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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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CD TRUTH:
Chemically Dependent: CD
A little reminiscent of Smogtown, only with less intensity, less surf punk twang and more ‘70s punk leanings. Still manages to hit all the right spots, though. –jimmy (F.I.M.P.)


CAREER SUICIDE: : 7” :
Self-titled: 7"
Seven blasts that come off musically like a cross between IQ32-era Necros and Blood, Guts and Pussy-era Dwarves, meaning the songs are speedy without getting ridiculous and are well executed. Good stuff. –jimmy (Kangaroo)


BURY THE LIVING:
Bathed in Blood and Climbing Over the Dead: 7"
Shit howdy, this is some smokin’ hardcore. Things start off with a short, fast as hell ditty called “Your Colors May Not Run But I’ll Bet They Fucking Burn,” and then takes the speed down a notch for the remainder of the proceedings, even throwing a swing-tinged breakdown in the middle of one of the songs. The lyrics are strong and political, but coming off more pissed than whiny. A couple of the tunes take on 9/11, openly confronting the jingoism that has been unleashed in its aftermath and addressing the point that maybe the US finally got back a little of what it’s been dishing out to others for years. You get six tunes in all from these Tennessee boyos and not a bad one can be found in the bunch. –jimmy (Kangaroo)


BURN YOUR BRIDGES:
Self-titled: CD
It’s really nice to hear hardcore that recalls bands you’ve always loved (NOTA, Poison Idea, Reagan Youth) and beefs it up with changes and chops and noise and yet just sounds like they’re having fun rather than trying to be something that they’re not, or to out-hardcore or out-grind the next bunch of rockheads. Burn Your Bridges does it like champs, and as a two-piece no less. Not a weak or superfluous moment (and there are quite a few moments on here), but I wish I could figure out what the hell “Elf Defecation Barter” is about. –Cuss Baxter (Deep Six)


BUMP-N-UGLIES:
The All American 4 Pack: 7"
This is a band I’ve only heard one song at a time in various compilations. Everything I have heard consistently kicks ass. This time, I get four whole songs by them and they don’t let me down. Their music is hard rockin’ punk with some funny lyrics. They seem to be big fans of wrestling as well (“It Ain’t Cheatin’ If the Ref Ain’t Lookin’). “Hard Core Pride” is my personal favorite. This might instantly make you think they are giving props to hardcore music. Even better… hardcore porn. “Eighteen years old, nothing to do/ can’t drink or smoke, ‘cause your friends won’t approve/ dirty bookstore, you go inside/ its time to represent hard core pride!” It’s definitely got me singing along with fist in the air. It’s nice to see bands sing something so near and dear to my heart. Now I just need my Hard Core Pride tee shirt (hint hint). This is on Low Down Recordings, which seems to be a brand new label since this and one other recording are the only things on their website catalog. So why not help this fledging label out @ www.lowdownrecordings.com. (Hey B-N-U, how ‘bout that tee shirt now?) –toby (Low Down)


BLOWCHUNKS:
Self-titled: 7"
Two raw, straightforward rock/punk jams from Germany that just as easily could’ve come from Scandinavia, if you catch my drift. “Baby’s Got a Dick” is my pick as the better of the two tunes because it’s faster. –jimmy (High School)


BLISTERHEAD:
Punk Royale: CD
The Rancid shirt and scowl on one of the guys on the cover should tell you all you need to know about them. –jimmy (KOB)


BLASTMAT:
MCMLXXIV: CD
A punk band striving for that 1984 feel. Trouble is, the metal touch to the guitars makes it feel more like 1986 than ‘84. Liked the live tracks better than the studio tracks. –jimmy (www.blasmat.freeservers.com)


BLACKLIST BRIGADE/SMUT PEDDLERS:
Split: CD
Blacklist Brigade play raw, tough punk rock. They sound like they learned the right lessons from Cocksparrer and the Business, but also from OrangeCounty punk rock, from Social Distortion to the US Bombs. If Hostage Records moved to London, their first order of business would be to sign Blacklist Brigade. Luckily, Hostage can stay where it is because the BB boys have started their own internet fanzine (www.nofrontteeth.co.uk) and their own record label, and they’re doing an awesome job of things on their own. Blacklist Brigade has four new songs on this split, and all of them are great. The Smut Peddlers are also a great band, and I fully endorse them, and, if you haven’t picked up a Smut Peddlers album yet, you should buy Ism today. That said, all four songs on their half of this split are previously released. They’re four great songs, but I have to say that I’m bummed when I play a brand new CD and I already know all the words to half of the songs. Shit, though, I recommend this sucker anyway. –sean (No Front Teeth)


BLACK LIPS:
Self-titled: CD
Nuggets-soaked ‘60s trash rock. I can also hear maybe just a pinch of Modern Lovers in there as well. –jimmy (www.bomp.com)


BETTY BLOWTORCH:
Last Call: CD
The CD cover sez this is “a collection of rarities, outtakes, live performances and fan favorites celebrating the life, music and wit of the late Bianca Butthole, the undisputed queen of kooks, whose life was cut tragically short in a New Orleans car crash, December 2001.” This CD has songs by Butt Trumpet and Betty Blowtorch. It’s a total beer-drenched rock and roll experience that reminds me of everything from the Loudmouths to L7 to even some early Hole. Pretty good. –Maddy (Foodchain)


BEERZONE:
British Streetpunk: CD
Well, this was a nice surprise. Nice early Peter and the Test Tube Babies-influenced punk rock, meaning that there’s a good dose of humor injected into the proceedings, as evidenced by titles like “Viagra,” “Saturday Night Beaver,” and “I’ve Got the Munchies.” I could swear “20th Century” is a cover, but I can’t quite place it. No matter, ’cause I’ve got another band to add to my “favorite groups” list and I’m a much better man for it. –jimmy (Captain Oi)


BEERZONE/MISGUIDED:
Split: LP
Beerzone: A live set here from my one of my new favorite bands. The sound quality ain’t exactly the best, but you can hear what’s goin’ on and the performance itself is spirited. Misguided: Vaguely SLF- influenced street punk, right down to a cover of an old reggae tune; in this case the Slickers’ “Johnny Too Bad.” They ain’t bad on the whole, and are at the very least miles ahead of many others out there peddlin’ this sound. –jimmy (77 RPM)


BATTALION 86:
And the Spirit Survives: CD
John Ashcroft approved punk rock? Hmmm. Post 9/11 ruminations and threats from beefy bald oi boys swaddling themselves in Old Glory and marking their territory like a pack of pitbulls with the runs. This is all about turf – both the geographical sort and the kind that grows on the top of your head. In other words, if your hair-to-skin ratio is a wee bit off and you haven’t gotten yourself straight with Uncle Sam, these flag-wankers might just track you down (with the help of Homeland Security?) and feed you your lunch – the croutons on your salad are going to be your own teeth, if you get what I mean. I wish my dyslexia worked on scrambling incoming information as well as out-going, because then I could side-step the Archie Bunker lyrics and enjoy the punchy metal rock and the cool Baron Von Raschke voice. I would highly recommend the Dixie Chicks stay as far away from these patrio-bullies as possible. Orange Alert on the jingoistic meathead meter. Goes great with a super-sized order of Freedom Fries. –aphid (Reality Clash)


BASSHOLES:
Out in the Treetops: 2 X 7”
I must be living in an alternate universe. Bands I don’t quite understand as being garage have vaulted to the top of the charts. Real ball busters as varied as The Jewws, The Dirtbombs, The Stupor Stars, The Pinkz, The Bassholes, and anything Tim Kerr’s been involved in in the last fifteen odd years, continue largely unabated, ignored by the national press. One day soon, when the majors’ mine shaft is overpopulated and they all die in their orgy from self-congratulatory asphyxiation, I’m putting a couple of donuts and some Vicodin up as a bet that the Bassholes will continue to sweat, scream, and writhe. These seven songs cover the gamut from Iggy and the Stooges to Joy Division. They retain the cyst and shambles approach to good, old-fashioned, low budget creep rock’n’roll that’s way more in tune with Screamin’ Jay Hawkins than some fussy, pouty dude in too-tight pants worrying about how fat his wallet is getting. Thumbs up. –todd (Dead Canary)


BARSE:
Council Estate: 7"
Oh, look, another ’77 revival band, from England of all places. Imagine that. Typical Buzz Pistol and the Stiff Little Hot Dogs clone. A limp-wristed attempt at a tired sound, and they do lots of cool punk rock things like repeat the chorus of each song about a thousand times to show how punk rock they are. Sorry, guys, but the ante has been upped in the past twenty-six years. –Not Josh –Guest Contributor (Rapid Pulse)


BALANCE OF TERROR/ STRAIGHT TO HELL:
Split: 7"
There’s something cleansing about no-bullshit, full-speed-ahead hardcore. It’s sort of like sandpaper. You feel like you can rub it against anything – politics, dogmatism, bad jobs, being penniless, and marginalized – and by its abrasive friction, it makes things shinier. Hitting darkness with its own form of rough force. Now that Victory Records is courting boy bands, it’s high time that hardcore get reclaimed by bands like these, who take cues from Negative Approach, From Ashes Rise, and Deaththreat. I like Balance of Terror a tad more. They’ve already broke up, and it’s a shame. I always wonder at bands who go so fast but can weave in different ways and actually hook a melody deep inside the fast-moving blades, dropping cues on how the genre can redevelop itself instead of merely repeating. –todd (Partners In Crime)


BABY LITTLE TABLETS:
Self-titled: CD
If you’re like me, you might be asking yourself, “What kind of dumb ass name is Baby Little Tablets?” As soon as the vocals kicked in on this one, I realized that it’s one of those names that probably makes perfect sense in Japanese but doesn’t translate well to English, like Guitar Wolf. It seems like there are a lot of good Leatherface-influenced bands coming out of Japan these days, and this is no exception. It’s kind of like a less polished version of the Urchin, although lacking a lot of the hooks. This is a real good band that I look forward to hearing more from, but I still say that the best Japanese punk band ever was the Registrators. –Not Josh –Guest Contributor (Boss Tuneage)


AVENGING DISCO GODFATHERS OF SOUL, THE:
The Ultimate in Authenticity and Musical Usefulness: CD
Probably the most misleading band name ever. It doesn’t sound like the Avengers playing disco or the Godfathers playing soul or any other possible combination of those words. It’s actually downtuned metalcore with really bizarre breaks: sometimes they’re jazzy, sometimes they’re noisy, sometimes they sound like video game music or something. If you actually paid attention to this review and all that sounds like your idea of a good time, remind me to not hang out with you. –Not Josh –Guest Contributor (Alone)


ASSERT:
Riotous Assembly: CD
Speedy, loud English hardcore with metallic underpinnings. Not all that impressed with them, but they do make a mean racket –jimmy (Malt Soda)


APERS, THE:
The Buzz Electric: CD
Rotterdam's finest (and who are you to say otherwise?) appear to be attempting to recast Screeching Weasel's Wiggle in their own 21st Century image (or perhaps merely for King & Country), and bearing in mind that the elapsed time between That and This is now in excess of a full decade, that's not the fool's quest one might initially dismiss it as. However, whilst Wiggle's greatest strength of substance was its more-or-less nuts-on depiction of twentysomething disillusionment 'n' survival and its greatest strength of structure was shaking up its own "Crying in My Beer" status quo at the two-thirds-thru mark with a pair of punk-and-nothing-but crankers (the Teenage Head cover and "Automatic Rejector"), The Buzz Electric, seemingly by its own admission, presents its own style AS the primary stuff of its substance (i.e., pop-punk for pop-punk's sake), and its sole stylistic shakeup two-thirds of the way in is a "Too Many Twinkies"/"I Can't Stop Farting" retardo-Queers type number, "Too Many Backpacks at the Show." I mean, essentially, the Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice is in place, but the whole concoction still seems a bit scant on the Element X™ – and like most native English speakers, i continue to maintain the possibly ridiculously naive viewpoint that European bands would be capable of creating a much more effective Rock'n'Roll Powerpuff™ Girl if they sang at least portions of each song in their native tongue. They'd be number Ain with a bullet! BEST SONG: "Almost Summer" BEST SONG TITLE: "Too Many Backpacks at the Show" FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Since, in every other picture of Jerry Hormone i have, he's either kissing our bass player or grabbing my crotch with his pants around his knees, i was very enheartened to see him depicted in the company of females herein. –norb (Stardumb)


ANGRY AMPUTEES:
Slut Bomb: CD
I remember seeing this band up in Santa Barbara a few years back, and damn if this CD doesn’t remind me of how cool of a live band these Angry Amputees are (speaking of Satan Barbara, aren’t the fifteen minutes up for that band, The Ataris? Who’s in charge of watching the clock and keeping time? Their fifteen minutes are over, for fuck’s sake. They need to go away. Now. How dare that band desecrate the happy memories of early ‘80s home videogaming, especially mine in grade school. FUCK!). Ahem… anyways, this is a band you should be checking out. It’s chock fulla chunked-up rock punk that I found myself playing more and more this past week, kind of like the catchy commercial on the television you catch yourself humming along to word-for-word unexpectedly. Not to compare the Amputees to a TV commercial, ‘cause that wouldn’t be fair – commercials usually get the finger from yours truly, but the Angry Amputees get both my thumbs up. Enough hooks and different song tempos to keep your fat head occupied for awhile, not just the same old thrash and bash with monkey beats in the background. Choice butcher block cuts here include “Vanity Fair Blackout,” “She’s Got It All,” and the wonderfully done, early Muffs-sounding rocker, “Put Me to Bed.” Not a bad release, not bad at all. –dale (Dead Teenager)


ANGELIC UPSTARTS:
We Gotta Get Out of This Place: CD
A reissue of album number two, this one featuring punk/oi staples “Police Oppression,” “Never ’ad Nothin’,” and many others as well as a couple more single B-sides. Right up there in quality to their first album and featuring more of what made that album so great, although they probably could’ve skipped the cover of the title track, originally a hit in the ‘60s for the Animals. –jimmy (Captain Oi)


ANGELIC UPSTARTS:
Teenage Warning: CD
Hear that? That’s me kicking a hole in my wall as I crank this bad boy full volume. This, a reissue of the band’s classic first album, still sounds as great as it did way back when. Primal punk ranting and raving, football terrace chant choruses and classics like “The Murder of Liddle Towers,” “I’m an Upstart,” and “Leave Me Alone” make this a must-have for any self-respecting punk fan. To sweeten the deal, Captain Oi has tacked on the single versions of “LiddleTowers” and “Police Oppression.” –jimmy (Captain Oi)


ALLSTONIANS, THE:
Bottoms Up!: CD
I’m listening to ska again, and once again it’s due to Matt Maloney, drummer of the Allstonians. During the late ‘90s, when everything was ska (if you took ska to be No Doubt, checkers, and skanking), Matt not only hosted a ska show on the local Portland, Maine college radio, but also DJed once a month on Thursday at a club called Zootz (RIP). His presentation of ska (Jamaican ska, dub, dancehall, and a little bluebeat) was so unpopular that the club would bring swank couches onto the dance floor so the ten people there could be comfortable. Before that he put out a zine called Stay Rude (the radio show and club night went by the same name). He was dedicated and passionate about the music that he considered ska, but he didn’t just talk the talk, he knew his shit. I never listened to the Allstonians before Matt joined them, but Bottoms Up!, their first release in (I think) about six years, is strongly impressive. They are true to the sound of their early influences. The Allstonians make it easy to see how difficult it is to master ska, as so many fall far below, which is probably why I’ve barely gone near my ska records in years. It all comes down to two things – their accuracy and their proficiency. Thanks to the Allstonians, not only have I been playing their album, but Desmond Dekker, The Skatalites, and Justin Hinds have found their way back to the turntable as well. Matt, I owe you a beer the next time I’m back east. –megan (Fork In Hand)


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