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The Humpers - Positively Sick on 4th Street (Cover Artwork)

The Humpers

The Humpers: Positively Sick on 4th StreetPositively Sick on 4th Street (1993)
Sympathy For the Record Industry

Reviewer Rating: 4


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

Everyone knows that a lot of great punk and rock music of the '90s was under the almost omnipresent shadow of grunge and mainstream punk, the latter including the likes of Green Day and the Offspring. In fact, the former and Bad Religion were signed to Reprise Records the same year that the Humpers .
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Everyone knows that a lot of great punk and rock music of the '90s was under the almost omnipresent shadow of grunge and mainstream punk, the latter including the likes of Green Day and the Offspring. In fact, the former and Bad Religion were signed to Reprise Records the same year that the Humpers released a really great album on Sympathy for the Record Industry. That album is Positively Sick on 4th Street.

Now, I first heard the Humpers on the second volume of Punk-O-Rama almost a decade after its release. I fell in love with their song "Mutate with Me," and consequently their entire 1997 Plastique Valentine album on Epitaph. When I gave a listen to Positively Sick on 4th Street, I knew that I was listening to a much earlier album of theirs. Their following album, Live Forever or Die Trying, was good insofar as it was much recycling from this album, and in comparison, this album is much more enjoyable than Plastique Valentine.

The drum work is sufficient, fast, and clean. Jeff Fieldhouse's lead guitar work was explosive on the entire album, particularly on the tracks "Hey Shadow" and "Drunk Tank." The sound of high-octane rockabilly fused with garage punk that the Humpers master on this album is much like a fine wine--except it doesn't give you as much of a headache if you consume too much of it.

The lyrics, as the Humpers probably demonstrated on My Machine (which is an extremely rare album, so I'm told), are creative and original. Scott Drake's lead vocal work is a young urban rasp, often matched with a unifying backup.

The Humpers demonstrate their fun and fast-paced antics early in the album with songs like "Up Yer Heart" and "War Is Hell." The best of these, "Zombie" is also the best track on the album. The lyrics are clever ("open up your mind so I can spit in it"), the guitar solo near the end is fantastic, and the energy level is through the roof with a quick tempo and some very impressive drum work.

And I couldn't listen to "Cops and Robbers" without wanting to have a listen to "Police & Thieves" by the Clash. That makes sense, right?

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Masshysteri - MasshysteriRamones - Pleasant DreamsWarm Needles - Pretty Tambo [7-inch]Auntie Christ - Life Could Be a DreamMuseum Mouth - Sexy But Not HappyMarc Strömberg - Hardcore ABC zineCrusades - The Sun Is Down and The Night is Riding InAll - Allroy SezChuck Dukowski Sextet / Mike Watt - My War / Sweet Honey Pie [7-inch]Generation X - Generation X

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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.
EMC (November 3, 2010)

Thank you for the correction, Cos!

I'm scratching my head trying to figure out how I made that mistake.

xbat-mitex (October 26, 2010)

18 year old me loved this band.

36 year old me still is fond of them

hobbzoid (October 26, 2010)

Oh and there was at least one record between this release and the first Epitaph LP. Is pretty great too and it's called "Journey To The Center Of Your Wallet". Probably not as good overall as this one but some of the best tracks on that beat anything on "Positively..." except maybe the opening track. Ok I'm done carry on!

hobbzoid (October 26, 2010)

Stoked to see this reviewed. More like this please. Fantastic full length from a killer band.

Cos (October 26, 2010)

Bad Religion signed to Atlantic, Green Day was on Reprise.

skolarx (October 26, 2010)

i somewhere have a 7" from these guys, i know its bside was a cover that the ramones had also done on one of their early albums, california sun maybe? i remember really liking the song off that punk o rama comp so i bought the 7" but never really checking further into their stuff.

RedScare (October 26, 2010)

Fantastic band, nice to see their name pop up on the Org.

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