Reviews

Tesco Vee

V/A Alle 55 Kort cassette

These 55 bands (one track each) all hail from the Low Countries: Belgium and Holland. And needless to say, this compilation brings home with force just how widespread hardcore has spread in this region. Both live and studio tracks, mostly well-produced, and comes with a zine.

Hula Fever Car 12″

The title track of this record is a giant of a song; it must be heard through huge Cerwin Vega speakers driven by a 200-watt amp. HULA is definitely more commercially viable with this release, but previous tunes displayed a benign but invigorating quality. Nevertheless, this is excellent.

Smersh Make Way for the Rumbler cassette

Music must exhibit intensity and drive to enter any real or imagined vanguard status—and no copycat Brit-electro-hoedown will do the trick. This tape is devoid of all that is redundant; absolutely the most vibrant thing I’ve heard from an American group in the genre of late. Genuine, surreal, unmitigated craftsmanship here.

Skoptzies Live Tape / Studio Sessions cassette

Repetition is used effectively here. This is a hard one to pigeonhole, and it ain’t my style to categorize. An interesting, occasionally exhilarating collection of diverse tunes that fare better on studio tracks where the band ranges from austere to downright savage.

V/A The Last Supper cassette

We’ve got the mandatory SPK and TEST DEPT, who are featured on every one of these tapes. Clever packaging, however, belies the Sominex inside; poor quality sound, too. Well, three strikes and you’re out, but that’s only two. OK, then there’s this band called MUSLIMGAUZE easily qualifies with their incredible suckiness.

Konstruktivists Psyko-Genetika II cassette

The tail end of an acid trip all us used to see Uncle Sam ridin’ a skyrocket, yeah, and just before I cum I get deja vu and my chick turns into Marilyn Monroe, an’ fuck, when I play this tape none of that shit happens…fuck…

Aram and Die Schaffner Zieh Nur Alleine / Mörder Mörder 7″

Slick packaging on this Kraut 7” sounds like a rehash to me with all those jangly guitars. Occasionally, they lapse into intense playing, but for the most part this looks and feels something like RED ROCKERS would have done three years ago.

Belfegore Belfegore LP / Belfegore in Roma 7″

Why these two platters in tandem? Because they graphically reflect before and after. Now that some A&R man has taken them under his wing and has sent them out on the road with HANOI ROCKS, will things ever be the same? They have some fuckin’ killer platters like this 7”, but their LP pales by comparison; it’s still up front and to-the-point, but they lost me when they started singing in English.

Sonic Youth Sonic Death live cassette

We’re bordering on ambient slow-burn here, but I’m still drawn…no, sucked into this band’s whole thing. They simply can do no wrong. I’m the biased jerk who really shouldn’t be reviewing this babe. Not for everybody, but then neither is good taste.

Black Flag Live ’84 cassette

A superior quality live tape showcasing an evening with a seminal, legendary, masochistic, poignant, chaotic beast of an outfit who have not lost one iota of aggro. Will the years catch up with BLACK FLAG? Will they cease and desist this rampant high-speed lurch? Hope not…

V/A Objekt No. 2 cassette

An eclectic conglomerate of obtuse sound and vision, some of it extraordinary, some self-indulgent grunt, but that’s the case with all compilations in this genre. It’s refreshing to see Americans pumping out intensity of this nature. This is quite similar in approach and content to the Rising from the Red Sand series from England, although the sound here is much better. Highly recommended.

Der Durstige Mann Bier Nix Gut! 7″

Leader Eric Hysteric claims the most revelatory moment in his life was when he heard the GERMS’ “Forming.” He proceeded to pump out some of the trashiest, most barbarically brilliant stuff with his original band VOMIT VISIONS, on his own, and with his new assemblage. Here these guys are really sounding slick enough to enter the world of commercial jingles and the like. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still boss (the bossest).

The March Violets Natural History LP

I feel burned, Jack, cuz three-quarters of this friggin’ thing is the old singles, and if they wanna keep breaking new ground with their collective pinkys, then my green’ll be clinging wallet-side cuz their last single sounded like fuckin’ X anyway.

Danielle Dax Jesus Egg That Wept LP

Women are created equal, and they are capable of parallel performance in any of 1000 arenas. Therefore, add to the list the gal here on the outer reaches of sanity. A truly bizarre platter incorporating various and sundry obvious influences. But, I am gasping, “A woman can do anything” (underneath my breath) as I drag my cigarette and flip this over for another spin.

SPK Junk Funk / High Tension 7″

Fuckin’ shit…they went too far—this is positively MOR synth for wimpy club DJs. This band has made some of the sickest, most intense music of the past decade, and to foist this crud on us is wicked bad. People who snort cocaine listen to this grunt, not cool people like me. Nuff said.

Alien Celebrating Your Victory 12″

For real, it’s like a humongous swatch of pounding electric noise. Every time you play it, your neighbors will wonder where you’ve got the ship boiler…will swear you are fucked up…will wish they are like you. This disc is quite simply the absolute nuts, plain as that.

Nuclear Crayons Bad Pieces Seen Delivering The Foretold Conclusion Spin All When After Consummate Pieces Open LP

To be creative, one needs not overtly placate our inherent need for aggro; this lot chooses the back way in much the same way a certain strain of barbed leeches swim into children’s rectums when they stop moving in the Amazon. A disc like this will languish on record shelves only because people would rather cop out on the tried and true rather than burn their big toe in the boiling hot-spring of newness. Your loss, fuckers.

Samhain Initium LP

Despite the fact that my copy sounds like it was pressed on emery board, I have nothing but glowing adulation for this effort. Glen Danzig’s world-view as a butchershop cum comic book cruises us hot rails to hell in swirling but occasionally uneven production. His forceful crooning is as spine-tingling as ever, and the mid-tempo attack is ever so refreshing for this aging beefbag.

Portion Control Go Talk 12” / Rough Justice 12” / Raise the Pulse 12”

These guys are prolific as fuck—with count ’em—five records in the past year. Does the term “dancable” turn you off? Tough toenails, cuz this is savage shit! The vocalist barks commands as the electro-beat grinds your ass into mandatory movement. Fucking awesome…

Lydia Lunch / Michael Gira Hard Rock cassette

Spoken word. Side one is LYDIA LUNCH recounting a fictional (?) account of a woman getting fucked by a greasebag on a cold cement floor. Side two is a very disgusting account of a fat kid who fantasizes about his male boss, kills a bum in an abandoned building, slits him open, and eats the fetid intestines as he burps the beef. Art? Prose? Slop for slop’s sake? Well, the reader is in the SWANS, which probably explains it all.

Test Dept. Beating the Retreat 2×12″

A box set of two 12” discs and literature documenting—via an Orwellian philosophy—the human struggle. Inordinately powerful, overwhelming, and mind-boggling in its successes, this package must be heard. I only need leave you with this quote from the record: “People submerged by the commonplace, programmed by a technology whose language of command, analysis, and control strangles the mind with a cold logic.” Indeed…

Severed Heads Since the Accident LP

What we see is Aussies passing Weird 101, but hold off on the ground-breaking ceremony. Here’s pre-recorded between-song gibberish (à la the WHITEHOUSE bunch), vocal frivolity (à la the LEMON KITTENS), and occasional pounding electro-chop (à la S.P.K.). Redundancy is no modicum for change, but since stuff from the land “down under” is “in”—C+. (PS—their 12” sucks.)

Tommi Stumpff Mich Krieg ihr Nicht / Contergan Punk 7″

Picture a warped-looking sicko in a wheelchair, name of TOMMI STUMPFF. Hear my fave 12” of 1983 and so far in ’84. Vicious electronics are splattered onto this sucker’s twisted screeching, like mental treatment with a backbeat. Fucking incredible… produced by Conny Plank even.

Belfegore Belfegore 12″

Big production showcases an awesome range of style. Ethereal, enigmatic, and all the while defying an adequate label. Without the “follow-the-leader” instincts of the Yanks and the trendy posturing of the Limeys, many a Kraut combo is finding its way into my heart. BELFEGORE is numero uno, so check this one out, pongos.

Play Dead From the Promised Land LP

PLAY DEAD have tempered their approach, but the basic elements of that approach are tried and true. Yes, perhaps the lost bravado of optimism rears its unsavory head. But feareth not, loyal “blacken clad in a blue funk slaves”—the dank death dirge marches on into the abyss of the human struggle with a grunt and some grunge for all ye open-minded enough to sample a sip.

Crawling Chaos The Big C LP

After a long layoff, a second LP. Their best product to date is the tough-to-find Homunculus Equinox cassette gem. That tape evidences more insanity than one can handle, but the albums seem to layer their intent within the vehicle of the song itself, most times coming out on top. Fans of the obtuse revel.