Alt-Nation: Spring Biscuits

Outlaw In Peru – OIP (75orLess Records)75OL-234

This record has been kicking around for awhile but I popped it into my CD player the other day and it floored me. I don’t know when — or if — this band will ever play again, but that is part of the fun. They dress up in masks (because they are the Outlaw In Peru) and kick off a 10-minute stomper with fake crowd noise with “straight outta Little Compton…” where they name every town in Rhode Island except maybe Portsmouth and Arctic in “OIP Worldwide” with complete stadium bombast. They even make the point to let you know they are skipping Barrington because let’s face it, outside of that teddy bear store, it’s as gentrified as fuck. Outlaw In Peru understands that. It’s not all anthems for stadiums that don’t exist as “Profile in the Rock” rocks to some nirvana halfway between Motorhead and Thin Lizzy. “I Killed the Kennedys” rocks hard in a Grand Funk Railroad on amphetamines meets Body Count vein while offering up as much truth as the Warren Commission. You don’t have to wait for their next rodeo to hear them play. You can just go to 75orlessrecords.com to order and be the proud owner of this biscuit.

The Thermals

’90s rock icons The Thermals are back with a new album called We Disappear, which is packed to the gills with the pop-guitar rock ‘n’ roll thrills that is their calling card.  Picture a less formulaic Weezer, like you know a band that doesn’t re-write that same song over and over to get their next alternative rocker. Rock music that one can dance to with deep grooves sounds simple, but is really an endangered species. There is plenty of auto-tuned shit out there, but it’s so sterile. The Thermals are infectious and I want that disease.

The Thermals and Summer Cannibals will rock the Columbus Theatre on April 26.

Tall Teenagers – Self-Titled (75orLessRecords)

T-Rock used to always try to get me to listen to this late ’90s alt-rock band Verbena.  They sounded like Surfa Rosa-era Pixies with songs that were just not as good. Surfa Rosa is in my top 50 all time records, so there is no shame when I liken Tall Teenagers to that record. I’ve never spent the time to appreciate Verbena till I saw Tall Teenagers and it struck me what they reminded me of. It is the same shtick with fuzzy loud guitars, mixed gender vocals and short twisty tunes. What I like about the Tall Teenagers is, for starters, it sounds phenomenal. Raw guitars whether they be foreboding on “Gone Gone Gone” or just driving through the morning madness of a new day rising on “I Get Awake.” “Thief In The House” jams along sounding like some mix of Crazy Horse Neil Young digging deep into a mix of grunge and gospel with no Gods in sight. “Home” has some surf licks and a driving backbeat to carry you to safe harbor. The tension build-up in “Walking On A Street” just engages one to find out what is around the next corner. Speaking of corners, from their first show till I eventually saw them, people have raved about Tall Teenagers live. Being a fan of grungy guitars and short songs, I concur. That time I asked for my money back based on them not being particularly tall or close to being teenagers was strictly an aberration, possibly from inebriation.

95.5 WBRU Homebru’d presents The Viennagram, Eric & The Nothing, Tall teenagers, and Young Lincoln will rock The Met Café on April 29.

Matthew Logan Vasquez – Solicitor Returns

Delta Spirit’s front man Matthew Logan Vasquez comes out of the gates swinging on his solo debut as troubadour channeling Crazy Horse Neil Young with Dylan’s wit on “Maria.” Vasquez revs it up a notch with the fuzz tone “Personal,” where he laments that he has to “strike out on my own.” It’s kind of like The Strokes without trying to be something else, just letting the rock roll. “I Bet It All” is a meditative folker that reflects on throwing one’s heart out there. The grunged-out “Everything I Do Out” assures this is no I’m-going-to-leave-my-band-for-awhile-to-do-a-quiet-solo-album. I like Vasquez’ voice on “Stand Up” over the piano and fuzzed out guitars. “Muerte Tranquila is somewhere between The Band and White Album Beatles. All in all, Vasquez comes off on Solicitor Returns as a deacon in the unholy church of rock ‘n’ roll.

Matthew Logan Vasquez will enthrall the crowd at the Columbus Theatre on May 1.

Email music news to mclarkin33@gmail.com.