punk rock

Sunday Screening: Max the Axe – Thirsty and Miserable

As premiered on the Friday November 12 episode of the LeBrain Train, here’s the new video for “Thirsty and Miserable” by Max the Axe — a Blag Flag cover via Lemmy Kilmister. From the new EP Oktoberfest Cheer.

This Is Max the Axe, on the LeBrain Train

Max the Axe went off the rails of the LeBrain Train, and we were hanging on for the ride!

This wide ranging interview with all four Max the Axe band members included the following subjects:

  • How they got their nicknames (fan question from Jeff Taylor and Tee Bone)
  • Drinking
  • Recording on 1″ analog tape vs. digitally
  • Trying to make a record during the pandemic
  • Gigs (or lack thereof)
  • Cover tunes
  • A 40 year-old tune that sounds current today
  • New track “Iron Cross”
  • New track “Droid” (which neither Meat nor Dave heard of before tonight)
  • Remixes of “Scales of Justice” and “Randy” for a new release
  • Lyrics, storytelling and getting political
  • LeBrain’s Cinco De-Listo Top Five Max the Axe songs
  • Meat’s “retirement” & future of the band

Thank you to Harrison the Mad Metal Man who helped me helm this car crash that you just can’t look away from!


NEXT WEEK:

Harrison and Uncle Meat back to discuss key albums of the year 1981!  This is both a sequel to a show I did least year with Superdekes, and also a sister show to Scotch On the Rocks’ own special on the year 1981 featuring Deke and Muc.  I was unable to participate in that show myself, but still wanted to celebrate four decades of great albums from that year.  Join us next week!

Max the Axe brings the Oktoberfest Cheer on tonight’s LeBrain Train

The LeBrain Train: 2000 Words or More with Mike and Harrison

Episode 87 – Max the Axe band interview

Hear ye, hear ye!  One band has consistently rocked us all since before the start of the pandemic.  That band is Max the Axe, and tonight we will have 3/4 of the group with us.

They are:

  • Mike Koutis/Max the Axe – lead guitar
  • Eric Litwiller/Uncle Meat – lead vocals
  • Dave Haslam/Dr. Dave – lead drums

This will be their first-ever interview together, and Harrison the Mad Metal Man will be with me to quiz the band on the new EP Oktoberfest Cheer.  The current crisis had a huge impact on its making and eventual release, and Max is eager to tell the story.  The EP certainly brought a lot of joy as we crawled through the second year of this pandemic.


On a serious note:  Please give this a “share” on your social media and help the guys out.  It’s no secret that views have been down, but every time we do an interview show, we sell a CD or two to a viewer.  You can help by sharing this show and maybe some of your friends will watch too.  I guarantee a great night and some great tunes!

VIDEO: Max the Axe – Oktoberfest Cheer (2021)

Today is the last day for Oktoberfest…but “Oktoberfest Cheer” goes on and on!

From the new EP Oktoberbest Cheer, written by Mike Koutis, here is the video for “Oktoberfest Cheer”.  Have a schnitzel on a bun and a frosty cold one, and get your copy at Encore Records in Kitchener, or by dropping us a line here.

  • Mike Koutis – guitar
  • Eric Litwiller – lead vocals
  • Mike Mitchell – bass
  • Dr. Dave Haslam – drums

 

  • Accordion by Catherine Thompson

 


Notes:  Since Eric deleted the only rehearsal footage of “Oktoberfest Cheer”, I was forced to use the video for “Randy” live at the Boathouse somewhat ham-fistedly.  However this works perfect with the punky off-the-rails nature of the song.  Speeding things up and slowing things down hides a multitude of sins in the edit, and the Keystone Cops flavour of the high-speed footage lends a comedic profile to the video.  Which is necessary for any song that contains lyrics like “don’t crush my smokes, don’t spill my beer.”

VIDEO: Max the Axe – “Pygmy Blowdart” – vertical video performance !

“Pygmy Blowdart” (2021 Koutis)

  • Mike Koutis – Guitar
  • Eric Litwiller – Lead Vocals
  • Mike Mitchell – Bass
  • Dr. Dave Haslam – Drums

From the brand new EP Oktoberfest Cheer.

VIDEO: Last Summer Weekend at the Lake 2021 / Max the Axe – “Pygmy Blowdart”

Now that the new Max the Axe EP, Oktoberfest Cheer, has been released, I am happy to present to you their new never-before-heard original “Pygmy Blowdart”.  Lead singer Eric Litwiller stressed to me (more than once) “I did not write the lyrics”.

Video footage was taken the last weekend of August, but held on to until I could use some fresh new Max music.  Check out “Pygmy Blowdart” and let Max and Meat know what you think of this new tune in the comments below!

 

Available at Encore Records.

REVIEW: Max the Axe – Oktoberfest Cheer (2021 EP)

MAX THE AXE – Oktoberfest Cheer (2021 EP)

Pandemics suck, but last year Max the Axe began working on a remedy.  Three new songs — one cover, two originals — and a new EP called Oktoberfest Cheer!  With this year’s Bavarian festival just around the corner, Max is ready to rock your beerhallen.  It’s the second release with the same lineup:  Mike Koutis (Max the Axe) – lead guitar, Eric Litwiller (Uncle Meat) – lead vocals, Mike Mitchell – lead bass and Dr. Dave Haslam — lead drums.  It’s a much more punk rock affair than the last album Status Electric.  Perhaps it’s even a concept record about intoxication!

Opening with the original “Pygmy Blow Dart”, Max sounds like Queens of the Stone Age jonesing for a smoke.  Litwiller is in full Homme mode with the groove of the Axe behind him.  “I think I’m going downtown, looking for some dope.”  Ah, the quaint pre-legalization setting!  By the end, the band is in a singalong, looking for some smoke.  “Round and round, and round and round…”  Hey guys…check the local dispensary!  There’s one on every corner now.  Great bass solo in the middle, right before Max rips on the six string.  Fans of the last album will love it.

The Black Flag cover “Thirsty and Miserable” is outstanding, full-on punkfied Max.  Definitely some influence from Lemmy’s version of “Thirsty and Miserable” too.  This track kicks and Litwiller sounds legit.  They could play it two or three times in a row and you wouldn’t get bored.

Finally the punk-inflected EP ends with the title track “Oktoberfest Cheer!”, a song destined to be a seasonal hit.  Feather in cap, beer on tap…October is here so raise up that beer!  You can picture the festhallen going mad for this October anthem.  This is the clear hit, frantic and haggard as it may be.  Adorned with festive accordion, it’s punk rock unlike any other.  You can play it year after year…or in August.  Don’t crush my smokes, don’t spill my beer!

The great thing about this EP is that it’s under 10 minutes in true punk fashion and perfect for repeat plays.

Kitchener knows.

5/5 stars

 

 

REVIEW: D.A.D. – No Fuel Left for the Pilgrims (1989)

“And when the night comes to the city I say…I’m sleeping my day away.” – D.A.D.

D.A.D. – No Fuel Left for the Pilgrims (1989 Warner)

There we were sitting in Bob Schipper’s basement after school on some Thursday in late 1989.  Suddenly Bob’s attention was caught by a music video. We always had our eyes open for unique guitars. Neither of us had ever seen a two string bass before. The neck was insanely thin. The song was called “Sleeping My Day Away”, and the band was D.A.D. — Disneyland After Dark. They already had two albums out in their native Denmark, but this was their first North American single.

It wasn’t just the bass. Even the song was unique. Anchored by a simple three-note lick played on a fat hollowbody guitar, the song had an edge we were unfamiliar with. The singer, Jesper Binzer, had a cool rasp. He wore a tie in the video and the bassist (Stig Pedersen) wore a medic’s helmet! Bob loved ’em. So did the music magazines. It’s a shame that didn’t translate into North American success.

When the bassist’s medic helmet erupted with fireworks during the guitar solo, I didn’t know what to think about D.A.D.  Were they serious?  Were they a joke?  I should have just listened to the music, but it wasn’t easy to find their album.

D.A.D.’s No Fuel Left for the Pilgrims is made up of 12 sparky rock tunes.  They range from 2:04 at the shortest to 4:36 at the longest.  If guessed that punk rock must be an influence, you would be correct.  No Fuel Left for the Pilgrims has that energy and sneer, crossed with the melodic sensibilities of classic hard rock.  Also a knack for a memorable lyric; not the easiest task when English is your second language.

“Jihad!  I’m gettin’ mad!  And there’s no fuel left for the pilgrims,” sings Jesper, somehow stretching the word “mad” into two syllables.  “Jihad” is an adrenaline-fueled blast, revealing the band’s punk rock roots.  But they slow it down to a strong beat on “Point of View”, a melodic bright spot with more of that catchy hollowbody echoing hooks.  “Rim of Hell” slows it down further, turning up the menace.  “They throw the best damn parties at the rim of hell,” goes the hook, and you’ll be ready to jump in by the end.

“ZCMI” brings AC/DC to the table, adding to the stew of influences.  Iggy is definitely in D.A.D.’s record collection too.  “Girl Nation” is another catchy highlight, with Jesper imagining an interstellar “female civilization”.   Elsewhere, the chorus “I win with a Siamese twin!” tells us where Jesper’s mind is.  It’s certainly a unique lyrical theme in music.   “Wild Talk” edges into Kiss territory; but it’s Kiss when Bob Kulick was secretly playing guitar!  Closing on “Ill Will”, thrash metal is the final genre to be conquered!

No Fuel Left for the Pilgrims contains no duds, and has nothing to skip.  Though “Sleeping My Day Away” is clearly the best song, it is among a very strong batch.  D.A.D. have that punk rock sense of humour that runs through the album.  A reckless, who-gives-a-shit attitude that hints this band will do anything so long as it’s fun to do.  It’s a great little album that didn’t particularly fit in with any of their peers coming out of Hollywood.

4.5/5 stars

Sunday Screening: “I Hate You” from Star Trek IV

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) is remembered for many things, all of them good.  People call it “the one with the whales”, but I call it “the funny one”.  It really was the closest they got to doing flat-out comedy.  (Don’t forget:  director Leonard Nimoy also directed the hit comedy Three Men and a Baby.)  As the second-best Trek (behind The Wrath of Khan), The Voyage Home was successful by utilising the old reliable time travel gimmick.

Sending the crew of the USS Enterprise HMS Bounty back in time to 1986 set up numerous fish-out-of-water sequences.  One of the funniest involved Spock and Kirk on a bus, annoyed by a punk rocker playing a song called “I Hate You” on a boombox.

Just where is our future, the things we’ve done and said!
Let’s just push the button, we’d be better off dead!
‘Cause I hate you!
And I berate you!
And I can’t wait to get to you!

The sins of all our fathers, being dumped on us the sons.
The only choice we’re given is how many megatons?
And I eschew you!
And I say screw you!
And I hope you’re blue, too.

With a single-fingered gesture, the punk refuses to turn it down.  Spock makes the point moot with an ol’ neck pinch.  It’s a brilliant scene.

“I Hate You” was written and performed by associate producer Kirk Thatcher, who also played the punk in the scene.  The full song was never heard in the movie, only a few seconds.  Now you can hear the whole thing on Youtube.  Enjoy!

Sunday Screening: The Queen Haters – “I Hate the Bloody Queen”

I haven’t been posting Sunday Screening videos for the last couple weeks. If I’m asking you to watch me for several hours every Friday night, the last thing I want to encourage is even more screen time.

However I’ve also been watching a lot of classic SCTV lately, and this one always comes up.  A spoof of “God Save the Queen”, this is “I Hate the Bloody Queen” by the Queen Haters!

The Queen Haters:

  • Martin Short – lead vocals
  • Eugene Levy – lead guitar
  • Joe Flaherty – bass guitar
  • Andrea Martin – rhythm guitar
  • John Candy – drums

This performance is from Mel’s Rock Pile hosted by Rockin’ Mel Slirrup (Eugene Levy)

“I Hate the Bloody Queen”

I’ve always had a dream
I’d like to meet the Queen
I’d punch her in the face
Yeah, that would make me laugh

I’d love to kick her in the teeth
And then I’d make a picture of it
In lovely Ektachrome
And then I’d give it to the Prince

(Chorus)
I hate the bloody Queen
She made me go to school
I hate the bloody Queen
And all her bloody rules

I’d like to drown the queen
Off the coast of Argentine
Throw her off a battleship
With her Falkland war machine

She taxes me to death
I can’t afford me dope
I’d like to get her high
Yeah, that would make me laugh

(Chorus)

I feel sorry for you Lady Di
Havin’ a mother-in-law like that