Articles - Obsessive/Compulsive Rock N Roll - Les Sexareenos - 09.13.00

Les Sexareenos - Finger Party! 7" EP

It's sort of hard to write about les Sexareenos. It's hard to write about them now because I've been blabbing about 'em non-stop, listening to them daily since the needle on my record player first hit the groove on side A of their LP (on Sympathy). I love Les Sexareenos.

Above my desk I have a postcard of a guy laying on his back on stage with a saxophone jammed into his round, sweating face. At the front of the stage, kids have their hands balled into fists, screaming. You can see in their twisted, mouth agape faces, and in the clinched face of the sax player that this is rock 'n' roll. Les Sexareenos invoke the same feeling of pure howling musical lust.

Les Sexareenos are a rock 'n' roll band. They could easily sneak their way on to a volume of Teenage Shutdown and you'd probably wouldn't be able to tell them apart from their musical ancestors. The recording is perfect--just trashy enough with out coming off like they were trying to make it sound like an electrifying, blaring ball of passion. The songs themselves are crazed, like the devil himself jumped in their skin, lit their Canadian asses on fire, diseased their brains and made them all maniacs. As the singer yells with a hoarse voice that is testament to unbridled rock 'n' roll fever, the guitars gang up on each other, then dogpile the drums and bass, topping it all off with a sweet lil' Farfisa action.

A lot of bands now days are using keyboards of some kind. Most don't know how to use them, or at least don't know how to really work them into their songs. With Les Sexareenos, the organ really puts them over the top. Think of the Mummies, if you will. And really, it's hard NOT to think of the Mummies when you're listening to Les Sexareenos. They have a similar over-the-top, falling over each other, frantic feel to their songs. It's fun jumping out of the grooves on the records.

Les Sexareenos' LP came out first, pre-dating this 7" by about a month or so, but I think these songs might have been recorded first.

This e.p. has a total of four wild, stand on the table shaking your ass with a lamp shade on your head songs, two of which are on their LP. The versions of "Wild Wild Wild" and "Everybody Sexareeno" on this record are different recordings, a little more muddy or maybe just more blown-out.

I totally missed the boat on the SPACESHITS, some of whom make up this Canadian whom-pum ball of fun.
(Sack O' Shit PO Box 308 Kankakee, IL 60901)

Other 7"s of note:
Firestarter - S/T 7" EP

Hey! Here's another impossible to find Japanese single, just to tease you. By now, there's a good chance you've caught wind of at least the name Firestarter. Any post-Teengenerate band has created a rush of international attention, even before any recorded material surfaces. How's this to get your heart jump-started: Firestarter is 3/4 of Teengenerate (Fink, Fifi and Shoe). Salivating? You should be.

This is Firestarter's first vinyl outing. They had three songs on the Ad-Vice CD-comp on Mangrove Records. The four songs on this single are a bit more tame, kind of like the later material of many power pop bands of the early-80s. While they're good songs, they miss a vital sense of urgency, an over-the-top, boiling over passion that really makes a band shine. These songs have a sense of being penned in, completely under control and thus are stripped of their energy.

If you were disappointed by the Tweezers, stay far, far away from this. And if you're like me, completely wowed by the Tweezers, still proceed with caution...I bring up the Tweezers so often in part because Firestarter cover "Walkin' With A Radio On," one of the best Tweezers songs. Like the other songs, they do it well, but it's just so...mature. It's always a little disappointing when a band (or, in this case a group of people who have been in a number of consistently amazing bands) let their raging energy and passion get tamed by musical maturity. I understand that it could get boring playing the same kind of music over and over for years. But fuck, I'll take passionate, sloppy rock 'n' roll over well-played, restrained mature music. So, while this e.p. is definitely doesn't slouch musically, I think I'll still keep reaching for my Teengenerate, Raydios and Tweezers records.
(Target Earth c/o Masao Nakagami 505 Lupinus Hiranuma 1-1-15 Hiranuma Nishi-Ku Yokohama, 220-0023 Japan)

King Louie - S/T 7"

Sort of a behind the scenes guy in the Southern no-fi trashcan punk/garage scene, King Louie steps out with an adequately trashy two-song single. On the first listen, it didn't blow me over. And still, after listening to it seven or eight or nine times (and counting as the night goes on) it's good-really good-but doesn't set my soul ablaze. One of the most impressive and most notable aspects of this single is that King Louie is a one-man band. I'm not talking one-man band as in he played all the instruments on different tracks and put it all together. I'm talking one-man band in the traditional since. Louie sits behind a bass drum, plays guitar, sings, hits the bass pedal which not only strikes the drum, but also what sounds like a washboard or moraccas or some other sort of rhythm instrument. That is impressive as hell.

This single sneaks up on you. With each I pick up little nuances I missed the first time around. The more I listen to it, the more it soaks into my skin. Then, reading over the lyrics, I find the real magic of King Louie. They've got a genuine sense of sadness tempered with hope. I know that sounds cheesy as fuck, but it's true. The songs are almost like old gut twistin' country songs that make you want to fall in love just so you can break up and live to sing about it.

With all that said, I don't think this record is meant to set your soul ablaze, it's more grounded than that. It sounds sort of like Louie doesn't give a fuck about what this record does or doesn't do to you, or whether or not you even pick it up or not. This record's strength lies in it's honesty. A guy making music foremost for himself, letting it all go as his works his drum contraption, strumming his guitar and crooning a little off-key to the nameless people in his songs.
(Therapeutic Records U.N.O. Box 534 New Orleans, LA 70148-9998)

Cherry Valence - Two Headed Woman 7"
(Fandango Records 3403 Mt. Pleasant St, NW Washington, DC 20010
The Gizmos - 1976 Outtakes 7"
(Hate Records gianicolense 112 00152 Roma Italy
The Briefs - Poor and Weird 7"
(Dirtnap PO Box 21249 Seattle, WA 98111
Spelling Mistakes - Hate Me, Hate Me 7"
(No Label)

NEXT TIME: The Pinkz!

Most of these records can be gotten at: Underground Medicine

Mark Murrmann
PO Box 11906 Berkeley, CA 94712 USA

© 2003