SNOTTINESS... Punk Rock Classic - World Contender - Worth A Listen - Average - Plastic - No Future
'Nobody's Hero's'
(opm2122) CD 2000
Canada's best punk exports (in my
humble opinion) make a welcome
return! And 'Nobody's Hero's' is
seething with all the snidey leers and
sneers that you'd associate with
Forgotten Rebels
20 years ago. This
ain't quite 'I'm In Love With The
System' calibre but it's pretty fucking
The Forgotten Rebels in case
you didn't know are the one of the few
original punk bands who still
understand what punk is capable of.
They take the piss like true
professionals of the art, but can back it
up with some serious punk rock
damage. They never embarress like
most others from their class. And they
ain't become a fucking pastiche of
themselves either. You do get the
customary abuse tracks spotlighting
dirty hockey coaches - 'Hockeynite',
'High School Hookers' and 'Dick Wart',
with the hilarious line of...
"I know what
it's like to play, I'm the beer bottle
violator that's my way, girls are easy
girls are good, girls like jumping on
my throbbing hood'
(tee hee) which
will get em hung, drawn and quartered
in some punk circles ha! But hey ain't
that just how it should be? The sound
on this album is really heavy and
powerful without reaching rock terrain.
Those great chunky guitar chords
supplied by Jeff Cambell are up their
with Steve Jones. The production
follows suit, and is spot on care of
Drummer Dave McGhire and Eric Ratz.
You can feel it blasting out your
speakers as soon as the first track
kicks in, which I like a lot.
The Rebels
have learned from years of experience
how to create that perfectly flawed
punk sound for their 21st century
anthems. Mick De Sadists gravel
coated vocals are still in evidence...
more so in fact. And the course his
vocal putdowns still have enough
sauce to scare off even the most hip
parent out there. Would you let your
daughter take this man home? This
band really hit their peak midway
through with the simple but brilliantly
addictive 'Hey Little Girl' and it's
pumping chorus that's gotta become a
big crowd favourite any time now. And
following straight on behind is another
Neo-classic 'Fool Me Once' which
exposes the hypocritical rock 'n' roll
business for what it's worth. Songs like
these could still make an impact on the
national charts with the right push...are
you listening EMI? Pity really coz it
probably won't see past the punk rock
ghetto's. On a downer they do a pretty
straight take on
the Vibrators 'Baby
Baby' which wasn't really needed.
Maybe next time a cover of 'Nice 'N'
Sleazy' would've been better. The
other cover of 'American In Me' by
was a nice touch though.
They end with another hilarious track
'Shrink Dink', all about what those mind
twisting shrinks can do to unfortunate
dumb white suburban studs. Another
thing about
the Forgotten Rebels
that is always evident on their
releases, is they never lose their
humourous observations which is
fucking great. Comes in a great cover
with all those funny lyrics to sing along
to and get kicked out the pub. Cheers
Dick for passing this on.
'Split 45'
(ppr00) 2000
Just got this in via Federal Express
the Voids StraitJacket label, and
it was good to hear a couple of the
hungrier sounding punk bands from
the Californian scene.
who have one of those strange
but ultimately punk rock names, are by
no means sleeping beauties. They
lurch out with a
Dead Kennedyesque
style to their 3 fast, blasts of pissed off
mayhem. Bondage the singer has a
distinctive sneering, snotty vocal which
gives em an edge on their
contemporaries. The razor wire guitars
remind me of the East Bay Ray
frenzied method on 'In God We trust'
era. Especially 'Class Of 99' with it's
transistorized production and the
"Computer bits, little shits/ babies
having babies and disco hits"
observation. Sharp, witty lyrics about
being pissed off in suburbia are always
a must. 'We Don't Belong' carries
forward the individuality clause in their
contracts and general fuck ups are
bought to light in the sickening 'Vicious
Killers'. A good introduction to war
painted punk singers and a band who
have started to pack out venues.
The Voids have been around a fair bit
now, having ditched the duel female
singers for a more compact lineup.
Adri the surviving siren is well capable
of committing to the songs, coz she's
got one helluva powerful, angry vocal
to spray the adrenaline soaked guitar
licks. You can almost see the venom
dripping off her pierced tongue as she
rolls her
"R's" on 'Signal' with the duel
vocal combat between her and
guitarist (Chris). 'Brain' had a great
power-chording riff, best one on the
EP. But on the whole the machine gun
vocals and rapid backing were
sometimes lost amongst the packed
lyrical content. A trait that made a
couple of their 5-song spurts hard to
get into. But who said punk was meant
to be easy?
The Voids are certainly
one band that don't stand around. You
won't find flies around this mob, they
go straight for the jugular every time
and even with the lyric sheet in front of
ya, you can't keep up with their
blitzkrieg pace. I'd like to see em try to
put a few less words in the lyrics so
they can actually get the message
across clearer, coz they do have a
message but it was hard to decipher
amongst the cryptic lyrics. Best track
for me was the brooding 'Frightening
Ways' coz it had a slightly less than
frantic twisted intro, which added a new
string to their fast as fuck bow!
Yep this split release shows two newer
punk bands with differing styles but full
of venom, which I like a lot. Comes in a
good fold out sleeve with a particularly
gruesome looking Matador getting his
'come upance' from a pissed off
Check out both band web sites at or
'TV Generation'
(pp058) 45 2000
More French hardcore from the Panx
label with more of a pop edge!
Outface are a zany bunch who are
capable of blitzing their way through all
8 tracks with ease. Youthful energy is
in abundance and these kids don't
need articificial stimulants like
amphetamines coz it's already built in.
Pity they have that nasty habit of
speeding up and then slowing down
which is always frustrating for me!
Prolonging a few more of their
adventurous riffs would have given this
a bit more character. I can see these
appealing to the more poppier
University campus type of crowd. They
sing in French and English but the
subject matter was pretty quirky in the
translation. One of the better tracks
was all about calouses you get on your
hands from playing your bass too
much or was it playing with yourself?
Whatever, even with a lyric insert I
couldn't quite keep up with what the
fuck they were screeching about. My
favourite track was the instrumental
'Adrenaline' with it's arabic guitar that
slid into a fast, short, sharp, shock of a
track. With a more interesting vocal
they reminded me of very early
Millions Of Dead Cops for a very
brief moment in time.
Available for $5.00 from Panx Records
'The Same Sunday...'
(pp056) 45 2000
First I'd heard of these Homeboys
and from the name alone I had an idea
what this was gonna be like. It's
mid-paced French hardcore with
melodic backing vocals and a pissed
off singer. Well that sounds pretty
good to me, but these sound far too
safe somehow. They remind me of
bands like
W.O.R.M. and their ilk, or a
100 other sickly bands doing this sort
of sound! The
Green Day copyists are
still pumping em out but not a patch on
the original! The production is pretty
tinny as well, which is a turn off. The
four songs are like you'd imagine,
personnel angst which is hit or miss!
Side B kicks off with their best effort a
track called 'Last One Part 2' which
shows they're capable of making a
interesting sound with some
experimentals goings off in the intro. It
had enough different styles to make it
standout from the other production line
tracks. Comes with a lyric sheet which
is all in English but the cover was really
bland maaan!
$5.00 from Panx Records BP 5058,
31033 Toulouse, Cedex 5, France. or
'New American Hardcore'
(mad20006cd) CD 2000.
Hardcore, Hardcore, ardcore...fucking
Hardcore!!! This is more of the same. I
love their name and the brilliant
artwork on the cover so why ain't this
CD living up to my initial excitement?
An excitement that quickly drained
away after an handful of plays and
became so fucking predictable!?
Chanty choruses barked out by burly
looking geezers are ten a penny these
days. You've gotta have something
extra special to stick out in the punk
crowd unless your names
Well hate to be the negative
Positively Negative ain't really
found their positive yet. They're
certainly a fast, tight playing hardcore
band from Seattle, but what else does
that tell you? Not much...'Patriotic
Bullshit' starts off with an
uncharacteristic great little riff that's
straight from
the Skids for few brief
seconds can yer believe? It made me
think "hey maybe I was wrong about
these geezers after all!", alas it was
soon back down to business as usual
with more Hardcore!!! 'Burning
Bridges' was more like it, and has a
good chorus with Johnny Negative on
vocals actually making an attempt at
singing. See it don't hurt one bit to put
a bit of effort into getting a tune
together does it Johnny? 'Bastards In
Blue' is yet another song about cops,
but has some good lyrics questioning
their real role in society. And here's me
thinking Starsky And Hutch were
entertaining. 'Do Not Wanna Live' is
one of their better tracks, and has a
slight Minor Threat style to it, which
makes for a much needed respite from
this 'New American Hardcore' on show.
The mammoth 'Point Blank' brings into
the spotlight
Positively Negative's
well crafted musical prowess, which
was never in doubt. It's probably one
of my favourites ending on a great
dose of feedback, which sends us
nicely into interesting sounding 'Cant
Fuck The System When The Systems
Fucking You!' , but the song itself was
a white elephant and just more of the
same hardcore, only this time with
some metal thrown in which I could live
without! They then do one token cover
of 'Plastic Bomb' by
Poison Idea.
Gotta admit I've never actually heard
this before so can't comment, but it
sounded alright to me, especially with
"whooargh!" backing vocals
that reminded me of
Naked Raygun
for some unknown reason. On the
whole though another pretty
hardcore album.
Mad Skull Records
'The British Punk Invasion Volume
#6' (HS122) CD 2000
The latest offering from the German
High Society series of punk
compilations. And it's a good mix!
Those sickly pop-punk bands that
seem to have hogged these comps for
so long are nowhere to be seen, and
have been put aside for a more
snottier crowd, thank gawd!
Acupuncture All-stars get the show
on the road with some clever
streetwise songs most notable being
the grotty 'Chip Shop Alley'. It's great
to hear a song riddled with real life
situations on the UK's guttural society
for a change. I think these have been
around before in some early
incarnation back in the 90's when the
NWOBNW was on the go and full of
poseurs. So maybe that accounts for a
couple of their songs being way too
tame? But their early
Jam styled riffs
and song structures seems so fresh to
hear these days, especially with a
clean production. They're definitely at
their best when they forget to impress
anyone and concentrate on their soho
anthems like 'Family Jam' and 'Pop
star'. And Simon Dudfields cocky UK
vocals are a great asset to have in a
band at the moment.
Chinese Burn took some
plays to get into, particularly the
frog-like vocals of Ralph Todd. But
given a fair chance he comes out with
his own style that's hard to achieve
these days, plus some pretty smart
tunes help no end. Take a song like
'NO KO'. for instance. Some good
tunes are on display too which was a
nice surprise, as I was expecting some
American plundering. Their best
number the infective 'If Only' which
boasted some atmospheric riffs and a
chorus to match.
IDK are the only band on here I've
heard previously. And they submit 5 of
their tracks from the demo CD they
sent in last year. They seem to have
beefed up the production stakes from
somewhere? So they fit in well with the
rest of this comp.
IDK bring their brand
of brutal East End street punk to a
wider audience, which for a handful of
tracks ain't too bad. Their best number
the corny but catchy 'Keep On Rockin
In The Free World' is a good song but
they need to progress more.
Monkey And The Mighty
was a big surprise. It
turns out it's Monkey from
the Adicts
fame backed those Santa Barbara
The Derita Sisters And
Between em they produce a
staggering 9 tracks of upbeat punk.
Nodding in both directions to t
with an unhealthy dose of
Deritas guitar riffs ain't a bad collision.
Mark Gilmans ability to poach a tune in
full flow is remarkable. Great chanting
choruses thrive in the mid-paced
melee of songs like the addictive
'Jenny Zero' and it's
"Jenny Jenny
generation Zero"
. And 'Tears' with
"whoahwhoahwhoaa's". My only
problem was Monkey's vocals were a
touch low in the mix on some tracks,
but you can still hear those celebratory
Adicts themes without too much
trouble. There's an unmistakable
Buzzcocks feel to 'Holy Ghost' without
it being tribute weary. However best
tracks was the classy 'Jealousy'
complete with wurlitzer organ followed
by the brilliant 'Wired Up' and 'Ugly
Ron'. Probably the best band on here
by about 20 years coz this is how the
real pop punk sounds.
However that ain't quite it coz rank
outsiders The
Cherry Reds are in with
a shout and totally new to me? They
sound like they've just jumped out the
early 80's on their '70's Boy' with it's
punchy 3 chord chorus. They then
change decades and direction and
come out with the modish but blindingly
good 'Summer In The City' that should
be a big hit this summer in the Top
Twenty but who am I kidding in this age
of hype and shite. They then switch
gear yet again with '4 Walls' that has
the sometimes laughable vocal
harmonies that make yer sick to the
gut, but no these actually really work.
Cherry Reds sure ain't a band
you could call one dimensional and
they give a fresh approach to this thing
we call punk which is great to hear in
this day and age. Next track the
pharmaceutically approved
'Pheremone Junkie' boasts another
beefy chorus in keeping with their sort
of 60's/70's sound. They end their
pounding set with the crafty cockney
vocals of 'Lah De Dahs' that sounds
like it came out of some swinging
sixties movie. Great new band!!! This
31 track compilation is a fucking well
sussed mix and well
Know Your Product
'The Best Of The Partisans'
(ahoy103) CD 2000
This CD is a 20-song package giving
you a sniff of some of the best
Partisans tracks and more than
enough of their blander ones. From a
short but snotty career in the back hills
of Bridge End in the early 80's UK
punk scene, to the streets of London
and ultimate fade. It is a good
cross-section of the bands career.
seem a lot more influential
now, than they ever were back then.
Just take into account the bands name
emblazoned on the backs of punks
leather jackets all over the US for
confirmation of that fact. However
when the band were actually around
20 years ago they were a pretty
lightweight punk act that made up the
numbers alongside the bigger, older,
more hard lined acts like
and Discharge. But in
retrospect tracks like 'Arms Race' (my
favourite track) are still fucking good
and still very relevant today with it's
sinister infectious guitar riff!
'Police Story' is another one that has
that defiant yell in the face of authority,
and gave the band a Dr Martin boot in
the door of the UK Punk scene for
good. For a bunch of youngsters
(probably the youngest punk band on
the gig circuit at that time) they had a
lot of suss, but were still dogged by a
few punk by numbers tracks in
between the really good uns. Songs
like 'No U-Turns' that you'd heard so
many times before underlined that
problem. But hidden amongst the
so-so tracks are songs like the brilliant
'17 Years of Hell' , that totally eclipsed
their naivety. This is a fucking great
track building up into a double fingered
attack on everything that seems to hit
the teenager in the face. It's done with
conviction and paints a vivid picture of
what it was really like in Britain. 'Power
And Greed' shows us a hint of what
was to come, with it's more restrained
approach but with a knack to create a
classy chorus. I never really rated
Spikes vocals that much, they were too
one dimensional for me, but they more
than suited these earlier songs a treat.
Halfway through this collection their
signature 'The Partisans' signals a big
maturity in their style. Spikes singing
was developing more and Andy
Leyland's guitar was expanding no
end. This wasn't the only thing that
was about to change in their career.
Louise on bass left coz of squabbles
with boyfriend/guitarist Andy. So they
got in some geezer (who went onto
fame in Bush) and relocated from their
South Wales roots to West London,
where they smoked dope and became
a second rate
Clash, 'Give Em
Enough Rope' period. Take a listen to
'Only 21' for confirmation and the
superior 'Anger And Fear' , which is
probably their best track from this era.
This newer more slicker sound with
duel guitars got em rave reviews by
easily pleased reviewers, but left me
feeling they'd lost their spark. They
had slowed down and began to
compose more complicated songs like
'Blind Ambition' that got em radio play,
but couldn't quite capture the rawness
and urgency of their earlier attacks.
'Change' was another good track but
not enough to keep em afloat coz by
the mid-80's they had fizzled out
Captain Oi! Records
'Mental Ward'
EP. Advance tape 2000
This is a 4-track promo tape by one of
Scotland's punk veterans
following on from their highly
rated CD 'Jesus Christ it's...4-PM'.
Pete the singer/drummer and
songwriter and the only surviving
member from the bands 1989 birth is a
dedicated fucking drummer, composer
and singer!!! What makes his
dedication all the more evident and
deserves respect at least. The title
track 'Mental Ward' is the slowest but
best track of the four on show and
builds up from it's simple but addictive
beginnings into a rumbling crescendo
"Mental Werd...where there's no
escape for you!"
A song all about the
bullshit governments dish out. What I
like about this band is they know a
tune or two and manage to come up
with at least a couple of standout
tracks on every release. 'Victim' and
'Killer' were more run of the mill faster
blasts of scuzzy guitars and powerful
rhythm sections which were pretty
4-Past Midnight who ain't
the happiest punks on the block also
manage to paint a pretty fucking
dismal picture of real life scenarios. I
bet this band are fucking fun to be on
tour with? And this morbid fascination
really comes across on the other
prominent track 'No Excuse' that deals
with the sickening subject of child
abuse. A lot of their songs are fucking
depressing for want of a better word
but they plant the message which
sadly needs to be said coz this kinda
thing does go on. They've just lost
their bass player coz he couldn't stand
the bleak humour but should be
gigging around the UK sometime to
promote this latest edition to their
expanding catalogue. Depressing,
stark, reality that's out on a
gravediggers label (Weird Records)
would you believe in August!
For more info
'Poor Princes Of Punk Power'
(mad20003) 45 2000.
The Madskull label seemed to be
pumping out quality releases without
fail lately, although this 5 tracker
suffers from a tinny, low-fi production.
It played better when I raised the
volume dial so maybe it's just the way
it's pressed. Whatever the case I have
to admit this ain't my favourite style of
punk. Shawn Durand's vocals are too
far removed from the memorable
school of punk singers to give em an
identity of their own like on the first
track 'Rich Uncle Pennybags'. For an
energetic hardcore band like these
you've gotta have a good vocalist that
stands out from the crowd and the
guitar frenzy, these don't! 'Fake' was
up next and was by far the bands best
track. I like it's catchy fast chorus
reprimanding the fakes in the punk
scene with some good observations.
But those duel screechy fucking vocals
by an even worse singer than Shawn
let it down badly. Side two gives us 3
blasts with the compulsory touring
song 'Check Ya (500 miles)' kicking off
in a surprising poppier style in sound
at least. The blitzing 'RoadRage' up
next is as you'd expect...raging and
was pretty fucking speed of light
standard flair coz they seem to have
swallowed punks amphetamine drug
cabinet whole without reading the small
print. Last track was a disjointed
unpredictable bloody mess! Comes in
a smart cover but overall a pretty
sounding EP.
Mad Skull Records
'Mundane Existence'
(imb6001) CD 2000
"Intense grindcore terrorists" so the
press release tells us. As soon as that
hit me I knew this was gonna be a
fucking chore to review without just
filling this paragraph full of abuse and
expletives. Yeah I've heard a lot worse
but this kinda genre does absolutely
nothing for me whatsoever!!! It's too
fucking samey. The drumming and
Urrgghh!!! vocals sound the same on
every fucking that good?
Napalm Death are a major influence
and one too many for my liking, which
means 10 tracks of fucking 'Mundane
Existence' for the listener. Don't
anyone realise
Napalm Death were
one of the most overrated acts ever to
crawl out of the drabness of
Birmingham since the Zulu Warriors!
I.O.D. seem to be a manufactured
kinda studio band on this recording
that probably won't make it outside
Spaghetti Junction if we wanna save
the world from misery. This is just a
fucking monotonous drone of stolen
riffs from
Discharge et all but without
the power or the snot. Thank fuck it's
only 18 minutes long!
'Bound & Gagged'
(mad20004) 45 2000.
Riotgun are a 3-piece from Fullerton,
California which seems to be a
breeding ground for a healthy dose of
punk bands lately. They kick off this
six- tracker with a good cover of the
Dead Boys classic 'Sonic Reducer'. A
choice cut to cover which bodes well
for em in the Wolfs Lair! This is my
Dead Boys track and shows
Riotgun have taste as well as
guts, for they do it proud!!! Their own
songs keep up the momentum in true
sonic style on 'Reclaimed' which is all
about taking back everything they took
away. The last track on side 1 'Doin'
My Time' was however less rivetting,
and pretty much naive in the lyrical
department! Have these boys really
been banged up or have they been
watching too many Alcatraz movies?
Well the actual track itself was a bit too
laidback and didn't show the zap that
the earlier tracks displayed. Pity Side 2
didn't kick off at all, coz for some
unknown reason it didn't wanna play
on my turntable? There must've been
a pressing fault in the ringpiece of this
record so on what I heard I'll give em
the benefit of the doubt.
for the first two tracks. Good cover as
Mad Skull Records
'Oompa Loompa'
(pp057) CD 2000
Youth Gone Mad are a fucking hard
band to get into. It's really an
experimental quirky kind of sound that
don't fit easily in any genre of punk.
This whole album of ten tracks comes
across as a sort of art school
ensemble from that late 70's era that
New York was renowned for back in the
late 70's. They kicks off with the Ska
tinged 'Inventory' that immediately sent
bad vibes all around the Wolf's Lair.
Thankfully this wasn't gonna be a dose
of ska fuelled jingles to bore the arse
off us so we see no more of that drivel.
Lead guitarist Ena has a sort of
vibe to his vocals particularly on the
powerful 3rd track called 'Heidi' that
had a good brooding sinister guitar riff.
They had keyboards in their sound as
well which is rare in today's guitar
based scene, but they were far too low
in the mix to make much difference.
Youth Gone Mad live up to their
name coz none of the tracks were
strictly of the same format we'd call
punk, they own a schizophrenic mish
mash of sound that could be ultimately
their downfall. The more they change
tone and style, the more they fail to
make an impact. It wasn't all a lost
cause though coz I enjoyed the quirky
'Glad That Your Gone' coz that was
pretty surreal but in a clever way just
like the impressive cover art. The only
trouble with
Youth Gone Mad is that
their sound it just too diverse, they ain't
got one particular style which sounds
great in theory but this CD just don't hit
you hard enough. They did drag in
Dee Dee Ramone who wrote and
guested on guitar on the other two
standout tracks, the happy go lucky
'Hop Around' that had a 'Rockaway
Beach' feel to it And the other track
which was probably the best on the
album being the most addictive punk
track ''Mental Patient' which had a dirty
scuzzy guitar riff running through it.
'Oompa Loompa' ends on a low with
some poncey acoustic workout that
was more Hippie than punk! Not the
best release I've heard.
Available from Panx Records

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