7&7 is...

Call me a traditionalist, but I never liked the idea of singles playing at 331/3 rpm. Seems to me if you're trying to eke out another couple of minutes on your single, you've already missed the whole point. One shot, one song (c'mon, the A-side) that's it. Still, that may be the least of the problems on Starfish's recent live split 7-inch with Bobaphet (Trance/Big Enormous), which sounds like it was miked by a tin can connected with a string to another tin can. Tell you how bad it is; I'll stick with Southwestern Bell Telephone, thanks. The locals in Marvel Anne also get points taken off for driving 331/3 rpm on their "Brand New Shiner!" (Pimpadelic), more because their songwriting needs some tightening rather than the record's groove -- though the almost-there B-side, "This Time," lengthens suspiciously into something resembling a suite. The Mullens/Mess split (Direct Hit) also clocks in at 331/3 rpm and gets penalized for the latter band's ultra-fast but ultra-bland choice of styles: squirrel-humpingly fast punk. Their Dallas brethren, the Mullens, on the other hand, sound like they'll do well recording their debut for San Antonio's Unclean label, home to other retro-garage rockers like the Dropouts and Sons of Hercules. Another Dallas band, UFOFU, gets away with their thirtysomething transgressions with an intriguing Devo-meets-Primus sound (Time Bomb), so we're glad to get four songs out of 'em and there's no complaints here. In the end, though, it's Austin's Million Sellers (on Wanda) who get big points for sticking to the blueprints -- 45rpm -- pressing up on yellow vinyl, sounding like Redd Kross, and still getting four songs on their purple pic-sleeve vinyl treasure. Way to go, guys.
-- Raoul Hernandez

Pimpadelic: 2725 La Mesa, Bay City, TX 77414; Direct Hit: POB 496946, Garland, TX 75049; Time Bomb: 219 Broadway #519, Laguna Beach, CA 92651; Wanda: POB 4399, Austin, TX 78765

"7 & 7 Is" reviews all local and national singles. Send to: "7 &7 Is," The Austin Chronicle, POB 49066, Austin, TX 78765