Friday, January 21, 2011

The Dangerous Aces/Bad Taste Barbies


The Dangerous Aces
…Deny All Responsibility
self-released

Bad Taste Barbies
s/t
self-released

The common thread of these U.K. musical street gangs is Medicine Stu, Stu Gibson to his mom and readers of Sleazegrinder. Outside of Stu’s presence on guitar, there’s not a heck of a lot of similarities. (Nor to Stu’s main gig, the reliably excellent roots punk combo the Medicine Bow.) The defiantly punk rocking Aces blaze down the alleyway behind the bar, beer mugs still in hand, ready to crank up the amplifiers or kick someone’s head in, whichever is easiest. With mid-fi sound (barely), little taste for variety beyond three chords and a cloud of fuzz and song titles like Stand and Fight, Endless Bullshit and Can’t Take It Anymore, you pretty much know what you’re gonna get here – the cover of the 4-SkinsSeems to Me is a perfect touchstone. The band also claims I’m Not Mad and Ain’t Lookin’ for a Fight, but don’t believe ‘em.

Bad Taste Barbies couldn’t be more different. The quartet prefers electro-disco parties, cross-dressing and glam metal to street punk, beer and leather jackets, though Stu and his power chords stay the course. TV Trash both celebrates and vilifies its subject with straight-up hard rock and a shoutalong chorus of Sieg Heil, Jeremy Kyle (which must mean something to the Brits), while the band’s eponymous theme song breaks out the disco ball like Alien Sex Fiend before the acid kicks in. Cindy is a surprisingly solid stab at 60s girl-group balladry (even if one of the girls is actually a boy in a feather boa). Driven by a drum machine, co-ed vocals and the urge to have fun at all costs, Bad Taste Barbies leaves a smeary lipstick imprint on your cheek and used condoms in your trash. Check for your wallet later.

- Michael Toland
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