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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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KIT:
Broken Voyage: CD
Noisy, chaotic, experimental rock from Oakland. Remember when you got your first chemistry set and then you spent all your time in the basement, mixing different test tube liquids together? This is an eighth grade science experiment, gone horribly horribly wrong. I’m surprised no one was permanently disfigured during this recording session. –koepenick (Upset The Rhythm, www.upsettherhythm.co.uk)


KILL CONRAD:
32 Short Films About Nothing In Particular: CDEP
Short and sweet, this is five songs of quick paced melodic punk (I must dock them points for falling far short of the thirty-two films promised in the title). This isn’t earth shattering or a real revelation but it’s satisfying in that same meat and potatoes way that the Loved Ones or the Briggs are. The band’s sound actually is very reminiscent of those two aforementioned bands and of some of the Bouncing Souls quicker paced songs. This is a solid little EP that hints at some potential greatness if these guys stick to it. Oh, and plus five points for the song title “Ian Mackay Walks Into A Bar…” –Adrian (Self-released, killconrad@gmail.com)


JONUH:
Self-titled: CDEP
This isn’t too bad, rather rockin’ and melodic, but man-o-man, what cheesy lyrics. Still, this is a kind of a good record when one looks beyond that. But something still sticks in my craw, though. The band’s look and sound reminds me of stuff from the late ‘80s, but not quite, as if this could have been a Taang! record from 1991. Somehow that irks me. Maybe the problem is that this appears to be a self-produced record but it has very slick packaging; using Daddy’s money for a punk(?) band? Okay, final word: decent (if retrophonic) music; rehashed early emo lyrics. Final score: above average, but not by much. –The Lord Kveldulfr (www.jonuh.com)


ISKRA:
A Statue or the Stone Subverting the Time Zone: 7" EP
Angular, dancy indie-rock stuff with vocals that aren’t over the top, but still somehow manage to be grating. –jimmy (www.unterm-durchschnitt.de)


INSTAGON:
Survivors Ov Thee Psychick Conflickt: CD
I really wanted to like this, but, truth be told, the bulk of it sounds like a buncha friends fucking around on instruments during a lull in band practice. Probably was a lot more fun to record than it was to listen to. –jimmy (Love Earth Music)


INERTIA!:
No Joking: CD
I put this album on my computer and under the “genre” category in iTunes it automatically listed “folk”. Hmmmm. I’m not totally against folk music, and this isn’t a bad album, but if you’re reading Razorcake you’re probably not interested. I don’t mind the occasional catchy folk song with earnest female vocals and very wordy lyrics, but after a few tracks of this I felt like I was back in my dorm at university, running away from all of the sad nineteen year old girls reciting Ani Difranco lyrics and weeping. –jennifer (inertialily@gmail.com)


HOOSEGOW, THE:
Three Rules: CD
One of Razorcake’s very own contributors, Ty Stranglehold, goes back to the early 80s and puts together a drunken group of misfits to bring back skate rock. Song about skating and more skating and skateboarders. A JFA cover too, just to keep things on point. File between your Thrasher comps and the Big Boys. –don (The Hoosegow, www.thehoosegow.com)


FOR THE WORSE:
Blood, Guts, Going Nuts: CD
I guess it’s just a bad time for me ’n’ singers, ’cause I was totally into the thrashin’ these guys were putting down, but the minute the singer came on sounding as annoying as early Cro-Mags, I was off on another tangent and by the time track five came around, wherein said singer starts screaming about taking a shit, my attention was wholly focused on the contemplation of my shoelaces. –jimmy (www.bridge9.com)


DIGNITY:
Self-titled: CD
The life of a record reviewer is fraught by many pitfalls. One of the big ones: being handed CDs from people you don’t know. It’s impolite to say no. It’s also a tough gig because, hey, some people are nice folks making music I don’t care for. It’s a big world. So we’ve got an acoustic guitar-fronted band, a guy that goes into falsetto who probably listens to the Violent Femmes, singing things like, “She opened up her pussy to me… and said you’re going down with dignity,” “my dick’s hungry,” and I’m just shruggin’. No need to slag, but I don’t think I’ll ever play this again. –todd (myspace.com/aarontrammell)


DARLING:
Welcome the Ghost: CD
I kind of wanted to like this. It is a theme album or a rock opera or whatever, that is supposed to be kind of a Romeo and Juliet star-crossed lovers thing. The songs were fairly repetitive and not at all catchy. I’m no connoisseur of emo or anything, but this sounds like emo to me. Not interesting, soul-baring, guilty pleasure kind of emo, rather whiney, take-yourself-too-seriously kind of emo. No thank you. –jennifer (Darling Little Songs, contact@darlinglittlesongs.com)


CITIZEN FISH / LEFTOVER CRACK:
Deadline: CD
If you are a Subhumans fan, how can you not like Citizen Fish?! Even though my preference is Culture Shock, they are all inter-connected bands. This is an interesting split. Citizen Fish absolutely dominates their half of the split. The familiarity makes me instantly feel comfortable of what I’m hearing. Even though lately I have a real hard time listening to ska, they are in the class of being able to do it right. The originals they perform on this release only add more to the already great catalog of material that they have created through the years. A Choking Victim and Leftover Crack cover add to their contribution. Leftover Crack I know are a very popular band, but I really never knew what the appeal was. Something about the vocals bugs me, and my attention span becomes nil. I guess I’m a hater. –don (Fat)


CHANNEL 3:
One More for All My True Friends: 7"
The A-side is a nice anthemic stomper that made me laugh ’cause it sounded like he was singing “One more for all my two friends.” The B-side sounds like an outtake from their first EP, which of course means it’s fuggin’ mandatory listening. Good, good stuff, as can be expected. Hope they manage to crank out another album soon. –jimmy (www.myspace.com/suburbiarecords)


CHAMPION:
Different Directions—The Last Show: CD/DVD
Maybe I’m just feeling a wee bit too old and cynical right now, but when I hear what is essentially an umpteenth-generation Uniform Choice rip off, who were in turn a third-generation Minor Threat rip off, tell a crowd “circle pit this whole fuckin’ room,” I can’t help but feel the weight of all the clichés at work here. Sure, their pitch-perfect recreation of the whole 1980s straight edge thing—the pictures, which look like they were cribbed off a 7 Seconds lyric sheet, a sense of fashion cribbed straight from a Catholic school gym—and their reference to punk’s real major contribution to modern music, its dance, are all well and nice, but I guess that’s the problem. I would honestly love to hear what they come up with once the hero worship and clinging to convention wears off, but here it seems to me they never really stretch outside of well-demarcated boundaries. So many bands have literally little-to-no chance to make any kind of lasting recorded statement, so why waste yours trying to sound like everyone else, you know? The DVD was very well produced, with multi-camera work of the band bouncing up and down in front of an audience going apeshit, clear sound and interviews interspersed, but I’ve seen way too many bands at way too many shows do the exact same shtick for them to really stand out in any way. –jimmy (www.bridge9.com)


BULLITTS, THE:
The Wasted: CDEP
Woefully weak, flat vocals over uninspired NY rock/punk riffage. –jimmy (www.myspace.com/bullittsnyc)


BULLET TREATMENT:
The Mistake: CD
Full-on thrashin’ here that’s loud, pissed off and tighter than a Bush’s grip on a Middle Eastern oil field. –jimmy (www.thinkfastrecords.com)


BISHOP:
Steel Gods: CD
Good God a’mighty, I haven’t heard metal this bad in fuggin’ years. How bad? To wit: “In a hurried beat/With my one-eyed beast/Set the streets a fire [sic]/Can’t be too picky/’cause you’re [sic] lookin’ tricky/My one true thumpin’ desire....” Rock out with your cock out, dude. –jimmy (www.bishopmusic.com)


BERETTA76:
Black Beauty: CD
Not quite what I was expecting. What I expected was a rock’n’roll über-assault, but what I got was the black ops going on behind the lines of the blitzkrieg. So once I got over my own expectations, I rather liked this one. Imagine a smoky, opiate-laced version of the Donnas—swirling and hazy, yet straightforward, with Camille Escobedo’s vocals wrapping around the listener like an anaconda around a goat, slowing throttling and crushing sensibilities. Funny how I wrote that without looking at the cover which has a woman with a snake wrapped around her, and she’s blending with and becoming the snake at certain points; it may be a bit of a stretcher, but the cover serves as a metaphor for the music. I think that I’m deconstructing too much now. Final word: this rocks, but in a more seductive, alluring fashion rather than simply a brutal assault. –The Lord Kveldulfr (Self-released, www.beretta76.com)


BATTLE FLASK:
Pledge Your Allegiance: CDEP
This disc looked pretty good, but I’ll be damned if I couldn’t get it to play. Nice propaganda-style artwork though. –ty (Fallen Angel)


BAND CALLED PAIN, A:
Broken Dreams: CD
Arriving ten-and-a-half years too late for the party, these guys provide the definitive follow-up album to both Alice in Chains and Soundgarden’s respective careers, circa 1993. Competent at their craft and spot-on in their aping the commercial wing of the “grunge” sound, maybe they’ll strike it rich when the grunge revival hits in five years, but right now this is woefully uninteresting. Adding a little confusion to the proceedings, they’re apparently somehow aligned with the Hieroglyphics hip hop crew. –jimmy (www.abandcalledpain.com)


ATTRACTIVE AND POPULAR:
Money Equals Magic: CD
A lot of people would find this tongue-in-cheek, high-energy, synth-laden punk-metal quintet with matching sequined uniforms and songs like “No Money No Honey” and “Big Tits” hilarious, awesome, and tons of fun to see live. I’m not one of those people. Sarah Shay –Guest Contributor (Gold Standard Laboratories)


ANDY THE DOOR BUM:
The Mt. Holly Sessions: CD
This guy is like a punk rock Tom Waits, but with more folk and less blues. Raucous and stripped-down acoustic folk-punk with a sense of humor and some demons in the closet. Sarah Shay –Guest Contributor (Afterbirth Casserole, no address)


AMERICAN BLACK LUNG, THE:
Sudden Departure of Vultures: CD
Singer sounds like Mike Muir around the time of Suicidal’s first record. The rest of the band sounds like your average rock band. –jimmy (www.uprisingrecords.com)


AGGROLITES, THE:
Reggae Hit L.A.: CD
This is some reggae that sounds like it could have came from a Trojan Records box set. Had I not seen these guys live a few times, I would have guessed this was recorded forty years ago in Kingston. I have some friends that I know would eat this up, but I personally find that old school style reggae is better in small doses because my attention tends to wane after two or three songs. That’s no knock on the Aggrolites though, because even my personal favorite reggae/ska artist, Desmond Dekker, is best experienced a couple songs at a time (except when I saw him roll through Hollywood a while back right before he passed on. That was sheer amazement). These guys exploit the grooves they lay down for all their worth with some nice vintage keyboard work, appropriately juicy bass melodies, and just the right blend of upstroked guitars and in the pocket drumming. Let’s not forget the soulful vocals either. This is a perfect accompaniment for sitting out on porch or stoop on one of those days that’s just a tad too hot, but all the better for it because of all the work it causes you to put off and just relax instead. –Adrian (Hellcat)


YOUTH BRIGADE:
Heidegger, Headgear and Hugs—The Emo Years: CD
Just a friendly reminder that it’s been eleven years and still no new album has been forthcoming. What, are you making a run at breaking Boston’s record for length between releases now? Sheesh, get back to work already or we’ll have those “summer getaway” mansions you bought with them Dividing Line royalties eminent domained. –jimmy (BYO)


YOU AM I:
Convicts: CD
Aussie four-piece comes roaring back with this incredible release. Think of a frothy stew that includes The ‘Mats, Johnny Thunders, even a dash of The Saints. The first two tracks—”Thank God I’ve Hit The Bottom,” and “It Ain’t Funny How We Don’t Talk”—are worth the price alone. But from there it only gets better. “By My Own Hand” and “I’m a Mess” are also in the red. If these guys play your town you should be there before the club opens. I’m fucking serious! –koepenick (Yep Roc)


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·EUREKA CALIFORNIA
·CHEMICAL PEEL
· PROSTHETICS, THE
·PSO
·Clitfest 2004
·YOUR FLESH
·DEAD HEROES
·SONS OF CYRUS
·BRASSKNUCKLE BOYS


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