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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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ROMAN CANDLES: : Cassette:
Everybody Dies: Cassette
It’s on the better end of that dorky, folky stuff but, still, the lyrics are pretty flat and too cute. Also I’m unemployed, the nation’s in a depression, and there’s still a war going on. –Craven (Self-released, romancandles@gmail.com)


RIPPERS, THE:
Seeds of the New Dawn: CD
There is a band called “The Rippers” that i like; they do that song “I Wanna Put You Out Of My Head.” This is not them. This sounds kinda like the Jesus Lizard with a Spanish version of Dez Cadena in lieu of David Yow. Maybe that means their next record is gonna be a “Louie Louie” 45 on PoshBoy. One can only hope. BEST SONG: “Under Siege” BEST SONG TITLE: “Among the Spiders” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Band describes their sound as “Rock / Punk / Zouk” on their MySpace profile. I definitely taste the Zouk. –norb (Rock On)


REVILERS:
Stand or Fall: 7"
The gruff vocals and the band’s affection for dark, minor key oi that drives along at an even pace reminds me of Adolf And The Piss Artists, a huge compliment in itself. The moments of more upbeat, Briggs-inspired street punk lose me, but on the closing track “Road Rage,” the band seems to marry their pop-infused street rock roots with their seriously toned Major Accident-style oi sound in a fashion that sounds like Germany’s Oxymoron or the later era Bruisers material. It’s not like this record is going to kick down any doors or blow your mind, but you shouldn’t expect it to. The songs are solid and the only one that doesn’t stand up to repeated listens is the title track. -Ian Wise –Guest Contributor (Patac)


REVILERS:
Stand or Fall: 7"
Some old school hardcore here. Not bad, but let’s just say that if this was the first hardcore band I ever heard, I would have thought, “Yeah, I guess hardcore’s okay.” Then I would have set it aside and never bothered with that kind of music again. Fortunately, it wasn’t. So I only have to do that with this record. –Craven (Patac, patacrecords.com)


REVELING, THE:
3D Radio: CD
At first, I thought this was going to one of those hipster/lots of plaid button ups, facial piercings, and highlights/post hardcore bands. Upon listening to it, it’s kind of like that, but not to an intolerable level, and it seems like there’s a bit of a Gaslight Anthem—whatever you call that “Like Springsteen, but heavy” sub-genre that’s popular now. –joe (Myspace.com/thereveling)


RED CITY RADIO:
To the Sons and Daughters of Woody Guthrie: CDEP
This CD came with a sticker on the front that said “Grizzled Pop.” Which isn’t something I’ve seen before. I don’t even know what “Grizzled Pop” is. However, I like this EP quite a lot. Comparisons to bands like Against Me! will be inevitable for this band, given their melodic, fist-in-the-air, sing-along punk rock. Comparisons aside, these guys know what they’re doing. The songs are tight and fun; the lyrics are earnest and political without being tiresome. I would love to see this band live and I’m glad I heard this CD. It is the kind of thing I’ll put on when I need a musical punch in the arm. –jennifer (The Independent Record Company)


RAYDIOS, THE:
Now: LP
...although i freely admit stealing the music for Boris the Sprinkler’s “I’m All Nerves” from the Raydios’ “Turning Blue,” the Raydios were and are, historically, the post-Teengenerate project that has interested me least—they don’t have that frothing, inferno-eyed “WE ARE ALL FLYING TO THE MOON ON THREE DOLLARS WORTH OF BEER AND FIFTY CENTS WORTH OF GELIGNITE” raving-and-nothing-but over-the-top berserkness of Teengenerate, and they don’t have the prostate-tickling pop hooks of the Tweezers. I mean, they have some of the headlong charge of Teengenerate, and some of the pop-tickliness of the Tweezers, and they have kind of a rock thing and kind of a production thing and kind of a chanty punk thing, but they don’t have a gigantically characteristic amount of any one or two or three things, and, although i hate to admit this, i...kinda...don’t really know what they’re trying to DO, really. I’m confused. It isn’t really raw, but it doesn’t sound obvious that they’re trying to make an overtly polished Rock record, either. The verses of “Fly And Go Away” sound almost identical to “C.I.D.” by the U.K. Subs, but the rest of the song is remiss the singalong choruses, and what’s “C.I.D.” without the singalong chorus? “D.I.A.” sounds like it would be along the same lines as “C.I.D.,” but the chanty chorus goes “D.I. AMERICA!!! D.I. AMERICA!!!” and i have no idea what that is supposed to mean, and it just makes me think of a gigantic Casey Royer sitting in Lincoln’s spot on the Lincoln Memorial, wrapped in an American flag with a wreath around his head. As i said, i’m confused. I like the Raydios and all, but—like the Gaza Strippers never really did vis-à-vis their progenitors, the Didjits—i need them to veer off in one direction or another so they can bang out a niche in my brain above and beyond the niche they carved out for themselves when i stole the music from their song. Or, i dunno, maybe i should just stop blabbering and turn it up?? BEST SONG: “Fly And Go Away” BEST SONG TITLE: “Yellow Soldiers,” although i’m not certain i know what the hell that’s supposed to mean FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: I don’t think “Now” is as good as the A-Bones “Not Now” album; what does that mean for the time stream??? –norb (Dirtnap)


RAINY DAY SAINTS:
reflected: CD
I put “Lookout” off this guy’s ((i think it’s just one guy)) earlier “Saturday’s Haze” CD on my year-in-review CD a few years ago, and a lot of my friends specifically commented on how much they liked that song, but a lot of my friends are kind of “Alterna” and like shit like Neil Young and Interpol so take that for what it’s worth. This one starts promisingly enough, with kind of a “Rubber Soul”-ish pre-Byrds country-tainted jangler that, bolstered by a few more sweaty bodies and guitars, would not sound out of place in the repertoire of the Midwest Beat. Things move into a more darkly psychedelic songwriterly pop direction thereafter, with a few nuggets of minor interest ((“Sally Go Round” “Underwater Again”)) towards the top of the batting order, but, as things proceed down the dial, it becomes blatantly apparent that this CD is WAY TOO FUCKING LONG, droning on for eighteen songs and over seventy minutes. At about the two-thirds-thru mark, the song you liked at the beginning is pretty much a distant memory, and you spend the rest of the disc’s unendurable duration thinking “this has GOT to be the last song. This has GOT to be the last song”—only to find that, more often than not, that ain’t the case. Taken individually, i don’t think these are generally bad songs, but, taken collectively, i estimate that i will play this CD about as many times as i play my Posies CD ((if i still own that one)). Take that for what it’s worth. BEST SONG: “Please Baby Please” BEST SONG TITLE: “Underwater Again” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: This album’s title is properly spelled with a lowercase “r” at the beginning. –norb (Get Hip)


PU$$Y-COW:
Ride: CD
With a sharp sense of humor, and seasoned musicianship Pu$$y-Cow has entertained many a crowd over the last three or four years. Lead singer, “Front Row” Joe, is the perfect lead singer for LA’s bar punk setting. He’s able to break the sometimes monotonous parade of bullshit with his quick wit and genuine enthusiasm. If clever and humorous songs inspired by the Vandals and Dwarves are your thing, Pu$$y-Cow’s new releases are definitely worth checking out. –Daryl Gussin (Chorizo Bonito)


RAPEGOAT:
Man Cannot Be Saved: CD

Band name and cover art looks like this’ll be in the heavy metal sphere of influence. The music, however, is pure punk drawing heavily on the ‘80s influence. The lyrics are a hybrid of blasphemy, b-movie schlock and general snottiness, and the singer has one of those unique voices that ain’t quite as annoying as Doc Dart from the Crucifucks, but is in the same ballpark. Pretty good stuff overall.

–jimmy (Mystery School, no address)


PUMP:
Sexually Retarded: CD
Sounds like NoMeansNo or some other band i don’t listen to playing those weird, jerky songs off the first Fear album—the ones with the bizarre time signatures—but stretched out into long, operatic, hookless bullshit, sort of like something off the third Dead Kennedys album or something. If you’re stuck at, like, a merch booth, or working the door, or have your means of escape otherwise cut off, and this band starts playing, you will mince no oaths, because you will know instantly that every second of their set will be jazz-o-spastic, aggravating hell for you, that your earplugs will never be stout enough to repel all of their neuron-tormenting volume, and that they are talented enough musicians that they could play about a four hour set if they wanted to. And they likely want to. BEST SONG: “Waterboard Boogie.” Maybe it just makes me feel like i’m being waterboarded? BEST SONG TITLE: Either “Hitler’s Absent Father” or “Banging My Muse.” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: I feel bad for hating a band whose guitarist is credited as supplying the “Wheedly Wheedly.” –norb (Sympathizer)


PROZACS, THE:
Playing the Chords We Love: LP
The Prozacs play Ramonescore: short, simple songs full of power chords, rhythmic pounding and whoa-oh-oh-ohs for days. There’s nothing new or groundbreaking here, but if you’re into this style, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t also dig this one. Comes on white vinyl. –Jeff Proctor (Knowhere/No Breaks)


PRIDS / LOOKBOOK:
Split: 7"
Standard issue quiet/loud/quiet indie rock that will appeal to fans of Versus or Polvo. There were many records that sounded like this fifteen years ago and I am no more a fan of the style now than I was then. Nothing wrong with it, and these two bands probably do as good a job as anyone with this style of indie rock. –frame (Poison Apple, poisonapplerecords.com)


PRAYERS FOR ATHEISTS:
Self-titled: CD
Rap-metal-hardcore with decent political lyrics, played well for people who, ahem,like that sort of thing. Oh, but wait! The website says, “With years of anti-war organizing and a storied career laden with protest arrests, Jared Paul has become somewhat of a modern folk hero within the underground American counter-culture.” And if you order it from the website, you get a signed copy. –Craven (Strange Famous)


POPITILOPITILUS:
Huh?: 7"
Popitilopitilus couldn’t have picked a more fitting title for this 7”. The music is all over the place, from early ‘80s SoCal punk to ‘90s anarcho-screamcore to blatant Dead Kennedys rip off. The lyrics appear to have been written while on a whacked out magic mushroom trip. Anyone who sings about telling a girl not to ride a bike while wearing a mini skirt has got to be high. If I didn’t know better, I’d say it was a big, dumb joke or an ill-fated attempt at pulling a scam. –benke (Stank House)


POLYGON:
Self-titled: CD-R
This very light, four-song pop demo EP doesn’t distinguish itself in any way. It’s mildly fun and fluffy, like a Lifetime TV movie about an abusive relationship. The vocals are held back and whisper-soft. I think they’re going for a dreamy quality, but I just fell asleep. Is this a nightmare? –Art Ettinger (Chronic Death, myspace.com/polygonzz)


PANGEA:
Never Not Know Nothing: 7"
I’ve been bummed about the fact that I’ve never seen this band since I first heard them. This just makes me more excited about the inevitable moment, especially since I’ve seen two of the guys play in other bands that rule. The insert is basic and cool in the same way this music is unpretentiously fun and rad. There’s a nice, dreamy element to these seemingly simple, upbeat songs. It’s hard to put a finger on, but easy to enjoy. –Rene Navarro (Griznar / Stress Domain)


NOTION:
The Peak:: CD
Argh! I’ve been stuck on writing this review for so long because I’m having a hard time thinking of good ways to write bad things.So I’ve settled on this: adequate, slightly Southern-influenced rock’n’roll perfect for your local douchebag bar. Another in a long line of bands that prove that just because you can make an album doesn’t mean you should. –kurt (Notionrocks.com)


NOMAN:
Broadcast: CD
Recorded by Steve Albini, this indie rock act has put out a ten-song album with vocals that occasionally remind me of Tim Kasher of Cursive but lacking the wit of Kasher’s lyrics or the intensity of Cursive’s sound. It’s a fun listen with some decent songs but nothing that rose above the standard indie rock fare. –kurt (woodbridgerecords.com)


NOCTURNAL FEEDING:
Some Terrestrial Device: Cassette EP
I’m usually not too fond of the singer/songwriter musician who plays the acoustic guitar and this is no exception. This biographic eight track collection is bleak and two-dimensional. A lot of the song melodies were so similar I couldn’t tell one song from another. Reminds me of The Red House Painters gone terribly wrong. –Kristen K (Let's Pretend)


PANZER BASTARD:
2006-2009: CD
A good mix of metal and hardcore. These guys could blend seamlessly into either genre and/or scene. The music definitely fits the descriptive of “brutal.” The percussion is pummeling and the guitars are this solid mass of distortion and buzz. At times, they throw in some very metal soloing, but if you can play it, play it. And they do. Not to mention, the vocalist can really bellow out the words with clarity and keep the snarl intact. This disc collects their Hell Gate EP, Bastards Die Hard EP, and their Boston 7” EP, as well as a bonus track, being a cover of “Ace of Spades.” It’s structured with the newer material coming first, then on down the line. I do think the Hell Gate material is their best yet. Could be the production. You can hear everything, and it’s so damn heavy and sonic! The Boston... EP, being their first, suffers from tinny production, but you can tell this is a band that is to be reckoned with. If you’re a fan of bands like the Victims, Mob 47, Tragedy, Inepsy, etc, then you should give these guys a listen. Fuggin’ head-crushing stuff, to say the least. –Matt Average (Patac, patacrecords.com)


PLAKKAGGIO HC:
Fronte del Sacco: CD
Modern day hardcore in the vein of modern day Agnostic Front meets Sick Of It All with black metal overtones. The band hails from Italy and lay down the guitar chords with a heavy hand. Gang vocals emphasize the message. Not sure what is being sung, since the lyrics are in Italian. But from what I can tell, they do their thing well. Not sure who put this out since the font size is tiny. Looks to be a multiple label release. –don (myspace.com/plakkaggiohc)


PLURALS, THE:
Whatevers Forever: CD
Well this grabbed me right off the start. Fast-paced, kinda punky indie rock with a male vocalist with an almost cartoony kind of voice and a female vocalist with the sweetest layered tones this side of vintage Kim Deal. That first song really smacks you around a bit. In a good way. I guess the part that sucks about that is that the rest of the disc is left trying to pick up the pieces. Sometimes it’s beautiful pop, sometimes off kilter pseudo hardcore. The band starts to lose the identity that is very clearly defined by that opening track. Having said that, I really like a lot of the songs on here, but, as a whole, it’s not flowing together. I’d give them another listen for sure. –ty (Good Time Gang, myspace.com/goodtimegangrecordings)


NEW MODEL ARMY:
Today Is a Good Day: CD
Eleventh studio release from this U.K. outfit. Why it took me until recently to discover this band is beyond me. They have everything that usually spells “jackpot” with my tastes. Deep textures, thought-provoking lyrics, and solid musicianship make up this band’s overall sound. The title track is about the stock market taking a hit. “Autumn” features a really cool bass line that sets the tune up nicely. “Arm Yourself and Run” is another stand-out song. Any fans of bands like Killing Joke, The Mission, or even The Cure may dig this record. This is solid from start to finish and will definitely get a lot of play in my basement. –koepenick (Attack Attack)


NERVOUS CURTAINS:
Out of Sync with Time: CD
Piano-heavy stuff with bits of cabaret, gloomy synth pop, and other stuff in there. They’re definitely all over the map sonically, and the bulk of what they’re doing takes a bit more effort to digest that pop in, play loud, and move onto the next thing, which is a definite plus. They also have the dubious honor of producing the bleakest cover of the Minutemen’s “Jesus and Tequila” I’ve ever heard. –jimmy (Latest Flame)


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