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· 2:#336 with Marty Ploy
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· 4:Punk Parenthood for the Sleep Deprived 5
· 5:Interview with Dave of Factory Records Store


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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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PLIMPTONS, THE:
Are Cynical and Bloated: CD
I rather enjoy these good-natured Scot-poppers; they sound like a cross between the early Buzzcocky work of their countrymen the Soup Dragons ((a band who actually did not suck at one point in time)), and other tolerable U.K. 120 Minutes fodder enemies like the Wonder Stuff or what-have-you. Of course, their broad Scots accents can’t help but invoke the dread spectre of the Proclaimers, and their college-drop-out eclecticism smacks of Jazz Butchery, but there’s enough of a DIY/regular joe vibe at work here to confirm the band’s fitness as something appropriate to review in a punk mag, even though the only bands to which i have compared them thus far have been questionable ‘80s college radio favorites ((although, for the record, I consider the Jazz Butcher to be largely beyond reproach)). Pretty hard to knock a band who’d sing a song like “Never Going Back To Work,” so venerate accordingly. BEST SONG: “Never Going Back To Work” BEST SONG TITLE: “A Call Centre Job Over The Summer” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: “Recommended Track for Radio – 7 – Be Expected.” –Rev. Norb (16 Ohm)


PIÑATA PROTEST:
Plethora: CD
What Polkacide did for polka and the Hickoids did for country music in the ‘80s, San Anto’s Piñata Protest seeks to do for norteño, namely take what is often considered a markedly “uncool” style of music and infuse it with copious amounts of punk energy and attitude. They handily succeed, due in no small part to the fact that keep things eclectic, and they approach what they’re doing with a seriousness in execution without taking themselves too seriously, if that makes any sense—despite polka and cumbia-derived rhythms and accordion solos aplenty, they are at heart a punk band that tempers their social frustrations with lots of humor, and vice versa. What you end up with is a band that ain’t afraid to get a crowd on their feet and dancing while singin’ songs in Spanglish about just how fucked up things in the world often are. Fine work here from a band worthy of much attention. –Jimmy Alvarado (Saustex, saustexmedia.com)


PIG HEART TRANSPLANT:
“Weapon” b/w “Gut Pleasures”: 7”
As you’ve probably read elsewhere (or heard by now, as this has been out long enough to be sold out at the source), noise project Pig Heart Transplant toys around with something like song structure on this one. The last thing that I had heard from PHT was the devastating Hope You Enjoy Heaven LP+7”, which was rather menacing. This is a bit of a departure from previous output, to be sure, though not in a manner that makes it seem to be anything but begotten from the same maniacal vision. Both songs are slow, heavy, and center around repetitive drum-pummeling: the sound of torment carefully making its way down a hall to corner you in terror. The main accompaniments on “Weapon” are the repetition of a discomforting guitar riff and quiet, raspy vocals, though pieces of noise are still present. “Gut Pleasures” gets much noisier and has ominous bellowing throughout. Both tracks convey a feeling of being tracked by an opportunistic, malicious predator and nightmarish paranoia. Inhuman and brilliant. –Vincent Battilana (Iron Lung)


PHANTOM MAXIMUS:
S.P.E.C.T.R.E. + Destroy All Chords: CD + 7"
More music from Thee Wild Wraith, AKA Jim Vance, the most prolific and talented producer of home-recorded horror punk in Colonial Heights, Virginia. This group of songs sticks to a Dwarves-y short/fast formula: drum machine, buzzsaw guitar, snarled sing-song vocals, snarled hook which is usually the song title (“To Live As a Ghost, You Must Die As a Man” and “A Beautiful Bride for a Horrible Groom” being two favorites), done. The CD offers sixteen songs in fourteen minutes, including a few songs from the 7”. Meanwhile, the 7” economizes the evil with fifteen songs. Creepy, cartoonish fun. Makes me want to drive around at night, glowering. –CT Terry (Grim Ghost/OneC.tv)


PANZER BASTARD:
Gods, Thugs & Madman: 10”
Boston’s Panzer Bastard mix 1980s thrash metal with crust punk for a sound that both punks and metal folk can get behind. While strictly apolitical and non-P.C., they’re clearly not a racist band, despite persistent internet rumors stating otherwise. This collectable record on neat swirled vinyl is strictly limited to 500 copies. If your tolerance for metal stops at punk-ish metal, it won’t be too metal for you. It’s definitely more metal than punk, as opposed to the resurgence of metal-influenced hardcore, but it’s firmly planted in crossover tradition. Incidentally, isn’t “Crossover Tradition” a song in Fiddler on the Roof? –Art Ettinger (Patac, patacrecords.com)


OUTDOORSMEN:
Violent Hands: 7”
Rudimentary, fuzzless punk recalling some long-lost 1970s backwater masterpiece, unearthed and unleashed to offend a whole new population with songs about pornographic stockpiles and lyrics like, “Broke a ketchup bottle/and drag it across your neck, with violent hands I’ll get some respect.” Seriously, dub it onto some shitty cassette and tell your punk snob buddies it’s an old demo yer crazy uncle gave and they won’t know the diff. –Jimmy Alvarado (Florida’s Dying)


OUT OF TUNE / SCHWERBELASTUNGSKÖRPER:
Split: 7” EP
Both bands dole out short blasts of spazzed-out hardcore with an oddly poppy undertow, with the latter doing so in Finnish, and the former in English. Very nice cover art featuring Cthulu brushing his teeth. –Jimmy Alvarado (Creative Class War, creativeclasswar@gmail.com)


NUCLEAR CULT:
Better Nightmares: 7” EP
Fuggin’ flat-out crazed¸ “blink and you’ll end up with a headache but not know why” ADD-length German thrash that manages to do justice to both the Siege and Negative Approach camps. Given the number of tracks listed on the back—fourteen—I was expecting some sorta powerviolence blurfest, but this packs a vicious wallop too many of those types of bands lack. –Jimmy Alvarado (Warm Bath)


MISERY:
From Where the Sun Never Shines: 2 x LP
I have read that there’s been a seventeen year gap since this band has released any new material. Still based in Minneapolis, the band stayed below the radar and spent five years recording a record that can be put up on a pedestal. Continuing on with their DIY ethics, this release was home recorded in their basement. A thought in my mind would say that this would be muddy or thin, but the production values can be matched with any big budget recording out there. Every instrument can be heard clearly and precisely with sonic power. I love the dirtiness of the bass licks mixed into the sharp attack of the guitars. The drums hammer out the beats with impact, complementing the power of the songs. Gruff vocals drive the songs with aggression and fury. Equal bits of crust, metal, and punk are infused to great success, making the songs non-generic and interesting from first listen. I felt engaged on the first listen and am feeling familiarity and comfort on continued listens. Misery takes some of the complexity of Tragedy’s music and mixes it with Amebix’s power. Originally intended as a download only release, I’m glad Inimical picked up the release and put it out on a proper format. In record nerd territory, the packaging is top notch. It’s a double LP in a beautiful gatefold cover and my copy is on grey vinyl. For me, this is a record that will stay on top of its genre. Other bands following this release will have the burden of having to be compared to it. –Donofthedead (Inimical, mike@inimical.com)


MINISKIRTS, THE / THE ITCHIES:
Split: 7”
Miniskirts: ‘60s girl group la-la-la-in’ along the lines of predecessors like Thee Delmonas ‘n’ such. The Itchies: More ‘60s worship, with less focus on singalongs and a bit more organ to keep the party groovy. –Jimmy Alvarado (Teen-Age Riot)


MIND SPIDERS:
Meltdown: LP
I know I’ve got down this road before in these very pages, but it must be stated again that I love me some music from Texas. I’m not sure how the geography plays into it, but there is a disproportionate amount of Lone Star State bands in my list of favorites across many genres. Why am I dragging out this old chestnut of information? It’s the friggin’ Mind Spiders, man! Mark Ryan is a mad scientist who is mixing some of my favorite Texan things to make sweet armadillo love to my earholes... First off, there is the disjointed pop aggression that Ryan is well known for in bands like Marked Men and High Tension Wires. It’s here in fine form, creating the base of this sculpture. From there, these Mind Spiders begin to add layers of sonic vandalism to the mix, invoking more shimmering, hallucinogenic imagery in the vein of Butthole Surfers and Roky Erickson. It is a sweet and addictive blend. I went from liking their debut 7”, to loving their first LP and now to having to pick my jaw up off the floor, still in shock from what I just experienced. I can’t imagine what the next one will be like. –Ty Stranglehold (Dirtnap)


MIKEY ERG:
Fucifier: 7” Flexi EP
Five songs in five minutes ensures there are no prog-like jams or unnecessary drums solos contained within. It’s strictly thrashy hardcore here. With song titles like “Chicago Pussy,” I think you get the point. Loud and loose, I would suggest picking up the T-shirt and wearing it around your neighborhood. Guaranteed to ensure that your neighbors think you are insane. Fun! –Sean Koepenick (Bloated Cat)


MENZINGERS, THE:
”The Obituaries” b/w “Burn after Writing”: 7”
The two songs on this 7” are both on the band’s Epitaph debut, On the Impossible Past. So if you already have that record, you might pass on this one. But if you are a record collector, it’s cool to have these two tracks on 7” format. “The Obituaries” contains powerful drums and melodic guitar leads, along with strong vocals singing about despair. “Burn after Writing” is a catchier tune, with dual vocals throughout the track. This is definitely a nice little piece of vinyl to add to your collection. –Nighthawk (Red Scare)


MENTALLY ILL, THE:
Gacy’s Place: 7” EP
I’ve waxed poetic about this band before, when Alternative Tentacles released its anthology, of sorts, which also featured the tracks contained herein, but enough praise cannot be heaped on this band’s magnum opus. The lyrics are simple, the playing even simpler, and the guitar sounds like a live wire being zapped through a barely functioning transistor radio speaker, but the delivery is what makes this a classic slab of psychosis-drenched punk from a group that sounds like they’re just this side of fucking losing it altogether and stabbing a few people for shits ‘n’ giggles. The packaging of this repress aims to recreate the original packaging, so you get a nice pic of the titular serial killer posing with former first lady Rosalynn Carter (one that is real, not diced together in some pre-Photoshop attempt at partisan character assassination) on one side of the cover and (most of) the lyrics on the other. If yer some kinda CD snob but can’t afford the silly sums an original copy fetches these days, vital doesn’t come close to describing this. –Jimmy Alvarado (Last Laugh)


MEASURE [SA], THE:
My Heart and the Real World: Another Collection of Standards Waits and Measureme: LP
The Measure [SA] (RIP) were not a perfect band—they were an honest band that learned by trying and doing. That’s why I put some longtime trust in them. It wasn’t just the obvious strength and vulnerability in Lauren’s voice. It wasn’t only Fid’s hardcore strengths and sensibilities but his less obvious off-stage tenderness (and that he readily admits they became a much better band when he stopped drumming). The Measure were like a band that became a friend who was unafraid of reminding folks about political consciousness and how it’s tied into very real bodies, minds, actions. It wasn’t done through pedantics. It was done through example and a nice seven-year (?) run as a band. They were pop-infused punk, but that’s just the easy skin and we all know how too much attention to mere skin can be deceptive, can be manipulated. This is the second and final collection of Measure 7”s and comp tracks (Measurements 9-16). Well worth your time. –Todd Taylor (No Idea)


MANXX, THE:
“Messin’ Around” b/w “Hard Lessons”: 7”
Be grateful for the day when slop became an art form. After years of technical perfection, imperfection seems so real. Equally parts sloppy pop punk and dirty garage rock, The Manxx win this month’s “Best thing in the review box” award. The vocalist has the charm and delivery of a singer in the better half of the Plan-It X catalog. Highly recommended. –Bryan Static (Snappy Little Numbers)


MANIX, THE:
Neighborhood Wildlife: LP
Gruff pop punk sung by the guy who does back ups in Banner Pilot. If you like Banner Pilot, listen to this. There is no barrier to entry! None! Literally, the Venn Diagram is just one circle. That’s not to say this sounds exactly like Banner Pilot, but the similarities are there enough. There’s a little less screaming, a little more melody, and a whole lot of love. It’s the same kind of thing that makes Dead Mechanical or The Credentials fun. I could compare them to Screeching Weasel, but does that really say anything anymore? Highly recommended. –Bryan Static (It’s Alive, itsaliverecords.com /All For Hope)


MALADROIT:
Jerk Alert!: CD
This record totally sounds like the Midwest, though the band is from France. This record isn’t breaking any new ground, but it’s an enjoyable listen. If you wish Rivethead would reform and release a new record or are anxiously awaiting a new Dear Landlord LP, this might tide you over for a while. –Chris Mason (Monster Zero)


MAKABERT FYND:
Self-titled: LP
Raw, white hot Swedish hardcore. Things alternate from mid-tempo to thrashy, but the intensity doesn’t let up for a second. Faboo. –Jimmy Alvarado (Skrammel, skrammelrecords.se)


MAGNIFICENT, THE:
Bad Lucky: CD
The thing with the current crop of bands doing the anthemic, “street punk”-influenced stuff is that too many of them are either pale Xerox imitations of marginally better Xerox bands, working with not particularly good songs to begin with, or are just plain lunkheaded punters whose life experience doesn’t appear to exist beyond heavy drinking and a suspiciously reactionary worldview. Not so with The Magnificent, Bad Lucky is ten snappy, catchy tunes that can easily work the most stubborn audience into a fervor. Tempering all the toe-tappin’ and fist-pumpin’, however, is the same wistfulness that permeates the best work of bands like Leatherface and the Clash (neither of which they sound like) and intelligent lyrics that seem more interested in trying to understand life’s pitfalls than just drinking them away. –Jimmy Alvarado (Dirt Cult)


LITTLE CUTS:
Plastic Cuts: 7”
Three songs, three varying modes. “Plastic Disaster,” is a Bobby Darin ‘60s “he’s dreamy”-inspired throbber. “He Finally Must Eat His Own,” is a Billy Childish-style stompy, repeat-y, reverb-drenched rave-up. “RRHS,” is fully blown-out Teengenerate speaker slashing. It all makes complete sense since the captain of this three-song voyage is Dave Hernandez, helmsman of Scared Of Chaka and Broadcast Oblivion. If you, like me, celebrate the entire SoC catalog, this “finger dipped in several pies” approach to music comes as no surprise. SoC were a band of many modes, shades, and moods. Little Cuts is a welcome addition to Yanul’s longtime contribution to music. Definitely worth the listen. –Todd Taylor (Dirtnap, dirtnaprecs.com)


LILLINGTONS, THE:
The Backchannel Broadcast: CD
New reissue of this punk classic hits the street, plus a 2011 remaster by Mass Giorgini. Crisp and clear sound from top to bottom. There’s an obsession with the Russians here, as titles like “The Russians Are Coming” give the game away. “Dynomite” and “Blue Steal” are my favorites on this slab. If you don’t know Kody Templeman (no relation to Ted) history pre-Teenage Bottlerocket, this is a great place to start. –Sean Koepenick (Red Scare)


LEBAKKO:
Standardit: 7”
Another rock solid single from these kids, this time with a sound that slides snugly between early Finnish hardcore/punk and more contemporary fare. Guitar sounds like it’s being amplified through a cardboard box and the cymbals ring like fire alarm bells, so you know this’ll just work wonders on the eardrums when played at requisite high levels. –Jimmy Alvarado (PML, pikakelauksellamaailmanloppuun@gmail.com)


LARCHMONT TRASH, THE:
I Spent the Summer with…: 10” EP
Power pop with a bit of the ol’ 77 street punk influence: pretty basic, straight forward, and unfortunately predictable. A dull FM Knives. –Juan Espinosa (Shdwply)


LAGWAGON:
Trashed: CD
If you like Lagwagon, you should get this. It’s a reissue of the band’s second album. The insert has a collage of photos on one side, with lyrics on the other. There are thirteen bonus tracks included, most of which are demo versions of the songs on the original release. A couple songs worth mentioning are the instrumental track, “Jazzy Jeff”, and an acoustic version of “Whipping Boy.” Most of the demo versions are previously unreleased, including “Path of Least Resistance,” which is the original incarnation of the “Stokin’ the Neighbors” music. It was recorded in 1988 by Chemikil, which featured Joey Cape on vocals and guitar. Who says it’s 2012? This reissue definitely brings you back to 1994. –Nighthawk (Fat)


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