Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bitchin' on Scene Police Records

I pulled this oldie single out from the pile on top of the speaker...This is one of the ones my friend Amy gave me after a show and they're a nice high school era reminder of 7" days gone by. Bitchin' on Scene Police Records (RIP) is no exception.

This side (that's literally the name) is the "Bitchin' Anthem", right away they make this whole single sound really fun, they rock this tough punk style, and then you pay attention to the lyrics and hear that second harmony...it can't be so bad ass. They aren't going to hate you for liking them are they? With all these lyrics about switchblades... they even get a little speed metal right in the beginning. They've got the energy... it's pop... almost hardcore at times. Caroline and Kobi have great vocals together on all these tracks, I could imagine this being a perfect complement to Sleater Kinney, they're bridging that gap between the serious and party band and that grunge and hardcore worlds.
There's something about this era's lack of agenda. I'm probably making it up...everyone has an agenda, but I have to think there's nothing more pure, nothing coming from a better pace than 300 copies of any single in 2000. It's really straight ahead, anti-scene, cleanly produced rock.

If it's Bitchin' it must be alright

The legal size insert/poster is an amazing mini-zine document...apparently out of the mass of liner notes someone called them bitchin' one night after a show and that just had to be the band name.

That side's first track called "Phonics" is about a misunderstanding and the kicker line 'this fucked up town' has me completely on board in that nostalgic way. You can hear the alienation and this might be Caroline? (I'm pointlessly trying to work out who's who) ...slightly sweeter vocals.
Did I mention Bitchin' was from Gainesville, FL?. Well, there's no fun or sun in this sound, it's anti-everything I imagine this area would be if you weren't looking for it. 11 years later it ends up foreshadowing a pre-strike against that Best Coast surf sound, that seems to have given in to that kind of airheaded scene.
By circumstance they existed in this place and made the most out of their influences, their place at that time in history.
This whole side also has this deep low end sound that isn't 90's and it isn't contemporary, the only date I could find on this was 2000 ...barely online, no youtube...and that begs the bigger more mysterious question...what the hell was this German label doing in Gainesville?

There's some subtle musical changes here but it's mostly happy with the crunchy guitar at high speed and that back and forth singing. It's not yelling as much as it is just this powerful vocal style, like Mia Zapata or Bikini Kill. But they still show their cute roots on that insert...the dice, stars, comic illustrations of cans of beer. They want to be included and even start the good time.
It's even punchy sort of grunge, this would have made perfect sense on the other side of the country maybe a few years earlier.
Was that Seattle gold rush so ridiculous? Think about what was going on before it...ask me to pick the lesser of two evils and I say bring on the next grunge band. The underlying concept still stands up: get rid of all the pretenses and play drone ridden cock rock in your shittiest long underwear and plaid shirt.
Bitchin' is the classic trinity of guitar, bass and drums...the songs revolve around the guitar distortion and then celibrate that everyday kind of blue collar scene.

This one was on the Scene Police label, which looks to be long gone. This note above the paypal button doesn't make me want to order, but hey you might win the lottery.

To all the people who actually believed in us, thank you for all your support and to those who didn’t especially some dumbasses in Sweden, who even after long talks would threaten to beat me up (hahahahahha) can go and kiss my sweet behind! To all the people we still owe some money to, please be patient, I am working double shifts to get you the money! And to all you mailorder-customers, thanx again, and maybe one last time, before scenepolice.de will be gone forever, buy some records! I don’t really wanna go to jail!

Better get it from Insound who has a copy for $2! And on red vinyl!

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