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RECORD REVIEWS MAY-JUNE 2004

Key: (MC: Mitch Cardwell)(JG: Jeff Greenback)(RK: 'Filthy' Rich Kroneiss)(EL: Eric Lastname)
   (RS: Rich Dropkick)(SSR: Scott Soriano)(SS: Steven Strange) (TK: Todd Trickknee)

Armitage Shanks "Urinal Heap" CD
The Shanks return with their first new release in almost five years, and prove that they are still a force to be reckoned with. This could be their best yet. Gone is the lo-fi scrape of their previous releases, replaced with some suped-up Toe Rag production reminiscent to what recent Buff Medways records have sounded like. The opener, "Drowning not Waving" has a hugeSwell Maps-like roar, and may be the best Shanks tune ever. The rest of the LP is full of the expected tomfoolery: "Dirty Water" is a potshot at the London club of the same name, "You Owe Me" and "Told You So" are classic Medway movers, and "Jack Regan" is the obligatory song referencing a bit of Brit pop-culture. Half the tracks on the record were supposed to be released years ago as the "Bury Me A Mod: EP, which never surfaced, so they appear here wedged between the newer tracks. Great examples of the Shanks talent to make great songs even more enjoyable via their slapdash yet genuine cover method, this time utilized on soul/R&B/Mod classics such as "Hold On I'm Coming". A great record from a band I'm thrilled didn't pack it in. Regrettably, on CD only.(RK)
(Damaged Goods // www.damagedgoods.co.uk)

The Aversions s/t LP+CD
A few years ago I would have been into this record a lot more than I am now. The Aversions' style of simple, catchy three chord punk, with a definite SoCal street punk feel is well done and all but most of the songs don't warrant repeated plays. The Catholic Boys claim in a recent interview that these guys have a Redd Kross feel live which I find hard to believe but I could see how songs like this could come off a lot more vibrant sounding played in a rawer style. The high points would be on "X Nightmare" and "Olimpia" where the late 70s LA punk vibe does actually creep in now that I think about it. Bonus points for releasing it as an LP with a CD included on the inside for all of you analog-phobes. (JG)
(Die In Style Records // www.theaversions.ca)

The Awkward Romance "Covington" CD
From the desk of Eli Scott
P.S. Booking/Management
Cell: 770.630.8489
Home: 770.788.8310

Re: Your new CD
Hey Boys,
Got the CDs back, and let me tell ya - smash hit, baby! You've got the 14-17 year old sensitive boy market sewn up, and once that teenage cooze gets a gander of your glossy (I used the one where you are sullen and slumping in the shopping carts), well, let's just say you'll never have to pull another circle jerk again! Listen bros, I've got to go (I'm an important man), but here are some suggestions for the next album title. Now, I know you wanted to salute your hometown with "Covington," but what does that really MEAN to potential buyers? Let's give the people an idea of what's inside, ya think? Here goes:
The Awkward Romance "Cumfart"
The Awkward Romance "Cumfucking Face Fart"
The Awkward Romance "Googoo Booboo Shopping Cart Metaphor"
The Awkward Romance "(We Are) Really Fucking Horrible"
The Awkward Romance "Our Guitarist Bags Groceries"
The Awkward Romance "We're the Biggest Homos in Georgia"
The Awkward Romance "Georgia is a Pretty Big State, with Lots of Homos (yet, see above)"
The Awkward Romance "What's That Word for Sucking Your Own Sperm out of Another Man's Asshole? Felch? This Album's Title is 'Felch'"
The Awkward Romance "We Will Rob 45 Minutes of Your Life, and You'll Never Get Them Back; Furthermore, You'll Regret it for the Rest of Your Life"
The Awkward Romance "Suckpipe"
The Awkward Romance "Dog Reacharound Cunty Cunty Suckpipe"
What do you think? You know where to reach me. Don't forget about me when you're famous (ha ha!).
Sincerely,
Eli Scott, probably the douchebag tit who sent me this irredeemable piece of trash. (TK)
(www.theawkwardromance.com)

Black Lips "We Did Not Know the Forest Spirit Made the Flowers Grow" LP/CD
By now, you've either heard alla the stories or plunged your digits in your ears to avoid the hype. Well, doesn't matter anyway, 'cause this band rises above the talk-talk w/ steady blasts of unadulterated FUN, both live and on record. The FUN on this one just happens to be a little more psycho and spacey than it was on the first -- there's a weird "aura" on here that didn't pervade the debut. Maybe it's Cole's neato/weirdo leads on some of the tracks ("Nothing at All")? Dunno. At any rate, off-center BFTG/60's punk nods are still strong, songs are still barely held together with duct tape and teen jizz, and minds are still regularly blown. "Juvenile" ain't a joke, people. (EL).....What makes the Black Lips cool (we'll stay away from the live thing, which is an entirely different animal) is NOT the lil' noisy snippets or production-fuckery (like certain so-and-sos maintain with an iron fist), it's the fact that they can fuck life into these tired BFTG riffs where others simply cannot. In fact, I can't think of another band that comes close in that department. They're out of tune 'n they're sloppy, and their approach is closer to a real continuation of the sound/feel on any given Teenage Shutdown (just by trying NOT to be) than any trad-approach is gonna getcha. I swear the first couple times I heard this thing I could pick out SO MANY song/riff snatches (and I mean EXACT!), but now alls I hear are Black Lips tunes, cuz they recklessly wrangle everything to the ground and make it their own. Best tune: "Time of the Scab." Worst: the epic that ends the album; at least it's at the end! The other weird snip is actually a fairly cool barroomy thang. Alright. (TK)
(Bomp Records // www.bomp.com)

Black Time "Blackout" LP
Ex-Hotwires dose you with a great mix of Crime sneer and J. Spencer/Pussy Galore trash that manages to sound fresh and exciting after a hundred or so listens. Other obvious influences that spring to mind are VU, the Cramps and (duh) the Monks, but...well, that still doesn't aptly describe the scree herein. "Young Professionals" sounds like the Gories takin' on more Suicide-like repetition. "Catholic Discipline" follows its namedrop into L.A. '78 alleyways and morphs into a garage rocker and back again. And so on. Bottom line is there's always enough swingin' action to balance out the stiff punk whathaveyou, so the rides just uncomfy enough all the way through. Necessary. (EL)
(Concrete Life // therhythmhive@hotmail.com)

Blank Its "Johnny's Tongue" 7"
Fun, dumb, stupid, retarded, mindless, catchy as fuck, primitive punk rock from these Seattle newcomers. "Johnny's Tongue", besides being the best song I've heard so far in 2004, brings to mind the Spits and the Clorox Girls with its criminally infectious, weirdly accented vocals overtop of simple three chord garage songs. But it's the off kilter, bash'n'clang drumming that really makes 'em stand out from most other bands of their ilk. The flip "I'm OK" features more of the same "recorded in Paul and Melody's basement" glory. Top ten material, for sure. (JG)
(Band Its Records // blankits@netscape.net)

Bona Roba "Cunningham Park" 7"
Not sure what to make of this: a bizarre band name, two dudes with looks that are vaguely reminiscent of "the grunge era," and a sound that's hard describe. As improbable as it sounds, the title track reminds me of the middle ground between the Makers and the Strokes, with great howled vocals interplaying on the verses with a riff that sounds a bit more post-punk than these guys probably intended. Or not. Side B is the better of the two, featuring the soft verse/loud chorus formula that was all the rage in the early nineties. What makes this band for me are the killer vocals. With better songs they'd definitely be a force to be reckoned with. I dig the fuzzy production as well.(SS)
(Sonico Records // www.sonico.de)

The Cants "Extended Player" CD-EP
Melbourne band, three piece, four songs. Standard garagey deal with a dash of 60s white soul (The Faces maybe) that's played too tight and rendered raunchless. "Alright!" and "C'mon!" are peppered throughout for effect. Decent, polite, the ladies will dance and the CD is given away. My greatest hope for them is that someone will get in their ear and tell them the new rock ship has sunk and they throw a whole lot more -- god, EVERYTHING -- into it. (RS)
(In-Fidelity Recordings // www.infidelity.com.au)

The Casanovas s/t CD
Back when they started ('99) the Casanovas had an OTT Dictators pisstake thing going, a chest-beating, joke bravado shtick that was great as far as that goes and fun to watch. First single "10 Outta 10" was such a ludicrous AC/DC-Priest rip (with the falsettos) I couldn't help but laugh along for the ride. But they soon found themselves in a quandary; what to do, continue the Spinal Tap shenanigans and be written off as a joke band or straighten up and see if being voted Most Likely To Succeed counted for anything? They tamed the smirks and became a 'real' band. Only problem is they're still stompin' the boots and flailin' the arms, but with straight faces. These moves are now complemented with microphones pointed to the crowd for the singalongachorus and other such punchable behaviours. Musically they're taking cues from AC/DC and Rose Tattoo and it doesn't sound like anyone else comes into the mix. They're not writing songs memorable enough to rise above the trappings of the one-dimensional sound, and plying an abundance of cliches into every lyric means there's nothing unique or personal in any of these ten songs. If you find the "enigma" of whether a band is playing Spinal Tap for real or for yuks fascinating, then dig in and you'll be entertained for minutes, at least. (RS)
(Rubber Records // www.thecasanovas.com.au)

Clorox Girls "S/T" LP/CD
We here at Terminal Boredom have a somewhat official policy that we don't review things that have already been reviewed unless we've got some new insight to bring to the table on said record. The thing that really grabs me about this album, and that no one else (at least at TB) seems to be talking about, is what an out of left field anomaly this is. You've gotcher "garage pop" this and "art-damaged neo-neutered wave" that, but when was the last time you heard a band mining the early 80's west coast punk rock sound, let alone doing so with such mindnumbing success that it's virtually in-freaking-distinguishable from records from that bygone era? As if that's not atypical enough, they go and pepper the standard love song formula with a few political lyrics (like on the fantastic "Vietnam") without coming across as either too intellectual (i.e. boring!) or, even worse, insipid. Actually some non-sloganeering, honest political sentiment is particularly appropriate and welcome in this era of the Bush presidency and the unrest that it has fostered. The Clorox Girls get a gold star for managing to harness the energy and sentiment of Regan era punk while capturing the zeitgeist of the moment we're living in. If you haven't already, you're probably too late for to score a copy of the LP, but I'd hop on the CD post haste if I were you. Buy!!!(SS) (Smart Guy Records // www.smartguyrecords.com)

Crash Normal "Heavy Listening" LP
Like a steel toed boot to the nuts comes this debut LP by France's Crash Normal to wake me up from the stale, boring, verse-chorus-verse-repeat-repeat nightmare of a lot of records I've been hearing lately. We got an ex-Cheerak laying down some incredibly frantic, lo-fi scuzz guitar, bordering on white noise at times, overtop of some catchy programmed beats with synth noises burstin' out of the speakers from all over the place. Some super serious hits make an appearance here like "Big Joke", "Pom Pom Ass", and "Dead Man in the Snow" which take the overblown sounds of a band like the Coachwhips, mixes 'em with some noisier stuff like the Dipers and adds a hefty helping of computer trickery favoured by bands like Volt or The Nazis on Mars. Even the hip hop beats and Ladytron like spoken female vocals on "Maximum Sound Quality" work. These guys have a sound unlike anyone else going today and with songs like this I'm now on an active hunt to track down their earlier singles. Unfortunately things trail off a bit after the second song on the b-side as things devolve into a mélange of Miami Vice beats, Dirtbombs-esque fuzz, and noodly instrumentals, but the huge hits present earlier on are worth the price of admission alone. Pressed on thick white vinyl. (JG)
(S-S Records // www.s-srecords.com)

The Cuts S/T CD
CD reissue of this impressive youthful debut from, what, 2000? The personnel changes are obvious, 'cause this is waaay more primitive and primo than the current TV/LOVE worship these guys are currently groovin' on. Sounds like regular '60s "garage," but with actual oomph and tunes that you can bite into. There's variety 'twixt the noise as well -- "Salt in My Wounds" recalls mild BFTG traces, while "Don't Look Behind the Mirror" lightly nudges in the now-apparent TELEVISION direction. All in all, a keeper. Better than the second alb by miles. (EL)
(Birdman Records // www.birdmanrecords.com)

Deady Weapons "Get Right in There" LP
Well, this band would seemingly have a lot going for it - their Rapid Pulse 45 was cool as hell, Tina's usually involved in good stuff, and it's a short punk LP on 45. I dunno, it comes off like the unwritten/unrecorded third Loudmouths album, ya know? And even there, it's lacking the r 'n r base that I dug so much. Probably less duffer tunes than that band, but it all sorta melts together like when you put yer chocolate chip cookie doughbits too close together on the sheet before the oven-toss. Not bad, but probably best suited as a singles band. And Lowery was right - a punker unit probably shouldn't cover "What a Way to Die." Another album most of y'all will like more than me - what a grouch! (TK)
(Jonny Cat Records // P.O. Box 82428 Portland, OR 97282)

The Dipers "How to Plan Successful Parties" LP
One of the stupidest things of last year that did not involve George W. Bush, was Omnibus Records releasing the Dipers debut as a CD and neglecting to put this bitch on vinyl. Well, finally those moes rectified their mistake and poured this music into some big black grooves. If you read the crap on this screen I am assuming you know the Dipers story: A couple A-Frames, an Unnatural Helper and Chris Woodhouse driving shit into the red and guesting, the result being thuggish dumbpunk that is actually smarter than you. Listen, just because you know big words, doesn't mean you need to use them. So this is loud, fun and ugly. It will make you laugh and lumber around in drunken dances. Act fast: I'm told that these were pressing in triple digits.(SSR)
(Omnibus Records // www.omnibusrecords.com)

Dixie Buzzards "Ain't Going Back" 7"
Leftover tracks from the now out-of-business Dixie Buzzards that were recorded waaaay back in 2003. The details: four tracks of Memphis/NOLA-styled twin guitar blues stomp, Bongout sleeve art, 500 copies, Thomas Savage liner notes. The verdict: not a very remarkable record at all, especially for a band that has already broken up. Stick with the Locomotions or Blacks. (rk)
(Big Black Hole Records // www.bigblackholerecords.tk)

Drugstop "Machine Gun" 7"
Six songs of superfast German punk-fucking-rawk that is essentially hardcore. Maybe if the Dwarves weren't funny or dangerous, you'd end up with this. In an edition of 500-and-something copies, with three differnt colored vinyl variations. P.Trash is scaring me with this one, but I'm sure that new Fatals single will make up for it. (RK)
(P.Trash Records // ptrashrec@aol.com)

The Elektrokution "Vagina Dentata" 10"
If you can get by the bad title and cover art, and the fucking pink packaging, what you'll discover here is a six song EP from a hard rocking French band. These guys actually sound a lot like like RFTC, but minus the horns. Not offensively rawkish, this should probably appeal to some of ya, and it's still punk enough to confuse straight garage-mongers. On a little imprint called Too Much Fish in the Sea Records, which appears to be an offshot of the Yakisakana empire. Could be a big seller with the garagepunk.com forum crowd. (RK)
(Too Much Fish in the Sea // www.yakisakana.tk)

The Fe Fi Fo Fums "Electrofize Me" 7"
From the ashes of Thee Flying Dutchmen rises The Fe Fi Fo Fums to continue the tradition of completely trashed out garage mayhem originating from the Pacific Northwest. The 4Fs leave the more 60s frat garage sounds of Thee Dutchmen behind and instead take a straight up 90s garage approach with these two songs, tipping their hat towards Mr. Lowery's Ripoffs and Supercharger. The recorded in a trashcan sound favoured by Thee Dutchmen is still there, but The Fe Fi Fo Fums sound like they recorded in one of those fancier trashcans, with handles, wheels and a sturdy lid. Worthwhile if you're a student of the 1-4-5 school of rock. (JG)....Another AM Radio-fidelity hit from the Boom Boom camp that fucks New Wave right in the mouth. "Electrofize Me" should have 'em movin' at sock hops from coast to coast. "Wild One" burns like a Lucky Strike you just put out on some broad's ass. Incompetent and incredible. Buy it so JD can put out Sultanas and Shivers R&B records, you boob.(RK)
(Boom Boom of Renton // www.boom-boom.net)

The Feelers s/t 7"
It always exciting when you get a record in the mail out of nowhere, and even better when it's as good as this. The Feelers hail from Columbus, Ohio, and this is their first release. Call it Bloodstains Across the Rust Belt. Steve Albundy from the Reatards plays bass, although that really shouldn't be a selling point. The music sells itself. Three tracks of claustrophobic/paranoid fast-paced punk that you could probably throw on any KBD comp and no one would be any wiser. Twin guitar attack with soloing, frantic wacko vocals, and an overall sense of poor mental health. "Special" is a crazed little song with guitar that burrows into your ears and a nice surgical guitar solo. "Fuhrers New Miniskirt" lives up to its title. A great little record, I bet they're insane live. Self-released in an edition of 300, with 100 each of black, trash, and white vinyl. You buy now. (RK)
(Death by Noise // www.apt103.net/feelers)

Handsome Stranglers "Mad Man Stomp" 7"
Savage Records is back in business with two new releases, both one-sided singles with really nice sleeves. The Stranglers play Cramps-styled creep-a-billy that is chock full of B-Movie/horror schtick, reverb, and ex-Blacks members. The second track is a little more rock'n'roll than the first, but neither are all that exciting. The sleeve is probably the best thing about this record. The Handsome Stranglers do have a really nice website though (www.handsomestranglers.com).(RK)
(Savage Records // www.savagemagazine.com)

Hatepinks "Sehr Gut Rock und Roll" LP/CD
This is just a terrible record, containing the worst Pagans cover EVER. Lowest common denominator punk rock, taking elements of the KBD, New Wave, Rip Off, Dirtnap styles of garage-rock-punk and pounding them into an unidentifiable and unlistenable pulp. These guys should've fulfilled their Killed by Death fantasy by making one good song ("Bored on Pills") and calling quits. And they actually redo that song on this record, and turn it to shit as well. Also, I'd like to make a request to all vinyl pressing plants: please, DO NOT PRESS ANYMORE PINK VINYL RECORDS. My record collection is starting to look like it belongs to a twelve year old girl. Really, why all the pink? Who is to blame? The Stitches? I want answers. I hate pink. Touche.(RK)
(Lollipop Records // www.chez.com/lollipoprecords)

The Heartattacks "Challenge You" 7"
Second of two new Savage Records singles. The Heartattacks are your basic hardrocking cookie-cutter Swedish garage-punk. Members include Slick Black/Magnus from the Blacks, and some people from Tokyo Knives, Dontcares, and other bands I'm sure. Pretty simple, not real good, and not real bad. Save the four bucks for breakfast instead. Really, you need to eat something.(RK)
(Savage Records // www.savagemagazine.com)

The Homosexuals "The Homosexuals CD" CD
My interest in this band peaked from Koog's Top 100 D.I.Y. list from Ugly Things oh so long ago, and Morphius was kind enough to take the bait and reissue the goods for all us ignorant shlubs out there. What can I say? I've had a copy for about 5 months and STILL listen to it at least once EVERY SINGLE DAY. You can take your Fall, Warsaw or Television Personalities records and stick them up your fucking ass. THIS is the real fucking deal. Crisp chaos. The kind record that carries you through the seasons. Not post. Not even punk. They streamlined through all that muck (Fuck! What's happening to me????) and came up with something unlike anything I've ever heard. It's like Eno, Syd, M.E.S., and any number of by-the-numbers punkers in a lumberjack match. Every tune haunts, swirls, screams and flat-out rocks. I'll probably need counciling after the Hyped2Death 3xCD arrives in my mailbox. UK D.I.Y. is the new K.B.D. R.S.V.P. A.S.A.P. O.K.? (MC)
(Morphius Archives // www.morphius.com)

Hosenfefer "Knife in My Back" 7"
I guess when your ass is stuck in Kosovo, I should expect you to know more than three chords. Though these guys are of the here and now, they could have recorded this stuff in 1978, 1992, or 2004. Hosenfefer has that simple-riff punk sound that has wound its way through the Kids, PVC, Les Thugs, Armitage Shanks, and zillions of other non-Anglo/American bands. How does it fare? Great. I mean it is not any of the aforementioned bands, nor would I rate it as high, but it is solid stuff and if that is your hankerin, you'll be pleased.(SSR)
(Tian An Men 89 Records // www.geocities.com/tam89rds)

Hunches "Dance Alone" 7"
Three pre-ITR demo tracks that uberproducer Jim Diamond goosed and cleaned up and slapped on a tiny slab. If you're expecting the same band who recorded "Yes. No. Shut it.," you'll get a different sorta punch in the face. This finds the Hunches before they were chest-deep in moody murk-muck-mire and instead were keen on scooping out twisted, bloozy riff-rock (with mere subtle hints of those single-note pickings that Chris would later perfect) that actually swings and sounds genuine. The title track's along the lines of the poppy VU/Jesus and Mary Chain numbers that populated the first alb (i.e., "Lisa Told Me"), which is a good thing. Actually, everything this band does is a good thing. No exception here. (EL)
(Flying Bomb Records // www.flyingbomb.com)

The Husbands "Daniel" 7"
Two new songs from the impressive Husbands, whose debut LP last year was a keeper. "Daniel" is a great little stomper from this three-piece gal group that bring elements of the Oblivians, Shangri-Las, BFTG, Pleasure Seekers, Headcoatees, and a ton of others to the table. John Reis has taken them under his protective wing it seems (Swami released their first LP, and he recorded the B-Side of this single), which is OK by me if we get to hear more. The Husbands should be touring the States this summer/fall, I believe have switched drummers, and are supposedly at work on their second LP now. Look for a split single with the Deadly Weapons coming up soon as well. More great zombie-guy sleeve work, on a label I've never heard of before this. (RK)
(Blue Bus Records // www.bluebusrecordings.com)

IFIHADAHIFI "No More Music" CD
Wisconsin doesn't exactly have a lotta noise-wave-punk bands (unlike f'rince the Pac N'West), but IFIHADAHIFI have been banging around for years now (and years before that, as "The Pop Machine"). I noted some time back that the Popular Shapes sounded like a less indie/dance IFIHADAHIFI, so therefore IFIHADAHIFI sounds like a more indie/dance Popular Shapes. The boys pull more from Braniac than (say) the Primitive Calculators, but that doesn't mean early Clevo/Screamers/Cab Voltaire ain't familiar to 'em, so you see the raw shit poppin' its head out more than a lil'. This album slays the first one by upping the chaos and sliding recklessly off the dance floor. No top pop hooks like the debut's "The New Science," but you do get an ace (unlisted?) Steve-O Wonder track (which was, at one point, slated for the probably-ain't-gonna-happen "920 Blues 2"). Tot. Bob. SOS. (TK)
(No Karma // www.nokarma.com)

The Illnesses s/t 7"
From out of nowhere comes this blast of 1997 Tex-ass punk rock from Rip Off Records could-have-beens, The Illnesses. They played the second Rip Off Rumble, opened for the Registrators, and the singer supposedly once decked John Motard, just to prove their pedigree. Lowery himself tells me they had the goods, and this record would've fit right in next to the Young Losers, Spites, Chronics, and the rest of those second-tier Rip Off singles from way back when, of which we all have our favorites. Actually, it's probably even better than some of those. But for some reason it never happened. Four songs, with "I Wanna Die" and "Just a Tease" being the stand-outs. Worth tracking down if you're feeling nostalgic, or are a die-hard Rip Off fan. Not sure what became of this band, but this posthumous release leaves me wondering. (RK)
(Pop Quiz Records // www.popquizrecords.com)

Kidnappers "Spanish Girls" 7"
The twins are back with three exclusive tracks equally as rockin' as anything off of their pleasing full length debut on Alien Snatch! Not much has changed with all the songs being classifiable as poppy hits that finish before overstaying their welcome. Top song honours is a close one to call but I think the winner is "What the Cool Kids Say" a short song written by Brian from the Fevers that brings to mind the Marked Men. Another keeper from Zaxxon. (JG)
(Zaxxon Virile Action // www.zaxxonvirileaction.com)

Knights of the New Crusade "My God is Alive! Sorry About Yours!" CD
The Knights have been the subject of the garage rock rumor mill for a little while now. Which Bay Area pranksters are they? Russell Quan? Mike Lucas? Larry Winther? Greg Lowery? Or are they real deal religious rockers? Well, it's pretty easy to figure out the mastermind behind it all, but I'm not gonna do your homework for ya. So, lets just go with the assumption that it's a well-executed joke. The religious manifestos, pics of the Knights in armor, funny song titles annotated with verses of scripture ("No Monkeys in My Family Tree" and "Dangers of Dating" are the winners), fake record label (whose upcoming releases include "Jazz for Jesus Volume 1" and a Titus Oates LP), hilarious (at times) lyrics, are all very well thought out and amusing. The music itself is proficient garage-fuzz and whoever said "Secret Sign" sounds like The Spits was correct. The joke wears kinda thin after four or five tracks, but fans of this genre shouldn't be dissappointed at all with the tunes. Most of 'em are pretty wild Flakes-ish stuff. Too bad it's not on vinyl. The really funny part will come when the actual religious music community takes it seriously. (RK)
(Gabriel's Trumpet Records // www.crusadenow.com)

Labiators "4 Track Recordings" 2x7"
First, let me say what a beautiful package this is: an incredible hand-pressed (on both sides) thick cardboard sleeve, two different colors of vinyl, mysterious artwork/tracklisting, and a picture of a dog on each label. Packaging aside, this double-whammy delivers on the musical front as well. The Labiators are hard to pin down: equal parts Howland-esque (Don gets thanked in the liners) rough edged garage-blues and young Sebadoh-like indie-rock, with the occasional folk/psych flourish. Sides A/B stick a little closer to the head-hung-down Slicks-y melancholy side of things, except a little less dense, and sometimes moreso in spirit than sound. Sides C/D are the real sellers for me. I'm reminded of the days when Lou would let Lowenstein and Gaffney punk it up and summon some real lo-fi power. Side C is a heavy dirge with a short bit of lyrics in the middle that is the perfect three AM and wondering where you're going soundtrack. Side D contains two killers, the last being the immaculate "Ultraman" which ends with a tasty Mascis-like bit of wah-soloing. Powerful and evocative stuff for advanced listeners. Limited to 500 copies.(RK)
(Secret Keeper Records // www.labiators.com)

(The Fucken) Leftovers "Hate You" CD
There's a fuck-ton of '77-'82 KBD punky marocker albums out there. You know, the bands with one (sometimes two!) great song(s) which've been put on a comp and has reached legendary status. "Wow, I wonder if the other tunes are anywhere near as bitchin as "Fork in the Eye!'" Well, they never are. The Leftovers were an Aussie KBD band that's best known for the classics (irony: off) "Cigarettes and Alcohol" and "I Only Panic When there's Nothing to Do", as great a KBD-era single as I can currently thinka'. True degeneracy (I think there's only one still alive, though I don't feel like checkin' again) spills out into your living room when you crank these true blasts of late '70s Outback Soul. And the extras/live crud? Actually worthwhile! Sure, they sound like dingo shit, and they ain't gonna rival the aforementioned tunes for ass-whack, but a monster-high level of teeth clenchin' ooooohhhaaaah can be made out. Total reckless abandon pushes actual-good tunes. If yer lookin for an era document, you could (and likely would) do a hellova lot worse. (TK)
(Dropkick Records // www.dropkick.com.au)

Les Georges Leningrad "Deux Hot Dogs Mout Arde Chou" CD
This is bullshit. (EL)
(Alien 8 Recordings // www.alien8recordings.com)

Marked Men "On the Outside" CD/LP
Upon first listen, most tunes on this sophomore deal lacked the power-pop wallop that the first alb so easily afforded. Upon subsequent listens and another look at the Men live, I nuzzled right up. They still discharge a rough yet upbeat saccharine rumble -- RAXOLA is the clearest reference point I can think of -- but "On the Outside" adds more modern-day melodic pop helpings to the pot o' past influences, making this a little harder for jerks like me and you to swallow. (I believe the one creepy comparison I heard wuz "Get Up Kids" -- you better bet that hurt.) Either way, any alb with hooky tunes like "Don't Lose It" and "Doctor Dan" is gonna grab my ear every time, so I'm sold. A grower, fer sure. (EL).......There's been a lotta talk about some of these here tracks somehow somewhat someway resembling emo, but I don't really hear it. Mark's songs are all pretty similar to the ones he wrote for the debut, and Jeff's are in the vein of his solo shit (see: ______ Tapes split with the Scag Barons) and Chop Sakis. There's that Scared of Chaka popsmell all over 'em - you thought this unit was gonna get LESS poppy? I'm no Steve Strange (whew!), so I prefer the lesspop Reds stuff for actual content, but there's no denying the first MM was their songwriting high point. This one is down a touch from dat, but it's a pretty logical continuation, so if you liked the first one (and most all did), it's unlikely you'll be disappointed. Still the tightest band in the world; I just hope I don't have to follow them into chamber pop or sumsuch. (TK)
(Dirtnap Records // www.dirtnaprecs.com)

Mentally Ill "Gacy's Place: The Undiscovered Corpses" LP/CD
More KBD vault-raid madness, this time with Chicago's own infamous 'n' twisted sickies, Mentally Ill. Unlike most of the Rave Up deals, this flashback's basically pretty solid -- the patented "barking robot" git sound on the A-side's Starbeat Sessions will have you chompin' nails to bone in no time, and the tasteless punk insanity of all your faves ("Gacy's Place," "Padded Cell") still rings as true and disturbed as it did back whenever. May not be essential, but a good listen nonetheless. (EL)
(Alternative Tentacles // www.alternativetentacles.com)

Mighty Go Go Players "New Hope" 7"EP
More primo vinyl from France, this from the same camp that gave us those killer Fatals and Toxic Farmers singles last month (I think they may share some members, and the sicko who recorded the Fatals single is in the Go Go Players and also recorded these songs). Go Go Players are a three piece who play super-trashy garage pounders (three of them here) in the same vein as the previously mentioned Fatals, except not as shit-ass crazy (but almost as good). A little bit more traditional, in a Mummies/Dutchmen kinda way, but even trashier. "Suck My Fun" possesses not only a great title, but great music to go along with it. The B-Side contains a twangy little surf-like number that lulls you into submission before turning into a wall-of-fuzz freakout that'll have you reaching for the volume knob immediately. Recommended and probably really hard to find. (RK)
(Profet Records // gogoplayers@hotmail.com)

Mr. California and the State Police "I'm Gonna Kick You in the Head" LP
More retarded retardedness from King Retard. I think that 52 songs (yup) might be stretchin' my limits, but this is great as usual in smaller doses. Again, nobody's making more stupid and pointless p-rock right now, and Mr. C deserves our support for that. I think I'm gonna stick to singles from now on, though. This is the second pressing of 100, and the "Grammy Award Nominee" sticker on the front is fairly priceless. Another call o' yers. (TK)
(Peer Pressure Zombie West // attn: Roy, P.O. Box 410325, San Franciso, CA 94141-0325)

Mouserocket S/T LP/CD
First 'official' release from this Memphis conglomerate featuring the prolific Alicja Trout. Many of the songs from the "Water Recordings" CD-R are reprised here, along with a couple new numbers. Not as abrasive as Lost Sounds, or as synth-driven as Nervous Patterns, and actually more indie sounding than anything. It's a good balance of moody guitar pop and ethereal indie rocking. The songs fluctuate from garage ("Stomp Around") to proto-punk ("Walking Lizard") to Sonic Youth-like soundscaping ("Song of Broken Glass", "Missing Teeth", which are two of the LP's strongest songs) to sublime guitar driven indie-rock ("Waste of Breath", "My Boyfriends A Killer"). Keys appear sparingly, in the form of Ron Franklin-played organ, and the cello throughout lends a sophisticated touch. Alicja gets to actually sing a lot on this record, as opposed to Lost Sounds. Her sweet voice plays well against the melodic twin guitar sounds, and Robby Grant sings on a few songs as well. Covers of "Alone Again Or" and "Little Black Egg" are well chosen and given special treatment. Overall, a great record that could probably do well on the indie charts given a chance. I'd like to see them live. Don't expect Black Wave, and you won't be disappointed. 100 copies are on white vinyl and it comes with a cool insert. (RK)...Yeah, I know - anything done by Alicja (or Jay) will probably get (at least) some complimentary words from me, but shit - she's got a great voice, she writes great tunes, and she puts a unique, personal stamp on everything she does. Raise your hand if you can say the same. Thought so! I saw Mouserocket a year or two ago, and it was cool - that show, plus the CDR from around that time made me (and likely you) think "indie/math Lost Sounds. This album, at times, gets a bit sophisto/musiciany fer my tastes, but I still dig it, especially tunes like "Stomp Around," "Missing Teeth," and the cover of "Little Black Egg." Some songs sound familiar to my ears, so I wonder if they were on CDRs or one of those Lost Sounds extras things...fuck if I can keep up! Some cool cuddly-mean drawings by Alicja, too. You already know if you wanna own this, so activate or deactivate accordingly. (TK)
(Empty Records // www.emptyrecords.com)

No-Goods "Hits Uit Net Noorden" 10"
This record starts off with the aptly titled, "No-Good Theme," a surf instrumental that's as unimaginative and limp-dicked as it sounds. Fortunately after the rough start, things get much better with a turn for a punchy, beat-inspired sound that falls somewhere between the raunch of Billy Childish and the cleaner approach of the Hi-Fives. I actually like this quite a bit, thanks to the always-winning combo of the big beat and memorable tunes. Fans of the aforementioned, plus all of you Back From the Grave/Teenage Shutdown hosers out there, could do worse than to check these guys out.(SS)
(Kuriosa Records // KuriosaRecords@yahoo.com)

Operation S s/t LP/CD
I'm a French punk fanatic of the highest degree, and I couldn't wait to hear this record. So much so, that I ordered the Japanese version a month before the domestic version came out. The Operation S(uicide) single from last year was brilliant, and I fantasized about how incredible a full-length was gonna be. Well, let me tell you about the good shit first. The songwriting is incredible, every one being a killer. They forge ahead in the same New Wave style of their single, but even fuller and more complex. Cecelia's voice sounds incredible, and they dip into moody Cold Wave territory quite a bit, but without being wimpy about it. Guitars buzzsaw around the driving rhythms, but the synth....yes, the synth. They've added synth sounds to the mix for the LP, and well, I don't think it helps. It sounds just fine when it blips aling on a few of the songs, but for the most part it's annoying. It takes a lot away from some great songs. The same synth-drone, over and over and over. They should've left it off a few songs. Or buried it a little deeper in the mix. Really extraneous. Makes them sound like a dangerous version of the Minds or some other Dirtnap act. This could've been an INCREDIBLE record without the synth. I mean that. As it is now, it's merely good. Can I get a synth-free version? Please? I want to rave about this, but I just can't. Goddamn synths. Sorry. On red vinyl. (RK)
(Broken Rekids // www.brokenrekids.com)

The Oscars "American Idol" CD
This Memphis unit would seem like the sorta thing that I'd wanna rub all over my pants, what with the J Reatard/Alicja connections 'n Memphis rockbluestuff 'n Final Solutions art-poof, but I'm just not feeling it. I'm sorry, I tried and all, but I think it's the sorta thing I'd need to catch live-like to get. There are good bits and pieces throughout, and lots of song variety, so maybe (ya never know) some day I'll bounce up and go "hodey yo!" Yodey ho? (note: just saw the live thang, and while I still don't know exactly what they're tying to do, it was enjoyable; yer call!) (TK)
(www.oscarsindustries.com)

Rashit "Kapak Guzelleri" LP
Turkey has had a rock and roll scene going back to the early 60s. Some of the world's best psych was made there, so it is not a surprise to hear punk rock from the land of the Ottomans. But this one is a bit of a disappointment. Rashit is at their best when they combine traditional Turkish music with their punk rock. That mesh usually means rhythms that seem a bit odd at first but ultimately work with loud, distorted guitars. Those familiar with Turkish guitar god, Erkin Koray, or the Dutch band, the Ex's experments with Kurdish protest songs know what I am refering to. It is a clash that works. Unfortunately, Rashit do not "limit" themselves to that experiment. Too much of the record is just another band playing one than another of punk's subgenres - a pop-punk song here, a sing-a-long song there, etc. I am sure it is fun to play, but listening to another band from anywhere do a by-numbers punk song is boring. (SSR)
(Darbouka/Strongly Opposed)

Really Red "Teaching You the Fear" LP/CD
About-time reissue from Texan KBD legends who were keen on politics, but still very good. If you haven't heard, they sometimes sounded like the Big Boys(kinda), the Zero Boys (sorta) and other bands w/out "boy" in their name, like the Feederz and Saccharine Trust -- fast 'n' abrasive, yet not quite straightforward in the typical mainlined hardcore approach standard for the era. If you're anything like me, lyrics and music are pretty much detached from the one another anyway, so 'taint hard to gobble up the substance and leave the preaching behind. Thankfully, there's enough substance here for just that. Didja hear the one about Reagan? (EL)
(Empty Records // www.emptyrecords.com)

Scat Rag Boosters "Charlie's Dirtroad" 7"
Another limited-to-300-copies winner from Goodbye Boozy records, this one from the best band around to never release an LP, Scat Rag Boosters. Only two songs, but they're both worth it. "Charlie's Dirtroad" is a great slinky,sleazy music-to-strip-by track which could be playing in some backroads grindhouse, but one where the girls are really hot. The B Side, "Mommy", provides some wilder sleazy rhythms without so much slink. One of my favorite Scat Rags singles from one of my favorite labels. And some breaking news: look for the Scat Rag Boosters LP this fall on Yakisakana. Nice.(RK)
(Goodbye Boozy Records // Goodbyeboozy@tin.it)

Les Sexareenos "I Found You" 7"
Sadly enough, this may prove to be the swan song from one of the finest bands ever. Four tracks that are great, as you would expect. A different take on "I Found You" from the second LP, Monks and Savages covers, and one unreleased gem ("Sorority Girls"). Track this one down if you can, and pray they get back together someday. Or at least record that Death-A-Reenos album. 300 copies, two different sleeve variations. Comes with a love note to Work With Me Annie penned by Zanutto himself. Highly recommended.(RK)
(Solid Sex Lovie Doll Records // solidsexloviedoll@hotmailcom)

Thee Shams "Please Yourself" CD
One thing that's a constant source of annoyance for me is the following "damning faint praise slash kudos" statement I've heard outsider-types give to Terminal Boredom (and Horizontal Action, by sorta extension): "hey kiddies, if ya wanna know what's hep in the new garage scene, you can't do any better than TB/HA. They know garage, and drive garages into their garage while drinking garage and shitting garage; in their garage!" Listen, and listen good: mop-top 60s revival shit gets a healthy round of derision from every person on this staff. The most commonly slobbered on bands (say, Lost Sounds, A-Frames, Marked Men, Hunches) are NOT garage bands, goddamnit! Reigning Sound? Maybe, maybe sorta, but a talent like Greg Cartwright outshines everyone else no matter where he's peddling his wares. If you think the above units are garage bands ('66 post-StoneKinks teen American r 'n r), then you, sirmam, have a jammed descripter gun. Thanks for the praise and all, but kindly try again. I've even had promotion whizzes and major label types ask me how I'd label "the bands Horizontal Action, Terminal Boredom and Smashin Transistors cover; there really needs to be a concise description." No, there does NOT need to be a label. As long as it ain't "garage" or "neoteric," you can call it what you will.
What does this have to do with Thee Shams? Well, they use "Thee," so they're a garage band, right? I think that's how it works. And they definitely do the 60's revival thing. But they actually do it well fer once! Not a killer or anything (though the lead off track IS, in fact, pretty killer), but solid and well-written and varied and so forth. I think I heard there's a Greenhornes connection, but hell, I have no idea. Heard too that they burn it up live, which is where these bands usually shine, if shine they do. But this is a nice document, too. So pick it up, if that appeals to you. Mitch Cardwell belongs in the gorilla cage at the zoo. Flinging poo. Angry Jew. Kangaroo. Flu. Moo! (TK)
(Fat Possum Records // www.fatpossum.com)

Singing Dogs "Suck the Dog" 7"
I really liked this band's first two singles for whatever reason, but this one comes up lacking. Four songs on this one, and they're sticking with the three-piece line-up. "Suck the Dog" is some variation of "The Crusher" and it doesn't work. This record contains their most polished recording job as well, which doesn't fare well. Maybe the trashy sound was covering up this bands shortcomings. Basically, pretty boring garage-punk without enough trash in it. I should've known a band from Italy couldn't really be good. On up-and-coming Euro imprint P.Trash, in an edition of somewhere around 500, with three different colors of vinyl, of which I always seem to get black. Bleargh. (RK)
(P. Trash Records // ptrashrec@aol.com)

The Slowmotions "Make Love" 7"
Absolutely devastating, mind crushing, primal bashing on the hit A-side which is no doubt the best new song I've heard out of Japan in years. It's pretty easy to deem "Make Love" a modern day classic after just one spin. Its raw jerkiness will please fans of the killer degenerate sounds coming out of Chicago and its knack for inserting a criminally catchy chorus, with even catchier follow up chants, will please those with a soft spot for "Terminal Boredom"-era Registrators (I stole that one from Mitch). The flip "Yes, Future!!" is no slouch either. Less melodic, rawer, dirtier but the burp at the end is stupid. Those who fell in love with those two amazing Usuals singles on Mangrove will be pleased to hear that ex-git' slinger Megumi shows up on guitar here. The hunt begins for the first three singles… Very highly recommended. (JG)
(H.G. Fact // www.interq.or.jp/japan/hgfact)

Some Action s/t 7" EP
Debut vinyl release from this hot-shit NYC band. An when I say hot-shit, put the emphasis on shit. I'll tell ya one thing, these guys want it real bad. I assume they are plotting their career trajectory after that of the Star Spangles, or perhaps the Mooney Suzuki. Some Action are basically auditioning for a major label here, and have deemed it necessary to stop off in our little corner of the underground music ghetto to hone their street cred and get some opening gigs under their belts. But let's talk about the music. Firstly, they actually do a song called "Some Action" that may even be a worse idea than "Bad Company". I remember these riffs sounded pretty tired six years ago when some guys named Canzonieri were playing them. It's one thing to rip off Electric Frankenstein and infuse some pop/punk into it, but these guys live right in EF's backyard. That's ballsy (and musically pointless). And as much as I talk shit about EF, Some Action couldn't carry Steve Miller's jock. This is a prime example of made-for-(M)TV NYC rock and rubbish that is dolled-up a little to look new and cutting edge. Boring. On hot pink vinyl, with pink artwork, a pro designed logo, stickers, and all sorts of other bullshit (the music included) to win you over. I hear no Saints passion, no Dead Boys menace. This contains maybe the most mundane aspects of Radio Birdman mated with the worst the Briefs have to offer. But that's about it. Get your heads out of your asses NYC, and don't be fooled by these charlatans. Argh. (RK)
(Gigantic Music // www.giganticmusic.com)

Spazzys "Paco Doesn't Love Me" 7"/CDEP
The reigning torch-bearers (along with Mach Pelican) of Australia's Ramones-core. Three cute lil' gals from Melbourne turning balls blue across the land with coquettish boozing and, for at least half of any given set, damn good Ramonic pop. I'm largely inoculated against the Pop-Punk Virus but there's no denying a good handful of the Spazzys songs. A shame then that none of the great ones are here. "Paco Doesn't Love Me" starts with the "Blitzkrieg Bop" riff (misdemeanour), includes a "second verse, different from the first" (grand larceny) and a "hey ho let's go" (felony). Not content with all this they cover "Carbona Not Glue". Their cover of Screeching Weasel's "I Don't Wanna Go To The Party Tonight" is puzzling because they have better songs to cover, and so do the Spazzys. The impending full-length should right some of the wrong impressions this creates. (RS)
(Fur Records // www.spazzys.com)

Spider Rico S/T 7"
I expected to hate this based on the horrible band name and stupid pic on the sleeve, but lo and behold, this is actually pretty good. If blown out tunes with yelped/shouted vocals, fuzzy guitar leads, and caveman drums are up your alley, this should scratch you where you itch…especially if said itch was transmitted via the juices of some nasty trollop's loins.(SS)
(Kuriosa Records // KuriosaRecords@yahoo.com)

Stack O'Lees "Change My Plan" 7"
Add one more slab of wax to the ever growing pile of great records coming out of the incestuous Montreal garage scene. The Stack O'Lees are Edouard and Serge from the Scat Rag Boosters and individually from other bands like the Del-Gators, Royal Routes and Skip Jensen and His Shakin' Feet. I dunno about you but a lot of these records are starting to blur together for me, but this one does stand on its own as all four songs are hits sounding almost like a perfect blend of the Boosters and the Royal Routes. If those names mean shit all to you, think primitive, groovin' two-piece bluesy punk with some gruff soulful vocals. If you're a fan of this sorta stuff you likely already have this, but if you're new to the game this would be a good starting point to get introduced to the modern day Montreal sound. (JG)....First release from the umpteenth band to be spawned from the loins of the Montreal garage/punk scene. This one is basically the Scat Rag Boosters minus Martin, and sound a little less wild than the Scat Rags, and a little less pummeling than the Royal Routes. Think "Crypt Style" JSBX, minus all the goofy Spencer-isms. "Take This" is the winner out of four very good songs, where they take a riff you've heard a million times before, and manage to get you excited about it all over again. A winner from new label, Big Black Hole Records, in an edition of 500 with liners by Thomas Savage. And if you're wondering why it looks so much like a Yakisakana release, it's because Bongout designs the covers for both labels.
(Big Black Hole Records // www.bigblackholerecords.tk)

Sunday Drunks "On the Prowl" CD
Ex-Mullens again pull off the tired and true no-frill punk rock and roll formula. Fairly effortlessly, yeah, but unless this sorta stuff gives you palpatations, it ain't gonna change your life (or alter any plans for the evening). Rougher production than the debut gives it a nice added edge. The band itself swings pretty hard, and these tunes are fulla hooks, so if any of the above is yer thang, go for it! (TK)
(Deadbeat Records // www.dead-beat-records.com)

Billy Syndrome "Beyond" CD
Five years ago, you could have mentioned the name "Billy Syndrome" to me and my reply would have been, "Ehhh?" Though the guy had been doing music since 1980, fronting Rick Rubin's punk band, The Pricks, I had no idea who the dude was until a package arrived for me from Billy, a package that contained his then new record, Billy Syndrome Now. I put it one and flipped. Since then I've been tracking down Billy Syndrome stuff and, once a year, looking forward to the day that a Billy record or cd appears in the mail. Well, a few days ago Billy's new one, Beyond, arrived and I am happy to report that the same uber-individualistic spin on punk rock that makes me pee with glee is still there, and, in fact it is going strong. The opening song, Human Shield, stumbles in but with purpose and attitude and a fuck-it-all-this-is-my-music state of mind that contintues song after song, mostly to great effect. Throughout the cd, Billy crams funkiness, free jazz noise, psychedelatude, and a barge load of wing-it into his songs. Each song is its own but the whole thing hangs together, well 9 out of 11 songs do, but what the hell do you want? That is over 90% great stuff. Okay, so maybe by now you have no idea what this thing sounds like but the point is that it sounds like BILLY SYNDROME and thats pretty much the best I can say. Listen, in my book the dude has a page there with Jad Fair, Jonathan Richman, Jandek and other odd pups who chart their own path through life with no compromises. That and he does a fuck-inducing version of the New Colony Six's "We Will Love Again."(SSR)
(Slutfish Records // www.slutfishrecords.com)

Teenage Harlets "Some Kinda Girl" 7" LP
A seven-inch LP from this Bay Area group of kids in the same spirit as the Rock and Roll Adventure Kids. High grades given for ambition and youthful enthusiasm. The songs are actually somewhat good and catchy garage-ish punk rock, all played well and not-too sloppy to be a joke. Honestly, this thing is alright, and these 13 songs are a better investment than some of the European crap that's been floating around lately. Buy American. Comes complete with fold out lyric sheet, and the whole thing is over before you finish a cigarette. Definitely a value purchase, I think it retails for $3. Would be a lot cooler if they actually were girls though. (RK) (Dead Girl Records // www.teenageharlets.com)

10-4 Backdoor "Kick the Door Down" 7"
I was really disappointed this record sounds so shitty, but shit happens sometimes. Obviously there were limitations in the source material. 10-4 Backdoor had a brief existence during King Louie's Pacific NW days, and the music is much what you would expect from Mr. Bankston. "I Fucked A Prostitute" is a great song regardless of how bad the recording is. "Hot Box" seems to cut off mid-song. One of the lesser SSLD releases, this stuff would've been better served by even a half-way decent recording job instead. I'm sure they were fun when they were around, but you really don't need to hear this unless you're real King Louie devotee. 300 copies, two different sleeve variations. (RK)
(Solid Sex Lovie Doll Records // solidsexloviedoll@hotmailcom)

This Moment in Black History "Midwesterncuttalistick" LP/CD
Things start poorly with the horrible album title and don't get much better from there. After the quite rippin' "Cleveland Finger" EP and the equally boss "Hang Up" 7" TMIBH crap out a rather lackluster debut full length. The Jim Diamond production just sucks the life right out of these guys. Gone are the raw, pummeling sounds from their EPs, to be replaced with bland, dull, same-y-ness. Couple that with some downright embarrassing genero-political lyrics at times ("Paint Me a Picture" anyone?) and the fact that they have the audacity to include re-recorded versions of ALL of their previously released songs, completely ruining a couple in the process, and you can call me disappointed. A couple of the new songs like "Beans + Rice" and "Double Gemini" are quite good, but that's about it. What do they sound like? Who cares? Pick up any of their other records and you'll be pleased, but this is a for sure skipper. (JG).....Very disappointing LP from a band I had high hopes for. However, this record could be a huge college radio hit with dorm-room activists and members of the campus Young Socialists Club. I however, am not ready to jump on their Afro-pick bandwagon. The record itself is pretty sterile when compared to their previous two releases, most of the tracks of which get re-done for the worst here. They rely more on the weird synth noises, and much of it sounds more math-rock than the NKK-sounds I was hoping for. These guys are proficient at laying it down, and it's all rather chaotic, but it lacks any staying power. I think I realize why Neon King Kong and Le Shok records were always so brief: their variety of jerk-core worked well in short attention span bursts of two or three strong songs. The whopping seventeen tracks on this big mess do nothing but tire you out. Buy their other records instead.(RK)......I hated this when I first slapped it on. Herky-jerk for the sake of art, too many math-rock breakdowns, so on, so forth. Now, I like it. Hard to say why. One Basshole, someone from Chargers Street Gang, some other guy, another dude, Wheezy Jefferson, the Iron Sheik, Dr. McGillicuddy -- Christ, who's even in this band? -- all come together to throw out some spazz-off punky energy that's very vaguely reminiscent of Le Shok/Neon King Kong, but not really. The point is this: It's way too late for me to be reviewing records, so if you like kinda weird, kinda not punk-laced r'n'r, then you should scratch out your momma's eyeballs with a decomposed poodle pecker, steal ten thousand of her rotten pennies and trade them all in for this alb at the local record hole. If that doesn't sound like your thing, then you can do what the rest of us do and go to bed. G'night! (EL)
(Version City Records // www.versioncityrecords.com)

Thrills "N.A.F.I.T.C. Original Boston Punk 1977-1981" LP
A band that contained Merle "Tidy Boy" Allin ('n Bro Kevie for a bit) and Johnny "That's Why I Always Dress in Black" Angel. Likely best known for the lead off track, "Hey! (Not Another Face in the Crowd)" (comped on that Rhino DIY Boston jobber), a good chunk of the other tunes are in a pretty similar vein. That vein would be femme-fronted pop-wave-punk with r 'n r touches. Maybe it's the recording, or maybe it's the oversungsanging, or maybe it's me, but most of those-types are wimpy, thin and tiresome, despite the inclusion of some pretty solid hooks. I'm guessing that these not-so-bad tunes took off more in a sweaty club. There are also some 1234 punkers, and those don't fare a lot better, though a combination of the above fuels the great "When Ya Gonna Quit?," definitely my favorite tune here in terms of tune/bandplay/sound. Most of this is live (or on radio), and the sound's decent...most of you would like this better than myself, so go fer it! (TK)
(Dionysus Records // www.dionysusrecords.com)

Tokyo Electron "Make Me Bleed" 7"
This is one mean record. All four songs are absolute killers from the mind of Ryan Wong. In the vein of the Reatards, and pretty far sonically from Destruction Unit and Digital Leather (yet retaining their agressiveness/anger). This is the best record in the latest batch of SSLD releases. "It's Love" is a heart stopper for sure, and the whole record (the B Side especially) is permeated with a nice, creepy early Misfits vibe to the music and vocals. Sure to be Top Ten material at year's end, I can't recommend this enough. Again, 300 copies, two different sleeve variations.(RK) ..........There were many cool records sitting around waiting to be bought at the Blackout, but by the time I got around to buying (the last night), this was the only thing I could salvage. And shit, I'm glad I didn't go home empty handed, because this is some great shit! More solo stuffs from "Lonely" Ryan Wong, I hear. Destroys Destruction Unit, in my mind - just a blast of that post-Bliv primal blooze. Think Reatards (go figger!), Persuaders, Blacks, Strong Come Ons, or any of the wave that grabbed the rein from the Oblivians after they croaked. Great energy, and pretty good range within the form. As good as the aforementioned bands, and highly recommended! (TK)
(Solid Sex Lovie Doll Records // solidsexloviedoll@hotmailcom)

Trailerpark Tornados "Don't Mind the Maggots" 7"EP
Finally, a second record from the Tornados, a band who are much, much better than their first Big Neck release led us to believe. People need to realize these guys for what they are: die-hard AmRep/Buttholes devotees, not some run of the mill garage-rock cornholes. Fuck, they do a Cows cover live. The artwork on this thing is straight off a Mesomorph Enduros compilation (and is probably the best a Big Neck single has ever seen), and it sounds odd thanks to weirdo-production by Buffalo legend/oddball Mr. Skimask. The Tornados actually use this to their advantage, as they come across like a gutter-simple version of Halo of Flies on the A-Side, both tracks of which are top-notch insectoid rock. The B-Side they offer up some fucked-up pop for degenerates ("Bad Love"), and drop the hardcore hammer as well ("Ghetto Outsider"). Good stuff, especially the A Side, and these guys can do even better. They have a Steel Reserve-fuelled full length in the works for Big Neck as we speak . Fun trivia fact: the TPT's drummer is the 'crazy' drummer on the Tyrades first three singles. Buy this shit. (RK)
(Big Neck Records // www.bigneckrecords.com)

Tunnel of Love "Time (Don't You Pass Me By)" 7"
Holy shit! Insane, brutal PUSST GALORE-like noise that bashes itself in the nose and bleeds torrents o' hate and pointlessly offensive juvie humor. In other words, one of my new favorite bands. "(I Wanna Be A) Teenage Suicide" will have you toe-tappin' and huntin' razorblades all mid-afternoon. If it doesn't, I still want you dead. So hurry up, already. (EL)
(Tapes Records // www.tapesrecords.com)

V/A "1382 The Persian New Wave: Underground out of the Islamic Republic of Iran" LP
Okay. Stop. Go back and read that title, the second part. Yes, it says Islamic Republic of Iran! That is right, punk rock out of Iran! So before I answer the question, "What the fuck does Iranian punk rock sound like?" first big giant props to Luk Haas, who, for years, has been circling the globe and releasing punk records from bands from such godforsaken places as Kosovo, Nepal, whateverthehell Burma is called now, pretty much any place you do not associate with punk rock, including this here record of Iranian punk. Okay, granted this record is not 100%, but it is pretty fucking swell. Eight bands each with its own take on punk rock, all of it somewhat primitive or, if you prefer, amatur sounding - which is fine by me, in this age of cookie cutter pro punk. The music, Scott, the music: Alookal starts off with some mutant Nirvana anthem that sound less like Nirvana and more strange each time I hear it. If Black Blooms have not heard Chrome's Half Machine Lips, someone send them a record, cuz they are about two garages and a few contents away from that nightmaric masterwork. Oolanbator turns out my fave on this, a six minute plus piece of weirdness that brings together mutant guitar noodling, brat vocals and a sample from the Crazy World of Arthur Borwn's Fire. Fucking amazing! Superman & the Joe Ordinaries and the Fat Rats are a bit more conventional as far as punk rock goes, sub-garage and pop punk. Dark Earth sound exactly what you would think a Satanic Iranian metal band with a drum machine would sound like. Ehsan Imani must know Tesco Vee cuz his tune could have been on War of the Superbikes. And Mud ends the record with a nine minute songs that sounds like a retarded Neil Young who finally stumbles into an attempt at Roadrunner and misses. Fucking grand! The only flaw that this pup has is the one that goes with every Tian An Men release: Lack of liner notes or anything on the bands or scenes they are from. There are contact addresses though so I guess that is a start. But, shit, punk rock out of Iran. What more to say than: Ayatollah you to get this fucking record!(SSR)
(Tian An Men 89 Records // www.geocities.com/tam89rds)

V/A Blacks/Persuaders split 7"
Split single from two now defunct and once great bands. The Persuaders contribute an obscure cover and a wonderfully titled instrumental ("Fuck You Mr. Roboto"). The Blacks side is a dose of their usual Memphis-via-Stockholm raunch, this time in the form of a great song called "Texas by the Tail" (which is also the title of my favorite Jim Thompson book). I never even liked the Blacks that much, but this song is alright. In an edition of 500, and worth tracking down if you miss either of these bands at all.(RK)
(Rockin' Bones // www.rockinbones.it)

V/A "Federal Republic Part 2" 7"
Another Tian An Men release and here you get two bands from the Russian Federation, Revolver out of Karelia and Imperiya Snegov from Buryatia. Yeah, I don't know where the fuck those shit holes are either. Even looked in an outdated atlas and figured maybe they are around the Caspian Sea, but fuck if I really know. So...Revolver's side is entitled "Dont Get Back Grave Robbers from Outer Space...." and it sounds like that if you also figure in a polka beat, Les Baxter, and surf guitar. Imperiya Snegov is quite another animal. Hell, they might not even be mammal. Maybe some weird sea creature, the kind that has no eyes and lurks a zillion miles beneath the sea. No, not Captain Nemo, you fucking dork. These Buryatian fuckers turn out some really fucked up punk rock that I can't peg to anything. Somewhere something in me wants to compare them to Melt Banana or Schlong but that is just grasping. As some cliche goes, I might not know what art, but I know what I like. And I like Imperiya Snegova plenty.(SSR)
(Tian An Men 89 Records // www.geocities.com/tam89rds)

V/A "Miners' Benefit" CD
Recorded way back in March 1978 at San Francisco's Mabuhay Gardens, this is a document of a benefit concert for striking miners from Kentucky. The bands on the two day bill were pretty much THE punk bands in Frisco at the time. The ones that wound up on this CD are UXA, the Sleepers, Negative Trend, and Tuxedomoon. The hype on this pup has been pretty big. Is it all that it says it is? No. Is it worth buying? Yes. And here is why: The Sleepers cuts are brilliant. With Ricky Williams (ex-Crime/Flipper, future Toiling Midget) on vocals at his best, the sludge and feedback and general fucked-up gloom is pretty damn blissful. Like these dope-heads were every bit as good as the scant studio stuff they left behing (collected on the LP, Less an Object). I would own this for the Sleepers cuts alone. Given the lack of recorded material out there by Negative Trend, their appearence here is welcome. The performance and recording could be better but, what the fuck, there are four studio songs floating around out there and what else? Here are ten more tracks. Same thoughts go to the Tuxedomoon cuts. These are from the Winston Tong period, far before they started doing boring soundtrackish music for Italians and other worms. The T-moon songs here are good, not great, but good. UXA contributes three songs, but, given that they've got one very good to great full LP to their name, their presence is not essential. End: A good document with great Sleepers cuts.(SSR)
(White Noise // www.whitenoiserecords.com)

V/A "Rip Off Records: Third Wave of Hits" LP/CD
During the time these singles came out, there was no question in my mind that Rip Off was putting out the best punk rock shorties of the day - I picked up every release unquestioned. Well, every one except the Spastics (for some reason), and I never went back because the live alb didn't live up to the front cover. Looking back, I made the right decision, because that shit's pretty dang-darn mediocre! Infections' "Kill For You" is a monster, with outta' control feedbacky guitar, but the "B" (second 'un in) is still a duffer. France's Swindlers cut up some noisy blues-punk, and I dig. Chinese Millionaires were a great band (despite reports I've heard to the contrary), but this single is their weakest moment (despite reports I've heard to the contrary). The Spites, along with the Teenage Rejects, produced my favorite generic-but-so-what? single(s) on the label. There's no reason I should like it, and it gets roundly ignored in the histories, but there's a high level of youthful recklessness that makes it a blast. The guitar break in "Cheap Beer Fast Cars and Girls" gets me every time. I'm not as bigga' Registrators fan as most, but this is my favorite moment - "TV Hell" is insanely jerk-tight, "Vacation" is snotty and punchy, and the (unheard by me until now) Hubble Bubble cover is nicey-nice. Limited B-sides and liners included. Ya like dirty, stupid rock 'n roll? (TK)
(Rip Off Records // www.ripoffrecords.org)

V/A This Moment in Black History/Fatal Flying Guilloteens split 12" EP
This is better. This Moment in Black History return with three exclusive songs that bring them back to form and (almost) wash any bad taste out of my mouth over their weak album. The songs are faster, the jittery, jerky Neon King Kong + screaming formula is expanded upon and the more primal recording is back to suit their needs. The whole "wiggly world" chants in the last song are kinda stupid though. The FFGs contribute four songs of their difficult to describe music, and although a few parts to their unconventional, purposely off-time songs are good, much of their side leaves me wanting more. I picked this up at a show where the Guilloteens once again proved that they're a much better live band than on record. From what I can tell this is a pre-release made available on their recent tour together (apparently TMIBH bailed out early on due to van problems) which should be out soon on GSL, hopefully with something other than a stock white sleeve. (JG) (GSL Records // www.goldstandardlabs.com)

Vee Dee "Furthur" LP/CD
For some reason I'm surprised this record is this good. The music isn't doing anything new, but it's infectious, the definition of an album that grows on you with repeated listening. On the surface, it really sounds like Baseball Furies-like straight, no frills punk'n'garage, with a heavy downer/death-trip vibe to the whole thing. As you get deeper into it though, the psych influences creep out, the catchy choruses take root, and next thing you know you're listening to it daily. The song material is reminiscent of what may have come out of Danzig's mind had he went to Vietnam and got a faceful of Agent Orange. Paranoid songs about TV Police and Blood Zombies and all sorts of other weird crap. "Kaleidoscope Death Ray"? Cool. Well worth your cash, and I hope they're already pencilled for next year's Blackout. I think there were 100 limited copies on white vinyl which are probably long gone, so settle for black. You'll thank me for it.(RK)
(Criminal IQ // www.criminaliq.com)

The Wayouts "San Francisco 1985" 7"
A couple live tracks salvaged from the above year. I'm not a huge fan of the Munsters-garage revival of the 80s, so I'm probably not the right one to ask, but the original garages and the Sonics cover covers. Not bad, not as cheesy as most of the era's output....a time period filler, but I wouldn't have bought it myself. (TK)
(J & T Records // 113 U St. NW (alley), Washington, DC, 20001)

The Weaklings "Rock-n-Roll Owes Me" LP
A few years ago, I found myself in New Orleans on my 30th birthday at some shithole bar. The Weaklings and Candy Snatchers were playing (though only some of the 'Snatchers could make it to the stage, and the remaining ones were too shitfaced to stand up). I'd seen these bands up in Green Bay a week or so earlier, and thought the Weaklings were OK/whatever Junk Records rockers. The dudes seemed like tools, except their tour bassist, some guy named Casey or something like that, who was a decent feller. Well, in NO, Casey (or whatev) decided that I needed to be somewhat more fucked up, so he kept ordering tons of shots for me. Everybody else in the bar seemed to think this was a good idea (it wasn't, of course), and before the Weaklings even made it on stage, I was in the bathroom trying to stand up while I pissed at a urinal. Some guy in the shitter said "looky at this! Holy fuck!" Against my better judgement, I inched over to said terlet, and saw the most disgusting greenshit ever flopping out of an overflowing porcelain bowl. I inched back towards the urinals, eenie-meenie-miney-moed, and yakked all over the one on the left. Three waste-units, one to go. I went outside in the rain, gathered some thoughts, and checked out the Weaklings, who sounded pretty fine to me at the time. So yeah, they're back with their first album in years, and if you feel like puking on a urinal in a scummy bar in New Orleans, you could probably pick a worse soundtrack. (TK)
(Deadbeat Records // www.dead-beat-records.com)


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