On Nationwide, it would be fairly easy to pigeonhole Surgery as yet another scabrous, noisy guitar band in the mold of other acts on the Amphetamine Reptile label (such as the Cows and Halo of Flies). And while such tuneless fare as "Mistake" would lead to such a conclusion, it would be unfair. Surgery is really the closest Amphetamine Reptile ever came to a conventional hard rock band, betraying a heavy Rolling Stones and Southern rock influence. "Caveman," a bluesy, hard-driving rocker, sounds like the best song the Stones hadn't put out in years, while "Highway 109" uses greasy, gutbucket slide guitar to create a sleazy rock sound. Of course, there's plenty of noise punk as well, such as "L-7," but even on those tracks Surgery displays a fascinating musical dexterity that gives them an edge over most Amphetamine Reptile acts. It's not Surgery's best, but it is a promising debut that helped establish one of Amphetamine Reptile's most noteworthy acts, which makes it worth a listen.
by Victor W. Valdivia