Articles - Obsessive/Compulsive Rock N Roll - Teenage Rejects - 09.05.01

Teenage Rejects – Don't Care About Anything 7"

Putting out your 50th record is a true milestone. Not many independent labels break past ten records, let alone 50. For their 50th release, Rip Off Records offers no extravagant compilation or self-congratulatory release. Instead, they celebrated in true Rip Off style – by releasing a one-sided 7" by an unknown (for now) band. Bravo Greg, and congratulations.

Rip Off's 50th release, the debut 7" from the Teenage Rejects, also happens to also be one of the best singles they've released in a while.

Countless bands in the past 20+ years have tried to nail the vicious/numskull approach to punk, with varying degrees of success. The Teenage Rejects, whether they're meaning to or not, hit it dead on. Not since Loli & the Chones has a band written songs so simple yet so catchy, so stupid yet so virile. They play fast, like their lives depend on it, ripping through the songs so frantically that the three songs here just spill into each other. It's a rare record that gives you an idea of what it must be like to see the band. As soon as you get a grip on the first song, "Don't Care About Anything" (which consist almost entirely of, simply, "I don't care about anything/I don't care/Don't care" -- sheer genius), the Teenage Rejects are already halfway through the second song, "Losin My Mind," picking up the pace so that by the time they jump into "Razorblade," it sounds like they're racing to the big hole in the middle of record. When the needle does get there, don't be surprised if your record will be smoking – literally.

The recording fits the band like a tight, sleeveless striped shirt. This isn't some piece of shit trashcan recording. The guitars sound like they have killer piranha teeth and as the two singers shout the lyrics back and forth at each other, they don't get drowned out by the rhythm section. Everything works together just right…

It's a damn near perfect punk single, and I can't think of a better way for Rip Off to celebrate its 50th release.
(Rip Off Records 581 Maple Ave. San Bruno, CA 94066/ www.ripoffrecords.org)

Other 7"s of Note:
Tokyo Knives – I Keep Thinkin 'Bout You 7"

I began salivating the moment I heard about this record. All it took was a mention that Henry Fiat's Open Sore's drummer was a member of the band. I was warned not to expect the hardfaststupid style of HFOS; still, something told me (maybe it was the name; maybe it was the fact that so many great bands have been coming out of Sweden lately) that this band would be worth at least the time it took to listen to the record (which is more than I can say for 80% of the stuff coming out today). For once my instincts were right. Whereas most of the good bands coming from Scandinavia these days are either ferociously great hardcore or raucous rock 'n' roll (bordering on mediocre hard rock), the Tokyo Knives kick out four songs that will blister your ass. These guys understand the importance of a strong rhythm section that does more than just keep time. The bass and drums work together to build a swaggering foundation that's got all the cool of Velvets-era Lou Reed and all the viciousness of Dead Boys-era Stiv. The guitars work in with the rhythm, building rock solid songs with just the right amount of flair. No doubt, we'll be hearing more from these Swedes.
(Wrench - BCM Box 4049/London WC1N 3XX/UK/ www.wrench.org)

Kill-A-Watts – Dig These Kids/Snotty Bastards 7"

Man, if this is an indication of what to expect from their upcoming album, we are in for a doozie of a treat! These four kids from Wisconsin totally blow through two songs at a pace that'll leave you gasping for air. The topside tune "Dig These Kids" features a song sung by one of two guys in the band. He's got a good voice for adding a decent touch of rough & tumble to their blitzing blasts of three chords and firecracker-like riffs. The flipside, "Snotty Bastards," is sung by one of the ladies in the bands. Her voice fits the song’s just as well, snapping out the words like a high pitched hurricane. Boom! Flash! Crash! Before you know what hit you, the Kill-A-Watts have exploded like two bolts of lightning, leaving devastation in their wake.
(Yakisakana 51, rue Pierre Renaudel/76 100 Rouen/France/ www.yakisakanarecords.fr.st)

Quickies:
Mensen – Stand Up For Yourself 7"
(Wrench - BCM Box 4049/London WC1N 3XX/UK/ www.wrench.org)
Superhelicopter Ltd. 7"
(Wrench - BCM Box 4049/London WC1N 3XX/UK/ www.wrench.org)
Dogs "Slash Your Face" 7"
(Dionysus PO Box 1975/Burbank, CA 91507/ www.dionysusrecords.com)

Mark Murrmann
icki@mindspring.com
PO Box 11906
Berkeley, CA 94712 USA

 
 
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