This explosive 7” from newcomer Chives started 2016 off with a bang. This fresh faced 20 year old from Indianapolis really blew our mind in 2015 with his whirlwind live shows across the Chicago DIY circuit. Chives high octane motorik Garage Kraut spectacle is a completely transcendent experience that leaves your body a shaking heap on the floor and your mind twisted up in infinite loops. It’s so impressive to watch this kid on stage, keeping his band in line as he disappears into the audience to shred his guitar enveloped by his crazed fans. At the record release show at Maximum Pelt’s now defunct DIY hot spot Wally’s World, Chives ended his set by cracking a rib and throwing up on stage.
When I first got this tape, it stayed on repeat in my van for months on end. I’d been good friends with The Funs for years, and was intrigued when they told me they were coming up to Chicago with their new group, Swear Beam. A St. Louis super group, you might say, Swear Beam consists of both members of The Funs, as well as members of Lumpy & the Dumpers and Trauma Harness. I was hooked from the very first wave of sound that crashed over me. The tones on the album are so full and rich you just drown in them. Ten years from now, this record will be looked at in the same light as MBV’s “Loveless” and Sonic Youth’s “Goo” as a absolute classic in the Shoegaze cannon.
MP-91 BASEMENT FAMILY “S/T” 45 R.P.M. L.P. Limited to 300 copies
You find yourself in a dark hall. You hear a swell of feedback and noise. A beat picks up, that beat is off kilter and unsettling. The wave of noise reaches terminal velocity and then everything clicks into place. The lights come up on 3 dudes crafting mind bending mathematical stoner pop perfection. Those three dudes are Basement Family. It’s no secret that Pelt has been hot on these guys for a while, booking them at Wally’s World as often as possible. We’ve been a big fan of singer/guitarist Alex Auby’s bubbly stoner pop since his days with Big Color. This record was cut at 45 R.P.M. to really let those fat tones loose.
MP-93 LIFESTYLES “S/T” 33 R.P.M. L.P. Limited to 500 copies
Have you ever thought about joining a cult? Do you feel like your life already resembles life in a cult? A cult based around grungy, thrashed out skuzz rock? Well today is the day you wake up and realize that cult has a name, and that name is Lifestlyes. A literal who’s who of Chicago DIY Punk, Lifestyles features members of Lil Tits, Foul Tip & Touched by Ghoul. Lifestyles is a nasty band, perfect for creeps and weirdos just like you, just be sure you have your new Nike’s on and the proper change in your pocket for when the mothership comes.
MP-95 DAN RICO “ENDLESS LOVE” 33 R.P.M. L.P. Limited to 500 copies
Early on in 2016 we received an email from a small label out of Annecy, France called Shit In Can Records. Somehow they had gotten their hands on the debut cassette from Ego’s Dan Rico that came out in the summer of 2015. They were just wild about Rico’s sweet pop package and knew it needed to have a proper run on vinyl. In November, Pelt first vinyl co-release became a reality, and the kids in France as well as here in the States can’t get enough of “Endless Love”, a soulful punk pop masterpiece. To those familiar with Rico’s work in his band, Ego, this record should come as no surprise, he has always been the “Paul” of the group. To those not in the know, this record should slide right into their record collection somewhere right between Prince and T Rex.
Denim and leather gives way to cowboy boots and flannel. Flesh Panthers have been the top of the slop that is Chicago’s garage punk scene for years now. Countless nights crammed into jam packed basements, blacking out to Velvet Underground covers was the Panthers modus operandi for years. “Willows Weep”, which came out in November flipped that notion entirely on its head. Those expecting another dose of snarky punk must have been shocked when they dropped the needle to find a psychedelic slack country classic. Willows weep is all slide guitars and honky tonk pianos balanced out with immaculate psych pop songsmanship ala The Zombies. Live, the V.U. covers are still there, nowadays though, Flesh panthers plays them with a shuffle beat.