Columns - "I'm a Trend Pimp" 05.04.03

Oh my god!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! “If You Can’t Stand To Be In Church For An Hour, How Are You Gonna’ Live In Heaven Forever? Yeah, You’re Gonna’ Die.”
 
Little quote from Kenny on Broadway, there…
 
So, first order of business is the latest LP by the BLACK EYES that’s out now on Dischord Records. Holy fuck! I’ve been raving about these kids ever since I saw them perform with CRIMSON SWEET and the LOST SOUNDS in February. Hailing from D.C., this is the pointblank of punk rock. Rhythmic courses of restlessness, incensed screams, angular guitars, two (2) drummers, and all too brutal lyrics of discontent make the BLACK EYES one of the best bands around. This record has the finest production on any record I’ve ever heard. It’s all about subtle details with the BLACK EYES; and yet they aim right for the throat and squeeze as hard as they can. This is the most pivotal record to come out since 1995 (period). (www.dischord.com)
 
Goddamn, the YEAH YEAH YEAHS finally delivered a full-length record. ‘Bout time! And it’s on Interscope of all labels…watch out DGC… Anyways, The YEAH YEAH YEAHS have this record…”Fever to Tell”…also one of the best records to be released in the year 2003… Those who are more internet savvy, or went to any YYY’s shows lately, might have heard most of these tunes already…but so what…they’ve perfected their sound to the point where every member stands out at what they do…unlike like most bands these days, the YEAH YEAH YEAHS all hold their own in their departments… Karen’s singing has improved sooooooooo much…she, as my friend Liana puts it, “sounds like sex.” And Nick’s guitars are bursting and as distortedly cool as ever… Brian’s drumming makes the band complete with beats that never get old or tiresome. It’s really difficult to label this band something other than really, really, really good. Eleven tracks that make me tickticktickticktickticktickticktick… (www.yeahyeahyeahs.com)
 
GRAVY TRAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DETRIOT! WE HATE YOU! NEW ORLEANS! WE HATE YOU! CHICAGO! WE HATE YOUU!!!!! There is a problem with the groove and GRAVY TRAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! is gonna renovate it! More, more! Dance-beat-raps! Hella cool rudimentary Casio keyboard melodies and porno/sexed up rhymes… Only ten tracks, with a bunch being previously released, but it’s still worth the listen, bitch! (www.killrockstars.com)
 
The A.R.E. WEAPONS, electroclash rock stars from NYC, released another operation in their machine of malevolence. More shadowy-nation raps coupled with synths and breakbeats…Post-apocalyptic visions for a nuclear holocaust DJ dance party. Those who are more familiar with the WEAPONS might be disappointed, since this disc has mostly remixes of previously released tracks, those who aren’t…fucking GET ON IT! (www.sanctuaryrecordsgroup.com)
 
Topping the indie/emo/electronica charts at colleges everywhere is the POSTAL SERVICE. Introspective lyrics about the world’s politics (although being somewhat like a freshman sociology class) and grimy heartbreak, the kid from DEATH CAB CUTIE just happens to be a great lyricist. Combine that with DNtel DJ Jimmy Tamborello behind the synth beatbox and the POSTAL SERVICE’S “Give Up” becomes a solid work of art that depressed kids all over the world can listen to in their poorly lighted rooms for months. (www.subpop.com)
 
All the way from Texas comes the SWARM OF ANGELS “Pleasure” 7” EP. Sharp, distorted, post-punk with a despondently dark atmosphere…the music is reminiscent to JOY DIVISION, RADAR SECRET SERVICE, THE SUBTONIX, etc… Barren and hopeless, SWARM OF ANGELS are a bunch of misfits to keep both eyes on. ($4 ppd: Girlgang Records & Tapes 3009 Preston Houston, TX 77003, www.swarmofangels.com)
 
Skatecore! Holy Fuck! Members of WOLF EYES! Holy Fuck! It’s VIOLENT RAMP! Straight up, top-shelf hardcore/muthafukkin/skatecore! Five tunes including “Grind the Pigs” and “Pay to Skate” that are shorter than this review! Holy Fuck! (www.freedom-from.com)
 
Apologies go out to Hideo of Nice & Neat Records for the much delayed exposure of this two records, V/A “RIDE THE ROCKIN’ ROCKET” CD and THE TREEBERRYS “I Found Mine” CDEP. They…sorta…fell behind my dresser and disappeared from my sight…sorry… Anyways, all is not lost cause I, Saint Joseph-thank the good lord, have found them. Blam! This Japanese compilation by Tinstar Records is a punk rock ‘n’ roll flurry of raw guitar power! In the great tradition of “CHLOROFORM” and “AD-VICE”, this comp is pack with several tracks from great new Japanese bands like COASTERSRIDE, THUNDER BALL, THE GIMMIES, LOOKALIKES, and more. More rockinroll than straight-up punk, but hey, they’re Japanese, so you know it’s quality music. A must have for Japanese punk and rock n roll enthusiasts everywhere. The other CD I “misplaced” was the TREEBERRYS. Japanese power pop at it’s best! These kids bawl out the melodies and hooks that get fans screaming their brains out. Recorded like the classic power pop bands of yore like the SHOES, NERVES, and GARY VALENTINE, the TREEBERRYS know all the right buttons to push to get yr heartstrings strumming. La La La La. (www.nice-neat.com)
 
Another punk/power pop band that has been making waves in my heart is the EXPLODING HEARTS. One of the best American bands writing BUZZCOCKS/CLASH/VIBRATORS punk rock these days, the EXPLODING HEARTS punch through all misconceptions that groups today can’t write punk tunes that sound as fresh and exciting as the bands from the 70’s. Fuck off if you can’t shake it to these kids music. Their album, “Guitar Romantic,” is an infectious slab of plastic with a stirring character and absolutely no pretentious behavior. And it’s a fact that the EXPLODING HEARTS are one of the only bands around, in this modern age, that can write a guitar solo correctly. Take notes kids, they’ll be one of the classics in a few years… (www.dirtnaprecs.com)
 
Rapid Pulse Records, fans of the 45 single, have sent me their latest crop of 7”s for me to delight and dance to. First up is the NIKKI CORVETTE “Love Me” 7”, oh boy… Those who think good power pop records only came out in the 1980’s are very wrong. Nikki and crew pop out with catchy, stripped, unpolished bubblegum music from those early days of “Valley Girl.” Like, totally a hit. Next up, the SAVIORS. Glam punk for the TRASH BRATS/late JOHNNY THUNDERS rock n roll… They do the whole bright and shiny guitars well enough for NYC 70’s punk/bar crowd to get drunk to… The INVERSIONS…two separate singles…the INVERSIONS…sorta 90’s punk rock…not bad…the funniest thing about this band is that their songs are almost all choruses…was that deliberate? Lastly we get BARSE, from England… 80’s punk rock full of piss and vinegar…Sounds like an early version of BAD RELIGION…but limey… (www.undergroundmedicine.com/rapidweb/index.html)
 
Woooooooaaahhh Italy! You know Italy is my next international destination…it’s true! Anyways…Goodbye Boozy sent over some singles…the ROYAL ROUTES…members of the SCAT RAG BOOSTERS and LES SEXAREENOS…that’s all you really need to know…super lo-fi garage rock with a twang of the six-string like no other…distort! Distort! Also, The BLOWTOPS, sporting a newer, slower, dirtier sound… Not the barrage of horror punk that I’d thought I’d hear here…more intimidating though…like JOHNNY CASH on heroin with a fuzz amp on a dusty bar room floor… Recorded by my luv, JayJay…only 300…go fetch! (Goodbye Boozy-via Villa Pompetti, 147-64020 S. Nicolo (TE) Italy)
 
Not many records come into the Blank Generation office that make me say, “Fuck Yeah! Fuck Yeah!” Well, on a sunny Saturday afternoon, whilst lounge in my hammock, sipping my ice-cold lemonade, I received what looked to be like an LP wrapped up in a cardboard box. I opened it up to discover a brand new A-FRAMES LP, titled “2.” Holy Fuck! I had absolutely no notice at all that the A-FRAMES were even recording for a new album, let alone had a new album totally completed. The A-FRAMES can only improve their “science” punk. Test tubes and concoctions of experimental noise out of the garage… Precision, like gun shots to the skull… the A-FRAMES! If you can’t find their last all-too limited “S/T” LP, this is a great supplement. And do yrself a favor and jump on it before these are gone too… ($10 ppd: S-S Records 1114-21st St. Sacramento, CA 95814, www.s-srecords.com)
 
That is it for this month, tune in next month for my article on file-sharing and punk rock.
 
!!!!!!!!!!!!!ENDNOTES are FOR PUSSIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
11.1.111111) So Jeff passed on to me that Maximum Rock N Roll ran some article that snubbed blankgeneration.com and all e-zines in their “What Happened to Music Zines” feature. Needless to say, I’ve written a letter to MRR stating my rebuttal. It won’t be pretty kids. I’ll let you read it next month.
 
2222) I’ve been out and about for the past month of so…in New York City nearly every weekend… Why? So many killer shows! Good lord…KELLY OSBOURNE! THE SICK LIPSTICK! (Sorry to Dennis for missing most of their set…this summer though!!!) Who else… THE WALKMEN! THE APES! DEERHOOF! LES GEORGES LENINGRAD! And this month it looks like DEATH FROM ABOVE, THE YEAH YEAH YEAHS, A-FRAMES, FM KNIVES, MELT BANANA…and more I’m sure….
 
333.333.3.3.33) Went to the WFMU record fair and scored a copy of the MUMMIES “Party at Steve’s House” LP for $5 bucks! Woohoo! Lot’saaa way to expensive records for the nerds…also gotta HUGGy BEAR 7” for $2 bucks! Again, WOOHOO!
 
4) The LOST SOUNDS “Demos 2” is well out and flyin’ off the shelves…I hope… Those posters I made are almost all gone…sooo….get on it if you want the arttshit.
 
i  a m  n o b o d y’ s  p i m p !
 
joeee

 
 
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