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Record Reviews

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ONE TIME ANGELS:
Sound of a Restless City: CD
Post-Husker punky pop that was pleasant enough to stay on the player for its duration. –jimmy (Adeline)


NO ONE’S VICTIM:
Just Another Young Punk Band: 7”
I usually like to start on the second side of any release that has two sides. It gives me a good impression of what a band sounds like on the average. You figure that most bands will put their strongest song as the first track. My theory being that it is your only chance to catch the listener’s attention. These guys started off well with their cover of Infa Riot’s “Emergency.” It was true to the original and was not a disgrace. The second track on side two was a bit formulaic, new decade street punk with the over used “Oi, Oi...” Hearing Americans chant “Oi” has not grasped me as being genuine. It is a English working class anthem and slang that doesn’t belong being sung by Americans who don’t go through the same struggles because our culture is different. Also, it doesn’t sound right without the Cockney accent. Now off to side one. It’s time to talk a little shit. I am experienced at it since I shit everyday like clock work and have been doing it for more than 30 years. If I don’t take a shit at least once during the day, I know my body is fucked up. Based on the title and the title of the first track, there is a contradiction already in place. The title of the song is “77.” If they are truly just another young punk band or at least 24 years of age they were born around the year of the title. So how can they sing about it? Are they really old enough to have experienced it? Plagiarize what others have wrote? Second track, “Working Class Hero.” Based on their age, who are their heroes. Mom and Dad? Their relatives or friends’ parents? I don’t know if their intentions are right. It just doesn’t come off as original or sincere to me. I say go back to the garage and create something new that will excite the rest of us, but don’t come and try to recreate a sound that you really can’t understand because you haven’t lived it. To end this, they aren’t half bad. –don (Radio)


NEGATIVE STEP/REDRUM:
Split:: 7"
Redrum: Remarkably strong hardcore here, despite the hackneyed band name. Five tracks of blistering power, completely devoid of any metal, from one kick-ass band. Negative Step: They sound like the missing link in Negative Approach’s career between their first EP and the Tied Down LP. The sound quality is a little muffled, but their songs are cool. –jimmy (Satan’s Pimp)


NIKKI & THE CORVETTES:
Self-Titled: CD
Nikki and her curvaceously spectacular Corvettes playfully (but passionately!) belt-out a dizzying dose of crunchy power-pop cheerfulness... it’s fun, frolicking, and full of youthful zeal for life! The giddy virginal schoolgirl vocals and shimmering upbeat instrumentation sound incredibly like The Shirelles, The Shangri-Las, the original animated Josie & The Pussycats, Blondie, and Fuzzbox all lightheartedly bashin’ skulls with The Beach Boys, Ramones, Buzzcocks, The Knack, and The Romantics... hell yeh, it’s joyously sweet summertime rock’n’roll exhilaration about boys, cars, cruisin’, and flirtatious puppylove crushes. Although all of these tunefully titillating tracks date from the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, they’re as exuberantly relevant today as they were 20 years ago. This is the most fun my ears have ever had, by golly gosh! –Roger Moser Jr. (Bomp!)


MANIFESTO JUKEBOX:
Desire: CD
I bought their first 7” I think a couple of years ago and was more into it. This band hails from Finland and has a mixed sound of Husker Du meets Leatherface. This record has a stronger emo feel to it and really grates on my hemorrhoids. It feels kind of whiney and turns me off for the moment. –don (Nabate)


LIMECELL:
To Evil: CD
A live set from a band associated somehow with the Confederacy of Scum. What you get is a live set and an old demo from, in my personal opinion, one of the best punk bands I’ve heard lately. A sound loud and hard in a mid-tempo Poison Idea kind of way is to be had here. This one’s gonna remain in repeat mode for a good while. –jimmy (Steel Cage)


KILL YOUR IDOLS:
Funeral For A Feeling: CD
Still haven’t caught these guys live yet. And I’m guessing they’re far more interesting on the stage than on vinyl, or aluminum. I think what hurts this record is the production is too slick. Totally smoothed off the rough edges, and that cheesy guitar in the title track doesn’t help matters. For the type of music KYI cranks they need to keep the rawness in tact. But whatever, if you’re a fan of this band then you already have it. And if you still haven’t heard these guys then start with the older stuff first. I hear they’re gonna tour the US with Voorhees sometime soon. –Matt Average (Side One Dummy)


JETHRO TULL:
The Very Best Of: CD
I was never too interested in Jethro Tull when I was a kid for some reason, even though I had friends who swore by them. Okay, sure those friends were into Kansas and Rush, granted, but still we had enough in common that I took their opinions seriously. Something about Tull’s classical/rock/baroque sound (flute, you must admit, isn’t a very rockin’ instrument to have on everything) just turned me off immediately – no, scratch that. It didn’t so much turn me off as it just didn’t intrigue me whatsoever. I mean, my brother had a 2-disc Tull collection one bedroom away from mine and I wasn’t even curious enough to borrow it once. Later on, their reputation as the band that made a whole album out of one song was enough to keep me at arm’s length, at least long enough that I never heard an entire album played from front to back – although statistics probably lean towards me having heard all of Aqualung at one time or another. So frankly it’s with a bit of surprise that I find a decent amount of enjoyment within The Very Best of Jethro Tull. I only recognized three or four of the song titles on the back cover (and that’s counting “Aqualung”) but upon listening I find most of music immediately familiar, and pleasantly so. Perhaps it’s the judicious editing that eases my listening experience, paring the bloat so endemic to classical/rock hybrids of the ‘70s and getting to the point. Perhaps it’s the comfort of recognizable music in an easily digestible package. Perhaps Jethro Tull just produced better work than I would have thought likely. I’m not going to be running out to buy up the Tull catalog or anything else anytime soon, but the Very Best Of comp serves my needs quite well and will probably remain in my collection for at least the near future. –Aaron J. Poehler (Chrysalis/Capitol)


IGGY & THE STOOGES:
Michigan Palace 10/6/73: CD
Damn, man, this historically relevant disc possesses all of the tortured sonic chaos I’ve come to expect in a live Stooges recording, yet with topnotch surprisingly clear sound quality (as recorded on a reel-to-reel at the time by Stooges’ guitarist James Williamson). The drumming is frenzied and tribal; the bass thumps along at breakneck spine-snappin’ speeds of thunderin’ fury; the piano deviously meanders throughout like spiderleg tinklings of dark and scary creepiness; the guitar struts, rattles, and roars with unrelenting urgency; and, of course, Iggy’s vocals are as taunting, nihilistic, threatening, and dangerous as a demon-spawned hellhound. Although the musicianship contained herein fits neatly into well-shaped spurts of agitated energy, Iggy & The Stooges were splintering and fragmenting as a group at the time of this performance (just four months later, they would chaotically careen their way through a final show, and the rest is probably all notoriously exaggerated history). Yep, sure as shit, I vigorously recommend this aurally stunning CD alone just for its sheer ability to shake and startle the inner workings of my soul (plus I’m dazzled silly by the rousing inclusion of three of my fave Stooges songs: “Gimme Danger,” “Search & Destroy,” and “Open Up & Bleed”). Indeed, it’s a harried humdinger of a disc, so get yers today if’n ya know what’s good for ya... –Roger Moser Jr. (Bomp)


GREAT KAT, THE:
Possini’s Rape: CD
CD According to the press release, this is my cue to talk in character about how scared I am of Kat and how we must all bow before her or something. Hmm. I remember Kat (and feel free to use the Troy McClure voice here) from the ‘80s and the day of metal mags with names like Metal Maniacs and Metal this and Metal that and while it impresses me that she is still doing this, she hasn’t updated at all (I saw the Ex a few weeks ago, and they impressed me as much as they did when I saw them 10 years ago, but in different ways and for different reasons - they grew in that 10 years that went by). Let me set the picture. There are many pictures of Kat in the CD art. She wears leather bikinis and spikes and bullets. She is not unattractive in an ‘80s metal bikini girl poster way. She has big, long blonde hair, lots of “scary” makeup (which helps keep you guessing her age), every picture has her with her mouth open wide, showing all the teeth she can. I like Apocalyptica a lot. They are a four-piece piece cello act that does mostly Metallica covers, but a few others and a few originals. So they take speed metal and convert it to a classical hybrid. They do this with proper nods to both genres. It works, and I can imagine people who like either liking them. Kat is a novelty act. Of four songs on this CD, two are classical covers, including the William Tell Overture. The thing is, the William Tell Overture is already fast and manic, and so doing it fast and manic doesn’t do anything for me (as opposed to the Vandal’s punk/speed metal version of “Dance of the Sugarplum Fairies”). The two originals are interesting enough musically, but, well, um, ok, I am going to print some lyrics, and I swear, these are the lyrics. Really. “Lick my ass, you fucking piece of shit, slime, moron FAG! Swallow my vomit, Muther Fucker!” (capitals as originally printed) from “Sodomize” “Squeeze his DICK OFF SLIT HIS HAIRY ASS (capitals as originally printed) from “Castration” Quality stuff, huh? And those are random samples - they don’t get any more lyrical or mature. It’s almost as if she is looking to get the PMRC started again –rich (www.greatkat.com)


GOB:
The Kill Yourself Commandment: LP
When I first heard the term “hardcore metal,” this is exactly what I imagined: a wall of grindy noise devoid of melody that makes side two of Black Flag’s “Damaged” album sound like Kenny Loggins. I got a migraine by song two, so they must be doing something right. THANK GOD I wasn’t watching them live. –jimmy (Satan’s Pimp)


DOGS, THE:
Self-titled: 3-Song 7” EP
Wow, this is a lot more motivated than I thought it’d be. It’s a re-issue from 1978. “Slash Your Face” starts a little surfy, and then breaks into a groove which is often reminiscent of Hollywood’s The Cheifs. Hard-boiled, middle/fast tempo roiling bass. Siren to stagger to slash guitar. A drummer that pounds in a way that both controls the tempo and provides the spine. The vocals come by way of early Iggy; the voluptuary screams and spastic wiggles. The last song, when Mary sings backups, sounds like Nikki and the Corvettes, only if they’d ran into a brick wall. Super fine re-issue. Sounds fresh 20 years plus after the fact. –todd (Dionysus)


DIRTYBURDS, THE:
Gotta Go: 7””EP
Lo-fi trash rock from four English birds. The songs are good, but there’s not much energy in their performance. I’m gonna hold my judgment until I hear more. –jimmy (Rapid Pulse)


DIGGER:
Trainwreck: CD EP
Uptempo pop punk with LOUD guitars. A band I was in played a show with these guys a few years ago and I remembered them being pretty good, which was why I picked it up. I still stand by that previous assessment, although the songs here aren’t particularly memorable. Maybe they go over better live. –jimmy (Hopeless)


DC SPECIAL, THE:
Self-titled: CD
A baker’s dozen served to you from a new and upcoming band from CA’s Inland Empire. There’s definitely a metal edge to their sound, yet hardly any guitar wanking can be found. The songs are very heavy on the power chords and are complimented by a vocalist who can belt them out with the best of ‘em. This is a very listenable release that I’ve played several times over already, and should they keep up the excellent work. I can see these guys going places. Recommended. –Tim From Pomona (Rock & Roll Revolution, sorry no address)


CROWD, THE:
Goes Wild: rough mix: CD-R
Man, what titillating sonic excitement The Crowd create! This is poppy surfpunk fury at its most pleasurable, pristine, and explosive... all-at-once harmonious, harried, and aesthetically full of unquenchable thirst for life! This dandy delight of a disc holds all of the necessary audial ingredients to make it a surefire punkrock classic: a heapin’ helping of snotty tit-twistin’ vocals; a spirited dash of robust backing choral chants; heavenly sugar-sweet swirls of perfectly timed harmonies; thick chunky slabs of rhythm guitar gutsiness; an ingratiating abundance of lead guitar strafings soarin’ straight through the stratosphere; and a concoctive mixture of rumbling bass expulsions and precise fever-pitched dead-between-the-eyes drumming. Indeed, it’s an ear-pleasing platter of well-executed musical magnificence, and I’m bedazzled beyond belief! –Roger Moser Jr. (no contact address )


COUNTERATTACK:
Fight Back: 7”” EP
DC skinhead music that’s not bad musically. The lyrics are relatively well written, even if it is more of the same old flag-waving, right-wing bullshit that goes in hand with the style. They talk about giving respect to the soldiers who died in combat because they didn’t know they were going to fight a rich man’s war and then slag draft dodgers. Huh? Had those who died known they were fighting for the benefit of the rich and decided not to go, they’d have been draft dodgers, and hence asshole cowards, right? So, with that line of thinking, the only way they could possibly earn any honor is by dying in complete ignorance for the sole benefit of the wealthy. Taking a look at the pictures of the band, they look no older than 14. Just think, in four years you’ll be old enough to join the Marines and become cannon fodder for the next war, waving that flag and taking them bullets, completely oblivious to the fact that, no matter what the “cause,” no matter who the enemy is, the rich are the only ones who will ever gain anything from your “sacrifice.” Jesus, your fathers must be proud. –jimmy (Reality Clash)


CHICKS WITH DICKS:
Sisters In Rock: CDEP
Don’t know how long they’ll hang on to the name, seeing as their sound is totally accessible pop rock. This shit is really bad. Really bad. Not one bit of saving grace can be found in the pap they churn out. The best sound coming from this disc was when it hit the bottom of my trash can. –Matt Average (Roland Eisenbrand)


BALLBUSTERS:
People’s Republic of Rock and Roll: CD
Dolls meet AC/DC. Strictly for those who miss the glory days of KNAC, and I ain’t one of ‘em. –jimmy (Vicious Kitten)


ARTIMUS PYLE:
Civil Dead: CD
This collects their 12” EP and recent 7” EP, both from Prank. Heavy and pounding hardcore that rains down in a drowning torrent of rage and hope. Political as well as personal. One listen and you’ll be hooked for life. –Matt Average (Prank)


324:
Boutokunotaiyo: CD
Fans of this style know by now that 324 is a destructive force. Tech grind like Discordance Axis, with an explosive power that is unmatched. Surging tempos over spastic percussion and abrasive guitar work. They unleash a torrent of rage song after song, and it’s tight! Every bit as good as you anticipated, and then some. –Matt Average (HG Fact)


RISE AGAINST:
The Unraveling: CD
By-the-numbers poppy hardcore swill. What a waste of money. Hey, Fat Mike! My job ain't too satisfying career-wise, you know? Send me some ridiculously large amount of cash to record an album, too. I can't guarantee that it'll sound just like everyone else (like these guys do), but I'll try my dangdest, if that's what it takes. –jimmy (Fat, PO Box 193690, SF, CA 94119)


F.U.Z.Z.:
Self-titled: CD
The debut full length from Indianapolis' triphop outfit - f.u.z.z. reminds me heavily of Tricky, actually. Okay stuff - sometimes a little overly dramatic/trying too hard. They, for sure, pull on the tricky-side of hip hop. female vocals, with the occasional male rap. Her vocals are schizophrenic - at times, delicate, Ella Fitzgerald wails, and then brutal spoken word. The beats are fairly tight, nice, and impressive. The first few tracks didn't do much for me - mediocre samples and not-so-interesting beats. "Swan Dive," the fourth track, is a good one - with intense, dramatic raps, about how rough life can be. Yowza. A little to long, but, the music adds to the enjoyment. The chorus is a tad sloppy, but it's an overall intense tune. But the rest of the record is much more interesting - despite the shakiness of the lyrics at times - they don't keep me, and sometimes seem a bit cheesy. F.u.z.z. does make me want to drive long distances at extremely fast speeds in small sports cars, or just smoke some pot and stare at the ceiling of my bedroom. Hmm. –Miss Sarah A. Stierc (Anechoic, 22-55 Crescent St. #00, Long Island City, NY 11105; http://www.anechoicrecordings.com )


APPARATUS ENGINE:
Save: CD
In all regrettable likelihood, this would musically be categorized as emo, but Apparatus Engine energetically unleash a pristinely flowing and intricately fluid assemblage of well-structured songs that are mellow and fully developed, yet possessing an underlying sense of urgency. The complex and intriguing instrumentation sonorously soars, floats, and then frenetically cuts loose at all the right moments... the vocals are soft, lilting, and not redundantly whiney in the least. After just a couple of intensely pleasurable listens, I'm charmed, tantalized, and titillated to no end by this hypnotically wondrous disc... it's better than good, by gawd and damnit to hell! –Roger Moser Jr. (Creep Records, PMB 220, 252 E. Market St., West Chester, PA 19382; www.creeprecords.com)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Les Pauls and Breaking Glass: CD
A Sin City Records sampler featuring previously released tracks by American Heartbreak, Dead Boys, Toilet Boys, Bellrays, Electric Frankenstein, Candy Snatchers, Libertine and others. As you can expect, some of it's good, some ain't too hot, and some of it just sucks. Try as I may, that's pretty much all I gotta say 'bout this. –jimmy (Coldfront, PO Box 8345, Berkeley, CA 94707; www.coldfrontrecords.com)


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