Posts Tagged ‘AmRep’


Monday, August 26th, 2013

Thin As Clouds/Pink Deluxe 7″
Amphetamine Reptile, 1995

You gotta love anomalies. While the rest of the world was consumed with Seattle, grunge, and whatever 3rd rate stinkbombs “alternative” radio could fart out 24 hours a day, this group from Hawaii was steadily churning out a slow burn racket that’s aged pretty well over the last 20 years. If you’ve dug into any CD crates lately, you may have thumbed the treasure of their excellent AmRep albums buried in heaps of Silverchair and Candlebox turds. Motionless and Anything Near Water are keepers, as well as releases on other labels all the way through their 2011 Falls Best EP. Here’s a B-side from a tour-only 7″ that captures their thoughtfully constructed and uniquely delivered slow-mo blues grit. Troy Von Balthazar’s near-yodeling vocal style was/is such a welcome departure from the deep throat clenched jaw clichés of grunge singers of the era. Although the band eventually moved to LA, it’s still hard to imagine that the sunny shores of Honolulu — a touristy land of extreme sport and resort reggae — birthed such a unique and refined take on downer guitar rock.

Chokebore – “Pink Deluxe” (4.8mb)

Official Chokebore website
Chokebore on iTunes
Video for “Coat” on YouTube

AmRep 25

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

It goes without saying that the Amphetamine Reptile label weighs fairly heavily into this blog. The word ‘NOISE’ appears in all caps behind its logo for fuck’s sake, and since 1985, the label has been releasing burly, weird, and most of all NOISY records that have become a genre in itself — although I still don’t think the oft-mentioned “AmRep sound” is a good descriptor of music when you consider the wild diversity of bands that found a home on the legendary Twin Cities label. This weekend the label celebrates its 25-year anniversary with a huge bash in Minneapolis, resurrecting a number of its flagship bands (God Bullies, Vaz, Hammerhead, The Thrown Ups, Boss Hog) while bringing some currently active bands to the party (Today is the Day, Gay Witch Abortion, White Drugs, and the almighty Melvins) to blowout eardrums and deliver a rumbling suckerpunch to the gut of tepid rock and roll. For those of us who aren’t fortunate enough to attend the festivities, Tom Hazelmyer’s been kind enough to serve up a taste of the ultra-limited fare available with a CD compilation of the show-only record releases. I’m happy to say that the mostly dormant label is true to form with this compilation, offering up some quality tracks from AmRep legends and newcomers alike. The CD even includes Vol. 12 of the ace Dope, Guns and Fucking in the Streets compilation series, with amazing new tracks by the God Bullies, Boss Hog, Vaz, and the Thrown Ups, plus solid, rocking tracks by Gay Witch Abortion and White Drugs. It matches the quality of the legendary early volumes of the series, which says a lot since Hazelmyer was always able to coax all-killer material from bands featured in the series without a single throwaway track in twelve fucking volumes. Seriously, how many compilations can you say that about? It’s rare to find a comp without at least one stinker. And at $2 ($5 with shipping) you’re probably not gonna find a better use of your time and money.


Buy the “AmRep 25th Anniversary Non-Collector Scum” compilation
The Amphetamine Reptile Discography
AmRep 25th Anniversary Article at Noise Creep

Helios Creed

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

The Warming / Your Spaceman 7″
Amphetamine Reptile, 1991

No self-respecting blog with the word “noise” in its title would lack at least some mention of one of the most mind-blowing noise-centric brainfry guitar gurus ever to drift across this mortal coil. Grandiose introductions aside, the contributions, or more accurately, distortions, to the rock music form that Helios Creed made starting from the late 1970s are nothing short of legendary. And while his radically inventive work in Chrome rightly overshadows his long and prolific solo career, the slew of releases he cranked out throughout the 1990s are worth taking a closer look at. Some of my favorites came out in the early part of the decade, after his first tinny and weaker solo records X-rated Fairy Tales and Superior Catholic Finger — both listenable, but synth-heavy and staid compared to the blown-out fuzz of his following records, starting with 1989’s The Last Laugh. This single, released between 1990’s Boxing the Clown and 1992’s Lactating Purple perfectly captures the best elements of the Helios Creed oeuvre: overblown effects-ridden guitar, synthetic alien vox, and swirling psychpunk riffs that practically ignite speaker cones.


Helios Creed – “The Warming”
Helios Creed – “Your Spaceman”

Party Diktator

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

Stand Behind Me / Quiet Line 7″
Amphetamine Reptile, 1994

Worldwide LP
Dead Eye Productions, 1992

One of the most overlooked gems of the impressive AmRep catalog is this blazing single from German noise rockers Party Diktator, featuring one of the most hyperactive bassists you’ll ever hear. And by hyperactive, I certainly don’t mean funky goofball slap bass, or the notoriously overdone bass Crime was guity of, but instead, totally raw, pulverizing, full-throttle, crackpipe-smoking bass that gives Party Diktator an extra aggressive snarl. Sounding something like the precision of the Jesus Lizard rhythm section crossed with the textured, noisy, beefy spasms of another AmRep favorite, Hammerhead, this record totally rips and yet somehow never received the attention given to lesser bands of the genre. Perhaps the fact that their other records were harder to find domestically, or that they never toured the U.S. (as far as I know), Party Diktator never ascended to noise rock glory in these here United States.

So after being primed and pumped up about this band, I sort of expected AmRep to release an album proper, as they’d done for many other kickass bands in the mid-1990s, introducing under-the-radar bands like Hammerhead, Guzzard, Today Is The Day, and Chokebore to the relative noiserock masses, but alas I never saw anything else from Party Diktator. Apparently, Roadrunner Records released an album in 1996, called Dive Bomb, but it wasn’t widely distributed in the U.S. as far as I can tell and I’ve never seen a copy. And then one day, after dedicating an afternoon to digging thorugh the massive vinyl stockpile housed at Jerry’s Records, I stumbled across Party Diktator’s 1992 debut album Worldwide. At that point I never knew such a thing existed, so it was quite the find and made digging through an ass-ton of the worst records known to man well worth the trouble. As you may expect, the songs and recording on Worldwide aren’t as strong as the AmRep single, but it is surprisingly good, considering that it was released a 2 years earlier.


Party Diktator – “Stand Behind Me”
Party Diktator – “Quiet Line”

Party Diktator – Worldwide LP (45.6mb Zip)


Party Diktator on MySpace
Party Diktator info on I Heart Noise blog