After the release of The Mad Doctors’ second album (the excellent ‘No Waves, Just Sharks‘), the Brooklyn garage rockers released a few standalone tracks that helped cement their cult status. Nearer the end of that year, their ‘Yeungling Malmsteen’ showed off their uglier side on a number loaded with buzzsaw guitar riffs and a world of distortion; 2018’s less than subtle ‘Fuck Sean Hannity’ took a rare detour into the political realm where the band sounded angrier than ever and the dark and bluesy ‘Sister Act II…’ presented some great basslines mixed with an almost space-rock trippiness.
Formed in 2015 by one-time Gotohells man Edo McGrady and guitarist/performance artist Melissa DuCasse, Cheap Gunslingers set about creating a sound that blended garage rock riffs with a few power pop hooks and plenty of fuzz. By the time of recording their debut LP four years later, Melissa wasn’t such a big player within the band, appearing only on three tracks (and two of those are for backing vocals), but between McGrady’s sheer sense of drive and a pleasingly dirty sound, the Cheap Gunslingers were far from depleted.
Basic Bitches began as a band in 2014 but it would be another four years until a stable line up was established. That line up featuring Naomi Scott (gtr/vox) and Krystal Grow (drums) entered the recording studio soon after and the resulting EP ‘Relatable Content’ was released to an unsuspecting world in the Spring of 2019.
Its four numbers offer the finest in hard garage rock sounds, recorded in such a way that the loud end of the drums and the fuzz from the guitar give off a very natural and live sound. Unlike some similar bands you might come across in your quests for relatively lo-fi goodness, though, there’s just enough polish to ensure Basic Bitches don’t ever sound like they’ve been recorded on a portable cassette deck from the far end of the room.
Following Fall founder Mark E. Smith’s death in 2018, Cherry Red Records expanded and reissued the ‘50,000 Fall Fans…’ compilation, adding nineteen bonus tracks to bring it up to date, making it the most comprehensive Fall compilation ever. It was an ideal starting point for new listeners. News that there would be other Fall reissues in the future was met with keenness. The first of that reissue campaign – now dubbed “The Fall Sound” – goes right back to the beginning with expanded editions of 1978’s ‘Live At The Witch Trials’ and 1979’s ‘Dragnet’.
Social media is a wonderful tool. It can connect us with people across the globe; amuse us, inspire us and introduce us to music and films that might have otherwise escaped our notice. There’s a joy in interacting with people we wouldn’t otherwise meet – through being victims of geography, rather than any desire to do so – and discussing cult bands at length. As anyone moving in such circles will attest, conversations about Pink Floyd, Marillion and the Grateful Dead can effectively seem endless.
The negative side of social media is that to find the gold, we have to sift through the mundane, the verbal attacks, the political tensions and the endless moaning. Only last week, an insightful soul on Twitter suggested that if television was once considered “the idiots lantern”, then the internet could well be “the shitbag’s mirror”, effectively reflecting the bad side of all of us. It’s easy to pour scorn and derision on everything from a keyboard when you don’t have to hold your own in a face to face argument.