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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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Spokenest: We Move 12"EP

Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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SONIC AVENUES:
Television Youth: CD
Picking up right where their self-titled debut left off, Sonic Avenues dish up ten more choice cuts of punk-edged power pop (or is it the other way around?) with tunes that recall the best parts of both worlds and have more killer hooks than a bait and tackle shop. Another stunner here from these guys. –Jimmy Alvarado (Dirtnap)


SILO HALO:
Night and the City: CD
This debut from a DC trio drifts from post-punk to Southern gothic and right into psychedelic with subdued male/female vocals and lo-fi acoustics. Moody, unrequited Angelinos may take note of their likability to early Great Northern, particularly with the smooth drum beat and female vocals on “You Don’t Dream.” “Out of Your Fugue” conjures up Nick Cave or Concrete Blonde with languid, melancholic guitar chords. My fav, “Stones inside Her Chest,” reminds me of early Cranes with minimalistic, haunting bass and drums like crashing waves. For the sullen hipster in you. –Kristen K (Etxe, etxerecords.com)


SIDEKICKS, THE:
Awkward Breeds: CD
I saw these guys last year with Bomb The Music Industry, and they were alright live. I can’t really get into this album, though. The clean indie rock, punk/emo here makes me think of the early Get Up Kids but with less danger and grit. Which is a bit of an odd thing since I never really have thought of TGUK as the most incorrigible crew of degenerate brigands. Singer Steven Ciolek does have a distinct yelp though, which pushes some songs into noticeable territory. “1940’s Fighter Jet,” in particular, has an ear-worm of a vocal melody. I would say this falls into the odd Lemonheads territory of a netherworld between melodic punk and indie music. As such, it’s tough to ever be in the mood to throw this on for a listen, as it never really quite satisfies the mood for either. –Adrian Salas (Red Scare)


SHOCK FUTURO:
Ruido Destructivo: 7” EP
Sloppy, rudimentary hardcore en español from a band that hails from New Zealand. –Jimmy Alvarado (El Paso, elpasorecordsonline.com)


SHIT THE COW:
Volume/Cow: CD
Big sound modern alt-rock stuff primed and ready for radio consumption. Unlike so much of the shit on the radio, this would actually come off as a bit of fresh air scrunched between the slabs of cow shit being programmed on KROQ and its clones. –Jimmy Alvarado (Shit The Cow, no address)


SHIT GETS SMASHED:
Shit Happens: 7” EP
Early hardcore feel here, somewhere between the thug-pop of California’s beaches and the catchy politi-core of Reagan Youth. The lyrics themselves don’t appear to take themselves too seriously, but the tunes are tight and catchy. –Jimmy Alvarado (Shit Gets Smashed, myspace.com/shitgetssmashed)


HOMEBREW:
Last Orders: CD
Pedestrian street punk stuff from a band that’s been around a good spell. The songs are solid and catchy without really standing out, production is clean, the lyrics address micro and macro issues and there’s even a Chaos U.K. cover that ain’t chaotic in the least. In the end, not something one would rip off the player and send flying out the nearest window, but it ain’t exactly mind-bogglingly good, either. –Jimmy Alvarado (Bombed Out, bombedout.com)


SHADY CHARACTERS:
Sunnydays EP: CD-R
Somewhere between the lines of Thee Oh Sees and Best Coast, this band is definitely outside my jurisdiction of my credibility. Here’s what I can tell you though: I really hope the fuzz is intentional. I don’t know if this is a demo or what, but I see promise. There’s a lot of alternative rock influence, but I couldn’t but my finger on what exactly I was hearing. The first track is easily the best. –Bryan Static (kylemccormick12@gmail.com)


HOSOI BROS:
Wine Witch: 7”
Sometimes it is not so bad to know exactly what you are going to be getting from the cover of the record. This looks like party thrash. The band delivers solid party thrash. They cop a skater for their name. Goofy band photos. This band lays it right out. They are certainly no Municipal Waste, but the Hosoi Bros play the kind of good, crunchy thrash that I always enjoy. –Mike Frame (Typhoon Killer, hosoibros666@gmail.com)


HANDICAPITALIST:
Seven Songs from July 17, 2011: CD-R
Plopped this into several different players and the consensus from all of them appears to be that this is a blank disc that’s been sent over. Judging from the lyric sheet, their tune “Smart Girls” is likely gonna confound the fuck outta the more puritanical sects of punk lookin’ for something to whine about, with its wanton objectification of an uncommon part of your standard human characteristics. –Jimmy Alvarado (Handicapitalist)


SHADY CHARACTERS:
Sunnydays EP: CD-R
Kind of cutesy garage/droney indie rock. Not bad. I’d probably be into it a little more if I was in the mood for cutesy/wish I wasn’t in the mood for droney. –Joe Evans III (kylemccormick12@gmail.comR)


HARCO:
Incredible Jazz: Cassette
This tape’s definitely a lot wilder and abrasive than the last one I received. It’s fucking rad. Six songs that pack in a lot of what I think punk should be. It’s strange, it’s pissed off, and it makes me feel like breaking things while dancing. Reminds me of the coolest moments of Black Eyes, Blood Brothers, and Le Shok. I never got to see this band, and they already broke up, but this tape is proof. Proof that punk is still real, still out there in a dark corner with a bare blade, waiting for you. –Rene Navarro (harcomusic@gmail.com)


SCARRED, THE:
Live Fast, Die Poor: LP
Huh. They look like fashion punks with their bondage belts and sleeveless vests— on the cover, one guy is actually wearing a dog tag, one of those kinds that are shaped like a dog bone that you get in pet stores, which I find to be absolutely hilarious. The weird thing is that in spite of their coiffed, streetpunk appearance, this sounds a hell of a lot like Green Day. Like, a lot like Green Day. A dead goddamn ringer, actually. As a whole, it’s a little too saccharine for me, and in spite of their few glimmers of potential (the title track reminds me a bit of Nato Coles and his love for belting out the old rock’n’roll) but through repeated listens, I just kept thinking about how guys could cover Dookie in a heartbeat if they wanted to. –Keith Rosson (Jailhouse)


GUITAR WOLF:
Jet Satisfaction: 10”
The seminal Japanese band Guitar Wolf has toured in America twice in the last year. They never seem to age and never disappoint. This recent ten-inch is five songs of extremely overdriven punk rock and roll. They cannot become irrelevant; sweaty leather gods forever!!! –Billups Allen (guitarwolf.net)


GHOSTS RUN WILD:
If You Want Evil: Cassette
My favorite out of the batch of horror punk that I got from Thee Wild Wraith. If the Phantom Maximus material is The Misfits, Ghosts Run Wild slows it down a bit, adds some texture and atmosphere, and gives you their version of Samhain. Eight evil songs. Play it on Halloween, or don’t, and make whatever day it is into Halloween. –CT Terry (dirtyuglyrecords.com)


SCARRED SOCIETY:
Self-titled: CD
Birmingham, England’s Scarred Society delivers a solid sophomore release with this disc of thirteen metal-tinged ragers. Lyrically, they are fairly political and don’t seem afraid to comment on society as a whole, which is kind of refreshing in this age of PC punk rock. I wasn’t a big fan of the sound of the disc. It seems like every track was dipped in a trebly, reverberated sauce during mixdown. This might not be apparent when listening to a track or two at a time, but is pretty noticeable when listening to the whole disc. That said, standout tracks for me were “Skull & Bones,” which deals with the infamous secret society at YaleUniversity, and “Corp-core” which addresses corporate punk rock. There are some regional-type songs that probably don’t have a lot of meaning to American ears such as “False Nationalism” and “ASBO Generation” but are pretty heavy nonetheless. All in all, totally listenable, if crusty English political punk is your cup of tea. –Garrett Barnwell (Righteous Anger, righteousangerrecords.com, righteousangerrecords@gmail.com)


GAGGERS, THE:
Two Fingers down My Throat: 7”
Made up of three Londoners who have done time in Botox Rats, Disco Lepers, and more, these guys have got the snotty ‘77 punk thing down to a science. Their previous outings have gotten frequent plays around here. The title track and the b-side are both quick, punchy numbers that deliver the goods, but in spite of the fact that this 7” consists of only two short songs on a 45, the sound quality is still terribly muffled and dim. Still pretty effective, but the recording quality pulls some of the punch. –Keith Rosson (Batshit)


GABLÉ / EXHAUSTION:
Split: 7” EP
Gablé: Folk, punk, and a drum machine meet up to cover an Exhaustion tune and a short original. Interesting, but nothing life changing. Exhaustion: They return the favor by offering up a grunty punk cover of a Gablé tune and a thrasher of their own. –Jimmy Alvarado (Destructure, destructure.org)


SARJAN HASSAN / DAIG HILA:
Redefining DIY: Cassette
Someone has to be bummed about the fact that this professionally dubbed cassette has the band names printed on the wrong sides. Had I not bothered to read the lyrics, I may have not known this and given credit to the wrong band. Sarjan Hassan’s co-opting of Nuclear Assault’s logo is quite telling of their thrash metal worship, though this is more evident only in the first two songs. The remainder shred past you in a Japanese (Slight Slappers, Thrash Night-era S.O.B.) sort of way. Great stuff that will raise the eyebrows of Municipal Waste fans. I wish I could say the same for Daig Hila. Their attempt at emo-thrash is unoriginal and, at times, just plain awful. For the record, I like bands like Palatka, but it takes more than just playing faster in this genre to leave a lasting impression. –Juan Espinosa (Revulsion, revulsionrecords.blogspot.com)


SANTA CRUZ:
Smartest Band in the Fucking World: 10”
Despite their mélange of ‘90s skater punk, funk, reggae, and rap, they not are from the questionable city of Santa Cruz, CA, but from Nantes, France. This 10” is just reinforcement of my view that good French bands are few and far between—I’m always accepting evidence to the contrary. It’s not the worst thing ever, but it is shocking that six different labels thought that this was worth putting out. (Sorry to Santa Cruz, CA, for the potshot. It ain’t all bad there!) –Vincent Battilana (Can I Say? canisayrecords.com / Crapoulet, crapoulet.fr / Des Ciseaux et une Photocopiuese, ciseauxphotocopieuse.bigcartel.com / Guerilla Asso, guerilla-asso.com/jdf / Negative Youth, negativeyouthrecords.com / No Routine, noroutinerecords@gmail.com))


FUK:
New Wave of British Punk Rock: LP
A side project of Chaos U.K.’s Gabba, Fuk is an excellent British hardcore record. There’s nothing new here, but the experts involved have it all down to a science. The vocals are incredible and the bass lines are balanced high. I think this album’s been around for a little bit, but the edition in hand is the first vinyl pressing. This 45 RPM 12” hails from a label in the CzechRepublic, is pressed on totally transparent clear vinyl that is fun to look through, and is beautifully packaged. Plus, the glib album title is pretty fucking funny, no? –Art Ettinger (Papágajův Hlasatel, phr.cz)


FULL SUN:
Bare Floor: Cassette
Nine-song mini-album from Jeff Grant’s indie punk solo project. Though these tunes aren’t as immediately catchy as the ones on High Ceiling, they come together better as an album. Bare Floor features two dub tracks and their sound effects bleed into the other songs, blanketing them in flange and echo. Full Sun is already really good, but I feel like their sound is still developing, and I’m interested to hear how it continues to blend and morph. Suggested for fans of Superchunk, Marked Men…and Lee “Scratch” Perry. –CT Terry (houseplantrecords.com)


SANHEDRIN:
Pro Human. Pro Life: Cassette
Boring, over-produced Christian metal. Heavier than Stryper, if that counts. –Matt Average (syedriona@gmail.com)


FOKKUM:
Paradise: CD
Fairly faceless hardcore, likely due in large part to the production, which has that special kinda “demo” quality that zaps the energy right outta the sound. Then again, maybe the sound is intentional and, if so, they’ve deftly approximated the feel of the hordes of fairly faceless hardcore bands that were ubiquitous in the 1980s. –Jimmy Alvarado (Fokkum, fokkum@ziggo.nl)


ROMAN CANDLES:
Last Exit to Berkeley: Cassette
Mr. Candles (a.k.a Christopher Gordon) says, “these songs are mostly about graduating from college and not wanting to.” His songs tend to have the same level of self-effacing modesty as that introduction, which is their charm. A little more life experience should make Mr. Candles a pretty solid lyricist. I hope that doesn’t sound condescending, because these songs are clever, humorous, and charming. Also, check out Mr. Cand... er...Christoher’s zine The Stowaways. –Craven (self-released, romancandlesmusic@gmail.com)


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