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Razorcake #90
White Murder, both LPs
Treasure Fleet, The Sun Machine LP
Razorcake #89
White Murder, Form Early LP (CLEAR VINYL)


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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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STUPORHERO:
Clams?: LP
I do love surprises. From the strangely spelled name to the bizarre album title and cover art, to the rock-star-mocking-but-not-humorous photographs on their website, I rolled my eyes so hard that I could feel them hit the back of my skull. Then the music came on and I got happy. Really fucking happy. It’s poppy surf-punk, done well. Really fucking well. This is a band that doesn’t have to be silly to be good but I can’t imagine that anyone would convince them of that. I just like the music. I really like this music.  –John Mule (Basement Tape)


SUMMER CANNIBALS:
Show Us Your Mind: LP
A proper full-length’s worth of female-fronted pop rock with ample Big Muff leads and solos. The vocal delivery shifts between soothing, dreaminess, and varying levels of aggression, yet never too aggressive. The album might start to feel monotonous, but that’s probably just your punk-addled brain. Listen to the whole thing; the tempo changes at the end make for a particularly strong finish. And lock groove/secret song stuff is pretty fun too, even if somewhat confusing. –Daryl Gussin (New Moss, newmossrecords.com)


SUNSHINE STATE:
Pour: CD
It’s going to take this band a few releases before every other review isn’t obligated to mention drummer Warren Oakes’ history in Against Me!, so let’s just get it out there. And Pour should be received warmly by Against Me! diehards who haven’t minded the band’s metamorphosis from ear-shredding folk punk toward mid-tempo Replacements-style rock, because there’s plenty of that on this debut. But the seasoned punks of SunshineState have plenty of other influences they don’t mind showing. Some familiarity with the DIY behemoth that is the Gainesville punk scene is a decent jumping-off point, but frontman Troy Perlman’s style is less marble-mouthed and gruff-beardy-guy-oriented than the classic orgcore stereotype. This has more in common with the thoughtful, songwriter-centric pop punk of Jawbreaker and J Church. It seems like this list of ingredients adds up to a whole lot of nostalgia, which isn’t totally inaccurate, but this is a band that does manage to put its own spin on it for something pretty new and interesting. –Indiana Laub (No Idea, noidearecords.com)


SUSAN ATKINS DIET:
Vagina Envy: 7” EP
Rudimentary Peni and surf rock meet, fall in love, and birth a child named Susan Atkins Diet. SAD carries the tone and vocals of RP, simultaneously following the other “parent’s” surf rock melody throughout this entire EP. While featuring strikingly similar styles of both of the above, this 7” manages to add their twists and turns with their anti-patriarch content and misogyny-slashing lyrics. To say the least, I am smitten and am left wanting so much more. As I eagerly wait for this “more,” I will leave it up to you to follow my footsteps and join me. –Genevieve Armstrong (Self-released, Susanatkinsdiet.bandcamp.com)


SWINGIN UTTERS / MODERN ACTION:
Split: 7”
In one corner, the champion, the Bay Area’s hard-hitting favorite, the legendary Swingin’ Utters. In the other corner, the scrappy challenger, Modern Action who, if I were to judge from this split single alone, get a surprise knockout to shock the judges and make the bookies skip town. Modern Action’s 2010 release, Molotov Solution, got good reviews from Razorcake, so I’m not surprised at how much I dig this release. –John Mule (Modern Action, modernactionrecords.com)


TAPEHEAD:
The Flexi: 7” flexi
I’m so confused by this. The packaging combines the classic Crass Records aesthetic with the Black Panther movement images and contains two and a half songs of snotty, garagey punk rock’n’roll. Based on the look of this alone, one might lyrically expect a political, socially conscious rager, but instead you get contrived rock’n’roll songs about not being able to get the girl. After two full songs, the third song gets about thirty seconds into it before it fades out—much like my interest in this band.  –Mark Twistworthy (Reel Time, reeltimerecordss.bigcartel.com)


TEENAGE REHAB:
Break Yourself: 7”
Another solid record from these degenerates. Upbeat punk rock with some rock’n’roll riffage thrown in for good measure. The title of the record and the front cover photo of someone eating shit on their skateboard takes me back to the good old days. Could do without the weird reggae guitar thing happening on the last song, but the rest was great. –ty (Revert, teenage-rehab.bandcamp.com)


TELEVISIONARIES, THE:
Self-titled: LP
Surf rock is a tricky genre. There’s some good stuff here and there, but, for the most part, this stuff tends to suck. Really, how many Ventures albums are solid the whole way through? Unless you’re Man… Or Astroman?, then chances are you aren’t all that. Televisionaries make me miss bands like the aforementioned Man… Or Astroman?, as well as Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet, which I can here influences of in this band. However, Televisionaries lack charisma, drive, and all other things that make for an interesting band. This just sounds like a band dialing it in.  –Matt Average (Reel Time, reeltimerecordss.bigcartel.com)


TENANTS:
Demo 2015: Cassette
I had this pinned as entry #43859 in the category of bellowing melodic punk for fans of Iron Chic and Midwestern basements. But then the second half abruptly turns into a stompy oi thing, so there’s a lesson about pigeonholing. This is a demo that sounds like what I assume it is: the early efforts of a young band still finding its footing and arguing over influences at practice. Nothing too attention-catching yet, but it’s a decent start.  –Indiana Laub (Self-released, no address listed)


TENEMENT:
Bruised Music, Volume One: LP
A collection of previously released songs from these Wisconsin rabble-rousers! I have been patiently waiting for this, and I was not disappointed. Raw riffs, catchy song titles, and all that you would normally expect from this power trio. The one-two punch of “Sitcom Moms” and “Spaghetti Midwestern” is formidable, but the quality control stays in the red until the last note. The harmonies seem to be a bit tighter on this platter and the drums are a bit more in your face. Besides, any band that has a song called “Icepick” is worth checking out, don’t you think?  –koepenick (Toxic Pop, tenementwi@hotmail.com)


THAALS:
Castle Claremont: Cassette
This album starts and ends with soundclips from Daleks, so Whovians should be pleased just with that. The band makes rock’n’roll for teenage space aliens. Song titles range from “Bingo Dabbing,” to “Patty Hearst,” to “Black Mold.” Vocals are really blown-out with effects and distortion, so the band comes off very garagey. It makes lyrics fairly indiscernible and with no lyrics printed, it’s anybody’s best guess. But that kinda helps add to the sci-fi, out-of-this-world sound that Thaals have going on. They can get pretty thrashy on some of the songs. For the most part, this is a fast record with echo-y vocals and dirty bass. I’d love to hear them with a keyboard player. Would be a great companion to any campy alien movie or Halloween party. Don’t get me wrong, though, I’d bump this any day of the year. –Kayla Greet (Drug Party, drugparty.storenvy.com)


THRASHERS, THE:
Robot Invaders from the Death Galaxy: LP
A lotwent into this LP… double-printed jacket (outside and in), printed sleeve, glossy lyric insert, and vinyl sticker. Packaging ain’t cheap. Strip away the excessive graphic trappings and you’re left with adeptly played interstellar attack robot surf rock (from Canada). However, Robot Invaders… is all over the map. Cosmic artwork, X Files, or mob themed band pics, and lyrics that do nothing to connect the themes equals a shtick that don’t stick. One song did have the singer sounding like the Horny Mormons, so that’s a plus.  –Matt Seward (transistor66, transistor66.com)


THIRTY SIX STRATEGIES:
Strategy Three: LP/CD
Thirty Six Strategies might contain a number of stalwarts from the U.K. hardcore scene but this isn’t tough guy music, as there is a relaxed and melodic outlook that sits at its core. With new vocalist Marie Vockins firmly settled front and center, she frequently acts as a siren distracting me from all else that is going on with her wonderfully gritty and soulful voice. Then suddenly I’m snapped back from my reverie by the rest of the band rocking out in way that makes me think of Hammerbox, given the guitar work and agile rhythm section. Great stuff.  –Rich Cocksedge (Boss Tuneage, bosstuneage.com)


THREE ROUNDS / JUNKIE FIGHT:
Split: 7”
A split release by two young Nevada bands: Three Rounds and Junkie Fight. This record is packed with almost ten tracks (The Three Rounds side alone tracking in at over seven minutes!). Junkie Fight’s approach is quite unique, bridging grindcore and blast beats with riffs that are a fairly poppy. Seemingly thought-out tracks with a good sense of humor and witty lyrics. Three Rounds have the better production value on their side, while sticking to a more straight-forward, Screeching Weasel sound with heavier guitar work. No track list, but the second Three Rounds tune is their best.  –Steve Adamyk (Self-released)


TIGER HELICIDE:
Rock ‘n’ Roll Commandos: CD
I hated this record on my first listen, but I will admit that my initial judgment was a bit off base. Subsequent listenings just left me a bit bored. This compilation of seven EPs and singles is standard-issue horror punk, replete with a cover of the Misfits’ “Teenagers from Mars.” The sound quality is at times dubious, but on the whole, this isn’t the terrible record that I thought it was at first. It just covers a well-trodden path in a way that isn’t strikingly inventive in any way and thus does not make me stand up and take notice. Except for the Misfits cover, that is—the chorus is all warbly and watery, as if it was recorded with the singer’s head in a toilet bowl, which is a really neat effect.  –The Lord Kveldulfr (Gad! / Murder Boy)


TIGHT BROS / RAD COMPANY:
Split: 7”
Strange that a name as dumb as Tight Bros would be used more than once, though I guess this band is from now and not way back and all. It’s the first I have heard them. They sound a lot like the Marked Men—kinda fast and ragged pop punk. Rad Company are on the other side of the record and hail from Bob Pollard land , Dayton, OH. Similar kinda ragged pop punk sound but more anthemic in the delivery and a little faster. This seems like the kinda record that the average Razorcake reader would absolutely love, especially the do-it-together ethic of having seven labels involved in the pressing. –frame (No Breaks)


TIGHT BROS:
Self-titled: LP
Tight Bros are not from way back when, they are from now. If the Ramones were a ‘59 Cadillac then Tight Bros are a fucking Tesla. (Yeah, I don’t know shit about cars.) Tight Bros have produced one of the finest pop punk products on the market in this here first half of the 2010s. The speed is relentless. Starting out at a double-time speed that most pogo-ers would strain a muscle and only relenting when you find yourself at the one or two songs that require head banging instead. As a three-piece they sound so full. The intricacies of the vocals weaving in and out is complex without seeming heady and pretentious. This is the kind of record that makes me confused why everyone in the world doesn’t listen to pop punk. It follows the pop rulebook, makes it dirty and noisy with complex, but accessible, melodies. It’s a hard spot on the musical landscape to find, but the Tight Bros. have a great home here. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been a champion of this band for a long time. I remember actually paying for MP3s of this record because the vinyl wasn’t available yet. The excitement on my face when I saw this disc was obvious. If you’ve been wondering where all the good pop punk is lately, it’s here. It’s the Tight Bros. And you’re a fool for not seeing it. (I am also going to use my once yearly “Go buy this fucking now” power by saying you have to buy Good Shade’s self-titled LP. (Which shares a member or two.) I’m not super educated.) Grade (for this and Good Shade’s LP, why not?): A.  –Bryan Static (Let’s Pretend / Rad Girlfriend)


TIMMY’S ORGANISM:
Singles Collection & Unreleased Tracks: 2 x LP
Freaked-out undulations, bedroom psychedelia, and sonic demons are unleashed on this twenty-three song collection. Tim Lampinen (“Timmy Vulgar”), of Clone Defects and Human Eye, rants and raves like a man possessed by a kaleidoscopic wah pedal; with each stomp the insanity is intravenously ramped to eleven. The songs range from cacophonous rackets (“Waste Time”) to playful instrumentals (“Building the Friend-Ship Part II”) and rock’n’roll parodies (“I’m a Nice Guy Now”). Some tunes are genuinely moving and heart-wrenching such as “Sadness Walks” and “Vacuum Up My Shattered Heart,” which sound like Daniel Johnston tripped out on LSD. Your enjoyment of Timmy’s Organism depends on whether you find early Flaming Lips to be indulgent, art rock nonsense or tame experiments in pop. If you fit into the latter group, Timmy’s Organism is here to concuss your brain with madness waves. I imagine, live, Timmy must induce spontaneous combustion.  –Sean Arenas (HoZac, hozacrecords.com)


TONYA HARDON:
Manana Couch: CD
Well, nothing like a timely band name to pique interest, I always say. Sounds like third-fourth album UK Subs to my ears, which is fine, although I’m not sure why the last two songs ((of a mere five)) are 4:53 and 5:38 long; overstaying their welcome doesn’t exactly play to this band’s strengths. Oh well, break a leg! BEST SONG: “Ho Ho’s & Med’s” BEST SONG TITLE: It would have been the previously-mentioned song had they punctuated it correctly. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: If the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan incident was a human, it would now be old enough to drink in all fifty states. –norb (self-released)


TRTRKMMR:
Avec La Souillure Nous Entrons Au Règne De La Terreur: LP
This LP is the solo black noise recording project of ex-Otesanek singer, Brad Dumville. Recorded in Wisconsin during the fall and winter months of 2010 through 2014. I’m pretty sure the title translates to “with the idea of defilement we enter the realm of terror”—because that’s what it says on the cover of the beautifully printed and laid out eighteen-page, 5.5” x 8.5” insert. The music and sound captured is as bleak as smoke-filled skies on snow-worn landscapes. Anguished and barren. Percussion is supplied by fractured vinyl records. The atmosphere is consuming. Doomed indeed. This release also features a stamped image of a wolf’s head which has been inked in human blood. Hand numbered out of 500 –Daryl Gussin (Iron Lung)


TV STATIC:
Beware of the Moon: CD
TV Static really has the heart and soul of Ramones with the brashness of Offspring. It’s an unapologetic approach; they are not trying to reinvent punk or push boundaries. In fact, I’ve seen them live and they are pretty flawless. They are doing exactly what they want to do and doing it well. Beware of the Moonis high-energy Ramones-style punk with a bit of pop.  –Camylle Reynolds (Self-released, tvstatic.bandcamp)


TWO HOUSES:
Disappointer: 7”EP
Self-described as “triumphant sad bastard music,” Two Houses has perfected the contemporary Chicago punk sound. Reminiscent of The Broadways or early Lawrence Arms, these four songs perfectly capture big city living for punk kids in their mid-twenties. Do yourself a favor, though. Give this EP a whirl and then catch their live show. It’s brilliant. –Nicole Madden (Rad Girlfriend, radgirlfriendrecords.storenvy.com / Let’s Pretend, letspretendrecords.com)


UK SUBS:
Yellow Leader: CD
The Subs are just one letter away from completing their twenty-six albums of the alphabet! If medals were given for commitment to the cause, Charlie Harper would have the Purple Heart. How many punk rockers do you know who are still knocking out records at the age of seventy? Seventy. That’s right. I’m a huge fan of the late ‘70s Subs with hits like “Stranglehold” and “Warhead.” How does the twenty-sixth album fare? Not half bad, actually, and still a head and shoulders above most of the swill that passes for punk these days. No wheel reinventing, just got some uptempo ‘77-style punk. Mandatory? No. Worthy? Yes.  –Tim Brooks (Captain Oi)


UPRISING, THE:
Screaming from the Inside: 7”
So these are considered long slept on tracks from the band’s 1986 demo re-released on a seven-inch. It’s fast old school British hardcore that owes a lot to bands like Subhumans and T.S.O.L. It’s a good, honest hardcore record that I wish came with a lyric sheet, or if not, something to define it a little more, because right now all I hear is another hardcore band to remind of how rigid and unadventurous hardcore could be in that era, yet it’s done well. I feel bad judging so harshly what’s essentially a good record, a classic record to some, but it takes a lot of effort to find something memorable in it and leaves me feeling like a poser for not keeping my interest. It’s hard to tell whether it’s dated or if I just have all I need of this sort of old school hardcore. –Craven Rock (Not Like You, notlikeyourecords.com)


URINALS:
Next Year at Marienbad: CD
I bought the third ((and best)) Urinals 7”, with “Sex” and “Go Away Girl” ((fairly logical couplet, that)), when it came out circa 1980 or ‘81, its crazy fucking thunderous raw basement smashing was a revelation—an absolute overload of VOLUME and POUNDING and the types of acoustical traits that drive “real” sound engineers to the bughouse. The next song I heard was “She’s a Drone,” off the Life Is Ugly So Why Not Kill Yourself compilation, which kept the minimalist frenzy going, but sounded like it was being tapped out on Quaker Oats® containers, thus was still cool, but in a much different manner. They then changed their name to 100 Flowers, got artier, and lost my interest, although I did like their early song “Salmonella” okay. They apparently put out an album as the Urinals in 2003 which I managed to ignore entirely, which brings us up to the immediate now. I think this record is pretty cool—it doesn’t sound like a basement full of metal garbage cans being kicked around by pelicans, or some homeless nut banging on oatmeal containers—it all sounds pretty “normal,” give or take—but all the songs are good, reasonably memorable, and generally to the point. The range of bands of which I am reminded during the course of this album ranges from the somewhat logical ((Gun Club, Guided By Voices)) to the unexpected ((Reducers, They Might Be Giants, Jason and the fricking Scorchers??)), but it’s all sort of knit together logically, in one big happy urinal. This album will not save your soul, but it will add a fresh urinal cake to the pee-sodden porcelain of your existence! BEST SONG: “Close Our Eyes” BEST SONG TITLE: “This Song Is a Virus” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Gleert & Simka appear courtesy of Finn-a-Fon Diskq!  –norb (Happy Squid, happysquid.com)


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