V/A - We Ain't Housewife Material CD (Dionysus Records)
A compilation of 20 girl fronted bands doing 1 song each. Though most of the bands are in the punk / alternative / hard rock genres they don't have much in common other than that they're all at least partially female. Some of the bands suck and shouldn't be on any compilations whatsoever, while most of them are good enough to be treated like a real band rather than a novelty ''girl band'' act.
Americans BETTY BLOWTORCH opens the CD with Rock n Roll 69, You know the band. This is nothing different, though still good. Sex! Drugs! Rock! The Devil! MENSEN are up next. The booklet says they're from the Netherlands, but they were from Norway the last time I saw them, so I'll stick to that. Sandy Starlight is the track and it's really good in a catchy up-tempo way. Go see 'em if you have the chance, they're a good live band too. THE GEE STRINGS are from Germany, but we won't hold that against them as their Arrest Me is pretty good fast action rock.
ELVIS MCMAN from the USA Slow Children is even better, good punk rock with cool, defiant sounding vocals. I don't see why FIFI AND THE MACH III from Japan are so popular; the song Have You Seen The Landscapes Today? is like a 3rd rate JOEY RAMONE song, you know the ones from the 90's without any chord changes and with lyrics that seem to consist of the title repeated a hundred times? The vocals are terrible too.
ELECTRIC TURN TO ME (USA) are kinda dull organ based 60's stuff and so is FLOWERMULU (Japan), though they don't sound much alike. Germany's SHEMALE TROUBLE are ok I guess. THE SOAP is another band from Japan screaming Party Whooaaa while doing up-tempo lo fi rock. Not bad, not great, but very japanese.
UK's THE DIRTY BURDS and their Sick Bitch sounds very American, somewhere in earlier DONNAS land. THE TUTSIS are from the US and have 1-2 drums and distorted vocals that goes riding into a one horse town and other one-liners. CANDYRAG from the UK too are even more american sounding than THE DIRTY BURDS, but in a rockabilly sort of CRAMPS goes punk way.
CYCLUB are from the US and rocks on in a rocking way without being too memorable. VENTRA are singing Fragile in their native italian on top of a 80's synth rock tune that isn't very catchy or interesting. RED BACTERIA VAACUM is more distorted vocals that goes yeah yeah on a layer of low fi rock. From Japan.
BLAIRE BITCH PROJECT from the US do their Shut The Fuck Up and it's like a diet version of BETTY BLOWTORCH. DEMOLITION GIRL AND THE STRAWBERRY MEN from Germany aren't as bad as their name suggests. Punk Is Dead is the track and it's one more average rock meets punk song.
Japans ASTRO BABYS is 50's rock'n'roll with high vocals that is more funny than good, but still not bad at all. FRILL are from the same country but their Kajitsu is a slow dark number with too many effects on the guitar, that changes into a rather boring mid tempo song with a stop'n'start metal feel to it. Annoying vocals too. The last track is yet another japanese number; Suny by BELLY BUTTON and it's a bit like the ASTRO BABYS really.
And there you have it. Some really good songs, some really bad ones and a lot of average material in between. There's enough good ones on it to buy it I guess. I'll keep my copy and play some of it every now and again.
TRANSPLANTS - Police State CD (Dionysus Records)
Yet another CD of 70's demos and live recordings, this time with Boston band THE TRANSPLANTS. I don't think they released anything except a few DIY cassettes back in the day, but here's 27 songs.
Judging by the photos in the booklet they were pretty old by 70's punk rock standards; in their 30's at least, and the singer sported a beard like some hippie, but they sounded a lot younger and punkier than they looked. Opening track Suicidal Tendencies is really good, and so is most of the stuff recorded in 1978, though it tends to be a bit on the traditional rock side sometimes, especially the guitar solos. Vocals and lyrics are pretty good in a political (anti-political) and angry way. At their best the vocals sound like the early US hardcore bands'. Done every drug there is to do/ I'm just a nut / you better stay away / look out, I'm a vegetable stew.
By 1979 the band's new songs had more of a 1970's hard rock feel than a hardcore punk sound, but not a bad one. A lot of the earlier material was re-recorded, so you get several versions of the songs on this. The minute long guitar solo in the third demo attempt at Suicidal Tendencies isn't really what punk rock should be about.
Their live version of SONICS' Strychnine is awful. Slow, dragging, without any of the original energy of the SONICS, and with yet another dull hard rock guitar solo. The live stuff kinda drones on after a while, like a local rock band that doesn't know when to stop. By the time the harmonica starts I had lost interest in the band.
The last song is a guitar and vocals only version of their best song Suicidal Tendencies. The whole thing should have been edited down to 12 songs.
MATLOCKS - Promo CDR
The first of 4 songs on this goes I'm too fat for sex / too drunk for drugs / but I'm a whole lot of rock'n'roll or something like that, and the lenghty promo sheet that they sent along with the CD states that their message is empty and they're not angry, frustrated or young. A band that prides themselves with being apathetic, fat and complacent isn't alright in my book.
They can all play their instrument well, but there's a dull craftmanship to it all. It's mainly a rip-off of THE HELLACOPTERS, but the music isn't half as good and the lyrics are crap.
The Doggy Style / Dragon Style joke in Kung Fu Woman seems to be the only reason they wrote the song. What can I say? The band was named after the TV show rather than the bass player I guess.
I see no point in this bands existence whatsoever, apart from their own entertainment (which is a valid reason to be in the band, but not pay to see or hear them). If you like this kinda stuff why not just listen to the superior HELLACOPTERS instead?
MORON PARADE - Dark Nights, Knife City CDR (ParadeCo Records)
This is already the 10th album by this band that has been around only since late 2000. And it's got 19 songs on it. I haven't heard any of their previous stuff, but this is somewhere in an american alternative lo-fi pop land, which is not really my cup of tea. A music journalist would probably call it post-pop or something like that.
First of all, it's not bad. There is an urgency to some of the vocals and some of it is really cool. This doesn't seem to be designed by media students to be in or right or anything like that. Some of the riffs feel like they're taken from the new wave / rock acts of the early 80's. Nothing is really fast or really slow, and it's all guitar, bass, drums and vocals without any distrortion or effects at all. The obvious reference for a punk like me would be THE FALL or WIRE, though this is pretty far from what they sound like and with a distinctly american feel to it.
I wish the lyrics had been included in the promo package, as they might have something there.
Maybe this sounds like an insult to the band but it's kinda pleasant sounding really, at their best. Some of it is a bit too wimpy though, like a TENACIOUS D type student rock, and it has a tendency to go on a bit too.
DAMN DIRTY APES - Promo CD
This 3-track CD came with a laminated and very pretentious sounding promo sheet that gave me a very bad first impression. The rest didn't help the band either.
Apart from the CD itself having some manufacturing fault the first 2 songs are technically difficult and extremly dull stop'n'start metal with some complicated jazz muzac parts. The last one is a bit more basic but then goes into some sort of mock radio ad for the band and their website.
Music by and for smug over the hill metal musicians. Why do people in Britain keep sending me stuff like this? Why has there been time and money spent on something like this? The people in the band must be the most boring in the world. Fuck them for wasting 15 minutes of my life.