Reviews

Tim Yohannan

V/A There Is No Reason to Be Happy EP

WDM (Finland) clock in with a hot DISCHARGE-like ripper, III KATEGORIJA (Yugoslavia) have a “heavy” thrash sound on their three short blasts, MARITAL LAW (England) have a long, slow-tempo punk tune, and I REFUSE IT (Italy) finish it off with their jazzy HC sound. An indie international effort.

V/A Meltdown on Media Burn LP

Many of the tracks on this garage/psychobilly comp are previously unreleased, many are covers , and most all rock. You get the likes of PURPLE THINGS, X-MEN, TALL BOYS, MILKSHAKES, CANNIBALS, STING RAYS, and more.

V/A Cage Omnibus No! 12″

Four bands here: HONEY DEEP WET, NO LIP, REAL, and MERRYGOROUND. Average of a couple of tunes each, and I found none of this material truly outstanding, though none is really boring or incompetent, either. Accent is on the message in lyrics, though, which won’t do much for most of us.

TZN Xenna Dzieci Z Brudnej Ulicy / Ciemny Pokój 7″

Two hard-driving tunes in a tough early punk style but with HC’s zip. There’s subtlety as well as power, making this not just collectable because it’s from Poland. Not only that, it’s out on the official state label, with a picture sleeve.

Toy Dolls Geordie’s Gone to Jail 12″

Two tracks from their LP (the title track and “Idle Gossip”), the former sounding like early 999 (according to Lydia), and the latter is a classic TOY DOLLS rave. Then there’s the onus track, the title track again, but sung in Japanese. I’ve heard it all now.

Potential Threat Demand an Alternative LP

A highly political release, but sadly missing a lyric sheet. Contains some reworkings of their debut EP, as well as lots of new material. While ample competent, there’s something a bit lacking in the overall sound – perhaps a thin mix. Otherwise strong but unimaginative thrash.

Peter and the Test Tube Babies Key to the City 12″

The title track is the only studio cut, and takes up the entire A-side. It’s very long. Its not very interesting. It would be just passable if it were a quarter as long. The B-side contains four live tracks, largely uninspirational save for “Vicars Wank Too” which shows the most pep on the slab.

Kina Cercando LP

Blues, thrash, HC thrash, fast punk, pop punk, jazz, speedcore… you name it, they do it. For such a variety of influences, KINA seems to pull it off, lending their “sound” to all styles, providing a continuity. Eclectic and yet maintaining an edge.

Hungry for What The Shattered Dream LP

Combining tracks from their LP and 12” (released in Europe), this domestic LP introduces their pop-punk sound to American audiences. From Switzerland (originally in a ‘70’s punk band SOZZ), these guys combine power and great tunes into an early CLASH-like sound. Excellent.

The Ex The Spanish Revolution 2×7″

Actually much more than two 7” records, there is a full-fledged several hundred page, highly produced book sandwiched between them. The theme is obvious, covered from an anarchist post of view, printed in both English and Dutch. Musically, there are traditional Spanish songs updated in a CRASS-like manner – really vital. GREAT package.

Violent Tumor Abortion EP

Found this in LA with no pic cover, saw it had eight really short songs, and took a chance. Glad I did. While not spectacular these songs are rapid-fire blasts with gnarly vocals, and lots of energy. Inscription on B-side vinyl: “Skinheads sing in nuke rain”.

V/A Mystic Sampler #3 LP

Apparently Mystic does still consider these samplers necessary. This one includes tracks from other recent Mystic released by GOVERNMENT ISSUE, WHITE FLAG, PTL KLUB, ILL REPUTE, MENTORS, FACTION, AGRESSION and several samplers. Me, I’m unconvinced.

V/A It Came From the Garage! LP

A really great garage compilation featuring all Midwestern contemporary bands. Sounds range from ‘60s punk, surf, mid-70’s punk, psychobilly, and beyond. Hot stuff from MANGOS, ELVIS HITLER, MYSTERY BLUES, 3-D INVISIBLES, and lots, lots more.

7 Seconds New Wind LP

Two different recording sessions are mixed together here – one done in DC in ’85 by Ian MacKaye, and one done by BYO in LA in ’86. The DC sessions rock hard while maintaining that 7 SECONDS melodic appeal, while the LA tunes are decidedly more commercial sounding, with a U2 influence. Fortunately, 7 SECONDS makes even these tunes sound great live.

Sacred Order “E” Ticket LP

After all these years, SACRED ORDER finally get their own vinyl out. Sounding very little like their tapes of yore, the thrash is gone and is replaced by a heavy rock/punk sound. On some of the songs, that makes it work as an early punk sound emerges predominant. But on many tunes, the old rock blues-based riffs just don’t cut it. Enough with this early ‘70’s rehash.

SS-20 More Government Now LP

This debut LP comes across with a good measure of honesty and credibility – and that would be enough, but there are some catchy melodies mixed in with the fine lyrics to make this album a winner. This is punk in the best sense of the word: aggressive, original and committed. Most of the songs are nifty, too. A strong release.

Ramones Crummy Stuff 12″

“Crummy Stuff” is the draw here, though not really a knockout with tinges of synth here and there. “Something to Believe in” rears its ugly head again, and the painfully slow rock number, “And I Don’t Wanna Live this Life” is the finale.

Poison Idea Kings of Punk LP

At long last it’s out, and well worth it. Proving that life exists after metal (or at least hardcore does), this is a power-paced assault without a tinge of dinosaur damage. Very pro package by Pushead, though there’s no lyric sheet included, and Tom Roberts has got to be seen to be believed. A powerful punch. Now.. if they’d only tour.

Newd Harry Tracey is Dead LP

Largely juvenile lyrics (except one song “Distracted from the Truth,” which shows some subtlety and thought) set to older garage and punk tempos. Well produced though with such a trashy aesthetic, perhaps it could have been cruder.

First Offense Broken Home EP

Really good mid-fast paced hardcore, a good variety of tempos, lots of oomph, that SoCal melodic thrash sound, and really tight playing all make for good listening. Mystic’s new recording studio is way better than their Hollywood set-up, and this (along with a whole slew of new 7”ers) is proof.

The Faction Epitaph 12″

A posthumous release, six songs in all including a cover of GENERATION X’s “Your Generation” and MAMAS AND THE PAPAS’s “California Dreamin”. The originals mix the FACTION’s pop/surf punk style with a DOA-type hardcore sound, while the covers are credible. Good power.

Angry Samoans Different World 12″

Finally some new material, a limited edition release (to entice a big label?) that is indeed a bit “different” for Metal Mike, Greg Turner and Co. While the five originals still have the trash edge, they don’t have the thrash delivery. Harkening back to their 60’s punk roots, these tunes are not frantic but are “love gone bad” garage – snottiness fades to sadness. Includes folk-punk cover of “Somebody to Love”.

Agression Recorded Live at the Underground Railroad EP

Sounding much like a rockin’ DOA, this particular live performance is AGGRESSION is decent, though a bit disjointed at times. Guess I’m not one for most live recordings unless incredibly magic moments are caught, and in this case it’s just an average performance.

A.P.P.L.E. Neither Victims Nor Executioners cassette

Proving there’s more to NYC than street survival and “fuck you” lyrics. Fueled by strong female vocals, intelligent lyrics, and still powerful playing, there’s a PENETRATION/ POISON GIRLS influence, but also more going on here – funk influences, folk rocks aspects (cover of “Blowin’ in the Wind”) and classy production. 8 songs, worth mailing away for.

The Plastic Dolls Blindfolded LP

A refreshing yet rockin’ departure from HC, reverting back to early punk’s simplicity and yet maintenance of power. Just a drummer and guitarist who sings as well, this is rock’n’roll as it should be, though there are a few limp tunes.

Not Moving Sinnermen LP

Poppier than I remember their previous efforts, there’s a lot of psych guitar and feel here, though rarely crunching. With the female vocals, they at times sound like some early UK pop-punk outfits on the rockier tunes.

Mielenhäiriö II EP

Their second release (first was a one-sided 7”), this one flexing some muscle. The three A-side songs are slightly-better-than-average pop-punk, but it’s on the flip where they really cut loose. Three more tunes, much more energetic, both thrashy and imaginative.

The Loods Loud Machine 12″

A pic disc 12” in a regular color cover, and the weirdness doesn’t stop there. There’s one “normal” punk tune, one change-of-pace thrasher, one BLURT-type raver, and then a bizarro mix of that same title song. Quite a treat.

V/A Songs We Taught the Cramps, Vol. 1 LP

A fine idea, a compilation of original tunes that the CRAMPS have covered over the years. Both ’50s and ’60s songs, there are either whole songs covered, or songs the CRAMPS took the lyrics from or took the instrumental licks from. Given the huge amount of songs the tasteful CRAMPS have copped, we can look forward to Volume 5 in no time.

V/A The Shot Heard Around the World cassette

A politically inspired comp, this one contains such bands as LIFE SENTENCE, GROUP OF INDIVIDUALS, BORN WITHOUT A FACE, RAPED TEENAGERS, and many more. A really worthy project, plenty of good music, and lyrics that matter. Especially like the Missouri band LIKE A HORSE.

V/A Lovedolls Superstar LP

Clearly half of this soundtrack LP stars the LOVEDOLLS, who seem to mainly to do the vocal tracks (sounding like the RUNAWAYS), and backed by the likes of REDD KROSS, SWA, PAINTED WILLIE. Remaining tracks star BLACK FLAG, DK’S, GONE, MEAT PUPPETS, SONIC YOUTH. Fun, in a Hollywood sort of way.

V/A Hanging Out at Midnight LP

Various pop-punk and folk rock bands with neo-’60s flair. The bulk are 50/50, but there are at least three real standouts, coming from the MIGHTY MOFOS (formerly the HYPSTERS), the WIND, and the CAVEMEN.

V/A Expo Hurts Everyone EP

A one-off “instant record,” this EP is dedicated to exposing the scam of the Vancouver Expo and its effects on those who aren’t just profiting off of it. MECCA NORMAL, RHYTHM ACTIVISM, and another band do folk or dirgy noise, while DOA does a CREEDENCE-like tune, “Billy and the Socred.” A timely release.

The Velvet Underground Another View LP

Not anywhere as amazing and explosive as the recent VU release of similarly unreleased VELVETS material, this new batch contains a few moments of wonder. A studio version of “Real Good Time Together” is decent, the ridiculous “Ferryboat Bill” is a treat as is the original version of “Rock and Roll.” The real standouts, though, are the instrumental version of “Guess I’m Falling in Love” (a pounding experience) and version two of “Hey Mr. Rain” that contains some awesome John Cale viola noise. Again, a must for VELVETS maniacs, if only for the clean production of all those bootleg versions you’ve had to strain through.

Urge Overkill Strange, I… 12″

Dare I say there’s a Chicago “sound” gelling, epitomized by a powerful punk approach to post-punk (BIG BLACK, NAKED RAYGUN) and joining their vinyl ranks is URGE OVERKILL. Big bass and drum sound, loud production, and cryptic lyrics are the ingredients. Of the five tunes, two appealed, three didn’t.

Phantom Opera Zoo 12″

This band is one of the new “eclectic” post-punk outfits that seem to be pouring out of SoCal. They mix punk power and intensity with other genres, borrowing from hard rock, funk, etc. This one works better than many I’ve heard, though I’d like to see more of these bands harken back to early punk’s appreciation of economy in length of tunes.

Last Sacrifice Acid Rain Dance / Suspended 7″

The A-side is a rapid-paced tune that combines the charm of early PENETRATION with UXA’s power—both female vocals. The flip is very POISON GIRLS-like. Whoops, just noticed that this should be 33, not 45. Still OK, but now it’s a male vocalist sorta STOOGES-like and not early as fun. Oh well.

Dogmatics Everybody Does It 12″

Half the tracks here are really listenable garage rock’n’roll, while the rest tend to be too rockabilly-ish or poppish in derivation for me. Obviously, they’ve got power and roots, but I hope they don’t get stuck in the past.

Brain Dead The Brighter Side of Life LP

Though there’s nothing new musically, this mid-tempo hardcore platter is well done, has clean (perhaps a bit too much) production, really audible vocals, and really good lyrics. Always glad to see a good band emerge from mid-America.

V/A Raw Cuts, Volume Two: Swedish Beat LP

Volume One covered French neo-’60s garage, and this latest volume covers Sweden. The bands emerge from punk to pop-punk to power rock, all with that zesty garage undertone. Grittiest stuff comes from the SLAMMERS and SLOBSTER, though fine stuff by HIDDEN CHARMS, SINNERS, and BOTTLE-UPS (among others) are welcome, too. Good work.

V/A Gadael Yr Ugienfed Ganrif LP

This label Anhrefn is dedicated to alternative bands who pride themselves in their Welsh identity, culture, and language, and this comp contains two tracks each from five bands. Two are punk (YR ANHREFN, ELFYN PRESLI), while the other three are best described as folk-punk, post-punk, and techno-pop. An interesting array.

V/A A Farewell to Arms LP

Two to four songs each from GAUZE, GHOUL, EXECUTE, LIP CREAM, OUTO, and GASTUNK. Lots of great stuff, especially by LIP CREAM and GAUZE, though there are very few slouchers at all here. Hot.

Trotskids A Mort! A Fond!! LP

Most of the tunes here rip right along at a rapid clip, combining good tunes, that classic French chorus singing, and hot production. There are a few change-of-pace tunes which are decent though they tend to be longish. BLITZ influence, but uniquely French. Watch for more hot records on this label.

Toxik Ephex Punk as Fuck EP

Outside: a plain, homemade, obviously “punk” sleeve. Inside: a three-song, well-produced, hot sounding record. Powerful punk, both fast and medium-paced. Quite a refreshing surprise—no hype, just the facts ma’am.

Terveet Kädet The Horse LP

This latest release has taken quite a while to get pressed. They’ve slowed down a tad, but still maintain their characteristic intensity. You get twenty songs, mainly mid-tempo noise thrash, a heavier sound than usual. Catch ’em live this August-September on tour in the US. (They need a van for two bands; can you help? Write…)

The Soup Dragons Whole Wide World / I Know Everything 7″

These guys have been compared a lot to the BUZZCOCKS, though I hear a lot of the early UNDERTONES as well in here. Both tunes are bouncy pop-punk, with good melodies, pounding drums, and up-front guitar. While this is a good start, the tunes weren’t as instantly memorable as their aforementioned prototypes, and I hope they don’t lose the grit in their attempt to “make it.”

Skeezicks There’s a Charlie Brown in Everyone of Us EP

Brian Walsby-ish hardcore? Actually, his drawing gracing the cover sums this up well—good fun punk sound, though the lyrics indeed have a lot of meaning. A fine young band.

Scraps Apartheid EP

Though the music is not the slickest thrash I’ve ever heard, there is an urgency to it that’s most compelling. Combine that with raging vocals of a highly political nature, and you’ve got something special.

Raw Power After Your Brain LP

I think this is more or less RAW POWER’s original line-up (not the metal band that toured as RAW POWER) as there’s a lot less guitar wanking. Pretty straightforward thrash as well as some punk tunes. Lacks the overall insanity of some of their best material, but there’s plenty of hot stuff here and a lot more variety than usual.

The Nikoteens Slamdance Party Vol. 3 LP

Divided into a “Romantic” side and a “Realistic” side, this band pulls off an out-of-the-ordinary LP. Their punk is not generic usually, but doesn’t really drift into experimentation or post-punk to pull it off. Can’t really say what it is, but it’s a tad different. Worth checking out.

The Damned New Rose 12″

Well, hey—here’s your chance to snap up some early or rare DAMNED stuff, back when they were a slap-in-the-face punk band. Includes “Help” and “New Rose” from the first 45, “Stretcher Case” and “Sick of Being Sick” from their ultra-rare freebie 7”, as well as “Neal Neat Neat.” Get this fucker.

CCCP Fedeli Alla Linea 1964-1985 Affinità-Divergenze Fra Il Compagno Togliatti E Noi Del Conseguimento Della Maggiore Età LP

One side of this red vinyl job is punk with some experimentation, folk, and other varied influences, while the flip contains three long songs that are post-punk. On both sides, vocals and lyrics are way important, but unless you understand Italian, a lot will be lost on overall impact. Highly political.

Broken Bones Bonecrusher LP

Side one is the better recorded of the sides, with a mighty driving bass clearing all obstacles, leading the way for non-stop metalish thrash. Lyrics remain in the doom-and-gloom mold, but appropriate for the music. Lots of power.

Wipers Land of the Lost LP

Greg Sage and co. return for some more of their classic, driving guitar rock’n’roll. Side one rocks harder than their last outing, but ends with a long, moody tune that sets the pace for side two, which is a bit cleaner than previous WIPERS stuff. Like the gnarlier stuff myself, but it’s all cool. Keep it up, Greg.

White Flag Zero Hour LP

Another good sounding LP, as these guys churn ’em out. Still have a problem with their so-called “anti-political” lyrics, which more often than not are a not-so-subtle acceptance of the conservative status quo. Musically, they maintain their zip and imagination, producing fine punk and thrash.

Vale of Tears Betrayal EP

Rock’n’roll with punk, dance, and post-punk influences. There is a driving beat on two of the three tunes, but the singing is a bit too much “sung” and the addition of a sax only detracts from the power. Sounds like ’79-’80 degenerated early punk.

Uzi Sleep Asylum 12″

A posthumous release, a five-song job of not-so-exciting post-punk, or maybe it is exciting for jaded, over-the-hill, aging “I never was a punk” types. Actually, “Ha-Ha-Ha” has fine power and moments of madness, but that only pales the rest of the tunes.

The Subhumans Incorrect Thoughts LP

The same great debut LP by this defunct Vancouver outfit, but with two additional songs. High-class punk, great lyrics, a must if you missed it the first time around. May be released without the ex-members’ permission.

The Micronotz 40 Fingers LP

While there’s a decent power here and the vocals are as great and gruff as ever, there’s a sameness to their largely mid-tempo tunes that lulls me to sleep. Outside of the title track and one other tune, I didn’t perk up that much.

Die Kreuzen October File LP

This is a fucking boring record. This is a fucking bor… nah… pretty unmemorable stuff. The speed is down, but so is the spark, leaving those still-ragged vocals and an R.E.M. meets LED ZEP sound. Wish I could be excited, but I’m not.

Agnostic Front Cause for Alarm LP

With their debut LP, I liked the music, liked the lyrics, had doubts about certain contradictions. With this follow-up, I like the music less (way more metal), the lyrics are largely good (though the anti-welfare “Public Assistance” attacks minorities as the problem), and again I am not convinced—even less so.

The Afflicted Good News About Mental Health LP

Around for many a year but their first vinyl. Began as a thrash band, but are now decidedly a punk band with classic punk riffs and approach. Good sound quality, decent tunes and power, and fairly fun. Could have done without “Sweet Jane “ cover though.

Wilmer X V-I-L-D! LP

A live (and hot one at that) recording of this power-pop band that feeds off both ’50s and ’60s roots, R’n’B, and pop and turns it into a rockin’ sound like early DR. FEELGOOD meets CHRIS SPEDDING.

Los Violadores Y Ahora Qué Pasa, Eh? LP

They’ve gone way pop since their PISTOLS-like debut LP, and would go over really well with nightclub punk acts, those “professional punk” bands. There’s still a spark of guts here and there, but mainly it’s power-pop music.

V/A We Can Do Whatever We Want LP

At last, the best of BCT’s cassettes. Quite a ripping collection of live and studio stuff, this LP includes European and North American bands. Some of the bands included are: RAW POWER, PSYCHO, RATTUS, TERVEET KÄDET, CCM, WRETCHED, DETENTION. A real testimony to Chris’s perseverance and dedication; I hope this will be the first of many vinyl efforts.

V/A This is Oi!: A Streetpunk Compilation LP

A non-fascist skin (“street-punk” is what they call it) comp with the OPPRESSED, OI POLLOI, COMPLETE CONTROL, BARBED WIRE, and more. OI POLLOI and BARBED WIRE come off with the most energy and determination, while the rest sort of hang together undistinguishable.

V/A Stone the Flamin’ Crows!! double cassette

Two tapes, 44 bands, and a booklet—an amazing comp of some of Australia’s best of the last few years. Includes DEATH SENTENCE, CIVIL DISSIDENT, VICIOUS CIRCLE, and tons more. There are a lot of live tracks, most of decent sound quality, though not all.

V/A Kulturschock Attacke Vol. 1 LP

A really decent Germany comp. though the sound quality varies from band to band. Some of the included are: CRAPSCRAPPERS, CIRCLE OF SIG-TIU, EUTHANISIE, IM ZEICHEN DES KREUZES, and many more. An enjoyable slab.

V/A Consumer Blackmail cassette

An awesome comp of international scope, though the majority comes from Japan. This tape was put together by Roger Armstrong for the joy of it, and he encourages people to duplicate it rather than purchase it. Includes too many to name.

V/A Auf Tierfang Durch Die Welt Für Unseren Zoo EP

All three bands here (two tracks each) are in older punk styles. Recordings vary in quality (some live, some studio), but there is a sameness to it all. Includes: BLANKER HOHN, KIE ERBEN, and R.Z. AMOK, all from Hamburg.

Stinky Rats Vergognati 12″

Thrash for the most part, but broken up with changes that are a bit jazz-rocky. Several Italian HC bands seem to have these varied influences, some of which I find distracting, however eclectic and broad their tastes. Others may appreciate the variety. When they rely on power, they really wail.

The Smarties Whole Buncho Weirdos LP

Great combination of crisp, hard-hitting, fast punk and funny upbeat comedy tunes. All the music is produced by talented West German musicians who keep their musical roots present throughout every song. The clean, excellent production only helps this twelve-song LP’s attack become stronger. Good stuff!

Os Replicantes O Futuro É Vórtex LP

Decent but commercial-sounding punk. This pop punk style is not surprising, considering OS REPLICANTES are out on RCA Brazil, but what is unusual are the lyrics—attacking censorship, banks, and other problems common not only to the Third World, but the West as well. Interesting.

Les Rats Violence / Allez Danser! 7″

This French outfit specializes in pop-punk with the traditional choruses, but emphasizing a more rootsy rock influence. “Allez Danser!” is an especially invigorating melodic track, while the flip connects with more energy. Basically good and solid.

Rabatz Irrenoffensive LP

Good driving punk but without much distinct personality. While the music’s plenty punk and there’s good power and vocals, they lack that special something which becomes evident on LPs more than EPs. Still, it’s not bad at all.

Psychotic Youth Devils Train EP

A “…Youth” band that’s not hardcore? Yep, pure psych/punk here, and though they’re hardly “psychotic,” they do rock pretty good. Do an ELEVATORS cover, as well as the FE-FI-FOUR PLUS 2’s “I Wanna Come Back From the World of LSD” and two originals. Not remarkable, but decent.

My Bloody Valentine Geek! 12″

More pop than JESUS AND THE MARY CHAIN, but utilizing their noise guitar. The singing isn’t well done or enigmatic, and the overly subdued nature of the playing leaves leaves a lot to be desired. One track (“No Place to Go”) has enough energy to overcome this, but a .250 average doesn’t make it.

Manimal Manimal cassette

At breakneck speed or mid-tempo, this band turns out well-crafted, powerful punk and thrash. They have an almost SoCal sound, full of melody and hooks, lots of guitar, and neat vocals. An excellent tape, well worth picking up.

Laughin’ Nose Laughin’ Nose LP

This group sticks to their early punk roots, relying on pop melodies, heavy on the high production vocals and mix (a bit too much so), and simple, catchy tunes. It can wear thin, but is an OK change of pace. Especially liked “Broken Generation.”

Karma Sutra Inside the Glassy Packages the Same Old Slut cassette

A six-song release, this is punk rock with a distinguishing guitar sound. For the most part, the band has a SUBHUMANS-type English sound, but the guitar has a post-punky tone, a combination that comes off well. Good thoughtful lyrics to boot.

Feedtime Feedtime LP

Seems to be recorded somewhere between 33 and 45 RPM, cuz it seems plausible at both speeds. This is driving, bass-heavy guitar noise stuff, sometimes quietly mad, and at other times blatantly insane. Grunge with conscious intent but really well executed.

Clinik Jungle Town / Revolution Rap 7″

Switzerland produces some very mundane punk and some quite interesting experimental punk (such as the MANISCH DEPRESSIV 7”), and this release falls into the latter category. One side is indeed a politically biting rap song set to rhythm machine, while the other is a highly persuasive punk song. Interesting.

Nick Toczek’s Britanarchists More to Hate… Than Meets the Eye 12″

One one side, it’s NICK TOCZEK backed up by a simple punk band (the BURIAL, who look more skin than punk), while on the flip he’s backed by a ska/reggae outfit called the SPECTRE. NICK’s bitter social commentary comes across well despite (or enhanced by) the music.

Bluttat Cash, Invoice, or Credit Card LP

This fine band seems to have lost some of their steam and distinction from their previous two sparkling LPs—the songs here tend to run into each other without much differentiation, and the lack of real punch is a disappointment. Maybe I’m missing the subtleties, but I miss their power and speed.

Third Force Just a Little Screw cassette

Though the recording is just a bit on the thin side, there’s lots to pick up on here—lots of energy and tight as hell, quick changes and blazing yet melodic thrash, and some positive lyrics. Like the singing and harmonizing, too. A good start.

Sacred Denial Extra-Strength Tylenol Anyone LP

I like this record a lot, with its straightforward powerful punk/thrash and teeny-nasty vocals. Nothing really unusual here, but its simple punch and power are really enjoyable. A no-frills treat from this now-defunct band.

SS-20 More Government Now cassette

A lengthy but enjoyable tape of real good pop-punk thrash. Good production as well as way clear vocals makes this even more enjoyable. Good lyrics and neat back-up singing as well.

Ramones Something to Believe In 12″

Alas, the RAMONES, on their latest release, are heading back to their overproduced period of a few years back. Too many instruments (synth, horns, extraneous shlock and vocals) clutter it all up, absorb the power, and detract from their simple raw pop power. Disappointing three tunes.

The Cramps What’s Inside a Girl? 12″

The title is off their latest LP, and the other two tracks are nothing to rave about. “Get Off the Road” and “Give Me a Woman” are very simple tunes, but lack any special character or zip. Like the RAMONES’ new 12”, a poor follow-up to their recent LP.

W.D.M. Democracy? EP

An above-average noise thrash release, rife with buzzsaw guitar, raging beat, and gnarly vocals. All nine songs are sung in English, the intelligent lyrics driven home with passion and power. Hot.

V/A Words Worth Shouting LP

Along the lines of Bullshit Detector, this LP is a collection of mainly English bands (with German and French representatives), a benefit for hunt saboteurs. It’s quite good, and introduces some relative unknowns like AXE THRASHER, DEATH ZONE, REVULSION, etc. as well as the likes of DISRUPTORS, HAINE BRIGADE, and NICK TOCZEK.

V/A Declaration of Fuzz LP

As good a neo-’60s compilation as you’ll find, this one covers the international scene with the likes of the STOMACH MOUTHS, BOYS FROM NOWHERE, MIRACLE WORKERS, CRIMSON SHADOWS, CORNFLAKE ZOO, and many, many more. High quality recordings, largely enjoyable punk and psych/punk.

Les Thugs Radical Hystery 12″

Awesome! As with their incredible 7”, these eight songs combine the power and freshness of ’77 punk with the pop songwriting mastery of the VELVET UNDERGROUND, producing crunching, up-tempo, and harmonious ravers. They’ll knock your socks off.

S.H.Draumur Itch cassette

As featured recently in MRR, this Icelandic band plays a somewhat energetic brand of post-punk, though it’s somewhat restrained. The sound quality here is decent though thin, but given the lack of availability of their native recordings, collectors of the unusual might want to check this out.

Obscurity Age I’m Only a Child 12″

Fairly rockin’ folk rock with female vocals, like a less-slick (no pun intended) early JEFFERSON AIRPLANE. Part of the Milan underground scene of Leoncavallo and Virus, this band is dedicated to the autonomous movement, opposing commercialism and rockstarism.

Menticide Bathroom Ideas Exhibition / Wedding Jerk 7″

The A-side is a jaunty post-punk tune with punky vocals, somewhat reminiscent of early CURE, while the flip lags pretty much. I found the topside to be pretty catchy, though I imagine wimpiness is just around the corner.

Ampachen / MBP split cassette

M.B.P. is a noisy yet melodic thrash outfit who hit the spot—no complaints here, as they play an American style hardcore, energetic but tight. Turning the tape over for AMPACHEN we find a less frantic but nonetheless equally enjoyable and imaginative band. They too have wild vocals, great guitars, but are a bit more tuneful. Good buy.

Godfathers This Damn Nation 12″

Some former SID PRESLEY EXPERIENCE members come up with a powerful, catchy three-song release. The title track has great guitar hooks, fine drumming, and tough singing. Wish it wouldn’t end. On the flip, we get more of a rock’n’roll song and a tribute to John Barry’s James Bond-type theme songs.

Conflict Only Stupid Bastards Help EMI LP

A live “benefit” LP, this one to help various centers aiding in riot defense zones. The target here is unnamed (a band who “sold out” to EMI), but should’ve been since it’s not obvious to most people I’ve asked. Recorded at the Olympic in LA, the sound is appropriately live, and quite energetic with 22 songs. Anyway, CONFLICT, after you get done ranting about other rip-offs, why not send MRR the $30 you owe us for your ad of last year?

The Brigades Costa del Dole LP

Much more rockin’ than their previous releases, the BRIGADES cut loose with powerful pop-punk. Their style is a cross between mid-period CLASH and ’80s Brit-punk, while their lyrics are unabashedly political. Driving, well-recorded punk rock.

The Backdoor Men Going Her Own Way / Dance of the Savages 7″

The A-side is a ballad, and gets tired in a hurry. The flip is an organ-dominated instrumental, a more crazed R’n’B-based tune. Though it rocks, I’d sure like to have heard some guitar on that baby, especially as this band’s name evokes the SHADOWS OF KNIGHT and rockin’ R’n’B.

The Apostles Punk Obituary LP

Finally, their first LP (after five 7”ers), and they continue with their scaringly personal and honest lyrics and liner notes, but the music itself (offbeat as ever) has toned down considerably, to the point of being almost folk. With this band, though, it’s their wordage and politics that matter, so…

Wrecking Crew Wrecking Crew cassette

Lots of metal damage here, which maybe would be decent sounding in the studio, but on this live recording (ten tunes) doesn’t come off that slickly. The power is evident (especially on the drums). Studio should produce better results.

A State of Mind / Chumbawamba We Are the World? split EP

A split 7” by England’s CHUMBAWAMBA and America’s A STATE OF MIND. The latter’s two tunes vary between melodic parts and punk rushes, all in an English anarchist vein with heartfelt political lyrics. CHUMBAWAMBA, too, deals with subjects of war/fear and state control, and musically, similarly, rave yet intersperse with “pretty” aspects. Comes with an incredible amount of info/opinion. Get this!

V/A Limited Potential cassette

A variety-pack of US punk hands from these zine makers: POETIC JUSTICE, LOOKOUTS, GROUP OF INDIVIDUALS, NASAL WASTE, DEAD SILENCE, YOUR FORM OF GOVERNMENT, and even the HATES. Most of the bands have this in common—you can hear the lyrics, meaning they’re more punk than thrash.

Sex on TV Some Other Thoughtful View EP

Quite a variety of styles apparent here—two of the five tracks are synth-oriented new wave, two are ripping thrash, and one is an upbeat R’n’B-based rocker. Cool vocals throughout, lots of power on the three, and a change of pace on the remainder. Interesting.

Septic Death Now That I Have the Attention What Do I Do With It? LP

A sort-of reissue. Side B is the same as the original—speedcore wailing and frantic Pus vocals. The A-side, however, is another story: three tracks are from the original release, but have new guitar and vocals; three are completely new tunes; and three are songs that appeared on various comps, again redone. Beautiful packaging.

S.F.B. Get Set for Another Shattered Dream!! cassette

Featuring ex-members of CATATONICS and SUBURBAN REBELS (from upstate NY), this posthumous release features driving melodic guitar punk and thrash. While it doesn’t always sparkle, there’s lots of energy and potential…but alas they hung it up—Belvy moved to Reno, Bob to San Diego, etc. Another sad story, but that’s rock’n’roll.

The Primates We Are the Primates LP

Primitive 60’s punk that relies heavily on rhythms simple drumming, maracas, tambourines, etc.). Basic R&B punk with classic garage meets Mersey tones. They can fuzz punk as well, though, and that wimp Jeff (who was supposed to have done this review!) really likes this one.

Painted Willie Mind Bowling LP

This band (includes some ex-SIN 34ers) seems to be moving away from their more explicit political origins towards a mix of politics and personal love/hate songs. Musically, it’s mid-tempo punkish stuff with early-’70s rock influences. Not yet well-formed personality-wise.

Levelors Last Supper 12″

A real split personality here—of the six songs, two are soft rock, two are hard rock, and two are punk. Since those are the only two I could stomach, I will only speak of them…and they’re quite good—real driving punk with good hooks and singing. Odd.

Th’Inbred A Family Affair LP

With vocals reminiscent of Ian MacKaye or Kevin Seconds, combined with an almost jazzy hardcore band makes for interesting listening. This band is big on intros that are slow and different then rip into a thrash song with changes throughout. BEEFEATER fans will relate to this. Lots of challenging/thoughtful lyrics to boot. Great effort here.

Hüsker Dü Candy Apple Grey LP

The HÜSKERS’ premier major label effort finds them displaying some of the most depressing/unsure lyrics yet. Musically, this album is no departure from their pop direction, some delivered with power, some not. There’s a 12” out now, too, containing one track from this LP, as well as another studio track and a live (but unsensational) “Helter Skelter.”

Forbidden Beat Driving You Insane EP

If there is such a thing as a “Vancouver vocal sound” (D.O.A., DEATH SENTENCE) then this band has it. With former members of BILL OF RIGHTS and HOUSE OF COMMONS, you’ll find four largely mid-tempo punk songs, lots of guitar, and plenty of drive. It rocks.

Foe Life After Christ cassette

Hard-driving punk and thrash with an accent on singing and melody. Could’ve done without their DEEP PURPLE cover, but the other tunes on this six-song demo are powerful, guitar-heavy rippers. Contains ex-MALIGANT TUMOR members.

Cancerous Growth Today’s Society EP

I was warned that this would be “too metal” for me, but far from it. While there’s a slight bit of metal guitar action (no obnoxious leads though), for the most part this is speedy thrash. Though generic at times, there are a few touches, overdubs, etc., that break it up. Five songs, good lyrics.

Bum Kon Bum Kon LP

Eclectic hardcore that combines power with offbeat influences, changes of pace, funky bass playing, SoCal-sounding punk vocals, and the eccentricities usually associated with Sun Belt bands. Should establish them with fringe-freaks everywhere.

V/A Bleeding Between the Lines cassette

Wally and the Beav comes up with another hot new comp, a prelude to their first vinyl effort. Band like LUDICHRIST, PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH, SHELL SHOCK, HYPE, A.P.P.L.E., DIRECT ACTION, RED TIDE, REST IN PIECES, and lots more supply the more-than-ample power. Overall fine sound, comes with booklet. Rips.

Johnny Thunders Que Sera, Sera LP

Whereas I just had written JOHNNY THUNDERS off as poopoo on toast last issue, I’m now glad to report that he’s now just plain poopoo. Lots of songs about all the girls throwing themselves on the boy, done in his traditional R’n’R style. Would’ve been happy, though, if he at least rocked out, but most tracks are fairly tame, with very clean playing. Miss that nasty guitar. OK at best.

Slow Against the Glass 12″

Noted for their frantic live act, this 12” captures that energy as well as their variety. Using funk, rock, and other influences, galvanized by punk energy and attack, they pound out six pop/punk/garage rippers. Great singing, too.

Pagans Buried Alive LP

Finally! Other than hardcore collectors, most of today’s punks have never heard the awesome power of Cleveland’s PAGANS. These blasts (seventeen of ’em) include the seven tunes off their four 7” records, as well as ten unearthed studio tracks from ’77-’79. The single tracks still seem the hottest, but there are no throwaways here. Get it!

Mod Fun Hangin’ Round EP

On this release, MOD FUN has updated their sound from ’64 to ’66, incorporating ’60s fuzz punk into their pop mod sound on one song, going pop-psych on another, and fairly straight pop on the longest track. Like the two uptempo songs better than their previous efforts.

Maggot Fodder Sudden Death cassette

Their fans call it “acid punk,” which brings to mind the BUTTHOLES, but this is nothing like that. Much more melodic, with “harmonic” vocals and a decent medium-paced beat. Not really too psych or crazed, just moody with a raw guitar.

Kluged Kick, Scream, and Shout cassette

A nine-song good-sound-quality tape. “KLUGED” apparently means jerry-rigged or thrown together in a really quick, sloppy manner. It doesn’t appear so to me, as the playing is tight and powerful angry thrash, cleanly and energetically delivered. Lots of changes and non-metal guitar work (extended at times) and strong vocals. Good debut with an early SoCal HC sound.

First Offense First Offense cassette

One studio side (originally intended for release by Mystic, and is classic SoCal melodic thrash) and one live side (more recent material with a definite metal edge). Both sides are good sounding, though I prefer their earlier sound by far.

Doc and the Pods Sometimes EP

Rockabillyish rock’n’roll on this 4-song EP, occasionally sinking its teeth in, but not really blasting like it could. This is best seen on their cover of the FLAMIN’ GROOVIES’ “Teenage Head,” which just doesn’t have the bite of the original.

Dissension Why Work for Death LP

From out of nowhere (well, actually Long Beach) come DISSENSION, and their “generic thrash” sound is done with conviction and power. While their message may be generally in the new “positive” school of HC, their lyrics range a bit wider than many such bands. Line-up includes ex-TARGET OF DEMAND guitarist. A promising debut.

Dead Silence Stress LP

A band whose lyrics matter a lot, who have put on benefits to back up their beliefs, and who rock hard as well. Really cool fast, grungy punk with tough committed vocals. Neat fuzz guitar fits well with thrash, too. Excellent, exciting debut.

The Cynics No Place to Hide / Hard Times 7″

A bit stronger than their debut EP. This band has a punkish ’66 sound with a singer who almost sounds like Gary Floyd of the DICKS. The A-side is the superior track, with cool fuzz and lead guitar.

The Cramps A Date With Elvis LP

The big difference on this release is that Ivy finally steps out with some clean guitar soloing, and I like it. It’s straightforward and simple, and reminds me of something, like a slightly more souped-up JOHNNY BURNETTE TRIO/BO DIDDLEY. Some real chances get taken here, and the results: their best record in years, though many don’t like it.

Buzz and the Gang Buzz and the Gang cassette

A three-song job, pop-punk is the style, with female vocals not unlike early BLONDIE. It’s got that Boston rock’n’roll sound, clean but rockin’ with guitars and drums up front with the singing. More power-pop than punk. it’s still a punchy effort.

Asexuals Contemporary World LP

I suppose it would’ve been unfair to expect this LP to strike me as their debut did (my fave LP of last year), but perhaps with many playings it will come close. There’s still that great, distinctive voice, super-tight and fast melodic thrash delivery, clean production (perhaps a bit too clean here), classy hooks, and that rare sing-along quality, so… Catch ’em on tour and sing your heart out (great lyrics, too).

X At Home With You LP

These Australians continue to put out interesting records. This LP contains tracks in their ’77 power-punk sound as well as more eclectic sounds that rock. Can’t say I like it all, but for a band that’s been around so long, they still pound.

V/A On the Waterfront, Vol. 2 EP

A sampler from this mainly pop label. HAPPY HATE ME NOTS live up to that standard, EASTERN DARK clocks in with some cool psych noise, ITCHY ART come off with a driving dirge entitled “Attempting to Give Your Name to a Policeman While Tripping,” and TACTICS do a live folky punk ditty.

V/A 天橋立に来た岸壁の母 LP

A Kyoto-area comp featuring INFECT, SCABIES, WALTZ, FUCK GEEZ, SEX COMPLEX CLASS, and the SADIST. Mostly ’77 stuff except for ripping thrash from WALTZ and SADIST’s fast punk.

V/A Rebel Brain Factory LP

A 50/50 proposition. OK tracks from LOODS, ZOLGE, and the POGO; losers from SISTER RAY (yet another band with, this name that doesn’t have a VELVETS sound at all), and IKARI; and hot stuff from ROSE ROSE.

V/A Kaaos Zine Presents cassette

A Finnish-US effort (being sold in the US by BCT, in Europe by Kaaos). The US entries are ENTROPY, SPASTIC RATS, and CAUSTIC DEFIANCE, while from Finland hails MASSACRE, PRAVDA, and POLISTVALTIO. All I’m gonna say is HOT! Some of these bands never sounded better.

Terminus Catalog of Crimes cassette

Despite the four-track quality, the eight songs here are pretty listenable. Thoughtful, melodic, medium-paced punk with interesting guitar work and, at times, post-punk singing. Not ordinary.

S.H.Draumur Bensín Skrímslið Skríður 10″

This four-song release is well produced, featuring medium/slow-paced moody post-punk. There’s a decent amount of power, but the excitement level never quite boils. Also, given the language barrier, a lot is lost in this music where you can hear the singing so clearly, and where, I’m sure, the lyrics set the whole mood.

Rattus Live in Denmark cassette

Even though the sound quality is not the best, one can get off on this release because of the sheer energy put out by Finland’s RATTUS. I wasn’t too excited by RATTUS’ last vinyl (a more metallic direction), but there’s no hint of it here—just blazing, ripping, and sometimes tuneful thrash. The pace is awesome.

Grong Grong Grong Grong LP

That weird ol’ Jello has a passion for dementia (FLIPPER, BUTTHOLES, etc.) and after seeing these guys Down Under, decided to get ’em released domestically. Like the aforementioned bands, though a bit more frantic (at least on vinyl). Sure to go over big with both punks and the art crowd.

The Golden Horde In Reality 12″

Liner notes state: “This record will perhaps be one of the greatest rock’n’roll records of a generation.” Hardly, but this is decent boppin’ folkish rock. Six tunes, the hotter ones owing more to psychobilly than anything else.

Force Majeure Hundarnas Månskensserenad EP

Really melodic sing-along punk with good drive and bounce. This sounds more like French punk than Swedish (in fact, I could swear it’s French because they’re singing in—actually, it isn’t). Good production, good singing, and tight pop/punk playing with tough guitar.

Cretins Man Between Walls 10″

Very slick rock with pop/punk influences, kinda like X. Weirdest part is that they dedicate the record to DICK DALE, CLIFTON CHENIER, and HOUND DOG TAYLOR (among others), none of whose grungy blues or surf influences appear at all.

The Cannibals The Rest Of… LP

This LP contains session material from 1977-’79 (largely unreleased) of this groundbreaking UK trash outfit. Lots of rockin’ blues, ’60s rock’n’roll, etc. from their various aggregations (several of them went on to form the INMATES). Early STONES sound.

The Zapruders Hanna Barbarian / Trash Night at the Jewelry Store 7″

Folk-rock/singer-songwriter stuff with the accent on audible lyrics. While the music is pretty meager and fairly light, the lyrics are crypto/critical DYLAN-esque without being too pretentious. Wish the music rocked more, but otherwise it’s intriguing.

V/A A Piece of Mind cassette

Put out by the guys from DEAD SILENCE, this sampler contains quite a variety of styles as represented by such bands as RHYTHM PIGS, DEHUMANIZERS, BLATANT DISSENT, GLORIOUS DIN, AGAINST THE GRAIN, INSURGENCY, RIPCHORDS, CRUCIFIED TRUTH, DISARRAY, and tons more. Check it out.

V/A Budget Ranch Box 3×7″ box set

A weird marketing concept—three colored vinyl EPs boxed together. You get one by PEACE CORPSE (country metal weirdness), WHITE ’N’ HAIRY (funk doodling weirdness), and PILLSBURY HARDCORE (droning FLIPPER-ish weirdness). Pretty goddamn weird.

V/A Deep Six LP

Seattle-area bands here, mostly in the speed metal vein and no-so-speedy metal vein. You get two to four tunes each from GREEN RIVER, MELVINS, MALFUNKSHUN, SKIN YARD, SOUNDGARDEN, and one from U-MEN. Passable.

V/A V.I.S.A. Présente LP

The vast majority of the tracks here are post-punk of various stripes, with a few punk tracks interspersed (SUBHUMANS, RUBELLA BALLET, AUSWEIS, LUCRATE MILK). Other bands include K.U.K.L, BRIGADES, MARTYRS, SHOCK CORRIDOR, etc.). Sound quality varies from track to track with many live recordings. Interesting insert concept.

The Voice Teenage Nightmare EP

A highly enjoyable three-song debut from these ska-influenced skins. There’s one ska tune, one ska-tinged rocker, and one Oi tune. All are well-done, good-natured, and seemingly without any negative or fascist overtones.

V/A What’s Going on Inside My Head cassette

A very raging international comp featuring such rippers as STUPIDS, MG 15, GEPØPEL, TERVEET KÄDET, INFERNO, CIVIL DISSIDENT, RAPT, NO LIP, DIATRIBE, and many more. Three or four songs each, non-stop intelligence, and an intense madhouse. Great.

V/A Why March When You Can Riot LP

An unusually well-documented comp that comes with a fold-open glossy cover that becomes a history of the many bands involved, lyric sheet, a family tree of bands, and poster collection. Bands include X, BEDSPREADS, JOHNNY DOLE AND THE SCABS, HARD-ONS, FEEDTIME (great!!), BEGGARS COURT, XL CAPRIS, and LOCAL PRODUCT. And, oh yes, the music is great. Hot job, Bruce!

V/A Pebbles, Vol. 19: The Continent Lashes Back! Pt. 3 Denmark LP

Taking their cue from the British “Big Beat” sound, these Danish bands are more Mersey than punk or raging R’n’B. While not a bad compendium, this record will mainly appeal to avid collectors as the recording facilities in Denmark were not the best. Plus, many of the tunes are covers, or covers of covers, and somewhat inferior at that. Historical document.

V/A P.T.T.P.’s International Comp Tape cassette

A good selection with two or three tracks each, starring INSTIGATORS, KAFKA PROSESS, PYHAKOULU, S.O.S., WRETCHED, AKUTT INLEGGELSE, SUBCULTURE, etc. Lots of energy, no clunkers, and decent-to-good sound.

V/A Be Bad, Be Glad cassette

A super hot tape that includes DISORDER, CHAOS UK, LUNATIC FRINGE, and AMEBIX. These tapes are either unreleased demos or in-house tapes. The sound quality is above average, and it all is powerful as hell. Class stuff.

Under the Gun Traitor / Dance of the Samurai 7″

With the accent on non-hardcore punk (“so one can hear the lyrics”), this band comes forth in a 1977 tradition. The B-side is reggae, whilst the topside is quite powerful guitar-oriented punk that’s really catchy…but I still can’t hear all the lyrics.

Ultima Thule Hard Time / Relevant Arsonist 7″

Jazzy thrash from this English band that contains the former drummer of Italy’s STAZIONE SUICIDA. Very well done, and though I’m not prone to like such material, I found myself into it. Don’t know if this is a UK or Italian release though I think it’s the former.

The Tryfles (Had Enough Of) Your Lies / When I See That Guy 7″

Two girls and two guys playing poppy punk. The A-side is lighter but with good psych atmosphere, while the B is punkier with a KINGSMEN/Northwest sound, raunchy and rockin’.

Sixten Redlös I Wish I Woz an Animal / Tusen Stöveltramp På Ryggen 7″

The A-side is a kick-ass fast punk tune with pounding drumming, cool singing, and though some of the structure is self-consciously broken up, it still clicks. The flip is more like a better produced PISTOLS-type sing-along. Pretty cool.

Scraps Scraps cassette

A three-song job, one track of which is a rhythmic, driving, raw song with a dash of early CRASS or the EX. The other two are raving, noisy thrashers. Lyrics are of a political nature, and all in all, this is a band to watch for. Confusing note: their flyer says seven songs are on a 20-minute tape for $3.50 ppd.

Les Prives No Time / Song for Jeff 7″

A good rockin’ pop-punk song with ’60s influences on the A-side, a more contemporary, ultra-fast-paced pop-punk tune on the flip. The latter is pop only in form, as the delivery propels it well into the ’80s.

Nog Watt Fear EP

Playing ripping hardcore at many speeds, this mostly female combo (a fact they don’t accentuate) attacks with power, confidence, intelligence, and proficiency. Six songs that make me think this is what the AVENGERS and UXA would’ve sounded like today. Great!

The Lime Spiders Out of Control / Save My Soul 7″

The A-side is about as hard a rocking pop song as one can find—powerful, with pop structure. The flip starts out slow, but picks up considerably. Superior playing that reminds me of the EASYBEATS or a less psych CREATION. Cool ravers.

K.G.B. Party-Sahne EP

One of the earliest still-existing German punk bands have regrouped (with a few replacements) and kick out a really good pop-punk/thrash four-song EP. A band that deals with political subjects humorously, these four tunes are catchy, well-produced, and up.

Itchy Rat Save the Labels for Tins of Peas / One Man’s Brain 7″

I can understand why these guys are anti-labels, coz their music somewhat defies categorization. There are elements of punk, ’60s, metal, and rock thrown into the blender and out comes a heavy beat with big production. They rock, but both tracks are somewhat hard to settle into. Jello says he likes this a lot.

Civil Dissident First Blood EP

Despite the fact that me and Pus both listed this on our Top 15’s months ago, we failed to review this killer three-song EP. Sharp, audible vocals that attack hard drugs (among other things) are driven by raw, powerful, but somehow melodic raging hardcore. Lots of anger and frustration here, but tempered by intelligence. Excellent, and a shame they split.

C.K.N. C.K.N. cassette

Their name translates as “Creative Chicken Fuckers,” and if that isn’t enough to get you to buy this, then the music will be. Awesomely fast and powerful thrash that’s both non-metallic and creative. Contains songs both in Dutch and English, and from the latter one can discern their radical political bent. 20 songs.

The Brains of Humans The Brains of Humans cassette

Despite the sometimes rough sound quality, there’s a lot to check out here. Intermixing news reports and music, there’s a compelling reality at work here—almost an industrial nature to their approach—which pervades their punk and thrash, an accent on atmosphere and meaning, not slickness.

Ausbruch Harte Zeiten LP

Mid-tempo punk that’s in a Brit-punk style. Not especially inspiring musically, although there is post-punk moodiness, which might suit the lyrics well (except I don’t know what the subject matter is). OK for the style.

V/A When Monkeys Were Gods! LP

A Detroit comp of mainly neo-’60s sounding bands. The Motor City has long been a holdout for this heritage, and some hot tracks are delivered by 3-D INVISIBLES, CINECYDE (still around!), and the BONERS. Other bands in a lighter vein include HYSTERIC NARCOTIC, FRAMES, SLEEP, VERTICAL PILLOWS, and BOOTSEY X AND THE LOVEMASTERS.

V/A Pebbles 17 LP

A non-geographical comp, this one is a cut above some of the previous multitude. The OTHERS, ROGUES, BRIMSTONES, and STYX come across with some cool ditties in punk and folk rock veins. Good comp job by Lee Joseph of YARD TRAUMA.

V/A Hurricane Party cassette

A furious-paced comp from bands all over the US, most of which are pretty good sounding. Some groups are STEVIE STILETTO & SWITCHBLADES, REALITY OF TRAIL, MAGGOT SANDWICH, SHELL SHOCK, GROUP OF INDIVIDUALS, LEGION OF DECENCY, PSYCHODRAMA, and several more. Lots of music, lots of energy.

V/A Does Anyone Here Know How to Tune a Guitar? cassette

The bulk of the bands here hail from Ontario (ANGRY RAISINS, AFHAKKEN, PORCELAIN FOREHEAD, MADHOUSE, APB, TERMINALS, and more), while the remainder are from scattered US locations (BLATANT DISSENT, 1/2 JAPANESE, PSYCHOTIC NORMAN, etc.). Mostly punk, with some thrash and experimentation. Good sound quality.

Sister Ray Coming to Terms EP

With a name like SISTER RAY, I expected a real pronounced VELVET UNDERGROUND sound, but not so. There are some ’60s influences (punk, Batman-theme-type guitar), as well as early US ’70s punk sound. All four tunes cook, with the guitar being the driving force. Nothing flashy, but they rock.

The Scene High Numbers / Shout 7″

A mod band that “springs from the Maximum R’n’B tradition” (early WHO expression), their accent is on rock’n’roll and not ska. This group is integrated racially and sexually, and rocks good, more in the manner of the JOLT than anything else in recent memory. Good ISLEY BROS. cover, and record dedication to the African National Congress rebels in South Africa.

The Ripchords The Ripchords cassette

A three-song demo that’s really good, though it seems totally out of time and place (nice change, though). The tunes combine older-style punk tunes and raw, powerful playing, much in the way some of the early English, and especially Irish punk bands did. Enjoyable.

Peach of Immortality Talking Heads ’77 LP

Outside stuff aimed at smashing both pretentious arty/industrial music and the stagnant aspect of hardcore. Whether they accomplish this or not remains to be seen (heard). To quote the press release, “They will use anything at their disposal to fucking obliterate everything.” Sounds like it.

Peace Corpse Terror of History 12″

Bill of Toxic Shock fronted this band back when, and I guess couldn’t resist releasing this somewhat death rock relic “posthumously.” Actually, lyrically it’s not death rock (more intelligent than that!), but it’s the overall sound, enhanced by lots of production, that gives it that “ghostly” feel. Well done, if you like that heavy, power sound. Excellent guitar noise from Julianna.

The Pandoras Stop Pretending LP

Much more produced sound than their earlier raunchy classics, sometimes including a disco-ish sound. Yech. While there are some garage ravers here, the bigger sound doesn’t become the PANDORAS much and that’s especially telling on their new version of “You Don’t Satisfy.” “Let’s Do Right” and “It Felt Alright” are pretty hot, though.

Oblivion Now Tape One cassette

Despite the homemade sound quality, there’s still plenty to listen to here. Their ominous overtones permeate fast-paced guitar/noise raves and slower/experimental/industrial dirges, making for an eerie but non-cliché horrific mood. Much potential, as long as they maintain their edge.

The Lead Return Fire cassette

If self-righteous Christianity and punk are your bag, go for it. Well-done hardcore it is, but you get 20 songs telling you about “the Lord” and why you’re wrong about everything until you accept “Him.” I’m waiting for a Toothfairy HC band myself.

K.G.B. Rock Hudson / Plastic Liberal 7″

I guess it was inevitable, so here’s a ’77-style send-up, retardo/reactionary lyrics and all. The A-side equates AIDS to decadence and Hollywood—sheer genius. The flip is equally “brilliant,” attacking liberals as being the ones in the way of freedom. Hmm, guess they’ve been asleep since Ronnie took over.

Guns Roadkill cassette

This GUNS (not the Ohio band) is a one-man project of George Smith of SENSELESS HATE. Playing guitars (tough), bass (driving), and drums (tight), this is powerful punk with both the crunch of ’78 and the imagination as well (from pop/punk to slight experimentation).

Foreign Objects Into the Squared Circle LP

Makes me feel like I’m in a time warp, shipped back to some hokey ’77 scene. This is early garage punk meets new wave rock’n’roll and wrestling mania. I’ve heard the DICTATORS are reforming, so this could become a trend.

Executioner In the Night 12″

This former hardcore band has gone the way of the buffalo (or is it the dinosaur?), opting for an older metal sound meets ’70s rock meets post-punk. Of the six songs, only “Talk of the World” (speedcore) contains any real zip, though the vocals really detract from it. Lyrically, it’s quite “dark” and self-absorbed.

The End Revenge / No Morals 7″

Adam (ex-FACTION) and friends come up with a couple of almost power-pop tunes, which means lots of melody and hooks powered by punchy and guitar-oriented backing. Good effort.

The Dull She’s a Nuclear Bomb / Reach Out and Grab 7″

A Geza X production job, these tracks combine elements of punk, metal, and ’70s R’n’R, perhaps exemplifying their proclaimed influences of “GRAND FUNK RAILROAD and the TROGGS.” Decent, but not overpowering.

Bl’ast! The Power of Expression LP

In their early days they were M.A.D. (see Not So Quiet comp) and were a raging thrash band à la BLACK FLAG of ’82. Then BLACK FLAG and SSD changed to a “heavier” sound, and so did these guys (now BL’AST!), only they hung to it. This LP captures that “power” hardcore sound well, combined with angry, yet positive lyrics, and even a few thrashers thrown in. A strong release.

The Blackjacks Dress in Black / Generic NYC Woman 7″

This Boston-based band cranks out powerful pop-punk. Owing more to ’70s bands like the REAL KIDS than ’60s rockers like the REMAINS, their sound will appeal to lovers of powerful rock’n’roll, hence its release in Australia where that sound still reigns supreme.

Artless Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood 12″

Well, actually this is half of a 12”, with an etching (come up and see my…?) of Mykel Board (the star of this disc?) on the backside. ARTLESS presents their version of thrash and punk, incorporating saxes (non-offensively?) and Mykel’s pseudo-conservative lyrics (“How Much Punk Rock Do You Hear in Russia?,” “We Want Nuclear War,” “We’re Republicans,” etc.). And hey, great liner notes!

Abeyance …And He Sure As Hell Ain’t Got No Fiddle cassette

The sound quality is passable, but had it been well done, you’d be in for a thrash treat—excellent stop-and-go stuff with power. Hope they’ll get into a good studio.

5 Balls of Power Operations in Musical Warfare cassette

A 28-song release displaying the BALLS’ hard-hitting but almost pop hardcore sound. There’s a lot of attention on melody, vocals, and back-up singing, as well as many changes within songs. This can be annoying, but their overall power and unrelenting energy carries it off. Pro job, fine lyrics too.

V/A Wie Lange Noch… LP

An all-European comp LP with the bulk of the bands hailing from Germany. There’s quite a range of punk/hardcore styles evident, though the thrash from Holland’s PANDEMONIUM and Germany’s CIRCLE OF SIG TIU stand out for me. Other bands include ENOLA GAY, TIN CAN ARMY, WUT, A.N.A.L., EKLATANT, and France’s VERDUN. Comes with a thick magazine that leads me to believe that most of the songs are politically oriented.

V/A We Won’t Be Your Fucking Poor 2xLP

This next We Won’t/Don’t… LP is an international blow-out with the likes of D.O.A., SACRILEGE, VIRUS, DIATRIBE, OI POLLOI, DEATH SENTENCE, NIC TOCZEK, STONE THE CROWZ, POST MORTEM, A.O.A., CONFLICT, TOXIC REASONS, and tons more. Sound quality makes for a Bullshit Detector varied effect. Scant info included.

The Willard Good Evening Wonderful Fiend LP

I think maybe I could handle this super-produced punk-derived rock if it weren’t for the singer. He plays it totally straight vocally, sounding real mainstream, and that puts me over the edge. Maybe LOU REED or DAMNED fans could get by, though. Comes with a three-song flexi.

Shonen Knife Pretty Little Baka Guy 8” LP

A ten-song follow-up to their cassette (released in the US), continuing with ultra-simple and basic (primitive?) pop ditties. Well, the music is at least…but with song titles like “Banana Leaf,” “Chinese Song,” “Flying Jelly Attack,” and “Insect Collector,” I have a feeling these girls are not at all as sweet and innocent as they sound.

R.A.K. Live cassette

If you’re a fan of that raw, early PISTOLS punk, as well as fast, well-done punk, you’ll want to locate this. Although it’s a live recording (good sound, though), there’s plenty of power and clarity, as well as excitement. Great guitar.

The Purple Things Deep in the Mind of the Purple Things 12″

An above average neo-’60s disc that mixes Lux-type CRAMPS vocals with slightly more tight ’60s punk instrumentation. Maybe it’s the hot production, but the five songs here really stick out, including a cool cover of “Wild Man” and RED CRAYOLA’s classic “Hurricane Fighter Plane” (another CRAMPS rediscovery).

La Muerte Surrealist Mystery 12″ / And the Mystery Goes On 12″

Both of these EP’s are fairly crazed post-punk meets ’60s junk meets NAKED RAYGUN meets BUTTHOLE SURFERS meets BIRTHDAY PARTY etc., etc. I made the mistake of playing one record at 45 RPM instead of 33, and it sounded even better. Incredible production doesn’t hurt a bit either. Find these.

Thee Mighty Caesars Ten Bears of the Comanches / Baby, What’s Wrong 7″

Thee MIGHTY CAESARS sound a lot like the MILKSHAKES on the A-side instrumental and a lot like ’62 UK R’n’B on their cover of JIMMY REED’s classic. Beat/surf/R’n’B stuff with a cool but simple trebly guitar lead. Basic crude and lightly produced rock’n’roll.

The Leather Nun Alive LP

While I’ve liked a lot of their earlier releases, this one didn’t grab me. It’s really rock-heavy punk and post-punk that rarely cuts loose. On some of the slower stuff they do mount good power (“Lollipop”), but it’s not enough.

Last Rough Cause The Violent Few EP

An interesting four-song effort, featuring an almost folk pop-punk sound like the NEWTOWN NEUROTICS. And; as with that band, you’ll find thoughtful lyrics and punchy delivery. Subjects covered are skinheads, glue, and standing up for your dignity. Fine-spirited punk.

Hi No Kyu 新生火の宮 EP

Both A-side tunes are slick, mainstream punk (if that’s not a contradiction in terms), and are to be played at 33 RPM. The flip is a 45er, though, and is thrashy, making it hard to believe this is the same band. That song rips, and the cover is also a grabber.

Hex Poison in the System cassette

Containing both live and studio material, this tape demonstrates HEX’s powerful anti-state message as well. There isn’t as much bass as I’d like to hear, the sound quality is good and there’s plenty of powerful music, as well as chants, rants, interspersed sound effects, and literature. Concerns are predictable: bomb, anti-vivisection, politicians. Good chaps.

Gnä Gnä The Crawling Chaos Incorporation of Dark Music EP

In reality, just two songs, both highlighted by melodic punk à la PENETRATION, complete with a clear singing female vocalist. Quite good, actually, with excellent production and simple but well-done mid-tempo instrumentation.

Fixed Up On Your Line / New Two 7″

Sounding a lot like the FLAMIN’ GROOVIES in both their early ’70s “Slow Death” sound and their later jangly guitar stage, this single is pretty rockin’. While they don’t flip out totally, it’s good, powerful R’n’B rockin’, especially the B-side.

The Cannibals Christmas Rock ’n’ Roll / New Year’s Eve Song 7″

This year’s Original Packaging Award winner, this single comes in a cardboard X-mas stocking. Is the music as zany? No, but it’s rockin’ R’n’B-type ’60s stuff, especially on the B-side. Fun.

V/A They Pelted Us With Rocks and Garbage LP

A Cleveland-area comp of varied underground bands. There’s hot punk/HC from SPIKE IN VAIN, OFFBEATS, DARK, GUNS, IDIOT HUMANS, as well as moodier post-punk from SHADOW OF FEAR, FAITH ACADEMY, DEATH OF SAMANTHA, and others. Outside of just a couple of tedious cuts, this record is fine listening.

V/A Them Boners Be Poppin’ LP

First NorCal comp in a while, this one features some East Bay bands (SPECIAL FORCES, BONELESS ONES, FANG), Sacto’s TALES OF TERROR, Santa Cruz’s BL’AST, and SF’s VERBAL ABUSE. Lots of metal or “heavy” punk, some thrash, and lots of power. Good recording brings out the best in these bands.

V/A Mr. Beautiful Presents All Hard LP

Mr. Beautiful must have his head up his butt, cuz outside of the FREEZE’s “Warped Confessional,” OYSTER’s “Headhunter,” and GANG GREEN’s “Let’s Drink Some Beer” (previously unreleased), you get mostly MTV-quality rock from a slew of groups. Occasionally OK moments, but overall it’s hurtin’.

V/A More…Harcore! cassette

Mostly SoCal bands like ENTROPY, ILL REPUTE, SCARED STRAIGHT, STUKAS OVER BEDROCK, DOGGY STYLE, DON’T NO, as well as DRILLS, and AMATEUR GYNECOLOGISTS. Sound quality varies, but everything rips… good listening. This label has also just released in the US the INSTIGATORS live tape.

V/A Matrax cassette

An all-female band comp put out as a non-profit project by two women in Canada. The music itself is all pretty hot, ranging in punk styles from thrash to classic punk to garage to pop/punk. Some bands included are: ICONOCLASTS, A.S.F., RAUNCHETTES, UNWARRANTED TRUST, INDUSTRIAL WASTE BAND, RUGGEDY ANNES, BARELY HUMAN, and PRE-METAL SYNDROME (among others). Good job, and comes with a booklet.

Stikky Demo #1 cassette

Somewhat garagy thrash, coming out of the ruins of ARSENAL (not the NY/SF combo) and is pretty decent, though the bulk is live recordings. Actually, the playing is pretty tight, and hey, how can you go wrong with titles like “Republican Children,” “Team Gilligan,” “When Mom Find Out I Drink,” “Conceptual Realizations of a Life as Applied to the Oakland Coliseum,” and “Reagan Is a Poseur!”?

Sonic Youth Flower / Rewolf 7″

Good atmospheric production makes the noise hang together better than on a lot of their releases. “Fuck” is bleeped throughout the A-side, which really grates more than the music. Flip is the A-side backwards, and no bleeps.

Septic Death Time is the Boss: Aaarrggh It’s Live! 10″

This live recording dates back two years (SEPTIC DEATH haven’t played live in well over a year, but will regroup this summer, according to Pushead) and features a whole slew of songs, including some not on their studio LP. The sound quality is definitely lacking on the bass end, but gives a good representation of their breakneck stop-and-go thrash interspersed with metalish breaks. The first of a whole series of 10” live discs on this label.

Satan’s Cheerleaders Lysergia / Electric Prunes Theme 7″

As you might have guessed from the song titles, this isn’t the Long Island outfit of the same name. Far from it, both sides are instrumentals borrowing from the YARDBIRDS and ELECTRIC PRUNES, but doing pretty toned-down semi-psych stuff. Nothing to rave (up) about.

Rape Let Them Starve / Crotch Rot 7″

A novelty record, to be sure. Side one features a flute and rhythm machine backing a ridiculous monologue about middle class guilt on starving Third World peoples. The flip is a satire on sex-oriented rock songs set to a grinding guitar and a beat. Twisted.

Pussy Galore Feel Good About Your Body EP

Combining garage, noise, punk, and spoken word, this crude trio will not appeal to most in their simplicity, but their commitment to the original punk aesthetic should. “HC Rebellion” has some important criticisms to hear, which you can also do live (see tour ad this issue).

Our Neighbors Suck Isolation LP

Most of the songs by the Arizona-based band are in the medium-paced punk vein, with a few slower or more rapid-fire. The production sound is thick here and, combined with their rock influences, makes for a lot of listening. Not awesome, but well done. Question remains though why they chose this label often accused by German punks of pro-Nazi connections.

NoMeansNo You Kill Me 12″

Fusing punk, metal, rock, and other forms, this second release by NOMEANSNO is delivered with lots of power and punch. Their experimentation hangs together pretty well too, sort of like what BLACK FLAG could do with a bit more imagination.

MJB How to Abandon Earth LP

Around for a while but finally out with vinyl, this highly eclectic band debuts their sounds: post-punk, industrial, folk-punk, and more. Following in the footsteps of TOILING MIDGETS, SLEEPERS and even FLIPPER, you’ll find musicianship and intelligence at work here. Comes with booklet.

GNP Grossest National Product cassette

Somewhat garagy and loose, but more than made up for by the sheer zest and crunch. Cool guitar and good drumming center this ripper. Lots of thrash and a good cover of “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” all done with lots of power. Good punk lyrics as well.

The Defoliants How Much Would You Pay cassette

One of the best sounding tapes I’ve heard in a while; these guys utilize ’60s punk, surf, and old punk, but weld it into a very modern, hard-driving punk sound, not unlike AGENT ORANGE running headlong into NAKED RAYGUN. Very tight, very powerful, intelligent, and not cliché at all. Plus there are tons of tunes. Dynamite.

Clown Alley Clown Alley cassette

A seven-song release from this up-and-coming SF band, most of which are thrash. There’s a heaviness to their sound, which becomes even more apparent on the two slower numbers, powerful post-punk dirges. Dave (ex-JERRY’S KIDZ from Albuquerque) sounds good, and the band is tight and strong, though I think the super-clean production here detracts a bit from their normally noise-intense live performance standard. A band to watch.

The Chesterfield Kings Stop! LP

If it were 1966, this record would be cool. But alas… Anyway, most of the tunes here are originals (and decent at that, including the classic “She Told Me” from their last 45), breaking away from their cover syndrome which spans back many years. Now if they could only break into the ’80s thematically…

Cancerous Growth Back From the Grave cassette

A live tape that has its pluses and minuses. The drumming is really strong, the guitar raw, and the vocalist rivals CAPITOL PUNISHMENT’s for lowest range around. Drawbacks include the mix and the somewhat “heavy” aspects of many tunes. Still, it’s crude and powerful.

Bloodsport I Am the Game 12″

From Chicago, high-production post-punk with good power, occasionally delivering straightforward punches, but like the robot boxers on the cover, there isn’t an overwhelming sense of identity or heart. Maybe I’m just OD-ing on all these major “indie” releases that rely on major-type production, making them sound homogenized to me.

Adrenalin OD / Bedlam split EP

Originally planned as a live flexi (rejected by Eva-tone, monopolist flexi-pressers in the US, because of language), this limited edition comes out as a 7” with no pic cover. The A.O.D. stuff shreds as always, including a thrash version of “We Will Rock You.” BEDLAM’s side is rawer, but still rips. Well worth sending for.

Waltz Vanish / Childish Quarrel flexi 7″

Good driving, pounding early punk sound that kicks both musically and lyrically (anti-war). Interesting divergences are thrown in here and there, but don’t detract at all. Cool vocals, too.

V/A Birdskit I LP

A four-band comp, featuring CRISMA KAOS (melodic thrash), SLAM (metal-laden), PAST (straight-on melodic thrash), and BIZARR (melodic thrash, with the most bite here). All in all, OK, but not awesome.

The Undertakers The Greatest Stories Ever Told LP

From Sweden, this combo plays pretty competent ’60s punk (an eerie aspect of said genre) and a bit of rockabilly. There are traces of CRAMPS and NOMADS in here, but little in the way of originality or special verve. OK.

The Sting-Rays Don’t Break Down / Cover Version 7″

A-side is a schizophrenic ditty combining acoustic guitar with ’60s snotty punk vocals with DYLAN-esque undertones, pop melodic instrumentation, and a folky BYRDS-like break. The flip is even weirder, with more cryptic changes à la SOFT BOYS. Nuts.

The Stems Tears Me in Two / Can’t Resist 7″

This, their second 7”, is pretty rockin’ ’60s fuzz punk, but doesn’t stand out too much from the crowd. Nonetheless, there’s great guitar, tight beat, and non-wimpy production.

Second Auschwitz Murderers cassette

Famed for their super-short, incoherent noise blasts, these guys have changed their “musical direction, attitude, and bass player” after getting “fed up with those short songs.” Trying now to write “decent tunes,” they sound only slightly tighter (if that), still thrashing away frantically and raving about the ills of the world. In other words, they’re still a charming garage mess.

The Nomads She Pays the Rent 12″

A three-song job featuring a cover of the LYRES’ “She Pays the Rent” (a hotter version than the original), a pounding “My Little Ruby,” and then a very atypical “Nitroglycerine Shrieks” (a crypto, unrelenting post-punk blaster like LINK WRAY on acid). Hot as always.

Kinniku Shojotai とろろの脳髄伝説 EP

Translates as “Muscle Little Girl Group” (I really owe Roger for all the translations on Japanese reviews). Don’t ask me? Musically they’re crazed, jazzy, avant garde, post-punk loonies. Vocals are pretty punky, and the music usually has bite, but boy, it’s weird.

Kikeiji Hello-Good Bye EP

Reformed, recorded this one, gigged twice, and split up again. Worth it? Largely. Two of the four tracks really kick, with driving early punk laced with subtle post-punk touches: powerful. The other two cuts are more ballady/post-punky, not unlike some aspects of the STALIN. Well done.

Indirekt Op Oorlogspad LP

“On the Warpath” is the title translated (as are all the lyrics on a poster insert), and an accurate one it is—raging from beginning to end. Stylistically, they cover a lot of bases from straight thrash, metal thrash, country thrash, punk…all done really well. Lots of power, great lyrics, female shouter are characteristics here, so I have no problem recommending it.

Doc-Oi This is Straight Hate EP

As their name suggests, this is indeed Oi music, and decent at that. It’s got all the ingredients—catchy tunes, choruses, etc. Lyrics are in English and are anti-authoritarian. Only question: these guys are out of uniform—all spikey heads.

V/A Super Seven Sampler #2 7″

Yet another Mystic sampler of previously released material from the label’s former projects. Included are DR. KNOW, INSOLENTS, DOGGY STYLE, and more. Is this really necessary?

V/A Suburban Uprising: The Jersey Beat Collection cassette

Side one is largely “cheesy” (as Martin’s wont to say) pop, lightweight neo-’60s stuff (the kind that gave the ’60s a bad name back then), with only one passable track (MOD FUN). Side two of this all-New Jersey comp comes on with A.O.D., then back to cheese (psych and blues), then some rockin’ PLEASED YOUTH and SACRED DENIAL, a bit of garage, some STOOGES-like stuff from DAS DAMEN (pretty decent, Lyle), DOLLS-like material from SKULLS, and some jive fun from the PUNSTERS.

V/A Bored of Directors cassette

A US/German sampler containing the likes of MANIACS, LOVE CANAL, CHRIST ON PARADE, VOMIT VISIONS, NRK, INFERNO, and many more. Sound quality is largely excellent, as well as the material.

V/A Let’s Die LP

All manner of “death” rock here, from metal to SIOUXSIE-style dreariness to TSOL-type moodiness, from a host of bands known and unknown. Includes ILL REPUTE, SUBTERFUGE, WHITE PIGS, MESS, AWOL, FALSE CONFESSION, and more. This is where I usually stick in a bad pun, but in this case I’m scared to try.

The Undead Never Say Die! / In Eighty-Four 7″

“Never Say Die” is right, as Bobby Steele, originally a MISFIT and veteran of his UNDEAD, re-emerges with the umpteenth lineup. Glad he did it, too, because both sides are excellent rockin’ early punk, a sound that crunches, and you can hear the lyrics. Hot pop punk.

Johnny Thunders / Patti Palladin Crawfish 12″

The first original-sounding thing from JOHNNY THUNDERS in ages, with singing back-up by ex-SNATCH Patti and instrumental help from ex-HEARTBREAKERS Jerry Nolan and Billy Rath. Sounds promising? Nope, you get a countryish slick R’n’B tune, and two versions of the title tune, a sultry bluesy number that’s pretty unmoving. Oh, well, you can’t put your arm around a memory.

Son of Sam Fuck It to Death cassette

These garage thrashers have been putting out tapes for years now. And while this one’s as energetic, blazing, noisy, and politically sharp as ever, I think it’s high time for some vinyl. In the meantime, get this—sounds like a modern-day PAGANS.

Screamin’ Jay Hawkins / The Fuzztones Live 12″

This guy was old back in the ’60s during his second coming, so you know he’s ancient now. No matter, this sicko of the R’n B world can still wail, doing a credible version of his classic “I Put a Spell on You” and three others. While nothing to rise out of the grave for, fans of both he and the FUZZTONES will want to have this musical memoir.

The Sarcastic Assholes Menthol Man cassette

Admittedly unhappy with the sometimes tinny production, the SARCASTIC ASSHOLES have made the best of it nonetheless. Blasting forth with over a dozen tunes, their sound is pretty straightforward thrash/punk with lots of speed. The singer’s voice really gets gnarly at times, and lyrically they’re right on, with frequent attacks on racist/redneck mentality.