Blanks 77/The Parasitix - Gettin' Blasted! (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Blanks 77 / The Parasitix

Gettin' Blasted! (2016)

Jailhouse records

Holy shit. Gettin’ Blasted! is the punk record we really needed in 2016. At the very least, it’s the punk record that I really needed. It’s two of The Garden State’s finest coming together for ten unapologetic, politically incorrect songs about drinking and fucking shit up. More than geography, these hooligans are united by their love of spikes, studs and booze.There must be something festering in the water (toxic waste?) of New Jersey that breeds bands that play kick-ass, throwback street-punk and oi. Whatever it is, I hope there’s lots more of it.

Blanks 77 goes all the way back to 1990. They put out three fantastic full lengths in the 90’s (Killer Blanks 1996, Tanked and Pogoed 1997, C.B.H. 1998), plus a ton of other stuff. They were Maximum Rocknroll darlings and were at the forefront of the 90’s pogo-punk revival. In other words, 20 years ago they were playing a style reminiscent of 20 years earlier. Now, another 20 years later, they’re still at it. These five songs are the band’s first new material in more than 15 years. I’m happy to report that Mike Blank, Renee Wasted and the rest haven’t lost a step.

Blanks 77 starts Gettin’ Blasted! off with the snotty but relatively happy-go-lucky “Hey You”. The attitude and aggression get cranked up considerably on “Don’t Give a Fuck”. It’s fast and angry and has the type of political and social indifference that used to dominate the scene. “Pills” is a reminder that there’s more than one way to get blotto. “Tanked and Pogoed” is another fast song that ironically did not appear on the album of the same name. It has a little new wave sounding vocal hook and a few oi’s thrown in for good measure. Like most of the songs here, you will likely find yourself singing along after a spin or two. Blanks 77 finishes off their side with my favorite song on the record, “Up the Punks”. It goes from slow to fast to slow with lots great gang vocals in between. The band members take turns singing what is essentially the lone verse over and over. (Think early Ramones.) We even get a rare lead vocal from guitarist Renee, who has to be considered a female trailblazer in the 90’s street-punk scene. “Up the Punks” will probably make you scream along at the top of your lungs, possibly while pumping your fist in the air. This is definitely a triumphant return for Blanks 77.

The Parasitix have been around for a much shorter time, but musically the bands are kindred spirits. They released their sole full length, Pogo on a Politician, in 2013. The first song on Gettin’ Blasted!, “Alcohol Withdrawal”, originally appeared on that album. The song starts with The Iron Sheik telling us what he thinks about people who aren’t currently enjoying a cold beer. I’m not a wrestling fan, but I’ve always found him pretty amusing. Their last song, “Studs and Suds”, also features wrestler “Stone Cold” Steve Austin leading a crowd in an alcohol fueled cheer. It’s worth noting that these two songs are switched and mislabeled on the back cover. Some anal retentive types might hate this, but I find it kind of charming. Some of my favorite albums are guilty of this. (The Freeze’s The Land of the Lost and 7 Seconds’ Walk Together, Rock Together are the first two that come to mind.) Sandwiched between the drinking songs we get one track that reminisces (“Good Ole Days”), one that’s purely anti-social (“No Fuckin’ Way”) and one that’s a proletariat anthem (“No Gods No Masters”). The Parasitix add some gruffness to the snottiness, and each of these songs is catchy as hell and worthy of shouting along to.

Gettin’ Blasted! Is not a highly produced and polished album like you’d expect from the bigger ‘punk’ labels. The recording is basic and raw and Blanks 77 and The Parasitix are rude, crude and obnoxious. This record is for people who think that punk has gotten too mainstream in its sound as well as its politics. This is what punk’s supposed to sound like. You need to check this out. If you don’t like it, The Iron Sheik probably thinks you’re a fuckin’ jabroni.