Record Reviews - July, 2001

A-Frames "Neutron Bomb" 7"

Punk groups come in and out of time. Only a few [deviceloopregulars] really seize my sensors. The A-Frames are one of those arrays. In a perfect world you [soniconsumers] would already have the A-Frames inputted into your audio jack. Turmoil- irregularity- 2.0 for the art-destructo. The A-Frames are [mechanopunk] future present- join us. (JD)
(Dragnet Records 3519 SW Elmgrove St. Seattle, WA 98126)

Crackpipes "Every Night Saturday Night" CD

I have to admit to falling in love with this album from the get-go. Well, actually, sometimes I think I could live without the first song, so we'll say I fell in love with this album from the second song. Rock 'N' Soul with a ‘Super Yeah-Yeah’ twist. A bit of the Animals, a bit of the Make-Up, but in a more fucked up "shimmy- shake- stomp- stomp- we'll- be- uh- dancin'- and- drinkin'- til- the- sun- come- on- up- over- the- bayou" kind of way. "Record Player Party" is a genuine dance number, as is "Jealous Of Me" and "Let's Scratch." "Two Gold Rings" serves to fit the most romantic of moments and "Downtown Diddley" became one of my personal favorites, it’s like an old and familiar song with a new and different story. The last track, "Black Fire", just might drive you to break things. I dunno…results may vary. It’s a very good, very schizophrenic release on Sympathy For The Record Industry, which leaves me with the desire to hunt down their earlier releases. Pick it up. There's something on here for everyone. If you don't like it at all, then you're probably a very silly and extremely boring person. (MB)

Detroit Cobras "Life, Love, and Leaving" CD/LP

I never really liked the Detroit Cobras all that much. I mean, I didn't particularly dislike them, but I always thought that they seemed a little too "grungy" for my tastes. However, Life, Love, and Leaving turned me completely around. Fourteen classic hits as performed by the Detroit Cobras, including songs originally done by the likes of Ike Turner, Otis Redding, Ronnie Mack, and Jackie Deshanon, just to name a few. The band sounds much tighter, and Rachael Nagy put a lot more soul, not strain, in her voice on this one. Take a walk down memory lane...or if you can't honestly claim to go back that far, then at least get a taste of how good rock 'n' roll used to be. (MB)

Fitts "S/T" 7"

5-song EP from this all-gal Memphis three piece featuring the Lost Sounds’ Alicja… Semi-hardcore-speed rock ‘n’ roll screamers on Side A, slower rockers on Side B… Excellent… Probably worth it just for the wolf child cover shot Jay Reatard produced, if that means anything to ya’. (TK)
(Contaminated P.O. Box 41953, Memphis, TN, 38174)

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

HFOS is one of the handfulla’ elite bands out there right now – Piranhas, Clone Defects, Lost Sounds, HFOS and TOO FEW more. There are tens of bands that get my foot tappin’, blood pumpin’, etc, but HFOS delivers a near-flawless hardcore-meets-rocky roll din that makes me wanna’ KILL…off a large pizza at Jake’s, run around the block, and other kooky stuff. Kudos again to Sir Icky for making this easily available. (TK)
(ROCKNROLL BLITZKRIEG P.O. Box 11906 Berkeley CA, 94712)

Intelligence "S/T" 7" EP

What proficiency in gaining and employing a sense of competence with enlightenment! More fuzzo-pleonastic-punk, like a wore out ditto of the A-Frames… An inauspicious, lofi garage turnaround and stop rock. You gotta do the robo-pogo before they detonate your mind. :) + :( = the Intelligence. (JD)
(Dragnet Records 3519 SW Elmgrove St. Seattle, WA 98126)



Jane Speed "Are Those Prescription?" CD

So, like, here we go. I have a lot to say about this band because they really fucking knocked me for a loop. I don’t know how to do anything different than to start at the beginning. And this is going to be a while so get comfortable. Grab a glass of ice and some generic Cola. Sit with me. Rot with me. Rock with me....

Getting phone calls… I’m in The Socials. I AM a 'social'. True slaves to low waves… Sometimes those waves are high… We’re playing shows. Getting out there… Selling candy, making money… Other times the waves are low. It’s a barren worm infested (i.e. DUNE) desert. No one wants us. No one likes us. Everyone is like, "Social Who?" Cosmic battles for the spice.... No big deal… I’m fine with it, really. I learned, just as the other Socials, to take it as it comes. I play in The Socials, and make music, and release that music because I want to. IF people like it, good for them, if people hate it, BETTER!

So "Morte" from Kill the Hippies calls and ask for The Socials to play "PP Envy’s" birthday party. Of course those names aren’t their real names. They are used to protect the innocent. If you learn their 'real' names then good for you buttercup. Until then, have fun on the bottom, and believe me, YOU ARE on the bottom.

PP Envy was having one of her favorite bands down from Massachusetts called Jane Speed and both her and Morte thought The Socials would fit in nicely on the bill. Morte said something along the lines of, "I think you will really like this band. They have keyboards and are pretty Neoteric."

Boom! He said it. That was all that was needed to get me interested. And really, you NEVER have to twist my fucking arm to get my ass up to Kent, more specifically The Mantis Gallery. This trip makes it the Seventh time The Socials have graced the Mantis Gallery’s stage and this time it’s just one day after the reunion of Akron’s own Rubber City Rebels. The stage was lined in chopped up tires to fit nicely with the Rebels whole schtick.

The day of the show arrived. We armed ourselves with guitars. Amplification… Drums… 12 packs…and nourished ourselves with "Fast Food." Fast food for fast people. The Socials are returning to Kent. Kenny (on Broadway) was long gone, to the coast of The San Frand-a-sisco. I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss him. I did. I missed him terribly. I would have broken down and cried if we hadn’t had a three-hour phone conversation with him the previous night. You might say I am crazy. You might call me a lot of things that may or may not be true. You might call me hippie but I truly felt Kenny’s presence with me as I floundered around The Mantis Gallery, which, with the tires lining the stage and so, was looking HOTTT! It looked as if there is a rebirth of my most favorite venue to ever visit, and it was even looking like the floors were being swept and the bathroom! Maintenance! The bathroom was actually the cleanest that I have ever seen it. Yes, the Kinko’s made Socials sticker is STILL in the broken shard of mirror that rest on the back of the toilet.

You know, I don’t really mean to write about The Socials that much in this review. I think I am just doing this because you see, members of Jane Speed and Monster Attacks (more on them later) were vital in leading us, The Socials, to probably playing one of the best shows in our existence. We were dead on in our delivery. Eleven songs, finishing with our new signature hit "Slaves to the Low Wave", but being urged to do two more. We don’t really like to play more when asked because we like to leave people wanting more. But we, The Socials, did what we did for Monster Attacks, Jane Speed, our close friend (whose hand smells like a carnival) Rob, and of course we can’t forget Kill the Hippies and PP Envy’s Birthday! Because of who they were, and how great they were, we played on! It was the greatest gift any band could give another, a song. An ounce of creativity… Pound of sweat… Jane Speed’s set, and The Monster Attacks’ set before them, and the mere presence of Kill the Hippies and Rob FUELED US! We played two more songs on top of our planned eleven, then The Jerry (Socials drummer) puked. Adrenaline overdose. The last show Jerry puked at we did four extra songs with two of those songs being repeats. The Celina, Ohio crowd didn’t care that they wanted more and got a bargain’s worth. Jane Speed asked for more… Monster Attacks asked for more… Kill the Hippies asked for more, and Rob asked for more… What else can I say? Thank you!

So, here you got Jane Speed. They were getting ready while Monster Attacks assaulted the stage. I spy two keyboards. I spy a drum set. I spy a bass. I point down to the two keyboards and give the thumbs up hand sign to their keyboardist, who later told me she thought by the way I was carrying on during their set and acknowledging her keyboards beforehand I was some sort of veteran keyboard player. Me, Shawn Abnoxious, a 'veteran' at anything? Hell, I remember at one point in their set I was urging them to play keyboard with just their index fingers in a rapid motion back and forth and such because that’s how it’s supposed to be done according to the International Doctrine of New Wave Ethics (Section four, sub paragraph C).

Both me and, Socials ally, Andy were hooked right from the start. More post-riot grrl action i.e. Le Tigre, except Jane Speed was more humble. It sounded as if any minute that Jane Speed were about to collectively implode. Their sound was raw, basic but yet enthusiastic and relentless. To the point, Jane speed is to the point. It comes across like artillery strikes deep within no-mans land. Hands down… Surrendering… Ka-boom! Jane Speed has taken the ethics of the riot grrl "thing" and has created something with their sound that’s survivable. You take Bratmobile, Bikini Kill, gene Defcon and the aforementioned Le Tigre and combine the eerieness of Siouxie and The Banshees, the rawness of The Screamers, and the dance-ability (yes, I Said DANCE-ABILITY back there! Mark it on your calendars! Call MS NBC! Call Dan Rather and tell him he's a FUCK!)… You take all of that and boom, or should I say ka-boom, you got yer Jane Speed. Definitely neoteric… Definitely definite… Morte was right.

From start to finish, Jane Speed got my undivided attention. I heckled them alongside Andy Assault Rifle about how they should play "Magazine Love" by the Screamers and at times Andy and I were singing "Vertigo", "Mensch", and other random Screamers tunes in-between Jane Speed songs. Jane Speed's front replied back several times about how stupid we were and how much we sucked and ya know what? She was right! Andy and I were stupid! We did suck!!! We were only listeners. We were only there. Compared to Jane Speed, everyone else was miniscule. Nothing… Jane Speed was about the moment. About the second… About the keyboards, bass, drums and vocals… They did what they did and did it from a place where they had no idea who the Screamers were. They heard "something" about (the mighty) The Fuses, and also heard something about (the mighty) The Uniform, and were absolutely dumbfounded about (the mighty) Morphius Records (who released that awesome and memorable Fuses/Uniform split LP) that exist right next door to their hometown! Hell, it’s quite possibly Morphius' fault too. The fine folks at Morphius SHOULD have been hip to the Jane Speed by now and should already be releasing their records.

The truth hurts. Jane Speed SHOULD HAVE been touring to support a fucking LP, not a fucking six song CDR. Don’t get me wrong, don’t get the wrong impression by what I say. I heard Jane Speed this night for the first time, and if I had the ability I would sign the fuckers up for AT LEAST an LP. Bands like Jane Speed come out of nowhere and knock me for a loop. They leave a trail of blood in their wake. They deserve attention. They deserve attention. They deserve your fucking moment asshole!

This is a six song CDR. Self released beautification. The songs on the CD don’t hit as hard as the band does live.... That’s a problem with most bands anyway. I bet two weeks after recording these songs Jane Speed were rocking five times as hard. How do I know this? Because I saw it first hand! If you absolutely hate what Le Tigre is doing with their sound then you will not be ready for this recording of Jane Speed. If you are getting into Le Tigre then this is right up your ass like my screaming fist.

"Are Those Prescription" is nervous pop. It’s neoteric…mild in comparison to their live bite. What’s important is what Jane Speed will be. I told them that in me, they have a forever-fan. They’re a screaming fist right in my teeth! I don’t think they believed me, but what’s a piece of shit like me to do? I don’t have a wide vocabulary and I choose to latch myself to bands that defy description.

I’m asking you to trust me here. Walk with me through the minefield of modern music and we will emerge on the other side unscathed. Ready for a New World? Listen to the nu-classics as they set you ablaze.

Join me in welcoming Jane Speed to the ranks of The Neoteric Punk/Wave.


PS: By night’s end, members of Jane Speed promised that they would look around for The Screamers at their local record store. The End? (SAB)
(Jen Kaminsky 39 Chester St. Apt. 1 Allston, MA. 02134)

Les Sexareenos "Work For Fun" 7"

Four-song EP from these ex-Spaceshits… Just as good as their debut album… Side A has a couple GREAT Back From the Gravers ("Out to Sea" and "Work For Fun"), and Side B has another original and a decent version of the oft-covered "Lights Out." Catchy and stompin’… (TK)

Los Huevos "Gang of Saints" 7"

More garage punk, but (!) they forgot to put breaks in this hotrod. Los Huevos’ clamorous rock ‘n’ roll just flies around, bouncing off the walls, and then it heads out the fucking door! Don’t try to catch it, for surely you’ll be outta breath within minutes. Four expeditious tunes including, "Stick ‘Em Up" and "Gang of Saints", fuck'ers. (JD)
(Dragnet Records 3519 SW Elmgrove St. Seattle, WA 98126)

Monster Attacks "Raw Material Production" LP

Weather Update from Cincinnati: The searing June heat has given way to strong thunderstorms, which moved through earlier this evening. The temperature has dropped making the non-air conditioned environment of my, "compound", bearable.

Elvis had his Graceland. I have my Manor.

You have to be ready for anything nowadays. There’s a lot of shit out there that’s just hidden, just below the surface, and teeming with danger. You never know. YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN…

Like I seen this guy walking, who I thought was a member of The Jane Speed since he got out of a van that had a U-haul trailer attached to the bumper. I call him over and introduce myself to him and chat a bit about our bands and scenes. I ask him if he goes to that Boston Public School, and if he ever runs into Alley McBeal, and even though he didn’t make the connection at first I took liberties in telling him that yes, WKRP in Cincinnati is STILL on the air in Cincinnati after all this time.

Despite the fact that WKRP in Cincinnati is a FICTIONAL show, meaning its created or "made up" or whatever the kids are calling it these days, on Television Studios (i.e. "I Love Lucy"), people around the United States FAIL to think twice when they inquire with me about the validity of the show. I have had many people actually believe me when I am like "Yeah, it really exists, and it is on the air, but Johnny Fever isn’t doing to well these days."

What you, the UN-Cincinnati Native, may not know is that WKRP in Cincinnati actually is loosely based on a REAL radio station called WEBN, which evidently use to be considered a experimental station with the choice of their hard rock format back in the seventies. This station was Cincinnati’s OFFICIAL rock and/or roll station that was so popular that if you were to travel in the abandoned Cincinnati subways, all the way to the infamous "Bomb Shelter" terminal, you would find 'WEBN' graffiti sprawled on the wall next to 'Class of '83 ROCKS'. Nowadays WEBN is a Jacor Station, which is one of the largest Media conglomerates in the country, but still retains their rowdiness stature and popularity because they fail to bleep out profanity in Limp Bizkit songs. Yeah I know.... BORING PUSSIES!

Fucking pussies! Remember that guy Mojo "Elvis is Everywhere. Elvis is Everything" Nixon? Well, he is a morning talk show host here in Cincinnati. Jacor owns his pathetic ass like they own office furniture. They keep trying to coach him into being a funny, kind of Howard Stern, but he is just a gool ol' run of the mill flannel T-shirt wearing hesher. They put Mojo Nixon on in the mornings! Now even I know that he isn’t a morning person. Run into Mojo around six PM and I bet he is a hoot. At six AM the fucker is still wishing for the pillows. Good ol' Jacor. Pussies…

Anyway, let’s get on with it. Enough of this Ben-Hur/Gladiator mega-lo-mart battling. I’m tired of the constant squabble with big business. They are pussies. Let’s let the dying dog die. When the worker’s revolution hits, I am going to be all Pat Sajack on it and shit. Ice in my eyes. Ice on my wrist. Bling (bling)!

So I rapped a bit with Robert, one half of this two-man duo. I sit around for a bit and knock back some beer in The Jerry’s Millenium Falcon (I call my Car 'Gobo’ and he calls his van The Millenium Falcon). I’m all charged up because as soon as I spy a longtime Kent ally, Rob (the same Rob with the Carnival hand I talked about in the Jane Speed review), and he’s talking some crazy shit about buying me some Steel Reserve because he knows what I drink and he wants to support the arts!

I mean FUCK, it’s like I’m fucking Charles Bukowski and shit. I travel from my humble town and there are people ready, willing, and able…to support the arts! FUCK!!!!

Robert and I just talk about crazy shit. Like there was a DANGEROUS meningitis outbreak in Alliance, Ohio, which is only about 20 miles away from Kent. When I first got off the expressway in Kent on the road heading through downtown Kent to the mantis Gallery, I went into a Duke Gas Station to buy some 12 Packs. There was a long line and three 12 packs were pretty heavy, but when I got up to the counter I asked "Hey, did you all get that whole meningitis thing figured out up here?"

The situation in Alliance apparently got so severe that they had to ship in vaccine from all over the country and administer it to thousands of people. I was reading the newspaper headlines on one of the local papers and it was talking about a teenage girl who was found covered in bleeding sores all over her body by her mother who in turn called the ambulance. As they were carting the girl away she told her mom she loved her and that was the last thing the Mom ever heard her daughter say because she fucking died. So when I get asked to play the Mantis Gallery no epidemic, nor rain, sleet, or snow will keep me away. Ironically enough, I instantly remember the last time we (The Socials) were asked to play the Mantis; snowed all the way from The Cincinnati suburbs to The Mantis Gallerys front door! Snow, sleet and white-knuckle driving the WHOLE 5 hours. Since Alliance was in the neighborhood and all, and even Cincinnati local news was talking about the meningitis outbreak and it’s impact on the city, I figured asking about the whole deal wasn’t a big situation. "Hey, did you all get that whole meningitis thing figured out up here?"

"That was in Alliance", the cashier responds. Then bitchingly replies, "This is Kent." Here’s the thing. I live in Fairfield, Ohio. Fairfield is a Northern Suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio. Fairfield isn’t even in the same county as Cincinnati, but for all intents and purposes, despite the fact it’s a twenty-minute drive to Downtown Cincinnati, I consider my hometown Cincinnati. Now with the close proximity of Alliance to Kent, and I’m talking 20 ROAD miles, not "air" miles (because I live about 24 "road" miles from the outskirts of Cincinnati’s official city limits), I figure Kent and Alliance were one and the same. But I guess not all parts of Ohio share such brotherhood as we do here in Southwest Ohio. I mean FUCK! I was concerned for the citizens of the Ohio Empire AS A WHOLE, not just some Alliance fuckers. I love my state, and have a lot of state pride. I saw this one lady pour out a cup of coffee into the bushes at a Rest Area on this very same trip and I was yelling at her from The Millenium Falcon telling her to not do such a heinous act because Ohio is MY state and she shouldn’t fucking litter like that and disrespect MY state. This, coming from a guy who used to drive around throwing empty 40 ounce bottles at pedestrians! But hey, I’m not heartless because just when I started getting good at it and was landing empty Weidemann forty’s at the next consecutive step of speed walkers, I stopped. I decided I didn’t want to kill anyone because throwing a glass forty ounce bottle from a car going 40 MPH would surely do more damage than throwing a Strawberry Pie at them (I got good at that too).

Think about it… The description that I regurgitated to you from that Kent newspaper... Does that really sound like a meningitis case? I’m no sorts of fucking disease specialist or anything. I’m a Rock Journalist. It sounds as if this girl had something other than meningitis. It sounds to me like some sort of Ebola thing going on. Now I saw "Outbreak"; so I do know something about Ebola. It sounds to me like this girl had that- blood, sores, death… Yep, Ebola!

So what really went on? Sounds like a cover up if you ask me. Was this so-called 'meningitis outbreak' REALLY an outbreak of meningitis? Was it something worse and more widespread then they originally thought, then they originally REPORTED? How many really died and what REALLY caused the outbreak? Lotsa hard hitting questions for a review of a record, eh? What can I say? I’m Shawn Abnoxious doing it for the kids because the kids are being lied to. The kids are being told something that is not completely true. The Truth is out there, and whereas I might not have all the answers, I do have a very creative imagination, I’m not afraid to ask the uneasy questions, and last but not least, I hold a position with Blank Generation. That’s it! I can use Blank Generation as a vehicle for my wide range of Conspiracy Theories! Next up: The REAL reason why my satellite TV cuts out at about midnight to 2 AM.... You will be surprised!

So Monster Attacks takes the stage. Fucking art damage. Fuck yeah! First off, you hear a drum machine, rhythm machine, or synth, or whatever the kids are calling those things nowadays, plugged into a small amp and making the same series of sounds through each of Monster Attacks songs; eeeeeeee-ewewewewew-eeeeeeee-ewewewewew-eeeeeeee ewewewewew-eeeeeeee-ewewewewew-eeeeeeee-ewewewewew.... Monster Attacks is a two-man act. The aforementioned Robert plays bass and sings frequently and the other piece is a pretty phenomenal drummer. Their live show borders on performance art because at one point they both quit playing, climb as high as the current venue allows with the various amplifiers surrounding them and shit, strike a pose and hold it for several seconds then, just when I think they are going to dive into the drum set or something, they just reverse their climb and pick up playing where they left off. Fucking art!!!!!

Andy Assault Rifle was there again. Heckling… Giving Monster Attacks shit for no apparent reason. Saying stupid shit like shouting, "You play the bass" to the bassist over and over and over... In essence becoming part of the show. Monster Attacks feed from people like this, and at one point, at a particular songs end, Robert turns from facing the drummer (he plays the majority of the set with his back to the crowd) and sez, "Thank you" to those watching on. The drummer reiterates, "He means that a lot" and repeats it several times while both him and Robert take a moment before continuing. "He means that a lot.... He means that a lot... He means that a lot." Andy repeats him word for word, action for action. The drummer thanks Andy at his set’s end for participating. Fuking art! 100%!

So I got this LP and thought the songs would be totally different because it honestly looked like Monster Attacks were improving their whole set. Well, much to my amazement, Monster Attacks actually have an established structure to their set. This LP is just as strong and just as powerful. Musically Monster Attacks bring a lot of strange comparisons to mind. The Minutemen. Gang of Four. Wire. Man or Astroman. Monster Attacks are Lewis & Clark about their music. Every chord, every beat, is a treat to the ears, truly Neoteric.

Monster Attacks has to be one of the most awesome spectacles I have ever witnessed. Their set was inspiring. Monster Attacks proves that nowadays, there are people out there pushing definitions and restrictions to their breaking points. Pressure tested… If it doesn’t crack, try harder!

Monster Attacks are Underwriter Laboratory tested and rated for maximum results.

Note: DIY hand screened covers… I got Blue/White and mine still smells of lethal fumes. Good times! My LP also came with several small comic books. (SAB)

Pink Sexies "S/T" CD

Howlin’ outta Tennessee are the Pink Sexies! Fans of Scott Drake’s (HUMPERS) vocals and the Rip Off Records garage style might dig it. Juvenile lyrics with a defiled, torpid, fucked up guitar sound. They ain’t too bad, only 7 track though… Cool tunes included are, "Bye Bye Zombie (Baby)", "Speed Demon", and "Tease Kiss." Car Hole Music! (JD)
(Pink Sexies PO Box 686 Knoxville, TN 37901)

Pleasure Seekers "What a Way to Die" 7"

Great recordings of Suzi Quatro’s band circa 1965… For some reason, there ain’t a whole lotta’ female band recordings stemming from the original garage punk explosion, but this fine record documents the fact that there were some goodies out there. Boffo lyrics about slammin’ beers and dying young round out another stellar reissue from Norton. (TK)
(Norton Box 646, New York, NY, 10276)

RX Bandits "Progress" CD

"the inescapable agent of someone’s downfall, especially when deserved."
-dedicated to Shawn Abnoxious

"Fuck!", I said as I looked down at the gleaming silver disc. The CD’s got moxy; I’ll give it that. I’ve tried beating it to death, giving it a flying knee-drop, and throwing it out a two-story building and it still wouldn’t cease it’s molestation of my ears. "Fuck!", I said again. I was impressed. It’s as if the RX Bandits wouldn’t let go. They wanted to be reviewed. I thought to myself, "Maybe the rest of the tracks are totally different from those first three." So I listened to a couple more songs…and shuddered.

"No!!!", I shouted, "It can’t end like this. It can’t end in me actually reviewing this nonsense!" I looked around the room for anything. Any sign of hope, of optimism…and the instrument of death, as if sent from heaven, appeared before me- the ceiling-fan. I gazed up at those swirling swords…captivated… It was perfect. Like the loyal legionnaire of rock ‘n’ roll that I am, that I’ll always be, I launched the RX Bandits, hurling them into the blades, into oblivion. I saw that record crash into a million pieces. It rain down tiny rainbows of plastic, bathing me in utter annihilation. Oh how it was exquisite. (JD)
(Drive-Thru Records PO Box 55234 Sherman Oaks, CA 91413 U.S.A.)

Scat Rag Boosters "I’m Coming On" 7"

When Tim Warren decided to scale back Crypt to reissue-only, he named these Canadians and the Bees as the pick of the modern litter. Blown-out fuzz blues/punk that somehow separates itself from the chaff. Absolutely necessary for anyone into this kinda’ thing, and a good primer for those of you not. (TK)
(Yakisakana Records 51, Rue Pierre Renaudel, 76 700 Rouen, France)

The Starve "S/T" CD

That's right. He's back. Mister Breaker is back, and I'll bet anything that you didn't even notice he was gone (except for Joe, that is). Wait, wait, wait...I have some explaining to do. You see, anyone who ever said that senior year of college is a breeze, is essentially full of what? Full of shit. So kiss my ass. Midterm papers, midterm exams, final papers, final exams, thesis papers, senior seminar, senior project, senior show, loans, lab fees, interest rates, commencement, commencement fees, and James Earl Jones. Don't forget the degree, okay? The Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts? What exactly does this say here? Uh-huh. "This guy knows a whole lotta shit about graphic design, but needs more experience." Oh, don't get me wrong…I'm not depressed or anything. I'm actually writing all of this with a light heart and a pleasant smile. I know something is bound to come my way eventually. I spend every Sunday combing the New York Times’ Classified Adds. Whenever I'm not drinking that is…wait a sec…tangent- I would like to take this time to thank those faceless suits from Trans World Entertainment for having me fired from Record Town. That was the greatest thing you could have ever done for me. Your company is shit. Have a nice life...and when it's over, I hope you all burn in hell. Thank you...

So where was I? Sloth. How do you guys feel about sloth? I've been trying it lately. Been there, done that. Time to get up and get back, before I get a fat ass. There's so much to do! An entire world to conquer! Joe kept begging me and begging me, "Dan, come back to Blank Generation. It just hasn't been the same without you..." and I thought to myself, "Okay." But I needed motivation. Being a professional (amateur) record reviewer requires inspiration. Needless to say, I wasn't very taken by many new releases as of late. Which reminds me. RFTC? Still great. The Sultans? Still great. The Mooney Suzuki? Blow my fuckin' mind some more, why dontcha? Still great. The Gotohells? (pause) How did these guys get a good review out of me? I mean, I'm sure they're nice people and all, but...ummm...try again, okay? Just a word of advice... But anyway, we were talking inspiration. It's too easy to review shit, because you can sum it up in one word. For example- "Anti-Flag...Shit. Naked Aggression...Shit. Guttermouth...Shit. Millencolin...Shit. Voodoo Glow Skulls...(I know Eric will appreciate this one)...Shit. Shit, shit, shit!" Catch my drift? Fuck me? No, fuck you! Yes, it is very easy for me to be pompous, you know, with my Internet muscles and all… But if it wasn't shit I wouldn't say it was. In my opinion, I think I'm losing track of my original purpose in writing all of this. Actually, I think it's gone… No wait…there it is.

The Starve. All of this was supposed to lead up to The Starve, and how they inspired me to write again. So anyway, I got this envelope in the mail a couple weeks ago from a certain Kip Manchester of Portland, Oregon. I opened it up, and found that this Kip character, along with Travis Bonilla, Jennifer Fang, Jeannine Haynes, and Mike Rinaldo (see that guys, I made you famous and all) had released a CD under the name The Starve. To be perfectly honest, the sleeve (which was a slice of a Pabst Blue Ribbon box folded over and taped together) lead me to believe that I was in for some generic, drunken street punk anthems...or..."shit." I have to say I was oh-so-thankfully proven wrong. This six-song demo is fuckin' great (I curse too much). These kids have a dance-craze effect that would make the Von Zippers proud to call them their kids, coupled with the snotty, fuzzy garage-goodness that bands like The Makers and The Drags gave up on a long time ago. Tambourine, Farfisa, and catchy guy/girl vocals included… I was really, really impressed, so keep it up, people...and everybody else, for that matter, should check it out. (MB)
(Kip Manchester, Box 210, 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd. Portland, OR 97202)

Strong Come Ons "Trailer Sessions" 7"

I can remember (yeah) a couple years back at the 2nd (I think) annual Green Bay Cover Show one of the first bands was a group of kids from Algoma called the Strong Come Ons, and they were to be doing an Oblivians set.

Quick note about Algoma – it’s a tiny (2000 people?) burg on Lake Michigan, about 40 minutes from Green Bay. You’ve heard GB is small? You could fit 50 Algomas within the GB city limits, and pepper the surrounding suburbs with another 25 of ‘em.

They got up on stage and…it was painfully evident that they’d never been in front of a crowd before. They banged through a competent set, but they looked like they were terrified. Heck, their heroes had just graced the same stage a year or so prior on their final tour. Fast-forward a bit – the Strong Come Ons (who shoulda’ changed their name, but that’s another story) started releasing recordings with tons of great songs, loosened up on stage, and noticeably sped things up.

Over the last 6 months the Strong Come Ons have really come into their own – Nick and Casey are writing an avalanche of swell tunes, they’ve tooled around the country a bit, and they now have this single under their belts. The "Trailer Sessions" is a 4-song EP recorded at the infamous Algoma trailer, and it smokes. While I don’t think any recording has really matched their potential as of yet, they’re shaking off the Oblivians worship (those ‘uns would never have delivered a hardcore/blues rocker in the vein of "The Imposter"), Nick delivers the best yip-soul vocals around, and their live shows are always rockin’. Just try to convince me that "(Why’d You Have to) Make Me Feel So Good?" ain’t a classic. (TK)
(Pleasure Unit Records)

Trend "Batman Lives at Budokan" LP

Killed by Death devotees will be happy to note that this upstate NY high school band hit gold with more than the classic "Band Aid." This is a re-release of their album and single, and the whole thing is shot through with infectious hooks and fuzz geetars. Poppy and punky…in a good way… Ignore most of the other KBD reissue junk and pick this up instead. (TK)
(Hate Records gianicolense 112 00152, Roma, Italy)

© 2003