Columns - "I'm a Trend Pimp" 12.29.03

Life by a dwarf star…yeah… Last entry in the Hales Comet to Hades… is going into a dormant phase of life…or death…whatever you want to call it. Kenny told me I should start BG up when punk rock’s cool again.…when was it ever?
I do have some last minute things/reviews/statements that I want known – 1. Just because I stopped doing this zine doesn’t mean you can whine and sit on yr ass, start yr own fuckin’ zine…it’s a lot of work, with little thanks, and almost any free record you get will suck. Everyone should do it! 2. After my domain name runs out the zine will still be online somewhere. 3. Punk died with Joey Ramone and Joe Strummer. Get over it. 4. Thank you to all the writers, contributors, bands, and bitch-ass kids who I’ve meet over the last 4 or 5 years… It’s clear that there ARE people out there that love music as much as me, and that is a comforting thought. You can still reach me through On/On Switch, or on soulseek, but I’ll probably still be an asshole. And with that, on to the last music reviews I’ll ever do.
So here is a list of the records that have affected me in 2003.
POPULAR SHAPES “Bikini Style.” Probably the best record released all year, and it’s on my label. A Frames archdeacon meets Minor Threat meets Le Shok, meets a cliff, then falls off…The ambulance rushed them to the hospital, but it was too late…their too far gone to be saved…cremation. (
THE LITTLE KILLERS have sent me this fine slab of hot rock n roll, proving to the world that Brooklyn isn’t entirely full of western shirt wearin’, Kelly Osbourne truck hattin’ hipsters. Twelve tracks of overblown, high-energy garage punk that refuses to slow down for pedestrians. The KILLERS are that rare breed of brooding rock n roll that only comes along once in a decade, DEVIL DOGS, TEENGENERATE, GORIES, and THE LITTLE KILLERS; it all fits. (
BLACK EYES, rhythmic noise of discontent in the 00’s… New. Fresh. Amazing. Holy fuck! 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. (
ANIMAL COLLECTIVE, a brilliant, shining group of avantgarde propellers in the African style and pulse. Beats like the fire from a pipe bomb matched with yelps of joy and love, these guys are all rhythm. The spaces in-between the chords are what are truly beautiful. (
THE YEAH YEAH YEAHS have this record…”Fever to Tell”…also one of the best records to be released in the year 2003… It’s rock n roll that lives and breathes. 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… (
THE DIPERS, comin’ straight at ya from Seattle, these kids are some AFRAMES and DOUBLE FUDGE, and they kill! Manic guitar screeches mixed with that blown out bass line that sends shivers down yr spin…Their “How to Plan Successful Parties” CD is the new garage punk wave of the future heads like steel. The followers will follow. (
The incredible PHANTOM PREGNANCIES “The Compilation That Could Have Been A Contender” LP!!!!! An LP ONLY release, I’m not 100% sure, but I think they had a track on a CD comp and it was completely blank, which shows their dedication to vinyl. The PHANTOM PREGNANCIES are a garage punk group (which is rumored to contain members of HUGGY BEAR, the identities of the members are a complete mystery to me), Also, it should be stated that this band was rumored to appear at shows and just plug in totally unannounced and uninvited. Now that’s fuckin’ punk! Sounding like a female-version of the MUMMIES, this is the best, trashiest, super-fun garage punk and riot grrrl record you’ll buy all year, so get it, like, now! (
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. (
BLACK LIPSTICK, could rock n roll ever get old when these boys and girls are kickin’ out the jams, I think not. They are just irresistible. You can’t resist! These Texans rock all with a cool, swanky VELVET UNDERGROUND casual resonance that sneaks up behind you and wraps it’s jaws around your neck. And before you can even distinguish what it is, it’s all over. The SONIC YOUTH styled guitar wail is apparent, but these boys and girls are all about a rock ‘n’ roll attitude that traces back to the 1960’s. The sexy male/female voices on this record comb over your body like a summer breeze through yr window. Rock ‘N’ Roll can never be buried. Amen to that. (
It’s BRITISH SEA POWER! The kings of the indie rock scene, these UK crackerjacks belt out the rock in a JOY DIVISION meets MORRISSEY meets “I’m a Creep” RADIOHEAD kinda way. “Decline of…” is epic in its creation, in a lonely, desperate, and destroyed sentiment of the end. (
THE DARKNESS – all I have to say is, “GUITAR!” (
THE STILLS released their “Logic Will Break Your Heart” after a stunning EP that moves to checkmate to the next Britpop superstars. Beautifully crafted pop numbers that are bright with sugar on top. A must have for any BLUR/CATHERINE WHEEL fan. (
“Wonderful Rainbow” by LIGHTNING BOLT features one of the best drummers in the universe. Fuck man, if you haven’t seen one of their shows you don’t know want the word “frenzy” means. These dudes are out of control noise-rock that boarders on pop layering genius. One part beats, one part insane fuzzed up bass, LIGHTNING BOLT are a shock to the system that leaves one fried beyond recognition. (
YOUNG PEOPLE, Brooklyn’s own diverse and eclectic sense of the unknown intertwined with 1963, have released “War Prayers” onto an unsuspecting world. It’ all so fuckin’ beautiful. The melodies, the light and soft songs of poetry… It’s all so fuckin’ beautiful. (
The AISLERS SET “How I Learned to Write Backwards” LP on Slumberland   Records clears the peppery female vocals that carry the band to heights unparalleled. This 60’s girl pop meets 90’s 120 Minutes alternative rock that shows more soul and compassion. Temperamental and capacious, like the ocean, always changing, this album has everything one needs for peaceful summer evening outside on the porch with a tall glass of pink lemonade. I encourage the listener to purchase this record on vinyl, as the melodies and bass rhythms are much more audible. (
The fuckin WIVES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (
THE WALKMEN’s new record, set to release next year, is one of the best records recorded this year, totally better than that LIARS record recorded this year.
FIRESTARTER – does anyone feel like BRUCR SPRINGSTEEN played on this record? I still rocks the power pop though… Well, FIRESTARTER’S second album, “Livin’ On The Heat,” has also been released. Total power pop, punchy and popular with the neon city kids like the latest technology, FIRESTARTER have topped their last album in strides. More shimmering guitars solos, catchy poppy hooks, and bouncy bass lines galore. Fifi, Fink, Sammy, and Jimbo have dropped all TEENGENERATE relations on the side of the road and have moved on. Either move on with them or get the fuck outta their way. (
THE EXPLODING HEARTS reissue…this is the biggest tragedy of 2003, FYI. Another punk/power pop band that has been making waves in my heart, 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… (
One of the best albums released this year is HIDDEN CAMERAS “Smell of Our Own.” My mom sez they kinda sound like THE BEACH BOYS, but they also have a FLAMING LIPS feel. However, the music, being awe-inspiring itself, takes a backseat to the descriptive nature of this album’s uncanny and stunning lyrics. It is full of magnificent visual detail that rivals any of history’s great poets. From the prolific “Ban Marriage,” to the erotic lyrics of “The Man I Am With My Man,” to the influential “The Animals of Prey,” all of the ten tracks on this record are comprehensive and wonderful. (
DO MAKE SAY THINK, instrumental rock! Ages of power and precise pleasure, orifice! (
AN ALBATROSS, known for their wild STOOGES antics on stage, have released            their second record “We Are The Lazer Viking”. This album comes packed with more of their fervently heated live show’s theatrics with fists, blood, and tight pink pants gushing through the speakers. Taking what THE LOCUST are doing and improving on it with differentiating songs, AN ALBATROSS have combined hardcore emotion with new wave synths and artto-punk dance twists; a difficult feat, but one done with style and sparkles. Hardcore Neu-Vogue for the hipsters on N. 6… (
There’s probably more records that I forgot, but oh well.
I’m (FOREVER) nobody’s pimp,

© 2003