May 08, 2013

I remember the first time I ever heard a bootleg of Songs We Taught the Cramps and feeling uncomfortable in the way all the songs sounded so dated and strange, more punk than punk. There were thousands of these little 45s out there, which I found later through more bootleg comps and tape trading. Some were great in that they were just weird rock’n’roll tracks by frat dudes who never fit into their crowd (“Hammerlock”), others were bouncy carnival tracks that were so much more evil than any metal (Anton LaVey), but the point was that there was no cohesive style or aesthetic to tie them all together; they were all just genuinely weird. These bands both fit that style. There’s no real modern point of reference for their sound. Bad Taste are like a Rick Nelson LP that’s been left out in the sun and then dusted off and played at the wrong speed, the needle bouncing all over the place as you stack pennies on the tone arm to keep it all in check. Brain Car fit more into that frat rock style, adhering to a sound that’s popular at the high school dancehalls while jeering at those who just want to dance some to an angry punk rendition of the Grease soundtrack.

 –Ian Wise (Reel Time)