The Bad Genes: "Falafel in Kreuzberg"
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Ox Productions

This CD might be hard to find unless you're in the Pittsburgh area, but if you happen to come across it, pick it up. This release from the now-defunct Bad Genes is fuckin awesome.. They play old school-style hardcore with a definite Misfits influence, maybe some Germs in there too. Well, okay, actually they sound pretty much like if the Germs were polished and tight (and most of the Misfits later stuff sounded like the Germs-meets-Motorhead). The themes are political, but theres something genuine and honest about em, and I like that about a political band. And though they may get a little preachy, you never get the feeling they're talking to you, the listener, but to society in general. And no anarcho-shit. Had my fill.

Subject matter includes: religious hypocrites, greed, problems of society, fads, alcoholism, watereddown, rebellious fashion statements, pornography, suicide, gangwar, consumerism, and gluttony. The alcoholism thing doesn't make much sense though, cos in the liner notes it says they "drank a lot of beer and just put it to tape in the company of some of our friends." Then again, most of the references to alcohol are made in the first person. The song "Bloodshot Eye" is a good example:

On a self pity trip to the morgue
drunk to death and deathly bored
washed up bottles on my shore
I don't live there anymore...

Maybe I'm reading into it all wrong.

It's good to hear a hardcore band who doesn't focus so much on speed. The songs average around 3 minutes long each, and to quote the band's liner notes, "it is raw and full of of imperfections".

Theres 2 covers on the record, "Subvert" by some Crass Records band called ZOUNDS, and my personal favorite, "White Man in Hammersmith Palais", which you may or may not recognise from the first Clash album. "White Man" is so sloppy, which is no bad thing, and just like in all the other songs, the vocalist, Scott, sounds like an angry drunk. It's so classic.

My favorite song out of the band's originals is "City on Fire", a song that at first seems to be about poverty and gangwar:

There's war on the streets
the children are dying
and the man in the office
don't know what's goin' on...

Then you realize it's really about revolution and riots:

We're gonna bring him down!
Defy his master plan!
Vote with rocks and bottles, take back this fuckin' land!

Not really sure why I love this song so much... might be the vocals.

Maybe I'm just biased cos I'm only an hour north of Pittsburgh, where these guys are from. Either way, it's a great album if you can find it. You can contact the band here:

The Bad Genes
P.O. Box 71275
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Reviewed by Sam Sinister.