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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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ACCION MUTANTE:
The Complete Discography: CD
Although the crusty cover of Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World" was funny as hell, the remainder of their output was pretty much interchangeable from one song to the next. On the plus side, they're loud'n'fast, which means this is just peachy if that's the sum of the criteria you have for what you will listen to. Not getting this whole German-band-with-a-Spanish-name thing, though –jimmy (Crimes Against Humanity)


3TARDS, THE:
Crystal Balls: CD
They're called the 3Tards. Get it? It's kind of like retards, which we all know are funny. You like jokes? Yeah, this is for dudes who like to take off their shirts, tuck them tightly in their belt, and get fucking fierce. The worst part is that I could've written this without even having to take the plastic off, which would've given me a higher trade-in price. –megan (Wounded Paw)


WIND WILL CARRY US, THE:
Self-titled: CD-R
Okay, I understand that with a twelve-plus minute song, this might be longer than other EPs, but I still think it's kind of ridiculous to make a release with only one song. And, when you fill that time with arty classical rock, chances are not in your favor that I'll make it through the whole thing. I didn't. –megan (no address)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
To the Bitter End Vol. 2: CD
Yet another international compilation here, this one featuring the likes of Naked Aggression, I Excuse, Tarakany!, Rabies Babies, Agrotoxico, Wasted, Happy Bastards, Restarts, and a bunch of others. What's on here is quite varied, which is a good thing, but virtually none of it is particularly memorable, which isn't such a good thing. –jimmy (Vinehell)


VARUKERS:
1980-2005: CD
Wow, two different Varukers retrospective in as many months. Cool. This one is a more comprehensive career retrospective than the Riot City Years one of last issue, which focused on their work for a single label. The bulk of their hits are here, including "All Systems Fail," "Massacred Millions," "Protest and Survive," and twenty-one more tracks of "Discharge on speed" mayhem. –jimmy (SOS)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
AKOMpilation: CD
Italian heavy metal, in every hue and tone imaginable. –jimmy (Akom)


TOMBSTONES:
Twang from the Grave: CD
Roots rock with enough "punk" to give it a very slight Gun Club sheen. –Guest Contributor (Saustex)


SNUGGLE!:
Tag, You're It: 7"
Some rugged, heartfelt melodic punk here a la No Idea Records and Snuffy Smile Records. I like how the exclamation point in the band name makes it sound like a demand. Decent recording and ragged yet melodic songs. All you fans of the Crimpshrine/ Shotwell/ Pinhead Gunpowder persuasion would do well to check this out. -Mike Frame –Guest Contributor (The Party's Over)


MOES HAVEN:
Self-titled: CD-R
I soooo wanted this review to just say, "You really hate me, don't you Todd?" and leave it at that, but I decided I'd actually write why I dislike this disc. Primarily it's because this isn't really punk stuff whatsoever, just horrible singer/songwriter material that tries to be funny but isn't. There's a lot of piano and acoustic guitar and a handful of annoying songs such as "Papaphobia" and "Moppin' Concrete in Early May." Come to think of it, a lot of this sounds like the Electric Amish meets a singer/songwriter meets Gene Defcon. And God knows how much I dislike Gene Defcon. File this one under the (ever-growing) horrible category. -Kurt Morris –Guest Contributor (moternmusic@hotmail.com)


JET SET, THE:
Let's Get Broken: 7"
Farfisa-tinged trash rock with a little more musicianship evident than most. The A-side went on a bit longer than was good for it, but the proceedings were, for the most part, painless. –jimmy (Wee Rock)


HANNER:
No Guts, No Gravy: CD
A lady playing acoustic folky stuff with a lot of charm. I really like it, but there's not a whole lot to say besides "acoustic folky stuff." –Josh (Unsound)


FRANTIC MANTIS:
Data Is Not Information: CD
As I listened to this, I thought it sounded like a Dischord release, with the punk noisiness and the post-harDCore angularness bands on that label are known for. It isn't, but in little letters on the cover it says that it's a product of Sweden/DC. Mystery solved. Q and Not U fans take note. –jimmy (Lujo)


ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN:
Siberia: CD
I played "Stormy Weather" for my wife this morning and she commented that she liked this because it didn't sound like them. True, it does not sound dated, but it still maintains the Echo "sound." Will Sergeant cranks up the melodic guitar fills as Ian McCulloch croons, "You want it you got it/there's nothing chained down/you need it/I'll steal it." "Parthenon Drive" could easily be the band's next Lips Like Sugar." It even features some bubbly bass lines reminiscent of their earlier work. This may be due to the fact that they have Hugh Jones (Dumptruck, Modern English) back behind the boards for the first time since Heaven up Here. "Of a Life" is one of the more rocking songs as McCulloch sings, "I want a song to learn and sing/of a life requited." "Everything Kills You" is a stellar track. Multiple textures are brought out by the layered guitar parts and you know you're in the middle of a classic Bunnymen album. The title track offer up a bossa nova vibe that makes Siberia sound like a warm, inviting place. Go figure. The darkest tune on here is "Scissors in the Sand." I have no idea what lines like "my silverfishing youth/swim don't crawl" means, but the song flat-out rocks anyway. Siberia is a sonic masterpiece that proves that a band's perspective can improve with age. Persistence pays off and this blows some other recent releases by their contemporaries to tattered bits. Incredible from end to end; Echo and The Bunnymen will warm your soul again if you let them in from the cold. -Sean Koepenick –Guest Contributor (Cooking Vinyl)


DEXTER DANGER:
Hellafornia: CD
See review for Vanilla Sky. Ditto. –don (Orange Peal)


TRASHIES:
Let It Be Trashed: CD
Minimal, and yes, trashy punk, sorta like a dumber Spits. By track three it sounded like one long song with sixteen short breaks placed throughout. –jimmy (andrews@subpop.com)


COFFINBERRY:
From Now On Now: CD
More of a college radio meets post punk affair that reminded me of a mixture of Sugar, the Pixies, and the Replacements. –don (Morphius)


CANNONBALL/THIS MEANS WAR:
Split: 7"
Cannonball: they seem to be influenced primarily by NYHC, but the songs are short and painless and the lyrics show they don't take themselves seriously. Pretty amusing. This Means War: more serious band of the two, featuring a super group lineup of sorts, gruff, macho vocals, hyper-rhythms and angry lyrics. –jimmy (Pokerface)


ASHTRAY:
White Sugar Is the Devil: CD
Average, mid-tempo punk rock with dual male/female vocals. Snotty, remedial lyrics that are basically one big "fuck you." Maybe popular locally at the backyard kegger or as one of the opening bands, but this doesn't do anything for the guy hearing it for the first time. –jimmy (Ashtray)


A.D.H.D.:
'Til Your Ears Bleed: CD
This is better then I expected. The music is solid rock and roll, with obvious Backyard Babies and D Generation influence. It's pretty catchy and rockin'. But the wanking guitar solos and "come on!"s are too thick and staged. Though energetic live, here the singer needs to have a fire lit up his ass. He seems distracted, as though he's singing and reading a magazine at the same time. This is a decent effort, better than much current stuff out there right now. I can see potential here. As it is, it lacks that certain uniqueness, energy, and edginess that makes a punk band like this great. -KO! –Guest Contributor (Ares)


YELLOW SWANS:
Bring the Neon War Home: CD
Assorted static and other noise, sometimes with a beat added, but usually not. It's all arranged in specific patterns, but, unfortunately, the drugs I'm currently on aren't the kind that would enhance listening to this. –jimmy (Narnack)


WISDOM IN CHAINS:
Die Young: CD
If the Misfits merged with Sick Of It All and Pantera in an unholy melting pot, you'd probably have this band. The sound is New York hardcore, but their song themes are much darker. And what do you know? They're east coasters. It's got a heavy, energetic sound, with good production. I think a lot of NYHC fans would be stoked on this. Truth be told, this sounds like a somewhat generic hardcore meathead festival to me, though not a terrible one. Still, I'd rather be listening to Sick of it All. -KO! –Guest Contributor (Spook)


WALTHAM:
Self-titled: CD
Who is that guy that sang that song "Jessie's Girl"? Well, he might have started a new band! –don (Rykodisc)


VETS, THE:
Ad Infinitum: CD
I believe that all of us are close-minded in one way or another. There is something everyone doesn't like. For me, that would be most country music and experimental noise or any of its variants. This is multi-layered guitar noise. I guess you can say that it's moody. Songs no shorter than four minutes are way too hard for me to sit through. Cool silk-screened covers though. –don (Modern Radio)


VERY FOUNDATION, THE:
Small Reserves: CD
Vaguely emoish college rock fodder, apparently much hyped and woefully unworthy of the brouhaha. –jimmy (www.veryfoundation.com)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Suena el Sur: CD
Reggae with Spanish vocals, most of it in the "traditional" reggae vein, some of it quite good. Seeing as this type of thing is a dime a dozen in the rock en Español scene that this is obviously catering to, however, nothing here really stood out as mind blowing. –jim (DLN)


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·HAYMAKER
·FALL-OUTS, THE
·GUYANA PUNCH LINE
·VARIOUS ARTISTS
·HOBOCOP
·East End Babylon:The Story of the Cockney Rejects
·ANARCHIST BICYCLE RALLY: CONFIDENTIAL MAD LIBS
·VERBICIDE
·DEATH DEALERS


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