Dead Roses "Sleep Dep."/ "Liar" Ditchwater Records
Ralf Armin, Houston punk/glam pioneer and sometime Balaclavas sax-man could be the city's most underrated musicians. Between his works with Truth Decay, the late lamented Swarm Of Angels, and his seminal work with The Pain Teens and Really Red, Armin has paved a lofty path in the history of Houston noise. Dead Roses' newest 7", "Sleep Dep."/ "Liar," alternately fuses elements of Armin's own musical past, while also digging deep into the aural roots. Side A's title track starts out innocently poppy enough, but soon turns into a reverb-drenched kiss-off. It's toe-tapping stuff you could break up with someone to. The real action is on Side B, with the Roky Erickson-channeling "She's Not Calling Back," a nearly six-minute tantrum of frustration and emotional chaos. This is where the Roses really bloom, with Armin wailing against a wall of sound over a churning bath of guitar and a ringing phone.
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Part of the new wave of Houston glam-punkers, the Wrong Ones have enough filthy swagger and destructive danger coursing through their veins to corrupt the whole city. Their new I Love Love seven-inch serves is a rightfully seedy opening salvo for the band. Lead singer Jarett "Neurotic" Barger and the rest of the Wrong Ones borrow heavily from the Johnny Thunders playbook, with a glossy sheen of puked-up Lone Star stinging every track. Side A offers up the title track and "Miss PDA," spinning off your turntable and collapsing on your floor in a drunken stupor. It's fun stuff, and B-side "Mannequin Girl" is five minutes of blistering, decadent thrash that seems to go for miles on paint fumes and glitter. Overall, this is a good primer for what's in store for Houston if bands like the Wrong Ones and the similar Ginslingers start proliferating. Boys, start your man-orexing now.