Excel Split Image LP

Finally, the long-awaited album by this Venice band. Basically, this hot LP showcases EXCEL’s intense HC/metal sound in a good light: very powerful tunes with personal/anti-conformity themes. A really intense album from perhaps the only Venice act who reveals some intelligence.

Frightwig Faster, Frightwig: Kill! Kill! LP

Back again with their noisy brand of raunch’n’roll, these gals don’t disappoint. Most of their songs are slow-to-medium-paced and only occasionally drag—yet somehow maintain a special quality, be it in the lyrics (“Punk Rock Jail Bait”), singing (Freedom”), or that down and dirty pounding (“Crazy World”). Oh yeah, they’re even better live.

Meatmen Rock ‘N’ Roll Juggernaut LP

The best thing about all the MEATMEN recordings were the sharp, bullseye humor. Here, the MEN skimp on the humor in favor of the hard-fought macho-metal sound, and it just doesn’t sound like parody anymore. I’m sure if someone offered the spot between ACCEPT and TWISTED SISTER on the HM hierarchy, he’d jump. Me, I’m bailin’.

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.

Samhain November Coming Fire LP

The horror continues and in a fine way as SAMHAIN’s third release really paves the way for this unique harmonious outfit of creeping pleasure. Danzig vocals are in fine form, and there is a slight MISFITS aura here. The pace is even good tempos, and sing-alongs ever present—this disc really grows on you.

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.

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.