Various Artists – Cause That’s The Way You Like It, Baby – Crap Records

I think I got this in the mail not long after it came out. Probably saw an ad for it in MRR or Punk Planet or it was on a distro flyer stuffed into some mail ordered record or another. The Thirsty and I Farm songs were what sold me on it, but the Nerd and Secret Sqrrrl are what keep me coming back. I even met Carly Crap, label president, once, on a trip to Ithaca for “the last” Plow United show, in 1997. I’m pretty sure I annoyed her with lots of dumb questions about the bands on this once I was introduced to her. Sorry, Carly. And thanks for putting this thing out. It’s still a solid comp, 19 years later.

At some point, I lost my copy of this somewhere. Maybe I sold it during The Great And Horrible Selling Of Records Of 2000 Debacle®? I was reminded of the Secret Sqrrrl songs a few years ago when one of them got lodged in my brain and I tracked down another copy on the intertubes.

“OK, josh, you bought a CD on the internet, and now you’re writing about it? THIS IS SO ENTHRALLING.”

Every time someone tries to tell me that the internet has taken something away from collecting records or buying music or whatever, I think of a situation like this. In 1993, tracking down an out of print, fairly obscure, 20 year old album like this seems like it would have been impossible.

The Songs:

Pop punk cover songs have always had a special place in my heart, long before the “Punk Goes” series put in some serious effort to ruin the genre and audiogalaxy tried confusing all of us with its mistagged “Every punk cover song ever is by NOFX. Every non-punk parody song is by Weird Al.” tagging rule.  Ifarm turns in a great cover here, and with a little more authenticity, verve, and bittersweetness than the original. It’s hard to imagine Bryan Adams being all that sad about not being in a shitty garage band anymore while he’s on a world tour.  Ifarm somehow manages to get the tight-to-sloppy ratio just right, as expected.

The two Six-O-Seven songs here would be just as home on the Dear Fred: It Was Me That Did It comp. There’s something of a Quadiliacha/In Like Flynn/Rubber Sole quality to them that I really dig.

Every time I listen to this and Smak comes on, I forget that they’re not a pop punk band like the others on the album. I can’t bring myself to believe that this isn’t a jokey hardcore band just playing chugga chugga riffs for fun.”Everybody hit the deck ’cause we came to wreck it?” Maybe they were a serious hardcore band who were serious about “wrecking it.”  Either way, it’s not my bag and I wind up skipping it if I’m near the skip button.

End Of One is on the punk side of the pop punk fence, but they could hop back over on a moment’s notice if they needed to. I’m not blown away but I like to imagine these songs were from early in the band’s existence and later recordings are better. I have no idea if there are any later recordings or not. These just remind me of early songs from other bands that don’t hit as hard as later songs from the same bands.

Nerd‘s Welcome Home Race Fans seems like somewhat of a novelty song for some reason, but holy shit, it smokes. And its social commentary is hilarious. This being a comp of bands mostly from in and around Ithaca, NY, I’ve always wondered how big NASCAR is up there. Their other two songs don’t hit as hard but are still great.

The Secret Sqrrrl songs are some of my favorite on here and all I can think when they’re over is that I want more Secret Sqrrrl. Female fronted straight up 90’s diy pop punk.

Buglite sounds exactly like Buglite sounds and I love them for it. Fuzzy, hyper pop punk with vulnerable, sung vocals. Such a great unique sound. I feel like this could be it’s own genre.

The three Thirsty songs on here may be my favorite I’ve ever heard from the band. There was a time before I had heard this comp when I had sort of labeled them mentally as a sloppy, local pop punk band that wouldn’t ever write songs more complex than their Getting Along Together 7″. Then these songs came along and changed how I thought about them. I don’t know if there’s a lineup change involved or what, but these songs are so much better than those. Again, I’m left wanting more Thirsty. As far as I can tell, they only did this, Getting Along Together, and a split with Ifarm. If anyone knows about anything else, please let me know. I’d love to hear it.

CoverinsertCDTrayCardGet it.

 

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