Ripping 006: RUNNAMUCKS - Deficit of Dreams LP/CD
RUNNAMUCKS' 'Deficit of Dreams' is an American odyssey, in subject matter as well as in the manner it was recorded. Production took place over three years and in as many states, though the liner notes claim it was "recorded on the 4th of July all across the U.S.A."
Across the many American dreamscapes it inhabits, from a screaming street plagued by an "epidemic of insanity" (on the title track) to a gas station where its eternal attendant pounds beer in the cooler with an army of clones ('Suspended Animation'), the â€˜MUCKS donâ€™t so much condemn the Dream as demand a complete recall, invoking the listener to reevaluate their own ideas of the concept; TO DREAM BIGGER AND BETTER.
To achieve this musically, the â€˜MUCKS channel their classic American Punk influences like the Ramones and Black Flag but also introduce a new weapon in their sonic arsenal: Melody. Inspired by such pop masterminds as Harry Nilsson, The Kinks and The Cure, they fuse their own abrasive brand of Hard Rock/Punk with the futuristic elements of the Buzzcocks, Iggy Pop and HÃ¼sker DÃ¼; the result is truly original, a sound the band has dubbed PANIC POP.
From the harmony-heavy stomp of 'Symbiote Saga' and 'Donâ€™t Cry About Me', to the triumphant Underdog-Rock battle-cry of 'Validation' and 'Failure #1', this new PANIC POP sound once again sets the â€˜MUCKS ahead of the pack. The epic culminates in 'Times Two', when our heroes at last find their own revised vision of the Dream. Will you find yours? TAKE THE TRIP!
Ripping 007: LIBYAN HIT SQUAD featuring Greg Ginn/ ROUND EYE Full Circle Split LP/CD
This is it. This is the point where East and West converge, where democracy and communism find a common ground. Itâ€™s the entire social impact of punk rock in a nutshell. Orlando, FLâ€™s LIBYAN HIT SQUAD offer six songs of post-SST insanity, a mind-blowing prog-punk hybrid that recalls the wide-eyed paranoia of 80s hardcore ('Blown Asshole', 'Rubber Shoes', 'Brave New World', 'Faulty Bridge') while achieving the lofty musical heights of The Minutemen and Black Flag â€“ especially Black Flag, since their main songwriter and guitar maestro GREG GINN contributes his expertise on the centerpiece, 'Full Circle', the be-all-end-all of punk instrumentals, a vociferous statement that simultaneously embraces the aesthetics of punk while eschewing the limiting confines set by its fashion-focused followers. 'Lift Your Knees', a near 6-minute rant on sexual politics that echoes Jane's Addiction, Can, and Mike Watt, is the final word.
Across a continent and an ocean, Shanghai, Chinaâ€™s ROUND EYE attack with a punk rock ferocity that melds modern post-punk a la The Fall ('Round Eye', 'Kenting'), with doo-wop ('Iâ€™m So Young') and 60s Nuggets/Stooges/MC5 angst ('Carne Seca'). The closing 'Got Her Runninâ€™' brings it all to a head, where decades, styles and influences converge to bring a uniquely Eastern vision to Western rockâ€™nâ€™roll. This isnâ€™t punk rock for mohawks, nor is it easy listening indie rock for the hipster contingent. This is the future. â€“ Chuck Foster