About Us


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 tickleyourtaint@yahoo.com

Monday, December 30, 2013

Festivus Grievances 2013


It has been a rough year for many of the taint ticklers. Folks have been exhausted and run into the ground. Fortunately, many of us took a few minutes to air musical grievances. Afterall, festivus is a holiday for the rest of us, and it is time for “here’s what is pissing me off this year” in music.

Anita Papsmear:

1. The record label name: Jagjaguawar. I do not have an issue with the bands they sign. I happen to like a lot of the bands on their roster: Foxygen, Lia Ices, Dinosaur Jr., and the musicians behind one of my favorite 2013 CDs, Unknown Mortal Orchestra. But the name itself, Jagjaguwar, is just annoying. So is the label name, Reverberation Appreciation Society. Perhaps it is my simple little mind that has trouble comprehending these long names, but I do long for simpler times.

2. My second musical grievance for 2013 is overly lengthy CD and song titles. A partial list includes:

Jim James, “Regions Of Light & Sound Of God.” It does not flow off the tongue.

Foxygen, “We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace & Magic.” Really?

Haunted Hearts, “Something That Feels So Bad Is Something That Feels So Right.” Sigh.

Neko Case, “The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You.” This gets my vote for most tedious.

In retrospect, the first two do not seem all that bad. At least, they are not as bad as grievance 3. I still do not understand it…

3. Taylor Swift.


Class Warrior:

I cannot ignore this huge problem that has developed in my life. In the past two years, I have seen a grand total of one live music concert. Two, if you count my son's preschool choral performance last week. What is wrong with me? How deep is the rut into which I have fallen?

The one show I saw was earlier this year. It was inadvertent. I was at a conference in Reno. I went to a brewpub with Five-Inch Taint and my friend Vik-ing (I gave him an awesome pseudonym!) to hang out. After a while a two-piece wife-and-husband team showed up to play an acoustic set. The three of us ended up staying the entire time. We closed out the bar while shouting for covers of eighties songs (the band obliged on at least one occasion) and drinking more than was good for us. I had the time of my life!

What is keeping me from doing more of this?

Is it the threat of diminished hearing capacity? I just had a hearing check—the doctor told me my hearing is about ten percent worse than normal for someone my age, which is not as bad as I feared. There are no worries about my ears, so I have permission from Modern Medicine to crank it up to eleven (or maybe nine and a half).

Is it overwork? Well, I am pretty tired when 9:30 rolls around, and since most shows take place at night, well, you can do the math.

Is it the place I live? This does have something to do with it, but it is not like there are zero bands in Frozen City. I just have to expand my repertoire a bit.

Is it the fact that I have a child? Maybe. One of us has to stay home with him while he sleeps. Mrs. Warrior is not exactly a night owl, but, well...holy shit, I am in a deep rut!

My festivus grievance is the lifestyle of Class Warrior. This is one grievance over which I have the power to change. I am not an old man. I am going to alter this sad state of affairs. Next year I will go to at least two live music events on purpose!


Dave:

1. Subgenres: Why do they exist? Who is interested in collecting all these albums by all these bands that sound exactly the same? I try not to be a music snob, but authenticity and unique elements of character are important to my interest in music…. Now if a band does not fit a standard genre meme defined on the web, they do not have much of a chance. More blast beats and break downs for everyone yeeeaaaaarrrrooorrrrgh....

2. Analogue record snobs: Okay, this one is simple. Go get your favorite vintage Sabbath/Zeppelin/Ratt etc. record. Put the fucker on the turntable and then pull up a stream of a compressed mp3 of an album made in the last 5 years with some sort of non- tube digital processing. The compressed digital audio file will have more volume, clarity, and separation than your pristine analogue stereophonic cultural artifact. Technology is a good thing, I am tired of hearing your vintage blathering.

3. A couple weeks ago, I was talking to a friend about new American metal bands. I was trying to show him a couple bands that I thought were good. We pulled up a youtube video of a band called Job For A Cowboy. To cut to the quick, as we are discussing the music the scene cuts to a strung out looking man pushing a young boy to the ground and cutting him open with a box knife. Our response, “Fuck No.” And we turned it off. What is up with extreme metal bands making the gross out videos? I am not cool with losing my lunch trying to check out some interesting new metal release.  

4. Does anything come out of Europe besides power metal or black metal? This goes back to grievance 3.

5. Why are most new American bands now death metal bands? Who thinks they can put out a more brutal album than Pig Destroyer or Cannibal Corpse? Good fucking luck.


Five-Inch Taint:

Hey Pitchfork, you suck! Myself and my friends, Georg Simmel and Thorstein Veblen, all think that you represent what is wrong with music today. Reading your reviews all year and then finally seeing your top 50 albums of the year it has become quite clear that your reviewers and everyone involved with Pitchfork actually do not like music. Rather, a combination of your pretentious reviews and obnoxious music festivals has turned you into an agent of fashion. In the words of Thorstein Veblen, Pitchfork media has elevated music into the realm of pecuniary beauty. For Veblen, there is a difference between pecuniary beauty and aesthetic beauty. Objects that have pecuniary beauty are serviceable to the extent that they help establish forms and styles that help generate and perpetuate economic and social hierarchies. Pecuniary beauty purports to be aesthetic beauty, but really is just wasteful. Pitchfork media, and the general demise of the “independentness” of Indie Rock, is much more interested in selling tickets to its ridiculous music festival and lining the already fat pockets of mainstream record labels. Music’s saleability, as opposed to any substantive importance, becomes the basis for a good review. (Just check out their top 50 albums of the year and you will see what I’m talking about).

Pitchfork media is much more interested in being fashionable and generating new tastes for the hip generation of music listeners than it is in actually reviewing good music. They are much more interested in telling you why Arcade Fire is a greater band than some other Indie drivel because, again, it helps to promote their festival. Something tragic happens once you get caught up in the cycles of fashion and become a leader in that same cycle. Georg Simmel’s discussion of fashion highlights the problem with this in his discussion of fashion and the adornment of style. Fashion, first of all, can only be directed by a part of a group (excluding, by definition) the vast majority of people in deciding what is fashionable. Fashion, furthermore, is defined by its distinctiveness. However, once it becomes universal it is no longer fashion. Every growth of fashion towards universal acceptance, then, leads to its own destructiveness. Fashion, therefore, is full of limitations and is always in a state of transition. At the same time fashion brings together a small group of people while separating that group from others. This is what Pitchfork media does. It is constantly trying to find the new fashionable music—in an effort to make more money—moving it further away from actually reviewing music. Pitchfork has become elitism for the sake of being elite while expanding the realm of music that it does not appreciate. Essentially, what you are left with is a constant stream of empty reviews that benefits the mainstream labels that Indie music is now released on at the expense of people who enjoy good music.

Pitchfork media, you are a cancer. Go fuck yourself!

One other small grievance goes out to a music venue, “In the Venue,” in Salt Lake City. Every time I go to see a show there you make me empty out my pockets and then you take the pens that I have in there. I have lost so many pens because of you! And for what purpose? I’m not going to make your shitty venue even worse by writing on the walls. Despite my lack of artistic ability or poetic wit I believe whatever I would adorn your walls with would be an improvement. I’ve resorted to hiding my pens in the crack of my butt to get into your venue. Frankly, pens are not the type of butt plugs that I’m interested in. So, fuck you “In the Venue.” You owe me a lot of pens.


Jimmy “Explosive Diarrehea” B:

The Hawthorne Theater continues to get the best metal shows in Portland, OR. But, their sound system continues to be complete shit. A friend of mine compared the sound to that of farting in a box, which is very apt.

Lou Reed passed this past year. By the media frenzy, you would think he was the greatest musician/songwriter in the history of rock and roll. Lou Reed’s death should have garnered a few minutes of reflection, rather than the two-week long lament we witnessed. Reed may have had six good songs—John Hiatt has that many on one side of every album—in his entire 50-year music career, and those were all with the Velvet Underground forty years ago.

Randy Newman was inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of fame in 2013. What the fuck? Quick, can you name a Randy Newman song? Yeah, I can’t either. He is the wanker who recorded that song “Short People” in the ‘70s. Fucking awful!

Portland, Oregon’s so called music fans deserve some vitriol this Festivus season. I went to see Melt Banana, Nasalrod, and Kinski at Dantes. Kinski, a brilliant live band, put on one hell of a show. And, the fuck-tards in the audience actually booed them. Holy shit, they rocked the fuck out while displaying amazing skill and creativity, and they were actually heckled. Usually Portland crowds are very kind to artists, too kind in fact, but this time I felt embarrassed and ashamed to have been a member of this audience of inbred dumb-fucks.

Another year has passed without Stinking Lizaveta playing a show within driving distance of my home.

I saw Blue Oyster Cult at the Marion County Fair in Salem, Oregon. It was obvious that the band was exhausted, and I am willing to cut them some slack for not bantering with the audience as much as they usually do, but it is unforgivable that Buck Dharma cut short the guitar solo in “Don’t Fear the Reaper.” Actually Buck, I forgive you, but don’t ever fucking do it again.


Kloghole:

(forthcoming)


Null:

My grievances this year are basically the same as last year.

Digital Music/Virtual Music: The music industry continues to focus most of its effort on digital releases and the consumers tend to follow. There were a plethora of releases that only came out in a digital format this year on both big and small labels. I do realize that digital formats allow smaller labels to provide music that they cannot afford to print—I recognize that, but the death of the physical copy becomes increasingly sad in a world where the real continues to get replaced by the virtual.

Shit Quality CD-Rs: Related to the topic above, no one makes high quality CD-Rs anymore—so if you want to burn a physical copy of a downloaded album onto a CD-R, well, that CD-R will only last you a couple of years. The virtual wins again. Nothing is built to last anymore. Our music dies with our “planned obsolescence” digital devices. At least some of the metal and underground labels continue to ensure that LPs and CDs are being printed for “hardcore,” old-school motherfuckers, like me.

Tunes in TV Commercials: The state of musical integrity has gotten so low that bands don’t even think twice about allowing their music to be used for corporate advertising. I could understand it if an artist is starving and needs to make ends meet; they are backed into a corner. However, this is rarely the case. Most of the songs and musicians I see and hear advertising for corporations are already rich or hugely popular, which only makes their actions that much more disgusting. I never imagined I would see Wayne Coyne on TV commercials or Ice Cube in a Coors commercial or Erykah Badu in a Hennessy advertisement; she doesn’t even drink. The list of disappointments is exhausting.

Acts of God: I have seen Bad Religion a number of times. I am almost always in the front row and the shows are always great. However, during Riot Fest this year, I was with some friends of mine waiting at the front of the stage for Bad Religion to appear. Then, like a scene out of the Old Testament, the skies darkened and a hellish cold wind threatened to knock over the rigging and crush the audience. Everyone was evacuated from the grounds and had to wait in their cars as the rain fell in sheets and turned the parking lot into a mud pool. By the time the weather let up, we made our way back to the stage to only find ourselves leagues away from the front. Bad Religion arrived and played a short set. They were good, I think. I was so far away that it seemed like a bad dream that I was watching from afar. It was bad enough that Greg Hetson wasn’t present due to an extended leave from Bad Religion for personal / family issues (even though his replacement, Mike Dimkich, is a fine guitar player in his own right and did a great job), but the show kinda sucked for me. Not the bands’ fault. I just pretend it never happened. I didn’t get to really see Bad religion this year.

Rolling Stone interview with Bob Dylan: This interview came out in late 2012. I love Bob Dylan. He has written more great songs than most singer/songwriters could ever dream of. However, it has been many years since the days of his socially conscious work of the early and mid-sixties. Let us not forget the powerful and colorful music he made at that time. He made important music and wrote striking beautiful love songs. Since those years, Dylan has fluctuated form making horrible records to brilliant ones; rarely do we know what lies around the next corner. That could be one of Dylan’s charms. Sadly, his 2012 interview with Rolling Stone magazine illustrated that Dylan has virtually nothing to say to humanity and has even less to say about the state of the world anymore. Sometimes, he has some interesting insights into musical history, in which his roots are deep, but he seems to always be noncommittal and ends up in some weird, confusing quagmire of unspecific hazy nonsense. In this interview he went off about “transfiguration” with a dead Hell’s Angel, Sonny Zimmerman – Zimmerman / motorcycles / 1966—get it? Yeah, I just lost him. Bob Dylan has left the building.



Scott:

1. Neko Case’s new album, the stupid title of which I won’t even bother to type out here. This isn’t a bad album at all—but I can’t help feeling that her best songs are the ones that have a strong country or Americana flavor. Sometimes she swerves too far into bland indie rock, which seems to happen a lot on this album. Maybe I need to digest it some more, but right now it feels, not like a failure by any stretch, but a let-down.

2. Kirk Windstein quitting Down. Although this means he’s spending more time on Crowbar (great news), and sounds like it was an important life decision for him, sobriety-wise (good for him), I can’t imagine Down without Kirk Windstein. Will it mean the end of the band? Will Pepper Keenan rejoin Corrosion of Conformity? Will there be another new Crowbar album soon? We’ll see what 2014 has in store, but one thing is certain—it’s the end of an era.

3. My Ultimate #1 Grievance of 2013: I saw the Americanarama tour with Bob Dylan, Wilco, My Morning Jacket, and Ryan Bingham. I had a great spot for the latter two bands, right up in the front, but ended up about a mile away from the stage, standing on the grass, for Dylan and Wilco. While Dylan was playing—snarling into the microphone from what I could tell, but that’s cool—I moved over to the side of the grass for a better look. It was pretty hard to see anything happening on stage. I looked down and noticed, lying on his side, a young preppy looking guy, passed out near my feet. One too many Heinekens I guess. He seemed fine so I looked back up toward the stage, squinting to get a glimpse of Bob himself. Then, I heard a sputtering sound. Preppy boy had puked all over my shoes and ankles. I ran off to get some napkins and PB’s buddy carried him away, into the night. My shoes were ruined and I left early. A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall indeed. 


SoDak:

1. Talkative, noisey fuckers at shows: I try to position myself at concerts, so I can focus on the band and the music. I am sure that I can be temperamental—call it is character flaw.  But I do get very annoyed, when there are a group of assholes who listen to the one song they want to hear and then talk through the rest of the show.

2. Pushing and running through a crowd: This issue seems more prevalent at metal and punk rock shows. I cannot stand being at a show, when all of sudden someone plows into my back, as they push there way to the front or jumps into the pit. I do not have an issue with slam dancing. But someone is just being an asshole, when he or she runs through people who are not expected to get hit.

3. Wild Roses: This band opened for Swingin Utters. They played sleazy L.A. rock music and were horrible. But I would have been fine with this. What was really annoying was that during their entire set, they kept talking about how the opening acts were so good that they had to actually work harder. Yes, the opening bands were much better. Even trying, Wild Roses would still suck. Too bad their mouths were not sown shut, so we did not have to be subjected to their constant reminders that they were actually trying to play.

4. Flaming Lips: I was looking forward to seeing them play. Had heard they were good live. I was a little worried, given that I really hated their recent record, The Terror, which to my ear is meaningless ambient noise. (I do like many of their earlier records.) They took the stage after a long wait, so various stage props could be set up. They proceeded to play boring songs, without any real hooks. Wayne Coyne made vocal noises, which did not add to the songs. The show was filled with cheap gimmicks, confetti, and flashing lights. It was tortuous. I had to leave before the show was over.

5. Bonus Songs: The release of multiple versions of the same record is out of hand. Several of the major box stores have special editions with extra songs. It is maddening. If the songs are good and they should be on the album, release it that way. Stop with all the fuckin’ gimmicks.

6. Musicians in Commercials: The line of musical whores gets longer each year—Iggy Pop, Ice Cube, Wayne Coyne, Taylor Swift, and on and on.

7. Disappointing/Bad Albums: Iron and Wine managed to put out another shitty record with Ghost on Ghost. Shocking how horrible the last couple records are. As noted above, Flaming Lips, The Terror, is a meaningless piece of drivel. Jim James put out a lackluster record with Regions of Light and Sound of God. I was very disappointed by Arcade Fire’s Reflektor. My wife, who loved the previous record, asked me to take the new record out of the player, as she hated it. Mark Kozelek and Jimmy Lavelle took a shit with Perils from the Sea. The electronic-oriented songs detracted from Kozelek’s songwriting.


Travis:

(forthcoming)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Lynyrd Skynyrd - (Pronounced 'leh-'nérd 'skin-'nérd)

(MCA, 1973)
Reviewed by Kloghole

I want to apologize for not producing a review in a while, but I have been embroiled in a bunch of bullshit at work keeping me from doin’ the shit I love.  Well, today, I decided just to fuck off a bit, lay on the couch with the dogs and listen to Molly Hatchet radio on Pandora.  I am not sure if you picked up on it yet, but I am a redneck - a fucking redneck if you prefer.  I identify with songs like Long Haired Country Boy and Long Haired Redneck, but I have to admit I have a fundamental flaw - a few college degrees.  Although James McMurtry quoted a friend who said “a good ole boy can become an intellectual, but an intellectual cannot become a good ole boy,” there is a certain degree of distance that develops when someone hands you a worthless piece of paper with a name from some fancy-smancy book-learning place on it.

I really do not fit in anywhere.  I think that is the definition of someone who is attracted to punk, metal, or some other form of music that “nobody” listens to.  I don’t fit in very well with my roots, but the soil on my boots ensures that I do not fit with the middle-class, self-rightous, fucktard academics that litter college campuses.  Don’t get me wrong, there are some really great people that end up at universities, but they tend to be the exception instead of the rule.

I knew that the chasm between me and the rest of the folks where I work was becoming insurmountable when I returned from my Mother’s funeral.  I had just watched her take her last few tortured breaths a few weeks before a colleague asked me, “Did you have a great break?”  No, I did not have a fucking great break.  Y’all can go fuck yourselves.  Every time these fucking assholes pat themselves on the back about how close we are as a department, I think of that stupid fucking question, and I want to fucking wretch.

So, when my brother’s trailer burned to the fucking ground last year, you can imagine all the support I received from my fellows.  I will spare you the details of their latest fucking assholishness, but it is safe to say that as I was sifting through the ashes of my brother’s home, they could be counted on to ratchet up their fucking bullshit.

To make bearable the task of trying to sort through the mounds of ashes for any little remnant of salvageable detritus, I did two things: bought a bottle of cheap fucking whiskey, and blasted tunes out of my car stereo.  My brother was trying to find his cat amidst the rubble, or more optimistically, on the property somewhere.  As we sorted through the house, we began a large bonfire to consume the bits and pieces of shit that didn’t completely incinerate.  I was pulling charred 2x4's out of a debris pile off the back of the trailer when I spotted a white tube about a foot long pinned under one of the studs.  When I saw it, I knew immediately what it was.  Years earlier, my brother had found some of my Mother’s sketches rolled up and stored above the dryer.  He showed them to me one day and put them back on that top shelf.  I picked up the tube and carefully unrolled a portion to reveal the scorched sketches.  Although each sketch was burned through at one point or another, they were surprisingly intact.  We lost a lot of my Mother’s artwork in that fire.  Those sketches were just some of the illogical shit I saw in the aftermath of the fire.  Computers were reduced to dust except for the case, but just a few feet away, there is a fucking intact butter dish lid!  WTF???

We worked through the day and into the night.  It was dark, and my brother still had not found his cat.  I was working on picking through piles in my old bedroom.  It was my brother’s reloading room, so it had a lot of ammo, powder, and casings.  Since it was dark, I misstepped right into the hole in the middle of the room.  I sank all the way up to my balls in soot, nails, and busted studs.  A few moments after wresting myself loose from the hole, I heard my brother say something I couldn’t understand.  I asked, “what?”, but I heard something that made me start walking toward him.  When I got closer and knelt beside him, he said, “I found Tip.  We’ve been walking over her all day.”  She was behind what was the bedroom door.  Barely illuminated from the shop lights, I saw what I thought was wiring from the house.  The fire had burned insanely hot, and what I was seeing were the insides of a cat in a tortured pose.

My brother unearthed his cat and brought her to the backyard to bury.  While we are digging the hole, I hear ZZ Top’s “Buck Nekkid” blaring out of my fucking car stereo.  My mind vacillates between my brother’s pain and that stupid fucking song.  I thought, “couldn’t you fucking just play something like ‘Tuesday’s Gone’ for fuck sake?”  To my fucking astonishment, that fucking song started up as we were filling the grave with dirt.  After we laid Tip to rest, we went over to the car where the whiskey was.  I poured a generous amount in my brother’s cup, and I swigged copiously straight from the bottle. 

The neighbor’s kid started talking to me about the fire.  As “Tuesday’s Gone” played, I told him that this was not the first time the family suffered through fire.  “It’s hard.” I garbled out as I choked through my tears and thought of my brother and sister, huddled in a corner, burned alive by the callousness of a capitalist pig too cheap to replace a part on a defective heater.  I took another long, healthy swig from the bottle and walked toward the bonfire.  I kicked shit into the fire as the heat blasted my face, but could not evaporate tears treasonously rolling down my cheeks.  “Fuck this shit,” as I kick at the pieces of what was our family home, “Tuesday’s Gone’s” mournful tune melting my redneck stoicism.

I know how Lynyrd Skynyrd is beloved and derided.  People latch onto it because it’s cool, but dismiss it for being associated with Southern pride, rednecks, and hillbilly ignorance.  Their debut album contains a range characteristic of many of their albums that defies the one-dimensional attribution it usually gets.  Yes, it has the redneck anthems, “Gimme Three Steps” and “Freebird,” but it also has “Poison Whiskey,” a track that certainly does not glorify drinking.  Later albums had anti-drug messages, “Needle and the Spoon,” and even a tome against handguns, “Saturday Night Special.”  While rooted in Southern mythology, Lynyrd Skynyrd was not confined to mindlessly parrot the ethos of the grossest exaggeration of what it means to be a “true” redneck.  Songs like “The Ballad of Curtis Loew” demonstrate a complexity in its understanding of the South.  I don’t think we need to gloss over the problematic nature of “Southern Pride,” but we should not also paint everything country with the same brush.  I developed a different appreciation for Lynyrd as I listened to their albums.  They will also be forever intertwined with some of the most tragic events in my life.

I think everyone is aware of Lynyrd Skynyrd, so I do not have to describe the hookiness of their work, but I think people should dig into their catalog to develop a sense of their complexity.  Although not on the first album, “Curtis Loew” is one of my favorite tunes.  It is a slow creeper, but it has a soul in the music that really digs at you.  For some reason, “Simple Man” really strikes me as a working man’s tune.  Even though the lyrics really do not jump out as a working man’s epic, the mood of it reminds me of what it means to be a blue collar redneck.  When I am in a certain mood, Skynyrd really tears at my gut.  I can move from a gritty redneck anger to a moving melancholy.  Part of what it means to be working class is always being on the losing end.  Victories are small and very few and far between.  I think the attraction for me in Lynyrd Skynyrd is the consonance with my anger for being shit on (and watching others I love get shit on) for most of my goddamn life.  Like most music we cherish, it is tied to us in a fundamental way.  After being introduced to “Tuesday’s Gone” on a Hank Jr. album, believe it or not, I will never be able to separate Skynyrd’s version from that night and the pain that gives me life.

Skynyrd’s debut gets three sweet sticky balls.

Sweet Dreams Motherfuckers,
Kloghole

Sunday, June 23, 2013

RedBush - Milkmaid

WoaBoat Records (2013)

Reviewed by Dave.

Several months back I got word a friend's band was releasing a new record. I went to their web page to check out a demo track and was greeted with the high definition image of a middle aged, hairy chest and beer belly. Two delicate feminine hands were cupping lactating man boobs. I sat dumbfounded for a moment, grooooosssssss! After the initial shock wore off I nearly fell out of my chair laughing. This is, after all, a product of the demented imagination of J.D. Korpitz.

 Redbush is a power pop trio from Laramie Wyoming. When I say power pop, I mean driving rock music with accessible vocal melodies and tightly written standard song structures. Redbush has the song writing sensibilites of bands like Queens of the Stone Age, Clutch, the Replacements, Dinosaur Jr. and Mudhoney. It's refreshing to hear something catchy with some guts. We need more bands like this to cut through the wimpy crud the indie kids have flooded the mainstream with in the last  five to ten years. 

Milkmaid reminds me that straightforward rock music can be really fun and invigorating. In my previous review of Redbush's EP Wonder Nugget I noted the tastefulness of that record. Everything was very polished and radio ready. What I like about Milkmaid is that it has more of a raw, vibrant sound. The vocal harmonies are just a hair off. The vocal delivery often times veers from the melody into screams and enthusiastic shouts. The bass tone is slightly distorted. This adds slight dissonance to the lower register riffs, adding an extra kick of intensity to the songs. It's rock, it's supposed to make you want to drink and dance till four in the morning! It sounds like the goofballs down the street are having a rowdy house party and everyone is invited. If you have the opportunity to go to a house show  in your hometown- even if the bands aren't that  great- you should. The camaraderie has always been so much more fun than the biggest corporate rock stadium spectacle in my humble opinion.

If you don't catch yourself humming one of these songs you either have tin ear or no heart. There isn't anything innovative happening with Milkmaid. There are no epic statements made or moments of emotional climax. Redbush is flat out good time, big riff, rock and roll. Stand out tracks are Polar Creep, All My Pretty Ones and the one instrumental track on the record Spinal Necklace. What makes Milkmaid really cool to me are the rough edges. In the modern era of pitch corrected digitally enhanced high power production values Milkmaid is a breath of fresh air. I think this record is one of those rare moments where a recording really captures the feel and personality of a band. This is something we've forgotten in the modern era of youtube, mp3s and pandora or last.fm. A record should showcase the power of a bands musical performance. It seems like every year things get turned further backwards. The role of a band is to create the most epic record at any means necessary and then try to find a way to reproduce that somehow in a live scenario. To me that is total fucking bullshit, anyone who thinks otherwise can eat my shit. The only complaint I have about Milkmaid is that the chorus of the last song sounds like a Reel Big Fish song, otherwise I really dig this record.