This record is very different from the Bugs’ first self-titled 7 inch release. For starters the sequence of songs feel lazy at times. Also lacking are the amount of non politically correct songs. I mean Goin’ Down To Brown Town sounds like “classic” Bugs, but just one out of ten isn’t really fitting in with Bugs’ mythos.
Ben Weasel, Joe Queer and Blag Dahlia make appearances on here. As far as I’m concerned Dahlia’s talents were wasted on “I Do Butt Stuff”. The song is neither catchy, funny nor repulsive.
Missile to the Middle East has one cover song- The Kinks’ 1970 hit- Apeman. The Bugs do a better job with the song than the Kinks. Rarely happens, but it did here.
My review would end there and I’d say something to the effect of- “It’s good album. If you liked their first or are a fan of The Queers you’ll love Missile” and I’d then give it a 2.5 out of 5 stars or whatever. Here’s the thing though, the album’s closer. Dave Swain (vocals/bass) wrote a little song called Missile to the Middle East. The song is really, really good.
How good is it you ask? The song could have thesis’ written about it.
Not sold on it yet? How about this- If Brian Wilson were to have written an anti-war song and played in a punk band instead of the Beach Boys back in the 60’s it would’ve sounded like this. Yes really, it’s that good.
The song is biographical and told through Swain’s father’s eyes. It’s a first person look into being drafted to Vietnam, loss of innocence and coming back home from war and not being able to fit in with society. This song finds the Bugs at an interesting place for a band that just a few years ago were discarded by Punknews.org as being “homophobic” and “racist”.
With lyrics like these you can’t help but tear up a bit-
“Well I tried to forget about her and me
I said goodbye to my family
Because I thought I’d die when I was overseas.
That’s a hell of thought when you’re only nineteen.”
Dave closes the song repeating the words “I’m a square peg in a round hole“. A truly beautiful homage to his father.
Missile to the Middle East the album is mediocre at best. But Missile to the Middle East the song is possibly one of the greatest efforts by a punk band into something much greater and more meaningful than just three chords.
Stand out songs- Missile to the Middle East, E Harmony Rejected Me, Apeman
Released by: Kid Tested Records
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