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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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RED TOPS, THE:
Outta Money, Outta Luck, Outta Tune: CDEP
Pretty solid hardcore reminiscent of some of the stuff coming outta Southern California in the mid‑'80s. –jimmy (The Red Tops)


RAW POWER:
Trust Me: CD
It's been nigh on 15 years since I last heard anything from this Italian institution and, judging from this release, things haven't changed much. The formula is still metallic guitars married to over-the-top, punishing hardcore. The only noticable difference I'm able to detect is that Mauro's voice has gotten a little raspier over the years. If you like your hardcore pretty mean, you can't go wrong with Raw Power. A word of caution, though. Don't expect eloquent lyrics, because it is sometimes painfully obvious that, although they are able to get their basic point across, their native language is not English. –jimmy (Hello)


RAGGITY ANNE:
Only Square People Think It: CD
Bland pop punk disguised as '60s trash rock. Bastards. –jimmy (Boss Tuneage)


Q AND NOT U:
No Kill No Beep Beep: CD
Kinda heavy on the college rock at times, this disc nevertheless has an edginess that manages to transcend any wimpy pretentiousness that the dreaded "C" word might evoke. Pretty good. –jimmy (Dischord)


PROPAGANDHI:
Today: CD
Up to this album, I'd never fully gotten into Propagandhi. Basically, you could read their covers and know exactly what the album was about: gay‑positive, animal‑friendly, etc. These are views that I essentially agree with, but sentiments I'd heard much more compellingly by the political heavy hitters like Noam Chomsky, Emma Goldman, and Howard Zinn. And when I listened to their albums, Propagandhi was okay. Definitely not as banal lyrically as Face to Face, but the music itself ‑ essentially pop punk ‑ left me neither a fan nor an antagonist of the band. I liked 'em more than Fifteen. Hell, at least they didn't treat their fans like idiots and talk down to them. But I think Moral Crux did a better job asking for a riot while chewing through bubblegum pop songs. Well, with "Today's Empires," that's all changed. This album is fantastic; the lyrics are hyper intelligent, cogent, and literate. The attacks are focused. Their previously ham‑fisted platitudes are pocketed for syringe attacks filled with acid that burns onto the small patches of exposed neck of corporate and governmental graft, providing small windows into Propagandhi's very real world of active, perpetual rebellion. The music matches the cacophony and gets about as fast as you can get while retaining a melody. Seething of speedmetal, the entire album sounds like it's surrounded by barbed wire, like these ideas were made in an interment camp or they're already illegal by committing the crime of thought contrary to popularized Disney‑fied belief. Whatever happened to them in the last five years since "Less Talk, More Rock," has made me an unabashed fan. –todd (Fat)


PROJECT K:
Testing Underway: CD
When PopDefect's demise became inevitable a couple of years ago, drummer Nick Scott said that he would probably fill the void by "joining the Paper Tulips or something." From that notion sprung Project K, a power trio featuring Scott, Tulips' guitarist Greg Kay and bassist Io Perry. As he did with the Tulips, Kay brings a delightfully quirky lilt and skewed poetic vision to the material that makes songs like "Little Things" and "Just One Kiss" darn catchy. Hopefully, this collaboration will last a good long while, too. –Guest Contributor (Bong Load)


PRICKS, THE:
Self-titled: LP
An obvious bootleg of a 1981 demo by a New York band that apparently featured a pre‑ZZ Top beard and multimillion‑dollar record company Rick Rubin. Go figure. They sound a little like False Prophets and, save for a wretched cover of Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love," they were pretty good. –jimmy (No address)


POPDEFECT:
R.I.P.: CD
A surfy/thrashy/pop band for twenty debaucherous years, PopDefect takes its final bows with a little pathos, a little bathos and a dash of self‑depreciating humor on this full‑length album. This release contains new recordings of "Drunken Sailor," "Vena's Revenge," and "Rock in My Hand" that aren't too different from the previously available versions, but it's nice to have them all in one place on what might be the band's finest collection of songs ever. The CD's final cut, "Dirge Overkill," is a song lamenting the last beer at a party that has long run its course as the band finds itself "far from the greatest show on earth" and serves as a moving coda to the band's lengthy career. The keg may have run dry but the memories will last a lunch time. –Guest Contributor (Heart Murmur)


PHANTOM TONES, THE :
Entitled Nameless: CD
Finnish rock'n'roll, dude. –jimmy (Hiljaiset Levyt)


PELIGRO:
Welcome to America: CD
A former Dead Kennedy goes metal. The songs are not as bad as some of that metal shit from the '80s/'90s was, but it's weird knowing who this guy is and attaching the music to the man. –jimmy (http://welcome.to/muck)


PATRIOT:
We the People: CD
Pretty decent American bald boy stuff. Judging from the name of the band, I expected a lot of stupid lyrics brimming with blind patriotism, but that doesn't seem to be the case. There's the usual praising of "street punk" music, drinking, yadda yadda, but the lyrics as a whole are not bad enough to make you cringe. The music itself is well executed and pretty catchy. Not bad. –jimmy (GMM)


PAINTBOX:
Earth Ball Sports Tournament: CD
Here is a band that gets better and better. Starting with their self‑titled 7" to their CD titled "Singing Shouting Crying" to the earth-shattering "The Door" / "Provided Railroad" 7". The progression from the first to the current amazes me on how much a band can improve and continue to grow while not staying within their formula. The last 7", including the current release, has moments of a spaghetti western mixed with a blend of old school Japancore with some metal overtones. An absolute enjoyable listen. The songs have melody and rage while they continue to search to find new elements to introduce. They bring in horns, acoustic guitar and harmonica at moments to add more texture to their music. If you have been following the Japanese music scene, you know that these guys are heavy hitters. –don (HG Fact)


OXYMORON:
Best Before 2000: CD
This is a compilation of this German band's tracks from various 7‑inchers, splits and comps. They play "street punk," but thankfully, they do it well. The singer sounds a little like Wattie. Hell, he looks a little like Wattie. I'm really glad that they didn't include a lyric sheet, 'cause I probably woulda liked this less if I knew what they were ranting on about. As it stands, I liked this a lot. –jimmy (Cyclone)


SAFETY PINS:
Invite Us to Your Funeral: CD
This is real trashy punk'n'roll from Spain. It doesn't really sound like garage music, but it sounds like it was recorded in a garage. You can almost hear the big door rattling and the neighbors calling to complain. You can literally hear the singer hock a loogey. I point all this out by way of complimenting the band, of course. They sing in English, but judging from songs like "Suburban Twat," "Kill the Hippies," and the title track, lyrics aren't what these guys are all about. What they are about is playing fast and loud punk that falls somewhere between Turbonegro and the Smut Peddlers. It's good stuff. –sean (Dead Beat)


NUMBERS, THE:
Music Design : 10"
Shit, now I'm not so upset that the Mono Men broke up. Though there's no overlap in band members, this ten inch seems to pick up right where the Mono Men's "Have a Nice Day, Motherfucker" left off. It's six high‑energy, nothing‑to‑lose, two‑minute rock'n'roll songs, that, if they were stripped down to their core, would have something to do with Johnny Cash and Sun Records, but they've pushed that sound to its edges, dragged it through a hard life, and come out punk rock. My only complaint is that the record is so short that I don't feel fulfilled unless I play it twice in a row. I guess I know how my girlfriend feels now. –sean (Dead Beat)


NOVEMBER:
The Knowing: CD
Heavy metal prom ballads for suicidal Dungeons and Dragons geeks. –jimmy (Dark Symphonies)


NO DOUBT:
Return of Saturn: CD
No Doubt has another album out. –Guest Contributor (Interscope)


NG KINDHEIT:
Self-titled: 7"
Art damage from Chicago, I think. Side one bears a passing resemblance to Pere Ubu at their most disjointed, and side two takes way too long to get to the point. –jimmy (Sound Org)


NEW MORTY SHOW, THE:
Rigormorty: CD
A group of would‑be swingers cover X, Poison, Cole Porter and play their own songs. Yeah, it sucked. –jimmy (Slimstyle)


NEW BOMB TURKS:
The Blind Run: 10"
This sonically turbulent 10‑incher belligerently blazes with all‑out rough'n'tumble rock'n'roll crunch! The four sizzle‑fried songs cacophonously contained herein are evil, vile, and tumultuously trashy... venomous and snotty razor‑slashed vocals; high‑tension crank‑crazed straight‑outta‑the‑gutter guitar savagery that violently grabs ya by the balls; skull‑pummelling rumble'n'roar flesh‑scorchin' bass detonations of frenzied low‑end audial bite; and speedfreak thundergod boom‑boom drumming madness. Hot damn hellfire for sure, the New Bomb Turks aurally rampage with dangerously bad‑ass bowery punk sleaziness! –Guest Contributor (Epitaph Europe)


NATION OF ULYSSES:
The Embassy Tapes: CD
Noisy, lo‑fi, Birthday Party‑ish chaos from this long gone DC band. Having never heard them before, I'm in no position to compare this with their other work, but I will say that I think I missed out on a lot back then, 'cause I really liked this a lot. –jimmy (Dischord)


NARCOLEPTIC YOUTH/THE VOIDS:
Split: 7"EP
NY: A cool musical melding of Sick Pleasure and early Freeze. The lyrics are well written and the songs are catchy as hell. Good stuff. Voids: catchy, female‑fronted hardcore that's similar in sound and attack to Spain's Aerobitch. One damn good slab o' vinyl here. –jimmy (Straight Jacket)


MORNING SHAKES, THE :
Piss Off Daddy: 7"
This is down'n'dirty wildly demented garagerock rambunctiousness with a turbulent twist of frenzied face‑slappin' punkiness that'll assuredly knock ya upside the noggin somethin' fierce! The petulant snottiness of the two enclosed sardonic songs (includin' a catastrophically clamorous cover of The Zero Boys "Civilization's Dying") saturated my ears with highly flammable levels of pure rock'n'roll resonance. I just can't ask for anything more aurally earth‑shattering than the smokin' sounds of The Morning Shakes on this here lil' 7‑inch sizzler... –Guest Contributor (Get Hip)


MOORAT FINGERS:
I Don: 7"
Brilliant, snotty punk rock from a band that would give the Reatards a run for their money. God, this is a good single. –jimmy (No address)


MIRAH:
You Think It: CD
I love Mirah. I saw her play two summers back at Olympia's Yo‑Yo A Go‑Go and after watching her play I jumped up and bought all the merchandise she had to offer (one 12" and one cassette). Now she has released a full length album (16 songs) and I can't keep my ears free from listening to it. It's happy. It's sad. It's fast. It's slow. It's love revealing what's real by scratching away all the skin and pink with its own slightly chipped glitter-coated fingernails. I can picture Mirah opening up her journal to write her latest emotional update and as soon as the pages are cracked, all sorts of crazy cartoon bubble notes and hearts come flying out in between words like in those old "Reading Rainbow" episodes. This is a personal yet confident listen into the broad emotional - as well as musical - spectrum that is Mirah. Mirah has clever usage of vocal harmonies, ukulele, guitar, organ and distorted bass (to name a few from this instrument collage). Mirah's purity and light is like a new star's who has yet to reach eyes from its own place in the sky. –Guest Contributor (K)


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