REO Speedealer

You can tune a piano, but you can't call your band "REO Speedealer" without getting a "cease and desist" order. In retrospect, that probably seems pretty obvious.
*special introductory paragraph!
*REO Speedealer
*Here Comes Death
*Second Sight

One fine day, I received an email message in my email message box from a young man who said thus unto me:

Greetings, Sir Prindle. I do so enjoy your fine writing, and I am happy to see that you are a respecter of the works of poets such as Motorhead, AC/DC and The Ramones. However, I am perplexed, puzzled if you will, regarding the lack of two like-minded bands on your fine establishment. These bands include (A) Nashville Pussy and (B) REO Speedealer. Please consider my request and do have a fine day. Yours, William Shakespeare."

I haven't managed to secure the entire Nashville Pussy discography for a decent barter (nor any other pussy either, if I might make a ribald suggestion at your humor and patience), but one day at Ye Olde HMV, I hap't across two scrolls by these fine minstrels REO Speedealer (or, as they later called themselves, simply Speedealer). Certainly I agree that the works on the surface resembled those of my favorite clergymen. It's loud. It's fast. It's even heavy. Howe'er, deep beneath the surface, there lies great darkness in the heart of a man. In Speedealer's case, though, it isn't so much darkness as lack of talent. They posess energy and a volume knob, but they also appear to harbor in their weak young souls an infuriating inability to write a chord progression that hasn't already been played to death by five billion other punk/metal minstrels..

I have been dictating this letter to myself in a haughty British accent, with the sides of my mouth curled downward. Might I suggest that you read it again, doing the same thing?

Actually, I should probably also tell you that my jaw locked in place during the dictation and now I can only eat liquid food through a straw in my ear.

REO Speedealer - Royalty 1998
Rating = 7

Texas-based James Hull today informed me that this band actually has THREE CDs out - apparently they put one out BEFORE this one that was also called REO Speedealer and had two babies kissing on the cover? But it's not listed anywhere on their web site so maybe they've disowned it or some such. Either way, this CD! The guitars are mixed superassloud, the angry, twangy singer is screaming himself hoarse and the band is playing high-speed hardcore and punk rock with little bits of Southern Rock thrown in every once in a while (bent notes and twiggly solos), for an overall effect like a Rebel Motorhead! Which is probably exactly what they were going for (the singer even says "Ace of Spades" during "Ain't Fuckin' Around!")!

It works. Regardless of the uninnovative chord sequences (I've never heard so many chord sequences I've heard before! Don't stare too long at that logic), it's just such an in-your- face, fun, beer-drinking, ass-kicking album, a guy would have to dislike the American heartland to hate it. And yes, it's true that I grew up in the South and disown it as a bunch of disgusting redneck assholes (it ISN'T, by the way. Just certain rural areas are a little creepy. My main gripe with the South is the HUMIDITY!!! Luckily I now live in NYC, where it still gets humid, but it's a DRY humidity.), but you have to understand - these guys play really fast! So it all evens out!!?!? Yes! Because they entitled their songs such unradio-friendly things as "Double Clutchin' Finger Fuckin'," "Pussy," "Pig Fucker" and "Crank Bait"!

Produced by Daniel Rey, the album rocks like it needs to rock - and all 15 songs are over before the 20-minute mark, so you still have time to enjoy the latest Toto album!

Reader Comments
The first time I throw this one on, I get blown away. I actually paused NHL 2002 to listen more intently to this wonderful racket wafting e'er so gently from my speakers, something which doesn't even happen with the Ramones! THE RAMONES, for Christ's sake! I mean, I love Zeke and the Supersuckers, so a cross between the two would be divine, correct?

Well, no, not really. If I had written this response after the first listen, I would be screaming 10, 10, 10, 10 at the top of my lungs as I typed. After the second listen, though, I noticed something: Not only is Mark accurate in pegging many of these riffs as recycled from other groups, but also, a lot of them are fairly boring, or they flat out suck. (Like the ones with open-string trilling. Give it a fucking rest already. One song was one too much, so three is definitely overkill, and not that awesome Zeke song "Overkill," either.)

Interestingly enough, "Screamer" and "Nothing At All" were on the soundtrack for the orignial Tony Hawk's Pro Skater. Videogame dorks (like myself, sadly) know that the only good song on that game was "Police Truck," though.

At this point, (bordering on 10 listens) the only song I truly love is "Cocaine Dave." I don't agree with the seven, but Mark did hear this one before vintage Zeke, (Super Sound Racing & Flat Tracker) so he might rate this one a bit lower now. I say it gets a six, and I'll stick with Zeke and the Supersuckers, thank you very much.

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Here Comes Death - Royalty 1999
Rating = 5

Let me tell you a funny story about something that happened to me this morning. And keep in mind that all my stories are true, so this really did happen.

So I'm flying the Space Shuttle around and all of a sudden this big alien

So here's my idea because I'm so smart. I'm gonna take my band that can't write any chord progressions that haven't been used by a million punk and metal bands before and whose only redeeming quality is its speed and intensity, and I'm gonna slow em WAAAAY down on half of the songs. And get this - we're not gonna be any good!

Okay, that was mean. But can I help it if the lead singer of Speedealer keeps yanking the keyboard out of my hands? (And the needle out of my arm?). This CD is 37 minutes long and it only has 17 songs. I think that pretty much states my case right there. Too much plodding, pounding, slow boring metal garbage. Is it bloozy? Not really, no! Just a lot slower, blander and unreasoningtoexisty than Motorhead could ever be. That long-winded complaint out of the way, let me add that the fast ones still KICK ASS!!!! "Tweeked"? YIKES! I can't even HEAR that fast, let alone PLAY that fast! "You Lose, I Win"? We ALL win when this number climbs up the charts thanks to the endless support of Alan Freed! "Washed Up"? Only when you play SLOW, Jive Turkey! This song is FAST, Jive Turkey, so you don't sound "washed up" at all, Former Uncle Hurkey!

I really did use to have an uncle named Hurkey. You'll never believe this, right? This will come as quite a shock -- he was a redneck! Wow!

Speaking of which, none of these song titles have cuss words. The tit's up with that?

Reader Comments
What the fuck. To be fair, this is technically 16 songs, 30 minutes, if you don't count the finale, a seven minute noise epic that is mostly one-riff, plus feedback. (It chugs cock. Go figure.)

That doesn't mean the rest of the album is any good, though. Sweet fucking Jesus, this album really sucks. "CCCP (Cold War Blues)" is like the coolest idea for a song ever, and it's terrible. Shitty riff, repeated over and over and over and over until it makes you want bang your head against a brick until you pass out, and not in a good way, either. So what if it has a 6/4 beat or whatever. Yes, "You Lose I Win," "Washed Up" and a few of the other fast ones are decent, but that's just because of their surrounding songs. On the debut, they would suck.

This is what I call the "NOFX Effect." See, if you listen to a NOFX album, like, say, White Trash, Two Heebs and a Bean, you might say "Hey, that 'Stickin In My Eye' is a damn fine song. Same with that 'Liza & Louise,' and a few others."

But they're not. They're mediocre at best, but when you stick them on an album with a GODDAMN JAZZ COVER OF A MINOR THREAT SONG (Straight Edge) THEY SEEM A LOT BETTER THAN THEY ACTUALLY ARE! Same with Speedealer. Same with a lot of bands.

"Tweeked" fucking rocks just as hard as "Cocaine Dave," though. I say three, and that's fucking generous. If I wanted slow, plodding riffs from a newer band I'd throw on High On Fire. Definitely not this, though. Good God. (Eric B)
i wish you had reviewed REO speedwagon.

you can tune a piano but you can't fuck nina simone because she's a fucking picky bitch.

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Second Sight - Palm Pictures 2002
Rating = 6

I've got the fatigues. My body is forty-five pounds heavier than it was yesterday, my eyelids are threatening to forfeit my career, and my right brain is just sending up little spurts of drool. In short, I'm Brian Wilson!

No, come on - I kid the schizophrenic! They LOVE me! But it's true - I do have the fatigues. And I don't mean them fancy Army duds that them fancy Army dudes wear while taking them fancy Army dudeys (SHITS). I mean being TIRED. I had to get up at like zero o'clock this morning to make it to an 8 AM conference in midtown, after being up making love for half the night (rounded up to the nearest half). But who am I kidding? Like you, the members of Texas bad boys Speedealer, really care about my fatigues. All you want to know is what I think of your latest, greatest compact disc (aside from the one you put out after this). My answer follows.

Great heavy hard guitar tone, singer sounding pretty AmRepish (like a tough MAN instead of a redneck boy). A real headbanger of an album, with lots of punk speed and Metallica headbanging speed/thrash material -- in fact, some say it was produced by Voivod's very own Jason Newsted, of Flotsam & Jetsam fame! The Speed Dealers still foolishly insert lots of slow plodding bits into the otherwise ass-kicking rockers, but on the whole, the songs are much more revvin' to go than on the last record. Granted, the riffs are still dumb and obvious, but you can't expect a band to write decent songs; that's simply asking too much of a band.

Leaving the '70s back where they belong (in the '40s), Second Sight updates Speedealer's casa de pepe to resemble EIGHTIES hard rock mixed with EIGHTIES thrash and bits of EEIGHTEIS punk. My personal favorite tracks, and thus the factually best songs on the record, are the title track (high-speed thrash stutter-stutter intro into headbanging midperiod Metallica), "All The Things You'll Never Be" (Dayglo Abortions-style fast note thrash) and "Blinded" (almost blastbeat-speed chunky screaming hardcore with a hard rock chorus. Short enough not to get tiresome). Other notable tracks incorporate dark intelligent Nazareth-style guitar hooks, Oi! singalongs, Tar-style midtempo blast rock, and a part that rips off "Only Women Bleed" -- all intermingled with mosh-speed metal riffs you've written yourself, dozens and dozens of times. In short, the band sounds too dumb to get higher than a 6, but they kick too much ass to get lower than a 6. Therefore, I award them a

So you see, even with the fatigues, I was able to sit down and compose a fine wine of a record review, with overwhelming richness and perfect complexity -- a veritable 100 on the Parker scale! Its aroma and taste may have seemed strange to you at first, but these qualities are a typical property of the Prindle region and grape variety. Sure, folks will complain about my coarseness, vinegar flavor and sick odor every once in a while, and it's true that most of the time I do smell and taste of filter pads, rotten eggs and old socks. But this constant argument that I'm completely unbalanced and combined with off-tastes that make my aroma a disaster -- that's just mean!

Reader Comments
I loved the first one, I bought it in NYC when I read a review of it in the NY Press. It kicks azz. So I moved to Delawhere? and saw the CD "second sight" in my local RECORD PAIL/ Bucket. and bought it cause it was produced by Jason Newsted- purveyor of wholesome goodness. I didn't even think it was the same band, didn't sound like them, looking at both CD covers, none of the names were the same, AND it SUCKED! So... Im still not sure, is it the same band?

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Bleed - Dead Teenager 2003
Rating = 8

When I was a child, I tried my best to play baseball well and make my father proud. But I was afraid of the ball. Why wouldn't I be afraid of it, since it BLINDED my father in one eye when he was in college? At any rate, I had a knack for starting off the season with a couple good games and then immediately falling into a slump wherein I'd walk, hit a choppy grounder to the shortstop or simply whiff every time up for the next seven or so games. My father's constant looks and shouts of disgust - at one point leading him to leave my game before it was even over! - had quite a scarring impact on my still-growing psyche. And now you too can be scarred - by ROCK!!!! Yes, this Speedealer CD is their hardest, fastest and hookiest yet, full of blistering BRUTAL punk rock (think Poison Idea) mixed with '70s hard rock licks (think Black Oak Arkansas) and a hoarsely screaming singer ready to POUND YOUR FUCKING FACE IN!!!!

Unstoppably ter-'RIFF'-ic speedy punk rock songs like "Come On And Kill Me," "Gone" and "Wasted" will have you shaking your fist with a mindless smile on your headbanging face, just as I likely did during my early years hanging out with Kathy from down the street. We spent the first several mischievous years of our life hanging out, listening to the Beatles, playing video games, and eventually even tentatively exploring our innocent sexuality before changing priorities, friends and interests splintered our friendship apart. Years later, when she was married with a child, living in a trailer park, and (so I'd heard) using drugs, my mother told me that Kathy had expressed interest in hearing from me again, a good 8 or 9 years since we'd parted ways. Fearing that she simply wanted to borrow money for drugs (a ridiculous assumption, but I was young and afraid of everything), I didn't call her. About six months later, Kathy unexpectedly died after lying down for a nap. She hadn't used drugs for a long time; she simply had some sort of heart defect. I should have called her. Talk about not saying "Come On And Kill Me," but suddenly being "Gone" too soon and finding all efforts at resuscitation "Wasted"! This album will KICK YOUR ASS!!!!

Likewise, a girlfriend I had in college had some psychological problems and become so stuck within herself that I angrily broke up with her four months into our relationship. I continued to hang out with her every couple weeks because I missed her and hoped that she would eventually get better. Finally, about a year after this, I got a new girlfriend who asked me to stop spending time with my ex since it always just depressed me anyway. I agreed that she was right and stopped calling the old ex. Probably three weeks later, my ex was brutally raped at knifepoint in her own apartment. I never called to see how she was, and spoke to her only very briefly probably six months later. I've since tried to find her through google, but it's almost as if she's wiped herself off the face of the planet. And you too will want to FUCKIN' KILL YOURSELF when you're rockin' out to masterful hard rock anthems like "Choked," (like the rapist did to my ex!) "Rise Up (And Fall)," (like my ex did while trying to fight off her attacker on the steps!), and "Tomorrow" (what my ex probably never thought she'd see again!). This album is an instant brutal punk classic!

Granted, it's a very low 8 because "When The Demon Is At Your Door" and "The Inventor Of Evil" are flaccid, and the title track and "All Night Long" just flat-out SUCK, kinda like when my girlfriend used to try to flat-out SUCK me off 'all night long' so I could get an erection, but I stayed 'flaccid' because of 'the demon at my door' -- my obsessive-compulsive/anxiety disorder. There were many, many times during this excruciatingly long (and recurring) living nightmare when I was convinced that suicide was the only way out. Eventually, after being called a 'coward,' 'not a real man' and 'fucking worthless asshole' enough times, I stopped lying about the problem ("Oh, I'm just tired tonight." "Oh, I wasn't really in the mood.") and agreed to seek therapy and start medication. And thank goodness for 'The Inventor of Prozac' because it worked like gangbusters for nine months and got me back on my feet. Then suddenly it stopped working, so I switched to something else, something else, and something else, saw three different psychologists and a cognitive therapist, started drinking, adopted a puppy, and have basically been doing pretty well for the past five years (with a few minor panic attacks here and there). And you too will feel like a pathetic impotent coward when this CD ROCKS YOUR ASS OFF!!!

So don't miss out on Speedealer's most consistent and arse-kicking release yet! I still can't pee in front of anyone but my wife, but urinals were only invented so gay people could look at each others' dicks anyway.

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