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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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Self-titled: 7”
Starts out with some crazy guitar picking then barrels into some bouncy-ass shit. This band always makes me want to dance and shout. Very, very tight musicianship on this. These guys take every step in the right direction, completely synchronized. When I first put this on my record player, I was nervous it wouldn’t sound as great as it does live, but somehow it does. The energy of the music and the earnestness of the lyrics just floor me. “Through and Through” is a seriously beautiful song about, well… buy this and find out for yourself. Only one hundred copies made. The paper is handmade, and everything on said paper is hand written. Is that DIY enough for you, huh? Is it? –Rene Navarro (Pass The Fist)

Didn’t Do That: Cassette
The coolest thing about the resurgence of cassette tapes is that, when the gratingly tone-deaf pop punk contained within causes a violent reaction, smashing a tape is way more fun than smashing a record or CD. –MP Johnson (People’s Republic Of Rock And Roll)

Self-titled: CD
More annoying gelding-voiced shout-folk with lyrics that go something like “and what if all the anarchists...” Insultingly devoid of reality, it throws down an unrealistic, one-dimensional view of the world. This stuff is becoming far too common in punk and offers up an offensive, head-in-the-clouds positivity that is in no way applicable to reality. In doing so, it makes both punk and positivity look bad. If Mr. Union were the first of his kind, I might have gone easier on him. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Punk is being overrun with this trite, I’m-on-the-side-of-good crap. –Craven (DIY Bandits)

Set Ourselves Free: CD
This band is pretty great. It’s catchy, emotional, full band folk-punk that avoids the pitfall a lot of other folksy bands fall into of just being annoying. In fact, they remind me of another favorite folk punk band of mine, Rosa, but with access to better recording equipment. It wouldn’t be quite right to say the record was unabashedly optimistic (there is a song called “The Saddest Thing I Ever Saw” after all), but it contains a definite innate joyousness that reflects in the music. For instance, “Dear Noah” has a driving soul element to it due to the organ that supplements the banjo and acoustic guitar, and “Breathe City Lights”‘ train-like rhythm would befit a ‘60s country song about riding the rails. An interesting sidenote is that the album was recorded and produced by Joe Queer and Jeff Rosenstock of Bomb the Music Industry! I never would of thought of either of those two as candidates to produce a largely bluegrass and Americana-informed punk band, but the results are pretty good. I highly recommend this. –Adrian (Asian Man and Quote Unquote)

Homba: CD
This has the airy qualities of Gregor Samsa, the light, male vocals of Seven Percent Solution, and the calm peacefulness of Low’s I Could Live in Hope. I’m pretty content with my collection of those artists already so I doubt this will be going in regular rotation, but if you like any of the aforementioned acts, you should check this out. –Kurt Morris (myspace.com/wilddogsinwinter)

The Sea: 7”
In the heat of things, it was hard to believe it, but now I notice a fuzzy, melodic link between Hüsker Dü, The Promise Ring and Green Day. I wouldn’t have caught that in high school because, back then, I knew that old college radio dudes liked Hüsker Dü, straight edge girls liked The Promise Ring, and people who hadn’t discovered cooler stuff after buying Dookie still listened to Green Day. Now, along comes Austin’s Wild America to give me perspective by drawing from all three of those bands’ subgenres, making a rad musical mixture of almost everything I liked in eleventh grade. Thanks guys. I expect nothing less from thinking men whose record cover is their band’s name written in the sand and whose lyrics say things like, “I understand religion. I’ve read enough to know there’s no god to pray to, to make you come to me.” –CT Terry (Freedom School)

Self-titled: 10”
Dysfunctional and productive: the two most activated features of White Night/Small Pool. They may lose their singer in a drunken maelstrom of events, but hey, they still set up the show and got people to show up. Anyways, he was hungry. I’m never too sure about their discography or lineup, but whenever they play or I come across a new record, it’s always great. They started with a formula and have steadily been distorting it with their own bizarreness to a point where it’s pretty fucking original and still possesses everything that was once awesome about it. So why care about what Screeching Weasel “classic” is being remastered this month, when you can care about what living room White Night is tearing up? –Daryl Gussin (No Breaks)

Rust Colors: LP
If one doesn’t know Whiskey & Co.’s heritage, doesn’t read any of the lyrics, doesn’t pick up on a single clue, that dummy could say, “Man, I hate country. Why’re you wasting time on this? My mohawk’s droopin’ over here.” Let me lay down a basic fact. DIY punk in the 2010’s is what punk’s been promising for decades: a lifelong lifestyle. (Not a clothes-style or hairstyle or a simply purchasable-as-a-jumpsuit commodity.) And I relish the fact that dyed-in-the-wool, not-getting-younger punks are fully embracing other traditional musical forms without discarding their ideals or the essence of rebellion, fun, broken hearts, and questioning. And Whiskey & Co.’s no awkward or embarrassing hybrid country-punk (or cowpunk), stapling loud guitar sounds onto everything. If Waffle House America wasn’t Wal-Mart glassy-eyed for ball-draggin’ obesity-inducing pop country, Kim Helm and the boys’d be on jukeboxes next to Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, and the Pine Hill Haints from shore to shining shore. They ain’t, and that’s partially why I’m continuing to celebrate them on this end. –Todd Taylor (No Idea)

Liar, Liar: CD
This is some of the catchiest, peppiest, poppiest garage rock that’s ever come across these ears. Sweet and soulful chords ring out while organ swirls and tambourine, glockenspiel, and horns make cameos at this reverb-drenched sock hop. Exploding Hearts meets Tommy James And The Shondells. The Real Kids and Flamin’ Groovies split a bill, sharing a van and some beers with The Swinging Medallions and Question Mark and the Mysterians. That’s what you get here. All of it is absolutely delightful and a joy to listen to. –Jeff Proctor (Alien Snatch)

Self-titled: 7”
I guess you would call this experimental, noisy stuff. The A side I could hear all day and somehow it just doesn’t register in my brain. It’s like it sends out a magnetic signal that makes my brain just go somewhere else. I only just realized there are two tracks on that side, neither of which are in any way discernible to me. Easily ignorable, let’s put it like that. The B side isn’t that bad, but it’s not that great either; regardless of the Minutemen reference. I’m really whatever about the Whatever Brains. –Rene Navarro (Sorry State/ Funny Not Funny)

Fit the Description: 7”
Turns out this band already broke up, as I recently saw an ad from a band which rose from its ashes in this illustrious magazine you are holding. This came out two years ago, so I guess it’s not all that shocking. Fast paced, basic punk. Sounds like early Anti-Flag, but not nearly as good. Nothing on this 7” will blow your mind. Three punk songs: one about hating cops, one about hating people, and one about hating your job. While I agree with these sentiments, this won’t be the soundtrack to my discontent. –Rene Navarro (Problem Child Music)

Kill the Goer: CDEP
There used to be a time where I placed a curse upon the words post punk. It always kind of annoyed me how anything could be post-”thing that never stopped existing.” I mean, Iggy Pop was considered proto-punk until 1977 at which point he was considered post-punk. How the hell does that work? Eventually I learned of the ways of Gang Of Four and Wire and I stopped being so bitchy about the semantics of it all. We Are Hex continue in that line of post punk with the production values to match. Their songwriting skills are not too shabby either. –Bryan Static (Roaring Colonel)

Traditional: CD
Hardcore Finns. Eighties-style. Fast, noisy, and shout-y songs that clock in at a one-minute average. –Jessica Thiringer (self released, myspace.com/wybhc)

Mobilize: CD-R
Had I a nickel for every album I’ve heard that could unquestionably be called a punk album, I would have less nickels than you think. Warhawks’ Mobilize is easily one of those albums. I tend not to favor albums like this. There are thoughts and ideas in it that stray from the set formula of thrashy hardcore, but ultimately the template remains firmly in use. Not for me. –Bryan Static (CrabAss, no address)

Self-titled: CD
This is a chunk of decent indie rock. It’s actually pretty competently done in a shoegazey way, due to the big, effects-drenched guitars and chorusy vocals. My main problem is that it never really clicked with me in a big way. If the album tipped a little to the direction of either more experimental or bigger hooks, the band would have elicited some stronger response. –Adrian (Wilderhood)

Split: 7”
You’d be hard-pressed to find a subgenre of punk that I enjoy less than bad “street rock.” Songs about factories, unions, boots... fuck. So ridiculously boring. There are a few bands who still do this well, but the ratio of great to mediocre/godawful is a painful one. Just so useless. Give me Blitz or ‘Sparrer any day, but this record is forgettable at best. –Dave Williams (Contra/Longshot)

Via Human Error: CD
By the looks of the cover art and the lyrics of one of the tunes, it appears this group is a family affair with a few special guests, including Parliament/Funkadelic’s Bernie Worrell joining in the fun. What you get here is mostly instrumental synth stuff that’s often spacey and occasionally funky. Was intrigued enough by one of the instruments utilized, the Korg DS-10, to look in to see what it was. Turns out it’s a full-blown synthesizer application you can get for the Nintendo DS game that offers the potential for making some interesting noise, and it appears these folk are making good use of it. Fuggin’ technology, man. –Jimmy Alvarado (The Volt Per Octaves)

Revelation 150: Past Present: Breaking out the Classics: CD
Heres’s a new compilation where the long-running hardcore label celebrates their history with new and old bands covering material from across the label’s history. I dug the Bold stuff when they tackled Supertouch’s “Searchin’ for the Light” and also when other bands threw out Bold songs. So I guess I may need to get me some Bold, eh? Mikoto’s take on Texas Is The Reason’s “Back and to the Left” was also a standout. And, of course, Walter Schreifels’s contribution doesn’t disappoint because, uh, it’s Walter! The rest of the songs all had a sameness to them that was hard for me to overcome. But fans of this label’s bands will have a field day with this record. –Sean Koepenick (Revelation)

Quincy Punx WM3: 7”
How can this not be a win/win situation? Some great bands covering songs by another great band for a great cause. Woooo! I’ve been a fan of Quincy Punx for a long time. We’ve got three songs from an upcoming tribute album and a fourth track exclusive to this record. All four bands are great (P.O.S., Off With Their Heads, 20 Dollar Love, and Torch The Spires) with their respective songs, but it’s Torch The Spires that come out on top for me, mainly because “Tina” is my favorite Quincy Punx song. One hundred percent of the profits from this record go to the defense benefit for the West Memphis Three. Something I can definitely get behind. Great work, folks! –Ty Stranglehold (Crustacean)

Punx Don’t Drink: 7”
Always a fan of making overwhelmingly untrue statements, I was totally stoked when I saw this four way split. Cold Shoulder (Indiana), Coke Bust, Poison Planet, and Boiling Over each contribute two totally pissed-off ragers. I’ve always welcomed straight-edge, not necessarily as a personal ideal, but as an important part of punk rock. So if this record “embodies the new face and attitude of Straight Edge” (from the liner notes) I say kudos, these bands are passionate and intense and they don’t just sing about generic, backstabbing bullshit. But we all have our own battles which we have to fight in our own ways. And some punx drink. –Daryl Gussin (Third Party)

My America: A Tribute to Quincy Punx: CD
On one hand, I think it’s pretty cool that Mike Robertson, drummer for old Minneapolis snot-punks Quincy Punx, has become at least mildly politicized. In an effort to lend some kind of meaning to his band’s output, or at least minimize their wasted potential writing a bajillion songs about beer and not giving a fuck, he’s assembled this record. Twenty-eight bands cover Quincy Punx songs, with all the proceeds going to the West Memphis 3 Defense Fund. The WM3 were three teenagers convicted of the 1993 “Satanic cult” murders of three young boys, with little physical evidence to back up the convictions. It’s a fascinating and resoundingly sad story, the investigation itself rife with clusterfucks. On one hand, it’s impressive that the story of these convictions has politicized Robertson to the point that he’s released a benefit record. On the other hand, wouldn’t a straight-up compilation have gotten the point across better? A covers album—especially of these guys—seems pretty unnecessary. The Quincy Punx were pretty crappy the first time around, and even with big names like Off With Their Heads, Misery, and P.O.S. on the bill, this is a pretty lame album. The Ugly Fat Kids covering “Eat a Bowl of Fuck” doesn’t really bring much to the table, and while the intent is admirable, there’s only so many ways you can add some spice and variety to the Quincy Punx catalog. –Keith Rosson (Crustacean)

Fresh Cuts & Cigarette Burns: 7”EP
Well, none can truthfully say that the six-band compilation 7” is an overpopulated genre, that’s fo’ dang sho’. In any event, hey! This record sounds like hardcore! And not the shitty kind that we’ve been having for the last twenty-eight years, either! The kinda good stuff, from like summer 1982 or something! Of course, they changed the sweetener in Lipton® Sugar-Free Iced Tea with Lemon™ since then, so i really can’t go home again ((and, hell, you can’t even get Tab™ in the glass returnable bottles any more)), but still, if you can find a better six-band 7” ep, i say BUY IT! The FNU Ronnies’ band name makes them sound like they’d be from Boston, but they actually sound more like “Let’s Go Die” from “Land Speed Record,” which was written by not Bob, not Grant, but Greg Norton, so all college rockers please go fuck themselves. Sick Jump! sound sort of like the last bit of leftover Keith Morris vocals from “Fix Me,” but, then again, that new Southwestern Airlines® TV commercial music sounds like an acoustic version of the last few bars of “No Values” so i guess this is timely and topical. Kill The Hippies are slightly jazzier, but, since they say right their in their band name that they are all about killing hippies, they are obviously on the up and up. The Curtains sound slightly spooky and gothy, what with the flanger and all, that i was wondering if there was gonna be some kinda “Hell Comes To Your House” kinda punky/gothy Side 1/Side 2 dichotomy, but White Load mostly just yell “NOTH-ING-IS-FUN-NY!!! NOTH-ING-IS-FUN-NY!!!” as they thrash park benches into soft mossy toothpicks Boston Not L.A. style ((or do i mean LAMA?)) so i’d say that was a false alarm. The Flying Trichecos end things tensely, i think. Better than A Collection of Question Marks! Happy days are here again. Wait, no, i meant UNHAPPY days. Well, you know what i mean. BEST SONG: FNU Ronnies, “Ain’t No Place.” BEST SONG TITLE: White Load, “Nothing Is Funny.” Or maybe that’s the best song, and “No Control But Dance Control” by Kill The Hippies is the best song. I’m not sure. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Run-off grooves on both sides are inscribed with the message “Trutone NY Carl 3-09.” –Rev. Norb (Criminal IQ)

Daddy Rockin’ Strong: LP
Subtitled “A Tribute to Nolan Strong and the Diablos,” this cover comp is pretty damn spectacular. Nolan Strong had a beautiful, high voice that epitomized ‘50s soulful sound, with great harmonies from the four-man Diablos, and solid backup band with tight rhythm pounding out the sonic sounds. In order to live up to that high standard, The Wind Records teams with dependable Norton Records to get a killer group of contemporaries: Mark Sultan, Dirtbombs, Dan Kroha, Reigning Sound, even Andre Williams playing with the A-Bones—you could not ask for more, but you get more bands—twelve hits. Kickass guitar, powerful throbbing songs galore, great singing from the heart, music from the soul. It’s a classy mix—bands that show the great rock and roll we’ve got to experience in the last two decades celebrating where the original power and soul of rock (and pop) all started from. This album is a party. –Speedway Randy (Norton)

Crustacean Records 2010 Sampler: CD

I’m usually a little late to the party, so I am quite happy to report that this nifty little sampler just turned me onto four of my new favorite bands. The disc is stuffed with a nice cross selection of the label’s output including the Soviettes, Awesome Snakes, and Fuck Knights. But far and away, the tracks by Droids Attack, the Gusto, Drunk Drivers, and the Giraffes blew me away the most. This sampler single-handedly sent me scurrying to Amoeba over the weekend looking for the above-mentioned bands material. You really can’t ask more from a label sampler than that, can you? –Garrett Barnwell (Crustacean)

–Garrett Barnwell (Crustacean)

Ain’t No Shame Volume 1: CD
Ultimately, there are two types of compilations. The sales pitch (here’s what our label has to offer), and the much more broad “I’ve got an idea.” This is the later; with a collection of bands that have all played the same stage in the outside patio of a Mexican restaurant in Gainesville (if nothing, I know I’ve seen Stoned At Heart there before). While it seems like a pretty budget operation (everything’s hand-done, and I realized the labels are reversed) it only adds to the charm to this collection of mostly Florida/Southern area bands. Plus it’s a benefit record. Track down a copy and put it on at your next party. –Joe Evans III (Boca Fiesta)

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