Reviews

Modern Method

Band 19 Dictate 12″

A frustrating record. This is the same band that’s on the Mr. Beautiful comp, and their style is a sharp guitar/pop/garage sound that, at least here, manages to waste most of their good ideas by wimping out on vocals. There’s a live track here with a nice harsh guitar sound that gives you a taste of their real strength.

DYS DYS LP

Well…forewarned is forearmed. So beware that DYS, like SSD, have changed and, yes, it is heavy metal. And yes, there is a ballad on this record. While far from being the worst metal record I’ve heard, it doesn’t set the world on fire, y’know? I mean, if you’re gonna do a goddamn heavy metal record…GODDAMN IT, make it knock down people, make walls shudder, and make it have women take their kids off of the streets because of it, for chrissakes! Look, if you need to hear the old DYS, change the speed to 45.

Outlets Best Friends / Bright Lights 7″

Power pop with real power. Loud, jangling guitars and exceptional catchiness make “Friends” one of the best examples of this style in a long time. The flip is more mundane, but the OUTLETS are getting better with each release.

SSD How We Rock LP

Various thoughts that came to mind while listening: I’d like this a lot more if all the squiggly rock guitar solos were half as long / The lyrics are still good / There’s “power” here, but where’s the spark? / The band really likes the record / “Musicianization” (thanks, Ken Lester) will kill punk rock / This is a short album, but looong / The cover says it all (who’s Alan Barile, David Spring? / This isn’t fun, but would it be better at 45 RPM? / There—I did this without once saying “heavy metal.”

The Freeze Land of the Lost LP

One of Boston’s most inventive and aware punk outfits, the FREEZE connect on this album with a clutch of viciously satiric youth anthems. Land of the Lost is chock-full of cleverly written melodic thrashers (all superbly produced), but “Megawaki Cult” and the hilarious “Food Lava” rate as my favorites due to their sheer kenetic abandon. Too hysterical and wild to be true!

The Freeze Guilty Face EP

More “Boston-paced” music from this Cape Cod outfit, no letdown from their previous material. The playing is solid, tight, and inspired, with good hooks all around. As the liner notes say, “this record has been inspired by warmongers, social pressures, police oppression, and rednecks… their necks are getting redder.”

The Freeze Rabid Reaction LP

Ten crankin’ songs reflect the classic FREEZE sound with catchy fuzz guitar and a strong steady fast beat. The lyrics still maintain that warped quality as do the vocals, although a little bit of experimentation does come through. A very enjoyable LP from a band that seems will never lose its raw edge.

V/A This Is Boston, Not LA LP

This one’s probably the best US hardcore compilation available. The material of course varies in quality, but all of it cooks. It’s pretty hard to choose, but GANG GREEN has the fastest and most intense thrash attack, though JERRY’S KIDS come close. On the other hand, the PROLETARIAT and F.U.’s (especially “Preskool Dropouts”) have the most perceptive lyrics. The FREEZE combine original music with intelligent content, and DECADENCE weigh in with a critique of mindless, ultra-violent slamming. All in all, a great introduction to Boston’s finest (excepting SS DECONTROL, who don’t appear here).

V/A Unsafe at Any Speed EP

Follow-up to This is Boston, Not LA LP. More great raves from JERRY’S KIDS, GANG GREEN, and F.U.’s, and some slower material by GROINOIDS, PROLETARIAT (great put-down of Reagan called “Voodoo Economics”) and the FREEZE’s classic “Refrigerator Heaven” that schizophrenically jumps from slow ’70s rock to thrash.

V/A Mr. Beautiful Presents All Hard LP

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’.