We had it pretty good in 1998: we could carry nail clippers on the airliner, and we could see bands that didn't consider Blink-182 old school, but we couldn't really bring it home with us—didn't even have CDRs then, did we?—and whatever got recorded usually stayed on cassette tapes in desk drawers. But history self-corrects, slowly, and now you've got an EP of six-year-old I'm Gonna Stab You demos to complement your six-year-old Shock guitar picks and your six-year-old fliers from the PCH. These five songs actually predate the three-piece lineup (with later Alleged Gunmen drummer Pat Butterworth) that would release an excellent single on Tigersuit; instead, this is Long Beach's Stab You on early demos as a quick-and-dirty, five-piece, Swami-style rock & roll band (i.e., good '70s punk refracted through antsy too-smart kids and some ADD songwriting energy) with plenty of spacey Moog over the top (from Action League/BlowUpBlow's Dennis Owens). The sci-fi foolin' around is actually the most fun here: that splash of reverb on the vocals or those last-Galaga-destroyed electro-bloops add a little distinct personality, a sort of hint of Can's psych-garage Monster Movies . . . or a hint of Le Shok, whose first seven-inch came out about the same time.
It's a little dated, the way all your old LPs with Zed price tags are dated. But there's a certain kick to the fast songs and a certain creepy moodiness to the slow ones that makes this more than just a nostalgia trip. Instead, it's somewhere between puzzle piece and cure for amnesia, or was that somewhere between history lesson and stand against entropy? Said the guy back in 1998: "I've been waitin', killin' all this time/I'm tired of fadin' out/so tired of fadin'."
Contact: Try Fingerprints Records and CDs, 4612 E. Second St., Long Beach, (562) 433-4996.
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