The Mono Men “Kick Out the Jams” and Girl Trouble “You Got What It Takes” 1996. Gearhead Records. This split 7″ came with an issue of Gearhead Magazine, back in the 90′s when they still did that (other issues included splits by bands like Gas Huffer, Red Aunts and Man or Astroman?). The Mono Men’s cover of MC5′s “Kick Out the Jams” is punked up, less funked-up and a bit more scuzzy than the original. I also prefer it to Girl Trouble’s “You Got What It Takes,” a cover of Dinah Washington’s “Baby (You’ve Got What It Takes)” that doesn’t translate well to the Pacific Northwest garage punk style of Girl Trouble.
Bob Burns and the Breakups “Hydrostatic Heart” b/w “Losing My Head” and “Acid Reflex” 2006 on clear vinyl. Plastic Idol Records. Buzzy, lo-fi garage punk out of Stevens Point, Wisconsin (a town I’ve always considered one of the gateways to “up north” – it’s about an our northwest-ish from where I grew up and now we drive through it each summer on our way to and from way-way up north where we spend a week in a cabin in the woods. Not much in Stevens Point other than a university and a surprisingly good sushi restaurant). Allmusic says of Bob Burns and the Breakups, “Based out of Wisconsin, these drag-strip rioters play fast and furious punk that owes a slight nod to godfathers like the Stooges and Saints, as well as various blinked-and-you-missed-‘em acts from the Killed By Death set. Yet the mondo fuzz guitars, drunk-drummer tempos, and frontman Bob Burns’s sucker-punch vocals place the band firmly in the post-Crypt Records era.” And from Gearhead Records’ website: “Revved up and stripped down. Raw punk rawk framed in catchy tunes that clock in under 2 minutes. When you’re listening to Bob Burns and the Breakups you know you’re in the midst of the muffled screams of insolent youth and the double- barreled middle-finger salute to unsuspecting business types. Hailing from the sleepy college town of Steven’s Point, WI the band, which formed in 2003, mixes hints of late 70s punk ala D.O.A., Fear, The Dils and The Middle Class with a heavy trashy dose of The Devil Dogs and New Bomb Turks.” (Their 2007 LP Terminal Breakdown came out on Gearhead)
“Hydrostatic Heart” is fast and punchy, super-high energy. Same with “Losing My Head,” but with even more manic fuzz. “Acid Reflex” is stuttery and off-kilter, the weird rhythm mimicking the reflux referred to in the title’s play on words.