The latest release by the Vinyl Communications label is "Garden of Delights," the debut album by San Diego's own Night Soil Man.
And, as is true of most bands on the Vinyl Communications roster, the lyrics command center stage--with singer-songwriter-guitarist Rosebud's words of wisdom elevating the quartet above generic punk-metal status.
Her lyrics address a range of social issues.
On "Rape the Mother," she warns of impending ecological doom:
"The children of the earth would bring the Mother to her knees/And strip her of her beauty, throw her naked body into poisoned seas/Run wild/While tearing down her mountain breasts to suckle dry the golden milky source/And spread apart her valleys wider till she splits asunder from her very core. . . ./Yes, long before the reigning forests turn to deserts and then the deserts are no more/So many moons before the last lion roars its solitary roar/Rape the Mother/Rape her good/Run wild, run free. . . ./Mama gonna have the last laugh, look out."
"I write from experience," Rosebud said. "When I look around me, I see old people being treated worse than pet poodles; I've gone to college, I've been raped, but I've also been loved. And if you're alive, if you're aware and intelligent, and if you have feelings, I don't see how you can write 'Baby, oh baby, it feels like the first time' 20,000 ways.
"That's self-serving pap. We're not preaching, we just have more questions. When we play, we play from our guts, four people experiencing life and learning. If you're not learning, you're not growing, and if you're not growing, you're dying."
Night Soil Man's lyrics might be construed as unduly negative--an assessment with which Rosebud disagrees.
"We're not negative," she said. "A lot of what we write is a celebration of life, but as soon as you're born, you're on the dying side of life.
"That's not negative, that's just how it is. Everyone is fighting a hard struggle, but most music glosses over the truth and proposes soft lies without challenging us to break away from our armchairs."
Night Soil Man played its first gig on Halloween night, 1987, at a house party in Ocean Beach. The band has since become a semi-regular at original-music nightclubs like the Spirit in Bay Park and Rio's in Loma Portal.
Aside from Rosebud, the other members of the band are E. Raymond S., guitar; Mike Soil, bass; and Mark Trombino, drums.