GESTAPO KHAZI: “Escalators” b/w “The Atomic Kind”: 7″

With bands as obviously well realized as Long Beach’s Gestapo Khazi, I have to resist going into my record collector geek/reviewer cubby hole and rubbing obscure references all over myself like Scrooge McDuck in a money vault. But I think a brief trip down Southern California’s back alleyways that feed into the Big Punk Boulevard won’t harm anything. Gestapo Khazi’s accomplishment stems from a secure understanding of several tributaries of past, but being able to channel them into a sinister, anxious, cold vibe. I hear both death rock (Super Heroines and 45 Grave) and rockabilly (Blasters); I undeniably hear the warbling, haunted wraith of not only the Gun Club’s Jeffery Lee Pierce, but also of Rob Ritter and Terry Graham (so, by way punk’s family shrub, I hear a bit of The Bags—where those two guys came from, too). Gestapo Khazi is all those things, and more, played like none of that other stuff had to exist to come to this particular musical conclusion. And that makes it pretty damn great on its own two feet, even if you’ve never listened to any other band mentioned in this review.

 –todd (Eradicator)