Love! Hate! (Scooch Pooch)
by Jon Sarre
Guitarist Daniel Rey may be best known for his production/writing work with the Ramones (and maybe his instrumenting for Masters of Reality, but, at the moment, I can’t think of anything more about them), so his presence as one of The Martinets would possibly imply some sorta Cretin Hop stylin’s (actually his work with the Ramones started around ’85’s Halfway to Sanity,), but not so fast, sorta good that way, as one Riverdales is all the world needs, never mind the hosts upon hosts of shitty bands who copped their ragged chops offa Leave Home, and I won’t even mention alla the good bands who copped their ragged chops offa Leave Home, but that’s neither here nor there anyway.
Safe to assume Rey, along with Phantom Tollbooth/King Missile/Bongwater guy Dave Rick on bass, and the “personal histories vague” Roger Murdock and Eamonn Bowles on drums and guitar/vocals, respectively, is doing something with the Martinets (Webster’s sez a “martinet” is basically yer junior high vice-principal) that has nothing to do with yelling “onetwothreefour.” ’60s UK pop is a handy reference point, even when the Martinets are not self-consciously aping The Yardbirds on “Better Man Than I” or nudging the Troggs perhaps via the Milkshakes on “Hallowed Ground.” Superchunk also comes to mind for reasons I find sorta puzzling – I think Alex Chilton has something to do with it, but that could just be me being paranoid, or it’s cuz Bowles’ voice and whiny lyrics remind me of that Mac dwarf. Who knows, maybe some up-tempo rave-up like “Treasures” coulda been a huge hit on college radio in Chapel Hill, NC back before the early ’90s when wimpy indie-rock transformed into alterna-poop and made not a dent in the “proper” charts, which, as we now know, have always been ruled by ten year old girls. Ten year old girls won’t like this.