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November 21, 2017


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The Weirdos
We Got The Neutron Bomb (Frontier Records)

By: Vinnie Apicella

The UK had the Pistols and The Damned, the U.S. had The Ramones and The Dolls, and the West Coast had Deadbeats, Germs and-- Weirdos! As in "The" Weirdos. Why separate them from the rest of the pack? Because they're from Holly-weird-- right? Yes, in spite of their pleas to the contrary, they were and are as extreme as Punk's ever meant to be. They began life in '77, the pin prick in the hand of mainstream convention, brandishing songs about teenage angst, defiance, rudeness, crudeness, independence, delivered with equal parts sloppiness, silliness, and sincerity in playing style that only furthered their following as true Punk devotees against the climes of corporate rock and dance music. Throughout their career, the band would become associated with what today would amount to an impressive roster of rotating rhythm section players which included names like Beefheart, Freese, and Flea among many others. The sound was an ill-conceived concoction of eeriness of Damned Damned Damned, the dampness of The Cramps, the wit of The Dickies, the pomposity of Spinal Tap, and somehow the resultant creation is pure listening satisfaction with a skull-cracking production.

"We Got The Neutron Bomb: Weird World -- Volume Two" follows up on '89s first volume, featuring a closet full of A-sides, B-sides, previously unreleased, never should've been released and various assorted rarities to bang your head, shake your head, scratch your head, and convulse to while the rest of the world stiffens with fear and finger pointing. There are sixteen tunes ranging from newest to oldest, covering '89s "Condor" featuring the trashy opening anthem, "Terrain," a tune that should be at the forefront of everyone's Punked-up vernacular, the windshield smashing insanity of "Cyclops Helicopter," and the previously unreleased "7&7 Is," originally done by a band called Love in the mid-60s that must have been rather resounding for its period. From the weirdness descends and descends, wobbling backward to the earliest recorded moments in '77 from the rehearsal studio, as with the previously unreleased "I Want What I Want" and "I'm Not Like You," both of which close this endearingly clunky collection in typically raucous fashion.

In between, fans and first timers alike are in for some hard-hitting obscurities, most of which seem to only make sense after downing a few and forcing yourself into a frothy-faced fixation. "What Will You Do?" and their covers of "Jungle Rock" and the torrid instrumental, "Fat Back" make highlight reel status the second and third go-rounds, all of which indicate a slowly building sloppy to streamline effect the further along they went. Still in all, the rancor and raw abandon with which they threw it all out there was matched by few others who'd shared a similar timeline; and their time was something cut entirely too short as the band disbanded only four years after they began.

The group rallied the troops in the late '80s to record the "Condor" LP, released their first "Weird" collection in '91, then took a thirteen year break. Now, featuring the core group of the Denney Bros. on guitar and vox, and Cliff Roman on guitar, having released this essential second phase collection of junk drawer treasures, they've resurfaced to tour again. And one can only wonder what they might conceive of in this day and age of nothing shocking and uncensored senselessness!

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