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Blast From the Past: The Beltones - Lock and Load

The Beltones
Lock and Load
(Far Out Records)

I don't remember very well when this little gem of a 7-inch came out. It could've been '95 or not. I know that I bought it at Yesterday & Today Records in 1996 cause Justin was blasting it at the time. A week later I would see these guys tear shit up at Cheers and it was then that I knew these mothers were the real deal. Think punk rock in the traditional Ramones vein but with an indelible thumbprint of Stiff Little Fingers and the Undertones as the true guiding light.

Bill McFadden's whiskey-soured vocals glide over these numbers with a je ne sais quoi and punk rock sangfroid that are almost overwhelming, these are songs written from the heart and exposed into that dark recess of human emotion rock and rollers aren't always so privy to expose. I mean, shit, there's even a wacko cover of Zappa's "What's the Ugliest Part of Your Body" tacked-on to the tail end of "Insipid Sedentary Girl."

This goes beyond good times, there is true hurt here. Kevin Crook and Chris Arocha round out the rhythm section here, drums and bass respectively, with McFadden on guitar and vocals with old pal Rob Sessions on guitar. "Casualty," "Lock and Load" and "Shoot the Shit" round out this delicious release in true 33 1/3 glory.

The band would eventually relocate to the Gainesville area and these four tracks would appear on their first full-length effort, On Deaf Ears, which we'll examine here in the future, but note that the tracks here are performed at a slower tempo than the LP and the Zappa cover is dropped in the LP version of "Insipid Sedentary Girl."

Is this 7-incher worth it? You bet your sweet eBay bucks it is. Wow. Enjoy an MP3 of the full track you won't find on the CD.

MP3: The Beltones - "Insipid Sedentary Girl"

This is much faster, trust me.

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Abel Folgar

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