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PHONE JERKS
S/T LP

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RAZORCAKE #9108 (US) January 2019 Like, technically, every time since the dawn of time, the heyday of Rip Off Records in the ’90s was a time unlike any other. Nerds lustily debated the relative merits of each release, poring over every nuance of chord progression, production technique, pose, dress, and typeface as if we were witnessing the birth of some new, shitty little galaxy. Perhaps we were. With this in mind, I find it telling that whenever I attempt to hold forth on the music contained within this unrepentantly Rip Off Recordsish record (I was thinking the Spastics when the drummer sings—kinda squeaky and explosive—and maybe the Canadian equivalent of early Registrators when she doesn’t), I always find myself drifting into tangential analysis of the album cover and band photo instead. Like, what does it mean when a rotary dial telephone is depicted on a garage punk album cover in 2018? What would it have meant in 1995? In 1977? Does the guy with the Gibson® look down on the guy with the Squier®? Does he know his socks say “Reebok?” Paradoxically, if you start thinking about this shit instead of the music, the record is, somehow, doing its job. While I doubt it can be argued that the ceiling for the amount of enhancement one can reasonably expect a record like this to visit upon one’s life is nowhere near as high as it was twenty or twenty-five years ago, this record is, clearly, perfectly good, and you can quote me on that. Now who wants to argue about the Dangerhouse T-shirt? BEST SONG “Slit Wrist Twist.” BEST SONG TITLE: “Violence Anarchy Baby Mother Daddy-O Dig,” which I am to understand is a cover. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Dude has a beard. –Rev. Nørb (Alien Snatch). (BS)

MRR (US) #426 NOV 2018 "Goddamn, this thing is delivered with a sense of urgency that I find infectious. Imagine bands like the RIP OFFS and TEENGENERATE. Everything about this is intense: the pace, the vocals, the lyrics, the guitar, the drums, the bass...I said “everything,” didn’t I? Did I stutter? I can’t wait to get my own copy. Excellent. (KK)

SORRY STATE (US) NOV 2018 Debut 12” from this Canadian band playing raw, hyperactive garage-punk in the tradition of bands like the Rip Offs and Teengenerate. While that’s the core of their sound—and they execute it well—there’s a lot more than just a genre exercise happening on this LP. All the songs are fast, raw, and in the same style, but changes in tempo, switching off vocalists, and dropping the occasional ripping guitar lead keeps things fresh from track to track. The lead-off, “Bitchiker,” is my favorite, its high-pitched, comically snotty vocals reminding me of the Nubs or the band Speed from the first Destroy All Art compilation. Aside from maybe Midnite Snaxxx (who are much poppier), there aren’t a ton of North American bands doing this 90s style of garage-punk, so if you’re a fan of the style you know what to do.

fasterandlouderblog.blogspot.com (USA) Sep 2018 WHAT?! Phone Jerks have released an album? On Alien Snatch Records?! One of my favorite bands put out a record on one of my all-time favorite labels, and nobody knew anything about it until a week ago?! Now that was a fiercely-guarded secret! Respect! Alien Snatch Records has been setting the standard for what a punk rock label ought to be for 20 years now. From assembling a roster including the likes of the Kidnappers, Real Losers, Fevers, Yum Yums, Minds, and Leg Hounds in its early 2000s heyday to releasing brilliant music by current-day bands such as Freak Genes and The #1s, Alien Snatch has remained a go-to for any fan of garage-punk and power pop. Moncton, New Brunswick's mighty Phone Jerks could not be a more fitting addition to the Alien Snatch family. Their debut LP hearkens back to countless beloved garage-punk LPs of the '90s and early 2000s. And I gotta tell you the thing is absolutely KILLER! Upon hearing "Nothing There", you just might find yourself convinced that The Rip Offs have gotten back together! Alien Snatch honcho Daniel has astutely pointed out that he could have released this album in any year of the label's history. These tunes are that timeless. Of course Phone Jerks sound like a band that could have been peers with Loli and the Chones, The Metros, Teengenerate, etc. Yet they also align perfectly with modern-day greats like Gino & The Goons and Sick Thoughts. This, my friends, is garage-punk the way it ought to be: trashy, lo-fi, and intentionally devoid of originality. Why are there not more bands like this in 2018?! Being four upstanding Canadians who value your hard-earned dollar, Phone Jerks have delivered almost entirely brand-new material for this debut album (along with covers of "Revolution" by Australia's X and "Violence, Anarchy, Baby, Mother, Daddy-O, Dig" by Newfoundland punk legends Da Slyme). No tracks from the Goodbye Boozy 7" have been repeated, and only two songs re-appear from the band's demo tape. The instant you dig into "Bitchiker", you will find yourself fondly recalling a time when every new Rip Off Records release was an event worth celebrating. And come on: how can an album that begins with a song about killing someone not be the best record of the year?! These songs are all so ripping and catchy and tremendously fun to listen to. This is an album that you just have to crank super loud. And half the fun of this record is going through it track by track and asking, "Who are they ripping off here?"! The fact that Phone Jerks have three different lead singers makes it all that much cooler. Emily, Tyler, and Brian each bring something unique to the table (and you know, they all seem intent on smashing that table). The production (kudos Dave Belliveau and James O'Toole!) is spot-on for what budget rock ought to be. You know how modern-day reviewers are so fond of using "crackling" as an adjective? This album is crackling. Literally. So why aren't there more bands like Phone Jerks in 2018? I don't know, but maybe there will be after their debut album makes the rounds! Canada is ahead of the curve as always (especially in Moncton, where they observe the Atlantic Time Zone). With me poised to name an Alien Snatch release album of the year, it sure feels like old times!(Josh Rutlegde)

gridcitymagazine.com (CAN) Sep 2018 For anyone who may have questioned the longevity of Phone Jerks and their overdriven brand of true-to-Moncton, audio defiance, the group’s self-titled full length debut affirms that band’s place among the city’s long line of impressive garage punk tinkers and peddlers. Spewing out some of the snottiest sounding, ’77 inspired rock and roll you may have ever heard ‘round these parts, Phone Jerks’ debut is a must-have. I’ll leave it at that.

SPANISH

mitocadiscosdual.blogspot.com (ES) Sep 2018 Si la semana pasara empezabamos la lista con un disco atronador de punk rock pues para esta uno más de los mismo. Brutal para quienes adoran el I'm Stranded de los Saints. Memorable VALORACION TRES ESTRELLAS!

1minutodegloriazine.com (ES) DEC 2018 Alien Snatch ha editado un LP de los Phone Jerks, su regreso después de uno de mis singles preferidos del año pasado. Esta vez han acabado de calcar el efecto de voz radio-hojalata típico de las grabaciones de Greg Lowery. La mayoría de las canciones las canta un tío, pero en mi humilde opinión molan más las que canta la batería con voz de pitufo, como en Supercharger cuando cantaba Karen. Todo muy copiado de Rip Off, pero lo que sea budget rock revival me parece bien.

GERMAN

OX #141 (GER) DECEMBER 2018: Yes, das ist der Sound der Rip-off-Neunziger und die PHONE JERKS hätten selbst die heißesten Hosenscheißer und Sacktreter dieser Ära ins Pissoir geboxt, was für ein ohrenbetäubender Krach, da kann man doch nur noch einmal an TEENGENERATE, SUPERCHARGER, meine herzallerliebsten REGISTRATORS oder die viel später und zu spät gekommenen DISSIMILARS erinnern, die ja auch mit Kochlöffeln auf dem Schlagzeug rumknüppelten und die Kunst der einsaitigen Gitarre mit anderthalb Akkorden bis zur Perfektion trieben. PHONE JERKS allerdings beherrschen nicht nur diese hohe Kunst des Schizo & Shake, sie beweisen durch die Auswahl ihrer Coverversionen von DA SLYME und X (Australien) auch noch einen exzellenten Riecher für die ursprüngliche DNA des heute als Schnorrer-Beat bekannten Phänomens Punk (ohne Rock). Noch dazu trägt einer von ihnen auch noch ein knapp sitzendes Schweißauffang-Hemd von Dangerhouse Records über seinem Bierbauch. Mehr politisches Bewusstsein verlange ich nicht! (9/10 - DK)

FRENCH

VOIX DE GARAGE DEC 2018 Punk Garage Punk Budget Rock (enfin pas complètement cradingue quand même, plutôt l’état d’esprit que le clicheton ultra lo-fi inaudible) un peu des Ramones des tout tout débuts. Pas mal de trucs façon Rip Off Rds mais là aussi sans les clichés. Je me dis même que ce quatuor canadien à peut-être pas mal écouté de trucs de chez Lookout Rds pour le côté mélodies jouées ultra vite mais en restant catchy. La voix de la batteuse sur certains titre en lead, souvent sous forme de cris, de chœurs ou de deuxième voix apporte beaucoup à l’ensemble. Et se marie tellement bien avec la voix éraillée mais mélodieuse et bien Punk’n’Roll du lead singer ! Ça chauffe sur les riffs aussi avec une belle connexion Punk 77 qui contribue à sortir cet album de la formule Garage Punk rapide. De même que certains emprunts au Rock’n’Roll 50’s. (BT)

CZECH

KIDS AND HEROS Dec 2018 Phone Jerks, nové jméno ve vydavatelské stáji Alien Snatch! Records, se vyloupli z kanadského New Brunswicku. Jejich první velká deska následuje po demu a sedmipalci, což je vlastne naprosto cítankove klasická story. Ctverice pózující na obalu v afektovaných pózách a tmavých brýlích servíruje syrový garage rocknroll plný klasických kytarových triku, prímocarých temp a navýsost iritujícího ženského zpevu, evokujícího navztekanou myš skucící do sedmdesát let starého telefonu. Což cloveka prvním poslechem možná vyvede z míry, ale zároven je to výrazná soucást šarmu kapely a pri druhém roztocení desky na gramofonu se nad daným již nepozastavuji. Navíc, co si budeme nalhávat, punk vždy mel být tak trochu iritující záležitost. Ženský hlas pomerne casto vystrídá ten mužský, intonací trochu pripomínající Angry Samoans, což napomáhá výraznému zpestrení jinak nekompromisní prímocaré rocknrollové jízdy. Hudebne Phone Jerks asi nejsilneji evokují garage punk kapely devadesátých let jako Rip Off, Zodiac Killers ci Teengenerate, prípadne své vrstevníky Sick Thoughts. Sdílejí zjevne stejné vlivy, používají stejné triky a mají adekvátne efektní kouzlo ve své prvoplánové neucesanosti. Živá energie navíc z každého tónu desky doslova stríká a clovek se s ní duchem ocitá pod pódiem v nejakém zakoureném klubu. Finální trešnickou na dort celé desky je desku uzavírající prevzatina z repertoáru kultem opredených australských X. Phone Jerks nabízejí nabuzený a syrový garage punk sršící energií jako z cítanky, nic víc a nic mín, ale to v dnešním svete unylých prefabrikátu není vubec málo. Alien Snatch! Records opet trefilo do cerného!

 

ITALIAN