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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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ELDORADO AND THE RUCKUS:
Planet of the Vampires II: CD
Eldorado Del Rey of the Porch Ghouls teams up with Cheetah and J.R. Token of the Immortal Lee County Killers 3 to form this group. It was recorded at Sun Studios. Not may people get to claim that. It's from Memphis and it's blues involved in the horror business. Maybe you're into ghosts and devils and homemade lore-which is sometimes the best-if you are or if you're a fan of the Porch Ghouls and the ILCK3 then you'll most likely be all about this. –Guest Contributor (Big Foot)


DEFILERS:
Metal Mountains:: CD
This is totally not what I was expecting, judging by the band name and album cover. It's actually heavy, downtuned rock that's sometimes up-tempo, like Karp with more melody in the vocals, and sometimes slows down to a more Fu Manchu-type vibe. They do a nice Pentagram cover, too. Nothing too original here, but it ain't bad either. –Guest Contributor (thedefilers.net)


DEACONS:
Brooklyn Towne: CD
Street punk-type stuff with a tad more catchiness than most in the music and a healthy dose of leftwing, working class defiance (yeah, I know it's a bit of an oxymoron these days) in the lyrics. Nice reworking of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's "Ohio," too. –jimmy (Made In Brooklyn)


CRASHED OUT:
Pearls Before Swine: CD
Slightly above average modern oi fodder, not too terrible, not quite faboo. I often found the explanations for each song more interesting than the lyrics themselves, especially "Murder on Sunset Strip." Having spent my entire life living in Los Angeles, I can totally picture the scenario going down as described in that song, which is disturbing 'cause it made me realize just how desensitized I am to crazy shit like that happening. –jimmy (Captain Oi)


CONVINGTON:
Devised without a Plan: CD
Every once in a while I turn on Fuse to see what is going on with popular music. It seems labels like Victory and such are pushing bands that are melodic and screamo. This band falls right into that mold. –don (Tiberius)


COFFIN LIDS, THE:
Live Trash: CD
Boston boys blast out some Lazy Cowgirls and Mummies sounding stuff. Live recording. I wouldn't mind giving a studio album a whirl-sounds like there might be something there. –RumbleStripper (Abbey Lounge)


CHAZ MATTHEWS:
Amazing Graceless: CD
In the world of punk rock, people don't usually venture out into the shaky ground of solo artist-dom until they've established themselves as someone to watch, based on past band projects. If you've fronted The Heartbreakers or The Devil Dogs or some other amazing band with a legacy, you can probably get away with it. Not that The Dimestore Haloes weren't a good band. But a solo artist spin off? Well, come on now. That, coupled with the fact that all the instruments are played by the same person, made me think of this as a demo to be shopped around to other like-minded musicians. That said, this guy is a good songwriter. Sounds sort of like the Heartbreakers-light. Someone should add him to his or her band. If he joins up with other good musicians they could create something pretty cool. Most musicians want their photo to be included on the cover along with the singer, and at least the illusion that they're not someone's back up band. I understand the allure of doing it all yourself-it sure would be easier... sweet autonomy. But it's not realistic. Even solo projects require a band and, often, careful collaboration leads to something greater then any one individual can do. –Guest Contributor (Full Breach)


BANG SUGAR BANG:
Thwak Thwak Go Crazy!: CD
I had many things running through my mind before listening to this disc. I know this band has been getting prime opening slots for many large bands. The cover looks kind of cartoonish and the title makes no sense to me. I hope it's not another bunch of glam rockers trying to fly under the punk flag. The band name doesn't exactly scream punk to me either. Putting all that aside, I was quite surprised. Here is a band that I would have bypassed easily. But after a few listens (and that's saying a lot from me), I was truly intrigued by their music. They easily could have been a band from San Francisco, New York, or Los Angeles circa '77 to '81. But the slickness of the production removes that thought quickly. I have read references of X from a few. I can hear it in spots due to the female/male vocals, but it is not prevalent. Stylistically, I hear hints of X but I also hear things in a song like "Kill the Radio" that could be a guitar-driven version of the Epoxies. They also sound like so many other things that I just can't pull it off my tongue. I hear songs sections that remind me of other songs and I hear parts of lyrics that I recognize from elsewhere. It's driving me crazy right now trying to think what band it sounds like or who sang something. "The Machine Gun Song" sounds like something XTC or Squeeze could have played in the past, a song that is somewhat silly but is infectiously melodic. Their songs of varying flavors keep things from becoming monotonous. What sells me here is the strong vocal delivery of bassist/singer Cooper. Her vocals capture the moment. Anyway, even though they are flying under the punk banner, I would consider them more a rock band that got lumped under the punk banner due to being hard to pigeonhole. But it's not a bad thing. This release did fall on my lap and I truly enjoy it. –don (SOS)


CHARIOTS RACE:
Existence: CDEP
A note was attached to this that the Rhythm Chicken was a friend and fan of the band. The band should have had him review this because it could fall into the wrong hands. And that is what happened. It fell into mine. Just like everybody has assholes, we also have opinions. My opinion is that this is average college rock and it didn't get my underwear into a bind. –don (Divot)


BUNNY BRAINS:
Box the Bunny: 5X CD
Drugged-addled, psychosis-informed, noisy as hell-all are apt descriptions for what's going down here, a collection of this band's assorted works. Imagine The Swans at their noisiest, Flipper at their least proficient, and The Butthole Surfers at their silliest and you still ain't even close, bucko. There is a method to it all, though, and, if you pay close attention, you might actually suss out some actual thought-out tunes amidst all that bashing and crashing. Hell, if nothing else, you can derive hours of entertainment from the song titles alone: "Seat Me in the (Vivisection)," "(The Gibbons) Aren't the Only Monkees (on the Planet)," "Crispy Sensation." Rarely these days does a record put me in a position of trying to decide whether I wanna crank it up or run away from it as fast as my legs can carry me. I'm almost afraid to watch the accompanying DVD. –jimmy (Narnack)


BLACK MARKET MASSACRE:
Self-titled: CD
Straight-up heavy metal with a singer who prefers to yell rather than sing like he's got his nuts in a vice. Not at all what one would expect from a band with a member sporting a Void t-shirt. –jimmy (Black Market Massacre)


ELECTRIC EEL SHOCK:
Beat Me: CD
This is pure retro Blue Cheer rock, with what sounds like Ted Nugent's original singer. I like old school rock, but this is just awful. It sounds like the guitarist bought a flanger pedal, then set about wanking the fuck out of it for the sole purpose of making use of the $150 spent on it. Or maybe to share a drug-induced Hallmark moment with the rest of us. The arrangement of songs lacks a distinct cohesion, so I suppose this would be listenable after dropping a tab. This is followed by a dreadful cover of "Iron Man." Good god, I've been spoiled by listening to good rock bands like Sleep and Asbestos Death that this is just unlistenable. So for me this is music to drink to-as in if this is playing, I'm taking off to the bar. –Guest Contributor (Gearhead)


F-MINUS:
Won't Bleed Me/Failed Society: CD
F-Minus has never been a band that I have ever said, "I love this shit!" I always felt they were just okay, but never have moved me to go out and buy their stuff. But hey, that's just me. I know they already have a fan base. So I guess that warrants a reissue of two 7"s with two additional covers on one CD. It's early '80s punk that I would have been more excited hearing in 1984 than 2005. I give them props on their Negative Approach and Agnostic Front covers. They are done really well and fits them nicely. –don (Alternative Tentacles)


CUBBY CREATURES, THE:
After the Deprogramming: CD
Mellow, arty pop stuff with a bit of a late '60s twinge to it. On the whole it wasn't that bad, especially considering I was wholly bracing myself for an unintended dose of emo when I saw that the instruments used included cellos and clarinets. Not that I have anything against said instruments, mind you, but so often their usage on a "rock" record is almost as big an "emo" dead giveaway as poorly framed, out-of-focus snapshots of buildings or trees on the cover or members with horn-rimmed glasses. –jimmy (Rodent)


INTENT:
Double Double: CD
British crew core with Marshall-driven guitars, mid-tempo beats, and lotsa chanty bits. –jimmy (Suspect Device)


BLACK JOE LEWIS AND COOL BREEZE:
Boogie, You Don't Love Me b/w I Don't Mind, Please:: 7"
This is straight-ahead blues, akin to what Fat Possum's been putting out. It's good. They're a talented and competent band, but I think Joe Lewis' voice is a little thin. It's ragged and weathered, which I like, but if that's the centerpiece, it's lacking because there's no boom, boom, boom or fog in it. I was hoping for a little more stank, more Gories, or more Pinetoppers (pre-solo Otis Redding) in the mix. It's standard blues, well played. Nothing for me to rag on and nothing I'm that excited about, either. –todd (Shake Your Ass)


BLACK FURIES:
Death Trip Saturday Night: CD
Loud swagger-rock/punk stuff that isn't so steeped in Thunders worship that it loses its own charms. They've got something going for 'em here and it sounds best when it's cranked way the fuck up. –jimmy (Gearhead)


BIONICMAN:
This Machine: CD
I couldn't think of what they sound like so I went on their label's site and they described them as melodic rock in the vein of Fuel. I will buy that. –don (Rosewater)


AUBURN BIKINI:
Self-titled: CD
Imagine Bikini Kill (no pun or offense intended) with a male knee-jerk monotone male vocalist. Stoner frat guys wax nostalgic, watch the big game, and decide to record an album with well-meaning institute-of-higher-learning sociological song titles like "If You Don't Believe in Revolution You Don't Believe in Me" and "Punt Bama Punt." If it wasn't so clear they're in Alabama, I'd think I were in Olympia at Evergreen College. That being said, it should come as no surprise that they forgot to include any contact or label information whatsoever, although the cover art was included in full. –RumbleStripper (Arkam)


ASTHMA ATTAQ:
Breathe Heavy: CD
This is a two-piece band of what I guess you call "screamo" nowadays. I listen to these vocals, and all I can think about is what these dudes' friends at work and families and other square people think when they ask to hear the band. The musicianship is competent enough, but the vocals are just fucking ridiculous: just straight-up, flat-out screaming. No note is trying to be hit, no texture trying to be attained, no timbre trying to be reached. This is just annoying, ambitionless screaming. It sucks. The music isn't too bad?I can't help but be reminded of other two-piecers like Lightning Bolt, Japanther, and Hella. They kinda sound like a mix of the three. If I were you, I would not buy this record. –Guest Contributor (Forever Escaping Boredom)


ASHTRAY/ANTICHRIS AND THE RAPED:
Dead or Alive II: CD
I initially wrote an insanely long review for this record, just totally blasting the piece of shit out of the water: denoting the dozens of reasons why it sucks, and why stupid bands like this are not only terrible but actually manage to throw punk back into the fucking dark ages, and not in a good "sounds like Black Flag" way. But then I decided that doing that would really just give the bands way more credit and space than they deserved. So here's the condensed version. Aherm. Tap. Tap. Is this thing on? Okay. WHY THIS RECORD TOTALLY SUCKS: 1) It's a live record with mediocre sound quality and all the boring and indecipherable between-song muttering left in. 2) Ashtray has male/female vocals with lots of vocal tradeoffs but still manage to sound like a bored Gr'ups at their second or third practice. 3) Antichris and the Raped are playing the "shock and hate" card with songs like "Fuk Yr Sister," "Faggot Sandwich," and "Deadbeat Wife: Beat Wife Dead." They initially got my hackles up, until I realized that they suck even worse than Ashtray and no one's gonna buy this record anyway. Then I threw the whole thing in the garbage and ate lunch. Thank you. -Keith Rosson (We Are Going To Eat You) –Guest Contributor (We Are Going To Eat You)


ARCADE INFERNO:
This Gent's a Scoundrel: CD
Florida band's three-song sampler from an upcoming full-length. Apparently, the band is kaput after a brutal fall tour. Too bad. I dug the stuff I got on this taster. "Who Gave Ooner the Dope?" features some cool guitar lines that chug along like a freshman at his first kegger. "Lee's Dead on Alt. 19" was also quite pleasing, and usually I don't like these scream-at-full-volume vocals; this was an exception. The EP takes a complete 180 with "Admission to a Blowbird": acoustic guitar with a cello and singing like Gordon Gano on vocals. For some reason it reminds me of the Replacements' first B-side that Westerberg did solo. I'm sure the whole CD delivers, so buy it before it dissolves itself out of print. –koepenick (ADD)


ANTICHRIST & THE RAPED:
Every Girl Is a Goddamn Whore: CD
Whoa. A three-piece outfit from Petaluma, California, these lads go for a Hasil Adkins-meets-Billy Childish lo-fi romp while meshing in GG Allin/Mentors type lyrics ("Faggot Sandwich," "I Walked Up and Kicked the Bitch in the Face," my favorite: "I Buy Beer for Runaways," and the title track). It is what it is, folks. –Guest Contributor (We Are Going To Eat You)


ANGELVILLE:
We Are the Wolves: CD
What started off with an interesting, twangy country guitar bit quickly sank into bland, boring nouveau hardcore-land. –jimmy (Happy Couples Never Last)


ACKLEYS, THE:
Self-titled: CD
Decent enough female-fronted indie pop stuff. Not really something I'd listen to more than once, but not exactly offending all I hold sacred, either. –jimmy (House of Love)


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