Monday, August 15, 2016

Girlsville presents: Stupid Punk Boy!

It sucks that real life gets in the way of me writing about all of the really good music that I come across. If I tried to go back and tackle all of those reviews that I just never got around to completing, I'd run out of time long before I ran out of stuff to write about! But in some circumstances, I just have to say "better late than never" and run a review many months past the date of a release. Stupid Punk Boy is a tape compilation that Girlsville released for Cassette Day last October. And although it's almost time for the label to release another comp for this year's Cassette Day, I can think of a number of reasons to justify a (very) late review of Stupid Punk Boy. For one thing, it was the best compilation I heard last year. Additionally, profits from the release have been donated to a wonderful cause (Chicago House's TransLife Center). And finally, Girlsville is a really cool label that deserves your attention. So here we go!

Featuring 24 tracks from 21 bands, Stupid Punk Boy is the perfect introduction to what Girlsville is all about as a label. It's full of garage, girl group, and trashy punk goodness - along with some noisier indie/post-punk selections that fit in splendidly. It has the feel of a comp from the pre-streaming days of the '90s and early 2000s - when releases like this were the best way to discover amazing new bands. A few of these bands are no longer around, but all of these songs were previously unreleased. When you're compiling exclusive material from this many bands, it would be excusable to allow a few throwaways. But honestly, there's absolutely no filler on here. All of the songs are good, and a lot are great. A number of well-known bands (Black Time, The Ettes, Coachwhips, Dum Dum Girls, Mr. Airplane Man) contribute high-quality material, while many of my favorite tracks feature groups I had never heard before (Candy Highway, Bruce and Carl, The Red Cords, Teamsters). Highlights include a 35-second trashy garage punk thrill ride from Candy Highway ("Mad Glad Blah"), a magnificent Love cover from The Ettes ("Live and Let Live"), a top tier number from the mighty Hipshakes ("Pass The Pan"), high energy budget rock from The Red Cords ("Not A Punk"), an obscure Equals cover from Bruce and Carl ("Michael and the Slipper Tree"), wonderfully abrasive punk from Commiserations ("Poorslaw"), a Kinks-y rave-up from The Teamsters ("Love Again"), and not one but two breathtaking cuts from the late great Purple Wizard! If you're a fan of garage and punk music, you will find so much here to love!

You may recall that Girlsville released that phenomenal Prissteens compilation back in June. This is one of the best new labels out there, and Stupid Punk Boy gives you a great idea of what you can expect from future releases. A few copies of the cassette release still remain, and a full download remains available from Bandcamp for just six bucks. Check it out and stay tuned for Girlsville's next compilation The Wild Angels - which releases in October!


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