After taking one look at Tucson’s Mean Reds the average Joe might say to himself, “I don’t like the looks of these kids” or “they just ain’t right.” And the average Joe may be right, but that is why the Mean Reds are so fucking loud and annihilating on this album. Their album gives me a gut feeling that they were all test subjects for various ADD drugs and then something went horribly wrong. And you know what? That is why they rule! With Together at Last and This is Our Wedding the Mean Reds throw in your face a boisterous synth-induced, punk-fueled sonic assault that could leave even Alan Vega reaching for his earplugs.
The cartoonish artcore stomp-down of “Untitled” sizzles with whirling treble of the score from a chase scene form Tom and Jerry, but in fact grows vicious like Itchy and Scratchy. The techno skatepunk of “Hidden from My Neffews” has some synth twitters that emit a resonance, the likes of which I have not heard since I was seven years old and in the middle of a noisy Chuck E. Cheese while playing Galaga. The other untitled track starts out of what appears to be a sample of someone gargling while the pitch of such is being repetitively manipulated, and “Till Death Do Us Party” is tantamount to a really, really more pissed off version of the Blood Brothers.
The lyrics on this record are quite offbeat and mischievous. Not that most of them can be understood by the naked ear unless you have some sort of super slo-mo system on your stereo, but I do have the feeling that a really snide comment was made about a soccer mom in “How Do You like Your Neighbors?” If you fancy a surf rock tinged ruckus with a chunky stomp for a beat that sounds like the stuff used in the video game Burger Time, then this track is right up your alley. “Lord of the Black Flames,” meanwhile, sounds like Cradle of Filth if they put out a children’s album.
“Teenagers Only Zone” is quite a thrill, though. Not only is it have some cowbell chaos to it, but some could be convinced that it is a prequel to Suicidal Tendencies’ “Institutionalized,” that Mike Muir sang before he just couldn’t get that one Pepsi. If you don’t have this album, or don’t plan on getting it at all but would really like to hear what “Magic Carpet Lighting” sounds like just play a NOFX album at the same time as a song from Particle.
Did I fail to mention that the Mean Reds broke up shortly after this albums release? Well I meant to. Like I said, something about these kids just ain’t right, but its better that way.
Neon Blonde – Chandeliers in the Savannah
Thunderbirds Are Now! – Justamoustache
Dillinger Escape Plan – Miss Machine