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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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WE MARCH:
Waste Management Volume One: CD-R
A nice live set from these guys, not as crucial as their studio work, but it is recorded well (apparently for a radio show) and everyone seems to be having a ball. –jimmy (nonprophetltd@hotmail.com)


WAU Y LOS ARRRGHS!!!:
Cantan En Español: CD
If you, like i, have spent an inordinate amount of time wondering what the Trashmen’s “King of the Surf” might sound like were it covered by a pack of drunken, coked-up Spaniards, i think Wau y Company might answer that question smartly. I am unsure what more i need say in order to part the potential consumer from his/her pesetas. PART! You’ll thank me next time you’re in charge of supplying the soundtrack to a retard orgy. BEST SONG: “Rey de Tablistas” BEST SONG TITLE: “Hey Monstruo Hey” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: I dunno, is “Momia Twist” about that dude from Philadelphia? –norb (Voodoo Rhythm)


VOLUMEN:
Science Faction: CD
It doesn’t seem like these guys can make up their minds about what they wanna sound like. Sometimes it’s dissonant Jesus Lizard-y type stuff; sometimes it’s a garagey, new wave, Lost Sounds kinda thing; sometimes it sounds like mid-‘80s indie rock; and sometimes it’s psychedelic and spacey. While it’s a cool idea to mix all these sounds and genres, Volumen never really quite hit the nail on the head. It seems like they spend so much time dabbling in different influences that they never really get a chance to sound like themselves, and the record suffers as a result. Maybe by the time they do another album, they’ll fit better into the big hole they’ve dug for themselves. On a side note, this band has the most dedicated and persistent publicist in the whole world. –ben (Wantage USA)


VIBROLAS:
From Parts Unknown: CD
It looks like some sorta gearhead garage rock record, but sounds like bar metal. –jimmy (Eugene)


VENA AMORI:
The Seduction of an American Housewife: CD
Noisy metal type stuff with an apparent serial killer bent. –jimmy (The Death Scene)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Under the Radar: Volume 1: CD
From the looks of the cover, I initially thought this was going to be all sorts of crazy metal, but as the old saying goes, I was wrong. Here are twenty-two different bands that actually span a decent variety, from trashy rock, to some acoustic stuff, to weird noise. There still seemed to be a long block of “I love drugs and murdering people” songs, which I couldn’t really get into on account that I don’t do either. This is more of a “See if there’s anything you like” kind of record. –joe (Antidote)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Still Going Strong: CD
To celebrate their tenth anniversary, I Scream Records releases a comp with five unreleased and twenty previously released. I figure that if someone’s interested enough in the label, they’d probably have most of the tracks here. Blood For Blood, Agnostic Front, and Slapshot: you know what you’re getting into. –megan (I Scream)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Ox Compilation #64: CD
Not bad, and having a comp CD included in a mag brings me back to the days of reading old issues of Rational Enquirer and the like, back in the mid to late ‘90s—seems like every newsprint punk zine on earth was including comp CDs. It’s a trend that has unfortunately gone the way of Cosmic Bowling and acid-washed jeans. Meanwhile, the standouts: Sludgefeast’s “Outrun Motherfucker,” a Bombshell Rocks songs I haven’t heard before, Tricky Lobsters (who sound eerily like KISS and the Gotohells merged into one carbon-fueled monstrosity), Slackers, and Heresy. Sonic streaks in the underwear: Matchbook Romance, Shocker (ex-L7), and Peter Coretto. But the deal is, this thing already comes with the mag, there’s almost thirty bands from Europe and the States covering the spectrum, and the bad shit doesn’t necessarily outweigh the good. So if you want to brush up on your German, get the mag and listen to this one. Deal. –keith (Ox)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
If It Ain’t Cheap, It Ain’t Punk: CD
I’m a sucker for this stuff. I have been since the first time I heard Operation: Cliff Clavin back in my sophomore year of high school. I love it. It makes me feel like I’m gonna be a kid forever! There’s a good chance that if you like one Plan-It-X band, you will like most of them. If you have been able to avoid any of their releases up until now, here’s an amazing introduction. Thirty songs from thirty bands, past and present. Half of the songs have been already released. The other half are either exclusive, or new to CD. Highlights are Matty Pop Chart, OPCC, Rosa, The Bananas, The Four Eyes, One Reason, Sexy, song number thirteen (which has no indication as to band name or song title, but rules just the same), Paul Baribeau, Abe Froman, and The Max Levine Ensemble. Actually, I can honestly say I like all but five songs on the entire comp. Sloppy pop punk from the kids, for the kids. For $5, you really can’t go wrong. –Guest Contributor (Plan-It-X)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
If It Ain’t Cheap, It Ain’t Punk: CD
As with most compilation projects, this CD has moments of both brilliance and tedium. This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb open up the whole thing with “What I Want” which is a song so good that it actually makes me want to be optimistic, like, about everything. If I ate meat, I’d probably be irritated by the somewhat self-righteous “I Used to Be a Meat Eater” by Operation Cliff Clavin. However, I’ve been a vegetarian for sixteen years, and this song rules. Also a highlight is “Everything in the World” by the Sissies. This is a song that makes me feel like getting up in the morning. So really, this CD is worth it for its frequent moments of brilliance. The few generic folk-punk tracks that don’t really do it for me can be easily ignored. –jennifer (Plan-It-X)


URGENCIES:
Desolation Chic: CD
Urgencies are an Austin rock band. And I can’t say that I’m going to listen to this CD ever again. There is nothing really to set it apart from the million other bands out there. –jenny (Luther)


UPSKIRTS:
Sidewalk Susie: CDEP
I actually started laughing out loud when I read this band’s bio. After already deciding they were trying a bit too hard to sound like early Turbonegro, I was informed that they are from Norway, and that they had originally formed as a Turbonegro cover band. This officially meets both of my strict qualifications to justify taking a band like this somewhat seriously. With that in mind, think Never Is Forever era, done with a Confederacy of Scum feel to it. Obviously there will be nothing as amazing as the original, but this is damn fun. –Guest Contributor (Grog, www.upskirts.no)


UNLUCKY ATLAS:
The Course of Empire: CD
The packaging was cooler than the music. A mini CD packed in a rice paper-like envelope, silk-screened with gold lettering. The songs are acoustic guitar with female vocals. Whoopie! –don (For Documentation Only)


TUSK:
Get Ready: CD
Apparently this is a reissue of Tusk’s debut CD. This is akin to some of the heavy early/mid-nineties hardcore/grindcore bands such as Rorschach, Union Of Uranus, and His Hero Is Gone. At times the guitar has elements of Melvins and Scratch Acid as well. Chunky power chords with quirkiness galore. It’s chaotically noisy and herky jerky. At times the chaos makes the songs unmemorable. The band would benefit from a slightly more straightforward approach, though I think experimentation is their intention. No migraine headache listening here. This is for experimental grindcore fans, with a high aural threshold for random acts of noisy jerkiness. –KO! (Hewhocorrupts)


TRUST IN FEW:
Shitlist: CD
Fast, tight, choral power punk with hardcore leanings, vocally and lyrically. After screaming “You’re a Piece of Shit” and “You Suck,” they bring the speed down from ninety to about twenty-five with one pub-style song called “My Barroom and My Beer.” Think early-to-mid ‘90s punk, think Bad Religion-ish. –thiringer (Spook City)


TRIAC:
Dead House Dreamingq: CD
A furious assault of grind metal, I like this. It’s a little deeper than most music in this genre; in addition to the traditional blastbeats and riffage, they go off on tangents of sludge and tech-metal. It brings to mind Cephalic Carnage, and even a little Discordance Axis. I’m not crazy about the vocals. I think the singer dude could’ve tried to come up with some more interesting stuff, like the rest of his band does, but hell, they have a song called “Old Leprechaun,” which proves they’re not taking themselves too seriously, which is definitely necessary with this kind of music. If you’re in the mood to smash shit, this would be a good record to listen to while doing it. –ben (Reptilian)


TRASHIES, THE:
Self-Titled: 7"
Once and a while, a band comes along that blows your mind with its depth and overwhelming creativity. And other times, some jerks like The Trashies put out some stupid songs about chicken sandwiches and the Northwest trashcore existence, and that’s okay too. Sometimes accused of being a dumber version of The Spits (true) and their songs sounding all the same (also very true), their first vinyl release spits out two Trashies classics, “Bring Daddy a Chicken Sandwich” and “Taz Tattoo,” featuring Peggy Pinkeye. The 7” also boasts of packaging bonuses, such as a picture of a real Tasmanian Devil tattoo and individually spray painted and handwritten cardboard cover art created in the infamously filthy 24/7 house venue where they record. The Trashies may be stupid, but at least they’re still a pretty fucking fun guilty pleasure, like spending all your money on drugs and partying the night before rent is due. Get Trashies’ music before one of them knocks up their cousin or dies of alcohol poisoning. –bree (Party’s Over)


TRASHIES, THE:
Life Sucks: CD-R
Lo-fi pop of the Spits meets the unbeatable dirty charm of Four Deadly Questions brand of punk rock with a bit of the U.K. accents of The Briefs. You’ll have fun chanting along, for sure. “I hate you mother fuckers! I hate you mother fuckers!” –mrz (Party’s Over)


TRAPDOOR FUCKING EXIT:
Crooked Life/Straight World: CD
Imagine a Slip It In-era Henry Rollins conducting the Drive Like Jehu bullet train all the way from 1988 Chicago to 2006 Norway. That’s kinda what this sounds like. I especially like the “empty, but not thin” production. It’s a definite departure from the typical No Idea sound, and I mean that in a good way. The guitars are driving, relentless even, with just a tinge of natural distortion, while the drums keep it smooth and solid, evoking Hose Got Cable. My only complaint is that they put the strongest songs at the beginning and end, so it drags a bit in the middle. Other than that, these dudes from Norway have delivered an excellent album that deserves your attention. –ben (No Idea)


TRANZMITORS:
Bigger Houses, Broken Homes b/w Glamour Girls: 7"
Jesus fucking Christ, how does Gord of Deranged do it? I’m not blowing him here, but, crap, man, he can find and release the top ten percent of punk rock in its fullest spectrum, from full-on hardcore to power pop. The Tranzmitors remind me of the missile-top of the heap: Buzzcocks, Jam, Stiff Little Fingers, Exploding Hearts. Crystalline, yet raw-edged, explosive pop that stomps its boots while sweating uncontrollably. I haven’t been this moved by a band like this since The Gain or Smalltown, and that’s just from two songs. Excellent. –todd (Deranged)


TRACTOR SEX FATALITY:
Black Magic, White Pussy: CD
What a fantastic, inspired title for a CD. The satisfied pleasure I experienced when my mother-in-law, a women’s studies professor, disparaged and scoffed at the name of this CD was a moment of pure, distilled joy. How uptight she must be to have a sincerely disdainful reaction to the word “pussy.” I guess it’s what you’d expect from a cunt! Now then, the music. Heavy, frightening, fucked up noise that powers over the underlying tunes without diminishing their resonance. Tennessee thunderstorm double bass and screeching, wild guitars make this sound like the soundtrack playing inside the head of your town’s resident, whacked-out, sleeps-in-the-park, crazy dude. I wasn’t prepared for, nor have I yet recovered from, the onsault (onslaught and assault combined!) of this ferocious CD. –benke (Big Neck)


TIME AGAN:
The Stories Are True: CD
This is the best Rancid record since Let’s Go. I’m still trying to figure out why they changed their name. It must explain it somewhere on the actual liner notes, but all Hellcat sends out are these shitty cardboard sleeves with no info. I’m also not too sure why they point out that track four features Tim Armstrong. I mean, they all do right? Seriously, you could butt this record up right in between Let’s Go and the Wolves one, and it would be seamless I tell you. Seamless! I, for one, am really happy that they decided to get back to what they do best. Forget all that reggae stuff or the wannabe Discharge stuff. This is how I like my Rancid…What?… It’s really not Rancid? Okay, well I guess I like Time Again better than Rancid. –ty (Hellcat)


THOUGHT CRIME:
It’s All in Your Head: LP
Originally released on CD by Tribal War Records, PE gives this a proper vinyl release. Former members of the U.K.’s Suicidal Supermarket Trolleys and NY’s Distraught play a brand of mid-to late-’80s anarcho punk that is equal parts Discharge, Conflict, and Icons Of Filth. Hearing the English accent makes the songs more period and authentic and not some copycat sideshow that has appeared through the years when certain bands try to recreate the sound. To add even more, Steve Ignorant, formerly of Crass, appears on a few tracks. The songs charge ahead with fierceness and bile. The lyrics are statements of what angers them: gentrification, war, religion and other usual suspects, all delivered in rapid fashion. I saw the reformed Conflict a few years ago and they were a former shell of themselves. This band carries the flame that used to burn brightly for bands of the original movement. They are exciting and relevant to the current generation of punks who question. –don (Profane Existence)


TERMINALS:
Takin’ Care of Brooks: 7" EP
Reminds me of Supercharger, barely more hi-fi, meaning it doesn’t quite sound like a boombox recording in a kitchen: fuzzy, muffy, sweaty, dirty white folks with soul blues. Before I actually heard the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, this is what I was hoping for: gristle bass, cigarette burns on the linoleum, grease splattering through the vocals, sizzle on the guitars, dirt in the drums. So immediate, I feel like I’m choking on the exhaust of their tour van with a bad catalytic converter as it idles outside. They’d fit in perfectly on a bill with The Original Three or The River City Tanlines. –todd (Boom Chick)


TEEN CRUD COMBO:
Judgment Night Soundtrack Part 2: LP
Motörhead, but a wee bit retarded (in a good, punk way). Everything’s in the pocket. Riff-locked, blast-forward rock with plenty of swagger, switchblades in their pupils, and zero fat. Great rock is such an easy thing to almost instantly recognize; such a hard thing to play without being a parody, being tedious, or outright laughable; and for a Toronto band that ended about six years ago, its epitaph is this torch of an LP, keeping the rock’n’roll flame alive. Lemmy’d be proud that the Combo took care of business. Members went on to Ruination and Brutal Nights, which makes perfect sense. –todd (Deranged)


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