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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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EVERYMEN, THE:
Seconds as an English Language: Cassette
I have to admit, the thing that caught my eye about this the most is the fact that they thank Tom Scharpling, who does the Best Show on WFMU and is one of the funniest people ever. Punky rock’n’roll with some saxophone, so basically it reminds me of Rocket From The Crypt. Then a few songs in I hear what I’m not sure are some references to the Best Show, and I love weird comedy more than anything, so that’s obviously what stuck out to me. –joe (Baldy Longhair, baldylonghair.com)


EVENING MEETINGS:
Forgotten in Seconds: 7”
Evening Meetings features members of Seattle scene darlings A-Frames, AFCGT, Factums, and Love Tan. I can sum this 7” single up in a word though, and that word is “monotonous.” The recording is echo-y, sounding like it was recorded in a box hundreds of feet away from the microphones, and each of the two songs feel like they drag on way longer than they need to. There’s a lo-fi, shoegaze vibe to this, but the repetitive riffing and distant-sounding recording did nothing for me. –Paul J. Comeau (Dirty Knobby)


EDWARDS, T. TEX:
Intexicated!: CD
I enjoy some country music, but have never been a fan of cowpunk. Tex Edwards may have history playing with some punk-influenced acts such as the Nervebreakers, and having opened for the Sex Pistols when they played in Dallas in the ‘70s, but the nineteen primarily unreleased songs on Intexicated! just don’t do a thing for me. –kurt (Saustex, saustexmedia.com)


DRESDEN:
Extinguish the Cross: 7” single
As much as I try to get away from making the comparison, it’s near impossible: hardcore crust in the vein of Tragedy and From Ashes Rise. One thing that sets Dresden apart is the guitar has a more metallic style in the leads. But the rest is very much sticking to the formula that Tragedy brought to the fore years back—broody opening, crashing middle part that picks up the tempo, then they have the fast part in there to give it some urgency. Just to be clear, Dresden are not terrible, it’s just that they don’t deviate from the genre enough to separate themselves from the infinite amount of bands that play this style. –Matt Average (Profane Existence, profaneexistence.com)


DOLF:
Culturama: CD
Another faceless, Fat-clone punk band releases another faceless, Fat-clone punk album to stoke the flames of history’s ash heap. –jimmy (Dolf, facebook.com/dolfpun)


DEFECATION AREA / TONY JONES AND THE CRETIN 3:
Peace, Love and Slamdance: Split CD
The singer of Defecation Area has a grating vocal affectation that involves ending lines by swooping into a ridiculously high-pitched pig squeal. It drove me so crazy that I inadvertently jammed congealed pizza cheese into my ears to make it stop. Realizing what I had done, I put my head in the microwave to melt the cheese out so I could hear Tony Jones and the Cretin 3 rip off some Ramones riffs. That bored me so bad that I just left my head in the microwave until the whole shebang melted. Then I put this CD in there too. –mp (tonyjones.org)


DEAD ON TV:
Fuck You, I’m Famous: CDEP
Self-styled “electro-punk.” Given that members of Die Warzau (one of which produces music for R. Kelly. Yes, that R. Kelly) are involved, not to mention the hyper-produced sound of this, I’m guessing they’re priming for a run at that brass ring. I wish ‘em luck. –jimmy (WTII)


CROW BAIT:
Three Tickle Guys: 7”
Relatively solid pop punk with gruff vocals. It’s solid, and some of the songs catch my ear, but there ain’t much here to differentiate it from everything else in this reviews section. –Ryan Horky (Dirt Cult/Solidarity/Lost Cat/ADD/Drunken Sailor/Eager Beaver, crowbait.bandcamp.com)


CHEAP FREAKS:
Bury Them All: CD
This is a nice slab of ‘60s-inspired wig out rock. “1984” is a more straight forward power chord riffer while “Cryin’ Shame” ventures into Cynics-style jangling with keyboards. Two slower numbers put the brakes on: not the band’s strong suit. But the speed of the album is generally up-tempo. When the album moves, it moves in the right direction. –Billups Allen (Big Neck)


CAFETERIA DANCE FEVER:
Danceology: CD
Skronky, noisy, cutesy punk stuff with a clear sense of humor (song titles like “Jonathan Taylor Thomas Is Too Good to Be True,” and “A Rainbow that Shoots Nunchuks at People,” among others). This is a collection of (mostly) previously released material, and I’m betting their quirky brand of noise-punk goes over well with the stingy-brim ‘n’ American Apparel crowd. –jimmy (Hovercraft)


CAD:
Tazky Kov: LP
Blazing crust core that moves with the elegance of a tank. Somewhere between Victims and Warcollapse. They are dark and abrasive for the most part, but they also have a rocking side, as displayed in the song “Na To Si Tu!” The guitar is dark and blistering and has a way of winding around the bass and drums without choking them, ratcheting up the tension throughout the songs. For the most part, they keep everything at a near-boil, but never really go over the top. Instead, the tension is constant and there’s no release until they rock out like a muh-fucka at the end. There are a lot of familiar elements here, but they keep it fresh and add their own spin on the genre. Good stuff –Matt Average (My Sleeping Cat, mysleepingcat.wordpress.com, matylda@mysleepingcat.info)


BEYOND DESCRIPTION:
Proof of the Truth: CD
I’m no expert in the realm of current subgenres of hardcore. Part of it is the whole “old dog, new tricks” thing and there is also the whole aversion to most metal that I have. That said, I always seem to think that hardcore sounds good in languages other than English. German is always a good starting point, but Japanese is also right up there. I’m sure there are diehard genre fans out there who will disagree with me, but there is a lot of early Metallica going on here, Japanese style. And I kind of like it. The metal layman that I am, the biggest compliment I can pay these guys is that I didn’t screech in horror and fling the disc across the room. –ty (C.A.H.)


BERSICKER:
Demo #1: CD
A three-song demo of sludgy heaviness with a thick echo on the vocals. A pretty solid outing in the realm of Discharge-y doom punk. Where did that bullet belt go? –ty (Bersicker)


BARE MUTANTS:
Without You: 7”
Velvet Underground via Jesus And Mary Chain pop from a band apparently so intent on a minimalist approach that both songs are largely based on the same two chords. –jimmy (Hozac, hozacrecords.com)


AUTOMATIC SEIZURE:
The Unseen Host: CD
From the looks and sounds, it’s more of a GarageBand project (liner notes say it’s only two dudes, guitars are kind of noisy, and it sounds like it uses drum machine tracks) versus a “full” band. It’s okay, but I feel like Big Black was the high point of abrasive part human/part robot bands, so it’s probably not something I’d really think to throw on again. –joe (automaticseizure.bandcamp.com)


AUTHORITIES:
Kung Pau Au Go-Go: CD
Dunno if any, or how many, members have moved north from their originalStockton headquarters to the Great White North, but the band’s web addressboasts a Canadian suffix. This is the same band that unleashed the muchsought-after Soundtrack for Trouble EP back in ‘82. The tracks are solid,and you even get a cover of DOA’s “My Old Man’s a Bum” and an updating ofthe Subhumans’ “Dead at Birth.” Was a bit skeptical at the outset,considering most of these “old band makes a new record” endeavors often turnto shit, but they’ve put in some good work here. –jimmy (Get Hip)


ASTRAL GUNK:
Self-titled: Cassette
There’s a ton of guitar wankery on this tape, and I mean a whole metric ton, which is something I’m normally very into, but the excessive use of guitar effects kills my appreciation for it. Astral Gunk sound like they were going for a weird fusion of psychedelia, garage punk, and fuzz rock on this tape. While I appreciate the attempt, I think if this had a lot more rock, and a lot less effects, I’d have been way more into it. –Paul J. Comeau (astralgunk.bandcamp.com)


APPALACHIAN TERROR UNIT:
Black Sands: 7”
Well, this was a surprise. When I unfolded the sleeve and saw the images of severed cattle heads hung from meat hooks, heroin needles jabbed into veins, and once-pristine beaches covered with oil, I thought for sure I was in store for some really upbeat pop punk. Would you believe that ATU is actually an angry crust band with lyrics like “A pelican struggles covered in oil as we pour more toxins into the soil”? Your mind is blown, isn’t it? And this record is on Profane Existence too, a label traditionally known for releasing classic straightedge records. All I can say is, be ready for a surprise if you pick this one up! –mp (Profane Existence, profaneexistence.com)


ALFATEC:
Self-titled: CD
Italian hardcore at its, um, core, but there’s a ton of straightforward rock slathered liberally on top. Results are on the whole good, depending on how one feels about rock. –jimmy (Avis Odia, avisodiarecords.jimdo.com)


ACID FAST:
Weird Date: EP
Poppy punk with a gritty and dirty edge. If Jawbreaker were belligerent, this is what they would have sounded like. Songs are mid tempo, with a few sing-a-long parts, and then there are moments where the songs are pretty loose and sounding like they’re sorting the music out as they go. This is okay, but nothing you can’t live without. –Matt Average (Protagonist, protagonistmusic.com)


10BA:
Wild Mind: CD
Wild Mind is the sophomore effort from Melbourne, Australia’s 10BA. At first, I had a rather hard time sorting out what was going on here, but after repeated listenings it became clear that the band is either seriously unhinged or just try hard to seem that way. Musically, there are some elements of stoner metal and straight-ahead rock with a keen sense of melody, but vocalist Priesley DiMarco is who brings the crazy to this party. One part John Stabb, one part spoken word Jim Morrison, there really seems to be lot going on lyrically that would have been benefited with the inclusion of a lyric sheet. This is some pretty ambitious stuff that is truly greater than the sum of its parts. I either totally like this, or it makes my head hurt. I can’t decide which. –Garrett Barnwell (thenumbertenba@hotmail.com)


DIN SKEVF:
Man Måste Vara Galen för att Kunna va Normal: 12” EP
Continuing along the same lines as their Balla Ur EP, the tracks here vary from thrashy to mid-tempo, but these Swedes keep things tight and clean, with just enough hooks to keep it just shy of being able to discern a melody with which you can whistle along. Those interested solely the Discharge-derived thrash of their contemporaries will be sorely disappointed, but these cats do what they do quite well. –jimmy (Gaphals, gaphals666@gmail.com)


DECKER:
Rekced: LP
I’ve only recently become hip to the term “orgcore,” and from what I’ve been told this definitely meets the criteria of melodic punk with gruff-yet-passionate vocals and an affinity for folk music. Most if not all of the truly memorable moments occur on the second side of this record, though, as a whole, this is actually pretty darn good for what it is with extra props for the insightful and painfully honest lyrics. Truth be told, this is not typically my cup of tea. And while I do enjoy binge drinking and I am quite the slob, alas, I can’t grow a full beard and don’t like taking my shirt off in public places, so I will always be a spectator in this field. Still, grab your favorite beer coozie, roll up a fatty, and turn this mother up at your next weekday bbq. –Juan Espinosa (ADD)


WILDMEN:
Self-titled: 7"
Two tunes here from a two-man Italian garage rock band. While these kinda duos usually ain’t my bag, both tracks here are quite catchy ‘n’ do the trick nicely. Nice cover art, too. –jimmy (Jungle Beat, no address)


UTAH JAZZ:
It’s the Real Thing: Cassette
This is a seriously rocking demo from a punk trio with a name that is either so stupid it’s clever or so clever it’s punk. The cover is Xeroxed with little information except that they are from upstate New York. Needless to say, I had trouble Asking Jeeves about them. (In case you are into sports even less than I am, there is a basketball team called the Utah Jazz. Utah is not known for jazz; the team moved from New Orleans.) Aside from, or perhaps because of, the potentially Dadaist statement made with the name, the tape rocks full-on all the way through. Male/female vocal trade off and three-chord madness. Carbonas meet Mika Miko. Rocks! –Billups Allen (Self-released, no address)


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