Record Reviews - May, 2002

Bad Form "No More Neo New Wave It's…" 7"

The name of the band alone is enough to make me buy this record. The title of the record alone is enough to make me buy this record. Even the damn name of the record label alone is enough to make me buy this record. I could go on and on about the fab sleeve with black on white polka dots and a spooky looking green neon hand on the front and the thick pink wax with a free yellow big hole plug on the inside, but I won't. The lyrics on this thing scare the shit out of me - "embracing the blood that falls from my skin, I can feel my failure like a race I won't win" or how about "when I show up in town, you'll be better off dead - you'll hit the ground, you'll be begging for mercy". Yikes! Somebody pissed these guys off and they don't seem too happy about it. The real important thing is the music and The Bad From deliver like a motherfucker. I'll admit that this single took quite a while to grow on me, but I think that can be attributed to the fact that the first few times it was spun the volume was way too low. This record (like most music) is meant to be played LOUD, fucker.

The best song is the first one "Bleeding Fool" which is sloppy, fucked up, out of control and contains absolutely tortured screaming vocals. It kind of sounds new, almost like a Bad Times song, yet also sounds old, almost like a Rocket From the Tombs or early Stooges song. There is nothing nice, fancy, or pretty about the song and for that it is my favorite. The next three songs still have the same wailing vocals and messed up sounds, but somehow The Bad Form have managed to work in some retro, loopy, surfy guitar noodlings into all three tunes. It's like one second its all death this, boom crash bang that and the next second it's a Hi-Fives song. It actually works itself well into all of the songs and doesn't sound out of place. I'm eagerly awaiting a full length. (JG)
(Youth Attack! Records PO Box 126321 San Diego, CA 92112-6321)

Blowtops "Black Static" CD/LP

The second full-length from Buffalo’s very own horror-noise mongers. I hear people relate them to the Cramps often, most likely because of Creepy Dave’s Lux-inspired vocals and live antics, and any band that melds horror into their music gets the obligatory Cramps reference. Musically, I have always seen them as something close to The Scientists in their creepier moments. "Black Static" is sure to be called the Blowtops "rock" album, as it is probably their most listener-friendly effort so far. The extreme sonic assault is toned down somewhat, yet still full of the usual jerky rhythms and lyrical psychosis. If the first LP was a mad slasher, randomly slicing and killing people in a blood-splattered tornado of horror without abandon, then "Black Static" is a serial killer plotting his murders and carrying them out in a horrific, yet focused fashion. The victims (your ears) die either way. Highlights include "Honey Head Bloody Moon" and "Prescription Malfunction", trademark Blowtops numbers full of noise and feedback. Some fans may be put off by the clean sound, as it is definitely the cleanest production you’re ever going to find on a Blowtops record. Yet the album shows a steady progression in the Blowtops music. They occupy a niche that few, if any, bands do these days. It probably falls somewhere in between the "Deep Thrust" LP and the "Blood & Tar" ten-inch on the sickness scale. I like this thing a lot, and it begs for repeated listening more than any of their other records. They have focused their attack, which has reigned in some of their previous excesses in a good way. Big Neck delivers the swag once again. By the way, since the recording of this LP the Blowtops have replaced both their bassist and drummer. Live dates with the new line-up are coming soon. (RK)
(Big Neck Records, PO Box 8144, Reston, VA 20195)

Briefs "Love and Ulcers" 7"

These guys wear skinny ties! They have horribly-dyed blond hair! They’re goofy! They play quirky ’77-ish pop! They play it really well! Hit After Hit was a great album! This single sounds pretty similar! Less of a punk edge to it, I guess—but still pretty similar! I just realized that I stole this exclamation-point shtick from Lester Bangs! "We Americans" is funny and infectious! The cover art is great! Catch ‘em live! Buy this single! (EL)
(www.thebriefs.com)
(Dirtnap Records P.O. Box 21249 Seattle, WA 98111)

Briefs "She's Abrasive" 7" and "Love And Ulcers" 7"

Plenty of time was spent on these two singles last month, so I'll try to keep this...brief. ZING!!!!! OK...The return of "The Only Blonde Band That I Like". On with it..."She's Abrasive" is certainly among the best tunes they've written thus far, one that they'll be remembered for. It would've had a perfect home on "Hit After Hit", up-tempo, jerky and brilliant. "Like A Heart Attack" features the same pound'n'stomp which was previously found in "Rotten Love", and it's equally, if not more effective here. "Love And Ulcers" is also great...probably the slowest tune they've released so far, but there's no denying its, um, BRIEFOCITY. Finally, "We Americans" is, to reiterate what Greenback said last month, anthemic and hilarious. Buy 2 copies of each record: one to spin endlessly and one to sleep with. Easily, the most fun band around today.

Two endnotes: (a) go see them live every time they are near you AND (b) also try to score a copy of their Interscope promo CDEP, which features 3 beefed-up and re-worked versions of "Poor & Weird", "Where Did He Go?" and "Sylvia". (MC)
(www.thebriefs.com)
(Dirtnap Records, PO Box 21249, Seattle, WA 98111)

Buff Medways "Tribute to the Daggermen" 7"

The Buffs revisit Wolf & Johnny’s old band The Daggermen for this EP. The A side is just fine, one song that doesn’t grab your attention all that much. The B-side kills. Two poppy garage numbers, full of fuzz guitar parts and vocal harmonies that have them sounding a hell of a lot like The Who. A very interesting release held together again by Wolf Howard’s outstanding drumming. Out of eight or so records so far, they haven’t put out a total piece of crap yet, which is shocking. And all reports point to the upcoming LP "Steady the Buffs" being a total ripper as well. (RK)
(Sympathy for the Record Industry 4450 California Place, Long Beach, CA 90807)

Catheters "Static Delusions and Stone-Still Days" CD

What a difference a record label makes. When the Catheters were on Empty, I couldn't find their record anywhere. Now that they're on SubPop, I see multiple copies of their new record. Conspiracy.....anyway the Catheters used to copy the NY Dolls, Dead Boys, and the Stones. That was alright with me. Plagiarism is ok as long as the source is good. Now, they're copying the Murder City Devils. This source is no good; I don't like the Murder City Devils. I figure this is their "show everyone how we've grown musically" record. It's ok to progress musically (unless you're on RipOff (just kidding), but the music should still rock. This shit don't rock, total borecore to the max. I would skip this, like totally. (TC)
(SubPop Records)

Clinic "Walking with Thee" CD

So here you got their second full-length. I got a e-mail from some chap the other day who saw my ranting about Clinic on the inter-net and he asked me a lil’ bit about them. I couldn’t comment on this CD until now. Because when I saw it had come out and it DIDN'T have the Indians on the cover like I had thought for some reason (import mayhap?) I had to protest somehow.... Besides, I knew somewhat where Walking with Thee would land in my musical taste. I needed a back-up.

Well, now, as you can see, the reserves have been called out and I am talking about it now.

From friends, comments of Thee are sketchy. I don't think enough people have listened to it enough to get a real feel for it yet. Me? I mean, FUCK! It's the Clinic! Come on!!! and Whooooooo-oooooo would you disintegrate?

What is there to know!? I liked the EPs, I liked Wrangler.... I need more and on Thee I got more! Everyone is so caught up comparing it to Internal Wrangler that they really fail to see that on Thee, Clinic not only have what they had on Wrangler, but now, on songs like "Sunlight Bathes Our Home" and "The Vulture" I'm hearing some Wall of Voodoo that's really knocking my socks off.

Hitting me in the torpedo room. A major hit. Taking water. Casualties scattered. And Whooooooo-oooooo would you disintegrate?

That's not intended to sound as sick as it came off...

Coming from the same dark neighborhood as The Fall, I thought that good music from the UK was inconceivable until Clinic came around....Then there's Bunny too.... Damn. And Whooooooo-oooooo would you disintegrate?

On Walking with Thee the journey continues. Honestly, Clinic are one of the best bands playing music right now. Clinic set a scene. Clinic set a story. If Francis Ford Copula was to modernize Grease like the modernized Romeo and Juliet, Clinic could very well do the whole soundtrack and really pull it off. I listen to Clinic and want my life to be as I see it in my head: drunk at a carnival. Everything in slow motion. All I hear is laughter and it never ends....and Whooooooo-oooooo would you disintegrate?

You know, music really is a drug. (SAB)
(www.dominorecordco.com)
(Domino Recording Co.)

Consumers "All My Friends are Dead" CD

In the Red unleashed this lost ‘70s nugget of Arizona punk on vinyl around ‘95; anyone who’s ever tried to score a copy knows that it went out of print shortly after its initial release. Due to consumer (tee-hee) demand, they’ve re-issued the whole package on CD, which should please fans of KBD-style crunch—high-end buzzsaw guitars, punishing bass, galloping drums and snot-vox that boast minimal (well, for the time period) Limey influence. In a just world, these guys would’ve been huge! (EL)
(www.intheredrecords.com)
(In the Red Records 1118 W. Magnolia B. PO Box #208 Burbank, CA 91506)

Cosmic Psychos "Fifteen Years, A Million Beers" 2XCD

At a time when suburbanized "youth crew" muscle-core and faux-suicidal indie fluff threatened to vanquish the whole underground rock scene as we now know it, these three Aussie bumpkins picked up their battered instruments and laid down some of the most simplistic and repetitive rock ‘n’ roll sleaze that’s ever graced this ball o’ shit we call "Earth." Such a move was decidedly un-hip back then and possibly even more un-hip right now. Regardless, most of the material on this retrospective still sounds refreshing, if not downright perfect—Iggy by way of Motorhead, crudely coated in a wave of fuzz and wah-wah. Christ, let’s face it: These days, it’s great to hearken back to something as cool and incredibly lowbrow as this. Here’s to fifteen more. (EL)
(www.dropkick.com.au)
(Dropkick Records 38 Advantage Rd., Highett VIC 3190, Australia)

Crimson Sweet "So Electric" 7"

Ok. You know all that shit I said about Kill the Hippies in the Exterminate the Brutes review? Well, ditto for Crimson Sweet. Here's another band I feel as though they are part of my extended family. So, this review is totally biased. Crimson Sweet are a pleasure to listen to. They do NO wrong. Halls of marble. Statues of Heroes. The Fallen are not the forgotten. The fallen are the risen. The Neoteric Wars brought about martyrs: Crimson Sweet. In the future of Neoteric Punk/Wave, there will be holidays to all the greats including The Crimson Sweet.

The thing about Crimson Sweet is that they are dangerous. Every time I see them, every time they release a new 7" or whatever; it's tight! They keep getting better and better, topping of the toppers. When your hot your hot....

Their new single starts off with "So Electric". Sometimes the mental image given to you from a song is just important as the most keen description. You see, for some reason I see Crimson Sweet and their songs as living documents. Sort of like music videos. I have some good ideas for Crimson Sweet video accompaniment to their songs and with "So Electric" it holds true...

What I see is a part of the city; any city really, but a part of the city where there's only people there during the day; mainly industrial with lots of power lines, steam vents, pipes, storage tanks, lots of polluted waterways with concrete banks... and the red lights, which are actual red lights during the day, blink yellow due to the lack of human traffic at night.... You see, the headquarters of Protor & Gamble, one of the biggest companies in the United States, is headquartered near Cincinnati in the middle of a place like I'm trying to describe. Well, it's in this area I see "So Electric".....

Crimson Sweet are in a older type 70’s convertible. A real whale of a car. The car is black, and like I said, convertible. The top is down. The headlights are on. At the wheel is Rob Kongress. Complete with his highlighted hair (adds to the myst-ic). Both hands on the wheel. Driving rather carelessly, crossing the yellow line from time to time....but yet in control. Rob is as an Egyptian deity. I realized this last time I saw him. The sort of guy who you expect to see on the walls of pyramids near the entrance....

Warnings and greetings. Salutations and curses!

In the passenger side is Electric Al Huckabee. Relaxed, Al is reflecting a nature that one might expect from someone on a downer binge. He pans his head carefree from left to right, even looking behind the car from time to time.... Electric Al personifies concepts as ‘moil’. He is the sort of guy doing what's needed to get shit done. He understands such terms as G.T.I. (Good Times Indeed).

In the backseat there's Rooster Booster. Rooster Booster represents mythology. The belief in the near-beliefs. You see, there's always a certain element to everything. There's always a certain force, behind the scenes. Selective. Top shelf. Rooster Booster, sitting up on the top of the convertibles backseat, sings "So Electric" as the car is driven through the empty industrial sectors of Any-town USA.

Crimson Sweet is/are radiant.

C.S.S. (Crimson Sweet stigmata). Bloodied temples, bloodied hands.

On the B-side, you have "No Hot on Cold". Sort of a tongue twister said five times fast, this song represents the second part of a new Crimson Sweet. This Crimson Sweet is one that is in-it to win-it. Now, after three EPs under their belt, I really get the feeling that as a unit, Crimson Sweet are really, really getting comfortable. When they play they make it look so easy. When they play they make me re-think what I do with guitars and it's NOTHING compared to what the Sweet deliver.

I use to wish I had been born in 1962. That way I could have somewhat witnessed the initial punk explosion. I use to think that until this last time I saw Crimson Sweet just a few weeks ago as I write this. I was born at the right time and right place after all, I see that now. It was destiny that my path would intersect bands like Crimson Sweet, and even Blank Generation too. I'm just fulfilling some sort of prophecy with the words you just read...right...there....now....that...one....

Right time. Right place. My Mom told me that I was probably conceived in the back of a car when her and my Dad went out one night Texas two stepping. Apparently, since my Moms ‘tubes were tied’, her pregnancy with me went on undetected for three months. She had went to the doctor to see why she was so sick.... The doctor told her that she had a tumor in her abdomen. After a second look, he discovered she was pregnant with me.

No Hot On Cold!

Right time. Rrrrrrright place.

Thanx mom. Thanx Crimson Sweet! (SAB)
(www.crimsonsweet.com)
($4ppd from Slow Gold Zebra Records PO Box 20506 NYC, NY. 10009)

Crimson Sweet "So Electric" 7"

"So Electric" rolls, cautiously throbs and builds into a great melodramatic finish. It also proves that Crimson Sweet can rock the tits off every other self-proclaimed "art-punk" outfit that currently exists. Then again, you can’t really pin ‘em down to that one specific sound—as evidence of such, "No Hot on Cold" pulls out the stops and charges head-on in a blur of punk-tinged rock. They only seem to get better, so who knows what future releases’ll bring? One of the current greats… (EL)
(www.crimsonsweet.com)
(Slow Gold Zebra Records P.O. Box 20506 New York, NY 10009)

The Decay "Pity…" 7"

the decay are one of the unknowns… they are one of the forgotten punk bands… lost in a sea of lawnmowers and rakes and possibly cans automotive oil that are found in garage’s all over the world. being from switzerland in the early 1980’s must’ve been rough…speaking from inexperience… but the decay managed to put out some demos and the ss records is giving 300 peoples a chance to hear it. musically the decay sound like a cross between crass and the screamers. that alone should be enough for the killed by death kids, but hell, drum machines and keyboards and fuzz guitars are apart of the neoteric© army…speaking from inexperience… and only 300 pressed? how cool is it to know that people like the ss records are dedicated enough to release records by bands that were washed away by the ocean of punk groups that proved to be too much for bands like the decay. well twenty years later it’s finally their turn. welcome to the jungle. (JD)
($4 ppd SS Records 1114 21st Street Sacramento, CA 95814-4208)

Dirty Sweets "Bubblegum Damaged" CD/LP

If I could have a dad, I’d want him to be Greg Lowery, the G. Lo…
Mr. Lowery, will you adopt me?

FUCK YEAH! FUCK YEAH! THE DIRTY SWEETS!

It’s all about the ’Sweets and me, Joe Domino… The Dirty Sweets bring on what Rip Off Records is infamous for—slit up, snotty, lofi, killer fuckin’ rock ‘n’ roll! These Texan fags just don’t stop their constant onslaught of----"I DON’T GIVE A FUCK!"----

!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!! !!!! !!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!! !!

One of the best Rip Off records… Ever! (JD)
(www.ripoffrecords.org)
(Rip Off Records, 581 Maple Avenue, San Bruno, CA, 94066)

Dirty Sweets "Bubblegum Damaged" CD/LP

I had high expectations for this record after seeing how everyone was busting a walnut over this band. After the first listen, I thought, "this is good, you know typical Rip Off." The 3rd listen I thought, "this is pretty good." After the 25th time, these songs are on constant rotation in the radio station in my brain. This is like Loli and the Chones with longer songs and occasional leads. This is like the Spastics, but more punk. And this is good, this is good (shitty Black Flag song, but accurate description of this disc). I'm ready for the Kill-A-Watts now. I got problems with Rip Off though… I have to special-order everything Greg releases. There’s only one time that I’ve walked into the record store and have seen a Rip Off release on the shelf. That's neither here nor there… Anyway, get this fuckin record soon; no fuck it right now! (TC)
(Rip Off Records, 581 Maple, San Bruno, CA 94066)

Doom Kounty Electric Chair "The Homicide EP" CDEP

I’ve never really liked 999, "Hybrid Moments" isn’t one of my favorite Misfits tunes, and the prospect of hearing a slick "punk rock" cover of Tom Petty’s "I Need to Know" doesn’t excite me. If, however, this sort of thing blows your hair back—and you think James Hetfield’s voice (circa Load) merits imitation and fancy-ass studio production—then dig in, sans knife and spoon! (EL)
(Persuasion Records PO Box 133 Anaheim, CA 92815)

Doom Kounty Electric Chair "Homicide" CDEP

Can you guess what this sounds like just from the band name? You haven't lived until you've heard a punk'n'roll version of 999's "Homicide". Seriously, this is what makes life worth living. If you ever get tired of listening to stuff that's good, pick this up. (MC)
(Persuasion Records, PO Box 133, Anaheim, CA 92815)

Epoxies "S/T" CD

Apocalypse. That's basically what new wave comes down to, particularly the brand that involves keyboards and synths. The threat of nuclear destruction...The threat of humanity's end, be it by war, technology, machines or "science gone too far." I think it's fairly easy to see this running thread in much of the records reviewed here. We tend to L-U-V art-damaged keyboard punk around these parts, be it new wavy or raw and dangerous bashing. But, it seems to me that one often-overlooked threat of this new (old), hot (cold) school is the threat of...of...DANCE? Yes, let me dig my hole...

Although the following bands are linked only through the use of a single instrument, I feel I must refer to each of them as reflecting an aspect of the Apocalypse thesis mentioned above. Bear with me. This will make no sense in the end........... Now: The Piranhas see the threat of destruction and decide to join the cause, welcoming it with open, bleeding arms. The Lost Sounds (whom, I must remind you, are NOT the machine) are overwhelmed by the threat of life's imminent crappiness and react with anger and disgust. What about DANCE? The Faint...not touching that one, I'll leave it to you to waste your time.

"What of these Epoxies? You know Mitch, The Epoxies, the band whose record you're reviewing RIGHT NOW that you haven't mentioned yet?????"

Oh yeah.

THE EPOXIES...they dance...IN FRONT OF THE NUCLEAR POWER PLANT. Just look at the album cover. SEE IT YET? When (NOT "IF") you see The Epoxies live, you will see Fritz M. Static fall under the COMPLETE CONTROL of his keyboard and attack the very lovely Roxy Epoxy, the lone human, battered left and right by the fantastic new wave/punk played by the droids in her band. She's still dancing though...she never stops. Need further proof? Song titles anyone? "Need More Time"..."We're So Small"..."Science Of You"..."Losing Control"..."Molded Plastic". Each tune is an upbeat, catchy trip through the END.

This is easily the best, catchiest and most authentic, new wave record I've heard in quite some time. Extremely poppy, but not irritating at all. Don't get me wrong, I'm still a raw bash boy at heart. But this album? You'd be a fool to skip it. (MC)
(www.theepoxies.com)
(Dirtnap Records, PO Box 21249, Seattle, WA 98111)

Ewoks/Lottie Collins "Split" 7"

OHMYGOD! Thank you Jeffy-the-Jef-Jeff for giving me the heads up on this record! The Ewoks are a daft, catchy and odd all-girl rock ‘n’ roll band. They break it down to ya with an organ&drums combo, flipped the lid off of the soda pop and chug it for a sugar rush! These kooky Ewoks rock like Elvis and look twice as good! So there you go George Lucas… The Lottie Collins do it to it with pop punk/garage rock ‘n’ roll straight from Japan! They don’t beat out the Ewoks, but anyone into…say…the Titans with more pop-a-rocks would still wanna get with these crazy kids. Must have 7"! (JD)
(magicteeth.tripod.com)
(Magic Teeth Records)

Fuses "Under the Ground without a Sound" 7" & "Mit Einer Hohen Geschwindigkeitsrate" 7"

The first record. "Under the Ground without a Sound" 7"EP

One record. Four songs. One side of the record is 45 rpm with one song. One side of the record is 33 rpm, fitting two songs. The fourth song, "Sodium Pentathol Negative", is imprinted on the cover of the record. Cool, cool idea..... But it didn’t work. I mean, the song on the cover.... It didn’t work. Its not just me either and its not like I didn’t hear anything.... I could hear bits and pieces of the song but every second or so I heard nothing. I tried some different ideas but putting a song on the cover sorta leads to the cover not lying flat on the turntable and causing the errors in listening.

And like the sticker sez...From what I can see its a REALLY fucking cool song too.... Oh well. I know Slam Dance did a record like this for Le Shok so maybe in the future a compilation could be released featuring the cover flexi songs from each record that people like me cant listen to. I say this because Im actually thinking of cutting up my record cover in hopes to actually hear the song! I don't wanna do that! I look at records as pieces of art. Especially good records like this one!

The Fuses keep getting better and better. With each listen I'm amazed at how they grown and really became a powerhouse of a band. The 45 rpm song, "If the Communist Don't Dance" sounds like an modern anthem for a Francis Ford Copola re-make of Metropolis. Imagine that The Clash, after London Calling, took a different direction and actually made some good music. Don't get me wrong, I mean FUCK! I liked Rock the Casaba and shit.... But man, "Don't Dance" reminds me of what The Clash COULD have been.

The two song 33 rpm side is even better. I know that I have been comparing bands to Gang of Four like tomorrow something I think in my head will be proved like the fake moon landing and shit, but its true! The Fuses took notes. Not to say that the Fuses are GoF rip offs or anything, its just that The Fuses attack from different angles and one of those angles has its birth in late 70’s art-punk. "The Fix was In" and "The Poor Need Opera" are tales of the common man, pissed off and intelligent to the scam. It sounds like The Fuses are finally going into a studio that really connects with them. They sound crisp, clear and angular as ever!

The Fuses are the sound of current rebellion. Steeped in sounds of the prole left, if The Fuses were around in the Rome of 70AD things might have turned out different. But one thing is for sure, they would have been killed as enemies of the state. I get it. Prophetic. Neoteric. Drudgery for those who hold power. They have their faux Texas/southern accents ‘War on Terra’, I have the Fuses.

The second record. "Mit Einer Hohen Geschwindigkeitsrate" 7" EP

You gotta call 7"s something. That Slam Dance one I found what I determined was the title on a art insert. On this next 7" I get the sneaky feeling that the name is the German interpretation of the first records title.... But there's four completely new songs so I'm like.... What-ev-er and shit!

The German title record is a split between Incognito records and Morphius Records who I am now OFFICIALLY taking off probation. I mean, FUCK! They sent me these two records that truly, are great fucking records. This, after I sorta laid it on about National Razor... I really appreciate it. Instead of looking at Morphius lightly, I'm hereby declaring that they are quite the shit. They realize something that many labels don't, not everything you release is going to be liked by everyone. Now, Morphius knows NOT to send me National Razor releases but they do know that they will get some positive feedback from a Fuses record. That is how to run a label!!!!!

No, what The Fuses had on the record you just read about, is more of the same stuff on here. Just four different, all original songs. When the waves are high, your waiting for buildings to crumble. I thought since last year was such a good year this year might have been one of mediocrity. Nope. Look at my reviews this month. This shit is tight! Almost all top shelf here motherfuckers! Some great shit! I hope that The Fuses have a LP somewhere in this years fold. It would only secure them a spot in the back-room, private selection. What the fuck am I saying? They been there!!!!

The Fuses capture the sound of the modern disillusioned music listeners like me and some other Blank Generation readers . Punk Rock has finally turned its back on us. Punk rock is everywhere and everything now... and the definitions and examples just don't cut it anymore. The same genres that I, or maybe you, use to find exciting and fulfilled your need for creative soundtracks are now common boredom. Never Mind The Bollocks has finally stopped inspiring. Korn never inspired. Everything is so-That 80s’s Show, meaning everything turned up to 11, that its sickening. The Fuses are examples of complete re-birth. The Fuses are a musical-Phoenix from the ashes.

You might have some hard times finding this record. Its available in the US by Morphius who I still don't see records by in stores....

The Fuses are Neoteric punk/wave in its most defined meaning. Fuses: Phoenix from the Ashes. (SAB)
(www.slamdancecosmopolis.com)
(Slam Dance Cosmopolis 7095 Hollywood Blvd. #1303 Hollywood, CA. 90028)
(www.incognito.com)
(Incognito Records Senefelderstr. 37a. 70176 Stuggart, Deutschland)
(www.morphius.com)

Gas Huffer "The Rest of US" CD

3:20 on a sunny March day. A 20-year old male walks into a record store. He buys the new Gas Huffer CD. The cute record store girl puts the record in a bag. He returns home and listens to the CD. The next day, the CD is on the used rack and he walks out of the record store with 4 bucks. Anyway, don't buy this. This is boring. Their first two records, on Empty Records, are ok, but skip this. Another strikeout for Estrus… (TC)
(Estrus Records)

Gravy Train "The Menz" CDEP

THE BITCHES OF 80s RAP!!!! Gravy Train has quickly become one of my favorite local (S.F. Bay Area) bands. They love dancing. They love burgers. They love FUCKING. What's not to love? 3 girls, 1 guy, all balls… Try this on for size:

"I go to the high school/ I go to the high school/ make him kiss my gash/ then I fuck his tight ass"

OR.........

"Long in the face and short on the wiener/ Suck on my muff like a vacuum cleaner"

BRILLIANT.

I'm in love.

This record is so good; I need a smoke and a shower.

Joe said Le Tigre wasn't for him anymore. Lost? Forgotten? Look no further: THIS BAND IS FOR EVERYONE WHO LOVES COCKS AND PUSSIES...together, separately, sucked, licked, small, big, smelly, sweet, fun or boring. And they've got an LP coming of Kill Rock Stars?!!?!?!?!?! Shit yo, I'm all about a Gravy Train!!!! (MC)
(www.jeromanempire.com/gravy)
(S.P.A.M. Records, PO Box 21588, El Sobrante, CA 94820-1588 or call the S.P.A.M Hotline: 510-BAD-SMUT, www.spamrecords.org)

Green Formica Table "Busses and Planes" CD

Here's another band that The Socials shared a bill with in Lexington, Kentucky that knocked me out. Green Formica Table, which is a reference to Twin Peaks or something like that, is a dual guitar trio with male and female vocals. There's five songs on this CD-R that fall somewhere in the new sound of riotgrrl punk and the.... Yeah, I'm going to say it, but later.

The songs are mid-tempo...not slow, not fast. Just the right speed to make things interesting. Green Formica Table grabs you and pulls you along. Some really good songwriting.... Yeah, I'm going to say it, but later.... The recording is dreamy. Fast moving clouds over a black and white city scape...

Delay pedals. Wah-Wahs.... Green Formica Table do some pretty Lewis & Clark type shit on this CD-R and live, they are vicious snow-tigers. Yeah, I'm going to say it, but later...

You see, in Lexington, Kentucky, Life is somewhat like ancient Egypt. Except with Banks..... Downtown Lexington, which has been dubbed weird town by more than just The Socials, is small with the biggest buildings being those with bank logos. The banks rise in scale, from smaller to bigger, like the pyramids. Each bank (pharaoh) wanted to out do the next with an even bigger building. Not only are there three really big bank buildings but scores of 4, 5 and 6 story buildings nearby. Green Formica Table is the soundtrack for instances like this.Yeah, I'm going to say it, but later...

If you like Jane Speed and much of the post riot grrl punk movement then I would definitely consider checking this band out. I mean, FUCK! Bratmobile and Bikini Kill were good, but I'm getting more into this whole new thing with bands like Jane Speed and Green Formica Table...Yeah, I'm going to say it, but later... Ah, what the hell....

Neoteric punk/wave! (SAB)
(www.greenformicatable.tk)

Hates "Punk Rock X Mas" 7"EP

This isn’t my first exposure to The Hates. A long time ago I ordered one of their tape directly from them and listened to it so much I wore it out. The Hates are a good band, let me begin by saying that much.

So yeah, I'm like, "What the fuck is this?" Sure, there's a place for Christmas songs, but really, after the Showcase Showdowns 7" I sorta found out there's really no more room for Christmas compilations, 7"s or whatever else. Pop-punk bands ‘thing’ is Christmas songs right? Step UP not Down Hates!!! At least The Hates do two originals but still, its Christmas music. A novelty. I am more serious about my music purchases and listening than to squander very important time and money on songs about a holiday that I think is pretty fucked up. Meaning that if this wasn’t sent to me, I wouldn’t give it the time of day. Truthfully, I have to talk to the boys in the league office, but I believe The Hates are in line for a multi-penalty for this 7".

It's not the concept of Christmas, it's the commercialism and it's all getting worse and worse. Even the best Christmas punk song will still remind me of that fact. Instead of hearing two songs about Christmas, I would rather hear two newer songs from The Hates letting me know what they are up to now.

Maybe I just don't get it. Maybe I'm missing something or out on a limb. Maybe I am right! (SAB)
(www.faceless.com)
(Faceless Records)

Henry Fiat’s Open Sore "Directed By Alan Smithee" 10"

HFOS occupy a special place in my musical heart, a place where few bands tread. It is a place reserved for bands that infuse just enough crudeness, rudeness, and humor into their rock, without being stupid or GG Allin. Turbonegro, the Anal Babes, and of course the Dwarves and the Mummies all live there. HFOS combine the best aspects of these bands and put forth a rock so lewd it has to be liked: funny, vulgar, misanthropic, and wrapped in bandages. This 10" compiles the tracks from their first record ever, the "Satan’s Boy" EP, along with their songs from "The Fellowship of the Fat Shit" split with Skellet, their track from the Swedish Sins comp, another track from an Absurd Records comp, and four previously unreleased numbers. They all kill. How can you not love songs like "England That’s a Place to Hate" or "I am an Asshole"? Incredible stuff, done way back in the days of 1996-98. And the back cover is a replica of the design of the back of the first Damned album. Absolutely great. I love these guys. Includes a nice full-color HFOS discography insert as well. My only regret is that it does not include the track "Brown Storm of Shit (My Ass is a Riot)" from the Hard-On Records comp, because that is seriously one of the best song titles ever. (RK)
(KenRock, Fabriksgatan 39B, 412 51 Gothenburg, Sweden)

High and the Mighty "S/T" CD

The High and the Mighty… This makes me wanna drive my car. And not in town or, like, where red stoplights are in great abundance… It’s all open road for the High and the Mighty and me. Driven rock ‘n’ rolla with a mean, weathered spirit… Like in that movie "Grumpy Old Men" or further yet…"Grumpier Old Men!" Bring on the open road mother-fuck-ers! (JD)
(www.highandthemighty.com)
(The High and the Mighty 4324 NE 47th Ave Portland, OR 97218)

Imperial Teen "On" LP

I didn’t realize that this was the same Imperial Teen who I had heard a few years or so earlier on my local Alternative Radio station with a "hit". I spent like 15 minutes trying to determine if this was a mod record or new wave record. I even asked other shoppers what they thought. Many of them guessed mod...

I'm glad they were wrong. Don't get the wrong Impression. I'm on good speaking terms with mod. When we run into each other at parties and shit we might not hang out and huff gasoline together or anything but we don't go to fisticuffs either. He has his scene and I have mine. I wanted to hear something different so I got this LP.

The first listen or so I wasn’t that impressed. With a few more listens I was really getting into what The ‘Teen were doing. Melodic indie-pop guitars, synths. Male/female vocals. Pop and jerky. Edging in at the boundries of the Neoteric Punk/Wave.... There's some real Herculean tracks on here... Like "Million $ Man", "Undone" and "Teachers Pet" (a lil’ bit Gene Defcon there eh?) making it a worthwhile purchase. Strong songwriting and even stronger arrangements. Actually, the songwriting is so good that it brings to mind Blondie and The Cars. Blondie wrote some really great songs, earlier, later, you can't escape the facts. The Cars... Doesn’t everyone like the Cars?!? I mean, FUCK! "Candy-O" is one of the best songs ever written! Imperial Teen have that same knack as both aforementioned.

Apparently this is Imperial Teens third LP, or some shit like that. It sort of sounds like a band's first LP, so yeah, it's good. Damn good. Consider it when you head to the record bins. (SAB)
(Merge Records PO Box 1235 Chapel Hill, NC. 27514)

Kill-A-Watts "Electrorock" LP

I’m not going to on and on about this record because I’m sure it will get reviewed a half-dozen times here. Let’s just say it’s as good as we all hoped. I’m very impressed with the record overall; it rips and rocks in all the right places. Out of twelve tracks, at least nine are completely great. They do get a little cute at times, but c’mon, they’re kids for Christ’s sake. They’re allowed to do that. The one fear I had before listening to this, was that they might get a little annoying over the course of a full-length. But they didn’t. One of the few albums I can say that was actually worth the wait. And the trading cards are nice too. Now if I can just get them to come play here in Buffalo… (RK)
(Rip Off Records, 581 Maple, San Bruno, CA 94066)

Kill the Hippies "Exterminate the Brutes" 7" EP

I feel as if I am going mad. So much I want to do, and so little time to do it and there's only so many hours in the day.... Maybe I should quit my job and become a full-time rock and/or roll journalist. Ah, who am I kidding? Its feelings like this that replace my ‘straight 40 hour work week over $10 an hour attitude’ when I listen to a EP like this. I have said it time and time again, its a good thing I don't live in Kent Ohio and likewise for Morte, Envy and Kris living here, near me.... We NEED separation of hours and miles. Its those rare occasions when we are all together, with electricity filling the air, that we all really feel alive. We feed off of each others enthusiasms and dine on each others energy, re-paying in kind as taken with trust.....

I have been waiting for this 7" for a while now. Six songs. One side is three songs with Tic Toc Tyler and the other is three songs with his replacement, The Four Eyed Fuckface. Ironically enough, The Four Eyed Fuck-face has been recently replaced by Kris from a Kent Local band called The Viles. Things move fast in the Ohio Empire. So fast that we been there. Staked a claim. And done been back with record time.

Kill the Hippies sound lies somewhere in-between a mix of The Buzzcocks with the song structuring of Devo all done with snarling dual male and female vocals. region wise I say Kill the hippies remind me of many, many bands on those Go and Do It and Murder Punk compilations. When I say that Kill the Hippies are the best band alive today, I mean it. Before we continue I must mention the fact that Kill The Hippies played the sixth anniversary show for my zine, The Neus Subjex. At shows end some DUMBASS was trying to convince me that the anniversary show, which KTH wrapped up by playing last and totally blowing everyone away, wasn’t good and he wanted his $3 back. I handed him a piece of paper and a pen and told him to get 20 signatures. If he did this I wouldn’t only give HIS money back but everyone on the list too. The remaining crowd seen this and stuck around to see how it would all pan out. Well, everyone laughed at the guy who just sort of stood there... His brother came over to him, hit him on the head, and told him to sit the fuck down.

Kill the Hippies are THAT good. It wasn’t BY CHANCE that at the end of KTH’s set everyone busted into a acapella arm-locked version of "We are the Champions" not to mention the "Whoa-Bundys" that followed that... Truly NEOTERIC.

The Tic Toc Side starts off with a true nu-classic blazer "Skullfighter". "Skullfighter" reminds me of a song that could have been on KTHs second EP, Shit Covered Hits easily. Its well written and mucho catchy.... "SkullFighter" is followed up by maybe one of the best KTH songs ever, "Shenanigans". You see, when KTH were recently concluding their most recent excursion out ("tour"; term of the industry) their last stop was here in Cincinnati... To make a long, and very pitiful story short, KTH didn’t get to play so we all came back to The Social Manor (my headquarters; where I am typing this up right-ch now), drank Socials Beer (maple syrup poured on top of a beer can before opened so when you do open the beer, the maple syrup pours down into the beer and you sorta taste the sweetness of the syrup for the beers duration), and listened to the new Crimson Sweet single. KTH got the idea of me listening to their new 7" for the first time with them present to get my reaction. When "Shenanigans" came on I was absolutely floored. I turned to Morte and Envy and said "Hey, this is back-of-the-van rockin!". Meaning that in my mind, as "Shenanigans" blasted, I envisioned a custom van, with mag wheels, fur interior and waterbed in back; the whole back room full of add on’s included..... I pictured this song playing while Morte drove the van (that for some reason perpetually bounced ass it cruised down the avenue of my mind) while Envy and Kris would try their best to lure young high school kids into bank-robbing conspiracies. I mentioned something about Doobie Brothers, 38 Special and Steve Miller Band too but I cant begin to articulate in words what I mean by that. Tic Tocs legacy ends with a titled ditty of "Scripted By Mistake", which isn’t a bad song by anyone's standards but none-the-less, the one that will be ignored. KTH pack as much as they humanly can on any release but like other EPs there's always going to be one hidden, sleeper track that everyone forgets then sort of re-discoveries at a later date. Its sorta weird too because KTH hide this song, in plain view. This EPs sleeper is easily "Scripted"... and the torch is passed....

The Four Eyed Fuckface side starts out with a pretty in-depth number called "Christian Scientist". Like all the songs on the Fuck-Face side, "Scientist" has a real desperation to it. Bottom of the barrel and looking for more but there is no more. On these three songs, KTH are hanging off the edge of a cliff. The MEAN it you fuckers. Yes, they are serious! The second Fuck-Face song is titled "Maquiladoras" which tells about the ironicness of sweatshop factories. One reading the lyric sheet might get the impression its about 9-11 events but as asked by Envy, I declare it is not! There! Envy sings this one and man, it makes me wonder about my Silver Series Velcro ditties and how they were made. In "Maquiladoras", Envy rips America some new assholes. Lastly is "Render Me", a song with a killer scream like a Jupiter Hawk-man attacking screech at the beginning. in some respects, "render Me" is the ultimate Omega song. A True nu-classic neobedtime story for my future kids. "Hey kids, tonight were going to read ‘Render Me’... and 1...2...1...2...3...4 Once upon a time there was a throw me into the vat...."

My secret closeness to this band is no secret. Kill the Hippies do no wrong. They deserve so much and get so little. They deserve so much and really, ask for nothing. There's a handful of people like them in the world. I know this because I have spent the last several months trying to find them a label. I'm not getting paid to do this, I'm getting nothing in return except hopes that my favorite band finds a label that will focus on releasing their material while they set up tours and sell merchandise. KTH eat out of dumpsters because they want to tour more frequently. True self-less individuals that only ask for your company. KTH are truly my brothers and sisters in so many ways.

You, you probably don't get it. Yeah, thought you wouldn’t but hey, nothings keeping you from trying. Get this EP. Enjoy the convenience. (SAB)
($4 ppd from Hotsauce Records PO Box 13161 Gainesville Fl. 32604)

Leg Hounds "XOXO" 7"

These three cats ripped through the twin cities of Bloomington-Normal some months back and left the largely unsuspecting audience with its collective jaw on the sticky floor. Why? Probably ‘cause their brand of ‘50s-damaged punk ‘n’ roll honestly challenges the Devil Dogs in sheer catchiness, and this 45 perfectly captures their sound. Don’t expect a rehash of the same ol’ shit, though—these guys are destined for their own sorta greatness, as the vocals and the guitar work are in a league of their own. Chalk another one up for the state of Wisconsin… (EL)
(www.aliensnatch.de)
(Alien Snatch! Records Morikeweg 74199 Untergruppenbach Germany)

Leg Hounds "S/T" CD

Yeah, yeah—"They sound like the Devil Dogs!" Since when was that a bad thing? Some will pigeonhole the Leg Hounds as another sub-par ‘50s r ‘n’ r revival act, but it doesn’t really matter—these guys reach above and beyond bands like the Dialtones because they add their own slant and style to an otherwise over-explored genre of music. And they’re really fucking catchy… Long story short: If "Get on You" doesn't make you wanna, y’know, get on someone, then you’re probably sniffin’ around the wrong territory. (EL)
(Bulge Records P.O. Box 1173 Green Bay, WI 54305)

Le Shok "S&M" 7"

Helluva gimmick, here: Two regular arty/snotty cuts and an additional number pressed into the actual single’s sleeve. It’s too bad that my turntable won’t play the song on the cover, ‘cause the other two quick ditties aren’t good enough to warrant the hefty price tag. Of course, if you’re an initiated fan, you’ll probably pick this up anyway, but newcomers might look elsewhere—Le Shok’s particular brand of punky deconstruction-under-a-minute tuneage is best served in large doses. Like, for sure. (EL)
(www.slamdancecosmopolis.com)
(Slamdance Cosmopolis 7095 Hollywood Blvd. #1303 Hollywood, CA 90028)

Liars "They Threw Us In A Trench And Stuck A Monument On Top" CD/LP

The Liars are a sci-fi attack back to the passions of ideology, beliefs in the audacity of punk and the visions of seizing the world with a vicious bite and drawing blood. Fly out to the odd beeps and battered equipment that is their instruments; the Liars spastic quirk of punk rock resembles that of early PIL and GANG OF FOUR. The record is brief, but you’ll be left devastated by its end. (JD)
(www.gernblandsten.com)
(Gern Blandsten Records PO Box 356 River Edge, NJ 07661)

Mclusky "Mclusky Do Dallas" LP

I picked this up on a road trip to Toronto due to that crazy Evert guy who does Grunnen Rocks raving about them on the site a while back. This post-hardcore power trio is from the UK, but sound like they are from Chicago circa 1995. Imagine David Yow fronting a beefed-up Shellac and you have a decent idea of this band. And to bring the Chicago references full circle, none other than Steve Albini recorded it. I actually like it too. I’ve always been a sucker for that pristine Albini-sound, and these guys bring a little bit of the old AmRep distorto-rock (Hammerhead perhaps) into the mix as well. There are some obvious Shellac cops, as some of the song structures seem to be blatantly lifted from "At Action Park" and the surgical guitar solos sound as if Albini himself is playing them. The lyrics are surreal, full of ravings about snakes wearing cummerbunds, decepticons, and obscure name drops. Still, the offbeat and intelligent hilarity of songs like "Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues" and "No New Wave No Fun" has won me over. There are some bad points, like the slower songs and a few moments of Sonic Youth-like guitar freakout. When they work up a good head of steam they are rather punishing though. A nice variation from the usual garage-punk I listen to daily. Very refeshing, it reminded me of a time long ago when Touch & Go used to release good records. (RK)
(Too Pure, 17-19 Alma Road, London, England SW18-1AA)

Mighty John Waynes "She Gets Dirty" 7"

It seems that every single record Rock'n'Roll Blitzkrieg has ever put out, sounds best when cranked really fucking loud. I think Mr. Murmann has a firm grasp on the "loud = good" thing and for that I am thankful. The Mighty John Waynes have graced the world with the follow up to their brilliant debut single Kill That Girl, and it's a big winner. An obvious point of reference for a sound would be the Ripoffs, but leaving it at that would be cheating. They definitely do take a bow and a nod towards Mr. Greg Lowery but The Mighty John Waynes incorporate a lot more stompin' rock into their sound than do San Fran's finest. The two tracks on the a-side, the title track and "Wanna Be Your Toy" are both huge hits, both of which are better than the more plodding b-side "You Threw Me Out". The recording is top-notch trash done by Jim Kuczkowski, if that sorta stuff means anything to you. Highly recommended. (JG)
(RockNRoll Blitzkrieg PO Box 11906 Berkeley, California 94712)

Nazis From Mars/The Foreheads "Split" 7"

The Foreheads use a tuba. Not as in a "horn section" with a trumpet, a sax, a trombone and a tuba for good measure, but the only brass instrument present is a tuba. That's pretty fucked up if you think about it. I found it pretty hard to get past that fact and every time I spun it all I thought about is the damn tuba! The first three times I listened to The Foreheads side I thought it was total crap. Somehow, on the forth time (without the aid of any intoxicants, I might add) I thought it was pure genius. The fifth and sixth time (which brings us up to present), I was back to thinking it was total crap. Tuba!

The Nazis on Mars side is much better. If you've heard the band, you know what to expect - these two songs could have appeared on either of their first two singles, or could have been off of their debut album. If you've never heard of them the easiest description would be to call them a "techno-punk" band. The lyrics are dumb, the songs are pretty catchy with the use of a buzzsaw guitar and instead of a drummer they use a techno-style drum machine and use nutty synth sounds. I'm a big fan, but will you be? (JG)
(Raw Sugar Records PO Box 53011 New Orleans, LA 70153)

Phenoms "S/T" CD

The Phenoms give ya some semi-high-energy punk rock. Their influences seem to stem from bands like BLACK FLAG to the DESCENDENTS, but the Phenoms aren’t nearly as hard-hitting as those groups… I’d recommend to them some kind of drug like coke or speed, cause they just aren’t as rockin’ as they could be. So Phenoms…keep it going, keep the kick ass vox (in a cool BONECRUSHER way), and put yr heart into a song, cause I don’t fuckin’ hear it on this record. (JD)
(www.thephenoms.com)
(The Phenoms 1344 W. Wellington, Apt. 1R, Chicago, IL 60657)

Piranhas "S/T" CD

The newest label releasing the newest craze. The Piranhas. The Piranhas!!! Probably one of the most talked about bands in recent years, this CD makes their first 7" and mini-LP available again for a second round of destruction. And you couldn't even take the first round! The songs made a nice transition to digital mayhem and didn’t seem to loose any warmness that the vinyl versions had- a rare thing when concerning yourself with the voodoo of the music industry and transference from one format to the next.

There are two bonus features on this CD, at the end of everything is a radio advertisement ending in about 45 seconds and after that, if you let the CD play, at approximately 15:32 seconds into the same track you get an unreleased bonus song. Rather poetic, it's what I define as my most recent discovery; it's sonic-art.

This CD represents a re-birth. The re-birth of The Piranhas. ‘Birth’, I learned, is a word that's found its origins in the Viking culture. How befitting since The Piranhas are like modern day sonic-Vikings..... I saw The Piranhas. I witnessed them firsthand. I know. I can say this. A repress of this material had to be done by someone, somewhere, and no one better than On/On Switch. One might wish for more unreleased tracks or more sonic-art than what is on this disc, but you have to realize something, it just don't exist. The Piranhas are a band unconcerned about the trivialness that others are concerned with showing, proving, an example of, how maybe we all should be when playing music, listening to music or buying music. Going into the studio to lay down some tracks is minuscule to a band looking for the next target. This CD is an example of inconvenience at its best.

You have a CD that's 37:47 long. Approximately 14 minutes of that is silence. Everything else is shoved in the allotted space. Many will scream more. many will declare that the price/content quotient is way off and in some ways they are right. But then think about this... It does not matter! This CD is training. A step in a process. Shadow Inconvenience.

"Wow, it's cool all these songs are on a CD in one place for my listening pleasure"
"Yeah, but there's all that silence and I sorta feel like I'm being taken around the block"

Well, let me tell you. You are. I don't feel pity for you. These tears are not tears of sorrow for you. These tears are tears of joy. This CD is a statement of sonic-art. Drawing the lines between the sides. This re-issue ushers in a new age of The Neoteric Punk/wave. As of NOW.

Tears! (SAB)
(www.ononswitch.com)
($10 ppd On/On Switch 780 Post Street #54 San Francisco, CA. 94109)

Puppy vs. Dyslexia "Lets Foam" CD

I woke up early this morning on my day off to write this. I'm pushing the deadline so I can't spend a lot of time on this band like they deserve. In little under one week, my life changes as I get an advance CD of Radar Secret Service for their new one out on On/On Switch later this year titled Stop Communication. THEN, I get a chance to share a bill as a Social with Puppy Vs. Dyslexia in Lexington, Kentucky.

I felt as if I was meeting long lost brothers and sisters. I mean, yeah, I had declared earlier in the day that I was going to drink the bar dry of Miller High Life, and they ended up sending someone after more that very same night, so I guess you could say I was a lil’ inebriated when I first met, then later witnessed Puppy vs. Dyslexia, but I mean FUCK!

I was rocking out to a Louisville based band, Green Formica Table, and when they busted into a great version of "Material World" by Madonna. Me and the guy next to me, who I didn’t yet know was Zak from PvD, locked arms around each others neck and sang along. Later Zak would put on a guitar and totally change my perception of punk rock a second time in the same week. Radar Secret Service, then Puppy vs. Dyslexia. Shit man, Year twenty oh-oh two Rules!

A few points with Puppy vs. Dyslexia and Lets Foam:

1) Minutemen-esqe.
2) Electric Eels.

Yes, imagine The Minutemen who were really into The Electric Eels! This is an Amazing CD done by those kids who you always saw playing by themselves on the playground. This CD is what happens when you take imagination and turn it into music. Sci-fi in its subject matter from time to time, Puppy vs. Dyslexia leave no thought untranslated. Thoughts of purely interesting and rooftop minds put to music. If you really got into The Eyeball from Hell re-issue, I highly recommend you track this Bloomington Indiana act down for a copy of this. (SAB)
(www.angelfire.com/punk2/pvd)

Shrinks "My Minds Gone" 7"

Razorcake zine should do a band family tree thing for the bands that the guys from The Shrinks have been in. I think they are ex-Trust Fund Babies, Shifters and Spites and from there you can draw lines to the Bodies, Trends, and probably about a half dozen others that I'm forgetting. I'm a big fan of all of those bands, but unfortunately The Shrinks are the weakest of the bunch. The three songs on this single (plus a fourth bonus track, if singles are allowed to have bonus tracks) are decent but don't really warrant repeated listening. The songs are from the same sessions as the Rapid Pulse single and are lower in quality than said record. The only track that really stands out from the rest of the ho-hum sounding poppy garage punk is the title track, which should have you humming the chorus after a few listens. I'll have to plead ignorance on the unlisted "bonus track" and say that it's probably a cover of an old oi/streetpunk band, due to the overly gravely vocals and cheesy lyrics. A plus is the low brow comedy present in the words on the back sleeve, which I'm almost feeling guilty to admit is actually kind of funny. Also, I know Radio's not trying to impress anybody with their high production values, but the white text on black paper (photocopied?) for the sleeve is really boring and cheap. Oh well, one weak release every once and a while is allowed. (JG)
(Radio Records PO Box 1452 Sonoma, CA 95476)

Slurpees/The Gigi’s "Dual" CD

I got this CD in the second issue of a new zine called Left of The Dial. The zine is cool and all, its all interviews with some pretty cool bands like Easy Action, The Faint, and a really cool interview with Mike Watt to name a couple, but the real treat was this CD!

Up first is The Slurpees. I don't know shit about them but their musically close to Gang of Four and The Minutemen and a far shot, but needed mention, of The Proletariat. Some real intense pop and jerk Neoteric punk/wave. I hope this band will be around for many years to come....Its rare that I hear feedback and say, ah, the familiarity of sounds makes me feel right at home. The Slurpees are a force to be reckoned with.

The Gigis play pop driven rock and rool punk.... nothing that really jumped out and hit me as totally needed but as their six track progressed I did like them better. I would even say that I'm interested in them too. Imagine "We got the Beat" era Go Go's mixed more with The Donnas. In fact, isn’t it time for The Donnas to break up and go the way of General Custers 7th Calvary?

Said in true Josie and The Pussycats tone, in honor of Joe Domino, The Gigis are the new Donnas!!!! (SAB)
(theslurpees@hotmail.com)

Spandecks "S/T" CD

Holy Shit! I think I’ve found the missing link between Loli & the Chones and the Banana Erectors. Music-wise, if you take out the Japanese girl vocals, Spandecks could be passed off as more than a few Rip Off bands. They’re fast, they’re catchy, and they’re fun. Vocals-wise, the girly Japanese singing isn’t as high pitched as the girl from Banana Erectors, and doesn’t get really annoying like many Japanese girl bands do. They are not your typical cute girl band. "Paranoia" is a straight Chones cop (Lyrics: "I hate you/ I wanna kill you/ Paranoia"). The ripping "Alien Dash" has a great scream that you wouldn’t expect and a killer guitar solo. Other songs fluctuate between slow rockers and faster punk numbers. Great song titles: "Bus Gas Explosion", "I Love Three Chords", and "Cheerleader and Her Miniskirt Bomb" are just a few of the winners. Don’t be misled. This is not just cutesy Japanese girl-punk. It’s aggressive, as some teenage Japanese girls can get. Cool names too: Spandecks S on bass and vocals, Spandecks M on guitar and vocals, and Ramones-lookalike YY Spandecks on drums and 1234. Definitely worth a purchase if you’re shopping at Record Shop Base any time soon. (RK)
(Stiffeen Records, Root Kyoudou, BLDG.3F-C 1-25-17, Kyoudou Satagaya-ku 156-0052, Japan)

Sparta "Austere" CDEP

I've really been wanting to check this out ever since I heard At The Drive-in went defunct. I even almost bought that other band, whatever it was called, until I found out it was best compared to Cuban Reggae/dub. Two distinct musicals styles I just don't see blending together well. So I figured I would wait on Sparta. Yeah, I liked, and really STILL like, At the Drive In. Don't give me the major label speech you fuckers.

What kind of car do you drive.... Who is your Internet service provider? Yeah, and talk to me MORE about your major labels... Wait, I'm getting into things I don't want to. Even though it would be cool to see Blank Generation (dot com) riddled with info-shop DIY know-how, I must refrain.

Joe Domino still weeps for Dale Earnhart (I DO NOT! -ed.).

So, Sparta. It’s good, but really, nothing close to At The Drive In as they had become. Maybe it's the whole newness of the band, maybe it's a lot of things, but I expected more franticness. At The Drive In has some real gripping tunes that Sparta doesn’t have yet. Sparta is more closer to Fugazi than At the Drive In Ever was. Early Fugazi. In fact, some of the backing vocals sound really similar to Ian Mackaye. I would like to see more of what Sparta has to offer...There lyrics are just as tough, really introspective pieces... Like Austere isn’t shit or anything. Fans of At The Drive In WILL PROBABLY like it... I just listen to it and know, that really, Sparta can do better. I feel as though they are holding back and I don't like that shit. It makes me feel cheated. I mean, FUCK! Just this past weekend I bought a sticker from a department store vending machine of some fucker riding a skateboard next to logos stating ‘NR No Rules’. I wanna live no rules and Sparta’s living like a wild uncle grown up trying to teach you life's lessons. Fuck that shit.

All forward. I'm waiting for the full length to better make an assessment. (SAB)
(Dreamworks Records)

Superhelicopter "My Soul" 7"

First release I ever picked up by this now defunct band, and I don’t know why I stayed away for so long. A side is comprised of two mean-ass lo-fi numbers, delivered in Oblivians fashion; full of hate and a great drum sound that makes them (the drums) sound like they’re made of cardboard. B-side is made-up of two more Gories-esque rockers. Three different covers for this record, each featuring a different band member. I got Brettschneider. Great shit from Yakisakana, as always. (RK)
(Yakisakana Records, 51 rue Pierre Renaudel- 76 100, Rouen, France)

Teenage Rejects "Teenage Trash, Vol. 2" 7"

One teenage powerhouse that exploded far too quickly, if you ask me. It’s a shame, but at least we get to grab their stellar posthumous material—and this one’s at least a few notches above their smokin’ debut single on Rip Off. Loud guitars, bombastic drums and a swab of snot stuck in every groove. If you’re wise, you’ll bite your lip and jump on the grenade. GET! (EL)
(www.aliensnatch.de)
(Alien Snatch! Records Morikeweg 74199 Untergruppenbach Germany)

 

This Heat "Made Available (John Peel Sessions)" CD

Good story with this one. On more than one occasion I will meet a new friend at my favorite record store (Shake It Records). Sometimes, when I'm high on cash or something, I will offer to pick a LP or CD out for someone and have them do the same for me. So, with the recent Crimson Sweet visit there I was with Rob Kongress himself. First, I asked him to pick me out a good Cabaret Voltaire CD. He couldn’t find the one he wanted me to buy so instead he found this CD for me.

This CD features a 1977 John Peel Session for This Heat. Mostly an instrumental band, AND one of the few that I believe can actually pull it off, This Heat's sound lies somewhere in-between Can (Cannibalism), Chrome, early Sonic Youth, Pink Floyd, Pere Ubu, and The Swell Maps. Slow. Mellow. Moody. Years ahead of its time, I thought of newer bands like Lightning Bolt and Men's Recovery project when I first heard this (although, be forewarned, This Heat’s sound isn’t comparable) and I actually went to the credits a second time to reassure myself that there wasn’t another band from the UK I have to keep my eyes on.... Bands nowadays are trying different stuff. Its nothing new though, there's some real pioneers out there, like This Heat.

I listen to This Heat on headphones and find myself keep taking them off because I THINK I hear the phone ringing. I also feel like I wanna kill myself (again). But really, everyday I wake up, I'm killing myself. Life is nothing but a controlled, slow suicide. I'm allergic to salt, since salt is needed for basic human life, you can say I am allergic to life! No waving. I know This Heat is DEFINITELY doing something right if someone can honestly say what I said and mean it.....

I look out my window and see an approaching thunderstorm. Hopefully I will get hit by lightning and die. I fucking hate me. I'm Mr. Sad Pockets on the downswing of a bi-polar rollercoaster ride 1 year strong.

Yr into sci-fi avant garde jazz influenced jams... Yr into this! How can you not like a band with a song title like "The Fall of Saigon"? Yeah, I know.... YOU CAN'T!

love, Shawn. (SAB)
(These Records)

Titmen "S/T" 10"

I’m not sure exactly what Anal Babes members are in this band, or if it’s just the band renamed. There’s no information on the record anywhere, except for what I assume are the band member’s pictures on the cover. Some of them look familiar… Either way, it’s good as hell. The Titmen sound just like the Babes. For me, the Anal Babes were like a scarier, more experimental Turbonegro. They always did great cover songs, and this record is nothing but. They demolish the Monks’ "I Hate You" for openers, then move on to "Punched in the Head" and "Cowboy" by the always under-appreciated Drunks With Guns. DWG done Anal Babes style is just incredible. On the B-side you get a punishing rendition of Liket Lever’s "Levande Begravd", and they finish with an absolutely stunning version of Chrome’s "Pharaoh Chromium." You honestly have to hear this to believe its greatness. I’ve listened to this record about ten times in the past twenty-four hours. Unreal… If you haven’t pleasured your ears with the Anal Babes yet, I suggest you get onboard now. (RK)
(Petty Bourgeois Broadcasts, PO Box 568, CH 4005 Basel)

Tyrades "Stain On Me" 7"

Definitely my favorite Rip Off platter in awhile, and I’m not being biased just because the Tyrades used to be from Buffalo. "Stain On Me" is legitimately a great song, and features perhaps the most retarded backing vocals ever recorded. It will get stuck in your head. Jimmy Hollywood shows us he can actually play guitar, and Jenna’s vocals sound a hell of a lot tougher than they did on the Big Neck record. Dave Unlikely’s drumming is the glue that holds all of this KBD/New Wave inspired madness together. "Blood Sister’ is a great track too. Nice mohawk. (RK)
(Rip Off Records, 581 Maple, San Bruno, CA 94066)

United Space "S/T" CDEP

I just like the ZERO BOYS! (JD)
(Soda Pop Productions)

V/A "A Tribute To The Screamers" CD

Let's be real: compilations almost always disappoint. As is usually the case, compilations (tribute or otherwise) consist of a few throw-away tunes by the bands you actually like surrounded by a lot of total crap that you wouldn't wish for your worst enemy to hear. A GREAT original comp is a VERY rare thing (it happened TWICE last year with "920 Blues" and Sympathy's Detroit comp, and that was the first occasion in quite some time that 2 really good original comps came out in a single year). It's not just that most of the people behind comps are stupid, it's also an incredibly difficult type of record to pull off well. Doing a tribute comp is pretty much asking for it, in my book… A good tribute compilation is practically an oxymoron.

I stand corrected...this Screamers Tribute is absolutely fucking fantastic. A truly great achievement and I doubt anyone can match it this year (or next year). It's that awesome. Compiled by the folks who brought us The Screamers "In A Better World" 2XCD, so you know they know what to do and what bands to DO IT RIGHT. Sure, you have an automatic advantage when you select a band as classic as The Screamers. I'm pretty sure you'd only be able to get cover versions from bands that tend to hibernate in that famed "Neoteric niche" that we revere. Whatever, they still managed to pull it off above and beyond any expectations I had. And the true kick in my ass: this promo CD-R is only a preview of a full 2xCD Screamers tribute they are properly releasing some time in the upcoming months. THIS CD-R IS ONLY HALF OF IT! Oh yeah, wanna know what bands contribute interpretations of Screamers classics? Let me see here...maybe you've heard of THE CRIPPLES?!?!?!?!?!?!? THE INTELLIGENCE?!?!?!?!?!? THE A-FRAMES?!?!?!?!?!? DESTRUCTION UNIT?!?!?!?!?!?!? They even got KK Barrett and Paul Roessler! The Phantom Surfers do "Eva Braun" for fuck's sake! I'm not sure I could take a whole other CD of this, it would be TOO GOOD. For now, we must wait...but when it comes out, our jaws will drop. (MC)
(Extravertigo Recordings and Xeriod Records)

V/A "Life Is… Vol 1.: Life is Ugly, So Why Not Kill Yourself" CD

Cool 20th anniversary reissue of an early-‘80s L.A. punk compilation featuring the likes of Red Cross (pre-name change), the Descendents, the Urinals/100 Flowers, Saccharine Trust, the Minutemen, China White and more. There’s a great assortment of bands on here—sounds range from hardcore to punk to art-damaged rock ‘n’ roll. I’m admittedly unsure of how well this collection represents the L.A. scene, but it still strikes me as nostalgic and completely worthwhile. "Old schoolers" (ugh) would do best to grab this. (EL)
(www.deliriumrecords.com)
(Delirium Records PMB 330 1042 N. Mountain #B Upland, CA 91786)

V/A "Life is Ugly, So Why Not Kill Yourself" CD

What we have here is a comp of the finest from L.A.’s punk underground from 1979-1982, re-released by Delirium Records on the twentieth anniversary of the original release on New Underground Records. It’s a pretty diverse document, missing some major players and including some obscurities. It includes the first 35 seconds of Red Cross history with "Rich Brat", a good Descendents track, a scorcher from the under-rated China White, and a great Saccharine Trust song from the days before they became an improv-jazz band. There’s also good stuff from outside the hardcore/punk box, most notably a couple of early Minutemen tracks produced by Mike Patton, and the Reds favorite band, the Urinals, doing "She’s A Drone". Some silly art-punk from a band called Zurich 1916, and some folk nonsense from the Plebs are really the only bad things about this comp. As a document of a time, it tells a great story through the bands: the Black Flag worship of Ill Will, Anti’s longing to be the American Crass, the hardcore genius of Civil Dismay, all represent what was going then very well. And as can be expected, Spot produced a good majority of this stuff. There is some great music here that you may have overlooked. Sure it might sound dated, but it’s a lot of fun in that KBD kind of way. (RK)
(Delirium Records, PMB 330, 1042 N. Mountain #B, Upland, CA, 91786)

V/A "Life Is...Vol. 1 - Life Is Ugly So Why Not Kill Yourself" CD

A reissue of an old comp organized by the legendary Spot. Some pretty classic L.A. stuff here from 79-82. Features many of the famed names: Red Cross (whose "Rich Brat" is an all-time great), Decedents, Minutemen and Saccharine Trust. I can't imagine anyone reading this not being immediately familiar with most of this stuff, but you never know. The two main points of interest for me are the 100 Flowers and Urinals songs, I love that stuff. Some crap, but mostly good to really good. (MC)
(Delirium Records, PO Box 330, 1042 N. Mountain #B, Upland, CA 91786)

V/A "Live from the Masque" CD

This CD is a comp of bands that played a two-day benefit show for the Masque back in 1978. The Weirdos, The Bags, The Germs, The Skulls, The Eyes, The Dickies, F-Word, The Alleycats, The Zeros, Black Randy, and the Randoms are all on the comp. If you're into early LA punk, then I would pick this up. My problem with this release is the exclusion of bands that also played the show. The Controllers, The Screamers, X, and The Dils have been all left off. Maybe, there's going to be a Volume Two… Anyway this is another great re-release for Bacchus Records, who have been putting out great re-releases from the Controllers, the Gears, and the Dogs. Also liner notes by Brendan Mullen… (TC)
(Bacchus Archives)

 
 
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