Jul 03, 2009

John Roller is on vocals here. For the record: I’m a huge John Roller fan—probably the biggest one you’ll come across. The thing with Roller—he’s a fucking L.A. punk throwback. I mean way back. Dangerhouse. SST. Posh Boy. Roller is the kind of guy who can (and will) call you out for confusing members of the B People with the dudes in Silver Chalice. In short: John Roller is bona fide. With that in mind, I’ve found that people who have a narrow fixation on one or two things in their lives are generally really good at their respective obsessions. (Conversely, Brion Gysin, who was all over the place in his artistic endeavors, received criticism for stretching himself too thin.) John Roller is certainly a gifted musician. And when it comes to creating an early ‘80s hardcore punk band—you’re not going to top the dude. It doesn’t hurt that Gestapo Khazi is rounded out by some shit hot musicians (hats off to, uh, Third Reich Mike on drums—let me know how those Jerusalem shows go…). Unlike a lot of bands working in the hardcore genre, Gestapo Khazi seems conscious of the use of space in music. What I mean by that—put on a Wall Of Voodoo record and really focus in on Marc Moreland’s guitar playing. If you’re not completely dense, it’ll bring you to tears—the way Moreland played guitar was more in the vein of Keith Levene or Andy Gill (but better), the former knew that silence was music, and that guitar playing shouldn’t be one-dimensional (in influence or performance). And I hear a little of that in Gestapo Khazi’s guitar playing—space and influence (punk, rockabilly, surf, etc.—get some, Stark Raving Erik). This is really an incredible EP. Fans of John’s old band (Geisha Girl) will probably be happier with Gestapo Khazi. (I’m sorry this review has been abbreviated. I’m watching Urgh! A Music War right now, and Marc Moreland’s guitar playing is making me totally useless. Unbelievable. The guy was truly a genius.)

 –ryan (Self-released,