STICKMEN WITH RAY GUNS: Grave City: LP

Stickmen With Ray Guns were a Texas punk outfit who, like most legendary cult bands, existed for mere moments and were allies with bands who would go on to become household names—in this case the Butthole Surfers. Notorious in Dallas for their unapologetically offensive lyrics and deliberately violent behavior onstage, they were a certified opening band for scores of popular touring bands including the Dead Kennedys, Bad Brains, and the UK Subs. Most of the tracks on this album were recorded between the years of 1981 and 1984 and previously only appeared on long-out-of-print compilation albums (among them the classic Cottage Cheese from the Lips of DeathLP) with no proper full-length or singles ever released. Often mentioned under the same breath as Flipper due to their atonal wall of dirge, the songs on the first side of this record certainly bring to mind Generic’s alienating experimental punk qualities as well as the bizarre nature of Butthole Surfers’ Locust Abortion Technician. The second side wanders further more towards cow punk territory with a Dicks and Big Boys twist, save for the final track “Kill the Innocent,” which is the musical equivalent of watching a plane crash in slow motion for hours on a loop. I have a soft spot for the ugly side of punk and Stick Men With Ray Guns is as ugly as it gets.

 –Juan Espinosa (End Of An Ear, endofanear.com)