- 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...
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)
Blacks "Shattered" (Limited Tour Edition) 7"
I didnt 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 its at!
Blowtops "Blood and Tar" 10"
Rock! The Blowtops are a chaotic fire of lofi trash with grotesque undertones.
If you merged the Reatards' soul to the Persuaders' body youd have
the Blowtops! Therere 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)
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.
you read the last line of their press that Im going to repeat for
prostates sake: "The Steamroller is heading down the hill!
Jump on or get flattened!" and Im 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)
Conflict "Only Stupid Bastards Help Go-kart Records" CD
The Ungovernable Re-issues Are Coming! I suppose Conflict took all their eggs and put them in Go Karts 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 dont 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? Dont 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 dont 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", youll 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.
Dissidents "Conformity is Deformity" CD/LP
tape-hiss punk from Cleveland, 1979 thats sloppy as hell and surprisingly
catchy. A lot of these tracks are live, but its nearly impossible
for me to distinguish between the studio cuts and the live performances
because theyre both equally as noisy. And equally as good, in an
"I-dont-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)
Dissidents "Conformity is Deformity" CD
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 didnt have, that any of the aforementioned cites had been a solid structure of venues and support. Im 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 Im 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.
Its 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. Its fuzzy, dirty, and raw but its 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. Its definitely one of my latest favorites.
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)
Distractors "Shake It Up!!!" 7"
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! Therere 6 tunes on this 7" including,
"Rock and Roll Fox" and "Rollerderby Queen." Yheah!
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 havent heard of it. I bought it. Just like the good old days, Im 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 wouldnt 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 Dads Monte-Carlo too. Im mean fuck, you do something like that then laugh?
Mom, youre 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, dont get me wrong. Its 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 thats 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 Im 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, thats 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 dont 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).
Faint ARE Neoteric but Im 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 dont know how to bring it
across. One word of advice: embrace minimalism. (SAB)
Gore Gore Girls "Strange Girls" CD/LP
Gore Gore Girls are a primitive, all-girl garage rock n roll
group. They gotta dirty rock n roll sound thats pretty
catchy, but fairly typical in this genre
until you get
to their covers
"Im Gonna Get You Yet", I could
dance to that song all night. Although only a cover
song, its just done soooo beautifully that you cant help but
fall in love with these girls. And then theres "Room In Your
Heart", another cover tune; its so upbeat and catchy, and done
with soul, youll adore em. Their own material doesnt
really go with the covers they do, so I really dont know where I
stand on this record. I guess
if you have the money youll be
happy with the two or three phenomenal covers they give ya, otherwise
just borrow the album from a friend. (JD)
Gossip "Thats Not What I Heard" LP
Look at me. FUCKING LOOK AT ME! Im 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 dont really fit into the classic grouping of Riot Grrl-ism but yet dont 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 dont feel comfortable with that White Stripes comparison but it rings true. Im 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 Gossips 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 wouldnt... YOU DUMBASS!
Oh yeah, fans of The Peechees take note....
was looking for more exploration with The Gossip but Thats 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 havent even
heard yet. (SAB)
Gotohells "Rock 'N' Roll America" CD
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)
Henry Fiats Open Sore "Makes Your Cock Big" 7" EP
Sweden comes the dreaded Henry Fiats Open Sore! There are 6 tracks
on this lagoon blue vinyl, but you wont 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
Its good and
you cant live without it
I mean that, you will drop dead unless
you get this 45 into your system
Highschool Rockers "S/T" 7"
yeah! The Highschool Rockers know how ta please, please ya with a 7"
thats 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 generations (the blanketeers 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)
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 havent 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.
of this...for you.... (SAB)
Killing for Culture "Hungry Bears Dont Dance" CDEP
Whats more important than if I like this band and their music is if you might like the band and their music. Im still no sorts of fucking music critic; I watched "Almost Famous" last night and, despite reviewing music, I still dont consider myself a critic. I do however, consider myself the "enemy." So dont 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... Whats the word Im looking for? Uh.... "Typical." Whereas I dont rush out to buy music from bands like this (in fact I dont buy it at all) when Im at places its 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.
the correct amount of marketing and publicity, this band could be MTV
icons. But then again, who fucking cares? (SAB)
Litter "Distortions" LP
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)
Lunachicks "Babysitters On Acid" CD
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 Im 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. Im 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. Its as easy as that. (SAB)
Mistreaters "Stranded" 7"
is their debut 7", right? Im too lazy to wander over to their
web site and chick to make sure; but thats 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 youre into the garage
scneen at all. Git it lamoid! (JD)
Mullens "Tough To Tell" CD/LP
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)
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 Im 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 Numans 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 wasnt 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 didnt 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 wasnt 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. Theyre 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 Devos "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 robots, 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 Armys 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 isnt 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. Its 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 Numans 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. Numans 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 dont 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 didnt 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 thats 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 Im torn
Numan. Tubeway Army. Neoteric pioneers. Influential. Engineering. Influential.
New Town Animals "Lose That Girl" 7"
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?
Pink Holes "We're Glad We Are What We Are" CD
goofy reissue of the first Pink Holes LP showcases the bands 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 cant.
Give it a listen. (EL)
Pits "Introducing My New High" 7"
think I reviewed these chaps a short while ago
just a sec
I did. The Pits are a straight up 70s UK punk outfit. They have
a thick, melodic guitar sound, creamy and Sex Pistols-like. If youre
into English punk rock in a BIG WAY, you should try this boys out
Bladder Bladder Bladder fans, listen up! Jim sure knows how to pick em.
Quitters "Second Album" CD
the fuck did they get rid of the first album?! This has to be the worst
CD Ive ever received! I mean, that Priests CD wasnt
too bad, and the Quitters cover art looks interesting enough, all
60s 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
punk? Fuck You! (JD)
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 doesnt 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 havent 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. Im listening to it and shit, but Im 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. Its 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 doesnt 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 wouldnt 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.
is a good CD. The more I read the CD book; the more I dont like
it though. Im just going to stop reading the liner notes.... (SAB)
Rocket 455 "Go To Hell" CD
here is a compilation of the Motor Citys Rocket 455s better
tunes that theyve 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 whos partial to
the Stooges and Radio Birdman should have this CD in their sweaty hands
Rocket from the Crypt "Group Sounds" LP/CD
Rocket from the Crypt represents one of punk rocks 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.
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; theres rock, theres pop, theres
punk, and theres 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.
Its 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
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 Andys 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, Id say I made out on that deal. Ok, fan-boy mode off, lets get down to business.
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 youll
like this record. Im more of a Big Beef Bonanza cat, but
I can still groove to the Kings. For those who dont know who
the fuck Im talking about
GET SOME FUCKING TASTE! Ha Ha Ha
if you like a lot of 50s rock n roll with
saxomophones swingin and a solid back-beat youll probably
like the Roller Kings. Ya fuckin losers! How could you not know
about the Devil Dogs!? (JD)
Andy G and The Roller Kings "S/T" CD/10"
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)
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. Im not a pussy like most of you Exploited fans are so I can appreciate it!
I will go ahead and say it, if you dont 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.
in Peace Tomata Du Plenty. (SAB)
7-10 Splits "From The Tall Corn Country" 7"
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)
Shrinks "Nowhere to Live" 7"
snotty 77 style punk rock ala the Infections or maybe the Reclusives
If their recording were a bit trashier theyd 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
Smash Up Derby "Blow All The Hell!!" 7"
release came out a while ago but ZVA wanted to send it anyways
havent had any problems with Zaxxons releases because they
really havent done rock n roll wrong, and Smash Up Derby
isnt 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
Step Sister "Sugar Sweat 8-Track/Second Hand Smoke" CD
wanted to like this. Really, I did. But I just couldnt 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)
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 dont seem that pleasurable. Its 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. Its 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.... Its 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%, Thats 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 cant 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. Thats 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.
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)
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.
Im not one for live records; I just dont really see the point. The only way youre 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.
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 Dont 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, Im just gonna say
if you absolutely LOVE Teengenerate youll
want this record. (JD)
Trailer Park Tornados "Hereos Of The Hopeless" 7"
garage punk from Buffalo, NEW YOOORK. The recording is really trashed
out, or just live. The TPTs, who cant spell tornadoes, are
a sloppy, snarled pile of guitars and back beats. Reminds me of 86
hardcore punk without the macho attitude. Not bad
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 Im 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 shouldnt 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.
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)
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.
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)
V/A "Drunk on Rock 2!" CD
2 in the "Drunk on Rock" series
So you get 26 bands playin
26 songs of 77 style punk, punk rock n roll, Thunders
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 didnt know about and thought had an outstanding song was the Teenage
Frames; Ill have to check out their stuff ASAP. The rest of these
bands on this comp all sound the same to me and I cant hear any
aptness towards making their songs standout. On the ol rock-o-meter
Id give it 6/10. If you dont 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.
Thats what comps are for ya know? (JD)
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!).
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 dont know. Im Shawn Abnoxious and I am
willing to be Lewis and Clark about it, "willing to give it some
time and EXPLORE." (SAB)
V/A "Pie & Ears, Volume 1: Cleveland Then and Now" CD
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 Sevens "This Song Sucks" (which, in reality,
isnt that terrible) and the Pink Holes trash/rock/blues number,
"Drowned Dreams." Not a bad look into the underbelly of Clevelands
current and past punk rock scene, but not really essential, either. (EL)
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 dont know and I dont 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 werent 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 Im not an asshole. I will say that I liked the Casualties a lot LESS than the Varukers, for what its 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 Sunshines 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!
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, its 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 theyll buy anything with our name on it!" Thats why Im here
Where was I oh yeah, so the Zodiac Killers actually put out a 2nd album. They broke up and if it wasnt for someone telling me they got all new members, except for Mr. Lowery of course, I wouldnt even have noticed; these rock n rollers all look the same to me
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 theyll just go down to the record shop and shove their money
in the register for you. I know. Ill say, "Dontcha wanna hear
it first?" And the kids say, "No, I know what to expect, its
Rip Off, duh!" And Ill say, "Oh yeah
Zodiac Killers "Have A Blast" CD/LP
"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)
Zodiac Killers "Have a Blast" CD/LP
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 Youre Gonna Pay"
doesnt do a bad job bringing it to an end either. Hows the
rest of the album? The new female members 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)
© blankgeneration.com 2003