Artless Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood 12″

Well, actually this is half of a 12″, with an etching (come up and see my…?) of Mykel Board (the star of this disc?) on the backside. ARTLESS presents their version of thrash and punk, incorporating saxes (non-offensively?) and Mykel’s pseudo-conservative lyrics (“How Much Punk Rock Do You Hear in Russia?,” “We Want Nuclear War,” “We’re Republicans,” etc.). And hey, great liner notes!

Conflict Last Hour LP

This bracing album by Tucson’s CONFLICT pairs piercing female vocals with a thrashy guitar assault; the result is both unique and exciting. Rockers like “Fester” and “Human Cargo” rate as my favorites, but CONFLICT are also quite adept at change-of-pace and slower punk numbers. The lyrics, which sometimes emphasize women’s concerns, are particularly refreshing.

Feederz Jesus EP

A reissue of the provocative FEEDERZ EP with a new picture sleeve. In case you never heard it, it’s got innovative song structures, memorable hooks, and some of the most biting, “subversive” lyrics around. The easily offended should steer clear and stick to the trite and predictable; all others should rush out and buy it.

JFA Valley of the Yakes LP

Like their cool debut EP, JFA’s album is chock full of super enjoyable thrash tunes. Their songs, whether high-speed blasts or the occasional surf-style instrumental like “Baja,” are perfect for hot fun in the sun—skateboarding, surfing, drag racing and, of course, slamming and skanking. The main improvement here lies in the area of production—the guitar has more edge this time around. Even though they’re from Arizona, JFA are the California beach band of the ’80s.


Perhaps not as consistently appealing as their debut EP and album, this new release from JFA takes a few more musical chances, with tracks ranging from punk and surf to weird psychedelia. Two instrumentals (“Tentpeg” and the rollicking surf tune “Pipetruck”) are the songs with the most melodic interest here, but the old JFA wit resurfaces more convincingly in “I Love Broads.” Although mixed in terms of quality, this LP just might be worth a gamble.

JFA Blatant Localism EP

Phoenix skateboarders thrash out and come up with an EP full of classy teenage punk anthems. The guitar could be more grating, but the songs are fast, catchy, and pretty damn funny (“Beach Blanket Bong-Out”). Check it out today, and skate your troubles away.

JFA Mad Garden 12″

This is where JFA comes back to releasing fast thrash with no apologies. “Mad Garden” is a tribute to the Madison Square Garden in Arizona, a wrestling arena/punk rock club that now sells plants. And I highly approve of the punk cover of the Charlie Brown Show theme.

JFA Live 1984 Tour LP

JFA have documented their live performing talents with mixed success on this album. The instrumental numbers (and there are a ton of them here) have both energy and clarity, though the vocal tunes tend to show the fair-to-middling quality of the recording. For JFA fans only.

JFA My Movie EP

JFA present two lackluster instrumentals on one side of this EP, but the showcase for this band’s talents, “Desert Jewel,” demonstrates adeptness at a diverse punk approach: a haunting intro, bright guitars, and impassioned vocals make for their best track in a long time. Very good.

Mighty Sphincter The New Manson Family LP

At first, I thought there was something different about this band and I couldn’t put my finger on It. More metal? Slower? More doom and gloom? More rock? Well, yeah, all of the above and produced by ALICE COOPER. Very gothic, slow, tired, and staid. Are the ’70s back or were they here all along? Yawn.

Mighty Sphincter Heathouse EP

Phoenix, Arizona, the depraved city that gave us ALICE COOPER, the FEEDERZ, and the MEAT PUPPETS, has struck again. What crosses are to vampires, SPHINCTER is to music. Even some BUTTHOLE SURFERS fans would gag in horror at the sight of this band. Their sound is a bit more pet-metal than punk, kind of like CHRISTIAN DEATH and VENOM played backwards through a jet engine.

Mighty Sphincter Ghost Walking Double EP

I really didn’t expect this from MIGHTY SPHINCTER, but I just know this will grow on me. Jumping, jolting, pain, torture, torment… gothic like JOY DIVISION, jerky like MINUTEMEN, moaning like…hmmm, SCRATCH ACID? Good God, I think it’s saintly…

Sun City Girls Grotto of Miracles LP

The GIRLS are off in many tangents and can be a little boring but they are still provocative. Here they have depressing psychedelia to lounge music to ethnic accents to the true LSD freak-out. Very musical, poetic, downright pretty, distinctively ugly, the great acid experience or background music.

Sun City Girls Sun City Girls LP

Live, they come out dressed in Indian madras bedspreads and masked faces like fundamentalist Islamic women, and launch into what sounds like the DOORS meeting SYD BARRETT. Unfortunately, this album lacks the charm of their visual presentation, and the “songs” are largely unstructured, like jazz or avant-garde stuff. For the way-out only.

The Zany Guys Party Hits vol. II EP

A very clever Phoenix band that mixes a couple of garagy thrash tunes (“Little Tuff Kid” and “Mr. Ackers”) with a slower boppin’ thang (“Paperboy Blue”) and an absolutely hilarious country-punk satire (“Hardcore”). The latter is one of the year’s outstanding funnypunk creations, and the whole EP will tickle your funnybone. Order it today.

V/A More Coffee for the Politicians LP

Another Phoenix compilation with JFA, MIGHTY SPHINCTER, and the SUN CITY GIRLS, but better than that are tracks from the new bands like BOOTBEAST CARNIVAL, HARVEST, HELLFIRE, and the very raunchy DIRT CLODS. Lots of instrumentals, strange industrial stuff, and best of all, raspy garage sounds.

V/A This Is Phoenix, Not the Circle Jerks LP

An OK compilation of Phoenix rock and hardcore bands that features one side of studio and another of live tracks. MIGHTY SPHINCTER has a twisted psycho-punk style that I found quite interesting, but several of the songs by CONFLICT and SOILENT GREENE (especially the latter’s “Pledge”) provide most of the energy and excitement. An uneven, interesting release.

V/A Amuck LP

A compilation of Arizona bands. One side is arty/experimental, which I’m not competent to comment on. The other side is a mix of thrash, punk, new wave, and experimental. Probably an up-to-date anthology of Phoenix today. Faves are JODY FOSTER’S ARMY, SOYLENT GREENE, and the MEAT PUPPETS.