HATED BY ALL/AM I COOL, OR WHAT? - Mad Brother Ward & The Screaming Street Trash (Zodiac Killer Records)
Call me naive but some guys in punk rock just have to prove they have bigger balls than King Kong. Some of them do - and Mad Brother Ward might have been one of them because he's still walking around to tell the tales.
Kicking around for a couple of years in the early '90s, Mad Brother Ward was like GG Allin on imodium. In other words, he also liked to sling shit - but of the verbal kind. You can hear evidence in the between-song patter on this CD re-issue of his two EPs, where his raps make him sound like a gutterpunk cross between Handsome Dick Manitoba and Jed Clampett.
All the audience-baiting invariably resulted in extreme violence and The Screaming Street Trash more or less imploded after being 86'd from more venues than Vladimir Putin on a shirtless vodka bender. So it goes when you push the envelope.
Mad Brother Ward & The Screaming Street Trash might have not been the shiniest lights in the US trash punk firmament but there's nontheless some good shit going down on this platter which is their first time on CD. Members of Antiseen fill the band's ranks, which gives you a good clue as to where they were coming from.
Which is to say "Hated", "Need It Bad" and "Shitkicker" are pretty great cuts of Killed By Death bile that tell it like it was. "In Trouble" turns the anger back on itself and "Take Ya Down" is crystal clear in its intent.
Guitarist Tom Nalley nails the buzzsaw chording adeptly but also proves himself to be unafraid to rip out some sharp licks and mid-range sustain leads. Drummer Greg Clayton is a powerhouse and the Mad Brother himself rails about anything that takes his fancy.
It gets a bit samey for mine but the Barmaid says the same about my Dictators records. - The Barman
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