PHONE JERKS: Self-titled: LP

Like, technically, every time since the dawn of time, the heyday of Rip Off Records in the ’90s was a time unlike any other. Nerds lustily debated the relative merits of each release, poring over every nuance of chord progression, production technique, pose, dress, and typeface as if we were witnessing the birth of some new, shitty little galaxy. Perhaps we were. With this in mind, I find it telling that whenever I attempt to hold forth on the music contained within this unrepentantly Rip Off Recordsish record (I was thinking the Spastics when the drummer sings—kinda squeaky and explosive—and maybe the Canadian equivalent of early Registrators when she doesn’t), I always find myself drifting into tangential analysis of the album cover and band photo instead. Like, what does it mean when a rotary dial telephone is depicted on a garage punk album cover in 2018? What would it have meant in 1995? In 1977? Does the guy with the Gibson® look down on the guy with the Squier®? Does he know his socks say “Reebok?” Paradoxically, if you start thinking about this shit instead of the music, the record is, somehow, doing its job. While I doubt it can be argued that the ceiling for the amount of enhancement one can reasonably expect a record like this to visit upon one’s life is nowhere near as high as it was twenty or twenty-five years ago, this record is, clearly, perfectly good, and you can quote me on that. Now who wants to argue about the Dangerhouse T-shirt? BEST SONG “Slit Wrist Twist.” BEST SONG TITLE: “Violence Anarchy Baby Mother Daddy-O Dig,” which I am to understand is a cover. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Dude has a beard. –Rev. Nørb (Alien Snatch)