Here's another plain sleeve printed single from the dudes over at Floridas Dying Records, this one off their Total Punk label offshoot from the great Personal and the Pizzas. I'm into that Ramones inspired harmony punk rock (I still need to use that coupon and go get a free slice from Mustache) and when I saw on their facebook page they were into approaching an album as a greatest hits compiled from their singles I knew their heart was in the right place. What I didn't realize is that according to the liner notes in this one, Personal is joined by gary with a circle around the A, who played everything on the B-side, and Personal sang. Where are the pizzas? Were there ever pizzas? Is that even a group of people? Does the guy just looooooove pizza?
None of these questions deserve an answer and that's exactly what I got from the A-Side with "Dead Meat", on this one personal plays the glam sounding punk distorted guitar, taking me back to that Bare Wires first album. Not lazy or sloppy in any way, but maybe a little laid back, mute the power chords....let's say confident at pop punk. It's a dead ringer for a long lost Ramones track, but with a grittier raspier vocal...oh and layered solos. You could also slow down Hunx and take away a little of the goofyness and get Personal. Take a single line, the title of the song, "Dead Meat" and come up with a classic melody for this single line. I can take punk like this that is right in line with those Last Laugh reissues, it's not about any kind of musical skill, just deciding to recraft the perfect late '70s punk song. It's melodic at the base level and stands out for being great because it's so accessible, like the 4-track home recorded movement, you feel like you could cover this easily, but to write it is another animal entirely.
The B-Side, "Joanie" is that softer ballad side of any punker, the acoustic riffs come in with an electric working on forcing a real tearjerker. Personal is still tough here, don't mistake the sincere sentiment for weakness, but maybe just maybe there's a hint that under that tough guy image he can get hurt once in a while....emotionally....only emotionally.
Personal is doing a major Joey homage here, the chorus tempo and melody even following "I wanna be your boyfriend", with plenty of backup ooooo's, and it's great. "I wanna be with Joanie", but Personal takes it to another level on the verse:
when I see you walking down the street / I just want to get on my knees and eat out you o-ohh ye-ea
so there's that...what a softy.
The best part of this side is the studio banter after the track, someone yelling shut the fuck up! and an early stripped down acoustic version of the song and then the sound of breaking glass, which according to the insert is courtesy of vitamin man. In this world where no one uses their real name anymore and leather, spikes and blades are part of the iconography, then I'm going to want to hear it, because there will always be a special place on the 7inches shelf for an attempt at the perfect, succinct, raw punk song from any decade, and this is better than just an attempt, it comes pretty damn close.....I'm talking they could be invading Jay territory in their level of execution and content.
Did I mention it was recorded in a basement?
Get it from Total Punk.
[TPR-01] SECOND PRESSING IN STOCK. Here it is, the first in a long line of fine Total punk slabs of wax to come. We decided to start things off with our favorite greasy wop toughs, Personal & The Pizzas. ‘Dead Meat’ is a Dictators style fist pumper with Stiv whispers, chain solos, and chants abound. And it’s all about pulverizing creeps. On the B-side we get ‘Joanie’, a punk ballad about stalking some lucky lady in hopes of fellating her that would make Joey proud. 600 pressed. All hand stamped and all Totally punk. Up next: Midnite Snaxxx, The Sleaze, and Outdoorsmen.