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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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J. RAWLS:
Slav: CD EP
I picked this up ’cause the cover looked like it was off one of those old 4AD records and I thought it might sound like that. It didn’t. It’s actually indie pop/emo. Jerks. –jimmy (Iron Compass, 2534 Charleston, Toledo, OH 43613)


JABARA:
Why We Wish: CD EP
Furious Japanese hardcore. The singer sounds just like Cal from Discharge, but the music is a far cry from all those Dis- bands. The beats are fast and mean and, judging from the big circle A on the inside of the cover, I’m assuming they're sympathetic to anarchist thought. Good, good stuff. –jimmy (HG Fact, 401 Hongo-M, 2-36-2 Yayoi-Cho, Nakano-Ku, Tokyo 164-0013 Japan)


IMPURE WILHEMINA:
Afraid: CD
Swiss sludge metal that was interesting for approximately five-and-a-half minutes, then the pattern of the stitching of my shirt became more interesting. –jimmy (Rue du Colombier 1, 1202 Geneve, Switzerland)


IMPOSSIBLES, THEE:
Shut Up and Play: CD
Darlington clones, who were Queers clones, who were Ramones clones. Fuck, at least Darlington was good. –jimmy (Birthmark, PO Box 3701, Livermore, CA 94551)


IMMOLATION:
Close to a World Below: CD
Buddabiddabuddagodsucksbuddabiddahailsatanbuddabiddabuddascreeeeechbuddabiddauuuggghhhhh . . . –jimmy (Metal Blade, 2828 Cochran St. PMB 302, Simi Valley, CA 93065-2793)


HIVES, THE:
Veni Vidi Vicious: CD
Epitaph takes a break from cookie-cutter Bad Religion clone bands and forays into the fascinating world of lo-fi trash punk. Amazingly, the band they chose to bankroll is pretty darn good. A lot of energy and quality musicianship is squeezed tightly into relatively short, catchy songs by these five Swedes. Fuck, I’m impressed. –jimmy (Burning Heart/Epitaph, 2798 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90026)


HELLBILLIES:
Blood Trilogy Vol. 1: CD
Tight as hell punk rock with strong psychobilly leanings and a fascination with horror business. Included are great covers of the Voidoids’ "Blank Generation" and Samhain’s "All Murder . . ." –jimmy (FOAD, 4430 Telegraph Ave., PMB 72, Oakland, CA 94609)


GREAT CRUSADES, THE:
Damaged Goods: CD
Egads, a Springsteen clone! Make it go away! –jimmy (Checkered Past, 855 W. Roscoe, Chicago, IL 60657)


GRAVE DANGER:
Self-titled: CD
A limp combination of tame, Cramps-styled rockabilly and surf music. The group is more than proficient, but there’s neither a sense of immediacy nor psychosis to the music to make it particularly interesting. –jimmy (Rustic, PO Box 15225, Phoenix, AZ 85060)


GO-NUTS:
Dunk and Cover: CD
Goofball punk rock here with a food theme running throughout the release. A friend of mine suggested I see them a couple of years ago ’cause their shows supposedly turn into huge food fights. I haven’t had a chance to yet, which is a pity, ’cause I think this would be a lot more satisfying had I seen them before I heard them. The songs aren’t bad per se, but it seems like there’s something missing in the equation, even if the reworking of Van Halen’s "Hot for Teacher" into "Hot for Twinkies" was a riot. –jimmy (Lookout, PO Box 11374, Berkeley, CA 94712-2374)


GOAT SHANTY:
Encroachment: CD EP
Wild, sloppy, hyper-speed hardcore here that gets straight to the point and wastes no time on guitar solos or intros. With 12 songs in as many minutes, you’re bound to get much bang for your buck. –jimmy (No, PO Box 14088, Berkeley, CA 94712)


GLASSEATER:
7 Years Bad Luck: CD
A musical melding of pain/noise groups like Index for Potential Suicide and whiny adolescent pop punk. It doesn’t work too well. –jimmy (Eulogy, PO Box 8692 Coral Springs, FL 330075)


GAZA STRIPPERS:
1000 Watt Confessions: CD
Damn fine amped-up rock ’n’ roll with loads of attitude, loud-ass geetars and hooks that are guaranteed to make your backside move around a bit. –jimmy (Lookout, PO Box 11374, Berkeley, CA 94712-2374)


GAMEFACE:
Always On: CD
Can someone please tell me when sounding like Counting Crows became something a punk band should strive to achieve? –jimmy (Revelation, PO Box 5232, Huntington Beach, CA 92615-5232)


GAME, THE:
Dreams of Sanity: CD
Imagine Enya covering Spinal Tap’s "Stonhenge." Now imagine she’s serious about it. –jimmy (Hall of Sermon, PO Box 749, CH-4310 Rheinfelden, Switzerland)


FRACAS:
Always Drunk and Incapable of Love: CD
Some solid hardcore here. Sonically, they remind me a little of the Dwarves, although so far as I can tell, they don’t share lyrical content with that band. The beats are relatively fast and the band is tight, which almost always makes for a good listen. –jimmy (1431A Park St., Alameda, CA 94501)


FORWARD:
Just Go Forward to Death: CD
Japanese hardcore that stays in the mid-tempo range more often than not. For some strange reason, they remind me of Oi Polloi in sound. –jimmy (HG Fact, 401 Hongo-M, 2-36-2 Yayoi-Cho, Nakano-Ku, Tokyo 164-0013 Japan)


FORGOTTEN, THE:
Keep the Corpses Quiet: CD
Street punk/oi in sound, but the lyrics are considerably more substantive than what seems to be flying under that banner these days. The songs are swift, to the point, and catchy. Not bad at all. –jimmy (TKO, 4104 24th Street #103, San Francisco, CA 94114)


FOREIGN LEGION:
Punk Rock Jukebox: 7" EP
"Where’s Johnny Gone" is kinda lackluster. There seems to be an attempt going on at a Cocksparrer/Undertones sound, but the song just ain’t as catchy as those bands worst work. The same pretty much goes for the rest of the tracks. No big whoop here. –jimmy (DSS, PO Box 739, 4021 Linz, Austria)


FLYING LUTTENBACHS, THE:
The Truth is a Fucking Lie: CD
Either this is some of the freest free-form jazz I have ever heard, or these guys are trying to emulate the sound of early industrial bands like Einstürzende Neubauten and Z’ev using instruments instead of sheet metal, giant springs and explosives. The songs are a little long, but they manage to get the job done. This gave me a headache, so it’s got to be good. –jimmy (Skin Graft, PO Box 257546, Chicago, IL 60625)


FLATUS:
Blindsided: CD
Can you say "Bad Religion clone sans the 75-cent prolixity?" I coulda swore there was a noise band a few years ago with the same name and a ton of releases. –jimmy (Black Pumpkin, PO Box 4377, River Edge, NJ 07661-4377)


FEAR:
American Beer: CD
Well, it’s Fear all right. At least a couple of the songs are nearly 20 years old, those being a cover of "Hoochie Coochie Man," (originally featured in the movie "Get Crazy," in which Lee had a major part) and "Surgery," which is the song they used to do about Josef Mengele, albeit with some shoddily reworked lyrics. There’s also a few others I could swear I heard at least 15 years ago, like "Beerheads" and "Bud Club," and the song "Hard ‘Cotto’ Salami" is basically a retooling of "Beef Baloney." The good news is that this disc, although not as incendiary as much of their earlier work, is up in the top three of all their releases. The songs are catchy, (which was always the case with Fear at their best) the band is tight and Lee’s voice is still one of the best of any musical genre. The sarcasm is kept way in the back and there is a sense of introspection to some of the lyrics, but when you think they’re getting a little soft, along comes yet another song about beer. I really expected this to blow really hard, so I’m a little surprised that it doesn’t, and I’m thankful that Lee has avoided making a total mockery of one of my favorite bands of all time. –jimmy (Hall of Records, PO Box 69281, West Hollywood, CA 90069)


FALSE PROPHETS:
Blind Roaches and Fat Vultures: CD
Long has it been since I heard the name "False Prophets," and longer still has it been since I actually heard them. To be exact, the last time I heard anything by these guys was 1985, when I heard "Taxidermist" on one of Adam Bomb’s weekly installments of KXLU’s "The Final Countdown." What you get on this compilation, spanning the years 1980-85, is their 1984 album, a couple o’ singles, plus oodles of rare and unreleased stuff. If you’ve never heard these guys before, they play a beautifully eclectic blend of thrash (the 1982 definition of that term, not to be confused with speed-metal, which is apparently what it means today), mid-tempo hardcore, gloomy post-punk dirge rock, with the occasional nod to rap and Latin music. Those newer to this punk "thing" or those who might have missed False Prophets the first time around would do well to pick up a copy of this, ’cause they were one of those rare, original gems back when all of the bands were trying to sound like America’s Hardcore or the Adolescents instead of Pennywise or NOFX. –jimmy (Alternative Tentacles, PO Box 419092, San Francisco, CA 94141-9092)


FAÇADE BURNED BLACK:
Ashen Remains of Midwestern Flames: LP
Intense hardcore that often veers on the edge of becoming total noise. Hey, do the guys in Corrosion of Conformity know you’ve co-opted their skull logo? –jimmy (Fascade Burned Black, PO Box 13087, Chesapeake, VA 23325)


EXPLOSION, THE:
Steal This: CD EP
Some pretty solid sing-along punk/hardcore. They have a lot less time to make their point here than they did on their album, so the whole thing sounds a lot more focused. Recommended. –jimmy (Revelation, PO Box 5232, Huntington Beach, CA 92615-5232)


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