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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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GOBLIN COCK:
Bagged and Boarded: CD
Dunno who’s geekier—them for including a lyric sheet written entirely in rune or me for being able to read it. My vote, naturally, would be for them, ‘cause the rock sound that accompanied said lyrics, no matter how facetious it may be, failed to pique my interest. Their band name and song titles provided hours of amusement, though. –jimmy (Kosher)


GO BETTY GO:
Nothing Is More: CD
With the inundation of releases out there, it’s hard for one person to keep track of what’s coming out. But I knew this was coming out and I wanted it. I wanted it bad like a little girl getting her first package from the Backstreet Boys fan club. With the release date looming close, I put in an investigative call to Retodd to see if a review copy had been sent to HQ. I wanted first dibs. Not that I really had to put a request for it—the man takes good care of me—but a lot of releases that I would like either get nabbed by the music monster Jimmy Alvarado or divided amongst the masses of other contributors. So one cannot be greedy and I have to suck it up and spend some hard-earned cash. So, on my bi-monthly pilgrimage to the shrine of Razorcake to pick up my copies of the latest issue sits a copy of this CD in my in-box. I wet myself. Damn bladder. Need to have that checked! In the time it takes me to get from HQ to my car, I already had the package ripped open with my teeth and ready to listen to. Anticipation. I really enjoyed their debut EP, Worst Enemy. That release probably stayed in the car a good six months. I am a little slow rotating CDs in and out of the car. “Saturday” is the first track and right there I knew that I was not going to be disappointed. It’s got bigger production than in the past but more energetic. A fun, rocking tune that made my head bop and at the same time be swayed by their ska/reggae breakdowns. My favorite track, “Runaway,” is solid and you can feel the emotions of lost love on it. Breaking away from the mold, “Ticking Bombs” is a wonderful acoustic number that really focuses on the beauty of the vocals and the harmonies. That right there is what makes this band so exciting. Also, songs like “No Hay Perdon” and “Donde Voy” show that they are proud of their Latin heritage. From an Asian-American perspective, the Spanish language sounds wonderful with music. From start to finish, in my opinion, there not a stinker in the bunch. Now it’s time to see what the hell’s wrong with the bladder. –don (Side One Dummy)


GLISS:
Kick in Your Heart: CD
I wish someone would kick these arty pretty-boys (and girl)—who obviously listened to the Cure a few too many times in dark rooms—in the throat. –megan (www.gliss.tv)


GHETTO WAYS:
Solid Brown: CD
Based solely upon the two albums I’ve heard from these guys, it appears that they are hell-bent on claiming the MC5’s throne, and they do make a good case. The music here is as raucous, soul-tinged, and catchy as one would expect from such a band, which is more than one could say about so many other would-be heirs to the throne. I’m unable to determine if they have the same radical political bent, but they do make some impressive noise nonetheless. –jimmy (www.aliensnatch.de)


FRUSTRATIONS:
Nerves Are Fried b/w Summer: 7"
Not necessarily essential, but darn good anxious, gritty, and lacerating stuff all mixed within a mid tempo “it sounds like it’s coming from the Midwest in the early ‘90s” sound. Throw it all on a heap over some non-yelping Cows, sprinkle in some lonely handclaps, give it some Jesus Lizard rusted abrasions, let a damaged surf guitar (ala the Dead Kennedys’ “Moon Over Marin”) crash against it, and you’ve got something that’s not bad at all. –todd (X!)


FOUR EYES, THE:
Sweet Sounds: CD
What a bunch of fucking nerds. No, really. Nerdpunk from Sacramento. It fits in pretty well next to all those other Sacramento bands that you’ve never heard of because they never leave Sacramento, like the Bananas and No Kill I. As a whole, Rock and Role Playing is a more solid album, but this one’s got a song about Robocop, which automatically makes it worth your time. Is it really so much to ask that they go on tour with Bloodhag? –Josh (Plan-It-X)


FORMER CELL MATES:
Hustle: CD
Loud rock from England with strained vocals and a southern rock feel to it. That’s all. –Josh (Newest Industry)


FINE LINES, THEE:
Looking Everywhere: 7"
Lo-fi ‘60s stuff, and they’re quite good at it. What they’re doing doesn’t feel dated and the “trash” is tempered with simple, yet strong songwriting. Good stuff. –jimmy (Licorice Tree)


FINAL SOLUTIONS:
My Love Is Disappointing: 7"
I ordered their full-length and haven’t heard it, so at the moment this 45 is the best one yet by the Memphis band that usually gets a KBD comparison (stamp of goodness for me). Three songs that all rock with an art punk Urinals style, which is actually hard to pull off the right way. “My Love Is Disappointing” is plucky and even minimally pop, and “I Am the Now” has a great downhill spiral sound I want to pump over loudspeakers on Hollywood Blvd. “Sex Head” is a cover of the Pooh Sticks song, also really good. –mike (www.shatteredrecords.net)


FALLOUT PROJECT, THE:
Hopes and Ropes: CD
Popped it in the stereo and early Neurosis came to mind immediately. A record that’s replete with those crashing metal dirges that seem synonymous with that band, but these guys have updated the sound a bit with a touch of melody and the willingness to quiet down and give the music room to breathe. There’s only six songs, but (again similar to Neurosis or that first Tribes of Neurot LP) we’re talking epics here. As with the few other Dare to Care records I’ve seen, the packaging is gorgeous, but this time it’s also misleading: the snappy orange/ white/ black layout makes this thing look like some sparse and shallow emo-of-the-month record. But it’s not so, hoss, not so at all. Decent band for sure. –keith (Dare to Care)


ERGS!, THE/MODERN MACHINES:
Split: 7"
The Ergs! are one of my favorite bands to come out within the past few years. No, scratch that, they’re just one of my favorite bands. The Modern Machines, with their Taco Blessing record, are inching their way up my list, too. On this split, both bands take on the Mersey Beat sound, each with a cover and an original. The Modern Machines take on “Bus Stop” by The Hollies. I was slightly skeptical because I really like the original, but they nail it and follow it up with a strong one of their own. The Ergs! bring a strong original as well, and cover one of the lesser played (but one of my favorite) Beatles’ songs, “Not a Second Time.” Due to my slowness at reviewing this (because I still have to replace my record player) I have a feeling this may be hard to find, but grab it if you see it. –megan (Grateful)


DRUNKEN BOAT:
Turn It: 7"
Much in the vein of earnest-yet-gruff, sandpaper-voiced, uplifting-through-questioning, everyone-has-hairy-armpits, socially conscious rock like a slower North Lincoln or a full-tilt Rumbleseat mixed in with ADD/C. Lurking in the corners are the bouncy edges of late ‘90s pop punk (I hear wisps of the Connie Dungs and the Lillingtons), which gives them a pleasant buoyancy. They’ve got the male/female vocal interplay down tight. The crib notes to this is that if you’re a fan of the best of Plan-It-X releases or a good chunk of No Idea was founded on, Drunken Boat will make you smile and jump up and down when they play a basement or porch near you. –todd ($4 ppd., Salinas)


DROWNINGMAN:
Don’t Push Us When We’re Hot: CD
How about Paint It Black if they were more tech and less positive? Or a band like JR Ewing if they had to listen to nothing but Cut the Shit a week before they went into the studio? What I mean is, there’s the bouncing, spit-flying-through-the-air feel of old and new school hardcore at work here, but it’s an element that’s constantly fighting for dominance over something a lot darker and more precise, like if Dillinger Escape Plan were all considering mass suicide and wanted to put out a concept album about it. Don’t Push Us… is both catchy and angular, welcoming and incredibly alienating all at once. They’re smart, they’re pissed off, and as songs like “Dude Status: Revoked” and “Major Disappointment Reporting for Duty” document, you can write songs that are both reasonably magnetic and ugly as fuck. –keith (Thorp)


DROPKICK MURPHYS:
The Warrior's Code: CD
The theme of a lot of these songs seems to be if we stand together, we can’t fail. Something that seems reassuring with all the instability in today’s climate. “Your Spirit’s Alive” asks all the fans to come along for the ride. “Sunshine Highway” tells the story when times were simpler, and the most important thing was a good cigar and a cold beverage. “Citizen CIA” is straight ahead hardcore that Gang Green would raise their Bud cans to in approval. The best song on here is “Take It and Run.” Al Barr spits out his vocal parts with pure venom: “Space heaters and welfare checks are as good as it gets/in this land of hard lessons.” Then bassist Ken Casey replies, “Yeah I’ve got problems/ can’t you see I’m trying to solve them?” Best hard luck song to come along since X’s “Fourth of July.” Nicely done boys. –koepenick (Hellcat)


DISSIMILARS, THE:
Landmine: 7"
If “recorded in a hallway” belies charm to you. If fidelity and “being able to play your instrument” begins and ends with Supercharger. If you shed a single tear, lamenting the breakup of Scared of Chaka every time you spin their records, like that Indian in that commercial, amongst all that trash. If you ever wondered how Larry of Genetic Disorder zine played guitar. If you ever wondered how a singer would sound if you constantly ripped duct tape from his skin as he yelped into the microphone. If you’ve ever wondered one of these things, the Dissimilars are right up your alley, spare changing before their sets, antagonizing you when they’re playing, and badgering you for beer when they’re done. Fuck “pro dudes, pro attitudes.” Dirt rock in shambles is where it’s at. Excellent. –todd (Plastic Idol)


DISCONVENIENCE:
War on Wankers: 7"
Going by the “Dis” prefix to their name, that they’re from Sweden, and the lady singer has a mohawk so tall, she wouldn’t be able to sit inside a car normally with it up, I figured this was going to another incarnation of Discharge-inspired, bullet belt, assflap “up the punx” crust. Nope. Oddly, this three piece reminds me of Bikini Kill first, mixed in with the Avengers second, and Penetration third: super clearly enunciated and charged vocals, absolutely fantastic guitar work, and a lot more breathing room than their thrash brethren. I wasn’t expecting immaculate diction and sparkling grammar, either. My only gripe? I think they can shear down their songs—they tend to repeat a skosh too much. They just need keep at it. As it stands, they’re not quite as memorable of the three other bands I compared them to, but they’re enjoyable when the record’s spinning. Solid beginnings. –todd (Disconvenience/ Wasted Sounds)


DIRECT CONTROL:
Nuclear Tomorrow: 7"
So is it cool if I just say that this is the best pure hardcore band in the country and leave it at that? I don’t really think there’s much else I can say to make you want to pick this up, but I’ll just say that if you like, say, Minor Threat, you’ll like this, and if you don’t like Minor Threat, then I’m guessing that you picked up this magazine by mistake. Best pure hardcore band in the country! –Josh (Sorry Slate, dlupton79@gmail.com)


DIRECT CONTROL:
Nuclear Tomorrow: 7"
An early Corrosion of Conformity-ish song about kleptomania with tiny bits of metal lurking far behind the punk. A JFA-inspired song about calling out folks who carry their skates instead of “murdering ledges.” A song about the holocaust that most of the punk world thought Reagan would have brung us. This would all smack of a wee too much of early ‘80s bandannaed nostalgia if Direct Control was a spoken word troupe. Thank your pull top cans and tight shorts they’re not. They tow in some of the best straight-ahead, no-bullshit hardcore this side of, well, DS13, Career Suicide, Cut the Shit, Minor Threat, and Charles Bronson. Much harder to pull off than just talk about: addictive, fast, and not a note wasted. Direct Control looks back without being a throwback. Comes, appropriately, on bile-yellow wax. –todd (Sorry State, dlupton79@gmail.com)


DIMESTORE HALOES:
The Ghosts of Saturday Night: CD
Mid-tempo Billy Idol kind of stuff. Their song “Adore Me” (heralded as the signature song of their drummer) is quite at home in my list of top ten worst songs ever—with lyrics that a ten year old would think twice about and rewrite and vocals completely out of key. Painful. –megan (Pelado)


DIFFS, THE:
Self-Titled: CD
The progeny of TSOL/Cathedral of Tears keyboardist Greg Kuehn get together with a few of their friends and follow in Pop’s footsteps with a punk band of their own. The results sound steeped in equal parts OC/beach punk, British punk, and Darby Crash, with just the right amount of teenage snottiness pumped in to give it much needed edge. Great stuff. –jimmy (SOS)


DIESTO:
Doomtown 7: CD
Second record from these Portland, Oregon noisemiesters. Pummeling, ferocious rock that could cause some of your fillings to be jarred loose. “Sagittarius” is not a theme song for a dating service. It features thunderous bass lines from Grady Gadbow (who has since been replaced by Steve Reno). “Diamond Back” mines some punishing drum fills from Johan Zamora. He has also been replaced by Doug Krebs. The only constant here is singer/guitarist Chris Dunn. On the CD insert, they are represented as three Horsemen of the Apocalypse type figures. If the new incarnation can live up to the scariness of this studio release I’m sold. If you ever dug Rapeman or Jesus Lizard, these guys will suck your brains out with a steel straw. –koepenick (Elastic)


DHOOM:
Self-Titled: 7"
Mmmm, this is delicious, like wasabi peas. It seems simple enough at first, but the more you eat, the more you want and you can’t stop! Whoa! Somewhere in between Lightning Bolt and Godheadsilo, this bass-and-drum duo hammers out noisy jams that are simultaneously chaotic and monotonous, and all you can do is want more. In fact, that’s my only complaint: it’s just too damn short. By the time you get a good aural understanding of what’s going on, the songs are over and you don’t get a chance to really enjoy it. But fuck, this is good! –ben (Dish or Die, no address given)


DENIZENS, THE:
Danger in Disneyland +2: 7"
Striped-shirt bubblegum punk from Detroit, hauled out of the vault and finally seeing the light of day. The funny thing is this was recorded in 1979 and sounds nearly identical to stuff that bands like the Connie Dungs and Beatnik Termites were putting out fifteen or twenty years later. We’re talking buzzsaw pop and big hair. Not as tough as the Dead Boys and way more straight forward then the Stooges, but a decent record notwithstanding. “Danger in Disneyland” is a studio track and the two on the flip are live tracks that show the band could dirty it up a bit when they wanted to. If they’d been around fifteen years later, labels like Mutant Pop would’ve been shitting their pants over this band. Pretty decent record despite the fact that the band photo on the sleeve makes them look like they were trying to be on a Bay City Rollers tribute comp. –keith (Young Soul Rebels)


DEK:
Whattata: CD
One of their guitarist/singers is like twelve years old and the oldest person in this band is about eighteen years old. Pretty much what you’d expect from a band of teenagers who, according to their website, think their band can provide the daily dose of punk for you. The phrases “take a middle finger and shove it up your ass” and “fuck you!” were also uttered on this album, and pseudo-Johnny Rotten vocals were utilized as well. That was all the icing on the cake needed for me to declare this a big fat thumbs down. –kurt (Finger, www.fingerrecords.com)


DEEDS NOT WORDS/EXIT:
Split: 7"
Bam! Bam! A double shot of Japanese pop punk supremacy! Look, it’s a fact. Anything Americans can do, the Japanese can do better. Deeds Not Words bust out two gems reminiscent of U.S. mid-’90s stuff like Weston or the Nobodys, with trademark Japanese speed and efficiency. Exit plays a similar type of pop punk that reminds me of their former Japanese contemporaries, Minority Blues Band. Rejoice! It’s another Snuffy Smile classic! Thanks, Yoichi! –ben (Snuffy Smile)


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