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Notes from the underground.

STARTIN' OFF WITH THE SMALL RECORDS, you gotta check the Sonic Love Affair double 7" "Something to Believe In" on Dollar Record Records. Fully fuzzed and turned up to 11, this shit is psyched out and just plain rocks, combining a '60s feel with one foot pokin' into '70s punk (they do 13th Floor Elevators and DMZ covers, as well as two originals). And to top it off, Curtis, one of the guitar players skates (and teaches school). What the luck could be cooler than having a skate punk teacher? Not fucking much, especially when the music he's crankin' out is this good ... Also bringin' a '60s feel is the new single by the A-Lines, "One Day," on Sympathy for the Record Industry. No surprise there, the band's got a couple Headcoatees (Kyra and Debbie), and they plow through a couple originals that've got a sort of art-punk urgency to them. They've also got a full length, also on Sympathy, in case you want more. The single's B-side isn't on the LP, so you might as well get both if you like one ... Also new and completely rockin' with a somewhat retro feel is the "3/5 of a Mile in 10 Seconds" 7" by the Mystery Girls (on Cass Records). These guys have been putting out nothing but high quality dope, and this continues in that vein. Hard to believe the A-Side is a cover of Jefferson Airplane, but it smokes, and the B-side starts out like an outtake (who knows, probably was) but continues on to stomp ... Also on Cass Records is the Hot Machines 7" "Hole In My Heart." Jered from the Ponys and Matt from the Baseball Furies back the sultry miss Alex White in a Gun Club and Cramps feeling number on the A-side, and the B-side picks up the pace and turns frenetic ... Another killer single is "No Way Out" by the New York Rel-X (on TKO). Looks like two chicks and two dicks, this one's got a great original on the A-side, reminiscent of late-'70s/early-'80s female-fronted stuff (Bow Wow Wow comes to mind for some reason, but more punk and less wave, with bite). The B-side is a Violators cover that sticks real close to the original ... Also on TKO, check the Electric Frankenstein/Antiseen split. If you don't know by now, EF is fucking bails out, straight up, barnburning guitar heavy punk rawk. Pretty fucking hard to go wrong there, especially since they don't seem to be putting out three records a month any more. Antiseen just plain kicks your ass, like they've been doing for decades ... The last of the small records this month is a single by a band called Sweet Roxx. Over the top "Brit-metal" supposedly recorded in 1984 (that's the sound they were going for), with the songs "(You Can Be Involved In a) Metal Massacre" and "Rock Stars on the Road," throw this one in the Spinal Tap and related projects bin after listening to it once or twice for a chuckle ... On to the big records, and the LP Tie Your Noose by BBQ. Not knowing what I was getting into, I saw that it was done by one guy, and there's a cover of the Stones' "Out of Time." "Awright," I thought, "I'll plunk down my eight bucks and take a chance"--and it fucking paid off. This record is great, sort of in the vein of Flat Duo Jets or other minimalist stuff, but rockin' in a twanged out way, like maybe the Oblivians. Comparisons don't really do the record justice, though, suffice to say it smokes and ain't no joke ... And another risk I took was the new LP by Lamps. Holy shit, this one is causin' my gut to rumble and my fingers to go for the Robitussin. Shoulda known by the cover art (a retarded looking ape bottle feeding an even more retarded looking baby) this was going to be a mess, but a glorious mess all the same. Reminding me of some of the Cheater Slicks' stuff, fuzzed out, bottom heavy, and way, way primitive ... Another worthy release this month is Jack O. and the Tear Jerkers' Don't Throw Your Love Away LP on Sympathy for the Record Industry. If you're thinking, "Not that Jacko," i.e. the Jacko that is currently in a whole heap o' trouble for touching little boys after plying them with alcohol, think again. It's Jack Oblivian, plying you with songs about alcohol (among other subjects) ...
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Date:May 1, 2005
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