Record Reviews - April, 2001

Black Halos "The Violent Years" CD/LP

Anyone whom has ever seen the Black Halos live can surely attest to them being a GREAT live band, but fucking christ are their studio albums OVERPRODUCED! Their debut album from two years back was so sickly overproduced, you'd swear the recording engineer thought he was working on the new Guns N' Roses album or somethin'. The saving grace that this band had was that they were such a great live band and had their "modernized Dead Boys" schtick down so well that in listening to the record, you could easily recall how great those songs sounded live AND they had a very good assortment of songs to begin with...

On their follow-up, The Violent Years, not much has changed in the production approach (it still sounds way overboard and must have cost a bloody fortune), but they did a significantly better job projecting their live energy here than on the debut. I think their assortment of songs on this record is a little more consistent than on the first LP as well, but there isn't really one song that stands out here that can shake the piss out of ya. There were a few of those on the first LP. Unfortunately, I can't see any evidence that the Black Halos are getting any better musically (in fact, they might have even regressed a little) and they don't appear to understand that they are a much better band live with their no-bullshit approach to their music than they are in the studio with the Top 40/glossy approach to their music. Go see em' live for sure, just don't bother with their records. (SA)
(www.subpop.com)

Blacks "Shattered" (Limited Tour Edition) 7"

And I didn’t even seem ‘em live… The Blacks are one fucked up rock ‘n’ roll/blues group. They gotta Crypt Records/lofi/southern/sick sound of desperation to ‘em. And I mean that as a compliment. So AGAIN! The Oblivians' style for the garage is ‘where it’s at!’ (JD)
(www.bigneckrecords.com)
(Big Neck Records PO Box 8144 Reston, VA 20195)

 

 

Blowtops "Blood and Tar" 10"

Horror Rock! The Blowtops are a chaotic fire of lofi trash with grotesque undertones. If you merged the Reatards' soul to the Persuaders' body you’d have the Blowtops! There’re 8 songs on this sucka including, "Demon Rum", "High Priestess Disturbed", and "Black Ju Ju." Bonus – the vinyl is gray, like the sky over where the Blowtops play their loathsome rock ‘n’ roll. (JD)
(www.bigneckrecords.com)
(Big Neck Records PO Box 8144 Reston, VA 20195)

Chupacabra Jr. "June Bug" CD

"The Steamroller is heading down the hill! Jump on or get flattened!"

Nice try… They were OK and I was kind grooving to them for a while. They remind me of a hybrid between the "Coup de Tat" era Circle Jerks and The Dead Milkmen from their LP "Bucky Fellini." I was even getting into "Fast Love" and was actually respecting The Chupacabra Jr. UNTIL "Sex Guy" where the whole release took a fucking torpedo and never recovered. Not even a decent version of "Folsom Prison Blues" could save the shrinking ship from a rap/disco/metal fused PIECE OF FUCKING SHIT.

Then you read the last line of their press that I’m going to repeat for prostate’s sake: "The Steamroller is heading down the hill! Jump on or get flattened!" and I’m all like COME ON! That fucking steamroller aint going to do shit to me. Whatever I may fear and have respect for IS NOT ON THIS CD. Nice try… Baseball caps turned backward. What once had a chance is left with just one word: typical. (SAB)
(Dagger Promotions)

Conflict "Only Stupid Bastards Help Go-kart Records" CD

CORN-FLAKES!!!!

The Ungovernable Re-issues Are Coming! I suppose Conflict took all their eggs and put them in Go Kart’s basket. This promo is to help announce the re-issuing of Conflicts discography ranging from "Increase the Pressure" to "Conclusion."

In my opinion though, you don’t really need EVERY Conflict release. All in all, Go-Kart is re-releasing eleven full length, if not double, CDs! EXCUSE ME! I just read the accompanying note from Dean Rispler addressed to me, "zine writer" and apparently some of those CDs must be doubles because the OFFICIAL number is, and I quote, "14 CDs at once!" (!)

I mean fuck, how many times can you hear rambling on "Anarchy" and/or "The System" before everything just blurs together? Don’t get me wrong... FUCK! I really like Conflict. I have ever since I first saw their symbol printed on a leather jacket way back in a far-away time and far away place, like Dayton Ohio in 1990 at a Fugazi show; before the official recognition of "emo".... Even though I am growing from the boundaries of bands like Conflict, I can still find appreciation for hard hitting melodic tracks like "The Serenade is Dead." I just don’t want to see you, the kids of rock and roll USA (or whatever your calling yourselves these days) to feel as though you MUST own EVERY Conflict re-issue AND the t-shirt and god knows what else; breakfast cereal? Hooded sweat-shirt? Stainless steel coffee mug? The Ungovernable merchandise is Coming! Lets hope not. EVER.

If you have "Increase the Pressure", "Standard Issue I", and "The Ungovernable Force", you’ll have what you really need. Mother-fuck the rest with the black flag of anarchism flying!

FYI: A Conflict shirt will cost you $12ppd from Go-Kart Records.

CORN-FLAKES!!!! (SAB)
(Go Kart Records POB 20 Prince Street Station NY, NY. 10012)

Dissidents "Conformity is Deformity" CD/LP

Noisy-as-fuck tape-hiss punk from Cleveland, 1979 that’s sloppy as hell and surprisingly catchy. A lot of these tracks are live, but it’s nearly impossible for me to distinguish between the studio cuts and the live performances because they’re both equally as noisy. And equally as good, in an "I-don’t-give-a-fuck" kinda way. Most of these tunes have a truly lethargic nature to ‘em that just begs for a second listen, and who am I to say otherwise? (EL)
(www.smogveil.com)
(Smog Veil Records 774 Mays Blvd. #10-454 Incline Village, NV 89451)

Dissidents "Conformity is Deformity" CD

Cleveland 1979.

What do you expect in a city full of bands like Pere Ubu, The Kneecappers, The Pagans (!), and The Definics? Fuck, come on! Cleveland is just as, if not more important concerning punk history than LA, NY, SF or any other two letter abbreviated city. Something that Cleveland (and even the Midwest) had, or rather didn’t have, that any of the aforementioned cites had been a solid structure of venues and support. I’m not saying that things were easy for The Avengers, The Ramones, X or any other band from those three cites, but at least they had pretty solid fan bases and were getting enough publicity where the venues and labels HAD to take notice.

In Cleveland it was one struggle after another. Small initial fan bases. Venues popping up and just as fast banning sounds like The Dissidents were spouting. In Cleveland there was struggle. In Cleveland there still is that struggle, but what I’m getting at is it made for some really great bands like The Dissidents. This struggle gives bands a certain flavor. It toughens them up and speaking for all the Midwest Missiles out there across the land, it still does.

It’s not really important if the tracks on this Disc are live or otherwise. The sound quality is pretty poor but the thing about it is that this disc really captures something. It’s fuzzy, dirty, and raw but it’s punk-rock! Some songs have a definite Ramones influence but it appeared that The Dissidents began moving in a pretty damn good direction. MOST songs remind me of THE URINALS! Yes, I said THE URINALS! Art-punk! OHIO art-punk! Neoteric! NEOTERIC OHIO ART-PUNK CIRCA 1979!!!! This disc was real refreshing to listen to. It’s definitely one of my latest favorites.

Label Note: Add Smog Veil to my list of growing favorites. They have plans in the coming year to release at least 9 more CDs including retrospectives by more Ohio punk rock like THE OFFBEATS, THE DEFNICS, PINK HOLES, IDIOT HUMANS, a reissue of a cassette compilation called "This Tape Sucks" featuring more Cleveland Punk from 79-82 and a Odd 7"! Fuck yeah! Dionysus, Rave Up, GTA, Hate Records.... Enter Smog Veil! (SAB)
(www.smogveil.com)
(Smog Veil Records, 774 Mays #10 PMB 454, Incline Villiage, NV 89451)

Distractors "Shake It Up!!!" 7"

This boy/girl/boy garage punk group just screams for the Ramones and Rip Offs. If you are looking for a band that sounds exactly like those early Rip Off Records 45s be sure to pick up the Distractors; they got the sound down to a fuckin’ T! There’re 6 tunes on this 7" including, "Rock and Roll Fox" and "Rollerderby Queen." Y’heah! (JD)
(www.bigneckrecords.com)
(Big Neck Records PO Box 8144 Reston, VA 20195)

Faint "(Blank-Wave Arcade)" LP

Hmmm… Interesting... Omaha? Is there an insurgence there? I got this record purely by look alone. I have seen it. I haven’t heard of it. I bought it. Just like the good old days, I’m talking pre-license here, like when my Mom would drive me to the Camelot Music Superstore for me to buy TAPES. Yeah, I said TAPES. I remember one time, and you must bear with me here, the stock markets dropping like The Mir and I was getting nervous. The NASDAQ is MY market, and Ouch the technologies are ahurtin'! It took about two years for the Dow Jones to raise comfortably above the 10,000 mark and it took less than two weeks to bring it back. Anyway, So this one day my mom took me to Camelot Music Superstore so I could drop $8.99 on a tape. The store clerk wouldn’t let me buy The Exploited tape "Live at the White House" because it had a parental advisory on it. I had to drag my Mom from Pier One Imports to get the tape for me. She called the store manager stupid. My Mom rules.

I love you mom.

Despite the fact you ACCIDENTLY backed your car into Dad’s Monte-Carlo too. I’m mean fuck, you do something like that then laugh?

Mom, you’re the fucking greatest!

The Faint. Omaha. Mix SOFT-CELL, HUMAN LEAGUE, NINE INCH NAILS (early "Pretty Hate Machine era" and MEAT BEAT MANIFESTO.... Then you got the Faint. They remind me of CHALK, a local Cincinnati Neoteric centerpiece, but you know what? Chalk has more of what this band needs. Guitars. Noise. Angst. BALLS! I like this LP, don’t get me wrong. It’s just too polished. They need to listen to more PYLON. They need to listen to more SERVOTRON. I EXPECT that this band has a pretty lethal stage presence though. I mean you pump two synths; drums and a bass thru most sound systems and a set of vocals that’s caught up in the moment with the crowds and BAM! You gots the energy and the force and The BALLS that I think this LP should have captured. Its not like I’m picking on The Faint or anything either. I feel the same way about THE SELBY TIGERS "Charm City" LP too. Two synths, bass and drums, that’s pretty much what the Screamers had to work with.

I am guessing when I say that I see the future for this band and like The Selby Tigers (that name sounds like a veritech Squadron out of Robotech don’t it?) their second LP WILL be LESS-Produced and given a raw element that will give the band the bite that this LP should have had.

MILEMARKER. If you like THEM you might like this.

THE COMPUTER COUGAR. If you like THEM you might like this (really though, I hear NO comparisons to Gang of Four on this LP so be forewarned).

The Faint ARE Neoteric but I’m placing them on a probationary status. I mean I hear in my head how this band SHOULD sound. I think that they are hearing the same thing too but just don’t know how to bring it across. One word of advice: embrace minimalism. (SAB)
(www.saddle-creek.com)
(Saddle Creek POB 8554 Omaha, NE 68108-0554)

Gore Gore Girls "Strange Girls" CD/LP

The Gore Gore Girls are a primitive, all-girl garage rock ‘n’ roll group. They gotta dirty rock ‘n’ roll sound that’s pretty catchy, but fairly typical in this genre…that is…until you get to their covers… "I’m Gonna Get You Yet", I could dance to that song all night’. Although only a cover song, it’s just done soooo beautifully that you can’t help but fall in love with these girls. And then there’s "Room In Your Heart", another cover tune; it’s so upbeat and catchy, and done with soul, you’ll adore ‘em. Their own material doesn’t really go with the covers they do, so I really don’t know where I stand on this record. I guess…if you have the money you’ll be happy with the two or three phenomenal covers they give ya, otherwise just borrow the album from a friend. (JD)
(www.gethip.com)
(Get Hip Recordings, Columbus & Preble Aves, Pittsburgh, PA 15233)

Gossip "That’s Not What I Heard" LP

Look at me. FUCKING LOOK AT ME! I’m over here. HERE I AM.

I got this after I heard "Bring It On" on the local alternative radio station; 97x; Bam! The Future of Rock and Roll. It was about 4:30 AM. I made a mental note of the band at the time and decided to look them up at my local vinyl LP record establishment at the next possible time. Low and behold, they were fresh out of available Gossip merchandise. I was not on the spot. Someone beat me to it. They did however back-order the available Gossip recordings.

So this LP arrived this past weekend along with a 7". I bought them both. It was either The Gossip or if it had not arrived, I was going to check out what Gene Defcon was all about... But alas, The Gossip did arrive. Maybe Gene Defcon next week...

So as in the English punk scene, this whole The Riot Grrl scene gave way into this unnamed, yet even unrecognized POST-Riot Grrl movement. You got a new slew of bands like The Gossip that don’t really fit into the classic grouping of Riot Grrl-ism but yet don’t really fit into the garage-punk scene, the indy pop "thing" or even emo. Neoteric? Yes, I believe I will allow that....

What you got with The Gossip is a mix between The Bikini Kill, The Bratmobile, and The White Stripes. Vocals. Guitar. Drums. Now, I don’t feel comfortable with that White Stripes comparison but it rings true. I’m not any sort of White Stripes fan but the same Led Zeppelin blues guitar that the White Stripes blatantly rip off A LOT, MUCH, and OFTEN does surface in the Gossip’s music but the break-beat arrangements and minimalism that The Gossip exhibit seem to make it work better. If I were to ask you to put down your White Stripes LPs and pick up some Gossip records would you do it? I knew you wouldn’t... YOU DUMBASS!

Oh yeah, fans of The Peechees take note....

I was looking for more exploration with The Gossip but That’s Not What I Heard seems to fall just short of blowing me away. I am however sticking with them. I think The Gossip is a cool band and has a great sound. The seven-inch was vicious. The LP was a further exploration of that viciousness. I would like to see more quirky arrangements of songs and more screaming. The Gossip is the best band you haven’t even heard yet. (SAB)
(www.killrockstars.com)
(Kill Rock Stars 120 NE State #418 Olympia, WA. 98501)

Gotohells "Rock 'N' Roll America" CD

This sounds pretty WEAK to me. The Gotohells have always come across as "rock poseurs" to me and this album doesn't do anything to change my opinion of the band. One thing I can say is that they've stopped ripping off the Devil Dogs -- Great, now they wanna be the Candy Snatchers instead! Jesus Christ, when will bands like these guys learn that good rock 'n' roll is not measured by the ability to blatantly rip off another band and make clean, polished studio albums? Get some fuckin' soul already! (SA)
(Vagrant Records -- Proud home of the Get Up Kids -- Go figure?)

Henry Fiat’s Open Sore "Makes Your Cock Big" 7" EP

From Sweden comes the dreaded Henry Fiat’s Open Sore! There are 6 tracks on this lagoon blue vinyl, but you won’t be able to tell cause they go about 90 mph…I think I can see smoke comin’ outta my turntable… Anyone into the blistering hardcore punk, fuzzed out and fucked up, will purchase this 7" now! Umm…what else… It’s good and you can’t live without it… I mean that, you will drop dead unless you get this 45 into your system… (JD)
($3.50 ppd: Rock N Roll Blitzkrieg PO Box 11906 Berkeley, CA 94712)

Highschool Rockers "S/T" 7"

Hey, yeah! The Highschool Rockers know how ta please, please ya with a 7" that’s as thick as a dinner plate and stacks of games and cards you can play with whilst listening to your new favorite band. These guys are this generation’s (the blanketeer’s generation that is) answer for a new Supercharger! In fact, the Highschool Rockers are way better than Supercharger because their lyrics actually make sense! So yeah, if you like it lofi and out of a dank garage (Aww but the dank Moe, the dank!) get with these three cats. (JD)
(www.uruworld.com)
($5ppd: URU. Svedeliusvag 16. S-611 38 Nykoping. Sweden)

Joy Division "Warsaw" LP

This is the LP version of that Warsaw titled CD I covered a while back. As I was hoping, the vinyl gives the songs newfound warmth. For those of you who are newer and haven’t caught my Joy Division/Warsaw legacy yet, this is an LP jammed packed full of the earliest recordings of Joy Division BEFORE that were The Joy Division.... They were once known as a punk-rock act called Warsaw who were afraid to bring synthesizers into their band because it was thought to possibly damage their reputation as a punk band... no shit. "All of This for You", "No Love Lost", "Interzone", "They Walked In Line"....some fucking grade A shit here. I highly recommend this to anyone who recognizes The Joy Division as first and foremost a punk-rock band.

All of this...for you.... (SAB)
(Retropop Records, No Address)

Killing for Culture "Hungry Bears Dont Dance" CDEP

What’s more important than if I like this band and their music is if you might like the band and their music. I’m still no sorts of fucking music critic; I watched "Almost Famous" last night and, despite reviewing music, I still don’t consider myself a critic. I do however, consider myself the "enemy." So don’t fucking try-me.

This band is the English, or UK, or Hilfiger, or whatever the kids are calling it these days, version of TOOL. Three songs, each title is one word in length. How... What’s the word I’m looking for? Uh.... "Typical." Whereas I don’t rush out to buy music from bands like this (in fact I don’t buy it at all) when I’m at places it’s playing, I always remark to the voices in my head that it could definitely be worse. After all, Limp Bizkit could be in the CD player or something.

With the correct amount of marketing and publicity, this band could be MTV icons. But then again, who fucking cares? (SAB)
(Zip Records)

Litter "Distortions" LP

"Action Woman" is one of the most known 60's garage singles of all-time, but as the re-release of this 1967 album proves, The Litter were more than just one hit wonders. In fact, this whole record really surprised me. I dunno' about anything else they released after this record, but "Distortions" ranks right up there with the best full-length albums released by a 60's garage band. Most of the stuff on here is cover tunage, but there are a couple of originals besides the elusive "Action Woman", and all of the covers are given a very distinct (and in nearly every case, better) spin; especially their rave up, distorted version of "I'm a Man." Best of all, there is none of the sappy, wannabe-slow dance 50's pop crappola on here that plagued most garage acts with great singles, but shitty albums. You just get good, solid and rocking 60's garage at it's best. Great re-release that will file nicely next to your Chocolate Watchband and Monks records. (SA)
(Get Hip Records, Columbus & Preble Aves, Pittsburgh, PA, U.S.A, 15233)

Lunachicks "Babysitters On Acid" CD

This CD is a re-issue of their debut release from way back in 1990. Some pretty catchy, thick punk rawk that leans into metal at times. Twelve songs with some better than others, but several tracks like "Jan Brady", "Mabel Rock" and "Glad I’m Not Yew" go so far as impressing my own self. I mean fuck, you write a good song, you write a good song! I cant help but to think that The Lunachicks are, or maybe I should say WERE, The Heart of the 90s just like The Donnas are The Heart of...whatever the kids are calling this decade. I’m reminded of my past liking of The Features when listening to this disc and how much The Features reminded me of Channel 3, CH3 or whatever those fuckers were calling themselves back when or whatever. The more I listen to this CD the more I like it. It’s as easy as that. (SAB)
(Go Kart Records)

Mistreaters "Stranded" 7"

This is their debut 7", right? I’m too lazy to wander over to their web site and chick to make sure; but that’s irrelevant. The Mistreaters are a robust, Problematicstyle garage punk rawk group with a passion for fuzzzzzzz. They shoot you up with four tracks of rock including, "How Much For The Women" and "Walk On." You should have both this 7" and their album (on Big Neck) if you’re into the garage scneen at all. Git it lamoid! (JD)
(www.bigneckrecords.com)
(Big Neck Records PO Box 8144 Reston, VA 20195)

Mullens "Tough To Tell" CD/LP

What a fucking great album! The Mullens might be Texans, but they have the mid-70's New York punk-ROCK sound down better than any currently active band I can think of. The first thing that comes to mind in listening to this is the obvious Johnny Thunders influences here, but they have that whole mid-tempo NYC rock 'n' roll thang down pat as they mix in the Dolls/Heartbreakers with a dash of the Ramones and a sprinkle of the Dictators. Then the Mullens bake it all up at 350, serve it with a side order of the Rolling Stones and the Fun Things and deliver you what might be the best damned album released this year, thus far. If any of the aforementioned bands make your mouth water (and they damn well should), then Tough To Tell is a record you need not go without. "Boy In A Band" and "Shady Deal" alone are two of the best songs I've heard in months (among the 10 other great, catchy songs here). A definite must! (SA)
(www.gethip.com)
(Get Hip Recordings, Columbus & Preble Aves, Pittsburgh, PA 15233)

Gary Numan/Tubeway Army "The Plan", "S/T", and "Replicas" CDs

I could sit and regurgitate a whole bunch of liner notes to you explaining how important and influential Gary Numan and Tubeway Army were but I’m not going to do that. It seems that here lately more and more people are discovering the greatness of Tubway Army enough to propel me to sit down and say a few words about these three CDs which will take you from the earliest formations of Tubeway Army to the latest when everything was absorbed into Gary Numan’s solo career.

Spreading the word. Hear the news, you might have passed up some of the best music ever created. Read on.

Roxy Music, Bowie, T. Rex, the Sex Pistols....some incredible bands and some incredible musicians. It wasn’t uncommon that someone would hear one of them and rush out to make their mark on the music scene and Gary Numan did exactly that.

The beginning point of these CDs is really The Plan. Numan joined a band called The Lasers after the one he help form, Mean Street, kicked him out. Apparently Mean Street didn’t like all the attention and focus Numan was getting. He joined The Lasers who soon changed their name to Tubeway Army and despite Numan trying to take a background role in the band (my guess is he was afraid of getting kicked out) they began to focus on his material. It wasn’t long though until Numan began to utilize his leadership ability and stepped up to bat. He dismissed the original line up and teamed the bass player, Paul Gardiner, up with his uncle Jess Lidyard for a new formation.

The Plan consists of twenty-four tracks in all. Many of the songs were recorded with the intentions to give potential record companies rough ideas of the songs they had. It worked. Many of the songs would go on to be re-recorded for their self-titled release but the versions on this disc bite you. They attack you. They are heavy without being drudgery. They’re fog-like, heavy, mysterious, sci-fi, groundbreaking.

Like I said, many of the songs on The Plan would end up on the second stop on this Tube-ride, their first 'official' release simply "self titled." This release would surface to be mechanical in its approach, much the same way Devo’s "Q: Are We Not Men..." LP. Tubeway Army's guitar and bass were played like synths. The vocals were nearly void and layered much like you would imaging a robot’s, and the drumming, which was still done by Jess Lidyard, was once thought to be a drum machine due to its preciseness and consistence. Most importantly though, you can hear the earliest explorations with synths. Just a dabble here, a dabble there. It would end up being more relative on Tubeway Army’s next release and something that would propel Numan when he switched over to a solo career. You can really appreciate these songs as they are performed even more so than the versions on The Plan. You see a growth with these recordings when you would leave listening to The Plan with the wonder if it could get any better. It can and this CD proves it. Consisting of the twelve main songs that were the original debut release, the CD also included a LIVE LP called Living Ornaments from a 1979 live show. The recording of the show isn’t that good but its a pleasant surprise especially since the show featured thirteen more songs bringing the total track number to twenty five tracks. The live show also features a couple unreleased songs and a Velvet Underground cover of "White Light."

The last disc of the three is Replicas. I recently found the LP version of this CD (without bonuses) at my local record store and I snatched it up. It’s not uncommon for me to by LPs of CDs I already have. Hell, I own two copies of the self titled release and if I were to see another this coming weekend, I would probably buy that one too.

If you read the lyrics to Replicas while listening to the music and you can definitely see a band that was reaching their peak. I consider this disc the climax of Gary Numan’s career. To follow would be a switch to a solo career, and whereas The Pleasure Principal hits with just as much a force as Replicas, it was the beginning of the downhill march with the follow-up to Principal, Telekon.

Replicas is dark, brooding, Even more mysterious than the other two discs combined. More synths were add to the sci-fi spectacle and included is the exploration into instrumental tracks... Numan was writing and performing some of his best stuff with tracks like "Do You Need The Service?", "Only a Downstat", "Are 'Friends' Electric?", "The Crazies", and "We Have A Technical". Their beats shock you like electricity. Numan’s voice, droning and even more void of emotion, sending chills up and down my fucking spine.

It was after listening to this disc that Tubeway Army became one of the few bands that I gage people by. I come to the conclusion of they heard and still don’t like the Army, their musical taste are probably pretty much shit.

Replicas is given six bonus tracks to sweeten the deal for you dollars. So what the fuck are you still waiting for? Get them....

I finish writing this on the eve of a Gary Numan live appearance at my local rock star establishment Bogarts, or Bofarts as I call it. I was pretty excited when I first heard he was coming to town but after listening to his newest release, Pure, which I HIGHLY recommend that you stay away from if you like anything from Telekon or before, I didn’t want to go as bad. You see Pure is a lot better than his post Telekon work but it seems now Numan has a whole infatuation with god, religion, and real deep and meaningful spiritual shit. It sucks. When someone is that deep in philosophical matter that’s all they can talk about. If I would see Gary Numan, I would bet most of his material would come from his latter work and his latest release. I still may go, I mean I paid $14 to see that piece of shit Dammed lineup last time they came through but man…I’m torn…

Gary Numan. Tubeway Army. Neoteric pioneers. Influential. Engineering. Influential. (SAB)
(Beggars Banquet)

New Town Animals "Lose That Girl" 7"

I love this single! While the Sham 69 cover on their split with the Delateurs only hinted at the late 70's Brit power pop/mod influence in their tunage, this single showcases it to the full extent. This is total Buzzcocks/Jam-esque punk rock at it's best. Only two songs here, but both of them rule. What the hell is this doing on Mint Records, even if they are a Vancouver band? (SA)
(Mint Records, PO BOX 3613, Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6B 3Y6)

Pink Holes "We're Glad We Are What We Are" CD

This goofy reissue of the first Pink Holes LP showcases the band’s sound circa 1984, both in the studio and out. Funny. Rough around the edges. In a pretty juvenile sense, entertaining--especially if you like covers of Johnny Cash tunes ("Ring of Fire") and old acne medication jingles (Stridex?). "I touched her kitty-cat, I felt what it was like, and I liked it." How can you resist that? You can’t. Give it a listen. (EL)
(www.smogveil.com)
(Smog Veil Records 774 Mays Blvd. #10-454 Incline Village, NV 89451)

Pits "Introducing My New High" 7"

I think I reviewed these chaps a short while ago…just a sec…yeah, I did. The Pits are a straight up 70’s UK punk outfit. They have a thick, melodic guitar sound, creamy and Sex Pistols-like. If you’re into English punk rock in a BIG WAY, you should try this boys out…you Bladder Bladder Bladder fans, listen up! Jim sure knows how to pick ‘em. (JD)
(www.undergroundmedicine.com)
(Rapid Pulse Records PO Box 5075 Milford, CT 06460)

Quitters "Second Album" CD

How the fuck did they get rid of the first album?! This has to be the worst CD I’ve ever received! I mean, that Priests CD wasn’t too bad, and the Quitter’s cover art looks interesting enough, all 60’s styled and what not… But man, this vocalist oughta be canned! The guy sounds like a Beverly Hillbilly! And their songs are just using the same old garage riffs with no effort in being new or entertaining. Ugh, the more I listen to this the more annoyed I get… Like country/garage punk? Fuck You! (JD)
(www.garagepoprecords.com)
(Garage Pop Records PO Box 88003 Rochester, NY 14618)

Red Letter Day "Chance Meetings: The Best of Red Letter Day 1985-1999" CD

At least their name brings to mind Communism. They have that going for them....

It took until the third track for me to begin to appreciate this; the song "Take Me in Your Arms." Red Letter Day bring to mind a band that could be THE soundtrack to movies like Better Off Dead, The Legend of Billie Jean, or better yet, Gleaming The Cube. Their music is polished, overproduced, layered but definitely listenable in a new-wave sort of way.

Take the Cars for example. Now everyone in their right mind knows that the latter Cars material doesn’t even begin to hold up to their early work. The only deal is that since this is my first exposure to Red Letter Day I haven’t heard any early works, if any even exist, because I think this CD is some sort of collection of Compilation tracks and rare 7" tracks. I’m listening to it and shit, but I’m not fucking absorbing it.

I mean I will just go ahead and say it. I like this disc. Just like I liked The Circle Jerks most recent offering. Red Letter Day play like an extension of the UK SUBS thing. It’s like a mix of Cyanide and The UK Subs plus a big gigantic 400 track studio. Like a serious version of bad news without the joking. A little bit of Ozzy in there hence, SOME metal... Imagine Blitz sounding more like Foreigner. I like both of those last two bands so quit yer fucking laughing.

They keep talking about 'poetry' when describing songs....

They said something about a fourth LP....

They mention "questioning lyrics"....

Dramatic. Tears run down my cheeks. Bands need more drama. Take fucking notes all you kids. Put down your fucking dope pipes and get some drama. Watch some soap operas. Listen to some Meatloaf LPs.

Gimmie this disc as opposed to The Business. Fuck those guys. They have FAKE drama. I bet Red Letter Day hung each other at the end of every show and have arguments with each other over the phone. I bet each member of the band has at least ONCE quit the band and cried about it. But you know what? Men hugging men is OK and when they kiss, well, its a European thing (just ask The Joe "Frenchy" Domino). Crying doesn’t make you a pussie. It makes you mean as fire.

I like what this disc has to offer. "No More Conformity. Inflicted Lunacy...I want it. I need it, another face behind the mask. I want it. I need it. Another Cell behind the Dark" (from "This is My Drug" - track 15).

I might be wrong about that verse up there ending with 'dark' because it was sort of hard for me to decipher the lyrics. I mean they are in English and talked all fucked up and shit. Their Englishness shines through in their singing too. I mean FUCK, they could be Australian because one of the guys on the back of the CD is wearing a cowboy hat. But then again they wouldn’t be ripping off The UK Subs a much if they were from OZ. It would have been The Thought Criminals or if they were real tough, The Chosen Few.

This is a good CD. The more I read the CD book; the more I don’t like it though. I’m just going to stop reading the liner notes.... (SAB)
(Zip Records 116 New Montgomery Street Suite 200 SF, CA 94105)

Rocket 455 "Go To Hell" CD

This here is a compilation of the Motor City’s Rocket 455’s better tunes that they’ve released over the years. I remember readin’ ‘bout this cats in MRR back in ’95 or so, but I was never really interested in looking into ‘em. Too bad for me… These boys are lowdown and dungy, lofi rock-n-roll filth. Anyone who’s partial to the Stooges and Radio Birdman should have this CD in their sweaty hands already. (JD)
(www.gethip.com)
(Get Hip Recordings, Columbus & Preble Aves, Pittsburgh, PA 15233)

Rocket from the Crypt "Group Sounds" LP/CD

Rocket from the Crypt represents one of punk rock’s rare paradoxes: they can throw a horn section in their songs and still escape the fracas without succumbing to "suck." One of the few other bands able to do this with ease, to my knowledge, were the Saints--and that's saying something.

Group Sounds continues in the tradition of brass-backed rock that RFTC have established in years past, yet still retains the healthy sense of originality that is also trademark of the band. The songs span effortlessly between a few related genres of music; there’s rock, there’s pop, there’s punk, and there’s even a mish-mash of all three, tightly wound in the usually unappealing thread of slick rock production. Whereas other bands may use professional-sounding studio work to water down their ditties or unnecessarily build up their weak sounds, RFTC build on an already powerful sound to give you more bang for your buck. The result is surprisingly fresh too; you can almost feel the searing heat leaping off the guitars. It’s apparent on numbers like "White Belt" and "Savoir Faire" (which carries a tune not unlike the theme of Halloween) that the gang could rock your dirty parts clean off your crotch even without the hot production. And that, my friends, is reason enough to throw down your change and pick up this album. One of my favorites so far in 2001... (EL)
(www.rftc.com)
(Vagrant Records 2118 Wilshire Blvd. #361 Santa Monica, CA 90403)

Andy G and the Roller Kings "S/T" CD/10"

Andy G himself sent this record over to the Blank Generation HQ and, I gotta tell ya, I was more excited about getting Andy’s autograph than the record itself! I mean, this is FABULOUS ANGY G OF THE DEVIL DOGS! I first heard their seven-inch on Headache Records in 1995. I traded a couple of Bovine records for that 7" and a Teengenerate 7" on Lucky. Yeah, I’d say I made out on that deal. Ok, fan-boy mode off, let’s get down to business.

The Roller Kings are in the same vein of the Devil Dogs with their explosive energy and big rock ‘n’ roll heart. To the Devil Dogs fans out there, if you really dig the Saturday Night Fever album you’ll like this record. I’m more of a Big Beef Bonanza cat, but I can still groove to the ‘Kings. For those who don’t know who the fuck I’m talking about… GET SOME FUCKING TASTE! Ha Ha Ha… umm… if you like a lot of 50’s rock ‘n’ roll with saxomophones swingin’ and a solid back-beat you’ll probably like the Roller Kings. Ya fuckin’ losers! How could you not know about the Devil Dogs!? (JD)
(www.sympathyrecords.com)

Andy G and The Roller Kings "S/T" CD/10"

If you're reading this text right now and you have no clue who Andy G is, then you're at the wrong fuckin' website pal! This is a 5-song EP from Andy G's newest band The Roller Kings, and it might very well be the best record from a post-Devil Dogs band yet (among the ones I've heard). The Roller Kings put down a sound that is similar to that of the Devil Dogs, but in a much more traditionalist, 50's rock 'n' roll vein. It's a party style sound with some great sax work and the rad vocal stylings we've come to expect from Andy over the years. It got my toe tappin' in no time at all, which is about the most ringing endorsement a rock 'n' roll record could ever hope to get from me. If these guys put out a full album with this kinda tunage watch out! Now go out and cut the record already! (SA)
(SFTRI)

Screamers "In A Better World" 2XCD

You better shut Up and Listen! If I had to list the five most important bands I have ever heard, The Screamers would definitely occupy a space! What you have here is two CDs packed full of some of the most original music to ever be labeled punk. Two synths. Drums. Minimal guitars if ANY. Minimal everything. The Screamers could make a song out of a metronome and television static AND make it fucking rock! Droning. Bitter. Smashism. Loud. Electric. Captured agitation in its purest, most lethal form. Who needs heroin when you have The Screamers?

Most tracks from both CDs are repeat versions from other releases, like that fancy LP that came out about a year ago with that nice hummmm all the way through every track, but there are some suprises! Browsing over the songs listed; out of 40 tracks, excluding the radio advertisement, about eight are new to my ears. Sound quality is better than that LP, but still poor. I believe that the sound quality adds to the songs a bit. I’m not a pussy like most of you Exploited fans are so I can appreciate it!

I will go ahead and say it, if you don’t like the Screamers then you are a fucking piece of shit. Grow some hair on your balls. Turn it up. Throw a plate at your wall in the climax of "122 Hours of Fear - Part 1" JUST before "122 Hours of Fear - Part 2" begins. The Screamers said we are all demented. That we are all crazy... That we are all psychos... So why you still fighting it? This is an invasion and you are either with us or against us. We will bite your ear off!

I could easily go mad while listening to The Screamers.

And             I              Welcome..... It.

Rest in Peace Tomata Du Plenty. (SAB)
(ExtravertigoRecordings/Xeroid Records)

7-10 Splits "From The Tall Corn Country" 7"

Ramonesy pop punk. Goofy tunes that the Borisites will dig. The song "Jesus Got A Hammer" is pretty catchy. But the coolest thing about these derelicts is that they seem to really dig bowling – a greatly overlooked sport. Yeah, Yeah! (JD)
(www.bigneckrecords.com)
(Big Neck Records PO Box 8144 Reston, VA 20195)

Shrinks "Nowhere to Live" 7"

Off-key, snotty ’77 style punk rock ala the Infections or maybe the Reclusives… If their recording were a bit trashier they’d fit right in with the Rip Off crowd. Still, the Rip Off crowd should be looking in the Shrinks direction. ‘Sides, Rapid Pulse gives ya 4 great tunes instead of 2… (JD)
(www.undergroundmedicine.com)
(Rapid Pulse Records PO Box 5075 Milford, CT 06460)

 

Smash Up Derby "Blow All The Hell!!" 7"

This release came out a while ago but ZVA wanted to send it anyways… I haven’t had any problems with Zaxxon’s releases because they really haven’t done rock ‘n’ roll wrong, and Smash Up Derby isn’t any different. These boys have a high octane punk rock ‘n’ roll noise with a gritty, snotty ‘tude. "Sit On My Knees" is the perfect anthem for any sex-starved, zit-faced, rock ‘n’ roller. I likes, I likes… (JD)
(www.zaxxonvirileaction.com)
(Zaxxon Virle Action Records 1731-6 Poupart Montreal, Quebec, Canada H2K 3G9)

Step Sister "Sugar Sweat 8-Track/Second Hand Smoke" CD

I wanted to like this. Really, I did. But I just couldn’t do it. Step Sister shows signs of promise with hard-rock thump ‘n’ roll dirges like "She Said" and "Hit," but they fail to knock me out with the vocals that seem too rough for the music and solos that do more to annoy than accent their tunes. The music itself is kinda rockin’, though the treble-soaked guitar and a strong backbeat complete with the low end distorto-bass that, at times, reminded me a little of the Lord High Fixers. Better luck next time guys. (EL)
(www.smogveil.com)
(Smog Veil Records 774 Mays #10 PMB 454 Incline Village, NV 89451 USA)

Step Sister "Sugar Sweat 8-Track" CD

Wow. What you got here is the culmination of two separate releases all combined on one disc for your listening "pleasure".... I put pleasure that way because the world that Step Sister throws back to you in their songs don’t seem that pleasurable. It’s dark, gloomy, dirty, self-defeating and dangerous. Carry-a-knife-because-you-never-know type shit.... Trust me, I been to Cleveland, played shows in Cleveland. It’s a breeding ground of paranoid creativity.

The most recent version of Step Sister, which is represented by the last eight tracks on this disc, features members from The Dark, The Guns, and such teenage hits as 9 Shocks Terror... Heard of any of them?

I really like this disc. Fuzzed out blues hardcore punk. Dangerous leads.... It’s weird too, because at times they remind me of MOTORHEAD and THE COSMIC PSYCHOS. One of those bands I hate and the other I can never listen to enough. Guess which one is which. Let me give you a hint - 26 1/2%, That’s Money Well-Spent.... Fans of Rollins era BLACK FLAG take note; hell, for that matter Rollins Band fans take note too! You like THE CANDY SNATCHERS? TAKE NOTE MOTHERFUCKER! I can’t help but to feel, and I must admit that this band is what the Cincinnati Punk Legends HUMAN ZOO (a local band that inspired The Candy Snatchers a bit) would sound like if they were still around.

Step Sister is lethal. They are volatile. The vacant city building where you find used condoms, empty whiskey bottles and used hypodermic needles. The places you are told to stay out of. The place that shines to you like a beacon. The bad part of town. That’s where you will find a band like Step Sister playing LOUD. Playing fast. Doing their part for the unwritten rules. The street creed. The secret code.

On the tear sheet to this release Smog Veil mention that Grand Theft Audio is planning on releasing both Guns and Dark retrospectives. Take a note of that too. Also before this review is over I would personally like to thank Smog Veil Records for giving me the chance to review this. This disc marks the FIRST time I have been sent something to review specifically for Blank Generation. Kick ass. (SAB)
(www.smogveil.com)
(Smog Veil Records, 774 Mays #10 PMB 454, Incline Villiage, NV 89451)

Teengenerate "Live at Shelter" CD

December 23, 1995. I was 15 years-old and perfectly content listening to my Guitar Wolf and Statics 45s in my room, totally oblivious that it was to be the last time Teengenerate ever set foot on a stage again.

I’m not one for live records; I just don’t really see the point. The only way you’re gonna get me to buy a live record is if I absolutely love the band. So you can see why this CD is a no-brainer for me. I love Teengenerate. I have since I first heard their song "Grown Up Wrong" on that split 7" with Stepford 5. So, for you fans out there, let me give you the rundown.

This is a way better recording than that pitiful VMLive 7"; it's not unlike their Crypt album. Teengenerate dash straight through 16 songs such as, "Get Me Back", "I Don’t Care" (by the Kids, never been recorded as far as I know), "Front Page", "Out Of Sight", and "Hippy Hippy Shake", just to name a few… So, I’m just gonna say…if you absolutely LOVE Teengenerate you’ll want this record. (JD)
(Target Earth c/o Masao Nakagami 505 Lupinus Hiranuma 1-1-15 Hiranuma Nishi-Ku, Yokohama 220-0023 Japan)

Trailer Park Tornados "Hereos Of The Hopeless" 7"

Noisy garage punk from Buffalo, NEW YOOORK. The recording is really trashed out, or just live. The TPT’s, who can’t spell tornadoes, are a sloppy, snarled pile of guitars and back beats. Reminds me of ’86 hardcore punk without the macho attitude. Not bad… (JD)
(www.bigneckrecords.com)
(Big Neck Records PO Box 8144 Reston, VA 20195)

Trend "Batman Live at Budokan" LP

First look and my heart skips a beat. Japaneese style cover.... Rising sun... Settle.... Settle.... Nope, not the long awaited Slickee Boys re-issue. The vigil continues I’m going to keep this one short... This is a re-issue of a LP (by the same name) and the bands first 7" according to Ryan Rhichardson who wrote the liner notes. RAMONES influenced; The Trend sound like a mix of the oldmones (I shouldn’t have said that should I?) and TEENAGE HEAD. To zero in more I will further the comparisons to the INSULTS which of course brings up some very latent REDD KROSS, but by saying that I mean secondly because whereas The Insults REALLY remind me of The Redd Kross I only hear a tinge of that in the Trend.

This is a good LP, some definite keepers include the two songs from their first 7", which consist of their Killed By Death "classic" - "Band Aid" and "Peer Pressure", (its an original, not a re-work of The Screamers tune), and "Toy Section." One thing that really sticks out to me is The Trends guitar sound... I have said it before and will say it again: Great bands are built from uniquely great guitar sounds. (SAB)
(haters@tiscalinet.it)
(Hate Records, Circ.ne giabicolense 112. 00152 Roma, Italy)

White Stripes "De Stijl" CD/LP

Yeah, yeah, I know I'm way late with this one... But hot damn, this is one of the best albums I have heard in a fucking long time! The White Stripes have become the recent "darlings" of the garage scene with everything from a review in Rolling Stone to a forthcoming article in TIME Magazine. Cop that with the fact that pretentious indie-college fuckers have been name dropping this band like there was no fuckin' tomorrow as of late and you've got a release that was impossible to ignore. Normally, stuff with this much hype behind it usually blows hard (as we've justifyingly come to expect over the years). But I shit on you not when I say that had I heard this album two or three months ago, it might very well have been the number 1 album on my top 10 of 2000 list.

I have never heard a band with the ability to remain distinctly a garage rock band, yet make music that sounded so strikingly "radio friendly", but the White Stripes seem to do just that. "De Stijl" is the music box of Jack and Meg White's broad range of musical background, a brother and sister duo who have influences ranging from blues, to folk, to classic rock, yet put a minimalistic Detroit-garage spin on all of it. I know what you're saying to yourself right now, that's the "Crypt" sound and everyone and their grandmother is in a band like that right now. What separates the White Stripes from the rest of those bands is their musical diversity. One song could be a stompin' number in the vein of the Gories or Bantam Rooster and the next one could be in artsy indie folk rock territory (yet still rockin', mind you). There are even a few songs on here that sound like they could be a Led Zeppelin song (particularly "Truth Doesn't Make A Noise"). Usually, when a band tries to venture into many kinds of music, they lose sight of what their goal is and end up making one spectacularly crappy album. The White's are obvious scholars of rock music and know EXACTLY what they are doing here, and they pull all of this off with a surprising amount of flare and showmanship. That is what makes this album so fucking great and that is why I feel the need to review this record so late. My reviews are usually much shorter than this; but this, my friends, is REAL rock 'n' roll and I felt like assuring you all of that. So fuck the hype, buy this record! Can't wait for the new album to come out. (SA)
(SFTRI)

V/A "Drunk on Rock 2!" CD

Volume 2 in the "Drunk on Rock" series… So you get 26 bands playin’ 26 songs of ’77 style punk, punk rock ‘n’ roll, Thunder’s influenced "junkie rock", and more. Unfortunately, all the bands I like on this CD I already know about; bands like – The Clone Defects, Hellbenders, Bell Rays, Gore Gore Girls, and Piranhas. The only band that I didn’t know about and thought had an outstanding song was the Teenage Frames; I’ll have to check out their stuff ASAP. The rest of these bands on this comp all sound the same to me and I can’t hear any aptness towards making their songs standout. On the ‘ol rock-o-meter I’d give it 6/10. If you don’t have the ability to listen to any of the bands listed above in a good record store you might want to mail-order this CD for a taste of everything rock ‘n’ roll. That’s what comps are for ya know? (JD)
($10 ppd: I-94 Recordings PO Box 44763 Detroit, MI 48244)

V/A "Pie & Ears" Volume 1; Cleveland Then and Now" CD

As you can see from the title, this is a collection of Cleveland Music, most of which was new to my ears, of older Cleveland bands and err…um.... "Newer Ones."

Most tracks are interesting to say the least. Just past all the better known Cleveland Punk bands are band on this CD. This is definitely in the Pagans/Mirrors/Electric Eels/Styrenes/Pere Ubu vein, for those who are taking notes. My favorite tracks were provided by The Dissidents, Reason Seven (Wow, reminds me of early PiL in the beginning), Breathing Blankets (Mix Pere Ubu and The Pagans), Definics (!), Pink Holes (reminding me of the Cramps with their track called "Drowned Dreams)." This CD is definitely a keeper, The New Salem Witch Hunters (you like The Pagans? Me too), Wombats (their track reminds me of something I would hear on a old Clone Records seven-inch), Bob Sabalack (of the Definics) who does a electronic masterpiece that also sounds like vintage Clone Records stuff. He also teams up later on in the disc with another guy named Bob in an incarnation called "2 Bobs" and does a synth Devo-esque song called "Ethnic Tune." Last but never least, the fuzzed out Numbskull impressed me with their track "Ugly", that sort of sums up their song (Really, its great! Classic!).

For the most part I enjoyed what I heard on this disc. Even if I did mainly like the older stuff a bit more, its quite possible that the other tracks could grow on me, I don’t know. I’m Shawn Abnoxious and I am willing to be Lewis and Clark about it, "willing to give it some time and EXPLORE." (SAB)
(www.smogveil.com)
(Smog Veil Records 774 Mays #10 PMB 454 Incline Village, NV 89451 USA)

V/A "Pie & Ears, Volume 1: Cleveland Then and Now" CD

This CD, compiled by Pink Holes member and fanzine contributor Scott "Cheese" Borger, features a smorgasbord of Cleveland punk rock favorites from the last 20 years or so. The results are kinda tame; although the press sheet boasts appearances by former members of the Pagans, Pere Ubu and Guided by Voices, the bands featured on this compilation display only a fraction of the genius displayed by the aforementioned groups. The high points remain Reason Seven’s "This Song Sucks" (which, in reality, isn’t that terrible) and the Pink Holes’ trash/rock/blues number, "Drowned Dreams." Not a bad look into the underbelly of Cleveland’s current and past punk rock scene, but not really essential, either. (EL)
(www.smogveil.com)
(Smog Veil Records 774 Mays #10 PMB 454 Incline Village, NV 89451 USA)

Varukers "How Do You Sleep?" CD

Leather jackets. Studs, spikes. Spiked up hair. Chaos punks with a anarchy symbol for the 'a' in CHAOS. This could be a new Varukers CD or one of the other ones.... I don’t know and I don’t care. I think I heard "fascism" used in one of the songs somewhere.... The guitars go chugga-chugga.

My most prevalent memory of The Varukers is when they were on tour with the Casualties. They showed up in Dayton Ohio with the Casualties mo-hawks to a whopping 15 spectators. You know why? Because both bands are fucking BORING.

I went because I wanted to see what all the hype behind this Casualties thing was... and fuck, I figured the Varukers would be decent because I was just getting into Vice Squad at the time. Leather jackets oi-punk. Streetpunk! Why I thought this I will never know. As you can surmise, I hated both bands. Boring. I remember the Casualties making fun of me and my friends because we weren’t dressed as cool as they were. I remember "Rat" from the 'Ruckers selling tapes. I felt sorry for them so I bought one. I mean FUCK; I might not like their music or anything but I’m not an asshole. I will say that I liked the Casualties a lot LESS than the Varukers, for what it’s worth.

One aspect of the night however, I will never forget. Every time I see a Varukers record or CD, and even when this CD arrived, I was reminded of doing a mess of whip-its in a fellow named Spencer Sunshine’s car. What a blast. The bands sucked but man; we had a fucking great time. Until this night I had never done whip-its. I was 'Lewis & Clark' about it and damn proud!

tick.tock.tick.tock.
"Hey.... do... you guys... hear a clock?" (SAB)
(Go-Kart Records)

Zodiac Killers "Have a Blast" CD/LP

I was surprised that the Zodiac Killers even put out a second record. I mean, Greg likes the one LP per band concept, as do I. Because, with punk bands, it’s usually their first record, recorded when they were frustrated, pissed off and starving artists, that is their best material. Then they, you know, get popular, get egos, get old, and start churning out garbage with the idea that, "Hey, they liked our last record, now they’ll buy anything with our name on it!" That’s why I’m here…

Where was I…oh yeah, so the Zodiac Killers actually put out a 2nd album. They broke up and if it wasn’t for someone telling me they got all new members, except for Mr. Lowery of course, I wouldn’t even have noticed; these rock ‘n’ rollers all look the same to me…

Is there any reason for even reviewing this record? Rip Off Records has a cult following. Basically, you have to let the kids know the record is out and they’ll just go down to the record shop and shove their money in the register for you. I know. I’ll say, "Dontcha wanna hear it first?" And the kids say, "No, I know what to expect, its Rip Off, duh!" And I’ll say, "Oh yeah…" (JD)
(Rip Off Records 581 Maple Ave. San Bruno, CA 94066)

Zodiac Killers "Have A Blast" CD/LP

Wow. "The Most Thrilling Experience" was one of the best albums of 1999, but as far as I'm concerned, The Zodiac Killers have outdone themselves here with "Have A Blast." This record smokes. The songs here are longer than those found on the first album and there is quite a bit more variety in their songs, as much as there could be for a "Rip Off" band that is. But the Zodiac Killers are still in the Samones-esque, dumb-fuck punk rock area they traveled on with the first LP and the "slightly different" approach is a better one, for my money at least. This record has really interesting guitar work too, and has a good chance at cracking the top 10 for this year. (SA)
(Rip Off Records, 581 Maple Ave, San Bruno, CA, USA, 94066)

Zodiac Killers "Have a Blast" CD/LP

Talk about confusion: This came in with twin shooters fucking blazing, started to lag a bit in the middle, then shoved me out the door with a violent grin as it mopped up and closed shop. "Kamikaze Attack", ladies and gentlemen, is how an album SHOULD open up - simple, fast, simple, and ugly, charging forward like a goddamn bull with rabies or some other equally absurd simile. The song "Now You’re Gonna Pay" doesn’t do a bad job bringing it to an end either. How’s the rest of the album? The new female member’s voice grated on my nerves a little, but the Lowery-fronted tunes are still worth the cash that I expect over half of you to plunk down on this anxiously awaited second length. You could do much worse... (EL)
(www.ripoffrecords.org)
(Rip Off Records 581 Maple Ave. San Bruno, CA 94066)

 
 
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