C'mon overload threat
Early warning of a heavy C'mon pounding to come has been issued in the form of a four-track promo EP currently making the rounds on the down-low. The deliciously demented stomps lifted from the amp-melting sessions for C'mon's forthcoming Midnite Is The Answer album sound like Ian "Grizzly" Blurton and badass company have taken their infatuation with Blue Cheer, Black Sabbath and Molly Hatchet to a new Stonehenge-shaking level of fud-rock thuddery. Forget the earplugs - start building a concrete bunker addition to your home before they open for the reunited MC5 at the Phoenix June 9.
Mel's jazz pile
Years before Mel Brown became known as the hottest guitar slinger in the Kitchener-Waterloo region, the Mississippi-born six-string ace was cutting funky jazz, fatback blues and smokin' R&B joints for the Impulse! label. His killer debut for the label, 67's Chicken Fat - just reissued by Verve as part of its excellent LPM series - finds the 27-year-old Brown tearing it up in the esteemed company of Gerald Wiggins , Paul Humphrey and Herb Ellis . Until Verve comes across with the double-disc retrospective Brown really deserves, this will do nicely.
A cleaner garage punk
Sure, a lot of the 60s garage punk classics being collected by the Sundazed label for a three-volume Garage Beat '66 compilation series have been reissued before, but they've never, ever sounded this good. Having Bob Irwin doing the mastering from the original tapes is why such timeless documents of teen trauma as the Sparkles ' No Friend Of Mine, John Hammond 's Beefheartian cover of I Wish You Would (backed by Robbie Robertson and Bill Wyman ) and the Fe-Fi-Four Plus 2 's I Wanna Come Back (From The World Of LSD) crunch like they really should on volume 1, Like What, Me Worry? Loads of band photos and track-by-track annotation make for a stellar set.
Tripping on a Brainticket
As I think back to the time I first dropped needle on Brainticket 's Cottonwoodhill LP some 20 years back, it was Dawn Muir 's dope-addled rant about being "buried in black sand" over a hypnotic 12-minute-plus backing track that made me feel confident that $8.50 would be money well spent. But listening back to the Phonag Records CD reissue of Cottonwoodhill, it's the jazzy breakbeat-enhanced workout Places Of Light - which had previously sounded dull and out-of-place - that's my favourite track of the disturbing bunch. According to Swiss folklore, the musicians whom organist Joel Vandroogenbroeck hired for Cottonwoodhill were so spooked by the sessions, they all split, which is why Brainticket were never this menacingly good again.