VARIOUS ARTISTS: Tuna Forsushi Presents: Live Your Gimmick Volume 1: CD

As much as I like the “gimmick” of a professional wrestling manager putting out a punk CD, three quarters of the bands on this four-way split don’t do it for me. Most of them are pretty amateur hour, like dRIVIN bEATS who split up their time singing songs about beach girls with songs about vampire girls. Or worse, The Downstrokes who are far too old to focus their songwriting skill on complaining about New York girls and punk rock Lolitas. I’ll say it, a good indicator of the quality of an album is how few song titles end in “girl” or “girls” (“Lolita” counts). Sourpuss fails to bring the rock with their ham-fisted attempts at transgressive lyrics. These bands sound like bands that would open for Sloppy Seconds when I was a teenager living in Indianapolis, bands that didn’t get that Sloppy Seconds weren’t actually dumb, they were anti-intellectual and when it came to being stupid, they were actually pretty smart about it. The Xiles, however, I really dug. Their sound worships The Damned, The Joykiller, and T.S.O.L. It’s spooky, earnest punk and the singer has some pipes on him. They alone make the CD worth holding on to. I was also into pro wrestling’s Tuna Forsushi announcing each band on the CD. I’d be interested in hearing volume two, hoping he could raise the bar a bit. –Craven Rock (Tuna Forsushi)