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Razorcake #90
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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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CYSTS, THE:
Public Release: 7” EP
Noisy and disjointed punk sort of stuff. Kind of like a more out of whack Circus Lupus. The guitar feeds back, there’s a dismal droning bass line, and the drums are minimal. I’ve played this record many times trying to find something that’s memorable or interesting, and it’s impossible. The most memorable thing about this record is how forgettable it all is. –Matt Average (Eolian)


DANGER’S CLOSE / DESTRUCTORS 666:
Split: CD
The early U.K. band The Destructors keep releasing new material as Destructors 666 and all of their output is well worth checking out. The distinct, heavily accented, growly vocals are impossible to replicate without stuffing potatoes in your mouth. I tried and couldn’t do it sans potato. The newer female-fronted Danger’s Close, also from the U.K., plays slow to mid-tempo 1980s punk ala A.P.P.L.E. and is an amusing retro treat. Both bands have a mid-to-late ‘80s crossover vibe brewing under the surface, but with lessons learned from that putrid, dark era. –Art Ettinger (Rowdy Farrago, destructors666.com)


DAVILA 666:
Self-titled: 7” EP
These guys have the retro ‘60s sound so down pat that it’s fuggin’ scary. Shit, you could plop either disc here on the hi-fi when gramma’s not paying attention and she’d have no clue whatsoever this is a contemporary band. “Casi Las 3” on side B of the EP could easily be mistaken for an Os Mutantes outtake by anyone not hip to the diff between Spanish and Portuguese, “Sabes Que Quiero” sounds like they’ve been binging on old Standells records, and “Primera Muerta” reeks of teen tragedy tunes that ruled the charts before the kids discovered public sex and acid. These guys are seriously good, so good that if they manage to maintain the quality of their output, they’re bound to take the underground by storm. –jimmy (Douche Master, and HoZac, respectively, no address for either)


DAVILA 666:
Primero Muerta: 7"
These guys have the retro ‘60s sound so down pat that it’s fuggin’ scary. Shit, you could plop either disc here on the hi-fi when gramma’s not paying attention and she’d have no clue whatsoever this is a contemporary band. “Casi Las 3” on side B of the EP could easily be mistaken for an Os Mutantes outtake by anyone not hip to the diff between Spanish and Portuguese, “Sabes Que Quiero” sounds like they’ve been binging on old Standells records, and “Primera Muerta” reeks of teen tragedy tunes that ruled the charts before the kids discovered public sex and acid. These guys are seriously good, so good that if they manage to maintain the quality of their output, they’re bound to take the underground by storm. –jimmy (Douche Master, and HoZac, respectively, no address for either)


CROCODILE GOD:
No Regrets: CDEP
For all the thrash, grindcore, metal and such I see live, I honestly tend to really listen to more melodic punk more than anything when I’m alone. So, right off the bat when I pulled this out to listen for review, I remembered that I had something from this band. I checked my trusty music list and saw that I had copy of their LP Stella. That signified a good start, knowing I had liked them enough to keep one of their previous releases. I have a vague memory of what this band sounded like. I knew they were from the ‘90s during my melodicore phase. My memory was correct. Fast, melodic punk filled with hooks. I like that the recording is not overly produced and has a bright, live quality to it. The music reminds me of a mixture of the Beatnik Termites having a tea party with Snuff. Fun, energetic stuff! –don (Crackle)


CRAW, THE:
Figure 24I.—Single Abdominal Wound: CD-R
Musically, they fit firmly amongst the thrashy hardcore horde, with little in the way of metal influence in evidence. Lyrically, they lean towards the misanthropic/misogynistic side of things, with happy tunes about the human race being a disease, HPV, and fisting a girl after strangling her. –jimmy (Live Fast Die Drunk, no address)


COLD ONES:
Stay Thirsty!: 7”
Six songs by these British dudes who, for all intents and purposes, are probably flat-out crazy live. The songs are tough to pigeonhole—if the vocals were more brutal, we could call it hardcore—it’s fast and punchy enough. But if the vocalist hit a few more notes here and there, we could run with the “fast as shit street punk” tag and be okay too. As it is, it just comes off as energetic, foaming-at-the-mouth punk on a serious bender. Like Go Sell Drugs if they were way tighter, or the Supersuckers if they tried to cover Glass And Ashes in a minute and a half. Put it this way: if these dudes were from Portland, they’d be playing shows with Autistic Youth or Science Of Yabra and would fit right in either way, while quite possibly blowing both bands out of the water. Clear vinyl, a download card, and the surefire knowledge that everything gelled with this release. One of those rare records that totally gets me stoked on the 7” format again. –keith (Zandor)


COBWEBBS, THE:
Diabeetus Educate: CD
I was lamenting the sorry state of my current batch of review material to my roommate, Matt, today. I mean, there are only so many ways to say “This sucks,” you know? Matt asked me how many reviews I had to finish. I said that I had three more. He replied “This sucks, this blows, this blows more. There, you’re done. Let’s go get a burrito.” The Cobwebbs blow more. I’m done, let’s all go get a burrito! –Ryan Horky (Mannie Kid, myspace.com/thecobwebbsmusic)


COMMON ENEMY:
Living the Dream?: CD
Thrash, thrash, and more thrash that would’ve been lost in the shuffle of some mid-‘80s Mystic compilation had they been around back then. The lyrics tackle hard-hitting subjects like Pac Man, stealing gas, getting high, skateboarding, zombies, and so on. Their musical delivery is fast ‘n’ tight, a definite plus; it’s better than the last thing I heard by ‘em, and their luster goes much farther in smaller doses, but, ultimately, what I’m hearing isn’t much above what can be heard coming from your average brand-spankin’-new band playing its first backyard party. –jimmy (Overdose On)


COPYRIGHTS, THE / DOPAMINES, THE: Songs about Fucking up:
Split: 7"
The Copyrights and The Dopamines do it yet again. “Do what?” you ask. Kick major fucking ass! Now, as the title of the split infers, these songs were all penned at a low point in the life of the one who wrote the song. The themes range from generally failing at life to failing at song writing, but it’s all done in the best poppy punk formula out there right now! Forget nasally bubblegum pop punk. This is gritty, “I’m pulling my hair out of my head before I take another swig of beer” pop punk. And, of course, as is common with all It’s Alive records, you can get the songs on a CD as well. Sweet. –mrz (It's Alive)


CONNIPTION FITTS:
Shart Sandwich: 7"
Some ripping, lo-fi rock and roll here, but not the big hair and tight pants rock and roll played by wanna-be Sunset Strip assholes, but more the workaday, beer-drinking good time tuneage of the Dragons. The Conniption Fitts hit all of the right rock and roll marks without sounding cartoonish or cliché. Blown-out vocals with well-timed screams, tasteful guitar solos played through fuzzed-out speakers, Conniption Fitts sound like a beefier David Johanssen playing front man duties with Malcolm Young marshaling the pummeling freight train of a rhythm section. Comes highly recommended, also comes on a grey marble slab of vinyl. –Jeff Proctor (Let's Pretend)


COPYRIGHTS, THE / DOPAMINES, THE: Songs about Fucking Up:
Split: 7"
Although The Copyrights are from Chicago and The Dopamines are from Ohio, both sides of this split has that OC pop punk sound to it. All the songs have modern distortion tones and the vocals are up front, pristine, and pitch perfect. I’ve had the privilege to see The Copyrights live and they rock, but their recorded sound is a little too ready for teenage movie soundtracks for my taste. –N.L. Dewart (It's Alive)


CRASH NORMAL/INTELLIGENCE SPLIT:
Self-titled: 7"
I’ve only heard the Intelligence a few times. What I remember is a surf rock influence that isn’t all that apparent on this split 7”. “Parades” sounds more like Throbbing Gristle than Dick Dale—with a modified Bo Diddley beat accompanied by an ominous guitar riff; both pounded relentlessly for a sublime minimalist result. Crash Normal: sing-speak vocals over swampy instrumentation. It’s the Intelligence side that has my interest. Good stuff, indeed. –ryan (Compost Modern Art Recordings, myspace.com/compostmodernart)


CLEAN-CUTS, THE:
Do-the-Pop: 7” EP
This EP is four simple pop tunes and that’s a bad thing. It’s pop in the fact it would appeal to the masses. You could throw this record on and listen to it with your grandma with, perhaps, the song “Anxiety” being a tad edgy. Everything here lacks dynamics and pulses at the mid tempo range. It’s disappointing because they have distorted guitars, hooks, and yet nothing exciting to keep the music interesting. –N.L. Dewart (No Front Teeth)


CLASS WAR KIDS:
Reflection! Rage! Rebellion!: CD
Class War Kids is an inspired anarcho pop punk band from Newfoundland, Canada. It’s okay that Propagandhi started to suck because this instant classic easily fills their oversized vegan shoes. Some of the lyrics are embarrassingly trite, such as on the anti-rape song, “Never Her Fault.” But others are gleefully confrontational, even by subculture standards. The boldest song mocks present-day military worship and is called “Fuck the Troops.” Other hits include “Cherry Poppin’ Conservatives,” a track about breaking down sexual orientation barriers. Slightly faster and harder than Propagandhi, but Propagandhi is clearly their main musical influence. Female backing vocals add additional flair to an already amazing mix. I bet all of their PC goofiness is merely a ruse to get laid, but as long as they keep making killer records, let these geeks have their fun. –Art Ettinger (Rebel Time)


CITY OF SHIPS:
Look What God Did to Us: LP
Aw, man, this is terrible! Heavy and atmospheric rock that sounds like some shit from the soundtracks for the Spiderman movies. Breathy, emotive vocals that grate like nails on a chalk board, backed up by some tepid rock that is certainly proficient, but bland as hell. The best recording, or tightest guitar playing, and even all the “sincere” whiny vocals in the world are no guarantee the music has any soul, and this definitely has none. Bad, bad, bad.... –Matt Average (Sound Study, soundstudyrecordings.com)


CITY OF SHIPS:
Look What God Did to Us: CD
I played this loud, quiet, drunk, sober, late at night, early in the morning, and while eating a bowl of hemp granola on the eighth hour of the eighth day of the eighth month of the year, and for all that effort, the only thing I could hear was Alice In Chains with quirky guitar leads. –jimmy (Translation Loss)


CITY OF SHIPS:
Look What God Did to Us: CD
Alternative songs about feelings and wrath with highly unoriginal artwork for the CD. Not really my scene, but, hey, sometimes people like music from the ‘90s. I read somewhere that this music was inspiring, but the only thing it inspired me to do was change the CD. –Corinne (Translation Loss)


CINEMATICS, THE:
Love and Terror: CD
Guitar-driven, gloomy, nouveau new wave stuff that takes more cues more from bands like Echo And The Bunnymen than Gang Of Four. The songs are well written and catchy, and the sound itself has yet to be run into the fucking ground by a billion others, so right now this is sounding pretty danged good. Kudos to all involved. –jimmy (The Orchard)


CHOOGLIN:
Sweet Time : CD
Good, solid, ‘70s heavy rock from this Minneapolis band. Losing much of the speed and fury of the debut, this sounds like a record that would have been on Atco or Elektra circa 1972. Please note this also means there are softer songs in the mix. Chooglin have nailed the vibe and feel of the era coming on like a mix of Mountain, Deep Purple, Steppenwolf, and Grand Funk Railroad. Live photos show a horn section, so it would seem the band is embracing the aesthetic fully. There may seem to be a bit of a wink and a nod here, but it is unlikely that anyone would go this far just for a laugh. Fans of stuff like Cherry Valence and the Dirtbombs may wanna give this a listen. –frame (Big Legal Mess)


CHINA CREEPS:
Stay on or Die: 7"
Vancouver’s skate thrash masters are back with a four-song blast of wax that will force you to get on your stick and go hunting for empty pools. These five tracks are over before I even knew what was up. My mind was stuck thinking about the crazy skate pits that break out every time they play live. Even the blue vinyl had me dreaming of swimming pools. Track one down and get the shred! –ty (myspace.com/chinacreeps)


CHILD BITE / BIG BEAR:
Split: 7"
As soon as the needle hits the groove, I hear what I think to be saxophone. Immediately, I check the back of the sleeve, and sure enough, that’s a saxophone I hear. One of the most maligned instruments in pop music, and certainly in punk rock, has the luxury of kicking off the Child Bite side. These hirsute Detroit gentlemen play some moody indie rock, both complex and groovy, that’s accented by hoarse vocals that call to mind Archers Of Loaf’s Eric Bachman and that ever-present saxophone humming throughout, adding some bottom to the mix. I can’t think of another band to compare it to right now, but I like it. And if you’ve got a soft spot in your heart for something new and a little bit different, then I think you might like this, too. The Big Bear side is lady-fronted, keyboard-heavy, bare bones and angular. The keys on here sound like they’re straight out of the golden age of arcade games. The guitar work sounds like some of Tom Verlaine’s more sharp and jagged moments. Big Bear comes across as a little less intriguing than the Child Bite side, but still a nice pairing here. Hand numbered, limited to 500, on clear green vinyl, with really engrossing and colorful album artwork as well. –Jeff Proctor (Joyful Noise)


CHARLIE AND THE MOONHEARTS:
Drop in Drop out: 7"
This record features three songs from a psychedelic garage rock trio out of the Bay Area and produced by Ty Segall, the hardest working musician in the Bay Area. The vocals are so blown out that I have no idea what they’re hollering about, but this is some mean-ass ‘60s rawk. Usually I’d run from a song called “Stoney Jam,” but the b-side cut is all kinds of crazy. –Jim Ruland (Tic Tac Totally!)


CENTERHITS / YOUR PEST BAND:
Split: 7"
Wow. Sample Centerhits lyrics: “Shave his stubbles! Waiting? While I get calcium so fast!” The Centerhits are kinda reminiscent of mid-period Modern Machines meets the Soviettes. Boy/girl vocals. Punk + rock + a lot of energy! And, actually, Your Pest Band is pretty similar. Lots of loud guitars! The more I listen to this, the more I like it. I like this genre that’s a little more complicated, a little more ROCK than pop punk, but just barely. If this were a cereal, both of these bands would be Rice Krispies with bananas! A solid formula, plus something of substance! Something that gives you the power to ride your bike and jump up and down, and, maybe, at the same time. Impossible? Perhaps! –Maddy (Snuffy Smiles)


CASTAVET:
Summer Fences: CD
Nineties-style emo punk from Chicago with gruff Small Brown Bike/Hot Water Music vocals and clean, math-lite guitars. Most of the songs are snoozy and ponderous, but on the rare occasion when they pick up the pace to something faster than a crawl, I get bittersweet memories of bearded guys clutching backpack straps and bobbing back and forth in VFW halls. –CT Terry (Count Your Lucky Stars, cylsrecords.com)


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·DILLINGER FOUR
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·G.M.B.C.
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