The Kids Are Alroot
Leave it to a bunch of snotty South Florida punk rockers to devise for themselves polite Canadian identities. Born out of the ashes of Chickenhead and the Tri-Rails, Los Canadians forged a pretty path of destruction in South Florida that revolved around train-hopping, Berkeley, broken bicycles, and free bagels. They were also famous squatters of Coconut Grove's the Mutiny Hotel during its decrepit, abandoned years.
Their first seven-inch effort, the cheekily titled The Kids Are Alroot, dropped in 1995 and quickly became a favorite spin for this scribe as well as for many punkers stretching from sunny South Florida through the squats of Chattanooga to the progressively Californian minds of Berkeley.
This album owed its spread not to the internet and fanzines but to the cross-country rail systems!
Composed of Ivy on vocals, Timmy Put on bass, Buddha on guitar, and Scott Crackrock on drums, these six tunes are an adequate combination of grungy garage punk rock with hardcore nuances dripped through for effect. There's something almost surreal too if you can imagine them having the means to produce aural lysergic acid diethylamide.
Opener "Never Can" is a great track displaying one of the best features of this band, Ivy's voice. At first, I'll admit, I wasn't that into it, but over the years after repeat listens and seeing them live a shitload of times, I find that she has the perfect pitch for conveying the desperation of her generation.
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One could easily peg it as the "voice" of disenfranchised mid-'90s white youth on self-imposed squalor. Suburban blithe? Sure."Cornflakes" continues the jam, but the real kicker is the side's closer, "Clarissa," a bizarre love song to the main character from the Nickelodeon TV show.
Side B has the anger of "False Prophet," more love antics with "EAB," and the excellent closer "Forget Now," which you won't because you'll be flipping sides immediately after. These guys had another release before splitting up and joining a billion other bands between Miami and Berkeley.
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Cool casual tidbits for the fans and/or interested parties are the recording date of October 26, 1995, at Tapeworm Studios and the wildly exaggerated time signatures on the tracking that would have you believe this humble seven-inch platter clocks in close to 40 minutes. A sweet extra is the etching on the dead groove with the A-Side reading NR-20037A Circle Eh! and the B-Side bearing some maxims for later digestion: NR-20037B Sopa = El Futuro! with an angry emoticon. Wowza! Future-minded!
While this seven-incher has been out-of-print for some time, a compilation CD came out a couple of years ago that is also supposedly out-of-print but every now and then crops up on eBay. It's a split with Chickenhead and features both bands' entire recorded output. Keep your eyes open for it!