Reviews

Tim Yohannan

Black Flag Wasted…Again LP

A repackaged “greatest hits” LP, this features “Wasted,” “TV Party,” “Six Pack,” “I Don’t Care,” “I’ve Had It,” “Jealous Again,” “Louie Louie,” “Gimme Gimme Gimme,” “Slip It In,” and more.

The Bears Insane!! LP

This is volume one of a “roots of punk” series, featuring Northern Ireland’s BEARS. They put out two 45s in ’77, one of which “bears” the name of the LP and rates in my top ten all-time punk list. However, that track on this live in ’77 recording is nowhere near as electrifying. Decent, but not necessarily magic.

7 Seconds Live! One Plus One LP

Aside from a song or two, this live LP represents their latter sound, a rock-oriented approach. The songs are less anthemic and less gripping, more prone to length and dilution. It’s hard for me to relate to this approach, especially as 7 SECONDS was my fave for many years. And given my fondness for Kevin, it’s doubly hard to say I don’t really like this period of their work, never mind the thin sound on this LP.

V/A We Got Party LP

The third in this sorta series, another monster with 41 bands, plenty of great punk, and of course, no info on any of the bands. I’m sure a lot of these tracks date back to ’83 and are by bands long gone as well as current groups like NOFX, MANIFEST DESTINY, CRINGER (who never sent in a tape and didn’t know anything about it till they saw the LP at my house!), LIFE SENTENCE, DEHUMANIZERS, CANCEROUS GROWTH, PTL KLUB, etc., and lots of vinyl virgins.

V/A Suuren Hiljaisuuden Jälkeen… EP

Risto Eronen has been doing a lot for the Finnish punk scene for years, but he’s now doing even more—putting out vinyl. This first release is a one-song-each comp featuring APARTHEID, IRSTAS, KUMIKRISTUS, VAPAUTUS, YTIMENJATKE, and NOJDANKENA. Lots of hardcore styles are represented, and I found the latter band’s slow but powerful attack the most refreshing. Watch for more.

V/A Shall We Dance? LP

Four bands that combine “tunes and speed” says the promo sheet. Well actually, what we have are four bands (JOYCE MCKINNEY EXPERIENCE, INCEST BROS, DECADENCE WITHIN, and NOX MORTALS) that play more traditional sounding punk—melody and medium-paced tempo. Female and male vocals on two bands, neat package, good stuff.

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

This series’ second go-round on Sweden, covering neo-’60s garage bands. This one features the HIJACKERS, HIGH SPEED V, UNDERTAKERS, SUBTERRANEANS, PRESCHERS, BANGSTERS, CORNFLAKE ZOO, and CRIMSON SHADOWS, capturing a variety of mostly hard-edged guitar punk à la ’67.

V/A Oi! Glorious Oi! LP

COCKNEY REJECTS, ANGELIC UPSTARTS, and SHAM 69 from the older generation and a host of newer Oi! bands like INDECENT EXPOSURE, BRIAL, INTENSIVE CARE, SECTION 5, etc. Some OK lyrics, some shaky ones such as the Y.D.L. song, overall good catchy tuneage.

V/A My Meat’s Your Poison LP

A hot comp featuring OUTO, CHICKEN BOWELS, SYSTEMATIC DEATH, GUDON, S.O.B., and LIP CREAM. Raging from start to finish, the OUTO and S.O.B. cuts are definitely the highlights, especially the latter who are unbelievable.

V/A It’s Midnight Xmess, Part III LP

Their third twisted “holiday” comp, much in the vein of the previous LPs. Most of the bands are ’60s garage, blues, psych, featuring IGUANAS, GOREHOUNDS, SHARKY’S MACHINE, SENDERS, BROOD, etc., but my fave is the raunchy all-female STERILLES doing “Mrs. Claus has Menopause.”

V/A The Incredible Power of Darkness LP

Vol.1 of a worldwide HC comp series, with most of the songs being in a speedcore vein. Lots of the tunes have been released before, though several are re-recorded, and there are a few unreleased tracks as well. Included are VELLOCET, ACCUSED, DAMAGE (Finland), INFERNO, CAPITAL SCUM, STUPIDS (huh?), NO ALLEGIANCE, MANSON YOUTH, MANIACS, and G.R.B.

V/A The 11 Years On Zine Farewell Flexi EP

A three-song release that accompanies issue #10 of 11 Years On ‘zine. BLOOD AND THUNDER, HEAVY DISCIPLINE, and INSTIGATORS all do one, the latter being live. Last issue of this ‘zine, so pick it up now.

V/A Censorship Sucks! LP

This is a No More Censorship Defense Fund benefit LP with a variety of styles and bands. On the punk side are OI POLLOI and CÁTERAN, while there are a host of aggressive-sounding post-punk bands like PASTELS, SHAMEN, MEMBRANES, PRIMEVALS, PALOOKAS, MEAT WHIPLASH, etc.

Toothpaste Oh Yeah, Come On / Kids Do the Darndest Drugs 7″

It’s been three years since their last EP, and while these two tunes maintain their catchy approach (GARY GLITTER-ish on the A-side, early wave-punk on the B), there’s not much beyond that in the way of content.

Swiz Down EP

Not too hard to tell this is a DC release. From the cover art to lyrics to musical approach, this is DC all the way. The lyrics seem to have a fixation on the concept of “time,” which shows up in a couple songs. OK start.

Sperma Shaking My Heart EP

That’s not all female singer Ranko is shaking loose on the front cover. Both originals are rock-punk—not too bad, coulda been worse. But on the cover song, “Train Kept a Rollin’” (a song lots of bands, like the ADOLESCENTS, are doing), it gets pretty unbearable.

Sick Of It All It’s Clobberin’ Time / Just Lies EP

They’ve had it up to here and they’re not gonna take it anymore. So, they’re gonna bitch ‘n moan and strike out in anger. No solutions offered or recommended. The only tune that offers any emotion other than anger/revenge is “Give Respect,” which says that it’s actions that prove the person—a worthy thought. Hope to see a broadening of their range of emotions/humanity; otherwise, this is your moshable NYHC.

Ramonez ’77 It’s a Better Ramone For You 12″

With a name like this and the RAMONES-type artwork, I was surprised that only about half of the tunes sound like direct ripoffs, while the others are more generic pop punk. That’s not to say this isn’t enjoyable—it is. Strange concept, though.

Radiopuhelimet Sinappia Ja Ketsuppia EP

A very unique release, this band combines hardcore ferocity with an aggressive post-punk rhythmic attach, all the while maintaining their clarity and pop sense. Another way to describe it is mixing the BIG BOYS, BIG BLACK, and the STALIN. Hot!

Pagans Don’t Leave Me Alone / Real World 7″

The A-side is a 1979 studio recording of this seminal Ohio punk band, though it doesn’t have the excitement of their early singles, LP, or subsequent and current releases. The flip is zippier, a live recording that rocks hard but is a true classic.

Thee Mighty Caesars Punk Rock Showcase LP

On most of the tunes, the CAESARS update (maybe) the early KINKS’ sound, so their “punk rock” goes back to the roots. But they do three covers here, “A.T.V.,” “Neat Neat Neat,” and “Submission,” all done fairly faithfully to the ’77 originals. Weird shit!

H.D.Q. You Suck! LP

Pretty enjoyable medium-fast-paced punk. Lyrically, very astute and conscious, with a “fuck you!” anger to boot. Very clean and well-produced sound with lots of power, but perhaps too many similar sounding tunes. Should appeal to a broad sector of the punk/HC audience.

Gang Green You Got It LP

This band’s answer to problems is drinking the world away and partying. Their more commercial rock sound is played hard, but it’s nowhere near the ferocity of days gone by. Lyrically, again it’s frivolous and escapist, but “Another Bomb” and “The Climb” show there’s still a mind beneath the booze.

Final Conflict Ashes to Ashes LP

Alog the lines of CRUCIFIX, FINAL CONFLICT are carrying on a tradition of politically aware hardcore. Very strong musically and politically, they don’t hold back, and in an all-too-hedonistic and conservative environment like Orange Co., it’s no small feat to maintain one’s values and drive. They do.

Extrem Wir Sind So Frei EP

Out of Austria, this band shared an LP a while back, and on their first solo vinyl they deliver six sizzling hardcore tunes. There’s a bit of metal riffing but no solos in their attack, just lots of tight, raging power and political lyrics.

The Defoliants Hang Ten EP

Finally vinyl from this band! Two slow-ish surf instrumentals, one raging surf instrumental à la fellow chem-rockers AGENT ORANGE, and one brooding tune. What binds them together is the really cool guitar work, which combines surf and psych in an interesting and tough manner. This one’s growing on me.

The Damned The Peel Sessions 12″

This is the DAMNED’s second release in this series (the first being from ’77), and this was recorded in ’76. Needless to say, all five tunes here are very energetic, classic punk rock, and for those who don’t already have their early material, here’s your shot.

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

This European label has got a handle on getting Japanese HC to the world (a 7″ sampler, this disc, and a comp LP to come), a welcome project. On this release, FUCK GEEZ crank out five great pop punk tunes, all with great verve and sound. Catchy tunes (some off their Japanese 7″s) and hot packaging (as are all the records in this series so far).

Utter Stench Cry for Help LP

Pretty nondescript hardcore. Out of the British school of noisy thrash, there is little tuneage, not exceptional tightness, just your everyday bang-away thrash. Title track has the most going for it.

Blackout Running Out of Time EP

Strange record. Side One consists of two songs, both punk-ish with good drive and aggression, while maintaining a quirky aspect. On the flip, the quirkiness comes to the fore, and musically they transform into an experimental-ish post-punk band, much lighter and eclectic.

B.A.L.L. Period (Another American Lie) LP

Basic and raw, degenerating into noise jazz at times, this will appeal to those who like the NY noise bands of today (SWANS, SONIC YOUTH, etc.) and the NY noise band of the past, VELVET UNDERGROUND. Cool and bizarre cover of PRETTY THINGS’ “I Can Never Say.” Contains members of SHOCKABILLY, HALF JAPANESE, and VELVET MONKEYS.

Verbal Assault Trial LP

Less than half the tracks here have enough oomph to make their long and drawn-out format hold my attention. But those that do have punch are good ones, delivering melodic but powerful hardcore à la late MINOR THREAT. No lyric sheet, a trademark of this increasingly impersonal label.

Bad Brains Legends From the End of Time 12″

No, this is not the U.S. band of fame, but a pop punk neo-’60s band. At times they sound like LOVE, especially the Arthur Lee-type vocal inflection, though the music is a bit more modern. I knew that France was isolated musically, but this is a bit much!

GG Allin Dirty Love Songs 2xLP

Just in case you don’t have enough GG ALLIN records, this release will solve your problems. OK, this package contains no songs playable on the radio, ten songs with “fuck” in the title, three with “cock,” five with “piss” or “shit,” etc. Live and studio, usually good sound quality.

Kansanturvamusiikkikomissio Seitsemäs Pasuuna 12″

KTMK return after a few years’ vinyl absence, and though their famous short insane songs have disappeared in the interim, what remains sounds OK. Songs are in the medium-speed range, focusing on the beat and power. Good guitar, not too much of the post-punk pretentiousness, and hot production.

Die Goldenen Zitronen Porsche, Genscher, Hallo HSV LP

At least on their second LP, this funny punk band combines pop punk with that curious mixture of country music and German drinking tunes, a blend that goes down pretty easy. Lots of tunes sound familiar, meaning they’re good at ripping off tunes and rearranging them, twisting them for their own weird reasons. 

Sewer Zombies Conquer the Galaxy LP

David says this is what can happen if you go too long between records. All I know is they’ve made the most radical change of direction since BAD RELIGION hurled themselves into the unknown and barely made it back alive. So, from a hardcore band they’ve become a WALL OF VOODOO synth/mood band. Only on one track do they use drums and guitar. Hope they get back alive, too.

Expatriate No Sleep Til Chugwater EP

Though there is a decidedly metal stamp on their material, it’s not too tedious to stomp out their originality. A fairly unique blend of powerhouse metalcore, imaginative structure, and smart lyrics set them apart from the speedcore pack. Worth checking out.

Drunk Injuns Frontside Grind LP

Dark songs of love and bleakness set to mid-tempo punk. The almost forced “sung” vocals may attract some and alienate others. This band stems from the original LOS OLVIDADOS, who eschewed hardcore in favor of slower, more powerful tunes.

V/A Super Seven Sampler LP

In their never-ending series of comps, Mystic Moody presents fourteen tracks by fourteen bands. All of these tracks are taken from previous 7”-ers. Cool cover and some classic SoCal punk rock.

V/A Schmurz-Pilation LP

Anywhere from three to five tracks each from Toulouse’s PIN PRICK, LE BLOB!, BLABLA SCHMURZ GROUP, JOZEFS ET LES PHILLES, and SWINGLE GARROTE. All the groups play various types of ’77 punk, most of which is infectious and peppy. JOZEFS and the band are an all-female group that shows its ’77 roots best, SWINGLE GARDEN are young and powerful, PIN PRICK rock quirky and French. Good stuff.

Halo of Flies Garbage Rock! 12″

More guitar raunch garage punk here, though it’s a bit more eclectic than in the past. Side one rocks hard with that “just a little off” quality that makes it special. Side Two is a bit too disjointed for me, but it’s still hot.

Godfathers Birth School Work Death / S.T.B. 7″

Their first major label release shows their usual pop flair and basic beat, though both tunes are more blues-based than previous releases. Catchy, but I wish they cut loose a bit more with that ever-cool guitar.

The Flamin’ Groovies One Night Stand LP

Recorded in Australia in ’86, this latest incarnation of the GROOVIES contains originals (dating back to ’67) Cyril Jordan and George Alexander. Included are reworkings of “Kicks,” “I Can’t Hide,” “Shake Some Action,” “Slow Death,” etc., as well as some WHO and r’n’b covers—all inferior to either their own previous versions or the originals. While I admire their rock’n’roll dedication, there’s a real lack of spark or insanity here.

Attitude Kein Schlaf Bis Deutschland 12″

Actually a really good record from this S.F. band. While the metal influence is apparent, it’s not as dominating as when they play live, and on these five cuts, it’s the power and energy that rule. Also, the lyrics are excellent and serious, which is surprising considering singer Andy Aeroplane’s normally non-stop wise guy personality. No U.S. release planned.

Anti-Heros That’s Right! LP

A skinhead band that’s not bald, praising the glory of being young and not too bright. Their claim is being “famous through slander”; pretty much of an overstatement for a decent sounding but uninteresting Oi band. No lyrics included. From Georgia.

Angelic Upstarts Blood on the Terraces LP

New material from these aging upstarts, and pretty decent stuff at that. As with most of their previous material, the tunes are slow-to-mid-tempo with the accent on lyrics and understated Oi-type songs. The interesting tune here is “I Don’t Wanna Fight the Soviet,” showing quite a bit of insight from a so-called “working class” outfit.

GG Allin & the Holy Men You Give Love a Bad Name LP

What a cool guy, huh. He rapes girls, shits on the audience, does drugs and pukes all over himself—anything he wants. He plays grungy-ass rock’n’roll—really punk. But I’m still disappointed. G.G. let me down. If he was really the heir to Jerry Lee and Iggy, he’d have made this a scratch’n’sniff record.

Agnostic Front Liberty & Justice For… LP

Full-on speedmetal now, losing most all previous distinctiveness. Lyrics remain angry but vague. Some are anti-state, or at least what it does to the individual, others are critical of those who oppose. Last time we talked, they said that they were getting away from the stupidity of what the skin scene became, yet here they cover the IRON CROSS anthem “Crucified.”

Raymen From the Trashcan to the Ballroom 2xLP

A pretty energetic release that ranges from CRAMPS-type trash to punkability to Robert Gordon/Jack Scott deep-throated ballads to classic punk. All songs are crazed in some way, be it by voice or instrument distortion, speed-crazed pacing, or just enthusiastic x 10 playing. Boss.

R.I.P. No Te Muevas! LP

Out of the Basque region comes this hot release. R.I.P. produce melodic thrash and punk with lots of catchiness, and, as might be expected from a band out of this controversial area, highly political lyrics. Comes with a huge foldout insert, translated lyrics, and lots of good music. Get this!

Pailhead I Will Refuse / No Bunny 7″

Unmistakably Ian MacKaye on vocals, teaming up with a member of industrial/dance band MINISTRY. Both tunes combine elements of each person’s forté, and it works. Post-EGG HUNT industrifunk punk. Lyrics seem interesting, but no sheet to clarify.

White Flag Wild Kingdom LP

A lot more pop than in the past (at times even power pop), this release puts the accent on harmony and melody. Sounds like the BEATLES meet early punk with some thrashy energy. Lots of short, goofing around tracks, as well as their usual good production sound. Guess this signals the end of this label as an indie.

V/A The Weird Weird World of Guru Weirdbrain LP

I wish there was more info on the bands included on this Irish comp, ’cause they’re largely excellent. Lots of pop punk, garage, psycho surf, etc. Fans of UNDERTONES, CRAMPS, REVILLOS, etc. will enjoy the CANNIBALS, PARALISED PURPLE RAYS, PARANOID VISIONS, GOREHOUNDS, BARRACUDAS, etc. Rocks.

V/A Flipside Tunes: Vinyl Fanzine Number Three LP

Big names are on this effort (7 SECONDS, ADOLESCENTS, CIRCLE JERKS, the BRIGADE, M.I.A., S.N.F.U., DOGGY STYLE, TESCO VEE & WHITE FLAG, C.O.C.) as well as medium names (LITTLE GENTLEMEN, VATICAN COMMANDOS, MAD PARADE, SLAPSHOT, 76% UNCERTAIN, LEMONHEADS, SHONEN KNIFE) and the newer names (BULIMIA BANQUET, PROBLEM CHILDREN, COPULATION). Tunes are both live and studio, of varying sound quality. Interesting notes: what does it mean when the BRIGADE rocks more than 7 SECONDS?

V/A Discpan Hands: A Philadelphia Compilation LP

A Philly comp featuring a variety of mostly mid-tempo punk and some thrash. Standouts include DEADSPOT, PAGAN BABIES, TONS OF NUNS, BLUE, SHE MALES, ANTHROPHOBIA, HOMO PICNIC, MCRAD, DAS YAHOOS, and more.

Subterranean Kids Los Ojos de la Victima LP

This came out earlier this year, but we just now got wind of it. And I’m glad we did—this is raging US-type non-metallic thrashcore, dudes, and while not the tightest or best-produced record in the genre, it’s a totally enjoyable slab. Sparks of distinctiveness should develop with the next record.

Spacemen 3 Sound of Confusion LP

A seven-song guitar/beat record. Slow tunes, lots of raw guitar, straight beat, psych feel, but not enough rage in the vocals (a touch of SUICIDE would’ve appealed) or feedback noise in the guitar. Otherwise, decent.

Skullhead White Warrior LP

The system robs us all of identity and power, and encourages us to fight amongst ourselves to maintain their grip. So, it’s always lovely to see working class people (oi, mate) take out their frustrations on people who are even more fucked over and vulnerable. What can you say about a singer who has his favorite footwear tattooed on his cheek?

Nazgol Good Demons 12″

Driving mid-tempo punk dominated by very raw guitar and intense male and female shouters. It’s faster than FLIPPER, but has the same level of grunge and abrasiveness. One side’s studio, and the live side seems faster-paced. Both sound good.

McRad Absence of Sanity LP

Sort of a whiter BAD BRAINS (newer material), utilizing rock, metal and reggae influences. Most songs are slow-to-medium paced, with only one straightforward thrasher. This is somehow a skate band, whatever that means.

Lyres Live at Cantones LP

A collection of live radio broadcasts, featuring this organ-dominated garage/frat party neo-’60s band. Out of Boston and having roots in the early punk band DMZ, these guys do lots of covers as well as a few tasty originals. Basic rock’n’roll.

Zero Boys Vicious Circle LP

What can you say? You take one of the best all-time hardcore records, add 6 extra tracks (from previous comps and tapes) of equal quality, and you’ve got an awesome fucking record. Initially released in 1982, the singing and playing still outdoes most anything that’s happened since. Killer.

Volcano Suns Bumper Crop LP

A new line-up for this Boston band. Though there are fits of rage here and there, and glimpses of real power and acceleration, too often the “corporate pop” sound predominates, an overproduction that homogenizes any eccentricities. Still, the tracks that do demonstrate genuine emotion are really good, just with that shone through more.

The Vernon Walters / Indirekt Present History split 2xLP

Great concept, two split LPs packaged together with lotsa info, enclosures, and fine music. VERNON WALTERS play a highly political and intelligent form of pop punk, sung in English. INDIREKT hit back in Dutch with many punk forms, though there’s less really uptempo stuff then in the past. All in all, an excellent example of cooperation and DIY spirit, and good music to boot.

V/A Turn It Around! 2xEP

This package is a dedication to the spirit of the Gilman Street Project. Featuring 12 groups that participate regularly at Gilman (both as bands and individuals), there is plenty of music as well as a 14 page booklet. Bands include ISOCRACY, CORRUPTED MORALS, STIKKY, YEASTIE GIRLZ, NASAL SEX, SWEET BABY JESUS, RABID LASSIE, OPERATION IVY, CRIMPSHRINE, NO USE FOR A NAME, SEWER TROUT and BUGGERALL. My prejudiced view: hot!

V/A Skull Thrash Zone, Volume 1 LP

DOOM are terrible metal, SHELL SHOCK are decent metallic hardcore, X are enjoyable thrash, JURASSIC JADE are as bad as they sound, GROUND ZONE is boring metal, and ROSE ROSE make powerful thrash noise. And they all look like a punk version of KISS.

V/A The Savages Are Loose LP

This compilation covers a side of the greater DC scene that we rarely hear about. Other than MADHOUSE, PHLEGM, SARCASTIC ORGASM and ASBESTOS ROCKPYLE, most of these bands are new to vinyl, and deliver a variety of garage punk, thrash and grunge. Featured are MOTOR MORONS, PLATINUM SLUGS, BAD VIBES, SYBIL PURE EVIL and many others. Only problem is no insert/no info on the bands.

V/A Raw Cuts, Volume Four: Australian Nitro LP

This edition covers Australian neo-’60s garage bands, and there’s quite a bit of psych/gloom stuff as well (too much). But bands like LIZ DEALEY & THE TWENTY SECOND SECT. CONEHEADS and ASSASSINS do kick ass, making it worthwhile.

V/A Oversea Connection LP

Don’t be put off by the cheesy cover, this LP don’t smell. Bands like FEAR ITSELF, DEPRESSION, A.P.P.L.E. TH’ INBRED, ATTITUDE, DEAD SILENCE, G.A.S.H., LIFE SENTENCE, PSYCHO and lots more add both live and studio tracks. A good selection of many punk styles.

V/A The Iowa Compilation LP

A statewide comp of varying alternative musics. There isn’t any hardcore, but most of the pop stuff here has an edge, and bands like CLAUDE PATE, HOUSE OF LARGE SIZES and SHELLGAME do have quite a bite.

V/A (F-R-5) LP

A weirdly conceived LP, because other than a hot and previously unreleased LAW & ORDER track, a so-so version of SCREAM’s “Solidarity,” and a live G.I. track, the rest is very commercial wave stuff. Given all the DC bands whom we haven’t seen on vinyl yet, I was disappointed with this selection.

V/A 1984 the Third 2xLP

Quite an accomplishment. An excellent sampler of mostly not-famous bands, but bands that really put out. Lots of differing punk styles, fine choice cuts, lots of listening and most all are invigorating. Bands from Czechoslovakia, Peru, South Africa, Hungary, and just about everywhere else. Hot.

V/A 4 Bands That Could Change the World LP

Rully? OK, 7 SECONDS, AOD, WHITE FLAG and F come up with 4 or 5 tunes each, oddities, versions, live takes, etc. Pretty fun selection, plus bits of goofiness and experimentation.

The Stomach Mouths In Orbit 12″

These guys had an extremely zany and attacking sound, deeply rooted in an early SEEDS mold, but rarely does that manic aspect surface anymore. Only one of the six tracks here really approaches that intensity. Instead, they settle for decent organ-dominated ’60s punk with no stinging guitar and no psychotic vocals. Too studied.

The Stench Zigame Waw Spea Me Vt EP

Ah, finally a non-metal HC band out of Utah. Sounds like a great unknown band from ’82, but this is today and a welcome relief it is. Hot, inspired playing, tons of energy and hooks, catchy tunes and cool vocals. As you might guess, I like this a lot!

Scream Banging the Drum LP

Turn up the volume on this baby, and you won’t be sorry. Great production brings out the best here, and though the pace isn’t as frantic as before, the power is well directed, the hooks are there, and the energy flows hot. A welcome surprise.

Ramones Halfway to Sanity LP

I made the big mistake of listening to a lot of old Ramones recently, which put this new release into perspective—a bad one. The edge is gone, the wackiness wants, and the singing normal. Outside of “I Lost My Mind” and “I’m Not Jesus,” this is really inferior material, and one can only wish they were halfway to insanity.

The Pogo Hysteric Generation 12″

Let me guess—pop punk? Yup, five slow-medium tunes, one uptempo number. I can’t believe how many Japanese bands are going back to ’77 punk, but are showing no imagination or hindsight in how they regurgitate it.

MDC This Blood’s for You LP

A very well-rounded, powerful, humorous yet political release, much improved over the last one. Dave is really out there, and his character really comes across here, Experimentation usually works on this release, the lyrics are sharp, the cover art is a treat. Side Two lags at times, but I think the guts and sentiments come across really well. MDC is one of the few HC bands to really cut across time and cultures.

L’Attentat Made in GDR LP

The first East German punk band to release vinyl, and decent it is. Much of the material is typically German older-style punk, while there are a few thrashers as well. Lyrics are translated into four languages and give a good insight into life in East Berlin, showing differences and similarities. A brave band.

Dee Dee King Funky Man 12″

He’s Dee Dee Ramone and he’s soundin’ funky, havin’ some fun but he’s still bein’ punky, rappin’ down his philosophy, out right now on this maxi EP, don’t know if you dig it cuz it ain’t fast, but that DD man he had a blast.

Insolents Spit in the Mirror LP

Decent but relatively unvaried hardcore here. The songs do indeed have melody to them, but the overriding impact is from the metal-heavy rhythms, the similarity of tempos, the gruff vocals. This LP is much like their previous EP, though not quite as clear in production.

Human Zoo Human Zoo 12″

Hard to say exactly what this band is, but there’s a picture of a bedraggled IGGY-like character on the back cover, and in many ways the six songs here relate back to early ’70s rock as well as ’76-’77 type garage. Basic.

Gore / Henry Rollins split LP

Hank and Co. pound out a half dozen bone-breakers, and then Holland’s GORE return the compliments with their monotonous post-metal instrumental sound. Lots of crunch on both sides, but there’s an oppressive feel to the whole slab, a tedium to the non-melodic attack.

Crucial Youth Straight and Loud! EP

They exaggerated straight edge to an absurd extreme, and it’s amazing how many people took them seriously, both pro and con. With songs against littering, in favor of rewinding video cassettes, and a “positive dental outlook”, all done in imitation of Ian, Kevin, Pat and Ray, you’ve gotta lighten up. Lots of fun.

Cattle Escalator Stampede EP

Hmm, “Ghost Riders in the Sky”-type “western” instrumental, pulsing fuzz-guitar industrial punk, 77-type dumbo punk, and yet another instrumental—all on one slab. The styles clash, but the music hangs.

Jello Biafra No More Cocoons 2xLP

Like all spoken word records, it may be hard to listen more than once, but a good listen it will be. Jello’s in great form here, doing his satirical Lenny Bruce approach to politics, punk, culture, etc. A very scathing attack causes thought and quite a bit of laughter, and gives a really good insight into how the DK’s former guiding light views the world. A wealth of information on most of today’s attacks on freedom.

Arm the Insane Remember LP

As with their previous release, this one has some really excellent lyrics, but again fails to rise above the early 80’s UK plodpunk sound. Not that it doesn’t have power or guts, but if current bands are gonna play older styles, they should really present them with an approach that makes them sound fresh and exciting. Decent.

Anti-Heroes …And The Government Laughs! EP

The package this band’s record comes in is actually a 36-page booklet, written in German, full of information on nukes, racism, censorship, etc. The songs are all mid-tempo punkers, most holding my interest. Obviously a committed band, definitely into it.

Husky Voice Fight Through the Life flexi EP

Japan is notorious for husky-voiced yellers, so it had to happen…a band with a name like this – who don’t have a husky-voiced singer. What they do have is a tight, melodic hardcore band with a slight metal guitar. OK.

Feedtime Don’t Tell Me / Small Talk 7″

Reworkings of their songs off the Why March When You Can Riot?! comp LP. The A-side rages, a powerful fast punk tune, while the flip is a mid-slow tempo tune with a sax that failed to move me.

V/A Jak Punk to Punk LP

A varied punk thrash and post-punk collection contains tracks from many of the bands you’ve read about in these pages. Included are ARMIA, DEZERTER, REJESTRACJA, ZENNA, SIEKIERA, ABADDON, and PROCESS. This is out on the state label, Tonpress, but might be available through…

V/A Die, Jerry, Die LP

A benefit LP for the Anthrax, the club which gave these early Connecticut hardcore bands their starts. All the songs were originally released as EP’s (long out-of-print), and included are C.I.A., VATICAN COMMANDOS, REFLEX FROM PAIN, LOST GENERATION, and VIOLENT CHILDREN. A limited edition release, this is the first for this non-profit label. Great stuff!!

The Untold Fables The Man and the Wooden God EP

A pretty neat neo-’60s release. 4 songs in all, full production that makes the sound clear but not wimpified. Cool guitar, slightly echoey psych feel, and a good cover of the EYES’ (the 60’s UK band much like the early WHO) “When The Night Falls.”

UK Subs A.W.O.L. LP

Circa ’82 SUBS, some released before, some not — all studio. Classic punk sounds from a band that dates back to ’77 and who sport a singer older than me. While they’ve never grabbed me, the SUBS have been a perennial fave on the East Coast. Eight songs.

Subhumans 29:29 Split Vision LP

Recorded a month after their final show, these 8 highly produced tracks are their last word. Many of their varied styles appear here: reggae punk, eclectic extended tunes, medium tempo punk, medium-fast tunes. While by no means throwaways, there are no immediate standout classics. And then came CULTURE SHOCK.

State False Power LP

This band had a blazing HC EP out many years back, then did some recordings in ’83 and broke up before it was released. They’ve regrouped, I believe, and put out these sessions finally. While the new songs maintain their power, gone is the straight ahead approach, and instead they come on with a highly produced, sometimes post-punk approach, sometimes a bit MISFITS like. Very big departure.

The Stain I Know the Scam LP

I ordinarily wouldn’t review this kind of music, but because it’s on a “punk” label and looks like a “punk” package, I just thought I’d mention… it ain’t punk at all, it’s metal.

Henrietta Collins and the Wifebeating Childhaters Drive By Shooting 12″

Henry’s kinda joke, I guess, as the “concept” here is a bogus title, “Henrietta Collins and the Wifebeating Childhaters.” Ok. Musically, a new wave tune and a mandatory (he was from DC) WIRE cover on the A-side, and four tunes on the flip, which are more like what I thought would be on the LP, sorta rap/spoken word set to music, including a thrashing of “We Will Rock You” only it’s “I Have Come to Kill You.” Liked the LP better.

Redd Kross Annette’s Got the Hits 12″

Posh Boy’s been re-releasing their early catalog in various shapes and forms, and this is one classic you should really pick up. Great garage punk from L.A.’s McDonald Bros. plus Ron Reyes (later to go on to BLACK FLAG) and Greg Hetson (of later CIRCLE JERKS fame). A real treat.

Pussy Galore Right Now! LP

More early ’60s garage meets mid ’80s noise. Can’t say it’s the best of both worlds, but when they aren’t being too arty (a third of the time), they do rock out some grungy crud like CRAMPS meets BUTTHOLES on bad DMT.

Loudspeaker Psychotic Machine / Living With the Dead 12″

In case you’ve wondered what Matt and Chris of CRUCIFIX are up to these days, here’s what. They’re in a band that plays pounding, rhythmic dance music with political/ominous overtones along with members of FLUX, I believe. Soon we’ll be hearing from Sothira’s new band, an entirely different thing.

Happy Flowers My Skin Covers My Body LP

Manic vocals set to sporadic musical mayhem — sort of in the BUTTHOLES spirit. I thought you had to be from Texas to do this kinda stuff, but these lads are from Virginia. Will interest the fringe freaks and art trendies.

Government Issue You LP

Edging ever-closer to rock music, GI employs a big sound, usually powerful beat, and big production to get it across. But the lack of a cohesive, unique sound and catchy tunes make the package relatively unmemorable, making them sound like just another slick band on a bigger label.

Genöcide Submit to Genöcide LP

These Quincy punks shared the Last Rites For… LP with MIA way back when, died, and are now back to make you gawk in disbelief at their passé stud/skull look. Equally dumbo lyrics and metallish approach make this a joke, unintentionally I’m sure.

Damage Recorded Live Off the Board at CBGB LP

One of “Live at CBGB” cassettes comes to vinyl life, and life it reverberates. Very powerful hardcore that doesn’t stop, and that might be the only complaint here — the on-going similarity of the emotion you’re being clobbered with. But if you want a dose of sledgehammer HC, you know where to find it.

Angry Samoans Inside My Brain 12″

Another in a spate of reissues, this one containing some classic retardo garage punk from 1980. Remixed a bit (not to its detriment) and powerful, it contains “Right Side of My Mind”, “You Stupid Asshole,” “Get Off the Air,” and two more gems. Get it.

Amebix Monolith LP

This record is on a label called Heavy Metal Records, comes without a lyric sheet, sounds laden, but somehow has a glint of individuality. I had a hard time with the length of the cuts and their ponderance, but hopefully beneath all this weight and silliness lies some good lyrics and intentions. Hopefully.

V/A We Will Be Free LP

Three bands out of N. Ireland share this amazingly great record. ASYLUM, STALAG 17, and TOXIC WASTE absolutely kick ass, both musically and lyrically, delivery track after rack of powerful hardcore. Very convincing and necessary!

V/A Where Birdmen Flew LP

One track each from thirteen primal Aussie punk bands, most being off 77 era singles and most being hot! VICTIMS, RADIO BIRDMAN, ROCKS, NEWS, PSYCHO SURGEONS, RAZAR, LEFTOVERS, X, THOUGHT CRIMINALS, SCIENTISTS, and more. As many U.S. bootlegs claim Australian addresses, this release claims a U.S., but don’t be surprised if no one’s home.

V/A Raw Cuts, Volume Three: German Underground LP

This selection of neo-’60s bands covers Germany. Bands like LEGENDARY GOLDEN VAMPIRES, the CHUD, BEATITUDES, SHINY GNOMES, and more drop all over the turntable for your delight. Nothing too raving here, just fifty mike doses.

V/A Shin Kankakuha Omunibus, Vol. 2 flexi 8″

NEW DRUGS, the 5.6.7.8’s, SHUFFLE, and another band whose name is in Japanese present cowpunk, SHIRELLES/DOLLS-style early 60s stuff, and 77 punk. Weird mix to say the least, though the SHUFFLES’s “Working Class” has SHAM catchiness.

V/A New York City Hardcore 1987: Together EP

Seven highly moshable tunes here, all showing some kind of searching attitudes. While there are still traces of the NY “hard” attitude, there’s much more of a human quality that’s replacing the naive “unity for unity’s sake” approach. Bands include YOUTH OF TODAY, SICK OF IT ALL, SIDE BY SIDE, BOLD, WARZONE, SUPERTOUCH, and GORILLA BISCUITS. Pick it up, and hope that as these bands mature they will prove less mercenary and display more emotional depth than the previous wave of NYHC.

Napalm Death Scum LP

Hey, if you absolutely hate tunes in your music and vocals you can’t understand at all, this album’s for you. Very fast, very metal-influenced, very gruff and very political. Sorta like old DISCHARGE meets every modern speedmetal band.

Murder Murder Suicide Christians 12″

An anti-Christian rage here, sort of like the first CRASS 7″ but set to a more post-punk mood. Nevertheless, it’s as biting and pointed. Both male and female vocals, nice harmonies on the flipside, though the dance beat on one cut and the “prettiness” on another make them difficult to handle until the guitar and drums kick in.

The Gravedigger V The Mirror Cracked LP

One live side, on studio that is mainly outtakes from their first LP of years ago, as well as a cut with Paula Pandora. These are the San Diegans who went on to be the MORLOCKS, and they do your basic 60s punk stuff, all snarly and ultra-cool. OK music, very sharp cover.

GBH No Need to Panic! LP

Lots more variety than usual on this release. There are some songs reminiscent of the GBH of yore, but they’ve slowed down their thrash on others, added a lot more melody, and even have a couple of non-thrash tunes. Can’t say if it makes for a better overall record, but they’re at least opening up.

False Prophets Implosion LP

Produced by Giorgio Gomelsky (of YARDBIRDS fame), and “produced” it is. Horns, lots of very laid back instrumentation that serves as a backdrop for Stephan’s ravings, as well as lots of musical styles running into each other, lurching into punk and back out. I think too much of the power is sacrificed in the name of variety, but other’s less influenced by stylistic purity might buy it.

Extremes From Both Sides LP

77 style punk that only on two or three songs rises into a musically inspiring pitch. Lyrically caustic appraisals of both world politics and poser-punk problems. With a bit more cutting loose, this would make a real dent.

The Exploited Death Before Dishonour LP

You gotta hand it to Wattie and co., they do keep the faith. Same old hooks, still pissed-off political lyrics, and still driving punk tunes. Lotsa thrash, some pretty repetitive, but they continue to add some variety as they have over the last several releases. On the other hand, he’s gotta keep doing this — I mean, can you imagine Wattie with a skate punk look?

The Dils Live! LP

For years, after they evolved into RANK AND FILE, the DILS disavowed their punk roots as vehemently as they had previously espoused punk ideals. Either they’ve mellowed a lot, or times are hard for R&F, but in either case Chip and Tony Kinman have allowed these recordings to see the light of day. Most of this LP is circa 1980, and shows their country sound creeping into the raw punk. The remaining tracks are from 77, but the sound quality here is really bad. This is a collector’s package more than a listenable selection, harkening back to 330 Grove, Barrington Hall, and the Mab. Try to find the singles.

The Contras Ciphers in the Snow LP

Their name is meant to reflect their music (not their political) views, meaning a basic guitar rock band. The tempo is mid, a bit of pop and country meets an early punk sound. More often than not, they sound too clean for me. If they were really contra, they’d be today’s RAMONES, not the REPLACEMENTS.

Compos Mentis / Powerage split EP

C.M. are from New Zealand, play fast punk a la 78 on three tunes, all of which are socio-political attacks. You probably are aware that POWERAGE comes from South Africa (4 EPs out), and play highly political punk. The new drummer here wasn’t broken in when the recording took place, and it shows painfully.

Bl’ast! It’s in My Blood! LP

A pretty bleak picture painted here. On one hand, BL’AST demands we not be led, that we awaken and fight, yet on the other hand they inform us they’re withdrawing into solely self-oriented gratification. Hmmm. The music is in the FLAG-rhythm hardcore we’ve come to know, tight and powerful lurching stuff.

Active Minds You Can Close Your Eyes to the Horror of Reality… EP

One of the best EPs I’ve heard in awhile. Raging and enraged UK political thrash on one side, like CRASS meets old DISORDER and DRI. Side one consists of about a half-dozen rippers and rants, while the flip is one long song that goes through many changes/styles. Comes with insert and record want list!

The Accüsed More Fun Than an Open Casket Funeral LP

Mixed with the gore tunes, there’s a surprising amount of thoughtful tunes, though the onslaught of music doesn’t seem incongruous with sensitivity. Subjects include anti-pope, nuclear power, child abuse, religion. Musically, it’s standard Combat fare, tuneless speedmetal.

Son of Sam Childhood Games EP

These Detroit guys have been around forever, and now finally get their grunge down on vinyl. This is a decidedly garage release, with three medium-beat crunches and one fast one. Lots of distortion, popping vocals, and a FLIPPER-ish trash feel adds up to…punk rock.

The Rub Bikini Gospel LP

Pretty accessible stuff for this label, as the music is punkish eclectic pop with a dash of straightforward R’n’B based rock. Lyrics are L.A. bleak but more political than most emanating from the sun-fried zone. Pretty cool.

The Outta Place Outta Too! LP

Their “unreleased” second LP, this, like the debut, is more of a mini-LP with seven tracks. And like the original there’s a definite STANDELLS influence — guitar, organ, clean — production, proto-punk. Several covers from this defunct band, whose singer is now in the RAUNCH HANDS.

NOFX The PMRC Can Suck on This EP

Now, this is a “punk rock”, no doubt about it. While the band is not quite as tight here as they are live, this still rips. Mike’s retardo lyrics are at full tilt here, and this self-produced/distributed product is proof that some people are still into the whole punk idea.

The Lemonheads Hate Your Friends LP

A really surprisingly varied pop punk LP. At times they sound like STIFF LITTLE FINGERS, delivering really gutsy raunch. At other moments, it’s excellent Boston rockin’ pop. And then suddenly, they’re more to the pop a la HÜSKERs, but still maintaining their edge. Good job.

Homo Picnic Days of Grey LP

Mainly mid-to-slow tempo tunes, often lilting, more often with a metalish riff structure but without the wanking, while lyrics are dark and introspective. There’s something here in both vocals and music that reminds me a teeny bit of BEEFEATER, but not in an imitative way.

Eco-Guerrillas Eco-Guerrillas LP

Probably the first punk band to sing about strip mining, these guys cover a whole range of ecological/political subjects, and obviously know a lot about what they’re singing about. The music, however, tends toward consistently basic riffs, which gets a bit repetitive. A bit more variety there, and the diatribes would probably have more impact. Decent.

Dead Kennedys Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death LP

Probably the DK’s final release, this is a greatest hits package containing all their singles, cuts from various compilations, as well as a bonus flexi and some live tracks. A really nice way to go out, and comes with a cool magazine, a page for each track.

Blind Idiot God Blind Idiot God LP

An all-instrumental combo out of St. Louis, Missouri. Lots of darkness in their big sound, but the ever-present pounding drums save it getting too heavy or dreary most of the time. As with most Instrumental efforts, there’s lots of repetition and little to bring you back for additional listenings, unless you’re a stoner.

Artistic Decline Random Violence LP

I didn’t think this’d ever come out as it was recorded quite a while back, but ran into all-too-typical indie problems. This LP encompasses a whole range of HC styles, none handled generically. Very good L.A. modern punk, so I hope we get to see them live now, too.

Adolescents Brats in Battalions LP

It’s hard to follow up on a debut LP, never mind one that’s generally considered one of the punk rock “classics,” even if six years have gone by. But the revived (and revised) ADS do a pretty decent job — at least they still sound like the ADOLESCENTS, with tuneful songs, classic guitar and vocals. They even throw in a few oldies (“Welcome to Reality” and “Losing Battle”), a few covers (“House of the Rising Sun,” “I Got a Right”). Very recognizable, but only time will tell whether it measures up.

V/A This is the Life LP

An international comp featuring FUCK GEEZ, GLORY, B.P. THE PRISONER, UK JUNX, FREEZE and ASBESTOS ROCKPYLE from the U.S., SCRAPS from France, S.O.D. from Sweden and the DEFORMED from England. Varying quality and sound, and hopefully more international punk will get exposure there.

V/A Pusmort Sampler EP

A unique and good looking package here, with a 7″ comp EP and flexi. Bands from the U.S., Canada and Japan include SEPTIC DEATH, FRATRICIDE, C.O.P., FINAL CONFLICT, NEGATIVE GAIN, GHOUL, OUTO, S.O.B., and GHOUL SQUAD. No info on the bands, but the needle jumps, and that’s the bottom line.

Primevils I Saw My Name (Written on a Tombstone) / Hammer Yourself Senseless 7″

The A—side is semi-rockin’ Pop, but the flip shows a lot more character. It’s a medium-paced pounder about shooting up, sort of a noisy, relentless tune that gets the point across.

Pissed Boys Tschingahsa LP

Pretty ordinary melodic punk and thrash here, and though the lyrics are very strong. I don’t think the music really comes across with the same emotional impact. This isn’t a bad album, just a not a pissed kick-in-the face.

Outo 正直者は馬鹿を見る LP

A real powerhouse band and album. Non-stop quality thrash, great sounds, and even hooks and choruses. Guitar gets out front a few times, but it’s restrained and the overall band sound is maintained. With titles like “Lost of Words” and “Not Worth Dawn” (they do mean “damn”) you can’t go wrong. Killer.

NEW ROTEeKA Dear My All Lovers EP

Pop punk and thrash. The music’s good, song titles like “Fuck’n Girl” and “Nagality” leave me scratching my head, and it came packaged with a flexi from another band the JOKERS. Same planet, different worlds.

Liberty The People Who Care are Angry LP

Missed this when it came out, but it’s well worth listing now. Very much in the English “peace punk” tradition, there are CRASS—like rants set to driving simple punk, poetic conversations and folky interludes a la CHUMBA. Well done.

The Claptrap This is the Italian Sound!!! LP

While there’s no overt fascist ideology in most of the lyrics, the mentality is there, both on a more subtle level (the admiration of blind violence, the skin “look” and the inferences to racism in “White Cap.”) on the sleeve itself, graphics are by “KKK”, as well as plenty of iron crosses. Musically, pretty decent Oi sounds.

C.O.D. Who Needs the Moon When We Got the Stars? EP

Three of the four songs are really decent medium-fast punk with a drum sound that seems like a machine til it does stuff a machine can’t. Catchy tunes, pounding beats, and good guitar. 75%.

The Bugs The Bugs are Leavin’ Here EP

Really great garage here, really pounding punk. Cool cover of the RATIONALS’ hit, plus two other ravers. No info on sleeve as to their origin, but they don’t seem to be the band from Wales. Ragin’ stuff.

The Apostles Equinox Screams LP

Andy Martin has always been a bundle of contradictions, and on this, their fifth LP, he comes off with his reactionary side, a perspective that would make SKREWDRIVER proud. There’s as much hatred, racist bullshit, and “white tribalism” here as on any LP by the aforementioned sickies, and this time the APOSTLES even sound like SKREWDRIVER. Very fucking sad.

V/A A Texas Trip LP

Compiled by the BUTTHOLE SURFERS, there’s two tracks each by said band. Steve Fitch, Daniel Johnston, and STICKMEN WITH RAYGUNS. It’s all Texas weirdness/bad acid stuff. Highlight is the latter band, whose sound is like the SCREAMERS meets FLIPPER.

V/A Budget Ranch Box 3×7″ box set

Three separate EPs, three different sounds, three different color vinyls. PILLSBURY HARDCORE, PEACE CORPSE, and WHITE’N’HAIRY get their individual say here. Made for collectors, comes in a box.

V/A Trust Vinyl Compilation EP

Every one of these German bands (CHALLENGER CREW, UNWANTED YOUTH, SPERMBIRDS, JUMP FOR JOY, SKEEZICKS, PMA, and ANTITOXIN) deliver one song each, and great ones they are. It’s rare to find a comp that’s really consistently sold, but this one is. Put out by Trust fanzine.

V/A New Zealand EP

A five-band comp that features one song each from groups that span the length of this island nation. ACID REIGN, HOLOCAUST, DEFIANCE, and MINDFUCKERS all have a ’77 UK sound, and all the recordings are amateurish, though the latter has a most interesting track. NAZGUL is in the thrash vein, and attacks! Good cut!

V/A Captain Best Selection 1 LP

The Captain musta been drunk when he chose these, because it’s one weird combo of eccentric pop and a dollop of HC to top it off. On the punk side, there’s GOD, WILLARD, CONTINENTAL KIDS, LOODS, and LIP CREAM.

V/A Bloodsucker EP

This EP contains one good punk track each from FREEBORN, CRIMINAL SEX, BLOOD AND THUNDER, and NICK TOCZEK (the ranting poet backed by a rocking band). Nice to hear decent stuff from relative unknowns, and…bring back more 7″ers!

The Zolge Catholic Day / Solid After 7″

Professional punk that just barely maintains its roots after all the production and arrangements. Kind of like the Japanese equivalent of the DAMNED. Slightly better tunes appear on the 12″ of “Catholic Day.”

Yard Trauma Music LP

Much of this material’s been out in the States before, but this is a good overall sampler for Europeans (or anyone who doesn’t already have their prior releases). Energetic 60s oriented punk.

Verdun Notre Combat EP

Mid-tempo punk with female vocals. While the lyrics are on the mark (anti-racism and anti-state abuse), the music is a bit repetitive. This is not to say it’s limp, but just that the tempo and structures are very similar on all 3 tracks, and given their length, a bit more change might’ve livened it up. Decent.

The Tesco Vee Experience Twisted Road / American In Me 7″

A novelty here, as Tesco of the MEATMEN indulges in a little punk rock nostalgia. While his covers of the AVENGERS and FLESH EATERS are nothing special, this is the kind of one-off thing I wish there was more of. Credit for persistence goes to Jimmy Johnson for getting this out, a freebie for subscribers of…

U.T.I. Fleas EP

A 4-song debut that shows promise. Outside of the occasional wanking guitar leads, I like the mixture of fast and slow hardcore and the straight-ahead attack. Watch for more Orange County releases on this label.

The Tranques Heavy Whispers / Bleedin’ Eyes 7″

Three-quarters of the old WILLFUL NEGLECT play metal-riff rock on side one, almost too much to take. On the flip, the metallish aspect is still there, but the basic tune is good, as well as the singing. Lyrics aren’t very important here, and the guitar is a pain.

The Stupids Van Stupid LP

Well, the little skate geeks are back with another dose of U.S. hardcore a la U.K. Fueled on pure root beer, Tommy and company indulge in a few longer tunes this time, including a hilarious scratch song. Why go to L.A. when you can have the VANDALS meets D.I. in the UK?

The Stalin Stalinism LP

I think this is a reissue of the STALIN’s first two 7″ records, as well as the track they put on MRR’s international comp LP. This is nice to have as a collector, although this relatively primitive punk doesn’t hold a candle to their subsequent material, which raged.

The Spanks Lucille 12″

What the SOUP DRAGONS are to the BUZZCOCKS, these guys may be to early SAINTS, with a dash of 60s punk and perhaps Belgium’s KIDS thrown in. Really rockin’ pop punk with great guitar and good snarly voice. We’ll know better after their next release.

Perfect Daze Bubblegum 12″

Aptly named, this is largely lightweight pop punk, a much-cleaner REVILLOS. The beat is there, but the insipid lyrics and too-sterile production keep this from really grabbing me. Main feature: Wolfie of the STUPIDS is the bass player.

Paranoid Visions Schizophrenia LP

For most of this LP, we’re floating along in a very pleasant ’78-79 type of political punk with both male and female vocals. But then, just to show us they’re not completely stuck in the past, they lash out with a terrific thrasher. Very good release, and much more gripping than on their EP. From Ireland.

Pagans Dead End America 87 / Secret Agent Man 7″

A reworking of the A-side by this reformed early punk outfit, and it’s got the guts and great bass riffs of the early version. The flip, a cover of the JOHNNY RIVERS classic, is as garage-y and raw as I’d hoped. Basic punk rock.

Offbeats Evolution of the Stickman LP

Surprisingly rockin’ pop-punk/thrash. Based on their last 7″, I thought the OFFBEATS were wimping out, but on this LP, they deliver a lot of wallop as well as catchy songs. No lyric sheet is always a bad sign: either the band puts little stock in their message, or the label could care less.

The Nomads Hardware LP

Again, cleaned and prettied up. The tunes are still cool, but the bite and raunch just isn’t there, that extra spark of rock’n’roll that heads a band over the line into madness. Too reserved.

MFD Music for the Deaf LP

Very well done melodic HC with roots in ’77 punk and the DC sound, and they even do a T. REX cover. Tight, tuneful, and songs that can be remembered.

The Leeches Urban Camouflage 12″

Garage, punk, garage ska, and just general garage, done with a flair—the lyrics are sharp, but not dogmatic. At a few points, there’s a dash of FEEDERZ here, but that’s not really what they’re about. Good debut.

Konsum Terror Fahrt Zur Hölle LP

It’s rare when a HC band can sound tighter and better on their faster material than on the slower tunes, but that’s the case here. While 50% of this LP is average, the other half is definitely a cut above, showing real snappiness. Lots of promise.

Fiends Gynecölögy LP

A lot more “rock’n’roll” than their ancient debut, this one has your metal/rock feel to it, and despite the usual dumbo lyrics, the music don’t cut it (the West Coast MEATMEN?). Amazingly, they do one “punk” tune, a cover of…BAD POSTURE’s “GDMFSOB.” Not worth the wait.

The Dry Heeves What’s Inside? 7″

Side One is “LSD,” a news story about the stuff set to a slow, psychedelic pulsing accompaniment. The flip, “Maggie,” is a slow, buzzsaw of a tune about Margaret Trudeau. Graphics insinuate Nazi b.s., but given the twisted nature of the music, I’d guess it’s just bad drugs at work.

Dog Faced Hermans Unbend EP

Strap yourself into the old time machine and set the controls for 1977/NYC/Lower East Side. Zap! Now you’re at a CONTORTIONS and TEENAGE JESUS gig. Lots of saxes, jazz punk, screeching vocals and funky bass. If this is ’87, it must be Scotland.

Doc Wör Mirran Falling to Achieve Freedom EP

Akin to TALKIN’ TO THE TOILET (see review this ish), but more on the industrial side and not as goofy. Joe Raimond and friends turn out rhythm machine slow punk with layers of noise and guitar.

Condemned 84 In Search of the New Breed 12″

I guess these guys are here to give Wattie a run for his money in the dumb lyrics department, with “Up Yours,” “Boots Go Marching,” “Kick Down the Doors,” etc. I think you get the picture.

Comando Suicida AL K.O. EP

Argentine Oi music, with a decided anti-capitalist bent. But there is the all-too-typical skinhead cry for “fighting” here, and too often that emotional response is poorly aimed. Musically, very credible and catchy.

Stiv Bators Story in Your Eyes / Have Love Will Travel 12″

The KINGSMEN cover is good compared to the recent DEAD BOYS release, but pales when compared to the NOMADS version. The flip too is a tame soft rock tune. Not happening.

Bad Beach Cornucopia LP

Musically, pretty good sounding mid-fast tempo punk and HC, but when the vocals kick in, it’s a whole new thing. Unless you’re into the latter day TSOL “singing,” these voices may really bother you. Different? Yes. Annoying? Yes.

V/A Viva Umkhonto! LP

A benefit LP for the armed ANC resistance in South Africa, released by De Konkurrent in Holland and Mordam in the U.S. Besides coming with a really excellent (visually and content-wise) magazine, this LP contains some great stuff from SCREAM, SOCIAL UNREST, VICTIMS FAMILY, RHYTHM PIGS, and 76% UNCERTAIN in the U.S., and CHALLENGER CREW, THE EX, DEPRAVED, BGK, EVERYTHING FALLS APART, SCA, KAFKA PROCESS, and MORZELPRONK from Europe. Get this, for sure!

V/A Do You Remember Rock’n’Roll? LP

A new San Jose comp, featuring the FACTION, FRONTLINE, STIKKY, ORANGE CURTAIN, LOVING END (yech!), NO WARNING, JET CRASH MIRACLE, STEVE CABALLERO (yech again!). Wish there was more choice material from STIKKY and FRONTLINE, and NO WARNING show promise, too.

V/A Apathy…Never! LP

An international sampler featuring DEPRESSION and GASH from Australia, SONS OF ISHMAEL, HALF LIFE, FAIR WARNING, and DEHUMANIZERS from N. America, FUCK GEEZ from Japan, and MOTTEK, K&T, SO MUCH HATE, and RAPED TEENAGERS from Europe. There’s little in terms of melody, lots in terms of pounding speed and intense lyrics.

V/A 77 Records Présente… LP

A mostly-French comp with BRAINWASH, BUTCHER, RAFF, and several more (including TOLBIAC’S TOADS, who we’ve heard nasties about), and then GOVERNMENT ISSUE. Mostly ’77 punk styles here, but Germany’s MANIACS’ thrash tune is the hottest track.

Suicidal Tendencies Join the Army LP

Not as speedmetal as I thought their second LP might be, though there’s plenty of guitar wanking woven into the HC. At least they don’t try to come up with a gimmicky imitation of “Institutionalized” here, but the lyrical content is pretty thin, with lots of egotism. Okay, but not special, especially considering the time between albums.

Spermbirds Something to Prove LP

Hard to believe this band is German. The music sounds like ANGRY SAMOANS, the vocals are U.S. style snotty punk (the singer is actually an American ex-G.I.), the lyrics are sarcastic SoCal-type, but instead of sun-baked retard we get some genuine insight. Hot as hell!!

Scraps Aaargh! EP

I haven’t liked too many amelodic trash bands lately, but these guys attack their music with such enthusiasm it works. Raging vocals, pounding snappy drums, insane guitar noise, reminds me of early Brazilian HC. Definite.

Rubella Ballet If LP

This colorful outfit put out a couple of recent releases that we missed, this being the latest. As with their other material, this is well-crafted pop punk, accented by female vocals with somewhat feminist/radical lyrics. Underneath the colors and pretty music lies some disturbing realities worth checking out, especially for fans of X-RAY SPEX, SLITS, CRASS…

Rhino 39 Rhino 39 LP

Last time we saw RHINO on their own vinyl, Dangerhouse Records still existed and it was still the 70s. I guess they’ve reappeared just to prove that not every revival has to be lame. While not quite as exciting as that old single, this still cooks, though at times slumps back into rock tedium. Could have been a lot worse.

RF7 ’87 LP

Well, Felix and company are back but there’ve been some changes. Side one if the more “punk” side, though only two of the tunes are really hardcore tunes, while the others are slower and go into metalish or post-punkish territory. Side two is decidedly lighter, sounding like a poor man’s LOVE. Lyrically there’s a lot of “regret” themes (mainly having to do with drugs), a few generally “outside view” tunes, and even two love songs. Glad Felix is turning it around, but I hope the next release shows more verve.

Puke Back to the Stoneage LP

While not as melodic as most of their Swedish counterparts, this outfit plays excellent hardcore. And compared to most other bands of this ilk, they are way more melodic. Like their previous 7″ (we fucked up and didn’t review it last year – also available at this address) this disc has power, hooks, and depth. Check them out.

Nabat Un Altro Giorno Di Gloria LP

NABAT, Italy’s longest running skinhead band, returns with their original and hard-hitting Oi, this time delving into reggae a bit as well. Consistent, diverse, and powerful stuff. This LP is dedicated to Nelson Mandela (among others), which sets NABAT prominently apart from the racist stupidity of most other bands. Good.

Mystic Eyes My Time to Leave / From Above 7″

With a name like this, I expected an early THEM raunchy R’n’B sound (band name is a great THEM song), but it’s pretty lightweight 60s pop with only a lilt of “G-L-O-R-I-A” in it.

Maniacs Chainsaw Blues / New Morning 7″

Both sides of his German band’s latest are excellent pop punk. Well produced, catchy tunes and lots of guitar and vocal choruses. Classic punk.

Mad Parade A Thousand Words LP

Is there such a thing as getting “BYOed”? While their latest release is pretty decent pop punk (at best they sounds like an American NEUROTICS), it’s a bit weak compared to the previous 7″. All the tunes are mid-to-slow paced, have very good lyrics, and I bet they really rock live. But at this point, they seem to be going the way of the RED ROCKERS.

The Iguana Foundation Oh Isn’t It Great / It Ain’t Me Babe 7″

The A-side has a definite STOOGES feel to it, a medium paced song with mysterious undertones. The flip conveys the same mood, taking the DYLAN classic and taking it as far from the TURTLES’ version as possible within a pop reference, sorta like BRYAN FERRY might have done.

The Extremes Eat My Dust 7″

The singing sounds like TELEVISION and so does the music, but at almost schizophrenic “extremes.” The A side is way clean sounding and the flip contains some noise guitar and could be right off Tom Verlaine and Co’s first LP.

Doc and the Pods Touch the Unclean Thing EP

Surf, 60s pop, psyche, all rear their ugly heads here. It’s OK, inoffensive stuff but nothing to do a double-take over. If you’re gonna go back to the past for inspiration at least re-emerge with some idea of what decade we so live in. These guys coulda done for BRENDA LEE’s “Sweet Nothings” what THE SAINTS did for CONNIE FRANCIS’ “Lipstick on Your Collar.”

The Dehumanizers End of Time LP

Sometimes surprising in its variety and energy, sometimes overdone and too long–a mixed effort. While their 7″ was funnier, this LP goes for production and power, sometimes obtaining a good cross of both, but not frequently enough for me. Lots of metal for the bangers though.

Dead Boys All the Way Down (Poison Lady) / The Nights Are So Long 12″

Some things are better left alone, like certain memories…or bands reforming. All the original members here, Stiv, Cheetah, etc…but this sounds like the LORDS OF THE NEW BOYS, not the snarling, twisted, classic shit on their first LP back in 77.