“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.
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.