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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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DEATHSKIN RAZORS:
Self-titled: 7"
Rather typical basement-show hardcore, if that makes sense. Song titles such as “Count Me Out” and “Streets of Rage” should give one an idea of the lyrical content and possibly even a hint of the musical stylings. I like this record, because I like basement-show hardcore, but this isn’t really much different from other bands that I lump into such a category. Imagine a slightly more melodic version of Born Against. –The Lord Kveldulfr (No Label Listed)


DEATH WITH A DAGGERS:
Dark Alleys: CD
Band members include: Rabies, Steel, Prowler, Spaceman, and Rattt The Animal. Yes, Rattt, like rat, but with an extra T as a tribute to the almighty SaTan and one more just for the fuck of it. What kind of music do you think they make? Their beautifully bastardized version of metal takes the gritty bits of Scandinavian hardcore, mixes in fist-pounding power metal guitar solos, and tops it all off with some rock‘n’roll swagger. The liner notes say it best: “Play it Loud—Come to the Dagger.” You’ll want to put this one on repeat. –mp (Deaf Forever, myspace.com/deafever) Deaf Forever, myspace.com/deafever) Deaf Forever, myspace.com/deafever)


DEATH CRISIS:
Self-titled: EP
Former members of Life Crisis and Chickenfarm join forces and crank out some blazing, no-frills hardcore punk. “Que Instersante” is a scorcher. The tempo comes down fast and hard and constant, and the vocal delivery is spot on. Albert sounds pissed and unhinged. The first song on the B side, “El Masturbador,” sounds like a grind band has taken over. But it’s not bad actually, and they redeem themselves with “Sounded Like a Good Idea” and “Saddam Is Dead.” Great lyrics as well; some sarcasm mixed in with the commentary—what any punk band worth a damn is good at. Glad to see these guys get some vinyl out. I’m hoping there’s more soon. Great live band as well. –Matt Average (Too Old To Die, adamcrisis@yahoo.com)


DEAR LANDLORD:
Dream Homes: CD / LP / bonus 7”
I preordered this album from No Idea, and they really made it a fantastic collector’s item. Not only did I get the CD, but also the colored 12” vinyl, a piece of badass screened art, and a bonus 7”. As if the music alone wasn’t going to satisfy me! And it does. Oh, yes, it does. The guys in this band seem to have listened to a lot of the same shit I did when I was a teenager: the Ramones, The Vindictives, The Queers, Grimple—right? And then, get this, these guys played in the bands I loved after I was no longer a teenager: Rivethead, The Copyrights, House Boat, Off With Their Heads, and The Gateway District (there may be a few more, but, damn, was this a review or a name dropping sesh?)! Oh, and rumors of a split 7” with Toys That Kill? Count me in! –mrz (No Idea)


DEAD UNCLES:
Cut Down to Sighs: 7"
Clever DIY extremists, who I bet are just as excited about bands on Youth Attack as Plan-It-X, but lean more towards the Plan-It-X side of punk. Poppy and spiteful, with 40s full of vigor and ready to hit the road in a beat-up minivan. I can see them playing a show with bands like Delay or Ringers and possibly covering a Cleveland Bound Death Sentence song. Not bad, but I bet it’s gonna get a whole lot better. –Daryl Gussin (Dead Uncles)


DAZES, THE / WIMPYS, THE:
Greetings from Japan: 7"
I love Japanese punk rock. They do the world’s music perfectly, but make it their own and sometimes do it even better than anyone else. The Dazes sound like Puffy Ami Yummy minus the power pop and add the underground sensibilities of Buck and a few surfin’ to the oldies guitar and bass solos. They definitely deliver super duper catchy music and have an especially super yummy harmony section in their song, “Heart on My Bumper.” While the Wimpys might not be yummy, their singer’s name is Yummy, so that makes it all good, right? Their first track is a total Beach Boys style ditty, and their second song a Ramones cover. Good schtuff. –mrz (It's Alive)


CUT THE REINS:
Man Made Dust: CD
This is a little complicated, so follow me. This band, Cut The Reins, reminds me of this band from around L.A. called Onewordsolution, who, in turn, reminded me a lot of Pennywise. But, Cut The Reins is from Ireland and not SoCal. The basic sound of the album is speedy punk in the mid-late ‘90s Epitaph vein (i.e. Pennywise) but a tiny bit darker, and with a snare drum almost distractingly high in the mix for some reason. Lyrically, the band is pretty fuckin’ discontent. I think that’s where I draw the Onewordsolution comparison. The bands have their hearts in the right place, but both seem like they would benefit form a bit more subtlety in their lyrics. It’s not a matter of diluting the message so much as adding a bit more finesse and originality to their metaphors and word play. This is a decent, if not terribly memorable, album, but the band doesn’t quite snap yet. With some more creativity in their sound, they could be pretty awesome someday. –Adrian (Mikereins@rocketmail.com)


CUTE LEPERS/ LURCHING LEPER, THE / DISCO LEPERS:
Join the Lepers: 7"
If Cartman from South Park created a punk band, then it would resemble what the tunes from Disco Lepers sound like on this split. Consider the content found herein with track titles: “Nazi Tampons” and “Epileptic Sex.” What’s even more astounding is the vocal shrill you’ll find coming from the record player. I wouldn’t be surprised if one day we found out that the members of the Disco Lepers were actually the voice actors for Cartman. On the other side of the split there are basically two worthwhile pop punk tunes from The Briefs… coughcough… umm… I mean Steve E. Nix of the Cute Lepers and with him posing as some other band thingy called The Lurching Leper. The tune “Death by Magazine” is actually a surprisingly snappy lo-fi number with a new wave feel minus the keyboards. One day I hope I can join the Leper Enterprise as some street-wise gangsta rapper ‘cause I think it’d be cool to add a Leper-Con to the Leper ranks. Until then, I’ll just hold my breath while I keep spinning this 7”. –N.L. Dewart (No Front Teeth)


DAMAGE:
Our World: LP
Man, these guys are so punk, it’s like they bootlegged themselves. In lieu of a label or any contact information whatsoever, the LP jacket just says, “No label. Do It Yourself.” However, a bit of internet snooping reveals that these dudes are Swedish and, upon repeated listens, shows that Our World is an LP of mostly mid-tempo, no-frills punk with more than a passing nod to their fellow countrymen, The Regulations, in sound if not necessarily aesthetic. Snotty and acerbic songs about hope, partying, hardcore, eschewing society’s standards, etc. Not the most cerebral lyrics, but that’s never really been the focal point of bands like this. The emphasis is on the attitude, that sneering punk swagger and ability to reconnect with a sound from yesteryear without ever flat-out aping it. It’s something so many European bands seem to excel at, this nod to the sonic venom of twenty or thirty years past while also updated and modifying it, keeping it fresh, and you can add Damage to that list. Pretty sweet album; just not sure how easy it’s gonna be to find. –keith (No Address Listed)


CYSTS, THE:
Public Release: 7” EP
Noisy and disjointed punk sort of stuff. Kind of like a more out of whack Circus Lupus. The guitar feeds back, there’s a dismal droning bass line, and the drums are minimal. I’ve played this record many times trying to find something that’s memorable or interesting, and it’s impossible. The most memorable thing about this record is how forgettable it all is. –Matt Average (Eolian)


DANGER’S CLOSE / DESTRUCTORS 666:
Split: CD
The early U.K. band The Destructors keep releasing new material as Destructors 666 and all of their output is well worth checking out. The distinct, heavily accented, growly vocals are impossible to replicate without stuffing potatoes in your mouth. I tried and couldn’t do it sans potato. The newer female-fronted Danger’s Close, also from the U.K., plays slow to mid-tempo 1980s punk ala A.P.P.L.E. and is an amusing retro treat. Both bands have a mid-to-late ‘80s crossover vibe brewing under the surface, but with lessons learned from that putrid, dark era. –Art Ettinger (Rowdy Farrago, destructors666.com)


DAVILA 666:
Self-titled: 7” EP
These guys have the retro ‘60s sound so down pat that it’s fuggin’ scary. Shit, you could plop either disc here on the hi-fi when gramma’s not paying attention and she’d have no clue whatsoever this is a contemporary band. “Casi Las 3” on side B of the EP could easily be mistaken for an Os Mutantes outtake by anyone not hip to the diff between Spanish and Portuguese, “Sabes Que Quiero” sounds like they’ve been binging on old Standells records, and “Primera Muerta” reeks of teen tragedy tunes that ruled the charts before the kids discovered public sex and acid. These guys are seriously good, so good that if they manage to maintain the quality of their output, they’re bound to take the underground by storm. –jimmy (Douche Master, and HoZac, respectively, no address for either)


DAVILA 666:
Primero Muerta: 7"
These guys have the retro ‘60s sound so down pat that it’s fuggin’ scary. Shit, you could plop either disc here on the hi-fi when gramma’s not paying attention and she’d have no clue whatsoever this is a contemporary band. “Casi Las 3” on side B of the EP could easily be mistaken for an Os Mutantes outtake by anyone not hip to the diff between Spanish and Portuguese, “Sabes Que Quiero” sounds like they’ve been binging on old Standells records, and “Primera Muerta” reeks of teen tragedy tunes that ruled the charts before the kids discovered public sex and acid. These guys are seriously good, so good that if they manage to maintain the quality of their output, they’re bound to take the underground by storm. –jimmy (Douche Master, and HoZac, respectively, no address for either)


CROCODILE GOD:
No Regrets: CDEP
For all the thrash, grindcore, metal and such I see live, I honestly tend to really listen to more melodic punk more than anything when I’m alone. So, right off the bat when I pulled this out to listen for review, I remembered that I had something from this band. I checked my trusty music list and saw that I had copy of their LP Stella. That signified a good start, knowing I had liked them enough to keep one of their previous releases. I have a vague memory of what this band sounded like. I knew they were from the ‘90s during my melodicore phase. My memory was correct. Fast, melodic punk filled with hooks. I like that the recording is not overly produced and has a bright, live quality to it. The music reminds me of a mixture of the Beatnik Termites having a tea party with Snuff. Fun, energetic stuff! –don (Crackle)


CRAW, THE:
Figure 24I.—Single Abdominal Wound: CD-R
Musically, they fit firmly amongst the thrashy hardcore horde, with little in the way of metal influence in evidence. Lyrically, they lean towards the misanthropic/misogynistic side of things, with happy tunes about the human race being a disease, HPV, and fisting a girl after strangling her. –jimmy (Live Fast Die Drunk, no address)


COLD ONES:
Stay Thirsty!: 7”
Six songs by these British dudes who, for all intents and purposes, are probably flat-out crazy live. The songs are tough to pigeonhole—if the vocals were more brutal, we could call it hardcore—it’s fast and punchy enough. But if the vocalist hit a few more notes here and there, we could run with the “fast as shit street punk” tag and be okay too. As it is, it just comes off as energetic, foaming-at-the-mouth punk on a serious bender. Like Go Sell Drugs if they were way tighter, or the Supersuckers if they tried to cover Glass And Ashes in a minute and a half. Put it this way: if these dudes were from Portland, they’d be playing shows with Autistic Youth or Science Of Yabra and would fit right in either way, while quite possibly blowing both bands out of the water. Clear vinyl, a download card, and the surefire knowledge that everything gelled with this release. One of those rare records that totally gets me stoked on the 7” format again. –keith (Zandor)


COBWEBBS, THE:
Diabeetus Educate: CD
I was lamenting the sorry state of my current batch of review material to my roommate, Matt, today. I mean, there are only so many ways to say “This sucks,” you know? Matt asked me how many reviews I had to finish. I said that I had three more. He replied “This sucks, this blows, this blows more. There, you’re done. Let’s go get a burrito.” The Cobwebbs blow more. I’m done, let’s all go get a burrito! –Ryan Horky (Mannie Kid, myspace.com/thecobwebbsmusic)


COMMON ENEMY:
Living the Dream?: CD
Thrash, thrash, and more thrash that would’ve been lost in the shuffle of some mid-‘80s Mystic compilation had they been around back then. The lyrics tackle hard-hitting subjects like Pac Man, stealing gas, getting high, skateboarding, zombies, and so on. Their musical delivery is fast ‘n’ tight, a definite plus; it’s better than the last thing I heard by ‘em, and their luster goes much farther in smaller doses, but, ultimately, what I’m hearing isn’t much above what can be heard coming from your average brand-spankin’-new band playing its first backyard party. –jimmy (Overdose On)


COPYRIGHTS, THE / DOPAMINES, THE: Songs about Fucking up:
Split: 7"
The Copyrights and The Dopamines do it yet again. “Do what?” you ask. Kick major fucking ass! Now, as the title of the split infers, these songs were all penned at a low point in the life of the one who wrote the song. The themes range from generally failing at life to failing at song writing, but it’s all done in the best poppy punk formula out there right now! Forget nasally bubblegum pop punk. This is gritty, “I’m pulling my hair out of my head before I take another swig of beer” pop punk. And, of course, as is common with all It’s Alive records, you can get the songs on a CD as well. Sweet. –mrz (It's Alive)


CONNIPTION FITTS:
Shart Sandwich: 7"
Some ripping, lo-fi rock and roll here, but not the big hair and tight pants rock and roll played by wanna-be Sunset Strip assholes, but more the workaday, beer-drinking good time tuneage of the Dragons. The Conniption Fitts hit all of the right rock and roll marks without sounding cartoonish or cliché. Blown-out vocals with well-timed screams, tasteful guitar solos played through fuzzed-out speakers, Conniption Fitts sound like a beefier David Johanssen playing front man duties with Malcolm Young marshaling the pummeling freight train of a rhythm section. Comes highly recommended, also comes on a grey marble slab of vinyl. –Jeff Proctor (Let's Pretend)


COPYRIGHTS, THE / DOPAMINES, THE: Songs about Fucking Up:
Split: 7"
Although The Copyrights are from Chicago and The Dopamines are from Ohio, both sides of this split has that OC pop punk sound to it. All the songs have modern distortion tones and the vocals are up front, pristine, and pitch perfect. I’ve had the privilege to see The Copyrights live and they rock, but their recorded sound is a little too ready for teenage movie soundtracks for my taste. –N.L. Dewart (It's Alive)


CRASH NORMAL/INTELLIGENCE SPLIT:
Self-titled: 7"
I’ve only heard the Intelligence a few times. What I remember is a surf rock influence that isn’t all that apparent on this split 7”. “Parades” sounds more like Throbbing Gristle than Dick Dale—with a modified Bo Diddley beat accompanied by an ominous guitar riff; both pounded relentlessly for a sublime minimalist result. Crash Normal: sing-speak vocals over swampy instrumentation. It’s the Intelligence side that has my interest. Good stuff, indeed. –ryan (Compost Modern Art Recordings, myspace.com/compostmodernart)


CLEAN-CUTS, THE:
Do-the-Pop: 7” EP
This EP is four simple pop tunes and that’s a bad thing. It’s pop in the fact it would appeal to the masses. You could throw this record on and listen to it with your grandma with, perhaps, the song “Anxiety” being a tad edgy. Everything here lacks dynamics and pulses at the mid tempo range. It’s disappointing because they have distorted guitars, hooks, and yet nothing exciting to keep the music interesting. –N.L. Dewart (No Front Teeth)


CLASS WAR KIDS:
Reflection! Rage! Rebellion!: CD
Class War Kids is an inspired anarcho pop punk band from Newfoundland, Canada. It’s okay that Propagandhi started to suck because this instant classic easily fills their oversized vegan shoes. Some of the lyrics are embarrassingly trite, such as on the anti-rape song, “Never Her Fault.” But others are gleefully confrontational, even by subculture standards. The boldest song mocks present-day military worship and is called “Fuck the Troops.” Other hits include “Cherry Poppin’ Conservatives,” a track about breaking down sexual orientation barriers. Slightly faster and harder than Propagandhi, but Propagandhi is clearly their main musical influence. Female backing vocals add additional flair to an already amazing mix. I bet all of their PC goofiness is merely a ruse to get laid, but as long as they keep making killer records, let these geeks have their fun. –Art Ettinger (Rebel Time)


CITY OF SHIPS:
Look What God Did to Us: LP
Aw, man, this is terrible! Heavy and atmospheric rock that sounds like some shit from the soundtracks for the Spiderman movies. Breathy, emotive vocals that grate like nails on a chalk board, backed up by some tepid rock that is certainly proficient, but bland as hell. The best recording, or tightest guitar playing, and even all the “sincere” whiny vocals in the world are no guarantee the music has any soul, and this definitely has none. Bad, bad, bad.... –Matt Average (Sound Study, soundstudyrecordings.com)


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