William Steffey – Hot Rod Stigmata
There’s something campy and demented about William Steffey’s Hot Rod Stigmata that reminds me of the Butthole Surfers if they could stand still for enough to produce pretty, pop melodies.
In many ways, the tune is a balancing act, or, depending on how you choose to see it, an episode in musical schizophrenia. While the tone of the guitar that makes up the intro of the tune hints at what’s around the corner, the melodies found the verse dance elegantly and sound like someone trying too hard to be polite. It’s on the chorus that the truth comes out with the Hot Rod Stigmata catchphrase being uttered as if sampled from a psychobilly record.
There are a lot of ideas that William Steffey is trying to get out on this record, and he knows how to utilize precious sonic real estate. By the time the journey ends, you will have been treated to jazz, punk, pop. It’s car music for strange, eclectic tastes.
Bad Sauna – Rakkaus on huume (The Brian Jonestown Massacre Cover)
It’s a testament to the brilliance and resilience of Anton Newcombe’s legendary The Brian Jonestown Massacre that a cover of their song sung in a language that sounds like children trying to learn the alphabet, would be this good.
This is also in no small part the merit of Bad Sauna, a fun-loving group of Swedes interested in cool musical genres that hover above the very edges of mainstream acceptance. Their approach to this single is also refreshing. They are more interested in excavating the melodies of the song itself, rather than sending out a tribute to the lasting reputation of the perpetually sunglasses-wearing BJM.
And, while If love is the drug hangs around your earphones like a haze of smoke, the version on hand here turns it into a feisty, jingle-jangle, garage rocker. Some predicted that the BJM would turn out to be the Velvet Underground of their time. And, look, it’s come true. Just like VU, they’ve failed to sell many records, but inspired countless bands and continue being quoted left and right.
Rakkaus on huume sounds like a nice night out. Just, make sure that you bring your wallet and some extra-warm clothes if that night out is to be spent in Finland.