Stuff That Pokes Up Between the Power Chords
Photo by Rick Bain
CUTS VOL. 1
The last time we reviewed a Hostage Records compilation, we got lots of angry letters from wads who couldn't spell "poseur" right, but label head Rick Bain actually listened—and all you poseurs are the better for it. This sequel of sorts is, well, a cut above 2000's Hostage Situation; there's still the same happy family of beach-blanket-and-beer-belly bands borrowing as much from the new school (Duane Peters and gang or the Stitches) as the old, with locals like the Crowd and the Adolescents echoing as loudly as mandatories like the Pistols and the Clash. This time around, however, the label has matured as much as the music. Bain's liner notes ("Punk rock validation takes two forms in OC: you either played in Dodge Dart, or you opened for the Stitches!") and photography push this way beyond what you'd expect for a $5 cover price—even cheaper if you buy it from Vinyl Solution, punk!—but it's the varied and punchy roster of acts that makes this worth grabbing. Granted, there's still a big blob of the regular ol' rock & roll riffing we've heard too much before—done with oomph by the Negatives and D-Cup; done to death by the Beer City Rockers' shoulda-died-in-1995 Screeching Weasel rip-off—but it's the stuff that pokes up between the power chords that we're really digging. The Extortions turn in a great raw instrumental that would really be something to talk about if someone would just put lyrics to it, Broken Bottles roll out a cute little Fullerton-circa-'81 punker, and the Stand's "Out of Control" gets points for ATV-style hooks and the fake-y Brit accent. Oh, yeah, and the Main totally hates the OC Weekly ("The shit they write's really fucking lame/who cares who's there, what they wear or what they said?/It's because of their writers that the punk scene is dead!"), possibly because Rich Kane once made fun of the guy in Smogtown for sporting a beret. But hey, thanks for the name check! Strong tracks by baby bands the Distraction and the Fuse!—watch out for the Fuse!, we're fucking telling you!—round this out and bode well for the future. If Hostage can hold on to its upward trajectory, Cuts Vol. 2 is the one you're gonna fight for.
Info: Hostage Records, P.O. Box 7736, Huntington Beach, CA 92615-7736; www.hostagerecords.net.
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, P.O. Box 10788, Costa Mesa, CA 92627-0247.
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