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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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U.S. BOMBS:
Tora Tora Tora: 7"
This seven inch convinced me to go get the new U.S. Bombs album ("Back at the Laundromat"). "Tora Tora Tora" is a true punk anthem. The Bombs opened their show with it the last time I saw them, and everyone went nuts. It's the first real evidence that our combined hatred of George W. is leading to some great punk rock. The cover has a funny picture of George W. with a Hitler mustache, and, though the song is on "Back to the Laundromat," this version has different little cool aspects in the mix. The b-side, "Yer Country," is the second piece of evidence that bad president = good punk rock. It's a hell of a seven inch. A very powerful single. Both of these songs are on the "Back to the Laundromat," but if you're unsure whether or not you want that album, this is a good way to test the waters. –sean (TKO, 4104 24th Street #103, SF, CA 94114; www.tkorecords.com)


STEREO, THE:
No Traffic: CD
Purveyors of what I guess could be called modern power pop. I would've preferred it if the recording wasn't so clean and the band itself had more of an edge, but their hooks are nice and they play them well. –jimmy (Fueled by Ramen, PO Box 12563, Gainesville, FL 32604; www.fueledbyramen.com)


SMOKE:
Self-titled: CD EP
Stoner rock from LA. –jimmy (Smoke, PO Box 27663, LA, CA 90027-0663)


SICK ON THE BUS:
Set Fire to Someone in Authority: CD
Crusty English punk, with slight traces of early GBH, One Way System, and an oi band I can't quite put my finger on. While not particularly groundbreaking, it's good enough to warrant more than single listen. –jimmy (Go Kart, PO Box 20, Prince Street Station, NY, NY 10012)


REAL MCKENZIES, THE:
Another Round b/w Loch Lomond: 7"
Getting the facts straight, The Real McKenzies - Canadian Scots - have been knocking it around for a bit, so don't think they're hopping the bandwagon of Pogues-infected rock that the Swingin' Utters, Filthy Thieving Bastards, Flogging Molly, and the Dropkick Murphys have been skirting the last couple albums. The McKenzies helped build that wagon, have been pushing it for a long, long time. Discounting my own nut sack, I'd have to say I've seen the leader of the McKenzies plum pouch the most of any man's. Kilt a-flappin'n, he literally lets it all hang out live. And that's where I think the band excels. This 7" is pretty good, but some of the intensity is lost in the translation. Not piss, nor godhead. –todd (Fat, PO Box 193690, SF, CA 94119)


PROWLERS, THE:
Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow: CD
I picked this up 'cause I liked the title. They sound like the Oppressed, which is always a plus, but the lyrics are more of the same boneheaded, hackneyed shit that so many other bald boy bands have driven into the ground. What a waste. –jimmy (Mad Butcher, Bergfeldstr.3, 34289 Zierenberg, Germany)


PANIC STRIKES A CHORD:
I Can See Electricity at the Proper Distance: CD
A one man band. Occasionally the songs are way too long, and due to my bad attention span, I can't handle them and end up skipping forward. I'm such a bad reviewer. At times, gentle and emotional "boy and his guitar" rock, and then moves on to a unique brand of rock music - evil and dark, with samples of strings, people, and so forth. He has a nice voice and clever lyrics, but is just a little long winded at times. A more relaxed version of Bright Eyes at times. Reminds me a tad of United States Three as well. Pleasant overall. –Miss Sarah A. Stierc (Anechoic, 22-55 Crescent St. #00, Long Island City, NY 11105; http://www.anechoicrecordings.com )


OPERATION CLIFF CLAVIN:
Freedom of Choice: CD
O.C.C. spastically play hard-edged bursts of pop-punk liveliness that's fiery, volatile, fierce, and highly flammable. While intently listenin' to this heavy-hittin' gut-puncher of a disc, I just couldn't sit still, and my toes were frantically a-tappin' one million beats per minute, I shit you not! The snotty taunting schoolyard-bully vocals, furiously roarin' napalm-laden squadron of fighter-jet guitars, diabolical bone-rattlin' bass boomings, and frenzied pneumatic-drill jackhammer drumming mayhemically mesh together in an ear-pleasing blend of social-loathing sonic slashings that have me urgently pleadin' for more! Yep, I'm whorishly hooked on O.C.C., and I ain't gonna be a good boy no more, Ma... –Roger Moser Jr. (Plan-It-X, 5810 W. Willis Rd., Georgetown, IN 47122-9117; http://go.to/planitx)


NY WHORES:
Play the Fool b/w Kiss Me: 7"
Hmm. What bugs me the most about this 7"? Is it the dragging on and on at a slower mid pace? Or is it the repetition. The repetition. The slow repetition? Is it the stolen "Clash City Rocker" riff all the way through "Play the Fool"? Or the ripped off P.I.L. logo on the back? No small part of me wishes for just a sliver of originality or something that's hasn't blatantly been stolen from someone more talented. For solely historical purposes, it's got Mike Spent (ex-Spent Idols) and Generic from the Dead End Kids. Yipes. Me no like. –todd (Rapid Pulse, PO Box 5075, Milford, CT 06460)


NOTHINGS, THE:
Lovely: CD
Funny, I always these guys were some sort of trash rock band. This sounds like the Heartbreakers by way of Cock Sparrer. Not what I expected, but a keeper nonetheless, even if it does have Steve Jones on it. –jimmy (Galaxy, 17048 Baltar St., Van Nuys, CA 91406)


NOFX:
Surfer: 7"
Thank fuckin' Christ there's no longer 1,000 bands copping their style. The cloning machine has been dismantled. Yay hoo. Blink 182's taken up the limelight. Perfectly easy to ignore. It's easier to enjoy NOFX now. Fourteen cuts (well, thirteen. "Juice Head" doesn't count - it's them finding the key or tempo or something.). The artwork's a rad dig (or homage) on Bad Religion's "Suffer" - it's got an on-fire surfer standing at the beach. What separates 'em? Even though this 7" feels hurried and tossed off in a weekend, it's fucking funny and not just plainly stupid. That's not true. It's plainly stupid, but it's still really fun. Songs go from anthems pushing insobriety in the workplace ("Go to Work Wasted") to taking 40 oz. beer bongs in the butt ("Party Enema"). Shit. I just like these guys. They were supposed to run out of ideas and become jaded and cynical and start renouncing punk rock back with "Punk in Drublic" and I still pop a record of theirs on every week or so. –todd (Fat, PO Box 193690, SF, CA 94119)


NO RESPECT:
Tunes of Decline: CD
Anyone who knows me can heartily attest to the fact that I utterly detest ska with a murderously ragin' passion. With that said, I now robustly belch, cut loose with a rattlin' machine-gun's array of farts, vigorously scratch my testicles, and then impatiently sigh. I mean no disrespect to my German brethren in No Respect, because their songs are indeed catchy as fuck and rhythmically well-structured, the lyrics are politically thought-provoking and poignant, and they're all proficiently skilled musicians... but I can't stomach ska any more than I can a snailshit-encrusted souffle! Damn, if it wasn't for the fruity rooty-toot-toot horns, No Respect would have me hammerlocked and hooked like a motherfucker... alas, ska can kiss my ass! A hilarious lil' afterthought, though: if ever I were to form a ska band, I'd call it Ska-Na-Na, and we'd play nothin' but revamped horn-enshrouded rock'n'roll oldies... wheeeee, and hahaha! –Roger Moser Jr. (Mad Butcher, Bergfeldstr.3, 34289 Zierenberg, Germany)


NEW TOWN ANIMALS:
Self-titled: 7"
Punk rock with a lousy singer. Nice ties. –jimmy (Get Hip Recordings, PO Box 666, Canonsburg, PA 15317; http://www.gethip.com)


NEATBEATS, THE:
Mercurial: CD
If you've ever wondered what Merseybeat would've sounded like if it had happened in Japan rather than England, you need look no further than this disc. –jimmy (Get Hip Recordings, PO Box 666, Canonsburg, PA 15317; http://www.gethip.com)


MXPX:
The Road Less Traveled b/w You Hold the Key: 7"
How appropriate. Urine-colored vinyl. I'll listen to Christian punk if and only if the following things are completed: 1.) The Catholic church officially renounces Pope Pius XII's seal of tacit approval - and the clause of papal infallibility - of the Nazis during WWII. 2.) The Church gives a full and unilateral reprieve of Galileo. (In 1983, 341 years after the fact of imprisoning one of the greatest minds this world ever saw, the Catholic Church accepted that Galileo "might" be right about the earth rotating around the sun.) Ok, it's not fair for the sins of the father to be bestowed upon the son. MXPX just has to face it. They're a boy band with tattoos who write bland pop songs for 14-year-old girls. –todd (Fat, PO Box 193690, SF, CA 94119)


MILLOY:
Autodrivel: CD
I'm out of my league on this one. I'm reading the promo sheet that came with this because I'm a stupid fuck that can't be creative sometimes. I'm reading comparisons of Hot Water Music, Jawbreaker, Leatherface, and Samiam. I don't own anything by these bands. They might be on a compilation that I own in my collection. I might have heard them at a friend's house. I did see Leatherface once. Can't recall too much from my aging mind. All I can say is that they are British. The music is enjoyable and is a pace above the many of the bad melodic bands out there. The bass player rips and the songs are catchy and heartfelt. If you enjoy the aforementioned bands, this is in your league. For me, this is a great listen while reading the Sunday paper. –don (Crackle, PO Box 7, Otley, LS21 1YB, England )


ME FIRST AND THE GIMME GIMMES:
Stevens: 7"
Dear Nitro: would it kill you to put the fucking speed on your 7"s? There's space on the label. Lots of it. Hello reader: It's the Gimme Gimmes covering Cat Stevens, a dude who became an Islamic badass, who at one time renounced popular music - including his own - as the tongue of the devil, and changed his name to Gerrard Depardieu. He now likes his old music. He also wanted the head of Salman Rushdie for writing The Satanic Verses. The GG's are famous punks who add drums and guitars to the sackless, sitar-laden popular standards. On a funny note, their first 7" just went for around $125 on Ebay, which, if you think about it, is probably more than it costs for any Cat Stevens record; a small indication that the world is now spinning a little more correctly. I like this more than I should. I know I like 'em better than the originals, that's for sure. –todd (Nitro, 7071 Warner Ave F, PMB 736, Huntington Beach, CA 92647)


JUYANA:
Self-titled: CD
It frightens me that music like this is being made. Poorly recorded hardcore with vocals that sound like a dog barking over and over again. Really bad satanic samples, etc. from Florida. –Miss Sarah A. Stierc (The IFB, 4424 St. Clair Ave. w./n., Ft. Myers, FL 33903)


JJ NOBODY AND THE REGULARS:
Rock'n'Roll Doesn't End at 2:00: CD
This is an ear-splittin' sonic assault of high-octane heavy-thunder barroom-brawlin' rock'n'roll rowdiness ala the Supersuckers... unsavory, unpolished, and barbarically unrelenting! JJ Nobody seems to have temporarily packed the Ramonesy punkrock ferocity of The Nobodys into a tattered'n'torn duffle bag and stuffed it in a musty ol' linen closet somewhere, because these here riproarin', whiskey-saturated songs are a cowpokey cacophony of rootin'-tootin' wild-card rock at its most bawdy, bad-ass, and brash... it's 18-wheelin' trucker punk for the red-eyed, road-weary, barstool-squattin', crank-crazed cowboys of the long lone open highway... it's amped-to-the-max, meth-laced, white-trash rock'n'roll robustness... boisterous, rowdy, and belligerently pure! Such lewd and lively lyrical choruses as "I'm a goddamn son of a bitch!" and "Let's get drunk and fuck tonight!" frenetically add more fuel to the ear-scorchin' audial flames contained herein. Yeh buddy, this is the end-all be-all last call... the zestiest, most intoxicatin' musical thirst-quencher of 'em all... a sonically satiating full-throttle rock'n'roll experience! –Roger Moser Jr. (Hopeless, PO Box 7495, Van Nuys, CA 91409)


INSPECTION 12:
In Recovery: CD
What came to mind when I heard this was Green Day. This Jacksonville, Florida four-piece plays melodicore with added touches of keyboards and strings. Very polished and produced well. It was okay, but I don't really see it getting a chance of returning to my CD player again. I really don't have much to say. –don (Honest Don's, PO Box 192027, SF, CA 94119-2027)


HELLACOPTERS, THE & THE FLAMING SIDEBURNS:
White Trash Soul!: split CD
During the past couple of years, it seems that I've read boundless volumes of praise-ridden articles, reviews, and interviews voraciously advocating the mighty roaring rock'n'roll wrath of The Hellacopters. Until now, I hadn't been deemed lucky, blessed, or worthy enough by the otherwordly thundering Gods of Rock in the lightning-streaked hereafter to receive any Hellacopters' recorded rowdiness. Unfortunately, as fate would have it, I am unable to diligently review this here semi-sparkling audial platter due to severe scratches and deeply imbedded abrasions on its playing surface... yep, each and every time I've attempted to give it a rapidly whirling spin, it skips and splutters like a stuttering, malfunctioning android wired to the max on a lethal batch of homemade trailerpark meth. I dunno; in my sick, twisted, and overwhelmingly warped lil' mind, I'm conjuring images of Todd and Sean drunkenly engaging in a brutal deathmatch game of hall-hockey in their apartment and impulsively using this disc as a spur-of-the-moment substitute for a puck (actually, it looks more like they used it in an overly aggressive frisbee/rugby tournament in a gravel-strewn parking lot somewhere!). After they came to their somewhat sober senses, I can just picture 'em sayin', "Ooops, this one's a goner... let's send it to Rog... he stays so incoherently sloshed all the time, he'll never notice the difference. He'll just write it off as hardcore industrial noise terrorism, and then he'll unwittingly call it a day." Nice try, fellas! Due to your shameful bout of neglectful abuse viciously directed towards me, I'm gonna now sell my useless soul, become a psycho-rhetoric-espousin' hippie coke addict, and pompously pen artsy pseudo-intellectual pilf for Rolling Stone magazine. HaHaHa, how do ya like them cans of fuzzy lil' peaches?! Just kiddin', hombres! Seriously though, I still desperately need a Hellacopters fix someway, somehow, and sometime soon (and, hot damn, The Flaming Sideburns have a maddaddy killer-cool moniker; I'd sure like to be able to give them an attentive brew-drenched listen sometime in the very near future, as well). Anyway, if I were able to judge this badly abused disc just by its cover alone, I'd have to rate it as one helluva unruly rocker (the cover graphics are devilishly divine, indeed!)... –Roger Moser Jr. (Bad Afro, Post Restante, Frederiksberg Alle 6 DK-1820 Frederiksberg C, Denmark)


DONOVAN'S BRAIN:
Tiny Crustacean Light Show: CD
This is trippy, spacey, and effervescently eclectic acid-drenched audial dementia at its most tantalizing, titillating, and orgasmically intoxicating... it's a mind-altering, intricately swirlin' wahwah-laden melange of sparkle-shine psychedelia ala Hawkwind, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Bubble Puppy, a bit of 13th Floor Elevators, Electric Prunes, "Are You Experienced?"/"Axis: Bold As Love"-era Jimi Hendrix, and early Syd Barrett-fronted Pink Floyd. After numerous awe-inspiring hours of aurally ingesting the floating, fluttering, fucked-up musical magic on this here pulsatin' platter of celestial sonic atmospherics, I dreamily feel as if I've been serendipitously dipped into a multi-colored sugar-swirl vat of tropical-tangy rainbow-dyed kool-aid... and now I just wanna get buck-ass naked and freely frolic in an overflowing field of brightly glowing flowers... wheeeee, and far-fuckin'-out, man! Even though Donovan's Brain inspired me to kick off my Converse, slip into a comfy pair of beaded moccasins, light the ol' lava lamp, and fire-up a floral array of incense sticks, I assuredly ain't no hash-smokin' tofu-munchin' longhaired hippie freak... it's just that the majestic musical ornateness contained herein is so damn inspirationally divine, I momentarily lost myself in a thick billowy haze of childlike fruity-pebble nostalgia. Nothin' wrong with that, is there?! –Roger Moser Jr. (Get Hip Recordings, PO Box 666, Canonsburg, PA 15317; http://www.gethip.com)


DIOS HASTIO/THE FUTURES:
Split 7": EP
Dios Hastio: Discharge meets Mob47 in Lima, Peru. Absolutely superb thrash. The Futures: Melt Banana meets Gauze meets the Boredoms in classic insane Japanese fashion. Number One spazz attack. Four songs each, one solid fuckin' round thing. –Cuss Baxter (Answer, Hase Bld No. 2 B1, 5-49, Osu 3 Naka-Ku Nagoya City, Aichi 660, Japan )


DIOS HASTIO/THE FUTURES:
Split 7": EP
I don't recall if I own anything from Peru. If they sound anything like Dios Hastio, I need to find more from the region and that band. These guys rage in a hardcore, fastcore or power violence way. Four tracks of mayhem that shriek with uninterrupted energy. The band's name, The Futures, sound like some new wave band. These guys from Japan sound like a mix of early Secret Hate meets Minutemen to me. The choppiness of the music while being quirky brings me back to the early '80s when you got a variety of music that flew under one banner. I almost passed on this release and missed out. Good old Retodd told me to pick this out of the bin. You can't always judge a record by its packaging. –don (Answer, Hase Bld No. 2 B1, 5-49, Osu 3 Naka-Ku Nagoya City, Aichi 660, Japan )


BELLWEATHER:
I Can't Hear You: CD
Your standard, intense emotional rock music with love-related lyrics most of the time. From Bloomington, Indiana. The vocals can be a tad overly dramatic. Shocker. I'm indifferent. –Miss Sarah A. Stierc (Anechoic, 22-55 Crescent St. #00, Long Island City, NY 11105; http://www.anechoicrecordings.com )


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