Those of us at Heatwave have been among the lucky few to be given access to the latest compilation on the Girlsville label. A fun, loud, punk collection of songs entitled Stupid Punk Boy. The compilation will be released as part of Cassette Day 2015, October 17th. There are so many reasons to dust of your old hi-fi and buy yourself a copy. The first is that this is a benefit release. Meaning, if you buy the cassette, profits will go to the Translife Center in Chicago. So, you will directly be supporting an institution whose purpose is to make life better for a marginalised group of people, and giving voice to the marginalised is the most punk thing a person can do. If you’re still looking for one of the many other reasons to support this Girlsville release, read on.
Side A of Stupid Punk Boy opens with a belter from Candy Highway titled, “Mad Glab Blah”, giving you an idea of where they are going with this. It’s fast, fun and exciting! I mean, the Coachwhips, Dum Dum Girls and London-based favourites (and local dreambabes), Abjects, are featured.
Without even giving the compilation a listen, it will obviously get a thumbs up from fans of good music. Black Time’s grungy, fuzzy “Department” is the kind of song that makes everyone want to be cool at the bar while nodding their heads to the beat. Next up is the Coachwhips’, “Take Me Home”, and the compilation builds and builds to the Pristeens’ “Oh Billy”, which is, in my opinion, a superior modern day version of “Oh Mickey”, but with prime-era Courtney Love on vocals. Abjects remind us that you need to go see them live. They could easily and effortlessly compose the soundtrack for the new episodes of Twin Peaks. Side A ends with a boozy good-time sing-along in the form of “Michael and the Slipper Tree” from Bruce and Carl.
It’s fun. It’s great. You will flip the tape over in hope that side B lives up to A.
Good news—yes it does.
Have you ever been out at night and ended up in the living room of a guitar playing fuzz-fan? Well, the opener from Black Time sounds like the cool, drunk guy in his living room playing a song that will blow your mind. Except, you would need another drunk organ player to nonchalantly yell “blackout” every now and again before it could sound as good.
Not convinced? Spend the $7 to buy the cassette. You won’t be disappointed. Commiserations, Virvon Varvon, the Red Cords and Black Tambourines all add extra awesome to the Stupid Punk Boy pizza. Then suddenly the Pristeens hit you in the hips and the heart with “If You Really Loved Me”. I’m sure it’s not my riot grrrl bia. This song just rules. Fuzzy solo, growling vocals, heart wrenching lyrics—you’re the one I wanna love, I’d do anything. It’s the perfect pop song with a punk costume on.
If you like your punk drenched in the Ronettes, and who doesn’t, then Purple Wizard are for you. “I Kinda Think He Does” will blow you away. It will make you want to slow dance with your prom date on a never-ending loop of teen love.
Abjects have been chosen to close what is the best compilation I’ve come across in a long, long time. “Rat Race” ends it on a high. Play it in a club, in your room, in your basement, whether it’s solo, in a group or with aforementioned long lost prom date, either way, there will be dancing.
Go on, do some good for your record (tape) collection, buy Stupid Punk Boy. When Neus asked that I review it, I had a quick listen and was both surprised and excited. If you’re sick of the same old “fuzzy” crap being churned out without thought, then this will give you some hope that not everyone picking up a guitar these days just wants to be like everyone else. The songs are good, but they are also fun, thoughtful and fresh. Support Girlsville, support Translife Center, and support great music.