Meaningful: Reviews Of Recent Releases By Local Bands, Pt. 71
Disclaimer: Record reviews are a tricky business. It's one thing to enjoy music, but to pick out what you like (or dislike) about it? That being said, if I review your thing and I didn't like something, don't feel too bad. My opinion doesn't matter all that much.
Fossil Fuel - Punk Rock Karate Chop E.P. - SPHC - 6 songs - 7"
The return of Fossil Fuel, the only real punk band (or something like that). It's pretty good. Crummy drum machine, crummy guitar playing, crummy attitude…good stuff. "Brocore Movement" is a scathing indictment of the titular topic. "We're totally not like any of the people we are against," the singer (not sure whether it's Gun or Knife since I don't know which one's which; sorry, guys) claims. Really, this entire review could just be made up of great lines from each song. The second track is the completely ridiculous "A Torch," which contains several true laugh out loud moments (like every time he goes "whoa!"). Great vocal delivery across the board on this record. The narrator of "I Have The Wrong Pants (To Disco Dance)" does clarify that his pants are still good for slam dancing, in case anyone was concerned. The record slows down for "I Took Beer" (which is almost a waltz!) and really goes into great detail about where this beer is being taken to. And then his cat explodes. "Back Pain Bobby" is about Bobby, who is experiencing back pain. The EP closes out with the title track, a classic Fossil Fuel fightin' tune. He mentions his boots a couple times– what is this, a Toughskins record? I think the last line is pretty funny, but I can't print it. The A side here is pretty unstoppable and Side B ain't bad either. 3.FF/5
The Toughskins - "Skinhead Picnic" and "Rock Quarry" - CCS - 12 songs - cassette
Two new EPs from Kent, Ohio hardcore legends The Toughskins on one convenient cassette, because these skins are all about value. Side 1 (or Side Oi!) is the "Rock Quarry" EP (also available on 7" for true skinheads), starting off with "35 Years Of Oi!," a song in which the history of oi! is shown some appreciation. I learned that not only can you eat oi! oi! steaks for lunch at Oi! University, but you can also get your minor in ska there. "Go Fish Is Oi!" is a wholesome song about playing the workingman's card game with the street punks (and they play by the rules), and also confirms what I've believed all along: Go Fish is the most punk card game. "The Side Of The General Lee Says Oi!" brings up an important point that I had never considered, but you know what? They're totally right. Don't tell me you're not shouting along "Dukes Of Hazzard! Oi! Oi! Oi!" to this one. "Christmas Ain't Oi!" (mostly because Santa has too much hair and there aren't enough opportunities for punching people), but stay tuned to find out which holiday is punk. Then, the skinheads find meaningful employment at the "Rock Quarry," where they discover that smashing rocks isn't too different from smashing heads. Side B (or Side Oi! Oi!, or the side with the "Skinhead Picnic" EP) begins with more about their roots in "Kent, Ohio Hardcore," in which they make the claim that hardcore was born out of the Kent State shootings, and all those hippies totally shaved their heads right after. The title track for this side is another wholesome one, though don't try to play frisbee, because that's for hippies. "M.P.B. Skins" is about how punk male pattern baldness is and how nature rules because it took away your hair and now you, too, are a skinhead, like it or not. My problem with this side is that the audio quality is not that great, which results in an unfortunate amount of the words getting lost. For example, I couldn't make out much of "The Power Of Oi!" except for "Oi! will save us from ourselves," which is very true. Not to leave you in suspense, the holiday you are allowed to celebrate as a punk is Halloween, though they call it "Hall-Oi!-Ween." This one's a real slow one, and I was totally expecting it to kick into a fast part. It doesn't, which is arguably funnier. This is all just as ridiculous as it sounds. In a good way, though. 3.Oi!/5
(I guess try a local record store? Oi!)
Are you a local-ish band? Do you have a record out? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or send it directly to Observer headquarters: The Lakewood Observer, c/o Buzz Kompier, 14900 Detroit Avenue, Suite 205, Lakewood, OH 44107.