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Razorcake #90
White Murder, both LPs
Treasure Fleet, The Sun Machine LP
Razorcake #89
White Murder, Form Early LP (CLEAR VINYL)


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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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COMO ASESINAR A FELIPES:
Comenzara de Nuevo: CD
Let’s be real—shit just sounds better when it’s not in English. That rule stays true for Comenzara de Nuevo, the fourth album from Santiago, Chile outfit Como Asesinar A Felipes. Experimental hip hop would be the only way to describe the group’s music—everything from hip hop/jazz fusion, trip hop, acid jazz, and alt rap can be found in Comenzara de Neuvo. Fans of El-P, Aesop Rock, Alexander Spit, and Immortal Technique are sure to dig the inimitable sound of Como Asesinar A Felipes. Lead emcee Koala Contreras spits rhymes as if each word were a threat. The ominous synths and steady soundscapes of the songs call on the influences of Gravediggaz, Psycho Realm, Cypress Hill, Company Flow, and Tricky, all held up with some Big L/Mobb Deep swagger. The fact that the Chilean band has branded its own version of hip hop that takes a million bands to describe it goes to show that they’re unique in their endeavours. Steady, calm, and menacing—Comenzara de Neuvo is what Suge Knight wishes he could roll to. –Guest Contributor (Koolarrow, koolarrow.com)


LOUGHTON:
Live at Back to Basics 2011: Cassette
Five songs “accidently recorded” at a show. It’s full of sound drops and muffled to the point of inaudibility, as if it was recorded through someone’s pocket, which it probably was. The crowd seems to like them, for what that’s worth. But don’t ask me how I feel about Loughton because I can’t hear them on this recording. –Craven (Self-released)


LHS / ROUND EYE:
Full Circle: Split: CD
LHS, AKA Libyan Hit Squad come out of their corner swinging on this aural curiosity. Playing a blend of thick, angular, jazz-tinged punk that reminds me at times of a blend of James Plotkin’s pre-Khanate band Old and, oddly enough, the Big Boys with maybe a sprinkle of the Minutemen on top. Greg Ginn is featured on the title track, which seemed rather random until I heard it. His playing is actually right at home on the disc. Perhaps even more curious are the tracks from Round Eye. These tracks have a strange ‘50s-type vibe and prominently feature a saxophone, which generally isn’t a good sign of punk things to come in my book. I was happily wrong. This stuff is just all over the place enough to make it work. All in all, this is a real cool split. Probably my biggest complaint is the label on the cover that mars the otherwise awesome cover art. Pointing out that Greg Ginn is featured on one track just smells sort of cheap. Truth be told, both bands are strong enough to stand on their own without that sort of marketing. –Garrett Barnwell (Ripping)


CODE ORANGE KIDS:
Love Is Love / Return to Dust: CD
In many ways, Love Is Love / Return to Dust is exactly what I expected. Raw, abrasive metallic hardcore which occasionally melts into melodic, almost borderline ambient parts before returning to metallic chaos. That this CD is exactly what I expected is part of the problem I have with it. The sonic path tread by Code Orange Kids is well worn, blazed by bands who pushed, and continue to push, the boundaries of extreme music. When treading in the wake of such creative forces, imitation only gets washed away. To survive takes more than competent musicianship, of which Code Orange Kids have plenty, but also enough creativity to make something that stands apart. An example would be on the track “Nothing (The Rat).” Here, from the buildup of drums and bass, into the thundering song, and all the way into the washed-out outro, everything about this track blew me away. The breakdown in the middle, before the feedbacking ending, is particularly excellent. Unfortunately, I found the rest of this album lacked the spark which made this track so good for me. Instead, it was a lot of tracks that sounded like stuff I’d heard before. –Paul J. Comeau (Deathwish)


LEXICON DEVILS:
Self-titled: 7”
Nicely done Hostage Records-style punk via Italy. Four frenetic, uptempo scorchers, consisting of equal parts Amoebas and Adolescents. I enjoy records like this because they manage to sound both timeless and resoundingly new—a band working from a well-loved and respected template without copying the blueprints. They’re not reinventing the wheel here, but they are flicking garbage at it and asking it for cigarettes. The cover illustration features some poor guy trying to climb his way out of a bathroom. –keith (Surfin’ K)


CHURCHWOOD:
2: CD
This was different for me—a blues band with a punkish edge playing ten tracks of varying tempos and slightly different styles of blues. You get some swamp, some traditional, a not-too-successful try at funk, and some Delta blues all mixed together on this album. The playing is spotless. It has lots of emotion and prowess. Clear production, to boot. Not something that I’ll play a lot, but a cool bunch of songs all the same. –Rick Ecker –Guest Contributor (Saustex, saustex.com)


LESS THAN JAKE:
Greetings & Salutations from Less Than Jake: CD
Man, I used to be such a LTJ nerd. That is why it really pains me to say that this—Less than Jake’s ninth full-length disc seems to just be spinning the same wheels they have on the past few releases. Don’t get me wrong; this is a well-crafted pop punk disc that any band of this genre would be lucky to have in its catalog. It is just a bit too derivative of their past releases for my taste. I suspect that if this was your first introduction to the band you might be fairly pleased. There just isn’t anything that sticks out to longtime fans to warrant many repeated listens. –Garrett Barnwell (Fat)


LEFT FOR DEAD:
Devoid of Everything: LP
Seems like every fucker is on the reissue/reform train right now—before we know it bands who broke up last week will reform this week. Left For Dead were a band from Ontario, Canada who pumped out a few discs in the late ‘90s and, in many ways, were indicative of a sound that has really stood the test of time. Taking cues from Clevo hammerheads Integrity and bands like No Comment or Spazz, they brought brutal, fast, acerbic hardcore that just fucking throttled you. While most of the ‘90s can rot in hell as far as I’m concerned, I really got into some of the Canuck knuckle-draggers like these cats, Chokehold, and Haymaker (no surprise LFD had members of both). This disc is a worthy purchase as it holds all those tricky little 7”s and splits in one tidy place, but also has a full remastered overhaul from the original tapes that makes all the tracks sound like a fucking steamroller. If you didn’t know this shit was more than fifteen years old, you could slide them in as new band and no fucker would be any the wiser. I’m stoked as a motherfucker on this reissue. Wonder what the reformation gigs were like? The line-up looked insane with bands like Despise You and Lack Of Interest. Oooof. –Tim Brooks (A389, dom@a389records.com)


CHURCH SHOES:
Loves: LP
These Ft Wayne, Indiana transplants who are now living in Austin, TX offer ten songs of sometimes rollicking, sometimes waltzing good times. I’m hearing a number of different influences here, varying from sometimes bringing to mind the masterpiece that is Alex Chilton’s Like Flies on Sherbert LP, whereas other times being seemingly influenced by the rootsy garage rock of fellow Austin residents The Golden Boys. It seems to straddle the line between garage rock and Americana equally, but without all of the bullshit trappings of most every artist that actually ever gets labeled or labels themselves as an “Americana” musician. This is a really good record and deserves more attention than it will probably ever receive. –Mark Twistworthy (KMJ, churchshoesrock@gmail.com, music.churchshoes.us)


LEECHES:
Rott: 7”
This is the sound of hanging from a cliff by sore fingertips. There’s kicking. There’s screaming. All of the energy falls into the canyon below and then echoes everywhere. The sound is so intense it’s likely to crumble everything down. –mp (Bridge Sounds)


LAKE FOREST:
Furious Party: Cassette
Twenty minutes of shimmering, tactile guitar noise glaciers, waves, and clouds. If you don’t space out during the extended jams on Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine records, you want this. The tape came wound to the blank side and I was like, “Furious party?! Damn right!” Then I flipped it over and was like, “Ahh, nice.” –CT Terry (Cherish)


CHILL DAWGS:
Oh Okay: 7” EP
The Chill Dawgs are St. Louis’s answer to the question that everyone has been asking for years. What would a Rocket From The Crypt Too Many Daves hybrid sound like? “Dude’s Room” with horns! Soul that’s chill! The kind of band that should be playing a house party in Revenge of the Nerds. And to top it off, this record is brought to you by the fine gentlemen at Dudes Magazine. Bring the party home! –Daryl Gussin (Do What?)


KILL YOU DEAD / THE DIMARCOS:
Split: 7” EP
Kill You Dead: One poppy ditty and one noisier, dissonant bit o’ hardcore. DiMarcos: Vaguely poppy, gallop-tempo hardcore. –jimmy (Bigger Boat)


INSURGENCE, THE:
Elimi-Nation: CD
When I reviewed this Seattle band’s Lost 7” a while back, I likened them to some of the bands on Hostage Records in OrangeCounty. I’m not hearing that so much on this disc. Nope, on this one The Insurgence is embracing their Pacific Northwest punk, thrash, and hardcore heritage. I am hearing a lot of Poison Idea, The Accüsed, and Zeke. Those are some solid influences and we’re not talking blatant rip off stuff here either. It more like The Insurgence are getting to a point where they can stand alongside those giants and hold their own. If you dig any of the bands I mentioned, you should be getting on board with The Insurgence. –ty (Innerstrength, inrstrrecs@yahoo.com)


CHANDELI’ERS:
Self-titled: EP
The first output from a new New York/primarily Brooklyn band, featuring members of Ringers, The Besties, and Bent Outta Shape. It leans more towards the mid-tempo and poppy side of the spectrum, aligning with more with vintage Elvis Costello or even what you would hear on a tried and true oldies station, particularly due to the (often crooning) male/female vocals. But there’s just enough grit to keep it from getting too saccharine. Overall, a solid record that leaves me intrigued to see what comes next. –joe (chandelierstheband.bandcamp.com)


INSTIGATION, THE:
Self-titled: EP
Hmmm... Musically, this is some pretty damn good punk rock. The tempos are fast and wound up. The vocal delivery is urgent and passionate as hell. The lyrics can be dicey, though. “Foreign Moron” complains about tourists coming around acting like assholes—but there’s a bit of a localism mentality that is off-putting. “Crack Baby,” comes across as confused and impotent anger detailing dislike for a woman, “who don’t know shit but she’s out for fame,” and how she “needs a man or she’ll die, on her own she can’t survive.” How any of this makes her a “crack baby,” I have no idea. It makes me wonder if the person who penned this song had their heart broken by some girl, so this is their way of getting revenge. Then the other two songs, “Brainwashed” and “Misery Guts,” are less cringe inducing. They also do a cover of Black Flag’s “White Minority.” Ignore the lyrics, and you have a good record, I suppose. –Matt Average (theinstigation@gmail.com)


CCR HEAD CLEANER:
Self-titled: 7”
Out of San Francisco, this five piece offers up four noisy tracks, two of which are new. Side A houses their previously released stuff off their self titled debut in ‘11. “53rd&420” rattles and clangs like it’s been kicked down a flight of stairs, while “Life of the Party,” rich in whiney feedback, clocks in under a brief minute. The flipside is a whole other ball game. At first I thought the record was playing at the wrong speed. “Cocoon” emerges softer, with a tangible rhythm that takes off midway with whirling Catherine Wheel guitar effects and warbly reverb. The last track, “Sanctuary City,” starts where the previous one left off and disperses nebulously as fast as it formed. –Kristen K (Cesar Cuts, caesarcuts.blogspot.com)


INSTIGATION, THE:
Demo: Cassette
Tokyo hardcore punk with vacuum cleaner blast vocals. The red accents on the cover and touches of super-catchy rock’n’roll show a strong sense of style that doesn’t override the impact of the music. Looking forward to hearing more. –CT Terry (Yakuzzi, spasticfantastic.de)


ILSA:
The Maggots Are Hungry: 12”
Ilsa could very well be the heaviest band on the planet right now (perhaps SSOS would give them a run for their money). This 12” is the first “official” version of their self-released debut recordings that I believe were only ever available on CD. Remixed and remastered for vinyl, this is Ilsa at its most raw and most primitive. That’s not to suggest that these tracks don’t show the promise of the absolutely crushing Intoxicantations LP, or even the vicious debut LP, Tutti Il Colori Del Buio (with which this 12” shares a few tracks), but compared to their more recent material (which is, in my opinion, some of the most exquisitely executed dark hardcore/metal of the past many years) this sounds like a band finding its footing. That said, Ilsa “finding its footing” far surpasses the output of most of their peers, and The Maggots Are Hungry serves as an incredibly impressive glimpse at the disgusting heaviness to come. –Dave Williams (A389)


CARTE DE VISITE:
I’ve Been Here Before: Cassette
I actually HAVE been here once before, as I reviewed these guys previous cassette release just a few issues back. Okay, so you know the “quiet—loud— quiet” formula of nearly every ‘90s Midwest emo band, right? If you took only the quiet parts from all of those songs and tossed out the “loud” parts, then you would be left with something that is similar to the four songs on this cassette. Unfortunately for this band, the variance between quiet and loud is what often made those ‘90s emo songs interesting, and without that crucial element you’re left with arty, pretentious indie rock with jazzy rhythms and little substance. –Mark Twistworthy (cartedevisitemusic@yahoo.com, cartedevisite.bandcamp.com)


I WANT TO KILL EVERY HUMAN:
Newfoundland: Cassette
This is just several minutes of white noise. Christ, if this is to be considered music (I hope not), I might as well record a running humidifier for five minutes and submit it for review. This is just dumb. –The Lord Kveldulfr (Bill Murray Tapes, BillMurrayTapes@gmail.com)


HOT WATER MUSIC:
Live in Chicago: CD
Culled from their two sold-out Chicago performances during their second reformation, this package contains two CDs and one DVD that demonstrate the band hadn’t lost any power during the preceding hiatus, break, or whatever you want to call it. The material contained is pretty career spanning, though perhaps favoring the output from their later years a little too much for my taste. Longtime fans will certainly find much to like here, though the band sounds a little ragged and loose in comparison to the superior Live at the Hardback disc from 1999. Everything that made HWM so great in the first place—the dual guitars tautly snaking around each other, heartfelt songcraft, and passionate delivery—are all in evidence here and really serves to remind me what an awesome band they were. It was easy to forget what amazing musicians bassist Jason Black and drummer George Rebelo are, but these discs reminded me very quickly. So, while I would be hesitant to call this set essential, it serves as a nice snapshot of the band up to that period. In that context, there is plenty to like on this release. –Garrett Barnwell (No Idea)


CALIFORNIA X:
Self-titled: LP
Huh. This sounds like Gumball or Overwhelming Colorfast without the big budget production. What I mean is, if this band had been around twenty years ago they would have been considered “alternative rock” and vied hard for a video on 120 Minutes or something. The Don Giovanni website keeps talking about how irrefutably punk their sound is, but I’m really not hearing that at all. Though they also mention that the band could also pass for contemporaries of Dinosaur Jr. and Sonic Youth with nary an eye blink, and that makes a lot more sense to me. Not necessarily bad, but not exactly captivating either. –keith (Don Giovanni)


HOMOSTUPIDS:
New York Jammin’: 7” EP
Homostupids are one of them bands I’d only known by name up to this point. Based on the raw sonic quality, I’m guessing the three tracks here are recorded live. The band sounds like a seasoned backline laying the foundation while the guitarist adds spoonfuls of coffee grounds to the Jell-o—short, choppy, sloppy, and a wee bit arty without being too pretentious. –jimmy (HoZac, hozacrecords.com)


HEAVY CREAM:
Super Treatment: LP
If Ty Segall hasn’t already invented it, he should invent the “Ty Segall Effects Pedal.” If you’re familiar with Segall, you know what I mean. Super Treatment, produced by Segall, is a sonic departure from Heavy Cream’s straight-ahead, Runaways-inflected debut LP Danny, but not in a bad way. Still retains a skuzzy Nashville aesthetic (I think I just made that up) that label Infinity Cat has nurtured. I haven’t seen Heavy Cream live in a few years so I don’t know if they sustain the Segall-esque sound on stage. I hope their new drummer keeps up that Ramones beat—I like the new, punchier Heavy Cream. –Sal Lucci (Infinity Cat)


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