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Here are all the singles reviews from SP #16

Against Me - "The Disco Before the Breakdown" 3 song 7 inch/CD
I've heard a few Florida punk bands and they tend to have this same sound. It must be the sunshine and the alligators. Vocals that squeal and grind loudly over a jumpy guitar line and languid drums. In this case the horns are a pleasing addition, which is not how I tyically feel. Not bad. Not exceptional. But not bad at all. I think I'll listen to it again! Sharon
@ www.noidearecords.com

Bassholes - "Out in the Treetops" 7 song 2X7 inch
More lo-fi swamp-blues-garage from this two-man crew. It's sad that so many other outfits have praise lavished on them while (not all of them worthy of said attention) while these folks continue to operate in relative obscurity, but you know that all say about pioneers and scalps. Worth checking out. David
@ www.deadcanaryrecords.com

Blowtops - "Surgeon's Hands" 3 song 7 inch
Buffalo's cranky, trash-punk cretins check in with "Surgeon's Hands" that adds nothing to their oeuvre (which sits somewhere between the Oblivians and the Horrors) and the silly swamp trash of "New Orleans Death Waltz." Only reason to own this is the cover of the Big Black classic, "Deep Six." The bass is a little clean, but the heart and soul of one of the greatest rock songs ever written is still intact. Model yourselves after that record, fellas, and ya can't go wrong. Anthony
@ www.reptilianrecords.com

Carl The Barber/Sun City Girls - split 7 inch
Sun City Girls strike with another patented teetering-on-the-edge-of-chaos sound collage, called "Carl the Barber", while the Carl the Barber side is a "field recording" of, what else, Carl the Barber doing his thing. A must for SCG completists or fans of Carl. Anthony
@ www.idontfeelathing.com

Chordvetts - s/t 5 song 7 inch
Japanese all-female garage outfit tackling five covers on white marble vinyl. This record almost seems tailor-made for comparisions to the Headcoatees, due to their lo-fi garagey sound, not dissimilar vox, and a cover of "My Boyfriend's Learning Karate" (also done by the Headcoatees). I admit the "cuteness" factor does come into play, but overall this is a fun energetic little platter that can stand up on its own; I daresay this will gather more airplay at my household than any of the current releases from the Medway family clan. David
@ www.idontfeelathing.com

Clarendon Hills/Skyflakes - split 7 inch
Two local indie-pop/rock outfits share a single 7 inch waxing, apparently coming out of a slumber party attended by said bands who noticed some recording equipment lying around. Clarendon Hills give up one original and a Brent's TV cover that'll please folks still mourning the loss of the latter (as well they should), while Skyflakes give up a couple of heavenly fem-voxed indiepop tunes and one nice instrumental. C.H. ain't bad, but the Skyflakes definitely make this record worth clutching to your bosom (assume your turntable's too tweaked to actually play it). David
@ F.U., 909 Fire Walk, Milpitas, CA 95035

Dead Moon - "Sabotage" 7 inch
Add this Australian import, recorded live to acetate, to your mountainous collection of Dead Moon artifacts. A-side is standard Dead Moon fare, but the b-side, "These Times With You", is more melodic than usual, almost bleeding into Freakwater territory, although that might be stretching it. I've never been obsessed with this band, like some of my friends, but you've got to respect staying power like this. Anthony
@ www.dropkick.com.au

Deerhoof - "My Pal Foot Foot" 4 song 7 inch
Deerhoof cough up four (or is it three?) tunes, including the titular Shaggs cover that'll have fiddling with the speed control because you can't decide whether it's supposed to be played at 33 or 45. Closer to their more formless, dissonance-for-dissonance's sake early days than the heights they currently inhabit. These folks are among my favorite bands, but these seem almost more like tossoffs than anything else. Scrap up the bucks and get the "Apple O" CD (or LP from Menlo Park) instead. David
@ NFJM, 3313 Dundee Ct., Mobile, Ave. 36695

Demonics - "Dunebuggy Gang" 3 song 7 inch
Cool cover shot of a vintage VW buggy flying through the sand. That's the only cool thing about this slab. The straight-ahead rock of "California Nightmare" and the title song are a disappointment. As is the pedestrian surf instrumental, "Mavericks", which is inspired by the monster waves in NoCal, but, ironically, never leaves the kiddie pool. Lame. Anthony
@ www.gearheadrecords.com

Easys - "I Want You Back/Baby Don't You Do It" 7 inch
An authentic-sounding neo-'60s garage beat record. The A-side is a driving original, a punchy rocker with snooty vocals, whereas the flip is yet another cover of Marvin Gaye's "Baby Don't You Do It," which became a Mod classic in the mid-'60's thanks to the Small Faces. This single is definitely a keeper, mainly because the former track is wickedly good. Russell Quan alert #1! Jeff
@ www.justaddwaterrecords.com

Ends - "Teenage Detox" three song 7 inch
Old-style Tex-ass punk rock, and a pretty decent offering it is. The title track is a catchy little ditty with some fine twin guitar action. "Shoulda Stayed Home" is a bit more aggressive and belligerent, and also has nice background vocals in the chorus, whilst the Eater cover "Room For One" is even more driving. All three are melodic, mid-tempo punkers, but their edge is blunted somewhat by a muddy production. Jeff
@ Super Secret, PO Box 1585, Austin, TX 78767

Everyday Sinners/Forty-Fives - split 7 inch
Although these here Sinners offer a dirty, punky, uptempo song that's got some punch and guitar oomph, it's not particularly memorable. Meanwhile, the Forty-Fives crank out a trashy r'n'r song which isn't quite original or powerful enough to grab me. And that's basically the problem with this whole record - other than coming from Montana, it just doesn't stand out in any way. Jeff
@ Corn Daddy, 624 S. Huggins, Missoula, MT 59801

Fantasy Four - "Wig Wam Bam/Love Me Til the Sun Shines" 7 inch
Both songs are covers, Sweet and the Kinks. The Kinks one reminds me of Chrissie Hynde, whose first single was "Stop Your Sobbing", also a Kinks cover. I'm way partial to the rockin' garagepop version of "Wig Wam Bam", always one of my fave Sweet tunes. An excellent adaptation, with girl vocals. Mel
@ Bert Dax, PO Box 39012, St. Louis, MO 63139

Flakes - "First I Look at the Purse/I'm Movin' On" 7 inch
SF's Flakes return with a new single, and this one is on Italy's terrific Hate label. Side A is a pretty primitive garage version of the Contours song made "famous" by the J. Geils Band in the '70's, but I prefer their totally rockin' rendition of "I'm Movin' On," with its kick-ass guitar bridge and super snotty vocals. Smokin'! Russell Quan alert #2! Jeff
@ Hate, Via San Giovanni in Laterano 194, 00184 Rome, Italy

Flash Express - "Ride The Flash Express" 7 inch
This label is right across the street from where I live, on Melrose Ave. in West Hollywood. Don't know if the band is from L.A. Their slightly askew blues rawk, like a clean-shaven JSBX, comes through loud and clear on "Ride The Flash Express", but the credits only list vocals, bass and drums, and clearly there's a guitar on this song. What gives? "Feel The Blues" is what the title implies, more blues less rawk. Better than a lot of what passes for indie music in this godforsaken city. Anthony
@ www.headlinerecords.com

Grain USA - "Catchy Like A Cold" 7 inch
Considering the fact that I've got the worst summer cold I've had in years, this thing is sitting pretty well with me right now. Solid melodic pop, with vocals that speed along at early Michael Stipe pace on the title track (the other song is an instrumental that if it had lyrics, they'd be sung by Robert Smith of the Cure), cool jangly guitars, and the whole thing is as addictive as the syrupy cold medicine I'm taking right now. Oh yeah, both songs appear on both the A and B sides. Strange. Steve
@ www.disposablepoprevolution.com

Grandscope - "Tricolore/I'll Find You" 7 inch
Post-Tortoise instrumentals who have a warm somewhat dancey feel to them. "I'll Find You" gets dull fairly quickly, but "Tricolore" is a pretty good (if slightly overlong) number that's better than a few soundscapes I've heard in this vein. David
@ www.bearos.co.uk

Guyana Punch Line - s/t 4 song 7 inch
Solid hardcore from South Carolina, complete with gruff vocals and lyrics that aren't exactly tailormade for MTV aiplay. Not the most earth-shattering release in this genre, but intense enough to satisfy those for said fix. David
@ www.guyanapunchline.com

Hiroshi Hasegawa's Poontang Wranglers - s/t 4 song 7 inch
One side features (intentionally?) unfunny skits (incorporating some banjo-playing buffoorn) that seems like a takeoff on those old-school radio skits, or maybe they're supposed to be a comedy troupe like the folks who shared that record on YMO, except this time they're in English. Maybe Neil Hamburger is a bigger influence than I realized. The other side features an actual song, old-style banjo-swing "novelty" which won't exactly incite unsuspecting listeners into going "Yee-HAAAAAAAAA!!!" Winner of this month's coveted "Waste-of-Vinyl" award. David
@ www.idontfeelathing.com

Hypnomen - "Altamont Boogaloo/Shake" 7 inch
Instrumental outfit the Hypnomen are back, utilizing fuzz-guitar and Hammond organ/electric piano to create the soundtracks for 60s films that only exist in our heads/dreams. Not up with their stronger material, but fairly solid. David
@ www.gearheadrecords.com

Jackie - "Goes Electric" 7 inch
Pretty decent lo-fi guitar punk, with the singer's voice reminding me a bit of John Lydon in the early P.I.L. days. The A-side, "Goes Electric" has is fast paced powerpop with a Jonathan Richman "Roadrunner" crossed with the Cure feel, while the B-side is more swirly and minimal in tempo and tone, with some definite overtones of shoegazer post punk. Steve
@ Glare, PO Box 82728, Portland, OR 97282

John Wiese/Joe Collery - split 7 inch
Both cuts are what you'd find in the "Unusual and Experimental" section of your local record emporium, though these are what you'd probably find in the clearance section. Colley do the "cut and assemble" bit (without the aid of a computer he makes sure to tell us) that had me checking to make sure this wasn't one of those "locked groove" records. John Wiese's side sounds similarly assembled; though he comes through with more shining moments, there aren't enough of them on display here to make this an essential purchase. David
@ http://home.earthlink.net/~johnwiese

Let It Burn - "Hello Good Friend" 3 song 7 inch
Are Bowie covers the latest punk trend; this is the second version of "Hang On to Yourself" I've heard this month, though LIB takes the crown with their show-stopping rendition. Though it's the last track on here it's pretty representative of the record as a whole; fast-paced intense punk rock that's a cut above. On pink vinyl. David
@ Coalition, Newtonstraat 212, 2562 KW, Den Haag, The Netherlands

Little Killers - "Better Be Right/Messin' Around" 7 inch
This band can fairly be described as rockin', but then it's on Crypt so that goes without saying. Heavy, pounding garage punk, recorded live on the radio, which smacks you upside the head whether you're in a bar or in the privacy of your own home. I myself prefer "Messin' Around," which has that obnoxious Dee-troit rock feel. My advice is to have a couple of shots and get in on the brawl. Jeff
@ www.cryptrecords.com

Lotta Collins - "Runaway to Mexico/Pouvatel" 7 inch
Yep, it's a two-song one-sided seven-inch on white vinyl; maybe they're emulating the Rip Off singles of yore. The music's definitely not dissimilar: energetic lo-fi garagey punk, a bit more of a 50s influence detectable (not unknown among these Japanese outfits). While it's not quite up there with the works of Jon Von and co. it's still a pretty good garage-punk release. David
@ www.idontfeelathing.com

Ludella Black with the Masonics - "The Skull of a Man" 3 song 7 inch
Headcoatees refuge finds herself backed by the similarly Medwayian Masonics, for three-Hampshire-penned slices of mid-tempo garage-beat recorded at the famed Toe Rag Studios. Very nice indeed; considering what beautiful music they make together maybe they should consider joining forces on a more full-time basis instead of going their separate ways. David
@ www.smartguyrecords.com

Maggots - "Let's Go in '69/50 Gallon Bladder" 7 inch
Yet another excellent neo-'60s garage offering, at least on one side. This group is from Sweden, and "Let's Go" is a blistering punker with sneering vocals, a classic '60s riff, and a nasty guitar lead. Is it my imagination, or are these new retro bands getting better all the time? Alas, the flip is an uptempo rockabilly-type number with electric instruments, and is not nearly as impressive. Worth it for the A-side alone. Jeff
@ www.gearheadrecords.com

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Mighty Stars - "Brian Wilson/Run! Run! Run!" 7 inch
The soaring guitars and crashing drums hook you from the get-go on this '60s powerpop tribute to Beach Boy Brian Wilson. The flip of this double A-sider is more typical of the band's sound, melodic '60s garage-pop. Catchy, rockin', addictive and quite an essential single from this Bristol, UK outfit. Mel
@ http://mightystars.50megs.com/news.htm (MP3s available)

NeverEvers - "Baby Baby" 3 song 7 inch
A Swiss neo-'60s garage/psychobilly outfit, matching suits and all. "Baby Baby" is a real fine number with a bouncy beat, a cool chord progression, a good lead break, and "swampy" vocals. "Desire" is also appealing, and sounds a wee bit like Gun Club in their less innovative moments. The other two tracks are less memorable, though both have a structure not unlike that of "Baby Baby." Jeff
@ www.sheeprecords.com

Nitz - "Kill You To Death" 8 song 7 inch
Hyper-speed, quasi-thrash poop that does nothing for me. I can't believe bands are still doing this after nearly twenty years and most still can't get it right. Slow it down a wee bit and learn to use a mixing board before wasting everyone's time and money. Their line about this being "shat onto tape" is dead on. Anthony
@ www.reptilianrecords.com

Orphans - "Chinatown/Moscow Massage" 7 inch
Mid-tempoed punk with female vocals, drawing on California's musical heritage (i.e. the SF/LA punk bands from Back In The Day). "Chinatown" is okay, but it's the boppable flip that delivers the goods this time around. David
@ www.kapowrecords.com

Red Reaction - "I Think We're Fucked" 5 song 7 inch
Harsh, progressive hardcore by a Holyoke, MA band that breaks up the monotony of the one-dimensional vocal/one-tempo snare-bashing school. The title song bears a resemblance to some of the better political HC of the 90s. The singer can, occasionally, find a note, but in the end they need a broader dynamic range to really bring out the nuances. Anthony
@ www.coalition-records.com

Returners - "The Wag/Motorheartbeat" 7 inch
Two fine slices of primo punk rock that'll have you doing the jig of your choice around the living room or wherever it is you keep you stereo. Don't know too much about this outfit I'm afraid (their blurb on the label's website is in a tongue other than my own), just that this release is worth hunting down. David
@ www.swindlebra.de

Shell - "Gimme Shell" 4 song 7 inch
Shell is Marianne Nowottny and Donna Bailey and their vocals and keyboards. They play abstract anti-pop that moves along rather nicely, sans rhythm section, on the flowing "Maypole" and on the moderately bouncy "Muzzle." "World's Forgotten Son" tastes like a drunken Kate Bush and Tori Amos playing a circus dirge on a rusty harpsichord. Mastered by deconstructor/guitar-terrorist, and former Mofungo member, Elliot Sharp, whom I interviewed on my radio show back in 1990. You go, girls. Anthony
@ www.abatonbookcompany.com

Thumbs Up - "Building An Army" 6 song 7 inch
Overtly political, hammer and wail unit that tries to squeeze emotion from its ideology, with mixed results. Their problem is two-fold: Adam Taylor's voice and his attempts at phrasing. His lyrics are nothing special either. Complete amateurs. Anthony
@ www.rodentpopsicle.com

Tiger Shovel Noose - "Cappuccino Twist" 7 inch
Lo-fi Japanese pop with female vocals (I'm pretty sure) and a groovy, bouncy 60's garage vibe. The best US equivalent would be Junior Varsity, the songs have sock hop sloppy feel and are hard not to enjoy and twist around your stereo to, even if you can't understand a word they're saying. Steve
@ www.idontfeelathing.com

To Hell And Back - "Messed Up" 7 inch
Passable heavy punk polemic from Albany on a Dutch label. "Messed Up" and "American Taliban" have a rough edge but stay with a standard delivery. The cover is sharp and there's a poignant message etched in the trail-off vinyl: "Behind every Bush is a terrorist." Anthony

U.S. Bombs - "Art Kills" 7 inch
Two more BORING punk anthems by a band that has their heart in the right place but can't get their musical heads out of their collective asses. The Anti-Nowhere League were hated for a reason. Think about it. Anthony
@ www.tkorecords.com

Walnut Dash - "I'm In Love" 7 inch
Two more great blasts of Jam/Buzzcocks influenced mod punk from this British trio. Both songs are short guitar rockers full of reverb with fun harmonies and great energy, with the title track having all the requirements for being a radio hit: melody, emotion, and fast paced energetic guitars. With both songs clocking in at under two minutes, the only thing wrong with this is that it leaves you wanting a lot more. Steve
@ www.vinyljapan.com

What the Kids Want - "Inside Jokes Explained" 5 song 7 inch
Anyone remember the Grumpies? This trio from Bloomington, IN has taken up the mantle, playing incredibly sloppy yet melodic punk with high pitched off key vocals and absolutely no pretensions to be trying to do anything more than have fun playing music they like. Catchy unabashed fun. Steve
@ Talking Dog, PO Box 954 Bloomington, IN 47401

V/A - "Urine Stains Across Virginia" 7 song 7 inch
Methinks this is supposed to be a take-off on those old "Bloodstains over (insert state/country here)" compilations, focusing on the more-current breed of Virginian garage punk outfits. A couple of these are garage-rock-by-numbers, but you do get enough good tracks from the likes of Apostles, Big Bobby and the Night Caps, Candy Snatchers, and the Hillbilly Werewolf (you can probably guess the last band doesn't specialize in emo) to make this worth checking out. David
@ Black Lung, 1549 Chela Ave. #B, Norfolk, VA 23509

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