7 and 7 Is
re-releases it. Battling Trance for single supremacy in Austin is the most excellent Peek-A-Book label, which has a mess of new 45s out, including one by label guys Travis Higdon and Phillip Niemeyer and their punk band the Kiss Offs. Would that the music were as good as the "Tom Mix's alleged injuries" artwork; production is atrocious with the cymbals sounding like your shirt being pressed at the cleaners. The guitar riffs are worth keeping, however, and "Gavin Scott Can Do No Wrong" is just annoying enough in a shrill, Eighties way. Label-mates Vidi Vitties fare much better on their new one, "Sophie's Choice" b/w "Last Week's Recording," whose A-side is poptopia disguised as a morality play about the end of the world (I think), and a good Pixies-ish B-side. One-upping both Trance and Peek-A-Boo this week are the folks at Shamrock Records, who've managed to get 12 "songs" on their recent "A Lump of Coal" single. Kim Hill and the long-defunct Swanktones are among the contributors, though the whole thing seems to be a mix-tape sort of project for the Shamrock Man himself, Buzz Moran. On that level, this post-classical, post-bop, post-bossa nova, post-Santo & Johnny, post-folk, post-metal, post-everything mix is a must at silent movies and parties. One label that might as well be on the moon is Japan's 1+2 Records, which just put out a four-song EP by Dallas' Mullens. This one's a winner, kids, if only for "Girl from Vietnum" [sic] ("she was a girl from Vietnam/ he was a boy from Birmingham"), an echoing, buzz-saw beauty that sounds like it was left off the Clash's Give 'Em Enough Rope. Welcome to Planet Punk.
-- Raoul Hernandez
Trance Syndicate: PO Box 49771, Austin, TX 78765; Peek-A-Boo: PO Box 49542, Austin, TX 78765; Shamrock: PO Box 7066, Austin, TX 78713-7066; 1+2 Records: Clean Nishi-Shinjuku Bldg, Nishi-Shinjuku 7-5-6, Shinjuku-Ku, Tokyo 160 Japan (Mullens: 6034 Goliad, Dallas, TX 75206-6822)
"7 & 7 Is" reviews all local and national singles. Send to: "7 & 7 Is," The Austin Chronicle, PO Box 49066, Austin, TX 78765.