Auto Body Experience   AUTO BODY EXPERIENCE - Compilation CD

BAM (Natalie Nichols, "Alternative Currents")

     While I just rather grumpily dissed LA punk, let me note that I must now repent, thanks to a compilation album that just crossed my desk.  Trigon Records' new CD sampler, Auto Body Experience: 20 Turbocharged  Bands from LA, serves up a rather tasty slice of the LA punk pie.  This is the first LA compilation the Canoga Park-based label has released since 1988's vinyl album, Gimme the Keys. And, while Fearless Leader and Crawlspace make return appearances, there's a lot of new blood in our stalwart vanguard of bouncy, stooopid rock.
     The disc cannot be wholly summarized here, so let me just hit the highlights.  I've never much cared for Popdefect, but its leadoff track, "Bottom of a Hole," has a surf-tinged frenzy that's hard to resist.  Backbiter's "It's Untrue" is a way-cool number in which it comes off like a punk-rock 13th Floor Elevators.  Both the Paper Tulips and Suplex Slam ("The Politics of Wrestling") offer classically absurd, culturally critical tunes, while This Is Edwin ("Peter's Finger") gives us the same kind of rollicking, metal-flavored songs for which Moist and Meaty was so beloved, complete with P. Edwin Letcher's sardonic vocals and zany lyrics.  Shoeface ("Time to Develop") has a screaming fit; the Superkools ("Booze Cruisin'") spew playful invective; the Jakk ("It All Comes Back to You") manages to be almost vulnerable; and Ken All Night Rocker and the Wild Eyed Southern Boys ("Mexico") are quite demented grungemeisters.
     If you already dig these bands, rest assured that the sound quality on this CD makes it worth getting; in fact, some of these folks have never sounded so good on recordings.  It may just restore your faith in the healing powers of punk.

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