SNOTTYNESS... Punk Rock Classic - World Contender - Worth A Listen - Average - Plastic - No Future
'The Unholy Sounds Of Damnation'
(071-2) CD August 2003
Los Angeles sporns some crazy
muvvafukkers and
Damnation seem
to fit the bill or at least that's what they
want us to think. They leer under the
banner of Horror Punk shockers. But
I'm afraid I'm still waiting for that killer
shock? They do create an intense
kinda Horrorful racket though with
plenty of energy, but it sounds a wee
bit contrived. The lyrics sound
hilarious. I doubt they'll be changing
anyone's views on world power or the
state of the nation, this is purely gore
for hounds of the night. For subject
matter they sing songs about getting
drunk and driving fast (wow wee),
taking drugs (smart boys), death
(again!). And lets not forget 'mayhem'
which is always a clever phrase to use
in press releases. Last but by no
means least lets hear a drum roll for...
S-A-T-A-N-I-C...'Fuel Injected Priests'
ha! ha! ha! Which is a full on
ecclesiastical romp that gets this 13
song set rolling. These headbangers
have elements of
the Dwarves (who's
lead singer produced this album) plus
Misfits to make up that darkly
cocktail of black humoured punk rock
'n' roll.
Damnation are more
pantomime baddie than seriously evil
and to tell you the truth I suspect that's
what they'll settle for all along. I did
enjoy some of their heads down no
messin crunchy riffs supplied by axe
wielding Tod Surridge. He's joined in
his ill gotten gains by a hyperactive
singer in Robert Shawn. His credibility
ratings soared when I heard he was
sacked from his first band Hello
Disaster (I wonder why?) He does give
the songs a lot of character, which
leaves an impression, particularly on
their neat cover of the Mama's And
Papas hippie anthem 'Californian
Dreams'. It gets defiled by the band
and given a new lease of life as
'Californian Demons'. 'They even
submit a neat but macabre leather 'n'
whips love song in the poppy 'Spell On
Me'. But this band is all about bloodlust
and cults as '66613' enters the fray
and becomes this albums cryptic
anthem. It greets us with has an
And The Ants
circa 'Kings of The Wild
Frontier' vibe, especially on that chant
filled intro which sounds great, before
degenerating into just another speed
metal thrash. Their best song 'Blood
junkies' which may or may not get em
noticed as it roams the speakers of
their never world, sounds very good on
record. Great vocal with chugging
guitars. Followed closely by 'Shut The
Hell Up' with it's pissed off "get Fucked,
Shut the hell up!" chorus was also one
to look out for. They finish off with two
bonus live tracks which shows the
band can produce the goods on stage.
This album is definitely a speedy
release, clocking in at only  20 minutes
for 13 tracks, so some of you may feel
cheated or raped at the alter!!!

I Used To Fuck People Like You
in Prison Records
'Gods Gift To Women'
(067-2) CD August 2003
Adam West first donned their greasy
overalls in early 90's Washington DC
and are
"garage" INC. What makes
garage even worse is a shitty singer!
Adam West give us the hideous
semi-crooning rock outs of Jake Starr.
Mr Starr by name and by nature most
likely, sounds like he wants to front a
Led Zepp tribute instead of these DC
Adam West seem to steal
all their ideas and riffs from under
everyone else's bonnet. Leaving us
with a third rate history lesson. The ill
informed out there may call it speed
rock but its not that fast and reminds
me of the dreaded UK 'pub rock' circa
'76. This may send some of you vets
into an oily kinda overdrive, but not
me. I've never been a big fan of
anything garage or pub rock or any of
those other hateful wings of safe
steady music. It' just too fucking rock
'n' roll, too predictable and too fucking
bland for guttersnipes who use public
transport. This could've been recorded
before punk ever happened, it's that
retro in feel and sound.
Adam West
(named after the 60's camp caped
crusader who was lot more
entertaining than these jokers) has
more to do with mainstream rock than
punk. Lead guitarist Dan-o-Deckelman
seems to be the only wasted and
talented entity in this bag of grease
monkeys. But to be fair they've picked
up awards left right and centre from
their local Washington Music scene
and toured the States and Europe 3
times! They've also put out a
phenomenal amount of records,
something like 20 singles and  5
CD's!!! So maybe they're very good at
what they do, but I'm afraid what they
DO or their blinding credentials don't
impress me. When Joe Strummer sang
"were a garage band and we come
from garage land"
he certainly didn't
mean this CRUD!!! 'Gods Gift To
Women' is parked safely back in the
garage revving it's motors but with
nowhere left to go. I much prefer my
punk rock going down the basement if
you know what I mean?
I Used To Fuck People Like You
in Prison Records
'How To Fake Your Death'
(LMR13813) CD Summer 2003

At long last the latest set of putdowns
from these Carona, CA punks. A band
who supply us with a sniff of the
, alongside the demented
yuma of
the Dickies in this their full
on, energetic 2003 sound.
Narcoleptic Youth have awoken from
their 5 year sleep to bring us a well
primed, wide awake new album. Lead
singer Joey Bondage has slid into
Biafra's vacant vocal slot with ease as
they project 13 (unlucky for some)
sonnets on killing yerself. Lawsuits
look set to follow this album around like
ambulance crews after a suicide bomb
in Tel Aviv. 'Raw Nerve' gets us off to a
ripping start on this anger
management track before squeezing
the brakes so Mr Bondage can inform
us in his most snidey way.
.."She says I
scare her when I act this way!"
geezer who supplies the inflammatory
riffs is Binky and he knows how to
create a song you'll remember. But this
is a band effort, which songs like
'Visions Of Gun' proves, as it slyly
borrows the riff from
the Dickies 'Give
It Back'. They slow it down a gear
before turning it into a
of a killer track that'll leave
you squirming in the middle of the road
at closing time. A lot of older punk vets
reckon the new breed of punks today
ain't got it! And I've been known to say
it myself on more than one occasion,
but with younger loose cannons like
Narcoleptic Youth making a mess in
the scene, that statement gets thrown
off the nearest tower block!. Along with
bags of energy
NY have got an
unhealthy supply of tunes to boost
their use of props on stage!!! Props I
hear you say?...brings to mind an
element of show biz! Show biz being a
cardinal sin in some devout hardcore
punk circles, hmmmm they could be
suspect? But ain't that what made
punk fun and entertaining in the first
place? So have no fear, coz
NY adopt
a slightly sinister vaudeville approach
to their punk, leaving us with a
deep-seated twisted kinda vibe. And
for me that just adds to their appeal.
They certainly don't bore ya to death
with repetetive drones! 'Class Of 99'
gets a reprise from their 2000 split 45
with another good outfit
the Voids.
This still sounds good, but comes with
a bigger beefier feel and is way more
streamline, as they sneer at the
leading the blind"
. You have to give
Vet lead guitarist Binky another
mention here, coz I can tell on this
outing he's given the band a sound all
of their own (despite some clever lifting
here 'n' there). As 'Snot Nosed Brat'
squirms into the playpen, a song
aimed at the peers of the bands
growing teenage punk audience. It
could also be aimed at certain local
club owners who have 'banned' em for
attracting over enthusiastic audiences!
Now c'mon, If a band brings in a crowd
they're doin something good! Another
snot nosed dose of punk is paraded
on the bass driven 'Personnel
Experience', that mirrors school
shootings in subject matter. A song
their younger audience can
appreciate, but lets hope it ain't
literally. 'Don't Belong' is the only filler
track on this album, so much so even
the band hate it and won't play it live
ha! But although it lacks the presence
of the other tracks some bands in the
scene would be more than happy to
have written it. However put alongside
the superior 'Headcase' which is the
killer track on this CD, there's a vast
chasm. 'Headcase' features all the
best elements of Narcoleptic Youth. It's
got snotty vocals, sussed lyrics and
some splendid we sit
with Suzy in the back of the Malibu as
she's rolling
"back 'n' forth and back
'n' forth"
guided by a riff that'll get ya
sea sick if you ain't careful. Don'tcha
just "love" songs about mad birds?
Followed closely by the atmospheric
'Practicing For Suicide' showing the
band can handle dynamics a lot better
than depression. This stylish
mid-paced anthem for the dejected is
another reason to hear this set. They
finally flip out and merge into the
instrumental last track 'Leather Rinse
Repeat', a track which has definite
touches of
the Subhumans (UK)
when they go off on one of their epic
guitar tangents...but wait there's one
hidden 17 min. bonus track that
sounds like they left the tape running
in the studio as the band go into a
major fuck around mode that has
echoes of the
metal/christian rock and rap. I won't
spoil it for ya with the gritty details just
get hold of a copy for yerself, only 300
in existence.Don't panic I hear more
are coming soon. Come's complete
with a side splitting cover and lyric
sheet too.
THE BRIEFS 'Off The Charts'
(zzz31) CD 2003

I was well impressed with these chirpy
Seattle punks. I'd heard rumours about
their explosive live shows via LA
punks, and Joey Bondage gimme a
wink in their direction recently. So here
I am via Roy (
Pogo Till I Drop). 'Off
The Charts' is their second album and
latest 11 track blast on the Dirtnap
label. It's a very brief (23 minutes in all)
devil may care but ultra addictive first
encounter, and well worth your
attention if you aint already been
debriefed (couldn't help that one).
From the quirky opening track of
'Outer Space Don't Care About You' to
the black humoured 'Soozy' this
hyperactive bunch of American fuck
ups don't let up and entertain us with
glee. Either 'whizz' in Seattle is seeping
into into the main water supply or
these hyperactive pogo merchants
have more pent up energy than is
good for em? Imagine a Yank
crossed with the Derita Sisters
and your close. The slick addictive
arrangements come with enough snot
to keep em well outta the far safer and
Blink 182 scene. So please
don't think for one minute these snot
buckets are anyway similar.
are real, they mix the raw 70's
with some sly environmental issues
alongside just plain zany outbursts.
Loads of tongue in cheek delivery's
litter this album. Take the anthem like
'Aint It The Truth' with a cheesy guitar
and gang core backing vocals. Some
of the dumb vocals belie very witty
lyrics bringing us crazy takes on the
world today.
The Briefs maybe seen
in some pious hardcore circles as a
joke band! But gimme some well
played escapist punk any day of the
week, coz this is just as essential in our
audio diet as any bitter, true grit reality
punk!!! These geezers are literally
pissing themselves with superior
tuneage and even throw in some rare
Hammond organ spurts where
required. Like on the unlucky in love
'Tear In Two' which sits nicely amongst
that laid-back guitar and...
"I met you
on a Tuesday, you'd only just been
released/ You told me bout your
ex-boyfriend who was recently
The clever sarcy lyrics are
dotted with yuma but beneath the
giggles there's a real view on life which
I think has more impact deployed in
this way sometimes. I like a band who
can take the piss outta of everyone,
including themselves and their
homeland. Their finest moment came
in the form of 'We Americans' which
should get em MTV circulation for all
eternity, or failing that if George Bush
eard it a cell in Guantanamo Bay.
This song is that good! I bet it's got the
kids in the malls singing and their
parents screaming. It's gotta be their
anthem and one to be remembered for
a very long time. The slow paced but
moody 'Ludlow St.' shows another
string to their multi-dimensional bow.
It's sorta psychedelic in a Beach Boys
999 (circa 'Homicide') kinda way
and stays in your brain.
The Briefs
maybe treading a well routed style
made famous by the more pop
punkers of lore, but these boys have
still got the snot dripping off their
sleeves and have enough amp ammo
in their underwear to blow the chunks
out the mainstream scene for a long
time to come. Check em out NOW!

'Malice In Slumberland' CD
(street0025) April 2003

By a strange coincidence I happened
to meet up with members of
Disturbance at Morecambe HITS in a
recently. Rob Disturbance, the
Mohican lead singer's attitude is fuckin
spot on...a fucking good laff too.
Disturbance deliver on 'Malice In
Slumberland' 12 Rotterdam street
punk standards. It's an enthusiastic
debut album by a band who sound like
they took the Anti from local heroes
Antidote and mixed it up with some
GBH/Exploited workouts. They
do give us loads of formularised
hardcore duel vocal rants, sung with a
strange West Country (UK) twang! But
you can see in this formative stage
that these Dutch fuckers are capable
of so much more. The overall
production on this record is clean and
chunky, so full marks for that. However
sometimes their well trodden hardcore
attack leaves you feeling slightly
cheated, but you have to st
ick around
for the
full 12 tracks to fully appreciate
their sound. They do suffer from
'production line' pogo beats in their
delivery, but like a lotta good basic
Disturbance have a disturbing
knack for creeping into your brain.
Dim's guitar work looks set to expand
with each release, so look out for more
involved salvoes next time out. Songs
like 'Generation X'' and it's
applaudable statement of....
"coz we
live our life the way we want"
is an
in your face buzz saw fuck-off to
authority. Another good un is
riffing opus called 'God
Pulled The Chain'. This song drops a
brick on all who stand in it's way.
Disturbance who formed back in the
mid-90's do have some good ideas to
offer their rifferama guitar approach.
They even slow things down
incorporating some clever dropouts on
songs like 'Live On To Decline' which
shows suss. This is a band who ain't
scared to be adventurous on their
gravel coated snot, so they won't bore
ya to death. Other songs of note are
'Constable Cockney', 'No Enemy' and
'Fuck Politics'. By all accounts they're
sending the pulse ratings high for the
new breed of studded Dutch punk
hordes out there, so well worthy of
your attention. I gotta say this ain't the
early 80's no more and this album ain't
offering a new direction for the 21st
century punks, but if bands like the
GBH/Exploited can still keep the
crowds excited, then why not add some
fresh blood to the scene? The
packaging on this release is very well
done. It comes in a neat cartoon colour
package plus lyrics and pix of the band
in action.

Demo CD 2003
Latest hardcore noise merchants to
emerge from the sunny glade of Kings
Heath, Birmingham, UK.
have got that duel guitar and a heavy
pounding sound down to a tee,
complete with gruff tuff vocals and
mid-paced workouts. First track and
best of the bunch is called 'To The
Brink', which has a neat duel guitar
solo in the middle. I wanted to hear
more of this but the band never quite
captured that moment again.
produce predictable hardcore
bordering on metal, which must be
fashionable these days, coz there's
fuckin loads of outfits out there all
sounding the same. This genre seems
to be BIG in the Midlands these days,
but I'm afraid it always fails to ignite
me. This debut 4-track demo comes
complete with some neat samples to
introduce each song. And the best one
being the Charlie Bronson (Britain's
longest serving prison inmate) voice
over on the less impressive 'Living
Hell'. Seems Mr Bronson has become
a patron saint for the UK hardcore
community of late. Funny thing is, if he
ever got out of jail most of these cunts
would run a mile, and I wouldn't fuckin
blame em either!
H8-Target seem a
politically motivated angst ridden band,
but who or what they're hating is lost
amidst those bland sawdust vocals and
metal core beats. 4 tracks was more
than enough for me. This kinda punk
don't really get me excited, in fact it's
not my thing at all but these geezers
play it well and it comes with a good
production. So if your into hard 'n'
heavy stop/start hardcore you'd like

'Eye For An Eye'

CDEP 2003
Word had been spreading through the
UK Anarcho ghettos about this new
London protest punk band. And It just
so happens I got this CDEP in from the
Smoke, asking for a review in my old
'Spunk' newsletter. Well considering
'Spunk' bit the dust back in 1999 I
hope a slot on
Punk Rocker ain't too
much of a disappointment? I love the
name of this band, it conjures up that
old punk spirit and shows a bit of
imagination. However the bones of
centention on this 5 track EP are
aimed at predictable targets like Tony
Blair, Religion, Holocaust et all. I don't
Public Execution are gonna
make a massive dent on the scene
with this their debut release.
Compared with
say Active Slaughter
who I suspect are close allies and the
have indeed quite a long
way to go. But I suspect these will gain
momentum as they play more gigs and
tighten up the spiel. The sound they
produce is basic heads down riffing
guitars that slow down in places hinting
at ideas in progress. The lead female
vocals are by The Executioner, who will
gladly take you by the hand to the
scaffold, but needs a load more angst
and attack to make us think she really
means it maaan! A way more potent
delivery is required to really propel the
lyrics along. Best track for me was
'Funeral March', which breaks down
between rifferama guitars and a bit of
skanking, to give it more interest as
state funerals get their come uppance.
Also the energetic 'Why Does It'
charges in at a close second. Comes
with a striking fold out cover, which
would've been splendid in colour, plus
lyrics and graphic artwork depicting the
song titles and the bands current train
of thought.

For further information contact Spike,
15 Hale Rd, Tottenham, London,
N17-9LB, UK.
'Wire My Jaw'

(ba1186) CD 2003
Despite the vintage era cover photos
and those ridiculous moustouces, this
late 70's American version of
is one of those albums
that you'd expect  to laugh outta the
scene before you could say "prog
rock". But here at
Punk Rocker I like to
think we don't judge an album by it's
cover. The recently recorded (2002)
'Wire My Jaw' session gets things off to
a very good start and comes with a
clean bright production. This album is
dominated by power chord guitar
workouts courtesy of Peter Poulos.
He's a guitarist who over the years has
thankfully shortened his over the top
twiddling solo's in favour of more
power which proves a big attraction.
But this baby definitely belongs to chief
Dennis Most, who
resembles a slimmer version of Hank
Turbo Negro but comes at us
with a slightly snotty Indiana nasal
croon. The first 5 tracks from the latest
incarnation of the band was the best
on show. Songs like the energetic
'Tough Break' , the atmospheric
'Cleareyed Man' or the riffing monster
of 'Three's A Crowd' were good. But it
was the album title track the cocky
'Wire My Jaw' which shows this bunch
of middle aged vets have still got a
load more to grit to offer today's
Dennis Most is amongst other
things chief songwriter, arranger and
producer for most of the way. He
maybe known to a few Americans
amongst us as being in
Audio Love
who were kicking up a minor mess
back in '76. And from that period we
get a couple of live
Audio Love
songs, which suffer from way too much
prog rock preening for my liking
especially on 'Penetrate' that had
echoes of
the Stooges but without
Ig snarl. However their driving
'Excuse My Spunk' track reminds me of
a Black Sabbath/
Dead Boys
crossover, which was good. Maybe
that's why it's a collectors item in
underground punk circles? The album
loses it's early appeal during the
middle slump before finally picking up
again on 'Gruesome Stories'. A track
where Mr Most's atmospheric workouts
carry this gruesome track along. He's
even got a Jim Morrison baritone on
his vocal as it's chuggs on into the
early 80's. By 1994 the band sound
their most snottiest on the funny but
ultra catchy 'Sex Is An Art form'. Bu the
screwy 'Don't Take Me For Granted
Janet' song has gotta be one of the
most corniest song titles I've ever's fuckin hilarious! They end
on high with the buzzsaw but poppy
'Fallout Shelter' which owns a classic
punk rock riff, complete with catchy
vocals. The whole package comes with
band sleeve notes by Dennis himself.
for the recent tracks. Now available on
the highly rated Californian label
Dionysus Records.
You can check out Dennis &The
for yourself at

'Ave A Butchers'  (ACAB 01) CD
August 2003

Finally released on the bands own
Slaughtered Records 'Ave A Butchers
comes complete with lyric sheet and
professional colour montage
artwork.This long awaited debut album
from North London's angriest Anarcho
mob since
Conflict discovered
Armarni is well worth a butchers.
Although some of the 13 tracks on
show require more fine tuning and
touring to reach a more potent
standard. You can only feel utter
contempt for their targets. First thing
you notice is their older songs
re-recorded here have matured into a
tighter more concentrated assault.
Another thing 'Ave A Butchers'
definitely succeeds on throughout is
the anger! They positively regurgitate
it!!! These fuckers are not a happy
bunch of punks at all, but can you
blame em in today's paranoid world.
Active Slaughter's teeth are firmly
clenched, and with guitars glaring we
get a real street view on the state of
the nation (UK) today. Maybe some of
the targets are predictable with cruel
Vivisectionists, corrupt Labour or
hypocritical Religion taking the lions
share. But this is a band who live it as
well as preach it. First thing to hit home
is the growing power chord sound JJ
conjures up. This CD has really
improved from last years debut single.
Active Slaughter sound today is
a cross between heavy duty
Sham and
Conflict, but with a 21st century
skew. I like em best when they diversify
in their rants. They have a very
competent rhythm section (Trev and
Joe take a bow), while their juggernaut
sound rolls along. A knack that'll serve
em well and give em plenty of scope to
pinpoint future attacks. Jake's delivery
is very potent, but I suspect he ain't
given as much time to deliver the
knockout verbal just how he'd like
during some of the more blood
splattered outbursts. The all out attack
of the lyrics really do state the play,
but could do with some slight cosmetic
surgery just to flow more with the
tunes. However this is a band who
won't sacrifice their message for the
sake of clarity. Not even for out of
touch cunts like me ha! 'Macho
Maggot' about bully's at gigs is one of
their strongest tracks. Armed with it's
semi skank attack it recoils into that big
anti macho chorus. I was always one
for a guitar sound where you can hear
the slide of chord changes being
made, it's gives em character. Next up
is the atmospheric 'Labour Lied, Barry
Died' about Barry Horne, the ALF
martyr who died on hunger strike in
prison. Barry gets a fitting epitaph as
A.S. shine a spotlight on Tony Blair's
bureaucratic deceit.
Active Slaughter
are a very British band whether they
like it or not, so some of their rage and
dialogue might go over non UK punks?
Although this won't stop their utter
disgust or contempt for the system
sinking right in. This is an album full of
big rallying chorus's and one to get
you primed for direct action, no doubt!
They know their stuff and know how to
really turn the screw and expose the
deception! Jake's gutsy attack is aided
and abetted by JJ's duel protests,
which makes for an incendiary
package. But one thing missing, and
more than noticeable by its absence is
humour? We do get one laff from Alan
Partridge in a sound bite introducing
'My Foot In Your Mouth' which was
hilarious. But not a sniff of it amongst
the songs? I've met
Active Slaughter
and I know they like a laff, as well as
the next. But I think that's one thing
they could maybe deploy more often in
future. A bit of sly satire especially at
the expense of the enemy, never done
Crass any harm. Their signatune
'Active Slaughter' shows em getting
more adventurous in their playing, with
neat dropouts. This track gives each
member a brief expose on their
musical prowess. This is a band with
no ego's over shadowing their prime
directive...PROTEST! The straight in,
no messin 'Rapist 666' adopts a thick,
chunky guitar sound midway through,
as we stand back while the duel vocals
consider the best way to dole out the
punishment to nonce cases (snigger).
Whilst 'Pride And Prejudice' is a direct
attack on British ignorance. This song
boasts a nifty guitar solo, which gave
the song a load more substance.
Lastly 'Paedophile Priest' possibly my
current favourite has a sinister clinical
guitar lick that'll stick with ya as the
sirens wail, the vestry gets ransacked
and the clergy get defrocked! Say no
more!!! 'Ave A Butchers' comes with a
brutal production to match the
hard-hitting sentiments. Although this
may not capture em in a live setting,
it's a definite progression in this bands
sound. If I had these fuckers on my
case I'd be very wary indeed. So take
a look before we all get exposed!
Active Slaughter
CD 2003
Rancid have been relatively quiet
since their last hardcore debacle
'Rancid' in 2000, and who could
blame em after that? They make a
come back promising something new
to retain their reputation as one of
the planets biggest punk bands. One
thing you come to expect with
Rancid is your gonna get a good
varied dose of songs in style and
content, and this time around we get
19 tracks. I was hoping they'd
change direction from probably the
worst album of their career and
thankfully they have. 'Indestructible'
ain't as one dimensional or as
mundane as it's predecessor. It's
definitely going in the right direction
of their blinding '...Out Come he
Wolves', but falls well short of that
classic session. And which answers
the question on their recent tour why
their set was dominated by '...
Wolves' tracks! Well enough side
tracks onto the main course. Track
'Indestructible' harks back to
their no messin hungry 'Let's Go'
period, with it's upbeat energetic and
positive outlook. But what I notice
Rancid is they never sound
totally convincing and this track has
that feel. Tim Armstrong lead
singer/guitarist of the band calls
Poetry his only weapon! Punks who
turn poetic have a nasty knack of
taking themselves way too seriously.
His subject matter may have different
titles but doesn't stray far from the
sickly band brotherhood,
homelessness and being an
international punk. However it does
sound fake after 6 albums! It's hard
to swallow songs of living rough in
freezin squats when your a platinum
album seller. But their hearts are in
the right place I reckon.
'Red Hot
is a skanking tale of a young
punkette's demise on the streets of
East Bay. Now this is where Tim
Armstrong excels in the lyrical
department, he's on his own turf and
knows the score full well.
Rancid are
easily the best 21st century answer
to the Specials. But where they
obviously glamorize their subject like
on the British gangster salute to the
over hyped
'David Courtney'. It was
so tragic it was funny, in a Hollywood
kinda way. An overawed Lars
Frederiksen guitarist/vocalist
continues his romanticised
fascination with all things British or
should I say London. Mr Courtney's
suprise appearance on a punk album
came after the band met him
backstage at the Reading festival.
Hey I met Tim and Lars in
Birmingham in '95, so where's my
song? (snigger) The bass driven
Of Control'
pumps up the punk ante
impressively with a sinister riff as
Lars spits out glimpses of impending
Armageddon. This is followed by
probably my fave track
'Django', with
it's swashbuckling guitar runs and
substance abuse merry go round.
This shows
Rancid firing on all
cylinders. But I still find Tim's wigger
vocal raps annoying, even though he
does give the band a certain
charismatic focal point. However
what's even worse than the (c)rap is
when he's pouring his heart out
pretending to be all vulnerable ha!
Still considering his recent marriage
breakup there's not too much of that
in evidence.
'Travis Buckle' on the
other hand was another superior
punk rock workout with a great organ
backdrop as they pay tribute to our
favourite NY vigilante. They continue
the punk anthems with
'Spirit Of 87'
which is where
Rancid come into
their own. Their tales of punk
hangouts and punkers revelling in
being misunderstood is always the
best way to hear/feel
Rancid coz
they have seen it, and done it and
that's why their best songs are
always the honest ones! They only
lose it completely when they start
delving into other sub-cultures and
situations on the strength of second
hand info. They fall open to ridicule
and it shows they ain't half as sussed
as we once thought. Don't believe
everything you hear boys! The
'Tropical London' track is important
not coz it's a standout, but because it
was written about the much
publicised split between Tim and his
Distiller and ex-wife, Brody.
She sacked him on the 'dog & bone'
whilst he was making this album tee
hee! Now writing a song about a
broken heart is one way of getting
over being dumped I spose. But
funnily enough even though Tim's
heart has been
"ripped wide open" I
don't think he's gonna find much
respite in the arms of Kelly
Osbourne, do you? Tales of love,
death and the cold, cold nights sums
up yet another
Rancid album. And
Rancid being the saviours of
dark, street dwellin, destitute punks
all over the world they could do with
way more spunk if they wanna remain
super human on a gutter level. The
punks they sing about probably won't
be able afford to buy this album, but
that ain't stopping you fuckers!
'16 With A Bullet' CD 2003
'Made in Texas by Texans' these
young Dallas punks proudly proclaim
from their sleeve. From the opening
drum roll of the addictive
'AOK' they
begin as they mean to go on by
playing simple but energised punk,
with tunes, melody and some nifty
ideas included along the way. Lead
singer/guitarist Frankie Campagna
has a youthful clean vocal that
compliments the raw dirty guitar licks
on their better tracks. They break all
the young punk rules by playing their
punk with a rare maturity! And gain
from an original inspiration, with more
than a nod back to other eras. You
won't find no hardcore stop/start
blasts here, no West Coast skate rock
or mindless mohawkish bland
uniformity either! But having said that I
think they should loose the suits
pronto! These kids wouldn't have
been outta place playing the local Hot
Club back in the day. They definitely
got style and being young and hungry
deserve some recognition. 'Sixteen
With A Bullet' boasts a promising
introduction despite a few teething
problems and the band getting out of
their depth once or twice. But the
'Ms Price' is my fave track of
the whole bunch, with it's espionage
styled guitar solo that sounds like it
could've emerged from outta the 60's.
They rip to shreds their 3rd grade
school teacher's wigged out
reputation without mercy. Bet she'd
love this track! But with great tracks
like that they do falter on the cover of
'Peggy Sue' as Frankie whines away
off key before going into a mindless
thrash out, which was a bad move, but
we were all young once. Considering
they've only been together since the
start of 2003 I'm sure they're fast
learners and will be dropping numbers
like this as they progress onto more
impressive compositions. 16 tracks
was a brave attempt for the bands
debut release. I reckon an EP
would've made more sense, but I
spose they were eager to give their
fan base (this record reached number
2 in a local record store chart)
something to chew on. Hope jumping
in at the deep end don't backfire on
em, coz they've inevitably included
some suspect fillers like the retro
'Grease Tribute' complete with a
cringe worthy
"doo... wap" plus 'I
don't Know'
which boasted a chunky
'Teenage Kicks' inspired riff and
untamed solo, but was badly
sabotaged by more dodgy out of tune
crooning. They end on a high though
with a cover of local legends
Nervebreakers 'My Girlfriends In
which shows very bad taste for
kids so young (Hurrah! for bad taste!)
And finally their own
'Wake Up' with
an impressive intro arrangement and
good backup vocals giving it
Spector 45 show a lotta
promise and confidence. They just
played some prestige support slots
with touring international punk bands,
and gained positive feedback from the
likes of Wattie! So If these kids can
produce more of the quality tracks
next time out the traps, I'm sure they'll
be a fresh band to watch out for in
Texas and beyond!
'Courtesy Flush Version1.0'
(PPP-CDOO3) 2003
I spotted these outsiders at the
recent Birmingham punks picnic
where they went down like a lead
balloon. The following morning as I
viewed the wreckage of my pockets I
spotted this disc amongst the grotty
flyers and loose change. All I got is
the track lists on the label, a blurry
unimpressive recollection from the
previous nights performance and a
web address that dont work? Which
don't exactly give you any more
clues? What I do know is
Suspects DC
hail from Washington
DC (never!!!) and deliver 11 no thrills
buzz saw punk ditty's that show little
imagination and flair in today's multi
facetted scene. If this band dripped
mohawks and studs they'd probably
get a minor cult following, but as they
don't and have to rely on their music
alone thing's don't look too bright for
em! The singers gotta kinda funny
growl to his unstable vocals, but their
one big innovation on this demo was
a peculiar use of a haunting synth,
adding a synthetic string sound to
the background rhythm track. It
sounded like
Ultravox's electric
violin which IS very novel in today's
punk scene, but I somehow don't
think the kids are gonna get too
excited about that these days!
Suspects DC
still sound very much
in the demo stage, even on the 7
non-demo tracks! So if they do get
anything out properly I hope it's way
more produced than this. The drums
are way too loud in the mix, and the
guitars are too low most of the way.
They cover the
Ramones 'Suzy Is A
showing I suspect their
major influence. The bands
'Were The Suspects'
carry's on that short, sharp, shock
treatment complete with the ever
present surreal synth. Their best
track easily of the 11 on show was
'Dirty Punk'. Now this mid-paced
stomper did show promise with a
good snotty chorus...
"gonna get me
a BIG BIG BIG car, driving so far up
your boulevard"
. They could
certainly make a way bigger impact
on the punk scene with more songs
of this calibre so fill her up Jacko!
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