War of the Superbikes album cover
War of the Superbikes

The Meatmen

Homestead Records

The Meatmen started out as a stupid, offensive hardcore band whose “songs” were a platform for frontman Tesco Vee’s “jokes” at the expense of women, children, gay people, other bands…you get the idea. But by 1985’s War of the Superbikes, they’d gone full-on metal/hard rock, a shocking development considering that their lineup included Minor Threat guitarists Lyle Preslar and Brian Baker, and Negative Approach bassist Graham McCulloch. This is a real “never woulda thought they had it in ’em” record, full of blasting riffage, screaming guitar solos, powerhouse drumming, and hooky choruses. The title track tells a story of a motorcycle race gone wrong, somewhere in between the Shangri-Las’ “Leader of the Pack” and ZZ Top’s “Master of Sparks,” and there’s a surprisingly credible cover of Nazareth’s “Razamanaz,” too.

Phil Freeman

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