Agony Shorthand

Thursday, April 03, 2003
HEY, MOM! IT'S A CD FROM THE NUBS....Yes, The Nubs! I didn't know they'd put a CD out until I found it for $4.95 in the used bins last weekend, though I did know they were playing live in and around San Francisco, my hometown. I just hadn't "gotten around" to seeing them. Who, you ask, are The Nubs? These guys released one of the all-time great retardo-punk songs, "Job" in 1980 on their one and only 45. I mean, it is so STUPID it was an instant 120-second classic the moment it hit vinyl (it can be found on Killed By Death, Volume 5, and deservedly so). "Hey, cop! / I just shot some crank / I just got out of the tank / I just robbed a bank / I feel pretty rank!". My cousin turned me on to this one a few years after it had come out -- he had TAPED it off of the Maximum RockandRoll radio show, which at one time had been the place to hear the best hardcore punk records of the day (and certainly the worst, too). It had been this mystery track that he'd play on his own radio show, straight off of the cassette. I found the mystery 45 at the radio station I had been DJing at in 1989-90 (KFJC, as mentioned earlier) & found that the flip of "Job", called "Little Billy's Burning", unfortunately in no WAY approximated the genius of its A-side. What a loss!

So now there's this CD, "The Nubs", which I think may have been out a couple years, with both of the 45 tracks and about a dozen more recent numbers from the reformed band. It's pretty goddamn awful. It sounds like some 1980s Christian Right fantasy of what a scary punk band might sound like -- like one of the fake punk bands on Quincy or CHiPS! The lyrics prove beyond a doubt that the stupidity of "Job" was not meant to be ironic (you have to hear "Chainsaw Love" to believe it), and the music is uninspiring, tepid "punk lite". Such a great band name, too: THE NUBS. I understand that the LEWD and SICK PLEASURE are kicking around San Francisco again as well -- no word yet on how rad they're sounding these days!