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· 1:Razorcake #79 Now Available
· 2:L.A. Zine Fest 2014 by Andy Garcia
· 3:Record Reviews in Razorcake #79
· 4:#308 with Kurt Morris
· 5:Record Reviews in Razorcake #79


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Razorcake #79
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Record Reviews

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PEPPERMINTS, THE:
Sweet Tooth Abortion: CD
Like a rusty hanger through your earhole, The Peppermints scrape up some good damage. The lady who sings on this sounds like she’s being stabbed in a B-movie all the way through it, which I think is pretty awesome. Think of the Cows without the horns, humping to the most interesting drumming of the Screamers and then corner it while rubbing Fleshies in its face and sniffing some soiled underpants. It’s where art meets fuck meets shit feedback fest. It’s a wild ride, not so good for traffic unless you’re looking for a fight, but great for clearing out a room. Made by, I suspect, people who know how to handle their drugs. Oddly endearing. Suggested. –Todd Taylor (Pandacide)


PANTHERS:
Let’s Get Serious: CD
Arty noise rock not unlike a less technically proficient Barkmarket. –Jimmy Alvarado (Dim Mak)


PAINT IT BLACK:
CVA: CD
Although the salt is still is on my cheeks from crying about Kid Dynamite’s demise, Dr. Dan Yemin and skin punisher Mr. Dave Wagenschutz have resurrected a leaner, meaner, tougher unit, this time with Dan taking the lead vocal duties. Gone are the tuned melodies. In their place: chiseled and pissed-off songs reminiscent but not reflexive to Minor Threat, Gorilla Biscuits, and Youth of Today, seamlessly updated to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with The Panic and American Nightmare. The spine and conviction to this whole thing, I believe, is what makes it stand out. Both Dan and Dave have been around for quite a while. They are well past the time it’s acceptable to be complete burnouts with hands out for a paycheck or a windbag curmudgeons saying today’s youth don’t get it. Yet, their chops continue to be refined to harder blows and the lyrics continue to explore new realms instead of reclining into a comfy chair of complacency. –Todd Taylor (Jade Tree)


OTHERWISE:
Dark Adapted Eye: CD
I was so stoked when I got this because it looks all deathy and boss and shit with David Carson-esque typography and a photograph of some slimy tentacled thing on the cover (probably just an octopus, but it looked bad-ass). I figured I was getting the second coming of Chuck Schuldiner or something – I mean, the fucking album title is Dark Adapted Eye, right? It has to be some fucked up King Diamond / Mercyful Fate / Dimmu Borgir / Deicide shit, right? It sounds evil, it looks evil, it’s gonna be fucking evil! I popped it in at work to ward off the blandness of the fluorescent lights and settled in and prepared to be rocked. The drumbeats started off a little slow, but I figured that even the most grindy album in existence can be deceptive – deception is evil, right? Deception is cool. And then the album proper started and I wanted to cry. All those hopes. All that build-up. For another shitty fucking whimpering sniveling emo band. As a result of this miserable experience, I have come to one unshakable conclusion: Firefly Records sucks rancid ass. –Puckett (Firefly)


OSCARS, THE:
Blow Yourself Up: CDEP
The Oscars remind me of the Spits, minus the keyboards, and in the waaay, waaay back of the room, an odd, early Sonic Youth guitar. Fungus retard punk rock that takes the duct tape off the Ramones’ shoes and uses it as a plug for the holes in their blowup dolls. The Oscars are so patently bad for so many reasons, it has to be intentional, and they’re actually pretty fuckin’ good. Almost no-fi, but worth keeping an ear out for. –Todd Taylor (oscars666@hotmail)


ORPHANS, THE:
Chinatown: 7"
Two tracks of trashy rock’n’roll that sound like they just got back from a time trip to mid-‘90s San Francisco. Both tracks are plenty rockin’, but my preference is for “Moscow Massage,” the peppier of the two. –Jimmy Alvarado (Kapow)


ORPHANS, THE:
Chinatown b/w Moscow Massage: 7"
Two blood-stained cuts from the best punk band in LA currently without a label. Take the early desperation, delusion, and stripped rawness of Dangerhouse (Eyes, Bags, Weirdos, Dils) and titty twist it, so it bruises up nice, purple, and immediate. With Jenny at the vocal helm, it’s even parts of chopping you into little bits and stolen, smearing kisses. These two songs measure up to their loopdey-loop live show, which I highly recommend. The packaging is immaculate – bloody fingerprints on the dust sleeve, a red bloop on clear vinyl, and great graphics on the cover. A keeper. –Todd Taylor (Kapow)


OPERATION LATTE THUNDER / ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS:
The Kitchen Split: 7"
Operation Latte Thunder: A funny song title, “Point Your Compass in the Direction of Fun,” whip-smart lyrics about being in a band; “sardined in a van,” and “you can’t be homesick when the cure’s right beside you,” while referencing Lifetime all add up to a good listen. I’ve been hearing the word “screamo” a lot lately, and I’m not sure what it’s supposed to mean. If it’s a couple of dudes yelling really well, over instruments you can see chip their paint when the vinyl spins, sign me up. OLT mix shades of Guyana Punch Line, where everything’s going off, but in the same direction so it doesn’t sound like mud, along with good, old fashioned audio destruction by guys I suspect have a lot of marbles rolling around in their noggins. Are You Fucking Serious: Have the best song title this rotation: “Cows Go: Moo, Pig Go: You’re Under Arrest.” They’re blunt (SUVs, malls, cops = bad / ripping it up = good), owe a lot to GBH and a poor man’s Iron Maiden (think crusty not-metal-afraid, speedy punk), and have a good song about washing dishes, but lack the extra ooom pa pa that Operation Latte Thunder packs. –Todd Taylor (Mis En Place)


ONION FLAVORED RINGS:
Used to It: LP
I put this record on the turntable and proceeded to pogo around my too-small-to-accommodate-pogoing apartment and it was all fun and games until I crashed into my bike and woke up the neighbors. If you have a full range of motion in all four of your limbs, get this and you will most likely do the same except for the crashing part. –Not Josh –Guest Contributor (S.P.A.M.)


OCTOBER ALLIED:
Self-titled: CD
“You know that punk was dead/before the pistols fired a shot/I’m from the Eddie Cochran stock/and I just want to rock.” Where to start? Okay, so if punk’s dead why would you send this to us, a punk magazine? As for being of the Eddie Cochran stock? Well let’s see… Eddie Cochran is one of my all-time favorites. Somehow, I doubt that you ever will be. Another thing, the song that the lyric is from is nothing like Eddie, more of a bastardized (with good reason) Chuck Berry. Finally, if you want to rock, by all means, start at any time, just do so far out of earshot from me. Thanks. –Megan Pants (www.octoberallied.com)


OBSCENE GESTURE / VARANT MAJARIAN:
In: Clubbing Seals for Fun and Profit: Split CD
It’s funny what little, seemingly inconsequential things can tip the scales in a reviewer’s mind when assessing the virtues of a new recording. When I first saw the band logos – both of that “scary” lettering ilk, like they were doodled on a notebook cover by some death metal miscreant in detention one day – along with the cover illustration of some smiling little punks beating harp seals over the heads with baseball bats, the Laughable Retard alarms went off in my head. But then I noticed that the little drawings all over this thing are kind of cute in a “Maddy-esque” way and that they even included a funny little board game called the “Punk Point Game” and that sort of reminded of something Crucial Youth would’ve done back in the day. There’s obviously a sense of humor at work here and that almost always makes me less prone to attacking a band with a bag full of dull, rusty adjectives. Obscene Gesture come across like a poor man’s Chain of Strength with quasi-religious lyrics, plus they thank “God” in the credits, so I don’t think the sense of humor is theirs. It seems to be an outgrowth of the good times vitriol of Varant Majarian. Sure, it’s humor that would probably appeal to that miscreant kid doodling in detention, but hell, it’s a sense of humor nonetheless. Plus their singer sounds like a cross between Darby Crash and Jello Biafra, and you gotta like that. Two hardcore bands that don’t sound like they’re trying to sound like each other. Not bad stuff. Give yourselves a few extra punk points, boys. –aphid (Chicken Head)


NONE MORE BLACK:
File Under Black: CD
From what I read, the singer is the former singer for Kid Dynamite. I have never listened to the latter band but heard good things from other Razorcakers. The bass player does double duty by also playing in Kill Your Idols. That band I have heard here and there, and really enjoyed what I did hear. So this band has two brownie points going for them. Musically, the band stays in the mid-tempo arena and tends to lean to a more rock vein. Not one to hold its punches, they do throw in a lot of melody to keep a foot tapping. The vocals are scratchy and gruff, but not out of tune. The rest of the band complements the vocals and shimmies its way through the songs. Definitely a release that you have to listen to multiple times to see if you like it. With more listens, I find it more and more appealing. –Donofthedead (Fat)


NOFX:
War on Errorism: CD
I guess I’m a Johnny-come-lately. I’m jumping on the bandwagon; my opinions have changed and I have become a converted fan. This is the best release I have heard from Fat Mike and Co. Even from their early beginnings, I have by-passed the band. I have skipped shows, not purchased releases and not paid attention. I guess it’s an old guy thing, like old school versus new school. But I’m a big enough person to admit that I can change my mind. Give me a valid argument, I can be swayed. I have been swayed and truly enjoy this release. The political songs are food for thought interspersed in the mix of tracks with their brand of humor. I especially like the reminiscing songs of his early memories of the scene. It brings back memories of times long gone with the old school references he uses to color the songs like “13 Stitches,” “The Separation of Church and Skate,” and “We Got Two Jealous Agains.” The songs, at least to me, are more charged and have a more hardcore sound. The style is the same, but with more venom pushing it in your face. The added CD Rom videos was what initially won me over. I really enjoyed the video for “Franco Un-American.”I guess I should have been paying more attention in the past. –Donofthedead (Fat)


MUMBLER:
The Winter of Our Discontent: 7"
Weird things lead me to pull records out of the slush pile. I saw the title of this one, which could either be a self-indulgent, whiny emo title, or could be a reference to one of Steinbeck’s greatest novels. Then, when I see it’s on a record label that’s most likely named after Steinbeck’s hometown, I’m sold. Well, the good news is that it’s not emo. Not even close. It doesn’t really have anything to do with Steinbeck, but the first song is called “Free Brewery Tour,” which is good in a whole other way. So what does it sound like? At first listen, it came across as pop punk, but there was something in it that kept me listening. Something a little more raw and a little more sincere. The vocals are nerdy and gruff at the same time, and the drums really power the songs ahead. It’s like these guys learned that the secret behind Screeching Weasel had something to do with Dan Panic’s drums, and they decided that, if they were gonna borrow from the pop punk masters, then they’d have to look to the back of the stage. This is their first release, and it’s not a bad one at all. –Sean Carswell (Salinas)


MOURNINGSIDE: Some Secrets Are Better Left…:
Some Secrets Are Better Left…: CD
East Coast metal-tinged hardcore with obvious cues taken from the mid-to-late ‘80s New York hardcore scene. In short, not my cup of tea at all. –Jimmy Alvarado (Rodent Popsicle)


MOTION CITY SOUNDTRACK:
I Am the Movie: CD
I’m completely buffaloed. Lots of minuses to overcome. 1.) Unrestricted Moog used in a non-new wave type way. 2.) Anthropomorphism as a lyrical crutch. Emo does this a lot, for some reason – gives inanimate objects human feeling. “Sand is said to be sad.” Please, make some sort of sense. Sand gets wet. It gets dry. It doesn’t fucking cry. 3.) Unrestricted sicky sweet backup vocals. 4.) The lead vocalist sounds like he could be in, say, a “new, extreme” Partridge Family. 5.) Name dropping the television show Will and Grace is a good idea, how? Hello, eject button, my trusted friend. –Todd Taylor (Epitaph)


MOTARDS:
Stardom: CD
I was so excited about this CD that I could barely rip open the plastic to play it. I’m a huge Motards fan, but, when a band breaks up something like eight years ago and they only have two albums, you start to venture into territory where you can only listen to the same two albums so many times, despite their greatness. So, now that it’s eight years after the demise of one of punk’s greatest trashy rock’n’roll bands, Mortville has given us this collection of outtakes and songs from long-out-of-print seven inches. Stardom covers some early Motards ground, when they weren’t afraid to slow things down a wee bit, and it thrusts through their later work, all the way up to beautifully fucked up covers of the Dwarves and of Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation.” In between, it’s pure Motards. A little empty spot in my life has now been filled. I’m so happy to have new Motards songs to put into regular rotation. –Sean Carswell (Mortville)


NITZ, THE:
Kill You to Death!: 7"
You’d think the crossroads of the Dwarves and Zeke would be a barren place where no musical seed could find any purchase. It’s been well-trod land with few inspired results. But, inside the Blag’y vocal bad touch, the speed injection to the breakneck guitar, power stroke drums, and burned rubber bass, The Nitz manage to chuggle and strangle out eight songs that sound great on their own. It’s a nice kick to the balls by a band that doesn’t feel like they’re chained to the back of the truck of their influences. –Todd Taylor (Reptilian)


NICK CAVE AND THE BAD SEEDS:
Nocturama: CD
So, here’s a guy and his band, of relatively large renown and with a reputation for a certain amount of noise and excitement, and he’s singing in his sweetest croon, with mostly pianos for accompaniment, about sunsets and meadows and boats and gardens and it’s all very deep and poetic and I have never wanted so badly to go to sleep in all my days. –Cuss Baxter (Mute)


NEW CHRISTS, THE:
We Got This: CD
This features the former lead singer of Radio Birdman. As can be expected, much of what’s on this is Iggy-infused rock/punk in much the same vein as his previous, legendary band, and much of it is top-notch. –Jimmy Alvarado (Smog Veil)


(NO) APOLOGIES PROJECT, THE:
Deconstruct the Dancefloor: CD
Occasionally when you’re in a band, one of the members comes up with an incredibly stupid idea to incorporate rap into said band’s repertoire. Occasionally, the member who volunteers such an idea deserves a serious beat down from his bandmates, ’cause adding rap to the sound will only result in public humiliation from your so-called friends and some embarrassed head-shaking as soon as the album hits the stands and all them bong hits that facilitated such thought processes in the first place wear off. This is one such instance. Hope whoever in the band came up with the idea was left a bloody mess, ’cause, frankly, this is one pretty bad listen. Fuck, I’m not even in the band and I’m pretty embarrassed for ’em. –Jimmy Alvarado (Coptercrash)


MYLES OF DESTRUCTION:
Running Only Makes the Fire Worse: CD
Drums, bass, screams, and a violin. Some things are better as concepts than as realities. I’m not sure if this is one of them. It’s really dark. Metal drums and throaty screams against the violin is quite a contrast. There’s a haunting feel to it. Four of the nine tracks are instrumental, which has a very different feel than the vocal tracks for me. Interesting and unique to say the least. I can’t figure out if I like it or not, but I do keep listening, trying to find where fits in for me. –Megan Pants (Myles of Destruction)


MAD PARADE:
Bombs and the Bible: CD
Well, it looks like another lineup change has taken place, with Ron out again and new guy Paul taking over bass duties. Musically, they continue along on the same path they’ve always trod upon, namely older English punk influences crossed with early ‘80s LA sensibilities. If it ain’t broke, why fix it, I guess. Included here is a tasty cover of the Boomtown Rats’ “I Don’t Like Mondays,” as well as fourteen other tracks that stand up well against their “classic” material. Seeing as I’ve considered myself a Mad Parade fan since my band Six Gun Justice played with ’em at the Cathay on a “dollar night” bill back in 1983, and have remained so through many years and many shared bills since, I can say that I’m mighty satisfied with what’s coming outta my speakers right now. –Jimmy Alvarado (Dr. Strange)


MAGGOTS, THE:
Let's Go in '69 b/w 50 Gallon Bladder: 7"
Not to be confused with the highbrow lot who brought you "Tammy Wynette," this crew is full-blooded Swedish garage rockers who enjoy adorning their record sleeves with Mopar™ products and exciting toy race tracks. And, while this does issue them a certain, shall we say, "baggage claim" in this day and age, they deftly spin Cheerios™ on any perceived shortcomings-in-waiting by recording with astounding ferocity and "absolutely no overdubs!" – meaning that not only can they rock your Groove umlaut like the Von Zippers covering the Flamin' Groovies covering Chuck Berry's "Let Me Rock," but they can also make you think of the Urinals' "Go Away Girl"/"Sex" recording session while doing it. LOOK, MOM! GUILT-FREE SWEDISH MOPAR™-ROCK! A-side's a corker, b-side is more rockabilly-esque, yet still endearing – if only because the guitar solo is oddly reminiscent of that in "Mule Skinner Blues" by the Fendermen, of which i am quite fond. I'm gettin' the album. BEST SONG: "Let's Go in '69" BEST SONG TITLE: "50 Gallon Bladder" FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: One of the Fendermen looked at my Ibanez Iceman when i brought it into his son's music store and said it was cool. –Rev. Norb (Gearhead)


LOST SOUNDS:
Demos II: CD
The Lost Sounds have me. Staple together the seemingly incongruous elements of new wave, garage rock, psych, and distorto keyboard while not making it sound like piss. They make it sound like a cyborg-electric monster that’ll sometimes crush you and sometimes fuck you like you’ve never been fucked. These are demos spanning a four-year period. It’s cool to hear and read about how each of these twenty-one songs (plus intro and outro bits) were made. (Jay found a damaged saxophone in a dumpster and played it on a lark on “Energy Drink and the Long Walk Home.”) But, if you’re looking for a firm introductory handshake to the band, I’d go for the almost flawless Rat’s Brains and Microchips. If you’ve already got that and want to peek behind the curtain, don’t mind raw production, and want to see how Siouxie Sioux would have sounded if she fronted a battle-scarred Servotron, by all means, this is a whiz-bang of a CD. –Todd Taylor (On/On Switch)


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·POOR LUCKIES, THE
·BOUNCING SOULS, THE
·SKIT SYSTEM
·EMPTY GRAVE
·CHIEF FUZZER
·FUCKED UP
·REIGNING SOUND
·TUCK AND ROLL
·SCREAMING FAT RAT


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