ALIVE RECORDS 2009 RECAP
For those who missed some of this year’s releases on Alive, here they are, along with a few brief reviews. Thanks for the support and Happy Holidays!
1. OUTRAGEOUS CHERRY "Universal Malcontents"
"This glammed out, rocking piece of plastic is the best yet by the venerable Detroit rockers fronted by local freak Matthew Smith. They re-package the British glam and the us power-pop in an unexpectedly fun release that will make your feet stomp and your body move." – The Little Lighthouse.
2. HENRY’S FUNERAL SHOE "Everything’s For Sale"
"The raw power of a punk blues duo, driven by passion has been captured in its entirety. Everything’s For Sale certainly carries the heavy punch that you would expect from any Alive release and of course Henry’s Funeral Shoe wear their influences on their sleeve. This is a band that proves the nu-blues movement in the U.K is very much awake and raising the bar." – Blues In London.
3. RADIO MOSCOW "Brain Cycles"
"With a powerful, crunching Sabbath-style chords and fiery solos that earn the right to be called Hendrixian, Iowa power trio Radio Moscow plants its flag firmly in the territory where psychedelic rock, cranked-up blues, and metal meet. Radio Moscow updates an old-school style with pure passion and a refreshing lack of irony." – The Onion.
4. TRAINWRECK RIDERS "The Perch"
"Upon listening to the lush and lucid ‘Chug Along’, the crux of Trainwreck Riders’ The Perch – a seemingly endless story of American expedience – one is instantly comforted by their close association with San Fran bedfellows Two Gallants. A sonic union that finds them sharing similar free-roaming ideals, and an approach that sees TR’s singer Pete Frauenfelder’s as less of a wayward son and more an aged teller of troubadour tales." – Shindig!
5. BRIAN OLIVE "s/t"
"The heart of industrial America – The Motor City, The Rubber City, The Blue Chip City, The Glass City – have all been a breeding ground for the outlaws of new millennium blues. An unofficial brotherhood of musicians played the same dingy clubs, stirred up a similar media buzz, and over the past decade, each has slowly gained national appeal. Detroit’s White Stripes hit the airwaves first, followed by Akron, Ohio’s The Black Keys, and finally, members of the Cincinnati-based Greenhornes joined Jack White for The Raconteurs in 2007.
Then there’s the elusive Brian Olive. Under the stage name Oliver Henry, he served time for panhandling on street corners, he once wooed Meg White, and most importantly, he was the under-rated multi-instrumentalist for two seminal bands, The Greenhornes and Toledo’s Soledad Brothers. Oddly enough, he was right in the thick of the blues-rock resurgence when he went rogue, changed his name, and started a solo career.
That newfound focus has led him to a hippie-like horizon, awakening listeners with a psychedelic sunrise full of fuzzy happy sunbeams. Olive’s new sound doesn’t come as a surprise – his background in piano and saxophone finds him better suited for soul shakedowns than the sad sack of blues he left behind. His debut solo album is an abrupt departure from that former self. The self-titled record is more gypsy pop than garage rock, more of a 60’s love-in than a nod to Howlin’ Wolf." – The Waster.
6. NATHANIEL MAYER "Why Won’t You Let Me Be Black?"
"This is a sadly posthumous follow up to Mayer’s excellent ‘Why Don’t You Give It To Me’. It collects more tracks from the same sessions, juxtaposing Mayer’s gruff warbling baritone with a psychedelic soul-rock backing. It’s in fact a bit more consistent in sound than the predecessor, there are no detours into funk or reggae. The album is nothing but dark bluesy echoey distorted laments on love, money (mostly lack of it), and drugs. And that’s pretty much all I want from it, because it does those things so damn well." – Steady Bloggin’.
7. NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR HALLUCINATIONS "V.A."
VINYL ONLY. Limited edition LP 12 song compilation on PURPLE VINYL featuring rare and/or unreleased tracks plus cool psych/punk artwork. Track listing : The BLACK KEYS Can’t Find My Mind/BRIAN OLIVE Jubilee Line/THOMAS FUNCTION Relentless Machines/HACIENDA She’s Got A Hold On Me/OUTRAGEOUS CHERRY Anymore/BRIMSTONE HOWL Atomic Love/BLACK DIAMOND HEAVIES Leave It On the Road (Again)/ RADIO MOSCOW I Just Want To Make Love To You/BUFFALO KILLERS Don’t You Ever Think I Cry/TRAINWRECK RIDERS Tomorrow’s Gonna Change It All/LEFT LANE CRUISER Ol’ Fashioned/HENRY’S FUNERAL SHOE Don’t Lose The Rhythm.
8. LEFT LANE CRUISER "All You Can Eat!!"
"From the greasy slide-guitar-and-drum-pummeling intro to opener ‘Crackalacka’, you either jump in and let Left Lane Cruiser take you on a hell-raising hayride or plain get out of the way because Freddy J. Evans IV (guitar/vocals) and Brenn ‘Sausage Paw’ Beck (drummer/’trash’/vocals), a powerhouse duo out of Fort Wayne, Indiana, are roots-music revolutionaries who take no prisoners on their second outing for Alive Records. Following 2008’s Bring Yo’ Ass to the Table, All You Can Eat assimilates the Mississippi Delta blues laid down by guys like Big Joe Williams and Son House and cultivates it into a country punk’n'blues speedball. It doesn’t get a lot better than this. – PopMatters.
9. The NERVES "Live at Pirate’s Cove, Cleveland OH 1977"
VINYL ONLY. "Following-up ‘One Way Ticket’, the 30-years-awaited retrospective by under-recorded L.A. power-pop legends The Nerves, Alive unearths a Cleveland gig from an era when unsigned, un-promoted bands rarely hit the road. If the trio seem singularly energetic on this 12" vinyl, it’s because they were staying with Pere Ubu’s hospitable David Thomas, and playing two shows at Pirate’s in the flats, one with Ubu, the other with the barely-known Devo. Not bad! It’s highlighted by closing classic ‘Hanging On the Telephone’, and notably, an original Nerves version of their killer ‘Walking Out On Love’ with leader/guitarist Jack Lee." – The Big Takeover.
10. BRIMSTONE HOWL "Big Deal. What’s he Done Lately?"
"Having already earned their garage-band stripes over the course of four albums and incessant touring, Brimstone Howl has returned no worse for the wear with album number five. Like past records, ‘Big Deal. What’s He Done Lately?’ is a vitriolic mix that goes down like a dollop of axle grease and razorblades. As such, give Brimstone Howl another medal for Big Deal. They’ve earned it." – The Agit Reader.
11. The BREAKAWAYS "Walking Out On Love/The Lost Sessions"
"As Collins notes in the liners, ‘this is the sound of pop on the streets of Los Angeles circa 1978, no money, no deals, just the burning desire to make something happen in a town without pity.’ Case (Nerves/Plimsouls) and Collins (Nerves/Paul Collins’ Beat) approached these sessions with the unbridled passion and total dedication of musicians without masters – no label, no audience, no radio stations, no managers or agents, just the muse of pop music. The recordings may be fuzzy in spots, but the invention is clear as a chiming bell." – Hyperbolium.
12. BLACK DIAMOND HEAVIES "Alive As Fuck/Live Masonic Lodge, Covington KY"
"This album finds the Black Diamond Heavies with their eye on the prize and the pedal to the metal, giving the crowd amped up and energetic versions of songs from both previous studio albums including ‘White B*tch’, ‘Take a Rid”, and ‘Fever in My Blood.’ The band sounds tighter than ever, John Wesley Myers’ voice is as mean as a pole cat, and the groove seems to be growing into its own beast as Myers and drummer Van Campbell continue to spread the word of what might possibly be the best live band in the world. Alive As Fuck is the perfect stocking stuffer for those who love blues, punk, and just plain old rock and roll in its rawest form." – Disc Exchange.