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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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NO CHOICE:
Dry River Fishing: CD
My affection for this album, such as it is, is colored by what I see as a lack of explicitly political punk as the United States marches to and engages in war. Even so, this had to come out of the U.K. It doesn’t tread new ground in terms of beliefs, expression or form. It’s typical left-wing punk. It’s not even that it’s good left-wing punk; it just seems to stand alone amongst songs about high school and girls that bad guys want and other pop tripe to appear necessary, if only for the moment. Musically, it falls somewhere between Four Letter Word and Fore-era Pegboy with hints of Leatherface, Fuel and Propagandhi thrown in for good measure. And for shits and giggles, the breakdown in the middle of “Wonderland” sounds like it might as well be a cover of Jane’s Addiction’s “Ted, Just Admit It …” which just puts the final stake in this whole record. There’s not much here, here. There was just enough to make me think that it might be worth listening to again. And now I’m done with that idea. –scott (Newest Industry)


NINETEEN:
Tearing Me Apart!: CD
Wherein Nineteen chronicles their career thus far, from their early work as a thrashy pop unit (at the tender ages of fifteen) through their evolution (at age seventeen) into a highly competent and invigorating, slightly poppy thrash outfit. They could’ve issued just the latest sixteen tracks and had a satisfying, if short, set of A-list hardcore, but there was space so they put their two other sessions on there and I, for one, am glad of it. Top notch codfish. –Cuss Baxter (Dark Front)


NIKKI CORVETTE:
Love Me b/w What’s On My Mind: 7"
Remember Nikki Corvette? Super poppy, cutesy stuff with a bit of edge in the late ‘70s to about ’81. Well, she’s got a single, the first thing released in over twenty years. Can she still pull it off after all this time, you ask? Hell yeah she can! Fans of the Pinkz, Exploding Hearts, and Manda and the Marbles will love it. –megan (Rapid Pulse)


NAKED RAYGUN:
Free Shit: CD
This is two lives shows melded into one and these are Naked Raygun’s last two shows from their hometown of Chicago in 1997. It could be a dicey affair. Live CDs usually blow. Either they’re fake-live (like Social Distortion’s Live at the Roxy) or they reek of “you-had-to-be-there”ism because the sound is recorded from a hand held recorder in the crowd. Although a huge Raygun fan, I’ll admit that they had a couple of songs that sounded out of gas near the end of their run. Those two potential caveats aside, holy fucking shit, this is an awesome CD. Not only is it a great, clear, very alive document of one of the finest punk bands ever to come out of the Midwest, it’s a perfect capsule of NR’s finest hours distilled down to twenty-two songs. Being so, I’d actually suggest this as both an introduction to someone who’s never heard their inventive, challenging, yet rock solid music and to someone who owns all of their previous output if they’re looking for a perfect set. Fuckin’ cool. When’s the last time you listened to twenty-two songs in a row and kept on saying, “No, that’s my favorite”? –todd (Haunted Town)


MUNICIPAL WASTE/BAD ACID TRIP:
Split: 7" EP
Municipal: Hyper-speed hardcore band pays tribute to Kurt Russell. Fast and tight musically, but was kinda put off that they didn’t pay homage to the man’s career with Disney, which included starring roles in such unforgettable films as The Absent Minded Professor, Follow Me Boys and The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes. Bad Acid: Although the grind influence is still in full effect, it actually sounds like they’ve slowed down a bit. Strangely, they remind me of early Bulimia Banquet on a couple of tracks. –jimmy (Municipal Waste)


MOTORMAGS:
Simple Made Easy: CD
I have always hated Mötley Crüe and I lost interest in Judas Priest two decades ago. Seeing as these guys sound like a cross between the two, guess what I think about ’em. –jimmy (www.motormagsrock.com)


MOONEY SUZUKI, THE:
Electric Sweat: CD
Oh, thank god. Another crucial reissue of forgotten garage rock from way back in the garage rock heyday of nine months ago. If you don't know what this crap is all about, I will warn you. The lead singer of the Mooney Suzuki looks like the lead singer of Steppenwolf. The cover of this album looks like the cover of the first Grand Funk Railroad album, and in fact, my dad actually thought it was a Grand Funk Railroad CD. "In a Young Man's Mind" is what "Kick Out the Jams" would sound like if it were played by soulless Grand Funk Railroad fans who replaced the revolutionary lyrics with dumb rockstar stuff about Jimmy Page and girls. A couple of songs sound like Neil Diamond minus the kitsch factor that makes Neil Diamond appealing to some people. Most of the songs sound like (surprise!) Steppenwolf and Grand Funk Railroad, complete with all the wanky arena rock clichés that appeal to the legions of Aerosmith and Bon Jovi pants-pissing fanboys. I would have forgotten what this sounded like if the "look how cool we are" attitude hadn't irritated me so much. If you like licking testicles and you listen to the Strokes, this is an essential part of your CD collection that will be traded in when you read about the next fad in Spin. Garage rock revival? If garage rock is what you are looking for, Tim Kerr has been in about seventy-five bands and they are all better than this. –Josh (Columbia)


MONSTERS, THE:
I See Dead People: CD
Trashy ‘60s fuzz rock with an over-the-top screamer leading the pack. Some of the tracks are a little more formulaic than’s good for ’em, as you can pretty much guess which tunes they’re based upon, but in all, this is some pretty good stuff. –jimmy (Voodoo Rhythm)


MILLOY/THE LEIF ERICSSON:
Split: CD
Milloy: I reviewed their Autodrivel CD a while back and I was an even split on this band. I feel the same way now. It’s recorded well and the songs are catchy and strong. I’m not really qualified to make too much of a judgement since I don’t really buy or listen to this type of punk. Off my previous review, I noted Hot Water Music, Leatherface and Samiam as the style of their music, based on the information that came with the latter disc. So my tip would be if you like the aforementioned bands, give this a try. The Leif Ericsson: This band I can relate to better. First thing I noticed on their opening track, Red with Nine, was the cool new wave sounding keyboards. They mix that with a cool, quenching dose of UK punk that is melodic, poppy and fun. The rest of their tracks lack the keyboards, but I was hooked, lined and sinkered like a trout in a fresh water lake. The songs had a raw edge to them and brought my ears to attention. This is my favorite band of the two. –don (Crackle)


MILKMAN:
Is This Punk Enough For You?: CD
Nothing like a dose of speedy Dutch hardcore to get the blood bumping while you’re at work waiting for the leader of your country to break damn near every international law available and wave his middle finger at the rest of the world by engaging in the business of “regime change.” This is really good stuff here and fans of DS-13 and the like should take note. –jimmy (www.geocities.com/tysonkangaroo)


MIDNIGHT EVILS, THE:
Straight ‘Til Morning: CD
“Play some Skynard!!!” exclaims someone in the yankage plus intro to “Bad Machine.” They’ve got some heavy bass lines and the kind of drums that make you sweat while tapping along so furiously on your hips that you wake up with a giant bruise to pronounce your dorkiness. Fuck yeah is not even close to the expression of the pure enjoyment one will indulge in buying this record. It’s equal parts punk, blues, rock’rowwwllll. Midnight Evils draw heavily from the likes of Kiss, Radio Birdman, Nine Pound Hammer and Skynard. It’s like they all got in a big fight and lost and were forced to play together with magnificent results. Fans of true rock’n’roll, your time has come – get Midnight Evils before they’re gone. Rock out with your cock out. I hate that phrase but it somehow fits. –nam (Estrus)


MIDNIGHT EVILS, THE:
Straight Til Morning: CD
Rock’n’roll in the vein of the Dwarves with a strong garage feel. They’re probably great live, but this just doesn’t grab me. –megan (Estrus)


MIDNIGHT EVILS, THE:
Straight : CD
Ah yes, good ol' straight-up, nut-crunching rawknroll is alive and well and kicking heads in – despite all the ghastly Mengele-esque experiments that have been done to it recently. Overall, the mighty Midnight Evils fall somewhere between the Candy Snatchers and Super Shitty to the Max-era Hellacopters. Good company in my book. Dirt-spitting, beer-soaked bad ass punk rawk that will clear out a room full of emos quicker than a sweater sale at TJ Maxx. –aphid (Estrus)


MEET THE VIRUS:
Self-titled: CD
I absolutely LOATHED Naked Aggression and, seeing as two of the people responsible for that monstrosity-cum-band are involved in this one, suffice it to say that this ain’t one iota better. You would think that someone who studied classical music might be able to come up with at least one good song, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Particularly frightening was the hidden track, an abysmal cover of Judas Priest’s “Breakin’ the Law.” –jimmy (Know)


MATERIALISTICS:
Tomorrow is Fat and Old: CD
Think the Dead Boys without the Detroit influence. Not bad. –jimmy (Super Secret)


MATCHES, THE:
E. Von Dahl Killed the Locals: CD
This tries very hard to be Weezer, and even falls very short of that. Two of the guys did the artwork, which is way better than the album. Maybe they should stick to that. –megan (www.thematches.com)


MARVELS, THE:
Self-titled: CD
The Marvels are in my top five best live shows ever and I’ve seen them more than fifty times, easily. Originally from Portland, ME, transplanted to Boston, these boys put on such an energetic, drunken cluster fuck that leaves you drenched in beer, sweat, and insults and only wanting more. The CD lets you actually hear how fucking good it really is, but the energy just doesn’t come through as much in the recording. There’s a lot going on in the music that I never caught on to live. It all blends and works off one another, rather than one part played over the other to cover up a weakness, kind of like D4 that way. They just don’t have weak spots. Staffy’s vocals are raspy and raw (think Black Halos), which just make it even better. Whodda thought a tubby-ass band could sound so good? –megan (www.themarvels.net)


MAD CADDIES:
Just One More: CD
Maybe it’s the mood I’ve been in lately, but this disc does not appeal to me right now. I’ve liked the band’s previous releases, but this time around they sound like Homegrown. –don (Fat)


MACHINE GUN PETE AND THE AMMUNITION:
The Rawness of Truth: 7"
These guys make Billy Childish’s output sound like a 48-track studio, but the absolute crudeness works, somehow, and it’s got me scratching my belly in slight wonder. Underneath the tin cans acting as cymbals, the bass lines falling out, and the spittle-strewn, cancer polyp screaming there are some undeniable hooks. Kinda the aural equivalent a weaving drunk who was a golden gloves boxer decades before. It’s deviant trashcan rock by people you’d probably never invite inside but enjoy on the street corner for at least four songs. Forget garage rock, here’s curb rock in league with the Crypt Kickers and Hasil Adkins. –todd (Dylaramma)


LOST SOUNDS, THE:
Rat: CD
This band just keeps getting better and better. It’s more doomy, creepy, and complex than anything else that they have done, while still retaining the great hooks. I'd say more but I'm kind of at a loss for words, although I do hope that one day "FORMER MEMBERS OF THE REATARDS! REATARDS REATARDS REATARDS!!!" won't be such a selling point for the Lost Sounds. –Josh (Empty)


LOADS, THE:
Beach Banshee: 7"
Have to give them credit. Most of the band members are still in high school and are getting a head start in the right direction when their schoolmates are sucking whatever disposable nü-dong music the radio’s currently playing. They’ve got a lot of the trappings of prototypical OC punk – Crowd-style bright guitar, Tim McVeigh of Smogtown on drums, early Social Distortion scratchiness, and a love of the beach. It’s also mixed in with a more straight-up love of rock (mostly with the mid tempos). All that said, it’s okay. My jaw’s not dropping and I’m not rushing out the door to see them, but I’d stick around and see them play and, if they needed it, help them lift their bass cabinet up on stage. –todd (Pelado)


LAST TARGET:
What Caused the Problem? b/w God’s Gamble: 7"
Fuck yeah! Right when the needle hit the wax I knew this was going to be good. It’s a Japanese band featuring one of the ladies from Thug Murder oscillating her vocals with a guy. It’s snarly, seamless, tooth-rattling punk rock with both barrels a-blazin’ that’s less oi and more straight-ahead punk than her previous outfit. If I have to make some comparisons, I’d go with she sounds like a glass-gurgling Joan Jett in a band as talented and scorching as The Urchin (lots of effortless time changes and bits of flash) but more intentionally rough and burly. I have no idea what they’re singing about, but at the end, it sounds like “Death Star, Death Star, Death Star. Grraarrh!” Can’t help but like this. Recommended. –todd (TKO)


LANTERNJACK, THE:
Look Alive: CD
Kinda rock, kinda punk, kinda like Soundgarden, kinda sure it’s gonna end up in the shit pile. –jimmy (Lowdown)


LANGHORNS:
Mission Exotica: CD
Straight-outta-the-‘60s (by way of present-day Sweden) neo-loungesurf with Middle Eastern and Latin influences that push it past the level of other popular astroplanet surftwangers, so far past that you can’t even go there without a highball in one hand. If Langhorns were a cereal, it’d be inedible because they don’t make shit like this anymore. –Cuss Baxter (Bad Taste)


LAB RATS, THE / SCISSORHANDS:
Split: LP
The Lab Rats: Pull the trick of having me listen to their side of the split a good five times and fail to have a distinguishing characteristic to call their own. They cover (quarter-assedly) a Charles Bronson tune. They point a few fingers. They play riffs that would have been better not the thousandth and first time. Scissorhands: Their four tracks remind me of the Nerve Agents but not as good. It’s hardcore that’s looking back to the beginning of the ‘80s for inspiration (think Unity) with melodic instruments (think pre-Danzig fixated AFI) with screamed vocals. Well beaten ground. Unfortunately, this is forgettable stuff. –todd (Left of the Dial)


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