Oh, the Horror
There are punk rock bands, and then there are PUNK ROCK bands. Out of New York City comes Endangered Feces. Now, I gotta admit, I've known their singer, Jay Levitz, for quite some time. In fact, when I first met him, he was the roadie for one of my favorite bands, Norman Bates and the Shower Heads. That band even did a song about him called "Mailman." Because Jay is, obviously, a mailman. In fact, he's a goofy mailman. He looks like Adam Sandler, probably still lives in his mom's basement in Queens (no, wait, I just found out he got married -- wow!), and he's totally funny.
That's why it's no great surprise that the new Endangered Feces CD, Ass for It by Name . . . , is punk rock to the point of hurting my colon. And, if you know me, I guess that's not such a hard thing to do. Butt, ouch -- Jay and band make me laugh and want to mosh so much it's made me a bit schizo. I'm not sure if I should be laughing, moshing, or pooping. Three things that certainly don't seem to go together. I mean, like peanut butter and chocolate. This CD is more like corn and, well, shit. But shit that smells good. Like your own. You know how everyone else's poop smells but your own. Endangered Feces is like that. They SHOULD stink to high hell, but instead, when you listen to their CD, you sort of like it in a very guilty way.
The songs. Oh, the songs. With tunes like "John Bobbitt's Prayer," "Fart School Graduate," "Napoleon's Penis Is in New Jersey," and my favorite tune, "John Edwards Touched Me in My Special Place," you know where these guys are coming from. Your toilet. Oh, the record's out on Under the Volcano/Winged Dick Records. And produced by legendary New York hardcore producer Don Fury. Get this CD because it's the next best thing to Triumph the Insult Dog's Come Poop With Me.
Although it's been more than a year since The Rocky Horror Punk Rock Show came out on Springman Records, I'm still listening to it on a daily basis, and so should you. As you can probably guess, the CD is a "tribute" to The Rocky Horror Show. Or The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Whatever you like.
The songs on this baby are in the order they appear on many different versions of The Rocky Horror Show, but the kicker here is that different bands covered each song. Most kids today don't know enough about the show or the film, but they should -- it's influenced modern rock as we now know it. So I am going to go through each song, and if you don't like it, fuck you. Maybe you can learn something here. Or maybe the meth has baked your brain, in which case, you wouldn't be reading this anyway, because you would have sold your computer long ago for that powdered Drano. Or, you'd have taken the machine apart and don't know how to put it together.
Anyway, the CD opens with Me First and the Gimme Gimmes doing "Science Fiction Double Feature." It's poppy, it's punky, it's Fat Mike and company. Usually I don't like these guys because everyone else does, but here, I have to admit they did a good job. Love Equals Death does a version of "Dammit Janet" that works well, has humor, and reminds me of The Sex Pistols. Very good. Third is Alkaline Trio's "Over at the Frankenstein Place." I never heard of these guys before, although my pal Seanie keeps bragging about how good they are. Turns out he's right. Up next is The Groovie Ghoulies doing "The Time Warp." They phoned this one in. Boring, dry, and a lot like the rest of what pop-punk has become. Then there's Apocalypse Hoboken's "Sweet Transvestite." All I can say is, "Right on, dudes." This is done with perfection and a real appreciation of the source material. These guys may be my new favorite heroes, if it wasn't for The Dwarves. Then there's The Independents' "Sword of Damocles." Okay, so it's not on the movie soundtrack. Get over it. It's a great song, and these guys do it in a passable ska way. Not that I like ska or anything. Madness, yes. Ska, no. But this is still good. It must be because their singer, Chris, was such great friends with Joey Ramone.
Pansy Division's take on "I Can Make You a Man" is great in concept, but it sucks in execution. Skip it. But The Phenomenauts' "Hot Patootie" is wild, weird, and quite out of this world. At first it took me by surprise, and I wasn't sure what I thought of it, but after listening to it about 1,000 times, I like it. For "I Can Make You a Man (Reprise)," The Secretions do what Pansy Division should have done. Pussies. I mean that in the sweetest of ways. Being a longtime fan of the Midwest band The Chubbies, I dig "Touch-a Touch-a Touch Me." You, however, may not. The vocals, at first, seem off-putting. But soon you get used to them and Susan Sarandon starts to fade into the light.
"Once in a While" by Big D and the Kids Table is a seven-minute version of "Police & Thieves" by The Clash. Two minutes would have been funny. This is almost intolerable. But then The Swingin' Utters check in with "Eddie's Teddy," and they do a GREAT job. They sound like Sid Vicious singing "My Way," and this is one of the best cuts on the album. I remember when these guys were called Johnny Peabucks and the Swinging Utters. That's how old I am. And I still think these guys rule. Next up is "Planet, Schmanet, Janet" by Tsunami Bomb. Let's just say I am this band's newest fan. They rock harder than my penis could ever get, and they sing with such emotion that I feel them jump out of my stereo and into my head. And I like it. A lot. One thing, though: After what just happened on the other side of the world, they may want to think about changing their name. Then again, I wouldn't. It wouldn't be punk rock. And these guys are punk rock.
Luckie Strike's "Rose Tint My World" sounds good and all, but it's just not that inspiring. I could have done a better job. But we'll get to that. "Don't Dream It, Be It" is done here by Stunt Monkey, and if I were a betting man, I'd guess they were from Southern California. But I'm too lazy to do a Google search. So let me know, okay?
Gametime, some group I never heard of, does "Wild and Untamed Thing." Very good, Friar Tuck and Robin Hood. "I'm Going Home" is tackled by The Migraines, and I'm jealous. They turned my funeral song into a Ramones tune and I had nothing to do with it. This is one of the best cuts on the album, and I should have said "yes" to Eddie, singer of The Migraines, when he asked if I wanted to be on this album. The only thing was, no one was sure who was paying for what, so I opted to be cheap and wait. And I blew it. Furious George should have been on this album because I love Rocky Horror that much, and I blew it. Lesson learned? "Don't dream it, be it." I'm a dickhead.
Ruth's Hat does "Super Heroes," and it's my favorite tune on the disc. After hearing the band here, I got all its records and am now a big fan of these Canucks, who somehow manage to sound like the Ramones, The Electric Prunes, The Bangles, The Beatles, and The Lords of the New Church. Maybe it's just the source material, but I think there are a lot of good things going on with this band.
Finally, The Ataris check out with "Science Fiction Double Feature (Reprise)." Compared to the bands on the rest of this album, they suck.
So that's that. Go buy The Rocky Horror Punk Rock Show now. And while you are at it, if you are shopping on Amazon, buy the original Roxy version of The Rocky Horror Show. Great stuff. Remember, "There's a Light, Over at the Frankenstein Place."
But more important, Phoenix: "Don't dream it, be it."
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