Record Reviews - May, 2001

Bantam Rooster "Mexican Leather" 7"

These cats have been around the block once or twice. However, Bantam Rooster never made it to my ears until now. I always hate it when I never get around to checking out a group that is really great. Bantam Rooster (that’s an odd name for a band) ignites a fiery garage tune called "Mexican Leather." It reminds me of that Rip Off single by the Motards. If you liked that 7" you’ll dig on "Mexican Leather." The flip side features a slower tune called "Summer in Hamtramck." It’s a bit too slow for my tendencies (keep it upbeat kids) so I’ll just stick to the A-Side. (JD)
(www.bigneckrecords.com)
(Big Neck Records PO Box 8144 Reston, VA 20195)

Les Black’s Amazing Pink Holes "Were Glad We Are What We Are Revisited" CD

It’s ALAN PARSON’S PROJECT SUNDAY. A day I personally set aside every week to break out my Alan Parson’s Projects LPs and crank it up. For some reason I think if Les Black and his Amazing Pink Holes knew that, they would adopt it. That of course is if they already don’t have an Alan Parson’s Project Sunday. Drink more liquids and eat more shit....

What can I say, I guess at heart I’m a "prog-rocker" or whatever the kids are calling it these days.

The Pink Holes always brought to mind The Cramps for some reason. The Pink Holes are weird, like the Cramps, I suppose that’s where I see it. The Pinks can also come across as minimalist and arty at times, much like the Cramps do. Well, in my opinion anyway… I mean I just recently caught flak from certain Blank Generation readers for saying that Conflicts "Conclusion" LP wasn’t worth owning...of all the shit I have written on this web site it took a mention of fucking Conflict to rile someone up. And it wasn’t even like they were really riled up. This person, who shall remain nameless, made a connection between me, The Blank Generation and The Neus Subjex. They showed up on the Neus Subjex Message Board telling me I was wrong. I commend that... So will comparing The Holes to The Cramps get me some more attention? Who knows…?

The Pink Holes and The Amazing Les are rude, crude, mean, vicious and debaucherous. There’re some real good songs are on this disc like, "I Ain’t Got A Head", "Lizards are Tough", and of course, "More." They are the songs that just sorta connect with me. They seem like they belong there; in my head... This Disc resembles a LP I bought several years ago. Used. Abused. Just the way the Holes would want it. There is nine bonus tracks though of a live show where they say some band called Slade originally played Quiet Riot’s song "Come On Feel The Noise" WHICH IS NOT TRUE.

Lizards ARE tough... Why fight when it’s easier to hide in a cave. Just last night, Watching "Heavy Metal Parking Lot" I caught myself referring to "punk-rockers" like I’m not part of "them." They belong on Mars man... Madonna’s a dick. (SAB)
(Smog Veil Records PMB 454 774 Mays #10 I.V., NV. 89451)

Briefs/Spits "Split" 7" EP

This review should be read as if 'El Maruichi' era Antonio Banderas was reading it to you out loud in his outfit from the same movie, accent and all. Role-playing makes our sex life strong, like a Vietcong....

Every now and then I do buy some, how you say? 'Modern Punk-rock'. Few and far between my American friend. Few [handsome pose] and far between-ness. It not every day I do this, but sometimes I feel frisky. I read something about a band and I wants them very, very much.

So let’s start off with The Briefs. They perform two songs. The first one.... Si, it does remind me of The Registrators early material... The Briefs attack with this song with much convictions. It drives you to the edges and pushes you off likes a suicide victims. Strangeness enough to NOT be garage punk but garage punk enough to be, how you say? Neoteric? Si, Neoteric! "I think My Baby is Communist" is definitely a keeper. Their second musical piece, "Silver Bullet" attacks Mr. Bob Segars and his band of silver bullets. I don’ts know who that is because I am Antonio Banderas, and I am Spanish, and quites the handsomness fellow I am, but I am sures that if's The Briefs sez he die, THEN HE DIE! [spits on the ground and stomps with foot].

Is it a coincidence that my accent could quite possibly be that of Popeye No? Ah, but do not go forgetting on me, I am Antonio Banderas, star of stage and screens. Hollywood’s actor!

The next musical band is THE SPITS; whose get the Oscar for being the most unknown musical band of the decades to impress. They performs two songs that could have been lifted right from a Killed by Death volume. This is some amazing cow dung! Truly amazing, like my own self! The first track, "Pissed Off Baby" sounds like a mix between Detention, The Eat, and The Rip Offs. The songs is mixed loud so it plays loud on my superior Hollywood surround sound systems. The next song is quite possibilities one of the best punk rock songs ever writtens. Its called "Fire" and sounds as if they shopped at a common department stores, like K-Mart’s Blue Light Special, and performed the songs with a cheap un-hollywood’s keyboard player. It’s true magic, like movie magic but done with guitars, basses and vocalist and on records.

This 7" tells me, Antonio Banderas, star of stage and screen, that somewhere, the children out there are definitely getting it. There are a lot of spaces separating us all. Miles and miles, sometimes the oceans themselves, but one things is definitely truth; some bands, like The Briefs and The Spits are taking notes and… How you say? Buying attention? Si, Buying attention! They are "getting it."

Here come the neoterics.

Ok, you can end the Antonio Banderas accent. Before I let you go I just want to say that this 7" is truly inspiring. If I were to line-up the ten best 7"s I bought with my own money, this split 45 would definitely make the grade.

Thanks. I mean that, from the bottom of my wanna be Antonio Banderas heart. Thanks. (SAB)
(Dirtnap Records POB 21249 Seattle, WA. 98111)

Chalk "Nothing Left to Do but DIE!!!!" CD

This release was originally released in 1999, the height of the Gulf war.

I was like "Man, wars with surf-boards" and shit....

Chalk are from my hometown. I’ve seen them by surprise one night when I went to check out a set by Dynamite On. Chalk took the stage with their amounts of wires, keyboards, and dynamic pieces of machinery.... I thought they were just setting up and setting the levels to all their instruments when they had in fact began their set. I knew I was into something good when a fellow named Mark Zero and I were really getting into their set.... Mark and I had badgered them with help from an Adam Bomb by telling them what kind of band they were. "You’re a Prince cover band...play "Raspberry Beret"!" Chalk took it. "We’re a Prince cover band," they said, "This song is called "Raspberry Beret"!"

To understand some bands, you must first understand who listens to those bands. I am talking about Mark Zero specifically. Mark Zero was saying something amazing when he said he would rather listen and play in a band like Chalk than a garage punk band. Mark was a member of the Syphilitics and Black Trams Ams. Two bands that were first and foremost ROCK AND ROLL. We spent time together in The Socials where Zero played keyboards... Mark and I sorta discovered Tubeway Army together... Liam, who was also in the Syphilitics, told me one night that Mark had bought a four track and, with his keyboard, was putting out some amazing sounding Neoteric stuff.... I remember a time when you didn’t catch mark without a LAMF shirt on...

To understand a band, sometimes you gotta look at who is listening to those bands. You had me, the creator of The Neoteric Punk/wave and Mark Zero, the denouncer of Rock and Roll, there, jamming to Chalk. It was a good moment. I never thought a band like Chalk would EVER be from Cincinnati. Glad I was wrong.

Yeah, Chalk are Neoteric. Keyboards. Synthesizers. Drums Machines. Sampling. Tape loops (I don’t really know what those are, I will admit it, but I read about those in a book I read about Sonic Youth, so I sort of felt like something like that belonged in this review). Alternate tunings of guitars (maybe).... But the thing is that Chalk just doesn’t solely rely on electronics, they expand in ways by also using guitars, bases, and REAL drums. That’s what really gives this CD the edge! It makes it stand out!! Chalk has the "mechanical" AND the "human". It’s a concept that really defines neoteric bands like Chalk. So few understand bands understand that...

Sounding like a mixture of Fugazi, Gary Numan's work (from Tubeway Army to "Telekon"), Joy Division, Ultravox and Brian Eno.... Chalk are set to release another CD sometime soon. You are forewarned.

I haven’t even been writing for Blank Generation a year now and the Neoteric punk/wave is right on schedule.... (SAB)
(www.dearymerecords.com)
(Deary Me Records POB 19315 Cincinnati, OH. 45219)

The Crime "Johnny Come Home" b/w "Generation Gap" 7" EP

I’m slappin' it to ya! OLDSKOOL!
Slap.
Slap.
Slap (yer Mammy now)

OK, Let’s get down to fucking business. MIAMI VICE STYLE! Ferraris. "Cigar" boats or whatever the kids are calling them these days.... Suit style jackets with the sleeve's rolled up JUST BELOW the elbow. Hot pink shirts. Sunglasses. Feathered hair; parted in the middle of course. And last but NEVER least, an alligator named Elvis and a gun strapped to your ankle.

Just in case you know.... Calderon. That fucker is EVERYWHERE! There’s a bounty on Ricardo Tubbs head but I’m Sonny Burnett and I ain’t going out like that!

Here you got a band I know NOTHING about. Once again, a re-issue I’m supposing. Who gives a fuck? If you slap on a 7" and it gets you off, IT FUCKING GETS YOU OFF!!!! What does it matter if it was recorded this year, last year, or in the nineteen seventy whatever? There’s a reason why there’s a market for Killed by Death punk rock; that's because modern "punk rock" or whatever the kids are calling it these days SUCKS DICK AND SWALLOWS.

Truth hurts. Get a Band-Aid. You pussie.

This is THE CRIME, not just plain ol' Crime like the one in San Francisco. These two songs are full-on blazes. Deployed tactical Nuclear weapons. The Crime come off as a stripped down version, BALLS TO THE WALLS kind of The Swell Maps meet The Art Attacks meet THE CRASS!!!! The Bass sounds out of tune half the time. The guitar sounds out of tune the other half of the time and the drums pound-pound-POUND through each song from start to finish. The drums drives you while the guitar, bass and vocals slap you in the face.

I listen to this 7" and I don’t seem to care about the cracks on the ceiling, which show a weakening of the basic living structure. I just don’t fucking care. Let the house fall down! I will pick up my records and turntable and move on to the next target. Who fucking cares? There are a lot of things I should do but I ain’t doing them. It pisses THEM off but baby, you gotta realize that being mad is still something.

You need a bomb. You need to play with sharp knifes in oncoming traffic. Just close your eyes and walk you piece of shit. You fucking piece of shit!

There are still good bands like The Crime around. Its just getting harder and harder to find them. I suppose it was the same back when The Crime was around too…

You see this 7"…I strongly urge you to buy it. If you don’t then just fuck off. It boils down to that after 15 minutes of rapid boiling. It boils down to............that. (SAB)
(Punk Rock, no address)

Da Bloody Gashes "Pedal To The Metal" LP

Artsy, sludge-filled, noise-garage rock out of Montreal. Da Bloody Gashes have an interesting reputation locally, as their lead singer apparently performs topless at nearly all of their shows; but as far as I can hear on "Pedal To The Metal," they ain't no gimmick band. Think of the Oblivans and Pussy Galore, lighten the blues influence, massively up the sludge and art-punk quotient and throw in a girl on vocals and you've essentially got what Da Bloody Gashes are. This record was definitely a "grower" for me. Feedback and distortion rule this loud, bassy recording, but it also shares the same kind of "greatness-through-minimalism" that the aforementioned bands exemplify (be it not quite at the same level). It has the uncanny ability to potentially confuse the shit out of you at first and then hook you in with great songs like "Puh" and "Glamapuss." Good, solid debut that ought to please those who like their punk rock served raw and bloody. (SA)
(www.dabloodygashes.com)
(Total Zero, P.O. BOX 32046, 901 Ste-Catherine E., Montreal, QC, Canada, H2L 2E0)

Detention "Live in New Jersey, 1983" 7"EP

Its the new thing that J.Lo, "Puffy" Combs, Brittney Spears and Christina Aqua-lung are going to be sayin' and spoutin' on all occasions; GET UP AND GO NOW!

Except you have to say it FAST, and LOUD! And blend all the words together. Don’t worry about correct pronunciation. If it ends up sounding like an extended grunt or growl, then so be it! SO BE IT!!!!!!

Hence, "GETUPANDGONOW!" is born! You heard it here first on Blank Generation dot com.

GETUPANDGONOW!

Back in 1990, at the height of our conflict with the boys in Grenada, who's ASS we kicked all across the Caribbean BY THE MOTHERFUCKIN' WAY, I bought my first two volumes of Killed by Death - Volumes 2 and 3. At the same time too... Since that fateful time, Killed by Death, or KBD as it is commonly known, has become a force to be reckoned with! KBD has become an institution! KBD has become the power of which all modern punk-rock is judged against! Well, that’s what it’s become to me anyway. After all, I got off my ass and was like, "Hey Joe, I know you shot yo' ol' lady down and all, but can I write reviews for you?" Joe "Frenchy" Domino responded (with his French accent of course) "Oui monsieur Abnoxiouz.... Le GETUPANDGONOW!"

....to all you fuckers who gunk up my e-mail box with all this "What the fuck are you sayin'?" shit I have this to say: I got outta my bed and into the car known as Blank Generation. If you don’t like it go to www.water-rock.com and see why pop-punk is like water (it covers most of the earth). GETUPANDGONOW! No one likes a smart-ass. I am going to tell it to you like my dear ol' Dad told it to me:

"Shawn, don’t make an ass out of yourself."

So, like, Detention was one of the first bands I got into, since they were on Killed by Death. You should have seen the looks on the faces of all the workers at Camelot Music Superstore (Springdale, Ohio branch) when they asked if they could help me find anything and I responded by saying "Yeah, I’m looking for the Screemin Mee Mees, The Freeze, The Queers, some Child Molestors, Detention, The Eat and Some Chain Gang." They actually looked too. Of course they didn’t find anything...

Incompetent assholes.

This 7" is jammed packed with five songs, including their signature hit, "Dead Rock and Rollers", but what I really got into was the other four tracks that were fresh to my ears. I was especially impressed with "El Salvador" and "Let's Fight", two songs with as much conviction and power as their 'big hit' which hit me like a fucking hydro-shock bullet. Ripping me apart from the inside out...

Detention reminds me of a mix between The Freeze's early work and The Lewd, two other bands who also live in this realm of KBD. For those of you wondering, since this is live and all, yes, the live sound is bearable. Actually, it sounds pretty damn good to me. If I said it once, I have said it a million times…

Bass- Kevin Shields. (SAB)
(No Address)

Embarrassment "Blister Pop" CD

I found this CD, which I didn’t even know existed, when I finally decided to buy Brian Eno's CD, Music for Films, I found this. I ended up getting that Eno disc too but this one’s a lot better...

So many of you are like "Who the fuck is this band?"; "The Embarrassment?" Well, I was like that too, then I heard "Sex Drive" on "Bloodstains across the Midwest" and I was hooked. Several years ago a double CD compilation was released of Embo's material that I eventually tracked down only to have it surface in used CD bins throughout Cincinnati.

Once, when I was hanging out at my local record establishment (that lets me drink beer while I look at records)...which leads to another step for me when I get in the mindset to buy records...before Shake It Records is United Dairy Farmers, or UDF, as the kids are calling it these days, for a half quart of Steel Reserve. I crack it open and after looking at each row of records take several swigs before moving on to the next row of LPs or CDs or whatever... Its how I browse.... Anyway, I really want to get back to this sidetracked story I’m telling you in reference to the Embo's....

This one guy was looking for something fresh and new he told Jim Battleship, Shake It co-owner, so I told Jim I would handle "this." I went to the used CDs, where I found The Embarrassment’s Hey Day double CD-- a travesty that someone would do something like trade a CD like this in but hey (day), not everyone gets it and come to find out its designed like that. Designation for design. Separate the good from the bad from the worst and I like it like that baby. I like it forgotten. I like it forsaken. I like it in the garbage. I like it left behind for others to re-invent---and explained to him the history of The Embo's. Then I played for him "After The Disco", a choice from the second disc, The Scarcities disc of Hey Day.... He listened to it while I sang on top of the track itself. When the chorus would begin, I would point to him and sing along, even louder – "After the Disco... I’m not involved with you"... Needless to say, he didn’t get the CD. "Your Loss", I told him. It took all I had to keep from knifing him. THAT FUCKER!!! No, wait, better yet... THAT PUSSIE! Yes, that fits. Wear it!

The Embarrassment. They explained their music as "Blister Pop" hence the title of this CD. Neoteric before I invented Neoteric.

It’s all about invention nowadays. Invention when invention is needed. Called for…Duty.

The Embarrassment; Punk-rock. Art-punk. Midwest revelry. Kansas. Good shit from nowhere. Memorable shit from nowhere. This disc is a sequel to Hey Day... The tracks on this CD are all of the live variety but the quality is definitely bearable... In truth it adds to their sound a bit. The Embo's are really captured in rare form with the recordings and it really shows their individuality.... Background guitars…prevalent bass and drums…lazy vocals, sometimes organ.... If you like art-punk and loved their "Sex Drive" track on Bloodstains then come one....come on!

There IS covers on this disc, but when a band like The Embo's do "Pretty Woman", "On Broadway", "I Wanna Be Your Dog", and "Time Has Come Today" they really put their own twist on things much the same way The Suicide Commandos do. Also, there’s an alternative version of the only repeat song from Hey Day on this disc; "Elizabeth Montgomery’s Face"... Before I stop, before I let you go and begin your hunting of this disc, Let me say that the first two songs on this disc, "Podman" and "Proof" cut like a hot knife thru butter. Ugh.

Destroying Dinosaurs. Where did bands like this one go? We need bands like The Embarrassment to kill off all these modern day Dino's. Blister Pop is what I needed this week. To keep me going… To keep me focused. That and the fact that I drank Steel Reserve to drunkenness two (2) nights in a row.

Your hunt begins but trust me, the Embarrassment are hunting you. (SAB)
(www.mypalgodrecords.com)
(My Pal God Records 47 Hardy Drive Princeton, NJ. 08540)

Exit "Sing Four Favorites" CDEP

Getting these CDs always makes me laugh… Normally I wouldn’t even review this "three-piece rock and roll band that refuses to be categorized or limited by the boundaries of conventional punk rock." I did listen to the CD, really… I did read the press release write-up they were so kind to include, really… But these clowns are gonna try and tell me they’re some up-and-coming new punk/rock and roll/whatever group that’s gonna hit it big, so start kissin’ their ass now, musical geniuses? FUCK YOU! Here are some examples of what this band is all about, thanks Brad Petrigala @ Paper Fist PR!

They say, "Brewer, formally of The Loose Nuts (a New York City punk band featured on Universal’s gold-selling "American Pie" soundtrack), pens sublimely catchy melodies over guitar parts reminiscent of The Police’s Andy Summers and The Clash’s Joe Strummer."

Oh, they’re just getting warmed up. The PR go on to praise the drummer Olson saying, "Just 20 years old, he has already co-written the theme songs to the new "Toxic Avenger" film and new Troma Television show soon to debut in Europe."

And finally, they commend the bassist Jeff DaRosa stating, "In just six years, aside from touring the US with The Vigilantes, Jeff has also toured with various blues acts throughout the US and Germany."

I got to tell you people out there in Blank Generation Land, PUNK IS NOT ABOUT ROCKSTARS! Alright?! The reason I like punk rock is because the music is not fake, the people are real, and there are no I’m-fuckin’-better-than-you-attitudes (or at least that’s what it was like). I don’t fucking care if your old band was on a gold-selling soundtrack, or you co-wrote a theme song, or you fucking went to Germany! I went to France, so fuck off!

Now, as punk rock has become severely popular, more and more people think they can start a punk band, make millions of dollars, and live like kings for the rest of their lives. It’s not gonna happen to you, Exit! You lack energy. Your PR, in my opinion, has an exaggerated opinion in the description of your music. You probably didn’t get that last remark, but I won’t hold it against you. Musical tastes are relative! Unfortunately for you, your PR sent your CD to the wrong people. I’d fire him if I were you. (JD)
(www.downrightrecords.com)
(Downright Records PO Box 3994 NYC, NY 10163)

Flaming Sideburns "Hallelujah Rock’n’Rollah" LP/CD

Listen up you fucking Amerikans! The Flaming Sideburns have finally released their debut album, Hallelujah Rock’n’Rollah! Coming at ya at full power, these dudes outta Kallio, Helsinki (insert dumb Amerikan "Huh? Where?" Finland you fuck!), are a swingin’ group with the rock ‘n’ rollin’ essence, and the guitar licks to back it up! Pure punk rock ‘n’ roll, not unlike the late and great Radio Birdman…but with a whole lotta soul! The ‘Sideburns blaze through 11 tracks like, "Loose My Soul", "Sweet Sound of L-U-V", and "Spanish Blood", and leave ya wanting more and more! (JD)
(www.badafro.dk)
(Bad Afro Records Poste Restante, Frederiksberg Alle 6 1820 Frederiksberg C, Denmark)

Generators "Dead at 16" 7"

Hello! This is the first kick ass 7" that TKO has put out in a long while! Straight-up, snotty, UK styled 70’s punk rock! They do "I’m an Upstart" with some real flare, and their original is just as good! I’m impressed… Let’s hear some ’ore of this shit, ya fuckin’ Oi-Toys! (JD)
(TKO Records 4104 24th St. #103 San Francisco, CA 94114)

 

 

Goodboys "Good to Meet You" CD

The Goodboys shake it to straight-up garage rock ‘n’ roll. Their songs are catchy and lively, jus’ the way I likes ‘em. They don’t seem to make any mistakes, however they’re not pushing any boundaries either. If you just want some good ol’ rock ‘n’ roll try the Goodboys. (JD)
(thegoodboys@hotmail.com)

Greenhornes "S/T" CD

As opposed to the Green Hornets? I don’t know…I can never remember band members, so you’re shit outta luck on that question Jack! But if you dig on the Green Hornets I bet you’ll love the Greenhornes too. 60’s rockin’ the roll with cool organs and great melodies. Their soulful, stompin’ music will get your bootie shakin’! Telstar has good taste, trust ‘em. You get 12 tracks including, "Can’t Stand It", "Lies", and "Shame & Misery." (JD)
(Telstar Records PO Box 1123 Hoboken, NJ 07030)

Hives "Veni Vidi Viscious" CD/LP

This is one kick-ass record! Burning Heart usually releases some pretty crappy stuff (from the likes of skate punk bands like Millencolin and the Satanic Surfers, among others), but the Hives are the exact opposite of everything I've ever heard on that label -- that being a Swedish garage punk band that sounds to me like a near-brilliant "new waved" concoction of Teengenerate and the Mooney Suzuki. I gather the Epitaph affiliation the label has might have initially scared a few people off, but if sneered-vocaled, supersonic, guitar driven garage punk is your bag, I can honestly say you'll love this band and this album. Probably the most-overlooked album of 2000. Down with the Hellacopters! Up with the Hives! (SA)
(www.burningheart.com)

Kermit’s Finger/Zippo Raid "They’ll Play Anywhere" Split 7"

Kermit’s Finger plays like the illegitimate children of the Queers and Submachine—fast/loud/thud punk with sub-par production and a hint of irreverence. To be honest, I can’t decipher one iota of the lyrics on their side of the split, but I’ll venture to guess that their songs are snotty, juvenile, and mildly offensive; possibly what modern skate-punk would sound like if those who manufactured it drank as much as they boasted. Zippo Raid, however, sound like a third-rate pop-punk band fronted by a couple…uh, "bad" singers and backed by a mediocre rhythm section. That sound like your thing? If so, have fun. (EL)
(www.fanatticrecords.com)
(Fan Attic Records P.O. Box 391494 Cambridge, MA 02139)

Kill the Hippies "Spasms in the New Age" CD

"We must Spasm in the New Age"....

Yes, we MUST "spasm" in this "new age." I’m fair game. I’m ready. I’m prepared to fight a Poltergeist type battle with unforeseen forces for my in-ground pool. There’s no way an 1800’s Western Doomsday cult is going to mess up my poolside moments!

"Go into the light Carol-Ann".... "No wait, go away from the light Carol-Ann."

"Mommy... Mommy, make up your fucking mind. I’m going to spasm in the new Age!"

"We must spasm in the new Age"; that’s the first line of the disc. The first muttered words for twenty-four songs to follow. That’s twenty-five total tracks on this disc; Kill the Hippies, the band that I fell in love with. Kill the Hippies (or 'KTH' as I will undoubtedly refer to them in this interview where I see fit). I mean FUCK, when you find the best, the search is over! Bring in the search parities. Return to the castle. The quest is over. Rebirth the land with a drink from the cup of Christ. I use to be all about finding THE most ultimate punk-rock band EVER. I said EVER back there. Meaning like NUMBER ONE! I tried many different things to determine who was number one. I put a lot of thought into it too. I lost sleep. Sounds ridiculous but fuck, I am a ridiculous person. AND DAMN PROUD OF IT TOO!

I developed a system in my "zine", or "un-zine" as I like to refer to it called THE NEUS SUBJEX where as I would award 1 to 10 "Safety Pins" (because Safety Pins ARE punk-rock), in the three categories that I felt were most important when deciding which bands release was the tops - 'Artwork' which included design and packaging, 'Music' which sorta speaks for itself, and 'Lyrics' which included the singers ability and style... This system was just fine and dandy. It got me thru the first three or so years with the publication, but once I found, or thinking back on it, once KTH found ME, It made me ultimately re-think the whole "Safety Pin System," because KTH went off the fucking scale. They won. They were tops. For a band that revels in being second and a band that finds the MOST reverence in being humble; BEING LAST (see the song "Were the Number Ones"), they were in fact NUMBER ONE.

With a bullet! #1!!!
Making things obsolete.
Spasming in this New Age, writing a new page....

Just after the release of KTH's second EP, "Shit Covered Hits", I suspended the official Neus Subejx Safety Pin Rating System. It was a pleasure in doing such a thing because my kings were found. Kill the Hippies! Long live KTH!

KTH are an inclining graph. Each release tops the other. Since their first recorded effort, KTH are constantly getting better and better. With each lineup, and through the rough times...which I know nothing about. But at the same time I just know that a band like KTH don’t get this fucking good as they are on this disc without having overcome MANY hurdles and MUCH, much "struggle." It’s 'difficulty' and 'opposing' forces that make bands like... What am I saying? There’s no band out there that comes close to KTH!!! No more of this "it’s bands like" bullshit. It’s the constant PROBLEMS that KTH have faced head on and overcame that make them excel. You see a band that has everything given to them fights for nothing. I recall times when KTH couldn’t make long distance phone calls because of their massive phone bills. Walking down the street to the convenience store to buy a phone card to call me, little ol' me, it made them appreciate the call and almost made me cry like the closet pussy I am. Fucking touching.... Calling the KTH flat, hearing that they don’t have running water because of their asshole landlord and THEM laughing about it.... They go on tour and their van dies. They laugh it off and find another one and don’t miss a beat... Playing a show in Lima and shit, going south fast. Violence. Concrete Cold Wars. Speaking minds and eating fist.... They say they appreciate the concern but at the same time appreciate the fact that their shows have an element of hidden danger to them. "Yeah, she said her face is finally starting to feel better" he said almost a week after the show where she got punched squarely in the face.... They won’t stop. They are unstoppable. Unhindered. Accepting the BIG MESS. Embracing THE BIG MESS. When shit brakes and things go whole-heartedly bad, and do this at the same time sometimes. 180 degree turns for the worse... The Big Mess.

The BIG MESS...an "Ohio" thing? Sure, a "Midwest" thing? I will go with that. Inconvenience is a lesson. A lesson KTH knows all to well. They take what life gives them, roll with the punches. Their music is a testament and the fact my heart skipped a beat when I seen this in my mailbox seconds any motion. KTH are GODS!

KTH are from Akron. That’s in the "Empire of Ohio." Much like the Japanese Empire of the thirties and early forties. Back before something called Nuclear power, Ohio is STRONG and nearly invincible, LIKE Japan, and similar because we have MORE THAN one zero on our "flag." On the flag of Ohio, a white circle, or ZERO as I like to refer to it… This "circle" is supposed to be the letter 'o' which stands for Ohio. The red center that’s inside the white ZERO, is supposed to stand for the "Ohio buckeye," or some lame shit like that… BUT what it really is, is another zero. Zero-Zero. Zero-Hi-Zero. KTH carries on the legacy that Toxic Reason, Devo, The Pagans, The Custons, The Rubber City Rebels, The Necros, and countless other Ohio bands STARTED. KTH carry on a legacy! KTH CONTINUE to make 0hi0 invincible. They are our secret weapon. Who need nuclear weapons when you have KTH? Fuck your "Hydrogen Bombs." Fuck your "Atom Bombs" and while we’re at it fuck your "Neutron Bombs." Yeah, those neutro's are pretty fucking cleaver the way they kill with a massive dose of radiation leaving property intact as oppose to just simple burning and destroying EVERYTHING, but fuck those things too! If 0hi0 went to war with anyone we would just threaten ‘em with a KTH attack and things would settle down. Our spy planes would be returned. Our embassies would NEVER be terrorized.

If Kill the Hippies, or KTH as I will refer to them in this "record review" (but you, YOU FUCK, knew that!), were to manifest itself as male energy, a "man" if you will, I would have gay-sex with it. If it were a vegetable it would definitely replace my current vegetable of choice, which is spaghetti with meat sauce, as my number one vegetable! I mean fuck! I’m prepared to go homosexual on it! I’m prepared to eat vegetables for it! If you knew me, and god help you if you ever do (say a prayer for Joe Domino, I now have his phone number), you would know that is saying TONS. That is making the ultimate sacrifice! For KTH; ANYTHING!!!!!!!

From start to finish, from beginning to end, this disc is pure amazement. It’s pure awe! Like I said fucker, twenty-five tracks. After the title track of sorts, "Geritol Neutron Bomb", which holds the first line this release was named from, you are sent on a roller coaster ride of apocalypse. "Spasms in the New Age" plays much like "Germ Free Adolescents" by The X Ray Spex played. A document of the times. A message from the ages. Its like reading the minds of KTH and getting their perspective on life, luxury, plastic gadgets and coercion.

Some of you will know that after the release of "Shit Covered Hits" KTH took some "leftover" tracks and shoved them onto a tape. That tape was a pretty strong release itself, but for "Spasms..." they re-recorded those tracks with great success. I could go through track by track and brake down each song for you but man, I could almost turn this review into a fucking thesis for college if I ever had the motivation to "make something out of my life", but I don’t so fuck you.... My priorities are set. I know what is important. Kill the Hippies!

"Kid Kisser"... Track four. "Sterile Needles" (track fourteen).... "New Roman Empire", "Last Gate", "Lern to Kill".... Like I said! These songs are fucking timeless. I am surprised I haven’t encountered them in my time/space travels... Fucking new classics!!!! KTH have more to offer than a utopia society. Who needs a Utopia when you have Spasms in their new age?

The Electric Eels. Devo. The Buzzcocks. The Eat. The Velvet Underground. You heard me! Worth its weight in gold. Kill the Hippies are what REALLY is the end result of "punk rock." Backs against the wall...into the corner. KTH are the rat that has the bite of infection. You didn’t even know you were bit did you? Subtle. Hidden. Stealthy. Invisible and indivisible.

The lineup on this CD represents one of the most productive lineups to date. Morte Treehorn on guitar and vocals, PP Envy on Bass and vocals, and Tic Toc Tyler on drums. It seemed that with this line up KTH really solidified themselves as a unit. Touring, putting out records, this line up of KTH is the one that put the band in the books for the long haul. Tic Toc Tyler recently left the band. He was replaced with The Lion Tamer AKA The "Four-eyed Faggot." With the addition of the Tamer, KTH will enter a degree past god-hood. They will pass the last gate into foreverness. Now it’s the time they leave the myth behind and take their place as legends!

Legend. Tom Cruise.
Legends.
Kill the Hippies. Rare.
Indeed....UNICORNS.

In the end though, maybe it isn’t for you to understand.... That’s OK, though I realize that now. (SAB)
(mortetreehorn@yahoo.com)
(Rubberband Records POB 30248 Middleboro, OH. 44130)

Out Cold "Two Broken Hearts are Better Than One" LP

You like the Black Halos? Fuck you, then. This is the polar opposite of that contrived hipster vomit. Out Cold are four angry old bastards with no time for eyeliner, no videos on Much Music and no need to cover up inconvenient emo backgrounds. You want real rock 'n' roll, violent, powerful music that just seethes with frustration and desperation? Start here.

Out Cold have been around for a long time, and this is their fifth full-length LP. It includes fourteen tracks of purist hardcore punk. The music is a relentless barrage of rage clearly inspired by the likes of Negative Approach, Poison Idea, the Fix, and Verbal Abuse, and titles like "Dangerously Unstable" and "Restraining Order" tell you all you need to know about the sentiments being voiced here. This record is a kick in the teeth, an unrefined slab of the kind of authentically damaged expression that all the hyped-up, poseur fakery in the world will never come close to duplicating. As with all of Out Cold's records, I highly recommend it. (US)
(www.geocities.com/tysonkangaroo)
(Kangaroo Records, Middenweg 13, 1098 AA Amsterdam, Holland)

Pagans "Shit Street" CD/LP

THE PAGANS! One of the foremost punk rock bands ever to be discharged upon the cradle of humanity! I LUV THE PAGANS! If I had to list my twenty favorite punk groups they would certainly be on that roster. The Pagans are from Cleveland, Ohio circa 1977 and have released a handful of well sought after 7"s. The Pagans made the Dead Boys look like puppies. If you think you know raw, hostile, soiled rock ‘n’ roll you haven’t heard the Pagans. The Pagans "had it."

On this disc you’ll find their studio recordings. "What’s This Shit Called Love", "Eyes of Satan", "Don’t Leave Me Alone", "Six and Change", "She’s a Cadaver", and fourteen more exquisite pieces of punk rock history. Now, if you have the out-of-print, thirty some-odd track Everybody Hates You CD Crypt Records put out way back when this CD isn’t all that necessary.

However, for you true Pagans fans, Crypt has also included a brilliantly recorded, fourteen song, live show that is just as priceless as the original Pagans 7"s themselves. Cheetah Chrome and Jimmy Zero even contribute backup vocals on the wild covers of "It’s All Over Now" and "Search & Destroy." If you don’t think the Pagans are Gods you shouldn’t be listening to rock ‘n’ roll! (JD)
(www.cryptrecords.com)
(Crypt Records USA 3 Reading Ave. Frenchtown, NJ 08825)

Pagans "The Pink Album Plus!" CD/LP

The Pagans released a collection of basement recordings, radio performances, and a couple studio recordings in 1983 that would form The Pink Album. These recordings are even more unrefined than their early 7"s, and capture the Pagans at their purest, primal phase. Crypt Records gives you 26 tracks (5 of which were never on the original Pink Album) including, "Nowhere to Run", "Cry 815", "There She Goes Again", "Fever", "I Don’t Understand" and much, much more. If you want real, ferocious punk rock you better get the Pagans! (JD)
(www.cryptrecords.com)
(Crypt Records USA 3 Reading Ave. Frenchtown, NJ 08825)

Painkillers "Ladies & Gentlemen…" CD

No Tomorrow has the unique ability in being able to find the catchiest pop-punk-rock-n-roll groups around. And the Painkillers are no exception either; these boys have a Thunders/Berry/Ramones influence that’s blindingly apparent. Fun, upbeat pop tunes for the kids…the kids in France who know how to dance that is… You get 12 songs including, "Get On the Run", "Tonight (Alright)" and "That’s What I Want." Yeah, Yeah!!! (JD)
(www.notomorrowrecords.co)
(No Tomorrow Records PO Box 1134. 12080 Castellion, Spain)

Pinkos "S/T" CD/LP

Nice Clash album cover rip off… This is on Empty? I thought they had better taste than this… Wait… Isn't this just a White Stripes imitation? There are only two people in the band, a boy and a girl, just like the White Stripes… They do play a mix of folk, blues, and punk, just like the White Stripes… But something’s missing… The music is stale… It probably just wasn’t recorded right. I guess the indie fags will have to determine if the Pinkos are the next big thing, cause the rock ‘n’ rollers aren’t gonna fall for it. (JD)
(www.emptyrecords.com)
(Empty Records U.S. PO Box 12034 Seattle, WA 98102)

Pleasure Seekers "What a Way to Die" 7"

Anybody who truly knows me knows I can not resist girls in rock ‘n’ roll bands. There is just something about the two finest things in life that jumpstarts a sensory overload. This Pleasure Seekers 45 features five beautiful girls, earnest lyrics, and infectious 60’s pop tunes. I’m in love. I’m floating. I’m swimming. I’m swooning and sighing. "What a Way to Die" is a 60’s reissue of great import. Any man who can call himself a man will not stop spinning this 45 until the grooves are worn away and the Pleasure Seekers’ dulcet chirping turns into nothing more than dissonance with a firm tempo. (JD)
(www.nortonrecords.com)
(Norton Records Box 646 Cooper Station New York, NY 10276)

Reds/Sweet J.A.P. "Split" 7"

Destined to be on my top 45s of the year, the Reds and Sweet J.A.P. give you losers four tunes of full-force garage punk rock! If you’ve been living in a cave for the better part of last year the Reds released their debut LP on Rip Off Records; you caveman you! These Texas boys (who have broken-up already! L ) are a passionate, boorish, booty-shakin’ band who could have been superstars! Yeah, I’m gonna miss these guys, but at least they have another album coming out on Rip Off Records. Stop your sobbing! We still have Sweet J.A.P.; five Japanese boys from Minneapolis who are just as qualified as the Reds are in rocking your brains out. These are the best tunes that I’ve heard from these youths. If you dig rough, lively garage punk you’ll dig Sweet J.A.P. This is by far the best 45 I’ve received all year, so get on it! (JD)
(www.nice-neat.com)
(Nice & Neat Records PO Box 14177 Minneapolis, MN 55414, USA)

Rubes "Lamb of God" CD

I'm not sure what to make of this CD. The album cover would have you believe that this band sounded like something on the now-defunct (thank god) Profane Existence label, but musically, this is a polar opposite from what the cover, lyrics and general theme of this CD projects. At times, the Rubes sound much like a "Nardcore" band (in the vein of Ill Repute and RKL) and at other times, the songs on here have an almost pop punk sound to them, very similar to Boogadaboogadaboogada-era Screeching Weasel. The lyrics are of the basic "fuck you" punk rock fare -- mostly to do with Christians, American politics and whatnot -- not exactly the deepest or most original stuff, but then again, when is it ever? Besides the ensuing confusion I got resulted in my listening to this as to exactly what kind of band the Rubes are, I enjoyed this CD and think that if the Rubes decide exactly what kind of band they want to be (hint -- the early Screeching Weasel sounding stuff is a good start), they'll be a pretty good band. (SA)
(Rube Records, P.O. BOX 121, Cableskill, NY, 12043)

Sanity Assassins "Let the Headgames Begin" CD

According to the press that came with this CD, The Sanity Assassins have been around the block and back several times. They have released albums, EP's and songs on some "high profile" compilations.

I just learned of that term "high profile" just the other day. It’s called an 'industry term'. I’m not too sure exactly what it means but I would dare to say it means something along the lines of being popular.

I thought it was funny cause of the eleven tracks, the three that stuck out in my head I recognized right away as "Suspicious Minds" and the other two also being covers. What’s that exactly saying? Damn, do I have to spell it out for you?

The Sanity Ass-assins remind me of a fourth or fifth generation clone of the Angry Samoans because they talk about sex a lot and are far from pulling it off as well as most; they come across as sex starved 18 year olds who drive 3 hours for good pornography... They also bring to mind latter wannabe version of "Wonderful" era Circle Jerks because of their punk/metal fusion or a sixth or possibly seventh generation clone of Kraut because of their "Anal Sex" track. It reminded me of "At the Matinee" but the big difference is I actually like Kraut.

To sum it all up, The Sanity Assassins are unimaginative. The Sanity Assassins are predictable. The Sanity Assassins don’t explore. They are being all Nostradomus and shit when they should be Lewis & Clark. This doesn’t offer up too much to me and, I would dare say, to the readers of Blank Generation. (SAB)
(Dagger Promotions POB 380152 East Hartford, Conn. 06138-0152)

Socials "U dance U die" CDEP

Shawn sent me the demo CD of his band the Socials. And he was very expressive in saying, "If you don’t like it don’t review it." Shawn! Come on, you’re apart of the Blank Generation! Someone so opinionated about punk rock couldn’t possibly write bad songs. Well…what about Mykel Board, George Tabb, Sick Rick (inside joke, just kiddin’ Rick!)…

Well good news Shawn, I happen to think the Socials are a very endearing punk band, with a melodic, quirky sound that makes them unique. While songs like "U dance U die" and "Danger Streets" have a speedy, Killed by Death punk sound (and are a lot more entertaining than most KBD songs…), it’s tunes like "Tunnels Under the City" and "Closer to Death" which move along at a gradual pace that really get me hooked. They remind me of the slower Bikini Kill songs, like "Outta Me" or "For Tammy Rae." For a demo Shawn and the rest of the band really have their sound together, so make with the full-length already! (JD)
(Socials PO Box 18051 Fairfield, OH 45018)

Stiletto Boys "Buzzbomb Sounds" CD

This is the follow up to their debut, "Rockets and Bombs" which was also released on High Society International. If "Rockets and Bombs" introduced the Stiletto Boys as contenders for the new kings of power punk then "Buzzbomb Sounds" solidifies their positions as it’s leader.

This CD isn’t a full on bomb-blast by my standards but it does have its moments. As with their debut, the first track; "Messerschmitt Kids" and the last track "E=SB2" just plain out rages. The Stiletto Boys definitely know how to start and end their releases. I wonder if they do this live too... I bet so because anyone I have ever talked to that’s seen them has nothing but positive things to say about their set… "Throw Me to the Wolves", "Factory Man" and their cover of the Buzzcocks’ "I Don’t Mind" also caught my eye on the disc as powerful songs.

"Buzzbomb..." doesn’t really blow me away, but I will say however that this CD is better than their last. If you wish the Buzzcocks had more garage rock in them, or find yourself wondering where the spirits of The Shoes and 20/20 went when they were exorcised in mid nineteen-eighty something then this is definitely for you!

Ron Zodiac of Zodiac Records, where many of you Stiletto Diehards will remember as the label that gave the 'Boys their start way-back-when, let me in on the news that this is the promotional version of the LP released by High Society International but the CD version will be released domestically by Pelado Records. The CD will be called "Company of Wolves" and include everything from the High Society LP PLUS one bonus track. Ron also said we could expect a new 7" single from The Stiletto Boys with a original called "Cannon Fodder" on the A-side and a cover of The Boys "First Time" on the B-side of his label, Zodiac Records. (SAB)
(High Society International)

Sugar Shock "Highschool Sweethearts" CDEP

Okay, this parcel came full of these fucking glitter stars and they’re all over the fucking place now! Grrrrrr… Lucky for these guys they're pretty cool, or else I’d be slaggin’ the shit outta ‘em right now! Sugar Shock is a pop punk group with a talent for creating some really catchy tunes. The music is like the early nineties, Just Add Water Records notion of pop punk. The production isn’t immaculately slick (I fuckin’ hate "Fat Wrecks Pop Punk"!!!) and the guitars are set up front, followed by the vocals. If you like good, fun pop songs, look these boys up. (JD)
(www.sugar-shock.com)

Suran Song in Stag "Cowboys and Indians" 2XCD

This CD totally caught me by surprise...much like the way Crimson Sweet did when their first 7" arrived. Suran Song in Stag, or SSiS as I am going to refer to them in this review, hit me the same way the Sweet did too... Neoteric, THEY find me with a lot more ease than I find them nowadays...

This CD is an offshoot of the Gang of Four disc Entertainment. The color scheme and artwork are of the same ethics, and I am just fine with that. Finally, it appears from my sources that Joy Division are FINALLY getting some recognition as the GREAT band they were by all you "punk rockers" or "Rockers of Punk" or whatever the kids are calling it these days. At last, its Gang of Four’s turn.

Rediscover…Regenerate…With me, against me, for them…WITH them.

So the first disc is titled Karaoke Cowboy Dance Disc and features nine tracks, mostly covers but VERY good renditions of original songs. Some I readily recognize like "Tattooed Love Boys" written by Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders, two Gang of Four songs "Naturals Not in It" and "Essence is Rare", plus more names behind songs I don’t readily know but songs that are ragers as done by SsiS, "Open Your Eyes" (Bator/James - Lords of the New Church? I need help on this one), "My Mother the War" (which I GUESS is a 10,000 Maniacs song because of the attached names - Lombardo/Merchant/Walsh), but really, their originals are what really catches my eye. Only two of these initial nine are their own compositions, much is why I think the disc has something to do with karaoke, but "Overman" adds something to their Patti Smith meets Mazzy Star meets Art-punk ala Au Pairs and Pylon; "Overman" adds a Heart reference... Vicious guitar, like the opening riff to "Baracuda." It gets noisy in the end but I don’t call them neoteric for NOTHING. I do it for something!!!!

The second disc, Small Change Indian Trance Disc, features nine more songs with the majority, seven tracks, being originals. This disc is more somber and mellow... I suppose I should have expected such as from the disc title...more Mazzy Star-ish. It does have its moments though, like one of their own tracks called "Made In Philipines" which, I swear to god, could be right off of Patti Smith’s Horses. "Hate My Way", which gives ‘K. Hersh’ original credit (who?); It’s a pretty jumpy song. Finally, another original called "Brainwash Soda/Guerrilla Pop" got caught in my eye-eye-eye as a sort of lounge/jazz song that is too catchy to not mention.

Doing things that defy words. Explorers, SSiS came my way via a friend, JT.... JT knows how to call them. SSiS come my way. THEY have found me. Now you must find them! (SAB)
(www.cruelmusic.com)
(Suran Song in Stag 4c Yorkshire Court Manchester, NJ. 08759)

Swampass "LipstickLetters" 7"

I get an e-mail one night when I was having one of my Vietnam flashbacks.... It said something about liking my 'Blank Generation’ writing style and how I should check out the MP3's on Swampass' site because I would probably like it.

I tried to call in an air strike to give Bravo Company some room to move, but silly ol' me, I killed Bravo Company. Damn upside-down maps...

So I didn’t check out the MP3's, nothing personal or anything. As I explained to The Joe of Domino's, or "Frenchy" as some of you may know him as, I can’t listen to any sorts of sound on the computer that I use to SURF the internet...and Surfing it is! Hang Ten dude! Wipeout! I explained this to Swampass too. I told them if they have any music available, to send it along and I got this single. Now THAT’S service! I’m starting to feel like a REAL reviewer around here! Fuck yeah! Shawn Abnoxious in the hiz-ouse or whatever those gang-bangers on the Musical television call it these days... HAHAHAHAHAHA.....WIPEOUT!

I mean, if I really get Rave-Up's new releases, I’m going to shit my pants... Me, Shawn Abnoxious worthy of overseas postage! Gasp!

So I pop on the single... Side A has "Lipstick Letters" on it. I like to call the tracks on Side A of records 'Side A Tracks'.... It’s a pretty noisy song but, none the less, pretty damn rocking. I can’t help but to let it out that it reminds me of a middle ground between The Butthole Surfers style weirdness and noise to NY Dolls type glam rock and roll. Strong, loud vocals… Rev-ving basslines… The drums bring you in like when you open up the freezer door in the summer. The whole song is mixed loud on the record... Just how I like it... I like it loud. I like it fast. I like it furious. "Lipstick Letters" does the trick.

The track on side B, which MUCH like my 'Side A Track' thing, I like to call the 'Side B Track', is another winner. Put them BALLS ON THE WALLS!!!! It begins with screeching distortion and a motherfucking pick-slide! HOT DAMN YOU FUCKERS!

You’re pushing my rock and/or roll buttons.

"Bastard Park" has everything that the side A track, "Lipstick Letters" has, except more! More MC5 in this one… It reminds me of The John Brenzy Group from KBD too. You see, bands like this are what "it’s" really all about. Swampass is as much Neoteric as Chalk is... I can get away with it because A) I created and continue to develop my Neoteric Punk Wave and B) To just pan this band off using the typical genres is just lame. This band, like others deserve more. Unfortunately, I’m only one man… ONE MAN ALONE, because my platoon left me over that whole Bravo Company thing.... ONE MAN! The best I can do is tell you, The Blank Generation Reader and fellow surfer of the internet, that Swampass are fucking great, and of course, hang ten! I can do that, AND call in some air support for your position! You see, my L.T. should have shot me when he had the chance. Back there, when I botched up that Bravo Company air support call because I met some pretty nice guys that must have just gotten out of bed, who are wearing black pajamas…I think they are Spanish-American because they keep on singing the song "Surfin' Bird" to me....

Swampass! One of the coolest things to come out of Illinois in a long while... The band that sounds like something you would hear on Rock and Roll Blitzkrieg... They are going to have an LP and CD called "Go Means Go" released in July. Reptilian Records is doing the CD, Safety Pin Records in Spain is doing the vinyl. Be on the lookout for these guys. I know I am. They may need some air-support or something....

Charlie-Tango-Alpha. 21 Degrees north 15 minutes west. On my mark....Papa-ew-mau-mau-Papa-ew-mau-mau! (SAB)
(www.swampass.com)
(Small Unmarked Bills Records c/o Swampass 965 10th St. Charleston, IL 61920)

Them Wranch "Medium Rare" CD

I talked to Joe Domino last night. You know, "Frenchy." He called just after 10 'o clock. I usually go to bed at that time. I have to wake up at 4:15 AM every morning so I can make screws. Making screws is what I do for a living. Making my burgers PLAIN, with CHEESE ONLY pays YOUR bills, making electrical Connections possible with the screws I create (because artist don’t "make" they create!) pays mine.

So Joe called and despite the late hour I stayed up to talk to him we had a good talk. In-between his tears for Dale E. and his over-excitement for the next season of the XFL, I told him I was going to do my part to try and write more about The Neil Diamond in my reviews. Blank Generation needs more Neil Diamond!

So, I’m on this whole Neil Diamond kick. I’m going to end up linking Them Wranch and The Neil Diamond in a particular way so yes, you are going to have to sit through my Diamond rantings... I use to be like you, I use to make fun of The Neil Diamond. I remember my mom seeing him perform in Lil' Nashville. This "Lil’ Nashville" is located in Indiananna, like in-between Indiananna-apolis and Bloomington, not too far from where my lovely fiancée, Ms. Communication, and I almost died in an underwater river cave tour. THAT my friends, is another story. A VERY TRUE and very scary story I will save for a slow time....

So my mom (you know, the same Mom who backed her car into my Dad’s Monte Carlo and laughed when she told me about it, yep, THAT Mom) use to go up to Lil’ Nashville with her friends and smoke joints and drink whiskey straight from the bottle and go to The Neil Diamond concerts. Actually, It’s doubtful that reefer and whiskey were involved. I mean FUCK, I don’t think my mom smokes it up and shit... I don’t mean to make her sound like fucking Lou Diamond Phillips (Chavez! Something else Blank Generation needs more of too-- Young Guns references) or Hank Williams number... Two maybe? I don’t know…that guy who fell off the fucking cliff! That Williams! That Clumsy fuck! My Mom saw The Diamond and he rocked her fucking world.

I got into her car onetime and just for kicks let the tape play she had going on. Yep, It was The Neil Diamond and it just so happened to be cued up to one of his hit songs, "Coming to America." I made fun of the fucker for I don’t know how long and continued as the tape played....

Then I went through my Monkees phase. Everyone has one don’t they? I found out that some of my favorite Monkees songs were written by The Neil Diamond. Ouch. The Neil Diamond didn’t seem like so much of a fuck anymore.... He was actually starting to appear cool to me. I mean fuck, if you write a good song, you write a good song!

Then I saw Will Farrel's VH1 Storytellers skit on The Neil Diamond. Will Farral (one of the best things EVER about SNL...despite his take on The Neil Diamond’s songs) he helped make The Neil Diamond mysterious to me. Will Farrel as Neil Diamond really fucked up "Sweet Caroline" and made it seem real demented and strange and he even did the same with "Coming to America", and all of the other songs he parodied too. I really listened and concentrated to "Sweet Caroline" the next time I heard it on the oldies station and realized something. Will Farrel’s skit wasn’t that far off from the man. The Neil Diamond’s songs ARE in fact odd! I found myself looking for that The Neil Diamond tape in my mom’s new car, but along with my dear ol' Dad she was into "dolphin music" now. Like Yanni playing flute with Dolphins swimming and cackling in the background. What do you call dolphin language? I call it cackling. I dunno, maybe my Mom does smoke pot...

Then, when driving to visit friends in Lima Ohio, the last straw, I heard a song whose name I didn’t catch on the areas official oldies station... I knew it was a Neil Diamond song because of his distinctive voice, but it never got a song title.

So the other week, proly maybe a year from my last The Neil Diamond encounter, I finally broke down and began my search for that particular song... I bought the LP titled "Do It" as a starting point and despite the fresh stack of punk-rock vinyl I had also bought at the same time, I kept returning to this LP. There’s this song in it; its called "Shot Down." It’s quite possibly one of the best songs I have ever heard.

You might think I been hitting my parents stash or something but I’m serious about what I’m going to say: One of my favorite bands is The Cock Spaniels. Now stay with me here, that isn’t what’s strange... Now, I might be crazy, especially when I’m doing all of this in the review of a Them Wranch CD, but The Cock Spaniels, headed up by Kenny Rock Action himself, is comparable to The Neil Diamond to these rock and/or roll ears. I can see Kenny singing a version of "Shot Down" that would be just as powerful as any other Cock Spaniels song. Vice versa too. I can see The Neil Diamond totally shredding up a version of "You Die" or "Straight Lines" with as much ferocity as the RockAction man himself can.

You might question my saneness, but comparing something, or admonishing something to The Cock Spaniels is a compliment, same with The Neil Diamond. Henceforth and shit....

Ok, so now it’s my job to tie all of this into Them Wranch. I can do it! Don’t fucking doubt me! I may be out of shape but all my real friends believe me when I tell them that back in the day I actually ONCE (or maybe even twice but let’s not push it) jog a mile before. Yeah, I might have been 13, but I fucking did it.

Like Neil Diamond, excuse me, like THE Neil Diamond, Them Wranch are VERY infectious and know how to write a motherfucking song! Finding their root in blues, and 'classic rock and/or roll, Them Wranch branch out to include many different styles in their songs, and in some cases begin a song with a basic blues riff, but by songs end it ends up coming off as, dare I say? Yes I dare! Art-punk!

The way I should have started off this review was how much Them Wranch remind me of Credence Clearwater Revival. Now don’t laugh, I’m fucking serious! You see I’m a huge fan of CCR! I haven’t heard a CCR song I didn’t like. They are well written, catchy as fuck, and ROCK OUT. JUST LIKE Them Wranch!

I should have started this review off by talking about how the first track on this disc, "Headcast", immediately brings to my mind’s eye a scene right out of a Vietnam movie; Four Huey helicopters flying over the rice patties of Vietnam. The camera features the occupants of one particular chopper where the soldiers dangle their feet outside the doors along with their machine guns laughing and smiling as they head back into the bush. It’s the last bit of "fun" they will have before everything gets 1000% more serious. The soldiers have packs of cigarettes strapped onto their helmets and camo that is still fresh and clean until the chopper drops them off in a bog at the foot of a hill they must recon. It’s a Search and Destroy mission. As the camera angles in and out on soldiers’ faces with the landscape of Vietnam and the other choppers in the background, "Headcast" plays...

This disc is comparable to their first attempt; "Big Noise on East Maynard", but on this disc Them Wranch seem to be more comfortable and established as opposed to the jumping from track to track with its different influences on "Big Noise." Them Wranch are permanently rooted in roots-rock blues riffs. With "Medium Rare", which REAL Them Wranch fans will recognize as the name of their own label The Wranch self-released their music on. On "Medium Rare" Them Wranch ESTABLISH themselves. They plant their feet squarely on the ground and with each track tell you, the piece of shit that you are which is lucky enough to find this CD in your local record store, that THEY ain’t going ANYWHERE! It’s really a great CD. I’m not one bit disappointed in buying it.

The guy at the bar when it just opens... It’s 6AM and even though he reeks of shaving lotion and stale whiskey, orders a slow gin fizz and tells the bartender to keep them coming. He lives life one day at a time. He has a job but today is his off day...He thinks...but he’s not sure. Them Wranch is the soundtrack for this guy. Them Wranch is the embodiment of Charles Bukowski. The songs on this CD sing like his epic poems.

I saw The Cynics last night for the very first time. I don’t own any Cynics records, despite the attempts that each member of The Slobs to correct that fact... But the thing I’m getting at is like the Cynics, Them Wranch just flat out rock!

I want my machine to roll.
I better put some wheels on it. (SAB)
(www.orangerecordings.com)
(Orange Recordings)

Trouble Bound "Red, White, and Green" 7" EP

Trouble Bound is a local band in my area. Not that I feel obligated to buy every local band’s merchandise… I don’t. But I dig Trouble Bound, and I can spare $3 bucks for their debut 7". If you listen to the Casualties (which you shouldn’t be) or Rancid a lot (!) you’ll, presumably, like Trouble Bound. They’re a pogo punk/oi-ish group with a hot-blooded temper and political rectitude. There’re four songs here including, "Hell I Live There" and "Devestation in Bosnia." (JD)
(johnnynokeys@hotmail.com)
(Trouble Bound PO Box 1155 Millbrook, NY 12545)

V/A "Punk Live Volume 2: First Belgian Punk Contest March '78" LP

{Engineer: Pierre Jonckheer}

I know that this featured contest was one of the greatest collections of punk bands ever... I’ve spent some time several years back getting into certain particular scenes of the past, like a sort of 'world tour' and shit.... LA, SF, UK, Canadian, Australian, French, German with the Belgian scene being one of those. In fact I became pretty partial to Belgian bands... Ivy Green, The Kids, The Onions..... Are any of those bands Belgian? I’m not too sure myself. AND THAT’S OK!!! I kind of think of every country's scene in central Europe, besides France and Germany as "Belgian" so forgive me if I’m wrong.

Better yet, don’t forgive me if I am wrong. Learn to live with it. Get use to it. Get it? Got it? Good!

So when I’d seen Volume two of this grand Belgian Punk Contest I just HAD to pick it up. I hadn’t volume one yet, but soon...

What you got on this LP is the featuring of two bands, THE RAZORS and THE MODERN WORLD. The Razors take up most of side-one and sound like the European equivalent to the Germs. Sloppy, in your face, amateurish and abrasive, just the way I like it. There seems to be too much down time in-between songs of guitar tuning and such that I would have personally took out of the final mix, but what I realized is that by leaving the show in real time (with the long pauses in-between songs and such) you, the listener, become the audience too. And the fact that I first put this record on while taking a bath after work one day seems like both a FIRST (maybe) in punk-rockness, but more importantly…SEXY!

The Modern World side isn’t any better if you are not a fan of punk rock messes like me. More long pauses…some songs don’t sound complete because it takes a while for the drummer to come into the songs, if even he decides to play on the songs. Or better yet, if even he was supposed to play on the songs. The Modern World come off as more Stooges sounding and are just as vicious as The Razors in their approach.

The Live sound is sub-par at best. Take warning. But hey, punk-rock isn’t about being perfect or RIGHT. It’s about getting out there and doing what you want. No matter how you look at it, the Razors and The Modern World embody that on this record. Appreciate it now!

To like this LP, or to at least have an appreciation for this LP you must be one of those people who LIKE it when you see a band that are out of loud, out of tune, but still charged and fucking shit up. If you CAN’T appreciate a band like that, a band that seems riddled with self-abuse and problems, but still yet make something worthwhile out of the shit they call "music" or "rock and roll" or whatever the kids are calling it these days, then you ain’t worth a fuck and are part of the problem with modern punk rock as opposed to being part of the destruction of rock and roll.

Wise up before you make me throw up. (SAB)
(Gnome Records)

V/A "Unquestionably Late For The Trend" 7" EP

This is a 7" EP of four bands, Superman's Girlfriend, Skuds, Vomit Pigs and Dot Vaeth, performing unreleased tracks from the good ol' Texas label known as ESR, or Electric Slum Records. Every track is great but a stand out to me is a Skuds’ track called "Twilite Zone" that’s sung by a soon to be dead Lukemia patient who's only wish was to be in a punk rock band. It’s a rager of a fucking song and true-punk in its most volatile and flawless form.

As far as regional punk scenes go, Texas had it all. Success, destruction, power, and more importantly failure. When something like that shows on a 7" EP like this one, you know they had something and were doing their best to give it to you! When all is said and done, Texas punk bands did it their way whether it was well received or not. They didn’t give a fuck and it shows in their music. It seemed behind every band biography was a truly demented band. Borderline insane and seemingly hell-bent for incarceration, it shows in the music. It shows...

Bobby Sox. The Authorities. Skuds. The Legionaires Disease. The Huns. The Nerve Breakers. Really Red. The Mystery Dates. Superman's Girlfriend. The VP's. Dot Vaeth.... Do you want me to go on or stop? Trust me you! I CAN go on!

Thank god labels like EV are around so dumb ass fuckers like me can still hear how it was destroyed. So fuckers like me can see how it exploded in their faces. So dumb asses like me can still be infected and do our best to pass it on. So pieces of shit like me can say over and over that I was born too late. But in that last sentence is something... IF I had been born at just the right time where I could have witnessed all the punk-rock in its beginning that is scattered by my stereo then maybe I would just be another picture and another crazy story on the back of a record sleeve or insert. I see it now; I was born at the right time. I can help bring it back. It’s my duty. As a 'good' American or something.

I want it all to blow up. Now. (SAB)
(Existential Vacuum POB 49984 Austin, TX 78765)

Valentine Killers "Let It Burn" 7"

Had no option but to pick this up after witnessing a truly great VK set in Toronto last month, and the record happily represents absolutely no departure from the live attack. Three songs here, particularly reminiscent of the Turks circa '93-- same recipe of solid Berry-esque guitar, rollicking rhythm section and tough, almost crooning vocals-- and that's never a bad thing. That said, I'm at a bit of a loss insofar as saying anything clever or particularly revelatory here. In no way is this record groundbreaking or genre defying or inviting heavy analysis. If it's the pure, fast, rocking garage punk you're after! However, this is a guaranteed hit. (US)
(www.junkrecords.com)
(VK: PMB 1373 1122 E. Pike St, Seattle WA, 98122 USA)

Yesterday’s Kids "Everything Used to be Better" CD

OK, alright—I will fully admit when I’ve wronged myself or anyone else, and that’s why I’m heading to the confessional booth right about now with CD firmly in hand. Because after seeing ‘em last month, I thought—might’ve even said aloud—that Yesterday’s Kids were just "decent." They’re really a lot better than that.

It’s hard these days; bands that successfully slip a worthy nod to pop music in their tunes every now and then are a dying breed. Good bands who thrive on pop? Even more elusive. Most pop-rock outfits are simply too fucking wimpy, terribly un-catchy, and about as bland as a spoonful of baking soda. If you’re anything like me, you’re quick to dismiss nearly any pop-laden group as a waste of time and a stain on the already filthy pantaloons of the independent music industry.

Everything Used to be Better will whack you on the back of your jaded head. It should anyway… "Wake up, asshole!" These songs are so incredibly catchy that it drives me bonkers. Think early Green Day/Replacements/Husker Du without the worship-damage factor, then thank your lucky stars that people still have the balls to make music like this: "A Thousand Times Before", "That was Then, This is Now", "Disbanded"… Yeah. (EL)
(www.panicbuttonrecords.com)
(Panic Button Records P.O. Box 148010 Chicago, IL 60614-8010)

 
 
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