Tuesday, March 19, 2024


What SON OF VULCAN lacked in general comic book hero decency is made up many times over with this well-remembered Steve Ditko entry into the Charlton Comics canon. Not that CAPTAIN ATOM would have ever made it as a Marvel hero (too mentally stable) but these stories are so straight on without the camp and stretching of belief so common with the competition that it fits into its own niche if only for that!

I'll admith that the early stories are somewhat staid and come off quite one-dimensional compared with what Ditko was producing at Marvel at just about the same time (kinda weird to know that he was double timing as an important cog in the makeup of two comic book companies simultaneously), but then again some of those early Spiderman efforts had somewhat of a wonkiness to 'em so don't let that creep into your crack like some old jockeys. But they're still good and even got better once Ditko eventually fled Marvel and settled into Charlton as perhaps their biggest selling point thanks to all of the comic credo he had built up at the competition.

Heck, the post-Marvel Atoms have a particularly strong Marvel influence. Not as mid-sixties campy as just about everything else touching the entertainment medium true, but still somewhat similar if only for those Stan Lee-esque surprise endings and unique villains that you sure wish were good guys (take the Ghost whose rather nifty costume sports Spidermanesque eyes) which is why you end up rootin' for 'em over the heroes. Really a surprise to those of you who only knew Charlton from their hot rod, girly and comic strip/TV tie in efforts.

If you've poured through those old Spiderman and Dr. Strange compendiums and want a li'l extra kick well, do I have to tell you what to do, sap?

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

A RATHER BOLD EDITION OF "SINGLES GOING STROONAD" (a.k.a. I can't seem to figure out why the entire post ended up this way even after hours of hard scrutiny, and yes I checked all of the <b></b>'s and other settings but still came up total goose eggs)

The Troggs-"The Raver"/"You" (Page One Records)

Along with "Come Now" and "Feels Like a Woman", this Troggs track proves just how well attuned to the late-sixties/early-seventies high end of AM hot pop (or FM freeform if there were enough well-attuned program directors) they undoubtedly were. The grinding melody and twanging Jew's harp adds all the right tone colors and spice just needed to help beef up these Troggs sides even more, and it is too bad that the suburban bell bottom hippie wannabe market wasn't as attuned as it shoulda been or else this mighta've been a hit. Sheesh, the Kinks crawled onto the charts with "Lola" just around the same time so why not the Troggs? Flip is a standard bouncy pop effort not unlike quite a few other numbers to be found in these guys' catalog, nothing that I would call startling but still a testament to the eternal tuned-in-ness of the Troggs.

The Stooges-"Open Up and Bleed" (no label bootleg)

You already know... The Whisky-A-Go-Go version of the famed Stooges aural attack in all its lo-fi glory split between two green vinyl sides. The first being the creepy crawl beginning with Scott Thurston's harmonica weaving in and out of a beautiful repeato riff owing a whole lot to the early Velvet Underground (pardon my French) filtered through Alice Cooper at the height of his prowess. The second being the raging "LA Blues"-styled climax complete with feedback galore and a glitzed-out audience that probably didn't know (or care) what was goin' on. A perfect part of the late-sixties/early-seventies cataclysm in rock which gave us peons a good slice of sonic liberation that boldly stood against all of that peace 'n love hucksterism which unfortunately seemed to take the entire world by storm.

The Misfits-"Cough/Cool"/"She" (Blank Records reissue [obviously counterfeit] for jerkoffs like me who were too stupid to get it the first time)

This ain't your daddy's Misfits. More like your granddaddy's Misfits from way back in the days when they were a trio playing a driving electric piano dominated music that was sound quite different from the hardcore overdrive these guys made their fazoola with. The presence of this particular keyboard (or as the credits say, "electric sync piano") presents a nice throb of a pulse that recalls Suicide while overall the bunch seem to be hovering closer to the "progressive punk rock" style as exemplified by the likes of TV Toy and perhaps a few other NYC area acts that I'm sure never got 'round to issuing anything. Nothing to be afraid of in case you're cautious of what others may think. Of course more from this particular period in time would be welcome.

The Fun Things-"Where the Birdmen Fly", "Lipstick"/"(I Ain't Got) Time Enough For You", "Savage" 33 rpm 7-inch EP) (no label)

Dunno who put this mofo together but it sure is a fine reminder as to why Australia was the last hope during a time when high energy scions of rock and roll cataclysms past like ourselves were losing hope in a sea of MTV and the dinge of feelygood myopia. "Where the Birdmen Flew" is homage to Australian rock practitioners past taking the initial thrust and multiplying it in ways even the originators never could fathom, while "Lipstick" is more kineticism taken to the extreme where it ricochets just like that bullet in Andy Warhol's ribcage.  "Time Enough For You" is Rocket From the Tombs' "What Love Is" emulated and flipped over a few times. Closing out this reish's "Savage" which makes the case for the inclusion of Narcan with every purchase of this platter. When God wipes out Australia for its crimes he will spare this 'un. 



It's a given. If you liked Sparks and Christopher Milk as well as Earle Mankey's "Mau Mau" single you're just bound to go whole hog for this slab of El Lay rock 'n preen. You already know that Mendelsohn was not only a member if the original Sparks but Christopher Milk, and besides that he was (is?) a rockscribe of some renown...heck he's the guy who coined the phrase "garage band" which should earn him all the brownie points in the world even if I never cared for the stuff he used to write for CREEM back inna eighties. 

The Pits weren't anything that was going to shake the music industry to its rotten core but they had that El Lay take on the English rock pulse down flat. The so-called "disco" influence is miniscule at best (more mid-seventies bump 'n grind than late-seventies Travolta cheese) so I wouldn't be so self-conscious about listening to this if I were you. I'll bet this would have been a hit at Rodney's English Disco had that teenbo hangout stayed around long enough.


The Nurses-"Love You Again"/"I Will Follow You" (Teen-A-Toons Productions)

Howard Wuelfing never was what I'd call one of my favorite of the 3rd string rockscribes (he was up there!), but he sure did more than his share for THE cause! Not only with his writings for various publications both fan and pro but with a number of musical endeavors, his tenure with 1/2 Japanese sticking out foremost in my mind. The Nurses well --- not up there with the Japanese but they're still nice enough in that late-seventies new pop that was springing up all over the fruity plain sorta way. It doesn't have that hard gnarl one would have expected after reading Wuelfing's various writings re. everything and everyone from Can to Einsturzende Neubauten but sometimes things like that get in the way of my critical thinking. A good enough cramitintoyourskull distillation of that hard pop music that used to sound so revolutionary given that the times they were made in were so staid.

Bobby Fuller Four-"I Fought the Law"/"Love's Made a Fool of You" (Eric Records)

A too obvious choice for a singles going stroonad session but still pertinent to my everyday sorta being. A somewhat rare release on the Eric label, this is the big 'un from a guy who decided to take on the infamous Morris Levy, a man who had the magical power to make Fuller beat himself up and swallow gasoline, and as you woulda guessed Morris Levy won. A double-sided classic that might not mean too much to most of us, but fortysome years ago this really would have been as prized in my collection as all those scratched singles that harkened back to a past that woulda been one to remember had I only been front and center for what was happening.
The Bell Notes-"I've Had It"/"Be Mine" (Time Records)

These guys, along with the Fendermen, the Tune Rockers, the Royal Teens and a few other choices out there reallyreallyREALLY should have been on that early garage band sampler I reviewed last year. Yeah, the Bell Notes produced what some might call slightly "gingerbread-y" local rock, but at least it had a good bounce to it undoubtedly done up by the kinda guys who used to mime their music on BANDSTAND while cleaner cut than you'd expect teenbos sat trying to avoid staring into the camera. Speaking of the Bell Notes, I remember reading how none other than Miriam Linna's own eye doctor was in the group which had me wonderin' whether or not a Bell Notes exclusive was gonna pop up in the next issue of KICKS. None ever did, making me think that perhaps Miriam asked about doing an interview right when doc was doing the pressure test, and he was so startled by the question that the thing done dear rammed right into her socket gouging the dang eyeball out!
Rockin' Robin With The Wailers-"Rosalie"/"Interview on Bandstand with the Fabulous Wailers" (Eticant Records)

A side's the Wailers with Rockin' Robin Roberts doing a 1961 studio version of the LIVE AT THE CASTLE rouser while the flip's got the audio portion of Dick Clark's post-song chat with the Wailers on AMERICAN BANDSTAND back when "Tall Cool One" was rising up the charts a good two years earlier. Quality's AM car radio good enough for me, and for a guy who spent a good portion of the early-eighties trying to get just about any shard of info on these guys this is a godsend I sure wish came out a whole lot sooner! 

A good encapsulation of high energy rock 'n roll from a time when it was being presented on radio and television just as often as Rinso ads. Too bad this (and a ten-inch Wailers collection of mid-sixties demos) hadda've been put out by a couple of chiselers who not only released this material without the express permission of Etiquette Records but swindled me out of money I paid to have an ad printed in an issue of the duo's DO THE POP! fanzine, a mag that naturally never saw the light of day. (Sure I'm petty, but I'm also poorer as well. Hey, why do you really think I wrote this 'un up in the first place?)
Chuck Berry-"Little Queenie"/"Almost Grown" (Chess Records)

I suppose I should hate Chuck Berry if only because a whole slew of scrawny wire-rimmed white yammer-ons love him, but I won't stoop to any of their more pious than thou levels falling into their outdated white snivel trap. However, I gotta say that the overdrool regarding the man from the likes of such critics as Richard Reigel really does tend to turn me off of the guy given how these more "mainstream" scribes tend to elevate the man to godhood status, something which is kinda strange given Berry's various bathroom antics and state line crossings. But we gotta separate the man from the music I guess, and I'll try to do my best as usual.

To a fanabla of my musical caste "Little Queenie" is supposed to be (what am I sayin' --- it IS!!!!!) the record that Marc Bolan swiped the closing line to "Get It On" from (see following review) but it's naturally more'n just that. A fairly good blast of late-fifties rock 'n roll so void of the usual traps that I find it extremely hard to think that such a one-dimensional jerkoff of a character such as Potsy Webber from HAPPY DAYS could have ever liked Berry as he was alleged to do in that episode where Richie has to man the store and forgo the rock 'n roll concert. Ditto for "Almost Grown" even if for the life of me the Ruben and the Jets version seems to overtake my mind.

Maybe Berry was singing for the kids instead of to 'em, but from what I heard about those parties of his where he'd corral some young teen things into his motel room and the shit would literally be flying...boy would I hate to have been a maid at one of those Quality Courts!
T. Rex-"Get It On (Bang a Gong)"/"Raw Ramp" (EMI/Odeon Records, Japan)

And speaking of "Little Queenie" well, I wouldn't exactly call this 'un a ripoff as Nick Kent once surmised. But it's an all-time classic and the song that got me listening to the radio serious-like 'stead of half-heartedly. I went on and on about the glory days of T. Rex and how they affected me in the very last issue of my crudzine so no need to get into it here, but for a surprise the flipster "Raw Ramp" which is not on ELECTRIC WARRIOR pops up and it's a beaut what with the line about "love your breasts" and all. Bound to get the twelve-year-old in you rushing to the bathroom! Sheesh had I heard this way back when I probably woulda done some spontaneous spurting that surely woulda gotten me kicked outta grade school. I mean, trying to control myself in sex ed was bad enough...
David Bowie-"Space Oddity"/"Wild Eyed Boy From Freecloud" (RCA or Mercury if you got yours at a flea market like I did)

Yeah, I know..."where were you back in '72, was David Bowie the man for you"??? Maybe I'd take those lyrics a li'l more seriously if none other'n Metal Mike Saunders himself wasn't pumping up the Bowie bandwagon via his heavy metallic praise of the former Mr. Jones in the pages of PHONOGRAPH RECORD MAGAZINE. But eh, I believe we all have the right to change our minds, unless we don't have the right that is and according to many of you maybe I don't!

As for me, back when I was a mere adlo and the music of Bowie was first being played on the radio I sure thought his tuneage was the coolest thing to hit the airwaves since the previous Stones single or T. Rex for that matter. Of course when we all discovered just what a creepazoid Bowie really was (and I'm not talking about his weird personal lifestyle or open marriage with Mick Jagger either) maybe those old singles didn't sound as good as we remembered 'em. 

Nowadays with a good 50 years of hindquarters hindsight behind us all I can say is yeah, I guess records like "Oddity" were about as good an encapsulation of the anti-hippoid ideal and sway just as much as the works of other Third Generation spokesmen such as Alice Cooper and of course Bolan. And with rock 'n' roll as a potent force and generator of excitement long washed under the bridge to so speak maybe we can't afford to be as picky about it as we once were in 1979 ifyaknowaddamean...
Downliners Sect-"Cadillac"/"Roll Over Beethoven (Penniman Records, France)

Recorded mid-'63, this even out-primitives AT NIGHT IN GT. NEWPORT ST. (which you gotta admit was a pretty Cro Magnon platter in itself), so you can just imagine the pounce and teenage earnestness this effort exudes! Actually this slice of Downliners Sect does have the sort of garage primal push that's made more'n a few of their efforts all the more merrier (or punkier if you so desire), and I guess everyone who's been in on the Sect ever since their original albums began getting the fanzine huzzahs in the early-seventies already has this already so why blab any further?
Talking Heads-"Love Goes To A Building On Fire"/"New Feeling" (Sire Records)

Heh, Talking Heads before they started letting their artzy pretentions get the best of 'em while appearing in horrid videos that embarrassed just about everybody who was championing this bunch only a few years earlier. The horns and other beef ups don't hinder the mid-seventies pop leanings in the least. Dunno or care what you think but I woulda preferred hearing an entire album done up like this as opposed to what we eventually did get...I mean, who wouldn't?. When Greg Shaw wrote that he believed Talking Heads would put out a long player that was on-par with the David's ANOTHER DAY ANOTHER LIFETIME I wonder if he had this single in mind.
The Four Deuces-"W-P-L-J"/"Here Lies My Love" (Music City Records seventies repro)

Yeah we all know the a-side if only because of Frank Zappa's cover version as well as the fact that a New York radio station changed their call letters to this after the success of BURNT WEENIE SANDWICH. Here's the original which naturally has that Southern California r&b feel to it that wouldn't have sounded out of place in THE WORLD'S GREATEST SINNER...sheesh whenever I hear this, for some odd reason or another I keep thinking of all those Zappa landmark namedrops that conjure up just what a rundown hellhole that the Southern California area musta been even then! Flip's a more streamlined r&b track that's better on this side than that, which only goes to show you what an ignoramus I am about these sorta soundwaves.
TV Jones-"Eskimo Pies"/"Skimp the Pimp" (Nomad Records)

The only surviving artyfact of this pre-Radio Birdman group, unless someone discovered more and didn't tell me. Pretty good at least as far as being an example of what Deniz Tek did before he did that other thing that he became somewhat well known for. Early version of "I 94" graces the plug side sounding perhaps even better due to the rehearsal room quality while the other side's got this wild raver that for all I know never made it into the Birdman set list but it shoulda given its all 'round rousing abilities. 
Roogalator-"All Aboard"/"Cincinatti Fatback" 7-inch 33 rpm single (Stiff Records, England)

Must be a post EMI lawsuit edition because my copy came without a WITH THE BEATLES ripoff cover. Whatever the case may be here's an early Stiff single that's pretty hefty on the rootsier aspects of the pub rock experience which made up a good portion of the Stiff roster at least during their earlier days. Sheesh, I could see a number of my elder relatives thinking that, between the swing of "All Aboard" to the short haircuts sported on the missing sleeve that them kids are finally straightening up and listening to good music, at least until they get an earfulla "Cincinatti Fatback" what with its references to poontang (which I doubt they even knew what it meant, but who knows...). If your tastes in mid-seventies punkist desires tended towards the whole Feelgood/Groovies breed of past accomplishments you'll definitely like this 'un.
Ian Dury-"Wake Up!"/"What a Waste" (Stiff Records, Belgium)

Another Stiffie here, only this is one of those yellow vinyl offerings that popped up in shopping malls nationwide thus making Deviants records once again readily available to the general public. The a-side consists of Dury's big "hit" that was being pushed on FM radio all over the fruity plain, and although I should hate it not only for that but the fact that a faint disco beat can be discerned it does conjure up somewhat happy memories of seventies snazz pop and should be appreciated if only for that. The other side's even jazzier and actually more attuned to my own sense of off-kilter music. Perhaps this is because "What a Waste" reminds me more of the television shows and comic books I was gorging on at the time, but once you get down to it there's nothing at all wrong with that at all. Unless you're a sophisticated creep that is but which one of you readers isn't?
Died Pretty-LIVE DIED EP (Compassion Explosion Records bootleg)

Back to Australia and these guys who originally made a huge impression on me. Unfortunately after a while the quality of their recordings, like many on the Australian scene of the day, began to wane to the point where all of the original energy the group originally exuded seemed to pretty much evaporate. Not really an extended play as it is a 33 rpm single, the plug's got a version of Lou Reed's "Wild Child" that is somewhat faithful to the original and is good enough that it might have even put a smile on Peter Laughner's face. The other side probably would have as well although it bears only slight resemblance to the Pere Ubu original. Well, at least it does remind me of the kind of music that was making the mid-eighties a way more livable place than had we all hadda rely of the drek that CREEM was pushing on us at the time.
The Exploited-"Exploited Barmy Army"/"I Believe in Anarchy", "What You Gonna Do" EP (The Exploited Record Company)

Still dunno why it seemed oh-so-cool to dump on these guys, especially when you consider that records like this 'un were keeping the whole Britpunk moo'ment going on and on at a time when every upnose snoot'd go out of his way to declare p-rock's demise. OK you gotta admit that the Exploited were way deep with the likes of Gary Bushell and his demolishing of everything that was once good about SOUNDS, but at least they knew enough to publicly call him a "wanker" when even he jumped on the punk is dead bandwagon. Good enough for me thud snarl that sounds exactly like the same music that seemed so refreshing in the face of MTV moosh only to fizz out worse'n club soda once 1983 began rollin' in. 

Monday, March 04, 2024


Other'n HERBIE I gotta admit that I know practically nil about the ACG line of comic books, and if FORBIDDEN WORLDS is any example of what the rest of their stable was like I dunno if I'd wanna. Compared to the competition the horror sagas that pop up in this title (at least judging from what's to be found here) are pretty lamesville and woulda probably passed the scrutiny of Dr. Fredric himself, at least if you plied him with a few shots. Artwork's OK enough but doesn't exactly grab you by the kajoobies (none of the big names who did work on the title, people like Al Williamson, Joe Orlando and Frank Frazetta amongst others, pop up in this volume) and I gotta say that there just are too many happy endings, at least as far as the more romantically-inclined stories go.

To be as honest as Brad Kohler about it, there are a few goodies mixed in with the turdburgers like the one where some guy gives a cold shouldered gal a love potion and she still goes for him even after he stabs her and she's rotting away (well, that 'un WOULDA been tops on the Wertham hit parade), or the one where the hotcha lady (of course) married to the aged dudster (natch!) has a shriveled fortune teller type of woman (aren't they all?) put a deadly hex on him, and the lady's handsome boyfriend (well, he does look better'n you!) tells her not to pay the millions the gypsy is owed and to have her killed... Betcha never saw a story like that in yer life have ya??? Still given the track record of at least the stories that pop up here this one did come out on top!

There are plenty of other Gwandanaland titles to splurge on and I think you all got the idea which ones that would be worthy of you having in your own personal library. But whatever, leave FORBIDDEN WORLDS outta it --- no only is the price forbidden but the stories to be found within ain't gonna do your sense of comic book appreciation one bit of good neither!