by Derric Miller
— Managing Editor —
One of the most curiously under the radar bands who have been creating top notch sleazy punk rock ‘n roll since the 1990s is The Erotics. Like the Ramones, their formula is simple. Unlike the Ramones, they are vicious, biting, caustic, acerbic, surgical, pissed-off/pissed-on, and rabid. Above all else, they write the best “anthems to anger” you could possibly hear. Their new release, United We Can’t Stand, is all of the above, and much more.
If an MMA fighter really wants to get his blood flowing before it spills before a match, the opener “Steroids & Cocaine” should be the song cranking when he sprints to the ring. “You’re going down motherfucker, going down motherfucker!” pretty much says it all, don’t it? How Mike Trash imbues melody into his seemingly scarred vocal chords when singing always amazes—there’s melody, but sing along to it and see how far you get singing LIKE THAT. Maybe Andi Deris could handle it … maybe.
Every song is a different level of breakneck speed, and The Erotics never come up for air. The title track is a riff-infested anthem, and in some ways may remind you of Ugly Kid Joe’s biggest hit. The band just holds up a microscope to society today, singing about meltdowns and infant rants, and also owns the quirkiest chorus with the “U-ni-i-i-i-i-ted we can’t stand!”
If you’ve listened to these guys for years, you know they are at their best when they tell a story and have a target. Songs like “Wrapped Around Your Neck” and “Today the Devil, Tomorrow the World,” are both, and so is the new song, “Crawlin’ On Broken Glass.” At times, they have that bar-swinging ‘80s style guitar riff going, like early L.A. Guns, and when Trash opens up with his serrated style, you know he means it. “I only know you’re a psycho by design … I’m crawlin’ on broken glass to get away from you!” The disdain pouring out of the vocals is truly beautiful; you can’t fake this shit. They’ve met far too many assholes (male and female) in their lives.
Since you are bleeding after the broken glass, makes sense the next track is, “Only When I Bleed.” It’s just so funny, the staccato “I-can’t-wait-to-get-away-from-you!” This chorus is the most melodic on the album, but the narrative disharmony envelopes everything.
The music can be fun, too, though—it’s not all hate anthems. “Pretty Little Bomb” is a strong sing-a-long composition, simple and catchy. It’s the kind of song that could catch on Rock Radio if they still played things like … Rock.
It all ends on “Whoreified,” and why wouldn’t it? Trash and the boys make no excuses about the music they create. It’s a clever play on words, “horrified,” and honestly seems like a song Europeans would dig, from bands like The Other or The 69 Eyes.
You know what’s great about a “best kept secret?” Nothing … absolutely nothing. It’s like having a lifetime supply of Viagra when stranded alone on a deserted island. Do your damn part in making The Erotics the world’s worst kept secret and pick up United We Can’t Stand.
Genre: Punk, Sleaze Rock
Mike Trash—vocals, guitar
Billy Beer—bass, backing vocals
Johnny Riot—drums, percussion
Doug Reynolds-guitar and backing vocals
01. Steroids & Cocaine
02. Ain’t Talkin’ To You
03. Big Beautiful Wheels
04. United We Can’t Stand
05. Crawlin’ On Broken Glass
06. Only When I Bleed
07. Pretty Little Bomb
Label: Cacaphone Records
Hardrock Haven rating: (8.4 / 10)