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Record Reviews

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La La La: CD
Trashy ‘60s inflected punk from a band that’s been around for at least nineteen years. Not too bad. –jimmy (Disturbing)

Oh No It’s the C*nts: CD
Man, the cover is beautiful: kid in dress and monster mask stands next to upright beaver. Inside, there’s a mess of songs that make just about as much sense: “I Was Born in a Crack House,” “I Live in a Tree,” “I’ve Got Problems I Can’t Explain,” “I Can Run Like You,” and so forth. It’s sorta like if the Angry Samoans hadn’t sucked so much when they started to suck. Anyway, it’s always nice to hear a band that sounds like they’re just having fun, rather than trying to be something that they’re not. –Cuss Baxter (Disturbing)

Self-titled: CD
I wish I knew the names of more bands that are doing this sound right now, because I know there are a lot, but the only one I can think of is the Mean Reds. Punk that’s loud without being harsh. Swedish without being thrash. Fun without being stupid. Makes you want to dance without punching. Loaded with energy that you can tell comes from exuberance rather than a can. Real great stuff. –Cuss Baxter (Burning Heart)

Clinik Organik Muzik Anatomik: LP
Dunno a helluva lot about the group or the album, but this is what the interwebs was able to learn me about both: C.O.M.A. was an early Frenchpunk band comprised of members that went on form Charles De Goal and the French contribution to the long list of bands that have used the name Danse Macabre. This is an official reissue of their sole album, originally released in 1979 on Flamingo Records, with the current pressing numbering a thousand. What you’re getting here is some seriously good synth-heavy punk with songs alternating between more aggressive—not unlike the Screamers or Nervous Gender—and more introspective and expansive fare along the lines of what’s now being called “cold wave” these days. Fans of either of the aforementioned bands/genres as well as anyone who remembers the weirdo heyday of labels like Subterranean would do well to snatch this up as quickly as ye can.  –jimmy (Danger, dangerrecords.bandcamp.com)

Dedicated Cop: EP
This is one of those records that’s not bad, but it’s not exactly all that good either. Just okay really. C.O.P. play standard hardcore punk influenced by the ‘80s, but are not a retro rehash. The songs are speedy and well played. But there’s no real spark or energy that will pull the listener in. I’ve played this record quite a bit, listening for something, anything, to standout. Despite all the repeated plays, not one song was memorable. –Matt Average (Flat Black, myspace.com/flatblackrecords)

Self-titled: 7”
I want to love this. They recorded it in one day, there’s a photo collage of them rocking out, and they tell skunky beer to fuck off in the liner notes. But the guitar tone is set to “drill” and the vocalist sounds like this: “YAH YAH YAH YAH YAHHH YAH YAH YAH.” File this under, “Fun to hang out with, hard to listen to.”  –Chris Terry (no address listed)

Never Trust A Gemini: CD
Stoner sludge metal with nothing new here to add to the genre. –jimmy (The Dark Reign)

Mexican Shoe Thief: CDEP
This one really snuck up on me. The CD comes in a sleeve that looks like a 7” that was “hand-printed with love” by guitarist Bob Rob. The songs are layered with big riffs, smart lyrics, and a hugely muscular rhythm section. Cabron has found a place on my permanent rotation and my only complaint is that it’s too short. Expect big things from this band from Chula Vista. –Jim Ruland (www.myspace.com/cabronsd)

Mexican Shoe Thief: CD
I really wanted to like this, partially ’cause it’s obvious they put so much work into it, from the above average lyrics to the handmade cover. Thing is, despite their obvious proficiency with their instruments, it’s just a wee bit too far into emo territory and all its pretensions that I gotta take a rain check. –jimmy (www.myspace.com/cabronsd)

Self-titled: LP
Cacaw play a variety of percussive noise rock that I’m not really well versed in. This is young people’s music, but I like the heaviness and angry female vocals. There are droney interludes and energetic, overdriven riffs I appreciate. This is probably a bad comparison, but I like Monotonix and I can enjoy this on some level. If you’re into that sort of thing, I would think it would be a winner. –Billups Allen (Permanent)

One Way Ticket: CD
Central California rock-n-punk-n-billy band featuring champion street skater Tom Knox on drums. Eleven mixed genre songs should appeal strongly to the young new-to-the-bar-scene fans of Rev. Horton Heat, Social Distortion, Brian Setzer and the like. In Juice magazine, Knox says the band name comes from the sight of a southwestern cactus split open by a black widow infestation. –thiringer (Fallen Angel)

Tropical Terror: CDEP
Six songs, fifteen minutes, too many damn hooks. Too catchy. I wanted to dislike this (mainly because the band name is so ridiculous), but the songs are actually pretty good and infectious. The trio that makes up Cactus’s says their influences range from the Pixies to Converge and, for once, I can actually hear their music taking that full range of sound and making it coherent on the EP. (Normally, when a band says who their influences are, they can come off sounding rather delusional.) There’s a little bit of screaming on the album but it’s not contrived; it comes across as mixing well with the energy of the songs. Mostly, the vocals are sung and the music is straightforward rock and roll. Other times, I may find this kind of thing as being ridiculous, but Cactus’s approach their sound with such an aggression that it’s hard to deny they’re sincere. I’m sure they’d be great live. Their lyrics make little to no sense and their name is stupid, but, other than that, I think we might have a winner. –kurt (Beat Crazy)

Tazky Kov: LP
Blazing crust core that moves with the elegance of a tank. Somewhere between Victims and Warcollapse. They are dark and abrasive for the most part, but they also have a rocking side, as displayed in the song “Na To Si Tu!” The guitar is dark and blistering and has a way of winding around the bass and drums without choking them, ratcheting up the tension throughout the songs. For the most part, they keep everything at a near-boil, but never really go over the top. Instead, the tension is constant and there’s no release until they rock out like a muh-fucka at the end. There are a lot of familiar elements here, but they keep it fresh and add their own spin on the genre. Good stuff –Matt Average (My Sleeping Cat, mysleepingcat.wordpress.com, matylda@mysleepingcat.info)

Never Mind the Bodies, Here’s…: 7”
If you ever wondered what the Bodies sound like with a backup girl singer – it’s pretty fuckin’ cool. Coupled to Abe’s higher-than-normal-for-street-punk singing is the tough-but-distinctly-female yelling of Tannia. No lyrics are included, but from what my secret decoder ring can figure out, they cover the same imagistic lines of the Bodies – betrayal, Vietnam, guns, and patriotism. Fast, snappy, and catchy. Little time is wasted and the harmonies are hard to miss. It’s both hard and sweet. I always think that if the Bouncing Souls hadn’t given up trying to write good songs about four years ago, you’d get this band (well, The Bodies, who this band sorta became later on). Apparently this was originally released in 1993, but it’s being re-released in a batch of five hundred on this label. Not bad. –todd (Noma Beach)

Self-titled: 7” EP
Three tracks from a demo recorded by the band that became the Bodies. The music is essentially in the same vein as the Bodies, meaning that it’s tight, up-tempo and top-notch. The sound quality is a bit muffled, but the songs are strong enough to shine through. Good stuff. –jimmy (Radio)

Electric Hero: CD
This sounds like something I would’ve stumbled upon in high school. It’s general pop punk that’s pretty slick. The art and layout of the whole thing is pretty nice. It reminds me of something that would be on Kung Fu Records back in the late ‘90s or early ‘00s, like just-pre-majors Ataris. Or for that matter, at times they remind me of Bracket. While some songs do run a little long, though there are a few moments where they break out the glockenspiel or synth that aren’t too bad. –joe (Diner Junkie)

These Liquid Lungs: CD
Emo is ridiculously out of control. Even stuff that I could tolerate a year or so ago has just gotten maudlin and treacly and bland. Fuck it. Can't we put most of the emo bands on the same boat to the bottom of the ocean that the boy bands are boarding? I'm tired of this shit. For every somewhat decent band like Cadillac Blindside, there's a dozen whiny little shit-sucking, sweater-wearing, bad-haircut Weezer fuckups that want to get huge and smoke dope all day whilst they pine over a girl who would probably shoot them in the head, given half a chance. At one time, emo was actually about catharsis – staring at your shoes just didn’t factor into the equation. Over the years, it seems that some people got the idea that emo was just about feeling sorry for yourself while playing folk songs. Luckily, Cadillac Blindside, a band that has perhaps been unfairly lumped in with the emo proles, has electric guitars and cares enough to use them. Between the time I started this review and now, a moving company managed to nuke one of the channels on my receiver, but oddly enough, this record sounds tougher – the chords sound far more gnarly, biting and crunchy without the melodic leads. Take out the melodies and Cadillac Blindside sounds like a really pissed off punk with a vocalist who can actually sing. And that ain’t bad at all.
–scott (Fueled by Ramen)

Self-titled: CD
This is a mostly instrumental album of what the band describes as “an inspired interpretation of post-rock and avant-garde.” I’m not familiar with too much of anything that falls under that umbrella, so I can’t really say it sucks, but I can say that this isn’t my thing. Lots of melodies throughout this record, the songs are about five minutes each and follow a prog rock structure. Plenty of violin and complicated guitar work as well. I guess I could see using some of the songs with a less menacing vibe to them as white noise while trying to fall asleep, but otherwise this one will be collecting dust until I can get it off to the used record store. Give me The Copyrights any day. 
–Guest Contributor (Self-released)

Gospel Hymns For Agnostics & Atheists: CD
Nineties alterna-rock with a slight funk influence. Edie Brickell fans will wanna be all over this one. Only four songs, but that’s plenty. –frame (Chief Logan)

The Village of the Damned: CD
Did I miss something? I think I must be reviewing a soundtrack to a movie. The second song sounds a lot like when you walk into the Haunted Mansion in Disney and there is all those creepy little bell sounds and dripping water noises like there’s something mysterious going on. Track eight is similar in that it sounds like a heart beating with dramatic tones. Fun? Sure, but do I really want to listen to it on my way to work? Absolutely not, and you wouldn’t either. Other tracks are just as dreary and dark. This album is a thumbs down for being background noise to a scary ride. –Corinne (Blue Sanct)

Danceology: CD
Skronky, noisy, cutesy punk stuff with a clear sense of humor (song titles like “Jonathan Taylor Thomas Is Too Good to Be True,” and “A Rainbow that Shoots Nunchuks at People,” among others). This is a collection of (mostly) previously released material, and I’m betting their quirky brand of noise-punk goes over well with the stingy-brim ‘n’ American Apparel crowd. –jimmy (Hovercraft)

…With Love: 2 x 7”
How bad ass would it be if the Beach Boys had recorded a punk album? That is what Cafeteria Dance Fever’s new double 7” reminds me of. In a world of punk bands who take themselves way too seriously, CDF is just fun music. As a side note, the theme of the cover art, a blood-soaked vintage prom a la Carrie, is continued on in a brilliant video for Night Of The Lepus, which I found on YouTube.  –John Mule (Hovercraft)

Man the Life Boats: 7"
Cafeteria Dance Party is a poppy, garagey, rock’n’roll quartet out of Portland with alternating male and female vocals. Four songs here; all very short and deliciously sweet. Cafeteria Dance Party plays sloppy thrash, shiny happy pop, and trashy rock and roll on (and occasionally all within) the four tracks here, all with hints of xylophone and mashed synths to keep things interesting. Think Selby Tigers fronted by Jay Reatard. It sounds like they’re having a hoot playing together. I certainly am, just listening to it. I’ll take a full-length and a tour now, please. –Jeff Proctor (Hovercraft)

Boris Dogavitch: 7”
An eight-song pop punk snot fest from this three-piece band from Florida. I know, pop punk, stop! I usually say that too because of the lousy pop punk that is out there, but these guys are really good. They play fast, have snotty and funny lyrics, and cover the Descendents song “Coffee Mug” really well. If I still had my radio show, I would definitely play this because it was a lot of fun. I hope that they do a whole album soon. –Guest Contributor (Swamp Cabbage, swampcabbagerecords.com)

Boris Dogavitch: 7”
Sloppy, poorly recorded (in a good way) pop punk. It has the markings of a good chunk of ‘90s pop punk—snotty vocals with quick but not blazingly fast tempos. The singer reminds me of a less-harsh Joey Vindictive, or maybe the dude from the Abi Yoyos. My biggest complaint would probably the humor (or lack of it, depending on your views). Jokes are hard, and song titles like “It’s a Time Machine, Asshole!” and “Where There’s a Wilma, There’s a Way” are prime examples of titles I don’t think quite work. Not a bad record, but it could trim a little fat without much being lost. –Bryan Static (Swamp Cabbage, swampcabbagerecords.com)

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