RECORD REVIEWS
REGLAR WIGLAR #3
1994



BUTTSTEAK Old Terror in a New Building BUTTSTEAK
Old Terror in a New Building (Go-Kart)

What a fun band! Devo of the fuckin' 90s, bro! Or maybe a B-52s? Maybe? I seen Buttsteak at the Empty Bottle way the hell down there on Western Avenue. (Maybe it's not far from you Wicker Park folks but for a rich little poor kid from North Center, it's a haul.) They played after this band that was OK and before this other band that was all right. There weren't that many people there to see them which was too bad, butt that's what you get when you support your own tour which I think is what these cats are doin', but I may be wrong. These peoples are a five piece, they got a keyboard player and she's a cutey (is that sexist? If so let me know and I'll apologize).

Theze folks, from Norfolk, VA, were fun to watch. They said the F word in their songs and they spit on each other lots and they did a little impromptu thingamajig before they played in which a guy from the audience, who was actually a member of the band, heckled them as they were warming up. The guy from the audience, who was really a guy from the band, made the drummer, who was wearing a dress (not a bad figure actually, sort of waifish, Kate Mossy look) sing Happy Birthday while he smeared chocolate frosting on the guitarists neked bun cheeks which he put candles in, lit on fire, then stomped out with his boots. The dude pulls up his pants after that and plays the whole set with that chocolatey stuff on his buttsteak, which I'm bettin' he totally dug. Fuckin' Moon Pie.

Anyway, the CD is equal nuttiness, got songs called "Lee Harvey Keitel" and "Fucky Sucky" and "Smacklord" but you should see 'em live and maybe buy the CD at the show like I did 'cause I got three free stickers when I did, except one of them was ripped, but hell it was free, well actually I paid an extra dollar for the CD because dude didn't have single but dat's OK., 'cause I had a nice time, even though the beer was warm, butt butt-ass cheap, which I ain't used to so I tipped big to make up for it which the waitress dug lots (she was wearing a Styx concert jersey and I think she was serious).

I am so easily entertained, it's downright frightening–Scat-in-the-Hat

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MILKMINE
Braille (choke inc.)

MILKMINE BrailleHelp, I'm choke, inc. I'm choke, inc. (heh, heh, hee, whoo boy!) Anyway, introducing Milkmine, starring Paul Miur on drums, Jay Wilson on bass and Jon Nash.... on bass? What the f-f? No guitar? C'mon now? No, it's true, there ain't no six string slinger in this band. Yah see, Milkmine don't like guitarists, they think they're assholes, think that guitarists treat their guitars as an extension of their peen-i. What is Freud in a rock band now? What is a bass but a heavier, thicker, longer guitar that can be slapped and pounded with more ease than a skinny little geetar stick? Eeiii! Milkmine sorta sounds like what Jesus Lizard might sound like if they kicked Duane Denison out of the band and Sims and McNeilly were left to their own devices. It wouldn't be The Lizard but it would more than likely still rock.

This all reminds me of the first time I saw Milkmine here in Chicago when they played at the Avalon; I was first introduced to the Milkmine seven inch "SuperM" (also on choke, inc.) when it hit me in the bead after singer/bass player, Jon Nash threw it at me after insulting my shirt (a nice button-down J.C. Penny number that my aunt bought me for my birthday). The disc hit me squarely in the forehead and all theses grunge rockers in the audience turned and looked at me like I was a fucking burn victim, a look of pity and repugnance. I heard one little girl whisper to her boyfriend "Oh my God, Look at that shirt." What the fuck" All my flannel was at the cleaners man, I fucking swear it! See these ripped jeans? I ripped them for you, man!

So Braile is a damn fine release if you like lead heavy, rock'n'roll. These kids're from Cincinnati but they aint' no fuckin' Whigs, dig? And for those rock'n'roll purists, all too comfortable with the guitar/bass/ drums format all's I gotta say is, that bass'll sure mistake yah for a geetar. The way these boys play it anyway. They would probably be offended by that remark, but what're yah gonna do? Huh?–Muggsy McMurphy

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KNOB GOBBLER
True Confections (demo)

This here is the first of what will hopefully be many reviews of our fragmented local music scene. And I would like to say that it is an honor to write the first review, I just wish they had given me a better band to review. Pet Shop Boys would have been cooler.

Most Chicago bands I've had the discomfort of interviewing seem either too ready to slag their local yokels and their work or they comment that, although they could slag a great deal of Chicago bands, they won't 'cause they don't want to come across as arseholes However, when discussing Knob Gobbler, for some reason, no one holds back and this is good because Knob Gobbler should not exist. But who am I to judge? I am not God most certainly, in fact, I, Joey Germ am not even sure that God exists. Questioning the existence of a higher power and more intelligent being certainly becomes prevalent after listening to the Knob Gobbler CD, however, and the odds seldom turn up in God's favor.

I have not seen Knob Gobbler play out, fortunately. I've heard rumors to the effect that they suck so bad that no one has seen them play yet. Seems like these boys been on the scene forever but I did a little research and I found out that that just ain't the case. Been together as a band for about three months as far as I could figure. Played their first show at Czar Bar in January last, according to their elaborate five page, glossy press kit, which incidentally contains no press clippings about them nor any reviews of them, their shows, or their CD. It's just a long sob story about how great they are and how hard they work and really need a record deal with a real label. The band consists of two members, Clyde, the singing tambourine playing drummer and Bill, the guitar playing, and sometimes, if you're really unlucky, singing second member. Why only a two piece? Are they just so creative and insightful visionaries that no other musicians feel honored enough to work within ten feet of their genius minds or perhaps these two fellows are just two of the most desperate geeks this side of Palatine and no one would want to be seen on a stage with them. If they possessed any talent whatsoever I could call them a Grunge Simon and Garfunkel, but they take the funk out of Garfunkel and rock about as hard as a bow-tied senator.

Well, so much for the first installment of our local reviews. As much as I hate to sound like Beavis or his buddy, Butthead, don't send me your demo if it sucks. I just don't have the time–Joey Germ

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SPYRAL TAP
Various Artists (Spyral)

Lotta bands I ain't heerd much about yet. I was happy to be introduced to them via this lil' compilation thing-a-ma-do. Before I get inta the meat of this CD, lemme mention that it was compiled and put on the streets by this dude, Steve Tossey, who plays guitar in Apendix, which is also featured on this CD. Ivan DeWolf's cover art is very interesting and quite cooley. I get some sort of surgical vibe from this, is there a med student behind the concept of this comp? I don't know.

Instead of a brief overview of the disc that would only mention the better aspects, quickly glossing over certain arteests who laid down time, money and perhaps a little sweat, I will address each song independently, ahem.

Scrub is the first band featured on dis ting. I ain't heerd nothing about them, but that don't mean jack shit. Left Ventricle is the tune and it rocks solid, dude. Screw Party–I don't know–seen 'em play live once and liked, but "Lou Reed's Dead" don't pump my nads much

As for the Wesley Willis Fiasco, now here's a moral dilemma for me. Having heard his full length CD Radiohead and then hearing him backed up by this heavy guitar crank makes me wonder whose bein' self-served here. What I do know is that I have seen said artists urinate in public one too many time not to question who's gonna benefit most from this fiasco. I've hard people say that Wesley is some sort of visionary, but reciting Taco Bell slogans is not a sign of genius in my opinion. The word exploitation keeps poppin' up in this writer's noggin'

Water's Pass the Buddha. I'll pass on, but please they asked nicely, pass them the Buddha. Go on now. Appendix, first I think their song Lung sounds really Jane's Addictiony, then I rack my brains tryin' to think of who else they reminds me of and it's Monster Magnet, then I realize I'm right on both accounts, then come to the conclusion that I like it anyway.

Wickerman, Stoned in Car, good long song, sound ain't so good though, like back in the day when you'd put a Public Enemy record on your stereo and without adjusting the volume-knobber thing from the record you just played, you couldn't hear nuttin'...nuttin/ You gotta crank the volume on this tune, but fuck, you should be doin' that anyway, right?

D.O.P.E.'s dope. More heavy guitar, mosh-driven muting. Guitar rock definitely be the way it's done in Chi-Town, and I'll be gall darned if there ain't a big Bad Brains influence goin' on here, perhaps a lil' too big on the brains...maybe? Just a little.

Hog Lady do little to stop the madness with their sacrilegious tunage. Preacher Man is naughty but nice. These people is reportedly broke up now, but we'll see.

Hip Deep Trilogy ain't that bad I suppose. 'Nuff said. You know what's cooly? Disarray. funky. More disco than funk, but a nice little breaker in a sea of grunge, dig? Somehow, according to this compilation, there's some sort to of a Chicago-San Francisco connection. The CD is subtitled The Best New Music of Chicago and San Francisco. I didn't[t know we wuz sister cities but we must be. Horsey is from out there and their contribution adds a little spice to the entree. Quaker Youth Ensemble didn't do nuthin' for me. Did I forget to mention anyone? Oh yeah, Sabalon Glitz and Lacehead. Final note on the liner notes, I know it's fun to misspell words. I myself, do it all the tyme, but I get the fuckin' PMS cramps when I see 'thanks' spelled 'thanx', man do it hurt. Especially when it's used several times in an inch. I know, I know, I pick nits, but we all got peeves. Piece–Scat-in-the-Hat

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VERUCA SALT SeetherVERUCA SALT
"Seether" b/w "All Hail Me" (Minty Fresh)

If I were writing a story on Veruca Salt, that would be the headline. So just in case, I got dibs on it and if'n I never do write a story on Veruca Salt (which I probably won't seein' as how the last time I wrote a story about a band, I was beaten bloody with a baseball bat( I'll sell yah the title for five bucks, cheap).

Veruca Salt, the name was taken from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (which I thought I had a copy of, so I was gonna try to figure out the deep hidden significance of said name, but seems like I only had Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator which has got cool names in it but no salty ones, dig?) Anyway, this band is very cool. People gonna say "Breeders, Breeders, Breeders," and there's definitely the influence there but influences are suspect and ripoffs are a little more obvious. Hard rockin' and dual harmonies sung by female vocal chords is the comparison. Veruca Salt is Veruca Salt simple and plain.

Nina Gordon and Louise Post and Steve Lack and Jim Shapiro, those are the people that people this band and I seen 'em live and that was fuckin' groovin' too. The show was packed with what looked like yuppies so if you're a critic and a cynic and a little too punk rock fer yer own good, you might write these folks off as some lame-ass, ready for MTV buzz band. That's only if you buy into the bullshit you profess to hate so much. Just dig the music, man. It's the music man!

This 7" disc was produced by Wicker Diva, Brad Wood and it's got a cool lil' cover goin' there, sportin' old Evil Sailor 9 and it's on Minty Fresh and it's on peach vinyl and...and that's it–PC Jones

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MAMA TICK  Action CityMAMA TICK
"Action City" b/w "Shout (at the Devil) (Three Little Girls)

Mama Tick has left a legacy of 7 inch singles behind to chronicle their three year career in Chicago. With a full-length LP recorded and ready for pressing, Mama Tick has scattered to various parts of the US from Alaska to Maine, to the tennis courts of Chicagoland and are pursuing different projects these days.

The Tick, as some of the rock'n'roll kids refer to them as, have released records on Amphetamine Reptile of the Mini Apple, Chicago's Skin Graft and Madison's Bovine and as their parting gift to us "Action City/Shout (at the Devil)" a 7 inch on Louisville's Three Little Girls Recordings. Action City is the chaotic and quite amusing anthem that best captures the Mama Tick sense of humor. Ben Keller, Adam Laats and Chad Moore simultaneously spout off, sometimes scream off, a collage of stream of conscience rantings about god-knows-what over a steady tangent of guitar noise

"Shout at the Devil," a song included in their live set, is an ode to the Crue that the Crue does not even deserve. Sure Too Fast for Love was a good record but never forget Theater of Pain, Girls, Girls, Girls or egads! Doctor Feelgood. Incidentally did anyone see the Motley Crew interview on MTV where the Nikki Sixx prompted the whole band to walk out because the interviewer asked the Crue about their 80s videos--what with the hairspray, fiery explosions and half neked women sluttin' around hungry for heavy metal gratification. They were insulted by the question, seems like everyone, even the crew wants to put those decadent 80s behind. I guess the crew at thirty-something has finally grown up but there's really no need to deny your very ridiculous past, boys....bad boys...bad boys of rock.

So pick up that there Mama Tick 7" or any of the four Mama Tick 7 inchers and be entertained by the new bad boys of rock–Malcolm Tent

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