The LOOSE LIPS, from Long Island, NY are not the same band that released “Talkin’ Trash” in 1999 (LOOSE LIPS) on TKO Records, but they sure share some dirty, trashy rock’n’oll influences. “Heels” opens this 5 song EP in a NEW YORK DOLLS way, before a very British rock “Beautfiful Flower.” You can also hear these British influences in “Orange”, that brings The LIBERTINES to mind, but The LOOSE LIPS often sounds like a mix of garage and proto-punk, especially in “Vampire’, “Raqqa Roll”, or “Full Circle.”
A new band to keep an eye on, especially if you’re sick of polished bands that all sound the same, and if you ‘re not afraid of a bit of chaos! /Laurent C.
While most bands get wiser and softer as they get older, The EROTICS are taking the opposite way, sounding rougher and harder with every new release. Their previous CD “Preaching To The Choir” was a raw double live album, and here they are now with 3 brand new songs that sound as if you were standing in the studio with them.
“Three Sheets To The Wind” offers us some killer sleazy heavy rock with a guitar riff reminding of the best of MÖTLEY CRÜE, “Last To Arrive, First To Die” is a catchy track, in the vein of the MURDERDOLLS, and “Little Miss Misserable” is a cool dirty heavy rock’n’roll song that can appeal to both hard rock and punk rock’n’roll fans.
Keeping the sleazy rock flame alive, The EROTICS are just back from a tour in the UK, and they will be celebrating their 20th anniversary in February 2016… Crazy!/Laurent C.
The dark side of Brooklyn brings us TWIN GUNS, who have just released their new album “The Last Picture Show” on Hound Gawd Records. If you love The CRAMPS, cryptic and hypnotic rock’n’roll, then you will be seduced…
Can you introduce the band?
Twin Guns is Andrea on guitar and vocals, Kristin on bass, and Jungle Jim on drums. We have been around for 5 years, and are based in New York. We play rock and roll.
You released two albums as a guitar/drum duo before. Do you see “The Last Picture Show” as a kind of new start?
Andrea: In some ways it does feel like a new start. Sometimes it feels like a different band, but since we never stopped playing since then, it just makes sense to be where we are now… It was a natural growth. I don’t regret becoming a three-piece, as I feel that we did our time as a duo, and did great. At least we made a statement; we proved that the power of a song and the way it’s presented and performed, goes beyond the limitations and expectations of that formula… it worked. Then we moved on. I am much happier now to have amplified the sound palette with the addition of Kristin on bass (and good taste). Being a 2-piece and having to hear comparisons or being associated with the White Stripes or Black Keys got tired after awhile. I don’t even like those bands.
“The Last Picture Show” is out on German record label Hound Gawd Records. How did that happen?
Andrea: It was time to make a new album and get some new music out, and initially we thought of self-releasing the album (we didn’t have much luck finding a label with the previous one, “Sweet Dreams”), so I started contacting recording labels. We were almost ready to give up (having already recorded all the songs), upon not getting much feedback, but then I got a reply from Oliver at HoundGawd!, who contacted me enthusiastically, and let me tell you… that was totally at the last minute. We couldn’t have been happier when it happened! He loved the songs, “The Last Picture Show” found a home, and the rest is history.
Tell us about the recording of the album…
Andrea: We recorded at N.Y.HED Studio, with the lovely team of Matt Verta-Ray and his wife Rocio. We wished the sessions would never end, as we all really enjoyed the experience. It’s very cool to record with them as they are such fans of great music (especially The Cramps), and the studio feels like a time capsule into all things cool and Rock’n’Roll. In-between sessions we often ran into Kid Congo Powers, who at the time was recording with Mick Collins of The Gories and Bob Bert (Chrome Cranks, Sonic Youth) on a new project and album together; I honestly flirted with the idea of asking them to play on the Twin Guns record, but it didn’t happen… haha. I know these guys, but still too shy to ask that sort of thing. We started recording the album in the humid heat of the NYC summer, and finished in the freezing winter of 2014. One time, the lock of the studio door was frozen (un underground entrance on the sidewalk) and we couldn’t get inside, so Matt had to run to the store and get a hot cup of water to pour on top of the lock… It was a whole process. When I finally got in the studio in took me a long time to get warmed up… fingers frozen and all. NY can be brutal in its weather extremes. In the end, the recording went great.
Jungle Jim played in The CRAMPS and The MAKERS. Have any of you played in other bands before?
Andrea: I played in other bands before (mostly as guitarist), but none of them found momentum as much as Twin Guns.
The last band I played guitar for, before forming a band on my own, was Rockethouse (an electro-shoegaze-garage outfit), and we had fun touring the west coast, but we kept losing drummers, and got difficult keeping it together.
Kristin: A number of them, yes, but this is the first one that I was actually a fan of before joining.
You’re influenced by the dark side of cites, especially New York. How would you describe living in NY nowadays?
Andrea: I have been living in New York for 22 years, and have seen lots of changes… I don’t find it particularly exciting these days, and sometimes wish to live somewhere different… maybe an European town. It’s easy to be opposed to change, when you get the feeling that what you know and like about a city is being compromised, or changed altogether. But for as much as the city has transformed, I can still find aspects of NY that are inspiring, after all. It’s like when you focus on details that others ignore, and have sort of a romanticized vision of it. I have always been attracted by cities decay… traces of the past in everyday life… It fascinates me. I’m like an archaeologist.
Kristin: I’m a born-and-raised New Yorker. It’s been difficult to see so many of the things that give this city its identity get priced out, leaving generic chain stores and aesthetically bland high rises in their wake. But there’s still so much that makes it a singular place to be. My New York was never just about the Lower East Side or the parts of Brooklyn you might see in movies; it’s about turning a corner onto to a side street and seeing some stunning and totally unexpected architectural detailing on an old office building. Or taking a bus from downtown and watching the city change on your way up to the re-created Medieval abbeys that were built in a park in Washington Heights. If you look carefully enough, you can find almost every world culture represented here in some way, through its food or art or language or something. That in itself is miraculous and humbling.
Do you tour a lot in the US?
Andrea: We did a few tours of the USA, long and short trips… We go on the road at least once a year, but still haven’t managed to bring ourselves to the west coast. So many states so little time!
Garage, 70s punk, surf rock and psychedelia are all part of your influences, but movie soundtracks also seem to have influenced you a lot. Have your music been used for any movies yet?
Andrea: Yes, soundtracks are part of our influences, but no, we haven’t made it to the movies yet… I always felt that we could be good for it. A few years ago one of our filmmaker friends utilized our “Little Subway Rider” for the opening credits of a proposed tv series (which starred David J. from Bauhaus, and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club in the closing titles).. but not sure what happened.
Your lyrics are mostly stories/fictions, right?
Andrea: They are stories, but not always told in a traditional storytelling way… More sort of expressionistic poetry. Sometimes they are like an exaggerated version of reality. I often write in first person, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it represents me… It’s like being an actor, and telling stories from different character’s point of view.
5 albums you couldn’t live without:
Andrea: “Rumble” the Link Wray collection on Rhino, “The Velvet Underground & Nico”, Suicide‘s 1st record, “Kicking Against the Pricks” by Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, “Nuggets” Volume 1. And so many others, but…
Jungle Jim: 5 albums that I couldn’t live without are “No Way Out” by The Chocolate Watchband, “Forever Changes” by Love, “No Other” by Gene Clark, “I against I” by Bad Brains and “Love It to Death” by Alice Cooper.
Kristin: “A Northern Soul,” “A Storm in Heaven” or “Urban Hymns” by The Verve; “Wretch” by Kyuss; “First and Last and Always” by The Sisters of Mercy; “I Against I” by Bad Brains (Jungle Jim snagged one of my answers!); and “Chant Byzantin” by Soeur Marie Keyrouz.
5 movies you could watch again and again:
Andrea: Taxi Driver, Midnight Cowboy, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Blow Up, Blue Velvet.
Jungle Jim: My 5 favorite movies would be The Outsiders, The Babadook, Vampire’s Kiss, The Diving Bell & the Butterfly and This Is England.
Kristin: Pan’s Labyrinth, Blazing Saddles, The Godfather I, The Godfather II, The Departed.
Last book you’ve read:
Andrea: “Barbed Wire Kisses” The Jesus & Mary Chain biography.
Jungle Jim: The last book that I’ve read is Ginger Baker’s autobiography “Hellraiser.”
Kristin: I’m in the middle of three: “The Gift of Healing Herbs” by Robin Rose Bennett; “Pattern Recognition” by William Gibson, and “Claire of the Sea Light” by Edwidge Danticat.
Here in France, we need more rock’n’roll then ever in those dark times. Will you come and play in Europe in 2016?
Andrea: We would love to tour Europe endlessly… We are hoping to make it out there very soon!
NYC’s BORN LOOSE features two former CANDY SNATCHERS members (Larry May and Suke), so you can guess that you won’t hear any polished modern rock on this great looking white 7″ (out on Hound Gawd! Records), and we won’t complain about that. Two short, angry, dirty punk rock’n’roll songs in which singer Larry May screams his guts out! The energy of Detroit rock’n’roll, the smell of garage, and the craziness of the DEAD KENNEDYS and JESUS LIZARD in one band! “I Loathe You” is a speed-up rock’n’roll song that will please fans of the NEW BOMB TURKS and The HUMPERS, and “Today’s The Day” brings us a bit more of melody mixed to some hypnotic guitar riff, right before literally exploding and leaving you breathless! Short and not sweet, this will make you beg for more chaos!/Laurent C.
Any band mentioning T.REX and The LORDS OF THE NEW CHURCH in their biography is worth talking about, right? Well, good chances are you’ll hear about them on here!… Formed in NYC by Kneel Cohn (Vocals/Guitar) and Todd Bryerton (who played drums on the last CONSOLIDATED album) after recording a few songs in Manhattan, WARSHOW ANGELS offers us a very interesting and unexpected debut album full of special guests, mixing 70s glam sexiness to industrial/post-punk atmospheres.
“Bruises” and its SISTERS OF MERCY kind of bass played by Tony Barber (BUZZCOCKS) reminds me a bit of MARILYN MANSON‘s “Mechanical Animals” era, a retro-futuristic mood that can also be found in “Prozac Smile” and “Dive.” SIGUE SIGUE SPUTNIK synths and groovy Bolan-esque beats/guitars meet up in “This Is Not A (Hit Song)” (with HANOÏ ROCKS‘ Sam Yaffa on bass!), and LOVE AND ROCKETS often comes to mind while listening to this record. Other guests include Martin Shellard (SPIRITUALIZED) on the sci-fi ballad “Red Plastik Crush”, Peter Holmstrom (DANDY WARHOLS) on the spacey-psyche “Planet Girl” and Nicky Garratt (UK SUBS) on “Love Hz”, a dark sexy dancey electro-glam tune.
Beware! Songs like “Bang Bang Love”, “Sexy TV Trash” or the infectious “Flaunt It Like This” won’t leave your mind after listening to them a couple of times! (and since too much is neve renough, you’ll also get a “Flaunt It Like This” remix version à la SSS by Julian Beeston (NITZER EBB, PIGFACE) )… The 70s, the 80s and the future in one album, definitely the best surprise of these last months!/Laurent C.
Guitar star, Deane Clapper, was one of the born to lose, scowling, glitter punks you’d see stompin’ around the Bowery in the last days of the Green Door era when the NY Loose, D-Generation, Fur, Pillbox and Waldos ruled the East Side and you could just tell—even back then, that there was something wrong with that guy, he had a haunted, distant look in his eye, like he was perpetually on a Coney Island High.
‘You ever met one of those dudes who you always just KNEW was gonna end up in a wayward gang of greaser misfits and motorcycle girls, performing his primitive, volatile rocknroll music, for throngs of heavily perspiring junkie strippers and emotionally troubled pin-up dolls? Don’t book KNIF to play your gentrified bistro. They attract a promiscuous, twisting, heavy-drinking crowd—people who like to dress up in beehives and tight leather, the KNIF audiences are notorious for dancing, removing their blouses, and buying a lot of alcohol. They are not welcome in cafe society. Songs like “Get Dorked” and “Whistling Past The Graveyard” appeal to a frenzied class of imprudent Little Richard and Cramps fan who can’t be trusted to stay in their seats. These people are trouble! It’s all fun and games until someone loses a bra!
Lots of us rolled our eyes, collectively, when all those 90’s mama’s boy twenty-nothings grew their fecking sideburns, discovered Crypt Records and Murray’s pomade, and formed ten thousand Fonzarelli hot rod bands in like, ’95. It was just the tiredest shit on Earth–Sha Na Na nostalgia, in the grunge era. We hated all those academic, middle class, Happy Days New Bomb Twerps, with their stupid unbreakable combs and Patsy Cline tattoos. Fortunately, there were still some genuine article rabble rousers keeping things suitably evil, like Electric Frankenstein, the Humpers, the Mummies, Pleasure Fuckers, and Cheater Slicks, while all those insufferable nerds pretended like they’d ever been to a strip joint, or truck stop, in real life. I remember how one college town band of wussy suck-ups, literally, cowered(!!!) along the back wall of the bar, visibly trembling(!!!) because they were so intimidated by the Candy Snatchers, but when the Candys left town, they all promptly rolled cigarette packs up in their plain white t shirts and strutted around like the guy with the acne problems down at Thunder Road. They have since become techno D.J.’s. If Mom is bankrolling the weekend band, while you finish your liberal arts degree at state college, maybe you even have enough disposable income to drive an old car and get some cheesy skin art and loiter all day at the hipster record store, but all the real rockers know you’re a buncha Potsies and Malfs, pretending to be Sharks and Jets. KNIF hates Rydell High lettermen sweaters and Richie Cunningham milkshake suckers.
KNIF are the stinky essence of the hellhounded working class….lowlife hoodlums, grown up all wrong. They are middle aged j.d.’s out for desperate kicks. Reckless, restless, relentless, rollicking, raucous rebels, rotting from the inside out. Bad men with bad habits. Lonesome, ramblin’ balls of fire, rejected by the squares and straights. These are the people your hipster music scene was studiously avoiding when all those nerds were buying Pabst belt buckles and pretending to like Nashville Pussy during their “college phase”. KNIF are the ones you were forbidden from hanging around in high school. You can’t quite make out what ever the blue letters on their knuckles say. Some of these cats are probably still on probation. You ever see that Johnny Depp movie, “Crybaby”? Or “River’s Edge”? These are the drapes, the rakes, the hoods, the stoners. Menacing scoundrels with a faint body odor, masked by like, Old Spice, and like, a feral glint in the eye. Remember Bryan Gregory back when he still wore that chickenbone necklace everyday, and worked at the porn store, having to pour those buckets of bleach on the drain in the peepshow floor? KNIF are scuzzy music for scuzzy people, you dig? You know the way garages and auto-parts stores smell? Keep your phony baloney, pussy record collectors and their milk mustaches. KNIF are dangerous throwbacks to a time that never existed. Cuban heels and sniffin’ poppers. Weird impulses and BAD reputations. Horror hosts and unforgivable tattoos. Don’t get mixed up with people like KNIF. They will get you in trouble. You will wake up on cold rooftops in strange towns with alcohol poisoning and sore bodyparts. Sucked, fucked, and tattooed. Everywhere KNIF goes, a disreputable posse of long legged bombshells with too much make-up and tight sweaters, follow. If you play KNIF at your next house party, don’t be surprised if you wake up to a room full of naked strangers with all your vintage polaroid film used up, and all the popcorn and Bacardi spilled all over the floor. Don’t book them to play your nightclub, either. You’ll only end up having to sweep up a bunch of red lacy brassieres, and leather thongs, and having to reorder a shipment of extra liquor, the next day. Who needs THAT? KNIF are bad seeds, you have been warned. Why aren’t these sexy sons a bitches touring Spain with the Fleshtones right now?