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Self-titled: EP
Snotty punk rock that references bands like Angry Samoans, but not as clever or rocking. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t horrible. More of a fun party punk type thing, really. Lyrics about being a social retard, the threat of dying in a dryer fire, and more. So you know you can put this on and not bum your friends out . –Matt Average (Nominal, recordsnominal.com)

Self-titled: 12” EP
Kinda reminds me of the confused 1984-1986 period of life, where what-was-once-hardcore had decided that it wanted to do something other than be shorter and faster, but wasn’t really sure what that was, and that there should be some other influences involved, but nobody could really tell what those other influences were, and, heck, even all the “smart people” were suggesting that aspiring young noise units should scrape enough dough to release a 12”, not a 7”, because the fucktards at college radio were too mentally incapacitated to deal with seven-inch records. Heck, even the black-and-red cover art is period-appropriate. So anyway, submitted for your approval: Nine blasts of short and fast 1985-ish-ness with taut guitars, ranging from fifty-some seconds to a minute-fifty-some seconds, and devoid of pretty much any excess ornamentation whatsoever. Everything generally goes verse, chorus, verse, chorus, out, with even a measure or two of intro guitar seeming like a wacky extravagance. A reasonable facsimile of a smash hit here would probably lead future generations to venerate this disc with the same ardor as, oh, say, that Breakouts 12-inch; as it stands, they seem to be in a relatively energetic holding pattern. WE AWAIT YOUR FIRST EFFUSION OF RAW NAKED GENIUS! Well, that and the dawning of bratwurst-flavored Ruffles®. BEST SONG: “World War Four” BEST SONG TITLE: “Hastings Strut,” because i really don’t understand it. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: This band does not appear to be related to the A-Lines. –norb (Nominal)

From time to time, I’ve been known to drink a little too much. Sometimes it happens at a show, often with mixed results. Vancouver’s B-Lines came to town and what do you know? I was jumping around having a blast; then before you know it, passing out in a corner (give me a break, I came straight from a wedding!). In the morning I woke up and had this record. Choppy, spastic and snottier than you thought possible. I am in love with this record! Even when I haven’t had a drink, listening to this makes feel like I’m drunkenly careening through the pit on a crash course with FUN! I also have to thank my dear Elise for making sure that my drunk ass bought the record and got me home safe! –ty (Deranged)

Self-titled: Cassette
The self-titled tape from Vancouver’s B-Lines is a re-release of the much-liked LP put out by Nominal and Deranged. On it, B-Lines play a nervy mash of hardcore and pop punk: nine tracks in eleven minutes, all threatening to shake apart from jittery rhythms and shout-yelped delivery of lines about wearing “Sunglasses when I’m all alone / Sunglasses when I’m on the phone.” Songs like “Hastings Strut” and “PsychedelicHigh School” are wild and hooked and would fit on any mix. Tonally, you’d think B-Lines rented the Angry Samoans equipment with the promise that they’d only write songs spikier and stranger than those of 1978. But now it’s 2014. It’s time to save on tapes. Order one for your uncle who likes “proto-punk,” one for your step-pep who whistles Red Kross, another for your grand-pep, a car copy the whole family! Or maybe just one for you and your dog.  –Jim Joyce (Shake!)

Opening Band: LP
When I saw this in my review pile I got really excited. A few years ago I saw these guys play a house show in Seattle on the last night of their tour from Vancouver. They fucking rocked. I bought their self-titled record and never heard from them again till now. B-Lines are a snotty, trashy, lo-fi, power pop punk rock’n’roll mixture. Songs are fast and straight to the point with a ton of energy on every track. Lots of attitude and confidence in the vocals, especially in the title track of the record, dissing on opening bands that just don’t try. I really love the lyric: “cus being embarrassing is more appealing / than lying at home in bed and staring at my ceiling,” from the same track. The ending of the record is these four Canadians freaking out on each of their respective instruments. Great, spastic garage rock in the same vain as stuff found on Burger Records. Here’s hoping they get out on tour again soon!  –Kayla Greet (Hockey Dad / Nominal)

Rock ‘N’ Roll Queen: 10” EP
Ah, L.A.’s B-Movie Rats. This EP has grown on me like Aleister Crowley on Jimmy Page because it sounds like the guys have taken a detour from the beaten path of the frenzied high-speed punk and roll and leaned toward a more serious rock tone on the studio reels for this here resulting EP. Within the grooves here there’s sonic nods to vintage KISS (1978 and prior), the early ‘70s drugged-up raunch of Aerosmith, Bon Scott-era AC/DC, and even some squeal-like-a-pig-boy guitar thunder of the MC5 and Humble Pie. Quite the right set of influences, especially to help win me over with a record such as this. But then again, the ‘Rats never fail to deliver, whether it be any other of their releases, or catching them live to wreck your hearing, complete with that barefooted-onstage-thinks-he’s-Ronnie-Van-Zant-sleeveless-shirt-wearing motherfucker Derek belting it out for all he’s worth (Hey, Curt – keep his ass in line, for fuck’s sake!) And, yes – you need to hear this. What’s that? You haven’t picked this 10” up yet? The fuck are you doing? Burning holes in yer pockets on LPs from The Dragons? You are? How dare you! Best get your shit together, or I’m sending over Julie D. to butterfly-smack your lame ass, you C.S.M.F. –dale (www.thebmovierats.com)

Radio Suicide: CD
The ‘Rats were one of L.A.’s most guitarin’-est (is that a word? Fuck yeah, it is now) bands that brought the rock when it came to their live gigs. Very few of the rock-inspired punk bands did the deed right when it came to putting up or shutting the fuck up, and Los Rats put up time and time again. Unfortunately, the band splintered up in the early 2000s and this disc was the last thing the guys were to lay down in ‘02. Interestingly enough, there’s a helluva lot more influence and texture on this post-release than their earlier rips ‘n roars that were found on the other records. But that isn’t at all bad; this album is actually really, really good. Very well done musically. Most punker types are gonna dismiss this as arena-inspired, super rock that has no place amongst the CD rack just to save face in front of their spiky-headed confidants. But if they threw this record on and really gave it a fair listen, they’d pick up subtle hints of the MC5, the Who, the Faces, Alice Cooper, Mott The Hoople, early-era KISS, and some ‘60s R&B that comes across pretty nicely. Oh, those influences aren’t “cool” enough for you? Then go eat a dick in the back of some stranger’s car while you hear the muffled sounds of the Eagles playing on the tape deck, you fucking closet hippie. –dale (Rankoutsiderrecords.com)

Bad for You: CD
The aurally unforgiving, raucously roarin’, sick, twisted, and sinister sounds of The B-Movie Rats are cacophonously comparable to all-out rock’n’roll Armageddon! It’s cranked-up, out-of-control, and violently frenzied; a hedonistic heapin’-helpin’ of belligerence, bravado, and robust recklessness; explosive, percussive, concussive, and wildly exuberant; Iggy And The Stooges of the now generation; an auditory disaster just waitin’ to happen! After only one intense and fiery listen, I’m spastic, speechless, and covered from head-to-toe in self-produced slobbery-slick drool. Take me to rehab, Ma, ‘cause my ears are lethally addicted to The B-Movie Rats, and I’m shamelessly enjoyin’ it waaaaay too much! This is better than the most ingratiating and tantalizing aspects of sex, booze, and rock’n’roll, I shit you not. –Guest Contributor (Junk)

Self-titled: CD
Ten songs of pretty damn good hard rock/garage punk from Columbus, OH. Much better than most bands that play this style since they know when to let off the gas and let the songs groove a little. I was a little skeptical when I first saw the name, but it seems like they are actually T fans and not just trying to be “ironic” or “funny.” Fans of Bad Wizard, Hellacopters, New Bomb Turks, Spitfires, and Electric Frankenstein are gonna wanna be all over this. –frame (Sonic Swirl)

Bring Your Own Weapon: CD
The beat up guy on the front cover and the taped-up fists on the back lead me to believe that this was going to be another tough-guy, meathead hardcore band… and I was right. When I first put this on, I was kind of liking it. Tight and raw, everything sounded good until I caught some of the lyrics. Now, anyone who knows me knows that I am far from the PC police and have written some pretty off-color lyrics in my day, but I’ve never seen so many unresolved issues crammed into a bunch of songs as this. Scanning the lyrics, I found out that the guy was obviously ditched by his girl and he lashes out accordingly in a good portion of the disc. We also find out that his family life was shitty and his parents medicated him and he’s still supposed to be on meds, but chooses not to (bad call). He also wants to bomb the Middle East and bad drivers (Well, I kind of agree on the drivers part). This could have been good. –ty (Malt Soda)

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)

Too Much Is Not Enough: CD
Average ska out of Germany that sounds like it came out of the ska boom in the ‘90s: real radio friendly and almost too sterile and poppy. The lyrics are sung in English even though, in my opinion, it would have sounded better if it was in German. –don (Mad Butcher)

Split:: 7”
Great poppy pop. No frills, just guitar and harmonies that deliver more than a 1960s milkman. The late, great Bobby Ubangi’s two songs were recorded at Rob’s House. “Make You Mine” really makes you want to run out and get to a show—a small house show where a kickass band is playing in the living room with beers from the fridge, where everyone is so fucking happy that you forget all the stupid shit that happened at school. Their cover of “Rumble” is simple and sweet and the great end of a night. The Dinosaurs are also simple and sweet—really nice female vocals—and they play their instruments loosey goosey. Dammmit, where is this party? I know it’ll be the best. –mike (Die Slaughterhaus, dieslaughterhausrecords.com)

Let’s Always Hang Out Together, Okay?: CD
Super, super sugary girl and boy-fronted indie pop. Some of the songs have little electronic 8 bit sounds to them, but it’s mostly just pure candy pop. It’s awfully cute with its anime-inspired cover and a ghost theme to all of the songs—too cute—but it’s not bad. I wouldn’t listen to it on my own time, but I wouldn’t kick someone out of bed for putting it on, either. –Craven (Self-released)

Ghost in a Vacuum: 7”
Baby Ghosts is a female-fronted pop garage band that has a sound that reminds me of Go Sailor or Tiger Trap (but maybe throw in a little more garage rock influence but with more distortion and better musicianship.) I like this quite a bit. –Mark Twistworthy (Drunken Sailor, drunkensailorrecs@gmail.com, drunkensailorrecords.co.uk)

Ghost in a Vacuum: 7”
I love Slurpees. When I go running, I pass the 7-Eleven on my route and sometimes I get so obsessed with the thought of a Slurpee that when I make it home, I change out of my track suit into something with pockets, grab my wallet, and ride my bike back to 7-Eleven to get one. I’ve been known to pass a couple 7-Elevens on a long, drunken bike ride from downtown and buying a Slurpee at each one. I like the extra-large Slurpees, but sometimes all that syrup gives me a stomachache sitting in my guts in a painful indigestible glob. I stick to a medium Slurpee these days. So it is with much regret I can say I have an understanding of sugar overkill. I got a Baby Ghosts CD a while back to review and it was just that—sweet, cute over-saturation. This time I got a 7” and I have to say they’re a lot better in moderation. It’s easier to digest their girl-harmonizing, lollipop pop songs on a four-song 7” without feeling like it’s overload, but when it really comes down to it, times are hard and I want more than cute. –Craven Rock (Drunken Sailor)

Looking for a Sign: 7”
I’d love to review this record without bringing Todd C into it, but he did record it, mix it, and play instruments on it, so I won’t. Hope she won’t mind the comparison, but I’ve always felt Baby J could be Todd’s opposite sexed alter ego. In fact, the first time I put on a Stoned At Heart (the band Baby J and Todd are in together) record, my wife asked me if this was the new Underground Railroad To Candyland record. That made sense to me. Okay, enough already! This record is fucking fantastic. The first few songs sound like really great, stripped-down Stoned At Heart songs, while the rest are a bit softer and laid back. If you’re a fan of any of the recent Recess Records output (how could you not be?!?) as well as the likes of Kimya Dawson, then this is your new favorite record. Get it! –Chris Mason (Water Under The Bridge)

Self-titled: CD
If you’re like me, you might be asking yourself, “What kind of dumb ass name is Baby Little Tablets?” As soon as the vocals kicked in on this one, I realized that it’s one of those names that probably makes perfect sense in Japanese but doesn’t translate well to English, like Guitar Wolf. It seems like there are a lot of good Leatherface-influenced bands coming out of Japan these days, and this is no exception. It’s kind of like a less polished version of the Urchin, although lacking a lot of the hooks. This is a real good band that I look forward to hearing more from, but I still say that the best Japanese punk band ever was the Registrators. –Not Josh –Guest Contributor (Boss Tuneage)

Lake Street Basement Tapes: CD EP
Sludgy female-fronted punk rock. I detect a slight Hole influence in there, but it's more akin to early the pre-Kurt days, thankfully, 'cause I loathe anything by Hole after their first album. The songs are a little on the long side, but it ain't too shabby as a whole. –jimmy (5215 South Farm Road 189, Rogersville, MO 65742)

Starry Eyes: LP
Few bands are writing songs this good these days and none are better looking. I want to take this album into the bedroom and do terrible, terrible things to it. Perhaps I already have! Horizontally-striped Rock’n’Roll Girl rock’n’roll, that transcends the (admittedly not unwelcome) clichés of the art form. If I told you to quit your job, drop out of school, buy this album and run away from home, I wouldn’t be that far off the mark. BEST SONG: “All The Pretty Things.” BEST SONG TITLE: I dunno, do I get to make a joke about the Records song now or later? FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Packaging includes a photo of them getting their Undertones records signed by John O’Neill. THAT’S class.  –Rev. Norb (Lil’ Chewy)

“She’s a Star” b/w “Gimme Your Love”: 7” EP
Keep on walkin’ folks. Nothin’ new to see here. Baby Shakes offers up a mawkish EP featuring childlike vocals backed by cherubic “oohs” and “aahs,” tired ‘50s melodies, and trite lyrics. They’re like a really dumbed down version of Ex Hex, if Mary Timony tragically lost her moxie and all sense of dignity. Honestly, the best moment of this EP was the instant the last chord of the last song died. RIP.  –Simone Carter (Surfin’ Ki, surfinkirecords.bigcartel.com / Astro Girl, astrogirlrecords.bigcartel.com)

Put Out: CD
Largely fuckin’ irrelevant. BEST SONG: I’ll take any of the tracks where they sound like the Figgs trying to sound like ‘80s Stones over any of the tracks that sound like Richard Marx in criminal possession of a Mooney Suzuki album, thanks. WORST SONG TITLE: “Suicide Girl” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: An unnamed source has just wagered you five dollars American that you will be quite unable to procure a gayer band photo this year than that which is depicted on this disc’s booklet’s interior. –norb (Primary Voltage)

Self-titled: CD
Overblown, overdriven, and over-the-top sonic bombast. If I was the dude from In the Red Records, I would definitely pay close attention to ‘em, ‘cause they definitely fit within that label’s noisy, trashy rock purview. –jimmy (doomtownrecords.com)

Self-titled: 7” single
Trashy, fuzzed-out, and distorted garage gnarl. The first song, “Homeless Corpse,” is a jumpy and noisy fucking tune. Drums are hammered, guitars are throttled, the singer proclaims that he “don’t like it!” and a haze of feedback hangs in the air. But it’s the song on the second side, “She Sells Eggs,” that keeps this on the record player a bit longer. The drums are punchy and chunky; the bass that comes in with its thick and turgid sound is what makes this one a winner. The riffs are close to pummeling, but never beating you over the head. They’re more about rocking out and getting off. –Matt Average (Rainy Road, rainyroadrecords.com)

Rusty Years: LP
Three songs into this, something sounded off. Suddenly I realized that I just may have been listening to this at the wrong speed. D’oh! At 45 RPM, this record was highly intriguing and came across like a mash-up of the Lost Sounds and Xbxrx. At 33 RPM, which I’m assuming is the intended speed, this sounds more like Francis Harold And The Holograms style noise-punk and, sometimes, like an even more unconventional Birthday Party. The lo-fi recording and the silk screened album cover convince me that this is indeed a DIY product and not just some hipster douche’s self wank fest. It’s an interesting listen, for sure. I just wish it was meant to be played at 45. –Juan Espinosa (Rainy Road, Doom Town)

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