cleveland - The I-94 Bar

Archie and the Bunkers – Archie and the Bunkers (Dirty Water)

archie bunkersLet’s get it out of the way, up front. The two members of Archie and The Bunkers are teenage brothers from Cleveland, Ohio, who live with their parents. You need to know because media types will get hung up on that fact if and when these kids get better known.

That neither 17-year-old Emmett (on drums and vocals) or 14-year-old Cullen (organ and vocals) O'Connor is old enough to ask for booze on their backstage rider doesn’t matter. Not a jot. They pump out simple, and simply good, stripped-back punk sounds that are bereft of bullshit.

Bloodbath of Fuzz - 45 Spider (self released)

bloodbath of fuzzRockabilly guitarist Grady Martin is widely credited as the father of fuzz, taking Link Wray’s dirty tone a step further in the early ‘60s, thanks to a faulty pre-amp. "Red" Rhodes made the first distortion pedal for his friends in The Ventures. Add 100 watt amps to the picture and the rest is tinnitus. 

45 Spider - so named for the adapter used to make big-hole seven-inch singles work on a turntable spindle - should build a monument to Martin and Rhodes in their home town of Cleveland, Ohio. Their “Bloodbath of Fuzz” is 17 songs long and you won’t find a clean guitar note hiding anywhere.

A fuzzed-up cover of The Gentlemen’s “It’s a Cry’n Shame” opens the album and sets the scene: Meaty guitar and bouncy rhythms behind Ms Hadley K’s cute-sultry vocal. The template was designed long ago but it still works. 45 Spider plays a mix of semi-obscure covers and their own songs and if not familiar with the originals, it’s hard to tell the difference. That’s a compliment.