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The recording quality on this release is a bit thin in a few places, so I cannot say I prefer it to the punch of the live shows they recently played at both Stache's and Bernies (thank God for federal work-release programs) but if you turn up your stereo you can almost simulate the visceral impact of their live performances. Fortunately, well have plenty of future opportunities to experience that, since Ive recently received word that these guys plan to move back to Columbus. They also plan to be releasing material on a couple of local labels: look out for a track on a Chrome Frog 10 compilation and a single on Anyway. - Nathan Weaver (via CRINGE)
Bigfoot: Sleepwalk  CD
(Lizard Family Music/Bluehouse)
[ CD Cover] So last time I slobbered and drooled all over Bigfoot. Sorry bout that. Sometimes I find it a difficult task to review bands I really like without sounding, um, goofy. Now Im facing another difficult task: reviewing a recording of a band I already really like live. Maybe I should just cut it short and say there are some great songs here; and I enjoy them even more live. Its not a bad recording. Its not a great recording. Actually, its perty representative of their live sound, without the added presence, performance and visual stimuli.
However, call it a double standard, but I expected a bit more: cleaner sound, tighter arrangements and all that stuff ya might expect out of a recording over a bar room performance. I suppose I shouldnt complain cause the beautiful, soulful, bluesy, poppy, roots rock song writing still shines perty bright fer me.
Speaking of songwriting ... Yes, its true, Dave Holm appears to be the prolific writer of the bunch. But two of my favorites arent his doing. Guitarist Jeff Clowdus Larry and Laverne is a cool upbeat gallop. And then theres drummer Brad Swiniarskis slightly manic screamer-songwriter tune All of Me. So Patient (also found on the LFM compilation, The Beautiful People) is the standout radio ready hit here. It kinda falls in the cool alternative niche of, say, fellow Ohioans the Breeders. The country-ish melancholy ballads Amys Gone and Leaf Pile feature some beautiful melodies. Soo Line has some wonderfully hypnotic 4-part vocal la las mixed with heavier odd tempo bridges and transitions. Attribute any of my negativity to my high expectations, not low quality.- Joel
Blatant Finger: Demo CS
[BF Logo] Blatant Social Distortion. OK, I guess these BMX guys have a bit more groove than Social D. Actually, Ive seen BF once or twice but couldnt quite recall what they were like. This tape my roomie found in the door reminded me. Sure, if ya like Social D. or early Gut Piston, youll probably dig this. I just find that stuff boring almost to the point of annoyance, if not simply unmemorable. - Joel
The Evolution Control Committee
A band transforming into a label. You want a pigeonhole, here it is: "Industrial Cabaret." Fitting? Well, probably just as effusive and meaningless as a good marketing term should be. The Evolution Control Committee has been doing oddball music ranging from experimental to novelty for over eight years now, releasing an unrelenting stream of cassette releases best available directly from The Committee. The days of the cassette are nearing end, however - a CD should be available by the time you read this, as well as a 7" single on Eerie Materials (San Francisco) and a self-released videotape. Outside of Columbus The Committee is known as a mail order entity, providing the releases above as well as many side projects and other local weirdos,
such as the Columbus firebug band Gaga. You can get a free catalog by writing to P.O. Box 10391, Columbus OH, 43201 or by Internet email at [email protected] or on the World-Wide Web at http://www.infinet.com/~markg/ecc.html - Mark G. of ECC (Feb 28, 1996)
The Smiths and Morrissey must be a big influence on these guys - especially the vocalist. Its really hard to pull this off without seeming fake, insincere or goofy. The Sundays are probably the closest anyone has come to carrying a strong Smiths influence believably for me. As for Fifth Wheel, Ive seen worse imitators and the vocalists Morrissey emoting and posing werent all totally annoying. - Joel
Falling somewhere between Throbbing Gristle and Crash Worship, Gaga have been quietly luring their audiences towards a fiery death for five years. Best known for their electronic improvised ambience, Gaga has recently incorporated tribal drumming in their sound as well as a host of unique pyrotechnics and stage tricks that would reveal Eric's Mother as a ersatz Butthole Surfers rip-off, if that hadn't been so obvious to begin with. The butane flame-thrower, the toilet paper gun, and the upcoming popcorn cannon typify the Gaga experience, which also incorporates the ritual destruction of a computer monitor or three each show. Workers in Dow Chemical jumpsuits wearing facial protection deliver the sounds and destruction while audiences consider wearing more flame-retardant clothing for the next show. Gaga cassettes and lighters are available from The Evolution Control Committee: [email protected] or http://www.infinet.com/~markg/ecc.html - Mark G.of Gaga (Feb 28, 1996)
Goatfudge is actually from Portsmouth, OH......But we dont really claim it.....We play basically everywhere through out Ohio...Mainly Columbus but planing on doing more.....Weve been around for about 4 years....have toured 3 times, played over 250 shows.....(only about 20 of those in Portsmouth)....and toured about 19 states.......let me see........Weve got out a 7 on Union 12 records..my label....Were putting out another 7 In about a month on a Columbus label (a split with Planet for Texas and Goatfudge) and have a couple demos out which are out of print..... - from Goatfudge via rspickel
Joels comments: This looked an awful lot like the writing style of a Goatfudge review I got last time, but then the writer wrote as if he werent in the band. Tsk tsk. Then again, I guess I shoulda known.
Hogscraper: CD (Shake It)
[ CD Innard] Though Cringe claims to deal almost exclusively with music in the OSU/Short North area, it has always included bands that play the area often, be they from Columbus or, in Hogscraper's case, Cincinnati. The first time I saw these guys, it was one of those scary ritualist experiences. This was augmented by the Voodoo stick washtub bass played by the face painted lead vocalist. Then theres that Deliverance  banjo plucking and tribal dirge drumming. Thats right, Hogscraper is a washtub bass, banjo and drum trio - no guitars!
Upon seeing the scrapers more, the cleaner more bluegrass sound began to come through. The ritualistic influences are still there; I think theyve just learned how to manage their sound at Bernies and Staches. This same NC-17 bluegrass music comes through even clearer on the CD. They throw in some studio trickery and between tune bits that make the CD play like a complete work, instead of just a bunch songs strung together on a shiny platter.
To the unfamiliar or untrained ear, many of these songs may sound very much alike. Once you get past the novelty of the instrumentation, this is still the case, but not so much so. I find myself singing that Hew Haw banjo-vocal trademark tune: deedle deet deet deedle dee / deedle deet deet deedle dee to a number of their tunes. Im a-picking, hes a grinnin an hogs a-scrapin. - Joel
Honk, Wail and Moan: Mailbox Above  CD (Uff
[ CD Innard] I picked this one up while finishing up the last Cringe. That means during those bouts of editing, this was often the last thing I listened to before going to slumberland.
Honk, Wail and Moan is more than just a cool and appropriate name for a jazz band. Its a group of musicians working together in a jazz format that steps outside the traditional and away from the cheesiness Columbus radio listeners may consider jazz. Sure, they do the big band, swing and and rag sounds of the likes of Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman and Louis Armstrong. But they also travel into the more experimental atmospheres of Sun Ra and Miles Davis. I even hear a little classical influence, via Stravinsky, Bernstein and Copland.
Mailbox  represents the various sounds of HW&M in a fairly reasonable way, though I could do with a bit more of the upbeat rags and blues, and less of guest vocalist Dick Mackays crooning. Aside from Billy Holiday, I just aint a big jazz singer fan.
While Im name dropping, I should talk about the members of HW&M a bit. The band has been around for something like 4 years. In that time, several musicians have moved in, out and through the band. However, the core member and creative force seems to be trombonist Brian Casey with some strong support from bassist Steve Perakis and percussionist Mark Greenwood. From what I can recall, these are the only three (of the 5-15 members) who have been in the band since its inception. - Joel
The Joint Project
One of them Dead influenced blues and space jam bands - keyboards included. They do mostly covers; Ill give em a little credit fer doing Simon and Garfunkels A Simple Desultory Phillipic (Or How I was McNamara'd Into Submission). - Joel
Kevyn & the Kasualties: Demo CS
K & the K come from that old school of punk rock. Ya know, where 70s hard rock meets 70s punk. Or is that 70s hard rock masquerading as punk? Anyway, upon listening to the two tunes on this demo tape, its fairly easy to hear an AC/DC influence. I mean Kevyn sounds a lot like Bon Scott or maybe Bon Scott meeting Ron House. The music for one tune is pretty much just some mid to late 70s hard rock along the lines of earlier Black Sabbath or Kiss. I wouldnt really call it punk at all (this is where that 㦲s hard rock masquerading as punk philosophy comes in.) The other tune has verses in this same vein, but the lyrics and chorus are more punk - more upbeat and punkpoppy. Actually, I think Ive heard this same chorus in a few Gaunt tunes. I believe this demo is part of a more substantial (4 song EP) release out or on its way.; - Joel
Lollipop Factory: Soon  CD
[ CD Cover] I guess it was only a matter of time before a Queen tribute band infiltrated the campus music scene. Revisionists, responding to the death of Freddie Mercury (Freddie who?) several years ago, promoted Queens music for its alleged kitsch value as if the headaches Queen had given some of us were simply because we were too uptight to get the joke. Some would even have you believe that Queen meant to sound dorky, like an ahead of its time, homo-friendly, prog-rock version of the B-52s. Funny, but as I recall the working class people we lived next door to when I was a kid didnt seem to get the joke either: they listened to Queens Greatest Hits  at maximum volume literally ten times a day for over a year as if it were the most kick-ass rock this side of AC/DC. And although its true that my neighbors were dull, I dont think its their fault for not getting it. When youve seen sports fanatics clap their hands in time to the drill teams rendition of We Will Rock You you know that as an anthem its not nearly the side-splitter that Lee Greenwoods Proud to be an American is.
So what does this have to do with Lollipop Factory who do not play any actual Queen songs and who in fact do - one hopes - get their wacky outfits and musical aesthetic from the thrift store? Only that their references to Queen sound too restrained, too reverently close to the real thing to be as subversively fun as say, Black Velvet Flags lounge interpretations of Los Angeles hardcore. Truth be told, Lollipop Factory sounds, if anything, more conventional, more melodic, more tastefully restrained, less flamboyantly, uh, queer than anything Queen ever did. So while in a sense that might seem like a real achievement, Im not so sure that restraint and conventional ideas of good taste have very much to do with either the spirit of Queen or the spirit of good parody. And I know it has nothing to do with spirit of great rock n roll. Like every single one of those tepid rockabilly revivalists bands that depend on nostalgia more than their creativity to excite their audience, Lollipop Factory ultimately sound harmless, like the proud dinosaurs they are. - Nathan Weaver (via CRINGE)
Lollipop Factory: Soon  CD
[ CD Cover] In a previous review, I said Lollipop Factory was a guilty pleasure for me. Well, now I can have that pleasure in private. If youve heard about this band, youve invariably heard Queen mentioned in the same breath. LF is quirky, silly pop rock with sweet layered arrangements circa 1979. Yes, the Queen comparisons are valid. LF even paraphrases Brian Mays guitar work. But there is a bit more to LF than Queen. The production and arrangements bring to mind Trevor Horn (The Buggles, Yes, Art of Noise) and a number of other slick, flashy studio producers and bands. The lyrics are silly little childish plays on words and sounds that generally fit the music just fine. Ill admit, sometimes it seems LF is pushing the childlike silliness a bit further than their genius is effectively capable of doing. I mean, these guys aint kids, though they may have fathered a few.
This is real sweet stuff to listen to, and though many cool people may blow this off as 70s fodder, it aint like punk is brand new either. This is possibly the slickest produced album to come out of these here parts ever. Its anti-lo-fi. Anti-lo-tech. Anti-lo-self-esteem. Its anti-cringe. Then again, I guess it may make a few people cringe, too. - Joel
This Columbus, Ohio buzz quartet was born out of Middle America Suburban ® frustration! Fed by the driving guitar chants and introverted vocals of Brad Caulkins and John Jones, while Em Allen's hypnotic bass lines and Derek Bell's power punch drumming churn the heart providing the pulsing circulation that keeps this Monster on its toes!
Thrown together over a year ago, the band evolved from the seed of previous musical experiments. These members exist in a highly tremultuous relationship who's eruptions fuel the fire behind their brand of noisy guitar basement rock.
It was their first show at Columbus' all-ages hangout Luna that they were first seen by Lizard and Rich of L.F.M. Their songwriting ability and sonic prowess was so obvious that they were quickly slated to record with L.F.M.
Since the release of the Unkindest Cuts of All  7-inch they have hit the Top 10 radio play on many college stations and have yet to play a live show to less than 100 convulsing teens! A religious experience indeed.
What next? Monster Zero has two tracks on the ... L.F.M. compilation CD, The Beautiful People, a split 7" with Preston Furman and a 10" EP due out this fall??? ! - Lizard Family Music
Mudflap Girls (from Venus)
[ 2 Mudflap Girls and Michelle from Mary Adam 12] So I wrote a review of the Mudflap Girls on paper (I do most of my writing on computer nowadays) just after seeing them live fer the first time. Now its weeks later. I cant find that sheet of paper. I fear the inspiration for the review has faded; but Ill see what I can conjure up ...
Forget Miss May 66 and 26 Foot Honey, but not completely because theyre both on the same branch of the Mudflap family tree. Here we basically get Miss May members on different instruments with Honeys guitarist added fer good measure. We also get a band that focuses on presentation, craziness and fun instead of all that Miss May heavy-handed seriousness.
They come off with the best parts of bands like Romeo Void, the Waitresses and Columbus beercore: power, pop, props, tease, sass and fun. Quite a surprize fer me, since (as Andrew, a fellow Bernies-type, might put it) I have trouble sitting through an entire Miss May show. It doesnt hurt that I still have a cheap, cheesy and childish fascination with anything that glows in the dark, too. - Joel
September is a time to celebrate... It is O-Matics first birthday! O-matic is a Dayton, Ohio band that was formed by Michelle Bodine, who used to play guitar and sing with (Another great Dayton band) Braniac. O-Matic has just signed on with Grass Records (former home of Brainiac - who are now on Touch & Go), and have also released two 7s; one on Dragon Lady Records (162 W.Hubbard Ave., Columbus, OH. 43215-1440), and the other is on Simple Solution Records (1025 Brown St., Dayton, Oh. 45409).
O-matic is Michelle Bodine (voice & guitar), Rob Tarbell (Bass guitar), Scott Bodine (guitar), and Will Gale (Drums). If you have heard any Brainiac at all, dont expect the same thing from Michelle. To quote Moo Magazine  writer T. Bone, After listening to O-Matic, the reason for Michelle Bodines departure becomes obvious: the poor girl just wanted to rock! And rock they do! Landing somewhere between Pet U.F.O. and Real Lulu on the marking post of Ohio girl rock, they have everything they need to rock everyones world „ except for an album.... But as I said above, September is a time to celebrate! Grass is releasing their first full album, Dog Years this month! Huzzah!
If someone wants to write the band, the Dayton address (P.O. Box 9152,zip: 45409-9152) is still used. I (Rich, Robs brother; not me, ryan) can be e-mailed re: the band at [email protected]
You can contact O-matic at WBB PO box 9152 Dayton, Ohio 45409-9152
The young fathers of scrap rock! This 4-piece started as just 3 young punks, Joe Davis on guitar & vocals, David Andrews on bass & vocals, and Jason Kiernan on drums & cymbals - banished to Dave's basement surviving on scratchy guitar melodies, slippery bass lines and hyperactive drumming!
They emerged a year later as Preston Furman, the lo-fi wonders. Then came the final straw in the form of high-school buddy guitar savant Matt Wagner. With his proclivity toward contagious and dynamic song structure and guitar leads they quickly matured into the full-fledged purveyors of their unique brand of Messy Midwestern Punk!
The sound struck a chord with L.F.M. and ... Ticonderoga! was released. A 4-song 7" ep, it quickly became the #1 requested single on college radio stations like WOUB in Athens. They packed 'em in for their hyper-kinetic live shows. Bodies po-go and shoes fly for these scrappy Ohio punks! Don't be surprised when these boys are BIG [STAR] s!
What next? Preston Furman has two tracks on the ... L.F.M. compilation CD, The Beautiful People , and a split 7" with Monster Zero and a full length CD due out this fall! - Lizard Family Music
Immediately, there are two things that cant be ignored about Real Lulus debut single, Hell/Motorhead. First it was recorded and mixed by Dayton, Ohios own, Kim Deal. Second, It rocks. It is not just good, it is great! There is something to be said about a well crafted and written punk/pop song that uses two female singers with good voices. It doesnt surprise me one bit that Real Lulu won the 1994 Dayton Band Play-offs. They rock. If everyone had this record, there would be no need for prozac! Hey, it gets me going every morning.
Real Lulu is currently working on material for projects they havent decided on. Hell/Motorhead is available on Simple Solution Records (1025 Brown St., Dayton, OH 45409).
Real Lulu is:
Katie Dougherty: Guitar & Vocals
Sharon Gavlick: Bass & vocals
Gregg Spence: Drums
Contact Real Lulu: P.O. Box 303 WBB Dayton, OH. 45409
Swivel Arm Battle Grip: "Linoleum"/"La Fille Dans La Ruel"
7 (Burnt Sienna/Shrimp City)
[ 7" Cover - coming soon] This single was largely responsible for my reconsidering my first review of Swivel Arm Battlegrip. The band seems to prefer my art-punk/Sonic Youth comparisons of old to my 80s girl/newave standing of new. I hear more Til Tuesday and Flock of Seagulls in this than I hear Sonic Youth. Maybe its just me. I enjoy listening to em either way, though I woulda liked a slightly cleaner recording. This single also hints at their growing competence in general and in, of all things, performing some very perty balladish tunes that Im starting to find quite captivating. And to all of you (OK, just Matt) who accuse me of just having a crush on vocalist Val ... Sure shes cute, but Matt should know by now that I prefer bass players and dark hair over vocalists and blondes. - Joel
Quirky, nerdy, progressive alternative emo pop. Kinda Pavement-y. Lizard from LFM and Earwig corrected me on this comparison saying it was more of a second generation Pavement influence (i.e. via locals Moviola). - Joel
Out of the bowels of the streets of the Cowtown came a ska band... following a name change and some line-up changes came Triggahappy. An 8-piece band, Triggahappy pumps out the rootsie ska along with some heavier material, reggae, calypso, and some funk. The band has played with ska bands such as: Blue Meanies, Thumper, Regatta 69, The Invaders, and Let's Go Bowling.
For bands thinking of coming through Columbus, Ohio, contact our booking Rude Girl: Heidi (614) 268-5502 or e-mail the keyboardist at [email protected].
We can take care of the booking and promotion, so when comin' through the Buckeye State, skip Cleveland and Cincinnati... and promenade down here to the ol' Cowtown and let's get the ska a rollin'! - http://www.infinet.com/~ggeoffre/triggahappy.html
"They make Mudhoney look like nuts & honey." - Rich Cefalo (of Lizard Family Music)
They have produced their own self-released cassettes and a CD which has been re-released on L.F.M. They're from Delaware, Ohio and combine a sense of country with down home punk roots. They released a 7" for L.F.M before guitarist Al Huckabee, esq. moved to New York. However, there's material in the L.F.M. vaults and it will be included on future L.F.M. compilations!
Nothing can describe the way their CD "Absinthe" will move you. Once it takes hold, you will be able to stop playing it.
Bassist Ed Mann now plays in the Bush League All Stars with ex-Greenhorn singer Dan Spurgeon. They have a full- length CD ... on Boston's Pop Narcotic label.
Do not fear, though. Singer Dave Holm and drummer Jeff Clowdus are together in a new L.F.M. band Bigfoot. David & Jeff both play guitar with bassist Melanie J. and Brad on drums - they're *fuckin'* incredible!
What next? US have two songs on the recently released comp CD, The Beautiful People , and look for fabulous Bigfoot stuff! - Lizard Family Music
[ Tape Cover] I got this mysterious tape in the mail a few months ago. There was no indication as to who the band was. This led me to believe one of two things, if not both: For some reason they wanted to remain anonymous or this was some kinda evilfully masterminded prank. Well, a few days ago I saw and spoke to Underworn; they did intend to retain some anonymity. I aint sure why.
As fer the music ... On first listening I was quite impressed. I kinda wondered if someone was passing some rare or old Method and/or Janes Addiction alumni off on me as a new local band. On a second listen, it didnt do as much for me. The second tune is still a perty decent heavy emo-rock tune.
As fer who the band is ... Ah, I guess Ill play along for a bit ... - Anonymous (via Cringe)
Vinnie: Demo  CS
[ Sticker] Ive seen em and/or done sound for them at no less than three open stages this year. There is no Vinnie in the trio. They cant really be described as tight, but they are among that breed of band that switches and trades instruments. These guys may just be unintentional purists in some sense. Their charm is that what I might list their influences as being are not their influences - if theyve even heard of em. They sound like they just get together in the living room when their parents let em and make some noise with little in mind other than playing what they can play. The bass can be a bit funk poppy and high end heavy - I dont really like that part of the band. Yep, its basically a garage band that I suspect Lou Reed and Jim Sheppard (V3) would be proud of, though I doubt either actually have any influence on the band. At least one of the members has never heard of V3. They might be compared to an early Kevyn and the Kasualties too. The point is, though the band aint spectacular, tight or overly melodic, I cant help but hear some perty decent songwriting potential and high spirited performances in the future. The tune Kick me in the Head may show that potential the best; and when they screw it up live, it works even better. - Joel
Wilfoster: A Smoking Proposal (self-produced)
Based on his musical outpouring from the last several years Wilfoster (aka Will Foster) is a restless creative spirit, shifting musical gears from project to project: his body of work now stretches out to encompass everything from the eccentric, hyperactive garage pop of Clay, to the kitschy garage skronk of Wilfoster + Q (aka Wilfoster I.Q.), and to what I think can only be properly described as the "electronic" bedroom folk of his Wilfoster persona.
What seems to unite his various pursuits is his brainy sense of humor, and an ear for noise that can find the musicality in everything from an out of tune guitar, to the rhythms of the human voice and a coughing fit. Indeed, on A Smoking Proposal  you can hear all of these things, but more importantly you can hear Wilfoster discovering the noisy, abstract possibilities in acoustic music, whether by over-miking his acoustic guitar or processing its sound through effects pedals.
Lyrically Wilfoster seems to be after a kind of studied naivete, writing simple songs with protagonists who believe in science fiction monsters and the pleasures of prepubescent puns ("European"="You're a-peein'".) In his cosmology anything can be a set up for a joke. Complete songs only need one good, memorable lyric and can be stopped halfway through! All of this may sound too silly for its own good, but if the Velvet Underground seemed to discover spiritual transcendence through mantra-like musical repetition, Wilfoster seems to have realized the possibility of emotional depth through lyrical repetition. The line "This is the only number I know, and this is a prank phone call" may sound like a joke, but when repeated enough it takes on existential overtones, becoming an oddly touching lament AND a joke. And no matter how abstract or goofy his songs get, they remain anchored to beautiful, intimate acoustic guitar lines, making Wilfoster a noise-mongerer for people who still like SONGS. If there is any antecedent to this, it would be the folky, acid-damaged musings of Syd Barrett, or the quieter, introspective bedroom recordings of Sebadoh, but I'd have to say that Wilfoster seems more consistently in control of his craft than his messy, hit-or-miss influences. - Nathan Weaver (via CRINGE) (Jan, 1996)
World in a Room
Sponsored by Budlight. - Joel