DEMOLITION SAFARI - Cretin 66 (Steel Cage)

Who the fuck ARE these guys, anyway? From the pics on the slick, they look like cuzzins (HAHAHAHAHA!) of Antiseen, or maybe Nashville Pussy sans the divine Ruyter. The string players look like they should be in Gov't. Mule or something, while Sardu, the shorthaired drummer, wears Alice makeup. Recorded in Eudora, KANSAS??? Whatthefuck, indeed.

From the opening blast of "Bang Yer Fuckin' Head" (wherein we're asked within the first 15 seconds, "Do you believe in freedom for Americans smoking weed?" and we're later informed that "You might think this song is a ripoff of 'Gimme Your Money Please'/Just remember that's secondhand from the Stones' 'Come Live With Me'/And the only thing that BTO did was add this fuckin'...add this fuckin' break") it's clear there's something special going on here. What these hairheads do is write and play furious, full-on punk songs with hi-fuckin'-larious lyrics.

Take, f'rinstance, "Head Blown Off," wherein front Cretin Screamin' Mikey C sings, "I donwanna go/Down to the picture show/If they ain't got no movies that know how to how to rock'n'roll/See a head blown off, I wanna see a car explode" to a steroid-and-amphetamine fueled psychobilly beat. When he sings "Baby you can keep/The latest Meryl Streep/I wanna see a movie with a psychopathic creep," you might well appreciate the sentiment. "Gonna Do It Tonite" is yet another testimonial (as if one were needed) to the continuing influence of Cheap Trick (as pervasive as that of AC/DC) on the current generation of Rawkers of all hair lengths.

Or try on for size "Psychedelic Baby": "We listen to Deep Purple/With the speed on 78/Run it through a Pro-Co Rat/Just to bring it up to date/Break the color knob on the TV set, turn the sound down all the way/And then we pass the bong around and watch 'Scooby Doo' that way." I KNOW these people (although I haven't hung out with 'em in more than a few years), and I almost peed my pants laughing while listening to this song. These guys also get points for bringing back the tradition (extinct since, I dunno, prolly the Minutemen) of the 20-second punk song. (I especially liked their bonus-track quick piss-takes on "In-a-Gadda-da-Vida" and the "Lucky Charms" cereal jingle.)

Screamin' Mikey C is a fella who sounds at times like a prairie Joey Ramone, knows what he likes, and sings about it: rock'n'roll (he titles one song "She Don't Like the Bad Brains," while informing the subject of "Soda Pop Bubble Gum" that he's "gotta leave you baby 'cos you don't like ZZ Top"), smoking dope, and watching "Scooby Doo." I can't remember ever having heard a lyric more perfect than "The Llama Song." Or "I Don't Care," which surely represents a new level of solipsism, even for a rock'n'roll song ("And if you don't like/That I don't care/I don't care/No, I don't care"). Or "Go Kids Go," in which he opines, "If the kids wanna know how to blow up a car, I think they oughtta know," then proceeds to explain how to do so. Irresponsible? You betchum. The only thing protecting him from a major lawsuit a la Judas Priest is the fact that with the sad state of radio and indie rekkid distribution in this country today, he'll be lucky if twenty people hear this record, most of THEM will prolly be middle-aged "music critics" like this one, and none of 'em will be motivated enough to try out his advice. Pity. (About the record, I mean, not the advice or the lawsuit.) - Ken Shimamoto