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Razorcake #93
One Punks Guide to Pinball, by Kayla Greet
Razorcake #92
Spokenest, Gone, Gone, Gone LP
Pinned In Place, Ghostwritten By LP


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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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FIGGS, THE:
Sucking in Stereo: LP
Originally released ten years ago, this is the first time on vinyl. On this album, they sound more influenced by Elvis Costello & The Attractions, Del Fuegos, the Beat Farmers, the Replacements, and bands of that nature, rather than the Beatles, as they do today. Listening to this reminds me of my teen years in Oklahoma. Bands like this received a lot of play on college radio stations, like the “Red Hot Radio” show that was broadcast from the OCU campus in 1984/’85. The overall mood is light and about hanging out and having fun. The music rocks without being bludgeoning or snotty. Some of the songs, like “Cheap Cassettes,” seem like filler. But then they have some really good songs like “The Wrong Chord,” “Set the Stage,” “The Daylight Strong,” and “Dance Lesson.” A little uneven, but still good. Comes with a live CD of a show they played in Kansas on 3.28.01 as well. –Matt Average (Peterwalkee, peterwalkeerecords.com)


FACE THE RAIL:
Fractures: 7"
Oh, hell yeah. These guys play great old school-sounding skate punk with a thrashy influence, but the mid-tempo pacing and warm, lo-fi analog recording make this slab of wax sound like an authentic ‘80s gem unearthed twenty-five years too late. The monotonous vocals and the start and stops in “Bleeding Eyes” take more than a couple cues from the legendary Koro with the poppier backbeat of the Wipers, and the darker “No Hope” is rooted firmly in early Southern California hardcore like TSOL. For all the comparisons you can put in place, though, the songs have an earnestness that keeps this record engaging. –Ian Wise (headcountrecords.com)


EXPLOSIVOS, LOS:
Sonidos Rocanrol: CD
Pumped up, heavy, fuzzed-out ‘60s garage rock. They deliver the tunes for the most part en español—no surprise considering they call Mexico City home—and with enough vim to keep the shimmies shimmying and the Beatle boots bopping. –jimmy (gethip.com)


FEVER FEVER:
Bloodless: CDEP
Well, here’s an interesting bit of noise. The title track is a catchy, almost dancey bit of modern artpunk, but from that point on, things get a bit more abrasive with odd tempos, guitars that are simultaneously angular and punky, and vocals delivered with a cadence that almost sounds like Eve Libertine trying to rap. Five tunes here, all of which are worth a spin, though I’m very intrigued as to whether a full-length from them would go off into even odder, even more interesting territory. –jimmy (cherryademusic.co.uk)


EXCRUCIATING TERROR:
Expression of Pain: LP
There’s a reason why these guys are held in such high regard in the realm of grindcore. They’re definitely the best grind band to come out of Los Angeles. This album was originally a CD-only release that came out around 1996, and it holds up well today. In fact, it doesn’t sound dated at all. If anything, it makes most other grind bands out there at the moment sound amateurish. The songs are in the fast range, but they throw in time changes to break up the onslaught and to keep everything from turning into one long blur. The opener, “Self Destruct,” is mid tempo with a dark and doomish tone that illustrates the sonic power these guys had. “A Technicality,” which closes the record, has a mainly mid-tempo pace where the guitars sound sinister and dark. The drums are more out front and there are some breaks here and there where they put in some rolls that effectively give everything more of a punch. In between these songs they let loose one rager after another. The songs are blazing with abrasive guitars and even more abrasive vocals that are like 80 grit sandpaper in your ears. It’s all backed up with drums that sound like they’re fed through a wood chipper and an ominous low end. Heavy and fast as hell, all in one. Not an easy feat by any stretch. Nice packaging with this as well—foldout poster, and a printed inner sleeve. Will there be a reissue of Expression of Hate? –Matt Average (Insane Society)


ESTROGEN HIGHS:
Friends & Relatives: : LP
Moments of the opening songs on this record remind me of Low, or perhaps slower Jesus And Mary Chain. The album is well recorded with echoing, shoegazing style vocals. Faster songs like “I Am Tradition” remain jangly, incorporating the echo-laden vocals into simple, mid-tempo pop songs. This album does not appear as influenced by the ‘50s retro pop sensibility going around; leaning more towards a stripped-down version of ‘80s jangly pop. Although the album stays pretty slow, the tempo ebbs and flows into mid-tempo tunes enough to keep it from being a one-note song. It is not my thing, but I found it to be a well produced, entertaining album. –Billups Allen (Gramery)


ERATOXIN:
Self-titled: CD
This is a four-song CD of goth with a real NickCave vibe. The band is from Seattle and covers the song “Bachelorette” by Björk on this disc. Fans of moody, ambient, and goth stuff will find a lot to like here. –frame (Hipster Death)


EFFECTS PRECEDE CAUSES:
Dawn of the Day: LP
One of the worst band names to come along in a while—or at least on a record that makes contact with my record player. Effects Precede Causes is a project with a bunch of Portland-based bands. It’s a guitar, organ, drums, keyboard, harmonica, and glockenspiel kind of thing. It’s kinda slow, sometimes a little poppy, but let’s be honest. This isn’t a punk record. It’s not even a punk record in the “Daniel Johnston is punk rock” definition. So, if you prefer quiet experiment folk pop songs, then a.) this record might be just the sort of thing you’re looking for, and b.) this record reviews section might be just the wrong sort of place to find any other bands that might sound like this. –Maddy (Stankhouse)


DRY FEET:
Philadelphia Beach: CD
Good lo-fi surf-centric recording with an occasional three-chord punk song thrown in. The surf songs are well constructed and have a good sense of sun-drenched humor. The more punk fare incorporates vocals recorded with exaggerated reverb to give a faux ‘50s feel that is so popular with the kids these days. The album wraps with “Slow Baby Slow,” a dreamier retro pop number that rounds out the eight songs nicely. Fans of Shannon And The Clams should take note. Except for bringing about imagery of feet, it is a solid first release. –Billups Allen (The Only Good Shoobie Is A Dead Shoobie)


DOWNTOWN STRUTS:
Sail the Seas Dry: CD
Here is a five-song EP from a band sounding a whole lot like a really poppy street punk band. The overall vibe is as if Ducky Boys or Reducers SF gave in to their pop element completely. Makes for a good, solid sound that I am usually a sucker for. –frame (myspace.com/thedowntownstruts)


DOWNERS OF THE WORLD UNITE:
Digital Teens/Nothing Looks Good: CD-R
As near as I can tell, this is a CD-R version of a digital-only release. (I guess they really had to have that Razorcake review!) As a crotchety, misanthropic old guy, I immediately shudder whenever I receive a one-sheet from a record label. It will assuredly be filled with name-dropping, shoddy comparisons, and poor grammar/misspellings. I’ll give it to DOTWU; there are no misspellings or grammatical fuck-ups in their one-sheet. This fact alone nets them a few points from me. There is, however, a rather lengthy list of bands they have shared stages with, along with a “similar artists” list. (Are reviewers really that lazy/musically uneducated that they have to be told who an artist sounds like? Couldn’t they just, you know, listen to the damn thing?) Of the fourteen artists listed, I enjoy only one. (This enjoyment also happened roughly sixteen years ago. I still have the records, but it ain’t like I’m pulling them out with much frequency.) That should tell you what I think of Downers Of The World Unite –Ryan Horky (Thinker Thought)


DON’T:
Away Away: CD
The first thing that crossed my mind is that this band must have named themselves after the fake trailer from Death Proof. Seems like the press kit would write itself…” If you—are thinking—of ignoring—this—band—DON’T!” Anyway, this is ten songs of moody post punky stuff from Portland, featuring ex-members of The Wipers and NapalmBeach. There is no way to get around it. The band sounds a lot like Sleater Kinney, which is just fine by me. Pretty good stuff overall that also veers into kind of Signal Lost territory from time to time –frame (Red Eyed Rabbit)


DISPLEASE:
Think!: CD
Discharge font, Peni cover, a song called “Nuclear War.” Should I even elaborate? Slicker-than-typical d-beat “warpunk” that quite intentionally sticks right to the painfully overdone rules. –Dave Williams (Old Hat, oldhatrecords.blogspot.com / Trismus, myspace.com/trismusrecords / Miravoice, myspace.com/miravoice)


DISCO FOR FERNS, A:
Self-titled: Cassette
Two-chord joke punk that reminds me of the humorous ineptitude of Butt Trumpet, only slower. They target frat boys and O.J Simpson. However, they are most on point when they bust on Henry Rollins, which leads to them singing, “I wear short shorts.” They get pretty off-color at times, which takes away from some of the levity as a whole. Made me chuckle a couple of times. –Craven (Oblong Box)


DIRTY MARQUEE:
Self-titled: 7"EP
Warmth. Melodic, moldering glows. Nothing too fast. Nothing too loud. Constrained, but jumpy and really catchy. That’s tough stuff to pull off because it runs along the ridge of slipping down the steep cliffs of boredom, corniness, or cliché. Pulling the string from Superchunk’s long legacy, echoing the ache and drive of The Carrie Nations’ Be Still, and reminiscent of the sweat-cooling, mellower parts of Sexy, this is another example of DIY punk not necessarily sounding “punk” to the outside listener. And that’s totally an advantage here because Dirty Marquee can both run under the radar and totally soar without a lot of tight-ass, honky pigeonhole constraints. Excellent all around. –todd (Squirmy)


DEREK LYN PLASTIC:
The Smell of My Room Vol. 2: Serious Injuries: CD
Derek Lyn Plastic (yes, that’s one guy, not a band name) has been putting out dark, angry new wave-ish songs with keyboards for a bunch of years now. This CD has twenty songs, including four demo versions. Three of the demo versions are of songs that are already on this CD. It’s overkill, particularly for this type of sound. I’m torn here—at first you think he’s doing something pretty unique, and it’s really close to being something I could get into, but I think the problem is the way he sings or how it comes across—kinda too affected, too aggressive, even, maybe. If you like dark new wave, or if you like Jay Reatard (which everyone should!), you should at least listen to one or two of these songs online and decide for yourself. America=democracy. You decide. –Maddy (NMG)


DEREK LYN PLASTIC:
Life and Death: 7"
Top-notch 45. Loud and noisy—a lot like the Demon’s Claws and some of Jay Reatard’s solo stuff. Certified PR has been putting out some quality vinyl. This is no exception –ryan (Certified PR, certifiedprrecords.com)


DEREK LYN PLASTIC:
I Can’t Pass a Drug Test: 7"EP
Another release from this prolific one-man new wave/sleaze band. For some reason, I like this band less and less over time. I think there was a point where his songs sounded more punk rock and less sleaze-core. Now, I don’t know. Maybe it’s just that I’ve heard too much of it and it’s not all super awesome. Really, all of his songs are starting to sound the same. I think, if anything, it’s an argument against releasing every song you’ve ever written (or close to it, perhaps). –Maddy (Certified PR, certifiedprrecords.com)


DEMENTS, THEE / NUMBER 71 MONOBANDS:
Split: Cassette
Thee Dements have a nice thing going on—very much camped out in the lo-fi, spastic garage rock vein, light on the distortion and heavy on the sass. It’s mostly a little too goofy for me, but they’ve got some real moments of magic, like with the oddly convincing “Keep Droaning On” and “You Are a Fool”—where they channel a weird kind of 1960s Animals-like somberness. Surprising; it really shouldn’t work but it does. Number 71 Monobands, however, doesn’t fare nearly as well—this one-man band sounds like the sabertooth tiger from the Flintstones found a kickdrum and learned a few blues riffs, or the Almighty Do Me A Favor guy doing mescaline with the Tasmanian Devil until they both wake up the next day with weird, embarrassing tattoos. That may sound great, but trust me, it isn’t. –keith (Bubca)


DEAD UNCLES:
“Flatlining” b/w “Best to Forget” and “Little Tragedies”: 7"EP
I don’t feel like making friends today, so I’ll say that pop punk people who are completely locked in pop punk boxes are sad, vicious creatures who—by copious evidence—have developed a special venom on the interwebs. So when pop punk comes across my desk, I have to take a deep breath and whisper, “Don’t let the chodes dictate.” The Dead Uncles are very good. I like them. Ironically—as with Be My Doppelganger—they didn’t instantly convince me. It’s ironic, because the underpinning of pop punk is the goal of being instantly catchy pop instead of “re-listen and soak in it” music. But, there’s no mistaking that Dead Uncles grew on me with each spin—there are multiple musical levels at work and the lyrics belie a certain level of candidness—reminding me of Dear Landlord and The Dopamines. I like those bands and I’m willing to full-face admit it to some digitally-infuriated doucheburger who can’t see beyond their small, precious, ultimately suffocating fascinations with a rigid subgenre. –todd (Shock To The System)


DEAD PAWNS:
Stupid People Shouldn’t Breed: CD-R
Bored. To. Death. This was one of those formulaic records that I really wanted to be able to like, but it was just so damn dull because it sounds wholly derivative. The first song, “Politician,” holds its own, but then my chin started hitting my chest as the record became a punk rock paint-by-numbers. Actually, this might be a good record for a punk rock dinner party—ambient sounds that one doesn’t really listen to. –The Lord Kveldulfr (8 ↑, myspace.com/thedeadpawns)


DARRYL JENIFER:
In Search of Black Judas: CD
The first solo record from the Bad Brains bassist finds him enlisting everyone from that band (even original vocalist Sid McCray!) to help out. There’s a bit of a hardcore riff to tease us on “Black Judas,” but this is a dub record. I like “Black Brains” and “Babylon Leave Me Alone” the best here. If you weren’t opposed to playing a Money Mark CD back in 2000 or so, throw this on and light a fatty. You’ll be laid back and groovin’ in no time. –koepenick (ROIR)


DARK RIDES:
Self-titled: 7"EP
2011 is a much different DIY punk trip than 2001. The 00s have shifted over to the left. What was once a 10,000 print run is now 1,000. So it takes a certain level of grit to just keep your head above water. It takes a larger amount of buoyancy to make songs that are about soul, about the power of human will, of fighting back not with weaponry but thoughts and actions. The short crib is that Dark Rides is superlative “Chattanoog-y” (the “y” because I’m not sure they all live in Chattanooga) melodic punk. It’s sweet, rough, catchy, homegrown, modest, and forthright: People and music beautiful from scars. Beautiful glints in the eyes when brushing themselves off from being knocked down again. Sparking and staring right through opponents. Dark Rides bark militant compassion and sing about not giving up as the only viable option. For those who’re drawing out the band family trees on napkins, Dark Rides includes Eric and Buddha of Hidden Spots, Ashley of Future Virgins and Sexy, Amy of Savage Weekend, and Morgan of Tulsa and Black Rainbow. This record’s awesome and totally worth seeking out. –todd (Do Ya Hear We?)


DANIEL JAMES GANG, THE:
Nothin’ I Can Do: 7"
Daniel James (who, when I lived with him in a punk house in Milwaukee, went by the name Dan Disturbed) was a guitarist in the Chinese Telephones. In his current incarnation, Daniel James has unleashed his ‘80s glam rock/slightly metal side, in full glory! If you came to punk rock via Kiss (which, for the record, was not my trajectory), you’d definitely be into this. And more importantly, if you haven’t seen this guy’s guitar moves, you are missing out! –Maddy (Lost Cat)


DANGEROUS ACES, THE:
Deny All Responsibility : CD
The Dangerous Aces have a fairly standard U.K. punk sound: snarling, obnoxious, lightning-fast hammer-blow hardcore. Yet, at the same time, there’s a slightly whimsical feel to the record, especially when the Aces move away from a pure hardcore sound; when they move to mid-tempo The Aces rock just as well as they thrash on the hardcore tunes. Lyrically, The Aces present nothing new: alienation, exasperation, and defiance. They may border on being stereotypical in this regard, but the sheer might of the melodies carries them through. I liked it. –The Lord Kveldulfr (band@thedangerousaces.co.uk)


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Razorcake Podcast Player



·DOUBLE NEGATIVE
·Featured Record Reviews From Issue #83
·CROWD, THE
·The Day the Country Died: A History of Anarcho Punk
·HENRY FIAT’S OPEN SORE
·FALTER
·PIDGEON
·Rhythm Chicken California Tour 2013 Photo Essay
·FLESHIES / PHANTOM LIMBS


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