Mean Reds / Wires on Fire - Split [EP/DVD] (Cover Artwork)

Mean Reds / Wires on Fire

Mean Reds / Wires on Fire: Split [EP/DVD]Split [EP/DVD] (2005)
Buddyhead Records

Reviewer Rating: 3

Contributed by: InaGreendaseBrian
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Buddyhead offers up here a split EP/DVD combo set featuring Los Angeles acts the Mean Reds and Wires on Fire. Each band gets an orignal and a cover song apiece on the compact disc portion with a live set each as well on the DVD offering. For the most part this definitely seems like a "for fans only".

Buddyhead offers up here a split EP/DVD combo set featuring Los Angeles acts the Mean Reds and Wires on Fire. Each band gets an orignal and a cover song apiece on the compact disc portion with a live set each as well on the DVD offering. For the most part this definitely seems like a "for fans only" type of release, but it definitely has its moments.

Everywhere you go, you'll run into Germs comparisons when reading up on the Mean Reds. And each comparison is well-founded, as the Reds bring to the table the same apathetic, slurred, slowly regurgitated vocals and a dirge of dirty, distorted and completely oversimplified three-chord guitars of L.A. punk. However, the Reds get a bit more noisy, like a grindcore-less Locust; on their two offerings here, the band is a bit less spazzy than their usual material, instead relying on its strange conglomeration of understated electronics, but their punk roots are definitely in the clear. Their "Minor Threat" cover is relatively faithfu--okay, so things get a bit bizzarre in the middle with off-key guitar swaying and pseudo-Mexicana trudging, which is the only way my limited mind can describe it as. It's also pretty interesting to hear the band's Germs-style vocals re-introduce the straight-forward finish of the track that makes for a creative interpretation of the title song from some founding hardcore punk fathers.

Wires on Fire offer up the Stooges-influenced romp in "Million Dollar Maybes," a guitar rock track that makes up the original portion of their contribution. Alice Cooper's "I'm Eighteen" is the cover of choice here, and that classic's theme of rebellion and freedom feels revived here, but not in a modernized way; it seems faithful with the singer screaming the song's title desheviled but freed, and hey, at least he isn't trying to sing like Cher. The saxophone is a nice touch, too.

As for the DVD, we get healthy live sets from both bands. Both are shot without a whole hell of light and the audio is somewhat poor, but you definitely get a good idea of what the bands are about in their primitive setting. "Openers" Wires on Fire thrash around for seven rock'n'roll songs, while "headliners" the Mean Reds entertain their fans with all sorts of half-drunken delight. TMR plays their set half-naked with the singer getting down full for two songs, and audience participation is most definitely encouraged; for singing some parts and, well, matching the physical appearance. Things get a bit GG-like with the singer slicing his stomach at one point, and it makes for even more shame and/or confusion than shock value, but at least they're having fun? Right? I think?

This split may not offer much in the featured audio department length-wise, but what's there isn't shabby, and the video companion makes for some extended time-killing. While I'm not entirely sure I can recommend this to outsiders, fans of either band should be at least fairly pleased with what's coughed up on this little package.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (November 14, 2005)

To the guy regarding the Mean Reds new album:

I ordered my copy off of smartpunk.com about 2 weeks before they announced breaking up. They said that the album will only be out on vinyl and itunes. But lo and behold last week the album comes in the mail from smartpunk. I've read stuff people have posted on their (mean reds) myspace saying that theyve been seeing and buying the album in indie record stores and shit like that. Try amazon... try smartpunk... i dunno why mean reds said that the album wasnt coming out in cd format... go figure.

Anonymous (November 14, 2005)

the record should be out a lot of places. i saw it in best buy even.

Anonymous (November 13, 2005)

to the guy below or anyone who knows

can you buy their new album anywhere? or did you download from like a share site or something?

Anonymous (November 13, 2005)

Mean Reds new album is amazing.

Anonymous (November 12, 2005)

what if your favorite record label is buddyhead? what then?

Anonymous (November 12, 2005)

buddyhead is better than your favorite record label

stevejonestherealbones (November 11, 2005)

this is a good release. i'm a fan of both bands...so take it as you will.

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

gladimnotemo (November 11, 2005)

Buddyhead rules. I don't know about this. A live DVD is worth the purchase, probably.

boldredletters (November 11, 2005)

the mean reds are actually from tucson. they sound kind of like the earlier minutemen with more recent spazz-y influences, from their live show (i've seen them twice), though I've never heard them on record, and i couldn't tell you if their lyrics are even in viewing distance of the d. boon/m. watt territory.

TheOneTrueBill (November 11, 2005)

This review actually sounds really interesting. I'm gonna check this out and see how it is.

etwiels88 (November 11, 2005)

score is for wires on fire

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