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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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FOR THE WORSE:
The Chaos Continues: 7"
I’d sort of pigeon holed old Bridge 9 as a different sort of label. A label that wouldn’t put out something this spastic. Eleven songs on one 7”. Fast, fucked up, with a touch of Negative Approach, and from the looks of the live photos I’ve seen of them, a singer who knows how to tear down a stage. Apparently he was in pro wrestling for awhile. I don’t really follow the “sport,” so I’m not too familiar. Not too shabby. –Steveo (Bridge 9)


FLIP TOPS / YOKOHAMA HOOKS:
Split: 7"
Flip Tops: Ever been in a car that was once a prime hot rod, but when you’re in it, the brakes are shot, there are cigarette burns in the headliner, there’s a crack the length of the windshield, the tape deck only works when a matchbook is shoved on top of a tape, and its driver is almost always drunk and/or stoned? The Flip Tops remind me of that. If total care was taken, they could be owners of a cherry ride shown off during the weekend to impress fellow dentists and chrome enthusiasts. The Flip Tops hop the curb to 7-11, do donuts in neighbors’ lawns, and have everything held together with bailing wire and duct tape. ‘Tis, I believe, the way punk rock should be played. By miscreants barely holding their shit together, rumbling through a world of “misused” potential. Yokohama Hooks: I’ve, on occasion, wondered what Yoko Ono and Nico would sound like if they were, like, good. You know, like sorta arty, but rockin’, itchy and angular, but interesting for the ass and the mind and you didn’t need some sort of degree in asshole snob culture studies to “appreciate” it. Yokohama Hooks somewhat answer that to the tune of “for fans of the A-Frames and Operation S.” Women androids kill with high kicks, just like in Blade Runner. Me like. –todd (Iron Goat)


FISHBONE:
Still Stuck in Your Throat: CD
Reggae, ska, gospel rock with horns and some metal riffs, plus the Dickies and a good helping of Faith No More. This album’ll be a novelty for some, fresh new tunes for others. The best songs on the album have to be the jazzy/punky “Party with Saddam” and “Premadawnutt.” Oh, they also cover the song “Date Rape” by that one band from Long Beach. –mrz (Sound In Color)


FINAL SOLUTIONS, THE:
Songs by Solutions: CD
Whoo hoo, one of my favorite bands out of Memphis. Art punk minimalism, with a lot of fuzz pedal and snot, too. They get compared to the Urinals a lot (and cover them) but that’s just the base. They are fun and spastic against the simple bap-bap-bap, too, and never boring. Looking at them while you listen, you can see the missing link between Wire and Ted Nugent. All business in the front, all party in the back. –mike (Goner)


FEELERS, THE:
Nothing Always: 7"
This band continues to deliver: KBD, tight guitars, strained singing to the point of inventing new melodies, immediate fun. Easily one of the more exciting bands today, as they are just fun, but have a feeling of danger in their sound. Will make girls jump up and down and guys break windows. Anyone out there making a running zombies movie? The Feelers are your soundtrack. –mike (Bachelor)


FEELERS, THE:
Nothing Always: 7"

The Feelers are like going to a really good show, a strong bill. The first bands are pretty darn good. Good enough to sway along to, not mock, and it’s a pleasant, if not mind-blowing, evening. The bands are as good, or better, than the drinks you’re drinking. Then The Feelers come on, and it’s like someone tripped a booby trap. The chaos is precise, it’s directed right at the audience—all from above, out of nowhere, in an ambush—and all the songs are filled with lethal intent, delivered with certainty of muscle. Even if this 7”s is less vicious than the previous one on Contaminated, holy hell, if it’s not as great and still going directly for all the softest parts of the listeners’ bodies. I’m pleased as punch to find strains of hardcore and non-fancy garage snaking around the same stick again, biting from both sides. Supercharger and The Fix fans, hold hands against the enemy of complacency!

–todd (Bachelor)


FEELERS, THE:
Children Are Kids Too: 7"
After the “Nothing Always” 45 this is the fifth single from The Feelers by my count, not including the split with the Blank Its and the single on the Killed By Trash comp. They may be reaching the Tyrades territory, a killer collection of 45s and only one full-length. Nothing wrong with that, upping the fetish scale a la The Rip-Offs. This one is for the “2007 European Tour” and continues their KBD sound, but they are as consistently good and fresh as anyone else you wanna name today. Some of their best stuff here. Not to mention, P. Trash is on a roll lately with some sparkling 45s. –mike (P. Trash)


FALLOUT, THE:
Dismantlement: CD
From the name, and the artwork used, I was totally expecting some kinda hardcore screamfest, but no, these guys defy convention by shying away from going balls-out manic and infusing more than a dollop of pop. Although they’re considerably looser and they didn’t really sound like them, the catchiness of the tunes and the political bent of their lyrics reminded me of Rebel Truth. Better than expected. –jimmy (Insurgence)


FAKE PROBLEMS:
How Far Our Bodies Go: CD
This is where keeping it real goes wrong. I got this for review over at MRR too, to which I immediately said “Oh Shit,: as I did just now when I opened the package from Razorcake and saw it again. I spent a long time while listening to this record trying to figure out exactly how I’m going to say “Idonlikeit” while trying to avoid the maximum level of shit I’ll get later. You see, a friend of mine put this out. Not only that, but three of these guys are total sweethearts and although the other one perturbs me, he isn’t a totally bad gent. I’m giving him a chance to grow on me as I’ve been promised he will, but from time to time it has been a challenge. Okay, so add those things together with the fact that I’ve seen this band live and heard their record and at this point don’t particularly care for any of it... and don’t forget to toss in my natural tendency to “keeps it real” and you can see my problem. But fuck me; this is not a review of my issues reviewing this record. The real issue here is that with this record and band all the elements are there, all the dominos are lined up, but it doesn’t click. You’ve got southern Plan-It-X/No Idea punk vibe in several of its many varieties well represented, but it all comes through a little hollow. I blame it on their youth and it seems like things are happening a little too fast for these guys, but if they slow it down a touch and enjoy the ride, something good could come of it. –Steveo (Sabot)


EXPLODING HEARTS, THE:
Shattered: CD
The Exploding Hearts were one of those bands that slowly grew on me rather than wowing from the get-go. I liked their debut album, but it took just a little bit of repeated listenin’, and becoming totally smitten with their cover of FU2’s “Sniffin’ Glue,” to imbed a full appreciation of them firmly in my head enough for me to look forward to their next release. Sadly, that release never came to pass thanks to a car accident killing most of the band in one fucked up swoop. As a result, the title of this collection of odds and sods is poignantly fitting. Like its predecessor, the music here illustrates that these kids were capable of plundering deep into the power pop (a term that is in reference to the late-‘70s/early-‘80s music phenomenon that spawned The Beat, The Quick, The Plimsouls, and countless others and not the slew of crappy bands that have co-opted the term to distance themselves from the pop punk ghetto into which they so deftly fit) vaults for inspiration and wicked hooks, tempering things with enough punk rawness to avoid any potential hypoglycemic fits and ending up with some seriously good, seriously catchy songs. Bands this good right out the box are scarce, so the loss of one before they’ve achieved their full potential means we’re the worse for it. –jimmy (Dirtnap)


ELECTRICUTIONS, THE:
Sedition, Subversion, and Espionage: 7"
Wow, pretty killer r’n’r with political lyrics! This is a real find. A cousin to The Regulations, not so literally but in old punk rock sound and lefty lyrics. How many times do you get a lyric sheet with a 45? Not freaking often, but this band has something to say, and the music to back it up. Stirring, powerful, and catchy, and from DC even. Pick it up now! Should be leading the way on Dischord, fitting into the DIY and the politics, harkening back to the bands that started the label. But it’s on Big Neck, maybe because it’s the brother of Odie from the Baseball Furies. –mike (Big Neck)


ECONOMIST:
Self-Titled: CD
Six tracks and sixty-one minutes of dark drone music. It’s nice to have running in the background or maybe while you’re sleeping, but I find it hard to imagine someone saying, “When we go on our cross-country drive, let’s make sure and bring some drone music.” Or, “Hey man, can you put on that new drone CD you got?” –kurt (Lens)


DOWN IN THE DUMPS:
Dumps Luck: CD
If you took a CD of a pop punk band and then backed over it with your car, or pick up truck if you live in Florida, a few times... If that disk would actually play again, doubtful, but if it did actually play—it would probably skip a lot, but if it played again—it might sound like a gravelly version of what once was pop punk. That would be these dudes here. They have a catchiness buried under a thick coating of grit, grime, and the sounds of the gutter. But under the sludge, there’s an enthusiasm to the whole CD that is infectious, and also a slight sarcasm that was once a standard for bands of this genre. “I hate myself but I don’t want to die”; self-loathing yet funny at the same time. Dumps have got something here. Just when the CD gets to that part where things get repetitive, dudes pull through because of their enthusiasm for the songs captured in the recording. –Dave Disorder (Kiss of Death)


DOUBLE NEGATIVE:
The Wonderful and Frightening World of: LP
Holy sheeeeiiit. That’s pretty much sums up all my dropped jaw can muster. Why? These guys sound like all the best parts of early Hüsker Dü and Pick Your King-era Poison Idea without sounding like they’re trying to ape those bands, making for one really good reason to go out and buy a record player, if you don’t already have one. I give it four days before I completely wear the grooves out. –jimmy (No Way)


DIRTY LOOKS / BOSSY:
Split: 7"
I get frustrated some times. I get frustrated when I don’t get good stuff for review and I get really frustrated when I get good stuff for review from bands who can’t seem to make up their mind if they’re going to continue being a band. I mean how many times can you put your little heart out there for a band that you know is just going to break your heart? This record has not one but two bands giving me angina. Firstly there’s Dirty Looks. At least half of whom live in the Bay Area and, on occasion, will play a show when all of them are in town. I got their demo in the last year or so and I was blown away. Naters of Bent Outta Shape laying down some “Bob Stinson if he was wasted and suddenly found himself in Naked Raygun on guitar,” backed up by Ren and Skip (also of B.O.S.) and fronted by Gaylen…a lady who can lay down the grit in just the way I like it. To my question of “are you guys going to tour at all?” I believe I got some reply of “not really and half of us are moving back to Oakland.” Now if there’s one thing I hate more than being let down by good bands breaking up before they’ve realized their full potential, it’s those bands breaking up after I laid down a thousand or so dollars to put out their record. So I balked. Bossy—although I don’t think they ever asked me to do a record—is a similar sort of situation coupled with the fact that I thought they blew at the Fest and god bless little Jimbo but that man can’t stay in a band for more than ten minutes. Their two songs here way outshine their performance that balmy night in Florida. Well, anyway, thank the man upstairs for Marco of Salinas. A young man with the deep pockets of a school teacher and the testicular fortitude of a deep sea welder. He treads where I dare not go and reaps the spoils of those dangerous outings. She ain’t too much to look at but she is a pleasure to listen to. –Steveo (Salinas)


DIRTY BIRD:
Here Lies: CD
Stoner rock meets blazing garage punk with blown-out vocals. Members of Glasspack and Raging Slab are in the band. Comes off a whole lot like what I remember Laughing Hyenas sounding like. Any fan of Zeke, Ironboss, Melvins, or, especially, The Hookers will want to check this out. –frame (4 Walls)


DIGITAL LEATHER:
She Had a Cameltoe: 7"
When I lived in Tucson years ago, I would see Shawn (the man behind DL) at shows, looking like a skinny bottle of whiskey that was always filling back up. He seemed unstable and fun, someone you want to hang out with as long as you had a bail bonds card on ya. Well this is how DL is too, er, in digital form. Twisted synth punk. His newest single sounds like the Boggles on the title track: vocals through a TV speaker, really, really electric sounds, more pop-pop-click than his usual vibe. But it’s great and what American wouldn’t like a song about a cameltoe? The back side, “Abrasion” is more along the lines of his other work: moody drama class vocals, strong keyboards, and garage rock drums… homemade damage. It’s a killer song that you can sing along to like a drunk Brian Eno. –mike (Goner)


DICKIES, THE:
Second Coming: CD
I’ve been an unabashed Dickies fan for as long as I can remember. That said, I loathed this album when it first came out to the point that, up until now, it was the only one I actively refused to own. The wherefores involved in my detestation boiled down to one thing: a production that strived so hard for mainstream success that it effectively smoothed off all the gloriously jagged bits that made the Dickies sound like, well, the Dickies. The rhythm guitars were just lost in some void and “Dummy Up” sounded like some outtake from an aborted Dexy’s Midnight Runners album. And then there were the cover songs, the last refuge of the band’s true greatness, sullied by faithful interpretations of “Hair” and “Town Without Pity” rather than the ramped up approach that made their renditions of “Nights in White Satin,” “She,” and “Paranoid” on albums past such barnburners. Revisiting it some eighteen years later, I’ll grudgingly admit things aren’t as dire as previously believed. Sure, the covers still suck something awful and the rhythm guitars remain MIA, but the strength of songs like “Going Homo,” “Cross Eyed Tammy,” “Booby Trap” and others shine through the lackluster production. No doubt to make things that more enticing, the Killer Klowns five-song mini-LP has been tacked onto the end. Yeah, it still ain’t my favorite album by them, but it ain’t half as bad as I thought. –jimmy (Captain Oi)


DESTRUCTORS 666:
Many Were Killed, Few Were Chosen: CD
I’ve gotten nearly an EP per issue from these guys over the last couple of years, so it’s nice to see they’ve decided to forego yet another and go for broke with a full-length. Considering their pedigree (they started out as the Destructors way, way back in 1977, broke up, one dude went on to play with the Blanks before reforming the Destructors and taking them into the next decade, where they became part of the infamous U.K. ‘82 crop of punk bands), it comes as no surprise their sound harkens back to the so-called “glory days” of U.K. punk. What is surprising is they sound just as relevant and as energetic as they did lo those many years past. The speed of their tunes leans more toward mid-tempo punk than minimalist thrash these days, but they can still belt them out with a power and conviction many new bands seem unable to muster. The lyrics alternate between the serious and the not-as-serious, and there’s even a remake of the aforementioned Blanks’ “The Northern Ripper” on here. –jimmy (Rowdy Farrago)


DESTRUCTORS 666 / THE RUINED:
777: CD
The Ruined: Sorry, but hard as I try, I just can’t get past the metal component to their sound. Destructors: Damn these guys are prolific! No sooner did I review their full-length when this came along. Two tunes with a horror vibe to ’em, mid-tempo at their fastest, neither of which are too shabby. –jimmy (Rowdy Farrago)


DEREK LYNN PLASTIC:
Negative Feelings: 7"EP
Skinny ties used as nooses. Amphetamines instead of cocaine. Mr. Plastic has one foot in the new wave (keyboards, excited robot vocals) one foot in the rock (a human drummer, slashy instead of bouncy guitars). In a good way, this EP takes cues from Dirtnap’s deep roster; a modern twist in an alternate universe where musicians learn equally from both The Adverts and the Vapors, utilizing the technology of today. Think along the lines of a mix of The Triggers, The Charming Snakes, and The Briefs, all about the get into a nasty wreck, speeding down a wiggly freeway. Not bad. –todd (NMG)


DENNIS MOST:
USA Punk 70's: CD/DVD
…to be brutally frank, if you’re already in possession of the “Excuse My Spunk” CD, your Dennis Most & the Instigators collection is more than adequately stocked. To further the thought, while i imagine, rightly or wrongly, that stuff from the 70’s like “Excuse My Spunk” and “Penetrate” might very well have bequeathed profound influence on the likes of GG Allin & The Jabbers, and while i also applaud the “let’s turn it up to 10!”sentiment of 2004’s “I’m Not Dead Yet,” anyone who doesn’t think that weak, white, “new wave” covers of ballsy classics like the Equals “Baby Come Back” were precisely what caused hardcore to invent itself in 1981 is sadly misinformed. However, i can say, with some conviction, that this is the first time i’ve ever reviewed anything containing a Bubblepuppy cover. Wheee! BEST SONG: “Penetrate” BEST SONG TITLE: “Don’t Take Me for Granted, Janet” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Comes with a DVD of Dennis Most & Audiolove playing at Xavierian Bros. High School in 1976. The best part ((besides the Hollies cover)) is that they’re playing in front of a banner that clearly says “SASS.” –norb (Dagger)


DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR:
Count Me In: LP
When I was seven, I once took a ride on my bike and I hit the curb at a funny angle. I flew from my bike and skidded to a stop on the loose gravel which also contained shards of glass. That was more fun than listening to this record. Bryan Static –Guest Contributor (Bridge Nine)


DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR:
Break Through It All: 7"
This record does what it’s supposed to. It makes me want to wreck people. It does what Blood For Blood did for me for a brief time. It makes everything look twisted and ugly and deserving of at least one boot party for all that it has done to you. It’s hardcore, it’s heavy, and it isn’t afraid to lay down a little double bass for just the right amount of time. What I wish it didn’t do was cover Cock Sparrer. It’s not the most offensive version of “England (here Boston) Belongs to Me” but it’s really nothing special. The other two songs are apparently on their LP so if you were thinking of getting this for the cover on the B-Side you might be okay just having that LP. For you nerds this is limited to 1,000 hand-numbered copies on blue/black splatter vinyl and red/black splatter vinyl. Are we over “splatter” vinyl yet? You see it so often these days because of Pirates Press that it’s lost all specialness to me. –Steveo (Bridge 9)


DEAR LANDLORD / CHINESE TELEPHONES:
Split: 7"
Dear Landlord: The new guys. Equal parts Rivethead and The Copyrights (literally), this band is a fucking powerhouse. I’m calling it pop punk, but with more raw power than 1-4-5. They’ve also figured out a nice loophole to the eternal “do we want to double our vocals when we record?” by having up to three dudes (again, who can belt ‘em out) all singing at once at times. We’ve got a strong contestant for best band of the year. Chinese Telephones: The established guys. You’ve probably heard the name before, particularly if you’ve read this magazine before. Still fun, catchy, and upbeat punk rock that kind of reminds me of the one God Hates Computers song I heard. Now get that proper full length out. Overall: A pretty great look into what’s going on in “somewhere in between pop and straight-up punk rock.” –joe (It’s Alive/ Recess)


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