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Razorcake #92
Spokenest, Gone, Gone, Gone LP
Pinned In Place, Ghostwritten By LP
Razorcake #91


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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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CARTE DE VISITE:
Play What You Feel: CD
This thirteen-song, forty minute CD is diverse but tends to register somewhere around the school of music played by The Sea And Cake: mellower indie rock with a slight jazzy feel. It’s got a lo-fi personality to it as well, but the singing sometimes falls flat and not in an endearing fashion, either. Even if the vocals aren’t always the greatest, the music is pretty solid. A couple of the instrumental tracks show this quite well (“Lucid Dream,” “Coasting on the Pavement, Staring at the Sky”). It’s not a bad start from what I perceive is still a pretty young act. More practice and really tightening things up will surely produce some good results. –kurt (cartedevisiteblog.tumblr.com)


CARCASS GRINDER / SMG:
Split: Cassette
Carcass Grinder is a Japanese grind outfit that have been around for something like twenty years, and their side of this is apparently just a rehearsal tape from a few years ago. While the quality definitely indicates that this is meant strictly for diehards, it’s actually pretty solid material and a fun listen. SMG are from Malaysia and are one of those bands that I own records by because they keep doing splits with bands I like, but I’ve never really been able to get into. –Ian Wise (Revulsion, revulsionrecords.com)


CAPSULE:
No Ghost: LP
There’s a slight chance that No Ghost would have been freshly innovative and groundbreaking were it not for the fact that bands such as Dillinger Escape Plan and Burnt By The Sun invented this sound right before Victory Records deconstructed it beyond repair. Then along came Bucket Full Of Teeth and Daughters to completely lay to waste the promise of any math metal ever sounding even remotely interesting ever again. Sorry Capsule, you just never stood a chance. –Juan Espinosa (Moment Of Collapse / Rorschach, momentofcollapse.com, rorschachrecords.net)


BURNING HEADS:
Self-titled: 7”
Burning Heads are mid-tempo melodic punk from France. The two songs here feature some okay riffs, but nothing memorable enough to stick with you for long. Lots of vocal harmonies during the choruses and lyrics with a political leaning (from what I could make out without a lyric sheet), helped this record, but, overall, it fell flat. –Paul J. Comeau (Can I Say)


BUILDINGS:
Melt Cry Sleep: CD
This is what would happen if one of the vocalists from Q And Not U (no, not him—yeah, the other one) decided to start a band that sounded like Shellac or The Jesus Lizard and then remembered some grunge music from when they were teens in the early ‘90s. Ten songs. Thirty-one minutes of aggressive rock with thick bass lines and changing time signatures. It’s all kinds of discordant, but not in an annoying way; it’s just the style they play. I’ve heard this kind of stuff dozens of times before, so it’s not that interesting to me unless it’s got a real original take on things or serves to stir up some good memories (neither of which Melt Cry Sleep does). However, Buildings can play competently, which is far more than I can say about a lot of bands nowadays. –kurt (Double Plus Good)


BUCK GOOTER:
Self-titled: 7”
Expressionist noise that few people can handle without cringing. I am among the sissies who covers ears upon listening. –Corinne (Flannel Gurl)


BROONIES, THE:
Love’s Sanitarium: CD
If you can imagine some great garage rock both from the sixties to now, then take out a whole of talent. Replace that talent with fun and then throw in some of the drug-addled influence of Spaceman 3 and maybe a midget Velvet Underground cover band and you’ll have The Broonies. It has the fun amateurishness of The Bananas or the softer parts of Los Rabbis, but it’s a bit weirder and more out there. Dopey, fun, and weirdly calming. I liked it. However, the weird, black-bottomed CD-R didn’t work in my CD player. And only it only worked in my computer after several tries. I recommend searching out the free download on Bandcamp for that reason. Too bad, it had nice homemade packaging. –Craven (Self-released)


BRAIN SLUG:
Demo: Cassette
Decent demo here. The execution is mainly mid tempo, though they do pick up the pace here and there, which gives you, the listener, something to hang on to. There’s definitely more power in bands slowing it down instead of hitting blur speeds all the time. The vocals are thick and heavy growls of disgust and anguish. The guitar is the same as well; just this mass of grind and buzz. I can’t help but think they look to Brainbombs for musical inspiration, as the songs are more about crushing and bludgeoning instead of moving and rocking out. The lyrics aren’t as dark and misanthropic, though they definitely air their dislike of the world. “Permanent Bummer” is the definite standout track. If they listen to this demo and hone in on what works and what does not, then they could be on to something. Just tighten up the songs a bit and this stuff will sting. –Matt Average (hardcorebrainslug@gmail.com)


BLOOD BUDDIES:
Demo: CD-R
Three songs of mid-tempo, off-kilter punk that’s both confessional and empowering. It’s rough and minimal without losing any command. As well as an excellent pairing of talents, Susan’s aggressive drumming style and Rachel’s heavy guitar tones mix perfectly. Definitely looking forward to more from this Los Angeles duo. –Daryl Gussin (Self-released, bloodbuddies123@gmail.com)


BLANKET OF M:
Self-titled: CD-R
This reminds me a lot of SNFU, both musically and lyrically. Throw in a little Misfits as well. Subject matter is pretty much light, referencing Christmas poems (“Small Town”), monsters, and sci-fi novels. The music is mid tempo, poppy, and just kind of there. If they pick up the pace and put more urgency into their playing, they could be a much better band. –Matt Average (cusser56@yahoo.com)


BIG CRUX:
Nature Cruising: 5-song, 1-sided 12” EP
The signposts are as obvious as the supports of a soccer goal. Big Boys (they name drop Biscuit), Minutemen (not many choruses). In the netting, a non-nihilistic Feederz, funk, positivity. It’s cool to hear former hardcore kid(s) (Life’s Halt) get the groove. I like this record; don’t get me wrong, but I think they can get stinkier, stankier, sweatier, mutant-ier, and uglier on the songs. I’m thinking along the lines of, well, like the Big Boys’ Lullabies Help the Brain Grow—a party right on the record that reflected all the band members, that wasn’t afraid to get downright weird. I like this record and will play it regularly, but I think Big Crux can up the ante on themselves. –todd ((SD)F, bigcrux@gmail.com, bigcrux.bandcamp.com)


BEXAR COUNTY BASTARDS, THE:
Come and Take It: LP
Whiskey-and-cocaine-fueled Southern Rock/Punk/Metalcore that likely would’ve gone down a storm ten or twelve years ago when all those whiskey-and-cocaine-fueled Southern Rock/Punk/Metalcore bands were big around here ((Nashville Pussy, Nine Pound Hammer, the Hookers, REO Speedealer, Zeke i guess, etc.)). These Sons of Lemmy/Satan are indisputably fairly good at what they do ((and what they do is 1. Get dumped by lyin’-ass bitch; 2. Drink whiskey; 3. Listen to Thin Lizzy)), although i can’t say that i’m such a big fan of the genre that i’ve been starved for new product in this vein, nor that they do anything innovative enough that they inject the genre with Springtime Freshness ((although, speaking of injecting, i can’t say as i’ve ever heard a band say “We roll with the heroin!” without irony before)), thus, i suggest that if you are actively seeking out new product in the aforementioned vein ((giggity)), seek no further. If you are just looking for something to play whilst you watch episodes of Ultraman™ with the sound down, you’d best take your cart down a different aisle. BEST SONG: Amazingly, i am starting to come around to the album’s token buckle-polisher, “Annie’s Song,” which is the song that i originally told myself i would skip the next time i played the album. BEST SONG TITLE: “Bexar County Queen,” because the “X” is silent. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Album cover is printed white-on-black, which is a very rare thing. –norb (Cutthroat)


BEARDAGE:
Riffage Demonstrations: CD
Hardcore punk music delivered loud, fast, and short. You can find the digital album for free online, so give it a google and take a listen for yourself. Give a donation if you like. I’ll give my support to any band that supports free music. –Corinne (Low Brow Lunacy)


BAD FATE:
Self-titled: 7”
Jangly indie rock stuff that is incredibly hard not to think of Bettie Serveert or Eric’s Trip when listening to. Not my usual fare, but I enjoyed it. –ty (The Broadway To Boundary)


AX, THE:
Fossils of Our Kind: 10” EP
A two-piece experimenting with a hybrid of Helmet/400 Blows-styled heavy rock. Sadly, with all that promise, the final product comes across as very bland, particularly in the vocals. Judging by the photograph on the back of the record, these fellas appear to be of the young persuasion and armed with some superior quality instruments. That’s not to say their age affects their capabilities. If anything, I hope their talent has the potential of maturing along with them. Then perhaps they’d have something going on. –Juan Espinosa (Whoa! Boat, whoaboatrecords.com)


ATOMIC BOMBS:
Policeman’s Ball: CD
I am by no means a fan of law enforcement, but the cover, which depicts a cop being raped by a punk, may be just a wee bit much. That said, the music here’s pretty spot on: mid-’80s hardcore feel, a singer with a unique delivery that is decidedly outside the usual growl/howl box, and the recurrent subject matter of police and the fun they create, told with occasional flashes of humor and pertinent sound bites. –jimmy (Solidarity First)


ATOMGEVITTER:
Thrash Ritual: CD
Thrash thrash thrash! Forty songs of sonic speed trials, many unreleased, remastered, and more. Very 625 style: fast, a bit whacked out, straddling hardcore, punk, and metal crossover. I must admit, it’s hard to listen to forty songs of this style without it blurring into one song. Near impossible. I listened to the Larm discography straight through a few times just to see if I could do it, and it changed me. Not in a good way. My attention span shortened. This is doing the same thing. I do like this, but, fuck, it gets to be a slog. I recommend listening to this in parts for full effect. Then you can appreciate the speed, how they can throw in some catchy and crunching riffs, and the wild, strangled vocals. This disc includes the material from their split with Filthpact, their Hirosehmo EP, a comp track, some live stuff, and mostly unreleased (as mentioned at the top of this paragraph). –Matt Average (Revulsion, info@revulsionrecords.com)


ART INSTITUTE:
People Like It When You Fail: LP
The band name is apropos—a lotta “art” pumped into the sound of a band that isn’t afraid to dive into the post-punk pool and do their best to avoid coming off like yet another Gang Of Four tribute band “addicted to the drug of nostalgia.” Tunes are sophisticated, diverse, and only a wee bit pretentious at times. The singer occasionally sounds reminiscent of Lee Reynaldo. –jimmy (Artificial Head)


ARMITAGE SHANKS:
All Cisterns Go!: 7” EP
Penultimate Lairds o’ th’ Toe Rag Sound, the Armitage Shanks have put out a ton of records since the ‘90s, none of them flushable ((for the underinitiated, try to imagine what Thee Headcoats would sound like were they more given to bashing out old punk numbers than dissecting the complexities of Billy Childish’s familial relationships, and you’ve pretty much hit upon the critical nexus of the Shanks’ oeuvre)). Who doesn’t love old guys being simultaneously dapper and vile, especially when they do so whilst beating the hell out of their guitars, thus inflicting a choppy, noxious racket without the guitars ever actually sounding overdriven? I sure don’t not love them, that’s for sure. Anyway, speaking of the devil, “Did Punk Rock Make You a Millionaire?” sounds like one of those P.O.’ed rants Billy Childish would get off onto back in the ‘90s, as the band lyrically examines the relative financial states of various elderly punk figures, problem being that their accents make it difficult for me to figure out the names of half the old farts about whom they’re singing ((also, is Jimmy Pursey really living in a doorway? That sucks if it’s true. Especially if it’s my doorway)). “The Ballad of Unlucky Luke” is essentially a Snodlanded-up version of the Figgs’ “Bad Luck Sammy,” and “No Chance” is a classic hive of scum and villainy in the band’s gloriously bilious tradition. Things wrap up with a cover of “Action Time Vision,” a song at which the band is peculiarly adept. Buy this now, whilst the band is still flushed with their own success! BEST SONG: “No Chance” BEST SONG TITLE: “Did Punk Rock Make You a Millionaire?” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: I’ve never really given the matter much thought prior to this moment, but i think this is the most toilets i’ve ever seen on a record cover. –norb (Braindart)


ARDILLAS:
Self-titled: LP
Picked this up from my local record shop after Davila 666 last came through town —guess they sold a few copies to the store. Ardillas (which the Internet translates from Spanish to mean either “squirrel” or, as an adjective, “sharp, clever”) hail from San Juan, Puerto Rico, and features two members of Davila 666. Even considering them the separate bands they are, I can’t help but hear some similarities (they share a drummer so the drums are bombastic and fill-happy) but there are enough differences to distinguish the two (the mix isn’t completely drenched in reverb; songs are less noisy.) According to the internet, this band has been around for ten years! The songs are anthemic, punk pop, part Sex Pistols (the snot), part Dead Boys (the big drum sound and the snot), with the occasional guitar heroics (“Todo Es Mierda”). Marble gray vinyl adds a nice touch. –Sal Lucci (Chacho, chachorecords@gmail.com)


APATIA:
Self-titled: LP
Apatia would benefit from ditching the long songs, the nü-metal influence, and finally chucking their bass player’s effects pedal into the Baltic Sea (they’re from Poland). This is obviously a DIY product and the pictures on the insert show a group of young men having a good time doing their thing. Unfortunately, I believe in no credit for showing up: bad music is bad music no matter how it’s presented. –Juan Espinosa (Pasazer, pasazer@pasazer.pl)


AMOEBAS:
Self-titled: CD
Fans of The Stitches or The Briefs will sauce their shorts over this one. All eight of the songs included are incredible blasts of high energy, ‘77-infused, accessible punk of the best kind. The Amoebas debut full length is a true instant classic and easily one of the best albums of the decade so far. As if the music itself wasn’t enough, Modern Action again takes the cake for beautiful packaging, with four editions available (two LP versions and two CD versions). There’s an admittedly fine line between labor of love presentation and the deliberate creation of collector asshole-ism, but it’s all in good fun. The LP is already sold out as of this writing, but I’m sure it’ll be repressed. Sleazy, magical, and just plain rocking, this is a rare heavy hype record that lives up to the hype. And then some. –Art Ettinger (Modern Action, modernactionrecords.com)


ABOLITIONIST:
It Used to Rain: LP
Jawbreaker/Hot Water Music-styled pop punk. The record tells the story of a world that finds itself with a water shortage and the society that is now built around it. While interesting, the music doesn’t live up to the concept. It’s not bad, but some songs drag on and the vocal delivery can seem jagged and rough in context to the music. Neat ideas with some questionable execution. –Bryan Static (1859)


6MAS:
Rape the Earth: LP
Making blanket statements without backing them up makes the speaker sound ignorant. Double for making such on a recording or in print, because then you can’t blab your way out of it. I’m quite guilty of it myself. I’m even guilty of doing it in these pages. So with benefit of hindsight, let’s say that you’re 6mas and you wrote a song called “Emo Sucks,” which makes assumptions about the entire breadth and history of anything that’s ever been tagged emo. That makes the 6mas sound uninformed, naïve, and petty. Now don’t get me wrong, I really don’t give a fuck what 6mas or anybody else thinks about emo. But next time, it might be a good idea for 6mas to write a song called “Generally Speaking, Emo Sucks” or “From My Experience So Far, Emo Isn’t Really My Thing.” For instance, what if I said, “generally speaking, crust sucks because ninety percent of it sounds exactly like 6mas, in other words, dudes growling and using rape as a metaphor for environmental destruction over guitars that go ‘banana banana banana’’? This makes an educated statement, to crust fans and haters alike, that crust usually sucks, for the aforementioned reason and that 6mas is part of the problem. In the meantime, hope springs eternal. –Craven (GRF, grfrecords.estranky.cz)


ZLODZIEJE ROWEROW:
Final (Live): CD/DVD
Hailing from Warsaw, Poland, Zlodzieje Rowerow (“Bicycle Thieves” in Polish) were a pillar of the Polish hardcore punk scene since the early ‘90s. On December 18th, 2010 the band played their last show at Club CDQ in Warsaw to a sold-out crowd. All the intensity of that last show is captured on this live CD/DVD. The sound quality on the CD is amazing, one of the best live recordings I’ve ever heard. Zlodzieje Rowerow play melodic hardcore, with catchy riffs and shouted vocals. There’s a bit of late ‘80s post-hardcore vibe in this as well that I was into. Sadly, I was unable to get the DVD to play in my DVD player, but based on the CD alone, I’d say this is solidly worth checking out. –Paul J. Comeau (Refuse)


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