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

Anything Narnack Records Has Ever Sent to Me CD/LP
Totally useless rinky-dink fashion-conscious horseshit. It all sucks. Unless we're talkin' the Coachwhips, which we aren't, because Narnack neglected to send said material to me in favor of mailing off a million-and-one dancey disco-duck fuck-offs that'd prime a queer's cornhole quicker 'n' Crisco -- i.e., the rest of their catalogue. Dear Narnack Employees: If you're going to do something in the name of metro-musical "art," please make sure it involves turning a gun on yourself. Eat shit. (EL)
(Narnack Records // www.narnackrecords.com)

The Cheeps s/t CD
Some air breather over at Razorcake (I think) stated that this was the best pungarage album since "Destroy Oh Boy!" (sumptin like that), so I felt I needed to check it out. Hold the talk-unit, the first tune is pretty great - lots of teeth-clenchin' and pile-drivin' and jar-shiftin'. After that it's kind of a ball of similar similarities that bounce right off what's left of my eardrums. When I sit in front of the CD spinner thing and stare at the cover, I tend to think, "yeah, they have good energy and power and do the Candy Snatchers & 'Turks thing pretty ably" (yup, that's exactly how I think stuff), but by about song 4 I forget it's even playing, and when the album ends, I CAN'T REMEMBER ANYTHING! Seriously, I think there's some kinda MIB memory-wipe flasher triggered by the laser 10 seconds into "Anything New Please." It's hard to dislike this album, and I don't, but then again I'm not sure what exactly it has to recommend itself. (TK)
(Slovenly Records // www.slovenly.com)

Clorox Girls LP/CD
The young darlings everyone has been creaming over unleash their debut album. A parade is scheduled for this Thursday. Yes, there will be Churros. The improvement from their previous Johnny Cat single to this LP is downright immeasurable, thanks to a line-up change and a wicked recording by Kurt Bloch. I’m sure they’ll still get mentioned alongside M.O.T.O. and THE SPITS for their simplistic approach and wormy catchiness, but I think the tunes speak for themselves. The L.A. influence of RED CROSS and THE GEARS is very much upfront, which is another defining characteristic. The whole mood is very “Oakland” to me in nature, but anyone with a beer and toes to tap can hum along just fine. The sound of youth elation...all you old folks (coughTRICKKNEEcough) should live vicariously through them. (MC)
(Smart Guy Records // www.smartguyrecords.com)

Clorox Girls LP/CD
Scream "early Redd Kross!" all you want -- sounds more like early Hard-Ons to me. Less inept, less abrasive and less balls-out frantic than their supposed predecessor (a favorite of mine), but pop-reliant in all the right ways. Kurt Bloch at the knobs, y'know? If you're ready for a solid and worthy pop-inluenced alb, strap in. If you're lookin' for L.A. '78 revisted, get lost. (EL)
(Smart Guy Records // www.smartguyrecords.com)

Clorox Girls LP/CD
Anybody that has their single is aware that this band knows how to slop out the early West Coast ponk (think Redd Kross & pop bits lifted from the Adolescents) with the best of 'em. Less Krossy on this album, but still in the same spirit. Side A is the punky one, Side B the poppy one. Basically. The first two songs on the A and the last couple on the B are the most memorable, but the middlers aren't crap-filler or anything. A little of the modern Pac N'west sound seems to be creeping in (or was there unrecorded all along) - "Not My Hometown" is quite Spits-like, fer example. "Walks the Street" is the CGs at their best - fucked up jerk-drum parts, jar-structure and some nice hooks. The closer, "End of a Fantasy," shows that they have a bit of range, as it's a nice slower-tempo sad-pop number. Good album, great production, probably not as consistant as the single, but that's what usually happens. Definitely worth yer attention and greenbacks, chowderneck. (TK)
(Smart Guy Records // www.smartguyrecords.com)

Damnation Kids "The Fucker" 7"
This one is actually from last year, so it pre-dates the single that just recently came out on PTrash I reviewed last issue. Go buy that one first anyway. "The Fucker" kinds of plods, whereas the B-Side, "Love Sensation" is the hit here, a real mover in the Oblivians-cum-hardcore style of thrash trash you can expect from Nils "Superhelicopter" Westphal Ltd.(RK)
(High School Refuse Records // listen.to/hsr-records)

Walter Daniels/Wade Driver 45
I was told by a pretty good harmonica-blaster that Daniels is, without question, the very best mouth metal racketeer around right now. I'll just say I believe him, cuz I know so little & I doubt there's a ton of competition. He sounds good here - just Walter on vocals/monica and Wade on drums tackling a couple blues covers & a Stranglers tune. Nice, different, primal, but could use a bit of filling out to my ears. But whadduIknow? Wwwrrrreeeeeeeee!!!! (TK)
(Shake Your Ass // capinch66@fastwebnet.it)

The Deadly Snakes "I Can't Sleep at Night" 2x7"
Hey: The 'Snakes do traditional garage better than ANYONE right now, hands down. Pretty much renders this one a no-brainer. ITR pulls one highlight tune off the last tremdendous full-length and bundles it up with three other non-alb tracks on two slabs o' mini-wax, making for another great mix of soul, '60s r'n'r, blues, r&b and kitchen-sink-etcetera that'll keep you dancin' with the boys 'n' girls or cryin' in your whiskeycoke. Either way, this is one o' the remaining bands that can still move you 'n' me, so empty your wallet, genius. (EL)
(In the Red Records // www.intheredrecords.com)

The Detroit City Council “Party Planet Rising” CDEP
Naturally, I was pretty depressed when I caught wind of Tom Potter’s departure from THE DIRTBOMBS (after seeing them live recently, Ko is a more than fitting replacement). This, along with upcoming SEGER LIBERATION ARMY and BANTAM ROOSTER releases, is welcome notice that we haven’t heard the last of him. The Detroit City Council is a funky, drunky combo that will get many butts shakin’ from pole to pole (may get some asses sliding down poles too). This is apparently their second import-only single and it’s also available on vinyl (minus the cover of ELECTRIC SIX’s “Gay Bar”). Not particularly exciting, but I’m a die-hard…(MC)
(Acid Jazz Records // www.acidjazz.co.uk)

The Distraction "More Trouble at the V" 12" EP
This is really the only Distraction record you need to own up to this point. Hot Rodd Todd is back in form on this one, and the title track is brilliant. Todd's Le Shok pal Darryl Licht adds weirdo keyboard noises on this one, and it helps a lot (especailly the synthetic hand claps). As usual, this record has at least four or five different editions: blue vinyl, pink vinyl, black vinyl, some with buttons sealed inside the cover, some with the blank B-Side silk screened, and I think they all come with the 3-D glasses. Collector scum fodder as always, but at least this is worth listening to. The sealed copies with the buttons cover up the title to change it to "More Trouble with Your Record Collection." Very funny.(RK)
(TKO Records // www.tkorecords.com)

The Distraction "More Trouble at the V" 12" EP
While I appreciate the fact that this came with its own set of kitschy 3-D glasses, I fail to find the humor in paying eight-bucks-fifty at the store only to drag this fugger home with sweaty-handed anticipation to discover that it's merely a three-song 12". Shit. Still, the material herein is worth a look, as the gang's now added Hot Rod Todd (ex-Le Shok/Neon King Kong) at the vocal helm, and their take on quirky '77 pop-laced-punk is better than most others'. Copy your pal's rec and save some scratch for the upcomng full-length, out on some date that isn't today. (EL)
(TKO Records // www.tkorecords.com)

The Fatals s/t 7"
Merde! These French degenerates come crawling outta the gutter with a total fuck-whap to the side of the head that'll please all you depraved, fast livin' types. France's answer to the Real Losers? Or how 'bout the Functional Blackouts? Funny thing is, I bet these yobs have never even heard those names before, but The Fatals come from the same sonic background as the aforementioned, and somehow manage to push the in the red production values even further, while still holding their own in the songwriting department. Nothing feels forced here, it's simply four songs that'll give your record needle a workout and give you a headache tryin' to figure out how France can be shitting out so many killer bands lately. Angry, indeed. (JG)
(Nasty Product // nasty.prod@wanadoo.fr)

The Fatals s/t 7"
Jeff ain't bullshitting. This record is a fucking KILLER. Imagine the Reatards or Persuders at their scuzziest and most savage and multiply times ten, or think of a totally blown-out rabid version of Teengenerate mated with the Hunches. And that's probably still not doing this record justice. Everything is so far in the red it's unbelievable that it sounds this good. Twin guitar attack: one guy plays blistering leads while the other guy alternates between playing rhythm feedback and dropping white noise walls of squeal that sound like a martian death ray. There's some fuzz bass in there too I think, but it's hard to tell because the whole thing sounds like a fucking H-bomb going off. "Angry" and "Can't Change My Style" are just incredible songs. Apparently these guys are ex-members of Les Viperes (who I remember) and the Beach Bitches (who I don't remember). The good news: they have another single upcoming on P.Trash Records soon. The bad news: I have no idea where you can find this record. E-mail the Nasty Product guy. Oh yeah, the girl on the label looks like Cowboy Bob Orton with tits. Find this record at all costs. (RK)
(Nasty Product // nasty.prod@wanadoo.fr)

The Firebird Site "Archives" CD
NOTE TO ALL EMO LABELS SENDING ME PROMOS: If you must send me your CDs for review, even though I've never once given a positive review to an emo or indie rock band, please have the common courtesy to send them in a jewel case so I can make a buck off of them when I sell them to a used record shop. Thanks.(SS)
(Lucid Records // www.lucidrecords.com)

The Foxx CD-EP
Their press kit describes their sound as "glam/power pop" and for all I know they've written some new songs since recording this that could be described as such, but, while there is a smidgen of glaminess (mostly via some riffs that make me believe their guitar player has huffed more than a bag or two of Johnny Thunder's spooge) to the proceedings, there's nary a trace of power pop in sight here. For the most part the Foxx fail to get me either hot or bothered, but they do have their moments. The two slower, quasi-rootsy ballads "Sad Desperation" and "Two Much Love" aren't two of them. "Ready To Go" is the hit, and it's actually a pretty good song thanks to some catchy and rockin' guitar work. It would get my ass moving live, no doubt. The cowbell doesn't hurt either. The main problem with their other material is that it's either too slow and/or lyrically weak (see: Bands [Don't Want Me To Dance]) and consequently fails to capture the fire of "Ready To Go." Actually, on second listen the first song "Landslide" is kinda alright as well. My advice to the Foxx is to get some kind of hook to make them seem less derivative…like maybe they could use the organ from the first Rondelles 7" or something (one of the girls from the Rondelles is in this band). Either that or just write an album full of "Ready To Goes." I'm not giving up on you yet, guys!(SS)
(Self released // www.the-foxx.com)

Functional Blackouts "S/T" CD/LP
The somewhat elevated price tag on this had me hemming and hawing for a while, so that's why I'm so late picking this up. I first popped this into my car CD player while driving around with my punk rock-hating girlfriend, so you can imagine her reaction when she heard the hard to the core, 1000mph opener, "Destroy Hollywood." I thought for a second the dude at Treehouse (best record store in Minnesota) had accidentally slipped some Code 13 or something in the Functional Blackouts jewel case. Nope, next song is "Tick Tick Tick Tick," the B-side of their Goodbye Boozy 7" that wowed me last issue. The two songs after that, "Mailbomb" and "Lookin' Good On the Way Down" were both as killer as the songs from their seven inch. The next tune, however, didn't quite make me cream my pants due it's musical merits, but I'm in agreement with the title ("Stamp Out Techno") 100%. After that though, things really get fucked thanks to an ill-conceived dirgy tune that meanders along at the pace of and elderly snail on Valium and just goes on and on. And on. And on. And on. And on. And…well you get the picture. Don't get me wrong; I've got nothing against long songs as long as they're actually, y'know, GOOD SONGS. If CD players didn't have fast forward buttons, I'd probably never be able to make it past this song. Luckily they do, cause the remaining six tracks are pretty much all great, with both "Doin' The Dog" and especially, "Stupid Face" standing out as two genius examples of retarded punk rock at it's best. I dunno if I'm as ga-ga for them as whoever it was from Blank Gen who wrote the blurb that appears on their LP, but at least half of this is pretty indispensable.(SS)
(Criminal IQ Records // www.Criminaliq.com)

Geisha Girls 12" EP
I love 12" maxi-EP's. An incredible format that should be utilized a lot more. Anyway, the Geisha Girls sound like the only records they have their collections are the entire Wire, Gang of Four, and Joy Division/Warsaw catalogs and maybe an Au Pairs or Delta 5 single or two. Fuck being influenced by those bands, these guys sound just like them. This is post-punk circa 1982. Tightly wound minimalist arrangements built on top of a solid rhythm section, and with lots of Andy Gill stutter-scrape guitar thrown around. It's all very crisp and smart sounding, with particularly limey vocals. An emotionally cold record with subtle power and skillful playing, and believe it or not, this three piece is actually from Orange County, not Leeds. As a "music critic", I highly recommend you buy this record. It's pretty cheap, comes in three different colors of vinyl (red, purple, or yellow), has a cool silkscreened inner sleeve, and contains four great songs. Limited edition of 500 copies available through Disgruntled.(RK)
(A JSR Product // www.disgruntledmusic.com)

The Girls s/t LP
Does the world really need a band that wears sweater vests and sounds like a punked-up effeminate version of The Cars? I sure hope not. I heard some demos of some of these songs and they sounded twenty times better. The Girls make the Briefs sound like tough guys. "Return to Zero" is a great song, I will give them that, but as for the rest of this stuff, no amount of turd polish can help. They even swipe the riff from "Back to Dungaree High" and whoever Turbonegro stole it from on just the second song on the A Side. The domestic LP/CD should be out on Dirtnap anyday now, and I'm sure it will be a huge hit. (Insert vomiting sounds here). (RK)
(Radio Blast Recordings // www.radioblastrecordings.de)

Holy Shit! "What the Fuck?" 45
This is hardcore, so if that bothers you, skip down to the next review. I wouldn't blame you, because most of that shit is about as fun as an Erector Set in the eye, but Holy Shit! harkens back to the good stuff - Black Flag, Die Kreuzen, etc., and you can tell they're having a ball with it. Non-generic & jarring, featuring the skin-smacks (and nude pic) of Eric "The Animal" Apnea of the Catholic Boys/Teenage Rejects. Eleven songs on one 45 (on 45) is a good way to get yer money's worth, if yer game for this sorta thing. I dig. (TK)
(Dingus Records 2658 N Booth St., Milwaukee, WI 53202)

I'm Gonna Stab You 12" EP
DO NOT PAY MONEY FOR THIS RECORD (unless you are buying it from me on eBay). Do not fall for the neat looking hand-silkscreened covers. Or the thick and unlabeled clear vinyl. Or the very punk limited edition of 666 copies. This is what happens when SoCal punks get bored and decide they want to incorporate bad Moog effects into their band and sound like (and I quote) "a more aggressive Televison." Contains five songs that all suck to the same degree from 1998. Did someone not tell them these songs sucked back then? This record might actually be worse than that T-Cells pice-of-shit 10". These guys were apparently part of the "the notorious Le Shok new wave art gang Soda Pop Smash"....man, they must have been a tough bunch. A new wave art gang? Oh shit! How's about leaving this crap to rot on the shelf and rescuing something we would actually want to hear, like that Le Shok "Pop Up Penis" 7" that never surfaced. Fuck me for buying this. I've included the pic of this record so you know to walk the other way when you see it. That "new wave art gang" shit is pretty funny though....(RK)
(You don't need to know what label this is on, because I will NOT let you buy this. Learn from my mistakes, please.)

Jeffie Genetic and his Clones "Need a Wave" CD
Jeffie Genetic is Jeff McCloy (who also plays guitar and writes the songs for the recently reformed New Town Animals) doing the solo thing with results that surpass his "real" band. The man's record collection rivals that of most record stores and it sounds as if Jeff locked himself in his room with his power pop/mod collection, circa 78-80, adopted a phony UK accent and wrote 10 hook filled songs that'll please all those obsessed with horizontal stripes and skinny ties. Think Vapors, 20/20, Buggles (at least for the keyboard parts), Circles, Moderns, and it wouldn't be Jeff if there weren't some Toy Dolls-isms thrown in for good measure. Jeff plays all the instruments except for drums (Mark from The Spinoffs and This Machine Destroys lays down a solid backbeat), and wrote all the parts for the multi layered, full sounding songs each featuring at least two guitar tracks, two keyboard/synth tracks, and a bass. There's some huge hits here and here's hoping that the live version of the band, which currently exists only on paper, starts playing stages soon. Powerpeals/Teenage Treats fans take note. (JG)
(Dirtnap Records // www.dirtnaprecs.com)

John Wilkes Booze "Five Pillars of Soul" CD/LP
Shit, yeah. The whole white guys doing the rockin' soul/r'n'b thing has never really been for me, but John Wilkes Booze fuck with the formula enough to make it work. This releases comps most of the songs off their ultra limited, five volume "Five Pillars of Soul" series, each one dedicated to a person that the band identifies as being the embodiment of "Soul" (which you get to read all about in the extensive liner notes). You get stompin' punk ravers, weird vocal group chants accompanied by organ, folky acoustic ballads and many more songs that fall somewhere in between. That doesn't really sound too good on paper, but it usually works. I can't say I'm behind each and every song on here, there are some weak ones, but the uniqueness of their sound, especially vocalist Seth Mahern who's got a great squelch going while "singing" and a trippy, Michael Jackson on quaaludes thing going while talking, and the perfect production, recorded live to analog, works for me. This is what I wish the Cuts sounded like. (JG)
(Kill Rock Stars // www.killrockstars.com)

John Woo "Who?" 45
Heard good things about this band frum sum Euro pundits. It ain't exacly what I expected considering what said pundits would normally recommend, as they tend to hate anything beyond 3-chord 4/4 straight-ahead pungarage, but I'm actually glad it's not what I expected in this case. Initial spins lead me to believe that this was a buncha' completely unrelated parts Krazy Glued on the ass/nose of the previous/following (unrelated) part, but since them parts was cool, I spun it a few more times, and it's good. Clone Defects rips snuggle up to surfbits which are Stitched onto euro pungarage, and so on, but those repeated listens seem to confirm that there's at least as much song logic as later Piranhas or the Fuse!, so whaddaya know? If that bothers you, it will. I think the recent Ameri-jerkwave sounds are finally being assimilated across the pond. (TK)
(Shake Your Ass Records // capinch66@fastwebnet.it)

Killer Dreamer "Survival Guns" 7"
Kapow Records is really a mixed bag. The packaging is always incredible, but every once in a while there's nothing but a colored vinyl turd inside. This one is OK. Basically it's hardcore punk of the I'm-screaming-at-the-top-of-my-lungs variety, with some Black Flag muscle and enough twists and turn to make it interesting. Ignore the lyrics to the B-Side and you've got a great song with a pretty hook that quickly turns ugly, and I can't tell if the guy is making the pterodactyl sound with his mouth or if it's a sax bleat. Oh yeah, the song is about getting eaten by a pterodactyl. Actually, this whole record has this apocalyptic vibe where everyone is a two-headed zombie-mummy revolting against some overlord or something in a city where they are hunted by pterodactyls and gibbons run wild in the streets. Gotta give them creativity points on this one (wait a minute, is this a concept 7"?), and the music is good and about as close to hardcore as you can get without starting to feel silly. Although I did deduct points for excessive use of the umlaut in song titles and for spelling "pteradactyl" wrong, whether it was intentional or not. Nice Rudimentary Peni styled artwork that tells half the story, edition of 700 copies of which some are on white vinyl. Kapow gets a passing grade for this one, and it's intriguing enough to think about checking out the full length (even if it is CD only).(RK)
(Kapow Records // www.kapowrecords.com)

Krunchies "Interrobang" EP
First release from yet another band from Chicago (remember when we were saying that about Wisconsin...), these guys/gal are actually a lot fun. Speedy delivery of humorously semi-topical punk songs (think Angry Samoans), with guy-girl trade off vocals (well, the guys sings and the girl shrieks). Punk rock in all the best ways, and it's always great to find another band with an actual sense of humor. A recommended release, and not because they happen to be the house band for the Brian Costello Show. Some copies on clear vinyl. (RK)
(Crimnal IQ Records // www.criminaliq.com)

Life at Sea "Is There a Signal Coming Through" CD
Meandering indie rock with whiney vocals coming straight outta Chicago. I can't wait till the Ponys kill all of these bands off. But on the plus side, they sent me a jewel case with this one!(SS)
(Lucid Records // www.lucidrecords.com)

Manikins "Don't Gimme A Choice" 7"
I'm going to go against my judgement and agree with one of Fuckknee's statements: weird how a lot of bands these days are combining the Rip Off and Devil Dogs sounds. The Manikins are a prime example. On the A-Side, "Don't Gimme A Choice" is a hit in the latter day Rip Off Records vein, actually sounding a lot like the Reds; "I'm in Love" is straightforward Rip Offs styled stupidity. The flip side is lifted directly from the Gortler-Baise school of rock, including a cover of "Palisades Park". Overall, a great effort, and the recording quality is bad enough to be called good. 470 hand numbered copies on three different colors of vinyl (yellow, red, or black). They have a Tour LP upcoming on P.Trash in the next month or two, as well as one just released on Rockin' Bones. Look out. (RK)
(P.Trash Records // Ptrashrec@aol.com)

The Minds "Rip Out Your Eyes" 7"
Surprisingly aggressive and catchy punk/pop that rides on doses o' synth, sing-a-long refrains and Joel Jett's admirable esopho-cancer scream 'n' shout. Miles above the alb, too: "Rip Out Your Eyes" places the Minds as the one keys-heavy band that'd seem comfy on Rip Off, while "Blockout" hooks the neck with jerky riffs that work. The eye-popping sleeve doesn't hurt, neither. Grab. (EL)
(Alien Snatch! Records // www.aliensnatch.de)

The Minds "Rip Out Your Eyes" 7"
More straight up catchy punk w/keyboards from Joel Jett & company. This band works quite well when pushing great tunes (like the A-Side), and sorta falls flat when pushing sub-par material (the 2 songs on the B). Obvious, I know, but I just wanted to make the point that this band is entirely song-driven, and they do hit it hard on "Rip Out Your Eyes". If you liked the album (and I did) you'll probably think this is worth it. Great packaging, natch. (TK)
(Alien Snatch! Records // www.aliensnatch.de)

Mr. California and the Green Buddies "Violent Corpse" 45
Nice entry in the "why the effin' hell would ANYBODY (and I mean ANYBODY) bother to press this tossed-off crap onto vinyl, not to mention pay for it?" sweapstakes. You could probably file it next to Jellybean and the Moustaches, though this is a more punky type of brewster. I guess it's just one old, weird dude who makes his noise oblivious to just about anything else (though he has helpers, likely the "Green Buddies," on this 7"). Or so I heard. Makes sense, as the A-Side's a dumb punkrocker without any real discernable melody, and the B-Side is a buncha' song/sound snippets interspersed with interspresals. You gotta admire the gall of this project. I mean, ya really gotta, and that's why it's a blast to listen to. Funny, too. Drumset Rock! (TK)
(Trash Heap Records// trashheapr@yahoo.com)

Moondogs "The John Peel Sessions" CD
This CD is noteworthy for two reasons, neither of which are concerned with the actual music therein. First is the fact that this is the first "Peel Sessions" record I've purchased in my ten-plus years as a record hound. Second, is the fact that it contains the first picture of the man, the myth, the legendary dean of Radio One deejays himself, Mr. John Peel!!! For years music fans the world over have stayed awake at night contemplating the dreamy visage of the most happening disc jockey in England, the man who called "Teenage Kicks" the greatest band ever on BBC airwaves. What was this most influential of music proponents like in the flesh? Surely he resembled a scrawnier, more rocking version of James Bond-era Sean Connery, or at the very least the 70's model Pete Shelly, right? Wrong. In the flesh Mr. Radio One looks like what one might imagine John Entwhistle would have looked like had he never tasted of human vagina. The most disconcerting part of the picture is the Rasputin-like gaze with which he regards the camera. Truly chilling. Recording under this man's supervision must be like taking swimming lessons from John Wayne Gacy. You may be asking yourself right about now, "how did the Moondogs fare at this most unenviable task?" Well the results are mixed. Generally speaking, the four tracks recorded in 1980 are pretty swell tunes in the punchy vein popular among Brits of the era, but the four from the following year limp along without the guts they previously showed. Despite the Peelster's legendary status, the problem here might be with the live recordings too, as the version of "Who's Going To Tell Mary" found on here attests to. "Mary" is the only other Moondogs song I've heard, and the studio version found on their single was so amazing that I bought this CD without thinking twice. Maybe I should have saved my money for some of their singles off of Ebay. Then again, maybe this was worth it just to get a peep at Peel…(SS)
(Detour Records // www.detour-records.co.uk)

The Mystery Girls "Something in the Water" LP/CD
If this is truly the "snapshot" of the MG's amorphous '60s improv 'n' roll that the press release suggests, "Something in the Water" might've caught 'em in a blurry movement. Don't get me wrong: I think "This Is Stereo" (J. Airplane updated and revised accordingly) is probably one o' the year's most intense tunes, but I find it difficult to sit through something like "Blues in G," an instrumental that does absolutely nothing to separate itself from typical thirty-something bar-band background noise. Ditto on the meandering guit-noodling that worms its way through some of the weaker tracks on the alb. I dunno. Looks like good-vs.-less good sits at half 'n' half, but the good 'uns (like "Pockets" and "You're So Blue") are certainly deserving of a bent ear. If you're a traditionalist o' sorts, you'll probably gobble it all up regardless. Your call. (EL)
(In the Red Records // www.intheredrecords.com)

The Nazis From Mars "American Express Dream" 45
Politicized gal-fronted drum machine/synth punk band from Euroland. If ya haven't heard 'em and that doesn't sound like a good time, I suggest you seek 'em out - it's instantly catchy and fun. The title track is what we've come to expect from Vanya (No Brains) and the gang. The political lyrics are kinda silly to me, but no worse than a good portion of the KBD tracks on any given album, so I just ignore 'em (you can feel free to go smash the state, or whatever it is she wants us to do). The "We Gotta Get Out of This Place" cover is alright, but the real action here is on the great "Space Surf" - an instro that sounds like a cross between Spaceman 3's "Suicide" and, well, a surf tune. In space! Ya may just wanna pick this one up, comrade! (TK)
(Subway Star Records // subwaystar.cjb.net)
(Cage Match Federation // cmf.umehardcore.org)

No Hope For The Kids s/t LP
Assuming you haven’t noticed, Denmark has been shitting out some flat-out amazing young punk/hardcore bands lately. Kick’N’Punch Records has skyrocketed to the top of my “Labels To Watch” list with releases by AMDI PETERSEN’S ARMI, YOUNG WASTENERS and (not surprisingly) No Hope For The Kids. Believe me, I can understand your anxiety and lack of interest when it comes to the hardcore being produced today. I’ve been waiting for bands to mine the sounds of the early Dischord singles, Welcome To 1984, and early Southern California overdrive like CIRCLE JERKS or T.S.O.L. It’s finally happening! These Kick’N’Punch bands do it, and No Hope For The Kids does it better than the rest. I’m sorry to get all MRR on your asses, but c’mon! You’re a smart, informed punk rock record buyer. You NEED to investigate this stuff! (MC)
(Kick’N’Punch Records // www.kicknpunch.com)

Orphans "Everybody Loves You When You're Dead" CD/LP
I don't remember how or why I bought this record. It kind of just appeared there, much like the other two Orphans records I've purchased. Somehow, I just keep getting them, without much recollection of the purchase. If you heard their self-released single, you know it was terrible. And if you didn't hear it, consider yourself better off. Their single on Kapow was actually pretty good, and had a hint of promise in it. Well, this record has....more of the same. It's OK, but it just doesn't have enough to be called great. They sound like a kinder, gentler Tyrades, without any of the sharp edges or danger. It's punk played pretty straight in the Dangerhouse/beach punk style. It all goes by pretty fast and pretty unremarkably, with maybe three or four songs that drag your attention away momentarily from the Sunday crossword you were doing. I can't say this is a bad record, because it's not. It's just a really average record. Buy their single on Kapow and decide if you want to proceed from there. They thank what appears to be the entire staff of Razorcake on the insert, which frightens me. I have heard they are a great live band, which is a shame, because I'll probably never get to see them. All LP's are on yellow vinyl, I think (at least mine is). And please remind me to NEVER buy a record from a label called "Unity Squad" again. How embarrassing.(RK)
(Unity Squad Records // www.unitysquadrecords.com)

Ponys "Prosthetic Head" 7"
Single number three keeps the momentum going from their prior superlative releases, but turns up the intensity a few notches, at least on the A-side. "Prosthetic Head" is a blast of delicately controlled chaos that crawls inside your brain and keeps bouncing around until you give in and drop the stylus on it again for another round. If science could find a way to make a super weapon that harnesses the force of a natural disaster, it might sound like this. It starts off with a vaguely disconcerting beat, but when the chorus kicks in it's the raw power of a battlefield encapsulated in a pop song of the highest order. Side B brings "How Does It Taste" which is also a pretty great song, if not quite as amazing as "Prosthetic Head." There's an understated power to it that brings to mind both their Contaminated single and their live show. Needless to say, you're life won't be quite complete until you get this single.(SS)
(In The Red Records // www.intheredrecords.com)

Ponys "So Sentimental" 7"
Okay, so I'm a bit late on this I admit, but when this came out I was pretty much oblivious to recent releases due to being obsessed with getting all of the "classic" old records and cheap power pop LPs I could find. Funny thing is, by sleeping on this I was missing out on a band that's just as vital and interesting as many records from the 70's. What's more, they're a band of the moment…it's possible to go see them live right now while all of these songs are still fresh. In other words, thanks to bands like the Ponys, 2004 is a great time to be alive. Both songs on the A-side are heartbreakingly great, especially "I Wanna Fuck You" which would be their radio hit if not for the naughty word in the title. The B-side is slower, and more insidious, it's not as much my thing as their other material, but it's still alright. However, the two songs on the first side make this a mandatory purchase. This is a limited edition repress, so don't make the mistake I did of sleeping on it!!!(SS)
(Contaminated Records // www.contaminatedrecords.com)

Radio Beats "Blow You Up" 45
I try not to review much stuff that's been previously covered unless I have something to add, and while I don't have much to pile onto Filthy Snitch's assessment last issue, I gotta chime in & say that this is really good shit. It's less Devil Dogsy than others are sayin', too. I know their name makes it tempting to point and maintain, but I hear more Rip Off than anything. Odd how many current bands are mining both early Rip Off sounds & the Devil Dogs sametime, because (for some reason) the two seemed fairly diff back in the day. It ain't anything new, the songs aren't tops & there isn't anything interesting conceptually going on, but these young coal smokers from absolutely nowhere are pushing things along with a high dose of energy & recklessness, which is more than enough for a buncha spins. (TK)
(Big Neck Records // www.bigneckrecords.com)

Real Losers "Time to Lose" LP
There's a funny story about this one. Last summer I kept hearing about how great these guys were, but I just couldn't understand what the hype was about. See, all of the Rip Off comparisons must have gotten me tripped up, cause I thought everyone was shitting themselves about a resurrected and repatriated version of the YOUNG Losers, a band who put out a pretty forgettable 45 on Rip Off like a hundred years ago. Oops. Anyway, now that I've pulled my head out of my ass I'm able to hear what all of the fuss was about. The Real Losers are all about the kicks that only primitive, catchy rock n roll can bring. Their songs are lowbrow, high octane bursts of primal rock action the likes of which bands like Supercharger and the Rip Offs so successfully purveyed. Thing is, for the past five years or so that's been a recipe for total boredom, as bands were popping up that had been weaned on the early Rip Off bands and were shooting for a similar sound, but failed to capture the energy, passion, inspiration, or whatever you want to call it that made, say, the Problematics great. That's why this record is such a shocker: they obviously from a similar background as the late nineties Rip Off-lite bands but the results are as fresh and rockin' as the real thing. And to make things even more confusing, they're from motherfucking ENGLAND!!! Try to think of the last good punk band that came out of the UK (excluding the whole Toe Rag scene). It ain't easy is it? This whole record is an anomaly; the odds would suggest it to be utter crap, yet it's among the best examples of lo-fi, pure rock n roll I've heard in awhile. Hits are numerous, with "Total Teen Degenerate," "Hey Hey Nothing To Do," and especially "Bad Girl (Cheap Fun)" standing out as particular favo(u)rites. After the Testors, these guys are the main reason I wanna go to this years Blackout.(SS)
(Squirrel Records, POB 481, Leeds, LS5, 3th [Huh?!?!? "3th?" English isn't THAT different from American, is it?!?!?])

Real Losers "Go Nutzoid!" 7"
Another installment of barely competent Supercharger-esque shit bashing from Leeds, England. Has Peel had these guys on yet? Anyway, a friend of mine once said something to the effect of, "the Losers are great because their music is ugly and so are they. Rock'n'roll needs to be more ugly." I've gotta agree. Every song sounds almost the same, completely redundant, butt-fucking-ugly, and completely great. These guys are doing aesthetically what the Spits did to us a couple of years ago. (RK)
(Wrench Records // www.wrench.org)

Real Losers "Go Nutzoid!" 7"
More crooked toothed trash by everybody's favorite Hungarians. The Teengenerate-with-Stooges-swing tag can be applied once again, but I think I hear a touch more of the jolly ol' Killed by Death this time. Not as searing as the LP or quite as catchy as the upcoming Bancroft 45, but at this point yer either on the trolley or yer kinda stupid, ain't ya? I'll tell you when you can jump off, alright? "(Let's Go) Totally Nutzoid!" is as greatly stupid as the title. Pip pip! (TK)
(Wrench Records // www.wrench.org)

Red Onions "Live Wire" 7"
Finally, a band from LA that I can actually like. These guys do the funk/R&B thing (think JB's, not Red Hot Chili Poppers) in a lo-fi fashion, and it sounds great. No over-production or super fancy moves, this stuff just moves pretty well with some hot guitar soloing on one track, and some alto sax on the other. "Live Wire" is the perfect combination of an R&B dance tune and snotty punk vocals. They may be the halfway point between Thee Flying Dutchmen and Harold Ray Live in Concert. Gimme these guys over the fucking snoozefest BellRays any day. The supposed final release from Revenge Records, limited to 500 copies on red vinyl, with hand made construction paper covers. I give it a B+ on the Christgau scale because it's only two songs. If you must dip into this genre-bag (which I generally don't), you should come out with this record. (RK)
(Revenge Records)

Reigning Sound "Too Much Guitar" LP/CD
An acquaintance once remarked that Greg Oblivian had the power to make you believe. That is, when he said something as unabashedly cheesy as "your love is a fine thing," he was able to do so with such honest-to-goodness feel and emotion that one couldn't help but take him seriously, cheer him on, wish him luck. When you consider the shameful lack of naked honesty within most of the r'n'r that rains listlessly upon us today, you may realize that his capacity to make one believe through these means in 2004 is not only unique, but pretty much fucking unheard of.
In that respect, as compared to the other two albs, "Too Much Guitar" is more of the same. It is, however, also different. Harder-edged, rawer, less steeped in folk and more dependent on 'Stonesy -- sometimes punk-edged -- swing than either of its forebearers. Yes, it's "garage," but there are underlying eccentricities that carry this above and beyond your typical fodder: The undeniable chorus hook in "We Repel Each Other," the near-creepy drone of the back-up vox in "Your Love Is a Fine Thing," the Obliviated return to form of "Medication," the drum-roll caps backed by falsetto on "So Easy" and, of course, Greg's howlin' good-ol'-boy voice. If the balladry on past efforts bugged you, this'll turn you around. If the balladry grabbed your girly-parts, this'll still rope you in. Another completely necessary release from everyone's fave imprint. (EL)
(In the Red Records // www.intheredrecords.com)

Rocket From the Tombs "Rocket Redux" CD
Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Bad idea. Poorly executed. (TK)
(Smog Veil Records // www.smogveil.com)

Sagger "Black Market Body Parts" 7"
I don't know if I fell asleep at the wheel or what, but somehow I missed this one when it came out. Anyway, it's on Ben Blackwell's Cass Records, and is the first good record he's released. "Black Market Body Parts" is the Sagger formula done to perfection: the three headed primitive beast of hot licks from Tonys, Skull Rider's dementia flavored vocals, and Snacksalot's painfully simple yet effective bashing. The B-Side is equally wicked, but I think I like the A-Side better because it starts off sounding like an Iron Maiden rip. This is the definitive Sagger experience, and makes me want that full-length that is supposedly already recorded even more. Some people might not get this shit, and that's a shame, because I say they are one of the most under-rated (and ugliest) bands out there today. (RK)
(Cass Records // www.cassrecords.com)

The Scientists "Pissed On Another Planet" 2xCD
Here's how the liner notes by singer/guitarist Kim Salmon start, describing an answer given to a fan who liked all their post "Swampland" material but wasn't sure about the earlier songs: "The songs were written thus: James Baker, the original Scientists drummer, would announce that he had a song and 'sing' the lyrics for me to play back to him. From his atonal renderings I would invent a melody with an appropriate chord sequence and perform it, to which he would say 'Yeah, that's how it goes…" or, "No, not like that," if he didn't like it." Besides being a hilarious answer to how some of the best songs to ever come out of Australia were written, it's also telling in that a lot of people (for some incomprehensible reason) seem to really dig the Scientists' later era stuff, whereas any of the post "Swampland" material that I've heard has put me to sleep.
This collection focuses on the pre-82 songs and is packed with hits. I'm ashamed to admit that I had only previously heard the first two singles comped on the great Murder Punk/Where Birdmen Flew comps. Both are included here along with three early demo tracks and the self-titled full length, which have alluded me up to this point, although I'm sure they've been heavily bootlegged and have always been available for all the obsessive types out there. Now that Sympathy has made these early songs easily accessible, there's really no excuse to ignore the Scientists any further if you've never heard them before. Songs like "Frantic Romantic" and the oft covered "Last Night" are downright classics if you're at all into the poppy, 70s punk vibe ala Heartbreakers and Zeros. Disc 1 wins out over disc 2 as it has both singles, and most of the hits off of the album, along with the early demos. Disc 2 has most of the weaker songs off of the album including the three which they redid from the demo ("Girl", "Lookin' For You", and "Walk the Plank") all of which are much superior in the rawer, demo form. Don't miss out. (JG)
(Sympathy For the Record Industry // www.sympathyrecords.com)

The Scientists "Pissed on Another Planet" 2xCD
Though I'm more of a fan of the moody Stooge-bent "Revhead"-era Scientists, the preceding pop r'n'r material is inarguably shit-hot. Yessir. Here we have two discs worth of the latter, a whole 24 tracks of saccharine punk-pop-rock goodness that still carry with them the inimitable snot 'n' sneer of the location/period in which they were berthed: Orstralia, late '70s. Looks like the typically exhaustive folks at Sympathy included the classic first two 45s (with "Frantic Romantic" and "Last Night" in tact for your gal-seek-nights-out), some scattered demos/outtakes and most, if not all, of the long-lost first alb. Need I say more? Even if power-P ain't your thing -- and it's rarely mine -- this'll still grab ya where it hurts. Essential, of course. (EL)
(Sympathy for the Record Industry // www.sympathyrecords.com)

Seger Liberation Army "2+2=?" 7"
Two song seven-incher from this supergroup of sorts (The Dirtbombs minus Mick and Ben, plus a New Bomb Turk), the sequel to first SLA record that came out like two years ago. You know what this is all about: they serve up fuzzed out versions of vintage Seger tunes with Tom Potter on vocals, and both of these are great. This should be the last you hear from this group, as I think this is all they recorded. Any Potter appearance is always a plus, and I still hope there will be another Bantam Rooster record, although I kind of doubt there will be. You should know if you'll like this or not. (RK)
(Big Neck Records // www.bigneckrecords.com)

Sick Fits "Mirror Creeps" EP
If you long for more songs from the Tom Perkins-era Clone Defects, well this band of Canucks are for you. Three sweet numbers on this one that fuck it up just like the early Defects, except a little less weird. The resemblance is stunning. And they're from Ottawa, which I find remarkable for some reason. Well worth your four bucks. (RK)
(Big Neck Records // www.bigneckrecords.com)

Toxic Farmers "Dark Side of Elvis..." EP
A posthumous release of 1997 recordings from this French punk outfit. These guys do the whole Dwarves/Candy Snatchers thing that was de rigeur back then pretty well. Super fast with some frog croaking vocals over top. One song is called "Rockin' Farmer". I'm not sure I get the whole agricultural angle. Maybe it's a French thing. A decent record though, but it would definitely be better without the "Blue X-Mas" cover, which is really bad. This band apparently contained some ex-Beach Bitches as well, and has some connection to The Fatals.(RK)
(Nasty Product // nasty.prod@wanadoo.fr)

Tyrades "I Am Homicide" 7"
Another example of art-punk gone terribly wrong from these guys. "I Am Homicide" is the best song the Tyrades have ever done. Even better than my previous favorite, "Stain on Me". The band sounds mean and lean, Jenna's voice is great, and the song itself is perfect point-blank blunt stupid-punk, including a retarded refrain. More bands and songs should be this good. The B-Side is two covers, one of them by Wire (although you could have fooled me), the other a version of Thee Headcoats "He's So Popular With the Girls" off of the Conundrum LP. Both are great shit, including what might possibly be a guitar solo, and more of the mongoloid backing vocals we have come to expect and love. 100 copies on green vinyl, which you are too late for if you haven't got this by now. You'll have to settle for black vinyl, which I imagine sounds just as good.This record makes me hate them for leaving Buffalo even more. (RK)
(Shit Sandwich // www.shitsandwichrecords.com)

Tyrades "I Am Homicide" 7"
The title track is a paranoid burst of nervous tension and unrepentant aggression that packs the wallop of a gun in the gut and switchblade across the face. To hell with rock n roll, this is an aural mugging by four maladjusted toughs that are WAY beyond help, let alone reasoning with. Side B continues the abuse with two more tracks of the savage, angular attack that they're famous for. "He's So Popular" is particularly hot with its slower paced verses and retardo robot backing vocals (as featured on their cover of VOLT's "Couples"). While both of these songs are great, the A-side is the real heart stopper here, as it's just about as great a punk rock A-side as you can ask for these days. Get this!!!(SS)
(Shit Sandwich // www.shitsandwichrecords.com)

V/A "Babyhead" LP
S-S Records, home of some of the most eclectic sounding bands coming outta the art/punk/wave underground, enters the world of the compilation record with results that mostly please. Duchess of Saigon start things off with a chaotic, yet tuneful song recorded by Chris Woodhouse from the same session as their excellent sophomore single which is nearly impossible to describe. You also get an exclusive track by The Intelligence (this lineup features two A-Frames, one Double Fudge and one Scared of Chaka), doing "Spies Like Us" (fortunately not the Paul McCartney song) which has them sounding more like the pummeling band they are live than they do on Lars' home recorded full length. Two French bands show up on the first side, Blutt, who contribute a decent 60s pop jangler, and Crash Normal (LP just released on S-S) who rock the drum machine hard with a groovy, computer-punk song titled "Quit Looking at My Tits". Sexy Prison weigh in with "Teen Wolves Party Like Whitney (HARD)" another laptop whack-out which doesn't do much for me. Antennas Erupt are the psychotic free-jazz entry on the first side and although initially better than I first though (I dig the "chorus"), their song really isn't my thing. Fans of the S-S Geeks single will enjoy. But the real treat before the flip is courtesy of the Country Teasers, who continue their tradition of fucked up, perverted offerings by sneaking up on you with "I Like the Cock" that has diabolically creepy whispered vocals overtop of a programmed beat and a mesmerizing drone. Genius!
The hits on side 2 are supplied by the likes of A-Frames doing "Bumble Bee", continuing the release of some of their earlier recorded tracks, Unnatural Helpers (a short lived band, which is essentially an old lineup of the Intelligence doing unreleased Double Fudge songs) with an amped up hit "My Brother's Been Kissin' My Girlfriend", The Piranhas with a newly recorded version of "Isolation" which matches the original, and The Guinea Worms get "Drunk on the Plane" which is always a good idea, if ya ask me. The Blowtops song and the drum and sax freakout jam by Kondike & York both leave me soft. Snazzy artwork and inner sleeve, too, pressed on white wax. (JG)
(S-S Records // www.s-srecords.com)

V/A Coachwhips/Trin Tran split 7"
Coachwhips!!! First time through: Coachwhips Side: First Song: Killer-1-2-stomp-punk heavy on the synth that quite possibly tops any song off of their recent, exceptionally good "Bangers Vs. Fuckers" full length. This band seems to be getting better and better with each release. Lastname's Oblivians/Le Shok comments are dead on. Second Song: A little slower, a little loopier, yet very danceable song, which works with the incredibly overblown production. Once again, competes with the best of 'em. Trin Tran Side: I'm in to one-man bands as much as the next guy. Some people can pull it off admirably, like King Louie and BBQ, while others obviously can't, like Trin Tran. Synth-punk and one man bands don't mix, I guess. I thought the third song showed some promise, then realized after the second listen through that the song is "HC She" which the Coachwhips cover on their side (the second song) with much more success. Who cares though? Simply place the Coachwhips side up, play, and repeat. Also, for the record nerds, it's 500 copies on marbled gray vinyl with a purdy photo sleeve. Recommended. (JG)
(Show and Tell Recordings // www.showandtellrecs.com)

V/A Killed By Death Vol. 50 and Vol. 51 LP's
The insanity has returned! Two new comps! All Swedish! I suppose they could’ve just made these Bloodstains Across Sweden Vol. 4 + Vol. 5, but who’s nitpicking? ME. Anyway, if you are into the obscurities, there are plenty here. I haven’t heard of 99.9% percent of these bands, but Swedish punk from this era is definitely some of the most raw and exciting around. I won’t waste our time by detailing the bands (favorite band name: ZEPPO AND THE ZEPP-ZEPPS) or if anything’s already been comped (I’ll leave that for Murrmann’s upcoming letter to the editor!). If you need these, look at the usual sources. I did. Oh…500 copies only. (MC)
(Surprisingly NOT released by Redrum! These volumes are brought to us by Punk-Lennart Records!)

V/A Maybe Chicago CD
For those of you who are don't read Horizontal Action cause you're too embarrassed to face the clerk at your local recordshop with a magazine featuring nekkid girls on the cover, this here's a local scene comp documenting the Chicago scene circa summer 2003. Have you ever heard a local scene comp were every song kicked ass? Well this won't be your first, but there are a number of exceptionally great songs on here that make this a worthy purchase. Cutting through the chaff, what you get with this one is equivalent to seven inches by the Hot Machines and Dirges, a killer split between the Baseball Furies and Functional Blackouts, and a tune by a band I'm sure you've all ready heard a ton about this update, the Ponys. I've only listened to the other songs a few times (the Tyrades song is on their LP) but that was enough. As such I'll just review each the good band's songs on here as if they were singles.
Hot Machines "Tear it Apart"/"Microphone": This was my first time hearing Miss Alex White, and I was impressed. That girls got one hell of a voice, that's for sure. Hard to believe the vocals for both of these songs were recorded in a hot tub!!! Next up is "Microphone" by Jered from the Ponys. It's a fucking great song, maybe a bit faster and upbeat than the Ponys, but really similar sonically. It's the perfect song to play at the end of a shitty day to make you think that maybe life really does rule after all.
Dirges "Shame, Shame"/"What We Need Is An Understanding": Oh yeah!!! These two songs are reason enough to get this. Dirges are Ross from the Brides new band and from the sounds of these two songs they won't rest till they've conquered every party from here to Mars. They've got the sneering vocals and aggression that made the Brides great, but what makes this really kill is that there's some Sexareenos-esque action thrown in. Both songs are fantastic, but the Ike and Tina cover rocks especially hard. With a sound this wild and libidinous, these dudes must get all the ladies…unless A-Ron goes and tells them about the time he shit on himself!!!
Functional Blackouts "Rat's Cage"/Baseball Furies "Taking Turns at Ground Zero": Ok…I'm getting as sick of this format as you are, suffice to say both songs rock with all of the intensity and insanity you've come to expect from these combos. Baseball Furies track is particularly awesome. Put out another record you bastards!!!
Ponys "Pop Culture": What can I say about the Ponys that I haven't already said a million times already this update? The Ponys never disappoint, and "Pop Culture" is no exception. Take this as a final plea: just go out and buy everything by them that you can get your hands on, and if you get a chance don't miss em live. Trust me, you won't regret it.(SS)
(Criminal IQ Records // www.criminaliq.com)

Vee Dee "Furthur" CD/LP
Vee Dee never grabbed me much live, but their track on Costello's "Maybe Chicago" collection, "Midwest Tet," tugged stubbornly at my ear and, vwah-lah, made a convert out of a detractor. The alb carries on in the same Crime-y, psych-y, almost Wipers-y tradition. Definite hooks, corrosive guitar slashes and competent vox all bring on dumb grins, but there's something missing. Could it be the poor vocal-heavy mix that sometimes grates like sand in your girly's stinkwallet? Too much o' the samey-same song structure? Or is this just a grower? Could be alla the above. (EL)
(Criminal IQ Records // www.criminaliq.com)