Christmas Ballad of the Invisible Girl / Wilhelm Reich 7″

CHRISTMAS area fun thrash-pop trio who love their rock ’n’ roll. Hardcore no, but thrash, yes. (Is there a difference yet, Tim?) “Ballad” has a wild country kick to it, and “Wilhelm” sounds a bit like MISSION OF BURMA. But believe me, folks, I’ve seen ’em and this disc is just the top of the iceberg. Hot damn iceberg!

Eugene Chadbourne The President, He is Insane LP

Unlike his former band SHOCKABILLY, Chadbourne’s solo efforts steer away from the head-first fuzzed-out psychedelic trips and goes for more personal (and political) subjects. There are some incredible lyrics here about nationalism, pornography, and criminals in coats and ties all delivered in a folky, sometimes spastic sound that really connects.

Half Japanese Our Solar System LP / Sing No Evil LP

1/2 JAPANESE have been around since the mid-’70s and they still sound like a garage band. They’ve created a romantic jungle planet. Our Solar System is raw and crazy, and makes you sing along, while Sing No Evil is slicker and R’n’B-ish; it’s their Exile on Main Street. There’s also a new JAD FAIR solo record with the VELVET UNDERGROUND’s Mo Tucker on drums available by mail. If you’re in the mood for a V.U. record and want some fun, play these.

Sonic Youth / Lydia Lunch Death Valley ’69 / Brave Men Run 7″

A match made in hell? Actually, this single is pretty enjoyable. While I haven’t really liked LYDIA LUNCH since TEENAGE JESUS & THE JERKS, the focus of SONIC YOUTH forces her into a structure that makes the result a lot more accessible. Almost sounds like PATTI SMITH.