Sleaze Round-up: October 2011

Sleazegrinder on new releases from The Lifetakers, Vibravoid, Amos Blood, Sugar Louise and The Slow Poisoner

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The Lifetakers: The Lifetakers

Half a decade ago, Vancouver’s sewers spewed up a beautiful abomination called Crystal Pistol. They were sorta like Mötley Crüe mixed with werewolves, and they were amazing. Sometime soon after, in that same town, a band called Chinatown formed. They wore scarves and sounded like the Rolling Stones, and they were also pretty fuckin’ incredible. Naturally, because this is a terrible, wicked world, both bands imploded before they ever got to sink their claws into Planet Rock. Luckily it’s difficult to keep a would-be Canadian rock-god down. Those two forces were combined, and the glorious result is The Lifetakers, a hard-charging, power-glam outfit that combines the serpentine slink of Chinatown with the guns-blazing sleaze of Crystal Pistol. Their debut EP is chock-full of teenage lust and boozy bravado, complete with a pogo-ready ode to 70s snot-rock (Dead Boy), and a soaring arena-rattler (Mommy Don’t Know) that rivals Urge Overkill in its easy swagger. Third time’s a charm, sounds like. (810)

Vibravoid: Minddrugs

The important thing to know about the latest transmission from this long-running, space-streaking, freak-rock institution is that it ends with a 20-odd-minute Pink Floyd cover. Before that, it throbs and pulsates and gurgles in waves of groovy, black-velvet fuzz. Then it goes completely berserk. Top-notch mind-fry from these debauched acid-warriors. (610)

Amos Blood: Coffin On The Tracks

I almost always know what’s going on with a rock’n’roll band, but Amos Blood have me happily stumped. They’re from Boston, so I get the bottles-smashing-skulls vibe. But they sound like gypsies – electric ones. Basically, this is the Pogues strangling the Dead Boys over a cask of stolen rum on a quickly sinking pirate ship. Gorgeous lunacy. (810)

Sugar Louise: Everything’s Better With Sugar

Remember Norwegian sleazeballs Slomber – all razor-blades and bloodbaths? Well, Sugar Louise are the same names, but this new outfit offers up poppy, jittery glam-punk. Fun, weird and packed with (ahem) sugar-powered hits. (610)

The Slow Poisoner: Roadside Altar

The Slow Poisoner is a one-man band from San Francisco. Well, I suppose he’s a snake-oil salesman first, but once he’s done conning the rubes, he straps drums to his feet and strangles a guitar and woozily warbles Cramps-y, death-billy tunes about all the unspeakable things he’s seen on the road. An alternately terrifying and hypnotic experience. (710)


Came from the sky like a 747. Classic Rock’s least-reputable byline-grabber since 2003. Several decades deep into the music industry. Got fired from an early incarnation of Anal C**t after one show. 30 years later, got fired from the New York Times after one week. Likes rock and hates everything else. Still believes in Zodiac Mindwarp and the Love Reaction, against all better judgment.