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Why Are All the Kids Are Crying?: CD

Not to be confused with the Jay Reatard/Eric Oblivion supergroup of the same name, these boys are from Denton, Texas. Which, we all know (you do know, don’t you?) has birthed some incredible talent. This Bad Times emulates a bit more Wipers or Sebadoh than the Marked Men, but it isn’t far removed from our Denton heroes, either. The songs are upbeat, but a little darker than the garage stuff the city is known for. Vocals that are pronounced and monotone, rather that blasting catchy “nah-nah-nah’s,” if you get where I’m going with that. Still, there’s a power pop edge sneaking in there. I’m sure they own Boys and Plimsouls LPs. Ten consistent jams, with the opening track “Mormon Recovery Program” being the strongest. The production is incredibly slick. To the point where you can hear every note played and drum hit perfectly. The songs are great, but I’d be interested to hear what Mark Ryan, Orville from Bad Sports, or one of the Wax Museums (recorded in “Billy’s Room”) could make their record sound like.

–Steve Adamyk (Self-released)

THE: Hate Your Everything: CD

Sweet mid-tempo hardcore that gets the blood pumping and the aggro a-buildin’. Best of all, no whiny emo lyrics. Dang good listenin’.


–jimmy (Steel Cage)

All the Right Ways to Do You Wrong: CD
When the first notes of this hit me, I cringed at the possibilities of another thug fest, the likes of Antiseen. There are some similarities, but the Bad Vibes are the much better band, and I liked this record more and more with every listen. It’s got the power of a baseball-bat-ass-whipping, but the tunes certainly do not come off as stale and derivative. There is a good deal of musical inventiveness displayed here within the thug-punk genre, and I found it lyrically satisfying, stuffed with attitude but still showing a wry sense of humor at times and verbal playfulness. A good record that makes me want to get into fights. –Guest Contributor (Steel Cage)

All the Right Ways to Do You Wrong: CD
“Someone’s got it in for you and that motherfucker is me!” Some killer Nihilistics/Poison Idea-influenced punk here. This Hostile City outfit spits out pure, unfiltered rage in its two-minute rippers. This is highly recommended for fans of Boston’s deeply missed A Team, Last In Line, and, hell, the entire Kangaroo Records catalog. Great hardcore punk by folks who may have actually been around to see some of those great early ‘80s bands. There is some “living paycheck to paycheck” anger here that some snotty suburban kids can’t even fathom. The vinyl purist snobs will miss out on this due to its non-hardcore label and CD-only status, but fans of pissed-off, burly hardcore without any stupid fuckin’ breakdowns will love this. A label like Manic Ride, Deranged, or Kangaroo would be well served to make this available on vinyl. This is fucking great! –frame (Steel Cage)

All the Right Ways to do You Wrong: CD
If it’s true that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Antiseen should be relieved to know that that isn’t a cancerous polyp up their collective ass, it’s the I’ll-lick-you-clean head of the Bad Vibes. I picture these guys dressing up like Jeff Clayton and video taping each other doing backyard wrestling dives off their parent’s garage onto brown, stained mattresses and hooting like apes. I can’t help but wonder what dear Saint GG would think if he were still here in his stinking flesh, what with all these Confederacy of Scum type bands peeing in his wading pool. But who gives a fuck? Rock’n’roll, from Led Zeppelin to American Idol, is all about flagrantly ripping off all the stuff that’s been done before and pretending that you somehow gave it a new twist. And just how many twists can you give to three chords? This GG meets Jethro Bodine-on-steroids stuff seems to be everywhere these days, but so what. Face it: there’s nothing new under the sun. And as rotten leftovers go, Bad Vibes is good shit. –aphid (Steel Cage)

Self-titled: 7” EP
The four tracks here try, with mostly successful results, to meld power pop sensibilities to garage production values. Results are quite catchy without being overly saccharine, delivered with a production that maintains a raw quality without sounding like utter shit.  –jimmy (Bachelor)

Sky High: CD
I was all excited to get this. I’ve been a fan of Bad Wizard’s brand of Tight Bros-style party rock for years, ever since I first heard them a few years ago, with the story of how they got their name from a Mexican bartender mispronouncing “Budweiser.” This album is a little different, the classic rock elements are still there, but with a little more of a maturing metal feel, this sounds like Stained Class-era Judas Priest or even a little like early Mötley Crüe, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. It seems weird saying that a band sounding like Mötley Crüe is a refreshing change, but in 2006 it really is…. –ben (Howler)

Two Face: 7” EP
This band spends most of their promo material worrying about being perceived as sounding too much like the Ramones; i kinda think their lead guitar riffs are quite un-Ramoney (maybe Rudi or someone like that?) so am not sure where all this Ramone-Clone-Guilt is coming from. Fine jumpin’ around music, this. Makes ya realize you weren’t insane to like the Queers at one point in your life. BEST SONG: “Two Face” BEST SONG TITLE: “Milkshake Murder” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: It still amazes me how Harvey “Two-Face” Dent was Billy Dee Williams in the first modern Batman movie and then he miraculously wound up being a white guy in the third one. What the hell, did Billy Dee go the Michael Jackson route or something? –norb (It’s Alive)

Molotov Milkshake: CD
Peachfuzz punk so offensively inoffensive that they make that band that did that “Stacey’s mom’s got it going on” song seem like Slayer. This is almost like a candy-coated Chixdiggit, if Chixdiggit shaved their legs and lost their sense of humor. You will find no “Henry Rollins Is No Fun” type gems on this disc. This is the musical equivalent of Lik-M-Aid Fun Dip and thus, is not for me. Milkshake: yes. Molotov: hardly. –aphid (Black Market)

Det Har Ar Inte New York: LP
I bought this record on a whim and a misunderstanding. I thought it was a reissue of a late ‘70s/early ‘80s Swedish punk band, but it is actually a reissue of a modern Swedish band that goes for that Killed By Death, late ‘70s/early ‘80s sound. Twenty songs (fifteen from the original album and five from an EP) in way less than a half hour. The mix is pretty murky, most notably being that the bass doesn’t really make itself known until the last five songs (the aforementioned EP). Perhaps a little too much low end in the guitars? There is minimal-to-no guitar chicanery and some weird yakkety sax on “Sant Ar Livet.” The liners have English translation of the Swedish lyrics and chords for those so inspired to play along at home. –Sal Lucci (1-2-3-4 Go!)

Det Här Ar Inte New York: LP
A mix of garage, punk, some early Sixties…This is okay over all. There’s not a whole here that really gets your attention, outside of the really good “Sån är livet” with its saxophone. It’s as though all the songs on here are leading up to that one moment where they have this one really good song. After that, these songs are just kind of there and lack any real fire. Very tame and sterile. After a few listens, I’m still “ehhhh.” –Matt Average (1-2-3-4 Go!, 1234gorecords.com)

When Angels Are Crucified: CD
Upon checking this disc out, I was gearing up for some dark and scary metal type stuff. With the calligraphy style of text and artwork depicting devils crucifying an angel, you can hardly blame me. Well you could just color me shocked to hear the opening track serve up some hard-driving melodic goodness that, when coupled with that gruff vocal, can’t help but conjure up images of Leatherface. This is both good and bad. Good in the fact that there aren’t nearly enough bands like Leatherface out there, bad because it is almost impossible to measure up. Badlands has their hearts in the right place, but I find myself getting bored a few songs in. –ty (Rebellion, www.rebellionrecords.nl)

So Little: Cassette
I didn’t know what to expect from this set of songs; whether it would be acoustic or punk. Adrian Tenney is capable of both screaming the house down while she tears it apart with her drumsticks and soothing it to sleep while she croons over her ukulele. The sounds that came out of my headphones when I pressed play made such trivial concerns just float away. This tape is the most I’ve enjoyed an album in a good while. I really like the way it’s recorded—all these wild instruments I can’t even pronounce sound really great both through an ‘80s boombox and a fancy work computer. The music is really interesting and her lyrics, as usual, are so simple yet thought provoking. –Rene Navarro (Ghostbot, ghostbotrecords.com)

So Little: Cassette
Listen: Imagine yourself lying on a plateau somewhere in the Arizona high desert. You’re alone. The sun is setting in such way that the sky is hued in purples and oranges, like a Moroccan tapestry. If you need a soundtrack to this picture-perfect moment, let it be Badlands’ So Little. Badlands is Adrian Tenney of Spokenest and God Equals Genocide playing an assortment of instruments such as ukulele, Balinese gongs, and piano. Yet, the greatest instrument is Tenney’s voice which she layers with melodic harmonies and otherworldly coos, a languorous quality reminiscent of Mirah and Your Heart Breaks. Tenney’s vocals drip out of the speakers making each song hauntingly dreamlike—ephemeral and succinct—with upbeat pace changes that plunge into subtle variations. Thankfully, Badlands never deviates towards exhausting musical interludes plagued by muddy reverb or indulgent experimentation. Instead, Tenney gracefully sings and strums her nylon guitar allowing the sounds to peacefully exhale. –Sean Arenas (Ghostbot, info@ghostbotrecords.com)

Alexandrian Age: CD
This Dutch outfit has been active since 2000. But I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that they didn’t do a Yahoo search back then before picking a band name. There was a band with this same moniker in the ‘90s. These dudes are not the only ones. I see there is a new band with the same name reviewed in the last issue of this magazine, too. Bands, do your homework! But I digress. This band compares themselves to Social D and The Templars. I’m not a big fan of either of those bands. A couple songs here have some hooks. But there is also some extreme guitar solo noodling sprinkled in that made me hold my nose; too much to overcome.  –koepenick (Rebellion)

Dark Dreams: 7”
Adrian Chi currently known as the drum basher in Spokenest, illustrator of Bite the Cactus,and formerly of L.A.’s beloved God Equals Genocide, has taken a moment to slow things down and project through music her more laid back/mellow nature in the form of Badlands. The amps have been turned down and the mood is much more somber than most of Adrian’s previous projects, but her gift of genius songwriting is stronger than ever. “Dark” is a folky punk number that perpetually builds momentum as the song progresses. “Dreams” is slightly more upbeat and integrates some nice arpeggio guitar strumming while Adrian’s voice echoes in the background like a ghost happily singing in a desert prairie. Lyrical themes include the day-to-day struggles of life but with an overall positive message encouraging us to not succumb to our own fears and hold those close to us even closer. Just like on previous Badlands recordings, Adrian is the sole songwriter and musical performer, but I’ve recently learned that she now has a full live backing band, including current members of Bird Strike and Wreck Of The Zephyr. Can’t recommend this record enough.  –Juan Espinosa (Porchcore, no address listed)

Japanese Bloodbath: 7”
Brutus-style hardcore with a thick, reddish neck and a fetish for old school wrasslin heels like Bruiser Brody and Abdullah the Butcher. Basic no-frills ECW-core that fans of the Bump N’ Uglies and/or Antiseen might enjoy, though I think both those bands do a better job of it. And while I’m on the subject, why is it that all these wrasslin bands kiss the boots of all the same wrestlers? Sure Mick Foley was great back in his hardcore heyday, but I’d like to see some bands lionize some of the more thickly body-haired kookballs like George the Animal Steele and Mad Dog Vachon. Just to spice things up a bit. –aphid (Scarey)

Those Who Die Dancing: 7”
Rebellious, rambunctious hardcore with rebellious, rambunctious lyrics. Songs are put together well, and I bet these guys smoke live. –jimmy (Spacement)

Split: 7"
Bafabegiya: A hardcore band that ain’t particularly fast, but they manage to find a groove and exploit it for what it’s worth. Arabella: An arty hardcore contrast to the flip, not as immediately accessible, but not without its own charms, either. –jimmy (www.spacementreno.com)

Welcome to Earth: 7” EP
Ridiculously fast hardcore delivered with enough stops, tempo shifts, and surgical precision to keep you on your toes. Definitely not for the faint of heart. –jimmy (Speaks Volumes, speaksvolumesrecords.com)

Self-titled: CD
Bag Of Gremlins are reminiscent of early D.R.I., but with snottier, screamier vocals. For a two-piece (guitar and drums), they accomplish quite a bit, but I suspect that might be the result of this particular genre of punk rock not really needing low-end bassiness to get its point across. Twenty-one tracks in just under nineteen minutes; some songs are S.O.D.-short, but some even get close to the two-minute mark. Lyrically, it’s comprised of rather standard punk rock sensibilities, but with all its screamy goodness and no lyric sheet, that observation is based mostly on the titles. In the end, once could consider this a good example of the genre—whatever the hell we may actually describe that genre as—but I wouldn’t consider it essential listening. It has its time and place, though. My favorite thing about this: instrumentals to open and close the record. I love it when bands do that shit! –The Lord Kveldulfr (No address listed)

Tap Dancing in a Mine Field: CD-R
Remember that band that your aging “I used to be a punk rocker, then I grew up” co-worker plays in? You know, the one he keeps bugging you to “come check out” even when you politely decline his offer of free tickets. Bag: Theory is that band and they’re the prog-jazz-freeform-avant-garde clusterfuck that you cringingly envisioned. These sorts of bands are the reason noise cancelling headphones were invented.  –Juan Espinosa (Homeless Publishing, paperbagtheory.com)

Survive: 7"
There were a handful of records I chanced upon when I was a kid, just getting into punk rock, that really struck a chord with me. Looking back, I was incredibly lucky with the records that just happened to be in the used bin of an independent record store in Vegas. Looking back, I was exposed to a tremendously mixed bag of punk and hardcore—from different scenes and different eras—stuff like the Necros, JFA, and the Bags, all in one trip. Gladly, listening to this 7” again years later (see the Alice interview in this issue as to why) neither song sounds dated. Commanding, snarling, and desperate female vocals, expert but not “pro” musicianship, an unquestionable angst and comet-like burning make it as great as ever. Word is that this re-issue is directly from the original 1978 Dangerhouse plates. Sounds awesome. An irreplaceable slice LA punk rock that’s neck and neck with the best that was ever released. –todd (Artifix)

All Bagged Up: LP
My very own, totally true, Bags-related story: A girlfriend of mine scored a job at a one-hour photo joint in the Fairfax district sometime in 1988 or so. At the time, I had two full-time bands going, and I acted as a sorta substitute member when she was unable to make a gig to sing, or the guitar player was M.I.A. Anyway, one day, Bags guitarist Craig Lee walks into her place of work. Knowing I was a big fan of the Bags, she calls me up to tell me he’d be back in about an hour and did I want her to tell him anything. One of the bands (probably hers) was trying to learn “We Don’t Need the English” for the set, but were having problems trying to understand Alice after the second time she said “Fuck them, send them all to...” so I asked her to ask him for the lyrics. She later shows up at my house after work with the all the lyrics for said song written out by Mr. Lee on a tiny Post-It, except the one line we were having trouble deciphering. Listening to this album—which includes “We Don’t need the English,” plus all the other Dangerhouse cuts, the live tracks from Flipside’s Live from the Masque CD, and assorted other live and demo cuts, most of which are heretofore unreleased—brought back that memory some nineteen years later and made me laugh all over again, not to mention rock the fuck out to a band that has been a consistent favorite for almost as long as I’ve been a punk. Standing as the more or less definitive statement on this band, the sound quality is downright amazing considering we’re talking non-board live recordings and rehearsal and demo tapes for a lot of the stuff here. Herr Artifix has again succeeded in dusting off a band long relegated to the back ends of the history books and reminded the world of what a truly wondrous thing the Bags were during their short lifespan. Oh, and the mysterious line? “Fuck them, send them all to Canterbury.” Figured it out all by myself a few years ago, so wherever you are, Craig, allow me to offer up a sincere, “ptlhbbt!” –jimmy (Artifix)

Another One Bites the Dust: CD
Should I pretend to know a lot about hardcore to write this review? No! I shall not! Bail Out is from D.C., and their website says they’re breaking up so one of the members can enroll in the Peace Corps. But Maddy, you protest, I could Google that shit if I cared. You’re the reviewer! Review goddamnit! So, Bail Out play, um, fast! Their best line? “Water Balloon Attack! You’re fucking dead!” Punk rock! If this were a cereal, it’d be something I almost never eat, like S'mores cereal. I couldn’t even tell you what it tastes like, that’s how dumb I am! –Maddy (Rosewater)

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