7 & 7 Is
Reviewed by Greg Beets, Fri., May 5, 2000
The photos of charismatic church services on the cover of the Crack Pipes' three-song EP (Paintcan Chandelierier) are no accident. This veteran local guitar, drum, and vox trio really does believe in the healing power of garage noise thrice-fried in decade-old grease. "Go Go" works a "Suzie Q" beat to foamy fruition as singer Rev. Ray Cashmoney screams hosannas with orgiastic abandon. Meanwhile, "Hustler Blues" begins with a sermon regarding the glory of rock and soul music before launching headfirst into a screaming sea of distortion...The debut single from punk trio Slum City (Mortville) kicks off with "Hot Rod," a female variation on the Beach Boys' car-song template maxed out at hardcore velocity. Any band that ever missed a show by commencing beer intake too early in the evening will appreciate "Late for da Show." Slum City travels a familiar road, but their enthusiasm is quite catching... The Noble Gases' monophonic 7-inch (Paintcan Chandelierier) walks a crooked fence between house-party garage rock and suburban new-wave fatalism. "Whitewash" pits a repetitively evil guitar riff against cardboard-box drums on a recording that sounds like it was done in the alley behind a club. "Father's Day" uses junkyard synthesizers to create a hypnotic background for words that invoke the swell notion of a duet between Daniel Johnston and Lydia Tomkiw of Algebra Suicide... The single from A Roman Scandal (Paintcan Chandelierier) takes a slightly different tack on Eighties revisionism. The trio features members of OMD 20/20 and ...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead pursuing a living-room variation of Joy Division's art-school synth-pop. "Lost in a Scandal" is a mellow, breathy soundtrack for late nights, while "Heaven Twentyseven" is a lively and slightly disturbing tune that might have sent you running for the exits during a bad high-school acid trip circa 1985... Chicken Ranch Records' Texas Tag Team Up 7-inch pits Bickley on side one vs. the Put Downs on side two. Bickley plys bass-heavy old-school hardcore with distinctively sneering vocal delivery that really makes a tune like "Pants Down" stick in your craw. On the flipside, the Put Downs offer garage punk that reeks of the Blue Flamingo at 2am. The heartfelt paean "Head Shop Girl" is easily one of the most touching love songs in recent memory. When you're ready to come down, try the droning psychedelic pop of Iota Songs (Super Value). "Orange" gently works its way through your nog with lazy Sunday boy/girl harmonies, a bright blue riff, and an effervescent keyboard/guitar undertow. While the B-side ("Grounded") strikes a more somber, less appealing note, it's not enough to detract from this band's future potential.
Paintcan Chandelierier, 5105 Beverly Skyline, Austin, TX 78731; Mortville Records, P.O. Box 4263, Austin, TX 78765; Chicken Ranch Records, P.O. Box 340262, Austin, TX 78734; Super Value Records, P.O. Box 49892, Austin, TX 78765.