Sunday, December 20, 2009

Review #3: Lunachicks - Babysitters on Acid (1990)

Year: 1990
Genre: Punk Rock
Sub-Genres: Hardcore
Label: Blast First Records
Tracks: 12
Length: 39 Minutes (Long)
Style: Fun/Rebellious
My Rating: 8/8

I remember being bored outta my mind, looking for new bands to listen to on the internet, one day. Then I found a music video for a song called "Babysitters on Acid", and it changed my life. At least a little. The song that really pulled me into the band was "Jan Brady", though. However, this isn't really the best way to start. Ahem. Cough. Throatclear. Burp. Cough again. Fart. Burp. Attempt to blow clogged-up nose.

Yeah... Anyways, the Lunachicks are another one o' those bands that sorta blur the line between punk rock and heavy metal. It's got the three to four-chord riffs and beats of punk rock, but there's an extensive use of guitar leads, and Theo Kogan actually tries to sing good, so it's up for dispute. In the end, I'd say they are still awesome. This was their first full length album, and it went out of print pretty quickly, apparently, until it was re-issued 11 fucking years later! They released an EP before this, and they had been signed to Blast First records by none other than... Sonic Youth! Thurston and Kim had seen one of their early shows, and they weren't so good at playing their instruments, so they had been confused for a noise rock band (which I guess they vaguely were at this point). But they were different in a few ways during this point than they were in the later albums. The sound is a lot more low-budget sounding, which I actually really like, so that's good. They weren't quite at the phase of wearing the pounds of intentionally weird makeup and looking like female drag queens, so they were all pretty attractive during this era (I think so, at least.) Seriously, they were.

There's a lot of alternating between punk rock anthems to weird and gross aspects of American culture (the Brady Bunch, bestiality, Cookie Monster, etc.), and more serious songs talking about murder, organized religion, and prostitution. The sound is friggin' golden, though. There isn't a ton I don't like about this album. Definitely my favorite Lunachicks record. Now, for the meat of the review...

1. Jan Brady
This is a song about Jan Brady from the Brady Bunch, who believes herself to be God, and it has a catchy chorus that goes "I am Jan, Jan I am, I like to eat green eggs and ham!". Hahaha. But this iz the song that got me hooked on the Lunachicks. It just rocks real hard, y'know?

2. Glad I'm Not Yew
To be honest, I'm not entirely sure what this song is about. One thing that really kills me (in a good way) about it is whatever strumming technique they're using in this song. If you really listen to the guitar, something about it sounds real good. Maybe it's the fact that they used two guitarists, I dunno. Anyways, the song is kinda fast in the verses, and then it has a slow chorus (typical in a lot of hardcore punk). It's a fun song, though. Nice to blast in the car stereo, if your friends are willing to put up with it.

3. Babysitters on Acid
The namesake song of the album (and also the first Lunachicks song I ever heard.) Supposedly in the album liner notes, there is a comic book version of this track. I haven't ever read it, though. This is a sassy-sounding tune about a crazy babysitter who, not being allowed to throw a party while on the job, does some acid and tries to cook the baby in the oven, and the parents get all shocked and they probably fainted (but it was probably inaudible 'cause the parents both weighed a total of 2 pounds or something.) To make matters worse, the babysitter refuses to leave without getting paid!

4. Makin It (With Other Species)
Ah yes, a bestiality song. This is the fastest song on the record, and I think the title speaks for itself. It's pretty funny and offensive.

5. Mabel Rock
I absolutely love this one! It's about the actress, Mabel King, or something. But I like it for a lot of the same reasons I like "Glad I'm Not Yew", 'cept I actually heard this one first. I imagine listening to this if I was lost in some sort of wasteland on the way to the world's coolest punk rock concert during a sunny day at about 5:00 PM.

6. Theme Song
I really under-estimated this one. I first heard snippets of the first half of the song, and while it sounded humorous, I expected it to be no more than filler. I was wrong, though. I finally heard the full song on internet radio one night, and my mind was changed! Anyways, it's a song about Theo killing her old high school teacher. It starts out mid-tempo, but 1/3 through the song, it turns into a slow masterpiece, singing of feelings of no guilt for the killing. Probably the best and most emotional piece on the record. Also the end of Side 1.

7. Born 2 B Mild
This song starts Side 2! It's basically a song that denounces organized religion, with the band also singing about the joys of bein' in a rock n' roll band instead of a more confining lifestyle.

8. Pin Eye Woman 665
This is one of the less happy songs on the album, and revolves around the life of a prostitute who is also addicted to heroin, and even makes reference to a possible death from AIDS. But nonetheless, like the other songs on the album, it still totally rocks! The drum-solo in the middle is a nice touch, also.

9. Cookie-Core
This song is also known as "Cookie Moshter" on the single that it was released on in the same year as this album. But anyways, as you might have guessed, it's basically some sort of demented counting song featuring none other than COOKIE MONSTER! However, Theo gets the last laugh, when it turns out that despite offering some of the cookies, she got to eat them all, and thus, is great.

10. Octopussy
A bizzare love-song about a woman with eight arms (or maybe tentacles), and her love for her partner. I should listen to this when I finally get a girlfriend.

11. Sugar Luv
Starts out real slow, but then the speed picks up. This also released on their debut EP from 1989. I believe it might actually be another love song, too. But I think it's supposed to be about some dude who's made of candy or sugar or something like that.

12. Compilcation
This sawng is about something that must be really complicated, because they don't really have much else to say, here. But it's great for slam-dancing, I suspect. Theo's vocals are really strong, here. The song fades out, but then fades back in for a brief noisy finale. And that iz the end of Side 2 which means that it iz the end of the album.

If you like punk or hard rock in general, don't pass up this one! It's a great listen, as are all of the Lunachicks albums, but especially this one. I've also included some of the music videos that came out for songs on this album. Bye!



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