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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Review: The Vindictives - Hypno-Punko

I guess The Vindictives are still around since they recently started a website that promises a whole lot of something to come. Their first single came out in 1991, a few years after Sloppy Seconds so you could say they were another junk rock band. The Automatics came years later and as I saw it they had their own genre. The lyrics were snotty, the sound hyperactive pop-punk and the vocals bratty and obnoxious like Jello Biafra without the post-nasal drip.

1995's compilation The Many Moods Of The Vindictives is a definite classic, filled with funny lyrics and hooks aplenty. Party Time For Assholes, an album of covers, came out the next year, and it pissed me off to no end that all the songs were on one track. I don't like practical jokes and like even less paying for the privilege. When Hypno-Punko came out in 1999 I passed because I felt the odd track list was another setup for disappointment. This morning was the first time I put on Hypno-Punko. I listened to the whole thing four times in a row and can state, with no equivocation:

Hypno-Punko is one of the greatest punk records of all time

Hypno-Punko is a rock opera dealing with Joey Vindictive's victorious fight against illnesses that almost killed him. It's a bit like Joey Ramone's Don't Worry About Me (released a year later) except it was written after the fact and Vindictive is still alive. I forget the exact details but a few years back Vindictive wrote a long explanation in a punk zine as to why he had to quit music for a while. Whatever disease he had was turning his insides to jelly, and he passed out while driving and suffered a horrible crash. I'm really glad he survived because the man's a freaking genius.

I think some of the "eh" reviews for Hypno-Punko would change if they knew the story is real. I won't analyze each song because I could for a long time, but there's so much greatness of so many types here you won't believe it's all in one package. The vibrating vocal harmonies on "I Will Not, Pt. 3" are pure freaking genius. The last track is 44:39 long and is a loop of the fadeout chorus from the track before it. It's hypnotic, punko and as catchy as "Row Row Row Your Boat". I made it 7:45 before turning it off.

I give very few records a score of 100. Leatherface's MUSH is one. The DK's Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables is another. I'm putting Hypno-Punko on that list. It's perfect.


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