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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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CRAPPY DRACULA:
Tooo Muuuch: LP
As you know, Crappy Dracula is a three hundred-year-old vampire. He spends a lot of time in the dark and has gone kind of batty. I don’t think he’s using any of these instruments right and I swear I saw him try to suck some old lady’s blood using his earlobes. He keeps threatening that the ghost from Three Men and a Baby is coming to get me. I’m not scared, not with all his jangling and rattling. –mp (Eeefin)


COOL MUTANTS:
Buzzhog: 7”
I’m pretty sure this band has already broken up. For the sake of this review I’m going to pretend that they’re still around and we’re all having happy, fun times together. OH SNAP, GUYS. This is a really good single! Chanty stoner punk that reminds me of the slower Diarrhea Planets songs. I like to call it drug punk, but I’m pretty sure that’s redundant. What a great LP this will make someday! Sigh… I can’t keep up this ruse. Who releases a 7” this good and then breaks up? If you need more proof why there is no god, or there is and he’s a vindictive asshole, Cool Mutants have made exhibit A. Grade: A-. –Bryan Static (Do What?, no address)


CLOTH:
Demo: Cassette
Noisy, blues-tinged hardcore with the occasional metal guitar. Not unlike the slower Jesus Lizard material. The songs can meander, but I’d say these Philly guys are off to a good start. –Chris Terry (thecloth666.tumblr.com)


CIRCUIT DES YEUX:
CDY3: 10”
The first track basically sounds like it could be pulled off of a Nico album, both vocally and in its approach to ambient sound. The second continues with the spaciness, but throws in some sludgy guitar for some reason. The vocals are so overbearing, however, that it somehow still feels like you’re hearing the same song. The A side is rounded out by some distorted dirge, which is only cool if Sonic Youth is playing it. The B side is a continuation of this obnoxious noise which builds into a song not worth all the static you just had to hear. Maybe this is the kind of music you call experimental, but it’s not really an experiment. This sounds like “experimental” music in the way that “progressive rock” sounds progressive without ever progressing. –Rene Navarro (Magnetic South, magneticsouthrecordings.org)


CHESTNUT ROAD:
LP: LP
Climb the Bob Mould family tree of sad, melodic punk until you hit the early ‘90s branch. Here you will find Chestnut Road, taking Leatherface’s surprise anthems and Jawbreaker’s ink-black mood. No surprises in store, but these guys have succeeded in splitting the difference between Mush and Bivouac, two of the greatest punk records in the history of the universe. Check it out, even if you think you’re sick of this type of stuff. –Chris Terry (brassneckrecords.bigcartel.com)


BRAXTON HICKS:
Never Kill Yourself: CD
This band has already broken up, but they left behind a few EPs. This is their first one and it’s a pretty good collection of mid-paced punk that isn’t going to set the world on fire, but it still has enough energy and fun going on to keep your interest. The four songs go by fairly quickly and are bouncy enough to get you moving in your chair. They showed a lot of potential in their playing and lyrics. It’s a shame that they didn’t stick around to progress. –Rick Ecker (Secrets Of Sounds, link2wales.co.uk)


BLOOD BUDDIES:
Tree & Bird: 7”
Melodic punk with a nature-y theme and the right fuzz on the guitar, clatter in the drums, and longing in the vocals. They sound wary, but like they got their second wind on a late night drive. Two songs, two band members. When it ended, I flipped it over and started again. –Chris Terry (ghostbotrecords.com)


BLACK WINE / BRICK MOWER:
Split: 7”
This is how you make a split 7”. Choose a band that you’re friends with—whose sound complements but varies from yours—swap members for a song, put an inside joke on the front, record a weird cover that geeks will shout for at your shows. Black Wine play grungy, melodic punk and cover Devo. Brick Mower play gritty, mid-’90s pop punk and cover Gaunt. Take notes. –Chris Terry (vikingoncampusrecords.bigcartel.com)


BENEDICT ARNOLD:
We’re All In: CD
A band that I never heard of before, but now I can’t stop listening to based on the terrific punk rock on this album. Pounding drums, thick bass, shouted vocals, powerful guitar playing, and interesting lyrics made for an album that will get stuck in your CD player for weeks. The band comes out hard and fast with melody mixed into the pummeling music and scores top marks for not being generic. I really liked the fact that they never got cheesy or reverted to throwing in something trendy; they just stuck with honest-to-goodness punk. –Rick Ecker (Self-released, robsallbanks@hotmail.com)


BCASA, THE:
Fuck You Shredder: CD
The musical approach is intriguingly inspired, anarchic, and sloppy in interesting ways, but by the time the last tune peters out, I honestly dunno what’s more flummoxing: that those responsible put in so much effort to create a concept rap/punk hybrid band/album homage to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or that a major label is distributing it. I give ‘em a week before Corey Feldman lobbies to be their lead singer. –jimmy (Stomp, distributed by Warner Bros.)


BARGE:
No Gain: 7” EP
High speed hardcore teetering towards the powerviolence side of things, with an obvious No Comment influence (the drummer is wearing their T-shirt in the back cover image). These boys are from Richmond, VA and so is the label that released this, which happens to be an offshoot of the now indefinitely defunct No Way records label, which was once a personal favorite of mine. If you dig Low Threat Profile, you’ve got a friend in these dudes. –Juan Espinosa (Vinyl Conflict, grounduprva@gmail.com)


BAD SIDE:
Looking for a Bad Time: Cassette
Fast, angry punk from Philadelphia of the shouty and chaotic variety with an occasional “mosh part” and/or bad guitar solo thrown in, in the ‘80s “generic hardcore” kind of way. I don’t mean that in a bad way—I love this shit when it’s done right. Of the six songs here, the first one is awesome, but the others didn’t grab me as much. This might still worth seeking out, though –Mark Twistworthy (badside.bandcamp.com)


BAD INFLUENCE:
Preaching to the Perverted: LP
It has been some time since we’ve last heard from this Belgian outfit. Hearing this is like catching up with a long lost best friend; you easily pick up where you last left off, though you’ve both changed and the world is slightly different. Their Amebix, Rudimentary Peni, and later Black Flag influences are now mixed with a band like Blyth Power. There’s a bit more wisdom in their sound instead of just the dark and heavy abrasive stuff. It’s the songs like “Rituals,” and “The World,” with their slightly subdued approach, which I find more engaging and effective. By slowing it down and letting things quiet down a bit, they bring in more emotion and darkness. On a lyrical level, they go deeper than many bands. They address how the human condition is affected by controlling powers and the methods they use to crush the human spirit. There is also some questioning of the things one believed in strongly, and where did it all go, and for what? A bit bleak, but there is a glimmer of hope in here. This is one of those records that reveals more of itself with every listen, and it’s the sort of record that pays off the closer attention you pay to it. Thinking person’s punk rock. –Matt Average (Chaos Rurale, chaosrurale.com)


BAD COYOTES:
We Got Our Reasons: Cassette
Hectic rock’n’roll punk with a snotty singer who sorta sounds like Keith Morris. If you told me this was from 1979, I’d believe you. Continuing in the spirit of an era where rock was made by white guys who were born before civil rights, it even has a racist song: “Goin to China.” Fuck this shit –Chris Terry (discosmmm.com)


AUTONOMY:
“Altar of Apathy” b/w “Grave Realities”: 7”
I was expecting something heavy when I first pulled this 7” from its black and white packaging. To my surprise, Autonomy is anything but. Instead, they’re a melodic dark wave-influenced group with some crazy, catchy hooks. With only two songs on this 7”, I found myself running back and forth to flip it over for repeated listens. I couldn’t get enough! Of the two tracks, “Grave Realities” had my favorite riffs, making my favorite on the record. I really liked the interplay between Nick O’Neal’s lead vocals and Monica Reina Brennan’s backing vocals on both tracks, but hoped to hear them share vocal duties more evenly. After listening to this, I can definitely say I’m eager to hear more. –Paul J. Comeau (Let’s Pretend, withouthatredwithoutfear@gmail.com)


ATOWN SLUTS:
Corruption of Minors: CD-R
This is, for me, one of those records that I really don’t want to like, but somehow I do anyway. If there were any easy way to describe these guys, I would say they’re kind of like an Allentown, PA version of the Dwarves, only less talented, more trashy, and not as clever—songs about drugs and hookers and related ilk with a bit of winking, tongue-in-cheek humor, or so it seems. I caught myself liking this more and more with every listen. There may not be a lot of originality to this, but even Shakespeare got his stuff from other sources. –The Lord Kveldulfr (facebook.com./allentownsluts)


ATOWN SLUTS:
Corruption of Minors: CD-R
I think this is the second cycle in a row that I’ve received a CD-R from A Town Sluts. I recall the last one being fun and sleazy. I gotta say this one is losing me. Maybe it’s the somewhat faithful Kiss cover (changed to “A Town Crack City”) second song in that turned me off. The rest still sounds like the Nobodys with a crippling head injury. –ty (facebook.com./allentownsluts)


ARCTIC FLOWERS / SPECTRES:
Split: 7”
This is a repress of a 7” that came out in 2011. Portland’s Arctic Flowers offer one tune in their anarcho punk-influenced melodic fare, while Spectres bring a more synth-filled offering, heavy and seemingly influenced by ‘80s U.K. post-punk. Arctic Flowers are the standout here with Spectres being an enjoyable bonus from a band I had not yet heard of. If you missed out on this previously then, you now have another chance. –Mark Twistworthy (Man In Decline, manindeclinerecords.com)


ANTI CIMEX:
Raped Ass: 7”
I’m going to openly make an admission that will surely make my ears sore with cries of “poser!” from several directions, near and far, but here goes: I had never listened to Anti Cimex prior to picking this up out of the review pile at Razorcake HQ. Why not? Essentially, because the record was never readily available anywhere, nor had I heard/read from a reliable source that I should own a copy of this is why not. Also, not trying to sound like a self righteous dickhead, but I don’t necessarily have time nor do I always want to make the effort to listen to every single “classic” band that is thrown in my direction, especially not when it’s only available on YouTube or through some sketchy blog/download. That being said, I’m glad I did finally give this a listen because it is top fucking notch classic d-beat/crust from one of the apparent originators of said styles. This happens to be the Swedish band’s second 7” originally released in 1983 and it’s now plain to see where bands like Totalitär and Mob 47 drew a wealth of influence from. A non-stop assault of brutal hardcore d-beat in the form of five songs which demand repeat listens. This also happens to be a top notch reissue packaged in a pocketed sleeve with bonus inserts, photos, and a reprinted letter to an unnamed zine from the band’s vocalist (I love how he corrects them on the assumption that they are U.S.-influenced!) The label that lovingly reproduced this for renewed consumptive interest is from Brazil—so I don’t know how easy it will be to track a copy down—but take it from this recovering poser; it’s well worth seeking out! –Juan Espinosa (Nada Nada / Spicoli, no address listed)


ANGER HOUSE:
Loss: CD-R
Are you pining away for the Revolution Summer? Do you wish more bands were taking cues from mid-’80s Washington DC bands? Well, this might be for you. Anger House are a “classic era” Dischord Records-inspired band from Denton, TX who seem heavily inspired by one of my favorite periods of U.S. hardcore, sounding not unlike the bands Rites Of Spring, Rain, or One Last Wish. This is the sound that we once called “emo” before that term was co-opted by mid-’90s bands to mean something else entirely. Anger House seems to know exactly what they’re doing and what they want to sound like, wearing their hearts on their sleeves. –Mark Twistworthy (angerhouse.bandcamp.com)


ABSINTHE ROSE:
The More That We Learn, The More We Learn That We’re Wrong: CD/LP
The band describes themselves as folk punk, but I hear more cowpunk than folk. However, I will give the band credit for drawing from a wide range of styles. What turned me off to Absinthe Rose, though, were Kimbo Rose’s vocals. Far too often I found it reminding me of someone doing a bad Eddie Vedder impression. I feel as though, on the whole, this is a band I probably saw at many a college coffee house. Sure, they could write a song and were tight, but it just wasn’t interesting or unique. –kurt (absintherose.org)


AMBER:
Lovesaken: LP
When the idea was still fresh and innovative, I could appreciate heavy bands such as Isis delving into a more atmospheric, prog rock sound. But even that got boring in a heartbeat. At least they had the good sense to not try and mix in screamo vocals. Oh, how I wish Botch would come back from the dead to show bands like Amber how it’s done. –Juan Espinosa (Halo Of Flies / Narshardaa / Protagonist Music, weareamber.bandcamp.com)


ABOLITIONIST:
The Growing Disconnect: CD
Internal memo: While the crossing of Smogtown and Propagandhi seems utterly ridiculous on paper, the results are ultimately pleasing and will warrant further playing… In all seriousness, this is a great disc. This one will make the car rotation in no time. –ty (abolitionist.bandcamp.com)


ZOLTARS, THE:
Live Like Dragons: 7”
They start out playing very gritty, low-fi garage on “All My Friends” then they mix in The Beach Boys harmonies on “Heroin Thunder.” To wrap it up, they throw in some psychedelic on “In the Basement.” What an interesting mix—a little bit of the different genres of the ‘60s—all in a very cool single. It took me a couple of spins, but this really grew on me and I really like it. –Rick Ecker (CQ, cqrecords.com)


ZERO BOYS:
Pro Dirt: 7”EP
Disclaimer: The Zero Boys’ debut Vicious Circle LP is one of the top twenty punk records ever made. That’s not an opinion. That’s a punk fact. Their second LP, Make It Stop, is a steeeeeaming pile. (I finally found the CD at my local 99 Cents Only store along with Hulk Hogan tapes in the early 2000s. The Hogan tape was superior.) You won’t believe it’s the Zero Boys. Pro Dirt sounds like the Zero Boys covering All’s Pummel. Lighter, mid-tempo-y, poppy, lots of bass noodle. Not what I was expecting—and if you’re expecting “Forced Entry” or “Amphetamine Addiction”—whoah, those expectations will be shattered—but this 7” has its own charms and kudos for Stevo of 1-2-3-4 Go! to be able to put out music by the band who inspired the name of his label. That’s gotta feel rad. –todd (1-2-3-4 Go!, zeroboys.com, 1234gorecords.com)


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·TERMINUS
·VALIENT THORR
·FRISK, THE
·SMACKIN’ ISAIAH
·GAS CHAMBER
·Obsolete Communism: The Left-Wing Alternative
·JONNY MANAK AND THE DEPRESSIVES
·SWEET PUPS
·CHINESE


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