1998:     PAGE 1
SNOTTINESS... Punk Rock Classic - World Contender - Worth A Listen - Average - Plastic - No Future
'The Voids'
(Self Release) Tape 1998
This early 6-track demo tape by the
from Fullerton, CA was
passed onto me by Adri their singer. I
think it's worth checking out
even though they've changed their
sound somewhat and lost a singer
and guitarist since this was recorded
back in 1998. The six frenzied
songs on here give us a hint of what
they are capable of. I like
this demo Caz it's different from most
punk bands around today. The
male vocal slots give it a new
dimension. And I still can't
understand the lyrics but 'Window Sill'
has one of those menacing
riffs that I personally can't get enough
of. There's an early version of 'Signal'
on here too, which naturally don't
sound as cutting as their current
version, and with 3 different vocals all
bunched up together you can see why.
So check out their superior
version on the recently released split
45. Ex-guitarist and chief
lyricist Social Dave makes his
presence felt big style on this demo
as the driving force behind the band at
this stage in their career.
He takes over a lot of vocals and the
dual girl vocals sometimes
seem secondary to his songs
mysterious meanings. With Dave and
Maria now long gone, the band are
more streamlined giving remaining
singer Adri (who has the more powerful
vocal) a free range. The Voids
however can sometimes be too clever
for their boots, and it especially shows
on songs like 'Seraph's Descent' which
reads like it was written by Radio head
or some Oxford graduate...not a punk
band. Maybe that's one of things that
makes em so different from
their punk contemporaries, they don't
sound like no-one else...which
is good ain't it?
The Voids still have
that speedy attack and
tightness that currently propels em but
this demo has a more varied
guitar sound which I hope to see more
of on the soon come album of
new material. Great production too!
Contact the band at
'The Punk Singles
Collection 77-82'
(ahoycd98) CD 1998
This CD pays tribute to the very best
moments of
Chelsea from day one to
the early 80's. And as the title says it's
a singles collection and rightly so, Caz
Chelsea were a definitive singles
outfit! They recorded some good punk
tunes on vinyl and although their LP's
were always pretty patchy, this
collection is all your ever gonna really
need to hear by this band.
were a group who looking back on
their catalogue, produced the goods
pretty consecutively with the odd
classic dose of punk rock emerging.
Particularly on their early anthem's like
'Right To Work' and 'High Rise Living'.
And surprisingly for 23 tracks there's
only a few fillers on here namely
'Rockin Horse', 'New Era and the rowdy
but basic 'Freeman's'. But even with a
completely different lineup apart from
old barrow boy Gene October in their
ranks, by the early 80's their songs still
have that distinct
Chelsea swagger
amongst the guitars and
arrangements, and this collection
positively stinks to high heaven
of '77 punk! Which I fucking can't get
enough of!! During the early 80's
Chelsea put out a couple of 45's that
even come close to their early '77
classics take the infectious 'Evacuate'
and 'War Across The Nation' for
example, with their anthemic
demeanor. Yeah this is worth checking
out it you wanna smell, feel and taste
that original UK punk spirit and sound.
(£8.99 UK or £10.99 R.OW.)
PO Box 501 High Wycombe, Bucks,
HP10 8QA,UK.
Captain Oi!
(LMR-03) Tape 1998
Now here's a punk band who are well
worth your attention (where have
you heard that before?). But
seriously everything about Narcoleptic
Youth sounds good. From the
professional packaging down to the
tunes and song content. It all adds up
to what punk rock is or should be
about today, if only the majority of
bands had this much suss!
'Classified' kicks off the proceedings
with a feed backing Dickies
influenced stomper, and the crazy
dumb "Crayon" vocal delivery is
memorable done by main man and
Narcoleptic dynamo Joey Bondage. Mr
Bondage is the Leonard Graves of
the 21st century on this recording.
And like
the Dickies, Narcoleptic
sing about a vast circle of
subjects, ranging from the perverse
to the diverse and anything else
ending with a curse...I fucking love it!
Any band with a mountain of
songs and only a 4 track tape to
deliver em with is gonna be
frustrating, but this sampler just
makes you wanna check the rest of
their repertoire out. Songs like
'Smallpox Ebola Cocktail' points a
paranoid finger to the newer more
slier methods of mass destruction,
while also showcasing some rare lead
guitar breaks from co-writer
Jay Sin. Followed by 'McAnarchy'
which is a blitzing diatribe that
takes a snidely poke at the oh so
serious and largely hypocritical
anarchy squad. It's so fast even the
lyric sheet can't keep up. Last
track 'Banks Go Bust' lets the band
stretch their musical dexterity
to include a 'Fuck MTV' pastiche,
complete with a cheerleader
"Anarchy Anarchy Anarchy, Rah
Rah Rah"
. Speed and screams are
seen as the only dip sticks in Punk
these days, and if you want speed
these Corona culprits ain't no
slouches but the big difference here
is they do it with a lot more thought
and ingenuity. Comes with a
fold-out lyric sheet in colourful
bondage style.
‘Brum Scum’ Tape 1997
This is a mixed bag and pretty dated
dose of Birmingham’s underground
punk, metal and hardcore sounds. I
have to say though, it came in last
year so it’s partly my fault it ain’t been
reviewed earlier. And also it has to be
a first for Birmingham, Caz I’ve never
seen a compilation covering the local
punk outfits in the 20 odd years I’ve
been listening to punk! So fair play to
the geezers who put it out. All the
bands get two tracks a piece to show
their wears. Which includes some good
stuff and some mediocre and
decidedly metal offerings. Amongst the
intense, hardcore and metallic
crossovers on show are openers
Spineless who have a Black Sabbath
feel in the guitars. Especially on the
epic 4.22 ‘Born To Breed’. Next up is
the Damned inspired
Bride Just Died
with their fiendish mid-paced punk. I
seen these once supporting
Contempt in Wolverhampton and
thought they were a good laff to watch,
but on here it’s pretty much average
Joe stuff.
Intention are up next and
play that kinda stop-start powerful
noise, that easily loses my attention
span. But they do have some hilarious
“my gonads are in a vice”
type of vocals, which were very funny!
Spithead give us the token two-tone
tracks. And with that vox organ, duel
vocals and crisp production made a
pretty big impact amongst all the beefy
guitars and growlers on show. Their
best track was ‘Personal’. First I’d
heard of
Ackbar who hail from
Northfield (with a name like that I was
expecting a Black Country mob), and
they didn’t do much for me apart from
give a good take on
Agnostic Front.
P.O.A. (who seem to have
disappeared off the face of the earth?)
crash in with their best number, the
powerful, addictive rifferama of
‘Blackout’. Those strangled vocals by
Martin and that killer guitar riff really
grab you by the hand and throw you
around their Black Country wasteland!
Definitely the standout track of the
Eastfield follow next with a
tongue in cheek punk sound that
seems to be their calling card. They
come across far better in a live
situation and the duel vocals ain’t in
sync much on these tracks, which
spoils their sound quite a bit. The aptly
Massive Head all the way
from Brum’s red light district are
another new band to me. Probably Caz
they straddle that cross-over metallic
school of hardcore. I can just see their
ponytails or backward baseball caps
rocking in the breeze.
I.O.D. Are an
amalgamation of local bands and
pretty experimental. They beat us into
existence with ‘Gob’ that sounds similar
to Londoners
T.B.A.C. In the thrash
incorporated vocal department. Pity
the drumming on their first track was
so one-dimensional it was like a drum
machine going wrong. I’d heard a lot
Rotunda on the West Midlands
punk grapevine, and they let rip with a
couple of very basic punk riffs
accompanied by some ‘heard it all
before vocals’ and a muddy
production. Very disappointing! Lastly
we get
Police Bastard who treat us to
a couple of their protesting tracks best
being the rough shod bootleg of
‘Lessons In Human Control’ from a
brilliant Walsall gig a few years back!!!
On the whole a pretty
From the second city.
Brum Scum #2 should be out by now
and if you wanna be included in further
productions send your 2 tracks under
7 minutes preferably on CD to the
following address.below
£3 postpaid
from 5 Melrose Avenue (Off Woodfield
Road), Sparkbrook, Birmingham.
B12 8TG, UK.
(GTA-O36) CD 1998
Good collection of this early 80’s
Southern Californian punk band,
whose various members went onto get
bigger exposure in more successful
combos down the decades. This
collection however spotlights the
bands debut ‘1982’ album. Featuring a
25 track live/studio slab, with a
generous amount of bonus tracks. I
must admit I’m way more partial to the
studio side than the live set, but the
live sound quality is very professional
indeed. This is a band who play catchy
well structured punk rock with tunes
and an ability to create potential
anthems. Some of these songs are as
hard to shake off as the indelic ink S.F.
Logos that stained their jeans.
However you get the distinct
impression that Shattered Faith live
and in the studio were going off half
cocked a lotta the time. They have a
handful of really good songs, but for
the most part they leave you
demanding more for your money. The
mix especially, is lacking that killer
punch. I’m sure your all a lot more
familiar with these CA punkers than
me? This is my first listening and I
wasn’t left feeling cheated, just a little
annoyed they didn't go for the jugular.
This album can’t hide the fact that
Shattered Faith along with early Bad
Religion had a talent for superior tune
age and are probably very influential
on their peers then, as well as now. Mr
Grand Theft Audio has uncovered the
goods here, show casing one of the
less acclaimed bands of the era. Lead
singer Spenser Bartsch asks the
audience “Isn’t it true that Right Is
Right?” and he’s got a point. As he
offers a good clean-cut confident vocal
that walks the tightrope between punk
and pop. He’s aided and abetted quite
ably by future US Bombs guitarist
Kerry Martinez, who’s creative style
shines through even at this early
stage. Some potentially impressive
songs get aired, like my particular
favourite the addictive ‘No Fun’, No
Friends’, or the dark ‘n’ moody anti-
authoritarian number ‘Strange Daze’.
‘Too Tense’ makes good use of the
atmospheric backing vocals, that gives
this band a new dimension. While the
jagged ‘Darkside’ sounds like a big
crowd fave, if only the audience was
miked up correctly. The slow paced
‘Hard to be free’ shows a very mature
angle for a bunch of young punks at
this stage in their career.
Comes with lyrics and band history.
Grand Theft Audio link was down last
time I checked?
‘Static Age’ CD Reissued 1997
Caroline (1978 Mercury/Blank)
The debut release from seminal
“horror punk” band the
Misfits may
just be my favorite punk record of all
time. For one thing, the line up on this
one, to me, is the REAL
Misfits. The
Everything ABOUT this record is what
was great about
the Misfits... dark
lyrics, basing themselves around b-
movie themes, science fiction, and
1950’s American pop culture. The
sound is like a raw take on elements of
50’s and 60’s pop, rockabilly, rhythm ‘n
blues, and bubble gum. Not to mention
the fact that Glenn Danzig’s
contribution to the band will never be
matched. Both his lyrics and vocals
made this album that much better. He
recalls images of the Fonz, or the
young Elvis Presley... Crybaby
Walker... The Outsiders. Cool guys.
Hep cats. The first 2 tracks, “Static
Age” and “TV Casualty” are pretty
similar, mostly one-chord except the
choruses, very droning and slow. The
next song, and probably my favorite,
“Some Kinda Hate”, picks up the pace,
with a very early rhythm ‘n blues-style
riff and all about feel to it. The words
“bubble gum” and “feel-good” keep
coming to mind, despite the lyrics,
which include:
“cats cry/little tortured
babies in pain/cracked necks by
severed limbs/they don’t hesitate”
Also on the album are several classic
Misfits songs, including “We Are 138”,
“Teenagers From Mars”, “Hollywood
Babylon”, “Bullet”, and “She”, the latter
of which didn’t make the final cut at the
original time of release. “She” and
“Spinal Remains” were released on
Misfits collections, and the last track,
“In the Doorway” was NEVER put out
until now, and ironically so, since it’s
probably the most marketable song on
the whole record. Other great songs
are “Last Caress”, “Return of the Fly”,
“Hybrid Moments”, “Attitude”, and
Angelfuck”, all of which are pop at it’s
best. “Comeback” is in the same vein
as the first 2 tracks, and “Theme for a
Jackal” is very rockabilly-influenced.
Just for the sake of context...*During
the short course of recording, Glenn
walks in with Ann Beverly, Sid Vicious’
mother (the album was recorded in
NYC around the time Sid OD’ed).
Glenn, always the gentleman, explains
that her son died the previous night,
and he didn’t think she should be
alone. So she sat in.
*Another visitor
was the guy who wrote the music
for One Life to Live and General
Hospital, who hung around for an
hour with the band. Iguess he was
really hypnotised by it, but thought
the music could be “a little softer”.
The band only had so
many hours to record, as Mercury was
giving them a runaround. So they only
had a few takes for each song, but
then again I guess that’s what made
the record sound so “punk rock”. We
won’t bitch TOO much...Like I said
before, this is one of my top 5 punk
releases ever, and I would say a “must
have” for any punk’s collection. Give it
a shot. You might just find yourself
watching Ed Wood movies and cutting
all the sleeves off your black t-shirts...
Reviewed by Sam Sinister
‘Split In Your Face’
(nigma888001LMR-03) CD 1997
“You wont find this on your FM
.Say the ghostly radio intro,
which is a pity Coz this is a good split
here with two worthy Californian punk
outfits who seem to have hit the right
formula on this 25 tracker CD.
Narcoleptic Youth take the lions
share with 13 tracks and are familiar
round these parts due to their
impressive 3 tracks on the Voids split
45 reviewed elsewhere on this site. I
was quite surprised at just how much
product they’ve put out and I’m glad to
have finally gotten hold of this (cheers
Joey). For one thing it proves that they
ain’t just a one hit wonder. This CD
dates back to 1997 giving us their
early set of humour, political intrigue
and the madcap bags of energy that
can’t be supplied by pharmaceutical
aids alone. This collection is raw and
from the heart of small town USA. How
these off the beaten track towns
manage to conjure up such sussed
punk rock venom and insight never
ceases to amaze me. Big Joey
Bondage is the singer who spits out
the sarc and put downs and is built like
a jock but with the sarc of Jello Biafra.
They’ve got a buzz saw guitar
approach supplied by Jay Sin (who
lives down the street from Elvis). He’s
aided and abetted by the bands
whipping post and elder statesman,
Binky the elf, who supply’s the rhythm.  
If you like your bass tight and in a
Klaus Fluoride twang, then Pep Rally is
your man who also provides back up
vocals. And finally providing the beat
and web site duties we have Johnny
Cat Scabies, Rats younger brother.
There ain’t really a bummer track on
here, but the standouts for me had to
be stage fave ‘Barbi In Bondage’ which
reminds me of the nasty Sid kid in Toy
Story. Mr Bondage turns into his alter
ego and mutilates his kid sisters dolls,
great fucking stuff. And the
tragicomedy of ‘Busted Condom’ with it’
s blunt but true lesson in family
planning and a good addictive punk
rock riffing verse.
NY pick up where
Dead Kennedy’s left off with
observant political observations, that
juggles humour and facts. Something
the more morose preaching outfits out
there could do with.
ain’t afraid to slag their own
government off or even their own
scene when needed, which I think
shows they have standards. So if you
want your punk nicely ghettoized into
neat little packages you won’t find
Narcoleptic Youth on any of your
shopping lists. They’re too diverse for
that. There’s also a big
influence in their sound, which is
another band who know a tune or too
when they created one. So pedigree id
prominent in this band. Summing up,
Narcoleptic Youth are suburban
America’s pissed off underbelly, they’
re over the top, they’re fun but they
have a sinister message in their
electric undercurrent!
Atomic Bombs are totally tongue in
cheek and new to the Wolf’s Lair. They
are pretty much second on the bill on
this split and can’t compete with the
multi dimensional Narcoleptic monster
that preceded em. But having said that
I’m glad to hear em and add em to my
collection. In total contrast they kick off
their 12 tracks with a lucid Strauss
waltz but from here on in it’s full pelt
energetic sidewalk humour. They’re
not quite as extreme or lewd as the
Macc Lads and maybe less drink
inspired than the
Test Tubes Babies,
but your in the right genre. The start
with a (I’m presuming?) good piss take
of the Brits with the “Bloody Not Alright”
which is totally manic. Resses Smooth
the drummer has bags of energy but
the drumming mix on this session is
pretty biscuit tin in sound and seems to
let the mix down. That apart ‘Mr
McGoo’ really shows em off to be the
exciting fun band that they really are,
although they can kick it up in the
power department when they feel the
urge to. The
Atomic Bombs other
passion is Skateboarding which unlike
a lot of serious hardcore outfits out
there, gives us the snotty kid on the
streets view which is fun. Lead singer
Raging Reg Fast complete with dog
collar, shouts out the jokes with just
enough angst and enough Groucho
Marx to make you laff. Their skating
anthem ‘Skate Or Die’ has the line “I’ll
say it again 100 times, skatings not a
crime!” which sums this song right up!
They get a bit serious on ‘World’ with it’
s hippesque piss taking intro and
social commentary, but not for long! I
particularly liked the old circus
pastiche (snigger).
Atomic Bombs
lyrics are totally throwaway and they
border on the Rug rats view most of
the way, but these Californian jokers
can sink the punch line with some
decent riffs supplied by Buster
Haymen. “I Love big butts’ says it all
really wonder what their birds think ha!
They remind me of a testosterone
Marx brothers in punk wigs, armed with
skateboards and guitars pinching girls
bottoms at the all ages shows for some
reason? Favourite track has gotta be
the final epic ‘We Love beans’ which
crosses Red Indian chants with the
explosive delicacy, backed with a great
beefy guitar riff and hand claps, funny
as fuck. So If you wanna escape the
emotional, hardcore, no future
syndrome of your daily punk diet then
check these out for some light relief.
'Pure Punk Rock'
(AhoyCD96) CD 1998
Didn't know fuck all about these Stoke
punks from the early 80's punk scene.
But from the off this 25 tracker
recorded in 81/82 displays that they
are the epitome of UK 82 punk! Very
similar in style to other spike 'n' stud
outfits like
Abrasive Wheels etc. And
aped continuously to this day all over
America. They've got a good heavy
guitar sound produced by Fish (who
went onto to join local punks made
Discharge, after the bands
demise) which is the biggest asset of
the Skeptix sound. The songs are
blasted out as though their lives
depended on it and the production is
pretty consistent all the way through.
However the vocals are pretty average
and come across as though the singer
(aptly named Snotty) had a head full of
snot when he recorded em! He does
however get rid of that big lump of
phlegm in his throat by the time 'Got
No Choice' is dispatched halfway
through! The subject matter is typical
protest, pissed off dole queue rants
and antiwar blasts, that are good and
well meaning but sound pretty naive in
today's climate.
The Skeptix split up
in '83 and probably done all they could
by then with the advent of a post-punk
climate beckoning. Highlights at a push
had to be 'Vendetta' , 'Born To Lose'
and their one and only LP title track
'So The Youth'.
'Endangered Species'
(ahoycd97) CD 1998.
The Subs 4th studio album from 1982
and following on from the disappointing
'Diminished Responsibility'. This 16
tracker goes off into even more
laid-back burnt out territory, and from
a promising start was a major let down.
It kicks in on a high with the storming
title track 'Endangered Species' and is
probably the best track on this album.
This newer more powerful sound was
hopefully gonna set the scene alight,
but alas we were spoilt and it went
downhill fast from here on in! Being
the Subs heaviest sounding
sessions of their early career
'Endangered Species' had all the
power to play with, but the tunes and
songs were really fucking dire. They
just couldn't hold it on the slower
tracks that seemed to plod along in a
mundane style. They did manage to
salvage something from the bottle of
Blues that they had obviously threw
down their necks before recording and
'Countdown' underlined it. But this
album is just paranoid doom and
gloom! It bears no comparison to say
'Brand New Age' and it's high
octane hopes. 'Endangered Species' is
riddled with the apocalyptic
endings, that most punk bands of this
era were writing about and
watching out for.
The Subs versions
were just for want of a better
word...depressing!!! Their version of
the darker side of life just made this a
chore to listen too. For every good
track (about 4 in all) we've got gangs
of crap ones and even the sleeve
notes point out it's a love/hate album.
Songs like the appalling 'Living dead'
with Nicky Garatts horrible robotic
vocals were scraping the barrel!
Even Charlie's sometime ancient
sounding harmonica bursts on
'Ambition' are like listening to all the
bad things associated with pub rock.
This album is full of dreary fucking
dirges!!! 'Fear Of Girls' brings a bit of
light relief, showing us a glimmer of
what the earlier
Subs sound was all
about. But even this sounds a touch
restricted with these new power chords
that Nicky Garratts just discovered.
Followed by that white elephant...
'Down On The Farm' (the track
covered by Guns N Roses), just shows
what superstar rockers know about
music...fuck all! Although it's royaltys  
the Subs some well earned
finances coz of it's million dollar cover,
the actual song itself is a fucking joke.
If you wanna hear a real tune all
about boredom look no further than
Iggy's 'No Fun'. This is the Subs
trying to be intellectual and failing! The
UK Subs are all about having
fun, getting laid, taking speed and loud
guitars, not Freudian evaluations of
skinheads for gawds sake! I get the
feeling this album is a picture of t
at their most wasted. They've
run out of ideas and have just burnt
themselves out!!! So it's a good
reminder to Charlie and anyone else
how not to write an album. The 4
bonus tracks were bolstered up by
demo tracks of 'Keep On Running'
and 'Limo life'. With hindsight on this
outing who would've put money on em
lasting another 18 months let alone 8
Available from
'Join The Party'
(wrf15) 45 1995.
This is an early 4-track EP sent in by
Brezhnev's last singer (the band are
now split), and is a version of the band
that has only the current drummer and
bass player as surviving members. So
it's a pretty posthumous release but
worth looking out for coz they've still
got a few hundred copies left. The
vocalist like MC, has a pretty distinct,
dementive vocal approach to the
songs which makes em more unique.
And the style is a lot more rock 'n' rolla
than their 21st century hardcore
attack, but just as good. Best track
was the 'She Ain't Hormy, She's My
Sister' that spells out the trials and
tribulations of a close relationship
with yer sister. It's got a good dual
vocal argument between the
singer and the guitarist and goes
something like..
."you should've
guessed by the way I kissed her, she
ain't horny she's my sister!"
Vocalist Heidi has an early Sean
Purcell (
Raped) style in the nasal
vocals which is always a good sign.
And the band pull it off on the
rest of these snotty, black humorous
odes of guns and killing. Well
MadSkull Records
(hsi15) CD 1998.
35 minutes and 22 tracks of goof ball,
sarcastic punk rock on the tuneful side
of the arena. These 4 middle aged
punkers from Santa Barbara,
California are about the best at this
kinda stuff, fuck
the Queers or
Screeching Weezels these blow em
to kingdom come! 'Syllagomania'
(apparently means an addiction to
hoard trash) is pretty old stuff now, but
worth reviewing as I've been playing
this on and off my stereo since I got
hold of it last year. They've just
done a successful German tour to
promote their more recent releases
and are popular in Germany compared
to their cult listening back home.
Maybe it's the humour or anti-PC
attitude that keeps em under-
ground in the punk scene but it fucking
keeps me sniggering all the way
through. Forget the
Special Duties
teary eyed reminiscing about
'77, these fuckers actually make it
sound interesting as they send it right
up on the '77 Forever' listen to this...

"Punk today's got nothing to say,
Copycats it's all gay!"
and that other
piss taking ode 'Middle Aged Punker'
which spells out all the overweight
spectacles that you see hovering
around the festivals with precision
description. Another highlight is 'Takin
The Piss' with the brilliant...
"Well slag
you for the way you act, we're a
bunch of fucking maniacs, we'll talk
shit behind your back!"
Fucking great stuff!!! These are the
boys who bait the baiters like
it's their god given right, and so it
should be! Nothing in punk
should be sacred! All they need is
targets who can't face the flak
and get peeved at their blatant but
honest view of the proceedings.
Having said all this, there are a few
average tracks on here where
they don't have the same effect as on
their more acidic targets. And
if this band didn't have no objects of
fun to ridicule they'd be
redundant full stop. But there's still
plenty of jibes left to keep
a few more albums churning out. And
the music although takes a back
seat to the lyrics, is put across in a
cleanly produced way that has
rifferama guitars at the ready and a
good piss taking vocal. What
kind of band could write a song called
'Billy Wank And Bobby Toss' ?
This will probably only be lapped up by
the male audience as women
are viewed as 'fucking' and 'cooking'
receptacles!!! Comes with a
booklet of lyrics that'll have you
laughing or squirming for the
replay or reject button!!!
'Spitting In Your Wishing Well'
Demo 1998.
I got this after reading a few interviews
in various zines. And clocking this fairly
new punk band had some pretty well
sussed answers to follow the zine
revelations of "something good!"
However my copy of the demo was
sadly chewed up pretty bad, putting
me off their scent. But by a stroke of
good luck I managed to get hold of
some pristine recordings after
accidentally colliding into D. Rummer
whilst roaming the desolate streets of
web sites. True ...honest! And yeah
those zinesters were correct.
are a force to be reckoned
with. This 10-trackers has all the
hallmarks of becoming something
fresh, a new hope in the desperate UK
punk scene! Yep it's that good! It kicks
off with one of their (and mine)
favouritely hated targets the 'Queens
English' ..
. "Xenophobic alienation,
homophobic assassination,
populous exploitation and
argumentary annihilation!"
then power off on to desecrate a load
of other religious, preprogrammed
cannon fodder freaks, including punks!
Bug Central don't let up on this
session. And sure know how to stick
the boot in! Their victims Church,
Crown and State are bought to rights,
with some good, intelligent lyrics.
Lyrics that are rammed home in a
particular antagonistic way, via a well
pissed-off singer/guitarist! And he's
not the only one! Backed with an
unusually good, beefy guitar sound
that's aided and abetted with a rhythm
section well on the ball. Which can and
does give em more scope.
are all the worst things angry
punk has to spew out. And like most
3-pieces they're tight, fast and more to
the point enraged! Which I like a lot!
Yeah the songs are blasted out and
spat at us with a healthy hunger, that
suits this type of protest punk down to
the ground. This is bad tempered,
accessible rage! And any punk worth
his salt should get off on it. And you
know what?...it ain't thrust down out
throats in a whiney "oh woe is me!"
kinda way either. Oh no, these fuckers
jump right down your throat after it,
and ain't content till their quarry lies
battered and screaming! They are
destined for bigger, better and
depraved things!
"Punk Is Dead...long
live Punk!"
(Review from the 'Spunk!' newsletter
Winter 1999 - Peter Don't Care)
'The Punk Collection
(AhoyCD95) CD 1998.
I loved the early Wall sound and I
always thought they were gonna go on
to produce something really good
when I heard their debut 45 'New Way'
way back in 1979, on the then
pioneering Small Wonder label. But
like a lot of bands with numerous
lineups, record labels etc., and re-
locating from their native Sunderland
to London they lost touch with their
initial bite.
The Wall seemed to have
mislaid that early gritty, spunk very,
very quickly. Sure they made some
good contacts in the smoke and
perhaps it was the right career move at
the time? But I don't think Steve Jones
producing their second 45 added
anything new or gave their sound that
extra boom we had (or they had)
probably hoped for! They now had a
more commercial but pretty average
sound. For example on the polished
'Kiss The Mirror' 45 which was their
second vinyl outing but already
displayed the warning signs. One thing
The Wall did have though was an eye
for a decent tune but with no other
obvious traits became just another
good time punk band in a mass of
others nestling in the 'indie charts' of
the day. Their later songs missed that
early fresh sound which was fading
fast as the metropolis took hold and
blunted their north eastern sharp
edges. Their next record the 'Ghetto'
EP seemed a bit more like it, especially
on the title track with it's big guitar
sound and anthem like chorus. And
this was produced by yet another
name on their CV of punk celebrities, a
certain Jimmy Pursey. By the time
'Hobby For A Day' was released in the
early 80's you could see why Polydor
(always a 'no risk' label) signed em up!
They were now a punk band with a
message but it was a very diluted
message via a safe inoffensive and
easy on the ear melodic sound. They
still produced the odd outstanding
punkier tracks like 'Growing Up' from
their No Future 12" which saw em
returning to their earlier style lyric wise.
And the 'Spirit Dance' track is also
worth checking out, but that was it!
This 20-track compilation covering
6-year career is a good look
back at a band who had a bit more
going for em than the crash 'n' bang
merchants....but you can see why they
are a name only remembered in some
outposts of the UK punk scene. Some
good tunes need a singer with
charisma or a message that hits home,
but they always lacked that something
extra special that stuck em out from
the crowd. A history lesson for the
more devout punk collector out there
but it's very rare I play this
AVERAGE release.
Compilation Tape
I got this tape along with a copy of their
singer/guitarists debut zine
Carry No
earlier this year. It's a
compilation of t
he Vectors, a snotty
three piece punk band from snowy
Sweden. The tape consists of their
debut 1998 LP and the 1996 'Fuck
MTV' 45. It's a pretty frantic in your
face baptism too.
The Vectors have a
Ramones dumbness about em in the
short 'n' fast blasts, like opening track
'Straitjacket' . And these speed- freaks
have their combat boots firmly on the
gas pedal as they speed off around
the corners like madmen and leave Da
Bruddas for dead as the dust settles.
But speed ain't everything and
sometimes loose the scent as
they head off like headless chickens.
Their sound for the most part is a
powerful one! They sing songs with
titles like 'Adolph Hitler Stroll', 'I Hate
You' and 'Fuck Punk Rock' which
mixes dumbness and don't give a fuck
attitudes with pissed of observations.
The singing sometimes leaves a lot to
be desired and maybe needs a bit
more range in style than the constant
drone that accompanies most songs. I
like em best when they actually move
away from the fast as you can
blitzkrieg pace like on 'Inconsiderate
Requests' . Which has lyrics telling the
kids to fuck school off and the music is
more diverse and interesting than the
usual blazing blasts that dominate the
17 tracks on here. And that mad
distorted guitar solo in 'The Message'
was good! We could do with seeing
more riffs like that in the songs. The
last 4 tracks are taken from the EP,
which I thought had a more powerful
thicker sound than the sometimes
tinnier LP tracks. The singing was less
one dimensional as well. Standout
track of this earlier session was 'I
Wanna Be With The Cia'. If the LP had
the same claustrophobic sound, now
that would be a different story. All the
songs are sung in a crisp clear English
brogue and you'd think they come from
Swindon instead of Sweden. Angry
pissed of punk bands who don't follow
the rules to the letter are always gonna
be big in my book, looks like Nihlism is
alive and kicking in Sweden. A band to
lookout for and there's probably a new
EP out now.
for more info see singer Karl's site at
'Up To Your Eyes In It'
CD 1998.
This is a self financed 12-track release
by this Clydebank outfit from Scotland.
The Red Eyes were the ex-SLF tribute
Hanx! who made a name for
themselves in support slots amongst a
few bigger named punk bands, and
were the only UK band doing a
Fingers tribute. But there are only so
many times you can sing other
people's songs without it getting
frustrating. So in 1997 they starting
doing their own songs and so
the Red
were opened. They also done a
few supports with
the Fingers on a
tour in March 1998. Anyway enough of
the history lesson back to the CD. This
don't sound nothing like
Stiff Little
well not the "bark and bite"
version from '78 but maybe the tamer
middle aged version that's doing the
rounds now... which ain't good! This
debut ain't great at all, it's got no
fucking character, power of impact to
speak of, even with duel guitars! Lead
singer Alan can hold a tune or two but
it's missing something...and that
something is energy, anger and
fucking hunger!!! This is like one of
those hobby bands you get when your
in your late 20's early 30's. A band
who have got jobs, kids, mortgages
whatever and play in a band just coz
it's a bit rebellious and keeps em from
being totally straight. They should
hang up their guitars, go down the pub
S.L.F.'s 'greatest hits' on the
jukebox and reminisce how they once
shared Jake Burn's sweaty towel back
stage at Wolverhampton Civic. Maybe
playing pool and discussing what car
they just bought is just as exciting coz
this is pretty fucking dull. Best numbers
at a push were 'Tabloid Sleaze' and
'Yesterdays Hero'.