Review ·

"Toledo's favorite sons," the Lazy American Workers, churn out 20 minutes of "homebrew[ed] . . . tattooed" hardcore on their first full-length, Surf Lake Erie. L.A.W. -- Steve Irby, drums/vocals, Steve Wells, bass/vocals and Todd Evans, guitar/vocals -- chugs through the record, song into skuzzy thrash-punk song. Averaging a minute-and-a-half each, the tracks are part kitsch and part fuck-off punk. But all told, the band doesn't do much to break from the rapid chord progressions of your local hardcore outfit.

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Evans, "Beefcake the Mighty" from G.W.A.R., enlisted fellow schlock-rocker Corey "Flattus Maximus" Smoot to produce Surf Lake Erie. And though L.A.W. opts for back-turned baseball hats, work shirts and jeans (in lieu of rubber masks, phalluses and fake blood), a comparison can be made between the two groups' irreverent attitudes. 1) The lyrics are ridiculous. Consider the pro-gun "Tip of the Day": "A little more parenting and a little less blaming guns . . . Safety first, havin' a blast!" 2) The cover art consists of three cartoon-ish men surfing a toxic-green Lake Erie, beer cans (and bow and arrows) in hand.

And, like G.W.A.R., these guys are having fun. But, for listeners, I suspect the fun really begins when they reach the fourteenth track on the album, when L.A.W. offers a commendable cover of Iron Maiden's "The Trooper." Evans solos confidently, adding a CBGB's flair to Maiden's metal gem.

L.A.W. doesn't tread any new ground on Surf, but -- if you're drunk enough -- that won't matter a bit.

- 2003

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