The Applicators What's Your Excuse (Cornerstone R.A.S.)

What's Your Excuse (Cornerstone R.A.S.)

Record Reviews

The Applicators

What's Your Excuse (Cornerstone R.A.S.)

Coming and going in less time than it takes Robert Downey Jr. to score drugs, the Applicators' What's Your Excuse takes a mere 25 minutes to remind us all why girls kick ass. In this case, it's because they pair schoolgirl skirts with fishnets, write songs with titles like "Puke on You," and rock harder than a whole lot of boys. What's Your Excuse cuts straight to the heart of such universal punk-rock topics as musical beds ("My Turn"), wannabes ("She Smells Like Me"), and kitty theft ("Hola Cuca") without mincing words -- e.g., "You lie! You lie! Who told you to lie?" -- while a jackbooted version of the Dead Milkmen's "Violent School" (recorded live) reveals either a sly social conscience or twisted sense of humor. Either way, it works; by subscribing to the tried-and-true "keep it simple, stupid" philosophy of songwriting, this Austin quartet tears through their 12 songs with minimum fuss and maximum intensity. These are the girls who ditched P.E. to smoke cigarettes in the parking lot, the ones who were deep into Black Flag and the Gits when the rest of us were just discovering Nirvana. Although their explosive cover of Sleater-Kinney's "Good Things," which frankly leaves everything else in the dust, suggests it might take an album or two for the Applicators' originals to catch up with their attitude, the rest of What's Your Excuse makes it fairly obvious it'll be worth the wait.

***

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