Friday, April 22, 2011

Review - Rainy Road Records' Record Store Day special

As some of you know, last Saturday was Record Store Day.  I was among some of the few who trudged out that morning to hit up the local record stores to peep out some exclusives and to have a few hours to myself before I had to head to work.  My favorite local spot for wax has always been the Antiquarium, and after looking around in the racks I noticed a hand written note that read something along the lines of "Record Day Special - buy both Rainy Road Records tapes and get the 7" for $3 off".  I was just at the store earlier in the week so I pretty much knew what was in the dust bins, so I thought, "Fuck it, it's local music I haven't heard before, I'll check it out".  The tapes are: The Shanks "I'd Fuck Me", and Peace Of Shit self titled effort, along with the Watching The Train Wreck - Serve Very Loud 7".  Here is my review...

I'm gonna start with the Watching The Train Wreck 7" titled : Serve Very Loud, first because it has the fewest songs.  OK, first things first... this record plays at 45rpm but the label says 33 1/3, hhhmmmm?  Anyway, Watching The Train Wreck play what sounds to me like a garage rock version of Nirvana, especially the 1st side with it's locked grooves and a vocal presence not unlike that of everyone's favorite dead 90's rocker.  Side 2 mixes it up style wise with more pronounced jangly guitar lines.  All the songs are pretty lo-fi, and pretty much stay at a medium pace never straying anywhere near hardcore speeds.  The four songs on this 7" are all played tightly, and the shredding fuzzed guitar leads are the highlights of the songwriting for me.  Not bad.  I'd like to see these guys live.  The packaging on this 7" is screen printed heavy cardstock that give the record a personal touch.  The record it's self is lathe cut clear plastic, which to me doesn't sound as good as vinyl, but after researching the process on how lathe records are made, it's a good alternative if you plan on releasing limited quantities of your record.  This record is limited to 50 pieces, I got number 20.  The price tag on the record may scare you away, but luckily for you cheap skates out there, you can stream the entire record HERE.  4-song 7"  No lyric sheet.

Peace Of Shit serves up 10 tracks on their self titled debut cassette.  After a short drum/guitar intro, a nice barrage of "77 style 3 chord punk (with ample amounts of reverb) is whipped into a fury with the song "Out Of Our Heads".  Hot leads and lots of screaming!  Fuck yeah, not a bad start.  However, this tape seems to have a split personality with awesome straightforward punk tunes sprinkled in with mostly pop oriented garage rock songs that really don't do much for me.  The song "Panic In the Streets" has a nice punk vibe a la The Spits.  If this were a 45 single of "Out Of Our Heads" b/w "Panic In The Streets", this would be THE SHIT.  As a whole though, it's only OK.  Stream the entire tape HERE.  10-song pro printed cassette, limited to 100.  No lyric sheet.

The Shanks play straight punk complete with barre-chords and a 1-2 drum beat.  With great song titles like:  "She Could Be A Hooker", "I Got Fleas", "Throwaway Girls", and "Sex Feels So Good", you get 15 sleazy tracks on this cassette of b-sides and rarities appropriately titled: "I'd Fuck Me".  The song writing stays well within the mid-paced range with more of an emphasis of attitude than power.  The vocalist gets most of my attention here with his strains, shrieks, and groans as he shouts throughout the songs.  The actual playing on these songs sound quite sloppy but adds to the mood the songs create.  Not bad.  I'd love to see these guys in a house show setting.  Stream the entire tape HERE.  15-song pro printed cassette, limited to 100.  No lyric sheet.

Rainy Road Records
P.O. Box 31704
Omaha, NE 68131

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