- June, 2002
Afrika Korps "Music to Kill By" LP & Bonus EP
"re-issue" joins the ranks with the best. Tapping the well once
again, Hate Records has brought us the sequel of sorts to the infamous
Gizmos! Like the Gizmos, The Afrika Korps draws from friends and allies
of the band, including luminaries like members of The Slickee Boys, to
put together a tremendous line up for a tremendous release. I know the
band and all its players are talented musically, because the only cover
on the record is "Heartful of Soul" is tight and its a whopper
at that, but the rest of the LP is minimal, raw and powerful! Like The
Testors, The Afrika Korps are stripped down basics. The Afrika Corps takes
rock and roll back to the base! In one song I believe they even play the
whole thing out of tune, something that I respect, because its not just
a part of the song, BUT THE WHOLE SONG! Lemme tell ya, when I can notice
such things as guitars being out of tune, then the guitars are REALLY
out of tune. I'm not musically inclined or anything. I have played whole
live sets myself without tuning at all.... For a band like The Afrika
Korps, who many would say KNOW BETTER than to play a whole song out of
tune, to turn around and do such a thing, is a fucking statement! Twenty
two tight songs. Great arrangements. Plus a bonus EP with six live songs.
This LP is great and I highly recommend it. Punk-Rock at its pioneering
best! I like the Gizmos and everything, I mean, FUCK! Don't let me give
you the wrong impression or anything, but The Korps just HAVE IT. They
fulfill what The Gizmos couldn't in a lot of ways. Like I said, I HIGHLY
recommend this record! (SAB)
Andrew WK "I Get Wet" CD
It's likely you've already heard something about AWK. You're not alone if you've already dismissed him as a trendy tongue in cheek throwback to all that was wrong about music in the 80's. Lest I lose your confidence as an arbiter of good taste let me assure you that I too was quite skeptical of Mr. WK's musical mission statement. Sure stadium rock may win out over slop rock (the catch all term for rap rock, nu metal, etc.) any day of the week, but let's not kid ourselves, it still sucked, and anyone who tries to mine those particular shit laden fields for potential recycled musical gold will usually end up with naught more than ill fitting leather pants, ugly tattoos, and even uglier hair. The sad tale of the Donnas meteoric decline would seem to conclusively prove that it's impossible to squeeze a good tune out of an old bottle of Aqua Net. As far as I was concerned it was a forgone conclusion that this would suck. So imagine my surprise when my friend Metal Bobby played this album for me and I was greeted with song after song of an undeniably infectious first-rate pop. Song after song I was blown away by how finely crafted all of the tracks where. I wanted to hate it, really, but there was just no way I could wipe the stupid grin I had off my face or stop effusively blabbering with my friend about what a perfect record this is. Despite poverty, this being on a major, and a long list of records to buy, I had no choice but to go out and buy this album two days later, if for nothing else, to at least get the chorus of "I Love NYC" out of my head. Rather than getting one song out of my head, all buying the album served to do was get TWELVE songs stuck in my head on permanent rotation for the next few weeks.
despite succumbing to AWK's ultralist charms (A friend of mine told me
that the media have dubbed AWK's sound as "ultraism." While
I have no idea what this means, it sure sounds neat.) I was, like many,
somewhat unsure about his veracity. Sure this album is undeniably great,
but there's just no way someone can't be at least somewhat joking when
they make music that sounds like "Highway to the Dangerzone"
crossed with that scene in Bill and Ted where Beethoven rips it up in
the music store. I mean in this post-post modern age where irony rules
people just don't write songs like "Party Hard" and "Fun
Night" with out the defense of a tongue planted firmly in cheek.
Despite reading an interview in which he claimed otherwise, I just couldn't
believe that WK actually LIKED the music he plays. That is until I saw
him live. I can honestly say I've never seen anyone look that happy to
be playing music in my life. In front of a paltry 250 people AWK and band
looked like there was nowhere else in the world they would have rather
been at that moment. It was as a bunch guys whose lives had consisted
of dead end jobs, going to the bar, working on their Cameros in the front
lawn, and all the while rocking out to Slayer had finally gotten to live
out their dreams of being a rock star. As strange as it seems, on that
night there was nothing as awesome as a bunch of longhaired dudes in hightops
wielding Ibanezes and pounding double bass drums like their lives depended
on it. While this one the surface this may sound antithetical to what
punk rock is all about, really it's not. Beyond the obvious cosmetic differences,
this could describe almost any punk band. Just think about it, a bunch
of regular guys, who for lack of anything better to do, decide to play
rock music. Sure AWK and band probably wouldn't mind being rockstars,
neither would the Hives I assume, yet they don't ape current musical trends
in order to grab the brass ring of mainstream success. I guess what I'm
trying to say is that Andrew WK is serious about having a good time, and
really what's so wrong about that? Some may dismiss him as a purveyor
of kitsch, that in essence he's playing one big prank. The folly with
this line of thinking is that if someone wants to deny themselves the
pleasure of rocking out to undeniably great music on the grounds that
they think it's just a joke, then in actuality the joke is on them. (SS)
Bellrays "In the Light of the Sun" CD
you read any of the early issues of Hitlist Im sure you read about
the Bellrays. Rock n roll/soul with some of the most kick
ass vocals on the planet. This disc has recordings from 1992 and have
a very 1970s soul feel to em with horns and maracas and stuff
Not something that Id listen to all the time, but cool none the
Obviously for fans only
Bomb Pops "Everything Looks Like Her" 7"
The anticipation This is Mighty Joe Vincents and Steve Baises (formally of the Devil Dogs [like, duh!] and lesser projects) new rock n roll band!
mounting! The Bomb Pops are very Devil Dogs-ish, but
with less of a garageeeeee guitar fuzz and melodic overtones. Basically
if you like everything these kids have ever done over the years you will
be checking this 45 out. (JD)
Bunny Five Coat "Negative Attention" CD
impressive disc. This all female band has been playing since October of
2001. It hasn't even been a year and they already have a full length!
Now that's what I like! Action = Action!!!! Bunny Five Coats sound reminds
me first and foremost of a tougher, more crunch guitar heavy Ramones sound
with song structuring reminding me a lot of something Joey Ramone would
write. On two tracks in particular, "Smells" and my pick of
the disc, "Thang", Bunny Five Coat bring to mind Liliput/Kleenex!!!
Now that's even more impressive!!!! A while back I reviewed a band from
Virginia called, Girlush Figure whose disc, Target You is probably
still available, well, if you had liked what you heard THERE, then please
turn HERE to Bunny Five Coat; You will not be disappointed! (SAB)
Chosen Few "Really Gonna Punch You Out!!!" 2xLP
is the most definitive collection of Chosen Few material I have ran across.
I mean, FUCK! There's a bit here and a bit there. A LP here, A CD there.
This double LP is all you really need. Three sides worth of studio tracks
with a live side, and extensive liner notes to boot. Soundwise, The Chosen
Few are a soundtrack to destruction. In their day they really stirred
up some shit. Pushing buttons and punching faces, The Chosen Few left
no stone unturned. Raw. Controversial. Mean--A calling to action, The
Chosen Few were the voice of the down-trodden and dirty!!!! All the hits
are on this double LP including my personal favorites; "T.A.L.O.I.G.A.",
"Terminal Rock", "Backstreet Killer" and "Adolph
You Beauty" is also included which really, any few collection would
NOT be complete without it. Classic tracks from a classic place and time!
There's a need for bands like The Chosen Few... You couldn't do a band
like the Few today; it just wouldn't work... Here's to all the bands pushing
the envelopes of politically correct! (SAB)
Crimson Sweet "So Electric" 7"
is my first exposure to neoteric sweethearts the Crimson Sweet, so I'm
playing catch up here. While I'll be the first to admit that I have no
clue what EXACTLY this neoteric punk/wave business Shawn Abnoxious is
always going on about is, from what I gather it's all about bands who
do their own thing and don't quite fit in within any easily defined genre
parameters. If so I can see how Crimson Sweet fit under the neoteric banner.
I've seen quite a few reviews of this, but none of them really gave me
an idea of how the record sounds. That's because any comparison would
be way off the mark. At first I thought of them as what the Avengers would
sound like if they had formed in the late nineties, but that's doesn't
work since the Avengers leave me cold, but I dig the Crimson Sweet. The
best I can come up with is to say that the Crimson Sweet Sound is like
a communiqué from a war zone. Somewhere in the midst of a swirling maelstrom
of combat there's a portable radio playing pop songs. That's the Crimson
Sweet. The singer on here sounds like she's desperately trying to tell
you something of grave importance that she knows you won't understand.
Destined to fail but still giving it 110%. The point isn't the outcome;
it's the ACTION. (SS)
Chronics "It's Too Late" LP
The only other Chronics record I have heard is their Rip Off Records single. That was recorded in May of 1998 while the LP was recorded in March of 2001. That's almost three years and in that time The Chronics have gone from just okay, do downright phenomenal. In all honesty, I was not moved at all by It's Too Late after the first few spins. It sounded rather mediocre. The production was nothing special, the songs were kind of slow and plodded along, and I was getting ready to file it away on the shelf where it probably would have wound up being played about once a year or so.
for some reason, I kept on spinning it and have now come to realize that
The Chronics have somehow made a brilliant record. The production is still
nothing unique, and yes, the songs are, on average, way slower than the
Rip Off single. It makes sense that Rip Off wouldn't want to put this
out. The songs are very basic, with minimal chord changes, and the vocals
are "sung" a little more than on their prior work. The clincher
is the fact that The Chronics have bumped up the pop factor by about 10
times in their songwriting. The best comparison that I can come up with
would be to The Zeros. Just like The Zeros, The Chronics songs are poppy,
generally mid-paced with basic song structures, the vocals are slightly
accented and the songs are criminally catchy. The Chronics are probably
a little bit tougher than The Zeros, so throw in a little bit of the early
NYC sound ala Heartbreakers or New York Dolls and you'll have a little
bit better of an idea of what to expect. It's Too Late is to their
Rip Off single as 16 Wires is to the early Registrators' singles,
if that makes any sense to you. The Chronics have put out a huge sleeper
hit of an album which I'd highly recommend to any Blank Gen-head out there.
Top ten material! (JG)
D4 "RockNRoll Motherfucker" 7"
(not to be confused with Dillinger 4, who put a Teenage Reject or two
in the hospital awhile back) are a high-octane rock n rolla
group outta New-Zealand (also home to great television shows such as Zena:
Warrior Princess). The D4 are a punk rock n roll, beer-swillin
powerhouse that the southern fried fucks lick off the counter of smoke-filled
bar on late Thursday nights. Loud speakers a must
Drain Babies "The Blind Charge" CD
First off, apologies to the band for not reviewing this sooner My lack of contribution to Blank Generation as of late can be attributed exclusively to an abundance of school work, and not sheer utter laziness like those who know me would probably be expecting. Now that that's out of the way, it's probably clear to most readers that this compact disc is one of a handful of CDs I've received in the last few months as a result of my affiliation with the Blank Generation Record Reviewing Empire. We here at Blank Generation Central appreciate your contributions to our extensive record catalogues, no doubt, but as with anything that's musically related, and for FREE, it's always a crap shoot as to whether or not you'll end up with anything good, let alone reviewable. I say reviewable last in that sentence to emphasize that a truly shitty album is often a better thing to receive for free than a mediocre-to-somewhat-decent-to-decent album is. That's the hardest shit to review because well, the stuff really isn't that bad, therefore you kinda feel like an asshole for shitting on the band, especially if it's in the case that the band is actually decent. But lets face it, that "somewhat good" band from Assneck, Michigan's self-released 13 song CD (sometimes with very thinly disguised label names sporting the bassist's home address) doesn't get much more than three plays on my stereo before being shelved, and it probably doesn't get much more on yours either. Bands need a hook to attract my long-term attention. You need to have at least 3-4 really great-to-amazing songs on an LP, or a really good single to fall back on.
Drain Babies are one of those bands that are riding the "mediocre-to-somewhat-decent-to-decent"
wave. They're not really a bad band. I've received much, much worse stuff
to review over the last couple of years. They actually sound like they're
good pop musicians
and they sound tight, like they've been together
for a really long time. But I'll be damned, the songs on this album don't
sound as bland and boring as anything you would have heard on Alternative
rock radio circa-1995. Even worse are the vocals, which are extremely
sub-par. They alternate the vocals between two guys, mind you, and the
second guy is not all that bad, but the first lead singer sounds way too
weak for primetime (picture them being slightly less wimpy, but just as
off-key as Jeff Ott's vocals). And while the other singer actually sounds
decent, his songs aren't even as good as the shit singer's offerings,
so it all just ends up sounding pretty fucking blah. Musically, at their
best, the Drain Babies sound like late 80s Replacements with a dash
of Elvis Costello. At their worst, they sound Better Than Ezra. Anyway,
I don't give a shit if these guys are supposed to be a wimpy geek pop
band or some shit like that, if you play pop music and you don't write
an extremely catchy riff or hook in your songs, or play the music with
a considerable amount of edge, you're not going to hold my attention for
very long. Being a geek pop band is no excuse for not having any balls.
I mean, for fucks sake, even somewhat mediocre, but good for what they
do wimpy pop bands like Sloan, Apples In Stereo, or even Weezer &
Nada Surf circa-94-95, have/had balls. And don't even get me started on
how obscenely massive the nutsacks of Johnathan Richman and Milo Aukerman
must look comparatively to these guys. But whatever, this stuff's not
all that bad. Good luck to this band ever making it the fuck out of Bumfuck,
West Virginia, though. (SA)
Flin Flon "Chicoutimi" CD
Flin Flon lead singer/guitar player and Teenbeat label owner Mark Robinson must be one weird dude. I don't even know where to start. I guess the release itself is a little different as it contains some new songs, some old songs, a remix and some stuff that has never been available on CD before for the analog impaired set. Four of the songs have previously appeared on the vinyl version of their last album Boo Boo, which contained all different versions of the songs than the CD version. I've always liked the vinyl Boo Boo better than the CD Boo Boo anyway. The two versions of the same album thing might sound crazy, but please remember that this is coming from the same band that included a locked groove after EVERY SINGLE SONG!!! On their first album A-OK. On their first album A-OK. On their first album A-OK. On their first album A-OK. On their first album A-OK. On their first album A-OK.
You get the point. It was annoying.
And did I mention that every single one of their song titles (from what I can tell) as well as the name of their band is named after a Canadian city (As a side note - if any member of Flin Flon should ever happen upon this review, I would like to suggest that you do a song called "Emo" as there happens to be a community of the same name 40 kilometers west of my home base. It's usually good for a laugh or two a few times during the year when the paper has headlines like "Emo man dies in fire" or "Emo family hurt in crash".)?
Another weird and quite annoying thing about Chicoutimi is that the song titles and liner notes are included on a totally separate piece of cardboard that doesn't really fit back into the digipack case. It fit fine when it was held in by the plastic wrap, but when opened, it's kind of its own separate piece. On the actually inside surfaces of the digipack there is a "Teenbeat Checklist" which lists release numbers for every Teenbeat release. The strange thing is that many non-records are allocated Teenbeat release numbers. Things like "business cards", "tee shirts", "Christmas cards", and "shipping labels" are all assigned their own Teenbeat release number.
guess the important thing is the music and Flin Flon certainly provide
a healthy dose of good tunes. The most important part of their sound has
to do with the fact that the guitar almost never plays a chord. It's note-rock
the whole way through. The guitar often picks two notes to alternate between
while the bass is plucked very stacatto-like to give an extremely punctuated
bass line. The drums are usually always quite intricate yet repetitive.
The vocals with very basic, yet often obscure, lyrics are usually prominently
featured and go quite well with the instrumentation. Flin Flon do have
an original sound which is tough to say of many modern bands. I've always
maintained that they are criminally underrated amongst the punk set. Hopefully
with the seeming tendency of the punk world broadening our horizons, this
release will cause people to wake up to the hip sounds coming from Mr.
Robinson and his crew. (JG)
Glass Candy & The Shattered Theatre/Subtonix "Split" 7"
I'd liken this record to those quite often frustrating movie teasers shown before features. Not the full length 2 or 3 minute movie trailers, but the 30 second teasers that show you a few key shots to whet your appetite for an upcoming release. That's what we have here - just a tease. Both bands contribute one song which make me want to track down their soon to be released (Glass Candy) and just released (Subtonix) full lengths. Subtonix are the clear winner here as their neoteric punk/wave synth death march "Into the Fire" riles me up into a manic frenzy each time it's played. It's loud and chaotic yet doesn't ever lose itself in a mess of noise. Shawn Abnoxious and Joe D. are going to jizz their pants over these gals, no doubt about it. One of their original members, Jenny, is now a full time member of Erase Errata, which should also clue you in as to the general type of their sound.
Glass Candy side could work if it was on an LP, but it loses a bit of
its emphasis as a single. I'm a standard kind of guy - I like my singles
to be "hit" singles, rather than a place to put out somewhat
experimental songs. I realize that Glass Candy are a pretty out there
band with their unique brand of guitar-less "death disko" but
a faster song with, uhhh, I dunno, maybe some drums, like the songs on
their live 12" on Vermin Scum, would have been more appreciated.
The song does serve its duty as being a great teaser to the upcoming album.
Are all of their new songs as edgy and weird as this? Or can we expect
something different? (JG)
Horehounds "No Time For You" 7"
Horehounds are a Johnny Thunders obsessed (or maybe a Mullens obsessed
) rock n roll group with all the classic licks
and chords that Johnny Thunders obsessed people dig on. If Chuck Berry
had a nickel for every guitarist who ripped off his guitar playin
he woulda been a fuckin king! Too bad you cant copyright that
then punk rock would have never existed, right
The Horehounds! Keepin the tradition alive! (JD)
Hotrod Honeys "Kill Me Now!" LP
Belgium its the Hotrod Honeys! Basic Ramones/early Motorhead influence
tunes with a lot of singalong chorus that the kids seem to dig on
The record alternates between melodic numbers to ultra fast as fuck kickers.
Nothing outta this world, but nothing Id puke on either
standard punk rock record
Jewws "LExplosion Du Son De Maintenant" LP
YYYYYYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYY! Its the Jewws! The Jewws are back! YYYYYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!! The Jewws! The Jewws are here!!!!!!!! YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYY!!!!
Okay! Woo! Alright! Yes! The Jewws, people, the Jewws!!!!! !!!!!!!!
Aye The Jewws The Jewws are outta Texas and are one of the coolest garage rock n roll numbers out there these days The Jewws are in the same league as the Drags and kick it with lowdown and dirty vox, fuzzzzzzeeee guitars, snappin bass lines, and rumblin drums. If you like rock n roll and hate everything else youll like the Jewws!
King Louie One Man Band "Jesus Loves My One Man Band LP
buy anything w/ Louie, OK? Persuaders, one-man shit, Exploding Hearts
whatever. My fave is "Dont Cook That Cabbage (it makes
the whole house stink!)." (TK)
Knaughty Knights of Memphis "S/T" 7"
with the Bad Times, this record is my favorite of all post-Oblivians stuff.
Rough and noisy and soaked in a good helping of Memphis grime
covers of the Stones and Swamp Rats, but the real treat here is Rich Crooks
fantastic "Goodnight Love", a song as good as any of the tracks
on the Bad Times record. It has me going back to the turntable to play
it again every time I hear it. Oh yeah, this is Rich and Jack O. with
an assist from Shag on one track. Two different covers, I got the Drunken
but Fierce and Undaunted Knight Doubloon edition. Get a copy of this baby
before its too late. You should hate yourself if you dont.
Ladytron "604" CD
the synth beats that compel me
Coming out of a future of luster
and aria, Ladytron is this centurys New Order. With a robotic sensibility
and mesmerizing vocals, a pop to the auditory senses will occur when these
girls push the button. Thee synth pop group that will take you for a jaunt
into the year 3051 can be a diagnostic for rapture. (JD)
Lili Z "S/T" 10"
I like her a lot. This record is all her, recorded at home
over the past few years. If you heard her 7" from a while back, this
is nothing like that. That record wasnt bad. This is much, much
better though, in terms of both sound and song quality. Eight tracks over
two sides, with a couple of noise collage type things tacked on the end
of each side. Side One rocks a bit like the No-Talents with programmed
drums and random noise thrown in. It sometimes sounds similar to Nazis
from Mars, but not so blatantly techno and with a lower BPM. You actually
cant even tell the drums arent "real" for the most
part. On Side Two Lili whips out the synth for a bit, and cranks out what
could be called dance music for a track or two. The best track "I
Wanna Make Noise" follows that, a statement of purpose with a great,
loud guitar that sounds like the title suggests it might. Real good stuff
all around and great packaging too. A gatefold 10" with tons of cut
and paste artwork and lyrics to look at while you listen. The pics of
Lili dont hurt either. Overall, this record really makes me wish
I took French instead of Spanish in High School. (RK)
Lords of Altamont S/T" CD
did I wanna hate these guys. LA band with image out the foreskin,
fronted by the organ-slinging tool from the Bomborings. But shit, they
pulled off a good n energetic show, and this disc is pretty swank.
I could nit-pick all day over the generic riffs and lyrics, but really
sound itself is so cool Fuzz geetars, squalling organ, pounding
drummer. Its in a sorta nether region in between the Back
From the Gravers and the heavier shit that went down after Altamont
kind of an idealized version
of what cool 67 bikers shoulda been listening to
Lubricants "S/T" CD
band best known for "Activated Energy" (featured on KBD
Theyve recently reformed for live shows, but this aint new
spew, its 13 tunes from 77-81. And fuck if it dont
buck the KBD trend of a great single repackaged w/ a buncha horseshit.
Almost every song is great! From straight-up punk (77s "Cissy
is a Bitch") to core (81s "Violent Tendencies")
to art/noise kink ("Sick of It"), they manage to maintain their
unique scumbag voice. Much recommended for wary KBD aficionados. (TK)
Mooney Suzuki "Electric Sweat" LP/CD
You feel like hell. Your heart is pounding against your chest with the erratic rhythm of a dying fish flopping around on the ground. Sweat relentlessly drips from your every pore like water through a pasta strainer. You've got so much cotton in your mouth that you could make a pair of BVD's out of it. The heat index is at an all time record high, and you've been trapped outside all day doing hard labor under the merciless sun. Maybe its road construction, maybe its training for the Olympics; all that matters is that this is the kind of day that can kill football players and you've been outside working your ass off all day without so much as a sip to drink. Then, just as you're about ready to drop, a miracle occurs! A beautiful girl comes up to you, and pitying your condition, offers you a can of cold beer! While you usually abhor beer from a can, beggars can't be choosers on a day like today. You greedily yank the can out of her hands and begin to drink vociferously, not bothering to pay much attention to what kind of beer it is.
After all, the way you feel right now Schlitz would taste like Newcastle. The first drink is absolutely ambrosial, you feel like the mighty Thor relaxing over a glass of mead after a fierce battle. Since the first drink was so sweet, you take more time to savor the next one, only to be slightly let down by it. Maybe this isn't a brew worthy of an Asgardian after all. By the fifth drink, you're downright disgusted; there's no way a can of tang mixed with cat piss could taste any worse than this swill, and what's that funny rattling sound it's making? Overcome by curiosity you get a knife and pry the top of the can off. What greets your eyes is enough to make even the Confederacy of Scum go straightedge. Inside the can you'd just been drinking from resides a veritable cornucopia of ick: fingernail clippings, pubic hairs, dead roaches, chicken gizzards, dog shit, and not only a used condom, but also the remnants of a used tampon. You turn to the vile, yet quite comely, wench who played this cruel prank on you, hoping to extract some revenge, and you're stopped dead in your tracks as she pulls off her mask only to reveal the gruesome visage of none other than DON RICKLES!!!!! Now you know what it felt like for me to listen to this album.
okay, maybe it wasn't quite THAT bad, but I was pretty disappointed by
this. There are some really good songs on here (and a few great ones)
but the album doesn't really work as whole, and this is coming from a
guy who thought "People Get Ready" was a damn fine and cohesive
album. The biggest problem is that there's only ten songs on here, two
of which are boring, noodly instrumentals. Maybe it's just because my
mojo is in the repair shop, but having a fifth of your album be lame instrumentals
is beyond self-indulgent in my book. Couple these unfortunate instrumental
forays with a few below par offerings, and you've got maybe five, maybe
six, worthy songs on here. If those songs where released as an EP, and
it sold for like six bucks, I'd give this an easy thumbs up. As it is,
I fear the Mooney Suzuki have released a half-assed album, that could
have been three kick ass singles. It is to weep. (SS)
Neon King Kong "Mix Up the Mix" 7"
pick up where Le Shok left off, but with a deeper, more textured sound
than the sharp angles Le Shok tossed around. Two songs that are just short
enough to leave you wanting a lot more. "Mix up the Mix" is
my preference, but theyre both really good. Again, theyre
just too damn short. What ever happened to four song EPs? These
guys should put out a record real quick. I think theyll be better
than Le Shok, who were good, but overrated. (RK)
Neurotic Swingers "Whats Your Definition of Underground?" CD/10"
definition of underground? Well
I suppose my definition of "underground"
(underground music and underground writing) is something that isnt
quite accepted as the authority. Something that isnt the norm
But you see thats where you come in, Neurotic Swingers
ARE the norm. You are the accepted version of "punk rock." Chunky
guitars comin outta Marshal stacks
Raspy vocals and lyrics
about a future damned. Im not damned
Neurotic Swingers, you should be damned. Because only the damned rehash
old tired tunes like the ones on this disc
You belong on TKO Records
with the rest of yr lot
Pac Men "Unauthorized" CD
You know, these guys use to have connections to past bands like The Pist and shit, but I have long since forgotten the inter-twining connections. After all, if you can no longer remember it and have to revert to zines of yesteryear to get the facts, then it must not be relevant to today. The Pac Men are not new to my ears. I have been connected to them for a while now, getting their advance material, trying to pass along info for booking Cincinnati Shows and shit.... This CD represents the front-line troops of their next CD I suppose. I can tell right away that The Pac Men's sound has really progressed and gotten tighter since their last Red Tape Records CD.
Refined is the word I'm looking for.
The Pac Men still seem fueled by some of the same things with the forerunner being some of that good ol angst against society, its suburbs and all its glory, but gone with the first CD is the references to horror films/sci fi nostalgia. I dunno, maybe the Pac Men didn't want to get caught in a rut and moved onward. Either way, it works because Unauthorized is pretty tight. Their sound is still similar to The Pist, but on Unauthorized I am hearing more DC hardcore punk. I'm left wondering why these guys aren't everywhere.... The Pac Men are hardcore punk enough for me, but yet not too hard that will just make all the spiky-haired pogo drunks come out in droves. The Pac Men are tight. Like I said, I'm wondering why they havent taken the east coast with force yet.... or HAVE they and the News just hasnt gotten to me yet. Either way, I'm glad I'm on their side because I hate fighting. The Pac Men will fight my fights for me!!!!
Panics "1980-1981: Please Panic!" LP
I feel close to this release. After all, only twenty years and a couple of hours drive separates me, from them. This stuff is from my region. Inidananna. Mid-west proper! Right...NOW I'm just a couple hours drive from the hometown of The Panics: Bloomington, Indiananna!!!! USA. Yeah! This is a good LP and released under good pretense. I mean, FUCK! Who would have thought that backwater punk rock would see its day on compilations like Killed By Death or Bloodstains, much less HUNTED down twenty years later with barrels scraped for LPs like this. Labels like Hate, who have sort of aligned themselves with The whole Gulcher Empire, serve a much needed purpose. The flame still burns.
The LP starts off with the infamous 45RPM featuring three great originals aiming you face first into a guard rail: "I Wanna Kill My Mom", "Best Band" and "Tie Me Up Baby." These three tracks are definitely something to behold! I said Face first!!!! It's music like this that inspires! Not that MTV Blink 182 shit! When, if, and how frequently people will understand this isn't my job! I have got the bug. They will either wise up or continued to be passed by, by future passed. Retrograde Marching Doom Propulsion!!!!
Bottom line is the Panics had fun. Plain and simple. Like a mid-west version of The Sex Pistols, the Panics took some rebel contemporaries and made them their own by choosing to play "Somethin' Else", "Come On Everybody" and "Louie Louie." Hell they even tackle a Pistols song, "No Feelings", too...
Like, ?get it??
Really though, what makes this band, and the record truly amazing is the original material. I don't know the story, if maybe they had tons of original material and chose not to play it or record it or what, but whereas the covers are given a twist and ?panic-fied? the originals BLAZE and teem with snot. Snarl. Rage, and most importantly, mid-west angst. This LP documents a time, a place, and a battle. Here in the Midwest, this shit isn't for fun. You hear on records like this how the struggle began. I perpetuate this struggle that my forefathers began!!!!
Panty Raid "The Secret's Out" 7"
drunk Huggy Bear? An ultra slutty Bratmobile? There's not much to say
about this one other than Panty Raid is made up of some party hardy kats
who like to fuck. Sound intriguing? It is. They play 'em fast and rough
in the way that only sloppy East Bay garage punks can. The band features
zinester Jenelle (Tales of Blaarg, Desperate Times) and a couple of her
sex obsessed pals. The lyrics to songs such as "Cheap But Hot",
"Hot 'n' Horny" and "Fast 'n' Easy" are downright
hilarious. If any of the above descriptors sound remotely intriguing to
you, you'd be well off in trying to pick up this chunk of wax. You'll
Panty Raid "The Secret's Out" 7"
never a good sign when the best thing about a record is the sound of the
recording. Panty Raid may have the cool low budget sound of many of the
greats, but unfortunately they just don't have the songwriting chops to
make it worthwhile. They sound kinda like a cross between a low rent Gossip
and some Supercharger wannabes (YAWN). At times it sounds like even they
get sick of their songs, opting to just sorta give up rather than think
of a good ending. One song on here is alright ("He Could Be The One")
but it's nothing to get too excited about. While this record isn't is
bad as Michael Bolton and Styx teaming up to do Promise Ring covers, it's
nowhere near as good as Lionel Ritchie getting together with Rush and
doing Lost Sounds covers. (SS)
Phenoms "S/T" CD
Ive always had a good time ripping on Chicago. The whole Bear/Packer thing I grew up in Door County (dont ask) Cub luck Sacramento had more good bands than they did in the 90s shit, Manitowoc and Chicagos BIG, right?
Its getting harder and harder to mock their rock scene, though. The Horizontal Action folks have pulled it up by the tits with help from their buddies relocated from Buffalo and Normal Blackout Beat Kitchen so yeah, it would figure that this climate would be a fine inky-bator for some new, rockin local combos to crawl outta, and Ive heard a few like this band.
Every good, uh, scene has at least one band like the Phenoms. Nice folks When yer slammin down a pail of ale and the band locks in, you find yourself drawn in, thinking, "man, these guys are getting good. Why do I always forget about em?" And then you forget. Many of these units seem to suddenly shoot outta nowhere to rock yer socks off - Ive seen it! Others simply fade into obscurity or keep pluggin along
r n r w/ a touch of Rip Off, a dash of six oh revival n down
the pocket rock. Cover of Cinderella rounds it out. (TK)
Pits "Belief In Ruins" 7"
British punk rockers with a taste for rock n roll
circa 1977-1979. This record has an Angelic Upstarts and Cock Sparrer
feel to it, what with the catchy, crunchy guitars and gang vocals. Rude
attitudes and all that tea
the Pits are an English Punk Rockers
dream come true. Okay, London? (JD)
Real Pills "Nine Long Years" CD
yeah!!! Ladies and gentlemen it's a pleasure to present to you the finest
garage/beat r'n'r combo in the land, the fabulous Real Pills! Hyperbole?
Perhaps, but the important thing is that when I listen to this record
it SEEMS right. The Real Pills are the total package; great songs you
can't get out of your head, rocking guitars, primitive bashing drums,
cool clothes, and a singer who can yelp out the "c'mons" and
"alrights" with the best of em. Seriously, these guys could
blow the Makers in their prime off the stage. I'm talking, like, total
humiliation here. Don't believe me? I dare you to listen to songs like
"Heart So Black," "Tight Pants," "Electric Eel,"
and "Treat Your Papa Right" and tell me these guys aren't head
and shoulders above anything the "Rock Star Gods" ever did.
Sonically, I'd say the Real Pills occupy a space somewhere between the
aforementioned boys in black and the (way underrated) Hi Fives in the
modern day garage/beat continuum. Don't let their proficiency in tunes
of the primal garage scream variety fool you; the Real Pills can, and
do, write some damn fine pop tunes when necessary. Case in point: the
totally charming number "A Little Piece Of Me" which features
the great line "I never had much luck with the fairer sex/I never
knew why they called them that." Amen brother, amen. Pick this record
up, like, yesterday. (SS)
Reatards "Savage Tape" 7"
pick the song titles and A/B sides release. Teenage Hate era songs about
girls and shit that sound way better than I expected. I have no idea which
songs they are, as I havent recognized any of them yet. I thought
one was a Vom cover for a second, but I dont think so. This is good
stuff for any Reatards fan to have, but anybody should enjoy this. Along
with The Oblivians in the mid Nineties and Lost Sounds at the turn of
the century, The Reatards in the late Nineties restored my faith in music
at a point in time when I was wondering if there was anything out there
worth hearing anymore. Different band member on each sleeve, I got Sir
Steave. Let me know who you get, because you are going to get this record,
Registrators "Rare Tracks" CD
the Lowery vaults comes long-awaited companion piece to the Singles compilation
from last year. Its actually a good companion to the Japanese "90s
Sessions" CD as well. Theres surprisingly little, if any, overlap
between all these CDs, proving just how prolific the band was. The
funny thing is, even if you own all three of these CDs you still
wont have every Registrators track unless you have the actual
vinyl, with the cover of "Hotel California" from the Repent
single and "I Wanna Be Rich" (not a Cold Cock cover) from the
"Baby Dont Cry" EP being just two examples. Die-hard fans
will of course eat this material up, mostly outtakes from various EP sessions.
Borderline fans probably wont dig it so much. Sound quality varies
at time, but all this really doesnt matter because its from
one of the greatest bands ever (well, up until "Velocity" at
least). My personal favorite is a cover of The Dils "I Hate
the Rich". Buy now. (RK)
Sexual Tension "Five Songs for Doing It! CD
You see, since Kenny On-Broadway's migration to the West Coast, something has been missing in Kent. It just didnt seem right going up there and playing shows without seeing his tall T-Rex like self lanking around headbanging wearing a jacket that said awesome and drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon. Yeah, Kill the Hippies were still there. Rob Vegas and the Radar Secret Service were there and all doing a great job. Something left with Kenny. Something tangible. Something that you could at one time put your hands on and molest. But it had been vacant for oh so long. It got feeling like Kenny was dead again and I was thinking that maybe I would barge onstage and raise my Miller High Life in a toast to him....
THEN along came the White Chocolate.
White Chocolate is also known as Elias. I first met him a month or so ago when he was road guying with Kill the Hippies. He was a good guy and told me about his band called Sexual Tension that he and Morte Treehorn had formed with a couple others. But trust me, I had NO IDEA how good Sexual Tension would turn out to be. A month or two later, a Socials gig at The infamous Mantis Gallery... When the night was over, and Sexual Tensions set played, I would look at Elias, the White Chocolate, as a Greek God, A TITAN if you will...
Elias brings back what was taken with Kenny On-Broadway. Theatrical punk rock with twist, turns, and cleverness. True to hits. Real time dirt on the sidewalk!!! Since you could find Morte Treehorn on guitar what I felt I was really looking at was a NEW Sweaty Weapons. In fact, when I told Elias that he said, "Well, Damn, I guess so because I love that Sweaty Weapons tape and have been listening to it for two weeks straight." You see, Kenny made a handful of Sweaty Weapons demo tapes, of which I hadnt gotten one, and every now and then I will run across someone who has one who covets it like its the fucking hope diamond and have been listening to it religiously.
Sexual Tension have what The Sweaty Weapons had plus in the riff raff of their CD and live set; I can hear some funky element like Black Randy and The Metrosquad too!!!! You see, Sexual Tension leave no stone unturned!!!! Their set, as well as this CD-R will range from hot, explosive numbers like The first track, "Cookin with Gas," to mid-paced groove numbers like something that I think would really make Black Randy get off, like on the song "My Face Hurts from Making Out All Summer." The Tension isnt focusing on rocking hard, fast and loud, but rather make calculated strikes at your psyche. In more than one song, the word follow stands out like a calling. Sexual Tension are true cult rock!!!! Follow them to the next level!!!!
honestly, this is one of the best CDs I have gotten all year. I can definitely
see this ending up on my top five at years end..... I know this wave of
Neoteric Bliss has got to end soon. I thought the wave would have crested
and bashed me against the rocks by now but out of the sea, out of the
many, more rise to fill in the ranks of the coming rock and roll Armageddon.
Neoteric Punk/Wave versus everything with me in command! Get this disc
at all cost! Sexual Tension are TITANS!!!! (SAB)
Slurs "It Just Gets Worse" 7"
this Indiana combo (featuring the Kooch) at the Blackout. They rocked
pretty mightily early on, and kinda faded near the end. Still a
good set. Less "Rip Off" than you might expect more "rock"
than that. The single SOUNDS good, of course, but nothing really knocks
me out. Chances are good that later product may
I believe theres
a member or two of the Mighty John Waynes in here too, for anyone keeping
Superhelicopter "My Soul" 7" and split LP w/ Eradicate
this band is some dude and whoever he chooses to play with. The 45 is
spectacular 4 songs of lo-fi shit-rock root-shimmy. "My Soul"
is the clear winner here. The album is a split with the hardcore band
Eradicate. Eradicates OK if yer into modern cookie monster-style
hardcore. The Superhelicopter side is closer to Eradicate than SH on their
single are members present? I like it. Its got that Henry
Fiats Open Sore rock-into-core feel, but heavier and less speedy.
Not in HFOSs league, but worth checking out. (TK)
Tyrades "I Got a Lot" 7"
these kids have potential, I tell ya. Close, but not quite as good as
the Rip Off single, which means that its still better than most
of the crap out there. These kids are gonna be huge. They sound more new-wavish
on this one, and there are some great and stupid backing vocals as well.
Contains three very solid tracks, with my favorite being "Mannequin
Girl". Whats next? Another single? Is there an LP in the works?
Whos the new drummer? Stay tuned, and jump on the bandwagon now
before you get caught with your pants down. (RK)
V/A "California Ain't Fun No More" CD
Like most (smart) people, I hate comps. Most comps are a shitty label dude's way of either cashing in on a cheap trend, exposing the world to their roster of dirt ass bands, or releasing not hard to find versions of songs by bands who most people don't give a flying fuck about anyway, just because they can. I like to say that a label is only as good as its worst comp (actually I don't say that, but it sounds fancy). Thankfully, Mr. Jason Duncan, resident label dude of Just Add Water "Rock'n'Roll" Records knows all of this and has bestowed upon the world a comp which is very much worthy of your hard earned money. The comp actually has a theme (all bands are/were from California), from what I can tell all of the songs are unreleased, and every track is a winner. He's also elected to go with quality over quantity as it only has 12 songs in total.
The first reason why you need to buy this comp is because it contains my vote for "2002's song of the year so far" which would be "Ohio Express" by The Fevers. I feel a little bit sorry for the other 11 bands on the disc (and there are some real heavyweights on it) because not one of them can even come close to the brilliance of The Fevers. If you've heard their amazing Show! 7" on Lipstick Records, which contains some fab, trashed out, garage-power-pop, this song takes that same sound and makes it sound even sweeter. Full-blown dance parties have erupted whenever I've played the song. It's not really a slow song, but it's not fast either - it's just really damn catchy. On the power of this one song alone, their just released album on Alien Snatch has vaulted to top on my list of "albums which I need to own, like, now." The fact that The Fevers (now based out of Minneapolis) have added Travis Ramin (Short Fuses, Candygirl, Tina and the Total Babes) has only added to my anticipation.
next eleven reasons to buy the comp are as follows: Bitchschool do an
amazing Nick Gilder cover, The Bobbyteens (Russell Quan appearance #1)
do a dead on Gears cover, The Pinkz continue their tradition of covering
poppy gems that have already been covered by other bands by doing "Last
Night" by the Scientists, The Stupor Stars contribute a rockin' garage
scorcher as do The Superbees, The Flakes (Quan appearance #2) are solid,
The Easys (Quan #3) do their best poor-man's Pattern impression with enough
swagger to make it distinct and danceable in it's own way, and the Loose
Lips (they shouldn't have been put in the #1 slot), Rehabs, Loudmouths
and Demonics don't disappoint either. Excellent. (JG)
V/A "Guillotined at the Hanger (Shielded by Death, Vol. 2)" CD
a sucker for these 77-82-type comps. I always figure theres
lost gems still out there, so these are too tantalizing to ignore. This
one covers the Boston area. Lots of variety its a regional
comp, you know? More hardcore than my usual preferred intake, but the
Outpatients "Code Blue" is pretty great (featured back
in the day on Gerard Cosloys "Bands that Could be God"
comp). Cool primitivism from the Vandelz, and extra points fer writing
a song about talking animals. Dennis Most checks in with "Excuse
My Spunk." Check out his album with the same title that came out
a while back, by the way. The stupendous Peer Pressure gives us "Sound
of the 80s." Yeah, this is probably worth it. Better than most
"Hyped to Death"s Ive heard. (TK)
V/A Pelado Records 3 Minute Heroes" CD
comps are a gamble. This one has tons of crud, but if yer a fan of singalong-type
ponk, youd probably dig it a lot. Either way, its worth it
just for another unreleased monster of a Rock n Roll Stormtroopers
track. These Krauts are an astounding Ramones/Glam/cheeseball melange
thats only managed two singles, but this comps "Keep
Rock Clean" is up to par with anything theyve done
even "Bulldozers (on the Loose)." Theres a great Stiletto
Boys track from their last album. I even discovered a "new"
band I dig a lot Teen Cool. The Super Bees find themselves closer
to their amazing Pelado split than that leaden mini-album they shat out
more recently. Possibly the last youll hear of that era. Good bands
like the Streetwalkin Cheetahs contribute covers
I picked it up. You? (TK)
V/A "Red Snerts: The Sound of Gulcher" LP
near as I can tell without an extensive press release, this is a re-issue
of a Gulcher Records compilation from 1981 or so provided in the Here/Now.
This compilation is populated with some of the best bands out there. It's
just coincidence that they are from my region of the united states! The
Midwest! Midwest Missiles! Surf the Lake-Wave!!! In fact, Red Snerts
plays like one of the better selections in the Killed By Death
or Bloodstains series.... Red Snerts explored (and in
some ways STILL explores) some of the territory where NOTHING is against
the rules. EVERYTHING GOES! Concepts like this is hard to capture in studios
and with as many bands as appear on this record, but its true! Red
Snerts is Lewis & Clark to the umpteenth level!!! Included are
such Indiana contemporaries as The Gizmos, Zero Boys and Panics with their
respected blazer tracks, but the real treats are the Dow Jones and The
Industrials, Dancing Cigarettes, Last Four (4) Digits, The Jetsons tracks.
Also chiming in are Mr. Science, Phil Hundley, The Defekts, A. Xax, Post
Raisin Band, Bay-Root but my absolute favorite track would be "Indianapolis"
by a band I had yet to even know the existence of, E-In Brino!!!! I would
absolutely LOVE to hear more from each, but E-In Brino first!!!! If one
doesnt exist, maybe enough tracks could be dredged up for another
Red Snerts to fulfill all wishes and desires... I dunno though,
I'm not a record label, owner. I just write about them... (SAB)
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