5 great bands promising us new recordings before this year’s up. I can’t wait.
1. COBRA VERDE – These near alt.biggies haven’t released anything substantial since their Copycat Killers CD 3 years ago, hands down the most entertaining record ever to feature a cover versions of both PINK and EASTER MONKEYS songs. I love their Brian Ferryesque style & wit, but even if you don’t, you can always spend hours ogling the formidable midwestern punker donkeykick driving the whole shebang. They’ve managed to keep me smiling through some pretty shitty days over the past decade, and for this I thank em dearly. If only all the world was as glamourous as a COBRA VERDE song . . .
2. PRISONSHAKE – Saw these guys blow MY DAD IS DEAD away in Chicago back in ’91; they were totally commanding, hitting me like Jim Shepard’s VERTICAL SLIT reinventing THE ROLLING STONES catalogue. Afterward, I chatted with the drummer? bassist? (the one in the thick bottle glasses), who kindly floated me a cassette demo of what became their Della Street EP. This I listened to on my car stereo for years after. I always intended to check em out again, though never did; but with a double-LP due out this month, now seems to be a great time to do so. Go check out their smart and funny blogspot; along with the COBRA VERDE release, this one’s coming out on Scat Records.
3. ELOPE – Oh fuck yeah! The best band going from Ingmar Bergman country, they’ve apparently completed a fourth long player. Their first 3 receive tons of airtime on my I-Pod: the harsh, NEIL YOUNGish eclectic poprock of their S/T first, the uncannily STEVE HOWE & BODAST-like, psych-into-prog rocking of 3WD, not to mention the hangover haze of last year’s 9 Distilled Dreams. If there’s one band I’ve like to see do it live tonight, it’s these still-young men. Wanna hear who’s keeping 60′s-informed rock living and breathing in 2008? Point your ear horn here.
4. BACKBITER – Head BACKBITER Jonathan Hall (ex-PORNO SPONGES, ex-TEXORCIST) has been toiling away in backalley Hollywood shadows for far too long now. His Roky Erickson scream is still intact 20+ years on, and he’s somehow kept one of my favorite LA drummers (Bob Lee, ex-CRAWLSPACE, ex-CLAW HAMMER, ex-FEARLESS LEADER, etc) at his side for near as long. Their new stuff is more varied and rootsy than they’ve ever attempted before – mandolin now figures prominently! This is exciting news, as they’re clearly capable of reaching beyond the 60′s garage-influenced, heavy rock terrain they perfected a dozen or so years ago. Wish em luck finding a worthy label – one day soon you’ll be able to get it from them direct.
5. UNORTHODOX – The best early 90′s Maryland/DC doom band that didn’t feature Wino. Man, it must’ve been tough to keep your rocking original in the shadow of the almighty OBSESSED . . . but the two releases these guys once put out on Hellhound Records (Asylum and especially Balance of Power) were so confident with their mid-tempo, ever-shifting melody/riff approach that they floated out onto a beautiful, heavyass plane all by themselves. Dale Flood is an amazing lead player, great lyricist, and powerful singer to boot. Since their return in 2004 they’ve kept a relatively low profile but there’s a new CD coming soon on The Church Within Records. My god, how these metal lifers maintain even the smallest bit of sanity amidst all the extreme volume/hair/headbanging is beyond me.
Photo above of the recently-refurbished Record Plant in LA (where none of these bands will ever record) courtesy of none other than Ed Colver