ISS obviously adhere to the rules of wrestling because they made sure I left the singles game on my back. HEAVY METAL once said they were "Too Sick For Total Punk", well ISS now responds with "Too Punk For Heavy Metal." ISS gets Metal-esque on this one while declaring themselves better than HM, and taking shots at me. If that's not enough the bass line is lifted from the intro to Dead Kennedys "I Am the Owl." These boys are cheeky. Well jokes on you pals because not only is the A side better than the B, but it's better than anything you've ever written so you two are clearly at your best when thinking about me! I Am the Muse!! Loud, brash, and 100% TOTAL PUNK!!!!
Our take: This new two-song single from North Carolina’s own ISS is the final single on punk institution Total Punk Records (the label will keep going, but will drop the hand-stamped sleeves and focus on 12”s). In much the same way they take samples from classic punk records and bend and twist them into new songs, ISS has turned the Total Punk aesthetic against itself. The a-side track, “Too Punk for Heavy Metal,” takes several swipes at Total Punk and its owner and, to add injury to insult, they put the lyrics on the record’s cover, forcing Rich at Total Punk to stare at them for hours on end while he hand stamps hundreds of sleeves, like Bart Simpson writing out his offenses on the chalkboard. Fortunately, Rich at Total Punk has a sense of humor and an ear for a great track, because “Too Punk for Heavy Metal” is as great as anything ISS has done so far, taking a Dead Kennedys bass line and adding the perfect disco beat the original never had. The b-side dips back into the Rudimentary Peni catalog for more sample material, and while it’s not as anthemic as the a-side, it reminds me of a classic b-side in that it feels looser and more introverted. 100% Total Punk and 100% essential.