NYC CD1 : Let’s Have Some God Damn Fun!

Now, I’m the hugest fan of punk comps and I always give them a huge chance even when I have to wade through track after track by bands that just don’t grab me, or shitty artwork, bad layout, bad fluidity, lack of variation etc and even when all these things are happening I still try to give the comp the benefit of the doubt because I am just a sucker for compilations... what can I say? So Rapid Pulse’s New York City comp - what did I have to overlook to enjoy this comp? Fuck all! It fuckin nailed it... killer artwork and presentation right from the onset they’ve grabbed me and excited me so I couldn’t wait to get this in the player... the bands... the fucking bands, holy shit, THE SLEAZIES, THE STAGS, THE WEEKENDERS, THE SHEMPS, SOME ACTION, SHOP FRONTS, THE PLUNGERS, THE YAMS, DC SNIPERS, THE DISRUPTORS, LITTLE KILLERS, ANDY G. AND THE ROLLER KINGS, THE SWAGGERTS, ELECTRIC SHADOWS, MOD STEREO and WORLD WAR IX... just fantastic and the variation is electrifying. This truly is a pleasure to listen to and review, no skipping tracks, no let-downs... there’s just nothing else to say - just get this and get blown away, it will be the best thing you got in a long while and it will be for a long, long time. Awesome.

No Front Teeth

Talk about truth in advertising. This is about as much fun as a cd can be, absolutely guaranteed to jumpstart your party. I was handed this dandy at a recent punk rock show in Quincy, Massachusettes, by the lead singer of a Providence based band called The Sleazies, whose “Wild Turkey Is Not A Meat” occupies a central position on this compilation of unsigned bands, mostly hailing from New York City. Right from the get-go I was hooked by the retro-50s styling of Andy G. and the Roller Kings’ “Party Shoes”. I’m not sure why it is, since I could basically give a shit about actual shoes, but I’ve got a real soft-spot for songs about shoes. In fact, I think I’ll write a song about songs about shoes. I’ll let you know. In the meantime, I’m gonna just keep listening to this spectacular collection, with The Plungers, The Stags (doing a very Rolling-Stones-ish song called “Give It Up”), The Little Killers (with an amazingly good song called “Annie Can Ya Keep A Secret?”, The DC Snipers, The Yams, The Swaggerts (with a Lyres-like garage classic-to-be called “Baby Come Back Home”), The Weekenders (what’s not to like about a girl singing about not remembering all the crazy stuff she must have done over the weekend ‘cuz she got so damned drunk?), Shop Fronts, The Shemps, The Disruptors, a very Exploding-Hearts-sounding song from Electric Shadows, Some Action (putting some extra power in your power-pop!), Mob Stereo (with the California sunshine punkette pean to every-punk’s favorite color: “Fuschia”), and World War IX with a hilarious song about raiding your friends’ medicine cabinets looking for drugs - “It’s a Treasure Hunt”).

This is a non-stop garage/punk assault on your bad mood. If you can listen to this disc without feeling like jumping up and down, tapping toes, clapping hands, spinning, twisting, bopping your head, grabbing the nearest warm body and doing a little bump‘n’grind, well.... then you’re probably not still breathing, so your opinion means nothing to me.

Bmo’s World

Auch wenn New York die City ist, die bekannterweise niemals schlaeft, lag sie punkrock-technisch gesehen doch ein wenig im Dornroeschenschlaf bis “Rapid Pulse Records” den Big Apple wachkuesste. 16 Lokal-Bands sind auf dieser CD zu finden, mit jeweils einer ihrer Tracks, und das exklusiv. Die meisten Bands sagen mir absolut nix. Tut aber weiter nichts zur Sache, denn sie alle haben einen Auftrag zu erfuellen und der lautet, die Traditionen des NY-Punkrock zu hegen und zu pflegen. Das machen sie alle mit Auszeichnung und so ist fuer jeden Punk-Geschmack etwas dabei. Die einen verstehen sich auf die DEAD BOYS, ELECTRIC FRANKENSTEIN, D GENERATION oder NEW YORK DOLLS, die anderen bluehen eher in der RAMONES-Schiene auf. Und hier zum Schluss die Band-Uebersicht: SLEAZIES, THE STAGS, THE WEEKENDERS, THE SHEMPS, SOME ACTION, SHOP FRONTS, THE PLUNGERS, THE YAMS, DC SNIPERS, THE DISRUPTORS, LITTLE KILLERS, ANDY G. AND THE ROLLER KINGS, THE SWAGGERTS, ELECTRIC SHADOWS, MOD STEREO und WORLD WAR IX. Im Booklet werden auch noch kurz die wichtigsten Stationen der Bands angerissen. (****)

3rd Generation Nation

This loose-legged compilation of trashy NYC bands is so consistently good, it could be a on RonCo or somethin’. They coulda sold this bitch on TV at the 3 AM next to the Pocket Fisherman in 1976, and the People would’ve eaten up. Why? Who? And How much, you say?

Why: Because New York City is all about the “People”, man. Despite the fact that Jami from the Sleazies helped put it together (a typically great and funny Sleazies track, “Wild Turkey Is Not a Meat” is included), and they’re from Providence, Rhode Island, NY bands are perfect for comps because they all sound like they’re ready to pick the band before ‘em off the floor as soon as they pass out. For example, although Andy G and the Roller Kings’ CBGB’s ‘77 Thunders-punk is a much more refined, vintage drunk ‘n’ roll sound then, say, the teenage casualty car-crash of The Yams, they still sound like they share a bass-player, if not a van or a groupie. I dunno if it’s because the clubs are open til 4 AM and 17 bands play every bill or it’s just some kinda rock n’ roll brotherhood, but NYC-based compilations always sound like a united front, and this one’s no exception. And that’s nice, ya know?

Who: The fast, fucked fury of The Shemps, the dive-bombing Swede-style sleaze of Some Action, the trashcan spookabilly of Little Killers, the bleary-eyed motorboogie of the Disruptors, the hard-hitting gutter-blooze of The Swaggerts, etc. Everybody on deck came to kill, baby.

How much: says here $9.00, straight from the dealers at Rapid Pulse. Not bad at all, especially at Noo Yawk prices.


Everyone’s favorite label releases its first-ever comp CD; what do you mean you don’t own it already?!

I must insist that you purchase the Rapid Pulse compilation if you wish to go on reading Now Wave Magazine. I’m not kidding. This is an order, not a request. Ownership of Let’s Have Some Goddamn Fun! is an absolute prerequisite for anyone who wishes to continue his or her rock ‘n’ roll education here in the hallowed halls of Waveland University. I’ll be sending specially-trained midgets into your homes the week before Thanksgiving. If your designated midget fails to find a copy of Let’s Have Some Goddamn Fun! in your possession, he will proceed to re-set your computer so that all future attempts to reach the NWM site will bounce you directly to the Scott Baio tribute page Chachi 4ever! If you haven’t already, hurry your ass down to the campus record store and secure your copy of the comp, now available for the low, low price of $9. And don’t miss our in-store spectacular this coming Saturday morning, featuring a special appearance by Barney Boxmuncher, the official Now Wave mascot. The first customer spotted in a Nipple Erectors t-shirt will win a dream date with Gaye Advert’s cousin’s roommate’s niece.

If you’re reading this right now, you may be spending too much time on the Internet. Seriously, why read about music when you could be LISTENING to it instead? I’m usually full of shit, and I ran out of fresh insights years ago. You don’t need Now Wave Magazine. Free up some extra time to spend drugging and fornicating and socializing by vowing to give up Now Wave forever. Instead, just go to Underground Medicine and buy a shitload of cool records every month. As you should already know, Rapid Pulse is the record label wing of the UMed empire, and I highly recommend purchasing every RPR release still in print. For years, Jim has been putting out OUR kind of music. His label embodies the musical taste niche we’ve always catered to here: garage, punk rock n’ roll & ’70s style punk, powerpop, and catchy punk/hardcore. If you like Now Wave, you’ll love Let’s Have Some Goddamn Fun!, which spotlights the present day New York City scene without straying from the good old "Rapid Pulse sound". And from a quality control standpoint, it’s one hell of an impressive comp. I don’t hear many songs here that strike me as outtakes or filler. What you get here is top-notch tuneage instead of the usual “Yo, let’s take that song that wasn’t good enough to be on our 7" and stick it on a comp!” bullshit. And unlike many comps, this isn’t a lame-ass “sampler” of stuff the label has already put out. All 16 songs are previously unreleased, and only two of these bands have records out on Rapid Pulse. I won’t waste your time picking apart the whole disc, but I’d like to mention some particularly choice cuts...

*The Electric Shadows - “Secret Affair”
Hyped by the label as a cross between The Boys and the Exploding Hearts, and I’d call that truth in advertising. Sounds like a lost track from Alternative Chartbusters... really! This is the first Electric Shadows song to be "officially" released, and it’s no letdown.

*The Stags - “Give It Up”
Another band appearing on record for the first time (yeah, yeah, yeah: it’s a CD, not a with me here!), and what a debut it is! Punk rock n’ roll at its finest - meaning it’s every bit as catchy as the best pop. Hmmmm, handclaps.

*The Little Killers - “Annie, Can You Keep A Secret?”
One of the "bigger" bands on the comp, the Little Killers can only heighten their renown with songs as tuneful & rockin’ as this one. Me likey.

*The Sleazies - “Wild Turkey Is Not A Meat”
Everyone’s favorite goofball snot-punkers resurface with a harder, tougher sound... but their trademark sense of humor remains very much in tact.

*Some Action - “Double Cross My Heart”
Falling somewhere in between bouncy powerpop and flamethrower garage punk, this number can only be described as an awesome rock n’ roll tune . Yeah.

*Andy G and the Roller Kings - “Party Shoes”
Jim’s description: "Imagine if Buddy Holly came out of Max’s Kansas City". I couldn’t have said it any better myself, so why try?

*The Plungers - “Laughing Boy”
Now boasting an all-female lineup, the Plungers bring it on a par with the best Rip Off bands.

*The Weekenders - “Lost Weekend”
Shades of Sympathy era Eyeliners - fast, poppy garage rock n’ roll kicked out by fun-loving gals.

I’ve mentioned only half the tracks on the CD, and I easily could have singled out more for special recognition (Shop Fronts and World War IX turn in killer cuts too!). Let’s Have Some Goddamn Fun! is one of those rare exceptions to the general rule of comps always sucking. Buy it, put it on your CD player, get your tongue between your woman’s legs, and stay off the Internet for one night. Hurry before we’re all dead from bird flu!

Now Wave (Lord Rutledge)

The latest from the UMed/Rapid Pulse camp, this time a compilation documenting the current NYC rock scene. A risky proposition, you say? I agree. Let’s put this up for analysis using TB’s patented ‘Sergio Leone Method’. The Good: Well, believe it or not, there actually is quite a bit of good in NYC: Andy G. & The Roller Kings lead off with “Party Shoes”, which is certainly a lot of god damn fun; The Plungers tune is actually quite good, plus it’s not every day you see a girl in a luchador mask; DC Snipers rule, as does their song on this, simply called “Evil”; The Yams, who contribute a track of decent Voxx-y garage; Shop Fronts turned out to be a favorite of mine before they quit, and this song (“Watchin’ You”) makes me like ‘em even more (plus, Paddy looks MEAN in the liner notes photo); Electric Shadows do the glammy-Dolls thing really well on “Secret Affair”; Mob Stereo actually sound a bit like The Breeders (who I have always loved, even with Kelley Deal. Shhhhh, don’t tell anyone). The Bad: The Stags for weak pub rock and wasting a good band name; Swaggerts for sounding like Reigning Sound if Greg COULDN’T write good songs; Disruptors for cowboy hat wearing and playing New Yawk rawk (hey, they said it, not me); Some Action for sucking the life out of rock‘n’roll. The Ugly: The Sleazies do a song called “Wild Turkey is not a Meat”. Man, that hurts. But, they’re actually from Providence, RI and not NYC, so that could affect cumulative scoring. Final SLM score: this score could have been higher with an appearance by LiveFastDie, but the fact that they didn’t include the Ghetto Ways evens it out. Above average quality for a regional/city comp earns this one three Lee Van Cleefs out of five.

Terminal Boredom (RK)