Record Reviews - August, 2002

A-Frames "S/T" LP

The A-Frames   Prolific in its form and dangerous when exposed to high voltage   Like a wire tap into yr cerebellum    The A-Frames   Turbulent rollers into the mind’s optic receiver   Like a finger on a trigger   The A-Frames   My drug   My need   (JD)
(Dragnet Records 3519 SW Elmgrove St. Seattle, WA 98126)

Bad Form "No More Neo No Wave, Its The..." 7" EP

The second 7" from this now defunct, and oh so-so-SOOOOO great New Jersey punk band… This time I didn’t have quite as hard of a time finding this release as I did in locating their first release…but still… Get some distribution, motherfuckers! Okay, so the is the best Bad Form single to date…(FUCK! It’s sucks they fucking broke up! You SUCK Bad Form!!!!!!!)….grrrrrrr……..soooo agitated…. Alright…anyways…this 7" features more of the rock ‘n’ roll guitars mixed with hardcore punk elements…like I said before, just fuse Minor Threat with the Misfits and you’ll half the Bad Form. Top shelf material all the way… Sigh…good bands should never break up until they’ve put out at least one album…sigh again… You know the drill. (JD)
(Youth Attack! PO Box 126321 San Diego, CA 9211-6321)

Cynics "Turn Me Loose/Never Had It Better" & "Doin’ Me In/Last Day" 7"s

Fuzzy garage rock ‘n’ roll with the bad attitude… The Cynics…veterans… They won’t quit… They’re like teachers of the garage ways… Thinking of making it big like the White Stripes? Well kid, you better do yr homework and get these records… Oh and you better have nice hair… (JD)
(Get Hip Recordings Columbus & Preble Aves. Pittsburgh, PA 15233 USA)

Donovan Stokes "Were at War and Your Not Paying Attention" CD

This is the story of Brian Deneke as told by news clippings and testimonials with bass feedback and improvisational pieces in the background. Yeah, many of you have heard of this case, it was all over the news when it happened, but this CD sort of gives a whole new twist on the whole story. I mean to hear actual voices say such stupid shit about someone and their actions... It's fucking disturbing. "His car slipped on Ice just at the same moment Brian slipped on some Ice so the car ran over him." Fuck man, the Brian Deneke case is one of those things that people should never be allowed to forget. This CD doesn’t have too much to offer musically, but it's still a good listen. I would like to see other CDs done with other worthy events, like maybe something a little more lighthearted like the James Traficant case. I mean, yeah, it's maybe not a serious as someone killing someone else and then getting probation, but none the less, I hope projects like this become more and more popular. Spreading the REAL news, especially through alternative sources like this is all good in my book of government terrorist checkpoints. (SAB)

Easys "You’re High Maintenance (And I’m No Mechanic)" 7"

Two garage rock ‘n’ roll numbers soaked in gin! Hey, Russell Quan is the drummer (………the Mummies!)! Hey, it’s Jason Duncan is the bass player (………Just Add Water guru!)! Sorry, donna know the other guy…sorry…

(side-note #1: Jason kinda looks like a skinhead bird [that’s girl in skinhead talk] from this angle…)
(side-note #2: I actually met Jason, in my youth, in Boston when my friends and I went to see the Rehabs and Johnnies play to an empty house…he’s a cool guy…)

Okay, the Easys… Back to the Grave type rock ‘n’ roll for the low and nasty… Dig it if you know what’s bad for you kids! (JD)
(Just Add Water POB 420661 San Francisco, CA 94142)

Enon "High Society" CD

I guess I just really want a new Les Savy Fav LP. You see, I read somewhere that this band brought some reviewer somewhere to mind of Les Savy Fav so I decided to check them out. Whereas this CD is pretty cool, it has yet to really grab me. I mean, FUCK! There some good songs on this... Like "Pleasure and Privilege" is pretty Les Savy Fav like... The first song, "Old Dominion" is Queens of The Stone Age like, so that's pretty cool too. There's a wide range of variety on this CD that just sort of doesn’t really make me feel too well. I mean, I'm one of those people who really get into music. It's NOT JUST music, it's fucking emotion to me. This CD is a rollercoaster ride from one end of the spectrum to the other with very little warning of gradual-ness. It almost sounds as if this is a band whose sound is in transition and in High Society's case, it caught the band right in the middle from something to something else. I have been reassured from other people I have been talking to about this CD that their other stuff is way better. I have yet to check that out or not, but man, all I have is time. I suppose... I mean, I don't feel like I'm going to die anytime soon, but fuck man, you never know.... I hope I gave you a starting point for this band if you have yet to hear them. If you have your eye on something else that your pretty sure is going to get you off pretty good, stick with that. If you are looking to reach out and grab hold of something... If you feel like taking a risk. Try this out. Like I said, I'm still waiting to reach a familiarity with this CD where I'm like, "Yeah, it's THAT song!" Tread carefully... Coral snakes are everywhere and they aren't that big. (SAB)
(Touch and Go Records Inc. PO Box 25520 Chicago, IL. 60625)

Erase Errata "Other Animals" CD/LP

So. I go out to my car this morning. Well, it wasn’t really morning in the societal definition of the word ‘morning’, but it wasn’t to long after I woke up. It was MY morning.... I had to unload my equipment from my new vehicle, Darth Vader, my 2002 Black Cavalier with Low-pro tires. I had a "show" last night where after Zero Crag played two guys wanted to use our equipment for an impromptu performance. One of the guys had drank so much beer before we played that he had passed out for our whole set except two songs. The other guy was just a run of the mill fuck. They asked me and I told them no. I didn't care if one could play "Welcome to the Jungle" with his teeth or not, or if the other guy was the best drummer in the world, which he in fact said to me.... I figured if the one was such a good drummer, he would have been playing somewhere instead of asking to play someone else’s drums and the other guy.... I don't care what he can play with his teeth on guitar. Get a fucking life! I actually had to raise my voice to keep them away from the equipment then when they had the audacity to tell me I was a mean and salty person I simply told them I didn’t give a fuck what they thought. Then the teeth guy told me he could fucking kick my ass and kill me in six months and to take that to the bank.

"I’ll take that to the bank of I Don't Give A Fuck," I told him, "...and make a deposit." Ah... well, anyway, this morning I went out to my car to get this CD and unload equipment. I found a fucking HUGE cicada camping out on my Trace Elliot SMC712 amp. Cicadas! This isn't their year by far, but none the less it was there. I unloaded what I could so as not to provoke an attack and went into my yard and got a big fucking stick. I tried to "shoo" it out of my car but eventually, it climbed aboard the stick. I brought the stick with the bug outside my car and tried to smash it on the ground. He quickly took to flight as the stick broke in half as I hit the ground. The fucking thing was so big that you could actually hear it fly away. I threw the part of the stick still in my hand at it as it flew away. I got surprisingly close to the fucking thing. As the stick whizzed by it, its flight path got a little disturbed but the bug quickly recovered and escaped.

Both instances have occurred since purchasing this CD. I blame Erase Errata. There's a strange aura surrounding this CD. Its music weaves pockets of debauchery. This is quite honestly one of the best CDs I have got in a while. Fucking amazing. Joe Domino has been ranting about this band for a while now, and with good reason! Musically, they remind me of The Raincoats, but really sound closer to what Liliput/Kleenex have done. Remember post-punk soldiers Au Pair? That too...that's more obscure, but just as important.

Erase Errata do no wrong on this CD; no wrong at all. They play as titans of Neoteric energy. Each song is a treat. There's even two "un-Songs" on this CD... Moments of sonic action not really adhering to any real theme... It's weird because I'm getting into this whole "un-song" thing too. I just call it "Sonic-art". Erase Errata look at what they are doing as not JUST music, it's a way. It's a representation. It's a catalogue of emotion and moments. It's sonic-art! I fucking love it!!!

You got "Fault List"... "Tongue Tied".... "Other Animals are #1"...and "Marathon" which really shows you how this Neoteric Punk/Wave thing is done. Erase Errata are OUT THERE!!!! They know no boundaries and make no distinction. They are truly original meaning that they are looking as to what they are doing as what they want. Jerky. Flashpoint. Cracking foundations. I see this band leading a charge of sonic art revolution. I see this band making a difference to all who listen. I see this band as one of the most influential bands to come out of 2002. Other Animals is a belief. It's a forecast. It's a prophecy and today, I think I just fought the first battle.

Flying insects. True enemies. Monkey men are loose! Monkey men are loose!!!! It's Big Boute not Big Booty!!!! (SAB)
(Troubleman Unlimited 16Willow St. Baymore, NJ. 07002)

The Flesh "S/T" CDEP

Creeping out of the gutters and alleyways of New York City eerily, discreetly is the Flesh. The Flesh – one-part beats, one-part organ, one-part standup bass, one-part lyrical masterpiece. The Flesh are one of those bands… They’re one of those bands that can’t be illustrated. The listener can only wonder how they can have such an abundance of astuteness and lucidity for music. The Flesh have a strange perspective on the world, which makes them more treacherous to your ways than you could possibly conceive. Imagine the impossible. The Flesh! (JD)


French Kicks "One Time Bells" CD

When I heard a song from this CD on my local Independent alternative station it just sort of clicked. It did take a few listens to really get the gist of it, but man, this shit is pretty happening. Think Guided By Voices... Yeah, something that some readers around these parts might not really get persay, but really, Guided By Voices have written some great songs and still, with the release of each new CD or whatever, still amaze me on how they can continue to write listenable music, STILL.... Well, French Kicks, in their so far short time around, are what I would feel, just as good song writers. You have some real powerful songs on here. Whereas this might not be a CD to drink a 12 pack to or smoke a bong load or whatever, more like one you would drink slow-gin fizzes to.... One Time Bells has some real strong points for songs like "1985", "When You Heard You", "Trying Whining", and "Close to Modern". Basically, I'm a sucker for a well-written song. Strong arrangements... Everything is where it should be.... I hear more Les Savy Fav in this band than in Enon. Personally, this CD far out does Young Lawyer, my first French Kicks exposure... French Kicks are not as moving as The Strokes in the delivery of their songs, but they are more adventuresome in alot of ways. For you more loose conventionalist Neoteric fans out there, check this out it does have something to offer.... (SAB)
(Startime International 285 S. 5th Ave. Brooklyn NY. 11215)

Glory Holes "Knock You Up" CD

This release isn't really that far removed from other releases on Empty, especially last month's Midnight Thunder Express. This is more of that good ol’ fashioned rock and/or roll, last cigarette rock and/or roll to be precise. But unlike the MTExpress, I hear a lil’ bit of The Motards in this. Like, Knock You Up couldn't have been a third Motards LP, but it could have probably been a fourth or even fifth too. I see the progression and its possibilities. This is a pretty decent sounding garage rock CD. If you like all that Rip Off records stuff and such, this is bound to please. My favorite aspect of the record though was the cover art; three pregnant new wave hookers drinking beer at a bar! Now that's something!!! The Glory Holes' KnocK You Up gets the job done, but it's not a release I am going to spend alot of time with. I would rather focus my efforts on this month's other gems.... (SAB)
(Empty Records PO Box 12034 Seattle, WA.98012)

Gore Gore Girls "Keep Your Hands Off My Baby/I’m Gonna Get You Yet" 7"

Ahhhhhh…the Gore Gore Girls… More girl garage/R&B/rock’n’roll than you can handle! Two solid covers off of two previous full-lengths… If you haven’t heard the Gore Gore Girls then this is the place to start. (JD)
(Get Hip Recordings Columbus & Preble Aves. Pittsburgh, PA 15233 USA)

Gossip "Arkansas Heat" CDEP/10"

Hmmmm, tough call on this one… It's definitely not bad, but these six new songs from the most rockin' band on Kill Rock Stars (and yes, I realize that some people would think that the sounds of chimpanzees farting to a steady beat would qualify as the most rockin' band on KRS) leave me a bit disappointed. Their debut album, That's Not What I Heard, featured some super stripped down, bluesy, no-bass action, that gave a generous nod towards the White Stripes with a bit of soul thrown in and some female vocals. The songs on Arkansas Heat are similar sounding to their prior work but not exactly the same. The White Stripes reference is not really apparent here, and the guitar sound is a lot fuzzier and carries a lot more of the low end sound than it did before. The band sounds fuller than ever but the songs just don't rock as hard as they possibly could. There are a few decent moments here and there, but on the whole the ass-kicking element that's present in most good music is missing. However, the 11-minute "jam" number kicks my ass pretty hard as long as I remember to fast-forward the annoying two minutes of feedback at both the start and the end. (JG)
(Kill Rock Stars PMB 418-120 NE State Olympia, WA 98501)

Hot Hot Heat "Knock Knock Knock" CDEP

Hot Hot Heat are from the unsuspecting community of Victoria, BC nestled just off the West Coast of Canada on Vancouver Island. Victoria is known as the hometown of Nomeansno, but besides that, I honestly can't remember the last time a punk-ish band from Victoria made it to a national/international level of visibility. Upon first listen, a couple of things about the release, the band's teaser to their upcoming full length, scream SELL-OUT! However, I will give the band more credit than that and renege my initial label and here's why. First off, the vocals sound quite different than before - less scream, more sing. Going from small time labels to Sub Pop and drastically changing the sound of your vocals along the way kind of seems fishy. However, upon further inspection I was surprised to find out that they actually have a new vocalist. It appears as if their keyboard player now also sings and he sounds similar to the old guy, just less frantic. Situation explained.

The old vocal sound actually wouldn't have worked that well with on this record anyway, because the biggest change that the band has gone through is their overall sound. You could play their first self-titled, singles collection album and this EP back to back and never guess that they were the same band. The first album was a Le Shok style scream fest full of screamed vocals, distorted bass, pounding drums and insane synthesized freak outs. This new one is much more mellow, the drums are more subdued, the synth sound is often replaced with a piano sound and most importantly, they've gone from a band without a guitar, to a band whose central instrument is a guitar. I've heard the name the Cure bandied about in comparison to this record, but I couldn't help you on that one. I believe the year is 2002. Who the fuck listens to the Cure in 2002? Who the hell ever did listen to the Cure? (Bring it on you Cure believers!!!) Once again, is this drastic change in sound an attempt to cash in? I don't think so. The songs are still obtuse enough (in a good way) to scare off your average mainstream Joe. And the vocals are entirely way too yelp-like to impress your average fourteen year old girl. Band forgiven.

I like this record a great deal. It's fairly original and I applaud the band for doing what they want to do even though I initially thought that they were shooting for the stars. My one complaint is that every once and a while I just have to hit stop as the vocalist's nasal yelps sound a little too forced to me. It's as if someone had just kicked him in the nuts right before he recorded the vocals and should have waited until his regular voice came back before recording. Whatever - I'm being picky now. Also, go to their website to check out some cool remix versions of two of the songs on here. (JG)
(Sub Pop Records PO Box 20645 Seattle, WA 98102)

Hot Pockets "Rejected #3", "I Live On Rocket Street", "Clean Dice", "I Can’t Sleep", "Rock n Roll City" 7"s

Lofi Rock ‘N’ Rolla with the soul and ardor of the late, the great, the Devil Dogs! Fuckin’ garage rock ‘n’ roll that’s nothing like what they’re playin’ on the radio these days… (…:…:..:….:…Side Note: Fuck the Vines and Fuck the Hives! They fuckin’ suck! End Side Note…:…:……:.:…) If you want trashed out and fucked up rock ‘n’ roll, you go see the Hot Pockets… They’ll hook you up! (JD)

As listed above –
(High School Reject Records Berlageweg 12, 9731 LN Groningen, The Netherlands)
(Kogar Records PO Box 985 9700 AV Groningen, The Netherlands)
(High School Refuse Records Berlageweg 12, 9731 LN Groningen, The Netherlands)
(Hate Records Circ.Ne Gianicolense 112 00152 Roma, Italy)
(Rockin’ Bones Records, Borgo Palmia 3A, 43100 Parma, Italy)

Hot Snakes "Suicide Invoice" CD/LP

If you didn't pick up the debut Hot Snakes album Automatic Midnight you made a big mistake. Rocket From the Crypt often seem to rub a lot of people who listen to "garage" music the wrong way - too rock, they say. And same goes for Drive Like Jehu - too emo is usually what is heard. So when the two main creative forces behind those bands (Speedo a.k.a John Reis from RFTC and Jehu, and Rick Fork a.k.a Rick Froberg from Jehu) and J. Sinclair a.k.a. Jason Kourkounis from Delta 72 teamed up to put out the quite brilliant Automatic Midnight a lot of people never noticed because of their silly preconceptions. Your loss. What resulted was an album that sounded almost like a perfect mix between RFTC and Drive Like Jehu which was full of some serious punk rock destruction that was way better than anything either of those two bands had ever put out. (I realize that last statement could be considered blasphemous to hardcore fans of either band.)

You can redeem yourself by picking up Suicide Invoice, which has to be an early contender for album of the year. It's been a long fucking while since a band could absolutely pummel you with such a HUGE sound from the start of an album to the end. They've added a bass player, Gar Wood from the quite underrated Beehive and the Barracudas (who will be joining the Hot Snakes on an upcoming must see tour), which adds a lot more low end to their overall sound. Gone are the slow and mesmerizing songs from their first record like "Salton City" and "Our Work Fills the Pews". Each and every song here is a scorcher, although some do have slightly slower parts. Overall, Suicide Invoice attacks your ears at every instant compared to Automatic Midnight which took the odd attack break to relax a bit. Songs like "XOX", "Gar Forgets His Insulin", "LAX" and "Bye Nancy Boy" will leave you fucking stunned at how sounds so punishing can be coming out of your speakers. It's not an easy record to pigeonhole with a label. It just fucking rocks - plain and simple. The only thing that slightly bothers me about the record is that the production is nearly identical to the first album. Although it is a damn fine sound, I like a band's records to sound at least somewhat different from album to album. Maybe I'm alone on that front but would the first four Ramones records have sounded as good if they stuck with the sound of the first album?

Anyway, don't be a jerk. Buy this fucking record and get on with the rest of your life. I think the first record is coming back in to print after somewhat of a fuck up somewhere along the line (how can a killer record that sold 20,000 copies on an affiliate of Sympathy go out of print?), so be sure to get that when it comes back out, too. (JG)
(Swami Records PO Box 620428 San Diego, CA 92162)

Jewws "L’Explosion du son de Maintenant!" LP

It’s no secret to anyone who heard their Alien Snatch single that the Jewws know how to rock the fuck out. What some of you may not realize is that the Jewws just might be one of the finest rock ‘n’ roll bands on the planet right now. Combine the classic r ‘n’ r swagger of the Devil Dogs with the energy and tempo of Teengenerate and you’ll get an idea of what the Jewws are all about. Don’t interpret this as me saying that they’re a bunch of imitators. Despite sharing some common traits with other bands, the Jewws manage to create a sound that’s unmistakably their own. Like so many greats before them they make the straight up rock ‘n’ roll sound we’ve all heard a zillion times sound so fresh and exciting it seems like you’re hearing it for the first time. Another thing the Jewws have in common with a lot of great bands are songs that deal with all of the relevant issues in our lives; namely girls, rock ‘n’ roll, cars, space, and even more girls. Really, what else is worth talking about? I don’t want to hear any excuses, go out and get this record today. I guarantee you’ll love it. How can I be so sure you’ll dig the Jewws? It’s simple: if you don’t love the Jewws you don’t love rock ‘n’ roll. (SS)
(Demolition Derby, PB 4005, 2800 Mechelen 4, Belgium)

John Wilkes Booze "Whiskey & Pills" 7" EP

Yeah, this 7" really su-prized me. I was expecting more of that last cigarette rock and/or roll, but no, The A-side features "Whiskey & Pills" a basic rock number, but features some real busy keyboard work that's smooth in the mix and gives me a great impression of what this band is all about. Loud. Dirty. Sleazy. Making Bloomington proud I bet... It's a tight song... The B-Side "Marc Bolan Makes Me Want To Fuck" is a slower number, and yeah, it sorta gives a nod to some T-Rex stuff... It's not as hard hitting as the A-side, but it's a good follow up. John Wilkes Booze reminds me of The Cuts first 7" on Lookout with "Whiskey", but on the "Marc Bolan" song they bring to mind latter Rock and Roll Blitzkrieg Cuts LP stuff.

In fact what really perplexed me about this record is the label its out on. As much as I can tell its a split release. A label that I assume is The John Wilkes Booze label, Family Vineyard, takes responsibility for Side A, while on Side B there's none other than the infamous Rock and Roll Blitzkrieg insignia! Why that's a label that Mark Murmann said he was just going to sort of not continue... Does this mean that Murrmann is getting back into it? Whereas that would seem to be a pretty cool thing, I also assume that this 7" is probably a fulfilled obligation made before Murmann's decision to phase out the label... To summarize, this 7" is good. Definitely worth your time. I'm also looking foreword to seeing these cats live. They have expressed interest in Cincinnati which is something I am trying to work out in the near future. (SAB)
($4ppd John Wilkes Booze 1115 W.6th Bloomington, IN. 47409)

Kill-A-Watts "Electrorock" CD/LP

This is the best thing Rip Off has released in a while. The Dirty Sweets record was pretty good; the Kill-A-Watts blow them away. Like the Sweets, the Watts have plenty of attitude. They have the stop/start thing down like the Reds. They have the dum-dum aesthetic of all of Lowery’s band. Unlike recent Rip Off releases, the record is consistent. Both sides are evenly matched with good songs. Not all is well though… I think that Ryan should sing all the songs, cos Jennifurball sounds like an off-key, tone deaf Alice Bag. Also the sex/violence ratio is all fucked up. Let me explain…..

Mr. Filthy Rich revealed the Holy Trinity of sex, drugs, and rock n roll in his last column. However, it’s different in the Rip Off world. Rip Off world? Is that like Bizarro world? Well, it’s like Earth, but you can hear the Reds and the Registrators on commercial radio. Anyway back to my thesis…the trinity of Rip Off bands are sex, violence, and rock n roll. Not drugs. Only hippie bands sing about drugs. Did the Rip Offs do songs about hitting bongs and doing lines of blow? !No! The Infections set the template for the sex/violence ratio. It was evenly balanced, you see. You had "Smash Your Face" then "Something Wild." Recently Rip Off bands are all about the violence factor. The ratio is uneven causing misalignment around the universe. Enough of that… Onto more conspiracies!

Yeah conspiracy.

Why did the Dirty Sweets get a full length w/o releasing a single first? Why did they get a lyric sheet? Shit, the fuckin Registrators didn’t get one and we all know they needed one. Mr. Greg Lowery, you got some explaining to do.

Anyway, do yrself a favor and get some shock therapy. Cos the Watts are dope like the pope swinging on a rope and that ain’t no fuckin joke. Word to the muthafucka. I’m out. (TC)
(Rip Off Records 581 Maple San Bruno, CA 94066)

Lost Sounds "Recent Transmissions" CD

"You know how the Lost Sounds be doin’ it bitch."

Indeed I do. Like just about every one whose name doesn’t begin with "J" and end with "oe Domino" I dug the last Lost Sounds album quite a bit. I wasn’t a huge Reatards fan, but the apocalyptic new wave majesty of "Black Wave" won me over. That’s not to say my newfound status as a Lost Sounds fan wasn’t with out a reservation or two. A few of their songs went way too close into neo goth territory for a pop dork like me to be comfortable with, and couple of em where just too, I dunno, abrasive for me to get into (see: "I See Everything" and "Satan Bought Me"). Still despite, these misgivings I couldn’t deny that the Lost Sounds where a fucking killer band, even if they did come up a bit shorter in my opinion than most peoples. Hey no band is perfect, right?

Well maybe not, but with this CDR the Lost Sounds find themselves inching a little closer to perfection. Upon hearing this I was ready to heap praise upon them with the giddy abandon of a fat guy at a Chinese buffet heaping wontons on his plate. This has to be demos for their next record; there’s just no way a band could throw away so many songs of this caliber. If they truly could unceremoniously discard songs as killer as "Total Destruction," "Lets Lie," and "Clones Don’t Love" the Lost Sounds are either one of the greatest bands on Earth, or one of the stupidest. Probably both… Couple the absence of everything I didn’t like about "Black Wave" with a huge upping of the new wave and pop quotients and the end result is the best Lost Sounds material to date. If this is any indication, I’m dying to hear a new album. In fact, this stuff sounds so great that I think it might even win our estimable editor and chief back to their side. (SS)
(Lost Sounds)

Mondo Topless "No More/Panty Sniffer" 7"

These guys have been ‘round 4ever! Jeez… Yeah, the a-side is 60’s rock ‘n’ roll kicker with the infamous organ… The b-side is a bit of a stomper for the lewd and crude kids of today… Super Sixties Garage Rock fans while want to check it out… (JD)
(Get Hip Recordings Columbus & Preble Aves. Pittsburgh, PA 15233 USA)

The Not "Muscle T" 7"EP

Neoteric Punk/Wave from the desert city of Cincinnati, Ohio. Unrelenting in its charge, The Not take no prisoners. Bullet to the temple for those left behind.

This is the shining gem of the month. By far... A band that formed and played their first show all in the span of one week...true story. More Male then fem vocals, but they are there to say the least. Keyboards. Guitars. Drums. A decent mix of everything. Nothing overbearing except the music itself. You listen to the Not and it isn’t like, "Man, too much keyboards" or "Not enough keyboards". It's all just even there and FINE. Members of this band are made up from two primary sources. The guitarist and male vocal source is none other than Microbe from Zero Crag. The Drummer is Chaz from a defunct Cincinnati band called Hemline. The remaining members of The Not are new to this music thing: Tarin on bass and Microbes better half, Amy Lynn on Keyboards who also chimes in vocally from time to time.

I'm terribly excited for a band like The Not and feel it's a privilege to have them as part of MY local music scene. The Not have really stirred up the cooking stew overtop the fireplace of late. Lots of shows. Good shows, where they have been turning heads. The five songs on this EP, which boast a handmade cover, with all copies being somewhat different, was recorded about 2 months (a conservative estimate) after they played their first show. It was recorded in one day with the last song, "Pygmy Elephant", being written and recorded on the spot that day. There's folklore magic surrounding this band; something about them that just sort of hits you where you never been hit before. You can call it hype, you can call it voodoo, but I want to refer to it as chance appreciation. The Not are a product of the day. A product of the moment. A living piece of sonic-art depicting the time and place of their formation.

Fans of The Lost Sounds DEFINITELY take note. Whereas the ‘Sounds are what I would deem more GOTHIC than most bands (well, maybe not The Subtonix, but none the less pioneers), especially The Not, it's a good reference point. I mean, FUCK! I noticed here lately The Lost Sounds is probably one of the most influential bands of recent times. I know for a fact that The Lost sounds had an affect on members of the Not.... So, five songs. The first side, Side ‘a’ features a droning number called "Muscle T" and a dark brooding number called simply enough "Jeff", and flip it over and you got three more: "Division X’ about the secret military division that created the atomic bomb, "Sex Trot" and the masterpiece known as "Pygmy Elephant" which remember, was written and recorded all in one day. On the spot.

This 7" is quite possibly top 5 material for my year end list. Definitely something I would check out if I were you, but unfortunately, that's left up to you, and your inescapable opportunity for error. Yeah, you're a waste and I realize now that maybe that can't be helped. We all have our vices. We all have our problems. The Not, shining glimmering chrome in this world of shit.
($3ppd: The Not 60 W.Mcmillian Apt.B 3rd floor Cinti., Oh. 45219)

Numbers/Erase Errata "Split" 3" CD

"It’s a circus in my house."

Quite possibly the best Erase Errata material to date. Two societal criticisms written for the public to ponder… Art-punk with a keen message of discomfort, uneasiness, coupled with angular guitars and catchy bangs of punk on the stereo. The Numbers continue to disappoint me with their lack on conviction. Their tunes on this 3" CD are better than the CDEP they released a little while ago, but still…no substance. The poorly performed jagged guitars and annoying squawking will surely drive me mad. Still worth it alone for the Erase Errata side…

"Break the cycle." (JD)
(Tigerbeat 6 – 310 Oakland Ave. Oakland, CA 94611)

Pattern "Tour Edition" CD

This three song CDR, made available to fans on The Pattern's recent North American tour opening for the Hives and Mooney Suzuki, is soon supposed to be released as a single in the UK (by Wichita who also put out their last, impossible to find west of the Atlantic, single). And if this is what the album is going to sound like, the whole damn world will soon be (August 27th to be exact) praising The Pattern.

"Fragile Awareness" and "Thunder Us" are rock songs. Their basic structure is very simple and they don't go over three minutes long. It's the little things that make these songs great - the 5 second guitar solos, the little flourishes on the bass line, the incredibly tight yet frantic drumming and most of all, Chris' patented whiny vocals. They sound very similar to Sometimes I Cry era Tricky Woo, with a little bit more of a punk edge, which is absolutely fine by me. On the other song "Ladies Speaking Out", Chris actually shows that he can sing "properly" if he wants too. The song completely stands out from the other two songs on this teaser, and the songs from the bands' first four singles. It's way slower, the vocals actually sound nice and the guitars are totally clean. It took me a while to accept it, but it's a keeper. The Pattern are here to stay. Their recorded output has been stellar since the start and their live show only tops the records. Get on board. (JG)

Pink Sexies "The Pink Sexies" CD

Knoxville, Tennessee... I once got stuck in a traffic jam there. I was driving by myself, heading to Atlanta, Georgia to pick up my beloved, and had to piss so fucking bad that I pulled over and hit the roadside. The morning rush hour commuters, they didn't even bat an eye. It was like they see shit like that everyday.

I pissed like a waterfall. I swear, in the small patch of bare ground that I had aimed my piss at, some of the earth had washed away like you took a water-hose at it. I pissed so hard I thought my dick was going to rip in half. I never will forget that. Even to this day, during my last drive thru the city on another trip to and from Atlanta, I recalled the trip and remarked once to Julie on the way down and again on the way back to myself, where I had that monumental piss.

Now, I have something else I can mention when I pass thru Knoxville. I can now remark how it is home of The Pink Sexies!!!!

Man, this shit is pretty good. I mean, I really like it. There's seven songs with stand out tracks being the dark observative "Grey Hound Cowboy" (I’ll fuck you up, I'll fuck you down), "Frankenhooker", first track "Bye Bye Zombie" and the last track "Tease Kiss". I would rather hear shit like this on labels like Empty Records than what I been hearing.

Soundwise, The Sexies remind me of a band whose members play their instruments like someone might play a synthesizer. The Pink Sexies are a Neoteric Punk/Wave band, that much I know. Something about their song arrangements tells me, that they sent this to me to ‘get on board’. Welcome aboard gentlemen....Real repetitive beats. Catchy. Invasive. I can't escape the feeling that this sounds like a mixture of early Motards and The Stitches. It hits me good and tastes awful. Exactly how I like my rock and/or roll.

The last time I drove to Atlanta I paid attention how far Knoxville was from Cincinnati. Not that much farther than a trip to Kent, Ohio. Yeah, you know what I am thinking.... (SAB)
(Pink Sexies PO Box 686 Knoxville, TN. 37901)

Pits "The Face Of England" CD

The Pits! English punk rock done right and for the right reasons. Politically focused and full of spite, the catchy tunes of the Pits are for fans the Angelic Upstarts to the Newtown Neurotics. Yeah, if you are at all interested in those aforementioned bands you just check out the Pits. Shimmering and snotty all in one, England owes you nothing, but you could do with a little bit of English sensibility every once in a while…fuckin’ Yanks! (JD)
(Government Records)

Radio 4 "Gotham!" CD

Yeah. This release ushers in a new era of a musical phenomenon that at first I despised, but when I found out that I did the same thing myself in the music I create, and really sat down and gave it some thought, I decided that it pretty much goes along with my Neoteric Punk/Wave Proviso’s here of late.... You see this CD took me a solid four or five listens to really get into. It didn’t blow me away right from the start like I'm usually accustomed to. Yeah, this sort of pissed me off because I figure a release should just blow me away right from the start. But when you really sit and think about it, that's bullshit. You see, life moves fast. Everywhere you look, things are streamlined, downsized, and made convenient for quick consumption.


I'm against such concepts.

The first Neoteric Punk/Wave Proviso deals with INCONVENIENCE. Nothing SHOULD be made easy. Nothing should be designed to just do it. You should work harder, I should work harder, they should work harder, EVERYONE should work harder and take the long way when doing everything. More appreciation comes that way... That's what I KNOW and I'm glad I caught myself. If I had just listened to this release a couple of times and moved on, I wouldn't have heard what I now hear when I pop this disc in. This is a good release. this is a good band. Yeah, I might not like everything on it, there's at least two songs I don't care for, but man, the rest, whoppers.

Radio 4. Yeah, they remind me of Gang of Four. Given. That's why I hunted this fucking thing down, but I can't escape the feeling that with their socio-political stances, not too outright but it's there... This release sort of hits me like what a modern day reunion album by The Clash would sound like. I mean you're reading a review written by a guy who thinks Combat Rock was a pretty damn fine LP!

Radio 4 are hooky with several different layers of their music that I guess is sort of peeled when they play live where I suspect they just rip venues apart piece by piece and keep a small piece of rubble to remember them by. I bet their tour van has rock after rock of venues they just utterly destroyed! There's some majorly memorable songs on this CD. For the most part its great. I'm looking at the song list and maybe two songs get on my nerves but the other eleven are tight as fuck. The reggae like "Red Lights" and "Pipe Bombs" to urban anthems like "Struggle", "Our Town" and "Speaking in Codes" to the dance-terror classic "New Disco" all the way to my favorite Clash like movement track "Calling All Enthusiast" which talks to me like a Neoteric Punk/Wave report from the front line. It's songs like this one that really brings to mind a modern day Clash.

This CD is something I recommend you pick up. Give it a few listens if you have to. It really has hit me for a loop. Look at the label, Gern Blandsten. It's where you found The Liars. I'm watching this label.... I'm keeping a close eye on them. When I hear bands like Radio 4, I see hope. I see light at the end of a tunnel, but I'm willing to just stay in the dark with Radio 4 and be all revolutionary and shit. I just know now where NOT to go. (SAB)
(Gern Blandsten Records PO Box 356 river Edge, NJ. 07661)

Registrators "Rare Tracks" LP/CD

This one is pretty self-explanatory folks. As the title suggests, the almighty Registrators have deemed us worthy and raided their vaults to bring us sixteen unreleased tunes. Two or three of these songs are available elsewhere, but the versions appearing here are unreleased. While normally getting sixteen unreleased Registrators tracks would be a cause for jubilation the likes of which could only be matched by, say, meeting Billy Dee Williams or something, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that this record is my least favorite Registrators release to date (the Japanese "90’s Complete Sessions" CD is MUCH better). Regardless, this is the Registrators we’re talking about here. Is this for fans only? Probably… But ask yourself this question, "Can I live with the knowledge that I’m lamer than a 35 year old virgin playing D&D in his mother’s basement while listening to Jefferson Starship and watching a "Facts of Life" marathon hosted by Paul Risner, Shirley McClaine, and the guy who created Garfield?" If you answered no, then this CD is probably for you too. (SS)
(Rip Off Records 581 Maple San Bruno, CA 94066)

Riff Randells "S/T" CDEP

Taking the best from Canada's B-Girls and Dishrags, plus a bit from the Bobbyteens, Nikki and the Corvettes, and SuperTeem/Radio X era Donnas to create their own sweet sound, the Riff Randells have crafted a superb 6 song EP which should be mandatory summer listening for all punk rockers. The recording on these five new ones (done by Dave Alcock of Chixdiggit) and a re-recorded version of "M.O." is the best these Vancouver/Calgary kids have ever had. The guitars and bass are loud, the drums sound great and the vocals are absolutely amazing. Overall the songwriting is quite a bit poppier than their first three fab singles (two on Mint, one on Lipstick) which goes well with the cleaner production. The chord progressions are nothing fancy. They don't have to be when the vocals sound as good as they do and the vocal lines are the catchiest parts of all the songs. The echoed chorus vocals during "Lethal Lipgloss" with Kathy singing the lead and Anne-Marie singing backup will melt your mind.

Lyrically, there's plenty of talk of cute boys, hot babes, and the broken hearts that come along with that stuff, but underneath the bubblegum exterior of the words I sense some honest feelings coming through. It's a true skill (the Ramones could do it) to convey some genuine emotion through words so simple. I hope that it's not just my oblique sense of romanticism reading something into the words that just isn't there.

Four releases by the Riff Randells and four winners. Pick it up now or wait for the 10" vinyl on Alien Snatch coming soon to a hip record store near you. (JG)
(Delmonico Records Box 23123 Connaught PO Calgary, AB T2S 3B1 Canada)

Swamp Rats "Psycho/Louie Louie" 7"

A reissue 7"… Garage punk covers of "Psycho" by the Sonics and "Louie Louie" by the Kingsmen… Personally I’ll take the originals any ‘ol day… But I suppose if you have a couple bucks to burn and are a garage punk freak you could get this… It wouldn’t hurt yr scene points… (JD)
(Get Hip Recordings Columbus & Preble Aves. Pittsburgh, PA 15233 USA)

V/A "California Ain’t Fun No More" CD

I picked this up because there are a few bands I like on here and word on the street is that it’s a pretty good comp. It’s not… Like almost every other shitty comp out there this features a ton of middle of the road bands and their cast off songs. Gee, thanks guys… In all honesty there aren’t too many songs on here that are awful (but the ones that are are so shitty I think they’re considered crimes against rock in some states, here’s looking at you Loose Lips, Rehabs, and Loudmouths), but there’s just so many mediocre ones that it ended up making a poor impression on me. Much like eating dollar store candy, listening to this comp is ok at first, but do it for too long and you’ll end up with an icky aftertaste in your mouth and a vague queasy feeling.

Actually that’s not completely true. The last song on here, "Ohio Express" by the incomparable Fevers, is yummier than any confection I’ve ever tasted. The REAL reason I got this comp was I downloaded half of this song off the Just Add Water site and ended up going completely bananas over it. It’s a perfect mix of bubblegum melodies and garage execution. It’s so stunningly great that on more than one occasion I’ve found myself hitting rewind over and over again like a trained chimp (which I’ve been doing for the majority of this review). Despite having one of the best songs I’ve heard in ages, not to mention good cover tunes by the Pinkz and Bitchschool, I still can’t recommend shelling out cash for this since it’s so spotty. I would recommend trying to get one of these in the trade forum, since it’s not worth paying more than a buck or two for. Definitely make sure you get "Ohio Express" somehow. It’s worth the effort, if not ten dollars. (SS)
(Just Add Water POB 420661 San Francisco, CA 94142)

V/A "My Summer Love (Japanese Girls Compilation!!)" CD

Wow, has done it again! They’ve scored a bunch of kick ass Japanese music for us pathetic losers who are too poor to visit their fine country to get the records ourselves. Sweet Japanese girl pop and garage rock ‘n’ roll, woo! hoo! The Apricots, Hotshots, Strawberry Mud Pie!, Bunny Fuzz, and Spandecks are all new (and way out! Go way out! That’s where the fun is!) to me, and it rocks just to hear new’s and Pebbles material; that’s a real treat! A must have for the Japanese rock ‘n’ roller in all of us! (JD)
(1+2 Records)

Virgin Mega Whore "The Door Knob Of San Diego" 7" EP

Leading the way towards the neo hardcore rebellion is Virgin Mega Whore! They’re taking back what Victory Records and their ilk stole from them in the 90’s… Storming the gates, slaying all whom would stand in their way. Virgin Mega Whore has the attack on and the raw aggression up to eleven. They mix screams with keyboards, loops with guitars, and beats with samples. They will cause you to have paroxysms and devastate your eardrums…hopefully. (JD)
(Youth Attack! PO Box 126321 San Diego, CA 9211-6321)

Yum Yums "Blame It On The Boogie" CD

Ehh…The Yum Yums… Honestly, I’ve never been a fan… even since album #1… Someone else would be better suited to review them than little ‘ol me…but whatta ya gonna dooooooo……… Okay, the Yum Yums, pop/boardline power pop (it isn’t really do to the heavy production…but still catchy as hell)… Basic Ramones freaks and sugarcoated power pop fans would probably be into this… Love songs that are too sweet for me but maybe not for the trick or treaters… (JD)
(1+2 Records)

Wire "Read & Burn 01" CDEP

I think most people would agree that Wire's 1977 debut, Pink Flag, is one of the better albums ever made, and certainly one of the most influential. Most would also agree that their 1978 and 1979 follow ups, Chairs Missing and 154, respectively, were good albums, but lacked the brutal simplicity of Pink Flag and at times incorporated too much of an experimental slant to things. After hearing those three albums in order (years and years after their initial releases I might add) and seeing how each one edged further and further away from the rudimentary sounds that I enjoyed, I really had no desire to hear anything else Wire ever recorded in their regroupings in the late 80s and early 90s, yet I still consider them one of my favourite bands.

Maybe it was the good reviews they got on their 2000 tour of the United States, or maybe I felt guilty for neglecting their post 1979 material, but something made me pick up Read & Burn 01 and you need to pick it up too. It is the only example I can think of ever where a genius band from the past comes back to release a record that holds its own versus their best stuff ever (Pink Flag) and surpasses much of their other work (Chairs Missing and 154).

You have never heard Wire this aggressive. You have never heard Wire play this fast. Read & Burn 01 sounds closest to Pink Flag but does not rip it off. Instead it distills the most energetic aspects of that album and condenses them down into a six-song, seventeen-minute attack on your aural senses. No song is weak - all of them work as songs on their own and also work together to make this release a truly cohesive one. The numbing repetition of "In the Art of Stopping" is a perfect start, which is followed nicely by the all out fury of "I Don't Understand" (which does give a slight nod to "I Am the Fly"). "Comet" and "1st Fast" are art-punk gems with a quick tempo not usually associated with these sorts of sounds. "Germ Ship", where the vocals take a back seat to the simple combination of guitars, bass and drums, is another winner. The last song "The Agfers of Kodack" (huh?) is probably the most ambitious of them all, which is kind of funny to write, seeing as "ambitious" for Wire means something as simple as having a part with a little bit of melody in the vocal line. (JG)

© 2003