ROTTEN APPLES: Real-Tuff (Durable Plastic): CD

First song starts out like Elastica playing the riff to “Quick Joey Small” by the Kasenetz-Katz Singing Orchestral Circus while the Muffs and the Detroit Cobras violently mudwrestle in the background, then kicks in with alternately sultry/pissed off tough chick vocals like the singer from Romeo Void having impossibly rapid-fire mood swings, backed by what i can only speculate to be some manner of simplistic but forceful riot grrrl soul-punk that doesn’t exactly not evoke memories of L7, but in a good way (somehow), but with a more stripped down approach. Damn, i said “stripped down.” And i was doing so well! To summarize, it is “good.” The lush vocals are like mishandled bratwursts sliding seductively down a WNBA point guard’s hips. Unfortunately, by about the third song, i’m starting to get restless, thinking of things i could be doing around the house. By the fourth song, i’m going stark raving nuts with boredom. The CD is only twenty-three minutes long, but, for whatever reason, it seems more like it’s about an hour and a half. I begin to look disdainfully on the vocals: They seem to be attempting to incite a more sophisticated effect on the listener than the musical backing (though fairly competent and well-recorded) can support. The lyrics begin to grate me. “Plastic World,” with its squeaks of “Fake tits, fake eyes, fake bullshit!” sounds like something some fourteen-year-old girl would’ve written after masturbating to “Rebel Girl” for the first time. Things seem to be devolving into petty bitchiness: “F.W.A.K.” – “Fucked Without a Kiss” – is about creepy guys; compare that to the Scream song of the same name (1st album) about prison rape and see how much of an outpouring of sympathy you can muster on her behalf. Gah! Suddenly, for no good reason, “Spade” comes on – dead last, track ten of ten – and i realize the problem! The first nine tracks have been sung by the SINGER! But track ten is being sung by the DRUMMER! And it’s BRILLIANT! OF COURSE! THAT’S IT! The singer, with the exception of the strikingly ace first track, is wreckin’ everything with her god damned SINGERLINESS!!! The drummer has no such failings! Therefore, it is my sworn duty to stoke the dang boiler and foment band unrest by demanding that the drummer, one “Heather Jane,” RISE UP AND SMITE (or merely wrest control from) THE SINGER/GUITARIST, one “Dejha!” COME ON, HEATHER JANE, IT’S YOU THE PEOPLE ARE PAYIN’ TA SEE!!! YOU’RE the reason the band’s come this far!!! YOU’RE the glue that holds it all together!!! Dejha is just keeping you DOWN because SHE KNOWS YOU’RE A STAR ON THE RISE, BAY-BEE!!! YOU’RE COMPETITION!!! SHE WANTS TO KEEP YOU IN THE BACK, BEHIND THE DRUMS, WHERE GUYS CAN LOOK UP YOUR SKIRT AND SEE YOUR PANTIES AND SUCHLIKE!!! DON’T FALL FOR IT!!! RISE UP!!! REBEL!!! MAKE LUDICROUS DEMANDS!!! WHEN YOU COME HOME FROM GIGS, DROP HER OFF FIRST, THEN TALK SHIT ABOUT HER IN THE VAN THE REST OF THE WAY HOME!!! WHEN YOU GO OUT AFTER PRACTICE, STICK ALREADY CHEWED GUM IN HER BEST PAIR OF SLUT SHOES!!! WHEN YOU STAY AT HOTELS, STICK HER HAND IN WARM WATER SO SHE PEES THE BED AND ALIENATES OTHER BAND MEMBERS!!! SHE’S ONLY GOT ONE NAME, ANYWAY!!! LIKELY SOME KINDA MADE-UP STRIPPER NAME!!! YOU’VE GOT TWO!!! FIGHT THE POWER!!! DEMAND FACE TIME!!! SAVE THE TEXAS PRAIRIE CHICKEN!!! ALL OF IT ON RED THIRTEEN!!! YOU’LL NEVER TAKE CODY JARRETT ALIVE, COPPERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for listening. BEST SONG: “Love Career” or “Spade”  BEST SONG TITLE: “Love Career” or “Spade,” i guess  FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Chris Brief is thanked in the liner notes and i know him.

 –norb (Empty)