GRUBERGER BROTHERS, THE: Greetings from Reading, PA: LP

…it’s always interesting to note how the advent of punk rock stoked the boilers of not just the folks who heard the Ramones or Sex Pistols or Damned for the first time, flipped their lid, cut their hair, bought a guitar and a leather jacket and chucked their Emerson, Lake & Palmer records into the back part of the closet, but also how it aligned with the workaday schmucks who were, due to their preexisting mutation, already attempting to bash out their own solutions to the thorny quadrophonic equations ROCK had become ((e.g., the Dictators)). The Gruberger Brothers published their own zines which predated punk rock ((and its attendant zine culture)) in the early 70’s, as well as being in the quasi-legendary ((meaning I’ve heard of them before)) O. Rex, and the legitimately legendary Afrika Korps. This album covers their various musical escapades from 1978-80, and, not surprisingly, not unlike the prime constituents of the Gulcher/Gizmo/Panic proto-punk axis ((with whom they are aligned)), they are making ROCK which comes out PUNK because THEY FEEL THE RAWK BUT THE RAWK DOES NOT FEEL THEM BACK so fuck it. More often than not, things come out sounding like a sort of amateur hour Dictators ((roll THAT concept around on your tongue for a while!))—e.g., “Here Come the Pussies,” “Rock & Roll Is Better Than Music,” “Die Donna Die”—with occasional spasms of the sublime ((“Chain Saw”)) and drips of the legitimately stupid ((“Dance Fool Dance”)) for good measure. I cannot, in good conscience, say whether or not owning this record can save your soul; this unsurety clearly opens the door for the concept of Salvation Via Gruberger Brothers to exist as a mathematical possibility. None can ask fairer than that. BEST SONG: “Hotel Madness” BEST SONG TITLE: “Die Donna Die” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: I’ve been to Reading and I’ve seen that pagoda on the cover. Weird town.

–norb (Rerun)