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· 1:Razorcake #81 Now Available
· 2:#326 with Tim Brooks
· 3:Featured Record Reviews From Issue #81
· 4:#327 with Kurt Morris
· 5:Webcomic Wednesdays #80


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Razorcake #81
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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Chicago’s on Fire Again: 7" EP
Holy shit, this is a hardcore fan’s wet dream. A veritable who’s who of Chicago hardcore here, with Trepan Nation, Los Crudos (a track not available on their discography CD), Billy Builders, Charles Bronson (a Negative Approach cover) MK Ultra, Landmine, The Killers, Dangermouse, Authority Abuse, Strength In Numbers, and Kung Fu Rick, all scrunched up nicely on seven inches of wax. As can be expected, everything goes by in a blur, but shit howdy if it ain’t a glorious din. Four words kids: seek this fucker out. –Jimmy Alvarado (Lengua Armada)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Bomb Threat: CD
Whooo-weee! Squeal like a piggy, boy! What we have here is a killer-dealer crazed cacophony from the Carolinas, and it’s cram-packed to the gills with a comprehensive representation of every possible genre of punkrock madness, mayhem, and manic inertia, whether it’s old school, pop, hardcore, scum, melodicore, ‘77-style street scruffiness, noise, a bit of bowery brattiness, new wave, or just a bare minimum of emo (and thank sweet Jeeezus for that!). Each and every ear-blastin’ ditty is fever-pitched and vigorously delivered with the utmost of passion, zeal, and liveliness. All 31 bands contained herein crank the tuneage to the max and enthusiastically give it no less than 110%. While repeatedly assaulting my audial senses with an explosive hefty dosage of Bomb Threat, I just could not sit still no matter how hard I tried. This is a solid, well-structured comp full of wild frenetic fury and the ultimate in energetic musical brashness. I fervently recommend it as much as I advocate sex, beer, rock’n’roll, and other sinful forms of depraved debauchery. It’s that damn deliciously addictive, folks! -Roger Moser, Jr. –Guest Contributor (Suicide Watch)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
920 Blues: LP
Whoah, I’m impressed! This is a comp of Wisconsin bands playing some flat-out rockin’ punk rock sure to make you tear shit up as you crank the stereo and shake your ass all over your parents’ living room. Ten bands representing, including the Reds, Shut Ups, Mistreaters, Teenage Rejects, and more. There ain’t a shitty song in the bunch, not even the track by the Strong Come Ons, whose seven-incher did nothing for me. Send every cent of your allowance to the address at the end of the review section. –Jimmy Alvarado (Trick Knee)


UNKNOWN, THE:
Pop Art: CD
The Unknown hail from the great underdog rock city of Cleveland, Ohio where they have been kicking around for the last ten years playing uptempo pop punk. They do an above average job of writing hooky driving songs in the tradition of such bands as the Descendents, Bad Religion, and Big Drill Car. The production is similar to a lot of early All records with clicky sounding drums, clanky thin bass, and heavier guitar dominating the mix. The vocals are well sung but somewhat undistinctive and predictable. I would recommend this record to someone if they were hungry for the early ‘90s crop of tight pop punk. Sadly, they struck me like a communion wafer. At the end of Pop Art, I am left with no taste in my mouth whatsoever. –Nathan Grumdahl –Guest Contributor (Boss Tuneage)


UNITAS:
Porch Life: CD
This is robust, powerful, ballsy rock’n’roll thunder – heavy on the rock and even heavier on the thunder! It’s downhome whiskey-soaked punkrock of the rootin’-tootin’ rural variety. I say “punkrock,” ‘cause it possesses more attitude, vibrancy, originality, and passion than any of the spikey-haired suburban twits out there in Mallworld who pass themselves off as the epitome of today’s justifiably enraged youth (pppuuuuleeeaze, ya fake lil’ scrubfaced fuckers! Find another trend-of-the-moment to whorishly leech upon, go back to the bland ‘burbs where ya belong, do as your told, finish high school, go to college, and then become a corporate suit-and-tie swine-shit just like your daddy!). Anyway, back to the music: I drunkenly detect a diverse and colorful array of influences on this here barnstormer of a release, includin’ the likes of AC/DC, The Minutemen, Husker Du, early Replacements, and even a bit of ol’ hippyman Neil Young (the vocals are an incredible mishmash of Lee Ving, Bob Mould, what’s-his-name from The Offspring, and, oddly enough, an occasional Eddie Vedder-style warble). Utterly amazing, really! Unitas proficiently, yet energetically, create a truly authentic sound of rock’n’roll rebellion and pure unrelenting goodtime rowdiness (with a couple of slower, laid-back tracks tossed in for good measure). It’s so damn good to be alive, intoxicated, and well on a brisk autumn day like this while Unitas loudly caterwaul outta the ol’ hi-fi unit. -Roger Moser, Jr. –Guest Contributor (No Idea)


U.S. CHAOS/STATCH AND THE RAPES:
We Are Your Enemy: Split 7"
US Chaos: “Blame It on Sam” was recorded in ‘83, lost, refound almost twenty years later, and finally pressed. It stands up as catchy as, say, The Vibrators in a very bad, very cynical mood. It’s poppy in a mid-tempo, swaggering way, and the song’s basically about fucking shit up, not taking personal responsibility, and blaming the powers that be. Oddly soothing. Statch and the Rapes win the “Most Offensive Band Name Title” for the year and I wish the band was as aurally off-putting to back it up. They’re pretty tame and in a strange way remind me of a PG version of the Anti-Heros, where the songs are half spoken, half yelled, the lyrics are real easy to follow, and the instrumentation ain’t bad, but unlike the Anti-Heros, they don’t seem to have a lot of teeth and snarl to back up the barking. Not poo, but my pants aren’t on fire, either. –Todd Taylor (Punkrockrecords)


TWELVE HOUR TURN:
Bend Break Spill: CD
Boring. Bend CD to pieces. Break case with foot. Spill beer on top of mess to reclaim sanity. Emotive physical reaction with a play on words on my part to justify writing and having to listen. –Donofthedead (No Idea)


TURN PALE:
Self-titled: CD EP
This is a two track introduction to this Bloomington death-rock band, featuring members of Panoply Academy and Drekka. The first track is a poppier more Kommunity FK rock song with moaning Ian Curtis-ish vocals with a great, amazing bass line. This will have the kids dancing. The second track is a long, drawn-out wail ala’ The Birthday Party’s “Nick the Stripper,” with howls and hoots and death-curdling cries. Lots of drama, which is something much needed in this world. Can’t wait to hear more from this band. -Sarah Stierch –Guest Contributor (Turn Pale)


TRUST FUND BABIES:
Self-titled: 7" EP

I heard these guys are no more. Pity, ‘cause they would’ve been nice to see ‘em blow up huge, or at least play on a double bill with Smogtown and Spontaneous Disgust. Three tracks, sparse production, total power.

–Jimmy Alvarado (Rapid Pulse)


TRANS MEGETTI, THE:
Fading Left to Completely On: CD
With the brains and sinew and non-ass of bands such as Drive Like Jehu and Hot Snakes in mind, The Trans Megetti are able to make intricate, swelling, breathing songs that go from quiet whispers to whips and caterwauls and back to sparse, chattering arrangements. It’s what I like to call (and I think I’m the only one, so fucking sue me) map rock. Not math rock – they’re not so technical that it’s pocket protector time – it just seems that they’ve got so many strains (like lines of streets) and open areas (like parks) and fast-moving parts (like freeways) and swirls (on-ramps) and they’ve got the whole mess figured out before hand, like city planners, but for songs, and that by the end of the album, you get the feeling that you’ve traveled around a lot and the trip’s been satisfying and you’ve got a good feel on how they came up with what they did. Map rock. What’s impressive is that the songs never completely dissipate or forget where they’re going (run out of gas). Groove, is what I think it’s called. Some warnings: the vocalist is a tad whiny (or high pitched), but it doesn’t bother me here, and the music could be construed as sorta whimpy, but, fuck it, it makes me shake my ass and shimmy and be all introspective and stuff. –Todd Taylor (Gern Blandsten)


TRAITORS:
Everything Went Shit: CD
The Traitors were kind of a super-group in reverse. After the original members went their separate ways, singer Todd Pot fronted Apocalypse Hoboken, drummer Matt Skiba formed Alkaline Trio, and guitarist Mark Ruvolo formed No Empathy (I think. I know he was in both bands, I just don’t know which was first). Everything Went Shithas all thirteen songs that the original Traitors recorded, and those thirteen songs alone are enough to make this a killer album. Early Traitors’ songs sound a lot like Apocalypse Hoboken, but more straight ahead and no nonsense, less fucked up (this isn’t necessarily good or bad. It’s just different). And Matt Skiba is a good drummer. He has a real knack for mixing up the tempo, slowing the songs down to a resonating intensity, then letting everything explode. After the album burns through the thirteen Todd Pot fronted songs, Billy Smith takes over the vocal duties, and he sounds strangely similar. You almost don’t notice at first, but as the album carries on, it becomes more evident. Likewise, the sound of the band gradually changes in the sense that you don’t notice at first, but by the time you get to the end of the album, it’s almost like you’re listening to a new band (which, due to member changes and all, you pretty much are). So it’s an interesting documentation of the life of a band, but it’s also seventy-plus minutes of good, gnarly punk rock. –Sean Carswell (Johann’s Face)


TOXIC NARCOTIC/A GLOBAL THREAT:
The Split: EP
Two songs each. Toxic Narc injects the venom with fantastic wide-load production and John Brannon throat tearing (one song is “Asshole,” which I swear I hear every time I hear TN). The excitement simmers down a little with AGT, but they hit a fine, neck-wringing, slightly metallic groove so you can listen to both sides the same amount of times. –Cuss Baxter (Rodent Popsicle)


TOXIC NARCOTIC/A GLOBAL THREAT:
: Split 7"
Both bands rampageously roar through a down’n’dirty duo of crusty punk ditties that’re brutal, barbaric, and absolutely blistering! It’s hardcore audial decimation at its most enraged and apocalyptic in a ruthless and violent maelstrom of sonic criminality! Well, holy fuckin’ crocodile shit, my ears are now profusely bleeding like the pubescent flesh-slashed victims of Freddie Krueger’s diabolical murderous massacres. I’ve been mangled, butchered, and mutilated by the two tune-destroying terrors known as Toxic Narcotic and A Global Threat. I doubt I’ll ever fully recover from this catastrophically traumatic aural experience, but I assure you, it was worth every blood-curdling second! -Roger Moser, Jr. –Guest Contributor (Rodent Popsicle)


TOSHACK HIGHWAY:
Everyday, Rock’n’Roll is Saving My Life: CD
Boring, blasé, bullshit pop. –Jimmy Alvarado (Space Baby)


TOOTHPICK ELBOW:
Best Wishes: CD
This disc made me miss Plain Wrap all the more. Could the man responsible for “Magnetic Shoes,” “Green Light Red Light” and quite possibly history’s perfect song lyric, “boomshackalackalackaoogachuckaoogachucka” truly be partly to blame for this shit? Don Wrap, wherefore hast thou forsaken us and instead punish us with mierda like this and Lutefisk? Thy penance is much too severe, methinks. –Jimmy Alvarado (Spiritone)


TILT:
Been Where? Did What?: CD
I’ve always had a sort of love/hate relationship with Tilt. Sometimes I love ‘em, sometimes (like when they put their last album out) I think that they were put on this earth solely to make my life that much worse. Delusions of grandeur, I know. But I digress. When the band hit the mark, they make the words pop and punk actually compliment instead of repel one another. This is one of those moments. This collection of rare, comp, demo and unreleased tracks by this long-running Bay Area band serves not only as a look back at where they’ve been, but also as a good starting point for those not yet familiar with them. Good stuff that actually marks the second non-Me First and the Gimme Gimme-related release from Fat I own that I can actually say I truly like. –Jimmy Alvarado (Fat)


TILT:
Been Where? Did What?: CD
Backward progression. Most punk bands start off raunchy and loose and progress to play more of a rock thing as they become more talented as musicians. Tilt, on the other hand, started playing more of a rock thing at first and progressed to their trademark punk sound. This is an out-takes, demos and comp tracks release. As a fan, I had a hard time listening to this at first. It was painful. I was actually shocked at the earlier material that I haven’t heard before. Once it got more to recently recorded material half way through the CD, I got comfortable. Familiarity came to me and now I was ready to enjoy. The energy level that I was in tune with came forth. Oh joy, three covers also! Two TV show theme songs and an X cover! The covers geek in me got stuck right in the middle of this release as I re-listened to the covers. Tilt fans and collectors will buy this regardless of what I have to say. If you are interested and never purchased a Tilt release before, I say buy Collect ‘em All or Viewers Like You before buying this. Those two are their more trademark records and is their best representation to date. For those who have no clue, this is a female led punk band that has aggression and melody. –Donofthedead (Fat)


THRALL:
Hung Like God: CD
Thrall insanely blast a caterwauling metal-tinged mindfuck of intricate noise-rock rage that had me feverishly clawing at the inner demons who continuously ravage my pitiful worthless soul. This is a dark and demented soundtrack for a futuristic nuclear holocaust; a disturbing psychopathic swirl of blistering sonic savagery; a teeth-gnashing, eye-crossing display of deranged musical madness. The nine nefarious tunes contained herein possess twice the anger, twice the energy, and three times the passion of anything ever recorded by Killdozer, the Jesus Lizard, and The Cows (three well-known bands somewhat comparable to the almighty Thrall). Holy shit, my eyes and ears are melting like gelatinous candlewax slowly oozing across the scorched surface of my face. I’m profusely sweating. Drool’s thickly dripping from the creased corners of my mouth. Somebody please sedate me and restrain my violently convulsing future cadaver in a straightjacket. Thrall have obviously invaded my bloodstream and conquered my soul. All hope is lost. I’m doomed beyond redemption, but, damn, it feels good! -Roger Moser, Jr. –Guest Contributor (Reptilian)


TARANTULA HAWK:
Self-titled: CD
Death metal jam rock. Next.
–Jimmy Alvarado (Life is Abuse)


SUPERSLEUTH:
Thirty-One Months: CD
In the annals of suckdom, this will definitely make it into the “Faboo Fifty.” Not only are they trying desperately to relive the glory days of the whole straight edge trip with what sounds like a grand total of two records to reference, they also cover Minor Threat’s “Bottled Violence” and leave exactly one note intact. The result of their efforts over the course of 13 songs is that they sound like a weak, 12th-rate Uniform Choice cover band (who they also cover, incidentally), who, in turn, at their best were no more than a weak, 12th-rate Minor Threat cover band. Next time, append the band name with “a lame tribute to a scene we know nothing about.” –Jimmy Alvarado (www.failedexperimentrecords.com)


SUPER CHINCHILLA RESCUE MISSION:
Self-titled: CDEP
Oops. Forgot to review this four-song CD last issue due to me be all excited about them being on our cover and all. Speaking of covers, don’t let the CD’s art sway you – the front is a poorly backlit Godzilla puppet with boxing gloves and not very engaging at all. In the microgrooves of the CD itself, that’s where the magic is. Stretch pop ‘til it screams, bend hardcore ‘til it becomes melodic without losing speed, throw up a deep mesh of intertwining walls of guitar, bass, and drum sounds (like cyclone fences surrounding brick walls, laced with strings of dynamite – heavy, yet loose and fun) and have Seth yell and scream some dark yet bright poetic lyrics that are drenched in sweat, whisky, and barely concealable desperation, and you’ve got one fuckin’ great band. Every time I listen to this on the headphones, I keep on cranking the volume higher with each song. And my ears ring for the next half hour. Fantastic. This band is one huge reason I continue to thrive off music. –Todd Taylor (Attention Deficit Disorder)


STRONG COME ONS:
Trailer Sessions: 7" EP
Lo-fi trash punk. Try as I may, I just can’t think of anything else to say about it, which means that I wasn’t too impressed, I guess. Maybe that’s why the little beaver on the back is flipping me off. –Jimmy Alvarado (pleasureunitrecords@hotmail.com)


STITCHES, THE:
Four More Songs from the Stitches: 12" EP
OC’s favorite fuckups, who half the time can’t figure what type of line to do (pool line, coke line, guitar line), break their too-long vinyl silence with four as-close-to-perfect cuts of mid-tempo punk as you can get. Iggy, Pistols, Clash – are all broken and mashed and chipped and pock marked – then wrung out like a bar towel and distilled. The result is that they dish out instantly catchy songs (“hey, I know that riff… sorta”) but you don’t get any the wank or fluf or solos that usually runs in tandem with hedonism. I was skating at a park when Mike, the singer, showed up. He slapped on a helmet and skated the hell out of the place. He was obvious – tattoos, older, distinctive, slashy style. I was standing next to a couple of fat-panted, suburban-doughy kids, who looked at one another and said, “Dude, that guy rips. What the hell was that move? And his pants are so tight.” That pretty much sums up the Stitches. The packaging on this 12” is immaculate. Faux Japanese printing with corner promo thing on one side, full color sleeve with tons of great photos, and lookie, my vinyl’s white. –Todd Taylor (Kapow)


STAGE POTTLES:
I’ll Live My Life!: CD
Run-of-the-mill skinhead music from Germany. Although they seem to have their hearts in the right place, ain’t big whoop to be found here. –Jimmy Alvarado (Mad Butcher)


STAGE BOTTLES/SCRAPY:
The Riot EP: CD EP
Stage Bottles: Don’t quite know what it is with them, but their brand of skinhead rock bores the hell outta me. There’s nothing specifically wrong with them, per se, they just fail to impress. Sorry. Scrapy: A little better than their partners in crime here, but their songs are way too fucking long. –Jimmy Alvarado (Mad Butcher)


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