X-POSSIBLES - CD
This is the 2nd full lenght from X-POSSIBLES, this time it's a proper CD release with some new and some old re-recorded songs. I think they ditched some songs they should have kept but whatever.
Opening number Chaos or Death is a VICE SQUAD meets DESTILLERS rocker and really good, though the guy's back ground aahh aahh vocals I could have done without. Truth Hurts is faster and pretty cool too, better than the old version, though in this song and some of the others the guitars can be a bit sterile in that clean proffessional american way, but that's my only real complaint. In a song like Suicide Tuesday they're simply great. A fast energetic number with cool lyrics: ''the drunk, the old, the lame make every damn night in the city the same''.
Speedy Delivery has guitars not unlike the CLASH's version of Cadillac. 20 Lashes and You Make Me Ill (with a good Dead Kennedys sounding guitar) are still among their best numbers.
Runaway has improved a lot since their last recording. Their main asset is Tibbie X's vocals, but there's nothing wrong with the rest. The lyrics, which are all well-written and sound honest, centre around sex, boredom and life in general.
The last song The Other Side has really fucking cool vocals and the whole thing is well worth checking out.
GENTLE BEN AND THE SENSITIVE SIDE -
The Beginning Of The End CD
When I first played this CD I couldn't figure out if it was some sort of ironic joke song playing. The high pitched uh-uh-ohh-ohhh thing in the first track is ridiculous. Well, not only are they serious, they're very serious.
Very mature late 50's showband stuff, with professional session musicians backing GENTLE BEN. Actually if it wasn't for BEN's vocals this would be alright night time radio music. Like something NICK CAVE could have done or something.
Now, this kinda stuff is very hard to do right and if you don't get it right you automatically get it really really wrong. I guess the vocals are supposed to sound very emotional but it all just sounds very fake to me. The lyrics are cheap ''falling in love with you'' clichés.
Ok, if you completely ignore what he's singing it could pass as a soundtrack to a really slow black and white road movie or something.
JAPE SQUAD - Breakfast With... CD
My first impression of this band was bad. There's about a 100 members and they all dress like they're in their late 50's and the line-up lists 'percussions' and 'castanettes' which is a sure sign that a band sucks. The first song isn't too exciting either.
The second number has a slow 70's IGGY feel to it and though this isn't my favourite stuff it's not bad. This is followed by something somewhere in LOU REED territory, that's also ok I guess.
Then there's more of the same except a little weaker and less interesting. Some 60's harmony singing on a number with lots of organ solos and stuff like that. None of it is really awful, some of it's actually good, like a slow ROLLING STONES Exile On Main Street era song. It's all a bit on the grown up side if you know what I mean. Like a late 80's TOM PETTY.
One thing about this release - the cover doesn't fit the music at all. Don't know if that is generally a good or bad thing really, but here the computer graphics looks like crap (and bad computer graphics is generally a bad thing). The joker sitting on the crescent moon is particulary bad. Though not really my kinda music I think this album deserved better artwork.
VEX - New Words For An Old Revolution 7'' EP (Hotbox Review)
VEX dates back to a time when Rock Against Reagan meant something more than just being a cool sounding retro slogan you could put on a t-shirt and sell to the most trend sensitive poser.
With 6 songs from 2 sessions (May 1983 and February 1984) on a 33rpm 7'' this is a very cheap way to get some old Houston Texas punk, however VEX's brand of punk had more in common with the UK's peace punk movement than anything else. This would have fitted right in on Crass, Corpus Christi or Bluurgh. Anarcho-agit-prop rather than Anarchy-and-chaos if you know what I mean. And as with most of these bands the music wasn't too exciting. It's ok proto-punk type stuff. A low fi recording of very basic riffs played mid-tempo.
The band and this release (not the music) would appeal to MTV styled left-wingers who wants a bit of punk cred in their collection. The opposite of what the band was aiming for when they wrote it, I'm sure.
It should have been released back when it was recorded to have had a real impact, now it's little more than nostalgia, but what can you do about it?
Limited pressing of 500 on purple and 50 on black vinyl. Comes with a good info/lyric insert and a cover with old photos and flyers.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org for info on how to buy it and visit PAOW for what the members are doing now.
V/A - Rather See You Dead 7'' EP (Hotbox Review)
Three late 70's Houston Punk bands that you may recognise from the Bloodstains Across Texas LP and other rare punk compilations, if not from their own releases. The title Rather See You Dead is a song by LEGIONAIRE'S DISEASE that's not included here by the way.
REALLY RED did 4 singles and 2 LPs before calling it a day in 1983. The track on this one is the PETULA CLARK cover song Downtown recorded in 1979, and probably the only unreleased REALLY RED recording left by now. I'm surpriesd they didn't punk it up more.
THE HATES does Bother, another unreleased song from 1978. This is really early hardcore. Sounds a lot like the GERMS' 2nd single and that's cool.
And then there's two numbers by LEGIONAIRE'S DISEASE - Who Killed Martha Mitchell? and Hypocrite, both from 1978, but I think they've been released before somewhere(?). Anyway, they're pretty good songs and the sound quality of the whole EP is good too.
This see-through red vinyl 7'' EP comes with an insert, a sticker and a cover with many cool old photos. Maybe not the most important 1970's era V/A release, but still a very good one and packaged really well.
E-mail: email@example.com for info.