These are my five favorite songs of all time this week. You can listen to all of them on the internet, because the internet is magic. Also: The Ax, King Louie and Youthbitch are all playing on Saturday, October 29. But not together. Good luck with that!
Honduran, âLive Fast, Die Youâ
Honduranâs self-titled 7-inch got a ridiculously mean review in a recent issue of Maximumrocknroll. Letâs just say the words âshittyâ and âbullshitâ were used twice in a single sentence. These local grinders didnât seem too phased--a pic of said spilled ink was proudly posted to Honduranâs Facebook wall--which is good, because the record in question is a raw and brutal wonder. Standout track âLive Fast, Die Youâ (thatâs the way Honduranâs Bandcamp page spells it) is a beast: as fairly straightforward powerviolence gives way to spazzy grind, drummer Kevin miraculously grows four bonus limbs and goes to town on his kit. Itâs an unrelenting display of punk extremity, a two-minute fireworks display that I canât get enough of. Hey, even MRR whiffs once in a while.
The Ax, âClimb and Clawâ
Full disclosure: I helped the Ax make a no-budget music video four years ago, but since I was only paid one million dollars, and because I have had no business dealings with the boys since then, I feel my two cents are fairly untarnished at this point. Do what you will with that grain of salt, but check it: the Ax is one of Portlandâs best and most underappreciated bands. When I interviewed John Sherman of Red Fang a couple years ago, he could not help but bemoan the Axâs frustrating awesomeness to fame ratio. Totally awesome the Ax remains, as evidenced by âClimb and Clawâ, the first track off of its new Jack Endino-produced LP, Fossils of Our Kind. Like the aforementioned crimson-toothed dudes, this duo specializes in gigantic riffs that meld heaviness and hookiness, but the Ax sounds a bit more stoned--if not on actual drugs, then definitely on Fu Manchuâs best records. I have yet to hear the rest of the album, but this song has me salivating.
Steve Adamyk Band, âLandslideâ
Youâll be hearing more from me about the Steve Adamyk Band in a few weeks, when its second full length, Forever Wonât Wait, officially drops from Dirtnapâs grubby hands, but Iâve been loving the album for a month now, and I canât hold it in any longer: THIS BAND IS AMAZING. Check out lead single âLandslideâ. It is perfect amped up pop-punk. It is one of the best songs of the year. It is not even the best song on Forever Wonât Wait. It is killing me.
Youthbitch, âRichie Richâ
This band seems to play approximately two to ten shows in Portland per week. You would think such a practiced act would sound fairly polished. Or, if not polished, at least like a band that practices in the vicinity of some polish. You would be wrong. Youthbitch sounds like it understands the concept of polish, of dirty things rendered freshly reflective--the hyperactive âRichie Richâ, which will eventually find its way to Youthbitchâs first full-length, betrays fierce loyalties to the Ramones and every Converse-clad pop punk act in its wide wake--but the budget rock sensibility blankets the beauty in fuzz and hiss. Iâm not complaining. Iâm listening. Again and again.
King Louieâs Missing Monuments, â(Itâs Like) XTCâ
Man-of-a-thousand-bands King Louie Bankston and his Missing Monuments are a ridiculously well kept secret. Last yearâs âTailspinâ is one of those magical pop songs that will give you goosebumps no matter how many times youâve heard it before--itâs up there with Whitney Houstonâs version of âI Will Always Love Youâ and Green Dayâs âOne for the Razorbacksâ. A tough act to follow, in other words. â(Itâs Like) XTCâ falls just shy of splitting Louieâs bulls-eye, but this highlight from the Painted White LP delivers plenty of power pop shivers. Correct me if Iâm wrong, but do you hear some Urge Overkill-esque seventies sleaze here? And does that excite you as much as it excites me? Whatâs your number?
The Ax plays its record release show at Kellyâs Olympian on Saturday, Oct. 29. 9pm. $5.
King Louie plays without his Missing Monuments at Slabtown on Saturday, Oct. 29. 9pm. $?.
Youthbitch plays with Purple & Green, Jib Kidder and BOOM! at Recess Gallery on Saturday, Oct. 29. 7pm. $10.