Saturday, March 21, 2009

Reviews - 3/21/09


Astral Feedback - Soundsucanc EP - Yes, that is the actual spelling of the title of the EP. There is some nice piano work on "Boblo Island" which is track 4 of this 4-song demo. But outside of that, this is some wack-ass, overproduced genero-rock. And the gal lead-singer/bass player really can't sing.

The thing we found most offensive about this EP is that based on the press-kit that came along the CD, all the members of this 3-piece look to be pushing 30. And that is completely fine. Hell, 30 gets farther and farther in the rearview mirror for this reviewer with every passing keystroke. But track 2 - "Sounds the Same" - opens up with a mish-mash of parental chidings mimicked by the members of the band (presumably) like, "I told you to be home at 12:00, not 12:05!" and "are you even listening to me?" and then the song itself is a bitch-fest about how you can't tell Astral Feedback how to live their lives.

And those are perfectly natural emotions for a youngster. But again, the Astral Feedback folks look to be pushing 30. Grow up for criminy's. (


Direct Hit - 5 Song EP - Each of the first 4 songs on this EP sound like they would not be at all out of place playing while the credits scrolled at the end of a Jennifer Love Hewitt movie. Kind of catchy...mildly rocking...but you just get the feeling that any angst conveyed here is more of a front in an effort to score pussy. And there's nothing necessarily wrong with that, but there's not a lot right about it either.

Track 5 is a pretty respectable cover of "Rockaway Beach" for all you Ramones completists out there. (


Canyons of Static - The Disappearance - Maybe it's the springtime talking, but this group of instrumental tracks from Canyons of Static sounds like thinking-man's frisbee music to me. Hear me out because this is meant as a compliment. Let's face facts, playing frisbee is very fun, but what's the first kind of music you think of when you see people playing frisbee? Grateful Dead, right? Maybe Phish? Dogshit music is my point here. But every track on "The Disappearance" is very well done and would go delightfully with a sunny day and a slowly floating disc flying your way. Furthermore, everyone knows that the ladies like playing frisbee and this album would be deep enough to weed out the silly hippy-dippies, but be pleasing to the ear of the truly open-minded.

I swear I'm not high as I type this, but I wouldn't blame you if I thought I was because that last paragraph was as meandering as a mother-fucker.

So let's change course and let me say that I've spent more time than I care to admit listening to late night college radio trying to find value in lyricless "ambient" bullshit. And while, again, this entire CD is lyricless, it isn't some pseudo-intellectual self-stroke session with randomly repeated bleeps and blips trying to pass themselves off as songs. Every track on this thing are fully fleshed out SONGS with buildups, breakdowns, verses (I think), etc. Really, really cool stuff that is good for your ears.

And your frisbee game I bet. (

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Reviews - 3/19/09


Tenement - Icepick 7" - Chalk this one up as another early scouting report, yet ultimately a blown opportunity, from your dear friends here at Beercan Records. Had we the funds or the balls to fund this on credit, I believe we would have beaten 608 Kisses Records ( to the punch on releasing this. But we had neither the funds, the credit nor the balls. The last of which is ironic as 608 Kisses appears to be run, at least in part, by a gal.

But none of this is important really. What is important is that you pick up this 7" fucking immediately upon it's release. I've read a bunch of reviews comparing Tenement to Dinosaur Jr. and that is pretty fair because both bands feature some unbelievable guitar action that, if attempted by a lesser player, would result in a waste of your time. But this is certainly not the case here and this Tenement cat (Amos, I believe) truly knows how to play a guitar and make it count. As in, that perfect balance of being able to get all technical, while using that technical prowess to stoke the emotions of YOU, the listener. In other words, Rush truly sucks, but you can't deny that they know how to play their instruments. While on the flipside, Void will work you into a frenzy, but most of their songs sound like they are literally throwing their instruments against a wall. Tenement, meanwhile can appears to be able to do it all. I, personally, would throw in a comparison to the Descendents at this juncture, only a little less structured, which isn't a bad thing whatsoever.

Both tunes here - "Icepick" and "Summer Street" - will tug at your emotions, but don't you dare call this emo. They're poppy, but don't you dare call this pop-punk. They both rock, but I'll put an Icepick in your face if you call this garage rock. By the way, the threat in that last sentence was basically lifted from a lyric in "Icepick". In any event, this stuff will make you nostaligic for your past, anxious about your present and hopeful for your future all at the same time.

Absolutely beautiful rock and roll. Although in the spirit of our bitterness about not acting on this one fast enough, I will say that I slightly prefer the original rough recordings of both of these tunes that we here at Beercan have in the vaults.

Track us down in 20 years, future Tenement fanboys. And if this 7" is any indication, there certainly will be Tenement fanboys in 20 years.
Beautiful rock and roll. (


Tenement - Sitcom Moms 7" - Yet another one that we should have released. Looks like the better label this time around is Rock Bottom Records ( Our thoughts on this one are essentially the same as our thoughts on the "Icepick" 7" seen above. The songs here are a little shorter and concise, but still maintain an epic vibe. Wondrous, catchy shit that you need to hear. The B-side, "City Bus" lags behind the rest of the Tenement pack o' songs, in our opinion. But that's like saying that a greyhound lags behind a cheetah in a footrace.

I cannot wait to hear what these cats come up with next. (

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Reviews - 3/14/09

Cheetah Speed

Cheetah Speed - 4 Song Demo - The singer on this here sampler sounds a lot like Rick Sims of Didgits/Gaza Strippers fame. Problem is, Rick Sims has always rubbed my ears the wrong way. There's some pretty solid deep-space trucker, somewhat-psychedelic hard rock going on here. Lot's of lyrical references to nature, space, maybe even rainbows? I don't know...I gave this one a few listens, but it just wasn't grabbing me. These guys can definitely play, but the songs themselves are a little boring. The Cheetah Speed seems to be on to something by song 3 of this 4-song demo as they get a little darker and edge away from boasting about how much they rock, but it was a little too little and a little too late.

This review is making it sound like I hated this, and I didn't. Just wasn't too crazy about it, that's all. It looks like this band has broken up since we first got this demo anyway so whatever. (


Mature Addiction - To the Death of a Day - If a band takes the time and effort to record something, put artwork together and spend postage money on sending it out for people to hear and review, the least we can do is listen to the whole thing. It's only right and it's the honorable thing to do. That being said, we here at Beercan were very hard-pressed to make it through this one. This was 14 tracks of acoustic drudgery.
And while admittedly, Beercan tends towards the electrified and distorted, we've got nothing against a good mellow tune now and again. But 14 tracks of a guitar, a singer and non-stop sob stories? No thanks. Here're some of the track titles - "Looks Like Death", "Beautiful Storm", "Take It All Away"...get the picture?

Look, I hope the guys of Mature Addiction are proud of this album and I hope it was cathartic for them or whatever, but I can't even go with my usual nice-guy cop-out of, "well, this isn't really my thing" as I actively disliked this CD.

14?!?! (


Romantic Robots - Self-Titled LP - Super-scuzzy sounding lo-fi punk drek from Italy. Why is there so much late-50's/early 60's space travel imagery linked with this type of music? Do primitive sounding guitars automatically remind people early space travel? Kind of like with garage-rock and old horror-film stuff along the lines of frankensteins, werewolves, etc. I've never really gotten that as it seems kind of shoehorned order to fit a genre. Whatever the answer, it seems like there's some of that same shoehorning going on here.

In my mind's ear, if you're going to be stripped down this far on the sonic-scale, you've got to jazz it up with some speedy numbers now and again or add in some distortion freak-outs or something. For the most part though, this CD kind of clangs along at mid-tempo. At times, it sounds a lot like some of the Action Swingers earlier stuff. Unfortunately though, a decent amount of the Action Swingers earlier stuff is pretty shitty. (

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Reviews - 3/13/09


The Have Mercy's - Love/Hate 2-songer - This shit is so good to our ears but we're not going to write too much about it because, hell, it's only 2 songs after all. But as a little back-story, the lead Have-Mercy seems to be a gal named Colleen who used to be in Fenwick. Fenwick was a Massachusetts-based band that we here at Beercan really liked. Looks like ole' Colleen went from way out East to way out West, but kept her song-writing chops and mellowerful voice (that's "mellow" and "powerful" mish-mashed together) during the transition. And let's not sell the rest of the band short. No idea who else plays what else, but everyone seems to stay within a nice solid pocket which works well.

Song number 1 actually IS a fuck-you song called "Decapitated" which sounds like a pretty blunt brush-off for some sad sack out there (and if you got that hidden Fugazi joke of ours...well then, you have listened to too much Fugazi). Song # 2, "Eyeful", is an exact opposite of track 1 both lyrically and musically, which does a great job of capturing that incredible, yet in-a-way shitty, yet terribly exciting feeling of new romance. What to do, what to do. At least, that's what I heard when I listened to that one.

Anyway, great controlled yet powerful stuff that you really need to listen to. More songs please Have Mercy's. (


Retardos de la Mour - Self-Titled - So this one has been sitting on the ever growing stack of unreviewed CD's for months and months. At some point the head Retardo, Louie, emailed us asking if we hated the CD so much that we couldn't bear to review it. I assured him that this was not the case and that we actually quite liked the tunes. He then shared with me this feedback from WXRT Local Anesthetic host, Richard Milne, which surely was contributing to Louie's paranoia - "Lyrically, it's too silly for me to give serious consideration. Also, sound quality is a little lo-fi. And in case you haven't heard, 'retard' ain't quite politically correct. Don't know about other stations but it'd never fly on XRT."

I find this response hilarious for a number of reasons that I won't get into here, but fortunately we here at Beercan are not all that worried about silliness, lo-fi, political correctness or any combination thereof. Not that we're claiming to be the most out-there cats going, but we really don't have anyone to answer to here so, let it rip Retardos.

And let it rip, they do. Not necessarily in speed or feedback or volume, but these De La Mour gentlemen have a definite swagger that's hard to miss. Right from track 1, "Creeps Baby", you learn that the Louie (presumably) is "just a little guy/I weigh one-fifty/And most of that's/Dick". Now that's an attention-grabbing lyric that's compounded with really odd phrasing and some incredibly haunting...xylophone? I think it's a xylophone. Whatever it is, it kicks the song into an excellently weird, yet melodic, place. It then rolls right into "Niggers & Queers" which slinks along thanks to a heeeavy-deep saxophone tone. And calm down...this tune is not a racist/homophobic tirade, but rather a pretty vivid musical description of a hypothetical nightmare scenario for some clown who would get the heebies-jeebies should a passel of...gasp...blacks folks and gay folks show up at their door AT THE SAME TIME!

"Nobody Else in Mind" sounds like a slowed down version of the Heartbreakers "Take a Chance With Me". And before anyone gets cute and tells us that said Heartbreakers song is a cover - which it probably is - fuck off, because that's not the point. The point is that these here Retardos definitely know what they're doing, know how to craft a good song and aren't afraid to throw in some instruments that can really fuck up an album if put in the wrong hands.

But they aren't in the wrong hands here. So chim-chim-chiree! (

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Brand new nonsense!

OK, so the site is currently not routing correctly. That, coupled with the fact that my current computer is very much on the fritz and incapable of handling any website updating software, has led the Beercan staff to make the executive decision to set up this blog page.

We're going to use this site to finally catch up on a shitload of CD/Demo reviews that have backlogged. Probably a bunch of stuff that gets posted is from bands that have since broken up, but it's a blog and the important thing is that opinions are posted...not that anyone reads them.

Plus, there is actual news on the Mushuganas compilation as well as a new It Burns 7" that we've recently released in conjunction with Let's Pretend Records.

Stick around...this should be a good time.