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· 1:Webcomic Wednesdays #97
· 2:Webcomic Wednesdays #99
· 3:#341 with Daryl Gussin
· 4:Windian Records Interview
· 5:#342 with Todd Taylor

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Record Reviews

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Live and Rockin’: CD
I remember Gator from the long-gone Bea Pickles playing these guys for me on the way to a scooter rally both our bands were playing and wondering how that singer managed to do that with his voice. Seriously, it sounds part Tuvan throat singing, part tracheotomy side effect, and it fits the band’s variation on the psychobilly template just fine. This is a reissue of a live album originally on Link Records, featuring the band tearing through songs with such charming titles as “Human Slug,” “Pervy in the Park,” “Sick Spasmoid” and “Anal Wonderland.” The performances are spirited, the tempo revved up, the sound great, and the band in very fine form. Can’t ask for much more than that, I reckon.  –Jimmy Alvarado (www.cherryred.co.uk)

No Job, Blowjob: 7”
These two guys sure did tap into something with the name of this record. Some people just seem to think it’s the funniest thing they’ve ever seen. Equals parts dementia and the realistic boundaries of “what is music,” they concoct a rather hearty stew with the ingredients being: acoustic ukulele / guitar, theremin, vibraphone (whatever that is), and their own voices. It’s a crunchy sound, made for people who like things a little on a strange and silly side. Contains ex-members of the Ultra Twist. –Daryl Gussin (Bubca)

Split: Cassette
Thee Dements have a nice thing going on—very much camped out in the lo-fi, spastic garage rock vein, light on the distortion and heavy on the sass. It’s mostly a little too goofy for me, but they’ve got some real moments of magic, like with the oddly convincing “Keep Droaning On” and “You Are a Fool”—where they channel a weird kind of 1960s Animals-like somberness. Surprising; it really shouldn’t work but it does. Number 71 Monobands, however, doesn’t fare nearly as well—this one-man band sounds like the sabertooth tiger from the Flintstones found a kickdrum and learned a few blues riffs, or the Almighty Do Me A Favor guy doing mescaline with the Tasmanian Devil until they both wake up the next day with weird, embarrassing tattoos. That may sound great, but trust me, it isn’t. –Keith Rosson (Bubca)

Split: Cassette
California band, Thee Dements sound like Brak from Space Ghost singing for a sloppy garage punk band doing a show in an empty oil barrel. Number 71 Monobanda is a one-man band from Italy that sounds like Grape Ape singing. I thought this was some weird outsider music, but through some quick googling, I found out that a lot of people like these bands. So I guess I just don't get it. –Craven (Self-released)

Bastards of the Nation: CD


While I thought it was cool getting to check out a hardcore punk band all the way from China, slick production work by Brian Hardgroove (Public Enemy), and nice packaging were not enough to save this album. Demerit is a band with an identity crisis. This album sounds like the band couldn’t figure out how they wanted to sound or what genre they wanted to play, so they wrote separate songs for each of the genres they like. This gives the album a disjointed feel, like a really bad compilation, not an album. There’s some ‘80s NYHC-style songs, some oi and street punk songs, and some straight-up ‘80s metal, with an acoustic jam closing the album. With such radically different sounds to each song—and none of them particularly memorable—this album flounders around as if in search of musical direction. If Demerit ever finds such a direction, they will be a force to be reckoned with, but this album is lost, and should stay that way.

–Paul J. Comeau (Tenzenmen)

Shake It: 7”

Title track is a primal stomper long on attitude and short on pretense. Flip is along the same lines, with lyrics providing a snapshot of life in a band.

–Jimmy Alvarado (Mooster)

Woes and So's: CD
Pretty generic power-pop without much power? or hooky-ness to make it pop, which doesn't leave you with much. –Megan Pants (Johann's Face)

Woes and So’s: CD
Deminer incorporate an incredible amount of bits from the ever-changing, but consistently recognizable Chicago sound. They’ve got hummy bits that’d be at home with the Alkaline Trio, a small bead of Pegboy’s sweat streaming down their face, the sonic forearm force of the Arrivals. Even the sweeten, derelict pop of Lynyrd's Innards. With that said, as a whole, Deminer lacks sinew. So many parts are there, but they seem just a little disjointed and just don’t seem connected for maximum force, like they’re trying too many things at once, instead of stewing in their own musical juices for longer. Five fingers vs. a fist type thing. But, since, they seem Chicago-centric in sound, I’m putting my bids in for more Effigies and more Naked Raygun in the monitors. I won’t count them out in the future, but I wasn’t blown away by this CD.  –Todd Taylor (Johann’s Face)

Woes and So’s: CD
Pretty generic power-pop without much power… or hooky-ness to make it pop, which doesn’t leave you with much. –Megan Pants (Johann’s Face)

There Is a Difference: CD
Joyful, primitive sounds soaked in whiskey and sleaze. The drumming is so simple you’d think Mo Tucker’s mongoloid brother was thumping out beats behind the kit. Plenty of guitar fuzz and soulful, Joplin-esque vocals make this sound like a greasier version of the Subsonics. There is a Difference is a celebration of the carnal, a lusty, punk blues explosion of sex and rock’n’roll. Recommended. –Josh Benke (Swami)

There Is a Difference: CD
Swamp-blues swagger that plods along at two miles an hour. I don’t know, like if the Muffs and/or the Detroit Cobras were collectively hit by semis, dragged along the freeway past a few exits, subsequently hurled into the ocean and hauled to the sea bottom by turtles? The point is: it’s slooow, damaged and, yeah, torturous. I’ve heard the name for years, and they’re on Swami, so there must be tons of kids who dig the slop-savant, I-could-walk-faster-than-this rock they’re peddling, but I’m not one of them. There are a few moments on here (“Lil’ Naked” resonates eerily like something from Horses-era Patti Smith), but the good just doesn’t come anywhere near outweighing the awful. –Keith Rosson (Swami)

On: CD
Haven’t heard from these kids in a while, so this ‘un was a nice surprise this review cycle. They’re still serving up healthy doses (twelve of ‘em this time) of blues-inflected, post-Cramps sludge rock, and the world is a better place for their efforts. Included this time ‘round is a decidedly e-vile cover of “Big Rock Candy Mountain.” Recommended. –Jimmy Alvarado (Swami)

Inner Demons: CD
I rolled my eyes. A psychobilly/punk band with a blank-city-noun name. What will they sing about? Aliens, zombies, necromancy, surfing on Mars, and maybe a murder or two after a trip to the asylum? Au contraire, this is good. Really good. Not perfect, but they will be—and soon. This Tucson foursome is creepy but not campy, disturbed but not mental, deeply pained and tightly wound. Their pressure-cooker steam is slowly relieved—a controlled explosion, a slow burn, cathartic. Vocally reminiscent the Murder City Devils, the Demon City Wreckers blow past the pretentiousness of the usual RAB/psycho outfits while still incorporating the expected elements—a steady rhythm section (the stand-up player actually knows more than one bass line), metallic guitar, and heady, emotive vocals, albeit a bit strained at times. But it works. Deep, throaty, rumbling, tight, and mesmerizing from numerals I to X. Catchy and rockin' on "Left for Dead," driving and pounding on "Inner Demons" and fantastically "Love You to Death"-esque (Meteors) on "Thirty-ninth and Norton," presumably the homicide song. ("The sun came up today, as I drove away, I think they just found out about me. Blood stains on dirty sheets, rolled up in my back seat.") Should they be graced with fortitude (and better production), they'll be around blasting your ears for years. My kind of rockin'. –Jessica Thiringer (Psychobilly US)

Have a Date with Death: CD
Three fresh-faced, mostly clean-shaven Bostonians (two of them from Crimson Ghost) and a cherub-cheeked twenty-something gal (Is she the Farfisa-ist or the model?) holding a giant plastic scythe, punch out thirteen (sigh) evenly toned, evenly spaced, evenly timed rehashed college-town surfabilly. Monotone and dreary, like Pleasantville before Reese Witherspoon. –Jessica Thiringer (Necro-Tone)

Surfin with Demoni: 7”
Is it a compliment to say that something is competent? Hmmm. Maybe not. In that case, this record contains two songs worth of ultra-competent surf. Put it this way: If you close your eyes and listen, you might not be able to picture a bunch of demons surfing the ocean triumphantly with the full moon at their back (if you open your eyes and look at the cover, you’re cheating), but you might get a glimmer of an image of a not-too-rotten zombie paddling his board lackadaisically across Lake Michigan or something. And that’s kind of okay too, right? –MP Johnson (demonipsycho.com)

Dawn of Demoni: CD
I wonder why so many rockabilly or psychobilly bands end up going the horror route? Don’t get me wrong, I like the genre for the most part, and I love horror... It just seems like it is truly done to death. Demoni do it just fine, but it has trouble holding my interest. –Ty Stranglehold (P.I.G.)

Surf City of the Dead: CD
This horror surf is well played but not particularly horrific. I think if I were to listen to this strictly as surf music, I’d be more excited about it, but that’s not possible, because they really brand themselves as a horror surf band and set the expectation that the horror genre really feeds into what they do. However, aside from naming songs after horror movies, they really fall short on the scary side. For example, the first song is entitled “Session 9,” presumably after the dark, relatively subtle modern horror flick. The song is all rollicking and bright and I don’t see the connection at all. To be fair, I’m more of a horror fan than a surf fan, and I wouldn’t be surprised if those whose taste is tipped in the other direction loved this. –MP Johnson (1332)

Hot Rod Pussy: CD
This band is a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine that appeals to my puerile inner horror kid. With its obsession with fast cars, fast women, and monster movie ephemera, they manage to mine the same influences as the Queers and Sloppy Seconds and come up with something similar to both bands, but not so much to sound like another cheap rehash.  –Jimmy Alvarado (www.aliensnatch.com)

Ritual on the Beach: CD
Punky rock’n’roll with a surf theme this time out. Their sound is a little too “clean” for my taste, but the tunes themselves weren’t too bad, especially the surf instrumental, the duet with Nikki Corvettte and the cover of “Aloha Oe.” –Jimmy Alvarado (Coldfront)

Dunebuggy Gang: 7”
NOTE: All my 7” reviews were done with the lights out this issue. WHAT I THOUGHT IN THE DARK: Song #1: Neat instrumental, considering it reminds me of both Agent Orange and Radio Birdman, two of the most overrated bands ever, plus i gotta crank the stereo so high to wring any volume out of this 45 i’d probably blow a fucking fuse if i had the lights on right now. Song #2: “Dunebuggy Gang?” Whoever wrote this piece of shit oughtta be dragged thru a gravel pit behind one, unless they honestly woke up one day in such a state of dementia they truly believed they were the male coming of Nikki Corvette, in which case they should merely be locked up and sedated heavily. Song #3: This song, apparently entitled “California Nightmare,” is, without question, the GAYEST FUCKING WASTE OF SONIC WAVES i have EVER heard IN MY LIFE. This song is so fucking gay the only way i’m going to be able to sleep at night is to pretend it was all just a clever and ironic parody. This is the kind of shit your roommates wake you up with at like 3 AM on Thursday morning. In a word: “One Way Ticket to Manitowoc.” Wait, that’s more than one word. WHAT I THOUGHT WHEN THE LIGHTS CAME ON: Wait, the Demonics? Is this the same Demonics who didn’t used to suck, or is this a whole new Demonics who have been invented with sucking as job #1? BEST SONG: This record is a piece of shit. BEST SONG TITLE: This record is a piece of shit. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: This record is a piece of shit. –Rev. Norb (Gearhead)

Stockholm Slump: CD
First off, how the fuck does one pronounce the band’s name? “Quote-Demons-Unquote?” I can’t figure out if it’s genius in our time, or mere idiocy on a grand scale, like when Social Distortion always used to write out their name with quotation marks AND a hyphen before they could afford to have people write it out for them. My computer says that, alphabetically, “Demons” comes before both ? and the Mysterians and the 101ers (to say nothing of the A’s), thus i suppose the kronas would roll right in if more record stores had a “ section, but ALL TYPOGRAPHICAL MYSTERY PROTOCOLS ASIDE, i’ll go on record as saying that i’m not quite floored, not quite bored with this Scandinavian Rock Posse. Were i to describe their sound as i find fit, i’d say they sounded like the Nomads playing New Bomb Turks covers (their singer actually sounds like he learned English phonetically from Eric Davidson, therefore “dead” become “DAY-id,” “degeneration” become “dee-gen-uh-RAY-shawwwn”...synthetic good ol’ boy Americanese at its finest!). Were i to describe their sound not using any other bands in the description, i’d say “punked up heavy guitar rock.” Were i to describe the band using no sonic references whatsoever, i’d say “the kind of a band whose album cover has red letters on a black background, plus a belt buckle.” I dunno. I never really trust bands like these, because i’m never certain that they’re not the second coming of the Cult, or that they don’t secretly like Guns’n’Roses, or that they don’t PUBLICLY like Guns’n’Roses, or any of a million other Crimes Against The Me. That said, i have no specific complaints against this band/record – I mean, it’s LOUD, it’s ROCK, it has MASS and IMPACT and VOLUME – it’s a big ol’ ROCK TORRENT – but, at the same time, it’s a POLISHED and STATIC rock torrent, a rock torrent that just kinda sits there being, uh...torrential? It’s just kinda THERE. It’s a LOUD just kinda there, but, all the same, it’s still just kinda THERE – a big loud neutral background against which little bits of sonic frippery – a maraca or a vibroslap here, a sax or piano there – become the only parts of the song that are legitimately interest-grabbing (although i will say that the bass had a nice Dukowski-esqueness in spots). Other than that i like it fine. P.S. Less Iron Crosses, more Maltese Crosses. BEST SONG TITLE: “Gang Green Eyes” BEST SONG: “Degeneration Hotel” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: 1. A member of this band has a WHITE LEATHER JACKET (but has far less chevrons than i); 2. “Gang Green” was the nickname of the Green Bay Packers’ front four in the late ‘70s. I once wrote a song about one of them (“Do the Dave Roller”) but our guitar player refused to play it. –Rev. Norb (Gearhead)

Riot Salvation: CD
If you’re a fan of stuff like Zeke, Candy Snatchers, etc. you’ll probably eat this up! The vocals are very New Bombs Turksesque (attention: new word!) and I can definitely picture them playing to a packed bar every night of the week! Of course, I can’t really picture them NOT playing in a bar, but isn’t that the case with so many of these bands? This probably could be described as generic, but in my more cynical moments, I ask, “What would THAT mean? All this stuff sounds the same!” If this were a cereal, it would be generic Fruit Loops. Lots of sugary excitement, but not innovative in the slightest! –Maddy (Gearhead)

Demonology: CD
Stockholm rock’n’roll band that has compiled a bunch of songs that apparently weren’t available before. There are a few rockin’ songs on here, but what stood out are some annoyingly repetitive choruses with very cheesy lyrics. For example, “Demons gonna punch you out,” “You’re just a fucking asshole,” and “Kiss me where the sun don’t shine,” repeated over and over. The whole CD isn’t like this, but it’s enough to bug me. To top it off, they do a terrible cover of the Misfits “She.” This is one of those CDs you just rip the good songs off of and sell back for something better. –Toby Tober (Gearhead)

Satan’s Little Pet Pig: CD
As the United States sinks further into decline, Canada just keeps getting better. Universal health care, an appreciation of cultures and languages (many Canadian high schools follow a dual-immersion format where students are taught in both French and English) and low crime—the only thing they’re lackin’ is good old AMERICAN rock‘n’roll. Bad news, though—pretty soon they’re gonna have that, too. As if Les Sexareenos weren’t a sign of things to come, Demon’s Claw are poised to strip of America of its rock‘n’roll title. Yeah, yeah I know—they can’t take that away from us. Well, friends, black people aren’t making too much rock‘n’roll these days (sans Mick Collins) and that scares the shit out of me. (Don’t delude yourself—rock‘n’roll is black culture, sprinkled with a little Hank Williams…who, not so incidentally, was taught guitar by a black man). It’s as if we—the tortured citizens of the oppressive Bush regime—have turned our backs on rock‘n’roll; only the Starvations’ Gabriel Hart, Miss Alex White, and Jay Reatard are really kicking out the jams now. (And so you know: Greg Cartwright used to live in Memphis, so he’s pretty much black.) Our neighbors to the North have been keeping things together (Deadly Snakes and BBQ), and Satan’s Little Pet Pig is easily going to be one of the top-ten records released this year. Demon’s Claw have grown leaps and bounds since their last effort, branching out musically while still keeping that sordid we-recorded-this-on-reel-to-reel-tape-found-on-the-floor sound. (I mean, this record is really top notch!) Take the opening cut “Shadow of a Castle.” I haven’t heard such focused anger in years; the bass drives like an early ‘70s Iggy cut with lyrics that’d make Howlin’ Wolf say, “Yeah, Canucks, I knows what you’se talkin’ ‘bout. We’s goin’ to the bar!” But, uh, the real nail in the coffin is “That Old Outlaw.” Jesus Christ! Listen to the intro—here that guitar and bass interplay…these Canadian fucks know how to play…reminiscent of Chris Hillman matching up with Roger McGuinn, “That Old Outlaw” sounds like a good fuck feels. Again, again, Canadians aren’t supposed to interpret American rock‘n’roll like this, but they have. (What’s next?—a Canadian writer’s usurpation of Carson McCuller’s title to the American South?) I’m really despondent right now. THIS JUST IN: Predictions for the upcoming decade: The Demon’s Claw will take over little Frankie Lymons’ polygamy title and spawn nearly as many illegitimate children as Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. –Ryan Leach (In the Red)

Self-titled: CD
From Montreal comes flying an irresistible bone for the mushmouth-and-rootsfuzz camp of the Billy Childish/Dan Melchior axis (though a little more country than Childish and less Zeppelin than Melchior), with a good bit of Soledad Brothers and Bassholes chucked in for North American flavor. Best thirty-nine minutes yet this year. –Cuss Baxter (Dead Canary)

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