EMI Custom

Funhouse Conspicuous Consumption / Retaliation 7″

FUNHOUSE specializes in mid-speed rock compositions with lead solos and angry lyric concerns. “Retaliation” has a tense, riff-laden approach that makes for powerful music, but rumor has it that these guys are now much better than these early 1983 recordings indicate. A promising band.

Ligotage Crime and Passion 12″

Beki Bondage, formerly of VICE SQUAD, has a decent outing with this new EP. “Crime and Passion” is a confounding yet effective mixture of pop, metal, and ’77-style punk, but still nowhere as good as early (or even recent) VICE SQUAD. The two songs on the flip unfortunately swerve toward genericness with that same combination of influences. Merely adequate.

The Real Traitors It’s a Waste EP

Remember when punk was supposed to be about moving in new directions? Well, here’s a punk band with no drummer. I don’t know whether this would appeal more to avant-punk fans or industrial aficionados, but both would probably like these long, scathing dirges. Not for the squeamish.

The Rejected First Offence EP

The term “generic” comes to mind on this one. Mid- to fast-paced hardcore from this Aussie outfit, but the songs are too repetitious (both lyrically and musically) and the guitar sound altogether too thin to sustain much power. “Copper,” of the five tracks, has a nice riff to recommend it; otherwise, I was unaffected.