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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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30 YEAR HEX/ADAM MOWERY:
Fernhill: Cassette
30 Year Hex is horrid bedroom 4-track freak folk. Adam Mowery plays a super reverbed-out surf/rhythm and blues guitar and sings with distorted vocals. It has a heavy wall of sound to it that reminds me of the Tarbox Ramblers. The songs have spooky themes and the wobbly guitar creates a haunted atmosphere. –Craven (Hamburger Tapes, hamburgertapes.blogspot.com)


SILENT HIPPIE:
Self-titled: Cassette
Silent Hippie reminds me of Flipper with shrieking female vocals paying homage to Raooul. The third song has a slow and echoing guitar, high in reverb with muffled vocals. Then they kick into some fairly standard punk numbers. Poorly recorded and amateurish, but not without potential. Would probably be fun live in a house somewhere near the one that hatched this band. –Craven (silent.hippie.blogspot.com)


DEMENTS, THEE /NUMBER 71 MONOBANDA:
Split: Cassette
California band, Thee Dements sound like Brak from Space Ghost singing for a sloppy garage punk band doing a show in an empty oil barrel. Number 71 Monobanda is a one-man band from Italy that sounds like Grape Ape singing. I thought this was some weird outsider music, but through some quick googling, I found out that a lot of people like these bands. So I guess I just don't get it. –Craven (Self-released)


LIGHTS AT SEA:
Palace Walls: CD
This isn't bad. I'm actually listening to it right now as I write because it's not distracting. It's that epic kind of instrumental post-rock with lots of high guitar tones and crescendos. I really don't understand the post-rock thing; you simply can't build on the sound. It always sounds like weaker versions of classic albums by bands like Godspeed You! Black Emperor or Explosions In The Sky. It's okay, but irrelevant. If “not distracting” is the best thing a hack record reviewer can say about your album while it plays in the background, then something is sadly lacking. –Craven (Barrett)


YOLEUS, THE:
Splain: CD
Upon listening to this CD, I kept waiting for the vocals to kick in.  Well, the joke was on me because this album is instrumental!  I guess that’s fine, but it’s hard for me to determine the beginning from the end when a song is instrumental.  If that’s your thing, you would probably like these instruments since they kept my interest for quite some time while I waited for those non-existent vocals. –Corinne (Self-released)


WE’RE NOT AFRAID:
Adventures in Poverty: CD
I cringed a little when I was listening to this.  Sounds like something younger NOFX fans would like.  Gonna have to say it sounds stupid.  –Corinne (Self-released, werenotafraid.net)


OURSELF BESIDE ME:
Self-titled: CD
If you listen to Sonic Youth or do a lot of drugs, you will love this album.  –Corinne (Maybe Mars)


OLD MAN MARKLEY:
Guts N’ Teeth: CD
This down-to-earth, bluegrass, good time band is going to be your favorite thing.  Every person in this group seems genuine in their art.  I love watching them all have a great time performing while simultaneously trying to fit the entire band onto one stage.  This album reflects all the happy things they project out to their audience.  If you get a chance to see them perform, get off your couch and make the effort because you will be glad you did.  Go out and get two copies of this record for you and someone you like. –Corinne (Fat)


OCTAVES:
Greener Pastures: CD
This is some angry, angry stuff.  I say angry twice when I’m talking about hardcore music.  Sounds like Tragedy and Neurosis. –Corinne (Hotfoot, myspace.com/hotfootrecords)


NERFBAU:
Error Swarms: CD
People are so stupid.  Every song on this album is just random noise.  I see no art in this and can’t believe they even call themselves a band.  I’m grouchy that I even had to listen to this.  Shame on their label for putting that crap out into the world and making people like me become a victim of their horrible sounds.  –Corinne (Resipiscent)


MOSCOW MUSCOW MUSCOW :
Self-titled: 7”
Not much to like this commie-themed record.  It’s not just a Russian thing. The music genuinely sucks.  I seriously think it’s a joke. –Corinne (Eradicator)


FOUR TOMORROW:
Self-titled: CD
Here is another great band from Japan that knows how to put me in a great mood.  The meaningful, yet light hearted, lyrics are nothing short of fantastic.  Here is some truly great punk music that is worthy of your love. It’s so rare to find a record that you like form beginning to end, but this album is what you have been looking for.  I hope they come to the U.S. so I can see them live. –Corinne (Suburbia Works, suburbiaworks.com)


FLESH LIGHTS:
You’re a Stealer: 7”
Pop punk: rhythmic dancey music from Austin, Texas.  Both songs on this record are easily likeable.  Catchy tunes and easy on the ears… especially if you are into greasers. –Corinne (Twistworthy)


DEAR ELOISE:
Self-titled: CD
I’m having a heard time pinpointing what this band sounds like… Surfer Blood is the only thing that comes to mind and I think, partly, that comes from the recording of this record.  Uniqueness in the subtle tunes and soothing pace could calm a bucking bronco.  Not very fun party music, but I don’t think that’s what they are going for.  This is more on the artistic side. –Corinne (Maybe Mars)


BLUE SKIES FOR BLACK HEARTS:
Embracing the Modern Age: CD
This album seems straight out of the ‘50s.  Soda shop-inspired and really brought me back to romances of poodle skirts and sweethearts.  I think it’s really cool though and not as nerdy as I’m making it seem.  It’s so genuine that I felt like I was back in time with my new vinyl, listening to the soon-to-be-new hit songs.  It’s really something special if you are into oldies music from that era. –Corinne (Super Big LTD.)


ASTRAL:
Excerpts from Down the Rabbit Hole: CD
Look at the name of this album… it really gives you an idea of what you can expect from this band.  I’m sober, maybe that’s why I don’t get it. –Corinne (Vibraphone, vibraphonerecords.com)


ZITTER:
Quintus: CD
Squawking from their vulture nest in Sweden, this duo offers up huge chords in their first professional release. Spanning ‘70s and ‘90s rock and peppered with Midi chirps, Zitter forms their own “beak ‘n’ roll machine” sound in this polished album. “Judas Was a Saint” introduces heavier, fuzzed-out guitar work like Metallica in the ‘90s plus Alice Cooper vocalizations, while “The Retrofuturistic Ride” has a pretty self-explanatory sound with jarring hypo manic transitions. Great guitar work throughout. –Kristen K (Self-Released, A Vulture Nest Production, zitter.se)


ZEROS, THE:
“Main Street Brat” b/w “Handgrenade Heart”: 7”
My joke is that “The Zeros are one of East L.A.’s first punk bands… really south… Chula Vista south.” The joke’s not very funny, but The Zeros often get mistaken for an East L.A. band (and their first couple of singles were on L.A.’s Bomp! Records), but they were from a town north of San Diego. Geography aside, there’s no denying that this is a legit re-issue of two great songs on the superior, big hole 45 7” format. (It’s not a re-issue of a previously available 7”. These songs were on full lengths.) I always dig hearing bands on the West Coast in 1977 channeling early punk—think Iggy And The Stooges, Richard Hell-style narratives, and revved-up Chuck Berry. A welcome vinyl addition to first-wave bands getting their due. –todd (Last Laugh)


ZERO ZERO:
Self-cassette: CD
Fast hardcore from Brazil, done well and with passion. The vocals sound a bit like Rob Pennington (of By The Grace Of God fame) shrieked and screamed over ‘90s-style Midwest hardcore guitar. Gang backups come in on the choruses. There’s some weird stuff with the lyrics that might be “not cool.” For instance, verses about being in a wheelchair and not being able to feel their legs. However, that might be a result of English not being the band’s first language, rather than them bullying disabled people. Either way, overall, it’s a pretty good release. –Craven (Self-released, zerozeromail@gmail.com, myspace.com/zerozerospace)


ZERO HEROS:
Self-titled: 7”
When you create pop punk in the Teengenerate/Ramones vein played like you mean it, can you really go wrong? I mean, this is the sound of a band doing it for fun and it shows. In the evolution of a “punk” band, this is where it begins. Next, they go metal and break up. Do yourself a favor and pick this up now before something like that happens. –Garrett Barnwell (Arkam)


YOUTH AVOIDERS:
Demo 2010: Cassette
Scrappy, stripped-down hardcore/punk from France. Musically, these guys play a modern incarnation of circa 1980-’81-sounding punk, with simple but surprisingly catchy riffs and shouted vocals. Lyrically, the band are not as exciting, with broken-English lyrics on the usual punk themes. Granted, English is not their primary language, so any faults with the lyrics are easily overlooked, especially considering how rockin’ every song on this cassette is. Highly recommended. - J. Comeau –Guest Contributor (Negative Youth)


YOUR PEST BAND/ EINE KLEINE CHINMUZIK:
Split: 7”
Punk rock! How could I not like this? EKC are from Milwaukee and play awesome, fast pop punk with a slight Bent Outta Shape influence and an overall influence of basement pop punk excellence! If you don’t like EKC, you are dumb! If they were a cereal, it’d be Rice Krispie Treats! (For the cereal layperson, RKT is packed with sugar but not in the ridiculous MTX quantities found in Lucky Charms. It’s a rock/pop combo cereal, really.) Your Pest Band is a Japanese pop punk band, which should guarantee that they’re good, but EKC wins this 7” battle. Your Pest Band’s first song is kinda boring and the second song is, dare I say it, kind of a half-assed pop punk-ified sloppy blues boredom crunch. But never mind that; if this record only had one EKC song on it, you should still buy it! Case closed! –Maddy (Repulsion)


XTRA VOMIT / TROPIEZO:
International: Split 7”
Xtra Vomit from Michigan blaze through their five songs of this split with unrelenting speed and a keen sense of knowing just how much youth crew influence is tolerable: quite impressive. I can’t say enough good things about Tropiezo. Criminally underrated thrash from Puerto Rico who have the uncanny ability of not being able to write a bad song. Can’t go wrong with this split. –Juan Espinosa (Discos De Hoy, discosdehoy@yahoo.com)


XBRAINIAX:
Deprogrammed: CD
The first song clocks in at two minutes and thirty seconds and all but two of the thirty remaining songs don’t come close to hitting the minute mark. Powerviolence from Michigan that’s not bad, but not all that great either. Really, I think I’d dig them more on a 7”. About halfway through, I realized that it sounds like I’ve been listening to the same song on repeat. I have a feeling that when I’m in the mood for this sort of stuff I’ll be sticking with Scholastic Deth and Magrudergrind. - Chris Mason –Guest Contributor (To Live A Lie, tolivealie.com)


WORSHIT:
Blessed: CDEP
Aside from having some of the best cover art in recent memory (minus the weak logo font), this is really just okay. Snotty, sorta-heavy, thrashy hardcore songs about cops, political correctness, and all manner of trials and tribulations faced by the hardcore youth. Really well-played and actually kinda charming in that Poison Idea way, but not exactly the most innovative record I’ve heard. I’d be interested in checking out their progression if/when their first LP comes out. –Dave Williams (Self-released, myspace.com/worshit)


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·DISFEAR
·BLACK HOLE KIDS
·URKO
·Punklightenment
·CHESTY MALONE AND THE SLICE ‘EM UPS / REASON TO FIGHT
·ABUSE, THE
·VANISHING, THE
·STIMULATOR
·FASTER HOUSECAT


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