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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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BRAVER:
Stay Busy: CD-R
Braver is from Minneapolis, but don’t make any assumptions. They’re far less gruff and world-worn than many of their comrades. The lyrics are filled with question marks, as if they’re at a tipping point, one winter away from a worldview shift for the worse… or better. There’s hope in questions. When the questions stop and the answers come, that’s when things falter. These guys have the right attitude though. As the lyrics go in the standout track, “All My Friends”: “I’ll never see it all.” –mp (braver1.bandcamp.com)


NUCLEAR TOMORROW:
Songs in My Head: CD
Tight, snappy ADD-core that refrains from getting too serious without being overly goofy. “Drunk by Accident” is destined to become an anthem for the masses. –jimmy (nucleartomorrow.com)


BOMBPOPS, THE:
Stole the TV: CDEP
Decent pop punk (with two girl singers! Hooray!) from Southern California, but perhaps too far into the Fat Wreck Chords sphere of influence for my tastes. But if you prefer your pop punk well produced and with a touch of NOFX (as opposed to, say, a sprinkling of Sweet Baby), this is the band for you! –Maddy (Red Scare, redscare.net)


NINE FINGERED THUG:
Women Are Magic: Cassette
Nine Fingered Thug are really sludgy and dark, and this release reminds me, at times, of early Swans, Killdozer (especially in the vocals), and sometimes even CopShootCop. Anyone who is into that type of dirgey, depressing, “music to slit your wrists to” kind of stuff will be totally into it. This cassette release comes with a download code, so you needn’t worry about hooking up your tape deck or digging that old cassette Walkman out of the closet when the time comes to end it all. –Mark Twistworthy (Hollow Bunny, hollowbunny.com)


BOILERMAN:
Yield the Ghost: 7” EP
For some reason, the cover hinted at a disc of the hyper-thrashorama variety, but no, things here sound more like a band trying to give early Jawbreaker a hardcore sheen. –jimmy (Cowabunga)


BLOW-OUTS, THE:
Disposable: 7”
Holy Batshit, Todd! If the Sex Pistols hit the U.S. in the ‘60s, they might’ve sounded like this: all garage rocked out and Jack White vocals as high pitched as the guitars. This foursome out of London spits out three new, tightly strummed jams, showcasing their ability to incite dancing with their knack for catchy chords. The title track is unmistakably ‘80s era U.K. punk with fast-talking lyrics and an awesome crescendo/decrescendo that ought to make even the heartiest wallflower hit the floor. “Your Hate” and “I. Animal Lover” round out the set with a distinct bare bones garage sound. A solid play through; short but sweet. Recommended. –Kristen K (Batshit, batshitrecords.com)


BLOODY PHOENIX / QUESTION:
Split: 7” EP
Bloody Phoenix: One mid-tempo stab at Discharge-aping, two grindy thrash-o-rama workouts. Question: Not to be confused with old Los Angeles mod band The Question, these kids deliver warp factor nine thrash with lo-fi recording quality. –jimmy (Six Weeks, sixweeksrecords.com)


NERVOSAS:
Demo: Cassette

This is pretty good. Definite X (LA) influence in the dual male/female vocals. For some reason, they also make me think about the Street Eaters. Maybe it’s the vocals from Jeff? They draw heavily from the past, mix in some Plugz, the aforementioned X and the Wipers, and add a little post punk to give it something more. The guitar sounds really cool with the tremolo, like TSOL. Gives the sound an extra dark feel that I like. Have to say, “Junky” is my favorite on here. It’s a bit more urgent than the rest and the guitar sounds great—how it switches back and forth between the creepy and dark sound to rapid strumming. I bet that when they get some vinyl out they’ll be a big deal, so send for this tape now and beat the rush.

–Matt Average (nervosas.com)


BLOODY HAMMER:
When in Rome: 7” EP
Sounds like early ‘80s Midwestern hardcore, but based on the info on the cover, it’s a one-man endeavor straight outta Houston circa 2011. Fans of the Fix will likely flip over this. –jimmy (Batshit, batshitrecords.com)


NAPOLNARIZ:
Nuestro Son 27-12-11: Cassette
Shitty live recording of run-of-the-mill, opening-band-level punk rock. –Matt Average (lcodrnr@hotmail.com)


BLACK100S:
Release the Cats: CD
When I hear a joke I don’t get, I’m not afraid to say that I don’t get it. I’m not the kind to laugh along and pretend that I understand. I would rather ask the joker to explain the joke. More often than not, this is when it becomes clear that I didn’t get the joke because it was completely fucking stupid. Or maybe because I misunderstood. So I’ll give the Black100s the benefit of the doubt. Why, dearest Black100s, have you released an album of hacky Bob Dylan-gone-dark acoustic tunes with a cover that features cobbled-together pictures of cats atop a mound of badly drawn skulls? What am I missing? The intention was to make me laugh, right? Why am I not laughing? –mp (Self-released)


BIGGY STARDUST AND THE WRETCHED HIVE:
Bad Excuse for Bad Manners: LP
Ten songs of rough and ragged garage rock. Sounds a lot like a bunch of the stuff that came out on Junk, Devil Doll, and other labels toward the end of the ‘90s. Pretty decent job overall, but not a sound that has held up well for me over the years. –frame (Mystery School, mysteryschoolrecords.com)


NAPOLEON DYNAMITE:
Dumm Und Kaputt 2008-2011: Cassette
This fast-as-fuck band from Cologne, Germany play a weird thrash, garage rock crossover that really shouldn’t work but does. Forty-four spirited songs in forty-nine minutes. HHHUUUUHHHH, I couldn’t make more than that in an hour. –Craven (Crapoulet, crapoulet.fr)


BEFORE I HANG / FACE ON MARS:
Split: 7” EP
Before I Hang: Hattiesburg, Mississippi’s longest running punk band delivers up two tracks of raspy-throated rock/punk. Face On Mars: Big guitar stoner rock built on some good hooks. –jimmy (Before I Hang, beforeihang.com)


MOMENTUM:
Whetting Occam’s Razor: LP
Epic and metallic hardcore along the lines of From Ashes Rise and Artimus Pyle. The riffs are relentless and they add some atmospheric touches to break the—at times—monotonous flow of songs (a problem that affects this splinter of hardcore like nothing else). There’s a lot of building up in the songs, with drawn-out introductions, then mid-tempo riffs and throaty vocals. Momentum is definitely competent at what they do. I just wish they would have a few songs sandwiched in between the usual that would open up and just blaze. It would make for a more interesting and memorable listen, as well as accentuate the power they possess. –Matt Average (Halo Of Flies, haloffliesrecords.com)


BB BLACK DOG:
No One: CD
Every piece of artwork on this just screams rap rock. I do not like rap rock. I don’t even want to hear it, but choose to look through the booklet, as rap lyrics tend to amuse me. I see pictures of three old white guys with long beards. Curious, I toss it in the player and am met with some wild, funky, blues jams. If you’re into funky bass, a complete lack of guitar, analog production, and pictures of old biker dudes being gross with old biker ladies, this is for you. –Rene Navarro (Whitedog)


MIKEY ERG:
Fucifier: Flexi EP
Although the flexi-disc may have a few remaining valid applications in polite society ((i’m kinda partial to the ones on postcards myself)), i’m not sure what the hell they can do that a CD-R or similar pointless but inexpensive/functional format couldn’t, so maybe the only nice thing i can say about flexis is that they’re not cassettes. This Satanically-themed translucent red polyvinyl Fruit Roll-Up® kept sliding around on my turntable and refusing to play, so i put all the money i had on top of it to weight it down ((which was about forty-eight cents)), which raised its performance level to the point where it played in lurching fits and spurts, with a velocity that churned back and forth from around 16 rpm on the low end to 33 at its moments of highest lucidity. The resulting warped power-moan was reasonably unlistenable, but did sound enough like that “actual recording of the sounds of Hell” that that one guy with the weird late-night radio talk show used to play all the time, so if that’s the effect for which Mikey was going here, mission accomplished. I’m more inclined to give this one a full session in the Kraftwerk Chamber myself. Maybe i need to make more money so i can weigh the record down better? BEST SONG: One that is not on this flexi. BEST SONG TITLE: “Chicago Pussy is Second City.” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: The first MONKEES records i owned were flexis that came on the backs of Post® Rice Krinkles™ cereals. –norb (Bloated Kat)


BAZOOKA:
“Jupiter” b/w “Back to You”: 7”
You can’t judge a book by its cover, but it’s pretty easy to with 7”s. I learned the hard way with this band. I didn’t like the cover and wrote it off. I was wrong. “Jupiter,” on the A-side sounds as if Marc Bolan grew up going to house shows in the Midwest and loved The Nerves. “Back to You,” on the B-side, is a more laid back track complete with lost love and, “Nah nah nah’s.” This song has my favorite combo of sparse electric guitar melody lines and ratty acoustic rhythms. I even like the cover now. –Matthew –Guest Contributor (Dusty Medical)


BAR SINISTER:
Great Satan: Cassette
Bar Sinister are a bass-heavy, stripped-down three-piece with dramatically sung/screamed vocals. There’s a Midwest post-hardcore influence to the band with a tight, mathy minimalism to the instrumentation that carries the singer’s dark imagery and emotional delivery rather well. –Craven (Intense Human Victories)


ANTISEPTIC:
Look Ahead: 7”
If you like your punk rock pissed-off and thrashy, then this might be right up your alley. There are no subtleties here. They blast through six songs in no time flat with fast metal-tinged riffs sounding antiquated both in music and word. Lyrically, I’m pretty sure I just heard the words “fuck” or “fucking” in all six songs, and I’m pretty sure they’re not singing about sexual intercourse. That’s how pissed they are! Fucking punk! –Mark Twistworthy (SBS/Defiant Hearts)


ANCHOR BABIES, THE:
Self-titled: CD
This might be a bad analogy, but you know how cheap beer gets better the more you drink? That is an apt comparison to this CD. Upon first listen, I wasn’t really taken by the band’s mixture of Sublime-ish ska and punky Bossa nova, but damn, after a few listens I was singing along to more than a few songs, wondering how in the hell this happened. The Anchor Babies hail from right here in Razorcake’s backyard, Los Angeles, California and display a smart, lyrical wit and instrumental prowess that I wasn’t really expecting. I am not sure if they play out that much—as I have never noticed them—but I will certainly keep an eye out for any shows they might be playing around town in the future. I don’t know why, but this disc just oozes summer. I could totally see some of their songs in a surf video or something. This sort of mellow musical bouillabaisse normally wouldn’t find its way into my CD player, but damn you Anchor Babies! Damn you! Just like that cheap beer I mentioned, I hope to see you around again sometime soon. –Garrett Barnwell (theanchorbabies.com)


AMERICAN SUN:
Self-titled: 7”
American Sun is an all-female, dark garage punk three-piece with silly lyrics and an eye to the past. But there’s a problem with fetishizing the past. It leads to the resurgence of things like echo-drenched vocals and people thinking moustaches are pretty sweet. The goal should be to take what’s good from the past, develop it, and leave the headbands in the mud of rural New York. I like ‘60s garage rock as much as the next person, but it’s time to move on. Get over it. We went to the moon: there was nothing there. With that said, if I was wasted somewhere I didn’t want to be and this band came on, I’d think it was pretty cool. - Matthew –Guest Contributor (Self-released)


MDK:
The Moonmaiden: 7” Flexi
It’s hard to tell if this is a black metal band influenced by doom/sludge or vice versa. Brings to mind the minimalism of early Darkthrone and the best riffs Eyehategod stole from Tony Iommi, yet I can’t say that these three songs have the same impact. Unadventurous and a tad bit uninspired, what with the artwork appearing to be straight up lifted from the pages of an issue of Heavy Metal. The best thing this record has going for it is the clear blue square flexi sheet that it’s pressed on. –Juan Espinosa (Resurrection, getresurrected.com)


AMEAÇA CIGANA:
Self-titled: CD
Metal-tinged gallop-core from Brazil. Based on my rudimentary grasp of Portuguese, the lyrics seem to address the political and the personal. Not bad, not stunning. –jimmy (SMD, portalsmd.br)


AKKOLYTE:
Clues in the Chaospile: LP
Tweaked-out grindcore from these guys. They land somewhere between Scrawl and No Less. Think of a heavier version of John Zorn. If they didn’t have the gargled vocals and distorted guitars, they could be free jazz. The drummer is pretty damn good! The songs are thrashy as hell, then they have these complex time changes and jazz-influenced breaks that display these guys have the chops. I like that they’re not sticking to a tried and true formula. They throw in clarinets, vibraphones, and more to add to their sound—and it’s not some random shit. You get the sense they actually put a lot of thought into the music. Could be interesting to see how far out this band will push their sound. –Matt Average (Timekiller, timekillerrecords.com / Tofu Carnage, tofucarnage.com)


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