Friday, October 31, 2008

She's Gone Nuts

Since it's October 31st, I guess the obvious thing to do would be to post a "Halloween" record. I actually have a Halloween record that I could post, believe it or not, but since that would be sort of typical and boring, I think I'll save it for Thanksgiving or something.

Instead, I'll go with the other safe bet, which is a M.O.T.O. record. I originally bought this record (from someone who obviously didn't keep it in a plastic bag the whole time) because for years the early version of "El Stop" was one of my favorite songs on the "Bandit 69" tape, or whichever M.O.T.O. tape it was on back in the 90's, but once I played the b-side I found out that I like "She's Gone Nuts" even better. No matter what, though, M.O.T.O. songs will always be the catchiest songs you've ever heard in your life.

M.O.T.O. -

"She's Gone Nuts"

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Monday, October 27, 2008

We Were Over Here When It Was There

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"Guillotined at the Hangar" is kinda sketchy as regional punk comps go; the liner notes are unnecessarily vague about the exact year the songs are from as well as the original releases they can be found on, and some of the bands on here couldn't spell "punk" if you spotted them the "pee" and the "you". A lot of this stuff doesn't seem all that aggressive once you realize that the first wave of American hardcore (Minor Threat, Negative Approach-- you know, stuff like that) had already hit a couple of years before a good number of the songs on this compilation were recorded.

Still, thanks go out to Keith Grave, the guy who put this comp together, as there's some worthwhile stuff here-- especially if you're a fan of Ct. punk. Keith was also in a few Ct. punk/HC bands back in the '80s, such as Sanity Assassins and White Pigs. White Pigs, in particular, were sort of demonized back then for being the first Ct. hardcore band to "go metal", although I think Violent Children may have tied them on that point.

So here's what we got:

The Reducers - The first independently-released punk album I ever bought was the Reducers' debut LP, back in 1984. The town I was living in at the time didn't have a punk record store, but since The Reducers were local and kinda well known, the chain store at the mall carried their LP. I remember that "Out of Step" was edited on the LP, so that "fucking blind" was bleeped out as "veel-flup blind", which was kinda lame. You can still find the original 45 posted on Killed By Death Records or 7-Inch Punk or one of those places, I'm pretty sure.

October Days - I've said before that October Days' "West Coast"/"Don't Give Yourself Away" and the Reducers' "Out of Step"/"No Ambition" are Ct.'s two best early punk 45s (with the Stratford Survivors also in there somewhere), so now's your chance to hear both of them side-by-side. I'm re-upping my rip from the 45 here, instead of using the weaker-sounding copy found on the compilation.

Peer Pressure - "Sound of the '80s" (recorded in 1980) is brilliant; check out Killed By Death, where the full Peer Pressure EP is posted, as well as a link to the amazing story on Break My Face about trying to track down the original members of the band.

Chronic Disorder - From their very first 7", I'm pretty sure; somehow, Jason could be running out of breath and still keep the fake British accent. Chronic Disorder were on the "Make It Work" compilation that I put out, and that's about all I'm gonna say here.

Jack Tragic and The Unfortunates - A band that's way overrated, I think ("I Kill Hippies" is not even one-tenth as good as the Deadbeats "Kill The Hippies", and that's my point), which might be why you can still find a couple of Jack Tragic 7"-ers at Brass City Records for a few fins each. Still, the imagery of lyrics like "The Dead go on about 8 o'clock/Hippies all lined up for twenty blocks" is hilarious enough to make this one worth a few listens.

8th Route Army - The only band I'm posting here that's not from Connecticut, just because the song's pretty damn good and reminds me a lot of early Naked Raygun. Never liked these guys when they were around, though.

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The Reducers -

"Out of Step"

October Days -

"West Coast"

Peer Pressure -

"Sound of The '80s"

Chronic Disorder -

"The Final Line"

Jack Tragic and The Unfortunates -

"I Kill Hippies"

8th Route Army -

"Professional Killer"

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Why Can't I Keep My Big Fuckin' Mouth Shut

Once I thought about it, I knew I had to post this single next, seeing as "Last Lost Fight" has practically the same line in it as the Lazy Cowgirls song in the last post. Unfortunately, my copy has a bite taken out of it so that the outermost grooves are kinda crunchy; because of that, I'm using the version of "Last Lost Fight" from the "Pissing Out The Poison" CD. "Trying To Get By" is the vinyl rip, though, since it's not on the CD. It's still a bit crunchy, but once the short little bass intro ends and the guitars kick in you'll hardly notice. It won't break your iPod, dude, it's punk rock.

The note that I found inside the sleeve has me thinking that I bought this from Vital Music; it probably seems odd now to look back at when buying some Rip Offs vinyl was an average everyday purchase, instead of dropping big bucks on eBay. (I did eventually get the LP and all the singles back then, in case you're wondering.) I blotted out the "suspicious thing" that Tom and I were talking about because I think it's funnier that way.

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New Bomb Turks -

"Trying To Get By"

"Last Lost Fight"

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I Don't Mind My Baby When She Puts Down Rock 'n Roll

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I'll admit that I was never that big of a Lazy Cowgirls fan; I saw them once, at the Anthrax around '88 or so, and owned a copy of "Radio Cowgirl" for maybe a month or two, but that was about it. Actually, the thing I remember most about seeing the Lazy Cowgirls was the opening band on the bill, a crappy all-girl band from Rochester called The Slutkillers or something that had an LP out called "...Hence The Name". From there on out, we started saying "hence the name" to mean that something really sucked. "Man, that 'Late For The Grave' LP is terrible." "Hence the name." "The new issue of MRR is shit." "Hence the name." Well, it seemed funny at the time...

The a-side to this single is a slower Stones-ish type number (hence the name!), but the b-side is a cool all-out blast, just the way God intended, and we can all be thankful for that.

The Lazy Cowgirls -

"Intellectual Baby"

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

I Can Leave 'Em On If It Bothers You

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Naming your band Million Sellers might seem like cockiness, but these guys really coulda been huge. Kels Koch's songs are as if Buddy Holly never died and was able to later hook up with Alex Chilton and Paul Westerberg, and the two 7"-ers that Million Sellers put out in the mid-90's are two of the greatest records that practically no one has ever heard.

I first found out about Million Sellers through Pop Culture Press, a crappy Austin mag that used to include a sampler CD with each issue, every so often (and totally by accident) including an actual good song. Once I heard Million Sellers I spent months trying to track down their records through the usual mail order places, eventually buying their two EPs through Mutant Pop. I gave them a big push in the last issue of Brushback ("Million Sellers have now put out two 7-inch records with almost as many brilliant songs on them as any LP put out by Westerberg Stinson Stinson and Mars... If you only buy one record all year, make it a box set or that 74-minute Metallica CD, they have more stuff on them"), but it wasn't all that much help, I'm sure.

Million Sellers started playing out again a couple of years ago, and there's two CDs out now that have most of their output on them-- "Million Sellers' Golden Records" and "You Can't Spell Abandonment Without A Band". The EP that came out the year before this one is even better, by the way, so I should be posting that one in the very near future.

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Million Sellers -

"You Don't Have To Worry About Affection"

"Love's Last Laugh"

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Your Band Sucks

The Throw Ups were the Seattle scene's main saving grace in the 80's, operating along the same territory trod by the likes of Drunks With Guns and Happy Flowers and proving yet again how the shit that takes itself too seriously almost always sucks (U2, Yes, the last six or eight Beatles records) and the stuff that has a sense of humor about itself is almost always great (The Ramones, Ted Nugent, the first two or three Beatles records). The most obvious example of The Thrown Ups single-handedly stemming the tide of Seattle's suckiness came when they threw in the towel in 1991, after which Seattle bands promptly began scribbling "pro-choice" on their arms and shooting themselves in the face.

If you were like me in the 80's-- barely going to school sometimes while hanging around in a record store all day listening to uptight dickheads talk about their Moody Blues collections-- there's nothing funnier than playing a record that screams "Your band sucks!" and then laughing your ass off, which is exactly what one of my friends and I did. Not only were the first three Thrown Ups 7"-ers on Amphetamine Reptile totally classic ("Felch", "Eat My Dump", "Smiling Panties"), but they were the ultimate tonic against musical bullshit. I was always the one guy in the crowd who hated The Beatles the most, for instance, so hearing Ed Fotheringham bellowing "Love me... DOOOOOO!!" in "The Ladies Love Me" was always a sure-fire laff riot.

I don't own any of the Thrown Ups 7"-ers anymore (naturally, you practically couldn't give 'em away back then-- call it the Green River Factor-- but they're worth big bucks now), but "Seven Years Golden" collects them all on one CD, which is almost as good. The CD booklet has a big hole punched through the middle, so the spindle that holds the CD in place shows through to intentionally resemble, um, several body parts, but in the interests of the small children who read this blog regularly I blacked those parts out. When you open up the CD it becomes a bullet hole to the foreheads of John F. Kennedy and John Lennon, and what could be more 80's American punk rock than that? Goddamn nothing, I tell you!

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The Thrown Ups -

"Your Band Sucks"

"Eat My Dump"

"My Cock Is The Coin"

"The Ladies Love Me"

"Scabby Like My Love"

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

If You Didn't Have A Handle You Wouldn't Have An Axe

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I first heard about Kleenex Girl Wonder through a record review that name-dropped KWG as being "one of those other bands that sounds like The Replacements", or something totally incorrect like that. As usual, the mention was enough to send me off searching for some Kleenex Girl Wonder records, which I eventually found through Tim Adams' Ajax mail order-- first buying the "Graham Smith is The Coolest Person Alive" CD along with a 45 of "The Bostonians", which I no longer have (I still have one KWG 7-inch, "Long Live The Pelican something-or-other", though it's pretty scuffed up).

In truth, Kleenex Girl Wonder don't sound like The Replacements at all; more like Neutral Milk Hotel with an added fistful of M.O.T.O.'s cheekiness. Supposedly Graham Smith self-recorded the first two Kleenex Girl Wonder CDs while he was still in high school, if that means anything to you. I know there's a few people who think this stuff is crap, but I think it's awesome. The lyrics are a riot most of the time, and on top of being catchy as hell the songs are all over the place, from pop to 60's-type garage rock and even hip-hop (you should hear some of the awful "rap" stuff on Graham's later releases). I mean, the piano sample on "Put It On The Desk" just kills me. Plus Graham named this CD after himself, thanks Van Halen and Gallagher in the liner notes, and even hid a picture of Ted Nugent's "Cat Scratch Fever" on the front cover (which you never would've known if I hadn't pointed it out to you). The guy's a total freaking genius, I swear.

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Kleenex Girl Wonder -

"The Bostonians"

"Five Minutes"

"Put It On The Desk"

"Julie and Barbara"

"You Need Me"

"Turn The Bitch Off"

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

I Got A Hole In My Inner Tube And I Got No Spare

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Big Money, Inc. was a label run by one of the guys in Rifle Sport, and don't let anybody kid you, by the way-- Rifle Sport were a good band ("Box of Dirt" is such an awesome song). As a label, though, Big Money had one or two great bands but mostly awful bands, with Hemi falling somewhere in the middle (I'm being generous). Back then it was easy to take any crappy metal band that didn't bleach their hair and rocked slightly harder than Winger and pass them off as being sorta "indie", which explains most of what Circuit and SST and Sub Pop were putting out in those days.

As it happens, Hemi are no Monster Magnet or Big Chief *cough cough*-- still, if you like big rock then they do have their moments, even though their singer isn't one of them. I'd like to think they could've found a less obvious metaphor for a slow leak than "What the fuck, I need a patch kit momma, guess I'm really shit out of luck", but I realize that Desmond Child isn't within the range of every band's budget.

There was a time when practically every other record I bought had "PLAY LOUD" written on it, just like this one, which really means nothing to me because loud is the only way I play my records, sucka-- so bands, you can stop putting that on your goddamn records. Likewise the "ironic" classroom/yearbook picture, which got boring the second or third time you used it.

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Hemi -

"Slow Leak"

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

You Act Like I Don't Know My Own Way Home

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I had already planned on not really giving a shit about Texas Is The Reason, due to the sucky quality of almost every post-straightedge outfit at the time. Then one day I unexpectedly walked in on their live set at the Tune Inn in New Haven, and that's how I found out how friggin' awesome Texas Is The Reason were.

It was the summer of '96, I think (or '95), and Texas Is The Reason just decided to show up and go on first, even though it was only around 6 o'clock and everybody was still hanging out in front of the Tune Inn on Center Street. TITR weren't even on the bill, so I'm guessing they wanted a quick tune-up before leaving to go on tour the next day or something. It was still light outside when they started playing, so I rushed inside to see why the show had started so early, not even recognizing who the band on stage was until one of 'em said, "We're Texas Is The Reason."

After that I bought Texas Is The Reason 7"-ers as fast as they came out-- the self-titled debut, and the two splits (with Samuel and The Promise Ring), all of them good-- until the album ("Do You Know Who You Are?") came out, and it sucked. Well, I thought it sucked, at least, with the last line of the review I wrote in Brushback #5 reading, "Texas Is The Reason don't really owe me anything, just let me know if they ever make a good record again." Guess I was wrong about that one, cuz instead of making another record they broke up.

I know it'll sound a bit strange to most people when I say this, but the self-titled Texas Is The Reason EP is one of the best indie rock 7"-ers ever. I don't know exactly how high it rates within my own record collection, but it's definitely up around the top ten, at least. The two rips here are from the vinyl, though I also own the CD version, which is still available from Revelation along with the album. If you don't already own the CD EP then you should fix your mistake as soon as possible.

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Texas Is The Reason -

"If It's Here When We Get Back It's Ours"

"Dressing Cold"

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Fuck You If You're Talking To Me

I was just listening to a brand new Early Man track, "Sinking The Blade" (thanks to MetalSucks, my New Favorite Metal Blog of The Moment That I Probably Won't Still Be Reading a Month From Now), and I'm not sure yet if I like it. I mean, it sounds pretty lame, like it's not low-budget loser-metal enough for me. Or maybe it's the shitty guitar solo. Actually, when I saw Early Man a couple of years ago they kinda blew, so maybe they just sucked all along and I didn't know it.

Nah, I think it's just the shitty guitar solo.

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Early Man -


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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Waiting For The Next Crusader

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Every so often I used to buy stuff direct from the guy up in Canada who ran the Does Everyone Stare? label, including a bunch of Milwaukees and Punchbuggy stuff and this label sampler ("A Various Artists Complication", you'll note the pun). I'm guessing there must've been a big leftover pile of samplers getting moldy in his basement because he even added one to my order for free once, even though I already had one.

Anyway, the last thing I ordered from the guy was a Woolworthy CD, because I really liked their song on this compilation, only the guy ended up bolting to Australia and I never got anything back. So now that I'm stuck with two copies of a CD with one good Woolworthy song but no actual Woolworthy CD, I might as well share.

Besides Woolworthy out-Ergging the Ergs, below you'll also find two songs by The Milwaukees, who're awesome (especially if you're into big anthemic rock stuff like "Closer To The Stars"-type Soul Asylum, or Moving Targets, or the only two Buckpets songs that were any good), something from Minneapolis' Pocket Genius, and a very New Sweet Breath-sounding song by Blocko. This CD has a bunch more good songs on it, but I'm stopping at five, since I've noticed that you guys have a very short attention span for this kind of stuff.

Woolworthy -

"Too Bad, Too Sad"

The Milwaukees -

"Planes Above Us"

"Drink Soviet Champagne"

Pocket Genius -

"Pipe Dreams"

Blocko -


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