dirty water records - The I-94 Bar

‘Lake Bears’ Theme Song b/w Main Title ‘Theme From Lake Bears’ - MFC Chicken (Dirty Water Records)

lake bearsIf you believe the schtick about expat-Canadian vocalist-saxophonist Spencer Evoy meeting bassist Bret Bolton on a pigrimage to Joe Meek’s former flat and recording studio, you’ll swallow the line that the band was named after a takeaway shop Boulton was living above. And that the pair met when Evoy was busking outside. Every band needs a back story. and it beats Mick and Keef telling record collection stories to each other on a train platform.

(The word is that it's all true. So there. ) 

Anyway, these tracks are from the soundtrack for a forthcoming horror flick about bears. Which makes a change from the band's usual lyrics about chicken. The A is a greasy R & B mover (meaning Rhythm & Blues - before the term was denuded by atrocious pap) that’s dominated by a feel with swing and Evoy’s rich sax and vocal. 

The flip is a horny instro that’s nearly as good and would have gone down a storm in a late ‘50s dance hall full of liquored-up teens. I’ve no idea what it all means in the film’s context but that’s probably not a game breaker. This shit is top-shelf.

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MFC Chicken on the Web at Dirty Water Records

(Get Outta) The DJ Booth b/w Colonel Sanders’ Bastard Son - MFC Chicken (Dirty Water Records)

outta the dj boothMultinational London-based band MFC Chicken aptly describe their music as the stuff “the Sonics listened to”, and if you’re remotely interested in sax-flavoured ‘50s greaser grooves you’ll take this 45 like a rocker to a free vat of hair gel.

The A side is an infectious ode to misguided DJ requests that gets an extra half-point for dissing both Elton John and Rhiannon. Saxophonist-vocalist Spencer Evoy puts it over in the same spirit as big booming Barrence Whitfield. It’s hard to believe this is a band named after a greasy chicken shop. But it is. 

The flipside has the band reverting to type - that is, singing a song with a lyric about chicken - and it’s a rocking and rootsy rumble that’s crunchier than a bucket of its namesake’s original recipe. All meat and no feathers.

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MFC Chicken at Dirty Water Records

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.

Don’t Give It Up Now b/w How Do You Know? - Lyres (Dirty Water)

dont give it up nowThese were the first recordings released by Lyres. What else do you need to know? It’s on UK label Dirty Water and listening to it is as close to the state of Garage Godhead that any of us mere mortals will reach.

Boston’s Lyres inarguably were, and probably still are, the pick of the turn-of-the-'70s US bands that went on to wear the “garage” tag. Not that you should use that term in front of Jeff Conolly (aka Monoman), the band’s leader on organ and vocals. And never append “The” to the band’s name. Just don’t.

El Humo Te Have Mal b/w Te Pegare - Los Peyotes (Dirty Water)

el humoEvery member of the Record Collector Scum fraternity knows that South America has the BEST acid punk garage bands. To paraphrase somebody with small hands and terrible hair, South American garage bands are TREMENDOUS. Los Peyotes might be the best since Los Yorks.

Hailing from Peru and Argentina, Los Peyotes borrow stylistically from The Sonics and The Music Machine and process it through their own blender of primal yet brutally skilful re-arranging. Both sides of this single are sung in Spanish. Comprendes?

Give It Time - The Revellions (Dirty Water Records)

give-it-timeHere’s an album that starts relatively sedately, grows a brass section and descends into off-kilter garage rock hell. If that sounds like a dissing, think again.

The Revellions are from Dublin in Ireland and have made a nine-song album of two distinct halves. The first recalls, at times, Boston institution The Lyres with its strong reliance on surging organ and wailing vocals, while the second goes to that noisy and mind-altered place where the Black Lips and The Oh-Sees reside. Soulful versus Trippy. Both bases covered. 

Hit pick: "Sally Lou" by Archie and The Bunkers

Here’s the new video from Archie and The Bunkers, the "teen sensations" from Cleveland, Ohio, whose debut album is out now on Dirty Water Records. Read our review here and follow the link at the bottom to buy it. 

Miss Clara Regrets b/w Alexander - The Loons (Dirty Water)

miss clara regretsMike Stax, long-time singer for San Diego's long-running The Loons, is better known for Ugly Things, the magnificent magazine he runs, than his  band. This double-headed pointer towards their forthcoming album suggests that needs to change.

“Miss Clara Regrets” is a fine slice of bustling freakbeat with a bassline that means business and guitars that demand to be heard. Stax delivers a fine vocal with punch and good range to tell a tale about an “It girl”. Twin guitars and a hook of in the tail that says it’s a pop song and it's exclusive to this single.

Party Girl - The Dustaphonics (Dirty Water Records)

partygirlEvery so often, a record lands that knocks you sideways and leaves you wondering if anybody took down the registration number of the truck that just hit. The busy London borough of Hackney isn't known as Rock and Roll Central but The Dustaphonics sound like they're doing their level best to change that.

Who? - The Heck (Dirty Water)

who the heckYou might ask who they are, but after you wrap your ears around this debut album from The Heck, chances are your next question will be: “Where can I get more?”

The Heck hail from the northern reaches of the Netherlands and are the new garage rock outfit for singer-guitarist Henri Soulman (Sensational Second Cousins, the Miracle Men and De Keefmen) Soulman references the Sonics and The Reigning Sound as his big influences but there’s a lot more going on under the hood.

The Heck are a trio and we all know that such a configuration puts a sharp focus on the rhythm section. The fluid, warm bass-work of René Katerbarg and effervescent drumming of Erik Berends are right up to the job. Katerbarg fills any holes in the road while Berends drives the songs from just behind the beat.