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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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SCISSORFIGHT:
Mantrapping for Sport and Profit: CD
I guess this could be correctly categorized as scum-metal madness and mayhem, but to be perfectly honest, I hear waaaaay too much of this shit around town to even consider giving it a second listen. No offense meant to Scissorfight, though, ‘cause they proficiently and energetically tear it up somethin’ fierce on this here devil-dog of a disc, but it just ain’t my bottle of brew, so therefore I can’t fuckin’ be bothered with it. If ya dig a maniacal bit of Ministry crossed with Soundgarden’s grungey roar, Black Sabbath’s dark’n’decadent instrumental delivery, and the robust fiery expulsions of Satan’s flatulence, then Scissorfight is certainly the band for you. But not me, bub, so I will now loudly crank the Link Wray compilation that Santa brought to me this past Christmas (HoHoHumbug and up yers!). –Roger Moser Jr. (Tortuga)


SARAH SHANNON:
Self-titled: CD
Hey, isn’t this the singer from Velocity Girl? I’m not really sure how this CD made it’s little way into the Razorcake review pile. This is a little different from what I’m used to seeing, which I guess is why Todd and Sean gave it to me. It’s a little jazzy, but not in a Miles Davis sort of way. More so in that late seventies, early eighties Wurlitzer-and-Hammond-organ type of way. She also uses a tambourine on a few songs which adds a little pizzazz here and there. Some of the faster songs even remind me of the Strokes a little bit. It has a little bit of a retro feel to it, but without trying to sound retro. Sarah has a great voice which makes this CD so easy to listen to. I’d like to hear her put out a CD of all faster songs. Some of the slower stuff is a little too Coldplay for me. I could see her maybe opening up for Papas Fritas at Spaceland, or something close to that. I’m a sucker for a Wurlitzer. I can’t help it. I’m a dork that way. –Harmonee (Casa Recordings Co.)


ROCKET 350:
American Grease: CD
Another foray into territory previously navigated to better effect by the Reverend Horton Heat. –jimmy (Beatville)


RIVERBOAT GAMBLERS:
Self-titled: CD
‘70s style old-school punk garage rock: NY Dolls, Damned, Dead Boys, you get the idea. Kinda like a decent opening band for the Gaza Strippers (i.e. in the same vein, but not as good). They include a version of the Ramones’ “Slug” in memory of Joey but it doesn’t do the original justice at all, unfortunately – they just succeed in making me wish I was listening to the original instead of this poor copy. Tempos don’t stay as relentless as I prefer, sometimes getting a bit squishy as they go into the chorus, and none of the tunes stuck in my head at all. Sounds like I’d have a good time hanging out and getting drunk if the Riverboat Gamblers were playing in a club around me, but lord knows there are ten million records of this kind of music and this one doesn’t leap out as one of the very best, which it’d pretty much have to do to stand out from the crowd. Probably worth checking out if they’re playing around you for under five bucks, though. –Aaron J. Poehler (Beatville)


RINGWORM:
Birth Is Pain: CD
I thought I heard of these guys before and I found them on the comp You Deserve Even Worse from that horrible label Lost & Found from Germany that I bought in the early ‘90s. To give you an idea of what they sound like, they were on the comp with 108, Ryker’s, Judge, Battery, Sick Of It All and others. This is their first record in eight years. More of an early Metallica sound going on since the metal is very prevalent. Hardcore meets metal. –don (Victory)


REVEREND GLASSEYE AND HIS WOODEN LEGS:
Black River Falls: CD
This is what John Boy and the rest of the hillbilly Walton clan would’ve sounded like if they’d subsisted on a steady diet of the Baldwin sisters’ firewater remedy while belligerently bangin’ their heads on keg barrels, furiously breathin’ life into an odd array of old-time brass instruments, and heartily pluckin’ and strummin’ a banjo, bass fiddle, washboard, and clothesline-stringed guitar. It’s moonshine-drenched mountain music magnificently mixed with jugband blues, riverboat cabaret, gypsy-swirlin’ vaudeville, theatrical oompah madness, and a foot-stompin’ knee-slappin’ hootenanny of robust rural rowdiness. Hell yeh, a whiskey-swiggin’, tobacco-chawin’ aural shit-stirrer! It’s as if a demonically possessed Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, an inbred bluegrass Bauhaus, a snaggle-toothed, Deliverance-style Tom Waits, and a more criminally insane, Southern-fried Split Lip Rayfield all met at the devil’s crossroads in Depression-era Mississippi while conjuring beastly hellhound spirits in the pale glow of a full moon exactly one minute past midnight. The resulting cacophonous clash awakens the dead for an entire eternity and then some! Man, this is hypnotic, magical, rustic, and full-blooded American; a sonically spectacular freakshow carnival that endlessly titillates and delights the ears! –Roger Moser Jr. (Monotone Management)


RAZZELS, THE:
...Throttle: CD
Yay! Another poppy punk CD to light my fireplace with. Thanks! –jimmy (Get Hip)


PRE-TEENS, THE:
Mess: 7”
When I saw that Cheetah’s Records put this out, I was hoping for something as good as the American Steel stuff they’ve put out. Sadly, not the case. The Pre-teens are pretty boring pop punk, with girl vocals. (Isn’t it annoying how I havta mention this, since there are so few girls in punk bands, and therefore “male vocals” is assumed unless I say otherwise? But I digress with my riot grrrl sentiments!) Not horrible by any means, but lacking something to distinguish it from every other pop punk record out there. If this were a cereal, it’d be regular Corn Flakes. –Maddy (Cheetah’s)


POWERBALL:
Opposing Furies: CD
Hardcore punk with occasional rock flourishes. Not good, not bad, not particularly memorable. –jimmy (Rat Town)


OCELOT:
The Quiet Storm: CD
Some killer indie/noise rock here, but man, you guys need a singer. Desperately. I’d be glad to stand in until you find a permanent replacement. Give me a call. –jimmy (Moodswing)


NEKROMANTIX:
Return of the Loving Dead: CD
Psychobilly. I was hoping for more of a Tiger Army thing here. Music that fits into some late ‘60s /early ‘70s car culture movies with Elvis thrown in. –don (Hellcat)


MUSHROOMHEAD:
XX: CD
Okay, I figured, hey, a band named Mushroomhead, maybe they got it from the Can song, right? Guess not. This band looks exactly like Slipknot, masks and all, only they have eight guys instead of nine. Apparently there’s some dispute which band of the two was the first with the image, but I can’t say I give a shit – either way it’s pretty corny. Basically if you’re at all into Slipknot maybe it’d be worthwhile you check this out. I personally have a low tolerance for the kind of thing where guys in the band give themselves dumbass names like “Gravy” and “Shmotz” and “Stitch,” but hey, maybe if you’re a thirteen-year-old goth guy this seems like the coolest shit in the world, I don’t know. It just seems stupid to me. Note: cover of “Empty Spaces” by Pink Floyd scores new high on pointlessness meter. –Aaron J. Poehler (Universal)


MUNITION:
The Black Wave: CD
Started off promising, although a little poppy and just went downhill from there, ultimately ending up wallowing in that wretched netherworld where bad hardcore and bad emo meet, mate and go to die. What a waste. –jimmy (Failed Experiment)


MISTREATERS, THE:
Grab Them Cakes: CD
Being a Wisconsin punk, I’ve seen the Mistreaters several times. Garage punk with screamy, rock’n’roll vocals, and occasional harmonica use. Lotsa “hey baby” and “hey girl, why ya done me wrong?”! My fav garage punk is a little crazier and sloppier (i.e. the Brentwoods, Sonics, etc.) but this does rock. They’re the sort of band I can only imagine playing in a bar. And the sort of band that, therefore, always sounds better when drunk. As the back of the CD says, “Critics agree… this record has 12 songs on it!” If this were a cereal, it’d be Corn Pops with beer instead of milk. –Maddy (Big Neck)


MINOR THREAT / YOUTH BRIGADE:
Demos: LP
Not really a review because I shouldn’t have to describe this to anybody who has any history in punk rock. I do have a few comments that you probably don’t care about. Tough. This is the Washington DC Youth Brigade and not the current Youth Brigade that resides in California. Minor Threat has become one of the most legendary bands that existed in only a short time period. They also created a two-headed monster when they created the straight edge scene. Enough about my quick comments. Limited to 1,000 copies and well worth the purchase. Have to decide between a twelve pack of beer or a record? Buy this! Oh, I forgot you might be straight edge. Dumb question. –don (Recollect X)


MERCURY FOUR, THE:
Endless Beach: CD
Woweee cha-cha-cha, The Mercury Four perfectly replicate the classic surf sounds of the early ‘60s. And they do it so meticulously well, I had the sudden urge to fill my bathtub full of lukewarm water; added a couple of cups of sodium chloride for that salty oceanic effect; cranked the central heat up to a balmy eighty-five degrees while placing a box-fan nearby and setting it on full-speed to create a nicely blended tropical breeze; quickly squirmed outta my battery-heated long-johns and slipped into a pair of brightly colored floral-splattered knee-length shorts; climbed into the tub and stood there with both legs braced and bent at the knees in the classic cowabunga stance while wildly flailing my arms in a hilarious attempt to balance myself on an invisible surfboard beneath my water-shriveled feet. I’m suddenly crestin’ on an imaginary twelve-foot wave that arose outta nowhere and overwhelmed me with such raging full-strength fury, I was forced to bail headfirst into the cold, uninviting tile of the bathroom floor. Yep, so much for pretend-surfin’ in a cramped frigid lavatory in the dead of winter! But the delightfully fun and sunny sounds of The Mercury Four will inspire a person to take such drastic measures for a bit of make-believe sandy-footed frolicking no matter what time of year it is! The hot-doggin’ killer-thriller keyboards, Herman Munster booty-twistin’ guitar fieriness, and roarin’ tidal wave’s crash of bass and drum interaction just can’t be beat. It’s all-at-once jubilant, youthful, and wild, wild, wild! Even the lil’ hula-girl statues on my stereo speakers were furiously shakin’ their backsides silly to this upbeat bundle of tropical thunder! Indeed, it’s a pleasurable spirit-rousing dose of tempestuous sonic paradise. –Roger Moser Jr. (Mercury Four)


MEKONS:
Fear and Whisky: CD
Originally released in 1985, and it hasn’t aged too well since. Gone are the days of abrasive guitar punk funk akin to Gang of Four, replaced with a countrified light rock sound. There are a few interesting moments, such as “Flitcraft,” and “Hard to be Human Again,” but other than that... –Matt Average (Quarterstick)


MAGGOTS, THE:
This Condition Is Incurable: CD
First-class trash punk from this lot, falling somewhere between DMZ and Thee Mighty Caesars. The singer’s voice was annoying in all the right ways. –jimmy (Bad Afro)


M-16:
Canciones Escritas en el Exilio: CD
Imagine Puya with half the talent and none of the salsa influence. –jimmy (Mother West)


LUCY LOVES SCHROEDER:
Lucy Is a Band: CD
Put the Muffs and the best parts of Tilt into a blender and mix well. This was good. Can’t wait to hear what they sound like after their influences wear off. –jimmy (Beatville)


LAWRENCE ARMS, THE:
Apathy and Exhaustion: CD
Here is a band that is well suited for the label they are on. They fit the Fat identity perfect. I place this band between Strung Out and No Use for a Name. The production is clean and perfect as always. That is what is expected from this label. Having two different singers helped mixed things up. But this did not put me in a head spin. –don (Fat)


KEVIN K:
13th Street: CD
This is down’n’dirty Bowery-style rock’n’roll crunch with a colorfully descriptive lyrical content about drugs, heartbreak, boredom, decadence, and barely surviving the sleazy seduction of the dog-eat-dog mean streets of NYC. Kevin K and his deviant duo of musical sidekicks sound as if they just crawled out of a garbage dumpster in a rat-infested back-alley on the Lower East Side after a long night of substance abuse, drunken debauchery, and high-voltage sonic sinfulness at Max’s Kansas City. Damn shootin’, it’s the swaggerin’ gritty sound of hookers, heroin addiction, cheap tattoos, and booze-fuelled inner-city vagrancy (snotty nasal-whine vocals, ball-bustin’ Johnny Thunders-style guitar riffage, and a clattering out-of-control subway train rhythm section). Man, this psychotically wild butt-blisterin’ disc makes me wanna relocate to the vile seedy underbelly of New York City and plunge a needle deep into my arm. –Roger Moser Jr. (. (Vicious Kitten and 13th Street Entertainment)


JULIA SETS:
Domino b/w Have You Ever Seen the Rain?: 7”
Long, long time since I had anything like this on the record player: the sort of Dinosaurish noisy but sweet pop that was the rage in certain circles once upon a time. A-side, anyway. The B is kind of toothless, though these guys are so far from CCR, I’ll have to give them some credit for tackling it. –Cuss Baxter (The Bert Dax Cavalcade of Stars)


JERSEY:
Definition: CD
This band has members of Grade. This band toured with Less Than Jake and NOFX. I think that explains it all. –Miss Sarah A. Stierc (Fueled By Ramen)


JACKNIFE POWERBOMBS:
Demo: CD
Well, um , it sounds like a demo of a punk band playing rudimentary rock’n’roll. Not particularly interesting on the whole. Sorry. –jimmy (jackknife_powerbombs@hotmail.com)


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·Solucion Mortal, YAPO, DxAxF, and Los Mad Mojados
·Julie A. Ferguson Photo Column - Pup
·LOGH
·TRAINWRECK
·Zine Reviews From Issue #46
·BESIDE MYSELF
·SAINT ALVIA CARTEL, THE
·PITCH BLACK
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