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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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VIOLENT SUICIDE:
Self-titled: CD EP
Snotty, sloppy-as-hell punk rock with a sound circa 1981. How punk rock, you ask? The first song, "Frustration," is built around a riff consisting of one note, and somewhere in the middle of "Some Anarchy," the guitarists all decide to ignore what the rest of the band is playing and continue merrily along out of time. I’m proud to say that I actually liked this band. My only suggestion is that you stay away from music classes, releases by Epitaph bands, and practicing. Those three things will fuck your band up more than booze, babes and bennies. –jimmy (Suicide, no address)


VERMIN:
P.S. – I Hate You: CD
Another Ramones/Queers-inspired bag of shit. Is this the same Vermin from a few years back? If it is, I remember them being a lot better than this. –jimmy (4471 Sir Richard Avenue, North Royalton, OH 44133)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
We Rule the World: CD
A sampler of bands on the label, including Judge Dread, Stomper 98, Templars, Skarface, Patriot and tons of others. Interestingly enough, there’s a band on here named NOTA doing a cover of Manfred Mann’s "Brown-eyed Girl" as "Skinhead Girl." Is it the same NOTA from Oklahoma who were hot shit back in the ‘80s? Just wondering. –jimmy (DSS, PO Box 739, 4021 Linz, Austria)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Sell Out with the In Crowd: CD
To the "Fingers," who have a track on this comp: I hope that Shane, Jason, Brady and Ralph, East L.A. transplants who were the only real Fingers who ever did time in the Gay Bay, sue your punk asses back into the stone age for attaching such crappy music to their good name. Either come up with music and a name that are more original or go stand in front of a BART, jerk-offs. What do the rest of the bands sound like? Your standard KROQ alternative fodder. –jimmy (Pinch Hit, 4001 Pacific Coast Highway, Ste. #104, Torrance, CA 90505)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Scream Forth Blasphemy: CD
It’s a tribute to black metal band Morbid Angel and the bands do a fine job of covering said group’s music. Bands paying homage include Mangled, Angel Corpse, Exmortis, Mystifier, Diabolic and others. To be honest, I picked this up ’cause it had a track by Infamy and an old friend of mine used to sing/play bass for them. He died not too long ago and I wondered what they sounded like without him. The answer? Pretty much the same. I wonder if they play any Dead Nips songs anymore. –jimmy (Dwell, PO Box 39439, Los Angeles, CA 90039)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Lost, Lonely, Vicious: CD
Remember that kid in school, who always made tapes with the worst punk songs available, only he really liked the crap he listened to? Well, he’s got a CD label now, and guess what? He’s found Jesus. –jimmy (Boot to Head, Box 9005, Portland, OR 97207)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
In the Sign of the Horns: CD
First off, I hate "tribute" records, because 99.9995% of the time the people paying tribute only end up making a mockery of those they hold sacred. That said, this "tribute to Venom" falls in the minority of good releases. The bands (Anal Blast, Evil Incarnate, Morpheus Descends, Nokturne, Bloodstorm and Coffin Texts, among others) are faithful to the original versions yet, instead of merely copying said original, they put enough effort into what they’re doing to make the track sound like one of their own. Being a longtime fan of Venom, I really expected this to suck testes, so I’m relieved and impressed that the bands were able to pull it off in such fine fashion. –jimmy (Dwell, PO Box 39439, Los Angeles, CA 90039)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Internationally Yours Volume 2: 7"
Ditchdiggin' Records once again unleashes seven inches of ear-searing punk rock insurgency and "old school" audial anarchy from around the world. It's a mayhemic musical melange seditiously swirling with riot-inciting urgency and balls-out badboy belligerence! Seven cacophonously chaotic combos blast their skin-blistering brand of aural revolt on this here gut-pummeling platter of pure barbaric punk rock viciousness: The Goddamn Ditchdiggers (Texas), Planet Trash (Sweden), The Stillborns (Indiana), Unfortunate Sons (Texas), Aaargh! (France), Skurvy The Clown (Florida), and Billy Boy E La Sua Banda (Italy). Yep, this is the savage sound of all-out indefatigable insurrection runnin' crazed and rabidly rampant in the streets and alleys of anytown and everytown all over this godforsaken globe... - Roger Moser, Jr. Ditchdiggin' Records, 106 Horaney Street, Longview, Texas 75601 and www.angelfire.com/tx2/ditchdiggin or The OldSchool zine, 4621 El Campo, Ft. Worth, Texas 76132 and www.spinkle.com) –Roger Moser Jr. (.angelfire.com/tx2/ditchdiggin" target=_blank>http://www.angelfire.com/tx2/ditchdiggin or .spinkle.com" target=_blank>http://www.spinkle.com)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Free the Memphis 3: CD
This is some sort of benefit for three kids in Arkansas that were convicted of murder allegedly based on a trial filled with circumstantial evidence and tainted with bias. Some heavy hitters donate their talents to the cause, L7, Tom Waits, Zeke, Nashville Pussy, Killing Joke, Kelley Deal and the Supersuckers among them, which is all fine and good, but the tracks they offer are pretty substandard and dismal. I mean, I know Joe Strummer is hot shit and all, not to mention a "name" artist who’ll provide the project with credibility, but do you honestly believe his mutilation of Jimmy Cliff’s "Harder They Come" is going to help the cause? Judging the project as a whole, I think that the world’s is a pretty sad state when an (ugh!) Eddie Vedder/Supersuckers’ cover of X’s "Poor Girl" is the best track on a compilation aimed at raising money to get three wrongly convicted guys off of death row. In short, nice thought, guys, but I don’t think you did those kids any favors. –jimmy (Koch, 740 Broadway, New York, NY 10003)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
The East Coast of Oi!: CD
This features, among others, the Wretched Ones, Outsiders, Sniper, Cuffs, Terminus City, Ducky Boys, Heidnik Stew, Squiggy and Disorderly Conduct. The featured songs are about how great the East Coast is, beating up the homeless, being a veteran sucks, lying politicians, fighting, drunken memories, dead heroes, shitty landlords, fighting, drinking, killing punk rock traitors, life sucks, assassins, memories and tattoos, and fighting, respectively. Most of the music is bland, uneventful, 12th rate street punk that fails to reach the heights of even the shittiest song the Cockney Rejects, Iron Cross, 4-Skins, Oppressed or Blitz were ever able to muster. To put it another way, this stuff is the bald boy equivalent of "third wave" ska, "Hairspray" metal and "Victory" hardcore, no style and no substance. –jimmy (Radical, 77 Bleecker Street #C2-21, New York, NY 10012)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Disarming Violence: CD
It’s absolutely amazing to me that a comp with heavy hitters like Dag Nasty, NOFX, All, Agnostic Front, Blanks 77, and Youth Brigade, not to mention the 2nd stringers represented here, totaling 25 bands, would have a grand total of one song worth a shit: Youth Brigade’s "Guns Are For…" The rest is pretty much pop punk dreck about as dangerous or creative as any Whitney Houston album. –jimmy (Fast Music, 401 Broadway Ste. 2011, New York, NY 10013)


VADOOM:
Prepare to Meet: CD
Big rock sound. Me no like. –jimmy (No Address)


UNION 13:
Youth Betrayal and the Awakening: CD
I just wanted to quickly address something before I go into the review. In a recent interview with these guys I heard on KPFK, it was implied that Union 13 was the "first" punk band from East L.A., which the band didn’t seem to bother correcting. This fact is utter bullshit and the band knows full well that it is. Union 13 were relative latecomers to a scene that had been chugging along nicely back when they were still in diapers. They might do well to remember the 4th of July gig they played six years ago with Fish Head, Peace Pill and Butt Acne, not to mention a show later that night that also included Misled and the Thrusters on the bill. All of these bands were firmly established in the East L.A. punk scene when Union first came along, and there were bands long before the bands I just listed, and so on. I don’t mean all this as an attack or a diss of Union. I wholeheartedly support their musical efforts, partly because they are from my neighborhood and partly because I like their music. The truth is, though, that the only thing they were "first" at as an East L.A. punk band was being signed to Epitaph and a lot of people and bands, from the Stains to Circle One to the Brat, would probably take exception to their revision of their history. That long-winded diatribe aside, this is a doozy of a third album here from these guys. Most of the songs blur by at virtually the same velocity of their early demo, and yet are mature enough to transcend the "three-note rule" for hardcore songs. There is a hint of melody in the songs, but not enough to make you go "oh yuck!" It’s good to see that they’ve managed to stay the course and not delve into the "post-hardcore" emo cesspool. Highly recommended. –jimmy (Epitaph, 2798 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026)


UNDEROATH:
Cries of the Past: CD
Born-again Christian "black" metal. C’mon, you knew it was bound to happen sooner or later. –jimmy (Takehold, PO Box 19831, Birmingham, AL 35219)


UBANGI STOMP:
Self-titled: CD
Another trashy punk’n’roll band. This one didn’t do a damn thing for me. –jimmy (Brain Drain, PO Box 39441, Greensboro, NC 27438)


THOSE UNKNOWN:
Malice and Misfortune: CD
Irish-tinged skinhead music. The fact that the lyrics were pretty good and that I hear a slight SLF influence in there won me over. Not bad. –jimmy (TKO, 4104 24th St. #103, San Francisco, CA 94114)


TEMPLE OF THE TIMES:
Requiem for the Lost Children: CD
I thought I’d heard everything after being exposed to Jesus math metal a while back. I was wrong. This is an industrial-oriented dance band who has apparently made it their mission to bring all those heathen goth kids into the light of Jesus Christ. Now I’ve heard everything. –jimmy (Blacklight, PO Box 6552, Kokomo, IN 46904-6552)


TEMPLARS:
Biaus Seignors Freres: CD
So far as I can tell, this is a collection of early demos from various incarnations of the band. I assume this because there’s four band names in the track listings and the band personnel doesn’t change too much from one to the next. Musically, it sounds like the Templars, which means if you like oi, it rarely gets better than this these days. –jimmy (TKO, 4104 24th Street #103, San Francisco, CA 94114)


TANTRUM:
Into Thin Air: CD EP
Noisy, discordant metal "hardcore" with stilted time signatures. Yawn. Bands like this are fast becoming a dime a dozen. –jimmy (Supine, BP6, 34600 Herepian, France)


TABLOIDS, THE:
Train of Thought: CD
Mellow rock. When they "rock out," they sometimes sound like a cross between Lou Reed, ‘70s Stones and "Ziggy"-era Bowie. Sadly, they don’t do this often enough, and the singer is pretty weak. –jimmy (Endless Loop, 6114 La Salle Avenue, #357, Oakland, CA 94611)


SUNDAY MUNICH:
Vinculum: CD
Minimalist, gloomy-Gus trip-hop that comes off like a lo-fi version of Portishead, provided the latter had recorded for 4AD. While a little redundant in the beats department (which, by the way, all sound like they were recorded in the back of a tin warehouse with a bathtub covering the mic), it does have a certain charm, and the tracks, although not stunning, are engaging enough to keep your attention. –jimmy (.kyan.com/sundaymunich" target=_blank>http://www.kyan.com/sundaymunich)


SUBMACHINE:
Fresh Out of Give-A-Fucks: CD
Strong hardcore with a gravel-voiced singer backed by a tight as fuck band. The lyrics are written better than the usual "System sucks/I have a pet duck/My ear is stuck/Fuck fuck fuck" thang, which makes me unbelievably happy. I especially love the biblical quote located under the bar code, guys. Recommended. –jimmy (Radical, 77 Bleecker Street #C2-21, New York, NY 10012)


STRYDER, THE:
Masquerade in the Key of Crime: CD
Ladies and gentlemen, I present the latest batch of emo/pop poster boys to come from the factory. Look for their new album six months from now (after they’ve developed "punk rock street cred") on Sony Music, bringing you punk rock "on the real." –jimmy (Equal Vision, PO Box 14, Hudson, NY 12534)


ST. JAYNE:
Evil Bitterness: CD
Sludgy trash punk, not in the ‘60s sense, but rather like the noisier tracks on the Cramps’ "Psychedelic Jungle." I also want to say that there’s a hint of the Gun Club in there as well, but I can’t quite commit myself to it. Either way, the whole disc is the soundtrack to a hypnotic, E-ticket voodoo trip through some seriously twisted psyches fueled by bad booze, bad drugs and bad dispositions. The songs are simply structured and really long (the title track alone lasts 13 minutes), yet they rarely get boring and the energy is kept up throughout. Recommended. –jimmy (Cack-O-Phone, PO Box 5997, Cleveland, OH 44101)


STICKS IN THROAT:
Move on Zeroes: CD EP
Absolutely brutal hardcore from Japan. I guess the band name refers to the singer, ’cause it sounds like he’s gonna cough up his lung any second, man. –jimmy (HG Fact, 401 Hongo-M, 2-36-2 Yayoi-Cho, Nakano-Ku, Tokyo 164-0013 Japan)


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