Grass Is Always Greener (On the Other Side) – Review

va-grassinalwaysgreen200Grass Is Always Greener (On the Other Side)

(Get Hip)
by Craig Regala

OK, this is what Get Hip does: They take bands with the ’60s punk/garage/folk-rock/psychedelic thing in various states of “authenticity” and put their goddamn records out. Grass Is Always Greener is so good, especially for the price ($4), I’m gonna list all the songs and who racked’m up. Grass is a cherry-picked sampler that moves from great tune to greater tune and back again. So good I’m going to give it to Pat Dull of Break-Up records: He’ll piss happiness.

“Bright Side” 2:33 The Paybacks: Classic rock and roller with chorus and feel that hook ’70s Cheap Trick to today’s sonic flow, Little Stevens Garage fans take note. “Turn Me Loose” 3:10 The Cynics: God bless’m. They been doin’ it to death, whether it’s cool or not, for parts of three decades. This one’s a raver like Mudhoney doin’ a Seeds tune. “Seal The Deal” 3:08 The Last Vegas: A stomper welding bar chord ’70s beer punk to garageist hump like the Candy Snatchers or New Bomb Turks when those fellas took a whack at the Nuggets piñata. “She’s Fallen Apart” 3:19 Rainy Day Saints: Chiming folk rocker between ’80s jangle and ’80s Brit pop with a tune that bores into your head and out of your next mix CDR. “Make You Mine” 4:42 The Stems: Soulful roller akin to The Lyres or the dB’s on a Them jag. “Take It Slow” 3:16. Mondo Topless: Garbage organ raver like the Fleshtones on 45, wwweeeee!!!!! “Better Days” 2:27 Creatures Of The Golden Dawn: Mersey beat (Brit-pop ’66) popper yearning after “that girl.” “Headed For A Change” 3:01 New Salem Witch Hunters: Yeah, I saw about ten times, and this one leans on friendly folk-rock with both beards and Beatles boots. Classic Lake Erie stuff. “I’m The One” 2:40 The Ugly Beats: Just pre-punk punk rootage. Totally mid-’70s garage action from Flaming Groovie fans. “More” 3:38 The Priests: Heavy rocker you could play right after classics like The Zeros’ “Wimp” and get sneerin’ smiles for miles. “After School Special” 3:13 Highschool Sweethearts: Fantastic rocker The Donnas, PJ Soles, or Runaways woulda been proud of, itching that classic “I’m young, I wanna do something fun” vibe. Dig the lead break. “She Got Off” 2:35 Bamboo Kids: Dipping into the chunky Eddie Cochran ’50s for inspiration (“Something Else,” “Summertime Blues”) by way of ’70s AC/DC’s a great idea, and here’s the tune to prove it. “Tom Waits For No-One” 2:21 Chargers Street Gang: Kick-ass like the early MC5 knocking through some of the tunes they’d lay out on one of their “back to rock and roll” moves. “Stillborn” 2:19 Deep Reduction: Like a tune The Litter left off Emerge. Lie and say your mom saw’m open for Love. “What You Want” 3:02 The Razzels: Amped up speedy rock and roller you could sure slot between a buncha pop-punk and get a “what’s that?” “Robin Zander” 3:44 Breakup Society: “Every girl I had a crush on, had a crush you.” No shit. Why wasn’t this tune on That ’70s Show? If only the Only Ones wrote some more hook-pop like this. Sign, life she is a harsh mistress. “If You Two Don’t Mind” 2:45 Spectors: Man, just a great rockin’ tune that goes from the sincere spoken part (which they invert goofy ’50s-isms of “love is true” into “hey, we’re basically fucking liar pigs, ain’t we bitch?”), and roll it into a hard rocker in the way the early Alice Cooper band would. “Shutdown 66” 3:55 Shutdown 66: Organ, harmonica, snotty, pissed “things are fucked” lyrics, a great groove. One of my Japanese friends told me “this is like a Chesterfield Kings pepper popsicle.” The Japanese: Such an old and wise people. “Today” 2:22 Freddy & The Four Gone Conclusions: Pure folk rockin’ the Bangles woulda ripped off had they the sense to transport themselves 20 years into the future to go 40 years into the past. “Lunar Kit” 3:23 The Resonars: Chiming power pop via Dwight Twilly, The Elvis Brothers, and other Yellow Pills (A great fanzine-cum-label that released great power pop compilations) favorites. “Bring On The Sweetlife” 3:26 The Mainliners: Last cut, strong Brit-influenced strolling protest tune about not getting the _______. Sometimes, desire is its own reward (read: Frustration pays double).