Record Reviews - August, 2000

Assailants "Modern Technology" CD

The Assailants are a frenzy of fast and aggressive 80’s punk rock. These guys could have fit right in with one of those V/A "Louder, Faster, Hardcore Punk" compilations. They have a lot of heart and give it all for the kids. There’re 12 tracks including, "Pigs", "Not Impressed", and "Same Old Shit." (JD)
(Upstart Productions 65A W. Madison Ave. #254 Du Mont, NJ 07628)

Chixdiggit! "From Scene to Shining Scene" CD/LP

Boy, what happened to these guys? Their first album on Sub Pop was an exquisite merging of early rock ‘n’ roll and pop punk. Now their records are just boring and flavorless pop punk. I guess selling out will do that to ya. What-everrr, like you need to spend your hard-earned dough on this factory designed bullshit! (JD)
(Honest Don’s PO Box 192027 San Francisco, CA 94119)

Clit 45 "Tales From the Clit" CD

Punks and skins come on out, Clit 45 are about to offer you some first class political pogo punk rock. Hailing from Long Beach, CA this Casualties influenced punk band has gained a lot of recognition in the scene. If you’re into a lot of "We’re not gonna take it" punk rock you have to hear Clit 45! (JD)
(A.D.D. Records 270 Central St. Hingham, MA 02043)



Fireballs of Freedom "Total Fucking Blowout" CD

This Montana band can really deliver the chops -- live, they come across as a sped up 'n quirky Quadrajets. That means "good." Tight and powerful, grafting unexpected twists and turns onto the rock, y'all need to check 'em out. The first album... slick overproduced something. I never took to it. "Total Fucking Blowout" is a great album, though -- rough where it needs to be yet loud 'n clear. The songs sound better, too. Best Estrus thing in a coon's age. (TK)
(Estrus, P.O. Box 2128, Bellingham, WA 98227)

Flipsides "S/T" CDEP

The Flipsides are coated in sugar with all kindsa hooks and melodies. They are quite intense; filling my room with infectious power pop punk that’ll get your head boppin’ to the beat. Sabrina’s silvery vocals can only do the Flipsides justice. If you are into ultra catchy power pop and lots of energy you will have to look into the Flipsides! There’re 5 tracks including, "The Best of Times" and "Punk Underwood." (JD)
(Relaxative Records PMB# 31 3288 21st St. San Francisco, CA 94110-2423)

Forced Reality "13 Years Of…" CD

Forced Reality is an all-round good punk band. Their songs are real catchy and remind me of well-known punk groups like the Business and Dropkicks. Hooligans till the end, these boys like to bring on the ruckus. If you want to go to a punk show and chant along to some good old punk rock this is your band. There’re 10 tracks including, "Never Forget", "15 Pints (and I’m Still Standing)", and "We’re Not Alone." (JD)
(Outsider Records PO Box 92708 Long Beach, CA 90809)

GC5 "Kisses From Hanoi" CD

Skinheads rejoice! Outsider has come to save your pathetic minds from the dreaded TKO Records monotony. GC5 is a thrilling new punk/oi band that combines the rage of old school Rancid with mother->fucking catchy rock ‘n’ roll tunes. The rough vocals have plenty of soul and the desire to be heard. This 14-song disc is a definite keeper so check it out or go and listen to the Righteous! (JD)
(Outsider Records PO Box 92708 Long Beach, CA 90809)



Gruesomes "Cave-In!" CD/LP

The Gruesomes were great Montreal garage punkers in the mid-late 80’s and after 10 years on ice, they’ve bestowed upon us the dreaded "reunion" album. Most reunion albums as expected, fucking blow, but surprisingly, this is actually quite different here because the songs on this record sound almost EXACTLY like what The Gruesomes were doing 15 years ago… And yes, that’s a GOOD thing. For those who missed out on this band the first time, they were a fun, snotty, fuzz driven garage punk band bent on copying their 60’s garage idols. All of their stuff went out of print shortly after they broke up and in the last few years, people have been paying like $50 or more for some of their original records and because these cats could not find most of the masters for their old records, they made a whole new record instead. While it is an obvious cash-in on renewed interest, this is cool and fun 60’s influenced garage punk and fans of Billy Childish or The Makers should dig this. (SA)
(Tyrant Records, 78 Rachel E., Montreal, Quebec, Canada, H2W 1C6)

Guilty Pleasures "Trash Bag" 7"

Snotty Heartbreakers punk from Nowhere, IL. Been lucky enough to see these guys a few times up here in Green Bay, and I'm happy to report that this here single measures up to the live caterwaul. The tall/skinny guitarist is the one of the best post-Thunders chuckberry worshippers I've ever seen. The two songs included are good, but they have better ones in the cannon. Can't wait to hear 'em. (TK)
(Sack 'O Shit Records, P.O. Box 308, Kankakee, IL 60901)

Henry Fiat's Open Sore "Gnarly" 7"

Whacked 6-songer, more goof ball and less rockin' than the stuff I'd previously heard. Dunno' if it's just me or the fact that this release is on Charlie "Rancid Hell Spawn" Chainsaw's label, but yeah -- sorta' reminds me of the anything-goes pre-metal hardcore of the early 80’s, lo-fi and mean. "Dee Dee Ramone" & "Desto in Ms Fiat" are both chucklesome and tap-toe. I like it, but I'm also disappointed. (TK)
(Wrench Records, BCM Box 4049, London WC1N 3XX, UK)

JP5 "Hotbox" CD/LP

JP5 gets compared to Nashville Pussy a lot, but that’s based on looks. Ya see, the band is lead by a couple of hot chicks, backed up by redneck looking wild-men and their live sets include a strip show and assorted nudity, so the NP comparison is inevitable, but JP5 are far from clones. Unlike Nashville Pussy, the female leads in this band are also the lead vocalists and through that, JP5 brings great girlie-pop-punk elements together with the wild punk n’ roll sound. This is a fun, fast, beer fueled rock n’ roll record with a cool femme touch. Think of the Chubbies singing songs about getting fucked and loaded, then cross them with Motorhead and you’ll get the picture. (SA)
(Sudden Death Records)

Le Shock "We Are Electrocution" LP

Le Shock are a straight-forward, "Killed By Death" type punk band. They seem to hit all the right notes on their guitars and keyboards, but something is missing. There isn’t any excitement in their music. They have nothing to express and no way to keep my attention from wandering off into space. Overall they are not bad, just not something I’d spend money on. They give ya 13 tunes at 45 RPMs. (JD)
(Gold Standard Laboratories)

Lower Class Brats "Psycho" 7"

This rekid ain’t so hot. Yeah you get more pogo punk rock from these wildly popular kids but it’s not interesting! I liked their album on Punkcore but I can’t give it to ‘em this time, especially when they murder "Situations." (JD)
(Combat Rock 7 Rue Du Paquis 57950 Montigny Les Metz, France)

Midnight Evils "Ain't Got Time For Love" 7"

The Midnight Evils are about as original as yer feet. Speedealer, Zeke, Nashville Pussy, AC/DC - we've heard it all before. But fuck if they ain't a great live band. Tight, rockin', balls-out heavy...too bad their first single blew. Here's offering numero dos and it works pretty damn hard to bridge the gap. Doesn't quite make it, but it's still a good listen and points 'em in the right direction. I'll bet you the next one smokes. Much recommended for anyone into the aforementioned bands. (TK)
(Dart Records, P.O. Box 1843, Fargo, ND 58107)

Morticia's Lovers "My Baby MMMMHH!" 7"

Cool 'billy-ish party shit from Italy. Similar to the Panther Burns, if that's any help. Nuthin' original or heart-stopping here, but the A-side is a boppin' original, and the B is a competent cover of one of Crime's best moments ("Rockabilly Drugstore"). Only 300 pressed, so if this’s yer thing, get on it. (TK)
(Goodbye Boozy, Via Villa Pompetti 147, 64020 S. Nicolo'-Teramo, Italy)

Naked Eye "Instinct/Through a Keyhole" 7"

Located some where deep in the Australian Outback the Naked Eye are a shimmying and a shaking to their rock ‘n’ roll. The Naked Eye’s hit song "Instinct" is a powerful mix of DMZ and a certain other Ausie band, the Spoilers! The b-side features a slower, trippy psychedelic jaunt into the abyss. Not a bad release, I’m anxious to hear more. (JD)
(The Naked Eye PO Box 2666 Cheltenham 3192 Victoria, Australia)



Rancid "S/T 2000" CD/LP

Ok, Rancid’s back to their old self. Their new record is like a combination of the "S/T" and "Let’s Go" albums. Lint’s lost his tired, cigarette ridden wail and has gained enough energy to pump out a pretty rockin’ record. Their Clash inspired punk is long gone and their original California-ized speed punk is back, hopefully for good. Yes folks, it’s actually not too bad. (JD)
(Hellcat Records)

Reds "S/T" CD/LP

The Teengenerate effect has finally hit the USA! Yes boys and girls the Reds have all the fire and fury of the Registrators. Moreover, if you look at the key components of bands like Teengenerate and the Registrators you’ll hear the pioneers of punk Devo and the Vibrators. But don’t take my word for it, go out and get this amazing record to hear what the rest of us already know. There’re 14 songs including such hot tunes as, "Ready Steady Reds", "Don’t Wake Me Up", and "Move Around." This is gonna be on my top ten for the year, oh yeah! (JD)
(Rip Off Records 581 Maple Avenue San Bruno, CA 94066)

Reds "S/T" CD/LP

Absolutely KILLER Texas punk 'n roll from a band that just keeps upping the ante with every new release. Unorthodox rhythm fuckery meets the Ramones, Registrators and Chinese Millionaires in a singular stew that explodes at right angles. They cover the Urinals, blast a few at rocket speed and display a pop sense ("Ready Steady Reds," "Don't Wake Me Up") not fully evident on the three singles. Right up there with the top Rip Off full lengths (Infections, Chinese Millionaires, Rip Offs). The best one-two lead-punch in recent memory. Hands-down primo album of 2000. (TK)
(Rip Off Records, 581 Maple Avenue, San Bruno, CA 94066)

Riverboat Gamblers "Mean Motor Machine" 7"

Don’t skimp on the rock ma’ boy! The Riverboat Gamblers just wanna have their fun! The guitars are as thick as a chocolate milkshake and just as smooth. Their brand of punk ‘n’ roll has teeth as sharp as razors. These Texas punks must have cactus stuck up their ass to have so much energy. There’s only one problem with this 45, two songs ain’t enough! Get your asses into the studio and put out an album motherfuckers! (JD)
(Riverboat Gamblers’ Label 2109 Camellia St. Denton, TX 76205)

River City Rebels "Racism, Religion, and War" CD/LP

These guys could blow up in a big way. With proper marketing these boys could be another Dropkick Murphys. They sound hungry for it and can transmit incredibly catchy songs with lots of energy. The only thing that agitates me about this band is their brass section. They are used in the interludes for the most part, which is unnecessary. Other than that this is a solid CD that features 14 tracks including, "Army Boy" and "Make A Stand." (JD)
(Victory Records)

Safety Pins "Invite Us to Your Funeral" CD/LP

Straight outta Spain is the Safety Pins! Those of you looking for more rock action will have to go some where else. These Spaniards have strayed even further away from the heavy guitars to more of a ’79 punk era sound with big distortion. They are even trying out some synthesized sounds and lots more keyboards. This can work real well for them like in the tune, "Living the Right Way" and can hinder their music like in the tune, "Evil Song." Overall I think this album was very rushed and would have worked better in a 10" or 7" EP format. There are only 13 tracks including 3 covers and a song of their first album, "Strychnine." (JD)
(DeadBeat Records PO Box 283 Los Angeles, CA 90078)

Screeching Weasel "Teen Punks In Heat" CD/LP

Together again, Screeching Weasel are the kings of Ramones influenced pop punk. They whine about girls, their shitty lives, and the usual junk. If you liked the Screeching Weasel records from the early 90’s you’ll like this album. It’s certainly not anything new but at least they’re still pissed about something. There’re 20 songs including, "Pauline", "Gotta Girlfriend" and "I Wanna Fuck." The promo says it’ll be out sometime in September. (JD)
(Panic Button PO Box 148010 Chicago, IL 60614)

Shrubbers "Bomb Threat" CD

Jesus... I've seen this Milwaukee band countless times over the last few years, so I don't really know where to start. They sorta' cross the Teen Idols with the Teen Idles or something; and then toss in some Crimpshrine. Pop-crust? I dunno'. Not my normal thing at all, but over the years some of Nate's songs have crawled into my ear like that ear-crawling bug-thing in Star Trek. And now I'm infected, thanks Nate. "People I Know" is a wonderful song by any yardstick, "Maggie's Wasting My Time" is a cool hardcore ditty, "Stay the Same" sounds like it came offa' Zen Arcade. Sure, there's alotta' dumb stuff on here, but I'm glad I can pull it out at any time. Snuh. (TK)
(Dingus, 900 S Silverbrook Dr. West Bend, WI 53095)

Shutups "...Haul Off and Smack Your Ass" 7"

This 4-song EP, along with the Kill-A-Watts single that just came out on Rip Off, were gonna' be Trick Knee #4 or 5, so you know I like the band. Teen rockers from Sheboygan, inhabiting the netherworld between Electric Frankenstein rock, Junk Records roll/nod and the Rip Off amphetamine rush. Like Junk scratched into the inner groove -- "Young, loud, and snoddy (sic)." Not the ideal production for the band, me-sez, but "Baby Come On" is a hit any way you look at it. Limited amount on red, geeks. (TK)
(Junk Records, 7071 Warner Ave, F PMB 736, Huntington Beach, CA 92647-5495)

Smuts/Evolutions "Split" 7"

It’s a fuckin’ Kryptonite record. You should know what to expect by now. The Smuts are living distortion. They are just fuzzy all over with catchy little ditties like "Punk Rock Girl" and "Suprize Package for Mr. Lowery", I won’t give the "suprize" away, but it’s arousing to say the least. The Evolutions are another trashy, clamorous bunch of fucks. If you’re prone to garbage can recordings like I am you have to check out every Kryptonite release, you… you fuckin’ kids! (JD)
(Kryptonite Records 827 Lincoln Blvd. Manitowoc, WI 54220)

Starvations "Church of the Double Cross" 7"

A band that has been a hit or miss with me is the Starvations. Their first single on Vinyl Dog was a masterpiece of garage punk and blues. This here record shows the Starvations are back on the trail to rock ‘n’ roll stardom. They’re writing more from the heart and were recorded better. I can’t wait for their forthcoming album. (JD)
(Perfect 36 Records)

Teen Idols "Full Leather Jacket" CD/LP

The Teen Idols are ultra pop. As a matter of fact, I was debating whether or not I should even review this disc for Blank Generation. Well they used to be a pop punk band; now they’re just a step away from the Backstreet Boys. I’m sorry, these guys fuckin’ blow! (JD)
(Honest Don’s PO Box 192027 San Francisco, CA 94119)

Trailer Trash U.K. "Go Head and Sue Us You Mouse Lovin Bastards" CD

These boys are some irate motherfuckers, even more irate than I am. This would be standard punk rock if it weren’t for the unusually catchy guitars and well thought-out lyrics. Trailer Trash U.K. are hardcore punk rock with a snotty attitude towards everything! So, these guys are fuckin’ good and if you don’t think so you’re a tool! There’re 14 tracks, half of which are live, but I couldn’t tell the difference. (JD)
(Broken Down Volvo of Hate Records 4228 Pine St. 2nd Floor Philadelphia, PA 19104)

Upsets/Richmond Sluts 7"

Recently got another batch of Pelado singles. Y'know, Patrick never puts out shit, but out of any 5 Pelado releases, you get one classic. Since I'm too lazy to go back and see what Joe already reviewed, I'm just gonna' talk about the one great record in the stack. The Richmond Sluts are a Heartbreakers/Joneses type of band (song title -- "Junky Queen"). Good 'n catchy, a definite keeper. The REAL action, however, is on the Upsets side. Powerful and raw mid-paced punk with a capital "P." Up there with the Beez, Epileptix, and the Prostitutes. This one's definitely worth picking up. (TK)
(Pelado, 521 W Wilson, #C103, Costa Mesa, CA 92627)

V/A "Greasers, Punks & Skins #2" CD

For a small sum of money you can hear the latest in punk, oi, and rockabilly from all over the world. This is a decent comp featuring 28 bands! There are some fine punks, skins, and rockers on this CD including, The Wretched Ones, Anti-Socials, and Slap N the Cats. Punk ‘N’ Oi fans should take note. (JD)
(Squigtone Records PO Box 38 Newton, NJ 07860)

V/A "Mission #651" 7" EP

This is a 4-band 7" comp. I’ve never heard any of these bands and there’s no information included with the 7". Most of the bands on here have a progressive rock sound. I really like the vocals in Grotto’s song, "Van Gogh and Me", they’re like a female Ian MacKaye. The only punk band on this thing is Superhopper, an average pop punk band with an added brass section. If you’re a fan of bands like Fugazi and that crew you might be into this. I’m not but I give ‘em credit for the low budget recording. (JD)
(Sector 7-G)

V/A "Rockin’ Jelly Bean’s Jumpin’ Jukebox!" CD/LP

America has been suffering a lack of Japanese punk. It’s really sad kids today can’t reach the level of excitement that I felt when Fink and the gang invade our shores in the early 90’s and preceded to blow our minds. I encourage everyone to go out a pick this record up. It symbolizes, in a manner of speaking, a majestic era in rock ‘n’ roll when I was a lad and I hope it will do the same for you. There are 12 bands on this comp including such heavyweights as The Jet Boys, Tweezers, and Guitar Wolf, in addition to some newcomers like, The Teeny Cheetahs and The Money Spyders. (JD)
(Dionysus Records PO Box 1975 Burbank, CA 91507)

V/A – Teenage Shutdown "I’m Gonna Stay" CD/LP

The subtitle of the comp is "Target: Fuzz", so you know what to expect – 17 ace fuzz-punk singles from the 60’s garage era courtesy of our friends at Crypt Records. Like with any comp in the Teenage Shutdown series, several of the singles here are available on earlier Pebbles and Highs in the Mid-Sixties comps (like The Modds "Leave My House" and The Moxies "I’m Gonna Stay"), but with 11 never compiled songs, the much improved sound quality of the re-comped ones and cool liner notes, who the fuck cares what inferior comp with shitty sound quality it originally came from? One of the best in the entire TS series and fans of the "Back from the Grave" sound will especially dig the fuzz drenched crunchers on this one. (SA)

Vice Squad "Lavender Hill Mob" 7"

What is this, new Vice Squad? I never even liked old Vice Squad! This isn’t punk, it’s wanky pop rock that features decrepit and in much need of a face lift punk rockers. Those looking to regain their youth should search somewhere else. (JD)
(Combat Rock 7 Rue Du Paquis 57950 Montigny Les Metz, France)

Victims "No Thanks to the Human Turd" 7"

Most certainly one of the best Australian punk rock bands to ever grace my stereo. The Victims are just the perfect 1977 punk band. Their songs have an enormous amount of personality to them and they write their tunes with such candor; I’m just crazy about them. This is their 2nd 7" and it’s almost as good as their first, "Television Addict." If you’re a vinyl nut get this immediately; but if I were you I’d just pick up the V/A "Murder Punk" volumes 1 and 2 that contains this 7" plus loads more great 70’s Aussie punk. (JD)
(No Address)

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