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Razorcake #90
White Murder, both LPs
Treasure Fleet, The Sun Machine LP
Razorcake #89
White Murder, Form Early LP (CLEAR VINYL)


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Record Reviews

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DIET COKEHEADS:
Nasal: 7”
Noisy, blown-out madness. Distortion and feedback reign supreme with two songs that sound like they were recorded in an empty warehouse and sound is bouncing all around. Despite the spacious sound, the noise creates a dense, near impenetrable layer that becomes this abstract mass that hovers in the air between you and your stereo. Can’t be ignored, and as the songs go, the listener can pick out bits and pieces with each listen. “High Country” is my personal pick of the two—starts off slow and drawn out, builds up with more and more sound, then shifts into something more distorted and relentless. –Matt Average (Vinyl Rites, vinylrites.net)


DIRTY TACTICS:
It Is. What It Is: CD
Once I was camping with a bunch of friends as this festival and we kept hearing about this Tuvan throat singing metal band that was there. Eventually, we met the woman who was behind this whole thing as she was walking around our camp throwing her head back and making gargling sounds that clearly wasn’t Tuvan throat singing, but instead, her imitating the sounds of Tuvan throat singing. We never could figure out if she was trying to get one over on us or if she had actually convinced herself that she knew how to do it. I’m reminded of this woman when I hear Dirty Tactics. They play a bunch of songs about keeping it real and how they don’t need “buses and riders and deli trays” and are fine with “stay(ing) on the side of the road stealing what (they) need to survive.” However, their music is MTV-friendly, teeny-bopper pop. Whatever you say, weirdoes. –Craven (Say-10, say-10.com)


DESTRUCTORS, THE:
Dead Beat to White Heat: CD
New release from this long-running U.K. punk band. They have now gone back to their original moniker, after a stint with 666 added at the end of their name. I’m seeing a lot of press that lumps them into the ‘80s oi movement. But most of that genre is not my cup of tea. This band seems to be working outside that narrow framework—with much better results. It’s eighteen songs, so it’s a lot to take in all in one gulp. But “PC Gone Mad” and “Like Watching a Carcrash” are hard-driving rockers. Two covers on here which may be too much for some listeners. I preferred The Electric Prunes cover myself. If you dig ‘80s-style punk like Chelsea or UK Subs, The Destructors would certainly fit neatly into your collection. –koepenick (Rowdy Farrago)


DEATHSKIN RAZORS:
Who Can Belong: CD
Shouty metal that vacillates between gallop speed and overdrive. Songs are short enough to highlight the hardcore influence, and while the singer’s monotone howl does cause the songs to blend into one another, they ain’t all that bad at what they do. –jimmy (Splattercat, no address)


DASH RIP ROCK:
Call of the Wild: CD
What usually happens with this band and me: I pick up a disc with no recollection of hearing them before yet remembering their name, I do a quick search of them and subsequently dread listening to the disc because I have an admitted aversion to most things identified with the words “southern rock,” plop the disc into the player, and find that all the involuntary wincing was totally unwarranted. While the last outing I heard focused on reinterpreting Dante’s Inferno, this time they opt for a full-on party record. Sure, there’s no shortage of either the “southern” or the “rock” in evidence here, but there is also much humor, intelligence, soul, dirty funk, and other stuff mixed in as well. Tunes are catchy, fun, and worthy of a spin at your next clambake, and they’ve even thought to include a fitting cover as the “hidden track” for the next morning. –jimmy (Alternative Tentacles)


DAN WEBB AND THE SPIDERS:
Oh Sure: LP
Hands down one of the best, dirtiest, soulful, yearning punk records I’ve heard in a long time. Firmly rooted in rock music, the way the Humpers or Lazy Cowgirls were, but without the frequent veneer or swagger of garage punk. In fact, these songs sound like a punk band that’s trying like hell to sound like a folk band but just can’t. Simple songs, free of adornment, with the vocals and lyrics perfectly conveying a sense of regret and a great, great fatigue. A dozen precise rock‘n’roll songs with a glorious sloppiness to them. Two-minute anthems with fuzzed-out vocals, melodies accompanied with just the right amount of gravel, and guitar leads that are so simple they’re great. The bummer is I’m not even coming close to doing this justice. For whatever reason, I came across Oh Sure at just the right time. Never even heard of these guys before and then I listened to this record once and it’s been on permanent rotation since then. If I had my druthers, “I Was a Mess” would start playing every time I walked into a room. No-frills, one-hundred-percent-effective punk rock music; will assuredly make my top 10 (if not top 5) of the year. –keith (Dan Webb)


DEAD CLASS, THE:
Stick: CD
This is surfy/circusy-sounding crapola that’s halfway between Dead Kennedys and System Of A Down without the creativity or originality or either band. Sadly, the two best tracks (where the band breaks out of their “wacky” mode and turns in a coupla decent tunes) are buried deep in the middle of the CD, where only a reviewer who is duty-bound to listen to the whole damn thing will find them. –Ryan Horky (Antipop, antipoprecords.co.uk)


DC FALLOUT:
Retreat!: CD
Modern melodic hardcore fodder that will likely earn ’em a spot on the next Warped Tour. –jimmy (Felony)


DEAD FRIENDS:
Self-titled: CD
Atonal punk that doesn’t stick in my head very well. I have a pretty loose definition of “hooks,” but this doesn’t really have any. I get the feeling that this might be exciting live but it’s pretty boring on CD. Some of these dudes are in Assholeparade and Religious As Fuck. I think Religious As Fuck is the best band name ever. –Ryan Horky (Plan-It-X, plan-it-x.org)


DEAD MECHANICAL:
Addict Rhythms: CD
Take Jawbreaker, make them one of the best bands of ‘90s alternative rock, while channeling post hardcore/Revolution Summer era DC. Have them being the ones who are slowly pushing into more indie rock territory, but while retaining their edge. This isn’t a huge departure from what they’ve done before, but they’ve really hit their stride this time around. –joe (Traffic Street)


DEAD MECHANICAL:
Addict Rhythms: CD
Dead Mechanical is one of the best of today’s poppy punk bands. Hailing from Baltimore, the land of John Waters and Insubordination Fest, this new full length is in heavy rotation in the pop underground. These twelve dark songs cover subjects ranging from addiction, being in the wrong place at the right time, and playing a last show. The vocals have a unique touch to them that reminds of the first time I heard Blake Schwarzenbach or Larry Damore. Addict Rhythms is a musical refocus on a seemingly tried and true subgenre. The Dead Mechanical experience is literally like getting a new pair of glasses or contacts, sans the pricey exam. –Art Ettinger (Traffic Street, trafficstreetrecords.com)


DEAD MECHANICAL:
Addict Rhythms: LP
One major problem with digital is that it’s either there or it isn’t. Pure black or pure white. No storming sunsets with impossible oranges. No ice scraping at dawn through holes in gloves. And when there’s meaning to find behind the bash and crash and basement screams, it’s much more than just a shame that most people will never read the lyrics to this record, even if they hear it. Just bleeps and bloops yanked from one isolated place to another. And maybe that’s part of why people feel more and more lost; disconnected in the same room, staring at glowing screens, screaming on message boards, widening the distance between flesh and blood people sitting next to one another. And I may just be old fashioned and foolish that if I think a piece of paper with words that accompany noises twining off spinning pieces of vinyl is different—that it’s naïve or purist to say that I care about the contents of a band’s soul, no matter how good the band sounds. We all die. I want to die with some good ideas, awesome songs ringing in my ears, good friends, and tight family. Dead Mechanical play and sing day-to-day vignettes that give into politics reigning down on your shoulders like bombs, and soak into your shirt like tears and the sweat of a hard day. They aren’t crutching on platitudes or slogans. They’re heartbreaking and defiant and poetic and funny. They also just happen to be amazingly tight and fluid. I think they’re one of the best bands playing DIY punk in America today. This band means more to me at thirty-eight than Jawbreaker did to me at twenty-one. Pack up your nostalgia, quit huddling under a shelter of past memories lived or pined for, and join a roaring band in the ascent… or continue bleep blooping to the newest whatever, biding time before everything goes black again. –todd (LP on Toxic Pop, toxicpoprecords.com, CD on Traffic Street)


DEATH IN THE PARK:
Self-titled: CD
Oh boy. The cover alone has a sticker that says this was produced by some guy who’s apparently worked with “Maroon 5, Jennifer Lopez, NSYNC, Gavin Degraw…and yes, we listed that here.” Sounds like someone’s got a lot of money to throw around, great; buy me lunch. The music itself is standard MTV/mall pop punk, with some half-assed murder/crime theme. The fact that the liner notes have skipped out on lyrics in favor of pictures of a girl who’s supposedly been murdered leads me to believe that this another “Wah, a girl broke my heart once, ergo all girls are jerks,” outfits that ultimately seems like it was put together in a board room with the plan of “Eh, we can make a few bucks here.” Again; buy me lunch. –joe (End Sounds)


DAMAGE:
Energy: 7”
A Swedish band doles out some Eighties-influenced hardcore with English lyrics. Tune subjects are focused on gettin’ old, still bein’ a punk and such. Decent cover of the Germs’ “Media Blitz,” too. –jimmy (damagelkpg@gmail.com)


DALI’S LLAMA:
Howl Do You Do?: CD
A Fuzztones influence is in evidence here, beginning with their attempts to adhere to the garage rock template whilst retaining a “modern” sound. They more than handle the task at hand, though I wish there were just a wee bit more oomph in the lead vocals. –jimmy (dalisllamarecords.com)


DALETH:
Lady of the Lake: CD
“Initiation” starts out as a nice thrash blast rife with basement-tape acoustics, like a jam from a HolyMountain practice tape. I totally dug it and it made me want to yell made-up lyrics over the top. The rest of the album, however, is more in line with the split Daleth did with Blueshift a while back—long, sludgy dirges that take a while to get moving. Daleth, made up entirely of one J. Merrill, is not my bag at all (apart from that first song!) but I fully admire the man’s insistence on doing things his own way. As with previous endeavors, this one comes in some creative, well-executed DIY packaging. Noise enthusiasts take note. –keith (For Documentation Only)


D9 / MONDO GECKO:
Split: Pro CD-R
D9: Dual-vocaled grind, with the two typical types of grind vocals: screaming and growling. I like the screaming, but I don’t like the growling—mostly because I just don’t like guttural growling and never have. Mondo Gecko: Gnarly thrash that seems on the verge of crossing over. Dudes sound ready to skate. (On a side note, I’ve always found the word “mondo” pleasing to the ears.) –Vincent Battilana (tolivealie.com, myspace.com/twintoerecords, urbandecay@gmail.com, myspace.com/zasrec)


CRUSADES:
Self-titled: 7”
This is a powerhouse of a band. Dark, melodic punk that’s three vocalists deep. And if that’s not enough, all the songs seem to be about Satan and his love. I guess what else would you expect from the dudes from The Sedatives and The Creeps? When I listen to this record, I imagine guys who look like Vigo from Ghostbusters II singing along in the front row. “For every tear you shamed out of them / A river you will shed / For every fear you drove into them / A river raging red.” I’ve only spent about thirty-six hours in Ottawa, but it’s pretty easy to see how great of a city it is, and Crusades is just one more thing for her to be proud of. –Daryl Gussin (Scared To Death, myspace.com/scareddeath)


CRIPPLED OLD FARTS / UNLOGISTIC:
Split: 12”
These two French bands sound very different. C.O.F. play a mixture of early ‘80s California coastal hardcore and what U.K. ‘77 bands went through when they began to “harden” their sound. More specifically: UK Subs. Rudimentary hardcore punk played by knowledgeable dudes who have been at it for decades and know when to throw in some bells and whistles (feedback) and quick stops to keep it interesting. Unlogistic: What the? Transitioning between straight-up screamed male/female vocals, blast beat hardcore to deconstructing fascist speeches with synth rhythms, and then building on top of both for some melodic ‘90s emotive punk, this band is pretty busy conceptualizing a sound of their own with these twelve inches. Unlogistic would fit very well on Geykido Comet’s Your Machinery Is Too Much For Me!!! compilation. –Daryl Gussin (Rejuvenation/Positively Negative/Emergence/Falling Down/Wee Wee/Small Budget)


CRESS / BURNT CROSS:
Split: EP
There’s no way you can lose with this split. Two of the best present day anarcho bands on the planet on one record. The last thing I had heard from Cress was their split with Doom, and that was sometime back. This pretty much sounds like they did ten years ago—straightforward delivery, with some experimentation in the sound, such as on “Amongst the Slaughter” that has a windblown sample to underscore the cold and bleak message of the song. Burnt Cross once again tear it up with their urgent delivery. Paul Marriot sounds like he really means it in his vocal delivery. The words are spit out with venom and there’s no hiding behind opaque imagery. There’s no head scratching over the line, “Right wing’s on the rise, put a boot in its fucking face” from the song “Paths to Persecution.” Burnt Cross are one band that I’m stoked every time I see they have a new record out. Looking forward to the next. –Matt Average (Loud Punk, loudpunk.com)


COYOTE SLINGSHOT:
First Word of Evil Omens: 7”
Coyote Slingshot is apparently a one man band, made up of teenager Dom Rabalais from Iowa. The cover of the 7” is a watercolor painting of him, with a feathered headdress (normally I’d take offense at someone playing Indian by wearing a headdress, but at least he’s from Iowa, where the Plains Indians who wore feathered headdresses resided.) and a sleeveless T-shirt with Black Flag bars, but with Neutral Milk Hotel’s name across the top: a quirky juxtaposition. And while those two names might be a good start in getting a feel for what Coyote Slingshot is about, they are definitely greater than the sum of those two parts. Coyote Slingshot opens up with “So Long Silly Rabbit,” with peppy piano plucking which bursts into dense, brooding synths, guitars loaded with fuzz and feedback, and vocals sung like a schoolyard rhyme. This becomes the template for the rest of the songs here. Definitely sharing in the jubilant irreverence of Neutral Milk Hotel and the rest of the Elephant 6 bands, but with a world-weary depth that normally wouldn’t be expected (by this grumpy old curmudgeon) of a teenager. This is a tremendous first release and I look forward to, hopefully, many more. –Jeff Proctor (Super Secret)


CREDENTIALS, THE:
Routines: CD
They sound like young guys who yell like they’re street punks, yet won’t admit they’re a pop punk band. The record is pretty high energy, to the point where it actually surprised me when there was a break in between songs. It’s a little sloppy at times, but the heart is there and they don’t wear out their welcome. –joe (Traffic Street)


CREEPS, THE:
Follow You Home: 7”
Really solid power pop with an overall nostalgic feel—the sort of music that sounds best when you’re staring at your ceiling in the middle of the night. The Creeps are a pretty good band, but they make an even better case study for the last eight years of pop punk. (As a point of reference, eight pop punk years is roughly equivalent to 2.5 Dischord years) In 2003, the Creeps were channeling sci-fi-era Lillingtons channeling the Ramones. Note, that’s a lot of channeling. Songs included, “I Broke Your Hymen (You Broke My Heart)” and “My Girlfriend Hates the Ramones.” I’m pretty sure that none of the songs on this latest record are a reference to anything related to the Queers, Ramones, or Screeching Weasel. I’m curious to hear more from this band’s current incarnation. If this were a cereal, it’d be Golden Grahams, one of the key cereals of my youth, which was refurbished and repackaged in various incarnations (For further reference, see, “Contested Territory: The Curious Relationship between Golden Grahams and French Toast Crunch.”) –Maddy (It’s Alive)


COUNTDOWN TO ARMAGEDDON:
Turn into Shadows: Cassette
This is some decent U.S. crust punk: dual vocals, abrasive guitars, rumbling percussion, and dark low end. The best song of the five is “Like Animals,” which is mid-tempo and has a darker and more forlorn tone, which sings about torture via the military and the government. It’s also a good break from the faster numbers on here which remind me of Disrupt, only these guys are more raw and intense. Nice packaging for this as well—silver j-card/lyric booklet with black ink. –Matt Average (countdowntoarmageddon@hotmail.com)


COCONUT COOLOUTS:
Punk House: 7” EP
“Punk House Pt. 1” is slow and hypnotic in a post-punky way. “Punk House Pt. 2” is a bit more up-tempo and shorter, but similarly minimalist in approach. “Yeah, Right” is a short, fast punker ditty. –jimmy (myspace.com/kenrocksplastic)


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