Punk You!

D-Cup, The Drips, Thee Indigents, The Pegs
New Hostage Records Releases
Four Vinyl Seven-Inch Records

A tragic byproduct of this all-digital age is the death of vinyl. So we were delighted to haul out our turntable for the arrival of the latest seven-inch records from Hostage Records, the local-band-lovin' Huntington Beach punk imprint.

D-Cup's "Shark Attack" was the first we slapped on, and it was weird—muddy and slow like bad heavy metal, the singer like someone with Down Syndrome. And then we realized we had the turntable set on LP speed. Once we jacked up the RPMs, the music was classic Hostage Records, each seven-inch a two-song nugget that might have been produced in 1981.

Like the president, this is the sort of music that doesn't do subtle—though perhaps metaphorical, "Shark Attack" really does seem to document shark attacks. Unlike the president, D-Cup proves in "Nuclear Reaction" that its lead singer can pronounce the word "nuclear."

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All punk bands are required to catalog at least one song about their unwillingness to sell out to The Man; "Mexico" is the Drips' contribution to the anarchist genre: "Gotta work, and I really don't wanna go/No call! No show!/Earl says the waves are better down in Mexico/Okay! Let's go!" "Mexico" might be the best tune out of these eight; the band has a story to tell. And their B-side, "All Kids Are Dead," ain't bad either, the darker side of the Who's "The Kids Are Alright."

There are weak moments. Thee Indigents' "Brain Dead World" actually does sound better at 33 and a third. At 45, the singer sounds hyperfemme or raving-homeless. Slow him down, and he sounds meaner, tougher and—weirdly—almost touching. Flipside "Been Ripped Off," meanwhile, is about, well, being ripped-off, battered, beaten, broken, bloodied, lied to and cheated. But, really, who hasn't been?

The Pegs should get throat-punched for adopting colossally wretched punk names—Johnny No Good! Drew Blood!(Hot punk tip: the more "punk rock" your stage name is, the more likely your day job is selling real estate.) But they keep the songs short. "Robot Romance" clocks in at a gorgeous minute-20 (just this side of boring), and in "3 O'Clock Slop"—from what we can tell, a hymn to the pleasures of cunnilingus—the singer does a halfway-decent Jello Biafra impersonation.

Brief, decent songs, all of 'em, a soundtrack for 4 a.m. breaking and entering.

Contact: www.hostagerecords.com.

OC and Long Beach bands and musicians! Mail your CDs and tapes (along with your vital contact info, plus any impending performance dates) for possible review to: Locals Only, OC Weekly, 1666 N. Main St., Ste. 500, Santa Ana, CA 92701-7417. Please let us know if you'd like us to add an MP3 to ocweekly.com/records.

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