777” VOL.002

Tuesday, 08 September 2009

Andrew Jackson Jihad / Cobra Skulls

Andrew Jackson Jihad/Cobra Skulls
Under the Influence Vol. 6
(Vinyl Collective, 2009)

1. “Two-Headed Boy”
2. “Subterranean Homesick Blues”
Availability: Vinyl Collective will gladly sell you a copy. ( )

Vinyl Collective has taken it upon themselves to give their artists some already-earned cred. And what better way to do this than by letting them cover their favorite bands? As was the case with the previous five installments of the Under The Influence series, Volume 6 once again features two bands and two covers on one 7inch. The series is now well into its 11th volume, but this month we're looking at the sixth installment, featuring Andrew Jackson Jihad covering Neutral Milk Hotel, and Cobra Skulls doing a Bob Dylan cover. 
Though they give a good effort, the AJJ cover of “Two-Headed Boy” didn't make an impression on me at all. Whether it's the similarity to the original, the omission of the climactic horns at the end of the original, or the use of dual vocals, it just doesn't add much to the original. Luckily, we also have Cobra Skull's take on “Subterranean Homesick Blues” on the B-side and hoo-boy! it's a hum-dinger! The drumming and bass playing is tight, the delivery is sharp, and the already speedy song is rushed even further. In this case, Dear Cobra Skulls, save the day… or at least this 7-inch!

Brook Pridemore / Ghost Mice

Brook Pridemore/Ghost Mice
(Plan-it-X Records,
1. Fake Brains
2. A Palm Tree on the Beach at Coney Island – [mp3]
3. Witches and Warlocks
4. The Alchemist
5. Crawl Back From Your Wretched Graves
Availability: On the Plan-it-X web site ( ).

You want folk? You want some uplifting tunes? You want to experience a record at its best – in split format? Look no further! You've got your much-beloved Ghost Mice and blowing-me-away-from-left-field Brook Pridemore gettin' 'er done right here. While their styles are very different (Pridemore has a more poetic/punk element to his songs and Ghost Mice is possessed of a more frail, simpler sound), both of them offer songs that are sure to satisfy. Pridemore’s side, pardon the comparison, sounds like the earlier sound of Against Me! with its dirt, grit, and shouting. What about Ghost Mice? Well, as usual, they are content with continuing their message; "There are no devils down in hell that wish for you to fail/ Your worst enemy is you." With this perfect combination, folk/punk fans are sure to be inspired.

The Bronx

The Bronx
Social Club Volume 1
(White Drugs, 2006)

1.  “A Peace in Your Heart”
2. “Witness (Can I Get A)”
Availability: Out of print.

Ah, the Bronx – quite possibly my favorite horror punk band. Think this description doesn't fit? Might I direct your attention to their first two albums? Still don't believe me? Then their video for “False Alarm” should do the trick. Submitted here is the first volume of their Social Club series. According to the band, all bets are off on these 7-inches and it shows. On a beautifully screened one-sided record, the Bronx dish out two not-so-horrific-yet-thoroughly-evil tracks. So much so that the first side is geared to send chills down your spine with a somber ballad (a cover, I believe) laced with quotations from Charles Manson himself. Meanwhile, Side B's "Witness," with guest vocals by Keith Morris of the Circle Jerks, is an irregularly timed abrasive reminder that this band can dish out the goods and still honor those that came before them. A copy of this record pops up on Ebay on occasion, and seeing as the songs aren't collected anywhere else, you just might want to break the piggy bank next time you see one.

Ollie Mikse is a disgruntled graduate student at Penn State Hershey who has erroneously been labeled as an “anarchist” by the faculty. In his spare time, he focuses on Red Sound Records ( ), among other things.

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