Posts Tagged ‘psychedelic’

The Spook Lights

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Teenage Maniac / Night of the Queerwolf 7″
Self-Released, 2010

Like the previous post, here’s another underrated midwestern freakshow featured in the Horror Punk 101 countdown last Halloween. Lawrence, Kansas’ kings of reverb-drenched Cramps worship finally got pressed to wax—red wax no less—the perfect format for their brand of throwback garage stomp. And don’t assume that this is some showy retread tribute group dimly aping their heroes. The Spook Lights craft an aesthetic that draws from and extends their influences, keeping them as relevant and vital as anything you’ll find seeping from the underground in 2010. This debut 7″ captures their outstanding track “Teenage Maniac” from the KJHK Farm Fresh compilation and backs it up with a slithering B-side, “Night of the Queerwolf”, packaged up in fine, screen-printed PBR case paperboard. Fans of Haunted George, Kid Congo, and of course The Cramps, take note.


The Spook Lights on MySpace

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”


Thursday, July 30th, 2009

Patty Lane / Story of Life 7″ + comic
Skin Graft Records, 1993

Here’s a 45 that’s gotten better with age. When I first picked up this warped psych monster I was more interested in completing my collection of Skin Graft 7″ + comic combos than listening to the music inside, but it’s become one of my favorite records to spin when I’m in a particularly weird mood. At first take, I considered this Drunks With Guns / Strangulated Beatoffs offshoot band a cut-rate Butthole Surfers clone, probably due to the fact that Fruitcake’s heavily processed, echoed vocals sound a lot like the Butthole’s cover of Donovan‘s “Hurdy Gurdy Man” on Pioughd. But years of putting this on mix tapes (it nicely filled the mandatory oddball track quota) and tossing it on the turntable whenever stumbling across its dayglo orange sleeve, I’ve come to realize that Fruitcake’s grotesquely deranged 1960s psych is weird on an entirely different level than the Butthole Surfers. With the volume and effects-pedal blowout of over-the-top psychers like High Rise and Mainliner and the drugged out charm of classic Roky Erickson / 13th Floor Elevators riffs, Fruitcake pulls off two ridiculously awesome and hilarious (the lyrics to “Story of Life” are an ode to jacking off) tunes that will forever damage your brain.


Fruitcake – “Patty Lane”
Fruitcake – “Story of Life”


Fruitcake bio and discography on I Heart Noise

The Walking Timebombs

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

Hey O.J. / White Bronco 7″
Double Naught Records, 1994

Wrapping up the Pain Teens theme this week, here’s a post-Pain Teens project from guitarist Scott Ayers which extended his layered, noise-damaged psychedelia into a slightly more experimental realm. Years of sampling and tape loop manipulation elevated Ayers’ masterfully stitched together compositions to a whole new level, as demonstrated on the B-side track, “White Bronco” where news clips of Dan Rather make a perfect compliment to the tense pulse of violin and percussion. His sinister edge is softened with a little humor — albeit very dark humor — as the A-side is a molestation of Jimi Hendrix‘s “Hey Joe” tweaked to lampoon the debacle of the O.J. Simpson media circus. My edition of 1000 is hand-numbered #32 of 1000, and I suspect all are numbered #32 since that was O.J.’s jersey number.


Walking Timebombs – “Hey O.J.”
Walking Timebombs – “White Bronco”

Pain Teens (Redux)

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Sacrificial Shack / Sweetheart 7″
C/Z Records, 1991

My last posting hit the spot, so here’s another single from the notorious Pain Teens. Perhaps we’ll make this Pain Teens week to help meet my self-imposed minimum quota of 4 postings a month. I’ve got lots of their stuff to devastate you with, such as this dizzying 45. “Sacrificial Shack” once again finds the Pain Teens knee deep in the horrors of humanity with a nauseating, yet somehow seductively swirling track that paralleled the early ’90s fascination with serial killers and mayhem. It was released the same year The Silence of the Lambs hit theaters after all. The flipside is a fantastic cover of a Zeni Geva song, funneling the Japanese band’s oppressively pounding primal riffs through buzzing, woozy layers of noisy muck.


Pain Teens – “Sacrificial Shack”
Pain Teens – “Sweetheart”

Pain Teens

Monday, April 27th, 2009

Death Row Eyes / The Smell 7″
Sub Pop, 1992

There’s something undeniably appealing about sinister music, especially when it comes to rock, and it doesn’t get much more sinister than the Pain Teens. Dark, disturbing, and steeped in the hazy, narcotic fog of Houston, Texas, their music has the acid-fried punk psyche of Chrome plus the weirdo noise experimentation of fellow Texans The Butthole Surfers tightly wound held together with an industrial-sized, relentlessly bombastic rhythm section. Those elements alone make the Pain Teens a fairly interesting band, but the real power of their sound comes from singer Bliss Blood, who’s disarming, female vocals prevent them from being just another off-putting band of testosterone-laden misanthropes. In fact, without her voice and the perfectly assembled layers of pounding noise, riffs, and tape loops, it’d be hard for anyone but the dimmest of sickwads to subject themselves to their tales from the darkest side of humanity. Just dig the seductive qualities of the Savage Pencil portrait of Ted Bundy on the cover of this Sub Pop Singles Club 45, or their twisted take on John Barry’s “You Only Live Twice” from Trance Records’ Love & Napalm compilation and you’ll see what I mean.


Pain Teens – “Death Row Eyes”
Pain Teens – “The Smell”

Pain Teens – “Ituri”
Pain Teens – “You Only Live Twice”
from Love & Napalm compilation

Indian Jewelry

Monday, December 8th, 2008

Free Gold! LP
Deleted Art/We Are Free, 2008

Although I bit on their early 7″ on On/On Switch records in 2005, and 2006’s Invasive Exotics steadily became one of my most-listened-to albums in 2007, it wasn’t until this year’s Free Gold! LP that Indian Jewelry really became a top shelf band for me. In a layered, hazy psychedelic fog, Indian Jewelry not so much create songs as create buzzing, soothing atmospheres strung together with effects-heavy beats and ethereal vocals. They continue the sinister lineage of fellow Houstonians The Pain Teens, whose dark and heavy noise rock pounded through the late ’80s and early ’90s, while also exhibiting the cold darkwave synthpulse of late ’90s/early 2000 Bay Area group The Vanishing — both great bands that will no doubt be mentioned in future Noise for Zeros entries.

Indian Jewelry — “Swans”
Indian Jewelry — “Temporary Famine Ship”


Indian Jewelry on MySpace
Indian Jewelry on Swarm of Angels
Indian Jewelry on Now We Are Free
Indian Jewelry on Deleted Art
Indian Jewelry on Tiger Beat 6