Oi! Oi! Pop rock!
*special introductory paragraph!
*Lisa Carol Freemont cassette
*Twister cassette
*Fuck Pussy Galore (And All Her Friends)
*Malcolm X Park
*Kustom Karnal Blackxploitation
*Yes She Is My Skinhead Girl 7"
*A Factory Record 7"
*Isabel Bishop EP
*Bavarian Mods 7"
*Perfect Teeth
*Cath Carroll 7"
*Cath Carroll EP
*"Mod Fuck Explosion" Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (with Karyo Tengoku)
*Animal Park 7"
*B.P.M. [1991-1994]
Washington D.C. spawned an awful lot of great little kid punk bands, but Mark Robinson, I suppose, was a little too young to grab ahold of that dream, opting instead to pillage the basement of pop culture, tossing out ironic little hard rock melodies and "Weird Al"-ish musical parody, laughing all the way to my bank in the process. Clearly obsessed with darling melody from the get up and go, his initial faults were a fondness for dicking around too much and a horrendously messy recording technique (probably due to a lack of funds on somebody's part). Luckily, by 1992's Imperial, he had discovered the wonders of clear production and, as such, his fondness for dicking around came across more like "art" than "shit," which is always a nice thing.

Some folx will argue that, like The Replacements, Unrest were at their best when they were joking around and refusing to take music seriously, but I disagree. Unrest began as a messy diversion and grew into a sparkling celebration of guitar poptone beauty. Then, right there at the pinnacle of their career, they broke up!!! Or, rather, Mark decided to show longtime drummer Phil Krauth the respect he deserved by retiring the band moniker when Philly decided to call it a career. Robinson went on to Flin Flon, Air Miami and several solo CDs.

Lisa Carol Freemont cassette - Teen Beat 1985
Rating = 6

Unrestibules in your vestibules! This band began their career with several cassette-only homemade releases that are now impossible to find. But worry not - if the two I recently procured are any indication, they were just little kids and their music was a rotten egg.

But first, let's talk about me. I feel incredibly negative right now. It's Friday but I'm irritated that my client just sent over information for two new press releases to be written, the 'let me in' button at my new workplace emits an ear-splitting "ANNNNNNNNNHHHHHHHH!!!!!" buzz whenever somebody presses it, I've got a headache, and I don't think that listening to Cephalic Carnage followed by Celtic Frost is helping matters. Also I'm wasting too much time on this message board I frequent, I can't find anything good on ebay to bid on, and I just read my Unrest page for the first time in several years and discovered it's a complete piece of shit. Furthermore, every time I look at the first four words of this record review we've just begun, a vein in my forehead starts pulsing. What an ugly, unpleasant word (and fake word) I used in that introductory exclamation. As you can see, the Holocaust was a nice comfy pillow compared to my many troubles.

To be fair, I don't even know that I have the correct version of this tape. All I have is an MP3 file called 'Unrest - Lisa Carol Freemont' that a good buddy pulled off one of those 'file-sharing' networks (Atari 2600, Odyssey II, etc) and sent to me. As I can't find a track listing for the *actual* cassette anywhere online, this could be Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band for all I know.

The song listing of my MP3 copy is as follows: "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"/"With A Little Help From My - HA! I'M JUST KIDDING! SEE??? WE CAN STILL ALL LAUGH AND JOKE TOGETHER EVEN THOUGH YOU'VE GOT BIRD VIRUS FLU! (stay behind the fortified metal wall i have gun)


Seven of the first eight tracks are now available on the commercially released Fuck Pussy Galore And All Her Friends CD compilation, shittily reviewed below. But what they don't tell you is that those seven are pretty much the only good songs on the entire Lisa Carol Freemont disaster. The rest is just a bunch of home-taped fucking around! I have scientifically broken down the tape's 20 tracks into the following components: 13 instrumentals (or near-instrumentals), 2 'songs' composed entirely of dialogue recorded off the TV, 1 cover, 1 old thrash song, and 3 fully-composed songs. Interestingly, the third fully-composed song was NOT included on Fuck Pussy; the wistful minor-key "Time" is a bit messy in execution but otherwise it's a nice little song! It's a shame they never gave it another go, as the too-loud vocals pretty much do ruin it in this particular recording.

Do you like albums that are entirely comprised of filler tracks written four minutes before they were recorded? Then Lisa Carol Freemont is the cassette for you! Hear the intro to the Beatles' American Help! album as performed by the band that *actually* performed it on the original album! Hear a bunch of old news clips about Iwo Jima! Hear a Lynyrd Skynyrd cover performed on a guitar that theoretically could have been tuned without much effort! Hear an ass-kicking Ramones punk riff (for about 4 seconds before the drums drown out every other instrument for the remainder of the song)! Hear samples of foreigners talking! Hear amateurish doodly melodies that stick around for up to six minutes or more! And best of all,

Reader Comments

Hey Mark, I think there's an HTML error in your new Unrest review. It cuts off right after "And best of all,"

Dave - I noticed that too. That's really not like Mark. He usually completes all his reviews. I hope he's okay and that nothing has happened.


My initial reaction was to wonder how Mark could have given this tape a 6 while only giving It's Hard a 3, but the more I look at that incomplete final sentence, the more worried I get. I really don't like this at all. You don't think he died, do you?

He's obviously dead - otherwise he would've completed that last sentence. This is terrible. He should change his name to "Mark Deadle".

I am very saddened by this. In tribute to the late, great Mark Prindle, I'd like to present a list of my favorite albums:

1. Bob Dylan - Blonde On Blonde
2. The Who - Who's Next
3. The Beatles - Revolver
4. The Rolling Stones - Sticky Fingers
5. Marvin Gaye - What's Going On
6. Bob Dylan - Highway 61 Revisited
7. Bruce Springsteen - Born To Run
8. The Rolling Stones - Let It Bleed
9. The Beatles - Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band
10. Bruce Springsteen - The Wild, The Innocent And The E Street Shuffle

I hear there's going to be a memorial service in NYC right after New Year's. I'll keep everyone posted.

I would have loved to know what the best part of Lisa Carol Freemont was. Couldn't he have held off on dying just a few seconds longer? What an asshole.

Well there's been much said about his silly reviews but what the hey I'll throw in my opinion.

1. If he hated Sonic Youth (because it's not the kind of music he enjoyed) why write so many reviews. I mean I hate Rap music but do you see me writeing 'bout how bad it is? - You don't.

2. Now that he's dead, he smells/looks like a piece of shit

3. The pity about idiots like him is that his parents should have been Jews in The Third Reich but weren't.

Final Word: I hope he died of cancer and that everyone he cares about also dies of cancer (soon as possible). Go listen to the Low-Maintenance Perennials and cry your heart out how bad it is that Mark died so young and with him all modern rock music. You little pussies go cut you dick off and wear a pink skirt.

But there's still a slim (thinner than you dick!!) chance to save your soul. Stop reading Mark's Reviews and let someone else write his opinion. I hope hes burn in hell and that his family suffers for all eternaty. He was a fucking idiot piece of shit cocksucking man prefering all american kommunist nazi Bush voter idiot assliker. Right before he died, I hope he looked in the mirror naked, turned around, and realized it was his ass!

I sincerlly hope I could express my hate to his spirit exectly like I wanted to!

Please have killed yourself, Mark. But to confice you that I'm a nice person I will also accept if you got yourself nudderd. I'm just glad you'll never have children. And if you did I kill them for you.

Somebody should really tell "Fart Letters" that that dude in Sonic Youth is jewish.

Add your thoughts?

Twister cassette - Teen Beat 1988
Rating = 4

2024 UPDATE: It turns out I only had half of the cassette when I reviewed it. I just listened to the other half and it's not much better, honestly. Maybe I'd raise the grade to a 5? Also, I just learned that it includes recordings made from 1983 to 1988, which explains my confusion in the first paragraph. At any rate, here is the original review:

Stinker. Again, who knows if I have the correct song order, but here's mine: GREEN/COMMUNIST TART/GIVE ME YR EYES/OK/BREATHE IN/DAGO RISING/OBLITERATION/GUSTAVE/SIDE ONE OUTRO/SWEET WAKEFIELD/OILY/RAGGED (NKD T)/MIDNIGHT FOR TWO/HEADRINGER. The first and last songs are clearly from a much later time period than the rest of the songs (which sound like Unrest were about 12 years old), so they might not actually be on the original tape at all. Even odder is that this tape apparently dates from 1988, yet their voices sound even younger than on Lisa Carol Freemont, which supposedly came out three years earlier. Were they aging backwards like Robin Williams of Mork And Mindy fame? I apologize if you're unfamiliar with this flash-in-the-pan TV comedy actor of yesteryear.

I would be surprised to learn that any of the band members put even 5 ounces of elbow grease into this worthless endeavor, the entire 31 minutes of which boils down to a bunch of amateurish noisemaking, playing other peoples' records and talking over them, and performing quarter-written guitar jangles while saying unfunny things in 'wacky' voices. The few and far between high points include the excellent rock song "Green," which sounds like a stronger, earlier "Hey Jealousy" with Calvin Johnson singing and appears on some multiple-band compilation I ran across at my college radio station a decade ago; a completely unexpected (and thus hilarious!) cover of the obscure Black Flag instrumental "Obliteration"; and the significantly well-played piece of jazzy dark solo guitar entitled "Ragged (NKD T)," which suggests that the band members had a neighborhood friend with a hint of talent.

Otherwise, it's knees-deep horseshit with the smell of urine and the consistency of quicksand. A pointless 'parody' of "Sweet Home Alabama" with no apparent jokes in it, a couple of kids reciting the lyrics to "Dago Red" and "Lucifer Rising" at the same time in opposite speakers, a speedy hardcore song buried under a too-loud bass guitar - god I can't even describe the rest of this crap. It's just teenagers dicking around on a tape recorder at home. Every once in a while, they'll come up with a catchy chord combination, but then they'll repeat it with no changes at all for three more minutes and up the ass goes that potentially 'good' song. I'll say one thing in its defense: it's always reassuring to discover that even the greatest of bands started out really, really terrible.

Only one of these songs made it onto Fuck Pussy Galore - the overlong 'Swell Maps Goes AmRep' instrumental "Communist Tart." It's a diverse cassette, at least. Problem is that 'diverse' ('the verse') is ahhhh never mind.

Maybe I should have begun the review by explaining that I'm extremely hung over. You try being witty and insightful when you've spent the entire previous night waking up every hour and a half with the worst headache in American History. I slept til 4:45 PM today! You hear me? 4:45! I could have built a dog in that time!

Reader Comments

Hey Mark, I'm glad to see you're okay and not really dead. I was scared before, when I saw your last review just cut off all of a sudden in the middle of a sentence!

Dave - I was scared too. Glad to see Mark just forgot to finish the review.


Also, I'm pleased to learn that you are alive and well, Mark. I was quite chagrined at the thought of losing you to a premature demise. Best of luck to you and yours in the future.

A 4??? You're seriously trying to tell me that this is as good as Face Dances!?

If you took our suggestion and had your name legally changed to "Mark Deadle," you should now change it to "Mark Notreallydeadle."

Yay! Mark's okay! In celebration, here are my favorite albums:

1. Bob Dylan - Bringing It All Back Home
2. The Who - Sell Out
3. The Beatles - Rubber Soul
4. The Rolling Stones - Exile On Main Street
5. Stevie Wonder - Innvervisions
6. Bob Dylan - Another Side Of Bob Dylan
7. Bruce Springsteen - Darkness On The Edge Of Town
8. The Rolling Stones - Beggars Banquet
9. The Beatles - Abbey Road
10. Bruce Springsteen - Born In The USA

Never mind about the memorial service.

Mark! Glad to see you're safe and sound, my man! What's the best part of Lisa Carol Freemont?

Good day to you Mr. Prindle,

And yet again you've proven that's you prefer large dick to small cunt. Not really being dead is like saying .... hmm like saying dying sucks. You fucking asshole your wrong about everything you write. But since you get depressed everytime you like in the mirror I'll just skip the possitive stuff.

This one hell of a letdown. Mr. Prindle is a must kill.

Fuck you

Add your thoughts?

Fuck Pussy Galore (And All Her Friends) - Teen Beat/Matador 1993.
Rating = 7

Actually, this is a CD compilation of Unrest's 1987 debut LP Tink Of S.E., some cassette tracks, and a few singles and whatnot. It's got 26 songs, and some of 'em are just fantastic (the covers of "So You Wanna Be A Rock 'N' Roll Star" and "21st Century Schizoid Man," for example), but there are way too many half-written instrumental throwaways for the record to be an incredibly pleasing listen the whole trek through. It shows potential, but who the heck wants to throw potential on the ol' CD machine? Oh, I'm being mean. There are a lot of really fun catchy little lo-fi post-punk melodies on here. It just doesn't present the band in the glory that they would later boast and/or deserve. If you see it cheap, pick it up for poops and smiles.
Reader Comments

markc@javanet.com (Mark Cybulski)
I wouldn't get Fuck Pussy Galore unless you're REALLY into the band. Definitely not the stuff you hear on Imperial or Perfect Teeth. But that's the beauty part of it too. You can almost see Mark Robinson and co. screwing around in some parents' garage with some cheap-ass recording equipment. A real interesting listen.

kburt@seascape.com (Kent Burt)
First of all, kudos for including Unrest on your site. While this album is nothing like Imperial f.f.r.r. or Perfect Teeth, it does give you a good indication of what the early, cassette-only releases were like - i.e., ALL OVER THE PLACE, recorded on 4-tracks and boomboxes, with tracks half-finished, mastered at the wrong speed, goofy cover songs, etc. There is some evidence of the later pop glory in songs like "Laughter" (one of the earliest Unrest songs - it appeared on the first TeenBeat cassette, Extremism In The Defence Of Liberty Is No Vice)... I can't understand why the Lisa Carol Freemont cassette still hasn't seen a proper release, so having a few tracks from that on this CD was a dream come true for me...

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Malcolm X Park - Caroline 1988.
Rating = 8

Before Imperial came out, I fancied this one of the finest independent pop albums ever recorded. Nowadays, in these post-Perfect Teeth years, all I can think to myself is "What crappy production!" But again, I, more than anybody else you'll ever meet, understand the predicament of not having no money for no good recording equipment. You know you can't make it sound the way you want it to sound, but, darn it, it's IN you and it has to come out!!! Most of these songs are great. Lots of different genres are toyed with, from acoustic hoedown to scraggly punkish rock to dreampop to rockabilly to synth mope, all with perhaps a touch too much humor, but still with enough melodic sense to hold your attention throughout some semi-worthless material like the intentional butchering of "Stranger In My Hometown." So whatever.
Reader Comments

kburt@seascape.com (Kent Burt)
This album contains perhaps Unrest's finest pop song, "Christina." There's also a cover of Kiss' "Strutter" that hysterically sends up Paul Stanley's onstage raps ("rock and roll pneumonia!" cf. Kiss Alive II), though Mark is a huge fan, of course. The album is all over the place, but if you can keep up it's great fun.

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Kustom Karnal Blackxploitation - Caroline 1990.
Rating = 8

For some reason tiring of the whole "pop" thing, Mark and the boys here decide to split the record between really cool buzzing lo-fi metal and really irritating slow dirge things, leaving you, the listener, to wonder whether you should applaud the band for their persistence or flip 'em a middle finger for recording a track as painfully unlistenable and Melvins-esque as "Kill Whitey." The semi-classic Heathers tribute, "Teenage Suicide," escapes the conceptual trappings of the record, but most of the others lean one way or the other, for better or worse. Personally, I dig the angry buzz of "Invoking The Godhead," "Click Click," and "Black Power Dynamo" enough to overlook the sluggish pace of a good number of the remaining tracks. The production is still really weak, though. Doesn't reach out and grab your ear the way a great record would.

Reader Comments

5smiths@bellsouth.net (Dan Smith)
Heard straight from TeenBeat that MALCOLM X PARK and KUSTOM KARNAL BLACKXPLOITATION could be reissued within the year.

kburt@seascape.com (Kent Burt)
"She Makes Me Shake Like A Soul Machine" is a gorgeous, shiver-inducing acoustic number that deserves a mention - and alone makes this album worth owning. The same goes for the similarly beautiful "Chick Chelsea Delux." And "The Foxey Playground," a Beastie Boys parody, is great fun. How can someone as fond as Pavement's Westing (By Musket And Sextant) as you are complain about production? It was produced, incidentally, by Kramer, of Shimmy Disc fame, who made Galaxie 500 sound so goddamn good.

Weird album, yet listening to it makes me happy. Gives me a sense of exhiliration mixed with, to quote a song-title, "Konfusion". I mean, what the hell is the audience for this type of stuff? I could sort of see fans of the Pixies digging at least half of the songs on here, but I could also see them completely despising the other half of it. Is it directed at pop people who like catchy songs that aren't entirely happy? Metal fans who don't take the genre seriously at all? Punk lovers who stay out of slam pits out of fear of bodily injury(because they're pussies)? I guess indie fans who enjoy randomness of a band's style above anything else. Whatever you can say about the sillinness or slowness of the songs, you cannot deny that the album as a whole is impossibly unpredictable. "Invoking The Godhead" and "Teenage Suicide" are what I'd call "subtly catchy" - I love the upbeat ones like "Shag" and "Coming Hot And Proud", as well as the slower, prettier "She Makes Me Shake Like A Soul Machine" and especially "Chick Chelsea Deluxe", which features one of the saddest, loneliest, most desolate guitar riffs I've ever heard. It'd be so easy to weep to if only that old woman's "S - shockingly spoiled!" voice didn't keep on interjecting like a hag on her deathbed begging to be euthanized. But I don't like "Butch Willis Is A Psychopath" at all, and the throwaways like "Foxey Playground" and "Lord Shiva" definitely disrupt the flow unpleasantly. If they'd gotten rid of the particularly annoying ones, it'd easily score a nine from me, but it's still good enough to be considered 8-worthy. The story about how Sammy Davis Jr. lost his eyeball is funny & cool as hell, though.

Add your thoughts?

Yes She Is My Skinhead Girl 7" - K 1990
Rating = 8

This is the exact moment in time, space and dementia when Unrest located the clean, steve jangling, beautiful, aural art sound that would haunt their releases through the end of their brief time as two men and a lady. Side one is the most darling pop love song you'll ever hear on guitars -- two ringing, chiming chord-note changes and the crooned sentiment, "I want to meet you/I said I want to fuck you all the time/I said I want to fuck you/I said I want to meet you." So much bliss. Bliss, happiness, the happy melody from Heaven. Possibly the most perfect song that Unrest would ever record. Lots of Phil Spectory reverb in the mix too.

Side B features the legendary first recording of "Hydroplane," a one-note wonder (quite literally - the song only has one note) that drones along dancily and Cannily for several minutes as Mark talks into an echo pedal on top of it. In concert, they would drag this hypnotic note on for 20 or 30 minutes, but singles don't last that long - God, they just DON'T! Have you seen them? They all get married and leave girls like me home with our cat. Am I that ugly? Hey! That's a beauty mark - not a four-pound tumor with a hair growing out of it!

Side C is in the same vein but slower and featuring a more traditional (nauseatingly boring) melody. As a favor to us all, it ends in less than a minute.

Kinda like the War in Iraq! In and out, zwoop! Bing! It's over! It's like, "Hello? I thought we had a war to fight!" Ha ha! No sir, when the Bushman says, "We're in and out, toots," he means it! We flew in on in there FWEEEOOO, captured Saddam "Insane Hussein" Hussein (Stick your gas up your ass!) WHOOOOP and BAMALAM! We were gone before the dust dried! THAT'S the way to run an intervention. That's why I'm voting now and forever for President George Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell - let's hear it for 'em! WHOOOO! WHOOOO! WHOOOO! If the youth are united, then they'll never be divided!

And then we can beat up all the long hairs!

Add your thoughts?

A Factory Record 7" - Sub Pop 1991
Rating = 9

The best little covers record in the history of lifetimes, A Factory Record features Mark Robinson, Phil Krauth and some intern bassist last name o' Tolkin (J.R.R. Tolkin perhaps???!?!?) performing a track each by four of the greatest bands that Factory Records ever signed, none of whom I have ever heard of in my life outside of this 45.


There was really a band called Crispy Ambulance? If so, they put out this awesome song in the early '80s called "Deaf" with this big ol' speedy chunky-chunk guitar/bass/drum ascension and people shouting "Hippy Hippy!" between every line (or, more likely, "Hear me! Hear me!" what with the title being "Deaf" and all). Likewise, ESG sounds more like something an Asian man might put on his FOOD than a band a hA HAHAHA! SEE??? That's jokesmithery Bop Hobe style!

Hang down your head, Tom Dula. Hang down your head and cry. Hang down your head, Tom Dula. Poor boy, you're gonna die. One thing I can say about myself and be proud of it is that I've never killed a human being. I may see a serial killer behind every tree, but I don't see one when I look in the mirror. Except on those days when I've invited over a certain member of Jane's Addiction. But that's between him and me; I'm no snitch and if no law enforcement official happened to notice the trail of prostitute murders that "coincidentally" corresponded perfectly with a certain band's last cross-country tour, then who's to say it ever really happened? Certainly not ME! I'm just "some guy"!

But back to the point, the ESG cover features monster movie synths, theramin whines and a dancey descending bass line to keep your feet moving in an awkward direction. Then side B features a Crawling Chaos cover (apparently a loud fast distorted organ band who apparently influenced Rancid Hell Spawn a hella quita large hot tamale!) and a lovely pop song by Cath Carroll's former band Meow, spelled "M-I-A-O-W," but pronounced "Am I a... Oh! Double? YOU!"

This really is a grandtastic single -- so grandtastic that I'm gonna look on half.com for some Crispy Chaos and MIAESG right now. As for you, you can buy the single, record it onto a cassette tape and play it in your car really loud so you and your college friends can all sing along with three of the four songs (the ESG song is instrumental). Nate Florin did this back when I was in college, and the bonding that occurred between he, I, Chris Crowson, Chris "Yellowboy" Williams and Tim Ross was so strong that I don't talk to any of them more than maybe once a year at this point. Quite frankly, I haven't heard word one from Nate since I left Chapel Hill eight and a half years ago.

So you see how this record tears people apart. AVOID OR DIE ALONE!

Add your thoughts?

* Imperial - No. 6/Teen Beat 1992 *
Rating = 10

Everything pop music should be. The guitars ring and chime with a gorgeous high-pitched clamour, the lyrics drip sticky sweet syrupy sentiments all over your leg, and Mark's voice finally sounds like it fits the music for a darn change! The whole package is just gorgeous in every way. The title track drags on forever, but it's hauntingly lovely, the interchangeable speed-pop attacks "Suki" and "Cherry Cream On" will keep your boogie foot a-tappin', while the totally attractive "I Do Believe You're Blushing" brings a fruity little tear to your eye, and the NON-throwaway incidental tracks, "Firecracker," "Champion Nines," and "Sugarshack" just help move the mood along. Hard to explain really, but it's a very CLEAN-sounding album, as opposed to the messy first few. Clean, pretty, and well-packaged. Plus, there's a woman playing bass! Haunting female vox, anyone? Did you say how I used the word "vox" there? Wasn't that awesome????

Try to get the newer CD version, too, as it comes with four great bonus tracks (including "Yes, She Is My Skinhead Girl!"). This is the ultimate Unrest experience. If a track of guitar noise alternating between the left and right speaker for a minute and a half suddenly seems hypnotic and too beautiful for words, somebody is doing something right! Never gets boring (unless you hate pop music), never even dreams of getting ugly, and never stops sounding amazing, no matter how many times you listen to it. How many different chords do they play on the record? Maybe four? Who gives a crap? It's a perfect pop record. Stop arguing with me.

Reader Comments

markc@javanet.com (Mark Cybulski)
truly one of the best records i've ever heard of any era. you gave a great description - it really is a perfectly packaged pop album. makes you wonder why unrest never got bigger than they actually did. it's unfortunate that i'll always compare everything mark robinson will ever do to this record. it'll be tough, if not impossible, to out do this one.

Kicking, kicking, kicking, kicking, kicking me! Kicking me, kicking me, kicking my ASS!!!! I fucking love this album to death. The first day I got it, I listened to it TWICE on the same day(before work & after), which is something I've NEVER done before! It's just SO beautiful!!!! How in the fuck did they get this good??? It couldn't have just been adding Briget to the band, could it? Mark must've fallen in love around this period of time or something. These are not just perfect pop songs, but perfect romantic pop songs for hip college kids(like myself!). I know it sounds cheesy & pathetic, but this album makes me feel SO much better about my life, & even just THINKING about listening to it can be enough to force me to "look on the bright side".

Unfortunately, my copy doesn't have the bonus tracks("Yes She Is My Skinhead Girl" rules!!!!), but it doesn't matter anyway cause "Cherry Cream On" kicks so much ass & I could listen to "Imperial" for about 20 minutes longer than the actual running time(7:33:45[108 b.p.m.]). I love "I Do Believe You're Blushing" so much I'm gonna marry it. "June", oh my dear damn GOD, Brigdet has SUCH a gorgeous voice!!! When she starts singing "Daddy, don't go away, daddy please stay" I just wanna burst into tears at the magnificence of it all. "Firecracker" really needs to be listened to with headphones in order to get the full effect. It's spellbinding. And Mark's minimalistic style of writing broken sentence fragments & passing them off as "lyrics" somehow comes across as heartwrenchingly profound here, whereas on the last album it just seemed sort of "cute". While on the last album it seemed like they were going for all manner of different moods, on this on they seem content to hitting the same mood over & over again(which is what they're BEST at!), and it rules all the way through. I guess the only thing I can think of to complain about is that "Champion Nines" & "Sugarshack" shouldn't have been placed right next to each other on the album sequence. They're both good, but it sort of hurts the flow to have to sit through two lyric-less songs in a row. But that's such a minor complaint that I shouldn't have even bothered to mention it. A definite 10. 10 10 10.

Thanks for getting me into so much good music, by the way Mark. I'm not afraid to admit that before I started coming to your site, I didn't hardly know SHIT about good underground music. Now it's practically all I listen to. Fuck whoever that guy was who said your recommendations "have been shite"; more like his MUSIC tastes "have been shite"!!!! You make the best recommendations in the world, and I've NEVER been disappointed by anything I've bought that was recommended by you.

sleeve@efn.org (Steve Bouton)
HELL YEAH to the above comment. As noted repeatedly, this is one of the best pop albums ever made. Everything you read is true. If you don't have it, get it. I would offer the following additional info and opinions: I think they DID get this good by adding Bridget. She's the missing link of pop genius. I wish I could remember what band she played in before this, but there was one, and I used to remember it. I saw this band live on the night Bill Clinton was elected, the year this came out. They ended the set with a long version of "Hydroplane", and for one utterly endearing, timeless moment that shall live forever in my head, Bridget closed her eyes, put her head on Mark's shoulder, and they both just blissed out WHILE CONTINUING TO PLAY!!! For like at least a (real) minute. So cool.

BTW, there is a very interesting Peel Session bootleg 7" EP that has a version of "Firecracker" with vocals (!) and lyrics (!!!).

I scored the original version of this cd used for 8 bucks at my beloved Manifest records. Anyway, I dunno if I'd consider it a perfect pop album, but it is quite a nice one indeed. I don't exactly find find that blaring "in and out" sterio chord track as hypnotising as you do, though.

No, to me, the (and note I say "THE", not "a") perfect pop album is "Heavenley Vs. Satan", by Heavenly (not the stupid metal band, or whatever). It's just so fluffy and soft...like the musical equivlant of cotton candy, minus the physical implications (stickiness, tooth ache) that come along with it. Perticularly, the reissue is good, cause it has "Escort Crash on Marston Street", which as you certantly know, is my second favorite song of all time.

Add your thoughts?

Isabel Bishop EP - 4AD 1993
Rating = 8

Try not to mistake this with any of the four hundred thousand other Unrest releases called Isabel Bishop. This one (which I think is the expanded British CD version, maybe?) begins with a funky electronic drum re-recording of the title track (a non-drummy version of which can be found on Imperial). It continues with a re-recording of Kustom Karnal Blackxploitation's finest track, "Teenage Suicide." Next is a cover of the Marine Girls' lyrically insightful "Love To Know," which I think was originally the b-side to the "Cherry Cherry" single (later re-recorded as "Cherry Cream On" for Imperial). After tharp is the kickass (but too long) bent-bass-note noisy rocking instrumental "Nation Writer" -- by far the closest thing to early Unrest that the Bridget-era line-up ever recorded. Next are "Yes She Is My Skinhead Girl" and "Wednesday And Proud," two of the three tracks from the "Yes She Is My Skinhead Girl" single, both of which are also available as bonus tracks on at least one pressing of Imperial. For almost no sane reason, "Wednesday And Proud" is also available on the B.P.M. compilation. Finally, "Wharton Hockey Club" closes down the gymnasium with a bunch of ear-piercing high-pitched tones, which will be pleasing to young girls interested in getting their ears pierced. Clip-ons? Come on, what is this - Fairyland for Losers? But you know what they say -- Guys don't make passes at girls are fascists!

It would be indecent of me to chide Mark Robinson for neglecting to respond to my two emailed interview requests, so instead I will simply applaud his large collection of finely composed, performed and produced material with Unrest, Grenadine, Air Miami, Flin Flon, Olympic Death Squad and under his own name.

Having said that, anybody who buys his "experimental" "electronic" Taste EP may want to clear all dogs and people with ears from the premises a few hours before listening.

Reader Comments

kburt@seascape.com (Kent Burt)
There are three versions of this single. The originl 7" includes a remix of "Isabel," "Love To Know" and "WHC." The US pressing of the CD features another mix of "Isabel," plus "Love To Know," a remake of "Teenage Suicide," and a droney instrumental called "Nation Writer." In addition to these tracks, the UK version featured the "Skinhead Girl" remix (also on the UK Imperial CD), another version of "W.H.C." (a/k/a Wharton Hockey Club - just a series of oscillator tones), and "Wednesday And Proud." This is a gorgeous EP, and a must-have for the Marine Girls cover, "Love To Know."

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Bavarian Mods 7" - Teen Beat 1993
Rating = 6

This isn't the UNBEST UNREST release (heheheheh! HAHAHAHH! HUHUHU! HOHOHO! HI! HI! HI!), but it's a kick in the pants of trust and compassion nevertheless. I'm talking about the way that asshole Mark Robinson put four track titles on the sleeve, leading one (me) to expect four actual SONGS, not a cover, a brief original, three seconds of turntable needle noise and the introduction to a song that never comes. Around town, you'll see people crying any time of day - noon, night, even morning - and odds are so good it's due to this single's ripoff quality that I just naturally assume that such is the case. For example, I once ran across a weeping woman who was bleeding from the vagina. She was saying, "I lost my baby!" and I was all like, "I know. I lost MY baby (or "spirit," "trust") when I heard the Bavarian Mods single too." Another time, I saw all these people crying about a "terrorist attack on the World Trade Center" and I was all like, "I know. Mark Robinson TOTALLY made a terrorist attack on the world, the music trade and the center of the entertainment universe (Hollywood) when he released the Bavarian Mods single." One time a guy hit me and I fucked his wife. Not in that order, but nevertheless can you believe that prick?

On a more direct note, enough with the Ronald Reagan shit. He's been braindead for a good five years at least. You ignored him through all that time; why make a fuss about him now? Fuckin' asshole media.

On a more related note, would you find it comical if an underground band were to cover Argent's 1973 hit single "God Gave Rock And Roll To You"? Probably not. It was a pleasant enough and fairly popular anthem in its time. But how about if an underground band were to record a stunningly harmonious and haunting cover of Kiss's widely-ignored 1992 sequel "God Gave Rock 'N' Roll To You, Part II"? Would that make you crack a smile of ironic assholish detachment while wearing a t-shirt for youth softball team with a funny name, you fuckin' hipster slacker college prick like I used to be?

Speaking of which, the title track (entitled "Bavarian Mods") is so bouncy, silly, fun, catchy and completely NON-mod, your sugary smile will grow new roots of cotton candy after just one listen.

Then your saliva will dissolve the roots and your teeth will fall out. But during those exciting first few moments, you'll finally understand what all the yard salesman mean when they say, "Buy this yard -- AND Unrest's Bavarian Mods single!"

But the last two "tracks" (and I use the term "songs" loosely) aren't "compositions" at all, but just "bilge water"! And I know from bilge water, having harvested the world's largest collection in my panties.

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Perfect Teeth - Teen Beat/4AD 1993.
Rating = 9

More perfect poppp. This one might bore a few people, though, since there aren't little blurbs and bleeples between pop attacks. Of course, for those who just want straight SONGS, you can't beat this one. Tons of great pop songs, with lyrics and everything! In fact, you could easily argue that this record is artistically a finer creation than the previous one, since there's more stylistic range (the drummer's vocal debut, in fact, sounds like The Association!) and more reliance on melody rather than mood, which so successfully carried the last one. I like Imperial better because, on this one, it's actually possible to pick out "the weaker tracks" - not that there are ANY bad tracks, but there are some real clear stand-out tracks ("Cath Carroll" kicks ass, "Make-Out Club" is sissy pop bliss, "I Believe It Is Going To Rain" is sweening melancholia, etc.) where Imperial is just a straight-through groovy listening experience.

Speaking of which, if you've already got both of these albums, pick up Goya by Grenadine, a side project of Mark's featuring Tsunami's Jenny Toomey and Eggs's Rob Christiansen. At first, it seems kinda tiring, but it'll really grow on you. Should I say something else about Perfect Teeth? Again, the packaging is gorgeous, the production is impeccable, and, if you like this sort of music at all, there's no way in God's Green Hell that you'll be disappointed.

Reader Comments

spectre316@email.com (Matt F.)
Actually... I like this one a bit more than "Imperial."



SO? I know everyone loves "Imperial," (well.. er... the two other Unrest fans here do!) and I do too. But "Perfect Teeth" is just so PERFECT! I've learned to love every single song, especially on the second half ("Make Out Club" onwards). I wish more people knew about this album. It's one of the few albums I can put on and suddenely feel really good about life and stuff. It makes me contemplate things, like trees and people and packs of weasels.

Packs of flesh eating weasels.

And I think "Six Layer Cake" is the prettiest thing ever made. Along with all the other pretty Unrest songs. If you don't mind me being lame for a second, I just find the song so heart wrenching. In a really sublime and beautiful way.

"Make Out Club" totally KICKS ASS! My God! At first, I thought they were hitting those guitar strings a million times per minute! Eventually I realized that they, uh, weren't, but WHATEVS! Ooh, and "Angel I'll Walk You Home" or whatever sounds so PERFECT! HA! JUST LIKE THE ALBUM TITLE! The harmonies on that song are so wonderful, and the guitar line makes me want to WALK an ANGEL HOME on the beach! Can't you smell the salt from the ocean? CAN'T YOU TASTE THE SEAGULL SHIT?

Gah. I mean, COME ON! If you don't find "Breather X.O.X.O." breathtaking (hah!), YOU HAVE NO SOUL, YOU BLOODLESS WITCH! GO BACK TO YOUR CAVE!

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Cath Carroll 7" - Unrest 1993
Rating = 9

I don't know how much time you've spent among the Tutsi tribe of Rwanda, but I can tell you that life isn't easy for us. I mean, it's not just those radio pricks convincing Hutus to hack us up with machetes all the time; we also continue to have trouble figuring out exactly what the hell Unrest was attempting to do with their catalog. Why are so many of the same songs on so many different releases, with no pre-purchase indication when a song has been re-recorded or remixed? Why are there like eight different versions of the Isabel single/EP? And (for our purposes here today) why are there so many different items called Cath Carroll? First there's the EP, which I'm not sure if I've reviewed yet. If not, it should be coming soon. Then there's the human being. And now THIS! The SINGLE! Not only THIS (that), but I used to own a 7" box set version of the Perfect Teeth album, and this single (complete with its two non-album b-sides) is included in THAT too! Cripes! Why don't you just run me over with a truck and get it over with???

How come "Weird Al" Yankovic won't buy my hilarious Squeeze song parody, "I Was Tempted By The Fruit Of My Mother"?

In addition to always, I have internal brain despair quandaries regarding 7" singles (especially UNDERGROUND ALTERNATIVE 7" singles) that feature album tracks, as this one clearly does. I can give it a 9 and say, "Man, it's so good, man!" but quite frankly, you should already have Perfect Teeth, so you already own 1/3rd of the reasons that it's so good. Then one of the other two reasons is a soothing, slow, acoustic guitar, loud bass and lazily vocalized alternate version of "So So Sick," another track from Perfect Teats. So you have sort of HALF of that one, which means you theoretically already own one-half of this 45RPM record, at least if you're abiding by the Patriot Act (I tried to make up a joke here about the fact that Unrest is from Washington DC, but it didn't work out. However, the "Patriot Act" reference remains -- as a constant, vigilant reminder of my devastating comedy failure for which so many innocent have suffered).

Nevertheless, track three is such a treat that you might want to drive on down to your local eBay outlet in search of this rarest of rare records post-haste. "Capezio D" is the name, and dapper carefree "Singin' In The Rain" tap guitar is the game -- and best of all, it's about a SHOE!

Speaking of shoes, my dog, entitled Henry The Dog, barks at fish now. Or crawdaddies, or whatever the hell it is he always tries to eat whenever we take him to a natural body of water. He's always loved swatting at the water with his adorable little paw and occasionally lunging his sweet puppy dog head underwater after Gosh-Knows-What, but now he's added this hilarious higher-than-normal yelp-type bark to his game. But see, he does it AS he's shoving his head underwater! So it sounds like, (splash splash splash) ARR(sploosh)! You can only catch the first half of his bark because the second half is underwater, directed at the Fish himself! I love my doggy. He also does this new thing where whenever we get the leash out to take him outside, he gets in his play stance, barks really loud, grabs one of his toys and runs around the couch so we'll chase him. I've no clue why this holds more appeal to him than simply getting his goddamned leash on so we can go outside. I guess he's just a playa!

Can we talk about something else here? While we're chit-chatting? This is important. Here it is:

What's the deal with these ballpoint pens? Why do I need a pen to point at my BALLS? I know where they are - and nobody else is askin'! And don't even get me started about "HIGH-lighters!" (*mimes the act of smoking marijuana*)

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Cath Carroll EP - Teen Beat/4AD 1993.
Rating = 8

Four songs, I think? A longer version of the title track, a couple of pretty cool 5-10 minute tracks, and a THIRTY-minute version of the one-chord concert fave "Hydro" (formerly "Hydroplane" and "Hydrofoil") that will either mesmerize or bore you into a stupor, depending on how patient you're feeling at the time. The production is topnotch, but who wants to listen to three people fool around in the key of whatever for a full sitcom? I mean, aside from doped-up Velvet Underground fans? One thing's for sure: I really like pizza.
Reader Comments

kburt@seascape.com (Kent Burt)
This EP is essential for the cute (and prophetic) Phil Krauth song "Goodbye" and the droney, Can-like extended version of "Vibe-Out!"

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"Mod Fuck Explosion" Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (with Karyo Tengoku) - Ballpeen 1993.
Rating = 6

Ah yes. The Unrest. Am I crazy or is there nothing less restful than The Unrest? Sources say I'm right. However, problem being that this is the soundtrack to a film by Jon Moritsugu, a man who has been described to me as "the biggest asshole in San Francisco" and "what Quentin Tarantino would be like if he hadn't made it." Is this actually a problem? No, just shedding some light on a few non-issues that wouldn't have arisen had I not taken the time and pretense to mention them.

The issue then is with this "band" called Karyo Tengoku (Overdose Heaven? That's what it says on the sleeve). It appears to be another one of those irritating Japanese noise bands, although I'll be darned if it doesn't sound like a FAKE Japanese noise band. Like Americans pretending to be a Japanese noise band. But who can tell? They have a few good numbers - dark visions of "Hiroshima" will get stuck in your head, and "Dragonfly" has some KILLER female orgasm noises - but most of it is 2 noisy 2 be remem(paste picture of bird here).

And as for the Unrest side of the album, it features six tracks, most of which only seem half-written (and jangly - STEVE JANGLY! Oh hell I messed that up). This could be the nature of the "soundtrack" - or it could be that Unrest gave Jon six songs that they had tossed out as being too dull. Question marks are irritating me today, for some reason. The cherished "Mod Fuck Explosion Theme" rocks like early U2 though, with awesome dub bass, driving drums and trebly guitar, as does a short acid rocker called "Northwest Territory" (which begins with the stupidest piece of film dialogue I have ever heard - if it's from this film, this film sucks.)

And "London's Theme" is groovy and bachelor paddy like Grenadine. Sounds a lot like Grenadine. If this was a Grenadine album, I could see "London's Theme" being on it. If only "London's Theme" were on a Grenadine album. God DAMN, that would be a perfect world. One in which "London Calling" were on a Michael Jackson album.

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Animal Park 7" - Teen Beat 1994
Rating = 8

It's true what they say about animals and parks -- both of them make you feel sparkling good. And I don't just mean about Polacks. They make you feel good about life and nature and the community of earth-dwelling creatures that we so often take for granted as we go about our hustling, bustling workaday life, kidnapping Israeli athletes and throwing grenades into their helicopter. But whether or not one personally enjoys animals, parks, animals AND parks, animals OR parks, or even, in rare and wonderful circumstances, animals attempting to drive down the expressway while stuck in 'park,' I doubt you'll find all that many human beings who would willfully sit and stare at the male penis so proudly displayed on the cover of this 7".

Speaking as a man with a 7" penis, I can verify that it's pretty interesting to play it with a phonograph needle and hear all the music that comes out, but - wait, what'

Oh, I'm sorry -- I meant "a man with a 7' penis." I had to buy a gigantic turntable and I'm not proud, but at least Reagan's fucking dead for a change. Let's bring it all back down to Earth, as somebody from the late '60s might say in their LSD stupor (I'm looking at YOU, Henry Kissmyassinger!) and discuss the actual record, for those who are itching to buy a cock sleeve (I'm looking at YOU, Kim Kissmybasinger!).

Track one is one of the most somber, haunting, lazy, sleepy guitar tomes ever sung by Msrssr. Bridget Cross. It's entitled "Afternoon Train" and would later wind up in faster re-recorded form on the Air Miami album. This original version is the one to shoot (dope) for though -- the song is wonderful either way, especially if you like songs, but this early version is so much more rainy day depressiony than the only-slightly-unsunny Air Miami version. Track two is a throwaway instrumental of slowed-down guitar strumming sludge and false endings. I can't even remember the name of it, the song is such a pointless (though not BAD) asshole. Your final song is a slight remix of "Light Command" from Perfect Teeth -- another perfect cut! Personally I can't tell what has been remixed -- I think this version might be more dancey or something, but it's nothing obvious like the Mark Robinson remix of Superchunk's "Precision Auto" (find it NOW --- it is a scream)

With this single, Unrest said "adieu" and their career became the kind of musical establishment that indepdeendent music fans would relish from afar while listening to oodles of newer underground sensations doing crazy things the likes of which have turned experimental music on its ear -- bands unleashing psychedelic mind-expanding aural dramas the sounds and vibes of which their forebears could have only dreamt. Bands like Modest Mouse and Fountains Of Wayne. Bands that sing the shores of sixpence, waffling blackeningly towards undulating wisps of currency both flated and in. Also, I heard the new black guy next door nailing his white girlfriend last night. Their orgasmic "down with the swirl" ebony and ivory cries woke me up from my all-white slumber. I turned to my sleeping white wife and romantically exclaimed, "They're fuckin'!" Then I retired to the bathroom and took a urine. It was yellow, so I gave it some rice and told it to take its shoes off before it comes in the house.

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B.P.M. [1991-1994] - Teen Beat 1995.
Rating = 9

Bitchin' compiliation. Weird song choice too. It appears to be designed to provide a stable locale for all those great singles of yesteryear that were missed by the Isabel Bishop EP ("Winona Ryder," "Bavarian Mods," "Vibe Out!") but then the damn thing misses some obvious entries ("Afternoon Train," "Green," "Where Are All Those Puerto Rican Boys?"), makes us scratch our head with the inclusion of tunes already available on Imperial ("June," the chimey ending bit from "Imperial," a very, very slightly altered remix of "Cherry Cream On") and makes assorted other frustrating executive decisions all the way through (Why include the "xx version" of "Winona Ryder" when you've already included the superior "xy version"? Why include this PARTICULAR version of "Hydro" when so many others exist? And, as great as "When It All Comes Down" is (and it is), why didn't you include that great "hippy hippy!" song from the same single?

So I could bitch all damn day about what I personally would have done with this collection but when you put your nose to the rumproast and shake the tree of barleyweed, every song still rules. Whether you need to hear "June" again or not, it still rules. So there's your 9 out of 10. Engage in a bitching session all you want, Mr. Skinnybones Prindle, but Unrest were one fork of a clean machine back there in the early nineties.

Also, isn't it neat how "B.P.M." stands not for "beats per minute," but for their actual first names? "Bridget. Phil. Mark." That's the coolest thing since this Fall album I'm listening to right now. If you disagree, please ignore every single word I've said or written since the day God forced me to be born onto this cold piece of shit rock we call society.

Reader Comments

kburt@seascape.com (Kent Burt)
"Winona Ryder" was originally going to be released as two 7"s - one featuring the XY version & other featuring the XX version, but the idea was scrapped before release. The "hippy hippy" song you mention is "Deaf," a Crispy Ambulance cover from the _A Factory Record_ 7" on SubPop (and I assume they're saying "Hear me, hear me" or "Heal me, heal me"), which is pre-Bridget, I believe, so I don't understand why anything from it is on the compilation. The version of "Cherry Cherry" is the original 7" mix.

rpd158@yahoo.com (Ray D'Antuono)
great frickin album...great frickin album!!!!! yeah, love to know would have been great on this one, as well as the band version of isabel, but screw it, it rocks anyway!!!! why winona xx and xy? because you can listen to one, say 'wow that song rocks', and then immediately listen to it AGAIN, but only better this time!!!! all i want to do with my life is play in a band that makes songs that sound exactly like winona rider. vibe out indeed!!!!

bse06@fsu.edu (Bradley)
Hey there! On Unrest's BPM disc there's a great track called Winona Ryder. I used to absolutely adore that song - it was just so out there and so catchy! However, I just found out it's nearly a spot on cover of Family Fodder's tribute to Debbie Harry entitled Debbie Harry. I tried attaching it, but it didn't work out - so if you'd like to listen, it's on Rough Trade's Post Punk compilation...I think it's part of the Rough Trade Shops series Dig it!

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