Local Wire

Asses of Evil

Before punk rock worked its way onto the airwaves via pop-infused bands who paid more for a single pair of pants than all four Ramones spent on their entire wardrobes, diehard fans of the genre could be downright scary — volatile creatures with safety pins through their noses who used glue to erect their Mohawks and slept under bridges for weeks, drinking Schlitz and spitting at passersby. This branch of miscreants was known as "gutterpunks," and they didn't want their music to be refined, progressive, or even intelligible. Hard, fast, raw, and obnoxious was the way to go — and Phoenix punks Asses of Evil go all the way. The band's self-titled debut album feels like standing in a mosh pit full of sweaty, drunk punks, shouting along to lyrics like "I can do whatever I want/I can take whatever I need/I can say whatever I think/Make your asshole bleed" ("Robot Hand"). Against a banging, crashing backdrop (courtesy of drummer Bam Bam, formerly of JFA), guitarists JJ "Jet" Jaguar and Tony "TK" Karaba crank out gritty, grungy garage riffs, while bassist Tana Satana (also of NunZilla) bounces between them with attitudinal precision. Listening to a track like "Rollerball," with its dirty, Detroit-underbelly riffs and Jaguar's snarling vocals (which assert "Don't tell me what I need/Your life means nothing to me") and "Not My Fault" (which recalls the hapless street punk of Dead Boys), it's obvious the Asses are up to their chodes in love for good ol' drunken punk music. And that makes sense — why spend $100 on a pair of pants you're just gonna throw up on later?
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Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and is now a freelancer.
Contact: Niki D'Andrea