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· 1:The Backpatches of NYC (Collection 6) adelsouto.com
· 2:The Backpatches of NYC (Collection 5)
· 3:Featured Record Reviews Issue #93
· 4:The Falcon, The Copyrights, Sam Russo live at the Troubadour, July 16, 2016
· 5:#414 with John Di Marco


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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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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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BERMONDSEY JOYRIDERS, THE:
Self-titled: CD
Two geezers with some serious credentials (we’re talking former members of Heavy Metal Kids, Cocksparrer, and Chelsea here) and a former pro skater turned drummer kick up some fine punk rock. There are even a few nods to their former bands, including a cover of “Running Riot.” Gary Lammin’s voice is a bit rough around the edges sometimes, but they more than handle their own and deliver tunes that don’t sound soft in the middle. The demo quality of the recording actually enhances things a bit, too. Nice work. –jimmy (Fuel Injection)


BEAT THE RED LIGHT:
Self-titled: CD
It goes back and forth from flashy metal to straight forward ska punk. At first, I was just surprised that bands like this still existed, but, admittedly, it’s not bad—the songs just tend to go on too long, either in having a minute-long intro or multiple extra parts that feel like they’re just thrown in for no reason. (My own personal opinion? Longer songs work best with the Superchunk approach of taking an awesome riff and playing the hell out of it.) –joe (TNS, tnsrecords.co.uk)


BATTLEFLASK:
Smile! Tomorrow Will Be Worse: CD
Second full length from this L.A. band that may remind some of Street Dogs, Rancid, and even Dead Kennedys. “Insurrection Generations” and “Bozo the Stomper” kept replaying in my head long after I had removed this record. Tight songs with sing-along chorus features make this a record worth revisiting. We’ll see where record number three lands these boys in the punk rock universe. –koepenick (Fallen Angel)


ANTISEEN / HÖLLEY 750:
Split: CD
Charlotte’s AntiSeen remains one of the most unique, distinct, long-term players in punk. The legendary Jeff Clayton and Joe Young are now joined by a new bassist and drummer for this killer six-song recording. Here they pay tribute to their classic punk roots with covers of “Belsen Was a Gas” by the Sex Pistols and “The Witch” by the Sonics. There are also two terrific new songs and two live tracks. AntiSeen will remain overlooked by the majority of knee-jerk clowns in this subculture, but those who give them a chance are always spellbound by their signature blend of ‘77 punk and hardcore with a tinge of country. Hölley 750 gets the honor of sharing this split CD and they’re a fun, scummy band in their own right. Hailing from Denver, they play self-described “trucker punk,” with sadistic, snarled vocals and a bit of a late 1980s thrash/crossover influence. Their half of the split includes a well-done cover of Motörhead’s “Ramones.” Like AntiSeen, Hölley 750 straddles the fine line of being “anti-scene” while simultaneously adding so much to that same scene they decry. There’s an After School Special-esque message in all of this. Think about it. –Art Ettinger (Zodiac Killer, zodiackillerrecords.com)


ANCHOR, THE:
Self-titled: CD
What a way to start my reviews this time around! There I was in the parking lot of the post office with my package from Razorcake torn open on the car seat beside me. I was in a daze because The Anchor had just planted a Chuck Taylor square in my ass! Very reminiscent of some of my favorite bands of the late ‘90s, such as Jon Cougar Concentration Camp or Pinhead Circus. Melodic and raspy-voiced punk rock that just sounds like the beer supply is never going to run out and the pizza is on the way. Don’t get me wrong, this disc isn’t all “happy all the time,” I just think it would be a good soundtrack to me getting drunk and eating pizza. Like said beer and pizza, I want more of The Anchor, too! –ty (ADD)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Acne And Machine Guns: A Chicago Punk Rock Compilation Vol. 1: Cassette
This is a sampling of Chicago punk rock scene that includes ten bands and nineteen songs. The biggest highlight here was the two songs by The Blue Waves: “Closer” and “Time and Tension.” These are some pretty cool dance punk tunes that have some undercurrent stylings of The Faint’s sound minus any of the electronica. It’s like The Blue Waves throw jazz, old blues, and ‘60s rock up against a wall and what sticks sounds one hundred percent organic and original. But this band is also the biggest disappointment because, according to their MySpace, they are on indefinite hiatus. Side A of this tape is the stronger side in just pure variety and quality. The band I Hate People offers two tracks that have the whole old school punk vibe of Minor Threat going for them. The Unnecessary Buttons have two tracks that sound like they were recorded by two different bands. I could see their tune “Pygmy” being written by the Velvet Underground and being sung by Nico, while their track “King Cole” is a guitar-rich instrumental with lots of distortion and a heavy sound. The B-side of this compilation had a lot more humorous pop punk, but my favorite tracks were the ones by Shortstop from Tokyo. These guys and gal are an all-out ska band that had me all nostalgic for my ska-core skankin’ days. Their tunes seemed inspired by Reel Big Fish for the crooner vocals and flashy guitar solos. This tape is worth getting, just for posterity in having a snap shot of the underground Chicago punk rock scene. This tape has great clip art cover design, all the bands and songs are concisely listed, and the tape itself is blue and professionally labeled. You can’t go wrong getting your hands on one of these three hundred tapes. –N.L. Dewart (Nervous Laughter, myspace.com/nervouslaughterrecords)


ABANDON:
Dead Dreams: 7”
Portland sure has become a breeding ground for punk as of late. Maybe it’s a combination of the weather and water? Whatever it is, looking from outside the bubble, the music scene there seems vibrant and active. Read somewhere that this band features ex-members of Stormcrow and Fall Of The Bastards. It shows in this band’s interpretation and brand of metallic crust punk with an underlying d-beat attack. I hear a very World Burns To Death vibe going in their sound, too, with a driving Motörhead undertone that pushes the rocking factor up. The vocal delivery is more of a yelled and screamed variety and not guttural. Very crisp and rich guitar and bass tones create the backdrop for an ominous experience. An accomplished and experienced drummer ties everything together with added beats and accents. –don (Defector)


45 ADAPTERS:
One More Day: 7”
A four-song single of street punk with a yen for garage rock. The songwriting could be described as mediocre, if you were going to generous. The lyrics are worse, covering the same cliché working class street punk themes that have been flogged to death, but even more cringe-inducing than usual. However, this is nothing compared to the vocals, which are literally insufferable. I am usually not too picky about singers, but this might be some of the worst caterwauling I have ever heard on a punk rock record. –Jake Shut (Longshot)


WEAKENDS, THE:
Self-titled: LP
After seeing its bizarre, sepia-toned cover image (a kid wearing an all-brown outfit and what appears to be a Goofy mask, standing in what I’d guess to be a petting zoo corral), I was prepared for this stuff to be mind-fucking ‘80s-style hardcore that would threaten to traumatize me. Instead, it is unpolished garage-blues/rockabilly from a French three-piece—a pretty far cry from the Pissed Jeans brethren I expected. The Weakends’ aching vocals, clattering drums, thick bass lines, and trembling guitar tones turn this into a decent experience, but it is lacking a certain punch to make it memorable. The highlight is the creepy screeches of “Dawn of the Dead,” a song that borders on kitschy but it’s too over the top. –Reyan Ali (Rob’s House, robshouserecords.com)


WIZARDRY:
Self-titled: CD
Oh, boy. Now, I’ll be the first one to tell you that metal isn’t exactly my thing, but I know enough to be able to decipher that Wizardry just isn’t that great. It’s a hollow Sabbath-esqe dirge that left me thinking about all the stuff I’d rather be doing than listening to this. Now let’s get to the good stuff. The song titles on this disc are fucking amazing! We open with “Nigh Invincible,” which epically leads into “Drink from Thy Chalice.” Things get a little scary in the middle with “The Deep” and “Wayfarer.” It all culminates at the end with a double attack of “The Good Witch” and “Death Rides on Tuesday” (which, I might add, has become somewhat of a battle cry in the print shop since I brought this in). Somehow, Wizardry has managed to cast a +4 Boredom Spell and the result is that they have to make a saving throw for mediocrity. Things don’t bode well for this campaign. –ty (No address)


VON DANIKENS:
12 Hot Shots: CD
This band has somehow melded poor man’s Motörhead riffs with low-voiced-man’s chanty choruses ((a la every Toy Dolls album from “Bare Faced Cheek” onwards, which is exactly when they started going downhill)), then added occasional Brian May-like guitar excursions and gratuitous occasional rapid-fire BINKBINKBINKBINKBINK piano and reverb-drenched surf frippery to produce an album entirely about getting drunk and rockin’ with one’s punk rock & roll hooligan friends that somehow doesn’t manage to yield a single track that my punk rock & roll hooligan friends and i want to get drunk and rock to. This seems like the kind of band who always bring the same five friends and the same five girlfriends with them to every show, then those same ten people stand in front of the band, singing along passionately and self-consciously to every song, as meanwhile everyone else in the club sort of saunters around rolling their eyes and going “ay caramba, those clods from Tarraco are here.” Ah well, ya can’t make an omelet without breakin’ a few eggs, ya know? BEST SONG: “Ready, Steady, Go,” i guess BEST SONG TITLE: Well, although “Ready, Steady, Go” minus the commas worked pretty well for Generation X, i think the dick in me is voting for “I Don’t Want to Grow Up.” Take THAT, Milo! FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: The inner tray graphic is the Vandals “Peace Thru Vandalism” logo, but with some sort of musket or something in lieu of the assault rifle. Hey, i don’t make the news, i just report it. –norb (United Kids)


WEAK LINK:
Demo ‘09: CD
It makes me happy that there are kids out there in this day and age playing hardcore punk like this. No offense to Weak Link if they’re not kids (I have no information on them whatsoever), but this disc screams youthful fuckoffness. Bring on the full length! –ty (Shred City)


WORLD CHAMPIONS:
Angels with Filthy Souls: CDEP
Frankly, these songs sound pretty weird to me. Like the music and the vocals are from two different bands. The vocals are kind of screamy and punky, but the music is almost jazzy at times. This makes for a very awkward final product that was at times very unpleasant to listen to. At times, it seems like the singer wants to go faster and the drummer wants to slow down. From what I heard of these songs, this band is all over the place. Not untalented, but the songwriting needs some improvement. Kind of like that joke about a camel being a horse designed by a committee. This EP is definitely a camel. –jennifer (Self Aware, no address)


WORN IN RED:
In the Offing: CD
These guys sound like they could have easily come out on Mountain or Ebullition Records back in the mid-to-late ‘90s. Modern hardcore, or emo, with nods to late ‘80s / early ‘90s Dischord. It’s okay. They can certainly play their instruments, and the mood is overall dark and introspective. However, nothing stands out, and the music is forgotten as soon as the last song is finished. –Matt Average (No Idea)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Now That’s What I Call a Dip: CD
This seems to be a compilation of bands who’ve played at a venue in Milwaukee called “The Dipping Station.” Which may or may not feature a menu of dip-able snacks. Not that this has anything to do with the music, but it pleased me because I like delicious food with my beer and punk rock. Anyway, listening to this compilation is kind of like dropping into a scene for one night. You don’t understand any of the inside jokes, but you can listen to the music anyway. Most of these songs are of the short, fast, loud variety (a song called “Snooze” by a band called Elephant Gun clocks in at three minutes and thirty-seven seconds, making it the longest song on the compilation by forty-one seconds). Most of these songs are pretty good and this is probably a delight to the people involved in this scene. For me, it all started to blur together after a while. Catchy standout tracks include Ghost Town Trio’s “I Thought You Were” and Heart Shaped Hate’s “Haircuts,” which refreshingly featured female vocals. –jennifer (Self-released, no address listed)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Northern Aggression–Project Boneyard Vol. 2: CD
There’s not much info here, but I gather that this is an oi and hardcore compilation dedicated to ending white power music. That is something I can get behind. Musically, all the bands here are treading the same ground, more or less. Some stand outs for me are The Press, Nuts & Bolts, and Class War Kids. Definitely a great cause and a good listen. –ty (Insurgance)


VIRGIN WHORES:
Public Nuisance: CD
Stiff and yelly St. Paul street punk that reminds me of Niblick Henbane crossed with a few of the less-popular bands off that “Carry On Oi!!!” album, except with a bunch of weird 90’s rock/punk breakdowns scattered about for no logical reason ((except for “Wolverine,” which reminds me of that Naked Raygun song about Batman)). I’ve never heard anyone sing about shooting drugs with quite so much glee before, and the lyrically-localized cover of “Holidays In The Sun” ((“the Berlin Wall!” changed to “East Saint Paul!” etc.)) is kind of a cute touch. The last time i was in St. Paul i rode a mechanical bull so maybe i should start seeing myself as part of the problem these days. BEST SONG: “442” BEST SONG TITLE: “Wolverine,” maybe? FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: I bought those issues of Hulk where Wolverine made his first appearance at the drugstore when i was in fourth grade. –norb (Two-Bit)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Protect 2: CD
If you recall, a while back the Protect comp came out on Fat Wreck, as a benefit to the committee of the same name, and as you can guess, this is the sequel. This time, the collection is a bit more diverse, and a bit more obscure. –joe (GC)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Killed by Modern Problems Vol. 1: Cassette
This twelve-song comp. has some really solid tracks throughout. My favorite songs are The Steaknives, “Stupid People,” Robocock, “Cookies,” and The Trites, “A Dirty Word.” All of those songs rip forth with the high-energy frenzy akin to old Black Flag. There’s good stuff here, with side B having the most gems. –N.L. Dewart (H.R.S., hrsrecords.blogspot.com)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Brits Abroad: 7"
Brits Abroad is a four-band, four-song comp released to introduce stateside listeners to a handful of U.K. bands playing The Fest 8 in Gainesville. The Arteries, OK Pilot, Brothers, and Bangers each deliver a mainline melodic punk track with modest, unimposing production. There’s nothing especially British about any of the bands, with nary an accent offered. The most notable of the four is OK Pilot, who self-describe as post-punk, but the only thing “post” about them is that they possibly enjoy Post cereal. They’re a very contemporary emocore band with cool twists and rhythms. I bet these bands were an even bigger blast at The Fest, but this comp isn’t a bad place to check ‘em out, either. –Art Ettinger (Specialist Subject, specialistsubjectrecords.co.uk)


VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL/BI-FURIOUS:
Split: 7"
VacationBibleSchool: I feel like I’ve had numerous chances to see this band lately, but never do. Hearing this makes me unhappy about that, because it’s pretty good all around. Punk rock that’s angry, a bit thrashy, and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Plus, a tribute to Jimmy Sass Dragon, which brings us to: Bi-Furious: Jimmy from the Sass Dragons’ throwback ‘80s hardcore band. Naturally, this means they rip, and the songs are goofy as hell (my favorite song title is “Give Pizza Chance”). For what I assume is just a side project, it’s awesome. –joe (Let’s Pretend / Lucky Gator, “We don’t really have an address”)


TWO KIDS RUNNING AWAY:
Coffee and Cigarettes: CD-EP
Two kids + one Bright Eyes whine imitation + wussentric lyrics = one reviewer running away. –Craven (Self-released)


TRUE ACHIEVER:
Regular Guy, Regular Haircut: 10"
True Achiever plays nerdy, six-song art punk with a comical, robotic singer. Song titles include “Bro-Man” and “Restless Leg Is Real and I Get It.” They’re the kind of group that would cause people to spit out their caffeinated drinks with laughter at an open mic night at a coffee shop. You can’t hate on a record this gleefully ridiculous. The 10” comes with a download card to access MP3s of this geeky gem. But there’s nothing more endearing than a joke taken as far as a pressing plant. –Art Ettinger (QSTNBL, myspace.com/trueachiever)


TORTURE THE ARTIST:
Self-titled: CD
More like torture the poor masochistic schlub who picked this up to review it. –jimmy (kidtestedrecords.net)


THOMAS FUNCTION:
In the Valley of Sickness: CD
Light-hearted, silly music. Something about his high-pitched, stretched voice reminds me of Bob Dylan—who I’m not particularly fond of—but I’m not judging. Surfy, poppy, and genuinely cheerful songs that have cheesy moments, but I can see why indie rockers would be drawn to this band. –Corinne (Fat Possum)


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