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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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JERK OFF JACK OFF FRIG FACE:
Songs from the Outlaw Country Musical: CD-R
Starring Too Bad Strembicki and Abby Banks. This is so freakin’ good that I get drunk at least once a week and lose it in the CD player for a few hours. Write now and see if you can get a copy of this: it’s a freaking musical: one with songs like “One-Thousand Ghost McGee,” “Whiskey!,” “Tattoo for Breakfast,” and “The Man Who Shot Everyone in the Face.” It’s all acoustic with character-driven pieces. If it sounds like theater, then it’s because it is. I saw them on tour this summer, and if there was ever a rejected vaudeville show that played in the alleys or homes of the people who didn’t go in for the big time of the day, then this is it. I don’t know if they’ll tour ever again, and that’s okay. But if you listen to this and let the cartoons play out in your head, then you’ll be doing fine. It’s all right. It’s only make believe. –Guest Contributor (jerkoffjackofffrigface@yahoo.com)


IRONBOUND:
With a Brick: CD
Modern day hardcore is a two-way street for me. I either like it or don’t. That determination is usually made right off the first minute of the first song. This one I didn’t like. The machismo was overbearing right from the start. The lyrics were cookie cutter and the vocal delivery was flat. A little studio trickery could have helped. The tempos of the songs tended to be a tad slow and similar from one song to the other. This reminded me of mid- to current-period Agnostic Front. Having two members of Sick Of It All record on the first five songs didn’t help. –don (Thorp)


INSTANT AGONY:
One Man Army b/w Got You Sussed & One Law: 7”
Few things are more pleasant for a geezer like me than to hear a band from when I was a kid crank out new tunes with the same conviction, passion, and power as they wielded way back when. Three original short, to-the-point ravers from these guys, none of which are a waste of vinyl or time. –jimmy (www.pukenvomitrecords.com)


INSTANT AGONY:
One Man Army b/w Got You Sussed & One Law: 7”
Sounds pretty much indistinguishable from any number of U.K. streetpunk records from ‘82/’83—Riot City Records and what not. Sorta like the kind of thing i used to hear on the butt-ends of compiliation tapes that friends would make from my 45s back in The Day, and I’d have to ask the dude who made the tape who the band was, because i didn’t remember, even though it was my record he made the tape from. The sleeve is kind of cool. I’ve heard worse. BEST SONG: “One Law” BEST SONG TITLE: “Got You Sussed,” i suppose FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Vocals by Hocky, sleeve by Tabby, photo by Whizzy! –norb (Puke N Vomit)


INOCULATORS, THE:
Dropped Their Brains: CD
I met the singer of this band outside the Troubadour right after I took pictures of the Japanese band Last Target. I was heading home because I wasn’t interested in the other bands, including the headliners. I think The Briefs headlined that night but I was right out the door. Not having gone out to a legitimate club in a while and going to DIY shows lately, I wasn’t feeling the environment. We had a brief conversation that was cordial and he quickly told me about his band. I told him good luck and I was on my way. The guy has a good memory because mine is decaying. Sitting in my in-box was an envelope addressed to me at HQ. He sent me a CD. I listened to the release and I can’t really find fault in the music. But at the current moment, I’m not really feeling it. The songs are melodic and the added ska parts make the songs more interesting. The recording is top notch. These are things that I enjoy in a band. If this was five years ago, I would be drooling over this. This goes into the pile of CDs and records that I have to listen to much later. –don (Inoculators)


INOCULATORS, THE:
Dropped Their Brains: 12”
This was an unexpected surprise. The cover art looks like Hellraiser goes to Disneyland, so I was leery of what I would find inside, expecting clichés and worn-out punk rock rhetoric. There is a bit of that, but, for the most part, this is a very solid record. Musically, it kind of sounds like Less Than Jake mixed with dirtier, crustier sensibilities; the ska influence is definitely there on some of the songs, but when the Inoculators crank it up this is a great vehicle for rock‘n’roll fury. They also have some overtly political songs in here, which seems to be a no-no these days, but they don’t dominate the record so as to define them solely as a political band. I woke up this morning with their “Two Party System’s Fucked Up” in my head—kind of a cheesy title, but it sent me blazing into the day. A solid record that is variously fun, thought-provoking, and critical of the State Of Things in the Twenty-first Century. –The Lord Kveldulfr (The Inoculators)


I-ATTACK:
American Dream: 7”
Strong hyper-tempoed hardcore with political lyrics. If I had me a radio station, the title track would get much airplay. Nice to see Chicago’s punker scene ain’t lost its touch. –jimmy (Criminal IQ)


I LOVE YOU BUT I’VE CHOSEN DARKNESS:
Fear Is on Our Side: CD
Dreamy shoegazer-type stuff that leans toward the My Bloody Valentine/Medicine end of the spectrum but doesn’t quite near the sonic density of those bands’ best work. Still, it ain’t a bad listen by a long shot. –jimmy (Secretly Canadian)


I FARM:
So My Kids Won’t Have To: CD
When did this happen? I can’t say that I didn’t like I Farm before. I also can’t say that I was really in to them either, but something changed and this album has been getting heavy play by me this time around. Shit if I know what changed, but damn, if I’m not happy about it. Snotty pop punk that’s smart and topical (and pertinent even though it was originally recorded almost ten years ago (it’s a reissue)). Maybe more bands should experiment with 523-17 –megan (Blackout)


HUNDRED YEAR HEX / WITH CHILDLIKE EYES:
Split: CD
Hundred Year Hex are a lo-fi mishmash of some of the lamest music of all time. Screamo, tech-grind, and electronica combine into a dull soundscape. With Childlike Eyes are more spazzy tech-grind and just as dull. Both bands are vaguely annoying, so I guess they achieved one of their goals in the uneasy listening realm. Hooray. –frame (Gilead Media)


HOGAN’S HEROES:
Self-titled: CD-R
Given the dearth of information with this, I’m not quite sure what their motivations or intentions are, but collected here is the work (three LPs, assorted singles, demo tracks, and unreleased stuff) of a late-‘80s hardcore band best remembered as being part of New Red Archives’ stable of bands. The music is fast’n’furious, pissed off, and holds up consistently well, managing to get the blood pumping just as well as it did a decade and a half ago. Not sure if this is a “press copy” of a soon-to-be-released discography or something, but if so, it might be a good addition to that birthday/Christmas list. –jimmy (no address)


HJERTE STOP:
Äärh, Fuck… Der er HjerteStop!: 7” EP
What’s up with Denmark? Do they have a punk lab that distills some of the best and most exciting hardcore of yore (Minor Threat, Black Flag), then cross-pollinates it with the fresh wounds of recent bands like Career Suicide, Regulations, and No Hope For The Kids, while dangling a new pine-scented air freshener on the rearview mirror? Hjerte Stop’s part pioneering sprit, part lighting Molotov cocktails with extended middle fingers, part pissing in the mouths of cops, and part good, old-fashioned ripping along. They’re right in the vortex of a strong stable of Dutch bands that aren’t giving up nor slowing down. –todd (Kick n Punch)


HILLSIDE STRANGLERS / BITE THE BULLET:
Split: 7”
Hillside Stranglers sound like a band that could have been on a bill with the Necros or Die Kreuzen in the early ‘80s. Really cool, trashy Midwest hardcore punk sound. They are from Detroit so they probably grew up on that stuff. Bite The Bullet appear to be from Germany and have kind of a melodic street punk sound. Seems like they would go well on a bill with a band like Oxymoron or Lower Class Brats. Good, solid green vinyl single. –frame (Detroit Noise)


HI-FI KILLERS, THE/LOS DRAGOS:
CD version of split 7” for them that don’t have any turntable: CD
Hmmm… the first Hi-Fi Killers song sounds kinda like a he-man version of the Willowz (pre-total suckage), whilst the other sounds like a decent stab at Little Steven’s Underground Garage type music that has just breathlessly arrived at the dock, ticket-bearing arms flailing madly, only to see the ship sailing out to sea without them. The first Los Dragos tune starts off like the Dead Kennedys playing rockabilly with a mousetrap for a snare drum, then augments that with some tastily repulsive Greg Ginn/Gary Farrell guitar leads the likes of which i ain’t heard in a while. Second song is kinda more Mooney Suzuki-ish. Further observations have been withheld in lieu of a blank stare (stares). Okay, i’m done. BEST SONG: Hi-Fi Killers, “Broken Babe” BEST SONG TITLE: Los Dragos, “No Woman No Chain” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: The disc graphic looks like a cross between the cover of the first Joe Jackson album and the paneling at that club The Raven in Denver. –norb (Nicotine)


HI-FI KILLERS / LOS DRAGOS:
Split: 7”
Lo-fi, kinda snotty punk from these bands. Los Dragos have a vaguely rockabilly vibe on the first song and then a faster garage vibe on the second one. Hi Fi Killers sound like a slower, trashier version of the Briefs or Hatepinks. Both songs are similar and real lo-fi. Snotty punk, vaguely mod, and vaguely new wavey in parts –frame (Nicotine, www.nicotinerecords.com)


HELL, THE:
Self-titled demo: CD
This sounds like Drinkers Purgatory mixed with the first Hives EP on Gearhead. Lyrics about wanting to kill the bombmaker’s daughter and making emo kids eat shit—you know, stuff like that. These songs seem more lame than sarcastic though: “Little rich girls, with diamonds and pearls, called me a faggot from the window of their dad’s SUV... StabNGrab! Oh yes! Now I’m a criminal!” Uhm... okay? –mrz (The Hell)


HEARTBURNS, THE/FRANKIE THE DAMAGE:
Split: 7”
Both bands play loud, mid-tempo punk rock with heavy guitars –jimmy (Wanton)


HEADWOUND CITY:
Self-titled: CDEP
Nine song EP from side project made up of members of The Locust, The Blood Brothers, and Yeah Yeah Yeah. The cover art is sick (in a good way) and the song titles probably give you a clue of what city we’re headed to: “Prick Class,” “Thrash Zoo,” and “Michael J. Fux Feat. Gnarls in Charge.” But the music is giving me a fuckin’ headache. Triage is too late for this ripe discharge. Avoid this city at all costs. –koepenick (Three One G)


HALO FAUNA:
Self Titled: CD
It’s a full-length CD of mildly acoustic stuff that would probably sound pretty at home on a label like Harlan or Plan-It-X. The vocals could be thrown in the same barrel as the guy from Alkaline Trio or John Samson from the Weakerthans. Musically, it’s somewhat minimalist, generally consisting of undistorted guitar, bass, drums, and the occasional keyboard or clarinet. The thing that held my interest throughout the record was that these are essentially pop songs that lack any real bite or venom, but the lyrics are also intrinsically political, coming across as both poetic and enraged. I can see the vocals turning a lot of people off at first (as they initially did for me), but there’s something about the band’s earnestness and the singer’s willingness to belt it out there even when he sometimes hits things a little flat or off-key that’s really endearing to me. Best song has to be the last one, “Sunday School,” where they ditch the drums and offer up a sparse and restrained song about humanity’s constant and woeful misappropriation of “God’s will.” It’s refreshing to hear a band that’s political and intelligent without trying to out-thrash every other group out there, as well as hear some nice, often awkward pop music that steers far clear from the “I love her so-whoa-whoa” arena of chocolate and roses. –keith (Halo Fauna)


GUTBUCKET:
Sludge Test: CD
You know that term post-punk that has been often misused as of late? Well, it actually does apply to Gutbucket. Take the absolute strangest moments of Tuxedomoon and other similar artists from the 1979-1981 period, mix it up, and you have at least some of the elements evident on Sludge Test. As with bands from this era, Gutbucket recorded its latest effort on analog with help from San Francisco-based musicians/sound engineers Jay and Ian Pellicci (Deerhoof, Erase Errata, Gravy Train!!!!). Similar to Tuxedomoon, in particular, Gutbucket has strong jazz leanings (all four members are jazz trained) and definite art school appeal. However, Gutbucket veers from the post-punk style in its completely anti-pop nature. There are no songs in the traditional sense on Sludge Test, nothing to hum alongside in the car. It is an album that requires careful listening with vocals that barely appear as vocals and drumbeats that stray from the 4/4 standard. –liz (Cantaloupe)


GREEN CARNATION:
The Acoustic Verses: CD
What the hell is this? This fucking sucks. I guess this used to be a metal band or something back a long time ago, but now it’s just boring acoustic crap that sounds like some shit you’d hear in a dentist office. This shit is so lame not even my mom would like it. –ben (The End)


GOSSIP, THE:
Standing in the Way of Control: CD
This band is bluesy and dancey but not whiny or poppy. Not sure if that’s a good description... but that’s what I can come up with. The title track showcases the front woman’s full range of soulful singing (on par with ‘80s Michael Jackson and shit... no lie) and comes complete with an Against Me! disco drum beat and a hypnotic bass line. The music sometimes reminds me of a polished XBRBX... and that’s an even worse description than the aforementioned one. That just means the band is constructing their own sound so craftily that you just can’t pin them down to one description. That, in my book, is a good thing. This is highly recommended for those who dig anything on Kill Rock Stars. –mrz (Kill Rock Stars)


GORT:
The Arrival: CDEP
It’s funny how two-piece bands that “jam on some heavy shit” have become a genre unto itself. This is a guy on the baritone guitar (that’s like a big guitar with bass strings on it) and a guy on the drums, and a few occasional afterthought vocals. The problem with this is that when you have a two-piece band, you gotta do some spectacular shit to make up for it, like the relentless energy of Lightning Bolt or the technical proficiency of Hella or C Average. Unfortunately, Gort is neither relentless nor proficient. Mostly, they’re just boring. I feel sorry for the engineer that had to sit behind the mixing board while they tracked this snoozefest. It’s a nice try, just not nice enough. –ben (Feedback, no address)


GORILLA ANGREB:
Long Island b/w Supersyn: 7”
Imagine, for a second, that it’s 1977. Imagine that L.A.’s X had never existed and that Dangerhouse never put out any records. Imagine X being Dutch and, instead of incorporating the Blasters, they had a time machine and what provided the backbone to the band was something approachable, yet hard and more steely, like a subtle cross-pollination of the Go-Go’s and Amde Peterson’s Arme. If I haven’t completely confused you by now, Gorilla Angreb take the pure discovery of long-discarded treasures (even by the bands that did the pioneering) and make you feel like you’ve never heard something quite like this before. It’s not quite pop. It’s not easily classified punk. They create mid-tempo, faultless songs that I just want to listen to over and over again. –todd (Spild Af Vinyl)


GORIES, THE:
Bug House: 7”
What I really like about the now-defunct Gories (Mick Collins is now in The Dirtbombs, Dan is in the Demolition Doll Rods, and Peggy’s in The Darkest Hours) is that they often took their time. They’re minimal, but it’s a buildup, not just a holding pattern. It’s this raw patience and tension that took me quite some time to fully appreciate. If you come across Gories vinyl in the bin, I highly suggest picking it up (this 7” is no exception) and giving it time to seep. Mick Collins and Co. were some of the true banner holders of raw, authentic rock’n’roll during a time (roughly 1989-1994) when techno was supposed to make human-made music more obsolete than the Laser Disc. The A side is one of the first Gories songs ever written. –todd (Get Hip)


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