The Jackie Papers
(Stiff Pole Records)
In honor of Richard "Big Stiff" Konwinski, who passed this past July in Tampa, I'll be juggling between the County Grind and Crossfade blogs doing my Blast From the Past thing on the record label that he founded, Stiff Pole Records, that, in my opinion, came to define an exciting era in Florida's punk-rock scene.
Taking a short break from his long running work with The Pink Lincolns, singer and guitarist Chris Barrows pulled what can only be considered a mid-life crisis stunt and got together an outfit comprised of himself and three attractive young ladies, The Jackie Papers. Smooth move, dude! Is Chris Barrows the Don Draper of punk rock? Maybe. And while it can be argued that the music is similar to The Pink Lincolns, there is without a doubt a stronger hardcore edge like the blistering opener "Human Bullets," which is chockfull of Barrows' trademark snotty humor.
The rest of the gang is Jenny Page on guitar, Heidi Flanigan on bass and vocals, and Heather Now on drums. The album is mostly fun and games, but every now and then there are some odd stabs at white trash culture like "King of Your Mom," "Hit Me Twice," and "One Hundred Days." There's also a not-so-subtle missive aimed at Sarasota's Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College titled "Clowns" that is pretty funny: "I hate clowns in polka dots, I hate them every day, they've got the beauty of Don Knotts, made up like Tammy Faye."
The midsection of the album is an instrumental piece titled "Coolio Iglesias" that is pretty cool and sloppy garage rock with metal tinges. Their cover of Screeching Weasel's "Hey Suburbia" is amped-up in a slightly more hardcore vein. "Addiction" does a good job of Heidi's vocals and it comes off as a creepy intersection of L7 and The Breeders.
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The album was recorded in September of 1998 at Morrisound Studios by the great Steve Heritage. Mixing was handled by pop-punk legends Bill Stevenson and Stephen Egerton of ALL/Descendents fame. This was release number thirty-two for Stiff's catalog, and can still be bought in CD format from Stiff Pole or on Amazon.com. Oh yeah, the name refers to Puff's joint/weed wraps!