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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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TEENANGER:
Frights: LP
Remember hearing their previous album and not really bein’ swayed one way or the other, but there’s a lotta great troublemakin’ going on this time ‘round. At its core, Frights is a punk album by a band smart enough to know the best of that genre never relies on self-cannibalizing to come up with something that’ll stick out of the pack. There’s more than enough loud geetars, thud ‘n’ atonal, apathetic vocal delivery to go around here (hell, “Walking on Eggshells” could’ve easily fit into the early Buzzcocks’ repertoire), but underneath are smart bits of post-punk, ‘60s garage, and an occasional country swagger to add a bit of sly sophistication to the crash-boom. This screams to be played loud, and this punter is only too happy to oblige. –jimmy (Telephone Explosion)


TAKE WARNING:
Self-titled: EP
Poppy punk stuff with a driving guitar sound that gives it an edge, backed up with whoa-oh choruses. I hear traces of Naked Raygun here and there, but this is speedier. Lyrically, they tackle media manipulation, the tyranny of wage labor, and more. It’s not bad. I just wish they would add a little more crunch to their songs. –M.Avrg –Matt Average (Crapoulet, cool@crapoulet.fr / Meantime, meantime42@wanadoo.fr / Purepainsugar, pary@purepainsugar.com)


SUZUKI SMITH:
Ends: CD
Oh lovely. Two of my most loathed punk subgenres (Boston-based street rock and “Celtic” punk) collide in a mess of amateurish musicianship and lyrics that are subpar even in a scene known predominantly for its pedestrian rally cries and odes to macho buffoonery. Godawful. –Dave Williams (Trueno Blanco)


SUBURBAN & COKE:
It’s My Party and I’ll Get High If I Want to: CD
Punk rock trio from Perth, Australia wins the award for nastiest album cover ever. But it is the music that’s important here, folks. The songs are sharp and quick and most are under two minutes. “History ‘N’ Shit” and “Mosquito Whiskey” will earn repeat listens with me. Unfortunately, after two years of raising hell, it looks like these dudes have packed it in. Oh well, they can always reunite in five years. –koepenick (Self-released)


STITCHES:
Do the Jetset: 12” EP
I know very little about this release other than it is a bunch of old Stitches songs that were re-recorded in 2005 or so. It is so hard to describe what it sounds like. Slowed down, new-wavy kind of versions with electronic drums and these crazy sounds going on throughout. Not a lot of bands could pull this kind of thing off, but there’s one thing about the Stitches, it’s the fact that they are about ninety percent swagger and balls and ten percent flat-out don’t give a fuck. I heard a rumor that they played the set like this one time only and had to fight the entire crowd! Can’t say I’ll listen to this all the time, but it’s pretty great to slap on from time to time. It’s got the coolest clear and black splatter vinyl that I’ve ever seen. –ty (Vinyl Dog)


STEVE ADAMYK BAND, THE:
Forever Won’t Wait: CD
Second album from one of the best bands in the universe right now! So, so good! You know you’ve got a real situation on your hands when you have a legitimate competitor to temporarily knock Reigning Sound off your record player! Power pop, punk rock, short and fast, with an all over Marked Men influence and a Dickies cover (“Cross-Eyed Tammy”)! Dare I say that if this were a cereal, it might very well be Lucky Charms, the highest possible honor I can bestow? –Maddy (Dirtnap)


STEAKNIVES, THE:
Against You: 7” single
Excellent new single from this band from Italy. Maybe a bit more thrashy and aggressive than their previous records. They seemed to have incorporated a slight oi influence in their sound—particularly in the chainsaw sound of the guitar—but they still retain the early U.S. hardcore sound of before. The riffs are repetitive and simple but effective as hell. They can rage like a wild storm then slow it down for a few moments to allow the listener to collect themselves before it’s back into the maelstrom. The title track reminds me a bit of the Business, but slightly faster and more towards their early hardcore sound. The lyrics are delivered in rapid-fire fashion; there are some nice leads from the guitar to add more layers. Then, in a flash, it’s over, and on to the next side. “Victims” is a bit more fast and reckless. The chorus of “We are the victims!” plants itself into your brain quickly. Seek this one out quick. There are something like 300 pressed and that’s it. –Matt Average (Surfin’ Ki, facebook.com/surfinkirecords)


SONIC AVENUES:
Television Youth: CD
Having somewhat accidentally stumbled upon Sonic Avenue’s amazing self-titled debut in 2010, my anticipation for this, their second full length, was pretty high. So high in fact that I broke from my stubborn and admittedly nerdy rule that requires I wait for the record to arrive in lieu of seeking out shitty MP3 streams. Though I’m still not sure if this matches the power of their debut, this record is far from a sophomore slump. Plain and simple, Sonic Avenues play catchy and infectious power pop. Think the Undertones meet Jay Reatard meet all that other incredible stuff coming out of Canada right now and you’re in the right place. My only complaint about the record, and it’s a small one, is that while there are some standout tracks, many of these songs sound incredibly similar and kind of blur together. I’m thinking maybe it’s because they are all in the same key, but I’m no music theorist! All and all, this is an incredibly solid record worth seeking out. I know it’s early, but thus far it seems like Dirtnap is going to dominate my top ten list this year. –Chris Mason (Dirtnap)


SONIC AVENUES:
Self-titled: CD
Totally awesome power pop from Canada! This is a Japanese CD repressing of the first, out-of-print Sonic Avenues LP. Thank you, Japan! Non-stop total power pop party record! Hands down one of the best records of the past five years. What’s in the (melting) snow in Canada these days? Sonic Avenues, Steve Adamyk Band, and the White Wires? Insanity! If this were a cereal, it’d be Froot Loops! So good! –Maddy (SP, sprecords.bigcartel.com)


SOKEA PISTE:
Oire: 7” EP
Gotta love a band that veers off the expected path and goes off into unexpected places. By definition (and I imagine by intent) Sokea Piste is a Finnish hardcore band. Rather than offer yet another take on the Discharge template like so many others from that part of the planet, however, they slow things down, ramp up the feedback, and milk the tunes from every ounce of pain they can squeeze out while still keeping intact whatever hooks may be buried within, and the whole thing ends up coming off as dark and brooding yet catchy. Impressive. –jimmy (Peterwalkee, peterwalkeerecords.com)


SOCIAL CIRCKLE:
Expiration Date: 7” EP
Another entry into the “influenced, but not shackled by the 80s” niche of the current hardcore scene here. The tunes are zippy yet not ridiculously fast, angry yet catchy, and reverent yet timely. Fans of bands like Career Suicide or Direct Control will find this to their tastes. –jimmy (Side Two)


SO WRONG:
Self-titled: LP
Some more indie kids trying on the rock’n’roll hat, complete with cheesy ‘80s song cover. Comes off like a slightly more rocking OMD, if that sounds like your cuppa. –frame (Antifiesta)


SO COW:
GMT: 7”
It was love at first listen for me with Brian Kelly’s So Cow. This four-song 7”, GMT, made me realize the extent of Mr. Kelly’s pop genius, or at least my willingness to make hyperbolic declarations in his favor. I’ve been a sucker for So Cow for a few years now, but this release is a bit different than some of the other output. The songs themselves are still jangly, punk-edged up pop, but the recording of these is of a lower fidelity than I have become accustomed to. But, you see, it’s that potential detraction that made me realize my appreciation for So Cow is on the level of that for Boyracer; even when the recording is shit, the intent is brilliant enough to shine through. I hope this guy doesn’t quit anytime soon. –Vincent Battilana (Ride The Snake, ridethesnakerecords.com)


SLOANE PETERSON:
Why Go Out?: LP
Nasally voice. Pop punk. Miami. This really should be a musical cul-de-sac. “Yep. Seen it. Dead end. This’ll end when someone graduates. Can we go? Beer’s gettin’ warm here.” But it’s not. It’s totally infectious, ageless ragged punk with glistening hooks sticking out all over the place. An awesome breathless quality. Locked and secure with this almost subliminal ‘50s gang swagger. Sloane sounds nothing like these bands I’m going to mention, except for one thing. When they were around, they were taken a little for granted, and after they left, their records became very difficult to find: Sexy. Bent Outta Shape. Carrie Nations. Dead Things. Just throwing it out there. Why Go Out? reeks of that potential. Sleep at the entrance of the cul-de-sac if you want, or act soon on one of the 305 copies of this record. They broke up. People outside of Florida will start crying in five years. Thanks for the heads up, Marty Ploy, Esq. Oh—that’s right—Sloane was Ferris Bueller’s white fringe leather jacket female enabler. 1986 palm bite. –todd (Art Of The Underground, artoftheunderground.com / Hang Up, hanguprecords.com / Dead Broke, deadbrokerecords.com / Hip Kid / Steve’s Pizza And Records)


SLÖA KNIVAR:
Ingen Klass Ingen Stil: LP
Primo, grade-A thud punk from a buncha Swedes who deliver it up all nice ‘n’ overdriven, with snotty vocals, tons of attitude, and wall of fuzz. If you’re the type who thinks Legionnaires Disease’s tune “Rather See You Dead” was a hoot, this’ll blow yer skirts up quite nicely. –jimmy (Skrammel, skrammelrecords.se)


SLEAZE, THE:
Called You Once: 7”
Title track is an inspired slice of snotty simp-punk. The flip, “Retro Sexy in Blue” breaks things all the way down to two chords and a “Baby Runaround” beat. Genius. –jimmy (Florida’s Dying)


SICK / TIRED:
Self-titled: 7” EP
Grind/thrash/howlorama. Sounds like somebody needs to turn that frown upside down. –jimmy (Cowabunga)


SHRILLS:
Ghoul Kids: Cassette
I scraped all the fuzz off this band’s songs and used it to make a cape, but the cape caught fire because it had the devil in it and now I have all these oozing wounds on my back and when they bubble they sound just like this tape. –mp (Resurrection)


SHIRLEY MACLAINES, THE:
Want You to Go: 7” EP
This quintet of fetching Austrian lasses gaily festooned in Ramones and Johnny Cash t-shirts evokes a full gamut of responses in me, as long as we all agree that “full gamut” means either “wondering what Supercharger would have sounded like if they were a five piece, and all those pieces were teenage girls” or “trying to remember what that Slaughterhouse 4 ep from 1984 sounded like...you know, the one with ‘Ducks For President’ on it!” Some of the songs here occasionally lumber off into a land of rote Dee Dee plunking, but when they kick shit into a higher gear, as with “Better Go Now,” they make me believe i’ve been reincarnated as Let’s Go Lisa’s drum throne. None can ask fairer than that. BEST SONG: “Better Go Now” BEST SONG TITLE: “Cigarette,” if you’re the Smithereens. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Recorded in the Tyrolean Mountains, as all the great ones are. –norb (Bachelor)


SEXPISTOLSTANTEN OCH MOCKFJÄRDSVAPNET:
Det ärliga CV:t: LP
Sloppy, obnoxious, female-fronted punk rock from members of Skitsystem, Local Oafs, and others. Good for a laugh or two, then it’s time to move on. –jimmy (Skrammel)


SECRET PROSTITUTES:
Fantasi Di Auschwitz: 7” EP
Don’t be put off by the number of tracks crammed onto this little piece of wax. Pay no attention to the fact that the titles and lyrics all appear to be in Indonesian. Ignore the ADD song lengths and the monotone vocal delivery. This is some catchy as hell punk rock obnoxiousness that comes and goes in the blink of an eye, but will have you reaching to flip it over and start all over again before you even realize what you’re doing. –jimmy (Batshit, batshitrecords.com)


SECRET PROSTITUTES, THE:
The Kenrock 7 inch: 7”EP
This just cracks me up; how well realized it is. For fans of: Homostupids. Sun God. Total Control. Spits. Dudes who know exactly-exactly-exactly what they’re going for and nail it. If Killed By Death was a copyright—no spaces between songs, transparency-printed inner sleeve, hand-painted metallic label covers, clear vinyl that plays at 45, a Malaysian singer/drummer (sung mainly in Malay), in a Texas band with scant information—this here’s an archetypal paradigm (said in a Dig ‘Em Frog, Sugar Smacks voice). It wouldn’t mean jackshit if the music didn’t rule. It does. If glue huffing made people scientists, these three would be making nuclear weapons in their garage. Makes me yearn for a series of two-inch buttons of all The Secret Prostitutes’ faces. –todd (Kenrock)


SCREAM:
Complete Control Sessions: 10” EP
Nothing warms the ol’ black heart more than when a band that was once the toast of the town releases something brand spankin’ new—and voila!—they’re again the toast of the town. Scream was one of them DC hardcore bands you just couldn’t fuck with, a premier demolition unit that could thrash, dub, punk, and riff circles around damned near all comers. After releasing a slew of classic tuneage (if you don’t believe me, drop the needle on Still Screaming and see if you ain’t bouncing off the walls in seconds), the band threw in the towel in 1993. Reforming again with damned near the entire original lineup intact in 2010, this is their first subsequent release, recorded at former drummer Dave Grohl’s Studio 606. The result is seven tracks that, while nowhere near the velocity of classics like “U. Suck A.” or “Solidarity,” showcase a band that not only knows how to milk a great riff for everything it’s got, but clearly is still working ahead of the curve and can blow bands a third their age right out the fucking door. Anthemic without sounding like they’re trying, rife with hooks meticulously anchored into a number of different influences, the songs here are often so great-googly-moogly good that one can’t help but envision an entire room full of happy, sweaty hordes singing their noggins off along to “Get Free” and “Elevate” for decades to come. Yeah, these “reunions” of bands can be dicey, but this is one band that is firing on all cylinders, and it’s so good to have ‘em back. –jimmy (Sideonedummy)


SCARRED, THE:
Live Fast Die Poor: CD
I’ll admit I was wary this would be terrible street punk, but it’s not! Instead, it’s somewhat rough rock’n’roll that’s pretty catchy. Oddly enough, it reminds me of mid-period Green Day, from when they tried to come off as rock’n’roll. Granted, there are a few moments where it sounds like they only have one song and it starts to get a tad cheesy by the end (both of which could also be said of the Green Day comparison), but it’s not enough to sway me from liking it. –joe (Jail House)


SABERTOOTH:
Making Light of a Shitty Situation: LP
This Calgary five-piece made a record that gives one the impression they’re fun to party with. Laced with sound clips and lyrics about being bummed out, bored, and chewing on prison bars, it’s a sloppy/melodic rollicking good time. Gravel vocals and Hot Water Music guitar twiddles. The cover depicts a Saber Tooth toy smoking a cigarette. How could you go wrong? - (Matthew) –Guest Contributor (N.C.J.T., ncjtrecords.bigcartel.com)


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