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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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FUCK YOU UPS:
Hope You Appreciate It, Fucker!: CD

Where do I begin? This band plays some crappy, repetitive, bare bones punk rock. On top of it, they have completely idiotic lyrics. Fuck this pointless shit.

 

–todd (Formula 13)


FREE BEER:
The Only Beer That Matters: CD

At long last, a friggin’ album-length release from the mighty Free Beer. It's the album that never quite managed to come out back when they were actually together, and it’s a doozy. All the classics are here, from “My Money or My Car” to “Premature Enlistment” to “I Hate Sobriety,” as well as a couple of live cuts, and all of ’em sound just as good as ever. I’ve personally been hoping someone would do something like this for this band for a while now and I’m not disappointed in the least with the results. Recommended.

 

–jimmy (Alternative Tentacles)


FOUNDATION:
Homecoming: 7"

I didn't know what, exactly, to think of when Rob of Ann Berretta wrote some acoustic, folky songs and had Alison Mosshart (formerly of Discount, now half of The Kills) sing on a track. I'll probably get my ass beat by my special lady friend, but I like it in a "I'll listen to it when I'm really sad and lonely" type of way. It's poignant and seems honest like a lot of modern porch punk – like Rumbleseat, pre-electric Against Me!, and the slower song section of This Bike Is a Pipe Bomb. Allison sure can sing. That said, I know it's supposed to be folky, but even by comparison, the Kingston Trio could be considered thrash next to this. It's almost too sleepy, too sedate. But it sure is pretty.

 

–todd (1-2-3-4 Go!)


FLESHIES/ FEDERATION X:
: Split 7"

I think of some bands as portals. I loathe Led Zeppelin, but, you know what? If you took out the stratospheric chipmunk vocalist, forefronted the drums, axed the solos, and cranked up the dirty, there's something respectable in there. Portal? On their full length, Fleshies had a song called, "Led Fuckin' Zepplin, Man." I liked how Fleshies pulled it off. I recognized some of the riffs that Bonham and Co. put together. (I worked a job that played a "get the Led out" segment – an hour of it every fuckin' day.) And it just may be that Fleshies are cracking my ear up a bit because, although they operate from a wide base of operations, musically, from operatic falsettos to '70s arena rock, to some grade-A non-ass punk classics, I find myself buckling up for their ride and enjoying the aural scenery. This time out, they pen one of the best song titles I've heard this side of a D4 album, "I Just Took the Most Punk Rock Shit of My Life." I can't recommend Fleshies high enough. They're sneaky, like a bum who really knows how to box. Federation X: They live up to their cracking, electrified blues boogie on four-stringed guitars reputation. It's very jammy – like when Zen Guerilla spools out – but with a nice, serrated edge and I can't say that I'm complaining.

 

–todd (Molasses Manifesto)


FLESHIES / PCP ROADBLOCK / KOJAK / HORTUS:
: 4-way Split 7"

Fleshies: It sounds like they can pull polar opposites together and connect 'em with a little pocket of personal lightning. I may be the only one hearing this, but I hear the clang of both early Jam in the guitar and the exhilarating feeling of finding something really good in a dumpster. So incredibly catchy, like cooties or tetanus. PCP Roadblock: They sound just like their name, literally – like a crazy dude standing in your way in the middle of the road, babbling about how his socks are snakes. He won't get out of the way and all you want is a hot dog. Comes with intermittent screams. Kojak: I like. They're noisy and yelly and remind me of a more lysergic 400 Blows – under all that bluster and fuzz, you can hear some tricked up melodies. It looks like the drummer's got a microphone medical taped to his mouth so he can sing while pounding. Hortus: Throat goat, death metal vocals over a Joy Division-like synthesizer. Hmm. It's one of those things that sounds like it flies much better live, like the Imperial Butt Wizards. Bring on the roman candles and the teddy bear entrails.

 

–todd (Wet Tail)


FIFTH HOUR TURN / GUNMOLL:
: Split CD

Both bands are so close. There are real crisp glimpses of originality and musicianship. Fifth Hour Turn, at their best, are reminiscent of the top of what Discount released. Swelling, sweltering guitars, crisp and interlocking bass and drums, and lady singer who can belt it like a lash and sounds like her heart's exploding. When the guy sings, it veers really close to Hot Water Music territory. It's a little more gruff and tumble, which isn't bad, per se, but I'd like an eking of a sound more distinctly their own. At worse, the songs get too repetitive. They rut in their hooks a little too long, the lyrics repeat a little too much, and I start looking in my collection for Half Fiction or Fuel for the Hate Game. Gunmoll's a strange bunch. Half of the songs on here are my favorite – bar none – by them.  "Forget Me Not" plays along like a burlap noose that the lead singer's swinging from, while the guitars play, graze, and blaze. They play like the world's on fire around them. Yet, the other half, like "Point," are almost hard to get through, thinking that the Leatherface ballad xeroxing machine is set a little too closely to their coffee maker. Both bands are so close.

 

–todd (No Idea)


FORCA MACABRA:
Nos Tumulos Abertos: CD

Finnish thrash men pay homage to their love of Brazilian HC. The song writing style and lyrics in Brazilian Portuguese. That is a great accomplishment since the Finnish language and Portuguese are very different. I have a friend that I trade with in Finland. He is the one who sent this to me, and he informs me that bands from Brazil play Finland more than they play the US because of its popularity there. Amazing. By looking at the insert, this recording includes demos from 1991-1993 and tracks from a 12" put out in 1994. The music is controlled mayhem. The recordings are thin at points but do not take away from the power. It has that early to mid-'80s international sound. The vocals are screamed with urgency and the music washes about, following behind. This may not be the first release I would recommend to someone new to this band, but the others that I own are ass kickers to the tenth degree.

–don (Angry)


FIELDS OF FIRE:
Kill the Flock: CD

Some pretty strong stuff here, reminiscent of early to mid-L.A. hardcore. Lyrics aren’t too painful and there’s enough conviction in their delivery as to make it believable. Impressive. If they manage to stay on course, they may become a personal fave.

–jimmy (Bockhorn)


FEVERS, THE :
Gaan Daar Waar de Meisjes Zijn: CD

The Gravedigger V decide to form a power pop band based on the sound forged by the Stones in the early '60s. Hey, that’s what it sounds like to me.

 

–jimmy (Alien Snatch)


EVEN WORSE:
You've Ruined Everything: CD

I'd put NYC's Even Worse right in league with San Francisco's The Avengers and East LA's The Brat. Female-fronted, early, genuine American punk with a fire under its ass. It's funny because the only single I had of theirs was nothing like this – it was a lot more serious and thoughtfully attempted to deconstruct punk rock, had Thurston Moore (later to go to Sonic Youth) playing guitar, and although pretty darn good, I enjoy the brash enthusiasm, snotty bounce, and female singing on this retrospective. Even Worse flexes their muscles through twenty-six songs, including their anthem, "We Suck," and pounds through both a Weirdos cover, ("Solitary Confinement") and a Black Flag cover ("Nervous Breakdown"). Keep in mind, these bands were contemporaries, along with others, like Kraut and Adrenaline OD. It just goes to show how much more level the playing field was twenty years ago, and how excited bands were to realize that others, such as themselves, had come to the same aural conclusions at approximately the same time. The cornerstone to keeping Even Worse's legacy alive – and providing excellent, comprehensive liner notes – is their drummer, Jack Rabid, who continues to publish The Big Takeover zine twenty odd years down the road. This CD is split in half – the first is the never-released, "lost" studio LP followed by a healthy set at Max's Kansas City in August, 1981. What a pleasant surprise. This'll get a lot of spins. Someone should release it on vinyl.

 

–todd (www.bigtakeover.com)


ENEMIES, THE :
Seize the Day: CD

I keep hearing all these latent grunge-isms creeping into various punk rock formats. What the fuck is up with that??? I mean, this is DEFINITELY supposed to be "street punk," or whatever the fuck that which was called "street punk" twenty-four months ago is now known as, but i swear to fucking GOD i hear ample grunge contamination herein. Boy, call me crabby, but all i hear here (note: that was a particularly clever reference to a Hollies album title) is Mountain Dew® commercial music waiting to happen, likely snuck under the radar screen by presumed connection to the marginalized! For the cry-yi! This band is at their best – AT THEIR BEST – when they merely kinda sound like Rancid knockoffs, at their worst when spouting dumb-as-death-metal gibberish like "last rights, my settlement, bestows its empty threats on all, but no one's here," and at their most disturbing when they LEGITIMATELY seem to be trying to rip off "Longview" on "East 14th." Lyrics include exciting subject matter such as "broken dreams." Why has no one thought of this before? I honestly hope that, for whatever lunatic reason, somebody at Lookout really felt passionate about this band, because all i'm hearing is a band who got signed on the off chance that they might become the next big thing, and it'd be kinda sad if that label wound up being run like a mutual fund or something. WORST SONG TITLE: "Last Rights"  BEST SONG: "Moving On"  FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: I can't remember what the UK equivalent to "Hear! Here!" was, but if i was forced to guess i'd say the third one.

 

–norb (Lookout!)


END ON END:
Why Evolve When We Can Go Sideways: CD

Individually, inside the songs themselves, there's a lot going on. It's some very intricate, tightly constructed, thoughtful emotional hardcore that breaks down, filigrees (sometimes piano, sometimes violin), collects itself like a bomb that builds itself from the inside, and explodes open. The screaming and shouts come across as genuine, not shrill. End on End has definitely expanded from its early recordings and made a mold they can call more their own. And I can sit down and listen to a couple songs and get really energized, but then a weird thing happens. It's tough to get through the entire album. If I don't listen to it closely and deliberately, track by track, the album begins to sound the same. I can't figure this out, and I've listened to it over ten times, getting the same result. Huh.

 

–todd (Substandard)


EPOXIES:
Synthesized: 7"

Good lord, these guys keep on getting better and their LP is fantastic. (This 7" sounds a couple notches fuller, too.) They just seem so sure and strong in what they do, and your ass must be shot full of novocaine and your brain full of Vicodin if your butt doesn't wiggle along to the beat. Their power comes from each instrument fitting and everything's played with force, not merely tinkered with by a member enamored with the sound of a bleep. I sure see more people adopting new wave, but I've yet to hear one of the new crop that seems to have been born into it with such assurance. And it's so much better than an Adam Ant throwback because there's guitar snarl and a pounding drummer that's not programmed like a Casio. "Synthesized" is a perfect capsule of The Epoxies: tight songs, super sexy vocals, and limber guitar lines. A fuckin' rockin' cover of Alice Cooper's "Clones" rounds out the b-side.

 

–todd (Dirtnap)


ELECTRIC EYE:
Muscle: 7” EP

High-energy rock’n’roll like the Swedes are into these days. Pretty loud, pretty over the top, pretty good.

 

–jimmy (Vinyl Warning)


EL GUAPO STUNTTEAM:
Year of the Panther: LP

Heavy, high-voltage rock’n’roll sure to leave your mom deaf and your neighbor pissed. As sweet and sincere as a solid blow to the testes.

 

–jimmy (Sounds of Subterrania)


ED GEIN:
Self-titled: CD

Grindcore with all of the genre’s strengths and weaknesses painfully apparent.

–jimmy (Hanging Like A Hex)


DRUNK INJUNS:
From Where the Sun Now Stands, I Will Fight No More Forever: CD

Dark, moody punk/hardcore here from this legendary Bay area “skate” band. All the tracks are studio takes, meaning this is not a re-release of the live 10" out quite a while back. Am also led to believe that there was a guy from Tools/Sick Pleasure/Code of Honor in this group as well. This is a really good release on the whole, although I think many modern skate kids, with their penchant for safe, non-boat-rocking, cookie cutter Epitaph punk might be a little taken aback by this. Shame it didn’t come out back when it was recorded.

–jimmy (Alternative Tentacles)


DROPKICK MURPHY:
Live on St. Patrick: CD

Three days of drinking, rabid fans, playing in your hometown, guest artists, and St. Patrick's Day is a recipe for a good recording session for a live release. Dropkick fans have probably already purchased this. For others on the fringes, this is a good sampler to get a taster. Their blend of street punk mixed with Irish pride has been accepted by many. Song after song, you can hear in the background that the music is embraced with passion by the audience on this recording. It shows that the band has reached the status and expertise of captivating an audience. In all its fun and glory, a fun listen.

 

–don (Hellcat)


DREAM IS DEAD, THE:
Letter of Resignation: CD

Really noisy hardcore with grindy bits. Kinda makes me think this is what Conflict might’ve sounded like had they been just a tad more pissed.

 

–jimmy (What Else)


DISTRACTION, THE:
Calling All Radios: CD and Transmission Ignition b/w Nothin: CD / 7

The Distraction  grew on me slowly, but I'm glad I stuck with it. I disliked it in the beginning. At first, they sound like a slowed down Stitches, with a mumbly voiced lead singer fronting mid-tempo, repetitive songs. Also, like the Stitches, they're sneaky riff snatchers. They lift nice bits of The Clash and Buzzcocks, but have a real good feel on how to tuck them into their own compositions. But the more I listened, the better the songs started to sound. They're just like fresh snot on glass. They're nasty and boogery but the sound's clean and you can see every detail. This may seem off topic, but The Distraction does to true early punk what a lot of hip hop artists did with R and B tracks. Instead of doing direct samples, this OC crew take the best feel, motion, and groove of bands like the Boys and the Weirdos (without Doors covers, thank you very much) and join them in clever, finger snapping ways. So, when I stopped wanting them to play faster and enjoyed being locked into their groove, what was once repetitive became a solid slab of stagger and swagger. Another thing I realized is that although none of the songs sound like smash fuckin' hit singles, the album as a whole works very well. The 7" has one song that's on the album, "Transmission Ignition," and a track, "Nothin' to Me," that's worth doin' a little vinyl huntin' for. Thumbs up.

 

–todd (Dirtnap – CD, Pelado – 7")


DISKORDS, THE:
Heart Full of Napalm: 7"

The promo sheet that came with this release sez, "The Diskords range in age from 12 to 14 years old. They all attend middle school together here in Portland, Oregon." If I had been in a band when I was thirteen, I'd have spent all my time trying to perfect the riff to "Smells Like Teen Spirit." That said, this is pretty good! Catchy, short, pop punky songs (think: a more poppy early Queers). And, come on! Twelve year-olds singing songs like "Cops Took Mommy Away"? Punk rock!

–Maddy (Vinyl Warning)


DIEHARD YOUTH:
Without the Kids We Would Be Dead: CD

Diehard Youth break out with straightforward PosiCore from strangely enough, Tehachapi, CA, which is kinda odd because it’s pretty much the middle of nowhere. Anyway, this band sounds incredibly similar to Insted. Even the lyrical content runs in the same vain. The only difference is that this band adds more moshy elements to their music. For those who miss Insted. . –Mike Dunn

–Guest Contributor (Thorp)


DICKLESS TORSO:
Wake Up Jerk: CD

Really bad punk with piss poor recording values. Sounds like it was recorded on a ghetto blaster with the mics blown out.

 

–jimmy (Star Time)


DARYLS, THE:
Beer Fueled Mayhem: CD

Out of eighteen songs, only one is worth listening to. The rest are just cheap Queers imitations. Glad you guys have money to throw away. Must be nice. Next.

 

–jimmy (www.thedaryls.com)


DARLINGTON:
Chrysanthemum: 7”

I really liked their second album, which was the first with the name Darlington, which was Queers/Ramonesy fodder saved by some brilliantly stupid lyrics rife with self-deprecating potshots at their obviously derivative sound. Everything else I’ve  heard, however, just hasn’t grabbed my attention in the same way, and this is no different. You can easily draw the same musical reference points, but, from what I can tell, the sense of humor that made them so initially attractive ain’t here, and the resulting record just doesn’t stand out from the HUGE pack of bands treading the same stagnant water. This is limited to three hundred and if you dig ’em you’ll dig this, but it did fuck all for me.

 

–todd (X)


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