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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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SEMI EVOLVED SIMIANS:
End-Holocene: LP
Smart guy punk from a band that ain’t afraid to mix shit up in a big pot ‘n’ then splatter it on the walls in big, steaming handfuls. Indie punk sounding one second, thrashy hardcore the next, they would’ve been battling Secret Hate for the title of “the darlings of New Alliance Records” had they been around in the early ‘80s. –jimmy (fybsrecords.com)


SCREAMIN’ CYN CYN & THE PONS:
Damn, Girl: CD
You know folks, there are times when I think this whole “digital recording revolution” jazz is more a blessing than a curse. –jimmy (crustaceanrecords.com)


ROCK ‘N’ ROLL MONKEY & THE ROBOTS:
Do What the Bee Does: CD
Reverb-drenched, ‘60s-influenced rock stuff with occasional nods to surfy and funky/soul influences. –jimmy (rocknrollmonkey.com)


RISE:
Self-titled: CD
There was a time not too long ago when every goddamned hardcore band that popped up was dropping In Flames/At The Gates/Dark Tranquility/etc. as their main influences. Then that kinda morphed into the black hair/makeup/tight pants/misnomered-screamo thing. Rise sounds a lot like that first wave of post-Swedish melo-death hardcore (which I’ll take over its current form any day). Actually, they remind me a lot of Undying, who I was pretty obsessed with for a while in the early 2000s. Raw, heavy, but clear production, vicious vocals, but no lyric sheet or info of any kind in the CD, which is a bit of a bummer. Pretty rad. –Dave Williams (Self-released, myspace.com/risecore)


RESOLDERED:
Everybody in Between: CD
As their Myspace page claims, Resoldered “play original rock songs with punk sensibilities,” a claim which in my mind sounds suspiciously wishy-washy, as if they’re trying to alienate as few potential listeners as possible. The tunes bear out the claim and its interpretation: there seems to be a little for everyone on this record, but the end result is a distinctly average effort. I mean, this isn’t a bad record, but it doesn’t trip my trigger at all. It has a bit of a paint-by-numbers feel and sounds like a more touchy-feely Midwestern Agent Orange. If this were dinner, it would be store-brand mac and cheese with sliced up Corn King wieners—acceptable, yes, but much less so than Kraft with Oscar Meyer. –The Lord Kveldulfr (resoldered@rocketmail.com)


RED INVASION:
Ugly to Know So: CD
These guys do an admirable job of kicking down with a sped-up rendition of Dead Boys styled ‘77 punk stuff. Can’t say it really did much for me personally, but it’s clear they’ve got a firm handle on their chosen pigeonhole and they do add their own unique flavor to it. –jimmy (Rebel Sound)


REBELATION:
Self-titled: CD
To me, reggae is background music, or maybe the final track that I don’t really like at the end of an otherwise good ska-punk album. Even when I went to a ska show the other month with a few friends, I couldn’t help but notice how inconsequential the whole genre was for me. No matter how many songs I heard, the genre was an empty void in my mind. Rebelation does not change my mind about any of this. Listening to it, I’m a fan of how the songs are arranged, but ultimately still feel as though I haven’t listened to the album at all. –Bryan Static (Do The Dog, dothedog.com)


REAL NUMBERS, THE:
Self-titled: 12”
My very first and honest impression I got of this was that of a clean guitar version of The Queers. Though after a few listens it became apparent that these fellas are much more in love with their garage rock 45s than that one good Angry Samoans LP. The music is fun in a Dead Milkmen sort of way. Just not as funny. The perfect date record for that girl your friends told you would let you get to second base. –Juan Espinosa (Three Dimensional, no address)


RAT STORM:
Demo: CD-R/Cassette
Picture a rat storm. It’s all overwhelming and nasty and tons of tiny claws are flying in your face. Eww! That’s what this Bloomington band sounds like. That’s a compliment. Rat Storm are a three-piece metallic crust punk band with a female vocalist and a guitar sound thick and dirty enough to compensate for the lack of bass. The songs work in a lot of changes without losing the plot. Making matters better, the CD-R demo comes with a cassette edition that’s wrapped in two canvas patches and sealed with pyramid studs. I bet if you played their town, they’d take you swimming. –CT Terry (rodentcrust.blogspot.com)


RANDOM CONFLICT:
Annihilation Generation: CD
(Stereo)typical punk fodder that covers all the usual bases. Performances are on-point, if a little lackluster. I know these guys have been around the block a good while, and I may be unfairly expecting more from ‘em, but I wish there was a bit more oomph in their delivery ‘cause it feels like they’re just going through the motions here. –jimmy (randomconflict.com)


RADIO CRIMES:
Self-titled: 10” EP
Catchy power pop-inflected stuff, with jangly guitars, catchy hooks, and a bit more intelligence in evidence than the average boy-girl-love retro crap. –jimmy (mcdrecords.com)


QUERELLE, LA:
Welcome to My Battleship: CD
Shimmery navel-lint pop. Might actually be considered pretty if the singer didn’t sound like Eddie Deezen (how’s that for an obscure reference?) embarking on a rock career. –jimmy (newromanceforkids.com)


QUALIA, THE:
Secret Weapon: CD
Yuppie music. –Corinne (WTII)


PUNK FLOID / HOUBA:
Split 2010: CD
Two Czech bands for ye here. Punk Floid: Catchy, anthemic mid-tempo punk stuff. Houba: More poppy than “street,” their songs are nonetheless catchy enough to hum along to. –jimmy (www.phr.cz)


PULSES, THE:
10 Song Demo: LP
Rudimentary punk stuff recorded in 2000, slightly garagey, with a sense that they had aspirations a wee bit grander than they were able to deliver at the time. –jimmy (Wolf Dog)


POPULAR MECHANICS:
Time and a Half: CD
Smart, loud guitar pop with a ‘70s influence mixed in that I can’t quite put my finger on. Cover graphics are swell in a Soviet art kinda way. –jimmy (pancakeproductions.net)


PLEASURE KILLS, THE:
Bring Me a Match: CD
This has a little more punk in the guitars than I remember the ones on their 7” having, but their new wave/power pop vibe is still more Madame Wong’s than the Hong Kong Café. –jimmy (Polypore, no address)


PARANOID VISIONS:
Black Operations in the Red Mist: 2 x CD
Based on the info provided, this band’s roots are neck-deep in the early peace punk scene, but managed to refrain from falling into the Crass-clone pigeonhole because they were based in Dublin rather than England. This two-disc retrospective of their work over the past three decades showcases a band that ain’t afraid to dabble in different subgenres—American hardcore, anarcho-skronk, rock/punk, even what sounds like a bit of a piss-take on the Dead Kennedys on “Home Sweet Hell”—but for the most part sticks to a very catchy strain of straightforward punk rock. The accompanying booklet includes a history of the band, assorted press clippings, reviews, and back-stories for the tunes, giving punters like yours truly who somehow didn’t pay attention to ‘em the first time ‘round a chance to get caught up. –jimmy (overgroundrecords.com)


PANACEA:
Self-titled: CD
Wow, I didn’t know hardcore records could make me fall asleep. That’s what happens when you write two minute songs but play them for six. –Bryan Static (Nikt Nic Nie Wie, nnnw.pl)


NEW CREASES / IT GOOD:
Make Up Your Mind: Split 7”
For fans of the dueling male/female vocals of the band Drunken Boat, the New Creases side is for you. When you listen to this and your socks fall off, you suddenly realize that they didn’t fall off at all…they got rocked off! And you then want to party some more so you flip the record over and call a friend. The other side is a band called It Good and they are from New York and want to tell you that you should call not just one friend over, but a whole fuckin’ phone book over. And you should drink beer and sit next to each other on the couch and get all loud and rowdy because that’s what life is about, man. –Corinne (Let’s Pretend/NoBreaks)


NATURAL DISASTERS:
Self-titled: CD
This came with a post-it attached that reads, “File under perhaps unoriginal but really, REALLY good catchy melodic hardcore,” and I can’t really argue with that self assessment. I will add, though, that they are dead-on with the latter half of that, ‘cause they are, in fact quite good and couple it with lyrics that don’t induce sympathy cringing. I tip my hat to ye, gents, you put in some good work here. –jimmy (naturaldisasters@gmail.com)


MY LIFE WITH THE THRILL KILL KULT:
Sinister Whisperz: CD
I’ll admit it, I’ve always harbored a fondness for Thrill Kill Kult’s demonic disco, and there’s nothing here to sully said fondness. This CD of stuff from their years on Wax Trax consists of remixed versions of twelve of their more popular tunes from those years—”And This Is What the Devil Does,” “The Days of Swine and Roses,” “A Daisy Chain for Satan,” and so on—and a heretofore unreleased track, “Satana Rising.” While their blasphemous aspirations were apparently never more than ploys to garner a little extra attention, it’s still fun as hell to slip this in the car stereo of your fave Jesus freak friend and see how long it takes for them to realize their bopping in their seat and singing the phrases “Kooler than Jesus” and “Christian Zombie Vampires” at the top of their lungs. That alone is worth the price of admission. –jimmy (rustblade.com)


MONSTER PUSSY:
24 Hour Party Pussies: 7”
The word “pussy” has never done much for me in a band name, but this three piece rocks hard at the pace of the old Kill Rock Stars catalogue combined with the sandy minimalism of The Urinals. There are loads of songs about the lifestyle presented with a keen sense of humor. “Invite Me to Your All Girl Party” is classic commentary on times when there is too much tough guy attitude at a show. “My Subaru” is about getting in the car and going. Mildly distorted guitars resonate sharply over tribal drumming and the message is generally posi without being preachy. Awesome. Goes on my list of faves for the year. –Billups Allen (monster.puss.tucson@gmail.com)


MEAN MUG:
Self-titled: Cassette
Pretty decent hardcore here, at times reminding me of The Germs. The lyrics are of a more personal sort of subject matter, dealing with depression and struggles of that sort. –Craven (Self-released, myspace.com/halifaxpunk902)


MASS HYPNOSIS:
Disin4mation: CD
Speedy grumble metal. Found myself more impressed with the occasional classical-sampled interludes than the actual songs. –jimmy (greengerrecords.com)


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