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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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CAPTURE THE FLAG:
Walking Away from Everything: CD
This is already starting off bad. I haven’t even opened the god damn thing yet because of that stupid sticker they put on top of the CD case. Why can’t they change the adhesive so those stupid plastic sticker can come off easier? I hate it when they come off in little pieces. I am irritated. Why do I need the same information that is printed already on the cover, spine and the back of the CD? After the tiring experience of opening the thing, all I get is average melodicore. What a disappointment. –don (Conquer the World)


BEERZONE:
Strangle All Boybands: CD
British “Oi” band. I don’t mind “Oi” bands as long as they are good. This one is not. Very boring, actually. No good guitar work, lyrics, or anything. It is actually putting me to sleep. The same thing happened when I saw them live. –toby (Cyclone)


B9:
Home Sweet Home: CD
I’m ashamed to say that after one song I was ready to write this off as lame rote emo pop punk, but then I hit the ska rap about trailer living and – sweet sparkling peepee – it’s ferociously terrible. It’s like they read that survey I filled out about everything I hate in today’s “punk” and took it for a guiding light. Here’s a hint: you might be able to get away with rhyming “angel” and “Winnebago” in a regular song, it won’t work in a rap. (Benign Music) –Cuss Baxter (Benign Music)


GHOULTOWN:
Tales from the Dead West: CD
Ghoultown rambunctiously and skillfully blast a brawny swaggerin’ wallop of tornadic Texas-style rockabilly fury, gothic whiskey-drenched country’n’western craziness, and thundering “High Plains Drifter”-inspired deathrock rowdiness. It’s a demonic musical mishmash of ghoulishly hypnotic vocals, damnatory hellfire-and-brimstone guitar savagery, hair-raisin’ spine-tinglin’ thrusts of crosstie-splittin’ locomotive bass rumblings, rampagin’ Injuns-on-the-warpath tomahawk-thumpin’ drumming madness, lonely and sorrowful campfire’n’chuckwagon harmonica moans, and somber solitary TexMex trumpet/trombone wailings... I shit you not, compadres, it all sounds uncannily like The Damned, T.S.O.L., The Misfits, and Johnny Cash frenziedly dukin’ it out with Marshal Matt Dillon and his trusty ol’ inbred sidekick, Festus Hagen, in The Long Branch Saloon on a dark apocalyptic day on the set of “Gunsmoke.” Ghoultown sonically conjure ghostly images of the tumbleweed-strewn wickedness of America’s untamed Old West: vampiric prairie nomads aimlessly wandering through the vast weatherbeaten expanses of wayward eternal damnation; dust-enshrouded outlaw apparitions gearin’-up for a gunslingin’ showdown at sunset; the lone haunting howl of a coyote surrounded by the seductive misery of moonlit tombstone shadows; barbed wire and endless miles of crumbled decayin’ cattle bones. Yeeeeeehaw, motherfuckers, these are the true tequila-guzzlin’ sounds of Texxxas! –Roger Moser Jr. (Angry Planet)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Pushing Scandinavian Rock to the Man! Vol. 2: CD
This is the ultimate mind-rippin’ collection of trashy psychotic rock’n’roll thunder! It’s a fuzz-drenched ultra-distorted maelstrom of foot-stompin’ booty-shakin’ garagerock racket at its fiercest and most primitive! The raucous Scandinavian savages who sonically set the entire world ablaze on this here bone-crusher of a disc include The Royal Beat Conspiracy, The Chronics (currently my fave lil’ band of ear-blastin’ bad boys!), The Maggots, The Flaming Sideburns, Mother Superior, The Burnouts, The Rockets, Branded Women, The Festermen, Columbian Neckties, The Peepshows, and The Dialtones... goshdamn almighty, we Americans ain’t got nothin’ on these crazed and maniacal music-makers from the frosty North Sea region! It’s as if the best of the “Nuggets” groups were belligerently gathered in the sweltering environs of Purgatory and then sadistically skullfucked en masse by a leather-clad legion of rockin’ wild-dog demons. Yes sir indeedy, this is the liveliest and loudest audial detonation to ever roar through my ears! –Roger Moser Jr. (Bad Afro)


RANCID VAT/HAMMERLOCK:
Split: 7”
Rancid Vat: A loud, rude, swaggering punk rock anthem for every schmo who’s ever had to work a shitty job. Hammerlock: An equally rockin’ homage to Thee Whiskey Rebel, who happens to be the bass player for the former. One hot piece of wax. –jimmy (Steel Cage)


PARTISANS:
So Neat: CD EP
This sounds like old English punk rock, which makes perfect sense considering that that is exactly what the band is. While the sound is not as desperation-fueled as I would’ve liked, this is nowhere near as terrible as the more recent efforts of some of their contemporaries, and that is a definite relief. –jimmy (TKO)


HARD-ONS:
This Terrible Place: CD
The band is the Hard-Ons. I saw them last maybe 7 or 8 years ago. They rocked. They are called the Hard-Ons. The cover art is a mutant cyclops Mickey Mouse angel as a peace symbol with a huge cock that has an eyeball on it. I had a mindset of what this CD would sound like. Hmm. This isn’t bad as much as it is unexciting. The music is almost easy listening, too mellow, and this is coming from a guy who likes Simon and Garfunkle, okay? There are a few songs that sound like they would be great to see live with amps and feedback and the energy of a band rocking out, but the CD isn’t doing anything for me but serving as background music. –rich (Bad Taste)


PURE RUBBISH:
Self-Titled: CD EP
Good, honest Texas rawk from a group of guys young enough to get tossed outta the local honky tonks. The band’s overall vibe reminds me of early AC/DC, with the cover of “Let There Be Rock” especially driving the point home. The remaining three originals hold their own quite well, as there’s not a dog in the bunch. So until their full-length comes out next spring, you’ve got this little puppy to crank up in your minitruck. Good stuff from this Houston outfit. –Tim From Pomona (Divine Recordings/Priority)


VICTIMS OF GREED/SCUM NOISE:
split: 7” EP
A nice pairing here. Victims Of Greed crank out a din of white noised crust. Fast without being overly furious. Lyrically, they attack the system and its disregard for the environment and people in general. Scum Noise are mid tempo D-beat hardcore, from the music on down to the lyrical composition. Short and to the point. I wouldn’t mind hearing more from Scum Noise, even an LP could be interesting. –Matt Average (FFT Label)


DOUBLE NUTHINS, THE:
Got into a Fight in Special Ed: 7”
Smokin’, hyped-up punk rock‘n’roll from three geeky looking guys whose picture made me afraid I was in for some lame pop punk. The concept of the title song is a little dopey, but this is a damn good EP overall. –jimmy (Rapid Pulse)


HOLIER THAN THOU:
Self-titled: 7” EP
Harken back to those late ‘80s skate sessions when you’d cut class, get baked in the ditch you skated and ripped to mix tapes on your portable stereo (beat box, okay?!). At least today you don’t have to be seen with your friend in the hot pink Vision Street Wear pants. Holier Than Thou crank retro cross-over in the vein of Attitude Adjustment, RKL, and the sort. Racing tempos, strained vocals, and bad ass time changes that are tighter than hell. Can’t wait for the LP! –Matt Average (Six Weeks)


KUNG FU MONKEYS, THE:
School’s Out, Surf’s Up, Let’s Fall in Love!: CD
Not the local band of the same name, these guys play happy pop punk (heavy on the pop) that makes me long for the days of bands with more edge, like, oh, Sweet Baby. The songs are pleasant enough, but the happy-go-lucky vibe of the whole thing gave me the creeps, much like the movie Pleasantville did. –jimmy (Mutant Pop)


OOZZIES:
Nation Out of Hand: CD
The Oozzies aggressively unleash a barbaric blast of “old school” hardcore unruliness... they’re defiant, unmanageable, and full of rage-fuelled insolence... they’re a mad-as-hell havoc-wreaking collective of musical malcontents chaotically creating a full-force flurry of insurgent anti-social sounds. This is the sort of nonconformist sonic chaos that frenetically inspired me to run rampant and free through the garbage-strewn streets of my hellhole hometown when I was a belligerent lil’ teen-aged hooligan... an angst-ridden era when I would carelessly careen across the pavement on my skateboard, recklessly rocket down the sunbaked sidewalks (all the while furiously flailing like a crazed maniac possessed!), and then daredevilishly bunnyhop the curb and wildly glide along its treacherous rugged surface as if my very life depended upon it (fists tightly clenched, teeth fitfully grittin’, and an impenetrable level of concentration so thick a chainsaw could cut through it)... damn, one precariously misplaced movement, and it’s all over in mere freezeframed seconds... SPLAT! Flesh and asphalt abruptly meet. Profusely sweating, bleeding, and cussin’ a meanstreak, I recover my dishevelled senses and quickly inspect my battered, bruised, and torn physique... yep, everything appears to be intact and still workin’. The youthful propensity for perseverance is pumpin’ strong, so it’s time for yet another futile attempt to conquer that damned perilous curb. Alley-oop! Ah, thanks for the memories, Oozzies... –Roger Moser Jr. (Industrial Strength)


PERFECT DAZE:
Five Year Search: CD
Think back to the radio friendly sound of The Replacements or early Soul Asylum. Guitar driven rock that is catchy as hell without being sappy or cheesy. Pretty damn good stuff (though nothing original like the liner notes allude to). Then as now, this sort of thing was a nice relief from what was happening out there on the radio waves. This disc collects all the recorded output from this English outfit from the late ‘80s. And while it does sound dated, it ages well. “Bubble gum” is the catchiest of the bunch, and sure to hook most listeners quick, but the emotion of “Death By Smiling” can not be denied. –Matt Average (Boss Tuneage)


SICK PLEASURE:
Destroy the Human Race: 7”
Long has it been since I dusted off my copies of the vinyl releases from whence this came. This was one of my favorite groups back when I was a kid. Many a day was spent cranking “Three Seconds of Pleasure” and “Disintegration” from a shitty stereo and jumping around with my guitar, pretending I was in the band. Nikki Sikki’s voice was so obnoxious and the songs were so crude that you had to love ‘em. Interestingly enough, I’d never noticed it before, but it seems that Nikki pretty much took the lyrics from many of these songs and reused them for his stint in the equally brilliant Verbal Abuse. Anyway, what you get here is four songs from the split LP they did with Code of Honor (who were basically the same band as Sick Pleasure, only with a different singer) and most of the first side of their 7” EP. Thanks are due to the guy responsible for this. Now every record I listen to for the next month ain’t gonna sound too hot. –jimmy (Bootleg)


SPLODGENESSABOUNDS:
The Artful Splodger: CD
Twenty-plus years on and Max still has it, thanks in no small part to a great backing band and a seemingly endless well of humor. He’s a favorite with the oi boy crowd, but I can’t remember a time when he didn’t have a good mop of hair on his head. There’s 16 tracks here, one of which is a remake of his classic “Two Pints of Lager,” which originally appeared on one of those old oi comps way back when. Also of note is “667, Neighbor of the Beast,” which, although being the millionth time I’ve heard that joke, is a great, dead-on parody of Iron Maiden. Good listening to be found here, kids. –jimmy (Captain Oi)


TREE:
No Regrets, No Remorse: CD
I should’ve known that there was no way in hell a band named “tree” was gonna be worth a piss. My biceps seem to have grown a little larger and I feel considerably stupider after listening to this, though. If I listen to this a few more times, maybe I’ll look like the Incredible Hulk and have the IQ of a fencepost. Maybe then I’ll even like crappy music like this CD, or Britney, Backstreet Boys or Eden’s Crush. Hey, one can hope. –jimmy (Wonderdrug)


TWO MAN ADVANTAGE:
Don’t Label Us: CD
A damn good hardcore band with chops up the ass and a hockey theme running through the songs. These guys woulda easily held their own at one o’ those Fender’s Ballroom thrash-o-rama gigs back in the day. –jimmy (Go Kart)


A.L.A. (AMERICAN LIBERATION ARMY:
Your Kids Need AK47s: CD-R
A.L.A. furiously flail forth with an insurrective onslaught of hardcore anti-government punkrock rage! This is the kind of riot-inciting sonic fury that violently socks you in the face, cracks your jawbone, bloodies your nose, blackens both eyes, fractures your skull, and ruptures both eardrums before ya ever know what hit you... extremely remindful of the unbridled raw-as-fuck primal energy of early Black Flag, Minor Threat, Pay To Cum-era Bad Brains, a bit of Dead Kennedys musical mentality, and more than its fair share of Euro political-thrash savageness... somewhat sloppy in spots, but overall unrelenting, powerful, and full of undeniable anger! My favorite track on here bein’ “The Foamy Beer Song,” I suggest ya kick back with a cold brew and liberate your ears with the anarchic audial aggression of A.L.A. now! -Roger Moser, Jr. –Roger Moser Jr. (filthy@hushmail.com)


FIVE HORSE JOHNSON:
The No. 6 Dance: CD
Mighty nice swamp boogie with a hint of southern scum rock. If Black Oak Arkansas had sounded this cool when I was a kid, my life mighta turned out a little different. –jimmy (Small Stone)


GUYANA PUNCH LINE:
Irritainment: CD
The manifesto of Smashism is expanded upon and fleshed out here. A new youth movement is afoot and more intelligent and questioning than before. Reality is ours to create and flush out what doesn’t appeal or merely stifles our desires. GPL have also retained their old model while building on it at the same time. And it’s no easy paint job touch up, we’re talking the addition of side view mirrors and the benefit of hindsight in what were once blindspots. The communiqué has been issued, you need to read it and act. –Matt Average (Prank)


IN DECAY:
4 song: 7”
NYC Squatcore featuring plenty of speed with no real power, ska with no integrity, and whoah-ohs with no 7 Seconds appeal. Like a mayonnaise sandwich for the ears! –Cuss Baxter (Tent City)


LOW/DIRTY THREE:
split: CDEP
The latest addition to the excellent Fishtank series. Low and Dirty Three team up to create some fine desolate country folk that floats like a dream. Quiet and somber, with lilting sounds and vocals almost inaudible at times. The soundtrack of a drive through the desert. The cover of Neil Young’s “Down By The River” is nice. –Matt Average (Konkurrent Onathankelijk Muzienbedrif)


MENACE:
Crisis: CD
The Menace were kind of a second tier oi band, never really getting as popular as Cocksparrer or the Business, but they did have a hit song in the mid-seventies with “GLC” (which is a killer song and I imagine it probably means more in England now, if I can trust the news I read about England and Tony Blair these days). Anyway, rather than falling into the metal trap that so many oi bands fell into in the eighties, Menace broke up and went back to work. With the renewed popularity of oi, Menace came back, re-releasing their big songs, “GLC” and “Society’s Insane,” and some new ones, like “Society’s Still Insane.” So they weren’t really growing and expanding musically, but it’s solid, sincere music. The songs are really cool working class anthems, smart and simple politics, and thick Cockney accented vocals. I’ve actually got a couple of these songs on seven inches from Europe, but most of these songs are new to me and would probably be new to you. And believe me when I say that this Menace album kicks ass all over the newest Business and Cocksparrer releases. –sean (Captain Oi)


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