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Razorcake #84
Tim Version, Ordinary Life LP + bonus 7"
Radon, 28 LP
Zisk #25
Razorcake #83


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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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NO BUSINESS:
Demo: CD
Awesome demo from No Business out of Oakland. Band features members of Diehard and Detach Dolls. Fierce female vocals, melodic surf guitar, rolling bass, and drums keep things moving. It’s catchy old school punk with great rock and roll hooks. Solid. Can’t wait to see what they have in store!  –Camylle Reynolds (nobusiness1.bandcamp.com)


MALL’D TO DEATH:
More Than a Sinking Feeling: 7”
This new 7” keeps in the vein of awesome modern pop punk like their Minneapolis pals Off With Their Heads or Banner Pilot. Rough around the edges in the vocal department and a solid wall on the music end. Music that gets you riled up. Makes you want to swing your beer and sing along because you know you’ve had those feelings as well. This was released by It’s Alive! and Geykido Comet, so you know you are getting a quality release. This is a very professional looking and sounding record. Very stoked I got to review this.  –Adam Mullett (It’s Alive!)


KOMPLIKATIONS:
Poverty: LP
I wanted this band to be named after that one Monks’ song and maybe they are? Their music is synth-punk more in line with someone like Screamers (though less raw and unhinged), or bleak coldwave stuff. I could see them on a bill with Total Control or something. At first I thought the full, clear production didn’t suit them, but if they were blown out and fuzzy, you wouldn’t be able to hear the killer synth work. Way more than keyboard bleeps and stabs, there’s atmosphere and color, little explosions, and cool tone work. Not too much, it’s just enough. The lyrics are standard “the world is grey/I’m cold” style. Feels like they’re still getting the hang of things songwriting-wise, but they’re on their way.  –Matt Werts (Rockstar)


JAIL SOLIDARITY:
Any Space, Whatever: Cassette
Minimalist, droning noise not unlike some of the more bleak Fan Death Records bands of a few years ago. Think somewhere between the slow parts of Anodyne with the slow parts of Pygmy Shrews but with totally atonal vocals that are either gruff low-end male vocals or high pitched female vocals along the lines of Neon Blud. I find this tape to be a tough listen but maybe live or with a little more thought into the arrangements it might work for me. However, I feel like “thought into the arrangement” is exactly what they’re trying to go against. So… I don’t like this.  –Ian Wise (Self-released)


GORIES:
The Shaw Tapes: Live in Detroit 5/27/88: LP
This record is way better than it has any rights being... I mean, you can’t not love The Gories, but a live recording from America’s (maybe fourth) drunkest garage/punk/whatever-meisters? Seems like a recipe for disaster, but nuh-uh, man, this is thestuff! Definitely a “warts-and-all” presentation, as if it could be anything else! This set was recorded before they laid down their Houserockin’ album. False starts, a blown fuse (or at least the person in the crowd nearest the mic says so), but the manic energy builds and builds over the course of the set, culminating in the best version ever of “Train Kept a Rollin’” (dig the nasty guit-tone) plus an absolutely nutso screaming rendition of “Give Me Love.” The Gories’ version of The Iguanas’ “Again and Again” gives The Black Lips’ version a run for its money. Too much, man!  –Sal Lucci (Third Man)


GOON MAT AND LORD BENARDO:
“What It’s All About” b/w “Stay on Me”: 7”
This is messed-up, dirty traditional blues from a French duo with one member on vocals, playing guitar sitting down and pounding out a minimal drumbeat on a bass drum and high-hat combo with his feet, and the other playing the heart and soul out of his harmonica. The easy reference point here is King Khan And BBQ Show, but this is way more traditional sounding than that. Fans of stuff on the Fat Possum label would eat this up.  –Mark Twistworthy (Voodoo Rhythm)


DIE:
DiE: 7”
DiE is a British band that harkens back to the likes of Jerry’s Kids in its rough and ready hammering across half a dozen blows to the head on this record. Okay, it might be a bit melodramatic to claim the tracks are equal to a physical beating but there is quite clearly a deep, deep well of anger, hatred, and vitriol that has been discovered beneath the foundations of this relatively new band and it’s a well that has burst open, setting free a geyser of molten wrath that DiE has drunk deeply from. Produced by Jonah Falco of Fucked Up, this is ugly, raw, and beautifully uncompromising.  –Rich Cocksedge (Sheer Terror Discs)


CAPITALIST KIDS, THE / THE TIGHT BROS:
Split: 7”
Both Capitalist Kids and Tight Bros play first class, 1990s pop punk in the vein of Squirtgun. It’s precisely the sort of record that can be used to confront anti-pop grumps with a rock solid “bet you can’t listen to this without dancing” proposition. There’s nothing but aggressive joy here. If those of us who don’t hate fun have our way, pop punk is coming back, goddamn it!  –Art Ettinger (Toxic Pop)


ATRINA:
In Planetary Sugar: LP
Dark, serpentine indie rock with crashing crescendos and orchestral chamber pop breaks. Kelly L’Heureux has a smooth voice that fits the album’s many moods, and I suggest digesting In Planetary Sugar from start to finish, as the songs build and wind with purpose. I found this record intriguing, and I can’t stand Slint, who are an obvious influence. Give this a listen, you’ll be surprised.  –Chris Terry (Obscure Me)


ANTAGONIZERS ATL:
Hold Your Ground: 7”
File under: streetpunk full of vague “fists up” lyrics that don’t actually say a lot. At their best they’ve occasionally got a U.S. Bombs or Reducers SF thing going on, but those moments are pretty slim. For the most part, Hold Your Groundis just a little too lackluster and paint-by-numbers to draw many comparisons at all. Between their typo-ridden lyrics—how someone can make a layout look so good and still not be able to catch fuckups like “maybee” and “I like the sound of a traffic jams” is beyond me, dude—and the fact that the flipside of the insert was an ad for their T-shirts, I’ll have to pass. Like I said, downright gorgeous packaging and the spattered vinyl is so pretty I’d like to ask it out on a date, but the music itself, in spite of its proclamations, doesn’t quite pack a punch.  –Keith Rosson (Longshot)


ATLANTIC THRILLS:
Self-titled: CD
This album has a definite old school garage rock feel to it, complete with Buddy Holly style guitar and rockabilly toughness. Every song tells a great story with choruses that will have you singing along. Order another beer and crank this one up!  –Brent Nimz (Almost Ready)


BAD SIDE:
Everybody Wants Something from Me: 7”
Having reviewed their demo a while back, Bad Side has matured a bit in a few short months. Sure, they still offer up multiple songs of angry punk, but on this release it’s a little more restrained, a little more controlled than the previous demo, and that works for them. At times this reminded me of a more raw version of Pissed Jeans, who I love. Good stuff.  –Mark Twistworthy (Nervous Habit)


BODYFATHER:
Self-titled: Cassette
So, the ‘90s have made a comeback. I suppose there are worse things that could happen. Bodyfather fit in well with all of the other ‘90s comeback companion pieces. This release could hold its own among some of the mid-’90s noisy Dischord Records band like Hoover, The Crownhate Ruin, and Fugazi. It’s done really well and anyone who is into that kind of stuff would likely really like this. There are six songs here with not a single dud in the bunch.  –Mark Twistworthy (Muck Man)


CHILDEBEAST:
The Beastmasters: CD
I’m confused why I’m getting a CD that is seven years old to review. Why did you send this to us? Is this one of those things where you’re just trying to get rid of back stock? If that’s the case, just recycle the components. That’s what I wanted to do soon after hearing this. The group is composed of a male and a female vocalist, sometimes with the guy rapping and other times with both singing. The music often reminded me of some dreamy, but bad, band I’d see at a college coffeehouse back in the late 1990s. There was a flute in a song. No—just no.  –Kurt Morris (Fauxtown)


DRUG STORE:
“Deathwork” b/w “Surface”: 7”
This record reminds me of a heavy version of the Butthole Surfers. The track “Deathwork” shifts from slowed-down metal riffs to minimal breakdowns with obscure lyrics over them. The B-side track, “Surface,” is bass-driven and has a Flipper feel to it, only more pissed off. This is definitely the kind of record that your parents will hate.  –Ryan Nichols (Self-released)


FIST CITY / PISSTEST:
Split: 7”
Either each side of this record plays at a different speed or I’m confused and listening to one of these bands at the wrong speed, so take this review with a grain of salt. Fist City features herky jerky vocals over waverunner riffs and cascading fuzz. They cover Devo’s “Endless Bummer” with respect, but not a whole lot of inventiveness. Pisstest is jangly and irritating garage punk that thinks it’s funny, but it isn’t really. They have a song called “Necrophilia (It’s Halal).” That should give you a hint about their cleverness.  –MP Johnson (Drunken Sailor)


GUNK:
Gradual Shove: Cassette
Gunk play that sort of wimpy/heavy style of indie rock made popular by Sebadoh. The first song, “Photograph,” is a grungy, off-timed tune. The second track is slower, with softly sung vocals. Quiet and bittersweet, the song progresses into overlaid found sounds which blend into the next track, setting the tone for the album. The songs on Gradual Shoveare inwardly projected and navel gazing, yet big and complex at the same time. Gunk is best played loud (preferably with opium) to appreciate the big, fuzzy layers weaving these songs together into a deep, entrancing listen.  –Craven Rock (Ranch)


HUNG UPS, THE:
Against the Wall: CD
The Hung Ups play Screeching Weasel and NOFX-sounding pop punk with nasally and off-key vocals and sing about girls. From what I found on the internet, it seems they broke up. Can’t say that’s a big shame.  –Kurt Morris (Hung Ups, The)


INTERNATIONAL SWINGERS, THE:
Gun Control: CDEP
Second release from this rock band chock full of grizzled veterans of the music scene. There are traces of Still Little Fingers here, along with guitar lines that bring to mind The Clash’s greatest moments. But the songs here are totally original and burn from start to finish. I’ll leave it to you and your computer to look up the band members’ history, but I strongly suggest getting your hands on this one any way you can. The title track alone should clinch it for you. Excellent job gentlemen. Bring on the full length.  –Sean Koepenick (Self-released, theinternationalswingers.com)


LORD SNOW:
Solitude: LP
Screamo is a tag that invariably turns my stomach and it’s a genre that rarely does anything for me beyond raising my bile levels to the proportion of a volcanic eruption. However, although that description is often given to Chicago band Lord Snow, this trio stands firmly apart from—and head and shoulders above—all other bands I have heard under that banner. The main reason being that this is more a mixture of post-punk and noise than anything else. The vocals of Steph Maldonado, although screamed at times, offer so much more than what I hear from other bands where it seems faddish and generic. The musicianship across the eleven tracks is of the highest quality within what seems to be a controlled chaos being orchestrated by the band, one which shifts and changes almost without pattern or design, displaying quite a knack for song writing. This is an intense and exhilarating record. It needs no defining genre attached to it.  –Rich Cocksedge (Adagio830)


MODERN PETS:
Sorry, Thanks: LP
L.A.-via-Berlin-styled thud punk here right in the same bullpen as Regulations, Briefs, Rough Kids, and damned near every band that’s ever recorded for Hostage and Modern Action. They keep the tightly closed hi-hat tickatickaticking as they bash out hit after hit like it was no big effort to come up with an album’s worth of tunes this consistent.  –Jimmy Alvarado (Deadbeat)


MURDERESS:
The Gate: LP
Say whaaaaat? This band’s from Portland? My word. My ear is clearly pressed to the wrong set of tracks, since this is the first I’ve heard of em. A four-song 12” of fierce and brooding crust similar in scope to folks like The Awakening or Protestant, though Murderess seems more interested in the long game—again, we’re talking a pair of songs on each side here; the band’s clearly not afraid to stretch things out. I was personally hoping for a bit more variety or dynamics, but there’s certainly no denying that the band makes some convincing, furious noise.  –Keith Rosson (Aborted Society)


NUBS:
Little Billy’s Burning: 7”
A reissue of some primo ‘70s snot punk here. Both sides of this ooze with a kind of dumb sincerity that’s both hard to ape and in short supply these days, which gives ‘em a bit more heft that propels the tunes much farther than they would normally go.  –Jimmy Alvarado (Last Laugh)


PÄÄ KII:
Self-titled: Cassette
Well done Finnish punk that sits somewhere between a hopped-up Generation X and maybe a slightly more stolid Randy, which is a pretty amazing combo on paper, but Pää Kii suffer from pretty warbly and quiet production, and said weak production pretty much chops a lot of this cassette’s strength off right at the knees. Weak packaging, but catchy as hell and resoundingly well done. Songs are mostly in Finnish, but there’s an obvious buoyancy here that’s pretty universal. This shit’s got verve, okay?  –Keith Rosson (No address listed)


PAGEGRIPPER:
Self-titled: 7”
My first impression of this 7”was one in which I considered all five tracks to be fairly indistinguishable from each other, all offered up with an intense jackhammer delivery. Oh was I wrong. Subsequent listens were like peeling an onion with the discovery of previously unheard layers which added a new depth to the songs, allowing me to discover the nuances hidden within the bluster. I actually think that comparing Pagegripper to Kid Dynamite would not be too far off the mark.  –Rich Cocksedge (Sex Sheet)


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