Cramp Suzy Lie Down / She Doesn’t Love Me 7″ reissue

CRAMP was from Portrush, Northern Ireland. This is a reissue of their 1979 7” originally released on Rip Off. The music is straightforward pub rock, played slowly and thoughtfully. The lyrics are sung nonchalantly. On “Suzy Lie Down,” a man sings of trying to convince a woman to sleep with him, including questionably accusing her of being a slut even as he exclaims that he loves her. The B-side “She Doesn’t Love Me” is a song of unrequited love. She does even give him the time of day. Both songs are catchy, but the lyrics make my eyes roll.

Girl Guided Missiles Desperate Men / Fully Qualified Robot 7″ reissue

This is a reissue of the GIRL GUIDED MISSILES’ only 7″, originally released in 1979. They have a catchy, amateurish sound that will be familiar to fans of late ’70s post-punk bands from the north of England. The songs are longer than most bands of the era, but they never lose steam. They keep on rockin’ out to the end. Two great songs. A great reissue.

Pretty Boy Floyd and the Gems Sharon / The Instigator 7″ reissue

It turns out this is from 1979. It also turns out it wouldn’t take anyone too long to figure that out. If you’re a fan of power pop that was heavily influenced by punk way back then, you’ll love this. Super catchy and full of CLASH-influenced lead guitar, this is real and just fun to listen to. Get it.

Pushups Empty Faces / Global Corporation 7″ reissue

As the extraterrestrial glam rockers ZOLAR X began to implode in 1979, two of its members, Ed Dorn and Zory Zenith, split off to form the synthy power pop band AURORA PUSHUPS. After releasing just one 7”, Zory exited the band, and Ed carried on, rebranding as PUSHUPS. What we have here is a reissue of that iteration of the band’s sole release brought to us by the Italian budget label Breakout. It’s two tracks of glammy new wave pop—imagine a mix of GARY NUMAN, MILK ‘N’ COOKIES, and, well, ZOLAR X. It’s fun stuff, for sure, and it probably would have been an essential pick-up had HoZac not released a compilation of the band’s complete recordings just a year or so back. Still, you certainly could find worse ways to spend your money.

Schoolgirl Bitch Abusing the Rules / Think for Yourself 7″ reissue

Reissue of the lone 1978 from this band from Northwest England. Two catchy-as-heck, properly angst-filled tunes. The guys responsible for this excellent 7″ are Nick Name, Phil Serious and Kid Sick. Great names and great songs. If you have not heard this, don’t wait a minute longer. Fantastic.

The Brats Be a Man / Quaalude Queen 7″ reissue

Sick. The BRATS’ once-obscure ’70s single (since reissued and sold out by Hozac Records) now graces us again thanks to this fine Italian label’s money. In case you’re not an obsessive ’70s proto-glam punk nostalgia nerd, the BRATS were the vehicle of very brief original NEW YORK DOLLS guitarist Rick Rivets. My well-aged peers might know “Be a Man” from the cover done by SF punk favorites the INFECTIONS. It’s definitely the better tune here, but the flip ain’t no slouch either, and the whole thing has a slightly warped sound adding to the whole platform-soled “Quaalude” stagger sound. If you’re like me and missed the boat on ingesting the Roher disco biscuits, this is a suitable, clearer-headed substitute that won’t leave you with the joy of questioning your bedmate’s name in the morning. Good stuff, punker. Pick it up.

The Brats Keep Doin’ (What You’re Doin’) / If You Can’t Rock (You Can Roll) 7″ reissue

Ten seconds in and I’m thinking to myself that this sounds like some kids that want to sound like a glam band from the mid-’70s, or maybe they fancy themselves the next ROLLING STONES. Turns out this was originally released in 1975, so I was onto something. It’s fine, but it’s not knocking my socks off. The sound is a little thin for me and I find myself wanting them to pick up the pace. It’s just a little too deliberate. I feel like it was a good start to a good single, but they never quite finished the job.

The Cardiac Kidz Get Out​ /​ Find Yourself a Way 7″ reissue

Reissue of this San Diego band’s 1979 KBD “classic”—two tracks that are certainly inept but manage to split the difference between power pop and punk in such a way that they somehow fail to qualify as either. If you’re not a fan of the Killed by Death comps (or ducked out after the first half-dozen), these tracks wound up on entries #007 and #12. I don’t know that I ever registered that both of these were from the same band. Even still, I always thought that they were some of the more forgettable/lamer inclusions, but Discogs prices on the original Lub Dub 7” seem to suggest that other folks are more into them. So, if you’ve been itching to get a copy of these tracks on the same release but haven’t wanted to fork out the big bucks to get an original, Breakout’s got you!

The Cybermen You’re to Blame / It’s You I Want 7″ reissue

Another necessary reissue from Italy’s excellent Breakout Records, “You’re To Blame / It’s You I Want” is an encore presentation of late ’70s pop punkers the CYBERMEN’s second record, originally released in 1979. A strong entry in the “UK pub-rock-turned-punk” category, the CYBERMEN were in a pub group called ESAX LUCIUS prior to catching the punk bug, and it shows. Sharp and clean with rockin’ grooves in the vein of the RADIATORS FROM SPACE or the CORTINAS, these boys played that catchy shit with a bit of commercial appeal. This single is presented as a double A-side (right on the sleeve!), but the actual A-side is the winner for me. “You’re To Blame” is a loose and spunky R&B number with a classic four-chord riff and ’50s rock character. “It’s You I Want” sounds a little more like an attempt at radio play and has more of a power pop feel to it (the handclaps are subtle), although there is some good ol’ twangy guitar jamming in there to help drive it along. Anyway, by the time I get to side two, I’m already sold on the record and ready to flip it back again. It’s great.

The Cybermen Cybernetic Surgery EP reissue

I always thought the CYBERMEN’s “You’re To Blame” was a charming enough second-tier second-wave punker perfect for filling out an all mod cons mix (pro tip: slot it next to EXPLODING HEARTS), but what I did not know was that their four-song debut is an even more satisfying slab of earworm. Cheers to Breakout for rescuing this not-cheap circa ’78 record for the rest of us. “Cybernetic Surgery” is way up on that neuromancer tip and has a great balance between fast rocker and weird robot energy. “Where’s New Wave” also crests early but often, another tricky balance struck between wrong-sided garage and mean-muggin’ mod. “Hanging Around” manages to be sullen and threatening and even finds time to phase in and out of existence. Just when you thought these jerks were irredeemable, “I Can’t Help” proves that it was all just an act and these punks have sleeves made of bleeding hearts. A bounty of riches, this single. No band named after Dr. Who’s lamest adversaries has any right to be this killer.

The Defnics 51% / Hello From Berlin 7″ reissue

Classic Midwest punk rock from 1981—the DEFNICS are up there with the PAGANS as being among Cleveland’s finest. And they play a similar style of melodic, but tough as fucking nails, punk rock. Unless you’re one of the very few who have an original, you need this record. Hell, if you’ve got an original, get this one so you can preserve that original. Excellent shit.

The Dogs Teen Slime: Original 1973–1977 Recordings LP

Forgotten ’70s heroes the DOGS from Iowa played raw and primal guitar rock, minus much of the pretension that was so commonly paired with popular music of the era. Instead they opted for unapologetic expression with a beautiful “fuck you” feel. I guess it’s hard to be pretentious when you’re wailing and shrieking like a wounded animal over a decent percentage of the music, and the singer here has no shame in his vocal freak-out game. Riffs are dirty and direct, the themes are of youthful confusion and reflection, and their STOOGES influence is evident as soon as you look at the album’s cover. The songs sometimes take up a shamanic vibe, as in the bluesy “Man Is Not An Animal”, and at other times it sounds like every member of the band is doing whatever the hell they want with surprisingly rockin’ results (see: “Freakin’ on the Street”). In other words, this is proto-punk gold, and this collection features the band’s 1977 double A-side “Rot n’ Roll / Teen Slime” single, as well as five earlier songs dating back as far as 1973. I’ve been listening to this thing for months. The Breakout/Rave Up team-up is on a roll with excellent reissues of this nature, fingers crossed for the PUNKS LP next.

The Go Don’t Take Her Away EP reissue

Long-lost power pop from the mean streets of Yonkers circa 1980. Looks like this four-song recording was it for the group. A couple of great straightforward rockers and a couple lukewarm crooners (“Tomorrow Night,” “She Gives a Color to Me”).  All is worth it upon hearing “Instant Reaction;” there is a deep honesty in the vocals and you can hear the steam in the room.  They credit Rob Freeman on production duties, who was known at the time for his engineering work with the RAMONES, which adds up. Breakout Records is the shit, I have not met a release of theirs that didn’t slap me around.

The Pigs Youthanasia LP

First-wave UK punk outfit the PIGS left us just one artifact in their brief existence, the venerable Youthanasia EP. Little did we know there were seven more songs from the same 1977 recording session lurking about in obscurity ever since! This excellent collection includes those plus the four tracks originally released on the EP as well for a total of eleven twangy and bangy OG punk thrashers. With infectious tunes covering classic punk topics like anarchy, racism, and nuclear war way before they became cliché, these scrappy Bristol lads unwittingly created a blueprint that would soon become well-worn. This is ’77 punk at its raucous, ramshackle finest. Essential.

Tracks Brakes on You LP

TRACKS were a Boston band who released one 7″ single in 1977, moved to New York in 1978 to join the scene, and promptly broke up in 1979. The single tracks “Brakes on You” and “Bombs Away” are included here along with 1976 live recordings from Cambridge, MA’s The Club. Led by the snarling, tough gal vocals of Lorry Doll, TRACKS have a nasty, don’t-give-a-shit attitude. The music is sped-up hard rock with a bit of punkiness to it. These recordings are rough, but there is something there. Perhaps with a proper recording, some publicity, and the necessary luck, they could have made the history books. But you also get the feeling that isn’t what they were looking for.

Wasteland Want Not EP reissue

Reissuing the debut EP from 1970s oddballs WASTELAND, this 7” digs up a trio of forgotten pop curiosities. The opening “Ono,” a quirky and jerky number in the spirit of the BUZZCOCKS, is the punkiest of the lot, with a sound not unlike that of “Ride The Wild”-era DESCENDENTS. “Bombsite Baby” is a mellow tune that mixes the jangling sensibilities of the TELEVISION PERSONALITIES with the rocking flourish of EDDIE AND THE HOT RODS. Finally, “Radio Nation Burns” caps off the record with five minutes of bluesy, folky, and artsy weirdo rock. It’s a noble effort of preservation on behalf of the good people at Breakout Records, but this one’s best suited for those who are thirsty for every last drop of ‘77-adjacent hydration.