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Razorcake #86
Wailing Of a Town, by Craig Ibarra
Razorcake #85
Pale Angels, Imaginary People LP
Toys That Kill / Joyce Manor, Split 7"


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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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JAPANESE MONSTERS / READY THE JET:
Split: 7"
Japanese Monsters: Sarcasm, cynicism, and “I’m-over-it”-isms abound. It could be said that they’ve been huffing Off With Their Heads’ model glue fumes, but that wouldn’t be completely fair. These two songs show a nice range, from a direct punch to one more spooling, filled with a caustic tension. Ready The Jet: I miss Superchunk—I unabashedly celebrate their entire catalog, even the slower stuff—and that style of indie rock. The power and brightness of jangling guitars. The positive bounce. The poetic-without-wincing lyrics. Softer voices sung rather than shouted. Tight rhythm section. Excellent split. –Todd Taylor (Enith)


IT BURNS:
Tenant’s Rights: 7"
Pretty strong mid-tempo, snotty hardcore punk single from this band. There can never be too much of this style and It Burns are doing a damn good job of it. I also felt like I heard a little Boogada-era Screeching Weasel in the mix here and there while this was playing. The band appears to be from Carbondale, IL and plays shows with Sass Dragons and others. Check ‘em out. –Mike Frame (Let's Pretend/Beercan)


IRON LUNG / WALLS / PIG HEART TRANSPLANT:
Public Humiliation: 12"
This is a three-way collaborative effort recorded live on Halloween night of last year. The set list consists of rearrangements of songs by the three bands as well as a great cover of a Big Black song. The sound quality is way above par—considering the fact that this is a live recording—and the playing is so insanely tight it’s almost unbelievable. I always chalked up Iron Lung’s ability to play so fast to them being a two-member band, but here they are playing just as fast with a total of seven players. The time changes are spot-on, the arrangements never lose you, and they skip over most of the annoying parts of the live record experience (no long interludes, no pointless stage banter). Iron Lung is currently an unstoppable force and, apparently, just can’t stop putting out records. Like all their releases, the packaging and artwork is top notch. The original pressing sold out almost immediately and it’s currently on a second press on white vinyl. –Ian Wise –Guest Contributor ()


INOCULATORS, THE:
Home for the Holidays: CD
The first song is a pop punk tune about hating going home for the holidays. It’s fairly catchy. The second track is a pointless cover of “Message in a Bottle” by the Police. I’m not a huge fan of the Police in the first place and I really never got the point of covering them. If you enjoy pop punk covers of Police tunes, you might dig this. –Ryan Horky (Self-released, myspace.com/inoculators)


INOCULATORS, THE:
Home for the Holidays: CD
The first song, “Home for the Holidays,” on this CD falls neatly into the normal Inoculators catalogue. It’s a high-energy blast of satirical cadence about most everyman/woman’s lament of going home for the holidays. It would make a great punk rock theme song to that Chevy Chase classic movie, Christmas Vacation. I write “theme” because, lyrically, the song follows the theme of that movie but doesn’t go into specifics of why family holidays suck. If people had relatives like Chase had in that flick, then they would love to have this tune to blast over the antics of their family. The second song on Home for the Holidays is a cover of Sting’s, “Message in a Bottle.”Unlike the original, The Inoculators’ version has harder-hitting drums and vocals that crescendo into almost screaming. It’s hard for me to conceptualize why The Inoculators would decide to release a Sting cover song on a holiday CD, making this record bizarre to me. I’m sure it’s just my own pee-brain problem but part of me always wants to laugh at anything Sting-related because of his pop culture reputation for bragging about having seven-hour tantric sex. –N.L. Dewart (Self-released)


I RESIGN / NO MAN’S SLAVE:
Split: 7"
I Resign: I wouldn’t resign quite yet. If I sounded a bit like Tear It Up, I would give it no less than another year or so to see what I came up with given that shit will probably continue to go south. I’d expect to play a little faster, at the very least. No Man’s Slave: Despite the name, NMS isn’t total Infest worship—but the band is powerviolence. This is actually kind of walk-through-the-park powerviolence. It isn’t horrible, but is rather bland. It’s angry yet there is a deficit of the torment and peril that seems to hound bands like Endless Blockade and Iron Lung. I’d be willing to believe that these guys come through live, but they just don’t do it for me here. –Vincent Battilana (Give Praise)


HOUSE BOAT:
The Delaware Octopus: CD
This is one of those supergroup bands that is made up of members from The Steinways, Dear Landlord, Off With Their Heads, and The Ergs! As a band, House Boat, makes lighthearted power pop songs. There’s a song about still being a kid at the age thirty titled, “30 Going on 13.” As a heads up, if you’re a fan of any of the previously mentioned bands, then this may not exactly be your cup of tea. It sort of reminds me of The Copyrights because it’s independent punk with professional production standards. It’s just a little more lyrically whimsical than The Copyrights stuff. The point of this album feels like it’s just supposed be fun. I’m happy with that while wondering when I’ll grow up, too. –N.L. Dewart (It's Alive)


HOOKER SPIT WINDEX:
Barf to Death Grind: Cassette
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ll listen to a band with a horribly terrible name; that’s not a problem. I even have a fun time telling people that they should check out some band with a dumbass name, but I always tell them not to think about the band’s name when I do it. Still, this band has one of the worst names I’ve ever heard. Not judging the tape by its cover, this is guttural-vocaled grind shit. Sure, there are some higher-pitched vocals, but too much is coming from just north of the bowels for my taste. The instrumentation isn’t the worst thing ever, but, on a whole, all this makes me do is get out of my seat to turn it off. –Vincent Battilana (Self-released, hookerspitwindex@yahoo.com)


HOBOCOP:
Self-titled: CD
Oakland’s Hobocop dishes out some deliciously lo-fi recordings of some quirky and catchy garage rock on this here CD. The vocals echo. The bass is tuneful and melodic. The drums snap and pop like a jazzy Gene Krupa snare and cymbal dance party. Organ notes round out the sound nicely by filling in the vacant spaces. Hobocop succeeds in bridging the gap between Nuggets-era garage rock and punky lo-fi Tucson weirdoes like Nobunny and the Sneaky Pinks. Good stuff. –Jeff Proctor (myspace.com/hobocopmusic)


HEART BEATZ:
Self-titled: 7"
Very simple garage rock’n’roll. Three songs and three dollars I’m not getting back. It sounds a lot like bands that are good, while not being any good itself. The lyrics are really cheesy and can be summed up into “filthy sluts/always after me,” “mom kicked me out,” and “I’m really scared to die.” I am really scared by the fact someone actually gave this band a second thought. –Rene Navarro (Going Underground)


HAWKES:
MVIII: CD-R
This CD-R sounds like it’s influenced by Rites Of Spring. Hawkes bring dirty vocals and post punk/Dischord-y guitar riffs to the plate on these four songs. In the tune “Fleeting Memories,” the Hawkes sing, “Things will come things and things will go.” Ending their song with that line, they intentionally turn their vocal hook into a fleeting memory because it becomes the last thing the listener hears in the song. These songs feel like they are coming from the right place. I hope to hear more from this DIY band from Montreal. –N.L. Dewart ()


HARRINGTON SAINTS:
Dead Broke in the USA: LP
Harrington Saints play fairly generic street punk—which those of us into the subgenre enjoy—regardless of fact that we’ve heard it all before. Replete with oi chants and sing-a-longs, Harrington Saints hail from the Bay Area and are more politically astute than most of the folks who play oi-ish punk. With the recent announcement that the East Coast of Oi! Fest 2010 got canceled due to pressures from anti-speech punks, it’s becoming clear that there’s still an unwarranted hysteria over skin culture. Well-studied musically, the lyrics are what distinguish Harrington Saints, who aren’t afraid to point out the flaws in typical working class politics past and present. Plus, who doesn’t need new lyrics with “work” all over them to sing on the way into headquarters in the morning? This LP is a split release with Contra Records from Germany and comes on lovely colored vinyl. –Art Ettinger (Longshot)


HARRINGTON SAINTS:
Dead Broke in the USA: CD
Here’s a full length from a band that I’ve only heard singles from in the past. As in my last review, Harrington Saints bring the oi sound in a very well-played, well-recorded package. This truly sounds amazing: very catchy songs to sing along to and hoist a pint or ten in the process. Also the same is the lyrical content which is, while not bad at all, just been done to death. That said, I don’t listen to bands like Harrington Saints for poetry or deep ideology. I listen to sing along and hoist a pint or ten. Mission accomplished. –Ty Stranglehold (Contra)


HADDONFIELDS:
We Are Not Alone: CD
Haddonfield is the city where Mr. Michael Myers lives. The horror references don’t end there. In fact, while I wouldn’t necessarily call the Haddonfields a horror punk band, horror is definitely a major preoccupation for them. They’ve got two songs about zombies on this disc, the best being “Barbara,” a quick sort-of-love song from the perspective of the first zombie that appears in the legendary “They’re coming to get you Barbara” scene that opens Night of the Living Dead. In terms of their sound, they’ve got the whoa whoa whoa-ing down, but there’s no overt Misfits worship going on here. It’s just gruff and melodic Midwestern punk about monsters. You know, the good stuff. –MP Johnson (I Hate Punk Rock)


GUV’NORS, THE:
The Pint of No Return: LP
Denmark’s Guv’nors are a street punk band that is as influenced by 1970s rock as it is by punk and oi. There’s enough of a cheesy classic rock influence here that you’d expect these skins to have mullets on some of the tracks. But a lot of it is pure, hard, European pub punk. The vocals are razor sharp, gritty, and lovable. This is a split release with Contra Records from Germany and True Force Records from Spain, working with Longshot to deliver the goods. One of the tracks features a guest appearance by Don Powell from Slade. Available on four colors of vinyl, each LP also comes with a copy of the CD version for your convenience. –Art Ettinger (Longshot)


GULL:
The Thin King: 7”EP
Higher-registered, effect-heavy vocals. Proficient and very noodly musicianship. Circular and weaving song structure. Interludes into percussive, drum-circley arts. I think it’s one dude. I get the feeling that if he could clone himself three times, a looser Rush would be the goal. This is all over the place. Unfortunately, not the places I want to be or like hanging out in. Perhaps as background to an art opening? Not sure. –Todd Taylor (Molsook)


GUILTMAKER:
Dilemmas: CD
Big, grandiose performance, heavy on the ::cough:: post-hardcore sound. A bit too emo for me. –Jimmy Alvarado (Kiss Of Death)


GRAPH:
EP2: CDEP
Graph has been worshiping at the shrine of the family Kinsella. Graph’s EP2 may only have six songs, but they definitely show some Joan Of Arc and Cap’n Jazz influence. That’s not to say that the sound is overwhelming any sense of originality on the part of Graph. However, there’s the occasional guitar noodling, and the vocals that kick off the opening track totally sound like Tim Kinsella from some unreleased Joan Of Arc track. But what makes Graph remind me most of some Kinsella-related bands is the effect they have of playing with melody in the midst of the occasional angular song structure that stops and starts and gets a little jazzy. But I kind of dig it. It’d be nice if their next album were called LP1. –Kurt Morris (myspace.com/graphisaband)


GIVE UP:
Discography: CD
Short-lived Albany band (members from Acid Reflux, Devoid Of Faith, JBA, To Hell And Back, Dead Unicorn, Limpwrist, etc.) gets their due with this forty-three song discography. Hardcore punk with a dark and evil edge. There’s a metal influence, but that’s more for the heaviness and darkness. For the most part, the execution is at a fast tempo. Liz’s vocals sound blown-out and possessed, as though she’s escaped from the basement in Evil Dead. The guitar is great. Solid and abrasive, with the classic hardcore tone. I like how the songs will race, build up tension, then shift to a mid pace to break up the speedy attack. You get their 1999 demo, first EP, and the second unreleased EP (only exists in one hundred test presses - until now), and a live set. Comes packed in a regular jewel case stored inside a slip case, and a button. Nice! This is the second pressing of one hundred, so it might be time to pick it up. –Matt Average (Peterwalkee, peterwalkeerecords.com)


GHOST MICE / BROOK PRIDEMORE:
Split: 7”
Brook Pridemore is outsider-sounding, weirdo folk by someone who I’d guess is not an outsider (considering their associations), but probably is a bit weird. Some vague but interesting lyrics here. Definitely worth a few spins. Ghost Mice, well, they’ve been doing their violin-driven posi-shoutfolk for a while and I just can’t get into it anymore. There was a time when this kind of stuff was refreshing and I’d listen to it even though it made me feel a bit goofy. But now it’s just too embarrassing. I feel bad talking this way and I think that the reason that I feel bad has a lot to do with why it’s embarrassing to listen to. It’s so nice and sweet that you want to buy into it and to get on their wagon, but you just can’t. Not for long anyway. What makes punk interesting is that it almost always presents at least some level of damage, a distrust, or a world-weariness that makes you trust what they’re trying to get over even if it’s really positive. You can tell they’ve suffered and weathered out these ideas. This is the redemptive quality that makes punk (as well as all good art) more powerful and transcendent than some wholesome, hippie “it’s all good” vibe. Now, I’m not calling these Ghost Mice hippies or saying they’re not punk. Nor am I accusing them of not suffering enough. I’m just saying that they’re not putting anything that I can use in the free box. These songs remind me of dating a rich girl. They’re super sweet and cute but annoying because they never show anger or bitterness. However, I’m sure they’re nice folks and wouldn’t try to manipulate you by paying for everything like the rich girl. Hell, they’re probably broke, too. –Craven (Plan-It-X/Crafty)


GENDERS:
Self-titled: EP
Six hardcore bursts spinning on all cylinders but without much gas in the tank. A watered-down version of Find Him And Kill Him. –Juan Espinosa (Prgnt, no contact info)


FURIOUS SEASONS, THE:
Thank You for Saturday: CD
Well, how very Americana with acoustic guitar and violin. Sounds similar to Neil Diamond, actually, which sort of blows my mind. There are a few songs on this record that I genuinely dislike because they remind me of that shitty time in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s where older artists started to get more into the hippie thing . But, regardless, I feel what this band was going for and they have some pretty songs. –Corinne (Stonegarden)


FRAMED, THE:
Angels and the Knives They Carry: CD
Based on the title and the cover, I figured this would be some wrist-slitting, hate-my-girlfriend, diary-entry, MTVmo style crap. Amazingly, it is not that at all, but rather generic melodicore ala Fearless records circa 1997. I was burnt out on this stuff a decade and a half ago, but if you are a Strung Out or White Kaps fan you will probably love this. –Mike Frame (WNB, myspace.com/theframed)


FOX JAPAN:
Reenactment: CD
Quirky is probably an adjective that gets used to describe West Virginia’s Fox Japan, especially in regards to their lyrics. Many of the tracks delve into story-telling affairs (“Glen Beck” and “An Apocalypse” are especially humorous examples) but the music is unimpressive indie rock. It all seems pretty standard fare, including the occasionally awkwardly strained vocals. Besides the unusual lyrics, though, there’s not much here that really grabbed me and caused me to want to repeatedly listen to Reenactment. –Kurt Morris (foxjapan.net)


FOR FUCK SAKE:
Piss Drunk: CDEP
For Fuck Sake are crust punk superheroes. Tight (but not too tight) songs; big anthems dedicated to the failures of civilization and the glory of beer. I can get behind that. Their screaming female lead vocals, amazingly, work well (I say amazingly because I usually have a big problem with the screeching and screaming). When she sings, I can feel it in my own throat. I can’t imagine what she feels like at the end of a show. The combination of her lead vocals and the booming choruses works really well. Though I’ve never been a part of the spiked leather and bullet belt scene, I really got into this and would like to hear more. –Ty Stranglehold (myspace.com/forfucksakecrust )


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