Crate Skimmers #38 The Coneheads – L​.​P​.​1. Aka 14 Year Old High School PC​-****& Hype Lords Rip Off Devo For The Sake Of Extorting $​$​$ From Helpless Impressionable Midwestern Internet Peoplepunks L​.​P​.

Owned since: 2015

Genre: Devo-core

Where I bought it: A beloved punk distro

Year: 2015

Label/pressing: Erste Theke Tonträger

What a title this one’s got and, honestly, it perfectly paints the music. The Coneheads are/were a band from Indiana who played a weird kind of early Devo synth punk without an actual synth. No really, they just are guitar, bassist and drummer but they play so fast and weirdly tinny it sounds like a primitive synthesizer is doing all the work here. Fun gimmick if I do say so myself, I can think of way worse ones. 

This came out around a time a whole new scene of weirdo hardcore punk adjunct bands were coming up heavily indebted to the earlier movements of post-punk more outrageous movies. Lumpy and the Dumpers, B.B. Eye and Amusements come to mind and these bands were spread all over the world. Just seems a whole generation discovered bands like The Screamers, The Urinals, various no-wave bands too obscure to list, Dow Jones and the Industrials and of course early Devo all of a sudden. It’s a good sound, so I don’t blame them but with most of these bands mostly (self-)releasing cheap punk vinyl and cassettes it was one surprisingly hard to track. 

Back to The Coneheads. This comes precisely in the middle of a fury of mostly cassettes these guys released in 2014 and 2015 before the band went pretty much into rest mode. Including Matthew Wydrinski and Mark Winter of great minimal punk greats C.C.T.V.  with Mark’s bandmate Mark Winter from the also great, still ongoing, Liquids this kind of exploded on the whole Blogspot and YouTube scene when they released their first demos. This is ‘officially’ their only real full length and even that is a stretch. Barely scraping the 15 minutes plus mark, this is one hell of a fast little record that sounds like it was recorded by aliens on unknown substances. You can hear bits of Devo in there, Talking Heads’s in an insane Psycho Killer cover and The Residents whose Lizard Lady gets a passing go play a big part on the vocals in this.

In some ways, it’s a bit like the punk version of the high pitched Residents snarl the band became so infamous for during the early 80’s. As that band, there really is a big edge to this that is just made to make you smile at its weirdness. Heck, they’re named after an insufferable 70’s/80’s SNL skit that they later turned into a god awful movie. [ed sloot. I would be remiss to not mention that right off the heels of Coneheads, if three years could be considered right off, director Steve Barron made the JTT feature The Adventures of Pinocchio. Goddamn.]

There’s no reinventing the wheel here, but what The Coneheads offer is pretty unique while recalling a million bands at the same time. It’s also surprisingly complicated music just for the absolute speed most of these songs are placed, the weird two tone guitar solos they bust out and the endless bass line changes. Everything sounds the same, but when the sound is great who honestly gives a fuck. Just give me a record full of aliens huffing helium like there is no tomorrow because this shit still is the fucking best. 

Also absolutely love the fact the band looks the Hanson brothers decided to form a punk band with the ice hockey team’s material boy and they have matching oversized t-shirts as a uniform. Still not as stupid as that fucking Dan Aykroyd movie at least, even if I do want to edit a bit of this album over the part where Aykroyd drives around in a car and just loop it.

Everyone goes a little ack-ack-ack sometimes. 

Sloot Sloot Sloot: This is one of those things that sounds simple and exceptionally silly in concept and execution, but it works so damn well. The bandcamp release also describes this as eggcore, which is nonsense but also the second most apt description. Really hard to believe there’s no synths in this because of the weird shit they do. Good stuff.