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Razorcake #90
White Murder, both LPs
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White Murder, Form Early LP (CLEAR VINYL)


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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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KILLING CALIFORNIA:
Bones & Sand: CD EP
Hard and heavy thrash punk from these San Clemente rockers: tight guitar riffs smashed with a frying pan into vocals that will make your eardrums beg for forgiveness. “BlueHeronBridge” caught my ear on this six-song platter. These guys look to be touring a lot, so go check them out for some fast and furious hardcore. –koepenick (Basement)


KIDS EXPLODE / SOLEMN LEAGUE:
Kids Come Across, Solemn and Lost: Split 7”
Kids Explode: reminds me of the post-punk stuff coming out in the mid- to late-’80s, but I’m not quite sure why. Kids Explode vaguely reminds me of bands like Brave New World and mid- to late-’80s Dischord acts like Egghunt. The sound is a bit of the dance machine along with a fetally conjoined twin of muted yet desperate rock’n’roll. There’s a real new wavish feel on the second song. Even a hint of math rock. All in all, good stuff—it’s a mix of a number of different sounds but the songs do not sound forced, so everything works well together. Solemn League: very much in the same vein, only a bit more traditionally rocking. If not for a different vocalist, I wouldn’t have known that this was a different band. Solumn League has a bigger, more melodic sound bordering on an emo sound, but I dare not splash them with such labels. The groups chosen for this record work so well together that they can be mistaken for the same act. Yet there is something distinctive about each. Can this record be described as emo math rock with a club mix sensibility? Or is it an angry reflexive property put to music? –The Lord Kveldulfr (Asymmetrie, asymmetrie@gmx.net)


JUNK, THE:
Demo: CD
Word on the street is that the institution known as the Smut Peddlers has called it quits after a fifteen-year stab at things. But one not to rest on her laurels, Julia the gate-crashing drummer, is already involved in another band. The tattooing from her long tour in the Peddlers is immediately recognizable. Take the first British wave of punk, ghost ride it into the endless suburbs of OrangeCounty and knock over a phone pole. Let that shit fester under the facade of sunshine and home owners associations, inject it with bad drugs in an attempt to make the cul-de-sacs disappear, and that’s the starting point. The Junk make some important departures from their predecessor, though, namely eyeballing Ohio and Michigan: Dead Boys, Pagans, Iggy And The Stooges. And you know what? It’s menace, pure, simple, shorn, and played with the slightest of smiles. Very effective and a great first batch of songs. –todd (Self-released, thejunksite.com)


JUICEBOXXX:
Thunder Jam #5 and #6: 7”

Electric drums, electric cymbal, electric piano, dare I say it in a punk zine but it’s pretty fun. Sounds like a party inside a bedroom.

–mike (Vicious Pop, viciouspoprecords.com)


KILL CONRAD:
“Work & Class” b/w “D.B.D.S”: 7”
Hailing from Boston, it makes sense that Kill Conrad are reminiscent of later ‘80s East Coast punk, a little hardcore crust with the melody; it’s got the beat, got the tight energy that keeps you listening. Just recreating that sound without the trying too hard feeling is admirable. Two titles, two 7”s in one? Five cool songs. Plus, not enough bands write punk rock anthems about Peter North and David Schwimmer anymore. Put this on your mix tape and skate to the bowl. –mike (Neutral Territory, neutralterritoryrecords.com)


JOSE PHINE:
Self-titled: Cassette
This is screamy. Heavier than screamo stuff, but with similar breakdowns and slow, melodic parts. I can’t understand what the singer is saying at all, despite the fact that most of the lyrics are in English. Much better recording than I was expecting, considering it’s a cassette. Assuming there are not tons of bands like this in Malaysia (although maybe there are—an investigative visit may be in order), I am excited that Jose Phine is playing this kind of stuff, but I couldn’t get too into it. The screaming just puts me off. It hogs all my attention and I can’t get around to the music. However, if full-on screaming is your bag (or if you can ignore it), maybe you should check it out. Comes in a plastic, blue-colored sleeve, with a small insert with lyrics and a few dark photos. –Jennifer Federico (Utarid Tapes, myspace.com/utaridkaset)


JONESIN’ / DUDE JAMS:
Split: 7”
Jonsesin’: It’s fun to think that if Sasquatch was a hobo who was in a punk band and then he lit himself on fire accidentally from falling asleep in bed while smoking. Oh yeah, and he was in a pissy mood and had a powerful backup band. One song about choking on bad geography, and on the slower second song, the fire turns to smoky-voiced anthems of breaking down. Dude Jams: Is a studio band of an ex-Grumpies dude, who’ll play out occasionally with a full band. The “music critic” in me struggles against the feeling of “This is too easy. I already know these songs,” but the dude in me really likes a song like “Shit Fit,” where it’s totally and simultaneously like and unlike The Knack: duct tape as wallpaper, self-loathing in dirty pop sensibility, and undeniable bounce and sing-along-ability. Fun. As an added bonus, played this as per the label’s instructions at thirty-three and it’s not-so-bad doom, so you get two records in one. –todd (Muy Autentico / Dirt Cult)


JEFFREY NOVAK:
One of a Kind: 7”
Similar to his Memphis neighbor Jay Reatard, Novak has a furious and steady output of records, also moving from a more harsh noise to cleaner poppy work. I didn’t want to describe it as “growing” because Novak’s early fuzz sound as a one-man destruction crew is still great and accomplished. He is just doing a different type of music now. I never get hung up on someone not sounding exactly the same for fifty albums, provided what they are doing is good. As the OMB, Novak tore it up with the precision timing of vicious, noisy garage punk on a full-length and tons of 7”s in a short time, moving on to the three-piece Rat Traps, which slowed down to punk before hitting breakneck speed on their third 7”. Next came Cheap Time, which seems to be a band concurrent to his solo releases, both embracing a sort of post-Bowie and T. Rex sound—I’m sure I’m missing much better, more obscure references/influences. While Cheap Time is more poppy, the solo work on his recent full-length and this 7” is more slow and dreamy, some piano mixed in, with the pedals on but not distorted. It’s catchy, it’s sweet and melodic, and probably more popular in Brooklyn and Silverlake than the early, brutal stuff. All in all, Novak is someone to always listen to. –mike (Sweet Rot)


JAIL:
There’s No Sky (Oh My My): LP
These jingle jangly indie rock tunes had me bobbing my head as soon as the needle hit the vinyl. It’s got nice a nice mix of organ and splashy drum cymbals to keep the tracks moving right along. This album has all that right touches of old school garage rock without sounding washed up by being too derivative. Damn fine LP here. –N.L. Dewart (Jail, myspace.com/jailjailjailjail)


IN THE HOLLOWS:
Self-titled: 7”
Solid Baltimore post-Fugazi hardcore, driving melodies with anger, melodic but snarly voice, lots of moody energy. Poetic lyrics that have issues with society. “Move Away” is kickass, nice and powerful. The other two songs are good but not as excitable to me, but this is obviously a band that can do cool things. –mike (Mightier Than Sword, mtsrecords.com)


JFA:
To All Our Friends: CD
I remember seeing this band at Fenders in Long Beach circa 1986. Their drummer Bam Bam was zonked on acid that night, which resulted in a super-looooong, tripped out version of “The Day Walt Disney Died,” but he more than held up his own during warp factor nine versions of all their hits. A badass show that fits easily into one of the top two best shows I ever saw ‘em do (the other being a show they did with Bad Religion and L7 at a Mexican restaurant in Hollywood a couple of years later, where every band was at their peak and the place was on the verge of total mayhem for most of the night, a vibe that finally ended with someone stabbing someone else on the dance floor right in front of Yogi and me while we were tripping on acid. There was also the show they did with Die Kreuzen and Mighty Sphincter, but this little fan-geek is digressing). My clutch of friends fuggin’ worshipped this band not because we were skate rats (although a few were), but because they were masters of a unique brand of hardcore that was fast, furious, and chock full of disparate influences ranging from psychedelia to surf to funk. There was no way you could confuse JFA with any other band, a trait that is always a marker that the band you’re listening to is goddamned good at what they do. This live disc demonstrates that they remain masters of their domain. The tempos are slower than their ‘80s peak, but unlike other bands, what this translates into is that they play at around the speed of the original studio versions of the songs here, which, in turn, were pretty thrashin’ in their own right. The tracks here are culled from the crème de la crème of the band’s catalog—“Preppy,” “Beach Blanket Bongout,” “We Know You Suck,” “Charlie Brown”—as well as a couple from their last studio effort. Sound is faboo, delivery is properly spirited and Brian is in fine, um, howl. Gripes? Inclusion of the aforementioned “Walt Disney” and at least one of their legendary surf covers would’ve been nice, and though it has fourteen tracks, the disc is too goddamned short, which says a lot. Other than that, this is about as good as live hardcore albums, and bands, get. –jimmy (DC-Jam)


JONESES:
Criminal History: 2 x LP
What we have here is a reissue of the Joneses collection that originally came out on Sympathy For The Record Industry at the beginning of the decade. That collection went out of print rather quickly and became quite sought after. This is an excellent overview of this amazing band and this new version is available on vinyl for the first time. In addition, there are bonus demo tracks here that are quite awesome, unlike the usual throwaway bonus tracks. The Joneses are one of the greatest bands of all time and this is a fantastic introduction to the band for anyone who has yet to hear them. –frame (Full Breach, fullbreach77.com)


IDLE HANDS:
Postponed: LP
This record fucking rips. Ultra-melodic punk rock, like a sped-up Statues but with unmistakably European melodies, almost like slowed-down ‘90s Burning Heart skate punk at times. I don’t know if it’s a welcome comparison or not, but I even get a total Satanic Surfers vibe from some of these tracks and I am stoked. Don’t take that too literally, though—Idle Hands are straight-up ‘70s style sing-along punk from the Jam/Buzzcocks school, but there are elements at work here that avoid having the band too easily pigeonholed. Regardless, if you’re a fan of that post-power-pop, early Jam-influenced sound, I’m pretty damn confident this record’ll floor you. Pick up their debut EP while you’re at it; it’s a total slayer. –Dave Williams (Hardware)


HUSSY, THE / SLEEPING IN THE AVIARY:
Split: 7”
The Hussy: total garage trash. I accidentally played it on 33 instead of 45 and liked it better that way. Sleeping In The Aviary: Bad garage meets even worse indie rock. It’s amazing that someone actually paid to have this pile pressed on vinyl. Whoever gave these guys their first instruments made a huge mistake. –Ryan Horky (Science Of Sound, no address listed)


HUMANS, THE:
Pop!: 7” EP
The Humans aren’t reinventing the 12-bar blues here, but they’re using it to burst out some fierce garage rock. This is fun times with four songs. You gotta love the humorous sleeve art for this 7”, which has a comic of a woman popping her zit. Good times. –N.L. Dewart (The Humans)


HUB CITY STOMPERS:
Ska Ska Black Sheep: CD
Horrible cover art, a regrettable album title, and something immediately off-putting about the drum and guitar sound on the recording. I can’t say it got much better from there. Ska ranging from fast paced with slight metal influences to traditional rock steady and dub.  Nothing struck me as utterly horrible for the genre, but nothing above mediocre that I am drawn to listen to again. The lyrics offer no redemption and the chip-on-the-shoulder tone of the liner notes is likewise a turnoff. –Jake Shut –Guest Contributor (Stubborn, stubbornrecords.com )


HOMOSTUPIDS:
Self-titled: LP
This emerges somewhere between the Spits and the Tyrades, and those familiar with what’s lurking beneath those rocks—the dark digestion, the cool heat, the wiggling obscured from far above—may say, “That sounds incompatible.” The Spits and the Tyrades both employ the tactic of “Music as fight,” and the Homostupids take angular, bent wires of songs, like a hand-unwound coat hanger, and then they mercilessly beat the listener about the neck, shoulders, face, and delicates. It’s a type of garage rock that comes with its own set of weapons and this record’s an unrelenting, solid mass. Bathe it in blood and score it as another target hit by the ‘Stupids. –todd (My Mind’s Eye)


HÖLLEY 750:
Death Machine: CDEP
The band’s name comes from a famed carburetor and they self-describe themselves as “trucker punk.” This six-song EP reminds me of a slower Limecell or Cocknoose, and it’s hard not to raise a hairy fist in the air as the songs plod on. Jamie Desoto’s growly vocals are notably expressive and there’s a dedicated “we mean it” vibe to it all that rises to the surface on every track. The song title “Guns and/or Knives” might be tongue-in-cheek, but the seedy lyrics are seriously awesome. –Art Ettinger (Zodiac Killer)


HOLDING ON TO SOUND:
Songs of Freedom: CD
At first, these guys struck me as being fairly Propaghandi-influenced, since this came off as kind of prog-y and political, but there’s touches of bands like Bridge And Tunnel, or The Exit. It’s pretty cool, though it runs kind of long at times, with songs coming in at over five minutes (which is cool if you’re like, Coltrane, but I get restless when it comes to punk). But, there is a song called “Kurt Russell,” which is pretty rad. –joe (Geykido Comet)


HOLDING ON TO SOUND:
Self-titled: CD
This is bad reggae punk that sounds like it was made by really young kids in their first band. Were this the case, I’d cut them a break, but the dudes in the photos look a lot older than that, so no dice. The songs seem interminable even though they aren’t really that long, and the vocalist sometimes sings with fake patois. Skip this one. –Ryan Horky (No label listed)


HJERTESTOP:
Aarh Fuck...: EP
Okay, this is the domestic pressing of their EP that originally came out in 2005 on Kick N Punch, then Adult Crash. There’s a Young Wasteners and Incontrollados connection here, and this band is of the same style: old style punk from Denmark. If you like stuff like City-X, and the Razorblades, or even a semi recent band like No Hope For The Kids, then you need to get this. Hjertestop pull off the retro sound with ease. The songs are tuneful, catchy, and well structured and played. I think my favorite of this record is “Vi Er Overalt” with its hyper tempo and classic guitar sound. Then there’s the song that kicks off the flip, “Ind I Lejren” that’s pretty ripping as well. Hell, this whole record rips. They switch up the tempos, create some tension, and pace this thing properly throughout. More than a mere collection of songs, this is a solid EP. I heard these guys played the L.A. area not too long ago. Come back so I can see you guys. I’ll take you to Punky Reggae Party when the show is done! Hjertestop translates to “heart failure.” Whoa! –Matt Average (Fashionable Idiots, fashionableidiots.com)


HINDI GUNS, THE:
(Many Many) Miles Away b/w Loaded Gun: CD
I’m a little confused by these guys. I’ve reviewed ‘em a handful of times by now, and it’s pretty much always the same: kind of weird rock, usually two or four songs at a time (and one “Rarities” collection). The discs are always made out to look exactly like vinyl. There really isn’t any updated information on them, and can’t seem to tell if they play out live much or not. I just feel like there’s some sort of “agenda” here, but I don’t know what. WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO PULL, HINDI GUNS? –joe (French Fan Club, no address)


HICKOIDS:
Waltz a-Cross-Dress Texas: CD
The Hickoids were one of those bands like the Dead Milkmen who straddled the fence between novelty band and punk band. It was clear from the tunes that they didn’t take themselves too seriously and yet, obviously, put some thought into what they were doing. The music on this reissue does nothing to sway that assessment, with tunes that poke fun at whatever’s nearest to them at the time with enough cowboy punker twang to satisfy any Lama-sportin’ Mohican looking to dive off the stage. “Queen of the BBQ” still brings a smile to my face. –jimmy (Saustex)


HERE COMES A BIG BLACK CLOUD!!:
“Black Mold” b/w “Psychic Violence”: 7”
Chaotic, skittering, in-the-red, energetic and organ-infested: I wouldn’t call it a mess because it sounds like they know what they’re doing. Also straddles the new and the old, so a mix between the Mummies (the garage elements) and The Peppermints (really worked-up zombies on LSD) wouldn’t be too far a field. Comes with 3D glasses, but the seahorse on the cover doesn’t pop out at me as much as I hoped it would. –todd (Stankhouse, myspace.com/stankhouserecords)


HEATH DEADGER:
Self-titled: Cassette
Musically competent thrash punk played with precision and utter disdain for any vocal performance that contains even a hint of actual melody. Not something to throw on at your next BBQ. But “So Black Jesus Has Descended” has a nice beat and you can dance to it, so what the hell do I know? –koepenick (self-released)


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