STANDARD AND POOR: What’s in the Big Black Bag?: CD

Basic bowling night punk that holds out the promise of being more interesting than it actually is—not to mention more Crampsy than it actually is ((which is “not at all”))— on accounta it’s got a hot Bettie Page type chick on the cover. A few songs sound like Americanized versions of U.K. Riot City Records-type punk circa ‘82, a few others sound kinda like those Ramones songs where Dee Dee sang, and “Liar” sounds the most like the Sex Pistols, although it is, curiously, not the Pistols song of the same name. The record contains not one but THREE songs—”I Wanna Go Back,” “Middle Earth,” “Taken Too Young”—which are essentially big lists of bands and/or punks and/or records they used to like back in the day. I’m not necessarily opposed to a little nostalgia trippin’, but if there’s a way to achieve greatness by association via invoking the past, this ain’t it. The kick and snare drums sound triggered sometimes ((though not all the time)), which i hate, even if i’m just imagining it. Tony has a cool guitar strap. The girl looks nice. BEST SONG: “Sex Doll” BEST SONG TITLE: “What’s in the Big Black Bag?” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Don’t bother to sit thru the eight minutes of church bells at the end of “Religious Right.” There is nothing at the end but a fade out.

 –norb (Unrepentant)