Riff Raff

Well, another year down, and more resolutions to make. If you make any deals with yourself to lose weight, stop smoking, or spend more time with friends, you can forget all that ‘cuz vinyl is your only friend, bub, and the turntable is the only thing that’ll be smokin’ after you get done spinning all this great wax I get to tell you about!

The Nederbietels will have shaved a few pounds of Christmas turkey off you when you plant this platter down—this is Eurobeat that
moves the feet! The Dutch foursome rescue you from the throes of tryptophan with a crackling, fuzz-laden stomper in “On My Mind”, a track that benefits from Beatles-like harmonies while busting out some Pretty Things R&B rawness. The flip “Where To Run” is a nod to their predecessors The Haigs, whose 1966 “hit” gave us some gnarly Outsiders-influenced guitar work stampeding alongside frantic Who stickwork. Stick a fork in this one, kids; by all accounts this is well done! (Screaming Apple Records, www.screaming-apple-records.de.

The Priscillas are four Christmas firecrackers with a new single in tow, ready to battle guntoting grannies on “All My Friends Are Zombies”, and send lustful love letters to potential suitors on “Should Be Me.” These la-la-la-la-la-la-la London girls can be best described as The Headcoatees lunging headfirst into 1977 on the former, and The Slits beating up the Shangri-Las on the latter. Best served after dinner while the kids are tucked away, The Priscillas promise a garage-punk party that’ll have even the stuffiest of houseguests on the floor or at the very least on the dinner table, kickin’, screamin’ and having a ball! These ladies are full of surprises and will snap, crackle and pop their way into your heart! (Damaged Goods Records, www.damagedgoods.co.uk).

With all that racket, you’re bound to get a visit from your nosy neighbours, and if they happen to be The Kills, you better invite them in, or they’ll plug in and rock out right on the front lawn! All that fussin’ and moanin’ you kept hearing from across the way, what sounded like the ghost of Howlin’ Wolf meeting Suicide in a dark alley—that was Hotel and VV with their newest and freshest batch of blues punk, baked up hot and juicy just in time for the holidays! And they’re comin’ over to your house to make nice and celebrate! “No Wow,” the title track from their full length opus, slithers and slides onto this latest seven-inch, but it’s the other cut, “Half of Us,” that calls for the most Christmas cheer; this new track is all shiny like the gold foil it’s wrapped in. Sonically satisfying, this isn’t the same ol’ fruit cake you get from these two year after year; in fact, this takes the trademark digital drum beats, Hotel’s scratchy angular guitar and VV’s seductive tones and puts a Wire-like twist on a tried and true recipe. Hmmm, with a little eggnog this goes down smooth and sweet, a post-punk treat for your tastebuds. (Domino Records, www.

Hey everybody, thanks for reading about another year’s worth of great tunes for your listening and buying pleasure. Have a cool Yule and we’ll have some new tricks in 2006!