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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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ZLODZIEJE ROWEROW:
Rozproszenie: 7”
I am constantly impressed with the music I hear coming out of Eastern European countries like Poland. While it seems most of the stuff that hits my eardrums out of this region is more along the hardcore lines, this is coming from more of a early to mid-’90s Dischord Records kind of place. Intensity, groove, and emotion. I also really appreciate it when bands print the lyrics in English so I can get in on it as well. I can only imagine what it is like to go to shows there. Maybe someday. –ty (Refuse)


ZIG ZAGS:
10-12: Cassette
This hand-numbered cassette features their out-of-print Scavenger 7”, a bunch of unreleased studio songs, their first demo Party at Dave’s House, and the Monster Wizard 7”. Going from skate punk to psychedelic trip outs and back to punk and post punk makes for a disjointed listen—kind of like a weird mixed cassette that your friend made for you. The band is actually quite talented and has the ability to play all those styles well. A pretty cool collection of their music and definitely a cool cassette. –Rick Ecker (Burger, burgerrecords.org )


ZERO BOYS:
Pro Dirt: 7” EP
Holy sausage Batman! A new Zero Boys record and a tour, to boot! Hot damn! Fast and loose is the order of the day here. It serves the band well on songs such as “Monkey Meat” and the title track. The anger and speed are still in full effect. Be glad that the band is back among the living. –koepenick (1-2-3-4-Go!, store@1234gorecords.com,1234gorecords.com)


WORTHWHILE WAY:
Love Is All: CD

I missed Worthwhile Way at AwesomeFest last year. Upon hearing this, I’m sad about it almost a year later. Fun, easygoing, feel-good punk. The singer’s voice kind of reminds me of Roxy Epoxy a bit. The music is bouncy and catchy and I find myself smiling a lot when I listen to it. If I ever get the chance to see them again, I won’t miss out.

 

–ty (A.D.D.)


WORLD/INFERNO FRIENDSHIP SOCIETY, THE:
Turnstile Comix # 2: 7” EP
Punks rejoice! Here are your two favorite mediums working together in eye-watering beauty. Cutting out the middle man, Silver Sprocket combo packs comics and tunes, taking off on cartoonist Mitch Clem’s idea to take bands’ tales from the road and translate them into ink and watercolor; tack on a 7” slab o’ wax by said band, and you’ve got yourself Turnstile Comix. In the latest issue, the orchestrative jazz punks, The World/Inferno Friendship Society, who have as many members as their name is long, get into a brawl in the middle of their set with an unnamed straight edge band and thwart an ironic defamation campaign. This gets even more chuckles when taking into account that TWIFS look like a bunch of squares. Dressed as if coming home from the office, Jack Terricloth and fellow coworkers are suited up in smart haircuts and shiny, snappy shoes. While the band’s lineup in the comic sports a full saxophone ensemble, the roster of mates has since tapered down. After some shuffling, the seven current members featured on the record still stick to the cabaret jazz punk formula with violin, alto sax, and piano to round out the standard bass, guitar, drums, vocalist norm. Layering sounds like a klezmer band, they skootch and squeeze until each member and their appliance has their time to shine. A hint of clean piano keys can be eked out in “The Faster You Go The Better You Think,” amidst the violin bridge and alto sax line, while “Pickles and Gin” leans into bar room pomp and sway reminiscent of an ‘80s boozy Tom Waits. –Kristen K. (Silver Sprocket Bicycle Club)


WHITE WALLS:
Self-titled: CD
Look at the photo inside. Those are the smug smiles of guys who won the battle of the bands because the judge had never heard Sonic Youth or Smashing Pumpkins. –CT Terry (Poison City)


WET LUNGS:
Self-titled: 7” EP
An atonal battering of songs that often never break the one-minute mark, yet make the most of their short run time by cramming in as many tempo and signature changes as will fit. The singer sounds like he takes his cues from Dr. Teeth & the Electric Mayhem’s legendary drummer Animal, and that’s by no means an insult. –jimmy (Twistworthy)


VIGILANTES, LOS:
Me Siento Azul: 7” EP
Designated Dale hepped me that these cats were interesting and, as per usual, he wasn’t whistling Dixie. Different eras of rock’n’roll being mined here: opening salvo is a bit o’ punk rock doo wop, the closer could’ve comeoutta some Latino interpretation of a Japanese “Beach Party” rip-off flick, and the tune caught in the middle goes for straight-up, tried and true punk ruckus. Totally not what I was expecting from this, but it’s nonetheless wholly recommended. –jimmy (Slovenly)


UZI RASH:
Coreless Roll Can-Liner: LP
I believe this band’s been around a spell, but this is the first time I’ve come across ‘em. They specialize in a brand of noisemaking that seems to be aimed at those whose extracurricular activities involve modified sugar cubes and pieces of paper that have been renamed “blotter” and “microdot.” Like some unholy Beefheart-Los Angeles Free Music Society jam-band alliance from hell, they drop one tune after the next of lysergic-soaked racket, bouncing from acoustic, vaguely country western-tinged electric slide blues tunes to stuff that’d make the Butthole Surfers tilt their head sideways in wonder. Probably not for everyone, I reckon, but I’m diggin’ the hell outta it. –jimmy (1-2-3-4 Go!)


UNEMPLOYMENT PARTY / AWFUL NOISE:
Split: 7”
Fast, barbaric hardcore from both bands. Awful Noise takes the barbaric part literally, delivering a tune about Cimmerian warfare. Unfortunately, on the other side, Unemployment Party is a little lax in the lyric department. No songs about barbarians. Instead, they drop a song about old guy hats and an arguably homophobic, or at the very least a very dumb, song about rainbows. –mp (AZPX)


UNDERGROUND RAILROAD TO CANDYLAND, THE / MEAN JEANS:
Split: 7”
URTC: At the front of the house, URTC’s a full-blown shake-up, get-down party with animals and happy American Indians and suchlike. What a booty-shakin’ great time. The lyrics can be pretty darn sad, though. Dead birds. Square balls. Confusion. Insecurity. Losing a place to live. And I like that. People/animals/characters absolutely losing their furry shit to some substantive stuff. Thanks, punk rock. Few other genres can pull that off without something in the chain being hypocritical. Mean Jeans: My vote’s for somehow using the Back to the Future technology that should already exist and set the clock 1985, get on the set of Weird Science and convince John Hughes, that on Gary and Wyatt’s road to becoming accepted, when they encounter many hilarious obstacles, that “Possessed 2 Party” is playing during one of them. Perhaps a Ferrari scene. I’ll leave it up to the pros. That’d be perfect. “Terminally Twisted” is super-duper close to Queers clone territory. That’s a planet with a lot of gravitational pull, a planet of whoa-oh-whoa-ohing zombies. I hope they use their Ramones thrusters to blast back into the BillieOcean nebula and away from that risky business. –todd (It’s Alive)


UH BONES:
Only You: 7” EP
Fuck the trash, these kids opt for full-blown ‘60s beat worship, with reverb guitars, tambourines, organs, and swaggering vocals in evidence. They’ve got the style down pat, delivering four tunes you could slip between the Shadows Of Knight and the Raiders and none would be the wiser. –jimmy (Randy, randyrecs@gmail.com)


TYRED EYES:
Ghost: 7”
Sweden’s answer to Drunken Boat with a raspy, twangy country feel to it. Whiskey & Co. mashed up with Masshysteri. This is guitar rock for punks. It’s got a big, full sound to it, as well as pretty impressed packaging. Seven inch jacket with a printed spine? Cool. –Daryl Gussin (Gaphals / Alien Snatch, gaphals666@gmail.com)


TV FREAKS:
Self-titled: LP
Raging punk rock from these guys. Reminds me a little of the Oops, because they’re at a point where they’re straddling hardcore in some songs. They hit these quick speeds that tip into the red, and I’m “huzzah huzzah” like. But for the most part, they keep it at a mid tempo swagger. The vocals are akin to snot-nosed know-it-all teenager backed up by a wound-up band, and the whole sound is convincing. The photo of the band on the lyric sheet looks like a group nice kids, and not a bunch of miscreants, as the music would have you thinking. You get songs that thrash and bash, a vocalist who shouts at you and sounds like he’s daring you to take a swing (especially in the song “Finish What You Started”), and buzzy distorted guitars. Pretty good record. One of my favorites this issue. –Matt Average (Schizophrenic, schizophrenicrex.com)


TRUE SONS OF THUNDER:
Black Astrologers: 7”
Pretty cool garage punk with psych overtones from this Memphis band. Features Eric from the Oblivians and members of the Oscars and Rat Traps. Folks who are big on the collective output of those bands will find a whole lot to like here. –frame (Goner)


TRAUMA:
10 Song: EP
Expectations were off the charts for this record. Were they met? Hell yes! They were surpassed. Members of Deathreat, Final Warning, Tragedy, and Long Knife recorded this way back in 2008, released it as a demo, and then finally pressed it onto vinyl. Thank the lard! This record rages. It’s like hearing the first Deathreat EP for the first time. A situation of “Holy fuck! Where has this record been all my life?!” Blazing hardcore from beginning to end. Were you expecting less? You can hear their past bands blended smoothly into the mix, and they don’t sound like anyone in particular. Just loud and manic. I crank the opening bass dive bombs to “See You Fall” every time. It gives the song that extra punch. Then there are the thundering tracks like “No Hope No More” and “Era of Excess.” Then you get a song like “End of the World” with the guitar that gives the song a different texture amongst all the distortion and crushing percussion. The closer, “Utopia,” is the sound of the world coming undone. –Matt Average (Bulkhead, bulkheadrecords.com)


THIS ROUTINE IS HELL:
Howl: CD
Stompy, howly hardcore of the ilk often favored by burly men with a predilection for lotsa tattoos, wallet chains, facial hair, and long shorts. –jimmy (Shield)


THALIDOMY KIDS:
Spirochaete: Cassette
Pretty solid six-song tape of dark and moody punk from this New Brunswick band. Fans of Fifth Hour Hero and Gorilla Angreb would find a whole lot to like here. It’s melodic stuff, but a little snotty in the vocals with kinda dark-sounding guitar and bass. –frame (Fucking Scam, thalidomykids.bandcamp.com)


TEENAGE STRANGE:
“Eerie Energy” b/w “Zeitgeist”: 7”
Nowhere near as Teenagers-From-Mars-y as one’d expect from the band name and glow-in-the-dark vinyl, the Strange trade in outsider metally riff-rock, kind of like if Zeke slowed down, turned up the distortion, and made a song out of that one riff from “Therapy” off the Damned’s Black Album. If i correctly remember what Chrome sounded like the last time i heard them ((which was about twenty-five years ago)), this might sound like that. The b-side is 5:52 long and proportionately less titillating. Hey, i’ll have what the five-eyed monster on the cover is having! BEST SONG: “Eerie Energy.” BEST SONG TITLE: “Eerie Energy.” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Cover sticker trumpets the use of “GLOW ‘N THE DARK VINYL,” but i can’t find any of this dark vinyl they mention. –norb (Gloryhole, gloryholerecords.com)


TEE PEES, THEE:
Bitchin’ Titties: 7” EP
If you’re on the hunt for conclusive evidence of society’s collapse, you need look no further than the Tee Pees. These eastside trashmongers return with another EP’s worth of sleaze and ‘60s skronk to soil your soul and defile your eardrums. The cleaner production this time ‘round adds a bit more punch, and “punk,” perennial screeching organ notwithstanding, to tunes about amorous robots, preferential sororius pecking orders in reference to potential mating opportunities, and the titular subject matter, most of which are all but guaranteed to piss off someone within earshot. Limited to three hundred copies, with the first hundred on “white man’s blood red vinyl,” so you’d best get to hunting before, to paraphrase some dead hippie, “the whole shithouse goes up in flames.” –jimmy (Manglor, manglorrecords.com)


SUSPECT:
Self-titled: Cassette
Suspect is a new hardcore punk band from CA featuring current and former members of Tear It Up, Find Him And Kill Him, Deep Sleep, Knife Fight, and KentState. There are six tracks on this cassette. From the first to the last track, every song rips! Great riffs showcasing tight technical playing and crisp drumming are the highlights on this, including blazing leads in the tracks “Tyranny of the Desert” and “The First Day.” I’ve been listening to this constantly since it came into my hands, and I still can’t get enough. Highly recommended. –Paul J. Comeau (Paranoid Futures, paranoidfutures.blogspot.com, paranoidfutures666@gmail.com)


SUNDOWNERS:
The Larger Half of Wisdom: LP
Band maturation is an interesting journey. I’m not going to say Gnomes and Glaciers was a good album. It was fair, but didn’t get you caught up from the get go, nor did it slow burn its way into heavy rotation. The 7” was a huge leap forward; songs sticking immediately in your head, warranting the getting up and down to flip the record for multiple spins. That can happen a lot with the no-filler shorter format. The Larger Half of Wisdom is obviously the fruition of the direction headed and the time elapsed between releases. The new LP is quite simply a stunner and not just because each song is immediately hummable. The embellishments that add the extra little “umpf” or “whoah!” throughout the album (the small guitar flourish in “Blue Collar Salute,” the slide guitar-esque solo in “Right Down Broadway,” and the high backing vocals in “Bird World Problems”) bring that little where-did-that-come-from? shiver up your spine. The loose theme of the record and fantastic art and layout ice this cake and are going to speak volumes if you’re big into hugging trees and petting animals. Sundowners have offered up a top 10 for 2013… easy. –Matt Seward (Dirt Cult)


SUMMER VACATION / HARD GIRLS:
Split: 7”
Summer Vacation: The bits of Weezer I really like meets Rites Of Spring’s entire brief catalog. Shattered, pretty, monstrous, calming, and epic from one second to the next without any herky-jerkiness or multiple personality disorder. Know what can kill hardcore? Ladies can rarely share equally in the celebration—half of the world’s population excluded from the party. Not so with Summer Vacation. It feels inclusive. Hummingbird pinpoint swiftness. Elephant stomp. Hard Girls: One long-form song that evokes the late ‘90s where both punk and post-punk—as labels—were approached with extreme caution (and rarely invoked), college radio was losing its arm wrestling contest to “indie rock,” (later to be shorn to “indie”) and bands like Chokebore, Gaunt, and The Yummy Fur convinced their respective towns of Cleveland, Honolulu, and Glasgow that they were next heir apparents. Nice split. –todd (Recess / Asian Man)


STREET DOGS, THE:
Rustbelt Nation: 7” EP
As we wait patiently for the promised live DVD, the band tosses a few new nuggets out to keep the wolves at bay. Singer Mike McColgan stirs our patriotism from the onset of the title track. The other two songs are vintage punk rock sing-a-longs. I’ll take this as the band gets back on solid ground with the addition of Lenny Lashley (ex-Darkbuster) on guitar. Expect greatness. –koepenick (Pirate Press, piratepressrecords.com)


STREET DOGS, THE:
Crooked Drunken Sons: 7” EP
As the band discusses side projects and takes a bit of a breather from non-stop touring, they are nice enough to give the fans a teaser of what is to come. More anthemic, driving punk rock with meaningful lyrics and thrilling guitar riffs. What more could you want? Maybe a cold one to go along with their cover of Uncle Tupelo’s “I Got Drunk” (I’m sure Jeff Tweedy is proud). Crank this one loud and you’re set. –koepenick (Pirates Press, piratepressrecords.com)


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