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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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SAW WHEEL/MADELINE:
split: 7"
Saw Wheel: I really like this. I can’t quite pin down who the singer sounds like other than the singer for Lucero. It’s that acoustic rock with a folk influence rather than folk rock. Madeline: The warbles of Joan Baez meets the cadence of Tori Amos. I’m ashamed I can compare anything to them. –megan (Hill Billy Stew)


SAW WHEEL/ MILKCRATE RUSTLERS, THE:
split: 7"
Saw Wheel: This makes me feel like taking a road trip. It’d be the perfect soundtrack to going home after a long absence. That feel of familiarity is captured here. Milkcrate Rustlers: Man, this confused me. There’s no way to tell which band is on which side, or any indication of what sped to play. I went back and forth, kind of deciding it sounded better on 33 1/3, but the Saw Wheel side made it obvious it was a 45. At the right speed, I like the banjo more, but the vocals get a bit annoying.  –megan (Hill Billy Stew)


SHOWOFFS, THE:
Shocker: 7"
The Showoffs have a lot in common with bands I really like. This is fast and raw and fucked up enough to sound like it could’ve been on the legendary Beach Blvd. comp. These songs have a lot to do with the early Crowd songs, but also sound a lot like the Bodies and other Hostage bands. This record would come heavily recommended, but the lyrics are just too repetitive. Shocker is one of those records that you listen to and you can guess the names of all the songs on the first listen because “Psycho Girl” goes, “She’s a psycho girl/ psycho girl/ psycho girl/ (repeat indefinitely)” and “Pyromaniac” goes “Pyromaniac/ pyromaniac/ pyromaniac (repeat indefinitely).” There’s also a naked lady on the cover, too. I just thought that would be a good thing to mention. –sean (Noma Beach)


SHOCKWAVE:
The Ultimate Doom: CD
Growly-voiced, tough guy eunuch metal. –jimmy (Triple Crown)


SIDEKICK:
So Far Away: CD
Not too exciting. Not too bad. When you think of SoCal punk in its latest incarnation, this is what it would sound like. Very palatable with a melodic surf backbeat. I could very well see this band becoming popular. Pennywise fans should take note. –don (Gale Force)


SAVING FACE:
Holiday Cruise: CD
Squeaky clean, apple-pie-face pop punk. Includes songs with titles like “Fuck You” and “The Slut Song” to show that they’re mischievous and edgy. Truth be told, I don’t know what’s more pathetic: that this was even made or that there’s a demographic in existence that would pay money to own a copy –jimmy (High Fidelity)


ROCKET FROM THE TOMBS:
Rocket Redux: CD
Considering there’s precious little info here, I have no idea when this was recorded, although my guess would be sometime during their recent spate of reunion gigs. No matter, as it’s just peachy to finally have a clear, coherent document of these guys finally available, and to hear David Thomas’ inimitable warble on classics like “Sonic Reducer,” “What Love Is,” “Ain’t It Fun,” “30 Seconds Over Tokyo,” and “Final Solution” is more than worth the price of admission. What may be lacking in rawness and youthful energy they more than make up for with hard swagger, as evidenced in a seriously rockin’ “Never Gonna Kill Myself Again.” Put more succinctly, I’m fuggin’ stoked I own a copy of this. –jimmy (www.smogveil.com)


RIVERBOAT GAMBLERS / THROW RAG:
A Tribute to the Big Boys: 7"
To be completely honest, I’m a huge fan of almost everyone involved in this. I realize this 7” is a footnote to their respective works, which I’d suggest you seek out if you haven’t head yet. The Riverboat Gamblers cover “Fun, Fun, Fun,” and, in comparison to Something to Crow About (which former Big Boy, current Now Time Delegation-er Tim Kerr helped out on), their cover isn’t as Fourth of July in the front of your brain. The vocals are a tad muddled, and the energy isn’t as crackling. A very good cover, just not quite up to the A+ bar I’ve set for the Gamblers. Throw Rag: Biscuit’s chesty wail is replaced by more of a twang and a demented country/sailor feel, which is right up Throw Rag’s crooked alley. They set a controlled fire through “Red/Green” with chops to spare. The silk-screened cover art of three-headed skeletons by Lindsey Kuhn sweetens the deal. Not essential, but a very cool artifact that I’m glad I got, nonetheless. –todd (Dateshake; www.dateshakerecords.com)


RIPPERS, THE:
Pudör Cronica: 7"
Side one is a raucous rock anthem and side two is a rippin’ version of “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” both of which are sung in what sounds like Portuguese, but might be a Spanish dialect I don’t recognize. If you’re smart enough to already own their No Mört CD, this compliments it nicely.  –jimmy (Ripper)


ROMA DELENDA EST/ FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC:
Split: 7"
Roma: Noisy modern hardcore, with warped rhythms and musical prowess a-shinin’, but still failing to impress in any way. Flowers: more of the same, a little more restrained with the schizophrenic rhythmic variations, but still ain’t doin’ much for these ears. –jimmy (www.mccarthyism.org)


RODRIGUEZ:
Self-titled: CD
Overdriven distorto-trash punk here that manages to hit all the right buttons. Lowery’s a retard if he doesn’t hunt these kids down and give them anything they want to record for him, ‘cause if any band screamed “Rip Off Fodder,” these guys do. Recommended, and how.  –jimmy (Swindlebra)


S’AINT WILLY:
Meat: CD
Rare is it when a release renders me completely speechless. This, my friends, is just such a release and it managed to do so with the first two tracks alone. The songs in question, “All of God’s Creatures Are Delicious with Beer” and the ode to bacon “You Picked A Swine Time to Eat Me and Squeal,” are just so goddamned WRONG in these hyper-sensitive, post-PC times, where even thinking about a ham sandwich relegates you to the lower echelons of ünter-dickdom. S’aint Willy and his cohorts are headed straight to H-E-DUBBLE-HOCKEYSTICKS, no doubt. Thank goodness they’ve provided those of us sure to follow them, clutching our pastramis on rye, with the perfect soundtrack on our way down into the abyss. Now, the real trick is to figure out which of my vegan buddies deserves a copy of this next Xmas. –jimmy (www.kaom.com)


RESIDUALS, THE:
Atom Bomb: 7" EP
On the back they’re wearin’ TSOL and Black Flag shirts, but their reliance on the same Discharge-worshippin’ cloneisms you get from so many spiky-headed punker bands these days belies considerably less creative spark and originality than their T-shirt heroes.  –jimmy (Pair O Docs)


REAL LOSERS:
Go Nutzoid!: 7” EP
Lo-fi trash rock from England. It’s catchy in its box chord glory, but I must not be in the mood or something ‘cause it ain’t movin’ me whatsoever. –jimmy (Wrench)


RAMBLER 454:
No Name Café: CD
I didn’t like this kind of stuff when it was put out by Johnny Cougar. Or John Cougar Mellencamp for that matter. –megan (Readyfireaim)


RAINY DAY SAINTS:
Saturday’s Haze: CD
Excellently executed solo project from the Keystone State (Pennsylvania oughtta sue that weak-ass beer with the mountains on the can for character defamation) that makes me touch the doll in the same spots as 20/20, the Jesus & Mary Chain and the one good Pixies album (i.e. the fourth one) did... and i kinda like it, so don’t tell anyone about what happened. Of course, i didn’t really like it when he was touching my Neil Young spot, and i was just confused when he was rubbing my Paul Simon unit, but the guitars were always up good’n’loud in the mix, so what the fuck did i care? Owing to the stylistic mish-mosh in place here – although the album has a certain beefy uniformity to it, things run the gamut from minor-chord laden ballads to things like “Lookout,” which sorta sound like “Electric” era Cult playing Hollies covers (which is good) (and definitely on the correct side of the Graham Nash timeline) (implying that the side where he leaves the Hollies to be in a band with Neil Young would be the wrong side) (which is right) – a whole hog recommendation would be a bit like passing off Neapolitan ice cream as Strawberry, so i’ll just state for the official ledger that about a third of this record is great, and another third isn’t half bad. Which i guess makes it three-sixths great? I think i’ll listen to “Lookout” again. You can check the math independently. BEST SONG: “Lookout” BEST SONG TITLE: “YOU!” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: I was flipping through a free issue of Rolling Stone last week and on that little chart in the back where they list the Top Ten in record sales at one random record store somewhere in America each issue, this CD was #10. I still say it’s pretty good, though.  –norb (Get Hip!)


RAINY DAY SAINTS:
Saturday’s Haze: CD
Excellently executed solo project from the Keystone State (Pennsylvania oughtta sue that weak-ass beer with the mountains on the can for character defamation) that makes me touch the doll in the same spots as 20/20, the Jesus & Mary Chain and the one good Pixies album (i.e. the fourth one) did... and i kinda like it, so don’t tell anyone about what happened. Of course, i didn’t really like it when he was touching my Neil Young spot, and i was just confused when he was rubbing my Paul Simon unit, but the guitars were always up good’n’loud in the mix, so what the fuck did i care? Owing to the stylistic mish-mosh in place here – although the album has a certain beefy uniformity to it, things run the gamut from minor-chord laden ballads to things like “Lookout,” which sorta sound like “Electric” era Cult playing Hollies covers (which is good) (and definitely on the correct side of the Graham Nash timeline) (implying that the side where he leaves the Hollies to be in a band with Neil Young would be the wrong side) (which is right) – a whole hog recommendation would be a bit like passing off Neapolitan ice cream as Strawberry, so i’ll just state for the official ledger that about a third of this record is great, and another third isn’t half bad. Which i guess makes it three-sixths great? I think i’ll listen to “Lookout” again. You can check the math independently. BEST SONG: “Lookout” BEST SONG TITLE: “YOU!” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: I was flipping through a free issue of Rolling Stone last week and on that little chart in the back where they list the Top Ten in record sales at one random record store somewhere in America each issue, this CD was #10. I still say it’s pretty good, though.  –norb (Get Hip!)


RAJOITUS:
Discography: CD
If you thought the only thing Scandinavia was good for anymore was black metal and bad ‘70s rock, here’s some mind-blowing, crucial fjordcore madness here in the classic mold of bands like Mob 47 and Protes Bengt that’ll slap that notion right outta your head. A total of forty-one tracks, from three 7-inchers and a 12-inch spanning the years 1995-’98, are here for your aural enjoyment and the displeasure of all the fake-ass punker wannabes at your school. Best news of all is that this band is apparently still going strong. You can bet your sweet patootie this is recommended. –jimmy (Hardcore Holocaust)


RADIO REELERS:
Shakin’ at the Party: CD
One part Weird Lovemakers and one part The Fells should make a better than substandard band, right? I don’t know if it’s the water, but San Francisco can really make good players go bad. –Wanda Sprag –Guest Contributor (Dead Beat)


RADIO BEATS:
Blow You Up: 7” EP
Rambunctious Rip Off rock’n’roll. A much better song selection than the split with the Give Ups mentioned elsewhere. S’cuze me while I get the air guitar a twangin’.  –jimmy (Big Neck)


PULLEY:
Matters: CD
I used to know and hang out with the singer, Scott, when he was singing in Scared Straight while he was still in high school and before he played pro baseball. That was fifteen years ago or so and I haven’t seen him since. Afterwards, he was in Ten Foot Pole and then put together Pulley. I don’t have the first Pulley record and haven’t seen the band but I do have the rest of the releases. This, being their fifth full-length, shows that they have come a long way from their initial 1996 release. Every new release that comes this way, I hear a comfortable and familiar sound that is always palatable. If you haven’t heard them before, they are kindred spirits to Bad Religion, infusing thoughtful lyrics with a melodic backbone. I have nothing bad to say and can always count on this band to provide me with enough energy to not bore me. They always include enough pop overtones to keep my toes tapping. –don (Epitaph)


POST-HASTE:
Untitled: CD
One of those bands that sound interesting enough to pay attention when you hear ‘em on the radio but not interesting enough to find out who they are. –jimmy (Ionik)


PONYS, THE:
Laced with Romance: CD
Man, people love this record. I keep hearing how “fierce” and “rock” they are. I don’t know, I hear a lot of the Cure and think it’s okay. –megan (In The Red)


PLOT TO BLOW UP THE EIFFEL TOWER:
If You Cut Us We Bleed: CDEP
Skronk rock, strangely reminiscent of a less jazzy Saccharine Trust in a pisser of a mood. Can’t decide whether I thought it was the bee’s knees or not, but it did make the past seven minutes of my life a little more interesting. –jimmy (HCNL)


PIEBALD:
All Ears, All Eyes, All the Time: CD
You know, I could say that this record makes “She’s Like the Wind” by Patrick Swayze sound like “Whole Lotta Rosie,” but I don’t think anybody who listens to this band has ever heard “Whole Lotta Rosie.” Thanks for the jewel case, though. –Josh (Side One Dummy)


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