Lost Cause Lost Cause LP

Chicago’s LOST CAUSE performs HC with a melodic punk edge, always aiming to kick ass in energy and drive. Echoey vocals got in the way of my full enjoyment, but there’s undeniable potential evidenced in some of these songs. Above average.

Mr. Epp and the Calculations Of Course I’m Happy, Why? EP

Weirdly-structured guitar raunch crammed with cynicism. Some of the cuts are fast (“Red Brigade”) and some are slower with herky-jerky rhythms, but all of them stimulate thought. The vicious critique of fashion-clone punks (“Mohawk Man”) is alone worth the price.

The Defoliants Hang Ten EP

Finally vinyl from this band! Two slow-ish surf instrumentals, one raging surf instrumental à la fellow chem-rockers AGENT ORANGE, and one brooding tune. What binds them together is the really cool guitar work, which combines surf and psych in an interesting and tough manner. This one’s growing on me.

The Impotent Sea Snakes Too Cool for Rock and Roll LP

The second record by Florida’s twisted answer to the MEATMEN has a mix of arrogance and humor that tries and will annoy and insult just above everyone. While I chuckled the first time I played “Pope John Paul Can Suck My Dick” and “I Wanna Fuck Your Dad”, I just don’t think I’m going to go back to this record. It’s a little like a little kid saying “booger” for the first time — the shit gets old fast.

The Service America’s Newest Hitmakers LP

Great overlooked scruffy band from Chicago just loaded with talent. There’s a full-bodied guitar sound, scratchy Midwestern vocal drawl, and cool but not cheesy organ fills, and throughout all of this there’s good, honest hooks. Great record.