"A Fist Full of Hell" (Wood Shampoo; 2006)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton


This 30 track collection of The Vermin's ... for lack of a better word ... greatest hits ... is a over 70-minute primer on what punk rock used to be, back when attitude, raw simplicity and a biting sense of humor were more important than pandering to a wishy-washy radio market.

Taken from the band's four previous releases, including live covers of Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues" and Judas Priest's "Breakin' the Law," "A Fist Full of Hell" is an awesome collection of sneering punk attitude, no-nonsense lyrics (how much more clear can a song entitled "Fuck You, Too" be?) and barbed-wire lead guitar riffs. That's right, lead guitar, gritty and sharp enough to make your ears bleed.

Fitting somewhere between the pure, driving sound of the Ramones and the raunchier, rougher sound of the Sex Pistols, The Vermin have fun with their music more often than they get serious and the balance is just right. 

Fans of punk who are sick and tired of some of what passes for punk these days will want to add The Vermin's "A Fist Full of Hell" to their collection, if not the band's entire catalog.

The Vermin: Dirk Vermin - guitar/lead vocals; Rob Ruckus - bass /vocals; Turbo Proctor - drums.

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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 2006 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 19 Jul 2020 14:27:19 -0400 .