Monday, November 19, 2007

The Twerps - Amnesia

The Twerps Amnesia EP (Great Skott!, 1993)

The opening drum beat of the Twerps' "Don't Beat Me Up" might sound fey and inept, like a bunch of pale, skinny nerds
feckless playing poppy, no-fi, Ramones riffs, but ain't that the point? I spent plenty of evenings in the 90s, watching bands like the Twerps, the Bananas, and the Four Eyes slop out a crowd of eager teen geeks. I don't think any of this stuff ever got lumped into a subgenre or movement or anything like that but I do know that the Secret Center label was home to many of these bands, most of whom appeared on one of many of SC's great cassette comps. I am pretty sure the Twerps, from relatively near by Santa Rosa, appeared on at least one SC comp. I am also sure that I saw them once, but I am not sure if it was in a basement, at the Loft, or in some library near San Jose. Whatever the place, I do remember that they sounded pretty much like this record. No frills, straight, to the point, teen punk rock. -Scott S.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Cheater Slicks - Walk Up The Street

Cheater Slicks Walk Up The Street 45 (In The Red, 1994)

Has there ever been a garage-level punk band within living memory to have as much praise heaped upon them as the Cheater Slicks without a commensurate level of scene hysteria? The 'Slicks have put out at least a dozen great-to-greater records, all of them as solidly-of-the-moment and yet instantly classic sounding as your average Dead Moon record, say, and yet there is no tumescent joy upon the imminent release of yet another opus except among a select rabid cognoscenti of jerks, butthairs, longshanks and cock sniffers. Hopefully, you are already among this host, if not, I hope these two tracks off one of their numerous 90s 45s can degrade you into becoming a believer. They simultaneously pummel and offer a salute to their hometown heroes the Modern Lovers on the A-side, the flip finds them in a grouchy grunge slouch that kinda sounds like they were auditioning to open for a 90s-feedback-era Neil Young.

So this 45 is on In The Red Records, plucked from the midst of that label's mid-decade classic run of 45s (they are supposedly working on a wunnerful, wunnerful singles comp, so consider this a Big Teaser) and it's not that hard to track down, but its asskick factor should make it one of the 45s from this era that you just gotta own. Or be owned. And, their last LP was as good as any record they've yet released. -Ryan W.

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