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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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NEINS, THE:
self-titled: CD
Very early-’80s sounding punk rock in a “100 Flowers plays ‘60s trash” sorta way. Quite possibly the worst version of “One Ugly Child” I’ve heard to date is included here. –jimmy (No address)


NAUSEA:
Who Would Surrender: CD-EP
Doom-laden grind/crust noise with political lyrics, sorta like Brujeria covering Discharge. Strong, shit-kicking tuneage here, although the cookie monster vocals started wearing thin towards the end. –jimmy (Nausea_la@msn.com)


NAKED AGGRESSION:
The Gut Wrenching Machine: CD
There are a few bands through the years that I have read about their history, their comings and goings and never listened to a single song by them. This is one of those bands. There a lot of people out there who are better qualified and informed about this band. All I can tell you is that they were a relevant punk band out of the LA scene during the late ‘90s. I still see kids today with their patches on. That’s saying something. History that I read off of this disc and elsewhere is that this is the demo recording of their last album of the same name. The previous album was put out by a label that gave them no promotion or support. The band was ready to embark on tour to support said record and guitarist Phil Schomel died from an asthma attack. Singer and wife Kirsten Patches was devastated and band broke up. If I’m correct, Kirsten moved to the east coast and got a degree, started teaching and eventually moved back to LA. She regained her strength and passion for music and started a new band called Meet the Virus. Coincidentally, the guitarist for Meet the Virus had done the demo recording of this CD. I’m assuming since the original album was hard to obtain and Meet the Virus is currently touring as Naked Aggression, they are paying tribute to Phil Schomel and giving a new generation a chance to hear their music. Since I am a newbee to their music, I am pretty impressed by what I’m hearing. Kirsten is a strong vocalist who seems to be able channel her energy into the songs. The songs themselves are aggressive and raw but have an underlying melody that keeps things interesting. I’m curious to hear the other version to see how the extra production affects the music. I guess I’m playing catch up once again with another band. –don (Rodent Popsicle)


YIDCORE:
Self-titled : CD
Well, here’s some inspired lunacy: as the band name suggests, this is a set of traditional Jewish songs (and a couple of originals, I believe) given the hardcore treatment. The whole thing is pretty riotous, although I don’t think the Hassidim are going to find it the least bit funny, seeing as some of the songs are supposed to be sung directly to God hisself. Still, you gotta give these guys their propers for being comfortable enough in their faith to have a little fun with it. My obligatory gripe? Where’s the dreidel song? Highly recommended, even for goy-boys like you and I. –jimmy (Swell)


X-IMPOSSIBLES:
White Knuckle Ride: CD
Boring rock’n’roll dressed up nice and dirty for all you big, tough, leather jacket-wearing punkers. –jimmy (Headhunter/Cargo)


WEIRD LOVEMAKERS, THE :
Back 20: CD
The Weird Lovemakers have been around for about five years. They’ve written a ton of songs, put out two albums on Empty, and a third one is coming out in July. Beyond all of that, they have a bunch of songs that never made it onto comps or seven inches or anything, and apparently, the guitarist/singer Greg got sick of having all of these songs in his head and never being able to listen to them. So the band went into the studio, recorded this gem, and released it themselves. It’s got that raw, trashy rock’n’roll sound that I’ve come to love about the Weird Lovemakers, and the DIY recording definitely sounds like it’s shaking the garage door off its tracks. But it’s so much more than that. There’s a doo-wop song here (though Weird Lovemaker doo-wop is tantamount to Picasso portrait painting). There’s an eighties new wave song (see comment about Picasso), and there’s just a lot of good rock’n’roll. There’s even a sample from one of the greatest movies of all time - “Miller’s Crossing.” Thumbing through the lyric sheet, trying to sift through Greg or Jaime’s screaming antics, I was even amazed to find that the lyrics are really good. They tell stories about a drug runner waiting out the statute of limitations in Mexico (“flipping my finger at the USA”) and about being the homely roommate/best friend to a really pretty girl. Things like that. Because they were less cautious and doing it themselves, this album is more diverse than their previous two Empty ones. It’s highly recommended. The Weird Lovemakers are, without a doubt, the best band that you’ve never heard of. I’d say more good things about them, but it already sounds like I’m gushing on their payroll. –sean (Star Time Records)


WARM JETS:
Self-titled: 7"
“She Says” sounds like a variation on the Effigies’ “Security.” “Diabla” sounds like a variation on virtually any Nirvana riff. –jimmy (Acme)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Boston Punk 2000: CD
Toxic Narcotic, A Global Threat, A Poor Excuse, The Profits, The Statistics, Class Action, Crash & Burn, Razorwire, Mourningside, August Spies, Indignation, The Short Lived, Entrophy, The Nockers, Fallen Short, Disaster Srikes, C.O.P., C.H.U.D., Dumpster Junkies, Lost Cause, Dead Pedestrians, Downfall Fear, and Shoot The Hostages. Metal/hardcore. –Guest Contributor (Rodent Popsicle)


VARIOUS ARTISTS :
You Call This Music?: CD
The theory behind this comp is that every punk has been listening to something he really digs and someone else has come along and said “You call this music?” In response, Geykido Comet throw up their middle fingers and scream, “Fuck yeah. Just listen to this shit.” There’s a pretty diverse collection of bands on this comp, from old, famous bands like DOA and Citizen Fish to cool former bands like Falling Sickness and Jon Cougar Concentration Camp to the-next-big-thing bands like the Eyeliners to a bunch of bands I’ve never heard of. The only thing all the songs have in common is they’re pretty good. This is what punk rock radio would be on a good day. And, just to keep the DIY spirit strong and do something really cool, they price this CD at $3.00. And it’s almost seventy minutes long. It just don’t see how you could go wrong. –sean (Geykido Comet)


VARIOUS ARTISTS :
Wild News from Frenchy Radio Punk Rock: 7"EP
This features Jerry Spider Gang, Jerky Turkey, Gasolheads, Machine Gun Kelly, Sugarfix, Exxon Valdez and Sonic Assassin. All sound like they spent way too much time overanalyzing those Killed By Death comps. In all, they were all pretty good if not particularly original. –jimmy (Lollipop)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Too Legit for the Pit: CD
Sweet Jesus, is this bad. Twelve hardcore groups cover twelve different rap songs and only succeed in making themselves look like total fucking idiots. I’m not gonna even bother naming them (even though I’m far from what you would call a fan of the other crap they produce) because I’m just flat out embarrassed for them. If anybody reading this happen to meet up with the members of either Aerosmith or Anthrax on the street, do me a favor: kick ’em square in the nuts. I hold them personally responsible for all the lousy punk/metal/rap hybrid groups that plague the music scene, from Limp Bizkit right on down to all the pendejos on this piece of shit comp. –jimmy (Radical)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Terror Firmer: CD
The soundtrack to a Troma film I’ve never heard of, featuring Less Than Jake, All, Lunachicks, Vandals, Two Man Advantage, Ensign, NOFX, Gwar, Melvins, Sick of It All, Vision of Disorder, Toilet Boys and a boatload of more of your favorite punk rock heroes. I don’t know if it was intentional, but when Under the Gun’s band name is coupled with the title of their track, “Nowhere to Run,” you get the chorus to a Circle Jerks song. Neato. –todd (Go Kart)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Speed Freaks 4: 7"EP
There’s yet to be a dreg in this comp series! Raising the bar higher this edition brings you blistering assaults from DS-13, Dudman, Ruido, Cripple Bastards, Tumult, and Dahmer! I think that says it all there. Get it. –Matt Average (Knot Music)


VARIOUS ARTISTS :
Rock ’n’ Roll War: CD
One o’ them there punk’n’roll comps, featuring the Dictators, Jeff Dahl, Sour Jazz, Sylvain Sylvain, Nikki Sudden, Trash Brats, B-Movie Rats, at least three bands with Kevin K. and a host of others. Some of it’s pretty good, some of it blows, some of it just flat-out bores, which is about par for these things, I guess. –jimmy (Vicious Kitten)


VARIOUS ARTISTS :
No-fi Trash: CD
With the exception of the always swell Adventures of Jet, here are 27 reasons why you should give up listening to music (and punk in particular) entirely. Absolutely abominable. –jimmy (Suburban Home Records)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
New World Hors D’ Oeuvres Volume Two: 7"EP
Toy Train: Noisy, back-beat driven dementia that’s hypnotic, hooky, and hip hoppy. Fantastically, the song’s narrative is a dark, post-apocalypic story line ala “Warriors of the Wasteland” infused through a shaker of a Mr. Boston’s bartender’s guide (ie: “Bloody Mary didn’t pay for a genocide and tonic” and “My body ached for a hot toti.”). It holds together much better than it sounds. Eternal 13: Soaring, guitar-beautiful skaterock sawed from half of Bloodhag’s body that’s a fun and powerful bludgeon and attack while grinding infinite coping. The Cripples: “Split Apart” - ‘60s synthesizer rock being slaughtered and splattered and crashed about on the hard rocks of gauzey guitars. Makes me think of The Mummies, which is a fine thought. “Miracle” is more standard fuzz rock fare that’s repetitive. My least favorite track of the four. All in all, impressively an diverse 7”, scoring with three cool songs. –todd (Extravertigo)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Hangin’ from the Devil’s Tree: CD
This is a benefit for Your Flesh Magazine, who seem to be in some sort of unnamed financial trouble. The tracks here, wildly varied in style and mostly good, come courtesy of Monster Magnet, New Bomb Turks, Bellrays (live!), Rocket From the Crypt, Sun City Girls (now there’s a name I’ve not heard in at least 15 years) and others. Well worth the green if your taste in music includes punk, free form jazz and everything in between. –jimmy (Your Flesh)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Hangin’ from the Devil’s Tree: CD
This is a benefit for Your Flesh Magazine, who seem to be in some sort of unnamed financial trouble. The tracks here, wildly varied in style and mostly good, come courtesy of Monster Magnet, New Bomb Turks, Bellrays (live!), Rocket From the Crypt, Sun City Girls (now there’s a name I’ve not heard in at least 15 years) and others. Well worth the green if your taste in music includes punk, free form jazz and everything in between. –jimmy (Your Flesh)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Delphonic Sounds Today!: CD
Bob Keane... hmmm... he's one of those pop/cult names synonymous with record collectors everywhere. I'm not one of them, but even a dumbnut like me can tell you this guy rocks. Why? Well, he founded Del-Fi Records, one of the world's most successful and unforgettable independent record labels of all time. Although Del-Fi closed its doors after their thoroughbred Bobby Fuller's tragic demise, the music of Del-Fi continued to live on in the hearts and minds of pop music fans everywhere. Mr. Keane also takes mucho credit for signing a diverse cross section artists such as Ritchie Valens, Chan Romero, Barry White (!) and The Lively Ones (you know, Pulp Fiction) and The Centurions to name a few. Let's just safely assume that without this guy, oldies radio would not be the same. Cholos and playas would have no make-out music to call their own. Surfers would be trapped in Jan and Dean hell. Surprisingly, Mr. Keane is still very much alive today and continues the innovative traditions of Del-Fi with a rowdy bunch of music enthusiast co-conspirators whose efforts culminate masterfully with this offering of the old and new peering through a delightful aural looking glass. I generally tend to think compilations are hard to sit through. Oh those countless tribute comps and "comedy" comps just make me wish I could just grab for a shotgun and use it like a 15-year-old high school kid, but this one exhibits fresh makeovers by latter day artists putting their own signature touch on these timeless rock gems. The Jigsaw Seen's take on The American Four's "Luci Baines" is pure, hazy, happy drug-addled joy (I swear your body tingles when you listen to this). Deke Dickerson's Dekes of Hazzard (fuck, how many bands is this guy in anyways?) puts Deke's dexterous fingers to use on that famous double neck Mosrite of his with their rendition of "The World's Greatest Sinner" by Baby Ray & The Ferns - Frank Zappa (gasp!) The Negro Problem sound very "Randy Neuman" doing "Magic Touch" by The Bobby Fuller Four. Speaking of The Bobby Fuller Four, you know someone HAS to cover "I Fought The Law" on this comp. Who would be more appropriate to execute this deed than our own anti-Christs of rock, The Brian Jonestown Massacre? Drone power, baby, full-on John's Children psyche dervish. Pass the fucking drugs, I think I'm Anton. Alrightee, this review is getting too long. Let me wrap it up: Davie Allen And The Arrows, The Liquor Giants (doin' Chan Romero's "Hippy Hippy Shake" – straight up, yeah!), Man or Astroman?, Neil Mooney, The Wondermints, Mello Cads, Los Straightjacket and a plethora of others make this an enjoyable and even comfortable audio experience. Trust me, it's got something for everyone. –nam (Del-Fi Records)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Cheap Shots and Low Blows: CD
A collection of TKO singles and EPs from 1997/98, most of which are out of print, I think. Bands making an appearance here are One Man Army, the Forgotten, Workin’ Stiffs, Templars, Lower Class Brats, Anti-Heroes, Dropkick Murphys, the Bodies, Dead End Cruisers, the Randumbs and the Truents, respectively. While all the bands are more than adequate at what they do (shit, even the bands I usually loathe sound pretty cool here), the real gems here that make the whole thing worth the green are the tracks by the Bodies and the Randumbs, especially the latter’s “Money Shot,” which still sounds as cool as when my friend Art Muñoz first taped it for me two years ago. –jimmy (TKO)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Boston Punk 2000: CD
An overview, I guess, of what’s going on in Boston’s hardcore scene lately. Features Toxic Narcotic, A Poor Excuse, August Spies, Indignation, A Global Threat, Lost Cause, Dead Pedestrians and a boatload of others. Things tend to stay on the speedy side of things, but there is the occasional oi song here and there to break up the monotony. From the sound of things, I bet that the shows in Boston are pretty rockin’. A good listen here, kids. –jimmy (Rodent Popsicle)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
All Ages: CD
No Redeeming Social Value, Ensign, Indecision, Double Crossed, Kill Your Idols, Vitamin X, Destroyed by Anger and a gaggle of other hardcore groups cover songs by the Descendents, Underdog, the Rolling Stones, GG Allin, Raw Deal and others. Some of it’s good, most of it’s pretty bad, especially the Peeping Toms and Milhouse, who should be kneecapped for their crimes against the Descendents. The Putrid Flowers’ ‘80s medley, however, was an absolute riot, especially their segue from Billy Joel’s “The Longest Time” to Metallica’s “One.” –jimmy (DIY)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
The Punx: LP
Sometimes you have to say thanks to the bootleggers out there. It gives people a chance to listen to music that is either hard to get or too expensive in this collectors’ market. This is a classic example. I don’t recall the original but my guess is the original came out between 1983 - 1985. I know the first time I heard these bands from Japan and got releases of some of these bands was when I was still in high school. I don’t know if anything is missing from the original, but you do get two tracks each from Lip Cream, Gas, GISM, Laughin’ Nose, Cobra and Willard. I remember the excitement every time I got a new release from Japan. It was so hard to come by and was expensive. A great sampler of that time period. –don (bootleg)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
The Ecstasy of the Agony: CD
This crampacked conglomerate of a compilation offers a whopping wallop of widely varying audial diversity. It seethes, simmers, boils, and conflagrantly rages with an awe-inspiring abundance of frenzied emotings of sound: psycho electronic emissions (The Causey Way, Jad Fair & Jason Willet); scathing social/political spoken word diatribes (Noam Chomsky, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Angela Davis, Jello Biafra, Howard Zinn); roaring rock'n'roll robustness (Black Kali Ma, Los Infernos, Queen Bee); abrasive noise nefariousness (Amebix, Ratos De Porao, Pachinko); clanging-clamoring musical originality (NoMeansNo, Creeps On Candy, Victim's Family, Half Japanese, Lard, Dead & Gone, Iowaska); vastly assorted inflections of sonic Americana (Slim Cessna's Auto Club, Wesley Willis); and, of course, skull-pummelling punkrock raucousness (Fartz, Pitchshifter, The Dicks, SNFU, The No WTO Combo, Free Beer, BGK, False Prophets). This is definitely unequivocally well worth the bargain price of $5.99 for over 75 minutes of ear-pleasing mayhem! My unsolicited advice for you all: open your ears and expand your minds with the revolutionary aural rumblings of Alternative Tentacles' diversely colorful and wide-ranging roster of recording artists... –Guest Contributor (Alternative Tentacles)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Punch Drunk II: CD
This is a full-fledged fist-thrustin' audial assault of insurgent street-scruff punkrock radicalism; brutish, thuggish, and cataclysmically confrontational to the max! Oi, old school, and other assorted sonic chaos is raucously regurgitated by such heathenish hoodlums as Reducers S.F., Dropkick Murphys, The Forgotten, The Beltones, The Bodies, The Generators, The Randumbs, The Templars, The Vigilantes, Thug Murder, and numerous others. The riot-inciting sounds brazenly splattered throughout this supercharged disc are industriously representative of true punkrock aural belligerence: gruff working-class vocals, rugby chant choruses, rapid-fire machinegun guitar riffs, balls-out ground-rumbling bass thumpings, and boot-stompin' cobblestone alleyway drum poundings. Sure enough, I'm now deliriously punchdrunk on ale, anarchy, and these brain-rattlin' TKO anthems... that's certainly a combustive combination I can always usefully indulge! –Guest Contributor (TKO)


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