Our Saudi Arabian garage/punk band Wolves Versus Fairies did a short tour of Bangkok over the spring break and were lucky enough to play some awesome gigs at 1979 vinyl and unknown pleasures (with BOBKAT, Ugly Mountain and Plastic Section), Immortal Bar (with the Milkshakes and Fathers of Medicine), and Fatty’s Bar and Diner. Good times! Of course, while I was there I went on a bit of CD hunt. Here’s six of the best culled from diverse places across Bangkok:
6. Fathers of Medicine “It’s A Good Life” (free give-away CD, 2015). We played with these guys at Immortal Bar; they were acoustic then but this single track CD rocks out. Great song, great video! Not sure how they’re doing since Kimmo the drummer went back to Finland but well worth checking out.
5. BOBKAT “BOBKAT” (demo, 2015). BOBKAT is half of Chiang Mai’s Itchy Band, specifically Ra Ra (drums) and Bess Dolin (vocal/guitar). This 3-track CD is a sonic barrage of most excellent noise: break-neck drums, droning guitars and banshee vocals. Favourite tracks: War On Reality, Burma.
4. Deadtown Trash “self-titled” (2014). Kick-ass 3-track CD from the ultra-powerful Deadtown Trash, who I was lucky enough to catch live a couple of times in 2014. Heavy, sludge-like sounds veer schizophrenically between punk and metal, underpinned by Aaron’s thumping bass and overlaid with Brittany’s rants on the sorry state of modern sexuality. Sadly, currently defunct since the singer returned State-side, but there may be new projects in the offing. Stay tuned! Favourite tracks: Fukk U Up, Vein.
3. Ugly Mountain “Ugly Mountain” (2014). Chiang Mai-based band that is the new project of Gene Mahasmut Bunyaraksh (Saliva Bastards, Little Fox), accompanied by Tasasin Indhaphan (drums) and Panupong Chareanrat (violin). Distorted country-rock flavoured soundscapes with crunching guitar and ethereal violin melodies that often veer into noise-wall territory. This 6-track CD is fast-becoming a favourite and carries such an unmistakeable trace of Thainess for homesick ex-farangs like myself that you can taste the Singha (with ice). Recommended! Favourite tracks: Bork La (“Say Goodbye), Rice, Wan-ni O (“Today is OK”), Mountain, Outro
2. Wednesday “Bangkok Session” (2013). Is Put Wednesday Suksriwan one of the busiest people in the Bangkok indie scene? When not playing bass for Cana or drumming for Plastic Section and Basement Tape, he can be found releasing gems such as the songs on this 10-track CD for his solo project Wednesday. The “Bangkok Session” LP is 36 minutes of intricate guitar meandering backed up by drum loops, skittering keyboard effects, and even Gene Little Fox turns up on the last track to add atmospheric vocals. Perfect ambient mood music for these times of soul-searching chaos in the great Thai capital city. Favourite tracks: Red Jelly, Summer Song, Bi Luo Chan, Camomile, Luminare, Royal Star, Foxday (featuring Little Fox)
1. Plastic Section “Combination Special” (Colorcode, 2015). Ben Edwards of Basement Tape follows up the eponymous debut of his solo project Plastic Section with this raw yet focused sophomore effort (along with Wannarit Pongprayoon and Put Suksriwan to complete the power trio line-up). Yet more psychobilly roots-based rock that is not afraid to shy away from the big issues including the current interesting times nation-wide, rich kids with fast cars, and a slavish devotion to materialistic animism. Favourite tracks: Shot, White String, Combination Special, Climate of Fear, Binder, The Cars That Ate Bangkok, Red Velvet.
Rainy season here again,
A lot of electricity in the air…
Everyone naked and exposed,
This pressure system is about to blow…
(Plastic Section, “Climate of Fear”, 2015)