Illustration by Ben Lyon

Garbage Can...in which one lucky reviewer get to sift through the dregs of the TB head office and see what comes up. Will it be their lunch? Or a hot new band that has slipped through the cracks? One lucky volunteer will be assigned the task of reviewing as much crap as I can stuff into a box. This installment's victim...Levon from Canadian goth-rockers Sex Church! Stay tuned to see who gets ten pounds of crap in a five pound LP mailer next...

So, I drunkenly sent Rich a message one night, saying, “Hey, maybe I could take on the Garbage Can?” Seemed like a good idea and the Boss was into it. A few weeks go by and a package of nine seven-inchers shows up at my door. I told my wife what they were for and she thought I was joking. Sadly, not the case. A few more weeks go by and they sit on my desk. Well fuck, now I actually had to take a stab at this. One thing that dawned on me as I put the first one on the turntable was that 2013 was the year that I checked out the least amount of new (as in newly released) music in my adult life, especially 7”es. Kind of a bummer. Unless you count this pack of turds, then it’s even more of a bummer. I wasted a couple hours on these slabs of shit and here’s the result.

Black Feet "Back on the Road" 7"
First impression would be that this here EURO 7” sounds like it’s from around 10 years ago, but I am well aware that is not the case. The band appears to be Swedish, and fronted by a “hot” woman, which would be the only reason I can imagine someone would release this. Not so much bad as just plain boring. The songs on the A-side might as well be the same song, mid tempo poppy punk, no big defining moments here. The flip side “Deny”, a slower, even duller song, features a more prominent synth line than the others, and it brings absolutely nothing to the table. I’d imagine these Meatball Eaters were big fans of the Tardman and Carbonas/Atlanta scene of yore.The drums were recorded at a separate studio and session, and you absolutely cannot tell, so great job there. It also came with an unlabelled CD-R, which may or may not have contained more songs, but I already almost fell asleep listening to this dud, so there was no chance I was listening to that. My wife said that the cover art was the worst part of it, and I’m not gonna disagree with her. I can see an old bandmate of mine being into this, but that is in no way a compliment.

Dry Feet "Highway to Heck" 7"
Second in the “feet” selection of crap bands. Look at these poor troglodytes, they don’t stand a chance. This isn’t a kind of music I care for in the first place: hard rockin’ pop punk. Curious as to where these guys are from, my guess was Kansas or somewhere awful like that, but a quick look at the insert revealed that they call Philadelphia home. First song is called “So (freakin’) what?!”, a very original ode to not caring, I share the same sentiment about the fact that this record exists. Next up we have an instrumental called “Big Brown Shark”, completely pointless, but I can only assume it’s a poop reference. Fitting. “Hard Workin’ Woman” (killer title, guys!) follows that one, and thank Christ it is less than two minutes long. The b-side starts off with “Heatwave”, and we get a little run of the mill surf influence here on THE SECOND INSTRUMENTAL ON A FIVE SONG 7”. The last song is called “Mothers Worry”, and it has a Jerry Lee Lewis sounding piano solo that at least got a good chuckle from me. Again, not so much terrible, just a very dull listen. Sorry guys, better luck next time. Not that it matters though, because I won’t be checking out your next record.
(Secret Cookie Records)

Johnny Angel Wendell "My Lesbian Friend" 7"
I had absolutely no idea who the hell this guy was, so thankfully the label included a press release. Apparently Mr. Wendell here is a “Punk rock OG” who has been “making records in the garage style since 1979” but offers no further information as to what this music was or bands he may have been in, and I am not wasting any more time than I have to on this piece of garbage looking it up, so I guess it’ll stay a mystery. (Mr. Angel was in Boston "punk" band The Thrills, and was on GG's shitlist - hence the FU ANGEL label name on the Malpractice 7" - Ed.) The title track is awful. I guess it is a tribute to his friend, well, I’d be bummed if this turd of a song was dedicated to me. Total Pineapple-head/careerist 80’s cokehead rock is the picture I am getting. Terrible. The first song on the b-side, “Vamanos A Panama” features none other than Dicky Barrett of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones on vocals, what a fucking treat. And a guy from Foreigner playing Sax! Big surprise, it’s terrible garbage, wavering between a 90s ska punk verse and a god-fucking-awful bar rock chorus. Hard to pick which part of the song is worse, but I’m going to go with the verse. Lyrics may or may not be about dodging the government for tax reasons? “No Fun in the Modern World” has FLAG frontman Keith Morris taking up Vocal duties, and Ross the Boss on lead axe. This is handsfuckingdown the worst song of the Garbage Can listening session yet. The title may have been about what listeners feel when they listen to this record perhaps. Dad punk, with a heavy helping of Guitar Center “pro gear, pro attitude” vibes. This “star” studded 7” also came with a CD, not a chance in hell it was getting played. Ultimately I was left with the question, “Who the fuck would buy this shit?”

Joe Kusy "Popcorn Salamander" 7"
Some far fuckin’ out psychedelic rock music here, or at least an impotent stab at it. The title song is a doddling, uninspired, repetitive mess that sounds like people who have never taken psychedelics trying to make music that they imagine all the “heads” out there want to hear. Not taking drugs to make music to take drugs to?The only intelligible lyrics, is the title of the song, repeated a million goddamn times. The flip is “High-up Ponytail”(I think), contains the lyrics “we can go surfing in space because its cool up there”. I shit you not. Apparently there is two songs on each side, but there is no discernable break between them, and I can’t figure this goddamn sleeve out. So I guess that’s kinda trippy? This band reminds me of White Fence, who’re already a very bland and boring band. The one positive thing I noted about this 7” is that there only appears to be 50 copies(make it 49 after I throw this one out) of it in the world, so that’s good news!
(Founding Fathers Records)

Fuck Detector s/t 7"
Dear Fuck Detector, thank you for making your songs so short, at least on the A-side. At first, I thought this was straight-edge hardcore, but there aren’t enough X's involved and whatnot. The first of SEVEN songs is called “Controlled by a Fuckin’ Plant”, which I assume is about smoking weed, or not smoking weed. I guess it could also be about working at a Plant though. Whatever. The second song has some great, what I can only assume was Fozzie the Bear inspired “WokkaWokka” lyrics throughout it, so that was cool. Then some more fast songs, plenty of tuneless screaming, and a slow song I think. The last song has lyrics about drinking, so we can rest assured these boys ain’t nailed to the X. One song features some poor man’s Ginn worship, not sure if anyone has done that before, guys. This sort of punk (could be hardcore, not going to dedicate any more thought to it) definitely isn’t my thing, but if it was, I don’t think I’d like it either. NEXT.

Tender Thrills/Zulu Pearls split 7”
Oh great, a split 7”. Thanks Rich, two bands for the price of one. Tender Thrills contribute their incredibly unoriginal turd “Geena” to this split slab. A dull song with a meandering tempo that they’d probably call “a heartbreaking garage ballad” or some other self gratifying bullshit. Sorry folks, this one is a stinker. Maybe Zulu Pearl’s song “Feel Me” will completely redeem this record and my time. NOPE. This one has more of what I think might be a Captured Tracks vibe, but maybe it is what Burger Records bands sound like too, all jumbled up in one crummy shitmix joke of a band. I don’t know .This band is German, but it doesn’t sound like it, so that’s something. A very fucking tepid performance from both of these bands. Getting sick of this kind of shit, Mr. Disco Lite Records.

The Sniffs s/t 7”
Another record from the people over at Disco Lite Records, who apparently don’t care about wasting thousands of dollars on mediocre music. Five songs of “snotty” fast garage punk. AKA something I am never going to remember. These guys probably like the Pagans, and maybe one of the guys in the band might like some cool stuff, but that doesn’t matter, because this record is a straight up stinker, and I’m not here to review their personalities. The first two songs “OCD” and “(You haven’t seen me) Cruel” might as well have been the same song twice in a row. The start of the third song “Zombie Society”, reminded me of “I gotta Rock n’ Roll”, but that changed VERY quickly, and these boys loused it up again. Some really poignant cover art here, which I can only assume is inspired by the previously mentioned song. A pair of male and female “punk” zombies, ignoring each other at the table, instead focusing on their cellphones. You’d really have to see it to believe it! Scathing social commentary, gang. The flip side sucks too. I’d be willing to bet these guys are Euros. The poor saps at Disco Lite Records have shit in their ears is what I’m taking away from this and the previous record.

Guntown "Chaos" 7"
Oh boy. This one is not good. Really not good. These guys say of themselves in the included Press Release “Guntown has just enough angst to make you move, enough drive to make you smile and enough technical drum fills to start a dance party”. Just what I’m looking for to start a dance party, technical drum fills. The title track kicks things off, and I guess it does have those things, and they all contribute to it being a terrible song that I never want to hear again. It also has some wretched screamo style backup vocals. Not sure what kind of music this is, but it falls somewhere between pop punk and 00’s style baggy pants hardcore. The second song is called “Fuck the Days” (swearing is cool!) and it is a poppier number, but no less shitty. They definitely sound like they’re from the Bay area. The flip song is called “Acid Baby”, hands down the worst song on this, kudos Guntown, that’s not an easy feat. The verse of this one borders on jazzy/easy listening punk, but don’t worry, Guntown switches it up throughout the song. More screaming back up vocals too The boys really show their chops on this one, and it seems to drag on for fucking ever. Great musicianship though, guys. A quick look at the insert reveals that they have at least one drum tech. Very punk. This 7” has replaced Johnny Angel Wendell for the worst record yet in this session of “the Can” as I am now fondly calling it.

Humans "Milk Pond" 7"
Jesus Christ, I find the title of this one disgusting. On the opening salvo of this EP, “Vagrant Dead”, we find Humans to be some sort of modern hardcore band, who I’d imagine also highly value their chops overall. They are also not too interested in keeping any one tempo for too long, constantly dicking around and jamming into some more retarded beat. Ugh, this one is exhausting. The second song “Under the Radar” also features a constantly changing beat. I could imagine the drummer, a one Zachary Walter Jetter, as being one of the most annoying people to ever meet, a scatterbrained moron, much less play in a goddamn band with the fucking guy. Flipping this marbled gray piece of rubbish over, we find two more songs “Flesh Maze” and “Screen Memory”. I have to say, Humans, your drums, bass and guitar feature hands down the worst tones and sounds of “the Can” selection. Truly horrendous music. The last song on this is easily the worst of them all. It has gang vocals. Just plain garbage. I would bet there is at least ten punk/indie bands with the same name as Humans, and they should all write these guys a message asking them to stop playing music, as it’d be a giant bummer for any of the other band curious fans to stumble upon this by mistake. I can only assume this was self released, if it wasn’t, the wholehuman race is doomed.

What a fuckin’ drag for all parties involved, especially the poor listener. Why do these records exist? How much money was wasted on them? Why were they sent to TermBo? Why do I care? I guess it’s all part of the mystery of “the Can”, and I clearly cannot crack this case. Farewell.

That's it for this time. If anyone really wants any of this stuff, contact the editor, we're running out of room. And if anyone out there is foolhardy enough to want to become a full or part time garbage can reviewer, send your resume in.

To read past installments of Garbage Can go here.