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· 1:Razorcake #82 Now Available | Baby J, (Can Of Beans, Stoned At Heart)
· 2:ME FIRST AND THE GIMME GIMMES
· 3:#336 with Marty Ploy
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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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COCKROACHES:
No Boarding and Pop Fodder: CD
Judging from the first song, this Russian band apparently falls in the pop punk pigeonhole. The reason I really can't say for sure is that the disc began skipping midway through that song and I couldn't get it to play any others on the disc. Upon ejecting it, I found that the reason that it wouldn't play is because it looks like someone dragged it face down through a gravel quarry.

 

Yup, they play pop punk. There's even a fucking ska song. Christ, is there nowhere on this god‑forsaken planet that hasn't been infected with this crap? To call the music here drivel would be to compliment it. This disc, by the way, looked like someone tried to polish it with a piece of coarse sandpaper.

–Jimmy Alvarado (www.tarakany.ru)


COCK SPARRER:
Live: Runnin: CD
You can't really say that Cock Sparrer is breaking any new ground these days. This is a recording of their show in San Francisco last February. They played most of their hits: "Runnin' Riot," "Where Are They Now?" "Riot Squad," "Argy Bargy," "England Belongs to Me," and so on. The recording quality is high. It sounds great, and the songs are really good songs. The only problem I have is that I've heard them all so many times now that I wish they'd write some new fucking songs. They also have kind of a rock star way of putting on a show: they say the name of the city the same way Spinal Tap would, they tell the crowd that they're great audience, they encourage you to sing along with the hits, etc. So if you're a Cock Sparrer nut (no pun intended), if you want to relive the last time you saw Cock Sparrer, or if you've never heard them, this would be a great album. Otherwise, well, you've heard it. –Sean Carswell (TKO)


COCK SPARRER:
England Belongs to Me: CD
A compendium of their early singles, this release also serves as an interesting document of the evolution of this long‑running band. The earlier tracks owe more than a little to the pub rock sound that was prevalent when the band started back in the '70s and, as the disc progresses, you can hear the development of the hard, yet very poppy sound for which they are known. Toward the end, the listener is also treated to a lesson that plagued many English punk bands (Adicts, SLF, Angelic Upstarts) during the '80s: overproduction can ruin even the best song. Still, this is more than worth the price of admission just to hear early versions of classics like "Running Riot," "Argy Bargy," "Working," and a great live cover of the Clash's "White Riot." –Jimmy Alvarado (Taang)


CHUBBIES, THE:
American Swagger: CD
The Chubbies is just one girl, Jeannette, and she is DIY. This album is a collection of demos written, recorded, mixed, produced and starring her. After 22 other releases as The Chubbies, Jeannette decided to go back to basics for this one. This album was recorded on an 8‑track in her bedroom. The booklet is very Storytellers with a short description of what the songs are about before the lyrics are given. A recommended listen for anyone who owns a virgin 8‑track who needs to hear how it's done. –Guest Contributor (Filthy's)


CELL BLOCK 5:
Push It: CD
Pretty run‑of‑the‑mill punk/hardcore with a Dwarves influence. It's better than some, but still not particularly crucial to these ears. –Jimmy Alvarado (Industrial Strength)


CAUSEY WAY, THE:
Causey Vs. Everything: CD
A lot more sultry than previous releases, it seems that Causey is personalizing his message to each and everyone of us. The more blatant new wave trappings have been updated to something I can't exactly place, but enjoy immensely ("Newest Wave," perhaps). All I know is that their sound is slithery, bouncy, and saturated with space‑reverb guitar that borders on a rapture of sorts. This time out, Causey's high‑pitched voice is augmented by the smoky female esophagus of The Truth Causey (I believe. Scant details are on the CD packaging itself) that develops yet another dimension to Causey's already considerable musical arsenal. There are also quite a few slower and mid tempo songs on "Vs. Everything," that bip, bop and bounce around in really intriguing ways, avoiding the continual trap of boring the audience with mere repetitious masturbation. My sole quibble is that there are no sermon transcriptions to the songs accompanying the release; instead there's a picture of a shirtless Causey frolicking in a field of yellow flowers that's so funny I want to get the LP version so it's bigger. All in all, a fantastic release that'll be sure to swell the minions converting to The Causey Way. –Todd Taylor (Alternative Tentacles)


CAUSE FOR ALARM:
Nothing Ever Dies (1982 99): CD
Back in the day, these guys were one of New York's best. They released a smoking debut EP, then faded into obscurity until they reformed a few years ago. As this "greatest hits" package so painfully illustrates, they shoulda left well enough alone because, aside from the few tracks from that debut, this stuff sucks in ways that would make the Cro‑Mags envious. –Jimmy Alvarado (Victory)


CATTLE DECAPITATION:
Decapitacion: 7"EP
Look at the band name. Guess what they sound like. One‑sided, three songs, all in Spanish, and the singer sounds like he ain't a native speaker. –Jimmy Alvarado (Accident Prone)


CANNANES AND STEWARD:
Communicating At An Unknown Rate: CD
Nope, I won't be needing any downers tonight. –Jimmy Alvarado (Yoyo)


CANDY SNATCHERS:
Ugly on the Inside b/w Party Girl Cocaine County: 7"
If Chuck Berry was a bunch of much paler guys, hopped‑up, drugged‑to‑the‑gills, and bleeding, he'd be the Snatchers. These guys are the anti‑venom to pre‑manufactured teleprompter and dance instructor pop. Two fast, drunk and plunder songs. The only question I have is why did someone Photoshop a can of cat food on the cover? –Todd Taylor (Get Hip)


BUSTED LIVES, THE:
The Winner: CD
Not as crazed as their last album, but that doesn't mean that this isn't up to its eyeballs in bad drug‑induced psychosis. As I listened to this, I pictured Black Randy fronting an early incarnation of the Flesh Eaters writing desperate love songs to The Reatards. Then again, I could be way off the mark with that description. It wouldn't be the first time. Look, just send 'em your fuckin' money. You won't be disappointed. –Jimmy Alvarado (Blueball)


BURNMAN:
Notes for a Catalogue for an Exhibition: CD
It's no secret by now that I hate emo in all its sickly hues, cacophonous tones and pretentious intents. A good day for me would be one in which all the little emo lemmings took a flying fuck off the nearest cliff, taking every one of their putrid CDs along for the ride. That said, I liked this disc. Sure, it has its share of overblown artistic reach, soaring guitars and stream of consciousness lyrics, but it also has one hell of an edge, and that alone allows it to pull itself out of the dung heap. Behind all the usual trappings is one mother of a rhythm section, notably a drummer who lays a solid foundation by gleefully wailing on his skins in wild abandon, giving the whole thing an almost early Die Kreuzen intensity, albeit sans the thrash beats. No faggy boo hoo cry in my Fugazi backpack swill here, boyo. This stuff is as anything remotely related to punk rock should be: a pure emotional purging of anger, desperation, rage, tragedy and every other negative adjective you can think of. Fuck, I could probably stomach all the whiny crybaby shit all those other bands force‑feed the masses if they at least sounded the least bit upset about the whole thing, you know? Despite all the annoying genre trappings to be found here, these guys sound pissed off and that makes all the difference. –Jimmy Alvarado (No Idea)


BS2000:
Simply Mortified: CD
King Ad Rock and the drummer on the first Suicidal Tendencies album get together with their Casio keyboards and beat boxes and make a lotta noise. Well, most of it ain't "noisy" per se. My girlfriend's mother has this strange recording of that old '70s disco hit, "Popcorn," done by some Latino group whose name escapes me right now. This reminds me of that cover being covered by a punk band that spent too much time listening to the music emanating from their Atari 2600 games. It's a fun, interesting listen and, with a little aggro, they could be contenders for the Screamers synth‑punk crown (I'd like to see what they could do with that band's "122 Hours of Fear" or "Magazine Love"). I'll probably glean hours of enjoyment driving people crazy with this disc, but I highly doubt that they'll reap the rewards of a hit song, except maybe in Japan, where it seems any band that isn't Japanese are huge. Ask Citizen Dick. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.grandroyal.com)


BRIEFS, THE/THE SPITS:
Split: 7"EP
Briefs: Their side of the cover is a total bite of the first Child Molesters' single. More engaging than their CD. I can hear a Voidoids influence in there somewhere on "(I Think) My Baby is a Communist." "Silver Bullet" calls for the death of Bob Seger, and I sure ain't gonna argue against that. Pretty fucking good stuff. Spits: Sound quality is as bad as the Misfits' "Cough/Cool" single. The first song is a punk'n'roll ditty and the second reminded me of the Normal. –Jimmy Alvarado (Dirtnap)


BOTTLES AND SKULLS:
Amped the Fuck Up: 7"EP
Some solid, tight hardcore here that ain't particularly speedy, but rather goes along at a nice enough clip to facilitate head‑bobbin'. I'd like to see if they could pull off a full‑length, 'cause this EP was pretty good. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.bottlesandskulls.com)


BLOW UP, THE:
Self-titled: 7"EP
Side one has some good mid‑tempo punk rock, and side two, while not as strong, is still pretty good. The singer reminds me of the guy in Barkmarket. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.emptyrecords.com)


BLITZHOSEN:
The Manual Transmission: CD
Emo. Insert gratuitous, tear‑drenched vomiting sounds here. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.blitzhosen@hotmail.com)


BLACK JAX:
Self-titled: CD
Look, the fact that I was a member of a later version of this band is of no consequence because A) That version of the band was completely different from the version presented here and B) I was a fan long before I was a participant in any of their shenanigans. So there. All of you screaming "conflict of interest" can kiss my ass. Now, on with our story. I first saw the Black Jax in late '85/early '86 at a party in Montebello, if I'm not mistaken. I was a little, bald, hardcore shithead who thought that you had to play fast and hard to be considered a good punk band. They proved that particular belief of mine was ridiculous. The band was hard, up‑tempo and (gasp) melodic at the same time. The fact that Pogo was a fuckin' madman didn't hurt much either. We later got chased out of the party 'cause a drunk Vietnamese kid who was with us was claiming to be a "Suicidal" in a party filled with skinheads (Suicidals and skins didn't get along back then, mind you) and he ended up jumping into the swimming pool. I left that party humming the song I later learned was called "Fooled By a Pretty Face" and considered myself a fan from that day forward. Over the next year, I saw them many times and, each time, I stood awed at how utterly goddamned good they were. They could pull hooks out of thin air. They laid waste to almost any band dumb enough to play with them. They were, to sound like a high school geek, fucking awesome. Sadly, though, they never got their moment in the sun or the chance to put their amazing set on vinyl. This release, which consists of two demos, will hopefully rectify that injustice. The first nine songs were recorded in 1986 and later (coupled with a live show from Raji's that ain't on here on the other side of the tape) became the band's official demo. The sound is what is now referred to "77 punk" with a good dose of old So Cal punk for good measure, yet, 14 years later, they don't sound dated at all. The recording is excellent (which is amazing considering that it was recorded on a four‑track in a bedroom) and the tracks are tight and fat with instantly hummable hooks. Their finest moment, the song "Growing Pains," which begins with a quiet guitar intro and quickly kicks into overdrive, still gives me chills. The remaining three tracks are from an earlier demo that I've never heard (dammit, Gary, you were holding out on me!). The sound on these are a little rawer, but the songs shine through and transcend the primitive recording limitations. A note of gratitude goes out to Steve Stiph for finally giving this great, long‑gone band their due. Now those of us who have been listening to shitty, worn out cassette copies of the demo all these years can give them a decent Christian burial and rock out once again to one of the best punk bands East LA/San Gabriel ever produced. –Jimmy Alvarado (Wankin' Stiphs)


BLACK DICE:
Self-titled: CDEP
Out of 15 tracks, two could actually be construed as songs, and they weren't nothin' to write home about. In all, a waste of 11 valuable minutes of my life, by my calculations. –Jimmy Alvarado (Troubleman Unlimited)


BELLRAYS, THE:
Grand Fury: CD
The mighty BellRays have once again reared their collective heads and let fly 13 tracks of some bombastic, scathing rock'n'roll. Let me tell you, kids, this is a pretty welcome addition to the playlist at the Alvarado/Perez‑Villalta household. Karla (my girlfriend) is not especially punk‑friendly, but the Bell Rays is one of few bands that she not only tolerates but actively encourages the listening of on a regular basis (the Descendents and early Bad Brains being a couple of others). Of course, we still have our disagreements about who we hear traces of in their music (she says either a meeting of Jimi Hendrix and Tina Turner, or Angela Davis set to music, but I think she's high, because it's patently clear that what she's hearing is an MC5/Aretha Franklin hybrid, but I digress), and these discussions usually get pretty heated when they're coupled with a game of Scrabble (I do not make up words! "Git" does exist! Sod the dictionary!). While we may disagree on the irrelevant particulars, we do agree that the Bell Rays are one of the best groups that rock'n'roll in the new millennium has to offer, even if listening to them at excessive volumes causes your ears to bleed. I hear through the grapevine that they're going through a bad patch right now, and I hope that they are able to come through it relatively unscathed, 'cause losing this band would be the equivalent of losing a lung for any fan of loud music. –Jimmy Alvarado (Upper Cut)


BEACH BITCHES, THE:
Soul Shake Power: CD
Stupid band name, good Cramps‑on‑speed garage rock. I really thought this would suck, so I'm pretty impressed. –Jimmy Alvarado (http://www.multimania.com/bananajuice/)


BASTARD NOISE:
The Analysis of Self Destruction: CD
Noise, primarily of the static and hum variety. I probably woulda liked it if I understood the point of the whole exercise. –Jimmy Alvarado (Alien8)


BAD LUCK CHARMS:
Bad Luck & Heartbreak: CD
Modern grease monkey crap. Yawn. –Jimmy Alvarado (Zodiac)


BAD INFLUENCE:
Last Cries: CD
British anarcho‑hardcore in an Oi Polloi‑meets‑Unsane kinda way. It's engaging enough, for the most part, but the song lengths get a little trying on those of us suffering from attention deficit disorder. –Jimmy Alvarado (RRR)


LADY MONOXIDE:
Lake Street Basement Tapes: CDEP
Sludgy female‑fronted punk rock. I detect a slight Hole influence in there, but it's more akin to early the pre‑Kurt days, thankfully, 'cause I loathe anything by Hole after their first album. The songs are a little on the long side, but it ain't too shabby as a whole. –Jimmy Alvarado (Lady Monoxide)


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·ICONS OF FILTH
·CROISSANTS, THE
·LEFT BACK, #4
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·Dead Kennedys, The Generators, Toxic Narcotic, River City Rebels, The Nickel Kid
·JACKY STONE AND HIS UGLY BONES
·NOFX
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