Oct 15, 2003 at 12:00 am
The next time some horn-rimmed, pasty-faced putz tries ta tell ya that rock ’n’ roll is deader than yesterday’s glass doorknob, just whip out this ragged wad of raw garage musical mayhem and smearcase it across his smug mug, ’cause this is one of the best lease breakers you’re likely to hear in many a moon.

Now before any a-you uninitiated cross-border muthacanuckers get overheated with misplaced nostalgia, lemme tell ya that this ain’t the same band of OCA art fags from Toronto who used to play the Bev on Queen West. Them old used Dishes (as in kitchen plates) were too precious for words, whereas these hot new Dishes (as in three trashy fems widda token traps-wackin’ boy) hail from Chicago and pack enough energetic incendiary heat to bleach muslin at 30 feet.

You want figures? Then go drool over their promo pics, you pudknocking eyeglass fetishist. But if you want cold hard facts about why these Dishes don’t need doing, then check out this numerology: recorded in Benton Harbor, 3 (oddly enough, their third album) contains 10 tracks, yet clocks in at a minimally breezy 33:51. Even better, the very first song runs a whopping 9:25. You don’t have to be Buckaroo Banzai to calculate that the remaining nine tracks run at even more economical 24:26. All of which means that if the Fondas beat the Ramones in the speed queen sweepstakes, then the Dishes beat the Fondas at beating the Ramones.

Now about that first track. “Got Something To Tell You” is built around Lou Reed’s acerbic guitar solo in the Velvets’ “I Heard Her Call My Name” except this time the torturous nails-across-a-chalkboard freakout feedback shriekfest lasts a lot longer. But don’t get me wrong: Far from being an atonal Metal Machine Music excursion in melodic mutilation, this little go-round is positively poppy in its own schizoidic way.

“Hole In Your Head” sloppily pumps into your brain with all the lubed-up finesse of a late-nite jizzfest. For that matter, so do “Blow Me Up (But Don’t Blow My Cool)” and the aptly named “Hot Wired,” both of which have guitars so shrilly unvarnished that they’ll skewer your eardrums like a steel fork shoved into a fresh filling.

For all their dirty distorto wiles, the Dishes sound just like a stripped-down reincarnation of the B-52’s with a punked-out pedigree so ya better catch them now before some big conglomerate hires Bob Rock to turn them into Cycle Sluts From Hell.

And wouldn’t that be a below-the-belt, one-two sucker punch? —

E-mail Jeffrey Morgan at [email protected].