Fixin' To Die 4: a punk and trash column
A quick shufty through the punk, or notionally-punk albums we've had kicking around the office for a while.
There's not a lot to seperate Deep Sleep's Turn Me Off (Grave Mistake) from others doing the crew-style hardcore thing and they don't always play up their strengths; there's an underlying melody on occasion, exemplified by the back-up vocals on 'Play Another' that would repay on subsequent listens but they're a little buried and all you're left with is the usual runaway train of short, sharp blasts.
Coffee Project is Less Than Jake trombonist Buddy Schaub and Rehasher's Jake Crown doing acoustic stuff. Sure, this won't fill the average listener with much excitement but Moved On (Paper + Plastic Records) has a big heart and they will probably play pretty well at local backyard parties over the summer. And two songs about a pet ("I spent all my beer money getting rid of your fleas / So you could be outside playing with your friends again" - 'Oh, Sweet Pickle') is surely a trend that more bands should explore.
Manimals (Kiss of Death Records) is the second full-length from Florida's Vrgns and is tight, anthemic punk 'n roll from various ex-members of New Mexican Disaster Squad and there's something pleasingly old-school about some of the guitar work especially that recalls The Damned and other late 70s acts. In fact, 'International Incident' cheekily recycles a riff from 'Wait For The Blackout', thus ensuring support from the expanding waistband / receding hairline brigade. A solid effort that manages to still sound pretty fresh.
There's a little of The Bronx's debut about This Is The Computers (One Little Indian Records), the first full-length from the titular Exeter outfit. Live in the studio, no overdubs, etc. and it certainly provides for seat-of-the-pants thrills. Indeed the banality of their name perhaps diminishes the impact that this album might have. Overseen by Jon Rocket From The Crypt Reis, This Is ... successfully captures some of their mentor's raw rock and roll spirit in manner not seen on UK shores for quite a time. 'Hot Damacles' makes you think someone has dug out some Nation of Ulysses stuff and all of a sudden your heart beats a little faster. Not just the best album in this round-up, but as cool a record as we've heard in a while - and Brit punk to boot!
Lecherous Gaze self-titled EP is a pretty rocking affair that takes punk down a 70s rock guitar route, Graham Clise proving to be something of a guitar hero, while frontman Lakis Panagiotoplous has a street soul voice that recalls Glenn Danzig. First track 'Phaze' is probably the highlight but you just know they would totally slay in a club environment with a few cold beers. The kind of thing Stone Temple Pilots fans should definitely check out.
Readers of a certain vintage might recall The Disrupters from their appearance on the seminal Punk and Disorderly compilation from 1982. The track 'Young Offender' was simplistic but had an 'if we can do it, so can you' air that defined the working class DIY spirit of the age. Generation Retard (Overground Records) is their first album in 25 years and sees them adopt a slightly heavier, Motorhead inspired sound, backing some 'take-no-prisoners' lyrics that cover everything from the Taliban to child abuse and murder. You don't get that on a Radiohead album, that's for sure. For those already inclined, this is likely to be a welcome return but it's a fairly limited scene these days.