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· 1:Razorcake #79 Now Available
· 2:L.A. Zine Fest 2014 by Andy Garcia
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· 4:Record Reviews in Razorcake #79
· 5:Record Reviews in Razorcake #79


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Record Reviews

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#1S, THE:
Sharon: 7”
Sweet, sweet dripping power pop like chocolate syrup on a triple scoop banana split. What really makes this for me is the vocals. Each member has their different parts that they do; it really feels like a group effort. Dublin by way of Canada pop perfection. The pace slows down a little on the B-side, but only because after “Sharon Shouldn’t” you just want to curl up and figure out what just happened to you. This is how 7”s should be done. –Daryl Gussin (Sorry State / Alien Snatch)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Oi! Made in Holland: CD
What can I say? Twenty-nine Dutch bands of the street punk persuasion belting it out on this disc. A lot of stuff that sounds the same (not to say that it’s bad), can get a little tough to listen to, but there are some gems here. Polish up your boots and take this one for a spin. –Ty Stranglehold (Rebellion)


URINALS:
Negative Capability: 2 x LP
Goddamnit! I feel like I should have so much more to say about this record. I’ve only ever heard about The Urinals, only heard covers (specifically the Angry Angles version of “Black Hole”) and was really looking forward to this release. Finally hearing it inspires me to start a new band that takes things back to The Urinals’ basics. Ugh, this makes me sound so ignorant of musical history! I’m sure there are more qualified people to review this record. I’ll describe it as thud-punk. I am of two minds about including the entire output of any lost band on a super-release such as this. I can see why In The Red wanted to put every Urinals recording out there, but do we really need another version (and live, at that) of the 13th Floor Elevators’ “You’re Gonna Miss Me?” The answer is no. But “Ack Ack Ack Ack” more than makes up for it. –Sal Lucci (In The Red)


UNION HEARTS / THE CROISSANTS:
Split: 7”
The Union Hearts are exactly what you would expect from Brian Hanover, formerly of The Hanover Saints. These are street punk anthems to lace your boots up to. Good shit. The Croissants are of a different sound but the same attitude. They are darker and faster and more to the point, but still provide two great songs to prepare you and your droogs for some weekend hooliganism.  –John Mule (Asian Man, asianmanrecords.com, mikeparkmusic@gmail.com)


TELECOMMANDE:
En Ligne De Mire: Cassette
The artwork for En Ligne De Mire really threw me off. The front cover is an illustration of a shadowy figure emerging from a void, holding a bleeding remote control. The inside cover has a drawing (looks like it’s from a comic book) of someone holding an automatic weapon, cocking it with a “tlack” sound while someone watches from across the street, eating ice cream in broad daylight. This could have been a John Carpenter soundtrack or Hirax or who knows. Turns out it’s great raw garage punk from Lyon, France, with synth work that’s sometimes barely there, but without it, the songs wouldn’t be the same. Not far off from The Spits, but less fuzzy and a little more earnest. They like G.G. Allin, which is good. The songs are solid, and the band comes off wild and fun. If I was drunk in a basement watching these guys, I’d be like “FUCK YEAH” or the Gallic equivalent. –Matt Werts (Self-released, 6128frustration.blogspot.com)


TEENAGE MOODS:
Grow: LP
I liked their Mood Ring LP, and this, their latest, is a continuation of that sound, only sharpened and more solid. Teenage Moods have a noisy pop sound that takes the better elements of the early 1990s sound and brings it into the present. I can’t help but think that you could have heard these guys somewhere sandwiched between a few other bands on the early Kill Rock Stars and Yo-Yo compilations. Traces of punk mixed in with some early ‘60s pop, late ‘80s SST (Dinosaur Jr., Screaming Trees), to the grunge influence of the previously mentioned early ‘90s, and a singer who reminds me of Daniel Johnston at times. I think my favorite on here is “Teardrops,” which is a mid-tempo number with a catchy beat and some nice melody to offset the driving chorus. Pop doesn’t have to be a dirty word, and I guess it really isn’t with the readership of this publication, so what am I saying? –Matt Average (25 Diamonds, 25diamonds.com)


SWELLS:
Refraction/Incarnation: 12”
DIY metal with evil fiend vocals, cascading drums, fuzzed-out guitar leads, and parts that show the band’s conversance with turn-of-the-millennium artcore, from Union Of Uranus to Stop It!! –CT Terry (swells.bandcamp.com)


SVALBARD:
Gone Tomorrow: 10”
Here is a U.K. band with a Swedish name and a sound that, to my ears, has both American (Kylesa) and Japanese (Envy) influences, providing a truly international experience and one done extremely well. Svalbard cover the light and shade area of music, being able to combine a thunderous and thick—yet far from impenetrable—sound with moments that seem almost fragile in comparison. I’ve been playing this over and over and “Pick Up the Pieces” is a firm favorite with its galloping pace, nicely interspersed with moments of glorious chiming guitars. –Rich Cocksedge (Self-released)


SUSHI BOY:
Why Not?: 7”
Pretty average NOFX type stuff here. Not really doing it for me. –Ty Stranglehold (Gunner)


SURROGATES, THE:
Trainwreck: CD
Putting in The Surrogates’ DIY CD was like getting into a time machine, in a good way. Their sound reminds me of the pop punk band Lagwagon who I was never a huge fan of, but certainly played a role in the ear of anyone who listened to punk or went to high school in the 1990s. These are emotional songs about love and longing, sung over muted guitars, jangly bass riffs, a drummer who plays like his ass is on fire, and harmonized vocals. –John Mule (Self-released)


SUPERCRUISER:
Catnip Demos: CD-R
This band from North Dakota is kind of pop punk, kind of garage-y, and kind of indie rock all mixed into one. The vocals, because of the vocalist’s particular pitch, remind me at times of John Kastner from the old Canadian band Doughboys. There are five songs on here, and the two most aggressive of the bunch are great. Unfortunately, the others are not. –Mark Twistworthy (supercruiser.bandcamp.com)


SUNDIALS:
When I Couldn’t Breathe: LP
On their second full-length, Richmond’s Sundials have substituted early Weezer for Archers Of Loaf, and most of the songs are about relationships. It’s cohesive, with a broader appeal, but I miss the hodge-podge of voices and thoughts that made their first LP touch on so many facets of young punk life. –CT Terry (Asian Man)


SUBURBS, THE:
Si Sauvage: CD
I’m not real sophisticated, so I don’t know what the title means. But who gives a rat’s ass when the music is this good! First new record from this Minneapolis band in quite some time. “Turn The Radio On” is the single if that still means anything today. But dig deeper here my friends. Can you go wrong with titles like “Dumb Ass Kids” and “Reset the Party”? The answer is no! A welcome return and hopefully some touring will occur as well. –Sean Koepenick (Self-released, thesuburbsband.com)


STRAWBERRY RUNNERS:
Self-titled: CD
Pleasant indie rock with cool rhythmic interplay between the vocals and various instruments. Female bandleader. I’m surprised I didn’t see them with Jejune and Rainer Maria in 2000 or so. Reminds me of the sweet spot of my early twenties, when I could drink coffee until two am, everyone was my best friend, and I wasn’t sick of having six roommates. –CT Terry (wildbabyrecords.com)


STOIC VIOLENCE:
Self-titled: LP
This album features eight tracks of raw hardcore which has its roots firmly in the 1980s from a band seemingly intent on trampling all in its path with fists and boots flailing wildly. On the whole, it’s quite a rudimentary affair but is highly effective in its execution, as guitars and drums rage away with some nasty—and occasionally whacked out—sounding vocals up front and center. For all the fury dished out in a shade over nine minutes, I actually find this album quite catchy. It’s clearly not for the timid. –Rich Cocksedge (Video Disease, videodisease77@gmail.com, videodiseaserecords.com / Katorga Works, katorgaworks@gmail.com, katorgaworks.com)


STAGNANT YOUTH:
Demo: Cassette
I don’t give a fuck what you say; Texas is a shithole. I’ve been stuck on the never-ending circle of fly-overs and freeways. That place fucking sucks. So why am I always there? Shitty, harsh environments make for the best music. Fact. Take a look at the music that’s come out of Texas. Raw shit. Crazy shit. Houston is the end of the fucking earth. So, of course, it makes sense that this bunch make some unholy noise. Hard to pinpoint, but I’m hearing fellow Texans Spazm 151 filtered through the down-tuned mayhem of His Hero Is Gone. Not sure their sound is fully realized but this is a cassette demo, so I’m guessing the next release will be a barnburner. –Tim Brooks (stagnantyouth.bandcamp.com)


SOCIALS, THE:
The Beast Bites: 7”EP
Pretty cool debut release by female-fronted The Socials. Recorded and released by Andy Slob, who was affiliated with a lot of Junk Records bands I used to listen to growing up (Slobs, Dipshits, Candy Snatchers). So, obvious points scored for that. Ever-so-slightly new wave tinged ‘80s punk, not far removed from something similar to The Slits or Untamed Youth. Well, with a bit more fuzz, for sure. “Hot Tips” being the stand out on here, for sure. Decent first record, from a cool, new band. –Steve Adamyk (Centless Productions, centlessprod.com)


SKULL DRUG:
Self-titled: CD
These guys throw down some powerful punk with a metal edge—sounding at times like DRI on vocals and Nashville Pussy on instruments—that gives the songs an extra kick and works really well together. The punk part keeps things a little sloppy and angry. The singer goes from having gruff vocals to a higher octave, sometimes dropping into deep-shouted vocals that all seem to fit perfectly on this release. You get two instrumentals, “Phantom Operas” and “Defected,” that showcase the talent and skill that the band possesses when they’re not going full out, like on “The Stunots,” which is one fast and wicked thrash song. These guys really did a great job on this release—thick bass playing, slick leads that go all over the fret board (but not in a crazy Malmsteen wankfest), and terrific drumming that is just brutally pounding away and making your head shake along to the beat. –Rick Ecker (B.H.J., bhjrecords.webs.com)


SILLY SALLY:
Minor Fights and Major Fears: CD
Just another drop in the overflowing bucket of melodic punk/hardcore bands that grew up listening to Gorilla Biscuits and Bad Religion yet somehow ended up sounding more like Rise Against. I expected more from the Spanish, who blessed us with the offerings of HHH, Torreros After Ole, Eskorbuto, and E150 to the hardcore world. Silly Sally sound like soft rock in comparison. –Juan Espinosa (Wild Punk, wildpunk.com)


SHOCK WAVES:
Night of Music: CD
Spanish poppy street punk. It’s pretty catchy stuff and I appreciate the translations of the lyrics. Sure enough, the usual street punk stuff is covered here. Working class pride, drinking with friends, wearing boots, hating the rich… Nothing really new. –Ty Stranglehold (Spirit Of The Streets, spiritofthestreets.de)


SHIT THE COW:
Salt of the Earth: CD
My favorite song, “More Apologies,” is some Stooges-esque punk rock. The other three tracks are more hard rock, a little bit like Golden Earring with a dirty edge. The band really has a tight sound with hooks. This is the kind of stuff that grows on you the more that you play it, with the short songs, the tough edge to the singing, and the feeling that you should have heard these songs before. I’ve played these four songs a ton of times and can’t get enough. –Rick Ecker (Self-released, shitthecow@gmail.com)


SHAVED CHRIST:
Bad Mind: 7” EP
A nice slab of ‘80s-influenced hardcore here. Odd structures and careening tempo changes not only keep things from getting stagnant, it shows they’re putting much thought and creativity into things instead of merely playing to a template. –Jimmy Alvarado (Bakery Outlet, bakeryoutletrecords.com)


SEX CRIME:
Self-titled: 7”
New wave/power pop that reminds me most of the Polysics. Wonky and jagged, but catchy and simple in spots. Grade: B. –Bryan Static (Danger, no address listed)


SEASONAL MENS WEAR:
“Ice Climbers / The House That We Built”: CD-R
“Ice Climbers” is a great track. A soaring Naked Raygun Chi-town chant-along chorus with a silly noodle lead that wouldn’t sound out of place on an Atom And His Package song. “The House That We Built” is a definite departure from the first formula. Another sounds-like-the-guitarist-is-learning-their-instrument lead wrapped up in an almost oi boot boy ‘77 bar chant. Other than the leads, it’s hard for me to see these songs coming from the same source. Investigation led to SMW’s history being a one man recording act and previous releases being acoustic hi-jinx. Stick with the few 2013 releases with full instrumentation. Keep tracks like “Ice Climbers” coming and I’ll keep listening. –Matt Seward (seasonal menswear.bandcamp.com)


SCARLET HARLOT AND HER HANDSOME DEVILS:
Just Prey: CDEP
Fast-paced, straight up SoCal punk that’s actually from California. Soulful and gruff, operatic female vocals. Not far from the voice that Davey Havoc is infamous for. Hell, this band sounds like they’re really into that mid-period AFI stuff, when they got heavier and into the Misfits, but long before they signed to a major. Well performed and executed, but not normally the genre I’d be into. –Steve Adamyk (No Exit, noexitrecords.com)


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