BILLYBONES, THE: We’re Selfish: 7” 45

The title track is one of those songs that i ((rightly or wrongly)) strongly associate with the L.A. punk rock tradition circa 1982-present: Produced just enough so that the song is quite incapable of kicking your ass with its potential rawness, but not well-crafted enough to smack you around with its latent genius—in other words, a song that, by rights, should be maybe the fifth song on the first side of an album masquerading as a song that somehow is clamoring to be heard as the a-side of a single. I kinda like it ‘cause it sounds a little like the Humpers, although the Humpers would have been canny enough to add a bridge or some god damn thing in the middle ((or maybe they just woulda swung the microphone over their head like a lasso, who the hell knows)). “All Excess” sounds like more of the same, until the welcome and unexpected addition of a little two-note guitar riff a la Shelly/Devoto/Diggle that completely changes the nature of the tune for the good ((sez me)). The b-side is a nifty pummeling of Roxy Music’s “Editions of You,” and, while no Roxy Music fan be i, as far as i’m concerned, if Mr. Ex-Skulls Vocalist isn’t gonna ride herd on all our asses with some timely What? Records rawness, i’d rather see him following his latent Limey pre/post/punk Ferry/Shelly/Devoto/Digglisms than loosing L.A.’s umpteenth batch of songs that sound like they wanna be on that one BYO comp upon the world. But, then again, purple-with-green-spots vinyl is pretty cool so what’s it to me anyway? BEST SONG: “All Excess” BEST SONG TITLE: “We’re Selfish,” just because it seems like it’s in the “We’re Desperate” tradition, which, prior to the advent of “We’re Selfish,” was not a tradition at all owing to a paucity of followers. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: “Billy Bones” was the name of the pirate captain who crossed Long John Silver in Treasure Island, which remains one of my favorite books to this day.

 –norb (Dr. Strange)