Review: Smogtown

“Tales of Gross Pollution”
(Disaster Records)

Smogtown broke up a little while back and this collection of demos, 7″ers and unreleased tracks serve as their requiem.  Which is too bad.  Underproduced and over stimulated, Smogtown tear through nineteen tracks like guacamole in a blender, only without the mellow taste.

Proving that you can take the band out of the garage but you can’t take the garage out of the band, “Gross Pollution” weaves tales of surf punk with a gritty Dogtown feel.  Don’t look here for anything resembling what has come to represent the SoCal scene; no these boys from just off the 405 take a much less flashy, more basic “music by brute force” approach.

Which isn’t to say it’s all heinous.  “Berlin Girls” is pretty funny, “Suicide” is cool, and the jacket itself (featuring killer old show posters and photos from halcyon days) is awesome.  For those of you not wearing Chucks and wanting a little more variety in your punk, then this is not the one for you-however, it does make a nice tombstone.