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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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RETAINERS:
Waste of Time: 7"
A friend of mine was raving to me about this band a couple months back. “The only band worth a shit these days is The Retainers. Get their singles; it’ll knock your dick in the dirt”, he tells me. Herrmmmm... Okay, I gotta check these guys out. Let’s be honest, there’s not a whole hell of a lot in punk rock these days that is exactly capable of “knocking your dick in the dirt.” Two quick blasts of lo-fi and totally blown out KBD influenced punk rock from this prolific outfit. The songs are loud, abrasive, and a bit loose and jangly. The Retainers do what any worthwhile punk does, they come on loud and fast and cut it short before you even have time to collect your thoughts, although that tempo change on the B-side, “Die Baby Die,” allows for some introspection, but still... The A-side, “Waste Of Time” is from their LP on P. Trash. I guess I need to go shower and get the dirt off my dick. It would be quite strange if I was just standing over the sink doing this and my wife walks in. “It's not what it looks like honey!” –Matt Average (Fashionable Idiots, fashionableidiots.com)


RESURRECTURIS:
Non Voglio Morire: CD + DVD
Heavy metal of various speeds and hues. The DVD features a video of them playing a song in what looks to be an abandoned building, a “making of” bit and a photo gallery. –jimmy (coprorecords.co.uk)


RICH WHITE MALES:
We’ve Come to Kick Ass and Play Bubblegum: CD
Dangerous Dave plays bass in Rich White Males and he produced this album so take a wild stab at what this band sounds like. (Answer: The Queers). They’ve got some fun pop punk tunes that cover the array of teenage topics with songs: “Judy Won’t Fuck Me” and “Little Morphine Annie.” “I’m On Drugs” is a surprisingly heavy hitting tune. These guys saved the best for last with “Invisible Girl” being the most dynamic and best tune on this eleven song almost twenty minute punk record. –N.L. Dewart (Cheapskate)


RF7:
Hatred on the Rise: CD
A battle royale between the current lineup of these Southern California hardcore veterans and the ‘80s lineup, both of ’em offering up tunes that stand up just fine anything they put out in their early days. Felix and both sets of cohorts are in fine form and the songs are top-tier and topical. Good stuff all around. –jimmy (j4f.dk)


RAZORBLADE:
Dutch Steel: The Best of Razorblade 2001-2009: CD
I’m floored by Holland’s Razorblade, a powerful, in-your-face oi band in the great tradition of both early U.K. oi and mid-1980s U.S. oi. This is hard oi, so hard that it’s typically a challenge to find non-bonehead bands that play in this style. You can put your lame Midtown Bootboys and Landser records aside because now there’s a vibrant, non-sketchy group that embraces some of those shady bands’ undeniably gripping musical styles. To add some levity into the mix, there’s a hilarious, Dutch-language cover of “Smash the Discos.” I can’t stop shouting “Sloop de discos! Breek ze af!” –Art Ettinger (84 Records/Step-1, svr84.ehostpros.com/~plrds84/tjfrontpage.htm)


RATS, THE:
Intermittent Signals: LP
The Rats were a punk band from Portland, Oregon formed in the early eighties from the ashes of a garage band called The Lollipop Shoppe. Mississippi records continues to reissue the band’s long out of print catalog with the release of Intermittent Signals, the band’s second album. Mid tempo, angst-ridden punk delivered matter of factly with undistorted guitars that combine ratchety riffs and driving bass lines. There are two songs criticizing the radio. Damn radio. –Billups Allen (Mississippi)


RATIONAL ANTHEM / STRAIGHT A’S, THE:
Use Your Delusion I: 7"
Sorry but this split got my attention for its Guns N’ Roses spoof cover art. The mock front has Shakespearean looking clip art and reads Use Your Delusion I in the yellow and red that GNR used. Rational Anthem’s side has some in your face, fast hitting pop punk with snotty vocals. The strait A’s brand of pop punk carries more influences of 1950’s rock. This hum along split has enough bounce to keep you snapping your fingers even after these short numbers have passed by your ears. –N.L. Dewart (Traffic Street)


R. STEVIE MOORE:
U.R. True + 3: 7" EP
Four songs of home-recorded new wave, laden with treble and flange. The vocals are weird, running the gamut from sweet falsettos to Motörhead growls. A couple of the songs are very catchy, but a couple are a little too herky-jerky. I was listening, being reminded of the more far-out Jay Reatard stuff, then I looked this guy up and found out that he’s a middle aged dude whose father played with Elvis Presley, and he’s been making home tapes since the mid 1960s. Wow. I’d say this is good material by an artist who probably falls into the music geek trap where people know his back story better than his actual output. In other words, if you check this out, you’ll hear some interesting music and manage to impress obnoxious people. –CT Terry (Felony Fidelity)


QUEERS / ATOM AGE:
Split: 7"
A couple of new Queers’ songs? After their last record, Munki Brain,I am all ears… And I’m not disappointed. I don’t really need to describe the Queers, do I? Both of these tracks fall into their Beach Boys/End Of The Century category. Good stuff. The Atom Age is along the same lines but they play it a little harder edged. They’ve got a sax in there too which really seems to work well for them. Perhaps a little more “Too Tough To Die” than “End Of The Century”. I like that. –ty (Asian Man)


QUAN AND THE CHINESE TAKEOUTS :
: CD-R
Loud, catchy rock/punk stuff. It’s clear they’re batting for the fences and in this case it works swimmingly for ’em. –jimmy (thechinesetakeouts@gmail.com)


ANN BERETTA:
New Union…Old Glory: CD
This doesn’t suck, but their attempts at sounding inspirational fall miserably flat. I found myself skipping from one song to the next after the third track. Jeez, if I’d wanted to listen to Rancid, I woulda put on a Clash record. –jimmy (Lookout)


ANASAZI, THE:
Calculating Components and Compound formulas for Mass Population Reconstruction: CDEP
Extremely noisy thrash that, somehow, failed to pique my interest. I loved the song titles, though. –jimmy (Troubleman Unlimited)


ALKALINE TRIO:
Hell Yes b/w My Standard Break from Life: 7"
Against-my-better-judgement, catchy-as-hell songs that lick the razorblade separating pop and punk which bleeds in the same way as Green Day when they go to balladeer mode. Tight, well written, gettin’ girls wet while dudes can shake their fists along types of songs. If it helps, think of the Weakerthans with a couple of nuts and less wounded warrior poetry. –todd (Lookout)


AGAINST ALL AUTHORITY:
Nothing New for Trash Like You: CD
This album is a collection of AAA seven inches and songs from comps. Stuff like the four songs from their first seven inch, a cool song from a cool but long lost comp put together by one of the Voodoo Glow Skulls, and a cover of a Pist song from a split seven inch AAA did with them. I’m a pretty big AAA fan, so I have most of these songs already. Still, it’s nice to have them all together on one piece of plastic and not have to flip it every three minutes. Plus, I realize that most people don’t have most of this music and it’s not really readily available. Since it’s a Sub City release, part of this album’s profits go to charity. This album benefits the Radiation and Public Health Project, a group that does research regarding cancer from radioactive pollution (the program that AAA refer to at the end of their last album “24 Hour Roadside Resistance”). It’s a worthy cause and a good collection. –sean (Sub City)


ACTIONSLACKS:
The Scene: CD
Nausea-inducing post-Nirvana college pop. Maybe it’s a good thing that Cobain is dead, ’cause hearing what he wrought woulda killed him. –jimmy (Self-Starter)


999:
English Wipeout: CD
Two live recordings from “back in the day,” both of which suffer from some pretty lousy sound, especially the second one. Of note is the inclusion of a live song they apparently never recorded. I personally wouldn’t pay for this. –jimmy (Overground)


QUAN AND THE CHINESE TAKEOUTS:
Self-titled: CD-R
Loud, catchy rock/punk stuff. It’s clear they’re batting for the fences and in this case it works swimmingly for ‘em. –jimmy (thechinesetakeouts@gmail.com)


PURPLE RHINESTONE EAGLE:
Amorum Tali: CD
“Tidal Wave” is a succinct punk workout and the rest of the tunes here are sludgy, Sabbath-inspired jam rock hybrids. Not a bad thing, per se, but the bare bones production sound saps the tunes of some much needed heft to pull the sound off. –jimmy (Eolian)


PTERADON / THE NEW TRUST:
Split: 7”
This is pretty run-of-the-mill, emo-sounding music. Pteradon’s “Z-Axis” attempts to break that dynamic with a few trickier riffs in the middle, but the song careens and rams a few clichés along the way. The New Trust’s “Ethan Hawke Is a Dead Man” contains a classic “line that gets less funny every time you say it.” Only, “Break Uma’s Heart” really isn’t that funny to begin with. I tried flipping this record a few times in an attempt to divorce myself from the genre, but it still did not strike me as very good. The playing is competent, but the songs are ultimately forgettable. –Billups Allen (Silver Sprocket, silversprocket.net)


PRICEDUIFKES:
She Spells Disaster: CD
My only question of note with this record is how the band’s name should be pronounced. Should it be [prais·du·If’·kiz]? (As in price-doo-if-keys, since I’m being so smug and pretentious as to use the IPA.) And on what syllable should the stress fall? The complaint of note with this record is that it’s only eight songs long, including an intro to the record, so it was over far too quickly. Heavy, oppressive disappoint sets in for me every time this record ends because I feel cheated and gypped that such wondrous aural stylings have concluded so quickly. I loved this thing. Evil geniuses, the Priceduifkes are, to keep me slobbering for more tunes like a boozehound who has to stop drinking after the first beer. Their sound is awesome Queers-esque punk, and sounds even more juvenile, which I did not at first think would be possible. Their MySpace page claims Ramones and Nobodys influences—it shows—and they are self-described as “pingpongpornopussypunk.” When subject to overly intense scrutiny, this record may seem to be a bit lyrically clichéd at times, but that did not bother me a bit since it sounded more classic than cliché (thank you, Mr. Spaghetti). This is one of those few slabs that, for me, is fun to listen to every single second that it’s playing. I’m a fan. –The Lord Kveldulfr (Skintight, skintightrecords.com)


PSYCHO KID, THE:
Hypocrite Land: CD
I didn’t know what to expect with this trio, but it took a few listens for me to get it. Buzzsaw guitars, melodic vocals, and crackerjack drumming come together in one thick, frothy milkshake of punk pop. For some reason, a lot of these songs remind me of Dee Dee Ramone solo material, where his wife chimed in on harmony vocals. How can you go wrong with lyrics like this—“he’s not sure if jerking’s right/but he sure turns off the lights/and he reaches underneath/to the snake that has no teeth.” Ritchie Ramone wishes he could write lyrics as good as these! –koepenick (Logan Ave., no address)


PRUNALOGSUSAN PENTAGRAM:
17 New Cutecore Blasts from: 7”
When you get something like this, you know there’s really no middle ground on it. Regardless, this is some late ‘90s noise stuff you’d find on Alternative Tentacles, like a weirder Pachinko. Goddamn. –joe (Trigger On The Dutendoo, myspace.com/triggeronthedutendoo)


PREYING HANDS:
Through the Dark: CD
This Montreal band sounds like Annie from This Is My Fist singing for Strike Anywhere. Those two flavors go together like chicken and waffles. Annie, if you’re reading this, I just called you a waffle. You’re a waffle! Preying Hands’ singer is a woman with a scratchy voice who manages to make lyrics like “They breed their hate/The bloodthirsty citizenry, hiding behind birthright” come out catchy. The music is gritty, fast, and catchy; a mix of ‘90s skate punk and posi-core with metal leads. My one gripe is that they never tinker with the formula, and the songs blend together a few tracks in, but I’ve still played this CD three times today. More waffles, please! –CT Terry (Inimical)


PRETTY VANILLA:
7 Inches Deep: 7”
I watched a video at Pretty Vanilla’s MySpace page, and while it was a shitty recording they sounded kind of loud and a little rough around the edges. And I could dig that even if I wasn’t totally down with their glam meets early hair metal look. But the music on the seven inch is so polished it’s boring. Some of the songs sound like they should have been featured on Happy Days. The vocals are high pitched and kind of reminded me of Superchunk in that sense that you might go a long time thinking that the vocalist is a woman only to find out sometime later that it’s actually a dude. Their song “Paper Tiger” had a nice, muddy-sounding guitar solo that started to show what I heard on the video. But that little part was the only sign of hope I heard on this otherwise poor 1960s throwback. My suggestion: look into recording more lo-fi or analog, get a little dirtier, fuzzier sound on the guitar and lose the cheesy backup vocals. If I want to listen to stuff like you’re playing, I’ll go rent a copy of Back to the Future. –kurt (prettyvanilla.com)


PRETTY BOY THORSON & THE FALLING ANGELS / 24 INCH PYTHONS:
Split : 7”
Everyone’s new darlings on one 7”. Pretty Boy Thorson daringly covers a Dwight Yoakam tune in their sloppy, poppy punk way, and 24 Inch Pythons throw three standard “fury + shout = punk” tracks in the ring. –thiringer (No address provided)


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