Take Your Medicine
by Elissa Dennis
A great collection of hardcore bands mostly from Boston, some obscure, some defunct, this release could serve as a primer for anyone interested in the scene who wants to be able to name-drop. And contrary to common sense, not all bands on this Wonderdrug Records release actually have anything to do with the label, but to avoid being too impartial, those who are on the label tend to get more than one song.
One of the bands lucky enough to have caught Wonderdrug’s ear, 6L6, gets no less than three tracks. Although 6L6 is a more than decent recorded band, bizarre guitar sounds like on “I Can’t Wait,” and the stressed-out screams of “Yeah, Right” sound better live. But those poor souls who haven’t seen 6L6 live won’t know any better anyway, so a recorded 6L6 is better than no 6L6.
Scissorfight, forgive me for saying this, is like Metallica if they really got bad-ass and hired a guitarist named “Fuck You” (I swear, that’s the guitarist’s name listed in the liner notes), and got a vocalist named “Ironlung” (again, could I possibly make this up?). I think the names say it all, but for further clarification, Scissorfight can be loud and fast, loud and chugging, but they are always loud and growling.
Honkeyball also does the loud growling thing, and only a fight to the death involving plenty of blood could determine if Honkeyball’s George is better than Scissorfight’s Ironlung. If names do say it all, George is in trouble.
Slughog also gets multiple tracks, but at this point, it becomes increasingly difficult to decipher subtle differences in all these styles of loudness, and increasingly easy to label them all “Music To Blast From Your Stereo To Piss Off Your Parents When They Send You To Your Room.”
Slaughter Shack‘s “A.T.F.” is under two minutes long, and for that reason alone it’s cool, but it is also a fun song. Malachite, which later became Swank (both are included here), show that the girls can play with the boys, and maybe teach them a few things, too. Quintaine Americana, as usual, is kinda swampy and definitely creepy on “Retarded Whore.” Rocketsled‘s “Battle of the Half-Wits” is classic hardcore, sort of a “how-to” for beginners. Mung is more punk, and therefore more fun, than anything else here. Ah, the beauty of scream-along-if-you-can-keep-up choruses and a short burst of a song. And the one Stompbox song included makes me miss them terribly.
The next time I want to piss off the neighbors, I’ll play this very, very loud. I’ll probably get evicted, but it will be worth it.