Artist: The Mau Maus
Album: Scorched Earth Policies: Then & Now
Label: Rachet Blade Records
Reviewer: Cassandra Young
Date: Oct 21, 2012
Established in 1977, resulting from the breakup of their former band the Berlin Brats, the Mau Maus have a notorious reputation as trouble makers. With the release of their first legitimate recorded album ‘Scorched Earth Policies: Then and Now’, the band has given their fans something tangible, as they have been craving for almost forty years.
With the legendary Rick Wilder filling the position of front man; Robbie Krieger, Michael Livingston, and Greg Salva on guitar; Scott “Chopper” Franklin on bass; and Paul “Black” Mars on drums, the band has become an icon in the Punk scene. Though Wilder is the only original member still standing, all have a chemistry that is undeniably powerful. Their drive and ability to create a lasting sound has made them a permanent staple in the music industry.
With a history like The Mau Maus, there is no escaping their reputation. Band members changing like the days of the week, cops appearing at their doorstep about five times a night, and starting uncountable riots, the band hasn’t just made their mark on music, they’ve made it on society. Incorporating both songs from their past as well as recently written and recorded songs from today, they have pieced together a compelling album that will be played for many decades to come.
Kicking of their album with “(I’m) Psychotic”, they already paint a picture of just who they really are. The dominant bass line, sweet guitar solos, extremely fun chorus, and just about as much china as you can handle introduces The Mau Maus in the best way possible. “Warbaby” is the perfect song for one who’s looking for the angst expected from angry rockers. With impressive guitar riffs and a single amazing guitar solo the song has become a fan favorite. “Joyride (to the End of the World)”, written by Wilder, is one of the slower (however, not slow at all), and more powerful songs. “Doomsdaze”, one of the most enjoyable songs on the album, opens with the group yelling, “Yeah, yeah, yeah” which continues throughout the song, giving off the loud, rambunctious vibe loved by all Punk listeners.
Though they’re what would be considered veterans of the scene, The Mau Maus plan on releasing another album in the future. With talent like theirs, there is no reason not to. The Mau Maus have been an influential band throughout the entire Punk industry since 1977 and are continuing to influence bands in today’s music scene.
THE MAU MAUS
Scorched Earth Policies: Then & Now
Formed from the ashes of legendary Los Angeles glam rock band Berlin Brats, the Mau Maus have proven to be one of punk rock’s more tenacious groups, with lineups having existed in five different decades now—and yet despite forming in 1977—prior to this CD, the only legitimate recordings one could find were two tracks featured on the second Hell Comes to Your House compilation. In an effort to both clear the vaults and make up for lost time, this features six tracks recorded in 1983 and produced by Doors guitarist Robbie Krieger (who also lays down a barnburner solo on one track), plus eight tracks of more recent vintage that meld fairly seamlessly with the earlier tunes, making this the definitive showcase for this band’s take on punk rock: one part Dolls, one part Stones, mix in a whole lotta attitude ‘n’ hostility and set the whole fuckin’ thing ablaze. An all-around swell collection complete with extensive liner notes, pics, and some of the finest punk rockin’ you’re likely ever gonna come across.
Scorched Earth Policies: Then & Now
Produced: Robbie Krieger, the Mau Maus & Geza X
Ratchet Blade Records
Rick Wilder – Vocals
Michael Livingston – Guitar
Scott ‘Chopper’ Franklin – Bass
Paul ‘Black’ Mars – Drums
1. (I’m) Psychotic
2. Dead or Alive
4. Rectum of Nefertiti
5. Sex & the Single Sniper
9. All Fall Down
10. Never Talk to Strangers
11. Joyride to the End of the World
12. Family Jewels
This album is the first (and only legit) release by the most notorious punk band of the late 1970′s, early 1980’s, it contains six songs from a 1983 session produced by Doors guitarist Robbie Krieger (remixed in 2010), as well as eight songs from their 2011 session produced by the Mau Maus and Geza X.
The CD includes a twenty-page full-color booklet that gives you the complete history of the Mau Maus!
Prior to this release the only recorded evidence that The Mau-Maus existed were the two songs on Hell Comes To Your House 2, Sex Girls in Uniforms, and We All Fall Down. Now, after all these years you can hear why they were one of the most legendary bands in all of Los Angeles.
If I had to sum up the overall Mau-Maus sound on this album, it’d be this: they seem to be the perfect hybrid of The Seeds and The Sex Pistols. The great sound of 1960’s garage guitars, and Mr. Wilder’s kick-ass snarling vocals.
(I’m) Psychotic and Puberty are my favorite cuts from the album.
If you get the chance to get a copy of this, go get it.
Rating: *** Three out of three stars.
Read this review HERE
The Mau Maus – Scorched Earth Policies: Then & Now (ratchetbladerecords.com)
ATTENTION! ATTENTION! ATTENTION!! The missing link has been found Between The Dough Boys and The Dictators, and they’re here to rock yer socks off!! Listen to the first cut, first nasty lick, first fierce, nasal vocal from the new album (produced by the Doors’ Robbie Kreiger, Geza X, and the band) by the legendary 70’s punk/glam/rock ‘n’ roll band The Mau Mau’s, and you will be in Punk Rock Heaven (is there really a Rock ‘N’ Roll Heaven?). The guitars sound like shrapnel shards exploding from a landmine and the rhythm section is down and dirty like two whirling dervishes on a mission. Then there are the vocals: Warped, nauseating, gruff, and other-worldly. All total, just the right mixture for a goddamn, attitude-driven, snot nosed punk rock band!
I’m on my first of what willzbe several listens of The Mau Mau’s (they get a gazillion points for one of the best band names ever) first album in quite a few years, and I’m just… vibing!! My typing skills are minimal (two finger typing), but listening to this amazingly cool album I’m, “typing to the beat!” Something like a bazillion words per minute, right along with the manic beat that The Mau Mau’s have burned onto this party platter. Heavy stuff!
By the third go-round, I’m getting into the lyrics (the beat is STILL relentless), and they singing about being psychotic (“I’m Psychotic,”) the end of the world (“Joyride,”) rectums (“Rectum of Nefertiti,”) and – what else – ROCK ‘N’ FUCKIN’ ROLL (“Never Talk to Strangers,” “Doomdaze!”)
You might think that a band with so much road under their heels would rest on their laurels, or make an album with a couple of decent songs and the rest just mush. Well, Scorched Earth Policies: Then & Now is ALL KILLER-NO FILLER!! You will not want to stop this disc from playing ‘til you squeezed all of the friggin’ musical mojo outta this mother!
Where the Dictators shouldered heavy metal as a means to commercialize their punky pop, and NJ’s Dough Boys gave us some of the heaviest punk riffage this side of the Ramones, The Mau Mau’s inject wit, economy, intelligence, and classic pop structure into raw, powered punk rock. Not that the other bands I mentioned didn’t possess the same elements, it’s just that The Mau Mau’s mojo is definitely their own. Period.
Bottom line, this album is a fun-filled blast of riffs and roars that rock like crazy! It’s a credible continuation of what’s come before, and a hard look into the future. It doesn’t get any more neanderthalic and fun than this .
The Mau Maus-“Scorched Earth Policies:Then And Now”
Well this explains what Geza meant when he said he was busy with something awhile back.
Hard review to write.I should be able to just say,”What did you god damned expect?” and leave it at that. But I’d probably get in trouble.
First off,if you’ve never heard of the Mau Maus/Berlin Brats, turn in your LA Punker card to this magazine for shredding, you don’t deserve it.
The Mau Maus were the king gods of snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory. Always finding a way to mess it up. Impossible to get in to the studio, pissing people off, in short Punk as Fuck. They managed to get booted from Decline And Fall Of Western Civilization for the love of god. One of the anti-hero’s,one of the upper echelon of woulda, coulda, shoulda. Until now.
The classic 81 lineup somehow was corralled in to the studio, to actually attempt the completion of an actual album, with Geza X controlling the knobs, and probably locking the door to keep em the hell in there until they were done.
And what an album it is.
A combination of tracks from the ’83 sessions with Robbie Krieger (you might have heard about him from a Val Kilmer flick) and stuff recorded now. This is, well, “What did you god damned expect?” If you have any affinity and love for Masque era punk, this is the album that’s been floating through your best nightmares for years now.
There are no hiccups and lacks in intensity between the ’83 tracks and the new tracks, if somebody didn’t tell you which were which, you’d have no clue they weren’t recorded all at once.
This is late 70’s LA punk. I’m not going to compare it to anyone. What’s the point? You don’t compare the influence to the influenced. If you don’t know what this sounds like, your loss buddy-o. Because you’re only getting what you should expect.
-The Right Wrong Reverend Paul Putrid
SPARK PLUG Magazine
Read it HERE
Scorched Earth Policies: Then & Now
by Jack Rabid
When the liner notes claim the Mau Maus were among the most notorious bands on the 1977-1983’s incredilbe L.A. punk scene, they’re right! Thanks to rave write-ups in Slash, Flipside, etc., one constantly heard about wildman Rick Wilder‘s post-Berlin Brats (proto-punk pioneers seen in Cheech & Chongs’ Up in Smoke) group, but didn’t hear them, except two cuts on 1983’s Hell Comes to Your House, Vol. 2, (equaling Berlin Brat’s meager output from a 7″). Drugs were cited as the main impediment. Well, it’s taken 30-40 years, but Mau Maus’ bassist Scott “Chopper” Franklin‘s label has now released retrospective albums of both bands. The Mau Maus never entered a studio ’til after five years, and went back only twice more; likewise the Berlin Brats’ Believe it or Rot (1973-1976) could only present seven studio songs. Fortunately, the Mau Maus reformed their 1981 line up recently, returned to the studio with producer ex-Deadbeats Geza X, and cut eight new versions of old numbers to go with six 1983 recordings with Doors guitarist Robby Krieger (Doors’ keyboardist Ray Manzarek likewise produced X). Amazingly, the new recordings sound like the old! Their high octane punk ‘n’ roll is badd ass, a kicking, spitting, heavier, faster Hollywood answer to Johnny Thunders’ Heartbreakers, including re-recordings of Berlin Brats’ material like the Saints-esque “(I’m) Psychotic”. The Joneses eventually copped their notorious raunch, but these guys had the riffs and attitude; all they needed was an album.
Mau Maus – Scorched Earth Policies
May 21, 2012
Wow! After a number of years in hiding The Mau Maus have resurfaced as a top LA punk act to be reckoned with. This release new for spring 2012 is retrospect of sort’s disc where half the tracks come from a 1983 recording session and the newer half from just a few months ago.
What you get is an awesome collection of tracks that distinguish this band as one of LA’s trashiest rock and roll bands of all time. The early recordings best of all were produced by Doors guitarist Robbie Krieger and will leave a lasting impression on even the snootiest of punks, this is the real deal and nothing less. The newer tracks are also quite amazing as well proving this band is back with energy and ready to tear up clubs with new sleazy anthems for the young and old alike. Had Johnny Thunders been from LA he likely would have played guitar and done tons of drugs with Mau Maus, that hypothetical scenario is reason enough to pick up this disc out on Ratchet Blade Records. Do yourself a favor and get on this!
Big Wheel Staff Journalist
Read the review at Big Wheel Online HERE