Dan Melchior’s ‘Loud Version’ due out March 18 via Midnight Cruiser Records

Dan Melchior’s Loud Version cover art courtesy Midnight Cruiser Records

Drop a needle on Dan Melchior’s Loud Version (Midnight Cruiser) and the blown-out, sturm and drang of distortion and noise shrouding “Hungry Ghost” pours gasoline on a collection of his greatest hits and sets them ablaze.

“Hungry Ghost” hits like a hammer, opening up the record and laying out the blueprint for this spontaneous collection of Melchior’s near-masterpieces rendered with fiery and ramshackle glory.

Primeval cover versions of John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers’ “I’m Your Witchdoctor” and Mike Furber and the Bowery Boys’ “I’m Just a Poor Boy” roll out of his guitar like snarling stray dogs looking for a leg to bite. Melchior’s baritone growl captures the garage-swamp tension of a late-night bar scene where camaraderie can and will turn into chaos without warning. It’s an element of Melchior’s rock ‘n’ roll songwriting that’s often tamed by production. Here, songs such as “Outskirts,” “Mockingbird,” and “Monkey” howl without restraint.

Melchior is unquestionably a full-album artist. Each of his releases channel a specific mood — ranging from ambient to ecstatic — as each offering is an individual work. As the story goes, Loud Version was recorded as a batch of demos that were meant to presage an Australian tour, and the compilation of songs unfolds like a perfect set list filled with unhinged teeth-gnashing anthems.

Dedicated followers of Melchior’s releases will find this to be a visceral and raw yet secretly vital run through his most compulsory songwriting; rendered ideally here for both curious onlookers and for casual listeners looking to set their heads on fire.

Loud Version is out March 18 via Midnight Cruiser Records.
Click here to pre-order the album.

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Disturbios give Subsonics’ ‘See Thru Rhonda’ an avant-garde makeover

DISTURBIOS: Matt (left) and Rocío Verta-Ray.

The latest single and video released from Disturbios’ self-titled debut album gives the Subsonics’ jangle-punk rocker “See Thru Rhonda” a minimal synth and dadaesque makeover.

The duo at the center of Disturbios, Matt and Rocío Verta-Ray, describe the song as: “Trailer park hijinks. A loaded pistol, a no-good boyfriend but Rhonda takes the consequences.”

In 1995, Matt produced the Subsonics’ classic third LP Everything Is Falling Apart—where “See Thru Rhonda” originally appeared—at N.Y. Hed Studio in New York City. Since then, he’s produced most of their albums including their latest offering, 2018’s Flesh Colored Paint.

The studio is a staple of the city’s punk and rock ‘n’ roll scene, and has turned out albums by everyone from Suicide’s Alan Vega and Ronnie Spector of the Ronettes to Elliott Smith and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion—Matt played in Heavy Trash with Jon Spencer, Speedball Baby, Madder Rose, and more. Both Matt and Rocío work on albums together at N.Y. Hed.

Disturbios is an intriguing departure from any of the aforementioned names. Each song on the new album is tied together in a wash of surf, yeye, new wave, and experimental pop inflections. “Surf Gnossienne,” their take on French composer Erik Satie’s “Gnossienne no. 1,” plunges the song’s rhythms into the depths of psychedelic and avant-garde mysticism.

“Jesus I was Evil” captures the chilling insolence, and the alluring danger of a band that hones a classic New York City proto-punk vibe, while keeping its gaze fixed on a saturated future.

Their reductionist sound paired with the writhing avant-garde imagery of the video reveals wholly new and mysterious dimensions hidden within the Subsonics’ classic.

The album is out May 21 via Midnight Cruiser Records.


Check out the first single and video for the album’s first single, “Starr,” which premiered at The Big Takover in April.

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