In case you didn’t know, Rip Off Records will soon be no more. However, all you fans of loud, short, trashy punk don’t need to fret. Rapid Pulse is still around to pick up the slack. Their latest release, a single from NYC’s Shop Fronts, is proof of this. In case you didn’t know, the Shop Fronts feature ex-members of the Zodiac Killers, Tie Reds, and F Hole. But what do they sound like.....

This 45 is definitely from the late ‘90s/early ‘00s school of San Franciscan punk. I hear echoes of the 1st Zodiac Killers LP, which ain’t too surprising since Jami (Shop Fronts guitarist/vocalist) played on that record. I also hear similarities to the Trust Fund Babies and the Loudmouths.

You got two originals and a rippin’ cover of the Outcasts’ “Frustration”.

The Shop Fronts are like vanilla ice cream. Both are kinda plain, some would even think boring, but if someone puts a bowl of it in front of you, yer gonna fuckin’ eat it up cause it still tastes good.


Now Wave (Troy Thrills)

Great punk rock straight outta Brooklyn... another home run for Rapid Pulse!

Having laid low for the past year-and-a-half, the Rapid Pulse hit factory was damn sure to re-emerge with a bang... and boy, did it ever! The Shop Fronts’ latest slab of vinyl is just a great fuckin’ punk record ---an ass-kickin’ blast of fierce, fire-hot rock n’ roll that owes nothing whatsoever to the latest underground trends or hipster fancies. The group’s ferocious attack is timeless; it’ll remind some of early LA punk and others of late ‘90s San Fran trash. You can’t really call it “garage” or “77 punk” or “hardcore”... it’s just good ole PUNK ROCK, ya know? Lots of bands go for this sorta sound, but few achieve the awesome blend of catchiness, aggression, and balls-out ferocity that make this record such a scorcher. And most importantly, the vocals are fuckin’ great. Raspy-voiced shouter Jami Wolf is one of the best punk singers I’ve heard in quite a while. She oozes toughness and belts it with real style. Highlights of the record include the fast and furious A-side cooker “Don’t Quit” and an ultra-rockin’ cover of “Frustration”, a classic cut off of the Outcasts’ first 7".

A great many of today’s punk groups sound like pale imitators of yesteryear’s greats. The Shop Fronts, on the other hand, could pass for the genuine article. If someone had played me this record and told me it was some ridiculously rare punk gem from 1979 now slated for inclusion on Killed By Death #25136 , I wouldn’t have doubted it for a second. It really is that good. If this band can deliver a few more releases as good as this one, half of you will be sporting Shop Fronts tattoos by the end of next year.

Now Wave (Lord Rutledge)

If you’ve attended a garage rock show in NYC over the last few years, chances are it was the handiwork of one Tom Hyland, promoter of the superfine DotDash concert series. Hyland’s behind the drums in this rough and tumble Brooklyn punk band, who bash out simple, energetic noise that straddles the line between street punk (“Don’t Quit”) and snotty garage (“Just Don’t Know,” their cover of the Outcasts’ “Frustration”). Recorded cheap and dirty; gets the job done. Rapid Pulse is the label arm of the Underground Medicine mailorder and distro; check out their site as they’re one of the finer purveyors of DIY punk and garage records in the States.


Record #2 from the wave-making NYC combo is just as impressive as their debut. Driving and straightforward, the SHOP FRONTS brand of speedy ’77 snot seems sorta out in a time where art-punk is the current king, but minute-and-a-half burners like these don’t ever really go out of style.

MRR (Mitch Cardwell)

I really wish every member wasn’t credited with vocals on this release, because I really need to know who lets out the, “Hey gurlllllllll” in “Just Don’t Know” because it makes me giggle everytime it happens. Shop Fronts haven’t matured too much since the split with the DC Snipers, but that’s not a bad thing - they were doing the straight-ahead punk rock sound right in the first place. The A side seems bland at first, but after a few listens you start to notice some extra guitar parts that fill out the sound and turn it into a great tune. The Outcasts cover is solid and well, I already spoke my piece about the other tune.

Terminal Boredom (JC)

Fucking amazing band name, fucking amazing label and fucking amazing music. THE SHOP FRONTS were one of my highlights of the ‘Let’s Have Some God Damn Fun!’ compilation with Watchin’ You’ and that’s really saying something because that was one incredible collection of killer bands. This 7 presents three tracks- the title track ‘Don’t Quit’, ‘Just Don’t Know’ and an OUTCASTS cover ‘Frustration’ all fantastic. Raw and urgent and full of the punk rock magic that is a rare pleasure these days. I am drooling for a full-length!! To top it all off: great artwork, blue wax and a big hole... what a delight of a 7".

No Front Teeth