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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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DRUNKS, THE:
Death Dealer: LP
Are The Drunks a rock’n’roll band with their roots firmly planted in metal, or are they a metal band with rock’n’roll tendencies? I’m not really sure, but I do know for sure that these guys use just about every rock’n’roll cliché in the book to get their hard rockin’ point across, including exaggerated song intros, a completely ridiculous drum solo that should have probably been saved for the live show, and one of the longest, drawn-out false endings I’ve ever heard committed to vinyl. Some bands might do these things tongue-in-cheek, but The Drunks are deathly serious in their dedication to rock. It’s definitely not my thing, despite being done competently. This eight-song LP includes covers by metal innovators Kreator and Bathory, proving that these guys definitely wear their influences on their sleeves. –Mark Twistworthy (Cutthroat)


DISSERIPH:
12.2011: Cassette
Seeing as this came in a dyed green leather/pigskin case that was stapled together and labeled in marker, I assumed this would be the most death metal thing I’ve ever heard (which, I’d strongly argue, I’m not wrong for making that assumption). Then, it turns out to be acoustic prog rock (with some emo tendencies by default). Weirdest bait and switch I’ve seen in a long while. –joe (disseriph.bandcamp.com)


DISKONECTED, THE:
4 Songs E.P.: 7”
As the title says, there are four songs of decent English-sounding crusty punk. There is no info in the record, but I can tell you that it’s angry and spiky. I like it. –ty (Loud Punk, loudpunk.com)


DIN SKEUF:
Balla Ur: 7” EP
While they’re not as spastic or entrenched in Discharge worship as so many of their counterparts past and present, these Swedish thrashers still kick up a mean dust cloud. The singer may take a little getting used to for some, but, on the whole, they ain’t bad at all. –jimmy (Gaphals, gaphals.se)


DIET PILLS / GRINDING HALT:
Split: 7”
DP: Boring, tasteless, southern-friend hardcore with an emo artiness bit from the U.K. Pass. GH: Sounds like it comes from the Converge/American Nightmare (aka Give Up The Ghost) school of hardcore but in German. It gets points for making my roommate go in the other room, but I deducted those for making me want to go in the other room. –Vincent Battilana (De Graanrepublick / Shove / Adagio80 / Forcefield)


DESTRUCT:
New American Nightmare: LP
Fans of Profane Existence and Punkcore style stuff are going to want to be all over this. It’s crusty punk with hardcore and thrash influences from this Los Angeles band. Sounds pretty strong for the style, though I am far from an expert on this stuff. –frame (Voltage)


DEFECT DEFECT:
Self-titled: Cassette
I’ve already expressed my love of Defect Defect, hesitating to call them “one of the best ‘80s hardcore revisionists going today,” only because they’re not afraid of putting their own weird spin on it. For some reason, it doesn’t surprise me that a French label would put out a limited cassette singles/vinyl collection. It’s not new stuff so I don’t know what else to say about it—other than it’s a neat little release—especially if you’ve missed out on some of their other records. –joe (Crapoulet, crapoulet.fr)


DEAD TRICKS:
You Should Have Worried About It: CD
If I were going to record an EP of classic-sounding, power pop-influenced punk rock, I know when it came time to choose a producer, I’d go right for Mike Gallo, bass player of Agnostic Front (one of my favorite bands, incidentally). Wait, no I wouldn’t. I’d pick someone who doesn’t spend every day playing music that is the polar opposite of the music I want to record. Of course, I also wouldn’t write weird lyrics about smelling like your mom, nor would I allow any Michael Stipe-y melodramatic ‘80s college rock vocalizing, but that’s just me. The Dead Tricks went in a different, significantly crappier direction. –mp (thedeadtricks.com)


DEAD TO ME:
Moscow Penny Ante: CD
Whenever I hear the name of this band, I think about how much I’ve heard about them. Then I get the feeling I actually have heard them before. It’s because I have heard them before, in fact, I’ve heard them a lot. I dated a girl recently whose favorite band, aside from The Clash, was Dead To Me. For six months I probably heard them more than anything else she played. Yet, it still completely slips my mind. That’s not a good thing. I know that a lot of people like these guys, yet, to me, this bands sounds no different than the rest of that milquetoast, Punkvoter, Fat Wreck Chords sound... melodic hardcore or whatever. –Craven (Fat)


DC01:
When History Repeats…: LP
Vanilla hardcore. Generic only really comes in one flavor. –Bryan Static (Voltage, voltage-shop.com)


CRISIS HOTLINES:
Don’t Wanna Go to Jail: 7” EP
Four tracks of thuddy punk that could’ve easily made the rounds in the early ‘80s, but still manages not to reek of mothballs, stale clove cigs, and rehash. Simple, direct, effective—demand anything more and you’re just bein’ greedy. –jimmy (Eradicator)


CRACKS:
Sandpaper: CD-R
Hey, hey, hey! This is pretty hardcore out of the Midwest that sounds influenced by early ‘80s Boston hardcore like Negative FX: mid-tempo stuff with a churning feel in the guitars and gritty, strangled vocals. There’s a looseness in the music that keeps it from being po’ faced or overbearing. “Live the Lie” is a damning indictment of the mainstream way of life—wife, career, family, and losing oneself in the process. It’s a little humorous (maybe unintended?), but the point is clear. There’s some pretty good stuff on here, like “Negation,” “Hungover,” the title track, and “Bearer of Bad Nudes.” But then there’s a clunker like “Someone Else to Screw,” that should have died in the practice room. Other than that, Cracks is pretty damn good. –Matt Average (Slipping Grip Productions, pizzachew@hotmail.com)


CONGENITAL DEATH:
Demo 2011: Cassette
Thrashy hardcore. Well played, but kind of bland. Not much else to say. –Craven (Self-released, congenitaldeath@gmail.com)


COMPULSION TO KILL:
Lack of Tolerance: Cassette
Lo-fi, old school grind from Malaysia. Everything here is speed and low end that makes me feel nostalgic and powerful. I don’t know anything about this band, save for the country of origin, and can’t imagine this will get distributed much in the U.S.—as it came out on a Malaysian label—but it’s a great release for popping in my tape deck in the car to weird people at out red lights. –Ian Wise (Revulsion, revulsionrecords.com)


CHRIS WOLLARD & ADDISON BURNS:
Self-titled: 7”
People love to watch Chris Wollard sing. I can literally see their hearts get big when watching him. I just get really bored after a pretty song or two, due to lack of patience. There is nothing that separates this record from his other releases, so if you like those then you know how you will feel about this one. Addison Burns and Chris Wollard clearly play in the sandbox well together and make for a nice musical team. For fans of Tim Barry and Drag The River. –Corinne (No Idea)


WOLF-FACE:
Self-titled: CD-R EP
At first, I thought this may have been a long lost demo of Tom Lyle (of G.I.’s) first band, Beaver. But it actually is a transfer of a release that used to be on cassette. This project seems to be the brainstorm of a mysterious figure named Michael J. Wolf. Mr. Wolf hails from the backwaters of Florida. Although it looks like this may be a four-piece, based on the number of ass cheeks displayed within the inside cover. I’m totally not kidding about that part. I love that the lyrics are included, since there seems to be some thought behind them. “Give Me a Keg of Beer” professes his love for the suds and blasts into your head like a beer bong that you couldn’t pull off. “Be a Man” discuss the Teen Wolf fascination in a little more depth. Sound-wise, I’m guessing some D4 and Dead Mechanical may have been on the stereo next to the empty pizza boxes and tall blondes (Miller Hi-Lifes). Solid hit out of the park gentlemen. Can’t wait for WF II! –koepenick (Self-released)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Four Bands: CD
Not merely a clever title, what they say is what you get here—Dangerbird, with FOD’s Jim McMonagle handing vocals/guitar, cranking out five tunes decidedly more on the punk side of the fence than the sludgier rock bent of their other releases. Thee Nosebleeds dishing out gruff-vocal rock/punk. Erode and Disappear kick up some bass/drum dust. Circle The City play harder-edged indie-punk stuff that’d nicely fit into Dischord Records’ stable of noise. Dunno if there’s any connection between the bands other than they’re sharing disc space here, but the diversity of sound makes for some well-rounded listening. –jimmy (Dangerbird, dngrbrd.com)


UH OH:
Self-titled: LP
Man, not a bad first effort. Loud, fast, energetically—if not necessarily technically correctly played—parts, catchy songs, and a willingness to not take themselves too seriously. Sloppy Midwestern punk about pizza with multiple singers. If you don’t wanna at least check that out, I gotta question just why the hell you’re reading Razorcake in the first place. Not gonna turn the world on its ear or anything, but I sure ain’t troopin’ this down to the used record store and trying to trade it in for those Archers Of Loaf reissues. It’ll get more spins here in my bunker, and that’s more than I can say for 99.99 percent of the shit I get in my review pile. –Ryan Horky (HS!BF)


TY SEGALL:
Singles: 2007-2010: 2 x LP
Ty Segall has a knack for dissecting the structure of old rock and roll and making it his own. “Dating” contains an awesome Headcoats-style riff drenched in fuzz bass and a simple chorus about people wanting to go out with each other. The album keeps going in that direction. This LP is my first exposure to Ty Segall. This is a solid slab of songs and a good entry-level release for anyone thinking about checking him out. Is the “singles collection” becoming the new “greatest hits,” in that it is uncool to admit it is where you first listened to a band? How many times has this happened to you; you waste your day seeking out a bunch of 7” singles only to have a fat record store employee make fun of you? Then you get them home and the records melt because your mom put them on the radiator so she can vacuum. Don’t let this happen to you. Order Ty Segall’s Singles: 2007-2010 today. And when someone asks you to borrow your copy, tell them they are going to have to buy their own. –Billups Allen (Goner)


TVTV$ / DIET BRAINWASHING MACHINE, THE:
Split: 7”
TVTV$’s ironic political punk rock hit me square in the chest with their taut 4/4 rhythm and hilarious lyrics. “Radiation Man” could’ve been an anthem for the clean-up crew of the Fukushima earthquake, screaming “Take your radiation like a man!” “Money I Owe” utilizes a Social D style hook and, heck, anyone with debt can bark an empathetic “Oi!” to this one. What’s not to love? On the flip side, The Diet Brainwashing Machine embarks on a Timothy Leary-type trip. “Don’t Block Out the Light” is a spoken word exercise layered upon the backdrop of guitar whines and humming bass lines. This bleak, but poignantly written, commentary on the plight of humanity is pure poetry. An excellent split on clear vinyl. Recommended. –Kristen K (Scare America, myspace.com/scareamericarecords)


SLEEPING IN THE AVIARY / ORANGE IGUANAS:
Kids Split: Cassette
Reviewing a tape is all fun and games until you can’t find a working tape player. We sold our car which was our tape-playing source and it took me months and months to find a new source. As for the codes people include with tapes…I have no idea how to use those. I get overwhelmed. This tape is awesome because it is made up of kid songs. Kid songs for punk kids. They sing about dinosaurs, animals, and shopping—all things I encounter on a daily basis—which makes their songs completely relatable. When it comes down to it, who cares what they sound like when they are having this much fun? –Corinne (Gurm, streetyl86@gmail.com)


SHRINE, THE:
Self-titled: Cassette
These guys bill themselves as “psychedelic violence,” which is fucking awesome. What you get is like a sped-up version of Electric Wizard with channeled intensity. This tape is nothing but killer riffs, spastic drumming, and songs about “Listening to Hawkwind and getting high.” I’m not going to name drop credits listed here, because it shouldn’t matter. Sadly, due to a mix up in the mail, by the time this review gets printed, these will probably be sold out. –Ian Wise (Eliminator)


RVIVR:
Belebend: 7”
Well, I’m very excited to be the one to review this 7”. RVIVR has been one of my favorite bands since I received their first 7” via CD-R back in 2008 when asked to book a show for their first tour. Over the years, this band has grown into something beautiful. With their latest release, they definitely do not stray away from what they have been doing for the last five years. I like to hope everyone has that band that just really digs deep and hits you where it counts and gets you going every time you hear them. This is that band for me. This 7” consist of two songs. The passion and the hope and the positive message of knowing you’re not alone in how you might feel is overwhelming in both tracks, just like previous releases. I, personally, have a hard time expressing how I feel sometimes. I also feel unsure of some things in my life, yet the gentle but empowering messages this band drops on you in every track are sometimes just what you need to know you are not alone and there are others out there who know what you’re going through. Yeah, I’m an old man but I recognize the struggle people have—whether they are open with it or keep it bottled up—everyone needs a positive outlet and something to get that personal self-confidence and pride out there. The music in these songs are typical RVIVR: well thought out, driven, intricate and powerful. I love this band and I love this record. –Marty Ploy (Yo-Yo)


RULETA RUSA:
La Ley: 7”
Whoa! Ripping punk rock sung in Spanish from the Bay Area! And they have a message, which is rare these days. The songs are wound up tight, urgent, tuneful, and put forth with unwavering intensity. It says something when a band can write a song about psoriasis (“Psoriasis”) and make it an anthem. “La Ley” has a rock’n’roll guitar opening that reminds me of Johnny from the Stitches, then they kick in with the speed and go for broke. Only two songs, which makes me hungry for more. –Matt Average (Modern Action, modernactionrecords.com)


RATIONS:
How Much Land Does a Man Need?: 7”EP
Have you given up on punk rock (as a phase, a musical dead-end, a career that failed)? If so, don’t listen to the Rations. Because here’s a band in real time that saw a bunch of potentially broken, tired, worn-out stuff laying around (old Jawbreaker riffs, Vermiform layout cues, Tolstoy quotes, a belief in zines) and made four songs that are beautiful, potent, unique, and relevant. You can dismiss The Rations as gruff pop punk, but I’m just saying that the egg’ll be on your face for being more wrong than right… and then there’s also the possibility that you’re empty. –todd (Released by ten labels, worldwide. 86’d sent me this one.)


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