BUBBLEGUM SCREW: Screwphoria!: CD

Well, first off, it’s not bubblegum, which, all things considered, might be for the best anyway. Things start off promisingly enough with “Because He Loves You,” a catchy enough punk-pop-glam-roll quasi anthem with a “Whoo! Everybody get rockin’!” kinda intro and female backing vocals with which my only major beef is that the singer’s delivery is usually behind the beat ((and not in a cool way like Bing Crosby, either)) and the production is such that the singer’s off-timey-ness is front and center in the mix. They hold serve for a while, acting as a green but drinkable fruit cocktail of pre-hair-metal CH3, post-hair-metal CH3, the Heartbreakers, “Not Anymore” era Dead Boys, the Waldos, Radio Birdman, and hair metal itself, but, as the disc wears on, the hair metal and the “Not Anymore” aspects of things start to predominate and my interest wanes accordingly. In “Power”—about, you know, the POWER of their ROCK—they state “we’re trying to make a sound like nobody else!” I dunno about you, but I would tend to put more credence into this assertion if it were not made by some guys who are depicted on their record cover lying underneath a bunch of Heartbreakers, New York Dolls, Runaways, Joan Jett, Damned and Iggy records, with a guy on the back cover sitting in a bathtub in a Johnny Thunders t-shirt. Just sayin’ is all. BEST SONG: “Because He Loves You.” BEST SONG TITLE: Well, “Operation” worked pretty well for the Circle Jerks. And “Teenage Fuck Up” worked pretty well for Really Red. “Rich Bitch” didn’t do too poorly for DOA. Then again, “Kerosene” did wonders for Big Black. Maybe they’re lying underneath the wrong records? FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Inner booklet art includes the image of a Zodiac Mindwarp ticket stub from 2011. I probably should have sent them my ZM ticket stub from 1988 for additional hair-metal cred.

 –norb (Blood Sucker)