If you're into scuzzy rock 'n' roll in this town, you know Westley Allen -- either from his time onstage with The Plainfield Butchers, his gig behind the bar at Time Out Lounge, or as the host of Erratic! Radio on KWSS.
Allen took some time to listen to three local tunes from Yus, The Eastside Jets, and The Muddy Moneys at the Erratic! headquarters, before he split to catch the Aggrolites and Peelander Z at The Sail Inn.
The Plainfield Butchers are scheduled to perform in October at the Las Vegas Shakedown in Las Vegas, with The Flaming Groovies, Zeke, Deadbolt, and more. You can hear Erratic Radio! every Tuesday night at 8 p.m.
Yus is a one-man chillwave/indietronica/hip-hop act from Phoenix. You can hear the albumPalms
at the officialYus Bandcamp site.
Up on the Sun: What did you think of that?
Westley Allen: Um, it was kind of just bland, actually. Kind of straight forward. I couldn't really understand the chorus. I heard it said something about girls, but I couldn't understand after that. It was following up with something, but I don't know what it was. Could you [understand?]
I couldn't really get it all. I made out little snatches of it, but the lyrics don't seem to be focal. Everything is --
It's all in the background. The vocals were mixed in the background. It reminds me of a song I hear a lot at work. [Does some quick research.] MGMT, "Time to Pretend."
Yeah, this sounds like a lot of '80s influenced stuff coming out right now.
This sounds like all the songs getting played at Time Out Lounge, where I work. It sounds like stuff people are playing right now. It's off my radar, but definitely.
I like the tones. The sounds are really great, it's well produced. I think he does everything himself. The beat was a little boring, it got monotonous. I liked what was happening most of the time, but I don't know if I liked it happening as long as it did.
It was a continual riff, through the whole song, with a loop he added on here and there.
Which is fine -- one way people do things. I thought, "Hey, this is really pretty, but then it didn't take me anywhere." But this is a really popular sound right now, and Yus is doing it well.
Yeah, it sounds like five or six songs that get played every hour at the bar, which is a good thing.
This is the first time I've sat down and listened to this artist, but I will certainly be listening to more. Paying attention, for sure.
is a new band featuring Robert "Frog" Camarena, ofFrank Zappa's Mothers of Invention
andRuben and the Jets
. You can hear more funky, Latin rock from the band atReverbnation
This sounds like Bob Corritore could play it on his show, "Those Lowdown Blues."
Yeah, this has that sound.
You know, I like a lot of world music, and this had a Latin, jazzy-blues thing going on. Cliched enough, Santana would come up.
Yeah, it's that lead guitar.
You know, that's what bothers me about a lot of Zappa stuff -- I like some Mothers of Invention, but those super long guitar solos --
Yeah, it's masturbation.
But that riff, with the horns --
That killed it.
The verses were really cool. There's a Zappa influence with those backing vocals.
Yeah, with that campiness, the Zappa storytelling feel.
Yeah, but there was also a little Captain Beefheart, a little Dr. John...
Yeah, definitely. In those vocals.
I just wish it was more that, and less of the proggy thing. It's just too much, but the guitar didn't always bother me. There were parts I thought were really cool. Not so much the solo part, but during the verses there was a weird chorus-effect that I really liked. The recording quality didn't quite seem quite --
The backing vocals lacked umph. The ladies vocals were just ---
I hear in this song a lot of stuff I really like.
I want it to sound like, I want it to have the warmth of an old Dr. John record, or the weird qualities of a Beefheart record.
Or even the warmth of an older mambo. Just the sound quality. I mean, those are the sounds of the influences. But the recording is static, it doesn't fit the vibe of the song. I guess that's what kills a lot of Zappa for me, too.
I bet he'd be great live. It would be a great live show.
Clearly they know what they are doing. I would definitely catch these guys live, and I feel like with the right producer sitting in the room with them ---
They should go with Jim Waters in Tucson, the guy who did Jon Spencer, give more of that Andre Williams feel to the recording, and you put two and two together like that, and it would be pretty killer.
Yeah. Hook up with him, and get weirder with the guitar solo. Play "weird" guitar. I don't know how to say it other than that. More Marc Ribot, less Carlos.
There it is.
The Muddy Moneys, "One Day" The Muddy Moneys are a rock band from Phoenix. They are scheduled to perform September 22 at Joe's Grotto.
So was it just me, or where you getting a total '90s alt-rock feel from that?
That's exactly what it was. It was like a song from Friends or something.
I felt like, its 1995, and I'm listening to KZON. Counting Crows or something. It's funny, it says "indie rock" on their website.
I wasn't a fan of the guitar at first, but once it came in with the bass and drums, it was better. I liked when the drums came in the middle, and it had kind of a Jesus and Mary Chain-esque feel. The more '50s thing...
The bum-bum-bum-chhhh thing? The girl group beat?
Exactly. That was cool. I always like slide guitar, even though there wasn't much, there were traces of it here and there.
Could have gone with more of that.
I always like that, bands like Truckers on Speed, when there's more of that country-ish rock, steel guitar, slide guitar, what have you. This definitely has more of a '90s thing. Counting Crows.
It's weird to me that those are indie sounds. Every 20 or so years, you are allowed to be nostalgic about something. It feels like we're this far away from a full on '90s revival scene. It's already happening some with bands like Yuck...
Most of the new bands [I like] cite Kurt Cobain as an influence. Because that's when they were growing up. It's crazy. A lot of the garage bands I listen to, Hunx and His Punx, they cite Kurt Cobain, which --I don't get. I just don't see it in the music, it doesn't sound like Cobain, but that was their introduction to rebellion or something like that.
But it's funny that now young bands are being influenced by the bands a few years after Cobain, when alt-rock has just become Fastball --and you know, there's a lot of Fastball songs I really enjoy.
I liked the harmonies here. They weren't quite perfect, but I appreciated them. I feel like the whole thing should have been tightened up some. That jangly guitar is hard to do if you are at all sloppy. It has to be clock work.
Otherwise you're a garage rock band [laughs].
This isn't the sort of thing that really excites me, but it was nice.
It wasn't appalling, it was just there.
I think it would rather be really disgusted by a song than just shrug, though.
That's true. It's like being in a band. I would rather piss people off or have them embrace me.
You want to be loved or hated. I would say to these guys, figure out a way to be hated. Or loved.
Break some bottles, guys.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.