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

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Golf Dolls, Die Trying (Upper Midwest Jr. Art Assassins, 2020)



Reviewed by Null
Golf Dolls are DIY punk band from Madison, Wisconsin. Now, when I say “punk,” I don’t mean the homogenized, over-produced commercial punk that we get shoved down our throats these days, nor do I mean hardcore punk like Minor Threat, whom I love. Instead, the Golf Dolls remind me of the golden age of punk in the 1980s. They sound a bit more like mid-tempo Dead Kennedys, Doc Corbin Dart, The Wipers, or even The Buzzcocks with a little Devo thrown in minus the electronics. This album could have easily appeared in a 1984 Alternative Tentacles catalog. Trying to describe music is hard.
However, I will tell you this: from the moment I put this record on, I was bathing in the glorious sounds of killer riffs, super-catchy melodies, and lyrics that are filled with social critique wrapped in satire, humor, and unapologetic good time fun. It is rare to love an album on first listen, but these guys are so talented and this album is so good that I wanted to get naked and rub it all over my body. I was blown away. If any of this sounds good to you, then don’t hesitate and pick it up at:   
It is available in both digital and CD formats. I suggest getting the CD, as the art work is very reminiscent of classic Winston-Smith. Besides, music downloads suck.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Love Letter: Veil of Maya, The Common Man’s Collapse (2008)


By Jack Rafferty

While I am currently fine-tuning the daunting task of writing a love letter to my favorite metal album of all time, which will be finished in the good time it takes to do it justice, I thought I’d take the opportunity to write a shorter love letter to another metal album that is dear to my heart, Veil of Maya’s The Common Man’s Collapse. 

No other album sounds like this. Veil of Maya crafted such a wonderful niche for themselves during the height of deathcore. While many other bands of the same genre at the time were trending in the direction of “who can down-tune their seven-string lower and chug riffs slower,” Veil of Maya took the refreshing approach of using a standard-tuned six-string guitar, with the odd twist of a seven-string bass. In addition to this, Veil of Maya leaned more heavily toward melody in their riffs, driven by a highly rhythmic, percussive sound. They keep brutality in the vocals, which establishes a satisfying contrast to the central melody, and steers Veil of Maya away from the tediousness of an overtly heavy genre becoming oversaturated with elements that negate its identity. 

Perhaps Veil of Maya’s greatest strength is the tightness of the execution of their playing, coupled with the sharpness of the production. Every sound is brilliantly distinct and fresh in the mix, which is a feat when considering they still manage to be heavy as fuck. Another very important factor to note is the magnificent talent of guitarist Marc Okubo. Apart from mere technical proficiency, some of the reaches in chords and note progression that Marc is able to accomplish is reminiscent of Hendrix at times in the seeming impossibility of it. 

All of this would be for nothing if the songwriting was shit. Luckily for us this is not the case. I’ve always found the pacing of Veil of Maya songs in particular to be excellent. You always felt carried along in a very unpredictable, yet simultaneously logical sequence of shifts throughout each song. Never knowing where you’re going, but fully knowing that it will be a place you like. 

Another important aspect is their ability to cultivate character in each track. I never have trouble with mixing up Veil of Maya songs, because each song breathes its own life, while never straying too far from a central sound enveloping the album in its entirety. 

Most importantly, though, Veil of Maya is just fucking fun. Their music is fun. It is high-energy, heavy, melodic, groovy, and always makes me want to either throw down or dance. I struggle to even pick three, let alone one, track to highlight, as all of them truly maintain an exceptional level of quality. All of this with the neat bow of a thirty-three-minute run time on top. So many bands these days that play at this speed overwhelm the shit out of their audience by being ignorant to, or willfully neglecting the fact, that less is more. You never want to give too much of a good thing that overstays its welcome. Bell Witch can pull off a song that is an hour and a half because the style and atmosphere of their music allows for it. But bands that don’t have sonic styles justifying such length need to be smarter about how they convey their work. Understand the medium through which you express art, damn it; Veil of Maya does.

All right, enough rambling. I would do Veil of Maya a disservice to end this love letter on such a note. So, in conclusion, The Common Man’s Collapse is an extremely well done, mature, blood-pumping album, made all the more impressive that it was the band’s debut. I have spent many hours of my life moving my spindly anatomy to it, and will continue to do so for many more. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

PaulySure’s Favorite Music in 2019

By PaulySure

Top albums of 2019.

31. Kaelan Mikla, Nótt Eftir Nótt.
30. Pharmakon, Devour.
29. Boris, Love & Evol.
28. Swervedriver, Future Ruins.
27. Boy Harsher, Country Girl.
26. Pelican, Nighttime Stories.
25. Wear Your Wounds, Rust on the Gates of Heaven.
24. Russian Circles, Blood Year.
23. Hide, Hell is Here.
22. Martyrdöd, Hexhammaren.
21. Zig Zags, They’ll Never Take Us Alive.
20. Slomatics, Canyons.
19. Kadavar, For the Dead Travel Fast.
18. High Command, Beyond the Wall of Desolation.
17. The Coathangers, The Devil You Know.
16. Creeping Death, Wretched Illusion.
15. Sharon Van Etten, Remind Me Tomorrow.
14. Blood Incantaion, Hidden History of the Human Race.
13. Cloud Rat, Pollinator.
12. Tomb Mold, Planetary Clairvoyance.
11. Mizmor, Cairn.
10. Yatra, Death Ritual.
9. Inter Arma, Sulphur English.
8. Ceremony, In the Spirit World Now.
7. Blackwater Holylight, Veils of Winter.
6. Moon of Delirium, Submerged into the Abyssic Waters of the Ancient Earth.
5. Full of Hell, Weeping Choir.
4. Drab Majesty, Modern Mirror.
3. Monolord, No Comfort.
2. Gatecreeper, Deserted.
1. Chelsea Wolfe, Birth of Violence.

Honorable mention/obsession: Candy, Good to Feel (2018).

Saturday, February 8, 2020

SoDak’s 2019 Music Obsessions

 By SoDak


I am very late putting together a list related to 2019. It is extremely clear to me every year that I do not have a handle on my music addiction, but I am not sure if I care that much about this issue. I was particularly pleased that I managed to listen to all of the stacks of records that were looming over me the last couple of years. Of course, I have already started a new stack. Below is a list of my favorite music from this past year. My list is not in any particular order. 

Records:

New Model Army, From Here (2019).
I love New Model Army. They are one of my favorite bands. I appreciate growing older with them as a constant productive band in my life. The new record is beautiful, moody, moving, and ethereal. The band has mellowed a little with age, but the intensity remains, in part because of Justin’s vocals and words. This past year, I listened to this record more than any other release.

Son Volt, Union (2019).
It was a good year for music. Many of my favorites released new records. Chances are if Son Volt puts out a record, it will make my year-end list. Union is an excellent record. At times, the sound of this record is similar to the first Son Volt record, Trace. It is quite stripped down. The lyrics are more direct regarding the clusterfuck in which we live. Son Volt helps me contend with the barrage of shit. 

Meat Puppets, Dusty Notes (2019).
Meat Puppets have also been a musical friend for a very long time. Was pleased that Derrick Bostrom rejoined the band on drums. The record is much more mellow than I was expecting, but I am fine with this, as I love the range of their music through the years. I hope this lineup persists for many years. Am looking forward to seeing the Puppets with Mudhoney later this year. 

Subhumans, Crisis Point (2019).
Subhumans are one of my all-time favorite punk rock bands. I always appreciated their politics and music. I liked how they continued to develop their style from record to record. This progression did change when they regrouped, as they now mostly play short, fast songs, similar to their first record. I suppose this is in part to more strongly distinguish them from their other bands Culture Shock and Citizen Fish. The new record is not one of my favorites by them, but I still like it. Listen to the song: “Poison.”

Mandolin Orange, Tides of a Teardrop (2019).
The last several Mandolin Orange records have been exceptional. The most recent record is solid, except for the songs “Lonely All the Time” and “Suspended in Heaven.” My favorite song is “Golden Embers.” This song is great, especially on a cold winter night. 

Haunt, If Icarus Could Fly (2019) and Mosaic Vision (2019).
Both releases by Haunt in 2019 are excellent. Classic metal. The songs are super catchy. Love everything about them. 

Budos Band, (2019).
Budos Band continue to kick ass. They throw down with some heavy funk and soul.  

40 Watt Sun, Wider Than the Sky (2016).
AntiChrist-iansen gave me a burned copy of this great record. It is slow, heavy, and melancholic. I suppose it would be in the same vein as Codeine’s The White Birch, but more catchy, hypnotic, and beautiful.

Death Angel, Humanicide (2019).
Death Angel has become one of the most consistent classic thrash bands. The last four records are among their best, and, as far as I am concerned, are better than recent records by the big four in thrash.  

Spirit Adrift, Divided by Darkness (2019).
Divided by Darkness is the third full-length studio record by Spirit Adrift. It is my favorite record by this metal band. Spirit Adrift is catchy like Haunt, but with more doom influence and drawn out songs. 

Dylan LeBlanc, Renegade (2019).
Dylan LeBlanc is a consistent singer-songwriter. Renegade is a great addition to his catalog. 

William Tyler, Goes West (2019).

The Proletariat, Move (2019).
I am fuckin’ stoked on the return of The Proletariat. This punk rock band still kicks ass. We need them. 

Zero Gain, Modern Blues: The First Five Years (2018).
Null passed this record along to me. Great French punk rock. 

Steve Gunn, The Unseen in Between (2019).
Beautiful, rich, layered textures are present throughout the record. Another great record by Steve Gunn.

The Beat, Featuring Ranking Roger, Public Confidential (2019).
Ranking Roger died in March 2019. Before his death he managed to release a final record, which is a solid collection of reggae-ska songs.

Kieran Kane and Rayna Gellert, The Ledges (2018).
Kieran Kane has been releasing consistent Americana records for decades. Was very pleased with this duo record, filled with tender, mellow songs. 

Burning Love, Rotten Thing to Say (2012).
My stereo almost caught on fire the first time I played this record. It is fierce. I can hear a lot of Poison Idea influence.  

Ben Kilbourne, Urstone (2018).
This record is so fuckin’ beautiful, gentle, and somber. I love it. Ben plays an electric guitar and sings. It is very sparse. There are similarities to Jason Molina. I am eager to drive into the long sunset and night as I travel through the vast desert of the southwestern United States. Check it out at: https://benkilbourne.bandcamp.com/album/urstone.

Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton, Once More (1970), Two of a Kind (1971), The Right Combination/Burning the Midnight Oil (1972), and Together Always (1972). (BGO Collection of these four records was released 2019). 
Was thrilled that these four duet records were reissued. They may be the greatest country duet records of all time. Porter and Dolly are perfect together. The songs cover the range of human emotions and relationships. Any interest in classic country, pick up this superb collection.

Fotocrime, Principle of Pain (2018).
When Ryan Patterson disbanded Coliseum, he started a new project Fotocrime. He blends 1980s new wave, goth, and death rock. Once I settled into the record, I was quite taken by his new vision. 

BlackDots, Everything Has Got to Change (2019).
BlackDots are fun and energetic. They play punk rock that makes me want to jump around, singing along with them, as we all get old. Three members share vocal duties. I really love the songs on which they go back and forth with the vocals. Check out “I’m Already Gone” and “What’s Up This Getting Old Thing?” 

The Freeze, Calling All Creatures (2019). 
A new Freeze record is quite a surprise. While it is uneven, with a few sleepers, there are plenty of good songs. A few songs have a classic Freeze sound, as far as the guitar and vocals, when they are locked in.

Confusion Master, Awaken (2018).
Five-Inch Taint gave me this excellent doomy, stoner, sludgy band from Germany. The vinyl comes with a CD of the record as well.  

Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Ba, Miri (2019).
Outstanding acoustic music from west Africa. 

Sweet as Broken Dates: Lost Somali Tapes from the Horn of Africa (2017).
Great collection, offering a captivating range of music from Somalia that will get you moving. 

The Sonic Dawn, Eclipse (2019).
The Sonic Dawn are a Heavy Psych Sounds band. This is my favorite record by them. It has a strong 1970s psych-rock vibe. 

Sad Lovers and Giants, Epic Garden Music (1982, reissue 2009).
The debut record by post-punk band Sad Lovers and Giants is my favorite by them. This year I returned to their catalog and greatly appreciated these songs anew. 

Medictation, Warm Places (2016).
Medictation shared some members with the legendary band Leatherface. Had to pick it up. Gruff vocals and catchy punk songs. Greatly enjoyed this little gem. 

Tommy James and the Shondells, Anthology (1989).
Was blown away again by how strong this collection of songs is. There is a quite a range as far as style of 1960s songs. Great record to sing along with.  

Hangman’s Chair, Banlieue Triste (2018).
I am bummed that I missed seeing this French band at Psycho Vegas in 2019. Catchy, melodic stoner doom. Really loved this record. 

Lee Fields and the Expressions, It Rains Love (2019).
Excellent soul music. This is my favorite record by Lee Fields so far. 

The Well, Death and Consolation (2019).
I liked previous records by The Well, but this is the one that made me a fan. Their heavy psych sound is fuller and has more depth than previous releases. Check out “Eyes of a God.” 

Oreyeon, Ode to Oblivion (2019).
This is another AntiChrist-iansen recommendation. Heavy, trippy music.

Motorpsycho, The Crucible (2019).
Was not sure what to expect from this record. There are only three songs on this progressive metal record. Influences are evident, but are blended in a unique sound that is quite satisfying. 

The Chameleons, catalog.
In the 1980s, I was obsessed with The Chameleons. The last couple of years, I have been listening to them a ton, especially on road trips. 

Martin Turner, Written in the Stars (2015).
On a whim, I picked up this record by the former Wishbone Ash member. It was much better than I was expecting. I am particular taken by the song “Vapour Trail,” given how catchy the guitar and vocal melody are. 

Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real, Turn Off the News (Build a Garden) (2019).
I have generally been indifferent to Lukas Nelson’s records to this point. Finally, I think Lukas and his band have realized their potential with this dreamy Americana record. 

Thomas Zwijsen, Nylon Maiden (2012).
Iron Maiden songs arranged and played on a classical guitar. Beautiful. Love it. 

Kel Assouf, Black Tenere (2019).
This Tuareg band is more rock oriented than Tinariwen. They have a more aggressive sound on this record. They are fuckin’ awesome. Check out “Tenere.”

Dead Ending, Shoot the Messenger (2017).
I have loved every release by Dead Ending. Vic Bondi and company continue to take aim at the fucking fascist times that we live in. Here is punk rock that kicks you in the ass. Pick it up. 

Report Suspicious Activity, Leviathan (2017).
Was surprised that Report Suspicious Activity regrouped a couple years ago to record a new record. Vic Bondi (Articles of Faith, Dead Ending) and J Robbins (Jawbox) offer a great musical critique of our times. I hope that they manage to record more songs. 

Eddie Noack, Psycho: The K-Ark And Allstar Recordings, 1962-1969 (2013).
Dark, twisted country. Give a listen to the chilling song “Psycho.”

Darrell Banks, I’m the One Who Loves You: The Volt Recordings (2013).
Damn, Darrell Banks is great. Got to love this Detroit soul singer. This collection also includes some demos that were not released, which are wonderful. Check out “My Life Is Incomplete without You.”

Bonefire, Fade and Decay (2019). 
Fuck me. The first song, “Conceived the Same,” sets the tone for the whole record. It punched me in the face, got my attention, and kicked my ass. Is it hardcore punk, metal? I don’t give a shit; it is awesome. FTWNU2 out of Minnesota put out this record. Thanks to Dan Dittmer for starting a great record label. 

Jade Jackson, Wilderness (2019). 
Wilderness is even better than Jade Jackson’s first record. Mike Ness from Social Distortion once again produced the record. Wonderful, sounding Americana. Sorry that I missed her recent performance in my town. Hopefully, she returns before too long. Love “Don’t Say that You Love Me.”

Alcest, Spiritual Instinct (2019). 
This is my favorite Alcest record. Listened to it over and over for days. These metal songs are quite ethereal. Each song has a different feel, which keeps my interest. 

Darryl Cherney and the Chernobles, Bush It! Send George Bush a Pretzel (2002). 
Ah, remember when George Bush choked on a pretzel and almost died. Two delightful songs written when a different asshole was in the White House. 

Tinariwen, Amadjar (2019).
These Tuereg musicians from Mali are still going strong.

Durand Jones and the Indications, American Love Call (2019). 
Was fortunate enough to see this band this year. Outstanding live performance. Great soul music. The band is tight. “Morning in America” is touching. The love songs are delightful. 

Hard-Ons, So I Could Have Them Destroyed (2019).
Am thrilled that this Australian punk band finally put out a new record. As is the norm for them, there are catchy punk rock songs mixed with thrashy punk tunes. Keep at it boys. 

Duel, Valley of Shadows (2019).
This is the best record yet by this Texas band. I like the mix of classic metal songs with stoner elements. They make me bang my head and pump my fist in the air. Check out “Black Magic Summer.”

Michaela Anne, Desert Dove (2019). 
Had never heard of Michaela Anne. I am sure glad that I picked up this gem. Beautiful mellow Americana music. She has a great comforting voice. 

Kelsey Waldon, White Noise/White Lines (2019).
Straight forward, Americana music. Kelsey Waldon has some nice twang in her voice. Several songs have a dark and dangerous sound, which is just right on this record. 

Kris Drever, Mark the Hard Earth (Reissued 2013).
Scottish folk musician Kris Drever is touching. His voice immediately makes me tear up, as it makes me feel like I am yearning for something, lost love, precious moments, a land that I have never been to. Check out “Mark the Hard Earth.”

Sonny Burns, The Devil’s Disciple (2015).
Sonny Burns recorded some great 1960s country songs. Every time I listen to this record I shuffle across the floor, hoping my wife will take my hand to two-step. Her refusal only adds to the heartbreak songs on the record. 

Kronos Quartet with Mahsa and Marjan Vahdat, Placeless (2019).
The record is very satisfying. I like when Kronos Quartet adds vocals. These songs are dark and moving in tone. It was a perfect record for the winter. Check out “My Ruthless Companion.”

High Command, Beyond the Wall of Desolation (2019). 
PaulySure and Five-Inch Taint praised this record. It delivered. Full on metal with some thrash-elements. 

Will Johnson, Wire Mountain (2019). 
Will Johnson consistently delivers subdued Americana records with a full sound. Loved him since his Centro-Matic days. Always a pleasure. 

Mdou Moctar, Ilana: The Creator (2019).
Nigerian Tuareg songwriter put out an excellent record. While there are many shared elements with Tinariwen, this artist also has a distinctive vibe. There is also a full drum kit on these songs, adding a different layer to the songs. Check out “Kamane Tarhanin.”

Charley Crockett, The Valley (2019).
Young Charley Crockett sounds old, as far as singing classic country songs. The Valley is a great collection, covering a variety of country styles. He has a unique delivery, which enriches the songs. Check out “Borrowed Time.”

Rokia Traore, Tchamantche (2008).
This record by Malian songwriter is captivating and beautiful. Wish I would have come across this earlier. I can’t get enough her singing. Just go listen to this record and fall in love. 

Paul Cauthen, Room 41 (2019).
Paul Cauthen has a powerful voice and presence. He puts on a superb live performance. He fits somewhere between country and soul, depending on the song. On his new record, I am obsessed with his song “Slow Down.”


Songs:
The Who, “Break the News” (2019).
I am still warming up to the new record by The Who. I have been obsessed with the song “Break the News.” I listened to it over and over one weekend. I love the movement within the song. Very satisfying. 

Bruce Springsteen, “Western Stars” (2019).
I like the new Bruce Springsteen record. I had very high hopes for it, as I have been wanting another solo record from him for a long time. I need to spend more time with it. Many songs on it are excellent. In particular, “Western Stars” has been my favorite. 

Charlie Parr, “Love Is an Unraveling Bird’s Nest” (2019). 
Love Charlie Parr. His new self-titled record is solid. I am mostly drawn to his new song “Love Is an Unraveling Bird’s Nest.”

Jeffrey Lewis and the Voltage, “LPs” and “My Girlfriend Doesn’t Worry.”
Love Jeffrey Lewis’s 12 Crass Songs, which is a nice reinterpretation of sorts of songs by the punk rock band Crass. On his new record, he has an exceptional song about music addition, “LPs.” Also worth checking out is “My Girlfriend Doesn’t Worry.”


Concerts:
In 2019, I attended just under fifty concerts and one music festival, due to other travels, housing issues, and work. Fortunately, I shared many of these shows with comrades. 

My favorite concerts this year included: Band of Annuals, Whitey Morgan, Samiam, Iron Chic, The Black Dots, Ryan Bingham, Durand Jones and the Indicators, Death Angel, Hayes Carll, The Twilight Sad, Sebadoh, Spirit Adrift, Jawbox, Jenny Don’t and the Spurs, Gorilla Biscuits, Iron Maiden, Sacred Reich, Chameleons Vox, Theater of Hate, and Patterson Hood.

In regard to Punk Rock Bowling and Music Fest, my favorite performances were: The Skints, The Damned, Flag, The Lillingtons, Adolescents, Drug Church, Sloppy Seconds, Descendents, Undertones, The Stranglers, The Specials, and Frankie Stubbs.

Five-Inch Taint and I had a delightful night at the front of the stage at Gwar, where we ended up being covered in blood, piss, and jizz.


Films:
The Two Killings of Sam Cooke (2019).
Solid documentary highlighting Sam Cooke’s music and his commitment to fighting for civil rights. 

Descent into the Maelstrom: The Untold Story of the Radio Birdman (2017).
This is a fascinating documentary about the Australian band Radio Birdman. The musicians are quite frank regarding their struggles and conflicts with each other. Loved learning more about a band that I started listening to in the 1980s.

Leaving Neverland (2019).
Null and I discussed this film many times throughout 2019. I only watched it once, versus the numerous times he did. Null regaled me with extensive information regarding Michael Jackson’s musical history, as he completed his collection of Michael’s records. On yeah, the film is focused on Michael’s sexual abuse of children, so it is a tragic story on many fronts. 

Oil Capital Underground: The Genesis & Evolution of Punk Rock in Tulsa-Late 70s to Mid 90s (2018). 
I enjoy watching documentaries about local music scenes. I was familiar with some of the Tulsa bands in the late 1980s and early 1990s, such as NOTA, so I was eager to learn more about their histories. Oil Capital Underground covers much ground, including the clubs where bands played and the numerous punk, new wave, and metal bands that shared bills. After watching the film, I was able to track down records by a few of the bands that I did not previously know. Very enjoyable, DIY film. 


Books:
Bruce Dickenson, What Does This Button Do?: An Autobiography (2017).
I finally got around to this book. Bruce, as is to be expected, has a strong personality. I wanted more details regarding life with Iron Maiden, song writing, and personal relationships with the band members, but I appreciated the snapshots that were provided. I particularly liked reading about how Bruce found and developed his voice, and how he continues to take care of it through the years. His drive and range of interests are impressive. For a fan, it is an enjoyable read.