Music Reviews


Onward Suckdog Soldiers

Tray Full of Lab Mice

Ten years ago, putting out a fanzine meant something. Computers suitable for desktop publishing were still out of the realm of most teens, and even the smallest, ziniest, send-a-buck-and-two-stamps effort entailed hours upon hours of typing, cut and paste, and clandestine photocopying. The effort lent a certain heft to the thoughts presented within. These days, any dork with a McJob and a nearby Kinko’s can afford the tools to put out a slick, well-designed fanzine, and any new release that features photocopier art and smudged typewritten text smacks of artifice.

This is musically equivalent – Lisa Suckdog and cohorts (Rachel Johnson, Jean-Louis Costes, and Dame Darcy) present lo-fi rants and “musical” excursions that mostly date between 1988 and 1992. “Dog” sounds like a field recording of the “band” being chased by a mean canine (is that crying or laughing?), “Three Little Fishies” is twelve seconds of answering machine musicality, “Satan Coming” is slumber-party boombox metal… you get the idea. Forty-three tracks, most of them sounding like they were recorded either out of boredom or brilliant flashes of inspiration. It meant something back then to release something as raw and uncalculated, and strangely enough, though it would be significantly cheaper today to put your boombox ramblings on a digital medium, nobody’s doing it. Simultaneously disturbing and liberating. Tray Full of Lab Mice, P.O. Box 356, Durham, NH 03824

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