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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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AMERICAN STATIC:
Soundtrack of the Struggle: CD
American Static sounds like they've already sent their demo into TKO. Blue collar, proud-to-be-American, alcohol-encrusted punk. Woo! –mrz (Street Anthem)


ALLERGIC TO BULLSHIT:
You & Me This Is What We’re Here for and What We’re for Is What We’ll Get: 7”
Los Canadians, who Ivy of ATB previously sang for, had a strained appeal for me. The music didn’t grab me, but that voice… Ivy sounds like she swallowed rock candy: sweetness and gravel mixed together. She has this desperate, pleading quality to her vocals that could easily make the majority of female blues singers envious. Allergic to Bullshit makes it a lot easier for me to listen because, well, they’re fucking awesome. This recording is really dirty. There’s so much fuzz that it goes from low-fi to pretty annoying. Even with that in mind, this is well worth picking up, along with their earlier 7”, Train I Ride. –megan (Left off the Dial)


ALUMINUM KNOT EYE:
Trunk Lunker: CD
Roky Erikson mania meets the Reatards’ “record in your bedroom with a bucket for a drum” aesthetic. Sometimes it seems a little bit like they’re trying too hard. I bet if you played it at a party, everybody would leave, which I mean as a compliment. –Josh (Trick Knee Productions)


ADVERSARY WORKERS, THE:
The Inner Workings of Change: CD
Skronky noise rock with political lyrics. Wasn't exactly my cup of tea, but dang near anything with lyrics that run contrary to the popular party line can't be all bad. –jimmy (www.collectiverecords.com)


ABERNETHY:
He Teeny She: CD
Somewhere between Noel Paul Stookey and Peter (of Peter, Paul, and Mary), a Terry Gilliam soundtrack, The The, and sacred music. That said, there is something nice in the soothing-ness of this, but I’m not sure why they would think to send it to us. –megan (www.joeabernethey.com)


101, THE:
Green Street: CD
Since, alphabetically, this might be the very first review, I want to mention to all bands and labels out there to please check and see if your band fits in with what is covered by this here zine before you submit it for review. Because chances are, you are going to get either me, the grumpy, jaded old guy, or Jimmy Alvarado giving it a shit review. Even worse, if the two of us don’t pick it up for months on end, the CD and inserts gets thrown away and we save the case. I’m being honest. That is how it works. So much crap comes through here that we can’t even get a dime for trade-in on some of this stuff. I’m saying this as I have to sit through another R.E.M. wannabe that not only bores me, but makes my cats irritable. There is a reason for college radio. So do yourself a favor, save some money, and don’t send this kind of stuff to the zine or to my attention. I hope my words caught your attention. –don (Limekiln)


ADICTS, THE:
Rise and Shine: CD
This release from the Adicts has some musical gems as well as some songs that are not as precious. The song "Woke up This Morning" is a muffled mess with a garage rock sound and distorted vocals that simply is not pleasing to the ear. However, the next track, "Black Sheep," is a quintessential Adicts song that is fast paced with catchy riffs and lyrics that are easy to sing along to and jump around to like an idiot. The Adicts have been around for over twenty years and on this album they have a song called "We Looked Back," which expresses their appreciation to their fans as they reflect on the time gone by since they have been a band. The song has a Bob Dylan feel with the vocals sung in a strange talking voice. It is not their best song but the message of gratitude is still there. The best song on the album is "Cuppa Tea Song," in which the Englanders express their desire for home and a cup of tea while in America. The song is very simple but it is simply perfect. "Concert Adicto" is also a fabulous song, which is an instrumental piano mix that includes snippets of their songs being played beautifully on the piano in between classical piano measures. Overall, the album is a pleasant addition for fans of the Adicts, but if you are unfamiliar with their music, a different album such as Songs of Praise or Smart Alex would be a wiser choice. –jenny (SOS)


10 SECONDS TO LIFTOFF/ANSWER LIES:
Split: 7”
This 7” is apparently the first release from Dirt Culture Records, a spinoff of Dirt Culture fanzine (of which I have never heard). Both bands are from Las Cruces, New Mexico. Man, what is going on in Arizona and New Mexico these days? All of the rockinest bands are springing up over there. Is it the desert heat? Shit, it must be. Answer Lies is fast political punk that dropped my chin to my chest. They are an amazing band. You ought to check ‘em out. Add this to your to-do list, no doubts about that! 10 Seconds to Liftoff gives off a different vibe: more of a late ‘70s English punk style. While listening to it, I couldn’t tell if the songs are just okay or so fucking good that it’s just beyond me. This 7” is one for the history books. –don (Dirt Culture)


STORMCROW:
Self-titled: CDEP
Heavy metal with grumbly vocals that are not unlike how I’ve always envisioned King Diamond’s tummy sounding when he gets hungry after a long day of worshipping Satan. –jimmy (No Options)


STEAMING WOLF PENIS:
Assholes and Hand Grenades: CDEP
Silly-ass band name? Check. Short, rudimentary, yet strangely proficient songs with titles like “123456 Hamster,” “Birth Certificate Blues,” and “I Love 2 Watch U Explode”? Check. Lyrics like “I like chicken, you like panthers/Let’s all dance like Danny Glover”? Check. Cover art that looks like it was drawn by a right-handed autistic kid using her left hand? Check. It’s official, folks: Jimmy’s got a new favorite band for the week. –jimmy (www.jerkbeast.com)


SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE:
2005 Demo: CD-R
Burly Baltimore HC that, at its best, brings to mind early Paint It Black. It’s a lot more tough guy/crew/stabbed-in-the-back than I go for, but the vocals are good and the playing is solid. We’ll see what happens when they get a record out. They are teetering right on the line of being really good and getting lost in the pack of tough and burly East Coast hardcore. –frame (fightingchancemd@hotmail.com)


SPINOFFS:
Street Rock Stars: CD
Some pretty strong punky pop with some pretty banal lyrics. –jimmy (Black Market)


SOME GIRLS:
Heaven’s Pregnant Teens: CD
Not as frenzied as their The DNA Will Have It’s Say EP on GSL, but also not as contrived. While I enjoyed that outing (in a guilty-pleasure kinda way) I couldn’t help but feel they were just kind of going through the motions; all of the dudes in this band are seasoned veterans of the screamo/noise scenes and it just seemed like they put the first five or six songs they came up with on that record. Heaven’s Pregnant Teens has a few things going for it that the previous record didn’t. For one, the lyrics are actually decipherable more than half the time and they’ve managed to create a record this time around that actually coheres—each song manages to seem reliant and dependent on the one that came before it. The end result is an album that manages to feel current but also harkens back to the day when this shit was new and chaotic and crazy and fast as fuck, when bands like this were dismantling the foundation of hardcore and throwing it on its ear. No, there’s no new ground being forged, but all the same it’s a pretty nice visit to an old haunt. –keith (Epitaph)


SODA POP KIDS:
Write Home: CD
Hot damn! This full length by these Portland kids is smokin! Killer poppy garage glam punk with a real Teenage Head vibe. Reminds me of my faves the Slash City Daggers in spots as well. Dig the piano as well as the doo-wop backing vocals. This band knows how to write songs! Any of you that dug that Time Flys LP will wanna be all over this; there is a real similar vibe. Also available on LP with different cover artwork. I can’t pick a fave tune here because they are all fantastic, the sequencing is great, and this really flows well as an album. This is gonna get TONS of spins this year! –frame (Full Breach Kicks)


SMALL ARMS DEALER:
A Single Unifying Theory: CD
Giving the songs nifty titles does not adequately hide the fact that emo blows snail wee-wee. –jimmy (Deep Elm)


SKIP JENSEN:
Abscond: CD
Montreal is way up there. There are several one man type bands from up that way right now. Something strange and unique is going on up in the French-speaking city. Blues. I would think there might be some more connection to Cajun music. It’s interesting; I’m not sure what the driving force behind all this is, and that doesn’t matter. What does matter, is if this is something that you should get your hands on? The answer is yes. Skip has another band that I know of, and that’s the Demons Claws. Freakin’ great stuff with that band as well. The point is that this is a good CD to get you into some other stuff and expand your horizons with. You know, learn some French, get across the border, head north, and listen to the foot shakin’ jingles on this CD. –Guest Contributor (Delta Pop Music)


SKEPTICS, THE:
Hearts & Spades: CD
Did I just throw up in my mouth and swallow again? How did this Hot Topic/MTV/Fuse band end up in my house? –don (Third World Industries)


SINKIN’ SHIPS:
All Signs Are Wrong: CD
I should probably love this. They’ve got a song titled “Shit’s Tight” for one thing. They also happen to have Mark Harpur, who is one of my favorite people from the far shores of Canadia (and proud representative of the Fast Crowd). He gave this to me at punk rock bowling, told me I’d hate it, and to rip it to shreds. He’s wrong; I don’t hate it. It’s not necessarily my cup of the p-u-n-k, but I know a lot of people who like this kind of stuff. I’m just not one of them except for some very rare occasions. Guitar-driven with dominating female vocals. –megan (www.sinkinships.com, www.woundedpaw.com)


SHOW ME THE PINK:
Velocipedomania: CDEP
New wave should be fun and at the same time sound weird because of the electronic sounds. This band never takes off to the party and come off as kind of arty. The pace of the songs are tedious and make the songs drag. The pictures of the band make them look fun, but what comes out of the speakers is a totally different picture. –don (Chainsaw)


SHELL SHOCK:
Born to Kill: CD
Musically, this is some pretty strong, straightforward hardcore. Lyrically, things lean more toward the more personal “you pissed me off so I wrote a song” school of thought. Any larger political attitudes are a bit ambiguous, although they do openly question the validity of anarchism as a viable alternative to the current societal order. Not bad overall. –jimmy (Puke N Vomit)


SEVENONEFIVE:
We Don’t Feel Like This for Free: CD
Sounds like the second coming of Good Riddance. Recording at the Blasting Room only elevates my theory. –don (Crustacean)


SET TO EXPLODE:
Self-titled: CD
These guys specialize in a melding of the Minor Threat and Negative Approach strains of early ‘80s hardcore and they’re quite good at it. Not too impressed with their lyrics, but I guess they’re serviceable at worst and the tunes have the requisite rough execution. –jimmy (Grave Mistake)


SCARRED, THE/VOID CONTROL:
Split: 7”
The Scarred: Seem to remember liking a demo of theirs I got a while back, and I still dig ’em just fine. Two tunes of mid-tempo punk with a heavy early OC beach punk influence, which makes perfect sense considering that’s exactly where they hail from. Good stuff. The Void Control: More mid-tempo stuff, nowhere near as catchy as the flip, but not exactly on a one-way trip to sucklandia, either. –jimmy (Puke N Vomit)


SAINTE CATHERINES / WHISKEY SUNDAY:
Split: 7”
I’m no math guy, but I think that the band, The Church Of The Saturday Morning Saints (reviewed elsewhere in this issue) features members of both these bands, since the dude’s voice in the Sainte Catherines is so distinctive: swallowing nails while blowing smoke rings through a rough cloth. The Sainte Catherines also have that secret button that other bands can’t seem to find: they can go from mellow, interesting acoustic-laced ballads into full-throttle, break-the-sky-with-guitars riffs anthems without compromising the heart of the first or the power of the second. Big stuff. Whiskey Sunday: This is all just a guess, but I hear a distant metal past meets the same approach as Altaira, which means they’re earnest, love early Hot Water Music, and take time to let their songs breath between the words to let the notes soak—like beer and fine pharmaceuticals—into the listener’s bloodstream. It feels very “brotherhood of the musical notes” and steers far from “dude, bro. Light beer. Bangin’ chicks! Woo!” Strong split. –todd (Vinehell)


SAGGER:
Self-titled: 7”
Three songs, very stripped down and raw rock‘n’roll. It’s good, but nothing about it makes it stand out from a zillion other bands that have this sound. If you see it at the record store it might be good to pick up, but it’s not something that you should put a lot of effort into finding. –Guest Contributor (Goodbye Boozy)


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