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· 1:Featured Record Reviews From Issue #81
· 2:#327 with Kurt Morris
· 3:Punk Parenthood for the Sleep Deprived
· 4:#328 with Bianca Barragan and Simon Sotelo
· 5:Creepy Emphera #1: Cadaver Synod


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Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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MATADORS:
Sweet Revenge: LP
The last three years have not been kind to Hooch. During that time, the Matadors’ principle singer/songwriter has learned that the music industry is more vicious than he ever would have guessed, and he was not born yesterday. Hooch has been stolen from, lied to, pissed on from great heights, and generally fucked over in a big way. At one point, the singer/ guitarist was so disillusioned that he almost hung his Fender Jazzmaster for good. The guitar was then stolen from him, but he pushed on, almost delirious with anger and sorrow. But, and despite having no permanent bass player, the Matadors finally managed to complete Sweet Revenge, their fifth full-length album. Fans will be grateful they did. For those who may be unfamiliar with the Matadors, they are the prime purveyors of horrorbilly, a genre that has become increasingly overrun by trendy and untalented hacks. The band rides primarily on Hooch’s golden pipes, and after listening to the Matadors, one may wonder if the vocalist really did make a pact with the devil. Seriously, the fucker can sing. Along with long-time drummer Jay Westman, Hooch brings the music to fans in a way that will make pretenders cry. After listening to the Matadors, there is nowhere to go but down. On Sweet Revenge, the Matadorsincorporate rock elements and even a banjo into the mix, but only those obsessed with rigid definitions will object. If you liked other Matadors albums, you’ll love this one. Early standouts on Sweet Revenge are “Drunk Driving” and “If You’re Gonna Bitch (I’m Gonna Drink)” and “Bush Party Handjob.” Throw away your Creepshow and Horrorpops LPs because this is the real deal. –Chris Walter –Guest Contributor (www.StumbleRecords.com)


LONG LIVE THE SMOKING GUN:
We Build Empires: cd
In Tucson, Arizona there is a cesspool of big rock from guys like Shark Pants and Swing Ding Amigos. This band is a more metalled-out two-piece that appreciates the drop D sound and Louder than Love-era Soundgarden. They mix it up fairly nicely, even though I occasionally get irked by a Ted Nugent-sounding guitar going swin-a-linna-swin. They do quote Kerouac in the liner notes and say “NoThanks” to Bank of America and MTV. If you like metal noodling and the aforementioned bands, you might appreciate this. –Buttertooth (1912)


MANSFIELDS:
Cramp Your Style: CD
Yet even more high-octane garage/glam. Again from Ohio. Then the Armpit of America tosses in a good measure of straight-up, jangling rockabilly, psychedelic surf, chorus-y punk and ‘50s melodies. Sounds like all-around party guys with a sloppy Johnny Thunders/Gotohells/Misfits thing going on. –Jessica Thiringer (Gearhead)


LIVEFASTDIE:
Bandana Thrash Bloopers: 7"
Man, these songs are three years old! The title is Bandana Thrash Bloopers, so it’s not a complete surprise, but, damn, I want some new LFD records, not the leftover throwaways from their LP. In all fairness, the Wards cover, “Gonna Have Some Fun,” is killer and crunchy in that Spits meets Turbonegro LFD sound we all love. The other two songs must be the “bloopers.” Not essential, but worth it for “Gonna Have Some Fun.” –Josh Benke (Turborock)


DALI’S LLAMA:
Full on Dunes: CD
Here is another album full of top-notch stoner/desert rock from this great band. This is some of the best of this style in a decade! Unsurprisingly, people are taking notice, as this features guest spots from Scott Reeder of Kyuss as well as folks from Fatso Jetson and Throw Rag. Nine songs of heavy rock with perfect production, great vocals, and killer vibe. It is not likely to get better than this. Fans of Unida/Kyuss/Nebula/Fu Manchu: meet your new favorite band. –Mike Frame (Dali’s Llama)


CAUSE CO-MOTION!:
iT’S TiME!: CD
The strangely typeset caUSE co-MOTION! produce jangly, lo-fi indie pop that sounds like it was recorded a few feet away from the mic and delivered with significant gusto to compensate for the physical distance. Breezy and bright, it’s harmless fun that never gets any better or worse when the disc is finished spinning. This album straddles a complacent and inoffensive middle on the taste scale that makes either deriding it or championing it a difficult job to do. –Reyan Ali (Slumberland)


JOHN WILKES BOOTH:
Sic Semper Tyrannis: CD
Next to each member’s name is a list of what company made/provided their gear, and the picture on the disc itself is of a penny with “In Rock We Trust” written across the top. I think that says all you need to know. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.jwbooth.net)


DAMN LASER VAMPIRES:
Gotham Beggars Syndicate: CD
A raucous, bass-less trio in traditional bluesy garage fashion with a heaping tablespoon of revival ‘80s goth/electronica. Hammond thrown in for good measure. –Jessica Thiringer (Devil’s Ruin)


DAS KAPITAL:
Punk House Heaven: 7"
This ratty band takes me back to house shows where the basement smells like rotten ass from all the stinky punks. A beer flies across the room as the band rips through a sloppy but entertaining set. Raw and unpretentious. Actually, this 7” seems to be devoted to the punk houses these guys have played/hung out around in IL and WI. The music isn’t top notch and the lyrics aren’t prolific, but this band is definitely having a good time doing it. And, hell, one of the Sass Dragons did some backing vocals. –Buttertooth (Let’s Pretend, myspace.com/letspretendrecords)


LIQUID LIMBS:
Orquid: CD
Loud alt-rock stuff with odd chords and poppy hooks that just sounds a wee bit too much 1998 and not enough 2008. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.soundstudyrecordings.com)


DEAD HOOKER’S BRIDGE CLUB:
The Hoo Dee Hoo: 7"
Begins with a twisted sock hop and ends with a fuzzed-out, old-school, mosh pit mess. Sounds like all the things you did the night before a Sunday morning coming down. Turntable speed changes between sides. –Jessica Thiringer (newartschool.net)


LIVE ONES:
Dirtweed b/w Don’t Look Down: 7"
Got kind of a weird Danzig/Dio thing going on. Dirty and scowling, but drawn out. –Jessica Thiringer (Slow Gold Zebra, no contact info)


DEAD ON A FRIDAY:
Hope It Was Worth It: CD
Okay, it’s only logical that some of the first punk that one might get exposed to is Fat Wreck/NOFX-style crap. Hence, it might be what your first band sounds like. But, what the hell? These pork-knobs look like they’re all at least in their late twenties. There could be a whole lot of reasons why these guys would be playing this style of music (lack of originality, arrested development, stabs at mainstream success), though none of them are good. –Craven (Stabsco, www.deadonafriday.com)


DEFEKTORS:
“No to the Nite” b/w “Torn to Pieces”: 7"
Reverby, repetitious dance punk that’s so catchy and full of rockin’ parts that there’s no need to get into the ugly details like: who calls something a double A-side 7”? If this is what hipsters are listening to these days, that ain’t too shabby. –Daryl Gussin (Hockey Dad)


DEATHCYCLE:
Prelude to Tyranny: CD
Decent bit of political hardcore with a smidge of metal in the guitars. At times, the music reminds me a wee bit too much of early Cro-Mags, but it ultimately does the job. –Jimmy Alvarado (Lifeline)


HUNX AND HIS PUNX:
You Don’t Like Rock ‘N’ Roll: 7"
Combine do wop harmonies, hand claps, and the sass of a teenage pop star. Blend until smooth and you’ve got the latest from this burgeoning pinup. Hunx continues his search for the next hottest man with ‘60s pop guitar chords and flirtatious lyrics that would make your mother blush. “Gimmie Gimmie Back Your Love” follows up on the B side and the cover can be scratched off to reveal Hunx in his birthday suit. What’s not to like? Recommended. –Kristen K (robshouserecords.com)


BRISK RANGE REJECTS:
Taint Misbehavin’: CD
Three-chord basement show punk with tough-guy vocals full of cursing. Comical lyrics like, “You ain’t got no [expletive] mustard, stab you in the head, use you for headcheese, then use lettuce as an hors d’oeuvre… you better go the market, get some [expletive] mustard.” Other themes: drink PBR, condoms and PTSD. –Jessica Thiringer (Brisk Range Rejects)


BRIMSTONE HOWL:
Tunnel of Love b/w Child of Perdition: 7"
Tightly focused and noisy garage punk with a thundering bass, shrieking guitar, howling vocals, and small elements of Gallon Drunk and Girl Trouble. Lincoln, Nebraska, should be proud. –Jessica Thiringer (Boom Chick, no contact info)


BIG DEFORMED HEAD:
Experimentation with Masturbation… Gone Wrong!: CD
Making music on computers is ridiculously fun. Believe me, I know. When I was in high school, I composed so much fantastic music that I thought for certain I was just nine inches away from taking my rightful place next to Foetus. Maybe I should have released it. Maybe I would have gotten big. Maybe I would be writing music for some super cool Adult Swim cartoon right now instead of doing the old nine to five. Either that or it would have sounded like self-indulgent bullshit, much like Big Deformed Head sounds to me. I guess you never know until you try, right? –MP Johnson (Sanity Obsolete, myspace.com/eroguromusic)


HANG JONES:
The Ballad of Carlsbad Country: CD
Mellow and moody Americana. Well-worn, deep vocals, melancholic fiddles, acoustic guitar, and an accordion add to the turn-of-the-20th-century Southern gothic/western tone. –Jessica Thiringer (hangjones.com)


BLEW-UP!:
Self-titled: 7"
This French 7” comes in a beautiful silk-screened sleeve. That’s where the fun stops. Blew-up is an almost unlistenable, pretentious garage punk band with a U.S. blues influence. The lyrics are in English and it plays like what I’d expect some of the worst demos that get rejected by Goner Records sound like. I’ve never had ringworm, but I bet it’s less irritating than this three-song 7”. –Art Ettinger (Better Rock Than Roll/Relax-O-Matic Vibrator)


GOD’S REVOLVER:
Little Black Horse Where Are You Going with Your Dead Rider?: CD
Crunchy, metallic guitar and a funk bass give way to wretched, anguished vocals that are less powerful than—but in the vein of—Danzig and Samhain. Some Native American flute, rain, lute-like guitar, whistling, and chain-gang sledgehammer sound effects round out this “good ole Southern rockabilly infused with metal and punk” that sounds like “Queens Of The Stone Age, Social Distortion.” (Irrelevant descriptions pulled from the affixed publicity sticker.) –Jessica Thiringer (Exigent)


WASHINGTON DEAD CATS:
A Good Cat Is a Dead Cat!: LP
French rocka-voodoo-billy that sounds like Jello Biafra fronting the Stray Cats and the Mummies, opening for a 68 Comeback Elvis. Features eight tracks each from 1986-1991 and 2001-2007. Chock full of irreverence. –Jessica Thiringer (myspace.com/befastlabel)


FUNERAL AND THE TWILIGHT, THE:
Self-titled: CD-R
The Funeral and the Twilight is a newer group from Minneapolis. At first, they reminded me of a more rocking version of The Honor System (bunch of whiners) but, like a lot of the identifiable influences on this record, it wasn’t to last. It’s hard not to like a Tears For Fears rockabilly thing wrapped in punk furs, but when that swirls into some really shitty new wave refrain for the third song in a row, something’s wrong. Hopefully, there’s less willy-nilly tie-dyed inspiration and more chugalug in TF&TT’s future. –Andrew Flanagan –Guest Contributor (myspace.com/thefuneralandthetwilight)


WAR IS TERROR TERROR IS WAR:
The Brutal Reality of Modern Brutality: CD
Odd, punky, pacifist stuff with a piano thrown in with the usual git/bass/drums/vox setup. Not much here to hum along to, but sometimes it reminds me a of a Bertold Brecht musical gone awry, which is a definite compliment. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.virb.com/waristerror)


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