*   *      **** **
*  **      ****  *
* *******         **
*  **      ****  *
*   *      **** **
Volume 2     Number 19
We are now semiweekly!


From: Mark
Subj: Giveaway #1 Winner

Jonathan Morris of Huntsville, Alabama was the first reader to correctly
identify TeenBeat #1, a compilation (although chiefly Mark Robinson) entitled
"Extremism In The Defense Of Liberty Is No Vice" (ah, the hardcore days of
TeenBeat...) He wins an Unrest "Cath Carroll" 45. Coming on Tuesday will be
giveaway #2, this time a CD giveaway, so stay tuned...


From: Mark
Subj: Reminder

Before this mega-packed ish, I'd like to remind everyone that the deadline
for Fshee! submissions is October 15. We have some really interesting stuff
so far, but more would be great. Also, ads are available; up to a half page
(letter size), name your price. Write me for further info.


From: Stephen Clover <>
Subj: stick throwing songs (long)

hi, i'm steve, and this is my first contribution tho' i've
been lurking about 6mths.

it's that time of the month again, when i get all enthusiastically
patroitic, so i bashed up some notes on a few nz items that have been on
high rote for the last few weeks. (although i'm not particularly sure
about the "indie"ness of some of these but hopefully they serve to
enlighten the masses about some of the less known sides to new zealand
music) if anyone wants anymore info about anything mentioned here, just
email me - happy to help! 

it's called 'songs to throw sticks in the air to' and i hope you like it!


hallelujah picassos "u+i" (cds) -- wildside (d11493)

  following on the heels of their very good, and reasonably successful
debut album "hateman in love" (1992), the picassos have released the first
single from their forthcoming full-length "drinking with judas", and it's
a real mixed bag. the title song and the second track are standard
picassos 'dub ballads' with the wonderful octave-scaling basslines and
minimilistic reggae beats, not standout, but very good all the same. the
third track is a impromptu (seeming) studio jam version of 'snakesman's
cry' (off "hateman in love") and it's a lot of fun. the fourth track,
'rewind - klink klank klunk klonk (double spoon mix)' is a fullblown dub
jam with some interesting percussion effects (as suggested by the title). 

  nothing here on the par of 'black spade picasso core' or 'bastardiser'
the punk/reggae anthems of local student radio yet.. but we haven't heard
the album yet! 

second child "hold back" (cds) -- wildside (d11441)

  not sure about much of the history of this band. second child are from
auckland, and it kind of shows, it smacks of that auckland semi-heavy but
still very guitar-pop influenced sound. the title track is the most boring
on this release, a fairly ordinary ballad, with two live tracks (good) and
'vice like' my favourite with a very fast drum riff and wailing guitars. 

  overall, not especially wonderful.. but on the other hand it's not
terrible either. hmmmm.. hard to pick really

into the void (cd) -- flying nun (fncd 228)

  into the void, from christchurch, are named after a black sabbath song.
but don't panic.. this is not an album of ac/dc tributes. this is in fact
nz's answer to grindy, grungy, swampy rock and it's done with a very good
sense of humour. the entire album is, if anything, underproduced, and the
effects, samples and machine noises don't come through as nicely as they
could, but that's ok. there's some fast guitars, and some slow guitars,
some growling vocals and some chanted vocals. there's even a cliff richard
cover ('devil woman') and a surf anthem ('surf's up') but this is no beach
boys. in a desperate attempt to find contemporaries to compare with, all i
can come up with his is a messed up jesus&mary chain. like s.p.u.d. (see
below) this is really a one-off new zealand thing, nothing formulaic that
meets the eye. after all, your average "export" kiwi band doesn't do songs
like 'black widow', 'love bitch' or 'satan rise'. 

  in all this, i get the overall impression that this is a humour outfit
above all else, there's none of the attempted 'impending doom' of a
standard death metal band, and for me that's good. could be worth a listen
- i thought so, and was pleasantly surprised. 

loves ugly children "purge" (cds) -- flat city (fc 003)

  a relatively new, young band from christchurch, loves ugly children play
a reasonably orgininal guitar-heavy sound, with samplers and possibly the
most interesting part of their songs, the repeated and varied tempo
changes throughout. my favourite track from this 5-track, their first
release (four listed tracks) would have to be 'flesh-hook' -- although
particularly bleak, with a simple riff and strained, processed howls in
the background, it's the wonderful highpitched ethnic-like chant that does
it for me. but not to be unfair to the other tracks, they are all very
good. this is quite possibly the most exciting thing i've heard from a nz
band in quite a few months. 

  what i'd like to see: love's ugly children with lung on their next
excursion into the "industrial waste" of europe. 

rake "when your duff is cold.." (7") -- yellow bike (bike 009)

[full title "when your duff is cold and your belly is empty"]

  this is the first (and last) individual rake release. following on from
their spots on the two yellow bike palmerston north compilations "dynamite
groove" (bike 002) and "pseudopodia" (bike 005). this disk is now a few
months old, but it gets better with every listen. a little more produced
than their comp. tracks, but it doesn't hurt at all. full of poisonous
vocals, slimy yellowy-bile guitar and a beautiful steady plonking bass,
the four tracks oooooze out of the stereo and slither about. rake are
great live, and now there's a recording to equal. cuts are 'crank', 'cut',
'no end' & 'weird bastard'. this really is essential poison. 

  rake have split recently, with guitarist graeme joining lung (replacing
phil williscroft on bass) but bassist paul hints at a new project in the
forming. here's hoping. 

[ Rake from NZ are not to be confused with Rake from Fairfax, VA, who have
three 45s on the VHF label. - Mark ]

shihad "churn" (cd) -- wildside (d30968)

  wellington band shihad follow up their much maligned speed metal debut
ep "devolve" with this, much more mature, dive into industrial metal. the
first thing you notice is the total lack of guitar showmanship (this too
in their live show) with not a single solo -- instead, with the help of
jaz coleman (yes, mr. ex killing joke himself), they weave a wall of sound
that takes a couple of listens to break through. the sound is well
supplemented by the pounding, incessant riffing of the bass, and a
creditable performance on the drums by tom larkin (later hired to record
the latest killing joke lp). the overall effect is also supplemented by a
liberal sprinkling of sample throughout. 
  the influences sometimes appear a little deriviative, with the skeptics
and killing joke regularly raising their heads, and the vocals sometimes a
little melodic for my taste, but in all this is a really fine album for a
first real outing. the standout track for me would have to be 'the happy
meal' with the great samples, but particularly because the vocals are
mixed a lot lower than on the other tracks and thats how i like it! 
  shihad have just returned from a tour of australia supporting death
metallers fear factory, which according to the band members i've talked to
was in all a success. 

s.p.u.d. "gnaw" (cd) -- flying nun (fn 198) (1991)

  well. a band i knew absolutely nothing about. i had no idea, at all,
that there was a band in new zealand, much less auckland, making this kind
of noise. this album is, to put it as plainly as i know, brilliant.
s.p.u.d. manage to sound like many fine hard guitar bands you could name,
in the space of fourteen songs, and make it sound easy! from the opening
bars of 'recliner', which is reminiscent of the straitjacket fits on
speed, and then kicks into a very hard rough song, they shift straight
into track two 'creep' (my personal favourite) and a grinding godflesh
roar. track three and they're sounding like the best bits out of the jesus
lizard and head like a hole. well, enough comparisons, which, if anything,
detract from the diversity and just plain beauty of this album. 
  recommendation: if you like your music laced with a little something,
then you really must give this album a spin. i can't really stop listening
to it. however, i have it on good authority that, unfortunately, s.p.u.d.
have since split up. damn. i'll just have to keep spinning this one,
supplemented with a few gems from yellow bike! 

the clear "live stomach" (cd) -- yellow bike (bike 001) (1990)

  the clear are, of course, what lung was before they became lung. and
this disk, although three or so years old now, clearly shows this - being
a kind of trademark lung guitar-pop sound but with the familiar underlying
hard, cold spirit, and a general heaviness not present in your standard
flying nun band. despite the title, this album does not, despite close
scrutiny, appear to be an actual live recording. standout tracks on the
disc are hard to pick, with the whole album hitting like "cactii" did, but
the opener 'temptation' and 'trees in autumn', with it's almost subliminal
basslines, always grab me. 
  most people would, probably, give this a miss, but if you like lung, and
want to know where they came from, you could enjoy this album quite a lot. 

bailterspace "nelsh" (12") -- flying nun (fn 094) (1987)

  well.. that elusive beast, the first bailterspace ep -- i finally
tracked it down! but what an interesting sound.. as i was expecting, sort
of a demo for "tanker" -- but there's a little extra surprise in the form
of synthesisers. not subtle ones, either, but full blown, early-mid
eighties synths! you know, the duranduran, omd, tears for fears kind of
thing (a movement i never paid much attention to). but after getting
through the opening bars of 'new man', the guitars show their heads,
admittedly through a bank of thousands of tube ambs, but they're there,
and so are the familiar-ish shouting vocals and a very charming bass
  particular track for me is the early, originally deceptive, version of
'our aim' (no label?) with keyboards substituting in the role the guitars
played in last years "the aim" ep -- how do they manage to make those
synths sound so bleak and robotic. another track would be 'seperate
circles' from the b-side, a more slow song, with female backing. 
  all amusing (and otherwise) references to eighties pop aside, this
really is a wonderful album (land mark? he says hesitantly), and a must,
surely, for any bailterspace fan. 

doublehappys "nerves" (cd) -- flying nun (fncd 196) (1985)

  after being blown away by the straitjacket fits' cover of the sex
pistols 'satellite' on the 'cat inna can' single, i decided it was time to
chase up some pre-fits shayne carter just to see if it was really as punk
as i'd heard. lucky for me flying nun, in another fine move, have just
re-issued this on cd. on one or two listens it's not quite as i was
expecting, but that's not to say it's not good. it's great! it's more of a
raw, raw, raw, pre-andrew brough fits circa "life in one chord" with some
really fun songs on it -- 'bit fat elvis' for example -- and some really
fine songs too. this record is a mixture of the "cut it out" ep (1985),
the doublehappy's "double b-side" single, some 2-track recordings done in
1983, and some songs recorded live in 1984. i'd have to say, as a
dedicated fits fanatic, that this is a must for all you other fits
fanatics out there (gawd, there's millions of you). 
  now my search continues _back_ in time to get my mitts on any bored
games recordings. 



"oh god, i'm a sinner! i deserve to go to hell (alleluia!)"


From: "Brooks R. Duncan" <>
Subj: Bovine Love Jelly, Change of Heart, Sloan at Harpo's, 9/27
(yeah I know Sloan is on DGC... ohwell deal with it :) )
  Well, last night I went to the Bovine Love Jelly/Change of Heart/Sloan
gig at Harpos here in good ol' Victoria BC.... wow :)
  I thought it was a great show... BLJ played first... I had never heard
them before, but I heard that their demo tape really sucked, so I didn't
expect much. However, they were really really good.. apparently they
kicked one of the members out and are much better now (heh heh). They're
your standard "modern alterna-punk" guitar oriented band... all the
members are pretty young... I'd say the oldest member is maybe 21 or 22?
The drummer is 15 however... which suprised me, as Harpos are usually
bastards about age..ohwell.. anyways, if they ever come through your town
(I don't really think that they have any x-canada touring plans soon :))
I'd really reccomend them, as they're really fun.. 
 Next up with Change of heart.. hey what can I say.. I had never heard
this band before, so I can't really say much about them... they were
great... not earth shatteringly so, but good nonetheless.. during their
set I went outside to get some fresh air and there was Jay standing there
talking to Kevin Lee (bass player for the godly Victoria band known as
Bum, who are just agout to go on a tour of England with the Smugglers..).
Actually, all the time that BLJ was playing I was sitting beside a window,
and I could see all the members of sloan sitting outside in the
courtyard.. but, I of course didn't have the courage to go out there and
say hi :)
  Whoah, this is getting long, so I'll get to Sloan... they were really
really good... they looked quite tired, which I guess is understandable
considering its the last show of their Fall tour (well, not including the
Halifax gig, but that doesn't count :) ). Unfortunately, they played a
very, very short set (about 35-40 mins :( ).. I think because they were so
tired maybe (?)... Jay mentioned that it was getting quite late.. (it was
around 1:30am).. what time do shows usually start where you guys are?
Bands almost never start playing until 10pm here at Harpos... so shows
are rarely over before 2... but anyuways, heres the setlist as I remember
it.. I could have forgotten some, and some may be wrong... but.. 
1. some jellyfish babies cover I think... for the chorus they
   kept saying "blue eyes"
2. 500 Up
3. Raspberry (I think)
4. Some song that they said was new and would be on their new 
   album.. I can't remember what the chorus was, but Patrick 
   sang anyways.,,
5. Median strip
6. Pillowfight
7. Lucky for me (which is still I think my favorite sloan 
8. Take it in
9. Sugar tune
10. ?? (I didn't recognize it at ALL.. no idea :)) 
11. Underwhelmed 
Encore: Pretty voice
  Oh yeah, I should mention.. the crowd *really* got into the whole gig..
I was surprised... it was bloody PACKED too.. I don't think I've ever seen
Harpos this packed.. I didn't know Sloan was that famous out here... Of
course, since it is Victoria we had the standard asshole sailors come in
from the naval base yelling "It sounds better on CD!". <shaking head>. 
 I'll shut up now :)

Oh one more thing... I'll be heading down to Seattle (shaddup :) ) soon
for a little vacation.. does anyone know any good record stores down there
or shows that are happening around the oct. 17 area? Thanks :)

Brooks R. Duncan                      
           The views expressed here are not those of the NSA
      Therefore, this is going in a file reserved just for me! :)


From: "Stephen B. Shapero" <>
Subj: Archers of Loaf

Hi from Washington, D.C.  I hope not a whole lot has already been said
about this amazing band, but if so, well, I feel like I have to add my two
cents in.  We recently got the new Archers of Loaf LP, "Icky Mettle" at
the radio station here at u of md.  I remember visitng a friend in Durham
and he mentioned something about an Archers show, and I thought, "What a
lame name for a band, Archers of Loaf." Later in the summer I was visiting
another friend in Greensboro and he was blasting Archers.  I only heard 3
or 4 songs at the time, but I was so excited.  I felt vibes of major rock
from the grit that was flying out of the speakers.  I've gotten a chance
to fully digest the record, and there is a definite D-Jr./Pavement
influence going.  But the vocalist has a unique voice and witty lyrics. 
There's 2 guitarists, one of whom seems to favor full-out rock chords,
while the other guitar takes on a more MBV-ish type sound.  Sometimes I
think he's playing an organ or whatever, but it's always a little too
noisey to be one, thank god.  Supposedly "Web" was a really big single,
although I never heard anything about it.  It truly kicks ass as one of
rock's epochal tunes.  The overall grittiness of the recording and the raw
rock feeling the comes with it makes the record the phat dope.  Yet
another Chapel Hill thing. 



Subj: Oh, Canada: Trois Revu

Thanks for including my concert review last week.  Here are a couple of
Canadian releases you might find extremely wonderful: 

LEONARD CONAN - PUP SLOP EP (7" on Cinnamon Toast Records)

I bought this little ditty basically because I knew my Leonard-loving
brother would hate to see a band take His Name In Vain (he was not amused
by Ween's cover for _The Pod_, either!). Given the EP name, and the sound
of other Halifax bands I had heard I was expecting more noisier noise-pop. 
Boy, was I in for a treat.  This four song release is one of my favorite
7"s (n = 70 or so). Are you excited yet? 
	_Lost_, the first song, seems to steal that catchy guitar part from
_Here Comes the Sun_, but the band incorporates it with savoir faire, a la
Unrest thievery, into a fuzzy jangly cloud.  The second tune starts of
slow, in SkyDigger-esque ways (a Canadian band, sorry), but picks up just
in time to make you smile a happy smile.  Side B starts out with Engine,
a great song that I'll deconstruct as 1 part Superchunk, 1 part
Catholic-Education-era TFC, and 1 part Fudge.  Finally, the last song was
the coup de grace in my decision about what to review here.  I had this
song in my head, but couldn't place it for days.  Yep, this was it. 
_Frightened Of_ is a seamless slower jangly pop song, mixing reverbed (I
think) electricity and passionate acousticity via guitars (it kind of
reminds me of that Lorelei song _Everythings Gone Rain_). This EP is the
best thing I've heard from the East Coast.  It's limited to 500 copies,
but will likely be re-pressed to keep it around (guess). Mine's on yellow
vinyl.  An unexpected delight. (Cinnamon Toast Records, 2464 Robie St.,
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, B3K 4N1). 

BLAISE PASCAL - E-FILTER EP (5 song CD, Friendly Bag Records)

These guys hail from Vancouver, B.C., and this CD represents the debut of
one of the better Pavement/Sonic Youth/Slint type bands I have heard. 
They opened for Pavement in Vancouver and Pavement really liked 'em...and
it was only their third show ever! The slower tracks like Disposable
remind me of Slint, the first tune _c.y. wont fail_ [sic] is later-day SY
influenced, and other parts remind me of post-Slanted era Pavement.  It's
been out since January.  Matador distributes it (that's where I got it). 
It's moody, and the disc is kinda nice to play, since it need not be
flipped (sorry, Disciples of Vinyl, but the odd disc never hurt no one).
Skronky, but yummy. 


I'm reviewing this just for the sheer entertainment of being able to say
that I have this and for once, you lucky indie-american folks don't.  See,
I'm very jealous of all you who see bands like Lorelei, Unrest, Swirlies,
Fudge, Stereolab, Lilys, Versus, and other neet-o bands every other day
(it seems).  And especially those who are catching frisbee-Teenbeat 7"s at
live shows.  Well, I paid $2 for this l'il number, and I saw them live
along with 20 or thirty other blessed souls. And I have a CD single promo
too. Nyaaah! These guys are currently jeoprodising their careers by
ALLOWING Steve Albini to produce their sophomore record.  So this
pre-Albini stuff is gonna be like gold.  And Shadowy Men's drummer
produced the 7"!  This tells you nothing whatsoever about their sound,
though, eh? Pity. Well, they're from Guelph, Ontario.  Does that help? 
Okay, okay.  The truth of the matter is that I can't really accurately
describe them, so I'm skirting the issue.  They are a really good band.  I
do believe my revenge, oh-so-saccharine, is complete.  Allow me to gloat
until next issue, thanks. ;). 

Glen in Winnipeg

P.S. I just got a catalog in the mail today from a Canadian
label/distributor, Derivative, that actually carries these three releases. 
They carry a lot of Canadian indie, and some US indie too.  Here's their
address, and no, I'm not connected with them in any way: 

P.O Box 42031
Monteal, Quebec, Canada
H2W 2T3


From: all that lusters isn't glitter or gold <>
Subj: Some more reviews from Chris Sievanen!

New Bikini Kill single - New Radio +2 7" on Kill Rock Stars

It's great! Joan Jett, no kidding, helps out the band on this single which
makes them much tighter and heavier.  This is how I always wanted Bikini
Kill to sound! Like a real, accomplished punk rock girlie band! Yay! 

[ yup... Joan Jett lives in the DC area now; she produced the Circus Lupus
"Pop Man" 45 too, but we all thought it was a joke at the time. - Mark ]

Yoshimi 7" on Ecstatic Peace

Argh. Only 30 seconds of music for 3.50? I think not. Don't buy it, even
if it's the Boredoms grrl plus Kim Gordon and Julie Cafritz, it's just not
worth it for the money. 

Plus, I went to a show in Duvall, WA (Countryville, hicksville,) it was in
a barn!  Lots of cool bands played, to include Scribble, the Evaporators,
Kicking Giant and others, but the band to watch out for is Godhead Silo!
Man!  2 guys, one on drums and the other on bass, and they shook that barn
down to the ground! I guess they have a full cd and a single on Kill Rock
Stars. I bought the single and it's very heavy and cool. They're different
live because they cant do all of the loops and stuff that are on the
single, adn I think I like them live better, but they're a new band and
definitely one to watch. I was totally impressed.  Very minimal and heavy
and dark.  Trust me.  One day you too will be rocked by Godhead Silo! 



From: Joshua John Buergel <>
Subj: INDIE: Lots of reviews [LONG]

I've finally decided to get around to reviewing the stack of CDs which
have been steadily accumulating here around Buergel Manor (which is what
I've decided to call my closet of a dorm room).  There are a total of
thirty five CDs that I'd like to review, which comprises my purchases over
the summer and purchases since I've been back here in Pittsburgh (not
counting some albums I won't review because they are either really, really
old or aren't really of interest to the indie list).  I haven't got any
idea if I'll actually review all of them here, although I have a feeling
my fingers would fall off if I tried.  In case anyone cares, my top ten
for the year so far would look something like Cypress Hill, Fugazi, the
Grifters, the Karl Hendricks Trio, the New Bomb Turks, Claw Hammer, the
John Spencer Blues Explosion, the Big Boys, Tar and Pond.  A summary of
the releases I review follows, so you can read what you want: 

the Jesus Lizard, Lash:  **1/2
the John Spencer Blues Explosion, _Extra Width_:  ***
Big Boys, _The Fat Elvis_:  ***
Cosmic Psychos, _Palomino Pizza_:  *
Claw Hammer, _Q:  Are We Not Men?  A:  We Are NOT Devo!_:  **1/2
Claw Hammer, Pablum:  ***
Tar, Toast:  **1/2
Caspar Brotzmann Massaker, Koksofen:  **
Surgery, _Trim, 9th Ward High Roller_:  **1/2
Gorilla Biscuits, _Start Today_:  *1/2
Gorilla Biscuits, _High Hopes_:  **1/2
Chokebore, Motionless:  *1/2
NoMeansNo, _Why Do They Call Me Mr. Happy_:  **
J Church, Quetzalcoatl:  **
J Church, _Camels, Spilled Corona and the Sound of Mariachi Bands_:  **
Negativland, Negativconcertland:  **
Pond, S/T:  **1/2
the Karl Hendricks Trio, _Misery And Women_:  ***
Therapy?, _Hats Off To The Insane_:  *1/2
Lungfish, _Rainbows From Atoms_:  **1/2
Grotus, _Slow Motion Apocalypse_:  **
Bim Skala Bim, Bones:  **
9353, _Overdoses At Your Mother's House_:  *1/2
Fugazi, _In On The Kill Taker_:  ***
Dambuilders, _Tough Guy Problem_:  **
Doughboys, Crush:  *
Steel Pole Bath Tub, _The Miracle Of Sound In Motion_:  **
Smashing Pumpkins, _Siamese Dream_:  *
Today Is The Day, Supernova:  *1/2
Boss Hog, _Girl +_:  *1/2
Circus Lupus, _Solid Brass_:  **1/2
Screeching Weasel, _My Brain Hurts_:  ***
Tsunami, _Deep End_:  **1/2
Slint, Tweez:  ***
ALL, _Breaking Things_:  **

So, without further ado (and these are in no particular order, sorry):

the Jesus Lizard, Lash (Touch & Go TG121)

This is the most recent effort by the Jesus Lizard and contains two new
songs and four live tracks (on vinyl, this is a 3x7" set, incidentally). 
 The new songs are wonderful, to say the least, which makes me wait for a
new album all the more.  "Glamorous" ranks among the best Jesus Lizard
songs ever, and "Deaf As a Bat" is also great stuff.  The four live tracks
are also nice.  A very good release, and it's cheap too.  **1/2

(Touch & Go, P.O. Box 25520, Chicago, IL, 60625
             P.O. Box 59, London, England, N22, 1AR)

The John Spencer Blues Explosion, _Extra Width_ (Matador Ole 052)

A truly amazing album from Mr. Spencer here.  This is pure lo-fi "gutter
blues" (to use Spencer's own term) with some really strong playing and
songs.  I can't really fully describe the appeal of this album, since on
the face of it it doesn't sound that interesting.  There is, however,
something about this album that grabs you at the gut level rather than at
the intellectual level.  Pure bluesy rock, and it's great stuff. ***

(Matador Records Inc., 670 Broadway, NYC, 10012)

Big Boys, _The Fat Elvis_ (Touch & Go TG99)

This is a compilation of three Big Boys releases, _Fun, Fun, Fun..._,
_Lullabies Help The Brain Grow_ and _No Matter How Long The Line Is At The
Cafeteria, There's Always A Seat!_.  I hadn't heard the Big Boys before
buying this, since I wasn't even close to listening to cool music when the
Big Boys actually were playing.  This, I must say, is quite the amazing
release.  Forget bands like the Peppers, this is a real punk/funk
combination.  Just look at the first three songs.  "Nervous" and
"Apolitical" are flush with punk energy and they are followed up by
"Hollywood Swinging", a Kool and the Gang cover.  And so it goes.  Some
punk, some funk, and all good.  Trying to listen to all 31 tracks on this
release in a row is sort of tiring, but I'm not one to complain about too
much material.  Instead, I just program my CD player to play the tracks
that would have comprised one of the original release, and just listen to
that.  An essential release for anybody who likes funky stuff and also
likes punk.  ***

Cosmic Psychos, _Palomino Pizza_ (Amphetamine Reptile Records AmRep 019)

This is the latest EP from the Psychos, following on the heels of reissues
of _Go The Hack_ (a fine album) and their first two LPs on one CD (which I
haven't heard).  The Psychos, for those who don't know, play straight
ahead punk rock with some really great flaming (and I mean that in a
positive way) guitar work.  This release is no exception.  Six songs of
pretty rockin' stuff.  No surprises, though.  If you like the Psychos,
you're bound to like this.  If you haven't heard them, get _Blokes You Can
Trust_ first.  *

(Amphetamine Reptile Records, 2645 1st Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN, 55408)

Claw Hammer, _Q:  Are We Not Men?  A:  We Are NOT Devo!_ (Sympathy For
The Record Industry, SFTRI 119)

What a great concept this is:  Claw Hammer doing Devo's first album
straight through.  The best part is that the results live up the the
concept.  Recorded live to a two track, this is brilliant stuff.  As
always, the universal Claw Hammer caveat applies:  there are alot of
people who really loathe John Wahl's voice.  That said, I am proof
positive that his voice can also grow on you in a big way.  I bought
Ramwhale a while back, and didn't think much of it at first, but now all
my Claw Hammer is totally cherished.  Anyway, the material they're doing
is strong (it's early Devo, c'mon!) and Claw Hammer remains one of the
most skilled indie rock bands around.  Plus, there's some bonus stuff at
the end that's totally choice, including "Slappy Sings Dead Zeppelin"
which made me laugh myself sick.  **1/2

(I can't find an address for SFRTI, sorry)

Claw Hammer, Pablum (Epitaph 86425)

I couldn't figure out why Claw Hammer had an album on Epitaph records. 
Bad Religion...NOFX...Pennywise...Claw Hammer?  It just didn't fit.  After
listening to the album, it still doesn't really fit, but I don't care. 
This album rocks harder than Ramwhale does, but it's still got some
really choice harmonica, still has a wonderfully bluesy feel to it, still
has great songwriting, still has great playing, still has great interplay
between the two guitarists...and still has John Wahl's voice.  Once again,
if you can't bear his voice, you're still not going to like Claw Hammer. 
If you do like his voice, you'll find yourself listening to this a truly
alarming amount.  Claw Hammer is one of the best indie rock bands playing
today.  ***

(Epitaph, 6201 Sunset Blvd., Suite 111, Hollywood, CA, 90028)

Tar, Toast (Touch and Go TG106)

Over the course of three LPs, a couple of EPs and assorted 7"s, Tar has
developed quite a sound.  When you hear a Tar song, you pretty much know
that it's Tar.  That's not to say it's a terribly new sound, or that it's
a particularly difficult sound to make.  Nevertheless, they do what they
do very well these days, and there's something about their music that
manages to really grip my attention.  Toast is no exception.  Rock solid
rhythm section, great distorted guitar that doesn't fall into the trap of
constant riffing and fairly nonsensical yelled vocals.  Like I said, it
doesn't sound particularly original, but there's something great about
Tar.  One thing:  their albums usually require several listens to really
sink in.  This is the best Tar since Jackson, and that makes it the
second best Tar release ever.  **1/2

Caspar Brotzmann Massaker, Koksofen (Homestead Records HMS208)

Well, this is pretty much what I expected it to be.  This is a five song
release, but it's definately LP length.  The songs are more texture than
conventional songs, with Brotzmann doing some really great stuff with his
guitar to create alot of atmospheric noise.  The closest comparison I can
think of is Einstuerzende Neubauten's _Five On The Open Ended Richter
Scale_.  Fairly ambient noise with some great gutteral sounding German
vocals.  If you like Neubauten, it's a fair guess that you'll like this. 
Well done for this sort of thing.  **

(manufactured and distributed by Duch East India Trading, P.O. Box 800,
Rockville Centre, NH, 11571-0800)

Surgery, _Trim, 9th Ward High Roller_ (Amphetamine Reptile AmRep 018)

How long have I been waiting for a new Surgery release?  Ages.  Since the
"Little Debbie" single came out.  That was a great single, far better than
Nationwide was, and I was eagerly awaiting more Surgery.  Well, after
all this time they only deliver a six song EP, and one of those songs was
on the "Little Debbie" CD single.  Argh.  Of the five remaining songs, a
couple of them really rock and a couple of them are kind of slow. 
Overall, kind of disappointing.  When Surgery rocks, they rock. 
Unfortunately, they just don't seem to rock that often.  **1/2.  Should
have been a 7", and should have been alot sooner. 

Gorilla Biscuits, _Start Today_ (Revelation 12)

Hardcore.  Chunka-chunka guitars, petal-to-the-metal drums,
screamed/shouted vocals.  Not only that, but the lyrics are pretty typical
straight-edge type hardcore fare.  That said, there's something that makes
this album fun to listen to.  The playing is actually quite solid and
really tight, especially for hardcore.  The vocal delivery just took a
litle getting used to.  By now, I will often put this on, hop around the
room and shout along.  Fun.  If you like hardcore, you want this.  If you
don't like hardcore, you don't.  Simple.  *1/2

(Revelation Records, P.O. Box 1454, New Haven, CT, 06506-1454)

Gorilla Biscuits, _High Hopes_ (Revelation 4)

This is an earlier GB recording, and it suffers from poor sound quality.
It obviously is a less mature version of the band that produced _Start
Today_.  While not a bad record, it's not a great record either.  A couple
of good songs, and it's cheap, so I have a hard time really complaining
alot.  It also features the same unlisted bonus tracks as _Start Today_. 
Go figure.  **1/2

Chokebore, Motionless (Amphetamine Reptile AmRep 020)

This is quite the change of pace for AmRep, and lays to rest once and for
all the misconception that "all AmRep bands sound alike" (I never say how
people could say that anyway, but this should provide the death blow for
that).  Yeah, it's heavy, metal tinged rock.  The big difference is that
the singer actually sings instead of screams.  It's quite a big
difference, and makes for a recording that is probably closer in spirit to
"grunge" bands than the other bands in the AmRep stable.  That said, it's
a pretty decent album with some pretty good songs.  In other words, it's a
good grunge album.  *1/2

NoMeansNo, _Why Do They Call Me Mr. Happy?_ (Alternative Tentacles Virus 123)

NoMeansNo are pretty much the Rush of the indie rock world.  This album
has mostly songs of really epic length, which feature bass playing and
drums that are nothing short of brilliant.  If you took prog rock and
stripped away all of the pretentious bullshit and left all of the skill,
what you'd end up with is NoMeansNo.  This album isn't as mind-numbingly
brilliant as 1989's Wrong, but few things are.  A fine album.  **

(Alternative Tentacles Records, P.O. Box 419092, San Francisco, CA, 94141)

J Church, Quetzalcoatl (Allied Recordings No. 27)

Formed out of the ashes of Cringer, J Church somehow get lumped in with
the millions of other Bay Area punk pop groups.  The truth is that J
Church's songs are mostly mid-tempo number, are highly melodic, and are
probably closer to many Dischord bands (like Jawbox) that they are to
their Bay Area counterparts.  This albums features great songwriting,
great playing, and is just generally great stuff.  Like I said, if you
like Jawbox you probably would dig these guys.  **

(Allied Recordings, P.O. Box 460683, San Francisco, CA, 94146)

J Church, _Camels, Spilled Corona and the Sound of Mariachi Bands_
(Broken Rekids Skip 17)

This is a compilation of earlier J Church stuff, and the description above
still applies.  The only difference is that the sound quality isn't quite
a nice as on the above album, but the material doesn't suffer at all from
it.  (I did forget to mention that Quetzalcoatl was recorded and mixed
in an hour, and you'd never guess from listening to it).  Get
Quetzalcoatl first, and then get this.  **

(Broken Rekids, P.O. Box 460402, San Francisco, CA, 94146)

Negativland, Negativconcertland

Normally I wouldn't review bootlegs for a list such as this, since it's
really difficult to get ahold a specific bootleg.  Not only that, but I
very rarely buy bootlegs since for the money I'd spend on a poorly
recorded live record I could get two or three normal releases.  I make an
exception here because this boot was done by an individual on the net and
is thus easily available to all indie list readers.  This is a two CD
recording of a Negativland concert, and it's pretty fun stuff.  The real
gems here are "Dick Vaughn Speaks", "The Hellbound Place", "The Copyright
Law Pt. 1" and "Pt. 2", and "Perfect Scrambled Eggs".  If you like N'land,
this is a fine addition to your collection.  Not only that, but five bucks
out of every sale go to N'land's legal defense fund.  **

(Contact Steven Boswell to find out more, although I couldn't find his
email address anywhere)

Pond, S/T (Sub Pop SP186)

Yeah, so it took me a while to get around to buying this.  So what.  It's
still a great record.  It's not a grunge album, thank goodness.  Instead,
Pond play pop songs sort of the same way Arcwelder are playing pop songs
these days.  Great rhythm section, sort of angular guitar, and odd vocals. 
It worked well with Arcwelder and works even better with Pond.  A fine,
fine record.  **1/2

(Sub Pop Center for World Domination, P.O. Box 20645, Rock City, WA, 98102)

The Karl Hendricks Trio, _Misery And Women_ (Fiasco 107)

Pittsburgh's finest (sorry Don Caballero) turn out another wonderful LP of
heartbroken songs about, well, misery and women.  Karl's voice continues
to sound amazingly fragile and vulnerable.  He sounds like if he gets
dumped on one more time he'll expire from loneliness, most of the time. 
Add that to some really great guitar playing that ranges from stark and
quiet to really big and loud and some really choice drums, and you've got
a truly great album.  I can only hope that more people outside of
Pittsburgh get clued in to these guys.  Finding out about the Trio is
probably one of the most positive things about having come to Pittsburgh
for school.  ***

(Fiasco, P.O. Box 34416, Los Angeles, CA, 90034)

Therapy?, _Hats Off To The Insane_ (it's on A&M, so who cares?)

A new six song EP from one of the oddest beneficiaries of last year's
singing orgy, _Hats Off To The Insane_ finds Therapy? somewhat in
transition.  "Screamager" is probably the most commercial thing Therapy?
has done, with undistorted vocals and a very simple and accessable song
structure.  Fortunately, the rest of the EP is the Therapy? that I love,
with compact, driving songs of hate that continue to owe quite alot to Big
Black.  This is a nice EP, but it sounds like being on a major is starting
to wear away the rage.  That will be a pity if it happens.  *1/2

(A&M is a mersh label.  Look in any record store)

Lungfish, _Rainbows From Atoms_ (Dischord DIS78)

Lungfish's _Talking Songs For Walking_ is one of my favorite Dischord
releases ever.  The songs are fairly poppy in structure, and to that the
band manages to drone on in a really catchy way.  This album also drones,
but isn't nearly as interesting as that album way.  The songs sound
repititous rather than trancy.  It was a fine line that Lungfish was
walking, and it looks like they've crossed it.  Not a bad album, just not
particularly interesting either.  **1/2

(Dischord Records, 3819 Beecher Street, Washington D.C., 20007)

Grotus, _Slow Motion Apocalypse_ (Alternative Tentacles Virus 118)

Grotus, like Cop Shoot Cop, are a guitar band without a guitar player. 
Two bassists, a drummer, and a singer who plays samples is Grotus' lineup,
and it makes for some really interesting songs.  Cop Shoot Cop is probably
the closest musical reference point, although Grotus have more Big Black
and less Foetus (who are what CSC are pretty much composed of).  This
album also shows a fascination with Hindu culture that manifests itself in
the form of many samples of Hindu music.  It's an interesting combination,
and an interesting album.  **

Bim Skala Bim, Bones (Bib Records 004)

Hey, it's time for some ska!  Which is exactly what this is.  Either you
like ska or you don't.  This is well done ska.  I like ska.  Therefore: 

(Bim Skala Bim, P.O. Box 441606, Somerville, MA, 02144)

9353, _Overdoses At Your Mother's House_ (Adult Swim 5)

This comprises the _To Whom It May Consume_ LP with 9 unreleased tracks,
and is an interesting album to say the least.  9353 play what sounds like
fairly conventional music on the surface, with some fairly interesting
guitar work and some really odd distorted vocals.  Then you start
listening to what he's actually singing.  The lyrics are not exactly what
I'd call nice.  This is pretty warped stuff, all things told, and that
makes it pretty neat.  *1/2

(Adult Swim, P.O. Box 1535, Arlington, VA 22210-0835)

Fugazi, _In On The Kill Taker_ (Dischord DIS70)

Fugazi returns to form with their second best release ever, which means
that this album is even better than Repeater and is way better than
_Steady Diet Of Nothing_ (although their self-titled first EP is still my
favorite thing they've done_).  "Smallpox Champion" is easily the best
song of the year.  Fugazi is angry still, sure, but with this album
they're managing to direct that anger into some really great songs and
aren't burying their rhythm section in the process.  The second best album
of the year so far, and the best indie album.  *** Punk ain't dead, it
just smells funny. 

Phew.  A mere ten CDs left.

The Dambuilders, _Tough Guy Problem_ (spinART Spart 10)

A new five song EP that I purchased because I enjoyed the "Smell" single
on Pop Narcotic so much (and I never got around to ordering it
you still have any of them left, Bill?).  This is more great stuff.  High
energy indie rock, sure, but they've also got a violinist that they use to
great effect in adding some extra texture to their songs.  Plus "Dose" is
a great epic song.  A really great ep.  **

(spinART, P.O. Box 1798, New York, NY, 10156-1798)

Doughboys, Crush (it's on A&M also, so who cares?)

Yuck.  I kind of liked some of the earlier Doughboys stuff as it was
pretty decent punk pop type stuff.  This, however, is pretty damn boring. 
I hope this isn't what happens to Therapy?.  Bleh.  *

Steel Pole Bath Tub, _The Miracle Of Sound In Motion_ (Boner BR39/Tupelo TUP47)

This is great stuff indeed.  I hadn't heard SPBT before buying this, so I
didn't really know what to expect.  Fun stuff.  Pretty neat distorted
vocals, good rhythms, garage-y guitar and some neat samples.  Add the
occasional noise and a Pogues cover, and you've got a keeper here.  **

(Boner Records, P.O. Box 2081, Berkeley, CA, 94702-0081
 In Europe via Tupelo Recording Company, 290 C Napoleon St., San
Francisco, CA, 94124)

Smashing Pumpkins, _Siamese Dream_ (on Virgin, so who cares?)

Yawn.  What a boring record this is.  A couple of the songs rock, but
mostly this is just boring.  Smashing Pumpkins is my pick for Led Zeppelin
of the 90s.  *

Today Is The Day, Supernova (Amphetamine Reptile AmRep 022)

Today Is The Day is another real departure for AmRep.  TITD uses heavily
distorted vocals such as one might find with an "industrial" band, and
combines them with really pounding songs that sound sort of like the
Melvins (only not quite as sludgy).  Add in some samples and you've got an
interesting combination.  It's not very easy listening, as the songs have
a tendancy to keep pounding on after they've overstayed their welcome a
bit.  Nevertheless, this is a pretty cool album.  *1/2

Boss Hog, _Girl +_ (Amphetamine Reptile AmRep 017)

The rule with Boss Hog releases appears to be "the more demure the cover
photo of Cristina is, the better the music inside is".  This five song EP
is probably the best thing Boss Hog has turned out, despite John Spencer's
reduced presence in the recording.  There are some well done horns on
"Ruby" and the other songs are the most coherent songs Boss Hog has turned
in.  Look like Cristina's finally hit her stride with this gutter blues
thing.  *1/2

Circus Lupus, _Solid Brass_ (Dischord DIS79)

The word used to describe Circus Lupus is always "quirky", as in "quirky
rhythms".  Unfortunately, this also happens to be probably the best word
the describe the rhythms.  Arika Casebolt is one of the best drummers
playing today, methinks, and this album supports this contention.  Her
drumming always sounds just on the verge of collapse, much like Rey Washam
at his best used to sound, or the way Mac McNeilly sounds with the Jesus
Lizard.  Add some solid bass playing and some really great guitar work
that relies more on noise than on riffing and you've got some great music
going on.  I'm still not sure I like the vocals that much.  They're still
a bit too atonal for me.  Nevertheless, that doesn't sink this album. 

Screeching Weasel, _My Brain Hurts_ (Lookout! Records REX 50)

This is Screeching Weasel's finest recorded moment.  Nothing original
here:  just straight ahead melodic punk.  But it's done with such energy
and so mindlessly that it's hard not to like it.  One of the funnest and
most listenable punk records I own, and I do listen to it.  Alot.  And
that's probably the best compliment I can pay to any recording, although
this isn't too bad of one either:  ***

(Lookout! Records, P.O. Box 11374, Berkeley, CA, 94701)

Tsunami, _Deep End_ (Simple Machines 013)

First, the packaging, while cool, is none too durable (I'm taking about
the CD here).  It's already falling apart.  That aside, the music inside
is first rate indie pop.  Great song writing, some wonderful harmonies
between Jenny and Kristin and good playing from everybody.  A very
pleasant album to listen to that I'm sure everybody has heard plenty
about.  **1/2

(Simple Machines, P.O. Box 10290, Arlington, VA 22210-1290)

Slint, Tweez (Touch and Go TG138)

I'd been looking forward to this reissue since I bought Spiderland,
which remains one of the most beautiful and melancholy records around. 
This album definately shows Steve Albini's influence, especially in the
sound of the guitars.  It's also mostly instrumental.  It's also
brilliant, and essential.  ***

ALL, _Breaking Things_ (Cruz Records CRZ 031)

First, I'm not terribly objective when it comes to ALL.  Their first three
albums (_Allroy Sez..._, _Allroy For Prez_ and _Allroy's Revenge_) remain
three of my favorite all-time albums.  That said, _Allroy Saves_,
Trailblazer and last year's Percolator seemed to herald a decline into
mediocrity that I mourned.  This album rescues ALL from that fate.  Chad
Price has taken over for Scott Reynolds on vocals, and his addition
appears to have injected some energy into the band.  Not much midtempo
stuff here and the tunes are quite catchy indeed.  The best ALL album
since ...Revenge.  My only beef is that the guitar is mixed a bit too
high and kind of buries the great rhythm section.  Ah well.  **

(Cruz Records, P.O. Box 7756, Long Beach, CA, 90807)

That's all.  Ouch.

Joshua Buergel - -
"Anybody who thinks we overstepped the playground perimeter of lyrical
decency (or that the public has any right to demand 'social
responsibility' from a goddamn punk rock band) is a pure natural dolt,
and should step forward and put his tongue up my ass." - Steve Albini


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[Submitted by: Sean Keric Murphy  (
               Wed, 6 Oct 1993 00:12:33 -0400]