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· 1:Webcomic Wednesdays #121
· 2:#356 with Samantha Beerhouse
· 3:Top 5s From Issue #85
· 4:Louis Jacinto Photo Column - Stan Lee of The Dickies
· 5:Webcomic Wednesdays #122


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Razorcake #86
Wailing Of a Town, by Craig Ibarra
Razorcake #85
Pale Angels, Imaginary People LP
Toys That Kill / Joyce Manor, Split 7"


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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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AVENUE ROSE / LET’S DANCE:
All That Matters in Motion: 7” EP
Avenue Rose: A decent double dose of modern power pop-influenced stuff. Let’s Dance: These guys tread similar terra as the Briefs, sans that band’s sense of immediacy or charm. –Jimmy Alvarado (Provincial State, no address)


AVENUE ROSE:
Electric: 7”
I liked this record because of all of its glammy goodness. Included are three tunes that are straight-up catchy rock’n’roll, complete with syncopated hand claps and clean-not-ponderous riffing. All in all, good stuff that effectively carries on the storied tradition of rocking out in the Pacific Northwest. –The Lord Kveldulfr (Slab-O-Wax)


AX, THE:
Our Queen of Dirt: CD
Subtract twenty years and add overdriven Marshall stacks and this would’ve been massive with the proto-grunge Sub Pop crowd. Might not sound like a compliment in these post-Soundgarden days, but a compliment it was intended to be. –Jimmy Alvarado (Whoa! Boat)


BAD BLOOD:
Self-titled: 7” EP
This occasionally straddles the line between mid-tempo hardcore and the obscure punk stuff played on indie college stations. Ain’t bad for the most part, but it wasn’t exactly burning down the house, either. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.myspace.com/prdctrecords)


BARRIKAD:
Where There Was Fire We Brought Gasoline: Cassette
This tape, packaged in five by seven plastic audio box in order to include a copy of Gilles Dauve’s Critique of the Situationist International, is a multimedia crash course in situationist leftism. This was an area of leftist and anarchist-leaning thought that started to brew in Europe in the late 1950s, which strikes some similarities with the American Beat movement. Side A begins with a British-sounding woman’s voice explaining the human dilemmas that are symptomatic of capitalistic societies and then fades into a wall of white noise. I interpret this art as making a statement about our attachment to sloganeering in western songs and this is Barrikad’s attempt to represent music made from anarchist principles. The noise includes natural events such as a train leaving, screams, echoes within a tunnel, wind, and more. If you’re looking for a mindfuck or are into noise, then this tape is worth a listen. –N.L. Dewart –Guest Contributor (Nil By Mouth, nilbymouthrec@gmail.com)


BASEMENT BLACK / DEAD MECHANICAL / PRETTY BOY THORSON AND THE FALLING ANGELS / T:
Dangerous Intersections II: 7” EP
Basement Black: Jawbox by way of None More Black. Busy bits, chewed concrete vocals. Sounds more like the foundation underground than the soaring tops of buildings. I understand it’s only one song, but want them to break free. Dead Mechanical: I really think DM is a band to watch and seek, but this song sounds like an onramp to a really kickass song coming right after it on the album. Build up, build up, build up, done. PBTatFA: Restrained, languid country ballad, played like it’s the ‘50s: The super-fucked, racially divided blood-on-the-streets one, not the nostalgic, smiling Fonzie one. So even though it’s quiet, there’s murder in the throat. Much better than current country music that’s designed to sell xenophobia and chrome ball sacks. The Measure [SA]: These folks are dear hearts, and I’m a neophyte when it comes to the recording process, but the song sounds strange—like an over-compressed music file—a couple hairs too fast and Lauren’s voice sounds out of pitch... but, that said, the songwriting’s great, as to be expected. –Todd Taylor (Traffic Street, trafficstreetrecords.com)


BASEMENT BLACK:
Recovery Stories and Worn-out Welcomes: CD-R
This was the pleasant surprise. Judging solely on the photocopied lyrics and artwork in a plastic sleeve and the spray painted CD-R, I assumed this was probably a crust or D-Beat album when I picked this up. Basement Black, instead, is melodic hardcore sung by dudes that sound like they have some serious facial hair and a bone to pick with the world. There’s a definite Hot Water Music vibe going on, but unlike Young Livers or Bridge And Tunnel, I actually find the music interesting. There’s some passion and immediacy to the proceedings that the aforementioned bands lack. At times I would say there are even traces of the Lawrence Arms more throat scratching moments and Tiltwheel showing up. The lyrics are also pretty good, to boot (although I’ll be damned if I could make out more than half of them without the lyric sheet). I think this will only get better with repeated listens. –Adrian (Dead Broke)


BEAT BEAT:
Without Choo: 7” EP
Was kinda put out ‘cause, even though they have a similar name and this EP sports a similar color scheme, this ain’t a new release by the defunct, seriously good Beat Beat Beat. Appears this is an Austrian band who take the bulk of their influence from the trash rock school of punk rock. They deliver some tight, snappy tunes in their own right, I gotta say. This is limited to 333 copies, so act fast if yer interested. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.bachelorecords.com)


BEFORE I HANG:
Mississippi: CD
I hate to be a “judge a book by its cover” kind of guy, but I totally called this one. The cover depicts a slutty-looking redneck woman wrapped around a gallows like a stripper pole. Yep, I’m thinking tough guy Southern hard rock with a slight punk rock edge. I hit the nail right on the head here. Musically, it’s heavy and driving. It really works in that Nine Pound Hammer vein, but then the guy starts yelling and ruins it for me. I can’t put my finger on it exactly, but the sound of his voice made me think of getting tested for an STD. In both cases the pain, both mentally and physically, lingers long after it’s over. –Ty Stranglehold (Zodiac)


BERNAY’S PROPAGANDA:
Happiness Machines: CD
Macedonian post-punk revolutionary dance music (yeah, you heard me) with the appropriate lyrical content to make one think whilst shaking a tail feather. The songs are similar enough that they kind of meld into one another after a while, but I’ve definitely heard worse. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.moonleerecords.com)


BIG JESUS / STEERJOCKEY:
Split: 7”
Here we have what appear to be a couple of Zeke-obsessed bands from Bloomington, IN. This has never been my favorite style of music and I have been fairly burnt out on it for over a decade. Steerjockey do the style well enough, good as any, better than some. Big Jesus, on the other hand, are an excellent band. The style is basically the same but I am hearing a hardcore undercurrent that gives them an edge. –Mike Frame (Let’s Pretend)


BLACK PANDA:
Shake Me: 7”
Right away I liked this record, although, for the life of me, I can’t really figure out why. It’s not super original, but I think I’m enamored of the singer’s voice, which, to me, is just a perfect blend of punk rock disinterest and snottiness. Quite lovely. The songs are not fast, but still pretty punk in a, hmm, I don’t know… I was going to say “in a rock’n’roll-y” way, but let’s just say “punk” and leave it at that. I like the second side the best and “Bluebird GHQ” is my fave. Also, the artwork is great—from the pictures on the actual record label itself (the middle part, where the hole is punched), to the cover and picture of the band (which is more like a weird outline of them), it’s good stuff. Would love to see them live. Very enjoyable. Go get it! –Jennifer Federico (Super Secret)


BLACK TIME:
Double Negative: CD
Minimalist, simple-riff trash rock with intentionally shitty production. The “aural assault as art” aesthetic quickly wears a bit thin, but it does appear that something catchy just might be buried deep down in all that noise. –Jimmy Alvarado (In the Red)


BLACKBELT BAND, THE:
A New Community: CD
The Blackbelt Band plays very messy, minimalist post-punk that uses a variety of acoustic and electric instrumentations simultaneously. I think they aim to be haunting, but the wannabe sophisticated pretension is instead hauntingly annoying. It’s certainly a complex, multi-layered sound, but two-thirds of the layers are comprised by shit and vomit. What seem like disconnected, disparate sounds never connect on this release. I’m almost intrigued by the sheer audaciousness of people who think that others might enjoy their failed experimentation. They’d almost have to be black belts to put this garbage out there. –Art Ettinger (ADD/Kiss Of Death)


BLACKOUT BRIGADE:
Death and Dishonesty: CD
Ah, it’s the old “trick the reviewer by the look of your CD trick.” The dark cityscape and calligraphy style band title had me thinking I was about to venture into the territory of grouchy, growly metalihardcore. I couldn’t have been more wrong or more pleasantly surprised. The first song sounds as if you had Social Distortion getting wasted in the alley behind the club with Agnostic Front. Weird. After that early rough spot, it smoothed into good, if not standard, snotty punk that wouldn’t sound out of place on TKO Records. Soaring guitars + Piss + Vinegar = A good record to tip a few beers to. –Ty Stranglehold (Insurgence)


BLOOD STAINED REALITY:
Fuck You Go Die: 7” EP

Six more tracks of straight-ahead hardcore from a band that hails from San Diego but sounds like they’ve just gotten back from a trip with Out Cold to an ‘80s Midwestern hardcore show. Good, good stuff with a mighty purty picture of a cop bleeding on the cover, to boot.

–Jimmy Alvarado (www.myspace.com/escozoomusic)


BOB LOG III:
My Shit Is Perfect: CD
Kicking, stumbling, lumbering one-man band Bob Log III continues his race-winning tradition in unusual uno man-o blues trash, playing slide guitar, drums, cymbal, and drum machine singing through a motorcycle helmet built-in telephone microphone. Great shit; all the lovable messy bump and grind from his first few solo records after Doo Rag but with a little more production, like the recent vibe of his Log Bomb album. I think I can understand the words now. Not terribly important though, as with classic titles “Goddamn Sounds Good Pt. 2,” “Bang Your Thing at the Ball” and “You, or You and You, and Me.” The ultimate moustache soundtrack if they ever remake Burt Reynolds’ moonshine epic White Lightning. Only difference, Burt was completely serious in that. Bob is nothing but good humored fun and kicks. –Speedway Randy (Voodoo Rhythm, www.voodoorhythm.com)


BORN LIARS:
Ragged Island; Go Back One Day: LP and 7" EP
Funny how just a slight change of direction can make all the difference. Instead of following the tried and true path of a zillion Rip Off/Mummies/Supercharger clones off the cliff into faceless oblivion, these kids make an end run around all them other punters and turn in something more memorable simply by approaching the same material with a nod to ‘80s bands like the Lyres. The result loses none of the rawness or intensity, but the delivery is so much more assured, diverse and, I dunno, real than most peddling similar wares these days. Impressed is I. “Don’t Tell Me, I Know” makes good use of the same chords as the Standells’ “Sometimes Good Guys Don’t Wear White,” too. The 7” is more of the same, with two tunes from the LP and one that ain’t. –Jimmy Alvarado (Cutthroat)


BOTOX BRATS / DEAD RINGERS:
Split: 7” EP
Botox Brats: Catchy punk rock with a singer that sounds like he’s listened to too many Stitches records. Dead Ringers: They sound pretty much the same as their record mates here, with maybe a bit more rock’n’roll in their guitars. Not bad. –Jimmy Alvarado (No Front Teeth)


BOTOX PARTY:
BOTOX PARTY: CD
This sixteen-song punk pop onslaught is powerful and tight without being sanitized. The three-piece from Richmond, Virginia, exploit speedy riffs hinging their sound more on their musicality than hooks. These songs fall in line with the fast paced anthems of the Descendents and Crimpshrine. The track “Reality Subordination” highlights the band’s riff ruckus arsenal and playability, which never comes off as annoyingly self indulgent, partly because not one song on the record exceeds three minutes. This CD sure is filled with some fast, fun numbers for the ears. –N.L. Dewart –Guest Contributor (Raise Your Fist)


BOXCUTTER:
The Ill Testament: CD
Hoo, lordy, lordy, I can barely type ‘cause I’m laughing so hard. The band melds together tough-guy metal (aka “hardcore”) and gangsta rap that takes defining “crap” to epic new levels. By the time track three, “Ghetto Story Part 2,” started off with an appropriation of the first verse of Slick Rick’s “Children’s Story,” I was rolling on the floor. I’m reluctant to say this is the worst thing I’ve heard in a decade, because, at this point, there are nine months left, but it’s gonna take some truly monumental testaments to utter suckdom to beat this. Even Brittany Spears at her absolute worst is sheer artistic brilliance compared to this. –Jimmy Alvarado (Screaming Crow)


BRAINERD:
Animal Mother: CD
Cover art looks like it was rejected by the Dwarves. Music alternates between grungy rock and southern fried stoner rock. End results are no big whoop either way. –Jimmy Alvarado (Zodiac Killer)


BRAINERD:
Self-titled: CDEP
Ugh. Bro-ish vocals, edgeless metal-lite chord progressions, and overly sleek recording. I was expecting more based on the cover art/band name. –Will Kwiatkowski (Zodiac Killer)


BRAINWORMS / TUBERS:
Split: 7” EP
Brainworm: Another band trying to revive the late ‘80s Dischord gravy train. One original with lotsa tempo changes, fuzzless guitars, and oodles of lyrics, and one cover of a Rites Of Spring tune. Tubers: Switch out Rites Of Spring for the Lemonheads and it’s pretty much ditto for them. –Jimmy Alvarado (Dead Tank)


BRAINWORMS:
Swear to Me; Tape: LP and Cassette
The first thing that I heard from Brainworms was their split with Tubers. They presented one original and a Rites Of Spring cover. Their original sounded not too unlike ROS. Those two tracks, along with the tracks from their splits with Dynamite Arrows and Catalyst, appear on the cassette. After hearing an album and three splits’ worth of material, though they stay in the realm of emotional hardcore, I can’t say that Brainworms is simply Revolution Summer-esque. Think of ROS as a bookend with maybe Antioch Arrow on the other end of the shelf, but Brainworms’ influences aren’t used as a crutch to hold them up. Initially, their approach seems to be simply frantic and maniacal with vocals that never let up, remaining constantly abrasive. This comes through much clearer on the cassette. The LP has a calmer feel, which still isn’t really calm. Still, on both the releases underneath the mania is a feeling of safety that comes with trust. It’s as though Brainworms was jilted by the world and decided that, instead of issuing a directive of revenge, it was necessary to give a guiding hand through the madness by offering a taste of the lunacy to others via sound. Demented and passionate stuff, here. –Vincent Battilana (LP: Rorschach; Cass: People’s Republic Of Rock And Roll)


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