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Gone Dead Gone: CD
Someone really likes their Iggy Pop record collection. –jimmy (earringrecords.com)

Self-titled: CD
Dunno much about these guys, but from what I was able to glean, this was/is a Vancouver band, not the L.A. band Sludge, who ruled the roost and issued a number of releases on Sympathy For The Record Industry in the late ‘80s/early ‘90s. The tunes here start off a bit on the punk-circa-1987 side. Around mid-way they begin to devolve to a sound more apt for their given moniker. The sound quality is a few steps above demo, but on the whole they do/did what they do/did well. –jimmy (Pankratium)

Insubordination Fest 2008: CD
Incredible sounding live document of this band’s performance in Baltimore, MD on June 28, 2008. Having seen them at Riot Fest in Chicago the year before, I thought I knew what to expect. Think again. These guys pulled out all the stops during this set and I started getting kind of emotional about it all. I had to tell my festival cohorts that it was just Natty Bo that had gotten in my eyes, not a manmade substance. This is a sweet bookend to their studio work. Buy the bundle with the DVD for extra cheap. No, this is not hyperbole and I was not in any way influenced by the fact that my brother is featured prominently in the CD insert picture. He is wearing sunglasses. –koepenick (Insubordination)

Stranglin You Too: HoZac, hozacrecords.com
A very Stoogey Iggy joins SavageRepublic in a psychedelic reevaluation of the Cramps’ early catalogue. Four tunes of primal, foot-stompin’, reverb-drone guitar gloriousness to do your ear hole just right. –jimmy (7” EP)

Demo 2014: Cassette
Tough grime hardcore with vocals that remind me of the guy from Raw Nerve or young Cobra Commander. They could be going for a less unhinged Crazy Spirit thing. I’m kind of over negative dude posturing, but this tape is solid. Riffs and whatnot for the drunk heads and wild kids.  –Matt Werts (Muckman)

Parasite: 7”
This would be the best kind of record to get me out of bed in the morning, if it weren’t so angry and ugly. Maybe it’s more a midday record, hours after you’ve woken up to your Gorilla Biscuits record and Patti Smith’s “High on Rebellion” life brings home the point—it can really suck and you’re miserable. Then it’s Slugga time for a release of rage and nihilism that’s built up. The singer has some of the snidest and most venomous vocals I’ve heard in a long fucking time. In two quick blasts of energy and ire, Slugga nails hardcore’s rawest essence without mimicking old shit. “Parasite” seems to be about bullshit junkie business and the B-side, “Shaved Heads,” gives a boot to skinheads. How fitting.  –Craven Rock (Total Punk)

Self-titled: Cassette
As far as I know, Slugging Percentage are the first baseball-themed hardcore band anywhere. On paper, the melding of two of the pastimes that I hold dearest to me sounds like a winning combination. However, I consider myself both a die-hard baseball fan and an unbiased record reviewer, so my final thoughts on this tape are as fair as I could possibly make them. First, as a baseball fan: the theme is not lost on me one bit. I truly do appreciate every aspect. From the front of the cover that looks just like the stitching on a baseball to the scorecard on the back with real player’s (though, mostly inactive or retired) names as song titles. The lyrical subjects are either that of praise or defamation of a particular player or situation and I fucking love it. Seriously, calling out John Rocker for the racist douche that he is was something that needed to be done. This duo’s combined knowledge of the game and their witty/critical observations are as valid as they are admirable. Now as a record reviewer: Musically, I feel they’re missing the strike zone. Self-described as sludgy hardcore, at their best they sound like Blöödhag without guitars. But at their worst they’re like Godstomper minus the power or the violence. It’s a real shame because I desperately wanted to appreciate this from all angles. Hopefully, this is one of those deals where the earlier material is their formative stage and the best is yet to come. –Juan Espinosa (Self released, no contact info)

Self-titled: Cassette
Second outing from the world’s only baseball-themed hardcore band (I said baseball, not sports, so don’t give me any of that “What about Slapshot?” shit.) Their first cassette was neat but left me just a bit short of fulfilled. Sort of like being at a tied game that ends with a bases loaded balk instead of that screaming line drive up the gap that you were hoping for. Or like when you realize you paid twelve dollars for a tall can. Luckily for me, though, I got what I asked for and that doesn’t happen often (see the Dodgers ending the season with a winning record but out of the playoffs.) A better way to describe S.P.’s progression from their first effort to this newest tape would be that of a pitcher’s shaky start quickly followed by a resurgence in both quality and power. The coach doesn’t have to make a trip to the mound to remind them to trust their stuff: they already do. In other words, much better songwriting, delivery, and presentation. Makes me all that more excited for next season, er, the next release. –Juan Espinosa (Self-released, no contact info)

Ghost Runner: Cassette
A change of pace for everyone’s favorite baseball-themed powerviolence duo. After two full-length cassette releases, this tape features just one song centered around the story of a boy who got a line-drive right in the eye and now haunts a field where he and other kids once played ball. The lyrics also exhibit disdain from those who remember the glory days of empty fields and lots that have since been converted into shopping centers. I’m smitten with the way the tempos vary from sludgy to a thunderous mid-pace and how the two vocalists belt out their vocals quickly, bringing to mind the early Spazz recordings (see the splits with Romantic Gorilla and C.F.D.L.) Great stuff yet again! –Juan Espinosa (Shout Out Loud, no address)

Empty Space: 7" EP
Something about the cover—a fuzzy pic of someone’s face, the title, and the band’s name—said “I sound like early 1980s punk,” and I guess there’s a bit of that in there, but it ain’t exactly a moldy throwback. Things are kept at an even mid-tempo with chord changes a bit more complex than the usual box pattern variants, the lyrics are shouted from beginning to end, and the band attacks full force. Not quite was I was expecting, but what they’re serving up is nonetheless quite tasty. –jimmy (Cowabunga)

Hot Beef Injection: CDEP
These girls (and one guy) play some fast, snotty, sloppy punk that is infectious as hell. Their sound reminds me of the Lunachicks. Don’t be turned off by the gross cover of some ugly guy biting into a huge hot dog loaded with every condiment imaginable. That was gross enough to toss this aside. But one look inside and you will notice that the three girls in the band not only sound great, they are hot! With my interest now peaked, I went to their website (http://www.slumcitytx.com/) to find pics of Suzy Slum (guitar, vocals) playing a show in a spaghetti strap bustier thingy with her boobs spilling out the top of it. I’m in love. –toby (SSR)

Psychedelicate: CD
This band is sweet. I can imagine Alice listening to this on her walkman through her adventures in Wonderland, pulling out some of those pastries she picked up at the white rabbit's house now and again, and I know she would turn this up after hanging out with that caterpillar, while sitting on the magic mushroom. It’s almost Mazzy Star-esque. Chilling and soothing. Like it should, the title suggests its sound. –Guest Contributor (Kill Rock Stars)

Self-titled: Cassette
Melodic hardcore out of Winnipeg delivers dry throat, scratchy vocals on four tracks that precede their demo released earlier this year. Dense, melodic chords like Naked Raygun and G.B.H. bolster “Care Less,” while “Stay In” and “Pick Up” slow it down to a garage tempo, the latter relying on a chirping chord to carry it home. “N.I.L.” closes it out with a screechy, no wave guitar hook brining in elements of Deerhunter. While this is a good precursor to their five-track demo, the sound quality is muddy and the fact that only one track has managed to stick it out leaves me to suggest the demo over this. Still worth an ear if you can track it down. Recommended.  –Kristen K. (Self-released)

Demo 2014: CS
Energetic mid-tempo three-piece pop punk with high-pitched, shouted vocals. Someone get the singer a lozenge.  –Michael T. Fournier (slurs.bandcamp.com)

The Problem with Rock and Roll: CD
“The problem with rock and roll is the girls don’t like it anymore. Yeooow! [Guitar solo]” Well, if these guys are the ones making it, I can’t say that I blame the girls. –megan (Record Records)

“Candy” b/w “Pocket”: 7”
Both songs are lo-fi, two-man band inspired rock. Echo vocals and guitars. Just the right combination of “we’re not trying.” Both songs are catchy enough with a ‘60s/bubblegum influence.  –Billups Allen (Slushy.bandcamp.com)

“Candy” b/w “Pocket”: 7”
This band truly defines the Midwest sound. Or at least what I try to tell my East Coast friends that bands in my neck of the woods sound like. I saw them live once where they played on a beach-themed stage and it seemed so natural. Garage pop without any affectations, as only kids from the flyover states can do. “Candy” is dandy, but B-side “Pocket” is the jam.  –Sal Lucci (Randy)

Off White: EP
Off-kilter, lurching, abrasive sludge punk with snotty femme vocals: this is the sound of Iowa after too many PBRs, no niceties, just a smack round the chops and a kick to the head. Bringing to mind the abrasiveness of the Bags coupled with the drunken ramblings of the grunge years… Dickless, L7, Amphetamine Reptile… ugly and deranged. Totally into this, just wish the cover and lyric sheet weren’t a pile of horrible pixilated crap. –Tim Brooks (Salt Water)

Pretend to Be Nice: 7" EP
This band is about twelve-trillion times better than name and packing would imply. It’s like half girlie indie-pop, half “Psychocandy” Scot-pop fuzz, half Cramps-like drum pounding, and a third strawberry-oat porridge. Anyone who complains that the math on that adds up to something like 167 percent should just bust out their wallet and count their fucking blessings. SLUTEVER delivers VALUE!!! Value!! value! BEST SONG: “No Offense” BEST SONG TITLE: “So Prone” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: “Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design”
–norb (Bantic Media, banticmedia.com)

“1994” b/w “Spit”: 7”
Philadelphia’s Slutever live up to their hilarious name with this rocking two-song single. The two women that make up Slutever have a biting sense of humor, paying tribute to the year 1994 on this funny debut. They also have a demo and CD out, but I believe this is their first proper release. The vocals remind me of the 1990s epic girl band Snap-Her. Here’s to hoping that Slutever doesn’t relegate itself to gimmick status and instead continues pumping out kickass records like this one. That’s coming from someone with a soft spot for the ‘90s, so much so that he still bleaches his jeans. –Art Ettinger (Jade Tree)

12” of Sluts: LP
I have a good friend who probably owns most of G.G. Allin’s records (although I think he feels some shame that his friends know this.) When I excitedly asked him if he was going to buy a record called 12” of Sluts, he told me he would pass, that he thinks he heard a bootleg of it years ago and didn’t care for it. Why old punx gotta be jaded? With a band name and a record name like these, you can’t help but be interested. I have a hard time making out the words, but with song titles like “Fuck You,” “Cunning Linguist,” and “Mom’s Cunt” you can kinda fill in the blanks. Makes me think of the “cursing club” I had with some friends when I was a kid. Our goal was to say as many bad words as often as possible. –Sal Lucci (Jeth-Row, jethrowrecords.bigcartel.com)

Self-titled: 7” EP
Given how much of a cultural touchstone “early eighties hardcore” is, was, and perhaps always shall be—at least nominally—in the punk scenes of whatever NOW we happen to inhabit, it absolutely fucking AMAZES me how rarely anyone gets it right. I mean, what was the last good hardcore band, like, ever? Los Crudos? The State? Seven Seconds? Negative fricking Approach? Well, what-fucking-ever, the Slutty Church Chixxx knock this thing out of the fucking metaphorical ballpark with a bat that is pure, strong, and one hundred percent cork-free! It’s an eight-song 45, which is EXACTLY RIGHT i might add, managing to channel Dez-era Black Flag ((“Your Morality”)), MDC ((“Police Harassment”)) and first-album Circle Jerks ((“Exit 6”)) in the space of THE FIRST SIDE ALONE! Everything is LOUD and MEAN and FAST and TO THE POINT and, in the interests of consumer service, they’ve even eliminated the gaps between songs for your listening pleasure. None can ask fairer than that! This band rules. May they never release a full-length album ((especially one with a full-color cover)). Amen. BEST SONG: “Exit 6” BEST SONG TITLE: “Minimum Wage, Maximum Rage” i guess. We’re not really into song titles here, fucko. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: I’ve been to Huntsville, to watch the Brewers double-A affiliate, the Huntsville Stars. Their team has “Faith Night” promotions, where every player wears a jersey number corresponding to a Biblical verse…so you’d think there would have been plenty of Slutty Church Chixxx at the ballpark, but i saw none. –norb (No Profit)

Hemmakvälls Massakern: 7” EP
Dunno who the producer is here, but someone deserves a medal for some truly incendiary-sounding guitars. The band wrings every ounce of sleaze possible while keeping things mostly mid-tempo, but are just fucking on it the whole ride through while their singer vomits up lines like, “Are you a sailor? Do you like birds?” –jimmy (Ken Rock, myspace.com/kenrockrecords)

Ingen Klass Ingen Stil: LP
Primo, grade-A thud punk from a buncha Swedes who deliver it up all nice ‘n’ overdriven, with snotty vocals, tons of attitude, and wall of fuzz. If you’re the type who thinks Legionnaires Disease’s tune “Rather See You Dead” was a hoot, this’ll blow yer skirts up quite nicely. –jimmy (Skrammel, skrammelrecords.se)

Benefits of Thinking Out Loud: CD
I saw these guys open up for the Co-Dependents at Chain Reaction and they knocked my dick in the dirt. Multiple singers, stop-start rhythms, sophisticated time changes compounded with furious guitars – I thought I was back at Bollocks watching Dillinger Four for the first time. Never mind they had come all the from New Bedford, Massachusetts, where Moby Dick was written, the thirtysomething O.C. teens didn’t quite know what to make of them, and Smackin’ Isaiah held nothing back. No chorus, scant repetition, each song is a prose poem set to music, a long message left on an answering machine at three o’clock in the morning that you can never take back. Benefits of Thinking Out Loud gets my vote for best surprise album of the year. –jim (Smackin' Isaiah)

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