Out Hud, featuring members of the insurmountable !!! ("chik chik chik"), rework the electroclash disco beat into the ground on its debut LP, Story of the Whole Thing (Kranky). Completely instrumental and fun, the record's as important to electroclash punks as DJ Shadow's Endtroducing... was to blunted-out hip-hop heads, adding blasts of white noise and chiming guitars in all the right places to create punk-funk riddims that are both ass-shakin' and cerebral.
The newest DFA split twelve-inch seems to have upped the ante for the rest of the Big Apple's electro-clash-punk-no-wave-disco freaks. The Juan Maclean plays tight early-'80s underground disco/house, while the Rapture ventures into (dare we say it?) radio-friendly funk. What is not to love?
American Analog Set's Promise of Love to You (Tiger Style) is a lover's crush with a slightly groovy funk beat underneath. The record's unassuming electric piano and simple, pleasant bass rhythms may remind you of Pinback or SF's Ponyboy. "You Own Me," a swirly shoegaze of a ballad that wraps up side one, is enough to make a grown man swoon.
Of course, I never listened to side two because I was too anxious to throw on Minor Threat's early demo seven-inch, simply called First Demo Tape (Dischord). It has all the classics -- "Guilty of Being White," Minor Threat," "Straight Edge" -- plus it sounds like they recorded their first takes and totally kicked ass. The old photos of Ian MacKaye and Henry Rollins hangin' out in the MacKaye family basement are also awesome. Best of all, it's cheap, like it should be!
As for the West Coast, Tussle -- hailing from SF's Mission District -- have released their debut post-punk-disco twelve-inch for Troubleman Unlimited. Whereas the A-side ("Eye Contact") falls a little short, the B-side dub makes great use of a dubby house beat, giving a nod to the classic reggae of premier producer the Scientist. Nice indeed, and makes me long for the remixes. Meanwhile, the Husbands are San Francisco's all-girl garage combo. Their debut album, Introducing the Sounds of... , showcases the raw punk sound that's all the rage with the kids these days. Half the record's filled with cover tunes (Bo Diddley included), and the whole thing sounds as if the Husbands recorded it in a trash can. SF rocks these days, so go out and get some of it.
More Bay Area news: The 2002 debut from local destroyers of the meek Comets on Fire is now available on LP. Field Recordings from the Sun (Ba Da Bing!!!) will entice purveyors of garagey riffs and distorted mayhem to jerk spasmodically when the psychedelic freakout ensues. This is a must-have for fans of Blue Cheer or the MC5, but not for folks who prefer Nick Drake. Well, probably not.
And finally, a question for the collectors: Did anyone score a copy of the White Stripes seven-inch Rip It Off?
Seven Days - February 24, 5:52 PM
Culture Spy - February 23, 2:42 PM
What the Fork - February 23, 2:12 PM
Seven Days - February 21, 3:30 PM
Culture Spy - February 19, 1:45 PM