Music Reviews from 1996

From Vol. 1 No. 2, published January 1997

Spaceshits, “FULL FISTED ACTION”, double single
This rip-roaring piece of vinyl candy starts with “Betty Page”, a tune so infectious you should put a condom on when you listen to it. It makes me want to jump around and break things. I love the sound, too, it’s like those obscure punk comps where you know it was all recorded off of one mike in someone’s garage. “She’s fine” sounds like Thee Headcoats finally saying “Fuck this sixties shit” and letting loose with a few hardcore tricks. Same goes for “Can’t be true” and the unlisted bonus track (“I’ve got an icepick in my head!!!”). There’s a bunch of other songs I’m sure I’ll end up liking, but for now I can’t play my favourite ones enough- one of those kinds of records. Gotta see them live soon, gotta gotta. (louis) Label: Sympathy For The Record Industry.

Norm Dionne, “Blue Cheese Moon”, cassette
“Goin Home”, with which this begins, is carried by a bouncy guitar riff that gets my toes tappin’, though I keep stopping to stare in the distance and nod at Norm’s good ol’ folk wisdom. That’s a little how the rest of the tape goes, weaving you in and out of self-reflection and of fascination at the perfect craft of the songs and their stories. Yeah, that’s right, I said perfect craft- Norm’s the type of guy that writes these songs that sound like they couldn’t possibly be any other way, as if they’d been handed down for generations. But I’m getting too fancy here- “I’ll Surely Die” had me singing along before I finished hearing it for the first time. “Time cannot save me- I’ll surely die”. The song’s a fucking gem. “Downright Desperate” has Norm realizing his desperation during the verse, then saying “Yeah, but fuck it all anyway” in the hootin’ hollerin chorus. “Recipe for losing you” is a crowd pleaser that loses nothing here. This is fine, fine document of a singer/songwriter who’s got songwriting totally down. (louis) country/folk, eight orig. songs.

Fuzz Aldrin, “Fuzz Aldrin”, cassette
“You asked for it” reminds me of different songs I’ve heard before every time it changes chord progressions. Neat. “Trailer Park Quarantine” is a surf tune that fucks around with all the standard song structures of surf tunes. It’s nice to hear something you kinda heard before and still not know what’ll happen next. “Don’t be dumb” & “We’re leaving this planet” are both a lot of fun, lotsa changes and textures, boppy rhythms. “Jeannino” brings together all their best traits- incredibly smooth segues, moody sound swirls, outrageously ‘sensual’ narration and demonic laughter. A real trip, this tape. (louis)

Steak 72, “soft lumps e.p.”, CD e.p.
“Whizzhorse” has been stuck in my head for awhile. It’s catchy
and schizophrenic as hell, zooming through all kinds of neat changes I won’t bother making up categories for. Sounds like a ‘hit’. “Everyone has a skeleton” (hey, I don’t!) sounds a little dated at first, but another bunch of sudden wacky hyper changes save it for me. “Canker” is a slaphappy-soundin’ tune that somehow makes me feel like it’s spring already. Lotsa energy here, lotsa energy. (louis)