Psssssst…..don’t tell anyone but The Monsters may just be the wildest, most uncompromising manic high priests of unhinged and trashy garage rock in the world, or at the least Switzerland. There are a lot of names you can throw up in opposition (Guitar Wolf the most prominent) but I simply won’t believe it until my own abused and bleeding ears tell me so.
beat-man - The I-94 Bar
Existential Hangover - These Things (Dirtyflair Record Company)
Three albums in and These Things just made their own patch of swamp in Australia just a little deeper.
These Things have nailed it with “Existential Hangover”. Crawling king snake fuzz intersects with patches of clean guitar against a no-nonsense backbeat. If Mudhoney crept out of a recycling depot in a rural Victorian town and went on an absinthe bender with Reverend Beat-Man, they’d sound like this.
Izobel Garcia’s collaboration with Reverend Beat-Man was one of the best things on the latter’s most recent album, “Blues Trash”, so a full-length long-player from the pair was always going to be a tasty prospect. Those high hopes have been met.
“Baile Bruja Muerto” (translation: "Dance Witch Death") evokes colours of a dark hue; West Coast Mex cool meets decadent garage trash. Gospel, swamp and skronk meet in a parking lot to imbibe god knows what.
Ms Garcia is an L.A. artist of Mexican descent with a stunning voice. Beat-Man is a frequent visitor to the City of Lights as he has relatives in the area. The pair met at a downtown rock and roll gig. Beat-Man picked Izobel for a musician because she looked odd. It takes one to know one.
After 30 albums or so under a variety of monikers, Beat-Man could take the easy way out and keep churning out records of garage skronk. You know, music to kill any party, as the label slogan goes. Instead, he’s continuing to take chances.
The Swiss madman's brief with this project was simple: Pick a collaborator and play them a song once. Set the tape running. Use the first or second take. No overdubs. No arguments.
The Reverend describes the album as “a mix of blues trash, new wave folk and dark no wave garage punk and rock'n'roll”. No arguments. Stylistically speaking, “Blues Trash” IS all over the shop. The bands behind him and his friends range from minimal duos to full-blown folk groups.
Down The Shops – Even (Cheersquad Records and Tapes)
Even’s newest release, “Down The Shops” is a collection of covers recorded and released between 1996 and 2019.
Many appeared on Even‘s CD and vinyl singles and others are better known from tribute albums. The songs are a mixture of studio recordings and live performances.
While the selection of songs points to obvious influences- Kinks, Beatles, Yardbirds, Master’s Apprentices - it also encompasses less obvious sources such as the MC5 and the Sex Pistols.
Volume 5: A Label Compilation to Ruin Any Party – Various Artists (Voodoo Rhythm)
A good judge once said that when Voodoo Rhythm releases are good, they’re very good. If you’re applying the label motto, “Music to ruin any party”, this compilation borders on great. Mind you, you’re also inviting the wrong kind of people to your knees-ups.
Voodoo Rhythmis resuming its compilation series after a long lay-off and there’s no better place for the uninitiated to dive in.
Garage Rock is such an overused term. Voodoo Rhythm trade in it – and then some. If it’s not too ableist, let’s call their catalogue “Helen Keller Mistaking a Vegetable Slicer for a Braille Textbook” and be done with it. The aural output is typically raw, violent and bloody.
They’ve spent years trying to smell like rotting prawns in a hot European sun and on their newest album, the succinctly titled “M”, Swiss garage-trash combo The Monsters can finally lay claim to being tighter than a fish’s arse.
“M” celebrates 30 years of fuzz mania with a dozen songs of dubious intent that are delivered with grim precision. Some of this stuff makes a Helmet record sound sloppy, You couldn’t insert a cigarette paper between the furious boogie riffing of “Dig My Hair” or the dramatic “I Don’t Want You Anymore” if you tried (although why you’d want to do that is beyond me.) At the same time, The Monsters manage to sound unpolished.
You’re Class, I’m Trash – The Monsters (Voodoo Rhythm)
Two weeks to write, a fortnight to record - cynics would doubt both claims - and the eighth album from these Swiss lunatics is testament to what you can achieve when you set out to annoy the living shit out of audiences.
“You’re Class, I’m Trash” is unadulterated fuzz guitar abrasion, a boil on the arse of commercially safe and bland music, with occasional diversions into sonic weirdness. And it sounds fucking great.
It’s a re-issue from the mid-‘90s but most of us missed it the first time around. The Monsters are from Switzerland and that put them at a serious disadvantage in places like the USA, where they did attempt to break only to find they were swimming against the tide, no tsunami, of grunge.
he Monsters are right up there with the likes of The Mummies, Thee Headcoats and a handful of others setting a benchmark for trashy lo-fi rock and roll. That’ll become obvious with even a cursory listen to “The Jungle Noise Recordings”, now in expanded form with extra tracks.This is perfect junkyard fodder.
On the approach to the world's oddest rock and roll label's 30th anniversary, Voodoo Rhythm Records is marking the milestone with a return to its compilation series.
“Vol. 5” is the Swiss cult label’s first collection since 2013 ,and will showcase 15 tracks of new and old cuts from a global stable of outlier artists in the punk, garage, one-man band, cumbia, psychedelic, and country folk-trash genres.
The bands featured hail from Europe, America, and Japan. They range fromn the amphetamine n' vinyl fetishes of The Devils, the lonesome drifter country-trash ballads of Trixie & The Trainwrecks, the heroin-groove reverb of francophones Destination Lonely, and the dark, rural folk orchestrations of The Dead Brothers.
This limited edition compilation will be an exclusive vinyl release with an animated, live-action illustration by Bucharest-based artist Andy "Sinboy" Luke. You can view Sinboy's portfolio, including his gig posters, animation clips, and graffiti work. “Vol. 5” is out in October and pre-orders are here.
A compilation of 17 of the most bent, raucous and screwed up lo-fi musical artists from New Zealand? Sounds like a concept worth bottling and who better than Switzerland’s Voodoo Rhythm to bring it on?