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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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POLECAT BOOGIE REVIVAL:
Self-titled: CD
Some of that ol’ Confederacy of Scum-style Southern punk on a label outta Wyoming. Features ex-members of Hellstomper and the tunes are in the same vein. Cover art looks a whole lot like some of those Mans Ruin releases the COS bands had, particularly the Antiseen reissue. At this point, you know if this is your cuppa or whether you are walking on by. –frame (zodiackillerrecords.com)


POINTS, THE:
Self-titled: CD
Yer basic thud punk here from a three-piece with a keyboardist where a bassist usually goes. –jimmy (Mud Memory)


PLASTIC STARS:
Sheena Gets Around b/w Shut Up: 7"
In case you’re wondering whether the concept of bands with names like Plastic/Neon/Napalm Hearts/Stars/Moons/Clovers doing songs with titles like “Sheena Gets Around” has any legs, i will duly report that the answer is still apparently “yes.” Sounds kinda like 20/20, but with punkish energy and impatience, and borrowing Helen Love’s keyboard (likely due to the punkish impatience). “Sheena Gets Around” seemed like it was over by the time i had gotten back comfy on the couch, but there were boobs on the innersleeve so perhaps i wasn’t paying proper attention. BEST SONG: “Sheena Gets Around” BEST SONG TITLE: “Sheena Gets Around” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Run-off groove numbers seem to indicate that this record was manufactured at United Record Pressing, but when i hold it up to the light, it isn’t all brown and see-thru. What gives? –norb (No Front Teeth)


PEGS, THE:
Livin’ at the Surf Hotel: 7"EP
Hopped-up NewBeachAlliance-styledOrangeCounty punk that smacks of weed, mainlining speed, lives on the rocks, rehab in on the horizon or in the rearview, and kelpy beach decay. In line with Smogtown, Smut Peddlers, Broken Bottles, and the Stitches. The buzzsaw guitars, gnashing drums, and cement mixer bass, all point to Hostage Records at the beginning of this century. Each time I play this, I can hear someone, somewhere getting a full sleeve on their arms to completely cover up some pretty bad decisions made earlier on in life. Reckless in all the right ways. –todd (No Front Teeth, www.nofrontteeth.net)


PANIC MOVEMENT:
No Tomorrow: CD
I knew I was in trouble from the opening “Waoooowwww!” It’s never good to be reminiscent of Steppenwolf (unless we’re talking Hesse here). –megan (Self-released, myspace.com/panicmovement)


PALAVAS SURFERS:
Zombie b/w Surfin’: 7"
French surfabilly with a vocalist who sounds a lot like Johnny Lydon during P.I.L. Does Gearhead Records know its logo is being used by Be Fast!!! Records? Maybe Gearhead has a European subsidiary? This is where my mind wanders while listening to this record. –thiringer (myspace.com/befastlabel)


PAINTED BIRD:
Always on Time and Never Light: 7” EP
A little pretentious, in a lo-fi Refused kind of way, but the packaging is astounding, which makes it even more pretentious, but when you break it down into little pieces, it’s outstanding. –jimmy (RFC, The record is no help and the internet turns up nada. Call it a demo? Except who pays Pirate Press all that money for a demo?)


OPTIONALS, THE:
Dead to Realise: CD
If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if Dave Grohl teamed up with Leatherface to provide interpretations of Bill Stevenson compositions that were weeded out from the Descendents/All’s set list for being way too goddamned dense and busy even for them—but are so catchy that someone oughta be taking a stab at playing them—here you go. Though the pop hooks are a plenty, you’ll be hard pressed to find extended pieces here to whistle while you work. Some mighty fine work on all fronts—from writing to proficiency to performance—has been put in here and, though the tunes may feel a bit cerebral at times, these Aussie kids pack one mean wallop. –jimmy (www.myspace.com/theoptionals)


OPENIGHTMARE:
The Harder We Come: CD
How many records get bad reviews just because they got sent to the wrong reviewer? I apologize, OpeNightmare, but the style of music you play sounds terrible to my ears. I hear influences of Rancid, H20, and a vast array of other skate punk bands that plagued the scene in the ‘90s. I hear your songs and they have all the elements to be good to someone who listens to this genre, but not to me. So it goes. –Bryan Static (Vegas)


ONWARD PILGRIM:
Self-titled: CDEP
More alt-stuff here. These guys bring to mind Neil Young on occasion, though I’m thinkin’ that’s more ’cause of the guitar sound than anything else. The cover art is gorgeous. –jimmy (www.eugenerecords.com)


NSU:
Self-titled: 7"
I love music that sounds like its makers only have a loose grip on sanity. “Ravenous slime scratches out contorted portraits/Expressions swirling dripping fading and amorphous.” That’s one of the more sensible lyrics the singer spits out in his throaty sneer. All the while, the guitar player isn’t so much playing guitar as he is sonically flagellating the rest of the music. I wouldn’t be surprised if the drummer and the bass player where drooling and bleeding from their ears when they recorded this. www.myspace.com/nasaspace666 –mp (Gradual Limbo)


NIGHT HORSE:
The Dark Won’t Hide You: CD
Night Horse are good at what they do. Heavy riffing blues rock like Sabbath, Pentagram, but with more commercial appeal. Thick guitar sound, low end forever, and rumbling drums. Along with the previously mentioned bands I also hear a bit of Zeppelin and Electric-era Cult. The musicianship is tight, the songs rock like hell, and the vocals fit the sound. I’ve seen them live, and it’s apparent they want to be on stage. Better than many of the new bands playing this style. –Matt Average (Tee Pee)


NERVE SCHEME, THE:
Self-titled: CDEP
A few songs of Bad Religion/early-to-mid ‘90s style Epitaph punk rock, like I’d expect to hear on one of the old Punk-O-Rama comps. It’s okay. –joe (Jailhouse)


MUJERES:
Demo: CD-R
Since they thanked cocaine and the blues on the insert, I was expecting some crap in the vein of Led Zeppelin. How thrilled I was to find out that this Spanish quartet didn’t go that route. This demo has five tracks that sound like they could’ve come straight off the Nuggets box set. Total garage psychedelia! If you’re into that sort of stuff—and I don’t blame you if you are—you won’t go wrong by giving Mujeres a chance. (My girlfriend tells me that their name means “women” in Spanish.) –Vincent Battilana (hombrebuenodiscos.blogspot.com)


MUFFLER CRUNCH:
Arc Welder: CD
This here is some AmRep noise veering into straight-up metal. Makes me think that the title might be a tribute to one of their favorite bands. Features a guest spot from a member of Priestess. Very interesting female vocals from the drummer of this Canadian two piece. If you like it heavy, ugly, and noisy, you will wanna be all over this. –frame (lastdragrecords.com)


MEASURE [SA], THE:
Songs about People…And Fruit N’ Shit: EP
I’m not used to having trouble coming up with something to say about records I like, but I guess there’s a first time for everything. The Measure has been releasing a slew of folky yet roughly edged material for a while, and there are no deep departures from that here. But, this is my favorite record of theirs to date, by far, yet I can’t really think of how to really explain it. The fact that it’s seems a touch catchier? Maybe more records should be made the morning after seeing The Bananas? We will never know. Aside from I enjoy this. –joe (Don Giovanni)


MARY O HARRISON:
Factory of Days: CD
I don’t usually get too many self-described folk submissions to review. There are folk elements at play here but there is also a mellow pop sound with female vocals. Her voice is syrupy and little-girl soft. Lots of acoustic openings and keyboards in the background. I can guarantee this lady likes the Beatles a whole lot. If you’re ever driving through the cold winter roads in New Jersey and need a soundtrack, this might play well in your car. It isn’t my thing, and maybe it’s too mellow, but it’s well done. –Buttertooth (Two Sheds, www.maryoharrison.com)


LONG DONG SILVER:
Bound to Bleed: CD
So far as I’m able to deduce, these guys are not the ‘90s punk band that hailed from the San GabrielValley, but rather an Italian band with the same interest in the viewing choices of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. ’Tis a pity it ain’t that old band, though, ’cause this band’s rock/metal sound is givin’ me a doozy of a rash. –jimmy (www.scareyrecords.com)


KRIMINAL POGO:
Self-titled: CD
For the most part, this is straightforward, female-fronted, oi-inflected punk/hardcore stuff. It ain’t exactly breaking new ground or wallowing in originality, but they ain’t bad at what they do. –jimmy (www.myspace.com/kriminalpogo)


KIDNAPPERS, THE:
Ransom Notes & Telephone Calls: LP
One thing i can say for certain: Whatever algorithm it is that the Razorcake reviewable-assigner robot operates off of when it assigns records to individual reviewers, said algorithm functions with steely precision and unerring consistency, as this is the third different permutation of this 2003 German punk & roll garage pop album that has been sent to this magazine for review over the years – the original LP on Alien Snatch, the CD version which followed in its wake, and this olive greener and whiter reissue—and all three have been assigned to yours truly. So, i mean, it’s good that The System is operating so smoothly here; what’s not so good is that i don’t really fucking feel like reviewing this record a third time. “A Bit Of Your Love” is a definite classic, what with the pumping jackhammer keyboards and the what-not, but i’d stop short of calling the album a classic overall, probably a B or B+ in the grand scheme of things. If you haven’t picked up this album over the course of the last half-decade, i am quite unsure what i could say here that would somehow impel you to open your wallet today, other than that the label on the A-side is very nicely done. BEST SONG: “A Bit Of Your Love” BEST SONG TITLE: “Hey! Hey! Hey!”, which is what i hope i said in 2003. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Someone took the arrow out of the “n” in the logo, and i am deeply hurt by this. –norb (FDH)


JANUS:
Red Right Return: CD
Overproduced corporate rock merde with quasi-commie artwork, the purpose of which no doubt is to give some “edge” to an otherwise slick package. –jimmy (www.janusmusic.com)


I.C.H:
You Wont Like It: CD
At first look at the song titles, I thought this was going to be childish. But the lyrics turned out to be pretty clever. So I decided it was safe to give this CD a listen. Right off the bat, the music that poured out of the speakers was catchy with an infectious, poppy feel. It’s like a mixture of Goober Patrol meets street punk. If this would have come out in the late ‘90s, I’m sure a label like Crackle or even Fat could have released this. A good music selection for when you want something fun to bounce around the house to. –don (I.C.H, www.myspace.com/ichcolchesterpunx.com)


I LUV LUV BIRDS:
Ill On Remedies: CD
In case you couldn’t tell from the band name, the cover art for this lets you know real quick that you are indie rocking. Soft vocals, drum machines, and moody soundscape all add up to blandness. If you are a regular Vice reader or if you are a big fan of white sunglasses and ironic slang you, will want to be all over this. –frame (Self-released, myspace.com/iluvluvbirds)


HYPERJAX:
The Wildest Card: CD

Modern psychobilly without much of the “psycho” left in. The band plays well, and there are more than a few choice hooks, but in the end nothing sticks to the insides of the noggin to make it worth the effort. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.cherryred.co.uk)

–jimmy (www.cherryred.co.uk)


HESUS ATTOR:
Sonic Gastronomy Volume 1: CD
I just can’t get my brain around this one. It’s like that shitty System Of A Down pseudo metal/hardcore thing with some operatic singing and weird synthesizers mixed in. Yeah, it’s as fucked up as it sounds. Not “Whoa dude, you gotta hear this. It’s fucked up!” but more like “That’s fucked up. Get it the hell out of my stereo!” –ty (Moonlee)


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