Criminal Damage

Dead Man’s Shadow Another Year / One Man’s Crusade 7″

This single won’t win any awards for power, but it’s still rather engaging in an inoffensive sort of way. The melodic “One Man’s Crusade” has evocative lyric concerns and catchy guitar progressions, but neither of the mid-tempo tracks here boast any of DEAD MAN’S SHADOW’s former abrasiveness or aggression. For fans of subdued pop-punk.

Destructors Cry Havoc and Unleash the Dogs of War 12″

It looks like this really will be the last from these guys. I’ve always admired their simple, dreary, and repetitive style, as well as their double guitar sound. Although their cover of “I Wanna Be Your Dog” is uninspiring, and the intro to “Nerve Gas” sounds like a Lydon rip-off, the rest is fine. “Khmer Rouge Boogie” is a great song.

Destructors TV Eye EP

Yechh! I’ve already been put off by the many recent releases of recycled DESTRUCTORS material. But I can’t abide this new line-up (minus old singer Neil), which has regressed to the point of playing thoroughly boring rock. If this is their bid for commercial success, they deserve to fall flat on their shortsighted faces. Garbage.

The Membranes Spike Milligan’s Tape Recorder / All Skin and Bone 7″

The MEMBRANES hold a stylistic position somewhere near the likes of the METEORS and the INCA BABIES, but they rely less upon a recognizable rockabilly format and more on a raucous post-punk sensibility. Otherwise, one can compare their trashy, guitar-heavy approach with psychotic vocals. “Spike Milligan…” is up-tempo; the flip is a longer, droning number.

Twisted Nerve Five Minutes of Fame / Strange Sensation 7″

An unnotable amalgam of punk and post-punk influences, this latest single from TWISTED NERVE features a very distanced guitar sound reminiscent of late-period UK DECAY. Unfortunately, the material here seems monotonous, and an occasionally interesting effect doesn’t rescue the record from ordinariness.

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

Volume One covered French neo-’60s garage, and this latest volume covers Sweden. The bands emerge from punk to pop-punk to power rock, all with that zesty garage undertone. Grittiest stuff comes from the SLAMMERS and SLOBSTER, though fine stuff by HIDDEN CHARMS, SINNERS, and BOTTLE-UPS (among others) are welcome, too. Good work.