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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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PETER J. WOODS:
Creation Death Machine: CD
Hums. Distant snippets of noise. Quiet feedback low in the mix, way in the back, very calm. And then these GIGANTIC WHITEHOT BLASTS OF FUCKING FEEDBACK when you’re least expecting it. Then some guy muttering and yelling, his voice heavily distorted. Nothing else, just this guy yelling. Then presumably the same guy yelling terrible poetry about “remaining cold” with the sound of a record skipping in the background. And we’re hardly into track two, folks. It’s admittedly spooky and atmospheric at times, but those huge bursts of feedback—so much louder than the rest of the material– just make Creation Death Machine more irritating than anything else. By the time it got to the point where the guy was just making loogey-hawking sounds over and over again, I turned it off. –keith (Maxcorp)


ONE TRICK COBRA / SUS:
Split: 7"
This is a split release of raging thrash/hardcore from two bands from Corpus Christi, Texas. Sound quality is decent and both bands do their style quite well. The record comes with a CD version containing the same songs, so that is a bonus. This would be right at home on Deep Six Records and fans of bands like Manchurian Candidates would find a whole lot to like here. –frame (TFC)


OBSESSORS, THE:
Living Under the Power Lines: CD
I love generic ‘77 punk. I had hopes for this CD because it has classic-looking, neon punk artwork and the band’s name starts with a “The.” Unfortunately, there is not much else going on. The pace from song to song almost never changes and the vocals are mechanical. There are no hooks and when the songs do slow down, they just drag. There are interesting sci-fi style titles that get my hopes up, but the songs drag on too long to carry the more interesting concepts. –Billups Allen (Braindart)


NORTHERN TOWNS:
Good as Gold: 10"
The record kicks off (on the opening track, “Latchford”) with a guitar lick ripped straight from “Know Your Rights,” and that slick, jangly, echo sound finds its way into about every other song on the record. While the guitars bring to mind the later days of the Clash, the vocals owe more to the gravelly voices of Jimmy Pursey or Mickey Fitz than the Clash’s Joe Strummer or Mick Jones and often clashes (or spars? You choose your street punk pun) with the otherwise clean sound of the rest of the band, though there are a couple rollicking street punk rave-ups here and there. Beyond that, it’s a fine record, I suppose, for those who have a soft spot for oi in their hearts. And, at times, I’d even say that they seem to add a bit of freshness to a genre that has been stale for nearly as long as it has existed. With that being said, I still find myself feeling tepid at best about this record. Sadly, it’s hard for me to get too excited this kind of stuff. Sorry dudes. –Jeff Proctor (swaggercityrecords.com)


NEW YORK TAXI: CD-R:
The Calm Before…: CD-R
Five tracks of acoustic music with a vocalist who seems to pattern his singing after Jesse from Operation Ivy. –jimmy (myspace.com/newyorktaxi67)


NATURE BOYS: : Cassette:
Eat Ith: Cassette
Dear Nature Boys: You forgot to record your music onto the cassette, you goofballs. Actually, I take that back. After reading your lyrics (“Steve/Your name is Steve/Your hair blows in the breeze/Opens the doors with keys”), I suspect that perhaps you were trying to spare me. I appreciate it. –mp (Self-released)


NAILED GOD:
Glorification of the Unborn: CD
I’m not good at knowing the difference between the infinite number of metal subgenres, so I’m definitely the wrong guy to tell you whether this passes for death metal or black metal or whatever these days, or—for that matter—if this is any good or not. My best guess is that if you can stomach bands like Cradle Of Filth, then this is probably right up your alley. I however, will kindly pass. –Jeff Proctor (Zero Substance)


MYELIN SHEATHS:
Do the Mental Twist: 7" EP
My knee jerk response to “Do the Mental Twist” is that it sounds like early Jesus And Mary Chain without the heroin-chic laze in the delivery and less sheet metal guitar feedback. Then they go straight into straightforward punk rock stuff with “I Don’t Want to Have an Operation,” effectively shitcanning my pretentious reviewer pigeonholing. Before I can blink, that tune’s over and I gotta flip it over. “Drugstore/Pharmacy” keeps things up-tempo, but has a darker tinge to its edges than the two on the flip. I like these kids a helluva lot, even if they do sound like they’re playing at the bottom of a well. –Jeff Proctor (Hozac, no address)


MUCKRUKERS, THE / THE OBSESSORS:
Split: 7" EP
Muckruckers: Fairly safe modern punk stuff with a Hammond organ thrown in. Not terrible, but they ain’t getting me wound up enough to bounce off the walls. Obsessors: Dark punk/wave stuff. First comparison that came to mind was Servotron without the robot angle, which should give you an idea of what to expect. Win goes to the Obsessors. –jimmy (Braindart)


MOONSHINE:
The Big Bang Gang: CD
This Swedish band splits the difference between blazing hardcore punk and Zeke style garage/metal crossover. This is the type of band that we call “bar hardcore” here in Seattle, and there was a whole lot of it out this way at the beginning of the millennium. Every song sounds the same and they are all blazing. This band would be right at home on Zodiac Killer Records. –frame (Dooshit, myspace.com/moonshinegbg)


MOCKINGBIRD WISH ME LUCK:
Goodbye Debris: CDEP
This four track EP is the self-released, first effort by some dudes from Ontario who have the Hot Water Music-style melodic punk mixed with gruff vocals sound all sewn up. This is pretty good. At times, these guys brings to mind the finer moments of Nothington, particularly on the last track “Brooklyn, NY,” which has an ever-so-slight hint of folksy country at the edges of the song. While their sound isn’t entirely distinct yet, MWML are off to a really good start. This is the type of band whose lyrics will eventually be made into tattoos by dudes with beards and camo shorts. If this band is more than a flash in the pan, their next release should be well worth reckoning with. They get my gold star for these two months. –Adrian (Self-released, bishop.wierzbicki@gmail.com)


MIGRAINE:
Weird Tales: 7"
Not necessarily on par with the debut EP, but they’re still blasting away with their brand of “What if we played numbingly fast and then had some noisy parts, too?” “Sounds good. I’ll bring the feedback.” I have no complaints. If you have yet to indulge in the Ecoli/Migraine sound, I wouldn’t start here, but if you’ve enjoyed the previous records, I wouldn’t hesitate on picking this up. Top notch fast hardcore with a deranged mentality to it. –Daryl Gussin (Cowabunga)


MODERN ACTION:
Radioactive Boy: 7"
Another great two songs from Modern Action! Short, catchy, ‘77-influenced punk rock! I also received their first 7” for review this time around, and it’s hard to say which one I like better. Like their first record, if this were a cereal, it’d be Kix! Not earth shattering fantastic, but still… tasty and uncomplicated! Punk rock! –Maddy (Modern Action)


MIDAS FALL:
Eleven. Return and Revert: CD

This is what happens when you mix a slight bit of the Cranberries’ Delores Riordan with the music and female singer from Gregor Samsa and then throw in some Explosions In The Sky. Delicious.

 

–kurt (monotremerecords.com)


METH MOUNTAIN:
Monotony: 7" EP
The problem with giving a song a title like “Monotony” is that one is gonna expect it to sound monotonous and, lo and behold, it does. “The Regulators” and “Vessels” much better, with ‘em dishing up more up-tempo, rock-tinged punk fodder with just enough personality and avoidance of standard punk/hardcore clichés to keep things interesting. The triangle-shaped lyric sheet was cool, too. –jimmy (lunchboxrecords.com)


MEN, THE:
We Are the Men: 12"
This record is leaving me a bit perplexed. It has some good qualities—blown-out guitars, solid rhythm section, incomprehensible vocals, a song called “Sketchy Pussy.” It also has some not-so-good qualities—riffs that are too repetitive and predictable, and a song called “The Man” that has a crappy intro and sentimental, emo vocal tone. I can’t tell if they aspire to Brainbombs heights or Promise Ring’s first album lows. It’s time for a band meeting, The Men, where you can sort out your sonic direction and move forward accordingly. Until then, the jury is out (and listening to Mayyors). –benke (Self-released, wearethemen.blogspot.com)


MEDICATIONS:
Completely Removed: CD
There’s quite a bit of talent in evidence here in both songwriting and performance, but like predecessors Faraquet, there’s little in the way of “edge” giving what they’re doing much immediacy or heft to push ‘em past “interesting at best college rock fodder.” –jimmy (Dischord)


MAY OR WEST:
We, the End: CD
Initial thought: Kind of sounds like a more metal Rush with vocals that sound like Ted Leo but not as good (not to be mean but, come on, let’s be real here). As it goes on, it just sounds like an average band I’d hear on the late night “alternative rock” show on the radio growing up. That’s all I really got out of it. –joe (Self-released)


MARIBELLE:
With Teeth Sharp as Old Friends: LP
Acoustic songwriter music, played by one guy, who is not named Maribelle. The fast finger picking and piano plinks bring Pink Moon-era Nick Drake to mind. Other songs start and stop with a haunted, swelling quality like Bon Iver. Nice stuff, performed with a certain intimacy that makes it all the more likeable. –CT Terry (ohmaribelle.com)


MARC GANANCIAS:
Painted Walls: CD
Former Occam’s Razor principal goes the solo route on this new release. It’s punk, but it’s not the sonic blast you may be accustomed to in other areas. Acoustic guitar is the rule here, with minimal back-up provided by bass guitar and mini bongos. But the snarl and disgust with the norm is all here wrapped up in a nice neat package. Ganancias’s vocals works to great effect on tunes like “Company for Tragedies” and “Untie the Time.” The release is book ended by two very cool covers: GI’s “Jaded Eyes” and Elvis Costello’s “Busy Bodies.” Although guest stars from Down By Law and Pseudo Heroes appear here, this is Ganancias’s baby and it’s solid and tuneful from top to bottom. –koepenick (Seld-released)


LOWLIFE UK:
The Hypnotized Never Lie: CD
Man, the cover from this is some weird, pixilated, fractal, hippie, headshop shit. Hell, this could be the artwork for your local jam band. What were they thinking? They play some uninteresting, early eighties, DOA-style hardcore that I don’t have a lot to say about. But man, that cover... –Craven (Punks4profit, myspace.com/lowlifeuk)


LORD GREEN:
Last Demo: Tape

This band plays heavy, noisy stoner rock-style loudness, coming on like a cross between High On Fire and Comets On Fire. Some noise samples and assorted sounds give Lord Green a Butthole Surfers vibe in points as well. This band would have been right at home on Man’s Ruin a decade ago and I would imagine that any fan of that label would love this band. If that sounds like your style, check out this cool looking green colored cassette tape.

–frame (Self-released)


LIKE BATS:
Self-titled: CDEP
Two strikes before I even heard a note. First, I see my CD player tell me “Four songs, fourteen minutes.” Not a great sign, but not the end of the world. Second, I press play, and all I hear is a loud clicking noise, from said CD player trying to play it. I try again, and it finally works. Sounds like some young men imitating The Lawrence Arms and Connie Dungs. It’s not bad, but I don’t know if it’s worth my CD player blowing up for it. –joe (Traffic Street)


JEREMY PORTER:
Party of One: CD
Lots of acoustic guitar and plaintive singing on this one, and Mr. Porter is obviously talented because he’s credited with playing all the instruments on this album. I didn’t find much here that grabbed me, but it didn’t offend me either. I’d have this on in the background while I puttered around my house. I bet it would be more interesting live, so I’m not willing to write this off entirely. –jennifer (Mag Wheel)


JOEY CORMAN / DEAD PAWNS:
Split: CD
Joey Corman: a strange pill to swallow. A mohawked solo singer from Texas playing Misfits covers and sweet-voiced pop punk originals in Midwest coffee houses. The Dead Pawns (tracks 11-20): Missourian punks (and a dreamy-voiced woman on a few tracks) with melodic but sometimes off-key delivery. Once you take all that in, there’s something earnest and very sincere here, even though I can’t really get with the music. –thiringer (Crustacean)


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