Monday, April 29, 2013

ExperiMENTAL 04/12/13 (Scene Notes)

"Notes On Nearly Impossible Understanding of an Nearly Understandable Scene"

In-between the pulling of everyday life I finally completed my one-day exposure of being ear deep into the fray... It all starts with the last thing I wrote about the night, which is a truth that is full of essence and pure power... It ends with YET-ANOTHER live tragedy where a Romeo truly lost.

“No ones gonna read it or believe it otherwise 
so why should I make it readable?”

1. Daniels Pub.
2. "Is this 'the back way' or something?"
      "No."             "Oh...How odd."
1. A last ditch... Daniels Pub is someone’s Junkers Tavern.
2. Experimental with emphasis on MENTAL.
3. Sound IS art. Never-ending.
4. Melody is held hostage. JG Ballard would be proud.
Frantic noise-isms with avant displays of public exaggerations.
Thanks Sonic Youth you’ve been good and left your mark. Every king dies except one and you, apparently are NOT that king.
6. GROW HORNS. (2nd)
Could this count as AM static? Internal exorcisms at work exhumed in burst of unchained latent aggression. An eye-to-eye match up with a sonic tsunami. Choose your tree to climb and hold on tight.The confidence to push boundaries of definition and acceptance are not only noted but also admired. Resilience and definition are tools not immoveable forces. 
Like water, sound is needed fir existence of life.   
      6a. GROW HORNS/WAN: Cincinnati’s newest No-Fi label, WHALETRAP RECORDS hands me a disc for listening featuring a split between GROW HORNS and a band called WAN. The disc has ten total jams but also there was no instant database automatic track and band listing. The first five (I think) are GROW HORNS,,, Loud cryptic subsensual no-fi with a twist of cynicism. There’s been another election and it has determined that you are next. Prepare for the end. Experimental music such as these first five songs would sound great at a decent volume level; whilst reading books. Remember books? WAN (I suppose) get the last five tracks. The use of TV background noise sets a mood of eerie doom. And hopelessness, There are optimist out there who would do well to hear these tracks and know that there are elements behind the uncovering of the truth that they have denied until hearing these tracks, Society, your days are numbered. One day bands like GROW HORNS and WAN will be deemed terrorist because music such as on this recording spits of possibilities, concepts and boost a questioning mind into action. The next revolution will be based around dissident melodies and almost forgotten sonic-angst. Basically, the pocket of resistance has already formed and its spitting sonic bites of consumer death awareness right back. The Sonic revolution has started and the wave has yet to grow as big as it will be. We are at war (again) that will prove that silence can still be heard. Silence is a deafening sound. 
7. There is no such thing as silence. Silence has sound
8. Is sound revolutionary?
                                         Yes. If you let it be.
9. Cincinnati’s burgeoning noise scene... No-Fi... is admirable. A vestige of indefinable standards like anything else, has its moments and times of shining spotlights... This night was one... Also something else that becomes so big, so fast, that splinter ideas encompass every dank hole bar and hole in the wall that begs for use. In a city trying to revitalize itself neighborhood by neighborhood the confidence of re-expansion nouveau colonialism street by street, hill by fucking hill. Valley by valley... Something unmanageable as no-fi lets the balance is maintained.
10. Or something
See full size imagew/ the incomparable Nelson Slater at the helm with Miles Uroshevich and a saxophonist whose name escapes me (I’m sorry) but who I also admire for his insistent recording via a 'tape machine' (as the moniker goes).
12. The room looks as if a survivor’s collection of rock and roll soldiers. Nelson Slater is Cinci
nnati’s George Washington... The patron city Saint of Bravery... Slater encompasses everything you could suck off him concerning self-confidence. Slater is the ambassador of sound. Bringing it to your face shoving it down your throat. It’s a meal-deal of sorts with a side of WTF.
13. Approx. 4 jams deep brings you to a hit... Not THEE hit but A hit... Slater isn’t done. "Wild Angel" solidifies Nelsons place in the grand scheme of things. Making it work...Hitting like an anthem of sorts. Nelson Slater eats your heroes for breakfast! Those who had 'smart phones' instantly checked their mail as if some mystical power had a room full of smugglers, bank robbers and other assorted ne’er-do-wells that discovered instantly that all-new heroes were sent to each of them in a zip file for instant downloading.
14. 1975 called.. It wants NYC back! Jokingly commenting to watch where we walked concerning Slater’s documented Portal-ology. We ended up stepping in one nearly automatically and embracing it. Glenn Branca called. He is ready for unconditional surrender now. “Breakfast just isn’t what breakfast use to be since... You know..."
Nelson Slater is HONESTY in its purest form. You never could handle the truth.
15. From the Proving Grounds: She said she lived on this street but didn’t reveal which house so it was only natural to traverse the street yelling her name to no avail… Cupping his hands around his mouth to achieve maximum, direct volume He yelled.

"BRANDY?... BRAN-DEEEEEE?!" There was no response.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Dandelions- 04/26/2013 (Playlist)


My favorite flower that's considered a nuisance to most people... No matter how much you mow, left untreated a lawn will spring up a portion of dandelions seemingly overnite. These are the songs I listened to while mowing my lawn.

Revenge DEAD MOON "Dead Moon Night" & "13 Off My Hook"
Who Brought Down the Curtains JOE HIGGS "Life of Contradiction"
Go With The Flow QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE "Songs For The Deaf"
Crystal Balls BILLY CATFISH "Half A Jug Full = No Deal"
Razor Hand THE DANCING CIGARETTES "The School Of Secret Music"
Prole Art Threat THE FALL "Palace of Swords Reversed"
Mango Man HOWARD WERTH "6ix of 1ne & Half A Dozen of the Other"
History Lesson - Part II MINUTEMEN "Double Nickels On The Dime"
Heater (Rehearsal) X "Wild Gift" (Bonus)
My (Heart) Is In A Lion 1000 ARMS "Separation Is Natural"
The Path Before Me BUFFALO KILLERS "Buffalo Killers"
Lee Shan CLINIC "Funf"
Plum Dumb THE DEAD MILKMEN "Big Lizard In My Backyard"
Étoile LILIPUT/KLEENEX "LiLiPUT/Kleenex [Disc 2]"
Cartoon Music For Superheroes ALBERT HAMMOND, JR. "Yours To Keep"
Evil Things The Black Angels Indigo Meadow
Concubine BUTTHOLE SURFERS "Psychic....Powerless....Another Man's Sac"
The 80's/The 90's THE COCKSPANIELS "...You Die!"
Here Comes Attack GO GO GO AIRHEART "Exitheusa"
In The Dark JOSH RITTER "The Animal Years"
Heads Or Tails THE LONG GONES "Highway Sound"
Mole THE MOUNTAIN GOATS "We Shall All Be Healed"
Heavenly Choir ONEIDA "The Wedding"
Track 10 THE POLICE "Outlandos d' Amour"
Wastin' Time Sleepy Drums Spooky
Slave to the Low Wave The Socials Live
Most People Over 40 THE SUNDRESSES "Barkinghaus"
Strange Fruit THE SUNDRESSES "Barkinghaus"
Art or Arse (You Be the Judge) Thee Headcoats Elementary Disc 2
True Story TOM VERLAINE "Words From The Front"
Field Day For The Sundays WIRE "Pink Flag"

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Exxon (1) "Experiments in AM Radio" DL



Interested? E-Mail for FREE Download

AB1 “Half A Face and Some Other Things” CD/Cass. (Review)

“You did it! You bastards did it!!!" he said standing on the beach looking at what he remembered as the noticeable piece of American freedom, The Statue of Liberty jutting up from the sand…

When enough isn’t enough, that’s when you get AB1’s railing follow-up to AB1's debut CD Mom By Dad On Crystal Sunshine, you get Half A Face and Some other Things-- ‘rewarded’ with a split release CD (by Centsless Prod.) and cassette (by Whale Trap which could seriously contain some bonus on CD material) that I just realized, between coverage of DADDY on …Thwart! and this review… much of the points I want to make concerning my reintroduction into the ExperiMENTAl music scene of Cincinnati may be hit upon… But still… AB1, who is also guilty for the backing ‘music’ for Brandishing The Future (also by Centsless Prod.)  isn’t going away anytime soon. Half A Face proves that point. Its gonna take something stronger than the stuff you buy at the stores to make this go away if even at all. The main factors that I will continually mention when covering this Cincinnati No Wave or No-Fi scene or whatever in the hell it wants to be called (with ‘NO’ meaning NOISE-IE) are here: resilience, confidence and creativity are all here AGAIN! Face is a collection of moments. A soundtrack for their moments. As brutally honest as sound may get. Eating chips, a wondering coherent sober mind… A drunken mind-fuck… A bad day, a good day, a imaginative dream. Peer inside Ab1s head for a sonic journey of ‘what the fuck Just happened? Don’t worry; Face is designed to make you think once, twice and hell, maybe even more times if you truly try hard enough. With a militarized slant coming to me bluntly from the song titles alone, Face could be the only audio documentation of the moment before total encompassing war that destroys everything of which I would be perfectly fine with. ‘Future man’ (fuck that guy) stuck with the laborious task of defining what the world was like through the blackened goggles of conceptual sound just before the end of everything as we know it, will have his work cut out for him if just listening to the 13+ minute ‘hidden track’ itself. Will there one day be fossil MP3’s? Discovered and speculated upon for cultural significance? I hope so for the sake of AB1 and all of mankind.

Centsless Productions
Whale Trap Records

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Daddy "Songs about Prostitutes" CD (Review)

Poking its head out of the shell that is Cincinnati’s expanding and unstoppable experimental music scene is this band… Conventional stripped minimal unconventional songs with the spirit of The Cramps, Fuxter Schittly (Local), Hogscrapper (local) or even the Butthole Surfers, Songs about prostitutes is one hillbilly rompin’ rockabilly rippin’ piece of corn mash tongue in cheek whiskey weirdness after the next. While bringing to mind a darker version of Johnny Horton except admiringly entrusted to repetitive weekends of strong, controversial hallucinatory methods. Songs About Prostitutes delivers twelve abrasive almost stream of consciousness based mountain music songs… ‘Country Music?’ Which country you ask? You know, the one…the part of the mountain that is rarely seen and nearly forgotten… Until your gently reminded that all is NOT under your control. You thought you had it all figured out but no… You don’t. There are uncontrollable elements on the periphery of your boundaries that truly control your actions… The Piranha Principle. Too many to control. Give them space. The universe works itself out to evened proportions. Yin-yang. Someones gotta do it isn’t just a principle of communism… it’s a fact of life in any society since society was founded. Chaos, madness… That good high or accidental morning drunk… Songs that are unabridged not especially designed to be offensive but thought provoking and confrontational where it needs to be and all out weird freaky other times. Production factors are high with this one. Well recorded and honestly, this wasn’t a bad listen. I had my doubts at first I will admit but this CD is (as I will explain in following post soon on …Thwart!) Songs is exhuming with confidence, resilience and creativity. There is a beauty about a song like “Skinheads are Faggots” that ends up making sense in the end. The brooding-ness of “Black Bone Ridge” makes me wonder if Lux Interior is really dead after all… The blues ish “Linda Bell”… This stuff is dead on interesting. Someones gotta do it… So you don’t have to. Thats what a hero is.

Cicadatone POB 20181 Cincinnati, Ohio. 45220

Thursday, April 11, 2013

...THWART B.S. #1... Now New & Improved with Scene Notes!

Art by James Burns



0. The Rakes End. Cincinnati’s Breighton Neighborhood…Akin to the movie Bladerunner or Chuck Palahniuk’s novel Rant, a neighborhood like this many people would describe as unsafe and criminal. I feel perfectly safe here. Blatant smoking of pot in deep entrances to abandoned buildings strikes me as beautiful.

1. The Flesh Pets With new Drummer. Yes, the rocks have been turned over and thoroughly inspected. A hero is found in the strangest places sometimes.

a. The Eagles with beards? Hotel California? I fell in love with The Flesh Pets due to their gu
itar sound reminding me of The Walkmen intentionally but ultimately bringing to mind X (Aus.) with 
“Sister” era Sonic Youth, The Flesh pets were precise. Crafted and a force to be reckoned with. They are the best thing I heard come out of Dayton in a long time… It would take too much brainpo
wer to determine the last good thing to come out of Dayton but it wasn’t Brainiac (I assure you) Chow Pow Socialite? Dirty Socialites? Muzzies? Die Eeyore? Cage?… I dig this band. I think you should too.

b. Power beards in effect. Beautiful wide stance by Rickenbaker bassist will lead me to adda tape measure to my mission-bag for future reference. His stance was at lease 51 inches but that is pure speculation.

2. Brian McCabe (Homemade Drugs) catches the Flesh at Rakes End then explains how he must get across town to see if Steve Shelly (sonic Youth) is playing drums for Dissapearers at MOTR. He promises a blowjob to Shelley if he is in fact behind the drums. “Save your spit,” I tell Brian. “That old fuck wont be there!” Brian returns moments later breaking a cross-town Cincinnati speed record explaining Shelley wasn’t in fact behind the drums in time to catch the amazing Phoul Phill Ant Guill.

3. Phoul Phill Andt Guill
a.  Just prior to this show PP&G unveiled not only a great band portrait but also a beautifully crafted modified Proctor & Gamble logo. 
b. This band has gotten tight since last I seen them. Formed up to be a group of hard-line contenders. Unique sound that more people than not watched and tried to describe. Like a more touchy feely theatrical Jello Biafra playing with a backing band consisting of Television, Captain Beefheart and Bowie (just to name a few.) You can scream “You Suck!” but the response will be a cleverly place “You Suck MORE!” and you know its true so you just go get a beer and become converted to the PP&G way.
c. I stated that if PP&G didn’t make one person uncomfortable enough to leave the band would have to vote Survivor style and decide who was going to get a caning by Chinanski (my cane) but they fulfilled all requirements so no beating needed. I appreciate this bands uniqueness. I can’t remember when a band like this was seen last time in Cincinnati. If so, al all, it has been YEARS.

4.Swear Jar. Phratry Records recording artist.
a. I sure fucked up boasting about my media copy of their split record I got to review here on Thwart… I got to see the finished product and wow, that cover art is amazing stuff.
b. Setting up their equipment in a way I can only describe as Swear-Real… The Rakes End is not the most ideal place for bands to play… The venues shape is awkward but its still one of the best venues in 

Cincinnati right now and ever. Swear Jar made it difficult to say the lease, a difficulty that I could appreciate. “I don’t know where to stand” I said aloud for Shane Chansie to hear. He responded “stand Back” which shut my blabbering mouth and made my nipples hard from embarrassment.
c. “Narcissist Artist” was the first shot but already my boat was already in mode of a glorious sinking with all hands lost. I was asked by someone who I can’t recall to describe their sound and I said it was like The Minutemen combined with Gang of Four… No-Fi Art-punk powered by cynicism and good ol’ fashioned angst. Coming to me about midway thru I grabbed my notebook and jotted down “Feelings are over-rated” and whereas I’m not too sure where exactly that phrase was important enough to mention where/how I came from, it was important enough to write down.
d.  “JERRY!” I yelled several times trying to speak overtop Swear Jars music… Finally getting his attention he leaned his ear in to me “YOU ARE A GREAT DRUMMER MAN BUT THIS GUY IS AMAZING” in reference to the most crossed arm drummer I have ever seen… R. Flexon

6. The night dissolves into pin-eyes and sit down convos waiting the three-way money split of the band. The odd two dollars out were given to Joe/PP&G for a lap dance. J. Burns of Swear Jar and I decided to form a band called JETPACK and like it or not my cane, Chinanski, has been personalized and answered many questions with a rather foul mouth. Was it alcohol or other illicit substances tat caused immediate devotions to intense games such as Commercials where at the declaration of ”ACTION” you do a television like commercial statement about a product, cause or public service announcement and 1-2-3-4, a came where after a dramatic four count as the type that many bands do the contestant of the game sings a line form any song without music or, in my case, just yelling aloud a sour note at the top of my lungs.

7. Appropriately enough this nights disintegration delves even deeper into admitting a stench of bad flatulence. “”Did you shit your pants?” said my wife to me braking off convos with persons ensuring that they didn’t think she was the one who farted such an intensely bad odor similar to rotting pumpkins. “No!” I responded “I  Thwarted!”

April 27th, 2013
Blog Showcase #1
You will NOT die softly... 
You will WORK for it!
Lessons on exactly how to touch yourself 'there' Priest-Free Kings of the Uncomfortable.
Endangered species taste the same seasoned remorse.

EAR PLUGS II: Static is Good For You

or  Hark! Everything Went Mono!

DeathIt wasn’t until the nasty side effects of a medicine left me with such a ringing in my right ear rendering it deaf and issuing yet more medicine to correct a medicines effect (oh, the irony). This included not only an order of NO LOUD MUSIC (pshaw) and 30 minutes of AM radio static in headphones (3rd best doctor order EVER; #1- Drink 2 cups of coffee a day #2-drink a Styrofoam cup of Pepsi and eat this chocolate which was ironically enough both directly attached to persistent migraines with the 3rd reason being somewhat directed too.) So, per my commitment to excellence I not only READ but LISTENED to Lord "Josh" Rutledge and committed myself to listening to music more even if it meant turning off Days of Our Lives during Dinner time and giving records turns. Spiritual|Mental|Physical a collection of raw meat demo recordings by Detroit MI proto-punk rockers revealed a hidden beauty? Yeah, Side 1 or 'A' the stronger of the sides holding the repeatable "Can You Give Me A Thrill???" When DEATH say "Rock and Roll!" they utilize it like a threat. The song really got me going. The needle hit the record several times in a row. It was playing for a third time when Kenny called and playing fir a fourth time when he called back after me forcing him to listen to my voice mails concerning recent deafness and scrapped business slogan for his painting company BRUSHMASTERS: WE WILL PAINT YOUR FACES! Side two of SPIRITUAL was the weaker of the two sides with some throw away doodling tracks but oh well... the gems outweigh the turds by far.

If you’ve ever wondered punk-rock is alive and well... wait. No. Scratch that. Lets start over. If you’ve ever wondered punk-rock is surviving... Barely scrapping by... Holding on for deer life (please note 'deer' in 'deer life' is NOT a misuse) in Columbus, Ohio represented maybe best by the band SICK THRILLS (Eastern Watts Records) with their packed to the brim 10 song No Fashion 7" LP. Please note: LP was not misused in this particular case. Punk-Rock at its most desperate rawness. Utilizing the factors of speed, desperation, anger, frustration and alienation and focusing them into a suicidal mission on one release, this record the historical equivalent to the Doolittle raid on Tokyo in 1942 THE SICK THRILLS are going all in on this 7" fitting as most rip raw garage punk rager’s as they can before something happens and everything becomes a fucking memory. Bringing to mind THE MOTARDS to a greater degree and a Midwestern hardcore punk sound just behind it pushing and shoving for some surface time itself, loud & snotty vocals spilling out ample amounts of poisoning snarl hold things all together vocally jabbing as with a switchblade where every stab is deadly, but intended to be playful. To drag you through to the very end. You’re dying but your not dead yet... You’re not allowed to die. The Sick Thrills will let you know when you can die.

SUBSETS imageAre you ready? I doubt your readiness. The moment I heard Ape Facin' by Cincinnati's own SUBSETS it floored me. literally. Todd Uttley, Angie Granado and Sarah Speeg all lifted me off the floor in all my glory and uncontrollable flatulence. Good thing Im humble and really don't give a fuck or THAT would have really been embarrassing. Subsets have a downloadable 4 song EP via Granado Records dine on it via a pay what you want release on bandcamp but if you ask me, I think you should pay about $60 for it because 1) it's damn good early 80's so-cal punk rock mixed with east coast punk ethics. like Agent Orange and The Ramones... and 2) Its from Granado Records... A new Cincinnati conglomeration of artist that includes yours truly. So yeah, I'm biased so fuck you. Pick yourself up off the floor and carpe deim you piece of shit.

Back-In-The-Day THE CRAMPS represented to me what The Ramones and even The Sex Pistols represented to others... One teenage evening after jerking off into a dock about six times I picked up a bass and while Bad Music for Bad People CASSETTE played, which incidentally is one of my personal all-time favorites (singles collection or not, it ROCKS), I convinced myself that I could play the bass parts to every song off that tape by evenings end. Almost anything The Cramps had put out is rocking or at least listenable to a certain degree or another and "Big Black Witch Craft Rock" b/w "Butcher Pete" is no exception. Yeah "Witch Craft" rocks a bit harder than the B-Side but still, its    consistent with other Cramps material. You can day what you want about The Cramps but something’s you cannot deny is that you will absolutely love about 2/3 of their songs and at least look at any album artwork or band photo to see if Poison Ivy is rocking a shaved vagina. Shaved vagina's are rock and roll right?

Slabs of plastic in the form of records like FOOTWORKS Bully 7" ( starts discord that leads to movements that lead to bloody revolutions and wars... Not really, bit it should. In my mind it does. Putting this record on I feel avant-revolutionairy. This 7" plays fast. Two burst of metallic rage on the A-side and I don’t mean 'metallic' rage as in metal music... Metallic rage as in RAGE as if metallic. Art-punk no wave crested and went back to reveal in its tsunami destruction this band! Footwork bring to mind Sonic Youth's "Confusion is Sex" era like on times when they get really rocking like on the track "Inhuman.” and a mix of DNA at their best. Ladies and gentlemen and everything else in-between, No Wave and art-punk isn’t without its 'mistakes' and moments that it would have been better to just watch Adam Ant or The Plasmatics on Solid Gold... This Footwork 7" is on yellow vinyl. Double A-sided which leaves just one more on the B... A really short one on the B-side too but all in all its worth it. Fans of ERASE ERRATA take note please. Fans of ELECTRALANE you may dig it too so give it a try let the art-punk in you out. It’s ok to be loud. It’s Ok to be frantic. You have two ears; one of those WILL die for rock and/or roll. The sooner you admit that the better. Fighting is sooooo passé.

BTW I hope you enjoyed that Footworks Facebook link. Take THAT mediocrity!

Ask around here in the Queen City (aka Queens Shitty) amongst the punk-rockers and... Whatever those other kids call themselves these days... 'Indie-ducks?' Bah... They are not serious about record collecting or more importantly record LISTENING or serious about bands or drinking fucking red bull or whatever else the fucking Indie- Ducks do if they don’t know who in the fuck NELSON SLATER is. Period(.) This includes even me. I wandered around basement shows and other dank holes for a few years before his name graced my ears and round a few more before I actually had the opportunity to meet the Wild Angel himself. Even got to write an article about him for CITY BEAT MAGAZINE that I'm rather proud of really. But then, with knowledge and exposure to Nelson you will also develop an opinion about him... Don’t worry, its part of the deal. Me? I love him. He is my Dads age... My Dads name 'rings a bell' with Nelson as Nelsons name tugs on my Dads memory a bit too... Well, even though I had a mp3 version of Nelsons Wild Angel (RCA1976) and heard the album several times in its entirety when the cut-out bin vinyl version made it into my hands still with a 99¢ on it and that vinyl looked minimally played... It had its turn on the table. Recently there was an early morning fire in a Cincinnati neighborhood and whom did the newsmen find to give commentary on this 4AM-ish incident? Nelson! "Wild Angel" may not be the rager of an LP track to track but "Wild Angel" and "Memory Girl" are pretty damn cool. I’m gonna get my ass up outta bed one morning and hit the streets until I find Nelson and have him autograph my LP... Or rather maybe Nelson will let me find him or even better yet; maybe Nelson will allow himself to be found!

Arriving in the trademark zip-loc sandwich bag, because music is the dope now mannnnnn... The latest offering from Youngstown Ohio’s LIONS CARE RECORDINGS brings you SWEET STARCHILD Speaks CD... No, its not a KISS cover band... Exactly but it sorta is... Sweet Starchild Speaks is a one-man covers release featuring the banter in-between live KISS songs! It’s totally PFG (Pure Fucking Genius). Only in Youngstown! Only in Ohio! This thing will have you laughing so be careful... Sweet Starchild doesn’t belittle the cause, he supports it. Its been unconfirmed from reconnaissance sources that go, but never return that Sweet Starchild has become some sorts of Colonel Kurtz type enigma in Ol' Y-Town (Y?Ynot?) and has even been known to take the 'thing' out in public MC'ing events! Wow! That would be worth a show in itself! I hope the next Sweet Starchild includes phone calls "This is Sweet Starchild bay-beee! YOUR the e-mergen-cee" and fast food orders "Hellll yeah I wanna biggie size that be-utiful combo meal. I lovvvve you!" Be forewarned now you Indie-Ducks, this is rock hard neo-urban heroism here... Yes, I just made that up bay-beeee. Lions Care has ANOTHER winner here but you’re too afraid to like it ('you' know who you are).

Ambushed! TRIN TRANS "Dark Radar" (Drag City) slipped under my radar! Actually some Trin Tran showed up on the facebook feed of a friend. Miles Uroshevich of WHALE TRAP (thanks Miles) and man oh man, I have at least three friends who digitally or metaphorically ran to the actual stores or 'virtual' stores (which sounds just as fucked up when you say it as read it.) I know very little about the background of this group or musician or whatever. With anything being just a click away, its nice and somewhat fitting that I just let mystery of the unknown back into my life if even when it comes to musicians. I’m fine with the ___________ knowledge is really such a let down. So musically I suppose my art-punk leanings have really shown in this edition of EAR PLUGS because Trin Tran is, you guessed it, exorbitant in the glory of art-punk sunshine. Frantic minimal punk with break apart vocal pops and jeers. If ya dig DEVO and NUMBERS this will make your genitals do what they are designed to do. Its good. Damn good. Minimal furious punk. It’s just amazing how some things seem so damn simple but are not yet achieved. Trin Tran songs are crafted. They are built and as each song collapses for the next attempt to your interest... the next try to convert you over to the ways of art-punk. Easily, Trin Tran could go toe to toe with the highest riders of the No Wave sound old or new.

Listening to Barfly by ROCKET FROM THE TOMBS I must say that the main reason why Pere Ubu isn’t the BEST Ohio band is simply enough because PERE UBU are Pere Ubu… Too artsy for their own good? Maybe... I think so… The Modern Dance is a great LP and all those HARPEN singles are amazing doses of gritty 1st Midwest punk-rock at its artistic finest but by Dub Housing Pere Ubu got too Lewis & Clark with it. Even by my standards. Is Dub Housing interesting? Shit yeah. Is it rocking? No. Not really and everything that pretty much followed by Pere Ubu including their latest Shanghi Lady is more interesting than out right rocking… "Free White" is AMAZING though… I must note that…  That’s why one of the many reasons, I declared The Pagans THEE best representation of Ohio punk. At its most filthy, raw rocking-ness. Rocket from The Tombs are the best parts of Pere Ubu without being Pere Ube. On Barfly you get the rocking-ness with “Maelstrom”, “Six and Two”, ‘Butcherhouse 4” and “I Sell Soul.” I will admit though “sister Love train” began to grate on my last fucking nerve eventually…

If ever there was any blame to be placed on the reduction and near deafness in my right ear by brain lesion or the prognosis of a viral infection, the preview of work on the next FUXTER SCHITTLY, would be something easy to pin it on. Is it music? Is it song? Can you dance to it? Get outta my head big brother, you wont like what you find there. It’s still unclear how to define Fuxter's material... I have covered this nine fingered son of a bitch for quite a while although I think he has been following me even longer... Experimental... Noise... The use of 'noise' may be misleading because per a deepening phone convo with Gabe Molnar, 'Noise' doesn’t necessarily mean L O UD. Noise is sound... Soft AND loud...Both kinds... Melody... Looking at sound and songs (more precisely) as sonic Leggos. Rearranged sampled morsels of audible consciousness taking you to a all-new level of mental super saturation of popular culture and its adversary, the UNDERGROUND... The FRINGE ELEMENT mixed... sonic Yin and yang in one place for your convenience... AT LAST. I was given a sampling, an of the moment study of Fuxters next production and its going in the right direction... I suppose. Can you dance to it? Hell yeah you can. You just gotta let yourself go... As usual, worked on from time to time in the cleanest clean room that side of the Great Miami River, somewhere the enemy is out there... Waiting for the order to 'hit play'...or something. Fuxter Schittly was born erect with a circumcised erection (do the math Ponch). The blues will have its revenge yet and the river will run a new brown like you never seen before. A further inspection will reveal that the river is now yoo-hoo... And talk of your 'most favorite whale' whilst sitting in The Blue Jay Restaurant that’s next to Shake It Records that’s next to Darou Salam all of which are up the street from that fucking glass pot bong store whose REAL name should be JUST BONG-IT... Well, talk of what your favorite whale is ends up not being an odd thing to talk about at all. Together, Nine-fingered Fuxter and 9.5 toe I, admire the man in the both behind ours injecting art into The Blue Jay balancing silverware in a rather interesting way. Purposely, I tell him I don’t want to know his name... Fuxter and I want the mystery. The infamous Chuck Cleaver, who I have witnessed inside The Blue Jays walls more times than not, walks by with his wife to be. "See you guys around..." he sez and we give good wishes back. Yeah, it would be easy for me to blame Fuxter fir the loss of hearing even though He and I and hell, maybe even YOU know that that’s not the case. The large cache of bubble gum next to a baseball glove on the steps of that Bartending School and KFC (just across from JUST BONG IT was a trap. Fuxter puts a dip in and passes the can to me. I grab two pouches of Skoal 'Bandits' in-between my bottom lip and teeth. Wintergreen. "Well, I'll be a son-of-a-bitch!" I say as Fuxter snaps a photo of the trap. He looks at me and smiles. "Your the only man I've ever enjoyed kissing" I say as I later drive away for the pure enjoyment of a strange thing for someone who may be listening to hear. Sometimes you watch the show other times you are the show.
Turn up the volume. I’m not totally deaf yet. I can still take more...

Always room for more.

I dare you for more. #Orelse.

Monday, April 8, 2013

[Past-Blast] [Blank Generation- April 2000]

Reviews from Blank Generation originally published in April of 2000 Note: Images added to certain reviews for cosmetic purposes in 2013

Chupacabra Jr. "June Bug" CD
"The Steamroller is heading down the hill! Jump on or get flattened!"
Nice try… They were OK and I was kind grooving to them for a while. They remind me of a hybrid between the "Coup de Tat" era Circle Jerks and The Dead Milkmen from their LP "Bucky Fellini." I was even getting into "Fast Love" and was actually respecting The Chupacabra Jr. UNTIL "Sex Guy" where the whole release took a fucking torpedo and never recovered. Not even a decent version of "Folsom Prison Blues" could save the shrinking ship from a rap/disco/metal fused PIECE OF FUCKING SHIT.
Then you read the last line of their press that I’m going to repeat for prostate’s sake: "The Steamroller is heading down the hill! Jump on or get flattened!" and I’m all like COME ON! That fucking steamroller aint going to do shit to me. Whatever I may fear and have respect for IS NOT ON THIS CD. Nice try… Baseball caps turned backward. What once had a chance is left with just one word: typical. (SAB)
(Dagger Promotions)

Conflict "Only Stupid Bastards Help Go-kart Records" CD
The Ungovernable Re-issues Are Coming! I suppose Conflict took all their eggs and put them in Go Kart’s basket. This promo is to help announce the re-issuing of Conflicts discography ranging from "Increase the Pressure" to "Conclusion."
In my opinion though, you don’t really need EVERY Conflict release. All in all, Go-Kart is re-releasing eleven full length, if not double, CDs! EXCUSE ME! I just read the accompanying note from Dean Rispler addressed to me, "zine writer" and apparently some of those CDs must be doubles because the OFFICIAL number is, and I quote, "14 CDs at once!" (!)
I mean fuck, how many times can you hear rambling on "Anarchy" and/or "The System" before everything just blurs together? Don’t get me wrong... FUCK! I really like Conflict. I have ever since I first saw their symbol printed on a leather jacket way back in a far-away time and far away place, like Dayton Ohio in 1990 at a Fugazi show; before the official recognition of "emo".... Even though I am growing from the boundaries of bands like Conflict, I can still find appreciation for hard hitting melodic tracks like "The Serenade is Dead." I just don’t want to see you, the kids of rock and roll USA (or whatever your calling yourselves these days) to feel as though you MUST own EVERY Conflict re-issue AND the t-shirt and god knows what else; breakfast cereal? Hooded sweat-shirt? Stainless steel coffee mug? The Ungovernable merchandise is Coming! Lets hope not. EVER.
If you have "Increase the Pressure", "Standard Issue I", and "The Ungovernable Force", you’ll have what you really need. Mother-fuck the rest with the black flag of anarchism flying!
FYI: A Conflict shirt will cost you $12ppd from Go-Kart Records.
(Go Kart Records POB 20 Prince Street Station NY, NY. 10012)

Dissidents "Conformity is Deformity" CD
Cleveland 1979.
What do you expect in a city full of bands like Pere Ubu, The Kneecappers, The Pagans (!), and The Definics? Fuck, come on! Cleveland is just as, if not more important concerning punk history than LA, NY, SF or any other two letter abbreviated city. Something that Cleveland (and even the Midwest) had, or rather didn’t have, that any of the aforementioned cites had been a solid structure of venues and support. I’m not saying that things were easy for The Avengers, The Ramones, X or any other band from those three cites, but at least they had pretty solid fan bases and were getting enough publicity where the venues and labels HAD to take notice.
In Cleveland it was one struggle after another. Small initial fan bases. Venues popping up and just as fast banning sounds like The Dissidents were spouting. In Cleveland there was struggle. In Cleveland there still is that struggle, but what I’m getting at is it made for some really great bands like The Dissidents. This struggle gives bands a certain flavor. It toughens them up and speaking for all the Midwest Missiles out there across the land, it still does.
It’s not really important if the tracks on this Disc are live or otherwise. The sound quality is pretty poor but the thing about it is that this disc really captures something. It’s fuzzy, dirty, and raw but it’s punk-rock! Some songs have a definite Ramones influence but it appeared that The Dissidents began moving in a pretty damn good direction. MOST songs remind me of THE URINALS! Yes, I said THE URINALS! Art-punk! OHIO art-punk! Neoteric! NEOTERIC OHIO ART-PUNK CIRCA 1979!!!! This disc was real refreshing to listen to. It’s definitely one of my latest favorites.
Label Note: Add Smog Veil to my list of growing favorites. They have plans in the coming year to release at least 9 more CDs including retrospectives by more Ohio punk rock like THE OFFBEATS, THE DEFNICS, PINK HOLES, IDIOT HUMANS, a reissue of a cassette compilation called "This Tape Sucks" featuring more Cleveland Punk from 79-82 and a Odd 7"! Fuck yeah! Dionysus, Rave Up, GTA, Hate Records.... Enter Smog Veil! (SAB)

Faint "(Blank-Wave Arcade)" LP
Hmmm… Interesting... Omaha? Is there an insurgence there? I got this record purely by look alone. I have seen it. I haven’t heard of it. I bought it. Just like the good old days, I’m talking pre-license here, like when my Mom would drive me to the Camelot Music Superstore for me to buy TAPES. Yeah, I said TAPES. I remember one time, and you must bear with me here, the stock markets dropping like The Mir and I was getting nervous. The NASDAQ is MY market, and Ouch the technologies are ahurtin'! It took about two years for the Dow Jones to raise comfortably above the 10,000 mark and it took less than two weeks to bring it back. Anyway, So this one day my mom took me to Camelot Music Superstore so I could drop $8.99 on a tape. The store clerk wouldn’t let me buy The Exploited tape "Live at the White House" because it had a parental advisory on it. I had to drag my Mom from Pier One Imports to get the tape for me. She called the store manager stupid. My Mom rules.
I love you mom.
Despite the fact you ACCIDENTLY backed your car into Dad’s Monte-Carlo too. I’m mean fuck, you do something like that then laugh?
Mom, you’re the fucking greatest!
The Faint. Omaha. Mix SOFT-CELL, HUMAN LEAGUE, NINE INCH NAILS (early "Pretty Hate Machine era" and MEAT BEAT MANIFESTO.... Then you got the Faint. They remind me of CHALK, a local Cincinnati Neoteric centerpiece, but you know what? Chalk has more of what this band needs. Guitars. Noise. Angst. BALLS! I like this LP, don’t get me wrong. It’s just too polished. They need to listen to more PYLON. They need to listen to more SERVOTRON. I EXPECT that this band has a pretty lethal stage presence though. I mean you pump two synths; drums and a bass thru most sound systems and a set of vocals that’s caught up in the moment with the crowds and BAM! You gots the energy and the force and The BALLS that I think this LP should have captured. Its not like I’m picking on The Faint or anything either. I feel the same way about THE SELBY TIGERS "Charm City" LP too. Two synths, bass and drums, that’s pretty much what the Screamers had to work with.
I am guessing when I say that I see the future for this band and like The Selby Tigers (that name sounds like a veritech Squadron out of Robotech don’t it?) their second LP WILL be LESS-Produced and given a raw element that will give the band the bite that this LP should have had.
MILEMARKER. If you like THEM you might like this.
THE COMPUTER COUGAR. If you like THEM you might like this (really though, I hear NO comparisons to Gang of Four on this LP so be forewarned).
The Faint ARE Neoteric but I’m placing them on a probationary status. I mean I hear in my head how this band SHOULD sound. I think that they are hearing the same thing too but just don’t know how to bring it across. One word of advice: embrace minimalism. (SAB)
(Saddle Creek POB 8554 Omaha, NE 68108-0554)
(Smog Veil Records, 774 Mays #10 PMB 454, Incline Villiage, NV 89451)

Gossip "That’s Not What I Heard" LP
Look at me. FUCKING LOOK AT ME! I’m over here. HERE I AM.
I got this after I heard "Bring It On" on the local alternative radio station; 97x; Bam! The Future of Rock and Roll. It was about 4:30 AM. I made a mental note of the band at the time and decided to look them up at my local vinyl LP record establishment at the next possible time. Low and behold, they were fresh out of available Gossip merchandise. I was not on the spot. Someone beat me to it. They did however back-order the available Gossip recordings.
So this LP arrived this past weekend along with a 7". I bought them both. It was either The Gossip or if it had not arrived, I was going to check out what Gene Defcon was all about... But alas, The Gossip did arrive. Maybe Gene Defcon next week...
So as in the English punk scene, this whole The Riot Grrl scene gave way into this unnamed, yet even unrecognized POST-Riot Grrl movement. You got a new slew of bands like The Gossip that don’t really fit into the classic grouping of Riot Grrl-ism but yet don’t really fit into the garage-punk scene, the indy pop "thing" or even emo. Neoteric? Yes, I believe I will allow that....
What you got with The Gossip is a mix between The Bikini Kill, The Bratmobile, and The White Stripes. Vocals. Guitar. Drums. Now, I don’t feel comfortable with that White Stripes comparison but it rings true. I’m not any sort of White Stripes fan but the same Led Zeppelin blues guitar that the White Stripes blatantly rip off A LOT, MUCH, and OFTEN does surface in the Gossip’s music but the break-beat arrangements and minimalism that The Gossip exhibit seem to make it work better. If I were to ask you to put down your White Stripes LPs and pick up some Gossip records would you do it? I knew you wouldn’t... YOU DUMBASS!
Oh yeah, fans of The Peechees take note....
I was looking for more exploration with The Gossip but That’s Not What I Heard seems to fall just short of blowing me away. I am however sticking with them. I think The Gossip is a cool band and has a great sound. The seven-inch was vicious. The LP was a further exploration of that viciousness. I would like to see more quirky arrangements of songs and more screaming. The Gossip is the best band you haven’t even heard yet. (SAB)

Joy Division "Warsaw" LP
This is the LP version of that Warsaw titled CD I covered a while back. As I was hoping, the vinyl gives the songs newfound warmth. For those of you who are newer and haven’t caught my Joy Division/Warsaw legacy yet, this is an LP jammed packed full of the earliest recordings of Joy Division BEFORE that were The Joy Division.... They were once known as a punk-rock act called Warsaw who were afraid to bring synthesizers into their band because it was thought to possibly damage their reputation as a punk band... no shit. "All of This for You", "No Love Lost", "Interzone", "They Walked In Line"....some fucking grade A shit here. I highly recommend this to anyone who recognizes The Joy Division as first and foremost a punk-rock band.
All of this...for you.... (SAB)
(Retropop Records, No Address)

Gary Numan/Tubeway Army "The Plan", "S/T", and "Replicas" CDs
I could sit and regurgitate a whole bunch of liner notes to you explaining how important and influential Gary Numan and Tubeway Army were but I’m not going to do that. It seems that here lately more and more people are discovering the greatness of Tubway Army enough to propel me to sit down and say a few words about these three CDs which will take you from the earliest formations of Tubeway Army to the latest when everything was absorbed into Gary Numan’s solo career.
Spreading the word. Hear the news, you might have passed up some of the best music ever created. Read on.
Roxy Music, Bowie, T. Rex, the Sex Pistols....some incredible bands and some incredible musicians. It wasn’t uncommon that someone would hear one of them and rush out to make their mark on the music scene and Gary Numan did exactly that.
The beginning point of these CDs is really The Plan. Numan joined a band called The Lasers after the one he help form, Mean Street, kicked him out. Apparently Mean Street didn’t like all the attention and focus Numan was getting. He joined The Lasers who soon changed their name to Tubeway Army and despite Numan trying to take a background role in the band (my guess is he was afraid of getting kicked out) they began to focus on his material. It wasn’t long though until Numan began to utilize his leadership ability and stepped up to bat. He dismissed the original line up and teamed the bass player, Paul Gardiner, up with his uncle Jess Lidyard for a new formation.
The Plan consists of twenty-four tracks in all. Many of the songs were recorded with the intentions to give potential record companies rough ideas of the songs they had. It worked. Many of the songs would go on to be re-recorded for their self-titled release but the versions on this disc bite you. They attack you. They are heavy without being drudgery. They’re fog-like, heavy, mysterious, sci-fi, groundbreaking.
Like I said, many of the songs on The Plan would end up on the second stop on this Tube-ride, their first 'official' release simply "self titled." This release would surface to be mechanical in its approach, much the same way Devo’s "Q: Are We Not Men..." LP. Tubeway Army's guitar and bass were played like synths. The vocals were nearly void and layered much like you would imaging a robot’s, and the drumming, which was still done by Jess Lidyard, was once thought to be a drum machine due to its preciseness and consistence. Most importantly though, you can hear the earliest explorations with synths. Just a dabble here, a dabble there. It would end up being more relative on Tubeway Army’s next release and something that would propel Numan when he switched over to a solo career. You can really appreciate these songs as they are performed even more so than the versions on The Plan. You see a growth with these recordings when you would leave listening to The Plan with the wonder if it could get any better. It can and this CD proves it. Consisting of the twelve main songs that were the original debut release, the CD also included a LIVE LP called Living Ornaments from a 1979 live show. The recording of the show isn’t that good but its a pleasant surprise especially since the show featured thirteen more songs bringing the total track number to twenty five tracks. The live show also features a couple unreleased songs and a Velvet Underground cover of "White Light."
The last disc of the three is Replicas. I recently found the LP version of this CD (without bonuses) at my local record store and I snatched it up. It’s not uncommon for me to by LPs of CDs I already have. Hell, I own two copies of the self titled release and if I were to see another this coming weekend, I would probably buy that one too.
If you read the lyrics to Replicas while listening to the music and you can definitely see a band that was reaching their peak. I consider this disc the climax of Gary Numan’s career. To follow would be a switch to a solo career, and whereas The Pleasure Principal hits with just as much a force asReplicas, it was the beginning of the downhill march with the follow-up to PrincipalTelekon.
Replicas is dark, brooding, Even more mysterious than the other two discs combined. More synths were add to the sci-fi spectacle and included is the exploration into instrumental tracks... Numan was writing and performing some of his best stuff with tracks like "Do You Need The Service?", "Only a Downstat", "Are 'Friends' Electric?", "The Crazies", and "We Have A Technical". Their beats shock you like electricity. Numan’s voice, droning and even more void of emotion, sending chills up and down my fucking spine.
It was after listening to this disc that Tubeway Army became one of the few bands that I gage people by. I come to the conclusion of they heard and still don’t like the Army, their musical taste are probably pretty much shit.
Replicas is given six bonus tracks to sweeten the deal for you dollars. So what the fuck are you still waiting for? Get them....
I finish writing this on the eve of a Gary Numan live appearance at my local rock star establishment Bogarts, or Bofarts as I call it. I was pretty excited when I first heard he was coming to town but after listening to his newest release, Pure, which I HIGHLY recommend that you stay away from if you like anything from Telekon or before, I didn’t want to go as bad. You see Pure is a lot better than his post Telekon work but it seems now Numan has a whole infatuation with god, religion, and real deep and meaningful spiritual shit. It sucks. When someone is that deep in philosophical matter that’s all they can talk about. If I would see Gary Numan, I would bet most of his material would come from his latter work and his latest release. I still may go, I mean I paid $14 to see that piece of shit Dammed lineup last time they came through but man…I’m torn…
Gary Numan. Tubeway Army. Neoteric pioneers. Influential. Engineering. Influential. (SAB)
(Beggars Banquet)

Red Letter Day "Chance Meetings: The Best of Red Letter Day 1985-1999" CD
At least their name brings to mind Communism. They have that going for them....
It took until the third track for me to begin to appreciate this; the song "Take Me in Your Arms." Red Letter Day bring to mind a band that could be THE soundtrack to movies like Better Off DeadThe Legend of Billie Jean, or better yet, Gleaming The Cube. Their music is polished, overproduced, layered but definitely listenable in a new-wave sort of way.
Take the Cars for example. Now everyone in their right mind knows that the latter Cars material doesn’t even begin to hold up to their early work. The only deal is that since this is my first exposure to Red Letter Day I haven’t heard any early works, if any even exist, because I think this CD is some sort of collection of Compilation tracks and rare 7" tracks. I’m listening to it and shit, but I’m not fucking absorbing it.
I mean I will just go ahead and say it. I like this disc. Just like I liked The Circle Jerks most recent offering. Red Letter Day play like an extension of the UK SUBS thing. It’s like a mix of Cyanide and The UK Subs plus a big gigantic 400 track studio. Like a serious version of bad news without the joking. A little bit of Ozzy in there hence, SOME metal... Imagine Blitz sounding more like Foreigner. I like both of those last two bands so quit yer fucking laughing.
They keep talking about 'poetry' when describing songs....
They said something about a fourth LP....
They mention "questioning lyrics"....
Dramatic. Tears run down my cheeks. Bands need more drama. Take fucking notes all you kids. Put down your fucking dope pipes and get some drama. Watch some soap operas. Listen to some Meatloaf LPs.
Gimmie this disc as opposed to The Business. Fuck those guys. They have FAKE drama. I bet Red Letter Day hung each other at the end of every show and have arguments with each other over the phone. I bet each member of the band has at least ONCE quit the band and cried about it. But you know what? Men hugging men is OK and when they kiss, well, its a European thing (just ask The Joe "Frenchy" Domino). Crying doesn’t make you a pussie. It makes you mean as fire.
I like what this disc has to offer. "No More Conformity. Inflicted Lunacy...I want it. I need it, another face behind the mask. I want it. I need it. Another Cell behind the Dark" (from "This is My Drug" - track 15).
I might be wrong about that verse up there ending with 'dark' because it was sort of hard for me to decipher the lyrics. I mean they are in English and talked all fucked up and shit. Their Englishness shines through in their singing too. I mean FUCK, they could be Australian because one of the guys on the back of the CD is wearing a cowboy hat. But then again they wouldn’t be ripping off The UK Subs a much if they were from OZ. It would have been The Thought Criminals or if they were real tough, The Chosen Few.
This is a good CD. The more I read the CD book; the more I don’t like it though. I’m just going to stop reading the liner notes.... (SAB)
(Zip Records 116 New Montgomery Street Suite 200 SF, CA 94105)

Screamers "In A Better World" 2XCD
You better shut Up and Listen! If I had to list the five most important bands I have ever heard, The Screamers would definitely occupy a space! What you have here is two CDs packed full of some of the most original music to ever be labeled punk. Two synths. Drums. Minimal guitars if ANY. Minimal everything. The Screamers could make a song out of a metronome and television static AND make it fucking rock! Droning. Bitter. Smashism. Loud. Electric. Captured agitation in its purest, most lethal form. Who needs heroin when you have The Screamers?
Most tracks from both CDs are repeat versions from other releases, like that fancy LP that came out about a year ago with that nice hummmm all the way through every track, but there are some suprises! Browsing over the songs listed; out of 40 tracks, excluding the radio advertisement, about eight are new to my ears. Sound quality is better than that LP, but still poor. I believe that the sound quality adds to the songs a bit. I’m not a pussy like most of you Exploited fans are so I can appreciate it!
I will go ahead and say it, if you don’t like the Screamers then you are a fucking piece of shit. Grow some hair on your balls. Turn it up. Throw a plate at your wall in the climax of "122 Hours of Fear - Part 1" JUST before "122 Hours of Fear - Part 2" begins. The Screamers said we are all demented. That we are all crazy... That we are all psychos... So why you still fighting it? This is an invasion and you are either with us or against us. We will bite your ear off!
I could easily go mad while listening to The Screamers.
And             I              Welcome..... It.
Rest in Peace Tomata Du Plenty. (SAB)
(ExtravertigoRecordings/Xeroid Records)

Step Sister "Sugar Sweat 8-Track" CD
Wow. What you got here is the culmination of two separate releases all combined on one disc for your listening "pleasure".... I put pleasure that way because the world that Step Sister throws back to you in their songs don’t seem that pleasurable. It’s dark, gloomy, dirty, self-defeating and dangerous. Carry-a-knife-because-you-never-know type shit.... Trust me, I been to Cleveland, played shows in Cleveland. It’s a breeding ground of paranoid creativity.
The most recent version of Step Sister, which is represented by the last eight tracks on this disc, features members from The Dark, The Guns, and such teenage hits as 9 Shocks Terror... Heard of any of them?
I really like this disc. Fuzzed out blues hardcore punk. Dangerous leads.... It’s weird too, because at times they remind me of MOTORHEAD and THE COSMIC PSYCHOS. One of those bands I hate and the other I can never listen to enough. Guess which one is which. Let me give you a hint - 26 1/2%, That’s Money Well-Spent.... Fans of Rollins era BLACK FLAG take note; hell, for that matter Rollins Band fans take note too! You like THE CANDY SNATCHERS? TAKE NOTE MOTHERFUCKER! I can’t help but to feel, and I must admit that this band is what the Cincinnati Punk Legends HUMAN ZOO (a local band that inspired The Candy Snatchers a bit) would sound like if they were still around.
Step Sister is lethal. They are volatile. The vacant city building where you find used condoms, empty whiskey bottles and used hypodermic needles. The places you are told to stay out of. The place that shines to you like a beacon. The bad part of town. That’s where you will find a band like Step Sister playing LOUD. Playing fast. Doing their part for the unwritten rules. The street creed. The secret code.
On the tear sheet to this release Smog Veil mention that Grand Theft Audio is planning on releasing both Guns and Dark retrospectives. Take a note of that too. Also before this review is over I would personally like to thank Smog Veil Records for giving me the chance to review this. This disc marks the FIRST time I have been sent something to review specifically for Blank Generation. Kick ass. (SAB)

Trend "Batman Live at Budokan" LP
First look and my heart skips a beat. Japaneese style cover.... Rising sun... Settle.... Settle.... Nope, not the long awaited Slickee Boys re-issue. The vigil continues I’m going to keep this one short... This is a re-issue of a LP (by the same name) and the bands first 7" according to Ryan Rhichardson who wrote the liner notes. RAMONES influenced; The Trend sound like a mix of the oldmones (I shouldn’t have said that should I?) and TEENAGE HEAD. To zero in more I will further the comparisons to the INSULTS which of course brings up some very latent REDD KROSS, but by saying that I mean secondly because whereas The Insults REALLY remind me of The Redd Kross I only hear a tinge of that in the Trend.
This is a good LP, some definite keepers include the two songs from their first 7", which consist of their Killed By Death "classic" - "Band Aid" and "Peer Pressure", (its an original, not a re-work of The Screamers tune), and "Toy Section." One thing that really sticks out to me is The Trends guitar sound... I have said it before and will say it again: Great bands are built from uniquely great guitar sounds. (SAB)
(Hate Records, giabicolense 112. 00152 Roma, Italy)

V/A "Pie & Ears" Volume 1; Cleveland Then and Now" CD
As you can see from the title, this is a collection of Cleveland Music, most of which was new to my ears, of older Cleveland bands and err…um.... "Newer Ones."
Most tracks are interesting to say the least. Just past all the better known Cleveland Punk bands are band on this CD. This is definitely in the Pagans/Mirrors/Electric Eels/Styrenes/Pere Ubu vein, for those who are taking notes. My favorite tracks were provided by The Dissidents, Reason Seven (Wow, reminds me of early PiL in the beginning), Breathing Blankets (Mix Pere Ubu and The Pagans), Definics (!), Pink Holes (reminding me of the Cramps with their track called "Drowned Dreams)." This CD is definitely a keeper, The New Salem Witch Hunters (you like The Pagans? Me too), Wombats (their track reminds me of something I would hear on a old Clone Records seven-inch), Bob Sabalack (of the Definics) who does a electronic masterpiece that also sounds like vintage Clone Records stuff. He also teams up later on in the disc with another guy named Bob in an incarnation called "2 Bobs" and does a synth Devo-esque song called "Ethnic Tune." Last but never least, the fuzzed out Numbskull impressed me with their track "Ugly", that sort of sums up their song (Really, its great! Classic!).
For the most part I enjoyed what I heard on this disc. Even if I did mainly like the older stuff a bit more, its quite possible that the other tracks could grow on me, I don’t know. I’m Shawn Abnoxious and I am willing to be Lewis and Clark about it, "willing to give it some time and EXPLORE." (SAB)
(Smog Veil Records 774 Mays #10 PMB 454 Incline Village, NV 89451 USA)

Varukers "How Do You Sleep?" CD
Leather jackets. Studs, spikes. Spiked up hair. Chaos punks with a anarchy symbol for the 'a' in CHAOS. This could be a new Varukers CD or one of the other ones.... I don’t know and I don’t care. I think I heard "fascism" used in one of the songs somewhere.... The guitars go chugga-chugga.
My most prevalent memory of The Varukers is when they were on tour with the Casualties. They showed up in Dayton Ohio with the Casualties mo-hawks to a whopping 15 spectators. You know why? Because both bands are fucking BORING.
I went because I wanted to see what all the hype behind this Casualties thing was... and fuck, I figured the Varukers would be decent because I was just getting into Vice Squad at the time. Leather jackets oi-punk. Streetpunk! Why I thought this I will never know. As you can surmise, I hated both bands. Boring. I remember the Casualties making fun of me and my friends because we weren’t dressed as cool as they were. I remember "Rat" from the 'Ruckers selling tapes. I felt sorry for them so I bought one. I mean FUCK; I might not like their music or anything but I’m not an asshole. I will say that I liked the Casualties a lot LESS than the Varukers, for what it’s worth.
One aspect of the night however, I will never forget. Every time I see a Varukers record or CD, and even when this CD arrived, I was reminded of doing a mess of whip-its in a fellow named Spencer Sunshine’s car. What a blast. The bands sucked but man; we had a fucking great time. Until this night I had never done whip-its. I was 'Lewis & Clark' about it and damn proud!
"Hey.... do... you guys... hear a clock?" (SAB)
(Go-Kart Records)