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· 1:The Backpatches of NYC (Collection 3)
· 2:One Punk’s Guide to Pinball
· 3:#410 with Daryl
· 4:The Backpatches of NYC (Collection 4) by Adel Souto (adelsouto.com)
· 5:Razorcake Issue #37 from 2007, Featuring The Brat


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One Punks Guide to Pinball, by Kayla Greet
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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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BREAKAWAYS, THE:
Walking Out on Love (The Lost Sessions): CD
After the end of The Nerves, Paul Collins and Peter Case started a new outfit. Previously only two songs were ever made available to the masses via a Bomp compilation. Now from the archives comes this thirteen-song release. Only three songs look to repeat from the recent Nerves CD. This sounds like a band trying to find its sound, but it really does not matter since both Paul and Peter are such fantastic songwriters. A revolving door of almost members completes the lineup here. But as quickly as it started, it ended. Case went to start The Plimsouls and the Paul Collins Beat was born. If you like even one song from either outfit, then you need this too. –koepenick (Alive)


BORED STRAIGHT / NORDIC WASTE / HOLY SHIT!:
Split: 7"
Wisconsin seems to have an unusually good instinct to stacking bands up on top of each other. This 7” is the equivalent of a River West basement show, except there are only three bands and I have yet to bang my head on the house’s plumbing system. Musically, the trio at hand offers varying speeds and ideologies of harsh, wintered hardcore punk that range in the humor/seriousness department. While not cooking up something for “everyone,” it definitely packs a punch for those who are lookin’ for it. –Daryl Gussin (Holy Shit!)


BORED GAMES:
Party ‘Til You Puke: 10"
Power pop by way of smooth garage/girl groups, with a noticeable rock’n’roll influence—not in the Chuck Berry vein, so much as the kinds of bands like the Reigning Sound or Used Kids, and while, admittedly, I don’t know that kind of stuff that well compared to a lot of my friends, I do like this. I recognize Addie from Lefty Loosie (who did a good job singing before, but really sounds fantastic here), but not the other dude singing, who provides a good contrast, keeping things interesting. This is terrific! –joe (Repulsion)


BOO FROG:
Self-titled: CD
Sounds like this emerged from the swamps of Baton Rouge, but this trio actually hails from Portland. Sparse, raw sound from this three-piece, since there is no bassist. But there’s still a decent depth here. I wouldn’t say The Cramps are my favorite band, but I bet these guys might. “Birthday Girl” actually reminds me of a Kinks song, so we are treading similar moving sidewalks at times. “Throw Me a Bone” sounds like a Velvet Underground outtake that John Cale forgot to bring his viola into the session. Intriguing material that I can see myself popping in again when the mood strikes me as I’m driving home late at night. –koepenick (Skullman)


BOLTH:
If You Want Peace, Prepare for Class War: CD
The title to this record made me think that it was gonna be run-of-the-mill anarcho punk tinged with metal. I guess I wasn’t far off, but this record really isn’t run-of-the-mill. Ya, the first seven tracks or so are fairly standard musical fare of this genre, but the last three or four set me on my ear; they had a bit more of a hardcore sound, were a bit more catchy, and didn’t have that feeling of trying to walk with eighty-pound weights tied around one’s neck. This is not to slight the first two-thirds of the record, but the last third was so rollicking and free compared to the rest; those songs dominate my attention. Good record overall. –The Lord Kveldulfr (Useless World, uselessworldrecords.com)


BLOWTOPS, THE:
64 Teeth: 7”
It took a few listens, but the Blowtops’ experimental keyboard weirdness and mentally ill sounding vocals grew on me in much the same way Lili Z’s last LP did. “64 Teeth” is a warped stream of consciousness rant that falls completely apart about half way through, the drums galloping into a mess of percussive confusion only to be brought back into some sort of song structure by an eerily held keyboard note. The flip side is more precise musically, but doesn’t shake off one bit of the lunatic vibe from side one. –benke (Certified PR, myspace.com/certifiedpr)


BLOCKED OUT:
Torn Throats: 7”
Shit yes. The list of bands Blocked Out is compared to did not prepare me for this record. When you’re expecting “Judge meets American Nightmare” and you get “Ringworm meets Ruination” you’re bound to be a little shaken up. Shaken up in a very good way, in my case. This rips hard. Just vicious, not unlike the recent Blind To Faith record, although without the “evil” imagery. An incredibly pleasant surprise. –Dave Williams (Television)


BLOCKED OUT:
Torn Throats: 7”
I saw this band a couple weeks before this record came in for review and these nine songs do an adequate job of representing their live show. Guttural, mid-tempo hardcore that chugs and bellows itself to point of exasperation, even if there are only a handful of people paying attention. Blocked Out take the middle ground between emotive let-it-all-out East Coast style and circle-pit-till-puke West Coast thrash. A decent expedition both live and on record. –Daryl Gussin (Television)


BLACK KNOTS:
Guitarmageddon: CD
Loud rock’n’roll stuff along the same lines that bands like Zeke have trod prior. They pump in enough energy to deliver one overcharged, hell raising salvo of guitar-driven noise and manage to make it sound fresh. Only gripe is “A Change Is Gonna Come” ain’t a Sam Cooke cover, which would’ve been truly impressive if they’d manage to pull that kind of an endeavor off. –jimmy (Dead Beat)


BLACK FORK:
The First Fork Years: LP
No idea how I missed these guys when they were around and I was living up there. There, being the Bay Area. Friends and acquaintances would talk Black Fork up, and make it sound like some huge event. They’d often ask me about why I wasn’t at the show, and I didn’t even know about the show until well after the fact. What’s a person to do? Well, it’s been a good, long time since those days. Longer than I sometimes realize. But life and time have that way of moving fast, and when you get hep to that, it goes even faster. S’anyways, Mess Me Up has taken it upon themselves to release all of Black Fork’s EPs, demo, comp, and split material onto one twelve inch piece of blue vinyl. A good twenty-three songs that embody the EastBay punk sound. Sort of sounds like the spawn from the union of Blatz and Filth on that split they did nearly twenty years ago on Lookout. Snotty, ugly, belligerent, discordant, and somehow catchy. One listen of the rager, “Don’t Talk to Me” will have you hooked. It has all the elements of a classic punk song. Catchier than the swine flu, and lots of pure ‘tude. –Matt Average (Mess Me Up)


BLACK 100S, THE:
Out with the Stars: CD
Singer/songwriter, Thomas Handschiegel, is armed with an acoustic guitar and the blues. He strums somber songs from a stark landscape. His vocals don’t have much range, like the monotone purr of Leonard Cohen or the dreamy sighing of Nick Drake. Unlike them, Thomas’s voice lacks richness and, at times, sounds deliberately restrained, while, mechanically, his melodies are hit and miss. The ending of “The Lost Song” is restless and tight like his earlier work on “Cocksucker Blues,” but Thomas stopped there. On the other tracks, it sounds like he’s strumming more out of habit than passion. –Kristen K (Self-released)


BEHIND THE WAGON:
11 Songs by…: CD
This record reminds me of Biosphere II: a sealed-off world, filled with experiment, but a crack in the foundation. Some of the experiments work. Some of them don’t. I have the feeling that there are multiple songwriters in this band and they’re all tugging in different directions. For example, a single song, it goes from Replacements (yay!) to Blues Traveler (please, no. It’s not just the harmonica, but how it’s played.). Several songs go from a promising pole to a suspicious one. Behind The Wagon’s mode is mainly in the vein of punks-going-country, (Billy from Altaira is in it) and at its tightest and most focused, I get the self-assured strains of Whiskey & Co. and Ninja Gun. I say follow that long, dusty trail for a bit longer, put in some more miles, let the dust settle, and play it as simply as possible. –todd (myspace.com/behindthewagon)


BANNER PILOT:
Collapser: CD
This is album is in my top three of the year, for sure. Hell, it might be number one. I have the Pass the Poison EP, but somehow managed to miss Resignation Day. Collapser manages to feel comfortably familiar, yet still exciting and fresh. For the uninitiated, Banner Pilot is really gritty pop punk (think gravel vocals, heavy and really busy bass work that’s actually noticeable, tempos that never really dip below fast, and twin guitars that know how to play some excellent minor key stuff against power chords), with a low-key epic quality to it. It’s like every song is somehow the story of your life while it’s playing. Collapser sounds like the album I always hoped None More Black would make. The lyrics are really great too. They have a bit of the Weakerthans’ Great Plains desperation poetry mixed with Lifetime’s direct emotiveness. I would single out some tracks, but they’re all great. Get this, and if you don’t like it… well, much like the Grinch, your heart may be two sizes too small. –Adrian (Fat)


BANNER PILOT:
Collapser: CD
I think it’s safe to call this the “highly anticipated Fat Wreck” debut, right? While it’s not a drastic departure from anything they’ve done before (I hear the Jawbreaker and other influences still), there’s interesting little bits that throw you at first listen (“How’d they get the guitar to sound like that?” “This kind of reminds me of Superchunk”). Overall, it’s solid, though it has that weird “problem” where if I’m not careful, I’ll find myself listening to a few of my personal highlights over and over again (particularly “Central Standard,” “Pensacola,” and “Vacant Lot”) instead of just listening to the whole thing all the way through. I think this is their best sounding record yet. –joe (Fat Wreck)


BALANCE AND COMPOSURE:
Only Boundaries: 12” EP
Four songs of beefy emo rock, like prime Cursive, or the stuff that Revelation was releasing fifteen years ago. The musicianship is tight and the recording packs a punch and a crunch. The problem is, that while the music takes its cues from the highpoints of this much-maligned genre, the vocals are lifted wholesale from the radio emo of the last five years. The lead singer is whiney, and some dipstick screams in the background every now and then. Making matters worse, the vocals are super loud in the mix. It’s a shame, because the music shows a lot of promise; it’s just sunk by what Mr. Burns on The Simpsons would describe as “off-key caterwauling.” –CT Terry (No Sleep, nosleeprecs.com)


BAD SPORTS:
Self-titled: LP
Bad Sports sound as if they’ve been having late night, after work meetings discussing the finer points of the Nerves and the Urinals over half a carton of smokes and a case of: insert the name of your favorite cheap domestic beer here. Early Ramones also isn’t merely a reference here. It’s a way of life. And the Sports clearly adhere to that motto. This record gets better with every listen. –Juan Espinosa (Douche Master)


BAD BLOOD REVIVAL:
Tongue Twisting Tunes for Tiny Tots: LP
This initially reminded me of Stupid Party, with their stoner and grungy inclinations, yet pretty different because of their seeming penchant for some of the noisier, more abrasive Touch & Go catalog titles (e.g., Jesus Lizard). Then I found out that they toured with Stupid Party recently. It made sense, for sure. Another thing that I think I read (maybe in an interview that Daryl sent me with somebody, maybe somewhere else) BBR was formerly just Bad Blood. I believe that they augmented their name after a line-up change; so if you’ve been keeping an eye out for the Bad Blood full-length, I do believe that this is what you are looking for. And I don’t blame you for keeping an eye out, as it is pretty heavy and intense. Dead Broke has done some decent stuff, but this is one of the more interesting releases I have seen from them, without a doubt. I’m liking it quite a bit. –Vincent Battilana (Dead Broke)


AUTONOMADIC:
Gift of the Sun: CD
A poppy punk band that appears to have more on its mind than girls, drinking, and farting, which immediately places them a cut above their peers. The singer sounds like he’s been listening to Rancid a wee bit too much, though. –jimmy (Bleeding Ear, no address)


ASPIRIN:
We Do Painkilling to Your Anger: 7"
Holy smokes! Where does Schizophrenic find these obscure Japanese bands? (Not that I’m an expert on the Japanese scene.) A no-holds-barred band that goes straight for the attack. They waste no time going for speed and anger while taking short breathers to show they can rock at points. Manic thrash is the focus and I can’t believe the Japanese language can be screamed at this pace. Add that to the gang-style choruses, driving guitar and bass, all carried by the breakneck drum barrage. If this band stays together, continues to put out releases, and doesn’t achieve the popularity like Paintbox or Judgment, I will put my punk hat in the closet. This is band is that good. –don (Schizophrenic)


ANS:
Pressure Cracks: LP
Have I gone back in time to the mid ‘80s? I know everything comes back eventually. But to experience another cycle of popularity in the same lifetime intrigues me. Thrash metal was a favorite of mine back then and I really do like it now. As Municipal Waste’s popularity grows in leaps and bounds, I can see others embracing this style. This Texas band does it well. I have seen it first-hand live, even before listening to their recorded output. The first thing that I notice coming from the guitar is rapid metal riffage that doesn’t sound downtuned. Drumming comes pounding out with that classic double bass kick sound. Vocals phonetically delivered that you can actually hear the lyrics without a lyric sheet. Bass guitar rounds things out to fill in the bottom of the sound spectrum. Adding to the mix, they add elements of punk and hard rock to keep things interesting. The back cover layout looks like the back cover of the Adolescents blue record but with different colors. –don (Tankcrimes)


ANEURYSM RATS:
Dying to Live: 12” EP
Powerful and heavy hardcore that sounds like a mix of Deadguy and Gordon Solie Motherfuckers. Aneurysm Rats features members from Paint It Black, None More Black, and others. They expand on their musical past with more potency and darkness. The songs are a mix of speed and mid tempos that somehow create a chaotic din when they throw it into fourth gear. The vocalist sounds a bit like Tony Erba as well. I like how they sequenced the songs on this album to run into one another, which allows them to create a mood throughout: one of disenchantment, confusion, and other feelings of abnormality in a fucked-up and diseased world. –Matt Average (Assassinated, assassinatedrecords.com)


ANDREW JACKSON JIHAD:
Can’t Maintain: CD
This recording shows Andrew Jackson Jihad playing a bunch of songs you’ve already heard if you’re a fan, but with a bunch of backing musicians. If you already love this band, you’re sure to love this as well. If you’ve been passing on it due to their strictly acoustic sound, this might be the album that wins you over with everything from blazing guitar to trombone and theremin. –Rene Navarro (Asian Man)


AND THEN THERE WAS YOU:
What Doesn’t Kill Us Makes Us Stronger: CD

The title of this CD could describe the listening experience. Holy shit, this is the worst thing I’ve ever had to review. A play by play would go something like this: first five seconds: “This might be alright.” Entire rest of the album (which I indeed listened to): “Dear lord, this is ass-ery.” Basically, this is the most painfully earnest-sounding singer in the world playing over that type emo that has aspirations of being youth crew style hardcore, but fails and fails hard. I always faulted Set Your Goals for playing this type of music, but, after hearing this I have a new-found respect for that band. They at least have a semblance of balls to their sound. On the other hand, you seriously want to reach into the music and give the singer for ATTWY a wedgie; maybe leave a bag of poop in his doorway. –Adrian (Indianola)

–Adrian (Indianola)


AIRES AND GRACES:
What Happened to the Kids?: 7”
This band from WashingtonState takes its name from a phrase that means putting on airs. Thanks to some remarkable bass lines, it’s a bit more soulful than some of the other oi acts on Longshot and the vocals sound a little Leatherface-ish. “Doesn’t want to learn from an older face, because he’s learned everything to know from MySpace” is one of the more unintentionally funny lines I’ve come across in awhile. There’s something hilarious about punk rockers complaining about kids using technology. Do Aires and Graces have a MySpace site? You bet your braces they do. –Jim Ruland (Longshot Music)


AFTERNOON NAPS:
Parade: CD
Afternoon Naps like Orange Juice and The Three O’Clock a whole hell of a lot more than me. I hate Edwyn Collins’ music quite a bit. Absolute pap. The moments on Parade that resemble the better parts of C86 (i.e. The Wedding Present) and the Paisley Underground (i.e. the sublime Rain Parade) are not quite evident enough to save this CD from white funk riff-raff. (On the subject of C86, be sure to check out the Shop Assistants’ Will Anything Happen. Top-notch stuff that’s definitely underappreciated.) –ryan (Happy Happy Birthday To Me)


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