Various Artists – Shreds Volume 5: American Underground Early 90’s

And now, friends, we come to the fifth and final volume of the Shreds American Underground CD series. While 1997 was a pretty great year for pop punk, Volume 5 harkens back to the early 90’s.  Probably not coincidentally, it’s also the volume with the least number of bands (exactly 1) that I’m actually familiar with to this day.
I also put off writing this one for way too long and now it’s late and I just want to put this series to bed and get back to singles. Forgive the brevity/count yourself lucky.

That said, let’s get into it.

CD cover inside1 inside2back

1. Oxymorons – “Unearthing Your Grave”: Was fully expecting some sort of Oi/Misfits  mashup type thing. Glad I was so wrong. It’s more like a Parasites/Radon mashup.
2. Our American Cousins – “One Wish Too Many”: A less depressed Replacements.
3. The Fiendz – “Weight Of The World”: Vocal harmonies that harken back to the doo-wop era, with music that’s clearly indie/rock/poppunk from the early 90’s. Roughly analogous to a swing band in 1997 covering a 1960’s Tony Sinatra song…maybe?
4. Adjustable Boy – “Beanflower”: I like the singer on this. Oooh, a spoken word section over some noisy guitars. The guitars and drums remind me a lot of a German indie punk band called Graf Zahl who you probably haven’t heard.
5. Vibra Lux – “Wastin'”: Dreamy, keyboardy, indie pop with female vocals. Pleasant, not quite rocking enough for me.
6. The Sweet Things – “Planet Love Is On Fire”: Yesterday it was the Crumbs, today it’s some indie pop rock band I don’t know. As evidenced by this band.
7. Sugarburn – “Cloudbreath”: “Two Weeks Gone”: This all seems very earnest. I want more Grumpies and Fondled songs. Oh hey, some feedback. Maybe this song is ok after al–wait, now it’s gone again. Now I NEED more Grumpies and Fondled songs.
8. The Hell – Really good instrumental guitar pop that I dig a lot. I really like the drums on this song. I want more of this for times when I’m working and singing/lyrics are gonna mess me up. Might have to track down more from them.
9. Strawman – “What Goes Down”: Remember that old cartoon trope when two or more things would be fighting, and all you’d see was a big dustcloud, and then the occasional fist or leg or head would pop out? This feels kind of like that, but instead of fists and legs and heads, we’ve got a surf band, Tim Barry, the same guy being a weird rockabilly singer, and some other things, all thrown in together, all spinning on their own orbits. occasionally they line up into a really catchy chorus but then they get out of alignment and I’m lost again.
10. Those Unkown – “Cries Of A Nation”: It’s weird hearing a song like this in the context of so much indie pop and whatever else is on here. This has tones of streetpunk and overt political lyrics (“We’re gonna fight for what we believe in”, “Start a revolution”, etc.) but it’s still pretty poppy. On another compilation, surrounded by more hardcore or street punk or whatever, I bet this would seem a lot more aggressive. Here, it comes off not so much and I think it suffers for it. Still a good song.

OK, it’s been two days and I can’t find the motivation to write up these next 5 songs. Fuck it. You’ll just have to listen.

11. Kill Sybil – “Fairlane”:
12. Skeleton Ed – “Edge Of My Bed”:
13. The Revelers – “Walking Thinking”:
14. M.O.T.O. – “Magic Words”: More Ahoooo’s than Werewolves of London.
15. Headwounds  – “Bergen County”:
16. The Fuckboyz – “Rock N’Roll Problem”: Even the Fuckboyz song isn’t one of their best songs. Ugh! The Fuckboyz! They moved to San Francisco and turned into Hickey and you can hear their entire discography at http://www.mattyluv.com which is awesome but it’s also a little sad because it’s all up there only because Matty Luv died in 2002 from a drug overdose. Fuck.  Go there and check out Last Auto Mechanic in America or Chapels of Reno.

Get it.

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