Indictable Insurrection - Criminal IQ Records

Criminal IQ Records

Indictable Insurrection - Criminal IQ Records


Should you see any of the leaders or even branches of their syndicate lurking around the underground of America or the UK, you are implored under all circumstances to approach them, but you must leave your inhibitions at the door or on the floor. The term ‘Punk Is Dead’ is a floor filled with petroleum just waiting for the hot sparks of Criminal IQ Records - an outlet for sources of brazen, life-challenging music.

The Functional Blackouts have unleashed a searing self-titled album – an incendiary release that manages to merge The Hellacopters, The Germs, The Troggs and Black Flag. The Functional Blackouts perfectly epitomise the raw and ready ethos of Criminal IQ on the bullet-ridden, guitar led ‘Mail Bomb’. Dropping titles like ‘Destroy Hollywood’, ‘Bombs Away’ and ‘Stamp Out Techno’, their manifesto is clear: to desecrate everything they disagree with. Elsewhere, The Blackouts contrast their frenetic fervour by implanting slow and churning atmospheric elements to elevate songs like ‘Bombs Away’ and ‘Coffin Cheater’ beyond the mono-lateral. It’s exactly this kind of approach that motivated John Peel to label their debut offering on Criminal IQ “a classic”.

Criminal IQ’s progressive leanings are fronted by another Chicago outfit: feisty all-girl marauders - the Manhandlers - whose brand of old school punk resurrects the brash glam fixations of the Ramones with their self-titled long player. The growling vocals of Syd Delicious screech out their salacious message on ‘Sleazy Dreams’ - rumbling percussion shakes the room and reminds you that the classic ‘two-minutes 30 second approach’ will never die. Shades of Be Your Own Pet help release the free spirit in all of us on ‘Make Out Bandit’. ‘Nobodies Girl’ harks back to late seventies rock and, along with ‘Payback’, perfectly illustrates the Manhandlers instrumental intensity: crushing percussion and frequency twisting guitars. The Manhandlers live shows are the stuff of legend, too. Enough to make a purist spontaneously combust!

‘Heart bearing rockers with a slight Emo twist’ is an apt way to introduce Vee Dee. Their ‘Fortune’ LP represents the closest to the mainstream that Criminal IQ are likely to tread. This trio of underdogs stand up to life and make it wince with their riotous guitar led attack and the Greg Gaffin tinged vocals of singer Nick. The Buzzcocks-skirting power punk of ‘TV Police’ is a proud and disillusioned exposure of modern society, illuminating Vee Dee’s cogency with aplomb. Dan propels a hint of evil through his chugging bass-lines on ‘Undertaker’, temporarily covering matters in darkness and drawing you into this trio’s challenging world. Around a year of gigging paved the way for this turmoil-tackling attempt at understanding the world that envelops Vee Dee. The hard work has paid off - and it truly shows in the potency they propel into tracks like the anger-ridden ‘Lie To You’ or ‘Blood Zombie’. A Vietnam theme is grappled with by the inclusion of two songs from an intriguing trilogy - ‘Kaleidoscope Death Ray’ and ‘Tet Midwest’ (referring to the Tet Offensive of 1968 in Vietnam). The triumvirate is ordinarily completed by ‘Chrome Rainbow’ - not featured here (but often utilised in their biting live shows) - & in many ways Vee Dee simply don’t want us to forget the past.

Instrumentally seismic punks The Krunchies are in your face from the first rumblings of their ferociously paced ‘Sobriety Anxiety’ (‘In De Winkel’ - LP). Pulsating paranoia emanates from singer/bassist Amanda during ‘Reaffirming My Hatred Through Failed Relationships’. Guitarist Kevin steps up to the mic to provide a sonic whip-lashing on ‘I Know’. A common theme on much of ‘In De Winkel’ is the way Kevin and Amanda’s vocals charge at each other like two Monster Trucks. Pure, unadulterated, bruising noise – but strangely pleasurable to boot.

Some pleasing Pennywise-esque roving turns up on ‘Futureshock’, the Pedestrians contribution to Criminal IQ’s roster. The tempo continues to build throughout - & even morphs close to hardcore territory by the album’s conclusion, ‘Model Citizen’/‘Annihilate’. Jordan’s boisterous vocals adequately maintain the pace throughout, whilst the crisp & crunchy guitar shapes make me want to march straight into the Pedestrians’ world of scything cynicism & shout, “Hey, pop kids, can I walk with you a while!”

Criminal IQ Records: an expansive independent label that possesses courage, conviction and determination in equal measure. Drop by & show them you care today. Tell ‘em Dave Adair sent you.

It’s comin’ up, it’s comin’ up, it’s comin’ up – it’s Adair!

good attitude

Dave Adair – tMx 25 – 06/06
Contact: - We're All Addicted To Something