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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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GOP, THE:
England Sucks: 7”
The first thing I thought when the music started was: “Government Issue, sometime between Legless Bull and Boycott Stabb.” Their singer has the same bored delivery as Stabb and the band thrashes along behind him quite nicely. Lyrically, they sound like they wanna upset both sides of the political spectrum, and there’s nothing wrong with that. A nice little shot of youthful rambunctiousness to start the day. –jimmy (Blind Spot)


GLEN MATLOCK:
On Something: CD
Yes, I know this is over a year old, but it’s only been available as a pricey import for awhile. El Cheapo Americans like myself have to sweat it out until all the change from the couch cushions fall out. Third release with The Philistines. This cohesive backing band features Steve New (ex-Rich Kids) on guitar. With that introduction, you know it holds up underwater. “White Knuckle Ride,” “On Something,” and “On The Horizon” are the songs on here that hit home the most for me here. But you’ll probably enjoy them all. One bit of irony here—note the record label below. Does this mean a certain song has to be dropped from his “part time” other band’s set list? If it’s up to a Mr. Lydon, I think not! –koepenick (EMI)


GAURITHOTH:
Perverse: CD
I’m not a fanatic, but I love black metal, death metal, and all the other thrashy hybrids of the genre. So, when I get something to review that fits into one of those notches, I get excited. This band from Finland throws down some mean-ass thrashing. Taking a quick look at their website, they play the part with the white make-up, black eyeliner, and fake blood. The music is the key here. It’s not all modern and downtuned, but straight-ahead pummeling. With strong elements of punk in their mid tempo parts, the single note guitar riffs that make the thrash parts sound evil lets you know that metal is where they want to be. The screamed vocals are mixed up with the cookie monster growls. The drummer sounds like a machine that is programmed to bash out beats with precision. The guitars are bright in an ‘80s type of recording style. I can’t see many fans of this genre to be disappointed by this. –don (Crimes Against Humanity)


FULL MINUTE OF MERCURY:
Alive Again: CD
Egads, was this bad. Bubble gum pop, Maiden-influenced metal (hence the cheesy, has-to-be-a-joke cover art), and socially conscious pop punk Osterized for public consumption, although I would be hard pressed to figure who, outside of the hordes of who think Ashlee and Avril are the embodiment of all things punk, would bother to listen to, let alone buy something like this. Then again, one man’s crap is another’s “breakout hit,” I guess. –jimmy (www.full.minute.com)


FUCKED UP:
Generations: cassette
Man, I’ve listened to this so many times and I’m still at a loss as to what I should be writing down. If you haven’t heard of this yet, it’s a self-released (though apparently distroed through Deranged) cassette of Fucked Up’s live material, radio interviews, covers, and songs from side projects. On one hand, yeah, it’s Fucked Up. That in itself carries a hell of a lot of sway around this household, I assure ye. On the other hand, there’s so much repetition, tape hiss, and questionable sound quality on here that, while it’s certainly not a trial to listen to, it’s not nearly as seamless as even Epics In Minutes, their singles collection. I mean, “Baiting the Public” is a great song, but I don’t really need to hear three different live versions of it. The extensive liner notes are a plus, they have moments of total brilliance (their cover of the Younghearts’ “Try a Little Togetherness” is a good example) and, if nothing else, Generations is rock-solid proof that the band is capable of putting out (and going a fair way towards upping the ante of) some of the best punk rock around today. That said, it’d also be a pretty shitty and disconcerting place to start if you’re interested in checking out the band for the first time. –keith (Deranged)


FOURTH ROTOR:
Plain: 9-song CD
I, for one, am glad that the Minutemen aren’t being forgotten, and that their spirit is being reconstituted like far-scattered spores into the blood of new bands. Much like Giant Haystacks, The Forth Rotor aren’t as interesting in cloning Boon, Watt, and Hurley as they are a fresh ride in a mode of transportation that’s still has a lot of tread on the tire. Penetrating bass up front. Master swordsman guitar with no wasted movements. Blasting drums. Songs short and explosive. Voices barking. Words hurled like sharp and pointed rocks. Fill the tank, get in, pedal down, peel out. Nine songs, a little over fourteen minutes. No so much hardcore as lean, no-bullshit, econo focus. –todd (Underground Communiqué)


FLU:
Amalgamation: CD
The next big band to make it into the mainstream with their overproduced, yet thin, sounding recording of hardcore meets emo pop. Mommy, please tell me when the bad band goes away. –don (Sling Slang)


FINAL SOLUTIONS:
Return to the Motherland: 7”EP
Ack ack ack ack! The Final Solutions sound like the Urinals having a slapping contest with “Touch Me, I’m Sick” Mudhoney. Shouty, recorded-through-the-floor dirge that’s somehow turned into chants, bubbling magma, greasy hair and torn-jean anthems with a Polish accent. If this slab of vinyl was a side of beef, it’d have “Killed By Death Approved” branded on the side. Features Jay Reatard on drums. A pitch-perfect, dragged-over-a-dirt-road listen. Good stuff. –todd (Frick and Frack)


FIFTH HOUR HERO:
Not Revenge... Just a Vicious Crush: CD
Having listening to music for so long, I often play this game with myself. “What if Discount was a supergroup with No Division-era Hot Water Music and Alison didn’t sing quite as much?” “What if they let it all spool out, did duets, and let it get epic?” (And not “whoah, dude,” bong, big clouds, car chase epic, but high desert, full moon, clear head epic.) “What if Leatherface was French Canadian, and a bit more sweet? In what ways would the poutine offset the fish and chips?” Fifth Hour Hero answers all these questions: expansive, smart, and driving punk that’s as much giving honor to the past as to looking through the cracked windshield, excited and weary, on the long highway to the next gig. Their first record didn’t do much for me. This one’s doing plenty. As they said to the dude who lopped off Marie Antoinette’s head: well executed. –todd (No Idea)


EDWARD:
Forward/Backward: CD
I haven’t even opened this because if I shake it, it makes a funny sound and makes my hand get tingly. Seriously, it’s been the most fun I’ve had with a CD in a long time. Can’t think of the right word? Shake the disc. Frustrated because the network goes down? Shake the disc. On hold for five minutes? Shake the disc until you giggle. Pretty color blocks too. –megan (Merl)


FASHION! FASHION! AND THE IMAGE BOYS:
Over Before It Ever Began: 7” EP
Going off the cover (where everyone has typewriters for heads), the band name, the band photo (jackets, sunglasses, and buttons), and a theremin listed, I was thinking new wave. Nope. More in line with the Candy Snatchers than the Epoxies, it’s blades-out, beaten-by-clubs rock’n’roll fronted by a guy whose eyes I can easily imagine popping out of his skull from screaming so much all the time. The more I gave up on the new wave idea of the band, the more I liked ‘em on their own merits. –todd (Floridas Dying)


FALLOUT, THE:
What Is Past Is Prologue: CD
The thing about Canada is that there is so much space between cities. Any band will tell you that touring this country is a difficult endeavor. Just too much empty space to contend with. It’s also difficult to stay on top of what’s going on at the opposite side of the country. Sure, the internet helps, but I just feel that I should have already known about and loved The Fallout. It’s a simple formula, but I’m a sucker for it every time. Straight-up ‘77 style punk a la Stiff Little Fingers with catchy, politicized lyrics. The twist here is that it’s mixed with the sound of a late ‘90s Dr. Strange band (such as Whatever…). Throw in a touch of their friends, The Rebel Spell, and you’ve got yourself a winner. Now, they need to cross some empty space and play in the west. –ty (Longshot)


ENDLESS FIGHT:
Back to the Front: CD
I didn’t think I was going to like this based on the slick cover art. But I do. Endless Fight hails from Canada and they play some mean speed metal. If these guys continue to build their fan base, see them on Relapse or Earache in no time, guaranteed. This shit wasn’t a rehash nor a copycat of any other band... nor do they attempt screamo or nu-metal (Thank god!). This is the real shit. The real good shit, I should say. And the drum rolls: fucking amazing. I’m loving the chug-chug-chuggity chug of the guitars and the breakneck speeds of the songs just before the hellish breakdowns. Hell yeah, this CD kicks growling vocal ASS! –mrz (Spook City)


DRINKERS PURGATORY:
Self Titled: CD
L.A.-area band with a vocalist who’s a dead fucking ringer for the guy from Contra and Solidarity Pact; really throws me for a loop when his voice gets placed over generally mid-tempo punk stuff that toys with the same angular edges that make Giant Haystacks and, yeah, Gang Of Four and Wire so interesting. Unfortunately, the whole thing’s kind of neutered by the fact that those edges are smoothed out by a kind of ho-hum punk bar-band feel. Best song has got to be the hidden track at the end—there’s some real venom there and the music bounces and punches exactly when it should—but unfortunately they had to sandwich it between about six minutes total of someone’s digital alarm clock going off. –keith (Small Pool, no address)


DISKONTO:
Watch Us Burn: CD
A long running “Dis” band from Sweden releases another one. I have seen their name around now for over ten years, it seems. But like many things in my life, I have not listened to or bought anything until now. Thirty-six tracks on this puppy, with half of them being live. I have listened to this release three times in a row now and I don’t seem to tire of it. The lyrics are sung in their native tongue with the exception of their DRI cover, “Money Stinks.” At first, I thought the recording sounded too clean. But, after multiple listens, it sounds refreshing and actually brings out some uniqueness in their sound. What I like most about this recording is that they don’t follow the same road as most bands in the so-called “Dis” genre. The elements are there, but they’re at their best when they straight-up thrash. The songs sound like they can bore holes into concrete. The band plays with precision and, in unison, changes the tempos from fast to faster and back to fast. There were a lot of moments while I was listening where I would think that I would compare them to the first time I heard bands like Minor Threat or Out Cold. The power is right in your face. –don (Crimes Against Humanity)


DISCIPLINE:
Downfall of the Working Man: CD
I haven’t listened to too much street punk in the last few years. When I was digging through the piles at HQ looking for items to review, I ran across this band’s release. I figured, “How bad could this be?” I did keep a copy of Nice Boys Finish Last that I got around 2000, so there was something in their music that made me keep it all these years. It was a good choice on my part. I don’t remember really what the last release I have sounds like, but this one is great all on its own. I would call this advanced melodic street punk, not the cookie cutter wannabe oi stuff that newbie bands play when they decide that is the genre that is going to be played. These songs have a great hook and are carried with striking melodies. I am one big sucker when it comes to melody. The guitarist also adds cool guitar harmonies that add another dimension to the sound. It might not make me shave my head with a razor but it will get more than one listen out of me. –don (Thorp)


DIRTY LOOKS:
Demo: tape
This is actually three-fourths of Bent Outta Shape with a different singer, and it’s not too far removed from what that band is doing: kinda sloppy, kinda melodic punk that thrives in basements and warehouses. Unlike a lot of bands that get compared to the Avengers just because they have a female singer, there actually is a bit of a vocal resemblance here, except that it’s a little bit more subdued than Penelope Houston’s fearless wail. With a less muffled recording, they’d probably be just as good as—or better than—bands like Bitchin’ or This Is My Fist. Five originals and a cover of my favorite Dead Moon song. –Josh (xbeergardenx@yahoo.com)


DEATH IN CUSTODY:
Self-titled: CD-R
Tough-guy hardcore that sounds like it could’ve come outta mid-‘80s New York. I can almost see a sea of baldheads dancing that weird mosh variant where they punch the air downward as these guys tear it up onstage. –jimmy (www.deathincustody.com)


DEAD END KIDS:
Back from the Dead: CD
I know that I’ve heard these guys mentioned before but have never heard them until now. Well, from what I heard I think I like it. It seems that my players don’t want to play anything but selected portions of songs. Perhaps it’s the disc, but I can tell you that what I heard is really good punk with some rock’n’roll twang with a dirty-sounding recording that suits the (portions of) songs just fine. I hope to hear it all soon, but deadline looms. –ty (We Are Going To Eat You)


D.C. SNIPERS:
Missile Sunset: CD
By saying the D.C. Snipers are a more sophisticated Spits, it’s like saying they’re more sophisticated booger eaters, but it’s true. (For the record, The Spits are inspired booger eaters; not a talent to be offhandedly dismissed.) Whereas The Spits huff directly from the Ramones exhaust pipe for inspiration, the D.C. Snipers pull a duct-tape body wax from hairy, early New York artpunk like Television and Suicide. What that means is that they’ve got the straight-from-the-garage-2006 charm that doesn’t take much intense thought to like while hanging a painting in the back of the drum riser with more artistic sonic brushes, full of weird sounds and not-supposed-to-work angles. Bottom line: fuckin’ danceable, headspace-clearing stuff that’ll hang both in gutters and fancy lofts. This is getting a lot of spins. –todd (Dead Beat)


COMRADE KILKIN/OMISSION:
Split: CDEP
First off, you would think the bands names would be in reverse order since the Omission tracks are first. Omission: Sounds like Pennywise adding death metal riffs to their songs. Comrade Kilkin: Better of the two featured here. Sounds like current hard rock meets hardcore. –don (Rock-Love)


COLISEUM/DOOMRIDERS:
Not of This World: Split CD
Here are two of the heaviest current bands in the U.S. right now, each doing a cover of a song from Danzig I and an original or two. I’m a big sucker for anyone who shows love for Danzig, as he is often misunderstood, especially among punkers. Coliseum do a slower and more Sabbathy version of “Am I Demon,” then follow up with two of their own slabs of heavy, distorted d-beat hardcore. Doomriders follow with a song of Motörhead/Inepsy style rumbling hardcore, and then do a pretty faithful rendition of the far-too-underrated “Possession.” I’m glad to see such a serious appreciation for Glenn coming from both of these bands, as he had a large hand in developing the genre of music that these two bands (and a shitload of other ones that you probably like) play. –ben (Level Plane)


CHURCH OF THE SATURDAY SAINTS:
Longboarder: 7”EP
It’s simple and direct acoustic punk lead by a burlap voice, all very enjoyable. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, that punk rockers are the perfect candidates to pick up where country lost its way in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s. The DIY punks I know will play anywhere, anytime, just for the love of it, and there’s a support system developing on those terms alone. They don’t need a lot of fancy equipment. They aren’t concerned with getting their songs in toothpaste commercials. There’s a lot to be said of being able to roll into any town, finding a porch, a park, or a basement, and playing to anyone who’s around and the Church Of The Saturday Saints totally hit that vibe. –todd (Vinehell)


CHILI COLD BLOOD:
Self-titled: 7”
Guitar, drums, and pedal steel was the first thing I noticed, and not the boob displayed in a static fuzz on the cover. Had I noticed the boob first, I would have thought, “Oh look, a static fuzzed boob. Next please.” It’s not that it’s not a lovely breast, but more along the lines of me not really caring. Hell, maybe it sells records. I don’t know, but I don’t care to read the market and/or trade reports on it. However, pedal steel—I’m all in for that. Actually, I don’t think there’s enough of pedal steel out there. So I was stoked on this one before I even played it. Now after listening to it several times, and not being sure if I’m into it or not... wait... let me sit back for a moment and listen to the low end on “Why Baby Why”.… I can’t say that I don’t like it. It’s pretty good stuff. I’m not going to compare them to any other bands, ‘cause if you are into pedal steel it should be enough for you to get the record. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t want it to sound like I think of myself as a pedal or lap steel aficionado, all I’m saying is it’s got that going for it, and that it doesn’t sound clean or southwestern. It’s more blues sounding stuff, with green bullet-type vocals, and a booby on the cover. You in? –Guest Contributor (Shake Your Ass)


CHILI COLD BLOOD:
Rock N Roll Motherfucker Redux: CD
Initial Observation: Two dudes in cowboy hats and one in a trucker cap. Initial Thoughts: Cripes, why me? Expanded Post-Contact Observations: Damn decent (by my admittedly minimally qualified standards) Miller High Life drinkin’ white boy neo-Delta blues (a far superior strain of the blues than that shitty Chicago blues that, owing to my unfortunate geographical placement, i am often subjected to) (although the singer does occasionally emit otherworldly ululations similar to the Windy City’s own three hundred pounds of heavenly joy, Howlin’ Wolf, so what the fudge do i know?), with some of the bitchenest pedal steel playing since that first Rose Tattoo album (though, to quickly clarify, this band sounds nothing like Rose Tattoo, or anything from the Southern Hemisphere, really). In this day and age, you gotta be Kinda On Your Shit to be able to sing about booze, trucker speed, and manslaughter without coming off as another pack of generic louts attempting to convince anyone stupid enough to listen to them that they’re the 112th coming of Nine Pound Hammer; and Kinda On Their Shit Chili Cold Blood indeed is. Neat. BEST SONG: “Midnight Creep” BEST SONG TITLE: “I Feel Fine,” just because it amuses me that they wrote a song that shares a title with a Beatles song. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: The drummer’s name is “Bagpiper,” but the absence of a bagpipe player in the band makes checking for reciprocity impractical. –norb (Shake Your Ass)


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