Reviews

Tim Yohannan

Kaaos Sätkynukke EP

If you haven’t heard this band by now, where have you been? KAAOS has lots of vinyl and tape out, and now add yet another quality release. Powerful HC.

Exit Stance While Backs Are Turned 12″

Mid-tempo English “peace punk” sound, heavy on slick production and cockney accent. Lyrics are tough, but the music rolls off the turntable too well-mixed and without any roughness to match. Good, but not great.

Ex Humans Ανώφελη Επιβίωση LP

A pretty unexciting debut, with an unenergetic ’78-’79 punk and post-punk sound. Perhaps some of that might be made up for lyrically, as they are quite prominent, but alas, it’s all Greek to me. Then, inexplicably, there’s one thrash song that leaps out at you, breaking through the doldrums. Hopefully, their upcoming LP will be more challenging.

Eater The History of Eater, Volume One LP

This collection of classic ’77 UK punk is not to be missed by those who were too young by accident of fate to enjoy such classics as “Thinkin’ of the USA,” “Outside View,” and tons more. Get this!

The Dukes of Stratosphear 25 O’Clock 12″

Interesting. Like early PINK FLOYD meets middle ELECTRIC PRUNES meets late YARDBIRDS. In other words, highly produced but still abrasive pop/psychedelia. Other influences are BEATLES (Revolver), EASYBEATS, BEATLES again (“I Am the Eggman”). Okay, ’67 was a pretty good year, but ’68 blew, guys. Head back towards ’66.

Dementia Dementia 12″

Powerful sounding but emotionally unstimulating mid-tempo UK punk. It’s all quite competent, but there’s little gusto to separate DEMENTIA from the pack. I’d like to feel their anger through the music as well as hear it in the words.

Coma In a Coma… EP

More post-punk from the ADK label, this time in a KILLING JOKE vein. It’s well-done, but ultimately unexciting.

B-Strife Tears of 56 EP

For the most part, this is a pretty unaccomplished outfit, ragged around the edges. But on two of the four tracks, especially on “Fuck the Clumsy Metal,” their charm (and special effects) come through.

The Apostles Smash the Spectacle EP

The fifth incredible barrage of music and ideas from at least some of the APOSTLES. Public airings of internal splits, extreme swings of hate and love, self-pity and vicious projections, diatribes against Left and Right, phony anarchists, women who’ve hurt them, drugs—you name it, it’s written about at length and in depth. Schizophrenic—maybe too sane—maybe…whatever it is, it’s one intelligently and intensely.

U.S. Chaos Eye for an Eye / Don’t Wanna Live 7″

Both sides of this EP are excellent sounding punk rock reminding me of classic NO ALTERNATIVE stuff. Lyrically, these guys are no geniuses. On the A-side, for example, they seem to be advocating capital punishment with a chorus of “Kill the killers”…I think. I say “I think” because it could be (no lyric sheet) “Kill the coloreds.” Hard to really tell. That wouldn’t be on purpose, would it…guys?

The Tweeds No More / Part of the Game 7″

Every now and then over the last seven years, the TWEEDS have re-emerged with a tasty slab of pop vinyl. This latest release features an A-side that incorporates snarly ’60s punk vocals and sentiments with a pop-punk structure and harmonica wailing. The flip is more pop, but still okay.

The Suburban Nightmare A Hard Day’s Nightmare 12″

There’s a fair amount of goofing off here, but when these guys get serious they turn out some great Texas-style ’60s punk like “You Need Love,” “Every Night,” and “Mad” with a great psych feel. Their cover of “Brand New Cadillac” shreds, too.

The Substitutes It Crawled From the Swamps cassette

Folky-sounding rock that reminds me of YO a bit. I figured with a name like the SUBSTITUTES they’d have a WHO influence, but they’re more on the melodic side. Good sound quality.

Subculture I Like Girls, I Love Nature cassette

Hmmm…they remind me of a slightly rougher ADOLESCENTS—definitely that SoCal thrash with shredding music, teen snotty vocals, and melody, too. If they keep working at it, they’ll put out some wonderful vinyl.

Sarcastic Orgasm Sarcastic Orgasm cassette

An interesting eight-song tape that combines political consciousness with a VELVET UNDERGROUND perverse attitude. Musically, it’s quirky pop meets early V.U. (pre-first LP) meets no wave. Intelligent all the way around.

Roach Motel What the Hell, It’s Roach Motel EP

I thought these guys broke up, but here they are again with six tunes. Four are rippin’, two are slower punk, and all are snarled out with heavy doses of satire. Enjoyable.

Reptile House I Stumble as the Crow Flies EP

Very aggressive post-punk might be the best way to describe this four-song release. These medium-paced songs are driven by punk singing, backed up by a melodic yet ravish guitar-oriented band. The lyrics are pretty cryptic/bleak, but the music is a bit less depressing especially due to the sometimes snappy drumming and ringing guitar.

Raging Fire A Family Thing 12″

Two of the four tracks here are pretty eclectic, utilizing jazzy and rock structures, and punctuated by occasionally tough female vocals and sudden up-tempo punk surges. The other two are a lot more ballsy, especially “You Should Read More Books.” The super-clean production turns me off a bit, but the singer’s snarls and intelligently cryptic lyrics save it a bit.

Rich Kids on LSD Keep Laughing LP

Ripping! These RICH KIDS ON LSD whip out thrash with some slight metal tinges, lots of changes, and tight musicianship. The production is excellent, too, which along with the occasionally special effects really helps out matters. Great live band, too.

Offbeats I Can See Your House From Here EP

Good production really helps sometimes, and it’s nice to finally really hear this band. All four songs, whether thrash or punk, feature plenty of melody and musicianship, making for hot listening. Really like “Sad.”

NRK NRK cassette

Really quite good for a debut. Their sound is charging hardcore, but with plenty of melody and full guitars, not unlike fellow Midwesterners HÜSKER DÜ. That touch of psychedelic/metal adds a lot to thrash when it’s not overbearing.

Miracle Workers 1,000 Micrograms of the Miracle Workers LP

With a title like that, I was expecting to end up on Jupiter after listening, but instead ended up asleep in bed by 10 P.M. Must be weak acid cuz I didn’t hardly get a buzz. Very tame shit, cut thin. Gonna complain to my dealer… Gimme Swedish or Australian for a real flash… this ain’t pure ’60s Owsley!

Mihr Mindecision cassette

MIHR means “peace” in Russian and that’s what preoccupies this intense thrash band. Both subject matter and music are delivered with lots of energy and commitment. Kicks ass!

Meatmen War of the Superbikes LP

Outflanked by G.G. ALLIN on the outright perv side of punk, Tesco and co. uphold the intelligent irreverent side of the genre. And even if musically they venture into metal, flamenco, and other forms, this is really humorous/satirical punk (attitude) at its incisive best, although there are some pretty dark overtones and self-indulgent meanderings (musically and lyrically). Wish I could play most of this on the radio.

God and the State Ruins: The Complete Works of God and the State LP

One of the more accessible releases Happy Squid has put out in a long time, this band existed briefly in early ’83, then they went the way of the buffalo. Musically, and even lyrically, they are so close to early GANG OF FOUR that it’s not funny. I doubt it was meant to be, though.

End Product Fun on the Day After cassette

For a band that claims to be “from nowhere,” they certainly are “somewhere.” There’s a lot of accomplished and powerful HC on this tape, and while most is fairly generic, there is ample evidence of future distinctiveness.

Damage Jay Walk EP

A different kind of thrash band, consisting of vocals, drums, and… lead synth and bass synth. Does it work? Almost. It’s an interesting change, but the power just isn’t there. Synth worked great in some early punk (SCREAMERS), because the tempo was slower and the power came across better. In this case, perhaps better equipment and recording would enhance their impact. Hope they keep experimenting.

The Clyng-Onz Hide Your Eskimos cassette

Imagine Doc Dart of the CRUCIFUCKS (his sharp wit and bizarre voice) singing for the VANDALS with a ’60s punk guitarist and a little ANEMIC BOYFRIENDS thrown in for good measure. The result: totally enjoyable punk and thrash, with intelligent and satirical lyrics.

Born Without a Face Freakshow cassette

A very hot tape, this one features 18 mostly mid-tempo hardcore assaults on all things evil. There’s a lot of power here, delivered with authority. The vocal sound is scary and raspy, adding to the overall atmosphere. Very well done and well recorded.

V/A Thrasher the Cat’s Favourite Tunes cassette

A comp that features many cuts each by the likes of LEGION OF PARASITES (UK), EX-HUMANS (Greece), DETONATORS (US), ANEEB (Germany), and many more newcomers like NEGATIVZ, OBSCENE FEMALES, etc. Okay.

V/A Tales From the Western Shore cassette

An all-Vancouver tape, this baby contains mostly live recordings of varying quality (mostly decent to good). Includes BILL OF RIGHTS, IMMORAL MINORITY, A.O.T., UNKNOWN FIBRES, DEATH SENTENCE, FITZ, SPORES, and more.

V/A The Raw Power of Life 2 cassette

An all-Eurpoe compilation that features, surprise, RAW POWER, along with HEIMAT-LOS, MOB 47, SUBHUMANS, WUT, GEPØPEL, BOIKOTTZ, CAPITAL SCUM, and more. Good sound quality, and there are 30 songs.

V/A Noć nad Jugoslavijom cassette

An all-Yugoslavian compilation featuring a shitload of HC bands, most of whom you’ve probably read about in reports here before. Sound quality is okay, but not great due to difficult circumstances, but there’s still lots of noise to enjoy—both studio and live.

V/A L’Union Fait La Force! cassette

Decent-to-excellent sound quality, this tape is an area compilation (see German scene report for listing of bands). 90% thrash, lots of energy, and a welcome sign of a thriving small scene.

V/A The Punx: Street Movement cassette

Very strange. This package is incredibly elaborate: sturdy box enclosure, 84-page book detailing the history and discography of Japanese punk/hardcore in color, and typically wonderful Japanese punk graphics—all leading up to…a six-band cassette? Yep. Two songs each by LAUGHIN’ NOSE, GAS, GISM, WILLARD, LIP CREAM, and COBRA. Not that the music is bad (it’s not), but somehow I’d have expected the tape itself to be as comprehensive as the literature. Still, a collector’s item.

V/A Garage Goodies, Vol. 1 LP

On first listening, I didn’t think that many covers on this neo-’60s garage collection cut it, but I’m changing my mind right now. Classy acts like the CANNIBALS, X-MEN, and MILKSHAKES are joined by equally raw outfits like KILLED IN ACTION, VERTEX, and BAD KARMA BECKONS. How could a record with a band called LEGENDARY VEGETARIANS on it be bad?

V/A Suicide Omnibus 8″ flexi EP

No name to this Japanese collection, but at least the bands are identifiable : the SEXUAL, CONFUSE, JIGA, and M78 (actually a “fuck” band with members of GAS, GASTUNK, GHOUL, and SYSTEMATIC DEATH). All the tracks on this EP shred, with noise thrash and DISORDER-type thrash prevailing. Great!

V/A Disorder cassette

Mostly high-quality recordings of high-quality bands, like UPRIGHT CITIZENS, BEDRÖVLERZ, DEPRESSION, CHRONIC SUBMISSION, AOD, EXECUTE, DEZERTER, HEIMAT-LOS, SOLUCION MORTAL, OFFENDERS, SVART FRAMTID, etc. Good collection.

V/A Deflagration Live, Vol. I cassette

Three bands share this effort. RIP from Spain, HERESIE from France, and VI from Denmark. The sound quality is okay but not excellent, but the music still shreds.

V/A Deflagration, Vol. III cassette

Quite an international line-up, starring UNDERAGE, DEZERTER, KROMOSOM 4, SCAPEGOATS, UNNATURAL SILENCE, FOAD, NEON CHRIST, BLOEDBAD, PROTEST!, INFERNO, and more. It’s non-stop thrash, for the hyper among us.

Vonbrigði Kakófónia 12″

Competent, but ultimately unexciting post-punk. Sparse, GANG OF FOUR-ish tunes, but nothing that catches fire. But then, maybe it’s not supposed to—after all, it’s from Iceland. Shut up, Tim.

Les Vierges Sur La Planète De La Terreur EP

Punk with a rockabilly twist, or visa versa—it’s hard to tell. In any case, it’s a modern, yet old sound—something the French are apparently the best at, these days.

Les Thugs Frenetic Dancing! 7″

Great rocked-out pop-punk. Very straightforward, driving, fuzzed-out R’n’R… catchy and powerful. B-side is not the VELVET UNDERGROUND song.

Stone the Crowz 2nd Demo cassette

A six-song mid-tempo punk effort that’s unmistakably British. While it’s a change of pace from thrash, it’s about as “progressive” and “new direction-y” as metal thrash claims to be. Enjoyable, but definitely older-sounding.

Sodom Breaking Glass / Test Pattern 7″

Both of these 4+ minute sides are definitely in the BIRTHDAY PARTY post-punk vein—screaming vocals, punchy but varying sparse rhythms, etc., etc. “Modern” but abrasive.

Smartpils The Works cassette

Great psychedelic touches add a lot to this release. Abrupt intervention and special effects turn good raw, mid-tempo punk into something special. Neat female (I think) harmonies remind me a bit of SIOUXSIE or S.F.’s MUTANTS, but this goes beyond.

Silent Community The Upperclass cassette

Mid-tempo Brit-punk that’s fairly energetic, though not thoroughly tight. Somewhat hindered by mediocre musical production, the lyrics do come across here—and they’re basically personal/political. Decent.

Second Auschwitz The Arse of Mankind cassette

More “uncompromising” noise from this gang. Uncompromising can mean “they suck musically and don’t give a shit because they just wanna make annoying sounds and get their highly intelligent and political message across.” Repetitive, but intense.

Russian Roulette J’ai Tout Oublie / Fuckin’ Car 7″

The A-side is a steady but slow rockin’ moody tune with full vocal choruses, echoey vocals, and powerful back-up. Definitely catchy and non-wimpy. The flip blasts out a sorta R’n’B-based rocker with cool hiccup-y vocals and singin’ guitar, much in the vein of the early FLAMIN GROOVIES.

Penny Rimbaud Acts of Love LP

Some of the CRASS-releated people return to short songs. Lots of emotions penetrate these fifty minute-or-under tunes. These short, snappy numbers, though, depart from, say, earlier CRASS or the MINUTEMEN in that they’re…classical music. Not classical punk, but the Real McCoy. Well, if you saw Amadeus, you know the music biz really hasn’t changed all that much in the last several hundred years. Right?

Real Real 4 / Kids EP

Snappy post-punk sounding like BIRTHDAY PARTY or PREFIX on speed with vocals like SKREWDRIVER. Weird, huh? They’d go over big in the NY art-damage scene.

The Pharaohs Real Things 12″

Most of the six songs included here are a bit annoying. While the instrumentation is of a ’60s derivation—kind of more flaccid EASYBEATS—the vocals are too “clean” for my taste. But on one song, “Car Crash,” it all works together, producing one eerie classic. Worth the price alone.

Peggio Punx Ci Stanno Uccidendo Al Suono Della Nostra Musica 12″

There’s a lot of jazz and metal influences in PEGGIO PUNX’s approach to punk, something that doesn’t excite me too much. If you’re into fancy bass picking and jazzy riffs, though, you’ll go nuts. Otherwise…

Oi Polloi Destroi the System cassette

Strongly political (see interview this issue), OI POLLOI are a punks/skins unity band that pound out medium- to fast-paced punk that’s heavily bass-oriented, has lots of great screaming, and some nasty guitar noise. Uncompromising.

NEW ROTEeKA Go or Stop! flexi EP

Rapid-paced Oi-type hardcore, complete with catchy sing-along chorus, ripping guitars and drums, and the inevitable Japanese gruff vocals. Good.

The Mel-o-Tones Bomb Sutra 12″

Sort of like a CRAMPS-gone-funk meets JESUS AND MARY CHAIN. Lots of thumping beats, gruff vocals, and noise galore.

Masturbation 被害妄想 12″

Have they heard FLIPPER in Japan? Actually, that’s not really fair or accurate, as this band has a lot more elements of punk, metal, and melody in their dissecting approach. But there’s something in the intentionally sluggish approach to warrant the comparison.

MKB Fraction Provisoire Terminal Toxique 12″

While at times the synth can overwhelm, there are several tracks that really drive hard. This is art-damaged punk in the tradition of early TUXEDOMOON, with a dash of METAL URBAIN thrown in. Rockin’ weird.

The Loods Stop Fuckin’ Around LP

The majority of the tunes here are just that—mid-tempo and pretty powerful older-syle punk. Every now and then they launch into, and prove they can play, faster stuff too. Excellent production and good listening, and comes with a bonus flexi, too.

Kyah Slapdash EP

More straightforward fast punk than their debut EP, this one rips. The addition (I believe) of the COMES vocalist adds some real punch to the singing attack (lots of back-up choruses, too), and this all-female combo has left the ranks of the amateurs. Hot, from Japan.

Icons of Filth Brain Death EP

Unrelenting and hammering, these three songs combine power with an intensive mood of uptempo gloom. The title song is my fave, with its repetitive guitar refrain. Great production, and as Pus says, great cover art by Naomi.

Gudon Brutal Saint flexi EP

The production on this classic transforms a garage thrash band into a psychotic mess. Atonal thrash with inhuman vocals put through some kind of mixing madness, producing totally crazed rock’n’noise. Twisted!

The Froggies Hour of the Froggies LP

Great name for a French band, but the music doesn’t measure up as well. For the most part, they’re a poor-man’s RAMONES, delving into ’78 pop-punk. It’s tight and well-produced, but not really exciting. A couple of covers (MC5, KINKS), but the best track, “In Case of Sunrise,” has a BO DIDDLEY beat with lotsa raving.

Dom Där Ett Barn Är Fött cassette

Some intense, tuneful crazed thrash. Hot production and tight command are very important in this effort, but as with most Swedish thrash, it’s the melodic songs that make it all really stick. A good one.

Doku-Buta Go! Go! People flexi EP

Translating as “Poison Pig,” I expected a bit more weirdness than supplied, but this slab of plastic contains some neat tracks. They can do thrash, punk, proto-punk—all with verve and gnarly-ass vocals and guitar. Reminds me a bit of early PERE UBU.

Death Sentence Ryan: Thanks for the Support EP

Most of the “tunes” here are in the ultra-fast DRI-type thrash style, although there are slower, more powerful cuts as well. Very tight, with a heavy rhythm and bass sound. Hot! Watch for them next year in the US.

Chin-Chin We Don’t Wanna Be Prisoners EP

Three melodic but bouncy “girl-group” (yes, this is a sub-genre, as best epitomized by GIRLS AT OUR BEST, KLEENEX, etc.) pop-punk tunes. Catchy as hell, and uplifting.

The Cannibals Trash for Cash LP

More ’60s-ish garage raves from Mike Spencer and Co. No wimpoid stuff here—it’s all raw, raging real rock’n’roll, with lots of ripping guitars, feedback, screaming vocals, and lots of noise. Like the NOMADS, these guys got the spirit, not just the form.

Abaddon / Rejestracja split cassette

ABADDON is good (decent live recording), but REJESTRACJA positively shreds! They are as hot a US-style thrash band as you’ll find anywhere—killer! And their recording is a pro job. Get this!

A.O.T. Music to Eat Light Bulbs By cassette

Four-track sound quality and a bit ragged around the edges, but otherwise it’s straightforward thrash. No real surprises, but it rocks.

V/A Rippling Flesh #1 cassette

One side is entirely US up-and-coming outfits, with the likes of PUNKS, KNOCKABOUTS, CAPITLE, PSYCHO, NO IDENTITY, ART THIEVES, JERK WARD, and TOE JAM. The other is an all-German line-up, starring R.A.F. GIER, RANOLA, RAZZIA, MOTTEK, EA80, BLUTTAT, and a few others. Sound quality is usually good.

V/A Big City’s One Big Crowd LP

A NY-Metropolitan Area compilation featuring the UNJUST, ARMED CITIZENS, ULTRA VIOLENCE, SHEER TERROR, PSYCHOS, SHOK, KRIEGKOPF, PLEASED YOUTH, SACRED DENIAL, BODIES IN PANIC, BEDLAM, A.O.D., 76% UNCERTAIN, VATICAN COMMANDOS, CHRONIC DISORDER, VIOLENT CHILDREN, and more. With a line-up like that, I’m sure you know what you’re getting—no saxophones!

V/A Back From the Grave, Vol. 5 LP

Once again Crypt has come up with an above-average selection of snotty ’60s obscurities for our listening pleasure. Most all of the tunes are punk with that mid-’60s English R’n’B influence—guitar-oriented with snarling vocals. Bands such as the KEGGS, FEW, NOBLES, ILLUSIONS, and lots more deliver that real “intellectual” stuff that makes the EXPLOITED look like real geniuses.

White Pigs Live: Evil Stalks the Innocent EP

A three-song release displaying WHITE PIGS’ newer “metal” direction. This is more apparent lyrically than musically, with lots of Satanic B.S.; but the music still kicks ass, with minimal lead guitar damage and lots of power. “Satan’s Sparrows” is a psychedelic thrashorama.

Verbal Assault The Masses cassette

There’s a decided MINOR THREAT/7 SECONDS influence here, which is, I’m sure, not accidental, given VERBAL ASSAULT’s straight-edge bent (unbent?). The comparison doesn’t end there, though, as the music is as tight, crisp, and committed as the aforementioned mentors, though not quite as assured. Good.

Sloppage Absurdist Trash cassette

Most all the songs here are “first takes,” unrehearsed three-minute jams. Considering that, it is remarkable that the tunes do indeed resemble songs—structures, beginnings, endings, etc. A bit of FLIPPER influence, PiL, etc.—an artistic nightmare.

Scream This Side Up LP

A professional job here that doesn’t lose its bite. They thrash hard, rock hard, and hit you on the rebound with reggae and other changes-of-pace. The lyrics didn’t hit me too hard this go round, though, as their obliqueness left me wondering what exactly are they singing about. Nonetheless, they are delivered with passion, and that’s what’s important.

Sacred Denial Let ‘Em Out LP

Quite an attack. This is noise thrash—not cleaned up or pretty—but really effective and pounding. There’s a lot of spirit here, as well as good punk rock. I like it.

Power of the Spoken Word The Language of a Dying Breed LP

“Power” is a good word for this band to have in their title. “Spoken word” also applies, as many of the vocals are more like spoken raves. Metal influences galore, on both slower tunes and thrashers, as well as those ultra-gruff vocals.

The Prime Movers Matters of Time 12″

In the Boston tradition of DMZ, LYRES, REAL KIDS, etc., this band combines snappy poppy tunes and a ’60s-ish rock’n’roll instrumentation to produce listenable music. While not as dynamic as the first two aforementioned bands, there is still something here to listen to, though the lyrics are purely passé.

Phantom Tollbooth Phantom Tollbooth cassette

Three heavily jazz-influenced hardcore raves. Usually, I find jazz detracts from the impact of HC, but in this case, as with some of the MINUTEMEN’s material, it enhances.

PTL Klub Psalm #7 cassette

One of the seemingly few Boston-area bands doing out-and-out hardcore, this young combo does it right. It’s got that “Bosstown” HC sound, with all seven tunes totally ripping. Good one.

Milton’s Disciples Milton’s Disciples cassette

This garagy recording is devoted to the glorification of pop-tarts. And though they don’t want to be known as purely “funnypunk,” it’s hard to take this five-songer seriously.

Megadosage Blacksburg Paradise cassette

Extremely herky-jerky HC, but they pull it off with tight as hell playing, intense thrashing, and an absolutely crazed vocal sound. Killer drumming and weird arrangements add distinction. More!

The Kretins Mercy of the Lord / Fortune Teller 7″

Down and dirty slow garage blues, sorta like the NEW YORK DOLLS meets GUN CLUB. Unfortunately, my copy was warped (I hope that’s what accounted for that sound), but if you like raunch, this’ll do ya.

Hellcats Hellcats cassette

A high-quality studio tape from this funnypunk HC band. No accompanying info, so all I can say is that they play tight, fast, clean thrash/punk with good melodies and dopey lyrics. OK?

The Fuzztones Lysergic Emanations LP

More competent but not truly inspired ’60s psych/punk. Lots of covers again (SONICS, KENNY & KASUALS, HAUNTED, and the great “I’m a Living Sickness” by CALICO WALL). While the choice of covers is excellent, and the originals are sturdy tunes, they never quite “break plain,” making it transcend. Maybe next time they’ll truly psych out.

The Front Gangland cassette

Somewhat reminiscent of the CLASH at their rockin’ best. More like if they had maintained their early zest and knack for pop/punk catchiness and merged it with an ’80s thrash attack. Good and powerful.

Entropy The New World View cassette

Fast-ass thrash, tight and powerful. The studio tracks shred, and the live are not really recorded well. Hope they get a record out.

The Drab The Drab cassette

An eight-song venture that showcases well this band’s older-style raw punk and the singer’s Johnny Rotten fixation. Live, I’ve gotten a bit bored, but this tape is quite well done and a good change of pace.

Disorderly Conduct Disorderly Conduct cassette

A six-song demo that shows potential in the power-thrash dep’t., but is lacking in the tightness dep’t. I’ve certainly heard worse, and these guys will get it together in time.

The Dehumanizers Save the World cassette

Psych weirdness, ranging from musical treats in the line of TRUE WEST or PLASTICLAND to more “out there” experimentation. Sound quality is passable, but doesn’t allow for the best listening with this sort of group.

Death Puppy Playing Dead cassette

One of the tightest, more accomplished tapes I’ve received from a new band. This is stop-and-go thrash at its best. Excellent production to boot. Hot.

Death of Samantha Amphetamine / Simple as That 7″

Sounds more like a ’76-era proto-punk band from Clevo. It’s hard-edged rock that slowly builds momentum, rocking in a VELVETS Loaded LP type of style meets the BIZARROS or something.

Blaine Crew Band Blaine Crew Band cassette

Medium-to-fast snarling punk in a sort of SAMOANS style, without the thrash. And along with the older style punk comes older style punk lyrics. Can’t have everything, right? Good production; fun.

Black Flag Loose Nut LP

My turn to do a BLACK FLAG review already? Uh-oh. OK, Side one has a couple of tunes that grab me, full of power and with a full sound. The rest of the slower numbers, and most all of Side two, leave me cold. I think it’s got something to do with the thinness and cleanness of the sound, making me focus in on the jazzy aspects and lyrics, which don’t do much for me. Seems like those memorable, catchy, sing-along noise days are history, except for pale imitations like “Modern Man” or “Best One Yet.”

Bad Trip Bad Trip cassette

A ’60s-type punk band from Minnesota—and what better place to hail from…the home of such greats as the LITTER and CASTAWAYS. Mostly covers here, in a NOMADS vein. Could this be the HÜSKERS playing a weird joke? Nah…

Against the Grain Lost in a Maze cassette

Mostly medium-tempo hardcore, this band utilizes both melodic structures and FLIPPER-ish noise to equal advantage. While raw and powerful, there are catchy tunes galore. Excellent.

V/A Winnipeg 1965-66: The Best of Eagle Records LP

Nothing especially mandatory here, although it’s not a poor collection either, with tracks from the QUID, SHAG, SATAN & THE D-MEN, and others. In 20 years, will Greg Shaw be documenting the current punk scenes as methodically? Will kids in 2005 even care what’s happening now?

V/A I Thrash, Therefore I Am cassette

Most of the bands here are from Scandinavia, with a smattering from the UK, Germany, and Belgium. There are anywhere from one to nine tracks each by such manic luminaries as MOB 47, EXISTENZ, ANTI-CIMEX, MODERAT LIKVIDATION, MOTTEK, ENOLA GAY, AKUTT INNLEGGELSE, and several more.

V/A Broken Frontiers / Broken Chains cassette

A European sampler featuring XPOZEZ, ANTI-DOGMATIKKS, KINA, WRETCHED, VARUKERS, UPRIGHT CITIZENS, MG 15, NEGAZIONE, and more. Sometimes rough sound quality, but comes with a neat magazine.

The Xpozez Burntout Youth EP

Their best release to date, as far as I’m concerned. Tez and the guys are really re-energized, pounding out five really memorable fast and snappy punk tunes. Where ya been, Tez?

Wrath Who Rules Our Lives? cassette

Some classic thrash, stop-and-go variety, done well and powerfully, although the overall impact is diminished a bit by songs that are almost too fast for maximum effect, and by the limitations of production. Excellent lyrics.

Upset Noise Disperazione Nevrotica EP

Like most Italian HC bands, UPSET NOISE is stronger on manic attack and noise than they are on melody (although this doesn’t hold true on all eight tracks). Lots of speed riffs, raging vocals, and ultra-fast snare drumming. They live up to their name.

Ugly Squaws Trozor Möte Med Älg cassette

Although the guitars are blazing fast, the rhythm tends to be slower, creating a mid/fast-tempo punk sound with aspects of thrash and even metal (especially on the ultra-gruff vocals and some guitar licks). Powerful overall, but that dichotomy creates a weird feeling.

Sperma Please Love Me Tonight / Love Sniper 7″

The female singer of SPERMA has quite a sex-bomb reputation, but her singing doesn’t come across that way. She sounds like a weaker Poly Styrene, and even the band sounds a bit like X-RAY SPEX (minus the sax). Good older-style punk from Japan.

Raw Power Live in the USA 1984 cassette

Six shows from RAW POWER’s first US tour last year. Needless to say, it’s another excellent representation of this powerful Italian metal/thrash outfit. Watch for ’em on tour again.

Rancid Before and After cassette

Good mid/fast-tempo punk, albeit the noisy variety. Decent recording quality, but it does diminish their impact somewhat. Imagine they’re fun live.

Poisonous Cross Gibbet Last Sheet Live flexi 7″

Both sides of this flexi contain songs from a live show, with no separating grooves, and a fade-out on one side and fade-in on the other. It’s frantically-paced thrash here, which comes across OK “live,” but would be more cohesive in the studio. From Japan.

Permanent Damage I’m Not Spoiled EP

A three-song effort that’s really impressive. Really tight, assured hardcore with lots of tempo changes, but which doesn’t detract from the impact. Even the guitar solo is OK. Driving stuff—great thrash from Australia.

Pax Helvetia Pax Helvetia cassette

Pretty decent older, fuzzed-out English-style punk in the slow- to mid-tempo vein. Good production, especially on the guitar and vocals. Basic but substantial.

The Nomads / Fixed Up Live split EP

A live EP that’s a bit of a letdown from their awesome Outburst. Four songs that are rockin’ R’n’B, but nothing to write Sweden about. “ESP” is the hottest track of the lot here.

Merrygoround Outside Punx 8″ flexi

Pretty English-sounding Japanese hardcore. Three tunes. Not really strong lyrically, but the production and musicianship are excellent.

Man’s Hate 2nd Demo: Love Me and Retrospective 82-84 cassette

Quite melodic and catchy folk punk (guitar and drums) that reminds me of the pleasing simplicity of NEWTOWN NEUROTICS. And like NEWTOWN NEUROTICS, Andy T. presents material (new on side one, retro on side two) that is intelligent and caring.

The Sexual The Last Days flexi EP

This Japanese trio wails. The strong bass playing, tight drumming, and powerful guitar pull together into a hardcore experience that’s quite noteworthy. On both fast and slow songs, they grab your attention.

Kyōakukyōjindan Devilish Hurry / Extinguish 7″

The first track is in Tesco-territory, if you know what I mean—industrial “music.” Second track is a little more musical, and mercifully short. From Japan.

Kangrena Estoc de Pus cassette

A very hot thrash band with lots of energy, some good production, and lots to sing about (in Spanish). Recommended.

Indigesti Sguardo Realtà cassette

One of the hardest thrashing Italian combos are highlighted here, with tons of raging songs. The sound quality is good, and if you aren’t yet familiar with INDIGESTI’s material, don’t pass up the opportunity.

Hope and Glory Senza Patria EP

Predictable but competent skinhead anthems and lyrics. One ska tune, one faster punky tune, and a couple of Oi-ers. I guess “Oi Oi Oi” means “Oi Oi Oi” everywhere.

Hiljaa Hiljaa cassette

Powerful post-punk for the most part, but occasionally wimping out. The material that’s most gripping is in the JOY DIVISION tradition.

Headache Headache flexi 8″

This Japanese quartet starts off from almost a ’77 punk base, but sometimes gets a bit more adventurous, adding in discordant bits and gruffer vocals. All of it is pretty well-done, though—even the standard punk tunes.

Gogol and Mau Maus Les Affres De L’Angoisse LP

Sometimes sounding like BIRTHDAY PARTY, sometimes CRAMPS-ish, sometimes like early punk, sometimes all the above at one—they can be interesting and annoying. The vocals are too “clean” for me, and the band’s restraint is frustrating, but those into less crazed stuff may appreciate them. (Not to be confused with the UK MAU MAUS.)

The Exploited Horror Epics LP

Another hot-sounding release from the EXPLOITED (most all their records have gotten good reviews in MRR—can’t say the same about Wattle’s mentality), with both thrash and slightly post-punk rhythmic tracks really ripping. Oh, and thanks, EXPLOITED, for the “fuck off” on the back cover; coming from you, it’s a real compliment.

Entirely Distorted What Gives? cassette

Although the thrash here is not anything new (admittedly, it is quite good and powerful, though), the lyrics are outstanding. It’s great to see a band sing about battered wives, on sex and morality. Intelligent and angry! Good sound quality, too.

Destructors Fast Forward to Hell cassette

One studio and one live side, this tape is better than most all this English band’s recordings. Side one has some great covers, such as “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” “Wild Thing,” “Sonic Reducer,” and “Lexicon Devil,” all done with some amazing power and clarity. Cool.

Dements Tragiques 56° Etage / Europe-Salope 7″

The A-side is sort of like METAL URBAINE meets ’60s pop-punk. The flip is snappier, and both sides combine cool rhythmic, pulsating, noisy rants with neat pop guitar licks. Very good, from France.

Broken Bones Live 100 Club LP

There’s some really hot-sounding material on this live recording—lots of excitement and energy. But the recording is such that it renders a lot of that power defused, not unlike many bootlegs. For fans.

Brigandage F.Y.M cassette

A female-fronted, slow-mid tempo punk combo, featuring melodic tunes and echoey singing (as opposed to screaming). Reminds me a bit of PENETRATION.

Les Bloody Fuckers On Est Pas Très Sérieux! cassette

A three-song noise-thrash bonanza. Completely retarded-sounding vocals combine with repetitive, relentless, pounding thrash of the most garagy kind to give you a few precious moments of pleasure. Fun.

Black Rebels It’s Time of Violence / The Many Things of the Rich 7″

Mid- to fast-paced punk tunes. While not thrash, they are really driving with lots of hooks and guitar power. Excellent production as well.

Behind Many Masks Behind Many Masks cassette

Ranging from CRASS-type minimalist punk rants with male and female vocals, to out-and-out pro noise, this is one of those bands that makes the metal-punk argument of “we’re just trying to do something different” look like the weak statement it is.

The Beatitudes The Grace of Mystery EP

Psych of a lighter variety—nice touches here and there—a bit of surf, tempting little riffs, but ultimately a tease and no real satisfaction.

Beasts of Bourbon The Axeman’s Jazz LP

There’s not a band on Australia’s Big Time label I haven’t found worthwhile. As they’re really bluesy and slow-paced, these guys are a little hard to get into. Still, this is some of the coolest garage rock-blues around, and even a bit psychedelic at times. Not as psycho as SHOCKABILLY or as rockin’ as PANTHER BURNS, but still good if you’re in the right mood.

Aggressive Dogs Dizzy Life 7″ flexi

This four-song Japanese release is in the mid-fast paced HC vein, and although it’s pretty heavy-handed at times, there’s plenty of hooks, too. At times, there are too many metal leads for me, but overall they’re pretty punchy.

Aki Aki 7″ flexi

Starts off slow and raunchy, but works its way up to a frenzy. Lots of controlled noise and feedback, but not “noise” at all. Excellent hardcore from Japan.

Ad Nauseam Bad Noizeam 5 Go Mad cassette

Full of speedy, noisy thrash. High-quality sound and recording make this highly listenable. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the band throws in nice little touches here and there, making them one of the better “unrecognized” bands around.

V/A Underground Bullshit, Vol. 1 cassette

A garagy and nifty area collection of some of SoCal’s thrashing young outfits. There are tracks by FATAL ERROR, MAD PARADE, CHAOTIC NOISE, S.O.S., ARTISTIC DECLINE, BAD INFLUENCE, MOX NIX, BLACK LABEL, PLAIN WRAP, LOVE CANAL…22 groups in all. Put out by FFF fanzine, and comes with mag insert.

V/A Terminal! Flexidisk No. 2 8″

I’ll skip the one track each by EXPERIMENTAL PRODUCTS (funky weirdness) and TIMI (reggae), and flip to side two, which contains a track each by RAT AT RAT R and LIVE SKULL. The former delivers a brutal blow of semi-noise music, NY art style. LIVE SKULL take that genre a bit further, less noisy but more depressing.

V/A Super Seven #1 EP

A 7” sampler of the best of Mystic’s recent 7” series. Features RKL, ILL REPUTE, SCARED STRAIGHT, FLOWER LEPERDS, MANIFEST DESTINY, FALSE CONFESSIONS, and DON’T NO.

V/A Not Yet Decided cassette

An international compilation cassette put out by Brian Walsby. Such luminaries as C.O.C., NO POLICY, UGLY AMERICANS, SLUGGO, ACCÜSED, UNIFORM CHOICE, VICIOUS CIRCLE, SCARED STRAIGHT, UNACCEPTED, etc. present anywhere from one to seven songs each, and there’s lots of raving thrash.

V/A Mystic Sampler #2 LP

The latest sampler LP from the most prolific sampler label, this one contains tracks from some previous records (GRIM, DR. KNOW, Nardcore, Slimey Valley, Party Animal, SUBTERFUGE, etc.) and some future releases (AGGRESSION, HOLLYWOOD NOISE, Let’s Die, Cop II, Return to Slimey Valley). Can anyone keep track of all this?

V/A Godfodder cassette

Some names on this comp you’ll immediately recognize as quality acts, like HOMO PICNIC, CHRONIC DISORDER, DEAD MILKMEN, DROOLING IDIOTS, CANCEROUS GROWTH, ASBESTOS ROCKPYLE, etc. And many others are relative newies, such as STATE OF THE UNION, PUBLIC ENEMA, etc. Lots of variety of punk sounds, and lots of intelligent lyrics.

V/A Dial-a-Trance cassette

A Chicago-area comp, this features CERTAIN DEATH, GROUP OF INDIVIDUALS, TORPEDOS, SPRAY PAINT, UNINVITED, RING 13, NO MORE WARS, BLATANT DISSENT, and GARAGE BODIES. Quite good sound quality, and varied but strong material. Good.

V/A Covers LP

Neat idea, not-so-neat results. Cover songs are a tricky business—you either gotta change and update ’em (like the MEMBRANES’ “Super Freak”), or out-energize the original (SWA’s “100 Bottles of Beer”). But most of the others, turned in by the likes of SCARED STRAIGHT, RKL, FALSE CONFESSIONS, ILL REPUTE, SADO-NATION, DON’T NO, NOFX, VOA, PLAINWRAP, G.I., etc, etc., don’t make you forget the originals. They should.

V/A Highs in the Mid-Sixties, Vol. 15 LP

Somehow omitting Vol. 14, this series of ’60s obscurities lurches on to Wisconsin, Part 2. While mainly on the softer, poppier folk-rock side, many of these tunes are pretty cool, with lots of vocal harmonies and an occasional freakout. Decent.

Underground Soldier Fun Before Profit 12″

This band hits with both well-performed older style punk and with thrash, and hits hard. The band is tight and powerful, and while not extraordinary, they are better than most. The female singer, Helen, reminds me of De De Troit a bit, or maybe SIN 34 or LEGAL WEAPON (thanks Martin). Good sound.

Swans Young God 12″

Tried listening to this while depressed—I broke into hysterical laughter. Tried listening while in a good mood—I whipped off the needle. But it’s “hip” to like this kind of painfully slow, “wrenching” post-punk noise, right? Guess I’m uncool.

State of Confusion State of Confusion cassette

Although largely generic thrash, there are moments when STATE OF CONFUSION show that if they stick with it, they could develop their own sound. This is not to say that this tape isn’t tight or powerful (which it is), but it’ll take awhile for such a young band to develop their “personality.” (This applies to 90% of today’s new HC bands.) Overall, a good start.

The Sonics Full Force LP

This album represents the best of a great band—the SONICS, who boomed out the hottest garage punk of their day. Out of the Northwest, these guys cranked out classics like “Psycho,” “Strychnine,” “He’s Waiting,” and “Witch”—tunes that bands like the CRAMPS, NOMADS, etc. revere today. Awesome.

R4 Tell Him Take 2 / Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer 7″

The A-side is a new-wavey cover of the EXCITERS’ hit of the early ’60s, and the B is a ska cover. Not really happening, unfortunately, as this band helps their local scene a lot.

Psychos Psychos cassette

More than adequate NY hardcore, with mostly fast songs. While not especially distinctive, it is punchy and tight. Good anti-authoritarian lyrics.

Political Justice? For Love, For Life, For Liberty cassette

Quite a good six-song demo, they bring home important topics and intelligent perspectives with powerful melodic punk/thrash. Hope to hear more from and about this young band who, though a bit CLASH-like, aren’t too much so.

Plastic Fangs Ugly Plastic Pieces cassette

Kinda folk rock meets minimalist meets mid-’70s singer/songwriter twisted balladeer. Definite VELVETS influence, and some good rockers.

Plasticland Plasticland LP

Ah yes, more of that seductive psych sound. While it’s usually on the quieter side of things, the jangly guitars and great tunes remind me a lot of the legendary BIG STAR. Some repeats from earlier releases, but a great album overall.

MJB In Not Much We Trust cassette

Sometimes jazzy, sometimes experimental, sometimes straight-ahead, this punk band presents very intelligent lyrics out front so you can hear them. The music is almost secondary, but not quite, as the band does add some drama and is far from incompetent. Good debut.

Local Shame Local Shame cassette

Brave, pissed-off souls from upstate NY come together and release some raving yet melodic hardcore garage material. Totally unpretentious, energetic, and enjoyable.

Liberté? Racism in America 6″ flexi

The second flexi put out by this group of challenging folks. This is a rap vocal accompanied by a funk rhythm and punk fuzz guitar. It comes with an informational book and lyrics—another excellent job from committed punks.

Krieg Kopf Passen Sie Auf Es Ist cassette

Fairy standard thrash fare for the most part, but occasional use of effects on the guitar add a distinctive touch. Should improve with age.

Kaos (Unltd.) Kaos (Unltd.) cassette

Excellent, powerful, and tight thrash. While this is just a four-track demo, it bodes well for future recordings. The material, while straight-ahead, is done with zest and excitement.

Insolents Spout Off! EP

Very powerful thrash—lost of slow/fast changes, good noisy guitar chords, tight as hell playing, and excellent vocals. One of the best production jobs Mystic has done. Hot!

Happy Flowers Songs for Children EP

Children from hell, it must be. Please note: this ain’t music, per se. I can hear a guitar, etc., but it’s your basic noise/industrial freakout. A nasty business.

Half Life What’s Right cassette

A totally excellent thrasharama. This band is tight as hell, delivers powerful music and lyrics, and seems really dedicated.

The Glory Seekers Fortune / Never Take Me Alive 7″

The singer has a definite Jello Biafra intonation, but that’s where the comparison ends. Both tunes are straight out of ’78, with very basic but produced punk. Non-inventive, and anachronistic.

The Faction Dark Room 12″

Slowing down the pace, five of the six tracks here are mid-tempo punk. While they maintain their overall California HC sound despite the change of pace, the FACTION do throw in bits of funk, etc., too. Personal-type lyrics.

Eddie and the Wolfgang Skitzofranic! cassette

Interspersed between their wise-guy hardcore songs are wise-guy comments and witticisms. I’d assume this is a wise-guy intellectual punk band, somewhat reminiscent of the CRUCIFUCKS. Interesting.

Doggy Style Work as One EP

One of the more animated and fun bands around, this EP captures both their ridiculous and serious side. The Leading Edge crew sings “They Rock.” Good production, too.

Dirt Heroes Out of the Basement and Into Your Ear EP

DIRT HEROES’ sound is best characterized by very hard-driving but simple drumming and rhythms. This puts them in a V.U. vein, with occasional ripping guitar solos and chanting vocals. Good rock with punk influences.

Agent 86 Scary Action EP

A much-improved and thrashed-out line-up of AGENT 86 here. Mike Briggs and Co. maintain their dedication to rebellion and the scene, delivering eight ripping tunes. Thin production does detract a bit, but it’s still worth it.

V/A Vote No in ’85 cassette

Two to five songs each by ten intense hardcore bands. ACTIVE INGREDIENTS, UNEXPECTED, PSYCHO, RED BERET, U.S. DISTRESS, URBICIDE, WHITE PIGS, KNOCKABOUTS, HOMO PICNIC, and DEFORMED (the only non-US band, being from the UK). Excellent.

V/A Stars Vomit Coffee Shop

All the tracks here contain one Frank Kogan, whether singing with his guitar, or in accompaniment by bands (that include former Cleveland weirdos associated with X BLANK X and PRESSLER/MORGAN). Results: singer/songwriter goes VELVETS meets JAMES BROWN in the garage singing those “Subterranean Homesick Blues.”

V/A Godfodder cassette

Many well-knowns and lesser-knowns of various punk styles are combined for stimulating listening. CHRONIC DISORDER, HOMO PICNIC, ASBESTOS ROCKPYLE, DEAD MILKMEN, DROOLING IDIOTS, and tons more appear on this one. Worth checking out.

V/A Garage Sale cassette

The cassette equivalent of Voxx’s Battle of the Garages, this collection put together by Goldmine magazine lures such contemporary garage groups as the VIPERS, GRAVEDIGGERS V, TELL-TALE HEARTS, PANDORAS, FUZZTONES, CHEEPSKATES, UNCLAIMED, and more. Can’t really go wrong there. Gnarly.

V/A Can It Be? cassette

Put out by Metrozine, this compilation contains mostly DC area bands like MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, JET BOYS, GRAY MATTER, GREY MARCH, ASYLUM, B.M.O., UNITED MUTATION, G.I., REPTILE HOUSE, VELVET MONKEYS, NIKE CHIX, PUDWAK, and one one-of-a-kind group, CERTAIN DEATH of Illinois. A tunefully varied musical earful. Solid effort.

V/A Transmission Sampler 01 EP

This over-the-edge zine presents one side of garage weirdness (ERIC HYSTERIC, SNOIDS, and BROKEN LIMBZ); and a more accessible side (SAVAGE REPUBLIC and RUGGEDY ANNES). Varied and interesting, it’s worth it for RUGGEDY ANNES’ pop/punk track alone.

V/A Putrid Evil flexi EP

Aha, the first of hopefully many exciting flexis containing some of the up-and-coming bands around the world. Dig and Kalv have initiated this project with CIVIL DISSIDENT from Australia, SEPTIC DEATH from the US (both hot!), and several tracks by the STUPIDS from England, who bring GANG GREEN-type attack to the Isles. Snap it up!

V/A Deflagration, Vol. II

An international thrasher with VORKRIEGSPHASE, SP CAOS, HEIMLAT LOS. EU’S ARSE, SIEGE, WRETCHED, RAZOR BLADES, STRESS DA, and much more; 15 bands, 48 tracks. Good sound quality overall, and intense material.

V/A Dark Sampler #3

Nine bands and 29 tracks, including some hot bands like MURDER INC. III, INDIREKT, GEPØPEL, M.O.G., the FILTH. Most of it is live, though, and not the best way to hear these Dutch groups.

V/A Διατάραξη Κοινής Ησυχίας LP

An excellent compilation, featuring six Greek punk bands in a variety of sub-styles. Not only are the bands more that competent, but the recording quality is surprisingly good, too. Besides EX-HUMANS, PANX ROMANA, and STRESS, there’s no other information in English as to who the other bands might be. As you might guess, it’s all Greek to me.

V/A Asleep at the Wheel

I think it was a prerequisite for all twelve bands on this Melbourne comp to have two words in their titles, like CORPSE GRINDERS, CRUSHED BUZZARDS, TOMBSTONE HANDS, HAREM SCAREM, etc. It’s a mixed bag of neo-’60s, neo-blues, neo new wave, neo-billy, etc., etc., etc. My fave though is a catchy pop/punk song, “Mohawk Baby” by PAINTERS & DOCKERS.

Vice Squad Shot Away LP

Varied in sound, from classic VICE SQUAD to SUZIE QUATRO to punk lounge music to PAULINE MURRAY-esque material. Some songs are totally great, with neat choruses and subtle touches upon pounding rhythms, and others are doggie-doo. Better than not, overall, and sometimes it’s pretty funny.

The Varukers No Hope of a Future / Never Again 7″

Both sides contain that old VARUKERS power, although a bit tighter but more restrained before. A good comparison of past and present comes by playing the B-side back-to-back with “Never Again” from their 1981 EP. Something’s gained, something’s lost.

Todsicher Live cassette

Quite a good-sounding recording for a live show tape, and this band takes advantage of it to deliver some very tight and powerful thrash. Tuneful, too.

V/A Stockholm’s Mangel

Three powerful young Swedish thrashers share this tape. While I’ve heard MOB 47 sound more powerful than this before, they are still a plus here. And so are CRUDITY (more fast thrash) and AGONI, who are along the lines of DISORDER.

The Screaming Tribesmen A Stand Alone / Move a Little Closer 7″

Both sides of this 45 contain slowish but powerful poppy punk, with solid rhythm, jangly guitars, and somewhat menacing vocals. There’s a ’60s feel to it, but it’s not overwhelmingly so. Haunting.

Samurai Turning Point 8″ EP

For such outrageous-looking guys (mohawks and spike city) and such a sharp-looking cover, their music is relatively tame. For the most part, it’s uneventful poppy punk. Only on one song, “No Man’s Land,” do they exhibit any real creativity or zip. Too little too late? Let ya know next record. From Japan.

Sadie Sads Angora / Id 7″

Definitely on the experimental side. After listening to this, you’ll know what it’d be like to be stuck overnight inside a Japanese robot factory with CHROME or something. Lemme out!

Rim Shout Waah! cassette

A powerful punk band here! They deal in mid-tempo punk with some post-punk overtones, but always maintaining their power and rawness. Quite professional and tight, but not “slick.” Excellent recording.

OXZ Vivian 8″

Four very primitive and basic slow punk songs by this all-female aggregation. Sort of interesting, but not really as stimulating as I had hoped. They’re in-between the thrash of the early SLITS and the catchiness of GIRLS AT OUR BEST. I’d rather see one or the other. From Japan.

Orgasm Orgasm cassette

Weird. These are lyrically “sensitive” songs about animal torture or human ignorance, and then a “skinheads rule” song. Perhaps it’s a satire of that mentality, but if not, this Oi/thrash band is quite schizophrenic.

October Crisis Demo cassette

This thrasher contains some great songs, good hooks, cool harmonies, and excellent lyrics. In many ways, they remind me of 7 SECONDS, which is nothing but a compliment. Give ’em a listen.

Nubile Spyral Totem Toler Than East Poll / Tranceyse Discow Veryall 7″

Don’t ask me what language the titles are supposed to be in, but this band hails from Japan. The A-side is a quirky, slightly ambient number that sounds like Jello somehow got his ass down to Asia. The B-side sounds like BIRTHDAY PARTY got their butts there.

No Policy MTL HC cassette

Quite politically aware lyrics, stop-and-go thrash, and melodic songs are combined here for your listening enjoyment. Good sound quality, and neat guitar sound.

Mushroom Planet Some Other Day EP

The singer reminds me of a bizarre cross between IGGY, Gary Floyd of the DICKS, and Fritz of the MUTANTS. The band itself is a bit of all those, too, but more in the line of ’60s punk done with ’77 verve. Good Australian rockers.

Murder Inc. III / M.O.G. split cassette

Yet two more ferocious Dutch HC bands. MURDER INC. is powerful as hell, combining a thrash attack with a destructo FLIPPER-ish noise sound. M.O.G. are a speedy, manic, and tight screaming assault, not unlike TERVEET KÄDET, but even faster. Cool.

The Multicoloured Shades The Multicoloured Shades 12″

Highly produced, neo-? music, not unlike early PSYCHEDELIC FURS. It’s OK, but I like PSYCHEDELIC FURS’ initial material much better. This one has a terrible country-ish rendition of “96 Tears.”

Kromozom 4 Miam Miam! Caca! Coucou! cassette

As you might be able to tell from the title, this is a snappy thrash/funnypunk outfit. I imagine that they’re even more fun if you can speak French. Fun.

Kenji Leostar 8 / Bailey 7″

Poppy rock ’n’ roll/early punk that sounds like a lot of bands that appeared on ’75-’77 compilations. There’s a slight NEW YORK DOLLS influence, though they’re less snotty-sounding.

I Spit on Your Gravy St. Kilda’s Alright! 12″

This band combines many different influences into a semi-original and interesting sound. I hear traces of skunk, rock ’n’ roll, rockabilly, ’77 punk, and weirdopunk at various times on these six tracks. These recordings have a live feel to them, but that doesn’t detract from their listenability. Fun and crazy.

Hexenhaus Ikiyö / Katakombi 7″

This is post-punk with an abrasive punk edge. The A-side changes pace several times, making it more interesting than the more repetitive flip. Neat psychedelic touches here and there.

Hagar the Womb Funnery in a Nunnery 12″

Some very enjoyable pop/punk with biting lyrics. With the femme vocals and tight, upbeat instrumentation, they remind me of early GIRLS AT OUR BEST—a nice remembrance indeed.

Ghouls 1984 cassette

An all-female combo from Switzerland, playing some pretty upbeat old-fashioned punk rock. It’s more than competent musically, and very peppy/poppy/punk. Enjoyable.

Genbaku Onanies Just Another 8″

This five-song release is in an early punk mold, with tuneful tracks done in a very basic, slow/medium-tempo style. At times, it reminds me of TELEVISION, though not as arty. Decent.

Gasmask Massatu EP

Medium-paced thrash in a sort of English style, with those gruff Japanese growls attached. Most of the Japanese bands that play whatever type of punk do seem to add some complexity to them, making for some gripping tunes; plus, as with this band, they’re good musicians.

Gakimusha Rousoku Prime Minister Likes to Fuck 7″ flexi

Slow-paced punk/post-punk whose most imaginative aspect seems to be the vocals—both in range and lyrical content. (Not that I can understand Japanese, but if the song titles on this EP are any indication, this must be a treat.)

DOA Don’t Turn Yer Back (On Desperate Times): The John Peel Session 12″

Four tracks, a couple of which have appeared elsewhere, but these versions done a year ago really burn. “Race Riot” is in the vein of Hardcore 81, while “A Season in Hell” and “Burn it Down” also cook. “General Strike,” which appeared on DOA’s “limited edition” 45, is the most “rock “ of all tracks, but its sentiments, along with all the other cuts, are DOA at their political best.

Criminal Justice Hierarchy of Hell! EP

A cool four-song old-fashioned punk release, featuring fuzzed-out guitar, snarling vocals, tight relentless mid-tempo rhythm, and catchy tunes and choruses. Believable.

Cólera Tente Mudar O Amanhã LP

Hey, a good sounding recording from Brazil! Ataque Frontal Records is kicking off their label with 20 hot, tuneful thrash and fast punk numbers by this excellent band. Really cool bass and tight instrumental playing are prime features here, so pick this one up. From the makers of Alerta Punk zine.

Clox Probably One of the Longest LP Titles in the World LP

Just when I thought we’d never have to hear the CLASH again, we get hit with this. Sounds like studio outtakes from the CLASH’s second or third LPs, but no—it’s the CLOX from Germany, whoever they are.

Brigade Fozzy Lebenslang EP

There’s a decidedly ’77 feel to this (they cite the LURKERS as an influence), but it’s not plodding at all, delivered in a snappy, fast way (perhaps due to their liking of MDC, MINOR THREAT, etc.). Enjoyable, old-fashioned punk with verve.

Bitousha Hiromi’s Party Part 1 7″ flexi

Absolutely demented vocals appear on two of the three tracks here. It’s again that metal-punk style of GISM, but lighter in the guitar work. Complex and evil-sounding.

The Birds These Birds Are Dangerous LP

A half-dozen tracks of this British-based band are highlighted here, and they’re a lighter-weight CREATION or EASYBEATS. Of historical interest is the presence of Ron Wood, who later went on to JEFF BECK GROUP, FACES, and STONES fame. OK, but if you’ve got a chance, try to find CREATION re-releases.

Bannlyst La Dem Ikke Lure Deg EP

I reviewed their split cassette a while back and loved it. This is pretty cool fun, full of powerful speed thrash. While it’s generic to a degree, it’s really slammed home. Pretty hot, with really good translated lyrics to boot.

The Velvet Underground VU LP

This is the great “lost” VELVET UNDERGROUND album, tapes of which have circulated since 1969. Finally, a major label has done something right, “seen the light,” and released this brilliant, clean classic. Many of these tunes were later redone by LOU REED when he went solo, but these original versions shut his down. Whether rockers, ballads, country…all are delivered with the VELVETS’ magic and verve. The only band that can make me cry.

Spastic Rats Spread the Disease cassette

Some thoughtful reflection set to some powerful hardcore styles—thrashin’ excellent, and showing lots of potential.

Positive Outlook The Truth Shall Prevail cassette

A rather ironic name for this band, as most all the lyrics reflect someone desperately fighting their own growing disillusionment with the punk scene and its competition, peer pressure, etc. as it replaces the initial enthusiasm and collective struggle. Musically, it’s mostly mid-tempo thrash, with some instrumentals and touches of not unpleasant pop sensibilities thrown in. Hope, for all our sakes, that the songwriter wins his struggle.

Partners in Crime No Big Deal 12″

Some very classy hard-ass punk on these here six tracks. Fronted by a tough-sounding femme vocalist, I am most reminded of UXA at their old hottest. Metal damage is kept at a minimum, power is upped, and off they rock. The female equivalent of G.G. ALLIN?

149 Dead Marines Genius Animals cassette

There’s a decidedly jazzy feel to the thrash this band delivers. I can’t really put my finger on it, but it does set them apart in a way. No, it’s the guitar and drumming; though they’re both frenetically fast, it is jazzy as well. Hear it for yourself, because this is something of a breakthrough, different from the MINUTEMEN.

Manifest Destiny We Love Our Country—It’s the Government We Can’t Stand EP

Three of these four tracks really make it, as they are strongly laced with power. Two are slow/medium paced, but deliver a great dose of punk, musically and lyrically. “Whose Power” is a faster cut, but still maintains that depth of strength. Good job.

The Lonely Crowd The Lonely Crowd cassette

Admittedly recorded on a shitty four-track, you can still get a decent feel for this band, and their zeal comes through. They’re into powerful thrash, and I hope that they soon do some better recordings.

Cub Koda That’s What I Like About the South LP

Former BROWNSVILLE STATION-er supposedly recorded this prior to his stint with that band. It’s pure rockabilly and rockin’ R’n’B done in that mid-’60s interpretation style, similar to, say, JOHN HAMMOND (but not quite as exciting). Better than most of the current rehashes.

Insanity Defense Pilgrim State LP

Instrumentally they remind me of a cross between SACCHARINE TRUST and perhaps CORROSION OF CONFORMITY. Vocally, I hear D. Boon of the MINUTEMEN. There’s lots of slower modes, then lurching faster parts. Fine, if you like that quirky genre.

Fearless Iranians From Hell Fearless Iranians From Hell cassette

Featuring a real live Iranian on vocals, this live tape gives the listener an echoey idea of what power thrash FEARLESS IRANIANS FROM HELL can deliver. And judging by the lyrics I could discern, they’ve got a lot to say, as well. FEARLESS IRANIANS FROM HELL, get thee to a studio, or off with your hands!

Faded Glory My Family Hates Me cassette

A rather scathing look at American society performed by three young fellows. Musically, it’s pre-garage electric guitar and vocals, reminding me of an even more minimal MANIAX (Fresno variety). Teen charm.

Blackouts Lost Soul’s Club 12″

Three very long songs of the rhythmic, depressing post-punk variety. These guys have been around for quite a while, so they pre-date many bands doing this genre, but I have to say I like others who aren’t quite as jazzy, such as BIG BLACK. From Seattle.

GG Allin & the Scumfucs I Wanna Fuck Your Brains Out cassette

Do you think that if I give this a bad review, G.G. ALLIN will stop sending me something new to review every issue? Probably not, but it’s worth a try. Here goes: The only thing smaller than this guy’s brain is his dick, which he tries to overcompensate for by writing pathetic songs (four of ’em here) of sexual degeneration. Wishes he were IGGY, but his ego’s too big to accept such “small-time” status. Okay, G.G., send the next one…

V/A We Don’t Want Your Fucking War! LP

I hear this is the first of many politically oriented “unity” HC compilations to come out of Mortarhate. (I think it’s Mortarhate; it’s hard to tell from the disc and cover.) It’s an admirable sentiment, unifying activist punks with other movements, but it’s not the sentiment alone that’s good here. The tracks shred. Excellent, it includes BROKEN BONES, POTENTIAL THREAT, INSTIGATORS, VARUKERS, LOST CHERREES, MALINHEADS, DEZERTER, and lost more, many previously unreleased.

V/A Hold Up Omnibus 8″ EP

Some very poor recording mars what were probably some very exciting live moments for the four bands that appear on here; SYSTEMATIC DEATH, GHOUL, GASTUNK, and the CLAY turn in several tracks each, but…too bad.

V/A Compilation EP

It’s that punk/Oi (skunk) sound that’s so popular in France. Here we have a muddily recorded indie release with four bands, two of which produce mediocre examples of the genre (DISTURB and TOXIK), one a good example (OFFENSIVE), and the other an excellent example (KIDNAP). The song by the latter is “1984,” the song Jeff wanted to put on our Welcome to 1984 LP.

Les Vandales Les Vandales cassette

Some extremely fast-paced punk here that’s both tuneful and rips. Worth checking out—I hope they do a record.

United State Automaton / Glass Night 7″

Both sides have their catchy, drawing aspects—slow, grinding, powerful, dark tunes, skillfully and menacingly done. At times, the female vocals get a bit too “pretty” for me, but overall, for this kind of material, it’s good.

Time Zone World Destruction / World Destruction 7″

Another “unity” appeal from AFRIKA BOMBAATAA, this time in conjunction with John Lydon. The result is a rap/punk modern-day “Eve of Destruction.” Infectious, but Mr. Rotten doesn’t seem quite believable to me.

The 305 Happy! 8″ flexi

Sort of jaunty early punk sounding. These three songs sort of remind me of RADIO STARS or something like that. Lyrics are simply fun-oriented. From Japan.

Swankers P.M.S. -77 EP

Some very fast-paced punk with good tunes, plenty of back-up vocals and choruses, and driving but simple guitar. Sounds like the BRISTLES, in that there’s a heavy UK influence.

Subhumans USAT4 Live San Francisco cassette

A very hot performance from their US tour of last year, but unfortunately the sound quality makes you feel like you’re in the bathroom at the On Broadway instead of up front. Actually, it’s not quite that bad, but it isn’t good enough to do this band justice.

The Stripper Scandal Age EP

Decent but unspectacular ’77 UK-style punk. I’ve come to expect specialness from Japanese releases, but there’s no imagination here.

The Stalin Fish Inn LP

Putting off their venture into haiku til the next release, this eight-song job is more like their slower previous material, but more sparse and less powerful. There are even funk rhythms mixed in here, and overall, I’d have to say that the “magic” seems to be gone from this particular outing. (Comes with a flexi that sounds better than the album.)

Les Soucoupes Violentes Mercenaire EP

There’s a decided ’50s rockabilly meets ’60s punk meets ’70s punk here; the hottest track is a cover of the BEACHNUTS’ (early REED and CALE) “Drivin’ Me Insane.”

Solucion Mortal En Vivo y Ensayo! cassette

A very hot little tape, showcasing this Mexican HC outfit in a live show. The sound quality is just OK, but good enough to give you an idea of how tight and powerful they can be. People who’ve seen them live certainly concur.

The Scene Something You Said / Stop-Go 7″

Mod to the max. OK, but nothing new (surprise!). Do I have to go on?

Rivolta Dell’Odio Il Cuore Della Bestia EP

Sparse punk, done at slow-to-medium pace, verging on atmospheric post-punk. Sounds a bit like early SIOUXSIE and many successive imitators. I imagine the lyrics are all-important here, knowing the label, but I’ve got no inkling as to their meaning.

Raw Power Screams From the Gutter LP

Containing a good many of the songs from their under-produced Italian LP, these new recordings are a whole lot better done, and should help these lads out a lot when they return to tour North America this summer. There’s an increasingly heavy metal guitar influence, but the pounding thrash still predominates.

Raff Danse EP

Three pretty uninspiring skunk tunes. “Danse” is the catchiest of the lot, but overall it’s pretty limp stuff.

Anti-Hund Mina / Pöbel Möbel split 12″

POBEL MOBEL is a very gruff-vocaled thrash band—sort of a less-metal GISM. AHM are similar in approach, though less nasty vocally, and a bit more melodic—but still quite on the powerful HC side of things—and also sounding a bit German to me. Both groups are tight!

N.J.F. Wounded Knee EP

One side has three excellently produced and delivered, driving thrash numbers with a hot female vocalist. The B-side, “Wounded Knee,” is a more percussive, slower, but tough song with some really gruff male vocals. A good one. (N.J.F. stands for NEGRO JAZZ FUNERAL, not NEW JERSEY’S FINEST.)

Die Müslies Kinderkampf! cassette

Most of the nine songs are very long, garage-production, older-style punk. I can’t understand German, but if the accompanying letter was any indication of the intelligence of lyrics, then they’re quite well thought out.

M.W.A.B. Angus Yung / Is Michael Bum an Apple? 7″

A tough-sounding rhythm-box punk record, harkening back to a more diverse era. In fact, these guys do date back to ’79 (though they admit they didn’t learn to play till ’81). Interesting. (Usually, this is a code-word for “bad, but they tried to be different.” In this case, it’s genuinely cool.)

Maniacs Salute the Survivors EP

Fuckin A (pardon my German), these guys shred! All four songs are rip-snortin’ and nasty-ass. A cut above.

Long Tall Shorty On the Streets Again EP

Mod revival time (?). Even a cover of “I Fought the Law.” Why not cover the fucking JOLT?? Aaagh!

Kyah Shan Shan EP

A four-song, all-female release. The songs are in a snappy pop/punk mode with hyper vocals (the COMES vocalist is soon to join the band). When I say pop/punk, I don’t mean in a light sense like, say, TOY DOLLS; these songs are more complex and jazzy, yet maintain a pop structure.

Junk Schizo Crime of Existence EP

Quite an unusual record. While it’s definitely got its punk and hardcore aspects, there’s a lot of originality in rhythms and structure. Apparently, these guys shun the local scene, and it shows in their lack of imitation—the best Japanese record I’ve heard in awhile.

Insurrection Insurrection cassette

Self-examination and resulting rebellion are the lyrical themes of this Down Under band, delivered in a punk/Oi style that’s simple but effective. Then, suddenly they leap into a thrasher with a female screamer. Then back to older, traditional punk sounds. I liked the exception the best, but maybe they need the slow curves to set up the fastball.

I Refuse It! Sogni A Doppie Vie EP

These songs are in a very fast jazz-meets-hardcore vein: quite an unusual combo, and one that probably requires an appreciation of both genres. Musically adept and quirky as all get out. For the adventurous.

HIijokaidan Viva Angel LP

Hey, Tesco, heard any good “industrial” stuff lately? Well, you’re missing out on this one! HIJOKAIDAN (ESCAPE EXIT) is absolutely bizarre, distortion gone mad. Wild little noises playing havoc with your ears as sometimes frenzied vocals splurt out psycho noise. Has the makings of a great soundtrack recording. You know, this went into Tim’s trade pile, so you better call fast; it’s from Japan to boot!

Gas / Niku-Dan split EP

GAS is sort of a Japanese SIOUXSIE-in-more-pain-than-usual, with an accompanying hard post-punk backup. But watch out for those rock guitar solos and wah-wah pedals! NIKU-DAN (MEAT HUNTER) is heavy on complex structures, high production, and atmospheric hard post-punk. All you “hardcore is passé” BIRTHDAY PARTY freaks will like it. I don’t.

Exile in the Kingdom Freedom / Total Disorder 7″

Some pretty neat, catchy punk from England. It’s medium-tempo stuff, though snappily and uniquely done. The A-side is particularly grabbing, with the rhythms really having a big effect on the toes. I like it.

The Ex Pistols Land of Hope and Glory / Flowers of Romansk 7″

Could be CHAOTIC DISCHORD doing a scam of some kind. The cover says “Recorded in 1976,” and sounds like an outtake from the PISTOLS’ movie. Who knows? Who cares? It blows.

The Delmonas Comin’ Home Baby: Vol. 1 EP / Hello We Love You: Vol. 2 EP

Liner notes say these three lasses are backed instrumentally by the MILKSHAKES, though on their Vol. 2 EP (nearly the same front cover as Vol. 1), it shows them posing with their instruments. Anyway, both 7”ers are chock full of great girl-group trash…without sounding self-conscious or too pop. A delight!

Les Daltons Tagada Tagada Voila EP

This is like tons of early ’60s bands that re-discovered ’50s rock ’n’ roll. And like the majority of that era’s bands, this one is pretty blah—rehearsed rockabilly riffs, with REB flavoring—but not hot. From France.

Les Coronados N’importe Quoi LP

Some records are pretty unmemorable. In fact, I just played this one and can’t remember shit about it. No, actually there were a few pretty rockin’ moments for this ’60s-influenced-yet-more-’77-style band. Pretty poppy though, with the accent on rhythm guitar.

Carnage Face the Facts LP

Could any band intentionally be this, bad? On first listening, I thought it was unintentional—that they’re just plain bad. But now I don’t know. It’s so offbeat, even on the simplest of punk beats, that they’ve got to be trying to be this bad. Does anybody out there know the answer? Good lyrics, though.

Ceresit 81 Ceresit 81 cassette

One live and one studio side are revealed by this band of four years age. And quite good, powerful thrash they display. I wonder how many thousands of little-known bands this good exist across the globe. It’s a shame.

The Brigades Ready Ready Go Punk Rockers 12″

There’s a bit too much CLASH in this band for my taste. Two songs are straight-ahead early-CLASH pop/punk numbers, one is a ska-oriented tune, and another is a punk/dub trip. Remember that stuff?

Bérurier Noir Nada 84 EP

One side sounds like METAL URBAIN gone beatnik with bongos. The flip is an unidentified live recording that’s really primitively done and recorded. French weirdness.

Asocial Det Bittra Slutet EP

Super-gnarly growling and rapid thrash make for a more Japanese-sounding band than a Swedish one. There’s even special effects on the guitars, as well as leads. Noisecore.

Abortti 13 / Pyhäkoulu Lapsuusmuistoja split EP

Two Finnish bands of very different styles share this one. ABORTTI 13 is a slower, grinding guitar band, although they do play one faster punk song here. PYHAKOULU, on the other hand, is a manic thrash outfit, heavy on shredding vocals. They will be one to watch.

Youth in Asia Pulling Out the Plug LP

Yet another eclectic punk band signs on to Mutha Records. This one has an older style US garage/punk sound, but with elements of metal, pop, etc., weaving their way in. Sometimes it works, sometimes not (especially the electronic keyboards). Different.

Vipers Outta the Nest! LP

While this is undoubtedly ’60s punk revival time, this particular approach leaves me somewhat unexcited. It’s on the pop/folk-rock side of the genre, with a little too much cuteness and too many “girl” songs. There are some rough edges (good!), but they’re few and far between.

Subliminal Fault Girls Behind Bars cassette

Brian Edge sez “soothing after a hard day’s thrash,” “eclectic.” This band has a ’75-era garage sound—audible lyrics, driving rock, pre-punk feel. Can you judge a band by its covers? VELVET’s “Pale Blue Eyes” and BYRDS’ “Rock ’n’ Roll Star.”

Stevie Stiletto and the Switchblades 13 Hits and More cassette

We received three tapes simultaneously from these guys, two of which were released last year. This one, though, is typical of their sound, which is driving, melodic punk done at a rapid-fire pace—it’s really tight and catchy. Lyrics are sort of in a sicko BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN mold. Professional sound.

Steps Universal Studios cassette

Jeff Bale threatened to do this review himself unless I gave this a rave review. So I guess I better…. It’s excellent ’77-style punk with SoCal ’81 tinges, making for some hot, melodic, and tuneful pop-punk. (Jeff…good enough?)

Southern Culture on the Skids Rock-A-Hula-Rock EP

Rockabilly, surf, SLIM HARPO, and more roots music are combined in a pop metaphor. It’s fun, just slightly manic at times. Basic rock ’n’ roll.

Social Slugs Bufuin Boys cassette

Yet another installment in this band’s slug-fest, wherein we’re slugged and sludged with a half-dozen oozing, sleazy, garage noise compositions. I think they’re pissed about something.

Public Humiliation Goonersize cassette

Claiming to be Orange County’s “second worst band,” this outfit really is pretty good. While the tape recording quality is garage, they’re obviously a pretty tight unit. However, they are a bunch of goofs, with songs like “Killer Pigeons.”

The Omlits Da Year of Living Desperately cassette

Thrash garage music (?), cheaply recorded with some bitter-ass lyrics. It’s a nasty business, this punk rock, and I think this is the end result.

The Offs First Record LP

Misleading title, as they put out three 7”ers and have tracks on compilations, too (Deaf Club, etc.). Early OFFS were the raunchiest band in SF, heavy into VELVET’s white noise. They later got “funky,” and ska predominated. This LP represents their latter period (disappointingly), where slick production and saxophones are up front. Find the 45s.

Narthex Structure Wave Me On cassette

This band churns out some tuneful SoCal thrash/punk with clear vocals. Yet another unheard-of combo with something to say and a good way of doing it.

Mystery Girls Missing in Action 12″

A six-song job that’s quite enjoyable. Since the vocals are largely female harmonies (two of three band members are femmes), there is a pop “girl group” sound of sorts. But the instrumentation, while still pop R’n’R, has more of a ’77-’79 bite, which makes for a pretty neat combo.

Ministry of Truth Ministry of Truth cassette

Medium-tempo hardcore, launching into fast. Plenty of melody, like early SOCIAL DISTORTION. Catchy songs don’t hurt either. I like it.

Filtering Pore cassette Filtering Pore cassette

A decidedly ’60s raunch sound—’60s punk with organ, rock ’n’ roll drive, and pop melodies—all toughened up by strong rhythm guitar work. Live tape, and unfortunately not really mixed. EXOTIC HIPSTERS spinoff.

Fade to Black Corridors of Gender 12″

Let’s be charitable here. The best thing this dark, keyboardy band has going for them is that their bass player used to be in NO ALTERNATIVE.

The Drooling Idiots Lonely World cassette

This is their third tape, and no let-down; the first six songs are fine studio stuff, followed by what sounds like a bunch of four-track and live material. Catchy songs, all punchy, and tightly honed. They should tour.

Diatribe Diatribe cassette

Very impressive political thrash à la CRUCIFIX, but with other cool influences too. Powerful as shit, this band has been working at it. Recommended.

Das Damen Too Hot for Hollywood cassette

What’s this? A new Australian discovery? A mid-’70s guitar band? A neo-Mod outfit? Actually, it’s our buddy Lyle Hysen (ex-MISGUIDED) and friends turning in a pretty neat, rockin’ set of three songs, except for the offbeat drumming. (No, no—just kidding, Lyle!) Fun.

Budcore What Happens Next cassette

This label, Mutant Baby, is obviously heavily into garage satire. Raunchy music and equally nasty lyrics are the vehicle for anyone to say anything musically—a truly democratic form. And BUDCORE certainly exercise their rights. But as the CRUCIFUCKS have suggested, “Democracy Spawns Bad Taste.”

Bone Cabal Work / Hollywood Cowboy 7″

The B-side is forgettable. The A-side would be, too, except the vocals sound like Jello meets Beefheart at the Grand Ol’ Opry.

The Arms of Someone New Burying the Carnival 12″

Never thought from the cover that I’d like this…but life is full of surprises. It’s rhythm-machine-driven, but has plenty of chutzpah—sort of like SUICIDE meets PEARLS BEFORE SWINE.

V/A This is White Noise EP

With lines like, “It don’t matter how we win, even murder is no sin” and “Nigger nigger, go back home,” the National Front promotes their nationalist and racist ideology through 4 bands they’ve signed to their label : SKREWDRIVER, DIEHARDS, BRUTAL ATTACK, and ABH. Sad, and dangerous…

Kaaos / Terveet Kädet So Much Fun split LP

KAAOS and TERVEET KÄDET split this German release. While most tracks are available elsewhere, the materal is very hot, and at least available to more people in the world. TK is in fine form, although their new drummer (replacing Walde, who died) is not quite as tight. KAAOS is consistently powerful and productive.

V/A P.E.A.C.E. 2xLP

A compilation of Finnish hardcore on Germany’s Rock-O-Rama label. The music is generally strong (though some is overly generic), but there is a problem raised by this album—the appearance of so many tracks that have already been released on earlier Finnish (or even German) records. Although it’s great to witness the “internationalization” of the punk scene on vinyl, I wish that the organizers of these projects would try harder to get only unreleased cuts or songs on records that are out-of-print or otherwise impossible to get ahold of. Here, the ratio of easily-available material is close to 50%, and that’s too much.

V/A Keine Experimente! Vol. II LP

An excellent follow-up, this compilation features some of the hot current crop of young German hardcore bands, with some great tracks by TORPEDO MOSKAU, AGEN 53, PORNO PATROL, EA 80, CHOAS Z, NEUROTIC ARSEHOLES, TIN CAN ARMY, CRETINS, and VOLXFRONT. A fine recording, on colored vinyl.

V/A Basic Sampler cassette

CCM and I REFUSE IT from Italy; FARTZ and SOLGER (R.I.P.) and REJECTERS from the Northwest; MEAT PUPPETS, PART-TIME CHRISTIANS, and MAGGOT BRAINS from all around. Lots of live tracks and decent sound quality, but what’s most unusual about this release is…no accompanying booklet with lyrics, addresses, etc., a rarity these days.

Torpedo Moskau Malenkaja Rabota LP

Reminds me a bit of early SHATTERED FAITH, with its tuneful hardcore approach, yet there is a more heavy-handed European thrash influence at work, too. While not startling, the record is engaging and listenable. Do I sound like Steve Spinali yet?

Tolbiac’s Toads / Snix split EP

TOLBIAC’S TOADS present two cool tracks, one in a more melodic and catchy Britpunk style, the other in a thrash-meets-13TH FLOOR ELEVATORS-meets-BLURT style that’s quite unusual. SNIX’s pair are more predictable, but also well done, in an Oi style. Two up-and-coming French bands.

London Terminals We Killed cassette

Around for five years, they finally broke up due to lack of a strong local scene. This posthumous release contains live and studio tracks, both fast punk and thrash, which shows these TERMINALS to have been a highly committed, powerful outfit. Could they be persuaded to re-group? Ask ’em.

Star Club Hello New Punks / Bodies 7″

The A-side is the title track of the latest STAR CLUB LP, reviewed last issue. Needless to say, this band is still enamored with ’77, as their cover of the PISTOLS’ “Bodies” attests to. If that era’s punk musical style is your cup of sake, check this out.

The Soft Boys Wading Through a Ventilator 12″

This six-song job contains a bunch of their ’77 recordings, some previously released and others not. All the tracks contain their quirky pop/punk classic qualities, with genuinely psychotic lyrics. Catchy and wonderfully weird.

Social Outcasts Tears of Death cassette

Five songs recorded in both ’82 and ’84, and are well done trash and punk with good melodies and execution. It’s either a live or garage tape, but quality is pretty decent. Catchy tunes, with a slight NEW YORK DOLLS influence on the slow numbers.

Sludge Confrontations Vegetable Garden cassette

NEOS fans take note! Some former NEOS and JERK WARDs team up to unleash those short, sweet, psychotic blasts of sub-one-minute rage we’ve been missing. Noisy and nasty.

The Sid Presley Experience Cold Turkey 12″

While the cover of the JOHN LENNON classic is pretty unexciting, the two flipside tracks are pretty neat. One is a surfish instrumental, powerfully done, and the other, “F for Fake,” is in a ’77 style that’s pretty neat. Decent.

V/A Twisted Youth cassette

This comp represents past and present bands from the North Bay of the SF area. Side one, the “well-recorded side,” is somewhat within that definition, and contains some cool tracks by LUDAVICHO TECHNIQUE, CRYPT, UXB, PUKES, and SACRIPOLITICAL. The “not-so-well-recorded side” is “live” mateial, with a track each by 13 bands. Kent likes all this “warped stuff.”

V/A Their Eyes Don’t Lie EP

Produced by Student Action Corp for Animals, this 7”er comes with a fold-out sleeve that contains all sorts of animal justice information and addresses. The disc itself contains a spoken word track, one musical track by D.C.’s SUBTLE OPPRESSION, and two songs by the Bay Area’s late ATROCITY. Those two tunes, highlighted by twin female vocals and atmospheric but driving punk instrumentation, are the musical treats here, and, unfortunately, are the only released testimony to that great band.

V/A Numb Tongue, No Taste cassette

An international compilation of the known and a few newcomers—BORN WITHOUT A FACE, ARHIVISKA ZABAVA, DICTATRISTA, BRAVE NEW WORLD, UNIFORM CHOICE, CRASH BOX, ASBESTOS ROCKPYLE are among the former, while GLORIOUS DIN, BABY ASTRONAUTS (hilarious), ST-37, FAITH NO MORE, DOC WOR MIRRAN, and ARCATA BOYS CHOIR head up the latter. Enjoyable listening.

Der Riß Der Riß cassette

This German band has quite an “Americanized” thrash sound, not unlike the FREEZE, SOCIAL DISTORTION, and others that utilize a melodic yet driving thrash approach. All the tunes are excellent, tight, and powerful. Watch for vinyl soon; I know I will.

Riistetyt / Rattus split cassette

Both sides are “live” recordings from mid-’84, and while the sound quality is decent, there certainly has been plenty of other material (both live and studio) by both bands. In fact, I’d say that they’ve glutted the market—between tapes, Finnish releases, German releases, US releases, etc. I certainly can’t keep track any more of what’s what.

The Nomads Outburst LP

This debut US release of Swedish veterans the NOMADS contains four tracks from their recent Where the Wolfbane Blooms 12”, but don’t let that stop you from picking this one up. The NOMADS are without a doubt the best of the neo-’60s punkers today, with some of the nastiest guitar licks going. Killer!

Junge Front Politick EP

This three-piece band deals us a three-song EP, and a weird hand it is: there’s some really fuzzed-out guitar, crazed ranting vocals, and almost jazzy, snappy rhythms. It’s a little arty, but most definitely punk. Different…from Germany.

The Jesus and Mary Chain Upside Down / Vegetable Man 7″

Very percussion-heavy post-punk meets pre-punk. In other words, there are elements of the VELVETS, ’50s R’n’R, Chinn/Chapman, all blown to hell in a ’80s noise blast that recalls no nostalgia—only perplexion.

IV Reich Primera Maqueta cassette

I believe this tape is several months old and has now gone into a second edition. It’s melodic but abrasive thrash and punk—very appealing. I just realized that I like most all of the Spanish thrash bands. There is something very believable about their message, and the urgency of the performance.

4 Thousand Million A Small Dose of Anticipatory Retaliation cassette

One of the most politically aware and intelligent bands to spring forth in a while. They aren’t slouches musically either; there is a strong UK/CRASS influence at work, but they are their own band, with songs addressing many local issues, as well as international ones. Comes with posters, a zine, and other info—all of which is comprehensive and inspiring. A good job.

Enola Gay Demos cassette

The second tape release from this hot Danish band, and it’s no let-down. Although it’s of the tuneless thrash variety, it’s pretty rugged stuff, with buzzsaw guitar and unrelenting energy. Contains both studio and practice tracks.

EA80 2 Takte Später LP

EA80 delivers melodic punk and post-punk. It’s really clean stuff, super-produced, and that sterilization process detracts in a way from the overall effect. This is especially true with the vocals, which seem so separate and almost operatic that it’s annoying. So-so.

Disarm Regerings Stödda Mord EP

While the drumming is a bit sloppy, the rest of the band churns on. I like the other aspects well enough, but I keep hearing the drumming; sounds like it’s from someone else’s record…maybe some jazz track mixed in for kicks. Unfortunate for me—maybe it won’t irritate you as much, because the rest is cool.

Direct Action Direct Action cassette

It would be unfair to characterize this band as something between DISCHARGE, DOA, and MDC—because although there are some tinges of each influence, DIRECT ACTION is their own band, slashing out with one intense song after another, all of which are powerful, intelligent, and well done. Get this tape, and their hopefully upcoming 12”, but they have had some problems with the mail (it’s the name), and many sent out never arrived. They’ll send you the tape and cover in separate packages to avoid such problems.

D.T.A.L. Time to Die EP

Six totally gnarly, noisy thrashers. There’s no let-up at all—just one blast after another. Yet, beneath the fuzz and snarl, there’s plenty of melody. Yet another Swedish classic….

Cock Sparrer Running Riot in ’84 LP

I’d say they were the heirs to the early COCKNEY REJECTS and other “working class” “football chant” UK bands, but this band actually predates most of them. I don’t know how long they disappeared, but their return is most welcome, especially on this disc. All the tracks are catchy, exuberant, and powerful. A good one.

Cretins / Blut+Eisen Dachau Disco split 7″

The CRETINS’ track, “Dachau Disco,” is a snappy punk number, well-produced, in a manner somewhat reminiscent of the VIBRATORS. BLUT+EISEN chip in with “Summa Summarum,” a trashed and thrashed-out version of “Teach Your Children Well.”

The Cannibals Bone to Pick LP

Mike Spencer is the only original member left of this R’n’B-oriented, rocked-out group (they date back to the late ’70s, and their cover of “Good Guys Don’t Wear White” on a single back then still rules!). While BO DIDDLEY or rockabilly riffs may be cliché today, they deliver with such verve that it becomes fun—especially the live side, which is much more crazy than the rather staid studio tracks.

Bill of Rights Meltdown ’85 EP

Bone-crunching punk (without being metal), these guys deliver intelligent lyrics to boot. This, their second 7”, is produced by Dave Gregg of DOA, and there are some slight similarities in their punk “rock” approach. Powerful.

Anti-Dogmatikss Rompan Filas!!! cassette

Boomba! This is a pretty terrific debut. While the drummer seems to lag at times from sheer exhaustion, this band blazes from beginning to end, delivering not just wicked blasts of thrash, but tuneful, catchy, and intelligent songs as well. Hot!

V/A Battle of the Garages, Vol. 3: The Paisley Underground LP

This latest Greg Shaw reliving-his-teens comp contains all contemporary SoCal neo-’60s bands. The accent is on punk here, with just a dash of folk-rock, psych, and Mersey. And a good one it is—solid rockin’ from beginning to end by all 16 bands (most previously unreleased). Recommended.

Yard Trauma Christmas Tyme / Try It 7″

Oh, no! Yet another STANDELLS cover—and a pretty decent one at that. The flip is a ’60s fuzzed “tribute” to the holiday season; pretty imitative-sounding, but still OK.

X-Tal Dub #1 cassette

There are three tracks here, all in the “angry young singer-songwriter vein.” It’s sort of a pissed, poetic stream-of-consciousness rap laid over driving rhythms, not unlike early LOU REED or JIM CARROLL (but with better lyrics). They’re an enjoyable (though sometimes both tedious and thrilling) live act, too.

The Wilde Knights Beaver Patrol LP

One of a seeming million early-’60s garage bands from the Northwest that paved the way for mid-’60s punk. This LP traces their progress from an only slightly more interesting later reincarnation as a pop/rock R’n’B-sounding band (while going from name to name). It’s a classic story, but not necessarily that interesting, musically.

Barrance Whitfield and the Savages Barrance Whitfield and the Savages LP

Heard this was a truly rockin’ ’50s-ish band (maybe the LYRES?), with a front-man and honkin’ sax added. It’s OK, but not the rip-snortin’ thing I was expecting. The exception to the rule was their cover of MICKEY HAWKS AND THE NIGHTMARES’ “Cotton Pickin’.”

Twisted Value Take It for Granted EP

Hailing from Smalltown, Michigan, there is something almost comical and naïve about this EP. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly; the music is punk/thrash, but it’s delivered in such a garagy, under-produced manner that it seems almost Quincy-inspired. But there are some serious lyrics, and although I don’t mean to be condescending, it’s just that I feel I’m back in ’78 again.

Speed Queens Ballroom Blitz cassette

SWEET, MOTT THE HOOPLE, etc. While this outfit is more garagy than their influences, they do seem a bit out of place today (which “All the Young Dudes Are Dead” testifies to). “Prison Rape” is the most intense of the four songs, at least lyrically.

Sorex Never Forget cassette

A new Huntington Beach band that’s got powerful, but not especially original songs and delivery. Their most charming aspect is the nasally teen vocals. This band should improve with age.

Sonic Youth / Lydia Lunch Death Valley ’69 / Brave Men Run 7″

A match made in hell? Actually, this single is pretty enjoyable. While I haven’t really liked LYDIA LUNCH since TEENAGE JESUS & THE JERKS, the focus of SONIC YOUTH forces her into a structure that makes the result a lot more accessible. Almost sounds like PATTI SMITH.

Solger Solger cassette

If you were never lucky enough to pick up the SOLGER EP (one of the earliest NW thrash bands), then pick up this tape. It contains 15 tracks, down and dirty, recorded in 1980, that make the FARTZ sound pop. Well, not really, but you get the idea.

Skulldiggers Phantasmagoria cassette

A horror-filled tape (lyrics only, folks), full of guts and gore. This mood is enhanced by echoey, mysterious vocals, and slightly psyched instrumentation, some punk and some post-punk. Buy and die.

Ruin Proof / Life After Life / White Rabbit cassette

A three-song goodie. The production on these rockers is really fine, calling attention to this band’s musical expertise and attention to arrangements. Although there are tinges of “rock” guitar, it’s kept to a minimum, making way for the powerful overall effect. Their version of the AIRPLANE classic is totally enjoyable.

Punky Brewsters Secret Electicution cassette

Where does one draw the line between cute and dreadful? This is one of those judgement calls, being just guitar and vocals, punk singer/songwriter stuff. I dunno.

Public Enema Public Enema cassette

A young Berkeley thrash outfit that sports some keen bass playing and guitar work that are sometimes disconcerting (it’s the weird tone, which is both good and bad). Good vocals, too, but they have a propensity to break into rock ’n’ roll/R’n’B riffs in the middle of songs.

Port Huron Statement Maggie’s Farm / Lay Down 7″

A current band with a ’60s fixation, copping their name from the SDS 1962 statement of purpose, and a cover of BOB DYLAN’s classic. Actually, I’m surprised that no British band has done this (have they?), because Maggie Thatcher is plastered across the record sleeve. The music itself is a slightly more bluesy version; the B-side is a funky throwaway.

Plastic Fangs Cloak and Dagger cassette

Seems like I’ve heard more and more new bands lately that are borrowing heavily from the early ’70s proto-punks like the STOOGES, HEARTBREAKERS, etc. This band is in that vein, although other less appealing aspects of ’70s rock creep in, too. Overall, a nice nostalgic departure.

Painted Willie My Fellow Americans 12″

A musical departure of sorts for PAINTED WILLIE, this topical release incorporates aspects of rap, funk, and slower rhythmic forms. But the accent here is on lyrics, with title track zeroing in on Reagan’s “We begin bombing Russia…” “joke,” and going on from there. It’d be nice to see more bands using vinyl as “current events” ways of communicating opposition.

Our Neighbors Suck Our Neighbors Suck cassette

You can hear garage, pre-’77 types of punk, SoCal thrash, etc. in this band. I’m not too partial to the singing, though he does have some distinctiveness. Covers of “New Race” and “Can’t Explain,” too.

Nod Death to the Boss cassette

This live tape is characterized by long songs, with somewhat of a slow STOOGES influence, and perhaps a bit of early TELEVISION mixed in. The sound quality is decent for a live recording, but some of the wanking and effects get a bit obscured, as this is moody stuff.

9353 To Whom It May Consume 12″

Semi-psychedelic funk rock? A wimpier URBAN VERBS? A decent idea overpolished? A reviewer who’s just not into it? Should I take some acid?

Man-Sized Action Five Story Garage 12″

These guys hit you with power and drive that falls somewhere between HÜSKER DÜ and NAKED RAYGUN. Their sound is continually driven like fellow Minnesotans the HÜSKERS, but their rhythmic pulse is more akin to N.R.

Homo Picnic Blood on the Walls cassette

A self-admitted silly name, but the music and lyrics aren’t. While sometimes metallic, they are pretty energetic and straightforward instrumentally, with lyrics that are well thought out and somewhat political, though not dogmatic.

Generic Youth Fuck Reagan cassette

Yep, here they are, performing their generic hits like, “Nuclear War Is Awful,” “Peace Is Where It’s At,” “Slam, Slam, Slam,” “Government Is Lame.” Actually, the only way I can tell it’s really them is from the flyer, because musically it’s all just one big “live” blur, making them sound like countless other generic YOUTH imitators.

Great Plains Born in a Barn LP

Maybe if you’re from the Midwest you might relate to this record, with its geographical themes (there’s even a song about Woody Hayes) and garagy appeal. But it’s pretty folky overall. Erikka says it sounds like “bad NEIL YOUNG.”

Bobby Fuller The Bobby Fuller Tapes, Vol. 2 LP

Culled from demos left behind after his death in 1966 (he was rumored to have been killed by the mob—gasoline poured down his throat and lit!), most of these tracks are tame compared to his classic “I Fought the Law,” but do convey his evolution from the heir to BUDDY HOLLY to a ’60s rocker. Surprisingly, I like his version of “Miserlou” the best here, as surf music wasn’t what he was noted for. For fanatic collectors only.

John Fogerty Old Man Down the Road / Big Train 7″

After reading some articles and reviews that this first release in years by the former CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL frontman was the “real McCoy,” I was psyched for some great straightforward rock ’n’ roll. What I got was some so-so straightforward R’n’R, more reminiscent of CCR’s dying days or their BLUE RIDGE RANGERS incarnation. Shit! I’m disappointed.

Droogs Stone Cold World LP

Probably the first of the neo-psych and neo-’60s bands (they were putting out indie 7”-ers back in ’75), they haven’t lost their feel for the genre at all. The great production by Earle Mankey doesn’t hurt either; they churn out nine songs that are more on the psych side than punk (though not always), but are packed with plenty of punch nonetheless. The title cut is excellent!

Dogmatics Thayer St. 12″

Boston garage rock in the tradition of the REAL KIDS. Those who enjoy the REPLACEMENTS will probably take to this, though I found it a bit too slick and poppish and not rockin’ enough. There are a couple of kickers, but the ballad-y side (augmented by the dreaded sax) is more than I can take. Also, “Hardcore Rules” is a backhanded slap at the scene.

Didjits Durga! Durga! Durga! cassette

I guess what’s “underground” is relative to where you’re from. For these guys from Central Illinois, this form of pop/punk/funk they practice is pretty radical. For me, though, it’s a bit too close to much “new wave,” although there are moments that attract me. Needs more edge.

Defy Parent Ownership cassette

While this new band hasn’t developed any new style yet, they are enjoyable and inspiring for a couple of reasons. First, at least two are women (we need more in bands!), they play a good, intelligent brand of garage thrash, and finally, hail from East Oakland, where no punk bands had hitherto come from. Keep it up.

The Catatonics Hunted Down EP

Sounding more than a little like SSD (their admitted heroes), this thrash/metal five-song slab is quite a strong debut from this now-veteran band (see article this issue). If you like “power” punk, then hunt this one down.

C.I.A. C.I.A. LP

If you liked the original line-up of the band, or if you’ve ever liked the CIRCLE JERKS, then rest assured you’re going to like this one. While there’s a bit of tedium in the uniformity of their thrash, it’s more than compensated for by the overall power and tightness. Good.

Butthole Surfers Psychic… Powerless… Another Man’s Sac LP

Touch & Go is on a real winning streak here, what with the DIE KREUZEN LP, and now this. By now, most people know how dynamically weird the BUTTHOLES are, so I’ll skip the intros and just say check these walking, talking Texas nightmares out…dudes.

Zwaar Klote / Incest R.I.P. split cassette

Two recently deceased bands share this memorial release. While INCEST were just so-so, ZWAAR KLOTE were quite awesome. They are as tight, fast, and powerful as you’ll find around Europe, and not prone to too much sloppiness.

Vietkong Vietkong LP

The hardcore played by these guys is on one hand melodic (a bit reminiscent of the DKs) and yet also somewhat heavy-handed (mainly in the vocal delivery, which is quite “Germanic,” and in the rhythm section’s “heavy” sound). Good, but not great.

Suicide Warning for the World’s Punks / Ga-Na-Ri-Ya 7″

Both of these tracks are in the highly-produced, powerful punk/post-punk vein, reminding me of some of the slower material on the STALIN’s picture disc LP. Good traditional stuff from Japan.

Star Club Hello New Punks LP

Japan’s longest surviving punk band has a new LP, and it sounds like it could’ve been recorded back in ’77 when they began. It’s got that “classical punk” sound, thoroughly produced by a major label, power chords and all. Now that Johnny Rotten is doing SEX PISTOLS material again, I guess it’s OK. First 500 come with a flexi, too.

Rose Jets You Don’t Say So! EP

This four-song job has a heavy PISTOLS influence—almost embarrassingly so. They do, however, perform the style diligently. This 6” record comes in an 8” sleeve, which folds out into a glossy full-color poster.

The Razz The Great Punk Storm 8″ flexi

This six-song Japanese release is pretty Britpunk in sound, with high-quality production, clean execution, catchy songs and hooks, etc. They even have the Union Jack as a backdrop in their photos.

Pushtwangers Pushtwangers mini-LP

These guys mine a ’60s type of lode (not load), but instead of the punk/psych vein of fellow Swedes the NOMADS, this is more on the pop side. There are some Mersey influences, early ’70s pop influences, even ROMANTIC influences. Actually, they go way too far in this direction for me. Maybe that wimp Jeff would like it.

Pyhät Nuket Bella Ciao / Unelma 7″

I think this is what RIISTETYT evolved into. Both tracks are on the power/pop/rock side, yet are pretty catchy. This especially pertains to the A-side, which sounds like a Russian (Finnish?) folk tune rocked out. Sort of older-style punk-sounding, too.

The Nikoteens Hardcore Holocaust cassette

Claiming to be the fastest band around, they’d like us to tell them who’s faster. That might be difficult, as they do totally shred on their recent tracks here. And even at such speed, they manage to hold it together musically, and even inject a bit of melody, too. Looking for a US label.

Laughin’ Nose Laughin’ Nose LP

With thanks given to DISORDER and CHAOS UK, and an attitude lyrically not unlike CHAOTIC DISCHORD, you can get the general idea of where they’re coming from. Their punk and thrash is tight, well-produced, but not especially dynamic.

V/A Not So Humdrum LP

The second Sydney compilation from that hard-working Bruce Griffiths (Trousers in Action zine), and it’s full of good material. While there is only one semi-thrasher (VIGIL-ANTI), there’s lots of garagy stuff (ROCKS, WRONG KIND OF STONE AGE) and other classic punk styles performed by SUICIDE SQUAD, EXSERTS, HAPPY HATE ME NOTS. But the most zapping tracks belong to ITCHY RATS, who’ll really grow on you. Super book-type cover, too.

V/A Izgubljena Alternativa cassette

This is a surprisingly strong representation of several Yugoslavian hardcore bands. While it’s hard to tell who’s who, nearly all of the material (tape EPs) by U.B.R., NECROPHILIA, SOLUNSKI FRONT, QUOD MASAKA, DVA MINUTA MRZNJE, and DISTRESS is a cut above the norm. There’s some real originality and flair here, along with lots of power. Excellent.

V/A Holland Hardcore 3 cassette

This is pretty much of a rave. All the bands thrash out wildly, with most of the bands turning in those noisy live tracks that remind me of S.U.M. In this category goes PUINHOOP, LAITZ, M.O.G., CHLORIX, ECHTE BOTER, G.V.D., ORGASM, and A. RELAXT. Top honors on this regional Dutch comp go to GEPØPEL, who present two studio tracks that remind me of 7 SECONDS more than a little. Keep it up, all of you!

V/A Déflagration Vol. 1 cassette

This all-thrash comp is yet another international effort, and despite some relative unknowns here, it’s pretty consistently powerful. There’s EXTERMINO (Brazil), RÖVSVETT and MOB 47 (Sweden), BLANK SS (Heimat), and HERESIE (France), SAUKERLE (E. Germany), ONSLAUGHT (UK), THELLAY (Japan), END RESULT (Australia), SCAPEGOATS (W. Germany), and MELLAKKA (Finland). The compiler will take money ($2.60), but prefers a C-60 tape of bands from your country in trade.

V/A We Got Power: Party or Go Home LP

This Party Animal follow-up is not quite as overpowering as the initial installment, but it’s still an excellent sampler. You get 41 bands from all over the US, with SoCal being predominant. Too many bands to even begin to list (see ad this issue), but there are lots of debuts here, as well as other recently recorded up-and-comers. And, there are grooves between the songs this time!

V/A Inner Ear Damage cassette

Fairly evenly split between US and UK outfits, between live and studio, between good and inaudible. Faves: SEARS, RON CREATE, CHUMBAWAMBA, BODY COUNT.

Kina Nessuno Schema Nella Mia Vita cassette

Frantic and jazzy, while unrelentingly pounding, this is yet another recent attractive entry to the hardcore world from Italy. The songs tend to be longish (and remind me ever-so-slightly of REALLY RED), but there’s enough melody to sustain that, especially given the power with which they hammer home the material. Good.

God Get Down Valis / I Want to Flapple and Train 8″ EP

Don’t ask me what that means! The seven tracks here are in an early (’76-’77) punk vein, with elements of the STOOGES and pre-punk pop/rock thrown in. Not great/not bad, and from Japan.

Gasatsu Crime Fighter Rude Beat EP

Quite a noisy thrash/punk band. The overall sound seems a bit early English, but a lot of the hooks seem more late-US. Very enjoyable, and the rock hard.

Fixed Up Fixed Up LP

This band reminds me most of the earliest incarnation of the FLAMIN’ GROOVIES (circa 1967-’71), with their rockin’ R’n’B. The singer has a definite ROY LONEY feel to his voice, which has to be more than a coincidence. OK, but not as cool as the originators.

Einstürzende Neubauten 2×4 cassette

These folks are among the world’s leading proponents of industrial noise, utilizing instruments, jackhammers, concrete mixers, etc. But somehow, these live recordings didn’t shake me up. ZEV makes better rhythms beating on his springs, SPK used to make more intense, demonic sounds, and ENO makes better ambient music. Not that I’m any expert on this stuff, but after reading Tesco’s article, I thought this genre would change my life. Guess I’m too weird already, ’cause it seems tame.

Deadless Muss Rise Against 8″ flexi

Records from Japan seem to come in all sizes, shapes, and degrees of elasticity. This 7-song, one-sided job is a tough bit of thrash, combined with ultra-gruff, throaty vocals that make it quite good. A political theme record.

Crapscrapers Don’t Waste Money EP

Very fast and very noisy! If it weren’t for the ultra-repetitive drumming, this would be pretty snappy; but somehow, it doesn’t hold together this way. Excellent lyrics.

The Continental Kids Chikusho / Johnny Gun 7″

Both of these tracks are on the rock’n’roll side of punk, not unlike the quasi-rockabilly approach of NO ALTERNATIVE several years ago. The A-side rocks harder, but neither track is really that gripping.

Bloedbad Bloedbad cassette

Yowl This one blisters! From start to finish, this is one long string of Pushead adjectives. Check it out!

Äni(X)Väx Live Auf Teneriffa cassette

Your basic stop-and-go thrash with gruff-as-hell vocals. It’s tightly done, and there is definitely a spark of potential specialness in the guitarist’s work, so given time they could be hot.

V/A Shoot ‘Em All cassette

Outside of some weak Britpunk material from BLABOIZ, we’re presented with some excellent tracks (studio and live) from the VANDALS (not the US band), INTENSIFIED CHAOS (again, not the US combo), and SABOTEUR. Vigorous stuff!

V/A Have a Rotten Christmas LP

The up-and-coming Rot Records label presents largely unreleased tracks for your holiday “enjoyment.” Good, strong material from ANIMAL FARM, VARUKERS, NO CHOICE, SKEPTIX, RESISTANCE 77, ENEMY, PARANOIA, and RIOT SQUAD. What, no BOBBY HELMS?

V/A Four on 4 EP

One cut each by four excellent rock ’n’ roll (in the good, teen rave-up sense) combos. The MILKSHAKES, PRISONERS, STING-RAYS, and TALLBOYS all turn in crisp, up-tempo rockers with varying influences (R’n’B, psych, mod). So don’t be no “skwayer,” and pick it up.

The Stupids Leave Your Ears Behind cassette

A dozen very, very powerful and desperate thrash tunes out of the studio. These guys are “newcomers,” yet they deliver like old pros—tight, and with confidence. This band, among a few others, bodes well for Britain’s HC future.

Stress State of Decay cassette

A four-song mid-tempo Brit-punk style tape. It’s OK, but not very inspiring. I think this style reflects too closely the depressed nature of the English working class. Their lackluster, unimaginative lives come across, not so much lyrically, but in the dull repetitiveness and unexciting music. Somehow, punk should attack that existence with hope and verve. I dunno, maybe I have no right to say this from afar.

Riot/Clone Blood on Your Hands? EP

While the two B-side tracks are nothing special, it’s the A-side’s “Why Do You Have to Eat Me?” that grabs me. It’s about one-half spoken word (a woman reciting various facts about edible animals’ unhappy encounters with mankind, set to eerie sci-fi-like music), and then breaks into a classic punk chant song.

Resistance 77 Thoroughbred Men LP

A better release than I expected. While there’s some so-so stuff, many of the tracks have that “something special” that makes them jump out at you, and stick, too. Catchy tunes, powerfully delivered, and with zip!

No One’s Property / Bomb Culture Spit It Back / Cry If You Want split cassette

NO ONE’S PROPERTY is an undeniably English band, sporting mid-tempo songs with both a male and female vocalist. Well-done, well-produced, and to-the-point lyrics. BOMB CULTURE is a vocalist and rhythm machine combo, also with intelligent words. Both outfits are now, unfortunately, kaput.

The Kick Let’s Get Back Together EP

A three-song UK mod release with all the prerequisites: vocal harmonies, R’n’B guitar licks, up-tempo beat. There’s just a hint of the unusual on “A Shot in the Dark,” but otherwise they’re just a pale version of the JOLT.

Ad Nauseam No Mercy cassette

Can this be the same band that put out that drone-like EP a while back? Yes, it is, but they’ve improved about 1000%, and return to blast our ears with some powerful noise and tune-laden thrash. Another excellent young UK outfit to watch for.

The Accursed Laughing at You LP

This is their third 12”/mini-LP (hard to tell which these days), and probably their best yet. By no means generic punk, there are all sorts of strange noises and various counter-rhythms running throughout, keeping the listener just a bit off-balance. And just when you think it just might be a bit too eccentric, they come back with their powerful sound. There is one self-indulgent klunker on the studio side, though, and the live side isn’t quite as neat as the studio. Still, it’s interesting.

V/A Music to Kill Brain Cells, Vol. 1 cassette

Band #1 is BROKEN TALENT, who, after the pornographic intro (Mykel Board, get this one!), indulge us with some classic garage punk. #2 is VERBAL CIRCUS, and they deliver some really weird shit (again M.B., take note). POP CRUDS bring us back to reality (ha!) with more garage retardedness. And that leaves it all up to FONZIE’S NEPHEWS, who polish us off in a demented fit of idiocy. “Weird shit,” as the liner notes say.

V/A Highs in the Mid-Sixties, Vol. 13 LP

Supposedly a return to the “punk” side of Texas ’60s music, it’s not quite the wailer I had hoped for. While there’s some killer stuff by the BRIKS, FANATICS, and BARONS (MOUSE AND THE TRAPS rip-off), there’s also an awful lot of filler here. Hope that’s it for the Texas series.

V/A Highs in the Mid-Sixties, Vol. 12 LP

Part two of the Texas retrospective in this on-going series has dug up a mixed bag. Side one is the “ acid-punk” side, and it’s a 50/50 proposition: highlights are by the REMAINING FEW and STEREO SHOESTRING, the rest being too far gone on the lighter weight psych side. Side two is the “pop” side, and it’s less than a 50/50 deal.

V/A Desperate Teenage Lovedolls LP

The soundtrack to We Got Power‘s video extravaganza, there’s lots of great rock ’n’ roll. REDD KROSS appropriately dominates this disc, not only with their own tunes, but with members sitting in with WHITE FLAG as well. They are joined by BLACK FLAG, SIN 34 (WGP‘s “house band”), NIP DRIVERS, and DARKSIDE (?). Cool teen stuff!

V/A Attack of the Jersey Teens LP

No headbangin’ ’60s punk here, with most of this anthology concentrating on the Mersey/folk rock side of things (WHAT-NOTS, FRIEDLES, YOUNG MONKEY MEN)—but CALLIOPE and LOVED ONES do turn in an excellent rocker each. I suspect most of these bands hailed from South Jersey, hung out at “the Shore,” and would love to be BRUCE STINKBEAN.

White Boy Poker Chips / How Safe Are You 7″

This duo of Jake Whipp and Mr. Ott dates back to around 1976 when they emerged with their pre-punk classic, “I Could Puke. “ And here they are again. While neither side is as great as that debut, both sides exhibit their weird, punchy music that combines a rhythm machine, eerie vocals, and occasional wicked guitar outbursts.

U.S. Distress One on One cassette

A pretty intense but standard thrash tape. The sound quality is decent, and there’s lots of power to their blasts. Nothing new, but they’ll be a force if they stick with it.

Skull Duggery Headlock LP

Bizarre—could’ve sworn this would be metal, judging by the cover. But as the ol’ expression goes, “You can’t judge a…” You want punk, you got it. You want country, you got it. You want garage, you got it. You want metal, you got it. You want experimental, you got it. And all done weirdly!

Sangre de Puerco Cheezy Dogs cassette

A lot of this band’s material is on the softer side, not unlike some of the REPLACEMENTS’ current material. There’s some freak-out jazzy punk, too, and even some thrash that’s twinged with country, reminding me of MDC’s “Chicken Squawk” or something.

Rich Kids on LSD It’s a Beautiful Feeling EP

Another in the “Nardcore” series (although RKL recently moved to SF) of mini-LPs, and they kick. As with many of the younger bands these days, there’s a decidedly metal guitar influence. I choose to not hear it.

Pillsbury Hardcore Poppin’ Fresh cassette

A ridiculous name and a ridiculous band. It’s that ol’ youthful attack, folks: slash and crash and make fun of everything, and “who gives a shit if it sounds horrible ’cause we’re havin’ fun!” Garage: love it or leave it.

Marlene Foreman / Killing Your Soul 7″

Ever wonder what happened to Jennifer Miro, singer of the late SF NUNS? Well, she now fronts MARLENE (or is she MARLENE?), who produces one slow BLONDIE-ish side and one cabaret-ish side. Can’t really recommend this musically, but the lyrics are intelligent. And, of course, it’s historically relevant. Right?

Legionaires Disease Placebo World EP

Hey, it’s only been five years since their previous EP, and somehow several of the original members have regrouped with others for this reemergence. While I don’t believe they are a functioning unit (they haven’t played here where they live and recorded this), this is pretty tight. Description: punk rock, with the “rock” as stressed as the “punk.”

Kor-Phu Kor-Phu LP

Uh oh. More sun-damaged crazies have invaded our area from the desert. Sure this is difficult music; imagine a hybrid of the SEX PISTOLS and KING CRIMSON. What lifts these weeds into a high-energy bracket is their fat, metallic guitar crunch, and a warped sense of humor. Check it out.

Johnson Unit Triangular Effect cassette

A pretty nifty rock ’n’ roll tape with garage appeal. There are some ’60s influences here, but it’s rocked out in a ’76-’77 manner. Unpretentious, fun, and intelligent stuff.

Ill Repute Halloween Live EP

Yet another in the “Nardcore” series, and this one has a definite “live” garage feel to it (might be because there were about 100 kids in the studio at the time of the recording). Actually, it’s being remixed, so it may sound cleaner when it’s released, but even this version is fun. Couple of covers, too.

False Confession Left to Burn EP

Billed as a mini-LP on 7 inches, this is the first of the “Nardcore” (Oxnard area) series, with plenty more to come. The idea is to beat the “high cost of albums, with these six or seven song jobs.” FALSE CONFESSION comes off on some tracks as America’s answer to the current DISCHARGE sound. On others, there’s less metal damage, and more of an amalgam of US and UK thrash. Powerful.

F.V.K. Who’s Your Friend? cassette

An excellently recorded tape, FVK came on with superior political lyrics (I say “came” on, because they lasted only during last summer). The first few tracks are fairly “heavy,” but after those they launch into a series of thrash stop-and-go killers. Fine.

Claude Coma & the I.V.’s Junkman / All Day Suckers 7″

Both sides are highlighted by great punk vocals, and semi-punk/garage/rock instrumentation. Sometimes the rock side (chunky rhythms and guitar solos) gets a bit much, especially on the B-side, but the A-side is an unqualified rocker.

Bodies in Panic This Ain’t Rock ’n’ Roll—Then What the Hell Is It? LP

What it is is good NJ thrash ’n’ roll. They rock hard and tight, with lots of stop-and-go songs, neat guitar sounds, etc. I say NJ because they have a lyrical fascination with guts, gore, and death, as many other local bands do. Quite a few anti-war songs, too. Good buy.

Bloodsport Bloodsport cassette

While most of the songs on this tape are a bit too much on the melodic side for my taste, fans of more pop-punk (à la SoCal sound, like aspects of SOCIAL DISTORTION, TSOL) will appreciate their approach. Well-produced.

Blight Chapter II cassette

The same BLIGHT as before, with Scott (ex-CRUCIFUCKS?) singing/chanting/growling instead of Tesco. Long, slow, painful dirges are their forte, and they deliver with all the ugliness of an extreme downer overdose. Watch out—they’re on tour now!

Initial Attack Not to Be Confused cassette

A four-song demo in the old no wave punk-funk tradition. Actually, it sounds somewhat refreshing now, though it sure got to be stale back then…

Love Canal We Know Something cassette

Quite a neat ten-song tape that really should’ve come out on vinyl. It’s classic SoCal thrash, reminding me a bit of what the MIDDLE CLASS might have sounded like had they continued from their thrash roots. It kicks!

Numb Sex Constantly Itching Down There cassette

Claiming influences that “range from BUZZCOCKS to DIE KREUZEN to early STONES to IGGY to MINOR THREAT,” it’d be hard to really go wrong. While by no means as singularly excellent as any one of these bands, they do indeed display a blended “punk/pop/with power” that all said influences have/had, and all without being obvious imitators.

Al Perry and the Cattle The Cattle cassette

Weird-ass rockin’ C&W-flavored punk. I hear LINK WRAY, BUTTHOLES, VELVET UNDERGOUND, and all kinds of stuff in here. Unfortunately, it’s only six songs long, but it’s still pretty neat.

Social Slugs Great Balls of Fun cassette

Ah! The garage aesthetic—you either like it, or you puke. Now Jeff, he likes it (the aesthetic, that is). The Pus, it’s not his cup of disease. Me, some’s got charm, but in small doses, unless it’s pure rockin’ noise. This particular manifestation of the genre has its moments (more than not) but it does wear thin after a while.

Deformed / No Brain Cells split cassette

Two regional English bands split a tape here, and they couldn’t be more different. DEFORMED’s recording is a studio demo, and their sound is “death punk,” cleanly executed (get it?), and effective. NO BRAIN CELLS do 30-second thrash numbers, and it’s a live tape that fades in and out (at least on my cheapo machine). It’s good to see such varied punk bands be able to cooperate though.

Asta Kask Plikten Framför Allt EP

Another excellent 7” (their third) from this Swedish unit. They play very fast punk with catchy tunes, cool singing, and hooks galore. While their style is not unlike some of the better Brit-punk bands, they deliver it with zest and feeling.

Los Pillos Felices Fiestas cassette

Although there’s a light post-punk atmospheric guitar touch to these three tracks, this is overshadowed by the driving beat and tough vocals (at least on two of the songs). Previously though, their approach had been more “punk,” but the results here are OK, too. Fine instrumentation.

V/A Rullustiginn cassette

When I think of modern Icelandic music, I think of moody post-punk and some experimental stuff. That’s exactly what we get on this tape. Only one or two groups (VONBRIGDI, for example) really play driving punk.

V/A Nu Det Jul Igen cassette

Quite a strong trash-oriented tape, with the likes of Germany’s MANIACS, UK’s THE FIEND, and Italy’s MONOPOLIO MENTALE. No let-up or let-down.

V/A Noget På Dansk EP

A split EP, on white vinyl no less. ENOLA GAY and WAR OF DESTRUCTION share this effort. E.G. are good, gruff fast punk (two songs), while W.O.D. are DISCHARGE-like on their one entry. The flip features LE CRAP, who are abrasive post-punk. The real surprise, though, is VI, who shred on their two tracks, sort of GISM meets CAPITOL PUNISHMENT. Good release.

V/A La Notte Dell’Anarchia cassette

An historical document of sorts, this live tape is dedicated to those courageous and dedicated punks of Milan, who managed the Virus collective (now defunct by force). Besides the many bands (ALTERNATIVA, KOBRA, F.D.M., WRETCHED, STRAGE, M.A.F., RAPPRESAGLIA), there are interviews with various people (in Italian), speaking about an action of occupation they did (where this was recorded) to protest, where eventually they were dislodged by ten tanks! Raw as reality, but the fight goes on.

V/A Hauptkampflinie cassette

An international collection starring PLAIN WRAP, SVART FRAMTID, PANDEMONIUM, MOB 47, WRETCHED, TIN CAN ARMY, SIEGE, CRASH BOX, INFERNO, and several newcomers. It’s a solid thrash release—you know what you’re getting.

V/A Two Ninety Nine LP

A whole lot of current UK bands (eleven to be exact), each with a track or so, and bizarrely, one US band (KILLROY). We get some mid-tempo tracks from ANIMAL FARM, SICK VICARS, ENEMY, RESISTANCE 77, THOSE OBNOXIOUS TYPES, and PARANOIA. Not earth-shaking, but solid Brit-punk.

V/A Revenge of the Killer Pussies LP

The follow-up to Blood on the Cats, this comp again features trash/garage/rockabilly/R’n’R. There are a few well-known bands (METEORS, SIC KIDZ, MILKSHAKES), a few up-and-comers (KING KURT, STINGRAYS, TURKEY BONES AND WILD DOGS), and absolutely no manic psychobilly. Just OK.

V/A Texacore 1 cassette

A real gnarly, kick-ass compilation consisting of such luminaries as PUNK FLAMINGOS, PRENATAL LUST, BILLY BOB FAGGOTS, FEARLESS IRANIANS FROM HELL, TOEJAM, and three others. It has good sound quality, too. More than decent.

V/A A Midnight Christmas Mess LP

Other than a few too-pop or rockabilly clunkers on side one, we are left with an excellent ’60s-punk-type compilation of various contemporary groups. There’s killer stuff from YARD TRAUMA, NADROJ & THE WOLRATS (doing the SONICS’ “She’s Waiting” with new lyrics), CHEEPSKATES, among others. There’s even Midnight owner, JD, doing his tribute, à la Phil Spector’s Xmas LP, to the season.

V/A Buddha Was Fat cassette

Eight songs (five bands) from upper NY State. The WRONG CROWD are like late-period VELVET UNDERGROUND, the PLAGUE are garage, RELIGIOUS INSANITY are mercifully short-song oriented, SUICIDE POETS are mysterious, and THRASH HAPPY are the furthest thing from thrash imaginable.

Blue Marbellas Nothing Like a War cassette

OK, this is more like it. After all that clean-cut stuff I get stuck reviewing, this is “reality”—totally garaged-out, fuzzed-out, raw-as-shit production, noise central. Love it.

Channel Rats / R.A.F. Gier split LP

The CHANNEL RATS’ side displays a “funnypunk” approach, though the music is more “down and dirty” serious-sounding slow than most in this genre. R.A.F. GIER is the real surprise, however, with great and unusual thrash, showing both imagination and power. Cool.

TMA What’s For Dinner LP

Who are these guys? Well, whoever they are, they really shred. TMA play totally fast, gnarly thrash with lots of hooks ’n’ tunes. Tight and clean, too. The lyrics are typical “punk rock,” bitchin’ ’n’ moanin’ ’bout everythin’.

The Decay Anarchy cassette

Well, “anarchy” about describes it. Beyond that, it’s a noise/free-form/HALF JAPANESE freak-out. Actually, there are distinct tunes, but it is rather too unique to describe. Oh yeah, it’s not wimpy! Creative.

Disgust Brainwash cassette

Intelligent, but somewhat heavy-handed political thrash. Reminds me of MDC meets Jeff Bale’s old band, WARZONE. The drumming and singing are a bit too stolid for my tastes, but if primitive is your bag, this thrash is for you.

Sudden Impact Freaked Out cassette

Totally hot HC-type tape, folks. No let-up, meat and potatoes thrash, delivered with commitment. Lest you howl “generic,” go to a new wave show, then go home and play this. It’ll be a breath of fresh air.

Targets Menschenjagd EP

We’re talking high-class stuff here. The second TARGETS EP affirms that their debut was no fluke, as they deliver very powerful punk/thrash with pop sensibilities, great hooks, and choruses. I’d compare them to an English equivalent of the DKs, combining the finest aspects of both influences.

Baws Let’s Have a Ball flexi EP

A three-song Japanese Oi record. Musically, it’s pretty good, with power and lost of catchiness. But to really appreciate this disc, you’d have to read the lyric sheet; the most bizarre translation to English I’ve seen yet.

Kikeiji Plastic Scandal EP

Great! All four tracks here have a different sound, and all are cool. It’s punk/post-punk/ska/power rock/psychotic wailing, all in one. Very special.

The Johnnies There’s Time / The Way of the West 7″

A “live” recording that does have a “Western” feel to it in the rhythms. Don’t like this as much as their Government Don’t Care single, but it’s still pretty rockin’.

Exhumed Lunch Mistakes cassette

A bizarre mixture of five tracks appears here. There’s one experimental, a thrash instrumental, a cover of “Green Acres,” and two stop-and-go thrash songs. All are well done, especially the title track. Interesting.

Eraserhead The Demo cassette

Not to be confused with the English band, this Memphis outfit is a punk/metal/rock amalgam. The overriding emphasis is on the punk side, but there’s a lot of guitar wanking and soloing, and you know how excited I get about that. But find out for yourself.

Drills Skullface cassette

A very noisy but interesting tape. While punk to the max, this garage outfit employs some “special effects,” making this effort varied and enjoyable. Hope they make a record.

Domino Theory Weather Report cassette

Crypto-cowboy music, maybe? Bizarre guitar playing meets poppy no wave? Not exactly pop; not exactly punk. You tell me.

The Vibes Can You Feel EP

While in the psychobilly vein that’s becoming more and more popular, these guys kick ass a bit more than most of their contemporaries. Even the slowest number, “Mini-Skirt Blues,” has got good power. Plus, they do a great cover of the COUNT FIVE’s “Double Decker Bus.”

Mau Maus Tear Down the Walls EP

Another more-than-competent release from these lads. For your money, you get three medium-fast punk tunes, and one thrasher. They handle both styles well, though seem better suited to punk, making them sing-along-simple.

The Gonads Live: The Official Bootleg 2xLP

Sorry kids, but I could only make it through one and a half sides of this “rock ’n’ roll” record. Not my cup of tea. Amazingly, though, Jeff actually liked it (I worry about that boy sometimes) saying it was “funny” and had “some OK music.”

Alien Sex Fiend E.S.T. Trip to the Moon / Boneshaker Baby 7″

“Boneshaker Baby” is a real neat CRAMPS-type rave, rockabilly beat and echoes to the max. Boss. But the A-side is that post-punk dreck that I can’t handle at all.

Angelic Upstarts Last Tango in Moscow LP

It’s touching to see old bands hang in there, although I’m not too ecstatic about this case. Maybe I’d like a slightly less-produced version of some of the songs (way too clean and sparse for such slow-tempo stuff), but some of the songs are just plain lame. Splodge does a good job on the vocals though.

Stark Raving Mad MX 12″

Three former members of Houston’s PISSED YOUTH moved to NY, joined with a fourth party, and put out a real gem of a thrash record. If you love fellow former Houstonites DRI, then you know what you’re in for here. Short, sweet, and vicious blitz attacks are the vehicle for their assault on hypocrisy, apathy, and fascist behavior. Get it!

Suburban Mutilation The Opera Ain’t Over Til The Fat Lady Sings LP

Norb reminded me that on an earlier review of one of S.U.M.’s gnarly tapes, I said “I fear the day they get into a studio and we get to find out what is underneath all that noise”. Well, that time has come, and according to Norb, it’s “more noise.” Not quite. S.U.M. has managed to maintain their “noise” on this studio LP, but we also discover some great, frantic, crazed thrash “music.” No let down at all.

U-Boats Street Tough LP

They look punk, but sound more rock. There is some early punk-sounding stuff, but about half the material is sort of pre-punk or else has a lot of wanking guitar solos. Those songs that are “punk” are pretty good (and powerful), and those that aren’t are pretty bad. Note: not too enlightened (as in sexist).

Tommy Dog In My Own Words EP

The impression this music gives off is one of being on the “dark side”—whether by more traditional classic punk sounds or post-punk, the depressing element comes through. It’s all well done (tight and powerful), but it does leave me “cold” emotionally. Hmmm…who’s this Jack Rabid on drums?

Teenage Depression Skank or Die EP

Hey, buy this gnarly thrash record and find out everything these guys hate: anarchy punks, speed punks, Henry Rollins, frat boys, rabbits, moms, commies, Reagan, and probably themselves. However, they do love “Kate,” the lucky girl. Music’s pretty cool.

The O.D.’s Back at the Ranch LP

These ORANGE DOE-NUTS from Kansas City present us with almost two separate bands. One side is pretty much an excellent thrash record, with snappy, rapid-fire clear-cut songs. But flip it over, and suddenly we’re hearing reggae, jazz, and experimental stuff. I realize we’re all a bit schizophrenic, but….

Poison 13 Poison 13 LP

A new band that contains Tim and Chris (BIG BOYS), Mike Carroll, Bill (ex-HAPPY DEATH), and Jim (ex-EL B J). There’s a mixture of some of the best elements of ’60s punk (especially the vocals), ’70s punk (a cover of RICHARD HELL’s “Blank Generation”), and blues rock (à la GUN CLUB meets CREAM). The beat is pounding, the guitars are powerful (slide guitar even!), and the production and execution are tight. They rock.

Redd Kross Teen Babes From Monsanto 12″

Somewhat disappointing, especially after such a long wait for a REDD KROSS R’n’R fix. Mostly all covers (STONES, BOWIE, KISS, etc., etc.), the only real killer for me, the only composition with that ol’ RK pizazz, is the only original, “Linda Blair.” Hey guys, don’t wait so long for the next record—and get back in your groove. Pin-Ups this ain’t!

The Mortal Micronotz Live Recording Of The Video Soundtrack EP

There’s some fine rocking stuff on this five-song release; it’s consistently great garage R’n’R with plenty of power, great snarly vocals, and fine production. Especially liked “Cleo,” which brought images of the BAD BRAINS to mind.

Monks Black Monk Time LP

Very bizarre. A reissue of a ’60s punk band made up of G.I.s stationed in Germany during the Vietnam era. Besides their unusual haircuts (bald spots dead on top of their heads), their music was quite experimental for a pop/punk band. They utilized a banjo, among other weird sounds, incorporating them into tough, rhythmic R&B rockers. Worth looking for.

Mad Parade Mad Parade 12″

They sound like they come from Ireland (S.L.F., UNDERTONES), but actually it’s Covina, California (they appeared on Barricaded Suspects comp). Lots of excellent pop/punk with good hooks and choruses, with more of a SoCal not-quite-thrash rush. They look like poseurs, though, and while they might give SOCIAL DISTORTION a run for their money in that field, I hope they don’t end up like the RED ROCKERS (you gotta check the cover of their latest LP!)

The Leaving Trains Well Down Blue Highway LP

Travel back with me, if you will, to the boring ass days of the late ’60s-early ’70s. These were the days of laid-back, countrified rock music and self-conscious “me” lyrics. You want outta there, you say… then take the needle off this record, fart!

Ground Zero Ground Zero LP

Sounds like ’70s Irish rock cum folk. Cum whatever, this is lightweight, jaunty stuff that we wouldn’t ordinarily review, ‘cept it’s on the HÜSKERS label. But not even Bob Mould’s magic can bolster this one.

Get Smart Action Reaction LP

Rhythmic pop/garage straightforward ditties. It’s all very clean and well-produced and new wavish and I think I can’t handle this anymore. It’s for mildly mild mildewed kids.

The F.U.’s Do We Really Want to Hurt You? LP

Don’t let them fool you: beneath those goofy faces, beneath their copycat music (YOUTH BRIGADE), beneath their imitative cover (U.S. CHAOS), and beneath their lame lyrics (Alan King?), lies some real intelligence. How can I tell? Well, if you play this record backwards, you can barely make out the following: “Lone Live Proletarian Internationalism!” and “All Power to the Soviets!” I just knew they weren’t as lame as they acted.

Demented Dinner Music Demented Dinner Music cassette

Mostly guitar and synthesizer dementia from one Terry Snider, done over the course of years. It’s sort of folk/pop/industrial trash (again Europeans, not thrash), some of which is listenable but painful, some of which is actually enjoyable. One person’s expression.

Blind Idiot God Your Skull cassette

A very powerful blast here. Who are these guys/gals and why doesn’t everybody know about them? This 14-song thrash rave comes incomplete without vocals, but who cares? Killer.

Blind Acceptance I Want Out cassette

On their slower material, these guys remind me of the FUCK-UPS, with their older-style, bone-crunching punk attack. Most of the songs here follow in that mold, with a couple of thrashers, or at least with thrash breaks. Their lyrics tend to dwell pretty much on the negative, making the FUCK-UPS comparison even more valid.

V/A Scum of the Earth LP

Yet another ’60s punk compilation, this one primarily dealing with the pre-psych influence on the genre. What this means is a lot of ’64 or so sounding stuff, with an accent on surf, R&B, and British Invasion garage sounds. Not as wild as I’d hoped.

V/A Pebbles, Vol. 14 LP

No “theme” or “geographic” orientation here—just a smattering of more obscurities from the seemingly endless ’60s archives. No real losers here, and the highlight for me was the GOLDEN CUPS cover of “Hey Joe.” Just what we need, right? But this has gotta be the ’60s equivalent of a thrash version!

V/A Boulders, Vols. 9 & 10 LPs

The two latest volumes of this ’60s punk series contain largely good stuff and little wimp-rock. While the sound quality isn’t as good as some series, the material is still of the impossible-to-find type, making them indispensable for collectors. Volume 10 contains a purported Jerry Mathers (the Beaver) punk release—bizarre.

Zimbo Chimps Car Wash cassette

Some finger-snapping garagey weirdness here—at times it reminds me of the RESIDENTS. As the enclosed note said, it might be “too intense for our fragile HC tastes.” Correct.

Urbicide They Finally Let Us Have a Gig cassette

This is a live recording of this new outfit. Their sound is a metal/punk amalgam, with some thrash thrown in for good measure. Nothing new happening here, as can be judged by their one cover (WIRE’s “12XU”), but it’s done with some degree of authority and power.

Uniform Choice Sometimes cassette

A straight edge band from Orange County, these guys belt ’em out short, melodic, and sweet. They immediately remind me of M.I.A., 7 SECONDS, and MINOR THREAT. Cool.

The Swingers Witch Doctor Blues / Right Between the Eyes 7″

Ugh! White honkin’ and blues with a sax. After all the good/great releases on Mutha, this one is a real letdown. It’s not bad for the genre, it’s just that the genre is so “old.”

Social Slugs Great Balls of Fun cassette

A garage/noise/punk amalgam that combines some thrash with pet rock and general aggression that lashes out at everything. Fun and annoying.

Solution Unknown Justice for All cassette

Pushead says they sound “BGK-influenced, but they don’t finish their songs,” and that they have “full Tesco lyrics.” Jeff says the vocals “don’t mesh too well,” and that they’re “like MDC.” with better recording, which they hope to do, we’ll know more about these guys. “Come to the Phone” is a classic.

SSD How We Rock LP

Various thoughts that came to mind while listening: I’d like this a lot more if all the squiggly rock guitar solos were half as long / The lyrics are still good / There’s “power” here, but where’s the spark? / The band really likes the record / “Musicianization” (thanks, Ken Lester) will kill punk rock / This is a short album, but looong / The cover says it all (who’s Alan Barile, David Spring? / This isn’t fun, but would it be better at 45 RPM? / There—I did this without once saying “heavy metal.”

Ring 13 Nothing New, Nothing Learned cassette

While eclectic musically, the various melodic styles on this tape still maintain a “punkness” to them. This is not only in its edge and aggressiveness, but also in the lyrics—so there’s lots of potential with this band, as long as they keep their sense of outrage.

Reptile House Origins of a Sad Man cassette

This tape contains four long, slow, and rather dreary songs. It’s intentionally that way, but this doesn’t necessarily help the situation. While melodic and tight, the overall mood is of depression. I get enough of that in real life.

Ramones Too Tough to Die LP

While not the “thrash” LP I had heard rumored (there is one thrasher), it is definitely more of a rocker than their previous outing. What’s even more interesting is the fact that the RAMONES now have a few “political” songs; actual “peace” songs. Take that, you wimps!

Prisoners of Conscience Screaming for Help cassette

A very abrasive one-man punk band with a rhythm machine that strongly advocates a political pacifist course of thought and action. Both the lyrics and music are intense and non-wimpy, with good guitar. No trendy politics here at all, and John Dwyer backs up his intelligent lyrics with an extensive reading list and the addresses of many organizations. Recommended.

The Omlits Live in Tijuana cassette

Recorded in ’81, we find ourselves in an Orange County invasion of Mexico. While the sound quality is not so hot, the burritos were. The music, on the other hand, maybe should have not made the trip. “Meester, you wanna buy my tape?”

Ralph Nielsen & the Chancellors Scream EP

Billed as “the wildest rock ’n’ roll song ever,” the title track of this 1959 release is pretty wild R’n’R, but doesn’t really hold up with today’s frantic HC. I’ve also heard some wilder ’50s stuff, but this ’50s bar band (not unlike the Northwest’s WAILERS) does kick ass. The two B-side tracks are more rockabilly/R’n’R, a bit like the EVERLY BROS.

Naughty Women All the World’s a Lay cassette

Not sure if they’re a “fuck” band (hee-hee), but supposedly they’ve been around since ’78 (no, not ’69). Recorded both in studios and live, this is “LA sleaze punk” at its best (?). A collectible period piece.

Jonny Earth Shoes Earth Shoes for the Needy cassette

Try to imagine a sort of early HALF JAPANESE garage style meeting in the real teen world—this totally destroys! A well done bit of trash. (Not thrash, you Europeans!!)

Ibex Tarantula cassette

They describe themselves as playing “somewhere between metal and punk.” Yes, it’s true. They do. Honest. Sort of a MISFITS on downers. Actually, it’s more melodic metal than punk.

The Gun Club Sex Beat ’81 LP

Never known for being a great live act (too drunk to rock), this line-up of GUN CLUB (same as on the first LP) must’ve had an “off night,” cause they hold it together pretty good. While not nearly as great as that classic debut album, this ’uns perty gud.

Futile Effort What’s the Use? cassette

An excellent tape that combines short, crisp, and punchy thrash with biting, satirical lyrics. Although the sound is not perfect, it’s of decent quality, and these guys rip with enthusiasm. Tight, too.

The Crucifucks The Crucifucks LP

A whole LP’s worth of Doc Dart’s “Jerry Lewis” vocals, spitting out all their satirical, biting songs, is a real treat. Not only are all their classics here from their earlier tapes, but the “recordings” interjected between songs are worth the price alone. Hot, weird, and intense political punk!

The Cramps Blind Vision EP

A four-song “live” release out of Australia that may or may not be a boot. It’s typically raunchy CRAMPS material, and finally contains a recorded version of “Five Years Ahead of My Time,” which they’ve been covering for years.

Anti-Momb I Don’t Care What You Think cassette

This release doesn’t come off as well as the band does live. Somehow here, the vocals seem almost annoying, and the instrumentation lacks the power they can display. Still, it’s not horrible by any means—just not as good as it could have been.

V/A Rising From the Ashes cassette

A four-band comp of current NZ bands, one (FIVE YEAR MISSION) that goes as far back as ’79. K-4 are pretty experimental, à la PREFIX, CORRECTIVE TRAINING are fairly standard ’78 punk, REX THE FISH have a female vocalist and a moody post-punk sound, and the aforementioned FYM, who are the speediest, but are still within a traditional punk beat.

V/A The Raw Power of Life cassette

Some pretty well-known bands from around Europe are featured here: INFERNO, NEUROTIC ARSEHOLES, NUCLEAR, M.A.F., RAZZIA, and J.R.’s MOTHERFUCKERS AND THE HOLY GHOST from Germany; PANDEMONIUM from Holland; DESTRUCKTIONS and RATTUS from Finland; ANTI-CIMEX from Sweden. There’s some live, some studio—my faves are RATTUS and PANDEMONIUM.

V/A Pebbles, Vol. 15

This one concentrates on the Dutch scene (’65-’68). Just as today there is great punk in Holland (BGK, PANDEMONIUM, etc.), there was a flourishing scene back then, too. We’re given some hot tracks by the OUTSIDERS, MOTIONS, JAY-JAYS, etc., and a few klunkers, but it’s overall a worthwhile addition for collectors.

V/A Noise Attack cassette

45 bands? From all over the world? This is one of the better thrash-attack tapes I’ve heard. While the sound quality is decent-to-good, the energy level is good-to-great. Powerful.

V/A Lihatuotanto 003 cassette

An international comp with MENTAL CRISIS (US), ATROX (UK), CAPSILTA, KIELLETTY, KLIMAX, and CHINAPPI (Finland). This tape rocks hard and long.

V/A Larmattacke 2 cassette

An intense thrash tape, with mostly German bands (TODISCHER, M.A.F., SCAPEGOATS, SYPHILIS, LOBOTOMY, SAOBOYS, etc.), some from Holland (FUNERAL ORATION, M.O.G., MURDER INC. III, etc.), England (PANIC STRICKEN), US (DIET OF WORMS, SADISTIC EXPLOITS), and Sweden (CRUDE SS, AVSKUM, MOB 47). Sound quality is basically good.