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Crimpshrine - Duct Tape Soup (Cover Artwork)

Crimpshrine

Crimpshrine: Duct Tape SoupDuct Tape Soup (1998)
Lookout Records

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:


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

Now that Green Day is once again a household name and millions of young and old Suburban Jesuses are getting their first taste of what they consider to be punk rock, I've taken it upon myself to try to familiarize a few of these American Idiot enthusiasts with the musical protoplasm of the East Bay .
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Now that Green Day is once again a household name and millions of young and old Suburban Jesuses are getting their first taste of what they consider to be punk rock, I've taken it upon myself to try to familiarize a few of these American Idiot enthusiasts with the musical protoplasm of the East Bay melodic punk sound which their beloved Green Day would ride to fame and multiplatinum success. Far from the million dollar mixing sessions and sugary studio glaze of Green Day's latest chartbuster is a merry band of scruffy outcasts with crummy instruments who released some of the most crucial, woefully overlooked, ruggedly honest punk music ever recorded, a band called Crimpshrine.

The roster of musicians who have tinkered around in Crimpshrine at one time or another reads like a punk rock A-list, including Tim "Lint" Armstrong of Rancid, Ben Weasel, Jesse Michaels, and fanzine editor Aaron Cometbus. Prior to writing this review, I scanned the internet to see what other people thought of Crimpshrine, and I wasn't surprised at what a few reviewers complained about: The recording sounds like a bunch of rickety pawn-shop instruments being played directly into a shitty Fisher-Price tape recorder, and vocalist Jeff Ott sings like a chain-smoking asthmatic with a frog stuck in his throat. What these people fail to realize is that the crusty sound and croaking vocals are part of this band's charm and appeal, the same kind of rough-sounding allure that keeps Black Flag's Damaged album spinning on turntables to this day. The thrumming, powerful bass-lines and simple, catchy melodies crafted for this album would spell out the blueprint for what would become one of today's most widely-employed and recognizable styles of melodic punk rock, influencing everyone from Jawbreaker to Screeching Weasel to the aforementioned Green Day.

While the musicianship may be unimpressive by virtuoso standards, the poignant incisiveness of the lyrics is nearly unmatched. Each song on Duct Tape Soup reads like a succinct, memorable chapter in a book about friendship, romance, and the desire to retain purity and individuality in a world of artificial substitutes, compromises and conformity; all of it is spiced with a warming optimism and a willingness to keep moving forward in spite of the tragedy. Even if I didn't like the music, I'd still shell out the thirteen bucks just so I could read the words in the booklet. I would love to paste the entire lyric sheet in the body of this review, but I think the following passage will suffice for now:

You're just a fucked up kid / And no one ever gives you a break / Just a fucked up kid / But how much more can you take / Of the day to day frustration / Filling out job applications / But no one will hire you / It's pretty hard to survive / When no one knows that you're alive / Think no one cares about you / But I do.
After allowing Crimpshrine's work to grow on me until it became a body of music that my collection feels naked without, I felt the urge to fire off a spiteful e-mail to the people who wrote negative reviews about it, castigating them for their fruit fly attention spans and their ignorance of this band's tremendous importance and influence, but I chose not to. Instead, I wrote this review in hopes that a few people will seek out this band's albums and the various 7-inch records and comps that they contributed to, and that the music will affect them as strongly as it affected me. If you don't own this album, I'm not going to revoke your punk license, I'm just going to feel sorry that you're missing out on "the heart and soul of the East Bay," and one of the best kept secrets in punk rock.

 

 
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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.
k-bine (July 19, 2007)

someone gave this to me to borrow a few years ago, i didnt think much of it at the time but the person that loaned me it said it was good and their usually right about music, so i put it on my MP3 player and probably didnt listen to it till about 8 months later when i was bored of everything else i had on it and i still didnt think much of it but as usual with most bands i like, one line stuck in my head and i listened again then again then again, its been a while now and crimpshrine are probably my favourite band i think every one of their songs has been my favourite at one point and i think that many people do what i done and fail to realise how good they are at first, most likely they are put off by jeffs voice, which is to be honest quite awfull but again as with most bands the thing you dont like at first ends up being the thing you like most. anyway i really like this album, it used to be my favourite but now i like sound of a new world being born slightly more

heavyjavadrinker (April 17, 2007)

i always tought Aaron's drumming was terrific. Original. and Jeff Ott went on to do some great guitar work with Fifteen. As for the recording quality; who cares. Listen to the Mummies; great music in lo-fidelity. While in high school in the late 80s all i ever listened to was Crimpshrine and Mudhoney.

Anonymous (February 26, 2006)

Green Day (actually Mike Dirnt) did actually plug this very album on TRL waaay back in 1998 (when Carson Daly used to host!), just after it had been re-released.

This album, like almost all of Ott's work, contains a couple of great songs and a lot of crap. It is worth buying for "Safely Wasting Away" alone, though. Just like that Fifteen album is worth buying for "C(#)tion" (unless you can get a hold of the WFMU bootleg on which Green Day covers it).

Anonymous (February 24, 2006)

Quit Talkin Claude and the other Lookout 7" are on Sound of a New World Being Born, i've been listening to it for the past couple days after reading this review because I listened to this more recently.

sluggo (February 24, 2006)

fuckyouoioioi-
i'm pretty sure the songs from the quit talkin' claude 7" are on this cd.

sluggo (February 24, 2006)

this album/comp is amazing. to the kid that got the impression that the reviewer just gave this album a 10 because its old and he has a deep attachment to it:
a) that's what happens with the best albums. if it were old and he didn't have a deep attachment to it, it would be because it's not that good.
and b) regardless of how the guy feels about the album personally, it's a great album and to give it lower than an 8 would have just been crazy. the 10 might be a bit too high, but not by much.

Anonymous (February 23, 2006)

its just as good

my favorite song is probably 'tomorrow' maybe mostly just for the singalong at the beginning

FuckYOuOiOiOi (February 23, 2006)

I've been meaning to listen to this band for years and yesterday I bought the 'quit talkin claude' 7 inch. its awesome. i loved it on the first listen. how does this compare with that 7 inch?

Nick_V (February 22, 2006)

"Oh man...why did you even put this in here?"

Just to piss you off. Ta-da!

GlassPipeMurder (February 22, 2006)

To the person below wondering about the Tim Armstrong/Jesse Michaels connection with Crimpshrine....

Jeff's first band called S.A.G. consisted of
Guitar: Jeff Ott
Vocals: Jesse Michaels
Drums: Aaron Cometbus

also...Tim Armstrong played bass with Crimpshrine sometimes.

SlackMFr (February 22, 2006)

Good stuff, very good.

Anonymous (February 22, 2006)

I'd say if you like Jawbreaker's Unfun you'll enjoy this a lot, if you don't you have no soul, which didn't stop me so go and listen to this album.

~ Alex P. Keaton

jamespastepunk (February 22, 2006)

After allowing Crimpshrine's work to grow on me until it became a body of music that my collection feels naked without, I felt the urge to fire off a spiteful e-mail to the people who wrote negative reviews about it, castigating them for their fruit fly attention spans and their ignorance of this band's tremendous importance and influence, but I chose not to.

Oh man...why did you even put this in here?

Nick_V (February 22, 2006)

As for former members of Crimpshrine, the page I linked to over on the right has a nice biography of the band which details each member's degree of involvement.

Nick_V (February 22, 2006)

What a douchebag of an opening sentence. Who do you think you are, Bill Faulkner?
Not really, but thank you for the input. I've always been a Bukowski fan.

As for the sound quality, I'm a big fan of older Lookout stuff - Most of it does have a gritty sound, which isn't a bad thing at all - As one noter stated below, it fits right in the music and I can't imagine it any other way. However, nowadays, when you can buy a "punk" album that's been studio-tweaked and polished so that it sounds as crisp and clean as Mariah Carey or Nickelback, people hearing this for the first time might be a bit unfamiliar with a rough-sounding album, so that's why I wrote about it.

I've taken it upon myself to try to familiarize a few of these American Idiot enthusiasts. Well, aren't you so noble...
Thank you. I also donate food to the homeless. I didn't really plan to use those dusty cans of creamed corn in the back of my cupboard anyway...

Nothing against this band, but I fucking hate when people review old records and give em perfect scores. Obivously if you feel the need to review an old record its because you have some attachment to it. This doesn't help anybody reading the review to get any subjective idea of how good a record is.

You bring up a very good point, and this is a behavior I am contemptuous of as well. Personally, I don't give two shits about the Beatles, who are adored by millions upon millions of people. I hate the idea of being "prescribed" certain music just because some people think it's a "mandatory classic." However, in this review, I tried to describe why I love this album so much, and why other people might be interested in it as well. I think that this album is worthy of a listen, and if people want to buy it, it's up to them.

Oh, my favorite Crimpshrine song right now is "Re-arranged" off of Sound of a new world being born.

Anonymous (February 22, 2006)

never got into them, dont have the personal attatchment to it, so its never done anything for me. I like a few fifteen songs, thats about it, cleveland bound death sentence i guess.

wyzo

Anonymous (February 21, 2006)

"summertime" is definately the best song. i played a show with jeff (in fifteen) years after this stuff was recorded and he played it acoustic for everybody after the gear was packed in. awesome, even if he is a hippy.

Anonymous (February 21, 2006)

favourite crimpshrine song is "Summertime"

score is for this phenomenal record.

shit, i wish people still made music like this.

Anonymous (February 21, 2006)

Ben Weasel played bass in Crimpshrine for a very short time just filling in. Tim Armstrong played in Crimpshrine for a very short time before the band actually really got going. Jesse Michaels was not in Crimpshrine but he did have a band with Jeff Ott pre-Crimpshrine, and did zines with Aaron Cometbus.

Anonymous (February 21, 2006)

Awesome album and review "Sound Of A New World Being Born" just might be a tad better. People should check out both records if they haven't, as well as the Crimpshrine demos, the first two Fifteen records, then Pinhead Gunpowder shit & the Cleveland Bound Death Sentence.

What are everyone's fav Crimpshrine song?

mine is "Another Day" or perhaps "Trying Too Hard"

Anonymous (February 21, 2006)

Nothing against this band, but I fucking hate when people review old records and give em perfect scores. Obivously if you feel the need to review an old record its because you have some attachment to it. This doesn't help anybody reading the review to get any subjective idea of how good a record is.

it is an album not enough people know about and it really is that great and album.

Anonymous (February 21, 2006)

And neither was Ben Weasel for that matter. But Jeff Ott of Fifteen, Pete from Tilt and Paul Curran from Go Sailor/Onion Flavored Rings were.

Anonymous (February 21, 2006)

Tim Armstrong and Jesse Michaels weren't in Crimpshrine. I think they had some sort of band together with those guys in their pre-Crimpshrine days.

Anonymous (February 21, 2006)

Nothing against this band, but I fucking hate when people review old records and give em perfect scores. Obivously if you feel the need to review an old record its because you have some attachment to it. This doesn't help anybody reading the review to get any subjective idea of how good a record is.

jamespastepunk (February 21, 2006)

I've taken it upon myself to try to familiarize a few of these American Idiot enthusiasts.

Well, aren't you so noble...

Anonymous (February 21, 2006)

I think that "The Sound of a New World Being Born" is a better album.

The sound quality is fine and in keeping with the era (Op. Ivy comment was right on).

This is accessible. This is poppy. This is great.

Anonymous (February 21, 2006)

since the reviewer felt the need to review....crimpshrine/fifteen/jeff ott changed my life. simply put...thanks jeff.

the_other_scott (February 21, 2006)

thanks dude, i never knew too much about this band.

Anonymous (February 21, 2006)

And also, Crimpshrine broke up in 1989, this is a reissue.

Anonymous (February 21, 2006)

To the poster below, Ben Weasel has stated that listening to Crimpshrine is what inspired him to start writing punk music. Crimpshrine did a split with Jawbreaker, and some earlier more raw Jawbreaker can definitely be compared to Crimpshrines more melodic tunes. I dont know if they directly influenced them or not. And Crimpshrine formed in 86, before Green Day.

the_other_scott (February 21, 2006)

was this their first record? cause you say that they influenced everyone from green day to sw to jawbreaker, but those bands were all around years before 1998.

just wondering.

Anonymous (February 21, 2006)

I like The Sound of a New World Being Born much better.

Anonymous (February 21, 2006)

What a douchebag of an opening sentence. Who do you think you are, Bill Faulkner?

Anonymous (February 21, 2006)

when was Tim "Lint" Armstrong of Rancid in crimpshrine? was this pre dance hall crashers or post DHC?

Anonymous (February 21, 2006)

one of my all-time favorite records, and bands.

Anonymous (February 21, 2006)

A classic...I'm sure many would find this tough to get into nowadays, but really this was where it all started. Crimpshrine had more influence than most realize.

etwiels88 (February 21, 2006)

Wow, Crimpshrine

TheOneTrueBill (February 21, 2006)

I really like this CD. I picked up a used copy on a whim a few years ago and steadily listen to it more and more as time goes on. I should really pick up their other CD collection of stuff.

The production on this is no muddier than most stuff of that era. I mean, even Operation Ivy's album has lackluster production, but it fits the music. I can't imagine it sounding any other way.

Anonymous (February 21, 2006)

I had no idea Jeff Ott was Canadian being this is his "favourite" cd

Anonymous (February 21, 2006)

my favourite cd.

- Jeff Ott

Scruffy (February 21, 2006)

I haven't heard enough Crimpshrine, but I've heard that Aaron Cometbus is legendary for how bad he is at the drums. Maybe it's not true anymore?

The production kills this band for me. Everything they've influenced I've loved, so I should dig it, but the production is too muddy.

8dollarclarinetsolo (February 21, 2006)

yeah its defeinetely a band that has to grow on you a little. but the phrase heart and soul of the east bay is probably exactly right.

Enemy_Will (February 21, 2006)

"While the musicianship may be unimpressive by virtuoso standards..."

actually they are all pretty damn good at playing their instruments.

Enemy_Will (February 21, 2006)

I fucking love this CD.

Anonymous (February 21, 2006)

I ordered this thing a few months ago, but have never really gotten into it. But then, I've only listened to it once. I'll try it again during the break.

-Chinatown

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