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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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HATED NOISE:
Hatred Is Purity: CD
The first eight tracks on the CD are the Hatred Is Purity tracks, nine and ten are bonus, and the last ten are from the band’s I Don’t Want to Be Like You 7”. The mix on the new stuff is a bit tinny for my old ears, but that did not take away from the snotty punk fury of the tuneage. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the back half of the CD a bit more, owing in part to the meatier sound. On the whole, Hated Noise play rip-you-apart punk / hardcore songs about hating authority, murder, hate, mob violence, and deviance—pretty standard fare for this genre and Zodiac Killer Records, but Hated Noise does it well, so it was worth my time. However, I did not need yet another anthem about splitting skulls with steel-toed boots. Other than that clunker, this is a worthwhile soundtrack to one’s beer-sodden, I-hate-society Saturday night mixers.  –The Lord Kveldulfr (Zodiac Killer)


GUILT PARTY:
Discography: 7”
Killer fast, lo-fi ‘80s HC shit out of Houston that made we want to break out the first Cause For Alarm EP and the Beasties’ Polly Wog Stew and drive around and enjoy the summer. I’m a big fan of discographies that are maybe ten minutes long, and guitars that are just a little bit distorted (think Human Mess?). If you’re me, you should get this. Side A is a little stronger, if only because the singer goes for a kind of Raw Nerve / San Diego screamo vox style on Side B, though I can’t really be mad about it. One of those unassuming records that you might not look twice at, but give it a couple looks. –Matt Werts (Agrowax)


GUERRILLA MONSOON / GAME DAY REGULARS:
Split: 7”
This is a four-track transatlantic split of gruff, anthemic punk rock. From the U.K. we have Guerrilla Monsoon with the U.S.A. offering up Game Day Regulars. It’s a well matched split without the bands sounding like exact copies of each other. Guerrilla Monsoon has the edge in terms of melody whereas Game Day Regulars tends towards a slightly rougher sound. All in all, this is a pretty decent release. –Rich Cocksedge (Paper + Plastick)


GREEN EXPRESS:
Gex: CD
Green Express is a metal / stoner band from Rio, who could be compared to the ghost of Layne Staley from Alice In Chains singing for Hatebreed, at times. Crisp production and extremely well executed, while being a little out of the realm of what I normally listen to. Heavy breakdowns with plenty of melodic, toned down verses. Imagine a heavier Queens Of The Stone Age. Gex is probably a hit in Brazil. –Steve Adamyk (Self-released)


GREAT THUNDER:
Groovy Kinda Love: 2 x LP
I guess when you ask for weird shit, you get shit like this (with a kaleidoscope image on the cover) in your review pile. Unfortunately, it’s not the kinda weird shit that I seek. Great Thunder is Kate from P.S. Eliot / Waxahatchee and her partner, who, apparently, just record whatever they fucking feel like and throw it together under the GT moniker. You get thirty songs, ranging from slightly experimental rock to shit that you wouldn’t be surprised to hear in a Starbucks or your mom’s cubicle, replete with songs that run the indie gamut. Although nothing is atrocious on here, nothing is close to stellar, either. Not as disjointed nor annoying as Ween, but still too much of a mixed bag without anything interesting enough to justify wading through an LP, let alone four sides. –Vincent Battilana (Salinas)


GREAT DISMAL SWAMIS, THE:
Self-titled: 7” EP
Surfy, garagey, snotty, rocking awesomeness, from Norfolk, VA, that makes ya wanna shake it. Limited pressing of three hundred. By the time y’all read this, it will probably have sold out. I got mine. The rest of yous will have to hope for a second pressing. –Jackie Rusted (Fandango)


GRAVEYARD FIVE, THE:
“The Graveyard Theme” b/w “The Marble Orchard”: 7”
This is a double threat to me ‘cause these two songs are grave-stone cold and I love to pull records for the imaginary Halloween party that never seems to happen. You don’t have to be in an October state of mind to appreciate these late-night howls. “The Graveyard Theme” is a standard four/four instrumental, but the tinny, reverb-laden guitars and sliding bass line create a din that will keep you up with the bats. “The Marble Orchard” is about hangin’ in the graveyard. It’s a groover more than a mover, but if that’s your thing, it’s a must have. –Billups Allen (Lysergic Sound)


GOOSEBUMPS:
Scared to See a Doctor: 7”
Distorted-as-fuck hardcore punk from NYC which is very much in league with their fellow New York scene participants such as Toxic State records bands—although, to their credit, a much muddier, dirtier sound—and not so much a pogo-core band like La Misma or Sad Boys. The Greg Ginn guitar noodling adds a brilliant effect to the musical cacophony while the tasteful artwork on the cover rounds things out and kindly reminds you that you’re not welcome here. –Juan Espinosa (Katorga Works)


GOOD THROB:
Fuck Off: LP
Short and sharp. Snarling and spitting. Angry and jarring. Abrasive and aggressive. Gang Of Four. Cockney Rejects. Crass. Visceral and intense. Punk rock.  –Rich Cocksedge (SuperFi / White Denim / Sabermetric)


FRIEND OF MY YOUTH:
Self-titled: Cassette
This Santa Barbara-based “pop-punky emo”three-piece only plans to be around for a few months, and that makes me sad because this five-song cassette was really good. They make a lot of noise for three people! “We started this band because I really like Jimmy Eat World and The Get Up Kids, but it turned out a little different from the original plan,” says the blurb on the record label’s site. You can definitely hear those two bands in this tape, which is probably why I liked it so much. –Bianca (Secret Pennies)


FORCED FEM:
The Safe Word: 7”
I thought this was going to be a lame grind record when I looked at it but instead I got a lesson in not judging a book by its cover because this thing is a fucking killer guitar-driven death rock/demented goth punk record. The music is mid-tempo SoCal punk (think the first Annihilation Time 7”) with a more danceable backbeat and atonal vocals that remind me more of The Mighty Sphincter than Black Flag. I looked this thing up and it’s pretty limited, so you may want to jump it sooner rather than later. –Ian Wise (Aggro Wax)


FINAL DRAFT:
West World Order: LP
You’ve got to be doing something extremely fucking well to get the thumbs up from a powerviolence guru such as Chris Dodge, who may not be as involved in the scene as he once was but let’s face it: the man still knows what the fuck is up. The “cave dweller” has gone on record proclaiming that Final Draft’s West World Order is up to par with the later period Spazz records and after finally coming around to giving this platter a spin, I’m inclined to agree with him. A clone or re-hash band, you might say? Nah, man. This shit is straight up west-side, not west-bay. Crush, Kill, Destroy intensity with a wrong-turn-off-the-405-freeway exit thrash / grind malevolence. Seventeen counts of powerviolence in the first degree. If you’re looking for hype, then keep looking, goober: you looking to get straight musically ig’nant? Look no further. –Juan Espinosa (RSR)


FILTHPACT:
Resurrected under Condemnation: CD
Crusty political über-thrash delivered with enough tempo changes to break up the monotonous blur. Not particularly a fan of the silly-fast stuff, but they ain’t bad at it. –jimmy (Filthpact)


FACILITY MEN:
Demo: Cassette
Pretty solid demo release from Facility Men out of Buffalo, NY. I have to say there have been a lot of bands with a similar sound that have been doing it for me lately, perhaps they’re all drinking from the same “Cool” Aid. Criminal Code, Yi, Protomartyr came to mind while listening to this sweet little three-song tape. The melodic tweak, strum, and twiddling of post-punk guitar over throbbing bass and drums, sloppy a-melodic vocals, soft spoken at times, mostly a shout, a wail, a holler. Fuck ya. This one’s good. –Camylle Reynolds (Self-released)


EX-BOYFRIENDS, THE:
Not Much, Too Late: Hits 2003-2010: Cassette
Loose, sneering garage rock from Calgary. These guys know their way around a hook and play with a certain unstudied recklessness that you rarely hear from proto-punk crate plunderers. TXBFs will pull a blade and carve themselves a space between “Hotwire My Heart” and “All This and More” on your rock’n’roll playlist. –Chris Terry (experienceshake.com)


ELSINORES, THE:
Dreams of Youth: LP
Hazy post-punk tugging at the shirt tails of the Estranged and Criminal Code. Merely reference points, however, as the Elsinores don’t necessarily go out of their way to sound like either band. The one thing I wish I could say is that they are as proficient as the other two bands in their songwriting. Some ideas seem to work for them and some don’t, but seeing as how this appears to be their debut recordings I also don’t see why there isn’t room for improvement.  –Juan Espinosa (IFB / Dead Tank / Human Crush / Hip Kid / Karmic Swamp)


EJECTOR SEATS, THE:
…Like Apple Pie…: LP
Like their last LP that I reviewed for Razorcake, Ejector Seats return with an inventive blend of pop and garage. This LP comes on clear vinyl, with red, white, and black splatters and is housed in a pretty gatefold sleeve. The songs are raw, though, with a viably anti-digital quality emphasized in the production. Experimenting with more rhythmic changes than on their prior releases, this is still super danceable. Not quite in the sloppy pop vein of the old SecretCenter bands, Ejector Seats remind me of that era anyway. The vocals are pissed this time around, adding to the energy. The ironic title is super funny, especially since, in the end, there does end up being an apple pie-like accessibility to the noise. –Art Ettinger (Collision Course)


DURBAN POISON:
Thunderwolf: Cassette
Lo-fi, punky garage rock and roll that falls somewhere on the spectrum between Mensen and Bikini Kill. Cocky riffs galore and snotty vocals kicked out over a raw, effective recording job that would normally make me cringe, but suits these songs perfectly. Well done.  –Dave Williams (Shake!)


DUFFY’S CUT:
Self-titled: CD
A nice curve ball here in the form of Philly mod/punk. The originals are punchy yet tuneful, and the covers of Eddie Holland’s “Leaving Here,” and the Small Faces’ “Whatcha Gonna Do About It,” are done well. The overall feel here is of a band with a residency at a bar I’d be happy to frequent—not too flashy, but solid enough to keep spirits up (and other spirits flowing). –jimmy (Oi! The Boat)


DUDE JAMS:
How to Become a Famous Recording Artist: LP
Depending on your geography, Dude Jams are either your summertime or permanent Florida/California weather band. There will be sweating and singing regardless. Whether it’s a backyard party or a dirt floor basement show, guitar leads will lift your arms skyward, spilling your beer, and come back down on the shoulders of the new best friend next to you. It doesn’t stray from the beard punk formula, but it’s executed with heart, sincerity, and humor. What band is not winning titling a song “Rambo in the Dark”? And the horns at the end of “Brainless” (yep…horns…like RFTC horns, not ska horns) are a nice touch. When you lift the needle at the end of Side B, your shoes will be a little dirtier, you may need to wring the sweat from your clothes, but you will be wearing a shit-eating grin from ear to ear. Oh…and all the drugs might be gone. –Matt Seward (ADD)


DISCO FOR FERNS, A:
Your Distant Aunt: CDEP-R
Guitar players. Who needs ‘em? Not this band. This two-piece manages to make more ruckus with just a bass and drum set than some five-pieces. Could I describe the ruckus, sir? Of course. Early Government Issue-ish and with the distortion turned up to eleven. The music sometimes plods along and sometimes it sprints. There are only four tracks here. I could listen to about forty more. –Lisa Weiss (adiscoforferns2.bandcamp.com)


DIRTY COAL TRAIN, THE:
Self-titled: LP
The Dirty Coal Train are from Portugal and play fairly solid garage punk the likes of which you would find on Slovenly Records these days. Most of this record is squarely in the mid-’90s style of Crypt and Goner Records but a few tunes veer into a bit of a newer Burger Records kind of feel. –frame (Chaputa!)


DEMANDS:
Self Inductance: Cassette
Some nasty d-beat hardcore. Primal, gasping, deep-throat vocals, beefy metallic guitar, maniacal drums. Demands lists Agnostic Front and Deaththreat as influences, but it reminds me more of the fastcore of lore, think of an über bro’d-out Vitamin X. Feel like punching the world in the face but your existential self is just too sloth to give a fuck? This might be your soundtrack. –Camylle Reynolds (Self-released)


DELETIONS:
Self-titled: Cassette
If these cats don’t wear jumpsuits onstage I’m gonna be pissed. Never nostalgia for its own sake, but an updated approach: Deletions’ modus operandi is to meld herky-jerk rhythms and catchy vocal phrasing, which refer to new wave without outright aping it, filtered through sheets of glitch. Usually music which nods to the past like this takes a similar production approach to its predecessor, but here the audio is decidedly lo-fi, adding an unclean edge. Great stuff, especially for fans of Devo and the A-Frames. –Michael T. Fournier (deletions.bandcamp.com)


DEATH ON/OFF / DYSMORFIC:
Split: 7”
Death On/Off are like Insect Warfare with a death metal lean. I’m not the most PC person in the world, but damn if these lyrics don’t kind of bother me. I don’t know if they are actually really homophobic and sexist or if this is just an attempt to be ironic and... I don’t know, shine a light on the issues. If the latter is the case, then they are just really bad at expressing opinions. Dysmorfic have even more of a death metal influence. I am not interested in any of this. Seriously this is awful. I’m sorry, I usually try to come up with good things about records even if I don’t like them, but I honestly see absolutely no redeeming characteristics in this record at all. –Ian Wise (Skull Crusher)


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