I generally reserve this segment for records I come across, but two bands at Gonerfest 17 caused me to nearly break my fingernails on the keyboard downloading songs, so I figured it was worth a mention as a sort of wrap-up of the weekend. There were loads of good acts this year. Two bands inspired me to do some downloading, so i figured why not share it with you.
The Guardian Singles
This band from New Zealand broke a sweat head nodding. The lead song on their Bandcamp album is “Tea Lights Explosion” a Buzzcocks-style jumper you’ll wanna hear if you’re into ’77 punk. The guitars ring with dry power chords and catchy guitar melodies travelling up and down the chorus. “Never Going to See the Rain Again” kicks off with post-punk tribal beating on the toms. “Midnight Swim” is the clincher: if I recall the last song of the set too. It was a builder riding a bit of melancholy Hüsker Dü us up the hill. It’s a awsome album. With the exchange rate, their download is around $5. It’s a fiver well spent. It’s a nice way to support the band. I say keep an eye out for them.
Gee Tee have singles listed on Discogs starting in 2017. On Bandcamp they have two E.P.s and a full-length. The full-length, G.T.R.R.C. II opens with an extra-punk version of The Zero Boys “Hardtime.” It’s an indicator for the rest of the album. The Atomic E.P. keyboard to the mix. A warbly, sci-fi melody line hovers nicely over “Mutant World” . Chromo-Zone also utilizes power chords framed in keyboard melodies. “FBI” is a particularly catchy one.
As a final wrap-up, here are my other favs from the fest. I didn’t see everything. This is just my take on what I saw:
Dick Move: Their song “Dick Move” is an instant classic. Their new album is available for download on October 16th. Dick Move.
Mary Tee and Bruce Brand: I didn’t expect this to be bad, but since there was nothing to see other than the video of thier exceptionable Sparks cover, I thought their set could be a bit of a novelty. But they blew me away. One of the most competent and charming things I’ve seen in a while. I hope they make an album.
Mick Trouble: I didn’t see his set, but I picked up his album after checking him out. The album is a serious must have if you’re a Back from the Grave type.
Oh! Boland hasn’t put out anything for a while, but I love their album Split Milk from 2016 is great. Oh! Boland.
Nick Allison- Fans of Reigning Sound will want to check out Austin, Texas songwriter Nick Allison. Through his various band projects, Allison has produced several rock albums with punk sensibilities and a western-tinged boogie.
Archaeas- Goner recently released Archaeas’ first full-length record: a ten-song slab from this Louisville, Kentucky band tearing a hole through what it means to be punk in the ‘20s. We’re confident you’ll agree they rip.
Michael Beach- Michael Beach’s repertoire contains a wide range of poetry and style. His lofty guitar strumming forms sophisticated rock riffs. His experimentation creates catchy interludes. Live it all comes together, so make this a won’t miss.
Big Clown- Chaos rules when this new band from Memphis takes the stage. The band play explosive 1-2 minute songs tearing up the conventions of speed by crashing, burning, and making it work. Wanna big sound? Big Clown.
Bloodbags play hard driving punk with excessive grunge overdrive. Put your hands on the screen during their set; you’ll feel the vibration.
The Cheater Slicks- Since 1987, The Cheater Slicks have experimented with the boundaries of trash rock. The now trio will be broadcasting from Columbus, Ohio with a set of punk devolution in the tradition of many intrepid Ohio bands.
Dick Move- This Auckland, New Zealand group has a driving ’77 sound and a title song with a masterfully woven double entendre. It careens like a truck in a jackknife: a must see if there’s a punker still living in you.
En Attendant Ana- For a dose of dramatic indie pop check out En Attendant Ana joining the line up from Paris, France. This multi-instrumental project will satisfy your desire for 4AD-influenced pop.
Exbats- Exbats create a mélange of simple punk and catchy indie rock. The band extracts a lot of hip swinging from short, poppy blasts, catchy choruses, and a hint of Mersey sensibility thrown in.
Gee Tee- If you think punk is dead, you’ll be glad to see this Sydney, Australia band exporting a set of full-blown head nodders. Gee Tee play lo-fi punk with catchy pop stylings, a Ramones roll, and a bit of Ausmuteants digital wavelength thrown in.
Guardian Singles- There’s a bit of melody, a bit of aggression, and a bit of Buzzcocks in Guardian Singles set. This group from Auckland, New Zealand is a must hear if you’re into ’77-style punk.
Saba Lou- Saba Lou began her recording carrer at 6 years old. Her subtle mix of soul and indie pop creates infectiously catchy pop songs.
Lousy Sue- Slinky lo-fi pop from Indianapolis. Great for a night of groove. Their first E.P is out now: watch them hit the virtual stage this year at Gonerfest.
Melenas- Pamplona, Spain’s Melenas have cemented their reputation as a band to look out for with their second album Dias Raros released this year on Trouble in Mind Records. The band joins Gonerfest this year with their ethereal and infectiously hook-laden post punk.
David Nance- Nance honed his lo-fi pop style covering entire albums by Lou Reed and The Rolling Stones. His most recent album Negative Boogie is a raw-swinging masterpiece. He killed at Gonerfest before and will likely kill again.
Jack Oblivian & The Sheiks- The Sheiks join Jack Oblivian this year for a punk ‘n’ roll rooftop gig The Beatles wouldn’t have touched with a ten-foot guitar chord. It might not be totally original, but it’s promises to be dangerous.
OH! Boland- This budget pop group from Tuam, Ireland play distortion-laden pop with catchy choruses. Their album Spilt Milk is a solid slab of catchy punk. COVID has interrupted a planned east coast tour, so don’t miss this opportunity to see this high-energy outfit live this year.
Optic Sink’s debut full-length is coming to Goner soon: Optic Sink.
Quintron & Miss Pussycat- This duo’s live show often incorporates a mix of rare keyboards and puppets. Live they can’t be pinned down: there’s no telling what they’ll do with the flexibility of video and time.
The Rebel- Country Teasers’ Ben Wallers heads this long-standing experimental project with discordant riffs, mysterious time changes, and DaDa-ist themes. Expect the unexpected. Another wildcard appearance for Gonerfest 17.
Mary Tee & Bruce Brand – This duo elevated our moods this year producing a video of an excellent cover of The Sparks’ “This Town Ain’t Big Enough for Both of Us” that went viral. They’re now preparing to show their faces at this year’s Gonerfest.
Thigh Master- Goner released Thigh Masters’ second album Now For Example last year. The Melbourne troupe was touring extensively before the COVID lockdowns. Tune in to their Gonerfest performance to catch up with the band.
Mick Trouble – Trouble is also Mick’s middle name as missed opportunities and label nonsense has kept his music somewhat under wraps the past few years. Now he’s in high gear and the time to get with Mr. Trouble’s raw brand of infectious of jangle pop is at hand.
True Sons of Thunder- Blastings of no-nonsense trash rock from Memphis, Tennessee. If you’re figuring out a way to throw virtual beer cans, this is one to see for sure.
Zerodent- Dry 4/4 punk with the guitar distortion turned down and rickety strumming taking up the slack. Fans of The Urinals will want to check out Zerodent.
If you’re a Baltimore shopper, Atomic Books is carrying Among These Dark Blueberry Mills along with a couple of other zines I did. Check out thier website. They really are one of the best book stores I’ve ever been to. I’m really thrilled they are carrying my stupid thing.
3620 Falls Road
When I started the Mills last Thanksgiving I had no idea I’d ever really finish it. It just takes perseverance and a desire to overlook the fact that I don’t have that much talent. But here I am making drawings hoping to start work on ATDBM II this Thanksgiving. I’ve got a scetchbook dedicated to development and keeping up with the characters I’ve already drawn. So check back, I hope to keep putting up ATDBM II drawings as I develop the story. I hope number 2 will sort of be my brooding Empire Strikes Back. If this all goes well, I hope to make this thing a trilogy. But who knows, life is weird. Still, I’m excited about it at the moment, so let’s stay on this journey. I thank those who have been supportive. Check the Store and About section for links to stores and distros carrying the first issue. I appreciate those stores and hope you’ll give them some business.
I’m so excited to have my first full-length comic Among These Dark Blueberry Mills available through the website.
Pre-orders are being enveloped and will ship tomorrow! Thank you so much for your pre-support.
Look to the bottom of this page for order buttons and a bundle button for this and the new Cramhole #6. At the very bottom are two concept drawings for ATDBM 2.
Also, the store has bundle options for ordering multiple of various issues. Just let me know what you need.
Among These Dark Blueberry Mills
You may think Earth is in bad shape, but there are two alien species that would love to have it. Written and drawn by Billups Allen, Among These Dark Blueberry Mills is my first long-form sci-fi comic. I hope to make it a short series. $6 plus 2.50 shipping.
Cramhole 6 / Among These Dark Blueberry Mills Bundle
I’m very excited about my two most recent projects. If you’re interested in getting physical copies, here’s a $13 bundle for Cramhole #6 and Among These Dark Blueberry Mills. The Blueberry layout is nearly done and the covers are printed, so this will ship very shortly. I’ll also send stickers and Cramhole-related junk. Cramhole 6/Among These Dark Blueberry Mills Bundle $5.00 each and $3 shipping. $13.00 total.
Thank you for your pre-orders of our new comic Among These Dark Blueberry Mills. There has been a slight delay in production. I had hoped to have the comic out by now, but it is finished and production is in the works. I hope to get them in the mail over the next couple of weeks. Sorry again and thanks for supporting the zine.
Here’s a teaser for the comic if you haven’t seen it yet:
The lastest Splat the Movies column I wrote for Razorcake is an interview with Suzi Quatro about a recent documentary about her life. Take a look if you get a chance.
I have a One Punk’s Guide in Razorcake 117. I’m really proud to have been able to write a nice piece about John Waters, one of my favorite people. Take a look if you get a chance. I hope I did his legacy so far some justice.