Wednesday, August 15, 2007

CHILD PORNOGRAPHY "She's Got Legs" (Barf Records)



There’s about a million things I could say about Riverside and the group of friends, enemies and losers that comprised the brief but beautiful thriving scuzz-pop scene out there on the edges of civilization. I’ll save most of my feelings, the descriptions of various disasters and ruinous life decisions for VH1’s Behind the Music. But suffice to say, it brought weirdness such as I.E., Whitman and Child Pornography out of the ghetto and into the world. It’s definitely better experienced from afar. That’s why I can bask in its dingy glow from the yuppy village of Claremont and get all gushy with nostalgia. If I was living in it I would have probably figured out some way to move to Kansas or Idaho by now. Anyhow, what I am listening to is really a remarkable record, by far the most solid and noteworthy CP record to date. It’s bright, poppy and optimistic against all realities. I’ve been told that this is supposed to be CP’s “rock ‘n’ roll record,” so there’s a good quantity of thrashing, tinny guitars, but really, more importantly, this record bumps. There’s gut wrenching bass thud all over this thing. I think it has a lot to do with keyboardist Brian Perez's influence on the band. "She's Got Legs" competes hardcore with my Miami Bass records for providing maximum booty shake. The low end exploration has been in CP live shows for a while, but it’s exceeds expectations on record. Maybe I really know too much about the people that made this record – I mean I get all the inside jokes, understand a lot of the vague pronouncements – it’s all close to the heart. Beyond that it definitely has that Riverside-under-my-skin quality that remains common in our little crew. Therefore you get funny songs about friends on drugs, violence and getting the fuck out of town. You even get the Riverside as utopia concept presented in “New Neighborhood,” which calls for a tongue and cheek revolution to preserve the town we love to hate and hate to love. Luckily this record succeeds in two ways, it’s a record for friends who know for example what songs like “Honey Bear” and Pixel Palace Ode” refer to and can make an educated guess about who and what “Cold Fingers” is about, but beyond all this, “She’s Got Legs” is an unbelievably solid pop record that transfixes with hazy heat, dirty thud and the incandescent strangeness that is vocalist/guitarist Erin Allen. This tape is due for a wider release soon, and in any format it rules – and I’m trying to be objective when I say that. It definitely tops my list for records I’ve heard this year and beats out any previous Child P records in fulfilling the mystic vision. Oh, and to the bus stop junkies, heat addled sketch freaks and everyone in the lotto line down at Save-A-Minit, I miss you Riva…sort of. Who am I kidding?


Erin Allen at his studio in San Francisco, CA

P.S. If you live in LA please be sure to attend the benefits being set up for Brian Perez aka Brizzahh from Child Pornography. He needs multiple surgeries for stomach problems and he has to pay for a week long hospital stint he had to endure at the begining of this month. He could really use the cash. The first will be at Pehrspace in Echo Park on Sept 1st.