Zip Code Rapists CD reviewed by Joseph P. Larkin
Jun 8, 2009, 04:09
ZIP CODE RAPISTS Sing and Play the Three Doctors and Other Sounds of Today CD reissue
Reportedly begun as a Doors cover band from Texas (not bloody likely), the Zip Code Rapists were comprised of just two core members (or rapists, if you will), namely Gregg Turkington (probably better known as the guy who plays Neil Hamburger, whose shtick I think has gotten very old) on vocals and John Singer on guitar. Some music critics have compared the duo to Ween and I guess I could see that if Zip Code Rapists totally fucking sucked. But, alas, they do not, so the critics can go get stuffed!
Anyway, this lavish thirty-six-song “music CD” includes “carefully remastered versions” of Zip Code Rapists Sing and Play the Three Doctors and Other Sounds of Today (LP, 1992), The Man Can't Bust Our Music (EP, 1993), 94124 (EP, 1995) as well as previously unheard outtakes and compilation tracks, four songs from a blistering 1993 show at CBGB and a performance from a 2006 reunion show. With the exception of 94124, none of this material has previously been released on CD. Note to record-collecting scum (like myself): Sadly, this CD does not contain everything the Rapists ever recorded, not by a long shot; missing material includes the Sing and Play the Matador Records Catalog EP released by Ecstatic Piss in 1994 and two full-length live albums, Here at Last...Live!!! and Live “in Competence.” Extensive liner notes are also included in this package, but I couldn't be bothered to read them. Sorry.
Much of the band's recorded output seems to have been designed solely to annoy the shit out of the listener. Some of this is pure noise rock and some of it is eerily sincere country and western, oddly enough. The 94124 EP is the most competently played and thus most enjoyable recording the group ever put down on wax and, of course, it's also the shortest record in the band's discography, with only five songs on it if you don't count the unnecessary bonus tracks, one of which doesn't even appear on this compilation. Ain't that about a bitch?
In a live setting, the band was even more abrasive and irritating, with Turkington verbally abusing members of the audience as the Rapists took great joy in butchering popular songs, including “He's Got the Whole World in His Hands” and the truly awful “Riders on the Storm,” both of which can be found on this fine compilation, along with one other Doors cover, so maybe these cats did start out as a Doors tribute band! Hey, stranger things have happenedâ€¦ like for instance, I have believe it or not, had sex with multiple women, for instance. Of course, many other laughable covers are included on this disc, including the Rapists' version of a Ford trucks commercial; in fact, most of the group's material consisted of covers, all played in a barely proficient manner. (It should be noted that Turkington often made up his own lyrics for the songs on the spot.)
The Zip Code Rapists came, saw and didn't really conquer, but they did release some annoyingly fun records from time to time and that's something, right? Hey, that's more than Ween ever didâ€¦consarnit. If you're new to the swinging sound of the Zip Code Rapists, let this CD be your introduction to their wild and wonderful world; if you're already a fan, congratulations on having such good taste and let this CD remind you of why you fell in love with these fellas in the first place. [Eabla Records]
-Joseph P. Larkin