Review: The Applicators

The Applicators
““What’s Your Excuse””
(Cornerstone R.A.S.)

The Applicators geographically hail from Texas, yet temporally it seems more like they’re from 1984.  The four lassies dressed in plaid miniskirts and bondage belts do their best riot grrrl impression on their debut LP.  Arguably the coolest part of the CD is the song “Puke on You” because the mental imagery is simply priceless.  It reminds me of my friend Charlie from high school and his abysmal run-in with his ex-girlfriend at a New Year’s Eve party.  It’s better that I not tell the story.  The Applicators sound a lot like both The Red Aunts and The Groovie Ghoulies-lots of yelling with little three-chord progressions.  Fans of poppy, female-based music like Dance Hall Crashers will be left scratching their collective heads after listening to such stripped down songs as “She Smells Like Me” and “I Don’t Bleed”.  Instead, The Applicators take their cue from older punk bands such as X and The Dead Milkmen, giving their work an edgy, rough feel.  In their cover of Sleater-Kinney’s “Good Things”, The Applicators show they are capable of slowing down the screeching onslaught in order to show a more polished side as well.  It’s not great, but it shows a promise of fine things to come.