Columns - "The Sign of a Good Time" 12.29.03

The Official MITCH CARDWELL Top Ten of 2003 Lists.  Yes, lists.

(10) SUICIDE -  "Half Alive" LP (Roir)
I’m still the only person I know who likes this…
(9) X – “Delta 88” 7”EP (boot)
The best X record.  It’s true.
(8) “What? Records” 7”EP (Bacchus Archives)
No!  It’s not a Zodiac Killers song!
(7) SIMPLY SAUCER – “Cyborgs Revisited" LP (Get Back)
I’ve actually discussed this record over cocktails TWICE.  Yes, I suck.
(6) GG ALLIN - "Always Was..." LP (10th anniversary of death edition)
Boy, does my girlfriend love this record…
(5) THE FIX - "Vengeance" 7"  (boot)
As rare as the original!  Do you have the orange vinyl?
Another one of my girlfriend’s all-time faves…
(3) OBLIVIANS - "RockNRoll Holiday" LP (SFTRI) and “First Recordings” LP (Goner)
I’m still waiting for someone to reissue “17 Cum Shots”.  DO IT.
(2) THE GEEKS - "Dreamland In Machineland" 7” (S-S)
Ahhhhhhhhhh, the soothing sounds of Marin.
(1) “Live At The Fuzz Club” 7”EP (Prim)
One word:  eBay.SINGLES

Honorable Mentions:

GRABBIES – “I Wanna Be Blind” 7”EP (Proud To Be Idiot)
HENRY FIAT’S OPEN SORE – “Patmos Or Bust” 7”EP (Wrench)
POPULAR SHAPES – “Flattered, You’re Terrified” 45 (On/On Switch)
M.O.T.O. – “Spiral Slouch” 7EP (Shit Sandwich)
CARBONAS – “I’m Astray” 7”EP (Die Slaughterhaus)
(10) MYSTERY GIRLS - "Circles In The Sand" 45 (In The Red)
If this is a preview to their upcoming LP, then we’ve already got a 2004 frontrunner.
(9) ANTEENAGERS M.C. - "(The) Future ('s Coming Tomorrow)” 45 (SDZ)
The A-side is really fucking long…as MRR Radio listeners already know…
(8) TEENAGE HARLOTS - "Some Kinda Girl" 7"LP (Dead Girl)
Yes, an LP.  Hey, it wasn’t my idea.
(7) FUSES - "Sex Crimes" 45 (Shit Sandwich)
I must’ve listened to the A-side a billion times this year.
(6) THE SNEEZE - "Chronic Wave" 7"EP (Needle)
Best Japanese debut single in a loooooooong time.
(5) PONYS - "So Sentimental" 7"EP (Contaminated)
OK…it’s not that much like THE CURE.
(4) FM KNIVES - "Keith Levene" 45 (Dirtnap)
Recorded at a bookstore.  Something tells me that wasn’t a coincidence.
(3) THE HOSPITALS - "Again + Again' 7"EP (Future Primitive)
If there was one 7” worth hunting down this year, it was this one.
(2) A-FRAMES – “Membrane” 7”EP (Royal)
These are by far their punkest tunes.  Amazing.  I still don’t own a copy.
(1) ZYMOTICS - "Watch the Worm" 45 (Needle)
Teengenerate, allow me to introduce The A-Frames.  A-Frames, this is Teengenerate.  Play nice you two.ALBUMS

Honorable Mentions:

THE TEARS – “S/T” CD (Trickknee Productions)
THE INTELLIGENCE – “Boredom And Terror” CD (Omnibus)
BBQ – “The Complete Recordings, Vol. 1” LP (Sounds Of Subterrania)
REAL LOSERS – “Time To Lose” LP (Squirrel)

(10) BLACK LIPS – “S/T” LP (Bomp)
If The Black Lips aren’t the best pure garage punk band on the planet, then they’re certainly the wildest.
(9) FIRESTARTER - "Livin’ On The Heat" LP (Mangrove)
There are two kinds of people in this world:  Fink Fans and Fifi Fans.  This LP pleases both camps.
(8) LITTLE KILLERS – “S/T” LP (Crypt)
The return of Crypt Records was definitely a highlight of 2003 for me, and it’s all due to this album.  Let’s have some goddamn fun!!!   
(7) HAROLD RAY LIVE IN CONCERT – “S/T” LP (Alternative Tentacles)
House.  Party.  Mother.  Fucker.  1.  2.  3.  4!
(6) FINAL SOLUTIONS - "Disco Eraser" LP (Misprint)
It’s not a Top 10 list without a JAY REATARD project.  This picks up right where their monster single left off.  Only more fucked up.
(5) THE DIRTBOMBS – “Dangerous Magical Noise” LP (In The Red)
I think that The Dirtbombs are the best band on the planet.  This is #5, but you should really consider this #0.
(4) THE HOSPITALS – “S/T” LP (In The Red)
The guitar on “Friends” sounds like it’s going to fucking kill you.  The rest of it isn’t that pretty either…
(3) TYRADES – “S/T” LP (Broken Rekids)
While much of the stuff I like could be described as horseshit, I don’t think there’s any denying that The Tyrades are a punk band.  100%.
(2) THE FUSE! – “The Fisherman’s Wife” LP (In The Red)
As romantic as it is violent, the sound of The Fuse! contains bits and pieces of everything they want to destroy.  Just when you think you connect with something, they throw a cymbal at your face.
(1) A-FRAMES – “2” LP (S-S)
Everything that was great about their previous work is perfected here.  I wouldn’t be surprised if their next album cures cancer…or creates a new form of it.
Mitch Cardwell
1405 Rose St.
Crockett, CA 94525

© 2003