Thursday, January 21, 2010

13 Soda Punks

Some people disdain re-visiting familiar ground but I consider it an essential part of a well-balanced breakfast. Hell,this site fired it's first shot in defense of pop-punk in general (and the Queer's album, Munki Brain in specific). So, these years later, MRML's still giving it up for pop-punk but where have all the comments gone? C'mon folks, I'm about to hork up a goodie here, a vintage pop-punk compilation not littered with filler, so don't be shy speak up!

13 Soda Punx was on Top Drawer, Sicko's (see here) short-lived record label. As a sort of backlash to the mid-nineties music glut where various artists compilation usually featured twenty to thirty bands, this succinct comp covers just thirteen bands in thirty-three minutes.

1) Kim Warnick (of The Fastbacks) and Vancouver's pop-punk masters Bum (see here) doing a cover of a Buck Cherry (the guy who wrote the seventies power-pop classic "Barabara" not the crappy hard rock band) song, "Strictly Confidential". Cool.

2) Yesterday, I tried to place Berkley pop-punk pioneer Dr. Frank in the history of what's often dismissed as novelty music, laying out his claim to be a successor to Roger Miller. Then today, listening to The Mr T Experience's "Hello Kitty Menendez" and catching all those curiously dated satirical references (Hello Kitty, The Menendez brothers, Wessoanality) and those fearlessly slithery rhymes ("They'll be non compis mentises/For all those Menendezes/and Menendezes' apprentices /and doctors and dentists") I realized Dr. Frank might be the rock n' roll Tom Lehrer. (If you didn't have parents who were professors or listen to Dr. Demento's radio show or watch the Electric Company, Tom Lehrer was a Harvard math professor who, back in the fifties and early sixties, self-released a series of viciously satirical records (all very D.I.Y.) featuring his "acceptable" piano-playing and his "so-called" voice.

3 "Pain in the Ass" from Seattle's Sicko, is choppy pop-punk whose melody sounds like something from the pen of the sadly departed Lance Hahn of J Church and Cringer.

4. Glengarry, Ontario's pride, The Stand GT show off their clanging brand of pop à la the Nils or Husker Du in "Corner Store".

5. Seattles' the Fastbacks followed the screwiest career trajectory in punk rock history but the quality of the tunes never dipped, as the soaring "I'm Cold" proves.

6. Canada's The Stupes garagabilly version of that old Jeston's tune "Eep Opp Ork" shows more spunk than the Dickies cover of the song.

7. Old Man's "History"is a tasty, raw slab of garage-punk from points unknown.

8. "Huevos Rancheros were like a Mexican version of the Ventures...but from Calgary." CallPastorBob.

9. Vancouver's Smugglers had a poppier, nerdier take on garage-rock that worked well for them.

10. Seattle's justly legendary The Young Fresh Fellows change gears a half dozen times in the 4:11 epic, "Bookstore".

11. Vancouver's Cub had their critical stock rise and then crash in the nineties but Lisa Marr was a gifted song-writer which she proved in many ways in the aughts, not the least of which was her unpredictable alliance with Joe Queer. (This campfire version of the slick "My Best Friend's Girl" is fun too.)

12. The Model Rockets were another example of the garagey-punk side of Seattle.

13. The Primate Five = Spagehtti surf.

13 Soda Punk CD


  1. Wow, I haven't heard this one in ages. These bands certainly made the 90s more fun. Thanks for posting.

  2. Wait a minute...

    Is the search function broke?

    This is the first time MRML has posted a cub song?!?

    And no mention of the term "cuddlecore", the sub-genre they helped define???

    Oh, Canaduh!

  3. Wow, don't remember seeing this one in its day, but these bands/tracks bring back a lot of memories!

  4. I'm from Spain, and I think Munster Records edited this one in Spain too. Good & fun record!! Thanks for sharing! Un saludo macanudo.

  5. Well if you're desperate, thank you.

    But really, I've had loads of stuff off this blog and never said it, so thanks.

    I don't say much but MRML too.


  6. such a great comp. awesome memories.

    i loved that we convinced the old timer at a local bar in glengarry to put it on the jukebox.

    my favourite track has got to be that fellows song...what a hook! there are so many great ones though. carl and ean from top drawer did a bang up job getting all of these bands committed. it's a sad shame the label didn't last much longer than soda punx.

    the vinyl for this came out on munster from spain. i think i still have a few copies in my basement.

    thanks for posting.


  7. YB
    MRML: Reminding you about the nineties forever!

    *turns slightly red"
    Um, I guess so. I think most of their material is still in print (I considered posting the first single so I could post the My Chinchilla video and tell my lame Cub stories. Someday...

    The Invalids
    Yeah the label went bankrupt (or whatever happens to micro-labels) aroudn this time. Too bad they showed great taste.

    Yet another notch for Spain and it's sterling taste in power-pop-punk. Someone's gonna have to explain to me how that phenomenon...

    You're welcome and thanks for taking the time to type.

  8. Chris
    Thanks for the tunes and for dropping by and leaving some words. I see you're offering some album offering d/l at pay-what-you-will; I'll put up a link

    I've been long planning posting the first three Stand GT singles (I just have to rip my vinyl). I'd include a link to you and some contextual blathering. But if that's a problem for you let me know.

  9. Their cover of "Killed by Death", is still available? I must find that!

    I've got a few cool/lame cub stories myself, and a crush on lisa g that just won't go away...

  10. Okay Bio this is your chance to do a guest post!

    Pick a single (singles are rarely a big deal) and do the write-up (Cub stories are always entertaining) and I'll post it.

  11. I'll post some Narduwar comps (and maybe the hardcore logo soundtracks) this week - it can slot in anywhere there. Let me know when you're ready!

  12. hey jeffen,

    would love to see those first stand gt singles on here!

    please do...

    (and let me know if you need any info, etc).


  13. Chris
    Alright, I'm excited (and so is biopunk who's been talking about those singles for awhile.)
    I've got someone scanning the artwork as we type but I gotta rip the vinyl myself because I only have mp3's of the first one. That might take awhile since my ripping skills are kinda limited. This kind of series always takes some time but it'll be worth it.
    I'll keep you posted.


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