777” VOL.001

Thursday, 06 August 2009

Dear readers,

I welcome you to our new column here on Ground Control called 777": The New, The Old, and the Out Of Print. The concept is simple: each month we'll review one old, one new, and one OOP record. Sound simple? We thought so, too. In addition to this, we wanted to take the reviews one step further by providing some eye candy and reviewing the package as well, so we'll try to include scans of all the records, because honestly, vinyl nowadays can look very purdy. Pirates Press, I'm looking at you!

I will say that we're going to be using the terms "new" "old" and "out of print" a little loosely. For example, some new records might be out of print or vice versa, and a record doesn't necessarily have to come out this year to be new. Also, we'll try to stick to 7 inches that have exclusive tracks, but this won't always be the case. Ground Control is for and by the people, so if you have any suggestions, or want us to review your record, go ahead and get in touch.

We have some very cool editions of 777" coming up, and hope you'll be joining us…

Very lovingly,

Ollie Mikse


Bouncing Souls
20th Anniversary Series: Volume1
2009 Chunksaah Records

Track Listing:
1. Gasoline
2. We All Sing Along
3. Airport Security
4. A Life Less Ordinary
Availability: Chunksaah Records and many online retailers

After The Gold Record, I had come close to giving up hope on the Bouncing Souls. Somehow, their songs had become more about production and less about personality and charm. This year the band is putting out a series of 7 inches with all new songs to commemorate their 20th anniversary. I'm happy to say, this record—the first of three—gives me hope. Starting things off right is “Gasoline,” which, though not groundbreaking in any way, is a great attention-grabber. Also here is the highlight “Airport Security,” the best song these guys have written since “How I Spent My Summer Vacation.” It does something the band has been increasingly neglecting over the years—slowing the fuck down—and has everything the Souls do right: telling a story of love and acceptance. Although “We All Sing Along” and “A Life Less Ordinary” are a slight bit uninteresting, the high points show that the guys still have a chance to reclaim their old glory.


Against Me!
Against Me!
The Disco Before The Breakdown
2002 No Idea Records

Track Listing:
1. The Disco Before the Breakdown
2. Tonight We’re Gonna Give It 35% – [mp3]
3. Beginning is an Ending
Availability: 7" and CD available from No Idea Records

It's hard to pinpoint when exactly a band reaches the highpoint of their career, song-wise. Most people consider that to be a band's sophomore or junior release, and there are countless examples in support of that. Submitted for your approval is Against Me!'s EP The Disco Before The Breakdown, released hot on the heels of (arguably) their most well-known release Reinventing Axl Rose, and boy is it a doozy. Contained herein, ladies and gentlemen, are the best three songs Against Me! ever wrote. This EP is a perfect transition to their more polished releases (Fat and on), and uses the Axl Rose formula while incorporating a couple of new elements like trumpets. From the opening title track to "Beginning is an Ending," it's simply 9 minutes of pure unapologetic blood and sweat. Against Me! might not be the same band they used to be, but by God, at least we still have these songs.


Tom Waits
Tom Waits
Live: Glitter and Doom Tour
2009 Anti- Records

Track listing:
1. Lucinda/Ain't Going Down to the Well (Atlanta, GA)
2. Bottom of the World (Edinburgh, Scotland)
Availability: Out of print

If you were lucky enough (and I mean lucky) to catch Tom Waits' Glitter and Doom tour last year, consider yourself one of the chosen few. Seeing as most of us live on the coasts, it seems like a slap in the face that when Waits finally booked a US tour, he decided to play everything but the coasts. Just my luck. But speaking of luck, Anti- decided to serve us an appetizer of what we missed this year by releasing three songs recorded from his tour on this short EP. From the second the needle is dropped, it's complete transfixion and completely paralyzing. "Howling!" is the only way I can explain his reproduction of these songs, almost like a forced hyponosis. With a ballsy song selection (all new songs) a killer performance to each of them, this EP is definite reminder that the man is long, long overdue for a proper live album.

Ollie Mikse is a disillusioned graduate student who also happens to write for Razorcake and In his lack of free time, he focuses on Red Sound Records and The Ottomans, and it shows.

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