(Kill Rock Stars)

Slumber Party's music is drenched in ennui. It comes suffused with that delicious Sunday-afternoon childhood feeling--time lingers, you're in a reverie, nothing else matters except... nothing. Nothing matters. For its third album, Detroit's most torrid all-female rock band may have gained a member (Julie Benjamin, drums--to replace Leigh Sabo, who became the bassist after Marcie Bolen left due to her duties with the Von Bondies), but little else has changed. Thankfully. Drums peal lazily; harmonies drift in and out of focus; girl fans hug one another as the four musicians stride the stage with their three-part harmonies and boots. Phone numbers are scrawled in thick marker; lipstick is smeared on boys' faces... this time round, songs have titles like "Your Friends" (complete with chatter) and "On TV," but they still occupy that almost-mystical middle ground between Galaxie 500, Shop Assistants, and Kendra Smith's Opal.

I write about how my favorite music both comforts and challenges me--one without the other is too scary and alien, or too bland--but Slumber Party are exceptional. Their music makes me weak at the knees. Embarrassing, I know, but it's the truth. That's why I love them. Slumber Party make me melt. EVERETT TRUE


Codex 1980


This newly released CD captures early Seattle punk as I remember it--when going to a gig was scary, strange, and enthralling. I never saw Solger live, but I was on the scene in time to buy their infamous 7-inch. I remember the irate letters I got when I praised "Raping Dead Nuns" in an early issue of Punk Lust. (To yem overly concerned PC yobs, I'd like to now say: Eat my pussy.)

This was a band that was notorious for being awful, in the days when punk-awful was way cool, when you stood transfixed at a gig and let the sound of chaos wash over you. So this CD is appropriately broken down into "the good" section, "the bad" section, and "and the horrendous." The "good" tracks were originally recorded on a four-track in a Showbox dressing room, and the rendition of "Dead Solger (Soldier)" here is almost too slick. The "bad" tracks are from a live gig at Wrex, and include a stunning rendition of the Germs' "What We Do Is Secret." But it's the last section ("and the horrendous") that I love--a recording of their five-song EP where you actually hear the needle hit the record with the snaps and crackles of vinyl. The energy is great. This is classic hardcore, and stands as solid testimony of why real punk rock never sold out or vanished. Punk is strong--it transformed me from a pathetic disco queen to a survivor. The decades haven't dulled Solger; their noise is as rad and raw as it was 20 years ago. I will love this band until that happy day when I piss off and die. WILUM PUGMIRE

**** Paul *** John ** George * Ringo