Reviews

Ray Farrell

Alex Chilton Live in London LP

This was recorded in 1980 with the SOFT BOYS as a back-up band. He covers old ghosts like “The Letter” and “September Gurls,” as well as R&B and rockabilly. Better sounding than most of his latest work. Chilton is the only guy that could musically give FLIPPER a run for the, uh… money. A current pick hit.

The Cramps Transylvanian Tapes LP / Tales from the Crypt LP

These are two separate “disques especiale,” as they say in the biz. They’re made up of demos from the real early days, as well as comical Chris Spedding sessions and the wild Chilton tapes. There’s live versions of the obscurities and B-sides of singles. This should satisfy you while Lux stays nailed to the parlor TV.

Pop-O-Pies The White EP 12"

Perfect! Captured on record before they become a “good New Wave” band. Anybody that’s from New Jersey, has worked in a bakery, thinks California is funny, and will play one chord for an entire song is OK with me.

Tav Falco’s Panther Burns Blow Your Top 12"

Not as hot as before. In fact, this is contentabilly, or even “whichwayyougoinbilly.” Still, the PANTHER BURNS have that certain—dim the lights—”mysterious” edge. “Panther Man” makes the STRAY CATS sound like a showbiz snowjob. Keep cool, fans, ‘cause ol’ Gustav is already lookin’ for a hotter band.

Rank and File Sundown LP

The Kinman brothers could pull any sound off. The WHO, the VELVET UNDERGROUND, any real rock ’n’ roll. I’m biased. If I didn’t think the DILS were better, I’d really like this record. But there was something about the way the DILS could play “Mr. Big” right before the EVERLY BROTHERS’ “Cathy’s Clown” and be more energetic and original than RANK AND FILE will probably ever be. But Chip and Tony are different now. They’re friendly! Shit, they’re almost as warm as Springsteen.

Shockabilly The Dawn of Shockabilly 12"

Also known as EUGENE CHADBOURNE’S CHADBOURNES, SHOCKABILLY cover ’50s and ’60s hits. It’s like when you sit in the bathtub and sing “96 Tears” by recall… you sing the organ intro, what you remember of the lyrics, and your own transcendental version of a guitar solo. You follow that with a quick trip through the funhouse and outcomes “shockabilly.” Same ballpark as PANTHER BURNS, but outfield.

Mission of Burma Vs. LP

Boston really loves its rock ’n’ roll. MISSION OF BURMA aren’t hardcore or the typical Boston bar band. This first album is faster and louder than their other stuff, at least most of the time. The almost accidental meshing of the guitars is better than ever.

Meat Puppets Meat Puppets LP

The MEAT PUPPETS have nothing to do with punk or psychedelia. This is thrash in a wind tunnel. It’s so frenzied, it moves as fast as the human brain. Your opinion is genetic. It depends on what you ate. Or what your mother ate.

V/A Cleveland Confidential LP

Cleveland is a city of neuroses, both real and imagined. This record proves that the city still has the best psych-garage bands. An old PAGANS track is featured, as well as great stuff by the WOMANHATERS, OFFBEATS, MENTHOL WARS, and more. Even the “artband” track is gonzo.

Thee Milkshakes Please Don’t Tell My Baby / It’s You 7"

This British band does it up like PRETTY THINGS/KINKS circa ’65 with a punk tinge you can feel. Nice sound too, crude like live. Betcha the BEATLES sounded this wild before they started making records. This outshakes most “mod” bands.

39 Clocks Subnarcotic LP

This is the second album from this German group. It’s like meeting the VELVET UNDERGROUND and SUICIDE in a rainstorm. It isn’t gloomy either, it’s a lot of fun. They don’t get too wild but the rhythm is rigid. They even do “Louie Louie” without making it sound old.