Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Cartoons on Last Laugh Records

They just don't make band names like they used to. This reissue from The Cartoons, a punk group out of Yonkers who existed for a couple of years, from 80 - '82, were just around long enough to get this single together with a couple of tracks and open for Joan Jett and the Go Go's in their brief existence. So why not have a ridiculous, throwaway, meaningless name? That's half punk in itself. I love the story of how liquor store got their name and I'd bet they would have considered the Cartoons if it wasn't already taken.

A-Side "She's a Rock and Roller" - You wouldn't expect this heavy guitar to come crawling out of the A side here with this nice drawing of a brick wall and the name 'cartoons' written on it. But then this time machine ride I keep getting in on with Last Laugh Records is always weird and unexpected. Here's the roots to this garage stuff, you can hear the shitty stand up video games and blown out hairstyles, roller rinks and snottily calling this girl a rock and roller. Joey has this high almost metal sounding delivery, a born front man. As for the rest, there's just nothing like these old guitar tones, was it the pedals, the cabinets, the budget recordings? Impossible to reproduce that's about all we know. Sounding a lot like the Sex Pistols, "Problem" track. But this uses metal heavy chords dropping out as the higher nasal vocal gives them a run with his own perfected quiver and sneer. The rest of the group echo's the feeling with weird vocal stop and starts. Back and forth the band repeats that title lyric and Joey explains in detail what he means. No kind of relationship with the person he's singing about, just setting the scene from afar, its what she is, that's it. The end.
AA Side "Who cares" has a low end bass and kick that gets pretty thunderous, a great beefy bottom to this snot and squeal guitar, but the back and forth from Joey and everyone else is the key to their sound, when he gets up there and sounds real pissed they balance the over the top theatrical side of this, keeping it squarely into bubblegum punk. Someone is in jail and no one cares. This side might even be better hence the AA? Or there's no b-side I guess. A little rowdier maybe more of their goofy fun loving side, but mostly tough and fairly english slanted going way back to that wanker toss off era. Except it was already the early eighties? Collector scum says this might have been a promo/novelty single for a hair salon? Ha.

Pick this reissue up from Last Laugh Records,

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