The Cigarette Bums – “Goofs on the Loose”

The Cigarette Bums are pretty much encapsulate the default sound that I’m looking for when I’m searching out new bands to write about here. It’s brash garage rock that’s disjointed (but not too disjointed); it’s not polished, and most importantly it’s just fun to listen to. Recordings like this that are mostly just a live performance lend to them a sense of excitement. Sometimes things sound like they’re about to fall apart, but somehow something manages to keep it all together despite itself. And I can’t help but say a little something about almost every track, because there is just so much good stuff on here.

“Goofs on the Loose” is a collection of tracks that walk the line between old school punk with shouted vocals that are not as concerned with intelligibility and tunefulness as they are with rapid fire shouts from behind a wall of noise. The important thing is that the songs are loud and fast,

“Dick in the Dirt” opens with something resembling the eerie arpeggiation of The Animals’ “House of the Rising Sun” before going ahead with a very “In a Gadda Da Vida” influenced riff. That tune becomes somewhat of the basis of the song, buried back there amongst the noise and thrash, with The Cigarette Bums seeming to offer up variations on a theme of Iron Butterfly.

“Bums will Always (The Revolution is Over??)!!!” sports a very obvious Big Lebowski reference in the title and contains that quote in the track, which like the opening track “Nigel’s Journey Through the Terrestrial Plane” is more of a clever diversion than it is a proper song.

After that, though, things start to get really interesting. “Sunrise Over Garbage Field” sounds like Ennio Morricone re-imagined by a garage surf-rock band. I could see this as easily fitting into a Quentin Tarantino soundtrack, with it’s galloping rhythm section and Western twang.

“Stoned to the Bone” moves right on back to proper punk rock thrash, with a power-chord heavy chromatic riff that focuses primarily on two chords. Keep it simple, noisy, and straight ahead. At this point it’s still impossible to even try to figure out what any of the lyrics are, but it also doesn’t seem to matter as you’re bound to be singing along by now regardless.

After one last diversion with “SMTP Sax” we get what I think is the stand-out track on the album, “Don’t Mess Around (With Me).” It’s more developed than anything else on the album, with extended instrumental sections brilliantly dovetailed at the end. The track even tips a little bit to the psychedelic end, which leads perfectly into the opening of closing track, “Strange” which later pays homage to the Rolling Stones.

Looks like I’m getting out way ahead of this one, as the release date says September 8th. Why it’s going to be another 3 months I haven’t got a clue, but until then you can check it out on bandcamp. They do have a limited (very limited) cassette out right now called “Holy Smokes” that you can get from their bandcamp page.

The band also has some gigs planned in L.A., which are shown below:
Jul 06
Silverlake Lounge
Los Angeles, CA
Jul 13
Silverlake Lounge
Los Angeles, CA
Jul 20
Silverlake Lounge
Los Angeles, CA
Jul 27
Silverlake Lounge
Los Angeles, CA

Discuss