FEAR


"American Beer" (Hall of Records)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

 

"American Beer" is Fear's first album in over six years. By "Fear," of course, these days you really mean Lee Ving, the lead singer and songwriter of the original infamous band and that's just fine by me. Ving's bizarre musical stylings, black-humored lyrics and distinctive voice are what Fear's all about as far as I'm concerned.

Although it's not as catchy nor as caustic as the band's previous album (reviewed below), "American Beer" is still Fear and that means it's still good stuff. It's pure punk with a twisted, un-syncopated beat and lyrics that run the gamut from odes to the penis ("Hard Cotto Salami"), to cries of anguish and insanity ("Lost in Los Angeles," "I Don't Care Without You") to beer ("The Bud Club," "Beer:30" "Beerheads" "Another Christmas Beer" - does anyone see a theme here?). 

"American Beer" is certainly more experimental than "Have Another Beer With Fear." There's a raging cover of Willie Dixon's "I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man" and "Catfight," written by P. (Philo?) Cramer, could have come off the very first Fear album. "33rd & 3rd" has a groovy, lounge-lizard jazz feel to it one moment, and the next we're off to punk land again, but adding a razor-sharp guitar lead.

There are signs that Ving is mellowing with age. There's not nearly as many swear words here and his dedication to his family isn't exactly what we've come to expect from the man who wrote the classic "I Love Livin' in the City." (Not that we would deny him that dedication). Mellowing aside, it's great to hear a new Fear record. Let's just hope it's not another six years before we hear another one.

Fear is: Lee Ving - vocals, guitar, harmonica, slide guitar; Andrew Jaimez - drums; Mando Lopez - bass; Rich Presley - guitar. 

For more information, check out http://www.fearband.com


"Have Another Beer With Fear" (Fear/Sector 2 Records)

Reviewed by Snidermann

 

The brothers Bolton (that's Jonathan and R. Scott) said that the punk band Fear rocked. Having had no prior experience with the band, but trusting the brothers' judgment (risky business!), I bought this CD at a used record store.

I was most impressed with what I found. 

Fear is nothing fancy; just straight-forward, pure, simple, in-your-face punk rock. The band's energy level is extremely high and most of their songs were about the consumption of beer (how can you not like them?). 

Despite the fact that the music kicked my ass, what impressed me most about Fear is their total abandon of political correctness. Check out the names of the songs on this CD (listed below). Just the titles along will give you a very good feeling for this band:

U.S.A.
I Believe I'll Have Another Beer
Back Into Battle Again
Demons Stickin' Pitchforks In My Brain
Bad Day
Ugly As You
Legalize Drugs
Drink More Beer
F-you Letís Rodeo
Beerfight
Chaos
Honor And Obey
Untermenschen
Meat And Potatoes
Public Hangings
Free Beer

As you can see, Fear is about having a good time, partying with friends and giving the finger to the establishment. What more can you ask from a punk rock band? If punk is your bag, Fear is your band. 

Fear is: Lee Ving - vocals, guitar; Sean Cruse - guitar, vocals; Scott Thunes - bass, vocals; Andrew Jaimez drums.

For more information, check out http://www.fearband.com


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 © 2001 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 05 Mar 2017 12:56:12 -0500.