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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Alpha Motherfuckers: A Tribute to Turbonegro: CD
This is a frenetically ragin’ balls-out tribute to one of the trashiest, hardest rockin’ bands of the past 100,000 years: the sonically spectacular and clamorously terrifying Turbonegro. The manic music-makers and psychotically tweaked tune-blasters who spastically pay homage to the mighty thundering Turbonegro on this here brain-damaging destroyer of a disc include Nashville Pussy, Therapy?, Supersuckers, Scared Of Chaka, Queens Of The Stone Age, Hot Water Music, Zeke, Spacebitch, ADZ, Dwarves/Splittin Wix, Real McKenzies, and fifteen other loud and lively groups of melody-molesters. Hell motherfuckin’ yeh, this is as evil, vile, and viciously volatile as it gets... big greasy dangerous dollops of brawny bigger-than-life rock’n’roll fury! After several sizzlin’ listens, my ears are now uncontrollably smokin’ up a storm! –Roger Moser Jr. (Hopeless)


CLEATUS:
Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory: CDEP
Generic as hell “pop punk.” When will it end? –Matt Average (Firefly Recordings)


JFK JR. ROYAL AIRFORCE:
Ridicule: CDEP
This mind-swirler of a disc is a hallucinatory audial freak-out from beginning to end and all of its stoned immaculate points in between. It’s a multi-colored musical mishmash of trippy space-rock strangeness orbiting through galactic psychedelic otherworldliness while ultimately being dipped into a big ol’ boiling vat of psychotic acid-drenched sonic dementia... almost as if Hawkwind, MC5, The Amboy Dukes, “Are You Experienced?”-era Jimi Hendrix, and the Butthole Surfers were musically battling it out with distortion-heavy laser beams and blaring raygun guitars on one of the moons of Jupiter during a violently roaring sandstorm. I ain’t no fuckin’ hippie, but, son, I highly recommend that you indulge your ears with these fragrant floral sounds ASAP. So fire-up a coyote-turd sized joint and then listen to the rainbows scream as the sky melts in an explosive array of tye-dyed hues and glittery day-glo wax drippings... –Roger Moser Jr. (Slutfish)


LEWD, THE:
Self-titled: 7” EP
Yeah, that San Francisco Lewd, who first released the Kill Yourself 7” single in 1979 on Scratched Records. “Dressed in Black” is mid-tempo and drags along. “Roughouse” (a Loudmouths cover) picks up the tempo, and is OK. The standout track is “Mobile Home,” a song I made the mistake and thought was a Turbonegro cover. (A couple months after I initially wrote this review, Bob Clic of The Lewd informed me that Turbonegro covered the Lewd's song - "Mobile Home." I thought it was a Denim Demon original, but closer inspection on "Asscobra" affirmed that I muffed it. Again, my bad.) That song exhibits the Lewd I remember the most fondly – dirty, snotty, driven, barely able to play, but as catchy and debilitating as tetanus. It's cool to see that a track written quite awhile ago retains a healthy dose of vitality and stands the tests of both time and interpretation. The physical vinyl looks delicious. Split milky white/ cherry Jolly Rancher. Yum. –todd (702)


OZMA:
Rock and Roll Part Three: CD
Do you have a little geek in you? I do. I may have gotten contact lens to replace my coke bottle thick glasses. I can now afford clothes that match. But nothing can erase the torture of what I endured as the smart kid in elementary school. Skateboarding, punk rock, and drugs all changed that. This gets passed on to the wife who has a great love for Weezer and that is what this sounds like to me. For all those who had to endure putting tape on your glasses to keep them together, unite! –don (Kung Fu)


RIFFS, THE:
Underground Kicks: CD
This is extreme down’n’dirty punkrock restlessness. Sex Pistolish in spots with cockney Charlie Harper-style vocals and big meaty New York Dolls subway-train riffs. The sick’n’sordid subject matter of the ear-sizzlin’ songs on here include the monstrous misery of junkie hell, confrontational drunken fisticuffs with cops, fucked-up despair, harrowing hopelessness, and relentless nihilistic tendencies. The music is savage, straightforward, catchy, captivating, and raw as fuck. It’s the Never Mind The Bollocks of the 21st Century. Anarchic rock’n’roll with all of the rage, passion, primality, and balls-out attitude that’s needed to make this one of the most outstanding punkrock releases of the past 25 years! So liven things up and stuff this into your lame lackluster list, ya mindless corporate twits at fashionably predictable Spin rag HQ! –Roger Moser Jr. (Pelado)


SLASH CITY DAGGERS, THE:
Backstabber Blues: CD
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you this, the latest group of Dolls clones to get a release out. This group of Xerox, junkie-chic rock’n’rollers got a set of tunes that ain’t too shabby (I can even hear a trace of early Kiss in there somewhere), although the fact that the lead vocals are buried so deep in the mix that the backup vocals are actually louder doesn’t actually complement things. I imagine that won’t make a damn bit of difference when you’re busy nodding off, though. –jimmy (Unity Squad)


WORTHLESS:
Which Side Are You On: CD
There’s a little Dag Nasty lurking, but only at a very basic level; not enough to make this thing not worthless. –Cuss Baxter (Chunksaah)


VEHICLE DEREK:
Self-titled: CD
What is in a name? Does the band name have a meaning? Derek is a name and what does it have to do with a vehicle? What’s with the arrows going in different directions on the cover? Art student project for design class? Why not title the release? Why not print the lyrics? Too many questions and no one to answer them for me. Pretty straight forward punk here. –don (Boss Tuneage)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
American Fight Club No. 1: CD
This compilation of four Outsider bands is pretty cool. One band I am already familiar with, The Hudson Falcons. The others are The Authority!, Callaghan, and The Trends. There are roughly seven songs apiece, making for a lot of listening. The Authority are kinda skinhead punk. They aren’t too bad. Pretty cool stuff without too much of the skinhead clichés. Callaghan is a little more rock’n’roll punk. Somewhat catchy but not too poppy. Hudson Falcons I have heard described as punk meets rock’n’roll meets Bruce Springsteen. That sounds scary but it works. They have eight songs on here with four I haven’t seen on their two full lengths. The others are older rougher versions of songs off the Desperation and Revolution CD. Very cool. The Trends are my favorite on here. More punk than the other bands. Kinda snotty and poppy at the same time. I keep skipping to track twenty-three and listening to just their six songs over and over. The Trends themselves are worth this cost of this CD. The others are a real cool bonus. –toby (Outsider)


TRAVIS CUT:
Shambles: CD
I like the cover art, but the music sucks. “Pop punk” you’ve heard a million times before. I do not wanna hear it again! –Matt Average (Firefly)


TEMPLARS:
The Horns of Hattin: CD
The Templars robustly blast a steady assault of stripped-down European-style streetpunk and foot-stompin’ oi-inspired sonic carnage. This is rough’n’ready audial insurrection at its most blistering and abrasive with aggressively gruff whiskey-slathered vocals, rumbling low-end three-chord guitar rhythms, frantically fierce face-slapper leads, destructive demolition bass explosions, and hearty pneumatic-drill drum thumpings. Hell yes indeedy, the Templars are the cream of the crop in today’s rapidly growing oi army. They’re the ever-reigning rulers of their league, the indisputable manic musical masters of chaos, mayhem, and unflinching streetwise attitude. Join ‘em, or die. –Roger Moser Jr. (GMM)


SWAMPASS:
No Means Go: CD
More post-AC/DC-cum-Motorhead rock punk that’ll make all those Nashville Pussy fans pee in their pants. Me, I’m getting a little bored with the overkill in this genre as well. They’re damn good, but fuck if they don’t sound like nearly any one of the other bands treading down this road. –jimmy (Reptilian)


RANDY:
Self-titled: 7”EP
Sweden’s Randy has the knack of melding Chuck Berry riffs, serious leftist politics and slathering it with infectious pop and catchy choruses while updating the themes to keep them entirely relevant in the now. That’s a tough gig because a.) most leftist politics is as boring as watching your tire tread slowly wear away b.) most leftist politic bands have a kindergartener level of comprehension or are near-impenetrable pretentious assholes. Randy avoid all that. In fact, if they were an instrumental band, I’d still dig ‘em. Turn of the century anarchist, Emma Goldman flatly rejected the idea of joining a revolution that she couldn’t dance to. She’d dig Randy. Revolution with a circle pit. Revolution that makes you want to read books along to. Two of these songs are on their new album (slightly different versions), Human Atom Bombs, which I highly suggest. Cool piece of butterscotch colored wax. –todd (Fat)


PORCH GHOULS:
Self-titled: 10” EP
Down’n’dirty, lowest of the fi, dirt-dragged gospel swamp boogie blues. They’ve got their arms around quaalude sorrow and amphetamine burns, meaning they’ve sizzled through the highs and embrace the lows (or at least sound like it. They may be upright citizens). It’s also the first band I’ve ever heard that plays the suitcase; a 50’s dealie with a hole for a mic and a foot pedal and a tambourine attached. This slab is mostly covers and who they pay homage to is telling: Hound Dog Taylor, Willie Dixon, Little Richard, and R.L. Burnside. Listen to this long enough, and I feel my teeth start loosening and I keep reaching for an unmarked mason jar to swallow my fears and troubles away. The Porch Ghouls are in the same base camp as The Oblivions and the Gibson Brothers; lost souls drowning for your salvation. Good stuff. –todd (Orange)


PILLOW OF WRONGNESS:
Music from Little Pink: CD
Adequate, yet uneventful poppy rock music. –jimmy (www.pillowofwrongness.com)


MOTHER SUPERIOR:
Self-titled: CD
Hmmm, what a strange and putrid change of pace this is. Mother Superior listlessly sound like one of those uninspired soundtrack-ready bar bands that androgynously strut their stuff in lame-o movies like Road House or the latest Sylvester Stallone flick. It’s equal parts Hollywood hardrock, Sunset Boulevard-style power-rock, and biliously anthemic arena-rock (think Kiss, Grand Funk Railroad, Boston, early Ted Nugent, Bad Company, Soundgarden, and the sound of severe intestinal gastro-disorders). Pallid, lackluster, watered-down, and weak. I’ve drank Gerber Baby apple-juice stronger than this shit! –Roger Moser Jr. (Triple X)


MANIFESTO JUKEBOX:
Desire: CD
This is extremely upbeat and raucously brash (yet somewhat frenetically melodic at times) punkrock thunder-roar fury. It’s thick, chunky, richly textured audial liveliness that’s uncannily similar to a turbulent topsy-turvy rollercoaster ride during a full-force brain-rattling hailstorm. Imagine an over-amped distortion-heavy whirlwind cacophony of Husker Du, Bad Religion, Leatherface, Hot Water Music, and Social Distortion dipped headfirst into an enraged lava-spewing volcano. Now drop the entire nuclear arsenal of the former Soviet Union into the fiery volcanic mix, and then run for cover. As the sparks ballistically fly all over the fuckin’ place, be sure and listen to the deafening clamor of creation’s final hurrah. That’s the blunt, abrupt, and relentlessly loud sound of Manifesto Jukebox blastin’ a new asshole through the earth’s core, buddy boy! Yep, my ears are now appreciatively witnessing some of the most monstrous and moving tuneage ever put to platter. I’m frozen stiff in a paralyzing fit of utterly speechless awe thanks to this sonically conflagrant CD! –Roger Moser Jr. (Manifesto Jukebox)


LA MANCHA:
Choose Your Own Adventure: CD
Mostly mellow, mostly instrumental art rock. The majority of it is pretty, but the songs go on for way too long (many of them 10+ minutes) and get boring rather quickly. –jimmy (Sit-N-Spin)


JAMIROQUAI:
A Funk Odyssey: CD
What the fuck is this getting reviewed in punk zine? I don’t care because this makes me shake my ass like a Tourettes victim with no rhythm. A good dose of funk (not punk) and disco with a mixture of Stevie Wonder and KC & the Sunshine band. Actually, you can hear elements of all different bands from the ‘70s and ‘80s here. Now go get this and shake your ass till the break of dawn! –don (Sony)


JAKE AND THE STIFFS:
If It Ain’t Stiff…It Ain’t Worth a Fuck: CDEP
Very mediocre pop punk by this trio. It’s very simple and repetitive. It’s got somewhat whiney/snotty vocals but not too rough. Their poppy sound sounds a little garagey (if that’s a word), too. They also do too many cover songs, none of which are worth mentioning with one exception, The Ejected’s “Gonna Get a Gun.” This track is easily the best on the CD. This CD is supposed to have a movie but it doesn’t work on my piece of shit computer. Don’t bother spending your money on this one. It should go to something better like Toby’s trying-to-buy-a-new-computer fund. –toby (Mutant Pop)


HAYMARKET RIOT:
Bloodshot Eyes: CD
Emo. Do I really need to say any more? Okay, it started off nice and discordant and got progressively worse. Happy? –jimmy (www.thickrecords.com)


END ON END/THIS ENGINE BURNS:
Split: CD
End: I like the fact that they are trying to sing about things that actually matter and to have a statement, but their emoish pop-core sound makes me want to hurl. Engine: helped me to succeed in hurling. –jimmy (This Guy)


DISASTER STRIKES:
Ds: CD
Speedy, metal-tinged hardcore with meaningful lyrics and an explanation of each song. They’re good at what they do, but the metal touch is a little too heavy for my taste. In the words of Spontaneous Disgust, “If I wanted metal, I’d stab myself with a fork.” –jimmy (Rodent Popsicle)


DEVIANTS, THE:
On Your Knees Earthlings!!!: CD
Hot damn diddy-wah-diddy, Sir Mick Farren and his maniacal crew of Deviants were/are a fucked-up force of musical mind-distorters not to be taken lightly. The 18 fuzz-drenched, wahwah-laden ditties grooviliciously contained herein are funky, psychotic, trippy, tantallizing, jazzy, and hypnotically dazzling. It’s a wackily crazed kaleidoscope of sound and a frenzied nuclear-powered intergalactic audial freakfest! Imagine Syd Barrett, Frank Zappa, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, The Count Five, Hawkwind, The Damned, and Detroit’s very own MC5 sonically basking in a multi-colored acid-drenched parallel universe where amped-out rock’n’roll madness reigns supreme! Crampacked with juicy aural journeys into the mind, this is a retrospective collection of sorts which includes a sizzling smorgasbord of tunes from 1967-1970, 1976, 1978, 1995, 1996, and 2001 (with special guests galore: Wayne Kramer, Chrissie Hynde, Marky Ramone, and members of Motorhead and The Pink Fairies, too!). It’s a garagey, psychedelic, anti-establishment head-swirler of a disc with vocals that wildly careen from Vincent Price-like spookiness to voodoo-tweaked Screamin’ Jay Hawkins-style manliness to crazed Roky Erikson-possessed madness to theatrical British Music Hall zaniness. Oh how I so thoroughly appreciate such mutant martian-spawned music as this! Okay, kiddies, I wanna know who the hell spiked my beer?! –Roger Moser Jr. (Total Energy)


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