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Here are 87 of the singles reviews which appeared in SP #12

Aqua Vista - "The Gentleman Racer Limited Edition Mini LP" 8 song 7 inch
This 7 inch album is a reduction of Aqua Vista's great Gentleman Racer CD. It sports big reverb, solid tune choices, and tons of energy delivered with thrashy abandon. This is easily the heaviest 7 inch record I've ever picked up... must weigh a pound! Well, almost.
@ Jon@bmf.org.uk

Bad Cassettes - "Gone (7 inch mix)/Baby Boogla" 7 inch
The a-side is inoffensive but ultimately faceless one-man rock utilizing dem electro-beats. The flip is an "all-electronic" instrumental that sounds more like someone playing around on a newly-purchased sequencer than a proper "piece".
@ www.belowrecords.com (MP3s available)

Bartlebees - "In Arlo Bumfluffs' 'So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish!'" 7 inch
The Bartlebees low-throated indie pop is pleasantly melodic and patently inoffensive. "Flight Fright" is an ambling, midtempo number colored by mournful organ and Patrick Linsbauer's uber-breathy vocals. "Zeno Cosini" is anchored by a stronger melody, but similarly loose-limbed strumming and relaxed execution. Strongest is the jubilant cover of Fairfield Parlour's "In My Box", which boasts a guest appearance by Dean Wareham. The skittering tempo and heartsick melody capture a sort of nervous energy absent from the other compositions.
@ Magic Marker, PO Box 9342, Portland, OR 97207

Beefeaters - "Please Let Me Love You/Don't Be Long" 7 inch
Before they were the Byrds, they were the Beefeaters. Gene Clark, Jim McGuinn, and David Crosby cut this lone single for Elektra in January 1965, backed by the ace studio rhythm section Ray Pohlman, and Earl Palmer. While it disappeared as fast as it was issued, this single is closer to their folk roots with the Chad Mitchell Trio, the Limeliters, and the New Christy Minstrels, and is the missing link between the end of the folk era and the birth of folk rock. Vintage history unfolds before your ears. Pre-jangle and very poppy.
@ Elektra

Birdie - "Sidewalk" 7 inch
I regularly dismissed Birdie for months because their artwork was really bad and made them seem like another Euro-influenced jangle-rock group. Well, now that I've actually bothered to listen to them, they are, in every respect the type of band I feared. But, in the face of this adversity, I quite liked the pleasant, warm melodies provided by lovely, but not haughty, female vocals. Nice little keyboard usage and most importantly, the lyrics weren't flippant and shallow. Score one for Birdie, they're like Ivy, except good.
@ www.birdiepop.com

Bobby Soxx - "Hate in the 80s/Scavenger of Death" 7 inch
Yep, a "fanclub" reissue of some classic TX punk of the "Fucked-up" variety (both tracks originally on a 7 inch issued in 1981 by VVV and most likely last heard on the classic "Bloodstains Over Texas" compilation). "Hate in the 80s" is a dirgey anthem for the then-new decade (once you hear Robert emoting "Learn to hate in the EEEEEEIIIIIIIIGGGGHHHHHHTTTTTIIIIIIEEEEEEESSSSSS" you never forget it), while the flip is, if possible, even more intense (musical accompaniment provided by the rest of Stickmen with Rayguns of course). Comes with a reprinted informative obituary on the late Mr. Soxx as well. Allegedly only 500 floating around so start your search now!
@ Hahahahahaä.

Bomber - "Freight Train 70 Hell / Mexican Highway" 7 inch
The A-side of this single features very cool tribal drums and a low register cowboy vocal about "Freight Train 70 Hell," which goes to only one station. Quite nifty. The B-side is a splendid throbbing vibrato execution of a bad trip on a dirt road. Very cool single.
@ jutila@csc.fi

Boss Martians - "Pandilla en Motocicleta" 4 song 7 inch
This is the most recent Boss Martians single, taken in part from their from their Move! CD. Like their CD, the tracks are very well produced and the performances strong. Infectious surf, go-go, fuzz, and pop wrapped in a Fender blanket. Three grand instros and one rockin' garage pop vocal called "I Want More."
@ media.promotion@t-online.de

Braving the Seabed/Deloris - split 7 inch
Brilliant split from two Australian groups that simply excel in beautiful melancholy rock. Deloris' contribution, "The Point In The War Where We Knew We Were Lost" is immediately devastating, all slow burning guitars and vocals fraught with pain and loss. It had me for three minutes, and I had to listen to it again right away. Proof that beauty is most often found in simplicity. Braving the Seabed doesn't quite match the emotional bleeding of Deloris, but instead use more of Low approach to get their point across. It chugs along with some minor effort, but takes elements of Mogwai's guitars and fronts it with someone who sounds a lot like uber-droner Hayden. It's good, and bordering on the greatness of the other song. I don't say this often or without qualifications, but I'd recommend buying this now.
@ www.traffic-sounds.com

Burd Early - "Rubberbands/The Velvet Curtain" 7 inch
A folky, country-tinged number backed with - guess what - another folky, country-tinged number. There are those who'd consider this to be "haunting", and while I'd say that "Velvet Curtain" is fairly moving, I kept waiting (in vain) for "Rubberbands" to go somewhere.
@ www.redwoodrecords.com

Captain Sensible - "Smash It Up" 4 song 7 inch
From the home collection of the good Captain you get the original demo of fouir 4 parts to "Smash It Up" as well as three other tunes that have more of a psych feel, all of which are in surprisingly good condition sound-wise (possibly excluding a lower-fi noisy demo of "Love Song", which sounds like Captain singing over a tape of the song). Of course "Smash It Up" is more effective with the full force of the Damned behind it, but it's not bad, while the first two on the flip are nifty keen as well. Not 100% essential, but I'm still glad it's around.
@ www.ndnrecords.com

Carl Perkins/Ken Cook - split 7 inch
You can just imagine what Carl Perkins' "Her Love Rubbed Off" is about, can't you? This is not in his "hit" style, more basic backwoods rock and roll. I love it! On the flip, Ken Cook delivers "Problem Child" with the requisite remorse of the blues boogie that it is. A very cool track.
@ www.nortonrecords.com

Chesterfield Kings - "Presenting... Yes I Understand/Sometime At Night" 7 inch
The Chesterfield Kings have been a force in garage for almost two decades now. There are few tracks from all those years that don't rate your attention. Why they never got beyond the garage is a mystery to me. This single sports all the edge and musicianship you've come to expect, with the added bonus of ex-Beau Brummels vocalist Sal Valentino singing on "Sometime At Night." A fine single with hints of the garage punk/pop that the Seeds were so adept at.
@ Sundazed

Chris Colbourn & Hilken Mancini - "Super Heroes of Rock Team Up" 7 inch
Colbourn's contribution is a mopey guitar ballad whose sadness is undeniably sweet. Colbourn's tenor is moody and heartsick, and the song has a sort of shambling country sadness that makes it both winsome and winning. It opens into a heavenly chorus of absolution and regret. Mancini's is similarly folkish, reminiscent of early Bettie Serveert. Her contribution is more accomplished and fresh than Colbourn's, propelled by a melody that moves insistently up the scale, directing the song into a blissful melodic guitar line. Pure heaven.
@ Vital Cog, PO Box 7846, Princeton, NJ 08543

Clap - "Don't Say No" 4 song 7 inch
A (legit!) reissue of this particular unit, featuring "Don't Say No" (from KBD#22) and three other songs taken from their two 7 inches. Not too much info is provided here (they're from 1981 America, but that's about it). The two studio tracks are solid punkers (if not quite up there with the works of the Jerks or Kaaos). The live tracks on the flip aren't of the best SQ, but their savagery and capacity to rock is better captured nevertheless. Not a "drop-everything-and-get-this" record, but I don't see myself purging it from my collection anytime soon.
@ www.dionysusrecords.com

Class Assassins - "No Justice...No Peace" 7 inch
The title track is as good a street punk song as I've heard in awhile, it doesn't ram the music or lyrics down your throat, the chorus work is typically chanted, but not overwhelming the rest of the song. The B-side is a slightly altered lyrically version of "One Tin Soldier", but it gets the point across anyway; that the end result of war is a whole lot of blood and not much else. A good 7 inch in a genre that needs more bands like this, rather than the cliched Oi! stuff that's primarily out there now.
@ Insurgence, 2 Bloor St. W., Suite 100-184, Toronto, ON, M4W 3E2, Canada

Damned - s/t 5 song 7 inch
Gee, the lineup responsible for the horrid "Not of This Earth" travesty do less-than-definitive run-throughs of four originals (including the nth renditions of "Neat Neat Neat" and "Love Song") and a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cover of the "Hawaii 5-0" theme (the latter in sub-bootleg sound). For completists only.
@ www.ndnrecords.com

Deadbeats - "Damned Since Day One/Another Shot" 7 inch
More of that punkish rock (this time imported from Sweden) that this label seems to specialize in. I'd say it's solid enough; they make up in fury what they somewhat lack in sound. Obviously no relation to the identically named vintage Dangerhouse band of "Kill the Hippies" infamy, or any previously thus-monikered bands for that matter.
@ Wax, no address

Deathray Davies - "Without A Trace" 7 inch
The A-side has the feel of the later Pixies musically, with some quirky guitar playing but very straightforward hooks. There are some slightly fuzzed out psyche keyboard fills on the B-side, which has the morbid title of "They Stuck Me In A Box in the Ground, Pt.3", and the tone of the song fits with the name, acoustic guitars, death march dirge drumming, and again the Pixies sound coming through. Decent, but unspectacular.
@ Has Anyone Ever Told You, PO Box 161702, Austin, TX 78716

Dogs - "Class of '70/Rebel Rock (live)" 7 inch
"Class of '70" is a surprisingly good recent "reunion" disc, with the Dogs still playing that KBD punk from years ago (though it helps if you don't pay too much attention to the lyrics). Flip is an archival recording from 30 (!) years before in 1971, and in keeping with Detroit tradition, is in super lo-fi that you REALLY have to crank up; too bad cuz it sounds like there was some good rockin' going on. Worth getting more for the recent material.
@ www.dionysusrecords.com

Dragnet - "Better Off" 6 song 7 inch
Somewhat-intense hardcore with "chugga chugga" bits (I'm sorry I mean "breakdowns") with lyrics making clear their stance against shittalkers, schools, P.C. types, etc. Pissed and generic. (and to whoever does the label's promo material, the vocals don't even come close to being "sick"). They're apparently still young so maybe they'll improve with age. Maybe.
@ Dead Alive, PO Box 97, Caldwell, NJ 07004

Dripping Lips - "Such a Lot of Stars" 4 song 7 inch
Such a lot indeed! The title track is, I suppose, his "sensitive" number that's guaranteed to bore the nearest listener to tears, followed by a decent instrumental entitled "My Heaven". First song on the flip, "Powerful", is a surprisingly good rocker, while the closing "Abracadabra" lowers (hell, plunges) the ante rawking more than rocking (if this is an "edit" I'd REALLY hate to hear the original full-length version). Probably would have made a shorter-but-sweeter release if they just stuck with "Powerful" and "My Heaven".
@ www.ndnrecords.com

Electric Frankenstein - "Sick as a Dog/Sex and Dying in High Society" 7 inch
What more can I say about these guys? "Sick as a Dog" is a solid enough number though it ends up losing the plot near the end. A "so what?" cover of the ol' X chestnut graces the flip.
@ Wax, no address

Enon - s/t 7 inch
Monsters of rock Enon continue their willfull experimentalism with "Marbles Explode", a song that sounds like a Tandy going berzerk. The song is masterfully arrhythmic, electronics exploding around scattershot percussion and hypnotic, monotone vocals. It is fantastically atonal and harsh, intriguing in its fury. "Raisin Heart" is more subdued, female vocals floating ghostlike above simple synthetic rhythms, interrupted periodically by jarring, amelodic electronics. It's not entirely unlike Stereolab. Both songs showcase Enon's breath and mastery of structure-free songwriting.
@ Friction, PO Box 6605, Grand Rapids, MI 49516

Epoxies - "Need More Time" 3 song 7 inch
Wacky new wave influenced punk, which is just what you'd expect from a band that has three of five members wearing those thin space age looking sun glasses on the sleeve. Throaty Debbie Harry crossed with Penelope Houston female vocals combined with plenty of cheesy keyboards driving the music, along with some solid fuzz guitar. Easily fits into the same camp as Devo musically; they do a nifty cover of Adam Ant's "Beat My Guest". I can only imagine that they'd be a complete blast live, as you drift into that 80's time warp.
@ Dirtnap, PO Box 21249, Seattle, WA 98111

Friends of Dean Martinez - "In the Wire" 4 song 2X7 inch
Hopefully by now one wouldn't put these instrumental-loving folks in the "math rock" bin. Soundtracks (or at least soundscapes) suitable for space-age spaghetti westerns, or at least some movie that has a desert or some other desolate place as the background. Two originals (with "Main Theme" being one of their better tunes) and two covers of AM faves ("Wichita Lineman" and "Tennessee Waltz") transmogrified by the powers of FODM into desertified soundscapes. Not bad, though now the name of said "Theme" has me wondering what they could do with a PIL cover from, say, "First Issue" or "Second Edition".
@ www.greyflat.com

Galactic Heroes - "Made In the USA/Made In Japan" 4 song 7 inch
See, this is what happens when you are a duo, and one of the members lives in the US, the other in Japan. You have to record some stuff, then send it to the other country to be finished. The USA side was recorded by Mike, then sent to Ricky in Japan, and the Made in Japan side, well, you get the idea. One of the quirkiest bands around, these guys utilize everything they can get their hands on to make their wonderful indie pop sounds, including traditional instruments, and things like kazoos, wind instruments, bells, whistles, and just about anything you can hit that will make a sound. Four excellent pop songs, full of melody and harmony, none the worse for wear for having been made in pieces thousands of miles apart. These guys have the arrangements of the Beach Boys (who they most remind me of), only on a lo-fi indie scale, and it makes for another perfectly charming record. I can't wait for more!
@ Magic Marker, PO Box 9342, Portland, OR 97207

Gloryholes - "Screamer/This is All There Is" 7 inch
Solid punk rock that would probably go over well if they opened up for someone from the Get Hip or Dionysus stables at the Purple Onion (if said joint was still around that is). Not quite material for a future volume of Killed By Death, but not bad, especially "This is All There Is".
@ Dirtnap, PO Box 21249, Seattle, WA 98111

Greg Lowery Experience - "I'm Gonna Break Your Heart" 6 song 7 inch
Not the actual man but an incredible parody (the extra 'f' at the end of the label name should tip you off). Not a bad concept; similar cover artwork, fuzzed-out production to stimulate that patented 'lo-fi' sound quality, tossed off garage-tuneage; hell they even made this one-sided! Taken on its own musical merits however, I don't see Greggie losing any sleep over this.
@ Rip Offf, no address

Hard Feelings - "Leave Me Alone/Home in Your Heart" 7 inch
The Hard Feelings do their take on two R&B tunes, energetic and irony-free, doing a bang-up job on "Leave Me Alone" and a less successful take on "Home in Your Heart". Worth getting for "Leave Me Alone".
@ www.gearheadmagazine.com

Hates - "Punk Rock Xmas" 7 inch
Just in time for the holiday season(?), two speedy originals about the holiday that drives everyone just a little crazy with shopping, wrapping presents, then exchanging almost everything you got from your parents. "Yuletime Riot" fits that sentiment for sure, where they talk about beating up a snowman! The a-side, "Santa Patrol" rips on the commercialism of xmas. The music is definitely sloppy punk rock, with Cramps like vocals. Pretty funny stuff.
@ www.thehates.com

Healers - "The Last Ride" 7 inch
Featuring a couple of pretty famous people in Johnny Marr of Smiths fame (he wrote the songs and sings lead vocals) and Zac Starkey (Ringo's boy) on drums, this is awash in a sea of synths and swirly guitars that might have sounded OK (and just OK) in the heat of the My Bloody Valentine era of the last 80's, but now just sounds painfully contrived. There are a couple of moments on the b-side ("Need It"), where you hear shades of Marr's past with the Smiths on the guitars, but he doesn't have the voice to carry the song. Whether that's intentional or not I can't say, it does sound a bit like he's holding back vocally, but the songs are too one dimensional to really do much for me anyway.
@ Pacific, no address

Hymans - "A Great Night for a Burglary/Carbona Not Glue" 7 inch
Guess which NY group these Swedes are doing their best to emulate (hint: it ain't the Cro-Mags), complete with a vocalist that could be Joey Jr. and a cover of "Carbona Not Glue". Still they at least add some noise and energy to the hooks (two things too many other wannabes lack) that manage to get you to do the Blitzkrieg Bop around the living room. And while they don't radically alter "Carbona", they at least add their own touch to it. Let's hear more!
@ www.fandangorecs.com

Idiot Humans - "Dressed in Green" 3 song 7 inch
A retrospective release from this '83-'85 punk/hardcore unit who were apparently influenced by the Brit political punks of the time (or at least that's what the label's website says; there ain't that much history provided in the liner notes). A-side has a nice fast-and-heavy hardcore flavor going for it (though the vocals get a bit much on "Not You)", while the flip goes in a slower, heavier vein that hasn't quite dated as well as the others. Hardcore fans might want to check this out for "Dressed in Green".
@ www.smogveil.com

Jellyroll Rockheads - "Kill Trend Thrash Demo 1999" 8 song 7 inch Whoa. This is some great shit. To borrow a phrase, it's fast as fuck! Japanese thrash core that assaults you and stomps on your smiling face. Very nice.
@ Youth Attack, PO Box 126321, San Diego, CA 92112

Jerks - "Get Your Woofing Dog Off Me/Hold My Hand" 7 inch
Probably not-even-close-to-legit reissue of the old KBD fave. "Get Your Woofingä" made it onto KBD#4 (the original series, before the brand name was claim-jumped by bootleggers worldwide) and was well worthy of inclusion on same: vintage attitude-laden PUNK that can still get a rise out of unsuspecting punters almost 25 years on! The flip, while not quite reaching the heights of "Dog", is actually quite listenable in its own right. Of course both tracks are readily available on the "Jerk Off" retrospective legit CD released by Overground but there's nothing like holding a vinyl single in your hands, is there?
@ Underground, no address

Jerry McCain and his Upstarts - "A Cutie Named Judy/It Must Be Love" 7 inch
Well now, this is raw. Major hum, but worth listening to through the murk. "A Cutie Named Judy" is raw and rockin' stuff, like Little Richard on Dramamine. Great lyrics and a raucous sound, featuring tuff harmonica, like a junior league Little Walter. "It Must Be Love" is a slow walking blues with fine harp work - the real thang!
@ www.nortonrecords.com

Jessica Bailiff & Alan Sparhawk - "Crush" 7 inch
Two from ether-voiced Bailiff and Low's Sparhawk keep to the expected. "Crush (Version 2)" is a slow, Slowdiveish ballad, insistent rhythm guitar chugging behing a heavy-lidded Bailiff. Marc Bolan's "Highwire" is given a Pedro the Lion treatment: a simple bass drum keeps time against Sparhawk's spare strum. Both songs are pleasant and dreamy, if not entirely memorable.
@ Ypsilanti, PO Box 970021, Ypsilanti, MI 48197

Jimmy Wages/Tommy Blake - split 7 inch
Jimmy Wages shouts out the blues in a rockabilly rave format on "Take Me From This Garden Of Evil," with drive and backroom edge. Tommy Blake's "You Better Believe It" is a honky tonk stomper in pure fifties form. Part of Norton's Juke Box Series.
@ www.nortonrecords.com

Julia Sets - "Domino" 7 inch
Not a woman but rather a band, Julia Sets recalls the sound of C81, turning CCRs "Have You Ever Seen The Rain" into a heart-stopping Britpop number, elevating the vocal line in the chorus and injecting a wistfulness heretofore absent. The Julia Sets are like the Field Mice with fuller instrumentation. Witness also the jittery "Domino", where a simple 2-note melody is vaulted over ringing guitar and heart-stopping rhythm. Julia Sets are a blissful remembrance of things past, and a hope that they can be that way again.
@ Bert Dax, PO Box 39012, St. Louis, MO 63139

Kalypso Lipstich/Prospekt - split 7 inch
This is only kind of a split, since two of the same guys are in both bands. No matter, because this is interesting stuff, if only because the singer in Prospekt appears to have the voice of 30 layered elves. Don't ask me, I personally find it both scary and funny at the same time. It's Sunny Day's Jeremy Enigk on helium. All this madness over plucked electric guitar and slow, heavy drums. Ahem, the other song is similar but better, with pianos and a generally more menacing sound, minus the elves (thank Christ). Approach, as I am bound to day, with caution.
@ www.prospekttherockband.com (MP3s available)

Laurel Aitken - "Tic Tac/Ana Mara" 7 inch
It's good to see that Laurel's still at it, but here it's almost as if he's being backed by your average hack bar band. Not to say that these folks are the ska equivalent of Blueshammer, but they don't quite seem to have the best of feels for the genre. (If they're attempting a crossover with the native music they don't quite succeed). Or maybe it's just that these songs aren't among the best he's tackled. I can't fault the man's singing or performance but the truth is that I can't give this as many props as I'd wish I could.
@ www.liquidatormusic.com

Lewd - "Roughhouse" 3 song 7 inch
Three songs from J. Sats and his latest batch of associates. "Roughhouse" is a decent number ruined by a wanky ending. "Mobile Home" is a remake of the classic Lewd tune; it's not a bad rendition but it doesn't make one forget the earlier definitive version so why bother? "Dressed in Black" on the other end is a more-than-solid (punk) rocker and makes this worth picking up. Could have been much worse.
@ 702, no address

Lovesick/Aloha - split 7 inch
Colored vinyl is so yummy. The first band's song is a little hard to follow and when it ends, you are surprised and feel cheated. Second band - swirling melodies and instrumental parts reminiscent of Tortoise. But overall, their sound is not really going anywhere. Too much packaging, not enough heart.
@ Makato, PO Box 50403, Kalamazoo, MI 49005

Lunchbox - "Glow Like There's No Tomorrow" 4 song 7 inch
Nice layered poptones with a layered feel, "Satellite" plays with a breezy 60s EZ-pop-with-a-pulse, segueing seamlessly into the more psychy, mostly instrumental "I Could Have Been Someone Else". The fun continues on the flip with the similarly layered pop of "Fernruf" and "Gravity". Hard to believe that one of these guys used to be in the infamous Juke!
@ www.magicmarkerrecords.com

Mack Self/Macy Skipper - split 7 inch
Boy Howdy! Mack Self's "I Vibrate" is an infectious rockabilly rave up with a great beat. Totally cool! Macy Skipper's "Bop Pills" is one amazing Calypso inspired groove with vocals just south of dementia in an early fifties vein. Big grins on this one, delivered by piano and that classic Sun rockabilly sound. A great single in Norton's Juke Box Series.
@ www.nortonrecords.com

Maloney's Touch - "Don't Kill Us" 4 song 7 inch
Another "lost gem" from the golden days of punk that on closer inspection turns out to be zircon. This late 70s NY outfit may have been "punk" in subject matter ("Don't Kill Us") but musically they come off just yet another rock band that got caught in the crossfire when the shooting war between the old and new waves began (or maybe they figured they'd get more babes by joining the other side). The fairly late vintage of this simply makes one wonder if they were a little late in jumping this particular train. Also, while the sound's fairly clear (except on the final track taken from a practice session), the levels are so low you REALLY have to crank it up to be more than audible. Pass.
@ Rave Up, no address

Mensen - "Stand Up For Yourself" 3 song 7 inch
I don't want to drag out the tired Runaways comparisons for this * female Norwegian unit, but this does seem to follow the tradition. Mind you I don't mean that in a bad way; the title track is catchy rock unlikely to make its way onto the next Lilith Fair tour. The two on the flip (including a cover of Dead Moon's "54/40 or Fight") are okay but are more b-side material than anything else, if you know what I mean. Still worth checking out for the title track.
@ www.wrench.org

Mutants - "Funky Fidel Pt 1 and Pt 2" 7 inch
This is a completely amazing seven inch. Helsinki's Mutants have created a throbbing rhythmic adventure in tribal hypnotics. This is loaded with tribal rhythmic thunder, guttural wah wah guitar, whirling organ, and endless jungle ethics. This is a long way from the surf envelope, but so damn cool that it requires a listen. Great drums, and a lost continent approach to the seventies, as if you are the main course at a cannibal disco. A continuation of this great track. Guitar tone in the bridge is as nasty as the lead in Muruga and UFM's "Gum Improvisation." The only real question is, what does this have to do with Fidel Castro?
@ themutants@hotmail.com

Nads - "Saigon Hooker" 3 song 7 inch
Title track is run-of-the-mill punk rawk about guess-which-subject that doesn't exactly have me grabbing for the rubbers and a plane ticket. Flipside is in a similar musical vein and doesn't really increase the interest level. Actually "Sons of the Sonic Solution" is a decent rocker but it's not enough to save this.
@ www.gearheadmagazine.com

Neotropic - "Sunflower Girl" 7 inch
How important is name recognition to fledgling indie acts? Well, Neotropic, for example, was instantly recognized by me as the ensemble that (at times) features former Verve guitar-god Nick McCabe. Well, I recognized the name, but little good that did me. On the A-side Neotropic make multi-layered instrumental rock that Spiritualized wouldn't be ashamed to release. Include a little harmonica and some cello and you have a pretty nice single. And I would've said that without knowing about Nick McCabe and all.
@ www.ntone.com

Oranger - "Bluest Glass Eye Sea" 7 inch
The title track is eerily similar to Quasi, driven by pounding keyboards and fuzzed-out guitar. "Space Colony Boogie" is guitar driven and drugged-out; thick, belching bass stumbles beneath acid-guitar riffing and wailing theremin. It feels studied, though, and woefully false. Likewise the guitar driven opus that occupies the second side, "The Amazing Life Ofä" A plodding, psych anthem, "The Amazing Life" is an endless vamp of piano and 'Benny & The Jets' drums.
@ Amazing Grease, 1501 Plymouth Ave., San Francisco, CA 94112

Organic - s/t 5 song 7 inch
Decent but ultimately non-descript emo-punk. At least they're not trying to be At The Drive In or whatever the hip emo hero is (or maybe they are and it's going over my head) but this reminds me too much of those 7 inches that would eventually find their way into Epicenter's quarter clearance bin. I've heard worst stuff coming from the turntable, but there's nothing here to warrant repeated listenings.
@ Microcosm, 7741 Ohio St., Mentor, OH 44060

Others - "Revenge/I'm In Need" 7 inch
From the ashes of the Omens from which Frank Zappa and Don Van Vliet had departed, the Others bloomed into an R&B band in the transmuted British mold, as so many other California bands did. Rough and honest, these 1966 mono sessions display the band in full regalia, tilting against the wind like there's no tomorrow with garage fuzz and R&B. Jud Cost writes their tale on the rear of the sleeve.
@ www.sundazed.com

Paul E. Ester & the Cruel Shoes - "Eyeliner" 3 song 7 inch
Very, very cool punk rock stuff here, drawn from the same gene pool that gave you the Metros, Pirhanas, Sights, and Murder City Wrecks. This brings up memories of such folks as the Lewd during their prime and that's a high compliment indeed. Not to mention that their tunes are good enough that a (still quite listenable) cover of "Train Kept Rollin'" sounds almost extraneous in comparison. Highly Recommended!
@ www.undergroundmedicine.com

Pinkz - "Something About You/Be Mine" 7 inch
Step aside Donnas. Here come your wiser older sisters. Catchy songs. Cute design. And pepto-pink vinyl! Their sound is much like the aforementioned combined with the pop quality of the Go-Go's.
@ PO Box 31197, Los Angeles, CA 90031

Plugz - "Move" 3 song 7 inch
A "Fanclub" reissue (similar to the recent Bobby Soxx reissue) of this early 7 inch from this seminal LA punk band, originally on the Slash label. "Move" rightfully gained a wider audience on "Bloodstains Over California", backed by two tunes that make for pretty good listening in their own right, including the great "Mindless Contentment" which has also appeared on KBD. If you only stumbled across their later work or their later incarnation as the Cruzados (urk) and wondered what the fuss was all about, you really have to check this out!
@ Slashandburn, no address

Primitives - "The Ostrich/Sneaky Pete" 7 inch
One of Lou's pre-VU "projects" back when he was helping Pickwick crank out product. Ostrich" is one of those "dance" numbers that end up being a real stomper, and while it's unlikely to unleash a dance craze of its own "Sneaky Pete" isn't quite what I'd call "lacking" either. Not to mention that someone didn't exactly skimp on the packaging (Good quality sleeve and pix) either. A worthy addition to your collection. Now if only someone would dig up "Cycle Annie" for public consumptionä.
@ Dickwick (uh-huh), no address

Psychotic Reaction - "Red Alert" 4 song 7 inch
They've got a good theme going. Anti-Russian lyrics, military drumbeats, and tank drawings. The music is pretty straight-up punk rock with sing-along lyrics and lots of group "woohs" in the background. Let the pit begin.
@ www.psychoticreaction.com

Red Ghetto Sun - "Rocket to Samarkand"/"Murder" 7 inch
A-side provides post-post-hardcore rock (I'm sure you can provide the appropriate band names by now), with bursts of melodic backup vocals that wanders into "not shit not stellar" limbo and doesn't manage to find its way out by the end of the song, but at least it's better than the flip. On heavy red vinyl if you care.
@ www.redghettosun.cjb.net

Rock and Roll Adventure Kids - s/t 4 song 7 inch
Trashy fuck-it bashing done live before an appreciative audience (with lo-fi sound quality, natch). Kinda fun but ultimately disposable, especially since they have the same program repeated on both sides! (you could bring up certain Ripoff bands' one-sided singles, but these lads aren't anywhere near those folks). Seems more of a memento for those Who Were There, or at least will mean more to those who were.
@ rocknrolladventurekids@hotmail.com

Royal Fingers - "Speed Crazy" 3 song 7 inch
This single displays more of the the thin lo-fi mono sound as found on their CD. Too bad, 'cuz "Voo Doo King" rocks! I mean, this is so distorted and crappy sounding that only a die hard lo-fi fan could get into it. the band is probably great live, and would truly benefit from a decent recording.
@ www.pacificrim.net/~estrus/

Sick Things - s/t 4 song 7 inch
Now THIS is what I call punk: primal sounds from '77 with appropriately (and stellarly) snotty female vocals. "Bondage Boy" is a stone-cold classic and the other three tunes ain't nothing to sneeze at either! The better of today's punk bands probably sleep with a copy of this under their pillows, and if they don't they should.
@ www.damagedgoods.co.uk

Sleepers - s/t 5 song 7 inch
Compare and contrast: there actually seems to be less surface noise apparent here than on these tracks' inclusion on their retrospective CD "The Less an Object", but the sound's better on the CD (not to mention that the first few seconds of "7th World" are cut off on this). The late Ricky Williams and co. traded in more, uh, narcotic-influenced darker sounds that was even at the time (and even more so later on) closer musically to what was later referred to as "post-punk". Huggable tuneage to be sure (except for possibly the dragging last track) but you're better off hunting down the aforementioned CD (currently out-of-print, but not too hard to find) than spending bootleg bucks on this.
@ Win, no address

Something Wild - "Trippin' Out/She's Kinda Weird" 7 inch
Like many Chicago garage bands of the day, Something Wild began life as an R&B band in the shadow of the Rolling Stones, but by the end of '66, they had relocated to Santa Maria and were experimenting with the evolving psychedelic sound. This repro of their single still carries the danger with which it was viewed by establishment types, especially the A-side. Primitive and vibrant, this single still delivers the goods. hangin' out in The Haight before it was chic, singin' 'bout drugs and women, and snarling with intensity. The A-side is garage psych with heavily echoed vocals and dark damped chords, while the B-side is more like the Grateful Dead less their melodic sense. Liner notes are written by lead guitarist Bill Evans.
@ www.sundazed.com

Spiders - s/t 7 inch
It's 1965 in Arizona, and these guys are known as the Earwigs. Soon they became the Spiders. Eventually, leader Vince Furnier would take on the persona that he's world renowned for, Alice Cooper. Glen Buxton, Dennis Dunaway, John Speer, John Tatum, and Michael Bruce complete the lineup. All four tracks here were recorded in mono in 1966, two issued as single sides, and two hitting the pavement for the first time ever. and are about as rare as they come. Steeped in the sauces of the Stones and that classic American snarl of the day, the Spiders rocked and bomped R&B and garage fuzz without mercy. Jud Cost and John Dixon provide the liner notes.
@ www.sundazed.com

Star Death - "Feministica/Song to Save You" 7 inch
Um...this is scary. The music is good, but the lyrics sound like an unintentional salute to Satan! Seriously girls, you need to tone down the nasal screaming and concentrate more on the music, which, by the way, is comparable to Drive Like Jehu.
@ Bert Dax, PO Box 456, St. Louis, MO 63139

Statics - "Original 1980 Punk Rock Recordings" 3 song 7 inch
Not the now-defunct garage combo from Seattle but vintage recordings from a Toronto outfit circa 1980. Sounds like one of those punk bands from back in the day that still had a strong rock base, though they manage to have more of a grip on the "punk" part of the equation than most of said bands. It's not a bad slab at all, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't prefer their more modern-day namesakes.
@ www.uglypop.com

Stay Gold - s/t 4 song 7 inch
Dude! These guys are so tough. It sounds to me like jock-core, but I guess they're trying to be serious. It's just that their name is so cheesy! I'm sure this'd go over well with young teenage boys, but not me.
@ Anchor, PO Box 154, 3495 Cambie St., Vancouver, BC V52 4R3

Stress - "Cure the Disease, Kill the Patient" 4 song 7 inch
Irish hardcore Oi! skin stuff here that really doesn't rock my boat too much, but that's because it's really not my cup of tea. Still, you've got all the requisite gruff, unintelligible vocals, pulsating fist pumping speed, sloppy playing, working class lyrics, and visions of mohawked kids spinning wildly into each other. Seems fine for the genre.
@ SLTA, 11 Sarto Rd, Sutton, Dublin 13, Ireland

Strikeouts/Vapids - split 7 inch
The Strikeouts hit a home run on their three songs here; fast sloppy melodies, fuzzed out guitars, and high pitched yet solidly screamed out vocals. Almost sounding like a Chimpunk at times; the vocals by Beau Basement add the necessary punk quotient that the lo-fi production sometimes kills. The Vapids continue in much the same vein, a little better production makes the songs stand out a little more. They are a little more along the lines of a Screeching Weasel band, with simple song structures and solid melodic pop punk. A fine release that shows off a couple of good pop punk bands.
@ Drunk, no address

Strokes - "Last Nite" 7 inch
The Strokes might be easier to accept were they not saddled with the weight of ridiculous expectations. They are outstripped by their hype, and unable to live up to it. On its own, "Last Nite" is a fine pop song, driven by a swingish jump-beat and loose guitar strums. The melody is laconic and thorougly average, but as a piece of guitar pop, "Last Nite" succeeds. "When It Started" is less of an accomplishment, a jangling piece of dub mimicry boasting a nimble bass line but little else. The Strokes are a fine, able pop band. Saviours of rock & roll they are not.
@ www.roughtraderecords.com

Suicide Commandos - "Match/Mismatch/Mark He's a Terror" 7 inch
Most likely not the original pressing but an incredible recreation, like the recent "reappearance" of 7 inches from the Jerks, the Sleepers, etc. What you get are two more mid-tempo tunes from '77 that are okay, but don't really blaze either sonically or songwise ("Match/Mismatch" picks up during the second half of its 5 minutes 30 seconds, but not enough to push it onto the A-list). You're probably better off hunting down the CD reissue of their "Make a Record", which has better tunes.
@ P.S., no address

Supagroup - "When in Rome/Balls Deep" 7 inch
More punkified hard rock than pure punk for now people. A-side's Okay For What It Is, while the flipside slips into below average punkish hard rock just a few steps up from a more energetic bar band. Based on this I think I'll pass on the upcoming album, thank you.
@ Wax, no address

Texas Motherfuckers - "Wrecking Ball/Hitch Bitch" 7 inch
More hi-octane energetic raucous short-but-sweet punk-fucking-rock from the land known as Sweden. I don't know much about these folks but I do know they can do the hi-octane thang pretty darn well. The only real complaint I could make is that the record ends all too quickly. Further proof (as if any more were needed) that Sweden has become a town of cool punk tuneage.
@ Mansfield, f_pogo69@hotmail.com

Travis - "Side/All the Young Dudes (Live)" 7 inch
More of the latest British so-called invasion (along with the likes of Embrace, etc.), post-Brit pop/"trad British Rock" (that's what allmusic.com calls them) backed with a clueless, occasionally-painful live take on Bowie's contribution to Mott the Hoople, "All The Young Dudes". If this is all they have to listen to in the U.K. nowadays no wonder they think the White Stripes are the Second Coming. Scott if you want my copy of this it's yours for the asking!
@ www.independiente.co.uk

Tyrades - "Detonation" 4 song 7 inch
Very cool high-energy noisy lo-fi vintage-sounding PUNK with very cool female vox; with a little effort you can pass this off as a long-lost gem from Back in the Day. Includes an appropriately housewrecking cover of the Dicks' "Lifetime Problems" as well. Fine stuff indeed, so pick this puppy up today!
@ www.bigneckrecords.com (MP3 available)

Vampires - "Vampmexico" 3 song 7 inch
The Vampires' new single has the charm and draw of their CD. The songs within are primitive, primal, and powerful. These three rhythmic and relentless instros have an intensity that gives away their German homeland. Based in surf, the songs employ totally non-surf structures that stretch out to 4 and five minutes, and make for riveting listening.
@ media.promotion@t-online.de

Wildebeasts - "1996" 3 song 7 inch
A buncha Brits who spent time in various other garage outfits (Milkshakes, Delmonas, Kaisers, etc.) do their take on the beat sounds of their country's heritage. Title track is rumination on said year, backed by a cover of "Let It Rock" and an instrumental. Solid, if nothing to set my feet on fire.
@ www.smartguyrecords.com

Yellow Dancer - "Let's Move to Boston/Preview Anesthesia" 7 inch
A bay area band's debut. A new emo child is born. The music is slow and brooding; the guitars are clean but sad. The singer croons but in a post-punk kind of way. There's a distinctly somber mood of being left behind in the aftermath of what used to be a good music scene. A good start.
@ www.yellowDancer.com

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