And yet there are moments when the sheer aggressiveness of punk at its best overcomes all objections -- and Nightmare Scenario is full of them. This four-piece, which has been hammering away since 1990, when its members were all students at Ohio State University, doesn't go in for that pop-friendly Blink-182 style. Singer Eric Davidson and associates prefer a scorched-earth policy, and on "Point A to Point Blank," an amphetamine rush featuring the cocky boast "I dare you to hum this," they use their instruments like flame-throwers. Better yet, the disc seldom allows you to catch a breath; "Killer's Kiss" and "Your Beaten Heart," which qualify as mid-tempo for these guys, keep the pot warm until "Continental Cats" and "Spanish Fly by Night" make it boil over.
Things get hot lyrically as well, particularly on "Turning Tricks," which is filled with bizarre Biblical imagery ("Mary kissed the feet/Well, I can kiss feet too/But I'd rather dance/There's no apology in this tramp's pants"), and "Quarter to Four," an end-of-the-night song that does Frank Sinatra a good hour better. Even better is "End of the Great Credibility Race," a declaration of purpose that doesn't shy away from naming names. Shouts Davidson, "I wasn't built to spill/I ain't no modest mouse.../Life's too short for all this fucking crap/Before you know it, you're at your crypt/Reading your epitaph."
Such impolitic behavior is all too rare in commercial punk, which is as much about sales as is Britney Spears -- but this what-the-hell? attitude is what makes the disc stick. When the Turks are tearing things up, punk rock still seems like something worth caring about. Can you believe it?