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Record Reviews

Published in Reglar Wiglar #10, 1998

Shut Your Mouth and Open Your Eyes (Nitro)

If you think I'm going to write a bad review of a band whose label has supported this publication by advertising within its pages, then you've got another think coming buddy. I don't care if AFI do suck, that just ain't gonna happen. And don't think I'm saying AFI suck either, 'cause I'm not sayin' that. I'm not sayin' that they don't suck either–awww, heck, you know what I'm sayin'—Joey Germ

Blood Wrong (PC Music)

Ahhh, press kits. Really quite annoying most of the time, but what are you gonna do? Those trees got to be chopped down for sumpthin'. So the press kit says that Another Society is "chuck" rock, i.e. same old shit. Nice attempt at creating a new musical style through a clever catchword though. Actually, back in the olden days this is what we used to call metal. The press kit suggests picturing Sharon Stone in a menage a trois with James Hetfield and Page Hamilton. Now besides creating a horrible, horrible mental picture in your head, this basically is meant to say that this band sounds a while lot like Metallica and Helmet. The Sharon Stone part I just don't get 'cause I've seen Another Society's press photo and sexy is one thing these mugs ain't. Just keep this in mind: critics don't kill bands, press kits do. Oh yeah and "by early indications Blood Wrong's impact will reach even further than the band's 1995 debut." Which leaves these questions; what indication, what impact and on who? I feel sorry for bands that get signed—Muggsy McMurphy

Bouncing Balls (Genuine Spurious)

I am touched by the sincerity of the Bouncing Balls, their commitment to rock and by the unabashed goofiness of their press photo which was awarded with the Goofiest Band Photo Award by a panel of Reglar Wiglar judges. The sound of balls bouncing would seem to be guitar rockin' a little, guitar poppin' a little. For those individuals who are silly enough to have lived in Chicago in the pre-Wicker Park era, singer/songster/guitarer, Don Hedecker was half of Algebra Suicide (something I myself considered committing while I was suffering through Algebra II in high school when grades failed to improve. Whose with me?) And drummer Brendan Burke used to play in a band 'round here called God's Acre, but you don't really care about that do you? That's all irrelevant anyway, especially in the wake of the Bouncing Balls, ya'll—Muggsy McMurphy

Split 7" (Goat Boy)

Heavy, heavy shit from Richmond, VA and their very own Burn the Priesty: slow, painful, burning soul kinda music. Heretics all of 'em, but if you don't cry at the end of "Ballad of Kansas City" you're just not human and you sure as hell tain't Christian. I'm guessing ZED is from Philadelphia which is the home of the Goat Boy label and this is the label's first release. ZED is a little more up-tempo and their song "What the Fuck?!" could almost be considered uplifting. Uplifting considering that we all live in a world of shit and misery. You understand—Muggsy McMurphy

Shit Edge and Other Songs for the Young and Sentimental (New Red Archives)

Not just my all-time favorite cursing phrase (actually, I like to throw a 'motherfucking' in there to modify the noun crutch, but that's must me.) Christ on a Crutch–is a politically charged hardcore band with a sense of humor as is evident from this collection of singles and compilation tracks. Christ on a Crutch really don't seem to care what they throw on a record and hey, neither do I, so I'll go on record sayin' I like this product. I've used it, and I like it—Joey Germ

Fatigue (DP)
I got a Daughter Product t-shirt in the mail the other day and it came with a free CD (it's got music or something on it). It's a 100% cotton blend, all black. It says "daughter product" on the front and has some arty B&W picture on the back. I plan to sleep in it as it is a heavy tee and will undoubtedly keep me warmer on a cold Chicago winter's night that the CD would or the computer disc that came with it, which supposedly contains some sort of computer graphic. My only suggestion as far as daughter product goes is that instead of the CD and computer disc, next time just send sweatpants with the t-shirts. It's more practical. Thank you though, for the shirt—Jayne Wayne

Hardwired in Ljumljana (eMpTy)

If you look up rock and roll in the dictionary there's a picture of Dead Moon. Well, no there isn't really, but there should be. Dead Moon frontman, Fred Cole, has been making records since 1964 and has been at the heart of Northwest Garage Rock ever since. Hard Wired is a collection of live recordings from Europe and the Northwest. With his wife of twenty-seven years, Toody, on bass, and drummer Andrew Loomis, Fred & Dead Moon give us twenty live, raw, ass-kickin' rock tunes that are equal parts out of tune, out of breath and teetering on the edge of chaos, but if you look up rock'n'roll in the dictionary, that's the definition. Go ahead, do it, I dare yah—Joey Germ

Congradulations Ma'am, It's a Country Album cassette (Off-white)

By god, it is a country record! Got banjos and geetar on it and woeful wailing and what not. Made me feel like...feel like drinkin' whiskey. Mmmmmmmm, yep, I reckon it did—Muggsy McMurphy

Mr. Diamond, I Think We've Got a Possible Situation Here (Genie)

Dickey Diamond has long been this reviewers fav lounge singer. There are imitators out there for sure, but none have ever truly matched his unique style. This is a later period reissue of the first disc Dickey cut with his then new band, The Situation. For all you bored hipsters out there who are "over" rock music, you got to get with Dickey Diamond if you even want to mention lounge music at your next cocktail party. Dickey is the original lady killin', lounge fillin', top billin', martini swillin' cad about town. He's smooth, he's debonair, he's got savoir faire and he lords it over the imitators. So do yourself a favor and step to the prototype: Dickey Diamond—P.C. Jones

Shock EP (Soda Jerk)

Ah, the electric summers of my youth... Supposedly, and the only source for my information is the press release for this CD, Electric Summer captures the raw intensity and emotion of early LA hardcore groups like Black Flag, Circle Jerks and the Germs. The irony here is that they (allegedly) have never ever heard of these bands before because they're from Japan and are somehow oblivious to American Punk Rock. So we are to believe that this is a band that evolved separately from bands such as Black Flag, but still arrived at the same place fifteen years later. We can conclude form this that late 70s America equals late 90s Japan. Now of course this is silly but what matters here students is whether or not the music has any artistic merit in the punk rock genre. Well, it does rock, the absurd lyrics are humorous as well as interesting in their cultural translation, and this record was recorded by Descendent and old Black Flagger, Bill Stevenson, but don't believe the hype that these guys are a present day incarnation of the LA punk bands of yore, 'cause it ain't necessarily so—Joey Germ

Electric Summer/Black Flag Lyric Comparison:

ELECTRIC SUMMER "Dizzy Chocolate"

I want to eat it/I am punk rock gentleman
I want to eat it/I am punk rock generation

Dizzy chocolate, you feel dizzy, don't you?

BLACK FLAG "I Was So Wasted"

I was so wasted
I was a hippy/I was a burnout
I was a dropout/I was outa my head

So Much for the Afterglow (Capitol)

Stop it, you're making the 90s suck! Jesus! Two more years until the end of the world, let's just get through this, all right?—Joey Germ

Draw (no label)

The Fabulous Fakir Boys as I like to call 'em and have done so publicly, I might add. This here is their self-released debut CD showcasing a little bit of what they're more than capable of: interesting instrumental interplay, whimsical, lyrical stylings and a propensity for rock—Joey Germ

My Scientist Friends (AmRep)

Having always been one who has consistently fought for freedom, I feel that I can really identify with the Freedom Fighters. There's just too many people out there who would seek to take our freedoms and liberties away form us. "Get a job!" the Oppressors cry. "Get a haircut! Take a bath once in awhile! Are you burning incense up there? Find someplace to live, you can't stay here rent-free forever!" they scream at us. These are all commands that the Oppressors hurl at us day in and day out. We must be strong and resist. Ignore the Oppressors and continue to live a free and righteous existence in peace and harmony with nature and natures gifts to us. Amen. The Freedom Fighters simply make rock music that provides sort of a soundtrack to accompany my own quest for freedom—Malcolm Tent

Share the Fantasy (Sub Pop)

GodHeadsilo is Mike on bass and Dan on drums and that's it. These guys are like Ween's cousins from South Dakota who wanted to form a band but couldn't find any other musicians in Fargo, ND who didn't have their heads up their asses so they just stuck with their loud, fucked up two piece and set out to conquer the world anyway. Now in Olympia and on Sub Pop, they just might succeed especially if they keep the Phil Collins covers comin'—P.C. Jones


Greg Ginn; prolific musical maverick or bored middle-aged guitar noodler with some extra spending money to release a CD, seemingly, every other week?

Trick or Treat (SST)

Two quick little plays on the band name and album title here and then we'll get on with it: 1) El Bad is right and 2) unfortunately we get the trick, not the treat here with this collection of passionless, cranked out, yet stagnant punk rock songs.

Modern Citizen (SST)

Apparently Greg Ginn helped invent Electronica back in the early 70s right before he helped invent hardcore. Greg states his purpose with this genre to "pound and grind some sense into the head of the public" in regards, of course, to the awful drivel that the majority of us ignorant sheep listen to. True enough, but this ain't drivin' me to do nothing but reaffirm my own stance on techno: I don't like it. Baaaaaad music.

Best of Screw Radio (SST)

At 101 tracks, I don't think that it's possible for this to be the Best of Screw Radio, you know what I'm sayin'? All of Screw Radio maybe a more accurate title than Best of Screw Radio. Anyway, I've read that Screw Radio is inspired by the satire of Harry Shearer, Mort Sahl, George Carlin and Don Imus (and Negativland admit it, damn it!) only not very funny.

A Faster, More Aggressive Hor (SST)

Hor is techno music that its creators would like to make sure you understand is not trendy techno, nor is it, "sell-out" techno, it is "hardcore" techno i.e. the real genuine article. Remember that, 'cause when you listen to the CD you're apt to forget.

You think I feel bad about ripping apart a punk rock pioneer like Greg Ginn and most of his musical output of the last year? Well I do, damn it! But it's hardly my fault. If you'll excuse me, I think I need to be along for awhile—Joey Germ

Full Blown Possession (Sub Pop)

Another Grifters record. Don't stop. Keep 'em comin' through the next millennium. Some things remain the same with Grifter's records, the near desperate feel of it, the angst-riddn feedback, the self-loathing, self-loving dependency, the stark quality, all what you would expect more or less from this band. Although a questionable foray into the XRTish (for lack of a better ish) ode/love ballad "Sweetest Thing", jarred this listener after the momentum built up with the first four songs and left him unable to move beyond it for several weeks, it was well worth his while to eventually move on—P.C. Jones



Do a Two Sable (Daemon)

This leans a little too far toward the Adult Contemporary sect (they thank Hootie and the Blowfish in the liner notes) and the only thing that's wrong with that is that it's really not my thing... at all, but if there's any room left in the female singer/songwriter category at your local music mart, I'm sure Danielle could hold down the slot just as well as any of 'em and I think Meredith Brook's time should be up right... about.... now!—P.C. Jones

"The Bostonians" b/w "The Sensuous Nurse" 7" (MOC)

Former high school sensation, Kleenex Girl Wonder, have graduated into a sophisticated pop band as is evident on this 7" single from MOC, and because they told me so. The first song is sure to be a hit 'cause they said so and the B-side is actually a commercial for their upcoming album which they foresee making a big impact on the music world. Interesting. We'll just have to wait and see, I suppose—Jayne Wayne

In Stereo (New Red Archives)

Jack allegedly killed Jill. There is no concrete physical proof to support the accusations that Jack killed Jill. The evidence in this case is circumstantial at best, and until formal charges are brought against Jack, I think a statement like "Jack killed Jill" is reckless and irresponsible and makes a mockery of our entire legal system Sorry, this record review section has been accused of being both corny and goofy and I didn't want to disappoint anyone. Anyway, in regards to this CD, here again we have a snotty, fast action, female fronted, California punk rock assault unit rippin', shreddin', tearin' it up. Am I done yet?—Joey "Laz-E Boy" Germ

Reborn (Solid State/Tooth & Nail)

From the land of Little Rock, Arkansas, where they breed Razorbacks, hard rock bands and slick political machines with insatiable sexual appetites, it's Living Sacrifice who may or may not be a combination of all three of these thing but they're definitely one or more. Well, that being said, back to the bong, I guess—Malcolm Tent

Sucked In, Blown Out (AmRep)

It's fast. It's unrelenting. It's nonstop, crude and rude. It's unforgiving. It's unforgivable. It's like one giant screeching mess of scuzzy, white trash garage punk rock. Lollipop blows–blows out the fuckin' rock that is—Joey Germ

Gone Drinkin' 7" (New Red Archives)

With a tip of that hat to Flipper's Gone Fishin' (complete with cut-out tour van on the cover) the comparison to those latter day Franciscans ends there. Loudmouths are a snotty, fast action, female fronted, California punk rock assault unit more akin to the Ramones three chord explorations than the stark minimalism of Flipper. (I finally got to use "stark minimalism" in a record review—Joey Germ

Mad Truckers Gone Mad (Crustacean)

Now I gotta be honest with ya'll, I think these Truckers are neither angry nor are they insane and I really question whether or not they are employed as truck drivers, independent or otherwise. MTGM do have songs about trucks, however. They also got songs about trains and hay rides and horses and these songs come in a variety of styles, mostly rockabilly, with a touch of ska pokin' through here and there, a little country and cowboy music as well. MTGM could get yah amblin' up to the bar for a shot or two of whiskey if you got 'em on a good night, I reckon. It don't take much to get me amblin' up to the bar for whiskey, but that's hardly the point—Joey Germ

King of the Retards (AmRep)

Opening up their CD with a cover of Cheap Trick's "Hello There" Mog Stunt Team seek to deliver on their promise to be the "Last Superheros of Rock" in the vein of Kiss, Johnny Cash and the aforementioned rock group. But do we really need another Kiss or Cheap Trick in '98 when we still have Kiss and Cheaptrick in '98? The Team does deliver on their promise to rock (reminding this reviewer of Rocket from the Crypt) and they are committed to fighting Alien Invaders and John Tesh (whom the Tea believes is a tool of the aliens whereas I think John Tesh is a tool of the Man and this is the fundamental difference in our core beliefs and the cause of an irreparable schism among our warring factions). They wear helmets like a real stunt team. They're from Michigan—Jayne Wayne

Multi-Kat Mixy Mix (Zero Hour)

Too many kitties—Jayne Wayne

Saturday Night Special Ed. (eMpTy)

These guys ain't nuthin but a bunch of motards from Texas but by Christ do they throw down a rock jam! Seriously though, punk bands are a dime a dozen. They all have similar song structures, similar themes and hey, it's all just rock and roll, right? But there are some bands that sound like outright rip off artists and others that sound genuinely fucked up and desperate and they never for a minute take themselves too seriously and that's why I would crawl naked through a pit filled with broken glass, vomit, and the entire offensive line of the New England Patriots at an Everclear/Offspring double bill to see the Motards tear down a shack across the street. But hey, punk rock is my middle name. Actually, it's Titanium but you know what I'm sayin'—Joseph Titanium Germ

Let Them Eat Pussy (AmRep)

It's fast. It's unrelenting. It's nonstop, crude and rude. It's unforgiving. It's unforgivable. It's like one giant screeching mess of Southern fried scuzzy, white trash garage punk rock—Joey Germ



12 (Zero Hour)

OK, I've heard of Bavarian pretzels and Bavarian beer and the beautiful mountains and lush forests of Bavaria, but a Bavarian rock band? I have never heard of such a thing... that is, until now. Hailing from Bavaria, the Notwist, ladies and gentleman. Their press kit is packed with clips from such reputable publications as Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Guitar Player Magazine and Entertainment Weekly. What could they possibly gain by being mentioned in this pathetic little rag? Nuthin'. These guys have been credited and highly praised for dismantling conventional song structures and putting them back together in innovative and groundbreaking new forms but if you ask this ignorant, pseudo-music critic, it's still just rock music and there ain't nuthin' new under the sun no matter what side of the globe you're sittin' on—Muggsy McMurphy



"American Tune" b/w "Back in NYC" 7" (Zero Hour)

Reservoir is a side project of Varnaline's Jud Ehrbar (see Varnaline review below [or not, it's really not relevant at this point]). I don't think Reservoir is so much a band as it is a guy, a drum machine, some keyboards and some bad choices. The aside is a cover of Paul Simon's "American Tune" and the B-side is a cover of Genesis' "Back in NYC." The review: thoroughly underwhelming! Totally unnecessary! A sure-fire miss!—P.C. Jones

Eight Hours Away from Being a Man (Tooth & Nail)

Seems like the original lineup of this band quit and has been replaced, save for Douglass Lorig who I would guess is the creative force driving Roadside Monument, and while there is something appealing about this record; the sparse guitar, bass, drum interplay, the building tension that gives way to spent melodies and litttle whatnots, all of which I'm sure add up to a sonic drifting ebb, thanks to producer Bob Weston. Oh boy, I'm tired and it has absolutely nothing to do with this record, I'm just no good with this being awake and coherent thing. So anyway, I hope this all made sense—Muggsy McMurphy

High Flyin' Kids Stuff (Zero Hour)

Cute little baby girl, ga-ga, goo-goo, cute vocals. Like a cross between Juliana Hatfield and the Sundays, only cuter and more little baby girlish and just a squirt more syrup and a dollop more sugar. Pretty Pop songs about love, boys, and video games, but I'm just into the video games, know what I'm sayin'?—Muggsy McMurphy

You're Not the Boss of Me (eMpTy)

I may not be the boss of you boys, but I am indeed the one appraising your work as musicians and songwriters and I regret to inform you that your position as a Pop Punk Band in the Pop Punk Music Genre has been terminated, effective immediately. But seriously, there are a lot of band out there doing the pop punk thing but nobody, and I mean nobody does it as much as Sicko. Wooo!—Joey Germ

Queen Bitch of Rock 'N' Roll (New Red Archives)

Wow, she ain't kiddin' callin' herself the Queen Bitch of Rock'n'roll either. The inside back cover of the CD pictures, perhaps the Queen herself, getting ready to serve someone up a golden cocktail.

Golden Cocktail
"You make me want to puke
You really make me sick
I think I'm gonna stomp on your tiny little prick

I've got a golden shower waiting just for you"

For me?

I Wanna Beavis You
"I wanna Beavis you/Beavis you tonight
You're gonna Butthead me and I think that'll be all right"

—Joey Germ

Junior Wing EP (RoosterCow)

I told them (the editors), I've renounced Satan. I'm done with him and his evil ways, but they said, "Come on Mal, you know you still love the Devil Rock." That's not true. I only bang my head for Jesus now. I'm serious. Team Satan? Who need it?—St. Malcolm

T.S.O.L. (Nitro)

This reissue brings back memories for the old Germster; skate boards, drinkin' beer in the park, terrorizing elderly people, gettin' dissed by the ladies. Things are different now. Yeah, I don't skate anymore. Ha! But anyway, what with all these upstart punk bands out there rippin' off the old school (hey at least these kids are doin' their homework, right?) it's no wonder we've seen a backlash of the back catalog. Picture this: it's the 80s there's a senile old Hollywood hack in in the White house and head of a nuclear superpower, and a song like "World War III" and "Abolish Government/Silent Majority" weren't novelty songs they we're like... reality, man! All I'm sayin' is T.S.O.L. or Offspring? That's all I'm sayin'. There will be no good punk rock under Clinton, ya'll. The buttons he's into pushin' won't be getting anyone blown but himself—Joey Germ

(You're Only As Good as) The Last Great Thing You Did (Lookout!)

Allright, goddamn it, you know I can't stand pop punk and who puts out more punk pop records than Lookout!? Anyone? Huh? That's what I thought. Nobody that's who, but I tried to be fair in my assessment of this CD sampler. There are some redeeming qualities. "I've got a hang-up/I can't hang up then I talk to you" (Parasites) ain't one of 'em and that kind of clever/cute crap is what I have the lowest tolerance for (and when you get a lyric like that stuck in you head, let me tell you somethin', you hate everything and everybody) and that goes for the ska pop of Squirtgun and their tune, "My Jeanette". Auntie Christ, (young) Pioneers, Blackfork and Blatz serve up the punk rock with a little more venom. I liked the Smugglers too! Pinhead Gunpowder's singer is such a dead fuckin' ringer for Billy Joe Green Day that I'm thinkin' that it might be. Pansy Division gets political despite maybe their intentions on "Political Asshole." Representative of the Lookout! as a sampler should be. Some good, some I could live without, but like I said, if you're not the Pop Punk thing, you'll be luvin' this stuff—Joey Germ

A Shot and a Beer (Zero Hour)

I'd rather have the shot and a beer to be quite honest with you, but hey, I'm a drunk so that logic follows. Anyway, Varnaline is usually a collaboration of three musicians but apparently two thirds of the group were tied up with other projects (see Reservoir review above for an example of such a project). That left founding member Anders Parker alone, cooped up in a small house in Rosedale, NY where he "churned out six broken hearted ballads" that's from the Varnaline bio). This CD didn't make me so much sad as it bored me. American Music Club does this better—Jayne Wayne

Of Color Bright (Tooth & Nail)

I had to get my Music Critic Guide Book out to help me write this review. See if this helps ya'll out any; Of Color Bright is a euphonious collage of pneumatic lucidity that creates an ethereal quality that both engages and repels the listener simultaneously. Here's me talkin': I kind of like this one although if there was a tempo change every once in awhile, I wouldn't complain—P.C. Jones

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