The club was an immense pool hall, really, row after row of billiards tables surrounded by bikers and their women, punks trying to look like junkies and junkies like punks, old hippies with beads and bellies, barmaids with them perfect asses. Typical rock'n'roll environment. (from the liner notes)
L.A. ROCK REVIEW (August 26th, 1988, Dirk Hanna) A mighty black disc rises over the eastern Santa Monica Mountains. Instead of warmth it emits a powerful sonic assault and instead of light it shines raw anger tempered with a wry sense of humor. This disc is the mighty "Gimme the Keys" compilation. The colorful cover painting by those twisted old Flaming Lips themselves claim boldly that these are seven driving bands from L.A. After slapping this vinyl slab on the turn-table I must admit that the painting of spray-painted torture and confusion on the cover speaks the god's honest truth. Walls of white hot guitar run through the fabled millstone of punk purity and come out all the rougher for it. The blast furnace blues intensity of Lexington, the J. Thunders purity of the Thirsty Brats, nuclear literary assault from Crawlspace, rockin' commands for Fearless Leader, the ripping might of Claw Hammer, the power humor crunch of Moist and Meaty. And finally the bizzaro pop of The Next Big Things FROM Britain, expand the seams of the L.A. rock scene to the point of bursting. I will understand if a good share of you may have only heard of one or two of these bands. Hell, I'll even understand if 90% of you haven't heard of any of these groups. No these aren't the Guns N' Roses, Jane's Addiction or any of the other bands one would expect to find on an L.A. comp record. This is pure rock n' roll though fresh, tough, raw and vital! If you feel any attachment to the undergound scene at all here it is, pure and undiluted. Seek this sonic frisbee out and enjoy it really loud sucker. Got me?
CMJ NEW MUSIC REPORT (September 9, 1988, "Jackpot! Plus") L.A. is the land of highway shootings, people who wear too many scarves and dance like Steven Tyler, and, most importantly, a few up-and-comers providing a blast of obnoxiousness that cuts through the exhaust fumes without so much as an excuse-me-please. The seven bands on this compilation haven't forgotten that a long time ago in California there existed groups like the Weirdos, Crime, and the Nuns, who all play raw, amateurish and exhilarating music. These bands draw straight from that era's attitude and approach, and don't mind tossing in extra amounts of bad posture and good music currently displayed by the likes of Miracle Workers, the Dwarves, and the Pandoras. Moist and Meaty starts off the ride with the Pagans/Sonics stylings of "Don't Bum My Trip". The Next Big Things FROM Britain perform with a dry delivery and a synthesized jag on "Tourists on the Beach" Thirsty Brats also has a lyrical concern with their community, as evidenced by their track "White Ghetto." Fearless Leader provides the most blatant finger-up-a-nostril punk glare, and from there it's heavy tripping with Crawlspace's and Lexington's transensational ramblings. Even dizzier heights are scaled with two psychedelic tarantula tracks from Claw Hammer, each a lovely example of pseudo-'60s raw guitar meat, perfect acid-damage lullabies.
FLIPSIDE (#56) This is a compilation of a new breed of underground vermin infecting the L.A. club scene. Probably best described as punk rock, but I don't want to give anyone the wrong idea. This is like the Anti Club scene....The sound is a lot like the Stooges / MC5 / Sex Pistols, etc., anything loud and fast and particularly guitar oriented. If that's your scene -- check out theirs.
Approprietely subtitled "Seven Driving Bands from L.A.", this 15-track compilation came out from Trigon records,
in 1988 and it was one of the first releases that informed the
unsuspected audiences (well, sort of informed because of the minimal distribution) outside of the small venues of
L.A. that there was a loud, wild and talented punk-rock scene (please
note "rock"), that could destroy a few amps and could release massive doses of adrenaline, while playing live (a 50% of this power captured here).
Crawlspace is the long-time sailing vessel of Ed Flowers, Claw Hammer
did went on for several years after this, perfected their style, and released a few amazing
albums, Lexington provide the impressive "Wisconsin Death Trip".
Moist and Meaty - don't burn my trip / fast, loud, and stupid The Next Big Things FROM Britain - tourists on the beach / buy now, pay next year Thirsty Brats - pennsylvania t-head / white ghetto Fearless Leader - move a little / last nite // tortured soul Crawlspace - time for fun / the void that slithers / black to comm Lexington - wisconsin death trip Claw Hammer - bullet in my head / self destruct