Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Get Sicker collects the Prostitutes' "Get Me Sick" and ''Living Wreck" singles in their entirety along with 3 of the 4 tracks from the "Twenty-Two" EP, two songs from the first Pelado Records compilation, and a few choice cuts from the band's LP. Rather than just throwing everything the band ever did onto the collection, Kevin focused on limiting it to just the "good shit". At a lean and mean 14 tracks, this best-of package efficiently summarizes everything that was great about The Prostitutes. It's got all the aforementioned A-sides, plus all-time favorites like "Suicide Is Fun", "1-2-3 GO", and "Modern White Trash". All these songs were recorded quickly and cheaply over three sessions with Al Cox at Studio 213 in Harrisburg. There was little if any overdubbing involved, and no song crosses the two minute barrier. I'd put these 14 tracks up against the best tunes from any punk band of the Prostitutes' day. Sometimes now I'll hear music I thought was great in the '90s and be like, "What the hell was I thinking?" But this stuff really holds up. "Twenty-Two" still makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up, and "Suicide Is Fun" still makes me laugh out loud. Kevin McGovern was absolutely one of the greatest punk rock shouters of his era or any other, adding genuine rage and a touch of crazy to the classic "snotty" singing style. While a lot of the sleazy degenerate punk rock n' roll bands of the time had the "sound" and the attitude, few could write songs as catchy and memorable as The Prostitutes' best tunes. And whether you're talking morbid satire ("And then when she slashed her wrists on Wednesday night/Yeah, that's when I knew that she was out of sight") or brilliant non sequiturs ("I hear that teenage girls/They like to be left alone/I hear Communists/Like to sit by the phone"), the band's lyrical genius has thankfully been preserved for future generations of misfits and malcontents.
What a thrill it is to hear all these songs again - blasting from my computer like they once did from my turntable! And how awesome is it that this album is free?! Kevin, it seems, is finally wrapping up The Prostitutes for good. But the music lives on. Get Sicker makes a perfect companion piece for the more recent album Kill Them Before They Eat - which is also available as a name your price download. Punk rock continues to be relevant because the things that it rails against aren't ever going away. And The Prostitutes railed with the best of 'em. Crank up the volume, give someone the finger, and enjoy this fine compilation!