Backyard Surgeons – No Anesthetic

Rating: ★★★★★★★★★☆

It’s been a while since I’ve done a DVD review. This one is well worth the wait. (the DVD, not the review)

If you are a fan of travel, roadtrip movies and things like NOFX: Backstage Pass, this little travel doc from Melbourne’s Backyard Surgeons is a must see.

DIY funded and booked, a largely unknown band (at least here in USA) sets out to bring their brand of poppy punk rock to China. It’s heartfelt and real. Train rides, beers and good times abound.

Sorry for the bevity, but I’m on a tight deadline (self-imposed)

At any rate, this is so worth seeing. If you’re a fan of making your own way in this world and would like to bring punk rock to the masses, by all means, get a hold of this DVD. I think you can find them here for the time being: https://www.facebook.com/Backyardsurgeons

On a more personal note, having owned a Gibson Explorer for 20+ years, I know what a bitch it can be lugging that thing around, kudos to you brother. I never had to lug mine that far in such a short time.

–Jerry Actually

Hounds & Harlots – Demo

© 2010 Hounds & Harlots

Rating: ★★★★☆

“What and or who are these Hounds & Harlots”, you may ask. “Am I with or am I not with them”, that is another damn fine question, one of several I fix on answering to some degree in the next few sentences. Well let’s start with the former.  Hounds & Harlots is a punk rock band rising up outta the San Francisco Bay.

The punk rock quartet consists of (at the time of this recording) Greg De Hoot on Bass and Vox, Bryan Zimmerman on Guitar and Vox, “Nice Guy” Brandon on Guitar and Vox and Cory Cunningham on Drums. What you have here is the basic ingredients for punk rock, four strapping young lads from the dark heart of the city by the bay.

The demo disc that I received is done up in modern era DIY fashion; A burned 3-track CD, hand markered for identification purpose and a b/w photocopy liner. I applaud the effort and am glad it wasn’t on cassette, ‘cause I don’t even have a cassette deck anymore. Something more to mention about the DIY ethic of the band, they are constantly rocking the social media. I, in fact, first heard of them through some mutual friends on Twitter. Way to capitalize on the new means to network.

The aforementioned disc contains three tracks: Divisadero, Wasted and Lots to Learn. They are all strong, but the clear leader is the opener, Divisadero. The track is a rollicking sing-a-long punk rock number that’ll like have you packing your bags for the neighborhood for which the band espouses so much pride. The two following tracks are both solid in their own right, but lack the catchy chorus of the lead-in number.

I will leave you with this, am I with them? Yes I am.

–Jerry Actually

Sadplant – The Kids Are Alright

(c) 2009 Sadplant

Rating: ★★★☆☆

The prolific Connecticut punks of Sadplant are back at it again with another DIY release. This one entitled, “The Kids Are Alright.” 14 tracks of driving punk with short track lengths with matter of fact lyrics and a straight for the throat attack. Sadplant has a definite consistency in their sound. This is certainly not a bad thing, but as opposed to very distinct releases, the albums (that I’ve heard) seem more of a continuation on a theme. There is, of note, some of the rippinist harmonica jams on track nine, “Total Piece of Shit” … so enjoy that!

What I admire the most is the tenacity in which this band attacks the DIY punk scene. They take a no holds barred approach to writing, recording and distributing rock solid punk on no terms but their own. “The Kids Are Alright” starts with the requisite intro and briskly jumps into the remaining tracks, including a gem of a cover in Suicidal’s “Possessed to Skate.” This, of course, occurs directly after the “bonus” bash the bass player segment.

So, the bottom line, Sadplant continues to deliver a consistent high quality product that doesn’t drift too far from the scope of what I’ve come to expect of the Sadplant sound. Of course by the time I finish typing these words they will have at least four new releases. Take it for what it’s worth.

–Jerry Actually