March 26, 2013

New Punk Dissected



By Greg McDeath

“Life On the Line” b/w “Pleasure and Pain” 45
(Scare America Records)
Great first effort from a Danny Dorman (Wasted Youth, Circle One) side project. Danny plays guitar here instead of bass and acquits himself well. Nice hardcore punk hooks and biting guitar on the A side wrapped around the raspy screaming vocals from Mary Powers, whom you might remember from her audition on American Idol. An almost perfect blend of 45 Grave and Legal Weapon. The B side is slow, haunting and ethereal like some of the better Kommunity FK songs. Hardcore Goth done damn well. Get it now or pay a lot for it later when it gets on the 45 wall at Amoeba.
death on the radio 45

Mad Cruel Woman LP
(Scare America Records)
This is an all-star project of sorts. One guess who the band is named after. This band features Michael Livingston from the Mau Maus along with Danny Dorman (see above) and Mark Aber-Rooney from Aggression so you know the band has talent. I’ve heard quite a bit from this band over the last few years from demo tapes and a 7”, but this release is their best yet. Punk Rock’n’Roll sort of like the Joneses or Prima Donna, but tinged with surf and rockabilly hooks. Instrumental passages add to a pretty solid album of punk rock-meets-biker bar-meets hillbillies. You can even hear a little Cave Allan and the Arrows and Travis Wammack influence. Side two stands out, perhaps because it starts out with an instrumental track that rips and the singer does not have the strongest voice. Recorded by Phil Raves of Mystic Records fame and sports a well done cover by Dave Leamon. Good solid effort overall and worth a listen.

Halloween Record LP repress
(In The Red Records)
I kept running into the guitar player for this band and had to keep pleading ignorance regarding his band. So I whine at Larry from the label until I break down his mental barriers and he sends me a copy. I got this sucker just in time to make my Halloween a pleasurable one. A little aural sex. This thing gets played past Halloween… Hell, everyday is Halloween with this fuzz-monster growling and clawing through my speakers. Guitar drenched howling frenzy and cacophony surrounding Halloween novelty record imagery and sound bytes. Finally! Someone has read my Cramps and Link Wray tortured mind and combined everything I love about music and horror movies, and trash in general, and produced an album worthy enough to be placed with me in my tomb top 100 when I die. Buy this or stay stupid…

Barbarella ’83 LP
(Punkaway Records)
Once upon a time, punk was a dangerous thing. It was even more dangerous for girls than boys and some countries were worse to be a punk in than others. Spain in the early ’80s was a very conservative country stuck in the past with strict intolerance for many things including women’s rights. Vulpess was an all-girl band from Spain that started in 1982 and only released one 7” single that sells for big bucks now amongst collectors. To promote their 7” release, they played on national TV and as a result got beaten up later that night by men at a club. They disbanded shortly after this and only recently recorded some new material as their legion of fans have grown and rebel women are finally being recognized worldwide. This LP, limited to 800 copies, captures the band at the height of their short career at a live show in 1983. The sound quality is amazing! Everything is clear and right in your face. This 12-song LP adds immensely to the band’s history. All songs are originals except for their cover of the UK SUBS’ “Warhead” and their own take on The Stooges’’ “I Wanna Be Your Dog”, which is their most famous song. They retitled it “Me Gusta Ser Una Zorra” which basically translates to “I Wanna Be Your Whore.” which is what sort of got them in trouble with the masses that saw them play this on TV (See video on Youtube). The band plays a mixed style of ’77 punk and emerging hardcore that fits with their times and sounds timeless today.

Ramones LP
(Metropolis Records)
I’m a sucker for the classic sounds of Operation Ivy, but I’m sick and tired of every clown with a crappy live tape trying to put it on vinyl to cash in. This is total crap. Bootleg recording from some guy recording from the toilet. On colored vinyl and supposedly limited, but who cares… I’m selling mine.

Burn the World LP
(Media Blitz)
Nice self-released piece of brutal sounding hardcore. Good production takes this a notch above the usual mediocre hardcore releases and what we are left with is a record with burning intensity. Very few hardcore releases can manage the musicianship of the elder bands like Verbal Abuse, Faith or Void, but these guys come very close. Swirling, drudging guitars, incessant beat, and vocals that sound like they actually mean it make for one of the most memorable hardcore albums I’ve heard in years. The vocalist really sounds pissed and has a great snarl-tinged voice that fits well with what he is doing. I’m surprised that this was self-produced by the band and not put out by some big label. The quality in the recording and packaging is excellent. LP version comes with
a download card and lyrics sheet.

s/t LP (Dr. Strange Records)
First Dr. Strange release in a while, but a mighty one it is! A complete reissue of the 1982, 12” EP with the addition of rehearsal, live, and demo tracks. One of live tracks goes back to 1980, the year the band first formed. Everything here is from 1980 to 1982. The A side is the entire Posh Boy EP from 1982 and the studio production is superb. It’s hot and rocks from beginning to end. The B-side is reserved for everything else and is a little tough to listen to with the low-fi production of the rehearsal, live, and demo tracks. Basically obscurities to round out an LP’s worth of material. Essential to the collector, but stick to the A-side at parties. I would tell you not to buy this since Posh Boy is getting half the profit from its sale, but maybe you could steal it and mail Dr. Strange some cash in the way of thanks. Just a thought.
Symbol Six

(Sydney Town Records) & Warrior Kids
Les Enfants de l’Espoir LP (Katorga Works)
Ah…French Oi punk from the early 1980s. I truly believe that the one thing that the French know how to do is Oi. I don’t know how they do it, but the actually know how to rock when it comes to this genre of streetpunk. Maybe growing up eating baguettes and snails does something to them. These two LPs are chock full O’ fun sing-a-long songs (if you know French) like being at a European soccer match. Crystal clear production and guitarists with talent. I’m never sure who to compare these bands to, but take the riffing of GBH and the feeling of The Last Resort and you are pretty close. I’m not a big fan of Oi, but when it comes to this French stuff, I’m a convert. Both LPs are recent reissues of the very expensive originals. Both LPs are pure quality in recording and packaging and the vinyl is thick, which is good if you have to order from overseas. If you like Oi streetpunk at all, you should get these.


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