Y'know, I just turned 35 a little while ago, and I was thinking about this rock-n-roll bullshit myth of people getting old and getting soft; outgrowing that raunchy, evil, dirty mean spirit of rock. Well, for all you kids out there that think rock music is the domain of the twenty-somethings, FUCK OFF! Here's a couple of great examples of artists that are still kicking up the dust and not nearly ready for the old folks home. The Styrenes you may remember from our interview with Paul Marotta some issues back. They've been around since 1972, and this current lineup features Mike Hudson (of the legendary Pagans) on vocals. It rocks out and features some of the best sounding rock piano I've ever heard. They even manage a pretty damn good cover of the Velvet's "Venus in Furs" which is no easy feat. Patti Smith, what can I say? She is the true poetess of rock. This album, as with her Gone Again CD, totally keeps you on edge and rocks. The Saints' recent album, Howling, came along with a reissue of the brilliant first two Saints releases ((I'm) Stranded, Eternally Yours) which is some tough company to keep. Howling holds it's own pretty damn well though. Distorted vocals and a kitchen sink approach to recording are reflected in the liner notes: "The album was recorded late at night, somewhere in 1996. In a variety of positions onto a large tape recorder via a range of recently purchased sex aids and a couple of dodgy microphones. All of which are highly recommended! The noisy bits were captured and battered onto tape by Lelle Hildebrand through the miracle of modern technology and a rusty hammer." Enough said. (Styrenes c/o Scat, 6226 Southwood #3E, St. Louis, MO 63105 - Saints c/o Amsterdamned, PO Box 862558, Los Angeles, CA 90086 - Patti c/o Arista)

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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