Monday, February 23, 2009 review

Writ by Craig Regala

Fucking insidious guitar, guitar, drums, bass drug-punk riff shift combo veering between 1971 (The MC5's High Time) and uh... 1971 (Grand Funk's E Pluribus Funk) from guys who're exactly as beautiful as Blue Oyster Cult when Nixon's boys were breaking into Watergate. As tots/post-tots, they most certainly slapped AC/DC, The Dictators, The Nuge, Motörhead, The Damned, Dead Boys, and other worthies on the turntable during ye olde "parents are away house party," ruining any possibility of congress with the "fairer sex." Ah, art over society'n'shit. Cool move.

Then, as the late '70s back broke ('82 ish), and hardcore reared up to chew its way through arena rock and post-punk's soft white underbelly, I'll bet they liked it, especially those great early SST bands/tours and vicious Australian rock-punk (Cosmic Psychos, Celibate Rifles). So yeah, let's redefine'm as grub-drug punks: Armed with a with a wah-wah, picture of Eddie Hazel taped on every amp, and Stooges and Black Flag tapes blasting in the van. What separates'm from the more expansive (here's where I think the "hardcore" influence is), freewheelin', soulful stuff their influences chucked up is a "get at it" barking, surly, stomp mimicking kickin' in the door of some fuck whose "holdin' yer dope and money, cuz, he thought you wanted it tomorrow." In this respect, they're like the masterful Green River, a churlish mid-'80s band of miscreants who shit-smeared '70s kick-ass and sneering thug punk into a regenerated hard rock later called grunge.

The disc has a loose garage hard rock feel, not unlike some of the early NWOBHM units (as 1980 surfaced), before they got recording budgets and completely metalized. The tunes are grunty and straight-up, the lyrics are declamatory and funny, and when the guitars break off a solo, it's classic Lizzy, buck-shuckin' like Shame Club or Bible of the Devil. It's more "rock" than "metal." The funky churn's not far off Aerosmith/Rose Tattoo/G'N'R minus the arrangements and niceties. This one really belongs on wax, people. Gatefold, so the seeds can bust up the spine after yer done cleaning that ditchweed your cousin brought back from Meigs county. Like Billy Jack woulda said, "Hey man, when it's wild, it's free."

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