(In the Red)
by Jon Sarre
Mick Collins is some kinda primal rock’n’roll genius, right, but most self-styled enthusiasts of the genre, even the ones I consider tuned in, don’t bat an eye when I mention the guy’s name… Ya know, the Gories?! Blacktop?! Dirtbombs?! Andre Williams’ producer???!!!! Hey people, don’t keep missin’ out! Check out this Screws thing, f’example… Hell, ya may even be able to call it a “supergroup,” cuz ya got Mick for starters, and Terri Wahl, late of the Red Aunts joining Collins on guitar and vox; for bass duties, there’s Dan Brown who’s been in Royal Trux and Monsieur Jeff Evans traveling noisabilly circus, ’68 Comeback; Brown’s Johnny Hash homeboy, Marty Moore, completes the quartet on drums. Fucking star-studded, right?
They’re on a mission straight away (well, after the obligatory opening sample, purported to be taped off Ike Turner’s answering machine), divin’ head first like a brakeless freight train off a rusted out bridge with Wahl’s tuneless slide guitar providing the whistle and Collins relatin’ how “a little too much tequila and a little too much speed” is gonna keep him afloat if only his car’ll hold up. Then, like a nasty hangover with strong legs, “You’re Just a Bum” comes off with a loose four trap count courtesy of Moore. It’s all gritty guitar strings coated with greasy fuzz. Redd Kross’ “Kill Someone You Hate” (with Wahl wailin’ like the proverbial banshee on methamphetamine), the Mad’s “I Hate Music” and “Collector Scum” (with its “Up Against the Wall, Motherfucker” lyrics) keep the speed-damaged noisy hate-rock theme.
Just to break the pace, the Screws change up quite a bit too, mixing blusey duets (“Transistor” with Jon Wahl of Claw Hammer on sax), drunken soul (“Valley”), delta doo-wop (Frank Zappa’s “Jesse Lee” with slow-boil growly guitar fuzz that acts almost as percussion), Royal Trux-sorta stumble (“Can’t Get Arrested”) and crazed Gories-style jungle beat (“Zulu Lulu”). Mighty fine stuff indeed, but you shoulda already known that.