Reviews

Garage Rock

Frontier Club Speaking in Cursive 7″

FRONTIER CLUB is an odd name for a band from Southern California, as it brings to mind that old timey SoCal record label that put out Group Sex and the Blue Album? Would you ever name your band “Slash Team” or “Dangerous House”? Anyway, this isn’t FRONTIER CLUB’s first record, so I’m sure somebody’s already picked up on that. As it stands, this slab is much more post-punk than CIRCLE JERKS, or even TSOL. Plenty o’ sharp guitars, plaintive vocals (just enough emoting to keep it interesting), and lockstep drums and bass. Good shit. The guitar on these three tracks is particularly tough and muscular, but still a little dark, a little gothic, and a little mysterious—kind of like a jock who works out two hours a day but also wears a beret and a black trenchcoat or, alternatively, Xena Warrior Princess. Similar to the WYNONA RIDERS, but with different singing and much more contemporary than that band ever was. Less dreary than it could be, more fun than it should be. Like it.

The Dogs Sick as a Dog 1994-1998 LP

Not that DOGS, but the best 1980s record not from the ’80s that I’ve heard in a minute. This OC band existed for four too-short years in the ’90s, most of whom went on to start BROKEN BOTTLES, who I’m not super familiar with. These guys came in a little too early, and much too close to the ’80s, as you could see them going over real big today. They most likely tore up house parties with the likes of the STITCHES, STARVATIONS, and the SPOOKY, but there is no pogo here. Just slaming and crawling classic OC hardcore punk. The big comparisons here are the ADOLESCENTS and DI, who they obviously worship, but also CHINA WHITE or even AMERICA’S HARDCORE. Leather-jacketed goons roaming the beaches looking for blood and trouble fill my head as I’m whisked away to Reaganland. They easily could’ve been included in the never-made Suburbia II soundtrack, but make no bones, this is from the ’90s, and the DOGS are sorely missed today.