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Notes from the underground.

THIS PAST MONTH was a great one for the live punk action. It started with seeing legendary Nardcore (that's Oxnard, son) band Dr Know. It's been ages since I last saw 'em, and they've gone through a bunch of line-up changes. This one features Brandon Cruz (yep, from Bad News Bears and Courtship of Eddie's Father fame) and Ismael Hernandez (brother of Jaime and Gilbert, who are responsible for both the Love and Rockets comics and the band's sexy-but-evil girl logo), two original members who were both out of the band at one point until they reformed, as well as Stevil on guitar and Rick (the guy with the bleached faux hawk) on drums. Their sound is a lot closer to the late period Dr Know stuff that was much more metal-edged, although they played some of the great older tunes (including their most infamous, "Fist Fuck"--yeah!). Cruz is a big part of what makes the band, from the moment he gets on stage, takes off his Jaks colors, and starts going apeshit haywire. The show was a blast... Another good time was a show at the legendary Palo Verde Lounge in Tempe that brought back memories of some of my earliest punk shows: a little hole in the wall, no stage and nothing separating the band from the audience, beer flying around, slam dancing, and assorted mayhem. The show got off to a start with a fight, and then the South Virginia St Sluts played a raucous set. It's one chick and three dicks, and they mowed through a speedy set of Reno punk. They were kind enough to give me a CD, and although it sounds like it was recorded under 10 feet of thick mud, it's easy to pick out what a good recording might sound like. The other band that blew doors that night was Tempe's own The Revenge. Playing to a hometown crowd, they tore through a blistering set of guitars-up-front, loud, fast and heavy hardcore, and their singer's animated enough to keep the fires stoked. They've also got a CD out, Less Talk, More Shots (on Suburban Home Records), and it kicks ass... Still more live action with the Unnatural Helpers coming through town on tour with The Fallouts. The Helpers played some heavy, dirgy rock that got heads to noddin', and the Fallouts ran through their catchy-as-all-get-out, jangled and jaded garage tunes. Both bands tore through great sets despite the tiny Tuesday night crowd, as did show headliners Tokyo Electron. TE was a punch to the gut, as always, and along with the Revenge it's nice to know touring bands have some quality acts to play with in the Phoenix area (finally)... I was looking forward to the new Dirtbombs record, We Have You Surrounded on In The Red, and most of it lives up to the standard they've set for themselves: hard rockin' fuzz blasts with equal parts soul and rock 'n' roll. Some of the record goes off in newer tangents that work, and ... well, to be honest there's a couple of duds as well. Most of their records are solid all the way through, so that's a bit of a letdown, but it's still better than 99-percent of the bullshit loaded on your girlfriend's mp3 player ... It might cause irreversible spine damage, but the new self-titled LP by Detroit's Terrible Twos (on Criminal IQ) is something that will surely get you banned from your parents' house if you crank it on their stereo (shit, if they're cool enough to still have a turntable, that is--but maybe it's on CD too). There's lots of channeled rage in this one, full-bore and loud as fuck, with spooky keyboards accenting a disjointed guitar attack. Grab the Robitussin! ... And speaking of a heavy trip, check the new Clorox Girls LP. It's much more rockin' and melodic and catchy than some of their earlier stuff, and it's solid all the way through ... Just found the Pissed Jeans I Don't Need Smoke to Make Myself Disappear 7" from Sub Pop. I snoozed on reviewing their LP several months back (I was hoping to see 'em live and write 'em up) but you should track it down, as well as this one. It's got a Melvins meets Scratch Acid sound that'll have you writhing and oozing. Just look for the classic Sub Pop singles club layout ... On the heavier, psychedelic metal trip, check the "Statement" 7" by Japan's Boris (On Southern Lord). Cranked through Orange amps and turned to 11, this shit is some heavy medicine for the kids. Full length reported to be on the way ...

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Author:Lundry, Wez
Date:Jun 1, 2008
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