MRR #57 • February 1988

Asylum Leopards / Ode to Belial 7″

Above-average Aussie rock’n’roll, fast and energetic. The B-side, an instrumental ode to the rubber-suited star of the movie Basket Case, wins this month’s award for the best screams on vinyl.

Cosmic Psychos Cosmic Psychos LP

Of all the Australian bands trying to be mistaken for the STOOGES these days, the COSMIC PSYCHOS perhaps come closest to achieving the goal. A few of these songs actually sound like they might be rediscovered STOOGES classics, and the overall feeling of this LP recalls the Funhouse era of everyone’s favorite band. Noisy, nostalgic fun.

Danbert Nobacon Bigger Than Jesus 7″

Two songs created by DANBERT of CHUMBAWAMBA that simply communicate an intelligent view of being male yet being a victim of needless, painful stereotypes and expectations. Instead of merely complaining, DANBERT offers several great insights and thoughts concerning the subject. The music is heavily folk-influenced with the main instrument being an acoustic guitar. A lot rougher than any BILLY BRAGG song yet just as capturing, but a little more honest.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Heresy Thanks! EP

Totally insane searing thrash with metal influences and thoughtful words which reveal intelligence and integrity, rejecting rockstar-ism, competition, mindless stupidity, etc. An incredible EP by one of Britain’s finest bands. Thank you, HERESY!!

Isocracy Bedtime for Isocracy EP

With the music being a mixture of speeded-up quality FLIPPER and early MINOR THREAT, this record kicks it with HC anthems that cover such topics as love, Gilman St. Project, anarchy, and all-out wackiness. The band’s smart-ass sense of humor is in abundance throughout the lyrics, packaging, and general concept. Equally abundant is the band’s “we can do whatever we want” attitude, which is a pleasant relief in these days of professionalism. This be great!

Lap Jaw Talking From the Hip 12″

This Philly conglomeration featuring ex-members of MCRAD and AUTISTIC BEHAVIOR is pretty rockin’ on all six songs. They’re fast, catchy, and even though they sing mostly about girls and booze, they’re pretty fun. Who’s to knock these guys’ tradition? Pretty hot.

Mass Death At War With Santa cassette

A crack-up. I assume these guys are satirizing stupid metal bands, cuz with songs like “Shit on Your Mother’s Ass” (song title of the year, hands down!) and “I’ll Pulverize You,” they just can’t be serious. Stupidly hilarious!!

Operation Ivy Hectic EP

Full-on punk meets ska! Six great songs that get their influences from early punk, non-wimp ska and high energy hardcore—the best of three worlds. Your ears will quickly become addicted to the rockin’ riffs, catchy song-a-longs and righteous raw vocals. Lyrically, the band deals with day-to-day life in a way that most of us can relate to. Straight up—this is a must!

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.

Pre Metal Syndrome Pre Metal Syndrome LP

This is an all-girl metal band from New York, featuring a zillion guitar solos and a screeching vocalist trying to sound like Satan. If this sort of thing is your cup of tea, then this record fills the bill, though it sometimes tends to sound a bit mainstream. Lyrics range from slightly dogmatic political/social commentary to “Midnight Rambler”-type axe-murderer nightstalker “gonna getcha” biker-style tunes.

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!

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.

Ratcat Ratcat 12″

Noisy Australian guitar-oriented pop, kind of like a punchier JESUS AND MARY CHAIN. What saves this 12” from predictability is the unexpected sick humor in the midst of the pop tunes. “She’s Gone” is a plaintive lament about a dead cat, and “Car Crash” with the immortal line “Sorry about the car crash / I hope you don’t mind / We’ve killed your family and loved ones… hope you’ve got insurance” is notable for its catchy tune and hilariously deadpan vocals.

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.

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.

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.

The Bambi Slam Is… 12″

This is the American issue of their first three singles. Predictable, as one side has A-sides and the other the B-sides. The band’s debut single is so far above anything else they’ve done that the rest, especially the B-sides, are really slow, tired, and pale in comparison. Still worth it for “Bamp Bamp” (great garage mania) if you don’t have it.

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.

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.

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!

Think Tank What Now? EP

Six songs that musically have a lot of roots in simple funk/dance punk, yet stick to a fast tempo and catchy rhythms. Lyrically, the band words itself very well when dealing with political subjects from a good common sense point of view mixed with pro-awareness emotion. Fun and serious at the same time. Too bad this debut vinyl comes out several months after the breakup of this Fresno band (includes an ex-MANIAC and ex-Stop Skate Harassment publisher.

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.

Toxic Zombies Die Toxic LP

Sloppy hardcore cum metal, reflecting an admirable and sincere (I think) concern for the dangers of toxic waste disposal, and more generally for all society’s ills. The record has its humorous moments, many of them unintentional. But you gotta give these guys credit for trying: to quote the ‘ZOMBIES, “punk is great, punk is cool.”

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 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 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 Sorry I Gave at the Orifice cassette

A great title, and a pretty darn good tape, too. Featuring DECLINE, SCREECHING WEASEL, DISGRACE, SOCIAL DECAY, and more US acts with fair to good sound quality. Booklet included.

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 We Can Change the World, Vol.II cassette

A solid comp with DISSONANCE, A.D.S., DEAD SILENCE, and more. Lots of energetic material (poetry too!!) with a message. Booklet included.

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 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 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 Don’t Lose Your Head cassette

A pretty solid world comp of mostly wild punk and HC tuneage. Standouts included VISUAL DISCRIMINATION, EXTREMES, and more. Worth checking into. Booklet included.

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.

V/A Can a Butterfly Smash a Wheel? LP

This compilation is intended as a document of the underground rock scene in Bødø, a small Norwegian town north of the Arctic Circle. The music is incredibly diverse, ranging from pop-punk to grungy hardcore to syntho-disco to experimental art-noise to jangly guitar pop. There are also some rumbling synth “mood music” tracks which are quite relaxing. Production tends to be on the muddy side, but the concept is bizarre enough to make this one interesting.

Warlock Pinchers This is the Cobbler and He Hates Your Bellbottoms EP

Garage rap is here and anyone can do it. Or so prove these guys. And they are really tough with songs/raps like” “James Dean is an Overrated Asshole” (“I’d kill him if I were able”), a song about a school chum called “Billy the Scab” who they want to die for various reasons, and of course a “We’re the Warlocks” anthem that all rappers must have no matter how stupid. This record is ridiculous but pretty funny.

Yeastie Girlz Suck My Smelly Vagina cassette

These gals make the BEASTIE BOYS look like flaccid wimps, doing intelligent and hilarious acapella raps about macho goons, the FCC, poo, etc. With loads of funny between-the-songs banter. Totally rad, and the “special prizes” are yucky!