Review Summary: Bad medicine
Tucson, AZ: One of the hottest sun-scorched cities of the US and birthplace of Linda Ronstadt, whatshername from ‘I Dream of Jeanie’, and The Knockout Pills. Their debut album is a hellraising ruckus of sleek, sharp, two-guitar garage punk, tighter than Dolly’s facelift. At a time when many bands playing this style were banging out drunken four-chord piano-bonking Oblivians impersonations (which were great, of course), these guys dished up sassy two-minute blasters peppered with infectious guitar jangles, crashing surf-style drums and vocal ooohs and ahhs much better than anyone required.
From the first listen, it’s obvious that these guys have been around awhile, likely playing in bands nobody’s ever heard. But take a listen to those lightning chord changes and that whip-smart chorus of “Twist Twist, Slit Your Wrists” and it’s obvious these aren’t naïve teens discovering punk rock for the first time. It’s a 60s-tinted Ramones-style shake break of epic proportions - but get it while it’s hot because two minutes go by and it’s gone.
Drummer is none other than the very un-rock ‘n roll sounding Gerard Schumacher, who should be a household name (I mean, he was in the Weird Lovemakers for cryin’ out loud!) but sadly isn’t. But observe the inferno of cymbal abuse that is “Here Comes the Legend”, the crashes are almost distracting enough to keep us from noticing the Wayne Kramer-inspired bends and shakes in solos that shake yer feeble cranium into submission. Almost.
Groove…songwriting….hooks for miles. Someone would say they’ve ticked all the boxes. That someone would be me, I mean... I
would be the someone saying that the Knockout Pills played punk rock for garage rock crowds...myself.
See, it's about words
when you review a record, people. Why is there a dog barking in the background of "Trust Fund Rock"？ Is “Only Echoes” better than the Hot Snakes’ masterpiece, "Gar Forgets His Insulin"？ If not, it’s pretty damned close. Anyway - why am I asking you？
The important question is....whatever happened to the Knockout Pills？ Do they still put pictures on the backs of milk cartons？ Seek 'em out, compadres.