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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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TWO TEARS:
Eat People: 7” EP

Simple trash rock from a former Red Aunt. The two tracks on the A-side are up-tempo, while the flip, “Senso Unico,” slows things down with just a hint of western flair.

–jimmy (Kind Turkey, kindturkeyrecords.com)


TROPHY WIVES:
Old Scratch : LP
Ex-members of Elliott, Lords, and Coliseum attempting to bridge the gap between the Wipers and Kyuss. I suppose it is a successful attempt, but this is not a bridge I am interested in crossing. –frame (Latest Flame)


TOUCH COMMITTEE:
Winter Beard: LP
Super winsome throwback to mid-’90s emo rock like Braid, Texas Is The Reason, or Sensefield, with an emphasis on that scene’s smiley, bouncy aspects. Emo without the angst, but with handclaps, smiles, and great guitar work. And they pull it off without being dippy. The punker in me prefers the faster songs, but it plays all the way through, enhanced by meaty production. –CT Terry (20sidedrecords.com)


THOR’S TEETH:
Sonar: LP
I like imagining the singer describing this record to his friends, “Dude, so I dressed up like a crazy Gwar Viking, and the guys from Pulling Teeth played all these W.A.S.P. riffs and, dude, we totally have a song called ‘Thunderhawk.’ We recorded a live album. You shoulda been there!” Being there was important. The sound is fine, but I feel like I’m missing out on the fun by not seeing it. The fact that there’s almost as much onstage banter as music drives that point home. –CT Terry (A389records.com)


TENDRIL:
Planet: Cassette
I was standing by the boombox, frowning, when my girlfriend walked in and asked, “Is the tape fucked up or is that the band?” Then I said, “You just wrote my review for me.” –CT Terry (tensionheadrecords@gmail.com)


SUN OF EYES:
Bedroom Demo: CD-R
One o’ them bands that prance around the gray area between noise rock and industrial music, which means that it’s in turns noisy, sludgy, plodding, brooding, and often more interested in mood than rocking the party. I reckon it’s an acquired taste, but I thought the six tracks here were nifty. Back says this is limited to forty copies. –jimmy (No address)


STONE KINGS :
Self-titled: CD
Visually, this is as cheesy as it gets, complete with logos of huge corporate online locales to “network” and “follow” this band. Sonically, somehow, this is an almost ridiculous approximation of ‘90s stoner rock. Imagine Kyuss with a really crappy singer and you have the Stone Kings. It would not have been bad at four tunes or so, but this thing is over an hour and really starts to grate. Honestly, this should probably be worse considering this band proclaims both Incubus and Nickelback as huge influences. Hell, even the putrid Queens Of The Stone Age will beat out that shit. –frame (Rebelseed, stonekings.co.uk/contact.html)


STITCHES, THE:
Do the Jetset: 12” EP
Damn it. I like the Stitches. Despite its obvious limitations, I’ve really been getting back into the whole Modern Action/No Front Teeth snotty punk thing lately. And the Stitches are not only stalwarts of the genre, but they’re generally really good at it. So yeah, it pains me to say, but this EP is pretty much unlistenable. Recorded in one day, Do the Jetset consists of reworked versions of various b-sides and covers spanning the Stitches’ career. The only catch is that these reworked versions pretty much suck and pale in comparison to the originals. Featuring a drum machine, woefully tinny guitars and vocals, and a resounding sense of awkwardness, these six songs are totally unnecessary. I just don’t understand why these guys wouldn’t have used their available resources—the packaging for this record is impressive, and surely wasn’t cheap—to do something new, instead of rehashing fifteen year-old songs in a way that takes every ounce of energy and fun from them. –keith (Vinyl Dog)


SONIC AVENUES:
Television Youth: CD
This sophomore full length from the Montreal-based band is a solid chunk of power pop with a hearty Exploding Hearts sheen. It’s driving, it has hooks, and it there’s a nice amount of raggediness. It’s pretty much a winner. The album has the vibe of an album one would throw on their portable record player at a summer barbeque, where one would expect a bunch of record collector friends to show up. My favorite part of the album is the Jay Reatard-esque outro to the last song, “Always Looking for Something.” Also, quick observation, but Killed By Death pop punk bands really love their television songs. Punk godfathers The Adverts had “Television’s Over,” the Adored had “Television Riot,” Clorox Girls/Red Dons side project Suspect Parts had “17 Television,” and now Sonic Avenues have the title track to this album. Viva le cathode rays! –Adrian Salas (Dirtnap)


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 (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 (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 (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 (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 (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. –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 (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 (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 (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)


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