Saturday, November 30, 2013

[Past-Blast] [Blank Generation- November. 2001]

Reviews from Blank Generation originally published in November 2001
Note: Images added to certain reviews for cosmetic purposes in 2013

Spits "S/T" CD

I’m not that upset over news of a Le Shok brake up anymore. Sure, I mean, FUCK... Le Shok were a great band, but what I realize now, after randomly getting this CD to review (Heh, one I didn’t buy! Go fucking figure!), things are getting better, or hell, maybe I am just opening my fucking eyes. I can’t remember when I have been so excited about modern music than in this year - 2001. Here I am in November (the November-Ember-- ON FIRE), with The Blank Generation yearly recaps just around the bend, and I’m still getting blown away by shit filtering its way towards me.

The Spits (1st LP) (CD) ~ The Spits (Artist) Cover ArtI’m finding them, and they are finding me; you know who you are. Sure, The Spits are a Ramones and Screamers hybrid. Sure, that’s easy to see. The thing I’m really trying to convey is that even though this CD is lack-luster in its appearance and simplistic in its approach, it’s right up there with Kill the Hippies to me. Seventeen minutes and twenty-three seconds long… It’s ironic that as the cold war  kid who worried over things like nuclear holocaust and radioactive satellites, would love such a release. I read in a book, when I was twelve non-the-less, that it would take just a little bit longer than the time needed to listen to this CD before atomic warheads plastered with ‘CCCP’ on their side would begin to hit targets in the continental states. I knew that when I was twelve. Thank Ronald Reagan for my Nuke-hysteria.... So, with that said, that means when I first opened this CD in the mail that I could have sat through more than five continuous waves of Russian Warheads before I stopped listening to this CD. I opened it and listened to it all the way though in one sitting....
Then I hit ‘play’ again and listened to it all the way through.
Then I hit ‘play’ again and listened to it all the way through.
Then I hit ‘play’ again and listened to it all the way through.
Then I hit ‘play’ again and listened to it all the way through.
Then I hit ‘play’ again and listened to it all the way through.
Then I hit ‘play’ again and listened to it all the way through.
Then I hit ‘play’ again and listened to it all the way through.
Eight fucking times. Then Seventh Heaven came on.... Man, what a fucked up family.
The next day my buddy Andy the Assault Rifle calls and I tell him about the CD. The day after that him and a guy known as Microbe find a copy of the CD for sale at Shake It Records. He buys it and two days after that Microbe secretly surprises me by cranking up his stereo as "Black Kar" begins to play. I scream and say, "Fuck yeah!" as I hold my left hand up for a high-five and bring the right hand, full of a can of Steel Reserve to my lips.
SLAP! Microbe hits my hand.
SLAP! The Assault Rifle hits it next.
SLAP! Microbe and the Assault Rifle High-Five.
"Black Kar" has given way to "Saturday Nite" and even though it’s a Friday nite, we repeat the act all over.
We’re drunk-- Well, I am anyway; drinking Steel Reserve, listening to The Spits and giving each other high-five’s in an apartment in a neighborhood in Cincinnati, Ohio. Things are getting better, if nothing else, because of this very fact!
Honest. When I got that Briefs/Spits split, The Briefs were good BUT The Spits were GREAT! They did more with their two songs than most bands could do with an LP’s worth. Even now, with a full-length worth of Spits songs, The Spits do more with NINE songs than other bands do in their entire lifetime. I mean, FUCK! The Spits are saviors!
This CD is blast after blast of Neoteric Punk/Wave balls to the walls lunacy. Every song is a fucking Nu-Classic! "Dropout" - If I don’t feel like quitting my job and being a good agoraphobic after listening to a song like this, well, I ain’t worth a fuck! "Sk8" - I can’t even ride a bike, but I wanna grab a board! "Die Die Die" - Answer to my prayers..... "Black Kar" - I never thought a song about nazi War Criminals would be so damn entertaining! Should have been on the soundtrack to Apt Pupil... "Saturday Nite"... "Remote Kontrol" - the song I just told Joe Domino I would use to play over and over in the headphones of pop-punk kids that I abduct and subdue until they swear to stop playing bad music.... "Tired & Lonely" - Leave me at the bottom! If I don’t feel like killing myself after listening to a song like this, well, I ain’t worth a fuck! "I H8 Pussies" - A song I can respect.... "Suzy’s Face" - I feel like there’s a sequel in there somewhere... I’m waiting for "Suzy’s Hands" on the next CD...
What it all boils down to is that there’s a time and a place for everything. Sometimes it’s not the extremely complicated things that makes you rock, there’s validity in saying that silence and simplicity is a weapon. The Spits fulfill. The Spits complete. The Spits deliver.
The Spits are better than you. You bastard. You panty-waste. I can do that now because rock bottom never felt better.... (SAB)
(Nickel and Dime Records PO Box 555712 LA, CA 90055)

Backstabbers "To Eleven" CD
What you have here is a ‘big’ sounding punk-rock and/or roll band ala Turbonegro. The key word is th
ick. Thick guitars… Thick drums… Thick vocals… I ponder on what would have happened if Turbonegro never happened at all... It seems to me that bands like Turbonegro, by merely existing, told bands like this that yes, you can listen to bands like AC/DC and use emulated forms of 70’s metal to make a viable and acceptable sound in the latter punk scenes of the 90’s/00’s.
As gruff and tuff as The Backstabbers sound though, by the second song I heard a little bit of emo shining through. Yes, I said ‘emo’. The song in question, "The Thrill is Gone", reminds me of what Rites of Spring would have become IF you replaced Minor Threat with Turbonegro in the early Dischord scene-- Wow, imagine that Alternative universe!!!! Great fucking song....
There’s some pretty solid sounding tracks on this CD, "Keep On," "The Thrill is Gone" and "Saturday Night Shootout" are just a couple kick ass examples, but some of the same garage-Turbonegro-death-punk type themes on To Eleven as other recent releases by bands, are wearing a bit thin with me... Last cigarettes, bad relationships, self-destruction.... It’s not like it’s JUST the Backstabbers doing this, but that same subject matter is becoming whimsical in the related ways that AC/DC LPs are. There’s a time and place for bands like the Backstabbers, and whereas I foresee a huge re-surgence of hardcore just on the horizon (prepare everyone), death-punk isn’t dead and the Backstabbers prove that. (SAB)
(Deadbeat Records POB 283 LA, CA. 90078)

Bhopal Stiffs "(1985-1989)" CD
Bhopal Stiffs - (1985-1989)
If it sounds like Pegboy and rocks like Pegboy, then it’s probably Pegboy... Well, it’s not ENTIRELY Pegboy, but very well could be… Ever wonder where Steve Saylors and Larry Damorefrom Pegbo
y came from? They came from The Bhopal Stiffs. Me, I’m not what you would call a HUGE Pegboy fan, but I liked what they were doing up until Strong Reaction. After that I just moved on.
This twenty-eight track CD captures the entire ‘Stiffs Discography and sweetens up the deal by including one unreleased track and a slew of decent sounding live shows from various sources. Like I said up there, you know, up there, in the beginning, it sounds like Pegboy. If you like Pegboy then you will like this.
Did I fail to mention that this sounds like Pegboy? Well, it does. It also sounds like Naked Raygun a bit; the OTHER band members of Pegboy came from.... Strange…
Did I fail to mention that this sounds like Pegboy? Well, it does. (SAB)
(Harmless Records/Redline Distribution 1218 W. Hood Ave. Apt. #2 Chicago, IL 60660)

C*nts "Your Funny" CD
I like this. I really, really do. The first seven tracks are mid-tempo/fast Killed By Death type punk-rock numbers bringing to mind a mixture of The Pagans and The Eat with Gibby Haines from The Buthole Surfers singing... Around track eight; a tune called "Drive Until Your Insane" (which is my favorite track by the way), things change a bit, and whereas I don’t want to say they changed for the better, because I really dig this, I will say that they change for the different.
"Drive Until Your Insane" begins its life with a mid-tempo beat but expands about halfway through into something I can only describe as ‘near reggae/dub’. It kinda surprised me too because by this time The C*nts are obviously crazy, as most musicians are, and have odd and apparently dangerous ways to look at life’s simplest things. But here they seem to dumb themselves down and explode into a sibilant, naive and agitated sound, setting the stage for my mind to begin wandering with imagination to a place, a world in my mind where I explore the realms of armed robbery for KICKS. It’s a dream of mine, but yet something I would dare not do: build a crime syndicate, rob a bank and hit the road....
It wasn’t until this song that I started to think of the C*nts in Neoteric forms... The C*nts surprised and attacked me. From "Drive..." on, the remaining seven songs take on a looser, improvisational feel to them. This CD was really arranged perfectly because from song one til’ "Drive..." you get a certain sound that is building up to something that you aren’t quite sure about. You’re left wondering what’s next. Then, after "Drive..." you hear a more Lewis & Clark C*nts, one that takes their sound and lyrics to the fucking cliffs edge and throws YOU off. Exploring… Explorers… It’s these latter songs that really bring out the Buthole Surfers/Gibby Haines sound.
I’m not really too sure what my Blank Generation Year End Top Ten list has in store or anything, but I’m thinking the C*nts deserve a spot there somewhere. This is a great fucking CD. I mean that. Like I said, up there, in the beginning, it’s good. I really like it. What you should do is find out how much Disturbing Records wants for this CD and get one...and I got to thinking.... Chicago isn’t THAT far away from Cincinnati… (SAB)
(Disturbing Records 3238 S. Racine St. Chicago, IL 60608)

Hypochondriacs "Feelin’ Fine" CD
Since hearing the Hypochondriacs (or just plain ol’ ‘The Hypo’s’as as I will refer to them here from time to time) for the first time in the summer of 2000, I have been a fan. They might not have been in ‘tune’ at the time but that was something I respected them for. They went on to quickly tune before their second song, but they had already won me over; too fucking late. Besides, I was the only one who wanted them to continue to play out of tune. After all, it was only a daytime show in a fucking park near a go-nowhere loser town of Hamilton, Ohio. If punk-rock is about anything it would be about uncomfortableness, inconvenience and the indefinite struggle with one’s self and their surroundings. This, all of this, is the story of the Hypo’s.
The Hypo’s cut their teeth on sets of mostly covers including The Misfits, and The Ramones, with a few originals to boot. They slowly began introducing more and more originals into their set, and in the process, weeded those covers out. This was something that would seemingly place The Hypo’s a level or two below even pop-punk bands, because even a bad, really bad pop-punk band is still writing and performing originals. Patrons of the Cincinnati punk scene have a hard time watching a band and seeing POTENTIAL. The first time I saw The Hypos, they played about 12 songs. Three of those were originals, but the thing is they were really GOOD originals. Powerful, intense, great fucking songs! I saw The Hypos for what they truly were... They were not JUST a COVER band; they were a band slowly maturing to greatness. Over time the band really began to click with each other at their live shows and it sort of seemed that all of a sudden The Hypo’s were playing sets chock full of hard-hitting originals. The Hypochondriacs have become a force to be reckoned with!
This CD marks the beginning of a new era for this band. This CD captures The Hypo’s earliest songs in their rugged entirety: "Simple", "The Rents", "Sweet Sugar" and "Rachel and Jimmy", songs that each continue to deliver the goods listen after listen, round out Feelin’ Fine to keep the CD flowing perfectly from start to finish. Feelin’ Fine exposes The Hypo’s hidden strengths for all to see. In just a few seconds over twenty-three minutes, The Hypos serve up a sense of being that shows a rare, true to life look at midwestern punk-rock. The Hypochondriacs are a band that understands the cracked and decaying urban slum-berhoods of the University of Cincinnati; the areas ripe on the weekends with college level crime, alcohol, drug and self abuse. The Hypos carved out their niche and their songs reflect that.
With a sound falling somewhere in-between that of Bikini Kill, The Misfits and Black Flag, The Hypo’s are like a symbolic puddle of puke.... Dirty, filthy, sleazy, but at the same time HONEST. As with all unattended vomit, The Hypos grow stronger as time passes. Recently, at a CD release show for this CD-R, The Hypo’s played a couple new songs including one titled "Shut Up Bitch." If this song is any example of what the future will bring for The Hypochondriacs, watch out! Make no qualms about it, The Hypo’s have raised a big stink around Cincinnati, and if things fall in the places where I expect them to, Feelin’ Fine will stand the test of time and be recognized as one of the best testaments of Cincinnati Punk Rock.
Neoteric FAQ: Are The Hypochondriacs Neoteric Punk/Wave?
Yes, even though the Hypo’s guitarist Tim has his doubts, claiming that through his eyes, The Hypochondriacs are JUST a Rock and Roll punk band, the decision is up to me. Remember, I ultimately have that decision all to myself. With full power veto capabilities over the NWD (Neoteric Wave Directorate), I am fully prepared to pilot and guide the Neoteric Punk/Wave to greatness.
"Yes, The Hypochondriacs are Neoteric," I tell Tim as I sip keg-beer from a plastic cup at a party.
I continue: "If for no other reason than you consider The Hypochondriacs a rock and roll punk band. You see, nowadays the genres of punk rock are watered down and homogenized to the point that Korn are considered ‘punk rock’. With this being so..."
I take a sip of the beer halfway through because when you are having a discussion with someone like the one I was having with Tim, it makes you look more organized and smarter. Believe me, I need all the work I can get.
Tim, a Hypo guitarist, doesn’t think The Hypos are neoteric.
These songs scare me because... Some would say that makes me not a good person to review this release. The Hypo’s just are not a band I listen to and enjoy, I have their fucking phone numbers and I know them personally. I see The Hypo’s. I can smell The Hypo’s. I could even taste the Hypo’s if I wanted too. Bottom-line: I know The Hypo’s, I LOVE The Hypo’s.
If you don’t like Feelin’ Fine, you suck. (SAB)
(No Address)