All Wiped Out (TKO)
by Duke Crevanator
I had only heard one Smogtown song on a TKO comp before this CD. I didn’t like the song, so I wasn’t prepared for how much I like this record. Unlike many California punk bands, Smogtown truly is influenced by the L.A. roots of Redd Kross, Circle Jerks, and, to a lesser extent, Black Flag. They have a sense of humor, write engaging and funny lyrics, and best of all, write the feverishly fast and high-strung riffs that I so love from that era. Is the recording done at some super-expensive 128 track studio? Hell no, it’s raw and gritty and just perfect for what they’re doing. This was a huge relief, because I’m at the point where if I see a CD by anyone from California, I fear the worst.
Now for some bad news. This is Smogtown’s last recording, as they’ve broken up. Add to that horror, we’re only blessed with 15 minutes of music. Nothing annoys me more than records that are this short.
However, stick this CD in your PC, and lo and behold, a web browser automatically opens with a link to a live video. The video is hardly of good quality. In fact, it’s very dim and hard to see. The sound quality is decent though (depending on where the videogrpaher was placed at the time). The best part of the video is it excellently captures the spirit of Smogtown. As the Pope once said about another film “It is as it was.” Smogtown fans will be especially happy with this video as, according to the liner notes, the band never toured and often cancelled gigs.
I raise my current beer in honor of Smogtown and their newest and final record.
(3126 W. Cary St. #303 Richmond, VA 23221)