Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Man Tee Mans - s/t

The Man Tee Mans s/t 7" (Bag of Hammers, 1994)

Wow, we are turning into the Rob Vasquez Appreciation Socity around here at Static Party. Maybe we'll even get around to the band our site is named for one of these days, but for now we are satisfying calls to further illuminate the RV diaspora. The Man Tee Mans are probably the most 'laid back' of the the Rob-led units with vinyl in the 90s, it kinda sounds like they are all splayed out on their backs on the practice room carpet with a single boom mike hanging over them, surrounded by empty cough syrup bottles. Even on their putative theme song, you can almost hear their eyelids creeeeaaaak open to begin the chorus. Isn't it amazing how cool the most primitive guitar jangle can sound in the right context? Stoney baloney.

The Man Tee Mans only managed this lone 45, leaving, I assume, six or seven unreleased LPs in the can somewhere, don't you think? Yet another on the Bag Of Hammers label worthy of your time-delayed moolah. -Ryan W.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Junior Varsity - GO! to the Ice Cream Social

Junior Varsity GO! to the Ice Cream Social 7" (Peek-a-Boo, 1996)

Now for a bit of the lighter side of punk. From the Neer-Do-Wells to the Henchmen, the Brentwoods to Mulligrubs, dozens of bands used the 90s punk explosion to explore the world of 60s frat rock, often by way of Thee Milkshakes. Some would argue that the squeeky clean, lite distortion tunes of the neo-frat rockers is a bit too polite for punk. To that I say, both BAH! and Did you ever see the Henchmen?

In Houston, the torch was carried by Junior Varsity. A well-scrubbed trio, these preps put out one LP,4 7"s and a couple of splits, not to mention a bunch of comp inclusions. The three songs here are from JV's 1996 debut. The discography for these folks ends in 2001, so figure them gone...but not forgotten. -- Scott S.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Los Huevos - The Rebel Kind

Los Huevos The Rebel Kind 7" (Moo-La-La, 1996)

No fair. It's conflict of interest time, the charming vocals on this are courtesy the other half of this site. And about a year later this half put out an LP by this same band. I figure with the recent election results totally changing the face of the nation, yes that's right, forever and ever, a new spirit of 'coming clean' is in the air. I'm wearing a powdered wig as I'm typing this to a soundtrack of Marine Corps Hymns, and I fully expect all the conservative Democrats that just got elected to finally push all that socialization thru that's I've been harping on. You know, the freedom to shoot up openly in the park, that kind of thing. Hurry up, I'm sick of working for a living, too, I want a stipend. I'll even sculpt if I have to.

Anyway, Los Huevos were an institutional presence in the Sacto punk scene for a good long while, pretty much the whole 90s. Their first 7" is in the Very Small Records vein, so that's kind of 'eh', but then they got it on their second. This one, their 3rd EP, created a mini-stir in certain circles...okay, at the weekly music buyer's confab at the old Epicenter Zone record store. It was the tits for a solid month, and we sold scads of them to folks treading outside of their rigid genre ghettos, punkers and garage-types alike. That's crossover 90s-style, you know who else managed that? Bands like the Registrators and the New Bomb Turks, everyone was allowed to like them. And Los Huevos. They were into combining an early 80s hardcore (ala the SST-label Stains, say) with what would be called 'KBD' today, but back then was considered more of a distinctly Pagans-style attack. I think the tracks on this qualify as their high water mark considered as a single stand alone record, although there are devotees of their 7" on Goodbye Boozy as well.

Los Huevos got an LP out after this (your welcome) and then a couple more 7" before placing their photo on the wall of the Sacto Punk Rock Hall of Fame. There were many bands a-risin' from their ashes but the best known would have to be the FM Knives, who only put out the best power pop/rock 'n roll LP of the early 00's. -Ryan W.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Mants - The M.A.N.T. from U.N.C.L.E.

The Mants The M.A.N.T. from U.N.C.L.E. 7" + bonus 7" (Lance Rock, 1997)

Hello Canada! Here ya go: :1/2 man, 1/2 ant, all asshole" The MANTS! These critters eluded me for quite a while. I had heard of them but until I scored this gem a couple years back, I had just heard the hype. Great that they lived up to it. (Mostly) instrumental Mummies style garage punk is what you get here. Loud, raw, and loud. Not sure how many copies came with the bonus but mine did. Friend to None and Bow to Your Masters come of the MANT from UNCLE. The Creeper is from the bonus.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

First Alert - T.V. Masturbation

First Alert T.V. Masturbation 7" (Mangrove, 1997)

Now its back to the land of perfectly realized powerpop action, which in the 90s was largely Japan. First Alert are a really good example of how bands in the Japanese scene have changed over the years, those that have stuck around that is. They started out in roughly the mid-90s with records like this one: tough, fast, catchy punk with the requisite 70s punk-via-Registrators sound. There are very very few Japanese bands that aped the Registrators sound from this period that suck, trust me, it was too hard to put out a record at all in Japan to even consider sucking. This sound template produced dozens of great 45s from about 1994-99.

Then, powerpop started to take over the Japanese scene, and the proportions started to slip. It is far more challenging to write and perform effectively in that style with real conviction, especially when the language barrier is factored in. Also, Japanese studios tend to slick up whatever they touch anyway, so starting down the path of channeling the Chords, the Snips or Rachel Sweet is playing right into their digitally-frosted mitts. For every Tweezers there was a Mach Pelican. Even the Registrators themselves floundered during this period post-1999, producing meandering, flaccid material drenched in flange and reverb and sub-New Romantic vocal keening. First Alert also went powerpop, but they managed to come out the other side as a very effective mod-pop ensemble whose records are almost as enjoyable as Firestarter's. Quite a relief actually. Track them down if you can, they won't set you back as much as the Tweezers 45 anyway. -Ryan W.

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