Punk Rock Record Roundup

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"What's he barking at?" asks Wendy, as P.J., our Yorkshire terrier, is screaming at the top of his little lungs.

"He knocked over the pile of punk rock CDs, again," I explain.

"You really have to put those away," says Wendy, as P.J. continues to bark loudly, "and while you're at it, maybe you can empty the dishwasher."

"Fuck it," I tell her, "I'll just review the damn things."

Out now on Heavy Nose Records is Bantam's first CD, titled, well, Bantam. The band's fronted by none other than Gina from the Lunachicks, who can kick ass on guitar better than most men I know. Here she takes a stab at singing as well, and it works out just fine. The songs are heavy and mean, yet somehow poppy. "Come Undone," "Dirty Machine" and "Gorilla Rose" really yank my crank, and when I caught the band live a few weeks back, they had the same effect. Looks like this monkey is gonna be doing the pogo to this CD for quite some time.

Do you miss GG Allin? The Mentors? Sewage? Me too. That's why I was so happy to get the Dead Dean LES NYC self-released CD. Turns out their singer and guitarist, who just happens to be named Dean, used to have a band called "Dead Dean & the Battered Babies" until they all kinda died. But Dean survived, and on his new CD the songs reflect this guy's anger and great sense of self-destruction. I mean, "Teenage Wanna-Be Junkie Slut" and "Dead Dean Dance" say it all. These guys sound as mean as they look, and even my crazy Aunt Mimi wouldn't invite them over for dinner. Anyway, in the CD booklet they have a "Free Spike" page, which claims the ex-Sewage lead singer was "wrongfully accused of homicide in 1999." This CD will scare your parents, kids.

The Put-Downs' debut album, Wrong Side of Texas on Mortville Records, rocks in that Southwest sorta punk rock way. They totally have that Ramones influence, but also that Supersuckers and Nashville Pussy sorta sound working for them as well. Best song? "If Drinkin' Don't Kill Me (Her Memory Will)." Yee-haw!

Speaking of Nashville Pussy, their new Say Something Nasty is a lot like their last one. Only this one is on Artemis, and starts out with a spoken-word rant against their last label. The songs here are almost too much like their last album. I mean, I'm all into recording the same song for 15 or so albums. Just look at the Ramones. Or my career. But these guys seem to be ripping themselves off, because you know they've got more in them. Anyway, stand-out tunes include "Gonna Hitchhike Down to Cincinnati and Kick the Shit Outta Your Drunk Daddy" and the clever "You Give Drugs a Bad Name" and "Jack Shack," a nice little ditty about beating off in private. Don't get me wrong, I love these guys. I just know they can do better. And will.

What do you get when you cross David Bowie with cabaret and Cirque du Soleil and Black Flag? New York City's own Daddy, of course. Their new self-released CD Back to the Mothership is certainly unique. While at times they almost sound like a traveling minstrel act, at others they totally rage like the best of New York's hardcore. And while all the songs are almost one-of-a-kind, the thing that really shines are the musicians. Guitarist Matt and singer Laurel really do have their own style as well as a keen sense of self-promotion, and I'm sure we'll be hearing a lot more from them. Oh, I like this.

On No Charge No Profit records comes Jesus & the Gospel Fuckers' CD. It's really too bad these guys are all about the "free" punk rock and stuff, because they kick ass. The tunes are fast, furious and fucking fantastic. I mean, fuck, even I would probably pay real money for this thing. "Kill the Police," "Dope" and "Alcohol" are nowhere near as generic as the titles suggest.

Weezer's new one, Maladroit, on Geffen, sucks.

The Everyothers' new self-released CD/EP Can't Get Around It is what Weezer shoulda done. Catchy songs that rock. With loud guitars and a real sense of songwriting. What happened to Weezer I'll never know. They should go back to doing what they do best, and listen to this Everyothers CD. It will give them a clue.

Like the White Stripes? The Star Spangles? The Strokes? Me neither. That's why when I heard Sahara Hotnights' Jennie Bomb on Jetset I was taken aback. These guys, I mean girls, are really good. Instead of playing that predictable fuzzy garage shit from the 60s that no one likes except dumb people who just got their 10th tattoo, the gals kick-it Runaways meet Blondie meets the Donnas meet the B-52s. Word up, this stuff is fresh. And I'm not even gonna mention how hot-looking they are.

The Restraints' self-titled CD on Scarred Records scares me. Inside there's a picture of a guy with a gun in his mouth, and he looks serious. Turns out most of the songs were recorded as demos 1978-1980, hence the raw sound. But the vocals coulda been sung yesterday. Some really funny and twisted stuff here that actually makes me laugh out loud. Titles like "Cancer Dancer" and "I Cannot Be a Nun" say it all. As does that gun.

Dean Dean & the Sex Machines' self-released and self-titled CD is so punk rock it's not. Meaning it's flat out the finest rock 'n' roll I've heard in quite some time. Sure, the singer sounds like Alvin, Simon and Theodore all wrapped up in one, but that works for her. Guitarist Renee from Blanks 77 plays guitar here, and she's got that Cheetah Chrome/Johnny Thunders thing down almost better than they do/did. Then there's the songs. What can I say about titles like "Swap Spit," a song about the loop, with lyrics like "You want David Lee, swap spit with me"? And "Absolutely," a love song to vodka? These guys and gals really know that the punk rock is best played drunk, high and really fucking loud. Oh, and Dean Dean may just be the smartest guy in the punk rock. His work ethic is even worse than mine. You guys go!

Finally, got the Loaded Undies' self-released CD from the singer/guitarist, Frank. Or "Big Cock Benalto," as he likes to call himself this week. Anyway, as I was expecting this thing to totally blow, it sat in my leather jacket pocket for a couple of weeks before I even found it, and only by mistake, when desperately searching for a smoke. With songs like "Zena Warrior Princess (Love Me!)" and "Cute Baby Genitals (Traditional Oi! Arrangement)," how could this be anything but a joke? Of course it turned out to be the best hardcore/punk rock I've heard since the Dwarves, and we all know how much I love Blag and Company. Anyway, other tunes include "NecroHomoPetaBeastiality," "One Eyed Willy" and the tune we all wish we had written, "Where's the Beef?" This CD is the hit of the year on alt.punk, so track it down if you can.

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