"This is No Way to Make a Living" (Beatville / Vile Beat)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

According to the liner notes by drummer Reiter, "This is No Way to Make a Living" is "a little cross-section of the three records we did for Vile Beat Records between 1999 and 2002." Reiter goes on to say, "This disc maps our first years in punk rock grammar school - the place we learned to record drums first, not to play back-to-back shows that are 20 hours apart and to drink heavily AFTER the gig."

The "grammar school" comment above is perhaps the most accurate here. Listening to the CD, you can hear the band as they feel out their various influences and try those sounds on for size. The good news is that it's interesting to trace the band's growth. The bad news is that - because the Daycare Swindlers depend so much on the sound of others - they don't have much of an identity here. Most of the songs sound more like "someone else."

A few prime examples are "Prison Song," which sounds a lot like Suicidal Tendencies, "Big Show," which sounds a little like Voodoo Glow Skulls, and "Hard Times," which sounds so much like the Misfits, you'll swear it's a cover tune. And then there's "Paint It Black," which sounds a lot like an old Rolling Stones song (okay, this one is a cover song, and a gritty, edgy one at that - almost worth the price of the CD alone).

Also included is a demo version of "Spy Vs. Spy" (a song that brings to mind the Offspring) and re-recorded versions of "Crystal Meth" and "Heroin Beach."

I'll say this for the Daycare Swindlers: They can play virtually any type of punk or punk-ish music and make it sound pretty good. Despite the fact that "This is No Way..." is a bit jumbled (as it should be, coming from three different eras in the band's history), it rocks well enough. I just wish the band had developed a stronger  identity all of their own. Sadly, that may not be the case - according to a posting on their website just yesterday (04/20/04), the band has "decided to call it a day." I guess the title of this CD was somewhat prophetic.

Daycare Swindlers: Reiter - drums, percussion; Mike Shotton - bass, vocals; Scrote - guitar, vocals; Noah Waggoner - vocals; Steve Jeffries - guitar.

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"In Loving Memory" (Vile Beat; 2001)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Daycare Swindlers are a punk rock band who wear their influences on their sleeve and aren't afraid to. Their sound is a blend of veteran and modern bands like the Ramones, Rancid, Pennywise, the Misfits (especially track #10), Hatebreed and even early Devo.

"In Loving Memory" manages to dip into all those different musical styles without sounding too eccentric. Bands that come to mind when listening to the CD include the Ramones, Rancid, Pennywise, the Misfits (especially track #10) and even early Devo. Most songs are the balls-out racers that just race along as roughly, as wildly and as quickly as possible. "Son of Egg," for example, starts out like a whirlwind and comes to a screeching halt a mere 23 seconds later!

"In Loving Memory" is the kind of music you want to put on late a night when your friends are over, the beer's almost gone and you need a kick in the ass to get you over the hump. It may not be original, but with this kind of music you don't want original. You want raucous rock'n'roll.

And don't miss the hidden hoedown about ten minutes after the final track plays. You'll be surprised at a) how funny it is and b) how much lead singer Noodle sounds like Bruce Springsteen. And stay tuned - there's another hidden song after that (an acoustic version of "Dictator"?).

Daycare Swindlers: Reiter - drums; Mike - bass, background vocals; Scrote - guitar, background vocals; Noodle - vocals; Sugardick - guitar.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2004 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 02 Oct 2022 15:00:07 -0400.