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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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LURKERS:
26 Years: CD

Catchy as hell sing-along punk similar in approach to contemporaries like Cock Sparrer and the Buzzcocks, with a dash of Ramones for color, from a band that’s pretty much stayed true to form for twenty-six years and still counting. How catchy, you ask? I dare you to give “Go Ahead Punk” a listen and not have it stick in your noggin for at least two weeks, popping up at the most inopportune moments. Considering how many of the older bands seem incapable of mustering the same level of enthusiasm for what they’re doing as when they were in their “prime,” it’s refreshing to hear a band this long in the tooth remain fully aware of what they’re on about.

–jimmy (Captain Oi)


LOWER CLASS BRATS:
The Clockwork Orange Singles: CD

A quality street punk band from Austin, Texas, that appropriates imagery from the cult film A Clockwork Orange, the Lower Class Brats aren’t the most original louts on the block, but they do it as well as anyone and there’s a sense of conviction involved in the delivery. This CD culls tracks form the bands various EP’s, seven inches, and compilation tracks. Comes complete with a safety pin and a gob of spit (just kidding). For those of you who don’t require more than two chords and bottle of liquor to get you going, this here’s a Friday night record for you. Oi!

–greg (Punk Core)


LITTLE KILLERS, THE:
self-titled: CD

Straight ahead trash punk, with the “Devil Dogs channeling the Stooges” sound one would expect. Gotta hand it to ‘em, I found myself shaking a tail feather while this was on, so I guess they’re pretty darn good at what they do. 

–jimmy (Crypt)


LINK:
The Kids Are Alright: CD

I don’t know why I’m such a sucker for any punk rock that comes from Japan, but I am. I’m willing to overlook hand claps (which this album has) and references to the Who in the album title, and I’m willing to only give a passing notice to the obvious Op Ivy/Green Day/Ramones influence, because no matter what barbs the critic within me wants to let loose, I can’t ignore the fact that these are fun songs. They have me bouncing around the room and smiling, and every time I play this album, I feel a little bit happier for having heard it. I could call this a guilty pleasure, but fuck that. It’s just a rockin’ album. 

–Guest Contributor (Adeline)


LIMP WRIST/KNIFED:
split : 7"

Limp Wrist: Assorted odds and sods here, including their tracks from the first Histeria comp, the cut from Suburban Voice’s No Sleep for Hardcore comp and an unreleased gem, “Message to the President,” all great tracks, all reminders of how much this band will be missed. Knifed: Really lame, uncreative music coupled with some kick ass lyrics. 

–jimmy (Rejected)


LIBIDO GRANDE:
Wrecked: CD

I listened to the whole thing and I was not happy. I would have much rather pulled tapeworms out of my cat’s butt than have to sit through this again. Having to listen to the drum distort out because someone could not mix is irritating.

–don (Failed Experiment)


‘LECTRIC CHAIRS:
Sparkolounger: CD

Vaguely punk bar rock. Guess I just ain’t drunk enough to appreciate it. 

–jimmy (Dionysus)


LAZY AMERICAN WORKERS:
Surf Lake Erie: CD


First thing that came to mind was the Dead Kennedys’ record In God We Trust, Inc. That is the feel I got from this. This CD is much longer with fourteen songs. But the spirit of the latter LP and this CD is very similar to me. The lyrics are more tongue in cheek and personal as opposed to thought provoking. But the songs are energetic and have a happy sarcastic feel to them. Enjoyable.

–don (Sin Klub)


LAST COLLAPSE:
The Fallen: CD

No sooner had I popped this in when my wife rushed in with a worried look on her face. “What’s wrong?” she asked. “Nothing, why?” I responded. “Then how come you’re listening to Armored Saint, and when did they start trying to play punk?” I gotta admit, she’s often pretty dead on with her musical assessments and this is no exception.

–jimmy (Embers)


LA MOTTA:
Love California: CD-EP

Loud, Marshall-overdriven pop. Singer sounds like Billy Corgan, which can’t be a good thing in any circles.

–jimmy (Boss Tuneage)


KILLER KLOWN:
Evilution: CD

Garage punk with Cramps overtones. Three chords of raunchy fun with cool organs sounds. If you like straight up rockin’ punk with the horror imagery, these Italians might do it for you.

–don (Scarey)


KILL YOUR IDOLS/CRIME IN STEREO:
split CD: EP

Kill Your Idols: The first song has a weird “Negative Approach plays later period Hüsker Dü” feel to it and a great metaphor for sliding down love’s food chain in the title, “XLII to UR90.” The other two songs, one of which is a Sheer Terror cover, are pretty straightforward hardcore. Not bad at all. Crime in Stereo: Hardcore with a Jawbreaker undercurrent just doesn’t sit right with these ears. A wee bit too emo for comfort.

–jimmy (www.blackoutrecords.com)


KILL THE HIPPIES:
Jerked Off by Strangers: 7"


It’s easy to be skeptical of a band with a name like “Kill the Hippies.” Especially if the artwork features dicks in three separate places. But Fightin’ Fun Bob of Cleveland, OH played this record for me before I had a chance to know the band’s name or see the artwork, and the music snagged me before critic-mode kicked in. The first song, “Flags and Gas,” is a hardcore political rant that reminded me of Harum Scarum, which is a good band to remind me of. The third song, “Deserter,” reminded me of The Feederz, which is another good band to remind me of. The funny thing is, Harum Scarum and the Feederz have almost nothing in common, but the five songs on this Kill the Hippies seven inch meander through a list of punk and hardcore influences, all the while maintaining a pretty unique sound. This band must be big shit in a small scene, and everyone at their shows must be wondering why Kill the Hippies aren’t huge by now. Bands this original usually don’t get huge, but that shouldn’t keep you from checking out their seven inch. 

–Guest Contributor (Kill the Hippies)


KICKASS, THE:
Death Metal is for Pussies: CD

Breadwinner-style math metal that really rips for a little while, but I can only take so much of this sort of herky-jerk, especially with no vocals (though a trumpet provides a nice counterpoint to the endless chunk...-chunkachunk!, etc) . Maybe it’s math jazz. Or jazz metal. Whatever. I would’ve preferred a single

–Cuss Baxter (Bifocal Media)


KAOS:
Komplete Kao: CD

A collection of demos and rehearsal tracks from Johnny Stingray’s post-Controllers outfit that, prior to this, only managed to release the Product of a Sick Mind 7” on What? Records back in the early 1980s. As evidenced here, these guys had the chops and the tunes to put out what would’ve been one hell of a classic album, yet never got the chance. Also included here is a pretty funny interview with the band from KPFK circa 1980 with El Duce making a phone-in appearance. A consistently good listen here and a nice retrospective of one of LA’s more obscure bands.

–jimmy (Artifix)


JUST A FIRE:
Light Up: CD

All I have to say is they sound like a modern, garage version of the Police.

–don (Asian Man )


JEFF OTT:
Will Work for Diapers: 2X CD

Remember Crimpshrine? Remember how Jeff Ott’s voice sounded really gruff and scratchy? Forget it. Now he sounds like David Brenner. I can’t even begin to fathom why someone thought it would be a good idea to release this.

–Guest Contributor (Sub City)


J’AURAIS VOULU:
Sans Trahir: LP

Another French band comes my way this month. This, like Charge 69, is good solid punk rock with lots of melody. There isn’t too much more to say. Perhaps the fact that there are fifteen tracks would interest you. Or maybe the fact that the lyrics are good and meaningful will interest you. Regardless of those other things if you like good melodic punk sung with heart you will like this. 

–Guest Contributor (Dirty Faces)


TIM VERSION, THE:
Creating Forces that Don: CD
This album has been on high rotation around Razorcake HQ. It finds its way into the CD player every day. We’ve burned copies for a bunch of people. When someone asks me what really cool new band I’ve heard lately, I say, “The Tim Version.” Musically, they’re somewhere between Panthro UK United 13 and Tiltwheel, which is a great place to be, musically. The songs can be at once a wall of sound and a catchy hook. They know when to rock and when to let the songs breath. And, like Panthro and Tiltwheel, The Tim Version can play a song that lasts over three minutes and I don’t mind at all. That’s a huge compliment coming from me. I can relate to their songs, too, whether it’s an abstract rant on our consume and die culture or just a simple statement in a song title, like “Hardcore Drugs Made Me a Better Person.” The Tim Version toured this summer with Tiltwheel and the Super Chinchilla Rescue Mission. I’m bummed out that they didn’t come anywhere near LA, so I didn’t get to see them. In a perfect world, that tour would be recognized as a great moment in musical history. In an imperfect world, I still have albums by Tiltwheel, Super Chinchilla Rescue Mission, and The Tim Version. And that’s pretty good, too. –sean (Attention Deficit Disorder)


THUMBS/ONE LEAF:
Split: 7" EP
The Thumbs: Could a more perfect band be overlooked for so long? It fucking kills me that The Thumbs aren’t better well known. Everything they’ve released has smoked (get Last Match) and they continued to break out with more excellent songs. Dual, dueling screaming chants, spazzy and true guitar and bass, political (not too specific, not too general) lyrics, and songs that simultaneously break apart and hold like superglue. Two winners – “They Improve Ideas” and “Hour 1” on their side of the split. One Leaf: This is about the sixth Japanese band I’ve heard in the last year that hedges Clash riffs deep inside a mostly pop punk song. It’s very strange how well it works and how sneaky the riffs and chords are imbedded. The lead vocalist has a gruff, almost blown out voice, and although instruments are immaculate, almost like scalpels, the songs are OK. They just don’t have a lot of stick. –todd (Snuffy Smile)


THUMBS, THE/JACK PALANCE BAND:
Split: 7"
I’m a big fan of The Thumbs. There’s a real urgency to their music, a passion to their vocals. The lyrics are intelligent, the songs are catchy, and they flat out rock. The Thumbs have two songs on this split. One original, “Down with the Roads,” and one cover of the Buzzcocks “Fast Cars.” As with any Thumbs release, it’s highly recommended. The Jack Palance Band has a tough act to follow. They have three songs that sound like poppy Hot Water Music. I’ve listened to it a bunch of times, but it’s still not really growing on me. But then again, the Thumbs are a tough act to follow. –sean (Attention Deficit Disorder)


THREE MINUTE MOVIE:
Another Night, Exchanged Letters: CD
Jesus. I never would have guessed there’d be Japanese emo, but here it is. Not the worst thing I ever heard, but maybe the worst Japanese thing. I can dig the name of the label, though. –Cuss Baxter (Snuffy Smile)


THIS BIKE IS A PIPEBOMB:
Self-titled: 7" EP
Part punk, part ho-down, all fun-sounding, TBIAB are what I’d happily embrace as folk songs. John Belushi, as Bluto, would not smash their guitars. The songs mostly happily bubble with oscillating male and female voices, but they’re full of present-day protest; calling for a more open door policy for the Black Panther Party (“after 25 years of silence, you can see that I hate the cops as much as you do”), and how cancer has replaced black lung disease. Even though the 7” gets rounded out by a song about bones a-crackin’ from “feeling old and crookedy,” and includes a cover of Neil Young’s “(Four Dead in) Ohio,” the overall effect isn’t a downer. Two things really make me like this band. Although they approach essentially depressing, charged material, their overall tone is one of knowing there’s a better world obtainable, and they have some ideas on how to get there. Secondly, although life has well worn them, they’ve still got gumption and spark to rally against it in new and meaningful ways. Hand-screened cover. Cool all around. Woody Guthrie’d be proud. –todd (This Bike is a PipeBomb)


TEMPLARS:
The Horns of Hattin: CD
The Templars robustly blast a steady assault of stripped-down European-style streetpunk and foot-stompin’ oi-inspired sonic carnage. This is rough’n’ready audial insurrection at its most blistering and abrasive with aggressively gruff whiskey-slathered vocals, rumbling low-end three-chord guitar rhythms, frantically fierce face-slapper leads, destructive demolition bass explosions, and hearty pneumatic-drill drum thumpings. Hell yes indeedy, the Templars are the cream of the crop in today’s rapidly growing oi army. They’re the ever-reigning rulers of their league, the indisputable manic musical masters of chaos, mayhem, and unflinching streetwise attitude. Join ‘em, or die. –Guest Contributor (GMM)


TEEN COOL:
Adolessons: CDEP
Teen Cool aurally explode forth with rudimentary rock’n’roll roarings in the vicious vein of The Stooges, New York Dolls, and the early Damned. This is nicotine-stained, beer-guzzlin’, bottle-smashin’ sonic surliness at its ugliest, meanest, and nastiest! After just one listen, it hammerlocked my mind, besieged my senses, and crushed my skull like a ton of bricks. And then it ferociously laid waste to my simmering mortal remains before I even had a chance to repent and confess my numerous sins. “Adolessons” is an unequivocal ear-killer, indeed. It’s audial decadence made for crankin’ to the maximum limit of decibel levels! –Guest Contributor (Pelado)


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·LEFT ALONE
·HARPOON FOREVER
·ESTROGEN HIGHS
·ANGELIC UPSTARTS
·PUBLIC ASSAULT
·SUBMISSION HOLD
·DEMONICS
·TERRORISTS, THE
·Zine Reviews from Razorcake #78 and #79


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