Reviews

MRR #20 • December 1984

17 Pygmies Jedda by the Sea LP

Some people and songs from SAVAGE REPUBLIC here, but in a different direction. 17 PYGMIES are quieter (even mystical) on this musical trip to Israel. Like SAVAGE REPUBLIC, a knowledge and love of ethnic music from all over the world comes through. At times, they sound like a Herzog soundtrack. I guess if you like BAUHAUS and their ilk you may like this, but there’s no inherent doom and gloom here.

Ad Nauseam No Mercy cassette

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

Bannlyst / Angor Wat split cassette

ANGOR WAT alternate between a heavy, powerful post-punk sound and excellent, powerful thrash—both coming off excellently (especially on the studio tracks…the live are weaker). BANNLYST have a more metal sound, with some pop sensibilities, reminding me a bit of some Japanese stuff I’ve heard lately, especially in the ultra- gruff vocals. Both bands are hot!

Articles of Faith Give Thanks LP

Although their compositions are longer than those of most contemporary thrash outfits, ARTICLES OF FAITH employ a fine sense of drama to create extraordinary tension within their songs. A screaming guitar sound, impassioned vocals, and their sheer velocity make for some great moments of noise and music, particularly on the pile-driver “American Dreams.” Of course, this is mandatory.

Asbestos Rockpyle Dying of Cancer cassette

The stark, discordant post-punk on this cassette LP epitomizes the rebellious, satiric, and occasionally infuriating music of ASBESTOS ROCKPYLE. The compositions utilize slower tempos with mixed results; but when the vitriolic lyrics and music conjoin (as on “DC Deadcore”) the results are close to magic. Unusual.

Baby Opaque Pain, Fears, and Insects EP

BABY OPAQUE kicks up a dust-cloud of guitar and drums in a style that reminds me somewhat of mid-period UK DECAY, but with an added dimension of accessibility. The five songs here, which address themes of alienation, contain twisted guitar riffing, though my favorite is the spare pop number “Blue Crimson.” Quite out of the ordinary.

Black Flag Family Man LP

Side one of this rather strange release contains a brace of spoken word recordings by BLACK FLAG, only one of which is graced by an instrumental backdrop, and most of which are OK as novelties. Side two has four metal-punk instrumentals, none of which are even passable. You have to be a pretty desperate BLACK FLAG fan to want to buy this LP.

Blight Chapter II cassette

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

Burning Image The Final Conflict / Burning Image, Burning 7″

Every once in a while, someone comes out of nowhere that doesn’t sound like anybody else. There are “Bat Cave” overtones here, but the music pile-drives along with ten times the balls of any SISTERS OF SEX SPECIMEN. The artwork is pretty deadly as well. If you’re lucky, their guitarist might send you a demented chalk sketch or two.

Chaos UK Short Sharp Shock LP

Yo to Chaos and the gang. This album tears me flesh away and sends shivers up the spine as that raw, unrelenting sound of CHAOS UK squeezes me brain boggen in sheer utter delight. Even though this is a new line-up (except Chaos on bass), the intensity and drive that charges forth is mayhemic insanity. In all of the punk globe, only two bands exist that put forth this burly sound, and both are from the same town. Yea, it’s great!

Christmas Ballad of the Invisible Girl / Wilhelm Reich 7″

CHRISTMAS area fun thrash-pop trio who love their rock ’n’ roll. Hardcore no, but thrash, yes. (Is there a difference yet, Tim?) “Ballad” has a wild country kick to it, and “Wilhelm” sounds a bit like MISSION OF BURMA. But believe me, folks, I’ve seen ’em and this disc is just the top of the iceberg. Hot damn iceberg!

Cult Maniax The Amazing Adventures of Johnny the Duck and the Bath Time Blues 12″

The title track of this five-track EP is a sedate dose of riffy funnypunk, but the only song here that shows any life is the fast rocker “Maniax.” While the compositions on this 12” delve into a Brit-punk style of a less-than-generic sort, I found myself pining for the CULT MANIAX of a long time ago. Tiresome.

Danielle Dax Jesus Egg That Wept LP

Women are created equal, and they are capable of parallel performance in any of 1000 arenas. Therefore, add to the list the gal here on the outer reaches of sanity. A truly bizarre platter incorporating various and sundry obvious influences. But, I am gasping, “A woman can do anything” (underneath my breath) as I drag my cigarette and flip this over for another spin.

Deadless Muss Rise Against 8″ flexi

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

Der Durstige Mann Bier Nix Gut! 7″

Leader Eric Hysteric claims the most revelatory moment in his life was when he heard the GERMS’ “Forming.” He proceeded to pump out some of the trashiest, most barbarically brilliant stuff with his original band VOMIT VISIONS, on his own, and with his new assemblage. Here these guys are really sounding slick enough to enter the world of commercial jingles and the like. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still boss (the bossest).

Devestation Drag You Down EP

This is a marvelous and thoroughly uncharacteristic British garage punk record. It’s not really good in any technical or musical sense, and that’s precisely why I like it. DEVASTATION create a fearsome ruckus with ultra-distorted, medium-speed drones punctuated at various points by primitive, out-of-tune leads. Not for musicians….which is fine by me.

Disrupters Playing With Fire LP

The DISRUPTERS continue their treatment of fascinating lyric themes with their second LP, but the music is considerably less impressive. The plodding tempos and sluggish guitarwork impart a certain lethargy to the song structures, which mine a basic Brit-punk influence. “Surfshock” qualifies as a pleasantly abrasive, mid-tempo rocker.

Down Syndrome Other Ways EP

Whoaa! A mighty impressive debut EP by this Edmonton punk outfit. The mid- to fast-tempo material here far surpasses their earlier cuts on the Innerspace compilation. With its skads of guitar power, strong tunes, tasteful lead parts, and intelligent lyrics, I can’t think of any reason not to scarf this fucker up.

Dumptruck D is for Dumptruck LP

Don’t be fooled by their title—they’re pretty cool. They remind me of early TELEVISION and DB’S pop, but without any love songs. I can’t call it neo-psych because it’s not ’60s-ish and they don’t rewrite Sam Shepard plays for songs. It’s real good.

Einstürzende Neubauten 2×4 cassette

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

English Dogs To the Ends of the Earth 12″

Yowsaaah! You say ENGLISH DOGS equals GBH clones, a ho-hum mucacho. You ain’t heard this! Blisters with speedcore franticness, mean with whining licks as it kicks into a maniac pace. Well-organized melodies that cry out in terrorizing metallic thrash. While some bands are trying to be metal, ENGLISH DOGS are just the dawning of speedcore. Put that on again, chalk one up for Rot!

F.V.K. Who’s Your Friend? cassette

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

False Confession Left to Burn EP

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

Fixed Up Fixed Up LP

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

G-Zet 99 Sheeps 12″

Maniacal Japanese speedcore with a lot of bass, driving some outrageous power to the forefront with a mayhemic beat. Metallic guitar riffs, garroting drum pulsations, and that sonic bass blistering. Both songs are instrumentals and each has its own charisma, nothing lost without the vocals.

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

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

Half Japanese Our Solar System LP / Sing No Evil LP

1/2 JAPANESE have been around since the mid-’70s and they still sound like a garage band. They’ve created a romantic jungle planet. Our Solar System is raw and crazy, and makes you sing along, while Sing No Evil is slicker and R’n’B-ish; it’s their Exile on Main Street. There’s also a new JAD FAIR solo record with the VELVET UNDERGROUND’s Mo Tucker on drums available by mail. If you’re in the mood for a V.U. record and want some fun, play these.

Ill Repute Halloween Live EP

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

Ingron Hutlös Necrophilian Hits EP

Uh-oh, Swedish thrash madness strikes hard here. Wild and grinding, with a Japanese speedcore flavor to it. Outrageous stuff, with crazy vocal antics and lots of laughter and wicked thrills to bend your brain at. Yes, this has potential; blasts the wax right out those ears. INGRON HUTLOS is a name to remember.

Ism Constantinople 12″

Always turning out interesting slabs, this four-song job contains two originals and two covers (RESIDENTS and FUGS). All are creative, with a variety of sounds ranging from crypto to country blues to folk bizarro. Only “Get Real Loose” is a real rocker, but even it isn’t in their previous sometimes-thrash mold.

Kina Nessuno Schema Nella Mia Vita cassette

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

Kor-Phu Kor-Phu LP

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

Kraut Whetting the Scythe 12″

While this mini-LP boasts considerably more production finesse than past efforts, the songs by and large didn’t grab me. KRAUT use metal and punk power-chord figures with skill and taste—yet, it’s difficult to pick out a single memorable track here, or anything even remotely along the lines of past greats like “Bogus” or “Kill for Cash.” Disappointing.

Laughin’ Nose Laughin’ Nose LP

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

Legionaires Disease Placebo World EP

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

Marlene Foreman / Killing Your Soul 7″

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

Newtown Neurotics Suzi 12″

The NEWTOWN NEUROTICS again display their complete command of the ’77-style punk style with these three highly melodic up-tempo bursts. “Suzi” qualifies as a finely honed bit of pop-punk in the best English tradition, and the two songs on the flip are almost up to the same standard. Is this band capable of putting out a bad record? No.

Outo Many Question Poison Answer EP

Graunched out growlings that spit out the tonsils are the focus of this Japanese power unit that pours out the distortion and whining feedback. Speed and chaos in the vein of DISORDER/CHAOS UK, with thumping bass ferocity that will erupt your senses with this intense barrage. OUTO has a pile-driving, no-holds-barred approach to chaotic madness, your ears will never be the same.

Pushtwangers Pushtwangers mini-LP

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

Pyhät Nuket Bella Ciao / Unelma 7″

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

Resistance 77 Thoroughbred Men LP

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

Richard Hell R.I.P. cassette

This fascinating document covers the career of RICHARD HELL from his early work with the HEARTBREAKERS in 1975 through various incarnations of the VOIDOIDS. Mostly studio material with a smattering of live recordings, there’s some first rate stuff here, much of it previously unreleased. Fans of RICHARD HELL and seminal US punk would be well-advised to get this one.

Riot/Clone Blood on Your Hands? EP

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

Sangre de Puerco Cheezy Dogs cassette

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

Skull Duggery Headlock LP

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

Slovenly Even So 12″

It’s unfair to compare a very original band to another just to help explain their sound. But I will. A little like the MINUTEMEN, but fuller and less manic; a little like the FALL, too. The lyrics are offbeat and are used more for sound/mood than message. Most of them used to be a band called TOXIC SHOCK.

Sotlimpa A Non Fitting Generation 12″

Up-tempo hardcore with catchy rhythms from Sweden’s SOTLIMPA. Driving pace but it keeps the harmony and beat. Fun, dancable stuff. Too bad it’s a muddy mix; still, you’ll never know as you fly with the music.

Star Club Hello New Punks LP

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

Stisism Introducing… Stisism EP

Yet another new band on the Mutha label. STISISM have a chunky, mid-tempo punk attack with a PISTOL-ian feel. The vocals have pronounced ’77 inflections, the sound is raw and garagy, and there’s more than enough belligerence to go around. Highly recommended.

Stress State of Decay cassette

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

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

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

The Accursed Laughing at You LP

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

The Clay The Middle East Combat Area EP

Gut-crunching power thrusts a titanic wallop as the CLAY do their brand of Japanese hardcore. Fast, with enjoyable chord changes and strong leads, has metallic edges broken in with thrash punches; still, it screams with incredible bursts of energy. Potent lyrics on the political side. This is tasteful and scorches. Be sure to get this!

The Execute Criminal Flowers EP

Ramcharging ferocity from Japan. Wild distorted guitar howls, punching out sonic rage, fierce power with scowling vocals. Intense stuff, quick with crazed leads. “Criminal Flowers” features some eerie abrasive melodies with booming front-running beat. EXECUTE hold their own without a repititious cycle. By far my fave Japanese band.

The Fall The Wonderful and Frightening World of the Fall LP

There’s three new records by these guys, and it’s all like this LP. They’re faster and funnier than ever. Mark Smith maintains his tradition of never really “singing” the songs. They confidently thwart trends. They laugh while their peers join mindless tribes or dress up like gauchos just to get on MTV. All three records are available on one cassette.

The Homosexuals The Homosexuals’ Record LP

This is a posthumous release of demos this band recorded on cassette, so the sound quality is raw—but that doesn’t bother you. Their music is fast pop similar to the SWELL MAPS and early XTC. You can probably find some of their old singles used.

The Incubators Face to Face / The Whole World 7″

A new Chicago-area post-punk group. “Face to Face” has evocative, quasi-acoustic guitars and a magnificent break at the end; the flip is somewhat harder, and features a good, stirring chorus. Not bad at all.

The Kick Let’s Get Back Together EP

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

The March Violets Natural History LP

I feel burned, Jack, cuz three-quarters of this friggin’ thing is the old singles, and if they wanna keep breaking new ground with their collective pinkys, then my green’ll be clinging wallet-side cuz their last single sounded like fuckin’ X anyway.

The Nikoteens Hardcore Holocaust cassette

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

The Stupids Leave Your Ears Behind cassette

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

The Twisted Sheez Wycked / The Thing 7″

The TWISTED have a raw ’60s sound with psychotic vocals, a trebly, organ-based orientation, and twangy psychedelicized guitar work. “Sheez Wycked” is more demented; the flip is a spooky instrumental with human screams. Midnight does it again.

The Varukers Massacred Millions 12″

Here be the newie of the VARUKERS, sounding more like their first LP than that last blast of a speedy DISCHARGE riffs. High snare in the mix, but that doesn’t hold this back. Fast, powerful, and clean in the VARUKERS tradition, but what happened to Bruce??

The Zolge Crisis My Guest LP

Interesting sound on this ZOLGE release, ultimately using the studio (a good one) to their advantage. A wall-of-sound rock/hardcore approach with much emphasis on the exceptional vocals that have plenty of interesting effects on them. This booms with well-produced power, different and enjoyable. A one-of-a-kind sound.

Ugly Americans The Dream Turns Sour LP

This album contains a fair amount of monochromatic thrash on side one, but several tunes of the flip show that the UGLY AMERICANS have an unexpected versatility; I really enjoyed “The Bad, the Worse…” and especially “Bob’s Beach,” with its surfy overtones. The lyrics are always incisive and hard-hitting, so even though this LP is musically a mixed bag, I can recommend it without too much difficulty.

V/A Yalta Hi-Life LP

Aaa-haaa! here it is! A Finnish compilation with the best TERVEET KÄDET song yet, smokes while the stylus shoots out sparks. Great collection with KAAOS, VARAUS, APARAT, AIVOPROTESTI, KANSANTURVAMUSIIKKIKOMISSIO (say that three times…slow!). Don’t miss this!

V/A Not So Humdrum LP

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

V/A Izgubljena Alternativa cassette

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

V/A Holland Hardcore 3 cassette

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

V/A Déflagration Vol. 1 cassette

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

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

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

V/A Objekt No. 2 cassette

An eclectic conglomerate of obtuse sound and vision, some of it extraordinary, some self-indulgent grunt, but that’s the case with all compilations in this genre. It’s refreshing to see Americans pumping out intensity of this nature. This is quite similar in approach and content to the Rising from the Red Sand series from England, although the sound here is much better. Highly recommended.

V/A Shoot ‘Em All cassette

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

V/A Have a Rotten Christmas LP

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

V/A Four on 4 EP

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

V/A Desperate Teenage Lovedolls LP

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

V/A Back From the Grave, Vol. 4 LP

More primitive ’60s punk from pimply faced pubescents who couldn’t attract a “gurl” if their lives depended on it. And it’s a damn good thing, too, or they wouldn’t have been mad enough to produce these raunchy misogynistic rants. Almost everything here is primo stuff, maaaan, but I especially dig the CYCLONES, RED BEARD & THE PIRATES, the HALLMARKS, and the AZTEX. Can’t wait for future volumes.

V/A Attack of the Jersey Teens LP

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

Vietkong Vietkong LP

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

White Boy Poker Chips / How Safe Are You 7″

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

White Flag Third Strike LP

Whatever one might think of WHITE FLAG’s attitudes—and I think they’re about as infantile as they come—it can’t be denied that they’ve managed to put out another fine album. Like the first, this one combines lots of power, imagination, and humor (some of which is purely unintentional). Musically, there’s some fast stuff, some slower stuff, some metal, and some weird shit. The kind of record you can close your mind and happily march off a cliff to.

Zerstörte Jugend Zerstörte Jugend LP

Blows an outrageous stack of volcanic thrash with fast-paced rhythms, steadfast with abrasive vocals and good guitar licks. This German outfit storms wildly with ten lightning-paced maniac doses that forcefully house an abundant source of energy and aggression. One of the best speedcore releases to some out of Deutschland since INFERNO and the MALINHEADS. Really good.

Zyklome A Made in Belgium LP

Belgian speedcore at its finest! Fast, electrifying guitar laced with quick drumming and hi-hat smashings. Rapid vocals keep the pace moving at 1000 RPM as ZYKLOME A roars through one besetment to the next blast. This is crazed and frenzied, and put out on the Punk Etc. label. Another European release to sit up and take notice of. It has scorching potential.

Zynthslakt Spray På En Vägg 12″ EP

ZYNTHSLAKT on this solo release pushes forth a full aggressive punk flavor. This Swedish ensemble hits with some hard-hitting blows, using raw guitar and drum mixtures with harmonious vocals, a little say, and just pure driving energy.