May 5, 2009
Mouse in my Beer
First and foremost, let me point out that the above image is not actually the cover of this 7", though that image is on the cover. There's a scanner sitting 2 feet from me, but I've yet to install it/figure out how to use it, so I don't have the cover for this one at the ready. My bad.
The Oswalds were a big part of the 90s punk scene in Atlanta, and along with bands such as The Tone-Deaf Pig Dogs, Smedley and the Space Cadets, Stopper, Suspect Device, Victim 9, Obnoxious Kids, and my own band Round Ear Spock spent several years playing shows around town, most notably at a hole-in-the-wall called The Somber Reptile. These were good times. In my personal opinion, The Oswalds were the best band in this little scene. They mixed the speed and humor of NoFX and the pop-punk of The Queers with a twist of hardcore and metal, especially in the later days. There were some talented dudes in this band, such as drummer Mike Green, who is now in Light Pupil Dilate, and Mike Brennan, now in the mighty Javelina. Those two bands don't really give any indication as to what The Oswalds sound like, though, so keep that in mind. This is basic 90s new-school punk, but it's fun and exciting, if a little juvenile, and they put on a hell of a good show. They had a whole album's worth of material that never got released, and though I had a crappy ripped-from-a-cassette version of that stuff on cd once, I have no idea what happened to it. If I ever track the rest of their stuff down, I'll let you know. Oh, and they had a cassette-only release prior to this 7" called Aim Low, but I don't have it any more either.
The "Little Bit O' Soul" cover was a bad choice, I'll give you that, but "Mouse In My Beer" and "sXe Sucks" are unstoppable, and "(Every Kitchen Needs A) Riot Grrrl" is cute too. It's also funny, given that last track, to note that after The Oswalds disbanded, several members reformed in the much crustier, heavier 12 Ounces (who I'll post another day) who had a much more political and socially conscious lyrical bent.