Up Your Ass Tray is the debut of The Shocker. That's the new combo from ex- L7-er Jennifer Finch, and its music is as dirty as the moniker suggests. What's 'the shocker,' you say? Well, if you have to ask, you probably don't need to hear this record. After a title track of sorts, the album really kicks into gear with "My Life as a Plumber." It is about fixing leaky pipes, but not that kind. "If this pressure is more than I can bear/ I'm gonna flush that man right out of my hair," lead shouter Finch snarls, dragging her nails right into the crunchy chord changes and slithering organ of the chorus. And choruses are where it's at for The Shocker. Full of screeching lead guitar lines and built around lurid catch phrases like "Bad Brain Good Head," the band's originals ring with a sleazy, slutty grace that's as satisfying as the crunch of noses under a boot. It's conventional punk revivalism with a smarmy L.A. twinge (at times recalling X and Social Distortion). But in this day and age, isn't it better to see a band hustling the same old riffs with attitude instead of hype? Ass Tray is essentially an EP, since the band's punk'd cover of "Angel of the Morning" probably should have been left as a live nugget, and "Good Head Again" is nothing more than a faux Nick Cave reading of the more sonically furious "Bad Brain Good Head." But just like the real shocker, this Shocker would likely get uncomfortable over an entire album, so the five-song quickie of Up Your Ass Tray hits the spot perfectly.
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AllMusic Review by Johnny Loftus
feat: TC Conroy