Written by GE 138.
First off, Kudos! for being something different and outside of the norm of the usual "Punk Rock" crap that I get in the mail around here! ha ha ha Not exactly my cup of bone broth, but an interesting release nonetheless. I love the cover of this album. Reminds me of the Groovie Goolies 70's cartoon series. And the band's name is great too - Dr. Phobic & The Phobic-Tones. Bit wordy, but it works for me. Second off, again, Kudos! for having the balls to name your album after a Cage The Elephant album! LOL Now that's some chutzpah right there! ha ha Although they share a album title, the 2 bands couldn't be any further apart musically if you tried. Cage The Elephant is lame wimpy ass chick rock and Dr. Phobic & The Phobic-Tones are, well... Instrumental Horror Surf Rock? Sure, I'll go with that. I believe this project is an offshoot of sorts from the ol' Monster Zero band of yore, but I could be mistaken about that, and the first I ever heard of Dr. Phobic & The Phobic-Tones is when they appeared on that shitty Prince tribute compilation on Squidhat Records that came out awhile ago, but I won't hold that against them. ;) This is a pretty good release. There's some super catchy Surf Rock Punk Rock Spooky tunes on here - Tetraphobia, Metathesiophobia, Pithecophobia, just to name a few, I never bothered to look up what any of the titles mean, because I'm lazy, and it all got boring to me after a bit listening to it all. I think the songs would be sooooo much better with words, because the musicianship on display here is impressive - the Dick Dale inspired guitar work alone makes this worth seeking out, and the rhythm section isn't anything to sneeze at either, but with the huge revival right now in the whole Surf Rock sound (Thanks Ty Segall! lol), this release feels like a missed opportunity. It's too good not to be listened to by everyone, but as some Surf Rock Horror Punk Instrumental musical project, I think it's just gonna be dismissed or ignored or classified as background music, which is a shame, because it's really fucking good and deserves to be a bit more than just that. Phooey.
I assume that this is available from Dr. Phobic & The Phobic-Tones when they play gigs, but I don't know that they do that very often. This release is available directly from the band themselves, including digitally, on the Dr. Phobic & The Phobic-Tones Bandcamp page which you can go to by clicking here, and it's also available on iTunes (click here) CD Baby (click here), Spotify (click here), etc. etc. etc. "Like" the band on Facebook by clicking here.
I get sent stuff all the times from random bands and assorted PR places looking to break the "next big thing" by any means necessary. Usually I just give them a casual once over before throwing them away, but this cover caught my eye for some reason, and it's a pretty interesting release from a band from Italy called Skassapunka that's been around for awhile now. This CD, called Rudes Against, is the band's 3rd release and it's an interesting mix of 2 Tone Ska, Political Punk, Reggae, Pop, Oi!, all mixed up and tossed together like a musical fruit salad, full of sweet sugary goodness that gives you lots of energy to burn. All the songs on here are uptempo toe tapping ragers, crafted for crowd interaction with lots of slogany shouty vocal parts and singalong bits that are all in Italian, so I have no idea what they're shouting about, but it sounds like they mean it, and it sounds pretty good! ha ha They remind me A LOT of Gogol Bordello, mixed with Reel Big Fish and Rancid or some poseur shit like that, and whether that's a good thing or not I'll leave to you to decide. 2 songs on here are sung in English, We Want To Dance Ska and the title song Rudes Against, but it makes not a bit of difference. The artwork seems to scream ANTIFA like appearance / sentiments, but who knows? Although not my cup of tea, this release from Skassapunka is a great sounding, energetic, collection of tunes that can get the party rocking or lead the Revolution, depending on which way the wind is blowing at the time. Check it out if you're into the whole Ska / Gypsy /Anarcho Punk thing. You might like it.
Available from KOB Records by clicking here. Available digitally from Amazon by clicking here. "Like" the band on Facebook by clicking here. Follow the band on Instagram by clicking here.
Written by Karl Bakla.
I got into Hardcore through skateboarding around 1986 & I’d always hear people raving about how the Cro-Mags were awesome & HARDCORE as FUCK! Sometime in ‘89 I finally stumbled across an album of theirs, that album was Best Wishes & from the first listen I thought the album was a horrible piece of shit, it wasn’t Hardcore & even by Thrash Metal standards it was weak as FUCK! I filed the cassette away & eventually recorded one of my bands demos over it…
About this time in PUNK history it wasn’t uncommon to hear someone say, “You have to hear their first album” not just about the Cro-Mags, but every band… TSOL, Gang Green, Black Flag, SSD, Corrosion Of Conformity, Suicidal Tendencies, Discharge…etc. As a young Punk it was exhausting, I didn’t have the money or time to waste on buying garbage & there was no internet so I didn’t have the luxury of previewing shit, or the help of those “Essential Punk Albums” lists that seem to clutter up the internet with the same fucking albums… great, you wrote a blog telling someone to listen to Fun House & London Calling, now fuck off! It was about this time I started wondering if an essential part of being punk was going butt rock, but minus the guitar licks, fame, money, the potato stuffed down the front of the stretch pants to simulate a huge cock, & most importantly people wanting to pork you… thankfully I had bands like Youth Of Today, Slapshot, Adrenalin OD, & SNFU to keep the skate (Jeff) sessions going. Going by Harley’s book I assume he would think these bands are posers or New Jack, whatever… nothing is lamer than the old guy being a dick about shit, I must point out that when Gilbert & I do it, we do it with style, class, & even elegance.
Sometime in 1994 Another Planet reissued The Age Of Quarrel & the Best Wishes albums together on one CD… I got my first taste of The Age Of Quarrel and I was blown away, I love that album so much! I have consistently jammed it since first hearing it, it was just as Hardcore as everyone said it was, if not more… then that dude Marco told me, “you have to hear the demo.” Holy shit, I didn’t think it was possible that those songs could get better, but it was… After being blown away by AOQ I decided to give Best Wishes another listen, it was worse than I remembered…. I remember ripping this double album onto another CD minus Best Wishes so I wouldn’t accidently listen to it in my car while delivering pizzas… you need top notch Hardcore to deliver pizzas on the mean streets of Las Vegas, not weak ass bullshit! You need your Hardcore to be big and bold like the tips you expect to make…
I recently read Harley Flanagan’s book Hard-Core: Life Of My Own and while doing so I listened to the entire Cro-Mags discography, it was confirmation that Best Wishes and the majority of their output sucks shit… I did enjoy listening to Revenge… as for the book I suggest reading it, the violence can get to a sickening level, but reading about Harley loving his kids is wonderful, & Harley is a master at shit talking, he even suggests that John Joseph sucked a bit of cock, which to me is no insult and if there was a dick in front of me I’d suck it right now, but in this macho world of HARDCORE it’s frowned upon for some strange reason. I read John Joseph’s book and it was also a fantastic read even though the timeline doesn’t make sense, it also made me think those stylish Krishnas in their orange robes aren’t so sweet, those motherfuckers are scam artists and child diddlers.
I think this album is the perfect place for the Cro-Mags story to end. It’s a return to the original Hardcore sound with essences of Metal thrown in to help make a bold rich flavor. Things have come full circle, the streets of New York that were once a dangerous place, that forced Hardcore kids to band to together are now a safe place to get a craft beer & a gelato (damn, if that’s the case I better plan a trip, since I love both)…now the Hardcore kids have no one to fight but each other! The stories of the Cro-Mags bad blood has been Punk folklore for years, since I was a kid I’d hear stories about one member turning in another one for being AWOL from the Navy, and band mates assaulting each other. When you search out the stories from the source everyone’s story conflicts…. All this came to a head on July 7th 2012, which resulted in the current bass player of the Cro-Mags getting slashed with a knife, some other dude getting slashed and his face bitten, & Harley ending up with a stab wound and a broken leg, pretty fucking crazy… the craziest thing that ever happened to someone that played bass in a band with me is that they ended up getting financed for a Hyundai, came with a ten year warranty or some shit. The end result was the charges against Harley were dropped & that Hyundai ended up getting repossessed or some shit…
Damn, it would have been easier if I just wrote that this is a good record, but that would be too easy, Bethany quite often complains that there is nothing I can do in moderation, well maybe I am just like Billy Joel, “darling, I don’t know why I go to extremes” which is also fitting for Harley Flanagan, but back to Billy Joel I like that he wore a leather jacket in his I Go To Extremes video, it gives him dare I say a PUNK AS FUCK look.
Where was I? Cro-Mags the album closes the Cro-Mags book for me in a good spot, a band that started with a big bang ends with assured mutual destruction as prophesied on their first album’s cover… the songs are the musical versions of the later chapters of Harley’s book, super-fast Hardcore rippers that touch on being stabbed in the back, never trusting anyone, thanking the people that still have your back even though you don’t trust them either, & wanting to kill someone but reluctantly letting them live… surely this won’t be on any MENSA members Top Ten lists, but when you are pissed off this is how it comes out. If you are a Punk Rock enthusiast who only casually listens to Hardcore then this probably isn’t for you, but if you are a fat guy that wears basketball outfits, & loves Hardcore you will dig it… I’d even suggest this for people who dig shit like The Accused… fuck, now that I am done typing this I have to edit it and I have the world’s worst grammar skills.
Available from 171-A Records / MVD Audio by clicking here. It's also available on Amazon (click here) and I'm sure it's available to purchase on his website www.harleyflanagan.com if you wanna look for it there. "Like" Harley Flanagan on Facebook by clicking here. Follow Harley Flanagan on Instagram by clicking here.
The Psyatics are an odd band to me. They big time rock but in an oddball freaky weirdo kind of way. They're capable of stopping a charging rhino at 30 paces with their powerful musical output, but it seems that they would rather just sit back and cruise along the musical landscape all around them at a leisurely, Tiki boat cruise style of pace instead of charging and burning through the land like the experienced musical pirates that they are. No biggie, just an observation. Their latest release, Famous Monsters, is chock full of all sorts of tasty musical tidbits, from Surf, Punk, Rock, Jazz (LOTS of that), Garage, Grunge, and even a little Funk thrown in for good measure. It's slinky, it's groovy, it's good, it's all over the place, never boring, and showcases everyone's musical chops. Songs like I Like To Die, Lay Low, I Am Slack and Shake Them Bones highlight the powerful attack this band has, with Jack's guitar work invoking the work of East Bay Ray or even Stevie Ray Vaughan at times, it's crazy good, and Rob's passionate quirky vocals bring everything to the front and draw you into whatever it is he's singing about. Very Jack White-ish talented story telling quality about his vocals, for better or worse. And Mark's drumming is top notch. It has to be with what these guys throw at him musically. Did I mention that there's some psycho sax work going on in a few of the songs? Ok good! LOL The Psyatics are a great band, with talent to burn, and on this their, 3rd, 4th release, I dunno, they do a great job of showcasing what it is that makes them such a good band - diversity and talent. Check them out - The Psyatics. One of the better bands gigging around the Local scene right now. Dig it. :)
This new album by T.S.O.L. sucks. There, I said it. So what? "Opinions on music being subjective...", yada yada yada but still, this album is soooo bad it hurts. Damn. What a shame. It's too poppy, it's too wimpy. It's got people singing 'la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la' background vocals all happy sounding and shit, like some ghey ass 60's hippy music does! Blah! I hate when bands chat up their upcoming release by hinting that it's going to sound like their earlier, classic material, because then I get all hyped up on wanting to hear it, and when I do, I'm usually hugely disappointed, like I am with this latest release from T.S.O.L., one of my favorite bands ever. I mean, I wasn't looking for Dance With Me, part 2, or even a follow up to Beneath The Shadows, but I was looking for something good, something rocking, and didn't find it in this 13 song release. Look, I'm a fan of later era T.S.O.L. albums - I thought Divided We Stand was hugely underrated, and Disappear is filled with all sorts of classic ragers that get the pits started every time the band plays them at a gig, but this album is wimpy, embarrassing, it's polished melodic, and lacking any ear candy whatsoever, there's just nothing here man, nothing. The old original keyboard player is back in the band, and his dynamic is all over the place on these tunes, for better or for worse. His riffs replaced a lot of Ron's stuff, relegating him to accents and background fills, which is sad. Was that some auto tune shit I just heard? Oh fuck this album. I've listened to it a few times now, and just can't find anything worth noting about on this album. Maybe Going Steady would sound good live, but I dunno, the majority of the stuff on here is just soft, watered down, old guy T.S.O.L. singing about Love and what went wrong with their lives versus singing about necrophilia and abolishing governments and pseudo spy novels set to music. Maybe it's me, I dunno, buy again, you ask me, I say this album sucks. It's very The Damned Phantasmagoria era sounding, if you know what I mean. 1 (almost) song out of 13 does not make a record good. I was expecting more, and I got duped. Phooey.
Put out by Release Records on beautiful splattered colored vinyl, CD, and cassette tape, if you can believe that, all of it available from the labels website by clicking here. It's also available from the band at every gig they play to make their mortgage payments or as an excuse to get out of the old folks home they all reside in, sedated and safe and happy. Available on iTunes (click here) as well as all sorts of places all over the Interwebz where Punk Music is sold like the cheap commodity that it is nowadays. 'Like" the band on Facebook by clicking here. T.S.O.L. I heart you. <3
Written by GE 138.
The Fat Dukes Of Fuck are one of the best bands to ever come out of the slimy, drug addled cesspool we lovingly call the Las Vegas Music Scene. One of the Best. Bands. EVER!! What started out as 2 guys and a drum machine noise / joke band project has evolved into a Metal tinged, musically mutinous monster of Mayhem that's capable of melting faces, shredding faces, pulverizing faces and any other aggressive facial attacks you can think of. Somehow now associated with David Yow of The Jesus Lizard and Dale Crover from The Melvins for some reason, The Fat Dukes Of Fuck just keep testing their creativity and pushing the boundaries of what's expected from musicians and what bands are "supposed to do" in order to be successful. While I don't always "get" what they're going for, I'm always thrown back by the fact that they're out they're out there doing "it", whatever "it" is at that particular moment, whether it's recording some Zappa-esque musically dexterous melodious nightmare, or using their home made toilet paper guns to engage a boring crowd into giving them a reaction, or maybe just pummeling a drunken late night crowd at a bar into submission with some heavy ass Metal riffs and Brent's slurred, drunken ramblings. Whatever it is, it's quite a sight to see, something I've been lucky to have witnessed on many an occasion. I consider myself a Fan, a longtime Supporter of the band, as well as a Friend. I love these guys. They are, as the kids say, 'The Shit'. Do kids still say that nowadays? I dunno... who cares? LOL
And what does all that have to do with this sprawling, 2 CD, odds and sods collection from The Fat Dukes Of Fuck? Nothing really, but when given the chance, I love extolling the virtues of this band to anyone bothering to check them out or pay heed to what I have to say. Yeah, I have no idea what's up with this 2 CD collection though. Some songs are live versions of early The Fat Dukes Of Fuck songs, like Speedball Trucker, which was on their first release Bafomitorium, and others (I think) are brand new recordings of songs only previously available in live form, like Grandma Mormon vs. The Beast In Jason's Dick, which is one of my favorite songs by them, but it was previously released on the High 'N' Dry album in a live form, which is odd but whatever, and other tunes on here are just instrumental tracks to previously released material. Sonically it all sounds amazing, and musically it's both baffling and unsettling, which is how good music is supposed to be. Oh, and it rocks too, believe that. Yeah, I don't know what to make from this assemblage of musical arrangements from The Fat Dukes Of Fuck, but I will tell you this - I'm happy to have it to listen to. Check this shit out. If you're a fan, you'll love it, and if you're not, well, give it a listen, and it will grow on you like a poisonous psychedelic mold that both thrills you and terrifies you, and then gives you the best orgasm you've ever had right before it kills you. Yeah, it's that good!
Available from the band at every gig they play. It's also available digitally as well as physically from the bands Bandcamp page, which you can go to by clicking here. They also maintain a The Fat Dukes Of Fuck website, ClownPenisDotFart.org, which is a trip, to say the least. Watch the eyes! hahahaha "Like" The Fat Dukes Of Fuck on Facebook by clicking here.
To some, the phrase 'Christian Punk' is an oxymoron of sorts. You can't be a rule following servant of the Lord while adhering to the chaotic, no rules anything goes world of Punk, where people are more likely to worship GG Allin than Jesus Christ, can you? Who knows? In any case, Christian Punk is alive and well and thriving in a weird sort of way, and this release from the Infirmities, a Christian Punk band from straight outta Salinas, CA, does a great job in melding the Music of Punk with the Message of the Lord with an equal balance that doesn't come off as too preachy or too musically condescending. Produced and recorded by Miguel from Total Chaos, the recording is a bit muddy, but no big deal. Reminds me a bit of how those classic Ill Repute releases on Mystic Records used to sound. The 8 songs on here are presented in a Ramones like, fast and furious, 1-2-3-4 one right after the other blitzkrieg attack, and the release does suffer a bit because of it, with the songs sounding like one giant, drawn out song, but the tracks that do stand out are great, songs like Myself Wrex, It's A God Thing, The Final Conviction and King Of Glory, a very hard hitting, hypnotic Peni-ish song that really brought it all home to me. Pretty good release. Looking forward to hearing more from these guys in the immediate future. And oh yeah, LOVED the Johnny Cash quote at the end of the record... heh.
Available from the Infirmities at every gig they play, and since these guys play a lot, backyards, BBQ's, bat mitzvah's, wherever, you shouldn't have a problem finding this record. Put out on the Malt Soda Recordings label, on various colored pieces of 7" vinyl, and you can click here to buy it directly from them. Also available from Amazon (click here), Interpunk (click here), and everywhere else you can buy Punk music from on the Interweb. "Like" Infirmities on Facebook by clicking here.
And so it begins. The flogging of a dead horse. The raping of the rotting corpse. The exploitation for monetary's sake of Lemmy from Motörhead. Congrats to Cleopatra Records for being the first label that I know of to cash in on Lemmy's passing by putting together this shoddy collection of Lemmy collaborations with people like Jake E. Lee, Ted Nugent, Richie Kotzen and Scott Ian, covering songs by AC/DC, Queen, The Beatles, Eddie Cochran and The Yardbirds. Most of these songs came from various compilations released throughout the years, and to keep things interesting, they threw in an unreleased Motörhead track (Train 'Kept A Rolling), as well as a live song from The Head Cat, the Rockabilly project Lemmy did with Slim Jim Phantom from the Stray Cats. Coming in at barely over 20 minutes in length, these 6 songs by Lemmy and Friends don't really add much to the mans legendary legacy of recorded output. Doesn't take anything away either. The only good track on here is the Motörhead one. Everything else is just bland and 'meh'. People should have their head examined for being involved with this release in any way, shape or form. For gullible purists only.
Available from Cleopatra Records. Red colored vinyl is long gone, but clear vinyl is available on Amazon (click here). "Like" Lemmy on Facebook by clicking here. "Like" Motörhead on Facebook by clicking here.
What the fucking fuck is this shit? Seriously? What the fuck happened to these guys?? Ugh! Opening up with a slow ass ballad that is a clean rip off of a Who song from Tommy that I can't remember right now, the new album from Green Day called Revolution Radio is anything but revolutionary but it sure is radio friendly, that's for sure. It's a downright disappointing album, more miss than hit, more maudlin and morose than Warning and 21st Century Breakdown combined, and that's saying something! This release finds the band recycling their own earlier riffs in a desperate attempt to find their old sound that we all know and love in order to move units and dupe us once again into believing that they've gone back to their earlier sound and are done selling out and kissing ass, but unfortunately, that's not the case. We've all heard the lead off single from this album, Bang Bang, and besides the obvious Offspring influence, it's not a bad song, but unfortunately, it is literally the only good song on this album. I wish I was kidding. Every other song on here sucks worse than the one before it, everything sounds forced, it all sounds like 21st Century Breakout or American Idiot leftovers. I mean, hearing Billie Joe whining about the evils of social media is a bit of a stretch for a soon to be 45 year old man, isn't it? Sonic wise it sounds great, but other than the song Say Goodbye, there isn't a whole lot to get hyped about on here. Auto tuning, studio effects, trying hard to sound like other current bands instead of themselves, Hell, there's loads and loads of stuff to be disappointed about with this latest release from Green Day - where do you wanna begin? LOL
Available wherever Punk Rock or Music is sold as the profitable commodity that it is...
I wanna cry, I seriously do.
When I read that this 40th year anniversary edition of this seminal album was being released, I wanted to cry because I can't believe it's been 40 years since I first heard this album on my Dad's stereo back in Whittier, but also because looking at the cover reminded me that all of the classic Ramones are dead - no offense Tommy. This album has been repackaged / remixed ad nauseum, but this time they finally got it fucking right. This version sounds incredible, sonically better sounding than the new Metallica or Green Day record or anything else current and hard rocking at the moment. Little nuances have been enbellished and brought out, like the 4 lines Dee Dee's sings in 53rd And 3rd, you can actually hear him crystal clear now, it's great. The back up vocals on Chain Saw? You can hear them now!! The jangly 2nd guitar track can be heard loud and clear now, which is a trip. The remix job on here is incredible, done by the guy who originally produced and mixed the album when it came out in '76. The new mix sizzles, it thumps, it crashes, it grabs you by the collar and shakes you around a bit. It's great. This release comes with both a stereo and a mono mix of the album, but to my untrained blown out ears there's very little difference in either. The mono mix is a bit warmer, the stereo mix a bit brighter. Big whoop. The real prize in this 3 CD release is the shit ton of unreleased demos that can be found on here, songs like Loudmouth, Chain Saw, I Don't Wanna Walk Around With You, You're Gonna Kill That Girl and What's Your Name, the last 2 songs weren't even released until the next album Leave Home. They also included the original, uncensored Nazi lyrics version of Today You're Love, Tomorrow The World, which is a bit unsettling to hear sung in this Trump world we all live in now. It's never good to hear Joey Ramone warbling about being a Nazi, it just isn't. Not then, not now.
Also included in this historical release is a refreshed and polished up version of the Ramones - Live At The Roxy release from the summer of 1976. They played 2 sets that day, identical in songs and order played, both were recorded, and the first set was officially released, and the second was not. When you listen to the 2nd set, you know why they went with the first. The second set's a little looser, lot faster, a bit more wild and dangerous sounding, definitely more Punk Rock. Drugs and / or booze may have played a part in the reason why the 2nd set sounds like that, I'm not sure. And as if this wasn't enough, this release comes with a killer booklet full of great pictures and stories, as well as extensive liner notes outlying pretty much everything that had to do with this seminal recording. Oh, and did I mention that you get a vinyl copy of the mono mix of this classic release as well? Well you do! Mono, the way it was supposed to be mixed at Abbey Road Studios, if you can believe that.
Yeah, this is the album that started it all, that spawned a million mini revolutions against everything that people held near and dear, a big middle finger salute to the boring status quo of the time. This is the release that spawned a million bands in a million cities, acting like a Punk Rock Johnny Appleseed in planting the seeds of rebellion everywhere they played and bringing the love of real Rock 'N' Roll back to the forefront of the music scene where it belonged. I've always loved this album, but this 40th anniversary deluxe edition version of the Ramones first album has me in love with it even more, if that was possible. It's been in a state of constant rotation ever since I got it, and I can't stop telling every one I know about how crazy good this thing sounds. Just. Fucking. Wow. You owe it to yourself to scrounge up the money to buy this thing and own your own piece of music history. I can only hope that there are plans to do this to every Ramones album ever released. A band like the Ramones deserves nothing less than this grandoise revered treatment and handling. This is an absolute essential, crucial release to get. You will not be disappointed.
Available everywhere, and I do mean everywhere. If you can't find this, then you should just do us all a favor and go kill yourself as fast as you can. "Like" the Ramones on Facebook by clicking here.
Videos: Doulos @ Angel City Cafe
Music Review: Dr. Phobic And The Phobic-Tones - Melophobia
Idle Gossip updated
Pictures: The Mapes @The Dive
Gig Calendar updated
Pictures: Alan Six @The Dive
Music Review: Skassapunka - Rudes Against
Flyer Archive updated