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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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KIDNAPPERS:
KIDNAPPERS: CD
Imagine that Henry Fiat’s Open Sore went on tour with Randy. One night, they decide to switch up members. It’s been a long tour, and they’re not really used to playing together, so it’s not as fast, not as crazy, but still really, really fucking good. I’ll be surprised if this doesn’t make my top ten for 2006. –megan (Rip Off)


KID ON ESCALATOR:
Everything I’ve Got That They’ve Put Out: CD-R
I like it when, after a night of partying, my friends and I go back to someone’s house and a guitar gets pulled out. First, they start playing songs we all know. But as the night (or more likely, morning) goes on, it starts to go into songs about what just happened five minutes ago, songs about what’s happening at that moment, or songs about stories made up of a bunch of in jokes tied together. This is probably one of my favorite things in the world, but I have no desire to hear anything recorded of a night like that, especially when I don’t know the people involved. And, I really wanted to like it as it came in a stenciled cardboard cut-out sleeve. –megan (This Could Work)


KAKISTOCRACY:
Self-titled: LP
It has been a while since I heard something from this band. The last thing was the And So You Spill Your Children’s Blood... 7” that was released on Ponk 111 and a couple of other labels. I believe it was released late 2000 or 2001. The band seems to have grown greatly. The musicianship and writing are much more complicated and they have gained a conscious control of their aggression. With the integration of more guitar harmonies, they have added texture and layers to their music. The songs are intricate enough to keep this listener attentive and not in a state of monotony. They continue on with their brand of anarcho/crust that is fierce and dark. The metallic riffing is what makes the music come out screaming. Loud guitars and precise drumming makes this all come together with lyrics that are intelligent, yet poetic in their delivery. I enjoyed this one from start to finish and have listened to it more than a few times. –don (Profane Existence)


KABUKI THUNDER:
Go to Hell: 7"
In a club that still allows smoking, sawdust on the floor, and down in a basement in some metropolitan city, you walk in to a smell of stale beer and dried vomit. This band will come on and play MC5-meets-the-Stooges style Detroit rock that can also be described as sounding a little like the Antiseen. –don (Self-released)


JUST A FIRE:
Spanish Time: CD
Indie rock (whatever that phrase means these days) with a medium tempo and highly emotional singing. –mrz (Sickroom)


INSTANT ASSHOLE:
Straight Edge Failure: CD
Bay area band that features John the Baker, the proprietor of Burnt Ramen, and Bill Asshole, who also drums for Strung Up. Straight-forward punk that gives me the same feeling of listening to the Dead Kennedys but more hardcore. The songs are raw and could have easily been on the Not So Quiet on the Western Front comp. The songs sound like they were plucked right out of the ‘83-’84 Bay Area scene. The songs are short and to the point and they don’t even touch the two-minute mark. The seventeen tracks on this disc flew by so fast, I barely noticed what happened. This is no fastcore, thrash-a-thon. In this day and age, this would be considered mid-tempo to fast. Straight music with no filler. Fun stuff. –don (Tankcrimes)


INCONTROLLADOS:
Hvem Vil Det Gavne?: 7"
I’m wondering if this is a repress. Originally, it came out in 2002 (when I was trying to do a little research). This band sounds like they could have easily been on one of the early Mystic Records comps. They are low-fi in the sense that they play really early ‘80s punk with a recording that sounds like it was recorded at the most on a four track. The guitar sound has no distortion and is real bright like a lot of recordings from that time period. Basic three chord, 4/4 punk rock that is really enjoyable because of its simplicity and low production. There is one song that supposedly has one member’s mother singing on it. That is pretty fucking cool and one of my favorite tracks. –don (Kick n’ Punch)


IMPERIAL LEATHER:
Something Out of Nothing: CD
A bunch of Swedes and a Brooklyn transplant compromise the nucleus of this band with dual male/female vocals on top of a U.K. ‘82 vibe via the Punk & Disorderly comp series. Something about Sweden really produces tight bands. This is no exception. The songs are tight and rocking—songs that you would expect from bands that have been around a long time—but the experience comes from playing in so many other bands in the past. Their songs are melodic yet raw, giving them a live feel. The guitar sound is crunchy and bright, giving the songs a punch. The drum sound is very big and loud, giving the songs a bold attack. Can’t wait to see them when they tour the west coast this summer. –don (Profane Existence)


HYDEOUTS, THE:
Self-titled: CD
There’s a definite Buzzcocks influence here. It’s not subtle, either. Whether that would be a turn on for you or not, these songs are really rockin’. Straight-forward, lo-fi garage punk reminiscent of The Reds and the FM Knives. These songs are catchy and filled with hooks that got my head bobbing all over the place. The 7” was way too short for my liking though. I must have already gotten up twenty times already to flip the record. This is a very strong release, definitely worth checking out. –Guest Contributor (Black Lung)


HUMAN TELEVISION:
Look at Who You’re Talking to: CD
Dreamy, jangly, mellow pop that falls in the gray world between The Partridge Family and a morphine nod-out. I bet this would’ve sounded righteous played through Motörhead’s equipment. –jimmy (Gigantic)


HUDSON FALCONS:
La Familglia: CD
The theme of this album is family, as the inside liner notes talk about the love the guys have for their blood and extended family. The lyrics seem to chronicle a life’s journey and a life’s troubles. The vocals sound like they were recorded with friends in a basement with the singer wasted—the vocals sound strained and sort of wobbly, like the guy is trying to sing and simultaneously keep his balance so he doesn’t fall over and puke. This has the potential to be a good drinking album, but even more potential to be an album you listen to after drinking way too much and sobbing about your sorrows. –jenny (Street Anthem)


HORROR, THE:
The Fear, the Terror, the Horror: CD
This post-Voorhees thrash monster again delivers the goods, with eighteen tracks racing by in just under twenty-two minutes like the Energizer Bunny hyped up on cocaine and meth. Although the hyperspeed stuff inflicts some serious damage, the full-on piledriver knockout moves come when they ease up on the velocity a bit, move into slow burn, and just pummel the senses, like on “Coal Not Dole.” The Thatcher and Reagan references are a bit dated, especially seeing this stuff is brand spankin’ new, but on the whole they got it goin’ on, baby doll. –jimmy (Chain Saw Safety)


HOPE YOU CHOKE:
Self-titled: CD
No surprises here. Straight-up crossover hardcore that tends to lean a little on to the metal side of things, but not in a wanky kind of way. I guess the killer cover art depicting maggot-ridden zombie soldiers on the march could have given it away. I am most impressed with the vocals. This type of music can lead a singer to go with either the high pitched metal whine, or the guttural cookie monster growl. The singer for Hope You Choke chose neither, opting for the angry yet clear hardcore voice with plenty of gang vocals. Agnostic Front comes to mind. This is a must for fans of early-mid era Suicidal Tendencies and DRI. –ty (One Percent)


HOLY MOUNTAIN:
Enemies: CD
I hear Kylesa, His Hero Is Gone, Severed Head Of State, Damad, Artimus Pyle, and others. An attack to the aural senses. The band unleashes a disturbing mass of aggressive power. I would be hard struck to see if anyone who enjoys any type of heavy music not be moved by this band. They are owners of their craft and perform it with expertise. The vocals are guttural, but phonetic enough that actual words can be heard. They are executed with an emotion of pure anger. The lyrics are intelligent and very thought provoking. –don (No Idea)


HINDI GUNS, THE:
Patriot Act: CD EP
This was kind of weird and experimental, but nothing super crazy. It starts out somewhat pseudo jazzy, with the vocals consisting entirely of samples of Henry Rollins and Lemmy, talking about the state of society and modern music. The rest is similar, but with female vocals. There’s a lot of writing on the back of this, like “promotional fan club” this, and “found lyrics/recorded live” that, so I was a little confused as to just what this record is or what it’s for, but I still liked it. Overall, this is the kind of strange but interesting stuff that I’d expect Hunchback to cover. –joe (French Fan Club)


HEROINE SHEIKS:
Out of Aferica: CD
A bit of a shock for me ‘cause there’s a touch more “rock” in their sound here than there was on their debut, Rape on the Installment Plan, which was the last o’ their releases I heard. I gotta say, though, that they are very careful in their usage of said “rock” to compliment a sound that remains as addled and deranged as they, or Shannon’s earlier band The Cows, have ever produced. The song dynamics are a lot more across the map, meaning things are considerably more varied than a constant pummeling, although one listen to “Cock Asia” will demonstrate they can still whoop ass with ease. Good, good stuff. Oh, and yeah, there’s some buglin’ on here. –jimmy (Reptilian)


HERESY:
1985-’87: CD
This was originally released by Speedstate Records out of Japan in 2004. I thought it was still in print, but I could be wrong since Boss Tuneage licensed it. Since I’m a nerd, I thought I would describe some of the differences of each release. The cover artwork on the current release has been reduced a bit and the photos are a hair darker, but the song titles are larger. There is no Japanese title on the title edge of the digipack. The photos in the booklet seem to be darker too. The current release has extra photos not included in the Japanese pressing because they took out the Japanese translations of the lyrics. From there on, it’s all the same except the matrix number. Oh yeah, no obi. There are supposed to be three volumes and this is the first. This release includes the first demo, Never Healed flexi, two live tracks, and the Thanks! 7”. During the time of crossover, in the U.K. there was a growing faction of bands that were playing faster than what was considered fast at the time. This band and, say, Napalm Death were trying to break speed records. They heavily influenced the power violence genre of the ‘90s. Good to see that this release is still above water and available so people can discover this seminal band. –don (Boss Tuneage)


HEAVY BLINKERS:
The Night and I are Still So Young: CD
Reminds me of the Carpenters and The Association in all the wrong ways. –jimmy (Cooking Vinyl)


HEADACHE:
Discography: CD + Book
At first listen, I fucking hated this. Initially, the song structures had all the cohesion of a shattered windshield and I could feel my stress level rising within the first thirty seconds of this disc being played. The term jarring is apt. Stuff like this, recorded, has never translated well for me. Live, I’m sure I’d be wiggling one leg like crazy and trying to figure out how the hell they’re jumping from one fucked-up time signature to another, but when I was sitting here trying to write record reviews, it just made me want to pull my own goddamn fingernails out. Then I put it on again, and started to notice odd little sections (or even the occasionally complete song) where they just go flat-out and work the pedal down—wacky off-time drum parts with feral wolverine screeching over the top is replaced with something off of a long-forgotten streetpunk record. And even the jarring, discordant, manic parts started to gel into something whole. The CD comes packaged in a gorgeous book full of liner notes, comics, lyrics and writings—some of them seemingly nonsensical and some of them more coherent and focused. All in all, Headache’s a band that would probably floor a shitload of people live and are well-suited for folks who think bands like Ruins and Deerhoof are just the shit. –keith (Life Is Abuse)


HATEFUL:
Diamond Among the Coal: CD
The opening chords sound exactly like the main riff of Hanoi Rocks’s “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” but that’s where the similarities end. In all, this is an entertaining volume of sometimes anthemic punk rock in the vein of the lesser-talented bands of the ‘77 British invasion. That’s not to say that this sucks musically, though; all that means is that this is more in line with bands like Angelic Upstarts or Cockney Rejects than the Clash or Generation X (though there are similarities there, too). At first this seemed a bit cheesy and rehashed, but I caught myself singing the tunes when walking down the street—they’re catchy songs that, while not necessarily of mind-blowing inventiveness, were certainly worth my while. –The Lord Kveldulfr (Rebellion)


GUMBABIES, THE:
Another Ragged Army: CD EP
Have I ever mentioned that I have a thing for German bands? I’m not sure what it is, but chances are that if it’s from Deutschland I’m gonna like it. Spermbirds, Wizo, But Alive… Love ‘em all. Well, it looks like I’m adding another one to my list. The Gumbabies are not only German (but sing in English), but the singer sounds like Duane Peters! Wooooo, as if there could be anything better than a German US Bombs (DE Bombs?). –ty (Caustic Rock)


GRAVES AT SEA/ASUNDER:
Split: CD
If you have any depressive mood or suicidal feelings on the horizon, and this should be passed. Graves At Sea take a super bongload and recreate the Sabbath lick with sheer despair. Heavy riffs that sludge along but bite hard attack your aural senses, like smoking too much pot and over-focusing on every aspect of a song. If I was stoned, this would creep me out with the witchcraft screeching vocals mixed with the growl of doom. They unleash two songs that clock over twenty minutes. Asunder is another story. I saw them last summer, and that was an out of body experience. They played in the dark by candlelight and played barely four songs in less than an hour. The room was maybe 20’x20’ and, due to the season and no air conditioning, it was blistering hot and humid. Their brand of super slow, sludgecore, or whatever you call this type of music, was a strange episode. With the environment and their music, they made me feel like I was hallucinating and experiencing something unique that I have not felt before. I was exhausted and dehydrated after their set and I was completely sober and drinking water the whole time. Strange. Here, they expose to the world an eighteen-minute-plus montage of pure, thick molasses. The sounds that come out of the speakers coat the room with charred smoke and make it almost inhabitable. If this sounds appealing, these are two bands that can take the happiness out of any room. –don (Life is Abuse)


GRABASS CHARLESTONS:
When the Funk Hits the Fan: 7" EP
In my mind, the Grabass Charelstons have reached the level of Rocket From The Crypt, Tiltwheel, or Fugazi. I’m willing to follow ‘em to places I probably wouldn’t go by myself and I find myself being constantly rewarded by the journey. Ragin’ full-on punk, this isn’t, but how can one discount heart-felt, original music made by solid gold dudes? Grabass fights and fights; they know the score often before lacing up, gets their asses handed to them on occasion, and they dust off, and come back with secret hooks and crooked smiles. It’s this scrappy, for-the-music quality that makes me, less and less, able to critique their songs and just let them soak in, note by note—like every other song they’ve ever written, it seems—and let them reveal themselves on their own time, play by play. It’s been several years since I was first exposed to them on their split LP with Billy Reese Peters, and since I haven’t tired of listening to them yet, I doubt I ever will, and that’s a monolith of a recommendation. This batch of four (one’s a Guided By Voices cover) is full of destructive feelings—somehow making suicide not seem so bad and dark—brightly played. –todd (Barracuda Sound)


GORILLA ANGREB:
Beder Tider: 12" EP
I know I’m repeating a little, but here goes. Imagine that X, instead of playing the punk rock retirement plan via the House of Blues circuit, actually stuck their neck out to write some new songs (what has it been? Twenty years?). Instead of laurels to be rested upon, a Danish punk band, chock full of ex-hardcore players (from Amdi Petersens Armé and No Hope For The Kids), has relit the torch that X now holds above their heads like a soft, low-watt light bulb halo. Gorilla Angreb is using that initial flame—the one set by “We’re Desperate” and “Electrify Me” (The Plugz, who you should really check out if you haven’t already). Instead of lighting votive candles respectfully memorializing the past, Gorilla Angreb has lit a funeral pyre. It’s this crackling, aching, dancing flame in the new century, this kick in the snacks that makes Gorilla Angreb exciting. If you’re a fan of catchy, whip-cracking punk rock, stripped down to dueling male and female voices and hit-hard instruments, this is the way to go. And it’s on my favorite format: wide-grooved 45 rpm 12” EP. Find. –todd (Kick’n’Punch)


GOLDEN GODS, THE:
The Thorny Crown of Rock and Roll: CD
Was gonna totally blow this off as ‘70s-worshipping cock-rock—and don’t get me wrong, that’s EXACTLY what it is—but I’ll be damned if they ain’t damned good at what they do. These guys channel bands like Foghat, Foreigner, Deep Purpl, and oodles of other groups whose names alone would cause most to visibly wince and manage to somehow make it not seem like a bad thing. Interesting cover of Carole King’s “I Felt the Earth Move,” too. If I was cruising in an El Camino with Randall “Pink” Floyd, this would no doubt be cranking on the quadraphonic 8-track system. –jimmy (Self-released)


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