Most of the tunes on Mazinga’s self-titled CD are fast-tempo, fun and catchy power punk numbers featuring Chris "Box" Taylor’s smart guitar lines (sweet Big Muff-sounding amplifier tones with a vintage flavor) and Marc McFinn’s very hummable, crooning Misfits-like vocal lines about everything from robots, love and lust to interplanetary warfare and mayhem that tend to reinforce Mazinga’s anime/samurai/space invaders motif. This cosmically oriented music is reinforced by the album’s cool anime artwork done by Mazinga’s own bass guitarist Big Tony O’Farrell. But please don’t get the impression that Mazinga (named after the giant Japanese robot) is a pop punk band; more like a very catchy garage-punk sound that maintains a raw attitude (a la New Bomb Turks, etc.) while also occasionally skirting into styles such as psychedelic surf and tinges of rockabilly. This release is also one of the last Mazinga recordings to feature Don "Don" Blum on drums, who has gone off to hit the skins full time for the risingly popular Von Bondies (Mazinga now has Mike O’Reilly of The Dead Heroes fame in their ranks as full-time drummer). The recording (done at renowned local Ann Arbor studio 40 oz. Sound) has a professional sound that still maintains a raw do-it-yourself punk style sound that is quite clear.
Whether you are a garage greaser-oriented underground rocker, or a tried-and-true punker who digs a classic punk sound with flairs of Misfits style and subjects, or anyone who enjoys uptempo and fun rock n’ roll with catchy pop elements, it won’t matter because Mazinga’s music is so easy to please, any rocker could totally get into it. You could simply find yourself listening to this record repeatedly without stop. Combine this with their energetic and classy live show (Box steals the show with his kung fu kick guitar playing enthusiasm) and you have a sure shot pleaser of high-quality maximum cosmic punk.
Check out the website at http://www.rockfiend.net/mazinga/.
Also check out the recent "Devil Girl" 7-inch Mazinga release on Spasthmatic
Records featuring three new tunes that are not available on the CD.
The vinyl is a split record that also features three tunes by the Sweden-based
band SEX SEX SEX.
The very organic, live, off-the-cuff, low-fi, crazy-reverbed vibe of this sonic experience explodes from big semi-hollow guitar slide assault coupled by choo-choo-train chug of stripped-down three-piece trap set drums, an amazing load of sound blasting forth from this small band of outlaws. The grizzled-yet-punky and youthful vocal crackle of The Cheetah is a whole other facet to the group. All in all, very bluesy, while capable of satisfying any fans of grunge, garage rawk, delta blues, punk, etc. Hell, even the purists could find the goods here, yet at the same time I would wager some purists would be spinning in their grave whether they be dead yet or not. Choruses like "Goin’ ta Hell on Judgement Day..." howled over and over again at the top of Cheetah’s smoked-out lungs would give any listener the chills while infectiously stomping their boot and nodding their shaggy head.
This recording is a self-produced bootleg of the band, very do-it-yourself (i.e., photocopied CD sleeve and burned-off CD-R), so it is a much rawer version of their more slickly-produced records from Estrus. The recording features some of the band’s first recordings, live cuts, remixes, B-sides, live acoustic and other previously unavailable stuff. All the tunes are quite strong in that the whole recording, from start to finish, possesses the live and good sweaty energy that this band exudes anywhere it goes. Though the record is primarily ILCK’s original gems, special cover tracks featured on the album include Pussy Galore’s "Revolution Summer," Muddy Waters’ "Rolling Stone," blues legend Johnny Shines’ "Cool Driver," and Albert Macon’s excellent "Nothing Hurts Like My Back and Side." One original of note is the "Train She Rides (Mogo’s Remix)" which incorporates electronica production effects to their signature blues sound such as loops and artificialized beats, much like Blues Explosion’s experiments on ACME, showing ILCK’s dynamics within the neo-blues field.
Not only is this one of the coolest and most unique bands I have run across lately, I have had the pleasure to catch their raucous live show at Ypsilanti’s infamous Elbow Room. This live energy has afforded the band tours with noteworthy international acts such as T-Model Ford, New Bomb Turks and Nebula. This recording captures their haunting live show, but you are not complete until you have achieved both.
The recording is a very amusing, very tongue-in-cheek smattering of what The Widowmakers embody: fast, catchy, funny cow-poke punk metal with a good touch of outlaw badass-edness. Upon listening, you get the idea of The Widowmakers’ sense of humor as the first track (entitled “A Fistful of Scrotum”) begins the experience with a mock of Quiet Riot’s opening chords to Metal Health and then quickly goes into a sweet and fast surf guitar instrumental with a very southern-fried feel to it. Other interesting tracks include “Luv Critters,” which comes off as an ode to the glory days of hair metal and power ballads (complete with acoustic guitars, viola and accordion), as The Widowmakers tell a heart wrenching tale of a man who takes a romantic stroll along a sandy beach with a woman only to wind up with her giving him crabs. These are just a couple examples of how The Widowmakers just like to have fun.
The recording is well-produced without being too slick, but still lacking the rawness of their excellent live show. In all honesty, the recording is not too representative of their live show. The band comes off live with much more aggressive, faster, rawer and formidable a force to be reckoned with; from the band’s grizzled look to the volume, intensity and articulate prowess of the musicians’ grasp on their brand of dark and cocky country punk. The music on the recording almost makes the band seem much less formidable and a bit more happy and goofballish, while on the contrary their live show kinda leaves ya shakin’ in yer boots. Nonetheless, this is a good sounding and fun CD.
The Widowmakers are the type of band to put Ypsitucky, Michigan on the
map. Contact the band at firstname.lastname@example.org