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Record Reviews

Published in Reglar Wiglar #14, 2000

Now you're really going to get it!

Exchange split CD (Sub City)

It's a split! AAA and The Criminals (hardly the kind of role models we want for our children) but these two deviant musical factions are uniting...for charity? What the ffff? No, it's true, the proceeds for this CD benefit a free needle exchange in the Bay Area (NEED). I spent a little time in SF this past winter and let me tell you, if there's one thing those junkies need in the Tenderloin District is more needles, for chrissake.

It's all part of Sub City's plan to put the politics back into punk and that's a good thing especially if you're walking around with a DK logo drawn or stitched anywhere on your clothing As far as the music; I really couldn't tell one band from the other. They're both aggressive angry punk bands, which is fine with me—Joey Germ

Microstars (Kung Fu)

You know what Microstars drink doncha'? Microbrews, dude! Yeah, they do, dude! Anyway, sorry for that. God, I can see why some people just hate the music reviews in this magazine; they are absolutely no help to anybody, but they're easy to write and I get $250 for every one I do. Shit, that ain't a bad deal at all!—Irresistible Frank

King Fear as performed by Babylon Whores (Necropolis)

Man, the frontman for this band is fuggin' scary with acapital Holy Shit, know what I'm sayin'? So you'll have to excuse me if I mind my Ps & Qs here and tiptoe around this review 'cause old boy looks like he would come right straight after my ass with a switchblade and gut me like a pig if I said the wrong thing about this CD. As it is, and this is purely coincidence, this is absolutely brilliant—P.C. Jones

The 13 Electric Turn-ons (Beluga)

The Fish are back and they're still big but they don't seem to posses the same anger that used to fuel them when they were younger, you know? That anger that made them give a shit and want to change things and kick some ass and make someone pay. Now they just seem more bitter and angry–whoops, I wasn't talking about Big Angry Fish, I was talking about myself. Sorry, I get confused sometimes.

Big Angry Fish are a pretty solid rock band with a pop edge or a solid pop band with a rock edge... really, however you want to slice it and whatever you want to call it is fine with me. I don't give a shit (see above)—P.C. Jones

Stay Asleep (Kung Fu)

Stay Asleep? Keep on playin' that shit you call music and that won't be no problem, pard—Otis E. Lee

Days Before the Flood (Compulsive)

From the Satanic underbelly of the nation, Texas, and from the capitol of that aforementioned Satanic underbelly, San Antonio, comes Boxcar Satan armed to the teeth with a just as spastic as fantastic brand of devil rock. (Whew! Now that was a fucked up sentence-Ed) I must apologize to the Lone Star State for calling the "underbelly of the nation". She don't like that and she's a real firecracker when she gets mad—Goey Jerm

Who Dares Wins (Earache)

I dared. I won! No wait, fuck, I lost. Wait, no, I did win after all. Bolt Thrower, Ladies and Gentlemen!—Irresistible Frank



Process of Self-Development (MIA)

"Massive stylistic shifts and peerless musical virtuosity." "Jarring, inventive...brilliant grooves." "The most adventurous album that the hard music scene has ever witnessed." And these quotes ain't even from the music press. They're from the band's own press kit! That's just what the band's own label thinks of them. Why do I even have a job? Well, actually, I really don't have a job? WHY AM I YELLING?—Joey T. Germ

The Catheters (eMpTy)

Ahhhh, the Catheters. Not quite as painful as the real thing I would imagine, but not knowing I can not say. These guys play that garage-style punk rock. The singers got a great voice and they've got the energy and the attitude and since it seems like every review and article in their press kit mentions how young they are I'm going to as well ('cause that' show it's done in this business); they're young. They rock and they're young! Who woulda thunk it?—Joey T. Germ

After School Special (Beluga)

Cats & Jammers are committed to pop music. It's in their hearts and it's in their minds. They make no apologies for the sweet hooks, the syrupy vocals and the funny/corny lyrics. With songs like "Cuddle Song" and Lollipop Lies" you pretty much know you're not getting Marilyn Manson, right? C&J play a cleaner, better version of what those silly pop punk bands try to do. My favorite line on the record is from "White People Can't Dance" and it goes "White people can't dance but they take a chance." It's true!—Irresistible Frank

Wave to Make Friends (Plastique)

There is something appealing about this CD, not unlike a good long coma. It's relaxin' like a good whiskey bender. The Commas were started as a joke country band but changed gears and got serious not long after, which is good 'cause there ain't nuthin' funny about country. We already got one Ray Stevens, we don't need another—Otis E. Lee

Lovessongs (Thrill Jockey)

Bobby Conn usually leaves me puzzled yet entertained. Llovesssongs is no exception. My emotions toggle between barely contained laughter to utter bemusement–I'm bemused by the man actually, and intrigued, and hopelessly, hopelessly in love—Jayne Wayne

All Trashed Up (Triple X)

I gotta get something off me puny, scrawny, absolutely no muscle tone chest. This woman from Triple X, who shall remain nameless (can't remember her name) called our offices here and asked if anyone wanted to be on the friggin' guest list to the freakin' Jeff Dahl/Trash Brat shows at Thurston's, a bar I don't particularly like if for no other reason than the last time I went there (alone, which is pathetic enough) I walked up to the bar where this very fine bartender was kinda wiping down the bar, you know kind of bored, so anyway I go up to her like the suave motherfucker you know I am and I casually lean my elbow against a bar stool that apparently wasn't actually there, I and hit the floor.... hard. Needless to say, I had to get the heck out of the area and I don't like going back there. Back to my previous pathetic story; so yeah, within a week Triple X sent press info and this Jeff Dahl CD and all that shit so I figured "it's on", you know, no problem. The night of the show I took two frickin' buses to get to the bar and when I got there, to my surprise (even though I shouldn't have been surprised 'cause this wasn't the first time I'd been duped by flaky label people) I wasn'tevenonthefuckingguestlist. That made me triple pissed at Triple X. That shit hasn't happened to me since Bruce Dickinson played the House of Blues (see RW#12).

The show was good and all but I was very angry and that's all anybody's gettin' out of me as far as a review of a CD on Triple X is concerned—Joey T. Germ



Chattanooga (Antietam)

It is often a complaint amongst rock groups that rock critics don't really even listen to the CDs before we review them. This assertion–this myth, makes musicians feel better when they receive a trashing from the press. The reality of the situation, and it's a cold, harsh reality I know, is that some people put a lot of time and effort into music that, in the end, just isn't that original, memorable or in the least bit good and therein lies the rub, as they say—P.C. Jones

Death Race 2000 (God)

My mother is a man
She is the head of a Nazi training camp
When I am bad she threatens to take me
To the lab and use me for scientific research

Those lyrics are from the haunting "My Mother Was A Man." Other heart-wrenching tracks are "Drink Beer, Smoke Pot, Play Music" and the unabashedly anti-anti-drug song, "I Just Can't Say No to Drugs." The Dayglow Abortions are pretty much don't-give-a-toss Canadian punk rockers who, even though they seem to be in favor of euthanizing Bill Gates and Stephen Hawking for being geeks (I think that's a bit rash myself), they seem to be able to make fun of themselves first and foremost. Nothing you haven't heard a million times before but it's still good to know that someone out there still doesn't give a fuck about being PC or hip or even being good for that matter—Joey T. Germ

Destination X (eMpTy)

Saw the Dead Moon play here a couple moons back.. I don't really like to use the word awesome but sometimes a situation occurs and the only word to describe it is awesome or perhaps rad, but enough about that. These guys play rock like they've been playing rock together every night for the past ten years which they probably have. They also play like they live together in the same cramped one bedroom apartment in the seediest part of the wrong side of the tracks, which they might. Guitarist Fred Cole is married to bass player Toody and I bet their drummer Andrew sleeps on a straw matt on the floor of their candle-lit bedroom and every night before they go to sleep they pass around a bottle of whisky. Anyway, it's just a theory I have–a very bizarre, slightly twisted theory/fantasy—P.C. Jones



Denver Zest (no label)

Great cover art on this 24 track CD of nonstop, unapologetic musical tomfoolery. (Damn, how would you like that line in your press kit? You'd have it made! Don't worry, I gotta million of 'em.) Similar to The Dead Milkmen before they played themselves out, Denver Zest put the novelty band in novelty band and they don't care! "Will You Be My Girl for the Summer," "Mom Cooks Inside, Dad Cooks Outside" and "I Wanna Be Your Snooze Alarm" are a few of the amusing gems that await you courtesy of the Zest who aren't even from Denver—Joey T. Germ

The Derita Sisters Ain't Street (To the Left)

I'll never forget what a student asked me one day in class, he said, "Professor, do you actually listen to the CDs you review or do you just get high and write whatever comes into your head?" I've been struggling with that question ever since, and I still don't know the answer—Professor Germ

The Dishes (89)

Not your mother's fine china, mind you. More like your basic, no frills, stripped down dinner plate. I know I have my favorite plate that I like to eat my macaroni and cheese on. But when you're a dish, you get scraped, scrubbed, rinsed, dried, sometimes broke and then the process just repeats itself. People feed off you! Is that any kind of life? They cover a Urinal's song, "I'm a Bug." That's cool. Comic book maven, Jessica "Artbabe" Abel provides the comic portrayal of the Dishes for the cover. That's cool too—P.C. Jones

Day One (K)

This is kind of folky, sad music. Dougher has got a good voice and I was able to listen to this much longer than I had first anticipated. You see, I'm somewhat of a tough guy, but I got a sensitive side that shows through only in my weakest moments. So yeah, anyway, Sara Dougher, I think she has a Phd or somethin' so she's real smart too—Irresistible Frank

Discography 1983-1998 (Hopeless)

As I'd never heard of Funeral Oration prior to receiving this CD for review I obviously had no inkling as to what their music was about, their history as a band and the extent of their influence on, well, anybody. These Dutch emo-rockers have been around for awhile and this is Hopeless Records attempt to turn more people onto FO. The packaging looks great making this a must have for fans. As for myself, seeing as how this is very sensitive music and what with me being a big, strong, hulking man (see above review), I seldom express my feelings and ask that others do the same, singers in particular—Irresistible Frank

Ten Days Before (TMC)

If I had never heard of Monster Magnet, Kyuss or Queens of the Stone Age, I might think this was new, different, maybe even original, but as it is, it ain't—Muggsy McMurphy

Groundbreaking Ceremony (Revelation)

Politically aware, hard/extreme music, what we used to lovingly call "metal". And I may be just another asshole music critic but that doesn't stop this from sucking—Muggsy McMurphy

BYO Split Series Vol. 1 (BYO)

Lord have I heard more than a little hype about Hot Water Music and how they are the be-all, end-all band, but I just don't hear it. That emo shit is played as far as I'm concerned. Of course, this is coming from a guy who wears a Rush T-shirt four out of seven days a week. I don't know from emo! What I do know is, as far as music goes, you can't trust anyone's opinion ever. This is unless it's mine and emo just ain't my bag, but before I end this thing in typical anticlimactic poo-pissery (I think I just invented that word) Leatherface might just save their side of this split CD by being a little tougher. I know tough and I am more than willing to prove it anytime, anyplace and since I don't actually exist, I did your momma–no, no, scratch that–me and you momma made sweet love—Malcolm Tent

The Love of Everything (no label)

Oh, for the love of everything! Grammy used to say that, God bless her soul. I'm sorry, that was kind of an embarrassing revelation of my personal past. Just when you thought indie rock was dead, killed by Eve 6 and Third Eye Blind (I actually heard in an interview with that dude from Third Eye Blind say that the name Third Eye Blind contained "punk rock irony," whatever the fuck that means). Quite to the contrary, the indie rock spirit lives on in The Love of Everything and their self-titled CD-R proves it. God bless them CD burners!—Joy Germ

Save Yourself (K)

You know, I'm just as PC as the next guy but sometimes Ian Svenonius sounds like he just got himself Prince! But seriously, The Make Up has been described as gospel punk and I think that sums it up pretty well: Gospel is what they're going for (I think) and punk rock is the way they go for it. Save Yourself and buy this record. Yeah!—Jayne Wayne

Famous Monsters (Roadrunner)

The Misfits were always pretty scary looking but now they're like, wrestler, ex-football player looking scary–which is still totally scary, don't get me wrong. The music is pretty much the standard punk/metal hybrid which they do pretty well and well they should, these guys are icons with or without that other beefy, muscle guy. (No, not Rollins, silly)—P.C. Jones



1995-1999 Legend (Rattlesnake)

What we got here with this CD is some old out-takes of Slink Moss and Company. Slink is a dabbler in all manner of American music from country to pop rock. The CD was recorded by several different people famous in underground music. Slink also created the spectacular cover art which readers of Roctober zine are sure to recognize as being from the slow moving comic, "The Rockin' Ave." All in all, quite a catchy lil' pop record that Slink fans are sure to enjoy heartily—Irresistible Frank

New Animal (Thrill Jockey)

I wasn't really sure what the Nerves would be comin' up with next, I only hoped that it would be different than their debut and it is. Not that I didn't like their first record, on the contrary, I did, but I was hoping they would evolve and they have. New Animal is indeed a new animal, the songs are better, more interesting (unlike this review) and it has dogs on the cover—I. Frank



Uterus & Fire (K)

Goddman, this makes my uterus hurt! What is a uterus anyway? Do I even have one? Never mind. That's not my point. My point is this; Old Time Relijun is exactly what is friggin' hell-in-a-handbasket cuntry needs to soothe its soul. This sounds like it was recorded in a living room full of writhing, tongue-speaking snake handlers drunk on sacra-mental whine (get it?). It's frantic, it's frantastic and I'll say this; if I didn't know for a fact that the world was not going to end, this band would change my mind... and my diaper—P.C. Jones

Vote for RNCD (RoosterCow)

Vote for a band called Reagan National Crash Diet? What are you kidding me? Of course I will. I don't care if they're commies or card carrying NRA freaks!—J.G.

Grown Up, Fucked Up (eMpTy)

Yeah, well part of my job as a big shot record reviewer is doing research and checkin' facts and shit like that, so check this out; I did some diggin' around on this band you know what? They ain't even retarded. Nope. They rock like sonsabitches though—P.C. Jones

Good to Go (Side One Dummy)

I used to listen to 7 Seconds in high school and I'm like, totally 21 now! Isn't that weird? Actually, I used to listen to 7 Seconds in high school and I'm 54!! No, but seriously, I did listen to 7 Seconds in high school and that was a long time ago. Not much has changed, 7 Seconds still seem to be playing the same music with the same subject matter and you know what? It still sounds pretty good, but don't tell anyone I said that 'cause I got a rep as a hardass—Joey Germ

Design for Automation (Victory)

Snapcase is some pretty hard rockin' shit it must be said. It's not your grandma's hardcore that's for sure. It's tight, loud, aggressive music, momma. Another victory for Victory, jack. That's all I gotta say 'cause I fucked off this review until way too late, mate. Now there's hell to pay and here's to it. Screw it!—I. Frank

Look up and Live (O&O)

Someday I..., Someday I..., Someday I..., Someday I..., Someday I... might actually get around to reviewing this record but who am I kidding? This is the kind of hard-edged melodic punk rock (notice I didn't say pop punk, please respect that distinction) that reflects the sound of a lot of O&O bands. They seem to have studied from the Descendents School of thought on the subject. Which is good school, I know 'cause I went there too—Joey Germ

Get Lost (Get Hip)

Hercules killed all three of his sons (and their mother) with his bare hands in a fit of mad rage inflicted upon him by the jealous Hera, wife of Zeus, who would never forgive Hercules for being the illegitimate son of the aforementioned God (who was in everybody's pants anyway which was hardly Hercules' fault), but I digress. I mean, I'm really digressing on this one. And then there is this matter of a Texas quintuplet making the claim to be the Sons of Hercules. They don't look like the songs of Hercules. These must be the sons that play in that 60s style garage rock band. I read about them—Muggsy McMurphy

Bad Directions (Plastique)

Some of this really rocks and some is a tad cheesy and overdone. If a few of these songs could be shorter I wouldn't complain any. But when it does rock it rocks in a garage—Muggsy McMurphy

My Religion is Love (K)

You don't (I don't) hear a lot of singers out there that sound like Jason Traeger. At first I admit this CD was a little off-putting. The opening track is titled, "Health, Personal Growth and Positive Living." Not exactly words you'd find in my dictionary, but upon repeated listening (which is something I try to do when reviewing music) it kind of grew on me. Traeger has been compared to Jonathan Richmond which I can see, it has the unselfconscious heart-on-a-sleeve quality, which you need when you write a song called, "Love Fairies"—Jayne Wayne



Stars Made from Scars (Beluga)

This would be some passable indie rock on the spaceout tip but the vocals just fall a little flat for me, which make the songs seem oh so long and tedious, but I like their band name—Irresistible Frank

Lay the Hip (Plastique)

Trunk Federation is one of your more sophisticated pop bands who're not quite content with verse-chorus-verse, three chord drudgery which makes Lay the Hip that much more interesting. They have a Sgt. Peppers psychedelic bent to their music which also reminds me of the Flaming Lips at times. There's a lot of instrumentation: sax, cello, viola and the violin (I know I heard a tuba in there) and vocal effects going to work as well. Pretty solid. Solid gold? With some airplay, sure—Jayne Wayne

Calling All Cars... (O&O)

Wretches like me, that's my problem. No they like me, but like I said, that's my problem so don't worry about it. Hard-edged yet melodic punk rock from Fort Collins. Fort Collins is to punk rockers like Boulder is to hippies. I think, I've never been to Boulder but I have been to Fort Collins and there's a lot of punk rockers there, lots of ink and a few good punk bands like these aforementioned Wretches, like yourself—I. Frank


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