Sunday, December 13, 2009

VA-Teenage Shutdown - The World Ain’t Round, It’s Square! vol.10

The liner notes for Teenage Shutdown: The World Ain't Round, It's Square!, subtitled "17 Paint-Peeling Garage-Punk Monsters," begin with these words: "Get set for 17 blasts of ravin' bashers! A 42-minute barrage of killer teenage punksters resurrected from out-of-print and inferior-soundin' comps, with a few makin' their compilation debut." This disclaimer of sorts -- penned by Mike "Moptop" Markesich, who wrote the liners for the entire series -- states right upfront that some of the tracks are repeats from other comps. The difference, however, is the sound quality. These vinyl-to-digital transfers were made, with minimal EQing, by Crypt Records' Tim Warren. Warren was able to keep the warmth of the original analog sound of the singles, boosting the volume and making the CD sound as good as possible. Many of these 45s came directly from Markesich's own colossal 45 rpm collection. The CD booklet -- which features a half-dozen band photos (all but one are black and white) and colorful scans of the original single labels -- features a lot of in-depth commentary, more than previous liner notes in this series have. Hunting down information on any one of these obscure bands would require a lot of out-of-pocket expenses, and so much of what you find here is mostly still shrouded in mystery. Other times, there's info. that you wouldn't find elsewhere. The collection kicks off with the mighty roar of Albany, OR's Paul Bearer & the Hearsemen, who are depicted on the cover destroying their instruments. Their frantic drums-bass-organ-guitar combination on "I've Been Thinking" pushes the song forward with an intensity you don't usually find in '60s garage rock. This is primeval R&B-soaked garage punk, the real deal, and the rest of the album continues the frenetic pace. Larry & the Blue Notes' harmonica-and-fuzz guitar-powered "In and Out" is great, an energetic workout that recalls the Count Five's post-chorus freakout in "Psychotic Reaction." Other highlights include tracks by the Shepherd's Heard ("I Know"), the Deepest Blues' "Pretty Little Thing" (from Ontario, CA), and the last track, by Pasadena, TX's Destiny's Children. As with most of the Teenage Shutdown collections, the track selection and sequencing here are excellent. This CD is reportedly Warren's personal favorite.

The World Ain’t Round, It’s Square! [1998]

01. Paul Bearer & The Hearsemen - I've Been Thinking [2:42]
02. Shepherd's Heard - I Know [2:48]
03. The Stoics - Hate [2:27]
04. Larry & The Blue Notes - In And Out [2:00]
05. Nomads - From Zero Down [2:36]
06. The Triumphs - Lovin' Cup [2:15]
07. The Oxfords - I Ain't Done Wrong [3:31]
08. The Deepest Blue - Pretty Little Things [2:49]
09. The Heathens - Problems [2:11]
10. The Chessmen - I Need You There [2:25]
11. The Bards - Alibis [2:08]
12. Dr. Spec's Optical Illusion - She's The One [2:11]
13. The Sound Barrier - Hey Hey [2:35]
14. The Mods - I Give You An Inch [2:49]
15. The Savages - The World Ain't Round, It's Square [2:52]
16. The Wrong Numbers - I'm Gonna Go Now [1:39]
17. Destiny's Children - Fall Of The Queen [2:01]

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