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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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DELAY:
…Don’t Laugh: CD
If those of my friends who said, “I really like Delay,” had actually said, “I really think Jello Biafra should front a band that sounds like a lot of the pop punk bands from the late ‘90s/early ought years,” I probably wouldn’t have picked this up. –megan (Plan-It-X)


DEAD ONES USA / HOLLOW POINTS:
Split: 7” EP
Wow, a split featuring two recent bands I really dig. I guess helping that old lady across the street did pay off. Dead Ones USA: “City Lights” is a nice mid-tempo punker tune, replete with “whoa” background vocals. “Modern Day Vietnam” is a bit zippier, and just as catchy. Neither track rivals “Third World USA,” but they are strong in their own right. Hollow Points: Both tracks are just dead-on solid, catchy, and anthemic in all the right ways. This is guaranteed to get played so often it’ll disintegrate within a month. –jimmy (No Front Teeth)


DASH RIP ROCK:
Hee Haw Hell: CD
It was a pleasant surprise to pop in Hee Haw Hell and discover that it’s a concept album based on Dante’s Inferno. It doesn’t really sound twangy enough to be cow punk, and it’s not really any kind of “abilly.” Instead, this sounds like southern rock-infused punkage. Songs like “Southern Rain” and “MOAF” could probably even make it onto modern country radio if it wasn’t for the odd lyrical twists and the bit of extra aggressiveness which prevent it from fitting in with the rest of the extra-polished shit kickery on the air. One of the quirks that really make this record is the spoken “cantos” between all the songs that describe the narrator’s descent into Hee Haw Hell. This version of Hades is far less concerned with Italian political intrigues than Dante’s original version, and instead sounds like Deliverance smashing into the Grand Ole Opry. This sets the mood for my favorite track, “Chariots of Hellfire” which is a reworked version of “Chariots of Fire” providing the background music for a raging sermon from the right reverend Beelzebubba (Mojo Nixon). If that bit of witnessing don’t save your soul and get you to recant your pig porking ways, then you truly are a lost cause. Also, I applaud the punkified cover of “Man of Constant Sorrow,” which makes me want to watch O’ Brother Where Art Thou for the sixth or seventh time. –Adrian (Alternative Tentacles)


DAN PADILLA / MADISON BLOODBATH:
Split: 7”
Funny stuff: the labels for the record are switched. Wrong bands on listed on each side, so ADD provides extra labels and a set of instructions to fix ‘em yourself. Very thoughtful. Pan Padilla: with two-thirds of Tiltwheel and a drummer who came from nowhere and is rulin’, the ingredients are there: happy tones, lyrics about dismal lives lived fully, gruff voices, wickedly addictive, dynamic guitar work, and the feeling that everything’s so fucked, so blown clean through, it’s almost good. For being drunk, disorganized, and seemingly constantly “tomorrow, sorry, I promise” dudes, they’re prolific without letting any quality slip. Madison Bloodbath: Self-described as punk / comedy / Christian rap, but are much more in line with Hot Water Music / Dukes of Hillsborough / Gainesville by way of California. They ain’t building new cathedrals, but they sure as hell can nail songs into place and make sure the corners are true. –todd (ADD)


DALI’S LLAMA:
Chordata: CD
Sounds like 1991 on the Sunset Strip, right around the time that all the rockers were making the transition from GNR to Jane’s Addiction. I remember quite a few bands like this: Love/Hate, Animal Bag, the list was endless: heavy rock with a slight funk edge to it. Loved it in high school, but it hasn’t aged well. This band also has a dose of the “desert rock” vibe to them as well, kind of a QOTSA or Masters Of Reality sound. Could have toured with Saigon Kick or Kyuss way back when. If you are a Mike Patton fan, you will wanna be all over this. –frame (Dali’s Llama)


DACTYL / BACON WAGON:
Split: 7”
Cerebral noise rules this Maryland, USA/ Gothenburg, Sweden 7” and if you’re up for it, you’ll find yourself nodding along to these riff-ruled sonic explorations. I find myself enjoying Bacon Wagon a bit more, but I swear it’s not due to any Suecophile leanings on my part. –susan (Hit Dat)


CRYPTKEEPER FIVE, THE:
The Rise of Palace Depression/ Darker Days: CD
Double record from this New Jersey outfit. Imagine Glenn Danzig fronting RFTC and you get the idea. Kind of formulaic in parts, but some may enjoy. Good musicians, just not something I would pop in the slot again. Actually, I’m hearing some Meatloaf in the vocals and that’s scaring me shitless. –koepenick (BOR)


COPYRIGHTS, THE:
Mutiny Pop: CD
This fucking rules! I bow down before the mighty strength of The Copyrights, and their Marked Men-ishness! And this was recorded at Sonic Iguana by Mass Giorgini, so you already know the guitar sound will be awesome. Super cool back-up vocals! Super cool album name! Super cool album cover! Super cool Dillinger Four-ish lyrics! And they wear tight pants! If this were a cereal, it’d be Rice Krispie Treats. Punk rock! –Maddy (Insubordination)


CONTAMINATORS:
Self-titled: 7” EP
In a blind listening test, you could say, in a Killed By Death sort of way, “Brisbane, Australia. 1978. One of the dudes later joined The Scientists,” and I’d believe you. This is from 2007 and released from Bakersfield and it sounds like that distant-in-time, in-a-void, we-like-Crime sound that collectors go nutty koo koo for. Time’s elastic and the Contaminators show promise, in that Jay Reatard, Oblivians tap-from-the-source, don’t-pay-attention-to-anything-else sort of way. –todd (Going Underground)


CHURCH OF THE RED MUSEUM:
Self-titled: CD
Upon playing this CD, I felt like I was listening to a bad version of the Black Heart Procession or maybe BHP if it met up with the World Inferno Friendship Society and they came across Murder By Death and a carnival. With Rhodes, organ, violin, electric guitar, trumpet, bass, and percussion, there’s definitely a large amount of instrumentation represented within Church of the Red Museum. The songs are well-constructed and utilize all the instruments quite well. They have that feel of a band that has a number of influences, all a little bit on the extravagant side of things. The primary vocals are male and are real throaty and whiskey-soothed: as usual, reminding me of someone I can’t quite put my finger on at this point. I have no doubt that live, this band is probably really cool, as there would be a lot to take in and hear. However, on CD, it just doesn’t excite as much as it should, given the range of instruments and the styles infused. –kurt (ManUp)


CHUGGA CHUGGA:
…Is Sweet, but If This Were a Flat Donut, It Would Be Much Sweeter: 7”
Sweet, charming, and DIY-down, Chugga Chugga’s (I say this in a very affectionate way), a mix between the Grease soundtrack and This Bike Is A Pipebomb. Imagine a cover of Lita Ford’s “Kiss Me Deadly,” with an accordion, as a sparse, happy female duet. They do a pneumonic roll call of the Great Lakes (“your lakes are good, but ours are so much greater!”), and entreat zombies to not eat their brains. For anyone with a kid, or a kid inside of you, Chugga Chugga’ll make you smile. –todd (Chugga Chugga)


CHARLIE MEGIRA UND HEFKER GIRL:
: CD-R
Note to all sending in review material: please be aware that CD-Rs just aren’t as tough as CDs—I’m not saying they’re as cool as CDs are, I couldn’t care less, I’m just saying they literally seem more prone to getting scratched, fucked up, and damaged; they just aren’t as durable. Reason I’m mentioning it is that this twelve track CD-R, by the time it made it from Israel to L.A. and then to my mailbox, was pretty scratched up, and only about half of the songs were playable for any amount of time. Still, that was enough time to inform me of the gist of Mr. Megira and Ms. Girl’s sound, which is pretty much like an amalgamation of this one hilarious Christian-toned 7” I have by a band called Life In General (best song on that record is “Rebirth”: it’s about Jesus and the lyrics go, “He was born / And he diii-iii-iiied / When he died / People CRIII-III-IIIED!”) and whatever that band is that plays that one song that goes, “I’ll fly away and melt with you.” You know what song I’m talking about? Anyway, this is straight-up, somber ‘80s dance music, which has got to be one of the loneliest sounds ever made on earth when you’re at home listening to it by yourself instead of in some club, sweat-drunk off PBR tallboys and trying like hell to woo the ladies with just your fuckin’ dance moves, man. Were some of these songs played in the correct venue, with the right atmosphere, it might lead certain folks to partner up for heavy make out sessions and fluid exchange. If you’re like me and find yourself listening to it alone in the middle of the night right before reviews are due, you might just wind up wanting to off yourself. –keith (Charlie Megira)


CATBURGLARS:
Holy Shit: 7” EP
Atonal, primal punk stuff with lyrics about making sex tapes, hating work, “dumbass” girlfriends and a love letter to Sylvia Plath. It’s plenty loud and overdriven, but somehow just ain’t working for me. There’s enough in evidence here, however, to lead me to believe these guys are probably a hoot live. –jimmy (www.toothdecayrecords.com)


CAREER SUICIDE:
Attempted Suicide: CD
We got a rager here! Aside from being a full-on thrashcore massacre, the sound and production are great. Career Suicide was definitely at a time as a band where they could get stuck in their sound or release something that still sounds like them but shows the world that they are a force to be reckoned with and this release is exactly that. I find myself listening to this much more frequently (and by that I mean constantly) than I did when I got their previous releases. It’s relentless, it’s melodic, and it’s a must-have. –Daryl Gussin (Deranged)


SQUARE WAIL:
I’m Not Listening: CD
I’m somewhat of a nerd when it comes to video games—I’ll admit it, I’m okay with it. So while there’s already a number of bands that exclusively cover video game music, this seems to be a record of electronic music (which I admittedly don’t know much about) that’s created from samples and loops from old video games, particularly from the original Game Boy (yeah, that’s right). The whole thing was a little too long for me to listen to in one sitting more than once, but it’s still cool to check out if you’re way into video games. –joe (Go Midnight)


CANNIBALS, THEE:
Suburban Sex: 7”EP
I’ve never understood being subgenre locked in punk. There are too many cubby holes to keep track of. I like finding the hidden threads between two bands that probably have never heard a stitch of one another’s music. For instance, Thee Cannibals, although placed in the hardcore punk camp, have quite a bit in common with the throwing rocks style of a band like The Dirtys, who were generally considered garage. Both bands are loud, they bleed red, they’re unhappy, and they’re punching back through their music. Thee Cannibals also have some nice, surfy undertones swelled up behind the crunch, too. They’re an L.A. band with ex-members of Street Trash, Out of Vogue, and Harry Balzagna. –todd (Cowabunga)


CAMP RADIO:
Self-titled: LP
These guys harken back to the post-REM/pre-Nirvana alt rock era of the mid to late-’80s, with its whiny, droney vocals and lackadaisical rhythms. Sometimes it even seems a sort of “Camper Van Beethoven with Marshalls” sound is being mined. Ain’t bad, all told, although this kinda stuff always bored me silly, and this is no exception. –jimmy (Kelp)


BULEMICS, THE:
Still Too Young to Care: CD + DVD
I am sure you know what to expect by now. Snotty punk with hate-the-world lyrics that veer off into garage punk and into hardcore from time to time. Fans of the Dwarves and GG Allin will love this. –frame (Scarey)


BRUTAL KNIGHTS:
Feast of Shame: CD
Dunno why, but for some reason I thought this was some sorta metal band. Turns out I couldn’t have been more wrong, as they wield as their weapon a more straightforward hardcore sound tempered with a little trash rock (or vice-versa), resulting in a sound not too far removed from bands like Los Ass Draggers. The proceedings are fast‘n’sloppy and, at fourteen songs in eighteen minutes, blissfully to the point. –jimmy (Deranged)


BRIGHT WHITE NOISE:
Nevermind the Haircuts: CD
More of the new fangled hardcore that the young people enjoy. You know, the kind where the singer screams out in pain like a man trying to piss with a bad case of burning gonorrhea. I say this because nothing really could be that terrible other than your dick falling off or your uterus dropping out. But I digress, because this is serious music, folks, and it deserves a serious review. Unfortunately, I’m the wrong person for that. So rather than waste precious words by saying how I really didn’t feel one way or the other about this CD, I decided to make light of this band rather than shower them with false accolades. –Dave Disorder (Black Rag)


BOB BURNS & THE BREAKUPS:
Frustration: CD
Yay! Yet another band stirs up my Wisconsin pride! Great, fast, crazy lo-fi garage punk in the Rip Off Records style! So catchy! So good! If this were a cereal, it would be the kind of cereal you scream along to in the basement while dancing around like crazy! Sadly, the world has not yet seen a Wisconsin basement punk cereal. I recommend creating said cereal and naming it Favre-Ohs, because that’s how big of a dork I am! –Maddy (Mad Cook)


BLITZKID:
Five Cellars Below: CD
This is what I call trying too hard. I understand the band has been around for nearly ten years and they’re big in Germany, much like Hasselhoff, but goddamn: dudes covered in ghoul make up, fake blood, and devil locks playing bad metal meets pop punk. Harmonized vocals, samples of rain, ska horns, doo wop, and even some gothic Peter Murphy caterwauling. It all comes off as confusing and highly over-produced. Looked ‘em up on the interweb and apparently most folks write about the band not being a cliché Misfits-type horror punk band. Kinda wished they were. –Dave Disorder (www. fiendforce.com)


BLANKITOS, LOS:
Make Me Drool, My Own Worst Enemy b/w C.H.U.D.: 7”EP
Ever watch cooking shows when you’re really hungry? Even the raw ingredients in their little bowls make you realize how famished you are. Los Blankitos are little bowls of quality ingredients, but when they’re put together, the promise of the recipe, although tasty, doesn’t seem to live up to its full potential. My culinary advice? More Jewws spice! More Spaceshits heat! More Shemps slurping! More Stupor Stars cumin! It’s just with music that’s aligning itself with a crazy-eyed, human-brained octopus battling spaceships on the cover, the music didn’t quite deliver what the packaging promised. (It was a lot more laid back.) –todd (Discos Chango)


BEHIND ENEMY LINES:
One Nation under the Iron Fist of God: CD
Musically, this sounds like a metal band that has one Conflict record too many in their collection, with mid-paced hardcore tempos; sludgy, down-tuned guitars; and topical, political, verbose lyrics. The thick-ass lyrics booklet seems a bit overkill, but is nice to look at, and the John Yates-influenced photo/text art included in it is sometimes pretty funny in an “outraged, sarcastic, politically astute dude” kinda way. Ultimately, this ain’t really something that’ll leave a lasting impression, but the effort put in on all fronts is honestly appreciated. –jimmy (Profane Existence)


BECAUSE, THE / ONE REASON:
You Made Me Cry Because of One Reason: Split 7”
The Because: One of my favorite bands coming out of Japan (actually, out of anywhere) right now based on only the few songs of theirs that have made it my way. I was a little thrown for a while when I first got this. The first song has female lead vocals, which none of the other songs I’ve heard have used. I actually thought this had been mislabeled, but the lyrics sheet matching the words I was hearing proved me wrong. I think they’ve gone from a four- to a three-piece, and something just felt missing on early. But, with repeated listens, this has just further cemented them as a band to keep an ear out for. One Reason: Strikingly similar to The Measure at points, it manages both gruff and pretty at the same time. Good stuff. And, luckily for us in the states, this is also available through Salinas. –megan (Snuffy Smiles / Salinas)


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