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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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BUNNY FIVE COAT:
Negative Attention: CD
Hey, I didn’t know L7 changed their name. Where’s all the metal licks? –jimmy (www.bunnyfivecoat.com)


BRIEFS:
Love and Ulcers: 7”
The more I hear from ‘em, the more I love ‘em. Title track: More Voidoids-damaged mid-tempo punk rock. B-side: good, driving punk that seems to have just a dash of Beach Boys in it as well. You’ve gotta love a song with the chorus “God bless the fucked up USA.” Yet another winner from these guys; one of the only reasons why Seattle shouldn’t be wiped off the face of the earth. –jimmy (Dirtnap)


BRAZEN HUSSIES :
self-titled: CD-R EP
I unexpectedly received this homemade musically diverse disc in the mail today from many miles across the vast, tempestuous Atlantic Ocean (from London of England, to be exact!). So I hurriedly rushed home and excitedly plopped this auditory delight into my CD changer. Boy, were my ears pleasantly surprised by the sheer varying magnitude of the mentally deranged sounds the Brazen Hussies spastically spew forth! The first and last songs sound like a mellow, laid-back cross-pollination of the wry sonic commentary of The Kinks during the late ‘60s and the crazed, psychotic acoustic ramblings of “Madcap Laughs”-era Syd Barrett. The remaining three tracks are loopy, funky, trippy, psychedelic, experimental, and undeniably British with a grungy scattering of Black Sabbath-style riffage tossed into the mix. And throughout it all, I definitely detect hardy hints of The Pixies, Nine Inch Nails, Butthole Surfers, and Joan Of Arc vivaciously blended with a circus-like swirl of old-time dance-hall liveliness and ‘70s-style blaxploitation soul-sister choral harmonies. Hell yeh, this is one of the most eclectic and intriguing aural treats that’s ever salaciously serviced my ears. –Roger Moser, Jr. –Guest Contributor (Brazen Hussies)


BOSS MARTIANS:
Making the Rounds: CD
Was told this was a surfy/rock kinda thing, but what’s coming outta my speakers is more akin to power pop with a more than healthy dose of rock/metal. Interesting, but by the fourth song, I had begun to completely ignore it. –jimmy (MuSick)


BOSS MARTIANS:
Making the Rounds: CD
All right, rock and roll with lots of surf/instrumental influences, but way too tight for my tastes. I prefer my rock and roll/garage a little more crazy and sloppy. If this were a cereal, it’d be regular Cheerios. Okay. –Maddy (Musick)


BOB LOG III/ZEN GUERRILLA:
Split: 7”
Jesus Chronky it’s a great fuckin record! Bob Log works his wiggly magic on “Wigglin Room” and then Zen G pulls some kind of jack-in-the-box number with the oddly weird “Pocketful of String,” a song that sounds like nothing else they’ve ever done (that I know of). I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a cover, but I don’t recognize it. If you like either of these folks, try very hard to get up on this. –Cuss Baxter (Fanboy)


B-MOVIE RATS, THE:
Bad for You: CD
The aurally unforgiving, raucously roarin’, sick, twisted, and sinister sounds of The B-Movie Rats are cacophonously comparable to all-out rock’n’roll Armageddon! It’s cranked-up, out-of-control, and violently frenzied; a hedonistic heapin’-helpin’ of belligerence, bravado, and robust recklessness; explosive, percussive, concussive, and wildly exuberant; Iggy And The Stooges of the now generation; an auditory disaster just waitin’ to happen! After only one intense and fiery listen, I’m spastic, speechless, and covered from head-to-toe in self-produced slobbery-slick drool. Take me to rehab, Ma, ‘cause my ears are lethally addicted to The B-Movie Rats, and I’m shamelessly enjoyin’ it waaaaay too much! This is better than the most ingratiating and tantalizing aspects of sex, booze, and rock’n’roll, I shit you not. –Guest Contributor (Junk)


BLUE COLLAR SPECIAL:
self-titled: CD
When you pull out a pile of CDs to review and you find yourself hitting repeat and it’s not until the fourth play that you realize you should move on, well, that’s a good sign. These guys remind me of Circle Jerks (esp. “Wonderful”), D4, All, NoFX’s best stuff and not so much the Freeze but later bands that were inspired by the Freeze. A few bits make me think these guys also listen to Tool and country. I like NoFX’s Heavy Petting Zoo a lot and would imagine that if that album were harder, rougher around the edges, and made with less goofiness and more sense of purpose, this would be the album. (Which is to say, if you like NoFX you should like them, but if you don’t, you probably will, too.) The final track’s reggae influence seems more from the Choking Victim school than straight reggae. Various songwriting credits explain how one band can have such a range while maintaining a “sound” that works consistently. My one complaint with this album is that it should be much longer. –rich (Destroy All)


BLUE COLLAR REVENGE THEORY:
self-titled: CD
Picked this out of the pile ‘cause I thought it was gonna be some good hardcore. I put it on... and after the third lame emocore song, I tossed it into the trashcan. Oops forgot to mention it was a benefit CD. Yeah, I bet they’re REAL appreciative. –jimmy (thrownbrick@disinfo.net)


BLOOD SUCKING FREAKS:
Bottlesick: CD
Good for what it is, I guess, “it” being loud, mid-tempo punk rock with the requisite rude titles/lyrics and a cover of the Damned’s “New Rose.” Somehow, though, it still failed to impress. Maybe I’m just not in the mood right now or something. –jimmy (Sounds of Subterrania)


BLAZING HALEY:
Mas Chingon: CD
Don’t worry, although Blazing Haley loosely fit into the psychobilly/rockabilly mold, they don’t play like they’re recording and episode for the Halloween episode of Happy Days or making songs that could be used to sell Cheez Whiz to folks with pompadours,nor do they sound like they spend too much time deliberating on the height of their jeans’ cuffs. Balls, bite, and drive overcome all that. They’re my reigning favorite if I want a change of pace from straight-ahead punk, to something infused with more country. They come across more authentic and stylistically together than Tiger Army, and have more diverse tempos and are less schlocky than The Slanderin’. Go right to the top. They remind me of prime Reverend Horton Heat –bluegrass stains on their knees, there’s amazing dexterity in their fingers without becoming flashy, and they’re able to pull off slower songs that come out of the stereo like smoke rising off a single cigarette in a still room. When they pick up, lead singer Matt Armor picks up a classic Greg Graffin of Bad Religion tone to his voice that somehow fits right in with Dave Kruger’s frantic standup bass. Okay, I’ll say it. If you wish X had written a good song in the last fifteen years and Exene was muted, you’d be listening to Blazing Haley whenever you slick you hair back. Cool stuff. –todd (Rode to Ruin)


BLACK KEYS, THE:
The Big Come Up: CD
I recently returned from a five-day, sin-filled excursion to New Orleans where the abundant bayous and waterways are densely shaded in a thick forest of moss-enshrouded cypress trees. It’s a unique and archaic region of the Deep South where dragonflies aimlessly buzz through the droopy, humid air and the spicy smell of boiling crawfish seems to forever linger heavily in the atmosphere throughout all hours of the day. So I’m here to tell you all, The Black Keys perfectly capture the magical, forbidden, and mysterious essence of the fetid, snake-infested river bottoms of Dixie country. This hoodoo-daddy duo authentically replicates the sparse, poverty-stricken sounds of an old, gnarled black man sittin’ on the front porch of his ramshackle shanty-shack and musically moanin’-and-groanin’ to the all-natural rhythm of a mid-summer night’s howlin’ wind. But these two disheveled white-boy minstrels add enough of a flavorfully piquant dash of lean and mean, blue-eyed aggression to the mix that it flawlessly gels into a sumptuous swirl of Mississippi mudwater garage-blues. The vocals are soulful, pained, emotional, and profusely drenched in gritty, downtrodden manliness. The gut-tormentin’ guitar wails, weeps, and shrieks, but it ultimately cavorts like a sun-baked alligator slithering through the dark, murky waters of an uninhabited backwoods marsh. The shuffling, loose-steppin’ drums mercilessly pitter-patter along like huge drops of torrential rain ricocheting off the tin roof of a dilapidated old chicken shed stuck way out in the boonies somewhere all by its lonesome. Mercy, mercy me; I’ve now heard this century’s Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, and Jimi Hendrix all rolled into one (but “Busted” could very well be a long-lost outtake from ZZ Top’s first album, “Leavin’ Trunk” sounds uncannily like Cream’s “Politician”, and the blazin’ ragtag rendition of The Beatles’ “She Said, She Said” is raucously southern-fried to all-out exquisite magnificence!). Indeed, this hot and zesty CD pristinely possesses the bare-bones, back-to-basics sound of long, dusty dirt roads, vast overgrown stretches of thriving cotton fields, and grandiose Southern antebellum architecture surrounded by squalor, misery, heartache, and hardships aplenty. Pass the jug, Uncle Jed, I’m a-comin’ home. –Guest Contributor (Alive)


BAZOOKAS:
Beach Blanket Blast-Off: 7”
It’s simple, really. Sometimes, a sub-genre of punk rock can be so inundated with mediocrity that fans will dismiss it altogether. Sometimes, a band will come along and blast through the mediocrity and lend credence to that sub-genre again. That’s clearly what’s happening with the Bazookas. They take four surf punk songs and shred through them with speed and finesse. They’re like Johnny Boy Gomes at Pipeline, swinging a bottom turn and setting up for the barrel when most people would struggle like hell to kick out of the wave. –sean (Fanboy)


BALZAC:
Terrifying! The Art of Dying / The Last Men on Earth II: CD
Are you still obsessed with the Misfits and Samhain? You have every item related to those bands known to mankind? How about trying a band that is still together? They have a fan club called “Fiendish Club,” dolls and all the merchandise a fanatic could latch on to. Many reading this are probably saying that I already know about this band. This is intended for those not in the know. First off, this band put together two things that I am interested in – Japanese things and punk rock. Mix that in with a worship for Glenn Danzig, the Misfits and Samhain. They have devil locks and their skulls are similar to the Misfits. The music is similar to a point. But they take it further to add their own punch. What is presented here is a re-recording of their long out of print first album, The Last Men on Earth. The songs were re-done to give it more punch. Included in the second disc is a bonus release of nine songs to give the listener more to cherish. All this is packaged together in a special release box. Now go scour the internet and get this. Horrorwood Distribution sells Balzac stuff in the states. As good as an ice cold beer! –don (Diwphalanx)


BACKSEAT BASTARDS:
Fuel Injected Action: 7”
A four-song seven incher boasting the likes of The Cramps, Dick Dale, and a gang of garage heads getting together to rage while the singer rips off the liquor cabinet and yer Dad’s secret porn stash right down to the very last drink/mag. Music that makes you drag your knuckles and groove and bob around with your ass high up in the air (a dance affectionately known as The Schlep, invented by fellow brothers Chris Vonovich and Todd Agajanian). My favorite jam here is “Monkey Shake.” A fine party platter, indeed, only if it is only seven inches. Good tunes here, you bastards. –dale (Fanboy)


ATOM AND HIS PACKAGE:
Hamburgers: CDEP
A quick Atom synopsis: It’s one guy and a sequencer/mixer, accompanied sometimes by a guitar. You wouldn’t be too far off supposing he’s like a punk rock Weird Al Yankovic or a one man Dead Milkmen, but you wouldn’t hit the nail on the head, either. What impresses me with Atom is that he opens me up a little bit to things I patently loathe – like dance music, beats, and straight-up indie rock – and incorporates them catchily into a song called “I’m Downright Amazed at What I Can Destroy with a Hammer.” I’ll be honest, the first several listens, I wasn’t that gripped with this EP. The songs – except the hammer song – seemed a little flat, falling into too similar musical grooves, but when I popped it on the headphones, I liked it much more. For someone who’s known for pretty hard-to-miss parody – like the song “If You Own the Washington Redskins, You’re a Cock” off the excellent Redefining Music – I found myself enjoying the musical nuances and how he layers the instruments and loops on top of one another. Not bad. Not bad at all. –todd (File 13)


ARGY BARGY:
Songs from the Streets: CD
Some average-to-better-than-average oi from England here. Although the gruff vocal thing is kinda hackneyed and annoying, the lyrics are pretty good and some of the songs are mighty snappy. This was way better than I expected. –jimmy (Captain Oi)


ANNALISE:
Versus Everything: CD
I know I kept their copy of the Fettered CDEP. I just couldn’t remember what they sounded like. Ready to dismiss them, I put the disc into my player to take on the agony. The music blares forth and puts me back into the right state of mind. Kind of has that D4 quality to it without sounding like D4 and a hint of Hot Water Music. The power is there and at the same time the songs are catchy and full of hooks. The music is tight and produced well without sounding like a well-polished table. Love the title of the track Too Much Music & Too Many Bands. So true. I can’t keep track of what music I have and my collection’s not up there in comparison to other people I know. –don (Boss Tuneage)


AMOEBA (RAFTBOY):
Bad Fuggum from the Mysterium: CD
One or two of the Electric Eels run through some of their old songs as well as a few Pagans covers and a version of “7 and 7 Is.” Not a bad listen overall, although the Eels intensity is muted somewhat and the performances drag on occasion. The Pagans covers are particularly good. Biggest gripe: No “Cyclotron”? –jimmy (Smog Veil)


AGAINST ME!:
Reinventing Axl Rose: CD

From the opening riff, when the ghosts of “Folsom Prison Blues” segue into a mid-tempo hardcore songs, it’s clear that this is not an ordinary album. Comparisons are hard to make. Sure, there are elements of folk guitar, but this is no Pogues rip-off. Sure, you can tell the singer has spent years singing along with Fugazi, but this is no emo record. Sure, the Clash drips off the edges of this CD, but that’s not what defines these songs. No matter what point of reference I try to launch from to describe this album – from “a hillbilly Husker Du” to “the black bloc throwing bricks through a Replacements record” – it all seems to fall short. And that’s a good thing. Considering how much new music I listen to, I’m amazed that I can hear something that’s this original and that’s this good. The songs are all well-written with thoughtful lyrics, catchy hooks, vocals that are tuneful even when the singer’s voice is ripped through to the chords, and a really happy guitar and a bouncing rhythm section backs it all up. I guess the best way to describe this album is this: these are the campfire songs I want to sing while the society around me burns itself to the ground.

–sean (No Idea)


ADICTS:
Rise and Shine: CD
Another band from the old days comes up with a new release and this one ain’t so bad. Monkey’s voice sounds different, but the music’s still the same anthemic punk rock the Adicts are known for. Only thing is I’d swear that the version of “Falling in Love Again” is the same one from way back when. –jimmy (Captain Oi)


2¢ WORTH:
Still Sick After All These Years: CD
Melodicore in the vein of Pennywise meets Jughead's Revenge. –don (AVD)


ZONIC SHOCKUM:
Here Today...: CD
Lady-fronted dissonant punk rock that won't be pigeonholed. Fast or slow, loud or quiet, stripped-down or sample-enhanced, it's all here, and in just six songs, to boot. Seems like they've matured a lot in the several years since I heard something else by them, and I'm all for it. Never could cozy up to the name Zonic Shockum, though. –Cuss Baxter (Stain)


YOUNG HASSELHOFFS:
Get Dumped: CD
Yay! It’s like 1992 again (the golden age of pop punk)! This is great! Think Chixdiggit, the Parasites, and a little bit of the Beach Boys! Thank you, Young Hasselhoffs, for being a pop punk band in the year 2002 that doesn’t suck! (And that is really saying something!) If this were a cereal, it’d be Honey Nut Cheerios – the basic pop punk formula with, uh, the honey of harmonies thrown in! The way pop punk should be! Hooray! –Maddy (Reinforcement)


WIFEBEATERS, THE:
Child Mulletstation: 7"
The combination of some seriously shitty recording and the proud flying of the anti-PC flag should spell pure crap, but somehow it works for me. The lyrics, about spouse abuse, militias, Asian drivers and rentacops (to the tune of "Bad Boys" from COPS), are so bad I have to assume that's part of the plan. The music part sounds like a 4 track recording (I wouldn't be surprised if the whole band is one guy) and the mix sucks worse than running out of Schlitz ten minutes after the stores stop selling beer. I guess some things are so wrong they're right, and this may be one. I wouldn't want my Mom to catch me with it, though. –Cuss Baxter ($3. Wifebeaters)


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