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· 1:Punk Parenthood for the Sleep Deprived XII
· 2: Tear A Cognita #07: Minneapolis, Minnesota
· 3:Louis Jacinto Photo Column - Patti Smith
· 4:Featured Book Reviews from Issue #91
· 5:A Tribute to John Stabb


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Record Reviews

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LEGION / MAMMOTH GRINDER:
Split: 7"
This is a good example of a split release done right. Legion from Birmingham, AL (members of Die Young and Coliseum) and Mammoth Grinder from Austin, TX (members of Hatred Surge) both play heavy, fast hardcore music in similar styles, but each are strong enough to hold their own on their respective sides. Legion follow up their debut 7”, Saviour, with two brand new tracks of intense, stop-and-start hardcore with great dual guitar arrangements—as well as killer bass lines throughout—with a strong Integrity influence. The vocals are absolutely livid. Mammoth Grinder are a little more straight forward but still have a lot of range and remind me of an American Cripple Bastards. They have a new album coming out soon on Relapse and tons of tours, so watch out! –Ian Wise –Guest Contributor (Nuclear Solution, nuclearsolution.blogspot.com)


LE KID ET LES MARINELLIS:
“T’es pas d’ici” b/w “Camille”: 45
Goodness gracious great balls of Jerry Lewis Telethons, it’s a Franc-O-Phonic poppy punksmack, and a welcome one at that!!! The a-side sounds like “Et Moi, Et Moi, Et Moi” by the Sniveling Shits, processed via the voice and ding-a-ling catchiness of America’s favorite Belgian, Plastic Bertrand, but recorded with the punch and crispness of The Boys, who never got to learn any French because they took technical drawing instead. There is something wonderfully insidious about a truly catchy French punk tune—sorta like huffing laughing gas whippits while a weird man in a trench coat shoves crepes in your back pocket and tells you not to waste the whipped cream or something—and rarely has glorious Francophonic insidiousness been gloriouser nor insidiouser. The b-side is more of a Nuggets-styled sixties thingie, but authentic enough in its minor-chorded tin can squawk to sound more or less carbon-datedly authentic as such. The sleeve could use some shiny jellybean colors on it, but, that said, this is pretty much the French equivalent of a home run, or triple at bare minimum. Olé! BEST SONG: “T’es Pas D’ici.” BEST SONG TITLE: “T’es Pas D’ici,” because i could actually figure out what it meant. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: There’s a download code printed right on the fricking label of this record. Wish i woulda figured that out before i forced my worn-to-a-nub needle back on my USB turntable to rip it to my hard drive. Amusingly, their own label fucks up the spelling of the a-side in the MP3 info tag, butchering it as “T’est Pas Ici”—which translates, if Google can be believed, to “thee not here.” Odds botkins! –norb (Telephone Explosion)


LAWRENCE ARMS, THE:
Buttsweat and Tears: 7"
Despite the weakness of the record’s art and design (seriously, who at Fat is responsible for this recent glut of faux-’70s crud? It’s garbage! Stop it!) and the lame-the-first-time title, this band still slays. More importantly, ten years together and they’re getting noticeably better. That’s the part that still throws me. I thought their last full-length, Oh Calcutta! was arguably their best effort and this new four-songer (five if you count the digital-only song that’s available at Fat’s website) is right up there. The hooks are wickedly sharp and reaching, the lyrics tackle regret and joy and throw them together in a cement tumbler, and the music itself, to me, would be considered pop punk only loosely at this point. There’s a lot more depth and ferocity here than a label like that implies. From the familiar (restlessness and torpor in “The Slowest Drink in the Saddest Bar…”) to the newly explored (the flatly menacing country vibe threaded throughout “The Redness in the West”), this record’s one of the best things they’ve ever done. Awesome times three. –keith (Fat)


KRAPPY DRAKULA, THEE / FARMS IN TROUBLE:
Split: 7"
Well paired 7” of quirky, lo-fi minimalist punk. Thee Krappy Drakula kinda sounds like Giant Haystacks recorded on a boombox, with echoes of D. Boon sheen on the guitar and the squealing feedback of the Velvet Underground humming in the background. First song on the Farms In Trouble side, “Employment History,” is the winner on this side with tape loop magic and a yodeled hook. The other tunes are less melodic, jagged, angular shards of off-kilter, but still listenable weirdness, like backing tracks from Chuck Jones’ futuristic ‘60s Tom and Jerry cartoons. –Jeff Proctor (Eeefin’/Activities)


KING FRIDAY: Married Alive: CD:
Married Alive: CD
Clean my slate. That pretty much sums up what King Friday does to me. It’s a break from reality… not like a smoke break… more like another time and place. I shake my head, open my eyes again, and remember who I am. For me, the highlight of this CD is “Canadian Money.” It’s a must-listen pop gem of a lifetime. It’s the true sound of pumped-up kids bouncing off the wall. Crank this short song and hit repeat. When it ends, I feel like I just got off of that red spinny thing at the playground and I’m trying to walk straight. These are the kind of songs that stay with you for many years. I know because I have been listening to some of them for many years and they have stood the test of time. King Friday used to slay the crowd at the Hardback in Gainesville, FL on a regular basis. We all wanted to see what they would do next, and they never disappointed. The beginning of “Carrot on a Stick” is so amazing that I appreciate it again every time I hear it. Some of the songs on this record were new to me. The surprise hit of the new songs for me was “Mexico.” “I think you lie most of the time” says Jeff London, King Friday’s fearless lead singer. This record will be a classic in my life for many years to come. I can’t wait to hear the next chapter.What is it about these songsthat bring me to where King Friday takes me? Is it the way the melody rides the chords? The way the chords build to a destination? The way it all crashes on the shore of an island all of its own? Who knows…Who cares? They’re magically delicious.Get a pair of big speakers from your local Goodwill Industries store and crank this. –Dave Rohm –Guest Contributor (Fast Crowd)


JON COUGAR CONCENTRATION CAMP:
My Brain Hurts: LP
The story behind this record is that while Chris Fields was recording the new record by the Bugs (featuring former Queers/JCCC band mate Dave Swain), Chris and Dave used the extra studio time, got together, and recorded Screeching Weasel’s legendary My Brain Hurts (don’t tell anyone, but Wiggle is actually my favorite SW record) as a surprise birthday present for international pop superstar Josh Mosh (of Sunnyside and the Phuzz). Josh Mosh then told Chris that the record was rad and suggested he put it out. Luckily for us, Livid Records agreed with J-Mo’s recommendation and this shit is out on vinyl for your listening pleasure. (And luckily for me, I got to catch them play a couple of these at North Park Awesome Fast this summer. Two times!) Limited to 500 with artwork by Cristy Road, who beautifully did the artwork for Recess’s re-release of My Brain Hurts earlier this year, as well. The songs here retain all of the charm of the originals, plus get a little kick in the pants by the Coug’s leather jacket swagger. Chris’ vocals are gruff and gritty and ripping solos fly throughout the record. Stand-out tracks include “Guest List,” “I Can See Clearly,” “The Science of Myth,” and, of course, “My Brain Hurts.” This comes highly recommended. –Jeff Proctor (Livid)


IRON CHIC:
Shitty Rambo EP: 7”
I reviewed (and greatly enjoyed) Iron Chic’s demo tape in these very pages last year, so when I saw this sitting in the bin at HQ, I jumped for it. What you get here is four melodic, pop punk anthems with intriguing leads and hearty vocals sung in unison on a pretty slab of grey marble vinyl. This is certainly a fine release, but while I don’t want to say I’m disappointed, I do think that Iron Chic is perhaps not realizing their full potential with this one. I saw them jump on a basement show last minute at last year’s Fest and thought they were one of the standout bands of the whole weekend, where this 7” sounds a little too much like the rest of Fest for me. Pick it up and give it a shot, Razorcake readers, as it’s still worth a spin. For you, Iron Chic, you’ve got a good foundation. Let’s build on it. –Jeff Proctor (Dead Broke)


INTRO5PECT:
Record Profits: CD
Generally speaking, of course, I don’t like electronic music. My reason is the usual complaints: it’s devoid of the human element, thus it doesn’t have an emotional connection or feel to it. So it leaves me bored. A lot of my friends make and base a lot their lives around electronica or techno. They think punk is redundant, stagnant and have a whole lot of evidence that it’s just kind of dumb. Fair enough. It is a lot of the time, but techno is full of E’d-out, apathetic, rich... wait, wait, wait, let’s not split hairs. Instead let’s ask, “Can middle ground be met?” Well, Intro5pect have got the right idea, but, unfortunately, it doesn’t rise above the bullshit of either camp. The lyrics are just goddamn stupid: “Fuck your flag and fuck your pride,” or “fuck the system and tear it down.”I’d be embarrassed as hell to play this for anybody who isn’t into punk because it would just back up their prejudice. On top of that, it’s so completely clean that it comes off as sterile. It’s reallyfucking overproduced. Like Blink 182 overproduced. The blending of genres sounds completely intentional. As if they were thinking, “Why don’t we mix with this and do a techno-punk band?” rather than just being a bunch of people jamming out together and coming up with something. If only they could have made the crossover. The ravers have always got the good drugs. –Craven (A-F, a-frecords.com)


KICKSTARTS:
Self-titled: 12” EP
Rick from the Casualties seems to be the leading force behind this band, although there’s a touch more rock’n’roll here than in his other band. You can shake your fist to it, and what more can you ask for these days? Well, I guess songwriting and musicianship, but you can find that elsewhere. Anybody who listens to street punk for songwriting and musicianship is a dick. If you’re a Casualties fan, you might want to grab this one quick. Koi Records’ slogan is “Our records sell out… but we don’t!” –mp (Koi, koirecords.com)


HARLEY’S WAR:
Cro Mag: CD
The title proclaims this as “Hardcore All Stars” and, as one may guess from the cover, Harley from the Cro Mags is the main member. Features Vinnie Stigma from Agnostic Front on some tunes as well. This is thirty-two songs, comprised of twelve new songs, a 1982 Harley solo demo, and a live set from CBGB. There is also a live DVD of shows from NYC, Japan, and Germany. Fans of NYHC already know they want this. –frame (MVD Audio)


GUILT TRIP:
Outrageous Claims: LP
Holy fuh-uh-uhhhck! Absolutely ripping album! I was asleep for twenty years, it seems, since I missed out on their previous EP, but as I was shaving off my Rip Van Winkle-length beard, I had this playing in the background. By the time I put on the second side, I had more than a few cuts and scrapes from allowing this record to become the focus of my attention instead of the needed grooming job. Look, enough for a minute with all creative writing and attempts at being witty, let’s all agree there’s just a lot of “okay bands” out there. Too many, really. Then there’s a small handful of truly awesome bands out there. Guilt Trip are one of those truly awesome bands. And this is one of those albums that in five to ten years when you put it on for another listen, you’re not going to ask yourself in confusion, “Why did I buy this piece of shit?” Instead, you’re going to react to it the same way you did when you heard it the first time, “Oh, fuck yeah. This record is awesome!” Ten songs of full-on hardcore punk that hearkens back to the members’ previous bands (Tear It Up, The Rites, and Fast Times), only updated a wee bit. Solid musicianship, bleak (and great!) lyrics, and a manic vocal style. The last song, “Bitter Sweet Nothing,” goes off into Black Flag territory with a slow, sludgy tempo and words of despair. Other than that, the delivery is fast and urgent. Awesome, awesome, awesome! –Matt Average (Absent)


HOUSE BOAT:
The Delaware Octopus: CD
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that House Boat are basically the Pinhead Gunpowder for the next generation of pop punk nerds: Four dudes from other notable bands of the genre (ranging from broken up to full-time active) coming together to make a record every once in a while, and play the occasional shows. While I love a lot of these bands (like Rivethead, Copyrights, Dear Landlord, etc), I personally find myself relating to Grath’s songs a little bit more, since they usually revolve around being unhappy about your temp job, and immediately falling head over heels over every girl you pass on the street. For the completely out of the loop, think if Off With Their Heads embraced the fact that they’re a pop punk band a lot more, and were less dramatic. –joe (It’s Alive)


IN-SANE:
Trust These Hands…Are Worthless: CD
Who knew bands from Slovenia could rock hard? I’d be hard pressed to find that country on a map, but maybe I should visit sometime to check these guys out live. But, for now, I have this release and it will have to do. Furiously paced drumming, heartfelt vocals, and overall creative songwriting went into the batter in this cake. I hear some Dag Nasty guitar influence in here and it brings a solid groove to the party. “Fail Safe Fail” is probably my favorite track on here. And they even end it with a tight instrumental. Impressive, gentlemen. Most impressive. –koepenick (Moonlee)


IMPALER:
Cryptozoology: CD
I will never understand why more people are not absolutely insane about this band. Since the early ‘80s, they’ve been delivering their own sinister blend of shock rock, combining ‘70s punk and ‘70s metal with single-minded dedication. I’ll admit that I didn’t really know much about them until a few years ago—when I moved to their homeland of Minnesota and went to one of their shows—which turned into the most insane rock’n’roll brawl I’ve ever seen. When I see a band that makes insane music back it up with real life insanity, I’m in for keeps. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that their music is consistently awesome, and this new album is one of their best. It’s a concept album about cryptids, featuring songs about chupacabras, Jersey devils, and the like. There’s even a trilogy of Bigfoot songs. The message here is clear: These beasts are not cute and friendly. They’re fucking monsters, and the songs sound absolutely vicious; the way songs about monsters should sound. –mp (MVD)


GAY, GAY, GAY, GAY BONERZ:
Self-titled: 7” EP
This band is actually lightyears tighter and more competent than one’d imagine a band called “The Gay, Gay, Gay, Gay Bonerz” who do songs named “Trees are Bonerz” should be; then again, aren’t boners—er, bonerz—the sworn enemy of “tight?” I mean, in the grand Ro-Sham-Bo of sexual affairs, TIGHT compels MOUTH; MOUTH covers BONER, and BONER wrecks TIGHT. Where do these guys imagine they’ve heard different? And the line in “Trees are Bonerz” that mentions a “vagina in the sky”—dude, that is the most ass-backward thing i’ve heard since i booty-called Zatanna. Trees ARE bonerz, of course ((everybody knows that)), but they are fucking the EARTH. I mean, look at the top of any given tree. THAT is UNQUESTIONABLY the pubic hair part, not the dinghole part. AM I NOT CORRECT IN THESE ASSERTIONS??? Further, what kind of band calls themselves “The Gay, Gay, Gay, Gay Bonerz” and then has double-tracked guitar solos with a different guitar part in each channel? I’m no expert on the situation, but that doesn’t seem very Gay, Gay, Gay, Gay Bonery to me. Whatever it is this band thinks they’re doing, they seem to have mastered—all the same, i’ll probably give these bonerz a lick and a promise until they release a record worthy of their great promise—like a split with the Fearless Iranians From Hell or something. BEST SONG: “Precum” BEST SONG TITLE: “Trees are Bonerz” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Band’s name is misspelled “Gay, Gay, Gay, Gay BONERS” on the front cover. Gay. –norb (Diva Haus)


FULL OF FANCY:
Sweet Baby Jesus: LP
Full Of Fancy’s sound is a cross between The Muffs and Liz Phair. This album has a grand mix of straight-ahead power pop tunes such as “Los Angeles, Louisiana” and “Human Pudding,” to more indie-rock inspired tunes such as “Stone’s Throw” and “Hot Tub.” I love how Erin’s (bassist) and Miranda’s (guitarist) vocals harmonize. My favorite song is “Girls Don’t Cry,” a poignant tune about unrequited love with the sad confessional chorus, “I do I do I do anything you want me to. I do I do I do anything for you.” Full Of Fancy’s song writing palate even ventures into some harder-hitting numbers, thanks to Evan’s pounding drums on the track “Mikey Says.” There’s not a bad song out of the batch of twelve tracks here. –N.L. Dewart (No Breaks)


FRANZ NICOLAY:
St. Sebastian of the Short Stage: 10”
Wow, if ever there were a case of one side of a record being really pretty good and the other side totally sucking, this would be it. Franz Nicolay used to be the keyboardist in Hold Steady and the accordionist for World/Inferno Friendship Society. The first side of this record (appropriately labeled “The Fun Side”) is heavy on the World/Inferno vibe, but the second side is slower and really, really not my thing. But I think the whole record might be redeemed by one song: “The Ballad of Hollis Wadsworth Mason Jr.,” about a character in Watchmen, a DC comic book series/graphic novel. If this were a cereal, it’d be kasha (a Russian cereal, in keeping with the general Eastern Europe folksy vibe of the first side (really and truly, just think World/Inferno on this one), followed by some sort of cereal that would indicate slowness, maybe something overly ponderous. Special K Vanilla Almond? My cereal references are failing me here. Oh, the tragedy. –Maddy (Team Science)


FRANTIC HEART OF IT, THE:
Self-titled: CD
There was a short-lived East Bay pop punk band from the early oughts, Fenway Park, that played some deliciously syrupy power pop that borrowed quite liberally from Elvis Costello And The Attractions, but added some strings and schmaltz to the equation. These three Pittsburgh dudes expand upon what FenwayPark started, adding even more intricate and floral orchestration. Heartfelt power pop and pop punk songs here benefit from addition of keys, glockenspiel, accordion, and cello. Some tracks are guitar-heavy pop punk, reminiscent of the Methadones; others recall the pub rock that preceded Elvis Costello. Later Faces albums come to mind. And in the more tender moments, there are bits of Cat Stevens. When I was thirteen I would have kicked myself in the dick for saying that and considering it a complement, but times have changed. There’s also a bonus track cover of Jawbreaker’s “Ache” that probably could have been left off, but that’s a minor grievance. Overall, this is a very lovely, lovingly crafted album. However, I am a bit curious as to how they pull the lush sound off live between just the three of them! –Jeff Proctor (Atomic Family)


FLYBOYS:
Crayon World” b/w “Square City: 7”
The Flyboys’ story is tragic, and this tragedy has, quite possibly, kept them mainly as a footnote in Southern California’s punk rock history. Right around when their self-titled, seven-song 12” EP was released on Frontier, the keyboardist/vocalist, David Wilson (noted on this record as David Way), was killed in an automobile accident. Another version of the band, called the Choir Invisible, would later resurface. The drummer, Dennis Walsh (punk name Dennis Rackett), would go on to join the long-running Huntington Beach stalwarts, The Crowd (Razorcake #2’s cover band). This is a re-issue of their first 1979 self-released 7” (Flyguy Records) and it has the feel of a band that was comfortable straddling between the not-yet-concrete-wall separation between new wave and punk. Within half a year of this 7” coming out, and the bands existing within thirty miles of one another, the Knack would score a worldwide hit with “My Sharona.” The Flyboys remain largely obscure. What I didn’t know is that The Flyboys were the first day-glo punks in California—often called “the male Go-Go’s”—encouraging their fans to have fun, instead of acting disinterested or spitting at them. Great stuff. Well worth bloodhounding down. –todd (Frontier)


FLESHIES:
Brown Flag: LP + CD
Pure speculation: John Geek, the singer for the Fleshies, has found an inner happiness and resolve. This is the most posi Fleshies record, by a landslide. Also, the pseudopodal separation of Triclops! from the “don’t call it a comeback, we’ve been here all along” Fleshies has completed. Triclops! (a band that features many of the same members of the Fleshies) takes care of all the huge and loud and longer tangents. Fleshies takes care of the smart whips of weird pop sensibilities. Explanation: Fleshies have been grooming an AC/DC meets direct-to-the-central-nervous-system form of DIY punk for years. This is their most singularly focused effort. I’m making another assumption that the cover of this album is a close-up of some mold or fungus or something. It sorta looks like asphalt on first glance. But when it’s all blown up, the little details that you’d most likely miss if you glance at the mold at arm’s length start revealing intricate details and patterns and neat stuff. And that’s what this record sounds like, in a purely Fleshies way. Definitely recommended. –todd (Recess / Sugar Mountain)


FAST BOYS:
RockNRoll Trash: CD
…meaning no disrespect to anybody up or down the food chain, but i’m kinda viewing the whole Poison Arrows/Cute Lepers fatal OD thing as kind of the Altamont for this kind of music ((and when i say “this kind of music,” i apparently mean some kind of post-Exploding Hearts punk/glam/rock & roll dealie-do where everyone has tight pants, studded belts, chain wallets, and creepers. And really nice guitars. Oh, and hair brushes, too)). I mean, the Poison Arrows played in Green Bay about a week before that whole deal went down, and, even then, you could tell that people were just sort of…i dunno, for want of a better word, smirking at the whole Renaissance Faire aspect of the whole deal. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not an inherently bad look—hell, i freely admit that if i could honestly pull off the whole “looking like a Bay City Roller as drawn by John Holmstrom” look, i’d probably do it, too—it just doesn’t seem like this is the way productive, vital cogs in the rock’n’roll bioorganism look right now, it seems, at this second, that it’s more like people being tethered to/frozen into whatever aesthetic template they decided was Boss and Gear after they heard “Guitar Romantic” or something ((and if OD-gate is this music’s Altamont, i’m thinking the Exploding Hearts tragic van crash is more like Elvis going into the Army than it is Buddy Holly’s plane going down, but these analogies are beginning to verge into the realm of the pointlessly insensitive so fuck it)). Anyway, enough high level shit. I neither hate nor wish to hate this record, but, for the cry-yi, could you POSSIBLY have thought of a more generic band name? And could you POSSIBLY have come up with a more generic album title?? I mean, i’d be depressed if i found out that “Fast Boys” and “RockNRoll Trash” were anything other than the result of some software program designed to scientifically and mathematically calculate the most generic possible results to the queries of “CREATE BAND NAME” and “GENERATE ALBUM TITLE.” Still, this record isn’t bad—it’s rehashed, generic and overplayed, but it still isn’t bad—and in between the mewling about “rock ‘n’ roll trash” and—i dunno, was it “Main Street” or “The Boulevard” or am i just assuming there’s a song that mentions “Main Street” or “The Boulevard” because it would be some kinda violation otherwise?—there are a few sorta memorable tunes ((“Wanderer” appears to mention a jukebox, “Grown Up Blues” is kinda good, and “Won’t Let Me Kiss Her” would be really good except that it’s sorta wrecked by some, frankly, awful backup vocals)) and the album does seem to pick up steam as it shambles along…but that plug is swiftly pulled when the band opts to include, for whatever reason, a humdrum cover of “New Rose” towards the end of side two. DUDES, WHAT THE FUCK??? You don’t cover a fuckin’ completely ubiquitous punk classic on your album! Ya put something like that on the b-side of a three-song 45! What’s your big idea for the next record, start side one off with “Blitzkrieg Bop???” I mean, JESUS! Couldn’t you even hit us up with “So Messed Up” or something??? You gotta do the HIT??? What fuckin’ RockSchool did YOU fail outta??? Well anyway…yeah. Pretty Boy, Nasty, Cocoa, Fitz and Mikey, i salute you: “RockNRoll Trash” is officially the first record of this genre’s post-Altamont era. Good luck with that. BEST SONG: “Won’t Let Me Kiss Her” minus the bad backing vocals. DUMBEST SONG TITLES: “Fast Boys DTK” “Rock N’ Roll Trash” “Late Nights” “Gettin’ Off” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: “Recorded at Crystal Rain in South Carolina by a mullett (sic) -headed jackass” –norb (Zodiac Killer)


ESTRANGED, THE:
Self-titled: LP
It’s a singles collection of the most-if-not-all-sold-out Estranged 7”s (and an unlisted track. I believe it’s off their debut LP, Static Thoughts). At the moment, I’m putting the Estranged in the camp that’s occupied by Eddy Current Suppression Ring, Hex Dispensers, The Young Offenders, and the Marked Men. Stylistically, they’re nothing alike, but their approaches to the heart of music are similar. Oh, one could say, “That’s nothing new,” and they wouldn’t be wrong. But they’d be more wrong than right. (It’s not squeaky intergalactic balloon music played with vacuum cleaners in a tonal range that’s aimed at making your pancreas quiver. Or a “whathaveyou.”) The Estranged are exploring the dark ventricles of music that was usually accompanied with a brooding synthesizer. Think Bauhaus or Sisters Of Mercy, but by died-in-the-wool punks shorn of spookiness and frilly-edged shirts. Artful pretense is replaced by hard-edged instruments and scuffed boots. And, away from the comfortable trappings of an already created subculture and the genre limitations that come with them, The Estranged make music that is pumping intriguing, rare blood in real time. I’m super glad that these songs are staying in print. I figure the more people getting into The Estranged, the better. –todd (Dirtnap / Black Water)


ESKATOL:
Blodorn: CD
You can’t ignore music that is so intense sonically that it blasts your eardrums. This band from Oslo, Norway does not fuck around. They play a technically executed mixture of crust, d-beat, and metal. Gruff vocals lead the charge, backed by crunching guitars, forceful bass, and hard-driving drums. The production is key here. It’s well recorded and nothing is out of place. What they master—that a lot of bands cannot achieve—is the underlying, memorable melody that keeps me listening. Their power is unmistaken. From start to finish, this is one enjoyable listen. I get the same feeling listening to this band as I do Skitsystem or Wolfbrigade. All I hope is one day is that this band tours the States and I can experience this live. –don (Kjepp Kjappesens Raske Skiver, diger.tigernet.no)


ERGS!, THE / MEASURE [SA]:
Split: 7”
Measure [SA]: A slower, shimmering song about isolation, ice, and creativity followed by a quick blast. For me, Lauren’s voice is like a suture on a serious wound, holding and guiding the songs together with a fierce tenderness. Ergs!: Oh, yes, my friends, the Ergs! are still dead. This was recorded before That’s It… Bye! A fast one and a slow one, giving this 7” the feel of a late Sunday morning instead of a late Saturday night. I’m waiting for the future where records come with morning coffee and a nice, sunny day. Until then, I’ll just have to use the ol’ imagination. Two DIY punk bands—even when they slow it down—at the top of their form. –todd (No Idea)


DONALD THOMPSON:
Pomp! Pomp!: 7” EP
Ragin’ two-guitar rocky punk that sounds like a youthful, non-Angelino version of those cocaine & whiskey ne’er-do-wells of the ‘90s like the Humpers and, uh, those guys that kind of all sounded like the Humpers but weren’t the Humpers. Except for the feedback and the vocals, which just sound like some highly motivated Italian kid trying to get stinkier. I don’t really hear any massive hits here, but i’m a sucker for that one-note rapid-fire BINKBINKBINKBINKBINK piano like they have in “Bite My Ass” so i bang my veiny pink gavel and find in their favor. BEST SONG: “Bite My Ass” BEST SONG TITLE: “Chalk Outline,” because “Bite My Ass” isn’t nearly as good as it could be if it were “Bite My Shiny Metal Ass” instead. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Donald Thompson was a former Oklahoma district judge who got four years in jail for masturbating with a penis pump under his judge’s robes while presiding over murder trials.And they say America’s a free country! –norb (Tornado Ride/Surfin’Ki)


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