Blatz - Cheaper Than the Beer [7-inch reissue] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Cheaper Than the Beer [7-inch reissue] (2009)

Silver Sprocket

One of two Silver Sprocket's major 7" reissues last year, Blatz's Cheaper Than the Beer is probably the lesser of the pair, but by no means an awful listen to cue up again, and has curiously interesting moments that make it worthwhile.

Cheaper Than the Beer--a self-deprecating reference to what was one of the cheapest national brands of alcohol at the time--was initially issued in 1991 on Lookout!, and featured five tracks of Blatz's super scrappy, early '90s Bay Area punk with tinges of anarcho and crusty character. The band found themselves in the same scene as acts like Crimpshrine and Filth, though their style seems only tangentially related--in a straight musical sense--when one considers their piercing, female yelps (Anna or Annie Lalania--I'm not sure) and Jesse Dangerous's apathetic snarling.

It's hard to back their stance in "Fuk New York" with its facetious slogan shouts and Warzone put-downs; for shame, Blatz. But mid-record standout "Lullaby" makes up for it with its sudden venture into more ambitious territory; it's slow and creepy and the spoken-shouted vocals guide it through a more interesting sphere than the band's other, more basic punk romps. For the first minute of "Blatz to the Future," it's like Blatz is propelling the Germs' ominous hardcore into raw, ominous post-punk territory.

Blatz's more straightforward moments provide a raw and moderately enjoyable snapshot of a perhaps bygone Bay Area scene, but they definitely had a little more in them that warrants such a look back.

Fuk Shit Up