Friday, December 19, 2008


The Sir Finks
(Tres Mexicanos) Del Sur De Texas
Get Hip

Funny how you can live in a town for nearly two decades, think you’re plugged into the music scene, and yet be completely unaware of a local band with a decade of stage and studio history under its belt. Corpus Christi-to-Austin transplants the Sir Finks were the River City’s premier surf guitar band for ages and somehow I missed them completely. (I guess I thought the surf music scene died when 3 Balls of Fire and Herman the German quit playing out more than once or twice a year.) On this compilation, the Finks (most often a trio, but sometimes a quartet or quintet) stay pretty goddamn faithful to the old tenets as set forth by the Challengers, the Lively Ones, the Ventures and other staples of the early 60s instrumental rock scene. Dick Dale and Davie Allan and the Arrows get namechecked in the liner notes, but to my ears the Finks have neither Dale’s aggression nor Allan’s menace. (Though there is one overtly Allan-like tune, a fuzz-bombed cover of These Boots Are Made For Walkin’.) This is the surf music that floats through the air as the sun sets on the beach, the surfboards lie flat on the sand and the swimsuit-clad pretty kids snuggle up around the fire to get ready to make out or screw or get killed by vampires or whatever. Not to my taste, but folks who miss the days of pre-Beatles surf music will dig the Sir Finks mightily.

- Michael Toland
Before I Hang
Mississippi
Zodiac Killer

Someday a documentary flick needs to be lensed called The Children of Antiseen. Mississippi’s Before I Hang certainly walk the talk of the sadly defunct Confederacy of Scum, what with all the furious punk metal riffery, drill sergeant serial killer barking and Libertarian rage. Tunes like Blow Up the World, Put U Out of My Misery and the inevitable (Kiss) My Southern Ass flip the bird with one hand and swing a baseball bat with the other. Upfront, meanwhile, keeps both hands on its throbbing erection and Freonhead invites some Steve McKay sax scree. The songs aren’t as political as Hammerlock’s, as offensive as Cocknoose’s or nearly as catchy as the godhead’s, but they still kick up the kind of righteous ruckus that leads to black eyes, bruised chins and broken noses. Keep the mace handy.

- Michael Toland
The Sleepwalkers
Baby Baby 7" single
Wrecked'Em Wreckords


So I was doing my hausfrau thing this afternoon, glass of wine in hand, wearing my frilly apron and stilettos, crushing garlic, getting a roast ready for when my man comes home from work, and, of course, listening to some records. This one, strangely. I like vinyl; it's pretty, and it smells good. But 45s are a pain in the ass when one is trying to get a roast in the oven. I need to hire someone to flip my records for me. I'll pay you ten cents a flip.
Anyway, this band from Oxford, Mississippi (not to be confused with the myriad other bands sharing the same name-if any of them hit the big time, the courts are going to be tied up for years) play some pretty good rock and roll. The A side, Down With Baby, initially reminded me of Primus, then of this British band called Sugar who had one decent song 13 years ago, and finally of The Replacements, and brought to mind my beer-soaked cover-band mosh-pit days of the 90s. The B side, V.C. Baby, is more traditionally sleaze-punk, and I liked it, too. Plus, I hear they put on a pretty good live show, so you should check them out. Oops! Look at the time! I gotta fill up my wine glass and put on some lipstick. Mmm, that roast is smelling divine...
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