- March, 2002
Catheters "Static Delusions and Stone Still Days" CD
This, the second full length from these lads from the Pacific Northwest, comes to us courtesy of SubPop Records. Are we considering SubPop a major label yet? Just wondering Anyway, these "kids" have been around the block a few times already. Some of them were still in high school when they put their first record out, and now I am assuming they have graduated and could even be college boys at this point. Their recording career started out with two great singles a couple years back (one was on Empty, and the other, better one, was actually one of the SubPop singles of the month). Then they released a self-titled full length on Empty, which was literally empty. Devoid of any of the fire or anger they showed on the singles, their material was reduced to below average Stooges/Stones swipes that lacked any of the creativity of their earlier output, and barely held ones attention. Then last year they released another scorcher of a single on Kapow! Records ("You Cant Stay This Way Forever"), seemingly showing us they are still capable of writing great songs, if not making a great album. So, when I was about to listen to this full length, my expectations werent very high. The Catheters surprised this time though, as this album actually holds up pretty well after repeated listening. There are some catchy tunes here, reminiscent of their better singles, full of piss and teenage blood. The Dead Boys/Dolls cops are somewhat obvious, but who the hell isnt copping Thunders riffs these days. The singer has the Bators punk rock sneer down pat, and has a great delivery. The vocals are really the main reason to listen to The Catheters, as the music could be called somewhat pedestrian. Yet they manage to rock enough to sustain interest through some hard riffing and creative guitar work, although the production is definitely too polished.
Comparison-wise, you could say they rock like the best Electric Frankenstein or early Hellacopters tunes, but without those bands shortcomings. Or they do what The Black Halos tried to do, but never could: sound good and not suck. Thankfully, The Catheters dont seem to have fallen for the Southern Rock schtick many bands have adopted these days. (The Hellacopters, Zen Guerilla, Tight Bros., etc ) Things manage to stay pretty sharp, without degenerating into fuzz-fest boogie stomps or wanking guitar solos. Things only go bad for the kids when they try to slow things down, which they do a couple of times on this album to bad effect. When they keep the songs fast and rockin they score most of the time. The first five songs are all keepers, and then they run out of gas around track six. Attention wanes for a couple of songs, then they throw another good straight punk number in around track nine, toss off a couple more throwaway tunes, and finish with a solid number, the anthemic "What Have They Done to You?" Overall, seven good tracks out of eleven and the first five smoke enough to get me to call this album pretty good. Or at least much better than their first It isnt exactly groundbreaking, but these kids cook pretty well when they want to. Young, loud, and snotty, indeed.
special note is the packaging, which is done purposefully off-center and
made to look like a misprint. There is a disclaimer on the front of the
disc that claims it is part of SubPops "ongoing effort to subvert
the ordinary." Are we talking about the same label here? And is a
label that says "NOTICE! CONTAINS ART!" really necessary? Well,
this is the best thing SubPop has done in a long time (not counting the
Radio Birdman reissue), since I cant remember the last time I bought
a record on SubPop. (The Go? That Hookers single?) And isnt "The
Catheters" one of the most uncomfortable band names ever? (RK)
Conflict "Now Youve Put Your Foot In It" CDEP
is a politico/anarcho English punk
rock band. You know em
that all sound the same
This CDEP has two studio record tunes and two live tunes
Things Take Time"
REGGAE! I dont know
4 tracks? (JD)
Eyes Like Knives "S/T" CDEP
band reminds me of another band
another band I dont like. Let
Its not quite emo
Its not quite punk rock
Its not quite indie-rock
Anyway, kay, so, Eyes Like
Knives did a great job recording this EP. The guitars and bass and drums,
and even the vox, are all thick and warm, like a vinyl recording. I wanna
know their secret. Wait! I got it! Mix Fugazi (that's the band I don't
like) with the Explosion (I like those guys) and you shall get Eyes Like
Knives (I like these guys too). Except for the first track, I dig this
CD (mostly due to the great female backup vox that add a whole new dimension
to their tunes), so try em out. Oh, and props on the creative artwork.
That silver ink better not get on my CD lens
Gasolheads "Red Wine & White Russians" 10"
Cant go wrong with a title like that or can you NO! Of course you cant!
Gasolheads still have the (better) Safety Pins sound. So, like, booze
it up and turn it up like the animal you are. These Frenchies (France
is my home country, you know
Gotta support!) have the fast rock
n & or roll noise with catchy, danceable licks that make
me gyrate. Fun. (JD)
Generators "State of the Nation" 10"
Moving on and moving forward, Deadbeat gives us the new Smogtown. Well, that moving forward stuff may be questionable to a degree because I wouldnt consider a clone or a replica of something an improvement, after all something could be lost in the process.
The Generators The Smogtown; this is one sentence.
Whereas The Generators are LIKE Smogtown, I do see some degrees of separation. Plain and simple unlike the war on terrorism, The Generators State of the Nation 10" is not as up and keen, as hard hitting and revelatory, as The Smogtown Beach City Butchers 10".
Theres something lost in the process. That is one sentence.
You see, I dont think recent Smogtown releases are as good as Beach City Butchers 10". Deadbeat really captured something on that record. Generators State of the Nation could very well be the follow-up to Smogtowns Beach City, maybe even more so than Smogtowns Furhers of the New Wave LP. Generators State of the Nation is nowhere near the heavy hitter that Smogtowns Beach City Butchers is, but its NOT BAD.
Not Bad. That is one sentence.
Eight songs Once again, quality production in fact, a little too clean really, but nothing to whine too much about Some decent New beach punk in songs like "Here Comes the Plague", "Fantastic Disastor", and "Voices in His Head" a cover of The Cock Sparrer song "Running Riot" is part of two live songs from the 2001 Holidays in the Sun festival in San Fran-frisco. Cock Sparrer Yeah, thats so 1997
Miami Vice Soundtrack LPs and Shock Troops I listen to both at parties for the same reasons now, nostalgia
know the way things are.... I think The Generators have other material
out, probably on Disaster Records or something Im guessing
But THIS time Im not going to run out and follow up this 10"
with a sub par "full-length" follow up. Deadbeat seems to capture
bands when they are at their peak, so I will probably just leave The Generators
here, where they at least have a decent standing with me. (SAB)
Generators "State of the Nation" 10"
The Generators You know I used their full-length CD to squish a spider? I kid you not That fucker was asking for it Both the CD and the spider Creepy crawly things yuck!
DID like that 7" the Generators put out on TKO Records. But that
CD wasnt produced right
all clean and shiny
not punk rock. Anyway, THIS 10" IS more like their 7" on TKO.
UK styled punk rock. Like the US Bombs
They have a song called "Tough As Nails"; and that always brings
up my friend Jim who IS tough as nails. Dont fuck with that
Where was/am I? Oh yeah, Cock Sparrer IS soo 1997
King Khan and His Shrines "Three Hairs and Youre Mine" LP/CD
off what I considered to be the best EP of the year 2001, the hilarious
"Spread Your Love Like Peanut Butter" on Sounds of Subterranea,
the Shrines have dropped the adjective "Sensational" and also
dropped their first full length on us. King Khan is, of course, the man
we used to know as Blacksnake from The Spaceshits, doing his best James
Brown/Screamin Jay Hawkins impersonation. (Complete with skull in
hand on album cover.) Khan and the Shrines play up the jungle/voodoo angle
on this release, foregoing some of the party R&B and crude hilarity
of the EP, but still managing to ooze sex out of the grooves. Its
a great party record, just with some more straight-ahead garage rockin
numbers. The horn section and organ are featured more prominently, with
a little too much organ at times, but what the hell. This shit is all
about excess. There are a couple of slow crooners for the slow dance crowd,
and a cool cover of "Crackin Up." The title track smokes,
as does "Kukamonga Boogaloo," "Saba Lou" is some cool
voodoo-rock shit, and "Tell Me" sounds like a straight up JBs
number. "The Mashed Potato Itch" is nice and trashy, but doesnt
live up the greatness of its title. Still, this is the coolest shit as
far funk-soul-trash-voodoo-rock-R&B-soul goes, and will cause chicks
to shake some ass. Sexy and soulful, yet trashy and dirty as well
An excellent entry into the abundant list of ex-Spaceshits bands, and
probably some of the most original shit around, even though it isnt
exactly original. Produced at Toe Rag by Liam Watson and issued on Lightning
Beat-Mans Voodoo Rhythm Records. Get a hold of the guys at Cargo
Distribution or e-mail the Beat-Man himself to get a copy in the states.
Nubs "S/T" CD
Laziest Fucks in the World have finally graced us with a full-length release
after twenty-two years, and its worth the wait. My only complaints
are that it doesnt include one of their best songs, "Love is
a Drag", and that some of the mix could use some dirtying up. But,
whatever, theres enough good shit on this CD-only release. It includes
their first single, "Job/Little Billys Burning", which
was originally released in 1980, plus twelve recently recorded tracks.
The amazing thing is that, other than a slightly bigger recording sound,
there isnt much of a difference between the newer stuff and the
two older tracks; its still simple, snotty, stripped-down punk rock,
except for a few, slower rock numbers. A friend of mine pointed out that
this stuff sounds like early Southern California beach punk, and hes
right. Except, these guys dont sing about surfing and skating, but
about fucking dead bodies, killing everybody, letting your baby drown
while you go score downers, and having no legs. Jim Stockford and Dave
Muniz still sound like goofy, high-strung teen-agers living in the most
dysfunctional homes and neighborhoods ever. Here are a few snippets: "the
dick pulls out of the asshole/it withers as it drools" (Morgue Watch);
"babys in the bathtub feelin no pain/mommys in
the bathroom huffin cocaine" (Ivory); "Ill find
you, Ill kill you, Ill freeze your stumps/just so I can feed
you to some retarded chumps" (Chainsaw Love); and "I can look
inside your head/I can see you want me dead/Dont take it out on
me in bed" (Youre too neurotic). Im seeing black and
yellow checkers all over my walls and want to pogo through the roof. (SH)
Rocket from the Tombs "The Day the Earth met the Rocket from The Tombs" CD
Like the back cover sez: One of the greatest albums NEVER recorded. As the dust settles more and more on the real unabridged history of punk-rock there has been some great re-truths to the whole glorious mess that has elevated the Cleveland scene to that of great importance.
point one: The Electric Eels
Cleveland - The Hole truth and nothing but the truth.
Continuing their focus on Ohio past and present, Smog Veil accomplished the astronomical task of assembling a collection of demos and practice tapes from a band accumulating members from Pere Ubu and The Dead Boys before those bands existed. Fucking astronomical!!!
Take what you will and leave the rest to rot, those of you following my writings will know of my less than supportive, what I like to call an "un-belief" in the thing called The Dead Boys (I prefer the REAL sound that was The Pagans) and to tell you the truth I have as much reverence for Pere Ubu than The Pagans. I number some Pere Ubu tracks as very influential to what I now deem the Neoteric Punk/Wave.
Rocket from the Tombs is another chapter, not the first, but definitely one of the first three, in the hidden history of punk-rocks beginnings. Charged by danger level rock and or roll like The Stones, Alice Cooper, Velvet Underground and The Stooges, Rocket from the Tombs took what influenced them and took it to the next level.
The sounds survived the sonic reduction. We were left with a Final Solution of our own that was...
Look at what this band did, and the fact that they were called Rocket from the Tombs; this band is long DEAD, a true rocket from the tombs exploding and making one realize, Cleveland is more than a rust belt midwestern city...
Second Over Tokyo"
Yeah, I know what youre thinking. The same thing I was thinking.... Wow, this band sure does a lot of covers; those are all Dead Boys and Pere Ubu Songs...... HAHAHAHAHAHA, but seriously....get a life, Im STILL looking for one of my very own...(vampiric; we alls gotta be SOMETHING)
Rocket from the Tombs is superior to the Dead Boys, and more closer to Pere Ubu than one might think, at first. Cut it either way in generous proportions, this is some intense shit. A MUST HAVE.
Listening to the disc, reading the liner notes Just as I believe a movie should be written and made about the Texas punk scene, a better one would be a movie chronicling the Cleveland/Ohio scene including the Electric Eels and Rocket from The Tombs.
Dave Thomas as himself Stiv Bators, the beginning of the end The kid in back everyone hated, but needed to brake it all in half and set the pieces in motion. The Electric Eels as the true mover and shaker artists they were.
have just one more thing to say before you go out and get this:
Sunday Drunks "S/T" CD
Now here you got some good shit. The promo sez something about this band being three parts of a Dallas band called The Mullens. I have heard OF them, but never HEARD them... Maybe I should do some back catalogue work because this CD is really pretty damn good.
Rockin punk and rockin roll. You know that time when you were drinking all day long and you reach that point where you begin drooling? Its not like you can help it or anything, that sorta shit just happens. Well, a CD of the Sunday Drunks caliber would definitely fit in at that moment.
The Sunday Drunks is a cheap beer band; like Pabst Blue Ribbon or Miller High Life turned dark beer drinking. The Sunday Drunks are a prime example of a punk band thats progressing leaving three chords and cheap beer being for expensive guitars and better beer. Dark beer being better is something I personally dont agree with, but extensive micro-brew knowledge is something that I could see a band like The Sunday Drunks being involved with.
Yeah, the Cryin Out Louds and The Motards ARE gone, like the promo sez Even though I dont see The Drunks being anywhere near a band like that of The Motards, its like I said, it is pretty damn good though. Maybe if The Motards had kept it together it could have turned into something like this.... In fact, yeah, I think it DEFINITELY could have. So that shit about The Drunks NOT being as up there as The Motards, shit, now Im seeing The Sunday Drunks as a Motards continuance. The Sunday Drunks are a Motards that found a better studio.
Packed with twelve all-original tracks, The Sunday Drunks have some real blast here. As the release progresses it gets nothing but better and better. Starting off on a strong mark with "Tarred-n-Feathered" it reaches Point: Critical about halfway through with "When Your Gone", "Take a Fall" and "One on One".....
Im going to pull some straight up gold out of my hat. To understand what Im about to say you better have followed my reviews close because Im going to talk about a Cincinnati local now that I think have something on The Sunday Drunks. That band is The Hypochondriacs. What The Hypochondriacs have on the Drunks is the fact that I know them personally, and the locals are more important than the best band of the style in the world from anywhere else. Go ahead and go down to the Blank Generation (dot com) search engine and look them up. The Hypochondriacs. The Hypochondriacs have that good ol fashioned rock and or roll sound, but something that The Hypochondriacs have that the Sunday Drunks DONT have (because the Hypos are now drinking dark beer on a regular basis), besides the luck of being local, is a rawer more dirty-gutter struggle punk sound. Hearing The Sunday Drunks made me realize, once again, how pertinent The Hypochondriacs are. It also made me realize that if I was in a position that Tom has with Deadbeat, I would maybe try to fly out to Ohio and try to capture some of the wild talent out here with bands like The Hypochondriacs that extends to Kill The Hippies, the Gazelles, and others. But hey, no problem. The Sunday Drunks really won me over.
off to dark beer punk! (SAB)
V/A "Underachievers #5" CD
I listened to this comp. featuring current, Tucson, AZ underground bands while driving from thrift shop to thrift shop in Stockton, California. The sounds totally fit the landscape and atmosphere because the two towns are so lazy, easy-living similar, except that 1. Stocktons got way better thrift stores, and 2. Tucsons got way better bands and music venues. And, please, dont try telling me about Value Village, Pavement [okay, that 10" is killer], Chris Isaac and the Antidomestix, or the Java Hut.
Maybe Stockton does have good, weirdo, non-NOFX, ska or Weezer-wanna-be bands, but we dont know about them because they dont have a guy like Star Time Records mogul, Scott Moody to put their stuff out. Of course, as with most local scene comps, this runs the gamut from rockabilly to death metal to new wave, so not everything will be to every narrow minds liking. I think some of the material just plain sucks, like the annoying Bebe & Serge track "Shes Got Your Man (Cricket)", the plodding metal of Cloven Hoof, or the lead vocals to the Weird Lovemakers cover of "Uncontrollable Urge." Another typical local scene comp. thing is for otherwise great bands to submit throwaway tracks, of which there are a few of here.
Still, there are enough good songs on this to make it well worth your while. Fuck, that Screenz tune, "Get Away This" is worth way more than a measly ten bucks; I really cant describe how great it is. It features a distorted guitar and a synth playing the same somewhat atonal, modernist line, but theyre not hitting the same notes. The drums pulse like a keg-of-beer, eight-ball-of-cocaine hangover headache. In the background, a two-year-old on helium and roofies is whispering something deadly and indecipherable in your ear. GOD, WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS? Man, these guys are creepy, and would make the Electric Eels proud and violent.
Resonars track, "Pretty Little Rose", on the other hand,
would make the MC5 proud. Ever lament the fact that most, if not all current,
supposed MC5 bands are not rock n roll bands like the MC5, but rather
bad hard rock acts like Mountain? Well, cry no more. You also dont
have to cry anymore if youve been just dying for gay Mexican cops
to don muppet outfits and rip through some pretty killer surf rock, as
the Los Federales do on "Theme from Dude Beach." Shit, theres
actually a bunch of good shit here: a stoned-out raga from Sun Zoom Spark,
trashed-up, wreckless punk from The Ficas and Dickless Torso, Cure-style
new wave from Teen Suicide, Young Marble Giant-like, drumless pop wave
from Super 78, dirty emo punk with perfect guitars from Hobart, layers
of feedback and screams from The Blacks, and excellent organ-driven rock,
with maybe the best vocals on this comp. from The Okmoniks. Well, the
Okmoniks vocals are probably equaled on a different level by ZTTFs
hilariously fucked-up, government-conspiracy punk song "Pee Pee Control".
"Now, theyre gonna control your little weenie", or something
like that. Now I wish Tucson and Frisco could be squished together. That
would be fucked-up. (SH)
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