Record Reviews - July, 2002

Amoeba (Raft Boy) "Bad Fuggum from the Mysterium" CD

This is a pretty odd CD. In the press release something is mentioned about this assisting somewhat to Smog Veil's destined date with bankruptcy. I DONT like to hear of such talk, not even jokingly. There should be some sorts of justice for labels that release CDs and other projects because they feel that people have to hear it, no matter what the cost. Yeah, I feel as though there was something to what was said in the earliest parts of the press release for this CD, but I hope its just talk....

That said, this CD is pretty interesting. What you got is the audio documentation of a mid 90’s New York based project that many of us probably didn’t even know existed....The main ingredients of Amoeba is John Morton of The Electric Eels and Pat Morotta of The Styrenes. Amoeba do justice to an impressive cast of early punk pioneering songs including "Jaguar Ride", "Agitated", "Way of The Pigs" and "Eyes of Satan" all of which are well recorded mostly live outings (just a couple Studio tracks). Though this is a good release, there's something missing to it all. Yeah, I like the songs they do. They are good songs, BUT with such people as Pat Morotta and John Morton working together 15 years after their initial individual work, I was hoping for some progression. What you have here is REACTIONS in all its continued glory. I wish there was more progression to new territory.

I consider myself a creative person. It's my greatest blessing, I figure. When I have no money to do anything or whatever, in my loneliest of times, I have my self and my thoughts. I pick up my bass, turn on the computer to write or grab some color pencils and a pad of paper or whatever else and I can pass hours being creative and coming up with some off the wall shit. I hope in 15 years I'm still remembering fun times I had, but in turn, I hope the well never runs dry and I am continuing to bring forth new ideas to the field of play.

Bad Fuggum is good. I mean, FUCK! Don't let me give you the wrong impression; it's just that I feel it could have been more Lewis & Clark in more ways. It's like this is the first step of the creative process: reiteration. Bad Fuggum seems to me like a starting point like something along the lines of this was said: "Ok, lets see what we do with THESE songs to get comfortable and then we will write some new stuff," but that never happened. Listening to this CD I get the feeling of something being uncompleted or half-assed and that fucking bothers me to no end. (SAB)
(Smog Veil 316 California, Ave. #207 Reno, NV. 89509)

Anomalators "Paid to Party!" CD

Decent fast-paced pop-laden punk that dabbles in a number of noteworthy influences—I hear heapin’ doses of the Problematics (sans grit), the Lillingtons (with ‘tude) and the Vindictives (minus poignant lyrics). Their cover of the Dictators’ "Science Gone too Far" proves that there’s more potential in the midst… In year or two, maybe? (EL)
(TNC Records P.O. Box 83 Freeland, MI 48623)

Baseball Furies "Greater Than Ever" LP

Yes, it’s finally here. After years of waiting, the Baseball Furies first full-length is upon us. And it is erection-inducing to say the least… The Furies play nothing but truly desperate rock-n-roll, free of pretension, sideshow antics, or scene-making poses. This shit is absolutely no-frills, smack-you-in-face punk-n-roll. Primal rock lacking any of the garage scene bullshit so predominant these days. Songs about gutter living, booze, broads, guns, drugs, and hate that are ten times more intelligent than you would have thought. They coulda been a Rip Off band. They coulda been a Crypt band. But none of that ever happened, because shit never works out for nice guys, for the true rock-n-rollers, for the bands more concerned with everyone having a good time, getting drunk, and delivering some real rock action. Their Top 40 hit, "I Hate Your Secret Club", which Dave Crider pulled his head out of his ass long enough to release, is included here, along with a batch of songs that have been staples of the Furies live set. The songs deliver on record, and a now a word about the Furies live show: they might not be "on" 100% of the time, but they always come through with a good time. They ripped through Buffalo for old times sake a few weeks ago, a show which saw drunken young girls writhing on the floor, Odie breaking every mic stand on stage, then throwing one of them at the crowd for being too complacent, singing half the set from his knees, and then culminating with Hollywood breaking his bass in half in disgust, and A-Ron announcing "Apparently Odie is too drunk to play anymore." Needless to say, I left satisfied. I’ve heard them sound better, but that’s not the point. The point is I had a shitload of fun that I wouldn’t have had without the Furies being there. So, the album sounds great and is one of the top three records released so far this year. Songs like "Breakdown" and "Disposable Hustler" are shots to the kidneys that can not be ignored. A much needed dose of reality in today’s underground music scene. The funny thing is there’s already at least one more Furies album already in the can, supposedly recorded in NYC with Jerry Teel. Label exec’s should be running for the phone right now. I just hope we don’t have to wait another two years for it to come out. (RK)
(Big Neck Records, PO Box 8144, Reston, VA 20195)

Blowchunks "S/T" 7"

Oooh… The Blowchunks… Lo-Fi Rock and/or Roll! Lo-Fi like Teengenerate and tunes like the Dead Boys. Accelerated by alcohol, the Blowchunks will take a buzzsaw to yr brain and have a skull-fuck frolic. A total noise party for the cretins and creeps of my generation. Four songs including, "Blow My Mind," and "Zombie," can you hear it? Can eeeeuuuwwww? (JD)
(Mack White c/o Sonico Records PO Box 1244 26582 Aurich, Germany)

Bootleg Bill "Treasure Trove of Trash" CD

If you remember The Roidz from Florida, which you probably don’t, well Bill was in that band. Speaking of Florida, is there a more decrepit state for punk rock? I mean, what has Florida ever given us that was great? The Eat? Voodoo Idols? Broken Talent? I don’t think so, Tim. Perhaps this record suffers from the Florida curse. I mean, you gotta love this guy’s attitude: a great DIY ethic, pro-porno, anti-MTV. It’s just not good material. It’s average scumrock at best, with bad vocals and bad lyrics. I’ll admit, I know more about porno that the average Joe, and a pic of Barbara Dare in the CD booklet is definitely a plus in my book. But I don’t need shit fetish and bestiality shots mixed in with it. This is one of those cases where someone just tries way too hard to be offensive, and just ends up being silly. I mean, at least El Duce was truly scary. GG had a vision. Simon Stokes has a real legend to back him. And Antiseen kicked some serious ass in their heyday. This record has none of this, and contains the worst cover of "Belsen was a Gas" since the limpdick version Skrewdriver did. There is a semi-decent cover of Rory Gallagher’s biker anthem "Shin Kicker", and a couple humorous moments, but that’s it. Scumrock is a sub-genre that maybe two bands in the entire world can pull of successfully. The rest end up sounding like this. Overall, just not very good… About as threatening as the pimply faced kid who works at the porno store down the street. I’ll stop this review now, before the Confederacy of Scum puts a price on my head. (RK)
(Scarey Records, CP 516, 10121 Torino Succ. 76, Italy)

Brothers of Conquest "All the Colors of Darkness" CD

I’ll admit, I was always huge Hookers fan. Even when they took the whole "death to False Metal" routine way too far, they still always had a couple of great tunes that always kept me coming back for more. When they were at their best, I could legitimately say they were one of the hardest rocking outfits ever. In BOC (haw-haw), Adam "Rock and Roll Outlaw" Neal adds yet another band to his resume, backed by a couple ex-Hookers, and former members of Starkiller and Crain. (Remember them?) Overall, this disc is much better than the Hookers last two albums, and somewhere in-between "Satan’s Highway" and the Outlaw’s solo effort "Ridin’ Free" on the great scale. And certainly much better than anything Nashville Pussy ever did… You know what this is going to sound like, but it’s done to perfection this time, reminiscent of the late eighties/early nineties when metal still ruled, and the HC/punk/metal crossover was at its zenith (and before it eventually killed the genre). Infused with just enough Sabbath to keep things evil, a dash of stoner rock, a little bit of punk, and a brief whiff of southern rock… But not too much of any of them, which is usually the case with bands who tried to play the game only The Hookers could win at (Zeke, Speedealer, etc.). Very metal, and better yet, no Krokus covers, because Krokus sucked. Kill for Rock-n-Roll! (RK)
(Go-Kart Records, PO Box 20, Prince St. Station New York, NY, 10012)

Chromatics "S/T" 12"

Low and rumbling, the Chromatics will creep up behind you and cuff ya right in la tete. The post-punk vibe is echoing off the vinyl and it’s soothing…refreshing… It’s nice… The Chromatics!…have the -fi unpolished and the space radio station blaring, so turn it up! (JD)
(Hand Held Heart 24445 Lisa Kelton Pl. Newhall, California 91321 USA)


Cripples "Dirty Head" CD

Synth Punk for associates of Shawn’s Neoteric© Punk/Wave Movement… Two synths…bass…drums… The guitar is almost nonexistent…it’s become a dinosaur… So long to the Six String Samurai… SO-SO--SO-SO! The Cripples sound like the Pixies, if they stole the Lost Sounds’ keyboards and went to Mardi Gras. But like the Pixies, the Cripples only have a handful of outta sight hits on their LP, and the rest are just "okay." It goes like this – "Contraception," "Dirty Head," "Desperate," "Secret Police," and theeeeh chart topper on the record "Down Again" are tunes that I, personally, couldn’t live without. But the rest are above average tunes that, while good, couldn’t hold a torch to the aforementioned… That’s a problem when you're able to write such catchy punk… So…I don’t know…you have to hear those songs…get the record anyway… (JD)
(Dirtnap Records PO Box 21249 Seattle, WA 98111)

Cripples "Dirty Head" CD

Well, Dirtnap has another winner here! Dirtnap has done it again!!! Dirtnap! Dirtnap!!!

Yeah, one of my current favorite labels...Dirtnap. I'm getting promos from Dirtnap. Wow. Well, actually it's probably more Mordam's doing than Dirtnap. I THINK (but alas, I am not sure) that Dirtnap has exclusive distribution from Mordam.. I dunno either way this whole rock journalism/reviewer thing has reached new, exciting levels because the material I am getting to review is actually pretty good and making it to where I don't have to buy as much as I use to. My supply of new music is being fulfilled to greater levels everytime I check my PO Box. That means I can REALLY ACTUALLY spend just $20 on records instead of SAYING I will spend only $20 and actually spend $80-$100 and feel guilty like I have some sort of ‘problem’. Enough of that, let's talk about the Cripples....

Good band. From around the Seattle area I suppose. Right away The Cripples remind me of The Briefs with less guitars and pop sensibilities. I mean FUCK, I heard a week or so ago that The Briefs signed to Interscope. Yeah, bullshit, I know... The Cripples have a ‘Dirtnap’ element to them. Like The Spits.... The Spits have a keyboard element to them, it's not as apparent on some Spits songs but it's there. So, what I am trying to say is that The Cripples' Dirty Head has elements seen previously on other Dirtnap releases, but I suppose the geographic area sort of influenced The Cripples because I majorly hear a Murder City Devils thing too.

Dirty Head is a CD with some excellent songs. Excellent songwriting will beget excellent songs. It's majorly synth heavy. Like all the songs are built around the synth. I do hear a prevalent bass along with the drums and that synth; which don't get me down or anything cause it sounds fucking great... I just wish there was more good ol’ fashioned guitar. LOUD and SLOPPY guitar. OUT OF TUNE guitar. Like the Cripples need Timmy from The Clone Defects with them....

Yeah. Good songs. Did I say ‘good’ songs? Fucking great songs. Like "Secret Police"... Fucking floored! FLOORED! "Contraception".... TIGHT. "Desperate" dirty synth; me likes!!!! "Dead Baybee" man, they keep coming out of there. My speakers talk to me from another dimension. It could be too much of something, or to little of something else. Either way, something’s not there.... The Cripples get the job done here. Fulfilling Neoteric Punk/Wave prophecies like they were an instruction sheet to an Easy Bake oven. Some people are just naturals. Things come easy to them. I can spot them a mile away, it's the ones that do amazing shit and say stuff like "Yeah, it took me like five minutes to do that."

People like that make me fucking sick. I have to struggle to accomplish everything, even this review. It doesn’t come easy. The Cripples, they make it sound easy, but I know its not, they are just naturals. I'm sending this e-mail directly to them for review and I'm going to tell them right here, in front of everybody, to keep tabs on, because maybe I should have done that for The Briefs.... Yeah, if I had said something to The Briefs like I am going to say to The Cripples maybe things would’t be so fucking dire right now....So everyone, listen up. Across the nation across the world.

Dear Cripples,
Hi. Shawn Abnxoious here. I'm just wanting you to know, and understand that you are a great fucking band. Dirty Head is an excellent release. Dirtnap is a great label, stick with them and tell those Interscope guys to fuck off when they come calling. I say things because Dirtnap could not have given you the time of day if they didn’t want to. I don't know this for sure, I just sorta figure shit like this out. Dirtnap was cool enough to believe in you so you know what? Believe in them! It's all come down to sticking together and believing in each other. The Briefs ruined it, not because they are with Interscope, I could really care less about the major/independent war. I saw that Dirtnap believed in The Briefs, and by signing to Interscope THAT'S OVER. Dirtnap obviously believes in you. Show some fucking loyalty and tell those others to fuck off when they come knocking.

Take heed of the creed. Relief is belief!

Because I care, Shawn Abnxoious. (SAB)
(Dirtnap Records PO Box 21249 Seattle, WA. 98111)

Deltoro "Ashtray Yoga" CD

Yeah, a Cincinnati local!!!! Deltoro is a three piece, two women and a guy, that sonically fall somewhere between The Beat Happening, Heavens to Betsy, and Guided by Voices. Male/female vocals, there're many moments on this disc where the dueling female vocals sound very impressive and mix well together throughout the release. That shit brings to mind another local, Shesus. There pretty damn good at that too.... Deltoro’s music is soft, sorta moody and creepy too, but there's a underlying element of the Neoteric punk/wave that impresses me and also makes me happy because like I said, these fucks are from my hometown and there's a chance I might see them any given night.... If I could change anything about this band it would be that same soft element though... The element itself is fine, its not going to make or brake the CD, so don't let me give you the wrong impression. You see, Deltoro need a pro-active edge whereas most of their music appears to be reactive... I wish the guitars were a bit louder and messier and a bit more OUT THERE and offensive, I wish the vocals would show more emotion.... I just can't escape the feeling that Deltoro can't be that docile and have such a large supply of pain-killers that keep them from getting a little loud sometimes. Songwriting is a plus, Deltoro has some kick ass songs on this disc like the opening track "Now that You're Dead", the second track "Your So Damn Cold" the renamed "Gasoline" from a Data Was Lost compilation that came out earlier called "Hatespills", and also peaks with "Insert" which I like the real up front keyboard riff, and last but never least, another mention is the unlisted fourteenth of nineteen total tracks- whatever it's called- because the tracks are only listed up until the twelfth one... To sum it up, is Deltoro worth your attention? Yes. This is a pretty dead on review so give it some consideration... (SAB)

Die Cheerleader Die "Chasing the American Nightmare" CD

Seen this band live in support of Girlush Figure here in Cincinnati... They played a pretty good set, a bit to long for my taste, but the crowd was still reacting..... They handed me a CD to review....It's not bad. I feel as though I'm some sort of representative for an un-named group of sorts, led by Girlush Figure and including bands I have reviewed like Bunny Five Coat, and now Die Cheerleader Die. It's a tight group, but my chips lay with Girlush Figure.

There's eight songs on this disc. One in particular, "I Am" really hits a spot. A good song is a good song, and I must recognize that much. The rest of the disc is lackluster to me. It doesn’t really have that much to offer me. Like I said, I like one song a lot... I'm not sure how the band will fell about me saying this, but their style of punk is one that I would have been more into if I was newer to the scene.

I like to call this type of punk "stepping stone music." It's a start, but usually I'm more impressed with the latter steps....

When playing here in Cincinnati, DCD played a basement full of spectators that mostly have been into punk for less than four years. No offense, but much more sounds fresh and exciting to new ears like their's than mine who has been going to shows with me since 1990. I have also been writing about music for the past 6 years. In those six years I have heard a lot....Call me jaded. Call me worn out...Call me tired....I don't care, I'm calling it like I see it. Like, I could seriously see a band like Die Cheerleader Die on the CD racks at Hot Topic. Don't get the wrong impression: That's not entirely a bad thing for all and I surely don't mean to put DCD down. They have a sound that I think a label could really do something with. A-F.... Epitaph.... Honest Don's.... I don't know which but one of those... I would rather see those labels with bands like this than what they've got.... In fact, strike that. I would rather see a band like DCD playing music that those labels want nothing to do with. I want repulsion and on American Nightmare I don't get it. Try harder. (SAB)

Fevers "Gaan Daar Waar De Meisjes Zijn" CD/LP

Hey, the Fevers… Haven’t heard these kids since their simply amazing Lipstick records 45. So now they are back with an attack of power pop! Yeah, they lost the garage punk effects and go straight for yr heart with songs of heartbreak and romance. If yr a fan of the power pop, or pop musick in general, the Fevers have the hooks and charm that you’ve been looking forlornly for. "Love’s getting better," "Ooo that kiss," "Tonight’s the night"………PopPoPoPoPoPopOp on thick white vinyl! (JD)
(Alien Snatch! Records, Morikeweg 1, 74199 Untergruppenbach, Germany)


F-hole "I Need A Drink" 7" EP

And out of nowhere comes F-hole!!!! Well, not nowhere really, they are from San Francisco; maybe I should call my field agent in those parts to look these cats up-force recon!!!! Anyway. What happened was F-hole shot a video for the title track to this EP, then took screen shots from the video and did 300 different covers for each record they made. So, to put it in terms you can understand, each record has a different cover. "Sure it's neat, but it was a total pain in the ass" they say on the accompanying note. You see, this goes along with my new Neoteric Punk/Wave Edification Proviso. You see, the Edification Proviso is lessons of Neoteric Punk/Wave one at a time! The first lesson: Inconvenience! It was inconvenient as hell to do 300 different sleeve designs for each record, but none-the-less they did. THAT shows F-hole care more than certain bands who might have surpassed their place in....


Some bands could give a flying fuck. Others, like F-hole, go the extra mile. I'm glad to say that as I listened to this 7" I'm reminded of a couple years back; another 7" EP I got from a band that would go on to pretty much redefine a music genre today: Crimson Sweet. F-hole are tight. Their sound is wedged somewhere in-between Chris D’s The Flesheaters, The Kent 3 and The Ohio Empires own, Kill The Hippies. This EP has three originals and a less desirable cover (I would have rather got another original). I see a sound of promise with F-hole. They have a real hard hitting guitar sound. This EP is good. It really makes me want to hear more. Its production is great, and fits the release, but like Crimson Sweet when I first heard them, F-hole just have something to their sound that's not quite discovered. F-hole's sound is fresh. They are a three piece and like Slow Gold Zebra Records, F-hole has Your Permanent records. It's like Crimson Sweet are the Avengers and F-hole are the WEST coast Avengers (please tell me that someone knows the workings behind this analogy). F-hole have a few different layers to them and as they release material in the future I'll see these layers peeling off to reveal something really worthwhile. F-hole are definitely a band of promise. Look at Crimson Sweet THEN and NOW. Well, this is F-hole NOW (which will one day be THEN).... I think we might have us another Crimson Sweet on our hands. I'm watching, waiting, keeping my eyes and ears open and taking notes! (SAB)
($4ppd from Your Permanent Records (F-hole) 1393 Grove St. SF, CA. 94117)

Frankenstein Drag Queens from Planet 13/Nerds "Split" 7"

The Queens kick out a fun little "Dawn of the Dead" tribute number, even cribbing the tag line from the movie for the chorus. ("When there’s no more room in hell…"). It’s average demi-metal from guys in bad Gwar make-up. Movie-wise, I always prefer "Day of the Dead to Dawn" because I feel it is more poignant take on the zombie problem, with a certain pathos that "Dawn"… lacked. Their second track is a pretty decent scumrock number. Too bad the make-up just manages to make them look absurd, and not in a good way. The confusing part is this: these "guys" are Confederacy of Scum approved; yet they break-up so one of them can join a band with guys from Static-X and Slipknot? What the fuck? Jeff Clayton better rescind their membership cards ASAP.

The Nerds are just bad wannabe scumrockers. Another entrant in the trying too hard to offend everybody to bother with making any decent music contest. It’s crap like this that gives bands like the Spider Babies and Meatmen a bad name. (RK)
(Scarey Records, CP 516, 10121 Torino Succ. 76, Italy)

Goatscrew "The Art of Self-Destruction" CD

Yeah, biased review, but I wouldn’t write about it here if I didn’t think you should hear it. This is Goatscrew. Yeah, look at the pictures on the inside and the back... I took them. I know these cats. I'm close to them. If your paying attention you will notice the bassist who I share a band with....Jerry, Jamez and Troy. They are Goatscrew. Three mongrels with their head screwed on tight. Their music is fast, aggressive and its loud.... Personally, I think that their sound lies somewhere between early Neurosis and Motorhead. I think Goatscrew represent a amalgamation of punk rock. Goatscrew have been known to play a live set metal enough for the metal kids and punk enough for the punk kids. Even though they probably would deny it, they are really well liked when they play shows and even though they try to separate themselves sonically from the crowd, those in attendance are paying attention....and getting it. When you don't care what people think of you, it shows. That's called BELIEF IN YOURSELF. Show reassurance in yourself and what you do and you will spew with charisma.

Goatscrew are charismatic, much like racehorses...

Twelve songs coming from uncomfortable places. I can honestly see some teenage recluse kid sitting in his room and blasting a CD like this on his stereo just as his parents barge through the door and demand he turn it down. I see the greasy long haired kids wearing jean jackets with pentagrams on it (yeah, I know; how TYPICAL, but a band like Goatscew will take this kid to new levels!) in his parents mini-van going on vacation to Florida listening to The Art on his headphones OVER AND OVER. The Art of Self-Destruction is a battlecry. Its athemic of its place and time. Goatscrew are the epitome of hardcore punk to me. Seeing that this is Blank Generation and all....We can't forget that of all the asses we kiss from month to month, we can't afford to leave out bands like Goatscrew just because they aren't The Strokes. I like bands that really build their own island. Despite my closeness to Jerry and the other members of this band, and the fact they used some of my pictures on their CD.... Goatscrew are a force of reckoning. they are the continued soundtrack of the dissident.

You gotta respect that, but really, in the end, Goatscrew don't care. They do what they do because they want to, not because you like it. This CD is loud. its fast, the sort of thing you're not use to reading about here on Blank Generation, but yet worth your interest. (SAB)
($6 ppd 2249 Miles Rd. Cincinnati, Ohio. 45231)

Gore Gore Girls "Up All Night" CD/LP

Detroit’s garage/R&B/rock’n’roll group has landed another record on the unsuspecting public. Look out! If you dug their last record, this one is even better. The Gore Gore Girls original garagey-closed-to-punk tunes have gotten a lot tighter, but what really makes the Gore Gore Girls super hype is their kick ass cover tunes! ----- "I Don’t Think So," "Keep Your Hands Off My Baby," "Standing On The Corner," etc… Yeah, more covers and better originals…the Gore Gore Girls are right on track with this record. If you like the Detroit Cobras and all that rock ‘n’ roll jazz that the kids are so paranoiac for, get with these girls now! (JD)
(Get Hip Recordings Columbus & Preble Aves. Pittsburgh, PA 15233 USA)

Hot Snakes "Suicide Invoice" LP/CD

June began as "Lastname Tries to Relate to People Who like Indie-Rock Month." I had to end the foray earlier than expected, as it was both a commercial and personal disaster. Financial losses were devastatingly high; aural satisfaction hit all-time lows. Shares in I-fucking-knew-this-shit-sucked-and-you-people-are-STILL-clueless-assholes went through the proverbial roof, but I didn’t even get to relish in this potential success—mainly because I had to find a way to rid my battered CD shelf of all the faux-rock fodder I’d accrued throughout the month. Whatta bummer…

So, here it is. Crunch time. I’m ready and willing to comb the stacks. Spoon—you’re out! Troubleman Mix Tape—get offa my carpet! Hot Snakes—you… Well, shit. Let’s mull this over. Fuck it. Let’s just put it in.

Bouncy, frantic guitars. Choppy songs that still maintain a certain amount of flow and accessibility. Kinda sounds like RFTC (who I dig) via moody post-punk. Different and… good? Well, let’s not stretch it. Not bad. Vocalist sounds kinda bored, though. Has that too-hip-to-scream disease that most o’ these bands suffer from. But, Christ—the indie crowd could do worse, I suppose. I mean, at least some of this shit accidentally rocks, which is more than I can say for the other selections I selected in this selective month o’ June. Maybe I’ll keep this one.

Whoah—I totally forgot I had this Sabbath CD! Now what was I talkin’ about? (EL)
(Swami Records P.O. Box 620428 San Diego, CA 92162)

Jewws "L’explosion du Son de Maintenant!" LP

Hot shit! Cram a pantload of overdone garage-rock flourishes into one platter, dirty up the mix, spin it at high speeds, and—somehow—you end up with a full-length that’s still fun, catchy, and damn-near essential. One gal + two guys + 50’s r‘n’r + Rip Off sensibility = no brainer. Get on it! (EL)
(Demolition Derby PB 4005 2800 Mechelen 4 Belgium)

Kaisers "Shake Me!" CD/LP

The Kaisers are like the Monkees…only…only…only…more Scottish. The have all the 60’s beats and niks and beatniks that like to beat up…stuff… So! You know those scenes in the Monkees where they were running around and getting into trouble? Well, this is the music they ran to… Craaaaaaaaazzzzzzyy Mann… (JD)
(Get Hip Recordings Columbus & Preble Aves. Pittsburgh, PA 15233 USA)

Kill-A-Watts "Electrorock" CD/LP

"Let’s Go! Get Shocked!"

The Kill-A-Watts areeeee back with their much delayed full-length. Yeah, garage punk rock at it’s worst…which is at it’s best. The Kill-A-Watts are an energetic foursome of fire and brimstone, so take a cue from me and go out and buy this record. Pretty much influenced by the likes of the Infections and Loli & the Chones, these kids are right where Rip Off Records should be, releasing kickass garage punk. Go Greg and go Kill-A-Watts! God I luv that name… (JD)
(Rip Off Records 581 Maple San Bruno, CA 94066)

Kill-A-Watts "Electrorock" CD/LP

Teengenerate-like stop/start jerk ‘n’ roll that absolutely fuckin’ smokes. "Shock You Dead"! "Bad Attitude"! "Radio Suicide"! You barely get a chance to catch your breath between each slice o’ guy/gal-fronted electro-themed dumb-dumb insanity. I ain’t kiddin’—the best release that Rip Off’s unleashed in who knows how long. If you haven’t already seen ‘em live… (EL)
(Rip Off Records 581 Maple San Bruno, CA 94066)

Lost Sounds "Outtakes and Demos Vol. 1" LP

The best band in the fucking world originally released this rarities collection on CD a while back, but the first outing was so limited that only a scant few had access to the white-hot disc. Naturally, everyone who couldn’t get their hands on the product bitched about it—and the band listened! Hate Records of Italy has bestowed upon us a legitimate vinyl copy that’s (barring a few unmentionable omissions) as sound as the initial digital Frisbee. Rejoice or, y’know, suffer at the hands of a collector later on. Either way, you’d be doing yourself a great injustice by refusing anything the Lost Sounds have ever released. Domino, I’m lookin’ in your direction… (EL)
(Hate Records Gianicolense 112 00152 Roma, Italy)

Lost Sounds "Outtakes and Demos Vol. 1" LP

I'm really happy to have this. When Hate records told me it was coming out and I was getting one for review I doubted it. But here it is....

This is the lost sounds of The Lost Sounds. I don't know how the OFFICIAL story goes, but I think it's something like as follows.... Lost Sounds are serious. The real message I get from this LP and the fact that the songs are outtakes and demos show me that there's always something afoot around members of The Lost Sounds..... Well, as I know it (like I said, I don't know the REAL story or anything) The Lost Sounds released a series (?) of CD-Rs that featured songs that would later make up this LP. These CD-Rs were severely limited in numbers and only a handful of people got them. Supposedly, as the legend sez, they had unique, one of a kind, covers. The only thing that gets me is that these CD-Rs were supposedly PACKED with songs.... As everyone knows, LPs have a limited amount of space.... But hey, I looked at the LPs spine and seen that this was a volume one and figured that where there is a volume one, there's proly a volume two. So whereas I heard that the CD-Rs, handmade by the band, were packed with material that I figured far exceeded a LPs limit, I'm now figuring that other volumes will be released as needed.

This LP fills in the space between all current Lost Sounds releases ranging from 1999 to 2001. Yeah, I COULD go and get my Lost Sounds records and CDs out and sit down and tell you exactly how much is on this LP that isn’t on that other stuff, but I'm not going to do that. I will give you a track listing as it reads on the record, I'm not fucking cruel or anything, but you have to understand something first....

This is a fucking amazing piece of sonic art. I mean seriously, it was after listening to this LP that I truly see that The Lost Sounds are one of the most influential bands of the modern era. I mean, they have moved people to do better and more. On this LP I have discovered new elements to The Lost Sounds that make them true Neoteric Punk/Wave elite.... The Lost Sounds do some amazing shit on here. I could honestly say that this LP really FLOORED me. I'm not sure how it was all recorded, but it's pure mastery! Good. Great. Excellent. Gold medal shit here. This LP is a must have!!!! Get one even if you have the CD-R.

Here's that track listing as it appears on the LP:

Side A

I Dont Count (Outtake from 1st 7" Mar. 99)
Do You Wanna Kill Me (Blank Wave Demo. 00)
Memphis 99 (Demo for Memphis is Dead)
1620 Echles (Outtake for 1st 7" Mar. 99)
Blackcoats Whitefear (demo for new stuff)
Sonic Mathmatics (demo Summer 01)
Electropsychotic (demo Spring 00)

Side B

Lets Lie (demo for new stuff nov. 01)
Sequential Circuits Sequence (live show summer 01)
Punish or Be Damned (demo Summer 01)
Going Home Alone Tonight (Outtake from first 7" 01)
Total Destruction (demo for new stuff Dec. 01)
Soul 4 Sale (Outtake for 7" Mar. 99)

A MUST have. (SAB)
(Hate Records Gianicolense 112 00152 - Roma - Italy)

Manikin "S/T" CD

I was wondering why I got this. Came attached: A note saying that I was specifically chosen from all available Blank Generation reviewers to give this disc a chance. I'm special. I'm fucking special.....or something. I'm me. Take it or bury me in a shallow grave. Either way, I just don't give a fuck! GG is not dead (add 10 pts if you can guess the band who coined that reference)!!!! Manikin are from Austin, Texas (that's in Texas). They are a three piece with a guy whose name I recognized named Doug playing bass. As it would turn out, this very same Doug use to run Lil’ Deputy records so maybe that's why this was sent to me, I dunno. The last thing I thought I would ever have is something special like a valued opinion....fuck that shit. Last I heard Doug was in New York or some shit like that, chasing a real career... Either way, This CD really surprised me: Neoteric punk/wave with early 80s socal punk tendencies like "Mommy's Little Monster" era Social Distortion (Spiked hair, nor pompadour!), "Abolish Government" era TSOL with some Black Flag/Gregg Ginn solos thrown in from time to time. This is a good CD. I don't really know the history of this band and what other bands they have been in, if any, but I feel as though Manikin represents all those pop-punk bands that will one day wake up and realize that they have been wasting their time. They will reform their sound and change their names to something better and... well.... more akin to something that I would like. Manikin are tight, I like this CD. Some great song writing, great production. The beginning of the CD, with "Sleeper", American" and "Manikin" really rips you a new one. Around track seven ("Mistake and Ale") it bogs down a little bit, but hits hard right at the end again with "The Jungle" and ending track "I Don't Know". This CD is good. REAL good, but I know their next one is going to be even better. I dunno, get this one and listen to it and when their next one comes out, get that one and we will meet at Starbucks for a Grande Mocha blaster and compare notes. Until then, its more scuba lessons. (SAB)
($10ppd. Super Secret Records PO Box 1585 Austin, TX. 78767)

Mighty Ions "Face Rakin’ Rock" LP

All the way from 1980! Like a time capsule! Explode the Mighty Ions! Ex-Unnatural Axe…The Kill by Death kids will have a field day! It’ll be THEIR day! The Mighty Ions are punk fuckin’ rock band with an early Queers feel and a mix of Unnatural Axe/70’s punk rock tuneage. Like I said, if you like Killed by Death punk you’ll want to know all about the Mighty Ions. Plus Alien Snatch (as always) did a fan-fuckin-tastic job on the pressing with neon yellow vinyl and a handy little booklet about the Mighty Ions. Get! (JD)
(Alien Snatch! Records, Morikeweg 1, 74199 Untergruppenbach, Germany)

Midnight Thunder Express "Midnight Thunder Express" CD

This is pretty decent last cigarette rock and/or roll. The piano on the few songs it appears is a nice touch. For some reason, piano is synonymous with glam rock to Bowie or something... Like the Velvet Goldmine Soundtrack or something... I dunno, it sounds good and this CD is pretty damn rockin, for rock and/or roll. Stuff like this isn’t really my thing anymore- you all know the story- but I still respect it. I mean, if this was a local band, I would be all over it, but otherwise I feel no allegiance to it at all.... The band included a funny Dear John letter that I gather is from their drummer that played on the CD quitting the band. That shit gets points with me. I bet the fucker quit the Express for some other band that probably fell apart or something. I bet the band didn’t even miss a beat. He did leave the letter with a "GOOD LUCK" though... This CD is decent. Midnight Thunder Express sounds like the soundtrack to barfly degenerates round the world, especially those real seedy raunchy ass bars out in the middle of nowhere. It's just after about 20 minutes or so I have to get this CD out and put something with keyboards and jerky guitar in or I will explode, I'm a trooper of the punk/wave. I can't help it...That's all I can say right now.

PS. I will pick up my drums Monday evening. (SAB)
(Empty Records PO Box 12034 Seattle, WA. 98012)

Minor Disturbance "Don't Tell Me what is Right" CD

Once again.... This CD is chock full of Blanks 77 sounding oi-streetpunk with a hint of DC hardcore in there. Me, I'm corrupted. My whole vision of what punk-rock is and should be isn’t this. Blame the Neoteric Punk/Wave its that guys fault.

Wait... did I just hear an "Oi Oi"?

Yes. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a confirmed "Oi Oi" on the fourth track "Johnny Get Your Gun".... Uh, 1997 called and wants its underground punk sub-genre back....

I feel like I should drink a six pack.. No, wait, a twelve pack before listening to this CD. Truthfully, I think most readers of Blank Generation have outgrown this sort of release. I know guys in bands like this hate bands like The Clinic and The Strokes.... That's OK. Catch up comes in many forms.

I think the lyrics to the fifth song really sum up this release. Its a song titled "You Suck"

You Suck

Fuck You (repeat)

You Suck (repeat)

Its time to go. I feel as though I have digressed and I must go write long enduring essays about punk and skin unity. But before I bid you goodbye, a Haiku:

Storms Index Haiku

It had rained today
The weatherman had called it
The Storm Number One. (SAB)
(no address)

Miss "No Radio" CD

More like it.

This is more like it.

MORE like it please.

Morphius. FUCKING WITH ME. In major ways. I'm minor ways. My love/hate relationship with this label is wearing me out. I can't keep up. They fuck up, they redeem themselves. They fuck a bit more with me, then redeem themselves again. Dammit. These fuckers are doing it to me exactly how I would do it to others. Except I would have NOTHING to do with the fucking UK Subs....

The Miss. This is a side-project I suppose featuring members of The Fuses and a band I know only by name, The Charm City Suicides. This CD really floored me in more ways than one. I have listened to it and listened to it, loving every moment. Every note. Clocking in at under 23 minutes, this CD has gotten quite the few turns on the ol’ CD player. I can hear some of that Fuses shining through, but at the same time I can also hear a bit of Les Savy fav too... This is some good shit. Total Lewis & Clark. This is the sort of thing I want to find in my post office box. Not more BORING shit.


Yeah, it is. This shit is new fresh and exciting to my ears. Totally undefinable too... So, I define the undefinable. Its sounds like these fuckers stepped into a studio and proceeded to do everything they could think of musically, and this time it was one of those rare occasions where they could do no wrong. No rules, everything fits.... As the strip malls go up in record time at record speed. Overnight it seems, asphalt has no time to wear out. Trips are combined under this Smog Alert and everyone is waiting for the mass transit, for SOME mass transit. Mass this. Mass that. The Miss are inspiring.... The sound of expanding suburban waste. The smell of new drugstores: The Miss. Redirected creeks: The Miss. Redesigned supermarkets: The Miss. I see them as well as hear them. This "development" stuff isn’t as scary as it sounds. It's really exciting. Something new every day-every other day. BOOM! record time. I take your time and bend it! BEND IT! I SAID BEND IT. Double yellow lines and my feet hurt worse than a soldiers.

BOOM! I didn’t notice THAT before....
BOOM! Nor that....
BOOM! Hey...
BOOM! "There are snakes on this slide..."
BOOM! The Miss.

ssssssssssSSSSSSSSSSSssssssSSSSSS *boom* (SAB)
(Morphius 100 East 23rdSt. Baltimore, MD. 21218)

Murdershift "Jesus Christ" CDEP

Eeeww… Why was I thanked on this record? Like I’d wanna be associated with these freakshows… Murdershift. Anglo-Saxon F U C K S! If it wasn't for us Romans there wouldn't be a civilization for these kids to complain about! They'd still be trying to milk a mule! We invented everything! From roads to orgies! Murdershift…they ain’t no Roman orgy. (JD)

Mystery Girls "S/T" CD

One of the best records released this year………………………pOw!

The Mystery Girls are a pure, unadulterated rock ‘n’ roll group. Picture a shack in the middle of Nowhere, Wisconsin. Picture a dusty August day and all you can hear is the boisterous noises being belted out of that little hole in the wall. It’s hot. It’s sticky. It’s everything you’d expect from a rock ‘n’ roll band. So why don’t you just sell yr soul to the devil now and get it over with, because once you hear the Mystery Girls you won’t be heading upstairs. (JD)
(Trick Knee Productions P.O. Box 12714 Green Bay, WI 54307-2714)

Mystery Girls "S/T" CD

Soul, daddy-o, by the bucketful… Most ‘60s-influenced outfits couldn’t appropriate this type of honesty if they wanted to—which they don’t. Supply the masses with some generic tambourine action and a slight nod to the MC5, and you’ll more than likely subdue any kind of desire "music fans" have for the real thing.

The Mystery Girls are the real thing. They don’t sound like the MC5, they don’t sound like the Rolling Stones, and they don’t sound like the New York Dolls. They sound like an impressive mish-mash of all three groups; a gang of downtrodden Wisconsinite juvies who’ve lived far beyond their years, who shoot from the heart ‘n’ hip and deliver urgent, desperate rock ‘n’ roll ("Meet Me Now!") with a potency that has gone unmatched thus far in 2002. Y’know what I mean: vocals that grunt and passionately wail in the right places, dueling git that doesn’t sink into pointless wank, ground-shaking rhythm that serves its purpose without making a fuss. Tunes like "Hit Me Again" and "Sorry Little Girl" kinda make you feel all-powerful—and if you can’t move mountains, you can at least blurt out a drunken, gut-wrenching "yeahuh-yeahuh-yeahuh" along with the boys in the privacy of your own room at no extra cost. Do I have to tell you how important that is? (EL)
(Trick Knee Productions P.O. Box 12714 Green Bay, WI 54307-2714)

Neon King Kong "Mix Up The Mix" 7"

Hey! Ex-Le Shok and Teenage Knockouts! Hey! Two more Le Shok-esque punk rock with the rapid tunes! Hey! Did I mention I officially like Le Shok now!? Hey! Yeah, it only took me a year or two! Hey! This 45 is really good! Hey! (JD)
(Gold Standard Laboratories PO Box 178262, San Diego, CA 92177)


Numbers "Numbers Life" CDEP

Riding the new wave of waves – neo+neu++wave, the Numbers are rockin’ the angular guitar/keyboard sound. However, most of their music is too repetitive (even for me) and seems too much like a routine, an act. I can just picture myself being stuck in a gold-plated elevator with nothing but Numbers Life in rotation…I’d be clawing the walls in agony… Anyways…the lyrics are meager – complaining about societal woes like all the "consumers" and…I don’t know…stupid technology quirks… The A-Frames do this type of music a million times better…get their new LP instead. (JD)
(Tigerbeat 6 – 310 Oakland Ave. Oakland, CA 94611)

Offbeats "Dumb Looks Still Free" CD

Smog Veil scores with another yester-year reissue! This time around it is The Offbeats, a band that I actually own something from... I have one of their 7"s somewhere. If you gave me 5 minutes to find it and I would win a hundred million dollars or something, I would probably still lose. It's in my genetics and I have a lot of records. But really, I'm a born loser. The kind of person who can enjoy listening to a disc like this.

Face it, how many people on the Forbes 500 have ever possibly heard of The Offbeats? If those guys are winners, then I am definitely a loser. But hey, I have no problem with that. Fuck being a millionaire.... Its punk-rock that made me this way. I believe in INCONVENIENCE. it is very inconvenient to be a loser. I love my position. It's music like The Offbeats that made me this way. Maybe I should sue them, or at the very least blame them.... They are as good of targets as anyone else....

Nah. I should thank them and hug them. It's bands like The Offbeats that saved me. For that I am eternally well as dammed. But hey, you win some and lose some. What Am I saying? Me? Win? Nah. Like I said, I'm a born Loser and the Offbeats are my soundtrack.

This CD is jammed packed with 38 songs (plus a crowd interview), over 71 minutes fer yer ears! The recordings pretty much span the band's lifetime... >From Start to demise. It starts off hardcore sounding like something you would expect to hear from the DC (Teen Idles) area that quickly moves to a mix of Early Queers WITH Wimpy type sound and Early ‘Milo’ Descendants sound.... The majority of the disc deals with an era of the band that I find most appealing where they remind me of the KBD Texas gem Really Red; a bit of art-punk in there! But then toward the end of the disc you can really hear the bands musicianship grow as they cover "Hang On To Yourself" and seem to end the disc on a latter era Descendants ("All") sound. The Offbeats show some good songwriting on this disc and the heavy hitters like "Again", "Last Day" and "TKO" are all here.... I would say this disc would probably interest about 8 of 10 readers reading this right now; all losers (sorry, truth hurts, fucker). It's a good listen and since there's a lot on here your bound to hear stuff you haven’t heard before for at least a couple weeks...

Apparently the LP version is on Clear wax with some different songs and/or mixes AND limited to 1000 copies. If you see one, get one. But fuck. I really don't expect you to leave your mom and dad's basement. I know I'm not, at least not until the Gong Show Marathon on the Game Show Network is over. Mean Gene the Dancin’ Machine is a Pharaoh! (SAB)
(Smog Veil 316 California, Ave. #207 Reno, NV. 89509)

Orange Juice from the Crypt "Dinner with Us" 7"

More Italian wackiness… The music sounds like late eighties Cali-punk, particularly the Angry Samoans. The first track, "Free Shit" is decent. The lead singer has the Mike Saunders vocal delivery down pat, for some reason. Not god-awful, but not getting back on the turntable again any time soon. Sorry… (RK)
(Scarey Records, CP 516, 10121 Torino Succ. 76, Italy)

Oslo Motherfuckers "Greetings from the Big O" 10" EP

No, it’s not as good as we hoped, but we have to remember this NOT Turbonegro. It is four songs from ex-Dudes Happy Tom and Chris Summers, plus one Anal Babe and two other guys. Tom has hung up the trappings of Death Punk and created a totally new genre: Danger Rock! Track 1, "Private Sector", is a thrashy Anal Babes-esque number, which is followed by a very garage rock tune called, "Turn the Radio Up." Track three is a quick little punker with a Norwegian title, but with lyrics in English. The last track, "Negro Revolution", is the real meat here, a track that could easily pass for an Apocalypse Dudes outtake. A beautiful and anthemic epic of mammoth proportions… This song is the Danger Rock I was hoping for. Side B is lead singer Bobby Zodiac’s "Karaoke Machine", which features him doing "Private Sector" accapella, and a couple of tunes that sound like actual karaoke, which are probably funny if you know Norwegian. (RK)
(Bitzcore Records, PO Box 30-41-07, D-20324 Hamburg, Germany)

Pay Channel "S/T" CD

Power Pop Punk all the way from Japan! Can’t stand the wait for the next Firestarter album? Well, here’s Pay Channel, the group with the hooks from the book. Throw Tokyo and 1979 into the blender and watch Pay Channel swirl. And! Guest appeances by Tomoko (Supersnazz, Tweezers) and Fifi (Teengenerate, Tweezers, Firestarter), yah! Get to today! (JD)
(1+2 Records)

Panthers "Are You Down?" LP/CD

This is truly entertaining. No, no, no—not the album. The album’s a piece o’ dogshit. Worst disc I’ve picked up in a while. It’s antithetical to everything that’s great about r ‘n’ r; it’s boring, it’s as aggressive as a game of tiddlywinks, blah, yada, and so on… The press release that Troubleman Unlimited posted on their website, however, is a real goddamn hoot:

"Drawing influences from MC5 and THE STOOGES, PANTHERS have established themselves as a [sic] New York City favorite, combining explosive songwriting and an equally explosive live show, referencing avant-garde art movements such as Dada and Fluxus, as well as incendiary youth groups like the Situationists and Weather Underground."

Kee-riiist. Panthers sound as much like the Stooges and the MC5 as At the Drive-In sound like, uh, the Stooges and the MC5. In fact, since I brought ‘em up, Panthers sound like fuckin’ At the Drive-In. Except they spew nifty social messages that involve (oh my!) the destruction of art, whereas ATDI just had afros. I mean, let’s not kid ourselves here—this is really deep and important shit. Especially when you’re talkin’ rock music.

Then again, like most bands of this ilk, I get the feeling these guys don’t care to bother themselves with music very often at all. They’re too busy cooking up laughable reactionary agendas that’d have your average collegiate "guerilla artist" wet in the crotch. But it’s all fucking irrelevant. Even though the band itself recognizes that preaching anti-art sentiments in the liner notes of an album is purely hypocritical—‘specially when it’s on TROUBLEMAN, f’r Chrissakes—the regular bohemian crowd probably won’t stop to ponder how incredibly full of shit these guys are in every aspect of the music-making process and, instead, will buy it up like hotcakes. Hooray for aesthetics! (EL)
(Troubleman Unlimited 16 Willow St. Bayonne, NJ 07002)

Pebbles "Pink Pistachio Candy" CD

The Pebbles are a group that has eluded me for years. I’ve always heard a few tracks off of comps and what not, but I have never come in contact with an album. Well, today is the day for the Pebbles brand of 60’s styled pop to invade my stereo and my heart. Yah! Girl group pop at its highest elevation! Girl groups haven’t sounded this sweet and bubbly since peppermint paddies were invented. Highly recommended for purveyors of pop. (JD)
(1+2 Records)

Radar Secret Service "Stop Communication" CD

So… While we are on the subjex of BIASED reviews, here’s another. Radar Secret Service are IN THE TRENCHES. Another band I know and love and unconditionally support. I’m trying to bring them down for a show within the next two months and this is why: Radar Secret Service has changed my perception of music for the seventh time in my life. They are a band that has came to my ears and really made me re-think playing music, writing about music and even listening to music! From the Kent/Akron/Youngstown Ohio Area, Radar Secret Service sound like a mix of Gang of Four, New Model Army, Joy Division (well, maybe more like Warsaw) and (early) The Police. Yes, The Police you all know and love... No tips… No hints… You’re going to have to work for this one, but trust me, you will appreciate it more. (SAB)
($6 ppd: On/On Switch 780 Post Street #54 San Francisco, CA. 94109)

Reagan National Crash Diet "Administration" CD

God! The first half of this CD…………!… It’s like they needed to fill up some space on their record and threw on their demos…fuck. BUT! Then the more decisive listener gets to track five where Reagan National Crash Diet begins their metamorphous into a decent punk rock band...into some mutant that resembles the Minutemen or something… Male/female vocals…catchy, raw…it ain’t too bad… (JD)
(RoosterCow Records POB 578174 Chicago, IL 60657)

Scat Rag Boosters "Side Tracked" 7" EP

Thought these guys broke up… Huh? Well, the Scat Rag Boosters are one of the cooler garage punk numbers that was/is out there. When garage is at it’s lowest it’s nice to hear bands like this doing it right, doing it for the love of the bile of life. Two lo/lo/lo/lo-fi guitars and a drum kit… ROCK! If you like the Oblivians or the Persuaders AT ALL…get this record…like…NOWWWWWW! (JD)
(Zaxxon Virile Action 1816 East 3rd Ave. Vancouver, BC, Canada, V5N 1H2)

Sagger "Skull Rider E.P." 7" EP

Oh Shit! It’s Wisconsin! As if those fucks haven’t invaded the Blank Generation enough… Now we have Big Neck Records on the forefront… Throwing Sagger Grenades… Oh Shit!!!!!!! Sagger are dirty, brassy, rock ‘n’ roll fuckups who only know how to bang on their guitars and scream the profanity! Killed by Blues and shoved in a dank garage, thee Sagger are a rock ‘n’ roll machine. Oh shit!! Definitely for the Mistreaters fans and cheese lovers everywhere… (JD)
(Big Neck Records PO Box 8144 Reston, VA 20195)

Selby Tigers "The Curse of the…" LP/CD

Hopeless Records’ saving grace has returned! Those of you who picked up their last overlooked gem of an album, Charm City, know exactly what to expect—quirky tube-fueled guitars, alternating screamy femme/XY vocals and a no-filler rhythm section that lays down a perfect foundation for minimalist wavey-yet-poppy tunes. Though I might fistfight anyone who favors this one over the last piece o’ work, it’s still a solid album. Of course, if you’re gonna buy it, you might haveta tell your friends it’s on GSL in order to save face and/or retain some of your hair-dyeing pals, but it’ll be worth the effort. I promise. (EL)
(Hopeless Records P.O. Box 7495 Van Nuys, CA 91409-7495)

V/A "California Ain’t Fun No More" LP

Licensed from Just Add Water Records, Daniel has gone and released a great comp on the format of choice, vinyl…green vinyl… Yeah/Yeah! The Rehabs (thought they were deceased), Flakes, Stupor Stars (ex-Stallions, bitcccch!), Bitchschool, the Fevers, and more have been collected for a compilation for yr rock ‘n’ roll tutoring. What, did you think you could just slack off all summer? Fuck You! Get this record…bonus track too…you know you want it…maybe it’ll get you some sEx! (JD)
(Alien Snatch! Records, Morikeweg 1, 74199 Untergruppenbach, Germany)

V/A "Do the Pop! The Australian Garage Rock Sound: 1976 – 1987" 2XCD

A first-rate double-disc compilation that documents one of the greatest locations/periods in the annals of rock ‘n’ roll history. It’s all here—the Saints’ ground-breaking "(I’m) Stranded," the Fun Things’ seminal and oft-covered "Savage," the Eastern Dark’s "Johnny & Dee Dee," Radio Birdman’s "New Race," the Victims’ "Television Addict" and a bevy of other definitive Oz-punk tunes that no warm-blooded soul can do without. Sure, old-time Aussie fans probably own most of these original recordings, but it’s still cool to have ‘em all in one convenient place. Likewise, if you’ve never ventured into any o’ this foreign junk—and I strongly suggest that you do—this would be the place to start. (EL)
(Shock Records P.O. BOX 434 Richmond, VIC 3121 Australia)

V/A "Expression Vol. 2" CD + Zine

In the mid nineties I spent the better part of my high school years studying the garage [punk] scene over in Japan rather than chemistry. I was interesting in hearing every record that was imported in to this wretched country and I craved more each time I heard the needle drop onto the wax. It’s an addiction…a habit…my……habit…

Insert "Expression Volume 2." An entire new yield of Japanese punk and garage just begging to be heard… Unh, Illigal Sun, Trouble Makers, Ragged, Upset, and 18 more bands are gathered here to show the world what Japan has been up to since Teengenerate broke up. A must have CD (and zine, if you can read Japanese) for rabid addicts like myself. (JD)
(1+2 Records)

V/A "Fields and Streams" 2XCD

Scene from an independently-owned Midwestern record store:

What? The Lost Sounds are on a Kill Rock Stars compilation? Well, that’s kinda strange. Kinda cool, too, from a skeptic’s standpoint. Well, shit, I got some change burning a hole in my already porous pockets—I’ll buy it.

What? Most of the bands on here play shitty "no-wave"/art-punk/electronic/experimental namby-pamby nonsense? Well… I already bought it. I’ll listen to it, anyway. Maybe some of this stuff’ll catch me off guard and I might actually enjoy it.

What? I already have the Lost Sounds tune ("Total Destruction") on another demos-related release? Well, at least there are several other songs for me to dig into. I’m sure something’ll grab me.

What? Aside from the Bangs, Manda & the Marbles, the Dishes, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and a few other noteworthy tracks, this double-disc—which cost me upwards of $17—really FUCKING SUCKS? Well, I asked for it—too hasty with the cash, I guess. Never again. Say, can I look at that new Panthers album? (EL)
(Kill Rock Stars 120 NE State Ave #418 Olympia, WA 98501)

X "At Home With You" CD/LP

Yeah, for some reason I was under the impression that this was a LIVE release. No. It's not. It's studio. First thing I notice is the better production...and THE HORNS! There's horns on this fucking thing; not the whole thing but some of it.... Trumpets... Saxamaphones... I don't know what the kids are calling them these days. But I can hear them.... I had VERY high expectations when I put this thing on. Right away I figured it would floor me or bore me.... I mean, FUCK! Aspirations, X’s first full-on is easily one of the best releases ever. If you asked me, Aspirations would definitely be one of the records I consider a must have. In the press release, something is said about Aspirations holding its own with releases from such Australian heavy hitters as The Saints, The Birthday Party, and Radio Birdman. PUSSIES! They can't hold up to X at all.... Besides, the BEST Australian punk, the big three for me, would be The Chosen Few, The Thought Criminals, with X leading the charge.

I believe in X.

So. This release definitely didn't floor me the way Aspirations did. STATED! There's a more refined sound on At Home....a cleaner sound. You know that band Girls against Boys.... New Wet Kojak... Well, They owe something to X and on At Home. You can see it... The songs here are tight. Still retaining some of the rawness of Aspirations, but At Home sounds like a band with a bit more comfort than the band on Aspirations. At Home lacks a bit of the desperation that Aspirations had. It's not a bad thing either. DON'T LET ME GIVE YOU THE WRONG IMPRESSION! This CD is good; it's damn good. In fact, I highly recommend you fucking get it. BUT held up to Aspirations, it's not SHIT, but it's not gold either. Maybe silver (my favorite color though). At Home is catchy. It's grown on me more and more since I've had it, and my guess is that it will continue to do so.... I feel like I can have some inspiring moments while listening to this disc; some real special moments.... Like those beer commercial type moments when you and your friends are drinking away and everyone is laughing and having a good old time... But I'm fucking miserable most of the time and so are my friends. It's a chore to just live.

I hate my fucking life.

So, At Home with You.... I feel like I'm being hard on it. It's a good release. Continued EXCELLENT song writing... Who am I to judge this band? They are legends. I'm just glad to hear this release really. I'm no one important. I'm no one special. I'm just some fuck head who thinks he is some sort of Lester Bangs or something. X left their mark and on a release like At Home it fucking shows. Desperation? At Home has a new kind of desperation.... It has a new kind of angst... Continued angst! Controlled angst! STATED! I'm going to urge my friends to get this release, that's saying something. I mean At Home at least doesn't have the fucking Batman theme on it...Doing something like including "Batman" on your debut LP AND being Australian is strange, but for some reason, befitting. The Jam did the same thing and they looked like fucking buffoons. After all, The Jam don't have songs like "Delinquent Cause" to back themselves up... X does.

So the bottom line is you can't afford to pass this LP or CD or whatever. Get it. You probably won't be unsatisfied. The more I listen, the more it makes me want to kill myself. It's 90 here in Ohio and I don't have A/C. 100% humidity. Death by X; That's a good thing.

Oh yeah.... Here Morphius is back on my good side and they send me a fucking promo with ten of the twelve songs on the REAL release.... Nice fucking trick. Just when I had the handful of aspirin and bottle of vodka.... I'm no longer in the mood. (SAB)
(Morphius 100 East 23rdSt. Baltimore, MD. 21218)

Yeah Yeah Yeahs "S/T" LP

There is an odd sense of defensiveness that creeps into me whenever I talk about bands that I like who also happen to be liked by a significant amount of other people. When I say that the Hives are the best band in the world (although I feel their greatness is declining), I'm not joking. Is that different than some Creed-listening, drunk frat boy saying that the Hives are his favourite band? I'm not sure I know the answer to that question. Am I arrogant in saying that my opinion "means more" than his because I've been a record obsessed monster for the past ten years whereas he hasn't? That's where my defensiveness comes in to play. I often want to tell people that, hey, I listen to a shit load of records so when I say that I love something, it's because I actually love it and not because some shitty magazine, or some dink on TV told me to like it, so there. Silly, ain't it?

Which brings us to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The five songs present on this record are all perfect. It's been a long time since a brand new band has made such an impression on me. Everyone should make it a top priority to pick this up as soon as they can. I could go on forever about the quality of this record. But do you believe me as to how great it actually is, or are you saying, ahhh, you've been taken under the spell of "the hype"? All I have to say to that is fuck the hype (haha, that sounds funny). The Strokes, The Hives, The White Stripes, and apparently the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are all bands that have a lot of "hype" around them. What the fuck is "hype"? Hype is something that matters to thirty-something dinguses trying to act hip to thereby increase their chance of getting some action with the vacuous twenty-year-old college girl who works at the coffee shop down the street. Why the fuck should we, the record listening weirdos of the world, care if some shitrag like Spin or Maxim likes one of the bands that we like? I sure as hell could care less what any institution like that says, or whether or not the band has a new hip video to watch.

And while I'm on my rant here, one big thing going unmentioned with all of this hype shit is the fact that a large number of the people who are buying all of these hyped bands' records are probably not even that big of fans of said bands' actual music. All of these bands are certainly kidding themselves when they say things like, "it's all about the music". If they honestly believe that all their record sales are due to the fact that they write great songs (and I think the aforementioned four bands do write great songs) they are living in a dream world. With EXTREMELY rare exceptions, bands don’t sell hundreds of thousands or more records because of their songwriting, they sell that many due to creative marketing and advertising on the part of their record label. People are liking some of the stuff that we like now because their senses are being stimulated by the manipulative network of advertising that is so prevalent in today's world that it goes unnoticed by most. In other words, they are being told what to like. There is NO WAY that this current fad will last. Most of the bands that we like are still way too unconventional for a mainstream audience. We will come out of this just fine.

Oh right, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Who the fuck cares that they're from where the Strokes are from? Who the fuck cares that they don't have a bass player? Musically they are unique. The super sexy female vocals (with some downright licentious lyrics) are some of the best I've ever heard. Karen O's got some serious style and her vocals are distinctive enough to carry the whole record on their own. The guitar sound is a nice lightly distorted sound that works for the slower, quieter parts but also works when the band turns up the intensity and rocks out, punk style. There is usually more than one guitar track and a lot of low end on one of the guitars, so the lack of a bass is hardly noticeable. The drumming is also solid throughout the course of the record, ranging from some arty, jazzy beats to some standard punk fare. From the manic, crazed spazz outs of "Art Star" and "Miles Away" to the raunchy Jon Spencer style "Bang" to the slower yet criminally catchy "Our Time" and "Mystery Girl," the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have announced that they are a force to be reckoned with in the rock'n'roll underground. Huge points go out to the band for self-releasing this EP in late 2000. It's been reissued now on the UK Wichita label and I've heard some talk about it being reissued in North America on Touch and Go. Trust me on this one if you didn't want to take the mainstream bait - the Yeah Yeah Yeahs are fucking great. (JG)
(Wichita Recordings PO Box 27754 London E5 OFP)

© 2003