VARIOUS ARTISTS: We’re Loud – 90s Cassette Punk Unknowns: LP

I have been looking forward to this release for many months, since the good folks at Slovenly/Black Gladiator leaked it online for just one day this past spring. Nineteen bands, over thirty songs, all somehow associated with one man, named Jaime Paul Lamb. Mr. Lamb either played on, recorded, or played on and recorded these songs on his four-track (pictured on the back of the record sleeve) throughout the 1990s. (All this while fighting a battle between heavy substance abuse and sobriety.) On top of that, these songs were all taken from cassettes, so it’s a miracle any song even survived, let alone sound as good as they do (credit goes to the mastering genius of Tim Warren, head honcho of Crypt Records, my all-time favorite label). All the bands have a Killed By Death-ish vibe, but still sound different enough that if you didn’t know that one person was involved with them all, you might not believe it. So many things blow my mind about this release, not least of all being that we’re at a time when the 1990s are being comped. Riky And The Butz win best band name. Van Buren Wheels apparently have more songs in the can, soon to be released by Slovenly/Black Gladiator. I highly recommend this record, even though some songs are “questionable”—the kind of questionable where one doesn’t know if they fall into the categories of “offensive for the sake of being offensive punk” (think Dwarves, Mentors, Moorat Fingers) youthful indiscretion, inside jokes, or just a bunch of assholes being assholes. You decide! Here’s my take: “Rip Your Cunt” (according to the liner notes, written by a guy who went on to become a Nazi skinhead, so I guess that shows he’s an asshole); “1-2-You’re a Whore” (according to the liners, one of the members disowns the band and doesn’t want his name associated with them, so youthful indiscretion?); “Community Cunt” (the liners muse on the whole “how come he can but she can’t?” debate, which doesn’t read believably); “(I’m a) Date Rapist” (according to me, this is just in poor taste as everyone knows someone who’s been raped. What a bunch of shitheads.) 

 –Sal Lucci (Slovenly / Black Gladiator)