Between a couple of raw, raucous Ramonesy singles in ’92 and ’93 (“Wanna Ride” on the four-song Fresh is a must-hear) and a successfully skirted major-label flirtation in ’95, the brilliantly slapdash Austin trio of guitarist/singer Dana Smith, drummer Edith Casimir and bassist/singer Mary Hattman wanged out Strip, a magnificent din donut of a debut. Barely produced by Smith’s husband, Alejandro Escovedo, the half-hour album flays off the skill and technology that made punk hidebound and boring in the ’80s and drives straight back to the unpolished atavism of joyful ’77 amateurs. Gutsy three-chord songwriting (“Bum Magnet,” “Go Away,” “UHF,” “Bad Bad Bad”) and two boss covers (a recklessly crude rip through Leiber/Stoller’s “I’m a Hog for You Baby” and a heartfelt swipe at Escovedo’s “Gravity”) set Pork on the right course, and unselfconscious rocking brings it home. Best slacker-safe triplet: “There’s gonna be something nice/Although I don’t know what/On UHF.”
Signing to an Austin indie, Pork let ex-Dumptrucker Seth Tiven clean up their sonic act a bit (the band’s concert experience and improved instrumental skills are also likely explanations) on the purified punk goo of Slop. With a welcome remake of “Wanna Ride” joining a tall stack of catchy new originals, the girls cut to the chase in winningly wanton assertions like “Tell You No Lies,” “Fun,” “Regret” and “Liked It.” No fooling.