Tag Archives: E.I.E.I.O.

Under The Radar: Venus Throw

As soon as I saw this cover I knew I had to buy the CD.

When I first heard the title track, I was wondering if Venus Throw was one of my favorite cowpunk bands performing under an alias. Damned if Bruce Smith’s voice didn’t call to mind E*I*E*I*O, Jason and the Scorchers and The Accelerators. All the songs were written by Smith, who also handled guitar and bass duties; Johanna Boulden played keyboards and Herbie Gimmel manned the drums.

The title track is a greasy, garagey tribute to its title, even bastardizing a bit of the “Peter Gunn” theme in the mix. That same pulsating downbeat is used to great effect in “Black Cherry Blues“, so guttural in tone that it sounds like the woofers in your cabinet are already blown out. (Attention kids – woofers are part of real speakers.) Love the humor in “Ten Horn Devil” as well; these guys have that roadhouse roots rock thing down. Swamp rock? Noirbilly?

Walk Dumaine” is a more kinetic paced rocker, but even that is ambling compared to the Webb Wilder meets Jerry Lee Lewis vibe of “Get Hot Or Get Gone“, a perfect closer that leaves you wanting more (and by “more” I mean “hit the repeat button while you Google for other albums”).

Film Noir is a tight and rocking appetizer, but now I have to get my hands on a copy of Raised Right, Gone Wrong, which came out last year after an apparent eight year hiatus.  The band is now completely different except for Smith; Dirk Laguna is now on bass, with Eddie Brown on drums and Bill Motley on keyboards.

If it’s as good as this one, it’s another reward for my incessant tangent tracking and blind faith purchasing. Once again, how could I not buy a CD with a cover like that? Both covers were illustrated by Robert Ullman and I hope he and the band signed on for life.

Drop a mere fin for this great EP on CD Baby or Amazon.

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Frontier Records Celebrates 30 Years

One of my favorite bands – ever – is the cowpunk group E.I.E.I.O., and their first two killer albums bore the signature flag logo of Frontier Records. Little did I know at the time that the label originated primarily as a punk provider, as some of my favorite indie bands like The Pontiac Brothers, The Long Ryders and Thin White Rope would soon share that imprimatur. Now the little label that could turns 30 – an incredible achievement in a waning industry.

From the press release:

Frontier Records, the independent Los Angeles-based record label founded in 1980 by Lisa Fancher, and Part Time Punks, a weekly club that focuses on obscure and classic music from 1978 to present, will be celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the seminal Los Angeles label with a massive blow-out show in Echo Park on Sunday, November 7 at the Echoplex.  

Confirmed acts include O.C. hardcore legends The Adolescents, a rare one-off performance from the reunited Middle Class, a solo set from guitarist Rikk Agnew, original L.A. ’77 punk band Flyboys and the drunken rock stylings of The Pontiac Brothers.  The Master of Ceremonies for the evening will be Circle Jerks frontman Keith Morris. Additional Frontier bands are soon to be confirmed and will be announced in the coming weeks.

Frontier Records was founded in Los Angeles, CA, in 1980 by Lisa Fancher and was one of the first independent labels to document the nascent L.A. and O.C. hard-core punk rock scenes before branching out into other scenes and sounds such as the so-called “Paisley Underground” and (always) guitar-based bands along with genres such as goth, alternative country, pop and more.

Bands releasing records on Frontier include: Circle Jerks, Adolescents, The Weirdos, TSOL, China White, Redd Kross, Thin White Rope, Heatmiser, Young Fresh Fellows, Christian Death, Dharma Bums, American Music Club, The Long Ryders, The Three O’Clock, The Pontiac Brothers, Naked Prey, Flop and many more. The label’s 100th release will be a reissue of the 1979 compilation Yes L.A.

Who says chicks don’t rock? Good on yer, Lisa!

Frontier Records homepage

Frontier Records Wiki page

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Under The Radar: Muck and the Mires


Anytime I can get an IPO shirt and Manitoba's in the same pic, I'm doing it

Anytime I can get an IPO shirt and Manitoba's in the same pic, I'm doing it

I try to stay on top of upcoming release lists, which is harder and harder to do since most bands I’m curious about are not on the major label circuit. Of course, this makes it easy to be out of sight, out of mind, as there are only so many Post-It notes I can slap on a wall. Of course, most of the projected release dates slip anyway, especially in this dodgy economy, so sometimes I find myself stumbling upon a band name during some tangent and click towards their site with great anticipation…and mixed results.

Sometimes I am floored that one slipped by me (like the third E.I.E.I.O. album!!), but often times I find that the release date has shifted, or the scheduled date has quietly passed by with no update. Such is the case with the upcoming album Hypnotic from Muck and The Mires, which hopefully will see the light of day this year. Originally set to be released by the band, it then was slated for Dirty Water Records and indeed might still come out under that moniker via Get Hip Records here in the US.

There’s been a lot of acclaim for the band, from winning an Underground Garage competition on Little Steven’s show to opening the stage for the New York Dolls at SXSW. Yet, criminally, they’re still under the radar…


Great record - you can count on it.

Great record - you can count on it.

MUCK AND THE MIRES: 1-2-3-4 (Dionysius) 

Looking for the bastard son of The Sonics and The Beatles? Look no further, as Boston’s Muck and the Mires once again birth a platter that channels the energy of the former and the song craft of the latter. My god, this is what rock’n’roll music is supposed to be! Great growling vocals, snapping drums, walking bass lines and ringing guitars; it’s a sixties band with 21st century chops and production values. Twelve tracks that clock in under twenty-five minutes and in a better world there would be six hit singles here, at least.

The lone cover, “(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet” is played with as much spirit and reverence as the originals. Their other albums are solid as well, but on 1-2-3-4 they’ve nailed the clarity and sonic balance that puts these songs in their best light. Evan Shore (“Muck”) should be a star, and hopefully by the time you read this, he will be. Buy this and make people listen!

(original album review written for Pop Culture Press)

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