Sunday, November 08, 2015

We're Loud - 90's Cassette Punk Unknowns

I hadn't met Jaime Paul Lamb before seeing the Double Down show promoting this record a little
while ago. But Jaime did play in the Dirty Babies with the Swamp Gospel's own Lenny Ribaudo, who also helped out at the gig.

Jaime had a four track cassette recorder and used it wisely to document friend's bands (as well as his own) with surprisingly good results. This double LP (or single CD) is a compilation of tracks from his trips across the country. Mostly low-fi (on purpose) punk groups, there are stabs at garage, pop and mixtures of all of the above.

Side one includes a couple of tunes each from Mega and the Nyrdz (the trash punk "Rip Your Cunt" and "I Lurk"), the Pink Fingers ("Theme Song" and "Man in Pain" - fuzzed out guitars, organ and snotty vocals in a bit more garagey sounds), Dismalt (frantic hard core "Coach Blake"), Riky and the Buttz ("I'm Poor" and "We're Ricky and the Buttz", less than low-fi, barely competent punk on the former and keyboard-garage with a cardboard box drum-set on the latter), and Magister Ludi with the new-wavey title cut.

Apparently, Les Fleurs de Mal was an early version of the Dirty Babies and they are a very cool, Velvet Underground-y garage combo here doing the poppy "Look Into My Eyes" and "Sweet, Sweet Satan" - definitely a highlight of the comp. The Drop Outs are completely overdriven to the point of being almost unlistenable - possibly on purpose! Another poppy garage number is the Van Buren Wheels; "C'mon and Be Mine", although the fidelity is lacking on this one, as well. You can kinda guess what the Barf Bags are going to sound like by their name - Mummies-esque garage punk in "I'm a Sissy", "Community Cunt" and "Beat it Up".

Side C opens with more frenzied punk rock with the Crawlers "Black Monday", "I'm Gonna End It Tonight", and "I'm Gonna Kill You" while the Fucking Pigs kinda remind me of Vom in "(I'm a) Date Rapist" and "Herpes Attack", with even more goofball lyrics. Somewhat more new-wavey are the Heck Yeahs with their "I'm Better Than You", "Headless Clown" and "I Always Hated You".

The final flip includes the hard-core Lumps ("I'm Always Wrong", 70's-styled punkers Mid City Nuisance ("I Got Creep"), low-fi gothic wave with Lukey and the Chicken Slitz ("Johnny's Packing a Gun"), the garagey pop Oblong Boxers ("Have You Ever Had a Guy Roll Up On You"), more punk with the Rosebuds ("Destroyer") and Peoples Court (We're Gonna Die") and ending with some cool'n'catchy low-fi garage with the Winners ("1-2-You're a Whore", "Jenny Was a Christian" and "Johnny's Night Out").

Lots of variety here and every song is damn short so you won't get bored and if you don't like it, it will be over soon! Check it out for an overview of garage punk in the 90's. Lots of info on Jaime and the bands in the liner notes, as well.