Get Infected!!! (Vodka Distillery Records)
~review by Uncle Nemesis
What have we here? Lurid and raucous, unashamedly lo-fi, junk-shop punk rock, that’s what - and it’s great. This album sounds like it was recorded in a garage, without taking the lawn mower and the garden furniture out first. In fact, some of it sounds like it was recorded *on* the lawn mower and the garden furniture. But that’s just the way it should be. There would be something very wrong if The Rabies sounded like their music had been wrapped in studio cotton wool, because this band is all about being as loud and as brash as possible. They seem to be equally influenced by the first Damned album and ancient Bela Lugosi movies, the Stooges’ ‘Raw Power’ and low budget slasher flicks. Everything here is shot through with a bug-eyed anarcho-whacko attitude; every song amounts to a gleeful vees-up to the world at large.
The lyrics are delivered in something between a scold and a sneer by the splendidly feisty Lexi Lawsuit. Sometimes she’s a hyperactive brat, yelping and screeching her way through ‘Psycho Teenage Mutant Massacre’ as if somebody’s put hallucinogenics in her bedtime milk, other times she’s cynical and sardonic, dissing politicians with such magnificent disdain on ‘Pied Piper’ that you can almost see the disgust running in rivulets down the side of her mouth. There’s a fuzzed-out mass of guitar-noise grinding away in all the songs, while basslines prowl like a stalker. The drums sound like a succession of sacks of rubble being tipped into a skip, and, through everything, some cheesy-groovy keyboard lines, which sound like they’ve been inspired by those aforementioned Bela Lugosi movie soundtracks, keen and moan like wind in the eaves of the haunted mansion.
‘Freddy I Love You’ has some unexpected early-Banshees guitar and a hilarious kiddie-chorus - ‘I love you!’ - as if the band had roped in some innocent trick-or-treaters to handle the backing vocal chores. ‘Whiplash Love’ comes over all adult, in that it’s a fetish anthem of sorts, Lexi Lawsuit giving it the full Joan Jett rock chick rasp on the vocal. But the band can also display an unexpectedly sure pop touch, as they demonstrate on ‘Television’ - a noo-wave trashorama romp with some nifty sixties-garage keyboards, and ‘Epidemic’, another sparky garage-punk groove with a nice little lift in the chorus. ‘It’s gonna take you to an early grave!’ sings Lexi Lawsuit, sounding perfectly happy about the prospect.
This album is unashamedly DIY, all its rough edges and no-fi production values shamelessly displayed, but it really couldn’t be any other way. It all works, it all fits with the band’s grit-and-guts approach. The Rabies are sassy and impertinent, rackety and loud, with attitude a mile wide. If they played at your prom night, the school would fall down. You know what? Something rather good just crawled out of the garage.
The band website: http://www.therabies.com
The label website: http://www.geocities.com/vodkadistilleryrecords
Reviewed by Uncle Nemesis: http://www.nemesis.to