Happy Squid

100 Flowers Presence of Mind EP

I read that the URINALS decided to change their name so they could get gigs, but apparently it also signaled a change of musical direction. Only the speedy “Dyslexia” reminds one at all of the old URINALS on this EP: the others are examples of their slower neo-psychedelic approach. Personally, I’d prefer the return of the greatest garage band in the world, but then what do I know?

100 Flowers Drawing Fire 12″

This new 100 FLOWERS release combines their usual rhythmic post-punk stylistic devices with a somewhat rawer production. They’ve always used guitars in an awkward, interesting way, but here there’s more overall rumble and punch that I would have anticipated. Pretty good.

Angst Neil Armstrong 12″

A severely underrated Bay Area band, Angst specializes in intricate rock arrangements buoyed by occasionally hilarious lyrics. Such is the case here—songs like “Neil Armstrong,” “Pig,” and their soon-to-be-classic “Nancy” have a listless dementia about them that allows them to cross the boundaries of art-rock and funnypunk with equal ease. A fine effort, so buy it.

God and the State Ruins: The Complete Works of God and the State LP

One of the more accessible releases Happy Squid has put out in a long time, this band existed briefly in early ’83, then they went the way of the buffalo. Musically, and even lyrically, they are so close to early GANG OF FOUR that it’s not funny. I doubt it was meant to be, though.

The Rub Bikini Gospel LP

Pretty accessible stuff for this label, as the music is punkish eclectic pop with a dash of straightforward R’n’B based rock. Lyrics are L.A. bleak but more political than most emanating from the sun-fried zone. Pretty cool.