Riding the Corporate Muscle
by Chaz Thorndike
They put the rawk back in punk rock. “See You in the Pit” opens Riding the Corporate Muscle with “Baby, if it ain’t punk, it ain’t worth shit,” setting the mood for the majority of the album. Snot-nosed, white-trash, redneck-punk (see Fear, Scum rock, GG, Tunnel Rats – at your own risk) from the trailer parks in and around Boston. Where specifically, I’m not at liberty to discuss. The Syphlloids are the type of guys who guzzle Rat Brew even when they’re not at the Rat, tell yer date she’s got nice tits and mean it as a compliment, and consider male-bonding a little playful ruff-housing at the bar (i.e. elbowing you in the larynx for trying to get the bartender’s attention while they’re trying to convince him/her they’re in the band and should get a lotta free drinks). Admittedly, the record kinda winds on and on in a mid-tempo raunchy rawk kinda way, but 15 songs of Johnny Thunders might get a little tiresome too, so cut it some slack, huh? The playing is respectably sloppy (not that they can’t play, they just ain’t punk perfectionists); the production is rawk, but perhaps a bit thin (but hell, it’s certainly rawer than that arena punk shit that makes Van Halen sound like a garage band); and the singing is the throaty sing/snarl you’d expect from a guy who can kinda sing, has a “bad attitude,” but wants to be a singer ’cause they get all the fuckin’ chicks. The last track, a uptempo cover of “Boston Bad Boys” Aerosmith’s syrupy ballad “Angel,” is probably the way that song shoulda been recorded in the first place. If it needed to be recorded at all. But that’s another story.