Reviews

Mutha

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.

Brunfuss Brunfuss LP

It’s ironic that BRUNFUSS caricatured blacks on their album cover, because they themselves are a stereotypical ’80s New Jersey bar band. Aside from an occasional punk (“B.A.D.”) or “humor” song (“Brunfuss”), this record is filled with basic garage rock and metal leads, not to mention seemingly inane lyrics. I think it’s meant to be funny, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

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.

Fatal Rage Fatal Rage LP

An eminently likable new album. The music here fluctuates between primitive mid-tempo punk (“Jump and Die”, “Fatal Mistake”), faster punk (“Struggle”, “Yelling”), and semi-thrashers (“V.O.A.”, “Copy Bands”). FATAL RAGE has a chunky guitar assault and a knack for writing tunes with a hook you can grab onto. Although the lyrics are a little cryptic and hard to decipher, they seem to be generally OK; one exception is the aforementioned “Copy Bands,” which is just plain dumb. Still, I definitely recommend this record.

Lost in Aggression Lost in Aggression LP

The growled vocals and rebellious lyrics on this LP are definitely punk, but the music is poppish in almost a PATRIK FITZGERALD style. The result is credible without being especially powerful, and frankly I wasn’t exactly bowled over by the tunes, either. An interesting idea marred by lackluster execution.

Partners in Crime No Big Deal 12″

Some very classy hard-ass punk on these here six tracks. Fronted by a tough-sounding femme vocalist, I am most reminded of UXA at their old hottest. Metal damage is kept at a minimum, power is upped, and off they rock. The female equivalent of G.G. ALLIN?

Public Disturbance Public Disturbance LP

Another new Mutha record. PUBLIC DISTURBANCE has a somewhat incoherent stop/go semi-thrash style. The faster songs often sound thin and occasionally degenerate into mediocrity, but the band’s slower material (“Caged”, “Intro”, and “Russel’s Ramp”) sticks in your head. Overall, though, this release seems a bit premature; these guys need to develop more.

Public Disturbance S&M EP

P. DISTURBANCE’s second release has a primitive sound and a weird trebly mix that emphasizes the vocals. At first, the songs seem sort of cluttered and disjointed, but after a couple of listens, they begin to coagulate in your cranium (except for the spastic “Do the Guilty”). The title track is the hottest from a musical standpoint.

Secret Syde Hidden Secrets LP

The SECRET SYDE is a high quality neo-’60s band. Unlike the wimpy approach taken by so many California ’60s revival bands, they borrow many of their better elements of that era. Specifically, they write well-crafted songs containing melodic hooks, without sacrificing the drive and power. Most of the tracks here have a solid rhythm and loud guitars, there are a couple of extended psychedelic jams, and “Hurt and Pain” is a minor ’60s pop-punk classic. Go for this one.

Send Help You Don’t Fit EP

This is a real spiffy debut. “You Don’t Fit” is a supercharged punk rock song with an irresistible chorus, “Suburbia” is a slow, sarcastic attack on middle-class superficiality, and “Sex With Sheep” is one of the year’s best funnypunk efforts. Impressive all around.

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!

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.

The Burnt The M.P. EP

Primitive mid-to-fast-paced punk with a garage aesthetic and some fetching guitar parts can be found on this debut. The production is uneven at best, and the music is occasionally sloppy, but the BURNT display enough enthusiasm to make up for these shortcomings. “Industrial Accident” is a minor classic, due in part to an amazingly cool chorus.

The Burnt Where’s My Head? LP

The BURNT recorded this album on an 8-track machine in a basement somewhere, and the songs explore a variable-speed thrash style with growling vocals. It’s a good piece of work, too; most of the songs are concise, to-the-point thrashers, and there’s at least one mini-classic (“Garbage Can”).

The Swingers Witch Doctor Blues / Right Between the Eyes 7″

Ugh! White honkin’ and blues with a sax. After all the good/great releases on Mutha, this one is a real letdown. It’s not bad for the genre, it’s just that the genre is so “old.”

The Worst Expect the Worst 12″

The second EP from New Jersey’s WORST follows in the footsteps of their nifty debut. They still combine catchy, heartfelt vocal parts with a loud and fast instrumental backing that’s alternately straightforward and interrupted by unpredictable structural changes. Some of the compositions work better than others, but this release is well worth the price.

Youth in Asia Pulling Out the Plug LP

Yet another eclectic punk band signs on to Mutha Records. This one has an older style US garage/punk sound, but with elements of metal, pop, etc., weaving their way in. Sometimes it works, sometimes not (especially the electronic keyboards). Different.