Record Reviews - January, 2002

Double Fudge "Take You For A Ride" 7" EP

I’m not into the name of this group. So from now on (in this recordreview) they’ll be known as – THE YELPOIDS. I think that’s a name that suits ‘em.

So the Yelpoids, they’re this rank Oblivians trash that’s been left out in garage for a good five weeks, or so. The Yelpoids smell like yr sweaty socks, you know that smell, like old Oreo’s cookies, and you keep thinking to yrself, "I wonder if they taste like old Oreo’s cookies too?"

The Yelpoids…they are you eating yr sweaty socks…lick it up, baby…Lick It Up. (JD)
(www.dragnetrecords.com)
(Dragnet Records 3519 SW Elmgrove St. Seattle, WA 98126)

Dressy Bessy "Pink Hearts Yellow Moons" CD/LP

About a year ago, I was looking for something to rent at the video store that didn't require too much thought that particular evening, when I came upon this quirky little movie that had played at the local art house theater early that year called "But I'm a Cheerleader." The premise looked funny enough - A teen girl's parents and friends suspect that she's a closet lesbian and send her to a gay-deprogramming / rehabilitation camp run by none other than RuPaul… OUT OF DRAG! - I was sold. And yeah, it was a pretty good movie. But what floored me the most about the movie was its GREAT soundtrack, filled to the brim with some of the catchiest girl-pop I had ever heard! So, I freeze-framed the closing credits and wrote down the names of all of the songs I really liked. There was stuff by Go Sailor, April March, and then there was three great songs by this band I had never heard of before called Dressy Bessy.

I checked record stores everywhere for this stuff to not much avail. I eventually found some April March stuff and got Clint Parson to copy me that Go Sailor discography CD (I hope I haven't tainted Clint's manly image by exposing that little tidbit of information), but still no fucking Dressy Bessy CD to be found anywhere! While I was in Halifax last summer though, I found out that my friend Derrick was also floored by the great girl-pop soundtrack of "But I'm a Cheerleader" and bought the Dressy Bessy CD I was looking for, on a trip to Toronto. I got to listen to it in his car, but by the end of the summer, I had forgotten about asking him to burn it for me and decided I'd just order the damned thing online. After a couple of months of putting it off, I finally decided to order the album from Kindercore's website a couple of weeks ago, something I quickly realized should have been done MONTHS AGO after I finally got to listen to this wonderful power pop album again.

Dressy Bessy are a quartet from Denver comprised of songwriter Tammy Ealom on vocals & lead guitar, and three guys playing the remaining instruments. One of those guys is also a member of the pretty-decent Apples In Stereo, but Dressy Bessy might as well be an all-female band, as their sound is purely fueled by estrogen. They also far surpass anything I've ever heard from the aforementioned Beatles-esque indie-rock band with a refreshing and hopelessly catchy brand of bubblegum power-pop. There are 11 songs on this CD and every single one of them is a tight, rocking little masterpiece. From the sweet pop sounds of "You Stand Here" and "If You Should Try To Kiss Her" (the song that was featured prominently in "But I'm a Cheerleader"), to the rocking, dance-you-ass-off "Extra-Ordinary," Pink Hearts Yellow Moons is an album is full of simple, jangly, catchy-as-fuck power pop tunes that stay stuck in your head for days and put a smile on your face just about any time you hear them. How many pop-punk albums of the last five years can you say that about? (SA)
(www.dressybessy.com)
(Kindercore Records, P.O. BOX 461, Athens, GA, 30603)

Firestarter "Keen Reaction" 7"

After releasing an album as great as the one these guys did last year, most bands would be content to rest on their laurels for another year or two before putting out any new material. Luckily Fifi and company aren't content with riding on past successes and have seen it fit to bestow on the world two more songs of power pop perfection. "Keen Reaction" is a brilliant song that reminds me more than a little of the Who, the band that first coined the term "power pop" (if you believe that VH1 legends special anyway). The real story here is the b-side, "Rich's Eyes." If you still haven't gotten over the fact that these guys don't sound like Teengenerate this is the song for you. It's still pop, but it manages to pack in more of the energy Teengenerate was known for (thanks largely to Sammy's patented bouncing bass lines) into a minute and a half than anything they've done to date. How great is this seven-inch? Look for this to finish high in my top ten singles of the year. (SS)
(www.recordshopbase.com)
(Mangrove Label, ACP BLDG 3F, Koenji Minami 4-23-5, Suginami-Ku, Tokyo, 166-0003 JAPAN)

GC5 "Singles Collection (1997-2000)" CD

So this is the first release I have got that was actually addressed in my sole interest for Blank Generation. Here it goes.

This CD is a collection of 7" tracks and compilation tracks and tribute tracks from various original sources. The GC5 start off playing punk ala Rancid or Pincushion, and by CDs end even though I can see a progression in their sound and ability, I wasn’t really all that moved.

This was one of those bands that I would see or hear about from time to time, even playing in my own town too.... I guess The GC5 are getting some attention from other record labels, so really it only made sense for a release like this to come about.

I’m sure there are legions of GC5 fans who just loved/will love to get their hands on this CD... Hell, I bet their shows are swarming with those same fans. I won’t be joining them though. GC5 have a SOUND. I’m afraid there’s no room for me in that very same SOUND. That’s the way the revolution goes I suppose.... (SAB)
(Cosa Nostra Records 291 Redwood Rd. Mansfield, Ohio 44907)

Glass Candy and The Shattered Theatre "at Death Disco 9.26.2001." CD

"I Wanna Hurt Me. I Wanna Hurt You."
I wanna hurt my ears. Glass Candy and The Shattered Theatre…hurt my ears.

Where is this going? It’s going awry. Glass Candy and The Shattered Theatre, two girls and a boy, Glass Candy and The Shattered Theatre are an art go punk go for the style of sonics ensemble. The ear-piercing guitars are only topped by the sharp shrills of the vocalist. Robotic beats with mass incantations of motorized mechs kills the pulse of pulsation. Glass Candy and The Shattered Theatre…neoteric© punk/wave that won’t ride the new wave. It has it’s own wave. (JD)
(distributed by K Records – www.kpunk.com)

Hard Feelings "Are Having a Soul Party!" 7"

This record suffers from a serious case of schizophrenia. On the A-side they're a pretty good straightforward rock 'n' roll act (though way less wild than say the Sexareenos or the Mummies) but on the B-side they stumble over what seems to have originally been a blues song (both songs are covers of ((presumably)) 50's rock 'n' rollers), managing to mangle any trace of soul with their overwrought campy vocals and inappropriately crunchy guitars, which makes the song end up sounding more akin to the horrible blues songs found in abundance on classic rock radio stations, as opposed to say, the Sonics. I do dig the fact that they included photos of the guys who actually wrote the songs, but that and the A-side aren't enough to justify parting with four bucks for this. Save your money for the Del Gators album instead. (SS)
(Gearhead Records, POB 421219, San Francisco, CA 94142)

Honey5 "Jimi the Rider" 7" EP

Picked this 45 up whilst I was in Florida. I got it at Sound Idea, a cool place that carries mostly hardcore/crust/punk rock records. So anyway, this is on Answer (outta Japan), and it looks like yr basic garage rock ‘n’ roll punk. It also sounds like yr basic garage rock ‘n’ roll punk too… A nice bouncy bass line, semi-gruffy/all attitude girlie vocals, and a nice muddy guitar sound. Ever hear Tonight (also outta Japan)? They sound like those kittens. Ummmmm………there you go/go and fetch. (JD)
(Answer - Hase Bld No.2 B1. 5-49 OSU 3 Naka-Ku Nagoya City. Aichi 460, Japan)

 

Jeffs "She Wants to Fuck" CD

Once again… I seem to zero in on bands that others deem mediocre. Is it me or is it them?

It’s them.

I first saw the Jeffs in an opening slot for a show that consisted of Kill the Hippies, The Slobs, and The Gazelles; all Ohio bands! It was a great show. One of, if not THE, most memorable show I have been to in several years....since about 1996 I would say…

The Jeffs started out on a high note and only got better as their set progressed. At one point the guitarist broke a string and upon a closer inspection it turned out he was only playing a guitar with four fucking strings! There wasn’t even tuning keys for the bottom two strings! Whether it was alcohol influence or lack of knowledge or both (both hopefully) he couldn’t figure out which string of the four of the six that some say he SHOULD HAVE been playing, that he had to replace. He picked a string at random, winded it up and as opposed to actually tuning his guitar, and at my urgings, he just wound up the string until it was tight and continued on with their set. Afterwards I pleaded with them for their demo. They obliged and now, you get exposed!

Live, The Jeffs are the Ohio equivalent to The Spits mixed with a more Jabbers influence. On this CD-R that’s still there, but there’s more of a Blanks 77 sound. The Jeffs really knocked me and Morte from Kill The Hippies for a loop. In this modern age of modern BULLSHIT, it’s bands like The Jeffs that define the moment. In all their rawness, The Jeffs show a roots-punk approach to things. Honest. True. The Jeffs are absolutely the coolest thing from Columbus, Ohio I have ever witnessed. I’m all about them right now. If only I could put out their record....

Below is the only contact information on the disc. It’s their e-mail address. I’m going to use it to get their address to send them to my zine, The Neus Subjex, where I plan on printing pictures from their set in a upcoming issue or as a installment of trading cards or something else... Either way, I’m all into this Jeffs thing, the web address for The Neus Subjex is where you can look to find more information on Midwest messes like The Jeffs and more. (SAB)
(darrinajeff@yahoo.com)
(www.neussubjex.net)

Jet by Day/The Blindfold Parade "Split" 7" EP

Eeeewwww! Boring emo type rubbish! | Again! | Get a gun and get it over with/get over yr fucking self! Jet By Day…what does that mean? Anyway, this is pretty pussy, whinny, and sluggish music; it’s not very rhythmic and it’s poorly structured. They try to be Radiohead, but they aren’t inventive enough to be Radiohead. They aren’t talented enough to be Radiohead. They just aren’t anything special, so fuck ‘em.

The Blindfold Parade, again, this is pretty pussy, whinny, and sluggish music; it’s not very rhythmic and it’s poorly structured. They could go for a Raincoats vibe (cause the violin is pppppretty cool), but they’re too slow and don’t have the clit for it. They do not dare take on something different; they just stay in their cold, dank caves (under a dim firelight), still trying to figure out how the wheel works. The salivating sabertooth tigers of the rocky wilderness will eat them alive. (JD)
(www.twoshedsmusic.com)
(Two Sheds Music PO Box 5455 Atlanta, GA 31107)

Les Savy Fav "Reformat (Dramatic Reading)" 7"

Let me first start by stating fact:
Here it goes:
The ‘fact’ as you will know it:
The ‘fact’ as you will absorb it:
Use it like a tool:
Use it as an asset:
Ready:
Go.....

Les Savy Fav is perhaps one of the top five bands that are capable of playing music nowadays. I have spent the better part of the last three months feeding from their releases backwards... "Go Forth", the most recent....backwards to "The Cat and The Cobra"....even further backwards with "3/5".... True fucking undiminished genius!

This 7" comes to me, the music enthusiast, with a plan. The a-side version of Reformat is a dramatic reading, an audible play of sorts. It features the story of a submarine captain who, for some unknown reason which was never made quite certain nor in the dramatic reading or the song itself, killed his entire crew and got sentenced to the guillotine in the end.

Les Savy Fav really clicked something in my own head. For about three months, which I just now realize is the same amount of time that I have been hooked on this Savy Fav stuff, I have been kicking around an idea I am calling ‘Gang War’. Gang War is my attempt to glorify the concepts and ideology of street gangs. Gang War, as Shawn Abnoxious would REVEAL it, would be an amalgamation of West Side Story, The Outsiders, The Warriors, A Clockwork Orange, That Was Then This Is Now, Rumblefish, The Lords of Flatbush and any other SE Hinton novel I forgot.

Gang War would or WILL be a story celebrating the honors and trials of street life in a suburban wasteland where a shopping mall is neutral ground, each gang is allowed only one gun, and working within the guidelines of an established truce, tensions rise and ultimately leads to total confrontation: GANGWAR!

In-between what I found out is being called "Dramatic Readings" there will be music from bands featuring subject matter from the story of Gang War. Who knows, maybe Les Savy Fav will read this, dig the idea, and contribute.... Either way, Gang War is something I want to do EVENTUALLY....

After hearing Les Savy Fav’s dramatic reading of reformat, I am beginning to see a working format for

Gang War. Thank You.

On Side B you have a live song version of "Reformat." Sound quality isn’t something that’s going to win the Fav any new fans, but it’s something that diehards like me really get into. I can hear magic on that recording. In MY book, Les Savy Fav do no wrong. Just for information, a studio version of "Reformat" is available on "The Cat and The Cobra" and is actually one of the better tracks. If you have yet to DISCOVER Les Savy Fav, then what are you waiting for? Their new release, "Go Forth" is tough as nails, and really, so is their past catalogue.

Les Savy Fav. Giving the Neoteric Punk/Wave a reason to continue is program of seclusion and back room politics. (SAB)
(The Self-Starter Foundation PO Box 1562 New York, NY. 12076)

Lost Sounds "Black Wave" CD/LP

The year is 1979. During a show featuring musical acts Devo, Siouxie and the Banshees, and the Pack, catastrophe struck. Whether it was the Russians raining down nuclear oblivion, aliens from another galaxy testing an experimental weapon, a pummeling torrent of meteorites the size of city blocks, or the wrath of some merciless god, we'll never know. All that is known is that a force was unleashed upon the Earth of such devastating magnitude that in comparison the combined firepower of every weapon history has ever produced seems like a gentle blast from a water pistol. It took less than an hour for every trace of civilization to be wiped from the face of the Earth like so many lessons on a chalkboard. Along with the entire population of the planet, every last trace of science, art, philosophy, and music where reduced to ashes. Alas, just as the cockroach has survived many an encounter with imminent Armageddon, there was one artistic document that, somehow, survived the cataclysm. Miraculously a tape of the aforementioned rock concert survived the Apocalypse, but not without some interesting side effects. For some inexplicable reason, although only one band was playing at the time, the tape contained an amalgam of all of their sets. Not only that, but the vast destruction that was sweeping the planet at the time seems to have, against the laws of physics, permeated the actual sound of the recording, transforming it into something quite unlike anything the world had ever heard. What was responsible for the Apocalypse? Perhaps this recording holds a clue. (SS)
(Empty Records POB 12034 Seattle, WA 98102)

Lost Sounds "Black Wave" CD

There was tons of buzz surrounding this band when their debut full length Memphis is Dead was released. I do feel that buzz was warranted though, the Lost Sounds were the new sounds to people’s ears. It was different. It was OUT THERE. It embodied what was, and continues to still be The Neoteric Punk/Wave. Memphis is Dead introduced people to a new way of thinking. Memphis is Dead got attention but when I heard it, it wasn’t new, it didn’t floor me like most. Memphis is Dead rather reiterated what I seen previously in Kent, Ohio by a lil’ ol band called The Detox Police, who continue to be a few steps ahead of the act... Memphis is Dead left me saying, "Yeah, its good, but their next one will be better." And it is…

The follow up, Black Wave, is REALLY something. It’s a Neoteric A-bomb straight to the fucking soul. What you have is nineteen tracks clocking in just a few minutes shy of a full hour. Sound-wise, it reminds me of a Siouxie and The Banshees meet Riding on the Metro-era Berlin, with enough garage punk sensibilities to give the release cohesion and make it rockin’ enough for you to commit small paltry acts of armed robbery with. Sci-fi inspired! N-P/W (Neoteric Punk/Wave) MADDNESSSSSS! The Lost Sounds are "Plan 9 from Outer Space" apparent. You see the strings, but the movies still a great one BECAUSE you can see the strings. The Lost Sounds are "Logan’s Run" apparent. Simple is complex in the New World BECAUSE a band like The Lost Sounds works the imagination for all it’s got! Black Wave has everything that Memphis is Dead had EXCEPT MORE!

Stand out tracks include "Soon This Tomb" where that Berlin comparison really stands out to me, "Walk in Line", "Saturn Stomp" and "I’m Not A Machine," to just name a few because I feel I have the obligation! Really, like I said, this fucking thing has nineteen tracks and every one of them brings novelness to the ears. The Lost Sounds aren’t the obsolete sound of new new wave. The Lost Sounds are the N-P/W OBSOLETING force; the force that makes all others antiquated! The Lost Sounds are the piece of rotten fruit that makes all the others rotten. The Lost Sounds are like that one kid in third grade that cusses and smokes that all the other kids mimic and in turn become corrupted. The Lost Sounds, on Black-Wave, set standards for future inductees to the Neoteric Punk/Wave. (SAB)
(Empty Records POB 12034 Seattle, WA. 98102)

Magnetic IV "Teenage Zombie Riot" CD

The Magnetic IV is a poppy garage/rockabilly band that sound like a third-rate-Cramps with snotty female vocals, crossed with surf-instro-rock. So yeah, they're totally boring! Sure, I like the Cramps just like the rest of us, and I’ll listen to my Link Wray and Shadowy Men On a Shadowy Planet CD’s every now and then, but a band like this sounds about as original and exciting to me as a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine marathon. I could tell exactly what this album was going to sound like just looking at the album cover and reading the song titles. I thought to myself "Hmm, I bet this is some cartoony & generic sounding garage band that has a surfy, ghouly/Cramps kinda thing going on." Christ, they might as well have printed that in bold on the front of the album cover. Either that or an ode to the inevitable like, "take me to the used CD store and sell me." (SA)
(www.magnetic4.net)
(Reform School Records, 945 Columbia, Houston, TX, 77008)

Manges "'R' Good Enough" CD

Can one bad apple ruin the bunch? Usually I'd be inclined to say no, but after listening to this I'm not quite so sure. For the most part the Manges are a top-notch pop punk band; eschewing many of the annoying pratfalls most of their peers succumb to. But then they go and do something stupid. Colossally stupid. Wedged in the midst of a collection of above average to great pop punk songs lies an abomination so foul that it almost contaminates the rest of the album like buried nuclear waste seeping into a town's water supply. This is such a major offence that it is given it's own chapter in the Steven Strange Punk Rock Rulebook. Actually, part of what makes it so hideous is that it combines two grievous offences, namely they break the "No Band Shall Record Covers of Shitty Eighties Songs" and the "Never Ever EVER Have a Guest Vocalist Sing an Entire Song on Your Album" rules. It's especially bad when said guest vocalist is of a gender other than that of the normal lead singer. It's even worse when the guest vocalist sings the shitty eighties song. It's beyond inexcusable when you name your album after the shitty eighties songs with the crappy female guest vocals on it. Now the reasons why bad eighties covers suck should be fairly obvious to all of you, but my rational for hating guest vocalists may need some explaining. Not only is it incredibly abrasive for the listener (after listening to nine songs of an Italian guy singing in accented English, hearing an annoying, shrill female voice perfectly enunciating her words is a bit disconcerting), but also it makes it impossible for a record to stand as a testament of the band's own sound when people who aren't in said band sing an entire song. It's like reading a novel written in one author's style, but having one random chapter written by another author in their style. Imagine if Tom Clancy (who sucks) wrote a new chapter in the middle of Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (which rules). That's what guest vocalists, especially shitty ones, are like. Now don't take all of this complaining to mean that I don't like the Manges; I do. Quite a bit actually… "Blame Game," "Kids Are at the Mall," and "Yeah (Late Nite Song)" are all fantastic pop punk songs, a task that ain't too easy in the year 2001 (or 2002 I'd imagine). Also their lyrics, which are sung in thickly accented English, are quite endearing as well ("God bless I had my gun" and "the last time I saw you smiling, I thought it was to me" are just two examples). No, I've ranted on and on about this album's fatal flaw because, like Shaun Abnoxious, I care. It's only because I like the Manges so much that I was so stupendously let down by this. I was expecting this to be an easy top tenner in my year in review, but with a song that bad there's just no way I could, in good conscience, include it. I've also elucidated this error for you the Blank Generation reader, so that when it comes time for your band to record, you know better than to have your girlfriend sing lead vocals on a cover of "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." Remember: a record lasts a lifetime, a blowjob lasts fifteen minutes. (SS)
(www.stardumbrecords.com)
(Stardumb, POB 21145, 3001 AC Rotterdam, The Netherlands)

Pocket Rockets "Discrete and Powerful" CD

This debut mini-album from this Italian band has gotten better with every listen, so far. I've had a bit of trouble trying to figure out exactly what sound the Pocket Rockets are going for though, since every song on here sounds a little different from the next. At first, I was thinking these guys sounded like they're rooted in subdued, mid-tempo '86 style punk/power pop, like the Replacements or the Nils. A few more listens revealed some distant new wave influences - Blondie, in particular, came to mind on "We'll Be on Our Own." I even started to think of stuff as distant as early-Cure as possible influence. However, I also started to notice that there were a number of Heartbreakers-esque guitar leads in a bunch of the songs, and that the vocals sounded very much like Stiv Bators. Confused yet? Well, so was I. I read the press release that came with this to try to get to the bottom of this.

In the said press release, they go on to say that they're influenced by the "70s NY Scene" and name bands like the Ramones, New York Dolls, Heartbreakers, Dead Boys, Television and Blondie as influences. Whether it was intentional or not though, I still think this record sounds very much rooted in a mid-80s power pop vein, with the rock and new wave influence of that 70s New York sound driving the songs. I like this quite a bit, and out of the eight songs on here at least six of them were really good. I think these guys could benefit from more lively sounding production, but overall, I feel that Discrete and Powerful is a very intriguing, original and rocking debut, and it establishes the Pocket Rockets as a band to watch for in the next couple of years. (SA)
(www.thepocketrockets.com)
(Independent Records Inc. - www.indierec.com)

Registrators "Velocity" CD/LP

Words can't express how much I was looking forward to this arriving in the mail. 16 Wires From the New Provocative was, in my opinion, one of the best records of the 90's and I was just dying to hear how they followed it up. Velocity finds the Registrators continuing in the direction of 16 Wires, but whereas the later was all about excess (divinely superfluous beauty as it where) brevity's the name of the game this time around. There's only nine songs on here, four of which I'd already heard before. No matter! I've no regrets for paying upwards of $20 to hear five new songs from a band this incredible. Like I said earlier, sonically this follows in the footsteps of 16 Wires, but takes it a step or two further. Gone is any evidence of the Terminal Boredom sound; in its place is a band that's both unapologetically pop and unafraid to take chances. At times this formula reminds me a bit of A Different Kind of Tension era Buzzcocks, especially on the fantastic opener "Anotherways for Two Hearts," but ultimately the Registrators sound is all their own. Perhaps the best example of this is the amazing "Sweet Little Incarnation" a dreamlike, ethereal song that's not only unlike any other Registrators song I've ever heard, but unlike any song I've ever heard period. Seriously, after the first time I heard it I was walking around in an altered state for about ten minutes afterward (I was in the car on the way to go take a final when I first heard it). The fact that the Registrators can sandwich a song like that between two straightforward pop songs with absolutely zero listener whiplash is a testament to their greatness. Other highlights include "Surrender to Goodtime," the two songs from the "Imagination World" 7" (albeit different versions), and the closing track "Hello Computers" (I especially liked the part where they started playing the lead from 16 Wires). This isn't to say that this is the unqualified masterpiece that 16 Wires is. Really it'd be unfair to expect so much from such a short album. Still, if you love these guys like I do, you owe it to yourself to check this out. (SS)
(Lastrum Corporation)

Seagull Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her "Future or No Future" CD

Oh man the cover of this is great! Two Japanese girls talking to each other on the phone in front of a background that looks like it was stolen from some lost Go Go's record, complete with an awesome band logo, a color scheme that incorporates plenty of light blue and pink, not to mention strategically placed triangles, dots, and a few scribbles. In short, it's absolute new wave aesthetic perfection. And then there's the back cover! My god! Two relatively good-looking Japanese girls lying down and making very cute faces with they're eyes closed, one of whom is clutching a baby rabbit stuffed animal, with their pictures separated by a perfectly centered lightning bolt! That's not to mention the song names. What band with packaging this great and song titles like "Fuck It Up And Get Hurt" and "Neat Neat Boy" couldn't rule? Sadly the answer to this question turns out to be Seagull Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her. I popped this into my car stereo expecting to be lifted to a Japanese new wave Shangri-La, but instead I got a song that was a little reminiscent of Stereolab. "Well that's okay, I guess" thought I. After all I like Stereolab, just not anywhere near as much as Radio Shanghai. Then the next song came on and my spirits dropped. I tried, but couldn't discern any sense of pop sensibility in it at all. Not only that but it used a violin. A word of advice to bands out there (with the notable exception of the White Stripes): don't do that. With each song this proceeded to venture into different musical territory, with the results ranging from good to dreadful, sometimes even within the same song. When all's said and done there's a few alright songs on here, a few clunkers, and more than a few boring indie rock songs that just take up space. Musically, I was less than blown away by this, but man that inside picture of the girls lying in bed! Oh boy! (SS)
(Polystar Co. LTD, Japan)

Sewing With Nancie "Take A Look At Yourself" CD

Why did they send two copies of this CD?

I couldn’t pay someone to review this shiit.

I’m just gonna listen to "Back From The Grave" Vol. #8 instead. Hey! Doesn’t certain parts of Bojax’s "Go Ahead & Go" sound a lot like Bob Dylan’s "Like A Rolling Stone?"
I think so… (JD)
(www.fastmusic.com)

Shams "Take Off" CD

"Get out of my life teardrop cause I gotta see my way around"

***
This CD completes the set in an outwardly focused Ohio round up for Orange Recordings, who I heard went out of business. Orange Recordings is from Austin, Texas or some shit like that, but they have released CDs from THREE Ohio bands, This one from The Shams, Them Wranch from Columbus, Ohio, and Geraldine from Athens, Ohio. As the Shams would say, that’s semi-weird but also, as I’m most opted to say, "total-rad."

SHAMS POINT #1:
One day The Shams DIDN’T exist, the next day they did. Right from the start they proceeded to tear shit up too. One day, right out of the blue there was this band called The Shams that everyone was talking about. Clockwork: Bam! A CD! There never has been looking back for this band, and their never will.

Foreword motion is their only notion.

SHAMS POINT #2:
They live in their own world. Something about these boys just seemed to click. Like THAT! BAM! They have their own parties, their own scene, and more importantly, their own language. Speaking to Zach and someone I often referred to as ‘1 Adam 12’, you will hear things like "Semi-Weird" or hear one of them call you to the back corner of a bar they are playing only to have them shove a bottle of Jim Beam in your hands and say, "Hit that shit bud!" Something just clicks about the whole Shams THING that has everyone they come in contact with speaking the Shams language, adopting their lingo as their own, and making a true convergence to Shamism. It’s ‘Bud’ this and ‘Semi’ that everywhere! That’s only something you get if you know the Shams, if you live Shamism to its fullest!

The Shams are ANOTHER local for me. I’m privileged indeed.

SHAMS POINT #3
It’s not like the Shams are elitist, they are country common folk! Go over to their house and whatever they have is yours. Coke-a-cola. Miller High Life. Bologna sandwich, Jim Beam... You name it. It’s yours. The Shams are special indeed. It takes a special person to hang in the room with these guys because not everyone understands them. That ability to click with the Shams, it’s not really something learned or acquired, you either got it or you don’t. There are legendary stories circulating about the band’s parties, drinking and OTHER personal- LIFE CHOICES or "habits" depending how you look at substance use as ABUSE or EXPANSION, but it’s all good bud! See, there I go...."Bud."

***
Take Off represents a roots return to the bare essentials of Rock and/or Roll. Primal. Bare. Quintessential. There’s a whole lot of talk about someone Zach refers to as "Baby" and how he and this so-called "Baby" mistreat each other and journey through life. Bills, fightin’, lovin’, drinking, sleeping all day, exploring/freeing ones mind.... It’s all here. As much as it would be denied, Take Off is a concept album. It’s a story. It’s THE ODYSSEY of our time. Take Off IS psychedelic. Take Off IS Lewis & Clark. Take Off makes me wish that I had some experimentation with LSD myself. Anything that makes me wish I would have had experimented with a industrially created substance like LSD, Which is something I avoid because of the mere process and ingredients of its creation, IS A GOOD THING.

When I listen to the live track on this CD, "Free Your Mind", I wish I was on LSD. I crave LSD. I want to free my mind, and when my skull’s all tied up I would jump ship.... Bah! I will just stick to the Jim Beam I guess.

Take Off has some stirring tracks. I have noticed something about my music listening here of late. Sometimes, I will get chills all over my arms; the hair on the back of my neck will stand up…for certain songs. For some reason my nipples get hard too… I’m not sure WHY this happens, but some bands and some of their songs, just fucking move me. I’m serious about my music, I know this or my nipples wouldn’t get hard.

From the previously mentioned "Free Your Mind" to "When I Get High" to "Rock and Roll" or "Not Right Now", The Shams represent the same Double Zero (‘00) psychedelic movement that gains steam with each drop.

Each drop, YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN!!!!
The Shams. Psychedelic dust left behind. (SAB)
(www.orangerecordings.com)

Stitches "Four More Songs From The 12" 7" EP

Following up what was unquestionably their best song to date, "Cars of Today," this had some lofty expectations to live up to. For the most part it delivers the goods, catchy ’77 style punk with snotty as hell vocals. What's not to love? Three of the four songs on here are totally killer, but the last song is actually rather boring. It's almost like they tried to write a song that embodied all of the criticisms that get volleyed their way. Still, the good far outweighs the bad here. This is no "Cars of Today," but if you're looking for three awesome blasts of straight up punk, look no further than this. (SS)
(Kapow! Records POB 1287, Lake Forest, CA 92609)

V/A "Rock Music – A Tribute To Weezer" CD/LP

Weezer,
You had one good record.
Why is there a tribute album for you?

Right. I’ve taken the time to color-code the groups on this comp-
-in order to save your time, and mine.

-++à   A BEAUTIFUL & UNIQUE BUTTERFLY
-++à  
STILL   STUCK   IN   ITS   COCOON
-++à  
SQUASHED          INTO          GOO

01. Affinity "My Name is Jonas"
02. Piebald "No One Else"
03. Glasseater "Holiday"
04. Grade "Surf Wax America"
05. Further Seems Forever "Say It Ain't So"
06. Christopher John (Elliott) "The World Has Turned..."
07. Midtown "Susanne"
08. Dashboard Confessional "Jamie"
09. The Stereo "El Scorcho"
10. Mycomplex "Tired Of Sex"
11. The Impossibles "The Good Life"
12. Mock Orange "Only In Dreams"
13. The Ataris "Butterfly"
14. Further Seems Forever* Chris Carrabba on vocals "Say It Ain't So" Vinyl Only
15. Christopher John* Remix "The World Has Turned..." Vinyl Only

Weezer,
No, seriously.
Why is there a tribute album for you? (JD)
(www.deaddroidrecords.com)

Very Metal "Hit and Run" CD/LP

First of all, I’d never expect in a million years that Blank Generation would get a Beer City release. You know what I talking about, right? That letter to MRR that Mr. Beer City wrote complaining about the high content of garage rock ‘n’ roll that the zine was covering. How garage wasn’t "punk" and all of this other nonsense…wish I had the time to dig that ish up for some quotes… I’ve never seen someone appear sooooo ignorant to American Punk (cough*cough – The Heartbreakers – cough*cough – The Stooges – cough*cough – the Ramones – CRIME – *cough) and say he’s actually of "punk’s" side.

But enough about Beer City’s follies… Very Metal… Named after Vivian’s (of the Young Ones) jacket… Who names their band after a jacket? I mean, I love the PRick (spelled with a silent ‘P’) and the gang as much as the next guy, but I wouldn’t name my band after ‘em. Okay, anyway…Very metal, 80’s hardcore with some metal guitar licks thrown in… Uhh…youth crew…uhh…vague lyrics shouting out the same old shiit like, "I DON’T NEED IT. AND YOU KNOW YOURE BULL SHIT" and "MADE UP MY MIND. NOW ITS TIME. TEAR IT DOWN." But I suppose the circle-pits don’t stop to question lyrics; they want energy and fast-everything, now don’t they?

SideTrack – Hey, nobody knows how to dance with style anymore. Like last weekend I went up to Albany to see my friend’s band, the Anti-Socials. So these "skinheads" were attempting a circle-pit, orbiting around and around with their legs and arms flailing around like…like Elaine’s dance on the TV show Seinfeld. I mean, what is up with that!?

So are the youth crews dead? Are they? (JD)
(www.beercity.com)
(Beer City Records PO Box 26035 Milwaukee, WI 53226-0035)

Zero Crag "S/T" CD

This one goes out to you.

So Zero Crag (a crag is a steep hill by the way)… So we’re not going off a cliff or anything here. We’re just roaming the flat-pain-plain… Maybe you’ll feel a few potholes along the way, but yr not gonna fall off the edge of the world on this trip.

So Zero Crag… The band that made the Shark a "better bass player." I’m sure he likes this band more than he tells me. Zero Crag/Punk Rock/or |Whatever|… They’re raw and different and yet still the same. Humans do not handle change well. I’m human. Or so I thought… Cause I actually like change. I CAN handle it. It just has to be on my own terms. Crazy, I’m not.

So Zero Crag… They have their siblings… Mission of Burma…to…Crime…to…The Pagans…yeah…1970’s Boys here…taking a voyage…in the Midwest…drifting… (JD)
(Zero Crag 2318 Chick-a-Saw Ave. Apt. 1 Cincinnati, OH 45219)

 
 
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