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H.D.Q.:
“Hand Me Downs” b/w “Toronto”: 7”

Welcome return by one of the bands that defined my youth. This English band was one of the more melodic bands amid a sea of thrash in the late ‘80s. Taking cues from Dag Nasty to begin with and then becoming ever more melodic until their breakup in the early ‘90s. Three quarters of the band went on to form Leatherface with Frankie Stubbs and members played in bands such as Generic, the Jones, amongst others. This release is a fantastic return to form, still keeping a DC edge with a dash of Hüsker Dü, but adding a ‘90s, ‘00s U.K. vibe. While the influences are clearly American, the sound is so English, mining territory this band pioneered but others like Snuff, Southport, and Blocko emulated. Wonderful stuff.

–Tim Brooks (Boss Tuneage, bosstuneage.com)


H.D.Q.:
“Hand Me Downs” b/w “Toronto”: 7”

It’s been over twenty years since H.D.Q. released a record but the band is back with Dickie Hammond (Leatherface) once again showing why his guitar sound is revered (and frequently copied, yet not mastered) by so many. “Hand Me Downs” is taken from the new album Lost in Translation and delivers the goods in an archetypal H.D.Q. way—strong, guitar-driven melodic punk rock with a personal lyrical content conveyed by David Golledge, whose voice is as warm and effective as ever. The B-side, and non-LP track, “Toronto” continues in the same vein and is to be found on the CD version of the album. It’s great to have these guys back.

–Rich Cocksedge (Boss Tuneage, bosstuneage.com)


H.D.Q.:
“When Worlds Collide” b/w “Dismantled”: 7”
This release has thrown me slightly due to it possibly being the best recordings I’ve ever heard from H.D.Q. Bearing in mind that the band is not short of songs for these to be compared to that is quite some achievement. H.D.Q. has never really moved away from the U.S.-influenced melodic punk rock sound it had back in 1987 and continues down that route to this day. What makes this stand out is that everything comes together so well, something that I guess all musicians must hope for when entering a studio. This has two extremely well written songs that have the ability to soar majestically when in full flight, both benefiting from a production that gives them more life than that heard on last year’s album Lost in Translation. Of course with Dave Golledge’s raspy, impassioned vocals and Dickie Hammond’s guitar work—which has oft been copied—H.D.Q. already has an advantage over many bands in terms of its starting point. To me, “Dismantled” is the highlight of the pair with its slightly punchier quality and faster pace that expertly propels the song along from start to finish. Apparently the band is working on a new album due to see the light of day in 2015, so bring it on! –Rich Cocksedge (Boss Tuneage, bosstuneage.com)


H2O:
Nothing to Prove: CD
Back in my XL Strife hoodie and winter-camo pants days, I admittedly took issue with H2O’s accessibility and the resulting gateway to my beloved New York hardcore for Warped Tour kids. These were dudes who actually grew up in New York City alongside the classic NYHC bands that I worshipped and emulated to no end and—quite typically, I should add—I was sitting in my hick-town basement bedroom criticizing H2O’s “real”ness. Kids are stupid. Toby and co’s first record in seven years really sounds no different than their (undeniably killer) debut, still conjuring the spirits of Warzone and Token Entry while just radiating sincerity, walking that fine line between “hard” and sensitive. Tear-jerking-yet-fist-pumping lyrics, insanely catchy choruses, and the requisite guest vocalists all over the record still get me going like nobody’s beeswax. Teenage me would’ve loved this shit and pretended not to. Luckily, current me has been finished pretending for quite a while and can unabashedly run around my apartment singing along, all smiles with a finger in the air. This is just like, the best. –Dave Williams (Bridge Nine)


H2O:
Go: CD
Sometimes I don’t care if a band goes on a major as long as they don’t put out a shitty record. I put this as a shitty record. They were on Epitaph, for god’s sake. They were doing pretty damn good for themselves. I would figure they would have learned a lesson from Sick of it All on their experience on being on a major. This record has a sugar coating that tastes sour to this reviewer’s mouth. I don’t know if there is a Blink 182 formula of sound added, but surely is a disappointment. Maybe it’s something in the mastering, but the guitars sound like crap and they lost all the edge that they used to have. The only reason I’m keeping this is because my wife bought it and for their hidden track of their cover of Madonna’s “Like a Prayer.” I hope they can survive this record. –don (MCA)


H2O:
It Was a Good Day: 7"
Two covers here, side one being an embarrassing, punked up cover of Cube’s “Good Day” and side two being a shitty cover of a shitty Suicidal song, “I Want More.” If there is a God, someone’s gonna do some serious time in punk rock hell for this release. –jimmy (Sideonedummy)


HABIT OF MINE:
Self-titled: CD
It says that they sound like Jeff Buckley, the Nuge, and Jane's Addiction thrown in a blender. It sounds like my friend KJ's one-show Soundgarden meets Alice in Chains type band in high school. Surprise! I don't like it. –megan (Sean Healy)


HABIT OF MINE:
Self-titled: CD
It says that they sound like Jeff Buckley, the Nuge, and Jane’s Addiction thrown in a blender. It sounds like my friend KJ’s one-show Soundgarden meets Alice in Chains type band in high school. Surprise! I don’t like it. –megan (Sean Healy)


HADDONFIELDS:
We Are Not Alone: CD
Haddonfield is the city where Mr. Michael Myers lives. The horror references don’t end there. In fact, while I wouldn’t necessarily call the Haddonfields a horror punk band, horror is definitely a major preoccupation for them. They’ve got two songs about zombies on this disc, the best being “Barbara,” a quick sort-of-love song from the perspective of the first zombie that appears in the legendary “They’re coming to get you Barbara” scene that opens Night of the Living Dead. In terms of their sound, they’ve got the whoa whoa whoa-ing down, but there’s no overt Misfits worship going on here. It’s just gruff and melodic Midwestern punk about monsters. You know, the good stuff. –mp (I Hate Punk Rock)


HADDONFIELDS, THE:
That’s My Bike: CD-R
Fans of the Haddonfields usually know what to expect with each new album—a healthy mix of songs about love, drinking, and monsters. It’s like pop punk with a dark side. While That’s My Bike is no different as far as subject matter, it’s safe to say there are still plenty of surprises to be found on their latest full length release. There are some insanely epic guitar solos (thanks to special guest Party Nate of Cape Girardeau’s Guy Morgan & The FT Crew and a definite maturation of the band’s tightness as a group. Additionally, their song writing has really grown lyrically. Whether it’s a soul-bearing love song with a serious side or a short, fun ditty about the end of human civilization, the composition and storytelling is better than ever. Not every song is a homerun but, overall, it’s my favorite Haddonfields release to date. If I had to pick the three strong points, I’d say be sure to check out “Last Goodbye,” that love song with a serious side I mentioned earlier; the warning to all humanity about the dangers of technology that is “Robots,” and “Dumber Every Day” which reassures us that “the zombies are all gone because there’s no more brains left.” You won’t be sorry, I promise.  –Nicole Madden (Throwing Things, throwingthingsstl.com / Rad Girlfriend, radgirlfriendrecords.com)


HADITUPTOHERES, THE:
Wild City Honest Dancing: 12”
The lyrics aren’t as good as the music, and I’m not saying the music is amazing. The bass player is fucking rad. Easy to remember as a fun sound, but no songs that really stand out. It’s almost like a slowed down, less energetic Le Shok, which is not really my thing (This, not Le Shok, which fucking rules). Cool to listen to while your cleaning your room. –Rene Navarro (Salinas)


HAG FACE:
Rag Face: Cassette
Second EP from all-lady Calgary grunge thrash four piece. Angry, weird, and completely terrifying, Hag Face sound like a heavy-on-the-pedals combination of Bikini Kill, White Lung, and The Soupcans. Closer “Slut Shame” is one of the most intense punk songs I’ve heard this year. I feel really fucking powerful when listening to this. Highly recommended.  –Alanna Why (Self-released)


HAIL SEIZURES:
For the Ruin: CD
This is folk punk: there are acoustic guitars, a cello, a toy piano, a snare drum, and a suitcase kick. I don’t know what a suitcase kick is, but I do know that the guy who gave me this CD was super fucking nice, and that I’ve listened to it constantly, trying to think of something to say. It’s folk punk, but not standout material. This is not Andrew Jackson Jihad or Ghost Mice. This is something else, something I can’t get into, hard as I try. I dig the lyrics but just don’t like the music. Not my thing. On some songs, like “Daddy,” I really wish they would plug something in. –Rene Navarro (Self-released)


HAIL SOCIAL:
Self-titled: CD
Some nice indie pop with splashes of new wave and post-punk to keep things interesting. Wouldn’t be surprised a bit if they became darlings in the underground. –jimmy (Polyvinyl)


HAIR BEARD COMBO:
Complete Discography (So Far…): CD
When I said that the new Leatherface was going to be the best album of the year, I may have spoke too soon. On the twenty-two songs on this retrospective, the Hair Beard Combo triumphantly prove time and again that they are leaps and bounds better than any other acoustic-based band out there, especially Even in Blackouts, who totally suck. And it’s not just some mellow Leonard Cohen rip that you’d only put on when you’re trying to get laid, they tackle subject matter more vital than anything else I can think of off the top of my head. Do you really want to get bogged down with left-wing rhetoric when you listen to music? Of course not. You want to listen to songs about stuff like grape jelly, monster trucks, and Magnum, PI, arguably the greatest Hawaii-based cop show ever. But for those of you who just HAVE to have politics invading every aspect of your life, they also address the current situation in the Middle East by saying, “I know we’re totally bombing you but it’s totally not my fault, ‘cause I totally voted for Dan Marino.” Really, who needs Discharge when you’ve got the Hair Beard Combo?  –Josh (Pro Dudes USA)


HAIRSPRAY BLUES:
Lost Negatives: 7"
Bleh… not a fan. Only three songs on this record. Songs are sloppy and, quite frankly, all over the place. –Corinne (Self released, hairsprayblues.com)


HAKIM:
Yaho: CD
Egyptian pop. The press material says this guy's sold millions of copies throughout the Middle East and I can see why. He's pretty good at what he does. The material also says that this is a sort of modernization of an older style. I'd like to hear what that "older style" sounds like, 'cause, being the purist prick that I am, the techno beats on this only served to get in the way. Nevertheless, this is some infectious stuff that will get played more than once. –jimmy (Ark 21, 14724 Ventura Blvd., Penthouse Suite, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403)


HAKIM:
Yaho: CD
Egyptian pop. The press material says this guy's sold millions of copies throughout the Middle East and I can see why. He's pretty good at what he does. The material also says that this is a sort of modernization of an older style. I'd like to hear what that "older style" sounds like, 'cause, being the purist prick that I am, the techno beats on this only served to get in the way. Nevertheless, this is some infectious stuff that will get played more than once. –jimmy (Ark 21)


HALEBOPP ASTRONAUTS:
Self-titled: LP
Songs about sci-fi monsters, jerks, and poseur girls. What else do you need to know? But for the record, I’m hearing Face To Face, Dopamines, even some NOFX sprinkled in for good measure. “Losers Anthem” and “Bull Street Inn” are my go-to songs on this record. The last time I was listening to a punk band from Charleston, SC it was 1995 and Honey Wagon was on stage. It’s been awhile, Charleston. Will there be more? –Sean Koepenick (Self-released)


HALF ACRE DAY:
Fourteen Trips around the Sun: CD
Fourteen Trips around the Sun is nearly an hour of dreamy, synth-laced, slightly folky, vaguely psychedelic indie-pop. The Seattle quintet’s music holds a certain off-kilter strangeness, particularly in the lyrics, that draws comparisons to Ween’s tamer work, but with a less aggressive approach, perhaps more like the Flaming Lips. And they really like the word “bionic.” –Sarah Shay –Guest Contributor (Hidden Peak, www.hiddenpeakrecords.com)


HALF EMPTIES:
Full Bore: CD
Nondescript punk rock. It’s not terrible, and it doesn’t sound anything like Blink 182 or NOFX, which I guess could be construed as a damn good reason to go out and buy this. You’ve also got to give props to a band with enough guts to attempt a Gears cover. –jimmy (Out of Step)


HALF EMPTIES:
Full Bore: CD
Nondescript punk rock. It’s not terrible, and it doesn’t sound anything like Blink 182 or NOFX, which I guess could be construed as a damn good reason to go out and buy this. You’ve also got to give props to a band with enough guts to attempt a Gears cover. –jimmy (Out of Step)


HALF HEARTED HERO:
Running Water: LP
It’s hard to believe that the influence of the television channel Fuse has had as much of a lasting effect as it did. I always viewed the channel and the music within it as mere gateway music, things that will get you into other things. This record stuck out to me because of the ability I had to guess the content of the music before even placing the record on the turntable. Ultimately, the band knows exactly what they’re doing, but the product just reminds me of music I’d rather forget in the first place. Much like a terrible practical joke, I only don’t like because I left practical jokes behind years ago. –Bryan Static (Animal Style, animalstylerecords.com)


HALF JAPANESE:
Hello: CDR
God, I haven’t seen this name in quite a while. What you get is some great post-Velvets/Beefheart art pop with enough of a “punk” edge to keep the proceedings more than entertaining. This is welcome change of pace around these parts, believe me. Recommended. –jimmy (Alternative Tentacles)


HALF RATS, THE:
“For the Sake of Love” b/w “The Girl”: 7”
This is more of that “new old” I like so much. I imagine I am about to become saturated with it, but I like the sound of The Half Rats. Good songwriting without irony. Both songs are a fusion of ‘50s pop sensibilities with low-distortion and power pop riffs dropped in. The recording is lo-fi, but done in a way that leaves room for craft instead of just “being lo-fi.” Good songs, executed well. –Billups Allen (Douchemaster)


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38

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