Out There

510 Records

A cliche can only go so far: "Three chords is all it takes, broken strings, fuck the mistakes," Suckerpunch announces in "Why Bother"--a song that appropriately sums up this album. Unfortunately there are no mistakes in this calculated stab at punk revival. Even the aptly named "Stagnation Street" is a copy of the Sex Pistols' "Submission."

Copping riffs from the hollow side of Rancid, Suckerpunch names its songs like puns waiting to happen: How about "Dead Beat," "Falling Behind," and "Empty Handed"? Suckerpunch is oblivious to the joke: the Pistols reformed (partly) to put an end to the ambitions of Johnny-come-lately punk-rock parodies. Putting pose before purpose, it sounds MTV-endorsed rebellious. As for punch, this suckerpunch is as menacing and dangerous as that of a cotton ball.

The Candy Snatchers
The Candy Snatchers
Safe House Records

The Candy Snatchers, on the other hand, believe that three fast chords are not enough to make you a punk rocker: You have to act stupid, too. Evidently, after they spent countless hours listening to the New York Dolls and the Dead Boys, they ended up as excessive as their idols--in the beer department--but with none of the humor or the hooks. They glorify drinking and "shocking" behavior, but they offer no insights or even a clever line, equating punk with brainlessness.

Supersexy Swinging Sounds
White Zombie
Geffen Records

White Zombie's heavy-metal kitsch has always been amusing. Trotting the fine line between the mindless abandon of Slayer and the pompousness of Nine Inch Nails is not easy. But Rob Zombie and company have pulled it off with magnificent flair by not taking their music too seriously, creating albums with enough studio gimmicks to make possible non-genre-specific interpretations. In Supersexy Swinging Sounds they have loads of fun by rendering their songs as imaginative dance remixes by the likes of Charlie Clouser, the Dust Brothers, and P.M. Dawn.

This is as much fun as a Russ Meyer or Roger Corman movie on a big budget, this technicolor Zombploitation CD's good, corny, pop fun in the vein of My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult's Sexplosion!. A rendition that would make Andy Warhol snicker with pride.

--Philip Chrissopoulos


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