Reviews

MRR #38 • July 1986

Agnostic Front Cause for Alarm LP

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.

Antiseptic First-Last EP

Muscle-driven power charging with a raw horsepower of intensity. Heavy riffs with a deep, growling voice to raunch the chaotic bites down. Metallic string bits whine out to break the pace as the momentum is a strong medium thrash blast. Well-structured musical attacks work extremely well in the tradition of ZOUO and GISM, as this Japanese depth-charge outfit grins with mayhem. Rave.

Blue Room The Wages of Fear 12″

Blues overtones are what make these five songs great. “Hard on You” is a rockin’ PAGANS-style song, while “Played to Death” is loping, sleazy blues. “Call of the Wild” has a ska beat that turns into a knockout rocker. And nowhere except maybe KILLDOZER have I heard a vocalist like this. They’re hot.

Broken Bones Bonecrusher LP

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.

Calvingrad 1. 2. 3. 4. Salopard Sur Ton Char Leopard cassette

Strange. This is a mixed bag of boppy B-52’S-ish tunes, spaced-out post-punk, and Saturday morning cartoon music, all accented by a twangy hyperspace guitar sound and echoing sing-along vocals. Although the songs drag on a little too long, this comes across pretty well for what it is.

CCCP Fedeli Alla Linea 1964-1985 Affinità-Divergenze Fra Il Compagno Togliatti E Noi Del Conseguimento Della Maggiore Età LP

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.

Confuse Contempt for the Authority and Take Off the Lie EP

The number one pick of all the Japanese mayhem depth-charge bands, this group stops at nothing to deliver the finest in roaring chaos and unrelenting speed. This is their second release and the buzzsawing guitar sounds grind with a feverous smile as a booming drum-blast sounds the alarm. Rips the flesh off your face with sonic overture. 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.

Disaccord Total Mayhem & Chaos cassette

A fitting title for this live tape, considering the noisy production that stifles this Swedish outfit’s performance. Their BROKEN BONES/DISCHARGE attack, complete with anti-war lyrics, is hot, but the recording detracts a lot. Hit or miss.

Disarray In Search of the Miraculous EP

Rapid cranks of lethal choice cuts, pushing a fast rhythmic sound headlong into one of disorder plunging in a few wailing whines. Harsh vocals dominate over a guitar-oriented sound that kicks in for some running speed. Another hot Japanese second release that is more than a cleaver to the senses.

Dorian Gray 1986 A.D. EP

This band is similar to a MINUTEMEN without fleshed-out arrangements: the bass and drums interplay while sung vocals drone over all six songs on this EP. With more energy or musical invention, this could have been intriguing. As it is, I had the feeling of incompleteness.

Dr. Bombay Bound and Gagged / Alone for You 7″

Great noisy record with former members of SIC KIDZ. CRAMPS meet GUN CLUB with swirling sheets of guitar distortion. The flip is not as great, but it’s hard to match the aggression of the first track. Interesting.

Dream Police In Combat EP

After a six-year layoff, this Danish combo presents four tunes in a quintessentially “rockin’” mode—and I mean it. Guitar leads about over mid-tempo metallish guitar riffs, and although there is a punkish power in the songs, all four tunes here are clearly “rock.” Quite unlike JOHNNY CONCRETE’s previous efforts, and basically OK for what it’s doing.

Fuck Geez Here’s the Fuck Geez パンク·ロックで埋めつくせ!! EP

Straightforward Japanese punk that holds a raw, powerful sound and good, pulsating beats in a moving fashion. Tick-tocking action as snare and bass hit the savage pace, with stops and metallic kerrangs. Fun, enjoyable music that comes with English translated lyrics, and the first couple hundred have a free flexi. Choice!

Gastunk The Vanishing Signs 12″

Wild, heavy grinding through some forceful steel punches with solid energy making tight musical compositions. Baki’s vocals are even better than ever as his voice changes for each melody with all the soulful crooning to make it really work. GASTUNK’s fifth release continues the fine sound they have now popularized, leading the way for Japanese speedcore!

Group of Individuals World Civil War / Police Beat 7″

This is a benefit single for the International Haymarket (May Day) gathering in Chicago and is decidedly anarchist, freedom-fighting, and information-oriented. I think that describing the melodic, punchy songs would minimize the amount of info and sincerity involved here. I’m overjoyed that people are still putting out records to inform and communicate.

Gudon 残忍聖者 flexi EP

Complete noise mayhem beyond belief with gruanched-out vocals over a mad guitar strumming full of feedback and splattering distortion. Splashing cymbals give the pace. An adventurous thrash barrage as the musicians have gone bonkers. Wild and truly just out of the asylum.

Juggernaut Juggernaut LP

This Italian outfit displays a power not unlike bands like BIG BLACK and NAKED RAYGUN, with its rich guitar sound and mid-tempo hardcore energy. The commitment to gutsy, disciplined playing really pays off too; this debut LP is entirely assured—and the individual tunes, all finely produced, do stand out after multiple listenings.

Jungle Studs Jungle Studs LP

This is a side-project with various members of the DKs, FLIPPER, and SLUGLORDS. That’s probably the only reason for buying this mess. Basically, real dopey, hokey male bravado rock and funk—something like RICK JAMES playing with GRAND FUNK RAILROAD. Punker beware.

Junk Schizo Pity to the Ignorant EP

This second EP from JUNK SCHIZO presents still more of the same driving, raging hardcore with “Black and Red,” but moves into other directions with the remaining three tracks. A pretty good EP, but probably not up to their debut in terms of energy. Good production.

Mod Fun Dorothy’s Dream LP

This pop/psych band from Jersey always had the knack for going right up the edge of wimpiness without falling in. This has catchy harmonies, nice melodies, and lots of influences from the ’60s—namely ZOMBIES and early STONES. Nice second LP.

New Rose Circus of the Human Race EP

Melodic rockish pop is NEW ROSE’s stock-in-trade, and the slow-to-mid-tempo tunes on this release show fair promise. “Run for Cover” is upbeat and pleasant, and at least two of the other four tunes show an adeptness for very understated hooks and adequate songwriting. No great revelation, but OK.

No Allegiance Mad LP

From the ashes of PORNO PATROL comes this full-force four-piece that holds back on nothing. A great combination of abrasive vocals (in English) and high power thrash, German-style. The lyrics are clear, angry, and rebellious, and enhanced by shouting choruses. Loud and powerful.

Oi Polloi Resist the Atomic Menace EP

Blazing, hard-hitting guitar thrash from the long-time Scottish band. Five songs that do their best to break walls by the use of the band’s loud, powerful 3D music combined with gravelly vocals. Definitely active in more ways than one!

Out of Order Paradise Lost LP

Hard and fast and in your face. Great big thunderous sound with maniacal gravel-style vocals. All this is coupled with very good musical ideas that keep away from the boring tried-and-true riffs. Excellent debut record.

Outo Half Wit Life EP

A supreme invasion of grinding feedback rammed with chunky distortion from the Osaka havoc masters of Japan. This fabulous second release thrusts all the chaos into a noisy thrasherpiece as the thrills are non-stop pushing the ears thru the glass and ripping the skull to shreds. Deep, raw non-hesitant jumps into the speed realm of ultramania.

Ramones Animal Boy LP

This album pushes the RAMONES’ style into catchy, straight-ahead HC (which they manage to do better than the vast majority of bands going), with a smattering of rockin’ pop (which has been their forte for a while now). This is another extraordinary RAMONES LP (nothing but great cuts here), and it’s about time we all recognized that they’re the great American band.

Raw Power After Your Brain LP

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.

Satanic Malfunctions Who Wants the World EP

Maniac speedcore terror bursts out with a garage sound, loud and raucous, as the momentum files with energy. Intelligent lyrical content is shouted amongst a wall of chaotic aggression in this split-second delivery of ultra-fast combustion. Not since the NEOS has a band shot it all into the fire with a continual non-stop pace.

Scraps Apartheid EP

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.

Skeezicks There’s a Charlie Brown in Everyone of Us EP

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.

Terveet Kädet The Horse LP

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…)

The Afflicted Good News About Mental Health LP

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.

The Celibate Rifles 6 Days on the Road / Groupie Girl 7″

We missed this one the first time around, and it’s another first-rate single by one of Australia’s leading rock outfits. The JOHNNY CASH title tune is catchy and fun, and despite a fair flip, this one recalls the better rockin’ material from this country.

The Damned New Rose 12″

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.

The Leather Nun Gimme Gimme Gimme / Lollipop 7″

An ABBA cover. Well, if anyone can pull it off, I suppose LEATHER NUN can. Actually, it’s great—their powerful, sleazy, pop punch comes right through and the B-side is a great dirge, too.

The Micronotz 40 Fingers LP

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.

The Nikoteens Slamdance Party Vol. 3 LP

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.

The Primitives Thru the Flowers 12″

Imagine the catchy, female-vocal guitar pop of the SHOP ASSISTANTS melded with the simple song structures of the RAMONES, and you end up with something that sounds like this excellent release. Four songs, all snappy and memorable, with hooks galore. A complete surprise!

The Shower Scene From Psycho Exploding Hits 12″

I don’t know where these characters come from, but what we have here are six innovative cover versions (with great femme vocals) of classics like “Purple Haze,” Georgy Girl,” and “One (Is the Loneliest Number).” Strong guitars and semi-tasteful use of effects make this one a winner. Completely hilarious.

The Soup Dragons Whole Wide World / I Know Everything 7″

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.”

The Subhumans Incorrect Thoughts LP

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.

The Untold Fables Every Mother’s Nightmare LP

Debut LP from this LA fuzz band who takes more than just a nod from the early PRETTY THINGS sound. Still, it’s better than the MORLOCKS but not as good as the CHESTERFIELD KINGS. And that’s a pretty good place to be. Cool snotty vocals.

Toxik Ephex Punk as Fuck EP

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.

Trotskids A Mort! A Fond!! LP

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.

UK Subs Left for Dead: Alive in Holland ’86 cassette

While this live tape (recorded in Holland, ’86) doesn’t pack the punch of a bunch of adolescent loonies, the upbeat mid-tempo sing-along punk showcased here is pretty impressive, even by modern standards. SUBS fans will definitely dig this.

Uzi Sleep Asylum 12″

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.

V/A Exposure to Conviction cassette

A good introduction to today’s up-and-coming hardcore bands (most from the US), though a few lack in the innovation department. The emphasis is on thrash and speedcore, and the MAIMED FOR LIFE and LUDICHRIST cuts really caught my ear. Great effort.

V/A Lethal Noise cassette

An hour of some of the best old and new talent from the Bay Area, including SHORT DOGS GROW, CLOWN ALLEY, VICTIMS FAMILY, RHYTHM PIGS, plus many, many more. Mostly from demo tapes, it’s overall a good sampler of what the Bay Area has to offer. Booklet included.

V/A Positively United cassette

A thrashaholic’s dream come true, with 17 bands blaring through two to four quick songs each. While some cuts fall into that dreaded generic category, the EXCEL, CLOWN ALLEY, and BORN WITHOUT A FACE material is worth the price alone. Hot tape!

V/A That Was Then… This Is Now! EP

Four songs from four Philly standouts, including RUIN, ELECTRIC LOVE MUFFIN, SCRAM, and FOD. Each band holds their own creative ground that challenges the listener. Some noise thrash, post-punk, reggae, world beat—it’s all here, and all four songs support a hard edge. Well put together musical document.

V/A Woodshock 85 2xLP

Double-LP that documents a big Austin music festival with bands like the OFFENDERS, POISON 13, HICKOIDS, NOT FOR SALE, and more. It’s a good record—just kind of hard to sit through the whole thing—like Woodstock, I guess.

V/A A Farewell to Arms LP

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.

V/A Emma 2xLP

Emma is a squat/rehearsal/recording studio/concert hall in Amsterdam that is run by and for bands and fans. This double-LP not only comes with a complete description of Emma’s intent and a booklet by the bands, but lots of music that’s been performed live an in the studio there. Thirty international bands in varying styles and recording quality. There is literally something for everybody here divided by sides: hardcore, pop, post-punk, noise, etc. They’re an example to us all.

V/A Gadael Yr Ugienfed Ganrif LP

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.

V/A Raw Cuts, Volume Two: Swedish Beat LP

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.

V/A Varning for Os, Vol. 2 cassette

Eight bands, mostly murky sound, mostly thrash stuff. Standouts for me were the spastic psychotic thrash of BRAIN DEATH and DISACCORD, who spreads thick swirls of distorted guitar on an early-DISCHARGE base.

Vale of Tears Betrayal EP

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.

Violent Children Rock Against Spindlers cassette

Strong thrash similar to the older Boston bands. The lyrics cover straight edge, unity, and personal politics, as is expected with this genre. Although the guitar acrobatics get on my nerves, they do mosh! Contains their EP, plus new material.

Wasted Youth Get Out of My Yard 12″

At six songs, it’s kind of skimpy for an LP but still a pretty good return to form from this early California punk band. Only one original member, but that shouldn’t distract you from rocking out this nifty little slamfest—for fans of VANDALS, MAD PARADE, and SOCIAL D.

White Flag Zero Hour LP

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.

Wipers Land of the Lost LP

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.

Yo Once in a Blue Moon LP

These rockin’ folksters are back, and while just as endearing as ever, there’s a bit more of a challenge involved here. But musically, they’ve included lots of technical and instrumental variations by using horns, mandolin, violin, and lap steel, to name a few. YO are different than any other band, and I’m sure this one will grow on me as has every other record they’ve done.