There is a good chance you found us accidentally by using the word “taint” in your search (If you found us on purpose, you deserve our accolades). Of course we don’t know what you were looking for, but you stumbled on a damn cool project. Look around; let us help send you on a musical journey. Here you will find a number of album reviews from the strange and extreme to the tame and mainstream. Our reviewers are a bunch of obsessive miscreants. Most of us are avid music collectors and have been involved in the music world for decades. A couple of us have been in or are still in bands.
There are no rules on Tickle Your Taint Blog. Our reviewers might make you laugh, or piss you off; both results are legitimate. One reviewer might write a glowing review of an album another might tear it apart. We may end up adopting a single review system, such as five stars, or each reviewer may use his own or none at all. We may have a new review every week or we could end up with one every six months. This blog exists as a social experiment to build community among a diverse group of music maniacs – our reviewers and hopefully you. Pull down your knickers, lube up and join us in tickling yours and our taints.
If you are in a band, have released a physical (rather than an MP3) CD or record, and would like us to review your efforts, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Review by Dave
Saturday, March 17, 2012
Review by Class Warrior
I purchased this album almost twenty years ago. I remember the day I bought it - my brother came to Spokane to see me during my summer break from college. He intended to "smoke me out," as we described sharing burning cannabis way back then. Between two of our smoking sessions, we paid a visit to one of the local record stores. Back then (the early 1990s) I used to buy a lot of vinyl. I didn't have any punk rock friends, so all my purchases were hit and miss. I bought things based upon reviews in Maximum Rock 'n Roll, mostly. Sometimes they were right about an album, sometimes they were way off. Anyway, I bought this album while at the store. It had a big warning label telling the potential purchaser that it contained scandalous content, and that you shouldn't buy it if you were under eighteen years of age. No problem - I was twenty, I was sorta high, and I had some money. I had wanted to check out GG for some time, so I took it to the counter. The clerk gave me an "are you sure?" look, but she sold it to me. Maybe we listened to it while we got high, but I don't believe we did. My brother is not the GG Allin type, so I probably waited until he left to throw it on the turntable.
GG Allin was in the news right around when I bought this record. If you are not familiar with who this is, you might want to do an internet search. I will skip over his history for the sake of brevity, but I'm sure you will be entertained by his troubling tale. GG always talked about committing suicide on stage, but never did. He waited until he was done performing one fateful night to overdose on heroin. I think this happened in 1993, because I bought the record in the summer of 1994. (Don't ask me how, but I remember where and when I purchased every single record/CD in my collection, up until about 2005. Then I got too busy, I guess...) All the right people hated this guy, so I thought he might be on to something. I put the needle down and waited for the music to start....
Ugh! This sucked so bad! I got that sinking feeling in my stomach I always got (and still do) when I found out I'd thrown away good money on a piece of crap. It was so slow! And when the vocals started - this was the stupidest shit I'd ever heard! It was a collection of the most misogynistic lyrics I'd ever encountered. Throw in songs about drugs, masturbation, less-than-authentic tales of murder, and smelly butts, and it sounded like something a kid would write.
Wait a second...something that a kid would write? That gave me an idea! I bumped up the RPM from 33 to 45...
Hell yeah, it worked! Now, instead of GG and his backing "musicians" sounding like a slow, plodding bar band with an out-of-tune, no-voice dipshit fronting them, they were a fast garage punk group led by the angriest, most misguided, highway-to-hell prepubescent ever recorded! What sounded like the rantings of an idiot on regular turntable speed turned into almost-brilliant preteen invective. This kid is crazy! Hope his parents don't find out about this little project! I continued to listen, entranced by my disturbing discovery.
Probably the biggest highlight was the song "Last in Line for the Gang Bang," an almost unlistenable tune at normal speed. When you turn young GG loose...I can't even imagine a little boy even thinking about such things, let alone singing about them in such a crude fashion. I cannot quote lyrics from this song in good conscience, as this is a Wholesome Family Blog (and I don't want everyone to know that I've heard such things), but I'm sure you can imagine what someone would sing about in a song with this title. Stupidity turns into can't-turn-away shock and hilarity, all with the flick of a switch!
"Sleeping in My Piss" and "Anti Social Masterbator" (sic) are two more tunes that benefited greatly from taking a whip to the drummer and dosing GG's drugs with youth serum. Of course, when a kid sings about napping in his own urine, you might think you have a chronic bed-wetter on your hands. Nope, it's just little GG drinking too much again!
Drink, puke, pass out, I fuckin' do it every night.
I wake up in a pool of piss
Can't control my bladder or my alcohol appetite!
Here's another verse from the same masterpiece:
I drink so much whiskey, it saturates my body.
When I'm falling on the ground, I'm pissing on myself again...
Young GG needs some serious help. This need is evidenced further by the song "Dope Money:"
I'll steal for it
And I'll lie for it
I'll let you suck my cock for it (CW: how generous!)
I'll fuck you up the ass for it (CW: I don't think GG understands how this works...)
Just give me dope, give me dope money
So I can bang it up
If I could turn back time (thank you, Cher), I could warn young GG that he should stay away from the drugs. Then he could have lived on to produce some more female-hating castrato scuzz punk. We would all be, um, richer for this.
This album played at 33 RPM receives 1 punk point. I can almost guarantee you will not like it, nor should you. People love this guy - I don't understand it. If you want to rebel, try being a socialist or an anarchist instead. You'll be much more of a threat that way. Played at the neo-proper 45, however, it gets a full ten punk points on the first listen, then five the next. It eventually settles in at 2 punk points. The novelty wears off after a while, I'm afraid. And the lyrics don't get any smarter when a child sings them instead of a grown man who should know better.
This album makes buying a turntable worth the expense, though.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Review by Class Warrior
I am a fool. A complete and utter fool. I bought a house that is a twenty-minute drive away from where I work. Fine - a lot of people live much farther from their work than that. What's the problem, you ask? First of all, I don't drive to work - I ride the city bus. It takes me an hour and twenty minutes to get from my house to the university where I work. Not only that, but I paid more for the privilege of arranging my life in such a time-sucking way. I could have bought a house a five minute walk from my place of employment for thirty or forty thousand dollars less. To make matters even worse, the house Mrs. Warrior and I bought is depreciating in value. If we tried to sell it now, we would have to conduct a "short sale" - we owe more on the property than it is worth. Then I think about all the fucking maintenance that I need to perform - sand and repaint the decks (yes, I said "decks," as in plural decks - jealous? You shouldn't be - I only get to enjoy them two months out of the year, thanks to snow, wind, and mosquitoes.), replace malfunctioning light fixtures, clean the carpets, replace the hot water heater...the list goes on. Deer are so thick here (almost as thick as the mosquitoes) that I can't grow a garden without surrounding everything with a ten-foot-high fence topped with concertina wire. It's too cold for gardening, anyway - the first frost last year was on SEPTEMBER 15. Fuck. Finally, the job I took does not pay me enough. Student loans and Republican legislatures are eating away at my salary. As a result, in 2011 I ended up paying more out than I took in. This trend continues in 2012, and shows no sign of abatement.
To make matters even worse, on occasion the bus runs late, so I miss my connection in downtown Frozen City. This makes my commute almost two hours when going home, and two and a half hours when I head to work. For those of you familiar with Oregon, I could drive from Eugene to Portland in less time. The latest incident occurred a couple of weeks ago - by the time I got to the Warrior abode, I was shaking with anger. Anger mostly directed at myself.
What a fool.
Every cloud has a silver lining, according to conventional wisdom. Every pile of excrement turns into rich, crumbly compost. (If you let it, that is. Humanure - look into it, you eco-criminal.) On days when I don't need to or don't feel like reading, grading exams, etc. while on the bus, I put on my headphones. The album I've turned to most often in the past year and a half is Blyth Power's Alnwick & Tyne.
For those of you who don't know, Blyth Power is an English band. Joseph Porter, the band founder and only consistent member, is a veteran of the UK peace punk scene of the late seventies and early eighties. He formed Blyth Power in 1983 and has kept it going for almost thirty years. The cast of characters surrounding Joseph's drum kit and microphone has changed radically since they started, but the band keeps cranking out high-quality music. Alnwick & Tyne is, beyond any doubt, their best album.
Their music is difficult to describe or classify into a specific genre. The best I can do is "Blyth Power Rock." They sound like Blyth Power. Not a punk band, not a rock group, not folk, certainly not folk-punk (complete aside: if you are contemplating listening to any band that labels itself "folk-punk," do this instead: run in the opposite direction, but try to smash their record/CD/mp3s under your bootheel with your first fleet step. Remember: smash and run!)...Blyth Power sounds like Blyth Power. There are lots of interesting parts that you would not find in a standard rock or punk album - I will provide more detail on this feature in a bit.
Joseph's lyrics are, quite simply, wonderfully puzzling. They are prose - full of metaphor, English medieval history, anarchy, war, drinking, powdered periwigs, and love of trains. Interesting, thoughtful, thought-provoking lyrics are just fine with me. For the most part, however, I don't know what the hell he's talking about.
Joseph is not the best part of this album - the female backup singers are. What? That's right. Their names are Jamie Hince (of the late 80s British punk band DAN) and Helen Rush. I'll bet you're thinking something along these lines right now: "Female backup singers? How cliche! Is this Prince or something?" You could not be more wrong. This album FALLS APART without the backup singers. They are the backbone. They are the base. They create harmonies with Joseph and each other in such a beautiful way that the songs are taken to the sought-after next level. Good songs become great, great songs are turned into transcendent moments.
The album contains three perfect songs (i.e., the "transcendent moments" mentioned last paragraph). Yes, perfect. I would change nothing about them. Perfect. They are "McArthur" (one of those songs where I have no clue what Joseph just said), "Better to Bat," and the title song. "McArthur" starts with the following lines, sung by Hince and Rush:
As the sun goes down McArthur drives a plow
And the steel-shod hooves of the heavy horses beat
A furrow in his brow
Shredding rosaries he turns the aching clay
McArthur's farce will live to fight...(Joseph) on another day.
Joseph sings an octave higher than usual on this song, and when he trades vocals on and off with Jamie and Helen...oh, wow. It makes my spine tingle every time. This is one of those songs I could listen to over and over...trust me, I have done so. The bus commute is a long one. I've probably heard this song more than a hundred times at this point.
"Better to Bat" (a cricket reference) begins with church bells, then the guitar starts, and in comes Joseph, and...the vocal harmonies begin again...this is just amazing, folks.
Okay, the lyrics to the song "Alnwick & Tyne" make a bit more sense to me. Joseph refers to it as a "bodice ripper," which works well as a description. It's a tale of deceit and treachery in medieval England. Fun stuff, especially for a nerd like me. This is one of the more straight-ahead rockers on the album. There is plenty of power chord riffage here. The highlight of this song (though the whole thing is, as I said earlier, perfect) is the midpoint where the drums stop and the vocal harmonies begin:
How we laughed once and how we sang and how we raised the rafters
God will grant us good sometimes and God will grant disaster
God will bid us time to pass and says manners maketh man
If God will give me one more chance, then I will prove the master.
Hey - if you want to play along on your guitar, piano, digeridoo (no...please, don't), hurdy-gurdy, or whatever instrument you have, Joseph provides the chords on the band's website. You'll have to find your own backup singers.
Most of the other songs are just a step below these three. Some highlights include: a 3/4 waltz breakdown (or is it 6/8? I've been out of junior high band for too long!) and singing of different lyrics at the same time by Joseph and Jamie/Helen on "The Thin Red Line;" the dual guitar solo (hello Iron Maiden!) and pseudo-reggae interlude of "Right Hand Man;" and the heavy-duty guitar hook in "Summer Song." A couple of songs are not quite as good as the rest, but I will leave you to figure out what those are. You will hear no negative words from I.
Alnwick & Tyne is a fantastic slice of Blyth Power Rock. If I make it to England anytime soon, one of my first missions will be to find out when and where Blyth Power are playing, then plan the trip accordingly. I don't think I'll be doing any international travel anytime soon because of my stupid expensive money pit house. And student loans, but let's not discuss that. I am such a fool.
I tickled my taint for nine and a half minutes! Almost a full ten minutes, but, like I said, a couple of songs are not quite as good.