When Albert Hofmann, the Swiss chemist who first synthesized LSD, accidentally got a taste of a very minute amount of the just-born industrial strength mind bender back in 1943, he had a helluva time just figuring out how to work the pedals on his bicycle so he could get home that night—so powerful was the drug. That’s how I feel right now with Out With A Bang. I’m not sure I know how to brush my ass or wipe my teeth, let alone craft some smarmy review about this one-sided twelve-incher from punk rock heaven. Out With A Bang, for those trying to keep track of the evolution of lo-fi misanthrope-core, is the band that has grown up from the wreckage of the backed-up toilet explosion once known as “The Grabbies.” And the Grabbies, of course, were a band that could best be compared to a bus full Italians stalled out over a giant anthill crawling with stinging ants and in their brief existence they produced two 7” records that were the very picture of brutal, hate-filled, dim-witted beauty. Live Raw Punk Shits, in fact, was so blastingly raw that it makes the Reatards sound like the Max Weinberg 7 and I would still put that record on the top of my Razorcake Top 5 list each issue if I thought I could get away with it. The Grabbies were “punk as hate” and I loved everything about it. So deep was my affection for that amazing band that I made up counterfeit Grabbies shirts—one for myself and one for the only other person I knew who gave two shits about the Grabbies: a friend of mine known as “The Imp.” If it weren’t for those shirts I made, I might not know Out With A Bang even existed right now. But as luck would have it, the Imp wound up wearing her counterfeit Grabbies shirt in a photo which she posted on Fox Entertainment Group Inc.’s “MySpace”—a sort of meet-n-greet web-club popular with attention-starved teenagers, pedophiles and wannabe rock stars. And, lo and behold, what should bubble up from the cyber sea of MySpace chitchat and go for the bait? None other than Anus, the surly snapping turtle frontman of the Grabbies. He claimed that he was just wondering why anyone in their right mind would make shirts emblazoned with the logo of such a ridiculously “horseshit” band as the Grabbies. Or maybe it was really just the predatory congressman side of him coming out. Whatever it was that drew this foul-mouthed idiot savant out from his internet duck blind is anyone’s guess. What’s important is that he brought news of his new band, Out With A Bang, and that was just the thing to pull me out of the doldrums of a deep musical despondency that had gripped me since the untimely demise of my beloved Grabbies. So things are right with the world now; Out With A Bang might be a tad more cohesive than the Grabbies ever were—perhaps Anus has a Ritalin prescription now?— but there’s more than enough unbridled hostility and seething hate-stew here for me to hang my hat on. And that’s saying something, because I’ve got a huge head. Plus they’ve thrown some Three Stooges sound bytes between songs, which always brings the I.Q. level of anything down a few glorious notches. And nothing goes better with lo-fi than lo-brow. My only complaint is that one side of a record’s-worth of this kind of stuff just isn’t enough. But if I know Anus, I know there’s sure to be more where this came from. Hate springs eternal, after all.
–aphid (Proud to be Idiot, www.ptbi.8m.com)