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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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MATTY POP CHART:
Everyone Does Everything: CD
Yay! Matty Pop Chart plays more silly dorky songs! He does occasionally go too far into the earnest/cheezy end of things, but never too far (unlike other similar bands). So, while you might wince once or twice, it’s GOOD wincing, got it? If this were a cereal, it’d be Rice Krispie Treats. Sure, there are some pieces that are broken and more like regular Rice Krispies, but most of it is congealed sugary goodness! –Maddy (Plan-it X)


MARQUI ADORA:
White Buildings: CD
Here we have some polished, semi-danceable pop new wave. The lyrics are commenting on the role television plays in controlling the masses and there is a retro ‘80s tendency throughout the CD. Think Depeche Mode or The Cure a bit. For people who still are closet fans of Duran Duran, or maybe the Faint with less electronics. They do have a song called “Die in a Disco” for all its worth. It’s a bit too polished for me, but at least they realize that the masses are suffering from an identity crisis. –Buttertooth (www.marquiadora.com)


MANNEQUIN MEN / SHOPPING:
Split: 7”
Mannequin Men are more oddball rock than pure punk, but the way the Riverboat Gamblers and High Tension Wires are. Listed as “gritty” and from Chicago, which can equal good things. Shopping is a real find I didn’t know about—nasal peppy punk in the vein of Peechees, and that’s a damn good thing. Takes you up and down in waves and who doesn’t want that. Wait, Do the Math records, and that’s a Peechees album… its all good. –mike (www.dothemathrecords.com)


MANIC DONKEES, THE:
Manic Rock and Roll: CD
“Hey.” Hi there, CD I’ve never heard before. “Listen to me, I’m awesome.” Are you sure about that? I’m a bit skeptical. “No, totally, we have a song called ‘Shit Hot.’“ Shit hat? “No, hot.” Oh, that makes it less cool. “We also have guitar solos.” Really? “And a five-minute gothic dirge.” Oh, well... “And our singer does a Danzig impression.” I... I think I’m going to go now. “WAIT! We also have incredibly slick produced garage rock! Come back!” –Bryan Static (Self-released)


MALADIES:
Self-titled: CD
When I heard the first verse in “Donna Said”—“Big house party in the Hollywood Hills…Red Hot (Chili) Peppers on the stereo”—I reached for the eject button. It conjured images of Don Henley partying with Flea, lines of coke, and bubblebrained conversations about how Thoreau speaks to them. But then the Maladies uncork this catchy chorus that tips its cap to the Kinks (“D-O-N-N-A/Sounds like L-O-L-A/Ray Davies sang about it but I must tell my story”). Two songs into the disc it’s a draw—the repulsive kept in check by the potentially appealing. Singer Erik Gillberg’s clever vocal lines are outweighed by the brass ring feel that permeates the disc—the party guy lyrics, the slicker-than-catshit-on-linoleum production (thanks for the phrase, dad)—it’s like being around those people at a party who look past you because they’re scanning the room for someone cooler. Let’s move on. –Mike Faloon (Darkjoy)


MAGNET SCHOOL:
Tonight We Drink…Tomorrow We Battle the Evil at Hand: CD
Early ‘90s influenced guitar rock form this Austin foursome. I dig that they cover a Swervedriver tune on here. They also have a song called “Colettalicious” which is about Jawbox’s bassist! But if you ever liked Catherine Wheel or Ride, you may enjoy what this band is teaching. Who knows, you may not be able to break the bond once you start. Especially if you have a metal plate in your head. –koepenick (Arclight)


LURKERS:
Fullham Fallout: CD
One has to hope that the Lurkers have an exalted place in punk heaven waiting for ‘em, ‘cause lord knows they haven’t gotten their well-deserved due here. Part of the U.K.’s initial wave of punk, they specialized in a blissful mutation of pub rock’s stripped-down aesthetic and the Ramones speedy buzzsaw-guitar attack, and this reissue of their debut album shows just how truly good they were. Adding eleven assorted singles and demo cuts to the original album’s already generous fourteen tracks, you get in one fell swoop a good chunk of the band’s prime output, including “Ain’t Got a Clue,” “Total War,” and two versions of “Shadow,” the latter of which was resurrected nearly two decades later by the Rip Offs on their debut album. If you like your early punk lean ‘n’ mean, it rarely gets better than this. –jimmy (Captain Oi)


LOUIS TULLY:
I Was a Dog Once: 7” EP
Retro-ish, lo-fi garage punk, that’s as minimalist as it is arty. First thing I instantly liked about this: NES controller on the back of the artwork Second thing I instantly liked about this: First track title is a Ghostbusters reference (“Don’t Cross the Streams”). Wasn’t familiar with them before, but now I’m a fan, and will check out more from this band. –joe (Repulsion)


LOUIS TULLY:
I Was a Dog Once: 7” EP
I’ve never seen a 7” with a layout like this. Okay, close your eyes to visualize it. Well, maybe read it and then close your eyes. Think of the 7”s that have a full front cover that folds to the back, but then only goes up about half of the way in the back. Okay, now take that idea, turn it sideways. Now, slide the sheet so it’s centered and there are two flaps coming in on either side. Got that? Okay, then in the exposed part, where you would see the record, they’ve slipped in a sheet of paper with more artwork. So, you’ve got the cover artwork (on green) with the both complementing and contrasting artwork of the interior artwork (on white). Sue me: totally get off on stuff like that. So, they’ve definitely got a concept going here with Ghostbusters being a huge influence (I’m saying three of the four songs, but I could be wrong and “Wet Brain” could make it a full four). They’re dancey and fun (The drumset calls them the Louis Tully Party Program for good reason). And it may be schticky, but I like schtick every now and again. I’ve heard they did a 2-D show involving paper cutouts, but I did make it to their 3-D show (which is pictured on their second 7”) where they handed out 3-D glasses to everyone in the audience. Fun, fun, fun. Oh, and fun trivia: they’re not joking around with their love of the NES (the controller is in the artwork): their keyboardist has beaten Super Mario. Playing with his feet. Drinking beer. Seriously. That shit’s on YouTube. –megan (Repulsion)


LOUIS TULLY:
: 7” EP
I don’t know what kind of crack these guys pump their keyboardist full of ((if crack is indeed a pumpable item)), but he starts out sounding like a church organist on crack ((not to mention possessed by high Naz Nomad & The Nightmares-ism)) on “What a Horrible Night for a Curse,” quickly shifts gears to “dude from Styx on crack” mode in “Werewolf Lincoln,” switches to comparably less uncommon “dude who really wants to play stuff like Genesis or something, but winds up falling in with a punk band playing at seven times the speed ‘cause he’s weird, not to mention on crack” mode in “Zodiac,” but then in “Society’s Been Canceled” he really doesn’t sound like he’s on crack at all, only, like, Red Bull® or something. Well, crack is kinda pricey i guess. Meanwhile, the band blazes on, yelling about curses and werewolves and shit, but you probably gathered that from the song titles. Although this quintet hails from my home state of Wisconsin, i can best describe them in terms of two Pacific Northwest bands, as they sound like what i imagine the Minds would sound like were the Minds possessed by the aesthetic desires of the Dead Vampires. Fuck you, Seattle, we took your baseball team! When Portland has something we want we’ll take that too. BEST SONG: “Society’s Been Canceled” BEST SONG TITLE: “What a Horrible Night For a Curse” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: The front cover depicts the band in matching pairs of 3D glasses; however, count the number of lenses and you’ll find that the blue lenses outnumber the red lenses five to four. Ha, Wisconsinis a blue state, but not by much. –norb (Repulsion)


LOT LIZARDS:
Leave Me Alone (I’ve Got a Bomb): 7”
At one time the Lot Lizards had Lemmy Caution from Black Time in their ranks, and this three-song blast sounds like something he’d be involved in—sordid and lo-fi; lead singer GG Cicciolina’s vocals sound like they were recorded in Hasil Adkins’s chicken coop. Meg Slim provides Psychocandy thumb on this 7” that’s indebted to the Stooges’ Funhouse and Greg Cartwright’s mid-‘90s output. Leave Me Alone (I’ve Got a Bomb) is a refreshingly solid debut. –ryan (Perpetrator)


LIGHTEN UP:
I’d Rather Be Snoring: 7”EP
Listening to Lighten Up is a little like listening to a Lifter Puller 33 on 45. These Philadelphia punks are loud and fast, with just enough snotty attitude to give it a little swagger that is well-deserved and not at all posturing. I can’t wait for the full-length! –Sarah Shay –Guest Contributor (www.braindrainrecords.com)


LIBBY LAVELLA:
Sometime in the Morning: CD
“Is this an album you’re reviewing?” Lesley asked. She was all curled up under the covers of my bed while I sat at my desk, typing. It should have been the perfect set up to listen to Libby Lavella’s album. Two sensitive ladies, hanging out inside, late in the afternoon on a cold, snowy Saturday. We should have been really into slow, female fronted, sentimental indie pop. Lesley poked her head out from the covers. “You know what it reminds me of? It reminds me of when I was dating that guy Chris Ikonomopoulos and he sometimes got hired by the government to write background music for training videos. The instructions were always write something that sounds kind of boring.” Enough said. –jennifer (www.libbylavella.com)


LEGION DCLXVI:
Black Goat Armageddon: LP
Do you know your roman numerals? Going by the title and if you actually had the release in front of you, you could highly guess what roman numeral number it may be. But that is a little deceiving also. Musically, two things pop to mind. Swedish d-beat/crust and the almighty Motörhead; adding those distinctive rock-meets-metal riffing with the energy of bands like Skitsystem and Wolfbrigade. A burly set of songs that show that this Canadian band has matured greatly from release to release. The production is superb with the sheer bombastic attack of sound. Vocals that are guttural but not cookie monster-like. Guitar sounds that are heavy and charging. Bass guitar sounds that are solid and punchy with a strong presence. Drum beats that keeps time and are bashed out with a fervor of rage. Lyrics that, in the past, were more in the satanic/death metal theme now are more thought provoking and better written. A band, I believe, that would sit in-between scenes. I think they need to get out and tour the states and Europe. With their output and the maturity of having been together for sometime, many more would come to appreciate them. Musically, I think this band is as good or better than many that is being lauded today. –don (Schizophrenic)


LEFTY LOOSIE:
100 Miles an Hour: CD
Yay! Milwaukee punks are go! Female-fronted punk rock, ideally suited for the basement show! If you’re ever in Milwaukee and you DON’T go see at least one band, you are an even bigger dork than me! If this were a cereal, it’d be Fruit Loops. Pop punk yumminess! –Maddy (Fast Crowd)


LEFTOVERS, THE:
On the Move: CD
Yay! Yesterday’s Kids-esque power pop recorded by Justin Perkins, of Yesterday’s Kids fame! This is such a cool album! Great harmonies, power pop yumminess, and lyrics about girls! And it’s firmly on the punk end of the power pop spectrum (and that’s a good thing)! If this were a cereal, it’d be Cinnamon Toast Crunch! Seriously, it’s just that good! –Maddy (Rally)


LEE MONSTER:
No World Order: 2 x CD-R
This looked like a handmade indie hip hop record at first, and while there’s some rapping, it feels like more of an art project, with all sorts of different stuff, a decent bit instrumental, and some fairly political stuff, too. Pretty cool, though two CD’s worth of stuff is a bit lengthy for me. –joe (Self-released)


LAST HOPE, THE:
Violence, Vengeance and Retribution: CD
Their drummer is named Chippy; I think that’s the nicest thing I can say about this band. Chippy, that just sounds like a nice kind of guy you’d like to get to know better, you know? Maybe go out for an ice cream soda or swing by the local roller rink with. Just make sure he doesn’t trick you into going to see this bullshit. Three guitars for pretty basic anthemic punk? What the hell for? –megan (Self-released)


LAMPS:
Self-titled: CD
Another band here exploring the gray area between skronk, hardcore, and lo-fi trash rock. Though some of the tunes are quite interesting in their utter tunelessness (what can I say, sometimes I like noise), what’s most impressive is the level of racket they manage to create—the guitars alone sound like two sheet metal airplanes colliding in mid-air. I like it lots, but I’m not betting on ‘em getting much air on KROQ or Indie 103. –jimmy (In the Red)


LAIBACH:
Nova Akropola: CD
Listening to this reissue of Laibach’s second album brought back wistful memories of a sound not often heard anymore. Released at a time when industrial music was moving away from the experimental noise of groups like SPK, Throbbing Gristle, and Einstürzende Neubauten and starting to embrace the more dancebeat-oriented stuff of Ministry, KMFDM, and Nine Inch Nails, Nova Akropola serves as a nice bridge between the two. The dance beats are in evidence in places here, but the poppy current that became so integral to the style later is tempered here by deep, almost operatic vocals and a grandeur that is more Wagner than Reznor. Laibach’s stage persona and flirtation with totalitarian imagery (although they insisted they were neither fascists nor sympathetic to Nazi sensibilities) did manage to stir some controversy, but the singular quality of the music they created is something, indeed. Like contemporaries like Coil and Foetus, they manage to take disparate musical influences and create something that may indeed have a beat, ain’t really gonna make you wanna dance, but is interesting enough (the key ingredient) to make you wanna really listen. That kinda musical subversion just doesn’t happen often enough anymore. –jimmy (www.cherryred.co.uk)


KYLMA SOTA:
Self-titled: 7” EP
Ahhh, nothing like some Finnish hardcore to give life perspective again. Four tunes here, all of ’em Discharge-influenced ragers done like only those hailing from that part of the world can. –jimmy (www.raakanaama.fi)


KILLROY:
Football Chants and Angry Rants: CD
Killroy were a bit of anomaly in L.A.’s early ‘80s punk scene. While much of the scene was either indulging in post-Adolescents OC melody-tinged hardcore or opting for the full-on thrash embraced by Wasted Youth, Circle One, and others, Killroy found inspiration in the slower churning of England’s then-contemporary oi scene. The merits of their efforts depended on how one felt about oi, I guess. Looking back that far into their (and my own) past is hampered by the blur of more than twenty-three years. I remember them as being more or less unmemorable, although interesting enough to remember they were on the bill of some long-ago show I attended. That assessment might be a little disingenuous, though. More accurate, bolstered by the music on this disc, might be that they were too often in the unenviable position of sharing the stage with some of Southern California’s most formidable bands. Seriously, how well do you think your band would fare sandwiched between Channel 3, Sin 34, Angry Samoans, and Battalion Of Saints? Listening to this, though, which is essentially the band hitting a studio some twenty years later to run through their set for posterity, it’s clear they might’ve upped their profile considerably and had a fighting chance if they had toured more religiously and steered clear of Mystic Records. While the lyrics are a bit dated in places (“Rush the Doors” romanticizes bum rushing the door at gigs, a practice often instigated by the late John Macias of the aforementioned Circle One rallying the troops and surging through the doors in a mad dash to gain entry, thereby allowing tens of skint punks to see a gig without paying to get in and more skint punks getting an ass-whooping by the bouncers who caught them as they piled by), the music itself is solid and rife with all the chanty bits indigenous to the music of their baldie primary influences. The fact that what’s on here doesn’t suffer from Mystic’s infamous “Wall of Shit” sound helps immeasurably as well. All told, they weren’t quite as middling as recollected and left a much better impression this time ‘round. –jimmy (www.killroypunk.com)


KILLER DREAMER:
Rapid Armor: 7”
The most recent Killer Dreamer LP left me wanting more and this 7” definitely does not satisfy that need. Three more short songs of sun-damaged, cigarette-burnin’, flannel wearin’ punk rock is not enough. This band is so good and the world needs more. As always, the hand screened covers are a great touch. One of L.A.’s best. –Daryl Gussin (Johnny Cat)


KARATE HIGH SCHOOL:
The League of Tomorrow: CD
I’m doing my best to overlook the press release that came with the CD. “Playing on the Warped Tour.” “Conrete Commercial approved aired for the entire month of May.” Okay, moving on. “Endorsed by Rockstar and Amp energy drinks.” Endorsed by an energy drink—TWO energy drinks? Sorry, I don’t like boy bands. I finally got to the music on the CD and it needs some energy. And some fucking ideas. –mike (Evolution)


JOSH SMALL:
Tall: CD
This guy plays the Fest in Gainesville every year. It fits right in with the folk element of some of the Gainesville stuff, like Whiskey & Co. stylistically, at least. Josh Small is from Falls ChurchVA, a small suburban township in central VA that is away from the politics of WashingtonDC and the big city lights of NYC. The idea seems to lean toward a mountain man approach to modern living. The music is mellow and very folky with banjo. If you like bluegrass, Bob Dylan, and maybe, as a stretch, some Crooked Fingers stuff, you might like Josh Small. Mellow out by the campfire with a bottle of whiskey to keep you warm with this one. –Buttertooth (Suburban Home)


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·Vivendi Universal buys MP3.com
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·ÜBER
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·Articles Of Faith, Oct. 8th, 2010 at the Metro, Chicago, IL
·JAD FAIR AND JASON WILLETT
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