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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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URBAN UNREST:
Self-titled: 7”EP
Standard hardcore with that dirty and thrashy side. These guys are definitely angling for that retro style that is popular these days. Reminds me of the Formaldehyde Junkies to a degree. These guys are a bit too formulaic in the end. A lot of false endings in nearly all the songs, and it seems the tempo never changes, so you think you’re listening to one song, when in fact you’re on track three. This isn’t terrible, it’s just not memorable. Akin to eating a cookie when what you really want and need is a burrito. –Matt Average (Evil Corporation, www.myspace.com/evilcorporationrecords)


TURNPIKE CRUISERS, THE:
Rockin’ Possessed 1984-1986: CD
Nice bit of psychobilly from this Zanti Misfits offshoot. The songs appear to come from a number of demos the band recorded (for some reason there’s no history lesson to be found in the booklet), and they peddle their wares with enough vim and vigor to please even the most snooty psychobilly fan. –jimmy (www.cherryred.co.uk)


TSOL:
Live from Long Beach: CD
Jack-please to explain? You mention about five times on this platter that this is the last run for the band. But in 2008 I see dates. Not that I’m complaining, I’m just sayin’. 2006 show from Long Beach has all the hits, some obscure numbers, and a Damned cover. Not quite as good as that Galaxy show they put out a couple years back, but close. Grisham should edit out all his on stage chatter and put it on a record like Robert Pollard did. I bet it would sell boatloads. –koepenick (Cider City, no address)


TRICLOPS!:
Out of Africa: CD
This is a totally weird, totally intense, and thoroughly enjoyable strange trip. It sounds like intelligent-manic aliens on acid formed a band after listening to a lot of Melvins, Phish, ‘70s progressive rock, and Zack de la Rocha’s vocals. The result is unlike anything you have ever heard before, and nobody else can sound like this. Triclops! is a genre unto itself. You will either love this album or you will hate it; there is no in between in the higher-regions of experimental, socio-political, serious-yet-inane consciousness. There are only seven songs here, but the entire experience clocks in at about forty minutes total. No matter; time is irrelevant in this dimension where scathing denouncement of American materialism and hostile world imperialism swirls in an earsplitting melodic cacophony of comedic nonsense as presented on track two “Iraq Curator.” Play this for your friends and they will either look at you knowingly or as if you had three eyes on your forehead. –Marcus Solomon (Alternative Tentacles)


TRANSIT:
This Will Not Define Us!: CD
I take that title as a challenge: It’s basically that “nü” brand of radio punk pop. To be fair, it kinda reminds me of an earlier wave of when this kind of stuff took off, like in the early ‘00s, but it’s still that kind of jam. Also, I’ll probably get called a prick over this review anyway, so I’ll make a comment (but serious one) on the press sheet: playing something between three and five random/scattered dates every month in your general tri-state area does not equal a tour. –joe (Barrett)


TRANSISTOR TRANSISTOR:
Ruined Lives: CD
I’ve heard my fair share of screamy hardcore the past few years and as I listened to Transistor Transistor (who used to be a snotty rock and roll band) all I could think of was a quote from Ian MacKaye in Instrument. He’s speaking in between songs to some kids who are slam-dancing and causing a ruckus but in the quote I replaced dancing with “screamy hardcore” and it sums up my feelings on this album. “We’ve never seen anything like that crazy, crazy screamy hardcore before. Actually, it’s just boring as hell. So knock it off and let’s all have a good time.” –kurt (Level-Plane, www.level-plane.com)


TOASTERS:
CBGB—The Bowery Collection: CD
This appears to be one in a series of CDs of live recordings from punk’s storied epicenter. This June 28, 2008 set is solid and lively, showing why these kids were a much-respected band during ska’s second wave, meaning that if you’re looking for that annoying post-Operation Ivy version of ska punk here, you’re shit out of luck. Nice to hear something from these guys again. –jimmy (MVD Audio)


TITLE FIGHT:
Kingston: 7”
Shades of ‘90s emotional punk and a bit of hardcore (Lifetime, early ‘90s Dischord) seep through into the three songs found on this. The guitarists are more than capable, the lyrics are honest, and it’s all done by a bunch of juniors in high school. I never would’ve guessed it if the press sheet hadn’t said so, as the songwriting is top shelf compared to that of most bands this age. It’s nice to hear a band of kids my age doing something other than ripping off Underoath. –Dave Dillon (Flightplan, www.flightplan.bigcartel.com)


TIT PATROL:
Shut Up Juice: CD
How can you go wrong with a name like Tit Patrol? Let me count the ways! Awful, regurgitated song themes (heroin addiction, lobotomies)? Check! Tired harmonies for backing vocals? Check again! Boring riffage? Check thrice!! Uninspired delivery? Quadruple check! The problem with fifth and sixth generation Ramones rip off bands, among which Tit Patrol can count themselves, is that they’re not ripping off the Ramones at all, but the third and fourth generation Ramones rip off bands. The formula is so diluted by the time Tit Patrol gets its hands on it that there’s no possible way anything remotely listenable can come of it. It’s all of the worst aspects of ‘90s pop punk burned onto a CD and pushed out the anus of the underground. There is some other stuff going on here, namely the use of Suicidal Tendencies and Adam Sandler for inspiration on the opening track, which, in the case of Mr. Sandler, should never, ever happen. If I want to listen to a Ramones rip off band, I’ll stick with those who do it right. Gimme the Queers! Gimme the Riverdales! Gimme Head! –benke (Madison Underground, www.madisonundergroundpress.com)


TIM VERSION, THE:
Still Have the Nerve to Call Ourselves a Band: CD
This may puzzle the loyal Razorcake reader, but I just wasn’t blown away by the Tim Version upon first listen. In my defense, my initial exposure to the band was amongst a huge pile of last year’s Fest bands that I was attempting to fully ingest in far too limited a timeframe to give any of the bands in question a fair chance. Regardless, I kinda wrote the Tim Version off as just another gravelly voiced Gainesville-influenced band and moved on. Luckily, I decided to return to this band after their endless praise within these very pages and I couldn’t be happier for having done so. Hot on the heels of their recent full-length for No Idea, Still Have the Nerve to Call Ourselves a Band collects this super-sincere, smart, funny, deservedly lauded band’s non-LP tracks onto one CD, and it’s certainly my favorite of their stuff. Probably you already know these dudes and love what they’re doing. If not, this is a killer place to start. So glad I came back to these fellas. –Dave Williams (A.D.D.)


TIGER PISS:
Ear to the Wall: CD
Oh, for christ’s fucking sake. Tiger Piss got together to play a cancer benefit, if you believe the one-sheet, and, due to a favorable response, decided to put out this EP. I’m three songs in and there’s not one redeeming quality to the music so far. The singer apes the gal from Reel Big Fish but manages to sound even more annoying. The songs sound like they were plucked from the set lists of various bands on the last eight Warped Tours. “Ear to the Wall” has a part where one of the dudes raps, and the following song is titled “The Disappointment Song.” They should all be called that. –benke (myspace.com/tigerpissrock)


THROW THE FIGHT:
In Pursuit of Tomorrow: CD
The few elements that any bad hard/alterna-rock album needs to complete the factory package are dull cover art that’s been run through the ugliest Photoshop filters and brushes (Check), overdramatic song titles (“His Blood, My Hands” means a yes), corny lyrics like “Where did you go when I was bleeding?” (Uh-huh), placement on the subsidiary of a major label (Yup), and a general lack of personality (Done and done). Get ready to cue this up next, late night MTV2 video rotation. –Reyan Ali (Cordless)


THROW RAG:
2nd Place: CD
This was a tough one to get through. This record is a mixing bowl of punk, rockabilly, country, and ‘50s influenced rock’n’roll that ultimately comes out sounding like the same early rock’n’roll riffs repeated over and over coupled with Social Distortion’s cheesiest moments. I wouldn’t call myself a fan by any means, but I’ve heard several songs by these guys on different compilations and I can’t remember any of them being as embarrassing as the material on this album. Somebody may be able to find a home for this in their record collection, but it just isn’t cutting it for me. –Dave Dillon (Acetate)


THROW RAG:
2nd Place: CD
It’s quite the rare occasion when a real solid band records a fantastic record that gets shelved by its own label at the time, only to be given another opportunity some years later to be released by another label who knows a good thing when they hear it (I hear Acetate is also re-releasing Throw Rag’s debut LP Tee Tot in celebration of the ‘Rag keeping the band going full steam ahead for ten years—hells yes!). Roughly half of 2nd Place (six songs, I believe) was laid down around five or six years ago, only to be denied release by BYO Records (Throw Rag’s label at the time) for some bullshit reason or another of supposed production overkill. That in itself is all jive because anyone who’s seen them knows damn well that Throw Rag are fucking overkill, be it onstage or in the studio, period. They continue to be one of the very select few bands that consistently bring it 100 percent, right up there with Motörhead and The Candy Snatchers. Los Rag ended up laying down some lo-fi versions of these songs that were included on their 2003 Desert Shores rekkid, and while it was a great release, it’d could’ve been that much better had BYO gone with the original recordings route like Acetate did here on Throw Rag’s latest offerings of rock’n’roll Eucharist. Funny thing is—I’ve always felt this to be true—as I had my paws on the original version of Desert Shores before it got re-recorded and went to press. The disc has
2nd Place
hand written in Sharpie on it, now that I think about it. Anyway, the old adage “better late than never” has never been proven more true here. Songs that will have you up and wobble-bopping around like a downs syndrome snake dancer in no time flat include “Hang Up,” “Hollywood,” “Bag of Glue,” and “Demons in a Row.” Included are covers “I’m So Glad, I’m So Proud” (their cut from a Link Wray tribute) and “Don’t Be Afraid to Pogo,” their tribute to one of L.A.’s finest, The Gears. This record was laid down with their past six-piece lineup, but now they’re out on the road, continuing to gather up more and more fans one gig at a time with their four-piece rock crusade. I’ve been listening to and watching this band for a long time (since their first year out, actually) and they continue to deliver time and time again. Scrawl this rekkid at the top of your list the next time you’re out shopping for new releases. BYO already fucked up once. Don’t you do the same. –dale (Acetate)


TERROR:
CBGB OMFUG Masters : Live 6/10/04: CD
Here is how a typical live Terror track works: the vocalist vents his anger about something, then insists on his audience to “Move that shit around” or “Tear that shit down” before he announces the title of the next song. The name of said song will usually refer to hostility, strength, conflict, or some combination of these traits. Following this, a faceless roar of a New York-style hardcore track will kick in for a few minutes, with a few requisite breakdowns littered in for good measure. Lather, mosh, repeat. Now, what’s really fascinating about this disc is what is on its cover: above the human dogpile that composes a Terror show, a bald, tattooed guy’s body is splayed in a crowd surfing snapshot. In our view, beneath one knee of the guy’s camouflage shorts is his left leg, which is emblazoned with one of those generic tribal tattoos worn most often by men that call each other “bro” with zero irony. Moving down this gent’s limb, his foot is falling out of a laceless Converse All-Star. This image is the singular most apt symbol of what makes Terror and its antagonistic ilk such a polarizing force within the breadth of hardcore: even among the familiar marks of counterculture, that guy will always carry the clearly noticeable imprint of trite and silly-looking macho bravado on him, making his participation in this setting come off as much less independent and individualistic than it ideally should be. Never has a calf been so telling. –Reyan Ali (MVD)


TERRIBLE TWOS:
Self-titled: LP
When this was playing, a hot water kettle was hitting a full boil, screaming. And I thought it was part of the song until the pause for the next one. Telling. Full-tilt, lotsa-grit, amped-up, skittering rock that’s so chaotic that more noise only adds to the shit being uprooted and churning in their hurricane. I can imagine the band saying “release the bees!” during a recording and having a swarm of our apiarian friends “liven up a track.” And it would. When the keyboards (as percussive instrument) come in, think prime Lost Sounds. When in full-charge mode, think We March and This Moment In Black History. I call this “point and shit,” music. If I had the money and time, I’d make Blues Brothers-style announcement system for my truck, except the speaker would be hidden and would direct sound. My navigator would point at an unsuspecting passerby, and we’d flip the switch and blast music at ‘em for two seconds to see if they’d shit their pants. Not nice, but it’d be fun… and in the name of science. Terrible Twos have made a great “point and shit” record. –todd (Criminal IQ)


TEENAGE HEAD:
With Marky Ramone: CD
I’m not sure if many of you outside of Canada were aware that Teenage Head is alive and kicking. It’s true, Canada’s Ramones are out there on the road and have now done a record of all their classic songs with Marky Ramone hitting the skins. I’ve got to say right off the top that I’m truly surprised at how good this sounds. I don’t mean that in a bad way at all. I’ve seen Teenage Head within the last year get on stage and destroy the place, leaving everyone in awe. I’ve also seen them suck terribly. Thankfully, this disc falls in with the former. The music sounds better than ever, and it’s not just Marky. They whole band it ruling. Frankie Venom is a character who you can just tell has done enough hard living and partying for all of us. His voice sounds as good as it ever has on this. My only real complaint would be his changing a bit of the vocal arrangement and delivery on some of my favorite songs (“Picture My Face” would be a glaring example). After listening to them a certain way for twenty years, it just sounds wrong when they’re different. Overall, this a great addition to the discography of these punk legends. –ty (Sonic Unyon)


TEENAGE BOTTLEROCKET:
Warning Device: CD
A warning about Warning Device. If you didn’t like Teenage Bottlerocket’s debut album Total, you might as well skip this one. If you’re a big fan, however, this CD will deliver what you’d expect from these guys. While they, again, do not reinvent the wheel, their new songs are a bit more fleshed out and just as catchy as ever, and the drums on this recording sound phenomenal. And, almost as a given, Cody’s songs are sing-along wonders that deserve the repeat button to be pressed. –mrz (Redscare, Redscare.net)


TEAM ROBESPIERRE:
Bad Habit: EP
Absolutely atrocious. Cutesy and painfully self-aware synth-driven indie pop. Think of a far less clever Atom And His Package with some Apples In Stereo thrown in. Not good. I imagine their friends tell them (Team Robespierre) they’re good, but sometimes friends just say that sort of shit to be nice. –Matt Average (Min/Max, www.minmaxrecords.com)


SWORD, THE:
Gods of the Earth: CD
This is pure fuggin’ godhead! Heavy metal as it is meant to be played. Definite nods to Pentagram and the “New Wave of British Heavy Metal,” but fresher than most bands attempting similar sounds today. The Sword’s debut album, Age of Winters, is flawless and continues to log the miles on my disc player. I didn’t think it possible for a follow up to be on the same level, and yet Gods of the Earth is its equal. Every song is spot on, tightly structured, and executed with white knuckled intensity. Massive wall of guitar with a heavy drum sound that literally pummels. The pacing of the songs must be commended as well. There’s a beginning, a middle, and an end. A true album and not just a random collection of songs to fill up time around a couple good tracks. There is no filler on this. Pure gold the whole way through. –Matt Average (Kemado)


SWEDES, THE:
Nothing Says Rich Like Golf Clubs: CD
An immediate “quirky Killers derivative” blow-off might be understandable, but you’ll find a host of stuff imbedded in there—‘70s-era Kinks, Bowie, Pilot, maybe even a little ELO—if you scratch a little harder at the top skin layer. The tunes are catchy with enough quirk to give ’em a little edge and they’re well played, which is pretty much all you can ask for. –jimmy (www.theswedes.net)


SUPPRESSION:
Amputated Brain Stem: 1993 - 2000 Discography: CD
F’ing brutal and uglier than all hell. Suppression were one of the better bands of the first wave of powerviolence. Sounding like a mix of Crossed Out and Man Is The Bastard, their songs were fast, heavy, and noisy. The sonic equivalent of being stabbed in the head with screwdrivers by a gang of thugs. Merciless in their approach, their attack is bass heavy and blown out with bursts of noise that works its way into your ear canal then chews through your brain to the other side. Sixty-four tracks in all, this single disc collects all their EPs, split EPs, and LPs and comp tracks. Most of the material holds up well, and anyone remotely interested in powerviolence should pick this up. –Matt Average (C.N.P.)


SUB CITY DWELLERS:
When the Beat Starts to Pound: CD
Ska, punk, and dub with a pinch of jazz is what this brings to mind. Only thing I can’t get into is the voice that sounds a bit like Op Ivy’s Lint and the slow tempos. It’s not bad at all, but this reviewer would much rather be listening to Streetlight Manifesto’s take on this genre. –mrz (Longshot)


STOLEN BIKES RIDE FASTER:
Nothing Has Changed: CDEP
This is poppy-sounding melodic hardcore punk. Nothing really sticks out about it, but it’s all right. Keith Rosson said that it sounded like the vocalist doubled all his vocal tracks (or something about the reverb being too high, which I don’t understand) in his review of the split these Italians did with New Bruises. Same thing here. That or another band member is also singing everything. –Vincent Battilana (Document, myspace.com/documentuk / Rolling Anarky, rollinganarkyrecords.it)


STINKY LOU AND THE GOON MAT:
Self-titled: CD
Opening track is “Show Me Your Tits.” The rest of the record is nearly as bad. This is kind of what Bradley Williams and King Khan and BBQ would sound like if they couldn’t write songs and had a thirty point drop in their respective IQs. –ryan (Voodoo Rhythm, www.voodoorhythm.com)


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