Roller derby? I've had enough. Technically, I shouldn't give a crap whether tattoo-coated chicks want to don kneepads and rollerskates and re-enact the derby leagues that bored me on TV in the '80s and '90s, but the punk- and rockabilly-obsessed leagues throw so many benefit concerts around Dallas that I can't turn a corner without bumping into some scowl-sportin' chick repping for her "teammates." Even the Girl Scouts know better than to bug me more than twice a year, and I like Thin Mints.
Even with the recent cancellation of A&E reality show Rollergirls proving that the fad is losing steam, Dallas' skaters aren't slowing their promotional efforts. Assassination City Derby's latest stunt is a local rock CD that brings together bands who've played Derby benefit concerts, though if you didn't look before popping the CD in, you'd swear it was MTV's Viva La Bam soundtrack. About half of the 70-minute comp aims its six-strings at the boring camp-rock thrones of HIM and Turbonegro, and while some of the bands pull off solid tongue-in-cheek hair-slingin' (Rockland Eagles and Hogpig in particular), by the time Mitra's "Roller Derby Queen" mines the graves of Days of the New and White Zombie on track seven, you'll be ready to listen to Nick Drake on repeat for a week (and never you mind Mad Mexicans' laughable Rage Against the Machine rip-off, either).
The second half has more in the way of diversity, with ZipZipZapZap's spaz-punk, the Tah Dahs' breakup anthem "Give Me Back My Fleetwood Mac," Shanghai 5's carnie-jazz and Macon Greyson's delectable Bloodshot Records-ready rock each standing out. Unfortunately, these good moments don't save the comp's hodge-podge feel--Watch Your Head mostly sounds like a scattershot collection of MySpace demos, and the best songs are unmastered recordings that don't sound ready for official release, particularly Zapruder Sequence's "Message to Garcia." Kudos to the girls for injecting variety into this scab-rock affair, but ultimately it's a CD Harder Beat will bust a nut about and everyone else will ignore to download their fave bands' individual songs off of MySpace instead.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.