SKUNKFIX / STICK NO BILL / BRAYOK / THE RAY GRADYS: Punkrock Paradox: CD

This is a four-way split CD with three of the four bands being from Malaysia and one from Philly. One of the Malaysian bands sings in Malay and the other two sing in English. I’m sure that at some point in my life I have listened to a band from Malaysia but I can’t recall it off the top of my head. I guess I assumed that it was too repressive of a country to allow for punk rock, but it appears I stand corrected. The long short of it, however, is that this is a horrible, horrible album. The bands all seem to center their styling on a ska or pop punk sound and the band that sings entirely in Malay does so off-key. The lyrics in English are often incomprehensible at least as far as they are written in the liner notes (my favorite line: “I’m slaving for your asshole”). The content is often tedious, covering really stereotypical matter such as fuck that group, those people are stupid, and these people are dumb. And it’s all done while playing really safe, uninteresting music. The one American band, The Ray Gradys, sound as though their songs were lifted directly from their vinyl and not the masters, as the sound quality makes some of their tracks almost unlistenable. I appreciate the effort of people trying to build their own scene, but I do hope that the bands included on here realize that punk rock is about more than being angry at various shades of “the man” and playing music that is worse than the stuff my friends played in high school a dozen years ago. The only positive thing I got out of this is that they used the glossy paper material for their booklet and that smell reminded me of the higher-end baseball cards I used to collect as a kid. Good times.

 –kurt (Nervhous/Greenpeace/Anock Mearan)