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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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DESCENDENTS:
`Merican: CD-EP
I am not worthy! Here is a release that is as comforting as a familiar blanket, your favorite beer, or masturbating. It’s a four song EP that include two songs from the upcoming (or by the time you read this, the new) full length, Cool to Be You. These four songs are just not enough! I want more! Gimme, gimme, gimme! It’s good to see the band was able to pull Milo out of the lab where he was doing experiments on vegetables to grace us again with some fine tuneage. If you were to ask me about favorite bands, the Descendents are one of them. I’m pretty sure Milo Goes to College is one of the first ten punk records I ever bought when I was in junior high and that was a long time ago. They are also one of the few bands that I try to have a complete collection. There are only a few things missing that I am not willing to spend big bucks on. But I know I have every single full length. Now back to this here release. For a quick description of this EP, I would say that it is a combination of Enjoy! and the All LP. Also, I truly believe from this teaser that the songs are going to be even better than the songs from Everything Sucks. That’s saying a lot because I believe they haven’t put out a bad release to date. To show how much I like this and how much of a music junkie I am, I’m going out next week and shell out some bucks so I can get the vinyl copy. I’m such a geek!  –don (Fat)


DESA:
Demonstrates Birth: CD-EP
Average pop punk band with emo overtones. I was more excited wiping my cat’s ass after a stinky shit in the litter box.  –don (Substandard)


DECEASED:
Rotten to the Core: CD
At first I thought it was one of those wacky punk-o-rama CDs, with all the hullabaloo hits of my high school punk years highlighted. Instead, it’s a typical hardcore band doing lame versions of some of my – and everybody else’s, even the cheerleaders – favorites. Avoid.  –mike (Malt Soda)


DEADSURE:
From Your Head to Your Sacrum: CD
This is one o’ them “tough call” discs for me. While the fact that it’s loud doesn’t hurt, and there’s no denying they’re proficient at what they do, the artiness of their sound veers a tad too close to emoland for me. Gonna hafta pass on this ‘un.  –jimmy (www.noidearecords.com)


DEAD ONES:
Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em: CD
This manages to remind me of all the good things about ‘80s punk rock without sounding like a rehash, which is always special. It also reminds me of another band that I can’t quite put my finger on. Vaguely Zero Boys, maybe? No matter. “3rd World USA” is a classic tune, though, no matter how you look at it.  –jimmy (Dead Ones)


DEAD KENNEDYS, THE:
Live at the Deaf Club: CD
I’m no one, but I’m still uneasy with the fact that the Dead Kennedys are touring without Jello Biafra. It’s not that I believe one side over the other, either. It’s just kinda ironic that accounting books split up a band that spent so much time rallying against capitalism and the machine. And I like bands playing under a moniker having as many original performers as possible. That’s just my bias. Anyhow, this is a cool, well-recorded artifact – a full set from 1979 in San Francisco, the Dead Kennedys playing their last night as a five-piece. Jello’s French frog falsetto leads the charge and one of the most respected (and rightfully so) hardcore bands of all time plows through an inventive set. As time goes on, it sort of amazes me that, at one time, this band was one of the fastest going. Now they’d be considered mid-paced. They seemed to blister my brain the first time I ever laid ears on them. Going back, I notice such a strong surf influence that, quizzically, seemed to have eluded me completely when I was younger. Now, I realize what accomplished musicians they were and how they worked as a cohesive whole (say what you will, I just didn’t hold on to my Klaus Fluoride solo albums). As a footnote, this includes a previously unreleased Dead Kennedy’s song, “Gaslight.” The song’s nothing to go ga-ga over and has the feel of an extra scene on a DVD that really doesn’t leave an impression. The disco version of “Kill the Poor” is pretty sweet, though. Overall, not bad at all, and if you have all their studio albums and are on the hunt for something new, this’ll fit the bill nicely.  –todd (Manifesto)


DEAD HEROES:
I Hate This Life: 7"
This is a pretty good skinhead band without the sing-a-long anthems that can be very annoying. The vocalist sounds like they pulled him from the Confederacy of Scum (Jeff Clayton, Phil “Whiskey Rebel” Irwin, et al). This put a funny picture in my head of a redneck singing along with some skins. But when you think about it, they aren’t really too much different. The skins wear those plaid button-up shirts while the redneck wears plaid button-up flannel shirts. The skin also wears suspenders; the redneck, overalls. Of course, they both wear boots. The only difference is the hair. I enjoyed these three songs and felt all warm and fuzzy inside thinking of the harmony going on between two subcultures.  –toby (Headache)


DARYL:
Uneven Surfaces: CDEP
The “degrees” between Quicksand and Morrissey is – it makes me queasy to admit – fewer than the traditional six. That’s too close for comfort in my book. The number of degrees needed to get from Morrissey to Daryl is fractional. From Daryl to U2, probably less. And before I puke all over my computer keyboard – which I can’t afford to replace since I refuse to write and record ass-kissing college-radio-friendly pabulum like Daryl – I’ll mention that I have a personal bias involved here that has no justifiable reason being here. But the human mind is, if anything, leaky and prone to contamination. Whether you like it or not, I used to work for a fire-breathing wretch of a human-like greed robot who went by the name “Daryl.” I have never been exposed to such a vile soul-sucking vampire as that dreadful misfire of DNA, so the name Daryl just totally ruins an otherwise mediocre disc for me. Not horrible, just tepid. I think I’ve had girlfriends who would eat this shit up.  –aphid (Idol)


DARLINGTON:
All the Wrong Moves: CD
Some bands just shouldn’t put out records. These guys did anyway. But look! They’ve got tattoos! Lots of ‘em!  –Guest Contributor (Whoa Oh)


DAMAGE DEPOSIT:
Straight to the Bottom: 7"
Laced-up-tight pugilistic hardcore that covers lyrical topics like Lynyrd Skynyrd, ninjas, puppies, and testicle punches, all stewed in the rather serious gravy of socio-political consciousness. But in a good way; if Damage Deposit comes across as anything, it’s that they’re utterly sincere. These guys, unlike a band like For the Worse, are not likely to ever be caught singing hardcore odes to their toilet. I might be going out on a limb here, but I think they sound a little bit like Good Clean Fun at times – maybe a little faster and, of course, with frowny-face tattoos instead of smiley-face ones. Musically, it’s tight and confrontational traditional hardcore and, for me, with hardcore it’s not really who does something “new” with it (because that too often turns into emo or metal), it’s just who breaths fucking fire back through its veins and gets it stomping and raging again like the pissed-off brute that it is. Damage Deposit does that. If you’re at all familiar with Felix Havoc then this is probably exactly like the sort of band that you’d expect him to be in. Top notch.  –aphid (Havoc)


CULPER RING:
355: CD
Unusually gentle experimental music that I wouldn’t have expected from this label or members of and collaborators with Neurosis. This disc collects instrumental improvisations recorded on three separate days; these songs (if you choose to call them that) bubble and glide, sail and turn. Think of this as the musical equivalent of watching a leaf float on a slow-moving stream.  –scott (Neurot)


CRUMBS, THE:
Last Exit: CD
It’s not that I was disappointed with the last album by The Crumbs. I just wasn’t impressed. They’d always had a cool Eddie Cochran/The Saints rock’n’roll sound to them, and the last album had too many bar rock leanings for my taste. Last Exit fixes that problem. The rock’n’roll is cool again. There’s a lot of Johnny Thunders influence in this, sure, but there’s more. It’s like they picked up the last Beltones record and remembered the days when The Crumbs and the Beltones and Hudson were tearing a new asshole into Florida punk rock, and they revived some of that originality and excitement with this new album. I, for one, am happy to hear it.  –Guest Contributor (TKO)


CROSSTOPS:
Truck and Disorderly: CD
Being an ironic version of a crappy bar band still makes you a crappy bar band.  –mike (Malt Soda)


COUNTLESS SHADOWS/UNTIL THE FALL:
split: CD
Countless Shadows: A heavy metal band fronted by a guy who likes to scream a lot. My, how original. Until the Fall: A little better, but the fact that they are reminiscent of Excel ain’t exactly a plus.  –jimmy (High Fidelity)


COUNTERATTACK:
Step Aside: CD
Stereotypical, uninspiring American oi stuff, meaning it pretty much blows. Included is their contribution to what is apparently becoming the mandatory post-9/11 pro-USA anthem genre, in this case a ditty called “Let’s Roll.” Thanks, but if I want mindless flag waving, I’ll turn on the evening news.  –jimmy (Reality Clash)


CONTROL, THE:
Glasseye: CD
It’s not bad, but it comes off as a second-rate Final Conflict.  –don (Go Kart)


CONSAFOS:
Such is the Way of Things: CD-EP
So mellow and peaceful that I forgot I shit my pants.  –don (Greyday)


COLBOM:
Famous Last Words: 7"
Decent enough mid-tempo punk with well-written lyrics. Nice of ‘em to include little explanations for each song, too.  –jimmy (No Idea)


COCKSPARRER:
Back Home: CD
All the hits, recorded live before an enthusiastic hometown crowd. Personally, I would’ve preferred an album’s worth of new tunes, but a collection of classics performed live is decidedly better than no Cocksparrer whatsoever, I reckon. Sound quality’s great, performance is good.  –jimmy (Captain Oi)


CLOROX GIRLS, THE:
self-titled: LP
In a perfect world, Dangerhouse Records never would have gone out of business some twenty years ago. Or that Robbie Fields, without the threat of violence or a lawsuit, would actually pay the bands that help keep Posh Boy in business. The Clorox Girls – I’m assuming, named after the song from Red Cross’ first self-titled 12” EP – would have fit perfectly in with either label. They actually owe more than a passing blush to that version of Red Cross, too (whose members were to go on to Black Flag, Bad Religion, and Redd Kross). This LP has captured the overall feeling of a really cool attitude that punk still seems so full of possibility and fun, even though things look like shit and so many people claim that all the intellectual property’s already been gentrified for arenas or strip-mined of any value. The songs on this LP are both wide-eyed and tough. Arty flourishes are kept it check by the fact that the songs rock all the way through, even when they slow down. The haiku-like, borderline paranoid lyrics provide a nice amount of traction to the bounce. Much more realized than their 7”, which I liked a lot, too.  –todd (Smartguy)


CLAIRMEL:
A Letter To Friends: CD
I was first introduced to Clairmel through the HWM split; Hot Water Music always kicks my ass. Clairmel quickly set about doing the same thing. I won’t pretend to tell you that this is unique; if you’re a fan of Gainesville punk rock, you have likely heard this or something very similar before (likewise, I won’t claim that Clairmel is from Gainesville; I honestly don’t know where they’re from). The difference between this collection of previously unreleased tracks and most of the shit (and I do mean shit) that I review is that whereas most of the shit is impassioned with little to no effect because it sounds like a bunch of art students in the middle of nowhere trying to create something to further ostracize themselves from their surroundings, this sounds like impassioned people trying to connect with their surroundings. To put it a different way, a lot of the albums I get sound like they were made by outcasts in high school who decided to intentionally be weirder so that they could pretend to be cool; this album, in the analogy, would have been made by the people who simply didn’t give a shit about cliques or trends and wanted to sit in their garage and make music that they and their friends could enjoy, music that would provide a sanctuary and a place where bonds between people could strengthen, if only for a little while. I freely admit that I was biased in favor of Clairmel when I got this; I’m more biased in their favor now.  –scott (No Idea)


CHUCK MAIDEN:
Morris Road: CD
Our buddy Chuck Maiden sounds quite a bit like the Wallflowers, kind of like how cow poop smells quite a bit like horse poop.  –Guest Contributor (Lorne Street)


CHOP SAKIS:
Ghost Town Crowd: CD
Melodic, fast, crunchy, with lots of yellin’ and hootin’ and hollerin’! This may help out a small, but important sliver of you; this reminds me of the second coming of Scared of Chaka’s Masonic Youth, a hellfire of an LP. It’s over-amped garage hooked to hardcore tempos – overdriven, precise in its sloppiness – with that type of zipper-down swagger that the New Bomb Turks were famous for. I have no fuckin’ idea what they’re slur-singing about and I don’t care a lick. Amped-up, hand-in-fire good times that’ll get jaded punk rockers jumping and stumbling around like hyperactive cheerleaders with their shoelaces untied. The world needs more bands like this. Excellent stuff put out by the on-long-sabbatical, Joey, who was responsible for releases of both early Good Riddance and the Motards. The band includes members of the Riverboat Gamblers, the Marked Men, and Kris Pierce, an awesome dude and ex-bassist of Tiltwheel.  –todd (Little Deputy)


CHALLENGER:
Give the People What They Want in Lethal Doses: CD
Dave Laney and Al Burian of Milemarker drop the didactic delivery of said band and go straight for the punk rock jugular. Give the People… is filled with sonic relics from the past: one can hear the strains of Killing Joke, Shellac, Archers Of Loaf, Pegboy, Seaweed, and Bluetip buried in this Monorchid-meets-Jawbreaker outfit of anthemic, emotional post punk. It might come as a surprise to Milemarker fans but to those who were familiar with Laney and Burian’s pre-Milemarker bands, Griver and Hellbender respectively, it’s the record you’ve been waiting for them to make. And by god, it’s a keeper.  –greg (Jade Tree)


CATHOLIC BOYS:
Psychic Voodoo Mind Control: CD
Raucous trash punk in the same vein as the Shrinks and the Gloryholes, but with a charm all their own. Label dude Todd says it’s his favorite release and, not taking into account it’s the only release I’ve heard from his label, I’m inclined to agree with him, ‘cause there ain’t no denyin’ this is some good stuff.  –jimmy (Trick Knee)


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