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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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MANIKINS, THE:
Self-titled: LP
Lo-Fi Rip Off punk that would’ve probably made for a great bunch of singles, but only manages to blur into one long drone as a full length. There are some good tunes on here, but it’s almost too much of a good thing, if you catch my drift. –todd (Rockin’ Bones)


MALAVISTA:
Self-titled: CDEP
This one caught me by surprise. I haven’t heard anything from Malavista in a couple of years, and apparently, they’ve spent that time getting way better. This EP is five songs long, and the songs bridge the gap between ‘80s hardcore like Los Olvidados and JFA and current OrangeCounty beach punk like Smogtown and the Smut Peddlers. It’s a lot more complex than it sounds on the first listen, and, if you know how much I like all four bands I’ve just compared Malavista to, you understand how impressed I am by this EP. –sean (Rezist)


LUBRICATED GOAT:
The Great Old Ones: CD
One time, I was at a Lubricated Goat show, and I yelled for my favorite Lubricated Goat song “Japanese Train Driver” after every song, and they never played it, and I was swimming in a sea of Milwaukee’s Best, because at that time they packed it in longnecks, and I swam home in it, and I discovered that “Japanese Train Driver” is by Grong Grong. I was terribly embarrassed. Later, singer Stu Spasm moved to New York and got stabbed in the brain. Apparently, recently, he formed a new Lubricated Goat and re-recorded several extant Lubricated Goat songs and they sound pretty good. I no longer have any of my Lubricated Goat records, so I can’t do a proper comparison, but I don’t remember Stu’s voice sounding so much like Lemmy or the guy from the Anti Nowhere League. Must’ve been the brain infection. Prime AmRep postpunk. –Cuss Baxter (Reptilian)


40 WATT DOMAIN:
Short Wave: CD
That stereotypical SoCal pop punk sound from a band that’s no doubt looking for that big break into the corporate cash cow. Look for ‘em live on the next Clear Channel tour and for this particular copy of this disc to hit the rubbish bin. –jimmy (Gaki)


LOUSY BREAK:
Don’t Wait for the Next Time: CD
Wow. There’s dice on the front AND back cover! Contains lyrics like: “Meet a girl drinking on a Friday night/Knowing she’ll get loose when she gets tight.” And, in the song “Fuck the French,” we’ve got, “Land of fags, wine, and cheese/A nation of pussies and chicks with dicks.” Wow. If this were a cereal, it’d be Berry Berry Kix. Yuck! –Maddy (Headache)


LOUD PIPES, THE:
LPEP: CDEP
Carbureted by Motorhead. Jetted by Thin Lizzy. Heads ported and polished by a Zeke-like efficiency on the flat track. Brakes? Removed. Insobriety? Check. Exhaust? Straight pipes, baffles removed, and can activate car alarms from a hundred yards. The Loud Pipes are a rat bike of a punk rock bar band, but the engine’s a monster, one that Poison Idea would approve of. What they give up in finesse, they’ve gained in pure, thick rubber-left-on-pavement power and fat, bruisey riffs. Not what I usually bang along to, but I tip my helmet to ‘em. –todd (The Loud Pipes; <www.theloudpipes.com>)


LOST SOUNDS:
Demos and Outtakes Volume 2: 3 x 7” Box Set
While the terms “garage rock” and “new wave” have recently been smooshed together like a forgotten peanut butter and jelly sandwich in a back pocket, and most bands affecting that pose sound like a soggy mess, the Lost Sounds have tightened the screws on the hull of their monster of sound. From the eerie subject matter – including zombies and graveyards – to the b-movie world of lost planets, to the crackling, jumpy, synth-addled, guitar tramplings, the Lost Sounds started out by inhabiting distant worlds and are now setting their eyeballs, glowing green with radiation, on this planet. The wide structure of the band – I hate to use the word “concept,” because so many concepts are too damn fruity, but that’s what it may be – is analogous to Man… or Astroman? Substituting mutant wolverine new wave in the place of intergalactic surf opuses, the band is bigger than any one isolated part. A cacophony with it toes dipped in melody. How all of the pieces come together is the really exciting part. This box set’s a perfect example. You’ve got the music – fifteen songs on three seven inches – but it doesn’t stop there. Included are also a booklet, a poster, a pin, a photograph, and a piece of candy. Much like MoAM? The Lost Sounds seem to be as interested in creating an entirely new world as much as they are with creating new songs. This collection, as the title suggests, has alternate and earlier takes on a lot of their songs. It also includes one song that had never been released before, “Chopping Block.” Awesome. Limited to 500. –todd (Rockin’ Bones)


LOST PATROL, THE:
Songs About Running Away: CD
Who the fuck ever thought that Dennis Lyxsén would ever write an album which is just slightly to the rock side of Kings Of Convenience? These country-inflected pop songs are a far cry from The International Noise Conspiracy, much less Refused. Frankly, once this hit the CD player, I really didn’t listen to much else for this issue. While there’s nothing here as overtly political as Lyxsén’s other bands, the songs seem covertly political, primarily focusing on relationships – perhaps romantic, perhaps platonic – which are still imbued with longing and desire. This is perhaps one of the most noteworthy characteristics inherent in Lyxsén’s music – there is usually a sense of yearning for something, whether a better political future or a relationship which doesn’t yield a sense that something is still missing. One of the most interesting artistic ideas at play here is a sense that disenfranchisement, that alienation and ostracization engender a void which pulls on other areas of a life; that being removed from or marginalized in the political realm can in turn result in frustrating or unfulfilling relationships and that these frustrations can cascade throughout one’s existence, coloring everything they touch. Of course, maybe I’m just another asshole rock critic who’s reading too much into a set of pop songs … but still, it moves. –scott (Burning Heart)


LOCOMOTIONS:
Self-titled: CD
If you purchased ten or more records with a Born On Date of 2003 A.D. and the Locomotions LP was not among them, you are hereby charged with Contempt of Rock, and will remain in such a state until the oversight is corrected and the proper reparations are made. As some sort of a fucked-up reward for you not being on-the-ball enough to have figured things out the first time through, said album is now available on piracy-friendly CD format with two bonus tracks. I would repeat my review of last year’s vinyl at this point, but the only part i remember is the bit about DMZ locking their rabid redheaded stepchildren in the basement and them burning the house down instead of playing “Mighty Idy” – which is, realistically, all you need to know anyway. If you like punk rock and you like, say, The Pack, then if you like the garage punk thing you oughtta like the Locomotions. Surely you groove upon the whole furriners-bashing-shit-around aesthetic? ROCK AWAITS YOUR OVERDUE ACT OF CONTRITION! BEST SONG: Goddammit, i STILL say “Sigma Attack!” BEST SONG TITLE: i don’t even remember what i said last time. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: The press release mistakenly refers to the song “She’s Got Her” as “She’s On Her.” Good one, Tom! –norb (Dead Beat)


LAYMEN TERMS:
3 Weeks In: CD EP
Before the vocals kick in, the first song sounds so much like Metallica’s “One” that I can see Lars Ulrich nodding his head as he hits that tom just once before hitting the snare. Who’s showing off their classical guitar lessons, huh? –scott (Suburban Home)


LAHAR:
Collapsing of the Soul: CDEP
Three-song EP. Guessed the grind sound from the album title. Find the EP from the band Are You God? instead. –mike (Wormfodder, www.odeum.org/wormfodder)


KUKL:
The Eye: CD & Holiday in Europe (The Noughty Nought): CD
Never been a fan of Bjork, but always kind of wanted to hear Kukl, her pre-SugarCubes band, as they were on Crass and that was a recommendation of sorts. Now I can, because it’s reissued. 1984’s The Eye is about what I expected: super-effected, Cure-esque guitar, arrhythmic percussion, gothic touches like donging bells, all presided over by Bjork’s grating caterwaul. The next year’s Holiday in Europe, however, makes considerable gains in terms of non-irritation: Bjork’s vocals are reigned in somewhat, the drumming shaped up, and the incidental noise fleshed out satisfyingly, giving the whole thing a tone that’s more regulated and more ethereal at the same time, like they stepped up from being pretend-weird to being actual-weird. That said, though, you’re not likely to catch me listening to Kukl again any time soon; just because it ain’t bad don’t make it good. –Cuss Baxter (One Little Indian)


KNIGHTS OF THE NEW CRUSADE:
My God Is Alive! Sorry About Yours!: CD
This has GOT to be a joke. Thirteen tracks here whose alleged sole purpose is to sing the praises of Jesus Christ and condemn the sinful state in which this world finds itself, all done up in neo-’60s garage rock. If this is, in fact, a joke, then songs like “Ain’t No Monkeys in My Family Tree,” “Dangers of Dating” and “‘E’ is for Evil” rank up there with the best works of bands like Crucial Youth and Fearless Iranians from Hell in pointed parody. If this isn’t a joke, and their music is, indeed, “the weapon in our crusade for Christ Almighty,” then Jesus’s army is in sorry shape, ‘cause it’s staggeringly hard to take seriously four guys wearing modified buckets on their heads. –jimmy (www.crusadenow.com)


KID606:
Who Still Kill Sound: CD
Some really good jungle and ragga remix tracks can be found on this, along with some other DJ-type madness. Sorry for such a curt review, but it’s hard to type when you’re shaking a tail feather. –jimmy (www.tigerbeat6.com)


JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT:
Fade to Black: CD
This is supposedly the first in a series of discs highlighting Arizona’s treasure trove of “lost” bands, and it is one hell of a way to start things off. This album, first released back in 1984, is a gem of ‘80s hardcore punk rock with a gaggle of dark, catchy-as-hell mid-tempo hardcore done up in ways one rarely hears anymore. According to the press materials, it was recorded on a two track which is mind-boggling considering how well it came out. There’s nary a lousy track to be found here, and if the album ain’t enough, a soundboard recording of a live set is tacked on the end for good measure. Now, I highly recommend that all reading this inundate Malt Soda with letters requesting that they offer up Conflict’s (the Tucson band, not the UK hippie punks) sole album, Mighty Sphincter’s Ghost Walking double EP (hell, almost anything from Placebo’s back catalog would be swell) and anything they can manage to scrape up from Soilent Green. Trust me, you’ll thank me for it later. –jimmy (Malt Soda)


JOHNNY CHEAPO:
Rock-N-Roll Sinner: CD
Imagine a less political Sloppy Seconds. Yes, you read that correctly –jimmy (Smut, no address)


JOEY CAPE/TONY SLY:
Acoustic: CD
Woohoo... Joey Cape of Lagwagon and Tony Sly of No Use For a Name do a split release of acoustic songs from their respective bands. But wait... there’s more! You get an original, new song from each person. I don’t know how excited you are but all I hope for is they give me more than a dollar worth of credit when I try to sell this to the record store. –don ()


INTENSE MUTILATION:
Sgt. Leper’s Falling Parts Club Band: CD
Punk rock piss takes on songs by the Beatles, Slayer, Peter Paul and Mary, and others. Was about as interesting as their previous efforts a decade and a half ago, namely for about fifteen seconds. Then again, I was in a band with songs about hermaphrodites fucking themselves, so who am I to talk? –jimmy (www.intensemutilation.com)


INSTIGATOR:
Sorry We’re Punk: CD
Picked this up recently at a SouthBay show. Haven’t been to a show in the SouthBay in over a decade. This band was the opening act. While they were playing, my brother told me that he remembered this band from the early ‘80s. As the band played along, I vaguely remembered the band. They played an impressive set that brought back memories of the early days and the many bands that never went anywhere but were good. After the show, I struck up a conversation with the drummer and asked him if he had played many a night at the local punk club in Hollywood back in the ‘80s. He confirmed my suspicion and I immediately felt like I’d met a comrade in arms. This release features the one of the first bands to play the melodic beach punk sound. They also have a sound that is very OC from that time period. Cross the Vandals with D.I. and, for some weird reason, I hear some Youth Brigade. You can also hear where Pennywise might have gotten some of their influence in there, too, due to proximity. Their live set caught me but hearing a good recording of that set is even better. The old punk in me cried for this. –don (Instigator)


HOT’N’HEAVY/THE SHARP EASE:
Split: 7”
It’s fitting that Hot’n’Heavy should join forces with The Sharp Ease for this split 7”. Both are Los Angeles-based bands lacking in the pretension that often plagues the scene in this city. Both are the writers of sharp, insightful lyrics and the players of heavy beats. Both are known for their highly energetic live shows. Hot’n’Heavy could be part of the High NRG Riot, should something exist, as influenced by Kathleen Hanna as they are by Bronski Beat. Listening to this album, it becomes obvious that Dolly Resendez and Rudy Blue are just as comfortable making zines at home as they are dancing to Trans X’s “Living on Video.” The duo offers two tracks on this release. “Colored Vinyl,” featuring Dolly on vocals, is a hyper-rhythm dance track in the vein of ‘80s Hi NRG music, but with a distinct punk twist. On “State of Confusion,” Rudy Blue takes center stage with flat but endearing vocals, as if New Order’s Bernard Sumner grew up in Los Angeles, as opposed to Manchester. On the flipside, The Sharp Ease prove, once again, that they lay claim to the best drummer in Los Angeles. Christine Kings wields her drumsticks like a Williams sister on the tennis court. Listening to her, I’m half-expecting to hear her rip off the skins. Yet, for all this power, she never drops a beat. Running through the rhythm is Paloma Parfrey sounding as if she is on the verge of kicking someone’s ass – all anger and fiery passion. While this 7” is a strong testament to the sound of both bands, it does not match seeing either group play in a dark, skanky club. The music just isn’t the same without watching Rudy Blue work the Jazzercise moves in the middle of the crowd as his boxers hang from under his gym shorts or Paloma Parfrey spitting out lyrics as she jumps into the audience. –liz (Spitshine; www.spitshinerecords.com)


HORROR, THE:
First Blood Parts I & II: CD-R
I like it when I’m not expecting something. Like this release, I got an ass kicking while I was not looking. Consisting of former members of the Voorhees from the UK, they take the short, fast and loud route and pummel through twenty-eight songs. Done well, this style is extremely entertaining and is a great outlet. Fans of DS-13, their former band the Voorhees, or Amdi Petersens Arme will be won over by this band. Now I have to go out and get the actual release and hope I haven’t missed them live. –don (Chainsaw Safety)


HORRIBLE ODDS, THE:
Underground: LP
Straight ahead gearhead rock for fans of that. Not enough for me to drive fast to. –mike (Onion Flavored Records)


HOLY SHIT!:
What the Fuck?: 7” EP
Ass my dick etc. What it reminds me of is an old band by the name of Killing Children from Ohio or somewhere. If this record would’ve come out in 1984 like that one, it’d be kicking ass on eBay right now. As it stands, well, that might not ever happen, but it’s a nice little blast of Midwest (Milwaukee – the city that Schlitz made famous) hardcore that’s like chicken croquettes going into your ears. You can buy it for $4 ppd. –Cuss Baxter (Holy Shit!)


HIDDEN TRACKS:
The Sweet Sounds of Excess: CD
I swear, whatever I did to deserve getting so much indie rock to review, I apologize! Please! End the deluge! Contains the line, “I wanna be your whore/I wanna be all yours.” Lots of new-school Dr. Frank-esque vocals, and, once again, tons of R.E.M. influence. One pretty alright song (“Insomnia”). More of that, less of the rest! If this were a cereal, it’d be a defective box, containing mostly Special K (and advertised as such), but with a little sprinkling of Honey Nut Chex thrown in (fortunately) by mistake. The end! –Maddy (Disposable Pop Revolution)


HELLSTOMPER:
Are You from Dixie?: CD
From the title of this release to songs like “Pabst Blue Ribbon,” “Old Rattler” and “Son of the South,” you should know what to expect. You get some hillbilly rock and punk. Reminded me of Antiseen playing a hoe down with some really cheap whiskey. This could be a discography of sorts since this is made up of songs previously released on three different albums. I’m not feeling it. –don (D-Fens)


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