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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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RETCHING RED:
Scarlet Whore of War: CD
I must admit, I get a huge charge out of hearing a super-fast, aggressive punk rock band fronted by a female vocalist screaming unapologetically about her bloody womb. Vocalist Cinder Block is the best thing about this solid, politically charged collection of music. Her scratchy sing/screaming makes me want to see this band live, like, right now. And even though I’m not an American, I totally appreciated the frustration and anger present in songs like “Blue Kid Trapped in a Red State.” This is the kind of CD that requires a lot of jumping around the room. I did it. You will too. –jennifer (Rodent Popsicle)


RESISTANCE 77:
Songs for a Nanny State: CD
Another strong album from these guys, with tons of poppy punk stuff that would make Cocksparrer fans giddy and even a couple of speedier tunes this time out. Although at one point they sing “keep your petty politics away from me,” they aren’t afraid to tackle serious subjects, like the degradation of their neighborhoods (saying that “We need to lock the parents up/if they don’t know how to raise their kids”) and the ulterior motives of celebrities who put on benefits for the world’s poor. All in all an interesting, strong release. –jimmy (Captain Oi)


RADIO BIRDMAN:
Zeno Beach: CD
This is not a great album, but, then again, neither was Living Eyes nor Radios Appear, so it appears the band is in classic form (but better recorded). I dunno. I understand that Radio Birdman and their Burn My Eye EP contributed monstrously to the initial whumpus of Aussie punk/rock, but i have become progressively more baffled at the snowballing adoration directed towards this band as time marches by. I mean, sure, “New Race” was great, and “Do The Pop” was keen, and so on and so forth, but for every quasi-ace tune on their first album (at least my copy), there was some heinous drudge like “Man With Golden Helmet” or “Descent Into The Maelstrom,” occasionally interspersed with some manner of inexplicable (though not unwelcome) goofery like “Aloha Steve and Danno”—i just don’t GET what was/is so effin’ GREAT about them. I always found the voice of the Head Birdman to be subtly grating, many of the songs to have this kinda nowhere-esque sludgely aspect to them, the guitars to merely chip away at my eardrums when they should have delivered a right pummeling, and, dude, those are pretty much the squarest sounding keyboards this side of Michael Bolton—so why exactly their temple should be so chock-full of worshippers i cannot rightly say. That said, they have their moments—though why the band’s better songs so often involve some manner of beach motif merely adds to my general consternation. Don’t get me wrong, i do not dislike the band per se, but if some genie in a kangaroo-shaped bottle ever gave me the chance to go back in time and swap out the Scientists Pissed On Another Planet album for the cut-out copy of Radios Appear i used to listen to sophomore year of high school, i’d do it with no questions asked (other than the obvious question of whether Pissed On Another Planet came out on vinyl, and, if not, how would i play a CD in 1980?). BEST SONG: “Zeno Beach” BEST SONG TITLE: Oh, hell, “Zeno Beach” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Way back when, the newspaper i used to work for did this very short-lived TV show called JAM TV where we would essentially tape local schmucks performing at open mic nights. I was charged with making the poster for it, so i put the front guy on the Radios Appear cover on the poster…but my boss didn’t like it and wanted something “more normal,” so i used Cyril Jordan from the Flamin’ Groovies’ Teenage Head album cover instead. Well, lo and behold, i just found out that Radio Birdman and the Flamin’ Groovies toured Australia together! Yeah hup! –norb (Yep Roc)


PURPLE COW STORY, THE:
Self-titled: CD
Sometimes disgruntled bands go, “Do you guys even listen to the records?” (though nobody’s ever done it to me; I saw it on the internet), but a better question right now is, “Do you even listen to Fugazi?” Answer: no, and I don’t need you to remind me why. –Cuss Baxter (Self-released?)


PRETTY BOY THORSON & THE FALLEN ANGELS:
Self-titled: CD
What a difference recording can make. I reviewed their 7” in the last issue and thought it was decent, but felt that there was something missing. I can’t say the same for this full-length. There’s so much more energy and so much more passion. Maybe it was lost in the fuzz on the 7”, but the three songs that are on both releases (especially “Things I Should Have Told You Before” and “Two Step Across Two Harbors”) sound almost like a new song was created between the two recordings. They remind of me a bit of Shakey Bones, where there is a strong tie to roots music, but there’s way too much punch and energy to call it folk. (Plus it wouldn’t do either band justice to make pigeonhole them like that.) At times, reminiscent of Cranford Nix’s gloomy outlook and voice. At other times, they sound like they’d be right at home on a show with any of the Tampa/ A.D.D. bands. This, on repeat, has been my commute soundtrack for two weeks straight. I just can’t take it out of my CD player. Fantastic. –megan (Ragged But Right / Redemption Value)


PIGS, THE:
Oink!: CD
…when i first saw that this was on a label called “Disturbing Music,” i immediately assumed that that meant “Disturbing Records”—house organ of Chicago’s The Cunts (occasionally “The C*nts”) for like the last twenty years or so—and that the Pigs were some manner of post-Cunt or perhaps merely Cunt-affiliated project, which had me contemplating their competent yet unincisive Oingo Boingo/Skafish-isms in an entirely different manner than i was forced to contemplate them in once i found out Disturbing Records and Disturbing Music are two wholly unrelated entities. In this case, i can only ask the listener to compare Oingo Boingo’s Only a Lad to the wholly unoriginal by comparison (yet still, musically, in the same ballpark) Stand Back, then ask thyself if thee thinketh that Geoff Westen of The Pigs will ever be writing the score for Batman movies like Danny Elfman of Oingo Boingo. One thinketh not. Decent record though. BEST SONG: “Saturday Night,” because it doesn’t sound like Oingo Boingo OR Skafish, it sounds like the Kings! The Kings are Here, binch! BEST SONG TITLE: “Saturday Night,” because it sounds like the Bay City Rollers! The Bay City Rollers are Here, binch! FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Danny Elfman sucks, and don’t those keyboards at the beginning of “Saturday Night” sound frighteningly like those of REO Speedwagon’s “Ridin’ The Storm Out”??? –norb (Disturbing Music)


PERISH:
Our Sin: CD
Nu-metal of the Christian variety: Righteous and self-centered in every god damn way. –mrz (Anko)


PERE UBU:
Why I Hate Women: CD
Why I Hate Pere Ubu would be a more accurate title. One assumes this was released in commemoration of the thirtieth anniversary of the band’s one good song. BEST SONG: Well, duh, “Final Solution” BEST SONG TITLE: “Two Girls (One Bar)” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: I’ve never actually read that book. Is it any good? –norb (Smog Veil)


PEELERS, THE:
Lets Detonate: CD
I can’t help but conjuring up dudes in $200 jeans at fashionable bars who act like their guitar are an extension of their cock. Bleh, gross, no thanks. –bree (Beercan)


PARKWAY WRETCH:
Homesick: CD
Politically charged poetry set to emotional yet gritty punk rock reminiscent of Crimpshrine’s “Sleep, What’s That?” EP. Not bad at all! –mrz (Formula Thirteen)


PARKWAY DRIVE:
Killing with a Smile: CD
Musically imitating Metallica, but the singer’s voice seems strained and unaccustomed to his self-imposed and unnatural screaming. Technically sublime melodic metalcore; comparable to System Of A Down and their ilk. –thiringer (Epitaph)


OUT WITH A BANG:
I’m Against It EP: 12”
When Albert Hofmann, the Swiss chemist who first synthesized LSD, accidentally got a taste of a very minute amount of the just-born industrial strength mind bender back in 1943, he had a helluva time just figuring out how to work the pedals on his bicycle so he could get home that night—so powerful was the drug. That’s how I feel right now with Out With A Bang. I’m not sure I know how to brush my ass or wipe my teeth, let alone craft some smarmy review about this one-sided twelve-incher from punk rock heaven. Out With A Bang, for those trying to keep track of the evolution of lo-fi misanthrope-core, is the band that has grown up from the wreckage of the backed-up toilet explosion once known as “The Grabbies.” And the Grabbies, of course, were a band that could best be compared to a short bus full of Tourette’s Syndrome Italian retards stalled out over a giant anthill crawling with stinging ants and in their brief existence they produced two 7” records that were the very picture of brutal, hate-filled, dim-witted beauty. Live Raw Punk Shits, in fact, was so blastingly raw that it makes the Reatards sound like the Max Weinberg 7 and I would still put that record on the top of my Razorcake Top 5 list each issue if I thought I could get away with it. The Grabbies were “punk as hate” and I loved everything about it. So deep was my affection for that amazing band that I made up counterfeit Grabbies shirts—one for myself and one for the only other person I knew who gave two shits about the Grabbies: a friend of mine known as “The Imp.” If it weren’t for those shirts I made, I might not know Out With A Bang even existed right now. But as luck would have it, the Imp wound up wearing her counterfeit Grabbies shirt in a photo which she posted on Fox Entertainment Group Inc.’s “MySpace”—a sort of meet-n-greet web-club popular with attention-starved teenagers, pedophiles and wannabe rock stars. And, lo and behold, what should bubble up from the cyber sea of MySpace chitchat and go for the bait? None other than Anus, the surly snapping turtle frontman of the Grabbies. He claimed that he was just wondering why anyone in their right mind would make shirts emblazoned with the logo of such a ridiculously “horseshit” band as the Grabbies. Or maybe it was really just the predatory congressman side of him coming out. Whatever it was that drew this foul-mouthed idiot savant out from his internet duck blind is anyone’s guess. What’s important is that he brought news of his new band, Out With A Bang, and that was just the thing to pull me out of the doldrums of a deep musical despondency that had gripped me since the untimely demise of my beloved Grabbies. So things are right with the world now; Out With A Bang might be a tad more cohesive than the Grabbies ever were—perhaps Anus has a Ritalin prescription now?— but there’s more than enough unbridled hostility and seething hate-stew here for me to hang my hat on. And that’s saying something, because I’ve got a huge head. Plus they’ve thrown some Three Stooges sound bytes between songs, which always brings the I.Q. level of anything down a few glorious notches. And nothing goes better with lo-fi than lo-brow. My only complaint is that one side of a record’s-worth of this kind of stuff just isn’t enough. But if I know Anus, I know there’s sure to be more where this came from. Hate springs eternal, after all. –aphid (Proud to be Idiot, www.ptbi.8m.com)


ORDER:
Kickball: 5-song 7” EP
Oh man, this is all over the place. Here’s a partial list of the bases they touch: electro-folk, drum machine hymnal, rap, art, and indie rock. It’s not without its brief charms, but the splattering of the influences just choggles me. In their approach, they remind me of the Mean Reds—mostly interested in the blender, or “making something new,” not the ingredients being chucked into the blender. I just don’t hear enough internal digestion (collage isn’t just ripping something out, it’s putting it back in a new context is where the art is) or self-identity (which is ironic, since they’re trying so hard to be different). So, if you want a single band sounding like a regional comp of truly unalike music (including a barely recognizable Who cover), then Order fits that request. –todd (Blood On The Drash)


ORDER OF THE WHITE ROSE:
War Machine: CD
Nicely done, fairly straight-forward political punk with a kind of dark, almost apocalyptic undertone that still holds onto a decent amount of variance between songs. As in, you know who you’re listening to for sure, they never hop genres, but the songs don’t blend into one thirty-minute opera either. Vocally, the guy’s got his screech down, reminding me a bit of the crooner from Leftover Crack, and there’s the added blessing that the dude’s actually singing about stuff and you can make out what he’s saying. The songs, like I said, come across as varied while still keeping consistent hooks and punch in there—each song’s built on a bedrock of catchiness. Mostly mid-tempo, War Machine kicks it up a few times here and there, most notably on “Armchair General” and “Guilty.” As a whole, it’s a decent outing, and one that’s gotten more than a few plays around here. –keith (Unitree)


ONE NIGHT BAND:
Way Back Home: CD
Six piece from Montreal that shows a strong love for reggae and ska. A real mellow set of songs that are relaxing to have in the background while you chill. The songs that feature female vocalist Jacinthe really are the highlights and the ones that are the most vibrant. She does a cover of the Aretha Franklin classic “Rescue Me” which has been given the reggae touch. The opening track is also one of her numbers. It almost deceives you to believe that she is the main singer of the band. Not that the main male vocalist is bad, but she adds a tenderness that is striking. This gave me the same mellow vibe I got off the new Aggrolites CD. –don (Stomp)


NOMEANSNO:
All Roads Lead to Ausfahrt: CD
Nomeansno means no desire to listen to this record a second time. BEST SONG: “Mondo Nihilissimo 2000” BEST SONG TITLE: “Mondo Nihilissimo 2000” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: It is probably quite apparent that i was reading the Roctober record reviews on the toilet today. –norb (Ant Acid)


NO TRUTH LIES:
Self-titled: CD
I’ve never been much for religion, but No Truth Lies is my salvation. I have a serious lyrical problem. I get songs stuck in my head for hours, sometimes days. I don’t even have to hear the song. I could be at breakfast and someone’s struggling with the ketchup. As soon as people start suggesting where the bottle should be hit for maximum ketchup compliance, I’ll get Young Black Teenagers’ “Tap the Bottle” stuck in my head. It’s there now, just from typing it. This happens at least fifteen times daily. But, I am now armed with No Truth Lies. They somehow have the ability to unstick any song lodged in my head. I don’t know how they do it, but I am grateful. They’ve got the feel of Tim Version (think the split with Superchinchillarescuemission and not the country stuff—which I also love), but their sound is definitely their own. One of the bands I’m most excited about out of Florida right now. –megan (A.D.D.)


NERVOUS EXITS:
Get Out: CD
Perusing the liner notes, I saw that saxophone is featured on a couple of the tracks. I was hoping it would be the cool kinda sax you hear on records by the Sonics and the Mothballs. It ain’t. The guy plays the sax in much the same way Ferris Bueller plays the clarinet—“Never had one lesson!”—honking like dying goose. The guys are all dressed like the Strokes in the liner note pictures, but it seems like they may be trying to ape the Nation Of Ulysees, stylistically and musically, more than anyone else. As Rick Stratton might have said on long lost-but-not-forgotten sitcom, Silver Spoons: “This is bogus.” –benke (Super Secret)


NERVE GAS TRAGEDY:
No Tomorrow: CD
Former members of a metalcore act named All Out War start a new band with a new vocalist. This is their second record since the change. I personally only have heard of the previous band’s name but not the music. I don’t think I would go back and see if I like what they sound like because the current band is pretty bad-ass. I would hate to waste the money if they don’t stand up to the current band. Right off the bat, the guitar riffs are heavy and technical in a death metal kind of way with a couple lessons in Iron Maiden guitar licks 101. The double bass drumming is executed with robot-like precision. Vocals are harsh with a smoked a pack a day for half my life quality. I would be surprised that this band does not move forward and go onto a bigger indie or even a major. –don (Spook City)


NEON NAZIS/HIPS:
Split: 7” EP
Neon Nazis: First tune is kinda droney and boring as far as rock/punk goes, and the second song ain’t exactly an improvement. Singer sounds like an indecisive chicken with a head cold. Hips: Considerably artier and weirder than their recordmates, and the pep in their performance puts ‘em over the edge. Hips win by a landslide. –jimmy (Going Underground)


NECKTIES MAKE ME NERVOUS:
Self-titled: 7” EP
I like the on-point criticism they level at certain factions in the punk world in the first two songs, and it’s apparent from their lyrics that they ain’t exactly intellectually challenged. Their take on punk rock as music, however, wasn’t particularly bad so much as nondescript and really didn’t do much for me. –jimmy (Geykido Comet)


NATIONAL RAZOR:
Naked Before God and Country: CD
The charm about this record lies in the fact that it sounds like a decent, fairly young band that’s recorded their album in their friend’s garage or basement studio. Odd thing is that the band’s apparently been together for nearly ten years. It’s rough-around-the-edges pop punk stuff with warbly vocals, apparently recorded entirely live with only two mikes and put out by a label that’s best known for its blues releases. I liked what I heard, but seventeen songs is a lot for something that isn’t totally stellar, and I found my patience growing a bit thin by the end. –keith (Mapleshade)


MUCK AND THE MIRES:
1-2-3-4: CD
Remember, if you will, the days when garage rock really meant a bunch of kids in a garage trying their darnedest to sound like the Beatles. Of course they failed in that objective for any number of reasons: poor equipment and lack of a producer the equal of George Martin being the two primary ones. What some of them did manage to achieve, however, was a level of energy and joy the Fab Four lost somewhere in Hamburg before any of our kids in garages ever heard of them. This is what Muck And The Mires do better than any other band I know of. Drawing inspiration not only from The Beatles, but also from all those bands on the Nuggets compilations, these four Boston music scene vets have brought us a real gem of party record here: good time rock’n’roll without any self-righteousness or even a hint of any subject matter heavier than boy-meets-girl/girl-dumps-boy. Front man Evan Shore writes three-minute, three-chord songs about love found and love lost as well as anybody, anywhere. This is a good ‘un. –brian (Dionysus)


MUCH THE SAME:
Survive: CD
Rise Against, Pennywise, Strung Out, No Use for a Name and Ignite is what pops to mind listening to this. That pretty much sums it up for me. –don (Nitro)


MORELLO:
Twelve Ways to Breathe: CD
It’s kind of like Jimmy Eat World, but with screaming/yelping and really bad metal guitar breakdowns and less melody. If these songs are the ways to breathe, I’m hoping there are other options because it looks like I’ll suffocate otherwise. –megan (I Scream)


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