Wednesday, July 29, 2009

"Merman Records Presents: Sea Creatures Vol. 1" 7'' review

Merman Records' second 7'' release, "Sea Creatures: Vol. 1" is a four-way split between Fear of Lipstick, the Neutron Bombs, Regal Beagle and The Roman Line.

The first track by Fear of Lipstick, "Did Ya Know?," is your standard three-chord pop punk song a little too reminiscent of Screeching Weasel's "Racist Society." It seems to adopt the same authoritative, informative attitude that Ben Weasel was so good at conveying in early Screeching Weasel. Fear of Lipstick isn't trying to be anything they're not here as "Did Ya Know?" is a more personal statement rather than a statement period, if that makes any sense. They play really well, the recording quality is a bit low but overall it's a good song and I'd check out more by this Canadian four-piece.

The second band on here is the Neutron Bombs from Chicago, IL. I've seen them play three times now, two of which were shows we played together and every time I see them, I like them more and more. My first impression was "Ken sounds British." The Neutron Bombs write some catchy songs with sweet bass and guitar riffs. Songs from the band's demo display this more than "Not Listening." Exactly two minutes in length, this is the best-sounding recording the band has and hopefully in time, we get to hear more by them. Oh, they also feature Pete from The Methadones, The Bomb and Explode and Make Up on bass. I'm going to say this song is good, reminiscent of British punk and power pop with a Midwest attitude obviously influenced by bands like Naked Raygun. Then The Dickies/Pointed Sticks/999/The Damned influence is also apparent. Check this trio out.

The third song, "Party Again" is by a band called Regal Beagle from Los Angeles. These guys sound awesome and I can't believe I haven't heard of them before. I hate to sound redundant but the beginning of the song sounds like "99" by Screeching Weasel. They also kinda remind me of The Leftovers with the "let's get drunk and party" attitude accompanied by a rockin' guitar solo. The song, less than a minute and a half in length, goes fast but rocks and is the best tune on the split. Oh, the band's MySpace profile also has a song that Joe Queer sings quite a bit on. Fucking rad.

The fourth and final band on the split, The Roman Line, strays furthest from the traditional pop punk sound, but still maintains that three-chord sound just with distortion, kind of like how Off With Their Heads does it. Their song is called "Squeaky Wheel Gets The Grease" and is about a girl that sounds as if she's an "attention whore." It's got more gruff-sounding vocals with bass and drum and then it'll go to a totally Fat Wreck-sounding verse, something like the Loved Ones or Smoke or Fire would come out with. There are backing vocals in there that reinforce that sound that I'm having trouble describing...

Anyways if you're sick of the stuff you've got and are open to new music by bands you may have never heard before, pick up this 7'' from Merman Records ( It's fun, diverse-sounding, and a great split put out by a great new label. I am looking forward to the next volume of "Sea Creatures" already.

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