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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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STOP IT!:
Self-titled: CD
Art-core that struck me as pretty unremarkable. I didn’t turn it off, but I doubt I’d listen to it again. For some reason, the packaging smelled really good though. –megan (Robotic Empire)


SKINLESS:
From Sacrifice to Survival: CD
Cookie cutter, cookie monster Satan metal. Yawn. –jimmy (Relapse)


SCRIPTS, THE:
Six Song Demo: CD-R
Oh, great! Another band that wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for the ‘80s AC/DC records! Please make this stop! –Not Josh –Guest Contributor (no address)


RETISONIC:
Lean Beat: CD
Two man band. Go figure. Oh geeze, it’s been recorded by J Robbins. The boys equal one part Bluetip and one part Garden Variety. I never liked either band, but this isn’t as bad as the two, to me at least. It’s catchy with tracks like “Filthy Wayto Lose Yourself,” and even a bit trashy/garage with opener “Caught in the Light.” It’s a mixed bag of sounds that I think fans of Bluetip will really enjoy. The end. –Sarah Shay (Silverthree Sound Recordings)


OIL:
Electric Tongue EP: CDEP
Heavy on the bass, but heavier on the art. Jesus Lizard, anyone? –megan (Level Plane)


KRUDDLER:
They’re There: CD
I remember the very first time I heard the Dead Kennedys. I thought, “Is that a frog with its balls in a vice?” I remember the first time I head Cypress Hill and I thought, “Those dudes sound like the Animaniacs and they talk about dope.” Kruddler: I still can’t over one of the singer’s voices. It has a strange forced, almost yelly squeak, “it could be a lady” quality to it – like Steven Tyler on helium and cigarettes – that definitely requires the ears time to normalize it. The music’s pretty good, though. At times, it reminds me of the playful indie-but-tight-gripped feeling of Lifter Puller, and I like that quite a bit. –todd (Learning Curve)


JERRY J. NIXON:
Gentleman of Rock’n’roll: CD
A collection of rare and never released recordings of Jerry J. Nixon, a lesser known rockabilly artist from the late ‘50s and into the ‘60s. Personally, I don’t think I was missing anything without these tracks. It’s not awful by any means, but I’d rather put on some Eddie Cochran any day. –megan (Voodoo Rhythm)


INTERNATIONAL ROBOT:
Self-titled: 7” EP
The band’s got a split personality. When the guitarist, Brian, sings, the proceedings sound a little too close to Fred Snider of the B-52’s hard rocking it. He extends words that don’t need to be ex-ten-ten-ten-ded, yeah. It’s a bit loosey goosey for my tastes. It’s a strange amalgam of Mudhoney without the full arsenal of fireworks. It’s really not that bad, but it’s a tad too repetitive for me to endorse. When Danny, the drummer, takes the helm, I like the proceedings much more. The songs are closer shorn, fuzzier, snappier, and all around tighter. I find myself bopping along. 50/50. –todd (Pop Riot)


IKARA COLT:
Basic Instructions: CD EP
On some days, a jumbled, unfocused mess of vaguely electronic music mixed with edgy, angular guitar and vocals which are so slurred that they sound like they were recorded in a pub after last call might be appealing. However, this jumbled, unfocused mess jumps styles between bands like The Fall and Wire and their more modern reinterpretations by the upstarts over at GSL and 31G and, frankly, tries to light up a substantial amount of previously mined territory with a candle instead of Klieg lights. It may be unkind to say, but I sincerely hope that – while they’re down the shaft, looking for diamonds in a thoroughly depleted hole – they get lost and don’t come back. –scott (Epitaph)


GRAVELTRAP:
Concrete + Udder Chaos: CD
A band that reminds me a lot of the band Turtlehead. Not as strong as the latter band but melodic in the same way. –don (Moon Ska Europe)


GOODBYE BLUE MONDAY:
Next Time We Stop Breathing: CD
They take the rock out of indie rock, if that’s even possible –megan (Loud and Clear)


GITS, THE:
Frenching the Bully: CD
The Gits were an early-nineties punk band from Seattle. They released Frenching the Bully originally in 1992, but shortly after the release, the lead singer, Mia Zapata, was murdered. Recently, The Gits have been creeping back into the scene in the sense that a movie is being made about them, this album has been re-released, and it looks like the murderer has finally been found. The whole story is both interesting and sad, but I’m not going to tell it here. I’m just going to talk about the music. It’s tighter and faster than what you would expect to come out of Seattle in the early nineties. Zapata’s vocals and her lyrics are streetwise and tough. The guitars have a tendency to slip off into a solo, which is something I’m not fond of, but Steve Moriarty’s drumming makes up for it. If you judge this album by 2003 standards, it’s mediocre. There are a lot of bands taking punk rock fronted by a tough, female vocalist and driving it into directions far beyond what people were doing in 1992. But if you compare Frenching the Bully to some of its contemporaries like L7, Seven Year Bitch, or even male-fronted Seattle punkers Seaweed (whose song style sounds pretty similar to The Gits), The Gits blow them away. This re-release also has nine songs from a live recording of one of The Gits shows in 1993. It’s a pretty good recording, but all of the songs that they played at their show are on Frenching the Bully, so it’s kinda like hearing the album twice in a row with the songs in a different order. –sean (Broken Rekids)


FRANTIC FLATOPS:
Hi-Fi Honed Revisited: CD

A reissue of this NY rockabilly group’s debut release. Although it didn’t really blow my socks off or anything, it does have its charms and they were/are very good at what they do.

–jimmy (Get Hip)


DON’T LOOK DOWN:
Five: CD single
This is not my thing, but if it is yours, you should buy it. It’s well-done melodic, emotional pop punk. These guys are good musicians and their songs are well done. I could very well see these guys being on the Warped tour. They would fit in perfect. –Mike Beer –Guest Contributor (Nitro)


DIE TRYING:
Self-titled: CD
This sucks. In my last column I discussed how I didn’t want to use the term “sucks” anymore, because it is sexist and homophobic and usually can be replaced with a more accurate term, but I am pulling it out for one last use because no other term really captures the feeling as well. Die Trying is basically the band for you if you can’t handle the edginess of Good Charlotte, but still want to listen to a band you can talk about at Hot Topic. A fauxhawk and bleaching your jean jacket makes you punk, right? The guy who hired me to join the punk boy band told me so. –rich (Def Jam)


COUNTDOWN TO LIFE:
Tragedy So Irresistible: CD
With a name like Countdown to Life, I couldn’t expect much. Somehow they managed to fall short of even the low standards I had set. Rush meets nu metal-core. –megan (State of Grace)


BRACES, THE:
Ska Got Soul: CD
I thought this was a decent ska album for a full thirty seconds. Then the vocals came in. Then I heard the lyrics about his favorite designer clothing. Then I threw it away. –megan (KOB)


FRISK, THE:
Rank Restraint: CD
This rocks! Adeline is where it’s at! True story: I put this on without even looking at it, and was gonna write a review saying something like, this rocks, but that guy is completely ripping off Jesse Luscious. Then, I picked up the liner notes, and I discovered that Jesse Luscious was, in fact, the singer! Would I ever pass up a chance to prove my stupidity and humiliate myself in print? Nope! This is poppy and rockin’ and reminds me a little of the Criminals. Plus they cover “Know Your Rights” with additional lyrics! And Jesse Michaels co-writes some of the songs! All right! If this were a cereal, it would be Honey Nut Cheerios—always a reliable and rockin’ choice for your breakfast meal! –Maddy (Adeline)


FRACAS:
A New Host of Torment: CD
Some decent, speedy hardcore here. The singer’s voice gets annoying after awhile, though. –jimmy (Calendar of Death)


ANTI-ANTI:
Hooray for Everything: CD
It’s hard being a music reviewer sometimes. You hear so many bands that sound the same, you can barely make it through a few tracks. Here is another band that sounds like so many other bands. The first thought that pops in my head is they sound like an early period Bouncing Souls. Locally, they might be popular, but for me, they are one of hundreds or thousands of CDs I hope I can sell to the record store for a dollar. –don (Fastmusic)


YOU AND I :
Discography: CD
It’s like trying to listen to a Morbid Angel record while babysitting a bunch of four-year-olds – everybody’s screaming and crying at once and the needle keeps getting knocked of the record, at which time you can clearly hear the Bruce Hornsby playing next door. Something like that. Anyway, the metal parts are good, but the rest is just too much to put up with. It actually says, “I carved ‘hope’ in my wrist.” I waved ‘bye-bye’ with mine. –Cuss Baxter (Alone)


FRACAS:
A New Host of Torment: CD
Even though I always perceived The Misfits to be more clownish than scary, I still developed a profound appreciation for their horror-rock frightfulness over the years (well, at least “Legacy of Brutality”!). On this here dark and foreboding disc, Fracas have energetically unleashed a fiery demon-spawned replication of The Misfits during their fiendishly spectacular heyday (or is that Hades-day?!? HaHaHa... up yers, all ya pastey-fleshed ghouls and goblins out there attired entirely in black. Oooooh, your dark’n’decadent preoccupation with death makes my knees a-tremble and my scrotum a-wobble somethin’ fierce.). Anyway, although this is a bit metallish in spots (especially the first couple of tracks), it is pure ghost-punk savagery nonetheless, and it’s spooky, sinister, and spastically possessed beyond belief. With bloodcurdling song titles like “The Dead Look Dead,” “Kill Me,” “Open Your Hell,” “Suffer Alone,” “Witch’s Hand,” “The Plague,” and “All That Remains Is the Howl” (plus a resurrecting-the-dead rendition of DK’s “Too Drunk Too Fuck”!), I instantly realized this ain’t gonna be no gleeful weiny-roast singalong. Hell no! This is purebred devil’s music that chills the flesh, sends shivers down the spine, and damns a man’s soul to eternal perdition. No wonder Glenn Danzig sappily churns-out a sporadic spew of mundane musical melodramatics these days. Fracas raucously run circles of fire around him! The devil ain’t gonna get no rest tonight, ‘cause I’m gonna loudly blast A New Host of Torment until the dead rise from their graves. –Guest Contributor (Calendar of Death)


WING:
Sings the Carpenters: CD
My brother-in-law sent an attachment to my wife via email and I heard her cracking up from another room. I walked in to see what all the commotion was about. On the screen, I saw a Chinese woman’s picture and the music coming out of the speakers was a heavily accented, out of key, woman sounding serious singing Carpenters covers. I started laughing so hard I started to have aches. This shit is brilliant! This is a CD I would expect to see in an Asian market near the cash register. The songs are so bad, they start sounding good. You have to have a mental picture of this. Picture a Chinese woman in ‘50s singing in front of an all-white Nashville band playing Carpenters songs. Now picture those songs and think how they would sound over “Top of the World” or “We’ve Only Just Begun.” It’s funnier than your vision. This is the best CD to put on as the last music your guests would hear at a party at your home. Nothing could sour their moment like this woman’s desecration of bad ‘70s music. –don (Wing)


FLESHIES / VICTIMS FAMILY:
Split: 7"
Fleshies scare me. When they’re fast, they kick kindergartener ass and remind me of early, breakneck Mudhoney. “Gonna Have to Pass” could easily be placed next to “Touch Me, I’m Sick.” That, I like a lot. When they slow down, they remind me of Journey. As a matter of fact, if you squint and forego the fact that the lead singer is in his saggy, stained undies for most of the set, he looks like a young Steve Perry of the aforementioned soft rock band. Victims Family. They formed in 1984 and have been very weird ever since. Their contribution, “Calling Dr. Schlessinger,” is an anti-ode to the right wing talk show host. It intentionally drags then slips into noise snatches, chanting, rock dirge, and audio collages. If you’re a digger of Negativland or Lard, you’re prime. If you like songs with basic structure, you’re fucked. Proceed with that in mind. –todd (Alternative Tentacles)


FLASH EXPRESS, THE:
Who Stole the Soul? : 7"
Hey, all right, launch a dart into my scrotum and tally a triple 20, this ain’t half bad. No pseudo-gospel “Put you hands together” jizz, either. It’s got the jobbly wobbly Jon Spencer feel (pre-Orange) that makes one think, “Hey maybe whitey can shake some serious fucking ass without becoming a parody or turning ‘soul’ into an art project.” Hollow-toned guitars, tambourine, burning ember drums, and a true blue roadhouse-about-to-riot feel goes all the way through the b-side, “Fire.” Excellent. Two winners. I’ll be spinning this tons. –todd (Revenge)


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·EVENING MEETINGS
·ONES, THE
·KIDNAPPERS, THE
·NO MARKS, THE / HYALIN
·VERBICIDE
·Coming Together
·SHAM 69
·TEMPLARS
·AT THE DRIVE-IN


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