Bobby from Hussy, who I interviewed a while back has started a label recently with a buddy called Kind Turkey Records. He emailed me a few weeks ago to let me know about their first release...this single from Wheels on Fire out of Athens, OH.
There's nothing better than packing a 7" single with an EP length 4 tracks, and when they're punchy pop punk like this...that's pretty much what the format was made for in my opinion.
Wheels on Fire sound like they're stepping back a little further in the jangly beach surf canon that seems to be unstoppable these days. They're going all the way back to that 50's garage reverb mic in a can sound...the whole thing recorded a hollow box. Classic effects, solid
Lyrics about a...baby, baby, baby. There's a lot of cars around probably, and not shitty new ones with stupid rims. It's a reinterpretation definitely inspired by that tipping point in the 50's when the atom bomb started to feel wrong, and no one was getting happier in their identical tract houses.
I grew to love the title track, "Cherry Bomb" once I started realizing they were actually celebrating the classic explosive with lyrics like:
we would have so much fun / I know you're no toy
see that trashcan we just drove by / I will blow it to the sky
It's a slightly more agressive Fresh and Onlys sound, there's not a hint of psyche, they have that greaser attitude, which isn't really dangerous, but they aren't interested in any messing around. The track is written and they're going to get it done with a hint of blues peeking through the beer fridge in the garage, next to the motorcycles, painted black.
"Broken up" is that typical story of a dude wronged by that girl who just doesn't care, he's a bad ass, and now I guess he got what he deserved. Throw in a Johnny Be Good solo for good measure, just to show at least we can rock about it. You can be a sad bastard, loner without turning to wussy goth! Just recreating this now is a nod to the idea that the simplest sentiment, a classic rhodes organ, and reverb guitar, can still be the best.
Like Shannon and the Clams or Nobunny, Wheels on Fire owe a lot to the 50's harmony garage rock, it's a straightforward homage to that stripped down rock sound which is probably going to stick around in some form or another forever.
I was even reading that Merge Records book and supposedly Superchunk recorded a Ronettes track for the B-Side of their first single? (Ah shit it was the Shangri-La's - ed) I didn't expect to see it going on back as far as the indie rock nineties let alone the Vivian Girls, Dum Dum Girls recent revival of that sound...but there it is. All that nostalgia rolled up into a 45, which of course is really the only format this could exist on.
They've got another one from Trouble in Mind actually I'll have to look into. I can't keep up with those guys.
Bobby's writing reviews on the Kind Turkey Blog as well...lots of 7" reviews there as well, since I know you're looking for more.
Plus they're putting out Dead Luke? Look out for this label.
Turk 002 - Wheels on Fire - "Cherry Bomb" EP 7-inch - $7.50 postage paid to US (International orders please e-mail kindturkeyrecords(at)gmail.com)First 100 copies are on purple colored vinyl! Features a slick screen printed cover by Big Action Records! Act fast to ensure getting a colored one! Rest of the copies are hand-numbered with black vinyl. All copies include an insert!