Reviews

Touch and Go

Angry Red Planet Gawkers Paradise EP

While their debut EP borrowed more heavily from early punk and basic thrash, this follow-up has ANGRY RED PLANET joining the burgeoning ranks of “early HÜSKER DÜ”-sounding hands. Actually, they also sound like latter-day HÜSKERS, with Bob Mould-type guitar and much poppier tunes.

Blight The Dream Was Dead EP

The long-awaited release by an inactive band featuring Steve Miller—ex-FIX guitarist—and dear ol’ Tesco (MEATMEN), getting down and dirty in a slow, noisy, art-damaged, and—dare I suggest—FLIPPERish drone with the purity of true nihilists. I find it a little refreshing in a musical sense, and a fine way to start my day if I don’t want to get out of bed.

Butthole Surfers Psychic… Powerless… Another Man’s Sac LP

Touch & Go is on a real winning streak here, what with the DIE KREUZEN LP, and now this. By now, most people know how dynamically weird the BUTTHOLES are, so I’ll skip the intros and just say check these walking, talking Texas nightmares out…dudes.

Butthole Surfers Rembrandt Pussyhorse LP

I’ve thought the BUTTHOLES’ records frankly variable in quality to this point, but I am really enthusiastic about this one. More subdued than usual, at times boasting a pounding backbeat, this is their first attempt at “acid pop”—and it’s a real breakthrough. Absolutely fascinating from song to song. Get it.

Die Kreuzen Die Kreuzen LP

This is fucking great! This is fucking great! This is fucking great! This is fucking great! This is fucking great! This is fucking great! This is fucking great! This is fucking great! This is fucking great! This is fucking great! This is fucking great! This is fucking great!

Die Kreuzen October File LP

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

Flesh Columns Schweigew Vor Dem Sturm EP

Buzzsaw fuzzed-out guitars, pounding tom-toms, nimble bass playing, echoey singing, slightly metallish arrangements, and “destroy the system” lyrics characterize the first release by this Windsor, Ontario band. Most of the songs are more punk than thrash, though the tempos do pick up at times. This record has a ’78 feel to it, which makes it a nice alternative.

Killdozer Snakeboy LP

While this album has all the nervous energy of their Intellectuals Are the Shoeshine Boys LP, they’ve now progressed to a nice healthy psychotic rasp that mixes the best parts of the BUTTHOLES and the BIRTHDAY PARTY. Not to be confused with KILLDOZER 85.

L-Seven Insanity EP

The first release on a Touch and Go subsidiary label (Special Forces) that apparently will not be restricted to hardcore punk. Detroit’s L-SEVEN has a unique neo-psychedelic sound that features an exceptionally fluid, almost jazzy guitar style. It works especially well on “Clear Visions,” which begins with an annoying sort of art damage before kicking into high gear. Interesting.

Meatmen Blood Sausage EP

Garage punk at its finest. Only someone as smart as Touch and Go fanzine editor Tesco Vee could be responsible for something this trashy. With its gritty sound and themes like infanticide, repressed sexuality, and Beatlephobia, this EP is guaranteed to offend anyone with a speck of decency, so buy two and send one to the moral puritan of your choice. Me, I’m sending a copy to Senator Jesse Helms (R-North Carolina).

Meatmen Crippled Children Suck EP

Once again, the MEATMEN have managed to provoke “orgasms” of laughter. The same scrungy guitar and chaotic garage approach that stood out on their classic debut serve to propel these here garish songs about a variety of sexual hang-ups. It might be offensive if it weren’t so damn funny, and even though Tesco’s member shrivels up every time he thinks about “human rights” punks at MRR, we still like the silly savage.

Meatmen We’re the Meatmen… And You Suck! LP

I don’t share Jeff’s fascination with scatological humor, but I really do like the music here. Side one is a remixed and remastered version of their Blud Sausage EP, and it’s powerful as hell. The other side, which features live cuts, is also of superior production quality. All in all, not bad for an “old man” like Tesco.

Necros Conquest for Death / Take ‘Em Up 7″

“Conquest for Death” is a raw uncontrollable rage of rambunctious combustion. A fast, forceful frantically paced flailing stormer against competitive nature. An outrageous single venture before they release the upcoming LP.

Necros Conquest for Death LP

A very strong new release from Ohio’s NECROS. This album contains a few slow-fast metallic numbers; the rest consists of power-charged thrashers, including a remix of “Police Brutality” from their long-out-of-print debut EP. I don’t understand why Barry devoted so much lyrical attention to petty in-scene squabbles when he’s obviously capable of writing highly intelligent critiques with broader themes (like the title track), but this record should nevertheless appeal to all fans of forceful hardcore. Way cool!

Negative Approach Can’t Tell No One EP

Another Touch & Go Midwest classic along the lines of the FIX and the NECROS. All then songs are manic, even when they aren’t totally fast, but, uh… the lyrics will make you understand their name, because they’re sick sick sick of all this pressure pressure pressure or something something something.

Negative Approach Tied Down LP

This NEGATIVE APPROACH album has a slicker and much more powerful sound than their debut EP, but their music still has that blend of rousing thrash and Oi choruses which makes you want to sing along. The gruff vocals are distinctive, the lyrics are unexpectedly decent, and many of the songs are strong (including thrashers like “Live Your Life” and the title cut, and tension-builders such as the re-recorded version of “Nothing”). Although there are also a couple of losers (like the heavy metallish “Evacuate”), this is a very good record overall.

Tesco Vee Dutch Hercules 12″

Well, the newest TESCO VEE affair is predictably centered around “offensive” themes, including satires dealing with lesbians (“Lesbian Death Dirge”), television, evangelists (“God’s Bullies”), heavy metal goons (“Wine, Wenches, and Wheels”), new wave dance trendies (SLY’s “Dance to the Music”), and the rap phenomenon (“Crapper’s Delight”). The latter three cuts feature music related to their respective themes, whereas the first two have more of a garagey Meatmen approach. Entertaining as all get out!

V/A God’s Favorite Dog LP

Jesus…a sheer noise museum here with previously unreleased tracks by BIG BLACK (sounding strangely like the FALL), HAPPY FLOWERS (very twisted noise), HOSE, KILLDOZER, SCRATCH ACID, and the BUTTHOLE SURFERS (with plenty of horns—jazz damage?). Horrible cover, but this is one comp I find myself returning to over and over.