CONTROL FREAKS – ‘Mindless Entertainment’
‘Mindless Entertainment’ LP
I remember a few years back seeing Greg Lowery put up some photos on social media of his fancy pants apartment. And him standing in there, in his Ben Sherman shirts, and in his fancy pants apartment. And his hot lady standing there, in her fancy pants, and in his fancy pants apartment. Well thank fuck he got bored of the camera and picked up his bass guitar again. There’s nothin’ fancy pants about Lowery songs and that’s what’s great about every band the man has been in. On that note, I give you his latest gang of garage scuzz punk loons….Control Freaks!
Let me make this clear, if a band chants the letters to the title of a song at pretty much ANY point in the song, I WILL be impressed. What can I say, I’m an easy lay. The first song on the record does exactly this. I’m assuming this is the song they either start with or end with at their live shows. Either way, I’m already smoking my after sex cigarette. Second track ‘PTSD ‘ follows up and we can consider it the 2017 equivalent of Black Flag’s ‘TV Party’. A couple of beer chugs later guitarist Natalie Sweet sings that she has “no desire to take you out tonight or any other time”. You tell ‘em sister! The lyrics are straight outta the Ramones school of ‘I Don’t Wanna’. Life’s too short to waste and it’s sure as hell too short to suck up. Sixth track ‘Karma’ had me thinking of the spazzy joke shop energy of Scratch Bongowax (anyone else remember those nut jobs?!) and also the leg jiggling jams of RammaLamma. ‘Blowtorch Love’ is not only the kinda title The Donnas might’ve come up with; it also sounds like The Donnas at their teenage best before one too many Mick Mars Bars. Lowery and Sweet share lead vocal duties teaming up throughout the record like bratty bank robbers reminding us they’re the motherfuckers in charge and that they know best and who the hell are you to argue, they DO know best!
‘Mindless Entertainment’ is both rock and roll without the pretentiousness and punk without the politics. If the mainstream rock journo-losers reviewed this record they’d no doubt mention the low budget recording quality but fuck those squares, THIS IS THE REAL DEAL! This album is naturally reminiscent of a lot of the classic RIP OFF RECORDS bands, particularly some of Lowerys own bands like The Infections and more recently, Zodiac Killers (that’ll be the girl/boy vocal double teaming) but, if it ain’t broke,just kick it and these Bay Area scuzz balls kick it hard. 12 cuts of slop pop snot mayhem. The packaging is pretty neat too from the goofball front cover to the cool little comic book style drawings on the lyric sheet (reminded me of Rocket to Russia and the early Lookout Records releases).
Now Rip Off Records is no more the new kings of the garage punk trash heap are Slovenly Recordings. This label has been pretty freakin’ special for a while now and with this release it just got even better bozo. Buy this record and convince Lowery to keep recording and playing in killer bands because otherwise he’ll be back to taking selfies in his pyjamas in his fancy pants apartment.
By Ben Nuthink