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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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DRUNK INJUNS:
From Where the Sun Now Stands, I Will Fight No More Forever: CD

Dark, moody punk/hardcore here from this legendary Bay area “skate” band. All the tracks are studio takes, meaning this is not a re-release of the live 10" out quite a while back. Am also led to believe that there was a guy from Tools/Sick Pleasure/Code of Honor in this group as well. This is a really good release on the whole, although I think many modern skate kids, with their penchant for safe, non-boat-rocking, cookie cutter Epitaph punk might be a little taken aback by this. Shame it didn’t come out back when it was recorded.

–jimmy (Alternative Tentacles)


DROPKICK MURPHY:
Live on St. Patrick: CD

Three days of drinking, rabid fans, playing in your hometown, guest artists, and St. Patrick's Day is a recipe for a good recording session for a live release. Dropkick fans have probably already purchased this. For others on the fringes, this is a good sampler to get a taster. Their blend of street punk mixed with Irish pride has been accepted by many. Song after song, you can hear in the background that the music is embraced with passion by the audience on this recording. It shows that the band has reached the status and expertise of captivating an audience. In all its fun and glory, a fun listen.

 

–don (Hellcat)


DREAM IS DEAD, THE:
Letter of Resignation: CD

Really noisy hardcore with grindy bits. Kinda makes me think this is what Conflict might’ve sounded like had they been just a tad more pissed.

 

–jimmy (What Else)


DISTRACTION, THE:
Calling All Radios: CD and Transmission Ignition b/w Nothin: CD / 7

The Distraction  grew on me slowly, but I'm glad I stuck with it. I disliked it in the beginning. At first, they sound like a slowed down Stitches, with a mumbly voiced lead singer fronting mid-tempo, repetitive songs. Also, like the Stitches, they're sneaky riff snatchers. They lift nice bits of The Clash and Buzzcocks, but have a real good feel on how to tuck them into their own compositions. But the more I listened, the better the songs started to sound. They're just like fresh snot on glass. They're nasty and boogery but the sound's clean and you can see every detail. This may seem off topic, but The Distraction does to true early punk what a lot of hip hop artists did with R and B tracks. Instead of doing direct samples, this OC crew take the best feel, motion, and groove of bands like the Boys and the Weirdos (without Doors covers, thank you very much) and join them in clever, finger snapping ways. So, when I stopped wanting them to play faster and enjoyed being locked into their groove, what was once repetitive became a solid slab of stagger and swagger. Another thing I realized is that although none of the songs sound like smash fuckin' hit singles, the album as a whole works very well. The 7" has one song that's on the album, "Transmission Ignition," and a track, "Nothin' to Me," that's worth doin' a little vinyl huntin' for. Thumbs up.

 

–todd (Dirtnap – CD, Pelado – 7")


DISKORDS, THE:
Heart Full of Napalm: 7"

The promo sheet that came with this release sez, "The Diskords range in age from 12 to 14 years old. They all attend middle school together here in Portland, Oregon." If I had been in a band when I was thirteen, I'd have spent all my time trying to perfect the riff to "Smells Like Teen Spirit." That said, this is pretty good! Catchy, short, pop punky songs (think: a more poppy early Queers). And, come on! Twelve year-olds singing songs like "Cops Took Mommy Away"? Punk rock!

–Maddy (Vinyl Warning)


DIEHARD YOUTH:
Without the Kids We Would Be Dead: CD

Diehard Youth break out with straightforward PosiCore from strangely enough, Tehachapi, CA, which is kinda odd because it’s pretty much the middle of nowhere. Anyway, this band sounds incredibly similar to Insted. Even the lyrical content runs in the same vain. The only difference is that this band adds more moshy elements to their music. For those who miss Insted. . –Mike Dunn

–Guest Contributor (Thorp)


DICKLESS TORSO:
Wake Up Jerk: CD

Really bad punk with piss poor recording values. Sounds like it was recorded on a ghetto blaster with the mics blown out.

 

–jimmy (Star Time)


DARYLS, THE:
Beer Fueled Mayhem: CD

Out of eighteen songs, only one is worth listening to. The rest are just cheap Queers imitations. Glad you guys have money to throw away. Must be nice. Next.

 

–jimmy (www.thedaryls.com)


DARLINGTON:
Chrysanthemum: 7”

I really liked their second album, which was the first with the name Darlington, which was Queers/Ramonesy fodder saved by some brilliantly stupid lyrics rife with self-deprecating potshots at their obviously derivative sound. Everything else I’ve  heard, however, just hasn’t grabbed my attention in the same way, and this is no different. You can easily draw the same musical reference points, but, from what I can tell, the sense of humor that made them so initially attractive ain’t here, and the resulting record just doesn’t stand out from the HUGE pack of bands treading the same stagnant water. This is limited to three hundred and if you dig ’em you’ll dig this, but it did fuck all for me.

 

–todd (X)


DAG NASTY:
Minority Of One: CD

Okay, I know these guys have been around for a while. For some reason, I have never heard a note of their music before. After listening to this CD, I’m glad I haven’t. This shits sucks. It’s that really clean sounding, highly produced pseudo-punk that bands like Pennywise put out. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear this CD on a popular radio station soon. I hope this isn’t the music that has kept them around for twenty years. When the lead singer puts on his “pretty voice” for the ballad, “Broken Days,” I think I am going to hurl. Damn, I don’t think I can make it through this whole CD, or to the toilet, for that matter.

 

–toby (Revelation)


DEAD SERIOUS:
It’s What You Can’t See: CD

Pretty run-of-the-mill youth crew drivel. Thankfully, they keep the metal way in check, but there’s really nothing there to set them apart from a very large herd. Includes a Youth of Today cover. How original.

 

–jimmy (Thorp)


CROSSTIDE:
Seventeen Nautical Miles: CD

I think this is leftover from that pile of shit Jimmy and Todd sorted through in issue nine. This sounds like a fucking lullabye. It’s horrid. How does this shit end up at Razorcake HQ? Hell, how does it end up on a CD, is a better question. You guys lasted thirteen seconds into crap like this? You are better men than me.

 

–toby (Rise)


CRIMSON SWEET:
Livin: CD

Methinks there's as many as three different "what we should have the band sound like" fingers in Crimson Sweet's pot. I've come up with a loose slide rule. The less psychedelic, the more I like them. Slow, I actually like the grooves they set – there's an attention to atmosphere that has me convinced that they understand the inner workings of Velvet Underground songs. They also nail a perfect cover, which would make a great single: Silverhead's (no, not Silverchair) "Hello New York." Their version and songs like "Airport Novel," and "So Electric," are downright fun, swaggering NYC pizza-sized slices of poppy, glammy punk. But, when the songs get trippy, almost jam-tacular, like the meandering last song, "Sad Walk at Knifepoint," I find myself getting sleepy and not so enthusiastic. Some great songs, but a spotty long listen.

 

–todd (On/On Switch)


COCKNOOSE:
Badmen, Butchers, and Bleeders: CD

I think this is my new favorite album of the week. This is a re-issue of their debut album from ’94. It’s been completely remastered and they’ve added three bonus tracks (two GG Allin covers.) Bands should take a lesson from them: this was originally recorded for ninety-seven dollars in under three hours. And it blows away a large portion of what’s been recorded since. It’s loud as hell (which should come as no surprise since their bass player created the Confederacy of Scum), full of sleaze, and is just downright nasty. I love it. This is the kind of music your mother worries about you listening to, with good reason.

 

–megan (TKO)


CLENCHED FIST:
Welcome to Memphis: CD

More thick-necked jocks who think “hardcore” is a term interchangeable with “lame-assed, big-muscled, small-dick macho metal”? Or, as they say in the motherland, this is absolute mierda.

 

–jimmy (Thorp)


CHASE, THE :
The Better Part of Six Months: CD

This CD, literally, fell behind my CD player and it wasn't until I added more milk crates to the front room record wall, that I found it again, so I can't rightly say when I got it, but unlike a giraffe, this stuff isn't spotty at all. I haven't been so up on the newest Snuff releases, and, oddly, singer for The Chase sounds pretty much like a hardcore Duncan. Actually, they take a lot of the best elements of Snuff – an achingly sweet and catchy melody and they tweak it into some short, satisfying, moshy breakdowns. Instead of veering into a poppunk arena with horns, these guys take some pages from Sweden's Get Up and Goer's: melodic hardcore that isn't afraid of a lot of volume, speed, and screaming. Extra points go to the song titles: "Surprise Party at the Funeral Home," and "Can I Borrow a Headband?" Surprisingly good.

–todd (Submit)


CHANNEL 3:
Self-titled: LP

If you read what Jimmy Alvarado wrote about this release in the previous issue, you know this is the shit!  I was lucky enough to pick up a couple of copies of the test press that Dr. Strange made available to the public. I have been a fan since the early '80s. Their first 12" was one of the first punk records that I personally purchased. I loved this band!  I would go see them at any opportunity. I even liked their progressive period like the Airborne 12" and the track "Indian Summer" that was on the BYO comp Something to Believe In.  If Bill from Dr. Strange said that they were going back to their roots, I believed it. I put the needle down on my turntable and a comfortable familiarity burst through my speakers. I felt like I was taken back in time. The notes massaging my ears was like hearing music that was in the Fear of Life LP mixed with After the Lights Go Out LP that CH3 made their mark. They cut back on the over production of the later releases. The music is raw but still reflects their amazing melodic sensibilities. The power is there and gives me justification for their reunion. The songcraft they had, they did not lose. I can't believe that after such a long hiatus they can still come back with an absolutely beautiful release. This will probably stay in my car CD changer for over a year. That is how good this is. I hope people now will embrace the sheer magic that CH3 can bring and not ignore that they are an important part of punk history. I am a true believer that this a fantastic release. I hope you become one too!

 

–don (Dr. Strange)


BRYAN DUNAWAY:
No Aim At All: CD-R

Ah, a boy and his guitar. His acoustic guitar. I wanted to coin a new portmanteau word, ala Lewis Carroll, to signify the conjoining of folk and punk and all I came up with was “Folunk.” Pronounced “flunk.” Which is, coincidentally, the grade I would have to give Bryan Dunaway’s latest effort. Folk music and punk music are, in many ways, spiritually related, but as certain misshapen Appalachian hillfolk have demonstrated, it’s not always a good thing when relatives intermarry. After listening to No Aim At All, I’m not sure the folk-punk admixture thing works. Plus Mr. Dunaway thanks shmuck actor/bon vivant Corey Feldman in his liner notes – an untenable punk gaffe if there ever was one and one that undoubtedly guarantees Dunaway’s accrued “punk points” will take a serious hit. No amount of successive days wearing a Clash shirt can rectify that. I admire his gumption, his DIY work ethic, and his nicely folded up cuffs on his punk rock jeans; but this disc strikes me as musically tepid and lyrically not all that clever. Something you might hear in a coffee shop on open stage night. I don’t like coffee, I don’t like coffee shops, and I don’t like coffee shop punk. For fuck’s sake, whether it was Les Paul or Leo Fender who slapped the first one together, the electric guitar was invented for a reason. Wasn’t Terrible Ted Nugent who once said ”Anybody wants to get mellow you can turn around and get the fuck outta here!”?

 

 

–aphid (Street Trash)


BROKEN BOTTLES:
Radioactive San Onofre: 7"

Fuck, it took me half a song to figure why this sounds so familiar. Think of Broken Bottles as releasing the never-before-discovered studio tracks to Social Distortion's Mommy's Little Monster (the vocals are a tad higher and less gruff, but still). I don't mean that as a slight – these would be choice cuts. As a matter of fact, fuckin' bravo. Somehow, and I'm quite sure how, they've captured and stomped on entire nuclear water balloon that Mike Ness and Co. have been steering away from for the last twenty years. What makes this less a re-tread on a tire that's got 70,000 miles on it already and more of a souped-up, modern-day soundtrack to Repo Man? Little things. Like the ability to write a motherfucking song that sounds as ominous as a siren and is easy and catchy as an STD during spring break. It sounds paranoid, too, so don’t worry, it doesn't sound like hair gel nü punk. Jes the Mess sounds like he singing surrounded by barbed wire while the band sounds like they're trying to break free. Me likey. On a related note: did Hostage just get paid? Fuckin' a – absolutely beautiful color packaging that matches the quality inside.

 

–todd (Hostage)


BROKE AMERICANS:
Self-titled: CD

I’m guessing that these here rocking doods think that they’re continuing in the grand tradition of witty, technically proficient punk bands like SNFU and NOFX. They do have some of the requisite “punk” stuff: a dork with a mohawk, some ska rhythms here and there, and song titles like “Eat Shit and Die” and “Proud to Be An Asshole.” But this isn’t even punk by the numbers – it's lower than that. For some reason I have a feeling Carson Daly would think these guys “rock.” In other words, the music’s safe, it’s clean, it’s corporate sounding and it blows.            If the chuckle fucks in this band weren’t in hair metal bands ten years ago, I’ll drink Ron Jeremy’s bath water with the Hedgehog still sitting in it. They tip their hand way too many times; the guitar solos alone are so glistening with a lube of their own pre-cum that they’d make a wank maestro like Warren DiMartini blanch. And what’s this? This band was voted “best punk band in L.A.” two years in a row?!? The same L.A. that back in the day belched forth bands like Fear, Black Flag, Circle Jerks, the Germs and the Dickies? Egad. The mind reels. Remind me to update my list of “Reasons I Fucking Hate L.A.” Just to see if it was just me being unnecessarily grumpy and narrow-minded, I actually brought this disc to work and played it. Everyone laughed at it. Seriously. Dumb name. Dumb cover. Dumb songs. To bastardize an ee cummings line, this is dung-luscious. 100% dog manure. I wouldn’t feed this to Sebastian Bach.

 

–aphid (Industrial Strength)


BRAZIL:
Dasein: CD

I really like Brazil. I think Terry Gilliam… oh wait, this isn’t the movie. This sounds like the bastard child of Jethro Tull, rap metal, and really sucky robots. That’s not good.

 

–megan (Fearless)


BOTTLES AND SKULLS/400 BLOWS:
: Split 7” EP

Bottles: Two catchy mid-tempo punk tunes. “Party Crasher” is the better of the two, with a hypnotic riff and ranty lyrics. 400 Blows: “The Gods are Laughing at Us” had me envisioning a no-wave band covering SOD. The other song is more disjointed and noisy, which is a plus. Good racket from both bands. White vinyl, you collector whores.

 

–jimmy (Cheetahs)


BOMBSITE BOYS:
Replete With: CD

As a rule of thumb, I try to stay away from bands with ties. It goes back, I’m sure, to the dreadful days of new wave; the Cars, Elvis Costello, The Knack... sort of a gawky, zit-faced puberty era in the upbringing of rock'n'roll. I learned back then that, like bright yellow spots on poisonous salamanders, ties portend bad things: skinny dorks with bowl cuts, synthesizers and all other manifestations of hell. But then along came ripping bands like the Hives and Henry Fiat’s Open Sore, who rocked my face off while wearing ties. I seemed to be finally working through my “tie band” aversion. Now the Bombsite Boys come along, introducing me to the tie and top hat look. But it’s supposed to be about the music, right? Well, musically, the Bombsite Boys suckle that same safe teat of innocuous pop punk that so many other bands live and die by. Fuck it, it’s just pop – except for a couple songs. There’s very little punk about it. Yet another band with no real teeth, just pasteurized, homogenized punk leanings. Today's lesson: beware of ties and top hats. It might have worked for certain 19th century U.S. presidents, but it doesn't work in rock.

 

–aphid (Myopic)


BLACKLIST:
Times Are Changing: CD

Cookie-cutter street punk with the requisite chanty parts.

 

–jimmy (Dead Mic)


BLACK MERINOS:
Self-titled: 7"

I like the music alright. Playing the same game as Antischism, it's got nice atmosphere in a charred earth, we're-all-fucked, big potholes in civilization sort of way. But, as a whole, it just didn't clamp on, yank the nuts down, and have me crying for more. It tended to get plodding instead of heavy. They seem very sad, as would be indicated by the song, "Insides Are Raped."

 

–todd (Hyperrealist)


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