In the Night

CD Cover Scum Element
Circus Max Music

Review by Darren Kerr

45-second excerpt from "Jesus' Handgun" (various formats)

There are some really full-on, incisor-bite punk bands in the greater Vancouver area. Some require beer goggles, others require a wide-open mind, while still others benefit from a blowtorch and a grain of salt. From Scum Element we get material that is sometimes silly straddling stupid, but much of it has actual thought behind it. This isn't three thugs singing anthems for vulgar pigs and date rapists -- this is three thugs singing songs about oppression, alienation, angry dwarves and Jesus' gun collection.

Guitarist Matt Scum's metal-infused riffing is tight, toothy and focused, a perfect companion to the frenetic rhythms of drummer Dan Scum and bassist Kelly Scum. It's not clear which Scum sings lead, but he does it with a roar and a sneer -- like he's gonna smoke your pot and hit on your sister after he's done singing. Isn't that what East Van punk rock is all about -- venting your soul (or your bladder) with a good loud band behind you (or beside you) and a beer beside your monitor?

Check out "Jesus' Handgun" or their cover of the Cars' "Just What I Needed," if you need confirmation.

Artist Contact Info: P.O. Box 197, 1895 Commercial Drive, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, V5N 4A6,

First published in Drop-D Magazine on November 9, 1997

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