These tape reviews from July 1990 feature the latest releases from bands like Strangers, Truce, Gwar and Brainstorm.

Tape Reviews July 1990

Reviews Music


This is a tape I have looked forward to hearing for a long time. The band was not together at the time I heard so much about them, so seeing them play or hearing their music was not possible. When I heard they were back together, I really looked forward to seeing them play live. I know Mike Paoli (vocalist/lyricist) from ways other than in the band, and he didn’t strike me as the lead singer type. However, after hearing the tape and seeing them play live with Second Self, I was amazed at the power behind Mike as a vocalist and the band that is now performing as a three piece, with Max Kaminski on drums and The Boy on guitar. These guys are veterans and it shows in their musicianship.

The tape is nothing but great. The recording features Duke Paoli on bass, but Mike is playing bass and singing now. It was recorded two years ago for an album that didn’t shell out and is now going to be available on cassette.

The band certainly has plenty to say. The tape is filled with their own blend of politics, personal philosophies and humor. The song “Dr. Mengele” is a little ditty that takes a satirical look at nazism. Be careful how you listen to this tape, and don’t get the wrong impression  because of their cynical look at the world. They are anti-fascist and they are not afraid to talk about it.

Pick songs have to be “American Mod,” “Kill Without Mercy,” and “Architects of Pain.” The tape consists of 19 original songs. The tape moves well and features songs in a wide range of influences and writing styles.

Systematic Slaves

Last summer I gave these guys a less-than-enthusiastic review. But after learning more about them, hearing them practice and seeing them live, I have been delivered from the shackles of narrow-mindedness. These guys are not only SLC’s best metal band, they are one of our best bands of any kind. No spandex, sissy-shit mope rock here. These guys go for the jugular. This tape burns from the title track through the party lament “Pray to the Porcelain God” (a condition I’m sure we’ve all experienced at some point in our lives), to the tasty closer “Necropolis City.” My only reservations about his tape is the copy I got wasn’t dubbed very well, and there are only four songs on it. Besides that, the recording and performance is excellent. A fine addition to any local audiophile’s collection.

Scumdogs of the Universe

Everybody knows the main point of GWAR is seeing them live. To leave a GWAR show without smattering of gore juice is to miss the entire experience. Slime and ooze are to a GWAR concert what acid is to the Grateful Dead. That’s why I was surprised to find on this tape that GWAR can actually play and write some good songs and pull off an engaging studio effort. Needless to say, the tape is much slicker and more polished than the live act, but with all that mayhem onstage, who can really concentrate on notes? They may yet turn out to be the best costume band since the New York Dolls. “Slaughterama” is a real rib tickler.


I don’t know a whole lot about these guys, but I do for this tape. Metal that grooves, more in the mode of Faith No More and Fugazi than Metallica. Nice gear shifts from chunka chunk speedcore to melodic thrash. Because of their diversity, I can’t really pigeonhole these guys, which is a good thing. I hope I can check them out live before the Speedway goes down. 

Check out these other archived tape reviews:
June 1990: Local National Record Tape Reviews
Record and Tape Reviews May 1990