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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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BLOWBACK:
Lies: CD
Political punk/hardcore that seems to have its heart in the right place, even if the music ain’t all that interesting. –jimmy (www.blowback.org)


BLOOD SPIT NIGHTS:
Complete: CD
Crusty hardcore sportin’ a very heavy Euro/Scandi influence. Both the metal and Discharge influences are kept in check. Not bad. –jimmy (www.hardcoreholocaust.com)


BLOOD SOAKED HANDS:
Churchfolk and Sinners: CD
Pretty decent punk rock from San Clemente, California! The singer is clearly influenced by Exene Cervenka (singer for X, dudes!), and this whole CD has a sorta Avengers/X/LA feel, mixed with the tiniest bit of crusty punk. It could be a lot more catchy, for my tastes, but if they rock live, they’d win me over. If this were a cereal, it’d be Raisin Bran. The bran is your standard punk rock and the raisins are the crust punk! I am really dumb. –Maddy (Volume Disk)


BILLION STARS:
Pleads the Fifth: CD
You know what this band needs? More cowbells! LA-based glam rock band with a unique but addictive sound. Lots of surprises around every corner. This doesn’t sound much like anything else you’ve probably ever heard. JasonK –Guest Contributor (Energyincorporated)


BIG IN JAPAN:
Who Really Needs a Heart Anyway?: CD
Total pop, produced by famed pop punk sounds-man Mass Giorgini. Super clean production, super clean vocals, super clean lyrics (with the exception of one suicide-themed tune)… I could play this for my mom! (And, in this case, that’s a bad thing.) If this were a cereal, it’d be corn flakes. Inoffensive! –Maddy (Insubordination)


BEHEADED:
Self-Titled: CD
Pretty decent speed metal with a bad mix, dumb lyrics, and terrible packaging. Don’t they make cassettes anymore? –Cuss Baxter (no label)


BASEBALL FURIES, THE:
Let It Be: CD
Finally! After waiting and waiting, the second Baseball Furies album is available to the public. Their first LP, Greater Than Ever, is one of the best punk rock albums of the past decade (making it, by extension, one of the best albums of the past decade, period) and if you don’t have it, then you, sir, are missing out on a band that sounds like they’re going to crash through the wall at any moment. With this new album, there’s been a shift. It’s a little darker, with fewer blatant pop hooks but with a more rounded-out catchiness. The breakneck pace of the first album has been slowed, and it sounds a little less spiteful. The vocals are less slurred. I’m sure that description makes this sound like a letdown, but it isn’t. You see, they do this thing, I think it’s called taking risks instead of treading over the same ground, which is something that most punk bands don’t do, especially bands that play this kind of trashy garage rock. They still sound distinctly like the Baseball Furies but it’s an expansion on that sound. It’s a great album by a great band, a band that could never be accused of making the same record over and over again. –Josh (Big Neck)


ASUNDER:
A Clarion Call: CD
Three tracks is all you get here. I’m not even counting the bonus track that clocks in at close to twelve minutes. Purely slow, at a snail’s pace, metal sludge that is painful for this hyperactive person to take. The vocals sound like a Buddhist monk’s chant. If this is your thing, here are the positives. The distorted bass sounds strong and forceful. The drums bang with intensity but is at a tempo that only a person who has tried quaaludes could appreciate. The guitar is downtuned to enforce this bottom end experience. The bonus track is just the bass guitar droning like the amplifier is turned up to maximum level and the guitar is placed right in front of it. If you love hearing Black Sabbath on the turntable while you are dragging your finger across the record to slow it down, this will make you one giddy metal freak. –don (Life Is Abuse)


ASTROGLIDES, THE:
Channel Surfing with the Astroglides: CD
Joe Meek-styled instrumental music inspired in large part by Israeli television, which i can only assume entitles this record to its own genre name and section at record stores. What do you think they should change their name to, though: “Glides... or Astroglides?” or “Mensch... or Astromensch?” BEST SONG: “The Man with the Golden Reverb” BEST SONG TITLE: “Crusin’ Down Menahem Begin Blvd” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: The cover art features three television sets, three images of Saturn, and a topless cheerleader—which, quite frankly, should be prerequisite ingredients for all album cover art from this day forward. –norb (Fast Music)


ARSONS, THE:
Bridges Down: CD
After many years of listening to a variety of bands, you can’t help but instantly peg a band to sound like someone. Thirty seconds in, I assumed immediately that I knew this is what it sounds like to me. A band that I have been a fan of since their first 7”, this band sounds so much like Good Riddance that I almost thought I was listening to one of their CDs. Beer can do that to you. If you need another band to compare this to, I would have to say Only Crime. –don (Mad at the World)


APOCALYPSE WOW:
Self-Titled: CD
I can hear a little Dillinger Four in there somewhere, and I really liked the running gag of what sounds like samples from “Atomic Café” interspersed throughout the album, but ultimately this really didn’t do much for me. –jimmy (No Label)


AMPLIFIED HEART:
In for Sin: CD
I wanna lump them in with the trash rock crowd, but the Texas blues swagger that literally drips off this band keeps me from doing so. Think of your favorite bar rock heroes getting Lemmy to contribute some vocals to their Lightnin’ Hopkins tribute and you wouldn’t be too far off the mark. Not bad at all. –jimmy (Arclight)


ALTARBOYS, THE:
Volume 1: 2-song CDEP demo
Straight-ahead, Confederacy of Scum-esque (if they’re not members, they should be) punk rock. “Serenity Now” is a little too repetitive in chanting a bit of AA-speak, but “Dead @ 20” buzzes along quite effectively. In a better world, this’d come inside most twelve packs of beer. The Cliff’s Notes gist of it is that Lemmy would approve. –todd (www.thealtarboys.com)


ALLEGED GUNMEN:
Return to Zero: LP
I have the same problems with this full length that I did with the 7”. It’s a little worse, actually. Instead of sounding like outtakes to the Clash’s London Calling, Return to Zero sounds more like outtakes to a mix between Combat Rock and Big Audio Dynamite. Hey, I like the Clash. That’s why I already own their records and don’t need to hear more stuff that seems to be merely picking the crud out of the Clash’s fingernails. The vocalist sounds creepily close to Mick Jones. Let’s be specific. What they do, on occasion, isn’t an homage, but a direct chord-for-chord rip-off from the Clash. The band even does the “koo koo koo” vocal thingie. Add some reverb and delay and in almost every song, mention guns or the old west, and you’ve got Return to Zero. It’s incredibly derivative, and this time they’re not poaching the A-material of a great band. The two instrumentals are pretty, though. The cover art—stencils of a man getting shot—is top notch, too. Summation: its chances of going up on a wall instead of the turntable are about a hundred to one. –todd (Kapow)


ALBATROSS, AN:
Eat Lightning, Shit Thunder: CD
So an albatross and a locust were sitting somewhere plastic, yelling loony sex words at each other and then flying loopy and fast all over each other, above the plastic thing. I was standing over by the soda machine, and I could barely tell the difference. –Cuss Baxter (Bloodlink)


ACTION:
Self-Titled: CD
Average punk that reminded me of Final Conflict meets the Battalion of Saints. These guys from Toronto, Canada seem more in tune with fans of the Casualties, Total Chaos, or the Unseen than the original UK bands that they emulate. –don (Punk Core)


YOU’RE NEXT:
Pushing Forward: 7" EP
Early Hogan’s Heroes comes to mind here, which means the beats are fast, the lyrics are shouted, and the mood is angry. –jimmy (High Fidelity)


YEAR FUTURE:
The Hidden Hand: CDEP
Featuring ex-members of the VSS, Angel Hair, the Pattern and Blackfork (oddly enough, listing former bands is also the bullshit way to start a record review), Year Future makes a relatively noisy and angular racket. It’s defiantly political—critiquing perception and complacency with all the grace of a sawed-off shotgun. For the most part, it’s relatively similar to contemporaries like the Blood Brothers. It’s also relatively bland and forgettable. –scott (GSL)


WORLD WAR IX:
Panic Attack: CD
Dummy thud punk a la the Spits sans the wit. Some of it’s not bad; some of it’s not particularly memorable. –jimmy (www.eliseil.com)


WIVES:
Erect the Youth Problem: CD
Fuck promo CDs. Double-fuck the shitty chaotic screamo ones. –scott (Cold Sweat, no address given)


WITCH HUNT:
EPs & Crucial Chaos Radio Session: CD
Pretty pedestrian female-fronted anarchy-core. Although they are quite proficient at what they do, and their subject matter is on point, I was kinda hoping for a little more than they deliver here. –jimmy (Profane Existence)


WITCH HUNT:
…As Priorities Decay: LP
A black bowel cake of hate and misery, slathered with a heavy frosting of vituperation and sprinkled decoratively with screamy, raw-tonsiled vocals—both male and female. Comes in an attractive box festooned with Winston Smith style cut-and-paste graphics that seem to portray the rich white men currently presiding over our nation as sinister buffoons. Because of my innate inability to stay serious for more than a few minutes at a time, it’s nothing I’d make a steady diet of. But really, what’s not to like? –aphid ()


WHISKEY SUNDAY:
Maldecido: CD
Vocals can make or break a band for me, and I understand it’s completely a matter of taste. I have a hard time listening to bands that have lead singers whose voices sound like a speaker about to rip. Maybe because it’s a sound I attribute to mechanical failure? Dunno. Anyhow, I instantly took a shining to the instruments in Whiskey Sunday’s songs. They’ve got a great balance of being both open and anthemic—creating a big atmosphere—while still pounding a song along with a nice velocity. It’s that type of non-flashy dual work that helps make Leatherface so great. They’re also multi-limb catchy. I’ll catch myself tapping a toe while nodding my head, a sure sign there’s more than something simple and derivative going on. After listening to this ten times, the lead singer’s voice is bothering me less, and I’ve heard instrumental flashes of Pegboy and Hot Water Music. Includes the instantly standout track, “The Laughing Academies,” with Annie of This Is My Fist! belting out the duet vocals. –todd (1-2-3-4 Go!)


WEEGS, THE:
Meat the Weegs: CD
Skronk rock that sounds like it was concocted from a brew of early Pere Ubu, Birthday Party, a healthy helping of no wave and maybe just a pinch of death rock for color. A beautiful example of its ilk, but it’s kinda annoying trying to figure out song titles. A “secret track” explains how the Beatles’ infamous “butcher baby” cover was an idea actually stolen from the Weegs and faults a “total Beatle eclipse” (begun when Paul McCartney was killed and an imposter was put in his position) as the cause for Bush’s election, terrorism and 9/11. A triple bill featuring Lost Sounds, Melt Banana, and these guys would no doubt be one harrowing experience. –jimmy (Hungry Eye)


VOLCANIC, THE:
Nothin’ for You: CDEP
Trashy rock’n’roll, Aussie style. It ain’t bad, but it ain’t burning the barn down or nothing neither. –jimmy (Out of the Loop)


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·THISTLE
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·POST TEENS


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