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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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TOO MANY DAVES:
2008: A Shit Faced Odyssey: 7”EP
Stupid is a slippery slope. Too Many Daves have golf shoes on. It’s just the right degree of stupid—astronauts-with-bongs, pizza-eating, Pabst-at-the-dawn-of-time stupid—but played with a self deprecating smirk and true, songcrafted hooks. “Fat Doodes” is both an anthem and a way of life distilled to three of four lines, with a guitar lead that snakes around and squeezes the best of its “song juice” out like a python. How many songs can you say do that? A guilty pleasure without the guilt. –todd (Kiss Of Death)


TOM GABEL:
Anna Is a Stool Pigeon: 7”EP
It’s sometimes easy to forget that recorded music’s not that old. That electric instruments took prominence in the 1950s. And that for thousands of centuries, music was acoustic, familial, tribal, and immediate in vicinity. I don’t know if Tom Gabel’s a historian of music, but what I do know is that he has an ageless sensibility on how he approaches his songs. “Dude and guitar” music, more often than not, sucks hard, probably because it’s music at its most bare, and so many musicians mistake over-inflated egos with talent. Sweet lord, Tom Gabel can write and sing a song. These three cuts are him stripped down to the waist: voice, acoustic, friend Chuck Ragan on backups and harmonica on the title track. These recordings are crystalline, personal while remaining universal in intent, and full of protest that’s as much Woody Guthrie and Bruce Springsteen as Crass and Crimpshrine. –todd (Sabot)


TODD CONGELLIERE:
People in the Sand: 7”EP
Todd C., of FYP, Toys That Kill, Underground Railroad To Candyland, and Recess Records is a humble guy. When I saw this record sitting around and asked him if I could have a copy, he became embarrassed. He’s super comfortable with getting excited about bands he’s put out, like The Arrivals and the Bananas, but turn the conversation directly to his personal music, and… let’s just say we both get uncomfortable. I hate words like “genius” (unless you figure out cold fusion or discover a sustainable model for DIY punk worldwide, where musicians get paid as well as plumbers), but I think Todd’s a really, really smart guy, a creative and courageous musician. When I’m talking about him and say, “This is great singer-songwriter stuff. If you liked the feel of Bird Roughs, this isn’t that far from it,” please don’t picture Todd being a douchenozzle, petting his ego with a feather while glazing himself in self-importance like a winter ham, but a guy playing stripped-down, slower songs that are pleasing, odd in Todd ways, and a nice, “makes sense” addition to his catalog. Imagine a movie like The Life Aquatic without the preciousness but all of the charm and wit. Are there really only fifty of these or is this part of a limited press? –todd (Ol’ Tennis Shoes—try Steinbeck’s old address in Salinas?)


TIPPER’S GORE:
Unsettling Loss: EP
A lot of hype around this band. While they’re certainly not the second coming of Christ, this record isn’t shabby. It’s actually quite good. Standard hardcore punk that holds its own quite well with all the other bands out there kicking up the same storm. A definite early ‘80s influence, but still more modern than retro. The vocalist spits the words out in a frantic pace, which makes me think he’s frothing and slobbering all over the place like a rabid dog. The music is frantic as well, at times verging on total thrash. “Talk for Me” cranks away, and the repetitive chorus reminds me of the early thrash bands that sounded fast then, but not fast now, yet still good. I like that you can hear the bass in the mix, even when the songs get a bit hectic. “I’m Disappointed” is slightly slower and still a burner. “Get Up” is a good mix of mid and fast. Starts off with a foreboding mid tempo then kicks in the speed, as well as throwing in some stop-go breaks. –Matt Average (Flat Black)


TIMEBOMBS :
Kill Music: EP
Looking at the low rent art (Robocop clutching a decapitated head) and dumb lyric sheet, it appears this band doesn’t have much going for them. That’s part of what makes this work so well. Pressed on this record are five songs of raw, early ‘80s-style hardcore punk rock that musically recalls Teen Idles, Neos, and a host of other bands of that era. Jagged and abrasive guitar sound, chaotic drums, a vocalist with a voice that cracks. The songs are speedy, urgent, and go for broke every time. No obtuse lyrics, just teen angst. Easily the best band on the Flat Black label. I’ve played this record about twenty times today. So f’n good. It’s pretty near mind-blowing that a band today can tap into that energy of old bands and make it sound legit. This is one to get. –Matt Average (Flat Black)


TIJUANA KNIFE FIGHT:
Self-titled: CDEP
Seven songs on this CD EP by the Long Beach band, released on their own record label, Stab! Stab! Stab! What you will find here is more of the Automatic Midnight era Hot Snakes style stuff that Tijuana Knife Fight is aggressively claiming stake to as their own, with a hint of Toys That Kill here and a dab of Shark Pants there. The songs are honest, full of passion, full of soul, and entirely worthy of your attention. –Jeff (Stab! Stab! Stab!)


THURNEMAN :
Don’t Guess It’s GHS: 7” EP
I first heard of this band through the DMC: Hardcore Compilation 7” and it’s nice to hear their earlier material. Sorta-fast, Swedish hardcore punk with multi-vocalists and melody to boot. This 7” is good, but I’ve heard where this band is going (via the DMC comp and a CD-R of a future 7”) and I really like it. I can’t wait for the Luggsliten Levnad EP to be released on vinyl. –Daryl Gussin (DMC)


THINGS, THE:
Some Kind of Kick: CD
I tried to just concentrate on the music here, but there were a couple other distractions that I could not pull my eyes away from. First, the packaging sucks. The liner notes are so small they might as well have been written in Latin for all I can make out. And the bassist is wearing a super skintight shirt on the inner cover. It’s beyond regular Swiss cheese. The music is serviceable, but nothing that will kill any brain cells. Unless all your Cramps (R.I.P. Lux Interior) records were destroyed in a fire, you probably don’t need this one. –koepenick (Nicotine)


TEN VOLT SHOCK:
6null3: CD
Maybe a bit too intellectual for me to appreciate completely, but I can hear the potential of this being awesome live. This band from Germany reminds me a lot of SavageRepublic. A noisy, dissonant group who have a under layer of melody beneath their pulsating din of tones and beats. They have a rhythmic effect that make me feel like zoning out. Interesting, to say the least. –don (Dead Tank)


TEENERS, THE:
Gold: 7”
The artwork for this seven inch has a whole bunch of very crudely drawn rats strewn all over it. It looks like a little kid could have done them and it makes me giggle. It looks like the kind of record where, if you happened to be browsing somewhere, you would never buy. However, your guess would be that it would either be complete garbage or it would totally kickass. What you end up getting is three songs of fast, sloppy hardcore in the vein of early Die Kreuzen. They’re from Austin and like most things from Austin, it rocks hard, is completely unpretentious, and really doesn’t give a damn what you think. Now when you see this record, you know you should pick it up, because I said so. That’s why you read these things, right? –Craven (Super Secret)


TEENAGE KICKS:
4 Pasos Al Power Bailes: 7"
I don’t know what Teenage Kicks you’re thinking of, but this is the punk band from Tijuana, Mexico. Four aggressive, driving tunes that aren’t afraid to slow down, open the flood gates, and let a little feedback enter the situation. Sung completely in Spanish and with hand-screened covers by the band, this one’s a keeper. –Daryl Gussin (Nuestra Lengua)


INDIGENTS, THEE:
Brain Dead World: 7"
The first time I heard Thee Indigents on the Tower 13 album, I thought, how the fuck did this band get onto this comp? I thought it was the only stinker on the record. The last time I heard the Tower 13 comp, the song by Thee Indigents was one of my favorites. My initial dislike had to do with the ridiculously snotty vocals. I mean ridiculously snotty. This guy makes Joey Vindictive sound like he just blew his nose. Thee Indigents’ singer makes the Stitches’ Mike Lohrman sound like goddamn Frank Sinatra. That’s how snotty he is. But the band that backs him up is so tight that they propel you through the songs. They get you tapping your toes and running a one-man circle pit in your living room. They keep you interested so long that you’ll start to like the vocals. Then, you’ll start to love them. What can I say? The snot grows on me. This is another ringer from Hostage. –sean (Hostage)


I FARM:
Two Selected Works: CD
This CD definitely kept me on my toes. Just when I settled into one rhythm, it changed musical styles immediately and would continue to do so again and again. The majority of what they played was pretty damn good, going from mostly melody oriented upbeat punk, to hardcore, to something without much melody at all. All within each song. Most of the CD kept my attention. However, some of the quick changes in the songs really lost me. It was like the minute I had my head bobbing or my foot tapping, they switched gears faster than an ambidextrous hooker without much endurance in her right hand. I would usually end up feeling like the job wasn’t finished. With that said, I do find myself going back to this CD and giving it a listen every now and then, without any intention of selling it back. As an aside, I’m not sure if this has anything to do with their schizophrenic style of music, but according to their label, they got their name cause they farm meth. –toby (Big Action)


HUSBANDS, THE:
Daniel b/w You Need Hands: 7"
These three ladies from the San Francisco area haven’t failed me yet. They’re like the little sister gone wrong of the Detroit Cobras. The one that’s not afraid to get a little dirty and break curfew. Raw rock and roll at its best. –megan (Blue Bus)


HUNNS, THE:
Long Legs, Die Hunns: CD
I’m not sure if the band is no longer Duane Peters and the Hunns. Are they now the Hunns or Die Hunns? I have to admit that I have not followed Duane Peters or his other band, the U.S. Bombs. I know I liked one song from the latter band. But I sure like this band or the line-up of this band on this release. For me, the highlight is the additional vocal duties of the ex-Nashville Pussy amazon, Corey Parks. Her vocals dueling with Duane’s adds additional character to the songs, especially when she dominates most of vocals on certain songs. Great choice of cover songs that start off the CD like “Time Has Come Today” by the Chamber Brothers. Also included are covers of the Undertones, the Wipers, and the Sex Pistols. The originals are no slackers either. Straight-up punk with a late ‘70s, early ‘80s So Cal sound. Cool as shit, hot as ice. –don (Disaster)


HOW WE LOST THE WAR:
Self-titled: 7" EP
This sounds like one o’ them insta-grow bands that make up tunes, practice ‘em and then hit the record button all in the same day. Protes Bengt they are not. –jimmy (www.howwelostthewar.com)


HORNY MORMONS:
Play Goat-Ropin’, Corn-Huskin’, Chicken-Molestin’, Cow-Tippin’, ‘n’ Other Fine D: CD
Looks like entire recorded history of the band plus twenty-eight live tunes. Lesser Dead Milkmen that’s pretty painless. –mike (Sacramento)


HOREHOUNDS:
No Time for You: LP
These guys are up to their eyeballs in Dolls influence and sex obsession, but they rock the fuck outta punk rock’n’roll template. This one’s a keeper. –jimmy (Rockin’ Bones)


HOLLY TREE:
Anytime, Anywhere: 7"
Brazilian band, transplanted to the LA area, give it their all. The title track is where it’s at. Prototypical Hostage-style OC punk rock. It’s a snotty, swaggery, weird-eyed and knowing smirk of a song with great hooks and my favorite of the three. The second song, “Boom Box,” tips a hat to the Dead Boys, where even though it’s not the fastest track in the land, there’s danger on the edges. The b-side, “Drugstore,” starts off as a surf rocker – with echoes of the Blasters of all things – then leaps onto the concrete, knocks out some teeth, and does a good job of being epic and adventurous (read being over three minutes) without being wanky or pretentious (even though there is a drum solo, it fits). Worth keeping an eye out for. Only 300 made. –todd (Headline)


HOLLOW POINTS:
Annihilation: CD
I don’t get it. Everything about this band screams that I should loathe them. Shades of later Bad Religion abound, they’re sick with pop hooks, and yet I’ve adored them since the first time I heard “POW” on the Dirtnap Across the Northwest comp and I’ve spent the last year trying to figure out why. Aside from the fact that they manage to punch all the right buttons for me, I think what gets me more than anything else is that they sound authentic in ways that even bands like Bad Religion don’t anymore. The lyrics are solid, they sound like they mean it, man, and they play with a level of conviction that’s rare these days. I have little doubt this’ll make a few top ten lists this year, and rightly so. –jimmy (Dirtnap)


HENRY FIAT’S OPEN SORE:
The Parallel Universe of…: LP
Oh, the glory of the vinyl medium lends itself well to the HFOS mania. There’s something comforting and eerie about these guys. It’s like visiting older musical neighborhoods – like those inhabited by the old Dwarves and the well-missed Mummies – but HFOS are the newest, more demented kids playing in the rubble of the long-ago destroyed landscape. Nothing should grow there. Everything should rot and decay and give up and die. But from the ashes and poisonous rainwater sprout four black-bandaged Swedes with radioactive fluids coursing through their veins. Grayed wickedness in their softened brains. Viruses and plagues and their fingertips and in their throats. The antidote to any “Employee of the Week,” a rabid, mistreated Dachshund to the balls of all the bands too busy stretching for the brass ring to notice before teeth are clamped on tight. It’s downright a comfort to hear such fight, fuck, fight, fuck me, fuck you, fuck us all on record. Do the math of twenty-five songs on an LP and you know they don’t dick around. Yep, recommended. –todd (Raw Deluxe)


HAYMARKET RIOT:
Mog: CD
Post-punk college radio pap that I tend to ignore. –don (Thick)


HASIL ADKINS:
“Kim Rock” b/w “Baseball Bat Song”: 12” single
A twelve inch single, from Italy. Hasil Adkins is the man. Two songs: “Kim Rock” and “Baseball Bat.” The first you need to hear because you have to. You have to know. The second you need to hear especially if you’ve read part 1 of the Razorcake Hasil interview, ‘cause I know you just finished part 2. If not, go to it now! Get! … Alright, now you’re a bit more ready, and there is nothing more I can say except you might want to get up and get one of these cause I don’t think they’ll hang around too long. You don’t want to go your life without the latest from the Lone One himself. So sad. So true. Make you laugh. Make you blue. Get to it. –bradley (Rockin’ Bones)


HAMMERDOWN TURPENTINE:
Ain’t No Grave: CD
I really think the infamous Bradley Williams of this here mag would love this since I can’t do any justice to this band. I’m going to send it his way. My quick description would be a down and dirty swamp boogie experience with the cow punk twang.  –don (Blue Bus)


HAIR BEARD COMBO:
Complete Discography (So Far…): CD
When I said that the new Leatherface was going to be the best album of the year, I may have spoke too soon. On the twenty-two songs on this retrospective, the Hair Beard Combo triumphantly prove time and again that they are leaps and bounds better than any other acoustic-based band out there, especially Even in Blackouts, who totally suck. And it’s not just some mellow Leonard Cohen rip that you’d only put on when you’re trying to get laid, they tackle subject matter more vital than anything else I can think of off the top of my head. Do you really want to get bogged down with left-wing rhetoric when you listen to music? Of course not. You want to listen to songs about stuff like grape jelly, monster trucks, and Magnum, PI, arguably the greatest Hawaii-based cop show ever. But for those of you who just HAVE to have politics invading every aspect of your life, they also address the current situation in the Middle East by saying, “I know we’re totally bombing you but it’s totally not my fault, ‘cause I totally voted for Dan Marino.” Really, who needs Discharge when you’ve got the Hair Beard Combo?  –Josh (Pro Dudes USA)


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·KING-CAT COMICS AND STORIES #75
·TELECOMMANDE
·STAID
·EAR DAMAGE #18
·ROMAN GABRIEL TODD
·MISS ALEX WHITE AND THE RED ORCHESTRA
·TEENERS, THE
·PLEBE, LA
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