Cameron Carpenter: Rock’n’Roll Rewind – Rating The Records

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This week we rewind to 1977 and the first issue of Shades Magazine. My feature was a re-cap of all the new punk records that had been released.

“I realize a lot of the material I’m going to cover is somewhat dated, but this being the first edition, I thought I’d quickly go over some of the best new music to come out over the past few months. Next month’s reviews will be much longer and in-depth.”

On the homefront not much in the way of albums, except for the Diodes which is reviewed elsewhere in this issue. The Poles and Teenage Head have both ventured into the seclusion of the studio and we should be hearing from them very shortly. Singles, on the other hand have been issued by quite a few Toronto bands. The Diodes have released a remake of Paul Simon’s ‘Red Rubber Ball’ b/w ‘We’re Ripped’.

The band has been receiving a lot of press recently and after hearing ‘Red Rubber Ball’ I know why. Paul Robinson sounds as desperate as he looked in last month’s Quest, John Catto’s guitar work is par excellence and Ian Mackay’s and John Hamilton’s rhythm section is perfect. With a great B-side like ‘We’re Ripped’ this is a better than safe bet for a buck. (On CBS Records). Toronto’s favourite rebels , the Viletones have released a triple threat E.P. ‘Screamin’ Fist” b/w ‘Possibilities’ and ‘Rebel’. ‘Possibilities’ is what makes this a great single instead of a good one.

It’s lyrical poignancy and musical accessibility make this a first rate tune. ‘Rebel’ and ‘Screamin’ Fist’ are the Tones at their most terrifying, loud, hard and painfully honest. (On Vile Records). The Dishes ‘Fashion Plates’ puts down on records what The Dishes have been putting down in bars for the last few years. This is in its fourth pressing proving that there are many Dishes fans around. The E.P. includes ‘Fred Victor’s Mission’, ‘Police Band’, ‘Walky-Talky’ and ‘Monopolies Are Made At Night’. A great starter E.P. for anyone starting a Dishes collection.


Down in the cold depths of New York, Wayne County & The Electric Chairs have released a three tune E.P. ‘Stuck on You’, ‘Paranoia Panic’ b /w ‘The Last Time’. The rendition of the Stones’ classic ‘The Last Time’ makes this record worth the price of admission. Wayne and the band work out for over 7 minutes and include spits, coughs and many other early Stones’ effects. Anyone who can rhyme ‘Stuck on You’ with ‘Alymer’s Glue’ is okay in my book. Wayne, you’re okay in my book. (On Illegal Records).

Zipping across the Atlantic we find that The Adverts have released a second single ‘Gary Gilmore’s Eyes’ b/w ‘Bored Teenagers’. Like the Pistols, the Adverts seem to have more success with their B-sides. ‘Gary Gilmore’s Eyes’ is great but ‘Bored Teenagers’ with its anthem qualities make this worth picking up. In the tradition of ‘One Chord Wonders’, ‘Teenagers’ rocks in at double time. Excellent.(On Anchor Records).

‘Might take a bit of violence, but only violence ain’t our sense. Might make our friends, enemies, but I gotta take that chance. Your generation don’t mean a thing to me!’ Generation XYour Generation’ b/w ‘Day By Day’. Destined to be the sequel to the Who’s ‘My Generation’. It’s sure one hell of a song. A most interesting band who comes across well on record. (On Chrysalis Records).

If one had to buy a single album that would epitomize the first era of the new-wave it would have to be ‘Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols’. How many bands’ debut albums are a collection of their greatest hits? On ‘Bollock’s’ we get ‘Anarchy In The U.K.’, ‘God Save The Queen’, ‘Pretty Vacant’ and ‘Holidays In The Sun’. The strongest cut on the LP is that beautiful ballad of aborted babies from Birmingham, ‘Bodies’. For some reason all the fuck this’ and fuck that’s have a way of sticking in one’s mind. The music isn’t bad either. This will be the greatest party album since ‘Cruisin 57’ and Warner Bros. snappy green cover only enhances. The only letdown on this album is the non-inclusion of all four singles’ B-sides. Why?

An album which captures the feel of the second wave is the Brian Eno produced ‘Ultravox!’.This album show the Eno influence via the sophisticated electronic sound and the menacing lyrical content. The LP covers all aspects of new wave from the straight ahead drive of ‘Saturday Night In The City Of The Dead’ to the eeriness of ‘My Sex’ and ‘I Wanna Be a Machine’. The most memorable number on the disc is ‘The Wild, The Beautiful and Da, Dam, Damn, Damned’ with lines like ‘…break my legs politely, I’ll spit my gold teeth out at you…’ (On Island Records).

The Lobotomy Brathus, Tommy, Joey, Johnny and Dee=Dee, have released their third album ‘Rocket To Russia’ and this is the best Ramones album to date. Included in this terminal ward favorite are ‘Rockaway Beach’, ‘Ramona’, ‘Cretin Hop’ and everyone’s fave ‘Sheena Is A Punk Rocker. (On Sire Records).

Lastly but not leastly we have this crazee guys from Britain ‘The Vibrators’ who struck it rich with their heart-warming single ‘We Vibrate’. Now immortalized on an LP The Vibrators are ‘Pure Mania’. Toronto has found The Vibrators die to two shows on November and this LP is a credit to their genius. ‘Baby Baby’ new-waves’s first ballad, is breathtaking. The scratchy guitar intro (which I’m sure is played through a toaster) is one of the niftiest every put down on wax. ‘Keep It Clean’ sums up the whole scene and ‘Into The Future’ sounds like the Chipmunks gone punk. I love it, yeah, yeah, yeah. (On CBS Records).

So there we have it kids, An overview of some of the best stuff put down on wax over the past while. I know some of your faves have been emitted (J.J. Cale, the Rods, Stranglers, etc) but I only have so much space. I promise I’ll get to them all. See ya!”

Have a pint and hear Cam spin cool retro tunes every Wednesday night beginning at 5 PM at The Kensington Lodge


Cam’s column appears every Thursday.

Follow Cam on Twitter @CC59.

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DBAWIS ButtonCameron Carpenter has written for The New Music Magazine, Music Express, The Asylum, The Varsity, The Eye Opener, The New Edition, Shades, Bomp!, Driven Magazine, FYI Music News, The Daily XY, and New Canadian Music.

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