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Razorcake #82
Hurula, Vi ar manniskorna vara foraldrar varnade oss for LP
Razorcake #81
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Nights and Days in a Dark Carnival by Craven Rock


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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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ANGEL CITY OUTCASTS:
2,000 Pints and Going Strong!: CDEP
Like with all catchy oi, you’ve gotta check the lyrics, lest you realize halfway through singing along that you’re singing “God bless America the Great! Boot to the black man’s face!” So I went on their website, and I discovered the lyrics to a song called “Popeye in Afghanistan.” This song isn’t on the CDEP, but the lyrics give you a good reason why you’d probably not like this band. The song is about a US soldier in the Middle East. Here we go. “Then he came upon a caravan/Trying to get across to Pakistan/When the evil one had showed his face/Our hero put him in his place/Let that be a lesson now/To all our enemies on the prowl/When you mess with the best the great US/You’ll end up in a world of stress.” First of all, that last rhyme has to be one of the lamest I’ve read in a long time. (A “world of stress”? Come on!) And second…well, do I even need to say it? If this were a cereal, it’d be United We Stand-Ohs. –Maddy (Self-released)


…OF DEATH:
Generation of Vipers: CDEP
The promo sheet sez, “the band combines unique high pitched vocals and blast beat rhythms.” Note: Ms. Tight Pants is a big dork. She’s not into all the cool new music. She likes rock and roll, power pop, and old folk and country music. She does not like whatever this might be. Maybe it’s grindcore? If this were a cereal, it’d be Oh’s. Not my thing. –Maddy (Protoculture Audio)


ANTISCHISM:
Self-titled: CD
This is a compilation of lots of Antischism seven-inches, split LPs, demos, and outtakes. I had never listened to Antischism before, and I really liked this CD! But, since I don’t usually listen to music that sounds like this, I could not come up with the necessary comparisons to obscure bands and cereals! So, what do I do when I get a political crusty punk CD for review? Why, call noted crust punk expert, HJ Marcus, of course! So, here’s what my friend HJ says: “Antischism rule! That song 'Greedy Bastards,' is that on there? That song is seriously one of the best songs ever! Hey, if you don’t want that CD, could you give it to me?” –Maddy (Prank)


AUTOMATIC 7:
Gowns by Edith Head: CD
Decent enough instrumental rockabilly/surf here. There’s enough diversity to keep things interesting and they’re dang good at what they do.
–Jimmy Alvarado (Mint)


ASS-END OFFEND:
Becoming Our Destruction: 7"
Four hardcore rompers by the first band from Kalispell, Montana I do believe I’ve ever heard. Overall not much to crow about, but the couple occasions when they crank up the thrash validate repeated listens, and a screen printed cover always kicks my esteem up a notch. Bam.
–Cuss Baxter (Ass-End Offend)


AS I...:
Rise & Scream: CD
It's a mixture of the So Cal sound and AFI to this man’s ear. Not half bad except the vocals and production sound flat to me. It just doesn’t have the umph to capture me. I’m sure they have a following since this was produced and released. Would like to see how they progress in the future.
–Donofthedead (Geykido Comet)


ARTIMUS PYLE:
Self-titled: 7"
I've been listening to more Black Sabbath lately, and for the first time in my life, I think it's finally seeping in. I skip the trippy songs. That makes the listening easier for me. While they aren't the fastest band in the world, Sabbath can sure make songs heavy. Artimus Pyle – although by way of crusty punk instead of acid rock – have developed a similar sensibility. When they slow down, they don't screech to a halt, they just dig in deeper and let the sickness settle. They have the uncanny ability to be both atmospheric and then thrust a knife to the listener's throat. I've also read a lot about World War I and there's something very trench warfare, mustard gas, bayonet, gangrene about how Artimus Pyle sound. It's dirty business. There's a lot of hand-to-hand combat. The songs are creepy and dark without being formulaic or cheesy. Very listenable, much how Tragedy is.
–Todd Taylor (Prank)


ANTISEEN:
Honour Among Thieves: CD
This is a reissue of an album so badass that originally it couldn’t be contained by just one label. Co-released by Bonafide and Chopper in ’88, it was recorded between ’84 and ’86. This reissue has three bonus tracks that are right on par with the rest of the album. You get what you will with any Confederacy of Scum band: it’s dirty, it’s raw, and there’s nothing pretty about it. No apologies and none needed.
–Megan Pants (TKO)


ANTISEEN:
Drastic/E.P. Royalty: CD
This is a reissue of two old EPs of theirs. Both EPs, each over fifteen years old, contain some of the better songs I've heard from them. Actually, this is the best stuff I've heard from Antiseen. It's got a raw rough sound to it. It can't compliment their brand of music any better. Badass southern style rock'n'roll with a low-fi sound that really brings out the punk in them.
–Toby Tober (TKO)


ANCHORSET:
Self-titled: CD
This gives me the perfect opportunity to talk about something that’s been getting to me with a lot of albums lately – and it’s not exactly a negative review. You take a band that sounds pretty ripping and put them in a studio. Maybe they’re blown away at how good they sound once the levels are tweaked a bit. Maybe they think the producer/mixer/master guy knows more about what they’re doing. When it makes its way to me, I end up hearing something with promise at best, at worst jut some generic shit that I won’t give more than a quick listen. Anchorset falls into the first group for me. I can tell that there’s something there. I’m pretty sure they’d have me floored if I saw them live, but in the recording there’s something missing, or maybe added. It just seems a bit too glossy. I’ve listened to it a bunch of times now and I like it. I like it a lot. I’m not saying that everything needs to be gritty and raw, or that the only way to record a band is live. Some studios just know how to capture that energy better than others. I just get bummed when I hear something that I could really like sounding more like the Offspring. The album is definitely growing quickly on me. And if they can hold the stage with the Marvels (one of Boston’s best, if not fattest bands) they’re more than okay by me. If you’re in the Boston area, I highly suggest checking these guys out.
–Megan Pants (Nice Guy)


ALTAIRA:
Self-titled: Demo
It’s the little things that keep me so stoked about all this underground music we cover in Razorcake. Little things like getting an envelope from a stranger who saw the Super Chinchilla Rescue Mission show that Razorcake threw a couple of months ago and had a great time there. By way of thanks (and probably to get a review), he added his band's eight-song demo, and the demo was one of the best things I’ve come across in a couple of months. In a lot of ways, Altaira reminds me of Tiltwheel: gruff vocals, tight melodies but enough tempo changes to keep you on your toes, a healthy nod to Leatherface without becoming a knockoff band, and the music’s strange ability to creep around your eardrums and get under your skin. This isn’t to say that Altaira is just a Tiltwheel wannabe. They’re not. But they’re learning lessons from a great band. I could easily see this band picked up by a label like Attention Deficit Disorder (they have a lot in common also with ADD bands like The Timversion and Super Chinchilla Rescue Mission), and catapulted from there straight into obscurity.
–Sean Carswell (Altaira, altaira2002@hotmail.com)


ALL SYSTEMS GO!:
Mon Chi Chi: CD
One of my favorite bands to emerge in the last five years is back with a new disc to tickle even your mom’s pubic region in the most delightfully rockin’ fashion. ASG’s Mon Chi Chi features all-fingers/no wank guitarist Mark Arnold (ex-Big Drill Car) and singer-in-chief, John Kastner (ex-Doughboys). This time around, there are also two new members in tow – drummer Dean Bentley and bassist/singer Tom D’Arcy, who took Frank Daly’s (also ex-Big Drill Car) spot after Frank gave the final middle finger to touring. I’d like to give credit to you, Tom – those are some pretty fuckin’ big shoes to fill, and this record shows you’re down for the cause. Gold cuts here are “Running Blind," “Fascination Unknown," “Sweet Revenge," “Record of Hate," and “Taking Up Space." I have to admit that this CD has grown on me more and more as I’ve been spinning it lately, and I’m fully backing Mon Chi Chi, but I’m giving the absolute you-buy-this-fucking-CD-or-I’m-kicking-your-stupid-ass endorsement to their self-titled full-length debut. This one’s strongly recommended, but that first release is essential ASG bliss. Bands like the Ramones, Motorhead, ‘Mats, or Dramarama remind me a lot of ASG. Not so much the music, but how ASG is so “right under your fucking nose, dummy” good.
–Designated Dale (www.asgcentral.com)


ALL OR NOTHING HC:
Search for the Strength: CD
Even if I didn’t know this was Renae Bryant’s band, I would’ve recognized her vocals instantly. Renae is an MRR columnist and she also used to be the singer in an little-known band called He’s Dead Jim. As far as I know, He’s Dead Jim only put out one seven-inch and had a few songs on a few obscure comps, but they were a really cool band, snotty and dripping with attitude and funny (though sometimes funny despite themselves). A friend of mine taped the seven inch for me, but I lost the cassette a long time ago. I miss that cassette. I was excited to see that she’s fronting a this new band. All or Nothing HC is definitely a departure for Renae musically. Her vocals are still dripping with attitude, but the snottiness has been replaced by a new toughness, and the band behind her traded in their melodies for a faster, meaner sound. This sounds more like a female-fronted Sick of it All. The songs are tight and the musicianship is solid. I think Renae’s become a better singer over the years, too. I’m kinda torn about this album. Part of me misses the old He’s Dead Jim sound; part of me is just happy to have this new album to listen to.
–Sean Carswell (On the Rag)


ALL IS SUFFERING:
The Past: CD
Potent death metal/grind that is well executed, but ultimately sounds like any other band doing the same thing.
–Jimmy Alvarado (Crucial Blast)


ABSENTEES, THE:
Secret Weapons: CD-R
One day, many eons from now, when a new, greater species has risen to take man’s place as caretaker of the planet and war, disease, and pet rocks are no longer even a bad memory, a copy of this disc will be found buried under the rubble of a McDonald’s sign. After much study, one of these greater beings will figure out how to make this disc work. He will play it and the truth will then be known as to why mankind destroyed itself: a species that could come up with music this bad was obviously too stupid to survive.
–Jimmy Alvarado (No address)


ABSENTEES, THE:
Illegal Listening Device: 1979-2000: CD
These guys were originally known as The Absentee Concept back in their official 1978 beginnings, and soon after changed to The Absentees quickly after a line-up change. What Artifix Records has done here with this disc is gather up every imaginable recording (and then some) from these Long Beach, Californians and chronologically slap ‘em onto one convenient CD. Most of you southlanders probably remember their first single, “Tryin’ to Mess With Me,” on that limited edition of the Killed By Death full-length back from 1993, I believe. A very well put together comp of one of the more obscure So. Cal bands, featuring cuts from the early ‘80s on, as well as a live version of The Stooges “Cock in My Pocket” from 1979. Fans of early Damned, old L.A. punk rock and the like will find a spot for this in their CD collection. Here’s to tracking down more bands who seemingly slipped through the cracks and are now getting their music to the masses. Good job, here, Greg. Keep ‘em coming.
–Designated Dale (Artfix)


ABILENE:
Two Guns, Twin Arrows: CD
What can I say about emo and art rock that hasn't already been said? It's as interesting as a 5000 level accounting course and as tasty as furniture polish. Hasn't this all gone on long enough? Haven't we given it a fair chance? Can't we take their amplifiers away from them now? Please?
–aphid (Polk)


999:
Biggest Tour in Sport/Biggest Prize in Sport: CD
A re-release of a live EP and an album, their third, I believe, on one disc. The live tracks are well executed and the production is crystal clear. The album, while kinda lackluster in execution (which, to be honest, is my biggest gripe with damn near all of their later albums), has some pretty well written songs. If you’re a fan, I imagine this won’t change your opinion. If you’re new to the band, I suggest you start with their first two albums before adding this to your collection.
–Jimmy Alvarado (Captain Oi)


6-MINUTE HEARTSTOP, THE:
321 Odds: CDEP
I’m sooo emotional, I want to be just like Fugazi and At the Drive-In.
–Donofthedead (Rise)


5¢ DEPOSIT:
We Have Your Daughter: CD-R
Pop punk, of course, is everywhere these days. Every crayon-eating shmub who grew up listening to Green Day and the Offspring on MTV figures "pop punk" is the perfect bridge between street cred and Life Styles of the Rich and Famous. This might be one such band. But I hope 5¢ Deposit doesn't wind up on MTV Cribs anytime soon, cuz then I'll have to eat several crows for admitting that I don't hate this disc....but I can definitely see it happening. This is fairly generic stuff, but it's energetic with just a bit of snarl and could reasonably be compared to something like the Descendents on a bad day. And while I don't heap that kind of feint praise on just anyone, I still can't shake the image of Carson Daly interviewing these guys with a throng of pubescent girls squealing in the background. I didn't get any photos with this CD, but I hope for the band's sake that these guys are ugly and fat and have body odor problems. But I doubt it. TRL here they come.
–aphid (Radical)


5¢ DEPOSIT:
We Have Your Daughter!: CD
I picture how I would buy this album. I go to see a bigger band at a club and these guys are opening. Being the type of guy who likes to dance and have fun at shows, I maybe watch close for a few songs and get into it during the faster stuff. I buy the CD, only to remember that live music is almost always faster and crazier than its recorded counterpart. I listen to this once, then a second time just to make sure. It then lives on my shelf, which is to say I don't pull it out to listen to it, but I don't get rid of it either. Invariably, my cousin or the little sister of a girl I am dating starts getting into punk via TRL bands, and so I make her a tape of this to show that there are better bands than Sum 41, but I also don't want to scare the kid off at first. In terms of my actual listening experience with this, I put it on, nit picked the hell out of the first few songs because it is in league with, if not better than the sophomoric pop punk I see too much of. I then get distracted and find myself enjoying it as background music. I don't know if that's a compliment because I enjoyed it or an insult because it was background music, but that's where I stand. To put it another way – pop punk that would stand out at the Warped tour and be held in regard at a frat kegger.
–rich (Radical)


PISTOL FOR A PAYCHECK:
At the Pinnacle: CDR
Mediocre rock band. Sometimes I really wish there was more to say about music. If this were a cereal, it’d be Total. Yawn. –Maddy (Endless Vertigo Music)


CYNICS, THE:
Living is the Best Revenge: CD
Screamy, Sonics-influenced garage rock with the all-important all-school garage instrument: the maracas! Of course, it seems like I can always take my garage rock crazier than it’s given to me (with notable exceptions of the Sonics, the Brentwoods, and a few others). This comes closer to meeting my ever-difficult spazz quotient than ninety percent of the garage crap that’s being released today. If this were a cereal, it’d be Apple Jacks. Fear not! It doesn’t taste like apples/sound like crappy hipster garage! (Even though the guys in the band look totally square!) Shake! –Maddy (Get Hip)


NAKATOMI PLAZA:
Private Property: CD
I was so excited to get a CD from Brooklyn, with the first song called “Meanwhile in Greenpoint.” (I live in Greenpoint, a super Polish part of Brooklyn.) I was hoping to hear lots of songs about ridiculous Greenpoint people, buildings, stories. (Yes, I am a sucker for the specific song — see my Radon record collection!). Anyway, this isn’t that. Nakatomi Plaza play mid-tempo punk rock with lots of breakdowns with personal/political lyrics. Okay, but sort of over-done at this point. Still, if they wrote a song about the four drunk guys who hang out in McGolerick Park, I’d listen! If this were a cereal, it’d be generic Cheerios. Let’s hear something new! –Maddy (Immigrant Sun)


VARIOUS ARTISTS:
Mob Action Against the State, Collected Speeches from the Bay Area Anarchist Boo: double CD
I’ve never gotten that into all the spoken/non-music CDs AK Press puts out, but I’m gonna start! This CD features twenty short speeches (most are under ten minutes), given at the, duh, Bay Area Anarchist Book Fair. The CD gets started a little slow, with a fairly pointless, rambling commentary by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, but then things get rolling real fast! The speeches by Christian Parenti (on capitalism) and Craig O’Hara (who talked about his job as a census worker — particularly of interest to me, as a former census employee myself!) were especially great. There are also speeches by Jello Biafra, Barry Pateman, Roxanne Dunbar Oritz, and more! Best of all, these double CD gave me the chance to think through my own beliefs about anarchism and capitalism. Of course, I didn’t agree with everyone — which is great. If you’re planning a long car ride soon, pick this up! I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. And, of course, if this were a cereal, it’d be Cracklin’ Oat Bran. A smart cereal that actually tastes good. Punk! –Maddy (AK Press/Alternative Tent)


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·TOY DOLLS
·A Veritable Smorgasbord of New England Punk Rock
·HAMMERLOCK/LIMECELL
·NEUS SUBJEX, #63
·BEACH PATROL
·BLACK TIME
·ABORTTI 13 / SEKAANNUS
·KICKED IN THE HEAD
·WOLFBRIGADE


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