Monday, December 10, 2012

[Past-Blast] [Blank Generation-Dec. 2000]

Reviews from Blank Generation December 2000
Note: Images added to certain reviews for cosmetic purposes in 2012
Clone Defects "Lizard Boy" 7" EP
The boys are at it again. I like that sentence; it sounds like the beginning of a Disney movie! Who let the dogs out? Who? Who Who? Who? What’s this, like the Clone Defects 3rd 7" or something? Being some of their best work yet, the Clone Defects’ sound is really maturing to something I REALLY like. Part Stooges, part Iggy Pop (you know, the lead singer of The Stooges who had a lustrous solo career that many actually prefer over his work with the Stooges), part Germs, ripping guitars... my only complaint is that the songs tend to be a lil' bit longer than the stuff I’m accustomed to and trust me, I really had to reach to see that problem. In reality, Clone Defects’ song length is definitely something I can learn to live with and hell, maybe even come to prefer. The first song on "side a" I remember from the only time I’ve seen the Clone Defects live (in the dank hole known as The Legendary Mantis Gallery in Kent, Ohio). It’s called "Rouge River Rebel" and it is the scorcher of the whole EP if you ask me. Not a weak track on this one though. This EP is a turning point for this band. They are soon to be legends as I see it. LEGENDS! So, does that mean that its time for the Clone Defects to breakup and branch out that 90's Michigan Punk root even more? I hope not. I want the Clone Defects to be around for a LONG while. Please! I’m fucking begging here!! I’m fucking pathetic. So fucking pathetic... Walt-Disney presents The Clone Defects LIZARD BOY! Stay dirty boys. Stay dirty. (SAB)
(Italy Records 4530 Avery Detroit, MI. 45208/ Superior Sounds 512 S. Washington PMB 279 Royal Oak, MI 48067)

Contenders/Backstabbers "Live in the Big Sleazy" LP
Think The Embarassment. Think The Testors. Think The Eat. Think The (Detroit) Dogs! Apparently these two bands, The Contenders and Backstabbers that is, are linked somehow. I read the liner notes twice, that means two times, and I still don’t fucking get it. Here, just today, I took a Screw Machine down at work that was making a particular screw... Well, I came back from first break and received the order to stop production on that machine's order. So as commanded, I began to re-tool the machine to make a different screw. This is something not everyone can do! I mean fuck I held my own against an Underwriters Laboratories guy when asked some pretty tense questions about my job. So, I changed the tooling, cut-off, form-tool. Re-set dimensions. I ground it to shoulder height on one tool with a surface grinder. I even fabricated a new pick-off using a lathe.... Not easy shit. I know I’m not stupid. I mean here I am doing all this shit to a fucking machine...I found out my trainee; someone I’m training who cant even sharpen a cut-off yet (I sharpened five today) BUT was a Lieutenant in The Special Forces in Vietnam. Shit, maybe I could have been a fucking major or something! I don’t mean to belittle the guy. I like him even more now since I found something interesting to talk with him about besides his need for eye-glasses... but what I’m getting at is that it really bothers me that I have read these liner notes twice AND STILL DONT GET THE BANDS STORY! Yeah, I could go for a third time but that would really be trying. I could read them out loud and use a sheet of paper to reveal one line at a time, but fuck it. THAT’S TRYING! Who cares!?! Both these bands are linked via the singer, I think.

This LP hit me like the Unnatural Axe CD did. Did you see that picture of the Axe in that re-issue CD? Their fucking hair was feathered!!! Parted in the middle!!!! Well, the Contenders and Backstabbers don’t fare much better. Bet they were some real rock and roll lookers back in the 70s and 80's. Thank god they had Dolls and Stooges records to mimic. Fucking 'classic' dudes! A hat? Fucking 'slick' cat! SLICK! Both bands absolutely rage though! Especially The Contenders (latter of the two I suppose). They bring to mind The Testors more and more each time I hear "Junkyard". Song structures remind me of earlier Embarassment tracks and the songs basic melodies bring to mind The Eat. The first two tracks are fucking knifes, "Drug City" and "Little Murders"! The Backstabbers are more Heartbreakers than the Contenders, but it's still all-good. They cover "Pirate Love" and do it pretty well. They remind me of The Dogs too. They aren’t as rocking but have a certain Detroit gritty-ness to them. I suppose that grit is what bands like The Stooges and MC5 do, or should I say did? Does it even still happen? Fucking liner notes. I can hear some Testors in The Backstabbers too, which I’m not complaining about. All in all, I will declare this volume of The Lost American Punk Nuggets a worthwhile purchase. It’s no Los Reactors, Dogs or Testors but then again it definitely kicks the fuck out of The Village Pistols. I’m listening to what Susie Says... (SAB)

Donnas "Definitely a Classy Record from..." 7" EP
I’m not the biggest Donnas fan, and this isn’t the first record I own by the Donnas either. This is a live EP featuring five songs. The recording is lo-fi and really captures that realish feeling of being there. Let’s face it, in the majority of any clubs any punk band may play in, the sound system sucks. Let’s enjoy a record that embraces such uncontrollable, yet constant, hurdles that face us. This record embraces things I rant on and on about when I’m drinking Whiskey mixed with Sunny Delight. This record isn’t going to make any new fans for the Donnas but is one that already fans of the Donnas will love. Do the Donnas really need any bigger fan base anyway? I mean do they REALLY want to be on MTV's TRL? (SAB)
(Kryptonite Records 827 Lincoln Blvd. Manitowoc, WI. 54220)

Le Shok/Ink and Dagger split 7" EP
Ink and Dagger. Whatever. Reminds me of second rate Circus Lupus or a third rate Nation of Ulysses or a twice-removed Cupid Car Club. Each of those bands I mentioned I like, but still, I just didn’t connect with Ink and Dagger. The drummer of The Socials did though and that is saying something. His name is Jerry. He actually liked them a lot and asked me who was playing several times in an attempt to concrete the band’s name in his head. "In and Dagger" I told him. You see, Jerry and his self-proclaimed Millenium Falcon (his van) is the pilot of The Socials. That means he drives us to the shows and hence, controls what we listen to. From his days in a band called Croatan he makes us (meaning me, and the Ms. Communication who rounds out our line-up) listen to what we call REALLY BAD MUSIC before each show because he sez that its supposed to inspire us to rock out. Well, that’s what it did with Croatan and the weird thing is, it actually works with the Misses and me too. I can see Jerry hunting down a CD by Ink and Dagger and playing it for us so I suppose I better listen to their track on this split AND LEARN TO LIKE IT! Then when he puts it on I can say how much I like Ink and Dagger so he will be inspired to put on some really bad shit, like the best of Motley Crue AND WE WILL ROCK OUT (but why cant the really bad music be Foreigner?). Making the North Koreans proud with my own self-styled psychological war! Le Shok once again kick some ass. Their song on this split is probably one of their best. "Electrical Digits". Le Shok are fucking gods. They are the most impressive thing on their side of the Mississippi. HANDS DOWN! Playing a Le Shok record is like launching a five-megaton rock and roll tipped Nuke at that one point in California where you hit it with enough powerful explosives and Desert property turns into ocean front real estate! Lex Luthor remembered! (SAB)

Penetrators "Kings of Basement Rock" LP (American Lost Punk Rock Nuggets Volume 12)
1960 Gibson Melody Maker (sold with accompanying amp) played CLEAN. Devilishly clean. I like it. I don’t think that the Penetrators ax man, Elliot "spike" Kagan is REALLY playing a Melody Maker but that’s just about the exhaustion of my vintage guitar knowledge and that’s just because that’s the same kind of guitar my fiancée plays (except she runs out of a Marshall, and not as clean of a sound as Spike has). Hell, I’m not even too sure it is 1960 even! I don’t know too much about 60's garage punk but I do know enough to know this fulfills the criteria. I like allot of what I hear on this LP, except the "#1 Band In Town Song"... songs like that remind me too much of rap music’s boasting and self-glorification and since I see rap as the NEW disco (therefore we must smash it) the song just didn’t do it for me. Side one has "Stop Action" as a standout. I like all of Side B though. That’s the side that basically has Spike and Mr. Curtis Seals doing the bit-nits (business) and taking care of bit-nits they do! Well, they do have help here and there but they kick some ass! "Rock and Roll Face", "Shopping Bag", "Baby Dont'cha Tell Me"... that shit just does it for me! I see Spikes name pop up on The Killed By Message Board from time to time and I know he will get ahold of this review to read it sometime... Spike, my message to you is to find Curtis, get a bass player, get a set together and get out there AGAIN! There’s definitely a place for the Penetrators in today’s punk rock scene, well that’s what I think anyway. Its Sunday night as I write this. I have to wake up at 4:30 AM tomorrow morning and make screws. I listen to The Penetrators and I want to find some sunglasses and drink all night. Dangerous. I can’t do shit like that. I wasn’t sure when I first started listening to this LP if it really fit into the criteria Rave Up has established for their 'American Lost Punk Rock Nuggets' series but now, after several listens, I say with confidence that it DEFINITLY does! Terrible, TERRIBLE cover art though. There’s no working around it. Next time the sunglasses band members would be adequate. (SAB)
(Rave Up Records Via Montecuccoli 13 00176, Roma. Italy
(Initial Records POB 17131 Louisville, KY 40217)
(Rave Up Records Via Montecuccoli 13 00176, Roma. Italy)

Sylvain Sylvain & The Criminals "Bowery Butterflies (78 Vintage NYC Rock & Roll Gems)" LP
Its war against the digital terrorist who just led to the deletion of a rather negative review that I was almost finished writing about this LP. I refrain from saying it outright sucked but not now. Not after the deletion of a scathing piece of criticism. I'm saying it! THIS LP SUCKS! It’s not worth the money I spent. There’s not one song on this LP I would say rocks or even comes close to rocking. The piano sucks. The guitars are too soft. Fucking Butterflies. Fucking Pussies. Sharks, Polar Bears, Vipers... Strong, vicious creatures. Butterflies? Pussies.

Every record fits into one of three categories as far as I’m concerned. The first is for those truly great pieces of music that you feel privileged in hearing and do everything in your power to further promote. An example of this would be my Le Shock review. My Le Shock review in Blank Generation was my second time writing a review for the record. Both were excellent reviews. I did all I could for a record I totally believe in!

The second category is the so-so category. These are the records that a reviewer like myself may or may not write a review on just because he has the gumption to, more like he has a obligation to. Its something not of a stark reverence, middle of the road. The Catheters LP I mentioned in the review for The Valentine Killers record I did a while back, that’s an example. I wrote a review for it because I was eager to enter Blank Generation with a bang, not because it was fucking groundbreaking.

The third category is the one where you just hate a fucking record to the point where you, as a reviewer, feel some sort of obligation to WARN others from wasting their money. This review is an example of that! The liner notes speaks of this band as a rebuilding effort after a near fatal accident involving a van and Sylvain. Aw, boo hoo!!! Hope that van is long since out of commission because I was actually thinking about playing a show in NYC with the band I am in. I won't with knowledge that such a accident might happen to me, and I will be dammed I'm going to make very shitty music upon my recovery. I want written proof that the van no longer functions before I plan my big take over of New Amsterdam... You can take Kenny Rock-Action for instance. This guy has been in a near fatal accident two times in the past year, once with a van and once with a motorcycle. It's fueled Kenny though, not softened him. If you have a past like Sylvain, a person comes to expect certain things. Just think, he was once asked to join the Sex Pistols! HA! No wonder I haven’t heard about this record before this. $12.99 down the fucking drain. DOWN THE FUCKING DRAIN. DOWN...THE FUCKING... DRAIN! RIGHT DOWN THE FUCKING DRAIN!!!! You want to spend $12.99 on something? Take your pick; anything but this. The Testors now there’s some REAL New York City Rock 'N' Roll gems! Find some of their records. I’m pissed off that I bought this LP. I can’t hide it either. If my first, even longer review, wasn’t deleted somewhere by the digital terrorist, that must ultimately love this record enough to fuck with me, I might not have been AS mad but STILL mad enough to be so, UPSET. They’re out to get me... they have infiltrated my computer.... They are fucking with me. FUCKING WITH ME. They are out to get me. Me and my views on what rock and roll is, what rock and roll should be. Dead bodies in water towers. Boil-advisories posted. Excavating for bodies at a Taco-Bell construction site. Shark hunters! (SAB)
(Munster Records PO Box 18107, 28080 Madrid, Spain)

X "Home Is Where The Floor Is" 7" EP
Fucking excellent! This record brought up a question that I never took directly to Mark Murrmann (Blitzkrieg general) but one that I assumed and found to be correct, that the answers would come to me like a wolf-hybrid dog came looking for a piece of Tortilla in my coat pocket. All of a sudden, as it would end up, I would have to show the outstretched palms of both my hands before they would face the facts; no treats for them, just me. Me and my turntable. I didn’t bug Mark as to why he did a vinyl re-issue of this material. I let life be life and sort itself out.
So why would The Blitzkrieg bring us a 7" of music already available on CD? Easy one. When I put on side two (first mind you, a tragic reviewing habit of mine) and heard the magic vinyl accomplished with "Good On Ya Baby" I realized why. Warm! It’s a fucking kick to the jaw, a punch to the ribs. You loose your breath and await the loud and abrasive guitar. It lurches behind the bass like an eye-mask tied in the back (ala The McDonalds' Hamburgeler ©), striped shirt wearing thug with a store bought billy-club just around the corner in a dark alley hidden by shadows. Ready... Ready.... Ready..... BAM! It’s better than a mugging.

I returned from my canine visitation with a high adrenaline level. The adrenaline would eventually manifest itself with the dry-heaves. Walking thru the house. X playing loud, even before the record press stuff told me to play it loud. X playing loud. Me? Dry-heaving. Drinking generic Kool Aid (cherry flavor, "Drink Aid" made and distributed by the infamous "Inter-American Foods Company out of Cincinnati Ohio; which has now graced two of my Blank Generation reviews). Dry-heaving. The Generic Cherry Drink Aid looks like blood when it is regurgitated. I navigated the 7" several times... with an upset stomach. Side A. Side B. Side B. Side A. Side B. "Hate City"... "Home is where the Floor is"... I see the error in my ways.

Last winter when those joggers almost ran over me and some of my friends as we got out of a car and told us to get out of the way by saying, "Heads up!" Well, I yelled at them, "Hey why don’t you just tell us to get out of your fucking way next time assholes!" And believe it or not, the man of the couple (they were dressed alike too so its not like he was really a "man", just a sort of male servant to his so-called "better half," I say 'so-called' because they were jogging. Joggings for pussies. Pussies and Chip Slob. But Chip is a pretty cool guy so I hope he takes that like a grain of salt because I already have too much fucking blood on my hands). Anyway, the fucking dork came trotting back to us and asked us what OUR problem was... I mean me and my fiancée were entertaining guest who was in town after being in the Alaskan Wilderness. Their town is something like TWO hours from a fucking Burger King. You just don’t yell at someone "Heads Up!" no matter what fucking neighborhood your in. Much less if you have Alaskan Wilderness freaks with you that wake up every morning with black bears and fucking moose shit in your yard. That ‘TOUGH AS NAILS’ kinda shit goes on there! You know what I should have done? I should have just screamed the lyrics to X’s "Good On Ya Baby" and got my switchblade out and waved it around. THAT’S what I should have done, but I just laughed at him. He said I should watch who I mess with. Actually, that’s the other way around I think. I’m the motherfucker carrying hooks because he gets death threats. Who’s he? A fucking jogging lawyer? HE'S A FUCKING PUSSY! No wait, he’s a fucking PUSSIE! That spelling even looks weaker!

So fuck, like, get this record. TOUGH AS NAILS! Everyone should have this 7". Bands. Bad bands that I can hand-pick as requested, should break up, be forced to listen to this 7" for about 3 months straight then be allowed to once again form a band. If they still form that god-awful pop punk shit, THEN we will write them off. Until then, let the X re-issues by Rock and Roll Blitzkrieg hereby usher in a NEW era of art-punk. X: Neoteric before Neoteric. Hey, I got thru this review without badmouthing Los Angeles’ X. Bloody red eyes... (SAB)
(Rock N Roll Blitzkrieg Records POB 11906 Berkeley, CA. 94712)

Victims "All Loud on the Western Front" LP
I conquered X last time, now maybe the band that holds the position of Second most prolific Oz punk band, the Victims surface.... AND MY VENGENCE IS JUSTIFIED! Remember that Sylvain Sylvain review I wrote? Yeah, I was a mad motherfucker about that one. Even though I’m not the kind of guy who really trades in vinyl (I will keep a LP if it has just one good song on it; furthering my testament that that Sylvain Sylvain LP SUCKED!), I took that shitty ass Sylvain record down and was granted a even trade for this record in its place. JUSTIFICATION! I have all the songs on this LP already from other sources except one that I don’t rightly recognize but its not like I am getting up from here to glance over The Abbarant 2xCD, the Murder Punk CDs, or the Birdmen re-issues for the answers. If it really mattered the info would have been retained in memory. I mean, fuck! I must conserve myself. I only have one soda left and it’s a major brand! I am sitting here on Sunday morning without Generic Cola. Without Generic Kool-Aid... Without my fuels that sustain me! I have buzzed through three reviews so far and I’m waiting for the 'crash'. Generic products required...

Anyway, that one song I haven’t heard before (I think, but yet unsure of) is "Perth is A Culture Shock" and is up to par with the other Victims HITS also appearing on this LP, "Television Addict" the modern lovers-esque, "High School Girls", "Flipped Out Over You" and what I would deem one of the best punk songs ever, "Disco Junkies". By the way, the only songs I failed to mention which include "I Understand", "Open Your Eyes" and "TV Freak" rounds out the rest of the LP. I will be honest with you, the humble Blank Generation reader; I am not here to just FUCK YOU. You're getting the real scoop of the scoop scoops so you better appreciate this. You better put this in your pocket for a rainy day. You better nurture this thought. Nurture my honestly and be proud that I didn’t accept that job at Spin magazine because that would have been an end to my stint here as a Blank Generation reviewer IF I SIGNED THAT DAM CONTRACT (fuck it though, who wants 25K a year, apartment paid AND have to live in NY where that one van is the one that really fucks you up? Not me!). RESPECT what I am about to share with you as if you are a smack junkie getting tha shakes outside the methadone clinic. Respect my honestly like those in 'Nam learned to respect the men in the black pajamas. Respect motherfuckers! I expected a different feel from buying and listening to these songs on this LP. I wanted similar results, like I had with Rock N Roll Blitzkrieg’s X "Home Is Where The Floor Is" 7", but it didn’t happen. This LP is good though, but I guess I will just leave the whole purchasing question up to you. I mean I bought this (or rather exchanged for this) and I have no regrets. It’s all up to you. Generic drink products requested please... (SAB)
(No Address)