The Fatals

The Fatals seem to pull a ruse on anyone lending an ear. With three 7-inch singles pressed in depressingly limited quantities (all of which sold out instantly), the logical mind figures this CD compiling their unavailable sides as a smart move. To make the CD itself as difficult to find (only 300 copies) as any of the singles is pure punk rock genius. And the Fatals are full of it.

These French boys are all-American with their sound and influences, running the narrow gamut from Port Huron’s puke punks, the Dirtys; Memphis’ mild-mannered monsters, the Oblivians; and San Francisco’s most hated band, Crime. What blasts forth is a loose, lo-fi and angry genus of garage rock.

With such song titles as “Need a Bitch” and “Flamin’ Baby,” it’s easy to cast the Fatals off as the umpteenth wave of tattoo parlor rock, but they’re far beyond that. It’s their righteous use of minor chords and half-step changes — part Ramones, part Kinks — that elevates them above legions of duped dopes who believe that rock ’n’ roll time began with, say, Nashville Pussy.

And if that isn’t enough, word is that a band lineup shake-up necessitated a drum machine for time-keep. And that might not be a bad thing. Or it could just be a ruse.


Friday, May 20, at Painted Lady (2930 Jacob, Hamtramck; 313-874-2991).

Ben Blackwell writes about music for Metro Times . Send comments to [email protected].

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