Thor And The Ass Boys – Sh*t The Pants
I recently posted about Thor’s new album Beyond The Pain Barrier. In that blog I mentioned his amazingly candid, funny and cool documentary I Am Thor. Well anyone who has seen that will recall the antics of Thor’s punk band side project, Thor And The Ass Boys. Although fronted by Thor one gets a sense that the band is actually helmed by Thundergeek (a/k/a Michael Pilmer) whom some may know as Devo-Obsesso or through his I Threw Up stickers or his Draw A Dick On It efforts or any other of Michael’s myriad of creative outlets. From seeing the film its obvious that when Thor, Pilmer and the rest of the Ass Boys get together, a good time is had and as a byproduct a bit of ridiculous, hilarious and kick ass punk rock is created.
Their newest novelty is a killer 7″ EP containing 4 songs. This limited edition of 500 is available with a photo cover on blue vinyl (400 pieces) or a special art cover by Micki Fever on gray vinyl (100 pieces). Both versions come with a lyric sheet backed with a label catalog in good old fashioned punk rock photocopy quality. Two of the songs on this release,”Sh*t The Pants” and “F*cking & Fighting”, are taken from the 1999 shared CD by Coalition Against Shane/Thor/Thor And The Ass Boys called Keepin’ The Dogs Away. That disc was a strictly limited pressing of 500 so its pretty hard to come by. The tracks did turn up again recently on the I Am Thor soundtrack CD but they appear here on vinyl for the first time. The other two offerings on this EP, “Exploding Head” and “Spaceships In The Sky” initially appeared on a split Thor/Thor And The Ass Boys 7″ back in 2000. That record was a limited edition of 300 and is long sold out so its great to have those titles available again here, especially as they have been remastered for an even more intense and skull shattering effect!
I’m going to let you go watch I Am Thor to discover the origin of the band’s rather smelly moniker so don’t bother asking me about it. Hopefully these guys can jump on stage to join Thor for a couple of songs if his upcoming tour for Beyond The Pain Barrier stops in The Ass Boys’ area of North Carolina.
Thor Website (Thor Central by Michael Pilmer)
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Sh*t The Pants from Thor Central
Ash Code – Icy Cold
One of my favorite new finds in a darker vein is this amazing band from Italy, Ash Code. Their sound is much more sophisticated and accomplished than most darkwave outfits, with just the right balance of production and noise. While they bring to mind too many great early goth and synth bands to name they do not outright copy any of them creating a familiar yet original feel. To get an idea think early Sisters Of Mercy by way of Clan Of Xymox with a bass sound similar to New Order, all on top of the obligatory drum machine. Its a formula that works.
Icy Cold (sung by Alessandro) and its b-side, Rain (sung by Claudia) are presented here on sleek white vinyl that really pops out of the black sleeve and jacket. The 7″ comes with a download code and of course some cool free stickers of the band’s logo. While this is a great collectible its definitely not their first release. The band have two albums, Oblivion and Posthuman, released on CD and LP as well as a few 7″s, digital singles and various remixes.
Special thanks to Delphine Coma for remixing these guys and Mr. Kitty for touring with them thus leading me to discover Ash Code.
Ash Code on Facebook
Ash Code Website
Ash Code on Instagram
Ash Code from Bandcamp
Ash Code from Amazon
Ash Code from iTunes
Ash Code on Spotify
Ash Code on Soundcloud
Camera Cult – Heart Brakes
Admittedly I am not that into vinyl. I grew up with it but it holds no nostalgic appeal for me. This release however was too nicely done not to pick it up and support a great young band in doing so. Heart Brakes b/w Don’t Hang Out is pressed in a numbered limited edition of 200 on beautiful clear vinyl with an oversized center label. The sleek artwork on the sleeve compliments the look of the record itself perfectly.
So it’s pretty (cause it looks nice), and it’s cool (because it’s limited), and its hip (because its vinyl) but none of that matters much cause it’s the content that is going to blow you away. These two tracks are some of the most delicious sounding, sunshine-filled, slightly electronic, retro-pop that you’ve ever heard. And there’s a couple more available for download on iTunes and SoundCloud as well.
I will also tell you that surprisingly these tracks come off even better live. Still as smooth as the studio renditions the live environment gives the songs an extra spark. When these three young guys get behind the drums, keyboard and mic they come off sounding like a boy band possessed by New Order. Yeah it sounds strange but it totally works. You’ll hear shades of Paul Young and Naked Eyes but with more guitar and a modern flair. Grab their downloads and see them live if you get the chance. They’re truly impressive.
*full disclosure – this item did not come in the mail. I picked it up in person at the merch booth when I saw Camera Cult live recently.
Camera Cult on Facebook
Camera Cult Website
Camera Cult on SoundCloud
Camera Cult on iTunes
Camera Cult on Spotify