Cheap Dates Sinister

As the title suggests, this record is the digital pairing up of two vinyl EPs by a couple of groups of like-minded punk rock'n'roll zealots. Up front are everyone's favourite self-mutilating Virginians, the Candy Snatchers. All their tracks are as jolting, brief and as sweaty as a crack high. One big highlight is the lead off track, "This Is Rock and Roll," a cover of a song originally done by the Belgian band the Kids. Even though it's an old tune, it perfectly sums up the die-hard, balls-out philosophy of today's rock underground, which is that "rock and roll is fucking real" and that "it's my life till I die." The rest of the Snatcher's material is equally cool and snotty, sounding like a hyper mix of early Didjits, Humpers and Devil Dogs, as well as all the bands that influenced those bands (and so on). Up second are San Francisco's now-defunct Cheap Dates, which features one ex-member of the Rip Offs. The tempos are generally fast and the guitars are as distorted as the vocals are on these nine songs. The Cheap Dates aren't as catchy as the Rip Offs were, but they are tighter, as tracks like "Transfer" and "Blow My Fuse" sonically illustrate, with the bonus of real studio production bringing the usual No-Fi San Francisco sound up a notch. The slow groover, "Shortends," adds a touch of depth to the Cheap Dates sound, filling out their solid but inferior half of the CD. (Man’s Ruin)