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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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SWEARING AT MOTORISTS:
Last Night Becomes this Morning: CD
Fairly laid back alt rock that, while nicely executed, never really gets going enough to make any lasting impression. –jimmy (Secretly Canadian)


STREET BRATS:
See You at the Bottom: CD
I like this. It's fun, well produced oi-or streetpunk or whatever you want to call it; catchy songs with a soaring guitar sound that remind me, of all things, Face To Face circa '92. It's an interesting dynamic that makes this band anything but run-of-the-mill in a genre that is full of mediocrity. I guess that's saying something. –Guest Contributor (Full Breach Kicks)


SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE:
2005 Demo: CD-R
Tough-guy hardcore with enough metal to result in an average song length of two minutes, which calculates to an excess of approximately a minute and a half, according to chapter thirteen, section five, line seventeen of The Hardcore Handbook on Song Lengths and Footwear Fashion. Nice to know that backyard bands sound pretty much the same in other parts of the country, too. –jimmy (figthingchancemd@hotmail.com)


SOFA HEAD:
Pre Marital Predicament: CD
Boss Tuneage smooshed together What a Predicament and Pre-Marital Yodeling (1127 Walnut Ave), both from the late '80s/ealry '90s, and reissued them. I've heard their name mentioned, but had never actually picked anything up, so I was pretty interested when this came in. Unfortunately, no amount of reminding myself that, in the early years, it's Lainey from Leatherface on drums could get me past the Doors cover. And, it's not just any cover; it's the cover: "Break on Through." Good lord, no. –megan (Boss Tuneage)


SLOWRIDE:
C/S: CD
So underwhelming I forgot I was actually listening to anything twice. It's not that it's bad; it's just not good either. –megan (Deep Elm)


SINKIN' SHIPS:
All Signs Are Wrong: CD
A female-fronted punk rock band that leans too heavily on the bad "rock" side of the fence than is good for 'em. –jimmy (Wounded Paw)


SCREECHING WEASEL:
Weasel Mania: CD
You don't realize it sometimes until you see it in front of your face. Time flies by in a blink. I'm looking at this CD and Screeching Weasel has been together on and off since 1986. For some strange reason I keep thinking that they are a new band. But seeing 1986 is a reality check. That is almost twenty years ago. It also shows how many things can pass you by if you don't pay attention. I can't believe how many releases Screeching Weasel has. But then again, I really didn't follow this band or bands like Operation Ivy or Jawbreaker either. Heard the name around, heard some songs, maybe have a comp track here, and maybe have a release or two that I haven't listened to in years. That's about it for me. But those bands have placed themselves in punk history because of their music. But I do remember Screeching Weasel were heavily influenced by the Ramones. As I listen to this, I hear the influence all through their songs-songs that sound like anybody could write if they are actually inspired and enjoy what they're doing. There are thirty-four songs on this greatest hits release. I'm sure that is not even twenty percent of what the band has written in their life span. So they plugged along longer than most bands in existence and wrote a large body of material. This sampler is a great way to see what the meat of their output tastes like. –don (Fat)


SCIENCE OF YABRA / GLASS AND ASHES:
Split: 7"
Science of Yabra: A not-so-good mix of DIY, instrumental prog-doom that morphs into blah Jesus Lizard. Glass and Ashes: They just seem so "ehh." Rough, screaming vocals. Reaching for that "epic" feel of early Hot Water Music, but not able to saddle up on that winged horse. They're like sand. I can't get mad at it. I guess I can bag it and dam a river with it, but I don't give it a lot of thought if it's not right in front of me. They don't feel impending, which is what I suspect is the feel they're going for. –todd (Code of Ethics)


REVEREND HORTON HEAT:
We Three Kings: CD
Our favorite Reverend deftly rubs out thirteen neo-traditional arrangements of Christmas classics (and one original), outranking Brian Setzer Orchestra's production by several stars. "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" and the Batman theme song rendezvous into an oddly comforting track; holiday nostalgia overwhelms all in "Silver Bells" and "Pretty Paper" with a resonant steel pedal guitar and accordion, respectively; a wink invites a smile on "Santa Bring My Baby Back"; and instrumental versions of "We Three Kings" and "What Child Is This" chug along like a lonesome train traversing the vast west. A Jerry Lee Lewis and Charlie Rich styled roadhouse version "Winter Wonderland" and a Chuck Berry flavored "Run Rudolph Run" should become new standards. Expertly delivered spaghetti western, country, rockabilly, psychobilly, and a whole lotta love will have you cozied up by the lodge fire with a flask of peppermint schnapps, spreading your buzzed holiday glow all around. –RumbleStripper (Yep Roc)


QUIT YOUR DAY JOB:
Self-titled: CDEP
Weird that this EP has come in for review when it came out on two different labels in 2004. There is a newer release titled Sweden We Got a Problem that came out this year. I wonder if a copy of that came in for review and it went to someone else? Oh well. They are self-described as an electro-surf punk. I find that totally fitting and that pretty much sums it up. A cross between the Cramps meets the B-52's. –don (Bad Taste)


PURR BATS:
Salt Lake City: CD
Sometimes it's pretty obvious that the person who decided to send music to us made a very bad mistake. Purr Bats are a perfect example of this. Not that I have any place to recommend for them, since I don't tend to keep up with places that review bland, but not so bland that you forget it, just blanditty bland bland, but still amazingly annoying electronic crap. –megan (www.19stateofdeseret.com)


POLIDICKS:
Salt Lake City: CD
The lyrics convey their point quite nicely, but the music is kinda faceless metal-tinged hardcore and the vocals are completely unintelligible. –jimmy (Wounded Paw)


PISS ANT:
Your Best Sucks: CD
From the band photo in the CD insert, the band looks like a good group of people. The band is comprised of Josi on vocals, Amy on bass, Dave on guitar, and Jeff on drums. However, right off the back, the album rubs me the wrong way. The first song, "Monkey," starts off with a Korn-like, dark, dramatic riff, and then it goes very rock'n' roll. The vocals are not bad. I enjoy Josi's voice when she is singing, as it is raw but feminine. I do not, however, enjoy her vocals on the choruses or the band's back up vocals, especially on "To Think I Thought," "Devil in My Backyard," and "Enemy." The choruses are higher pitched screaming that sounds forced and then electronically subdued. I can't get into it. I can say the latter part of the CD doesn't seem to be as formulaic as the first couple songs. –jenny (Malt Soda)


PAULSON:
All at Once: CD
They thank friends with sympathetic ears. I would like to extend whatever the reverse of thanking would be to those friends who obviously think whiny indie crap-rock is all fine and good. Hopefully, that reverse thanking would involve a boxing of said ears. –megan (One Day Savior)


PARTICLE ZOO:
Loneliness and Strangers: CD
I tried to like this. I really did, but I came up fifty cents short. The songs are well constructed, but it's just a little too positive and "good timey" for me. This sounds like OK Go from Chicago and that's not a good thing. Plus the cheesy keyboards remind me of a bastard spawn of Ween and the Rentals. I hate both of those fuckin' bands. –koepenick (Digital Butchers)


PAPERFACE:
The Legend of Harley Knowles: CD
I can't believe what kind of shit comes into this mag for review. Stupid me has to listen to it. I hope they don't think a band that kind of sounds like that band Something Corporate and Steely Dan is going to get a good review here. I better get at least a quarter for this when I trade it in. –don (Takeover))


NO RESPECT:
Unadjusted: CD
If you've ever wondered what a ska punk cover of "Do They Owe Us a Living," complete with horn section, would sound like, look no further than this. Personally, I would've preferred having nails driven into my eardrums. –jimmy (Mad Butcher)


NEGATONES:
Self-titled: CD
Hipster cool-guy rock with just enough punk, art, and funk fudged in to give it some edge. –jimmy (Skylab)


NASHVILLE PUSSY:
Get Some: CD
When I was in junior high, I smoked a lot of pot and went to stoner parties, since that was where the outcasts were. This band brings back those hazy memories of sitting stoned and listening to records that the older guys would play: a mixture of Alice Cooper, Lynryd Skynyrd, KISS, and AC/DC. If I were high or hallucinating on LSD, this shit would sound so good! –don (Spitfire)


METAL HEARTS:
Socialize: CD
Mellow, dull as hell indie stuff. –jimmy (Suicide Squeeze)


MEAN REDS/WIRES ON FIRE:
Split: CDEP + DVD
Mean Reds: The original is strange, disjointed, and abrasive, the cover of "Minor Threat" starts off straightforward then veers off on a bizarre tangent. Wires On Fire: More of the same only heavier on the arty side. The DVD includes full sets from both bands shot with a single camera with a mic mounted on top, which somehow works. –jimmy (Buddyhead)


MAD SIN:
Survival of the Sickest: CD
Oft dismissed as a bunch of old Germans rehashing the sound that has kept them popular for almost two decades, this psychobilly CD is well produced, ass-slapping good fun, although weirdly German in some can't-put-my-finger-on-it '80s way. Some ska skanks its way into the music and sometimes I think of Dexys Midnight Runners, The Business, and Peter And The Test Tube Babies, but it's all pure German psychobilly. Strong, clean, fit for a sing along, and does no wrong. If you send snail mail, I suggest addressing your envelope simply to People Like You. –RumbleStripper (I Used To Fuck People Like You In Prison)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Skannibal Party 5: CD
I'm glad that ska punk trend is way over. I admit it. I bit hard and was into it. But, like too much of anything, you burn out. But good ska is good ska whatever time it is. Here is a series that has been consistent. I have volumes one and two. Here is volume five. When did three and four come out? As usual, you get an international representation of bands hand picked by the compiler. But the compiler has the magic here. They tend to pick great songs for this comp series and it holds true for this installment. From start to end, not a stinker in the bunch. That says a lot coming from a person like me. Listening to ska sometimes make a grouch like me smile. –don (Mad Butcher)


LOSERS BEAT WINNERS:
Self-titled: CD
It's like All. Not as fun as the Descendents, but All seriously going toward Jawbreaker. The band has a long history, well-chronicled on their website, losersbeatwinners.com. Produced by Bill Stevenson himself. –RumbleStripper (Splat!)


TOKYO ELECTRON:
Self-titled: CD
Things America Needs No More Of, Part 5,280: Bands whose name starts with "Tokyo." Actually, i'm not so sure we even need this one. Alternates between sounding like a Reatards album that never quite takes off (it's produced by Jay Reatard), a Cramps album that's lost its mojo, and a Dirtbombs album that somebody left the cap off of overnight, except for the times when it suddenly sounds like a fuzzed-out, fucked-up version of the Zeroes ("Mis Ojos") or when they inexplicably pull an extended Buzzcocks Singles Going Steady Side Two lead out of their ass ("I Can't Have You"), both of which are really kinda neat. If you really felt like liking this, you could. I do not find myself so inclined. Nice Plugz cover. Leave your number with Doris at the reception desk on your way out. Thank you. BEST SONG THAT ISN'T A PLUGZ COVER: "Mis Ojos" BEST SONG TITLE: "I'm Worthy" FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: "Organ on 'I'm Worthy' by Dickless Torso." I sense inherent contradiction. –norb (Empty)


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·Webcomic Wednesdays #122
·CAREER SUICIDE
·VARIOUS ARTISTS
·ONE STEP SHIFT
·BLACK DOTS
·RHINO-39
·YOU IDIOT #4
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·RABBIT, RABBIT, RABBIT #2


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