SMUT PEDDLERS: Bipolar Girl: 7″ EP

Tickle me pink and tattoo a skull on my throat. This is good. When I’d cordoned off the Smut Peddlers to the playground of The Dwarves and GG Allin camp of white trash punk, comes this slab of wax. The playing has always been powerful (shit, with Roger Ramjet (X-Members, Pushers, ADZ) skinning his guitar, leading the attack) and with Julia’s drumming and Gish’s bass, the music’s been as tight as a liposuctioned thigh on a soccer mom, but the lyrics seemed – well – a bit dumb. I’m not asking for “Masterpiece Theatre” or anything, but it seemed they were gonna get as complex and deep as shooting speed. Maybe I wasn’t listening closely enough before. For example, with the song and main chorus “Let’s Get (Fucked Up)” is the inverse of what you’re thinking. It’s about the travails of a sober guy drinking fizzy apple cider on New Years Eve. And the other two songs complete Polaroid snapshots of Orange County in decline – surfers with Hepatitis C, washed-up construction worker surfers, and being in love with a girl with a bona fide psychological disorder. I’d even go far to say that “Surfer’s Grave” is an epic. A surprise. What separates this release from the rest of the Hostage pack? The band’s actually smiling on the picture on the insert.

 –todd (Hostage, PO Box 7736, Huntington Beach, CA 92615)