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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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DIRTY SANCHEZ:
Las Vegas Nevada: CD
Hey, I like funny sex acts with even funnier names. I like Las Vegas a lot, too. That said, I should really dig this disc but I’m having trouble. Musically, I was quite enjoying it. Mid-‘90s Southern California style punk with a heavier edge to it. Not bad at all… Until the vocals, that is. The first thing that popped into my mind was AFI, which may be a selling feature for some, but it’s damn near a “shoot yourself in the face” situation for me. Some of the tracks weren’t bad at all. Just tone down the high pitch scream, and I’d be loving this. –ty (myspace.com/dirtysanchezvegas)


DILETTANTES, THE:
101 Tambourines: CD
This CD is absolute shit. It’s Byrds/Jefferson Airplane wannabe psych garbage from the knucklehead who played tambourine for the sometimes inspired Anton Newcombe (AKA, the Brian Jonestown Massacre). Lyrically, this record is about sophisticated as Dee Dee Ramone’s rap album; musically it’s so uninspired, it makes The Jet sound like the Velvet fucking Underground. I wish I could destroy all copies of this CD. Fucking fuck. It has put me in a horrible mood, and I’m all crotchety enough as it is. –ryan (Stranger Touch, www.strangertouchrecords.com)


DESTRUCTORS 666 / $UP:
No Parasan: EP
I didn’t like the three songs by $UP on this EP. The band could be described as apocalyptic death ska, a combination that might sound interesting but is about as appetizing as warmed-up opossum road kill. Maybe if I were thirteen I’d think this was really great, but it just seems kind of dumb and not in a good way. Punk, ska, and metal are, in my opinion, flavors that just don’t seem to go together; like covering an ice cream sundae with mustard. The second half of this EP is by the oi band Destructors 666 which seems like kind of an odd pairing. It’s pretty decent, with an interesting cover of the Sonics classic “Psycho.” –Jason Donnerparty (Sound Recordings Rowdy Farrago, www.destructors666.com)


DEBELI PRECJEDNIK / FAT PRESIDENT:
Through the Eyes of the Innocent: CD
Self-proclaimed Boy Sets Fire meets Hot Water Music from Slovenia. If I didn’t read that this band was from Slovenia, I would assume the band to be American. Recording is rough around the edges. Fans of this style might dig that this band comes from afar. But, for me, it piqued no interest to listen to it more than once. –don (Moonlee)


DEATH PARTY:
Zombies Need Love Too: 7" EP
Evel Knievel wouldn’t dream of jumping the chasm that lies between what Death Party provides and what I like. Sludgey goth punk that slows to sub-Melvins tempos by the beginning of side two. The lyrics are surprisingly Boy Scout-like cautionary tales topped off by “Funny Man,” a John Belushi lament, and they hardly help bridge the gap. On the off chance that you don’t encounter this EP, here are the things that Death Party suggests avoiding: Hello Kitty, zombies, dishonesty, and the party scene. Mike Faloon –Guest Contributor (myspace.com/deathpartyband)


COLDWAR:
Bloodfire Sunset: CD
None-too-interesting burp metal. Sometimes they sound a little like Sodom without the intensity or propensity for speed and even then it ain’t enough to warrant even an indifferent listen. –jimmy (www.underground-movement.net)


CHANG FFOS:
Trust This Arcane Device: CD
Hoo doggy, when the press material dubs this “heavy,” for once they aren’t just blowing smoke up their own asses. This is, indeed, some heavy stuff, an unholy meeting of Black Sabbath, Black Flag, and a Mack truck in a sludge heap located at the crossroads of Psychedelia Place and Noise Rock Road. The level of aural punishment these cats are meting out is truly impressive. –jimmy (www.moonleerecords.com)


CEPHALIC CARNAGE:
Xenosapien: CD
Kinda wild to see something this extreme getting the glossy full promo Relapse treatment. This shit is crazy; blazing metal with trade-off guttural and high pitched vocals. The time signatures are out of control. Must be hard as hell to play this stuff. Not my scene at all, but if you dig tech metal gone grindcore, lunch is served. –frame (Relapse)


CANADIAN RIFLE:
Hospital: 7"
Canadian Rifle sound like the middle ground between Billy Reese Peters, Giant Haystacks, and the Riverboat Gamblers, prior to their most recent album. And you know what that middle ground is? Some agile, intelligent, hard-rockin’ punk rock. Versatile yet doesn’t stray from your punk comfort zone. Or maybe it does, but it’s so smooth you don’t even notice. Either way, it’s really good and ready for repeat listening. This band also contains Al Burian of Burn Collector, and Jacob Levee who was in Fourth Rotor and Ambition Mission. –Daryl Gussin (Squirrel Heart, ryanleary22@gmail.com)


CALABRESE:
The Traveling Vampire Show: CD
General opinion pretty much makes Calabrese sound like they’re the new Misfits: instant classic horror punk. An alloy of metals better suited for Century Media, punctuated with chorus-y whoa-oh-oh-oas. Album name selected from contest entries. –thiringer (Spookshow, www.spookshowrecords.com)


BRIDGE AND TUNNEL:
Self-Titled: 7"
Sometimes a record falls into the lap of the wrong reviewer. Sometimes a reviewer wished he didn’t receive a certain release to review. As I listen to this, those are my first two thoughts. All I can think is, I can not really appreciate this and I don’t have the attention span to judge this fairly. I’m guessing this kind of sounds like Against Me! and Hot Water Music. I would believe that this would have a better home on college radio than on my turntable. Not my cup of tea at all. –don (No Idea)


BEWAREWÖLF:
Self-Titled: CD
These guys are essentially a rock band with just enough “punk” to make some of the tunes musically interesting, although the pussy-hound lyrics got boring by the time “Unzip It” (an ode to the, uh, price a girl has to pay to get into one of their shows for free) rolled around. –jimmy (www.100percentwild.com)


ASHS:
Audible Stellar Hypnotic Situations: CD
Jazzy, arty, jammy hip-hop tinged instrumental stuff. Some of the tunes are hellafied long, but on the whole, the “hypnotic” quality and the fact that those responsible know their way around their instruments made for an interesting listen. –jimmy (www.ashs.us)


ARCH:
Uroboros: CD
There’s something about these guys that reminds me of White Zombie without all the horror schlock, but their heavy-duty hippie sludge don’t do a thing for me. –jimmy (www.4wallsrecords.com)


ANGRY FOR LIFE / DUN BIN HAD:
Split: 7"
Oh no, I don’t need 1996 all over again. I have had enough ska punk and melodic hardcore to last me a lifetime. This has been proven by listening to this single. Angry For Life sound like one of many bands on Fearless or Lethal Records in that era. Dun Bin Had mix their melodicore with some ska for extra ’96-ness. If you miss Falling Sickness or Dynamite Boy you could do worse than this single, I suppose. –frame (Vinehell)


ALRIGHTEES, THE:
The Alrightees EP: 7"
Picture yourself asleep and hungover from the night before. You’re trying to sleep it off, but the thrashing of the garbage truck outside pierces your eardrums in such an unwelcome way that you just want to yank off your ears and crawl into the wall. Yeah, I would use this record to wake up unwelcome guests and scare off the parental units. It’s that irritatingly noisy. I respect that, and as charming as The Alrightees come off, it’s still lacking that extra something. The music is right on, but the vocals are scaring me off. It’s almost like taking a pile of shit and then adding more shit to it. Maybe if they just pissed on that turd instead of emptying the rest of their bowels out on an already full bowl… Still, I kinda like this here record, and not just because the cover has a cartoon of a killer panda getting rained on in blood. –Dave Disorder (Boom Chick, boomchickrecords.com)


AGAINST ME!:
New Wave: CD
If a formerly independent-label band drops a record and it’s paid for by a major, does the band still make the same sound? Does superstar production and the loosened grip of financial fear change things? I’ve had to ask myself this question over and over since Bad Religion signed to Atlantic along with the plethora of other punk bands that went with the majors in the 1990s. At the time it broke my heart, but some bands have a credibility that can still exist if the listener holds the highest optimism for a band’s decisions, and Bad Religion eventually won me back. The same principle applies here along with another I’ve picked up on, which is that I can never know if I’m going to end up liking an album on the first try. Largely unimpressed by the opening title track here (our first taste of the “new” Against Me!), the next track “Up the Cuts” draws me right back in. I can do without the buhbupbuhs of the otherwise lyrically gritty “Thrash Unreal,” but “Piss and Vinegar” is still damned good and convincing. Against Me! have been pissing people off with the progression of their sound as far back as Eternal Cowboy on Fat Wreck Chords, and I freakin’ love that album. They have always created songs with a diverse range of sound. I know they can’t all be “You Look Like I Need A Drink” or even “Those Anarcho Punks Are Mysterious…”, but any band that can write songs like those gets my continued patience as we all wait to see what happens next. –susan (Sire)


ADVERSARY WORKERS, THE:
Vide Poche: LP
Vide Poche is a noisy political punk record featuring admirably self-reflective radical lyrics amidst wayward lead guitar lines and spirited tempo changes. A little bit of intentional humor could help The Adversary Workers, although they’re pretty damn funny regardless. Song topics include school vouchers and gentrification, with Rites Of Spring being the main musical influence. This enjoyable mess from St. Louis has above-average screamed vocals that distinguish The Adversary Workers enough to recommend them. Art Ettinger –Guest Contributor (NoWire)


26 BEERS:
Self-Titled: CD
Some solid, speedy thrash here with enough “gallop” thrown in to give it a nice swing. Although it gets a bit too metal towards the end, it comes off more as an attempt to expand the sound a bit than anything else. –jimmy (Rodent Popsicle)


108:
A New Beat from a Dead Heart: CD
Loud noise-metal that really didn’t leave any sort of lasting impression whatsoever. –jimmy (www.deathwishinc.com)


WHITE SAVAGE:
Destroy Your Style: 7"
East Coast art punk from big star punkers. Songs have that ‘70s vibe of misfits coming together and making something not just oddball but something talented. When you see footage from ‘75-‘77 in L.A. and especially in N.Y. and S.F., you see the real punks—bad hair, badly dyed, more nerdy than hip, with thrift scores out of necessity. They didn’t just want loud and fast, they wanted weird. Here it is. Heavy, jabbing guitars, math drums and pained vocals washing over it—and then the saxophone shows up! Pretty great. “Destroy Your Style” is one of theirs, “Orphans” is from Teenage Jesus and the Jerks. Savage is brainchild of Jim McCann aka Jimmy Hollywood (Baseball Furies) aka Jimmy Ordinary (Tyrades) and drummer Greg Sharp (keyboardist from Chin Up Chin Up) and Jered Gummere from The Ponys. Add in Colin Smith from Screaming Yellow Zonkers and Ryan Weinstein from The Returnables—but don’t expect any of those forty bands’ sounds. According to an interview in the Chicago Reader, they had the band name, a record cover and a T-shirt before they started playing music. Nothing wrong with months of hanging out turning into a band—at least when you make some unique sounds. –mike (Horizontal Action)


WEDNESDAY NIGHT HEROES:
Guilty Pleasures: CD
Some bands out there have one thing going for them that they do really well. For instance, a band can be really good at articulating how angry they are at the way the world is right now. Some bands out there are really going at conveying how much fun they are having being young and in a punk rock band. There are others still who can write the catchiest of songs that stick in your head for days and days (in a good way) and there are bands who can hit the stage and obliterate it with the strength of a ICBM… Now if you’re the Wednesday Night Heroes, you are all of the above and more. Guilty Pleasures is just the latest offering from one of the hardest working bands in North America today. One anthem after another. They speak volumes about taking things seriously, but have fun at the same time. Nothing guilty about this pleasure here! –ty (BYO)


WE MARCH:
Self-Titled: 7"
There’s something traceable to this being from the middle of America, a little up north of the beltline right around the gut, where rust, self-abuse, and unemployment commingle with the DNA of the Stooges, New Bomb Turks, and Chargers Street Gang left in the cracks in the sidewalk, like blood spilled after a murder. The A-side is two short stabs. The B-side’s spit-dripping, fed directly from the six pack rock damage. Like I’ve previously surmised with The Feelers: the line drawn between hardcore and garage were drawn by dumb fuckers, and We March scuff and blur that arbitrary demarcation with every note they play. Nice. –todd (Wicked Singles)


VUNENY:
V2: CD
My taste in music is pretty wide. Just this past weekend I listened to both Hall & Oates and Pig Destroyer. So I guess it shouldn’t surprise me that I enjoyed this album of indie experimental electronic rock music. It surprised me, however, because it’s so well sculpted, honed, and performed. The production is solid and the music is all set down perfectly. A number of the tracks are instrumental, but the ones that do have vocals seem to be sung in English. It surprised me, too, because this band is from Bosnia and their label is out of Slovenia! I know that the rock scene exists in almost all parts of the world, but to hear something that wasn’t just ripping off some other punk band and which displayed a great deal of creativity was really a pleasant revelation. This would be great music for the fan of some traditional electronica as well as those who like their rock with a heavier electronic edge to it. –kurt (Moonlee)


VEIL VEIL VANISH:
Into a New Mausoleum: CDEP
A band that reminds me so much of the darker Cure meets Jesus and Mary Chain. Songs that are dark and dreamy which make me feel like I’m alone on a paddle boat at night, floating with no destination. Another feeling I get is sitting alone in a dark room with just candles, staring at the flames. The band really sets the mood and carries you through the emotion without it feeling like it’s a lifetime. Not having listened to a lot of music of this genre in decades, it’s good that this is an EP. Six songs seem like just enough of a representation to showcase this band. –don (Veil Veil Vanish)


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