Government Issue

If their sad songs make you cry, wipe your eyes with a Government Tissue!

If they upset your allergies, wipe your nose with a Government Tissue!

Wait, that was the same joke.

*special introductory paragraph!
*Legless Bull EP
*GI's First Demo 1980 7"
*Make An Effort EP
*Boycott Stabb
*Joy Ride
*The Fun Just Never Ends
*Give Us Stabb Or Give Us Death EP
*Live 1985 DVD
*Government Issue
*Complete History Volume One
*Complete History Volume Two

Government Issue was one of the first Washington DC hardcore bands. Led by John "Stabb" Schroeder, they went through 35 vagillion line-up changes while bringing first metal and then pop and other influences into their guitar-heavy sound. Almost all of their output is now available on two double-CDs, but why review 2 titles when I can review 14!?

Legless Bull EP - Dischord 1981
Rating = 8

Okay, how about a little game? I just hit "play" on this 10-song EP. Let's see how much I can write before it ends. And that will be the review! Okay, so your best place to find this is a wonderful WONDERFUL Dischord compilation called Four Old 7"s On A 12" that also features the debut releases by (a) Ian MacKaye's first band Teen Idles (for whom he played bass, not sang), (b) Henry Rollins' first band State Of Alert, back when he was "Henry Garfield" and (c) Youth Brigade, but a DC band with that name, not the one with the two brothers that later turned into The Brigade when they weren't young any more (just as Sonic Youth shortened its name to The Sonics when

PUCK! I'm already on track three and I haven't said a thing about it! Okay, the guitar is VERY high-pitched, reverbed and trebly, but John Barry strums it really really fast so it's a big scary mess. He sounds like an insane man shredding his hand to pieces on East Bay Ray's guitar strings. Stabb just shouts uninteligibly like a guy with no lower lip, but if you check out the lyrics sheet, there's some really entertaining teenager crap on there! Not only that, but the songs are catch-catch-catchy! Mostly chord-driven, with half the tracks midtempo and the other half hardcore-speed. No frills except the reverbed guitar and a little bitty bit of delay (repeat) in the "Sheer Terror" chorus. And as befits the genre, the songs are TINY! They all end as quickly as they begin! But check out some of these lyrics:

"I used to listen to the Clash/Now they suck like all the trash/The Ramones used to be a hit/Now they're just a pile of shit/I don't wanna listen to it/You don't wanna dance to it/We don't wanna hear it/Rock & Roll Bullshit!"

"Anarchy is dead/Anarchy is dead/Anarchy is dead/Anarchy is dead/Groups like CRASS still believe in it/That's why their music's fulla shit/It's not music; it's just a sermon/Groups like CRASS are all just vermin!"

"I think it's cool to punch on them/Wait - someone knocked me in the head/Now they're piling on top of me/I was an asshole, now I'm dead!"

More importantly though, the chord sequences are as catchy as the finest messy punk rock can be. Drummer Mark Alberstadt is excellent too, throwing in some cool giddy-up drums, lots of neat breaks and great drumrolls to accentuate certain breaks -- the guy could really PLAY! And you want that in a drummer, even if you're just a punk band.

TUCK! I'm on the last song! Uhh, what else can I say? It's fast, it's furious, it's fun - even when midtempo, it's got great youthful energy and is a must-own early DC hardcore do

Okay, Youth Brigade just started. Man, every single band on this compilation rules so much asp! I think the CD issue might have even more bands on it. You GOTTA buy this thing!

The G.I. portion only gets an 8 though, because "Bored To Death" is boring (to death), "Sheer Terror" hadn't developed into a good song yet, and a song called "No Rights" should kick a lot more ass than this tepid pooper does. But congrats to all for keeping the punk excitement level high, the punk-metal quotient low, and the vocals shouted rather than just spoken (I'm foreshadowing here, incidentally).

Other great hardcore compiilations include This Is Boston, Not L.A. and SST's Seven-Inch Wonders Of The World. BUY THEY!

Say, do you like jokes? Because I made one up that I thought I might share with you. Check this one out:

Q. Where is the last place you'd expect to see Eric Clapton's likeness?

A. On the cover of an album with even ONE good song on it!

Heh heh, I like to tease Eric Clapton. I'm just kidding around. He's great. I love that guy. "Wonderful Tonight," the slow reggae version of "Layla," "It's In The Way That You Use It" - I mean, what's not to like?

(*nose suddenly extends fifty-five feet, breaking two windows and serving as early birthday present for Phil Collins fan across the street*)

Reader Comments (Hunter)
An 8? A fart on Thomas Putnam! That e.p. should be a 10! I mean, yea, sure, a couple of them are a little slowed down, but they still are much better than your typical Crucifix, or any sorta crap along those lines.

The cd version of your LP sounds like a disc called "1981: A Year in 7 Inches". By your description, it contains the same bands, but might have more songs on it. I'd check, but my tummy hurts right now. Please pray for it.

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GI's First Demo EP - Spontaneous Combustion 2004
Rating = 8

If you're looking for a harrowing, depressing, flabbergasting experience, be sure to rent Spike Lee's 4-hour documentary When The Levees Broke. Not only is it a heartwrenching (and angering) account of the New Orleans disaster, but it's also full of little-known facts that the media seemingly ignored throughout their coverage of the 2005 tragedy. For example, did you know that Katrina was not in fact just some woman who killed a bunch of black people? You'd think somebody would have pointed this out during the initial coverage, but apparently they (the president) names storms after people. So keep your eyes peeled or you might fall victim to Sprinkle Jim!

All hilarity and patting each other on the back aside, what happened in New Orleans is inexcusable. Watch Spike Lee's joint for a reminder course of how many bone-ups there were at every level of the government. And I know I didn't write much about it when it actually occurred, but remember - I was only 32 years old. You can't compare a wee, carefree child of 32 to an experienced, world-weary elder of 34. If Hurricane Katrina were to happen today, you can bet your sack of balls I'd express more concern. Because they retired the name. I'd be all like "Dude, who fucked up and used that name again?"

All uproariousness and giving each other high-fives aside, this Government Issue single is sort of an alternate version of the Legless Bull EP, so I've decided to review it here, after that one, and several years later.

In addition to early versions of five Legless Bull tracks, this single includes two early stabs (HA!) at Boycott Stabb songs, a tiny harDCore joke, a Clash parody, and two previously unreleased originals. The guitar distortion is cheap and buzzy, the bass is louder and busier than you'd expect from such a rudimentary version of the band, the vocals are completely indecipherable thanks to Stabb's mushmouthing, the drumming is more militaristic than their later material, most of the songs start with a "1,2,3,4!" count-in, only 4 of the songs are punk- or hardcore-speed (the remainder being midtempo), and most importantly MAN is this a catchy little collection of teensy-weensy songs! How teensy-weensy? Well, ONE of the 11 tracks certainly reaches the 1:00 mark!

Descriptions of the previously unavailable tracks:

"Stepping Stone" - A single line from the Monkees-via-Sex-Pistols song so beloved by G.I.'s contemporaries in the DC scene. Silly! Jocular! Short!

"Brand New Cataracts" - Seemingly improvised "Weird Al" Yankovic-esque parody of Vince Taylor & The Playboys' "Brand New Cadillac," re-introduced to the world only months earlier through The Clash's London Calling. Lyrics: "My baby woke up with brand new cataracts/My baby woke up with brand new cataracts/Now she can't see - she's blind!" Good work indeed on that rhyme scheme, Mr. John Stabb.

"Everybody's Getting Banned" - Sadly not a parody of The Byrds' "Everybody's Been Burned," but what amounts to a prog-rock epic (>1:00) for this phase of the band - a multi-part midtempo piece that alternates between cutesy pop and kid-angry rock. It's okay, but it's easy to see why they dumped it from their set list. Who wants to memorize more than TWO parts? Who do you think I am, the Mahavishnu Orchestra!? That's what they were saying to whoever wrote the song. Also, I bet you a dollar that Robert Fripp has Asperger's. Nobody could be that big an asshole on purpose.

"Warzone Casualty" - Somebody should be jailed for letting this hardcore rip-roarer disappear from their legitimate catalog. Couldn't they have released this instead of like the fifteen thousandth version of "Sheer Terror"?

Worth noting in regard to the alternate versions of previously available tracks:

"I'm James Dean" - The final line is still echo/delayed here, but not slowed down!

"Cowboy Fashion" - Are those group voices in the verse? Something very strange is filling up all the empty space!

"Anarchy Is Dead" - Stabb speaks the chorus as "Anarchy is dea - ead/Anarchy is dea - ead" rather than the better known "Anarchy is - dead!/Anarchy is - dead!" It sounds kind of forced and hokey here, so it's probably good that he changed his emphasis for Legless Bull.

"Insomniac" - This song stinks!

On a sad but not too sad note since it turned out okay, John Stabb was viciously attacked by a gang of hoodlum teenagers on MY VERY BIRTHDAY, 2007 and had to have thousands of dollars of surgery performed on his head. What's up with asshole kids these days? What were they doing beating up the clown prince of DC punk rock instead of buying me a cake and singing "Happy Birthday, Mark Prindle"? Bunch of sadists and leprechauns. YOU HEAR ME?! LEPRECHAUNS!!!! IN FACT, THEY PUT THE PRICK IN LEPRECH(PRICK)AUNS!!!!

No hang on, not "Leprechauns." What's the word?

Ah! That's right - "Cinnabons." Thank you, Sadists, for the tasty Cinnabons! They're mmmmm-tastic!

Reader Comments

I found your page and I laughed, I cried, it was much better than 'Cats'... I'm gonna read it again & again!

All joking aside, I just wanted to point out a bit of elitist absurdity I found in the blogosphere. Some time ago I was searching for GI in ppl's blogs just to see if there was some unearthed archeological find floating around. Having all the Dr. Strange comps (of which I already had most stuff on cassettes), the "Beyond" outtakes cd, and all the Dischord output, plus a "Video Soundtrack" 7" not included on the Complete History CDs (don't know why), I thought I had everything...

Until I found someone posted the GI demo 7".

The post/blog (of which I don't remember exactly where) had "Link Removed By Request". I scrolled through the comments to find a comment to the effect of (paraphrasing from memory) "I am the owner of this record label & don't recall giving you permission to upload this record!" ...sheesh, what a Le Prick Con! Someone is ACTUALLY complaining about a scratchy 30-year old demo being posted on the internet. A recording that Stabb probably just gave away back in the day in the first place & wasn't included in the Complete History cds out of shame, most likely.

Thank goodness for my good friend "Filestube" to find this inaudible "gem". This new-fangled interwebby is indeed an interesting place.


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Make An Effort EP - Fountain Of Youth 1982
Rating = 8

That game I played while reviewing Legless Bull was an extraordinarily fun and exciting one, so I'll play it again for this EP! Unfortunately this one only has FOUR songs, so I'd better cut the chit-chat chatter. Government Issue can already sing that Stone Temple Pilots song that goes "I'm not half the man I used to be" because the bass player is new and the guitarist is now BRIAN BAKER FROM MINOR THREAT!!!! He's brought a chunky metallic guitar tone with him, influencing Mr. Stabby to shout gravelly like that guy in Negative FX and not dissimilar to that guy in Last Rites. As a result, they sound like a much tighter and angrier metal-punk outfit, for better and worse. Better because it's fuckin' Brian Baker from Minor Threat, man! One of the new songs ("Twisted Views") even SOUNDS like Minor Threat! Worse because there was something awfully fun about the first guitarists' ludicrously fast up-and-down schplaying. And check this out - they've turned "Sheer Terror" into an echoed doom-bass death rock song! Dark and brooding, yet (thanks to the lyrics, of course) as playful as a worm wearing a hat -- "It bothers you, the way I dress/It irritates you, my hair so short/I do it to annoy you, I confess!/'Cuz I HATE you and your sort." I'm not sure exactly why the EP is called Make An Effort, what with one of the songs being about a teen drug casualty, one about killing people in a bank robbery, one about scaring people, and one about - XUCK! IT'S OVER! This calls for a joke!

Q. Why does Bono wear dark sunglasses all the time?
A. To keep from squinting at his halo!

Say! That reminds me of a joke!

Q. Why did the Polish Yes fan pay $400 for front row tickets to a U2 concert?
A. He was told it was the easiest way to get close to The Edge!

Having said that, the Polish are a wise people. I was simply paying homage to an earlier generation of "Polack" jokes that our forefathers enjoyed with their mead.

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Boycott Stabb - Dischord 1983
Rating = 6

Hay Bill. I'm sick as a piece of dog doo being worn as a mustache. I had to have my skull surgically removed from my head in order to make room for all the mucus that my sinus is generating. The area between my upper lip and my nose (not the metacarpus, which is the area between my wrist and the bones of my fingers) is flaky, red and worn to the brim with Kleenex wiping, my voice is a numb, muffled, puny little quaver, my eyes are the eyes of the dead, my chips are lapped, my brain is fuzzy and every time I eat something from a fast food restaurant, I find a finger in it. Put all of these sensual hallucinations together and it can only mean one thing: I'm sick as a bucket of vomit being used in a Bob For Apples carnival concession.

The world remembers how sick I was when I reviewed GBH, and how the reviews were short, bitter and filled with spite towards the band's crappy punk-metal releases. One time the world forgot, but it was quickly reminded by the unforgiving fist of my tsunami machine. But let it be known that my close-to-deathness has no bearing on this particular Government Issue record simply not being all that stable a contortion.

As you see, my goal is to end every paragraph of this review with a three-syllable word beginning with "con" and ending in "ion." There, you caught me. I've made my confession.

Brian Baker's gone back to Minor Threat. Bassist Tom Lyle has moved to guitar, and there's a new bass player. Although Tom Lyle would remain G.I.'s guitarist for the rest of the band's long life, I personally don't think he was quite ready to take over the lead spot at this time. He was a perfectly fine punk rock guitarist, but that's not what he was trying to do. In gearing to recreate and advance upon the more metallic aspects of Brian Baker's Make An Effort playing, Tom conjures up some REALLY lame punk-metal cliches (tuneless guitar solos; picking at one string as his finger slides along its length creating big dumb METAL 'harmonics'). So it's pretty much not the most intellectual punk rock album you're ever gonna hear. Not to mention, it was all recorded in one day, the guitar lines merge hard rock and punk guitar to very little overall effect, and even the hardcore speed chord parts aren't particularly energetic. The fuzz tone is pleasant enough, but it's neither tough nor tight, the songwriting is off, and there's just no power in these songs. Most of them are perfectly decent, but only a few are instant classics that dare to defy convention.

And here's a real life complaint -- considering that John Stabb is the FOCAL POINT of this band, why does he not bother to put ANY EFFORT AT ALL into his vocals? These are seriously some of the laziest vocals I've ever heard in my life, and I've heard Bob Dylan. Stabb just SAYS everything! He displays no intensity, emotion or range, he slurs his words and isn't the least bit tuneful, and he makes silly jokes and voices that aren't even close to entertaining -- in short, there is NO POSSIBLE WAY that he thought his parts through before recording them. It sounds like he's never even heard the music before as he lays down his simple little rhymes! Did they just accidentally release the "guide vocals" version of the album or something? I hate to complain so much, but I consider this a serious bone of contention.

Furthermore, the first Government Issue EP had 10 songs and lasted 10 minutes. This, the first Government Issue FULL-LENGTH ALBUM, features 11 songs and lasts only 20 minutes. This would be the case for the next couple "full-length albums" as well. Talk about screwing your public! Talk about wiping your proverbial turdy-dick all over your fans' asses after fucking 'em four ways to Depends usage! You know that word "it's"? That's a contraction.

If you need to believe that there are a few all-time winners on here, there are. "Hour Of 1" is great basic angry hardcore with a middle part stolen from The Low-Maintenance Perennials' "Wink Wink Wink Said The Happy Old Farmer," recorded an erotically suggestive seven years later. Band theme song "G.I." is a short sharp shock, dig it? He was cruisin' for a bruisin', I certainly was in the right! And "Plain To See" has this awesome metal riff note intro and mean speedy hardcore metallic chord changes. But the other eight songs - I mean, what's up with those? Some good hardcore speed, but bad hard rock choruses, too much jokiness, that stupid harmonics dancing up and down the neck thing I mentioned earlier, a hook stolen from "Sonic Reducer," some midtempo "eh"s, and the five gaziddlyjillionth version of "Sheer Terror" - this time performed in a dumb JOKE voice through an infinite delay pedal! Why!? Why waste like a full quarter of your "debut full-length" 20-minute record on a song that all of your fans already own about 62 times? What are you, hanging out with former Cincinnati Reds shortstop Dave Concepcion?

Government Issue quickly became really good, tight and serious about their work again. But on this particular record, they just don't sound like they gave a crap about what they were doing. Boycott Boycott Stabb! And if you already own it, take a knife and stab Boycott Stabb! And if you work for the government, tell the government to issue a boycott of Boycott Stabb! And if you are a magazine publisher, put out a "Government" issue, in which you urge a boycott and stabbing of Boycott Stabb! Also, don't worry about the blanks you're shooting; just this afternoon, I nailed your wife to conception.

AURGHHGhd Oh no! I'm having a conniption!

Also, I've decided to become addicted to heroin. Would you be interested in becoming my connection?

Great! You're under arrest! Now to secure a conviction.....

What? Oh, did I say I wanted to "become ADDICTED to HEROIN"? I of course meant "lop my PECKER off and become an anti-drug HEROINE." Sorry for any confusion.

Ow! You've hit me in the head and given me a contusion!

Say! What do you call a really smelly vegetable that's broken the law? A cononion!


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Joy Ride - Fountain Of Youth 1984
Rating = 8

My god I'm sick as shit today. Slept til 4, sniffling sneezing coughing aching stuffy head fever so I can rest medicine. You can't review when you're sick. Especially when you're listening to a godabominable David Bowie cd some guy sent you for review. Did you ever notice how much that guy blows and none of his songs are any good and his voice is terrible and he's a bad songwriter? According to my notes, Joy Ride has a new bassist, the vocals are gruff and shouted, the guitarist has learned how to play leads and stuff, he uses a warm fuzzy guitar tone, and the music is assured punk-metal - not silly like the last album. Pretty "metally" in the punk though, like The Freeze's later stuff. I love making references to The Freeze as if everybody knows them. "Oh yeah, the Freeze!" Yeah, and that other song sounds like the Groinoids. "Oh yeah! The top-selling Groinoids, who recorded exactly one song in their entire career!" And the one near the end sounds like the Fiddly Zabip Dop Doodly-doos. "Oh yeah! The Beatles, a band you just made up in your head all crazy!" This album is a tremendous improvement on the last one though, with a ton of excellent hard rock/metal/punk/emo chord sequences -- really memorable, hard-hitting stuff as opposed to the messy middling fub-dub of Boycott Stabb -- strong playing by all three musicians (the new bassist plays some wonderful interplay thingies underneath the guitar), and vehement vocalizing too. Moments remind me of Dag Nasty, Minor Threat's Out Of Step record, the Ramones... all good things to remind one of. Plus in this one song, the dude plays like Hendrixy blues-rock-protometal over a punk beat! Like a '60s Blue Cheer guy, but punk speed! The title track is a miserable attempt to sound like Judas Priest, but otherwise - once you get past the pointless inclusion of a SLOWED-DOWN version of "Fun And Games" from the last record and a kinda bland punker near the end, you've got just tons of fun - intense drumming, catchy as all hell tough chord fuzzies, an adorable punky Nancy Sinatra cover, YET ANOTHER version of "Sheer Terror" (though to be fair, this one is a JOKE)... Some of it might get a little too metally for punk hardliners (although I'm fairly certain that the dick-wagging funk-metal of "Notch To My Crotch" was intended as irony). But why are their albums so short? They start, each song has two verses and two choruses, and then they're over as hell! Christ, I CAN'T STOP COUGHING AND MY LUNGS ARE FILLED WITH TAR! David Bowie.

Also, tbe lyrics totally NAIL those horrible swirling emotions you feel (and overdramatic, self-centered lyrics you write) when you're a confused, lonely teen and nobody understands you. Here are some:

"Here I stay all alone/locked up from the world/I can't face what's out there/it scares me to death"

"Here come those tears of joy/slowly running down my face/kept feelings bottled in too long/now they're out and that's a start"

"At first I couldn't figure it out/it all seemed so crazy/the past comes back to haunt/in the back of my mind"

"I'm only human/been put on a pedestal/I've made mistakes/have and I always will/Please understand"

If you wrote songs as a teen, you probably recognize some of these feelings! I know I sure do. :7D Here are some examples of MY teenage work for your point and laughingness:

"I convince myself that I'm mature, be the best I can be/Then I ignore those who I somehow expect to care about me/I speak my philosophies and stand my moral ground/Then some other aspect shows itself and my whole belief gets switched around/Disheartening how little I know/Disheartening how little I feel/Disheartening how little I care/Do I know, care, feel at all?"

"The trees are dying/The planet's dead/But I don't give a damn/It's not in my head/I care - but not too much/I dream - but not to touch/I live - but for myself/I care - but only for my friends"

"Again I'm lying and I'm crying on my bed/Visions of anybody dancing through my head/Toss off the feelings I'm being misled/And grab on tightly to the ones I dread/I'll never find anyone/I'm going to live and die alone/I know I've said all this about a thousand times/Half of them to you on the phone/What a sunny day it is/What a beautiful magnificent world/What a wondrous world it is/I can't get out of bed/At this point, all I want is someone to hold me/Someone to hold me, and tell me everything will be okay."

These and many other great hits can be found in a notebook at the top of my closet! DAMAGE! IT'S MY DAMAGE! AND NO ONE COMES IN! NO ONE COMES IN!


Do you know what "punk-metal" is? It's not quite metal, nor is it "crossover thrash" of the DRI/Suicidal Tendencies variety, but it's when punk bands in the mid-80s started using lower gruffer distortion and the chord sequences started to feel more Judas Priest-inspired than Ramones-inspired (though maintaining the punk tempo). Like Black Flag's Slip It In would be punk-metal for example. Usually, the production was still punk-level lo-fi garagey for that DIY feel, but the macho vibes of the guitar attack were undeniable, especially when the guitar solos came along. A lot of punk-metal was truly horrible, but I guess you could say that about pretty much any subgenre of music, aside from country-pop.

You know what we need? A Christian grindcore band. Go start one. Here's a song title to get you started: "Excoriating Pungency of Malignant Virus-Infested Intestinal Virulency (Healed By Christ)."

Reader Comments
Glad to see Government Issue appearing on your page. I really haven't heard much of their stuff, and I'm interested in hearing more, so thanks for helping me on my way. One album I've enjoyed for many years, however, is "Joy Ride". I now have it on CD along with "The Fun Never Ends" (Combined total time both albums, six minutes and fifty seconds). Basically, Joy Ride is a good, solid DC hardcore album - nothing to wet your pants to (like, say, Minor Threat), but right up there with other second-string groups like Dag Nasty. A couple of songs which have a permanent residence in the "great riffs" section of my brain are "Time to Escape" and "Hall of Fame." Years ago, when I wrote some of my own hardcore songs, songs like these were a good wellspring for riff ideas.

Stabb's vocals are always either shouted or screamed (and when he does the latter, his voice usually cracks under the pressure), so if clean vocals are important to you (say, if you like the Misfits and Descendents better than early Black Flag), this album might grate on you a bit. Tom Lyle (guitar) sounds pretty bitchen though, albeit sloppy. Good tone and use of feedback - sounds very live.

And yes, I totally remember the days when I would write those pathetic "me against the world" lyrics with heavy handed metaphors and self-righteous individualism (if that's a word). I remember one called "Monster" (which actually bears an interesting resemblance to the Henry Rollins spoken word piece of the same name on his "Black Coffee Blues" CD, which was written ten years later!) - boy am I glad I never put that one to music.
hey now! i get the groinoid AND the freeze references! boston not la is a great cd!
and at newbury comics i found a replica of the freezes first single complete with construction paper for 8$!

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The Fun Just Never Ends - Fountain Of Youth 1985
Rating = 8

You ever had chapped lips? Take it from me: chapped lips are all about me and chapped lips ain't takin' no shorts. That's what I'm talkin' 'bout! Also, I heard some woman on the elevator use the phrase "Good times!" this morning so I guess that's a new cliche as well. People like to use cliches because it allows them to keep words streaming out of their mouth without having to go "ummm" as they ponder what to say next. That's my theory. At the end of the day, that's my theory. Most talk can go screw itself though. The written word is one thing - it's quiet and doesn't hurt my delicate ear and make me mad at myself. But I'm bored to death with idle chit-chat! I know you think it's all fun and games, but whenever somebody starts telling me about some bullshit like what's in the latest Vanity Fare, I instantly feel as trapped as a beaver who's found his whole dam world caved in. So the next time you decide to speak word one to me, don't be surprised if I massacre your assacre!

Within the last four sentences, I have strategically hidden the titles of every single track on this record. Look for them now! (Please note: "Your Assacre" and "Beaver" don't count because they're only available on the Adults-Only XXX version, which also features Tom Lyle wiggling his dick around)

Have you heard of this new "blogging" phenomenon? Apparently people keep little online journals about their daily activities and other people read them. It's kind of like keeping a secret diary that you leave unlocked and sitting outside in the road. It's called a "blog" because they're so chockful of interesting information that it's like eating a "blog" of ham or crapping out a gigantic "pooblog." Yesterday I spent 45 days on a blog by some guy with a blog. It was awesome. I don't know who the guy was, but he ruled.

Some people say I waste this important space when I could be saying something ipmprotant. So here's something ipmprotant: "I actually used a urinal the other day!" That's pretty exciting because I've had bashful bladder since I was caught peeing in the school bathroom sink as a "hilarious" joke in the first grade. You know what sucks though? When you pee standing up, you always end up pissing all over the front of my pants. And snickering about it. Then you take a crap on my shirt.

If for some reason that's not ipmprotant enough for you, how about this: "Everybody has a different history and a different set of genes, so you can't expect other people to believe the same things and react to stimuli in the same way that you do." Also, "Music isn't important enough to get upset and pissed off about." So if you get mad when somebody points out how much Sonic Youth sucks, think about these two points and ask yourself why you should care one way or the other what anybody else thinks about something as insignificant as a "rock band" that you happen to like. If you're a teenager, I can understand it because I remember how important one's favorite bands are when one is initially forming his/her personality separate from his/her parents. But if you're like 20 or older and not an actual MEMBER of a shitty band that people hate because you suck, don't let yourself get upset about something so trivial. You'll die young of heart disease! Instead of old of crack cocaine overdose!

Also, there were two Lee Harvey Oswalds working for U.S. intelligence agencies in the early '60s. Oh! And those with political and economic power really don't give a rat's eye if you wear a little button that says "Wars'R'Us," so you peace activists might as well sit at home watching baseball if you're not going to commit some assassinations or some major electronic thefts from hidden bank accounts or something. Not that I would, but you're kooky with guns and shit.

The Fun Just Never Ends finds Government Issue with yet another new bassist and a hopping hemoglobin of WONDERFUL guitar hooks of the punk-metal-emo variety. A very full sound is hear to be found; good clean production prevents any sucktion; excellent guitar overdubs like you found a four-leaf clover, Bubs; and a new POPPY influence drives good kids to become sin truants. And by "POPPY," I of course mean "your father." By bringing his favorite '60s catchy Turtles sounds to the music of Government Issue, your Dad has done a wonderful job of giving their tough rock sound a hot beef injection of fresh girl juice a la singalongable Descendents/Bad Religion. Tom Lyle just keeps getting better and better too, sliding his fingers up and down the neck to play melodic leads at a punk rock tempo. Don't be fooled by the title though - it's not FUNK at all, even though the album is called The Fun Just - oh.

The only sore thumb is, once again, band leader and stalwart champion of longevity John "Stabb" Schroeder. This time, rather than just SAYING everything or alternately screaming with passion and/or hitting an actual note at some point, he has decided to just TALK AS LOUDLY AS HE CAN AT THE TOP OF HIS REGISTER without shouting. Try doing that now. Talk as loudly as you can with your voice as high as it can go without turning into falsetto. Isn't it annoying? Now release an album of you doing that for 25 minutes.

As had become their custom, half of the songs are uptempo punkers and the other half midtempo rockers. Yet again, the songs are tiny and the whole record is over before you can say, "I paid 10 quid for that!?" Most of the riffs are killer though. You hear something as emotionally resonant as "Mad At Myself" or "Written Word" and you'll think Milo Goes To College is on the jukebox. Then you hear something as wonderfully melodic and catchy as "Massacre" or "World Caved In" and you'll think the Hollies have turned up their amps and gotten their drummer addicted to amphetamines. Then after that, you hear something as mean and dark as "The Next Time" and "Vanity Fare" and you'll think that Blue Oyster Cult has replaced famed vocalist Eric Bloom with an ADD-afflicted stuffed animal. You see, you can't pin down this album; it's jet skiing all over your face, John, and that ain't no fibtickly daffodilness.

By that way, "It's jet skiing all over your face, John, and that ain't no fibtickly daffodilness" is a current hip urban young person slang lingo cliche, so I recommend using it constantly if you expect to find J-Lo's dick in your mouth any time soon.

Why did they redo "Bored To Death" though? And why include a live version of a song already on the album in studio-recorded form? And why does "Trapped" sound like early Kiss? I'm so sick of questions questions questions. Always questions. Why can't I come up with any answers for a change?

So basically, you're arguing that I should NOT have removed half of my brain that time I ran out of Play-Doh. But see, that's the difference between you and me. I value art and creativity; you're more concerned with the pursuit of material wealth and being able to breathe without a machine attached to your body.

And don't start nagging me about only shaving half of my face again. I'm telling you, that other side ISN'T MINE!!!

(click on that underlined sentence up there)

Reader Comments
This review is right about these songs, they are top-notch. Especially "World Caved In" (which is also available in a superior, piano-flourished version on a compilation called "Life Is A Joke Vol. 3" - check it out)! Unfortunately, I don't think I could describe the sound as "good, clean production", though. My CD copy sounds overloaded throughout. Like the overall mix got crunched somehow. Am I the only one hearing this?

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Give Us Stabb Or Give Us Death EP - Mystic 1985
Rating = 7

Alright who's the dipstick who said to the guy with the record company, "hey, let's have blspjl" and then his tongue turned to pure gold as the instant cash of his words became clear to the world's global banking community. Within minutes, the Vatican responded with riches stolen from WWII Jewish dead and out comes the moneymaker of the Century: a five-song EP featuring four songs you can get somewhere else anyway. That's right! It's a five-song " " " " " " " " " "! I'm still sick. Sick and TIRED. Sick and tired o' YOU!!!! No not really. But sick, sure. Sick with head fevers and something that clogs fifty-five gallons of mucus into my throat every time I inhale, which might be the dick I taped to my inside cheek that day I thought I was fag, and I DO mean "fag" as an adjective but still, why must Lord Jesus subject me to the trials and tragedies of being sick of body, weak of mind and hilarious of character?

Can you get stronger versions of "Written Word" and "The Next Time" on The Fun, She Never Ends, She Do? Indeed one can. Can you find better versions of "Plain To See" and "Blending In" on Joy Buzzer and Kill Johnny Stiff? Damn straight (tootin') that has happened! And is "Day Of Reckoning" a boring, tinnily-recorded parody of heavy metal, in which John Stabb growls with a ridiculous redneck drawl over a Mentorsish stupid-stompin' beat? God how we've asked ourselves that question. God and me, that is. Me when I'm pressing 950, God when he's curing people of AIDS if they fuck a baby - we spend a lot of time on these issues, and there is only answer we've found. That answer is this:

(*intoned majestically, in God's voice with a beard*)

I understand that a 7 is a high-as-a-tall-building grade for an EP I just tore to pieces on live German television while shitting on some girl (per German broadcasting laws), but that just goes to show you that Government "G.I." Issue have developed into transextastically talented songwriters. Keep on writin' those songs, Stabby and Tomsalot!

And now a joke:

Knock knock
Who's there?
Some guy with big nuts.
Some guy with big nuts who?
(pause) Well, I don't think "Some guy with big nuts" is his actual first name. I was just using it as a description.

Add your thoughts?

Live! - Mystic 1985
Rating = 7


A 1! 2! A 1-2-3-4!

(*band starts cranking out a killer hard rock riff*)


Stabb SCREAMS with grit and passion!
Good sound - you can hear the instruments fine.
It's material from several different shows clashin',
'82 to '85, it's aged like fine muthafuckin' WIIIIIIII-IIIIIIIIII-IIIIIIINE!!! YEAH!!!!!


Some songs are better recorded than others!
The guitar is too trebly sometimes.
Lots of fast songs to piss off your mothers!
Sometimes a bit too mono, like an ear full of limes - YEAH!!!!


Yeah, I'm talkin' about Government Issue's Live
Four different bass players, like in a bee hive
One song from Make An Effort and two from The Fun...
Three from Boycott -- and Joy Ride??? Holy shit - it's sev-UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUNNNNNN!!!!! YEEEEEAAAHAHAHHHHHH!!!

(*guitarist plays 14-minute solo, takes actual shit while farting into vocoder*)


(*man in bunny rabbit suit beats on drums with his hands for eight minutes*)

Alright alright alright. Let's bring it down for this one. Let's bring it down.


(*crowd cheers*)


(*crowd cheers more loudly*)


(*crowd roars and screams at the top of their lungs*)


(*crowd goes row by row, with each patron one at a time politely answering the question of whether or not he or she likes to take a taste of Government Issue*)


(*guy in back speaks a bit louder*)



(*discovers puppies have been adopted and are no longer on the premises*)




Come hear the rare sludge metal "Dead Dog"!
Hear the funny line, "We eat, sleep and drink anarchy, man"
"Hall Of Fame" kicks like a glass of egg nog,
And "Any other skinheads out there that wanna kiss me?" will make you a Fah-Fah-FAAAAAN!!!!

Yeah, I'm talkin' about Government Issue's Live
Four different bass players, like in a bee hive
One song from Make An Effort and two from The Fun...
Three from Boycott -- and Joy Ride??? That's sev-UN.




Add your thoughts?

Live 1985 DVD - Music Video Distributors 2005
Rating = 7

Remember that time? Back in the day? When we all got together and a-hey hey hey?

If that were a lyric on this DVD, it wouldn't be very good. Fortunately, it's not and the DVD is quite enjoyable! You know how like you "go into" a DVD? Well, don't "go into" this one with the expectation of a modern-times fancy DVD with special features and commentary and whatnot. This is simply a DVD dub of an old Flipside VHS tape - complete with some faulty video moments!

The 50-minute disc includes two G.I. shows from the Summer of 1985 when The Fun Just Never Ends was flying off the shelves of record stores on faultlines: a small June 3rd punker show at Fenders Ballroom and a gigantic August 9th stadium arena show at the Olympic Auditorium. In his newly-penned liner notes, singer John "Stabb" Schroeder (nicknamed "Stabb" because he likes to stab people and he's illiterate) explains that he was more comfortable at the smaller show, but you wouldn't know it by his antics! Small club or large world paradise, Mr. Weird Face is up there playing with his shirt, headbanging around the stage. swinging on pipes, imitating Simon Le Bon and jerking his body around like a hyperactive child with a dog bite in a kepone factory. Seeing him in action, it's a lot easier to understand why they didn't just throw his founding member ass out of the band for the weak, lackadaisical vocals he contributed on the first few albums. Plus he's wearing funny pants! Good old funny pants.

Speaking of clothes that prevent girls from having sex with you, what on earth was the skinny bassist thinking when he prepared for his big gigantic Fleetwood Mac-style auditorium show by putting on a pair of stupid eyeglasses and short shorts? Chicks don't dig eyeglasses! Hell, optometrists don't even dig eyeglasses, and they BUILD them!

More importantly however is the music. And musically speaking, Tom Lyle looks pretty damn cool in his black leather jacket. Unfortunately, every song at the first show is repeated in the second show (though admittedly they play the SLOW version of "Hall Of Fame" at one show and the fast version at the other), so you might be tempted to skip the first show entirely. But DON'T! This band's songs were so great, you shouldn't miss a moment! Especially since both shows start with "Blending In," an awesome, unforgettable punk riff as basic, instinctive and majestic as "Blitzkrieg Bop." Other must-hear pop-punk-metal blasters include "Mad At Myself," "Notch To My Crotch," "Please Understand" (which I've taken to singing as "Nice Pair of Pants") and a sneak preview of what would become one of the few fast songs on the band's self-titled 1986 album, "Hear The Scream."

Yes, Government Issue. They may not have had any hit singles on your big radio stations and MTV, but if you're looking for high-energy, well-written punk music with hard rock, metal and pop influences, this DVD belongs on your turntable!

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Government Issue - Fountain Of Youth 1986
Rating = 8

Have you ever heard that song "Hey Jude" by The Beatles? Did you know that fucker has a cuss word in it? You can't really hear it but sources say it's there. You know that part where Paul goes "Then you begin..." and you hear someone go "Oh!" in the background? I think it's about 3 and a half minutes in or some crap. At any rate, after that "Oh!" (which is actually the word "chord," I'm told, as John Lennon of the Beatles is complaining about having hit the wrong chord), if you listen behind Paul's " make it better," you can hear John Lennon saying, "Fucking hell!" This is true! Not a silly joke as usual! Try it! You'll like it!

On a related note, if you put on Billy Joel's The Stranger and listen really really closely, you can hear me telling you to turn it off.

But none of these have to do with Government Issue's self-titled album Government Issue. "Bluh bluh bluh blah bling bling blue bling," rings the quiet, thoughtful, clean guitar chords that introduce the record, and you'll be nodding your head and saying, "Bluh bluh bluh blah bling bling blue bling indeed" in your mistaken assumption that a human voice has made the sounds and not a guitar. It doesn't sound like a human voice at all, but if your past activities are any indication, you're not very bright. After all, who's the one who got his dick stuck in the escalator?

Well yeah, me, but it's long. This record is, like my post-escalator dick, a little slicker in production but still plenty hard-hitting. The songs are a bit longer and less speedy, but still melodic with hard rock and pop influences. The guitar tones are beautifully fuzzy and (relatively) heavy, the lyrics ALMOST tell the story of a bullied, lonely kid who ends up murdering people (apparently they gave up the rock opera idea halfway through), and most surprisingly and pleasingly of all, Stabb actually sounds like he GIVES A SHIT whether the album SOUNDS LIKE SHIT or not! He speaks and sings in a manner much like Ian MacKaye in his less angry screaming moments. You know what I mean? Like on that Embrace album when Ian sorta sings with that uncertain "sing" thing instead of just shouting like in Minor Threat? It's like that. Sounds really good too!

If you at all enjoy the more midtempo work of smart guitar "punk" bands like Dag Nasty, Bad Religion and Rites of Spring, you'll be all over this album like a stick of butter on Ryan Reynolds' anus. Dark BOC-reminiscent hard rock riffs alternate with thoughtful note runs, arpeggiations and unique chord sequences in a series of songs that falter only in the moments when the band reaches farther than its punk-level arms can convincingly reach (the amateurish sitar plucking of "Lost Forever," rudimentary 'turn the tape around backwards' experimentation of "Memories Past," embarrassing 'tough guy' blues rock riffing of "Even When You're Here," and a song called "Sheer Terror"). The more straightforward tracks are fanflickinglytastic examples of excellent underground post-punk hard rock with youthful tears and arms of need. Sure, only a couple of the songs kick punk-speed ass, but there's seriously like NINE great songs on here. High 8? Hell, high 8.1! "Locked Inside" even has an organ! Like how MINE was "locked inside" the escalator for most of the afternoon!

"When I'm Alone" is a beautiful slowed-down version of "Mad At Myself" disguised under a new title. And when "Hear The Scream" starts up, you'll be fooled into thinking you're listening to Bad Religion's "Fuck Armageddon, This Is Hell." I felt that these were important points to mention to you, and I proceeded to do so. This is how I know I'm a man.

Speaking of which, here's a joke for you:

Q. Why do the guys in ZZ Top have such long beards?

A. Women are just naturally taller in Texas!

(*absolute dead silence*)

Sigh. Okay. See, when a gay person hangs out with a woman in public so nobody will know he's gay, that woman is called a "beard."

(*absolute dead silence*)

Sigh. Okay. See, ZZ Top are from Texas.

(*absolute dead silence*)

What the - Oh! My speaker's turned down.

(*turns up computer speaker, hears cheery barrelfuls of laughter pouring in from all over the globe - China, Indonesia, Canada and all points in between - as an entire planet guffaws profusely together at this fabulous new joke that has been sucked out of the ether by the comedy conduit that is*)

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Complete History Volume One - Dr. Strange 2000
Rating = 7

This double CD includes Make An Effort, Boycott Stabb, Joy Ride, The Fun Just Never Ends, Give Us Stabb Or Give Us Death, Live, Government Issue and seven live bonus tracks. Is a 7 too low for a double-CD that has FOUR "8"-rated records on it??? Probably, yes. But the repetition, my fucking GOD! The back cover boasts 80 tracks, but there are only 50 DIFFERENT songs on here! So as long as you think it's worth 24 bucks or whatever when you have to sit through two versions each of "Teenager In A Box," "Happy People," "Plain To See," "Blending In," "Understand," "Familiar," "Time To Escape," "Notch To My Crotch," "Reflection," "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'," "Fun And Games," "Written Word" and "Vanity Fare," three renditions of "Puppet On A String" and "The Next Time," four versions of "Hall Of Fame" and "G.I.," and a brain-diminishing FIVE versions of "Sheer Terror," then an 8 is a more appropriate grade for your type of consumer. As it is, there's just so many unnecessary multiple-takes on here, you'd have to be a Carrot Monster to listen to the whole thing in one sitting. CARROT!!! CARROT!!!! MARRMM AMRMMARM MAMRMAMRM!!!!! C IS FOR CARROT - DAT'S GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME!

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You - Giant 1987
Rating = 7

Those who should know better oft j'accuse me of plagiarizing Tim Conway hook, line and sinker in every review I pen. Such is so truly not the case that I'm less aghast than bemused by all the controversy. Perchance my "Mark 'Dorf' Prindle on Golf" feature seemed a bit familiar to fans of the genre, and certainly I may have crossed a few lines when I pitched a series to NBC entitled The Carol Burnett Show Starring Harvey Korman and Mark Prindle, but what really hurts is that it's coming from the children. The children are supposed to LOVE me. That's why I put blankets over their heads and call them "Blanket." I'm crazy about them. I look in their eyes and I say "I love you" every day. I haven't been betrayed or deceived by children. Adults have let me down. And I'm not a nut. I'm very smart. You can't come this far and be a nut.

For example, look at some of the things that my brain and I have done just today:

1) Developed a hilarious way to jovially accuse people of going into the bathroom to masturbate. It works like this: First, throw a big party. Now, in the middle of the party (and make sure not to play any music at the party, so everyone will hear your joke), if a male person gets up and says, "I'll be right back. I'm going to the bathroom," stand up, smirk and loudly intone, "To take a shower or (wink, wink) SHAKE YOUR TOWER??????" Similarly, if a female woman gets up and says, "I'll be right back. I have to use the restroom," stand up, grin lasciviously and roar, "To take a shit or (wink, wink) SHAKE YOUR TIT??????" This one works best around children, who don't know how women actually masturbate.

2) Realized that "nutmeg" rhymes with "buttpeg"

3) Wrote this comedy joke for inclusion in a Hip young person newspaper (Village Voice, Washington Post, etc): One night while getting ready for bed, Farmer Floyd heard a flashing flame of blazing light jet out of his cornfield at the speed of a rocket. As he ran outside (in his underpants) to investigate, he realized that every single one of his animals - the pigs, the cows, the mice, the squirrels, the crows, the roosters, the chickens, the mules, the donkeys, the ducks, the geese, the turtles, the swans - every single one of them was gone. With the blazing flash of light now so far out of sight he couldn't see it, Farmer Floyd cupped his hands over his mouth and screamed into the heavens, "WHEEEEEEEEERE AAAAAAAAARE YOUUUUUUUU?????????" The next day around noon or 1:30, his question was answered by the arrival of a postcard. Farmer Floyd was tickled pink when he picked it up and read, "The Dark Side Of The Moon. Wish You Were Here! - Animals."

I was going to put in something about how Farmer Floyd's vision was obscured by clouds, and for a minute I considered having an animated wall jump into the rocket with the farm animals, but why ruin the perfect gag with overkill? One flaming bag of dog doo will do the trick; you don't have to cover the whole house in shit and burn it down! Especially since it takes literally weeks to find enough dog doo to cover a whole house. Then you're faced with the problem of making it flammable. You could take the time to squirt lighter fluid all over the house, but with each passing minute, you're that much closer to the residents realizing that their entire home smells like poop. For this reason, I recommend choosing a Puerto Rican family.

Hey check out this joke I just made up: Q: What's the difference between a hockey equipment washer and your wife?

A: A hockey equipment washer suds my puck!

I realize it wasn't perfect but you can switch a few words around in your mind and make it hilarious. Similarly, when 27-year-old John "Stabb" Schoeder decided to start dating an underage girl, it was only a matter of time before he wrote a bunch of songs about it. Those songs can be found here on You. As Roger Daltrey once sang, "The Music Must Change," and that's exactly what Government Issue did on this album. Specifically, they replaced their quit-happy bassist and long-suffering drummer Marc Alberstadt with two new people. This minor change had ramifications so drastic, they would nearly lead a country into war.

This is a pop album. A little TOO poppy, some might say. Sure, there's some moody darkness around, and as a whole it's MUCH faster than the previous record, but as I look through the reams and reams of notes I took while examining the record for review, I keep seeing comments like "the kind of happy midtempo stuff 7 Seconds did after leaving hardcore" and "uptempo bouncy thing with Walking On Sunshine's drumbeat" and "happy three-chord chorus with a cowbell" and "just a few basic happy chords - not too gripping" and "silly over-happy note break annoys me" and "generic yet annoyingly cheerful" and "just really basic happy chords, but enjoyable for some reason." This may seem hard to believe, but I take notes without a thesaurus.

Mr. Stabb has also changed his vocal pants for this release, adopting a low Ian Curtisy/Dave Vaniany croon thingy, probably at the urging of the uterus hussy he was conjugally nailing at the time. It sounds pretty darned good too, especially during the Damned-style moody dark tunes "Caring Line" and "Young Love." Make nose mistakes -- I do like the record, regardless of its occasional oversimplicity and merry musical feel. The energy is super-high, with over half of the songs trotting along at the speed of punk, and the addition of actual vocal melodies is something that shouldn't be overlooked by the Establishment. Plus they're getting better at more organically (or entertainingly) interjecting 'experimental' sounds like organs, church choirs, backwards tapes and sitars into their bright shiny fuzzy guitar mix (the unexpected sitar solo in the Ramones-speed "Wishing" is an absolute SCREAM! Which is good because the rest of the song is completely nondescript).

When this group is on the top of its songwriting game ("Strange Wine," "Blending In," "Understand," "Mad At Myself"), they're the greatest band in the world. But they just can't seem to ever stretch it out over a full album. Even the last few albums, as great as they were, still all had 2 or 3 lazy ugly stupid songs. This one has a full FIVE that could use some rewriting in my opinion (actually the Chuck Berry dumb rocker "Melancholy Miss" could use some throwing in the fucking garbage, if you ask me). And their hit-miss percentage dropped even lower after this one. Why on Earth does John Stabb consider this and Crash to be the band's best records? Because he actually SANG on them? Because the lyrics meant something to him? Surely it's not the melodicism - this is a frigging pop-punk album! A good one, sure, but so's your old man!

I don't know how that insult wound up in there. Let's forget I ever said it, or that I fucked your mother.

I don't know why I said that. Look, let's just agree to disagree on the whole subject. Here, see this? It says that they're remaking The Bad News Bears with Billy Bob Thornton in the Walter Matthau role. Doesn't that sound nice? Maybe you and your impotent old man can go see it while I'm upstairs fucking your mother!

I don't know why I said that. Look, I consider you my best friend in the whole world, so let's just forget about all this crazy talk. Hey, I know! Here's something I've been wondering. I realize you may not remember this far back, but when you were born, did you notice kind of a spongy spot near the top, right in front of her cervix? I swear to God, I can think about baseball all day but when I hit that fuckin' spot, I gush cum like a geyser!

And believe me, you "geyser" (guys are) going to enjoy the daylights out of Government Issue's penultimate studio LP, You. So buy it 2dae!

Reader Comments

Rich from Berkeley
Great job putting up the Government Issue page, Mark.

I think you're missing out on the brilliance of the last few years of GI, though. Possibly because you're listening to it after hearing 20 years of music that came after it, maybe? When "You" came out, it was a-maz-ing to hear it. Punk bands weren't judged by the same yardstick that mainstream records were, so the musicianship on "You" was nuts. Just light years ahead of the peers, without losing the spirit. Stabb's grave tone wasn't fucking around either. Some unplanned growing up happened to him and it came out as keenly observant fragmentary poetry. You can tell when an artist is expressing something organic and honest versus bullshitting a crowd. GI was at the height of their powers [the drums!] and being very real about it. (And if you listen closely, you can hear the lesser tape quality of the toss-off track, "Melancholy Miss," acting as a clue that it shouldn't be taken too seriously, but simply enjoyed.)

I relentlessly listened to that LP all spring and a Certron cassette of it all summer. When I hear it now, yeah, I can hear some production that's a little limited. Yeah, I can hear it's an out-moded style of songwriting. Some lyrical issues aren't issues anymore. It has artifacts of the era. But the playing hasn't aged, though. Neither has the heart.
oh i agree with mr rich from berkeley... the drums! the frigging drums!

Add your thoughts?

Crash - Giant 1988
Rating = 6

Hey, Dave Jenkins of Queen parody tribute band "Queer" here. Mark Prindle has lent me this space to promote our new single "Teach Yourself To Drive" (Parody of Queen's "Keep Yourself Alive") backed with "We Are The Cramp Yens" (Parody of Queen's "We Are The Champions"), available May 17th on Rock 'N' Roll Records. I don't want to give away all the jokes before you hear the songs, but here are a few lines from each, just to salt your tongue a little.

Excerpt from "Teach Yourself To Drive" (Parody of Queen's "Keep Yourself Alive"):

"Teach yourself to drive!
Teach yourself to drive!
Blow it out your ass
And throw it in the trash
and teach yourself to drive!"

Excerpt from "We Are The Cramp Yens" (Parody of Queen's "We Are The Champions"):

"I've worn nice shoes
I've eaten limes
You brought me fame and fortune and fame and fortune and fame and fortune,
But it's been no bed of roses
No pair of pants
I consider this a challenge before the whole human race
And I'm going to a high school dance!"

Once again, this is Dave Jenkins of Queen parody tribute band "Queer." During our live shows, I go by the name "Deady Jerkury" though. You can see me and my friends Bob "Dyin' Gay" Georgeson, Steve "Rodjerk Gaylor" McGillicudy, and Jeff "John Peekin'" Grossenberg every Thursday night at Suds' on Long Island. And be sure and request our new single "Teach Yourself To Drive" (Parody of Queen's "Keep Yourself Alive") on WESD-AM's weekly "Local Music Scene" show every Sunday morning from 5:30 to 6:30 AM. Thanks everybody and, as Freddie Mercury might say, "Keep yourself alive!"

Hey, Mark Prindle here. Let me know what you think about my new advertising model. I know it can be a bit offputting at first, but I could really use a few extra "bones" ("dollars") coming in every month. We live in a commercial world and the idea that you've been getting so many quality entertainment words from me for all these years at NO COST to you is both horrifying and wrong. Now on to another FREE review, provided for FREE by me, FREE OF CHARGE SOCIALISM Prindle.

Unfortunately, we're now out of time, so I'll have to review Crash at some other point. Goodnight!

Mark Prindle... Himself
This Album... Not Too Good
Vocals Sound Like... Jack Greggors from Good TSOL
Music Sounds Like... Corny 80s Metal from Bad TSOL
Another Day... Another Good GI Song
Strange Wine... Great Song
Better Than TV... Not Saying Much
Time Will Rearrange... Hopefully Edit Too
Connecticut... Arpeggigreat
Crash... Blow
The Price... Is Shite
The Fear... Nice Rear! (slang for "Great Fast Song!")
Summer Of Blood... Bummer of Stabb
For Ever... Pray That Death is The End
with Mel Gibson as "Max"

Add your thoughts?

Finale - Lost And Found 1988
Rating = 8

Two live shows from near the end of the band's career. He sings like Dave Vanian and Jack Greggors, but has a lot of trouble with the harmony parts. Six songs from the first show are repeated during the second show, so there are actually only 21 different songs total. 7 from YOU, l6 from CRASH, 5 from GOVERNMENT ISSUE, 1 from THE FUN JUST NEVER ENDS and 2 from JOY PUD. It's recorded so well that it could be a studio recording, and the band plays lots of their best songs. But come on, since when have you needed live albums on which the band plays the songs exactly like they are on the original albums? The only wonderful surprise is a fantastic GUITAR version of the formerly shitty sitar song "Last Forever." Otherwise suffice it to say that Stabb has trouble with the vocal harmonies in a live forum, but with songs as fucking unbelievably ass-catchy wonderfuckful as "Strange Wine," "Where You Live," "Blending In," "Understand," "Mad At Myself," "The Price," "Public Stage," "Connecticut," "It Begins Now," "They Know," "Caring Line," "Visions And?" and "Say Something," how can you fault the guy? He's probably jumping around like crazy on stage anyway, and that's TIRING! I just finished a Red Belt Test in Tae Kwon Do about half an hour ago and it was TIRING! You think I could sing my harmonies on-key after doing that? Shit no! I could barely even say "Kee-ah!" or "Yes sir!" And you should have seen how shitty my jump turning back side kicks were. Talk about an assholepipe! The last thing I need is some dickhead audience expecting me to sing my harmonies on-key. You're lucky if I don't piss all over you, ya bunchofuckingoofs!

Hey check this out - this actually happened and it was so funny, we all shat ourselves while sitting on your white mink couch -- earlier today, my wife and I were out at a tennis court rehearsing for our Tae Kwon Do test while Henry The Dog associated with other dogs on the tennis court. A couple of the dogs were playing with tennis balls. THAT'S KEY TO REMEMBER. As we were preparing to leave (impending test pending), a woman with hilariously fake breasts pointed at the tennis balls her dogs were playing with and asked us, "Are those your balls?" After my wife said no, I quietly said to my wife (hilariously), "I thought maybe my zipper was open!" GET IT? HA ! HA! HA! THE NEXT TIME ANYONE ASKS YOU IF THOSE ARE YOUR BALLS, REMEMBER WHAT I SAID!!!! REMEMBER WHAT I SAID!!!!! REMEM-MEM REMEMEMEMBER! REMEM-MEM REMEMEMEMBER! REMEM-MEM REMEMEMEMBER! RE-MEM-MEM REMEMBER THEN!!!! THAT NIGHT WE FELL IN LOVE! BENEATH THE STARS ABOVE! ETFUCKINGPETERCETERA!!!!!

Remember that video where Peter Cetera grabbed the broad's titboob and she smacked him off the back of the pick-up truck? That was so great, I HA HA! Oh I can't type anything but laughter just thinking about it! HA ! HA HA! HA HA!!! HA HA HA!!! HA HA HA HA!!! HA HA HA HA HA!!!! LOOK AT ME! I'M PEDRO ANDINO!!!! FUCKY FUCKY SHE'S A PRETTY GIRL!!!! THIS SONG SUCKS A DICK!!!

(The readers love it when you specifically make fun of them as individuals).

Hi! I'm John Byrd and my favorite ten albums of all time are:
10) Bruce Springsteen - Born To Run
9) Bruce Springsteen - The Wild, The Innocent And The E Street Shuffle
8) Bruce Springsteen - Nebrasks
7) Bruce Springsteen - Born In The USA
6) Bruce Springsteen - The River
5) Bruce Springsteen - The Joshua Tree
4) Bruce Springsteen - Revolver
3) Bruce Springsteen - Pet Sounds
2) Bruce Springsteen - Bruce Springsteen Sings "My Generation"
1) Bruce Springsteen - The Freewheelin' Bruce Springsteen

Hmmm. let's see. What other readers can I disgrace in a public forum. OH! I KNOW!

Hello, I'm Katie Burster. I have cancer and have been wheelchair-bound since I was four years old. All the music I like is SHIT!!! SHITTY SHITTY SHIT!!! AND I FLAP AND FLOBBLE ALL OVER THE FLOOR CUZ I CAN'T FUCKIN' WALK AND I'M BALD HA HA HA HA H FUCK ME UP THE ASS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Stupid Katie Burster crippled whore. GET THE FUCK OFF MY SITE!!!!

Oh alright, I'm just kidding. I wouldn't go THAT FAR to be shocking. I don't really have a reader named "John Byrd."

Reader Comments

John Byrd
HA HA! Wait........... that's making fun of me! Bastard! I think I'm actually pissed! Well..... maybe not! I use exclaimation marks in terribly innappropriate times! Stergeon (I think I spelled that right) can get enormous!

28 feet and 3,000 pounds! The largest recorded stergeon ever! That's larger than great white sharks! That's nothing but ingenius! Who's even heard of Government Issue?

I have a feeling the new Star Wars movie.......... which is called something......... is going to be aweful. It's all because of the actor playing Anakin. And the fact that George Lucas was killed in 1981 and replaced by a robot. Rollingstone just reviews things terribly. They aren't even clever. In the 70's they could review. At least they had the thin veneer of ability.

Traffic, now there's a great movie. Yeah, I'm gonna go to college for criminal justice or marine biology.......... henh. Why am I even saying these kind of things on the internet on this site all you people (I mean, oh wait, I forgot, my name is MARK PRINDLE, I REVIEW GOVERNMENT ISSUE A BAND THAT NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD OF AND NO ONE WILL EVER LOOK AT THESE REVIEWS AHHHHHHH) are wondering.

Because I'm compelled to comment on the genius of these three people: Bruce Springsteen (damnit, I deserve whatever ridicule I get now), Stevie Wonder, and almost kinda slightly Tom Waits, oh wait, and Paul Simon..........

even though I know there are better guys than all three

I only really like 3 Bob Dylan albums, ok, I only have like 5 of 'em. Bringin' It All Back Home got old QUICKLY, but it was genius while it lasted, Highway 61 Revisited is absolutely one of the greatest things ever made....... except the one about Mr. Jones, Desire is probably not as accomplished as Highway, but it's more listenable, and Blonde On Blonde is genius beyond everything he's done. Blood On The Tracks is an overrated piece of crap that I will probably be praising in like a month or something.

hunh, A Hard Day's Night is on Roger Ebert's list of great movies.

SO IS QUADROPHENIA!!! Oh....... nevermind.

I'll leave you with the following thoughts: the average IQ or someone in South Korea is 106 (the sencond-highest in the world, the damn Japs are first), the average IQ in the U.S. is 100, and the average IQ of a Jewish-American (by blood of course) is a whopping 115! I wish I was a Jew. Like Woodie Allen. He's such a Jew, it's not even arguable.

(a few minutes later)

Hunh. I was just thinking of that review I just posted. I was thinking, hey, this post is really just composed of juvenile humor that my friends and I get, so it'll probably come off as complete idiocy as a post on the internet.......... hey! wait a sec! I think I just all learned something of Mark Prindle's site! But, as I was driving my friend's new car down a old black-top road, leaving Spencer, a "city" that's 30 miles away from where may friend and I live ,at 3:45 in the morning on a Saturday night listening to my new Ultimate Dolly Parton CD (oh, yeah, as a Slipknot and Godsmack fan, he was JUST THRILLED!!), and as he built a stolen, as in shoplifted, Star Wars lego set from WAl Mart (yeah, that's the reason we even went to Spencer, because of Wal Mart, that's what us country Iowa boys think of as exciting) I realized........... hunh, this is just one of those odd situations that make me question my beliefs. And that story, however unstriking, or striking it is, is all true. And yeah, by the way, Dolly's originals from like the 70's ruled. The rest, like every cut except like 5, were show-tune suckiness galore! So. She has an excellent voice though........ and two REALLY HUGE, GREAT, EXCELLENT, UNCLES!

wow, I'm going to bed.

All in all, it's Frank Sinatra's Come Fly With Me that I listened to that ACTUALLY made me question my beliefs......... and the absolute greatness of Pet Sounds......... which I'm probaby going to get sick of REALLY soon, but until then, things are excellent....... if I can ever get around to finishing this French Revolution book that I bought.

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Complete History Volume Two - Dr. Strange 2000
Rating = 6

Double-CD containing You, Crash and Finale. In other words, You, Crash and then live versions of songs from You and Crash. Worth your double-CD dollar? I'd go with the first one myself.

Oh wait, I forgot -- three bonus tracks! One of which is a live version of one of the songs on You!!!!

Reader Comments

Rich from Berkeley
I think you just must have reached your limit by the time you reviewed this Mark.

The three bonus songs are a little troubling. Sounds like the next GI record was going to be a little too shiny metallic.

Just buy this CD already. You get the two best Government Issue CDs, plus a couple of great live shows. It might be a bit of an overdose that you're going to hear a few tracks three long times, but fuck it. The band cruises like a machine and Stabb has about two dozen entertaining little snips of Dadist stage patter, right before the machine throttles up again.

If you're into this period of GI, despite the spottiness of some of "Crash," look for yet another live CD from this tour. It contains the rest of the CBGB show that made up the "Strange Wine" EP, so you can hear the new accomplished musicians doing a few of the old favorites. (Adam)
i don't know where you shop, but i got both volumes new for 15 bux a pop. what ever. fucking well woth it either way. my balls itch.

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There's lots of Government Issue for sale at this link - but be quiet when you click on it! Don't wake it up!!!

Back to the Mark Prindle Diet: Chew Anything You Want, Spit It Out, Lose Weight!