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· 1:Razorcake #82 Now Available | Baby J, (Can Of Beans, Stoned At Heart)
· 2:#336 with Marty Ploy
· 3:#335 with Bryan Static
· 4:Punk Parenthood for the Sleep Deprived 5
· 5:Interview with Dave of Factory Records Store


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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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INTENSIVES / PANIK ATTAK:
Split: 7”
The Intensives play slightly down tempo (for hardcore) hardcore, which they’re damn fine at. A sort-of tightness reigns, with grit chorus and focused beam, and they know when to end a song—never a problem with hardcore, I guess—which is loudly and quickly. While Panik Attak says: “We sound like echoes of these mangled bands, if they were to cram into clown cars, speed head on into each other, scraped off the pavement and molded into four ugly rejects”. Their description definitely isn’t wrong, but it’s more of a reverbed, talk-singing Rob Halford backed by Dirt McGirt hardcore with rock and roll leathers, all recorded (of course) in a basement. –Andrew Flanagan (Longshot, myspace.com/longshotmusic)


INBRED, TH’:
Legacy of Fertility: CD
Though fairly obscure now, Th’ Inbred were a quasi-known band amongst punk’s great unwashed back in the ‘80s. In their relatively short period of existence they managed a self-released EP and two LPs for Toxic Shock (a label that was quite the bee’s knees in its own right in that time) before throwing in the towel in ’88. All of the above— Reproduction, A Family Affair and Kissin’ Cousins, respectively—and a few unreleased tunes have been compiled by the good folks at Alternative Tentacles so that a new generation of punters can hear what all the fuss was about. What you get for your buck are a truckload of thrash tunes heavily tempered with jazzisms, wild tempo, and rhythm shifts and sarcasm-tinged lyrics that are not afraid to piss on religion, politics, and, especially, the punk scene itself. While the stuff here might occasionally seem a little quaint after twenty-odd years of explorations into hardcore’s various hues, there are still enough surprises to be found to keep the most jaded Mohican guessing. Having not heard ’em since the respective releases on here were new, it was nice to revisit a band that managed to retain a sense of self when the rest of the scene pretty much actively pandered to some pretty stupid and stifling pigeonholes. –Jimmy Alvarado (Alternative Tentacles)


IN DEFENCE:
Into the Sewer: CD
I still love me some really heavy, fast bands. Problem is, I can’t stand ninety-five percent of the other people into really heavy, fast bands (even more so in the live setting). That’s what I love about In Defence. Hard as hell, but substituting the macho bullshit that comes with a lot of this stuff for light-hearted goofiness that isn’t afraid to poke fun at the genre. And besides, musically speaking, they absolutely rip. “Straight Edge Hangover” is the anthem I’ve been waiting for, for a long time. One of the best hardcore/thrash bands going right now? I think so. Tacos forever. –Joe Evans III (Learning Curve)


IMPULSE INTERNATIONAL, THE:
Point of Action: LP
Finally! This is something I’ve been waiting for since last year. After a few singles in the past couple years, The Impulse International have seen fit to put out this full length album; high-energy power pop with some British mod influences throughout. Well played with a slight bit of rawness that keeps things loose and fun. The pacing is perfect. They come on quick and keep the energy up. They switch into a moderate pace here and there to break things up, with songs like “Rooftops & Bus Stops,” “Pretty Girls,” and the awesome “Automatic Breakdown.” Songs like “Tina, No” and “I Found You” remind me of the Undertones, and, you know, that’s a good thing. Supreme record all the way through. Worth the wait. –Matt Average (Deranged)


IMPULSE INTERNATIONAL, THE:
Point of Action: CD
When bands try to pull the telecommuting/living all over the place thing, the results are either terrible, or really great and interesting. Fortunately, this falls under the later. Finally getting a full length together after a slew of 7”s, The Impulse have always had a fairly distinctive power pop meets classic ‘70s punk sound (very similar to the Buzzcocks or Undertones), but I feel like even more so here. This could pass as a lost Richard Hell and the Voidoids record that’s more straight up, without all the weird, wanky guitar parts. Great and interesting, indeed. –Joe Evans III (Dirtnap)


IMPULSE INTERNATIONAL, THE:
Point of Action: CD
Think Exploding Hearts, but I’d bet a bag of gummy peachy rings that this band also likes the Barracudas and the Undertones. Here’s the thing about reviews. There are plenty of bands that aren’t bad and that plenty of people would like, but they fail the “jump up and down and have a mini-solo dance party test” for me. And sadly, this is one of those bands. Maybe I’m wrong. I mean, they have a single on Mutant Pop. They have all the right reference points, and I’d definitely go see them play, but if this were a cereal, it’d be Fruity Pebbles. The concept is there, and I’d grab a handful if someone offered it, but I wouldn’t buy it. –Maddy (Dirtnap)


IDLE HANDS:
Volatile Matters: 7”
One of my favorite bands on the planet made up of some of my favorite people on the planet. Whatev. I can review objectively. That said; this is totally awesome. If you were into their Postponed LP and/or their amazing self-titled EP, get ready for Idle Hands’ best songs yet. I had the great pleasure of seeing these songs performed every night for two weeks this summer. Not for a second did I tire of them, and I still find myself spinning this record multiple times a day. For any not familiar, imagine a slightly darker, faster Statues with some uniquely European elements that are tough to put your finger on and you’d be pretty close. Get all of this band’s records immediately. So, so great and that much better when you know that the guys behind the songs are all heart. –Dave Williams (Rockstar)


HYDEOUTS:
Creeps at Night: 7”
I wish there was something that allowed bands to do research to find out if the concept they have stumbled onto has already been used, exhausted even, by bands that came before them. Perhaps if there was a world wide web of information, accessible at the click of a button, the guys in the Hydeouts could have Googled… err, I mean, researched “Rock and Roll Is Dead” and found out that, yes, the idea of a rock band rockin’ out about how rock has kicked the bucket has in fact been played out. That bastard Lenny Kravitz made me sick of the concept. Actually, the lunatic who lived in the apartment above me and blasted Crapvit’s greatest hits over and over for full days at a time is to blame for the fact that I now get completely enraged when I hear the words “Rock and Roll Is Dead.” It’s like I’ve got some weird form of rock and roll PTSD. Now, if the Hydeouts had done a song called “Horror Rock Is Dead,” this whole thing could have been avoided. Awww, I can’t be too hard on these guys. The fact is that the song is good, and they more than redeem themselves on the flipside with “The Creeps at Night,” a monster stomper that totally hits the mark. –MP Johnson (Creepy Anthem, myspace.com/thehydeouts)


HOTLINES, THE:
Self-titled: CD
Billy Joe Green Day aspires to be in a Queers clone band. They have better hooks than others, I’ll give ’em that, but in the end, too many bands have long ago tainted this flavor of Kool-Aid. –Jimmy Alvarado (lamf.biz))


HOSTILES, THE:
Always Looking Forward: CD
Ska from Scotland which must make them Skatish. Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. I also can’t help myself that ska is my least favorite subgenre in punk rock. Hence, I had a hard time embracing this disc with the “ska bounce” and the cliché horn parts. It sounded quite typical of the genre, but maybe a bit more predictable and mundane than usual. My favorite parts of the album were the portions that eschewed the least blatant calling cards of ska. Like the intro to the second song “Where Are You?” and the conclusion of the last song “A Bad Day for Shorts” when they get all metal. However, you may end up liking this if you have a tendency to enjoy ska. –Jake Shut (Self-released)


IMPULSE INTERNATIONAL, THE:
Point of Action: CD
Pop punk the way Dirtnap Records does best: snotty voice, catchy rhythms, lots of waaaaa ohhhh oh oh. I like it, but it’s missing an edge that other bands on the label have; feels a little more forced here. But if you grab all things pop punk, there are some solid songs in there. Maybe I’m jaded these days…. –Speedway Randy (Dirtnap)


HOSTILES, THE:
Always Looking Forward: CD
I noticed in my pile of review materials that I had one part of this CD’s promo copy packaging, with no actual CD. Unsure of what to do, and ultimately wanting to keep from potentially screwing them over, I figured I’d at least check out the website they’d listed. From what I can tell, this is all your standard Less Than Jake-influenced ska punk. Admittedly, not the kind of stuff I’ve listened to since I was a lot younger, and if I was going to go back now, I’d probably just stick with the influences proper. I tried. –Joe Evans III (myspace.com/hostileska)


HOSTAGE LIFE / KNUCKLEHEAD:
Split: 7”
Longshot Records continues to impress with another hearty entry in their split series. Showcasing two Canadian streetpunk bands from opposite coasts, this release brings together Western Canada’s Knucklehead with Ontario’s Hostage Life. As is bound to happen with splits from time to time, one side is way stronger than the other. Although Hostage Life is nothing to frown upon, The Knucklehead track side is an instant classic. It’s like sharing a pizza with someone who ordered something you like, but don’t love on their half. You can still share it, even though you’d rather have hot peppers on the whole pie. Knucklehead is super fucking melodic and danceable, reminiscent of Reducers SF. Hostage Life are in the same vein, but are somehow a little bland. I bet Hostage Life was great live, although they sadly called it quits at the end of 2009. Kudos goes to Longshot for continuing to spread wondrous oi and streetpunk across the globe. –Art Ettinger (Longshot)


HINDI GUNS:
Do or Die: CD
The opening shot here, “Sugar Drone,” sounds like it was pilfered from the Poster Children’s a-list of tunes. The rest are steeped in that same quasi-psychedelic post-post punk vibe so many of the late ‘80s/early ‘90s indie bands loved so much. Good stuff on the whole, though I’m not quite sure why they selected Yukio Mishima as their cover model. Maybe for no more reason than just ’cause he was an interesting cat. Look him up ’n’ learn something new, kids. –Jimmy Alvarado (myspace.com/hindiguns)


HINDI GUNS, THE:
(Many Many) Miles Away: CD Single
It seems there are two The Hindi Guns—one from Los Angeles and one from Portland, Oregon—and appears that they share a couple of band members. Not that it matters much, as far as I can tell. For the record, this is the Stumptown version of the band. This is a great looking CD single designed to look like a 7” record. Unfortunately, the music doesn’t live up to the promise of the packaging. “(Many Many) Miles Away” alternates between a nonchalant groove during the verses and an awkward, cringe-inducing chorus. It’s the vocals that make this so unbearable a listening experience. I want to smack the slack jawed, Lou Reed vocal delivery out of the singer’s mouth. “Loaded Gun” is a Dandy Warhols throw away, which is saying it sucks something awful since the Dandy’s stuff is garbage. College indie rock, Brit pop wannabe schlock. –Josh Benke (French Fan Club, myspace.com/hindiguns)


HIGHER GIANT:
Al’s Moustache: 7”
You know those supergroups that showcase aging, once-great punks crooning boring post-punk indignities? Fortunately, Higher Giant is not one of those bands. Instead, they’re an earnest, lovable melodic punk outfit featuring hardcore legend Ernie Parada (Token Entry) on vocals and guitar, backed by members of Warzone, Lifetime, Kid Dynamite, Paint It Black, and The Arsons. Growing up doesn’t have to mean growing into lameness. As simplistic as hardcore pretends to be, there are some fucking sharp musicians hiding in the mix. Four of them are rocking out in Higher Giant. I can’t wait for a full-length from these guys. This EP is on beautiful colored vinyl, with a free digital download included. It’s a truly excellent sampling of unimposing, post-core brilliance. The emergence of Al’s Moustache will make you rethink your desire to euthanize the old guy in the back of the room. –Art Ettinger (Black Numbers, theblacknumbers.com)


HIDDEN SPOTS:
Self-titled: LP
Being a small town punk in his late ‘30s, I’m going to take some stabs here, and it’s based on a talk I had with my friend, Matt’s Incredible. In the mid-to-late ‘80s, punk rock as we know it was in pretty bad shape. The first and second waves had come and gone, yet it was still slowly infiltrating the lower population centers in America: the high desert, the Midwest, the South. So, it wouldn’t be completely out of the question to find a Suicidal Tendencies or JFA record then picking something from an active, pushed band on college radio that was more ruffle-cuffed, overly melodic, and largely English. Cure. OMD. Depeche Mode. The Bolshoi. Icicle Works. Love And Rockets. Flesh For Lulu. Simple Minds. For fuck’s sake, there was no interweb, barely no instant anything when it came to underground music. “New” could be a decade. So when the gruff-voiced Eric Nelson launches into covers of two of the aforementioned bands, a couple of the pins drop in the lock to the safe to further understanding the riches of the Hidden Spots. 1.) Fuck pretense. Blame the world and society, but don’t blame people over thirty for knowing and liking this stuff, word-for-word, unironically. 2.) There are valuable lessons to be learned from “Duckie Rock” (Pretty in Pink) by many bands, especially in the hooks and melodies departments. 3.) Reclamation, Chattanooga Cultural Division, has made one of the most exciting, powerful, and positive full length records in all of 2009. It spits fire at organized religion, the concept of national pride, and hugs its friends closely with as much ferocity. I’m agog on how great this is and I was already on “Mike Pack Shit-stained High Five” bandwagon a couple years back. –Todd Taylor (Mauled By Tigers)


HIGHSCHOOL NIGHTMARE:
Nightmare High: 12”
This is a really weird record. Highschool Nightmare is from Hamburg, Germany but they sound like a Bay Area band trying to score a deal with Epitaph circa 1999. Big, flashy guitars, empty hooks, and harmonizing vocals out the ying-yang. It’s like a Lars Frederickson And The Bastards jam session that goes on and on forever. Okay, it’s only sixteen songs, but it feels like forever. I’m not entirely convinced this is a real band and not some kind of high concept karaoke stunt. –Jim Ruland (Longshot Music)


HEIZ, THE:
Self-titled: CD
A Japanese trash rock band that sounds like they cribbed the same influences and best parts of John Lennon’s early ‘60s work with the Beatles and recorded it in an empty club with only a room mic, albeit one that managed to pick up some clear sound. The grinder “Please Don’t Cry” appeals to my inner Midniters fan and, on the whole, they do what they do with enough energy and passion that you can’t help but dig ’em. –Jimmy Alvarado (tokyonorecords.com)


HEAVY TRASH:
Midnight Soul Serenade: CD
Had to take a look and see if Tchad Blake and/or Mitchell Froom had a hand in producing this. Much of what’s here sounds like a cross between later period Tom Waits and Los Lobos’ more recent art-slathered take on rock’n’roll and blues, which is by no means an insult. Jon Spencer and Matt Verta-Ray add a bit more of their own sociopathic predilections to the proceedings, meaning the ride is often loud and odd. Great stuff. –Jimmy Alvarado (biglegalmessrecords.com)


HEADLINERS, THEE:
Rain & Blood: CD
This is one helluva album. Incorporating all the music genres that I love, Thee Headliners hit all the marks of Americana, invoking catchy elements of blues and country with male and female harmonies. Jeremy’s baritone vocals are nearly comical in “Howling at the Moon,” which found me doing just that. “Double Dutch” and “SketchCity” veer toward surf and bouncy, high octane garage rock. Just when I thought they wouldn’t throw me another curveball, they upped the ante with Holly’s soulful, “You Don’t Know.” All over the map, but good stuff. Recommended. –Kristen K (Starcleaner, myspace.com/starcleanerrecords)


HARRINGTON SAINTS:
“Bootstraps” b/w “City on Fire”: 7”
Quick two-songer of mediocre street punk stuff. Nice semi-transparent splatter vinyl. Pretty short on content—“City on Fire” smokes just a bit more than “Bootstraps.” Both of them rely way too heavily on their oft-repeated choruses. Street punk records like this—passable but ultimately kind of forgettable—really just make me miss the Beltones. If the Harrington Saints could write something as earnest and defeated and careworn as “Fuck You Anyway,” I’d sign myself up in a heartbeat. Hit me with something like that, guys, and I’m a fan for a long, long time. –Keith Rosson (Longshot)


HARRINGTON SAINTS / SLICK 45:
Split: 7”
While I can’t say that this is a record I will ever listen to again, or even keep for that matter, I can say if you enjoy oi, you can’t wrong with this. Both bands present some mid-tempo chants and cheers and beers and pisses and shits and all the stuff that makes oi distinct in one nice little 7”. I want to like this (the vinyl! It is beautiful!), but it’s not my style. Like a good romantic comedy, it makes me feel weird, but if you like that sort of thing, I can’t condemn you for liking it. –Bryan Static (Longshot)


GUT REACTIONS:
Bored: 7”
Good ,overdriven, low-fi rock and roll. “Bored” and “Leave Me Alone” are mid-tempo rockers with overdriven guitars and distorted vocals. “Ballad of Logan Potter” breaks the mold a bit into heavier-sounding big beat territory. Good combination of songs. Good band. –Billups Allen (Bachelor)


GRIM FANDANGO / KILL WHITEY:
Split: CD
Grim Fandango: Emo/pop/indie stuff with a singer that should really find another hobby. Kill Whitey: They sound like they take their cues from mid-‘80s college punk stuff and, to their credit, they’re pretty good at it. –Jimmy Alvarado (rabbitrecords.cjb.net)


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