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· 1:A Brief History of Punk in Izhevsk, Russia by Alex Herbert
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· 4:Two New Installments in the Tear A Cognita Series
· 5:Featured Zine Reviews From Issue #86


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Razorcake #87
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My Dad Went to See Some Weird Music and... by Mike Faloon
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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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BLOW UP, THE:
True Noise: CD
This three-piece bring the trash, light it up on the porch, play with it, and watch it burn. The Blow Up hurl through stomping, red-line, pop the clutch and smash the Lambretta (an LI Series II if you’re gonna get technical and go by the cover) though the garage door mania. They seem to revel in eradicating the pus of splinters from broken soul, broken strings, broken melodies, and pierced eardrums. It’s one of those records where I’m always reaching for the volume knob and cranking it ‘til my teeth chatter and my ears ring. Yeah, it’s spazzy, but in the way that Scared of Chaka noise it up, upon returned listens, I had this revelation: “Holy fucking shit, there’s some songs in there, some actual songwriting capability, not just fuzz, racket, screaming, scramming, jamming, and cramming.” True Noise is like finding change in your pocket after laundry. It doesn’t stink and you feel unexpectedly a little bit richer. –Todd Taylor (www.theblowup.net)


BLOOD OR WHISKEY:
No Time to Explain: CD
More traditional Irish music punked up for your listening pleasure. I really liked this kinda stuff when it was first coming out, but, like ska, pop punk, punk‘n’roll, emo and nearly everything else, it’s starting to wear a little thin, kids. Time to exploit another country’s music, like Bavaria or something. –Jimmy Alvarado (mero@eircom.net)


BLEED:
Motor Psycho: CD
Prime-grade raunchy rock‘n’roll from a band that really knows when to hit you with a good ballad (“Love Me”) and when to turn up the attitude to 10 and rip shit up (“Lusty Lady”). I’m surprised Crypt isn’t crawling all over these guys. –Jimmy Alvarado (MuSick)


BANGERS AND MASH:
As Primitive As Can Be: CD
This is a highly entertaining and extraordinarily hilarious musical mock-up of 1964 and ‘65-era British beat groups... a true-to-form, tongue-in-cheek tribute to the merry moptopped music-makers of the flashy swingin’ Sixties. The garagey Mersey-style songs contained herein are amusingly adorned with thick (but very obviously fake!) Scouse-tinged vocal inflections and a frolicking rompfest of giddy butt-jigglin’ instrumentation... yeh baby, it’s as if Austin Powers is frenziedly fronting The Rutles at The Cavern Club in British-colonized Hades! If ya really wanna spice-up your next all-night house-bash, pop this groovilicious lil’ platter into the cozy confines of your hi-fi unit, and then feverishly twist and shout the night away with the tastiest lad or bird of your choice. Bloody fab and gear, this one is! –Guest Contributor (British Cooking)


BAD FORM:
No More Neo No Wave: 7" EP
I’m listening to this and wondering why your lousy band doesn’t rock as fine and hard as these hard bodied boys. I don’t know of many, if any, art tinged bands around today that achieve the level and magnitude of Bad Form’s rockitude assault on your aural and tactile senses. You either get bands that are more concerned with how their trust fund junkie ass fits in their leather pants and NY Dolls poses, or bands that are too concerned if the cat hair on their sweater will show up under the stage lights. These Bad Form cuties say fuck all that, it’s “gonna rain, it’s gonna pour,” and this shit is coming down in torrents. Crank it up and let them massage your ear drums with some nasty beats and jangly guitar pickin’. Whew! –Matt Average (Youth Attack)


AUTOMATICS:
Murder/Suicide: LP
Dude, what happened?! I remember these guys as a pop punk band that was good, if non-descript. What’s on this heavy piece of wax is some crankin’, struttin’ punk rock that’s not too far a cry from what bands like the Briefs are doing these days. I’m shocked. Fourteen tracks and not a clunker in the bunch. Definitely a keeper. Is this another band with the same name? –Jimmy Alvarado (Alien Snatch)


ATOM AND HIS PACKAGE:
Redefining Music: CD
This is one of those CDs that I take out of my stereo only after being threatened. I could not endorse this more if I showed up to your house and put a gun to your head and told you to listen to it. The only person whose opinion I care about who had anything non positive to say about this is a guy who thought it wasn’t “a joke” enough. If you aren’t aware, Atom is this guy who records songs with a sequencer and sings and plays guitar along with them. He has a great sense of humor, and his music has all manner of funniness going on, but this isn’t a novelty CD. There are vastly complex musical parts and an amazing range of styles on this. The lyrics are witty and poignant, and many of the songs are danceable even. I dare you, dare you to listen to “Shopping Spree” (not about what you think) and not get it caught in your head. Other highlights are Atom’s mockery of those who deserve it in “Anarchy Means I Litter,” covers of three Mountain Goats songs including my favorite “Going to Georgia,” an amazingly kickass version of Madonna’s “ Open Your Heart” and the sing-along epic against racial caricature; “If You Own the Washington Redskins, You’re a Cock.” Of course, I like the whole CD, even if “Before my Friends Do” makes me sad. –rich (Hopeless)


ANTISEEN:
Sabu: 7"
Side one is one of them southern-tinged hardcore songs that you all know and love. This one’s about what I’m assuming is a wrestler and not that wimpy looking guy that used to be in all them 1940s “Jungle Book” movies. Side two is a dirgy little ditty recorded live at the legendary Outhouse in Kansas. –Jimmy Alvarado (Steel Cage)


ANTI-NOWHERE LEAGUE:
Punk Singles & Rarities 1981-84: CD
Despite their cartoonish side, they were still pretty good. Certainly better than the Exploited and bands of that ilk they were lumped in with. While some lyrics may shock (“Woman,” “So What,” the latter which caused the authorities in England to raid their offices and destroy the remaining copies of the single) and offend, at the bottom of it all is irony and sarcasm. A hard concept for some to grasp, but that’s not your problem or mine. Tuneful mid-tempo punk with tongue firmly planted in cheek. Animal’s voice bellows out about the streets of London, hating people, and the sort. The guitar sound was pretty good and the rhythms were simple and catchy. Fun stuff needless to say. –Matt Average (Captain Oi!)


ALL:
Live + One: CD
This is apparently the “live” part of the title, ‘cause what I believe was the “+ One” part of the title (a live set from the Descendents) is not here. The sound quality here is a notch better than their last live album, Trailblazer, and the songs are a little tighter as well. Although Chad’s vocals are a little more limited in range than Scott’s or even Milo’s (especially obvious on his take of “She’s My Ex”), he does make a commendable effort to stay true to the oldies and succeeds for the most part. Live versions of the band’s newer songs are what the listener should take notice of, however. Here, this incarnation of the band gels most, proving both why they’ve been such an influential force in punk music and why they’ll never really fit in with the hordes they’ve spawned: they’re a truly original, great band. –Jimmy Alvarado (Epitaph)


AGENT 51:
Just Keep Runnin: CD
More Rancid mixed with melodicore to these ears. I’m guessing that everybody in this four piece gets a chance to sing at one point or another. Big choruses and big production that came off a little too sterile for me. –Donofthedead (Adeline)


59 TIMES THE PAIN:
Calling the Public: CD
Once I popped this thing in my player, I had a assumption that it was going to sound different than what came out of the speakers. I remember them being more hardcore. I have other stuff from this band but I don’t listen to it that often. I knew it was good enough to keep though. Without referencing all the previous material that I own, I will start from scratch. This band from Sweden play a ‘77 style of punk that reminded me of parts of the Clash mixed with the Cockney Rejects. As they age they are displaying their heritage on their shoulders. Well recorded and definitely powerful even though the songs are different than what I remembered. As in most cases, they too are a great Swedish band that sounds great and puts out a great product. I’ll raise a beer to this. –Donofthedead (Epitaph/Burning Heart)


59 TIMES THE PAIN:
Calling the Public: CD
Let’s start with the lyrics to the first song, “Rock the City.” “Show me positive signs around the world/ Good injections and intentions all around the world/ Rock the city/ Create the backbeat of today/ Take the alternative way.” This is the chorus of the song which is sung over and over and over. If that isn’t bad enough, the music is bland, dull, over produced, radio friendly rock shite. The band heard The Clash once and decided to jump on the current bandwagon of bands trying to update that sound (some doing it well), but someone in the band heard Starships’ “We Built This City” too. So you get a lot of cheesy repetitiveness, which I think they are considering to be anthems of some sort, but instead come across as gay sing-a-longs. Stay away from this at all cost. This is the kind of band I would heckle and throw shit at until they got off the stage or I got in a fight with them. You know, the bad band that opens up for the good band you are going to see due to someone’s lame idea at their record company. The kind of band you want to beat out part of the admission price from for making you listen to their shit. Now that I think about it, let me know when they come to Atlanta. –Toby Tober (Burning Heart)


324:
Boutokunotaiyo: CD
Fans of this style know by now that 324 is a destructive force. Tech grind like Discordance Axis, with an explosive power that is unmatched. Surging tempos over spastic percussion and abrasive guitar work. They unleash a torrent of rage song after song, and it’s tight! Every bit as good as you anticipated, and then some. –Matt Average (HG Fact)


WHATEVER IT TAKES:
A Fistful of Revolution/Stars & Skulls: CDEP
According to the inside of the CD, this is a collection combining both A Fistful of Revolution and the Stars and Skulls EP. I gave this a listen and, although it wasn’t my thing, it was interesting and well done. The songs are mostly mid-tempo and melodic and soulful. There were some fast parts and some upbeatness in some songs, too. I don’t think it’s what you would call emo but it is mellow. The last track is mostly an acoustic number with some whistling (whistling is good). This band also has at least one member of Anti- Flag in it. If you like W.I.T. you will be stoked cause they have a split 10” out now with The Code. Like I said, not my thing but if you like the mellow DC type of thing, this would be for you. –Mike Beer –Guest Contributor (A-F)


WHITE OUTS:
Solid State b/w Coffin Nails: 7”
How the Motards could be the tightest sloppy band on the planet and make mumbling and gurgling almost poetic, the White Outs hold the same charm, although it’s more on the heels instead of hanging from the rafters. Fuzzed-out guitars, Goodwill budget rock that’s far from sterilized and has that worn-at-the-elbows charm. The A-side, “Solid State” is the keeper. It’s a great split personality song that almost seems like two. It gains momentum, stops, pauses, then introduces what sounds like a well-tuned Fisher Price organ (but could be anything), then collects itself at the end. Neat. The B-side’s a mite repetitious and sows the fields of the not-so-triumphant parts of the Seeds catalog. –Todd Taylor (Shit Sandwich)


Y, THE:
Soooo Intense: 7”
The Y, from Gainesville, just made the journey out to the west coast and I got to see them in Riverside, CA. They played in someone’s bedroom, which had at one time been the garage and was about the size of a small to mid-size car. Despite this, as The Y started to play, the best four-man mosh pit started. I’m talking tackling, running across the kitchen and diving into the room, and quite possibly the most brilliant idea ever – hitting people with other people’s hands. And The Y? They rocked through it all. I’ve been told by two people, on separate occasions, that The Y would change my life. I’ve seen their tattoo on at least five people. The 7” captures all of this pretty well. Best song is either “O.O.C. in the U.S.A.” or “M’ Jus’ Waggin’ M’ Tail A’ ‘Cha,” depending on the mood you’re looking for. Shirts off, dudes on. –Megan Pants (Sooooo Intense)


WEAKERTHANS, THE:
Reconstruction Site: CD
Some of the songs on here are kinda good. They’re kind of upbeat and remind me of bands that I like, such as Superchunk and Dirt Bike Annie. At best, the other songs sound like Jets to Brazil, which is to say pretentious crap; at worst, these songs wouldn’t be out of place at a coffee shop where they spell it “shoppe.” It seems like there’s more bad songs than good ones, though. –Not Josh –Guest Contributor (Epitaph)


WE INVENTED TORNADOES:
Self-titled: CD

Well, they look like hardcore kids, so I was all primed to have my head peeled back by the ensuing onslaught of noise I was expecting, but the music that’s coming outta my speakers is some lame college/indie rock crap. What a fucking disappointment.

–Jimmy Alvarado (Learning Curve)


WASTED:
Suppress & Restrain: CD
I dug up that this is a re-issue of their first LP that went out of print quickly. Most copies were sold within Finland and this is co-released by their original label, Combat Rock Industry, and Boss Tuneage. I read that they have been touring a lot in Europe and gaining in popularity. The songs are tight, melodic and mid-paced. This album can be matched up against any of your favorite oi and early UK punk bands. The production is solid but maintains that raw edge. I’ve also read about them being compared to early period Rancid. I don’t hear it. But who am I to judge? It’s only my opinion. This is another great release for us outside of Finland or Europe who have never heard of this band before. –Donofthedead (Boss Tuneage)


WEAKERTHANS, THE:
Reconstruction Site: CD
The first thing you need to understand about this album is that it is not punk in any traditional sense. The politics are not obvious, the music is not fast nor would it be likely to appeal to your average Fat Wreck or, oddly enough, Epitaph fan. Instead, The Weakerthans focus on the subtleties of politics – the effects on people, the real implications and results of policies… and, in almost every case, offer some hints at transcending these things. Essentially, The Weakerthans craft songs which are stories, documents of lives (their own, their friends, people they’ve imagined) that resonate because the details are all too true. The music veers between country-inflected pop and straight-forward rock and roll, ringing with instrumentation which doesn’t seem to have much of a place in most contemporary music – found gadgets that make interesting percussive noises, lap and pedal steel, glockenspiels, keyboards… the list simply goes on. The strength of this album isn’t in its catchiness – the first two Weakerthans discs were far more immediately accessible. This album’s strength lies in how much repeated listening it bears. I have easily heard this record more than one hundred times since I got it (for about two months, it was my morning rotation – period) and I still can’t get enough of it. It’s true that these songs seem gentle and comforting, that they present a form of musical solace for the lonely and disenfranchised, for people who are struggling merely to feel alive, if not actually live. It’s also true that they represent what music, at its best, can be – something which replaces the “bitter songs [we] sing,” which reduces the humiliation and anger which results from the “small defeat[s] the day demands,” which reminds us that we all possess reserves of inner strength which we have not yet begun to tap. –Puckett (Epitaph)


WEIRDOS:
We Got the Neutron Bomb: Weird World Volume 2: CD

A second helping of rarities and such from this, arguably LA’s first (and in the top three of the “best” category) official punk rock band. While it is easy to start complaining about what is included (yet another, albeit differently mixed, version of “Neutron Bomb,” and a rehearsal take of “I’m Not Like You,” a studio version of which was included on Volume One) and what isn’t (“Why Do You Exist” is conspicuously absent, making it the only remaining track from the Destroy All Music 7-inch on neither volume of this series; their take on the Door’s “Break on Through” or any versions of live favorites “Do the Dance” or “I’m a Mole”), there are more than enough goodies to keep fans’ appetites sated, such as Denny Brothers’ “solo” work like “Skateboards from Hell” and a track or two from their Warhead 12-inch, an early rehearsal with Dave Trout in tow for a run-through of “I Want What I Want,” alternate takes of previously released tuneage and unreleased live songs that appear nowhere else in any form. Plus, it’s the Weirdos, for chrissake, so you know going in that, no matter what, the proceedings are gonna be at worst top notch. I’m not gonna rip into you about what utter wannabes you’re gonna look like if you don’t soon have a copy of this in your collection, ‘cause I think that little fact is glaringly obvious.

–Jimmy Alvarado (Frontier)


WAGE OF SIN, THE:
A Mistaken Belief in Forever: CD
Kittie fans take note. Here is a new group of females ready to kick ass. Musically, picture a summit of Norwegian death metalers and East Coast youth crew types discussing a recording project. Have them switch uniforms and this is the new sub-genre that is created. I would have never guessed this was an all-female band until I looked at the liner notes. The cover of the Journey song, “Separate Ways,” was brilliant. –Donofthedead (Immigrant Sun)


VORTIS:
God Won’t Bless America: CD
Mid-tempo punk, arty political punk with vocals vaguely reminiscent of the Crucifucks, courtesy of a fifty-nine-year-old who spends his days as political philosophy professor at Purdue University. Interesting, rabblerousing tuneage overall. –Jimmy “Big Head” Alvarado –Guest Contributor (www.thickrecords.com)


VOLUME 69:
Karhore All the Way: CD
Fuck technology. This CD wouldn’t work in either of my CD players. I would, however, like to point out that Volume 69 is a really dumb name. –Not Josh –Guest Contributor (volume69@societyx.net)


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