Tuesday, November 28, 2017



Image result for rocket to russia album cover
The less said about remasters and anniversary re-issues the better.  Essentially, the record companies are pissed that the future is digital music and illegal downloading.  They reaped in shitloads of money after the initial vinyl-to-CD conversion, and now they’ve been left sucking hind teat (which still involves more money than you or I will ever see).  Boo hoo.

Most of the obscure b-sides and out-of-print catalogs by all of our favorite oddball bands have been repackaged in fancy CD box sets and whatnot (The Banshees, The Cure, Jesus & Mary Chain, Screaming Blue Messiahs), and I appreciate that.  Now, though, we’re down to the scrag ends, the useless shit like umpteen anniversary re-issues of SGT PEPPER and the endless recycling of Pink Floyd’s catalog.  Gah.

Image result for rocket to russia album coverSo, let me take this opportunity to fully endorse the 40th anniversary edition reissue of ROCKET TO RUSSIA.  Great songs, but that radio-friendly production (and what a joke that idea is, trying to make the Ramones palatable to top 40 listeners) was just waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too tame.  The remaster on this edition is (like the one 15 years ago) neither here nor there, but the bonus tunes of the original tracking mix and the demos kick ass and give a much better idea of what the album should have been if the Ramones hadn’t been so damn willing to compromise their vision for a shot at “stardom”.

Friday, November 24, 2017


The Crucifucks (album).jpg
Or, more precisely, their first 2 albums (passing on LD EYE here).  There’s plenty of stuff on the internet about Doc (singer/lyricist) and his troubles, so I won’t go into any of that here.  And I’ll refer to him as Doc, since it fits in the context of the albums.

Image result for crucifucks wisconsin
I wrote him a few months before the 2nd one came out (they had a contact address on the 1st one, and this is what goofy-ass small town teenage punks do when they find these addresses) came out and he wrote back to me, seemed upbeat and fully engaged, didn’t say anything too profound or earth-shattering, but he seemed genuinely pleased to hear from a fan and it was very cool getting a response.

Bought the first album because the artwork was so jarring when set against the band name.  Plus the Alternative Tentacles logo.  Always a mark of quality.  What the first album sounds like, to me, is a sort of U.S. version of NEVER MIND THE BOLLOCKS, albeit a more minimal and roughly produced one.  Not much thrashing, mostly just a lot of mid-tempo anger focused around guitar, bass & drums.  And doc’s insanely abrasive voice, which works in this context.   There’s some slight sonic experimenting here and there, which is reminiscent of early PiL.  Doc’s lyrics, though, make J Rotten sound like Mother Goose on tranquilizers.  Insanely caustic hatred and rage.  ANTI-AUTHORITARIAN is a good umbrella description and, more specifically, anti- government (this was the Reagan era) and anti-(to the nth power) cops.  The dude does not hold back, and the album is stronger for it.  And how much do things stay the same the more they change?  This defining verse could just as easily be about the ignorant, frightened, rabid mongoose xenophobia-posing-as-patriotism that Fuckwad Trump has ushered in:

“Well fascists, I’ve got news for you                                 
            I was fucking born here, too!”

Pure goddamn truth.

Where the first album is a brick in the face, WISCONSIN is white-hot shrapnel, shredding everything in its way.  The guitar bash and crash is stretched out and opened up, letting in strummy acoustic folk, cock rock guitar solos, anthems, new-wave-from-hell keyboards and atonal post punk.  Pure musical psychosis.  And the hidden track at the end of everything, I swear, is a completely sincere and heartfelt love song with a beautiful piano intro. 

The first album is visceral, the second one terrifying.  You need them both. now in one convenient package!

A lengthy interview here.  There are others to be found:

Wishing Chair.jpgAnd a P.S.  On the day I bought my copy of the Crucifucks self-titled debut, I also bought a copy of 10,000 Maniacs THE WISHING CHAIR.  Because that's how much fucking ass I kick.



Wednesday, November 22, 2017


I think.  Sometimes it's hard to tell if it's a Jorn or someone making their own Jorn's.  It's all very meta.......

Sunday, November 19, 2017


The funniest and best album review ever?  Quite possibly.  Easily the best assessment of Morrissey I've ever read.....

Morrissey “Low In High School”

Mr Agreeable , November 14th, 2017 11:51

In which Mr Agreeable considers the musical, lyrical, political and despicable content of Moz’s new album.

Waking up to my usual breakfast of parboiled kippers, grapefruit juice, quinoa cakes and a rusty petrol can of the stored piss of an alcoholic tramp who died in 1972, I take up my headphones to listen to an advance copy of the latest Morrissey album, Low In High School, which has been hailed as a “landmark record”. Said Morrissey last year of the music industry in which he works, “It is severely controlled and monitored to make sure that any singer with a political message cannot get through.” To counter this, he has peppered his latest offering (produced by Joe Chiccarelli who previously worked with The White Stripes) with certain politically charged remarks of his own, particularly concerning the hard-done-by state of Israel, coupled with remarks about how very lonely he is.

F*** me with a f***ing gladioli stalk, “landmark record”? Skidmark record, more f***ing like! In a f***ing career with pillar after forgotten f***ing pillar of desiccated, fey, morose f***ing moosewank, this one takes the f***ing prize wank biscuit! Actually, the f***ing music industry is controlled and monitored by managers, executives and producers to make sure that any conceited, grossly overrated singer who thinks he's got something f***ing important and political to say doesn't make a complete tit of himself by going ahead and f***ing saying it! They’re f***ing looking out for you, but once again you've managed to slip through the bellend net, talking bollocks, arse and shite in equal f***ing measure!

To say this is a f***ing dog's arse of an album is a f***ing insult to dogs’ arses! Put it this way, if you were to take a small needle and rotate it for 40 odd minutes at 33 1/3 rpm around the interior of a dog’s arse, the pained howls that would result would be infinitely preferable to the the f***ing bleating bill of fare on offer here, the unedited f***ing musings of a superannuated, superfatted, greying teenager who went up to his bedroom to sulk in f***ing 1978 and has mentally never f***ing come back downstairs!

Where do we begin? I'd like to f***ing begin three seconds before the f***ing end, the sooner I could haul the thing off the machine and clay pigeon shoot the f*** out of the thing! But we have to begin at the f***ing beginning, I suppose. ‘My Love I’d Do Anything For You.’ “Teach your kids to despise and recognise the propaganda - filtered down by the mainstream media… hey, hey, hey…” warbles the gusset-faced twat!

‘I Wish You Lonely’. A recurring theme on the album – turns out that unaccountably, no f***er can be persuaded to spend any much time in Morrissey's company. Ooh, he says, walk a mile in my f***ing moccasins of misery and you’ll know what it’s all about. Did it f***ing occur to you to title the track ‘Could It Be Because I’m A C***’? Because you’d be f***ing onto something there! Mind you, how he can complain about being f***ing lonely on this album when he's surrounded by about 250 session musicians parping and strumming away like they're fantasising that they're playing on f***ing Sergeant Pepper, I don't f***ing know!

‘Jacky's Only Happy When She's Up On The Stage’. Well, as is the case with every f***ing Morrissey song, there's no f***ing need to read beyond the title, sparing you minutes of exposure to his lachrymose f***ing foghorn vocals! Here’s a song about Jacky. Who’s only happy when she’s up on the stage. Meanwhile, the rest of us are only f***ing miserable when Morrissey’s up on the f***ing stage!

‘Home Is A Question Mark’. Pity poor f***ing Morrissey, he’s made so much f***ing money swindling adolescents by making them believe there’s something rare and f***ing precious about their f***ing acne-stricken emotions, he’s got homes all over the f***ing shop and can’t decide which one is the real one. F*** off to F***chester, you shirtbursting waste of f***ing hair gel!

‘Spent The Day In Bed’. Well, you did us all a temporary f***ing favour there, didn’t you? “I recommend that you stop watching the news / Because the news contrives to frighten you / To make you feel small and alone / To make you feel that your mind isn't your own.” Jesus, the c***’s got about as much sense of f***ing lyrical rhythm and meter as a f***ing goat with a coal scuttle tied to its f***ing hind leg, hasn’t he? Kids. I highly f***ing recommend that you watch the f***ing news. Because the news contrives to tell you what the f*** is going on and if you don’t know what the f*** is going on, you’ll turn into a festering, know-nothing f***wit like f***ing Morrissey!

‘I Bury The Living’. In which Steven Patrick Morrissey, aged seven and three quarters, explains, using a box of toy soldiers, why war is horrible and there wouldn't be any if people simply didn’t fight them. Double f*** off with extra fudge, you vacuous f***ing arsecock!

‘In Your Lap’. In which, once again, Morrissey vacillates between his vacuous f***ing fantasies about dictators burning and canvassing for f***ing volunteers to splay themselves as he buries his faceful of f***ing eyebrows and wrinkles in their f***ing crotch. It’s f***ing tumbleweed time!

‘The Girl From Tel-Aviv Who Wouldn’t Kneel’. Lots of f***ing zingers in this tiramisu of f***ing toss. “The American way… is to show lots of teeth and talk loudly.” Ooh, yes, Morrissey, for the love of Ada, them Yankees, with their loud shirts and swing music and chewing gum and one of them put my Auntie Betty in the family way during the war… Stop f***ing deriving your f***ing ideas about foreigners from a f***ing 1950s cartoon strip, you addled old c***!

‘All The Young People Must Fall In Love’ is barely any better. “Presidents come, Presidents go and nobody remembers their name two minutes after they go.” Yeah, that's f***ing right, Mozzer. Who but a professor in American Constitutional Studies these days remembers the name Barack Obama? Or Ronald Reagan? Or George Bush? Remind me never to f***ing double up with you on Pointless, you f***ing thicko!

‘When You Open Your Legs’. Jesus f***ing HP Lovecraft – Morrissey and sex, doesn't even bear f***ing thinking about, let alone listening to. A f***ing mental image of your granddad wanking would be f***ing preferable!

‘Who Will Protect Us From The Police?’ starts with a f***ing cop car siren. Subtle touch there – unless it’s the actual police, turned up to arrest the f***er for recording an album without due care and attention!

‘Israel’. See, you know how all you leftie liberal types complain there’s something illegal, immoral and f***ing unjust about the Israeli treatment of the Palestinians? Or “bitch and whine”, as the lyric here has it? Well, not Morrissey, because he’s so special and fascinating he holds entirely the opposite f***ing point of view! “And they who rain abuse upon you – they are jealous of you as well.” Yep. That’s the opposition to Likud, Netanyahu kissing Trump’s arse, the f***ing settlements programme, the f***ing bulldozing of protesters, all sussed for what it really is – plain old green-eyed jealousy. The same as how those who f***ing criticise Theresa May and the Tories are doing it because they're f***ing jealous of England! Go f*** yourself from all directions, you swollen, dried up f***ing troll!

Of course, you won't get to hear any of this, because, muzzled as he is by the mainstream, Morrissey has only been able to give vent to his fatuous f***ing feelings on a major f***ing record label and in every f***ing music magazine on the f***ing stand. Repressed! Repressed!

Listen, you f***ing nagging lump of pure, toxic f***, the reason so few f***ing people will hear your message isn’t because you're the voice of f***ing truth in the f***ing wilderness – it’s because you've decided to f***ing swallow Piers Morgan and Katie Hopkins whole, shit out the results and pat and mould them into your stinking public persona for the f***ing 21st century! No one will hear your message because the world needs another Morrissey album like it needs a boil on the f***ing penis tip! Now f*** absolutely and forever off, you attention-seeking, self-parodying, pitifully contrarian, withered old wanksock who means the arse end of f*** all to anyone under f***ing 40 and retire to a giant f***ing castle built of unsold copies of this f***ing album.


Saturday, November 18, 2017

faith in nothing

thinking it’s safe to breathe again but
the sunlight hurts your eyes

the surface is frozen

god on the lake bottom
next to the firstborn child and we
are tired of digging

fifty years getting nowhere is just
one way to describe this
irrelevant civil servant’s life

too much work trying to
think up ay others

let the sad little bastard die
so we can pick up our shovels again
and he is thinking this sounds
like a plan

he is hoping the
poem will grow into a tree
                              but no

all it can ever be is the shadow of a
tree falling across the windswept
snow, and what about all of
that wasted time between the
hangover and the beginning
of the next buzz?

what about your father’s reasons
for leaving your mother?

for driving off the bridge?

suspended against the bright blue
sky for one small infinite moment
then he falls like the weight of
god and smashes everything


Or maybe both.  Yes.  Definitely both.


I was the right age for American hardcore, but it really never appealed to me in a huge way.  Sure I have my early Black Flag stuff, I owned “Group Sex” by the Circle Jerks for a while, I still have my Crucifucks comp, the Dead Kennedys are awesome (but they’re also so much more than “hardcore”) but, for the most part, I like my guitar tunes to have a little more rhythm.

As an old man, this is even more true.  I still listen to my old Husker Du albums, but let’s face it – anything before “Zen Arcade” isn’t really essential.  People will tell you how they were so much better than the average hardcore band, but is that really saying much?  They never attained greatness until they discovered melody.

So, I’ll probably have to pass on the new retrospective of ultra-early recordings “Savage Young Du”.  Would I ever listen to it?  Once, maybe.  Does the included book sound cool?  Hell, yeah, so maybe I’ll buy it for that if I ever find a cheap copy.  I already own the Rykodisc reissue of “Everything Falls Apart” w/ bonus tracks, so I don’t need that material, and an even a better sounding version of “Land Speed Record” is still “Land Speed Record”.

I have no idea why the SST stuff isn’t being remastered and reissued.  Ginn and Mould are both proven assholes, so who’s to say where the fault lies here?  I know that Ginn declined to let the SST stuff be used in a box set, so it looks like the fault might lie on his doorstep but, shit, sue the fucker and get the master tapes back, you know?  Worked for Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr and the Meat Puppets……

And about Ginn – the man is living proof that smoking pot makes you stupid. To go from Black Flag/Minutemen/Husker Du to all that free jazz and 3rd rate Sabbath sludge and Greg Ginn side project crap in such a short time – just, wow.  They were still releasing some good shit up to about ’90 or so (Leaving Trains, Dinosaur Jr, Buffalo Tom, Screaming Trees), but the majority of it was the sound of half-baked slackers jerking off.

But I digress.

For the youngsters, I’d recommend box set, just cuz it’s Husker Du.  For seniors such as myself, we’ll stick to the Starlight Vocal Band.

Thursday, November 16, 2017


The rise of the internet has, of course, allowed geeks of every stripe to pursue their inner geekdom.  And, let’s face it – everyone’s a geek.  In my own pursuit of post-punk geekiness, I’ve noticed these past many years that almost any article written about The Sound will include a declaration of surprise and disgust by the author that this band was pretty obscure, even by post-punk standards. 

“Why weren’t they as big as U2?!”  sad little people pound out on their keyboards.  “Or the Cure?!  Or Joy Division?!  Or goddamn Echo and the goddamn Bunnymen?!”

So I will now answer that question.  You ready?  You sitting down?  Have you taken your heart meds?......

They were fairly pedestrian.

Look, they had good songs, and they made good albums, but they had a schizo manic-depressive, suicidal lead singer/guitarist/lyricist, for christ’s sake, and yet about 75% of their music was ridiculously……. polite.  Sure, they had songs with grit and bite and tension, but those songs were not the majority of their oeuvre.

Let us look……

JEOPARDY – good songs hampered by small budget production.  A thin, tinny sound.  Lots of energy, not much nuance.

FROM THE LION’S MOUTH – a great leap forward in sound and, again, very good songs, but this is where the lack of musical tension starts to become apparent.  Some of the songs have it, while others seem overly concerned with giving each instrument its space and creating no real musical friction.

ALL FALL DOWN – deliberately created as the “difficult” album because the record company wanted hit singles.  Now, these songs might be considered difficult if you’re Taylor Swift or Mantovani, but if you’re a UK post-punk band from the mid 80s, they’re fairly pedestrian.  Again, they’re good tunes, but if this is the heaviest stuff you’ve got then no one has any right to complain about not being as big as Joy Division.

SHOCK OF DAYLIGHT/HEADS AND HEARTS – some weaker stuff on these two releases, and also a return of the poppier sound (which they never really moved that far away from to begin with).  Not a crime by any means as, again, some of these songs are quite awesome, but what was the point of making the difficult album again?

THUNDER UP – a pretty impressive last release.  The strong writing continues, as does (unfortunately) the production and arranging that levels everything out.

Their myriad live releases were all very energetic, and they cut loose more on stage than they did in the studio, but even these releases seem a  little ordinary and MOR when compared to their contemporaries.

I liked these guys enough to collect all their releases and listen to them often enough to form an opinion, but I’m just sayin’, there’s a reason they’re as culty a cult band as they are.  They had some pretty stiff competition between ’79 and ’87.  They could run with the pack, but they were never gonna be alpha dog.



Monday, November 13, 2017


Two word review - 


Make sure to give me credit if you quote me on that.

The 2018 literary review date book: Scars Publications

Got me some work in here.  Buy it, use it,
stop sitting home whining about
how you can't get any dates......


Image result for ernst ludwig kirchner paintings

Friday, November 10, 2017