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· 1:#331 with Mike Faloon and Todd Taylor
· 2:One Punk’s Guide to Poetry
· 3:#332 with Kurt Morris
· 4:Top 5s from Issue #81
· 5:Marilyn Thunderhorse Interview


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Razorcake #82
Hurula, Vi ar manniskorna vara foraldrar varnade oss for LP
Razorcake #81
Razorcake Ouija Slip Mat
Nights and Days in a Dark Carnival by Craven Rock


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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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BIG SODA:
Paper Route: 7”
It’s kind of funny; in the ‘90s my favorite band was the Ramones. These days, I’m on a steady diet of Superchunk, who I largely ignored in their heyday. The only logical conclusion I can draw from this is that I’m always a couple decades behind. Big Soda seems to share my problem. This Brooklyn-based punk band has a lot more in common with ‘90s college rock than the Sex Pistols, and that’s a-okay with me! Another solid release from a consistently solid label.  Chris Mason –Guest Contributor (Evil Weevil, evilweevilrecords.com)


BIG EYES:
Demo: 7”
Immortalized in vinyl, these songs were originally recorded for a demo (as the title suggests). What you get is four tracks of scuzzy, slowed-down, female-fronted, power pop influenced punk rock from the people who have done time in such bands as Cheeky, Seasick [NJ], and ANS. With a pedigree like that, you already know they can shred, but do they have the pop sensibility to arrange Joan Jett-esque pop thrillers? Of course. These songs are pure leather and chains. Each copy should come with a fog machine. –Daryl Gussin (Evil Weevil, evilweevilrecords@gmail.com)


BEYOND PINK:
The New Black: LP
I’ve been wanting to get this album for a few months now. But like a lot of people, money has been tight. I have one of their previous releases somewhere but never got around giving it a listen. Super stoked when I saw it at HQ in my box for review, and even more enthused when it hit my turntable. This five-piece, all-female band from Sweden gives me the same excitement that I had when I first heard the Polish band Eye For An Eye. It’s infectious hardcore with melodic undertones that is every bit as powerful or more so than other bands in the same genre. The vocals are delivered with fierce compassion that slices through the music. I really like that the production is top notch here. You can hear each instrument with clarity and it gives the band the power to keep my attention. From start to finish, this record has no filler. Now this gives me incentive to organize my music room so I can find their previous release. –Donofthedead (Emancypunx)


BERLIN BRATS:
Believe It or Rot (1973-1976): CD
The Berlin Brats, for those not in the know, were a notorious L.A. glam/proto-punk band fronted by Mr. Rick Wilder, who went on to greater infamy as the frontman for equally decadence-drenched punkers the Mau-Maus. Ever watch the “Battle of the Bands” segment of the Cheech and Chong flick Up in Smoke? If so, you’ve seen the Berlin Brats. Here, in all their Stones/Dolls-soaked glory are thirteen tracks culled from demo sessions, live tapes, and vinyl releases, plus a couple of bonus tracks that sound like session outtakes. Some of the tunes, like “Tropically Hot,” “Psychotic,” and “House of Pleasure,” joined Rick in the transition to the Mau-Maus, but I’d venture to say the bulk of material here has probably never been officially released anywhere else, or at least not so in three decades. When you’re talking about tapes that are, best case scenario, at least thirty-four years old, you gotta expect a little rough sailing on occasion, but, for the most part, things here are quite clear, coherent, and worthy of loud stereo rockin’. More importantly, another linchpin in L.A.’s underground history gets some propers, though I gotta say this release is woefully skint on accompanying text/photos to give the average listener/purchaser some context and history on the band. Still, this clearly demonstrates that few did that sleazy rock sound better than these guys. –Jimmy Alvarado (Ratchet Blade)


BENNY’S FORGOTTEN GARDEN:
Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out: CD-R
A deranged B-52’s? Red Hot Chili Peppers? Primus? At times, it almost sounds like the lead singer is rapping (badly) and the cover art looks like a screen capture of those silly Windows Media Player graphics. There are songs about weed, whores, and fat girls. And every time I put the CD into my computer it freezes. No matter how you slice it, this is just awful.  Chris Mason –Guest Contributor (Self-released)


BEACH PATROL:
Daytime Highs: CD
Some good, solid, garagey power pop from this Wisconsin band. I was really glad to see that Tim Schweiger from the Obsoletes makes a guest appearance: always a good sign. Really solid stuff here for fans of Goodnight Loving/The Figgs/Reigning Sound or other tuneful, gritty pop bands. –Mike Frame (Duck On Monkey, myspace.com/duckonmonkeyrecords)


BE MY DOPPELGANGER:
No Composure: CD
Some good ol’ Midwestern punk rock goodness here. There are so many flavors of influence here that every time it comes on, I have to stop and ask myself who this band is. Luckily, the influences in question are all top notch, so I really like this disc and it is starting to get an identity of its own. –Ty Stranglehold (It’s Alive)


BARAKA FACE JUNTA:
Self-titled: CD
This band from Poland did not appeal to me at first, but with multiple listens I started to appreciate the music. It’s a blend of what I would call post-punk and art punk with a trading of female and male vocals, depending on the song. The music either falls into a dirge territory or changes to a quirky and jerky vibe. At other times, they have moments where it can be noise-driven and eerily droning. A strange picture of Crass meets the Minutemen comes to mind. A definite love it or hate it band with no middle ground. –Donofthedead (Nikt Nic Nie Wie)


BAND NAME:
Breakfast: LP
This band has some decent mid-tempo punk rock’n’roll riffs, but the album never really takes off. All the members of this trio sing, but the vocals are not very dynamic. The first song on side two, “Another Life,” shows the most personality. The song has a blasé pace that reaches into the arena of second tier Television songs. The playing is competent; I could see the band slowing down and exploring that direction. The faster the album gets, the more generic it comes across. Female vocalist Cat Park’s performances add an occasional bit of urgency to the proceedings, but overall the album is very dull. –Billups Allen (Self-Aware)


BARREL RIDERS, THE:
Self-titled: CD
There sure are a lot of bands that put out four-to-five-song CDs these days. Here is another one from a Bay Area band that sounds a lot like early Hellacopters, only a little more raw. Perfectly competent riff-heavy rock with more of a reverb-type sound than the distortion and crunch found in most stoner rock. –Mike Frame (Self-released, myspace.com/thebarrelriders)


BAMBOO KIDS, THE:
The Way Things Are: EP
The Bamboo Kids have been at it for close to ten years now, and this new EP of theirs won’t disappoint in the least. Fans of The Lazy Cowgirls, Thunders, Dead Boys, and Dramarama alike will dig on this current release from the ‘Kids, as will those folks who get off on the Ziggy Stardust era of Bowie, and the Exile On Main St. era of the Stones. These may sound like some broad strokes I’m painting, yeah, but keep in mind that this trio is no stranger to laying down some of the catchiest, better East Coast rock’n’roll, as their first two full lengths, The Bamboo Kids and This Ain’t No Revolution have proven in the past. The Way Things Are hints at a bit more maturity this spin around, but in no way gets diluted along the way, or loses any of the bands’ substance, like so many other bands have in the past (and present, unfortunately). Most definitely recommended, and that goes for their entire catalog. –Designated Dale (drugfrontrecords.com)


BACKPOCKET:
What Am I Gonna Do with a Gun Rack?: CD
Featuring The Measure [SA] alums Tim Burke and J. Nixon, you might be inclined to see this as some sort of punk rock supergroup, which isn’t really the case. What you do get are five loosely-recorded tracks (four being actual songs) that are taut, angular, and sometimes jangly affairs of surprising complexity and density. Without using the “E” word, I have to say I haven’t heard and read such anguished lyrics like these in quite some time, if ever. I sure hope there was some catharsis in there somewhere when writing and recording this. –Garrett Barnwell (Moonquake)


ASSASSINATORS, THE:
I Disse Morke Tider: 7”
So happy that I got my order for this record just in time for review deadline. I have already digitized the music and it’s ready to go onto the iPod for high rotation listening. This female-led Danish band has not disappointed me yet. From their first two 7”s to their fantastic LP, followed with a split with Japan’s D.S.B., this band has been bringing the goods on a consistent basis. I think there is a LP in the works for the fall and I know for sure they are touring the West Coast this summer. I can never get enough of this band and am so excited to experience them in a live setting. So to tide me over until then, these four new songs are a treat. Their signature melody comes pouring out of the speakers like a close friend. I am easily pulled into familiar territory with their brand of mid-tempo punk that is equally powerful and yet balances the melody to make it a pleasurable listening experience. The consistency of their output makes it easy picking if you want to try out this band. Once you listen, I’m sure you will join the worldwide following. –Donofthedead (Halo Of Flies)


ASOUND, THE:
Self-titled: CDEP
Three tunes of sludgy stoner rock with a vocalist who prefers to sing rather than imitate a strangled badger. –Jimmy Alvarado (Tsuguri)


ARKHAMS, THE:
The Valley of…: CD
New York rockabilly (or possibly something like “psychobilly” or “punkabilly” that I don’t really know anything about, which I’ll get to in a second). It’s pretty easy to write stuff like this off, but at this point I’d rather just try to find the good instead of shitting on it, which is why I look at stuff like this as simple fun (admittedly in small doses). It sounds like pretty standard stuff for the genre, and I prefer a quick barrage of the faster numbers than the slowed down ones, so I don’t get bored. –Joe Evans III (myspace.com/thearkhams)


ANTIDOTUM:
Jedna Plaga Ludzka Plaga: CD
Rock solid Polish punk/hardcore with female vocals. Songs are tight, anthemic, and catchy without sounding too formulaic, preachy, or professional. Good stuff. –Jimmy Alvarado (nnnw.pl)


ANTI YOU:
Two Bit Schemes and Cold War Dreams: LP
Straight-up hardcore punk attack in sixteen movements. There’s a definite late ‘70s/early ‘80s SoCal punk influence. The choruses are direct and memorable, the vocals are more talked than yelled, and the guitar is more jangly than buzzing and distorted. The songs on the first side are more straightforward, whereas the songs on the second side have a little more going on. “Cop-Out” has a cool introduction that reminds me of the Adolescents with the lone guitar creating the mood of despair, then there’s songs like “Dead End World” and “Operation SS” that switch back and forth (“Operation SS” stays mostly mid tempo and is a definite stand out on here). At times, they sound like a rawer Smogtown “Fuhrers of the New Wave.” “No One Like Me” is definitely the best song on here, and kind of brings all the elements they mess with together in one great song. It’s catchy, it’s fast, and it captures the mood of the lyrics perfectly. –Matt Average (Six Weeks, sixweeksrecords.com)


ANCHOR:
Relations of Violence: 7”
Fast straight edge hardcore from Sweden. Downtuned for extra heaviness. Breakdowns that reach early Metallica levels of epicosity, but get out of the way fast in favor of more circle pit parts. Introspective lyrics building on Chain Of Strength’s “I can’t believe another year’s gone by and still nothing” prompt. This style of hardcore has been done to death, but Anchor play it with a ferocity that makes it sound fresh. If moshcore is your poison, you’re gonna want to drink this Kool-Aid ASAP. –CT Terry (Refuse, refuserecords.com)


ANB/ANS:
Tribute to Gang Green: 5”
I thought this was a CD until I slid the little piece of clear vinyl out of the sleeve. Ah, I love the skaterock, and Gang Green is a big part of that... Come to think of it, Gang Green might have something to do with my love of alcohol, too! Well, we’ve got a couple of flip-brim “initials” bands paying tribute, and they do a great job. ANB does “Alcohol” faithfully and competently. They get a special kudos for recreating the famous Gang Green coke mirror photo. I have a feeling it’s photoshopped, but regardless, nice work. ANS go balls-out by not only doing “Let’s Drink Some Beer,” but slapping in an original on the sly. A great one, at that! Two great bands paying homage to some drunken legends. What’s not to like? –Ty Stranglehold (Tankcrimes)


ANAL WARHEAD:
Time to Die: 7”
It’s almost astonishing to think about how many different types of music fall under the umbrella of “hardcore.” I knew before hearing it that Anal Warhead would be playing a more fatalistic, spikes and mohawks style, and I wasn’t wrong. Fortunately, they do it well. I’d much rather listen to the “nuclear holocaust, kill the pigs” scene than see some joker in a basketball jersey up there calling himself “hawdcoa”. This sense of bleak depression somehow makes me a little happy. –Ty Stranglehold (Suburban White Trash)


ANAGRAM:
“Butcher” b/w “Fish”: 7”
Another solid outing from Telephone Explosion. “Butcher” is a lo-fi blues-punk number that’s driving. B side “Fish” carries in the same vein with a surf-punk sound similar to the great and underappreciated New Zealand band, King Loser. A lot of fucking reverb and tremolo…while I can’t make out all the lyrics, they’re fucking sordid…like something you’d come across in Herbert Huncke’s work. Pretty fuckin’ rad all the way around. –Ryan Leach (Telephone Explosion, telephoneexplosion.com)


AMERICAN HABITS:
Empty Pockets: CD
It’s clear from first blush that the cats responsible for this release have been around the ol’ punk rock block. The tricky thing with older punkers playing in a modern setting is that oftentimes things get a bit too caught up in pining and/or attempting to recreate the “good ol’ days,” but these guys manage to keep the mothball stench of nostalgia at bay and deliver some strong tunes with lyrical content teetering toward more personal subject matter without coming off like a confessional session transcript, addressing not fitting in, lost love, being broke, and the like. They hail from Northern California, but there’s a definite mid-’80s Southern California feel to the tunes—catchy riffs, the vaguest wisp of oi influence, and tempos that rarely ratchet up past a solid gallop. All told, some solid work here. –Jimmy Alvarado (americanhabit@yahoo.com)


ALTARS, THE:
Self-titled: LP
Great mid-paced hardcore punk from Texas. These guys are definitely not afraid to mix it up with a bit of melody here and there. Sum up the best qualities of early Naked Raygun with their former bands Storm The Tower and Signal Lost, then add them to the talents of a vocalist who actually knows how to sing. The result is a very solid full-length album. –Juan Espinosa (Adelante, adelantediscos@gmail.com)


AGALLOCH:
Marrow of the Spirit: CD
I’ve known about Agalloch, the Portland, Oregon based black metal band, for a number of years. I worked with a guy in Seattle who is good friends with them, but beyond the name I didn’t really know much of them. I passed them over as just being another dumb black metal band that was “extreme” but lacking any real musical substance. And now I would like to eat my words, as I was severely wrong. What I have come to realize is that Agalloch is a complex four piece that is crafting way more than just some stereotypically evil-sounding music. The six songs that comprise Marrow of the Spirit are rich and diverse, especially if you come into this thinking (as I did) that you’re only going to hear some growling vocals and heavy guitars. What the sixty-five minutes of music on this album proves is that Agalloch has a depth to them that is lacking in so many metal bands. They’re not afraid of being creative and plumbing a range of sources to make for music that is able to touch a deeper, emotional chord that you’d expect to be hit when you listen to Sigur Rós or something more cold, atmospheric, and dark. While many fans of metal will no doubt hear strains of Isis’s later work in Marrow of the Spirit, Agalloch offers a wider array of sound than just heavy music mixed with a contrasting growling and singing vocals. There is a good dose of cello, neo-folk guitar work, and crystalline keyboards alongside blast beats and sinister vocals similar to such an act as Gorgoroth. It makes for compelling listening that often crosses the line into beautiful. Songs clocking in at twelve or seventeen minutes don’t drag whatsoever. Instead, they’re part of a skillful arrangement of ethereal beauty. It’s akin to that feeling one gets when they find themselves in a cold, snowy field and the sky stands grey. It’s not oppressive or depressing; rather it’s a capturing of the notion of environment that makes Marrow of the Spirit stand as remarkable in its delivery. –Kurt Morris (profoundlorerecords.com)


ADD/C:
Busy Days: LP
On its best days, DIY punk is a joyous reaffirmation that there is something worth fighting for in our day-to-day lives, no matter how big and sloppy the shit sandwich we’re constantly served is. ADD/C has created an existential—as in, why do we exist? What we do today is more important than yesterday or tomorrow—and soulful record. I’ve enjoyed past ADD/C records, but Busy Days has than earnest, honest ache for communication that doesn’t come around all that often. It has many of the earmarks of contemporary Chattanooga DIY punk—gruff, but clear and sung vocals, excellent-but-not-pro-dude tech playing—in line, but clearly far from aping The Hidden Spots, The Jack Palance Band, and The Future Virgins. I know so very little about what records will stick close to others record players for the long haul, but I see Busy Days’s chances pretty good that it’s going to keep company with Bent Outta Shape’s Stray Dog Town and The Tim Version’s Decline of the Southern Gentleman in my household.The record comes beautifully packaged with a full-sized zine lyric sheet and great artwork throughout. –Todd Taylor (Mauled By Tigers, mauledbytigers.com; Plan-It-X South)


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