Reviews

MRR #19 • November 1984

Accelerators Public Enemy No. 1 EP

A snappy new punk pop EP with a whiff of the ’60s (especially in “I’ve Seen Her Somewhere Before”). The ACCELERATORS have RAMONES-y vocals, blasting guitars, bouncy singalong melodies, and that relatively rare ability to write terrific tunes. My favorite release of the month.

Alien Celebrating Your Victory 12″

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

Angelic Upstarts Last Tango in Moscow LP

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

Angst Love Dissolves cassette

Elements of ’77 punk, hard pop, and even C&W surface on this pleasantly upbeat five-track effort. Instrumental expertise and good songwriting about on this tape, though my favorite composition is the pop-punky “It’s All a Lie” because of its tasty guitar riffing. Very entertaining.

Asta Kask Plikten Framför Allt EP

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

Baws Let’s Have a Ball flexi EP

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

Blind Acceptance I Want Out cassette

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

CCCP Fedeli Alla Linea Ortodossia EP

This EP has one band with three songs. “Punk Islam” has lots of effects and an ethnic style that paints a vivid picture of Middle Eastern strife—it’s slowish, slightly catchy but still intense. The other two songs are better, mining a sort of UK peace punk style: “Spara Jurij” is the best, most rockin’ song here. An enclosed booklet discusses international war tactics: I wish I could understand it. Interesting and worth tracking down.

Certain Death Life Is a Bitch…Then You Die cassette

These guys have a knack for extremely clever punk arrangements, and demonstrate a good hand for satiric lyrics, as well. I only wish the ultra-boring guitar solos had been excised from these boisterous and intelligent mid-to-fast-tempo punk tunes. “Spontaneous Human Combustion” is a pop-punk near-classic.

Chaotic Dischord Live in New York LP

Fucking egg, were you at that gig? Fucking 50,000 bleeding punks jammed into Madison Square Garden for this one-time performance. A wall of sound, the punks cheered and clapped all night, giant thrash circles, the pit, it was fuckin’! VAN HALEN was the opening act. But when CHAOTIC DISCHORD came on stage, the crowd went fucking apeshit. If you’re gullible enough to believe this fucking mess, then those thrashing CHAOTICs wanked a joke on you. Oh yeah, say “fuck” every other word. The best fucking novelty fucking thrash fucking album yet.

Club of Rome Jesus Wouldn’t Like It / Germany 7″

Australian post-punk. CLUB OF ROME has that heavy, rhythmic approach with a deep bass, a loud, biting guitar, and fairly aggressive vocals. “Germany” is the more engaging of the two cuts.

Cobra 1984 EP

COBRA sounds something like a Japanese version of the TOY DOLLS, with their high-pitched vocals and studied pop-punk trappings. “Real Now” is a delicious burst of power-chord pop, but in fact the whole EP demonstrates fine songwriting abilities. Atypical punk for Japan, but strongly recommended.

Condemned to Death Diary of a Love Monster LP

C2D are mostly down to a three-piece (new singer only takes part on a couple of numbers), but still scorching out those banzai power chords. This LP sheers away the flesh with metallic HC, fast with effective grinds, raw thumping rhythms, and whining with blood thirsty guitar leads. If you craved more of their EP, quench yourself on this 12-song gem. And where do they get those song titles??—”Hair Spray Randy,” “Bang Your Maiden Head,” and “Lost Tweekend,” to name a few.

Corpse Grinders I Eat Babies / I’m Goin’ Crazy 7″

An Australian psychobilly group that shouldn’t be confused with the old DOLLS offshoots whose album was recently—and posthumously—released. These guys have a piercing instrumental attack and wild vocals, but the song structures are a little too derivative to really get today’s kids stompin’ on each others’ blue suede shoes. It’s still rockin’, though, so go for it if you like to howl.

Cyanamid Stop the World EP

This is an unusual release in that it mixes short garage thrashers like “I Hate Pigeons” and “Older People” with lengthy, droning tracks containing feedbacking guitars, noise effects, agonized vocals, etc. (the title cut and “This Is Hell”). CYANAMID may be too primitive and tuneless for some people, including me, but they are different. Give ‘em a listen.

No Brain Cells / Deformed split cassette

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

Demented Dinner Music Demented Dinner Music cassette

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

Disarray Social Victim flexi EP

Seven quickly delivered songs with wild guitar whines, definitely inspired by DISCHARGE (or a speedy MOTÖRHEAD), with convincing raw power and sonic steerings of chaotic disorder. Fuzzy, distorted guitar overpowers each number that feeds back into stomping charges of mayhem. A band to watch for.

Disgust Brainwash cassette

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

Ed Gein’s Car Brain Dead Baby EP

Excellent, powerful ’77-style punk in a MISFITS/UNDEAD vein. The title track is instantly memorable for its sickoid lyrics and preeminently catchy instrumentals, but the other two songs here keep up the standard just as well. My opinion: get this EP as soon as humanly possible.

Eraserhead The Demo cassette

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

Existenz Let’s Get Drunk Before It’s Too Late 12″

While there are no innovations in the basic thrash formula here, EXISTENZ employs good energy and production quality to fuel this ten-tracker well above the level of their debut EP. This outfit follows in the VARUKERS mold, albeit with echoey vocals and less intensity; nevertheless, “Fight For Freedom” qualifies as a classic pile-driver in the best Swedish tradition.

Freedom Last Revolution EP

A fine puzzle record in the grand tradition of MORNINGTON CRESCENT, which can be played at 33 or 45 with equal ease. The lyrics are ultra-gruff, like fellow Japanese GISM, but the instrumental backdrop has elements of both metal punk and mid-tempo rock, with prominent lead breaks. “Shit Babies” is appealing, but the EP’s title cut is more memorable, with its classic vocal choruses. Good record!

Funeral Oration Shadowland 12″

An exceptional record that features rapidly paced power punches on one side, while the other has an approach with raw, haunting harmonies. Side A contains an odd mixture of vocals/instrumentation that works well, especially for audience participation; both lyrically and structurally, the songs are intelligently written. Side B shows the versatility of FUNERAL ORATION’s show, screaming post-punk moods. Fun Dutch music for an exciting listen.

Funhouse Conspicuous Consumption / Retaliation 7″

FUNHOUSE specializes in mid-speed rock compositions with lead solos and angry lyric concerns. “Retaliation” has a tense, riff-laden approach that makes for powerful music, but rumor has it that these guys are now much better than these early 1983 recordings indicate. A promising band.

Genetic Control First Impressions EP

On their debut release, Canada’s GENETIC CONTROL displays a pretty rippin’ thrash attack. It’s not exactly original, but the trebly production and frenetic tempo evoke mucho head-shaking and foot-tapping; a couple of good choruses (especially in “Love Rat”) and a crunching metallic break in “Urban Cowboy” serve to provide some diversity. Decent lyrics, too.

Ground Zero Ground Zero LP

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

Jackshit Hicktown EP

These goofballs from Reno cut loose with some hysterical thrashers on this six-song EP. “We Still Like Drugs” has loads of amphetamine thrills, though “ET Go Home” arguably rates as the funniest song of the bunch. My recommendation: go out and snap up this record and join the yuk-fest!

Junior Achievement Fade to Black LP

Powerful production and an incisive guitar sound conspire to make this debut album by JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT both dramatic and exciting. None of the songs in particular stand out from the rest, but the ten mid-to-fast-speed HC tunes here boast clever arranging touches that add good measures of texture and vitality to the proceedings. A solid LP—with some exotic lyric themes.

Kremlin Korps Moscow’s Revenge EP

Superficially not unlike SIN 34, KREMLIN KORPS opt for a more churning guitar sound and longer songs that emphasize personal politics. The compositions are OK, but not exceptional; the things which really make this four-tracker work are the rich instrumentals and sneering, satiric vocals. Interesting.

Lip Cream Night Rider More Than Fight EP

The pounding, abrasive punk on this Japanese five-track EP seems rather fuzzy and ill-defined—which may be a mutual function of uneventful songwriting and lackluster production. The title track is fairly strong, but this is a severely uneven follow-up to their creditable debut.

Los Pillos Felices Fiestas cassette

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

Lost Cherrees All Part of Growing Up LP

This is their first LP after two strong EPs and they’re lyrically and musically just as strong as they ever were. In the tradition of the RAINCOATS, their four female vocal harmonies really stand out—you’ll either love it or hate it. They do mostly somber, melodic ballads but every once in a while they pick up the pace and sound almost psychedelic. “Nervous Breakdown” is especially good.

Mad Parade Court Jester 12″

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

Major Accident Tortured Tunes LP

I’ve only occasionally enjoyed the British pop-punk of MAJOR ACCIDENT in the past, but this rather bootleggy sounding live LP sacrifices the primary merits of past recordings—production quality and layered instrumentation. Only for diehard fans of this outfit.

Mau Maus Tear Down the Walls EP

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

Monks Black Monk Time LP

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

No Pigs Broken Promises EP

More political thrash from Holland (except for the slower “Shoplifting”). NO PIGS don’t really break down any stylistic barriers, but their trebly buzzsaw guitars and flailing, high-pitched drumming provide plenty of brain battering. Some of the lyrics here are particularly incisive, so grab this if thrash still moves you.

No Trend Teen Love 12″

NO TREND’s debut EP was a grungy blend of demented lyrics and near-insane instrumentals—in other words, a classic. This 12” contains those tracks remixed to sound a bit cleaner, plus two additional songs. Of the newer stuff, “Die” in particular rates for its chilling vocals; of their older material, “Mass Sterilization” still maintains its dynamicism. Great record.

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

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

Numb Sex Constantly Itching Down There cassette

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

Poison 13 Poison 13 LP

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

Porno Patrol Jump Back EP

A forceful deliverance of catchy hardcore rhythms from Germany. Coming off with a speedy STRETCHMARKS or G.B.H. sound, PORNO PATROL punches out quick harmonies with jumpy choruses and vocals that dominate the overall sound. Four well-paced songs that kick the walls down. Lots of power and storming prospects.

Redd Kross Teen Babes From Monsanto 12″

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

Rhythm Pigs An American Activity EP

RHYTHM PIGS play good “meat and potatoes” thrash with surprisingly effective vocal harmonies and musical changes of pace. Most of the songs here manage to break the typical thrash mold without sacrificing a whit of power in the process. Check this one out!

Sis Q Lint Wally Wally / The Very Last Record From Gold Star 7″

“Wally Wally” satirizes the arch-conservative Wally George TV show with a disciplined power-chord attack, some studio gimmicks, and self-consciously funny lyrics. The flip is a spoken word/tape dub track. I admired the spirit of this 45 more than I really enjoyed it.

Social Slugs Great Balls of Fun cassette

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

SPK Junk Funk / High Tension 7″

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

Stark Raving Mad MX 12″

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

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

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

Targets Menschenjagd EP

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

Teenage Depression Skank or Die EP

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

The 3-D Invisibles Put on Your Glasses EP

This clever Michigan outfit is obviously obsessed with grade-B horror and sci-fi films. While I share their enthusiasm for such things, I think their music is a bit too campy and cute to transmit that genre’s combination of awe, humor, and fear into the aural dimension. The basic garage pop/punk/rock songs here could benefit greatly from a more distorted guitar sound. Comes with DIY 3-D glasses.

The Acid Drops Surfin’ Prostitute Beat EP

Listening to this, one gets the impression that Australia’s ACID DROPS are trying to fuse psychedelic and CRAMPSish influences, but the results are not generally satisfying. “Rattle My Zulu” lacks the raunchiness to make for effective psychobilly, and their cover of ’60s classic “Outta Sight, Outta Mind” isn’t up to the trashy standard set by the OUTTA PLACE’s recent rendition; only the punky title track, with its snarling female vocals, really connects.

The Cunts Apocalyptic Breakfast / Turn of Night 7″

This may be the CUNTS’ best effort yet. Like YARD TRAUMA, they manage to produce an organ-based ’60s punk sound that’s simultaneously evocative and tough. Both sides here are strong, but “Apocalyptic Breakfast” is particularly impressive.

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

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

The Gonads Live: The Official Bootleg 2xLP

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

The Raped Philes ‘n’ Smiles LP

England’s glam-punkers, the RAPED, finally release an album—and it’s out five years after they wimped out and became CUDDLY TOYS. This one has a side of pile-driving ’77 punk anthems, concentrating on kinky sexual themes, and another side of fair quality live recordings taped at the Vortex in late ’77. Mandatory for aficionados of vintage UK punk.

The Replacements Let It Be LP

This varied album contains quite a few lilting acoustic tracks, some straightahead rockers, a bit of metal, and some really inspired lyrics. “We’re Coming Out” and “Favorite Thing” are exciting enough, but the remainder of this release lapses into lackluster, uninvolving pop. Severely inconsistent.

The Sears If Only… 12″

If only this wasn’t November 6th (the day before this issue goes to press and, coincidentally, election day in the US), maybe I’d find this British “peace punk” outfit inspiring. But it is, and as I watch Reagan taking 49 states on TV, I can’t help but wonder why the SEARS or anyone else even bothers to try to increase awareness. Unfortunately for all of us, the world doesn’t operate on the basis of morality or, indeed, rationality. Oh yeah, their music is alternately haunting and powerful, so try and ignore my pessimism.

The Vandals When In Rome Do As the Vandals LP

This spirited release contains loads of wildly satiric funnypunk, with dabblings into C&W, funky rock, and similar musical madness. A lyric sheet is desperately needed to enjoy this album (none is provided), but a few songs, like the hysterical “Mohawk Town,” provoke laughter without such assistance. In the same general mood as their debut 12”, and therefore recommendable.

The Vibes Can You Feel EP

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

The Yard Apes Neurosis / Ghost Town 7″

The YARD APES demonstrate an arty, no wavish influence on these tracks, with varying effects. “Neurosis” mines a funky-rock approach without much success, though the flip’s poppy offering qualifies as a modest foot-tapper. OK, but no big deal.

TMA What’s For Dinner LP

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

Tommy Dog In My Own Words EP

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

U-Boats Street Tough LP

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

V/A Big City Don’t Want No Pity EP

This third Big City compilation EP features solid, aggressive material by ULTRAVIOLENCE, ARMED CITIZENS, UNJUST, and in particular, NO CONTROL, who delivers a gripping mid-tempo blast reminiscent of the AVENGERS live. Some rowdy, biting material here (although some has been previously released, and all are slightly dated)—so give it a listen!

V/A Buddha Was Fat cassette

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

V/A 4 Old 7″s on a 12″ LP

So you’ve been crawling up the walls trying to get these classic 7” EP’s, paying five times the original price for a copy, and now here it is for you all to experience. These are the roots of the original DC sound, with the TEEN IDLES (with Jeff and Ian of MINOR THREAT), S.O.A. (with Henry of BLACK FLAG), GOVERNMENT ISSUE, and YOUTH BRIGADE (not the LA variety ; this one had Bert of DOUBLE O/SECOND WIND) in their debut EP’s. Still classics, and should be part of your collection!

V/A A Midnight Christmas Mess LP

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

V/A Texacore 1 cassette

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

V/A Revenge of the Killer Pussies LP

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

V/A Beating the Meat LP

Welcome to the X-Centric Noise Cassettes’ “greatest hits” LP—all their best stuff grooved into a fiery wax platter. Many of your favorites first appeared thru X-Centric, and now you can experience the storming energy of TERVEET KÄDET, UPRIGHT CITIZENS, NEOS, HUVUDTVÄTT, OLHO SECO, PROTEST, RATTUS, POWERAGE, CÓLERA, CULT MANIAX, and more. For fanatic and neophyte alike. Support Shesk’s efforts (he’s helped popularize international music for years) and help keep that energy flowing.

V/A Bullshit Detector Three 2xLP

41 underground acts delivering the message of peace and their anger about the corrosion of society. A variety of musical styles, ranging from readings and folk to punk. Loud and aggressive, it carries it all and holds strong. The poster cover features an informative segment on each artist’s lyrics and beliefs. As the cover states, “Don’t expect music when the melody is anger, when the message sings defiance.” With a haunting illo by Naomi!

V/A Two Ninety Nine LP

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

V/A Goot From the Boot LP

Here we have a new Italian compilation distinguished by its diversity and general quality. The “green side” features a few experimental punk bands (GREY SHADOW, NOISENOISENOISE, and MIND) that illuminate some paths that can be taken out of the generic morass “hardcore” often finds itself in; they adopt unusual structures without losing bite and guitar power (except maybe MIND). The “orange side” features somewhat more conventional punk and thrash groups (CANI, JUGGERNAUT, and PUTRID FEVER), and one rhythmic synth duo (FUNNY FASHION).

V/A Hardcore Unlawful Assembly LP

Another savage onslaught of that brutal Japanese hardcore. Featuring those masters of growling ferocity, GISM, with two power-crazed cuts. OUTO speeds rapidly with harsh vocals. BAWS come off as an aggressive COCKNEY REJECTS, with lots of chants and Oi stylings. ZOUO plunge into some metallic pieces like a young GISM, with lots of effects. LAUGHIN’ NOSE strikes with a melodic punk appeal, like current YOUTH BRIGADE numbers. MOBS is GISM Jr.—grinding, growling, with all that iron grit edge. COBRA hits with some early garagy punk sounds. And LIP CREAM charges forth with some manic thrash assaults, fast and furious. A great compilation where most songs are longer than what’s in “fashion.” Thanks, Hannah!

V/A Hauptkampflinie cassette

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

V/A La Notte Dell’Anarchia cassette

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

V/A Noget På Dansk EP

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

V/A Primitive Air-Raid LP

An excellent cross-section of Montreal-area bands, most of which haven’t released any vinyl before. From the thrash of DIRECT ACTION and NO POLICY to the chunky pop-punk of the NILS to AMERICAN DEVICES’ weird, rockin’ stuff to fast punk by GENETIC CONTROL, the ABSURDS, and FAIR WARNING to the garage punk of PORCELAIN FOREHEAD to MORBID FIRE’s experimental garage thrash, this album provides listening enjoyment. The only musical letdowns are art- damaged numbers by ≠ and IAGO NEON. The ASEXUALS, on the other hand, provide the lyrical low-point with their imbecilic pro-contra chant; their line “political morons without a fucking clue” must be autobiographical, since they apparently know nothing about Nicaragua, American foreign policy, or the circle-A which they employ in their moniker.

V/A Rullustiginn cassette

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

Wulpse Varkens Tot Ergernis van Velen EP

The debut EP from this Belgian band proves to be a fairly innovative thrash-oriented release. Rather than conforming to expectations, DE WULPSE VARKENS occasionally confound with an odd fusion of modern hardcore elements. It’s hard to describe exactly how they’re different, but it has something to do with their combination of intensity and sudden musical shifts. Worthwhile.

X Mother / Halfway ‘Round the World 7″

This X is from Australia, and may have actually preceded the well-known LA group. On this new release, “Mother” is an overlong, unnecessary version of John Lennon’s old song, but the flip is a driving number with some super-penetrating bass runs, a loud guitar, and lots of overall power. It’s a killer track that alone makes this 45 worth picking up.