Posted by:on June 16th, 2001
Release Date: 2000
Review Date: 2001
Fear meets the Undertones. Fuhrers of the New Wave is one of those albums that hits hard. Like a sack of hippies hitting the river, Smogtown delivers the goods. You hit play, recognize the “Repo Man” sample, and you know you’re in the right place. “I am the Cancer” kicks off the album with bang. Aside from being a kick ass song, it might also be a tip of the ole hat to those godfathers of the anti-Beach Boys, the Surf Punks. “Standard Youth Dilemma” keeps the juggernaut rolling with a tale that any suburban punk can remember or relate to… the shows, the scene, the antics, angst, and lack of transportation. It’s all summed up in a perfect package that’s only 112 seconds long. It hasn’t been this succint since the Angry Samoans laid down their 28 second masterpiece also known as “You Stupid Jerk”. “Payola or Die” is a happy little dittie about kidnapping Casey Casem’s kids in an effort to combat lack of air play. “Static Ecstatic” is paranoia is schizophrenia is paranoia is the crazy guy on the corner of your street for everyone whose ever heard voices. Ask me if I feel dumb listening to “Teen Age” at 35years old? Nope. It’s an all ages aural assualt that trancends mere mid life crisis. “Judy’s a Model” may remind you of another famous Judy, but this one’s a bit more in depth. The whole album is full of killer songs. I don’t know what the hell “Bodie 601” is about, but it’s beautiful. it’s referenced in other songs as well. Maybe it’s a local thing, or maybe I’m out of touch. “The Replay” is an intense pinball innuendo that the Who should appreciate as a worthy successor. “Fuhrers of the New Wave” wraps up the album in a self referential way that manages to be clever and humorous at the same time without rendering the song unslitenable outside of the context of the cd.
Who are they? I have no clue. Chavez, Tim McVeigh, Chip Beef, and Guitardo. Guitardo, that slays me. Tim McVeigh, that’s balls. Produced by Duane Peters though, and let’s take a minute to discuss that. I think the the U.S. Bombs are boring. That’s not to say that they don’t have the energy, they do. I’ve seen them live on tv at the end of some unknown show, for about 20 seconds. The credits rolled and the announcer thanked the U.S. Bombs, and I was blown away. The point is, the Bombs don’t transfer well to vinyl (er, uhm, plastic and aluminum), they’re just too generic. Fortunately, none of this has rubbed off on Smogtown. There are some moments that are less brilliant than the rest. At first listen, “Freeway Driving” approaches the monotony of the real experience, which may be the point. “Harbor Blvd. Nights” and “Ode to Street Violence” are a couple more that you may like better than I do. Even so, these weak spots can’t tarnish the brilliance of the rest of the cd. These guys got a bum rap in Thrasher. “Fuhrers of the New Wave” may be remind of another era if you’re old enough. If not, it’s bound to be one of those albums that has the power of persuasion for those young enough not to be exposed to the powers punk rock. Godamn this album is good. Good enough to replace my bootleg with legit copy. On top of that, I had to order it since I couldn’t find it any of my local stores, and I checked ’em all. That’s good. Smogtown has an ep and some split singles that I intend to check out. I suggest you do the same.
Pray for the next Smogtown CD. The retro punk of the future depends on it.
Online Action: Disaster Records
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