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Notes from the underground.

HOLY SMOKES! In the vein of older garage comps like Back from the Grave or Pebbles is a kill compilation of Latin American bands (one side is all Mexico, and the other is bands from Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Argentina via Uruguay) from the early to mid-1960s. Tudo es en Espanol, except for Los Oxfords' cover of the Italian song "Ehi Voi," and tudo es muy rockin' y lo-fi. Similar to bands from elsewhere, this was the early days of psych and stompin' garage rock (these bands would be contemporaries of the Sonics, the Wailers, and the Kingsmen, and the comparison is fitting). Think it ain't punk? Ask Polo Pepe and his band Sociedad Corrupto after you hear "San Felipe es Punk." Look for Mexican Rock and Roll Rumble and Psych-Out South of the Border. Supposedly limited to 586? Yeah right. Que magnifico! ... Also in the garage/psych vein, but later sounding (like, today), is Mystery Girls and their second LP Something in the Water on In the Red. Less all-out gut clenching and dirty than some of the In the Red stuff, this is still all-out heavy and harmonica-laden, and fast ... The Deadly Weapons have a new 12" EP, Get Right In There, on Johnny Cat Records. Two chicks and two dicks, it's rougher than Tina's other stuff (Bobbyteens, Tina and the Total Babes) with Larry (ex-Rickets) laying down the chops. Straight up and speedy punk rock ... Speaking of Tina and the Bobbyteens, they've got a new one as well, Cruisin' for a Bruisin' on Estrus. Steeped more in '60s girl garage (this one's three chicks and one dick: Russel Quan of the Mummies), it's got a sweet bubblegum aspect to it but it ain't all fluff. There's some rock goin' on, too ("Good Thing Going" sounds like The Who's "Can't Explain"). Great make-out music ... Speaking of Russel Quan, Estrus came through with the goods this month, releasing Death by Unga Bunga, a CD compilation of rare singles (and the Mummies, while together, swore off CDs) that you no longer have to pay ridiculously top-dollar collector nerd prices for. Lo, lo-fi and furiously stompin' garage punk, this stuff sounds killer over a decade later ... Two more gems from Estrus: the Dexateens self-titled debut LP, and the debut of the DTs. The former is an Alabama foursome that plays harder-edged rock (think early to mid '70s stuff) that's got a little twang to it. Reminds me of the earlier and more rockin' Meat Puppets stuff at first, but the rock comes through. And the DTs is Estrus honcho (and former Mono Men) Dave Crider's new three-piece. Shying away from the more straight-ahead rawk of his earlier bands, this one delves into sultry female-fronted rock and soul, in a league with the Bell Rays ... Supercharger was an amazing, brightly-glowing but quick to-burn-up band from the early '90s (contemporaries of the Mummies) that played the most stripped-down but catchy lo-fi garage. After a slew of singles and a couple LPs, they were done but not forgotten. A live recording from 1992, it's not the best sound quality but they were never about sound quality, just straight ahead simple punk. And it worked. The record's great, worth repeated listening ... It'd be a damn shame not to mention the new Vee Dee LP on Criminal IQ Records. Chicago and the Midwest have got a serious thing goin', with tons of great trashy bands coming out of the area. Vee Dee has some psych, but plays pretty goddamn balls-out, interrupted by the occasional wailing solo. Catching like the herpes, spreading like the warts, burnin' like the clap, penicillin can't kill this Vee Dee ... On the live front, saw the Riverboat Gamblers down in Tucson with the Knockout Pills. Best show in a long time. The Knockout Pills (ex Weird Lovemakers, Federales, and Resonars) blasted through some killer songs, having as much fun as the crowd doing it, and kept the guitars loud. The Riverboat Gamblers stormed through their set, their singer not standing still for more than about three seconds. Their debut LP Something to Crow About on Gearhead fucking smokes, and since Todd Taylor interviewed the band for Thrasher, I'll just leave it at that. Don't sleep ...
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Author:Lundry, Wez
Date:Aug 1, 2004
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