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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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ROSVO:
Ticks and Ants: 7” EP
Metallic modern hardcore. Not terrible, but nothin’ to write home about, either –jimmy (Gaphals, gaphals666@gmail.com)


REAL MCKENZIES:
Westwinds: CD
Fifteen years and I don’t know how many full lengths later, this band is still chugging along. Sounds just like the other stuff I have heard from them, so I guess fans will love it. –frame (Fat Wreck, fatwreck.com)


RATTUS / HOLOKAUST:
Split: 7” EP
Rattus: Long has it been since I’ve heard anything new by these legends, and I guess this is supposed to be a final salvo for ‘em. Bummed I missed ‘em last time they came through town. Three tunes here. They’re not quite as crazed or intense in execution as stuff from their classic ‘80s period, and they’re not quite as “poppy” as their more punk-oriented fare from earlier in that decade. Not the best stuff they’ve done, but it isn’t embarrassing, either. Holokaust: Riverside Discharge worship. They admittedly do it well, considering the logic to working so hard to sound like another band continues to escape me and seems about as lazy as putting in tons of work being a cover band. Could be a generation gap thing, but I’d much rather hear how that Discharge influence manifests itself in an original take on the punk/hardcore thang than to hear yet another Xerox, albeit well-executed Xerox, band plop facelessly into an already overstuffed abyss. –jimmy (Rotten To The Core)


RAD:
This Is Rad: 7”
Dunno if it’s a compliment or insult—depends on what you think of the label’s output, I reckon—but this brings back memories of Mystic Records’ ‘80s thrash-o-rama glory days. Seven zippy, simple thrash tunes crammed onto one side of a seven-inch record, lyrics covering asshole geeks, asshole moshers, asshole ‘90s punks, protection of delicate body regions whilst in a pit, and Battlestar Galactica. They may not be breaking any new ground, but they definitely sound like they’re having fun not doing so. –jimmy (Sacramento, sacramaniacs@gmail.com)


PIPSQUEAK:
Fowl Hymns: LP
Pipsqueak is two people, a cellist and the vocalist from Snuggle playing guitar. I do like me some Snuggle, and the vocals and lyrical content have a lot to do with that. And those are represented well here. The cello is pretty decent, too. All the parts seem great, but, as a whole, this just ain’t doing it for me. Sounds like it should be on Fat. Sorry. –Vincent Battilana (Repressed Issues)


PINK REASON:
Negative Guest List Jukebox Single: 7”
RIP Brendon Annesley. No one should die at twenty-one. If you happen upon a copy of Negative Guest List, pick it up. Brendon was a nasty fucker with razor-slash opinions and that’s a compliment. Pink Reason: modern conceptual art. It’s not just the music, it’s the experience, the entire package. The music’s a pastiche—manipulation, tones, noise. The a-side’s source material is complete re-rendering of The Hussy’s “Wrong/Right.” Think of magnetic tape being crumpled up, Ministry, blips of Digital Leather, and unattended electronics. I’m conflicted because it’s interesting, but it’s also pretentious as all hell. Your mileage will vary, depending on your appreciation of Kitchen’s Floor and the unhinged jaw, aching cartilage of the spun-out Homostupids tracks. The B-side blows. Litigiously. It’s a Guns’n’Roses cover played through ludes and cough syrup. Fuuuuck that. My “favorite” part of the original is that it was faster, thus it ended quicker. –todd (Disordered, no address listed)


PICK YOUR SIDE:
Let Me Show You How Democracy Works: LP
Thrash punk with all the trappings, from the political caricatures on the cover, to the photo collage of dudes drinking beer on the inside, to the sick breakdowns, to the misspelled political lyrics. Fun stuff, but didn’t quite pass the flip test, meaning that I was not motivated to turn it over and play side two. I bet if I saw these guys live, I’d have a blast getting beer all over me but, as it stands, I think I’d rather hang out with them than listen to their record. –CT Terry (A389, a389records.com)


PETER STUBB / NOCTURNAL FEEDING:
Split: 7”
Yay! Here come six new nuggets from Georgia’s infamous Peter Stubb, a grindcore version of Daniel Johnston. Expect more of the same melodic, death metal vocoder vocals with each track spanning one minute a piece. “Darlene I Still Remember” is the game changer—opting for lighter chords, plus Stubb’s voice sans vocal enhancements, leading to a sweet fade out. Not bad for his first 7”. This is a must for Stubb fans. On the flip side, Indiana’s Nocturnal Feeding offers up his latest EP, Visitors from the Void,three new folky tracks constructed solely on acoustic guitar. At times, the vocals on NF are piercing, and not in a good way, but don’t let that stop you from picking this up. –Kristen K (Let’s Pretend, letspretendrecords.com)


OILTANKER / NO TOMORROW:
Split: LP
Oiltanker sound bored. There’s no energy on their side, and the vocals just sound tired. All of the riffs are phoned in and the structures are all cut from a crust template. This does absolutely nothing for me. No Tomorrow rage a little harder and take control of their side with a little more creativity in the writing, but it’s still sort of middle-of-the-road crust. –Ian Wise (Profane Existence, profaneexistence.com)


OBSESSORS, THE:
Excessive: LP
Not sure what’s up with this. Sounds like it even would have been mediocre poppy punk fifteen years ago, which is when it sounds like it is from. Nothing offensive, just female-fronted poppy punk with some keyboards. Sounds like they’re having fun. I sure wasn’t. –Vincent Battilana (Braindart)


M.O.R.A.:
Self-titled: CD
Finnish metal “hardcore” with lots of chugga-chugga riffs, gallop-speed tempos, and dual vocals with cadences that belie a hip hop influence. Way too derivative and faceless, but I imagine if I was an angry, bored as fuck nine-year-old circa 2012 with no sense of history and the fact that there’s been at two decades of stuff that not only sounds exactly like this, but has too often been done much better, I’d probably be sympathetic to it. –jimmy (mora09hc@gmail.com)


MODERN CONVENIENCE:
The Shakes: CD
Kind of weird, noisy rock music. For some reason, it vaguely makes me think of a second string Killer Dreamer, where even though it’s not the real thing, it’s okay. –joe (OK Stars, myspace.com/okstarsrecords)


MIKE BELL & THE MOVIES:
Stuck in a TV: 7” EP
Pop punk more on the “raised on the Grease soundtrack and whatever was on the radio when I was a kid” tip than yet another Ramones/Queers/Screeching Weasel Xerox band. It’s sweet, safe, and pretty much devoid of any sorta “edge,” but it could be much, much worse. –jimmy (Self Aware, selfawarerecords.storenvy.com)


MIKE BELL:
The World’s Most Unremarkable Man: Cassette
Packaged like a cassingle, this tape consists of some okay lo-fi indie pop/twee songs. Sounds like something that would have been on Slampt or Slumberland twenty years ago if that is your cuppa. –frame (Self-released, emptybell.blogspot.com)


LANDLORD:
No Matter Where You Live: LP
Lackadaisical, sloppy indie punk with whiny Lou Barlow vocals, recorded through a glass held to the wall. There are little glimmers of inspiration in the lyrics (“We should get in trouble, babe, and do what feels right”) and in the fact that no two songs sound the same but still come together well, but I played this record three times trying to get excited about it and it just didn’t work. –CT Terry (Let’s Pretend, letspretendrecords.com)


KNIFVEN:
Vaccinet/Galtbrottet: 7” EP
This band’s penchant for sly minor chords, dual octave guitar strumming, and “personal” lyrics would fit quite nicely amongst No Idea’s stable of bands—if No Idea hailed from Sweden. Normally not my cup o’ tea, this is nonetheless well executed. –jimmy (Gaphals, gaphals666@gmail.com)


INTO THE STORM:
Get with It!: CDEP
This foursome from Seattle gets points for creativity in packaging for sending off their latest in an embroidered cloth cover with cards featuring lyrics and pencil drawings for each song. The five new tracks of grindcore shift from demonic growls to stripped-down melodies and whispered vocals. “Jean-Luc Picard,” of Star Trek fame, is an epic eight-plus minutes, invoking nightmarish Dali landscapes while “Bodhi Zephyr” features an awesome display of speed drumming. However, the muddy sound quality loses the snap and crackle of the tracks. Still, these guys have potential. Keep an eye on ‘em. –Kristen K (Alive & Breathing, rideintothestorm.com Itsmusic@gmail.com)


INFERNAL NAMES, THE:
II: Lust Feels No Pain: 7”
Thrashy noise punk with a pretty grating singer. The vinyl is the color of bloody snot. That is all. –ty (Scumbros, scumbrosrecords.bandcamp.com)


ILLNESS, THE:
A Monument to Our Gilded Age: CD
I could feel the stomach acid trying to rise up and release itself all over the cover of this CD. Horrible, pretentious metal prog gobbledygook that worships at the awful altar that System Of A Down pollutes our drinking water with whenever it hits the airwaves. I really think I may have a case to prosecute this band under the Geneva Conventions Act. Any war tribunal would have pity on anyone who has to listen to the seven-plus minute closing song “Victory” more than once. Stay away. –koepenick (Self-released)


HELL-O-HILL:
Maelstrom: LP
The second I dropped the needle on the record, it just spewed of Apocalypse Dudes-era Turbonegro. It’s kind of garagey, kind of rock’n’roll, and slick enough to give it that polished rock edge. Throw in the fact that they’re from Russia, their English isn’t the best, some slightly questionable lyrics, and this suddenly turns into a Turbonegro fan’s wet dream. If you’re into that kind of thing, then this is for you. –Mark Twistworthy (Osk, oskrecords.com)


GONZALES:
Blues on the Verge of Apocalypse: 7”
These guys are a hard rock band from Italy playing something that falls somewhere in the same vein as Gluecifer or The Hellacopters, but with more of a rock edge. There was a time in the mid-’90’s when this type of rock’n’roll with garage influences was new and fresh sounding, with bands like Turbonegro leading the way. This record reminds me of the deluge of bands that appeared shortly after Turbonegro’s popularity peaked, when none of the records were quite as good, all with a sense of diluted energy and much less of a spark. –Mark Twistworthy (Kornalcielo, myspace.com/kornalcielorecords)


GHOST AVIARY / GILLIAN CARTER:
Split: CD
This split is five songs from each artist, and FYI, Gillian Carter isn’t a woman, it’s a band. I was hoping that it would be a split between an indie rock act and a woman playing cover songs by the Carter Family. Instead it is two screamy acts, Ghost Aviary being a little slower and sludgier (although not without some melodies) similar to I Hate Myself. Gillian Carter is faster and screamier, but not that interesting. They are like a crappier version of pg. 99. The drums were really high in the mix to the detriment of the guitar and bass. Ghost Aviary was a little better, but both bands need to tighten up their songs. –kurt (ghostaviary.com)


GAREEDA:
Self-titled: CD
Apparently, all the lyrics on this record were written by Tommy Concrete, who recently joined The Exploited. Unfortunately, I get terrifying visions of James Hetfield and Rob Zombie teaming up in a new supergroup when I listen to this. More than likely, I will be banished to the “Crotch of Hell” after the band gets wind of this review. –koepenick (Wasted State)


FRANK HOLLY AND THE FULLERTONES:
Too Many Burgers: Cassette

This looks like the byproduct of cocaine and resentment. The cover is what I assume to be a pic of the band in a “shocking” pose (read: nude). Accompanying the cassette was a manifesto against Burger Records for something like gentrifying garage rock or some such nonsense. To that, all I can say is that that act is like suburban moms trying to censor some sitcom. Don’t like it? Don’t pay any mind to it. It’s not like you are combating Nazis or committing some other noble act. Anyhow, that tomfoolery aside, the music itself was forgettable—though somewhat enjoyable—noisy, garage-tinged, weird punk that was probably thrown together over the course of two days. I have no idea if this is tongue in cheek or what. What I do know is that it doesn’t merit much attention either way.

–Vincent Battilana (Self-released, fhandthefullertones@gmail.com)


FIGHTBALL:
The Hyperbole of a Dead Man: CD
This disc opened up with an intro featuring some chunky, rockin’ guitar not unlike something out of a Riverboat Gamblers’ song. I got excited. Then the first song kicked in, and Fightball sounds a lot like a German version of Face To Face singing in English. I got let down. Not that this is all that bad, it’s just I got wound up for something else. Well, that little trumpet thing that may have been played on a synth was pretty bad. All in all, I’ve heard way worse attempts at this style. If you’re down with the early ‘90s Fat Wreck Chords sound, you might wanna give these guys a go. –ty (Wolverine)


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·EU’S ARSE, THE
·NORTH LINCOLN
·DAMAGE CASE
·MAJOR CONFLICT
·PAX CECILIA, THE
·OS HAXIXINS
·FAKES, THE
·FAT IS BEAUTIFUL
·LOUD AND OBNOXIOUS: THE BALLAD OF MEL LICIOUS


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