Planet of the Eggs
(Stiff Pole Records)
In honor of Richard "Big Stiff" Konwinski, who passed this past July in Tampa, I'll be juggling between the County Grind and Crossfade blogs doing my "Blast From the Past" thing on the record label that he founded, Stiff Pole Records, that, in my opinion, came to define an exciting era in Florida's punk-rock scene.
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For the 14th release on Stiff, the St. Pete punkers turned their eyes to Vancouver's eggcentric bubblepunk power trio the McRackins. Their gimmick of guitarist Bil and bass player Fil dressed up as eggs (that are really more akin to beer-swilling mimes) and drummer Spot as a dog has actually been going strong for 16 years now, and they are one of the most prolific musical outfits ever. They almost match Agathocles for the sheer number of releases they've unleashed on the world. I believe they surpassed the hundred mark with this year's It Ain't Over Easy; regardless of which, their mastery of constructing catchy pop-punk numbers got an early push from this Stiff Pole release.
"Crazy I'm Going" opens it up with a pop punch before tackling the paranoia of "Violets Are Blue" and the funny stabs of the quirky "Beating Evil Vegetarians." Which they follow with a funny stab at people with Parkinson's disease (this is the height of 1995's PC-ness), "El Dopa." Things get a little more on the serious tip with "My Idol" and what is in my opinion one of the most perfect pop-punk songs of all time, "Slap Me Silly."
"The King & Lid" and "Robot Lady" ground the album back in funland with their idiosyncratic inside jokes and wanton weirdness. This is followed by a cover of one of Canada's greatest and most beloved punk-rock bands, the Forgotten Rebels' "Surfin' on Heroin," which is a great, tongue-in-cheek tune about all the wonderful things that can happen on heroin!
The closer "Movin'" is a bratty Canadian number about moving to Minnesota, which is clearly a Canuck joke. Five minutes of dead space after that, there's a nifty cover of Kiss' "I Was Made for Loving You," which sticks to the original save for Bil's odd vocal inflections. This album was recorded in 1994 by Todd Stefanson at Ridge Recordings in British Columbia and was released in 1995. The McRackins would have another offering for Stiff Pole in 1997, and we'll examine that one here soon.