple from his previous one and a few more over at his bandcamp page.
Gentleman Jesse & His Men at the Funhouse, Seattle | 22 August 2010
Sunday night Gentleman Jesse & His Men brought their adrenaline fueled pop to Seattle’s Funhouse. Jesse Smith, the former bassist of Atlanta’s Carbonas, writes songs that are both immediate and infectious. His album Introducing Gentleman Jesse from 2008 is a study in classic post-punk powerpop From its Elvis Costello inspired cover to its nods to everyone from the Kinks to the Nerves to Joe Jackson to Jonathon Richman Smith has done his homework.
Sporting a flashy red Rickenbacker, and a gaggle of girls in front of the stage dressed in their Joan Jett-West Side Story-girl gone bad clothes, Jesse and his Men banged through most of the Introducing album as well as some new ones including both sides of their upcoming single on Douchemaster. His band has both changed and expanded since recording the album. Drummer Dave Rahn appears to be the one only remaining from that period. The remainder of the band was made up of guys from The Barreracudas who played the openers with their take on the Ramones. Most of the band was already warmed up, but it didn’t take long for Smith to break a sweat blasting through the set at breakneck pace. The songs were delivered machine gun style with one ending and the next beginning without a breath, break, nor thank you. We weren’t there for dialog, we were there to rock and Smith’s short sharp and jagged songs more than supplied the goods.
Gentleman Jesse & His Men tour dates:
Aug 24 Compound, Provo, UT
Aug 25 Larimer Lounge, Denver, CO
Aug 27 Hi Tone, Memphis, TN
Aug 28 Discoteca, Chattanooga, TN
Sep 2 Saturn Bar, New Orleans, LA
Sep 3 Club Downunder, Tallahassee, FL
Sep 4 New World Brewery, Tampa, FL
Sep 7 The Atlantic, Gainesville, FL
Sep 8 Bottletree, Birmingham, AL
Sep 9 The Earl, Atlanta, GA
Sep 10 The Earl, Atlanta, GA
Sep 11 The Grey Eagle w/The Strange Boys, Asheville, NC
Sep 12 Glenn Danzig’s House, Nashville, TN
Sep 14 Local 506 w/The Strange Boys, Chapel Hill, NC
Sep 14 Local 506, Chapel Hill, NC
Sep 15 Black Cat, Washington, DC
Sep 16 Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY
Sep 17 TT the Bear’s, Boston, MA
Sep 19 Kung Fu Necktie, Philadelphia, PA
Sep 19 Kung Fu Necktie w/ The Strange Boys, Philadelphia, PA
Sep 19 Kung Fu Necktie, Philadelphia, PA
Sep 20 The Shop, Ithaca, NY
Sep 21 Casa del Popolo, Montréal, QC
Sep 22 The Garrison, Toronto, ON
Sep 23 PJ’s LAGER HOUSE, Detroit, MI
Sep 24 Now That’s Class, Cleveland, OH
Sep 25 Main Event, Cincinnati, OH
Sep 26 The Summit, Columbus, Ohio
Sep 27 The Brass Rail, Fort Wayne, IN
Sep 28 Empty Bottle, Chicago, IL
Sep 29 Cactus Club, Milwaukee, WI
Sep 30 Turf Club, St Paul, MN
There certainly is no shortage of punk bands these days, check out the Vans Warped tour line-up or head over to the Funhouse any night of the week if you don’t believe me. But when it come to punk bands that capture my imagination, sound tough, and still write a hook like they use to back in the day there aren’t that many. I’m talking bands like Agent Orange, Channel 3, Social Distortion, Husker Du, Wipers and of course the Clash and the Ramones, bands that transcended the label of punk rock incorporating other styles of music into their own.
Now don’t get the wrong idea here, the Hex Dispensers are not re-inventing the wheel or punk rock for that matter, but they are writing songs that are jaw-dropping punk rock anthems with an authenticity not seen since the days of the Wipers and Mission of Burma. Their new album, just released on the world by Douchemaster is 12 songs of raw, unadulterated, fist pumping rock n’ roll. Singer Alex Cuervo has a voice that immediately brings to mind Joey Ramone or Joe Strummer and brings an anthemic quality to the songs.
This is the Austin, Texas band’s second full length, but their first to be released in the US. Their first self-titled record was put out on Germany’s Alien Snatch records (who also put out last year’s excellent Love Boat record). That record had a great cover, but it was mere child’s play compared to Winchester Mystery House. On this new record, they come off as more cocky and confident, the sound rips from the speakers and the songs are just plain better. The highlight of record has to be My Doppleganger On, an anthem against conformity, but there are other songs that are nearly as blistering like O-B-I-T, It’s Your Funeral Minion and their cover of Devo’s Gates of Steel. That Devo song always begged to be turned into a full throttle anthem and the Hex Dispensers have finally done just that. Things move fast these days, it’s only taken two records and as many years for the Hex Dispensers to have become a juggernaut of punk power and prowess.