Record Reviews - October, 2002

A-Frames "S/T" LP

I've never kept it secret that I think the majority of the neu new-wave noise crud out there is, uh, cruddy. It's anti-music, which means it's anti-Todd Trickknee. Right? Right. Therefore, these people are my arch-enemies and so on and so forth. The A-Frames could easily be tossed onto the pile stylistically, what w/ the cold wave leanings 'n robot-inspired lyrical spew. The difference is that they WRITE GREAT SONGS with ACTUAL MELODY and the rhythm section SWINGS. Which is probably why they don't have a Christ-sized bevy of collegiate dirt-holes nose-deep up their collective a-divots like The Locust (Abortions) or The (Pink) Panthers.

Songs like "Electric Eye" and "Hostage Crisis" pummel-rape your cortex but leave behind lil' honey-pods that'll have you hummin' for weeks on end; "Surveillance Camera" is, dare I say, a gorgeous 'n pretty 'n soothingly evil lil' ditty that's already a Rick Dees Martian stand-in hit on some other planet (quite possibly Mars, what with the Rick Dees Martians running around and all). Fuggit, every song is good-to-great, and (partially because ethical considerations bar me from bringing up the Mystery Girls [ooops!], and partially because it likely wouldn't matter nohow) this is the ALBUM OF 2002.

If this makes any diff to you, dear reader (perhaps balancing on the shouldeyepurchase beam), they're also just about the swellest guys you'd ever wanna' commiserate w/. So buy one fer the rock 'n roll, then go back and make it a deuce as a blow to band jack-holes everywhere. (TK)
(Dragnet/S-S Records, 1114-21st Street, Sacramento, CA 95814)

Agitated "Go Blue, Go Die!" CD

Cleveland, Ohio. A part of Ohio I refer to as NEO, or North East Ohio, deals out a slice of hardcore past in the form of Agitated. Agitated is, or rather was, a band composed of members of Guns, The Dark, Prisonshake, and Spike in Vain (to name a few), that formed and disintegrated in about a year, leaving only some obscure cassette compilation songs in their wake. Me? This CD is the latest in the series of a re-education of Cleveland/NEO punk culture. Myself, as well as others, have been given a shitload of second chances by Smog Veil on all the fine treasures some people passed up, and treasures that some never even knew existed except those in and around Cleveland, Ohio.

Agitated is one of those. Fine Gems!!!! If you’re ready for some early-mid 80’s style thrash-punk reminding me of early Poison Idea, then here you fucking go!!!! For a band that sounds as if they have roots and basic likes of rock and roll (because they cover "I Got A Right" and "Kick Out The Jams"), they shurly leave all traditional concepts of ROCK behind and speed things up to almost dizzying levels. ‘Go Blue…’ plays to me like an alternate universe Adolescents, except faster.... Mohawks, bandanas tied around combat boots. Mohawks. Thrash punk. Listening to a CD like this makes me want to smash bottles and ride over the broken glass with my skateboard. The only problem is that I lack the balance needed to ride the skateboard. Aw hell, I’ll still break the glass, and if nothing else, maybe just walk across it in my combat boots with a bandanna tied around my right ankle. Smog Veil has another winner here! (SAB)
(Smog Veil Records, 316 California Ave. #207 Reno, NV. 89509)

Baseball Furies "Greater Than Ever" CD/LP

Allow me to be bold - if you do not love this record you are a moron. This is punk rock as punk rock is meant to be. Absolutely zero bullshit. No gimmicks. Just some seriously urgent punk rock destruction designed to knock you down and then kick you a bit as you struggle to recover from the devastating blow. And that's just after the first song. It only gets worse (read: better) from there. I feel like making copies of this record and sending it to the plethora of shitty "garage" bands out there to show them that this is how it's really done. If you consider yourself a fan of good, fast punk music you need this record, like, yesterday. (JG)
(Big Neck Records PO Box 8144 Reston, VA 20195)

Baseball Furies "Greater Than Ever" CD/LP

One of the great singles bands of the last few years finally unleashes its full-length debut (though the fucker was recorded in Y2K and I THINK they have at least one more [recent] album in the can). When I first chucked this on the platter-spin-thingy, I was a bit bothered by the fact that so many of these tunes were already on previous releases, BUT FUCK ME, they's good songs and repeated listenings make it congeal nicely into a cohesive whole. If ya' ain't heard 'em before (where ya' been, prospectin' fer stank worms?), the 'Furies coulda' fit equally well on Rip Off or pre-suck Estrus. In fact, their CLASSIC "I Hate Your Secret Club" offa' their fairly-recent (now-suck-wait -- BFuries + Mistreaters = resurgence?) Estrus 45 is on here, and I'd have to say that the song is SO GOOD that it's worth buying this LP just for that one tune. Or the single, but then you'd be missing out on multiple gems like "Arch Enemy" or "Disposable Hustler." It seems unlikely that enough killers'll be shat out over the next couple months to knock this 'un outta' any sane rocker's 2002 Top Tenner list. (TK)
(Big Neck, P.O. Box 8144, Reston, VA 20195)

Blue Balls Explosion "Going the Wrong Way on the One Way Street in Your Mind" 7"

This drum ‘n’ guitar Wisconsin-based project has self-released a shitload of low budget tapes over the last couple years – one a month, I think. And each tape features new members, too, so in effect what you have is a goofball rotating two-piece get-together amongst friends ‘round the Green Bay/Algoma area, and these friends repeatedly dip their fingers in Persuaders/Reatards/Oblivians raunch (with really great trashed-up production, I might add), and they tackle LCD humor with clenched fists, and some of it’s actually amusing, and some of it rocks, and some of it doesn’t rock and isn’t funny at all. But, Christ – when you consider the sheer number of songs this group has unearthed, you take the good with the bad. Most of it seems good, anyway.

The single? Represents the Blue Balls’ more impressive material. The title track’s mostly blues-punk instro-action with an occasional "GOIN’ THE WRONG WAY," etc. thrown in for good measure, and it both rocks and tickles the funny bone. Funnier than the flip; "Eat My Ass Gravy" might be a little too obvious, though its odd pop-jingle element makes it somewhat digestible. Not that I’d eat ass gravy, or any kind of gravy for that matter. You get the drift, though. Or do ya? Worth a look. (EL)
(High School Refuse Records Berlageweg 12 9731 LN Gronigen the Netherlands)

Blue Balls Explosion "Going the Wrong Way on the One Way Street in Your Mind" 7"

OK, deep breath....Blue Balls are a 2-man unit concocted by a mysterious Mr. Blue Ball 1 a couple years ago. The concept is (approximately) this -- BB1 records an "album" (OK, 14 song tape) EVERY MONTH with a rotating cast of Wisconsin characters. One side has BB1 playin' guitar & singing w/ BB(guest) playing drums; the other features BB(guest) shoutin' and wielding the axe whilst BB1 pounds the skins. Songs are generally written on-the-spot or days ahead of time, and everything's recorded at the Algoma trailer in a day. It's then mixed & vocals are added. Each month, Blue Balls must play at least one show, which is usually pretty entertaining, considering members often forget what the hell they recorded. BB(guests) have included members of the Teenage Rejects, Mystery Girls, IFIHADAHIFI, Fragments, Modern Machines, Catholic Boys, Tears, Strong Come Ons, Glacier, and probably more I can't remember. Styles range from 2-man garage bash to pop to noise to hardcore to fuggin' metal dude, and lyrics are usually goofy and/or offensive.

Which brings us to Blue Balls Explosion, which is 3 members re-recording "hits" from the tapes. These songs feature BB1, BB2 and BB4 (I think – his real name sorta rhymes with "Ortega"). Anyway, first thing ya notice on this platter is the MONSTER production -- seriously, I haven't heard a nastier guitar sound since "Popular Favorites," and that was a long damn time ago. "Eat My Ass Gravy" is one of BB2's weaker tunes, but it's still a fun "run" through some ridiculous territory. "Going the Wrong Way Down the One Way Street in Your Mind" is a KILLER hell-fi garage rant that actually has a smeary drug-adelic feel accentuating the rock and BB2’s sun-shot soloing throughout.

There's about 100 more cool tunes in the "vaults" (yes, I've purchased them all, idiot that I am) so I wouldn't be surprised if a lot more didn't start trickling out very soon. Plus, BB1 has sex appeal to die for. The little girls understand. (TK)
(High School Refuse Records, Berlageweg 12, 9731 LN Groningen, Netherlands)

Carbonas "Scene Killer" LP

Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, The Carbonas push out a pink vinyl 12" of fast-paced nut-check punk-rock-and-roll that owes a lot to "Blood, Guts, and Pussy"-era Dwarves. Breakneck speed guitar riffery provides a framework for Mussolini DeBergerac’s (!) rough and somewhat Blaggish vocals. Insert shows a tendency towards lots of Pushead-esque imagery featuring the scary rabbit-guy from the film Donnie Darko. ‘Scene Killer’ whizzes by without getting boring, injecting a little variety into the assault, and managing to cover the Electric Eels along the way. Repeated listenings seem to prove there’s not much of a stick-in-yer-head factor, but the ride is pleasant enough. If this is your type of thing, I suggest you jump in the pool. (RK)
(Champagne Velvet Records, Po Box 19699, Atlanta, GA 30325)

Country Teasers "Science Hat Artistic Cube Moral Nosebleed Empire" 2XLP/CD

I cannot in good faith describe the Country Teasers’ sound. It’s too daunting a task. And undertaking such a task would place me, the inestimable record reviewer/lackey, in a bad position, as the record-buying public no doubt demands a detailed list of the band’s influences, in addition to deep, indulgent descriptions of their specific type o’ musical ruckus. Lemme tell ya – that’s not gonna happen. Not in this case.

Why? Well, the ‘Teasers are nigh-impossible to pin down. They have more influences than most bands have songs: Hank Williams, blue movies, whiskey, virtually any Billy Childish-related group, ‘90s electronic dance, Johnny Cash, all-out noise, ‘80s Brit-pop, "The Hustle," violent bitterness over lost loves, Joy Division, comical misogyny, some perverse permutations of jazzy type-stuff, and on, and on, and on. Those who like the band will tell you – the fact that they can pile so many seemingly boring and off-putting sources on top of only a few worthy sources and STILL churn out interesting and hilarious and fun and often intelligently stupid material is part of their charm, part of what makes ‘em so good. Great, even.

So enter Science Hat Artistic Cube Moral Nosebleed Empire. It’s a big-time round up of the some of the band’s odds ‘n’ ends, ca. the mid-‘90s, and though it suffers from a lil’ tedium hither and tither, it’s still a hoot. The ‘Teasers defiantly stumble through a myriad of outtakes, demos, and covers, all the while adding their own dose of unique, irrepressible humor and nose-thumbing ambivalence to the narrow-minded r’n’r crowd. Hell, if you’re gonna fuck with as many different conventions as the Country Teasers, you may as well have fun with it – and they do, by way of semi-serious covers of Ice Cube ("We Came to Tear this Motherfucker Up") and 2 Unlimited (a blazing version of "No Limits," which surely tops the original, though I’ve never heard it)! (Note: Frontman B.R. Wallers isn’t as big on irony as you might think. He’s got an electrono-side project, I hear. In other words, he likes that kinda shit.) And then – THEN – you got their originals, which aren’t exactly serious, either. They contain lines like "When I think about my wife/I get hard" and "What do I need a girlfriend for/I got a good pair of hands!" and "You touch me there/and I’ll kill ya/I swear" all backed by pseudo-country guit and disco-one-two-boom-boom drum beats, and, FUCK, it’s really good. Great, even.

But, yeah – I’m not gonna try to explain their sound. Suffice to say that they’ve already created a legacy worth looking into. And suffice to say that, even though the present-day ‘Teasers have tamed their sound a bit, I’d rather think of ‘em in the way Science Hat Artistic Cube Moral Nosebleed Empire presents them: as a bunch of wise-asses who toy with r’n’r in a way that works to their advantage.

P.S. – Buy the double vinyl. It has 40 tracks, vs. the CD’s 20. It’s worth it. Trust me.

P.P.S. – If you don’t own Satan is Real Again, you’re doing yourself a great injustice. (EL)
(In the Red Records 1118 W. Magnolia Blvd. P.O. Box 208 Burbank, CA 91506)

Crimson Sweet "Livin’ in Strut" CD

Here it is. Quite possibly one of the best bands I have ever witnessed. Their full-length at last!!!! My life has meaning.

Livin’ in Strut!!!!

Indeed! Strut indeed!!!!

I’m really excited about this release. Strut has been just under a year in the making and it was well worth it. On Strut you have a Crimson Sweet that is DIFFERENT, but not too far removed from what they started out with oh so long ago. Strut in my opinion represents a FINE TUNED Crimson Sweet. The car ran FINE before, but now it’s beating everything on the street. Get it?

Strut plays like a live Crimson Sweet set, but in all its FINE TUNED glory still fails to capture the Sweet live.... That’s not a bad thing either. I mean, FUCK! This is a studio release. The studio is a place for venturing. The first thing you will notice about Strut is the quality! I mean, it sounds AMAZING. Added extract too. Piano here. There. Guitar effects. Right-on-the-money backing vocals. I never thought any past recordings were questionable or anything, but they have still out done themselves. Strut represents a comfortableness. It’s like Crimson Sweet have finally reached a point where they talk in each others minds. It’s like this time, when they set about to record Strut, they knew what they had to do and they done it!

Completion. Ultimateness.

Ultimateness indeed!!!!

The CD starts off like their live set, with a cover. "Hello New York". Well, I was told this is a cover. I never have heard the original, but really, Crimson Sweet make it their own. Another sign of a good, (no, dare I say?) GREAT band (dont believe me? See Blister Pop by The Embarrassment)!!! After its end you are treated to three new back to back songs, "Shandon Celebrity", "Still Glistening" and yet one more atom bomb of a song, "Airport Novel". On these songs I was taken back. Crimson Sweet truly are Neoteric Titans, with a sound bigger than life and a melody stronger than the toughest metal... Crimson Sweet are the epitome of The Neoteric Punk/Wave for no other reason than they consume my every ounce of attention. I see no wrong. I see no mistake. I see nothing that I would change. This is a rare quality. Crimson Sweet are a rare band. There’s a lot of buzz about NYC right now. The Strokes. Interpol. Those bands are good. I really like both, but you know what? The combined force of both is nothing compared to Crimson Sweet’s hit points.

Next up are newly recorded versions of "So Electric" and "No Hot On Cold". Both of these songs were released as Crimson Sweet’s latest single from their own fledgling label, Slow Gold Zebra. Apparently on their last tour this single sold like fucking ambrosia. They dropped about 200 copies while on tour. They were looking at a possible repress by time they returned from that tour, and I’m only guessing because I don’t stay in constant communication with this band; I figure they have better things to waste their time talking to a hayseed like me. But I would dare to say that it didn’t see a repress after all. I don’t know that for a fact, but I am making an educated guess. Duly noted though: I don’t consider myself educated, and my past has led me to believe I am not smart at all... I bet the decision to re-record these songs made that single a collectors item. The new version of "So Electric" has a slower tempo but the production quality, which brings out that piano I mentioned earlier, is pretty damn great sounding. It really rounds out the song and gives it some extra touch. The new version of "No Hot On Cold" introduces you to how the song should really sound. Don’t get the wrong impression, "No Hot On Cold" was really a hard hitter on the single, but it was still B side material. On Strut, "No Hot On Cold" is hotter sounding. More decadent. More angular. Most importantly, it’s more sonic-aerosol, leaving you gasping for more.

Then.... two unreleased songs. "White Heat" and "California Split". Two songs that I believe really capture Crimson Sweet at their best. "White Heat" is a slower, more melodic tune. Despite the lack of a lyric sheet, Rooster Booster really bends your mind when she sings "Twin suns...". Hot damn!!!! Twin suns INDEED! I dream of a place where there are twin suns. This song, coupled with "California Split", is the zenith of modern emotions. It lends a soundtrack to this dull and gray world we all live in. It captures with music what it means to go one step past where you been. Onward. Something like this isn’t an easy thing to do. Recognizing what’s around you is one thing. Writing its soundtrack is another.

The next two songs are re-recorded versions of previously released material. Some of you might think this is some sort of trick because if you are like me, you own these songs on other releases. Your not being tricked though, your being treated! You see, what Crimson Sweet are giving us is something rare. They just aren’t PLAYING AT US with their releases and at their live performances. They are PLAYING WITH US! We are alongside of them! We are with them! We all walk single file, holding hands behind them. What they feel, we feel. After listening to Strut I told the On/On Switch Commanders that they should feel lucky a band like Crimson Sweet even deals with them. I consider myself lucky to know such great people myself.... Anyway, the versions of "I Want to Live" and "Queen City VA" are fiery as one might have imagined, hitting you with the force of a mile wide asteroid. The impact leaves no crater, only the shaken truths of sonic misconceptions. What THEY have been doing has been drastically set off course.

With Crimson Sweet we will take it back! Crimson Sweet are my Neoteric Virus.

Last song. Something different for The Sweet: an instrumental. Now a lot of you will know that I’m not a big fan of instrumentals. But sometimes bands can do them right. It’s how a band looks at their instrumentals really. "Sad Walk at Knifepoint" isn’t a song, it’s sonic-art!!!! It’s inspiring. Capturing. It sets about imagery in my head. Gives me thoughts. Gives me feelings. Once again Crimson Sweet impress. Levels, hours. Days, eons past where they left you, Crimson Sweet take you farther.

Fans of Wipers take note. Livin in Strut plays like Greg Sage himself produced this release....

Crimson Sweet. What’s left to say? I can’t even answer that. I feel honored to them for making me feel like we really are in this shit together. Good things for Crimson Sweet, because they deserve it. I look to the future and what it holds with Crimson Sweet touring in support of this CD and I get a little bit mad. Where Crimson Sweet are going, where they could go; it’s miles away from where I am. It’s not like they are going straight to MTV or anything, but I see them in places around people that haven’t been in the trenches with them, like most of us have. I hate to say this, but it’s humanity here: I feel as though some people don’t deserve Crimson Sweet. I wish I could set myself up as some sort of tester to hand out applications for Crimson Sweet fan base APPROVAL or something, but you know and I know that this is totally wrong on MANY different levels. Something like that isn’t what it’s all about. Crimson Sweet are just not my band. They are not anyone’s band. But in some ways, they can be EVERYONE’S band.

Just not anyone, or EVERYONE, deserve this band. But, if anyone can really CHANGE the shape of THINGS to come and that have been, it’s Crimson Sweet. Take Neoteric Punk/Wave and go far. Behind enemy lines. Clandestine insurrections. There they go.... I don’t want to call it a suicide mission, but I do wish I was dead. (SAB)
(On/On Switch PO Box 641122 San Francisco, CA 94164-1122, USA)

Disgrace vs. Tenderizer "The Sound and the Fury" split 7"

Man, this is one beautiful slab: 80 heavy grams of yellow vinyl with a brown splatter. If only all records were this thick. Nice sleeve too, with cool found pics of street gangs fighting with bike chains and shit. The music is decent as well. Disgrace sound like Henry Fiats Open Sore might if they wrote songs that lasted more than a minute. Tenderizer sound like a hardcore punk version of good Supershitty-era Hellacopters. The first song is actually quite catchy. Not bad at all stuff from Finland. (RK)
(Solardisk, Box 127, 90101 Oulu, Finland)

Distraction "Calling All Radios" CD/LP

After the Briefs, Epoxies, and Cripples full-lengths, plus an entire series of top notch singles, I'm just waiting for Dirtnap to put out a stinker. Every label has to eventually slip and release a shitty record, right? It couldn't be that every single fucking title a label puts out is great. Could it?

I'm happy to say that Dirtnap's streak is still intact thanks to this nice little package of songs by The Distraction. About a minute into this thing, the words "Hostage Records" popped into my head and checking the back of the disc I wasn't surprised to see a Huntington Beach address, plus a link to their site which advertises a song of theirs on a Hostage comp. It would be safe to say that The Distraction fit into the whole "beach punk" sound which can be basically described as "bands that kind of sound like The Stitches with a bit more of a ‘street punk’ feel". I'm no expert when it comes to that sort of stuff, and it would be cheating The Distraction to leave it at that, but that gives you a starting point. It is also clear that the band has a firm grasp of the classics (I'm kind of hearing a fusion between late 70’s UK stuff and early 80’s LA stuff). They blend all of these influences into 14 songs with some snotty as fuck vocals (think Le Shok), some serious dual guitar action, bouncy bass lines, and cool echo-y sounding drums which work together to create an album lover's album. There are no real smash hits (a few come close like "Locked Up" and "Start It Up") and a lot of the songs do sound similar, but it's the sum of the parts that matter here, not each individual track. Welcome Distraction - the world awaits more! (JG)
(Dirtnap Records PO Box 21249 Seattle, WA 98111)

Drones "Here Come the Lies" CD

You’re dying. I’m dying. The Drones are dying. Slowly. We all are going to shake hands with the reaper soon enough. The difference is The Drones are documenting their downward spiral with music and word. Rhyme and reason. This band hails from Australia. Melbourne to be exact. Australia is somewhere I haven’t heard much about lately. Fascinating place to me though. Anytime I see something about Australia or New Zealand on TV I watch it. I’m a big fan of past Oz acts like The Chosen Few, Cosmic Psychos, Thought Criminals, and shit. Well, The Drones do not disappoint. Fusing blues and rockabilly into something that sounds like The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion mixed with The Cramps. The Drones attack with a non-diluted venom and have the hard lives to prove it. Reading their bio is like reading a group’s last chance, it’s either this (The Drones), or death and depravity. Hell, maybe even all three. The Drones are mean. The Drones are poetic dissidence! The Drones are upfront. The Drones are the raw human emotion of THE END. This is the kind of band that I would like to shake a case of beer with and make a suicide pact. You die, I die, we all die. (SAB)

Flip Tops "All Worked Up" LP/CD

The amount of good bands emanating from the Northwest US these days is frightening. The A-Frames, Hunches, Hospitals, Spits, The Intelligence, Electric Eye, the list goes on. Shit, it’s the next Wisconsin! The Flip Tops (ex-Jetpack and assorted other bands) are the Rip Off Records entry in the sweepstakes. They play the archetypal Rip Off garage-snot-punk, with songs about beating you up, electricity, broads, and everything in-between, yet mix in some pop elements to keep you on your toes. Not as fast as the Teenage Rejects, not as hate-filled as the Chones, but a good mix of both. Frontman Joel Jett is what really sets these guys apart from the pack. After listening to the LP, his shout-every-word-at-the-top-of-my-lungs vocal approach makes you feel as if he has been leaning on your shoulder yelling every song into your ear. And he unleashes some of the most throat-shattering howls this side of Larry May. I imagine his vocal chords are slumped in a corner somewhere bleeding to death at this very moment. Another gem in the Rip Off catalog, don’t let this one slip in under the radar. It improves tremendously with repeated listening as well. Standouts: "Get in Line", "I’m Loved", and "Bop City". (RK)
(Rip Off Records, 561 Maple Ave., San Bruno, CA 94066)

Flip Tops "All Worked Up" CD/LP

You know the drill - Rip Off puts out a great record, you buy, and you enjoy. This time the songs are courtesy of Portland, Oregon's Flip Tops, who definitely sound right at home on California's finest label. Their songs are not 100% typical Rip Off Records sounding, but instead have a little bit more pop to them and also a little bit more of a rock'n'roll swagger to them. If you put the Rip Off sound into a blender with a teaspoon of a mid 90’s Lookout band and a pinch of the Devil Dogs, you might come out with something like the Flip Tops. Although, their actual sound is probably a bit meaner than that description due to lead singer Joel's tough as fuck vocals which are evident on the best songs like "Down N' Out", "Beat You Up", and "Electrified". With normal vocals, they would just be simple pop songs, but with a manic singer they sound immensely better. I'd put this just above the Dirty Sweets, and just below the Kill-A-Watts for the ever important "Rip Off Records Album of the Year Challenge" that we all seem to care so much about. (JG)
(Rip Off Records 581 Maple Ave San Bruno, CA 94066)

Henry Fiats Open Sore "Adulterer Oriented Rock" CD

It’s common knowledge that HFOS are a favorite of much of the BG staff, myself included. What’s not to like about these guys? They’ve got it all: humor, balls, great masks, and over the top levels of sonic motherfuckery. The people at Coldfront Records, in a moment of extreme mental clarity, have released this singles compilation and the Idiotia Hyperactiva LP on CD for the ignorant American masses to consume. Needless to say, I don’t think much of America is ready for these retarded evil-twins of the Hives, no matter how much they swear they’re into the "Scandanavian rock scene." (Scandanavian rock scene? I thought the Hellacopters and Gluecifer crash’n’burned that jet long ago?) This disc covers everything from 1997-2001, and overlaps the ‘Alan Smithee’ 10" Ken Rock put out recently, but also adds all the classic EPs: "Makes Your Cock Big", "Headshots", "Gnarly", and more. We’re talking FORTY-SEVEN mind-boggling tracks! If you don’t have some of this shit already, you’re probably a wuss. This is just too much HFOS for you to consume in one sitting anyway. Seriously, these guys are one the greatest bands operating today. Buy it simply for the promo sticker on the cover with a blurb from some guy who writes for some shitty rag called Blank Generation. Like those fucks know what they’re talking about. (RK)
(Coldfront Records, PO Box 8345, Berkeley, CA 94707)

Hunches "Got Some Hate" 7"

Dark and explosive trashcan rock ‘n’ roll that borders territory previously mined by the likes of the Reatards and a number of Cleveland’s noisiest proto-punk outfits. To say this 45 is essential would be an understatement of Kong-like proportions; to say it’s the best single to hit the deck this year would be right-on. Seriously – I can’t recall the last time I heard a (worthwhile) two-song 45 that illustrates this much of a dynamic in one band’s sound: Whereas the A-side ("Got Some Hate") brings you a fast ‘n’ bombastic sneer-fest, replete with jangly, abrasive guitars that stab your eardrum like so many foil-covered scratch-awls and vocals that rival a fuggin’ jaguar’s mighty growl, the B ("Lost Time Frequency") offers up a mid-tempo spacey dirge that recalls visions of both the Stooges (eerie, primal rhythms) and the Pagans (screaming, straightforward guttural p-rock). I mean, goddamn! And the production singes dyed-black bangs, too! Look for their sure-to-be-killer LP, also on In the Red, sometime this November. (EL)
(In the Red Records 1118 W. Magnolia Blvd. P.O. Box 208 Burbank, CA 91506)

Hunches "Got Some Hate" 7"

Go buy this record now. No, stop reading this fucking review and go buy the damn thing. I don’t care where you get it. Drive to Larry Hardy’s fucking house if you have to. Because once you do get it, you will have in your hands the finest seven inches of vinyl put out so far this year. Two great songs. Production that rains nails upon your ears. Savage vocals. Sharpened guitars fueled with H-Bomb distortion. This is some serious shit we’re talking about here. The A ("Got Some Hate") is the monster rocker, and I swear it will plow your nose right into your brain. The B ("Lost Time Frequency") is slower, and reeks of Aussie-like strangeness and primordial ooze. I haven’t heard anything this nasty in years. Normally, I’m one to bitch about singles with only two songs, but this little fucker leaves me with no complaints. A record this good puts near-impossible expectations on the full length due out in November. Top shelf stuff for sure. The Hunches will give you the kind of buzz you can only get from huffing gold spray paint or taking a big stinking whiff of primal rock-and-roll. Life-threateningly good.
(In the Red Records 1118 W. Magnolia Blvd. P.O. Box 208 Burbank, CA 91506)

Hunches "Got Some Hate" 7"

When I first got this here reckid and pointed the thin-sharp silver doohickey at the black platter-grooves, I immediately thunk "Reatards." Was it cuz they're young and lo-fi and fulla' vinegar-piss? Probably. All I know is the thing hooked me like no other short-lengther I've heard all year, and I kept spinning the fucker trying to figure-goddamn-out why I always wanted to listen to it. Maybe cuz it's good? Must be. The title track is a relatively straight-up bash-fest that's good fer teeth-clenchin' or piss fightin'; "Lost Time Frequency" is a bit harder to figure out. Its hell-damn level is down a bit, but the song shows a good amount of range/complexity for a lo-fi bash unit. Doesn't really matter if'n I can't adequately describe the tunes -- there hasn't been a better rocky roll shorty birthed this year, so unless you're digital-only, you need to pick it up. Or maybe you're a drooling ass-tard? (TK)
(In the Red, 1118 W. Magnolia Bl. P.O. Box #208, Burbank, CA 91506)

Kill the Hippies "11 Covers + 20 Bonus Tracks" CD

You should need no introduction to this band by now. The best of the best! Neoteric Elite!!!! A treat indeed!!!! I like to refer to this CD-R as "Kill the Hippies: Cover and Smother". I wish the cover art consisted of bound KTH members tied to chairs and draped with albums by bands they covered....I been wanting a release like this from this band. What you, the common listener, don’t know is that there is a plethora of unreleased or hard to find Kill the Hippies songs out there, UN-USED!!! The first feature of this CD-R is like the factory title sez: eleven covers. Me? I mean FUCK! I’m not the biggest fans of covers but that’s because I am not a good musician myself. I’m so bad that I can’t play other people’s music, I can just play my own. Bands like Kill the Hippies are FULL of phenomenal musicians, so figuring out cover songs is no big deal for them. Hell, they even take it one point further, and add a certain flavor to other people’s songs. The covers feature the line-up with Tic Toc Tyler, from the same line-up on the Shit Covered Hits EP. The Covered include Velvet Underground, Blondie, Small Faces, VKTMS, Blur, Adverts, Thor(!), Joan Jett, David Bowie, Dictators, Mott the Hoople, and later-on Devo. The second half of the CD is a hodge-podge of unreleased, hard to find, and some live tracks from every possible KTH line-up except one: the line-up featuring Kenny On-Broadway’s drumming from the Will Not Overstimulate EP era. Kill the Hippies have had a long and in-depth past where they even had another singer besides Morte, and PP Envy who also played guitars. The original material even goes back as far as 1995 up to the present with two songs from the latest ‘Metrognome’ line-up, which is the real treat!!! There are some real treats in the original material....Some real hard hitters like "Pussy Hot Cock Crazy", "Price Gun", "Heat Reduction Oven", "Electric Meat" (damn, sounds like something Eater would or should have played), an older track with past singer/guitarist Kenneth Picklesheimer doing the main vocals called "Blast Back with a Bomb", and more. I mean, FUCK! This CD-R is a MUST HAVE. I don’t think KTH are selling this for much, but do something for ol’ Shawn Abnoxious, will ya? Send KTH $6 for this. That should cover it....It’s well worth it. HOMEMADE!!!! Cracker-Barrel Style!!!! You need this. You life is uncompleted. Buy this or die. (SAB)
(Kill the Hippies 614 1/2 North Mantua. Kent, Ohio 44240)

Leg Hounds "Date Your Daughters" CD

I've made a recent pact with myself not to cover so many Wisconsin-based bands in the review section, unless it's a hard-to-find bugger or something. There's no need anymore, cuz there's a prolific level of stuff being unleashed out there all of a sudden, and mosta' y'all can find 'em pretty easily. This 'un may be different, since it's on Rev Norb's Bulge Recs, not Rip Off or Big Neck or some Euro-garage imprint that's carried by most Blank Gen approved distros.

"Date Your Daughters" (a more accurate title woulda' been "Date Yer Sister," but never mind that) is album #2 of the triumvirate they recorded in four days some months back, and it completely blows away the first one. These are the tunes you'll hear most in their current set, and there was a lot more time to mull over the mix this time (the first one was recorded, mixed, and belly-bucked out the door in seconds-flat by Label Tyrant Norbert C. Ugliford the Third).

They're the tightest unit this side of whatever The Reds/Marked Men are doing at any given moment, and if you can't have FUN at a Leg Hounds show, you are a sourpuss deserving of an eyeball-papercut. This album captures much of that live feeling, so what are ya' waiting fer, gloomykins?

Finally, the Devil Dogs. (TK)
(Bulge Records, P.O. Box 1173, Green Bay, WI 54305)

Los Webelos "Los Exitos de los Webeloss" CD

Or, "The Hits of the Webelos", or something like that. Four semesters of Spansih and I still don’t know dick. I’ll tell you outright, the vocals are almost entirely sung in Spanish. So if you’re linguistically prejudiced in your listening habits then leave now. It’s much better than most foreign-tongued punk crap you’ve ever heard though. Imagine crossing a Rip Off band (say, the Stipjes for instance) with a Big Neck band (say, the Blowtops), and the mutant-garage-spawn you would get is Los Webelos. A straight-forward garage punk attack with some interesting forays into that creepy brand of noisiness continental Europeans love so much. Vocals by Rip Off webmistress/Design Department head Poison Bambee. Ever wondered, why the name Poison Bambee? Well, they all have Cramps take-off monikers: Poison Bambee on bass/vox, Mugretone Interior on guitar, and Nick Knox-cema (!) on drums. These crazy Spaniards also love dressing up in various costumes that you can see in the deluxe fold out CD booklet, and they use plenty of sexy Nazi imagery as well. Did I mention that Bambee is a fox? If they sang in English, we’d have heard of them a long time ago. I’m guessing this a full length disguised as singles comp from material they supposedly did from 1979-1982. Very clever and creative, including covers of Familia Real and the Insults. Fun listening, especially if you try and translate the lyric sheet as you go.
(Bazofia Records PO Box I686 CP 50080, Zaragoza, Spain)

Mystery Girls "S/T" CD

I’ve been taking my time weighing in on this band. I must admit, when I first heard it I was experiencing some kind of anti-Wisconsin band prejudice. I was just sick of hearing about it all. But that’s over now. I could trot out all the MC5-ish and Stones’ swagger references, but I think you know what these boys are about by now. I realized one night, in a moment of drunken lucidity, what does it for me about this record: the fucking harmonica! I’m always bitching about why there aren’t more good rockin’ harmonica parts on records, and now I’ve found my source. I haven’t seen them live yet, so I can’t comment on the ‘best live band around" rep they’ve acquired. This is the record to throw on at a party when you want to get the ladies’ breasts bouncing and need some sonic lube to slide off their panties. Promotes the consumption of alcohol and gratuitous female ass shaking. Another weapon in Wisconsin’s already overwhelming arsenal.
(Trickknee Productions, Po Box 12714,Green Bay, WI 54307)

New Creatures "Media Brainwash" CD

Smog Veil is stepping out of its own self-set parameters for this one! The New Creatures hail from the Dayton, Ohio area. Dayton is only a hop and a skip from where I live near Cincinnati, Ohio. My local cable provider gives me BOTH Cincinnati news and channels schemes, as well as those for Dayton. Dayton is an exceptional place. It’s odd to the tenth power. I can’t really go into it all in full-length, but just this past week here, United States Marines have held their second of three exercises training them for urban combat. These exercises are held in close proximity to populations in abandoned buildings like old schools, old factories, and such, but while the newscasters will film the happenings from afar, there’s normal everyday traffic whizzing by on the roads and train tracks like nothing’s happening. There seems to be a whole feeling of pride on the newscaster’s faces when they talk about the Marines. I’m not sure that the marines choosing Dayton to do a thing like this is a compliment. I figure that in order to train for urban combat in a ‘third world’ country like Iraq (or whatever the kids are calling it these days) you have to find a like battleground. The United States Marines found one in Dayton!!!! You see? All these exercises left me looking at Dayton as an oil-bearing mid-east country. Dayton-Arabia!!! Well, it’s shit like this which molds people and their books and their poems and, believe it or not, their bands!!! The New Creatures are products of Dayton, Ohio and it shows. This CD is teeming with mid-western desperation. Early 80’s killed by death hardcore punk style! Balls to the walls!!!! The recording tech might have promised them Marshall Stacks to record with but it’s working with what you got that gives bands like The New Creatures an edge. Truly neoteric!!! The New Creatures remind me a lot of Toxic Reasons, but are closer to another band that I hold dear to my heart, Unnatural Axe! Media Brainwash has that same sort of dark and ominous dischordian angst that The Axe have on "They Saved Hitler’s Brain". Horror-punk!!! In fact, Media Brainwash sorta plays like a second LP by Toxic Reasons more so than Toxic Reasons’ second LP or a long lost Unnatural Axe release!!! There are a couple really intense winner tracks that I have to point out. One is the sing-a-long "Social Structures", the next is the title track "Media Brainwash", and last but not least is "Tension". Tight tracks!!! Tight indeed! I’m glad I got this CD. It’s good; worth the price I would say, for CDs nowadays.... In all my adventures (and believe me you, I have had some adventures in Dayton!) I never even heard of The New Creatures. This CD was eye opening and a treat to hear. I’m awaiting more. FEED ME. (SAB)
(Smog Veil Records, 316 California Ave. #207 Reno, NV. 89509)

New Town Animals "Fashion Fallout" 7"

The New Town Animals are record hounds. The combined record collection of all five guys in the band would put the complete stock in most good record stores to shame. I've heard stories of shady bank loans and absurdly risky poker bets surrounding these guys, all in the name of acquiring more records. And that, my friends, is a good thing. Seeing as they have such a massive amount of punk rock knowledge to draw from, it makes sense that the New Towns are punk rock tunesmiths who have no problem pumping out hit after hit (please note the nifty Briefs reference).

On this killer two song single, courtesy of Dirtnap, everyone's favourite new-ish label (mine too), you can hear all the classics referenced. The bona fide Brit accent of singer Nick brings to mind anyone from Sham 69, to the Boys, to Chelsea, to the Vibrators. The songwriting brings to mind (due to the fact that they can actually play their guitars rather than just relying on the same old three chords) such greats as the Dickies and the Toy Dolls. That's not to say that the band is simply aping the past, but instead giving a healthy nod to our punk rock forefathers while planting their sound firmly in the present. I can attest to their greatness live as well, as the boys like to play quite often in my new town or residence, Vancouver. The recent addition of Bryce Dunn (he used to whack the skins for The Smugglers, if you don't remember) has made them about 50 times more fun to watch (Bryce is crazy!) and their sound is much more explosive with such an experienced drummer holding the beat.

Oh right, the record. The A-side, "Fashion Fallout", could be, as the Dirtnap promo stuff suggests, the best (and definitely catchiest) song the New Town Animals have ever put out. It's a winner the whole way through and is made that much more enjoyable by the fab chorus, where guitarist Jeff's great falsetto vocals compliment Nick's limey snarl. The B-side "Fallin' Outta Space" is another keeper, again with some sharing of vocal duties, this time with bassist Stevie (I think) doing a punk rock high pitched vocal thing in response to the lead vocals. This is the first time the New Town Animals have appeared on a U.S. label, so for all you Yanks there really is no more excuse to skip on this if you haven't heard them yet. Mandatory. (JG)
(Dirtnap Records PO Box 21249 Seattle, WA 98111)

Pattern "Real Feelness" CD/LP

Depending on how you count them, this is the Pattern's sixth or seventh official release and I can safely say that each one is a god-damned gem. Most bands are lucky to have that many great releases in an entire career, but in under two years The Pattern have already reached that total, and in the process have quickly announced themselves as serious players on the rock'n'roll scene. I've blabbed enough about these guys in the past, but in case you've never heard them they play fist in the air, ass-shakin' garage rock, with the emphasis on the rock part. The guitars feed off of each other, the bass sometimes follows along under the radar and sometimes explodes out of nowhere to carry the song, while the drums are played flawlessly as if the drummer just finished taking rock'n'roll 101. The Pattern proved their legitimacy to me on their recent cross-country tour opening for the Hives, where they completely blew them off the stage, which is no small task. Even the frat boys standing in front of me seemed to be impressed.

I can see this album taking quite a bit of flack from the kids. First, they can actually play their instruments, and sometimes people can take that and call songs like The Pattern's too "polished" or "professional" which is just wrong. The songs are for the most part downright dirty, thanks in part to the bratty vocals. Secondly, their singer is a business man millionaire who has made some incredibly stupid decisions, which pretty much ruined a once great label. A lot of people don't like that and will take their anger out on The Pattern, which is unfair. Rock fans take note - we have a winner. (JG)
(Lookout! Records 3264 Adeline St. Berkeley, CA 94703)

Pilot SCOTT TRACY "Flight 0713" CDEP

Flying on airplanes sucks. The flights are always late, the seats are small, the people beside you stink, and the flight attendants are usually snobby middle-aged housewife types or flamboyantly gay guys who have way too much energy to be considered sane. Now, if all flights featured a captain as crazy as Scott (ex-Causey Way, he was Causey!) and a flight attendant as suave as Tracy (also ex-Causey Way) I might consider flying more often.

In case you haven't figured it out, Scott and Tracy are the flying obsessed, guitar and synth duo that make up Pilot SCOTT TRACY and to make things easy for you, they sound mostly like a more fun (the chorus to the first song "Love is an Animal" goes "we're all filthy pigs"!), punked up version of the Causey Way. They get right into character, even turning on and off the no smoking sign during their sets, and passing out complimentary soft drinks to all those in attendance. I won't say too much about the music other than the fact that if you liked their old band, or bands that sound like Supernova, you'll like this. As a nice touch, on a couple songs they break out the synth fueled indy pop influences and come off sounding like a more danceable Magnetic Fields (trust me, it's good) with female vocals.

Possibly the greatest thing about this band is that while waiting in line after their live show in order to pick this disc up, the drunk guy in front of me asked Scott where they were from. Without hesitation he responded "Kalamazoo, Michigan", then paused a bit and added "and Miami, Florida". "Cool", the guy in front of me said not really knowing what to make of it. Last I checked these guys were from Georgia, which I guess goes to show that true pilots don't really have a home. (JG)
(What Else? Records PO Box 1211 Columbus, IN 47202)

Pink Sexies/The Bitter Pills split 7"EP

This was my first exposure to The Bitter Pills. They hammer out two songs with a nod toward soul/r’n’b and a heavy dose of ORGAN to boot. It’s sorta melancholy and dark. OR dark and melancholy depending on how you look at it. If I was a pill junkie, this would be my favorite band. Believe it or not, when I wrote that last sentence I had no idea that I was alluding to pill usage whilst the band itself had a pill usage in their name. Freaky. Yeah, judging from my published writings one might think that I’m a big drug freak and everything. I’m not. True, I like drug users and like hanging out with them, but after all these years the highest I get is my Miller High Life. The Bitter Pills and their two songs: I’m like "Yeah." I could stand to hear more. I would like more. I’m not really done yet. I mean, they are not unlike The Greenhornes or Thee Shams from my own town, so if I want something like that why wouldn’t I just put that on? Get it? I want some ‘touch’. I want some fucking ‘touch’. The Pills could have definitely hit me heavier. Maybe IF they had a better recording. The recording STYLE just didn’t do it (in my opinion) for The Pills.... but on the other hand, it DID work for The Sexies!!

The Pink Sexies!!!

I’m DEFINITELY liking what I’m hearing here. Seriously, the miles separating Cincinnati and Knoxville rank at about 250. I know that because during my latest jaunts to Atlanta, Georgia I figured out the quarter AND halfway points of the journey on I-75. Quarter way points include Lake City, Tennessee and The Georgia/Tennessee state line. The Halfway point is just outside Knoxville where I-40 and I-75 separate. The distance is closing in....

The Pink Sexies provide two songs here of SUPERIOR quality (in this reviewers opinion) to their last self-titled CD release. I don’t know if the recording STYLE, aka ‘production style’, was it or not, but on this slab of wax I’m hearing a more Pagans sound with a touch of Dave Thomas/Pere Ubu!!! Yeah, I know: that’s some pretty major shit there!!!

I’m even going to give it my ‘Neoteric punk/wave’ too... The Pink Sexies: The leaders of the Mountain-teric punk/wave soldiers.... The Pink Sexies are my 10th Mountain Division; specially trained for their terrain. After all, Knoxville is butted right up against the Great Smokey Mountains.

"Smokey indeed!" I said as I pointed to the hotel desk clerk who in turn said "Well, it’s nice to have you," like some sort of fucking vampire. Gatlinburg might be the place of fairy-magic, but Pigeon Forge is definitely the playground of vampires!!!!

The Bitter Pills. The Pink Sexies. Pretty decent split here. One band, new to my ears, that leaves me wanting more. The other band I’m thirsting for in inhuman ways. Or is that UN-human ways? Damn that Pigeon Forge!!!! Vampire HAVEN!!!! (SAB)
(Domesticity Records POB 763 Knoxville, TN. 37901-0763)

Rotten Apples "Real-Tuff (Durable Plastic)" CD

Durable Plastic starts off sounding like a double-ought version of The Jim Carroll band, but by the fourth titan-like song, "Heart Candy", it all hits me! The Rotten Apples are what The Donnas want to be, but since they got locked into a ‘thing’, they will never be what The Rotten Apples are on this disc. Imagine Joan Jett, if she would spend a day or so fondling The Knack and then sit down to write some songs. It would be good shit. The Rotten Apples are the same good shit. This is what Josie and The Pussycats SHOULD have sounded like. The Rotten Apples are garage enough for all you greasy-haired smokin’ mothers, and new wave enough for all you sockless shoe wearing bright-solid-color-shirt pieces of shit.

Yeah, its an all female band singing a little bit much about relationships, that as a producer, I would have alleviated about 90% of; all references to those boys and failed relationships would be replaced with talk of dinosaurs and suicide! In fact, I might be onto something. You see, I should create a set of dice, my SHAWN ABNOXIOUS SONG MODIFIERS that have subjects where numbers usually appear on dice, that all bands who sing about all the usual boring things like relationships, World Trade Centers, and cars, could roll and determine what their old boring song lyrics will be changed to.

Example (not actual Rotten Apple lyrics either):

"I miss what we had"

Grab the SUICIDE suffix dice and give it a roll.

The line then becomes:

"I miss huffing gas"

Roll the EXTINCT CREATURE modifier:

"I miss the triceratops"

Yeah, that could definitely work!!!! Really though, The Rotten Apples don’t need any of my help. These gals know where it’s at all right. It’s everything I want in The Loudmouths, but the Loudmouths were too fast. They lacked something... it’s new wave. The Rotten Apples have honored the reach of new wave without throwing a synth out there every song. It’s possible for guitars to be played LIKE synths. I would like to say I’m even coming close myself. The Rotten Apples HAVE IT THOUGH!!!!! Modern New Wave Guitar: See The Rotten Apples!

Let this CD be the inspiration for a new corps. This is quite honestly the best thing Empty has put out since the Motards. They should drop half the bands that they release and focus on bands like this.
(Empty Records)

Thee Shams "You Got It" 7"

Thee Shams. Riding on the anticipation of their second full length CD, Thee Shams pull this single out of nowhere, holding us over till the full length. Fans of good ol’ fashioned whisky bottle, pill swilling, rock and/or roll take note: Two songs here of QUALITY. Of RESPECT. Of HONOR. Making the decadent gods of grime and dust, the dirt in unseen places smile and wink.

"You Got It" represents classic Shams if you ask me. Classic for a band that has not really been around enough in some eyes to be classic, but that’s how I call it. Thee Shams are about statement of the obvious. No bullshit here. The bottom line of the bare essentials. Thee Shams. "You Got It" BECAUSE YOU DO! Not BECAUSE YOU MIGHT. BECAUSE YOU DO!

The B side. Here you got "Your Lovin’ Man"... This song tells the story of Thee Shams formation. In a backwoods bar is where Thee Shams met; they met as boys. They felt good if for no other reason than they were sitting as equals, and not even being legal age meant nothing! Teenagers in a place of men, as equals! Driving on Route 6, they picked a place at random. If they entered and were denied service due to age restrictions, they would move onward to the next stop. Luckily enough, it took only one stop. Lucky fuckers. They ordered drinks, not being asked to show their ID’s, and were served time and time again. It was sometime around 1:00 A.M. when they were approached. Her name was… Well she went by "Sweet May" is what she told them. Sweet May, a lady of the night. Sweet May might not have been winning any beauty pageants or anything but she had been spying on the boys all night and knew what she had to do. She knew they were "under age". She knew they were "under experienced". But one by one, Sweet May took them to a room above the bar for a lil’ roll. She placed them under her one by one. As legend goes, she said the same thing to each of them as she made them a man. Exactly what was said in that room as manhood reared its head or relentlessness is a well-kept secret to Thee Shams and only Thee Shams. Then, as it goes, the next day Thee Shams had their first practice under the guise of hangovers and morning Vicodin binges. "Your Lovin’ Man" is about that night, when Thee Shams started out as boys, but then became men first, a band second and third, titans.

Subsequently, every year, on the anniversary of that night, Thee Shams venture back to that very same drinking hole. They play for the crowd. They play for all those who can’t play no more. They play for the flame to remain bright. They play to honor their venture from boys to men. They play for Sweet May who watches and dances the night away.

You like Rock and/or roll? Get on board you motherfuckers. Thee Shams have it. "Touch Indeed". Stated. (SAB)
($4ppd from Deary Me Records POB 19315 Cincinnati, Ohio. 45219)

Slowjets "Good Morning, Stars" CD

Really, it’s not the fact that I drank some sort of French stuff that’s one or so steps down from Absinthe that leads me to drive around Cincinnati collecting pictures of cellular phone towers then putting them in a zine. I swore, that night when I discovered I could get three of the fuckers in one photo, I swore, when I wrote this review I wasn’t going to mention anything about Morphius Records releasing a terrible UK Subs/National Razor split CD. I mean, didn’t I take them off the probation list?

Yeah. I did. Glad I didn’t go there....

The Slowjets! FUCK YEAH!!!! THE SLOWJETS!!!! Damn, this is a great band. They have some greatness that I must come out and mention right away: STRONG (as Vietcong) songwriting!!!! The songs on ‘…Stars’ are catchy, melodic and razor sharp. Hitting, like the promo said, like a mix of Guided By Voices (Robert Pollard) and Wire (leaning more towards the Voices though). The Slowjets really bring to mind a past review and band from my local city: Del Toro. (Note to Morphius record executives: Send agents here now.). The Slowjets remind me of Del Toro. Actually, it’s all sort of making sense. After all, Guided By Voices are from my area. Liking bands like this is bred into me or something...

‘Good Morning, Stars’ is not the punk blarer that some might be looking for. It’s neither garage rock. You know, all those kids you see at shows with backpacks? Well, this is their type of band. Indie-pop, even though that brings to mind some sorts of wimpiness that I think the Jets don’t warrant. Yes, it’s Neoteric Punk/Wave. In other words, you put on a song like "Heartbreak for the Socialites" and bam, I’m pulling a switchblade out on someone!!! One day, I will be a producer and I will get hold of a band like this and really do some damage.

Some keeper tracks include: "To The Lighthouse", "Elephant Traps", "Instant Loser" and the aforementioned "Heartbreak...." and last but never leased: "Slipping out from Snares".

"I’ve seen moons, I’ve seen an age of sadness and caught fools in arrays of camouflage"


This is a good release. Nice to listen to when drinking foreign liquors. Neon Indeed!!!! (SAB)
(Morphius Records, Inc. PO Box 13474 Baltimore, MD. 21203)

V/A "Rip Off Records: The Singles: Second Strike" CD

Alright, I shouldn’t even have to be writing about this one. Classic records from a time long ago when giants like Loli & the Chones, The Problematics, and The Rip Offs still walked the Earth. Much of what you’re listening to today draws from these still fresh-sounding sources for good reason. The line-up: The Rip Offs last record, The Motards best record, The Registrators when they were still a great punk bank ("Monkey" is one of their all-time best), Stipjes, the Chones, and the dearly missed Problematics. You also get the elusive ‘bonus’ tracks from the aforementioned Rip Offs & Problematics singles, "Fast Livin’" and "Whiskey" respectively. Plus, informative and historical liner notes from Greg Lowery himself. If you don’t have this stuff yet, now’s the time to get your head outta yer ass, fuck-o.
(Rip Off Records, 561 Maple Ave., San Bruno, CA 94066)

Wipers Box Set: "Is This Real?", "Youth of America" and "Over the Edge" 3XCD

I went over the Wipers sound in a past review of Over the Edge in the past, so refer to that if you want. I think I may have even stated something about that being their first Record. I didn’t know that for a fact, but it sounded as if it was a debut because it was damn good. Well, after getting this box set, which I must add clocked in under $30 (a great deal for three CDs), I discover that Over The Edge was the Wipers THIRD release! Before that, were two equally great full lengths!!

You know, maybe this isn’t the place to say something like this but I wish I was dead. Oh wait, that’s not it. The Wipers Greg Sage is beginning to be seen by me as the punk rock Jimi Hendrix. He just has this certain style and his guitar talks in an unknown language to my ears. I like to put The Wipers on to further inspire me after eating Chinese buffet at Super China over on Colrain Avenue by Big K-Mart. The Wipers are even now reminding me of Kansas Titans, The Embarrassment. Especially their first ever recorded, and never released "Born with a Curse".

This box set gathers the three original full lengths, including the Alien Boy EP, six never released songs, and outtakes galore, all with liner notes by Wipers front-man, Greg Sage!!! This set is amazing, a must have! When I first seen it, it was a no-brainer. The Wipers are true pioneers and these songs prove it. Save your money, sell some of your shitty garage punk CDs, and put some music in your head that deserves to be there: The Wipers!!! (SAB)
(Zeno Records POB 97281 Phoenix, Arizona. 85060)

© 2003