Exxxile on Main St.
by Jon Sarre
Ah, anniversaries! Basically, if yer talkin’ unheard-type rock’n’roll, they’re reminders to let us all know unsaid entities are still turnin’ pages on the old day-planner and still not makin’ money after XXX numbers of years (best tag ever: Sympathy For the Record Industry’s “A Decade of Obscurity and Obsolescence”), but, hey, this here is Bruce Duff and Triple X Records’ party. The label’s a lucky 13 years old, so why the hell not issue a comp to mark the occasion? This budding teenage-aged company’s always come thru with at least some of the goods (be they new, old, or reissues of sumptin’ you’d otherwise haveta pay up the ass for, like the first two Saints records) and with the mix of old school punk, indie rock, industed hip-hop, Goth, pop’n’metal, well, there’s a lil’ for the whole family, providin’ the family’s a dysfunctional buncha mean drunks or a similar “eclectic” bunch.
Highlights outnumber the lows (in order of appearance) with the oft-overlooked hardcore geniuses DI doin’ their “Jeez, we’re really concerned about Johnny Thunders’ behavior of late, hope he’ll straighten up,” “Johnny’s Got a Problem” (see also the Replacements’ “Johnny’s Gonna Die” off their first record, then there’s the pre-Grand Mal-peopled band, St. Johnny And The Styrene’s posthumous “All the Wrong People Are Dying” for other examples of the Genzale-worry genre — and I’m sure Johnny got his smirks off with all the concern sent his way, that was until Old Scratch caught up with him in a cheap New Orleans motel). That chestnut’s followed by The Adolescents‘ seminal, I mean fuckin’ essential “Brats in Battalions,” The Miracle Workers‘ Nuggets nod, “Magic Slide,” Epperley‘s (mebbe the best poppy band working these days) Pixies-rip, “You Think Too Much” and the always great Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs doin’ some song they wrote called “Satisfy.” Jeff Dahl‘s been ’round the block a few times, mostly on Triple X (Duff plays bass on his I Kill Me LP, in fact), so you can bet yer ass he’s here. Motorcycle Boy‘s psych-sleeze rock gem “Supersonic” makes me wish I paid more attention to their sex’n’drugs’n’raunch sound. The Dickies (“Toxic Avenger” lame movie soundtrack opus with Leonard’s overthetopsness carrying the thing) and Angry Samoans (inventing the rock-raplet with “Lights Out” should need no introduction). Same goes for The Exploited (but I still think they suck). Good stuff by Bo Diddley (oldies circuit era), The Gun Club (Jeffery Lee Pierce waitin’ to die of cirrhosis era) and Urban Dance Squad (“Deeper Shade of Soul” one-hit wonder era) are also collected for yer listening pleasure.
Lows, as I already said, are few, but I gotta mention Jane’s Addiction offa their debut live EP (“Now what can you say when you’re a whore” pretty much sums it up), Rozz Williams and Gitane Demone‘s Gothic snoozathon and, if ya ever wondered how Korn got so bad, check out the LAPD track here, them bein’ the Kornholers sans Jonathan Davis — they started out shitty, don’tcha know? Unfortunately, to quote the liners, the rap-metal sludge of (pop)Korn is “probably the most popular rock group going!” At least ya can buy this thing to remember it wasn’t/doesn’t haveta be that way.
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