Wednesday 27 April 2022

More Lookout! Records 7"s

I'm finally getting to the end of this pile of pop punk records that I kept for myself from my friend's collection. I decided to bunch the remaining Lookout! Records 7"s into one post, rather than do a post for each. Partly because I don't think I could say that much about some of them, and partly because I have a big backlog of new records building up that I want to get to post about. The only question I had with this post was in what order to post the records, so I decided to order them according to their catalog numbers. So here we go...

Starting off with Lookout! #9, the Yeastie Girlz 'Ovary Action' 7", released in 1988.

I actually used to own this 7" in the past but sold it because it wasn't great. But this time around I felt a little nostalgic about it. The band play no music whatsoever. They just kinda rap, but with no musical accompanyment whatsoever, on themes based around feminism and sex. I mean, just check the pic on the b-side label:

Adding this one to discogs I became aware for the first time in my life that this 7" exists on red vinyl. So obviously I want one of these now. Man, I love finding out about things like this for the first time 30 years after first hearing the record. Crazy.

Next up is Lookout! #13 from 1989, the Surrogate Brains 'Surrogate Serenades' 7".

This one I hadn't heard before. I do like the artwork as it is very much of the period. The songs here are super catchy, and this one just might be my favourite of the bunch, even though they do sound more pop than punk.

Next is Lookout! #14, also from 1989. The Eyeball 'Prosthetic Head' 7".

This one has some crazy artwork, and I love the whole concept of a prosthetic head. This band kinda reminds me of The Didjits. Fast with a similar vocal style, and slightly nonsense songs. But they are definitely fun. No ugly people allowed!

Next is another banger from 1989. Lookout! #16, the Kamala And The Karnivores 'Girl Band' 7".

The band features Kamala Parks, who is / was a bit of a scene legend in the old bay area punk rock scene of the late 80s / early 90s. She played in a few bands (including Cringer, who I featured in my last post), and was instrumental in getting the legendary 924 Gilman Street venue set up and established. This 7" features 4 poppy songs that border on 60s pop music. Again, this 7" contains some very catchy tunes. Sadly this copy is black vinyl rather than blue, but I hope in time to find a colour copy.

Next is Lookout! #31 from 1990. This is Blatz! 'Cheaper Than The Beer' 7".

Somehow Blatz is a band that I had completely overlooked until this year, somehow. They are raw and fast and fun. They had three vocalists, two of which were women. I love how punk and messy this band is. 'We're not gonna piss in a cup, no we're gonna fuck shit up'. Genius.

And finally, a slightly later release. This one is Lookout! #56 from 1993 - Jack Acid 'Destroy The Boat' 7":

This is another band with duel male and female vocals, and it works pretty well. The guitar on this one reminds me of H-Street skateboard videos, in that there's a lot of distortion and a kind of sloppiness. I don't know. I can't really do this one justice. But it has the same charm as all the other 7"s in this post.

At some point I am going to have to do a check of my collection to see which Lookout! 7"s I am missing. I mean, I'm not interested in owning the entire output of the label by any means, but anything up to about 1993 seems to be worth having, and I'm interested in trying to obtain a complete collection of all of the releases that have the Laytonville address, which I think is 30 or so. I already own the expensive big hitters (Green Day & Operation Ivy), so I think this is a realistic target to set myself. And obviously just what I need - another collection to pursue.

Friday 22 April 2022


Another band that I have been aware of for many years and only recently got a little more into is Cringer. Named after He-Man's feline sidekick, Cringer started life in the means streets of... Hawaii. I guess it's true that you learn something new every day. Apparently they started in Hawaii and then moved to LA and then to San Francisco. Anyway, my knowledge of the band is pretty much non existent. But one of my friends got into them a long time ago, and for whatever reason I was never too interested. But of course, when I inherited the record collection and was flicking through it, I figured it would be the perfect opportunity to give Cringer another try. And it was no real surprise given how much I have got back into the melodic stuff from the early 90s, that I found myself enjoying them.

I have ended up with three of their records. First up, the band's debut release, a 7" titled 'Perversion Is Their Destiny'. This was released by Vinyl Communications back in 1987. There were several different versions of this with different colour covers and colours of vinyl.

Unsurprisingly, this first releases showcases Cringer at their most basic. But as is often the case, a band's debut is where they sound the most unique. But also the least accessible.

Next, the band's only full length, which came out in 1990 on Vinly Communications, and which has one of the longest names for a record that I have ever seen. The record is titled 'Tikki Tikki Tembo No Sa Rembo Chari Bari Ruchi Pip Peri Pembo', which is the name of a character in a book.

This copy comes on clear vinyl. I have no idea if this is particularly rare or not, but it wasn't on discogs until I added it a few weeks ago.

The record is a definite step up from the debut 7" and contains some great pop punk, with a nice raw edge to it. It also contains a song that in my opinion should be the most played song in the world right now - the second song is called 'Russia'. It's one and a half minutes long, and takes 40 seconds to build up to a scream of 'Go back to Russia!'. Overall a very catchy record.

The third record I kept was a 7" called 'Karin'. This was released by Lookout! Records in 1990. I actually already had this one on red vinyl, but decided to keep this copy as it's more pink, as the photo completely fails to show:

I tried to take a photo of this one next to my red copy, but somehow they both looked exactly the same. So I had to resort to putting them on the window sill to get the light behind them to show the difference. The new one is the one on the right.

Anyway, given what is going on in Ukraine right now, I thought I'd end this post with the song I mentioned earlier in this post. Enjoy...

Tuesday 19 April 2022

Porcelain Boys Marble

I've said it many times before, but it's crazy how bands can drift in and out of your life over time. Back in the early 90s I was picked up two 7"s by a band called Porcelain Boys. They appeared on one of my favourite compilations of all time (the Lookout! Records 'Can Of Pork' comp), and back then it seemed nigh on impossible to find records by most of the bands on that comp. So when I managed to pick up two Porcelain Boys 7"s, I was pretty stoked. There was only seven songs across those two 7"s, but I played them a lot and always wished there was a full length, as they played a pretty perfect blend of pop punk.

Well, after having not really thought much about them for many years, when I found a 7" in my friend's collection, I was intrigued. Turns out that it was released in 1996, when I had moved on from anything resembling pop punk. But I was surprised, as the band's previous 7"s were released in 1989 & 1990. I can only assume that the band reformed after a few years and cranked out some new songs. This 7" is a split with a band called Marble. Turns out that there were 300 copies on white vinyl and 300 copies on purple vinyl, and luckily I got the rare one.

The two Porcelain Boys songs on this 7" are as close to pop punk perfection as it is possible to get. So catchy. The Marble side, however, is pretty forgettable. There's one original song and then a cover of the song 'Holiday Road' from the National Lampoon's Vacation movies, which is a song that I feel I would be happy to never hear again by any artist.

A quick trip to discogs also showed me that the band did eventually put out a full length, which was released on CD only in 1997. I managed to find a download, and have been enjoying it in recent weeks. Kinda funny that I finally managed to hear a Porcelain Boys full length 25 years after it came out, and about 29 years after I was longing to hear one.

Monday 18 April 2022

I'd Rather Be Flag Burning

Back in what feels like a former life I bought the first Progagandhi album, 'How To Clean Everything'. At the time I liked it, but for some reason I never bought another Propagandhi record after that one. Actually, that's not quite true. I bought the 'Where Quality Is Job #1' 7" and found it so awful that I sold it again not long after. That record just felt like they were trying to be everything that Fat Wreck was not, but I just found it messy and annoying. As I remember it, you couldn't even play the record without lifting and moving the arm of your record player after every single song. It managed to piss me off so much that I was done with Propagandhi and never listened to them again. I've had a few people tell me over the years that I should listen to them, but I just never really felt too interested in doing so.

Well, my friend's collection contained the split 10" with I-Spy that I remember missing out on back when it came out. The local record shop where I lived got some in, but by the time I decided to buy one it was sold out. So I never heard it until this year. I gave it a listen and decided that it would definitely not be out of place in my collection.

Discogs tells me that there are numerous different colours of cover for this record, and I honestly don't think that anyone really knows which were first or which are rarest. It kinda feels that they prbably made so many different versions just to fuck with people. But what I never appreciated before is that this record comes with two different covers, rather than just one that is different on each side. So you can literally choose which cover you prefer and use that one. My Propagandhi side is brown paper with brown ink.

The I-Spy cover is white with red ink.

I'd never heard of I-Spy before, but I actually prefer their side of the record. I checked out what else they released and it turns out they released another 10". If it was an LP I might try to track one down, but it's a 10" and I kinda feel that I already have way too many 10"s in my house already.

Saturday 16 April 2022

Lucky Fifteen

My last post was for two Crimpshrine records, so it seems fitting that this next post is a Fifteen LP. Fifteen was a band formed by Jeff Ott after Crimpshrine. They had a couple of releases on Lookout! Records, then released records on several other labels throughout the 90s. I picked up a couple of their earlier LPs back when they came out, and then (like a lot of bands) I moved on to other things and kinda forgot all about them.

Finding their seventh album from 1999 in my friend's collection, I thought it would be a good chance to check them out again, and I found myself enjoying it. 'Lucky' was released as a double LP on Sub City Records.

I always thought that Fifteen was less well known than Crimpshrine for some reason, even though they were also on Lookout! Records and were a band for much longer. Musically I think Fifteen were better. Their songs generally had more melody and didn't sound like they were recorded on a portable cassette recorder in a bathroom in a squat. But somehow they weren't quite as highly regarded, despite being very similar in a lot of ways. I can only assume it's because they came after the golden age of the Gilman Street scene.

I also just realised that this record comes on a limited red and blue vinyl set, so that's one new record added to the collection and one new record added to the want list at the same time. Yay!

Friday 15 April 2022

The Sound Of A New Soup Being Born

I've always been a fan of Crimpshrine. I first heard them on the 'Turn It Around' compilation around 30 years ago, and I liked them right away because they sounded very similar to Operation Ivy but without the ska bits. They had a great 7" release in the very early days of Lookout! Records (released as Lookout! number 4), but for some reason their only full length release ('Lame Gig Contest') came out on a German label, Empty Records. I think I read somewhere once that the reason for this was that Lookout! Records didn't think that the full length was good enough and so declined to release it.

Well anyway, I guess in time Lookout! realised their mistake and decided that those songs were good enough after all. So most of them got released as originally intended, with it being titled 'Duct Tape Soup'. This was then released as Lookout! number 57 in 1992.

A lot of people regard this as a Crimpshrine album, but I always thought of it as a compilation of songs released on other records, so I never felt the need to pick it up. But the label did a good job of remixing the songs on here so they actually sound better.

This is a first press copy of this, denoted by the black & white cover. Later pressings had a yellow & red cover. And in the spirit of older Lookout! releases, this first press copy comes with a nice booklet.

A few years later, Lookout! released another Crimpshrine record. 'The Sound Of A New World Being Born' came out in as Lookout! 194 at a time when Lookout! were rolling in cash and putting out a lot of records. I remember than when this one dropped it definitely felt like a cash grab and an excuse for Lookout! to press some Crimpshrine songs onto vinyl for the newer fans. This record compiles their first two 7"s along with some other songs onto one 12", and I also never bought this one for the exact same reason that I never bought the above 12" - it didn't have anything really new or essential.

This one also comes with a huge fold out poster insert, which in 2022 I think is kinda cool.

So there we are. Two Crimpshrine records that I never had any intention of buying when they came out originally, but when I found them in my house and I had to decide to either sell them or keep them, I felt that I'd actually quite like to have them in my collection. Tell me you wouldn't do the same.

Thursday 14 April 2022


Given that I've been listening to and enjoying a lot of 90s pop punk this year, I was keen to check out the two Lagwagon LPs that my friend had in his collection. Both were original pressings from when they were released, and I figured they may be worth a bit, so I wanted to give them a chance before I decided whether to keep or sell them. Well, unsurprisingly, I decided to keep them. I used to think that all of the early Fat Wreck bands sounded the same back in the early 90s, and the sound they played was ok, but it wasn't my favourite. So I didn't feel the need to listen to a bunch of bands who all sounded the same. But these days it feels like this sound is less common and I've mellowed a bit, and of course the nostalgia factor creeps in a little, so I'm more inclined to given them a chance. Well, Lagwagon did not disappoint. I've found that these get better with each play. At first the songs all sound very samey, but in time you learnt to appreciate each song separately. It takes time, but it's worth it in the end.

The first record I obtained is a copy of the first LP, 'DUH', from 1992. ALl copies were on black vinyl... although, in line with most 'classic' records from that era, it has since been repressed on multiple different colours.

I also grabbed the second LP, 'Trashed', originally released in 1994. Same deal with this one, in that it was originally only pressed on black but then multiple colour vinyl pressings followed years later.

Of the two records, I am definitely more into 'Trashed'. And if it weren't for the state of modern collecting, I'd probably be interested in ipcking up more of their records. But with current prices that isn't likely to happen, sadly.

Wednesday 13 April 2022

Plaid Retina

Back from my latest trip to California, back to real life, and back to this blog. So far this year I've mainly been listening to old pop punk records from the early 90s, and whilst I still have a few of those records to get through, I also have a few more things that I picked up on my trip that I am keen to get to. So hopefully I can devote a little more time to this thing this month and start to crunch through the backlog of records on my floor.

Today's entry is an album by Plaid Retina. I mainly gave this one a chance becuase it's on Lookout! Records. This LP is titled 'Pink Eye' and was released as Lookout! Records number 20 in 1989.

All copies were on black vinyl, which to me represents a wasted opportunity, because if there was ever a record that was crying out to be pressed on colour vinyl, then this is it. A nice pink vinyl would have been absoltely perfect. Oh well.

Now I do realise that I'm pretty late to this record. After all, it came out 33 years ago. And what I like about it is that the sound kinda dates it, but in a good way. To my ears, this sounds like a mix between early Descendents ('Milo Goes To College' era) and later (Rollins) era Black Flag. This would definitely have sounded at home on an early Santa Cruz or H-Street skateboard video. Definitely a great find for me this year, even though I could probably have listened to this at any point in the last 30 years. Still, it's where you finish, not where you start, right?