Record Reviews - February, 2002

Bad Times "S/T" LP

The Bad Times finally hit us at the beginning of 2002, which is quite possibly some kind of omen. The music is exactly what you would expect from these three suspects (Eric Oblivian, King Louie, and Jay Reatard). Total trash. Primal. Dark. Dirty. I dare you to listen to the opener "Streets of Iron", and not get some grime on your new tee-shirt. I personally thank King Louie for writing this bastard jewel of a song. I can’t get the phrase "Shattered death on the streets of iron" out of my head, maybe its some kind of subliminal thing, seeing how its etched into the vinyl. The album rips along its dark passage, switching vocal chores on and off, with each guy’s sound seeping in, yet staying similar enough to keep the band on its self-destructive course. Jay does some of his classic Dead Boys channeling on "Momma Told Me So", followed by Eric’s ass-ripping garage stomp "The Jim Miller Bounce", then back to Jay with a version of "You’re So Lewd." (It’s actually spelled right this time, so does this make it a different song?) Back and forth, you just keep getting assaulted with noise, wondering who is going to hit you next. And that just Side A… While throwing Side B on the turntable, you’re sweating and wondering if you can take anymore. You might think that they must have run out of gas or cheap speed at some point in recording this, so maybe it will be ok. Definitely not… Eric assails you with some kind of reworking of a Texaco Leatherman song that boots you in the face right off the bat. Then, just when you think you might have finally hit your Jay Reatard saturation point, you get two great ones, especially the pounding "Trapped in the City." I thought he dismissed this garage rock shit already? Finish the album off with three King Louie’s (They should make one-man-band trading cards: "I’ll trade you two King Louie’s for a Lighting Beat-Man and a Hasil Adkins.") and a Friction cover which has made me decide to finally buy a Friction album, and there you have it. The first instant classic of 2002, standing thus far as the album to dethrone as record of the year. The only bad thing being it’s such a grueling listening experience you can probably only take a few tracks at a time after that marathon first listening. Favorite line: "I got a pipe bomb in my pants." (At least that’s what it sounds like he’s saying.) And the album insert was a real nice touch too. We all needed a Bad Time, and these guys had the balls to bring it. Thanks. (RK)
(Goner Records PO Box 40566 Memphis, TN 38174)

Beat Crusaders "All You Can Eat" CD

I was kind of excited when this showed up in the mailbox. I knew of The Crusaders from the "Powered By Punk" split they did with the Registrators a while back. They turned in a pretty good cover of Peter & The Test Tube Babies’ "Blown Out Again." And they’re from Japan, which is usually a good sign. Well, I got excited for nothing. I couldn’t like this if I wanted to. The opener "GTS" is sort of OK power-punk, but the album degenerates pretty quickly from there. I would suppose they sound like the equivalent of a Japanese Foo Fighters or Blink 182, if I knew what those bands sounded like… Completely "alternative" or "commercial" punk rock masquerading as the real thing. Annoying synths, bad songs and lyrics combined with a complete mangling of The Pogues’ "Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah" (which was never really that great to begin with) make this album a complete joke. They even have a song called "Firestarter"! Does Fifi know about this? Another song is called "Joker in the Crotch." I’m all for the misappropriation of the English language by Japanese bands, but that is just stupid. If there is Japanese MTV, these guys are made for it. Completely insidious, non-threatening, and banal… I even sat through this record two and a half times to make sure I was right. And I was. This album blows. I immediately had to listen to The Zodiac Killers second LP to cleanse my ears. The lesson I learned here: Not everything from Japan is good. (RK)
(PopKid Records 41 Watchung Plaza, Maontclair, NJ 07042)

Bonecrusher "For Your Freedom" 7"

Bonecrusher!? Didn’t think these guys were even around anymore… ’Member that Hostage 7"? That was some rock. Well, not all of it…but that "Hell, I’m already there" tune…good stuff…

Anyways… UK Punkish stuff on this seven-inch vinyl recording. Gang vocals, luminous, catchy guitars, and the same ol’ gruffy vox. Songs like "Gotta Believe (In You)," "Freedom," and "It’s Up To You" should give you an idea of what these guys are about – Lovey Dovey Hippie stuff… Heh//heh…just kiddin…peace, man…

I don’t know…mix the US Bombs with Cock Sparrer (you’ve seen those Cock Sparrer pictures…everybody is rubbing each other’s bald heads in a sign of approval that they’re together, until the very end…it’s soooo endearing) and you’ll come out with this Bonecrusher record. But I’d have to say that their Hostage seven-inch vinyl recording is rawer and better. (JD)
(www.77rpmrecords.com)
(77 RPM PO Box 9186 Glendale, CA 91226)

Buff Medways "This Is This" LP

Hot off the heels of 3(4?) singles, Billy Childish has wasted no time in putting out a full-length with his newest project. The band, named after a breed of chicken, consists of Wild Billy on guitar (obviously) and ex-Armitage Shanks/Daggermen members Johnny Barker on bass and Wolf Howard on drums. You could say the Buff Medways begin where Thee Headcoats left off, but their sound is more fleshed out than Thee Headcoats, and the songs are more complex. Although complex is an adjective that should never be used when discussing Billy Childish songs, it seems to make sense. There is more texture to the Medways stuff, and they are closer to the garage sound of Thee Mighty Caesars than the abrasive punkness of Thee Headcoats. There’s even some sixties psych-influence detectable, and Billy’s semi-recent Hendrix fascination definitely comes into play as well. Wolf’s drumming is solid in a Mitch Mitchell kind of way, and the presence of this superior rhythm section really makes Billy’s songs that much better (not to take anything away from Bruce Brand & Co.). And some actual production from Liam Watson doesn’t hurt at all… Probably the best shit the Childish one has done in years, this record rocks, rolls, and creeps along with a lot of that trademark Chatham swagger, and still manages to be rough without being overtly punk. Standout tracks include - the title track, "Into Your Dreams", and the outfuckingstanding "Don’t Hold Me Back." A must have both for Childish devotees and marginal Billy fans. Now, please excuse me while I go clear a shelf for the soon to be voluminous Buff Medways vinyl catalogue. (RK)
(Vinyl Japan 98 Camden Rd., London, England NW! 9EA)

Chronics "Make You Move" CD

The Chronics are no strangers to me. I dug their first album- Soulshaker. It had the 60’s rockin’ roll shimmy that bopped into my head and trodden around for a fuck. On this record, however, they went all out on the production. Thick everything…bass, guitars, beats, everything… Which makes it lose that 60’s garage feel that I luhved on their first record. What do the Chronics sound like now…some 70’s bar rock bit. It’s slower and more refined… When I listen to this record I get visions of that band Stillwater from that movie "Almost Famous." I luhved that movie (because I am theeeeh enemy), but I hated that fucking band! Stillwater…bah! (JD)
(www.badafro.dk)
(Bad Afro Records)

Clone Defects "Blood On Jupiter" CD/LP

Finally easily available, the Defects first official full-length release shouldn’t disappoint the novice Clone Defects listener. For die-hard fans it might be a little bit lacking in new material. Some of the best tracks have appeared elsewhere: "Not as Good as Gold" on The Lizard Boy EP, "Cheetah Eyes" on the Bottled Women 7", The Berlin Brats’ "Tropically Hot" appeared on Drunk on Rock Vol. 2, and "Whiskey & Women" showed up on The Sympathetic Sounds of Detroit. And then there’s the CDR that was floating around for awhile as well. Regardless, the album is still crammed with shit-hot rock’n’roll. The "new" tracks all have that authentic art-damaged sound, and what the hell does "art-damaged" mean anyway? Speaking of art, the artwork is fucked-up and great, and the best description you can really give of the Defects’ sound is to tell someone to look at the album art and say, "This is what they sound like." Like The Dead Boys in a Dali painting or something. Now I get it. I won’t bore you with any more descriptions of their sound, because we all know they are the best band in Detroit, and put on some great live shows. The title track kills right off the bat, "Eyeballs Poppin’" has a great title and some messed up Timmy Vulgar piano, and "Deep End" has them sounding thick, almost like The Dirtbombs. "Precious Libra" is as pretty as a Defects song can be, in that Thunders kind of way. Overall, a great album that took way too long to come out. Questions: Did anyone tell The Carpettes someone ripped off their typeface? And doesn’t the Clone Defects logo look the symbol for some kind of weird mens/ladies room sign? An album this great certainly deserves them a major label deal, courtesy of Mr. Jack White, as soon as the NME crawls out of his ass. Rock and roll forever. (RK)
(Tom Perkins Entertainment PO Box 970936 Ypsilanti, MI 48197)

Del Gators "Pound Down" CD

Is there a single band in all of Montreal that doesn't feature a former member of the Spaceshits? I doubt it. Not that I'm complaining mind you; they usually don't disappoint. The Del Gators are no exception. Like the Sexareenos, the Del Gators have a girl playing an organ and even more of a retro sixties/fifties rock 'n' roll sound than the Spaceshits. It seems that Oily Chi is the guiding force behind the Del Gators, and it shows. This sounds sort of like a mix of the songs he wrote on the second (and way underrated) Spaceshits album and the Sexareenos (Choyce is in this band too…talk about inbreeding!). A few of the songs on here sound like they could've been lifted straight off one of those Teenage Shutdown comps. If the primal lowbrow kicks provided by this album are not to your liking I suggest you take up a job in accounting, buy an SUV, put a decal of Calvin pissing on a Ford logo on the windshield, go see the latest Jerry Bruckheimer movie, listen to talk radio, get an eyebrow piercing, buy a Fox Racing t-shirt, religiously tune into "The O'Reily Factor," read the political columns in MRR, and put on that hip new Creed CD, because you're obviously hopelessly and irredeemably square. (SS)
(Sympathy)

Dirty Sweets "Bubblegum Damaged" CD/LP

Oh wow! Now this is fucking awesome! The Dirty Sweets must be Rip Off Records' gift to all of us who are still mourning the untimely demise of the Reds. Led by a killer female singer (who has quite possibly the greatest "punk name" ever - "Penny Tration"), these guys deliver the goods: snotty, succinct, and unquestionably rocking songs that get stuck in your head worse than bubblegum to the bottom of your shoe. Think Loli & the Chones with guitar solos. Hits include, but aren't limited to, "Slit Throat" which takes a super rudimentary 1-4-5 chord progression and makes it sound like the freshest, coolest thing ever recorded, "Kill That Guy" with it's fantastic lead guitar part and unforgettable chorus, "Dance Party Massacre" the new favorite song of raver haters everywhere, and "No Time" a red hot forty second blast that makes the Saints' "No Time" sound like it was recorded by Journey. I've listened to this multiple times a day since getting it and it's yet to get even the slightest bit old. Unlike most of the full lengths released by Rip Off over the past few years (the Reds and Registrators excluded of course) this is a grade-a classic. Essential. (SS)
(Rip Off Records 581 Maple Ave. San Bruno, CA 94066)

Down-N-Outs "Ape Hanger" 12"

More (and better) primitive 60’s garage rock ‘n’ roll from these Colorado fags… They still sound sooooo much like the Makers (SFTRI era), but now they have added an organ; which adds more melody and creepiness to the backbeat. Fans of b-movies and sexxx and hanging out until the middle of the night should be down-n-out for this. (JD)
(www.down-n-outs.com)
(Hipsville Records LTD Box 19946 Denver, CO 80219, USA)

Gasoline "Bring it to the People" CDEP

To be honest, I’ve been extremely hesitant about buying the latest Estrus releases. They have put out some great seven-inches lately (Baseball Furies, Mistreaters, ILCK), but on the full-length front they have sucked some serious ass the past year or so. Federation X? The Fatal Flying Guilloteens? And what the hell is this Cherry Valence crap? I’m not completely sold on the Immortal Lee County Killers yet either… The Fireballs of Freedom are decent enough, and Gasoline are probably the only great, active, Estrus "house" band left. Hey, I love Tim Kerr as much as anybody, but this Young Lions Conspiracy stuff is wearing pretty thin. I mean, it looks good as a concept, but the music associated with it has really not been so hot. Why not just change the name from Estrus to Tim Kerr Records? Oh wait, that’s already been taken. How about "Recorded at Sweatbox Studio by Tim Kerr" Records. Now that’s catchy… Please, don’t get me wrong here. I don’t want to rag on Estrus Records (or Tim Kerr). Estrus essentially revived the 7" single and carried the garage genre on their backs for a long time. Any label that released albums by Teengenerate, The Mummies, and Supercharger is certainly great beyond belief. They brought us The Drags. They gave us The Makers’ good albums (and a bad one too). I know Dave Crider is trying to bring us the new sounds of the garage scene, but I guess I just don’t get it yet. Obviously Mr. Crider is a smart guy. So please Dave, give us the goods like you used to. Don’t let all of that great Art Chantry artwork and Tim Kerr production go to waste. More garage-punk-slop, less Soledad Brothers… And please, no more Switch Trout. I have not lost faith in the great Estrus Empire. I have confidence in you, Dave Crider, I really do. I know you won’t let me down.

So, what we have here is the first kind-of-full-length Estrus release of the year, courtesy of Japan’s Gasoline. They stopped through my town on tour last year, and tore the shit out the place in front of a pretty sparse Sunday night turn-out of a crowd. An extremely fun and rocking show, complete with rayguns and cool suits. Gan is one mighty fine front man, and they’re nice fellows. This CDEP is really nice as well. The current Gasoline sound exists somewhere between the bombast of The King Brothers and Guitar Wolf and the band’s own mod-garage fury. This CD definitely delivers on the rock quotient, and falters only at the end during the soulful lament of "Here...Right Now. I Believe" (which reeks of the aforementioned Mr. Kerr’s Young Lion's Conspiracy politico-soul propaganda). The intro and outro are really extraneous, and should’ve been better, but that’s beside the point. You definitely get a good four-and-a-half ripping songs for your money here, new material wise. Surely a good start to the new year for Estrus. But wait, there’s more. Mr. Crider proves his greatness by tacking on the four tracks from the "I Just Low" 7" that came out long ago on the CD version of this album. Now this is some hot shit, whipped up in a Teengenerate style. This material is a better representation of the ass-whoopness of a Gasoline live show. Balls-out, foot-through-the-floor, garage rockin’… I swear the song "I Just Low" is a messed up cover of Stevie Wonder’s "Superstition." The lyrics sound the same, but you can’t really tell what Gan is saying anyway, so maybe I’m just making it up. These four bonus tracks are pure fire, including the six heart attack inducing minutes of "We Are Gasoline", which is a literal showstopper. I’m not gonna say Gasoline were a better band back when they recorded this stuff. I liked "Fake to Fame" and this new EP just fine, I just like this older shit a whole lot more. Make sure you get the CD version of this, unless you already have the original 7" the bonus stuff appeared on.

So, Mr. Crider, you’ve given me hope for the new year of Estrus releases. What’s next? How about another Watts album? Or call up CJ and Lorca and get them back in the studio. There must be some more Mummies’ crud lying around somewhere. How about "Running On Empty Volume 3"? No, not another Monkeywrench album! The Splash Four must have some new material they need released. Early Makers’ outtakes maybe? Please, Dave, more of this stuff, or some reasonable facsimile. Please? I’m all for new bands, but I think it’s imperative that they be good. I know Estrus is still great, but I just need a little reassurance. And I know you’ll come through. Right? (RK)
(Estrus Records PO Box 2125, Bellingham, WA, 98227)

Jet Black Joy "S/T" CD

Got this one in the mail…and I just gotta ask, why me? Are these guys even familiar with the kind of music I like? This is about as close to what I'm into as Minneapolis is Mercury. Jet Black Joy plays plodding, boring hard rock/metal. In their press release they list Kiss, Van Halen, and AC/DC, all of whom I think are total shit (except for AC/DC, who are good for a laugh every now and again), as their inspirations. Maybe if I was thirteen, drunk, stoned, and the bass player was my older cousin I would think this was okay…but that's a big maybe. Expect to see these guys playing a bill with "Meat Raffle" and "God Bless America" at your local suburban metal bar in the near future. (SS)
(www.jetblackjoy.com)

Kill-A-Watts/Catholic Boys split 7"

I can really relate to the cover of the Kill-A-Watts' side of this. I've felt like I was trapped in a video game too ever since I got Grand Theft Auto 3! I'm not sure if their first song, "Video Game," is for or against wasting hours of your life franticly pressing buttons and vapidly staring at a television screen, but I do know that it was one of the more memorable songs when they played Minneapolis a few weeks back (they were awesome by the way…if you have a chance to see them, don't pass it up). For those of you keeping score at home this record continues the trend from their other two seven inches of the song the girl sings being the best. On the flip side the Catholic Boys (ex-Teenage Rejects) turn the rock up a notch with two hook-laden shots of pure adrenaline. They remind me of a speedier, rawer version of the Infections. If they can manage to stay together long enough it's almost a given they'll end up on Rip Off. Get this and learn how to kick ass. (SS)
(Electrorock Records, POB 13504, Wauwatosa WI 53213-0504)

Kill-A-Watts/Catholic Boys "Split" 7"

Two of Wisconsin’s finest garage-punk outfits tackle each other on one convenient platter. The Catholic Boys—who feature two ex-Teenage Rejects, a Strong Come On and a Shutup (I believe)—offer up two snotty blasts that are as hooky as they are obnoxious. The typically great Kill-A-Watts complete the flip with their own adrenaline-fueled brand of Rip Off goodness. I’d tip my black-and-white-stripe cap to the Catholic Boys this round, but it’s almost too close to call—‘sides, the real winner here is YOU, chum! Buy! (EL)
($4ppd: Electroshock Records P.O. Box 13504 Wauwatosa, WI 53213-0504)

Les Savy Fav "Go Forth" CD/LP

Oh, art-punk, what would I do without you? I'm glad to see the LSF name popping up amongst punk circles, because they've been relegated to the "indy rock" world for far too long. Oddly enough, this is probably the least "punk" record they've released. It doesn't have as much of the spit and grit as the brilliant "Emor" EP or "The Cat and the Cobra" LP, but instead leans towards a more quirky sound (ala Pixies) with incredible build ups and explosions of angst. As a punk point of reference, at times they remind me of Dischord's Q and Not U, which is fine in my books. The production on this is excellent - you can tell a lot of effort went in to the album as a whole. And is it just me or does the song "Disco Drive" remind you of an edgier version of Pink Floyd? Scary, but great. (JG)
(French Kiss, 111 East 14th. St., New York, NY, 10003)

Lost Sounds "Black-Wave" CD/LP

The following is schizophrenia taking over.
Read between the lines.
Highlight to discover.
Maybe get some magik+markers too.

Dear Lost Sounds,

Yr newest record, recorded at the Gothic New Wave Cathedral, is quite an achievement. Yr pushing those boundaries…but you’ve pushed passed punk rock. You’ve passed me.
What the FUCK!? Leaving so soon!? Pussies!

"I have the blackest metal soul"
"I must wear Grendal's ring" (Beowulf!? That shit isn’t punk!)
"Soon this tomb will open up the door/And I can't wait"
"The bloody balcony/Honest rain for such a bed to die"

You’ve got the Goth, some dark, emotional stuff here. However, I just can’t go with you on this voyage. Fuck, I can’t even take you seriously when you say lyrics like the aforementioned. I’m not emotionally full of sorrow. I don’t hate life, and all that. Everybody gets upset, but yr brooding…it’s unhealthy.
Yr not fooling me! I don’t go to those Goth Clubs where nobody talks to each other, looks at each other, content in their own misery! Yr not bringin’ me down! The negative being used to dwell, to fester! Not acting out anger, but thinking about that which makes you angry! Thinking is overrated! Thinking is not what rock ‘n’ roll is about! Rock ‘N’ Roll! It’s @ the action! You think too much, you fucking MozArts!

Yr MozArts. Yr songs, they’re too complex…too introspective. Yr songs, they lose. They push far out into the deep and all remnants of previous melodies are forgotten...
Lost! Sounds! You’ve overlooked the elementary, the pure in all yr thinking. Symphonies for the learned… I now see why you had to cut that set short @ the Rust Belt Revolt. Yr music, it can’t function with minor nuisances effecting the whole picture. I see the technical and I see that you put a lot of thought into yr songs. If yr listener misses a vocal part here, a guitar chord there, well; they might as well have not even listened to yr song. If yr off key then fuck the piece, right?
But Punk! Do not take it away from me, you fuckin’ thieves! Yr trying to snake it, aren’t you?! It’s not yrs! It’s mine! I need this! You see, Lost Sounds, my memory, it ain’t so great… Actually, it’s pretty damaged. And ‘the simple’ is the only thing that appeals to me. Punk/Rock ‘N’ Roll/Hardcore, these all have ‘the simple’ in-common. Did you think you could slip it by me without my notice? Well!?

Yr doing something you want to do; I respect that. Though I don’t understand it, I do respect it. But understand my anger, my frustration, when I see you advance from Memphis Is Dead >>>to>>> Black-Wave, leaving me alone at the bus stop. Yr not the first group that has abandoned me… The Registrators, Le Tigre (that one hurt), and now you… I’m quite use to it in these days of uncertainty. Sigh…
Why are you MozArt GarbAge!? Why am I listening to this philharmonic waste!? I care not for it and I care not for musicians! !Kill All Musicians!

I’m sorry to see you go, Lost Sounds. But I sincerely hope yr happy in yr new dimension of the opus. (JD)
(www.emptyrecords.com)
(eMpTy, P.O. Box 12034, Seattle, WA 98102)

Machine Gun Mary "Rust Belt Rock Trio" CD

Well, to be honest, I expected more because of the area they are from Youngstown. A bag full of shits throw from Akron/Kent. In the same neighborhood as Kill The Hippies, Radar Secret Service...The Cock Spaniels ol’ stompin grounds. Machine Gun Mary is not even close to any of these bands, but hey man, it’s all good.

Machine Gun Mary has a black and white 8X10 glossy.... Machine Gun Mary gots some plans! Musically they remind me of something honest and at the same time brutally true to life version of George Thuragood and The Destroyers. Bordering on Rank and File country punk at times, Machine Gun Mary even mustered up a couple laughs when I heard "I’m 28 Years Old (and I work in A Convenience Store)". You can say what you want, I can say what I want, but nothings gonna keep these guys from doing what they want to do.

Machine Gun Mary has an 8X10 black and white glossy.

I can take veneration in the fact that within six hours of Cincinnati is EVERYTHING I ever want in music.

Cleveland, Ohio.
Detroit, Michigan.
Chicago, Illinois.
Indianapolis, Indiana.
Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Knoxville, Tennessee.
Columbus, Ohio.
Lexington, Kentucky.
Louisville, Kentucky.
Toledo, Ohio.
Cleveland, Ohio
Akron, Ohio.
Kent, Ohio.

Sorry for those I inadvertently passed up....

Machine Gun Mary seem like a few guys that I could enjoy a case of beer with. That, in itself is a compliment greater than them being the best band in the world. (SAB)
(No Address)

Mistreaters "No More" 7"

A cover-45. You know I’m not really into these types of things. I mean, if you are spending all of that money on a pressing, the LEAST you could do is put one of yr own tunes on it, at least… Well, let’s have a looksee anyway… The Mistreaters, Milwaukee’s Best… The Mistreaters are usually an ecstatic garage punk rock ‘n’ roll group with plenty of fuel constantly being dumped on the fire. But on this 7" they cover two slow, soulful rock ‘n’ roll tunes ("No More" [Wallace Brothers] and "Bye, Bye, Bye" [Wallace Brothers]) that are fun to listen to if ’in yr into that slowddance stuff. Mistreaters fans might be in for a shock, but keep an open-minded; you just might wanna Waltz with Wallace. (JD)
(www.mistreaters.8m.com)
(Goodbye Boozy Records VIA Villa Pompetti 147 64020 S. Nicolo A Tordino Teramo Italia)

Mt. Tai "Worms" 7" EP

...But then again what do I know? After all, my Alan Parsons Project Sunday, a day that I set aside to focus on the wonder that is The Alan Parsons Project in all its splendor, glory and subsequent magic, has been replaced by the all-new, all-different Partridge Family Sunday. A special day I set aside for one of the strangest musical phenomenon that is known as The Partridge Family.

The Partridge Family in its entire splendor, glory and subsequent magic.

"Echo Valley 2-6809". This is a song full of rage. Truly, a song to commit hanice acts of bank robbery to.

***
So Mt. Tai. I’m not to sure exactly what Mt. Tai is.... Judging from the lo-cal of this band; Detroit AKA "Motor City" AKA "Killer Kop Kapital" I suppose Mt Tai is either A) a catholic church on the outskirts of Detroit AKA "The Motor City" AKA "Killer Kop Kapital", or B) a suburb just on the outskirts of Detroit AKA "The Motor City" AKA "Killer Kop Kapital".

Seriously, this sentence sounds right:
After a night of partying, a teenage girl attempts to answer the doorbell to her house, haggard and hung over like a male version of Long Duck Dong from Sixteen Candles, first answering to a closet thinking it was the front door, then really answering her front door.

It’s Jake Ryan. He’s asking where his sister, Sam, is, but in confusion the young girls rambles about grandpa’s atuo-mo-bile and the fact she’s not home because she is getting married at Mt. Tai over on Walnut Street.

Or how about this:
The same girl in a car full of other girls… They got their 151, they got their lip-gloss, they got their birth control....deciding where they are going to spend their Friday Night.

Lets go to that new dance club, Club Techy-Oh, inside that big mall out in Mt. Tai.

See what I mean?

Regardless, Mt. Tai have been around for about six years now. I’m not really too sure about everything they have released, but this current line-up is a pretty solid one. Mt. Tai play classic hardcore punk with nods to Motorhead, The Bad Brains, Black Flag, and whoever Jimmy Zero is and the band he plays in (wasn’t he in Screeching Weasel or something?).

On side A you have their original, "Worms" backed with a Moterhead cover ("Live to Win"), and on side B it sorta follows side A with another original called "Birdmoon" and a Bad Brains cover of "Regulator".

You know that your doing something right when you get a record like this in the mail and you call up one of your friends who ask if you recently got anything in the mail and you tell him "Yeah, I just got a record from a Detroit band called Mt. Tai" and he goes "Oh wow, those guys are still around? They were pretty good when I saw them". If hardcore punk is your thing, Mt. Tai should definitely be something you should be looking into. (SAB)
(Mt. Tai 1131 W. Warren Ave. Suite 314 Detroit, MI. 48201)

Nazis From Mars "S/T" LP

Nice name, eh?

OK, the first time you hear this, it might be tough to make it through both sides without popping a vein in your forehead from laughing too hard. The second time, you'll probably appreciate the novelty factor and not much else. By the third time, you'll slap your head for being a fool and not realizing that this is a fucking gem of an album. It happened to me with their two prior singles, and now the Nazis have totally won me over.

Yes, they are on a self-proclaimed "techno punk" label. Yes, they use a drum machine rather than the real thing. Yes, they use a bunch of wacky synth sounds. Yes, they have lyrics like "I don't like your brand new clothes - I don't get your stupid jokes - I don't like you and that's it - You're so full of shit - Oooaauuughh!!!" (sung in an unbelievable Dutch accented female voice), but that's all part of the charm that makes them so damn great. Add to the above the use of a buzzsaw guitar sound that rips through every song and catchy hooks you won't believe and you'll see why I would highly recommend that you expand your horizons and pick this up ASA-fuckin'-P. If you're still unsure, check out these sweet song titles - "Pussy Catty Cat", "Fuck You Anyway", "So You Wanna Be A Fucking Pop Star", "I Don't Like Your Favorite Bands and DJs", and some Ramones cover. (JG)
(welcome.to/astralanarchy)
(Astral Anarchy - no address provided)

New Wet Kojak "No. 4" 7" EP

This ain’t some bad shit at all. I first got addicted when I heard "Do the Math", the second song on this EP.

The New Wet Kojak are pretty pink-fuck.... Excuse me, ‘pink-fuck’ is a new expression; a new way, to express how strange something is. I use a term like ‘pink-fuck’ as a way to take something one level past strange.

Wire are pink-fuck. Wire are beyond strange. Wire DON’T FIT.
The Fall are pink-fuck. The Fall are beyond strange. The Fall DON’T FIT.
New Wet Kojak are pink-fuck. New Wet Kojak are beyond strange. New Wet Kojak DON’T FIT.

Think of New Wet Kojak as the new Psychedelic Furs. When I first heard "Do The Math" I rushed out to get this EP. Whereas, No. 4 isn’t the full on rager and fast and shit, it does have a certain rhythm to it that just connects with the 2002 Shawn Abnoxious. I can honestly say that I could see a band like this playing in parties in places that’s maybe several levels past my "hipness." If the fates were different and I was a BIG CITY art guy, and didn’t become a post humus pompous piece of shit, and was the person I am now in this alterna-reality, and I walked into the kind of party that a band like New Wet Kojak would be on the turntable or CD changer or whatever the kids are calling their musical components these days, I would be bored and begin fucking with people like saying shit like - "Man, you’re fucking pathetic, right!?" and finding what I could brake and say was an accident. I like different kinds of debauchery, but like anyone else, I enjoy being around rug users.

I see a band like New Wet Kojak playing in those chilling post art gathering New York orgy parties where everyone is sticking things up orifices and snorting cocaine off people’s asses. New Wet Kojak are the debaucherous soundtrack to the underground.

I heard Winonna Ryder got caught shoplifting from Sax 5th Avenue, or some shit like that. I also heard she’s addicted to prescription medicine. Now why a person like her would 1) Become an addict, or 2) Stoop to shoplifting is beyond me. I mean, fuck! I suppose she is probably pretty well off and she’s so bored now drug addiction and shoplifting is done for kicks.

SOME people have to shoplift to survive. Stealing food to feed their families.

The tale of excess. The tale of indulgence. New Wet Kojak are almost out of my league, but attainable by stretching. New Wet Kojak are fashion sheik New Wet Kojak are heroin sheik.

But then again, I do enjoy a fashion show every now and then…
But then again, I do enjoy E! Entertainment Television…
But then again, I did and do pick up tabloid newspapers because I like to hear about things like J.Lo’s Gay Sex Tape Scandals. I enjoy scum just as much as the rest of you. It has its place…

The CD has just ended it he course of me writing this review. Time to listen to "Do The Math" again while I run this fucker through a spellchecker. (SAB)
(Beggars Banquet 580 Broadway Suite10004 NYC, NY. 10012)

Okmoniks "Rock ‘N’ Roll with…" 7"

Oh, man, this record gets better with every listen, and it sounded great the first time I heard it. The Okmoniks are a young Tucson, Arizona four-piece who play short, up-beat, kick-ass poppy garage rock songs with all the right moves: catchy high-end vocals, raspy guitars, punchy drums, bouncy rock n roll bass lines, and, the real kicker, a driving organ sound. This last bit is especially cool sounding, in the intro to the second track of "Little Bit More Hate", but the organ pretty much kicks ass all over the place on this single. And, I hadn’t noticed until now, but all of the transition parts between choruses and verses are really well done; every instrument seems to be in the right place. Best of all, each side has the same three songs, so you don’t have to interrupt your dance session so quickly. This single was released as a "Special Last Minute Tour Edition of 99 records", but, by now, they should have the official release. They also seem to do the Tucson/Phoenix/San Diego/LA/San Francisco tour loop from time to time, so go check them out live if you live in any of these towns. (SH)
(theokmoniks@hotmail.com)
(In-Fi Records)

One Man Show Live "Wrong Wrong Wrong" 7"

PRODUCED by TIM KERR!

That’s some interesting info for ya.

So! One Man Show Live, gay name for a band…but hey, it ain’t my band, so I ain’t worried. Maybe they/he really is a One Man Band…Live…I don’t know…

PRODUCED by TIM KERR!

So! Yr standard garage rock ‘n’ roll here… The title track is pretty cool…"Wrong Wrong Wrong"…yeah, I like that one. Like, catchy drumbeats, and choruses – "Everything you say is Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, Wrong," and a trumpet breakdown, and furious vox, and all that… The flipside’s "Great Escape" has a more melodic twist to the garage fury (AKA – no fury), but it’s still catchy, and people should dig it if you like their/his a-side. And there’s a cover of "Crack of Dawn" that’s good too…

PRODUCED by TIM KERR!

They kinda sound like some Jon Spencer with some, like, Damned, and more spastic punk to it…as if Jon Spencer wasn’t spastic enough, right? So the record…I like it, it’s good.

PRODUCED by TIM KERR! (JD)
(www.onemanshowlive.com)
(Goodbye Boozy Records VIA Villa Pompetti 147 64020 S. Nicolo A Tordino Teramo Italia)

Radio Reelers "S/T" 7"

First off, cool cover design. Yr standard punk rock cover… Not too innovative, but cool none the less… Okay, The Radio Reelers, outta San Francisco, rockin’ the 70’s type punk rock ‘n’ roll… You know who they remind me of? The Bodies…but more amped-up. These guys are fast rocknrollers, and all that, but it’s just that their tunes lack a catchy spark that makes me wanna listen to ’em over an’ over again… Songs like "Radio Feelin’," "Let’s Have a Party," and "No Respect" are, again, not too innovative, and they roar right by without entangling me in their the webs, dragging my corpse on the pavement, scarred and mangled… No…no…I’m alright… And that’s not alright… (JD)
(www.zaxxonvirileaction.com)
(Zaxxon Virile Action 1816 East 3rd Ave. Vancouver, BC, Canada, V5N 1H2)

Randy "Human Atom Bombs" CD/LP

When speaking to these guys this fall, it seemed as if they were trying to distance themselves from their earlier work ("it's crap - don't listen to it") and I can see why. The new and improved Randy kicks old Randy's ass. Although this is on Burning Heart/Epitaph, this is by no means "skate rock" or "melodic hardcore." It's just plain and simple, catchy as hell, punk rock and roll songwriting with some serious pop hooks. They must have made a conscious decision to change their sound, as it's tough to compare this to their earlier releases in any way besides the vocals. One song's a total Clash rip-off (I can forgive them), one's a total Hives rip-off (once again, forgiven) and one's a Rancid rip-off (uhhh...), but everything else is pure Randy. The songs are all killer - my only complaint would be with some of the lyrics. There's still the lefty, personal/political theme running through most songs, which is great by me, but on some songs it does start to sound a bit sloganeering. Once again, I can forgive them for this due to the fact that English is not their first language and I'm sure they mean well.

I also had the pleasure of hearing a two-song teaser of their latest recordings and was totally floored. I immediately thought Rip Off Records, and comparing it to a poppier version of the Reds wouldn't be too far off. I'm going to go on record and call this their "transition record." Next time out, look for a stripped down, punked out, garage rock'n'roll fest. I'm waiting. (JG)
(Burning Heart, Box 441, 701 48 Orebro, SWEDEN)

Registrators "90’s Complete Sessions" CD

If any modern band has shown me just how good punk rock can be it is The Registrators. What you have here is a CD that compiles just about everything you won’t find on the Rip Off releases, at least until the Rarities comp comes out in April. Not sure which tracks here will be on that release, but buy it anyway or you’re a total jackass. This seems to have been released by the band itself, and is well worth mail ordering from Japan at exorbitant prices. Here’s what you get: 8 tracks from 1993 sessions for their first CD "Shock", which sound completely amazing. No trace of what they would sound like on Terminal Boredom here. Two of the tracks are on the Rip Off Singles comp, in different versions, including the very great "Set Me Free." Pure pop all the way… Four more tracks from their first demo tape (1990-91) that sound murky as hell, but are useful as a reference point. The song "Monkey" appears here, which became part of their first 7" on Rip Off. Then six tracks from comps and other sessions that vary in quality, and veer more toward the Terminal Boredom sound. Speaking of Rip Off, you then get the songs from the "TV Hell" 7", including "Pogo Pogo" which showed up on the flip side of the first pressing of the record. Another great song, but that should be a given at this point. Rounding off the collection are the tracks from the "4 Vibrate" EP, most of which turn up on 16 Wires. These versions are rawer and a little different, and quite exceptional. The last track is "1970’s Boy" from the Automatic Exit 7", the only track from that record to appear on this CD. That track one sounds a little like Firestarter, if you ask me. A great collection overall, the only complaints being that the track listing is messed up (3 songs are on the same track, but are listed as separate track on the sleeve), and the liner notes by Hiroshi are in Japanese. Hopefully we will get them in English on the Rip Off release. Certainly essential in every way… (RK)
(REG-002)

Seconds "Y" CD

Fuck, yeah! I took a chance on The Seconds and they did not disappoint. This sounds like it should be on the excellent Morphius label, rather than the sister label to Kill Rock Stars, 5RC. Regardless, The Seconds are a tough, weird, and extremely spastic band who still maintain a very minimalist edge to their sound. The male falsetto vocals bring to mind the Causey Way while the clean guitar, sharp bass and odd timed rhythms bring to mind everyone from Gang of Four to Wire to Devo (I know, I know, three pretty damn overused references, but it's true!). I picture them to be an absolutely incredible live band. I'm not the dancing type, but with enough booze in me I think if I saw The Seconds they'd inspire my skinny ass to get up and shake it - nasty style.

The press with this says it features an ex-member of The Bodies and The Strap-Ons (anyone know if they mean the punk bands? - I can't find any evidence) and a current member of The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. (JG)
(www.5rc.com)
(5RC POB 1190 Olympia, WA 98507)

Sellouts "Songs For A Knife Fight" 10"

Great title, because whenever I put this on I feel like punching someone in the face, or at the very least, kicking something over. I'd consider this a major improvement over their earlier singles. The sound is similar, but they've progressed immensely in the "guts" department. The label makes sense (Ken Rock) as I do hear a bit of Henry Fiat's Open Sore in their sound, but the most obvious point of reference would be to the "Montreal Sound" (ala Spaceshits, Smash Up Derby, and the Kamikazes). Pretty much essential if you like any of the aforementioned… (JG)
(Ken Rock, Fabriksgatan 39B, 412 51 Gothenburg, Sweden)

Stepsister "Autopilot Stuck On Get Down!" CD

Autopilot Stuck On Get Down!
Autopilot Stuck On Get Down!
Autopilot Stuck On Get Down!
"Get up for the letdown!" Right, Dan?

Stepsister – a slower version of, like, Motorhead, or, like, rock-whatever… The vocals are cool McGruff-like shite… The guitars are loud enough…in tune (good for you…)… They can keep up with the drums…the bass… BUT SO WHAT! Song titles – "Her Name Was Knife," "Wild Ride," "Blackout Man," "Big Bad World"… Tawdry shite… You have put yr balls into yr songs, Stepsister, or write better ones, No-Balls! (JD)
(Smog Veil Records 774 Mays #10-454 Incline Village, NV 89451, USA)

Stepsister "Autopilots Stuck on Get Down!" CD

Label Note: For a label located in a town, that for some reason I think has a ‘Wild, Wild West’ past (Incline Village Nevada); like its a old ghost town or some shit like that… Smog Veil sure has an endless love affair with all things Ohio. On this latest release it persists.

Stepsister hails from Cleveland, Ohio and has been featured on the most recent installment of Cheese Borgers "Pie and Ears" compilation. What you got is fast paced rock and/or roll, last cigarette punk RAWK, all balls-to-the-walls and shit. Blazing in yer face from track to track and NEVER looking back.

Setting fires.
Drinking Whiskey.
Bar stompin’.

Thick, ultra-thick production… They have a ‘booking office’ and acknowledge their closeness to art-punk pioneers Motorhead by listing a band member (who I deduct by elimination is a bassist) is Lemmy’s stunt double. When you encounter a band like Stepsister, usually when you least expect it, you can’t help but to find yourself from rocking your head to the beat of their music, or hell, in some cases even pumping a fist after each song yelling "Hell yeah! Play another" IF, and only IF, you are spirited enough.

One day, just as this Sum41 and Blink 182 shit is playing out riot now, bands like Stepsister will have their day. Stepsister could very well be at the vanguard of that insurgence. They have the sound. They have the rage. They have the high tolerance to hard liquor that could propel them into legendary status.

Then again, they ARE from Ohio.... Bands from here aren’t acknowledged until they 1) Move to New York City and start turning tricks (you know who you are), or 2) Get noticed years after their existence as the pioneers they are (You know who YOU are). (SAB)
(www.smogveil.com)
(Smog Veil Records774 Mays #10-454 Incline Village, NV 89451)

Stepsister/Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs "Keepin’ It In The Family" 7" EP

This comes on the same heels as the new Stepsister review that you read a couple of weeks back… Smog Veil is really getting some consistent output here lately. I like that shit, consistency. It’s good Stuff.

Side A features Cleveland Ohio’s own kings of the last cigarette, Stepsister, with two rip rockin’ tracks of testo-charged Turbonegro type death punk. I was partial to their second song, "You ain’t worth the Foam in my Piss," which has a sort of warm, but yet dark feeling to it. It speaks the truth. I feel as though Stepsister is only saying what I couldn’t, or cant put into words a lot of times. A timeless song… "Hit" if you will....

Side B features two more songs from The Streetwalkin Cheetahs. More of the same stuff really, so nothing new. It’s not like I didn’t like what they were doing or they were bad at what they were doing. The Cheetahs are simply occupying a record. I mean FUCK, as far as last cigarette punk rawk goes, I suppose Stepsister already won my heart over.

So, there you have it.... What else.....? OK, it’s on gray vinyl and I don’t really understand the title - "Keepin’ it in the Family" because I don’t see any common thread between both bands except similar musical styles.... But fuck, I mean FUCK; it’s not like I HAVE TO understand EVERYTHING. I will simply let it be a mystery.
(SAB)
(www.smogveil.com)
(Smog Veil Records 774 Mays #10-454 Incline Village, NV 89451)

Sunday Drunks "S/T" CD

(sidenote#1 – I think it’s funny that the Sunday Drunks actually named their album "S/T")

Okay, The Sunday Drunks…Johnny Thunders/Rolling Stones type stuff that isn’t very electric… They need the plug their dicks into a socket…; which is weird cause there’re some Mullens in this band. That Mullens record (the one release last year) was pretty nice and pretty cool… Not all the songs were pretty nice and pretty cool, but at least half of them were like the type of music the Sunday Drunks play…only a zillion times better. I don’ know…maybe the songs on this CD are, like, factory rejects from the Mullens.

(sidenote#2 – In the song "Tarred-N-Feathered" the lyrics are like – "Girl I think I know it/I think I know what you need/you need to feel my touch" [in that slow Thunders-wannabe voice… Let me assure you, dear reader, that these boys couldn’t get laid if they had a pussy stapled to their dicks!)

Okay, so the good… I don’t know…feelin’ blue or depressed? Having a poker game and need some music to help you and yr friends discuss how yr lives are in the toilet? Get this record and let the wallowing commence. (JD)
(www.dead-beat-records.com)
(Dead Beat Records PO Box 283 Los Angeles, CA 90078)

UK Subs/National Razor F.D.I.C. "Gruesome Twosome Volume One" CD

Some of you more diehard BlankGenerationDOTCOM readers might remember the review I wrote for The Uniform where I said:

"Morphius. I love them BUT I can hardly find any of their releases. I don’t know what it is about Cincinnati but even though my personal record store of choice I feel is one of the best record stores in the region, there is still trouble finding their releases. I even called the label themselves to try and rectify the situation."

Well, that STILL hasn’t gotten any better. Oh yeah, and with this release I am hereby placing Morphius on academic probation as one of my favorite labels.

You see I was REALLY into hearing National Razor because I heard they were different. Well, they aren’t really anything new or as exciting as I was anticipating. I hear some bright moments on their tracks ("Tear Me Down", "Policies"), but not enough to compensate for the lackluster UK Subs material to keep Morphius off my probation reasoning.

National Razor sounds like a pop-punk band with new wave tendencies, but NOT ENOUGH new wave. It needs to be taken several levels past where it is now. Listening to more Le Shok would help. Listening to more Split Enz would help. Listening to more Dirty Looks or 20/20 would be the best possible thing National Razor could do.

Then call me in the morning....

National Razor. Seven songs including a Slaughter and The Dogs cover of "Situations." In some ways, a real let down, but heh, that’s life for ya....

The UK Subs.... UK "What does that ‘UK’ stand for anyway?" Subs.... When it was first discussed that National Razor were doing a split CD with The Subs this is what I said, "Now why do you want to do that? The UK Subs are old and boring."

In HONOR of Chuck Palaniuk and his novel Choke: "Washouts isn’t the word I am looking for, but its the first word to come to mind."

And who would have thunk it, you heard older UK Subs, you heard newer UK Subs… Not really much progression outside production standards… Bright moments on the CD include their reggae and/or dub moments. They actually do some decent reggae and/or dub, but then again, so does Stiff Little Fingers and The Clash. It’s not like I want to hear The UK Subs doing a rap song or anything, BUT this English punk/dub stuff IS getting a little tiresome. We need some new formulas.

I mean, FUCK! Almost every song has something about Revolution in the context or even the word itself.

Revolution.
That shit is so "Bring the wall down ’89."

Secret societies. Insurgence. Clandestine. Top-shelf. Back room. These are the NEW thing.

The UK Subs - Old AND boring. They have become the dinosaurs. I hope when I’m forty...when I am fifty....I’ll have grown musically.

As for the Neotric Punk/Wave and this CD…nope.
Try again…
Do over… (SAB)
(www.morphius.com)
(Morphius Records POB13474 Baltimore, MD 21203)

V/A "Expression Vol. 1" CD

Like most of you I'm pretty leery when it comes to comps. This one has two things going for it though. One: it's a comp of a bunch of (mostly) Japanese bands, and two: it's got a Sweet J.A.P song on it that's unavailable elsewhere. The song in question, "Oh My Pretty Face," is far more pop than their usual fare, and it's also one of my favorites from their live sets. There's also a bunch of cool songs on here by bands I'd never heard before such as the Teenie Cheetahs (out of control rock 'n' roll that benefits greatly from the use of a keyboard), the Pappys (superior poppy punk with a great female singer), the Lottie Collins (how could any song called "Pa Pa Pa Pa Party On My Heart" not rule?), the TV Idols (those of you who are truly with it already own their album, and thus this song), and the Pebbles (by far the "find" of this comp. Their song is cute girl pop at its pinnacle. Imagine Japan's answer to Dressy Bessy…only better). Like every comp there are a few crappy tunes, but when the worst song has a name like "Holiday Discount Pussy." It's hard to get too bent out of shape about it though… Recommended (www.nice-neat.com). (SS)
(1 + 2 Records)

Wifebeaters "Child Mulletstation" 7"

I’m an advocate for the use of lowest-common-denominator humor in good music—Vom’s "Electrocute Your Cock" is an all-time favorite, as is the Dwarves’ "Let’s Fuck," the Dead Milkmen’s "Takin’ Retards to the Zoo," etc… That said, I’m against the combination of half-baked low-brow guffaws with shitty, poorly mixed thrash/punk tunes, which is exactly what this single reeks of. You want funny? Pass this up and watch Insomniac. (EL)
(No Address)

 
 
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