Flesh Lights, Mrs. Glass, Secret Prostitutes, and Crooked Bangs
7 & 7 Is
Reviewed by Kevin Curtin, Fri., Aug. 8, 2014
Flesh Lights"No Longer" / "You Don't Know" (Twistworthy)
Sophomore LP due sometime this fall, Flesh Lights throw fans a bone in this two-tune 7-inch of beer-soaked live favorites recorded by Austin expat Mike Vasquez in his Oregon studio. Side A spins the airtight guitar pop of "No Longer," in which boyish axeman Max Vandever contemplates personal growth as a good reason for not reconciling with his ex. Flip the platter and Jeremy Steen gasps to keep pace with Elissa Ussery's punk pounding while riding a four-note hook into the potent chorus of "You Don't Know." Chemistry bristles in one of ATX's most exciting bands: Vandever the artist, Steen the rocker, and Ussery the firepower.
Mrs. Glass"Happy Every Day" / "Bring It Around" (Alphabet Records)
Not long after Pharrell Williams tainted the phrase "I'm happy" as a hook, locals Mrs. Glass, still the confusing nom-de-band of guitarist/vocalist Jordan Webster, multi-instrumentalist Ivan Evangelista, and drummer Ian Fry, quietly released an irresistible 45 with just that line. Soulful slacker love song, "Happy Every Day" rides overdriven slide guitar into a stacked refrain and Webster belting "I'm happy every day!" – arch irony considering the frontman's stern demeanor. Tough-as-nails B-side "Bring It Around" could be Motörhead on a swamp rock kick. Both tunes leave the group's 2013 debut in the dust.
Secret Prostitutes / Crooked Bangs(Erste Theke Tonträger)
Two Texas punk trios clash on vinyl with the intensity of Hulk Hogan and André the Giant's Wrestlemania III showdown, which emblazons the cover. Houston's Secret Prostitutes make the most out of the format's runtime, cramming three of their Indonesian punk songs onto one side, the best of which, "Mengapa Aku Harus," finds dexterous drummer/vocalist Adit Samudra tossing metered shouts over buoyant fretwork and a springy rhythm. Locals Crooked Bangs, whose dark wave chugs low on "Ce Type" under the French moan of bassist Leda Ginestra, explodes on the flip side into a furious power-chord workout by guitarist Samantha Wendel, accelerating until it devolves into wreckage. A foreign language curio your punk singles collection demands.