Pop Life

Reverberations: Garage Rock Downloads on MySpace

For whatever reason, I seemed to forget that MySpace offers the opportunity for actual downloads, in addition to streaming music.

This revelation was thrilling, despite its embarrassing belatedness, and I’ve decided to make the MySpace Mixtape a regular practice on Reverberations. The rules are simple: Selections must be downloadable, posted on an official band page (I’ve taken care to avoid “fan pages,” or any instance where consent is not implied by the actual band, management or label) and not patently obvious. The bands were found through compilations, linking from other bands’ pages, random friend requests, or simple trolling. In the future, it may be interesting to explore themes (region-specific compilations spring to mind), but for now, we’ll just rock at random. Happy listening:

The Nomads “Been Burnt” - Start things off with this shot of screaming guitar and caveman percussion from this Swedish band who’s been at it for 25 years.

The Hot Pockets “There Goes the Night” - Punk rock from the Netherlands that sounds like a cross between Something Fierce and The Born Liars.

The Satelliters “Go Away” - More than a passing resemblance to Brian Jonestown Massacre; loose, laid-back beat with a harmonica lynchpin.

Hollywood Sinners “Casino King” - Just over two minutes of combustible rock from a solid Spanish outfit.

The Dirty Novels “Audience Reaction” - Sleazy, foot stomping groupie-anthem from New Mexico’s New York Dolls devotees. It’ll be interesting to see what happens once a good producer gets hold of these guys.

Chevelles “Stacey Loves Cocaine” - Cooler than Dandy Warhols circa “Not If You Were the Last Junkie on Earth.” The Chevelles have been cranking this sort of head-spinning power pop out of their base in Australia for over 17 years.

The Federals “Automatic Breakdown” - One of my favorite up-and-coming bands; they manage to cram an inordinate amount of energy into their songs, seemingly covering the whole of British rock, since the first punk bands began creeping out of the netherworld through the Brit-pop of Suede and (good) Oasis and the modern energy of the Arctic Monkeys at their best. We’ll all be richer for having known the Federals.

The Jellyhearts “On the Run” - The playing is a little frantic, a little imprecise, and vocals are a little muted, but this kind of energy atones for all. Sounds like Meg White playing with Detroit Cobras if the latter had a firmer belief in the overdrive pedal.

D3o “Bleed” - Portugal’s more laid-back answer to the essential fucked-up blues, with apocalyptic tribal break-downs and a mean, fuzzy guitar.

The Cubical “Everything You Touch” - Producer Dave Sardy compares them to “Howlin’ Wolf on acid.” A little dense, more Nick Cave than the Tom Waits motif of Black Diamond Heavies, one of those more unique and fully-realized garage acts working across the pond.

The Primordials “What You Got” - More proof that folks in Toronto have spent their share of time with the Jam’s catalog; the vocals are rooted in the earlier half of the 70s. This one shares an aesthetic with some of the Libertines’ more memorable tracks. I dare you to sit still.

The Midways “Stuck in My Head” - Farfisa blasts and vocals that sound like they were sampled from the first Nuggets compilation. Another one from Toronto, but this cut could’ve slipped out of Sydney on Radio Birdman’s luggage during RB’s first international tour.

The Radionics “Freak Like Me” - Sounds extremely “American.” I’m not sure what that means, but hopefully the vibe will help explain what I’m reaching for. Steve Miller Band doing garage, with some Cobras soul running amok in the mix? This Providence trio is ready to play in the big room.

Thee Corsairs “Rocket 88" - Pirates + garage rock = Win-win situation. Primitive, badass rock music with a jolly roger and an Ike Turner tribute. If you were as cool as Thee Corsairs, you wouldn’t be reading this.

Thee Fine Lines “Domino” - Surf-founded instrumental killer. One minute and one-second that one could happily loop during hours of drunkeness.

The Adored “Queen’s Head” - Throbbing, rocking, sometimes shimmering instrumental; less surf than Thee Fine Lines and almost too musical to be embraced by “garage rock “devotees, this one is not to be missed. Had to go last because I’m afraid of putting it anywhere else.

-- Chris Henderson