(Originally posted on my Agony Shorthand blog, March 2003…..and let it be known that there is some Piranhas stuff that’s phenomenal, like this collection)


Not at all a wrong-headed approach – 70s punk-style organ-driven garage noise – just a failure in execution for Detroit’s PIRANHAS on their debut CD.

Take the carnival-ride organ sounds of the EYES on “T.A.Q.N.”, throw in the electro-weirdness of BLACK RANDY & THE METROSQUAD, the pop sense of the DICKIES and of course the angry attack of the SCREAMERS – now take away 75% of the talent, and you have this CD. Yet their label describes them as “Like a mutant cross between Hearpen-era Pere Ubu and “Damaged”-era Black Flag with a dose of mid 70’s Cleveland punk poured over the top for good measure”. Good lord, I wish – wouldn’t you rush out to buy that?

It’s not really the musicians’ fault, they’re fine, it’s the singer and his horrid, attention-seeking, “listen to me everyone, I’m being strangled” vocals. As my friend Doreen would patiently advise: “Validate from within". 


Detroit’s ROACHCLIP are among our favorite baffling, fidelity-compromised, murky DIY pop bands going, and after last year’s excellent “Discovery Park” 45, they’ve deigned to return the gift with a new 45 on Quemada Records.

Quemada say it best on their write-up:

Quemada is happy to announce the release of a new single from Detroit’s Roachclip.-the long awaited follow up to their excellent first LP, Discovery Park of last year. On this seven inch the ‘clip have retreated back into the murky garage from whence they were conceived and deliver two sides of primo paranoid psych rock. Imagine Kim Fowley and Bill Direen working out their bad vibes over an old Tascam in a mid-western basement.  The flip pours on some sugar, albeit thick and syrupy-just like we like it.

This song is, in fact, that flip – it’s called “Cast of Clowns”, and if you press the triangle button, it sounds like this.