Album Details

March 27, 2001
Music Blitz
Pop/Rock, Punk-Pop, Alternative Pop/Rock, Hard Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Garage Punk, Punk Revival

Album Review

Beyond Cyberpunk was compiled and co-produced by punk rock stalwart Wayne Kramer, who wanted to promote a few alternate voices of the genre. Featuring both pioneers and voices that followed, Beyond Cyberpunk is an interesting and surprisingly literate collection that illustrates just how wide-ranging the spirit of punk rock is. The album kicks off with Mudhoney's "Inside Job." A herking, jerking Mark Arm masterpiece, the song was originally part of Since We've Become Translucent, the band's 2002 "comeback" album, and is the famous fruit of a late-night Mudhoney jam session with Kramer that convinced the legendary Seattle combo to keep on keeping on. The late Dee Dee Ramone checks in with "Bad Little Go-Go Girl," and Kramer himself handles "Crawling Outta the Jungle," which, despite its hokey horror movie vibe, still features a strutting guitar hook in the chorus. Of the newer material, Downset's furious "Cold Blue Coma" fares best, tracing as it does punk's long, strange trip into a brightly lit post-hardcore world where rap and metal eat freely at the same table. Meanwhile, Cooter's hyperactive "Passtime" is the requisite pop-punk number, but it seems like a placeholder on a compilation that is overwhelmingly strong. Besides tracks from the ever-avant-garage Pere Ubu, a reunited Richard Hell & the Voidods, and original Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton, Beyond Cyberpunk includes Lesbianmaker, a new project of Dead Boy Jimmy Zero. Winning the sweepstakes for best song title, Lesbianmaker turns in "Take Me in Your Arms (Like Heroin)," a tightly wound spitter with the classic line: "This world is a suck-ass place." Beyond Cyberpunk's strongest moments are those farthest away from the three-chord ethos of punk. Legendary session guitarist Chris Spedding co-wrote the bittersweet "Love on Death Row" with Kramer. Over a mournful guitar line that downshifts into a gritty chorus, oddly touching lyrics trace the story of a dead man walking and the serial-killer groupies who tempt him from a Polaroid scrapbook. The LP's other standout is Stan Ridgway's "Beloved Movie Star." The erstwhile Wall of Voodoo mastermind's ode to fading faces of the silver screen is like a spotlight searching the Hollywood Hills on a starry night, full of spacy harps and fabulous, reverb-drenched lyrics that lead to a truly punk rock punch line. [Note: This reissue of Beyond Cyberpunk excludes one track -- Torres' "Medicated (Just to Get By)" -- that appeared on the original, which was released in 2001 on the Music Blitz imprint. This version has also removed the exclusive Internet materials that were part of the original issue.]
Johnny Loftus, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Inside Job
  2. Bad Little Go-Go Girl
  3. Love on Death Row
  4. Medicated (Just to Get By)
  5. Black Silk
  6. Beloved Movie Star
  7. Oh
  8. Take Me in Your Arms (Like Heroin)
  9. Chow Main Street
  10. Dead End Street
  11. Betrayal
  12. Cold Blue Coma
  13. Passtime
  14. Wasteland
  15. Crawling Outta the Jungle