So you’re perusing the internet and you come across something about a band that is made up of members of Total Control, UV Race, East Link and Dick Diver. What do you do? Try not to get too excited, right? Why haven’t you heard of this band before? Have you had your coffee yet today? Do you take sugar?
Well the the first thing I would tell you is that there is nothing obvious about Russell St. Bombings. If you’re looking for the next great unheard pop record from down under then you are looking under the wrong rock. This is an intentionally difficult record. It’s something that probably started as jam between friends and then because it had a few elements that were intriguing it continued.
Hey lets go get some beer and noodle around. A studio costs too much, so lets record ourselves with our phones. What’s the flight time from Perth to Manila? Let’s use odd tunings and make the songs run together. Have you ever recorded a guitar solo in an airplane toilet?
The Clean were known to go off on tangents like this and they called those records Oddities. Today I was scraping moss from the steps in the back when out popped a somewhat large wormlike creature. Pop songs squirm out of the cracks unexpectedly, and then they burrow back down into the dirt just as quickly. If Syd Barret would have conducted symphonies I think this is what it may have sounded like on the even days.
Oddly I find myself listening to this a lot more than I ever would have thought. Sometimes it feels good to listen to music that isn’t obvious. It’s exciting because you don’t know where it’s going and it’s exciting because you get the feeling that the band don’t exactly know where it’s going either. Where are you going?
The 7-inch single has been around since 1949. That’s 62 years and counting! In my humble opinion the 7-inch single is still the essence, pinnacle and acme of pop perfection. Optimally, it’s one song, one side (Some try to squeeze on more). That’s no room for screwing up. You always hear that releasing a 7-inch is a money losing proposition, but that thankfully, doesn’t keep pop geeks from doing it. In honor of true blue pop geek vinyl junkies out there, here is the first installment of the annual Finest Kiss top 40 7-inch singles countdown.
31. Games – Don’t Look For Her (Robs House)
At first I thought this sounded like the Super Fury Animals, but then I got to thinking that they both just have a thing for the acid tinged side of the Kinks and a Rasperries fetish. mp3: Games – Don’t Look For Her
32. Tunabunny – (Song For My) Solar Sister (HHBTM)
Lo-fi to the core, but writing songs that transcend any recording fidelity. Half of me thinks they should get Steve Albini to record their next record, but the other half thinks they don’t need Albini. Albini needs them. mp3: Tunnabunny – (Song For My) Solar Sister
33. Lenz – Leaving (The 21st Century) (SS Records)
The Bay area’s Lenz is just one of Andy Jordan’s bands that looks to the 80’s for inspiration. Leaving sounds like it could have been on The Sound’s From the Lion’s Mouth. It’s that good. mp3: Lenz – Leaving (the 21st Century)
34. Fidlar – Wake Bake Skate (White Iris)
Whenever I have a day off this song is the soundtrack to my day. You can find me at one of a number Seattle’s skate parks with this on a cassette blasting out of my boombox. Is it 1985 again? Damn! mp3: Fidlar – Wake Bake Skate
35. Fear of Men – Ritual Confession (Italian Beach Babes)
Fear of Men first caught my attention with their cover of the Chills’ Pink Frost, but this, their debut single kept it. Their dreampop reminds me of Lovelife era Lush after they had shed their shoegaze origins. mp3: Fear of Men Ritural Confession
36. Seacats – We Don’t Sleep (Fin)
There’s a bridge in Longview, Washington called the Nutty Narrows Squirrel Bridge. Apparently it’s there to help squirrels cross a busy downtown street. Kelso is just across the Cowitz River from Longview which is where the Seacats are from. No songs about quirky squirrel bridges here, just saccharine power pop. The band pluck two of the finest tracks from their internet album Metal Music and quickly join the ranks of Northwest’s top tier power pop bands. mp3: Seacats – We Don’t Sleep
37. McDonalds – Name Names (State Capital)
Does Brooklyn have drive-thru’s? You know, to get your e’s. If they do McDonalds can probably give you directions. This one’s for all the 24 Hour Party People that were born 20 years too late. mp3: McDonalds – Name Names
38. Ice Choir – Two Rings ( Shelflife)
Pains of Being Pure at Heart drummer Kurt Feldman’s latest band are one big ode to the 80’s. Scritti Politti and Prefab Sprout to be exact. Destoyer should get them for their opening band. mp3: Ice Choir – Two Rings
39. Caucus – Wandering Ones (Cloudberry)
This kind of sounds like the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, but Japan’s Caucus aren’t aping them, they just have the same set of influences as that more well known band and implement them in slightly different way (The B-side is a cover of Rocketship’s I Love You Like the Way That I Used To Do). mp3: Caucus – Wandering Ones
40. UV Race – Acid Trip / Speed Freak (Sweet Rot)
Australia’s UV Race sound like Brix era Fall on this druggy single. Both Acid Trip and Speed Freak sound exactly as you would expect, that is trippy and freaky. Wonderful and frightening. mp3: UV Race – Speed Freak
If you are the type who goes all Tron for Kraftwerk, Gary Numan and Berlin‘s Riding on the Metro, you should probably get on this. The first batch of Total Control‘s third single sold out pretty quickly, but as luck would have it Smart Guy Records has seen fit to press up another run of the 7 inch, only this time on sterile white vinyl.
Total Control are Mikey Young and Daniel Stewart both of the UV Race. Young may be better known as the guitarist in the Eddy Current Suppression Ring, but the guy is in so many bands that I lost count at 17. He can be in 30 bands for all I care, if all them crank out singles like this one.