Boba Fett Youth, Vegas Archive: Part One (PunksInVegas.com)
Before becoming editor of yuppie rag Desert Companion, Vegas native Andrew Kiraly howled, moshed and often nearly strangled himself and others with a mic cord during generator-powered desert shows as frontman for skatepunk legends Boba Fett Youth (’93-’97). BFY is digitally re-releasing, for free, its entire discography, starting with the live demo If This Is Living, Freeze Me In Carbonite, the self-titled 7” record and some recorded rehearsals. By turns thoughtful, petulant and hostile, this unique band deserves recognition. Plus, it’s fun to hear 20-year-old Kiraly berate the “Culture Factory” he’d inevitably join. ★★★★✩
Very Much Alive, This One’s Going on Your Permanent Records (Kaleidosight Music)
VMA recorded its debut four-track EP at Bare End Studios in Henderson, and producer Rusten Chidester captured this young newbie quartet’s energetic, if distinctly retro, approach to melodic songwriting. For me, a too-faithful cover of the Pixies’ “Where Is My Mind?” is a stumbling block, but it’s corrected by a stirring acoustic version of “Lights & Lions” and the quirky, lashing guitar riffs of “Summer Songs,” which incites me to roll down my car windows while blasting this crisp tune. ★★★✩✩
Various Artists, Desert Rats With Baseball Bats 2 (SquidHat Records)
Coinciding with National Record Store Day (April 20), Vegas-based indie SquidHat squeezes out a healthy, 14-song sequel to last year’s successful compilation. Many of the same bands that appeared in the first volume show up again here, too—Battle Born, S.F.T., Unfair Fight. But this time around the newcomers—for instance, Sounds of Threat, who rip into “No Respect,” and Lambs 2 Lions, who tear apart eardrums with “Golden Fleece”—wield a bigger, louder sonic stick. A worthy follow-up. ★★★✩✩
Upcoming on Jarret’s radar …
April 15: Dark-minded rocker Greg Dulli reunites his grunge-era band (minus lead guitarist Rick McCollum), Afghan Whigs, for their first new album in 16 years. Do to the Beast was inspired by the Whigs’ 2013 SXSW appearance with R&B hitmaker Usher. I’m certainly intrigued.
April 22: The ’70s Detroit proto-punk trio of African-American brothers known as Death have a third LP of archival material coming out on Drag City. Titled Death III, it includes the incredible, blues guitar-riffing ode to streetwalkers, “North Street.”
April 29: Psychedelic hard-rock band Howling Rain return with a live disc, Live Rain, recorded during the band’s 2012 tour. Singer-guitarist Ethan Miller has never sounded more possessed by rock ’n’ roll.