Record Reviews - April, 2002

Blood Sucking Freaks "Bottlesick" CD

Melodic punk… metal guitar solos…hardcore type vocals…eh…yeah. (JD)
(Sounds of Subterrania Po: 103662, 34036 Kassel, Germany)

Briefs "Love and Ulcers" 7"

I truly believe in my heart that The Briefs are fast becoming the new millennium equivalent to The Knack. Their brand of jerky punk/wave (Neoteric) styling (with emo sensibilities--Just kidding) really finds a home with me. "Love and Ulcers" is quite a strong track, in fact, much stronger than "We Americans", but I'm not complaining there.... I still see The Briefs as a band in transition and can't wait to see what the hits were offering me up next on this slab of vinyl. I STILL think they released a full-length too early and wished they would have spent more time in releasing really kick ass EP’s instead, but hell, I cant really blame them for moving so fucking fast.

You got to hit it while the hitting is good.

I know that sounded sick, and VERY Nascar-ish in its delivery, but I just woke up from a mid afternoon nap (I awoke per schedule at 4AM to work) and had this crazy dream that I was in ‘NAM, round '68 as close as I could figure, and a Victor Charlie Sniper (VC) picked off someone next to me. When I suspected the South Vietnamese soldier across the compound had something to do with it due to his emotionless face, I ordered him to ‘freeze’ and brought my rifle sight up to his face. He ran. I hesitated to shoot because of the politics involved in killing someone your supposed to be helping and all, but he was guilty BECAUSE he ran....

He took off running in the parking lot adjacent to the guard post. I ran with him to the spot where I first ordered him to freeze. I had a clean shot so I opened up with my AR-15 letting loose a four shot burst. The suspect fell dead right there in the convenience store parking lot.

Yes. I said ‘Convenience store’. Were convenience stores around in ‘68 Vietnam? I dunno....

So, The Briefs. Still keeping my interest post’ Hits era. Good job. Stars all around. (SAB)
(Dirtnap Records PO Box 21249 Seattle, WA 98111)

Briefs "Abrasive" & "Love and Ulcers" 7"s

Oh, Mr. Dirtnap, you've done a very good thing!

First off, go to your nearest record shop and buy both of these singles right now. That is an order. There is no discussion here. When you get home, take a good ten minutes and revel in the glory that is the artwork and packaging on these singles. Love and Ulcers has an orange sleeve with blue lettering and blue vinyl. Abrasive has a blue sleeve with orange lettering and orange vinyl. Love and Ulcers features a tic-tac-toe game on the sleeve with band members' heads in place of the X, and the "player wins". Abrasive features a tic-tac-toe game on the sleeve with monkeys in place of the X, and the "machine wins". On the backs of each sleeve the winner is reversed. Oh, and each sleeve also has a picture of a smiling monkey on it (no shit!).

The fabulous thematic artwork would have been enough to keep me happy even if the four new songs weren't that inspiring, but thankfully, all four songs are huge fucking hits! Overall, The Briefs are sounding a little bit slower and a little bit poppier than their prior work, but any of the four songs would have been standout tracks on their brilliant Hit After Hit LP, and if this is what their major label stuff is going to sound like, I'm all for it. On the first single, "She's Abrasive" is the fastest one of the bunch and sounds most like it could have been off of the LP. The flip, "(Like A) Heart Attack", is the big winner on this chunk of wax and it owes a big tip of the hat to the Bay City Rollers. It's the Briefs most adventurous foray into the world of glammy power pop and they pull it off quite nicely.

The next single starts off with "Love and Ulcers" which is a slower dance tune with a guitar lead that would make your local AM radio DJ proud. We're talking 80’s style here and oddly enough, The Briefs make it work. Once again, the b-side beats the a-side and it does so by quite a bit. "We Americans" is destined to be a classic. I heard it while out at a show a few days before picking this up, wedged in between The Pointed Sticks and The Undertones, and it didn't sound out of place. It stuck in my head for days, and I was pleased to discover that The Briefs were the ones behind it. I can hear now that it is clearly a modern band behind the song, but the songwriting style easily fooled me into thinking it was over 20 years old. It starts out with – "We Americans is stupid. We Americans is dirty" and it only gets better from there. Calling it a modern day punk rock anthem would be right on mark. And calling these singles mandatory would be the understatement of the year. (JG)
(Dirtnap Records PO Box 21249 Seattle, WA 98111)

Buff Medways "F-B-M-F-A" 7"

The new Billy Childish project… Really, that should be all you need to know. There are already a handfulla’ releases, and I’ll bet we’ll see an avalanche by the end of the year. This one's my favorite of the batch thus far. Definitely has a more "heavy" sound, partially due to Wolf Howard’s smackdown skins, and partially due to a more "mod" angle. I like it a lot more than the last few Headcoats releases – very refreshing, yet still unquestionably Billy. (TK)
(Damaged Goods, P.O. Box 671, London, E17 9GH, UK)

Buff Medways "Sally Sensation" 7"

Female-themed seven-incher from the band that could be Thee Billy Childish Experience. Less of the Hendrix-inspired stuff this time though. The A-Side is an average Medway garage number. The B-Side, "Dawn Said (What Have I Done)", is the attraction here, a wicked and fast fuzz-punk number that hits on cylinders I haven’t heard Billy use in awhile. The Medways are probably Childish’s tightest band ever. This is their 5th (6th?) single as far as I can tell, and the usual shitstorm of Childish vinyl shows no sign of letting up. They have another single due out in April and their second full length will be released in May, both on Transcopic Records. Also, Larry Clark of Kids fame is working on making a film version of Billy’s life story. And The White Stripes love him too… Anyway, this one comes with no pic sleeve, just a slab of vinyl and an inner sleeve, stripped down just like Billy wants it. Released on Gibbet Records, which I’m assuming is some offshoot of the Hangman label. (RK)
(Gibbet Records)

Busted Lives "One Flap Down" CD

All the way from Oakland, California comes the Busted Lives. They’ve been around for a while now, and I’ve been writing about how fucking cool they are…but you know…whatever… Bar/garage rock ‘n’ roll for the alcohol swillin’ boozers of my generation. Surly, slimy and totally outta sight, the Busted Lives are like a more fucked Gories…with more fuzz and animosity…Drags-ish…but not… You get it! I mean, how can you go wrong with songs like – "Drinking Like An Oakland Raider," "Landlord’s Bitch," and "Damn You Weak Drunks." Yeah! Fuck those guys! Wait I’m one of those guys! Fuck me! Garage Dullards U-Fuckin’-Nite! Tooonite! (JD)
(Blueball Records 6517 Farallon Way Oakland, CA 94103)

Catheters "Build A Home" 7"

I gave these guys a good review last time, and I’ve been wrestling with my opinion of them since. I keep trying to find reasons not to like them: they’re on SubPop, the album was too polished, they’re just faking it, they sound almost COMMERCIAL, etc… I keep coming back to the album, but at the end of the day it still sounds good. I just have this sinking feeling they’re about to show up on MTV someday soon. I guess I would rather have the kids listen to Stooges/Dolls inspired stuff like The Catheters than Green Day bullshit masquerading as punk. Ah, fuck the stupid kids anyway. The A-Side is a rough mix of one of the better tracks from the full-length. The B-Side is a fuzzed-up cover of The Wailers’ "Hang Up", which is either a blatant stab at garage credibility or proof that they really know what they’re doing. I’ll let you decide which. On orange vinyl, if you care. (RK)
(SubPop PO Box 20645, Seattle,WA 98102)

Chargers Street Gang "Holy the Bop Apocalypse" CD

I’ve stated this before on these "pages" – the Chargers are an AMAZING live band. In fact, I’d put ‘em right there with the Lost Sounds, Dirtbombs, Figgs, Swingin’ Neckbreakers, et al. Energetic as all get-out, loud, tight, perfect… As with earlier products, this CD just ain’t that good. Is it derivative? Not really, for the rock ‘n roll thang – there’s a definite Clevo off center wobble to the rock-punch. Is it the production? Are YOU gonna’ be the one to blame Tim Kerr (for anything other than inspiring a jillion hardcore clowns to pick up stringed doohickys)? Thought not. I have no idea why a band so obviously great cannot produce even a marginal in-studio product. Fuck. Catch ‘em live. (TK)
(Get Hip, Columbus & Preble Aves, Pittsburgh, PA 15233)

Clone Defects "Blood On Jupiter" LP

Before I begin the review proper I’d just like to offer up a big fuck you to labels and bands everywhere that punish/reward people for buying a certain format. The review of this I read last month mentioned two songs that aren’t on the vinyl copy which I own ("Cheetah Eyes" and "Not As Good As Gold"), so I’ll assume they’re CD bonus tracks. Those dicks… That shit is lamer than Billy Crystal. And that’s pretty fucking lame.

Now that I’ve got that out of my system on to the mater at hand. I got this because when I saw the Kill-A-Watts a couple months back, Ryan recommended them to me. Despite all of the accolades they’ve received I was kind of leery when I saw the packaging for this. A bunch of bar rock looking guys, disgusting pictures of some ass ugly guy’s head with legs and a penis painted around it, and song titles like "Whisky And Women" and "Precious Libra." Oh, boy was I ever ready for this to suck. Luckily I couldn’t have been more wrong. This actually sounds pretty awesome. I’d liken it to a three-way dance between the Heartbreakers, T Rex, and some Killed By Death band. What really separates these guys from the pack is their incendiary guitar bombast and a knack for writing insanely catchy hooks. The best examples of this are the title track (whose guitar firepower absolutely kills), "Cheap Livin," "Little Miss Lori," and "Deep End" all of which are way better than pretty much everything Iggy did after the Stooges. Even the pussy songs on here are relatively good. Goofy lyrics about "black stars" and "diamond eyes" would normally make me scoff in disdain, or at the very least prevent my liking something, but here they only serve to add to the whole seventies punk vibe this album has goin’ on. Most of the time when bands try this kind of thing they end up falling flat on their face, but the Clone Defects manage, not only to make it work, but to forge a sound from disparate influences that is uniquely their own. I like this more and more each time I hear it. Now if only I had the MIA bonus tracks… (SS)
(Tom Perkins Entertainment, POB 970936, Ypsilanti, MI 48197)

Crimson Sweet "So Electric" 7"

                 > Crimson Sweet

           < Cheetahs for the sonic~modernized

   > Waterfalls of guitars splash

           < A brick~barrier of bass blares

                  > Clocks`tick for the drums certain

Saviors of New York! Saviors of the punk and the pop! Trash~Waves through the distance! Trash~Waves through the proximity! Solely the primary! (JD)
(Slow Gold Zebra Records PO Box 20506 New York, NY 10009)

Dementia Thirteen "S/T" CD

From New York Citay, ladies and gentlemen, Dementia Thirteen. They’ve released a handful of 45’s in the past, but here is an eight song CD that showcases their superlative brand of 60’s garage. Everything about this recording screams of the angst and wretched vibes that were howling out of a garage in the early 60’s. The Kingsmen, the Animals, those are the bands that I’d throw Dementia Thirteen on a bill with. My only complaint with this recording is (and it’s a small one), personally, I think Josh could belt it out a little more with some of his vocals. I can hear him giving it his all on songs like, "Ain’t Gonna Let You," "Through Blurry Eyes," and "Countdown," but on the tunes like, "Sell Your Soul," "Or Is It Nowhere," "Your Cruel World," and "It’s Comin’ Home" I think he comes off a little short. I mean, whatever, right? The music’s some of the best. And this is a demo CD and I’ll listen to it all the time… But since you can do it, Josh, I wanna hear it, man. Booze, women, hard times, babydoll (!), just dance with me. (JD)
(Zodiac Records)

Dirty Sweets "Bubblegum Damaged" CD/LP

Seen a pile of good reviews so far for this LP, but only one other person here has weighed in on this record so far, so here's my take on it. Greg, you can do better than this! Yeah, the Dirty Sweets are alright…but that's all they are - alright. For a record label that has set as high standards for itself as Rip Off has over the years, this record is "sub-standard." The Dirty Sweets sound like what you might imagine Loli & the Chones would sound like had they tried to write more tuneful songs, which is fine & dandy, but what made Loli & the Chones the great band they were was not that their songs were "tuneful" per-se, but that they were done with an incredible overload of snot, attitude & balls. And that's exactly what this record lacks - balls! The result is that almost all of these songs are lacking the good old vicious bite I like in my Rip Off-style garage punk.

That's not to say that Bubblegum Damaged is a total loss. In fact, I can't honestly think of a particularly "bad" song on here, but the Dirty Sweets songs themselves have surprisingly low staying power; I've listened to this LP three or four times now, and I honestly can't recall there being any one standout song on it. Oh, and I think that printing their lyrics on the back cover of the LP was kinda lame. Yeah, so it was funny including a lyric sheet with that Intimate Fags LP to poke fun at the way Japanese bands 'duh-ohnt rheight vwery good rearicks in Engrish,' but it's not exactly like the lyrics to "Bitch Fight" are brain surgery to figure out, let alone warrant a fucking transcript, here! Skip this, and wait for the Kill-A-Watts album instead. (SA)
(Rip Off Records, 581 Maple Avenue, San Bruno, CA, 94066)

The Eat "God Punishes" EP

This is a bootleg reissue of the perennial KBD faves from Florida (land of…stuff that sucks). Many of these songs have been comped all over the place, but I’d recommend getting this fucker so’s you can play them back-to-back the way Baal intended. Excellent and catchy lo-mid-fi stuff that’s drooled over fer a reason. (TK)
(No Address)

El Guapo Stuntteam "Year of the Panther" LP

Punk rock ‘n’ roll! Then there’s some bullshit 70’s hard rock! Fuck That Shit! Loud, fast Zeke and Candy Snatchers type rock, yeah, that’s okay…nothing special here… But fuck that 70’s bar rock shit cause yr not good musicians and I’m fucking bored now! FUCKING BORED! God! I hate Neil Diamond… (JD)
(Sounds of Subterrania Po: 103662, 34036 Kassel, Germany)

Epoxies "S/T" CD

I’m going to come out of the shut-in full-attack mode: If you don't understand concepts such as New Wave or The Neoteric Punk/Wave you might want to re-think your decision to read this review, or even consider buying this disc for your compact disc collection.

Compact disc collection.... That's some funny shit there. Laugh.

The full-attack mode continues, like that War on Terror; from way back in 1997, the build up of Operation: Anaconda continues:

If you absolutely hate Berlin and/or The Missing Persons Please, for the sake of bunker buster’s everywhere, STOP here. Do not continue. Other than that, proceed.

The Epoxies, a band that I first heard of in a review from Horizontal Action, but yet the Epoxies are one of those kinds of bands that are a rare treat to find in any record establishment. I got this disc, it had just came in. It hits my ears like a home-made war meal. It's what I needed. It was first told to me that it's very X-Ray Spex-ish, but I dunno...

The Epoxies eleven tracks on this disc come at me like if Poly Styrene had written songs for a band consisting of members from Berlin, Devo and Missing Persons. You see, like on Germ Free Adolescents, This Epoxies disc is a reflection. The songs on Germ Free and the subsequent singles that the Spex did around that time were a self-described diary of 1977 according to Ms. Styrene herself. Just as Germ Free Adolescents was a reflection of its environment, The Epoxies disc is a reflection of theirs. I know this because the most common used word in Epoxies tunes is ‘you’. When you use words like ‘you’, normal deductions tell you, the avid Blank Generation reader, that you are witnessing a definition of reflection.

This disc is definitely the shit. One of the best this year so far. All the songs are intense and strike like a fucking Asteroid the size of a Volkswagen; not enough to be considered a planetary life-ender but non-the-less one of those asteroids big enough to change lifestyles. Enough to fuck up a whole city the size of Los Angeles.

"Stop Looking at Me"(HeliosCreed-bless The Epoxies)
"Walk the Streets"
"Stop Looking at Me" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"Please Please"
"Molded Plastic" (GaryNuman-bless The Epoxies)
"Science of You" Listen to the nu-classic and let them consume you.


Those of you following my now 18 month long (and counting) stint as a member of The Blank Generation will know that when I say things as strongly as "This disc is definitely the shit" I fucking mean it. I mean, FUCK! I see nothing wrong with this disc as it plays.

That's not medium-rare.

That's RARE. Blood dripping, still breathing RARE!

The Epoxies are heart-felt. The Epoxies are plastic. The Epoxies have a half-life that will far outlive most attention spans. The Epoxies full-attack, like THIS is what should have been on the Valley Girl soundtrack.

So people will be like ‘What's up That 80’s show’ and shit about The Epoxies. Who Cares? We all are losing control and now we have a soundtrack. You like Devo. You like Missing Persons. You like Berlin (‘Pleasure Victim’ era). You like The X-Ray Spex. And all of that is NOT questions back there, dumbfuck. It isn’t please.... It's statements. It's commands. I have given up hope of Neoteric Conversions as of.... NOW.

Those converted have done so. Let the rest die in true Viking spirit! Blood-Eagles all around!

Now it's all about Neoteric Inquisitions; termination of the unbelievers. Home-made motherfuckers! As of... NOW. Let the Epoxies usher in a new era of Neoteric awareness. Throw away the handbook that was never issued.

Its all gotta end somewhere, but more importantly, its all gotta begin somewhere too. Here’s to a life of beginnings and endings. Subsequent mastery of destruction and re-birth. In the right hand, alpha. In the left is big brother, omega.

As of....NOW. (SAB)
(Dirtnap PO Box 21249 Seattle, WA. 98111)

Ewoks/Lottie Collins "Split" 7"

We got a different release here, with two totally different sounding bands. First up are The Ewoks (ex-member of Riff Randells) from Vancouver, BC. The best way I could describe them would be to take early Cub, get them totally drunk, and then take away their guitar and bass and replace it with an old skool keyboard. They're totally amateur and lo-fi sounding (on purpose!) and at the same time oddly compelling. When I saw them live the crowd was either dancing away up front or heckling them loudly from the back. You gotta love a band that can elicit that sort of response out of a crowd. My favourite part of The Ewoks side is some of the lyrics to first song "Super Mario Bros 3" - "there's a keyboard player in all of us/There's a punk rock drummer in all of us". Right on. On the flipside, the Lottie Collins from Japan contribute two totally fuzzed out poppy garage punk numbers. I thought of Japan's TV Idols instantly but have since come to realize that The Lottie Collins incorporate more pop hooks into their tunes than the TV Idols do. I'd call them the missing link between the Raydios and the TV Idols. Good stuff. (JG)
(Magic Teeth Records)

Green Monsters "Aiming Low" 7"

Basement-fi trash from Montreal… Certainly not in the league with the Scat Rag Boosters or Spaceshits, but anyone jonesin’ fer sum Evolutions (f’rince) oughta’ dig it a bunch. I guess they’ve already broken up, and members have formed a project called "Rich and the Broke." (TK)
(Fake Records)



Hanson Brothers "My Game" CD

I've lived in Canada my whole life, and not surprisingly, I've been a fucking huge hockey fan since as long as I can remember. I also cut my teeth on this thing called punk rock by getting into some serious three-chord pop punk action back in the day. So, whenever the Wright brothers and company get tired of being too "artistic" (read: Nomeansno) and choose instead to plug it in and let it rip as the Hanson Brothers I get pretty excited.

On this, their third full length, they continue their longstanding tradition of putting the rest of the Ramones-core bands to shame. It's a true sign of how talented they are at writing massively huge punk hits when this album, which is one of the better things I've heard this year, is, by far, their weakest album of the three. The first thing to take note of is the fact that the production is a step down from their brilliant Sudden Death LP. The giant wall of sound just isn't there, mainly due to the fact that they pull the Ramones trick of putting the bass in one channel and the guitar in the other. The only benefit to this is you can crank the balance to the left and listen to it with bass only or crank it to the right to hear guitar only (and yes, I've listened to the whole thing through on each - bass only wins!!!)

Also, there seems to be a higher ratio of slow songs to fast songs than on prior albums. While some people enjoy the slow, schmaltzy stuff, I much prefer the speedier tunes. I hate to sound so negative, this really is a good album, it's just that they are capable of better things. They show signs of that on the killer hits like "100 + 10%" and "Tranquil" and come close on a few others, but many songs leave me looking for more. As a big plus, they continue their tradition of referencing the classics - the cover apes Black Flag's My War LP artwork while "Give Me Anything" borrows the distinctive bass line from The Rezillos "(My Baby Does) Good Sculptures", they have a goodbye Joey song, and their cover of that crappy disco song from Slapshot is actually quite good. (JG)
(Mint Records PO Box 3613 Vancouver, BC V6B 3Y6 Canada)

Hanson Brothers "My Game" CD

Has it been five/six years since the last Hanson Brothers album already? Since 1992, the "Nomeansno" gang have used the Hanson Brothers moniker as an outlet to play good old-fashioned punk rock when they get tired of playing their usual prog-punk numbers every five years or so. They adopt Ramones-like alter ego's with a rough & tough Slap Shot (the movie, doofus)-influenced hockey-thug edge, and with that, their songs end up being arguably the best executed examples of straight up "Ramones-core" around. For that matter, they're also the only REALLY GOOD ones at it, by the virtue that they actually get the joke behind the Ramones & play along with it, adopting the goofiness of the Ramones shtick and infusing it with the hokey stereotypical "Canuck" shtick of Bob & Doug McKenzie (or for those of you that actually live in Canada, Red Green is a slightly better example). And live, they're one of the greatest fucking bands in the world - putting every element together in a rip roaring nearly two-hour set where audience participation puts the whole experience over the top (hockey jersey's tend to be adorned by over half of their crowd, stage dives seem to occur once every thirty seconds w/ the assistance of their infamous "Referee" roadie). In short, they're fucking legends!

Now I must say right off the bat that the experience of seeing the Hanson Brothers live will never be replicated on "album format." It's just not possible. But over the course of three albums, the Hanson’s have always managed to put out an album worth owning, and My Game is no exception to that. Their music is completely void of any of the annoyances of modern pop punk. They're Road To Ruin-esque punk rock/power pop/rock 'n' roll music for people who actually know what real punk rock is - no mid-90s pop punk gimmicks or lame Queers-esque sappiness can be found on ANY of their records. And because they actually do "get the joke" behind the Ramones, as I was talking about earlier, they're the only band I can think of that could have managed to pull off as good of a Joey Ramone-tribute song as they do here with the fitting & smartly written "Joey Had To Go" (with lines like "He couldn't count passed four / But he didn't need a whole lot more").

With fifteen songs here and most of them being pretty good, this album is just as good as their previous two albums. And in spite of them basically not having much of a purpose beyond just playing good, tongue-in-cheek Ramones inspired rock 'n' roll music, the Hanson Brothers still carve out a place of their own among the annals of music history just by rocking so hard on such a consistent basis, and by having their own easily recognizable identity while playing a sound that is admittingly overdone (though it is arguably rarely done "right," either). Their surprisingly great re-working of Maxine Nightingale's neo-disco stinker "Right Back Where We Started From" (which they facetiously re-title "Get It Right Back," as if to sneak it by us in shame) is a perfect example of the Hanson’s own distinct identity and "backwoods doofus"-shtick greatly overshadowing the fact that they're basically the Ramones interpreted with a grain of salt by hockey loving prog-punkers well into their forties. But is there really any shame in that? When the songs are this good… Yeah, I didn't think so, either… So grab a couple of beers and take this "gimmick" for what it is - extremely well done Ramones-inspired rock 'n' roll music that is funny, rousing and rocking all at the same time. (SA)
(Mint Records, P.O. BOX 3613, Vancouver, BC, CANADA, V6B 3Y6)

Highschool Rockers "Let’s Kill The Reekys Tonight" 7"

This record is the definitely the value of the month. Not only do you get the thickest slab of vinyl I’ve ever seen (it almost dwarfs that silver thing in the middle of my turntable), you also get a mini board game, a high quality postcard, a fashion inspiration (certainly the final frontier for punk fashion is the "punk rock country club look" the Rockers are sporting on the cover), and, oh yeah, four restaurant quality rock ‘n’ roll gems. The way I look at it is that due to the quality quotient here, this is like getting two killer Rip Off style one-sided seven-inchers for the price of one. What a deal! The title track on here sort of reminds me of a heavily Supercharger influenced version of the Rockers’ fellow Germans the Sonic Dolls. Now that I think of it that’s a pretty good way to describe their sound, but it’s even more applicable to that song. The undisputed champion on this platter is a song called "Fun Tonight." Forget any Riverdales notions that this title may make pop in your head, this song is a totally delicious blast of pure r ‘n’ r magic, topped off with some tasteful organ (provided once again by someone named "Sgt. Pecker"). This platter is so inspiring and infectious that even after multiple spins I still can’t get enough. Yeah! (SS)
(URU [As in the material that the mighty Thor’s hammer is made of?], Svedeliusvag 16, s-611 38 Nykoping, Sweden)

Hissyfits "Wish You Were Here" 7"

Oooh…cool looking vinyl… It’s all, like, red, pink, and white… Anyway…the Hissyfits…I never like ’em… Three girls playing sort of a mid-tempo pop with poor harmonizing, music that’s just not very catchy, and songs that drag on forever! What are ya gonna do… (JD)
(Sounds of Subterrania Po: 103662, 34036 Kassel, Germany)

Hot Hot Heat "S/T" CD

We have some genre crossing going on here. Is Hot Hot Heat a punk band? An indy band? An emo band? A new wave band? Shit, I don't know. The correct answer would probably be a little bit of each, but here are the facts: they use only drums, bass and a synthesizer, they scream a lot, and the lyrics are very close to being completely random. I can safely say I've never heard a band that sounds like them, and that is a good thing. Most songs make me want to get up and dance, kick, and scream until I'm tired, which is also a good thing.

To give you some idea of their sound, I'd say take the disjointed tunefulness of a band like Les Savy Fav and mix it with the spastic punk outbursts of a band like Le Shok and subtract the hijinxed guitar sound and you'd have a start. The powers that be seem to like them, seeing as they have just signed to Sub Pop. The one new song I've heard seems to show a step forward for Hot Hot Heat, with the addition of a tastefully used guitar and a switch to a piano sound versus a synth sound (I'm hoping not all songs are like this). They hail from Victoria, BC and if you take into consideration their province mates The Red Light Sting from Vancouver (who they also share a split LP with), I'm wondering if the west coast of Canada is beginning to develop it's own unique synth-punk sound. I await the Sub Pop stuff with eager anticipation. (JG)
(Ohev Records PO Box 772121 Coral Springs, FL 33077)

Hot Pockets "Kiss ’N Run" LP

This is the first time I’ve heard the Hot Pockets…I think… I would’ve never checked ’em out on my own… it’s just that name…the Hot Pockets… What can I say, I’m a bitch about band names… If it doesn’t sound cool to me it takes an act of God, or in this case Daniel, to get me to listen to their record. So this is a collection of Hot Pockets tunes, probably their best tunes… FUCK! I hate that band name thing with me! Look what I’ve missed! The Hot Pockets are a total lofi garage version of the Devil Dogs. Solid, snotty, catchy rock ‘n’ roll tunes that sound like they’re straight out of the early 90’s garage era. Ignore the band’s name, if you don’t like it, but buy this record NOWWWWWWW! (JD)
(Alien Snatch! Records, Morikeweg 1, 74199 Untergruppenbach, Germany)

Hotwires "the Red glare of Rockets" 10"

England! Yeah, that’s where you may encounter the Hotwires. Ex-Action Time. I’m excited to hear what Billy and his new squad of miscreants are up to. Expect that the Hotwires are gonna shred the rock ‘n’ roll stage with violent attacks of gnarled guitars and insolent attitudes. Hateful sneers from the heathens of the recent trash, too unstable for the exemplary. Dig on "The Scene Sucks," "Furious Desires," "I Am Crime," and three more potent killers that have been locked in a garage far too long. (JD)
(Concrete Life Records)

Jewws "I Need Your Lovin’ (But I Don’t Need You)" 7"

I’ve heard good things about these guys before, but never really got around to checking them out. My mistake… It’s simply astounding that two thirds of this band does double duty in the ultra-wimpy (but still good) Junior Varsity. The Jewws’ hyper charged, cool as fuck garage assault knocked me on my ass like a kick to the chest from Donnie Yen and left me begging for more. Omari, the Jewws front man, definitely knows a thing or two about writing a good tune. The A-side reminds me a bit of a sped up version of the Kinks’ "Till the End of the Day"(easily the Kinks’ finest moment). The B-side has two tracks, one that saunters like a bad mother fucker looking for trouble, and another that rocks in an almost Teengenerate fashion with it’s bouncing bass line and 100 mph tempo. So Jewws, tell me, when are you playing the Twin Cities? (SS)
(Alien Snatch! Records, Morikeweg 1, 74199 Untergruppenbach, Germany)

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

Let me be the umpteenth to say that the Kill-A-Watts sub-sequential releases have been KILOMETERS better than their debut 45 on Rip Off. Not unlike the Rip Off single though, the song where the girl single the lead ("Video Game") is by far the song best here. It just rips. The other song is damn good, though. With the Yakisakana 7" serving as the other item of evidence, one might deduce that their forthcoming LP could very well end up being the best non-Reds disc that Rip Off's put out since, what…The Kids All Suck? Could be. On the flip, we have the Catholic Boys; the new band of two ex-Teenage Rejects, as well a member of the Strong Come Ons (who most review monkey's have neglected to mention, so far). And what do you know? They deliver the goods here with a sound that mixes the Strong Come Ons bluesy punk 'n' roll with the Reds signature jerky timing/rhythm changes & "cheer" ("Go, go, go," "Yeah, yeah, yeah," etc…) sections. "Sometimes Baby" sounds incredibly Reds-ish…though when you're aping a band as fucking great as that and doing it that well, it's all gravy to me. And who can resist the wild man/Jay Reatard-style vocals & lyrics? The final verdict: this split single should ultimately prove to you that in spite of being the state that produced not only the Green Bay Packers, but BOTH Bud Selig AND the Republican Party, (certain parts of) Wisconsin (do) does indeed rock; and 920 Blues Vol. 2 can't come out soon enough. (SA)
(Electrorock Records, P.O. Box 13504, Wauwatosa, WI, 53213-0504)

Leghounds "XOXO" 7"

I heard the Leghounds off of Todd’s "920 Blues" compilation (get that, by the way), but this is the first time that it’s hit me – the Leghounds are the Devil Dogs! And I don’t mean in that lame, "we can’t think of our own music so let’s just be whoever" way, no the Leghounds don’t come off like that. Picture right after Saturday Night Fever… Picture the Devil Dogs never breaking up… The Leghounds sound like if the Devil Dogs never broke up; which means, if you’re a fan of rock ‘n’ roll, you will get the Leghounds. (JD)
(Alien Snatch Records, Morikeweg, 74199 Untergruppenbach, Germany)

Le Shok "S&M" 7"

Talk about a record that grows on you! Yup, I bought into the hype of this now defunct San Diego punk group big time. I pretty much think that every single release they put out was great, and this neat package is no exception. The "neat" thing I'm referring to is the fact that there is a cover of "No Fun at the Beaches" by the old Aussie band, The Chosen Few pressed in to the actual cover (get it?) of the record. I'd never heard the original, but the song is pretty upbeat and catchy and hearing Le Shok do an upbeat and catchy song with their synth-damaged style is a great thing.

The two songs pressed on the actual vinyl, "I Want the Beat" and "White Outs," are incredibly infectious and will grow on you, so watch out. I kind of shrugged on my first couple of listens, but now I find myself humming them non-stop at work. Both of them continue the sonic output present on the We Are Electrocution LP, with their controlled sloppiness, shouting vocals and synth outbursts. By far the best part of the record is the part in "I Want the Beat" where the lyric sheet says that after the "I want the beat" part it's supposed to go "ah ah ah ah" and after the "Do you got the beat?" part it's supposed to go "oh oh oh oh", but in the actual song it just sounds creepy. I've listened to that part over and over, and yeah, it kind of sounds like there's someone saying "ah ah ah ah" and "oh oh oh oh," but sometimes I think that it might just be some weird effect on a guitar or synth. Worse yet, if I really listen closely I can almost envision some weird little pull toy robot thingy that sings the "ahs" and "ohs" and it kind of freaks me out. No joke! Try it out!

As a footnote, the song pressed into the cover only played once for me all the way through. I recorded it as the sticker on the front suggests, which is a good thing, as since then every time I've tried to spin it the record gets to a certain point and skips back a few grooves and the song never finishes. I also noticed that there is a huge amount of hiss and pop on that song due to the way it was pressed, but that kind of gets lost in the hiss and pop that Le Shok produces naturally. (JG)
(Slamdance Cosmopolis 7095 Hollywood Blvd #1803 Hollywood, CA 90028)

Le Tigre "Remix 12"" 12"

I like Le Tigre. I mean, you know that. I don’t just give up on bands/musicians who have blown my mind in the past. That would be just wrong. That would be just plain ignorant on my part. Feminist Sweepstakes. We are just on totally different pages with that record. Is that such a bad thing? I don’t think so. Le Tigre confers to people about politics and subjects that seem known and excepted by me. A person’s a person’s a person… And that’s all I have to say about that subject.

I like Le Tigre. And I like their Remix 12" 12". This is what I wanted musically from Feminist Sweepstakes. Concentrated bass-beats and more of the repetitive notes that emphasis the political point of their music. Dance music. Yeah, it’s total Dance music; but so are some of the best punk bands. Don’t kid yrself, kid. ‘Tres Bien [nouveau disco mix]," "On Guard [the en garde mix]," "Mediocrity Rules [41 small stars mix]," "Dyke March 2001 [reid’s aphro-dykey mix]," "Deceptacon [DFA RMX]," and "Much Finer [the flaxdatass mix]." A person’s a person. Androgyny in the Oh Oh’s! Uh Oh! (JD)
(Mr. Lady PO Box 3189 Durham, N.C. 27715)

Moo Rat Fingers "Actung Duschbag" 7"

Big Neck continues to mine Europe for the coolest in raunch-rawk, this time stopping in Germany for their latest 7" offering. This four-track single essentially only has two songs on it. The first, "You Should Be Swinging", is the reason to buy this sucker. A smoking thrash punk number sounding quite like a muscular Dwarves if Blag had a German accent. You get this track sung in German on the A-Side and English on the B-Side. The German version sounds a little scarier just cause German is a fucking scary sounding language, but I’m sure you’ll like it in English much better. The second track, "Radio Off", sounds a lot like the first except less catchy. You get two versions of this one too, both in English (I think), but with two different singers. Definitely worth buying just for "You Should Be Swinging", the song is just that good. It’s on Big Neck for shit’s sake! And when you order, ask Bart where the hell the Baseball Furies’ full-length is too. (RK)
(Big Neck Records PO Box 8144, Reston, VA 20195)

Moo Rat Fingers "Actung Duschbag" 7"

Yeah, two heavy garage punk rockers from the Germany. I say two because the Moo Rat Fingers do the same two songs on each side, it’s just that one side’s in English and one side’s in German (I guess). The German side has more kick to it… Their first tune, "You Should Be Swinging," is a firm garage punk tune with a bad attitude. But "Radio Off" is thee winner of the record via it’s ripping off of classic rock ‘n’ roll licks that never get old. Now if I could just get Bart to start printing better cover art… I’m gonna do it Bart, do it for eeeeeuuuuuuwwwwwwwwww! (JD)
(Big Neck Records PO Box 8144, Reston, VA 20195)

Naked Eye "From Obscurity to Nowhere" CD

Back downunder…with the Naked Eye… The Australian influence is all right here… The Saints (Eternally Yours-era), Radio Birdman, it’s all here, but they went for the pOp… The Naked Eye’s vocals have…I don’t know…a shyness to ‘em…they seem a little disconnected from the music…which isn’t bad at all…but they aren’t as raw…as punk as say the Saints or Birdman… Just, more of a pop influence is in here… I prefer raw energy to pop-sensibility, so I can’t say I’m into this record… I guess think the Saints or Radio, but way more melodic…if that turns you on then check ‘em out… (JD)
(No Address)

Nuggets "Are the Alchemists of Music!" CD

Ex-Basement Brats…never been a huge fan…I liked that one power pop/punk tune off of the Rapid Pulse single… This is totally different…the Nuggets try to be with the 60’s psychedelic beat music and fail miserably… It’s pussy, all of it. I guess if you need to go through some herbal treatment you could buy into this… Whatever… (JD)
(Sounds of Subterrania Po: 103662, 34036 Kassel, Germany)

Okmoniks "Take A Spin With The" 7"

This got reviewed a couple months back, but for those of you who didn’t jump on board allow me to further plead its case. This record is just oozing ‘cool.’ The Okmoniks have a foolproof recipe for a good time: awesome no budget packaging, totally infectious garage rock ‘n’ roll that makes you wanna bop around your room like a goon, great female vocals, an absolutely killer organ sound, and that mysterious x-factor that separates the really good from the fucking great. I’d be hard pressed to think of a single band that sounds like this nowadays. Closest points of reference would be a cross between a ballsier Brentwoods and a more garage version of the first Rondelles seven-inch. While the songs on here are all topnotch, the most noteworthy thing about this is the feeling of sheer fun that springs forth from the grooves. I’d be surprised if this didn’t end up in my top ten for 2002. Further proof that the lofi garage aesthetic (ala Supercharger and early Rip Off Records) is far from moribund. (SS)
(The Okmoniks, 722 E. 9th St, Tucson, AZ 85719)

Prison 11 "Sidekicks" CD

Green Day type pop punk… Melodic and all that… (JD)
(Sounds of Subterrania Po: 103662, 34036 Kassel, Germany)

Put-Downs "Wrong Side Of Texas" CD

Yeah…campy… I remember the Put-Downs… I really didn’t think much of their 7"… And I don’t think much of their CD… Sorta three-chord punk… They utilize the whole "from Texas" theme and I really don’t get what they’re trying to say…if anything… I’m a New Yorker. We’re pretentious and all that… No, I’m kidding… There’s an ex-Motard in this band, but they sound nothing like the Motards… If you like Texan country music and three-chord stupid punk rock you might like the Put-Downs… I need some pizza… (JD)
(Mortville Records PO Box 4263 Austin, TX 78765)

Radio Shanghai "Spur………?" CD

The neunewave of Jap[an] has finally released an album! !! !!!!!!! !! !This is a monumental achievement. Radio Shanghai has been around for quite some time now and they’ve only released three singles. That’s something I respect in a band. They don’t push themselves and write throwaway songs. No, they pace themselves and let whatever happens happen.

So what has Radio Shanghai given us that took them soooo long to release an album? Well they’ve given us ten songs of perfect pop. Every Radio Shanghai song is so fine~tuned and tightly~screwed together it’s just scary how every song is just flawlessly performed. You’d think they were some kind of androids or something…though I don’t know… They ARE from Japan…I don’t put ANYTHING passed that country…true leaders in pushing the boundaries of ‘the possible.’

Ten tunes! Of about half of which I like… Yeah, Radio Shanghai pushed passed me with some of their neuu tunes… "Away From The Other World" is a decent song set to some bastardized ska riff, but the little Madonna (Like A Virgin-era) guitar solos bother me. Their cover of "Lady of the Afternoon" just sounds too average, too…I don’t know…anti-Radio Shanghai. "Tech-Pocket" sounds rather hokey with it’s fast guitar plucking that only reminds me of fast country blue grass…then turns over to some bad soundtrack to an 80’s Cop flick (note the police sirens). "I.H.O (D’ont set me free)" has all the right sounds for me to love it, BUT there’s NO hooks from 0:00~3:11. I just end up pressing the FORWARD button on my CD player for all of these songs.

Ten tunes! Of about half of which I like… I can’t say you shouldn’t get this record. Because one good Radio Shanghai songs is worth a thousand bad ones and they give us six! "White Noise In My Hands" opens the CD up with an explosion of pop neuwave that sends my head in a spin. "Blind Beat," thee hit of the CD, has hooks that’ll prick you till you bleed ecstasy. "Fiction Love" comes straight out of a ’79 punk England with it’s ultra~infectious keyboard and guitar riffs. The enhanced "Plastic Seventeen" has a raw energy and urgent/anxious feel that you can’t avoid. The exquisite reworking of "2-D Girl" (which is slower and has added cello-like sounds off a keyboard) gives you a dream~like state and puts you into a sense of total bliss. The record ends with "Guilty Eyes," and what can I say about this song other than the gorgeous melodies combined with a perfect production makes for a total punk-bombastic tune. Every one of these songs is a song that I can not stop listening to, and that is the power of Radio Shanghai. You can not avoid their music. They are bloodsuckers, but they can suck me dry. (JD)
(Loft Records, Japan)

Real Pills "Nine Long Years" CD

Yeah! Garage punk! Well, the Real Pills are more 60’s garage than punk, but they have the snotty "punk" attitude that sets them apart from the standard garage norm. Their tunes are catchy as fuck and all I really wanna ‘catch’ is their live act. But they live in Portland and I live in New York…fuck. I think my favorite part about this band is the vocalist’s screams…he has just the right amount of screechy-ness that sounds immaculate in rock ‘n’ roll, ya know? If you don’t feel the Real Pills’ sound down in your icky stuff, check your pulse, you may be dead. I’ve always wanted to say that… (JD)
(Mortville Records PO Box 4263 Austin, TX 78765)

Reverend Beat-Man and the Unbelievers "Get On Your Knees" LP/CD

The Swiss answer to Billy Childish, Lighting Beat-Man reinvents himself as a fire and brimstone preacher for his latest, and possibly most tuneful offering. Backed by his mates from The Monsters, the music is heavy on the Gospel-Blues, complete with church organ on some tracks, and backs-up on the usual Beat-Man garage insanity level a bit. Vocals, of course, are courtesy of the Beat-Man’s Drano and cigarettes growl. There are plenty of fiery sermons laced with massive amounts of profanity mixed in with laments about the lord, Jesus, hell, saving your soul, and one about shoving popcorn up your arse. Reminds me of DM Bob and the Deficits crossed with field recordings from a Southern backwoods Presbyterian revival tent. There’s probably a reason for this, as the Beat-Man released DM Bob’s "Cajun Creole Hot Nuts" album on his own Voodoo Rhythm label. There are actually some really good, coherent songs here, and we all know the Beat-Man is crazier than a shithouse rat, so it’s good fun as well. A must have for Beat-Man fans, and if you’re not familiar with his brand of dementia this is a fine place to start. Great packaging, complete with a thirty page prayer booklet full of articles, pictures, interviews, religious propaganda, and manifestos written by the Beat-Man and his pals, most of which are in English. Produced at Toe Rag by Liam Watson, which certifies the Billy Childish parallel I mentioned earlier. Insane shit from a guy who is very serious about being nuts. Get converted by his gonzo-gospel blues before you burn. (RK)
(Voodoo Rhythm Scheibenstrasse 53, 3014 Bern, Switzerland)

Rock and Roll Adventure Kids "S/T" 7"

Man this is soooooo sub-par. This sounds like it was recorded on a Playschool tape recorder, the songs are 1/25thd ass (as opposed to half-assed), and a four year old could have done a better job on the sleeve "artwork." They probably had fun doing this, but why they’re wasting anyone’s time with it is beyond me. I only paid fifty cents for this and I still regret it. My money could have been put to much better use purchasing an outdated sticker of ex-WWF "superstar" Road Dogg from a grocery store dime machine. Yuck. (SS)
(Soul Not Style Records [two things this band lacks in spades])

Rocket from the Tombs "The Day The Earth Met..." CD

RFTT is the direct precursor to both the Dead Boys and Pere Ubu. Members included David Thomas (Ubu), Cheetah Chrome and Johnny Blitz (Dead Boys). This CD is a collection of a rehearsal tape and material from two live shows. The sound quality on the rehearsal tape is really horrible (and this is coming from a Teengenerate fan). Most of these songs would end up on future Dead Boys or Pere Ubu records. The band was somewhere between the artiness of Pere Ubu and the hard rock/punk of the Dead Boys. A lot of the songs are Alice Cooper inspired ("So Cold," "Final Solution"). Speaking of "Final Solution," I like the Pagans version better, because there is continuous guitar in it. Personally Rocket is a little too art-damaged for my taste, but this is still a document of what would come in Cleveland (Pagans, Electric Eels, etc…). (TC)
(Smog Veil Records)

Rocket From the Tombs "Live From Punk Ground Zero" 2XLP

This is perhaps the most infamous band of the punk (or pre-) era without any sort of legit release to chomp on. Here ‘tis! Members included future Dead Boys ‘n Pere Oobs ‘n the soon-dead importanto Peter Laughner. Buy this to hear the original "Sonic Reducer," "30 Seconds Over Tokyo," and "Final Solution." Buy it to hear early ‘70s covers of "Foggy Notion" and "Search & Destroy." Buy it for the searing "Down in Flames." Not the highest fidelity or nuthin’ (and pretty sloppy), but what the hey? If the above doesn’t excite you, I’m not sure I even know you anymore. Amazing packaging, too also. (TK)
(Smog Veil, 774 Mays #10-454, Incline Village, NV 89451)

Saint Cannabis "Live in Subherbia" CD

Yeah, I know... I have tolerated some bad band names in the past, but Saint Cannabis is one of the definite semi-finalists. The thing is though, knowing who sent this to me, and later as I read through the roster of songs on the CD, I knew it would be kick ass... And it did!

This is a live CD with eleven tracks; above average sound quality, featuring Robert Conn of The Pagans and most recently, the newly reformed, Cleveland based Defnics. What many might not realize is that people like Robert Conn have moved on with their life and ended up in places far, far away from where their deathstar was terminated. Robert found himself in Texas. Apparently he flies in for the yearly dose of Defnics, so it only makes sense that he has a band down in Texas too.... I see Saint Cannabis is the Texas version of The Defnics. In fact, off the latest Defnics 7" from Smog Veil Records, you have newer versions of "I'm Not Dead" and "51%." Almost half of the songs are covers ranging from Lou Reed to John Fogerty to The Pagans, but the real gems are the OTHER Robert Conn originals that I'm guessing are Defnics never recorded/leftover tracks; either way, they are pretty damn good and comparable to the newer Defnics sound.

If you are a big Defnics fan, like me, and liked the Smog Veil 7" a while back, you should definitely put this on your list to check out. Saint Cannabis isn't the first band I have listened to with a bad band name.... What was wrong with maybe just calling the band 51%? With a name like that you had some sort of association with The Defnics and when your out playing shows and getting pulled over by cops for traffic violations and he ask "What's the name of your band" You aren't setting yourself up for a DEFINITE search.

Each to their own, I suppose... I don't mean to focus on the choice of band name so much... It's just that I think a band's name is sometimes the most important part of a band and Saint Cannabis is a name that I feel doesn't accurately portray this bands sound. (SAB)
(Bill DeGidio 206 Sharbrook Ave. Conroe, TX 77385)

Scientists "Blood Red River (1982-1984)" CD

Australia never gets its due in how it contributed to rock n roll. The Saints, Radio Birdman, X, The Victims, and the Fun Things all came out of Australia. The Scientists came after all these bands. The Scientists played a sort of sub-Stooges swampy post-punk that would be an influence on a lot of the so-called "grunge" bands. There's a lot of minimalist guitar with most of the emphasis on the rhythm section. I think the U-Men from Seattle would be the closest American equivalent. I think fans of art-damaged post-punk will like this. (TC)
(Sympathy For The Record Industry)

Sleepers "Seventh World" 7"EP

That one guy was in this know, that ONE guy whose name you see in liner notes and pictures of in books commemorating the west coast punk phenomenon... The kind of guy you read people like Penelope Houston remembering in a article here and there...and luckily, there're geeks out there keeping the flame alive.

So, with The Sleepers, dateline 1979, you got THAT GUY: Ricky William’s, fronting a band with a wide musical depth belting out brooding, heartfelt ‘I'm lying near death in a gas station bathroom floor’ numbers like "Linda" next to ‘smash store windows at random as a statement against society’ tunes like "Seventh World" and "No Time". Imagine, if you will, an older, more mature Negative Trend or F-Word mixed with Richard Hell and the Voidoids. Artistic and nihilistic.

The flame still burns....(SAB)
(Win Records)

Spinoffs "Break Out" 7"

This is a big time fucking winner!!! The Spinoffs play ultra fast fast fast poppy punk and the nine songs (nine songs!) on this single won me over after just one spin. A couple of things make this record stand far above the rest of the current day pop punk pack. The first is the aforementioned speed factor. Fast pop songs are better than slow pop songs - it's a fact. Have you ever seen the Queers live? The second is the production. Recorded at Vancouver's JC/DC studios, the Spinoffs have elected to go the slightly trashier garage-esque (it's a word!) route with the recording rather than with the typical pop punk sound, which works well for these songs. Lastly, the singer Justin Banal's voice is distinctive enough to stand out. His crooning has an odd twangy swagger to it, without which the record could just be good instead of goddamned great. Huge points go out to the band for self-releasing this chunk of wax (which is incredibly tough to do with our dollar and the state of vinyl up here in Canada!) Support the pop-punk underground. Send five dollars of your hard-earned money now. (JG)
(The Spinoffs PO Box 31551 Pitt Meadows, BC V3Y 2G7 Canada)

Streetwalkin Cheetahs "Cuitars, Guns, and Gold" CD

This is one of those collection records… There are some unreleased songs, some demo versions of released songs, and covers. The pro-side to this record is the fact they cover the Boys’ "Kamikaze" and X’s "Los Angeles." Some of the unreleased songs are ok too… On the flipside, they do an Iron Maiden cover (ugh), and some of the unreleased songs are rather crappy. The CD is enhanced with two videos, which I didn’t see. I myself like the Cheetahs, but I couldn’t recommend this unless someone was really fanatical about them, or if it was used. I would bypass this and pick up Waiting for the Death of My Generation or Live from KXLU. (TC)
(Triple X Records)

Sunday Drunks "S/T" LP

Another album as original as a banana-in-yer-ear, yet possessin’ enough rock-feel to overcome its quite-obvious inadequacies. Like an opposite (er same I s’pose) sex hottie with a goiter. Or a goiter with a lovely pudendum… Whatever works. Generic Heartbreakers-esque r ‘n r of the near-highest order. (TK)
(Deadbeat, P.O. Box 283, Los Angeles, CA 90078)

Teenage Rejects "Teenage Trash vol. 2" 7"

Boneheads! The Adolescent Rejects! Those Wisconsin chuckleheads who’ve spent most of their teenage years hassling Greg Lowery for record deals and naked pictures of Elka Zolot have put out their second (?…yeah…that’s right) 45 on Alien Snatch out of Germany. Six snotty punk rock tunes ala the Angry Samoans with plenty of Rip Off Records influence…yeah, send much $$$$$. (JD)
(Alien Snatch Records, Morikeweg, 74199 Untergruppenbach, Germany)

Teenage Rejects "Teenage Trash vol. 2" 7"

Question #1: Since Alien Snatch Records is based out of Germany, hence the owner’s aren’t likely to be native English speakers, do you think that they intend for their name to imply an alien taking something (i.e. "snatching" it) or are they simply named after an alien’s pussy?

Question #2: Does anyone out there know if the katakana words that are plastered all over the sleeve actually mean anything? I wasn’t able to find any of it in my Japanese dictionary and I suspect that they just threw a bunch on at random since it looks cool.

Question #3: What’s in Wisconsin’s PBR supply these days that’s causing them to churn out so many great bands? Case in point this second, and best, posthumous release from the Teenage Rejects. There’s six songs on here that rocket by with the same retarded juvenile abandonment on display on their Rip Off seven inch. Sheer volume isn’t the only reason why this one gets the nod from me however. You’re rock n roll soul is hopelessly beyond redemption if the Loli & the Chones inspired chorus of "We Don’t Like You" ("F.U.C.K.Y.O.U/We don’t like you/Fuck You.") doesn’t make you grin from ear to ear the first time you hear it. Pretty much everything on here either matches up to or surpasses their prior effort. It’s been a good month for singles indeed. (SS)
(Alien Snatch Records, Morikeweg, 74199 Untergruppenbach, Germany)

Testors "Original Punk NYC 1976-1979" CD

All the Testors you could possibly need on one convenient CD. Twelve tracks from the still-available "Original Punk Recordings 1976-77" ten-inches released on Incognito, and sixteen from the out-of-print "NYC Punk Rock 1979" LP that came out on Rave-Up a while back. The entire Testors studio discography is here, with the exception of their impossible to find debut 7". NYC contemporaries of The Ramones, the Testors harnessed a sound closer to the Dead Boys (whom they toured with) and the Pagans, but rawer and a little bit faster than those bands, and featured the great voice of and guitar of the legendary Sonny Vincent. The ‘76-77 stuff is the best of the lot, and the live at CBGB’s stuff actually sounds great. The 1979 LP never impressed me much: it sounds like crap, and the songs (which aren’t as good as earlier stuff anyway) suffer for it. The Testors were always known more as a live band during their existence, so the CBGB’s tracks are really what you want to hear, and these tracks also feature the superior two guitars, drummer, and no bass player line-up. For Sonny V. fans this CD really just condenses your record collection or allows you to hear the Rave-Up LP if you missed it when it came out. If you already have the two volumes of ‘76-77 stuff, it’s really all you need. For Sonny V. novices this is the disc to buy instead of any of the questionable and star-studded solo projects he’s put out since the Testors. This CD is a winner for any KBD fan, and check out the pretty decent Shotgun Rationale album that Vince Lombardy High just re-released with Cheetah Chrome, Richard Hell, and other NYC luminaries. It’s really the only post-Testors stuff worth having. The Testors are amazing at their best, and deserve to be heard as much as any of the other NYC bands of the time. (RK)
(Incognito Records Senefelderstr 37A, 70176 Stuttgart, DE)

...and you will know us by the Trail of Dead "Source Tags and Codes" CD

I got into Trail of Dead after seeing them on some show on the USA Network, I have long since forgotten the name of the program... Something to do with a farm or something... The ‘Dead played a song from their latest release at that time called "Richter Scale Madness" and it was pretty rockin and they destroyed their shit during the song and the crowd was looking at them with this sort of ‘What the Fuck’ look, like they didn’t know if they should rock their heads in a 2/4 beat, run for the hills, or join in the madness they were witnessing and so the next time when I was at Shake It Records located in beautiful Lil’ Gatlinburg wedged in-between a African Grocery that's been selling Pepsi 2 Liters for $.99 for about four months now and a greasy spoon restaurant called the Blue Jay (killer steak hoagie with AMERICAN! Cheese) their name popped into my head and before I knew it, that ‘self-titled’ CD (on Trance Syndicate) with "Richter Scale Madness" was cycling through my CD player.

I liked it so much in fact that I was LUCKY enough to find what I figured by some sorts of deduction in my mind, and STILL don't know for fact or anything, their FIRST (?) CD called Madonna in the used bin (Merge Records). I liked The ‘Dead.... They hit some soft spots....

So I stopped by Shake It records the other day and found this, the new ‘Dead release on a major label. It was blaring over the stores sound system and even though it sounded familiar, I couldn’t place who it was. By time the third song was halfway over I had already decided to buy it.

I asked JB who it was, blaring over the stores sound system. I'm not BAD of hearing, or bad AT hearing, depending on how you want it said. I recently had a hearing test at work where it was disclosed that although my elevator might have stopped at the wrong floor (more about that in coming installments of "Digital Block") my hearing shows up in the average range showing no loss of hearing. Me. Once again, ‘average’. I graduated in the top 51% of my class at high school. Just scraping by...that's what us average guys do I suppose....

So it's not like I couldn’t hear JB. It's just that, like I said, The stores sound system was, how did they say it back in 1993?.... Ah yes, BUMPIN! I asked who it was and I THOUGHT JB said something like Jason Handuoison and the Feds.

Cool name I thought. Sounds like a mix between Les Savy Fav, Sonic Youth and The Rites of Spring... A Shake It store clerk poked my mind for that last one. I couldn’t spit it out and my sentence was completed by another....

The JB hands me the new major label and you will know us by the Trail of Dead CD. I didn’t disclose how I misunderstood JB or anything. I shelled out the electronic cash (debit card), or E-Dollars as they will become known (and you heard it here, on Blank first: E-DOLLARS) and took the CD home and popped it in the CD player and rocked out. Watch out for that third track, "Baudelaire" it's a fucking doozy...makes me realize that Fugazi took more from Rites of Spring than they actually created themselves. The ‘Dead have a winner with me on this one. Yeah, this CD is a bit emo-shoe-gazer at times (Beautiful: Tears Run Down My Cheeks) but then again, those kids smell like the smell of future-city, so I'm just going to enjoy it while it last.

Boy-eeeee! (SAB)
(Interscope Records)

Tyrades "Stain on Me" 7"

Where to begin? Where should I start? Eh....

The Tyrades. Cool name.

Look at that Chicago address.... hmm, definitely in this Midwest missiles range. In fact, I think I recognize one of the guys on the backcover from another band I've seen in Indianna-apolis a while back, but I'm not too sure... What you have here is some pretty damn decent high end punk-rock that reminds me right off the bat of The Adolescents. That's a good thing for those of you taking notes. I mean, FUCK! The Adolescents wrote some pretty kick ass songs in their day, and I can hear a bit of The Tyrades in there. The first song is a rager, but I'm all about the second track. I just hope that a LP is to follow. I mean, FUCK! Come on!!! After The Intimate Fags debacle of an LP, which I was let down with, I sort of felt like I was watching a Cincinnati Bengals game where they come out of half-time with a two touchdown lead and end up loosing the game by two touchdowns. The Cincinnati Bengals: inspiring! Rip Off records is right on track with the Tyrades. I await more and I also realize I will get a Rip Off promo when hell freezes over.

Yours truly, (SAB)
(Rip Off Records 581 Maple Ave. San Bruno, CA 94066)

Sonny Vincent "Parallax in Wonderland" LP

Yeah yeah – it’s a year or two old. But…Sonny Vincent (Testors), a couple Stooges (Ron and Scott), a Motor City 5-er (Wayne) and a Damned-ite (Cap’n)? I couldn’t figger out whether it’d suck or pull a couple nice tricks. Put the needle down…JESUS COCKSUCKER CHRIST! This thing is fucking INCREDIBLE! Amazingly "contempo" (in a good way) yet plugged into rock ‘n roll’s primal muck (which these guys, y’know, CREATED). I can’t say enough about this (rock) soulful headburn. Songs like "Knifeman" and "Anywhere With Nicki" sound like they were yanked from the Grinners and put into the hands of the Stooges/MC5 (i.e., hardcore-fast rock-swing groove), "Do What I Want" is a classic punk anthem, and even goofball fuckarounds like "French Music" pack enough guitar-slice to eviscerate a rhino. Only a complete and utter fucktard could dismiss this album as anything but remarkable. So why wasn’t anybody talking? (TK)
(Munster, P.O. Box 18107 28080, Madrid, Spain)

© 2003