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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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GOOD MEN DIE LIKE DOGS:
Postscript: 7”
This 7” is like intercepting a letter that you weren’t supposed to read. Or maybe a letter the sender secretly did want you to read, as if he entrusted you to deliver it, but curiosity got the better of you before your job was done. You read the letter, becoming more attached to the person who wrote it, and you forget who was originally supposed to receive it. Doesn’t matter. It’s for you now. I’m not sure if they’re the first to do it, but Good Men Die Like Dogs has figured out exactly what a 7” is: A personal note sent to hundreds of strangers. They remind of a grittier Digger, so if you remember who that is, give this a spin. –Bryan Static (Tortilla Chip, no address)


GIVE UPS, THE:
Gentlemen’s Club: CD
Straight-ahead rock and roll punk that’s mostly about drinking, getting high, and other various forms of partying. It’s short and nothing really stands out, but nothing here horribly offends the ear either. Well, actually, the strip club ode “Columbus Gold” is pretty boneheadedly bro-tastic, with lines such as “getting high off the smell of the pussy walking by.” Basically, this is the punk version of bar rock, meaning it probably isn’t gonna change lives, but somewhere some dude drinking some brews will probably be like, “Whoa, this song is about drinking beers! I totally love drinking beers!” –Adrian (Self-released)


GIT SOME:
Loose Control: LP
This is a weird record to get around. As in, listen to and enjoy. Not weird in some avant garde sort of way, but more in the way that it’s not as good as the first, but it’s not horrible either. The songs are more chunky and drawn out, with a Scratch Acid influence, and where they once reminded me of Drive Like Jehu, I now here a later period Dead And Gone influence. The songs are tight despite their sometimes complex structures that stretch into near jam territory, and they can deliver the goods without breaking a sweat, it seems. However, the one thing that really keeps me from completely enjoying the record is the singer just cannot let the music stand on its own for long. It seems like there’s not a moment of silence from his wailing. It’s too much. A lot of over singing, and it sounds like he really wants to be Chris Cornell here by holding on to the end of some of the words when it’s time to either let the riff come forth, or just let the rhythm section display its power. On the fence about this one.... –Matt Average (Alternative Tentacles, alternativetentacles.com)


GIRLS AT DAWN, THE:
“Never Enough” b/w “Every Night: 7”
True to its name, this band is made up of three girls. These two songs are both really spooky sounding, with echoing, reverb-heavy production and vocals kind of buried back in the mix. On “Never Enough,” this works to create a fairly compelling slow pop song. On “Every Night,” it gets a bit too extreme and sounds like what would be playing in the background of a haunted house or on the other end of a really disturbing prank call. So I’m torn. It’s hard to judge this band on the basis of this single, but based on the first track, I’m cautiously optimistic. –jennifer (Hozac, hozacrecords.com)


GIFTS FROM ENOLA:
From Fathoms: 2 x LP
Most post-rock albums that I listen to have the quiet build up to the loud, expansive explosion; GFE’s From Fathoms isn’t the total exception, though they do have some variation. Often GFE’s softer parts are less build ups and more waiting periods. Their bigger bits are more loud, heavy bridges than immense soundscapes. Now, this criticism doesn’t hold throughout the entire record, but it does seem that way to me a lot of the time. It is almost like an instrumental post-hardcore record with a post-rock bent. The music aside, the packaging is pretty crazy: two split color LPs housed in a full-color, glossy gatefold that has matte designs to embellish the artwork. The craziest thing about the packaging, though, is the FBI anti-piracy warning on the back. If you pick this up, be respectful or prepare to face a horde of G-Men at your door. –Vincent Battilana (Mylene Sheath)


FRANK AND EARNEST:
Old Francis: CD
I’m glad I don’t have to tear this record a new buns-hole, since fellow Razorcaker Ryan Horky mans the drum post in Frank and Earnest. Actually, this is really great. Slightly rough-around-the-edges melodic punk rock with passionate, charmingly imperfect vocals, a terrific sense of melody, and well-placed, tasteful leads that border on (like-it-or-not) ‘80s glam ala C.C. Deville (I, for one, am not complaining). A serious Avail feel throughout the whole record—specifically Over the James minus the fast tracks—and some Paddy-esque writing/delivery on a few tracks, too. If you’re digging the new Iron Chic LP or you’re a fan of the aforementioned bands, it’s safe to say you’ll be feeling this record. Great work guys. Recommended. –Dave Williams (Good Time Gang, myspace.com/goodtimegangrecordings /Bermuda Mohawk, bermudamohawkproductions.com)


FUCKING COPS, THE:
You Have the Right to Shut the Fuck Up: Cassette
When I first put this on I wasn’t too impressed and was thinking it was nothing new or whatever. It only took another listen for me to pull the stick out of my ass and get down to it. After that, I was listening to this every morning in the shower. Seven awesome, sloppy, melodic punk songs often delivered in a gang-vocal style. It’s the kind of punk that is being played in a basement near you and everywhere else in the country every Friday night, yet as long as there’s struggle, it will remain relevant to the punks. Positive anthems and fuck you’s to The Man, some songs of love, the agony of being broke, and work. This is a good tape. If you get it, you’ll like it. If you go and see them, I imagine they’ll make your weekend. –Craven (bigpurplerecords.com)


GAS CHAMBER:
Self-titled: LP
Interesting band out of upstate New York. Gas Chamber sound like JBA meets “Pain of Mind”-era Neurosis. Dark, heavy, and abrasive, and an overall ominous tone. In the lyrical department, it’s very bleak and apocalyptic. The music is in the thrashy vein, with some noise interludes to break up the sonic hammering. The two standout cuts are “Comfort Food,” which has a near jazz-like bridge, and “Drug Induced Coma” that opens with a really depressed bass line. Works well conveying the message of the lyrics. I like that these guys are taking chances and wanting to do something different. It separates them from the pack and makes this music interesting again. Worth your time to give this a listen, and if you live in the Midwest, they’re touring in your area in May 2011. Go, then write and tell me how it was. Thanks. –Matt Average (Warm Bath, gaschamberhardcore/wordpress.com)


GEISTER:
Night Terrors: 7”
Alternatively eerie and sexy, this horror-themed, mid-tempo Canadian band is an original treat. Dual male-female vocals reminiscent of X with creepy lyrics and a goth tinge make for a very fun ride. The vocals are quite rangy, going from pretty to ugly screams quickly, which is great. Fans of horror punk wanting something less cheesy than the psychobilly cornball shit that’s so popular these days won’t want to miss out on Geister. –Art Ettinger (Moloch, molochrecords.com)


GERUNDS, THE:
Self-titled: CDEP-R
A five-song demo debut from this Philly band. All the members have some serious musical histories that offer a fresh spin on their current sound. Guitarists Sal Cannestra and Joe Iacovella did time in The Thirteen. Bassist Ben Goldberg played in Grady. Keyboardist Mickey Lynch came out of nowhere and now provides the wildest keyboard performances outside of Monty Oxymoron. Drummer Paul Colucci kept the beat for Endgame. Admittedly, some fans may choose to focus on the frontman-Peter Cortner (ex-Dag Nasty, Los Vampiros). But it’s the sum of their parts that makes The Gerunds click. Five tracks on here that rock with reckless abandon. “Gill” kicks things off with a sonic boom and it only gets better from there. Great arrangements and thoughtful songwriting make this one a keeper. There’s also a super secret cover at the end. It’s what John Peel listed as his favorite song ever, if that helps you out. You need to get this EP pronto—it’s hotter than a deep dish pizza fresh out of the oven. –koepenick (Self-released)


GENTLEMAN JESSE AND HIS MEN:
”She’s a Trap” b/w “I Won’t Say Goodbye: 7”
Finally, a proper new record from Gentleman Jesse And His Men (I can’t believe I spent money on their Christmas 7”.) Their self-titled 2008 album sat on my turntable for months. Two tracks of pure power pop (a phrase dropped all too often, but GJ&HM truly is—and were even given the honor of backing Paul Collins as his Beat on a 2009 tour.) The A-side is upbeat, B-side slows things down but neither disappoint. Here’s to hoping a new album is coming soon. Bonus points for cool cover art as GJ&HM as zombies. –Guest Contributor (Douchemaster)


FOOT OX / SPLINTER CAKE:
Split: 7”
Both sides of this record are sort of fuzzed-out, quirky, lo-fi indie pop of the sort you will see in a Portland basement. I say this because that is where I saw one of them, Foot Ox. In a Portland basement. The Foot Ox side is the best with its dork-voiced optimistic declarations that “beauty will prevail/under your eyes.” They have some odd time changes and disorganized male/female vocals. The first song is a lovely blessed mess. The second song, “Robert,” is dominated by a cello and the same goofball voice telling us there is “unstoppable forward motion,” a motion that carries us through to the last song, a fun ditty about a fridge. Foot Ox brings to mind Camper Van Beethoven. Splinter Cake reminds me of The Vaselines or a less dynamic Raincoats. They also have a male-female vocal thing going on while throwing in some nice feedback in there that feels like a warm sweater. Their second song is a synthy drum machine dork rap thing ala Atom and His Package. The last song is more buzzy fun. –Craven (stankhouserecords.com)


FLATTBUSH:
Otomatik Attak: CD
Wow, it’s been so long since I’ve seen a release from Billy Gould’s Koolarrow label that I thought it had folded more than a decade ago. Flattbush occupies some weird gray area between “Oh wow, Captain Beefheart and John Zorn started a grindcore band” and Japanese noise bands like Melt Banana. The release is an unrelenting assault on the senses from beginning to end, with virtually no respite between tracks. Lyrics seem to take influence from the leftier side of hardcore with (from what I can discern) the singer switching from English to Spanish and back. –Guest Contributor (koolarrow.com)


FIALKY, THE:
S.C.E.N.A.: EP
Basic meat and potatoes street punk from Prague. Perhaps the Czech U.S. Bombs (Czech Bombs?) Apparently, these folks have been around for over ten years and are quite well known for their “classic concert shows.” The cover says that side A is designated as the “boys” side with B being for the “girls,” but for the life of me, I can’t quite figure out exactly what makes that so. Nothing here to write home about. –Juan Espinosa (Papagajuv Hlasatel, phr.cz)


FEY GODS:
Untied: 7”
Deep mood minimalism in a mud pit. Pretty rad, really fucked electronics and methodical beats and guitar. I mean, there are plenty of deep-seeded dark bands in the garage. Hozac always finds the underbelly of noise garage like a laundrymat painted black. The bar is high (low?) and Fey Gods won’t disappoint. –mike (Hozac, hozacrecords.com)


FLATLINERS, THE:
Calvacade: CD
Part of me wants to write this off as “standard Fat stuff,” though that’s not fair. It reminds me of a whole lot of stuff I’ve heard from the label before, more specifically like a bunch of dudes in their twenties who grew up listening to NOFX and the rest of the Epitaph catalog at the time, and focus on the harder edge stuff, reminiscent of stuff like Only Crime and New Mexican Disaster Squad. It’s not the worst thing in the world; the songs are fine, the production is slick, and it’s mostly easy to listen to. Though the sudden ska/reggae upstrokes seemed weirdly forced and out of place at first, I didn’t mind it as much when I listened to it again, though it still seemed a little odd. Not bad overall. –joe (Fat Wreck)


FLAT TIRES:
All the Right Enemies: CD
More blazing Confederacy Of Scum style stuff from this North Carolina band. Fans of the style will find a whole lot to like here and you more than likely already know if you give a damn or not. They don’t care what you think anyway, as they make plain in the first song. The sound is more Hammerlock than Antiseen, if that is of any concern to you discerning consumers out there. –frame (Zodiac Killer)


FEAR OF LIPSTICK:
Self-titled: CD
This is a pop punk album that treads heavily on the power pop side of things. Pretty all right. Reminds me quite a lot of the Cute Lepers. The thing that really sticks out to me is that one of the vocalists sounds like the American version of Feargal Sharkey. Seriously, listen to “Nowhere Tonight.” Those are some impressive, Sharkensian vocal warbles on the choruses “tonights.” Also, I love the song “Summertime.” –Adrian (It’s Alive and Fucking Scam)


FAITH CITY FIASCO:
…The Nothing: CD
I’m often guilty of judging books by their cover. And records, for that matter. Take this record, for example. Couple tatted up dudes, one of them in a Rancid T-shirt, on the side of the road next to a beat up old car, with cans of Pabst and an empty bottle of Jack Daniels on the cover. I see that, I think I’ve been here before. I’ve travelled down this musical path before. However, once I put the disc in, I’m surprised to find this is not another ’77 street punk album or coifed rockabilly affair, but some fairly heavy, sludgy rock vaguely akin to Nirvana or Fu Manchu. The vocals are screamed rather than sung and can be a bit much after a while. Additionally, there’s some regrettably wanky guitar work that keeps the album from really taking off and being a keeper. At least they surprised me. –Jeff Proctor (myspace.com/faithcityfiasco)


F BOMBERS:
Sick of It All: 7”
Now here’s a great fuckin’ band! The A side song “Sick of It All” is a smash hit. Whatta great tune; one of those songs where you might get to the B side someday, after listening to it a hundred times. The F Bombers would probably be best described as poppy street punk. Think Ducky Boys and Reducers SF… actually, the more I listen to them I think the best comparison might be Off With Their Heads. Alright, the B side tune is a keeper, too. Excellent song. This single is a must own for any melodic punk fan. One of the best bands of the last five years. –frame (Jailhouse, dave@jailhouserecords.com)


EXCUSES:
State Emergency: 7” EP
U.S.-influenced hardcore with their U.K. lyrical sensibilities in evidence, meaning they’re on a lot about the environment and the shit state of the planet while sounding a bit more intelligent and pointed about it than the average parrot punk. –jimmy (bbp_distro@hotmail.com)


EVOLETT:
Four Your Consideration: CD
Judging by other stuff I’ve heard on this label this time around, this is basically Paramore light. The kind of songs you’d hear used for something on network television, specifically with some young lady vocals. Perfect for window-shopping. –joe (End Sounds)


EGGHEAD:
Would Like a Few Words with You: CD
I appreciate a song about how “my daughter can fuck up your daughter.” Also, they win the award for best liner notes of the year. Gems include a section called “Reasons We Said No When Axl Rose Asked Us to Back Him as the New Guns N’ Roses.” Top reason? “He refuses to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide.” Also, they include a list of “Good Names for Bands That No One Has Used Yet.” Best names (i.e. most ridiculous names) include: To Be Perfectly Frankenstein” and “Fuck it, We’ll Make Our Own Helicopter.” Also, on the website for Mike Faloon’s website, Go Metric, he explains the reason for a several year break from recording new material. In classic Egghead fashion, he explains that one band member “spent several years attempting to breed a dog that only lives for a month, for people that want a dog but are leaving town in a month.” Good ideas, all around, but on to the music itself, as I guess that’s what I’m actually supposed to be doing. Egghead plays music that’s somewhere between pop punk and power pop—lots of back-up vocals, plus some amazing lyrics, with influences that go well beyond (or take a detour around the traditional Queers/Screeching Weasel Super Highway.). For example, in a song about a relationship gone wrong, they sing, “I’m on the couch with Steinbeck/And she leased a tanning bed/What the hell am I thinking?/Why not kill myself instead?” It’s hard not to get into lyrics like that. If this were a cereal, it’d be Quisp, a cereal that was discontinued for about ten years, but came back and developed a new generation of eager consumers. Fun! –Maddy (Knock Knock, enoch@knockknockrecords.com)


EVERYTHING FALLS APART:
Ghost: EP
I know what you’re thinking. Yes, these folks obviously love themselves some Hüsker Dü. Who doesn’t? However, don’t think of it as them paying mere homage to a once great and classic band. They’ve got way more heart and soul than just that—albeit a very fragile heart and a terribly frustrated soul. The picture on the insert of beer bottle caps and cigarette butts might give you the impression that they very well could be playing a two-song soundtrack to your own uneventful dog days and sleepless, restless nights (or maybe it’s just me.) Hüsker Dü is long dead, buddy. Everything Falls Apart is here now. –Juan Espinosa (Everything Falls Apart/One Percent Press, everythingfallsapart.org)


EINE KLEINE CHINMUZIK / UH OH:
Split: 7”
Two bands, four songs, not a boring minute here. Eine Kleine Chinmuzik is pretty straight ahead punk rock, but tightly played and well arranged. A whole album might get tiresome, but two songs are pretty fun to listen to. Uh Oh rounds things out with slightly sloppier songs that are short and fast and good to dance to. Win win. –jennifer (Repulsion)


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