Bonemen of Barumba

Chicago’s Bonemen of Barumba go tribal on a Pop Group-type dissonant art-funk jones. The music moves and grooves on heavy tom-toms locked to an extremely profundo basso. Guitars slice in alternately clichéd and inventive noisy lines, and Mark Panick screams and chants over the top. Driving the Bats is ballsy and primitive; the record’s power…

Duke Bootee

Duke Bootee (Edward Fletcher, in his other life a Newark, NJ schoolteacher) is one of the unsung heroes of rap. As a member of the Sugar Hill label’s extraordinary house band, he wrote the tune, “chorus” and half the raps for “The Message.” Although that groundbreaking single came out under the name of Grandmaster Flash…

Bobs

This Ft. Lauderdale trio (not to be confused with the San Francisco a cappella group of the same name) led by future Silos co-founder Bob Rupe plays quirky, satiric music with an edge, steeping their hard pop in reggae and funk, occasionally interrupting it with a distorto-guitar solo. If the Bobs weren’t as engagingly clever…

Stimulators

The title of the Stimulators’ ROIR cassette-only release is a bit of a misnomer. In the wake of supersonic hardcore thrashers like the Bad Brains and the Descendants, the Stims sound like they’re keeping the speedometer close to 55. Which is fast enough for me. The Stims, seminal NY punks who stuck by their guns…

Red Lorry Yellow Lorry

If you loved Joy Division, you’ll like Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, who similarly inhabit a bleak world in which swirling guitar figures and pretentious, gloomy lyrics are the only comforts. While Joy Division was the unchallenged champ of these nether regions, Leeds’ Lorries work the territory with enough savvy and intelligence (not to mention a…

Force M.D.’s

This clean-cut quintet from Staten Island, New York (MD stands for “musical diversity”) sets classic black vocal-group harmonies to a streetwise hip-hop beat. They rap occasionally, but even with the old Sugar Hill rhythm section (Keith LeBlanc, Doug Wimbish and Skip McDonald, aka Tackhead) providing the backing on Love Letters, they’re too sugary to throw…

Big Black

Steve Albini has had a genuine impact on the rock cosmos. In the ’80s, as leader of Big Black and Rapeman, the Chicago singer/guitarist ushered in an era of malevolent detachment; as an extraordinarily prolific producer (or, as he insists on putting it, “recorder” or “engineer”) of bands as varied as Jesus Lizard, the Pixies,…

Die Kreuzen

Milwaukee’s Die Kreuzen was simultaneously one of the most thrilling and conservative exponents of American hardcore. While many quality thrash bands have escaped the genre’s brutally circumscribed conventions by delving into metal, psychedelia, funk or bohemianism, this quartet played punk strictly by the book. Cows and Beer, a six-song 7-inch debut (all of which is…

Nihilistics

The Nihilistics were a stupid, obnoxious hardcore band from Long Island, New York. Their lyrics were predictable banalities, and their attitudinizing was irritating. That’s the bad news. The good news: the Nihilistics album is pretty good (even if the preceding five-song 7-inch — which was later appended to the debut album and reissued as 13th…

Trouble Funk

Trouble Funk belongs to Washington DC’s go-go scene. Go-go is a throwback to percussive, endless-groove funk that sacrifices structure, production and slickness for loose feeling and community involvement. The bands — basically fluid rhythm sections with a few added frills — do their thing while the musicians and audience yell a whole lot of nonsense…

Hüsker Dü

Hüsker Dü emerged from the punk rock scene; vast improvements in songwriting over the years may have changed the shape of their music, but they never lost their firm attachment to bracing, loud guitar rock. Although failing to achieve the mainstream success of R.E.M. or even the Replacements, the often exhilarating Minneapolis trio was hugely…

UTFO

For a brief period in late winter 1984/5, you couldn’t leave your house or turn on your radio in New York without hearing some rapper going on about a girl named Roxanne. There was “Roxanne’s Revenge,” “The Real Roxanne,” “Roxanne You’re Through,” “Roxanne’s Mother,” “Roxanne’s Brother,” “Roxanne’s Doctor” — even “Roxanne’s a Man.” Demonstrating the…

Honeymoon Killers

Calling the Honeymoon Killers’ debut disc a bad album is about as informative as calling Catch a Fire a reggae record: it’s just a generic description. This New York four-piece (not to be confused with the Belgian band named after the same 1970 psychotronic cinema classic) is firmly rooted in the aesthetics of the splatter…

100 Flowers

You wouldn’t know it to listen to their records, but West Los Angeles’ 100 Flowers started as a joke, a black-humored parody of the punk scene. As the Urinals, they recorded a pair of 1979 7-inch EPs and a single for Happy Squid, then got serious, changed their name and got real serious. In their…

Contributors

These folks either wrote reviews that appear on the site or wrote for Trouser Press magazine. If anyone listed below cares to E-mail us with a link you’d like added, just let us know. And ditto if anyone is AWOL from this list. Grant AldenDavid AntrobusJem AswadTroy J. AugustoMichael AzerradCary BakerMichael BakerEmily BeckerJohn BergstromArt BlackJohn…