RECORD REVIEWS
REGLAR WIGLAR #16
2001




AGAINST ALL AUTHORITY
Nothing New for Trash Like You (Sub City)
Once again AAA start off the Reglar Wiglar Record Reviews with another release. This time it's with "Eighteen out of print, hard to find songs from 1992-2000." That sums it up pretty succinctly (if I may use that particular adverb) 'cause basically this is a coupla' fists full of songs culled from various comp- ilations and split 7s. It's the AAA you know and love; same scratchy, raspy vocals and fast punk rock chords interspersed with ska breakdowns featuring the AAA "wounded duck" horn section (seriously, it sounds like somebody punched the whole horn section)—Joey Germ

AGENT 51
Just Keep Runnin' (Adeline)
Not just a four piece punk rock band from San Diego, but a team of elite assassins, veteran spies, and weapons experts with superhuman strength. This according to the comic book story and format of the CD cover art. Apparently Agent 51 are hardwired, specially trained, and ready to save the world from the fifty member council that comprises "The Agency," which has been controlling the government since the JFK assassination. But enough about that, there's also twenty songs on this CD that are tight in their punk rock catchiness, well executed and high energy, but they do tend to blur into one long song after the first ten or so—Joey Germ

AMERICAN STANDARD HUMANIZER
Nowhere (no label)
A strange trip into the electronic music medium which is certainly atmospheric and sometimes interestingly odd and haunting. A bit of an enigma really. But where did it come from? Arizona, of course—P.C. Jones

ANTIFREEZE
Four Letter Words (Kung Fu)
I don't want to sound like an old timer but these guys are freakin' kids, man! You should see their press photo, they look like they hit puberty while the picture was bein' snapped. That should be no strike against them however, and so I will reserve judgment for their musical ability and songwriting skills only: punk pop songs of puppy love that... you know...make me sick, but they're no worse than Blink 182 and they're much better than MxPx. Oh yeah, a few of the four letter words alluded to in the CD title are: love, hate, pain, feel, hurt, kiss and good...how 'bout: yuck! (say that in two syllables and hit two octaves when you say it and you got it)—Jayne Wayne

ARTHUR DOYLE PLUS FOUR
Alabama Feeling (DRA)
This, like the Mount Everest, is another one of those holy grail collectors re-issue albums. Thanks are in order to the powers that be for making this stuff available and affordable to music aficionados every-where. I've often said that a hundred years from now the major artistic innovations of the twentieth century will be considered to be jazz and film. They'll get to rock music most definitely, but more tangentially. I hope this album will still be on the presses. Using two drummers, Rashied Sinan and his student Bruce Moore, leader saxophone/flute player, Arthur Doyle unleashes all the savage beauty free jazz is capable of. This is done with the help of electric bass player, Richard Williams, and trombone player, Charles Stephens. I don't mention all their names because you'll be able to cross reference their individual catalogues. One of the things this album does so effectively is play for us the natural way this music can so many times evolve. Starting off intense, loud, fast, and free and then settling down only to naturally rekindle. A lot of times free jazz can disintegrate into an endless wailing legato (that's that series of long tones, not too loud not too quiet, melancholy sounding, usually solo or accom- panied unispirationally) that can punish a listener, especially on an overcast Sunday afternoon. I don't get this at all from this one. Another thing this album does that is so great is the way it can penetrate at low volume, perfect for late night individual listening. At higher volume it's more than perfect for annoying the neighbors or dazzling your friends. As far as straight up balls-to- the-wall improvisation this record documents a pinnacle and holds it's own, maybe paralleled, but definitely unsurpassed—Dylan Tante

THE ATARIS
End is Forever (Kung Fu)
The Ataris came to be when songwriter/ teenager, Kris Roe, gave the Vandals a tape at one of their shows. Vandal's bassist/ record owner, Joe Escalante digs it, asks teenager to record, teenager moves to sunny California, puts together the Ataris, and the rest is history. It's happened to all of us at some point. The result is a couple of full lengths, an EP, etc, of pop/punk that gets better each effort. Not (at all) what I'm usually into but "Song #13" is a little more to my liking, being a little harder edged "Life ain't all that bad/ Even if Henry Rollins is your dad." is a funny line from the lighten-up-punk" song "You Need A Hug." Sonic Youth already wrote a song called "Teen Age Riot" so the Ataris need not have. That's all I got. Thanks for reading this. Goodbye—Jayne Wayne

ATOM & HIS PACKAGE
Redefining Music (Hopeless)
This is an entertaining and dare I say goofy assortment of songs as written and performed by Atom & His Package. It's my first exposure to his unique brand of goof rock (I mean no disrespect) and if it's yours too, let me explain; Atom is the living breathing singer/ songwriter/ "ripper offer" (as he put it and I know that's right 'cause I'll be damned if that ain't "Little Pink Houses" on "Alpha Desperation March."). Atom is either a one man Ween or an unstable Wesley Willis? But that's for you to decide—P.C. Jones

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ANN BERETTA
New Union...Old Glory (Lookout!)
A band not a person, this is some good politically tinged punk rock that smacks of more straightforward rock (or vice versa). The singer has that raspy, raw voice ala SLF's Jake Burns which somehow makes anything he sings sound important even if it's not. The accompanying press sheet suggests that this record shares some similar attributes with Springsteen as well as John Cougar Mellancamp. Now if I made that comparison in a review of a punk rock record somebody somewhere would demand that I be strung up from the nearest light pole, but I sorta' see where they're comin' from in that respect (Mellancamp more than Spring-steen at any rate) but that's a slippery slope and I've wasted too much of your precious time already. I will say this though, it's not an American Classic but it's a pretty good record just the same—P.C. Jones

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BIG, BIG FURNACE
Soundtrack to a Midwestern Winter (Crustacean)
Soft, poppy, indie rock from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Clever lyrics and song titles, especially the first song which initially sounds like it's being played through a telephone receiver, and then this girl picks up the phone, and then the line; "If I had a phone I would call you up." It's a clever trick. The singer has somewhat of a Gin Blossoms delivery at times so watch our for that but it's pretty good despite that...and it's pretty—Irresistible Frank

THE BUSINESS
No Mercy for You (Epitaph/ Burning Heart)
Good old fashioned oi played by Guinness drinking, working class UK punks. Raise your pints, lads. Our team may have lost the match but we can still get pissed and listen to the Business!—Muggsy McMurphy

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THE CHERRY VALENCE
The Cherry Valence (Estrus)
Estrus Record's newest cherry (as of this writing which is now indication of the present date in real time) is The Cherry Valence and it sure is a shiny piece of fruit wound up tight and ready to pop. Their duel guitar attack is so out of control they need two occasionally require drummers to hold down the beat! It's big. It's loud. It's rock from Raleigh, NC, eleven songs of it even—Irresistible Frankling

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CRIPPLE KID/THE LITTLE DIPPER
The Little Dipper (Microcosm)
Smells like emo. This is your basic emo; similar themes, subject matter, chord progressions. This is a split CD with two bands that really don't have two separate sounds so it took me a while–by matching up lyrics with corresponding track numbers–to figure out which was which and in the end decided in the big picture, it just didn't matter, but what do I know ? I'm just a big A-hole anyway—P.C. Jones

CRISPUS ATTUCKS
The First Album (Soda Jerk)
This is some pretty blistering hardcore reminiscent of Suicidal Tendencies without the guitar solos; just the aggression. It's a re-mixed/ mastered/ packaged/ release of the band's first album that they put out themselves in '98. It's raw. It's in your face. It's political. I like it, goddamnit!—Joey Germ

DEAD MOON
Trash & Burn (eMpTy US)
Chalk up another one to the holy rock trinity of Fred, Toody, and Andrew, and the cult that is Dead Moon. Eleven new songs of the stripped down garage rock beast. How do they do it? How? Something in the water perhaps, or in the deep woods of the Pacific Northwest. Yeah, that's gotta be it—Joey Germ

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DIABOLIQUE
The Green Goddess (Necropolis)
It's always interesting when a piece of music such as this CD by a goth/disco band from Sweden finds its way into the Reglar Wiglar P.O. Box . If it's karma that's at play here then I must have killed someone in a past life. Yes, I must have been very bad. At any rate, I would need about seven shots of Jaeger Meister and an ounce off hashish to even begin to enjoy this music. The Naming Your Band Hey, naming your band can be tough. Not only do you have to come up with a name that all your bandmates can agree on, you also have to make sure that it fits your particular genre. But don't sweat it, the good-hearted kids at the Reglar Wiglar got you covered. Use the examples we slapped together below to guide you in your endeavor. Metal Shyttzz Pop The Shit Garage Rock Thee Shit Avante-Garde Shits Alternative shit Rap Shit E Boy Band N'Shit Punk Eat Shit & Dieaccompanying press sheet suggests that this CD is the "perfect companion for a cold night, a warm tub, and a sharp blade." Perfect companion? Let me be the first to suggest that this record is the perfect reason for such a therapeutic bath?—Joey Germ

DIGGER
Trainwreck (Hopeless)
I had a roommate who had a cat named Digger and one time she chewed open a plastic bottle of red printer ink (she loved to chew plastic) and in the process dyed herself red from her chin to her lower chest. It took several humiliating months for the ink to fade from red to lighter and lighter shades of pink. That's punk rock! Anyway, Digger the band, while not quite as intriguing as the cat of the same name, offer small rewards in the form of good old fashioned pop punk rock on this six song EP titled Trainwreck, and that's where all similarities must end—P.C. Jones

DRAGSTRIP SYNDICATE
Volume (Beluga)
Equal parts Southern rock, classic rock, 70s guitar rock with a dash of acid rock thrown in for good measure. There's some rock going on is my point. Hailing from the glorious city-state of Richmond, Virginia, the boys can lay claim to some Southern roots by taking the Southern route. The singer sounds like Lenny Kravitz sometimes though. I'm not saying that's good. I'm not saying that's bad. I'm just puttin' it out there—P.C. Jones

THE DRUNKEN CHOLOS
"Livin' La Vida Loco" (Hopeless)
Hilarious and brilliant lyrics, excellent songwriting, and stellar musicianship could make this colossal waste of time much less colossal, but as it is, what we get is seven badly recorded, ill-conceived songs of uninteresting music accompanied by potty humor lyrics by an early incarnation of the band that would one day not grow up to become The Queers. An early warning sign of more bad music to come? Yes. To say that I just don't get this would be an understatement. I will say this though, twelve year old boys will love it!—Jayne Wayne

EARTH CRISIS
Last of the Sane (Victory)
This is a little snack for EC fans to tide them over until their next studio release. In addition to three rare and/ or previously unreleased originals, the album is predominately a covers record featuring EC's "tip of the hat" to their influences and heroes; Sabbath, Zeppelin, Slayer, Dead Kennedys, Misfits and DSY—Muggsy McMurphy

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ELECTRIC FRANKENSTEIN
Annie's Grave (Victory)
A big old mess of rock'n'roll served ala carte from this prolific band of New Jersey rockers. Eleven new nuggets and a cover of the Dead Boys' "Third Gener-ation Nation" are in this grave, proving once and again that nothing's gonna stop the EF train. In fact, they have another record out as of this writing and probably ten more in the can, but that's another review and shall be told at another time—Irresistible Frank

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ENEMIES/ PITCH BLACK
Enemies/ Pitch Black split CD (Lookout!)
You know, punk rock ain't rocket science. Hell, it ain't even the science that developed the technology for the George Foreman Grill. So it's no surprise that some punk rock music can sound downright generic, but it ain't necessarily so with this band Enemies. I think a lot of that has to do with the vocals but the songs in general break out of the mold. The band that shares the second half of this split, Pitch Black, have a darker hardcore sound reminiscent of the Subhumans. It's a good pairing and a good raw punk rock record–J. Germ FARTZ What's in a Name? (Alternative Tentacles) Explosively powerful, highly flammable, never silent but always, deadly: Fartz, ladies and gentlemen—Joey Germ

FEAR
American Beer (Hall of Records)
One need look no further than the last McMurphy Family Reunion for proof that some reunions just shouldn't take place–Muggsy McMurphy 59 TIMES THE PAIN Calling the Public (Epitaph) If I hear one more band from Fagersta I'm gonna fuckin' scream! Just kidding. 59 Times the Pain is a good old fashioned punk rock band from Fagersta, Sweden. There's a lot of different influences at play on this, their fourth full-length, the least of which is the DŸ. More so is the sounds of British punk rock ala The Clash and The Ruts, et al. Especially with the reggae-inspired beats on a couple tracks, "The Emergency" being a good example. There's also some more straight -forward rockers like the title track for instance. I'm going to go on record as saying 59 Times the Pain is the best thing to come out of Sweden since...since...what are those little meatballs called again? I love those fucking things—Meatball McMurphy

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THE FIRST STEP
The First Step (LiveWire)
Good old fashioned hardcore, simple and plain. You can see the spit fly, you can feel the boot in your face, you can smell the sweat and then it's over before you know it. And that's just the first step—J. Germ

F-MINUS
Suburban Blight (Hellcat)
This California hardcore punk rock quartet kick out twenty short bursts of anti-The Man aggression and rage. Being somewhat less angry with The Man as of late, I found that I could relate to this band more on a scholastic level, having earned the grade of F- on more than several occasions in my career as an academic—P.C. Jones

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FULL FREQUENCY
Momentum (Gonzo)
Either this is a CD titled Full Frequency by a band named Momentum or a CD called Momentum by a band called Full Frequency. Either way, who cares?—Joe G.

GASOLINE
Fake to Fame (Estrus)
First Japanese soul band I've ever heard. They got soul, I won't argue that, they also got the blues, a little loungy jazz and some garage rock goin' on as well. Set me on fire!—P.C. Jones

HOLLY GOLIGHTLY
Singles Round-up (Damaged Goods)
Genuine 60's flavored garage. Unlike the wealth of today's retro sounds which mock or mimic, H. Go. sounds blissfully yesterday and today. Luv woes swim over simple harp and guitar blues like an ironic Motown. Prolific much like Mr. Childish, it's a pleasure to get a singles package so sweet, so yummy, so nasty and funny. The great majority are originals sprinkled with tasty covered nuggets (Lee Hazlewood, Ike Turner, Pavement). She's a tough chick with delivery; "Less concern I've never seen / Best I'll learn to damn your sympathy." Garage fatale—Randy McQueen

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HOODS
Time...The Destroyer (Victory)
As certainly as time is the destroyer, this hardcore band straight outa' Sacramento, is also the destroyer. (How do you like that line, huh? Not bad for a two-bit hack). The Hoods are a metal band with roots firmly planted in hardcore (or vice versa) so you better like both if your gonna go very far with this CD. This is their, what? Fifth album, the first four of which were self-produced as were their first six tours. So they've laid the groundwork and now is the time to start taking names and kickin' asses and I do believe they know about your punk ass, so I'd watch myself I was you. Seriously though—Malcolm Tent

INTEGRITY
Closure (Victory)
After thirteen years makin' the hard music for the hard fans of hard music, Integrity has delivered unto us another dark record of metallic hardcore and assorted brooding melodic interplay (that's what I call 'fancy writing'). Integrity, have some today!—Malcolm Tent

J.J. NOBODY & THE REGULARS
Rock'n'Roll Doesn't End at 2:00 (Hopeless)
I actually would be inclined to agree with J.J. Nobody & The Regulars on their point that rock'n'roll does not end at two o'clock because it really doesn't. They sound like a good, fun, hard drinking live band but I must conclude that perhaps for J.J. Nobody & The Regulars, rock'n'roll should end at two o'clock, or maybe even twelve-thirty—J.J. Germ

KLEINFELTER
Kleinfelter (no label)
I been sittin' hear rubbin' my brains, tryin' to figure out just what the hell a Kleinfelter is when it suddenly dawns on me; I have no idea, so screw it. Kleinfelter write good songs, interesting songs with the aid of a Rhodes piano. I think it's thinking man's rock in the vein of Radiohead. Y'know, I promised Kleinfelter that I'd trash their CD, but I can't. I've failed—P.C. Jones

THE LAWRENCE ARMS/ THE CHINKEES
Present Day Memories split CD (Asian Man)
A split CD featuring two good punk bands. The Lawrence Arms serve up the first four. "100 Resolutions" is a great "gonna get it right next time" song. The Chinkees got some kind of cool organ shit goin' on in a few of their songs giving their punk rock a hint of gospel (as well as reggae/ska) which punk rock has always needed (right?). The singer has kind of a Mike Ness/Joe Strummer voice. The title track is an acoustic song by the Chinkees. Covers some ground stylistically. It's aaiiight—P.C. Jones

LEFTOVERS
667 Neighbor of the Beast (Fueled Up)
Why must we hardworking Americans be served Sweden's rock'n'roll scraps? Is this the fucking thanks we get for giving them the Stooges all those years ago? We do not want your leftovers, Sweden. Would a hot, freshly prepared meal be too much to ask?—Muggsy McMurphy

LILLINGTON
The Backchannel Broadcast (Panic Button/ Lookout!)
Your basic Ramones-style punk rock that stays safely in the parameters of your basic Ramones-style punk rock without daring to cross the line into something that would deviate too much from your basic Ramones-style punk rock. Gabba Gabba, zzzzzzzz—Jayne Wayne

LINK 80
The Struggle Continues... (Asian Man)A mix of ska and hardcore with perhaps a dash of metal thrown in just to keep things interesting. The horns get a little tinny after awhile which makes me a little buggy, but that's just a potential negative side effect whenever ska is involved and if you are aware of that risk going in then you should be ok—Jayne Wayne

COLIN McGRATH & THE KILLING MY LOBSTER ORCHESTRA
Allegro Con Chutzpah (Killing My Lobster)
This CD is basically a soundtrack for San Francisco's Killing My Lobster sketch comedy shows put on in the Bay Area. It was originally created to accompany a visual which was intended to be humorous so perhaps if you do get a chance to listen to this CD you should watch something funny or even something not funny and it will become clever and interesting. Maybe you should be listening to it while you read this issue of the Reglar Wiglar. It couldn't hurt—Jayne Wayne

M.I.A.
Lost Boys
(Alternative Tentacles)
Not just the last band on side four of 1982's Not So Quiet on the Western Front compilation (and the only band representing Las Vegas), MIA, after moving to Orange County, released a handful of LPs, EPs, 7" singles and compilation tracks on various labels throughout the early '80s in between break-ups. It's good punk rock that twenty years later doesn't sound a bit dated to mine ears. "Boredom is the Reason," "Las Vegas," and "I Hate Hippies" to name a few (or three) of the "stand out cuts." In summation, MIA is essential listening in any punk rock lesson plan—Joey Germ

MOUNT EVEREST TRIO
Waves from Albert Ayler (Atavistic)
This is the album all you aspiring young "jazz studies" (and that's in quotes because maybe you know what I mean) music school students should surgically attach to your eardrums. All of you pathetic Wynton Marsalis wannabes need to drop out, tune in, and turn on. Every time every one of you fumbles through the Real Book at your "graded" recital with your ad hoc fantasy buddy group you do the music and the earth a disservice. You know who you are, locked in a practice room playing scales, or shut in your dorm room considering how it looks on paper.. .LISTEN UP. You're draining all the energy and beauty from the music. You play it with 1/8 the intensity of a weak television commercial. You listen to the masters like Coltrane and write off your useless existence as never ever even beginning to try and aspire to those regions or depths. Meanwhile, your equally weak professor is resting on the laurels of having had the once in a lifetime opportunity to be alive and actually hear the real music when it was being made. You're, "that was some really cool shit you were getting into there man" stuff doesn't impress anyone besides maybe your equally weak-minded parents who might think that you'll somehow get a tragedy perpetuating teaching gig. Mostly recorded in 1975, with 3 tracks recorded in 1977, the Mount Everest trio uncompromisingly rocks. Featuring, from Sweden, Gilbert Holmstrom on alto and tenor saxophone, Kjell Jansson on bass, and Conny Sjokvist on drums, these guys effectively establish a level that does great jazz music justice. They get down. All the way down. All the while pushing themselves, and you can hear it. They're entranced. Their instruments are merely vehicles channeling and propulsing an energy most mortals rarely document. The album consists mostly of originals, credited to all the members of the band. There is one Albert Ayler piece, one Ornette Coleman tune, and one song by Gary Bartz. The Mount Everest version of Ramblin' IS jazz studies. I dare you, punk—Dylan Tante

NERVE AGENTS
The Butterfly Collection (Hellcat)
New record, new label, same attack from this punk as fuck unit from San Francisco. Germ says "it's a goddamn blast from the past is what it is." It reminds him of '80s UK hardcore by the likes of Subhumans et al. That may be true. It's got him wearing mascara again at any rate. Too early to tell if that's a good thing or not—Irresistible Frank

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NO INNOCENT VICTIM
Tipping the Scales (Victory)
If you are of the belief that the world is just a giant ball of shit passing through the intestines of some divine creator, then you will appreciate the heavy metal enema of NIV. It is cleansing—Malcolm Tent

THE PARTISANS
So Neat (TKO)
Anyways, so when I got this CD I didn't look too close and I thought it was a Parasites CD and then I looked at it a little later and thought it said the Parisians and I've always wanted to go to Paris and then just most recently I looked at it and I realized that it says The Partisans and so I'm like, yeah that makes sense. These guys are from the UK's "Class of '78 Punk Rock." Which makes sense that two of the three songs on this 7"/ CD EP sound like the Clash but then the other song lifts the riff from the Stooge's "I Wanna Be Your Dog," so that was totally weird. Technically, I don't think this qualifies as a review, but it's my first one so gimmie a break—Tabitha

THE PINKOS
The Pinkos (eMpTy)
The Clash unplugged! Yeah, kinda in a way. A snotty, folky punk guitar/drum double vocal duo. Vanessa and Steve are a little left-leaning as you may have guessed from their band name. They sing songs of injustice, societal ills, love gone wrong and other such topics of personal and social politics. It's quite catchy as well, and you know that a spoonful of sugar helps the medi-cine go down—P.C. Jones

THE POLKAHOLICS
Polkas on Guitar (no label)
Yes indeed my friends, this record is as the band namethreatens, as the album title taunts: polka on guitar! A polka band sans the accordion but not the leiderhosen and certainly not the beer. Dandy Don, Jumpin' George, and Merry Mike deliver fourteen new tracks to the polka consumer. Some come prepolka'd but most are original gems to whet your appetite for the fast approaching polka apocalypse—P.C. Jones

PSEUDO HEROES
Betraying Angry Thoughts (Theologian)

This CD sounds like it came out about fifteen years ago. It's got that '80s SST sound to it: Meat Puppets, HŸsker, Minutemen, Dinosaur Jr. I like it not just for being thinking man's punk rock but for having interesting guitar parts, for sounding old but sounding different from cookie cutter punk rock (sniff). I think I need a hanky—Muggsy McMurphy

OTEP
The Lord is My Weapon (Capitol)
This is a cassette tape from a band on Capitol Records. It contains two songs. I don't have a tape player which is too bad because the accompanying literature advised that I should mark today down in my calendar (they probably meant my journal because I don't usually write things on my calendar as they occur) because today is the day that my "preconceived notions of rock will change." I like to think that I don't have any preconceived notions of rock but I must because I'm guessing that this band sucks and I haven't even heard the tape. I sure as fuck know that Capitol ain't gonna send me the full-length CD when it's out. It's cheaper to just tease me with a two song cassette sampler that they bundled up in a big expensive padded envelope (for which they paid double the postage) and mailed it to this shitty little magazine whose record reviewers get insulted when they receive two song cassette tapes in huuuge padded envelopes that don't even fit into their tiny P.O. boxes. But look how much space I saved in this record review section by not reviewing it!—J. Germ

REACH THE SKY
Friends, Lies, and the End of the World (Victory)
Reach the Sky play a pretty tight punk rock that borders on emo in it's vocal delivery. It's pretty heavy and loud. Their press kit says that they're the "most compelling and diverse band to come out of Boston, MA in recent years." I really hope that's not true for Boston's sake. Although punk rock can and should be about diversity, this is not an example. It's just a punk rock record the likes of which we get plenty of round here—Jayne Wayne

ROCKFORD
Victory (Rare)
I saw these guys play at a party once. They played oh... I'd say... about six or seven minutes before their set disintegrated into soggy drunken futility. It was an entertaining six or seven minutes (if you enjoy watching a train derail) and Victory is an entertaining six or seven songs (six). I think the victory that inspired the album title was their temporary triumph over alcohol which allowed them to record as many songs as they did. The evidence would suggest that it was a very close battle, but here you have it, six songs in slow motion, soaked in booze, blues, and god knows what else. Probably pee. Poor bastards—Dick Cheney

RX BANDITS
Progress (Drive-Thru)
Drug Thieves, huh? This is pretty slick ska rock music that sounds like it's going for the gold. Some of it is pretty darn catchy and some of it just seems like the Bandits wouldn't mind being the next big thing. I think they're too late for the last ska revolution and about six or seven months too early for the next one but nevertheless all the key elements are there; the punk/ ska hybrid, the socially aware lyrics, the horns, of course the horns. I don't know. It could happen and so what if it did, huh?—Irresistible Rankin' Frank

SCARED OF CHAKA
Crossing with Switchblades (Hopeless)
No giant leaps into new musical territory. Not a departure. Just some good ol' punk rock music chock full of hooks, distorted almost beyond perception, underneath raw vocal harmonies topped with snappy drumming (snappy?). That's what I said. This is the seventh full-length record out of this Albuquerque trio. Capable of rock and pop without sounding like pop/rock. It can and should be done like this more often—Joey Germ

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SEASON TO RISK
Shattering (O&O)
You could have told me that this record was recorded in 1993 and I wouldn't have batted an eyelash. Season to Risk's sound is reminiscent of early to mid-nineties bands like Helmet and Jesus Lizard; it's a slower paced brand of punk rock yet it's unrelenting in it's heavy, guitar-based metal/ punk which plods along like a slow runaway truck. These K.C. folks actually formed in 1989 and have been putting out records since about 1992, so none of this should come as a surprise to anyone. So don't act all surprised—P.C. Jones

SHADES APART
Sonic Boom (Republic/Universal)
If you want to hear some prefabricated, completely unexciting, straight off the assembly line rock music then buy this CD! Although I doubt many stores are carrying it. Oh well, I guess you could rub some shit in your ears instead—Germ

SYSTEM AND STATION
Pictures Found in Paragraphs (Crustacean)
OK try this one out: Jane's Addiction circa Ritual de lo Habitual (Side Two) meets U2 circa Unforgettable Fire...either you're running to the record store to buy this CD or you're running away. Which is it?—P.C. Jones

THRICE
Identity Crisis (Sub City)
Identity crisis indeed. These guys seem to be struggling with whether or not they're "Ride the Lightening" era Metalica or an annoying punk rock band. They do a good job lifting riffs gratuitously and restructuring them slightly, and they're not bad on being annoying either—Muggsy McMurphy

THURSDAY
Full Collapse (Victory)
The contrast of a honey-voiced singer and the angry barking back-up vocals set to the clean/distorted guitars works for this band at times. Musically Thursday does some interesting things, BUT: the vocals, like most vocals in this emo genre, drive me crazier than a shit house rat after only limited exposure. BUT: if you like Hot Water Music and Boy Sets Fire you will probably want to check these NJ boys out—Irresistible Frank

THE UNKNOWN
Pop Art (Microcosm/Boss Tuneage)
It's pop all right, but is it art? That's the question that has plagued both scholars and art critics alike for thousands of years. And speaking of ancient pursuits, this Cleveland quartet has been around in some form or another for the past eight or so years and have quite a lengthy discography. It would seem that The Unknown are an often overlooked, underappreciated, and unknown band. It could be the curse of the name or the fact that they're hardly alone in their long standing quest to be a known pop band but only by changing their name to The Known will they ever truly be able to find the answer. Good luck men!—Jayne Wayne

USELESS I.D.
Bad Story, Happy Ending (Kung Fu)
They (people) are calling these guys the Jewish MxPx on account of the fact that they're from Israel. It's true, they do play punk in the pop vein just like every other band right here in the States. It's heartening to think of the prospect that some day World Music will sound like MxPx and Blink 182 'cause that will make the impending apocalypse that much more of a relief. Bring it on, baby!—Joey Germ

VARIOUS
Center of the Universe Book II (O&O)
Now it can be foretold...finally, Book II of the creamy Center of the Universe has arrived. Or rather, another edition of Owned & Operated's CD sampler has been unleashed upon the unsuspecting public. Some of the same rock prophets are present on this one; Tanger, Wretch Like Me, Someday I. Also featured, ALL, Season to Risk. A smattering of what you're likely to find on O&O right about now kids so grab a fistful of dollars and send 'em to Colorado—The Whiz

VARIOUS
A Fistful of Rock'n'roll Vol. 7 (Victory)
Speaking of fistfuls of stuff, check out this big beefy rock compilation from Victory. Painstakingly compiled by Electric Frankenstein's, Sal Canzonieri, this comp. runs the gamut of rock. From rock to all they way to the subgenre of rock with a few rock tunes thrown in for balance, this CD has everything to do with...rock, so rock it!—The Whiz

VARIOUS
H.E.A.R. This (Sub City)
A compilation featuring twenty-eight songs and twenty-eight bands that benefit H.E.A.R. (Hearing Education and Awareness for Rockers). Features songs from Scared of Chaka, The Bellrays, & Shonen Knife as well as some old school tunes by the Avengers & Toxic Reasons as well as a song by Peter Coyote (?) and on top of all that, it's for a good cause! I SAID IT'S FOR A GOOD CAUSE! You should get your ears checked. Seriously—Jayne Wayne

VARIOUS
Rootical Vibrations (Victory)
I'm gonna be honest with you, I don't know my Afrikan Simba from my Prince Alla, but I like the reggae music just as much as the next wanna-be hipster white boy. So I like this compilation. It ain't Bob Marely if that's your reference point, but it does feature some of the best contemporary reggae artists recording today. Listening to the CD makes me feel like I just smoked a big fat spliff. No, wait... I did just smoke a big fat spliff. Well, whatever, this is still a cool CD—Malcolm Tent

VARIOUS
That Darn Punk (Kung Fu)
From what I gather, Kung Fu Records produced a full-length film titled, That Darn Punk, featuring Joe Escalante and other members of the Vandals. I've surmised from the accompanying literature that the story line involves UFOs, aliens, punk rock, drugs and dead cops (A Repo Man for a new generation?). If it's as funny as the Vandals then it's probably pretty funny, however, I didn't get a copy of the movie, just the soundtrack, which features songs by your favorite bands: Pennywise, Rancid, Ataris, The Vandals, and a shitload more. So buy the soundtrack then buy the movie and tell me about—Joey Germ

VARIOUS
Alpha Motherfuckers: A Tribute to Turbonegro (Hopeless)
Gettin' down and dirty and into the bottom of the promo pile where the compilations sink in the mad grab at the gold. It's rotten work but when you're a bottom feeder like me you learn to freakin' love it. Ahh, what do we have here? A tribute to Turbonegro? Scared of Chaka, I likes them. Queens of the Stone Age? Cool. Super-suckers, Nashville Pussy. Wow. I've got a confession to make though. I've never even heard a Turbonegro song... you may throw the first stone now—D. Rumsfeld

VARIOUS
The Wanna-Bes (Panic Button/ Lookout!)
Catchy, catchy punk rock. The kinda stuff I want to hate but instead just wears me down in the end with it's simple hooks and choruses. You'd think I'd have built up a resistance to this pop punk stuff by now and for the most part I have but when it's done right–that is to say, when it is done well, it'll getcha' by gummit!—Joey Germ

WEAVES
"We are separate but not individual" (Rubato)
Another musical vehicle from some of the good folks who brought us Atom Bomb Pocket Knife and Crovetch. Weaves continue in the vein of Crovetch in it's barely controlled Braniac-inspired intensity. It is a little more controlled however. Don't get me wrong, there's still the gaping head wound, bad trip paranoia that will make you wish the voices would just, once and for all, go the fuck away, but it's a little more fleshed out these days. Sometimes you need somethin' that'll take the edge off for chrissake—Chris Sake

THE WORKIN' STIFFS
Dog Tired...and Then Some (TKO)
A workin' class, 70s, Brit-influenced, SF punk rock band that cranks out the old school punk rock. This is actually a re-release of their 1997 record, Dog Tired with the addition of a few singles and split singles, thus the "and Then Some." Punk by punks for punks, punk—P.C. Jones

 

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