Sup. It’s a been an average week here at Songs About Inc. but I’ve been lately thinking about bands that will be covered in the reviews that have members today who have either done or said some rather horrible things.
In today’s react first and deal with the consequences later, people will say stuff off the cuff, maybe not mean it entirely but instead of apologizing they double down on it and the next thing you know their whole personality is based around just being a dick. Or maybe they’ve grown older and changed their views on things that doesn’t match up totally with what they were singing about three decades ago. I tend to ignore these people. What they say now doesn’t necessarily mean that’s what they meant then. And just because I was a fan then, doesn’t mean I have to be a fan now. People change for better or worse. And not everything needs to match up with my views.
What I do struggle with is when someone gets called out for being a pederast, a serial abuser, or a closet racist, sexist, homophobe then and now has a platform to be an open racist, sexist, homophobe. The problem is I don’t know if they were like this back in the 90’s. People didn’t get canceled back then and their behavior was either hidden or at worst glorified. I tend to feel let down because they either were in band that was singing about being against these horrendous things or I was dumbass because I thought they “joking” when singing about these shitty things. I don’t have any clear answers for this. Do I just play ignorant? Do I just let it go because I realize shit happens and not all people stay the same and sometimes, they get even worse? Do I do the cliché thing and separate the art for the artist? I guess since we are talking about Punk Rock here, we want to think this genre of music is different from the mainstream (or at least it was back then) and we want to keep our sacred cows. Should I turn a nostalgic blind eye? Or toss them on the burning pile? I honestly do not know, and I think it’s up to each of us to come up with how we want to deal it. Is everyone hoisting a torch and pitchfork always the right call? Or a boycott a better route? Or do you just let it go?
No matter how many times I mull this over I just feel like a fence walker with his head in the past or a part of internet mob that’s just looking for the next outrage.
I am going to make this short because quite frankly I just don’t feel like writing. Anywho, I hope when I describe a record as “emo” that people know I’m referring to 90’s emo and not the “I’M NOT FINE” behemoth of the early 2000s. My general knowledge of the genre is the “Midwest” style of emo or the “emotive” bands that generally put out records on Ebullition or Gravity. Just wanted to clear that up.
Badtown Boys Self-Titled (Gift of Life, 1990) — This Sunland, CA band play fast melodic SoCal flavored hardcore that’s a mix of Adolescents with a non-spooky Misfits. But you don’t have to take my word for it
Bikini Kill The Singles (Kill Rock Starts, 1998) — As you can probably surmise, this collects all of this Olympia Riot Grrl act’s singles. Powerful, yet garage-y punk with Kathleen Hanna going between being a brat to hyena in a bat of the eye. But you don’t have to take my word for it
The Blisters Pissed to Meet Me (Incognito Records, 1991) — With a title like Pissed to Meet Me I was hoping for a Replacements type band and this NJ trio fits the bill perfectly with a little bit of early Goo Goo Dolls mixed it. Loud, hooky alternative punk. But you don’t have to take my word for it
Chelsea Traitors Gate (Weser Records, 1997) — Chelsea has been around since 1976 and this is their 7th album. Traitors Gate has tinny early 80s post-punk production that makes the band sound like a punkier U2 or a less enthusiastic Soulforce Revolution era 7 Seconds. But you don’t have to take my word for it
China Drum Self Made Maniac (Mantra Recordings, 1997) — Grebo influenced driving melodic alternative punk. No unlike if Jesus Jones had a child with Face to Face. But you don’t have to take my word for it
Closet Monster A Fight For What is Right (Underground Monkey Operations, 1999) — From Ajax, Ontario this four pieces plays fast melodic punk with whiny vocals not unlike Blink 182 minus all the dick and poop jokes. Closet Monster lyrics tended to be on the more personal/political vein. And there’s one song on how high school did nothing for them. But you don’t have to take my word for it
Jeff Dahl Back at the Devil Tree Ranch (Triple X Records, 1996) — Jeff was originally in Vox Pox and then formed a million other bands that bear his name. This is album is mostly acoustic songs with a slight psychedelia feel. Jeff’s voice is a lot like Kepi from the Groovie Ghoulies but not nearly as fun. But you don’t have to take my word for it
Dirty Hands Bleus (Roadrunner Records, 1994) — From Angers, France and this being Dirty Hands third album which is full of syncopated alternative post-hardcore not unlike a noisier Collective Soul. But you don’t have to take my word for it
Dritte Wahl Strahlen (Dritte Wahl Records, 1998) — Anthemic German punk rock that mixes in ska and crossover metal. It’s a bit of a disjointed ride. Note: Dritte Wahl released the CD version themselves and Rausch Records did the vinyl. But you don’t have to take my word for it
Ensign Direction of Things to Come (Indecision Records, 1997) — This NJ band barely meets of the requirement the type of hardcore I will allow in. It’s straightforward hardcore with a ton of melodic breaks as well as breakdowns with shouted vocals. If neared any closer to the fabled “Slayer Line” I wouldn’t writing this right now. Maybe later their heavier ilk will be included. But you don’t have to take my word for it
The Headcoatees The Sisters of Suave (Damaged Goods, 1999) — So basically enigmatic garage rocker, Billy Childish and a couple of other blokes write some songs that ladies Holly, Kyra, and Ludella then sing. So yeah, it’s extremely lo-fi primitive garage punk with songs about wanting cum in their mouths and loving Jackie Chan but still use that “Oriental” guitar riff (you know the only) with accented vocals for songs like “My Boyfriend’s Learning Karate”. Some really crude catchy stuff on here but tread ever so lightly. But you don’t have to take my word for it
Ill Repute And Now… (The Edge Recordz, 1998) – Fast pounding melodic hardcore for this Nardcore legend. They cover “Surrender” by Cheap Trick on this album too. Too bad they also decided to toss on a hidden track as well. But you don’t have to take my word for it
The Informers Ignorance is Malevolence (V.I.S.A., 1994) — From Paris, France the Informers play a mix of alternative rock with melodic punk. Not unlike if you mixed early REM with Back to the Known Bad Religion. But you don’t have to take my word for it
Mad Caddies Quality Soft Core (Honest Don’s, 1997) — Punk influenced ska with a couple bouts of slut shaming with “Preppie Girl” and “Sad Reggie”. But you don’t have to take my word for it
The Meows Self-Titled (No Tomorrow, 1999) — Retro catchy garage rock from Spain. But you don’t have to take my word for it
Molotov Cocktail United Colors of Poverty and Shame (CBGB Records Ltd., 1999) — I expected this NYC band to be another generic punk rawk band, but they actually toss in a lot of twists and turns into their political sarcastically charged buzz saw punk. But you don’t have to take my word for it
Mr. T Experience Revenge is Sweet and So Are You (Lookout! Records 1997) — On the band’s eighth album has a thicker production which helps strengthen the overall sound quality of their usual syrupy sweet sardonic pop-punk love songs. But you don’t have to take my word for it
No More Lies Seeds of Enthusiasm (BCore, 1998) — Playing a type of post-hardcore that I usually won’t cover (yet), No More Lies from Spain remind me a cross between Quicksand and Walleye. But you don’t have to take my word for it
Public Toys Die Erste Halbzeit… (Teenage Rebel Records, 1998) — Comp of splits, 7”s and demos from this Düsseldorf, Germany band. Decent mid-tempo melodic ‘77 punk but this collection is only for the completist. But you don’t have to take my word for it
The Queers Shout at the Queers (Selfless Records, 1994) — Vinyl only “live” album. Wink Wink Nod Nod. Eh, it’s a best of with covers “Cretin Hop” by the Ramones and “Louie Louie” But you don’t have to take my word for it
Rancid Life Won’t Wait (Epitaph, 1998) — Bloated and overlong, this hour plus album sounds Bruce Springsteen and the E. Street Band trying to play ska. But you don’t have to take my word for it
Red Rocket July (Excursion Records, 1996) – Featuring ex-member of Ten-O-Seven, July is a driving melodic emoish pop punk album that has song called, “Jane Wiedlin” and who doesn’t like Jan Wiedlin? The actual CD came with real firecrackers which was cool and probably a pain in the ass to assemble. The last track has a bunch of noise that leads to a “funny” acoustic song about Riot Grrls. But you don’t have to take my word for it
Seaweed Self-Titled (Tupelo Recording Company/Leopard Gecko, 1990) — This eponymous titled collection compiles the Inside, Deertrap and Just a Smirk 7”s onto one handy CD with a lot of the songs ending up on the Despised EP. This comp showcases the band’s early grungier songs that are decent nothing close to what Seaweed would evolve into. But you don’t have to take my word for it
Short ‘n’ Curlies Bitter ‘n’ Twisted (Knock Out Records, 1996) — Featuring members of YOB, this Norwich, England bands plays your usual brand of anthemic Oi! that tends to jam out a bit here and there. But you don’t have to take my word for it
16 Blåsare Utan Hjärna Vi Ska Gå Till Botten Med Det Här! (Fetvadd (Fanzine), 1994) — The Swedish band’s final album is mid-tempo punk with an 80’s post-punk production straight down the buzzsaw guitars. Sung in Swedish, natch. But you don’t have to take my word for it