Notes from the underground.
BECAUSE IT'S MY FUCKING PREROGATIVE, I am gonna write about some local hands that are kicking ass, and since they're starting to travel you might be lucky enough to see 'em. First up is the Bindle Stiffs. It's a bunch of local Phoenix area guys who skate (Mike, the drummer and singer, has an empty pool in his backyard, and Jimmy Moore has been known to sit in on the harmonica). They play country-tinged music that has its hands in bluegrass and blues, and their shows here are packed with friends from all over. It's just a good time ... And another good time is a Flathead show. Also tinged with country, bluegrass, and a little honky-tonk, they've got an early Blood in the Saddle (ex-Dils guys) sound. They also pack the place and are starting to get noticed, not the least because their guitar player and singer plays guitar left-handed, but plays an upside right-handed guitar that's strung like a regular right-handed guitar (he's self-taught). Finally, Grave Danger, the Phoenix area's answer to Deadholt (although what the question was I'll never know), is another consistently good time (and I think they actually have a song with a chorus that goes "banging a mongoloid," or at least that's what it sounds like to me) ... Holy shit, I feel like I've eaten a retard burger. Nope, it's just the newest Spits I've heard, a split 7" with the Triggers. More synth- and quaalude-fueled mayhem that owes more to the Ramones than Devo from the guys from Seattle; check "Spazzmotic Caress" and "Terrorist Attack." The flip side is killer female fronted spazzery that's even a little catchy. And what the fuck? It's on Puke Records, which is Larry from the Rickets' label. Look for the record with the cover of a dude pushing an old lady out of a wheelchair and into a lake ... New from the Gearhead stable is a six-song 12" by a band called Rock 'N' Roll Soldiers. They'd better be bringing something to the table for the Radio Birdman reference, and the first chords do just that (and no, I'm not fucking talking about the radio show with Tony Hawk, killer. I am fucking talking about one of the best proto punk bands ever from Australia). The record is rockin' and catchy, and more than the singer's vocals sound like the Hives; although, I am completely lost when he goes into the super high pitched whines that sound like someone's got his nuts pinched in a vice. Look for The Weak Blame the Strong ... And how about this for a classic blast from the past? Check the Negative Approach Ready to Fight LP on Reptilian. A skate band from Detroit that went full bore and hardcore from 1981-1984, this is live recordings and demos from 1981-1983. NA was fast and to the point, with short staccato songs and a reputation for violence (I always thought that the singer, John Brannon, who went on to form the Laughing Hyenas, Jesus Lizard, and Easy Action, was sort of like a bizarre world Ian MacKaye--shit, same time period). They were equal opportunity haters: they simply hated everyone. Start a pit, slam and skank (sorry kids, it ain't called "moshing"), and circle your hands in the air, this is some genuine shit right here ... And speaking of retarded, if you're up for a good X-rated chuckle, check out the Blowfly Fahrenheit 69 CD on Alternative Tentacles. Blowfly has a long history of blaxploitation-style ridiculousness, and it sounds like a headscratcher puttin' him on Alternative Tentacles (with a Bad Brains "Rock for Light" cover rip-off). But the CD makes fun of anything sacred or profane in Blowfly's radar, with the premise that Blowfly has just been elected president. It's pretty damn funny through and through, and I'm particular to the song that Blowfly does in response to the question of how he's gonna keep the kids off of drugs: "Diggin' Boogers."