Rebellious Jukebox L: Hell Night & Sweat Shoppe Vs Whoppers Taste Good

IMG_4514Some of my favorite stories about the early-mid-80’s St Louis punk scene good old bad old days, just before I started going to shows, are about the gauntlet of angry locals that the punk rockers often had to face getting in & out of the Turner’s Hall shows on the near north side. Generations of inbred white families in this tiny enclave had refused white flight, not out of nobility or racial unity, but out of sheer spite & orneriness, & they weren’t about to let some goddamn punk rock pukes ruin their neighborhood either. Fights were rampant & apparently violent. Legends have it that the one band that could always just waltz through the crowd unmolested by either side was Whoppers Taste Good. Too punk to be metal, but too long haired & scuzzy to be punk, the Whoppers just were.

 

On their 1989 six song 45, Haunting White Castle, the Whoppers ride the line of what I guess people call “thrash” these days. The songs are short, the usually funny lyrics are shouted at breakneck speed, the guitars chug, & if there’s time, they throw in a solo. Most of the songs mention beer or partying, but that idea hadn’t quite been done to death in 1989, so it sounds genuine. The closest they come to a mission statement is on the song Prove A Point, which makes fun of metal guitar hero purists who look down on punk rock. The Whoppers were too busy getting drunk & making fun of everything around them to look down on anybody for anything, which is probably why they didn’t get beat up.

 

The lines between hardcore metal & hardcore punk are more blurred than ever in 2018, so it makes sense that punk band Sweat Shoppe & metal band Hell Night can put out a split 45 (on Encapsulated Records) & nobody bats an eye. Hell Night play that screaming, pummeling, yet not without groove style of metal that I always like live, but can’t super get into on record. It’s totally my problem, not theirs. The singer of Hell Night I guess used to be in some other nationally known metal band. Who knows? I don’t know anything, but he does sound like he knows his way around a howl.  Sweat Shoppe feature Tim Jamison of Ultraman on vocals, along with a band of scene vets. Every band Tim sings for is going to sound a little like Ultraman, it just is, but their three songs are blisteringly angry blasts that rank up with the most aggressive things I’ve ever heard him do. No guitar solos on either side, though. Boo.

 

Here’s Whoppers Taste Good promoting the Haunting White Castle ep on St Louis public access:

Here’s some Sweat Shoppe. This song isn’t on the 45, but it’s a pretty good video:

And here’s some Hell Night, also not from the 45, but also a pretty good video:

Rebellious Jukebox XLIX: Pineapple RnR Vs Mr Pink Jeans

IMG_4513Heard ya missed me, I’m back. And I brought my pencil, now give me something to play these records on!

 

Pineapple RnR just released a 45 on Lumpy Records, & it might be the best thing the label has released so far. With members of Vanilla Beans, Janewave, Lumpy & the Dumpers, & whoever else, the songs herk & jerk & no wave with the best of them, but they definitely throw their own spin on things. The prominent saxophone sets them apart, & the arrangements are clever & unpredictable, but without resorting to novelty (for example, that slide whistle in No No No catches me off guard & makes me smile every single time). Lumpy Records & Pineapple RnR might even be in danger of having a crossover hit on their hands with side two’s Merferd In Bondage, which, in addition to having a great song title (sorry, non-St Louisans, it’s kind of an inside joke), has an ear-wormingly catchy whistling hook that ranks it into “song of the year” status. A fantastic record all around by this sort of super group!

 

Mr Pink Jeans were never in any danger of having a hit, but they did drop an altogether pleasant six song 7″ ep of lo-fi multi-gender indie-pop way back in 1996. Drummer Bill (post-Give Her A Lizard, pre-Prune) was the only member with any real prior band experience (& that not as a drummer), but they managed to craft a nice batch of songs, with all four members writing & taking turns at lead vocal. The sound is home-recordedly thin, but there are plenty of hints of what could have been accomplished with a studio budget. Dresser has a nice coda with hypnotic bass & chanting “ah’s” that borders on Galaxie 500-ish psych, while Spider Cider rides a surf wave of Salem 66-ish 80’s underground sound, which guitarist Cory later brought with her to bands like the MegaHurts & That’s My Daughter.  I suspect that there are plenty of copies of this record sitting in somebody’s closet, so if you try real hard, you can probably dig up a copy.

 

Pineapple RnR: Merferd In Bondage

https://pineapplernr.bandcamp.com/track/merferd-in-bondage

 

Huh, I could have sworn somebody had digitized those Mr Pink Jeans tracks, but I couldn’t find them anywhere. If that changes, I’ll throw one up…