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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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KARAMELO SANTO:
Hacienda Bulla: CD
A decent enough slice of rock en Español, which means that this is up to its eyeballs in post-Two Tone ska stylings, with some salsa, cumbia, and other Latino rhythms added for good measure. While this genre has been ravaged by the uninspired, the creatively challenged, and the just plain lousy nearly as much as your average U.S. mainstream rock genre, this wasn't all that bad. They ain't Café Tacuba or anything, but they hold their own quite nicely. –jimmy (DLN)


INQUISITION:
Revolution... I Think It's Called Inspiration: CD
Here's one thing I personally never have seen before. I take the CD out of the promo sleeve, not noticing anything wrong. I popped it in the player and it would not read. Curious, I eject it. The CD looks okay from the top where it's screened. I flip it over and see that the CD is shattered only on the bottom layer. A spider web like crack that resembles a cracked windshield. Either it is the fault of bad manufacturing or someone needs to learn that CDs are not indestructible and take a class in proper mail packaging. So... What does the music sound like? I don't know. All I know is that members of this band went on to play in Strike Anywhere, Ann Beretta and River City High. Glad there was some promo material to read. –don (A-F)


HOLY GHOST REVIVAL:
Bleeding Light: CD
Alt-rock from Seattle that falls somewhere between post-Beatles euro-psych and Jethro Tull's fairy-rock-"Death Rydes under the Frozen Moon," "Autumns Children" and "Dance of the Catepillar" are all song titles here. Judging from the upside-down cross thingie in the middle of the booklet and the Crowley quote on their website, I'm figuring they're shooting for some neo-satanic/pagan vibe as well. And I bet they do their part to keep the patchouli industry. Fucking hippies. –jimmy (www.holyghostrevival.com)


GENTLEMAN CALLERS, THE:
Don't Say What It Is: CD
Fluctuates between sounding like the Cynics (but not as good) and the Swinging Neckbreakers (but not as rockin')-so, obviously, whomever said that playing music like this stifles virtuosity is all wet, and then some. BEST SONG: "Hey Little Girl" BEST SONG TITLE: "She Blew My Mind" FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: This album cover is made to look like it is a box which contains a reel of recording tape!!! Mercy!!! –norb (Wee Rock)


FLEAS AND LICE:
Prepare for Armageddon: CD
Solid UK '82-style crusty punk from this long running band. Eleven songs covering all the topics that their fanbase would want and expect. Not a style I care too much for but it seems like they haven't lost a step. If you are a fan, pick this up without worry. -Mike Frame –Guest Contributor (Rodent Popsicle)


SIN LOGICA:
Self-titled: 7"
These guys lyrically are a hundred percent punk rock, but musically if they were any more influenced by Motörhead than they already are, they'd be a cover band. –jimmy (www.sin.logica.ch)


ERIN TOBEY:
Self-titled: CD
She's got a nice voice, but anything even remotely resembling girly folk music makes me break out in a rash. –jimmy (Plan-It-X)


DRIVEN HIGH, THE:
Self-titled: CD
If down and dirty rock'n'roll is your thing and you also like X, this might be your cup of tea. –don (Driven High)


DOLOROUS CARTER:
For What You Thought Was Once Dead: CDEP
Emo with a bit of screamo. –don (Schoolcraft)


JOE JITSU:
Catastrophe: CD
Pretty generic pop punk with enough Modern English thrown in to make it walk a thin line between radio-friendly college rock and adult contemporary. –megan (Top 5)


FISTIFUKS:
In the Absence of the Sacred: CD-R
Kind of surprised that this is on a CD-R. It sounds like the band either spent some money on recording or they have a real good home recording system. But the drum sounds lead me to believe that they went into a real studio, so spending the grand to get five hundred CDs wouldn't be a stretch. It's average, mid-tempo punk rock with what sounds like average lyrics that most high school kids or new bands write about. Nothing too thought provoking. The recording and production values are what sets this apart. If this was a crappy four-track, I would have thrown this thing away in a heartbeat and saved the case. –don (Fistifuks)


NASHVILLE PUSSY:
Get Some: CD
Another record by this long running band. It's not gonna change the minds of any of their detractors, but I am not a fan and I like this much better than their other records. Seems to be a lot of Alice Cooper influence this time out, which will win me over every time. They have eased off the speed a little bit for more of a mid-tempo rock radio sound, which works quite well for them. They are sure as hell no Four Horsemen, but they're getting better. Still too much marketing gimmick, but at least the tunes are there now. A pleasant surprise. -Mike Frame –Guest Contributor (Spitfire)


BOMB, THE:
Indecision: CD
Melodic punk from this Chicago band featuring members of Naked Raygun and the Methadones. Good, solid songs with that Chicago "dark pop punk" sound that seems to come from there. Fans of the previously mentioned bands, Bollweevils, Apocalypse Hoboken, or Sludgeworth will find a lot to like on this disc. -Mike Frame –Guest Contributor (Thick)


CWILL:
Nations: 10"
Metallic German hardcore that's loud'n'heavy, but ultimately not all that different from so many others. Was expecting a little bit more from the land that once claimed the mighty Inferno as living within its borders. –jimmy (http://music.ch/prawda)


CONTINENTAL:
What Was Gained from What Was Lost: CD
A band that makes the Grateful Dead sound fast. Repetitive and droning guitar picking that I guess is atmospheric. –don (U-dot, www.udot.net)


CATERPILLAR TRACKS:
Self-titled: CD
I'm guessing that if someone reads this here zine that the new rock alternative station isn't playing on their stereo, but if it is, here's a band you might just like. –megan (Phratry)


CARPETTES, THE:
Self-titled: CD
For those of you who know the name, yes, this is an album of all-new Carpettes material. For those that don't know the name, the Carpettes were/are an old UK punk/pop band circa-1977 that released some good music back then, went on an extended hiatus, and have apparently been active for the last nine years or so. While the songwriting here is relatively solid, its delivery is lacking "edges," if you know what I mean, which makes for a nice listen but lacks any of the visceral gut response that a good dose of punk gives you. Don't get me wrong, I do like many of the tunes here, but the release as a whole just didn't knock me over the head. –jimmy (www.ndnrecords.com)


BLEI:
In Day As Dark: CD
A husband and wife duo that seems to have a love for Nick Cave. –don (suzablei@msn.com)


ANGEL AMEN:
David James and Port Wine Authority: CD
At first, I sort of dug this in that whole "this has nothing to do with Razorcake's normal music it reviews, but what the heck?" way, but when it got to the sixth track and it started to sound like Dave Matthews Band, I knew it was time to pull the plug. -Kurt Morris –Guest Contributor (Sling Slang, www.slingslang.com)


AGAPE:
Self-titled: CDEP
These guys serve up equal parts grindcore and dancey techno stuff, usually within the same song, but neither part is exciting enough to warrant further investigation. –jimmy (www.agape-technology.com)


AGAPE:
Self-titled: CDEP
As simply as I can put it, this is electronic, industrial dance music. Now let's bring out those glow sticks and shake that booty like a tail feather! –don (www.agape-technology.com)


BARNBURNER:
Demo: CD-R
Pretty roughly recorded and packaged three-songer here. No geographical information's given, but I'm thinking Midwestern corn-and-potatoes punk. I swear I've heard the singer's voice before, but that could either be because I think he sounds like the dude from Foxhole or something, or it's just one of those things where I feel like I've heard this demo before, even if I haven't. It's really basic uptempo punk with gruff vocals and short little guitar forays into Greg Ginn-land every once in a while. Best song's gotta be the last one, "Ivory Towers," with its damped guitars and background yells. There's a minute or so on that song where they passably sound like drunk punks covering Angelic Upstarts in a VFW hall, and I'd be hard pressed to say that could ever be a bad thing. However, in another song they also belt out the line, "You've hit the big time, I'm still a corn dog." So now I'm at a loss. At this point, I could take it or leave it. If I've got any advice for Barnburner (and I'm sure they're all just waiting with baited breath for that) I'd say brush up on some dynamics and interplay before you put out that triple-gatefold ten inch, guys. -Keith Rosso –Guest Contributor (barnburnerrocks@gmail.com)


88, THE:
Over and Over: CD
Beatles-inspired Silverlake roots rock that's easily digested and seasoned for mass consumption. I get where the band's coming from-good times and all that-but the 88 really could stand to wander down a different path every once in awhile. What we have here is a case of too much follow and not enough lead. They said it themselves: "...[we’re] not re-inventing the wheel." I say, then why bother? –kat (Mootron/EMK)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
...Splitsville: CD
Co-ed pop punk compilation from the bands Catfight and The Helgas. I liked the rock chick vocals and back-to-the-basics lo-fi sound of Catfight. The Helgas almost made me bust out my Social Distortion collection, but I enjoyed the last song, "2ndgradepunkrock." A lot more of that, please. -JasonK –Guest Contributor (True Love)


USELESS INTENT:
Destined for Failure: CD
Average mid-tempo punk rock that is prevalent here in SoCal. They play with good musicianship and the recording is done well, but nothing has impressed me enough to say I haven't heard this before. They might be popular with their friends, but they didn't have enough to captivate the new listener. –don (Adlab)


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