LUBRICANTS: “Activated Energy” b/w “Transformation Vacation”: 7”

Self-identifying as “Milwaukee’s first punk band” ((I guess I’ll take their word for it)), this 1980 single is the band’s sole release during their lifespan, and is pretty much jacked in to the subversive current emitted by the death of ‘70s punk which, Frankenstein-like, begat hardcore somewhere after the new wave ebb tide of 1980. “Activated Energy,” doesn’t seem too far removed, spiritually, from songs like “Intensified Chaos,” off the Not So Quiet on the Western Front album a few years later, although, tempo-wise, things are still grounded in ‘70s neo-orthodoxy. It also features female backing vocals for a last gasp of that eyeshadowed siren sound, right before girls were purged from the scene at the start of 1982. “Transformation Vacation,” is more or less more of the same, minus the backing vocals and the high-end-heavy James Williamson guitar wig-outs of the flip. I read this band’s viscosity at twelve seconds using a #3 Zahn cup, and that’s the sign of a quality varnish. BEST SONG: “Activated Energy.” BEST SONG TITLE: “Transformation Vacation.” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: I saw the Lubricants for the first time last year and then I puked all over the Turner Hall bathroom floor. 

 –norb (Rerun)