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Razorcake #93
One Punks Guide to Pinball, by Kayla Greet
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Spokenest, Gone, Gone, Gone LP
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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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DOPESTROKE:
Efil4zknup: CDEP
Did you ever see that movie Joysticks? If not, you really need to. It’s this amazingly bad, yet, fun T&A comedy from the eighties. The antagonist in this movie is King Vidiot, a wonderfully inept representation of punk who leads a gang of girl punk rockers around called the Vidiots. If King Vidiot knocked up all the Vidioites and they gave birth to little punklings trying to make their poppa proud, they would probably sound a lot like Dopestroke. –Craven (Eaglebauer Enterprises, no address)


SPENT FLESH:
Self-titled: 10”
Jesus! What a glorious mess of a record. Super-spastic, thrashing, three-piece (no bassist) making half-belligerent, maddening music. Dean Dirg meets The Reatards in a bar in Philly. Possible musical inspiration: Slight Slappers, blenders, and benders. Totally righteously—and ridiculously—fucked up and awesome. –Daryl Gussin (FDH / P. Trash / Sit & Spin)


SOCIAL CONFLICT:
The World Against Us: CD
The eastside backyard scene has long been fertile ground from which numerous bands have spawned, made their noise of choice, and either withered on the vine or moved on to the greater music club scene. Just shy of their two-decade mark, Social Conflict are one of the backyards’ elder statesmen still keeping a foot in the old stomping grounds—no strangers to club dates yet still not above gracing the odd backyard gig—and the scene’s influence on the band is all over their latest release. What sets them apart from the pack, and quite frankly has set them apart almost since their inception, is their desire to push against the popular oom-PAH-oom-PAH thrash and post-post-post-quasi-”street punk” lyricism considered de rigueur amongst too many generations of local punk/hardcore bands. By occasionally lacing their frenetic rhythms with shards of psychedelia, utilizing the odd clean channel guitar and working with lyrics that address horrors both imagined and all too real with a bit more poeticism, they create a sound that is firmly rooted in the hardcore template, but isn’t afraid to branch out and—HORRORS!—show some creativity and originality. In addition to recording the basic tracks here, former Screamer Paul Roessler lends some keyboard work to an ace cover of his old band’s “122 Hours of Fear,” adding a nice bow on top of an already choice release. Play loud, play often, and play for pals. –jimmy (Innocence Lost)


DIVERS:
Self-titled : 7”
Rumbletowne Records is one of my favorite current labels. They’re unafraid to take chances and, thus, release unique and interesting bands. The other side of this is I often hear something they put out and just don’t get it. Diversis a good example. To me it sounds like slow, boring indie rock. One of the songs waxes sentimental about two guys who call each other Dean and Sal like the Kerouac characters. Ugh! It’s overly maudlin and smarmy. Wait... aren’t Dean and Sal the same guy? I don’t remember. I quit reading Kerouac when I was about eighteen. Anyway, you might like this if you like indie-influenced punk or Rumbletowne Records. I’ll pass. –Craven (Rumbletowne, rumbletowne.com)


SLUG GUTS:
Stranglin You Too: HoZac, hozacrecords.com
A very Stoogey Iggy joins SavageRepublic in a psychedelic reevaluation of the Cramps’ early catalogue. Four tunes of primal, foot-stompin’, reverb-drone guitar gloriousness to do your ear hole just right. –jimmy (7” EP)


DIRECT HIT! / HOLD TIGHT!:
Split: LP
Direct Hit!: Mostly mid-tempo hardcore with a singer that sounds like he’s well on the way to some serious calluses on his vocal chords. Hold Tight!: Thrashy, brief, surprisingly catchy hardcore. –jimmy (I Hate Punk Rock, ihatepunkrock.net)


SLACKERS, THE:
Sarah: 7"
This was offered as a bonus to supporters of The 3rd Wave Ska Preservation Society Vinyl Reissue Project, but there’s a few left for sale as well. Two new songs from their upcoming album and the title track (which originally came out on Better Late than Never on Moon Ska). Vic Ruggerio’s voice has had me hooked for years. It manages to be rough and smooth at the same time, and always sexy as all get-out. My tolerance for so much of the ska came out in the ‘90s is limited since it was inescapable, but my love for the Slackers has never waned. They’re solid, they’re soulful, and I’ll always seek it out. –megan (Asbestos, asbestosrecords.wordpress.com / Underground Communique, undercomm.org)


DIMARCOS, THE:
Self-titled: 7”
Like dry white toast or a big hunk of unsweetened oatmeal, this’d nourish you if you were stuck on a desert island with no pop punk, but it ain’t pizza. –Ryan Horky (Bigger Boat, biggerboatrecords.com )


SIDETRACKED:
Wrench: Cassette
This is some pretty damn good music! Crunchy hardcore crossing Infest with East Coast burl. The blown-out recording sounds live and adds to the raw energy. Quick, urgent blasts that are over in a matter of seconds. I like the rattley low end of the bass—how it tends to dominate the sound—and how the drums sound busted to hell and back. Vocals are delivered in a desperate and rabid attack, heightening the intensity of their style. “Severed,” which closes this out, is a total rager that has a catchy riff comparable to Black Flag. I neeeedsssss to hear more!!! –Matt Average (To Live A Lie)


DICKS, THE:
Kill from the Heart: LP
Kill from the Heart was originally released on SST Records in 1981 and has been criminally out of print for years. The Dicks were prominent among bands that developed the classic hardcore punk sound during the early ‘80s, mixing rowdy punk riffs with extra speed and left wing politics. The song titles tell the story: “No Nazi’s Friend,” “Rich Daddy,” and “Bourgeois Fascist Pig” are commie punk anthems. Alternative Tentacles has reissued this seminal album and included the songs from the essential Hate the Police 7” as bonus tracks with the download. Along with MDC and the Big Boys, The Dicks defined the Reagan-era Texas hardcore scene. –Billups Allen (Alternative Tentacles)


SHORT ATTENTION:
Polished Turds: 7”
A twenty-six word review of a twenty-six song joke record filled with guest appearances. Condolences to the dead dinosaurs pressed into this waste of vinyl. RIP. –Paul J. Comeau (No Breaks)


SHOCK TROOPERS:
Too Fast for Sleeves: CD
So much snot. Pools of it. Once it’s got you, it’s got you. Like quicksand. Only more fun. –mp (Self-released)


SELVFORAKT:
Outra Dia, Outra Caça: EP
Excellent metallic crust core from this trio. Mix up Misery and Anti-Cimex with Disarm and you’ll get Selvforakt. Tons of chugging low end with a heavy guitar sound. The vocalist is excellent, delivering the words with a throaty sound. The songs are mainly mid-tempo for a more lethal effect and allow you to really get in and absorb the songs to the fullest. I absolutely love the bass sound on this recording. It’s heavy, sinister, and all-around nasty sounding. My favorite of the four skull crushers on here is definitely “Politicos de Merda,” which is equally heavy and catchy. The bass is simple and repetitive and effective as hell. Check out that break, where it’s just the bass idling for a moment, with some Discharge style guitar work coming over the top. Can not stop listening to this! More! More! More! –Matt Average (Terrotten, info@terrotten.com)


SCREAMIN’ MEE-MEES, THE:
Live From the Basement 1975-1996: LP
Mid-‘70s proto/pre/post-punks from St. Louis, these divinely-inspired louts—best known for 1977’s “Hot Sody,” an ode to quaffing solarly-heated cans of pop—were sort of bridge builders between the era of “Willie the Wild One” and the Keggs and what-not, and the era of “Inside My Brain” and the Urinals and what-not. And, while the cultural significance of two guys thudding around in a St. Louis basement singing songs like “Pigs” in 1975 probably can’t be understated ((or can it?)), and i do enjoy the Meat Puppets-meets-King-Usniewicz charms of the more focused numbers, i spend a fair amount of time looking at my metaphorical watch during this record and remembering how much i dislike that Fuckin’ Flyin’ A-Heads 45. Hang on, i think i need to go stick another can of Tab™ in the microwave. BEST SONG: “Struckout” BEST SONG TITLE: “Arthritis Today” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: This is almost surely the only record i own that features the phrase “No! That’s not arthritic enough!” –norb (Vulcher/Hate)


SCAMS, THE:
Rock and Roll Krematorium: LP
This is just a good, solid hard rock record right here. Hailing from Sweden and heavily influenced by Hellacopters/Gluecifer, this band brings a stronger songwriting effort to the table. The results are excellent. Hints of NWOBHM and more melodic elements abound, but there is no doubt that this band is from Scandinavia when you hear The Scams. –frame (Jailbreak, jailbreakrecordsusa.blogspot.com)


SA90:
Psychopathic Little Girl: CD-R
Sounds like a mix of studio and live recordings from a band that have tell-tale signs they might have roots that go a wee bit deeper than the past decade. There’s definitely the tinge of bar punk to ‘em, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but when you least expect it, the band takes on the attack of a band that sounds like it cut its teeth in straight ahead early/mid-‘80s punk/hardcore. I really can’t explain the sound other than to say it’s like dispensing with nuance and “style” and opting instead to assault the instruments. It’s usually evidence that those responsible learned by doing rather than spending hours at home honing their “craft.” This, along with the comparatively primitive quality of the recordings (which are clean but don’t sound like they’ve been ProTooled to death) lends the proceedings some edge and a feel of authenticity. –jimmy (SA90, sa90punk.com)


ROSE CROSS:
Self-titled: 7”
Yes. I’m really digging the resurgence of itchy-scratchy, agitated, smart, non-bro, static-fast hardcore. Rose Cross fits in with Brain ≠ and Joint ≠. It’s breathless but has melody. It’s fast, but it’s not a slur-blur. It’s agitated, but not pointlessly angry. It’s intelligent in a bad, shitty-awesome tattoo way. If this is the direction more hardcore bands are headed in, sign me up. Features Peanut of The Y on drums. –todd (Drugged Conscience, druggedconscience.com – free download right from the site.)


RED DOVES:
Off the Grid: LP
Like the Regulations, Sweden’s Red Doves recalls some of West Coast U.S. punk rock’s higher points. The sound here, however, is a bit more spread out across the left coast than their fellow punker countrymen: South Bay-influence, with shades of Nervous Breakdown-era Black Flag, Sick Pleasure, Los Olvidados, and maybe even the Lewd commingling all nice and friendly-like within the onslaught of short-tempered thud that comes in, musses up the room a bit, then fucks off before you know what hit you. –jimmy (Gaphals, gaphals.se)


RAYON BEACH:
This Looks Serious: CD
Haven’t watched these guys too closely. Really like their The Memory Teeth EP from a couple years back. What’s on here is a little more focused and slightly poppier. They seem to be taking less risk, sound-wise, than before. Where songs on the aforementioned EP would go off into other sonic realms, what’s on here tends to stay close to the vest, so to speak. However, there’s more drive in the newer material, which could definitely appeal to a larger audience. I like the backing vocals on “Airplane with Tits,” as it gives the song a campy horror movie soundtrack vibe. The instrumental “Girls and Boys” stands out with its slight fuzzed-out and dark vibe. But other than that, this doesn’t do a whole lot for me. I prefer it more when they push at the borders of their songwriting and veer off into slightly weirder territories. –Matt Average (Hozac, hozacrecords.com)


RAY AND THE DEVIL’S MOTORCYCLE:
Self Titled: Record
Quirky. Ray And The DM’s sound is more or less a low-fi experimental garage trip-out on Cramps-fueled acid, but there is no consistent vein to the nature of the tunes. Some are genuine garage rock in its best form, while others are warbling, wailing experimental sonic freakouts. The label claims that they release “music to ruin parties,” and I’d have to say that description hits the nail square on the head. I can see me and my buddy Matt back in college commandeering the stereo at a party to play this and piss everyone off, punks and frat boy lunkheads alike, laughing our asses off all the while. This is probably one of those records that you’ll either love or hate from your first listen, but if you hate it and then don’t listen to it for ten years you’d realize at that later date that there is genius in them there warblings. But then again, you might not. Waffling is fun –The Lord Kveldulfr (Voodoo Rhythm)


RATMASK:
Demo: Cassette
Always good to hear some straight-up hardcore punk being cranked out without any pretense or hollow pose. Ratmask belt out seven crunchers that are heavy and moderately fast. Instead of pummeling whirlwind speeds, they deliver their sonic beating through largely mid tempo and riff-heavy songs. The vocalist sounds like he’s being strangled, and at times he’s so pissed he can’t even get the words out, to where it sounds like he’s saying, “Yaay yah yay uh yahhhhhh!” Lyrically, it’s all vitriol against co-workers, pro-lifers, feeling useless, and society in general (there’s a lot of lyrical inspiration out there these days). If you want some no-frills hardcore that is loud and pissed, and good for venting to, then Ratmask are a good place to look. No idea why we’re just getting this now when it was released in 2009. Anyhow... –Matt Average (Drug Party, drugparty.org)


RATIONAL ANTHEM:
Sensitivity Training: LP
I’m finding that more often than not my bias against “pop punk” is unfounded, and here Rational Anthem goes proving me wrong again. I can’t deny that even though (or maybe because) I know exactly where these songs are going to go after hearing a few chords that they have a way of imbedding themselves into my brain. Sometimes I’m perfectly okay with not being the least bit surprised. Think early Blink 182 getting the shit kicked out of them by life and you’re in the right place. –Chris Mason (Bloated Cat)


RAPSÖD / STOLEN LIVES:
Split: LP
Hardcore with that distinct Eastern European feel. Rapsöd remind me a lot of See You In Hell, but they are definitely not mere parrots of that style. Their side of the record blazed a fiery swath through my record collection and made me want to pull out my own heart and eat it in a paroxysm of punk fury. Stolen Lives, while not quite as fun in my opinion, are still quite good. Their sound is a bit more standard and sounds a bit less uninhibited (if it’s possible for a hardcore record to be even a bit “inhibited”), but I still liked it a whole awful lot. Good record. –The Lord Kveldulfr (Different / PHR)


RAPE REVENGE :
Paper Cage: 7”
Paper Cage is a trip into the angry world of Rape Revenge. Whether railing against apathy, sexual violence, homophobia, or the hypocrisies of the punk and leftist movements, they drag hardcore from its font-obsessed ghetto and make it crucially relevant again. The lead singer, blind with rage, shrieks over some intricate, tight power violence with time changes reminiscent of Converge. The songs are only a few lines long, but in the liner notes, they give long written explanations to what they’re so pissed about. Just for the record, I feel compelled to mention Rape Revenge is a straight edge, vegan, queer, feminist band from Calgary. That’s awesome, but do they rock? Absolutely, they are full of vigor and integrity and are talented enough to keep things interesting and fresh. Fuck yeah! –Craven (To Live A Lie)


RANCID HELL SPAWN:
“Abolition of the Orgasm”: 7”
I knew this was going to suck from the moment I saw the horrible, slapped-together design featuring photos of trans women and a contortionist lady that a very out of touch Mr. Spawn found by googling “weird.” I was right. This is shitty, guy-in-his-basement, distorted noise-punk by the kind of guy who names his “band” Rancid Hell Spawn. By that, I mean some guy who gets positive reinforcement from every bad review, thinking he’s doing something edgy and subversive. Nope... sucks! –Craven (Wrench, mail@wrench.org)


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