Despite the fact I haven't managed to track down all the newer local/regional singles I've heard about, 7-inches still been piling up, aided by a few items scarfed up from touring bands. I guess it's been awhile since the last roundup. Here's another random batch of what's out there.
Deep Shit: Creepin' While You Sleepin' EP
When's the last time a hardcore record opened with a straight-up hip-hop track? Maybe this is happening all the time now -- I have to admit, I'd probably be the last to know -- but I highly doubt it. DJ Pain 1 provides the intro track here before turning it over to Madison stalwarts Deep Shit for a couple sides worth of old-school yellin'. I can't tell you why, but I like this a lot. Go buy one. (Give Praise Records, 2010)
Oscar and the Majestics: "Baby Under My Skin"/"I Can't Explain"
The companion release to the No Chance Baby LP creates a single that never was but shoulda been. The fiery "Baby Under My Skin" is the topside, with an alternate, straighter take on The Who's "I Can't Explain" than appeared on the LP holding down the flip. Both tracks were sourced from the same original acetate recorded prior to the group's U.S.A. singles, say band members Oscar and Sam Hamod via email: "We recorded 'Baby Under My Skin' as the 'A' song. While we were in the studio we wanted to try 'I Can't Explain' as an experiment. Sam sang the lead vocal and Oscar sang the background and did all the guitar work without any fuzz. In a later recording, Oscar fuzzed it up and Oscar sang the lead vocal in this more polished final version of the song." For all those of us who haven't yet been able to track down any of the band's original singles, it's a chance to have what is in essence a new one, along with a track not available on the LP. (Sundazed, 2011)
Head on Electric: "Ghost Hunter"
I picked up this single just because the handmade sleeve looked so neat; it's a copy (presumably) of a black and white drawing pasted to some cardboard likely salvaged from a beer or soda container. Points scored for using available materials. The single song on the disc is pretty cool too, sounding like a psychedelicized refugee from the grunge era -- there are little pieces of various groups Head on Electric gets compared to in "Ghost Hunter," without it being a carbon copy of anyone. The flip is a blank side with some screenprinting on it, and unfortunately some of the ink found its way to the top. Nobody ever said art wasn't gonna be messy. It turn sout Head on Electric is from Milwaukee (which is why I thought the name sounded familiar), and projected releases are on the way from Dusty Medical and Kind Turkey. There's even a video for "Ghost Hunter." (Terror Trash, 2011)
Ramma Lamma: "Big Street Time"/"True Life Stories"
The Milwaukee trio's second single of 2011 again splits singing duties on either side between Wendy Norton and Ryan King. No surprises here -- they're another pair of catchy, meat 'n potatoes guitar rock tunes with a definite '70s glam rock vibe. (If they aren't the only band to list Bonnie St. Claire as an influence, I'd be surprised). If you like to rock, you'll like Ramma Lamma. (FDH, 2011)
D. Watusi: "Slave Walls"/"Lilly's Lament" and Summer Nights EP
The Nashville garage-popsters have popped out a couple shiny little discs this year, which I was lucky enough to grab at a tour stop here a couple months back. The single on Cass is a pair of unexpected, semi-psychish instrumentals augmented by members of the Paperhead. The Nashville's Dead disc is great lo-fi garage pop, with a semi-mopey topside title track; the flip's "I Hate You" shows some definite Thee Oh Sees influence. I hope these guys come back to town with more records someday. (Cass Records, 2011; Nashville's Dead, 2011).
The Perennials: Oh Kimmy and My Side of the Mountain EPs
More short, jangly and lo-fi pop, Indiana style, with matching hand-screened sleeves. It's not an accident the music here is somewhat reminiscent of bands like The Half Rats, Happy Thoughts or the Mans, as members of those bands played on these two EPs taken from the same recording sessions. The main singer/songwriter for The Perennials is Chris Benedyk, whose slightly rougher-edged style (and voice) gives these songs a bit of extra punch. The chunky "Savannah" wins the "song stuck in my head and won't get out" award for the week. (Eradicator Records, 2010)
Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings: "When I Come Home"
On their last Madison stop, this single was lurking in the Daptone Super Soul Super Store. It's an uptempo non-LP song from the I Learned the Hard Way sessions and apparently was mostly only available with LP pre-orders, so I'm glad I grabbed it. It looks like the only way to get one now is as part of the 45 box set replicating the album. The flip is the instrumental version of the track. (Daptone, 2010)