Record Reviews - August, 2001

Action Time "Verse the World" CD/LP

Have you ever gotten a chill while listening to a song? It might just be me, but when I listen to a great song, and it overruns my mind, and I’m in that zone, I get goosebumps. The Action Time gave me chills for near 30 minutes. As soon as the CD kicked off I knew I was in for it. Taking what they can from the 60’s Mod Revolution, the Action Time propels the sound into the 2000’s! The snarling guitar feedback, outstanding drum-breaks, infectious organs, and magnificent male/female vocals are so sweet they move you to groove! The Action Time give you eleven fresh rock ‘n’ roll tracks, with such hits as - "Rock And Roll", "The World Is Against Us", and "(We’re Just) Killing Time", that scream and holler just as good at the originators of the Mod Rock ‘N’ Roll. (JD)
(Southern Records PO Box 59, London, N22 lAR, England)

Angoras "S/T" CD

The Angoras are a four-piece group with three gals in the front. The first 5 tunes remind me of the Neanderdolls, or the Prissteens, if you’ve heard of those bands. Group girl vocals, chunky guitars, but with rock ‘n’ roll licks, and an attitude, the Angoras are right at the borderline between punk and alterna-rock. But my favorite songs on the CD are the last two, "Gated Community" and "Easter Sunday Jesus Get Down", which marks a metamorphosis of the band from their hard-edged punk demeanor to a winsome, harmonious rock ‘n’ roll approach that shows real promise. I would definitely look forward to hearing future releases. (JD)

Arthur’s Dilemma "1978 New York City Killed by Death Punkrock" LP

God! If there were more labels out there releasing new and deserving band’s records I think the whole Killed by Death trend would die down. But no, we have re-release everything that ever came out, good or bad. It doesn’t matter, if it says ‘1977’ on it they’ll buy it! Fuck it all!

Arthur’s Dilemma is yet another one of those garbage punk bands that never made it, or could make it. Killed by Death can suck a dick! This band features feeble vocals, flimsy keyboards (Ooh! Keyboards are punk!), all totaling to a pitiful punk band. Woohoo…seven studio tracks!!! Double Woohoo…nine poorly recorded live tracks… A waste of $10 dollars… (JD)
(Alternative Action Records PO Box 174 11101 Riihimaki, Finland)

Blacks/Swing Ding Amigos "Split" 7"

Two of the Southwest’s best band’s churn out some lethal punk rock that verges on hardcore, but the kind of hardcore I love- fast and filthy. First up are the Blacks, who are the world’s best-kept secret. Their sole contribution to this split, "Go Farther", starts off with a bluesy call and response exchange between the guitar and bass, then the drums hit and, pow!, lightning-speed insanity with a singer that’s one part Mark Arm, one part John Brannon, and ten parts blood-curling screams. With the seemless marriage between grunge and hardcore, Blue Cheer and The Freeze, this track is fucking hot! Next up are the Swing Ding Amigos, who give the Blacks a run for their money with two short and frantic songs, "Flavorsavor" and "Paliachi". Now, while I have to admit that I prefer the slower, more pop/emo punk stylings of their excellent debut CD, Tronch For Breakfast, these two songs are damn good, and I like them more with each listen. "Flavorsavor" wins my pop soul over with a sweet "whoo, whoo" ending to a speedy crash of guitars, manic vocals, and impossible drum fills. "Paliachi" hits my gut with a sped-up, 70’s metal guitar riff that blows up into another top-speed chase with a quick pick-slide you just have to listen to. Actually, you just have to listen to this entire record, period. (SH)
(Chemical Valley Records, PO Box 77142, Tucson, AZ 85703)

Bugatti Type Thirty-Five "Winner" CD

So Joe re-does the Blank Generation border before he escapes to the Vermont wilderness for his apocalyptic survival training camp... Joe fears nuclear Armageddon and trains once every two months with a Vermont survivalist group called VSU or The Vermont Survivors Union for short. To each their own I suppose.

So, I see that the picture of Le Tigre gives way to... THE BREEDERS? Hmmm! Interesting! Here Joe makes a BOLD statement about the state of modern music. Here, on a web-zine, or whatever the kids are calling these fucking things now, that covers a wide variety of underground rock and roll music Joe embraces his college radio past and shows love for the Breeders! That takes balls! Cheers to Joe! I remember the conversation Joe and I had about not forgetting our roots. I’m gonna grow...grow up to a debasser!!!!!

So, I’m enjoying a nice glass of ice with generic cola yesterday evening and when I finish my third can I see something on the bottom of the glass like dirt... Like I was at the beach and set my glass down in the sand... I just assume that, whatever it is, it is on the bottom of my glass, so I take my hand and wipe at the bottom of the glass. Something’s wrong because the dirt don’t wipe off. Hmmm… A mystery… Behold, the dirt is in fact a form of bacteria that has began to grow in the glass because, you see, I’m home alone right now.... I’m all Mcaully Caulkin up in this mug. Julie is deep-sea fishing for marlin in the Gulf of Mexico so that means I’m on 'Bare Minimum Needs' mode around the house. I do my best to utilize the same dishes over and over washing them after each use so a large pile doesn’t build up. That included the glass. You see, I spent the previous nights at my parents house so as I could enjoy an actual home cooked meal that didn’t include opening a can of something, a pouring motion and the chirp of a microwave set to 90 seconds. Have you ever noticed that the beeps and blips of appliances, like microwaves, sound like birds? I have.... Anyway, so basically his glass, which I remember had about 3 ounces of generic Kool-Aid left in it, his glass, had began growing a mold of sorts that was impervious to my washing of the glass. I did wash the glass but what I’m getting at is Joe is doing the smart thing, training. He is waiting for the nukes but what he should fear is biologic mold-entities like in the bottom of my glass. Tough fuckers...

So I walk into Cody’s Cafe here in Cincinnati. I’m supposed to be in Atlanta dropping Julie off to her parents and taking in some record shops like Wax and Facts... Her parents decided to come into town for a few days. This meant that I had a chance to see another appearance of Kill The Hippies. When I got to the show though KTH hadn’t arrived yet.... I spy a "pop-punk" band called District 22 which aren’t that bad really. They have some pretty decent songs and are still loose enough and new enough to become a band I might actually like. I tell them to buy "Shit Streets" by The Pagans and stick around for Kill The Hippies. If they take my advice their lives will be changed starting on this night. When I saw KTH for the first time, it changed my life.... After District 22 there’s another local, The Hypochondriacs, a truly amazing band. They are still relatively young but have been writing some tough songs lately and have beefed up to Death-from-above status. Mix early Bikini Kill with Black Flag. Need I go on? THEN! Bugatti Type 35! They had been passing through or something and needed a show so the promoter of this show just sort of latched them on to this show. I didn’t really know what to expect, but from song to song I just kept getting more and more into their set. Due to the arrival of KTH and the fact that I am really worrying about them going out west on their most recent tour because I saw their automobile and gosh, it putters up the hills in The Cincinnati, so I would hate to see their "Blue Tuna" as its called, Minivan take on the Rockies. I’m scarred that they will wreck or something and die. I mean, Kill The Hippies are legends. If there were room after room of important people, KTH would definitely be sitting in the room marked LEGENDS AND HEROS... Greatness of the same caliber as KTH is destined for disaster. You see, I know how I’m going to die. Its going to be a car wreck and when I go, the other Socials are going with me. The last line to our song "Closer to Death" reads, "Hey baby, The Socials gonna crash." Well, I know it doesn’t say anything about death there but trust me, I NEVER wear my seatbelt. So I will probably die.... When I die, good riddance to bad rubbish. If anything happens to KTH, I will fall apart.

So, Bugatti Type 35 were fucking shit up. The crowd multiplied after each song. The Cincinnati crowd was doing the Cincinnati thing and sitting around bobbing their heads or like me, listening to the other room absorbing as much KTH as I could, while I could. About 2/3 of the way through their set I found myself checking out their merchandise table. I want their CD but it said $8. I only had a five-dollar bill left in my pocket. If I hadn’t had that 7/7 earlier I could have had enough money for a CD but NOOOOOOOOO!!!! I had to be the bigwig, the HOTSHOT if you will, and order a mix drink... I tried for a Slow Gin Fizz but the bartender didn’t know how to make those. I didn’t want to take a step DOWN and JUST settle for a beer so I went another step up, in a positive direction, in the mix drinks department, and got a 7/7. I snapped some pictures and came up with the bright idea to go out to my Gobo (car) and grab as many different Issues of The Neus Subjex as I could find and offer up my last five-dollar bill and the handful of Neus Subjex's in turn for a promise of good write ups in The Neus Subjex and Blank Generation. Yeah, yer getting all my rock and roll secrets here. I’m not one to really try and "scam" bands, especially touring ones, but fuck, I needed this CD, I just knew it would be good. My instincts told me so and my instincts were right! This CD is amazing.

When Bugatti Type 35 were finished I pulled the band in for a group shit, uh, sorry about that, I mean group SHOT (you know, with a camera) and told them my name and my affiliation with The NEus Subjex AND Blank Generation. They hadn’t heard of either but I told them that I would really like to write about them and their CD, and if they could trade me a CD for my last five dollar bill and a handful of Neus Subjexes then I could guarantee that they haven’t heard the last of me. They looked at me like the obvious weirdo I am and handed me a CD I handed them my last five-dollar bill and my odd assortment of Neus Subejxes and it was good!

So I listen to the CD almost exclusively in the Gobo because I went through a car wash and it snapped off my antenna. BP Oil is supposed to contact me sometime about getting it fixed, so I sorta have to sit next to the phone in anticipation.... I got a call from the local Cincinnati newspaper just the other day... You see Cincinnati has two main newspapers and the ironic thing is the same people own both. Yeah, I know, really cool and everything.... So this kid (that sounded like he had a tongue ring in) called and asked if I was interested in ordering a subscription to the newspaper. I told him I would love to buy a subscription IF he could answer one question for me. I asked him who the original drummer for The Sex Pistols was... I figured since it sounded like he had a tongue ring there was a small chance he was a skater or something and actually might know the answer. When he told me he didn’t know I told him, "Well, sorry, it doesn’t look like I’m going to get a subscription then."

Bugatti Type 35 sound like a mix of Queens of the Stone Age, The Kelly Deal 6000, and The Breeders. You see, that’s where all of this ties together. The choice in picture for Blank Generation, the remembrance and honoring of roots in alternative rock, and the discovery of Bugatti Type 35! Wendy, the guitarist and vocalist said that this CD is their "old" one and that a new one was just around the corner. She said that I could expect to see that one sometime in the mail... So like, I’m waiting... Record reviews boil down to one thing and one thing only- you SHOULD or you SHOULD NOT buy said release. Band IS or band IS NOT worth your time.

Bugatti Type 35 IS worth your time.

You SHOULD buy this release.

So fucking seize the day or something.... (SAB)
($10 ppd. BT35 POB 3254 Madison, WI. 57304-0254)

Crimson Sweet "Foil Beach" CDEP

Advance, go forth and conquer!

After seeing Crimson Sweet live I can only predict good things for them. Nothing is stopping them. Nothing could stop them. And I’m going to do everything within my power to help them. Like Shawn Abnoxious, I’ve being converted.

Crimson Sweet is taking the shortcut away from "punk" and is heading towards the Neoteric Punk/Wave . The thick, vibrant guitars shine on every song, and the exotic lyrics have such depth that it could take you years to decipher. Crimson Sweet has evolved. Except the unexpected and you will see. (JD)
(Slow Gold Zebra Records PO Box 20506 Tompkins Square Station NY, NY 10009)

Dialtones "ShortSharpShock" 12" EP

Friday morning, I get home, my brain is floating in beer. Up comes the sun and in comes the painful reality that I have to be at work in four hours. But, it’s okay; my hands are clawing at the tape that seals a brand new package of records sent to me all the way from Sweden by the Dialtones! Now, don’t get excited, heshians, these guys don’t play thunderous, Scandinavian Heavy Metal like the Hellacopters or Turbonegro. This is punked-out rock n roll with the cosmetics scraped, ripped and burned off so that the vocals, guitars and drums leap out and make me wanna dance. Three singles and a twelve inch, so much good rockin’ that I don’t know where to start.

So, I’ll begin with the 12-inch since it allows for the longest uninterrupted session of air-guitaring and head-shakin’. The record starts off with a short feedback blast that immediately launches into a two-chord, half-a-minute "theme" which apes the beginning of the Devil Dogs’ "Alright!" Then the band rips into "Belgium, Bloody Belgium", a song I’ve never heard by the Kids. Judging by the high energy, and singer/guitarist, Magnus Sellergren’s punchy vocal delivery, I’m sure they do it justice. This whole record does justice to anyone who believes you can’t have good rock and roll without a pinkie flying up and down on the fret board. Check out the amazing lead guitar break in the third song, "Trouble (With a Pony Tail)"; it switches from two-note, Blues box mania to a quick tail end of Naked Raygun style melody. Then there are the great lyrics of "Bad News", where Sellergren, the "bad son with a dirty soul" urges that you "better stand back ‘cause I’m gonna make a mess out of you", then proceeds to make a mess out of himself instead with a livid series of ow!-ow’s!. And, of course, the coolest and catchiest song on the record, "Oh Baby Doll", makes me wanna get on my knees and beg to my girl as well. All in all, an awesome fifteen minutes of punk rock. Receiving it, plus their three great singles, makes my endless rock n roll pursuit well worth it. (SH)
(Radio Blast Recordings, PO Box 160308 40566 Dusseldorf, Germany)

Deadly Snakes "Love Undone" LP

The Deadly Snakes are a Canadian combo that lives up to the broken promise of bands like Rocket from the Crypt, the John Spencer Blues Explosion, and the Make-Up. In other words, they add horns, keyboards and harmonica to the standard guitar/bass/vocals to create trashy, soulful R&B-influenced rock and roll that’s really close to the original thing. That the Snakes achieve what these other bands don’t is partly due to guitarist/vocalist, Andre St. Clair who, like the Sonics’ Gerry Roslie, can easily be mistaken for an old, Black R&B singer. The other reason is that the Snakes eschew the ultra hi-fi production and the arty and indie rock leanings of the aforementioned bands for a dirtier, more traditional deal. The end result is a thick, sexy album that’s perfect for whatever late-night debauchery you prefer. Some of the songs tend to meander and add up to nothing more than the Gories with added instrumentation. But, at their best, the Deadly Snakes really kick ass. The trumpets and keys either beef up the rhythm section, or creep and wiggle discordantly in and out of it. The best track is the opener, "Bone Dry", where the band matches the absolute cool of the Clone Defects’ "Rouge River Rebel." Other highlights include the harmonica-driven blues of the title track, the sly key changes and torn-up, 60’s guitar leads of "Real Rock & Roll Tonight" and the Bo Diddley-influenced "Shake by the Riverside", with it’s New Orleans horn breaks. The band wisely decides to wind down the party with "Sweet Sixteen", a slow number with a great organ line that ushers all the lovers home and the lonely stragglers to a comfortable pass-out spot or one last dig through the ice box. (SH)
(Sympathy for the Record Industry)

Down-N-Outs "Subterranean Beat Punk Blues" CD

Feverish garage rock ‘n’ roll outta Colorado… Anyone into the Makers, early Estrus era, would love the Down-N-Outs. Explosive guitar solos, solid backbeats, these boys have somethin’ called rhythm. There’re 10 tracks including, "All I Want", "I Saw A Girl", and "On Your Own." I don’t know where you could get a hold of a copy (try their home address), if you love exceptional garage rock ‘n’ roll you’ll want this disc. (JD)
(The Down-N-Outs PO Box 19946 Denver, Colorado 80219, USA)
(Max Picou Records International PO Box 15, 1294 Genthod, Switzerland)

Nervebreakers "Hijack the Radio! - Lost American Punk Rock Nuggets Volume 15" LP

Ok, now here is a fucking resource. Back in Cleveland, I will say back in 1998 or so, I was at a record store called Riot 101 in the heart of some neighborhood that had signs with English AND some sort of Arabic scribble or something all over... I was once again fulfilling my role in The Socials opening up for The Spent Idols... I remember the night distinctly because Riot 101 had shows AND was a pretty kickass record store to boot. I bought a Nervebreakers CD released by Get Hip called "We Want Everything." To make a long story short I wasn’t too impressed with what I heard. I didn’t run out and trade in the CD or anything, but it was something I just sort of shelved and continued to ask myself, "What’s the big fucking deal about THIS band?" Sure, "Girlfriend is a Rock" (also included on this LP) is a pretty decent song, BUT it failed to carry the band to the legendary status that they seemed to have achieved in all the liner notes I read. THEN I see that Rave Up had worked their magic and I saw that Rave Up’s re-issue had some stuff I had yet to hear from the Nervebreakers.... Wow, after one listen I see now why The Nervebreakers hold the place that they do with so many re-punk connoisseurs. The LP starts off with a signature hit of theirs that I had only heard mentioned in liner notes before now called "Hijack the Radio" then took me through track after track of impressive Texas punk. "I’m So Flipped", "My Life is Ruined"... The intense "I Love Your Neurosis"... On side two, a live show from a Dallas venue called DJ's New Wave Cafe of decent quality and featuring some songs I am more familiar with like "I've Got A Problem", and "Strange Movie", but the tune that really gets me is the last track, "I Wanna Kill You". It has a quirky Unnatural Axe "Creeper" feel to it. As the lyrics are sang and the song progresses, I believe the words I hear from "Tex's" mouth! All in all, looking in retrospect, Rave Up had a shaky beginning with many of its earlier releases being hit and miss, love'em or leave'em, but here lately they have really bucked up and been putting out some very impressive releases. Maybe it’s because they seemed to have been dipping into the Texas pot a bit more... Whatever, as far as I’m concerned keep it up, loving every minute. (SAB)
(Rave Up Records)

Jack Oblivian "So Low" CD

I got this CD in the USED bin at my local independent record establishment. This establishment is known as Shake It Records. So, like, yeah... Just this past weekend I heard the Oblivians for the first time... Being that this guys name IS Jack OBLIVIAN I must ASSUME that he was in the Oblivians, or at least a big fan or something. It doesn’t matter to me really… I always figured in some way or other that they, meaning The Oblivians, were probably a pretty cool band but yet one that I just never showed any time to for some reason. Yet one more band I’m getting into AFTER THE FACT! What else is new? Just add yo'self to the list!!!! Really though, it’s not how many people you amaze when your actually around that matters, what matters is that you stand the test of time. The fact that I can now get a hold of a release from a band like the Oblivians, AND DIG IT, is actually cooler in some ways than supporting the band as they existed because AFTER-THE-FACT-FANS of bands KEEP THE FLAME ALIVE.



On the back of the CD a caption said 'Home Recordings 1991-1998' with Jack Oblivian himself being the common denominator in each song with a wide array of special guests. One name I notice right off the bat is Alicja Trout, in some pre-Lost Sounds action I suppose. Interesting… Very interesting… Well since I liked the one song I heard on a friend, who goes by Microbe's, comp tape, and when I saw this disc in the selection of used CDs looking all neoteric and shit with what I suppose is Jack Oblivian himself against a black tile wall wearing some "punk" rock sunglasses with a rather New York sorta smurk on his face, but sporting a all-natur-el, all greased hair-don’t that takes things I don’t understand to the limits. Obviously, Jack Oblivian has STYLE! I figured what the hell....

The Disc starts off with a combination intro track bleeding right into "Midnight Hour Queen" I suppose this is one of the older tracks reaching back to 1991 or the newest track being from around 1998 or so. I say this because judging from the sound of the song, it’s New York wavy art-punk in a way that could have easily been underground and fresh in 1991 as it would in 1998, or hell, even here, in the new millenium of the oh-oh's with our rocket cars and moving sidewalks. New motherfucker! NEW!!!!

"Midnight Hour Queen" is the sort of track that maybe SHOULD have been playing in the nightclub scene from Mad Max. When that weird rail-thin alien like lounge singer is singing "Ride the Licorice Slide" song directly to Mother Goose. The singer distracted him and allowed the outlaw biker gang to cut his brake lines on his MFP cycle in the parking lot causing him to be in a near fatal wreck the next day. Great fucking track… Slutty art punk rock and/or roll…

"Midnight Hour Queen" is clearly my pick of the release. I was hopeful that the whole release would be as tough and catchy but alas, it was not. This track set a high standard for the disc that would not be topped through the rest of the release. Don’t get me wrong, the rest of the release has its moments.... The Title track itself, "So Low", amazed me and sort of had a Tom Waits feel to it. The following track, "Downtown", and later, on "side two", a track titled "Human Being" peeks the Abnoxious-o-meter, but failed to top "Midnight Hour Queen."

Sounding 60ish/Sonics-esque at times.... Blues-Damage ala R.L. Burnside other times... Rip Offish punk rock and/or roll and then even sporting a sort of Talking Heads art-punk like structuring and delivery too, Jack Oblivian shows on this release that he really is one talented motherfucker. He has style too. I am hoping I can find a copy of the LP version now because really, the cover art is some of the best I have ever seen. If you passed this up the first time you saw it, for whatever reason, then back that azz up to the new millenium. (SAB)
(Sympathy for The Record Industry)

Peer Pressure "1979/1980" 7"

Ryan Richardson pulled off another detective caper tracking down former band members here; read about his sleuthing in the typically intriguing liner notes. These are the three songs slated for their never-to-be second single. The cover of "Eve of Destruction" is astounding, and the two originals hearken back to those magical days when a clueless studio project could churn out three-chord rock that sounded fresh and exciting. (TK)
(No real label info – try Underground Medicine)

Selby Tigers "South Then West" CDEP

Wow! This is a band I have been watching for a while. I got their LP because I ran out of stuff to get one day when I was really in the mood to buy records. When I am in the mood to buy records, I do exactly that- Buy Records. Sometimes it turns out for the best, other times it doesn’t. That’s the risk I realize I take every time I get into one of those moods. On the day I bought the Charm City LP, the risk was well worth it. A friend told me that I would like them but I doubted him, for whatever reason. It’s only befitting that the Selby Tigers would be a band that I would watch closely, and after this CDEP, would be an avid fan thereafter.

What I thought the Selby Tigers needed was a direction. I felt that the Selby Tigers could go one way or the other with little or no notice. Those ways being the middle of the road alterna-pop or the direct opposite, Neoteric. I didn’t sell the Tigers short though. I hung in there with them with my hopes and prayers. Like their namesake, I felt like I was flying right beside them because really, doesn’t a band name like Selby Tigers make them sound like a fighter Squadron, ala "The Black Sheep Squadron?" That, OR a squad of cheerleaders. Since the last time I checked, a fighter squadron had more killing potential, I choose that.

Tac-net Communication Part One:

"Control Base Apha-9 to The Selby Tigers... Come in Selby Tigers." "This is Selby One Control. Go ahead." "Uh, yeah... We have a situation Selby One. On Vector Omega sixer five to your current position there’s a column of Alterna-Pop troop carriers and on Vector Gamma Niner niner there’s a column of Hunter Killer Armor moving fast. Both are live shoot-at-will targets Selby One. We’re rallying other units as we speak but choose which you are hunting..."

>to be continued!

So, next up was the 'Year of the Tigers" CDEP. Six songs… Sounded like they made their decision as to what direction they were heading in. Lets pick up with the Tac-net Communication.

Continued - Tac-net Communication Part One:

When we last left The Selby Tigers they were facing a big decision....

"....We have a situation Selby One. On Vector Omega sixer five to your current position there’s a column of Alterna-Pop troop carriers and on Vector Gamma Niner niner there’s a column of Hunter Killer Armor moving fast. Both are live shoot-at-will targets Selby One. We’re rallying other units as we speak but choose which you are hunting..." "Roger that Control. Since the tanks are more of a threat we’re sixing on their coordinates as of…now. Set!" "Copy that Selby One. We’re rallying the Jimmy Eat World Squadron as back-up ready to launch on your mark." "Roger Control. Standby" "Copy Selby One. Happy hunting."

>the end?

So you get it huh? No doubt about it, after listening to "South Then West" I am assured that the Selby Tigers are heading in the rougher direction. The neoteric one…

This CD features five tracks and a short intro track called "Fuckkin' Go" that apparently has some sort of significance to the band and that’s all. It’s an inside joke that I neither understand nor see the reason to share with countless others on a disc, but you know what? That’s even more of a reason to do something like that! Every track is really worth multi listens really, with my favorite being "Cutting School" which I remember as a radio single on 97X (bam, the Future of Rock and Roll) but didn’t get to stick around at radio sets end for the performer.

The Selby Tigers came into town again recently and I had to pass yet again. I suppose the way they set up their tour they are always coming through on days that are totally inconsistent with my work schedule. Regardless, one day I will get to see the Tigers and when I do, its victory!

Happy hunting!!! (SAB)

ENDNOTE: Extra special thanks to Shake it Records for giving me this CD for
free for reasons I have yet to figure out.
(PO Box 27293 Mpls. MN 55427)

69 a Go-Go "New Flava" 7"

Trashy Glamsters should take note… 69 a Go-Go seize the New York Dolls sound and put forth more pop/rock ‘n’ roll with Eternally Yours horns. Now normally I loathe horn sections in rock ‘n’ roll groups, but these guys manage to add them without overdoing it. The vocalist, Bug, has a raspy, weathered voice, and that almost always sounds good in a rock ‘n’ roll group. This is a decent release all in all, though neither of the two songs on this 45 has "hit" potential; they’re more like solid album tracks. Check ‘em out if you’re feeling especially enterprising today. (JD)
(The Telegraph Company 66 Hope St. Brooklyn, NY 11211)

Skunks "Earthquake Shake - Lost American Punk Rock Nuggets Volume 17" LP

Stretch and Destroy!
Stretch and Destroy!
Stretch and Destroy!
Stretch and Destroy!
Stretch and Destroy!
Stretch and Destroy!
Stretch and Destroy!
Stretch and


You guessed it,

So everyone, including yours truly with beloved strawberry sauce poured over his mid-section, is wondering exactly how much re-punk is exactly out there? Shouldn’t the 'Killed By' scene be running dry by now and rearing to a sorts of Australian Mad Max world where biker gangs in the hopes of avenging their beloved leader, The Knightrider ("Look up into the sky...") and hijack tankers full of Rave-Up releases to feed the hunger for wasteland justice.

Real punk-rock is a sacred commodity nowadays. More sacred than gas-o-line, and in the long run, better to die for…

Yeah, I’m facing the facts here, and don’t think its because this LP is weak in anyway; its not. This Skunks installment has just as much gumption and power and GET UP AND GO NOW as any of my favorite Rave Up Releases... The Skunks FULLFILL... It’s just that with that Killed By Hardcore LP that came out.... That thing just doesn't look as exciting to me. I’m the kind of person who believes that just as separation of Church and State exists, so should the separation of Punk-Rock and Hardcore. But I have my hands full with the Neoteric Punk/Wave and can’t shy from it, and its course long enough to explain to you the differences and aesthetics of punk-rock and hardcore and prove to you that The Necros on their "Better Never Than Late" 7"EP is more punk-rock than hardcore and how Sick Pleasure are more hardcore than punk-rock per say. I’m not ready to draw lines like that now even thought they do exist in my head.

I like punk-rock. I like hardcore too, don’t get the wrong impression by what I am saying. I loved "Boston Not LA" JUST as much as Dangerhouse Volume One, But Dangerhouse just seemed to have a lil' something that appealed to me more. I just saw that Killed By Hardcore LP and saw it as a beginning to the end. As the 80’s reared its ugly head, it seemed almost everything got faster, and louder and more aggro. You can even hear it on the Bloodstains and Killed By volumes that are out there. I see this Killed By Hardcore LP as being the spark which will unleash compilation after compilation of what I am guessing will be mediocre hardcore. But this new era of Killed By Hardcore will get its calling card too.... Just wait until Youth of Today appear on a similarly aesthetically correct LP. You gotta break down the walls eh?

So OUR time has come. But yet still, the diehards are out there. Keeping the flame alive. Rave-Up is a station. A castle… A sentinel if you will, keeping the flame of punk-rock alive. Everyone passes over records like this because of the thought that everything GOOD was already released, but that isn’t true. Everyone passes over these records thinking "Oh, Maude, Rave Up isn’t going anywhere!!!! I will get that Skunks LP someday, but right now I’m going to buy The White Stripes new LP."

Lemme tell you something, The White Stripes suck. They are nothing but Led Zeppelin rip offs and they don’t even do no kick ass ballads like "Communication Breakdown." The White Stripes LP was JUST IN, BRAND SPANKIN' NEW the day I bought this record and I’m damn glad I got what I did.

People should get this record and be like "Wow, fuck! This is some rad shit" as opposed to getting a White Stripes LP and saying "They look so hip and cool in their outfits, I’m glad they wear them on EVERY RECORD...." While we’re talking about the White Stripes, it’s been circulating that they are trying to come off as a brother and sister combo in all their press releases but they were once husband and wife, I HEARD. So that makes them fucking incestial Romans or something if they are still fucking each other. Knowing them they have an "open relationship" or some shit that enables Blowjobs and titty-kissing or whatever girls do with guy groupies… Or hell, maybe they are more European than I thought, and are hip, crazy, and the cool thing in Hollywood, Bi-sexual. If the White Stripes are bi-sexual, watch out, its hitsville baby! No one can resist well-dressed and matching bi-sexuals who say they are brother and sister but are really estranged lovers.

Sounds like fucking Romeo and Juliet or something. Make me fucking puke. Make me fucking vomit because I see no Leo DiCaprio. I see no Claire Danes. I see no John Leguizamo. BULLSHIT.

So this LP, in true Rave Up fashion, features a side of studio tracks, which we will call side 'A' as in "anarchy", and a side of live tracks on what we will dub side 'B' as in "banarchy." The studio tracks consist of some pretty impressive songs like their "hit" and title track plus a rager called "Gimme Some" and "Top Ten." The live material is of decent quality including two repeats from the studio side. The Live tracks also include a version of "Sister Ray" which does nothing to set a gage of The Skunks really, because they have more of a up from power punk feel to their sound. Energetic, spastic and numbing in its delivery, Rave Up once again proves that just because "punk rock" is still around here, in the year twenty Oh one, we have strayed terribly from our course and are in need of correction.

But what can you do? I pulled up next to this kid yesterday who was in full "FAST AND FURIOUS" mode with these weird hydraulics that made the front end and back end of his car raise and lower with command. I laughed and told him he was fucking rad. Shit like this kid is even MORE reason to use records like this to rekindle the rebellion because really, it is a fight. I’m a rebel hot sauce baby! FUCK OFF or something... (SAB)
(Rave Up Records)

Stevie and the Secrets "Gimme A Call" 7"

A new band and a new single… This group here features Steve Baise and Larry May (I shouldn’t have to explain to you who they are). These guys had a single on Sympathy. I didn’t read many rave reviews for the rock ‘n’ roll foursome, and I didn’t pick it up either. So this record being sent to me was a bit of a surprise.

The A-Side’s "Gimme A Call (When You Know Something About Rock And Roll)" is an incredible tune, but it has some producing problems. 1.) The backup vocals sound like they're a million miles away! They lack feeling and (if the band can’t handle playing and singing at the same time) should have been recorded separately. 2.) The overall sound on the 7" is dead flat! Come on! This is vinyl! I should be hearing a hearty, rich sound coming out of my speakers. Instead, it just dribbles out of the woofer and falls on my floor.

The B-Side's "(I Just Wanna Die The) American Way" is your typical filler song; it ain’t good, it ain’t bad, it’s just there. The hit song is "Gimme A Call." However, you can write all the hit songs in the world, but if you don’t record it right it’ll make you sound like a hack. (JD)
(The Telegraph Company 66 Hope St. Brooklyn, NY 11211)

Stiletto Boys "Buzzbomb Sounds" 12"

Simply the greatest pop-derived band around right now! This one’s not quite as good as the nearly-untouchable first one, but songs like "Throw Me to the Wolves" and "E=SB2" are so perfectly constructed that I’m not disappointed a whit. Dead Boys guitars meet top-flight hooks/lyrics for a formidable kick in the pantaloons. I dunno’ why all their stuff comes out on German labels…oh well. I hear they’ve recently taken a turn towards pure pop, and I can’t wait to hear it. (TK)
(High Society International/Amoebenklang St. Petersburger Str. 4,Rostock, Germany)

Strokes "The Modern Age" 7"* & "Hard to Explain" 7"**

*This is a single vinyl version of the CDEP I reviewed earlier on Blank Generation. The vinyl gives the songs a warmer feel, as vinyl releases usually do to music, but it’s missing a third track, "Barely Legal", that isn’t on the vinyl version. If yer like me, then you will go out and get this 7" because even though you have the songs already, you NEED them on vinyl too.

**So I pick up the two newest issue of The Neus Subjex at Staples (where I do my printing because they have the best price). There’s a lot of battles to be fought when it comes down to Mom and Pop or Local businesses versus chains like Staples, but the fact of the matter is no matter how many times I pay up to twice the cost per photocopied Neus Subjex, it’s not like I have full-heatedly joined the battle, so to say because wherever I go to get The Neus Subejx done (be it Staples or the local copy shtick down the road) I’m still driving there in my General Motors car with gas I bought from some larger than life gas refinery. I live in Ohio. I’m as independent as possible, but when a amplifiers speaker suddenly blows when your playing through it, AND you do the responsible thing and replace the speaker (THE SAME WAY you replaced the speaker in your own amp when you blew that) and that takes all your money for the week, you will go to Staples and do your zine which is better than doing no zine at all…

So yeah, this discussion is important because The Strokes are not on an independent label AND I DON’T FUCKING CARE. NOT ONE FUCKING BIT. All I know is that from the first moment I heard "The Modern Age" I have flipped about this band’s sound.

On their new single, which leads the vanguard because I found out today the import of their full length CD JUST arrived at Shake It Records and yes, I have secured myself a reserve copy that I will pick up on Wednesday so I have something that I have really anticipated to listen to on my special weekend.

On side A of the new single you have "Hard to Explain" which is a real surprising track. This song solidifies the theory I had been developing about The Strokes- they are a "feel good" band. Their songs are stories and episodes of lives and tragedies. You get no beginning, you get no end; on songs like "Hard to Explain" you’re dropped off in the middle to wonder about the pre's and post of the story. The Velvet Underground/Lou Reed sound is there, but with the keyboards and stiff drums which dropout in a couple key points of the song leaving the bass giving a catchy little twist to the song, they remind me of the Cure, EARLY Cure. Wait, what does it matter? I have yet to hear a truly repulsing Cure song really, and number the Cure’s earlier songs as some of the best art-punk songs ever written (I.E. "Grinding Halt", "Cairo" and of course, "Standing on a Beach"). Just as tides have changed and Joy Division are seeing some better opinions in certain circles, we, with 'we' meaning the Neoteric Directorate (you know who you are) have a LONG way to go with the Cure.

The side B track, "New York City Cops" features even more of that great story telling. I listen to the song and try to picture the scene being sung about in my head. I have a pretty good imagination really, thank god, so I really just get lost in this track. The song is upbeat and not only features that same ol' Lou Reed comparison and that new Cure comparison, but I’m going WAY out there and saying that I am hearing some Iggy Pop solo stuff in here too. No, not Stooges.... I said Iggy's SOLO stuff dumb-ass. I, for one, see Iggy's solo career as just as inspiring as his work with The Stooges. I feel "New York City Cops" could easily be on an LP like "New Values."

Yeah, Shake It Records said they have sold like twenty of the first CDEP, which is a pretty good amount for Cincinnati really. Hell, just standing around inside Shake It Records Chip Slob told me I should buy a book that just came in about the Who that I remember browsing at when I was over his house once. I done had both these singles in my "to buy" pile and while he talked to me I was preparing to play "Modern Age" for another store patron that I knew and asked what was around that was worth buying. I told Chip that if he would buy a copy of "Unknown Pleasures" by Joy Division, I would buy that book about the Who. No Dice... Chip wasn't that BRAVE.

So I place "Modern Age" on the turntable and CRANK IT UP DUDE. JB, Shake It proprietor, instantly begins a form of half dancing much like myself. When I hear the Strokes and when JB hears The Strokes too, it’s time to move! That guy who I played "Modern Age" for ended up getting a copy of that CDEP. Today I called and reserved my import copy of the new full length. "Fuckin' A JB!!!" I tell him, "I will be down there on Wednesday to pick it up!" We talk for a minute about how cool the release is (he was listening to it) and I ask him "So it’s THAT good huh?" "Yeah" he responds, "The Strokes are going to save rock and roll."

"I know" I responded, "I know…" (SAB)
*(Beggars Banquet/XL Recordings 580 Broadway suite 1004 NYC, NY 10012)

Tokyos "American Lost Punk Rock Nuggets Volume 18" LP

This LP encompasses six songs from a San Diego based punk outfit’s original 10" release and a couple unreleased ditties. The music is pretty primal and if you close your eyes and your imagination is good enough, you would swear that The Tokyos were a UK based band right down to the singers fake English accent. Yeah, some might think that’s a crime of sorts, being from a place like California and using an English accent when singing but not me. I take it for what it is, and, if anything else, I get a laugh out of it. 1978 times were different, apparently the Tokyos were courted by some labels, so say what you will about the accent, it did things for the band...I suppose. Me? FUCK. Not even the best English accent would give me a hands up. Because I’m ugly...but I have my pride....

It seemed after reading the liner notes that The Tokyos just were not meant to be; at precious moments of the bands development people were not where they should have been and seemingly let it all just wash right through their hands. How it happens I suppose… Thank god a label like Rave Up is around to at least tell the story and document the times.

Some of this LP is just fodder.
(Rave Up Records)

Tyrades "Detonation" 7"

The Tyrades (whom I saw at the Rust Belt Revolt) are a ’77 styled punk group with a very UK sound- pessimistic and pissed off. Their tunes are very simplistic, messy, basic punk songs that a million punk bands practice in their garages. The cover of the Dicks' "Lifetime Problems" is better than their own songs, and that is never a good sign. It’s premature punk, take it or leave it. (JD)
(Big Neck Records PO Box 8199 Reston, VA 20195)

Vectors "Behind the Orange Curtain" CD

These Vectors are from Orange County, CA circa the late 70’s. You might know their single "Death to Disco." The punk tunes on this reissue are pretty average- juvenile "fuck you" punk with pseudo English accents (blah!). However, the Vectors were wise enough to put tunes like "Black Pills", "Bad Situation", and "The Trend" on this disc, making it a must for purveyors of 70’s power pop. Oh, and Rave Up is releasing the vinyl, if that means anything to ya… (JD)

© 2003