Music Reviews

By Fen Hsiao
Arizona Daily Wildcat
April 29, 1996

Arizona Daily Wildcat


Veruca Salt is not the next Hole. Veruca Salt is not the next Breeders. And hopefully Veruca Salt will not last long enough to release its next album. All of these songs should have been on its last album, because none of them sound any different. This EP is some of the most redundant, anger-inducing crap around. I hate to admit this, but I think a forced review of the new Stone Temple Pilots album would be more welcomed than another listen to this trash. But I'm sure anyone bothering to read a Veruca Salt review in the first place probably owns the new Stone Temple Pilots album.

First of all, it was hard to become unglued to the obnoxious cover of the Blow It Out Your Ass It's Veruca Salt EP (DGC). Like something so disgusting your eyes are repeatedly drawn to it, I could not stop staring at guitarist Nina Gordon, wanting to wipe that dumb look off her face. I want to punch her. Second, what kind of an EP title is that for a band so wimpy they shouldn't even assume they can pull it off? If the title is in response for some of the criticism the band received for its first album, it should take it as a kind hint.

Of course it's just part of the members' vomit-inducing "Oh, we're pretty. Oh, now we're mean!" style. "Shimmer Like a Girl," is the cut I assume is meant to be their hit, and you can guess what the premise is. Whiny chorus does not equal catchy song. Of course, at the end there's some screaming, and again, of course it's by one of the girls in the band, because now they're mean!

Okay, so "I'm Taking Europe With Me" has a good poppy ending and there's actually some harmonizing of the vocals, but you can't possibly get by the preposterous lyrics. And then there's the token ballad, and yes, it's track three (do not think there is anything original about this band), "New York Mining 1996." Gordon sings, "When did I trip over you?/ And when will I fly over you?" Ugh, their obviousness makes me want to puke.

Also, a good point made by Neil, is that while listening to this you can vividly imagine Gordon and second guitarist Louise Post in the recording studio, gripping their headphones tightly and gyrating to their own music. I don't mean to limit my prejudices on the two girls; I'm sure the two guys in the band are as equally "girly."

Produced by Steve Albini - I guess the more money you have doesn't mean you get to pick the better bands to produce. Either that, or he just has really bad taste (which, come to think of it, is more likely. Didn't he do the new Fred Schneider?).

Pretty-sounding, clean-looking girls who like to "pretend" do not interest me in the slightest and "wanna-be feminism" is never respectable.

The Fells
"What I Got" Single
Estrus Record

The boys in this band were born in the garage. After listening to the Fells' new "What I Got"/ "It's Not Alright" single (Estrus), I'm more inclined to believe the rumor of guitarist/vocalist, Heath starting off their set, opening up for the Blues Explosion, with "We're the Fells. You'll never find us on a major label," (or something like that). This single is proof that the truest form of stripped down punk rock still exists.

Recorded in last year, Tucson's Fells have since gone under a change in lineup, but the sounds of former bassist Saylor and drummer Splat can still be appreciated on this single. As was presented this past weekend, the band has replaced the former lineup with two Robs. The Rob on drums gets extra points for wearing some Hawaiian lookin' shirt and reminding me of someone who might have appeared as an extra on Point Break.

As Greg "Weird LoveMakers" pointed out, Keith's crooning on side one ("What I Got") is at top form. "She's got something on her mind/...My baby wants what I got," Keith sings (that self-assured bastard). The second side with guitarist Jeff Glave on vocals contains the same revved-up energy and with Glave's signature "baby"'s thrown in as he counts down to the next outburst of punk rockin', no doubtedly induced by the desert heat.

Engineered and produced by Jim Waters here at Waterworks, there is nothing wrong with this tightly done single which ends with the sweet sound of feedback.

40 More Reasons to Hate Us
Earache Records

I don't know where Anal Cunt is from, nor do I know anything of its past. I have no idea who this band is, but anything is a breath of fresh air after having to listen to four songs by Veruca Salt. And the least I can say is they're more honest. But, wait! I want to say more!

With an amusingly offensive band name and an equally offensive album cover, A. C. is a replica (actually, who knows how long they've been around for) of every band blasting from the "boom box" as I sat across from my junior high, at Mr. Ed's, watching the skaters skin their knees on the sidewalk. In 3 minutes I looked up to find I was already on track 10 of the album.

I don't think any of the cuts have any lyrics besides the words in the song titles, such as (and I'm self-censoring the list of 42) "Van Full of Retards," "Face It, You're a Metal Band," and "Everyone in Anal Cunt Is Dumb." Even their song names display more honesty than Veruca Salt.

You can also find three titles which include the word "dumb." "You're Dumb," "You're Family's Dumb" and "Dumb, Fat, and Gross." However, my favorite off the album, which I'm sure registered under a minute, is "I Got Athlete's Foot Showering At Mike's," (who is one lucky friend to have two songs named after him: "Mike Mahan Has Gingivitis" and "Mike Mahan's Sty").

Obviously an album done tongue-in-cheek, the title, 40 More Reasons to Hate Us, doesn't do A.C. justice. Good for a laugh or two, and a dozen after that, please do not go out and buy this album. Feel free to drop by Zip's and I'm sure Jason (who relentlessly persuaded me to review this) will only be so happy to partake in the fun of playing this in the store for you.