Vicious Rumours Anytime, Day or Night! LP
Good sounding punk/Oi with some lyrics that are as stupid as they come. Glorified ignorance.
Good sounding punk/Oi with some lyrics that are as stupid as they come. Glorified ignorance.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
An early CLASH sound on both sides, though it’s not just limited to that early punk derivation. Good tunes, good playing, not too nostalgic.
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.
A three songs Oi job, with only the title track showing some spark and originality. I’ve heard that Italy is the only European country where it’s not safe to assume skinheads are fascists, so let’s not make that assumption here.
Decent melodic punk a la ’78-’79 vocals way out front with good back-up singing, okay power, simple beat (through variable) and good lyrics. Fancy bass playing at times.
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.
Okay CRAMPS-type psychobilly. Nothing new, but decently don’t. Not much else to say – oh yea, six songs.
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.
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.
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.
Three more metallish hardcore tunes, the title track plus “10, 5 or a Dime” and “Gotta Get Out of Here”. The latter is the hottest except for the little guitar flourishes. Guess they’re good at what they do.
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”.
A comp LP taken from the various tapes being released by CBGB as well, Lots of pop/new wave/trendy stuff, and the only redeeming cuts are by LUDICHRIST.
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.
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.
A Buffalo area comp, featuring punk and garage trash. Thoroughly enjoyable, raging madness, a must for all indie collectors. Features, PAINKILLERS, PEOPLE’S FRONT, POKACON, TEMPLE OF CHUD.
While metallic in the beat (and perhaps the growling vocals), the overwhelming feel of both tracks is power punk a la ’77. Hard heat, powerful but non-metal guitar, and decent lyrics.
Out of Texas blazes this eight song ripper. Owing some of their sound to fellow Texans DRI and the OFFENDERS, I think you can form an idea of how they rock. Hot!
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
A very hot mix, and sound (I know, I know… “but they’re on Mystic”… It’s still hot), and eight really ripping thrashers, no metal, lots of power. Good record.
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.
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.
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.
Slow tempo but rough as hell garage punk. Definitely in the STOOGES school of grunge, a 5-song raw assault. Hear this is WHITE PRIDE minus the singer.
Heard they rip live, but this debut LP is heavier than livelier, and the weight takes its toll. Lyrics fall into the “life sucks” category with little glimmer of imagination or hope beyond mere survival. They live up to their name.
Some great punk rock here. A 7-song release, lots of frantic power, great lyrics, and plenty of imagination. A punch in the face.
An eight-song posthumous release. Recorded in 1983, this is standard NY thrash, though I’m not sure why this particular release came about so late or what particular historical significance it contains to NY HC. Decent.
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”.
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.
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.
A four-band comp from the Basque region of Spain, containing three tracks each from the above-named bands. KORTATU is a peppy ska band—decent. CICATRIZ rages with some fine punk, the best tracks here. JOTAKIE and KONTUZ HI! have some pretty unmemorable pop wave stuff.
WARPAINTED CITY INDIAN has a GBH-meets-PISTOLS sound, does both thrash and mid-tempo punk, is tight, and occasionally surprises. Overall—good punk.
So-so early English-style punk. Four tunes, no real standouts, but not dragging either.
One JOY DIVISION-type song, one decent punker, one tune in between. Well produced but not especially remarkable.
Pop punk and thrash owing to the RAMONES, DK’S, etc. Singing is way wimpy, but the music cooks at times. Afraid to know how tame the lyrics are.
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.
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.
Real pounding beat and buzzsaw guitar, mid-tempo punk. While not remarkable, one tune, “Move Onward,” is quite special, a catchy classic.
Excellent at both classic punk and thrashy punk. Lots of back-up singing adds to the more-than-adequate playing and production. An English feel.
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.
Gruff, rough vocals set to pounding classic punk. Four-and-a-half tunes, mid-tempo, decent power but no really blasting memories.
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.
More pop-punk with powerful guitar and drums from KENZI. An early UK punk sound on all three tunes, all quality.
Early BLONDIE sound with plastic female vocals and a decently powerful pop-punk band. Vocals ruin it all.
Two of the four tunes are pretty decent ’81-style Britpunk, while the other two songs have a trumpet added, which adds a goofy feel, sort of like HERB ALPERT gone punk.
The A-side is a harmless little ditty, power-pop with a little guts, but the B is a neat cover of a VELVET UNDERGROUND tune, one of their poppier numbers that’s been up a bit here. OK.
Quite interesting. CRAMPS-like at times, real grungy sounding stuff, but quite primitive yet produced. Femme vocals lead the way for raunchy blues, rock’n’roll, and punk.
The A-side is a good mid-tempo punker, catchy, etc. This flip is a ballad, rock à la LED ZEP, and unbearable.
Throbbing, pounding mid-tempo guitar-driven anarcho-punk that occasionally lunges into fourth gear, or goes into metal second. Five long songs, lots of power as well as repetition. Good lyrics, as always.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This band has been compared to the MINUTEMEN in previous tape reviews here, but on two of the three cuts here they remind me more of the no wave post-punk, while the title track is more in the eccentric pop vein.
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.
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.
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.
A one-sided “live in the studio” LP, pressed on green vinyl with an etching pressed on the flip. A good slice of these enjoyable guys, funk and punk, a treat.
Traces of HÜSKERS meets ’70s rock, containing many of the excesses (long, drawn-out songs, self-conscious structures, etc.) that made that kind of music so unbearable and necessitated punk in the first place.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A big sound, classic Britpunk sound—lots of production, accent on vocals and choruses. Professional punk from England.
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.
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.
A couple of former UNDERTONES blend pop, post-punk, and folky experimentation with mixed results. Somewhat of a letdown after the good recommendations I’ve heard, as I found it lacking in punch and focus. Not dynamic.
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…)
More great punk, really ripping powerful stuff, hot bass and singing. Tight band.
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.”
Two songs are rock punk, while a pair are straight-on punk thrash. Schizo personality, but good at both.
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.
A send-up on GBH, the key word “baka” (meaning “foolish”) appearing frequently. Hilarious music, as well as the funniest back cover I’ve ever seen. Great Big Haircuts, indeed.
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.
Neo-’60s punk with a CRAMPS undertone. Really simple songs, a slightly raunchy R’n’B feel, and basic guitar drive. Fun.
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.
Pop rock’n’roll with ’60s, punk, and R’n’B influences. Well done but no special punch or grabber.
Pretty quiet stuff with female vocals, not really very inspiring except if you’re laid out on ludes and can’t get up to turn it off.
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.
A wide variety of ’60s sounds—spaghetti western, pop, punk, psych. Third release, all good.
Above-average speed-metal. Lots of power, quite a bit of imagination, and really nice packaging (as well as white vinyl) add up to something special.
A three-songer, one a “classic” punk tune, the other pair are thrashers with neat raving guitar and a gruff Japanese-like vocals. Good sound.
Most (five of six tunes) are traditional punk, sing-along and Britpunk styles—one tune, “H.E.”, though is a decent thrasher. OK.
Real decent thumping pop-punk with post-punk undertones on the A-side, while the flip is a way lighter tune that’s a backdrop for a weird little story.
More like punk with post-punk production, this record is nothing new, but does contain conviction. Good power, good lyrics, hope to hear more.
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.
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.
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.
Two of the three tunes here are in the dreamy psych vein, full of pop softness despite the psych moodiness. The A-side, though, is largely riveting; a psych number with good drive, owing to early PINK FLOYD. Decent.
Slightly above-average ’60s comps, ranging from garage punk to pop punk. Volume 2 contains the classic “I Said Oh No No No” by the RAVING MADD. Far out, man.
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.
Contains this ’60s Michigan band’s distinctive cover of “Who Do You Love” as well as ten others. Influences run from YOUNG RASCALS to LOVIN’ SPOONFULS to early STONES.
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.
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.
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 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.
Quite out of the ordinary—at times almost no wave, sometimes lyrics set to intense doodling, sometimes moody like TSOL, sometimes like BIRTHDAY PARTY.
Really basic but well done garage punk. Improved production boosts the power on this, and the snotty vocals and classic punk add charm.
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.
A cross between ’60s punk and a ’77-ish sound, with some cool ’50s vocal harmonies. way too long (90 minutes), but energetic and fun. Song title of the month: “My Penis Is Made of Cheese.”
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.
Four pounding punk tunes with great, shouted vocals. From San Antonio, Texas, this bunch pokes fun at both Khomeni fanaticism and the US. Excellent recording.
Basic bone-crushing, change-the-pace thrash with good production. 27 tunes, both punk and thrash, raw guitar drive, and snotty vocals. Good start.
The A-side is a good power-punk song with some metal licks, while the flip is a metal song with some punk influences. I obviously prefer the top side, but both have appeal.
Metal punk, both in music and attitude. Hey, if you’re one of those people that write into MRR saying we should cover more “rad” metal bands, buy this and leave us alone.
Speed-metal or dumb punk, take your pick. Decent power and non-stop energy with metal guitar leads and riffs.
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.
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.
Miriam Linna (original CRAMPS drummer and ex-ZANTEES) and other ex-ZANTEES and ex-DMZ/LYRES team up to provide some pretty mediocre and unexciting rockabilly.
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.
Pop punk like the ROMANTICS at their early best. Boppin’ bozos.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Some good punk from RED LONDON and HAINE BRIGADE, some poetry from ATILA, some odds and ends, some poorly recorded live NEUROTICS. Mixed bag.
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.
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.
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.
The A-side is a long, LOU REED-ish tune that dirges into occasional mile weirdouts. The flip has a ’60s pop girl-group sound that’s way simpy.
A live recording from Germany in 1985, this one captures the power and spirit of the SUBHUMANS really well, as the sound quality is top-notch as is the performance. Worth picking up.
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.
These four tracks are toned down a bit from their earlier pair of 7”ers. More ballady, less neo-’60s, but still with some bite.
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!
An Aussie version of the MILKSHAKES, drawing upon ’60s styles of R’n’B, blues, and pop rock’n’roll genres. Decently done, simple fun.
Twelve songs of a garage/art nature. No wave meets early HALF JAPANESE meets early MINUTEMEN.
A five-song ripper—great powerhouse punk/thrash that doesn’t let up. This is more like quality Swedish thrash, replete with hooks, melodies, and plenty of zip. Cool.
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.
Very fast-paced stop-and-go melodic thrash that’s pretty basic and unoriginal. There’s no real spark here, though it is quite competent.
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.
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.
More CRAMPS-influenced stuff, though we get a SEEDS cover (“Girl I Want You”) as well. A long psych tune with guts (“Suzie Creamcheese”) is pretty cool.
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.
A really well-done seven-song release. Whether doing thrash or impassioned poetry set to ominous noise, this band executes with verve, tightness, and lots of power. Intelligence and musical expression are A-1.
Purveyors of a certain brand of high-energy rock’n’roll that very few bands today understand (the NOMADS being one of the few), this single has both a rocker and slower pounder. Roots: MC5.
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.
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.
Fairly derivative ’60s pop-punk with mostly originals. Snarly vocals, simple delivery, pretty forgettable.
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.”
Sort of ’70s rock’n’roll meets early punk. Simple drive and beat, chunky guitar, and cool vocals. Decent.
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.
A really good single, both sides having a lot of punch. There are early punk influences here (FALL, STRANGLERS) but this rocks better than either. Powerful.
Snappy punk with good hooks with an unobnoxious UK influence. Two of the four tracks rip, while the other two are poppier, but all are enjoyable.
Pretty decent early punk sound with a mixture of rock influences. Reminds me a bit of some Midwestern ’76-’77 bands, though slicker. Easygoing, but maintains momentum.
A one-sided job; two studio and two live cuts; two fast and two medium; all good punk. Hot guitar and drumming, energy and fun.
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.
Really snappy thrash with hooks and choruses. Lots of stop-and-go action, cool singing, and rapid-fire tunes with little waste. Neat entry from this German band.
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.
Lots of covers (ELECTRIC PRUNES WAILERS, CONNIE FRANCIS [?]) and a few originals in another neo-’60s fun-filled extravaganza. It’s fun OK, but wearing thin.
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.
A distinct improvement over their debut 7”, this one contains better material, better production, and more power. Good, driving hardcore with sharp drumming and cutting guitar. Cool.
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.
Energetic pop/punk/thrash with chirpy female vocals. Good power, though the pop tunes get a bit too pop at moments. Overall: better than average.
A US comp featuring SEIZURE, EMG, PSYCHODRAMA, CERTAIN DEATH, HELLHOUSE, STIKKY, and more. Largely garagy-sounding, with varying sound quality. OK.
Punk, thrash, early-’70s rock, and metal thrown into the old rock’n’roll blender, and you get 22 songs. Some cut it, some don’t (self-indulgence) from this all-male combo.
A split tape by two Colorado Springs bands that will be out touring this summer. WILLIE THE DISK have a powerful pop-punk sound and can thrash on a dime. ANTE BELLUM have a “heavy” sound more often than not. Sound quality is decent.
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.
DOLLS meet Death with six HEARTBREAKERS-ish tunes. Other influences thrown in, such as metal rock.
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.
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.
The pretentious artsters will like this one: neo-no-wave music, down atmosphere, nihilistic lyrics. Too “cool” for me.
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.
This band is back with a vengeance! Great, powerful punk that inspires, both musically and lyrically. A most welcome return, so get this hot 7”.
This is a retrospective comprised of tracks from POP RIVETS’ two LPs from ’77-’79. This is garagy pop that’s plenty fun and basic rock’n’roll punk.
A big punk/thrash sound here. Their wall-of-sound production and punk power are pretty overwhelming, but not to the point where it all gets homogenized. Some real rockers here.
Yet another SoCal band that’s got good power, hooks, tunes, and delivery. Sort of D.I.-ish…a good job.
A decent little record that sounds like it’s straight out of ’79. While not too exciting or raucous, it’s got that simple punk beat and attitude, a garagy pop sound.
Good power-pop with a punky edge, meaning good guitar and bass, driving beat, and good hooks and vocals. Six tunes, all decent.
Some really cool, driving punk rock—like a more melodic early TOXIC REASONS. Two originals as well as a punky cover of the STONES’ “Mother’s Little Helper.” Good.
Driving blues-based stuff with a dance beat. Funky punky rock treads the fine line between obnoxious art and wavish vapidity, but maintains some power.
Six pop-punk tunes from out of the garage but well produced. They rock good, have lots of guitar and drums, snotty singing, a tinge of REDD KROSS meets ’60s UK R’n’B.
Mod, early punk, R’n’B pop influences here. Not especially powerful, but could develop their own sound yet.
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.
Really well done charging thrash. Good lyrics, lots of anger, some metal guitar damage and tough vocals. Check it out.
Good but undistinguished melodic thrash. Lots of stop-and-go stuff, good playing, appropriate lyrics. Decent.
A three-song job that combines neat vocal harmonies and simple pop songs with an edge. Sounds like mid-’70s pre-punk rock’n’roll like the REAL KIDS. Nothing frantic but enjoyable.
Good, snotty early punk, basic no-frills smart-ass stuff. Five tunes, all fun.
There’s quite a variety of nasty sounds on this fine-sounding studio LP—lots of drive, dirty guitar varying tempos, and power. Much better than I had expected; a pleasant surprise.
Tony (ex-ADOLESCENTS) adds his great vocals to a more metal band (ADOLESCENTS meet STOOGES?). Nothing lyrics, but the sound is OK.
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.
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.
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.
A variety of punk styles (punk, thrash, post-punk), all done with spunk and power. Definitely leans toward an older punk style, albeit fast. Pretty decent.
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.
A three-song job—one slow punker, one medium punker, and one fast punker. All are fine sounding, hot vocals, and lots of power. Good stuff, and neat guitar.
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.
’60s-influenced yet not derivative pop-rock. Good beat on two of the three tracks, owing more to bluesy rock with punk tinges (like GUN CLUB) than anything else, only cleaner sounding.
Sort of like early B-52’S, with LENE LOVICH on lead vocals. Decent, but borderline schlock.
Punk with rock influences, usually pretty up-tempo, a bit oversung, with lyrics in English. Decent words.
Three songs in a CURE/PSYCHEDELIC FURS mold. Decent energy, but a bit too self-conscious.
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.
A four-song, one-sided release, this is decent but unexceptional thrash and driving punk, some of it which reminds me of a Finnish DOA.
Hard-driving hardcore with slight metalish influences, but largely straightforward. Good energy, good playing, decent sound quality. Pretty hot.
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.
Atmospheric but energetic post-punk. Actually, at times they’re more punk than not, with a rockin’ beat, driving guitars, and somewhat crazed vocals.
What comes in a black and white and red sleeve, looks punk, has conscious lyrics, and sounds way metal? Now you know what you’re getting, and it’s decent, for the genre.
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.
Pretty good hardcore with OK hooks and power, though a bit short in the vocal department. Another Finnish one-sided wonder, six songs in all.
Moody, atmospheric post-punk on most tracks, though one (“Bapteme”) breaks out into driving powerpunk, a welcome change. Helps to understand French, as the words are way up front.
Alleged to have reactionary/stupid lyrics, this band has an older punk sound with Oi influences. Pretty up-tempo stuff, lots of choruses and melodies, etc.
Political speedcore. Vocals like RAW POWER, and musically they shred, although the drummer seems a bit pressed to keep up at times. Pretty hot.
PISTOLS-type punk rock here, well done though a bit on the quieter side. Good pounding stuff.
A record that sounds like ’60s pop-punk infused with surf and folk rock tinges, knocked out with verve. Catchy fun.
Great-sounding classic punk—heavy on guitar power, riff drumming, and tough vocals. Love it.
Excellent fast punk that slows down, thrashes, lurches into reggae. Hot playing, political lyrics, and great melodies. Male and female vocals add to the potpourri. Powerful debut, quite recommended.
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.
A cool garage sound with ’60s fuzz punk influences. Decent power, lots of guitar, and solid production make this quite listenable.
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?
Ya think it’s gonna be ’60s? How’d ya know? Anyway, three of the four tracks are pretty decent at that, the best one (“Renee”) sounding like an outtake from the VELVETS’ first 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.
Hard-driving thrash and punk with metalish guitarwork. Strong production and lots of energy, so will appeal to both speeds and cores.
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.
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…
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 very good-sounding demo, these five songs are classic mid-tempo SoCal melodic punk tunes, with tough guitar and great vocals and lyrics. Hope they get to vinyl, but in the meantime check this out.
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!
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.
Pop-punk and melodic post-punk, cleanly produced and played. The pop aspects aren’t overemphasized and keep this trio away from heavy rock influences, which is much to their credit.
With song titles like “Punks Are Rad,” “Gov’t Sucks,” “Skate or Die,” etc., you gotta wonder if this is for real. I doubt it, but the world is full of surprises.
Incredibly cool and gnarly vocals set to frantic thrash, with a unique flair. Sound quality is decent, but does take away a hit of the impact. A band to watch for.
Decently powerful older punk sound, four songs in all. Good production, pop/punks, and upfront driving rhythm. OK guitar, too, though not really crunching.
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.
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.
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.
Their sound is somewhere between the LYRES (more evident on A-side) and ? AND THE MYSTERIANS (cover on B-side). Pretty rockin’.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
Back, with a new band (CEDAR ST. SLUTS), who are listed as, and sound like all-female (but probably aren’t). Real garagy rock’n’roll here, so bad it’s good at times—the DOLLS on a typically bad night… and then some.
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.
Clean pop-punk that verges back and forth from B-52’S new wave to JEFFERSON AIRPLANE rock to X-influenced early punk.
Metal-damaged punk for those who enjoy such things. Lyrically, all the songs deal with the sleazy side of NY city life. OK, but pretty heavy despite the drive.
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.
A three-song project that incorporates pop, surf, and ghouly garage. Each song is in a pretty distinct style, though none stands out above the others.
In the tradition of early industrial punk like the NORMAL’s “TVOD,” incorporating incessant rhythms (machines), eerie vocals, and twisted subject matter.
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.
A politically progressive Oi band from Canada, these guys have come forth with a really well-produced tape full of catchy tunes, hot up-tempo playing, and fine lyrics. Good job.
More garage punk from Les Black and Co., this time with cleaner production. Covers of “Long Tall Texan” and “Lion Sleeps Tonight,” as well as four other grungy fun ’78-style tunes.
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!
Decent thrash and raw punk centered around pretty bleak personal themes. Metal influences in both music and lyrics, though it’s more punk than metal. Is this misogyny or childish ghoulism?
Good sound and variety here. Both punk and thrash with tuneful, intelligent songs, delivered with punch. Cool singing as well. The more I hear, the more I like. A cut above.
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.
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.
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.
Fine job. Really ripping hardcore with above-average lyrics and playing. Somewhat of a DC sound but not generic at all. Heartening effect. Keep it up!
Some ex-GUN CLUB-ers (LEGENDARY STARDUST COWBOY’s touring back-up band, I think, including Kid Congo and ex-BAG Pat) turn in some fairly unexciting psych/blues. Boring and unoriginal.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Some hard-hitting Skeeno HC here, folks. There’s some metal damage, but not to a distracting degree. Power and production are tops; intense lyrics, too.
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.
Pop with a rock edge. Sometimes DOORS-sounding, but not real rockin’.
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.
Industrial punk. There’s music of various post-punk styles, combined with an overall industrial (as opposed to arty) feel that makes for good listening. At times it gets a little annoying, but they take chances.
A one-sided release that is a freebie to subscribers of Forced Exposure. BIG BLACK does an adequate cover of the repetitive REMA-REMA song, originally released on a 12” in 1980.
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).
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.
Four bands (PAST, CHARTA 77, LOST NOT POSERS, and PISKAD SENAP), four songs, all excellent pop-punk with great Swedish hooks and classic punk delivery. A joy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Best part of this is the driving beat and occasionally guitar chords. Otherwise, it sounds like a slightly tougher GRASS ROOTS, what with all the lush harmonies and production. Too clean.
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.
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.
A neo-’60s band that plays punk and pop-psych. Nothing too startling here, and as you can judge by some of the covers (“Gloria,” “I Can Only Give You Everything”), not too much delving into the musical past. OK.
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.
A two-song job, and a curious blend of punk energy with early and progressive punk. Absolutely no info on sleeve.
Back again quickly, these crypto-rockers hit with four songs, three of which are bizarro blues, twisted à la BUTTHOLES. The fourth song is a cover of PINK FLOYD’s “Lucifer Sam,” an OK version.
Classic Finnish thrash in the DISCHARGE mold. While not as noisy as some, the basic ingredients are there, though a bit more slowed down on about half of the six tunes. “Brainless” is the anthemic tune here.
Early punk sound with really awkward and unfitting vocals. Would’ve been an OK PISTOLS-type release otherwise.
Pretty cool fast Oi-sounding stuff, four songs, good vocals, back-ups, and tight playing. Classic title: “All My Oi.”
A simple guitar, drum, and bass playing basic raw punk rock’n’roll à la ’76. Nothing spectacular but enjoyable in its basic nature. Pretty garagy, but the spirit is right.
While the A-side is a bit too poppish for me, the B is a bit punchier beat-wise. The pop aspects crop up here, too, and at their worst remind me of the BOOMTOWN RATS. Too cute.
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.
Rockabilly with just a slightly modern feel, as evidenced by their cover of “Batman” and “B-Side Blues.” Nothing too special, but decent.
Pop female BLONDIE-ish vocals set to early crunch punk sound. Vocals ruin it completely, and the BEATLES cover doesn’t make it.
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.
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.
Pretty noisy thrash, more like Finnish than Swedish hardcore. There are some tunes here, but it’s largely a non-metallic blast of crazed thrash energy.
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.
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.
Mid-period JAM meets mid-period CLASH. Melodic rockin’ pop.
Older style punk with synth. Seven songs in all, which are OK but the synth adds a “circus” atmosphere that detracts from the overall impact.
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.
’60s influenced rock’n’roll, with touches of folk rock, pop, psych rock. Too pop in general for me, but their cover of GARY GLITTER’s “Rock’n’Roll Pt. 2” shows the most imagination on this disc.
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.
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.
Poet John Giorno presents stuff for the arty crowd, mostly jazzy/experimental tracks with poetry or tunes interspersed. Contains HÜSKER DÜ, DAVID JOHANSEN, SONIC YOUTH, COIL, CABARET VOLTAIRE, etc.
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.
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.
Four bands from Sweden (BULLSHOT BABIES, GEGGAMOYA, GALER, and KRONSTADT. Driving punk and post-punk, all dedicated to animal liberation.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
SPUNK BUBBLES come through with eight very catchy and driving punk songs with ’77 appeal and girl-boy lyrics. KING PIG couldn’t be further from that spirit, presenting five moody, psych post-punk guitar-effected songs (also well-done). Top-notch production on both.
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.
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.
A slightly toned-down REVILLOS meets early-’60s garage/surf. Pretty garage in approach (though the recording isn’t) and the flip is a zany freakout. Loonsville.
Awesome. The 14 songs crammed in here are up to the quality and style of Boston HC from 3-4 years ago. Just rippin’ from start to finish. And good production sound to boot. Get it.
Their second release, this one is more CRAMPS-like than their debut. A-side is a pretty typically raunch’n’roll fuzzer, while the flip is a cover of the NOVAS’ classic, also covered by the CRAMPS. OK.
Good rockin’ punk with a slight RAMONES inflection and more serious lyrics. Not a lot of power, but the melody and catchy delivery make up for that. Decent.
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.
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 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.
Jazzy punk with rock influences. I find this too distracting overall, but I think the more adventurous among you might like the variety of influences. Decent power, odd thrash.
For such a young bunch of kids (15-17 years old) this is a pretty good debut. Mid/fast-paced punk and thrash, with decent hooks and fairly tight playing, lacking only a bit in the drumming. Keep it up.
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.
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.
Eclectic and offbeat hard-driving punk. The Italian BUTTHOLE SURFERS? Definitely outside stuff without losing the power.
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.
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.
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.
Their sound is a raw, crunching guitar-based one with post-punky effects, and it really works. Lots of power, edge, drive, and diversity within the medium-tempo genre. Good.
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.
Very fast and snappy punk that’s got a fairly distinct and clear sound (especially with the drumming). Gnarly singing, hot but simple guitar, and excellent production. Enjoyable political punk, in German.
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.
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.
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.
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.
OK, this is a “rock” album, meaning the accent is on tunes, power, and production. What it’s missing is the excitement and spark of this band’s earlier releases. Punk background music?
The CRAMPS meet the old FLAMIN’ GROOVIES? Raunchy R’n’B meets countryish rock’n’roll meets surf. Nothing new, not quite psychobilly, but OK fun stuff.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Real garage hardcore punk. Most of the songs are medium-paced with super-gruff vocals and raw as hell noise guitar. Good garage.
Out of Baltimore, this tape has a live feel to it. Lyrics are pissed off but intelligent, music is heavily rhythmic hardcore with good vocals. Should be something real good if they stick with it.
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.
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.
Could you guess they’re speedcore? Pretty good actually, though the drumming lags a bit. Gruff vocals and raunchy thrash guitar with metal inflection. Practice tape but decent sound quality.
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).
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.
FLIPPER-ish trash meets folk rock? Definite “sun damage” here, garage charm, and nutso/intelligent lyrics. Early Dylan gone punk rock.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This odd release from the Phoenix area could go over with metalers, punks, psychedelics, and rockers—a really bizarre mix of styles. Something for everybody, or maybe nobody…
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.
Yup, a match made in… Anyway, Mykel Board’s ARTLESS material is the same as what appears on the recent Placebo Records one-sided 12”, while I don’t know nor care if G.G.’s stuff was previously released. This label wants to license more US bands for European release.
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!
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.
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.
Throbbing, pulsating, driving intensive post-punk with gnarly distorted vocals. Maintains the edge while striving to be different, yet somehow ends up like KILLING JOKE anyway.
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.
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.
Raw punk guitar and almost UNDERTONES-like pop-punk add up to enjoyable listening. Both tunes are very straightforward and it’s the simplicity and the power that are so catchy. Weird as shit language, though.
Well-produced eccentric pop punk. The B-side is a bit pop for me, but most of the A-side is interesting (save for some of the breaks, which get a bit “wavy”). Not run-of-the-mill at all.
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.
The A-side is decent but uninspiring ’77 punk, but the flip is a thrash ripper with cool choruses, though the lead singer doesn’t quite grab me—too clean sounding.
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.
Medium/slow-paced but powerful, combining some of the better aspects of post-punk with the raw power of PISTOLS-type punk. Lyrically, the three songs deal poetically and philosophically with alienation, religion, etc. Good sound.
Pretty cool and raw ’60s-type punk. Tight and powerful, with an obvious NOMADS influence, they rock hard and have a gnarly singer. Hot rock’n’roll.
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.
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).
Eccentric hardcore, ranging from FLIPPER-like dirges to weirdness that I thought only comes from Arizona or Texas. Pretty garage at times, too, on this five-song job.
Heavy rockin’ Aussie stuff with plenty of late-’60s and mid-’70s influences, and since the Detroit sound seems permanently ensconced Down Under, it should come as no surprise. OK.
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 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.
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.
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.
Schmaltzy ’50s R’n’R meets DOORS meets simple punk—and I don’t think I like the results very much. Total noise it ain’t.
Actually, this is a 45. Both are fast punk with fuzzy guitar, a bit experimental sounding at times, but by no means groundbreaking. Decent.
Their first album contains three previously released tracks and eleven newies. And like their other recent material, this new stuff contains numbers that melt perfect simple pop melodies with a wall of guitar noise—a sublime combination only approached before by the VELVETS.
A three-song one-sided effort, this bands’ name translates as “A Whole Family Suicide.” Fans of fast-paced UK thrash will like this one, as it’s well-produced and crunches. Good debut.
Both sides are rockabilly-influenced punk, decently done but pretty country-fried. Definite CARL PERKINS influence.
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.
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.
Fans of eclectic hard punk should appreciate this release. Combining funk, rock, and jazz influences. LES GNOMES have a punchy and herky-jerky sound which could have been too distracting had they not delivered it with such force.
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.
GIRLS AGAINST SEXIST HYPE aren’t fuckin’ around at all! Great smashing hardcore, sharp lyrics, powerful production—too much. Imagine a POISON GIRLS approach with thrash power, and you got it. Get it.
Rock punk with crooning female vocals, metalish rock guitar, and overall late-PENETRATION sound. Singer bugs me a lot with her “sweet” singing.
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.
Both sides are typically rockin’ Aussie stuff, with a DOLLS sound updated by Motor-City-type late-’60s rock. Rock’n’roll, dudes.
Great! Who are these guys? Awesomely powerful English-style thrash meets almost a DC-like hardcore approach meets DOA at their best! Great lyrics to boot.
A wonderful noisy and crude assault on your ears. While the musicianship is basic and loud, there are structure, changes, and thought behind it all. Good and intense, political as well.
The A-side sounds like the SAINTS (second LP) meets ’60s pop-punk—OK. B-side is way rad, a snarling ’60s punker with SKY SAXON-ish vocals and nasty instrumentation. Once again, Sweden leads the way in this genre.
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.
Both tracks are from previous LPs, and while both are OK punk, they certainly aren’t so superior to warrant separate release. “H-Bomb” captures live energy, though.
Pretty decent older punk styles, both live and studio. Lots of melody, raw rhythm guitar, choruses, etc. Good music to file records to.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
Not metal at all, but a sort of psychedelicized heavy punk sound. Very well-produced, this eleven-song tape is both “different” and yet still powerful. Most of the lyrics are a cut above, too. Worth checking out.
Interesting schizo release. Simultaneously rough garage and well-done moody post-punk, and lyrically both sensitive and crude. Female vocals (with echo or harmony?) sound cool. Sounds like LOU REED meets SIOUXSIE meets GIRLS AT OUR BEST.
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!”?
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.
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.
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.
While the A-side is more on the slow metal side of punk, the flip rocks more, has challenging lyrics (see article this issue), and reminds me of good early RUNAWAYS. Raunchy indeed.
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.
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).
With all the skill of an early GERMS record, these guys will punk rock their way into your twisted little heart. Aptly titled, this EP is goofy and enjoyable. Playable at any speed.
Classic mid/late-’70s Midwest garage punk, one side studio and one live. Full of grunge and satire, Les Black and Co. do covers (“Ring of Fire”) and plenty of originals. Raunch and roll.
The recording is pretty rough, but that won’t stop you from enjoying this. Intelligent lyrics are propelled by tough and loud thrash. Noisy but controlled, with plenty of energy and determination. Good start.
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.
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.
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.
A-side sounds like ANIMALS meets LEMON PIPERS, while the flip is less bluesy and more poppy. OK bandwagon stuff.
The stick-on label says “Iggy-esque post-punk.” Forget that shit, this is full-on punk. While the vocals do remind me of IGGY, the music is raving punk stuff, not unlike early SAINTS. Excellent.
Very well-produced power thrash. This is hard-hitting, head-on, stop-and-go hardcore. No frills, no innovations, and lots of tight meat-cleaver stuff. Good lyrics, too.
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.
‘77 punk, both musically and lyrically. I mean it’s fun stuff, retarded lyrics, old punk format, but there’s not an overwhelming power behind it or special wit. Decent regressive venture.
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.
A four-song “death metal core band” that zips along at a frantic pace, isn’t as metal as it is thrash, and avoids lame lyrics and sticks to political/social subjects. A pretty hot debut.
Simply great. Classic SoCal pop thrash with hot Agnew guitar and Casey vocals. Hot production, too. Rips completely.
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.
Fans of early NO TREND will appreciate this rockin’ noise. With funk, jazz, and experimental leanings, this screamin’ combo raucously slashes their way onto vinyl. Angry yet absurd.
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…
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.
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.
Dark punk with rock overtones, reminding me a bit of some ROKY ERICKSON. At times, it’s too “rock” for me, but there are some songs with late-STOOGES influences (“Agents of Faith”) that make up for it.
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.
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.
A comp that features all Yugoslavian bands (PVJS, CZD, MASAKER, and MARZIDOVSHEK). There’s a bunch of experimental thrash, which while wandering into the unknown, always comes back with power. Sound is decent.
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.
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.
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.
Decent moody pop neo-psych. Both sides have their ominous slower moments (almost like certain aspects of the DKs, including East Bay Ray-type guitar work), and then pick up at times. Just OK.
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.
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.
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.
Experimental hardcore that’s most appealing. While maintaining their edge and aggression, this band breaks rules with percussion and structure without getting too jazzy or arty.
A four-song rock release that’s in the post-HENDRIX tradition—”heavy” guitar, slow blues/rock tunes, long songs. Not too crazy about it.
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.
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.
“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.
Firmly rooted in an older punk sound, but it doesn’t stay there. Traces of the DAMNED, post-punk; and even the ROUTERS. Not crazed, but interesting while rockin’.
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.
Four medium-paced, somewhat ploddy punk tunes with Oi/rock/metal currents. Powerfully recorded, but not very stimulating, lacking any real verve. Decent tunes, though.
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?
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
You know right from the start that this will blast a hole in your heart. A raver, full of high quality straight-ahead hardcore with nary a trace of metal. Powerful as hell!
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.
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.
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.