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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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GREEDY GUTS:
Songs and Bullets: CD
Melodo-punk bordering on sounding slightly commercial. This is a pretty good record, it rocks and all, but not in any one special way. –The Lord Kveldulfr (Kicking/Slow Death)


GRADY:
Y.U. So Shady?: CD
This is some kind of a mixture of AmRep-style noise, Man’s Ruin-style heavy rock, and some of that Southern rock at 100 MPH kinda stuff. Not a great-sounding recipe for a band and the results are not spectacular. The band calls their style “Delta Metal,” so if that sounds like your cuppa then belly on up to the bar. –frame (Alternative Tentacles)


GIRAFFE RUNNING:
Self-titled: 2xCD
This album consists of two CDs, the first is five songs of the actual band, Giraffe Running, and the second is fifteen tracks of musical collaborations. The collaborations disc is much more interesting, as it has the abundance of the material, including contributions from members of Melt Banana and Battles. Most of it comes off sounding like music heavily influenced by bands such as Tortoise, June Of 44, Shellac, and Don Cabellero. Some of it is really nicely done as it captures a tight—dare I say “angular”—sound that the aforementioned acts might be described as having. Other tracks are entirely forgettable: musical masturbation heavy on the bass. The same can be said of the material on the first disc from Giraffe Running. I can only handle so much of the math rock material before I need to listen to something else. And that amount is usually around two or three songs. Competently played, just boring. –kurt (www.australiancattlegod.com)


GAY BLACK REPUBLICAN:
Capitol Wave: CD
Was a wee bit disappointed ’cause they sounded nothing like what my head envisioned, based on the band’s name. With a name like that, one expects heaps of weirdo-friendly punk with oodles of sarcasm dripping off every lyric, you know? What they do sound like is a band that takes quite a few of their cues from very early hardcore, minus for the most part the thrash beats, with (so far as I can tell) sarcastic lyrics. In the end, this ain’t something I’m going nuts over, but it ain’t exactly hurtin’ my ears or anything. –jimmy (www.gayblackrepublican.com)


FULL OF FANCY / SCREAMING FEMALES:
Split: 7"
Full Of Fancy: One of my current favorites. Often poppy, sometimes a tad angry, always rockin’. Here’s two more songs, a short, but smart, and funny little number about sports, and a (slightly) longer, grittier, more personal one as well. Everything I love about this band wrapped up in a nice little package. Screaming Females: One of the latest/most hyped bands in New Brunswick, who, admittedly, I haven’t listened to as much (I have my own favorites, and I’m a picky curmudgeon). I’ve heard the compliment “the new Hendrix” tossed around, because they’re great musicians, but that often leaves me thinking “Okay, you can play. So now what?” but these songs are probably the most straight forward (read “focused”) stuff of theirs I’ve ever heard, thus making it my favorite so far. –joe (Let’s Pretend)


FRESHKILLS:
Self-titled: CD
In many of their songs, the chorus is too repetitive, like a song they play at Forever 21. Someone should tell them that just because you say a line twice, it doesn’t make it a good chorus. I think this music may be hipster music and with them being from Brooklyn, I’ll bet they get thick hipster crowds at their shows. I sure as hell can’t see myself at one of their shows on purpose. This album is not horrible; it’s tolerable, in fact, but missing something essential. There is no catch, no pull, and no hook to keep me from skipping to the next track. If you wear a trendy vest or a really sweet diagonally striped tie out on Saturdays, you may be into this band. –Corinne (Self-released)


FOUR SLICKS:
In Bonneville: LP
Jon Von from the Rip Offs and his French bandmates toss out a steady stream of beer cans of nitromethane-fueled gems out the window of their touring Ford Falcon wagon. Think the Rip Offs meet Grease in a back-alley knife fight. It’s right. –thiringer (Slick)


FLAGS OF CONVENIENCE:
Self-titled: CD-R
Not to be confused with Buzzcocks guitarist Steve Diggle’s other band, these guys play hardcore with no small amount of emo pretentiousness slathered all over it. –jimmy (flagsofconvenience@gmail.com)


FAITHEALERS:
Bound and Chained: LP
Don’t know what it is about this record. Faithealer are loud, heavy, and can kick up the speed when called upon. Yet there’s nothing memorable or interesting about their songs. –Matt Average (Inkblot, www.inkblotrecords.com)


EVERYTHING NOW:
Spatially Severed: CD
Fairly pedestrian college rock stuff from a band that sounds like they’ve played more than a few bar back rooms. Ho-hum at best. –jimmy (MFT)


ENERGY:
Race the Sun: 7" EP
Absolute shit. Sounds like AFI. Not good by any stretch. Watch the pretty purple explode as I whip it across the room towards the wall. So I guess only 999 copies of this turd remain. –Matt Average (Bridge Nine, www.bridge9.com)


DESTRUCTORS 666 / THE RUINED / PUNKY REBEL MEDIA:
888: CD
Okay, Destructors once again rock me with three songs of reliable ol’ punk played well. Love their androgynous, carefree lyrics. They cover a Flamin’ Groovies song, if that means anything to you. The first track by The Ruined has a more hardcore influence, with a sort of strained, hoarse vocal that could be called emo, but more like the early ‘90s style, when that word wasn’t an insult. Their second track, I was thinking sounded kind of like ‘90s alternative, when my roommate came by and made fun of me for listening to what we finally recalled as being a Sponge cover. Which I, ahem, kind of liked. Punky Rebel Media have the last track on here and, damn, it was pretty fucking annoying, even more so than their name. Get it for the first five tracks. –Craven (www.destructors666.com)


DILLINGER FOUR:
Civil War: CD

This is interesting; here we have a writhing Wesson Oil Party of Razorcake writers all focused on one album—an unprecedented orgy of sweaty opinions and impassioned squeals of delight or grunts of derision—and I find myself feeling some trepidation about whether to join in or not. Because of the fact that I hail from D4’s hometown and frequent the bar where St. Patrick works, I feel reluctance about all this, similar to what one would feel by the prospect of doing body shots off GG Allin, back when he was still alive and covered with blood and boogers and bile. But the truth is that, unlike the other reviewers gathered here to say smart and insightful things about D4’s newest offering, I stand a chance of inadvertently building—and then stepping into—my own booby trap. Simply by virtue of the measly little opinions I decide to decorate this review with. You see, underneath that lumberjack beard and churlish demeanor, Paddy’s a pretty sensitive guy, prone to feeling spurned. And as everyone knows, the power we Razorcake reviewers wield packs more of a wallop than a falling cement truck full of dung and American Idol judges. So all it would take is for me to type out one or two indelicate criticisms wrapped in bon mots and god only knows what foul surprises might wind up hidden in my food and drink next time I’m at Grumpy’s Bar when Paddy’s on duty. I shudder to think of what sort of crimes against nature could be committed with an order of “tater oles” (tater tots stuffed with Mexican cheese) and his famously naked backside—and then served up to a poor, dim-witted reviewer, too drunk to notice odd flavors and unusual textures. Nevertheless, I will soldier on. I took this job knowing full well that someday the butterfly effect of my words would eventually boomerang back to me in the form of a spurned, vengeful musician. So maybe it would be in my best interest if I kept this fairly short and sweet; get in, make a point or two, and get out, quick as a wink. Maybe that way I’ll go unnoticed in this churning sea of D4 reviewers and I’ll be able to eat my next order of tater oles without worry of retaliation through befouled bar food.

So here it goes: Dillinger Four has always had, for me, a Janus-like two-faced quality, personified by the characters of Patrick Costello, on one hand, and Eric Funk on the other. It’s an admittedly oversimplified take on a band as complex as D4, and it’s not meant as a slight to the other two band members, but it does point out the apparent split personality of the band. And it’s always been that split personality or balance of opposites that, in my mind, made them a band unlike just about anyone else. From their early days of smelling OK Soda through to Situationist Comedy, there’s been a healthy balance of light and dark, sweet and sour, smooth and abrasive, gentleman and cad, Twinkies and meatballs. Or, to put it another way, D4 is a musical example of vagina dentata; which is to say that the band has always had a way of luring you in with well-crafted pop punk melodies and then taking you off at the knees with brutal blasts of hardcore savagery. But if this balance can be even crudely represented by vagina dentata, then Civil War is an album slightly out of balance, an album that doesn’t have quite the same bite as their older stuff. Could it be that they’re suffering from a bad case of torpor brought on by eating too many orders of tater oles with Fat Mike? I don’t know, but, whatever the case, it seems like the gentlemanly side of the band’s personality has fought off the caddish side on this recording. And I was always partial to that rawer, more unruly side. But this is still unmistakably Dillinger Four, even if it is a more refined version. So I’m not sure there’s anything to what I’m saying or not. That vagina dentata crap might be a stretch. Hell, right out of the chute I already really like “paris Hilton is a metaphor,” “Minimum Wage is a Gateway Drug” and “AMERICAS PREMIERE FAITH BASED INITIATIVE.” They rock damn good.

And, really, how can anybody flat out not like D4? They’re smart, fun, funny, and well-thought-of—pretty much everything you could ever want in a date. Plus, they look good naked, as anyone who’s seen them play live knows. But here’s a fact worth considering: though one of the cardinal rules of reviewing anything is to never admit your own fallibility, the truth is I’ve owned this CD for about two weeks now and have not listened to it anywhere near as much as I prefer to when I’ve got my serious reviewing pants on. It could well be that a couple weeks from now—after I’ve listened to it more and under louder and drunker circumstances—I won’t have any idea what I’m prattling on about here in this review.

Believe it or not, that sort of thing has happened before. If I know anything about this band, it’s that their stuff seems to grow on me over time. So I hope I’m not setting myself up to look like a laughingstock; I’m not saying D4 is now indistinguishable from the Jonas Brothers or anything like that. I honestly don’t think these guys are capable of putting out something that’s not at least very good. But maybe that’s it—they’ve just kept the bar so high for so many years that anything that doesn’t immediately bowl me over seems like a slight let down. Until it doesn’t anymore. But now I’m running the risk of coming off as an equivocating laughingstock. And since Paris Hilton isn’t the only metaphor strutting around out there, I’d better just stick with the mule of a metaphor that got me to this point in the review, which is the vagina dentata metaphor. So I’ll leave it at this: as good as Civil War is—and as great as it may become—I’d still like to see D4 sharpen those teeth back up to an evilly sharp point again. –aphid (Fat)


DILLINGER FOUR:
Civil War: CD
Though Todd tried mightily to get me to see their inherent awesomeness, I was not an instant convert to the Dillinger Four clan of crazed fan-geeks. I never thought they sucked, but I just couldn’t get what all the hullabaloo was about. Slowly but surely, though, their smart-silly persona, witty lyrics, and arsenal of stealthily catchy hooks won me over. On this latest album, their charms are in full evidence, with said hooks battering you ’round the noggin this time around instead of sneaking up from behind, and seriously tight performances of this gaggle of consistently solid tunes making for one fine listen. Yeah, it may have taken me a while, but you can hand me my D4 pocket protector, ’cause a full-fledged fan-geek I be. –jimmy (Fat)


DILLINGER FOUR:
Civil War: LP
This record is like an optical illusion, first seeing a vase, then looking at the same drawing and seeing two people facing each other. One time I hear pop punk compromised by slick production—guitar sounds that are big but soft, vocals with too much gloss. The next time I’m focused on the brilliant lyrics and the fact that Dillinger 4 has more heart than just about any other band on the circuit. Each listen volleys between these two extremes. There’s a lot to scrape off here and I’ve yet to hear the actual songs, the substance as opposed to the style, clearly. But I keep going back. I think the latter will win out, but it’s a qualified recommendation. –Mike Faloon (Fat)


DILLINGER FOUR:
Civil War: CD
This is the first Dillinger Four record in six years. A lot has happened since then—a couple Snakepit books, some Ramones’ funerals, another term of President Bush, a cornball major label band called D4 who confused the fuck out of me in the now out-of-business Tower Records—but these fellas haven’t missed a beat. They’re still playing dynamic, pounding, insanely catchy, multi-vocaled, fast melodic punk with soundbites and amusing song titles (“Minimum Wage Is a Gateway Drug,” “Like Eye Contact in an Elevator”). They slow it down a couple times, and it’s great to hear some genuine pop coupled with smartass political punk. Most bands approaching this level of catchiness are juvenile in a bad way, or just whine about girls. These guys are one of the most influential bands in the thoughtful pop punk scene that Razorcake covers, their live show is hilarious and incredible, and this CD hasn’t left the boombox in my kitchen for the last two weeks. Civil War is a terrific surprise from a band who were becoming more of a “was” than an “is.” –CT Terry (Fat)


DILLINGER FOUR:
Civil War: CD
When you write record reviews for various zines, you find yourself in the position of hearing a lot more bands than your average music fan. Most are forgettable, some are great or even downright amazing, and then there is that small handful of bands that change your life. Dillinger Four is one of those bands. I can remember exactly where I was when I first listened to Midwestern Songs of the Americas and I remember how it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. In the ten or so years since then, I’ve anticipated every record the band has released. I buy them, listen to them, and quickly grow to love them, but they have all seemed to be missing that little spark that the first one had. I can tell you right now that Civil War is now my second favorite D4 record. It is really close to having that same feeling that the first record has. My heart skipped a couple of time when I listened to it, and that’s a good sign. The band slowed the overall tempo the tiniest bit and the songs don’t switch up as quick as an ADD kid with the channel changer, but it doesn’t take away from the power of the entire record. I also think that (like Midwestern Songs…) it is meant to play as an album as a whole. It all goes together. Now they just need to work on shortening the time between records! –ty (Fat)


DILLINGER FOUR:
Civil War: CD
These guys have never let me down! That being said, this is a good record, although it didn’t seem to slap me around with the same intensity I initially felt for, say, Versus. God. Minneapolis’s forever reigning kings of pop punk still manage to reinvigorate an otherwise stale genre of music for me. Everything is still there: witty, sarcastic song titles (“Minimum Wage Is a Gateway Drug,” “America’s Premier Faith Based Initiative”), the raspy vocals and super melodic guitar, and the distorted, punchy bass lines Patty poops out. For a first time listener, this record would probably whet their whistle and make ‘em wanna dig deeper. I hate comparing records, but still find myself more inclined to throw on the older stuff, though. Maybe this record just seems to sound more downbeat than the older stuff. Regardless, this band is always worth checking out! Throw it on loud with a few beers under your belt and it still rocks! –Buttertooth (Fat)


DILLINGER FOUR:
Civil War: CD
There’s a catch when your first full length is a classic: how do you follow it up? Even if you come back with something just as great, even if the aesthetic is a little different, you’ll still get, “Well, it’s no FIRST record…” I bring this up because it’s easily been D4’s greatest obstacle over the years, all of their output getting “But, Midwestern Songs, dude,” which is pretty cheap. For once, I will buy the “This is way more polished” argument, but at this point, I can’t help but find it a reminder that at heart, this is a pop punk band with a full-on Motörhead attack (and nuts the size of grapefruit). And while, yeah, it isn’t Midwestern Songs, you’d have to be a jerk to deny that there aren’t a handful of new classics on this one. –joe (Fat)


DILLINGER FOUR:
Civil War: CD
The early Dillinger Four EPs never stood out for me. I had no strong feelings about the band either way until I lived in shitty Madison, WI for three years from 1998-2001. I traveled a lot to Chicago and Milwaukee during my time in Madison for shows, but certain regional bands played Madison constantly, including Dillinger Four. The first time I saw them live was in 1998 and they blew me away. Their energy and stage presence was overwhelming. I literally ran out the next morning and picked up their debut full length, and was disappointed. It may seem like a classic album now, but Dillinger Four was so terrific live that the recorded versions of the songs paled in comparison. I recently saw D4 play some of these new Civil War songs on stage and I feel the same way now. What was awe-inspiring live isn’t nearly as incredible on the recording. The production is excellent, so I’m kind of flummoxed as to what I’m not crazy about. I’d go see D4 play a show tonight if I had the chance, but I won’t be listening to Civil War at home again any time soon. Fans of their other albums will likely love Civil War. For those that don’t “get” D4, go see them live. You’ll understand instantly why so many people are obsessed with them. They’re easily one of the best live bands on the planet. –Art Ettinger (Fat)


DILLINGER FOUR:
Civil War: CD
So, this is it. It’s finally here. It’s been six long years since Situationist Comedy came out (well, honestly, I’ve only been waiting for a new record for maybe three of those years. I was not quite yet twelve when Situationist Comedy came about, and I was still listening to Pennywise records), and now we can finally breath easy. I would like to think that roughly two months after this has come out, I’m over the excitement of first hearing it and can now do a hype-free review. I had no idea what to expect going into this. All I wanted out of this was for it to not be a total shit-fest. It’s not. In fact, it’s one of the best albums they’ve put out yet. Granted, it’s no Midwestern Songs of the Americas, but what else possibly could be? I feel like this is either on par with or not far behind Versus God. However, this isn’t your average Dillinger Four record here. The most noticeable change is that the “wall of noise” that they were known for has been replaced with cleaner production. However, the record still has just as many hooks and just as much bite as any record before it. Credit is due to the artwork as well. It’s hard to appreciate it when looking at the CD cover, but the LP sleeve shows how much went into creating this (yes, the penguins really were painted right on to the flag). This is getting to be a rather long-winded review, especially as far as my style goes, so I’m going to wrap this up. The music world in 2008 was a place of violent ups and downs, but when the needle plunked down onto this for the first time, I knew everything would be alright. –Dave Dillon (Fat)


DILLINGER FOUR:
Civil War: CD
Six years in the making, this is one of D4’s best albums. They continue their lyrical onslaught of American culture with honest, fatalistic lyrics matched to galloping guitar rhythms and solid drum work. Some of my favorites are “Minimum Wage is a Gateway Drug,” “The Classical Arrangement,” and “A Pyre Laid for Image and Frame.” Inspirational, comforting, kick-ass tunes. Recommended. –Kristen K (Fat)


DILLINGER FOUR:
Civil War: CD
Never listened to Dillinger Four before because my friend heard them at some barn party and he mentioned that you, “Can’t even square dance to their music,” so I blew them off. But, whatever, that guy’s an asshole, and this CD came to me with an enthusiastic recommendation from Todd Taylor. Definitely, I trust Todd’s taste in music because I went to Fest this year never having heard more than four of the bands that were playing, so I just went by who had been featured in Razorcake, and I heard more great music that weekend than I had found by myself in years. Listening to Civil War adds to that credibility in my mind, because this CD has quickly found a place in my heart and the rotation on my CD player. The urgent feeling of this album is what makes listening to it exciting: the music is driving and the vocals are raspy and almost whispered, so it’s like the singer has to hold back or he’ll fucking explode. And then reading through the lyrics and seeing the depth of these perfect, catchy three-minute songs is kind of mind-blowing. “The Classical Arrangement” is an obvious standout, but I don’t want to call any one song a favorite, because I want you to understand that pretty much everything on here is gold. I don’t give a fuck about what anyone else in this one-horse town thinks when I blast this CD on full volume at five AM when I wake up to milk the cows. –Lauren Trout (Fat)


DILLINGER FOUR:
Civil War: CD
Living one state over from these guys, i can say that i’ve not only seen them a bunch of times, but our bands have played together a bunch of times, i’ve drank with them a bunch of times, partied with ‘em a bunch of times, lent gear to them a bunch of times, borrowed gear from them a bunch of times, spilled drinks on the gear i’ve borrowed from them a bunch of times and had drinks spilled on the gear i’ve lent to them a bunch of times. One could say that my exposure to D4 has been, shall we say, “reasonably ample.” Now, here’s the weird thing: If you pressed the cold steel muzzle of a fully loaded Walther PPK semiautomatic pistol against my temple and told me that the only way to save myself from perishing at your hand was to hum, sing, recite, quote, or otherwise convey a brief portion of the essence of a D4 song—any D4 song—then you, sir, would be mopping my brains up off the wall and buying lime for a hastily improvised grave, because, even after my self-reported “reasonably ample” exposure to D4, i could not hum, sing or otherwise croon five seconds of any of their songs. Don’t remember any of ‘em. Don’t remember a PART of any of ‘em. I’ve seen Dillinger 4 a SHIT ton of times, and i couldn’t tell you what one song of theirs sounds like ((i could, however, recite a few of their great song titles off the top of my head—“The Television Will Not Be Revolutionized” being a personal favorite)). Contrast this with Bill’s pre-D4 ((and i think even pre-Scooby Don’t)) Blatant Queers rip off band, the Krishnaz—whom i’d only seen once or twice, but can still sing the last line of that song about the girl who was no longer straight edge ((which is, for the record, “she’s lost her right to pledge the edge,” and no, i’m not making this up)) and maybe a few bars about the song about living in a SuperAmerica™ for good measure. I mean, i saw the Krishnaz once or maybe twice, and i can still remember a part of a song—i’ve seen D4 a good dozen times, and i can’t remember a god damn note they played. Now, that is not to say that the Krishnaz are/were a better band than D4, ‘cause they weren’t, but it’s just frickin’ WEIRD that i should be so reasonably well-acquainted with their music, yet still fail to remember a friggin’ second of it. When people ask me what D4 sound like, i usually just tell them “amnesia.” Maybe when Pat gets naked, my mind just deletes all related memories as some manner of preventative health measure, i dunno. In any event, “Summer in October” is a decent enough opening track; it sounds like top-tier Mutant Pop™ bands like the Connie Dungs for the first two minutes, then goes into kind of an extended, minute-plus breakdown, then comes out of the breakdown playing at half the speed, essentially ignoring the catchy ((dare i say “memorable?”)) chorus for the last three-sevenths of the song and sounding kinda like those “punk” bands one hears over the radio at Taco Bell™, minus the whole singing-thru-the-nose bit. The whole “completely switch up the song at the two minute mark” is the EXACT type of thing that would damage my ability to remember what the hell went on prior to that particular musical event; me, i would have instead opted to say “it seems like summer in October” about twenty or thirty more times, just to drive the point home that it, in fact, seems like summer in October. The second song sounds a bit like D4’s Twin Cities mod counterparts, The Strike, but i don’t have a track listing and i can’t tell what the song is called, so i’ll never remember it ((although it does have another one of those wacky breakdowns that i more or less flat-out hate)). I’ll call it the “break your fucking halo” song. The third song is apparently called something like “Dis-American Me,” and sounds sort of like Screeching Weasel with an old, drunken priest on lead vocals. I would kind of remember this song, except for the unfortunate scheduling event whereby it happens to be coming out right when we marginalized Yankee weirdos feel the least like being Dis-Americanized as we’ve felt in the last quarter-century or so. Song four is like a power ballad or something. The fifth song is about cannonballs, and the sixth song is fast. The seventh song sounds like the Riverdales with the same drunken priest on vocals. The eighth song is some sort of near-anthem, except i have no idea where or what the chorus is. “Paralyzed From the Neck Up” sounds like mall-punk’s un-evil twin, as does the tenth song, but that one’s about cigarettes or something. I have no idea what the eleventh song sounds like, but it has some weird breakdown where the chorus should be. The twelfth song sounds kinda like “The Noose Was Tight” by the Figgs, but not really. The guitar seems to be mocking me personally. Don’t think i’m not taking notes on this insubordination! “Pretty Little Casualties” is a rousing, album-closing, priest-led stomp, with another one of those stupid breakdowns gumming up the works, though said gumminess is mercifully brief. After deep, post-album introspection, i’ve come to the conclusion that the disconnect i feel with D4’s music stems from the fact that i generally can’t figure out what or where their choruses are, or if their songs even have choruses. Throw in a few breakdowns and tempo-switches and i’m completely lost, like i came in in the middle of a movie, sat through a bunch of acts, then left, and it was still the middle, although by and large i was enjoying the film. My suggestion is to eliminate the breakdowns, append “Yeah Yeah Yeah” or similar mnemonic device to the ends of all song titles, and insert choruses consisting of nothing but the song title repeated some power of two times, e.g., “Paralyzed From The Neck Up, Yeah Yeah Yeah! Paralyzed From The Neck Up, Yeah Yeah Yeah!” Ah, now THAT’S slick songwriting! BEST SONG: “Dis-American Me” BEST SONG TITLE: “Paralyzed From The Neck Up, Yeah Yeah Yeah” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Pat lived in nearby De Pere for one semester and attended St. Norbert’s College. –norb (Fat)


DILLINGER FOUR:
Civil War: CD
It’s strange that D4’s become such an important band to me after years of resistance on my part. At first, I think I had them confused with Dillinger Escape Plan, so I’d never pick it up. Then, this rad dude Barney bought me the split with Pinhead Gunpowder. That should’ve done the trick, right? Nope, probably never even listened to their side. So when, years later, Todd Taylor forced Midwestern Songs on me, all I heard was a bunch of samples and other hoo ha in between the songs. But then, again due to Todd since I borrowed his truck for a few days and it was the only CD in there, I listened to it. Over and over and over. And at somewhere close to the halfway point of those seventy-two hours or so, it just clicked. I never had a mild like in between. Disdain to enamored and instantly hungry for more, listening to everything I could find. They are pretty much everything I believe in, to state it simply. Talk to any of them one night and it will be the dumbest conversation about what a fart can tell you about a person, but then the next night, the conversation is just as likely to leave me walking away with a list of things I need to read because I just felt like a moron. They understand that balance of smart and funny, of fun and anger, of knowing what battles are worth fighting. I mean, shit, my dad called me one day after reading an interview with them to tell me that he finally understood my life, and I thought that was pretty fucking perfect. So, given their place rooted so deeply in this bum ticker of mine, I’ve been waiting for this album since Situationist. When the first track came on, I swore it was Jawbreaker. It’s nothing against Jawbreaker; I downright adore some of it, but it’s just not right here. It’s the recording. It’s just too clean for me. The songs are solid and growing on me, and live they’re awesome, but it’s taking some time. I want it to be a bit uglier and raw, but, I’m sure as I did initially, I’ll come around. –megan (Fat)


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