The Raunchy Young Lepers

Bastards of Democracy

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With a hilarious name -- inspired by a Tom Lehrer comment about the Boy Scouts being "bastions of democracy" -- Bastards of Democracy remains unique in the history of the Lepers by being their only album actually sequenced after recording. It's also an explicit punk rock tribute album, more or less; even 28086 got into the act with some fuller-bodied singing on a cover of the Ramones' "Teenage Lobotomy." His new approach crops up elsewhere, as the semi-protest song "We Like Authority" shows, while alternately the others at points choose calmer deliveries. Having gained somewhat more control over their playing, the Lepers weren't quite as astoundingly incompetent as before, but the end results remained truly wrong in all the right ways. There's even actual production here and there, or at least signs of planning to record in advance. "Get Outta My House" features a flattened, snarled Dr. Pain whine that's halfway to robot existence over a grating, trebly riff. "Charlie Don't Surf," meanwhile, begins with a rampaging surf-rock riff before trying to rock out as Dr. Pain sings in, officially, the worst wannabe English punk rock accent ever. Elsewhere more typical Leper obsessions cropped up, as with "Anal Scabs (Don't Wanna Pick 'Em)" and the hoarse cries of "Crematorium Riot." "Butt Weasel" combined another one of B.S.'s more suspect and un-PC lyrics with an honestly catchy, tuneful performance -- whether it's more or less effective to hear creepy lyrics backed by better music than before will have to be up to the beholder. "We're Totalitarian Vegetarians" sums up where the Lepers were at best of all -- the playing is halfway reasonable if completely unbalanced in terms of a listening experience, while B.S.'s lyrics address the subject matter as if it actually existed. Add in the usual helping of the Goat-Boy and a car horn-accompanied idiocy called "(I Wanna Be Your) Death Clown," and not much needed to be done.

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