Tag «Arizona»

Slope Records head honcho announces debut single from his new band The Blankz

Left to right Nikki Blank, Johnny Blank, Tommy Blank, Andy Blank, Jaime Blank.

Slope Records topman Thomas Lopez announced today that his Phoenix-based record label would be releasing his new band’s debut 7-inch single on July, 13 as well as a series of 9 more singles that will be worked into one compilation at the end 2018. “White Baby” is The Blankz premier single with a b-side of “Sissy Glue,” and will be available in CD, vinyl, cassette, and digital download.

The band consists of Lopez, aka Tommy Blank on vocals, Jaime Blank on guitar, Nikki Blank (The Darts) on synthesizer, Andy Blank on bass and Johnny Blank on drums.

“Jaime and I agreed from the start that we want this to be a fun band with snotty lyrics. There are passing mentions of drugs and partying (though I am 13 years sober) and a few non-P..C. lyrics, but The Blankz have no interest in political rants or agendas,” says Tommy Blank (Lopez).

The Meat Puppets own Cris Kirkwood is acting as producer on the first two 7-inch vinyls, and for their first installment, they are touching a personal chord for Lopez. “White Baby” is literally about him and his life being adopted by Mexican parents in 1969. The tune is delivered with a contagious synth-based punk rhythm with plenty of elements of New Wave mixed in proudly harkening back to the group’s influences like The Ramones, Devo, and The Spits.


share on: Comment

Phoenix Spazz-Punks Playboy Manbaby stream 3 new tracks off upcoming album “Lobotomobile”

Playboy Manbaby is one of the most exciting live bands in the country and as of April, 6 they are dropping a new record and bringing their traveling family circus on the road for a two-week jaunt up the West Coast. The record entitled Lobotomobile will be released on cassette, CD, and digital formats with a blowout release party at Phoenix’s Rebel Lounge on Friday. The show will kick off Playboy’s West Coast Tour. The group also announced that preorder for vinyl is available, though the shipping date on that is still TBD.

With a little less than a week to go before the curtain goes up on their big release, Playboy dropped the second, third and fourth tracks on the record “College is a Scam,” “Strange Plastic Surgery” and “I’m Impatient.” If the preview tracks are any indicator Lobotomobile will no doubt be Playboy’ Manbaby best record to date.

Check the tunes out below.


share on: Comment

Scorpion Vs. Tarantula Release Video For “Female Agitator”

Photo by Jeff Schaer-Moses Photography
L. Hotshot of Scorpion Vs. Tarantula performing at Tempe’s Yucca Tap Room

Phoenix’s Scorpion Vs. Tarantula just dropped an incendiary new video for the Trump era called “Female Agitator” off their upcoming fifth L.P. When All The Girls Are Gone due for release in 2018.

The song is about a woman wild-card and it’s the sort of tune we need right now as many of our heroes musical and otherwise are falling to sexual assault allegations. Instead of decrying the men for their wicked ways Scorpion Vs. Tarantula and their out-of-control frontwoman L. Hotshot are putting the spotlight on the strong women who aren’t going to take it. “How do you spell revolutionary? ME! ME! ME! ME! ME! ME! ME!”


share on: Comment

Red Tank! (garage punk) stream new single “Things Fall Apart”

Phoenix based garage punks Red Tank! have just released their first single of 2017 with “Things Fall Apart” on Aug. 3 and you can give it a listen below. This is their first release since last summer’s full-length Bio/Feedback and like all Clipper Arnold penned tunes it’s fuzzy, it’s aggressive, and you can bet your bippy it’s well thought out.

Clipper is one of contemporary punk’s most contemplative songwriters and “Things Fall Apart” is very much continuing in that vein for the Arizona State Political Science major. With all that is going on in the American political landscape just about any poli/sci major might tell you they feel like things are falling apart.

The current incarnation of Red Tank! which features Clipper as the only original member and the only member leftover from even last summer’s lineup just completed a National tour and are back home preparing to roll out the rest of their record.


share on: Comment

Playboy Manbaby (funky-punk) streams “Eldfell” EP

Phoenix funksters Playboy Manbaby‘s live set is so outrageously high energy that it’s easy to forget that the Tempe-based space cadet spazz-punks are also quite prolific in the recording studio. In the year and a half between July 2013 and Dec. 2014 as a five-piece (they’ve since added saxophone player Ricky Smash) the group was able to drop four studio releases three of which came out in in 2014 alone.

With the group having released the short E.P. Eldfell on July 5 right on the heels of their full-length Don’t Let It Be back in February it could be an indicator that Robbie Pfeffer, Chris Hudson, TJ Friga, David Cosme, and Chad Dennis, along with Smash intend to spend more time in 2017 in the studio. Which would certainly be a welcome change considering in 2015 and 2016 the group’s only releases were a live album and single “I want to Meet your Parents.”

Eldfell is two vastly different songs but they represent the duality of Playboy Manbaby’s music. The A side “Adult” is the funky side of Playboy Manbaby, with Pfeffer’s lyrics being delivered like nerdcore hip hop over drop beats and a ton of adlibs. The song is a saxophone driven ode to adolescent irresponsibility.

The B-side “Weltschmerz” brings in the more manic, punk driven side of Playboy Manbaby. TJ Friga’s guitar takes center stage on the track right next to Pfeffer’s frenzied vocals. It’s a 2-minute hard driving punk tune made for Playboy’s incorrigible droves of moshing and stage diving fans.

Give both tracks a spin below.


share on: Comment

Album Review: Playboy Manbaby – “Don’t Let It Be”

I have been listening to Playboy Manbaby’s Don’t Let it Be since lead singer Robbie Pfeffer sent it to me on June 10, 2016. I have had to quietly sit on what I truly believe to be Playboy Manbaby’s best work and one of the best records to ever come out of Phoenix, Arizona for nearly nine months. But now, finally, following their February 25th release I can tell the world that Don’t Let it Be is absolutely amazing.

Even though Playboy Manbaby is a Phoenix super-group featuring some of the most musically talented Phoenicians the Valley of the Sun has to offer, they have always been more of a live band than one for the studio. But Don’t Let it Be will change all that. Don’t get me wrong: Playboy Manbaby will always be one of the most electrifying live bands in the country, but with the release of their new LP, they have a record that can stand up to their live performances.

In the past, Pfeffer has said, he and his band didn’t usually worry about silly trifles when recording (like whether or not Pfeffer knew all the words to the songs, or if everyone was on key). They would just get into the studio together and do it live. What would come out of that was always fun and upbeat, but very often Pfeffer’s vocals were indecipherable.

With this new record, they tracked each song and Pfeffer’s vocals, which makes for a much more gratifying listening experience. Every word comes through loud and clear and you can even hear the inflection in Robbie’s voice — a whole new experience when listening to a Playboy Manbaby record.

The album’s opener and lead single “You Can be a Fascist Too” is an explosive, sarcasm-laden track that even includes a chorus of backup singers and was featured in Village Voice’s anti-Trump playlist.

The rest of the album is just as incendiary as its opening track, and it touches on subject matter that Playboy Manbaby never went anywhere near in their previous records; they have also gone farther than ever before musically with Don’t Let It Be.

“Cadillac Car” is the farthest hip-hop Playboy has ever gone, while “Oprichniki” sounds like it could as easily have been written by Devo as Playboy Manbaby. Across the record, enormous musical risks yield enormous rewards in quality and nuance.

The final tune “White Jesus” is by far Playboy Manbaby’s most political track to date. Robbie, guitarist TJ Friga, bass player Chris Hudson, trumpeter David Cosme, saxman Ricky Smash, and drummer Chad Dennis take aim at the religious right with a biting and satirical punk rock song.

The overall effect of the album is 100% punk, but there are so many influences mixed in that it almost becomes its own sub-genre, Space-Cadet Thunder Punk. This record is out there.

5/5 Stars

share on: Comments (1)

Album Review: Wolvves – “Paradox Valley”

Wolvves’ latest record Paradox Valley has been a long time coming: it was released nearly two years after the Phoenix-based afro-grunge act’s last record Whatever. But it has been well worth the wait. Stellar frontman and lead songwriter Aydin Immortal seems to have finally hit the right notes to produce a punk sound that is distinctly hip-hop and filled with all kinds of attitude.

The evolution of Wolvves from their beginnings back in 2012 to where they are today has been an adventure to say the least. But one thing that has never suffered through all four records, innumerable membership turnovers, controversy, announced breakups, and bravado has been the songwriting. And each record has shown a blatantly obvious musical maturation in the band’s only constant member, Immortal.

Paradox Valley is different enough from Wolvves’ previous work that it delivers a taste of something fresh while still remaining faithful to the sound that longtime Wolvves fans have become accustomed to. There is garage rock, surf rock, hip-hop, and grunge — all molded into an aesthetic that is still completely punk.

Immortal has always had a penchant for rhyme in his lyrics, always in an undeniably hip-hop cadence, but with this new record the brazen performer seems to abandon a lot of pretense he held onto in Whatever and Go Demon or Go Home and go balls out with the hip-hop overtones.

The album’s third track “With My Niggas” and sixth track “Into It” are great examples of how the band is going in a more hip-hop direction. They have done rap-style tracks (like “Sage” off of Whatever) in the past. But never has the group really released a straight up hip-hop song until Paradox Valley. Never fear, punk purists: there are still plenty of guitars on those tracks.

Tracks like “Ivory Drive,” “Bouquet of Lightning,” and “Harriets” do heavily resemble what the band seemed to have been going for on Whatever. They possess a dreamy, almost psychedelic, retro quality that the group had in spades on their 2014 release. But the lyrics and rhythms are coming in just a little more clearly than they did last time around.

Track 7 “Gasoline” and the album’s final track “Billie Holiday” are the two songs that give the album that signature Wolvves edge and harken back to their first release, the EP Live Forever. Both tracks hit hard and fast and make you just want to get in the mosh pit and feel the music punch you in the gut.

But “Gasoline” comes with a bridge unlike anything Wolvves has done before. It’s got to be the most emotionally evocative tracks the group has ever made, with Immortal laying bare many of his more complex emotions before letting it all break down in a blazing guitar solo.

The album is altogether amazing for a band like Wolvves who are just starting to really fight their way into the national music spotlight. The record is concise, easy to listen to all the way through, and just dripping with the same attitude that has made all of their music so engrossing. Perhaps they have reached their final form as a raucous 3-piece, or maybe Aydin Immortal still has plans to revamp his band’s sound. But either way, they are definitely heading in the right direction with Paradox Valley.

Wolvves is currently on tour and coming up fast on their first ever trip to New York City. They will play The Cake Shop on September 27th and Aviv on September 28th.

4.5 / 5 Stars

share on: Comment

Album Review: Skull Drug – “Wasted Daze”

Mesa, Arizona punks Skull Drug recently released their fourth studio effort, 5-song EP Wasted Daze, and from a band that calls its style “punk with a metal edge” it is everything you would ever expect. Power chords, blazing guitar solos, visceral lyrics, and a drummer in Wyatt Clarke who sounds like he just might beat his way through his snare and toms with his sticks.

This is the group’s first record without the services of original bass player Butch Giles, and the changeover sounds seamless in its musicianship and quality. The most notable difference between Butch and newcomer Roger St. John is the change from Butch’s ogre-like grunts to St. John’s demonic growl in the backup vocals.

The record also goes in a more personal direction lyrically than much of Skull Drug’s earlier work. Throughout the five tunes, lead singer Evan Williams really lays out a lot of his personal problems for the listener.

The first track “One Day Never Comes” sets the pace of the album perfectly. It’s a high-energy tune with a very metal musical track beneath Williams’ lyrics about his own personal growth that just never seems to happen. It’s not hugely different than Skull Drug’s previous work, but that kind of makes it great. You know exactly what to expect from the fast-paced four-piece.

Track two “Conflicted” is in the same vein, with Williams airing his mental dirty laundry about many of his personal conflicts over a driving metal track laid down by his cohorts. It’s the shortest track on the record at a blazingly fast 1 minute 36 seconds. But it slaps you in the face the entire time.

The third track on the record is obvious single “My Father’s Son.” It’s got a catchy hook played by Skull Drug’s youngest member, lead guitarist Justin “The Hoon” Waldrop, and features a memorable chorus; those demonic backing vocals by St. John really stick out during the bridge as well. I once called Skull Drug’s tune “Sleeping In” the best punk song ever made, and I stood by that until the first time I heard “My Father’s Son.” It’s not only Skull Drug’s best work but a song that deserves some national attention.

“Naive” is the only song on the record that touches on American politics, which is something the band has done on all their previous records. It’s another blazingly fast track, coming in at just under 2 minutes. But as Phoenix punk icon Andrew Jemsek once said: “No great punk song has ever been longer than 2 minutes.”

The album’s capper “Goodbye, Lola” — ode to an ugly lost love — continues the record’s theme of emotional and intellectual honesty with the listener. Williams pulls no punches with his ex-partner’s behavior during the relationship while at the same time never holding back on himself.

All in all, Skull Drug’s new record is loud, it’s fast, and it’s punk.

3.5/5 Stars

share on: Comment
Web Design - WordPress Development - WooCommerce Websites