Tuesday, June 24, 2014
AM FM's on Radio Guru Records
I honestly can't remember the last time I listened to the radio. If I'm lucky sometimes WFMU or the WNYU station will come in if I mess with an antenna. It's ridiculous, there's no reason for a tower to be broadcasting music out into the world pointlessly for whoever to pick up. Does that sound completely insane to anyone else? Now we're doing it with satellites? That's the future talking.
I'm still nostalgic for listening to whatever was on and then running over to a notebook when the DJ finally let you know what the last ten songs were and if they played anything you knew - for a few seconds you're in on the joke and it was mind blowing that person on the other end was thinking about playing that song too. The AM/FM's are a band that have actually been played on the radio which would definitely be one of my goals if I were a member, but first of course I'd want to press a single and why not an EP of four tracks on random color vinyl?
A-Side's "Damn Right (It's a Saturday Night)" has a cymbal bash countdown to power punk tight distortion baffled behind a couple of mattresses and I'm a sucker for that slightly homemade feel. Doubled up vocals and handclaps sounding like those reissues on Almost Ready Records, power chord slides up the neck, trebly screechy solos, definitely not taking themselves too seriously but making sure to craft this thing with maximum drinkability. All the cues from the late '70s are nodded to before kicking them out of the bar. "Stadium" then jumps ahead to the arena rock '80s with a snotty, hair metal attitude with some bits of country thrown in but that 'Baby I'm not crazy' has the snarl of neon spandex pants. Produced with a wink and metal solo, the big time echo parts the cloud and you see someone perched on the stack his guitar a giant dick swinging over the crowd. A slower track that saunters around the bar taking stock of everything because it's going to be theirs soon. A callback to the ballsy metal ballad that would inevitably be the hit on the radio because the rest of the album was filthy.
B-Side's "Blow it up" opens with frantic chords and running the pick up the strings in more of that classic power pop stuff like Holly and the Italians, that early '80s yearning for airplay combined with a punk attitude and sound. This side the vocals seem to have more layers of harmony working in the background with a Ramones 'oh oh oh' style. The chorus throwing in a bendy solo but landing with a dense package that keeps this tempo at the center of rocking. You can hear how the garage stuff lead to pop punk through these handclaps. They just want to give the audience a reference point for their rock, Here's where YOU come in. This leads right into "You Gave Up" with a thicker, dirtier Husker Du sounds that ends straight with a Ramones verse, that's a lazy reference but they really go there between choruses with that buried quality, either because it ended up as spinning at 33 or was just mixed that way, but it could easily place this in the early '80s. A real punk rock single, if I didn't already know better I could hear this right alongside The Knots or Normals. Good to hear this sort of thing is carrying on in North Carolina.
Get it from Radio Guru Records and the band.