Same Old Fun

Someday, in the future, when CD reviews no longer specify the label behind a band's latest release (it'll all be Sony down the line), Disney will buy a little nowhere town and convert it, Epcot-style, to a musical theme park for unrepentant, if thoroughly assimilated, punk rockers.

If we're lucky, Guttermouth will submit its resume for the position of house band, though they'll be beaten out for the position by the Offspring (whose singer, Dexter Holland, will be a minor Disney shareholder). And Guttermouth will be relegated to the role of wandering part-time punk minstrels, accosting wayward thugs in baggy shorts who'll tip dimes and quarters to be whacked on the head in triple-time with drumsticks while they lick their no-melt beer pops.

Something about this Southern California band begs a sense of misplaced nostalgia. Punk's not dead, of course; it's just gotten a little stale lying out by the curb. But that's no matter to these five wiseasses, whose idea of inventiveness is one more hard-and-fast punk song about how fucking stupid stupid fucking hippies are. (Hey, maybe Disney'll build a Hippie Land nearby and the two camps can do battle on Generational Conflict Lane).

It sounds like I'm putting Guttermouth down, but I'm really not. It's just that when a band so resolutely refuses to do anything new, I'd feel dishonest if I invented wild new claims about how wonderful they are. Apparently that's a problem the band has run into before, seeing as how its press kit reproduces hundreds of indie-rag reviews that all pretty much say the same thing, which is that the new Teri Yakimoto CD is, you know, not really quite as good as their first release, Friendly People, but still, umm, you know, punk rawk rules!

Still, I do know that Guttermouth has the punk chops to set a pit swirling. And what with all those bandwagoneers in the indie press passing out backhanded compliments, they've got something else that's liable to make an angry band turn in a dangerous performance: something to prove.

-- Brad Tyer

Guttermouth performs Sunday, January 5, at Fitzgerald's, 2706 White Oak. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $7. The Fairlanes, Bickley and Assorted Jellybeans open. For info, call 862-3838.

The Derailers -- In a better world, you could say that Austin's Derailers are one hot country band, and leave it at that. But in this world, in which country can mean the MOR pop of Garth Brooks, it's unfortunately necessary to add a few more adjectives, such as new traditionalist or retro or old-timey. All of which suggest a museum mustiness or else a postmodern smirk, neither of which has anything to do with the Derailers's sound. So let's put it this way: If you were driving through West Texas, or maybe central California around Bakersfield, during the early '50s, and you lucked across a first-rate roadhouse, the band playing there would have sounded a lot like the Derailers. If you were smart, you would have gone in to check them out. So be smart. At the Fabulous Satellite Lounge, 3616 Washington Avenue, at 9 p.m. Thursday, January 2. Tickets are $4. Mary Cutrufello opens. 869-COOL. (Jim Sherman



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