Reviews

Tim Yohannan

MDC This Blood’s for You LP

A very well-rounded, powerful, humorous yet political release, much improved over the last one. Dave is really out there, and his character really comes across here, Experimentation usually works on this release, the lyrics are sharp, the cover art is a treat. Side Two lags at times, but I think the guts and sentiments come across really well. MDC is one of the few HC bands to really cut across time and cultures.

L’Attentat Made in GDR LP

The first East German punk band to release vinyl, and decent it is. Much of the material is typically German older-style punk, while there are a few thrashers as well. Lyrics are translated into four languages and give a good insight into life in East Berlin, showing differences and similarities. A brave band.

Dee Dee King Funky Man 12″

He’s Dee Dee Ramone and he’s soundin’ funky, havin’ some fun but he’s still bein’ punky, rappin’ down his philosophy, out right now on this maxi EP, don’t know if you dig it cuz it ain’t fast, but that DD man he had a blast.

Insolents Spit in the Mirror LP

Decent but relatively unvaried hardcore here. The songs do indeed have melody to them, but the overriding impact is from the metal-heavy rhythms, the similarity of tempos, the gruff vocals. This LP is much like their previous EP, though not quite as clear in production.

Human Zoo Human Zoo 12″

Hard to say exactly what this band is, but there’s a picture of a bedraggled IGGY-like character on the back cover, and in many ways the six songs here relate back to early ’70s rock as well as ’76-’77 type garage. Basic.

Gore / Henry Rollins split LP

Hank and Co. pound out a half dozen bone-breakers, and then Holland’s GORE return the compliments with their monotonous post-metal instrumental sound. Lots of crunch on both sides, but there’s an oppressive feel to the whole slab, a tedium to the non-melodic attack.

Crucial Youth Straight and Loud! EP

They exaggerated straight edge to an absurd extreme, and it’s amazing how many people took them seriously, both pro and con. With songs against littering, in favor of rewinding video cassettes, and a “positive dental outlook”, all done in imitation of Ian, Kevin, Pat and Ray, you’ve gotta lighten up. Lots of fun.

Cattle Escalator Stampede EP

Hmm, “Ghost Riders in the Sky”-type “western” instrumental, pulsing fuzz-guitar industrial punk, ‘77-type dumbo punk, and yet another instrumental—all on one slab. The styles clash, but the music hangs.

Jello Biafra No More Cocoons 2xLP

Like all spoken word records, it may be hard to listen more than once, but a good listen it will be. Jello’s in great form here, doing his satirical Lenny Bruce approach to politics, punk, culture, etc. A very scathing attack causes thought and quite a bit of laughter, and gives a really good insight into how the DK’s former guiding light views the world. A wealth of information on most of today’s attacks on freedom.

Arm the Insane Remember LP

As with their previous release, this one has some really excellent lyrics, but again fails to rise above the early ‘80’s UK plodpunk sound. Not that it doesn’t have power or guts, but if current bands are gonna play older styles, they should really present them with an approach that makes them sound fresh and exciting. Decent.

Anti-Heroes …And The Government Laughs! EP

The package this band’s record comes in is actually a 36-page booklet, written in German, full of information on nukes, racism, censorship, etc. The songs are all mid-tempo punkers, most holding my interest. Obviously a committed band, definitely into it.

V/A Jak Punk to Punk LP

A varied punk thrash and post-punk collection contains tracks from many of the bands you’ve read about in these pages. Included are ARMIA, DEZERTER, REJESTRACJA, ZENNA, SIEKIERA, ABADDON, and PROCESS. This is out on the state label, Tonpress, but might be available through…

V/A Die, Jerry, Die LP

A benefit LP for the Anthrax, the club which gave these early Connecticut hardcore bands their starts. All the songs were originally released as EP’s (long out-of-print), and included are C.I.A., VATICAN COMMANDOS, REFLEX FROM PAIN, LOST GENERATION, and VIOLENT CHILDREN. A limited edition release, this is the first for this non-profit label. Great stuff!!

The Untold Fables The Man and the Wooden God EP

A pretty neat neo-’60s release. 4 songs in all, full production that makes the sound clear but not wimpified. Cool guitar, slightly echoey psych feel, and a good cover of the EYES’ (the 60’s UK band much like the early WHO) “When The Night Falls.”

UK Subs A.W.O.L. LP

Circa ’82 SUBS, some released before, some not — all studio. Classic punk sounds from a band that dates back to ’77 and who sport a singer older than me. While they’ve never grabbed me, the SUBS have been a perennial fave on the East Coast. Eight songs.

Subhumans 29:29 Split Vision LP

Recorded a month after their final show, these 8 highly produced tracks are their last word. Many of their varied styles appear here: reggae punk, eclectic extended tunes, medium tempo punk, medium-fast tunes. While by no means throwaways, there are no immediate standout classics. And then came CULTURE SHOCK.

State False Power LP

This band had a blazing HC EP out many years back, then did some recordings in ’83 and broke up before it was released. They’ve regrouped, I believe, and put out these sessions finally. While the new songs maintain their power, gone is the straight ahead approach, and instead they come on with a highly produced, sometimes post-punk approach, sometimes a bit MISFITS like. Very big departure.

The Stain I Know the Scam LP

I ordinarily wouldn’t review this kind of music, but because it’s on a “punk” label and looks like a “punk” package, I just thought I’d mention… it ain’t punk at all, it’s metal.

Henrietta Collins and the Wifebeating Childhaters Drive By Shooting 12″

Henry’s kinda joke, I guess, as the “concept” here is a bogus title, “Henrietta Collins and the Wifebeating Childhaters.” Ok. Musically, a new wave tune and a mandatory (he was from DC) WIRE cover on the A-side, and four tunes on the flip, which are more like what I thought would be on the LP, sorta rap/spoken word set to music, including a thrashing of “We Will Rock You” only it’s “I Have Come to Kill You.” Liked the LP better.

Redd Kross Annette’s Got the Hits 12″

Posh Boy’s been re-releasing their early catalog in various shapes and forms, and this is one classic you should really pick up. Great garage punk from L.A.’s McDonald Bros. plus Ron Reyes (later to go on to BLACK FLAG) and Greg Hetson (of later CIRCLE JERKS fame). A real treat.

Pussy Galore Right Now! LP

More early ’60s garage meets mid ’80s noise. Can’t say it’s the best of both worlds, but when they aren’t being too arty (a third of the time), they do rock out some grungy crud like CRAMPS meets BUTTHOLES on bad DMT.

Loudspeaker Psychotic Machine / Living With the Dead 12″

In case you’ve wondered what Matt and Chris of CRUCIFIX are up to these days, here’s what. They’re in a band that plays pounding, rhythmic dance music with political/ominous overtones along with members of FLUX, I believe. Soon we’ll be hearing from Sothira’s new band, an entirely different thing.

Happy Flowers My Skin Covers My Body LP

Manic vocals set to sporadic musical mayhem — sort of in the BUTTHOLES spirit. I thought you had to be from Texas to do this kinda stuff, but these lads are from Virginia. Will interest the fringe freaks and art trendies.

Government Issue You LP

Edging ever-closer to rock music, GI employs a big sound, usually powerful beat, and big production to get it across. But the lack of a cohesive, unique sound and catchy tunes make the package relatively unmemorable, making them sound like just another slick band on a bigger label.

Genöcide Submit to Genöcide LP

These Quincy punks shared the Last Rites For… LP with MIA way back when, died, and are now back to make you gawk in disbelief at their passé stud/skull look. Equally dumbo lyrics and metallish approach make this a joke, unintentionally I’m sure.

Damage Recorded Live Off the Board at CBGB LP

One of “Live at CBGB” cassettes comes to vinyl life, and life it reverberates. Very powerful hardcore that doesn’t stop, and that might be the only complaint here — the on-going similarity of the emotion you’re being clobbered with. But if you want a dose of sledgehammer HC, you know where to find it.

Angry Samoans Inside My Brain 12″

Another in a spate of reissues, this one containing some classic retardo garage punk from 1980. Remixed a bit (not to its detriment) and powerful, it contains “Right Side of My Mind”, “You Stupid Asshole,” “Get Off the Air,” and two more gems. Get it.

Amebix Monolith LP

This record is on a label called Heavy Metal Records, comes without a lyric sheet, sounds laden, but somehow has a glint of individuality. I had a hard time with the length of the cuts and their ponderance, but hopefully beneath all this weight and silliness lies some good lyrics and intentions. Hopefully.

V/A We Will Be Free LP

Three bands out of N. Ireland share this amazingly great record. ASYLUM, STALAG 17, and TOXIC WASTE absolutely kick ass, both musically and lyrically, delivery track after rack of powerful hardcore. Very convincing and necessary!

V/A Where Birdmen Flew LP

One track each from thirteen primal Aussie punk bands, most being off ‘77 era singles and most being hot! VICTIMS, RADIO BIRDMAN, ROCKS, NEWS, PSYCHO SURGEONS, RAZAR, LEFTOVERS, X, THOUGHT CRIMINALS, SCIENTISTS, and more. As many U.S. bootlegs claim Australian addresses, this release claims a U.S., but don’t be surprised if no one’s home.

V/A Raw Cuts, Volume Three: German Underground LP

This selection of neo-’60s bands covers Germany. Bands like LEGENDARY GOLDEN VAMPIRES, the CHUD, BEATITUDES, SHINY GNOMES, and more drop all over the turntable for your delight. Nothing too raving here, just fifty mike doses.

V/A Shin Kankakuha Omunibus, Vol. 2 flexi 8″

NEW DRUGS, the 5.6.7.8’s, SHUFFLE, and another band whose name is in Japanese present cowpunk, SHIRELLES/DOLLS-style early ‘60s stuff, and ‘77 punk. Weird mix to say the least, though the SHUFFLES’s “Working Class” has SHAM catchiness.

V/A New York City Hardcore 1987: Together EP

Seven highly moshable tunes here, all showing some kind of searching attitudes. While there are still traces of the NY “hard” attitude, there’s much more of a human quality that’s replacing the naive “unity for unity’s sake” approach. Bands include YOUTH OF TODAY, SICK OF IT ALL, SIDE BY SIDE, BOLD, WARZONE, SUPERTOUCH, and GORILLA BISCUITS. Pick it up, and hope that as these bands mature they will prove less mercenary and display more emotional depth than the previous wave of NYHC.

Napalm Death Scum LP

Hey, if you absolutely hate tunes in your music and vocals you can’t understand at all, this album’s for you. Very fast, very metal-influenced, very gruff and very political. Sorta like old DISCHARGE meets every modern speedmetal band.

Murder Murder Suicide Christians 12″

An anti-Christian rage here, sort of like the first CRASS 7” but set to a more post-punk mood. Nevertheless, it’s as biting and pointed. Both male and female vocals, nice harmonies on the flipside, though the dance beat on one cut and the “prettiness” on another make them difficult to handle until the guitar and drums kick in.

The Gravedigger V The Mirror Cracked LP

One live side, on studio that is mainly outtakes from their first LP of years ago, as well as a cut with Paula Pandora. These are the San Diegans who went on to be the MORLOCKS, and they do your basic ‘60s punk stuff, all snarly and ultra-cool. OK music, very sharp cover.

GBH No Need to Panic! LP

Lots more variety than usual on this release. There are some songs reminiscent of the GBH of yore, but they’ve slowed down their thrash on others, added a lot more melody, and even have a couple of non-thrash tunes. Can’t say if it makes for a better overall record, but they’re at least opening up.

False Prophets Implosion LP

Produced by Giorgio Gomelsky (of YARDBIRDS fame), and “produced” it is. Horns, lots of very laid back instrumentation that serves as a backdrop for Stephan’s ravings, as well as lots of musical styles running into each other, lurching into punk and back out. I think too much of the power is sacrificed in the name of variety, but other’s less influenced by stylistic purity might buy it.

Extremes From Both Sides LP

‘77 style punk that only on two or three songs rises into a musically inspiring pitch. Lyrically caustic appraisals of both world politics and poser-punk problems. With a bit more cutting loose, this would make a real dent.

The Exploited Death Before Dishonour LP

You gotta hand it to Wattie and co., they do keep the faith. Same old hooks, still pissed-off political lyrics, and still driving punk tunes. Lotsa thrash, some pretty repetitive, but they continue to add some variety as they have over the last several releases. On the other hand, he’s gotta keep doing this — I mean, can you imagine Wattie with a skate punk look?

The Dils Live! LP

For years, after they evolved into RANK AND FILE, the DILS disavowed their punk roots as vehemently as they had previously espoused punk ideals. Either they’ve mellowed a lot, or times are hard for R&F, but in either case Chip and Tony Kinman have allowed these recordings to see the light of day. Most of this LP is circa 1980, and shows their country sound creeping into the raw punk. The remaining tracks are from ‘77, but the sound quality here is really bad. This is a collector’s package more than a listenable selection, harkening back to 330 Grove, Barrington Hall, and the Mab. Try to find the singles.

The Contras Ciphers in the Snow LP

Their name is meant to reflect their music (not their political) views, meaning a basic guitar rock band. The tempo is mid, a bit of pop and country meets an early punk sound. More often than not, they sound too clean for me. If they were really contra, they’d be today’s RAMONES, not the REPLACEMENTS.

Compos Mentis / Powerage split EP

C.M. are from New Zealand, play fast punk a la ‘78 on three tunes, all of which are socio-political attacks. You probably are aware that POWERAGE comes from South Africa (4 EPs out), and play highly political punk. The new drummer here wasn’t broken in when the recording took place, and it shows painfully.

Bl’ast! It’s in My Blood! LP

A pretty bleak picture painted here. On one hand, BL’AST demands we not be led, that we awaken and fight, yet on the other hand they inform us they’re withdrawing into solely self-oriented gratification. Hmmm. The music is in the FLAG-rhythm hardcore we’ve come to know, tight and powerful lurching stuff.

Active Minds You Can Close Your Eyes to the Horror of Reality… EP

One of the best EPs I’ve heard in awhile. Raging and enraged UK political thrash on one side, like CRASS meets old DISORDER and DRI. Side one consists of about a half-dozen rippers and rants, while the flip is one long song that goes through many changes/styles. Comes with insert and record want list!

The Accüsed More Fun Than an Open Casket Funeral LP

Mixed with the gore tunes, there’s a surprising amount of thoughtful tunes, though the onslaught of music doesn’t seem incongruous with sensitivity. Subjects include anti-pope, nuclear power, child abuse, religion. Musically, it’s standard Combat fare, tuneless speedmetal.

Son of Sam Childhood Games EP

These Detroit guys have been around forever, and now finally get their grunge down on vinyl. This is a decidedly garage release, with three medium-beat crunches and one fast one. Lots of distortion, popping vocals, and a FLIPPER-ish trash feel adds up to…punk rock.

The Rub Bikini Gospel LP

Pretty accessible stuff for this label, as the music is punkish eclectic pop with a dash of straightforward R’n’B based rock. Lyrics are L.A. bleak but more political than most emanating from the sun-fried zone. Pretty cool.

The Outta Place Outta Too! LP

Their “unreleased” second LP, this, like the debut, is more of a mini-LP with seven tracks. And like the original there’s a definite STANDELLS influence – guitar, organ, clean – production, proto-punk. Several covers from this defunct band, whose singer is now in the RAUNCH HANDS.

NOFX The PMRC Can Suck on This EP

Now, this is a “punk rock”, no doubt about it. While the band is not quite as tight here as they are live, this still rips. Mike’s retardo lyrics are at full tilt here, and this self-produced/distributed product is proof that some people are still into the whole punk idea.

The Lemonheads Hate Your Friends LP

A really surprisingly varied pop punk LP. At times they sound like STIFF LITTLE FINGERS, delivering really gutsy raunch. At other moments, it’s excellent Boston rockin’ pop. And then suddenly, they’re more to the pop a la HUSKERS, but still maintaining their edge. Good job.

Homo Picnic Days of Grey LP

Mainly mid-to-slow tempo tunes, often lilting, more often with a metalish riff structure but without the wanking, while lyrics are dark and introspective. There’s something here in both vocals and music that reminds me a teeny bit of BEEFEATER, but not in an imitative way.

Eco-Guerrillas Eco-Guerrillas LP

Probably the first punk band to sing about strip mining, these guys cover a whole range of ecological/political subjects, and obviously know a lot about what they’re singing about. The music, however, tends toward consistently basic riffs, which gets a bit repetitive. A bit more variety there, and the diatribes would probably have more impact. Decent.

Dead Kennedys Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death LP

Probably the DK’s final release, this is a greatest hits package containing all their singles, cuts from various compilations, as well as a bonus flexi and some live tracks. A really nice way to go out, and comes with a cool magazine, a page for each track.

Blind Idiot God Blind Idiot God LP

An all-instrumental combo out of St. Louis, Missouri. Lots of darkness in their big sound, but the ever-present pounding drums save it getting too heavy or dreary most of the time. As with most Instrumental efforts, there’s lots of repetition and little to bring you back for additional listenings, unless you’re a stoner.

Artistic Decline Random Violence LP

I didn’t think this’d ever come out as it was recorded quite a while back, but ran into all-too-typical indie problems. This LP encompasses a whole range of HC styles, none handled generically. Very good L.A. modern punk, so I hope we get to see them live now, too.

Adolescents Brats in Battalions LP

It’s hard to follow up on a debut LP, never mind one that’s generally considered one of the punk rock “classics,” even if six years have gone by. But the revived (and revised) ADS do a pretty decent job – at least they still sound like the ADOLESCENTS, with tuneful songs, classic guitar and vocals. They even throw in a few oldies (“Welcome to Reality” and “Losing Battle”), a few covers (“House of the Rising Sun,” “I Got a Right”). Very recognizable, but only time will tell whether it measures up.

V/A This is the Life LP

An international comp featuring FUCK GEEZ, GLORY, B.P. THE PRISONER, UK JUNX, FREEZE and ASBESTOS ROCKPYLE from the U.S., SCRAPS from France, S.O.D. from Sweden and the DEFORMED from England. Varying quality and sound, and hopefully more international punk will get exposure there.

V/A Pusmort Sampler EP

A unique and good looking package here, with a 7” comp EP and flexi. Bands from the U.S., Canada and Japan include SEPTIC DEATH, FRATRICIDE, C.O.P., FINAL CONFLICT, NEGATIVE GAIN, GHOUL, OUTO, S.O.B., and GHOUL SQUAD. No info on the bands, but the needle jumps, and that’s the bottom line.

Primevils I Saw My Name (Written on a Tombstone) / Hammer Yourself Senseless 7″

The A–side is semi-rockin’ Pop, but the flip shows a lot more character. It’s a medium-paced pounder about shooting up, sort of a noisy, relentless tune that gets the point across.

Pissed Boys Tschingahsa LP

Pretty ordinary melodic punk and thrash here, and though the lyrics are very strong. I don’t think the music really comes across with the same emotional impact. This isn’t a bad album, just a not a pissed kick-in-the face.

Outo 正直者は馬鹿を見る LP

A real powerhouse band and album. Non-stop quality thrash, great sounds, and even hooks and choruses. Guitar gets out front a few times, but it’s restrained and the overall band sound is maintained. With titles like “Lost of Words” and “Not Worth Dawn” (they do mean “damn”) you can’t go wrong. Killer.

NEW ROTEeKA Dear My All Lovers EP

Pop punk and thrash. The music’s good, song titles like “Fuck’n Girl” and “Nagality” leave me scratching my head, and it came packaged with a flexi from another band the JOKERS. Same planet, different worlds.

Liberty The People Who Care are Angry LP

Missed this when it came out, but it’s well worth listing now. Very much in the English “peace punk” tradition, there are CRASS–like rants set to driving simple punk, poetic conversations and folky interludes a la CHUMBA. Well done.

The Claptrap This is the Italian Sound!!! LP

While there’s no overt fascist ideology in most of the lyrics, the mentality is there, both on a more subtle level (the admiration of blind violence, the skin “look” and the inferences to racism in “White Cap.”) on the sleeve itself, graphics are by “KKK”, as well as plenty of iron crosses. Musically, pretty decent Oi sounds.

C.O.D. Who Needs the Moon When We Got the Stars? EP

Three of the four songs are really decent medium-fast punk with a drum sound that seems like a machine til it does stuff a machine can’t. Catchy tunes, pounding beats, and good guitar. 75%.

The Bugs The Bugs are Leavin’ Here EP

Really great garage here, really pounding punk. Cool cover of the RATIONALS’ hit, plus two other ravers. No info on sleeve as to their origin, but they don’t seem to be the band from Wales. Ragin’ stuff.

The Apostles Equinox Screams LP

Andy Martin has always been a bundle of contradictions, and on this, their fifth LP, he comes off with his reactionary side, a perspective that would make SKREWDRIVER proud. There’s as much hatred, racist bullshit, and “white tribalism” here as on any LP by the aforementioned sickies, and this time the APOSTLES even sound like SKREWDRIVER. Very fucking sad.

V/A A Texas Trip LP

Compiled by the BUTTHOLE SURFERS, there’s two tracks each by said band. Steve Fitch, Daniel Johnston, and STICKMEN WITH RAYGUNS. It’s all Texas weirdness/bad acid stuff. Highlight is the latter band, whose sound is like the SCREAMERS meets FLIPPER.

V/A Budget Ranch Box 3×7″ box set

Three separate EPs, three different sounds, three different color vinyls. PILLSBURY HARDCORE, PEACE CORPSE, and WHITE’N’HAIRY get their individual say here. Made for collectors, comes in a box.

V/A Trust Vinyl Compilation EP

Every one of these German bands (CHALLENGER CREW, UNWANTED YOUTH, SPERMBIRDS, JUMP FOR JOY, SKEEZICKS, PMA, and ANTITOXIN) deliver one song each, and great ones they are. It’s rare to find a comp that’s really consistently sold, but this one is. Put out by Trust fanzine.

V/A New Zealand EP

A five-band comp that features one song each from groups that span the length of this island nation. ACID REIGN, HOLOCAUST, DEFIANCE, and MINDFUCKERS all have a ’77 UK sound, and all the recordings are amateurish, though the latter has a most interesting track. NAZGUL is in the thrash vein, and attacks! Good cut!

V/A Captain Best Selection 1 LP

The Captain musta been drunk when he chose these, because it’s one weird combo of eccentric pop and a dollop of HC to top it off. On the punk side, there’s GOD, WILLARD, CONTINENTAL KIDS, LOODS, and LIP CREAM.

V/A Bloodsucker EP

This EP contains one good punk track each from FREEBORN, CRIMINAL SEX, BLOOD AND THUNDER, and NICK TOCZEK (the ranting poet backed by a rocking band). Nice to hear decent stuff from relative unknowns, and…bring back more 7”ers!

The Zolge Catholic Day / Solid After 7″

Professional punk that just barely maintains its roots after all the production and arrangements. Kind of like the Japanese equivalent of the DAMNED. Slightly better tunes appear on the 12” of “Catholic Day.”

Yard Trauma Music LP

Much of this material’s been out in the States before, but this is a good overall sampler for Europeans (or anyone who doesn’t already have their prior releases). Energetic ‘60s oriented punk.

Verdun Notre Combat EP

Mid-tempo punk with female vocals. While the lyrics are on the mark (anti-racism and anti-state abuse), the music is a bit repetitive. This is not to say it’s limp, but just that the tempo and structures are very similar on all 3 tracks, and given their length, a bit more change might’ve livened it up. Decent.

The Tesco Vee Experience Twisted Road / American In Me 7″

A novelty here, as Tesco of the MEATMEN indulges in a little punk rock nostalgia. While his covers of the AVENGERS and FLESHEATERS are nothing special, this is the kind of one-off thing I wish there was more of. Credit for persistence goes to Jimmy Johnson for getting this out, a freebie for subscribers of…

U.T.I. Fleas EP

A 4-song debut that shows promise. Outside of the occasional wanking guitar leads, I like the mixture of fast and slow hardcore and the straight-ahead attack. Watch for more Orange County releases on this label.

The Tranques Heavy Whispers / Bleedin’ Eyes 7″

Three-quarters of the old WILLFUL NEGLECT play metal-riff rock on side one, almost too much to take. On the flip, the metallish aspect is still there, but the basic tune is good, as well as the singing. Lyrics aren’t very important here, and the guitar is a pain.

The Stupids Van Stupid LP

Well, the little skate geeks are back with another dose of U.S. hardcore a la U.K. Fueled on pure root beer, Tommy and company indulge in a few longer tunes this time, including a hilarious scratch song. Why go to L.A. when you can have the VANDALS meets D.I. in the UK?

The Stalin Stalinism LP

I think this is a reissue of the STALIN’s first two 7” records, as well as the track they put on MRR’s international comp LP. This is nice to have as a collector, although this relatively primitive punk doesn’t hold a candle to their subsequent material, which raged.

The Spanks Lucille 12″

What the SOUP DRAGONS are to the BUZZCOCKS, these guys may be to early SAINTS, with a dash of ‘60s punk and perhaps Belgium’s KIDS thrown in. Really rockin’ pop punk with great guitar and good snarly voice. We’ll know better after their next release.

Perfect Daze Bubblegum 12″

Aptly named, this is largely lightweight pop punk, a much-cleaner REVILLOS. The beat is there, but the insipid lyrics and too-sterile production keep this from really grabbing me. Main feature: Wolfie of the STUPIDS is the bass player.

Paranoid Visions Schizophrenia LP

For most of this LP, we’re floating along in a very pleasant ’78-79 type of political punk with both male and female vocals. But then, just to show us they’re not completely stuck in the past, they lash out with a terrific thrasher. Very good release, and much more gripping than on their EP. From Ireland.

Pagans Dead End America ‘87 / Secret Agent Man 7″

A reworking of the A-side by this reformed early punk outfit, and it’s got the guts and great bass riffs of the early version. The flip, a cover of the JOHNNY RIVERS classic, is as garage-y and raw as I’d hoped. Basic punk rock.

Offbeats Evolution of the Stickman LP

Surprisingly rockin’ pop-punk/thrash. Based on their last 7”, I thought the OFFBEATS were wimping out, but on this LP, they deliver a lot of wallop as well as catchy songs. No lyric sheet is always a bad sign: either the band puts little stock in their message, or the label could care less.

The Nomads Hardware LP

Again, cleaned and prettied up. The tunes are still cool, but the bite and raunch just isn’t there, that extra spark of rock’n’roll that heads a band over the line into madness. Too reserved.

MFD Music for the Deaf LP

Very well done melodic HC with roots in ’77 punk and the DC sound, and they even do a T. REX cover. Tight, tuneful, and songs that can be remembered.

The Leeches Urban Camouflage 12″

Garage, punk, garage ska, and just general garage, done with a flair—the lyrics are sharp, but not dogmatic. At a few points, there’s a dash of FEEDERZ here, but that’s not really what they’re about. Good debut.

Konsum Terror Fahrt Zur Hölle LP

It’s rare when a HC band can sound tighter and better on their faster material than on the slower tunes, but that’s the case here. While 50% of this LP is average, the other half is definitely a cut above, showing real snappiness. Lots of promise.

Fiends Gynecölögy LP

A lot more “rock’n’roll” than their ancient debut, this one has your metal/rock feel to it, and despite the usual dumbo lyrics, the music don’t cut it (the West Coast MEATMEN?). Amazingly, they do one “punk” tune, a cover of…BAD POSTURE’s “GDMFSOB.” Not worth the wait.

The Dry Heeves What’s Inside? 7″

Side One is “LSD,” a news story about the stuff set to a slow, psychedelic pulsing accompaniment. The flip, “Maggie,” is a slow, buzzsaw of a tune about Margaret Trudeau. Graphics insinuate Nazi b.s., but given the twisted nature of the music, I’d guess it’s just bad drugs at work.

Dog Faced Hermans Unbend EP

Strap yourself into the old time machine and set the controls for 1977/NYC/Lower East Side. Zap! Now you’re at a CONTORTIONS and TEENAGE JESUS gig. Lots of saxes, jazz punk, screeching vocals and funky bass. If this is ’87, it must be Scotland.

Doc Wör Mirran Falling to Achieve Freedom EP

Akin to TALKIN’ TO THE TOILET (see review this ish), but more on the industrial side and not as goofy. Joe Raimond and friends turn out rhythm machine slow punk with layers of noise and guitar.

Condemned 84 In Search of the New Breed 12″

I guess these guys are here to give Wattie a run for his money in the dumb lyrics department, with “Up Yours,” “Boots Go Marching,” “Kick Down the Doors,” etc. I think you get the picture.

Comando Suicida AL K.O. EP

Argentine Oi music, with a decided anti-capitalist bent. But there is the all-too-typical skinhead cry for “fighting” here, and too often that emotional response is poorly aimed. Musically, very credible and catchy.

Stiv Bators Story in Your Eyes / Have Love Will Travel 12″

The KINGSMEN cover is good compared to the recent DEAD BOYS release, but pales when compared to the NOMADS version. The flip too is a tame soft rock tune. Not happening.

Bad Beach Cornucopia LP

Musically, pretty good sounding mid-fast tempo punk and HC, but when the vocals kick in, it’s a whole new thing. Unless you’re into the latter day TSOL “singing,” these voices may really bother you. Different? Yes. Annoying? Yes.

V/A Viva Umkhonto! LP

A benefit LP for the armed ANC resistance in South Africa, released by De Konkurrent in Holland and Mordam in the U.S. Besides coming with a really excellent (visually and content-wise) magazine, this LP contains some great stuff from SCREAM, SOCIAL UNREST, VICTIMS FAMILY, RHYTHM PIGS, and 76% UNCERTAIN in the U.S., and CHALLENGER CREW, THE EX, DEPRAVED, BGK, EVERYTHING FALLS APART, SCA, KAFKA PROCESS, and MORZELPRONK from Europe. Get this, for sure!

V/A Do You Remember Rock’n’Roll? LP

A new San Jose comp, featuring the FACTION, FRONTLINE, STIKKY, ORANGE CURTAIN, LOVING END (yech!), NO WARNING, JET CRASH MIRACLE, STEVE CABALLERO (yech again!). Wish there was more choice material from STIKKY and FRONTLINE, and NO WARNING show promise, too.

V/A Apathy…Never! LP

An international sampler featuring DEPRESSION and GASH from Australia, SONS OF ISHMAEL, HALF LIFE, FAIR WARNING, and DEHUMANIZERS from N. America, FUCK GEEZ from Japan, and MOTTEK, K&T, SO MUCH HATE, and RAPED TEENAGERS from Europe. There’s little in terms of melody, lots in terms of pounding speed and intense lyrics.

V/A 77 Records Présente… LP

A mostly-French comp with BRAINWASH, BUTCHER, RAFF, and several more (including TOLBIAC’S TOADS, who we’ve heard nasties about), and then GOVERNMENT ISSUE. Mostly ‘77 punk styles here, but Germany’s MANIACS’ thrash tune is the hottest track.

Suicidal Tendencies Join the Army LP

Not as speedmetal as I thought their second LP might be, though there’s plenty of guitar wanking woven into the HC. At least they don’t try to come up with a gimmicky imitation of “Institutionalized” here, but the lyrical content is pretty thin, with lots of egotism. Okay, but not special, especially considering the time between albums.

Spermbirds Something to Prove LP

Hard to believe this band is German. The music sounds like ANGRY SAMOANS, the vocals are U.S. style snotty punk (the singer is actually an American ex-G.I.), the lyrics are sarcastic SoCal-type, but instead of sun-baked retard we get some genuine insight. Hot as hell!!

Scraps Aaargh! EP

I haven’t liked too many amelodic trash bands lately, but these guys attack their music with such enthusiasm it works. Raging vocals, pounding snappy drums, insane guitar noise, reminds me of early Brazilian HC. Definite.

Rubella Ballet If LP

This colorful outfit put out a couple of recent releases that we missed, this being the latest. As with their other material, this is well-crafted pop punk, accented by female vocals with somewhat feminist/radical lyrics. Underneath the colors and pretty music lies some disturbing realities worth checking out, especially for fans of X-RAY SPEX, SLITS, CRASS…

Rhino 39 Rhino 39 LP

Last time we saw RHINO on their own vinyl, Dangerhouse Records still existed and it was still the ‘70s. I guess they’ve reappeared just to prove that not every revival has to be lame. While not quite as exciting as that old single, this still cooks, though at times slumps back into rock tedium. Could have been a lot worse.

RF7 ’87 LP

Well, Felix and company are back but there’ve been some changes. Side one if the more “punk” side, though only two of the tunes are really hardcore tunes, while the others are slower and go into metalish or post-punkish territory. Side two is decidedly lighter, sounding like a poor man’s LOVE. Lyrically there’s a lot of “regret” themes (mainly having to do with drugs), a few generally “outside view” tunes, and even two love songs. Glad Felix is turning it around, but I hope the next release shows more verve.

Puke Back to the Stoneage LP

While not as melodic as most of their Swedish counterparts, this outfit plays excellent hardcore. And compared to most other bands of this ilk, they are way more melodic. Like their previous 7” (we fucked up and didn’t review it last year – also available at this address) this disc has power, hooks, and depth. Check them out.

Nabat Un Altro Giorno Di Gloria LP

NABAT, Italy’s longest running skinhead band, returns with their original and hard-hitting Oi, this time delving into reggae a bit as well. Consistent, diverse, and powerful stuff. This LP is dedicated to Nelson Mandela (among others), which sets NABAT prominently apart from the racist stupidity of most other bands. Good.

Mystic Eyes My Time to Leave / From Above 7″

With a name like this, I expected an early THEM raunchy R’n’B sound (band name is a great THEM song), but it’s pretty lightweight ‘60s pop with only a lilt of “G-L-O-R-I-A” in it.

Maniacs Chainsaw Blues / New Morning 7″

Both sides of his German band’s latest are excellent pop punk. Well produced, catchy tunes and lots of guitar and vocal choruses. Classic punk.

Mad Parade A Thousand Words LP

Is there such a thing as getting “BYOed”? While their latest release is pretty decent pop punk (at best they sounds like an American NEUROTICS), it’s a bit weak compared to the previous 7”. All the tunes are mid-to-slow paced, have very good lyrics, and I bet they really rock live. But at this point, they seem to be going the way of the RED ROCKERS.

The Iguana Foundation Oh Isn’t It Great / It Ain’t Me Babe 7″

The A-side has a definite STOOGES feel to it, a medium paced song with mysterious undertones. The flip conveys the same mood, taking the DYLAN classic and taking it as far from the TURTLES’ version as possible within a pop reference, sorta like BRYAN FERRY might have done.

The Extremes Eat My Dust 7″

The singing sounds like TELEVISION and so does the music, but at almost schizophrenic “extremes.” The A side is way clean sounding and the flip contains some noise guitar and could be right off Tom Verlaine and Co’s first LP.

Doc and the Pods Touch the Unclean Thing EP

Surf, ‘60s pop, psyche, all rear their ugly heads here. It’s OK, inoffensive stuff but nothing to do a double-take over. If you’re gonna go back to the past for inspiration at least re-emerge with some idea of what decade we so live in. These guys coulda done for BRENDA LEE’s “Sweet Nothings” what THE SAINTS did for CONNIE FRANCIS’ “Lipstick on Your Collar.”

The Dehumanizers End of Time LP

Sometimes surprising in its variety and energy, sometimes overdone and too long–a mixed effort. While their 7” was funnier, this LP goes for production and power, sometimes obtaining a good cross of both, but not frequently enough for me. Lots of metal for the bangers though.

Dead Boys All the Way Down (Poison Lady) / The Nights Are So Long 12”

Some things are better left alone, like certain memories…or bands reforming. All the original members here, Stiv, Cheetah, etc…but this sounds like the LORDS OF THE NEW BOYS, not the snarling, twisted, classic shit on their first LP back in ‘77.

Crimpshrine 9 Song Demo + Berkeley Sampler cassette

This is a 9-song demo, featuring some great sounding punk. CRIMPSHRINE have a ‘77 sound, somewhat along the lines of SLF. Besides their material, this tape features 2 songs each of some recent Berkeley bands like SOUP, BASIC RADIO, SWEET BABY JESUS, KWIK WAY, and DISTORTED TRUTH. Well worth picking up.

Crash Box Finale LP

A whole new band (except for vocals) since their 7”, this one will delight speedcore and metal-influenced punk fans. Lots of production, big guitar sound, and even colored vinyl copies. Classic TVOR inner sleeve layout, but the outer cover? Stiv?

Child Support Inside My Room EP

One raunchy LINK WRAY-ish tune, one world beat-ish tune a la the BEATLES “She Said,” one ballad and one college FM-sounding instrumental. For a band that can rock, they sure seem shy to do it on vinyl, opting instead for a commercial sound.

Buzzcocks Total Pop 1977-80: Rare, Live and Great LP

A decent retrospective of one of early punk’s finest bands. Pop punk that lasts, mostly dealing with the insanity of love. Their catchy tunes, great harmonies, and hard drive are virtually unmatched (the punk BEATLES?). Still, you should try to pick up all the original releases as this retro just scratched the surface.

‘A’ Bomb From Memphis to Detroit LP

Not sure where the “Memphis” part comes in, though at times there’s a slight CRAMPS influence. Otherwise, this is raunchy rock’n’roll meets early punk with screeching female vocals. Real rhythm, basic stuff with ultra-trebly production.

Wipers Follow Blind LP

This LP doesn’t really have the zip, or even the overwhelming angst of many of Greg Sage’s previous efforts. Maybe it’ll grow on me, but I wanted to be taken to a stranger different place…and got half way there.

V/A Zivil-Courage LP

Relative unknowns like SCHLIESSMUSKEL, CRETIN HOPPERS, TARNFARBE, A.N.A.L., and others play punk, thrash, and post-punk. All bands are from Germany, and this is a fun, non-commercial effort.

V/A Hagen: Melodien Einer Toten Stadt EP

A four-band, one track each regional comp from Hagen. Hottest tracks are by CZERNY SMIERTELNY (sounds Polish to me) and SJORBUT, but WICKIE and HEMMUNGSCLOSE EROTIK are both enjoyable. Good indie punk effort.

V/A I’ve Got an Attitude Problem EP

BCT bounces back with a hot EP featuring Italy’s WRETCHED and RAW POWER, Sweden’s MOB 47, QUOD MASSACRE from Yugoslavia, SATANIC MALFUNCTIONS from the UK, FUNERAL ORATION from Holland, and PSYCHO from the US. Get this one!

V/A The First Cuts are the Deepest EP

An all-Welsh comp featuring one song each by CLASSIFIED PROTEST, I MOBSTER, BUGS, YR ANHREFN, ELFYN PRESLI, and HERETICS. Faves: BUGS (sounds like DESPERATE BICYCLES), ELFYN PRESLI (great pop punk), and HERETICS (charge old punk).

V/A Fight Back EP

Hey, yet another indie UK release, this one featuring the DISTURBED, LIVING DEAD, LEFT FOR DEAD, and SILENT COMMUNITY. One track each isn’t enough to drive any real conclusions, but these bands all convey a basic, unglamorized punk appeal. Honest.

V/A Breaking the Silence EP

An international comp with HOMO PICNIC (U.S.), KAZJUROL (Sweden), QUOD MASSACRE (Yugoslavia), and INSTIGATORS (England). Four bands, four styles (pop-thrash, speedmetal, pop-punk and thrash). Good selection, good production, a worthy effort.

Toxic Reasons Bullets for You LP

This domestic release is a bit different than the recent UK job. It contains three songs not on the UK version (two of which disappeared on their last 7”) but one song that’s on the UK version doesn’t appear here. Rockin’ improvement.

T-Bo Rockarna Vart ‘E Vi På Väg? EP

What is this? It’s hard enough to figure out the name of the band from all the stuff on the record and sleeve, and things go downhill from there once on the turntable. Actually, three of the five tracks are pretty decent older style pop punk, while two are goofy as shit. The jokes lost on us non-Swedes.

Special Forces Special Forces LP

Their second LP should dispel any doubts about SPECIAL FORCES and generic thrash. This Berkeley band hits hard and with variety, though Bill Collins’ excellent guitar work is now history for this band. Orlando was always a more interesting performer than good singer, but on this LP even that aspect seems very improved. Very hot!

Shoutless Bowery at Midnight LP

SHOUTLESS combines ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s into one, adds big production, and the end product sometimes cuts it, sometimes not. The grunge is maxed out and I think that hurts their impact. Needs a bit more madness.

The Shaved Pigs Dying in the Year 2000 EP

Dated 1986, this one slipped by us but I’m glad I found a copy. BAD BRAINS type vocals and pop-thrash music combined with stuff like “Too Fat To Flirt” make this bizarre. Album coming soon.

Pure Mania Return for Blood / What’s It Gonna Be 7″

Mania this ain’t. Decent pop rock ‘n’ roll it is, with early pop-punk influences. The A-side is pretty light, but the flip reminds me of ‘79 UK anthemic mod/punk stuff. Wish it were crazy.

Powerage World Today / Waiting for the War 7″

It’s great to see this white South African anti-apartheid band still expressing themselves in the face of extreme repression. Both songs here are mid to slow-tempo jobs, one with a one-sided anti-Russian attack, the other dealing with the nuclear fear. Sad to see Rubin Rose out of the band.

NoMeansNo Sex Mad LP

If you’ve been trying to locate their previous and impossible to find vinyl — relax. Finally, this incredibly hot combo comes up with something to almost equal their live shows. Well, not quite, but people who love the BUTTHOLES, NEOS and No Wave clamor will all find something here.

The Nomads 16 Forever / Salvation by Damnation 7″

I guess it had to happen, but the NOMADS have toned it down. Both sides lack the raucous, free-swingin’, guitar crazed rock ‘n’ roll that I loved ‘em for. Instead, we get two medium paced, thick sound production tunes that are decent but pale in comparison to their early rave-ups. Alas.

Necros Tangled Up LP

One thrash tune, the rest being rock/metal at varying tempos. Lots of squeaky guitar bits, which we ruin otherwise almost palatable songs. Promo sheet contains a quote “…we didn’t want anything to do with punkers”. Do you want anything to do with them?

Lazy Cowgirls Sock It to Me Santa / Goddamn Bottle 7″

I think this is the first modern punk record Bomp’s put out since the ZEROS and WEIRDOS days, and this one is excellent. Really good, driving tunes, crunching guitars, and fun/tough vocals. Pick this up.

Kryptonics Land That Time Forgot / She’s Got Germs 7″

Two pop punk tunes, both with a big production sound, ‘60s sensibilities and modern punk drive. Like this stuff, but the lyrics are stone age, especially on the flip.

DRI Crossover LP

The cover sticker bills them now as “metal,” and there is a lot of thrash in that, but overall it’s still D.R.I. – lyrically and musically (though weighted down at times). While C.O.C. has soured on this “crossover” business, D.R.I. seems to be making a blatant marketing approach – just catch the cover art.

DOA True (North) Strong & Free LP

A cover of BTO’s “Takin’ Care of Business” might tell you something about the rock approach of this new DOA platter, as many of the songs have that same heavy rock sound. A couple rage, though, “To Hell and Back” being one, as does the revised classic “Nazi Training Camp.” Mostly strong, political lyrics, however ironic that is for this label.

D.I. Team Goon LP

The original D.I. 12” is re-released here, along with 3 current tracks. Despite the fact that I dearly love their music, I’ve never seen a band with so many re-appearing tracks on their “new” vinyl. Should be a whole new LP’s worth soon. Dudecore – totally.

The Celibate Rifles Kiss Kiss Bang Bang LP

I’m not too keen on live recordings unless they’re amazingly electric, conveying a dynamic unavailable in a studio. As far as this one goes, it’s okay, giving you a good idea of the RIFLES’ hard-driving Australian rock meets early punk. But special? No.

Broken Bones F.O.A.D. LP

Can’t read the lyrics sheet – it’s kind of black and red print, not synchronized. It does say “UKHC” in several places, does have a song called “Best of Both Worlds,” but after hearing it and seeing the cover, it should be called “UKHM” …and I understand why the lyrics don’t matter.

Asocial Religion Sucks EP

Mid-tempo speed metal without the leads. Gruff-ola vocals, repetitive riffs, good production, and a song called “In My Eyes” that isn’t the song we all know. Oh, the band’s from Sweden.

The Apostles How Much Longer LP

I had all but given up on these lads when, “boom,” they surprised me. Besides some of the mellower stuff they’ve done recently, this LP includes folk, blues, spoken word, industrial, and a really decent portion of raw, well-done punk a la CRASS. Includes a great cover of one of punk’s all time classics, ATVs “How Much Longer?”

Afflict Necromance LP

Okay, okay, so dumb lyrics aren’t just limited to the USA. Actually, less than half the tunes here have gore-related subject matter, while the rest are introspective and brooding, not so lame at all. Musically, mostly speedy thrash, but more musical than speedcore, as well as some slower tunes.

Young Lions Freak Show LP

Recorded 3-½ years ago, I’m surprised this LP finally saw the light of day. If it had come out back then, the YOUNG LIONS would have been seen as the forerunners of today’s “HC gone eclectic” bands. One side maintains the HC edge while indulging in rock, metal, and other slight influences — powerful sound. The other side sounds like another band entirely — pop, country, etc. Good lyrics throughout, but schizo as hell.

Vomit Launch Not Even Pretty 12″

Punk attitude/lyrics meet post-punk almost wave music. Assets: great female vocals, sometimes haunting moods which remind me of several recent UK femme-vocal bands. Drawbacks: doesn’t quite pack the punch of their live set. Comes with free ‘70’s Top 40 schlock 7”.

V/A Will Evil Win? flexi EP

A metalcore sampler, featuring ANNIHILATED, CIVILIZED SOCIETY?, LORD CRUCIFIER, and DESECRATORS. Unless you’re really into speed metal, this is pretty hard to take, with guitar wanking all over the fucking place. Only CIVILISED SOCIETY?’s cut is listenable, but a better version appears on their LP. Some good lyrics, and a collective effort.

V/A Pebbles, Vol. 20: The Continent Lashes Back! European Garage Rock Part 4, Sweden LP

This on-going chronicle of unknowns swings to Sweden, 1964-67. Most of the tracks are Mersey, Mod, or R’n’B, with the hottest coming from the PALMES, HEP STARS, and TAGES. This volume, unlike the others, contains many live tracks, some of which aren’t the hottest sound quality.

Sponge Born Under a Bad Sponge LP

An energetic trio that has a pretty sparse (guitar is largely rhythmic) and clean sound. Goofy lyrics and boppin’ tunes are the thing here, and should appeal to a broad range of listeners.

Santa Clan Taking Liberty LP

This record has more drive and power than a lot of post punk releases these days, but that energy is often sapped by annoying breaks, too many funky riffs (for my taste), and sometimes irritating vocals. Could be worse, though.

The Minors Waves Have Hit / Another Stupid Love Song 7″

Somehow, Norb Ugly (ex-S.U.M., now of DEPO PROVERA) dug up quantities of two early Green Bay “punk” singles and now wants to foist them off on you. This one is from ‘81 and has that new wave punk sound of ‘79-’80 — okay beat, but with deep pop-rock roots.

The Fixtures Dangerous Music LP

Strong musically with almost new wave meets punk meets Three Penny Opera vocals — a more new wave DK’s? Intelligent lyrics, very tight and driving pop punk music, but the singing, though gruff at times, does detract a bit. Different.

Doggy Style II LP

This is the version of DOGGY STYLE that contains the majority of the original members. While this record rocks, it doesn’t quite come across with the humor on first hearing. Musically, good but polished melodic fast punk. Artwork: amazing ripoff of LED ZEP II, sure to draw attention.

X-Creta Patronizing the Heterodox LP

A very high energy release — this is metal-heavy hardcore without the excesses and with intelligence. Though riffs do get repetitious, the overall power is intense enough to hold your attention. Should be popular.

Oi Polloi / Betrayed Skins ‘n’ Punks, Volume Two split LP

This split LP contains OI POLLOI from Scotland and BETRAYED. The latter play pretty unexciting but competent Oi with lyrics that range from the standard working class oppression themes to dubious calls for skinhead unity. OI POLLOI, on the other hand, rip like crazy and have lyrics that rise above the norm.

V/A Life is a Joke, Vol. 2 LP

An international comp featuring BLUT+EISEN, ANGRY SAMOANS, SUBHUMANS, KTMK, COC, FANG, I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVY, and lots more. Hot tracks from the DEPRAVED, NEUROTIC ARSEHOLES, FALLOUT. Many tracks previously released, but now largely unavailable.

V/A La Voix Des Gnomes Présente LP

A four-band project. LES GNOMES have a hard-hitting but quirky thrash/punk sound that’s distinctive without getting pretentious. DAMES are an all-femme band that have an English pop-punk sound with a slight post-punk flair. BARON ROUGE has a ‘79 English arty punk sound that still has power. ZOI are a mid-temp band that occasionally lurch into thrash, all with SIOUXSIE-like vocals. Good variety on all tracks.

V/A Battle of the Garages, Vol. IV: Tomorrow the World! LP

Current garage sleaze from both the U.S. and Europe featuring LES THUGS, CANNIBALS, LEGENDARY GOLDEN VAMPIRES, SICK ROSE and much more. One of the best neo-‘60s series going.

Henry Rollins Hot Animal Machine LP

HENRY ROLLINS’ (ex-SOA/BLACK FLAG) first solo vinyl effort is not so solo. Backed on cuts by a hard-driving band (including ex-SOA/FAITH/EMBRACE member Mike Hampton), the musical tracks sound much better to my ear than anything the Four Towels did in recent years. Despite the cleanness of the production, there’s real structure and bite here, and Hank sounds in great form. Biggest surprise — no spoken word.

Lärm Straight on View LP

Thirty-six songs, half-live/half-studio of this hard-hitting Dutch band. Very politically aware and idealistic, their beliefs translate into raging, noisy outbursts. We in the U.S. may get a chance to see them live this summer, so buy this slab and help ‘em get over here.

La Polla Records Salve LP

From the Basque region of Spain hails this pop-punk band. This is commercial punk in an early UK style, incorporating ska and other influences as well. There are funny songs as well as an overriding political bent. Okay, but slick.

V/A On the Waterfront, Vol. 3 12″

This label really puts out the material these days, and most of the bands here have their own separate new release as well. Included are HARD-ONS, VULTEES, MASSAPPEAL, SPUNK BUBBLES, HEADSTONES, and a number of others. Good effort.

V/A Oh! No! Not Another… Midnight Christmas Mess Again!! LP

Yet another Xmas comp of neo-‘60s bands, and this one is pretty decent. Tracks by the SLICKEE BOYS, VIPERS, PSYCHO DAISIES, IGUANAS, CHEEPSKATES, and more.

V/A The Foreign Object EP

Four bands, one song each, in a ‘60’s vein. Hottest track is from SPECTRE’S REVENGE, a tough rocker. Lighter material from BO WEEVILS, NO MAN’S LAND, and GAS BABIES. Comes with issue #2 of Foreign Object mag out of Australia, but I don’t have an address for them.

V/A Destroy the World EP

This EP is out of Germany and contains one track each by Germany’s STROMBERG POLKA (Oi), TIN CAN ARMY (punk), and the UK’s UPROAR (melodic punk) and CIVILIZED SOCIETY (thrash). Liked the latter the best by far, but overall a worthy effort.

Spunk Bubbles Metal Wench / Treat Me Good 7″

They list DESCENDENTS, RAMONES, DEAD BOYS, MOTORHEAD, and early SAINTS as their main influences, but these two songs here lean more on speedmetal and MOTORHEAD than on the more melodic punk genre. Decent, but nowhere with lyrics.

Shell Shock Whites of Their Eyes LP

It’s taken quite a while, but they finally got their LP out. Though both the music and lyrics tend to be unexceptional hardcore, SHELL SHOCK is to be congratulated for sticking with it, especially as they hail from the heart of Klan Kountry.

Sham 69 Angels With Dirty Faces: The Best of Sham 69 LP

This is yet another “Best of…” compilation, and a fine one it is. SHAM 69 were the original singalong Oi style band and they pounded out lots of catchy, memorable rockers, most of which are captured here. If you don’t have this stuff yet, get it now.

Live Skull Pusherman 12″

Don’t know what the big deal is over this band, at least after listening to this three-song release. I found the tunes boring, lengthy, and exactly what I’ve been trying to avoid in music for a long time. Maybe live they make it.

Half Life Under the Knife EP

One of the better sounding domestic HC releases in a while. Good power and production on all four tracks, and although it’s mainly generic metal-influenced hardcore, there’s a gripping urgency that carries it off. Lyrics are pretty bleak, although “Consider the Alternative” offers some hopeful thought.

Big Black The Hammer Party LP

Actually, this is a re-issue, one side containing their first EP Lungs, and the other presenting their Bulldozer 12”, both of which came out in 1982. Lots of driving darkness here, though the Bulldozer side has a lot more power to it.

V/A Tour de Farce EP

Six bands from around the world, one track each. AEMATRACK from New Zealand kicks it off with one of the better recordings, a slow/fast rocker. There are two GUERILLA URBANA’s here, one from the Canary Islands and one from Peru, both of whom turn in raw but exciting thrash. DOC WOR MIRRAN is from Germany, doing an experimental punk cut that works. NO LIP is from Japan with an okay tune albeit on the slick side, and BULK (Denmark) wraps it up with a post-punk CURE-ish song.

V/A The Rise and Fall of Oma Hodel: Original Soundtrack EP

The soundtrack of a movie, I think, with six tunes, all in an older punk vein. All the bands were from Hamburg, including SPIEL 77, 100% DISKRETION and others. Liked MEINE SCHUPPEN the best.

Suicide Suicide LP

A reissue of the ’77 classic by Martin Rev (rhythm) and Alan Vega (vocals). SUICIDE pioneered this experimental but raunchy early punk sound, using effects in a psychotic VELVETS meets THROBBING GRISTLE manner with a dab of rockabilly. Get it!

Soul Asylum While You Were Out LP

Live, these guys impress with their tunes, energy, and performance. Here, you get a well-crafted pop LP. I know the HUSKER DU comparison is uncool, but it’s so obvious, along with a REPLACEMENTS touch, that I gotta do it. Power-pop.

Screaming Dizbüsters This Ain’t the Summer of Love / Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire 7″

More typically an “Amigo” band, there’s a “big” garage-type sound here, straightforward pounding rock’n’roll and snarled vocals. Both sides rock. Heard this is the NOMADS under an alias.

Ratos De Porão Descanse em Paz LP

I’m always suspicious of records that only have song titles of three or less words. All the “tunes” here (except the title song) have just two words, and the music is equally imaginative. For the speed metal genre, it is pretty well done, but ultimately dulls the senses.

Pushtwangers Strangler from Behind / Coma 7″

One side is way too pop for my tastes (as are many of their releases), but the flip has much more of a rockin’ feel, with a sound reminiscent of many of the bands on this label (NOMADS, etc.)

Peace Mob Collapse of the Empire cassette

Just a ranting poet and a guitarist – great lyrics, but the guitar has so many special effects that it doesn’t add to the rawness that would make the lyrics really come to life. Have seen them live and they had a lot more impact that way. Still, the words are worth hearing.

Naked Lady Wrestlers Accidents flexi 7″

One excellent song from these troopers, just to prove they still exist. Max Volume and Buzzsaw Iron Bill have been at it for years (only previous vinyl was on MRR’s Not So Quiet comp of ’82) and though this song doesn’t contain the humor of most of their material, it still rips. A freebie to Thrasher subscribers. More Max!!!

Murphy’s Law Murphy’s Law LP

A supposedly “fun” album by this New York band, one of many that play good music (punk—as opposed to thrash metal—in this case) but who make it difficult to enjoy because of their advertised ignorance (homophobia, among others). Accompanying press release actually lauded singer Jimmy Gestapo for his “Donohue” performance, as well as containing his self-description as a “macho goon.” Real fun.

Inocentes Pânico Em S.P. 12″

Six finely crafted pop-punk tunes. Sounds like ’78, but not in a nostalgic way – just powerful but tuneful material. Despite signing to a major, they remain political (title tune, plus “El Salvador”), though there is perhaps a bit of overproduction.

Kiku Hyper Dream Collection flexi 8″

Quirky punk here – the vocals being the most abrasive aspect, though the music is pretty uptempo at times, too. Older punk styles predominate, often varying towards obnoxious pop, but veering away at the last second.

Heimat-Los / Kromozom 4 split EP

One serious and one fun band share this slab, and will share an LP early next year. HEIMAT-LOS have a modern thrash sound that is powerful but relatively uneventful musically. KROMOZOM 4 employs more imagination musically, making this more palatable for non-French speakers. Sounds good.

Heibel Yeah, Everything’s Great! LP

COC-like hardcore from Belgium. At times, the drumming seems to lag a bit, but overall, you’ll find some pretty inspired and aggressive power thrash. There are more weird guitar bits thrown in than you’d find on most such records, and the production is top notch.

The Hard-Ons By My Side / I’ll Come Again flexi 7″

Despite the rough sound, there are two classic tunes here. The HARD-ONS style mixes ‘60’s punk with a great pop-punk ’77 sound, and especially on the second track, really hits home (a cover of the LEGENDS). Available on Livin’ End zine #6, a mag dedicated to ‘60’s Aussie bands.

The Flamin’ Groovies Way Over My Head / Shakin’ 7″

Recorded (I believe) during a recent incarnation of San Francisco’s GROOVIES when they played Australia, these two songs extend their folk pop direction even farther. Both tunes hold back, threaten to burst out, and never do. For collectors only.

Death of Samantha Laughing in the Face of a Dead Man 12″

Citing the SAINTS and TELEVISION among their influences, one can hear it a bit. But those groups, despite sometimes extended length songs, always made them memorable, whereas DOS seldom leave traces of tunes re-emerging through the mind rubble. Undelivered promise.

The Coolies Dig..? LP

I guess if Joe POP-O-PIE could build a career on just one song (GRATEFUL DEAD’s “Truckin”), then the COOLIES certainly can with just one artist (PAUL SIMON…well, actually it’s SIMON & GARFUNKEL). Yep, most of the tunes here are rocked versions of S&G hits (“Scarborough Fare,” “I Am A Rock”, etc., etc.). Gets old fast.

Woofing Cookies Horse Gum Tortilla Shoes LP

An interesting mix of ’60’s pop, late-’70’s Boston rock’n’roll, country, MINUTEMEN, and REPLACEMENTS. All the recent Midnight releases seem to be less raw and aimed at a “broader audience.” This might be the one to attain that.

V/A Thrash Til Death LP

First, the music of GAUZE, OUTO, LIPCREAM, and SYSTEMATIC DEATH comprise some of Japan’s best HC, a variety of approaches, all gripping. Now the cover—one of the best all time graphic jobs, both in layout and content. Impressive.

V/A Sutura Eterna LP

This compilation is put out by Senzapatria, whose political magazine is included with this disc. Bands featured are MYDGARD, LINK LARM, DISPERAZIONE, and ANTISBARCO, who present different brands of hardcore. As with many of the Italian bands, their tastes run eclectic, and within any given song you’ll hear lots of changes and styles. Stiv art graces the cover.

V/A Highs in the Mid-Sixties, Vol. 14: The Northwest, Part 2 LP

This latest in the series (which is not being issued in sequential order) covers the Pacific Northwest, home of many of the earliest U.S. garage bands like the SONICS, WAILERS, KINGSMEN, and PAUL REVERE AND THE RAIDERS, none of whom appear here. What does appear are a host of lesser-knowns, bands that would play bars/frats and rock out. Hottest are SIR RALEIGH, and the STATICS. The rest will appeal only to historians, with the usual fine liner notes by Lee Joseph.

V/A Complete Death LP

This compilation contains a few tracks from already released LP’s (DR. KNOW, COC, MENTORS), some unreleased tracks (DRI, UGLY AMERICANS, BEYOND POSSESSION), and a few odds and ends (INSOLENTS, DEPRESSION, and CIVILIAN TERRORISTS). As you might guess, this is death/speed metal up the ass. Aargh!

State of Confusion 6.3 Million Acres LP

Every time I started thinking this was generic thrash, S.O.C. Would throw some twist in to surprise me. A thoroughly home-produced LP (the sound is okay though, but the silk-screened cover is definitely tacky – literally!), there’s plenty here for HC fans – with little or no metal.

Sluggard Kings Tell Me / No Lies 7″

Bands that are (and look) heavily ’60s influenced shouldn’t use song titles of ’60s songs for their own compositions. The A-side is not the STONES’ title, though it is a decent pop tune. The flip is too insipid to go into.

The Scientists Heading for a Trauma LP

A compendium of this Aussie band’s material between ’82-84. Their slower tunes appeal to me the most, down and dirty a la STOOGES with lots of guitar noise. Those tunes that approach blues a la NICK CAVE leave me fairly cold, but they are a minority on this release.

No Lip Ophelia EP

This 3-song job is NO LIP after Roger Armstrong’s departure. Somewhat different, this is hardcore but there’s experimentation or complexity that both add and detract. Can’t say I like the singing, which is too damn clean.

Moist and Meaty Moist and Meaty LP

Rock and roll with definite punk sensibilities or perhaps it’s insensibilities. A fun/dumb band a la SAMOANS or DAYGLOS, intentionally (hopefully) retarded lyrics and punk delivery. Singer sounds like he teethed on the HOLLYWOOD ARGYLES (“Alley Oop”) and Handsome Dick Manitoba (DICTATORS).

The Mob We Come to Crush LP

New recordings here as the band has re-grouped, though a few older songs (re-recorded) appear as well. This does rage throughout, an energetic blast of excitement with a very “live” feel to it. Get it.

Ludichrist Immaculate Deception LP

A cut above most metal-influenced hardcore bands. There’s an urgency to their music and a feeling of more intelligence/thought than on many such groups, which combined with the hot production makes this highly listenable. Breakneck speed but tight as hell, like early MDC.

Inferno / The Execute split 12″

The material here is about 1-2 years old, but that shouldn’t deter you from picking this disk up. From Japan comes EXECUTE, a mainstay of the HC scene there. Their tunes appeared on a 7” there, re-released here in all their powerful glory, with little or no metal damage. INFERNO, from Germany, have a bit more melody but at no loss of power – and again no metal overdose. Hot!

The Hard-Ons The Girl in the Sweater / I Heard Her Call My Name 7″

Missed reviewing this a few months ago, so I wanna make up for lost time by saying that this band plays wonderful pop-punk in the tradition of the RAMONES or LURKERS. Get everything they’ve put out.

Gore Hart Gore LP

This European equivalent of GONE—an all-instrumental band—claims to bridge the gap between hard rock and hard core. One such GO_E is enough (too much) for me, though this one does include a lyric sheet for their all-instrumental songs. Hmmmm.

Gendo Missile I-Ya-Da! EP + flexi 7″

Oh God, another Japanese packaging flipout—comes in a mylar sleeve, the record itself is a picture disc that looks like a circus clown on PCP devised it, and there’s an extra flexi included. After this, the music itself is a letdown.

Gastunk To Fans EP

One side is 33 and contains a pop-ish thrash tune, the other side is 45 and has a grunger and thrasher, both hot. Also hot is the packaging, a multi-colored, flecked white vinyl EP packaged in a fishnet, plastic cover with “sex” written on it. Wild.

Gang Green Drunk and Disorderly 10″

Another in a series of ‘live’ 10’ers, this is one of the better ones sound-wise. Though the tracks chosen are mainly not their fastest material, they are powerful as hell—a modern STOOGES sound. Good one.

Rapt / Final Blast split EP

Two french bands of the HC variety. FINAL BLAST’s tunes are in a melodic vein with a somewhat English mid-tempo thrash feel, while RAPT are definitely on the noisy, raw production side of short-song thrash. As raw and “beginner” as this side is, I liked it better than all the pop shit I heard today.

The Fester Brothers You Gotta Be Patient to Be Psychiatric 7″

A simple beat supplied by a drum machine, raunchy guitar chords, bass, and echoey vocals are the ingredients. Reminds me of some early punk bands that later went overboard on the art side of things. But the punk/art combo is something I’d like to hear more of.